First look at coolest tech of CES 2018

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Media captionWATCH: First look at an electric virtual reality suit that shocks gamers that will be at CES 2018

All aboard the (self-driving) bus – next stop, CES: Las Vegas’ annual gigantic tech fest.

About 4,000 companies – many of them start-ups – are arriving in town this weekend. Over the coming days, they will reveal new products, secure orders and hopefully provide a taste of the future at the trade fair.

The event has its roots in consumer gadgets, but now sprawls into fields including artificial intelligence, automobiles, medicine, marketing and even agriculture.

Most of the big technology brands in attendance will have something new to brag about. But increasingly, they hold flagship products back for stand-alone events.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A huge number of new products will be launched at the event

In recent years much of the excitement has instead been delivered by smaller, lesser-known companies for whom CES presents a “break-out” opportunity.

Below is a sample of what to expect, including several exclusive hands-on videos with some of the new tech:

Artificial intelligence

If one firm could be said to have “won” last year’s expo, it was Amazon.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Last year, LG added Alexa to its fridges but this year it is putting Google Assistant on its TVs

From fridges to cars, watches to robots, device-makers fell over themselves to support or build in its Alexa smart helper, leaving Google’s Assistant trailing in its wake.

New cooking controls have just been added to the AI’s capabilities, so watch out for a flurry of Alexa-connected microwaves this time round.

Google is, however, still in the fight.

Earlier this week, LG revealed its latest top-end TVs will feature the Assistant.

Image copyright Ben Wood
Image caption Google is doing all it can to make sure its Assistant has a high profile at this year’s CES

And this year, the search giant has booked a CES booth to show off its AI, as well as splurging on a new paint job for the Las Vegas monorail to promote it.

While the battle to secure the most tie-ups will likely be intense, one trend to look out for is products that provide the best of both worlds.

GE has pre-announced a ceiling light that supports both companies’ virtual assistants, and HTC already sells a smartphone that answers to both AIs’ wake words.

Image copyright GE
Image caption GE’s Smart Ceiling Fixture has a built-in speaker and microphones to let it control both Alexa and the Google Assistant

“We believe customer choice is important, and that multiple AIs can be complementary of each other,” an Amazon spokesman told the BBC.

Elsewhere, expect “AI-enhanced” to be the buzz phrase of the moment, even if it’s not always clear what that means.

“AI has become an overused term – often it just refers to there being a voice component or related cloud service,” commented Simon Bryant from the consultancy Futuresource.

He added that the key question to ask was whether the promise of artificial intelligence meant a device or service would become better over time.

Image copyright HiRide Suspension
Image caption HiRide says it uses AI to estimate slope, roll, ground roughness and pedal frequency among other factors

So, to take one example, when HiRide Suspensions promises to show off a smart bicycle suspension system that uses AI, does it mean its electronics will learn to deliver a smoother ride over time, or merely that they have developed algorithms that would always deal with the same bump in the road in the same way?

The Italian start-up’s pre-CES materials are unclear on the matter.


The so-called wellness market could prove to be CES’ most vibrant sector this year.

One recent forecast suggested the world’s annual healthcare spend will be nearly $9tn by the end of the decade. Both the big brands and start-ups believe there’s an opportunity to disrupt a sector currently dominated by specialists.

Image copyright ICI Vision
Image caption ICI Vision is developing digital eyewear to help visually impaired people

Doubtless, not all the claims being made at CES will stand up to scrutiny, but it’s heartening to see new tech trying to do something truly useful.

For example, Israel’s ICI Vision is in town to promote a pair of prototype glasses designed to tackle blind spots caused by retinal diseases.

It is trying to combine small cameras, eye-tracking software and projection tech to direct views onto the healthy parts of the back of a patient’s eye.

Image copyright Samsung
Image caption Samsung’s Relumino glasses build on work the firm had been doing with its VR headset

Samsung is taking a different approach to visual impairments with Relumino – glasses that use a smartphone to process the wearer’s view.

An app adds contrast, draws outlines and makes other colour changes to the view to make it clearer before floating the altered image into the eyewear’s display.

Several firms are seeking to treat undesired behaviour via vibration-based “haptic” feedback.

Image copyright VVFly Electronics
Image caption The Snore Circle Eye Mask reacts to snoring sounds as well as collecting sleep data about its user

They include Keen – a smart bracelet that buzzes if it detects the wearer pulling their hair or picking their skin – and Snore Circle – an eye-mask that vibrates at different levels of intensity to nudge the owner into a different position if they make noises at night.

New parents also appear to be a favoured target for the latest health tech.

Stand-out launches include Me.Mum, a smartphone camera attachment whose maker claims it can detect mould-like particles in a woman’s saliva that signal when she is at her most fertile.

Image copyright Me.Mum
Image caption Me.Mum aims to flag fertile days by spotting when the luteinising hormone is present in saliva

China’s Tuoxiao will be demoing a smart stethoscope designed for use with infants that sends heart and lung readings to the cloud for analysis to determine if pneumonia might be present.

Meanwhile, two European start-ups are seeking to help women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles to combat bladder leaks caused by childbirth.

Fizimed’s solution involves exercising with a force-sensing silicone device that provides feedback via an app.

Image copyright Fizimed/Lifesense
Image caption Fizimed’s Emy and Lifesense Group’s Carin boith aim to help women combat urine loss

Lifesense Group’s offering centres on smart underwear that tracks the reduction of urine loss over time in order to motivate its owner to keep exercising.

Smart home

The surprise success of smart speakers has meant that the smart home and wider “internet-of-things” category is finally taking off.

Image copyright Crownstone
Image caption Crownstone’s plug adapters can be set to automatically turn a device on if it detects the owner is nearby

A flood of water use-tracking, temperature-adjusting, humidity-measuring, pollution-detecting gizmos will be on show, as well as dozens of smart locks – even though consumers remain suspicious about letting apps control access to their homes.

There are, however, some participants seeking to break out from the crowd by taking a different approach.

Crownstone is promoting a system in which a home’s lights and plug sockets automatically react to a resident’s presence based on them having a Bluetooth-broadcasting wearable or smartphone on them, rather than waiting to be given a command.

Image copyright Miliboo
Image caption Miliboo’s connected sofa tracks its owners’ TV-watching habits

Miliboo will be showing off a smart sofa that not only wirelessly charges your handset or tablet but also keeps track of how long you’ve been sat in front of the TV while monitoring your posture.

Smarter homes will also be pitched as being safer homes.

Several companies will show off fall-detectors to warn if elderly residents have taken a tumble, and a safe that sends a smartphone alert if it detects it has been tampered with will also debut.

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Media captionWATCH: A British start-up will show off a new technology that lets houses hear burglars

But perhaps most the extreme system we’ve spotted so far comes from Cherry Labs.

The Silicon Valley-based firm uses cameras and audio sensors to keep track of which family members and pets are in which room at what time.

It then collates a twice-daily log of their activities for the person in charge.

Image copyright Cherry Home
Image caption Cherry Home is pitched as a way to provide “around-the-clock” safety to a family

On the flip side, if the idea of being put under surveillance makes you feel queasy, Cone of Silence promises to prevent your smart speakers being able to eavesdrop on you – accidentally or otherwise.

It works by generating a white noise signal specifically designed to overload the speakers’ microphone arrays.


LG has already shown off an outsized 8K TV – with 16 times as many pixels as a 1080p “full HD” screen – ahead of CES.

Image copyright LG
Image caption LG’s 8K OLED TV features 33 million self-emissive pixels

But with a distinct lack of content for the super hi-vision format available, expect the focus to remain on 4K for the time being.

Manufacturers may instead try to convince enthusiasts to upgrade by boosting the maximum brightness levels of their screens, which has the benefit of delivering superior high dynamic range (HDR) images. As a result, glints of sunlight off water can be more startling, and shadows can reveal more detail.

Several brands will likely add support for Samsung’s HDR10+ standard, which is designed to prevent details in the brightest parts of the image being blown out on on some screens – a problem the rival Dolby Vision format already tackles.

Image copyright Samsung
Image caption Amazon has already started to master some of its original programmes in the HDR10+ format

And some of the higher-end sets may also introduce support for the new HDMI 2.1 specification, which can handle higher data rates and potentially allow screens to be sent 4K video at up to 120 frames per second.

But the big question is whether Samsung will unveil a “micro-LED” TV.

The technology uses tiny components that emit their own light rather than relying on a backlight.

This allows micro-LEDs to deliver the kind of deep blacks currently restricted to the OLED displays that LG specialises in.

But micro-LEDs should also be capable of brighter output than OLED, making it a superior choice for HDR content.

Those with a good memory may recall that Sony showed off a Crystal LED TV in 2012 based on the same technology.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sony showed off its version of a micro-LED TV six years ago but has only ever sold professional displays that feature the technology

That never went into mass production because it proved too expensive to make. We’ll soon find out whether Samsung has found a way to keep costs down.


The rise of electric-powered cars and self-driving technologies have seen automobiles take on a greater role at CES.

This year, Ford’s new chief executive, Jim Hackett, is delivering one of the event’s high-profile keynote presentations, where company bosses often like to make a splash with headline-grabbing reveals.

Image copyright Nissan
Image caption Nissan aims to make its cars more responsive by analysing motorists’ brain waves

Hyundai has promised to debut a hydrogen fuel cell-powered sports utility vehicle (SUV).

And Nissan says it will demonstrate a bonkers-sounding brain-to-vehicle interface. It involves using a brainwave-reading headset to anticipate when steering wheel turns or accelerator pedal presses are about to be made.

The idea is that cars can use this information to “enhance” their response as well as source more data for autonomous driving research.

In general, however, the big automakers tend to hold their most significant news back until the Detroit Auto Show, which begins the day after CES ends this year.

Image copyright Byton
Image caption The giant screen in Byton’s vehicle can be controlled by hand gestures by both the driver and their passengers

That gives smaller rivals a chance to grab attention.

This year, Chinese electric car start-up Byton will be premiering a model with a gigantic dashboard touchscreen, which it plans to put into production in 2019.

From the US, Fisker will formally reveal a $129,000 (£95,125) luxury electric sports car with a 400 mile (643km) range and fast-charging capabilities.

Image caption Clockwise from left: the Fisker Emotion, Navya Autonom Cab, Faraday Future FF91 and Rinspeed Snap

France’s Navya will reveal details about a plan to deploy “robo-taxis across the world.

Switzerland’s concept vehicle designer Rinspeed will show off Snap – a modular design in which a passenger pod detaches from its skateboard-like underside.

Faraday Future returns, despite its cash struggles, to host an invite-only update about its self-proclaimed Tesla-killer, the FF91.

Image copyright Electra Meccanica/Getty Images
Image caption The Electra Meccanica three-wheeler – seen on the left – has the opposite layout to the Reliant Robin

And Electra Meccanica may have the oddest electric car on show – a three-wheeler that looks like a Reliant Robin in reverse.

It would be wrong, however, to think the only transport options on show will be cars.

Yamaha intends to demo a self-driving motorcycle prototype racing at speeds above 120mph.

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Media captionWATCH: BBC Click’s Dan Simmons previews two new products designed to make it safer for bikers on the road

And Surefly has been given permission to fly a sci-fi inspired passenger octacopter.

The plan is for the drone to eventually autonomously carry two passengers to their destination.

But a pilot will be involved for the CES test.

Image copyright Surefly
Image caption The SureFly drone is designed to carry two people up to 70 miles (113km) in a trip


There will be plenty of smaller drones too at CES.

Market-leader DJI is attending, but has not unveiled major new product lines at the show in past years.

It will, however, be aware that several rivals have pre-announced what look like copycats of its popular fold-up Mavic Pro model, and many of its customers are hoping it will fire back with a second-generation version.

Image copyright Sirius
Image caption Thunder Tiger’s Sirius CX-180 is proposed as a safer alternative to sending helicopters to rescue mountaineers in the dark

What’s fascinating about several of the other new drones is how distinctive they are.

“The reason that we’re seeing drone-makers specialising in different areas is that the technology has become extremely commoditised, so to succeed you need a specific use case of your own,” commented tech consultant Ben Wood from CCS Insight.

One example is Nuaviation’s Hyperlift 200E, which is designed to carry objects weighing up to 200lb (91kg) at high speeds, and is being pitched as a delivery tool for the construction industry.

Another is the Sirius CX-180, which features two powerful LED lamps, and is designed for use in night-time search-and-rescue missions.

Image copyright Radii Robotics
Image caption The SurV has been developed by a Los Angeles-based start-up to help investigate disturbances

There’s also a model with a video screen designed to be used by desk-bound security guards, and a drone that’s been engineered to fly around warehouses scanning the shelves to check the inventory.

But perhaps the award for most novel use of a quadcopter should go to SwellPro’s Splash Drone 3.

It is designed to help fishing expeditions catch tuna, sharks and other large sea life by dropping bait from above.

Image copyright SwellPro
Image caption The Fisherman edition of the Splash Drone 3 is marketed as being able to carry more than 10 pieces of hooked bait

Smartphones and PCs

Recent revelations about decades-old flaws with processor chips threaten to cast a shadow over new computer launches at CES.

Even so, Qualcomm will likely be trumpeting the battery-life benefits of powering Windows 10 PCs with its smartphone chips, which became possible after Microsoft added support for ARM’s architecture.

Image copyright Qualcomm
Image caption Qualcomm says a laptop battery can provide nearly a day’s use if one of its chips powers the PC

Meanwhile, Intel will be promoting the virtue of new processor modules that integrate AMD’s graphics hardware, which it hopes will prove attractive to gamers.

When it comes to handsets, there are rumours that Samsung might unveil a Galaxy X model with a foldable display.

But if that fails to make an appearance, there will still be a new phone from China’s Vivo that carries out fingerprint scans by getting its users to tap the display.

Image copyright Synaptics
Image caption Vivo will show off a phone featuring a new type of fingerprint sensor developed by Synaptics that sits underneath the screen

This makes it possible to offer an “all-screen” device without forcing fingerprint readings to be done on the rear.

And for those who prefer their tech to be more retro, London’s Planet Computers will be showing off Gemini.

The clamshell handheld resembles the long-retired Psion computer but gives it an Android twist, as you can see below.

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Media captionWATCH: Psion’s ‘digital assistant’ will get a modern makeover at CES

Virtual and augmented reality

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets have now been on sale for nearly two years, and sales haven’t been stellar.

Sony’s PlayStation VR has fared a bit better, but what many are hoping will turbo-charge demand is the emergence of standalone headsets that don’t need to be linked to a PC or powered by a phone.

The move could make them much easier to deploy in schools and marketing campaigns, for example, and help them break out of a gaming niche.

Image copyright ExChimp
Image caption ExChimp delivered its Android-based VR headset to crowdfunding backers last month

At CES, Austrian start-up Exchimp will gatecrash the market with its solution.

Lenovo is also rumoured to be ready to show off its Mirage Solo model. And HTC could announce that it’s ready an international launch for its all-in-one Vive Focus, which is already on sale in China.

Much of the other VR hardware news out of the show is likely to be about prototype controls for the technology, with various attempts to put sensors and robotic gloves on people’s hands or to recognise their gestures via cameras and sound wave sensors.

Image caption Experimental VR controllers at the show will include (clockwise from top left) GoTouchVR’s finger pads, Sense Glove’s exoskeleton and Light & Shadows’ handheld Senso

Ultimately, many believe augmented reality – in which graphics are mixed together with real-world views – has more potential.

But while there are several firms showing off AR apps and components designed for use in reality-mixing smart glasses, it seems unlikely a market-ready high-quality headset will emerge for at least another year or two.

However, for those just wanting a taste of the tech there are a few solutions on show, including the cardboard-based fold-up Aryzon into which you slot a phone.

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Media captionWATCH: This flat-pack kit promises to deliver a taste of AR at a budget price

Other oddities

There should be more robots than ever before at this year’s event. LG and Honda are among the bigger firms showing off new models, which include a luggage-carrying hotel droid and a face-pulling “compassionate” companion.

Image copyright LG/Honda
Image caption LG’s CLOi porter robot and Honda’s 3E-A18 companion droid are unlikely to ever be sold to the public

How practical any of them are is another matter.

Nonetheless, we’re promised innovations including a bot that plays Scrabble, two that fold clothes and a third designed to be cuddled at night to help send its user to sleep.

Other tech of questionable merit includes:

  • Aveine – a smart wine aerator that uses the internet to identify a bottle of wine to judge just the right amount of air to pump into it to improve the taste
  • Blimp – an online marketplace where you can rent your front door or even your t-shirt out to marketers for micro-advertising campaigns
  • Short Edition – a terminal that prints out short stories and poems for people to read in waiting rooms as a higher-cost alternative to providing magazines
  • Volt Case – a smartphone case equipped with an electric stun gun that can only be triggered if you unlock it with a fingerprint
Image copyright Short Edition
Image caption The Short Edition dispenser allows users to select stories based on how long they will take to read

But while it’s easy to sneer at the many seemingly obvious misfires, CES also presents an opportunity to be entertained and impressed by all the imagination and effort involved.

So, to end on a positive note here are some other innovations that caught our eye as having potential if they can fulfil their promise:

Image copyright ShapeScale
Image caption The ShapeScale promises to complete each full-body scan in under a minute
  • Shapescale – weight scales that also provide 3D body scans so you can see how exercise changes your shape over time
  • D Free – a sensor system that claims to be able to anticipate when elderly patients are likely to want to go to the toilet, so that their carers can get them there in time
  • Biowatch – a vein-reading module for smartwatches straps that identifies the wearer and avoids them having to type in a password code
  • Emojime – headphones fitted with a brainwave scanner that animate emoji symbols on their outside to illustrate the wearer’s mood
Image copyright Emotihead
Image caption Emojime’s makers say their prototype headphones have yet to interpret brainwaves

We’ll be keeping you across all the big announcements and many of the other remarkable reveals at our CES 2018 index and you can also follow the BBC team attending the expo via this Twitter list.

Read more:

The Best Comments From Milo Yiannopoulos’ Editor On His Spiked Manuscript

You may recall the literary drama that unfolded about this time last year as Simon & Schuster granted, and later revoked, a book deal for a memoir by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

The book, Dangerous, was to be produced by Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint of the publishing giant, but was dropped in late February following intense criticisms by other authors and the general public. (The same month, Yiannopoulos made comments seemingly defending pedophilia, in addition to his regularly scheduled promotion of racism, sexism and other forms of intolerance.)

Yiannopoulos subsequently released Dangerous independently and watched as reviewers yawned in unison. He also filed a lawsuit against the publisher that rejected him.

Now we owe Simon & Schuster’s legal defense team a small debt of gratitude. Last week, they pulled back the curtain on what went down between the alt-right agitator and his would-be publisher through a series of documents filed to the New York County Clerk’s office. Among them is Yiannopoulos’ first submitted manuscript ― chock-full of criticisms by his editor, Mitchell Ivers, who serves as vice president and editorial director of Threshold. Through his own affidavit, Ivers presented among his qualifications a publishing career spanning more than 30 years and experience editing “hundreds” of books including “many” on “controversial topics.”

In short, Ivers determined Yiannopoulos’ book was a mess. 

He doesn’t exactly rebuke Yiannopoulos’ ideas on women, people of color, gay people, the political left and Muslims. Instead, as an editor, Ivers suggests ways to strengthen the writer’s arguments on those topics and make them palatable for a broad audience of all ages. Yet many of the hundreds of comments he made in Yiannopoulos’ first manuscript suggest the author’s thinking to be unsubstantiated, simplistic and, in Ivers’ words, “ridiculous,” “preposterous” and “phenomenally petty.”

An email summarizing seven main problems with the manuscript stated that a chapter originally titled “Why Other Gay People Hate Me” needed “a better central thesis than the notion that gay people should go back in the closet.” Additionally, the feminist chapter needed a “stronger argument against feminism than saying that they are ugly and sexless and have cats.” While Yiannopoulos made passing reference to Leslie Jones, the comedian he harassed over Twitter until the platform banned him, Ivers told him a more complete explanation was necessary ― sans jokes about her looks. A chapter called “Why Ugly People Hate Me” needed to be cut entirely. 

The most stinging edits, though, were contained in the first-draft manuscript itself.

“This entire argument is ridiculous,” Ivers wrote alongside a section about JCPenney marketing itself “to women who think Cool Ranch Doritos are a food group.”

“Unsupportable charge,” he stated next to a line about progressives “importing” minority voters.

“Can you offer proof?” he asked beside Yiannopoulos’ claim that he is privately loved by “mischief-making musicians, actors and writers.”

“This entire paragraph is just repeating Fake News,” Ivers noted alongside a bizarre section on witchcraft, blood, semen and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“This is what people say about you,” Ivers said next to a line describing feminists as “more desperate to be noticed than Kanye West at an awards show.”

The list of criticisms goes on.

Alongside a headline “Feminists Don’t Hate Men, But It Wouldn’t Matter If We Did” that Yiannopoulos termed as hate speech: “If that headline is hate speech, THIS WHOLE BOOK is hate speech.”

Next to an argument that feminism is merely a “money-grab designed to sell t-shirts to Taylor Swift and Beyoncé fans with asinine slogans and feel-good girl power motifs”: “Um .. like your MILO SWAG?” 

Beside a claim that fake news is “an invention of the mainstream media”: “No. You can’t say this. It actually exists and is used on both sides of the political spectrum.” 

Some of Ivers’ most repeated complaints came back to Yiannopoulos’ insistence on writing for his base ― the editor encouraged him to define terms such as “rare Pepe” and “4chan” ― and his all-too-frequently-irreverent tone. A chapter on “Why Black Lives Matter Hates Me” was apparently one of the more readable ones, but it, too, suffered from attempted humor, the editor noted. 

Ivers wrote “dumb joke” several times throughout the text.

And still, the list continues:

“Unclear, unfunny, delete.”

“You construct this metaphor very badly.”

“Let’s not call South Africa ‘white.’” 

“Let’s keep ‘fecal waste’ analogies out of this chapter.”

“Ego gets in the way in this paragraph. Delete.”

“Doesn’t land.”

“Baseless charge.”

″‘Autists’ sounds like a mental health slur.”

“Superfluous joke.”

“Do you have credible evidence for this?”

“This rumor cannot appear in this book.”

“No need to drag the lesbians into this!”

“Three unfunny jokes in a row. DELETE.”

“Ridiculously reductive.”

“Absurd charge.”

“Is this even true?”

“This is definitely not the place for more of your narcissism.”

“So much inappropriate humor is irritating.”

“Can you really prove a causality between [Black Lives Matter] and crime rate?”


“Too much ego.”

“This paragraph doesn’t make sense.”

“Stop spreading fake news.”

“Are you seriously telling the reader that you advocate SMEAR CAMPAIGNS?”

“Attempts at humor here are too weak and too long.”

“This is not the time or place for another black-dick joke.”

“Don’t make fun of school shooters ― and certainly don’t compare them to liberals.”

“You MUST ACKNOWLEDGE that this is EXACTLY what people accuse you and Breitbart of being: a new age of partisan propaganda masquerading as journalism.”

“I still want to know if trolling is really planning out these things in advance or just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks.”


“This is a stupid way to end a terrible chapter. Not worth keeping in. DELETE.”

Yiannopoulos submitted a revised copy of Dangerous around one month after receiving Ivers’ edits.

Lawyers for Simon & Schuster noted that “among other issues,” Yiannopoulos’ text “remained riddled with what [he] labeled ‘humor’ but actually constituted the incendiary speech that [Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy] declared that Simon & Schuster would never publish.”

Reidy released a statement in late January affirming that her company would not publish material intended to “incite hatred” in response to overwhelming criticism over the publisher’s decision to work with the alt-right figure in the first place.

In the end, Yiannopoulos got to keep his $80,000 advance.

But we get to keep this.

Read more:

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility, study says

(CNN)Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.

Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. CNN has contacted Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of both brands, for comment.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade group that represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medications and supplements, “supports and encourages continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help ensure safe use of OTC medicines,” said Mike Tringale, a spokesman for the association. “The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use.”
    The new study is a continuation of research that began with pregnant women, explained Bernard Jégou, co-author and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France.
    Jégou and a team of French and Danish researchers had been exploring the health effects when a mother-to-be took any one of three mild pain relievers found in medicine chests around the globe: aspirin, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol) and ibuprofen.
    Their early experiments, published in several papers, showed that when taken during pregnancy, all three of these mild medicines affected the testicles of male babies.

    Testicles and testosterone

    Testicles not only produce sperm, they secrete testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.
    All three drugs then are “anti-androgenic,” meaning they disrupt male hormones, explained David M. Kristensen, study co-author and a senior scientist in the Department of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital.
    The three drugs even increased the likelihood that male babies would be born with congenital malformations, Kristensen noted.
    Tringale noted that pregnant and nursing women should always ask a health professional before using medicines.
    Knowing this, “we wondered what would happen in the adult,” he said. They focused their investigation on ibuprofen, which had the strongest effects.
    A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen is often taken by athletes, including Olympians and professional soccer players for example, before an event to prevent pain, Jégou said. Are there health consequences for the athletes who routinely use this NSAID?
    The research team recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day, explained Jégou. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.
    For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones — which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone — became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.
    This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.
    For the small group of young study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time, “it is sure that these effects are reversible,” Jégou said. However, it’s unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible, he said.
    After this randomized, controlled clinical trial, the research team experimented with “little bits of human testes” provided by organ donors and then conducted test tube experiments on the endocrine cells, called Leydig and Sertoli cells, which produce testosterone, explained Jégou.
    The point was to articulate “in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro” — in the living body, outside the living body and in the test tube — that ibuprofen has a direct effect on the testicles and so testosterone.
    “We wanted to understand what happened after exposure (to ibuprofen) going from the global human physiology over to the specific organ (the testis) down to the endocrine cells producing testosterone,” Kristensen said.
    More than idle curiosity prompted such an extensive investigation.

    Questions around male fertility

    The World Health Organization estimates that one in every four couples of reproductive age in developing countries experiences childlessness despite five years of attempting pregnancy.
    A separate study estimated that more than 45 million couples, or about 15% of all couples worldwide, were infertile in 2010, while another unrelated study suggested that men were solely responsible for up to 30% and contribute up to 50% of cases overall.
    Meanwhile, a recent analysis published in the journal Human Reproduction Update found that sperm counts of men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are plunging. Researchers recorded a 52% decline in sperm concentration and a 59% decline in total sperm count over a nearly 40-year period ending in 2011.
    Erma Z. Drobnis, an associate professional practice professor of reproductive medicine and fertility at the University of Missouri, Columbia, noted that most drugs are not evaluated for their effects on human male fertility before marketing. Drobnis, who was not involved in the new study, has done extensive research into sperm biology and fertility.
    “There is evidence that some medications are particularly harmful to the male reproductive system, including testosterone, opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, immune modulators and even the over-the-counter antacid cimetidine (Tagamet),” she said. “However, prescribing providers rarely mention these adverse effects with patients when prescribing these medications. 
    She believes the new study, though small, is “important” because ibuprofen is among the most commonly used medications.
    Though the new research indicates that ibuprofen disrupts the reproductive hormones in healthy young men, she thinks it’s possible there’s an even greater negative effect in men with low fertility. The other OTC drugs concerning for potential fathers are cimetidine and acetaminophen. She recommends that men who are planning to father a child avoid drugs for several months.
    “Larger clinical trials are warranted,” she said. “This is timely work that should raise awareness of medication effects on men and potentially their offspring.”
    Jégou agrees that more study is needed to answer many questions, including whether ibuprofen’s effects on male hormones are seen at low doses and whether long-term effects are reversible.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    “But the alarm has been raised now,” he said. “if this serves to remind people that we are really dealing with medical drugs — not with things which are not dangerous — this would be a good thing.”
    “We need to remember that it is a pharmaceutical compound that helps a lot of people worldwide,” Kristensen said. He noted, though, that of the three mild analgesics examined, ibuprofen had “the broadest endocrine-disturbing properties identified so far in men.”

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    Colorado gunman who killed deputy left alarming online trail, officials say

    (CNN)Just weeks before a barricaded man shot and killed a sheriff’s deputy in a Colorado apartment, he apparently was writing alarming messages in email and on social media that included threats to police officers, officials have said.

    Matthew Riehl, a 37-year-old former Army reservist, shot four sheriff’s deputies who responded to a complaint at his apartment in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch on Sunday morning, killing one, police say. Riehl was killed during a subsequent shootout with a police tactical team — a clash that also left a SWAT officer injured, authorities say.
    The slain deputy was Zackari Parrish, a 29-year-old father of two. Two civilians outside the apartment also were shot and injured during the incidents, police say.
      Police haven’t revealed suspected motives for Sunday’s shootings, but several law enforcement agencies had been aware weeks beforehand that Riehl was accused of writing harassing or suspicious messages online, officials said this week.
      That includes “harassing posts” that Riehl put on his social media sites in November about a traffic stop in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree, just a few miles east of his apartment in Highlands Ranch, said Lone Tree spokeswoman Denisse Coffman.
      Shortly after those posts, Riehl allegedly sent harassing emails to Lone Tree police officers, Coffman said.
      “At that point, the Lone Tree Police Department immediately contacted the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to investigate, given that a Lone Tree police officer was being targeted by the suspect’s harassing communication,” Coffman said.
      Coffman said she couldn’t reveal any other information about the case because the investigation wasn’t finished. But these apparently weren’t the only messages that recently were brought to the attention of authorities.
      In late 2017, the University of Wyoming — where Riehl was a 2010 law school graduate — alerted students and faculty to what it called his suspicious behavior.
      According to a letter sent to faculty and staff in November, Riehl posted “rambling, nonsensical messages on his Facebook page” that mentioned the school. Campus police and the Laramie Police Department were both alerted to the posts. The faculty was asked to alert authorities if Riehl was spotted on campus.
      Chad Baldwin, associate vice president for communications and marketing at the university, told CNN the posts were “outrageous, vulgar and alarming.” Baldwin said the university heightened security on campus, but there were no reported sightings of Riehl in the area.
      Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock told reporters Sunday that Riehl had previous contacts with law enforcement “throughout the metro area,” but had no criminal history.

      ‘Well over 100 rounds fired’

      Sunday’s shootings began after 5:30 a.m. at the Copper Canyon Apartments in Highlands Ranch, about 20 miles south of Denver.
      It was the second time deputies had gone to the apartment Sunday. There was a noise complaint call at around 3 a.m., but when deputies got there, there was no noise. After they spoke with a roommate in the apartment, they left, the Douglas County sheriff’s office said.
      “One male said the suspect was acting bizarre and might be having a mental breakdown,” a police news release said.
      The second call was dispatched as a domestic disturbance, and by 5:35 a.m. the four deputies had arrived at the scene.
      The sheriff’s office said the roommate returned to the scene, gave deputies a key and said they could enter the residence. The roommate then left, police said.
      Not long after the deputies found the suspect barricaded in his room, Riehl opened fire, Spurlock said.
      “There were well over 100 rounds fired,” Spurlock said, adding that the deputies “all went down within almost seconds of each other, so it was more of an ambush type of attack on our officers.”
      The wounded deputies crawled to safety as other law enforcement agencies responded to the shots fired call.
      Riehl was killed about 90 minutes later during a shootout when a tactical team went into the apartment, the sheriff’s office said.

      ‘A tragic day that we will be feeling for a long time’

      Parrish, the slain deputy, was a “good kid” who was “eager to work, eager to serve,” Spurlock said Sunday.
      “This is a tragic day that we will be feeling for a long time,” the sheriff added.
      A memorial service for the fallen officer was held at a church in Littleton Monday, where Parrish’s wife spoke to those who attended.
      President Donald Trump tweeted his “deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in Douglas County … and their families.”

      Gunman served one year in Iraq

      Riehl served with the Wyoming National Guard from 2006 to 2012, according to Deidre Forster with the Wyoming National Guard’s office of public affairs.
      Forster told CNN that Riehl enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2003. He spent time in Iraq in 2009 as part of a security mission during a one-year deployment with the 300th Field Artillery Regiment, according to Forster. He was honorably discharged in 2012 as an E-4 (specialist), Forster said.
      In July, Riehl attended an eight-hour firearms course in Colorado Springs taught by Kenaz Tactical Group, the company said. Riehl’s “demeanor during the training sessions was not alarming,” company owner Robert Butler said in statement.

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      Catherine: Full Body’s game trailer debut is criticized as transphobic

      Warning: This article contains spoilers for Erica Anderson in Atlus’ Catherine.

      2017 has been a great year for Japanese game developer Atlus, between receiving critical acclaim for Persona 5’s Western release and officially unveiling Shin Megami Tensei V for the Nintendo Switch. But Atlus is experiencing a Twitter firestorm this week over a remake of its adventure puzzle-platformer Catherine, after some fans claim the game’s new romanceable character is transphobic.

      For the uninitiated, Catherine deals with Vincent Brooks, a 32-year-old bachelor who keeps pushing off marriage with his long-time girlfriend, Katherine McBride. After Vincent cheats on Katherine with a mysterious woman called Catherine, he begins having nightmares where he must climb enormous towers while being chased by monsters. The game does this by blending narrative-driven gameplay with puzzle-platforming levels, allowing for multiple endings through different romance options. And on release, Catherine was hailed as pretty groundbreaking for taking two distinct genres and seamlessly merging them together.

      But Catherine has always been a source of controversy since it first released back in 2011. That’s partly because Catherine used Erica Anderson, a transgender waitress over at the game’s Stray Sheep bar, for endless jokes about her gender identity. This is a point that’s largely handled well in Erica’s characterization, but Catherine’s male characters repeatedly treat her with disdain, often making transphobic jokes or treating her transness as disgusting. Even Catherine’s writing suggests she is actually a man because she has tower-climbing nightmares, which only men experience, and it uses her deadname in the game’s manual.

      So from the start, many LGBTQ fans are skeptical of Atlus’ handle on queer topics. Which bleeds over to Catherine: Full Body, the game’s brand new remaster for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Along with updated graphics, the game teases a new romance route with a woman called Rin, a young girl sporting short pink hair and a knack for piano playing.

      Many fans of the original game are excited to see where her story goes. But initial reports from Kotaku U.K.’s Laura Kate Dale are leaving some trans women concerned that the game will use Rin as a punchline for the same endless transphobic jokes used against Erica. For one, the game’s new teaser trailer shows Rin seducing Vincent, who proceeds to look on in horror as he stares at Rin’s exposed crotch. Plus the Japanese teaser site for Catherine: Full Body features the transgender gender symbol in both the favcon as well as the trailer’s “play” button, which bounces forward from Rin’s hidden crotch, implying that Rin may have a penis instead of a vagina.

      Dale proceeded to argue that Rin’s introduction draws on transphobic humor about trans women manipulating men into sleeping with them, suggesting that Rin “tricks” Vincent into sex. If so, the trailer’s joke hearkens back to some of the transphobia that riddled the original Catherine, along with anime in general.

      Others shared Dale’s concern, pointing to the fact that the game’s marketing is focused entirely on the mystery and anxiety around Rin’s body.

      In the past decade, Atlus has displayed a bumpy track record with queer representation, including gay panic jokes in both Persona 4 and Persona 5. Many are convinced Atlus will mess up Rin’s characterization if she ends up being a trans girl.

      But other theories abound about Rin, including the fact that she may lack genitals at all. If so, that would explain the overlap between the male and female gender symbols on the Catherine: Full Body site.

      And yet, despite all the controversy, some are hopeful about Atlus including Rin as a romanceable character. After all, no AAA video game to date features a transgender woman as a love interest. Catherine: Full Body may end up being the first, and if she’s given as much care as Catherine, Katherine, or Erica, she could end up being a decently written character.

      It’s hard to say where Atlus will take Rin, seeing as so much is still up in the air about who she is. She may not be transgender after all. Either way, it’ll be a while until fans learn more about Rin’s story. Catherine: Full Body is scheduled for a winter 2018 release in Japan, and the game’s Western launch has yet to be revealed. In the meantime, Catherine is available through PlayStation Now for PlayStation 4 owners who want to try the original release.

      H/T Laura Kate Dale

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      America’s health is declining — and corporations are stoking this crisis

      (CNN)America’s powerful corporations made a killing with the passage of the Republican tax cuts. The tax cuts will hand trillions of dollars to the companies and their moneyed owners following a massive corporate lobbying campaign.

      And make no mistake — America’s health crisis is the result of greedy corporations and their reckless practices.
      The US life expectancy is slipping further and further behind other high-income countries. According to the most recent comparative data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, US life expectancy in 2015 (at 78.7 years) ranked 27th out of 35 OECD countries, more than five years behind the leader, Japan (83.9 years), and roughly four years behind the next three countries, Spain (83.0), Switzerland (83.0) and Italy (82.6).
        Yet Americans pay on average almost $10,000 per person per year for health care — twice or even three times the cost in Canada and many European countries. So, then, what accounts for America’s shorter life span?
        One problem is the low value for money in America’s healthcare spending. Unlike the highly regulated health systems abroad, America leaves much more of the pricing for drugs, procedures and hospital stays in the hands of the private sector, which exploits its market power by charging outrageous prices and leaving millions of Americans without coverage.
        Another cause of America’s lagging life expectancy is the nation’s rising inequality of income. America’s poor die much younger on average than America’s rich, with a discrepancy of up to 10-15 years on average. The combination of overpriced American health care and poverty is lethal.
        Two corporate-caused US epidemics — obesity and opioid addictions — add to the misery.
        America’s obesity epidemic is shortening the lives of Americans and burdening them with a range of chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, type-II diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers. Obesity is also a risk factor for the onset of depression, while depression, in turn, contributes to the onset of obesity.
        America’s opioid epidemic is leading to soaring deaths from drug overdoses, and substance abuse more generally is contributing to soaring rates of suicide, addiction and suffering. The CDC calculates that there were 63,600 deaths from drug overdoses in 2016, and more than a tripling in the age-adjusted rate of drug-overdose deaths from 1999 to 2016.

          Why are opioids so addictive?

        While the obesity and opioid epidemics are sometimes written off as “bad life choices,” these epidemics are largely the handiworks of an irresponsible corporate sector. As University of California pediatric endocrinologist and neuroscientist Dr. Robert Lustig describes in his remarkable book, The Hacking of the American Mind, America’s soaring obesity reflects a fast-food diet that has been deliberately stuffed with high-fructose corn syrup and various processed meats and grains that cause obesity.
        American are being killed slowly and painfully by their own food industry. Yet instead of taking responsibility for the epidemic and doing something about it, most of the leaders of the food industry actively resist a change of direction and the needed changes in public-health regulation. The beverage industry, for example, is fighting strenuously against public health measures aimed at cutting America’s deadly over-consumption of sugar-packed sodas. Sad to say, things — human health, for one — do not go better with soft drinks.

        Join us on Twitter and Facebook

        The corporate hidden-hand is also present in the opioid epidemic. A recent expose in the New Yorker and lawsuits filed against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, allege that the company pursued a marketing campaign that pushed OxyContin onto doctors. According to the article, Purdue allegedly did not adequately study the risks of OxyContin, paid off doctors to ignore them and pushed aggressive advertising despite growing concerns and evidence of an addiction crisis. While the company rejects this characterization and denies the allegations, drug makers — at the very least — failed to respond adequately to the growing alarm bells as the opioid epidemic soared. (Purdue has since issued a statement saying it is committed to helping in the fight against prescription opioid abuse and to supporting the recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration’s Opioid Action Plan.)
        Corporate power has run amok in American politics. Yet the mortality crisis is even worse. The health of the American people depends on restoring democratic oversight and regulation over powerful food and drug companies blinded by greed and arrogance.

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        Parents give children alcohol ‘too young’

        Image copyright Getty Images
        Image caption Some parents give their children alcohol from an early age

        Parents could be storing up problems for their children by introducing them to alcohol too young and ordering takeaways too often, researchers warn.

        Two universities found that one in six parents gives their children alcohol by the age of 14, when their body and brain are not yet fully developed.

        Many parents may believe they are acting responsibly – but that’s not backed up by research, experts said.

        Regular takeaways were a risk to the heart, a separate study said.

        A team of researchers from St George’s, University of London, surveyed nearly 2,000 nine and 10-year-olds on their diets and found that one in four ate takeaways at least once a week.

        This group had higher body fat composition from consuming too many calories, and lower levels of vitamins and minerals than children who ate food cooked at home.

        Image copyright Getty Images
        Image caption Eating too many takeaway meals increases children’s calorie intake

        Continuing on this kind of diet could increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems later in life, the research team warned, saying takeaways should be “actively discouraged”.

        When it comes to giving adolescents a taste of alcohol, well-educated parents of white children are the main culprits, research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests.

        But very few ethnic minority parents said they allowed early drinking – only 2%.

        Using data on 10,000 children from the Millennium Cohort Study, researchers from from University College London and Pennsylvania State University found that light or moderate-drinking parents were just as likely to let their children drink alcohol as heavy-drinking parents.

        Prof Jennifer Maggs, lead study author, said: “Parents of socially advantaged children may believe that allowing children to drink will teach them responsible use or may in fact inoculate them against dangerous drinking.

        “However, there is little research to support these ideas.”

        Previous research has shown that those who start drinking early are more likely to do badly at school, have behaviour issues, and develop alcohol problems in adulthood.

        Official medical advice recommends that children don’t drink alcohol until they are at least 15.

        Image copyright Getty Images
        Image caption Set clear rules for teenagers and booze, experts say

        In the survey, 14-year-olds themselves were asked whether they had ever tried more than a few sips of alcohol, with almost half saying yes.

        When they were 11, about 14% had done so.

        Katherine Brown, chief executive of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said an alcohol-free childhood was best and this advice may not be getting to parents.

        “We need to see better guidance offered to parents via social marketing campaigns and advice from doctors and schools.

        “Parents deserve to know they can have a positive impact, and can reduce health harms associated with young people drinking.”

        Dr John Larsen, from the charity Drinkaware, said parents and guardians had an important role to play in helping children learn about alcohol.

        “While each parent or carer may choose to approach talking to their teenagers about alcohol in different ways, it is helpful to have clear rules and that the conversations are open and honest.”

        How to talk to children about alcohol

        • Get the tone right – make it a conversation, not a lecture
        • Get the timing right – don’t wait until they are going out of the door to meet friends
        • Find a hook – like a recent film or TV storyline to start the conversation
        • Be honest – it’s far better to confess to what you did at their age
        • Set rules – teenagers feel safer if there are guidelines and boundaries

        Drinkaware has more tips on strategies to prevent underage drinking.

        Related Topics

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        H&M apologizes for ‘Coolest Monkey’ sweatshirt ad featuring black child

        H&M was forced to offer an apology on Monday after posting an online advertisement featuring a black child modeling a sweatshirt reading “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.”

        “We sincerely apologize for offending people with this image of a printed hooded top. The image has been removed from all online channels and the product will not be for sale in the United States,” wrote H&M in a statement obtained by Fox News. “We believe in diversity and inclusion in all that we do and will be reviewing all our internal policies accordingly to avoid any future issues.”


        Outrage over the ad bubbled up on Sunday, after social media users noticed that H&M’s U.K. website was advertising this particular hooded sweatshirt using a young black child, while other sweatshirts from the same line were advertised on white models.

        Social media users on Twitter soon began accusing the brand of racism, and even profiting from any resulting online backlash this incident may cause. One woman, who said she had worked for H&M, claimed the Sweden-based retailer is sometimes “clueless” to issues of “racism, cultural & social challenges.”

        Other users took further issue with H&M using a white child to model a hoodie from the same line — featuring text reading “survival expert” and “junior tour guide” — and alleging that it was a deliberate move to pair those children in with their sweaters.


        However, a couple of commenters defended the brand. One believed that people who were outraged by the hoodie were “looking to be offended,” while another alleged that those same people were reading something into the sweatshirt’s message that H&M didn’t intend.

        Many others also called for a boycott of H&M entirely, and R&B artist The Weeknd — who partnered with the retailer on a line of apparel — announced he would no longer be working with the company via a tweet he posted on Monday afternoon.

        H&M has since removed the offending image from its website, although the sweater, which retails for 7.99 pounds, is still available for purchase on its U.K site.

        The outrage over H&M’s advertisement follows several similar incidents involving major brands in recent months. In early October, Dove apologized for “missing the mark” with a Facebook ad for body wash, which showed a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman underneath. And later that month, Nivea was accused of racism after promoting a skin cream for “visibly fairer skin” in several African countries.  

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        Book fury hits Trump where it hurts most — his image

        (CNN)Nothing means more to Donald Trump than his image.

        He got rich by selling his name, plastering it on buildings, hotels, casinos and golf resorts, and he transferred his tough guy “You’re fired” persona to politics, building a personality cult as an ultimate winner and tough-talking President.
        The President senses good angles when on camera, and he’s obsessed with polls, the size of his crowds and the flattery dished out by foreign leaders.
          But as Washington consumes a sensational West Wing exposé by journalist Michael Wolff, Trump is being forced to watch as his prized image is ripped to shreds.
          When a presidency is anchored so fundamentally on an image, as it is with Trump, rather than a long history of political achievement or ideological consistency, any deterioration of that image can be especially perilous. For Trump, who may be more conscious of how he is perceived than any politician in history, the mockery is likely to be especially painful.
          Wolff, in some cases using on-the-record quotes, sketches an image far removed from the one constructed by Trump.
          It’s a picture of a President who knows little of policy details and cares less and appears not to perceive the vast responsibilities of his role.
          Sometimes, this version of Trump appears fragile and out of control, prone to emotional and impulsive reactions, and seems lonely in the White House. Wolff also claims Trump never really wanted the job of President at all.
          Some of Wolff’s reporting has been corroborated. But several errors have been identified. Former campaign CEO and White House adviser Steve Bannon, who is widely quoted and is now estranged from Trump as a result, has not denied comments attributed to him, however.
          The storm unleashed by the book, “Fire and Fury,” is a political nightmare for the White House.
          But even as it raged, Trump was, as always, conscious of how his image is playing.
          After details of the book leaked Wednesday, he released a statement saying Bannon “had very little to do with our historic victory” in 2016, characteristically claiming that his success is always his work alone.
          Then on Thursday, in a brief appearance before the cameras, Trump showed he had already noticed Bannon’s flattery on Breitbart radio, in his only comment so far on the book: “He called me a great man last night,” the President said.
          Sources told CNN on Wednesday that Trump was especially aggravated by Bannon’s assault on his family. There is a particularly cutting assessment of the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump in the book.
          “She was a nonevent on the campaign. She became a White House staffer and that’s when people suddenly realized she’s dumb as a brick. A little marketing savvy and has a look but as far as understanding actually how the world works and what politics is and what it means — nothing,” Bannon was quoted as saying by Wolff.
          No father would stand for such talk about his daughter. But for Trump, his family is especially important, because it’s an extension of himself, and his brand.
          “He doesn’t like attacks on the image of the Trump family, on the integrity of his children,” Trump biographer and CNN contributor Michael D’Antonio said. “At the end of the day, he’s really concerned about his image, himself and how he is being portrayed.”

          A delayed response

            Spicer on time in Trump White House

          Trump’s image is under siege, and “Fire and Fury” seems certain to widen the perception between the version of himself that the President wants America to see and the one that emerges from behind-the-scenes reports.
          After a slow start Wednesday, when the White House seemed almost as staggered as the rest of Washington about Bannon’s betrayal, Trump aides and friends sprang to his defense in a belated damage control effort.
          White House press secretary Sarah Sanders blasted the book as “tabloid gossip,” and pointedly pushed back at suggestions by Wolff that Trump did not want to win the election in 2016.
          “If you guys know anything, you know that Donald Trump is a winner and he’s not going to do something for the purpose of not coming out on top and not coming out as a winner,” she said. “That’s one of the most ridiculous things.”
          Trump’s lawyers fired off cease and desist letters to Bannon and to Wolff’s publisher. Trump friends Anthony Scaramucci and Christopher Ruddy toured cable news television studios to defend the President.
          The publisher, for its part, responded by moving up the release date to Friday.
          But any day when the White House has to rebut questions about the President’s mental stability is hardly a good one.
          And the Trump team’s attempt to discredit Wolff faces another complication: the fact that his book broadly tends to corroborate many themes that have arisen in existing news reports about Trump’s personality.
          In October, for instance, Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee raised questions about Trump’s temperament by describing his White House as an “adult day care center.”
          Last April, Axios quoted senior administration officials as saying there was a need to keep “smart, sane people around Trump to fight his worst impulses.”

            Ex-aide: Trump knows the Constitution

          And questions about Trump’s focus and struggle to master policy details have been around as long as his presidency.
          After the initial failure of an Obamacare repeal effort last March, a senior congressional source told CNN that “staff was for details, Trump was for closing,” adding that when it came to the intricacies of the bill, the President “didn’t know, didn’t care or both.”
          Sam Nunberg, a former campaign aide to Trump, is quoted in “Fire and Fury” as saying he was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate — and got only as far as the Fourth Amendment “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”
          Nunberg, appearing on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Thursday, did not deny the anecdote but suggested nuance was missing from Wolff’s account, saying as that as a candidate who was also running a business, Trump had “a ton of things to do.”

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