Thursday, September 26, 2013

Breaking News: Carriage horse flips out in midtown traffic

A horse-drawn carriage driver lost control of his steed and flipped his rig on a busy midtown street Thursday.

The horse was trotting up Eighth Ave. near W. 57th St. when he suddenly bolted, struck a car and flipped its carriage shortly after 10 a.m.

The horse was pinned briefly under the carriage, but managed to get up after a group of good Samaritans helped lift the rig.

Flesh-eating drug Krokodil shows up in US

The US has recorded the first cases of a new drug that eats flesh from the inside and leaves users with reptilian-like skin.


The homemade drug is known as Krokodil, and it’s extremely popular in Russia.  It has the same mental effect as using heroin but is three-times cheaper.

Users mix codeine with hydrocarbons, like gasoline, oil or alcohol. The mixture is then filtered and boiled before being injected into the vein.

Banner’s Poison Control Centre says the first two US cases have been reported in Arizona.

“As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we’re extremely frightened,” Dr Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at Banner’s Poison Control Centre told KLTV.

“They extract [the drug] and even though they believe that most of the oil and gasoline is gone, there is still remnants of it. You can imagine just injecting a little bit of it into your veins can cause a lot of damage.”
Continual use of Krokodil causes blood vessels to burst, leaving skin green and scaly and leading to gangrene.

Russia has 2.5 million people who have registered to seek treatment as addicts and the average life span for a user is only two to three years.

This story originally appeared on News.com.au.

Cory Booker’s e-flirt with raunchy stripper

Cory Booker has made an online friend who loves attention as much as he does — a bleached-blond, vegan stripper, with a topless photo on her Twitter page and a tattoo eagle flying out of her bikini bottom.


The Newark mayor, the Democratic candidate for Senate in New Jersey’s special election on Oct. 16, has been gushing over the Oregon pole-dancer on Twitter for months.

In one direct message he told her, “The East Coast loves you and by the East Coast, I mean me.”

Dancer Lynsie Lee — whose bare-breasted Twitter profile describes her as having “wits and t-ts” — has returned the love. She’s posted screen shots of her exchanges with Booker online and tweeted images of herself with pictures of him.

“Ohh just got a postcard from @CoryBooker in the mail. this is going under my pillow for later ;) ” she wrote alongside an image of her holding what looked like a signed campaign promotional photo of Booker.
“Thanks for the generous tweet,” Booker responded.

She also once tweeted “@CoryBooker if you’re ever POTUS I call dibs on First Lady.”

The lusty Lee works at a go-go hall in Portland called Casa Diablo, which bills itself as the world’s first vegan strip club, since the dishes on their bar menu are all meat-free.

“We keep the meat on the pole, not on the plate ;) ” tweeted Lee, whose large collection of tattoos includes a gun on her leg.

She and Booker have been sending private tweets to each other since February.

According to BuzzFeed, the two started conversing over Twitter after they appeared in a film about the social Web site called “Follow Friday: The Film.”

She even sent Booker a tweet asking if he was going to the film’s premiere. He responded by saying he had a dinner to attend, but asked if she was going.

Lee revealed the communication in March during a Twitter tussle with an Ohio women who had battled with her about who had dibs on being first lady if Booker became president.

On Wednesday, Booker’s camp argued that the unmarried mayor was hardly engaged in a flirtation. “I think it’s pretty well known that the mayor talks with people from all walks of life on Twitter,” said spokesman Kevin Griffis. “Really, the most shocking part of this story was learning there is a vegan strip club in Portland.”

Bum in train shove had asked co-ed for money

A deranged man pushed a pretty college student in front of an oncoming Metro-North train on Wednesday — but she miraculously survived, authorities said.


Maya Leggat, 21, was standing on the northbound platform of the White Plains station at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday when the 39-year-old homeless man came up from behind and shoved her just as an empty train barreled into the station, law-enforcement sources said.

The train struck Leggat as commuters looked on in horror.

A witness told CBS Leggat was pushed after refusing the man’s request for money.

MTA cops, who were already at the station, scrambled down to the tracks to rescue and calm the conscious victim, authorities said.

The Hunter College student was rushed to Westchester County Medical Center, where doctors tried to repair a severed artery in her leg, sources said.

“She’s gonna need multiple surgeries on her leg — it could take months.” a family member told The New York Post. “She also has a head injury. She’s cut up pretty bad.”

Police arrested Howard Mickens at the station and charged him with attempted homicide.

The suspect, who lives in a homeless shelter, has 11 previous arrests, according to The Journal News.

Witnesses said Mickens has been a nuisance at the train station recently.

“We are very angry because we found out that the guy was hanging out at that station for the last six months causing problems,” the family member said.

Leggat was in surgery last night and listed in critical condition, but was expected to survive, sources said.

Interpol launch global hunt for ‘White Widow’

LONDON — Interpol, acting on a Kenyan request, issued an arrest notice Thursday for Samantha Lewthwaite, the fugitive Briton whom news media have dubbed the “white widow.”


Lewthwaite, 29, is a Muslim convert whose first husband participated in the 2005 London suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters on subways and a bus. Kenyan authorities want her in connection to a 2011 plot to bomb holiday resorts there.

There is no evidence linking her to last week’s terrorist attack on an upscale Nairobi shopping mall, and the Interpol notice did not mention it. But comments from Kenya’s foreign minister that a British woman was involved led some UK news media to speculate that Lewthwaite participated in the attack, which killed scores of people.

The Interpol notice said Lewthwaite is wanted on charges of possessing explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony in December 2011.

If she indeed embraced the jihadi cause, it would mark a dramatic turnaround for the grieving widow who originally criticized her late husband, Jermaine Lindsay, for taking part in the London transit attacks.

She told The Sun newspaper two months after the attacks that her husband had fallen under the influence of imams at radical mosques.

“How these people could have turned him and poisoned his mind is dreadful,” she was quoted as saying.

“He was an innocent, naive and simple man. I suppose he must have been an ideal candidate. He was so angry when he saw Muslim civilians being killed on the streets of Iraq, Bosnia, Palestine and Israel — and always said it was the innocent who suffered.”

Lewthwaite, the daughter of a former British soldier, was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in Aylesbury, a commuter hub northwest of London.

She converted to Islam — reportedly while in her teens — and went on to study religion and politics at the School Of Oriental and African Studies in London. It was around that time she met Lindsay, first in an Internet chat room and later at a London demonstration against the war in Iraq.

The coupled married in an Islamic ceremony on Oct. 30, 2002, and moved back to Aylesbury a year later.

Local city councilor Raj Khan, who knew Lewthwaite’s relatives in Aylesbury, recalls her as “an average, British, young, ordinary girl.”

“She was not strong-headed. And that’s why I find it absolutely amazing that she is supposed to be the head of an international criminal terrorist organization,” he told Britain’s Press Association.

Fifteen days after the London attacks, Lewthwaite gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter. In the immediate aftermath of the bombings, she insisted that her husband — a carpet fitter — “wasn’t the sort of person who’d do this.”

After it became clear the Jamaica-born Briton had been involved, Lewthwaite condemned the attacks — and then stayed largely out of view until March 2012, when her name surfaced in a Kenyan investigation into terror funding.

Officials at first said they were looking for someone using her identity — then later said they were looking for her. They alleged that Lewthwaite and other foreigners traveled to Kenya in late 2011 to plan a bomb attack on the Kenyan coast over the Christmas holidays.

Authorities said Lewthwaite — who was pregnant by her new Kenyan husband — was in charge of finances for the planned attack, and suspected she had rented several houses in upmarket areas in Mombasa to assemble a bomb.

The group was allegedly collaborating with Kenyans sympathetic to al-Shabab, the Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate that has claimed responsibility for the Kenyan mall attack.

Kenyan anti-terrorism police suspected Lewthwaite was working with Musa Hussein Abdi, who was shot dead with an al Qaeda boss in Somalia in June 2011. In December 2011, they found a woman they believed to be Lewthwaite in his house but let her go after she showed them a South African passport.

Police later realized the passport was fraudulent and returned to the house, but she was gone.

Officials believe she fled to Somalia that same month.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Navy Yard shooter was dumped by Thai crush


The madman who massacred a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard fell hard for a woman he met on a trip to Thailand – but she dumped him when he invited her back the US to shack up.
Aaron Alexis visited the Asian country for about 45 days in 2012, supposedly to improve his language skills and learn about Thai culture, according to Nutpisit Suthamtewakul, the owner of a Thai restaurant in Texas, where Alexis worked.
But instead, “he went to massage parlors,” chased women, and developed a serious “crush” on one particular female, Suthamtewakul told Britain’s channel 4.
But when she scorned him, the troubled Navy vet said it was because the woman “didn’t like black people,” Suthamtewakul said.
Alexis, 34, worked for three years as a deliveryman and waiter at the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant in Fort Worth, where he roomed with Suthamtewakul, until two months ago when the restaurateur got hitched.
The gunman was a regular at the Wat Busaya Dhammavanaram Meditation Center of Fort Worth, according to head monk Kasem Pundisto, 51.
“He just upset with his life and need to be going to the monk, seeking something like happiness,” the monk said.
Pundisto said that Alexis lived for a time in a house behind the Buddhist temple and would come to hour-long meditation sessions two or three times a week.
But Som Sak Srisan, 57, who owned the house, said Alexis was looking for more than enlightenment.
“He tried looking for Thai lady. He tried to catch lady in temple,” he said.
Another monk, Pra Samor Nathathammo, said the psycho was less interested in religion than in learning the language.
“All he said was that he could speak Thai and he had a girlfriend in Thailand. He was here to learn Thai, not really an interest in religion, but to learn Thai or the culture,” the monk said.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Developing Story: Truck Slams into Scaffolding at Brooklyn Subway Station


A truck slammed into scaffolding at the Smith-9th Street subway stop in Brooklyn Saturday afternoon, causing a temporary suspension of service at the station. 
 

Scaffolding on a walkway at the Carroll Gardens station collapsed as a result of the accident at around 1 p.m., according to Fire Dept. officials, who said there were no injuries.
 
Northbound F and G trains bypassed the station for a brief period during the afternoon as a result of a police investigation.

Cheerleading most dangerous sport for females

Football players aren’t the only jocks with a concussion problem.


Cheerleading is by far the most dangerous role for female athletes, yet girls who suffer concussions often don’t recognize that they’re injured, a new study found.

The study of junior and senior high-school cheerleaders found that 37 percent had symptoms of a concussion but failed to report them.

The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, noted a sharp increase of hospital emergency visits by cheerleaders, from 4,954 in 1980 to 26,786 in 2007.

The study noted that cheerleading accounts for 66 percent of catastrophic sports injuries — the kind that shorten lives or result in permanent disability or long-term medical conditions — among girls.

Some 6 percent of all cheerleaders’ injuries are concussions, which are defined as “traumatically induced alterations in mental status” caused by damage to the head.

Cheerleaders are frequently allowed to return to the game after an injury, because doctors rely on them to evaluate themselves.

But — since girls often don’t appreciate their injuries or just want to get back to the game — they should be given neurocognitive testing, researchers concluded.

Riders hail comic conductor in train crisis

Don’t worry — if this were terrorism we’d already be dead!


A sassy subway conductor used a little dark humor to calm a car full of anxious commuters who were stuck in a tunnel for almost two hours during the Friday morning rush.

“I can’t tell you how long it will be, but at least we know it’s not a terrorist attack — because they would have blown us up by now, or let out the gas or whatever and killed us,” Paquita Williams, 55, cheerfully told riders, according to straphanger Laura Lane.

“So that’s good. Just be calm. Everyone bust out Candy Crush. You have air conditioning. Relax!”

Williams, of Jamaica, Queens, told The Post she was operating the A train out of Lefferts Boulevard when there was a power outage around 9 a.m. near 81st Street.

The first thing she did was reassure everyone the stop had nothing to do with terrorism.

“She was really hilarious about the situation and cracking jokes. She was so funny,” said Lane, 28, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“Everyone went from upset and annoyed to being super calm. Her sense of humor about the situation loosened everyone in the car up.”

Many riders took pictures of her, and some shot video.

Williams helped find snacks for a diabetic woman, and gave out paper towels and hand sanitizer to riders who out of desperation relieved themselves between cars.

“I hope this is in the news so my boss finally believes me,” grumbled one passenger who was late for work.

The train was held for an hour and 47 minutes, and most riders showed incredible calm — laughing and bonding with one another.

Williams chatted with a nanny and looked at pictures of the children she took care of. She also told riders how they could get paperwork proving they were late because of the train.

“One lady joked, ‘Let’s do it again — the same time, same place!’ Everyone felt a connection with her,” said Lane.

Only one customer lost his cool, telling Williams, “I need to read the manual and learn how to fix the f–king train.”

But the mother of four, who has three foster daughters, drew on her experience as a mom to keep
calm.

“I said, ‘It’s not the train, it’s the power!’ ”

“I got teenagers and a 4-year-old,” she said. “When the guy was yelling and cursing, it was in one ear and out the other.”

The power outage was caused when a metal plate on the tracks somehow made contact with the third rail near 81st Street, according to an MTA spokesman.

Four A and D trains were stuck — including one with a pregnant rider, who fainted and had to wait almost 90 minutes before she could leave the subway for medical treatment.

Williams’ co-workers weren’t surprised that she kept everyone calm and amused.

“That’s who she is,” said terminal dispatcher Rafael Martinez, 55. “She takes over and does what she needs to do to make sure everyone is comfortable and taken care of.”

Obama plans strike if new Syria deal fails

GENEVA  — After days of intense negotiations, the United States and Russia reached agreement Saturday on a framework to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014 and impose U.N. penalties if the Assad government fails to comply.


The deal, announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva, includes what Kerry called “a shared assessment” of the weapons stockpile, and a timetable and measures for Syrian President Bashar Assad to follow so that the full inventory can be identified and seized.

The U.S. and Russia agreed to immediately press for a U.N. Security Council resolution that enshrines the chemical weapons agreement under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can authorize both the use of force and nonmilitary measures.

President Barack Obama made clear that “if diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act.”

Russia, which already has rejected three resolutions on Syria, would be sure to veto a U.N. move toward military action, and U.S. officials said they did not contemplate seeking such an authorization.

“The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments,” Kerry told a packed news conference at the hotel where negotiations were conducted since Thursday night. “There can be no games, no room for avoidance or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime.”

It was not immediately clear whether Syria had signed onto the agreement, which requires Damascus to submit a full inventory of its stocks within the next week. Russia does have a close relationship with Syria and holds influence over its Mideast ally.

Kerry and Lavrov emphasized that the deal sends a strong message not just to Syria but to the world, too, that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

Lavrov added, cautiously, “We understand that the decisions we have reached today are only the beginning of the road.”

The deal is considered critical to breaking the international stalemate blocking a resumption of peace talks to end the Syrian civil war, now in its third year.

Under the framework agreement, international inspectors are to be on the ground in Syria by November. During that month, they are to complete their initial assessment and all mixing and filling equipment for chemical weapons is to be destroyed.

The deal calls for all components of the chemical weapons program to be removed from the country or destroyed by mid-2014.

“Ensuring that a dictator’s wanton use of chemical weapons never again comes to pass, we believe is worth pursuing and achieving,” Kerry said.

Noncompliance by the Assad government or any other party would be referred to the 15-nation Security Council by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. That group oversees the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria this week agreed to join.

The group’s director-general, Ahmet Uzumcu, spoke of adopting “necessary measures” to put in place “an accelerated program to verify the complete destruction” of Syria’s chemical weapons, production facilities and “other relevant capabilities.”

The U.S. and Russia are two of the five permanent Security Council members with a veto. The others are Britain, China, and France.

“There is an agreement between Russia and the United States that non-compliance is going to be held accountable within the Security Council under Chapter 7,” Kerry said. “What remedy is chosen is subject to the debate within the council, which is always true. But there’s a commitment to impose measures.”

Lavrov indicated there would be limits to using such a resolution.

“Any violations of procedures … would be looked at by the Security Council and if they are approved, the Security Council would take the required measures, concrete measures,” Lavrov said.
“Nothing is said about the use of force or about any automatic sanctions.”

Kerry spoke of a commitment, in the event of Syrian noncompliance, to “impose measures commensurate with whatever is needed in terms of the accountability.”

The agreement offers no specific penalties. Given that a thorough investigation of any allegation of noncompliance is required before any possible action, Moscow could drag out the process or veto measures it deems too harsh.

Kerry stressed that the U.S. believes the threat of force is necessary to back the diplomacy, and U.S. officials have Obama retains the right to launch military strikes without U.N. approval to protect American national security interests.

“I have no doubt that the combination of the threat of force and the willingness to pursue diplomacy helped to bring us to this moment,” Kerry said.

But a leading U.S. senator expressed concerns that without the threat of force, it’s not clear “how Syrian compliance will be possible under the terms of any agreement.”

Republican lawmaker Bob Corker of Tennessee said Syria’s “willingness to follow through is very much an open question” and he did not want the negotiations to signal a “retreat from our broader national interests,” including support for “moderate” opposition forces in Syria.

Under the deal, the U.S. and Russia are giving Syria just one week, until Sept. 21, to submit “a comprehensive listing, including names, types and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.”

International inspectors, the U.S. and Russia agreed, should be on the ground in Syria by November and complete their initial work by the end of the month. They must be given “immediate and unfettered” access to inspect all sites.

Kerry said the two sides had come to agreement on the exact size of Syria’s weapons stockpile, a sticking point.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the negotiations, said the U.S. and Russia agreed that Syria had roughly 1,000 metric tons of chemical weapons agents and precursors, including blister agents, such as sulfur and mustard gas and nerve agents like sarin.

These officials said the two sides did not agree on the number of chemical weapons sites in Syria.

U.S. intelligence believes Syria has about 45 sites associated with chemicals weapons, half of which have “exploitable quantities” of material that could be used in munitions. The Russian estimate is considerably lower; the officials would not say by how much.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe all the stocks remain in government control, the officials said.

U.N. inspectors are preparing to submit their own report this weekend. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he expected “an overwhelming report” that chemical weapons were indeed used on the outskirts of Damascus on Aug. 21.

A U.N. statement said Ban hoped the agreement will prevent further use of such weapons and “help pave the path for a political solution to stop the appalling suffering inflicted on the Syrian people.”

Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, said Saturday’s development was “a significant step forward.” Germany said that “if deeds now follow the words, the chances of a political solution will rise significantly,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.

Obama called for a limited military strike against Assad’s forces in response, then deferred seeking congressional approval to consider the Russian proposal.

The commander of the Free Syrian Army rebel group, Gen. Salim Idris, told a news conference in Turkey that the Russian initiative would “buy time” and that rebels will continue “fighting the regime and work for bringing it down.”

He said that if international inspectors come to Syria in order to inspect chemical weapons, “we will facilitate their passages but there will be no cease-fire.” The FSA will not block the work of U.N. inspectors, he said, and the “inspectors will not be subjected to rebel fire when they are in regime-controlled areas.”

Idris said Kerry told him by telephone that “the alternative of military strikes is still on the table.”

Dozens feared washed away in ‘historic’ Colo. floods

LYONS, Colo. — By air and by land, the rescue of hundreds of Coloradoans stranded by epic mountain flooding was accelerating as food and water supplies ran low, while thousands more were driven from their homes on the plains as debris-filled rivers became muddy seas inundating towns and farms miles from the Rockies.


For the first time since the harrowing mountain floods began Wednesday, Colorado got its first broad view of the devastation — and the reality of what is becoming a long-term disaster is setting in. The flooding has affected parts of a 4,500-square-mile area, almost the size of Connecticut.

National Guard choppers were evacuating 295 people — plus pets — from the mountain hamlet of Jamestown, which was isolated by flooding that scoured the canyon the town sits in.

Helicopters continued to fly in and out late into the night. National Guard truck convoys to rescue residents of the town of Lyons to the northeast resumed Saturday morning and helicopters were headed back to the mountain communities.

The Guard had evacuated total of 518 people by ground by Saturday morning, and additional helicopters were going to be put in the air to aid with the rescue efforts, Master Sgt. Cheresa Theiral said.

“We’re going wherever we’re being tasked, whether that’s Greeley and Weld County, whether that’s Arvada and Jefferson County. We have the ability to go whenever, wherever,” Theiral said.

The outlook for anyone who’d rather stay is weeks without power, cellphone service, water or sewer.

“Essentially, what they were threatening us with is, ‘If you stay here, you may be here for a month,’” said 79-year-old Dean Hollenbaugh, who was evacuated by Chinook helicopter from Jamestown, northwest of Boulder.

For those awaiting an airlift, Guardsmen dropped food, water and other supplies in Jamestown and other small towns in the winding, narrow canyons that dot the Rocky Mountain foothills.

Thousands of evacuees sought shelter from mountain communities to downriver towns where the rivers were still swelling and spilling over their banks Saturday.

One was Mary Hemme, 62, who displayed a pair of purple socks as she sat outside the Lifebridge Christian Church in Longmont. They’re a memento of the more than 30 hours she spent in an elementary school in the flood-stricken mountain town of Lyons. Many evacuees — eventually rescued by National Guard trucks — got socks because most of them had wet feet, Hemme said.

She recalled the sirens blared at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“Mary we have to go, this place is flooding,” she recalled her friend Kristen Vincent saying as they clambered out of a trailer.

“And we stepped out of the trailer, onto the ground where the cars were parked, and it already like this, almost to our knees,” she said. “It wasn’t just sitting there. It was rushing at us.”

Soon the trailer, like others in the park where she was staying, was submerged.

Hemme said she walked up at hill a daybreak and surveyed the trailer park.

“The most terrifying thing was when I climbed up on that cliff and looked down. It was the meanest, most — I mean, no wonder it carries cars like toys,” Hemme said. “I was so afraid that I was going to die, that water came so fast.”

The dayslong rush of water from higher ground has killed four people and turned towns on Colorado’s expansive eastern plains into muddy swamps. Crews used inflatable boats to rescue families and pets from stranded farmhouses. Some evacuees on horseback had to be escorted to safe ground.

Boulder County officials said Friday night that the number of people unaccounted for had risen to 172, according to local television and newspaper reports. The officials said earlier that the unaccounted for figure doesn’t necessarily represent missing people.

“It means we haven’t heard back from them,” county spokesman James Burrus said.

The city of Boulder reported late Friday that the rushing waters had caused “a significant breach in its main wastewater pipeline” to the treatment plant, but officials said it would not affect drinking water.

Near Greeley, some 35 miles east of the foothills, broad swaths of farmland had become lakes, and the raging South Platte and Poudre rivers led to rescues of stranded residents late into the night, the Greeley Tribune reported.

Hundreds of roads were closed or damaged by floodwaters, and a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 25 was
closed from Denver to the Wyoming line.

Rocky Mountain National Park closed Friday, its visitors forced to leave via the 60-mile Trail Ridge Road to the west side of the Rockies.

It will be weeks, if not months, before a semblance of normalcy returns to Lyons, a gateway community to the park. The town, surrounded by sandstone cliffs whose color was reflected in the raging St. Vrain River, consisted of six islands Friday as residents barbecued their food before it spoiled. Several people set up a tent camp on a hill.

Some 2,500 residents were being evacuated from Lyons, but Hilary Clark was left walking around her neighborhood Friday.

Two bridges that led into the area were washed away. Unlike other parts of Lyons that had been reached by the National Guard in high clearance trucks, no such help had arrived for Clark.

“We’re surviving on what we got,” she said. “Some of us have ponds in our backyard and we’re using that water and boiling it.”

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said recovery would be long and expensive — similar to wildfires the state is more familiar with.

“Please be patient. This is an unprecedented event,” Pelle said.

Friday, September 13, 2013

No regrets for man who ripped mom in obit that went viral

The man who helped write a brutal obituary for his mother that went viral online says he has no regrets and sang Ding Dong the Witch is Dead when he heard she had died.


Patrick Reddick and his sister Katherine Reddick, a teacher, co-wrote the scathing obit outing their late mother Marianne Johnson-Reddick, who they said was an “evil and violent” child abuser who made their lives a living hell. The obituary, published in the Reno Gazette-Journal on Sept 10, quickly went viral around the world.

Reddick told the MailOnline he smiled and felt overwhelming relief when he learned his mother had died. Since her death, he has been sleeping better knowing she can’t hurt him anymore, he said.

He and his brothers and sisters are planning a party at the end of the month to celebrate their mother’s death.

“While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show
compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love,” the scathing obit read. ”Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.”

The obituary, which has since been yanked from the paper’s website, went on: “On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty and shame that she delivered on her children.”

Reddick beat her children when they returned from foster care in a children’s home on the weekends, and made them sleep on the floor while she ran a prostitution business from home, Mr Reddick said.

He does not keep photos of his mother because they make him nervous.

When Patrick Reddick returned to see his mother for the last time, he was so scared he asked doctors to sedate her and wore sunglasses so she wouldn’t recognize him if she woke up, he said.

Patrick Reddick also revealed his mother had been a former nun. Not all of her six surviving children were on board with the vicious obit, since two of his siblings turned out “exactly like” their mother.

The obituary was designed to “shame her”, he admitted.

“She thrashed the maternal instinct out of her children and replaced it with the hate she had for us.

We wanted people doing this to their kids to ask themselves: Do you want this to be your legacy? Do you want this to be your obituary?” he said.

The Reno-Gazette Journal reports Reddick died from bladder cancer and was a ward of Nevada. She died alone in a trailer park, surrounded by her 13 cats.

Jersey Shore boardwalk fire ‘suspicious’

A raging  fire that gutted more than 30 Jersey Shore boardwalk businesses and took all night to put out  looks “suspicious” — and is being investigated by prosecutors, sources said.


Investigators are eyeing arson because it was a midday fire with no bad weather and no obvious cause or injuries, sources told ABC News.

Officials have not yet been able to investigate the cause  because the boardwalk was still smoldering on Friday afternoon but they are looking into all possibilities, sources said.

“Fire of this magnitude with no obvious cause goes to the lead investigative agency in the county, which in this case is the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office,” an  official told ABC News.

The fire erupted at Kohr’s Custard Stand on Thursday, leaving six blocks of the iconic in boardwalk in Seaside Park blackened with rubble.

On Friday, business owners rushed to the still-smoldering site, where some shops were left without roofs and walls.

Business owners — some  of whom had just recovered from Hurricane Sandy Damage — were shocked to see the war-zone-like scene.

“The whole front of [my] building got burned. We don’t know whether [we have to] tear the whole building down,” said John Sundermann, 57,  who owns Big Hearted John’s shop.

https://twitter.com/GovChristie/status/378530609846812672/photo/1

Other business owners, who suffered less damages,  said they felt lucky.

“Nobody had seen this coming. I don’t know how these other guys will rebuild… It’s their main source of income,” said Daniel Shauger, 41, who manages Funtown Arcade, which suffered only minor damages.

A small corner of the arcade shop had been burned, he said.

“It was spared. You wouldn’t think the building would be here in the morning,” Shauger said.
Heartbroken neighbors also starred in shock as firefighters sprayed the boardwalk with water.

“Just to have it gone. You just want to cry,” Shirley Kreszl, 62, told The New York Post with tears in her eyes.

“It just kind of knocks the wind out of you…It’s like a piece of you got damaged,” she said.

Many of the businesses wiped out by the fire had only just re-opened this past summer, after being closed for months in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, she said.

Gov. Chris Christie also spoke briefly near the boardwalk to encourage relief efforts.

“We will not let these fires destroy [Sandy recovery ] efforts,” he said.

The inferno began at about 2:30 pm on Thursday and damaged roughly 30 businesses, Christie said.
Strong winds up top 20 to 30 mph winds pushed the fire through six blocks of the boardwalk — racking up millions of dollars in damage, sources said.

The cause of the blaze is unknown and still being investigated, he said. The fire was worsened by the custard shop’s rubber roof and 30 mile-an-hour winds, he said.

Many of the businesses wiped out by the fire had only just re-opened this past summer, after being closed for months in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a witness said.

Dozens of firefighters worked until dawn to control the blaze, pouring sand and water on smoldering rubble after the fire was contained on Thursday night at around 11 pm, Christie said.

On Thursday night, firefighters dug a trench and ripped out a 25-foot chunk of the iconic boardwalk to prevent the blaze from spreading. Other workers shoveled makeshift dunes to stop the fire.

Roughly 100 firefighters remained at the scene overnight to ensure the fire would not reignite.

A total of roughly 400 firefighters, some of them volunteers, responded to the fire. None suffered serious injuries.

The boardwalk became a symbol of the storm’s destruction after it washed much of the area in to the ocean last year.

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – September 14-15

The Outerbridge Crossing will be closed in both directions between 10 pm to 5 am Monday nights through Friday mornings and from 11:59 pm Friday to 7 am on Saturdays through October to facilitate Port Authority roadway repairs and paving. Motorists should plan alternate routes or follow posted detours to the Goethals Bridge.
 
Mulberry Street between Canal Street and East Houston Street, Grand Street between Mott Street and Centre Street, and Hester Street between Mott Street and Centre Street will be closed from Thursday, September 12 through Sunday, September 22 from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm for the San Gennaro Festival.
 
The following streets will be closed on Saturday:
  • Front Street and Water Street between Peck Slip and Dover Street, and Peck Slip between South Street and Water Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 9 pm for the Seaport Alliance Restaurant Mall.
  • Hamilton Place between West 136th Street and West 138th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 9 am to 3 pm for DOT Weekend Walks – Uptown Pops.
  • Broadway between 47th Street and 57th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Guardian Angels and St. Patrick’s Fair.
  • Woodside Avenue between Roosevelt Avenue and 65th Place and 61st Street between Roosevelt Avenue and Woodside Avenue in Queens will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for Woodside on the Move Woodside Avenue Festival.
 
The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
  • 8th Avenue between 42nd Street and 57th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the 47th Street Block Association & N.E.C.O Fair.
  • Amsterdam Avenue between West 106th Street and West 110th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 5 pm for DOT Weekend Walks.
  • Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 111th Street and 136th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 1 pm to 6 pm for the African–American Day Parade.
  • Lexington Avenue between 79th Street and 96th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the 92nd Street Y Lexington Avenue Street Festival.
  • Madison Avenue between 38th Street and 27th Street, 37th Street and 38th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue, and 27th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 4 pm for the Mexican Day Parade.
  • Cortelyou Road between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Flatbush Frolic.
  • 5th Avenue between 44th Street and 59th Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Sunset Park 5th Avenue Street Festival.
  • Montague Street between Clinton Street and Hicks Street in Brooklyn will be closed from noon to 5 pm for DOT Weekend Walks Summer Space.
  • Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Wyckoff Avenue in Queens will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Myrtle Avenue BID Myrtle Avenue Festival.
 
The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.
 
Detailed information on weekend street closures will be available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.

Putin drunkenly arm-wrestled with US congressman

Tough-guy Vladimir Putin demonstrated his arm-wrestling prowess in a drunken bout at a Washington bar a decade ago — and easily beat a Republican congressman.


Dana Rohrbacher, a former Ronald Reagan speechwriter, recalled in a radio interview Friday how he lost the mini-bout.

Rohrbacher, who has represented a Southern California district since 1989, said he met “a group of young political leaders” visiting from Russia in the early 1993s.

Among them was Putin, then the little-known deputy mayor of St. Petersburg.

Putin and two other Russians were introduced to touch football by Rohbacher and other players,
including Lewis “Scooter” Libby, later chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

“A bunch of my right-wing friends were there,” Rohrbacher told KPCC-FM. “We all ended up going to the Irish Times pub afterwards. And we were having a little bit too much to drink I guess.”

“But anyway we started arguing about who won the Cold War, et. And so we decided to settle it like men do when they’ve had too much to drink in a pub,” he said.

“So we got down to these arm-wrestling matches and I ended up being paired with Putin,” said Rohbacher, who is six years older.

“And he’s just a little guy but boy I tell you, he put me down in a milli-second. His muscles are just unbelievable.”

Rohrbacher said the lesson he learned was: “He’s a tough guy, and he’s supposed to be a tough guy.

That’s what the Russian people want. But that’s not a reason we shouldn’t work with him.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Breaking News: Massive fire on Seaside Park, New Jersey boardwalk

Fire crews are on the scene battling a blaze on the boardwalk in Seaside Park, New Jersey. The fire is believed to have started at the Kohr's Frozen Custard shop.
  Multiple units have reported to the scene of the five alarm fire.

Rescuers on the scene say the fire has spread to other buildings.

There was no immediate word on how this fire started.

Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd says several firefighters and residents were being treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kohr's is located on a boardwalk that was rebuilt following extensive damage from Sandy.

This is also the same area where a roller coaster that was pushed into the ocean during Sandy became an enduring image of the storm.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Heroes lift SUV off kids after man mows down girls near school

An out-of-control driver plowed an SUV into a group of middle school students, seriously injuring them near a Queens school this morning – and heroic passersby lifted the massive vehicle off of two girls who were trapped underneath.


The SUV barreled into the kids so quickly, that the first girl struck never saw it coming, and was tossed airborne over the crowded Maspeth sidewalk, ponytail flying, according to surveillance video of the crash obtained by The New York Post.

“I heard people screaming, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ and I saw two little girls underneath the car,” an emotional David Foubister, 40, recounted of helping free the trapped victims.

“Like ten other guys did their best to try to lift the car up as much as we could to get to the girls,” said Foubister, at truck driver who had been walking his dog at around 7:50 a.m. when he happened on the bloody scene at Grand Avenue and 71st Street, across from the Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School No. 73.

A total of one boy and four girls were badly hurt when the silver Honda Pilot SUV jumped the curb, toppled a traffic sign and a parking meter, and then plowed into the crowd.

The victims were taken to Elmhurst Hospital in serious but stable condition, according to the FDNY.

One was later transferred to North Shore Hospital.

The driver, whose name was not released, passed a breath test at the scene, and is believed to have accidently hit the gas when he meant to hit the brakes as he parked at the curb.

He is not expected to face criminal charges, though it is unclear if he will be ticketed for any driving violations.

Two of the girls had been eating breakfast sandwiches from a nearby deli as they walked to school moments before being pinned, Foubister said.

“We did what anybody would do,” he said. “The sandwiches are still underneath the car,” he said as police worked the scene.

“I just wanted to help those girls. They were in a state of shock about what happened. There were a lot of broken bones.”

The driver seemed shell shocked, he added – “Like a deer in headlights.”

The car was fully on the sidewalk when it finally came to a stop against a “Do Not Enter” sign, authorities said. The car left no skid marks, and witnesses said he did not appear to have braked.

Melanie Huerta, 12 – a 7th grader at IS 73 – had just stepped off of her bus when the carnage erupted at her feet.

“If I took one step I could’ve gotten hit,” she told The New York Post. “The car just came out of nowhere and I saw the car crash into my friend Ashley. She got stuck under the car. Then I saw other people just stop and try to pick up the car. I was shocked. I was shaking. The driver also got out to help lift the car.”

“Everyone was screaming,” recalled another good Samaritan, Mike Filacouris, 28, who rushed to the scene from nearby Grand Supply hardware store, where he works as manager. “I saw the girl’s leg was mangled. It looks like it was just a bad accident and I’m just glad the kids are alive.”

Although police have not determined a cause, New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who rushed to the scene and spoke with reporters, blamed the accident on driver error.

“It was the driver’s mistake,” she said. “He was parking the car to drop his child off at school and he pressed in the gas instead of the brake. He thought he was slowing down but he pushed the gas and jumped the curb.”

Another school, PS 58, School of Heroes, is just two blocks away.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bill de Blasio, Christine Quinn predict runoff


Democratic candidates Bill De Blasio and Christine Quinn both predicted Monday that the mayoral primary will lead to a runoff between the top two vote-getters, even as polls indicated the first-place de Blasio could do well enough to win the nomination outright on Tuesday.
Undecided voters could be a critical factor in determining whether de Blasio gets to the 40 percent needed to avoid an Oct. 1 runoff, according to the newest Quinnipiac University poll.
De Blasio, the city's public advocate, led among likely Democratic primary voters with 39 percent, followed by 25 percent for former Comptroller Bill Thompson, 18 percent for City Council Speaker Quinn, 6 percent for former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner and 4 percent for Comptroller John Liu. There were 8 percent undecided.
Six days earlier, a Quinnipiac poll showed de Blasio at 43 percent. Despite the small slippage, "he's ever so close," said poll director Maurice Carroll, whose survey of 782 likely Democratic primary voters taken between Sept. 6 and 8 had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
On Sunday night, a Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll showed de Blasio with 36 percent support among Democrats likely to vote, while Thompson and Quinn had 20 percent each, trailed by Weiner and Liu at 5 percent. That poll also showed 8 percent undecided.
"The numbers say that there will be a runoff. And we want people to be clear about that and to be girded for the next phase of this battle," de Blasio said in Brooklyn as he greeted parents and students at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens, which he had represented on the school board and as a City Council member.
The Democratic candidates Monday mounted all-day, all-out final pushes for votes.
"It would be nice to sleep," de Blasio told reporters. "It's been a long, long road. It's been a good road. Very gratifying how much support we've received."
Quinn, visiting businesses in Jackson Heights, said she was "very confident that I'm going to end up in the runoff, and then we'll win the runoff three weeks after that."
She added, "I also knew this would be a fight till the end. But you know what, what New Yorkers want and need in a mayor is a fighter."
Thompson was on a 24-hour-plus, five-borough tour that was not scheduled to end until Tuesday morning's rush hour in Harlem.
Thompson held a rally in front of City Hall attended by more than 100 supporters, including United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew. He called on New Yorkers to ignore the poll results and vote.
"These polls are inaccurate," Thompson said, recalling his unexpectedly close 2009 loss against Mayor Mike Bloomberg. "Bill Thompson 2009 -- the polls were inaccurate; 2013 -- is there anything that's different? It's still inaccurate."
Quinn was stumping in Manhattan and Queens through the evening, and Weiner and Liu planned to be out from morning until late Monday night.
In the morning, Weiner was testy during a "Today" show interview over questions about his sexting scandals and the role in his campaign of his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "She's my wife, I love her deeply, but I'm the candidate," Weiner said.
On the Republican side, front-runner Joe Lhota is spending the bulk of his last day before Tuesday's primary campaigning at private events. The former MTA chief and deputy mayor kicked off the morning at a $2,500-a-table-minimum fundraiser at the New York Hilton in midtown hosted by business titans James Tisch, Ken Langone and John Whitehead.
More than 200 people dined on fruit salad, pastries and bagels while listening to Lhota speak about why he should be mayor. Most of the donors at the breakfast have given his campaign the maximum legally allowed contribution, $4,950, said his spokeswoman Jessica Proud.
Opinion polls have put Lhota far in front of his nearest rival, billionaire John Catsimatidis, who is funding his campaign from his grocery and oil fortune.
Carroll said the undecided voters mean a great deal to de Blasio and the chances for a runoff. "If de Blasio picks up just a few of those undecided voters, he's over the top," Carroll said. "In our last few days of polling, however, we're seeing the movement to 2009 Democratic nominee William Thompson.
In the comptroller's race, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has moved ahead with 50 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, the Quinnipiac poll said.
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer had 43 percent, with another 7 percent undecided. Among those who named a candidate, 13 percent said there is a "good chance" they will change their mind by Tuesday.
The previous Quinnipiac poll showed Stringer with 47 percent, Spitzer with 45 percent. The Wall Street Journal-NBC 4 New York-Marist poll Sunday showed Spitzer with 47 percent and Stringer with 45 percent, a statistical tie.

9/11 Ceremony Street Closures - Wednesday, September 11


The following locations will be closed from 7 am to 5 pm:
  • Areas bounded by Vesey Street on the North; Battery Place on the South; Broadway on the East; West Street on the West; All Inclusive
  • State Street between Battery Place and Whitehall Street

This information is available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/weektraf.shtml#manhattan

Drug dealers text customers: ‘We’re closed for Shabbat’


These dealers answer to a “higher” authority.
An observant bunch of Brooklyn drug slingers announced to their clientele through mass texts they would be working shortened hours — in honor of Shabbat, according to a criminal complaint.
The group of five men were slapped with with a slew of drug and conspiracy charges after after investigators found that the men had been texting customers with detailed instructions about how to pick up their supplies of cocaine, heroin and oxycodone — and even warned against showing up after sundown on a Friday or before sundown on Saturday.
Prosecutors charge that Jack Zibak, Jack Zaibak, Eduard Sorin, David Gerowitz and Philip Mandel sold the drugs from their den on Bedford Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, including more than 23,000 pills of oxycodone carrying a street value of approximately $460,000, according to the criminal complaint.
They allegedly used a variety of methods to obtain the pills, including using stolen prescription sheets.
The crew regularly sent out mass texts to customers indicating their their abridged hours in observance of the holy day, including one message that said their operation would be “closed for Shabbat.”
“We are closing 7:30 on the dot and we will reopen Saturday 8:15 so if u need anything you have 45mins to get what you want,” one of the messages read.
Cops raided their pious operation on April 20 after a six month investigation referred to as “Only After Sundown,” where police seized approximately 900 glassines of heroin, 335 oxycodone pills, a small quantity of cocaine, and additional quantities of Xanax, Suboxone and Klonopin.
A sawed-off shotgun with ammunition was also recovered, as was a Blackberry that was used to send texts to customers, prosecutors allege.

Obama looks to diplomacy on Syria; airstrikes still a ‘fallback’


WASHINGTON  — Pushing military might and raising hopes it won’t be needed, President Barack Obama threw his support Tuesday behind a plan for U.N. Security Council talks aimed at securing Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, even as he continued to advance the fallback idea of U.S. airstrikes against Bashar Assad’s regime.
Seizing on that two-track strategy, a bipartisan group of senators crafted a reworked congressional resolution calling for a U.N. team to remove the chemical weapons by a set deadline and authorizing military action if that doesn’t happen.
Obama discussed plans for U.N. action with French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron, then traveled to Capitol Hill to talk over diplomatic and military options with Democratic and Republican senators growing increasingly wary of U.S. military intervention. He was poised to address the American people from the White House on Tuesday night, still ready to press the case for congressionally-approved military action if diplomacy falls short.
“The key is, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, that we don’t just trust, but we also verify,” Obama said in an interview with CBS. “The importance is to make sure that the international community has confidence that these chemical weapons are under control, that they are not being used, that potentially they are removed from Syria and that they are destroyed.”
Prospects for a diplomatic breakthrough unfolded rapidly Tuesday: Assad’s government accepted a Russia-advanced plan to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile. France pitched a U.N. Security Council resolution to verify the disarmament. The U.N. Security Council, at Russia’s request, scheduled closed consultations for late afternoon.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Obama, Holland and Cameron agreed to work closely together in consultation with Russia and China to explore the Russian proposal to put all Syrian chemical weapons “under the control of a verifiable destruction enforcement mechanism.”
The path forward was far from certain. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with a Russia Today television, said the plan would only work if the U.S. renounced the use of force against Syria because no country will disarm under threat of military action.
Obama’s dramatic shift in tone came after weeks of threatening tough reprisals on the Assad regime and in the face of stiff resistance in Congress to a resolution that would authorize him to use military force.
A majority of the senators staking out positions or leaning in one direction were expressing opposition, according to an Associated Press survey. The count in the House was far more lopsided, with representatives rejecting military action by more than a 6-1 margin even as the leaders of both parties in the House professed their support.
On Tuesday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell became the first congressional leader to come out against a resolution giving the president authority for limited strikes, saying, “there are just too many unanswered questions about our long-term strategy in Syria.” In another blow to the administration, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, announced his opposition, saying the resolution was too broad, “the effects of a strike are too unpredictable, and because I believe we must give diplomatic measures that could avoid military action a chance to work.”
Eager for an alternative, a bipartisan group of senators worked on a retooled resolution that would call on the United Nations to state that Syria used chemical weapons and require a U.N. team to remove them within a specific time period, possibly 60 days. If that can’t be done, then Obama would have the authority to launch military strikes, congressional aides said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the reworked resolution.
Russia, Assad’s biggest international backer, championed the diplomatic path forward in the hope of preventing the instability that might arise from a broader, Iraq-like conflict involving the United States. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said after meeting with the Russian parliament speaker that his government had agreed to the Russian initiative to “thwart U.S. aggression.” But the Syrian National Coalition, which had hoped for airstrikes to tip the balance in the 2-year-old civil war, cast Assad’s move as a ploy to escape punishment for a crime against humanity.
Kerry, appearing before the House Armed Services Committee, said the U.N. approach must not be used as a delaying tactic and that it has to provide verifiable, real and include tangible conditions for Assad to forfeit his chemical weapons.
Seeking to reassure legislators worried about a deep U.S. entanglement in Syria, he said, “I don’t see any route by which we slide into Syria. I don’t see the slippery slope.”
For the Obama administration, presenting just the possibility of a diplomatic solution offered an “out” as it struggled to find the 60 votes needed for Senate passage of a use-of-force resolution. Reflecting the difficulty, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., unexpectedly postponed a test vote originally set for Wednesday on Obama’s call for legislation explicitly backing a military strike. Reid cited ongoing “international discussions.”
Several lawmakers, conflicted by their desire to see Assad punished and their wariness about America getting pulled into another Middle East war, breathed sighs of relief.
“I always thought an international coalition to secure and destroy the chemical weapons is a far better option than military intervention,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas. He called for an “American plan” to do accomplish these tasks.
But there was plenty of skepticism about the latest diplomatic initiative, too.
“I hope it’s not just a delaying tactic,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., after a closed meeting of House Republicans on Tuesday morning. But he added, “Let’s see what the president has to say.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., appeared to be dropping her support for a military strike authorization.
“The few supporters that he had, he’s losing them quick,” she said. “This is crazy to say that the folks who started the fire — Syria and Russia — are now going to be the firefighters putting out the fires. It’s crazy to have Putin be in charge and for us to put credibility and trust with him. Oh, and who’s along with this? Iran thinks it’s a great idea and China thinks it’s a great idea. That should tell you a lot.”
In interviews Monday, Obama conceded he might lose the vote in Congress and declined to say what he would do if lawmakers rejected him. But, he told CBS, he didn’t expect a “succession of votes this week or anytime in the immediate future,” a stunning reversal after days of furious lobbying and dozens of meetings and telephone calls with individual lawmakers.
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, complained of reversals and inconsistency from the administration, saying he and other lawmakers had a classified briefing Monday with top Obama advisers in which they portrayed the Russian initiative as less than serious — then later heard the president had said it would be considered.
“This message seems to be changing mid-sentence,” McKeon said. “This is a joke.”
A resolution approved by a Senate committee would authorize limited military strikes for up to 90 days and expressly forbids U.S. ground troops in Syria for combat operations. Several Democrats and Republicans announced their opposition Monday, joining the growing list of members vowing to vote “no.” Fewer came out in support and one previous advocate, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., became an opponent Monday.
Sixty-one percent of Americans want Congress to vote against authorization of U.S. military strikes in Syria, according to an Associated Press poll. About a quarter of Americans want lawmakers to support such action, with the remainder undecided. The poll, taken Sept. 6-8, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Open ref suing LAPD for wrongful murder arrest


The tennis ump, who was arrested but later cleared in connection to the murder of her husband, said she hears whispers behind her back and isn’t scoring plum gigs she once got.
“It’s different, it’s different,” Lois “Lolo” Goodman, 71, told NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday.
“They say things behind my back. I’m not getting jobs that I used to get.”
When Goodman landed in New York last year to work as a line judge at the US Open, when she was pinched by members of the LAPD for the alleged slaying of her ailing husband Alan Goodman, 80, several months earlier.
LA prosecutors eventually dropped the case and just last month Goodman filed a law suit against the LAPD for their handling of the case.
“I think the detective had an agenda,” Goodman told “Today.”   “I think he saw an opportunity to get into the news and I think that’s one of the reasons [behind the arrest].”
Despite Goodman’s claims of decreased work, she did get a call back from the US Open — a gig she was very grateful to get.
“I love my job and I was so thrilled to be invited back to work,” Goodman said. “It meant everything to me.”
Alan Goodman died on April 17 last year, from a blunt-force trauma, officials said. He had been hit in the head with a coffee mug, according to LA coroner investigators.
Lois Goodman called her hubby’s death a “terrible accident.”
A rep for the LA City Attorney’s Office, which represents cops in civil lawsuits, declined the discuss Goodman’s accusations: “As a policy, we do not comment on pending litigation.”

Boy gets implants after eyes are gouged


BEIJING — A 6-year-old Chinese boy whose eyes were gouged out received implants Tuesday at a hospital in southern China owned by a Hong Kong doctor who offered the operation after learning about the brutal attack.
The implants are a precursor to fitting the boy with prosthetic eyes that will look and move more like normal eyes, but do not restore vision. Doctors at the C-MER (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital also plan to fit Guo Bin — nicknamed Bin Bin — with navigation sensors that would allow the boy to get around on his own in familiar places.
“As his parents, we are full of hope,” the boy’s father, Guo Zhiping, said over the phone while waiting for the surgery to finish. “We have yet to tell him that his vision would be lost forever.”
Inggie Ho, an assistant to Dr. Dennis Lam Shun-Chiu, in whose hospital Bin-Bin received the treatment, said the surgery went well and he should be fitted with prosthetic eyes in four to six weeks.
Ho said Lam decided to treat the boy free of charge after learning about the horrific case.
Many questions surrounding the Aug. 24 attack on the boy remain unanswered.
Police in the boy’s home province of Shanxi say they suspect the boy’s aunt gouged out his eyes. But they have not identified a motive and the woman has since committed suicide. The boy’s relatives have said they don’t believe she could have carried out the attack.
Guo said the family does not think the police report is credible, because the aunt, who was working in a local factory on the day of the assault, would not have had time to commit the crime. News reports have suggested family disputes, but Guo said there had not been any.
Guo said Bin Bin and the family arrived in Shenzhen on Sunday and would stay there as long as needed.
The flight to Shenzhen excited the little boy, Guo said.
“He had never traveled in a plane before.”

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cops arrest pair who ‘shot baby in stroller’

Two suspects in the gang-related shooting of a 16-month-old baby on a Brooklyn sidewalk are in custody in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where cops tracked them this morning after a multi-agency, tri-state manhunt.

Parolee and accused triggerman Dequan Breland, 23, and his alleged accomplice, Dequan Wright, 19, had been hiding out at the apartment of Breland’s cousin, and gave themselves up after cops knocked at the door at daybreak, cops said.

“They knocked on the door and the occupants refused to open it,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a press conference today.

Dequan Wright, alleged accomplice of Antiq Hennis shooter Dequan Breland.


“The officers breached the door to gain entry. In the rear bedroom they found Dequan Breland on the floor and Dequan Wright lying on the bed,” Kelly said.

Adorable Antiq Hennis was being pushed in his stroller by his father, Anthony, 21 — a reputed Cripp — along Bristol Street near Livonia Avenue in Brownsville on Sunday when Breland allegedly opened fire, with Wright at his side and from close range.

Sources have alleged that Breland and Wright were targeting the dad, who has a lengthy record of drug and other offenses and with whom they had a beef — but missed and struck the baby instead.

Meanwhile, the dad is continuing not to cooperate with police, Kelly said. No weapon has been recovered, though there were four 45-caliber shell casing at the scene of the homicide.

Breland is on parole for a 2011 armed assault in Cayuga County in upstate New York; Wright has numerous sealed juvenile arrests, mainly for assault, sources said.

Investigators with US Marshals Service and the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force joined with detectives from the 73rd Precinct and Brooklyn North Homicide in tracking the pair, both of whom have ties to Wilkes-Barre.

Breland is dating Wright’s sister, who lives there in a public housing complex, Kelly said. The sister had told cops that the men had been there days earlier but that she didn’t know where they were; a canvass of neighbors turned them up at another complex nearby, Kelly said.

“They left no stone unturned,” he said.
Antiq Hennis
 

At least one eyewitness has implicated Breland as the shooter and told cops that Wright handed the gun to Breland just before he pulled the trigger, the commissioner said.

If the two waive extradition, they would be arraigned in Brooklyn as early as tomorrow; if not, an extradition hearing would be held in Wilkes-Barre sometime within the week, officials said.

The boy’s wake and funeral are tonight.

Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – September 7-8

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic from 12:01 am Saturday until 6 am Monday. Motorists should use the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel, Williamsburg Bridge, RFK Bridge or Queens Midtown Tunnel, into Manhattan. Throughout this closure the Manhattan Bridge will accommodate 5 lanes of traffic inbound/westbound and two lanes outbound/eastbound.
 
The northbound Brooklyn Queens Expressway will be closed from Exit 28A (Cadman Plaza West) to Exit 29A (Manhattan Bridge/Nassau Street) from 1 am to 6 am on Saturday, 2 am to 7 am on Sunday, and 12:01 am to 4 am on Monday. Motorists should plan alternate routes or follow posted detours at the Atlantic Avenue exit, and consider the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn Battery) Tunnel for best access to Manhattan. The Hamilton Avenue and Atlantic Avenue entrances to the northbound BQE also will be closed during these hours. These closures will facilitate the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Bridge's York Street arch structure in Brooklyn. 
 
The Union Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal will be closed on Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm to facilitate deck repairs.
 
The Outerbridge Crossing will be closed in both directions between 10 pm to 5 am Monday nights through Friday mornings and from 11:59 pm Friday to 7 am on Saturdays through October to facilitate Port Authority roadway repairs and paving. Motorists should plan alternate routes or follow posted detours to the Goethals Bridge.
 
Mulberry Street between Canal Street and Broome Street and Hester Street between Mott Street and Baxter Street will be closed for the Mulberry Street Pedestrian Mall from 5:30 pm to 9 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
 
The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Saturday:
  • 3rd Avenue between 14th Street and 23rd Street will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Gramercy Park/Albano Republican Club/Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Festival.
  • Front Street and Water Street between Peck Slip and Dover Street and Peck Slip between South Street and Water Street will be closed from 11 am to 9 pm for the Seaport Alliance Restaurant Mall.
 
The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
  • 3rd Avenue between 66th Street and 86th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce 3rd Avenue Community Benefit Festival.
  • Central Park West between 77th Street and 90th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 9 am to 11 am for the Susan G. Komen Run Walk.
  • Amsterdam Avenue between West 106th Street and West 110th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the DOT Weekend Walks Manhattan Valley Family Days.
  • Fulton Street between Water Street and William Street in Manhattan will be closed from 9 am to 11 am for the Community Board #1 Fulton Street Fair.
  • Southern Boulevard between East Tremont Avenue and Boston Road, Boston Road between Southern Boulevard and Charlotte Street, and Charlotte Street between Crotona Park East and Boston Road in the Bronx will be closed from noon to 2:30 pm for the International Honduran & Central American Parade.
 
The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.
 
Detailed information on weekend street closures will be available on the DOT web site at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/wkndtraf.shtml.