LBN- Special Report – Thursday December 29, 2016

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that in addition to being read daily in all 50 of the United States, LBN is read daily in 26 foreign countries from China to India, from Brazil to Russia, from Israel to Japan, from Germany to Australia, from France to South Africa, from Mexico to Sweden, from Greece to Korea, from Spain to Cuba, from Canada to Iraq.

Syrian Military, Rebels Agree to Russian-Brokered Truce:

The Syrian military agreed early Thursday to a nationwide ceasefire, including a halt to airstrikes and shelling, set to begin at midnight Friday. President Vladimir Putin said Russia and Turkey will be guarantors of the peace arrangement, and it will be followed by more talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition forces. Separately, Putin ordered an immediate drawdown of Russian forces and weaponry in Syria, though it was unclear how many troops, crucial to Assad’s defense, would be withdrawn. The truce includes 62,000 opposition fighters throughout Syria, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, but excludes groups labeled as terror organizations by the United Nations, including ISIS and al Qaeda-linked factions. Turkish and Russian officials said they have established a new hotline intended to monitor compliance with the peace deal. Until now, all previous efforts to stop the country’s nearly six-year civil war have failed. More than 400,000 people have died in the fighting.

Islamic State Group Urges More Attacks in Europe:

A group supporting ISIS on Wednesday called for more attacks in Europe over the holidays, posting photos of reindeer and Santa Claus next to armed jihadis. The Nashir Media Foundation, an Islamic State terror group propaganda magazine, encouraged attacks on marketplaces and hospitals, cautioning Muslims to avoid Christian celebrations for fear of being targeted, the SITE Intelligence Group reported. “Their celebrations, gatherings, clubs, markets, theaters, cinemas, malls, and even their hospitals are all perfect targets for you,” the message said. Jihadis will soon “replace their fireworks with explosive belts and devices, and turn their singing and clapping into weeping and wailing,” it said. European authorities are already on high alert after an ISIS-inspired attack in Berlin killed 12 people last week.


Brother Sues CBS Over JonBenét Ramsey Documentary Series:

JonBenét Ramsey’s older brother has filed a lawsuit claiming that CBS, producers, and experts interviewed in its program, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, conspired to defame him for financial gain. Burke Ramsey, 29, is seeking $750 million, alleging that his reputation was ruined by the documentary miniseries’ conclusion: that he killed his 6-year-old sister. The series aired this fall, just before the 20th anniversary of JonBenét’s death. Ramsey, a child beauty-pageant contestant, was found dead in the basement of her family’s Colorado home in December 1996. Burke’s suit contends that the television series was a “sham reinvestigation” of the murder and had a “preconceived storyline.” According to the court documents, “The accusation that Burke Ramsey killed his sister was based on a compilation of lies, half-truths, manufactured information, and the intentional omission and avoidance of truthful information about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey.”

OSCE Suffered ‘Major’ Cyberattack Before U.S. Election:

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe suffered a “major” cyberattack ahead of U.S. elections in November that one intelligence agency believes Russian hackers were responsible for. A spokeswoman for the OSCE told RFE/RL on Wednesday that the “major information-security incident” compromised “the confidentiality” of the Vienna-based organization’s network but did not disrupt operations. More alarming, however, is the group that is suspected of involvement in the cyberattack. The French daily Le Monde cited an unnamed Western intelligence agency as saying the Russian hacker group APT28 is thought to be the culprit—the same hackers blamed for the attacks on the Democratic National Committee. OSCE spokeswoman Ursula Froese said it was “not possible to determine with certainty the identity of the attackers” and declined to comment on whether or not Russian hackers were involved. No further details were released on what the hackers’ motive may have been, but the OSCE deployed observers to monitor the U.S. presidential election around the time of the hack.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: Billie Lourd’s Impression of Debbie Reynolds Is Spot-On

Man Given 3-Year Sentence for Insulting Putin:

A Kazakh man was given a three-year sentence in a penal colony after he was found guilty of insulting Russian PresidentVladimir Putin on Facebook. Sanat Dosov, 46, is believed to have been arrested in August, which is when he stopped posting on Facebook. Kazakh criminal law says one cannot incite “social, national, generic, racial, class, or religious hatred” and is prohibited from insulting “the national honor and dignity of religious feelings of citizens.” Although Kazakhstan and Russia are separate countries, Dosov was still charged and sentenced under that law. He called Putin a fascist, among other insults, and apparently wrote that Putin was “ruining” Russia.

Duterte: I’ve Thrown a Man From Helicopter:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he once threw a Chinese man—who was suspected of rape and murder—out of a moving helicopter. The admission came while he was threatening his own government officials that he would throw them out of helicopters without hesitation. “If you are corrupt, I will fetch you using a helicopter to Manila and I will throw you out,” he said. “I have done this before, why would I not do it again?” Earlier this month, Duterte admitted to personally killing alleged criminals while he was mayor of Davao City. United Nations human-rights officials have called for an investigation into Duterte’s claims of extrajudicial killings.

LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Women who took fish oil during the last three months of pregnancy significantly lowered the risk that their children would develop asthma, a study in Denmark has found. Among children whose mothers took fish-oil capsules, 16.9 percent had asthma by age 3, compared with 23.7 percent whose mothers were given placebos. The difference, nearly 7 percentage points, translates to a risk reduction of about 31 percent. But in the study released on Wednesday, the researchers say they are not ready to recommend that pregnant women routinely take fish oil. Although the study found no adverse effects in the mothers or babies, the doses were high, 2.4 grams per day — 15 to 20 times what most Americans consume from foods.

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and son James together with John BenjaminHickey and Jeffrey Richman dining in the tavern at the 1770 House in NYC on Monday.   ***Kevin Dillon and friends watching a Giants game at Bounce Sporting Club in NYC.   ***And so begins yet another party season for Johnny Manziel. The disgraced former NFL star — who was last seen guzzling bubbly at a party for his 24th birthday early this month — was spotted at the Wall nightclub in Miami early Wednesday, limbering up for the boozy New Year’s celebrations in South Beach.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Never mistake motion for action.” —–

DMV licensed 800,000 illegal immigrants under 2-year-old law: 
On the day that California officials implemented a controversial law that allows undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, DMV offices throughout the state were packed with immigrants looking to take advantage of the opportunity. Two years after the implementation of AB 60 on Jan. 1, 2015, an estimated 806,000 undocumented residents have received driver’s licenses, according to Department of Motor Vehicles statistics this month. About 14,000 of these licenses were issued in November alone, the DMV said.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: George Michael talks about his sexuality (1998)  —-

LBN-R.I.P.: Debbie Reynolds, the wholesome ingénue in 1950s films like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Tammy and the Bachelor,” died Wednesday, a day after the death of her daughter, the actress Carrie Fisher. She was 84. Her death was confirmed by her son, Todd Fisher, according to her agent, Tom Markley of the Metropolitan Talent Agency. Ms. Reynolds was taken to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Fisher told the television station ABC 7 Los Angeles that she had suffered a stroke. According to TMZ, she had been discussing funeral plans for Ms. Fisher, who died on Tuesday after having a heart attack during a flight to Los Angeles last Friday.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: For those of you confused over the latest fight between President Obama and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel, let me make it simple: Barack Obama and John Kerry admire and want to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel. I have covered this issue my entire adult life and have never met two U.S. leaders more committed to Israel as a Jewish democracy. But they are convinced — rightly — that Netanyahu is a leader who is forever dog paddling in the middle of the Rubicon, never ready to cross it. He is unwilling to make any big, hard decision to advance or preserve a two-state solution if that decision in any way risks his leadership of Israel’s right-wing coalition or forces him to confront the Jewish settlers, who relentlessly push Israel deeper and deeper into the West Bank. That is what precipitated this fight over Obama’s decision not to block a U.N. resolution last week criticizing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The settlers’ goal is very clear, as Kerry put it on Wednesday: to strategically place settlements “in locations that make two states impossible,” so that Israel will eventually annex all of the West Bank. Netanyahu knows this will bring huge problems, but his heart is with the settlers, and his passion is with holding power — at any cost. So in any crunch, he sides with the settlers, and they keep pushing. Obama ordered the U.S. to abstain on the U.N. resolution condemning the settlements (three months after Obama forged a 10-year, $38 billion military aid package for Israel — the largest for any U.S. ally ever) in hopes of sparking a debate inside Israel and to prevent it from closing off any chance of a two-state solution.

LBN-COMMENTARY by LAWRENCE DOWNES: Oh, Carrie Fisher, gone way too soon. And now your mother, Debbie Reynolds. The startling loss this week of one of Hollywood’sgreat mother-daughter pairs was another blow in an unnerving year. You could call it a Hollywood ending, if by that you mean one that is larger and weirder than real life, and that tugs mightily at strong emotions. A suggestion to grieving admirers: Make time for another viewing of “Singin’ in the Rain,” made when Ms. Reynolds was 19. Watch her becoming a star, easily holding her own against two older leading men. But even though Ms. Fisher pulled off a strikingly similar feat — making an immortal movie at 19, with two male stars — there is a better way to honor her than by revisiting “Star Wars.” Read her books. They are works where misery and brilliance commingle with wit, the creations of an actual person who had many layers and is worth getting to know, as opposed to Princess Leia, who has none and is not.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Judith Regan (Book Publisher): Profoundly creative people have a deep emotional well from which they draw to deliver the performances, art, music and literature that so resonates within us all. Because of their profound sensitivity, they operate at a higher emotional pitch than most of us. Enter substances like alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs and other activities meant to regulate their fever pitch. Tragically, that is the road to hell and ultimately results in self-destruction. Always a tragedy because they give so much of themselves. We love them, love their ability to connect with us and mourn their loss.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The Best-Selling P.R. Book Of All-Time —— “Guerrilla P.R.”: The author puts forth a cogent, concise work that is spattered with snappy “true-life” examples of traditional and nontraditional public relations activities. Chapters include sections called “Tips and Traps,” which list practical PR advice ranging from how to handle the press to speechmaking to giving successful parties and the effective use of photos–just to name a few. The audience for this work would certainly include the novice, but more savvy PR practitioners could, at the very least, gain insight into a witty, bright expert’s mind. —–

WHO READS LBN? Comedian Adam Christing:


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Rob Kardashian was rushed to the emergency room after his diabetes “flared up” — exactly oneyear after he was first diagnosed with the illness. Kardashian, 29, gained an “alarming” amount of weight recently, which sources attributed to the stress of his tumultuous relationship with Blac Chyna, TMZ reports.   ***A legend in the entertainment industry is offering up one of Los Angeles‘ legendary estates. The reconfigured Brentwood compound of 94-year-old TV impresario Norman Lear is now on the market for $39.95 million. The creator of iconic TV shows including “All In the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and “One Day at a Time” and his producer-writer wife, Lynn Lear, bought the Mandeville Canyon property in the late ’80s, and improved it over the years.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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LBN- Late Breaking News

ROLLING BIG! 8 years of Obama vacations cost $85 million:

As America’s first family enjoys its eighth and final vacation in Hawaii, new estimates put the price tag of the Obamas’ annual trip at $3.5 million or more.

In total, the cost of the first family’s personal or largely personal travel during the last eight years comes to $85 million – though that is likely to climb to $90 million after additional records are released, according to the conservative group Judicial Watch based on federal government records.

The cost of Air Force One and other government planes as well as helicopters, cargo planes, armored cars, Secret Service protection and advance, communications and medical staff has led Judicial Watch to push for less personal travel.

“The Secret Service and the Air Force are being abused by unnecessary travel,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said. “Unnecessary presidential travel for fundraising and luxury vacations on the taxpayers’ dime would be a good target for reform for the incoming Trump administration.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

LBN E-Lert Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN E-Lert accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN E-Lert is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.

LBN- Special Report- Wednesday December 28, 2016

Kerry Will Speak on Mideast Peace After Israel Vote:

Secretary of State John Kerry will give a major Middle East policy speech Wednesday, following last week’s UN Security Council vote to condemn Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The 14-0 vote last Friday, which the U.S. abstained from, has been followed by an outcry from Israel—including threats to withdraw UN funding. Israeli leaders have harshly criticized the U.S. for not vetoing the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who already had a rocky relationship with President Obama, called the abstention “shameful.” Kerry, who only has three weeks left in office, will use the remarks Wednesday to “address some of the misleading critiques” directed at the Obama administration, The New York Times reports. Netanyahu on Wednesday also instructed the Jerusalem municipality to postpone the scheduled approval of new housing units—at least until after Kerry’s speech—in order to avoid straining already tense U.S.-Israeli relations. A committee planned to finalize the plans Wednesday for 492 new homes in East Jerusalem, despite the Friday vote.

Japan’s Abe Decries ‘Horrors of War’ at Pearl Harbor:

During a historic trip to Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, PresidentObama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday warned against repeating the “horrors of war.” Both leaders dropped purple flower petals into the water near the wreckage of the USS Arizona. The Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base 75 years ago killed more than 2,300 Americans and triggered the nation’s entry to World War II. “As the prime minister of Japan, I offer my sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls of those who lost their lives here, as well as to the spirits of all the brave men and women whose lives were taken by a war that commenced in this very place,” Abe said at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Abe is Japan’s first leader to visit Pearl Harbor with a sitting U.S. president.

LBN-SEE IT:…. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuaccused the Obama Administration of carrying out an “underhanded, anti-Israel maneuver” in its failure to veto a U.N. resolution targeting Israeli settlements.

Russian Flight Recorder Indicates ‘Faulty’ Wing Flaps:

A flight-data recorder recovered from a Russian jet thatcrashed into the Black Sea on Sunday has reportedly revealed the aircraft had faulty wing flaps. Aviation sources told the Interfax news agency that the panels on the wings, which are designed to help lift an aircraft, allegedly did not open in sync properly. The issue led the pilots to lose control of the plane at a critical moment. The flight recorder reportedly captured the crew’s last words: “The flaps, hell… !” The TU-154 airliner crashed just two minutes after takeoff from Sochi. It was bound for an air force base in Syria, where the renowned Russian military choir on board was set to perform in a new year’s concert. Ninety-two people on board were killed, including the crew, journalists, humanitarians, and musicians.

MY REVIEW: “If you want to read bull-shit, I warn you NOT to read LBN.”—–Clarence P., an LBN reader from Detroit, Michigan.

McCain: Russia Will ‘Undermine Democracy’ If Action Not Taken:

Sen. John McCain has warned President-elect Donald Trump’s team that Russia may “undermine democracy” if nothing is done about the Kremlin’s recent election meddling. In an interview with CNN aired Tuesday, McCain said more must be done about the CIA’s findings that the Kremlin interfered in the presidential election. “On the issue of the Russians, there is no doubt about it and we have to act and we have to have a policy—which this administration does not have—and address this threat to our national security,” he said. “If they’re able to undermine an election, they’re able then to undermine democracy,” he warned. Sen. Lindsey Graham echoed his concerns. “I think most of us, Democrats and Republicans, really believe that Russia is up to no good all over the world. They’re trying to break the back of democracies,” he said. While Trump has shrugged off the news of Russia’s involvement, McCain said he thinks “overwhelming evidence” would do the trick of getting Trump to change his stance on the matter. Rather than exercising caution with Russia, however, Trump has promised warmer relations with Moscow, praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, and filled his team with people who have strong Russia ties.

DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that LBN is read daily in Cuba?


SHORT BENCH – Harry Reid Laments ‘Old-Folks Home’ Options for 2020 Dems:

According to Harry Reid, the likely crop of potential 2020Democratic presidential candidates looks more like a home for the elderly. Unsure whether he’d support a Biden challenge against Donald Trump, the outgoing Senate minority leader reportedly told an aide, “It depends on who’s running,” according to a New York magazine profile. “We’ve got[Elizabeth] Warren; she’ll be 71. Biden will be 78. Bernie [Sanders] will be 79,” the retiring pol reportedly lamented. “It appears we’re going to have an old-folks’ home,” he quipped. Vice President Joe Biden teased reporters this month that he will run in 2020, later saying he has “no plans” to do so.

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: Signature Bank (Nasdaq: SBNY), a New York-based full-service commercial bank, announced today the appointment of new private client banking professionals, who joined existing banking teams. Richard V. Imprescia, who was named Associate Group Director and Vice President, joined Tom Kasulka’s team, based in midtown Manhattan. Kasulka has been a Group Director and Senior Vice President at the Bank since 2004.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Coming Soon – The New Book “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” by Cathy Byrd ——

LBN-COMMENTARY by Carrie Fisher: Movies are dreams! And they work on you subliminally. You can play Leia as capable, independent, sensible, a soldier, a fighter, a woman in control – control being, of course, a lesser word than master. But you can portray a woman who’s a master and get through all the female prejudice if you have her travel in time, if you add a magical quality, if you’re dealing in fairy-tale terms.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Common Traits in All Super Successful People – The common thread that lies in super successful people is optimism. This video is about embracing a sense of optimism that will allow you to play with the cards you’re dealt, and see your life, both professionally and personally, in a positive light in order to function, make decisions and work with love and passion. No matter what conditions you are facing in your life, identifying the problem will help you move past it –

LBN-COMMENTARY by Paul Simon (From the song “Hearts and Bones” written about Carrie Fisher): She said…Why won’t you love me. For who I am. Where I am? He said ’cause that’s not the way the world is baby. This is how I love you baby.


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Another Hollywood couple has called it quits. T.I..’s wife Tiny has filed for divorce from the rapper after six years of marriage, E! News can confirm.  The two have three children together, King HarrisMajor Harris and Heiress Harris.   ***Carrie Fisher, who died Tuesday, is set to appear in two forthcoming episodes of Fox’s animated comedy “Family Guy.” Variety confirmed that Fisher completed voice-acting work for the two episodes, which will premiere on dates yet to be determined. Fisher first guest starred on the animated comedy as Angela, supervisor to Seth MacFarlane’s Peter Griffin at the brewery where he works, in 2005. She voiced the character in 20 episodes that have aired, most recently last season in an episode that premiered Jan. 3.   ***Melissa Benoist is going from “Supergirl” to single girl. Benoist, 28, filed for divorce from her former co-star, Blake Jenner.   ***Zach Galifianakis and wife Quinn Lundberg have quietly welcomed their second child. Son Rufus Emmanuel Lundberg was born on Nov. 7.   ***Queen Latifah’s car was stolen in Atlanta when a thief hopped in and drove off while the driver was pumping gas, reports said. The actress and singer, whose real name is Dana Owens, was not the one driving the 2015 Mercedes at the Shell station in Fulton County on Dec. 20 when the opportunistic thief struck, FOX-5 ­Atlanta reported.   ***Edgy indie icon John Waters, known for movies like “Cry-Baby,” and “Hairspray,” was hospitalized with a health scare over the holidays, missing his own annual wild Christmas party on Friday. Guests at the bash, which has been held in Baltimore for 45 years and is one of the most city’s most coveted invites, were told Waters would not be attending because he was in the hospital with kidney stones.

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LBN- Special Report- Sunday December 27, 2016

Iconic Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher Dies at 60: ‘She Was Loved by the World and She Will Be Missed Profoundly’:

Carrie Fisher, the actress best known as Star Wars‘ PrincessLeia Organa, has died after suffering a heart attack. She was 60. Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement to PEOPLE on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd: “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” reads the statement. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers. Fisher was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.

Reports: George Michael Had Been Fighting ‘Secret’ Heroin Addiction:

George Michael, the British pop icon who died Christmas Day at age 53, had been battling a secret heroin addiction in the months leading up to his death, according to multiple media outlets. Reports in British newspapers Tuesday morning allege that the “Last Christmas” singer, who was arrested while smoking crack cocaine in a public restroom in 2008, had been struggling with addiction in his final days. The Daily Telegraph today quotes a source as saying: “He’s been rushed to A&E on several occasions. He used heroin. I think it’s amazing he’s lasted as long as he has.” The Sun, meanwhile, quoted Michael’s friend, publicist Gary Farrow, saying: “I believe easy access to drugs was the cause of his problems. I thought George was too bright to get involved with illegal substances. But once this disease gets hold of you, it’s hard to fight it.” The death was described as “unexplained but not suspicious” by police at Michael’s $1.8 million home in an Oxfordshire village. Cardiac arrest was given as the cause of death by Michael’s manager, Michael Lipman.

‘TRAUMATIZED CITY’: More Than 50 People Shot In Chicago During Christmas Holiday: 

Chicago continued its horrifying parade of violence over the Christmas holiday with 57 shootings and at least 12 dead. Several surviving victims were seriously or critically injured and battling for their lives, the Chicago Tribune reported. The gun violence from Friday to Monday evening surpassed the steep shooting tally over the holiday last year, when 30 people were shot and six died. Chicago on track to top murder toll of New York and Los Angeles combined.

N. Korea ‘Racing Ahead’ on Nuclear Plan:

A high-profile diplomat from North Korea who recently defected to South Korea said Tuesday that Kim Jong Un is “racing ahead with nuclear development after setting up a plan to develop [nuclear weapons] at all costs by the end of 2017.”  “Due to domestic political procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the U.S. will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea’s nuclear development,” said Thae Yong Ho, a former employee of the North Korean embassy in London. Thae said the Hermit Kingdom’s leadership has no plans to give up any nuclear weapons, even if offered huge sums of money.

Trump: UN Just a Club for People to ‘Have a Good Time’:

According to Donald Trump, the United Nations is just a “club” for dignitaries to “have a good time.” Several days after the UN voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the president-elect wrote on Twitter that the international organization has “such great potential,” but is now “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!” Trump had previously criticized the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from Friday’s UN vote, warning on Twitter that dealings with the organization will change following his inauguration: “Things will be different after Jan. 20th,” he wrote.

Obama: I Could’ve Beaten Trump:

President Obama said he believes he could have beatenDonald Trump in a presidential election “if I had run again.” In a CNN interview with his former adviser and longtime confidantDavid Axelrod, the outgoing president suggested Hillary Clinton’s campaign played too cautiously and did notsufficiently focus on a message of tolerance, diversity, and the notion that “the Democratic agenda is better for all working people.” He added, “I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” before reiterating his support and admiration for Clinton, saying that he recognizes her team “understandably… looked and said, well, given my opponent and the things he’s saying and what he’s doing, we should focus on that.” President-elect Trump, in response, fired back on Twitter—as he is wont to do. “President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY!—jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.” he wrote.

Flight Recorder Found in Russian Plane Crash:

Rescue workers say they have found the flight-data recorders of a Russian military plane that went down in the Black Seaover the weekend with 92 people on board. Officials found the device Tuesday and it will likely hold answers as to why the TU-154 crashed unexpectedly Sunday, just two minutes after taking off from the waterside city of Sochi. Several members of Russia’s renowned military choir were on the plane, heading to a Russian air force base in Syria to perform in a new year’s concert. The flight recorder was found just a mile away from shore. It was flown to a lab outside Moscow and officials said it did not appear to sustain serious damage in the crash. It remains unclear when the data from the recorder will be made available.

Bieber Cites Trump U. Suit in His Case:

Justin Bieber has asked that his deposition video in a legal dispute between himself and an ex-neighbor be shielded so that news organizations can’t have access to it. In a plea to get the deposition sealed, Bieber’s lawyers cited Donald Trump’s order of protection in his Trump University lawsuit. He argued that privacy in lawsuits can be a positive thing, according to TMZ. The former neighbor involved in the suit claims that Bieber terrorized him by egging his house and eventually spitting on him in 2014. Lawyers reportedly believe the deposition video will lead to unwanted media attention. Bieber has, to date, paid the man $90,000 for the egging damage alone.

‘Rogue One’ Holds Top Spot at Holiday Box Office:

Rogue One has continued its winning streak at the holiday box office, raking in a whopping $96 million over a four-day periodin the U.S. and Canada. The Star Wars film beat out new releases like the animated musical Sing and comedy Why Him? to retain its top position. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker comScore, told the Associated Press it was the Star Wars brand that made Rogue One the favorite holiday movie this year. “The power of the Star Wars brand made it the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 film on Christmas weekend despite a massive amount of competition,” he was cited as saying. Star Wars dominated the box office last Christmas as well, with The Force Awakens.


LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Nicolas Cage is wondering whether the role of Ronald Reagan would damage his career. The Oscar-winning actor has been offered the lead in a movie that will show the conservative president in a flattering light, infuriating the liberal Hollywood crowd — the opposite of “Reagan,” the movie in which Will Ferrell was going to play the president as senile. Cage’s publicist Stephen Huvane declined to discuss the new movie. “It’s way too early in the development process,” he said.

LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Blondie’s Debbie Harry is collaborating with Shepard Fairey on the artist’s Obey clothing label. She is working on a special-edition women’s line, which will debut next fall. Fairey has described Harry as “an amazing vocalist, lyricist, style icon, beauty and embodiment of NYC cool.”


LBN-NOTICED:   ***Paul McCartney at “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” in NYC this week, with his wife and children. The show’s second act opens with the Beatles song “Chains,” which King wrote with Gerry Goffin. McCartney played some King tunes on the piano backstage, where he was hiding out before the show.   ***Divorced couple David Duchovny and Téa Leoni taking in “Dear Evan Hansen” with their kids and leading the standing ovation.   ***Ethel Kennedy shopping on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla., on Christmas Eve.   ***Taylor Swift surprised a 96-year-old World War II veteran with a holiday visit to his Missouri home. Swift showed up on Monday at Cyrus Porter’s home after he became known as the oldest “Swifty,” attending the singer’s concerts with his 20-plus grandchildren.   ***The Boss even does his own holiday shopping. Bruce Springsteen was spotted checking out some last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve at the J.Crew store in the Grove mall in Shrewsbury, NJ. While some people did a double take, most shoppers were nice enough to stand back and let Springsteen buy his socks and sweaters (or whatever he was buying).

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Shares of Warren Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway soared 20% in 2016, helping to boost Buffett’s personal fortune by $12.3 billion – more than any other billionaire in the United States. The Oracle of Omaha is now worth $74.2 billion, enough to make him the 2nd-richest person in the world (behind only Bill Gates, who is worth $84 billion), according to FORBES’ calculations.

LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Comedian and actor Ricky Harris, who had a recurring role in Chris Rock‘s “Everybody Hates Chris” sitcom and voiced several characters that appeared in hip hop albums, died Monday. He was 54. A cause was not immediately available but Harris’ manager, Cindy Ambers, said the comedian suffered a heart attack two years ago.

LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Perry Link once noticed that Chinese writers use more verbs in their sentences whereas English writers use more nouns. For example, in one passage from the 18th-century Chinese novel “Dream of the Red Chamber,” Cao Xueqin uses 130 nouns and 166 verbs. In a similar passage from “Oliver Twist,” Charles Dickens uses 96 nouns and 38 verbs. This observation is at the core of his New York Review of Books essay “The Mind: Less Puzzling in Chinese?” which is the first winner of this year’s Sidney Awards. I give out the awards, named for the philosopher Sidney Hook, to celebrate some of the best long-form essays of each year. Link notes that Indo-European languages tend to use nouns even when verbs might be more appropriate. Think of the economic concept inflation. We describe it as a thing we can combat, or whip or fight. But it’s really a process. Link takes this thought in a very philosophical direction, but it set me wondering how much our thinking is muddled because we describe actions as things. For example, we say someone has knowledge, happiness or faith (a lot of faith or a little faith, a strong faith or a weak faith); but faith, knowledge and happiness are activities, not objects.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Samantha Power (United States ambassador to the United Nations): Years ago, my friend Richard Holbrooke gave me Clark Clifford’s “Counsel to the President: A Memoir,” which he had helped Clifford write. I wish I had gotten around to reading it before this year, as it is a gripping chronicle of five decades of domestic and foreign policy decision-making in or near the Oval Office, with high drama on the debates over whether to recognize the new state of Israel, how to extricate the United States from the Vietnam War and a host of other questions. I highly recommend it to people interested in government or American history.

LBN-COMMENTARY by DAVID PAUL KUHN: Donald J. Trump won the white working-class vote over Hillary Clinton by a larger margin than any major-party nominee since World War II. Instead of this considerable achievement inspiring introspection, figures from the heights of journalism, entertainment, literature and the Clinton campaign continue to suggest that Mr. Trump won the presidency by appealing to the bigotry of his supporters. As Bill Clinton recently said, the one thing Mr. Trump knows “is how to get angry white men to vote for him.” This stereotyping of Trump voters is not only illiberal, it falsely presumes Mr. Trump won because of his worst comments about women and minorities rather than despite them. In fact, had those people who agreed that Mr. Trump lacked “a sense of decency” voted for Mrs. Clinton, she would have been elected the next president. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump equally won over party loyalists. Yet about one in five voters did not have a favorable view of either candidate. These voters overwhelmingly backed Mr. Trump. Exit polls demonstrated that if voters who disapproved of both candidates had divided evenly between them, Mrs. Clinton would have won.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Are You A Brand? —–


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***George Michael‘s longtime love Kenny Goss is at a loss upon hearing the Wham! singer died Sunday. Goss, who was long described as the love of Michael’s life, tells E! News in a statement that he is in disbelief about what has happened. “I’m heartbroken with the news that my dear friend and longtime love George Michael has passed,” he says. “He was a major part of my life and I loved him very, very much. He was an extremely kind and generous man. The beautiful memories and music he brought to the world will always be an important part of my life and those who also loved and admired him.”   ***Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey have welcomed their third child, a baby boy named Phoenix Robert Lachey! The mom of three took to Instagram to announce the exciting news of their baby boy’s arrival, which happened on Christmas Eve.   ***Kylie Jenner’s latest project proves her holiday was hot and heavy. The 19-year-old dropped a steamy short film on Christmas Day, in which the youngest Kardashian-Jenner sibling appears naked and later, wrapped in boyfriend Tyga‘s arms in the shower.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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