LBN – Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

*Report: Federal Trade Commission Investigating Facebook Over Use of Personal Data

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating Facebook over “whether it violated terms of a consent decree over its use of personal data,” according to Bloomberg. The investigation will reportedly involve looking into allegations that the social networking platform allowed data analysis company Cambridge Analytica to “receive some user data in violation of its policies.” This comes as a whistleblower said that private data of 50 million Facebook users was collected without consent, and after the CEO of Cambridge Analytica was caught on tape offering blackmail services of political opponents to undercover reporters. Cambridge Analytica was hired by the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

*CHAOS – Police Evacuate Austin FedEx Facility Over Suspicious Package

A suspicious package at a FedEx Ground facility in Austin has caused police and fire officials to evacuate the area near the city’s airport, just hours after a midnight explosion at another facility near San Antonio. The chaos unfolds in the aftermath of four bombs within the last two weeks that have killed two people and injured another four. The explosion earlier Tuesday injured one woman, but she was treated at the scene and released. That package was en route to Austin, officials have said. According to CBS San Antonio, an FBI official told reporters that it was “more than possible” the early-morning bomb is related to the other local explosions in the Texas capital. Another FBI special agent, Michelle Lee, told the Associated Press that “it would be silly for us not to admit that we suspect it’s related.”

*DON’T MESS WITH THE PUPS – United Suspends Dog Cargo Travel After Week of Mishaps

United Airlines has suspended new reservations for pets traveling in its cargo compartments after three dogs were loaded onto the wrong planes and another died in an overhead bin last week. The airline said Tuesday that it will be honoring existing reservations on its PetSafe pet travel service, but will not be taking new reservations until further notice. This change will reportedly not affect pets traveling in the main cabin with their owners. “We are conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets,” United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin told The Chicago Tribune. According to the newspaper, the report should be complete byMay 1.

*USS Juneau Wreckage Found Near Solomon Islands

The wreckage of the World War II warship USS Juneau has been located off the coast of Solomon Islands. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sponsored the expedition to find the ship, which was found 4,000 meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean on Saturday. The Juneau was sunk by Japanese torpedoes in November 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal, killing 687 men. Among those lost were the five Sullivan brothers from Waterloo, Ohio, who, despite a rule stipulating that no siblings could serve in the same unit, famously refused to serve unless they were together. A Navy destroyer—USS The Sullivans—was later named in honor of the brothers George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert. The ship reportedly split in two under torpedo fire, and only 10 soldiers were able to saved from the battle scene. In the past year, Allen’s crews have also found the remains of the USS Indianapolis, the USS Lexington, and several other wartime wrecks.

*French Ex-President Sarkozy in Custody Over Gaddafi Donation Claims

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in police custody Tuesday morning, facing questions surrounding allegations that he benefited from Libyan funding during his 2007 election campaign. Since 2013, French authorities have been investigating allegations that Sarkozy took illicit cash from late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was captured and killed during the Libyan civil war in 2011. Sarkozy, who served as French president from 2007 to 2012, has strongly denied receiving any illicit donations and previously described the Libyan allegations as “grotesque.” The allegations came from a French-Lebanese businessman and have been backed by former officials from the ousted Gaddafi regime. Sarkozy has already been ordered to stand trial regarding unrelated allegations about the financing of his failed 2012 re-election campaign, when he was defeated by Francois Hollande.

*MY REVIEW: “For six years, my brother has been teasing me that I did have the guts to take a selfie and submit it to LBN. Well, here it is. LBN is an extraordinary independent news and information source and I love the photos……….obviously! ——-Sara Jean, an LBN reader from Austin, Texas.


*Obama’s former media director: Facebook was once ‘on our side’:  

A former media director for the Obama campaign said Facebook allowed them to access the personal data of its users in 2011 because the social media giant was “on our side.” “They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side,” Carol Davidsen, director of data integration and media analytics for Obama for America, wrote Sunday on Twitter. Davidsen said she and her team were able to gather massive amounts of personal information from Facebook users, as well as their friends.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***As Facebook grapples with a backlash over its role in spreading disinformation, an internal dispute over how to handle the threat and the public outcry is resulting in the departure of a senior executive. The impending exit of that executive — Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief information security officer — reflects heightened leadership tension at the top of the social network. Much of the internal disagreement is rooted in how much Facebook should publicly share about how nation states misused the platform and debate over organizational changes in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, according to current and former employees briefed on the matter. Mr. Stamos, who plans to leave Facebook by August, had advocated more disclosure around Russian interference of the platform and some restructuring to better address the issues, but was met with resistance by colleagues, said the current and former employees. In December, Mr. Stamos’s day-to-day responsibilities were reassigned to others, they said.

*Californians fed up with housing costs and taxes are fleeing state in big numbers:

Californians may still love the beautiful weather and beaches, but more and more they are fed up with the high housing costs and taxes and deciding to flee to lower-cost states such as Nevada, Arizona and Texas. “There’s nowhere in the United States that you can find better weather than here,” said Dave Senser, who lives on a fixed income near San Luis Obispo, California, and now plans to move to Las Vegas. “Rents here are crazy, if you can find a place, and they’re going to tax us to death. That’s what it feels like. At least in Nevada they don’t have a state income tax. And every little bit helps.” Senser, 65, who previously lived in the east San Francisco Bay region, said housing costs and gas prices are “significantly lower in Las Vegas. The government in the state of California isn’t helping people like myself. That’s why people are running out of this state now.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Millennials are increasingly ditching the pill — that miracle tablet that ushered in female empowerment and free love — and opting for more old-fashioned methods of contraception, from condoms to the rhythm method to diaphragms. A new survey of 2,000 US women by Cosmopolitan magazine found that 70 percent of millennials who have used the pill have stopped taking it or thought about stopping in the past three years.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Health tech companies are making a big push to digitize medicine, introducing novel tools like digital pills that track when patients take their drugs and smart spoons that can automatically adjust to hand tremors. Now they want some patients to get prescription treatments from the app store as well. Later this year, doctors treating patients addicted to substances like cocaine and amphetamines will be able to prescribe Reset, an app that gives patients lessons to help them modify their behavior. The Food and Drug Administration cleared it in September as the first mobile medical app to help treat substance-use disorders.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Boy George announced a lengthy U.S. summer tour with Culture Clubthe B-52s and Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins on Tuesday. The tour opens June 29th in St. Augustine, Florida and encompasses more than 40 dates before ending over three months later in Fresno, CA on October 5th.

*LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***Sean Penn’s debut novel “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” doesn’t hold back on veiled allegory. Excerpts of the satire have been seized on by U.S. and UK media outlets ahead of the book’s publication, not least for the novel’s portrayal of a U.S. President who is elected by “raging” Americans (and Russians), has an unhealthy obsession with Twitter and an uncanny ability to spark furious marches by women around the world. It also more darkly describes the U.S. as “a nation in need of an assassin.” The novel charts the story of Bob Honey, a “modern American man, entrepreneur and contract killer who sells septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses and arranges pyrotechnic displays for foreign dictators.” Chased by an investigative journalist, Honey decides to take back control of his life from the intelligence service who is covertly employing him as an assassin.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Robert Grossman, a prolific and outlandish illustrator who made President Richard M. Nixon into Pinocchio, put President George W. Bush in a dunce cap and tied a jet in a knot for the “Airplane!” movie poster, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 78. His son Alex Emanuel Grossman said he was found dead on Friday morning but is believed to have died of heart failure the night before.

*LBN-THIS DAY IN HISTORY

US Approves Antiretroviral Drug AZT as a Treatment for AIDS (1987)

Though it was originally developed as an anticancer drug in 1964, azidothymidine (AZT) was never approved for that purpose. Two decades later, however, it was discovered to be effective in fighting HIV. At the time, thousands of people were dying of AIDS, and no other treatment was forthcoming. For humanitarian reasons, the drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in a matter of months, rather than the usual eight to 10 years.

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:    

FBI: Wanted by the FBI

Protect your family, your local community, and the nation by helping the FBI catch wanted terrorists and fugitives. You can also help reunite missing persons of all ages with their loved ones. Rewards are offered in some cases. Use the Search Center below to find specific cases.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:   SHITHOLE ALERT: Liberal San Francisco Full of Poop and Needles —  https://youtu.be/B5n-6mSe9os

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Last week I went to Houston to see the rodeo. That rodeo is not like other rodeos. It’s gigantic. It goes for 20 days. There can be up to 185,000 people on the grounds in a single day and they are of all human types — rural ranchers, Latino families, African immigrants, drunken suburban housewives out for a night on the town. When you are lost in that sea of varied humanity, you think: What on earth holds this nation together? The answer can be only this: Despite our differences, we devote our lives to the same experiment, the American experiment to draw people from around the world and to create the best society ever, to serve as a model for all humankind. Unity can come only from a common dedication to this experiment. The American consciousness can be formed only by the lab reports we give one another about that experiment — the jeremiads, speeches, songs and conversations that describe what the experiment is for, where it has failed and how it should proceed now. One of my favorites of these lab reports is Walt Whitman’s essay “Democratic Vistas,” published in 1871. The purpose of democracy, Whitman wrote, is not wealth, or even equality; it is the full flowering of individuals. By dispersing responsibility to all adults, democracy “supplies a training school for making first class men.” It is “life’s gymnasium.” It forges “freedom’s athletes” — strong and equal women, courageous men, deep-souled people capable of governing themselves.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Shirley Ellis: The Nitty Gritty 1963 HD —  https://youtu.be/P2v8IgJdsm4

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Tony Blair: The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by William Ruger: It looks as if President Trump is going to get his military parade after all. The last time our forces paraded across Washington was in 1991, to hail our triumph in the Gulf war. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much to celebrate in our foreign policy since — unless you count the 15-year anniversary, on Tuesday, of the start of the Iraq war. I don’t. As a veteran of Afghanistan, I wish this weren’t the case. No patriot wants to see us fail. But America’s approach to the world just isn’t working to make us safer and more prosperous. And President Trump isn’t helping. We need a more effective and realistic foreign policy.The Iraq war is just the worst in a string of failures. They range from that destructive regime-change mission in Iraq and a later such effort in Libya to the ill-fated nation-building project in Afghanistan, and all the way back to the dangerous enlargement of NATO in the 1990s and 2000s to include countries on Russia’s doorstep. In the process, nearly 7,000 American troops have been killed and tens of thousands wounded, and we’ve spent trillions of dollars — all while failing to achieve our strategic objectives. Underlying all of these failures is the view, endorsed by both parties, that we need an active military presence around the globe to shape what happens almost everywhere. But it doesn’t matter how well funded our Pentagon, how brave our troops or how well intentioned our diplomats are. So long as we keep tinkering with this flawed operating system, we will continue to fail.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Adam Popescu: Some 75 percent of Americans believe their smartphone usage doesn’t impact their ability to pay attention in a group setting, according to the Pew Research Center, and about a third of Americans believe that using phones in social settings actually contributes to the conversation. But does it? Etiquette experts and social scientists are adamantly united: Nope.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by  Megan McArdle: Be kind. Mean is easy; kind is hard. Somewhere in eighth grade, many of us acquired the idea that the nasty put-down, the superior smile, the clever one liner, are the signs of intelligence and great personal strength. But this kind of wit is, to borrow from the great John Scalzi, “playing the game on easy mode.” Making yourself feel bigger by making someone else feel small takes so little skill that 12-year-olds can do it. Those with greater ambitions should leave casual cruelty behind them.

*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Andy Dick‘s wife has been granted a restraining order against the troubled comedian. According to The Blast, the order obtained by Dick’s wife, Lena Sved, requires the 52-year-old to stay at least 100 yards from Sved and the couple’s children, Jacob and Meg. It will remain in effect until March 13, 2023. In February, Sved petitioned for a temporary restraining order following two incidents involving an allegedly intoxicated Dick. Sved claims she locked Dick out of the house because he was intoxicated and that he broke two windows attempting to gain re-entry into their home.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord