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WATCH: NYPD helicopter crews rescue 6 from rooftops in flooded Staten Island

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 31 Oktober 2012 | 20.49

The NYPD has released video of four rooftop rescues on Staten Island of residents who were trapped due to rising waters.

It shows police lowering a basket to the victims and pulling them up.

In one video an officer is lowered on a line to a rooftop where a person is lying. The officer huddles over the victim, who eventually sits up. A basket is lowered and the person is pulled up to the helicopter.

In all, five adults and one child were removed to safety.

Police said the rescue was performed on Tuesday by Helicopter 23. It's named after the 23 New York City police officers who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.


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'Colonial' skeleton found after Sandy uproots historic Conn. tree

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — New Haven police say superstorm Sandy has revealed a skeleton beneath the town green that may have been there since Colonial times.

Police spokesman David Hartman says a woman who was with other bystanders looking at a fallen oak tree called police Tuesday after she saw bones in the upturned roots.

Hartman says the tree was planted on the green in 1909 on the 100th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth. He says the remains likely belong to one of thousands of people buried there in Colonial times. The remains will be evaluated by the state medical examiner.

Katie Carbo, who called police, tells the New Haven Independent she saw something in the tree roots, and found the bones when she removed some dirt. She says the skeleton "should be given a proper burial."


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Fire crews battle two-alarm blaze in Brighton Beach

Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze in Brighton Beach this morning, authorities said.

The fire broke out around 5:25 a.m. in the first floor of a building on Brighton Beach Avenue near Brighton 7th Street, said a spokesman for the FDNY.

The flames continued to intensify and caused the building partially collapsed, officials said. Firefighters continued battling the blaze from outside of the building and called for a 2nd alarm at 6:05 a.m., said a spokesman for the FDNY.

There are no injuries reported and the fire is still ongoing, officials said.


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Fires raging in New Jersey shore town hit hard by Sandy; 14 homes already destroyed

MANTOLOKING, NJ — Fires that destroyed about 14 homes in a New Jersey shore town that was hit hard by Sandy have rekindled, fueled by natural gas.

Video from WNBC-TV in New York shows flames reaching over Mantoloking. There's a large cluster of flames and smaller fires spread out from it.

An official with the Ocean County Emergency Management Office says authorities believe natural gas lines are fueling the flames. The official says the homes burned down two days ago when Sandy pounded the affluent town.

The official, who would not give his name, says firefighters can't reach the scene because the roads are impassable. The town was under a mandatory evacuation order ahead of the storm.

The fire is in the southern end of the town in the Curtis Point section.


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Heavy traffic, JFK & Newark reopen as New Yorkers slowly begin commuting again

EPA

A New York City Transit Bus drives down Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn on Tuesday night

People in the coastal corridor battered by superstorm Sandy took the first cautious steps Wednesday to reclaim routines upended by the disaster, even as rescuers combed neighborhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire.

But while New York City buses returned to darkened streets and the New York Stock Exchange prepared to reopen its storied trading floor, it became clear that restoring the region to its ordinarily frenetic pace could take days — and that rebuilding the hardest-hit communities and the transportation networks that link them together could take considerably longer.

PHOTOS: SANDY SOCKS NY & NJ

NOTE FROM MTA

As New York began its second day after the megastorm, commuters noticed an uptick in traffic and a small sign of normalcy: people waiting at bus stops.

Indeed, morning rush-hour traffic appears thicker than on a normal day as people start to return to work in a New York without subways.

Cars were bumper to bumper on several of the city's major highways. Monitoring cameras showed backed-up traffic.

In lower Manhattan where power was out, traffic streamed off the Brooklyn Bridge but slowed as it approached downtown. There were few signs, if any, that traffic was being directed by police through intersections with darkened stoplights.

On the Brooklyn Bridge, closed earlier because of high winds, joggers and bikers made their way across the span before sunrise. One cyclist carried a flashlight. Car traffic on the bridge was busy, and slowed as it neared Manhattan.

Today local, limited-stop and express bus service will operate as close to a normal weekday schedule as possible, the MTA announced on their Web site. Buses are still free.

Officials began the slow restoration of transit systems yesterday, but there are still weeks of work left before everything is back to normal.

Popular lines like the M34 and the M57 began service early yesterday evening, even as huge swaths of major thoroughfares like the FDR Drive and the southbound West Side Highway remained closed.

The MTA is also considering using buses to supplement the shuttered subway system.

"If, in fact, we have some part of the subway system not working, we're going to take the bus system and use it to help complement and supplement those services," said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota.


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Slog to work (if you’re lucky)

AP

The Battery Park underpass is completely flooded after Sandy slammed the city yesterday.

Getting to and from work during the next several days will be so harrowing that commuters will wish they had their crowded subway trains and traffic-choked tunnels.

Officials began the slow restoration of transit systems yesterday, but there are still weeks of work left before everything is back to normal.

For the next several days, drivers will have an easier time than those who take subways, buses, and commuter rails.

"I can say unequivocally the MTA [Monday] night faced a disaster as devastating as it has ever faced in its history," said agency Chairman Joseph Lhota.

LAKE LA GUARDIA: A passenger ramp at a La Guardia Airport terminal leads to nothing but water yesterday after Hurricane Sandy left the tarmac swamped. La Guardia and Newark will remain closed today, while Kennedy Airport will reopen for only a few flights.

"Sandy wreaked havoc . . . in every single borough of the city and every single county."

The storm was so powerful a 40-foot boat ended up deposited across the Metro-North tracks in Ossining.

The feds have stepped in to help — the Army Corps of Engineers will be in New York to clear flooding in the PATH train tunnels and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

jennifer.fermino@nypost.com

TRAINS

The subway system could be shuttered for up to five days — and when it does return, it will be on a line-by-line basis.

"Rather than talk about restoration of the system, it's going to be more a conversation of restoration of parts of the system first," Gov. Cuomo explained yesterday.

The MTA said it will hold a midday briefing today to discuss a timetable for restoring service.

When asked how long the subways would be off limits, Mayor Bloomberg said a "good four or five days, I think. At this point, we don't know."

Downtown stations will likely be the last to open, because they suffered the worst damage.

The No. 1 line's new $500 million South Ferry station, for example, filled with water up to its ceiling.

Officials said every subway tube under the East River was flooded. The Joralemon Street tunnel, which handles 4 and 5 trains, was being pumped yesterday and should be cleared soon.

As for the commuter railroads, the MTA says it will restore partial LIRR service today.

The current plan is to bring westbound trains to Jamaica, where buses would take riders into Manhattan.

Officials are also trying to bring limited service back to the Metro-North today but are unsure whether it's possible because of serious damage.

The storm tossed a 40-foot power boat across four of the railroad's tracks.

NJ Transit will remain offline with no date set for service.

Amtrak said last night that it would run modified service between Newark and points south.


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WATCH: NYPD helicopter crews rescue 6 from rooftops in flooded Staten Island

The NYPD has released video of four rooftop rescues on Staten Island of residents who were trapped due to rising waters.

It shows police lowering a basket to the victims and pulling them up.

In one video an officer is lowered on a line to a rooftop where a person is lying. The officer huddles over the victim, who eventually sits up. A basket is lowered and the person is pulled up to the helicopter.

In all, five adults and one child were removed to safety.

Police said the rescue was performed on Tuesday by Helicopter 23. It's named after the 23 New York City police officers who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001.


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NYC transit crippled after storm

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 30 Oktober 2012 | 20.49

Europa Newswire / Demotix

A subway station in Briarwood is completely empty during Hurricane Sandy.

Trains, planes and buses were stranded across the region after Sandy pummeled New York.

The subway system will not be running today and could be down for several more days after Hurricane Sandy caused the worst damage in the history of the 108-year-old system.

As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said in a statement on the agency's Web site.

"The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night," Lhota said. "Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region."

Lhota said Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line.

We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery," Lhota said.

The LIRR saw flooding in one East River tunnel.

The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was completely flooded out and the Queens Midtown Tunnel was closed after flooding.

Six bus garages were disable by high water, the statement said.

"Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal."

LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Kennedy remained closed on Tuesday.

Stewart International Airport, which is 55 miles north of the city, is open. However, air carriers have suspended operations until further notice.

Teterboro in New Jersey also is closed.

The JFK and Newark air trains are suspended.

Flooding from superstorm Sandy has been reported in PATH train stations in Hoboken and Jersey City along the Hudson River.

A surveillance camera inside the underground station in Hoboken captured water gushing in through an elevator door.

PATH officials say flooding has also occurred at the underground station at Exchange Place in Jersey City. They are not able to say how bad the flooding is.

PATH service between Manhattan and New Jersey has been suspended since midnight Sunday.

Yesterday, officials said the subways could be shuttered for four days.

And forget about riding the subways today. "There's no chance mass transit will be back in time,'' said Mayor Bloomberg.


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At least 75 flooded houses burn as blaze rages in Breezy Point

AP

The fire raging in flooded Breezy Point, Queens, lights up the horizon.

A fire has destroyed at least 75 homes in a flooded neighborhood in Queens.

A fire department spokesman says more than 190 firefighters are at the blaze in the Rockaway/Breezy Point section. He says two people have suffered minor injuries.

Officials say the blaze was reported around 11 p.m. Monday in an area flooded by the superstorm that began sweeping through the city earlier.

The neighborhood sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean.

Over 30 cops were stranded trying to respond to the blaze. About 18 cops were stuck on barrier truck after trying to help people who were stranded in the area.

A source said the biggest problem for rescue crews was that there were not police or fire motorboats. Officials only had row boats, which were useless in the raging storm.

A nearby Howard Beach woman drowned because she was unable to get to the second floor, police said.

With AP


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Power out for more than half million around area, may take days to restore

Power was out for hundreds of thousands around the area after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the region.

Con Edison reported early this morning that at least 650,000 homes in New York and Westchester were in the dark.

As of 1 a.m. Tuesday, Con Ed had the number of customers without power in Manhattan was 193,000. At the height of the storm, at least 250,000 in Manhattan were powerless, most were below 39th Street.

"This will be one for the record books," said John Miksad, senior VP of electric operations. "This will be the largest storm related outage in our history."

At least 158,000 home in Westchester County were in the dark; 74,000 in Queens; 71,000 in Brooklyn; 76,000 in Staten Island; and 38,000 in the Bronx.

The storm left more than half of Long Islanders without power as 650,000 people had outages as of 8 p.m. last night.

By comparison 200,000 customers down for Irene.

The tide at the Battery was expected to be 10-12 feet but it reached 14 feet instead.

The planned outages from three preemptive shutdowns caused 34,000 outages in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan and could take three to four days to restore.


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FOLLOW LIVE SANDY UPDATES

Follow breaking Hurricane Sandy updates as New York struggles through power and transit outages that are expected to plague the region for days.

Send you Tweets and photos to @NewYorkPost

*******************************************************************************

9:35 a.m. - Central Jersey damage

In parts of Central New Jersey - even where flooding was minimal - the storm re-damaged pieces of infrastructure that had not been fully repaired after last year's storm.

On Wakefield Drive in Metuchen, a power cable that came down last year was brought down again last night. That's because the line was never full restored last year.

Town leaders sent robocalls to every Metuchen resident, saying the whole town had no power and that it was under a state of emergency.

The entire town - only miles off the Outerbridge Crossing - lost power around 7 p.m. last night.

Josh Margolin

*******************************************************************************

9:28 a.m. - Long Island power out

It's still lights out on Long Island.

More than 80 percent of the Long Island Power Authority's 1.1 million customers are without power with 400,000 households in the dark in Nassau County and 450,000 in Suffolk.

Stunned LIPA officials are warning residents that restoration efforts could take longer than a week to complete and that crews cannot even begin work until the scope of Sandy's wrath is fully assessed.

Selim Algar

*******************************************************************************

9:23 a.m. - Coney Island Hospital

Coney Island Hospital – seen here with fences downed and debris scattered along its front walkway – lost power at 10:09 pm. Emergency generators worked in new building, but the old building is without power.

At one point there was 2 feet of water in the emergency room, which is still closed. Patients were moved to higher floors.

Kevin Sheehan

*******************************************************************************

9:19 a.m. - Southhampton near The Cut

A shot of what was a beach parking lot in Southampton near The Cut -- it's now covered in sand and debris.

Jennifer Gould Keil

*******************************************************************************

9:16 a.m. - Bloomberg to hold news conference

Mayor Bloomberg will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. at the Office of Emergency Management in Downtown Brooklyn to update New Yorkers on power outages, fires, and transit services. He may also address any effect on the Marathon, scheduled for Nov. 4.

Sally Goldenberg


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At least 50 flooded houses burn as blaze rages in Breezy Point, Queens

AP

The fire raging in flooded Breezy Point, Queens, lights up the horizon.

A fire has destroyed at least 50 homes in a flooded neighborhood in Queens.

A fire department spokesman says more than 190 firefighters are at the blaze in the Breezy Point section. He says two people have suffered minor injuries.

Officials say the blaze was reported around 11 p.m. Monday in an area flooded by the superstorm that began sweeping through the city earlier.

The neighborhood sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean.


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Power fails at NYU hospital, 200 patients evacuate

AP

Medical workers assist a patient into an ambulance during an evacuation of New York University's Tisch Hospital.

A backup generator failed at a New York City hospital Monday night, forcing it to move out more than 200 patients, including 20 babies from neonatal intensive care.

Dozens of ambulances lined up around the block outside New York University Tisch Hospital as doctors and nurses began the slow process of evacuation. They started with the sickest and youngest. Some were on respirators operating on battery power.

"It's a challenging situation," NYU Medical Dean Robert Grossman told WCBS-TV. "We drill all the time for this kind of thing. But this isn't a drill. This is the real thing."

Much of New York was plunged into darkness by superstorm Sandy, a monstrous hybrid system that swept across a huge swath of the East.

Most of the power outages in lower Manhattan, where Tisch is located, were due to an explosion at an electrical substation, officials at Consolidated Edison said. It wasn't clear whether flooding or flying debris caused the explosion, said John Miksad, senior vice president for electric operations at Con Edison.

Without power, there are no elevators, meaning patients — some of whom are being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses — must be carefully carried down staircases, Grossman said.

As the patients were evacuated, gusts of wind blew their blankets. Nurses and staff huddled around the patients, some holding IVs and other equipment.

Ambulances came from around the city to help transport the sick. Patients will be taken to other hospitals including Mount Sinai and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer.


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Thousands of NJ, LI residents wake up without power

Written By kom nampuldu on Senin, 29 Oktober 2012 | 20.49

Thousands of New Jersey and Long Island residents are waking up in the dark this morning - outages that could linger for days as Hurricane Sandy reaches the area.

Jersey Central Power and Light reported nearly 5,000 homes and businesses without service. Most of those customers are located in Ocean County.

The Long Island Power Authority had 743 affected customers at 6 a.m.

Nearly 200 customers in Cumberland County are without power, Atlantic City Electric reports.

And 48 Con Edison customers are in the dark, outage numbers that are predicted to exponentially grow as rain and wind roar through the region.

The head of New Jersey's Board of Public Utilities says residents should brace themselves for widespread and prolonged power outages.

BPU president Bob Hanna says the state's four public utilities expect high winds and heavy rains to take their toll over the next few days.

Most of the outages will be due to downed trees hitting power lines and flooding in substations.

With AP


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Man fatally beaten in Bath Beach: cops

A man was beaten to death in Bath Beach early today, police said.

The 31-year-old victim was found at 3:40 a.m. on Bay 34th Street and Bath Avenue with severe trauma to his body, cops said.

He was rushed to Lutheran Medical Center where he died, police said.

It is not clear what sparked the violence, but police believe the victim was beaten by a group of men.


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WATCH LIVE: Sandy barrels toward New York

Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall.

Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York — putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.

The tempest could endanger up to 50 million people for days.

New York News | NYC Breaking News

Hurricane Sandy STRENGTHENING as it closes in on NYC; Mass transit shut down, millions evacuated

WATCH: Hurricane Sandy seen from space

Hurricane Sandy grounds thousands of flights

Eleventh-hour stock'pileup'

Thousands of NJ, LI residents wake up without power


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MTA posts photos of empty Grand Central Terminal

flickr.com/MTAphotos

It's Grand Central Terminal as you've never seen it before.

No tourists. No travelers.

Empty.

Barren.

Cue the tumbleweeds.

The MTA posted photos of the uninhabited terminal after the city's mass transit was shut down due to Hurricane Sandy.

flickr.com/MTAphotos

The photos show the terminal's Main Concourse, dining concourse and subway platforms.

Those images were made possible because the city's rail and bus service is nonexistent. Metro-North, LIRR, NJ Transit, PATH and Amtrak service across the Northeast is shut down, as is the Staten Island Ferry.

flickr.com/MTAphotos


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Appy days getting closer for city’s cab riders

The city is bringing the old-fashioned art of hailing a cab into the 21st century.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission is expected to announce new rules as early as today that would for the first time allow riders to use smartphone apps to hail yellow cabs.

The apps send alerts to taxis, using GPS technology to tell nearby drivers where potential riders are waiting.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky said, "We want passengers to have the widest range of options and the latest range of technology."

The rules would alter existing regulations that ban pre-arranged taxi pickups.

They would require the apps to download all fare information from the taxi meter using existing technology. They would also forbid app companies — many of which are eager to get a competitive edge in the New York market — from paying drivers to use their specific app.

That rule will help prevent drivers from giving preferential treatment to app hailers over those who find cabs on the street, Yassky said.

The TLC will hold a public hearing on the hailing apps on Nov. 29th. Its board will vote on adopting the rules in December.


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‘Killer’ nanny Yoselyn Ortega awakens in hospital, asks questions about her family

The nanny who allegedly slaughtered two Upper West Side children in her care woke up yesterday — and asked about her own family, sources told The Post.

Yoselyn Ortega — who a source said suffered a broken vertebrae in a failed suicide bid after she allegedly butchered 6-year-old Lucia and 2-year-old Leo Krim — had been unable to speak since Thursday's rampage.

She has since undergone surgery and is "talking a little," according to a source.

Investigators returned yesterday to Ortega's New York Hospital bedside in a bid to learn what sparked the horrific slayings of the Krim siblings, sources said.

William Farrington

SAD: Nanny Yoselyn Ortega (in old college pic, above) spoke yesterday after a suicide bid and alleged murder of two Krimchildren who were in her care.

SAD: Nanny Yoselyn Ortega spoke yesterday after a suicide bid and alleged murder of two Krim children (above) who were in her care.

Ortega, 50, has lawyered up and won't answer questions, said one source. She did speak to her doctor and "asked about her family," the source said.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ortega remained intubated yesterday.

Ortega shares a Harlem apartment with her sister, her niece and Ortega's 17-year-old son, Jesus, who recently moved from their native Dominican Republic and attends a Bronx high school.

A search warrant executed on the nanny's apartment turned up no clues of a motive in the slayings, according to another source.

The children's grieving parents, CNBC exec Kevin Krim and wife Marina Linsley Krim, yesterday remained in seclusion with surviving daughter Nessie, 3 1/2.

The family left a Manhattan hotel early yesterday with friends, according to an employee.

Nessie had been with her mom at swimming lessons at the Jewish Community Center near the family's West 75th Street apartment when the carnage took place.

Mom and daughter were happy and smiling as they left, a worker there recalled. They had planned to meet Ortega, with Lucia and Leo, for Lucia's dance class at the nearby Kaufman dance studio at around 5 p.m.

But Ortega, who brought the kids home from school at around 3:30 that day, never showed up.

Marina Krim returned home shortly after 5:30 to find the nanny stabbing herself in the throat in an apparent suicide bid, and her two young children dead in the bathroom.

The tragedy has brought an outpouring of sympathy from strangers across the country, including one who posted an online message, "All the people are crying with you."

Friends of the family also voiced their heartache and offered prayers and condolences on Facebook, where several relatives had posted tribute photos of the children.

In one poignant shot, Kevin's sister Sarah walks hand in hand in New York with Lucia.

In another, aunt Katie Krim embraces her brother's three beaming children alongside a caption that read: "The loves of my life, my angels."

Additional reporting by Rebecca Rosenberg and Reuven Fenton


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Thousands of NJ, LI residents wake up without power

Thousands of New Jersey and Long Island residents are waking up in the dark this morning - outages that could linger for days as Hurricane Sandy reaches the area.

Jersey Central Power and Light reported nearly 5,000 homes and businesses without service. Most of those customers are located in Ocean County.

The Long Island Power Authority had 743 affected customers at 6 a.m.

Nearly 200 customers in Cumberland County are without power, Atlantic City Electric reports.

And 48 Con Edison customers are in the dark, outage numbers that are predicted to exponentially grow as rain and wind roar through the region.

The head of New Jersey's Board of Public Utilities says residents should brace themselves for widespread and prolonged power outages.

BPU president Bob Hanna says the state's four public utilities expect high winds and heavy rains to take their toll over the next few days.

Most of the outages will be due to downed trees hitting power lines and flooding in substations.

With AP


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MTA posts photos of empty Grand Central Terminal

flickr.com/MTAphotos

It's Grand Central Terminal as you've never seen it before.

No tourists. No travelers.

Empty.

Barren.

Cue the tumbleweeds.

The MTA posted photos of the uninhabited terminal after the city's mass transit was shut down due to Hurricane Sandy.

flickr.com/MTAphotos

The photos show the terminal's Main Concourse, dining concourse and subway platforms.

Those images were made possible because the city's rail and bus service is nonexistent. Metro-North, LIRR, NJ Transit, PATH and Amtrak service across the Northeast is shut down, as is the Staten Island Ferry.

flickr.com/MTAphotos


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Breeders’ Cup draws

Written By kom nampuldu on Minggu, 28 Oktober 2012 | 20.49

ARCADIA, Calif. — Final entries will be taken Sunday and post positions drawn for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita, which doesn't give trainer Dale Romans much time to decide which race his 3-year-old colt Dullahan will run in: the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf, or the $5 million Classic.

Dullahan, who worked five furlongs over Santa Anita's dirt main track yesterday in 1:00, is a synthetic track specialist. All three of his career wins came in Grade 1 stakes on Polytrack — the Breeders' Futurity and Blue Grass at Keeneland, and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar — but he is 0-for-6, with two thirds, on dirt. The stretch-running son of Even the Score has two seconds and a third from four starts on turf.

"They wouldn't change [the Classic] to Poly for me, so there's nothing I can do about it," Romans said. "We'll see what happens.

"I thought he went really good [in the workout]. We'll talk to [Tammy Fox, Dullahan's exercise rider] and Jerry [Crawford, Dullahan's owner, who races as Donegal Racing]. It'll be Jerry's decision. We'll have it settled by [entry time]."

The big gun in Romans' stable, 2011 Preakness winner and 2012 Met Mile winner Shackleford, worked five furlongs in 1:00 in preparation for the Dirt Mile, a race he finished second in last year. On Oct. 20, Shackleford drilled five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Santa Anita.

Game On Dude, the likely favorite for the Classic, is scheduled to work this morning for trainer Bob Baffert.

There will be a two-part post draw for the Breeders' Cup today, televised live by HRTV. Thirteen of the 15 races will be drawn beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Then the Ladies' Classic (to be run Friday) and the Classic (run on Saturday) will be drawn at 7 p.m. ET.

ed.fountaine@nypost.com


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Rocket man: Thunder ship Harden to Houston

Unable to work out an extension with James Harden, the Thunder traded the Sixth Man of the Year to the Rockets last night, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions.

The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

The Oct. 31 deadline to extend Harden or allow him to become a restricted free agent next July had been hanging over the Thunder from the moment they reported to training camp.

"We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers.

"We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin's caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks."

The small-market Thunder already had signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.

The Thunder got back a good scorer in Martin, who has averaged 18.4 points in his eight NBA seasons, and a promising young player in Lamb, the No. 12 pick in the draft who helped Connecticut win the 2011 NCAA championship.


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Red Bulls clinch playoff spot

CHESTER, Pa. — Kenny Cooper scored twice, and Thierry Henry added a goal to lift the Red Bulls over the Philadelphia Union, 3-0, Saturday afternoon.

The Red Bulls (16-9-9) reached the playoffs for the third straight year, and the ninth time in 10 seasons. The Red Bulls won all three matches this season against the Union (10-18-6), who lost their final three games and will miss the postseason for the second time in three years.

Cooper scored on a penalty kick in the 13th minute after Tim Cahill was taken down by defender Carlos Valdes in the box a minute earlier. Henry scored his 15th goal to make it 2-0 in the 35th minute.

Cooper added his team-leading 18th goal — and fifth against Philadelphia this season — in the 66th minute.

The Union played without defender Sheanon Williams (left ankle), defender Gabriel Farfan (right ankle) and midfielder Freddy Adu (coach's decision).


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No major damage from 7.7 earthquake off Canadian coast; tsunami warnings downgraded

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck off the west coast of Canada, but there were no reports of major damage. Residents in parts of British Columbia were evacuated, but the province appeared to escape the biggest quake in Canada since 1949 largely unscathed.

The US Geological Survey said the powerful temblor hit the Queen Charlotte Islands just after 8 p.m. local time Saturday at a depth of about 3 miles and was centered 96 miles south of Masset, British Columbia. It was felt across a wide area in British Columbia, both on its Pacific islands and on the mainland.

"It looks like the damage and the risk are at a very low level," said Shirley Bond, British Columbia's minister responsible for emergency management said. "We're certainly grateful."

The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of British Columbia, southern Alaska and Hawaii, but later canceled it for the first two and downgraded it to an advisory for Hawaii.

Gerard Fryer, a senior geologist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said the first waves hitting shore in Hawaii are smaller than expected.

The weather service also canceled a tsunami advisory for Oregon, leaving northern California as the only spot in North America still under a tsunami advisory.

Dennis Sinnott of the Canadian Institute of Ocean Science said a 69-centimeter wave was recorded off Langara Island on the northeast tip of Haida Gwaii, formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands. The islands are home to about 5,000 people, many of them members of the Haida aboriginal group. Another 55 centimeter wave hit Winter Harbour on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.

"It appears to be settling down," he said. "It does not mean we won't get another small wave coming through."

Canada's largest earthquake since 1700 was an 8.1 magnitude quake on August 22, 1949 off the coast of British Columbia, according to the Canadian government's Natural Resources website. It occurred on the Queen Charlotte Fault in what the department called Canada's equivalent of the San Andreas Fault — the boundary between the Pacific and North American plates that runs underwater along the west coast of the Haida Gwaii.

In 1970 a 7.4 magnitude quake struck south of the Haida Gwaii.

The USGS said the temblor shook the waters around British Columbia and was followed by a 5.8 magnitude aftershock after several minutes. Several other aftershocks were reported.

The quake struck 25 miles south of Sandspit, British Columbia, on the Haida Gwaii archipelago. People in coastal areas were advised to move to higher ground.

Urs Thomas, operator of the Golden Spruce hotel in Port Clements said there was no warning before everything began moving inside and outside the hotel. He said it lasted about three minutes.

"It was a pretty good shock," Thomas, 59, said. "I looked at my boat outside. It was rocking. Everything was moving. My truck was moving."

After the initial jolt, Thomas began to check the hotel.

"The fixtures and everything were still swinging," he said. "I had some picture frames coming down."

Lenore Lawrence, a resident of Queen Charlotte City on the Haida Gwaii, said the quake was "definitely scary," adding she wondered if "this could be the big one." She said the shaking lasted more than a minute. While several things fell off her mantle and broke, she said damage in her home was minimal.

Many on the B.C. mainland said the same.

"I was sitting at my desk on my computer and everything just started to move. It was maybe 20 seconds," said Joan Girbav, manager of Pacific Inn in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. "It's very scary. I've lived here all my life and I've never felt that."

Residents rushed out of their homes in Tofino, British Columbia on Vancouver Island when the tsunami sirens sounded, but they were allowed to return about two hours after the quake.


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Hurricane Sandy could wreak havoc across 800 miles of US

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ — Tens of millions of people in the eastern third of the U.S. in the path of the unprecedented freak storm had hours Sunday to prepare for the first raindrops that were expected later in the day, to be followed over the next few days by sheets of rain, high winds and even heavy snow.

The warning from officials to anyone who might be affected path was simple: Be prepared and get out of the way.

Hurricane Sandy was headed north from the Caribbean, where it left nearly five dozen dead, to meet a winter storm and a cold front, plus high tides from a full moon, and experts said the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

AP

High winds blow sea foam into the air as a person walks across Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, NC today.

"I've been here since 1997, and I never even put my barbecue grill away during a storm," Russ Linke said shortly before he and his wife left Ship Bottom on Saturday. "But I am taking this one seriously. They say it might hit here. That's about as serious as it can get."

He and his wife secured the patio furniture, packed the bicycles into the pickup truck, and headed off the island.

The danger was hardly limited to coastal areas. Forecasters were far more worried about inland flooding from storm surge than they were about winds. Rains could saturate the ground, causing trees to topple into power lines, utility officials said, warning residents to prepare for several days at home without power.

States of emergency were declared from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday.

Officials were particularly worried about the possibility of subway flooding in New York City, said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Sandy was at Category 1 strength, packing 75 mph winds, about 260 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving northeast at 10 mph as of 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was about 395 miles south of New York City.

The storm was expected to continue moving parallel to the Southeast coast most of the day and approach the coast of the mid-Atlantic states by Monday night, before reaching southern New England later in the week.

The storm was so big, however, and the convergence of the three storms so rare, that "we just can't pinpoint who is going to get the worst of it," said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.


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Red Bulls clinch playoff spot

CHESTER, Pa. — Kenny Cooper scored twice, and Thierry Henry added a goal to lift the Red Bulls over the Philadelphia Union, 3-0, Saturday afternoon.

The Red Bulls (16-9-9) reached the playoffs for the third straight year, and the ninth time in 10 seasons. The Red Bulls won all three matches this season against the Union (10-18-6), who lost their final three games and will miss the postseason for the second time in three years.

Cooper scored on a penalty kick in the 13th minute after Tim Cahill was taken down by defender Carlos Valdes in the box a minute earlier. Henry scored his 15th goal to make it 2-0 in the 35th minute.

Cooper added his team-leading 18th goal — and fifth against Philadelphia this season — in the 66th minute.

The Union played without defender Sheanon Williams (left ankle), defender Gabriel Farfan (right ankle) and midfielder Freddy Adu (coach's decision).


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Breeders’ Cup draws

ARCADIA, Calif. — Final entries will be taken Sunday and post positions drawn for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita, which doesn't give trainer Dale Romans much time to decide which race his 3-year-old colt Dullahan will run in: the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf, or the $5 million Classic.

Dullahan, who worked five furlongs over Santa Anita's dirt main track yesterday in 1:00, is a synthetic track specialist. All three of his career wins came in Grade 1 stakes on Polytrack — the Breeders' Futurity and Blue Grass at Keeneland, and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar — but he is 0-for-6, with two thirds, on dirt. The stretch-running son of Even the Score has two seconds and a third from four starts on turf.

"They wouldn't change [the Classic] to Poly for me, so there's nothing I can do about it," Romans said. "We'll see what happens.

"I thought he went really good [in the workout]. We'll talk to [Tammy Fox, Dullahan's exercise rider] and Jerry [Crawford, Dullahan's owner, who races as Donegal Racing]. It'll be Jerry's decision. We'll have it settled by [entry time]."

The big gun in Romans' stable, 2011 Preakness winner and 2012 Met Mile winner Shackleford, worked five furlongs in 1:00 in preparation for the Dirt Mile, a race he finished second in last year. On Oct. 20, Shackleford drilled five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Santa Anita.

Game On Dude, the likely favorite for the Classic, is scheduled to work this morning for trainer Bob Baffert.

There will be a two-part post draw for the Breeders' Cup today, televised live by HRTV. Thirteen of the 15 races will be drawn beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Then the Ladies' Classic (to be run Friday) and the Classic (run on Saturday) will be drawn at 7 p.m. ET.

ed.fountaine@nypost.com


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Detroit can’t shrug off NL champs’ dominance

DETROIT — Remember when former minor league baseball player Michael Jordan sank six 3-pointers against Portland in the 1992 NBA Finals, turned to the broadcast table and shrugged his shoulders, conveying an "I don't know how I'm doing this" message?

The San Francisco Giants should try a group performance of that this morning.

The Giants are in a zone, which is great for them but also means this: The casual baseball fan is ready to zone out. Expect minimal buzz as the Giants try to win their seventh World Series title tonight in the minimum number of games.

TWO MORE TO GO: Buster Posey and Sergio Romo celebrate after the Giants defeated the Tigers, 2-0, to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series Thursday night.

TWO MORE TO GO: Buster Posey and Sergio Romo celebrate after the Giants defeated the Tigers, 2-0, to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series Thursday night.

NATIONAL PRIDE: Tim Lincecum's Giants and Tony La Russa's Cardinals have won the last two World Series titles, both defeating the AL Texas Rangers, and with another San Francisco title this year, the NL would have three in a row for the first time since 1979-82.

AP; Getty Images

NATIONAL PRIDE: Tim Lincecum's Giants and Tony La Russa's Cardinals have won the last two World Series titles, both defeating the AL Texas Rangers, and with another San Francisco title this year, the NL would have three in a row for the first time since 1979-82.

The Tigers' return to Comerica Park last night brought colder weather and similar misery, as San Francisco starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, exceptional long reliever Tim Lincecum and closer Sergio Romo combined to shut out Detroit, 2-0, in Game 3. With a commanding 3-0 lead in games, the Giants need to win just one of the next two games here — with ace Matt Cain starting tonight's Game 4 — to finish off Jim Leyland's reeling group and return West only for a parade.

"I'll say this: The club is playing well," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said.

Vogelsong, a comeback story impressive enough to qualify as R.A. Dickey's opening act, didn't have great stuff, as he scattered five hits and four walks throughout his 5 2/3 innings, striking out three. Nevertheless, he maintained the Tigers' stretch of futility by leaving six runners on base and holding Detroit hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position.

The Comerica crowd, amped up for its Tigers and extremely supportive during the early rallies, turned on the team Yankee Stadium-style when Quintin Berry struck out against Lincecum on three pitches in the seventh inning, stranding former Yankees prospect Austin Jackson at first base.

Vogelsong's Tigers counterpart, Anibal Sanchez, actually pitched the superior game, tallying eight strikeouts against a walk and six hits in seven innings. Yet the Giants cobbled together a couple of runs in the second, courtesy of just one hard-hit ball (Gregor Blanco's triple off the lower part of the wall in right-center field), and that was one more than they needed.

The Giants are enjoying an October for the ages. They came back from a 2-0 hole against Cincinnati in the National League Division Series, winning three straight in the best-of-five event, then prevailed after falling behind, 3-1, to St. Louis in the NL Championship Series, again winning three straight in the best-of seven competition. In all, they won six straight elimination games, a remarkable display of resilience.

With just one day off between NLCS Game 7 and World Series Game 1, the Giants seemed to carry over their mojo from one round to the next, while Detroit's American League Championship Series sweep of the Yankees feels longer ago than a time without the Internet.

"I think where we were at in the NLDS and [NL]CS and here, it gave us the momentum and the drive to know that we can do anything if our backs are against the wall," Lincecum said. "So if we're in the driver's seat and we're up 3-0, we are looking to make a statement there. So that's what we're looking for [tonight]."

And that's how the Giants have turned a promising Major League Baseball postseason into a poor one.

Four-game World Series are bad for business, and five-game battles are only marginally better. The television ratings plummet because the series no longer feels competitive, and the revenue from the sold tickets and commercials for the later games must be returned. In all, everyone besides the fans of the champions come away saying, "Well, that was really lame."

Every Fall Classic can't last seven games and feature multiple memorable moments, as did last year's between the Cardinals and Rangers. Yet if this doesn't return to San Francisco — the safe bet now — it would be the seventh World Series in the last nine years to last five games or fewer.

That's too little inventory for baseball's liking and that of its television partners, and there's absolutely nothing that can be done. Sometimes one team gets on a roll like this, so much so that a Jordan-esque shrug would be perfectly appropriate.

Sometimes the other team falls into a collective funk. And if the 1992 Trail Blazers aren't available, then the 2012 Yankees surely would be willing to counsel Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and the rest of the gang.

kdavidoff@nypost.com


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Cup draws today

ARCADIA, Calif. — Final entries will be taken today and post positions drawn for the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita, which doesn't give trainer Dale Romans much time to decide which race his 3-year-old colt Dullahan will run in: the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf, or the $5 million Classic.

Dullahan, who worked five furlongs over Santa Anita's dirt main track yesterday in 1:00, is a synthetic track specialist. All three of his career wins came in Grade 1 stakes on Polytrack — the Breeders' Futurity and Blue Grass at Keeneland, and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar — but he is 0-for-6, with two thirds, on dirt. The stretch-running son of Even the Score has two seconds and a third from four starts on turf.

"They wouldn't change [the Classic] to Poly for me, so there's nothing I can do about it," Romans said. "We'll see what happens.

"I thought he went really good [in the workout]. We'll talk to [Tammy Fox, Dullahan's exercise rider] and Jerry [Crawford, Dullahan's owner, who races as Donegal Racing]. It'll be Jerry's decision. We'll have it settled by [entry time]."

The big gun in Romans' stable, 2011 Preakness winner and 2012 Met Mile winner Shackleford, worked five furlongs in 1:00 in preparation for the Dirt Mile, a race he finished second in last year. On Oct. 20, Shackleford drilled five furlongs in :59 3/5 at Santa Anita.

Game On Dude, the likely favorite for the Classic, is scheduled to work this morning for trainer Bob Baffert.

There will be a two-part post draw for the Breeders' Cup today, televised live by HRTV. Thirteen of the 15 races will be drawn beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Then the Ladies' Classic (to be run Friday) and the Classic (run on Saturday) will be drawn at 7 p.m. ET.

ed.fountaine@nypost.com


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Rocket man: Thunder ship Harden to Houston

Unable to work out an extension with James Harden, the Thunder traded the Sixth Man of the Year to the Rockets last night, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions.

The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston.

The Oct. 31 deadline to extend Harden or allow him to become a restricted free agent next July had been hanging over the Thunder from the moment they reported to training camp.

"We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers.

"We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin's caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks."

The small-market Thunder already had signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.

The Thunder got back a good scorer in Martin, who has averaged 18.4 points in his eight NBA seasons, and a promising young player in Lamb, the No. 12 pick in the draft who helped Connecticut win the 2011 NCAA championship.


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Al Qaeda leader urges kidnapping of Westerners

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 27 Oktober 2012 | 20.49

CAIRO — The leader of al Qaeda has urged Muslims to kidnap Westerners to exchange for imprisoned jihadists, including a blind cleric serving a life sentence in the United States for a 1993 plot to blow up New York City landmarks.

In an undated two-hour videotape posted this week on militant forums, the Egyptian-born jihadist Ayman al-Zawahri also urged support for Syria's uprising and called for the implementation of Islamic Shariah law in Egypt.

He said that abducting nationals of "countries waging wars on Muslims" is the only way to free "our captives, and Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman," the Egyptian cleric.

Reuters

Ayman al-Zawahri

"This is the only language which they understand," said al-Zawahri, appearing in his customary white turban and robe. "We will keep on seizing more ... until we free our captives."

There was little clue to his whereabouts from the video, shot against a backdrop of brown curtains.

He periodically releases video and audio statements. Two weeks ago, an audio recording by him urged holy war over an amateur anti-Islam film produced in the United States. He released a video on this year's anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, claiming that his warriors "defeated America in Iraq".

Freeing Abdel-Rahman has become a rallying cause for Islamic militants and jihadists. A group named after him has claimed responsibility before for a June assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, which caused no casualties. It caused no casualties, but a bigger attack on Sept. 11 claimed lives of four Americans including the U.S. Ambassador in Libya Chris Stevens.

Relatives and supporters of Abdel-Rahman have been holding a sit-in next to the US Embassy in Cairo for months. Egypt's new Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, under pressure from leading Egyptian jihadists recently released from prison, vowed to push for his release.

Al-Zawahri appeared to be following Egypt's debates over the country's political future, as he called upon ultraconservative clerics in Egypt to ensure clear mention of Islamic Shariah law in the new constitution. Members of Egypt's Salafi trend have been pushing the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which Morsi hails, to make the role of Shariah explicit. Liberals fear that the Islamist groups will insert language that can be used to curb freedom of expression and the rights of women and minorities.

"Shariah must be the source of legislation ... This must be stated," Zawahri said. "This is the first step to cleanse the constitution and laws in order to implement Islamic Shariah law."

Egypt's old constitution and most drafts of the new one would include some reference to "Shariah" or the "principles" of Shariah, but the exact phrasing could have a major effect on future court rulings on the constitutionality of laws.

Al Qaeda leader also called on Muslims, especially in countries bordering Syria, to support the uprising there.

"I urge Muslims everywhere ... to rise up to support the brothers in Syria ... to get rid of the cancerous criminal regime," he said. "Syrian people have the right to defend themselves with all means."

The transformation of Syria's uprising into an open war has given an opportunity to foreign fighters and extremists to play a larger role in the uprising, analysts say. President Bashar Assad's regime has long blamed foreign "terrorists" for the country's crisis.

Al-Zawahri accused international community of indirectly approving the killing of Syrians.

"The international community ... is giving Assad a license to kill and one chance after the other to curb the Syrian revolution," he said. "They are afraid of a government that seeks victory for Islam and Muslims."

Syria's most Sunni rebels have received support from fellow Sunnis in the Gulf, while Assad's regime, dominated by a Shiite offshoot sect, is allied with Shiite-led Iran.


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Ed Fountaine’s Stakes Spot Plays

TURNBACK THE ALARM

Belmont Park, eighth race. Grade 3. Purse: $150,000. 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares. Post: 4:34 p.m.

LOWDOWN: Arena Elvira looked like a world-beater before Bill Mott put her on the shelf in April, and now she returns showing bullet works for a trainer who has no equal when it comes to having horses ready to go a distance off a layoff. It's worth noting that during Arena Elvira's five-race winning streak, two of those victories came over top opponents in this race, R Gypsy Gold and Afleeting Lady.

TV: HRTV, TVG, NYRA Channel 71

BOLD RULER

Belmont Park, ninth race. Purse: $150,000. 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up. Post: 5:06 p.m.

LOWDOWN: Caixa Eletronica finished like a runaway locomotive in the Grade 1 Vosburgh going six furlongs over this track, and today he gets an extra furlong and what appears to be a spicy pace in front of him. He also holds an edge in class, is 8-for-19 at the distance and runs well at Belmont.

TV: HRTV, TVG, NYRA Channel 71

DE FRANCIS MEMORIAL DASH

Laurel Park, 10th race. Purse: $350,000. 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up. Post: 5:09 p.m.

LOWDOWN: Sean Avery was in the thick of it turning for home as the favorite in the Vosburgh, but flattened out late as his entrymate, Breeders' Cup-bound The Lumber Guy, won the race. Seeing as Sean Avery won his previous start, the Affiliate, coming off a 13-month layoff, there is reason to suspect he "bounced" in the Vosburgh. Last year, the 6-year-old gelding ran a couple of Beyer numbers that would crush anybody in this field.

TV: HRTV, NYRA Channel 71

LAST WEEK: At Belmont Park, Kelli Got Frosty (5-3) ran third in the Joseph A. Gimma paying $3.60 to show; Lunar Victory won the Empire Classic paying $3.60, $2.30, $2.10; Lubash (9-5) was fourth in the Mohawk.

ed.fountaine@nypost.com


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Red Bulls face key test

Forget all of the mathematical permutations, all the equations tougher than anything in "Good Will Hunting" or "A Beautiful Mind." The Red Bulls' task is simple, if not easy; win at rival Philadelphia on Saturday (1:30 pm, NBC) and they essentially will seal third place in the Eastern Conference and a playoff bye. If they don't, they will be consigned to the capricious wild-card round next week.

"It's very crucial,'' said coach Hans Backe, whose job status has come under constant scrutiny, and appears to rest on winning the team's first-ever MLS Cup. "It's good to know the conditions, that we need to win to finish third. That means we have a full week to the next week. Otherwise we have to play a wild-card game on Wednesday. So it's a massive game."

The Red Bulls can clinch third with a win, coupled with any of the following: a Chicago loss against D.C. Saturday, a Chicago/D.C. tie (the Red Bulls must maintain their plus-nine scored advantage over the Fire), or a Chicago win (the Red Bulls must hold their plus-two goals scored advantage over United).

If they finish third, they will play host to the first leg of the Eastern semifinals either Nov. 3 or Nov. 4 with the return leg on the road either Nov. 7 or 8. But if they fail to win today at PPL Park, they will have to play the knockout round either Wednesday or Thursday.

brian.lewis@nypost.com


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Sandy upgraded to hurricane again

MIAMI — Forecasters say Sandy has again reached hurricane strength, with sustained winds of 75 mph.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday morning that a Hurricane Hunter aircraft found Sandy had sustained winds powerful enough to upgrade it to a Category 1 hurricane. It had been downgraded to a tropical storm just hours earlier.

Regardless of its official category, Sandy is expected to be a monstrous storm that poses a serious threat for the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Forecasters say Sandy is a massive cyclone, with hurricane-force winds recorded as far as 100 miles away from the eye of the storm.

Tropical storm conditions could be felt in the Carolinas by Saturday evening.


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Nets owner Prokhorov leaving business to focus on politics

MOSCOW — Billionaire Brooklyn Nets owner and former Russian presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov said Saturday he's leaving business to focus full-time on politics, returning to the political arena after remaining silent through a five-month Kremlin crackdown on the opposition.

The 47-year-old Prokhorov, who is believed to be worth about $13 billion, finished third in Russia's presidential election in March amid speculation that his candidacy was orchestrated by the Kremlin. Though he denied the claim, he was nowhere to be seen as the government launched a crackdown on the opposition this spring, arresting activists and introducing new harsh legislation.

Prokhorov appeared Saturday at the first conference of the party he set up several months ago, announcing that he would put his money in a trust fund and let his partners at the investment vehicle Onexim run the shop.

Prokhorov told reporters after the conference that he wants to lead "a third power" in the country, competing both with the Kremlin and the opposition.

Although the tycoon frequented last winter's protest rallies before the crackdown, he has always been moderate in criticizing President Vladimir Putin and preferred to distance himself from anti-Putin opposition leaders like Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov.

Elsewhere in Moscow, Navalny and other opposition figures held the first session of a council to organize resistance to Putin, calling it the first democratically elected body in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Over 80,000 people voted for the council last weekend, mostly online.

Navalny, a charismatic anti-corruption activist who chaired the meeting, said the council had a "huge mandate of trust" allowing leaders to speak for the tens of thousands who participated in street protests last winter.


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Ed Fountaine’s Stakes Spot Plays

TURNBACK THE ALARM

Belmont Park, eighth race. Grade 3. Purse: $150,000. 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares. Post: 4:34 p.m.

LOWDOWN: Arena Elvira looked like a world-beater before Bill Mott put her on the shelf in April, and now she returns showing bullet works for a trainer who has no equal when it comes to having horses ready to go a distance off a layoff. It's worth noting that during Arena Elvira's five-race winning streak, two of those victories came over top opponents in this race, R Gypsy Gold and Afleeting Lady.

TV: HRTV, TVG, NYRA Channel 71

BOLD RULER

Belmont Park, ninth race. Purse: $150,000. 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up. Post: 5:06 p.m.

LOWDOWN: Caixa Eletronica finished like a runaway locomotive in the Grade 1 Vosburgh going six furlongs over this track, and today he gets an extra furlong and what appears to be a spicy pace in front of him. He also holds an edge in class, is 8-for-19 at the distance and runs well at Belmont.

TV: HRTV, TVG, NYRA Channel 71

DE FRANCIS MEMORIAL DASH

Laurel Park, 10th race. Purse: $350,000. 6 furlongs, 3-year-olds and up. Post: 5:09 p.m.

LOWDOWN: Sean Avery was in the thick of it turning for home as the favorite in the Vosburgh, but flattened out late as his entrymate, Breeders' Cup-bound The Lumber Guy, won the race. Seeing as Sean Avery won his previous start, the Affiliate, coming off a 13-month layoff, there is reason to suspect he "bounced" in the Vosburgh. Last year, the 6-year-old gelding ran a couple of Beyer numbers that would crush anybody in this field.

TV: HRTV, NYRA Channel 71

LAST WEEK: At Belmont Park, Kelli Got Frosty (5-3) ran third in the Joseph A. Gimma paying $3.60 to show; Lunar Victory won the Empire Classic paying $3.60, $2.30, $2.10; Lubash (9-5) was fourth in the Mohawk.

ed.fountaine@nypost.com


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Rutgers wary of Kent State’s Archer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — While fans and media will focus on three huge showdowns that will decide the Big East race, Rutgers can't afford to. The Scarlet Knights need look no further than three league teams falling to MAC foes — and their own Homecoming upset loss to Tulane two years ago — to ensure their focus stays on Kent State.

Saturday's game at High Point Solutions Stadium (3:30, SNY, WOR-710 AM), in which the Knights face a MAC foe before a bye week followed by a game against Army, easily could be called a trap game. But the 18th-ranked Scarlet Knights (7-0) say they can't look past a 6-1 Kent State squad coached by former Rutgers assistant Darrell Hazell and led by running back/wide receiver Dri Archer.

"When you get to this point in the season, teams that are 6-1 are 6-1 for a reason. This team knows how to win,'' Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. "This is a very well-coached team, and certainly our players know that teams from that conference don't go anywhere in the country and are intimidated. We'll get their best shot, and we need to make sure they get ours.''

Much will be made of unbeaten Louisville's 34-31 overtime victory over Cincinnati, the first of three Big East showdowns expected to decide the league (Rutgers' games at Cincinnati Nov. 17 and against visiting Louisville on Nov. 29 are the others). But The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Archer could single-handedly ruin the Knights' hopes of an undefeated season.

"They have the most dynamic offensive player in the country,'' Flood said. "He has video-game-like statistics. He's a tremendous, tremendous offensive weapon. He's the most dynamic offensive player I've seen on film or television this year.''

Archer is averaging 10.1 yards per carry, 13.9 yards per reception on a team-high 20 catches and an amazing NCAA-best 47.7 yards per kick return. All that adds up to a nation-leading 212.9 all-purpose yards per game, numbers hard enough to put up in EA Sports' NCAA Football, much less in FBS-level football.

"They're a good team and the MAC is showing they have some good teams," safety Duron Harmon said. "They play some good football."

Hazell, who was on former coach Greg Schiano's first Rutgers staff and won a national title as an Ohio State assistant, has Kent State rising in his second year at the helm.

The Golden Flashes, however, lost their only other game against a BCS-conference foe this year, a 47-14 drubbing at Kentucky (1-7), and their defense will give Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova and running back Jawan Jamison opportunities.

brian.lewis@nypost.com


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Red Bulls face key test

Forget all of the mathematical permutations, all the equations tougher than anything in "Good Will Hunting" or "A Beautiful Mind." The Red Bulls' task is simple, if not easy; win at rival Philadelphia on Saturday (1:30 pm, NBC) and they essentially will seal third place in the Eastern Conference and a playoff bye. If they don't, they will be consigned to the capricious wild-card round next week.

"It's very crucial,'' said coach Hans Backe, whose job status has come under constant scrutiny, and appears to rest on winning the team's first-ever MLS Cup. "It's good to know the conditions, that we need to win to finish third. That means we have a full week to the next week. Otherwise we have to play a wild-card game on Wednesday. So it's a massive game."

The Red Bulls can clinch third with a win, coupled with any of the following: a Chicago loss against D.C. Saturday, a Chicago/D.C. tie (the Red Bulls must maintain their plus-nine scored advantage over the Fire), or a Chicago win (the Red Bulls must hold their plus-two goals scored advantage over United).

If they finish third, they will play host to the first leg of the Eastern semifinals either Nov. 3 or Nov. 4 with the return leg on the road either Nov. 7 or 8. But if they fail to win today at PPL Park, they will have to play the knockout round either Wednesday or Thursday.

brian.lewis@nypost.com


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Sandy downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm; East Coast threat still remains

The National Weather Service has downgraded Sandy from a hurricane to a tropical storm but warns that "widespread impacts" are still expected into next week for the East Coast.

The storm was expected to increase in speed and move away from the Bahamas and parallel to the southeast coast of the United States later this weekend.

Maximum sustained winds dropped to near 70 mph early Saturday, pushing it below the threshold for being classified as a hurricane. However, the weather service said it was possible that the storm could regain strength by Sunday night.

Sandy killed more than 40 people in the Caribbean, wrecked homes and knocked down trees and power lines.


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US retruns 4,000 archeological relics to Mexico

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 26 Oktober 2012 | 20.49

EL PASO, Texas — More than 4,000 archaeological artifacts looted from Mexico and seized in the US have been returned to Mexican authorities in what experts say is one of the largest such repatriations between the countries.

The items returned Thursday mostly date from before European explorers landed in North America and include items from hunter-gatherers in pre-Columbian northern Mexico, such as stones used to grind corn, statues, figurines and copper hatchets, said Pedro Sanchez, president of the National Archaeological Council of Mexico.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents seized the relics in El Paso, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, San Diego and San Antonio, though most of the artifacts — including items traced to a 2008 theft from a museum in Mexico — turned up in Fort Stockton, a Texas town about 230 miles southeast of El Paso.

AP

This clay statue is one of the seized artifacts returned to Mexico.

More than two dozen pieces of pottery were seized in Kalispell, Mont., where Homeland Security agents discovered that a consignor had paid Mexican Indians to loot items from burial sites deep in the Mexican Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico, authorities said.

Although most of the items turned over are arrowheads, several are of "incalculable archaeological value," Sanchez told The Associated Press. He said it was the biggest archaeological repatriation in terms of the number of items that the U.S has made to Mexico.

US officials displayed the relics at the Mexican Consulate in El Paso before handing them over during a ceremony Thursday. The artifacts will eventually be taken to the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, where they will be studied, cataloged and distributed to museums across Mexico.

Most of the items were uncovered during a string of seizures in West Texas in 2009, following a tip about relics illegally entering the US at a border crossing in Presidio, Texas.

Homeland Security special agent Dennis Ulrich said authorities executing a search warrant in Fort Stockton found the largest portion of the cache. Further investigation revealed that the two men behind the smuggling were also involved in drug trafficking from Mexico to the US, he said.

Sanchez said some of the relics found in Fort Stockton were stolen from a private collection at the Cuatro Cienagas museum in the Mexican state of Coahuila.

The items also include arrows, hunting bows and even extremely well conserved textile items such as sandals and pieces of baskets.


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Bumper crop of peanuts could lead to cheaper peanut butter

ATLANTA — Choosy moms and dads may be packing more PB&J in lunches this winter, when the cost of a jar of Jif or Skippy is expected to fall even as other grocery prices rise.

Peanut butter prices soared last year after a drought and high heat in the Southeast, where most peanuts are grown. This year, that region got a break while farmers in most of the rest of the United State suffered huge losses in the widest drought in decades.

Farmers are now expected to bring in two-thirds more peanuts than they did in 2011. That could mean a price drop at the grocery store.

"After last year's small crop, we saw peanut butter prices on average rise 30 percent or more," said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. "With this year's excellent crop, the supply and demand should come back into balance and peanut butter prices should come back to a more normal level at the retail level."

A 10 percent decrease on a $3 jar of peanut butter, for example, would translate to a savings of 30 cents. That may seem nominal, but the impact is greater for food banks and other big buyers.

Bill Bolling, founder and executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, said food banks usually must buy protein-rich items like peanut butter, beans and meat. His organization buys anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 pounds of peanut butter each year, depending on the price.

"If costs go down 10 percent or 20 percent, we can buy that much more product," Bolling said. A big supply also increases the possibility of donations — for instance, a company may donate large shipments if there is a mistake in packaging or a huge surplus, he said.

Bolling said peanut butter is one of the most popular products at the food bank because children like it, it's high in protein and it has a long shelf life.

Peanuts are already considered a staple of the American diet, with the average U.S. consumer eating about 6 pounds of peanut butter and other peanut products each year, according to estimates from the American Peanut Council, an industry trade group. But peanut butter could become even more attractive as strong global demand, high prices for livestock feed and a huge sell-off of cattle and other animals in drought keep pushing up meat prices.

US farmers are expected to produce more than 3 million tons of peanuts in 2012, according to figures released Oct. 11 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's a 66 percent increase over 2011, when growers produced more than 1.8 million tons.

Experts say several factors created the perfect conditions for a banner year. High peanut prices after last year's small crop encouraged farmers to plant more; USDA figures show acreage was up nearly 50 percent in 2012 compared with a year earlier. Farmers in the Southeast also got a break in the weather. Spring came early, allowing them to plant sooner. Temperatures were generally milder, and thunderstorms in August and September provided some much-needed relief in the weeks before farmers began the peanut harvest, which is currently in full swing.

Experts also say a peanut variety developed in recent years is boosting the record yields, in part because it tends to be resistant to disease.

"In this south Georgia area, we probably had as good a growing season as I can remember in a long time, and maybe in my 26 years (as executive director)," said Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

Georgia by far produces more peanuts than any other state, though the legumes are grown in sandy soil from Mississippi to Florida and north to the Carolinas.

Most farmers sell a portion of their crop at a set price before they even plant, so they'll get the higher prices in effect last year for some of their product. Koehler said that should offset any losses they'll take on peanuts sold at today's lower prices, although farmers who didn't sell much in advance may have a tougher time.

"If they can hold some a little bit later, it may be that the market goes back up some point out in the future," he said.

Still, most farmers are grateful for a decent harvest after seeing some plants dry up in dusty ground last year and in some cases having to altogether abandon some acres, said Armond Morris, who farms 1,000 acres of peanuts in south Georgia's Irwin County and serves as chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission.

"For the last two or three years, we had had some really tough years," Morris said. "A lot of things have really fallen into place (this year)."


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Prosecutors to ask for gag order in Trayvon Martin case

SANFORD, Fla. — Prosecutors will ask a judge to impose a gag order in the case of a former neighborhood watch leader accused of fatally shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Assistant state attorney Bernie de la Rionda is set to argue his motion Friday. De la Rionda says in his court filing that he believes George Zimmerman's defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, has been using a website, social media and news conferences to influence potential jurors.

O'Mara launched a website, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts in April, citing a need to diffuse fraudulent Internet entities that claimed to come from Zimmerman. O'Mara contends he doesn't discuss any specific evidence and has been compliant with all bar rules.

Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder in the February shooting and has pleaded not guilty.


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Suicide bomber kills 36 people, wounds 23 in Afghanistan: officials

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing 36 people and wounding 23, officials said.

The attack in the town of Maymana, capital of northern Faryab province, came as people were gathering at the mosque to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Top provincial officials, including the governor and the police chief, were inside the building when the bomber set off his explosives outside, where a large crowd had gathered, officials said. The officials were not hurt, but most of the dead were police officers and soldiers.

REUTERS

An Afghan policeman runs after a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in Maimana, capital of Faryab province, in this still image taken from video today.

"The targets of the bomber were all the officials inside the mosque," Deputy Governor Abdul Satar Barez said. He said the dead included 14 civilians.

"There was blood and dead bodies everywhere," said Khaled, a doctor who was in the mosque at the time of the blast. "It was a massacre," said Khaled, who like many Afghans uses only one name.

Video from the scene showed the motionless bodies of several soldiers and policemen lying next to their vehicles parked on a tree-lined avenue of the city, located about 300 miles northwest of Kabul. On the sidewalk, a number of civilians lay along the mosque's outer wall, some writhing and moaning in pain.

It appeared to be the deadliest suicide attack in recent months.

On Sept. 4, 25 civilians were killed and more than 35 wounded in Nanghar province, and on Sept. 1, 12 people were killed and 47 wounded in a suicide attack in Wardak province.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack, saying that those who carried it out were "enemies of Islam and humanity."

He said in a statement that 36 people died in the blast and 23 were injured.

The attack came as Karzai was urging Taliban insurgents "to stop killing other Afghans."

In his Eid al-Adha message to the nation on Friday morning, Karzai called on the insurgents to "stop the destruction of our mosques, hospitals and schools."

The United Nations says that Taliban attacks account for the vast majority of civilian casualties in the 11-year war. The insurgents routinely deny that they are responsible for attacks on civilians, saying they target only foreign troops or members of the Afghan security forces.

On Wednesday, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar urged his fighters to "pay full attention to the prevention of civilian casualties," saying the enemy was trying to blame them on the insurgents.

Also Friday, the Taliban claimed responsibility for killing two American service members in southern Uruzgan province, in what may have been the latest insider attack against Western troops.

In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Yusuf Ahmadi said a member of the Afghan security forces shot the two men the day before, then escaped to join the insurgents.

A spate of insider attacks has undermined trust between international troops and Afghan army and police, further weakened public support for the 11-year war in NATO countries and increased calls for earlier withdrawals.

Maj. Lori Hodge, spokeswoman for US forces in Afghanistan, said on Thursday that authorities were trying to determine whether the latest attacker was a member of the Afghan security forces or an insurgent who donned a government uniform.

It was the second suspected insider attack in two days. On Wednesday, two British troops and an Afghan policeman were gunned down in Helmand province.

Before Thursday's assault, 53 foreigners attached to the US-led coalition had been killed in attacks by Afghan soldiers or police this year.


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Hero cop promoted to detective after taking bullet in chest, shooting down armed thug

Hero cop Ivan Marcano was promoted to detective this morning during an impromptu bedside visit by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

"He was surprised -- he was a little sedated. Certainly very happy," said Kelly after returning from Bronx Lebanon Hospital to City Hall with the mayor.

"He just did a remarkable job and (there was) a promotion ceremony today, so we thought it would be appropriate to do it. Obviously, he couldn't attend, so that's why we did it."

Kelly was referring to a previously scheduled NYPD promotion ceremony.

Asked how Mercano reacted, Kelly said with a chuckle: "Thank you very much. It was a nice moment, but clearly it was a surprise for him."

Ivan Marcano

Also present at the bedside was Mercano's girlfriend.

Bloomberg canceled his WOR radio show so he could appear with Kelly.

Dramatic video released yesterday shows Marcano holding one hand over a bleeding bullet wound in his chest — and a gun in the other as he chases down three armed robbers in The Bronx.

Marcano fatally shot one of them and, still disregarding his injury, kept sprinting after another before he finally made his way to an ambulance for a trip to the hospital.

The surveillance video shows the 27-year-old off-duty cop as he squeezes off 10 shots — using a livery cab and other cars as cover — at members of the "Jackson Avenue Gunners'' gang who had shot him minutes after he broke up a robbery.

The left-handed Marcano used that hand to apply pressure to his wound as he fired his Glock with his weaker right hand.

But Marcano still managed to put a bullet into the head of the man who shot him, Prince James. The 18-year-old thug had been busted for a shooting last month, but the Bronx DA declined to prosecute.

James died on the sidewalk at Burnside and Harrison avenues, next to the gang's white Mustang getaway car.

Police yesterday were questioning a suspect they believe was the wheel man. They were still looking for another accomplice sources identified as Jason Leiva, 20.

They face charges for the attempted murder of the officer and robbery of cab driver Mario Abarca, 60.

The gun James used to shoot Marcano was stolen from South Carolina, sources said. James had a string of prior arrests — including assault, robbery and grand larceny — and was wanted for a parole violation, police sources said.

In the September Bronx case, James was arrested for allegedly shooting a rival gang member in the foot. A warm, .38caliber gun with spent casings was found on the sidewalk next to James.

The victim refused to cooperate and DA Robert Johnson — whom The Post last month exclusively revealed has the lowest prosecution rate of any city district attorney— did not bring him to trial.

"They were waiting for DNA on the gun and released him," said one fuming source. "They could have held him on a parole violation. Three days later they decided to — but by then he was gone."

A spokesman for Johnson said there was "no public record" of that case but said it would have been dropped because it couldn't be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Marcano's world collided with James' as the cop was sitting in a car with girlfriend Hilda Miolan Forteza outside Abarca's apartment building.

She spotted the holdup and, as Marcano got out of his car, James suddenly drew his gun and blasted at the cop, sources said.

The bullet grazed the cop's left arm and entered his chest, just missing his heart.

As Forteza rushed Marcano to the hospital, they wound up behind James' getaway car, the video shows.

The Mustang lurched forward, rear-ended a black livery cab, bounced off a parked car and careened onto the sidewalk.

The suspects fled the car, with James and Leiva allegedly brandishing their guns.

Marcano scrambled out of his car, took cover, ordered passersby to "get down!" and fired. He shot James, then chased another suspect.

After losing him, Marcano got into a nearby ambulance to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. The cop, whose dad, Victor, died in a plane crash off Rockaway shortly after 9/11 — had the bullet removed yesterday.

"He said he was lucky," Marcano's grandfather Matias said. "Everything is OK. He doesn't complain about anything."

Additional reporting by Doug Auer, Larry Celona, Reuven Fenton, Erin Calabrese and Kirstan Conley


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NYPD Daily Blotter

Queens

***

Cops are looking for a Rego Park bank bandit who brandished a metal pipe as a weapon, police said.

The suspect allegedly entered the HSBC branch at 137-61 Queens Blvd. at about 10:55 a.m. last Friday and passed a demand note to a teller.

He then displayed the weapon concealed under a newspaper and fled with an undisclosed sum of cash, police added.

The Bronx

***

Two brutes were busted in the mugging of two women in Mott Haven, authorities said.

The victims were near Brook Avenue and East 148th Street at about 3 a.m. Sunday when they were cornered allegedly by Rafael Olmeda, 35, and David Cortes, 33.

Cops are looking for a Rego Park bank bandit who brandished a metal pipe as a weapon, police said.

Cops are looking for a Rego Park bank bandit who brandished a metal pipe as a weapon, police said.

The suspect pictured above boosted a cellphone from a 49-year-old woman after shoving her to the ground in Coney Island, police said.

The suspect pictured above boosted a cellphone from a 49-year-old woman after shoving her to the ground in Coney Island, police said.

A cold-hearted crook is wanted for knocking off two ice cream shops, police said.

A cold-hearted crook is wanted for knocking off two ice cream shops, police said.

The suspects pinned the women against a parked car and snatched a purse containing a wallet, debit cards, a driver's license, two cellphones and cash, court papers state.

Cops soon arrested the suspects on charges of robbery, grand larceny and possession of stolen property, records show.

Brooklyn

***

A man illegally evicted a neighbor from an apartment in a Bushwick building and stole $8,000 worth of property, authorities said.

Jamar Vasquez, 26, whose uncle owns the building, allegedly changed the locks of the victim's Greene Avenue pad on Oct. 8 and snatched jewelry, a TV, a heater, toys and bicycles.

Vasquez kept some of the items and discarded others at the curb, cops said.

When the victim returned home the following day, he discovered that the locks had been changed and was told by his girlfriend that Vasquez had made off with the loot because of a pending eviction notice, law-enforcement sources said.

Vasquez's uncle had obtained an order of eviction against the victim, stating that he had to leave by Oct. 31, the sources added.

Vasquez was arrested Tuesday on charges of burglary, unlawful eviction and grand larceny, records show.

***

A suspect boosted a cellphone from a 49-year-old woman after shoving her to the ground in Coney Island, police said.

The mugging occurred at about 1 p.m. Monday on Mermaid Avenue near the Coney Island Houses, police added.

***

A Sunset Park student attacked a school safety agent trying to bust up a brawl among classmates, police sources said.

Khalil Mann, 17, allegedly choked and pummeled the 32-year-old agent at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 16 at PS 371 on 37th Street near Fourth Avenue, the sources added.

The victim was treated at Lutheran Medical Center and Mann was charged with assault and obstruction of breathing, records show.

***

A cold-hearted crook is wanted for knocking off two ice cream shops, police said.

The suspect allegedly struck a Tasti D-Lite in Park Slope on Oct. 17 and a Blue Marble Ice Cream shop in Cobble Hill Monday.

In both stick-ups, he pulled a gun on a counter clerk, demanded money and fled with cash, police said.

***

A mugger armed with a metal pipe tried to rob a man in Williamsburg, authorities said.

José Rivera, 36, allegedly approached the victim at Stagg and Union streets at about 8:20 a.m. Tuesday and snarled, "Give me the f--king money."

The victim fled and flagged down officers in a patrol car nearby, who collared Rivera on charges of attempted robbery and weapons possession.

Staten Island

***

A teen brandishing a small knife stabbed a foe 11 times amid an Oakwood brawl, authorities said.

A fight broke out between two groups of young men at Primrose Place and Tysens Lane at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, law-enforcement sources said.

During the melee, Albert Rizzi, 17, repeatedly plunged a blade into chest, shoulder and back of the 20-year-old victim, sources added.

Rizzi, who claimed he was acting in self-defense, was charged with assault and weapons possession, court records show.


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Baby dead in Bronx apartment fire likely set to cover up mother's murder: sources

Christopher Sadowski

Police officers visit the Bronx apartment where a 1-month-old baby girl and her mother died.

A 1-month old "beautiful" baby girl was killed last night in a Bronx apartment fire likely set to cover up the murder of her mother, who was found dead with multiple stab wounds, police sources said.

Horrified firefighters — who believed they were responding to a routine apartment blaze on Albany Crescent in Kingsbridge — tried desperately to revive the infant, performing CPR on her atop a car on the street, authorities said.

But she was pronounced dead of smoke inhalation at Jacobi Hospital shortly afterward.

The 32-year-old mother, whose name was withheld, was dead at the scene.

The woman had been stabbed repeatedly in the torso and arms, then dragged to a bathroom and tossed under a mattress, which was set ablaze, according to the FDNY and sources.

"The bathroom was lit on fire, possibly to cover up the crime scene," said Joe Saccente, FDNY Deputy Fire Chief.

The infant was found in the bathroom in a tub, according to the FDNY.

A police source said that authorities are treating the heinous crime as a double murder.

Cops are looking to question the woman's boyfriend, the source added.

It's unclear if that boyfriend is the baby's father.

"She looked like she'd been through a lot," said one neighbor.

The murdered woman had been a victim of domestic violence in the past, and had another child — who was under the care of the city's Administration for Children's Services — said the neighbor.

Neighbors said she was devoted to the newborn.

"I saw her like a week ago, and I was telling her how beautiful she was," said one.

"She was very tiny."

The crime stunned residents of the five-story building.

"It's devastating that this baby could perish," said Kizzy Marte, who lives across from the charred apartment.

"Who would do this?"

Additional reporting by Antonio Antenucci


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Mother's blog serves as haunting tribute to Manhattan stabbing victims

Littlemisslucia.livejournal.com

Leo Krim recently celebrated his second birthday.

Leo enjoyed playing with trains and collecting acorns.

Lucia was a first grader with a megawatt smile.

Manhattan mom Marina Krim was proud and humored by her three children, and she posted pictures and slice-of-life stories about them in an online LiveJournal blog titled "Life with the Little Krim Kids." Krim's husband Kevin is a CNBC executive.

Life with the growing Krim children was happy and cheerful and innocent.

But the posts about play-dates and pumpkin picking took a sudden, haunting turn Thursday, after police say the children's' nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, stabbed Lucia, 6, and Leo, 2, to death before trying to take her own life.

Littlemisslucia.livejournal.com

Lucia Krim, 6, recently started first grade.

The couple's middle child, Nessie, 3, was with her mother at the time of the attack.

No motives have been released. None will make any sense.

Marina last posted on the site after 2:30 Thursday, hours before the tragedy.

"Leo speaks in the most adorable way possible," she wrote. "Firstly, he speaks super clearly, so you can understand every word is he is saying. And he does things like, "(I) want a fresh bagel" and "Dito (what he calls himself) wants cold milk" and most adorable of all, "No thank you" - he never uses "No" alone, it's always paired with "thank you."

Following the tragedy, the blog became a place for mourning and reflection, with nearly 400 people leaving condolences and prayers for a mother who's lost so much.

"Can't stop thinking about your beautiful family tonight," one commenter wrote. "Continually praying for you. My heart breaks for you and your husband."

Before Thursday, the blog conveyed anything but heartbreak. Messiness? Adventures? Definitely. Their Little Krim Kids' childhood was full of watercolor and smiles. They took tennis lessons and went on treks throughout the city.

In February, the family vacationed in the Dominican Republic, spending time with Ortega's family.

Marina Krim has been posting to her blog for years. On Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, the world got its first view of Leo Hidalgo Krim, weighing in at six pounds, 15 ounces.

Thousands of pictures later and the blog now serves a different purpose, a chance to remember the times when trains and acorns were all that mattered.

Littlemisslucia.livejournal.com

Lucia, Leo and Nessie Krim.


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