LBN – Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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*Pompeo: U.S. Will ‘Walk Away’ if N. Korea Doesn’t Denuke:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday that the denuclearization of North Korea was the No. 1 priority, and that the U.S. would “respectfully walk away” from talks with the reclusive Kim Jong Un regime if that didn’t happen. “A bad deal is not an option,” he told the committee in his prepared testimony. Pompeo also pressed for stabilization in Syria to ward off an ISIS resurgence, for filling vacant positions at the State Department, and for no tolerance of Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections. On Tuesday, President Trump told reporters that there may be delays in the U.S.-North Korea talks, after a North Korean delegation reportedly failed to show up to a planning meeting and as North Korea canceled talks with South Korea over its joint military exercises with U.S. forces.

*HAVANA AGAIN? – U.S. Official in China With Brain Injury Heard ‘Abnormal’ Sounds, Odd Pressure:

Havana all over again? A U.S. government employee in China is said to have a mild traumatic brain injury after experiencing “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” causing the State Department to urge U.S. citizens in China to report any “symptoms or medical problems” they notice while in the country. The employee works at the U.S. consulate in the southeastern city of Guangzhou, CBS News reports. “The U.S. government is taking these reports seriously and has informed its official staff in China of this event,” according to a State Department statement. “We do not currently know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside of the diplomatic community.” The symptoms are reminiscent of the mysterious “health attacks” on U.S. and Canadian diplomatic staff in Cuba, which have stumped doctors and left the staffers with hearing loss and brain damage.

*Novelist Philip Roth Dead at 85:

Legendary writer Philip Roth has passed away at the age of 85, according to friends cited by The New Yorker. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Pastoral, Portnoy’s Complaint, and The Plot Against America was one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation, with dozens of novels under his belt, as well as a large body of essays and criticism. In his last interview before retiring from public life in 2014, Roth quoted one of his own characters to explain his dedication to the craft of writing. “I believe that we should read only those books that bite and sting us. If a book we’re reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it,” he told theBBC. He also said, “I’ll do my best to stay alive ’til 2020, but don’t push me.”

*NFL Bans Kneeling During National Anthem:

The National Football League will no longer allow players to kneel on the field during the National Anthem, according to a series of updated guidelines released by the league on Wednesday. “All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and Anthem,” reads the first bullet point. “A club will be fined by the league if its personnel are on the field and so not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”

*Congress Approves First Big Dodd-Frank Rollback:

A decade after the global financial crisis tipped the United States into a recession, Congress agreed on Tuesday to free thousands of small and medium-sized banks from strict rules that had been enacted as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to prevent another meltdown. In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, the House voted 258-159 to approve a regulatory rollback that passed the Senate this year, handing a significant victory to President Trump, who has promised to “do a big number on Dodd-Frank.” The bill stops far short of unwinding the toughened regulatory regime put in place to prevent the nation’s biggest banks from engaging in risky behavior, but it represents a substantial watering down of Obama-era rules governing a large swath of the banking system. The legislation will leave fewer than 10 big banks in the United States subject to stricter federal oversight, freeing thousands of banks with less than $250 billion in assets from a post-crisis crackdown that they have long complained is too onerous.

*Report: Iran Appears to Restart Long-Range Missile Program:

Iran appears to have restarted its long-range missile program at a secret desert facility, according to a report in The New York Times. A team of California-based weapons researchers believes it has stumbled across evidence of a secret facility operating in the remote Iranian desert. Researchers at theInternational Institute for Strategic Studies said work on the site is often carried out under cover of night and focuses on rocket engines and rocket fuel. They say their analysis of structures and ground markings at the facility strongly suggest that it’s developing the technology for long-range missiles. “The investigation highlights some potentially disturbing developments,” said Michael Elleman, a missile researcher who reviewed the material, adding that it could the first steps “for developing an ICBM five to 10 years down the road.” The press officer at Iran’s United Nations mission declined to comment on the findings.

*DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD – READ LBN: Did you know that LBN is read by 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners?

*Parents win suit to kick 30-year-old deadbeat son out of their house:

An upstate couple got so fed up with their unemployed 30-year-old son’s refusal to leave the nest that they finally sued to evict him — and won. Mark and Christina Rotondo were forced to the extreme-parenting measure after giving their layabout millennial boy Michael cash for moving expenses, pleading with him to get on with his life and finally sending written legal notices demanding he grow up and move out. “Michael, After a discussion with your Mother, we have decided that you must leave this house immediately,” reads the first letter, dated Feb. 2. It concludes: “You have 14 days to vacate. . . We will take whatever actions are necessary to enforce this decision.” They later offered him $1,100 to “find a place to stay” and gave him parental advice including, “organize the things you need for work and to manage an apartment” and “sell the other things you have that have any significant value.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Only two U.S Presidents have known to have been divorced: Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Actress and lifestyle spokespersonChristina Fulton with her son Weston Cage at The Grove in L.A. last night.

*Srini Pillay, Best-Selling Author and Brain Researcher, Reveals 3 Tips for Overcoming Worry:

Dr. Srini Pillay— Acclaimed Harvard Medical School Professor, Author, Psychiatrist, and Brain Researcher— suggests that if worry is alien to you then you should check your pulse. Studies show that worry extends across our entire lifespans- with popular topics including finances, relationships, families, health, and work.

3 Tips for Overcoming Worry

1. Find some good news
Switch off the bad news and turn on the good news. Set aside time in the morning to affirm the positive in your life. When worry starts setting in, watch a great movie, listen to a favorite song, play an online game, have a conversation with a loved one— these are all great ways to ground your worrisome, overactive mind.

2. Be what you can be
Overcome and accept the things you cannot control. Make a list of them, and when you think of them, drop them. Practice being what you want to be, rather than waiting for yourself to magically become it. Examples may include hiring a fitness trainer or finding an accountability partner. Also, forgive yourself for past mistakes and set up small wins for your future.

3. Create an anti-worry day
Take control of your day. First thing in the morning, spend five minutes writing down three things you appreciate about yourself and your life. Set small, achievable goals throughout the day.

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***The conspiracy theorist has become the conspiracy victim. After a dominant victory in whichTrevor Bauer pitched six shutout innings, the mainstream-media-bashing Cleveland starting pitcher was forced to clarify he was not using the mound as a pulpit to spread the message that former President Bush “did” 9/11. Bauer had used his cleat to scribble what appeared to be “BD 911” on the mound before the game. The Internet immediately speculated — incorrectly, Bauer says — about what that message means. Speaking both to media and on Twitter after Tuesday’s 10-1 win in Chicago over the Cubs, Bauer would not clarify what the mystery meant, but insisted it had nothing to do with Sept. 11.   ***ESPN is doubling down on UFC, the mixed martial arts league theDisney-owned sports behemoth secured its first TV rights deal in April. Sources familiar with negotiations say ESPN has struck a deal for a second portion to the package currently held byFox Sports that will bring the total cost in the neighborhood of $300 million per year for five years, totaling $1.5 billion. The new deals, which cover a total of 30 fights per year, kick in early 2019.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Clint Walker, a former merchant seaman and real-life deputy sheriff who roamed the West as a towering, solitary figure on “Cheyenne,” the first hour-long western on television, died on Monday in Grass Valley, Calif. He was 90. His death, at a hospital, was confirmed by his daughter, Valerie Walker, who said the cause was congestive heart failure. Mr. Walker lived in Grass Valley, about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento.   ***Carol Mann, a star of the Ladies Professional Golf Association in the 1960s and ’70s who won 38 tournaments, including two major titles, and later served as the organization’s president, died on Sunday at her home in The Woodlands, Tex., a suburb of Houston. She was 77. Her brother Lou confirmed the death, of an unspecified cause.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. FriedmanPrincess Diana once famously observed that there were three people in her marriage, “so it was a bit crowded.” The same is true of Israelis and Palestinians. The third person in their marriage isMother Nature — and she’ll batter both of them if they do not come to their senses. Let’s start with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. If there were an anti-Nobel Peace Prize — that is, the Nobel Prize for Cynicism and Reckless Disregard for One’s Own People in Pursuit of a Political Fantasy — it would surely be conferred on Hamas, which just facilitated the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march, some with arms, on the Israeli border fence in pursuit of a “return” to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel. While the march idea emerged from Palestinian society in Gaza, Hamas seized on it to disguise its utter failure to produce any kind of decent life for the Palestinians there, whom Hamas has ruled since 2007. You hear people say: “What choice did they have? They’re desperate.” Well, I’ll give you a choice — one that almost certainly would lead to an improved life for Gazans, one that I first proposed in 2011.What if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, “Two states for two peoples: We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people — a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed adjustments.”

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Malcolm Gladwell Explains Where His Ideas Come From | The New Yorker   —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Neal PollackDavid Letterman’s new Netflix show should be retitled Dave Letterman’s Cavalcade Of Liberal Guilt. He’s atoning for all his sins, and all of ours. Half of his George Clooney “interview” gets spent discussing Amal Clooney’s human-rights work, and a visit to Clooney’s boyhood home turns into a condescending and strange segment where Letterman goes driving with an Iraqi refugee. Suddenly, at this heavily-bearded stage in his career, Letterman feels like he must make up for a lifetime spent hosting Stupid Pet Tricks, reading Top 10 lists, flirting withSarah Jessica Parker, and sucking on Jennifer Aniston’s hair. Instead, he talks to Malala about girls’ education in developing countries and lets everyone know that he thinks racism is bad. The opening episode, featuring Barack Obama, was so mind-numbingly dull that I fell asleep on my living room floor in the middle. I woke up fifteen minutes later and asked my wife what I missed. “Nothing,” she said. While I miss the Obama years as much as any good bourgeois Democrat, he offers nothing but homilies, and Letterman does everything but remove his shoes and kiss his feet. Then, in an interstitial segment, Letterman walks across a bridge in Montgomery with Representative John Lewis. When we return to the Obama interview, Letterman remarks that when John Lewis was a teenager, he was protesting civil rights injustices. Letterman, on the other hand, was getting drunk on a cruise ship with his buddies from Indiana. He clearly feels bad about his misspent youth.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Jennifer Schuessler: It’s a staple of language classes and parental lectures: Say thank you. It’s one of the first phrases you learn in a new language, and one whose importance is drummed into children through repeat readings of books like “The Berenstain Bears Say Please and Thank You,” “Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book” and “Thank You, Mr. Panda.” But as it turns out, human beings say thank you far less often than we might think. A new study of everyday language use around the world has found that, in informal settings, people almost always complied with requests for an object, service or help. For their efforts, they received expressions of gratitude only rarely — in about one of 20 occasions.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Andrew Desiderio: Federal agencies are so far unable to comply with a law banningKaspersky Lab software from U.S. government networks by October, The Daily Beast has learned. Multiple divisions of the U.S. government are confronting the reality that code written by the Moscow-based security company is embedded deep within American infrastructure, in routers, firewalls, and other hardware—and nobody is certain how to get rid of it. “It’s messy, and it’s going to take way longer than a year,” said one U.S. official. “Congress didn’t give anyone money to replace these devices, and the budget had no wiggle-room to begin with.” At issue is a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) enacted last December that requires the government to fully purge itself of “any hardware, software, or services developed or provided, in whole or in part,” by Kaspersky Lab. The law was a dramatic expansion of an earlier DHS directive that only outlawed “Kaspersky-branded” products. Both measures came after months of saber rattling by the U.S., which has grown increasingly anxious about Kaspersky’s presence in federal networks in the wake of Russia’s 2016 election interference campaign.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***A Nevada jury is due to hear closing arguments in a British tourist’s lawsuit blaming Las Vegas Strip headliner David Copperfield for injuries the tourist suffered while taking part in a 2013 vanishing. Gavin Cox and his wife are suing Copperfield, the MGM Grand hotel and several business entities for negligence and monetary damages. Closing arguments are set for Wednesday.   ***Congratulations are in order for Clint Eastwood’s actress daughter Francesca Eastwood. The 24-year-old is pregnant with her first child, and debuted her baby bump on the red carpet of theEnvironmental Media Awards on Tuesday night. Later in the evening, Francesca stood next to her mother, the actressFrances Fisher, onstage and proudly cradled her bump.   ***Celine Dion is back in action. Two months after undergoing ear surgery, the Canadian singer returned to a standing ovation in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. “You know it’s been a while since we’ve done a show, I had a little health issue — don’t we all,” Dion quipped to a packed house, according to People. “But I have to tell you, I’m extremely happy to be back. The stage is kind of my home away from home and I have to admit I can barely stand on my feet tonight as I am a little bit nervous.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Renee Preston