LBN – Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

*DISGRACE! MS-13 spreads to 22 states, fed by 300,000 illegals, DACA recipients, tied to 207 murders:

The vicious MS-13 gang, stifled under former President George W. Bush, exploded during the Obama era fueled by 300,000 illegals, including those given amnesty under the DACA program, and has now been linked to crimes in 22 states, according to a new report. Since 2012, 207 murders have been tied to the gang called “Mara Salvatrucha,” and there are over 500 cases nationwide of MS-13 members being charged in major crimes, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies. But it can sometimes be hard to deport the illegals involved because about half of the crimes detailed in the report occurred in so-called “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. President Trump has pledged to crack down on the gang and deport those in the United States illegally, and report author Jessica M. Vaughan suggested that it can’t happen soon enough. Detailing how the gang rebuilt itself under Obama’s open-border immigration policies, she said, “this resurgence represents a very serious threat to public safety in communities where MS-13 has rebuilt itself. The resurgence is directly connected to the illegal arrival and resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths and families that has continued unabated for six years, and to a de-prioritization of immigration enforcement in the interior of the country that occurred at the same time.”

*Trump: Why Didn’t Obama Do Something About Russia Meddling?

President Trump took to Twitter to lash out against his attorney general for not investigating the Obama administration for its role in the Russia election meddling. “Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation?” the president tweeted Wednesday morning. “Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? AskJeff Sessions!” The missive comes after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who had contact with former Trump campaign associate Rick Gates, as well as 13 Russians working at the country’s Internet Research Agency. Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to the chargesTuesday afternoon. Trump has attacked Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation in the past, but Sessions has stood by his decision. The attorney general recently told Fox News that he believes he “did the right thing” by recusing himself.

*LEGACY – Evangelist Billy Graham Is Dead at the Age of 99

The Rev. Billy Graham, an evangelist preacher who changed American politics, has died at the age of 99, multiple outlets report. After 60 years as a constant fixture on TV and radio, he retired in 2005. His work promoting Christian evangelical views was taken on by his son Franklin Graham, who remains influential within the Republican Party.

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*Trump Moves to Regulate ‘Bump Stock’ Devices:  

President Trump — under pressure from angry, grieving students from a Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week — ordered the Justice Department on Tuesday to issue regulations banning so-called bump stocks, which convert semiautomatic guns into automatic weapons like those used last year in the massacre of concertgoers in Las Vegas. A day earlier, Mr. Trump signaled that he was open to supporting legislation that would modestly improve the national gun background check system, and on Tuesday night, he posted on Twitter that Democrats and Republicans “must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!” But Mr. Trump’s first embrace as president of any gun control measures was dismissed by gun control supporters as minor. The National Rifle Association supports the background check legislation and also backs bump stock regulation, although not an outright ban.

*Betrayed – One of Netanyahu’s Closest Aides ‘Will Testify Against Him’

One of Benjamin Netayahu’s closest aides has reached a dramatic deal to help implicate the Israeli prime minister in corruption charges, according to local media. Haaretz reported that Shlomo Filber, the former director of the communications ministry under Netanyahu, reached a deal to testify after he was arrested as part of a police investigation into government ties with telecommunications company Bezeq. Filber is reportedly suspected of having given financial benefits to the largest shareholder of Bezeq, on behalf on Netanyahu, in return for positive news coverage on a website that he also owned. Filber, who will reportedly avoid jail time, has now promised to to tell police everything he knows about Netanyahu’s involvement in the case—which would make him the first member of the prime minister’s inner circle to break rank. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any allegations of wrongdoing against him but Aluf Benn, the editor in chief of Haaretz, said: “These are the final days of Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule.”

*North Korea Dropped Out of Meeting With Pence at Last Minute, U.S. Says:  

Vice President Mike Pence had planned to secretly meet with a high-level delegation of North Korean leaders while he was at the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month, but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, according to the State Department. “We regret the failure to seize this opportunity,”Heather Nauert, the department’s spokeswoman, said Tuesday. The canceled meeting is the latest twist in the evolving American strategy to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, which Western intelligence agencies say will soon be able to threaten the continental United States.

*The U.S. Wins Its First Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Gold

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins have made history by winning the first ever U.S. Olympic gold in cross-country skiing. The only other American to ever win a medal in the sport was Bill Koch, who took silver at the Innsbruck Games in Austria in 1976. In a surprise result, Randall and Diggins sneaked just ahead of runners-up Sweden by 0.19 seconds, and Norway won bronze almost three seconds behind the gold-medalists. The U.S. now has six golds and holds fifth in the medal table, with Norway out in front with 12 overall.

*Temperature in Denver Drops 72 Degrees in 40 Hours

Denver residents enjoyed a pleasant temperature of 69 degrees Sunday only to be plunged into the bitter cold just 40 hours later—when it fell to minus 3. The temperature swing has been ranked among the top 20 such weather changes for Denver since records began in 1872, according to the National Weather Service. It also tied for the eighth biggest temperature drop seen in a period of less than two days.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Several Newsweek staffers threatened to resign earlier this week, accusing the company of attempting to muzzle the publishing of a story further detailing internal turmoil at the magazine and ties to a controversial Christian college. On Tuesday evening, Newsweek published a story about previously unreported ties between Newsweek Media Group (which also owns International Business Times) and Olivet University’s efforts to develop a campus in upstate New York. Olivet, which is affiliated with a mysterious religious sect called “The Community,” has numerous connections to former leaders of NMG. But not before several reporters and editors made it clear to management that they would quit if Newsweek did not publish the story.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Sade is releasing her first new music since the 2010 album “Soldier of Love.” The icon is contributing an original song to Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: How does the adult entertainment industry feel about artificial intelligence (AI) technology that makes it possible to easily doctor porn videos, and exchange the faces of adult film actresses with those of Hollywood stars and other celebrities? The answer, in one word: conflicted. That’s not just because their X-rated clips are at the center of the Deepfake AI porn phenomenon, which has been making waves online in recent weeks. The adult entertainment industry has also been both benefiting from and struggling with the impact of new technologies, and learned the hard way how challenging it can be to put the genie back in the bottle. “I think it’s f***ed up,” said Adam Grayson, chief financial officer of adult production company Evil Angel when asked about the Deepfake phenomenon. “Everything we do at Evil Angel and in the core of the adult industry is built around the word consent. Deepfakes by definition runs contrary to consent.”

*LBN-NOTICED:    ***Andrew Garfield taking a yoga class at hot Upper East Side studio Five Pillars Yoga in NYC.   ***Huma Abedin, Chris Evans and Judith Light all stopping by to see “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail’s “Kings” at the Public Theater in NYC   ***Cicely Tyson seeing “Once on This Island” on Broadway in NYC.   ***Heidi Klum and Adrien Brody? A spy at Mr. Chow’s 50th anniversary celebration tells us Oscar-winner Brody showed up at the LA fête solo, “but spent a lot of the night flirting, mutually, with Heidi.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Some animals possess the amazing ability to turn white during the winter: the arctic fox, arctic hare, ptarmigan, barren-ground caribou, and ermine all change colors.


The Creation of the Peace Symbol (1958)

Historically, the idea of peace has been represented by symbols that attempt to transcend differences of culture, such as the white dove, the olive branch, and the broken rifle. The now-familiar line-drawing of a crow’s foot in a circle was created specifically for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament by British artist Gerald Holtom, but it quickly caught on as a general, international sign for peace.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Kent Moyer (International security expert): So help me to understand this? We have major homeless problem. The Mayor wants more money but California spends 50 billion on illegals & protecting them. Ca. is about to release thousands of criminals out on the street which translates to more homeless. What is wrong with this idiots? Liberal leadership failure at it best.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Nick Schager: Annihilation is a story about transformation and obliteration, which is fitting considering that it synthesizes various genre predecessors into something wholly unique while simultaneously laying to waste the stolid conventions that now dominate franchise-blockbuster moviemaking. An intellectually ambitious, formally striking, and altogether out-there odyssey, Alex Garland’s film begins conventionally before spiraling into ever-more-hallucinatory realms, its every element in perfect harmony with its larger themes—all of which resound not as definitive statements but as haunting questions that linger long after the credits have rolled. In just about every respect, it’s the finest cinematic sci-fi in years—or, at least, since Garland’s prior Ex Machina. That 2015 gem, in which Domhnall Gleeson’s computer whiz is tasked by Oscar Isaac’s reclusive CEO to administer a Turing test to Alicia Vikander’s robot (in order to deduce whether she has genuine artificial intelligence), was a more realistic sort of future saga. As has so often been the case in the illustrious career of Garland—the scribe of 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and the exceptionally awesome DreddAnnihilation finds the writer/director pendulum-swinging back toward trippier territory, which in this case is a loose adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel (the first part of his “Southern Reach” trilogy). Devoid of gadgets and gizmos that might be on our semi-distant horizon, the filmmaker’s latest is a slow, suspenseful slide into the vast unknown—or, to be precise, into the deep, dank origins of creation.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Nathaniel Horwitz: Despite better diagnostics and new drugs, cancer continues to kill 8 million people every year. While certain cancers are caught early and treated effectively, many others go undetected and—once discovered—resist every available treatment. The ability of these cancers to resist our current arsenal of drugs is, in many ways, the final frontier of the war on cancer. In December, I left my senior year at Harvard to launch Nivien Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup that is taking a novel approach to fighting these cancers based on exciting new research from Harvard Medical School. The discoveries at Harvard focused on pancreatic cancer, one of the worst treatment-resistant cancers: By the time you show symptoms (jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain), it’s almost always too late. Pancreatic cancer will kill a projected 44,000 people in the U.S. during 2018. Only one in 20 patients are alive five years after diagnosis because the standard chemotherapy adds just five weeks to average post-diagnosis survival, which is about 6 months.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: Cameron Kasky, a 17-year-old at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived last week’s mass shooting, wrote a beautiful essay for that declared: “At the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience — our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools. But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to pressure them to take action. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses.” Cameron, God bless you for that sentiment. But just one piece of respectful advice: If your generation and mine want to get serious about a gun control crusade, we all need to get out of Facebook and into someone’s face: the N.R.A.’s. This fight can’t be won on Twitter or Instagram. They do get people into the streets. But social media have created a world of faux activism — “Hey, I tweeted about it” — that the bad guys take advantage of. The N.R.A. is not just in the chat rooms. It’s in the cloakrooms of Congress and state legislatures. And it’s there with bags of money and votes it uses to reward lawmakers who do its bidding and hurt those who don’t. I loved seeing the 100 students from your high school taking buses Tuesday to Florida’s capital to directly press lawmakers. That’s a great start. I hope every high school follows.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Carl Richard: You are not your spending thoughts. Spending without thinking about the long-term consequences is a problem. And by the long term, I mean just 30 days from now when the credit-card statement arrives. Some people label this type of spending “impulsive.” Others use the word “urge” to describe the feeling that comes just before they whip out the plastic. There is no shortage of tips and tricks to help you control spending. You can cut up the credit cards, or just use cash and avoid having a debit card. You can even wear a wristband that will hit you with a little electric shock if you overspend. All of these tactics focus on fighting the desire to spend, which might work for you. But I’ve found it even more helpful to concentrate on what’s taking us on this psychological journey in the first place.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Groucho Marx chatting up female guests (1950s) —

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Jeffrey Bell, a conservative theorist who transformed his relentless campaign for tax cuts into a stunning primary upset that toppled a liberal fellow Republican, United States Senator Clifford P. Case of New Jersey, died on Feb. 10 in Annandale, Va. He was 74. The cause was cardiac arrest, his wife, Rosalie O’Connell, said.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: THE MAKING OF A BEST-SELLING BOOK —-  Without Notes with Dr. Srini Pillay – Episode 2: Inception of the Book –

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Benjamin Franklin: All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Thomas Friedman’s ‘Code Red’ Warning About Donald Trump | The Last Word | MSNBC   —


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Sometimes, social-media fairytales do happen, and this would be a marriage made in Instagram heaven. Selena Gomez—the world’s most followed individual on Instagram, with 133 million followers and rising—and Justin Bieber (not too shabby himself with 100 million fans) were photographed kissing, hugging and embracing, and generally making no secret of their revived romance at his father’s wedding in the Caribbean this week, which has led to a rash of speculation that the two might be considering tying the knot themselves.   ***Tavis Smiley filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing PBS of using a sham investigation into sexual misconduct complaints as a pretext to suspend his long-running talk show. In the complaint, Smiley states that his relationship with the public broadcaster had been rocky for years, and that he was not viewed as a “team player.” He also accuses PBS of racial bias in its oversight of his program, saying that the network criticized his controversial black guests but not the controversial white ones.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord