LBN – Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

*Trump: U.S. Prepared to Take Action on Venezuela
President Trump said Monday night that the U.S. is prepared to “take further action” in Venezuela if the “growing crisis” persists. Speaking at a dinner at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Trump called the situation “totally unacceptable.” He added, “The Venezuelan people are starving… The country is collapsing, their democratic institutions are being destroyed.” Trump directed blame at Venezuela’s leader, Nicolas Maduro, and said the U.S. must “take important steps to hold the regime accountable.” The president also plans to mention the crisis in Venezuela during his speech to United Nations member states Tuesday, according to senior White House officials. During the10:30 a.m. talk, Trump will reportedly ask for increased pressure on North Korea to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.

*German WWI U-Boat Found Intact Off Belgium

An intact German World War I submarine containing what is believed to be 23 bodies has been found by researchers in the waters near Belgium, authorities announced Tuesday. Some 18 such vessels were stationed in the area between 1915 and 1918. Thirteen of them were destroyed in wartime, and 11 have since been found. “It’s quite amazing that we found something like this,” Western Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwe told the Associated Press. “The impact damage was at the front, but the submarine remains closed and there are 23 people still on board.”

*Mitchell Flint, American Aviator and Founder of the Israeli Air Force, Dies at Age 94

Mitchell Flint, an American aviator who helped form the Israeli Air Force in 1948 and served in Israel’s first fighter squadron has died. He was 94. Flint was one of the founding members of “Machal,” a group of non-Israelis who fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. “He was one of the original members of the Israeli Air Force’s first fighter squadron and helped train Israel’s first military pilots”, his son, Mike Flint, said. Flint and other members of the Machal had flown in German planes that were captured during World War II and covered the Nazi insignia with Stars of David. He flew in rebuilt Messerschmitts, Germany’s main fighter plane during World War II, as well as Mustangs and Spitfires. Mitchell Flint also recently met the current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. Upon meeting Flint, Netanyahu said…”Your (Mitchell’s) heroics as well as Ezer (Ezer Wietzman future President of Israel) and the others from your squadron in helping creating our Air Force and securing Israel’s command of the skies in the war of Independence are legendary. It is a great honor and privilege to have met you (Mitchell).” When Mitchell returned to the United States, he moved to Los Angeles and became a lawyer. He continued flying until last year. Flint’s exploits and the efforts of Mitchell Flint and his colleagues in the 1948 War of Independence have now been memorialized in the book, ANGELS IN THE SKY, written by best-selling author Bob Gandt, slated for release October 3 from Norton Publishing.

*Republican Texas House Speaker Calls for Removal of Confederate Plaque From Capitol

Joe Straus, the Republican speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, has requested that a Confederate plaque be removed from the state Capitol, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday. “The plaque says that the Civil War was not an act of rebellion and was not primarily about slavery. This is not accurate, and Texans are not well-served by incorrect information about our history,” Straus wrote to the State Preservation Board. The speaker’s request comes after State Rep. Eric Johnson asked the board to remove the plaque last month. The Preservation Board can alter state-owned property, but the plaque in question was erected through a 1959 legislative resolution and therefore may require lawmakers vote for its removal.

*100+ Volunteers Needed for “Stand Down 2017” Homeless Veteran Benefit Event in Los Angeles

From October 26th-October 27thVillage 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: www.bwscampus.com/standdown

*Officials Beg Puerto Ricans to Flee Hurricane Maria: ‘You’re Going to Die’

Officials begged Puerto Ricans in the path of Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm heading toward the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, to get out as fast as possible. “You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you’re going to die,” said Puerto Rico’s public safety commissioner. “I don’t know how to make this any clearer.” As of about 5 a.m. Tuesday, Maria was moving at 9 mph with sustained winds of 160 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. Officials have called the storm, which had developed a “dreaded pinhole eye,” “potentially catastrophic.”

*Protesters: St. Louis Police Used Brutally Excessive Force

Demonstrators in St. Louis say police used excessive force and chemical spray against bystanders who were not even taking part in this weekend’s protests after the trial of a former cop who shot a black driver. Activists question whether police went overboard in trying to control the crowd, by reportedly using the controversial tactic known as “kettling” on protest groups—by surrounding them with officers and forcing them to remain in place. Pedestrians were arrested along with doctors, legal observers, a freelance photographer, and others, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “It was the most brutal arrest I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said activist Tony Rice. “I thought I was going to die.” Meanwhile, police are investigating whether some officers were chanting “Whose streets? Our streets” during Sunday evening protests, as numerous press outlets reported. A judge found Jason Stockley not guilty of murder last Friday.

*Phil Liberatore, Certified Public Accountant, Comments on the IRS Rehiring 213 of their Own Employees Ousted for Falsifying Documents, Avoiding Taxes, Other Offenses

In August of 2017, the Internal Revenue Service rehired 213 employees who ducked taxes, falsified documents, were convicted of theft, or made unauthorized use of taxpayer data, the latest Inspector General’s report says. “This rehiring act directly contradicts a written statement made by E. Faith Bell(the IRS’s acting human capital officer) a month prior to the Inspector General’s report,” says Phil Liberatore, accountant and owner of Liberatore CPA in La Mirada, California. The statement Liberatore is referring to occurred on June 28th, 2017 when Bell wrote to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) claiming, “To the extent possible by law, the IRS will take all steps allowable to prevent the rehiring of former employees with conduct and performance issues.” This controversy comes after a revealing report from The Washington Times which revealed that the IRS’s leniency rate for employees who have been caught cheating on their taxes was around 60-82 percent. While Liberatore is discouraged by the IRS’s rehiring of 213 employees, he is pleased that the recent Inspector General’s report has brought “accountability to the IRS”, and that the TIGTA now “holds the IRS the same standards as everyone else in the US.” Additionally, E. Faith Bell has implemented a “corrective actions” team that, according to Bell, “will ensure existing hiring practices and policies are updated to reflect our use of IRS employment data, specifically any misconduct and performance prior to making a tentative offer [of new employment] to a former IRS employee.” Phil and his team at Liberatore CPA (https://www.liberatorecpa.com/) will be closely monitoring the latest in IRS news and provide updates as they become available.

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY: 

Housing and Urban Development

HUD is a well of resources whether you’re renting (e.g. low-rent apartment search) or buying (e.g. mortgage comparison tools or special home buying programs).

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Why Does My Body Do That?! — https://youtu.be/cFjc3MBioDk

*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Cat Day / Comedy Sketch (Guaranteed to Brighten Up Your Day) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-s6mxfJgWLc