LBN – Thursday, September 21st, 2017


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*Nicaragua Will Join Paris Accord, Leaving the U.S., Syria as Its Only Holdouts

Nicaragua has decided to join the Paris climate accord, and President Daniel Ortega has told state media that his government will “soon” sign on to the landmark agreement. Ortega initially refused to join the deal in 2015, claiming it did not mandate enough sacrifices from wealthier countries. It isn’t yet clear what changed Ortega’s mind. In any case, that leaves the U.S. and Syria as the only two nations that have refused to support the agreement to combat global warming. President Donald Trump has said it creates too many restrictions on U.S. companies.

*Trump Pushes to Revisit Iran Nuclear Deal, and Asks Allies to Help:

President Trump is seeking to revisit the nuclear agreement with Iran to toughen its provisions rather than scrap it right away as he has threatened, enlisting allies to pressure Tehran to return to the negotiating table, administration officials said Wednesday. Mr. Trump, who denounced the agreement in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week as an “embarrassment to the United States,” wants to expand on it by extending its time frame and imposing new limits on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles. Although European officials strongly back the current deal, some signaled openness to negotiating a separate follow-up agreement. The maneuvering suggested a possible path forward for Mr. Trump short of abandoning the accord, but it remains uncertain whether he can reach consensus with the European allies, much less with Russia and China, the deal’s other patrons. Iran on Wednesday ruled out revisiting the agreement as President Hassan Rouhani declared it a “closed issue” and warned that if the United States pulled out, Iran might resume uranium enrichment.

*Spicer: I Never ‘Knowingly’ Lied During Time at White House

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that he never “knowingly” lied to the American people while serving in President Trump’s administration. “I made mistakes,” Spicer said. “There’s no question. I think we all do.” Though he said he will never offer a “blanket apology,” Spicer acknowledged that he has “tried to own” some of his mistakes. Still, he said, “the personal attacks, questioning my integrity … you know, what my intentions were, I think, were really over the top.”

*SINFUL – Pope Candidly Admits Church ‘Arrived Late’ in Confronting Abuse: 

Pope Francis, in some of his most candid and personal comments on the sexual abuse of children by priests, said on Thursday that the Catholic Church had “arrived late” in dealing with the problem.  Francis, speaking in unscripted remarks to a commission advising him on how to root out sexual abuse, also acknowledged that early in his papacy he had made one bad call in being too lenient with an Italian priest who later went on to abuse again. He also said he had decided to change current procedures for dealing with abusive priests by eliminating appeals trials in cases where there was definitive proof.

*WHOOPS – KB Home Cuts CEO Jeffrey Mezger’s Bonus After His Kathy Griffin Rant

Following an expletive-laden rant aimed at comedian Kathy Griffin, KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger will get a sizable reduction in his annual bonus, the company said in a filing on Thursday. In the two-minute recording, Mezger chastises Griffin and her boyfriend for calling the police on the noise-level coming from his home, using anti-gay and sexist language. The company board reportedly decided to chop the bonus Mezger would have “otherwise been entitled to receive” by 25 percent because his “recent behavior in his personal dealings with a neighbor is unacceptable and a negative reflection on KB Home.”

*Study: Fewer Pregnancies, More Fetal Deaths in Flint After Lead Levels Rose

Flint, the Michigan city where lead levels in drinking-water supplies notoriously spiked in April 2014, saw fewer pregnancies and an increase in fetal deaths during the period of time when they were exposed to such levels, according to a new study that examined local and state health records. Fetal death rates jumped 58 percent after April 2014. Fertility rates decreased by about 12 percent among women. The Flint data was compared to the rest of the state of Michigan from 2008 to 2015. Lead can cause infertility in both men and women. It can also damage a baby’s central nervous system, which could have caused miscarriages and stillbirths in the region.

*WHO READS LBN? Cook book author Padma Lakshmi

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: China and the world received a fresh warning on Thursday that the country’s dramatic debt binge of recent years threatens the stability of one of the global economy’s most important growth engines. Standard & Poor’s downgraded its rating on China, saying the country’s strong economic growth has been fueled by heavy borrowing — and that it expects that borrowing to continue. That could hurt the ability of the world’s second-largest economy to handle potential financial shocks, like a crisis among its banks, and could lead to longer-term growth problems.  ***Responding to evidence that its tools had allowed ads to be directed at users who used racist comments or hate speech in their profiles, Facebook said Wednesday that it would change how ads can be targeted. That its ad-targeting tools could be used in such a way was “a fail” for the company, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said in a post. She added that Facebook would add “more human review and oversight” to its automated systems to prevent further misuse. Ms. Sandberg, who was directly addressing the social network’s recent advertising issues for the first time, also said the company would do more to ensure that offensive content — including that which attacks people for their race or religion — could not be used to target ads.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***The hunt is on for an actress to play groundbreaking studio boss Sherry Lansing in a movie version of her recent biography. Sources say Paramount and “Mission: Impossible” producer Paula Wagner are in early discussions to turn the Hollywood legend’s tome into a film, with an actress attached. The book, “Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker,” was penned by Stephen Galloway.

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 22 professors from Stanford University read LBN daily?

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Beatles’ widow Yoko Ono has sued a drinks firm selling lemonade called John Lemon. Yoko, 84 — who administers late husband John Lennon’s estate — claimed his image was hijacked.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Kate Hudson, Coldplay rocker Chris Martin, Rosario Dawson, Demi Moore and Emanuelle Chriqui at the Ace Theatre in LA seeing poet In-Q’s new show, “The Echo Chamber.” The popular poet started out as a songwriter for Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  Norah Jones – Black Hole Sun (Detroit Fox Theatre 5.23.17)   —-

*LBN-R.I.P.:  ***Lillian Ross, who became known as the consummate fly-on-the-wall reporter in more than six decades at The New Yorker, whether writing about Ernest Hemingway, Hollywood or a busload of Indiana high school seniors on a class trip to New York, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. She was 99. Her longtime editor, Susan Morrison, said the death, at Lenox Hill Hospital, was caused by a stroke.   ***Dr.Edmond I. Eger II, a leader in the development of a now universally used technique to determine the proper dose of anesthetic gas administered in operating rooms — an advance that has saved an untold number of lives — died on Aug. 26 at his home in Tiburon, California. He was 86. The cause was pancreatic cancer, said Dr. Steven L. Shafer, a professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University, and the editor of a coming autobiography of Dr. Eger.   ***Bernie Casey, a professional football player turned poet, painter and actor known for parts in films such as “Revenge of the Nerds” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” has died. He was 78. Casey died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, his talent agent Erin Connor said.


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*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The revealing TV interview show –  “Without Notes” with Susan Estrich – Episode 2: The Kennedy Campaign —-


Once every few years a book comes along with an insight so penetrating, so powerful – and so simply, demonstrably true -that it instantly changes the way we think and do business. Such a book is Broken Windows, Broken Business, a breakthrough in management theory that can alter the destiny of countless companies striving to stay ahead of their competition. “In this vital work, author Michael Levine offers compelling evidence that problems in business, large and small, typically stem from inattention to tiny details. —–

*Lenny Rosenberg, “The Restaurant Doctor”, Is Furious Over $15 Dollar an Hour Minimum Wage Increase

Lenny Rosenberg, since the tender age of seventeen (17), has been investing, rebranding and flipping restaurants. He is often referred to as, “The Restaurant Doctor.” His talent and expertise are unsurpassed by anyone in the past twenty-five (25) years, as he’s continued to perfect his craft by using “I.F.S.”, placing an emphasis always on inventory, food, and service. He started flipping restaurants in New York and has been doing so through the mid-west and Malibu over the years. The $15 dollar an hour minimum wage increase, however, he believes may work against his restaurant flipping efforts as well as other restaurant workers. Lenny says, “The minimum wage in the old days would increase at an incremental rate and over long periods of time. Now what they’re doing is raising that wage one to two dollars a year, and forcing the small business owners to raise their pricing anywhere from 15 and 25% to account for that raise.” He continues, “Not only that, now they also can’t afford to hire as many people, which means more unemployment.” When no other business owner was willing to go on camera to discuss the sensitive issue, Lenny allowed himself to be interviewed by So Cal News over 2 years ago when the accelerated minimum wage raises were first announced to explain why it would be so bad for small business and, eventually, the economy. Now that we are halfway through the process of the accelerated raises, we are seeing massive closings of establishments that have been around for decades. —
*LBN-COMMENTARY by Robert Plant (Singer, Led Zeppelin): I got to a point where I could no longer watch the Trump coverage. The media makes it such a garish feast. I just decided that there’s a process that will sort itself out and rectify itself in due course. Which it will. I keep my head down and dissolve into books.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Hear the late Frank Vincent’s final media interview on the “Outer Limits of Inner Truth” radio show. Mr. Vincent discusses how he met Joe Pesci, how he got into acting, his experience on the Sopranos, and his real life run in with a famous mobster. —
*100+ Volunteers Needed for “Stand Down 2017” Homeless Veteran Benefit Event in Los Angeles
From October 26th-October 27th, Village for Vets and Brentwood School are partnering to coordinate volunteers for “The Stand Down 2017,” an event providing supplies and services to homeless Veterans, such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans can also receive referrals to other assistance such as health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling. The event is taking place at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. 1500 homeless and family members expected to partake in one day of food, showers, housing, assessments, services and more. Volunteers needed for all services. To volunteer, sign up here:

*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Olivia Newton-John isn’t ruling anything out in terms of treatment for her breast cancer. In a pre-taped interview that aired Thursday on “Today,” the “Grease” star shared that she’s using marijuana that her husband, John Easterling, grows to help relieve the pain and nausea that come with cancer and chemotherapy. “People have this vision from the ’60s of people just sitting around and getting stoned,” Newton-John, 68, told Natalie Morales. “I think that it’s not about that. This plant is a healing plant. I think we need to change the vision of what it is because it helped me greatly and it helps with pain and inflammation.”