LBN – Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

*Toronto Van Attack Suspect Charged With Murder

The suspected driver in the Toronto van attack on Monday that killed 10 people and injured 15 others was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, according to CTV News. Alek Minassian, 25, also faces 13 counts of attempted murder. Minassian, who appeared in court Tuesday morning, allegedly drove a white van through a crowd of pedestrians on a sidewalk along a major Toronto thoroughfare. He was apprehended by police not long after the incident. One of the victims of the attack was identified as Anne Marie D’Amico, who “succumbed to her injuries,” according to a statement from her employer obtained by CBC News.

*Report: George H.W. Bush Is in Intensive Care, Condition Is ‘Very Serious’

Former President George H.W. Bush is in intensive care in a Houston hospital with a blood infection that reportedly has led to sepsis, threatening the life of the 93-year-old just days after he buried his wife, Barbara. CNN reports sources close to the Bush family said the 41st president’s blood pressure significantly dropped “a couple of times” and there was “serious concern about whether he was going to come through,” but has stabilized. “He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering,” Bush’s office said in a statement. Bush was admitted to the hospital Sunday morning, hours after the funeral services for the former first lady over the weekend.

*Top Dem: Ronny Jackson’s VA Confirmation Hearing Postponed

The Senate confirmation hearing for Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of veterans’ affairs, has been postponed as lawmakers review potentially damaging allegations against Jackson, according to a top Democratic senator. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, told The Daily Beast that the hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, would be delayed. The chairman and ranking member of the committee, Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jon Tester (D-MT), later confirmed the postponement, adding that they sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday asking for information on “improper conduct” regarding Jackson’s tenure as the White House physician. Senior White House officials, including top aides on legislative strategy, are planning an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss next steps and how to best apply pressure on the congressional side to salvage Jackson’s nomination, according to two administration officials. One official noted that while the position of the White House is to stand firm on Jackson, efforts to prop up Jackson could “implode” at any moment. A source familiar with the matter previously told The Daily Beast that the committee was “investigating serious allegations against [Jackson] that could delay his hearing.” Lawmakers have been mum about the nature of the allegations, which reportedly involve Jackson’s workplace behavior.

*Trump: Kim Jong Un Has Been ‘Very Honorable’

President Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “very honorable” while answering reporters’ questions at the White House Tuesday morning. Trump said that North Korea wants to hold a meeting “as soon as possible, and we think that’s a great thing for the world.” “Kim Jong Un—he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing,” he said. “Maybe it will be wonderful,” Trump added. “And maybe it won’t. … unlike past administrations, I will walk away from the table.” The president also said he thinks “we have a chance of doing something very special, with respect to North Korea. Good for them, good for us, good for everybody.” This comes as direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea have been ramping up ahead of the bilateral summit that’s expected to be held in May or June.

*Officials: Three Mexican Film Students Were Killed, Dissolved in Acid

Mexican authorities announced that three Mexican film students who disappeared last month were beaten to death, and their bodies were dissolved in acid, the Los Angeles Times reported. Two suspects have been arrested and six other warrants have been issued in relation to the crime, according to the Jalisco state attorney general’s office. Dissolving bodies in acid is a tactic often used by Mexican drug cartels—and prosecutors suspect that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel is behind the crime. University of Audiovisual Media students Javier Salomon Aceves, Jesus Daniel Diaz, and Marco Garcia Avalos didn’t have ties to criminal gangs, but had been doing work in a home that belonged to one of the students’ aunts. That home was also associated with the “Nueva Plaza” cartel, a rival of the “New Generation” cartel, according to The Washington Post. Authorities said the home was being watched by the “rival traffickers,” and their presence likely aroused suspicion.

*Report: Center for American Progress Struggled to Address Sexual-Harassment Claims

The Center for American Progress, a bastion of Democratic policy that has often written about sexual harassment in the workplace, struggled to properly prevent and respond to sexual-harassment allegations within its offices, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The organization’s employee union drafted a memo for CAP President Neera Tanden, outlining concerns that included the group’s insufficient “employment action” against those accused of sexual assault, its failure to establish a “safe space,” and failure to inform employees how to properly report sexual harassment. A junior staffer, who was sent lewd text messages by another staffer, was moved to another team after she reported the incident to HR, according to the report. She then quit, writing in her exit memo that she “surely expected better out of an organization that housed a national campaign on sexual assault.” CAP claims only some portions of the memo were mentioned by the union in a meeting with Tanden, and says the organization appropriately investigated the allegations against the employee. He admitted to “acting inappropriately” with the junior staffer to HR, and was subsequently suspended “with pay for three days.”

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*Amazon Will Now Deliver Packages to Parked Cars

Amazon will start delivering packages to parked cars starting Tuesday, according to The New York Times. The rollout of the new delivery method, available in 37 U.S. cities for those who have the proper technology in their vehicles, allows a courier to pop the trunk or open the back door with a “few taps on a smartphone screen.” A package would then be dropped off in the trunk or left on the back seat. The delivery method is only available for customers with 2015 or later models of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Volvo cars equipped with roadside-assistance technology, the Times reported. Amazon intends to expand the service to other car makers over time, and will only allow couriers to unlock the vehicle once during delivery. This comes as the company recently rolled out Amazon Key, which allows a package to be dropped off directly inside a home to avoid thieves.

*Facebook Reveals Secret Rulebook for Deleting Posts and Accounts

Facebook has released its detailed rulebook for the types of posts and accounts it allows, giving a far greater insight into how it decides what kind of content should be removed from the social-media platform. The rules—far more detailed than the “community standards” that were previously available—set out what kind of posts are permitted on subjects ranging from drug use and sex work to bullying, hate speech, and inciting violence. “You should, when you come to Facebook, understand where we draw these lines and what’s OK and what’s not OK,” said Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president of product policy and counterterrorism. The document, which is 8,000 words long, includes guidelines such as avoiding posts that “admit to personal use of non-medical drugs,” prohibiting content that comes from a hacked source “except in limited cases of newsworthiness,” and outlawing videos of people wounded by cannibalism unless they are “in a medical setting.”

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: We Sent Garlic Bread to the Edge of Space, Then Ate It —

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: While jellyfish do not have a brain, they have an elementary nervous system with receptors that detect light, vibrations, and chemicals in the water. These abilities, along with the sense of gravity, allow the jellyfish to orient and guide itself in the water.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Carl Sandburg: Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.


India is the birthplace of chess. The original word for “chess” is the Sanskrit chaturanga, meaning “four members of an army”-which were mostly likely elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers.


LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord