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7 shot in B’klyn

Written By kom nampuldu on Minggu, 30 Juni 2013 | 20.50

Seven people were wounded early this morning, when gunfire erupted at a party in a residential Brooklyn neighborhood, authorities said.

Shots rang out near Clarendon Road and East 52nd Street in East Flatbush around 12:30 a.m. during a house party gone sour, cops said.

It was not immediately known was sparked the violence but police said that a dispute preceded the gunfire.

A woman, suffering from respiratory failure, was listed in critical condition. Five others were in serious condition, while a seventh person suffered non-life threatening injuries following the disturbance, police said.

"I heard the gun shots — quite a few, 15 at the least. Maybe more," said an East 52nd Street resident. "I heard people running as soon as the shooting started."

The victims were rushed to Kings County Hospital, police said.


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Egypt on the brink: Nationwide protests call for Morsi's ouster

An Egyptian protester waves a national flag from the top of a light pole during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013.Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gather for noon prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo Sunday, June 30, 2013.

AP

An Egyptian protester waves a national flag from the top of a light pole during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013.

CAIRO — Thousands of opponents and supporters of Egypt's Islamist president began massing in city squares in competing rallies Sunday, gearing up for a day of massive nationwide protests that many fear could turn deadly as the opposition seeks to push out Mohammed Morsi.

Waving Egyptian flags, crowds descended on Tahrir Square in the heart of Cairo, one of multiple sites in the capital and around the country where they plan rallies. Chants of "erhal!" or "leave!," rang out in the square, birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

On the other side of Cairo, thousands of the Islamist leader's backers gathered not far from the presidential palace in a show of support. Some wore homemade body armor and construction hats and carried shields and clubs — precautions, they said, against possible violence.

There is a sense among opponents and supporters of Morsi that Sunday's rally is a make-or-break day, hiking worries that the two camps will come to blows despite vows by each to remain peaceful. Already at least seven people, including an American, have been killed in clashes the past week, mainly in Nile Delta cities and the coastal city of Alexandria.

An Egyptian protester waves a national flag from the top of a light pole during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Sunday, June 30, 2013.Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gather for noon prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo Sunday, June 30, 2013.

AP

Opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gather for noon prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo Sunday, June 30, 2013.

The demonstrations on Sunday, the anniversary of Morsi's inauguration as Egypt's first freely elected leader, are the culmination of growing polarization since he took office.

In one camp are the president and his Islamist allies, including the Muslim Brotherhood and more hard-line groups. They have vowed to defend Morsi, saying street demonstrations cannot be allowed to remove a freely elected leader.

The other is an array of secular and liberal Egyptians as well as moderate Muslims and Christians — and what the opposition says is a broad sector of the general public that has turned against the Islamists. They say the Islamists have overstepped their election mandate, accusing them of trying to monopolize power and woefully mismanaging the country.

The opposition believes that with sheer numbers in the street, it can pressure Morsi to step down — perhaps with the added weight of the powerful military if it signals the president should go.

"Today, the people will triumph over fascism," prominent pro-democracy campaigner and bestselling novelist Alaa al-Aswany wrote on his Twitter account.


20.49 | 0 komentar | Read More

7 shot in B’klyn

Seven people were wounded early this morning, when gunfire erupted at a party in a residential Brooklyn neighborhood, authorities said.

Shots rang out near Clarendon Road and East 52nd Street in East Flatbush around 12:30 a.m. during a house party gone sour, cops said.

It was not immediately known was sparked the violence but police said that a dispute preceded the gunfire.

A woman, suffering from respiratory failure, was listed in critical condition. Five others were in serious condition, while a seventh person suffered non-life threatening injuries following the disturbance, police said.

"I heard the gun shots — quite a few, 15 at the least. Maybe more," said an East 52nd Street resident. "I heard people running as soon as the shooting started."

The victims were rushed to Kings County Hospital, police said.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

National treasures — and fool’s gold

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 29 Juni 2013 | 20.50

With the All-Star Game a little more than two weeks away, Roto Files is looking at the best-of-the-best and the worst-of-the-worst from the first half of the fantasy season in a two-part series. This week: the National League's winners and losers.

With the Midsummer Classic right around the corner, it's time to hand out awards to the players helping or hurting your fantasy teams during the season's first half.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to see all of the rehearsed song and dance routines (one of which was a moving interpretational dance performed by Mr. Met, the Philly Phanatic and Bernie Brewer), and a skit performed by Bobcat Goldthwait and David Hasselhoff about how much St. Louis misses Albert Pujols.

Also, due to the fact we forgot to order them, players will not receive trophies this year. But, they will get a nifty, unframed certificate (OK, fine, it's just a piece of paper with a stick figure drawn on it). So, without further ado, here are the NL winners — and losers (stats don't include Friday night's games):

MVP: On paper, Carlos Gonzalez looks like the front-runner for the MVP award for the first half of the season (.297, 21 HR, 58 RBIs, 14 SB). Only problem is this: Paul Goldschmidt! Gonzalez was the ninth overall selection in drafts this season(an 11.2 average draft position, according to fantasypros.com, which averages draft positions from ESPN, Yahoo, CBS and MockDraftCentral.com). Goldschmidt, however, had an ADP of 50.5. Big things were expected of him, but he was never going to be a first-round pick. Based on that, and the fact Goldschmidt has a higher batting average, more RBIs, two fewer homers and the same number of hits, we believe the third-year player is the first half MVP.

LVP: After receiving a five-year, $72.5 million contract from Atlanta, B.J. Upton (52.1 ADP) has provided the Braves and fantasy owners with a .174 batting average, eight homers and 17 RBIs. If he were a pitcher, his 84 strikeouts would be helpful. He's a bust!

TOP PITCHER: Though Adam Wainwright, Jordan Zimmermann, Lance Lynn and Cliff Lee all have more wins, no one has captivated the baseball world like Matt Harvey. Despite the fact the Mets score runs at a snail's pace and their lack of offense has cost the ace several wins, Roto Files believes Harvey's stats are unmatched. He had the NL's lowest ERA (2.05) and WHIP (0.88) heading into last night's game, and also led the league in strikeouts (121). A true ace, both in the real and fantasy world.

SON OF A PITCH! With an average draft position of 34.6 (the sixth pitcher taken overall — 36 spots higher than Harvey), the Phillies' Cole Hamels (2-11) has been disastrous. He's a bona fide ace and he has one more win and two more losses than Shaun Marcum (1-9). Owners must keep their fingers crossed he can turn it around.


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American student killed in violent Egypt clashes

JERUSALEM — The State Department has identified the American killed in Egypt during violent clashes between government supporters and opponents.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, traveling with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Middle East, says Andrew Pochter was killed Friday in Alexandria. The department has issued a warning advising Americans to defer nonessential travel to Egypt because of the continuing violence there.

Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, says in a statement on its website that Pochter was a 21-year-old student from Chevy Chase, Md., working in Egypt as an intern for a non-profit education organization.

The State Department says the young American was killed while photographing battles between supporters and foes of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Details were not available.


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Barack and Michelle Obama meeting privately with Mandela family

JOHANNESBURG — President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are meeting privately with the family of Nelson Mandela.

The meeting is taking place at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, which is part of the former South African president's foundation.

The White House didn't say which Mandela family members the Obamas are meeting with.

The president and first lady will not meet with the ailing 94-year-old Mandela, who is hospitalized with a lung infection. The White House says that decision was made in accordance with the Mandela family's wishes.


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Charges pending after two killed in gruesome Queens car crash

Two teens are dead after a gruesome early morning car accident on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, cops said.

The one-car wreck ejected three of the six passengers after the possibly intoxicated 21-year-old male driver lost control and slammed into a guardrail while traveling eastbound near Utopia Parkway in Jamaica Estates at around 3:50 a.m., police sources said.

A 16-year-old girl and a 18-year-old boy were ejected from the car and were pronounced dead at the scene, cops said. A 17-year-old boy who was also hurled from the vehicle was listed in critical condition at Booth Memorial Hospital. The other three passengers — all males ages 17, 19 and 21 — were taken to Booth Memorial with only minor injuries.

Sources said the group may have been out partying before the crash and said the driver is under arrest and charges are pending.


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Alec Baldwin: I'm not homophobic

Alec Baldwin has apologized to a New York City-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group for a series of tweets that could be interpreted as homophobic.

Baldwin's messages were directed at a newspaper reporter who accused his wife of tweeting during the funeral for the former star of "The Sopranos" James Gandolfini (gan-dahl-FEE'-nee). Baldwin says in a letter to GLAAD posted on its website Friday his tweets didn't have anything to do with "issues of anyone's sexual orientation."

The former "30 Rock" star says he's done political work with marriage equality groups and insists he wouldn't advocate violence against someone for being gay.

Splash News

Alec Baldwin outside his house after being accused of tweeting insensitive remarks at James Gandolfini's funeral service in New York City.

GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro says Baldwin's language was improper and his tweets didn't reflect his "history of actively supporting LGBT equality."


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Nets owner spends big to win big

Mikhail Prokhorov has backed up his words with his wallet.

If anyone was wondering whether the Russian billionaire owner of the Nets was committed to trying to compete for a championship, it's impossible to question him after he empowered general manager Billy King to pull off Thursday night's massive blockbuster trade which brought future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry, to Brooklyn.

It's just the latest move in the massive transformation the franchise has undergone over the past 12 months, a makeover which has seen the Nets go from an NBA afterthought in their final season in New Jersey to having a potential starting lineup with a combined 35 All-Star Game appearances. It's a lineup ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy thinks, right now, is as good as any in the NBA.

Getty Images

RUSSIAN ROULETTE: With the additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to a Nets squad already filled with talent such as Deron Williams, owner Mikhail Prokhorov is sparing no expense chasing a title.

"I think, for the short term, the Nets certainly have the best starting lineup talent-wise in the NBA," Van Gundy said in an interview on ESPN 98.7 FM yesterday.

Not only does the trade provide the Nets toughness and leadership, it also will mean Prokhorov is set to commit a great deal of money to put this group on the floor next season.

After the moves the Nets made yesterday, their payroll already sits north of $95 million. Assuming the Nets use their mini mid-level exception, which starts at $3.183 million, and fill out their roster with players who sign for the veteran's minimum, their payroll will exceed $100 million.

Under the restrictive luxury tax penalties in the new collective bargaining agreement, the Nets will be facing a luxury tax bill next year of about $80 million. To put that in perspective, only four teams — the Lakers, Nets, Heat and Knicks — had a payroll of $80 million or more last season.

It's also a sign Prokhorov is willing to do whatever it takes to pursue a championship — including dipping into his personal fortune to pay his players — something many other NBA owners have proved unwilling to do.

"I give the ownership of the Nets a lot of credit, because we always hear about luxury taxes and how they can't afford to go over the luxury tax," Van Gundy said. "We often hear the word 'can't' be interjected where the word 'won't' is more descriptive.

"In this case, the Nets ownership put personnel for their team way ahead of profits. And, if you're a fan, you have to understand how rare that is and you have to be excited about the opportunity. Now, if this turns out to be a championship run or not, you have to be excited about an ownership that will put the personnel of a team ahead of the profits of that same team."

That, combined with the fact the Nets shipped out three first-round picks over the next five years in the deal — one each in 2014, 2016 and 2018 — as well as their final significant trade chip in Kris Humphries' $12 million expiring deal, makes it clear this is the move they hope will allow them build on their successful debut season in Brooklyn.

After winning 49 games and finishing with the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference last season, the Nets hope the combination of Pierce, Garnett and Terry — combined with moves in free agency — will allow them to do what Prokhorov has set out to do from the moment he bought the team: compete for a championship.

tbontemps@nypost.com


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Nets owner spends big to win big

Mikhail Prokhorov has backed up his words with his wallet.

If anyone was wondering whether the Russian billionaire owner of the Nets was committed to trying to compete for a championship, it's impossible to question him after he empowered general manager Billy King to pull off Thursday night's massive blockbuster trade which brought future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry, to Brooklyn.

It's just the latest move in the massive transformation the franchise has undergone over the past 12 months, a makeover which has seen the Nets go from an NBA afterthought in their final season in New Jersey to having a potential starting lineup with a combined 35 All-Star Game appearances. It's a lineup ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy thinks, right now, is as good as any in the NBA.

"I think, for the short term, the Nets certainly have the best starting lineup talent-wise in the NBA," Van Gundy said in an interview on ESPN 98.7 FM yesterday.

Not only does the trade provide the Nets toughness and leadership, it also will mean Prokhorov is set to commit a great deal of money to put this group on the floor next season.

After the moves the Nets made yesterday, their payroll already sits north of $95 million. Assuming the Nets use their mini mid-level exception, which starts at $3.183 million, and fill out their roster with players who sign for the veteran's minimum, their payroll will exceed $100 million.

Under the restrictive luxury tax penalties in the new collective bargaining agreement, the Nets will be facing a luxury tax bill next year of about $80 million. To put that in perspective, only four teams — the Lakers, Nets, Heat and Knicks — had a payroll of $80 million or more last season.

It's also a sign Prokhorov is willing to do whatever it takes to pursue a championship — including dipping into his personal fortune to pay his players — something many other NBA owners have proved unwilling to do.

"I give the ownership of the Nets a lot of credit, because we always hear about luxury taxes and how they can't afford to go over the luxury tax," Van Gundy said. "We often hear the word 'can't' be interjected where the word 'won't' is more descriptive.

"In this case, the Nets ownership put personnel for their team way ahead of profits. And, if you're a fan, you have to understand how rare that is and you have to be excited about the opportunity. Now, if this turns out to be a championship run or not, you have to be excited about an ownership that will put the personnel of a team ahead of the profits of that same team."

That, combined with the fact the Nets shipped out three first-round picks over the next five years in the deal — one each in 2014, 2016 and 2018 — as well as their final significant trade chip in Kris Humphries' $12 million expiring deal, makes it clear this is the move they hope will allow them build on their successful debut season in Brooklyn.

After winning 49 games and finishing with the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference last season, the Nets hope the combination of Pierce, Garnett and Terry — combined with moves in free agency — will allow them to do what Prokhorov has set out to do from the moment he bought the team: compete for a championship.

tbontemps@nypost.com


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

LI shootout drama

Suffolk County cops shot and wounded a man last night after he fired at them outside a home at 167 Carlton Drive East in Shirley, law-enforcement sources said.

The incident began about 11 p.m. when the unidentified man fired at officers, sources said.

"We were shot at, and we fired back," said one law-enforcement source, adding that the wounded suspect remained armed and had not been taken into custody as of 1 a.m. today.

"We just have to wait for him to surrender," the source said.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

National treasures — and fool’s gold

With the All-Star Game a little more than two weeks away, Roto Files is looking at the best-of-the-best and the worst-of-the-worst from the first half of the fantasy season in a two-part series. This week: the National League's winners and losers.

With the Midsummer Classic right around the corner, it's time to hand out awards to the players helping or hurting your fantasy teams during the season's first half.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to see all of the rehearsed song and dance routines (one of which was a moving interpretational dance performed by Mr. Met, the Philly Phanatic and Bernie Brewer), and a skit performed by Bobcat Goldthwait and David Hasselhoff about how much St. Louis misses Albert Pujols.

Also, due to the fact we forgot to order them, players will not receive trophies this year. But, they will get a nifty, unframed certificate (OK, fine, it's just a piece of paper with a stick figure drawn on it). So, without further ado, here are the NL winners — and losers (stats don't include Friday night's games):

MVP: On paper, Carlos Gonzalez looks like the front-runner for the MVP award for the first half of the season (.297, 21 HR, 58 RBIs, 14 SB). Only problem is this: Paul Goldschmidt! Gonzalez was the ninth overall selection in drafts this season(an 11.2 average draft position, according to fantasypros.com, which averages draft positions from ESPN, Yahoo, CBS and MockDraftCentral.com). Goldschmidt, however, had an ADP of 50.5. Big things were expected of him, but he was never going to be a first-round pick. Based on that, and the fact Goldschmidt has a higher batting average, more RBIs, two fewer homers and the same number of hits, we believe the third-year player is the first half MVP.

LVP: After receiving a five-year, $72.5 million contract from Atlanta, B.J. Upton (52.1 ADP) has provided the Braves and fantasy owners with a .174 batting average, eight homers and 17 RBIs. If he were a pitcher, his 84 strikeouts would be helpful. He's a bust!

TOP PITCHER: Though Adam Wainwright, Jordan Zimmermann, Lance Lynn and Cliff Lee all have more wins, no one has captivated the baseball world like Matt Harvey. Despite the fact the Mets score runs at a snail's pace and their lack of offense has cost the ace several wins, Roto Files believes Harvey's stats are unmatched. He had the NL's lowest ERA (2.05) and WHIP (0.88) heading into last night's game, and also led the league in strikeouts (121). A true ace, both in the real and fantasy world.

SON OF A PITCH! With an average draft position of 34.6 (the sixth pitcher taken overall — 36 spots higher than Harvey), the Phillies' Cole Hamels (2-11) has been disastrous. He's a bona fide ace and he has one more win and two more losses than Shaun Marcum (1-9). Owners must keep their fingers crossed he can turn it around.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pondexter’s 23 points help Liberty weather the Storm

SEATTLE — Though the Liberty still haven't solved their turnover problems, it didn't matter against the Seattle Storm.

Cappie Pondexter scored 23 points to help the Liberty overcome 22 turnovers and beat the Storm 67-62 Friday night for their first road win of the season.

"That's the most frustrating thing as a coach to ever go through to see the players just turn the ball over and many of them were just ridiculous turnovers," New York coach Bill Laimbeer said. "But our defense again is carrying us at the moment and, hopefully, it doesn't catch up to us at some point."

The Liberty, who had 17 turnovers in an 87-74 loss at Chicago on Wednesday, entered the game averaging a league-worst 19.5 per game.

Kara Braxton added a career-high 14 rebounds and eight points for the Liberty (5-4), who were 0-3 on the road. They also snapped an eight-game losing streak at Seattle, with its first road win against the Storm since 2002.

The Liberty used defense and their height to outrebound Seattle 46-26.

"They're not very big," Laimbeer said. "That's going to be their problem all year long is rebounding. We knew that going in that we could dominate the glass if we put our mind to it."

Temeka Johnson had a season-high 22 points to lead Seattle (4-5), which shot just 1 for 18 on 3-pointers and lost its second straight. Camille Little added 12 points and Tanisha Wright had 10.

The Liberty led 52-45 early in the fourth quarter before Seattle pulled to 60-58 with 1:02 left. Nevertheless, Pondexter made an outside shot and the Liberty held on for the win.

"It was an ugly game, but a much-needed win for us, especially on this long West Coast road trip," said Pondexter, who came into the game averaging a team-high 17 points per game, including an average of 20 in her last three contests. "This was one of those games we thought we could steal."

The Liberty played without forward Plenette Pierson, who injured her right knee in the loss at Chicago.

Pondexter scored eight in the third quarter to give the Liberty a 48-45 lead. They used an 8-0 run early in the quarter to go ahead and led by as many as six.

Johnson scored eight in the third quarter to help keep the Storm in the game.

Pondexter had seven points in the first half, including a 3 with 34 seconds left to send the game into halftime tied at 30-30. She was just 2 of 8 from the field in the first two quarters.

Johnson and Little each scored eight in the first half for Seattle, which led by six points in the second quarter.

The Liberty committed 12 turnovers in the opening half but Seattle scored just five points off the turnovers. For the game, the Storm scored 13 points off the 22 turnovers and committed seven turnovers themselves.

"We did turn them over we just didn't convert on that and shot the ball poorly," Storm coach Brian Agler said.

Tina Thompson had just three points for Seattle. She shot 1 of 8 from the field, including 1 of 6 on 3's. Johnson was 0 of 4 from long range.

"Most of the shots that I took I actually felt like they were going to go in," Thompson said. "They just didn't. I just kind of had one of those clunky nights."

Katie Smith, who played for the Storm last season, defended Thompson most of the game.

"Katie never left her," Laimbeer said. "She didn't get many open looks. Every time Thompson was on the floor, we had Katie on the floor because she's the smartest defender we have. That was great — the two oldest players in the league going at it."


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Baldwin in tweet tantrum

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 28 Juni 2013 | 18.18

Another day, another Alec Baldwin meltdown. The infamously volatile actor blew up following a report that he and his wife, Hilaria, were tweeting during James Gandolfini's funeral. It initially appeared that the couple was tweeting from inside The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Morningside Heights — but a friend later said that they had left as the event was still going on because Hilaria wasn't feeling well. Once outside, Hilaria sent a few tweets, including, "Making smoothies with @rachael_ray on the @RachaelRayShow!" Alec, meanwhile, posted a link to a trailer for the movie "Dirty Wars." When online criticism erupted about their tacky tweeting, the pair started whining that they were the ones who were wronged. "Someone wrote that my wife was tweeting at a funeral," Baldwin tweeted. "Hey. That's not true. But I'm gonna tweet at your funeral." The former "30 Rock" star wasn't done. He later launched into a profane Twitter tirade aimed at a reporter for a British newspaper who had written about the couple's supposed funeral tweets. In a series of furious posts, Baldwin called the male scribe a "bitch" and warned, "I'm gonna find you . . . you toxic little queen, and I'm gonna f--k . . . you . . . up." A short time later, he tweeted that he had fired his publicist (he didn't) — and then closed his Twitter account.

WireImage

Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin


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Picking apart the 1st round

MOST SHOCKING PICK

Anthony Bennett, Cavaliers (No. 1)
A draft lacking a clear No. 1

pick got off to a shocking start when the Cavaliers, yet to recover from LeBron James taking his talents to Miami, selected UNLV swingman Bennett with the first pick. Bennett's reaction: "Even I don't know what to say." Join the club, Anthony. Join the club. FYI, 10 years ago, the Cavaliers used the No. 1 pick on James. No pressure.

BIGGEST TRADE

Just when all of those tourist-trap shops in the French Quarter were printing up "Twin Tower" T-shirts to celebrate the pairing of Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel, New Orleans traded the Kentucky center who slid to them at No. 6, and its 2014 pick in 2014, to Philadelphia for the 76ers' Jrue Holiday and a second-round pick. The Pelicans now have a shooter to complement Davis. The 76ers? They got burned trading for the injured Andrew Bynum. Now they get Noel, who is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. Maybe they should change the name to the Philadelphia MRIs?

NBAE/Getty Images

Anthony Bennett

B IGGEST ROOKIE CONTRIBUTOR

Ben McLemore,
Kings (No. 7)

The Kings need a savior. Well, actually, they need everything. It took an 11th hour deal to keep the franchise from moving to Seattle. Their most productive player, DeMarcus Cousins, also is their most dysfunctional. He was called for 15 technical fouls, ejected from four games and suspended three times. If only by default, McLemore, would have the best chance to contribute immediately. But he might have the most superstar potential of any player in this draft.

FUTURE STAR

Lucas Nogueira,
Celtics/Hawks (No. 16)

Fashion statements and atrocities are often committed at NBA and NFL drafts. But usually the buzz is about a suit or a bow tie. Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira, a wide-smiling, center from Brazil, is still trying to fit his Celtics baseball cap on top of the one greatest Afros since the '70s. Nogueira, 20, was taken with the 16th pick and then traded to the Hawks. At 7-feet tall (possibly 7-6 with the hair) and 220 pounds, Nogueira has a 9-foot-6 wingspan. First NBA stat: It took him six attempts to get the cap to fit over the Afro.

BEST PICK

Solomon Hill, Pacers (No. 23)

The Knicks and their fans will tell you that playing the Pacers is like walking the passageway that leads from the shuttle to the 1-2-3 lines in Times Square at rush hour — it's a physical grind. The Pacers beat you by beating on you behind big men Roy Hibbert, David West and Tyler Hansbrough. Enter the physically and emotionally mature Hill, a 6-foot-7, 226-pound swingman. You know Larry Bird loves his workmanlike attitude.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

HS kids are no smarter

WASHINGTON — Students preparing to leave high school are faring no better in reading or math than students did four decades ago.

That's according to a government report — popularly called the nation's report card — that was released yesterday.

Test scores for 17-year-olds changed little since the early 1970s. But students ages 9 and 13 have improved their performances during the same period.


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La Guardia Airport worker drives stair car to pizza joint

This guy's taking the lunch break to new heights.

A grinning La Guardia Airport worker took a lunchtime joyride in a terminal stair car — even though such vehicles aren't allowed on city streets.

The driver, a regular at a pizza joint near the airport, was spotted cruising in the Southwest Airlines vehicle on 19th Avenue at Hazen Street in Queens at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

But as much as the joker enjoyed his unusual wheels, he'd better leave them on the runway next time.

"It is not legal to drive on a public street," a DMV spokeswoman said.

The vehicle displays a Port Authority license plate marked "A 3537," which permits driving only on airport premises.

Photos: J.C. Rice

"This is not acceptable behavior," said Steve Coleman, a PA spokesman.

"We will immediately begin to identify the offending vehicle and driver and will take appropriate action."

A Southwest spokesman, Chris Mainz, apparently disagreed.

"Nothing unusual or out of protocol on this one," he said.

Additional reporting by Brianna Farulla

mlnestel@nypost.com


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pal: Teach OK’d tragic lake swim

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 27 Juni 2013 | 20.49

The best friend of the Brooklyn teen who drowned on a class hiking trip said a teacher gave the doomed student permission to swim in the lake where he died.

"The teacher said that we could swim," the boy said.

The claim came the day after Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said that Jean Fritz Pierre, 16, and another student had split off from others during Monday's trip to Bear Mountain State Park by a group from International HS in Prospect Heights.

He did not mention whether the kids had permission.

The friend told the victim's dad that he joined Pierre and two other pals in Hessian Lake as the teacher and three other kids watched from shore.

The group's bus driver was in a rowboat watching the students as well, the teen said.

The pal said he watched in horror as Pierre suddenly went under, and claimed he desperately tried to save his buddy.

"The water was strong and I tried to grab him, but it was pulling me, too, and I had to let go," he told the dad, Jonas Pierre.

"I'm sorry," said the boy.

Jonas Pierre — who gave permission for his son to go hiking, but not swimming — blasted the school.

"They killed my son, because I didn't give permission to go into the [water] with my son," he told The Post.

The father, who emigrated from Haiti when his son was 4 years old, was devastated by the loss of his only child.

"I feel crazy. He's the only one I have. The whole family is cry, cry, cry," said Jonas Pierre.

Jean's mother is still in Haiti, he said, adding:

"She keeps calling and saying, 'Why, why?' "

Walcott declined to comment yesterday, as did a Department of Education spokeswoman.


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Beans for S’bucks bosses

ALBANY — Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors — but assistant managers are left out in the cold, New York's highest court ruled yesterday.

The Court of Appeals found that shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and, therefore, get to share in the tips.

But the court also ruled the company can deny those tips to assistant managers.

The ruling, responding to two lawsuits, backed Starbucks' policy of divvying up the tips, saying it's consistent with labor law.


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Rock fest spoils Hizzoner’s isle party

Revelers at the three-day Governors Ball music fest caused so much damage to the grass on Randall's Island that Mayor Bloomberg was forced to postpone his annual, multimillion-dollar bash on the grounds for weeks until repairs can be made, The Post has learned.

About 120,000 fans churned up the sod as they danced to acts like Kings of Leon and Kanye West during the June 7-9 festival — leaving the 10-acre plot a black swamp.

As a result, Bloomberg had to push back his extravaganza, which was scheduled for last weekend.

Every year, Hizzoner transforms a swath of the public park into a wonderland with exotic palm trees, carnival rides, a petting zoo, ice-skating rinks and a play casino.

The Governors Ball organizer, Founders Entertainment, is paying for repairs, but taxpayers could get stuck with a hefty overtime bill for Parks workers.

DeLea Sod manager Mike Hollander warned that future events could further destroy the Kentucky bluegrass.

The mayor's media company, Bloomberg LP, pays for the party and gives back to the city by hiring local vendors.

Geoffrey Croft, of NYC Park Advocates, called the city "shameful" for selling out public parks.

"The general public is prohibited from using the island's largest open space for up to four months to accommodate these inappropriate uses."


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Nelson Mandela put on life support - South Africans steel selves for beloved leader's death

JOHANNESBURG — As reports surfaced that Nelson Mandela is on life support, South Africans were torn between the desire not to lose the critically ill former leader, who defined the aspirations of so many of his compatriots, and the resignation that the beloved former prisoner and president is approaching the end of his life.

The sense of anticipation and foreboding about 94-year-old Mandela's fate has grown since late Sunday, when the South African government declared that the condition of the statesman, who was rushed to a hospital in Pretoria on June 8, had deteriorated.

FERVENT PRAYER: South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

EPA

FERVENT PRAYER: South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

FERVENT PRAYER:South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

FERVENT PRAYER:South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

CNN reported yesterday that Mandela had been put on life support.

A tide of emotional tributes has built on social media and in hand-written messages and flowers laid outside the hospital and Mandela's home. Yesterday, about 20 children from a day-care center posted a hand-made card outside the hospital and recited a poem.

"Hold on, old man," was one of the lines in the Zulu poem, according to the South African Press Association.

In recent days, international leaders, celebrities, athletes and others have praised Mandela, not just as the man who steered South Africa through its tense transition from white racist rule to democracy two decades ago, but as a universal symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation.

In South Africa's Eastern Cape province, where Mandela grew up, a traditional leader said the time was near for Mandela, who is also known by his clan name, Madiba.

"I am of the view that if Madiba is no longer enjoying life, and is on life-support systems, and is not appreciating what is happening around him, I think the good lord should take the decision to put him out of his suffering," said the tribal chief, Phathekile Holomisa.

Mandela's 95th birthday will be July 18.


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Obama says no 'wheeling and dealing' to extradite Snowden - 'we won't be scrambling jets to go after 29-year-old hacker'

DAKAR, Senegal — The United States won't be scrambling military jets or engaging in high-level diplomatic bartering to get National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden extradited to the US, President Obama said Thursday.

Dismissing him as "a 29-year-old hacker," Obama sought to downplay the international chase for Snowden, lowering the temperature of an issue that has already raised tensions between the US and uneasy partners Russia and China.

SNOWDEN IN 2009: TRAITORS WHO SPILL STATE SECRETS SHOULD BE SHOT

INSIDE LEAKER'S 'HIDEOUT': SNOWDEN LIKELY RELAXING AT A COMFY HOTEL INSIDE MOSCOW'S AIRPORT

AFP/Getty Images

President Obama speaks during a joint press conference with Senegal's following meetings at the Presidential Palace in Dakar.

Obama said the damage to US national security has already been done and his top focus now is making sure it can't happen again.

"I'm not going to have one case with a suspect who we're trying to extradite suddenly be elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues, simply to get a guy extradited so he can face the justice system," Obama said at a joint news conference with Senegal's President Macky Sall.

Snowden turned 30 last week. He was working as a government contractor with security clearance when he seized the NSA documents.

Snowden's intercontinental efforts to shirk US authorities — taking him from a hotel hideout in Hong Kong to an airport transit zone in Moscow, where he's believed to be holed up — has already undercut Obama's efforts to strengthen ties with China and threatened to worsen tensions with Russia just as Obama is seeking Moscow's cooperation on Syria. At the same time, Snowden's attempts to seek asylum from Ecuador and other nations have underscored Obama's limited sway in a number of foreign capitals.

Obama said he hadn't personally called either Russian President Vladimir Putin or Chinese President Xi Jinping to request their cooperation.

"I shouldn't have to," he declared.

Obama said such matters are routinely dealt with at a law-enforcement level, calling Snowden's extradition "not exceptional from a legal perspective." He said the US has a wide-ranging economic relationship with China that shouldn't be dwarfed by the hunt for one fugitive, and that the US has had "useful conversations" with Moscow over efforts to return Snowden to the US Putin has called Snowden a "free man" and refused to turn him over to Washington.

"My continued expectation is that Russia or other countries that have talked about potentially providing Mr. Snowden asylum recognize that they are a part of an international community and they should be abiding by international law," Obama said, noting that the US doesn't have a formal extradition treaty with Russia.

Snowden has acknowledged seizing highly classified documents about US surveillance programs that collect vast amounts of US phone and Internet records. He shared the information with The Guardian and Washington Post newspapers. He also told the South China Morning Post that the NSA hack Chinese cellphone companies to steal text message data. The Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has said Snowden still has perhaps more than 200 sensitive documents.

"I get why it's a fascinating story," Obama said. "I'm sure there will be a made-for-TV movie somewhere down the line."

Obama says the fact Snowden walked off with so many secret documents shows significant vulnerabilities at the NSA that must be solved. But Obama said he's also focused on fostering a "healthy effective debate" about the balance between security and privacy in America.

"In terms of US interests, the damage was done with respect to the initial leaks," Obama said.

Obama's comment came on the first full day of a weeklong, 3-country trip to Africa, his first major tour of sub-Saharan Africa since he took office more than four years ago.

With Reuters


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Pal: Teach OK’d tragic lake swim

The best friend of the Brooklyn teen who drowned on a class hiking trip said a teacher gave the doomed student permission to swim in the lake where he died.

"The teacher said that we could swim," the boy said.

The claim came the day after Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said that Jean Fritz Pierre, 16, and another student had split off from others during Monday's trip to Bear Mountain State Park by a group from International HS in Prospect Heights.

He did not mention whether the kids had permission.

The friend told the victim's dad that he joined Pierre and two other pals in Hessian Lake as the teacher and three other kids watched from shore.

The group's bus driver was in a rowboat watching the students as well, the teen said.

The pal said he watched in horror as Pierre suddenly went under, and claimed he desperately tried to save his buddy.

"The water was strong and I tried to grab him, but it was pulling me, too, and I had to let go," he told the dad, Jonas Pierre.

"I'm sorry," said the boy.

Jonas Pierre — who gave permission for his son to go hiking, but not swimming — blasted the school.

"They killed my son, because I didn't give permission to go into the [water] with my son," he told The Post.

The father, who emigrated from Haiti when his son was 4 years old, was devastated by the loss of his only child.

"I feel crazy. He's the only one I have. The whole family is cry, cry, cry," said Jonas Pierre.

Jean's mother is still in Haiti, he said, adding:

"She keeps calling and saying, 'Why, why?' "

Walcott declined to comment yesterday, as did a Department of Education spokeswoman.


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Beans for S’bucks bosses

ALBANY — Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors — but assistant managers are left out in the cold, New York's highest court ruled yesterday.

The Court of Appeals found that shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and, therefore, get to share in the tips.

But the court also ruled the company can deny those tips to assistant managers.

The ruling, responding to two lawsuits, backed Starbucks' policy of divvying up the tips, saying it's consistent with labor law.


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Rock fest spoils Hizzoner’s isle party

Revelers at the three-day Governors Ball music fest caused so much damage to the grass on Randall's Island that Mayor Bloomberg was forced to postpone his annual, multimillion-dollar bash on the grounds for weeks until repairs can be made, The Post has learned.

About 120,000 fans churned up the sod as they danced to acts like Kings of Leon and Kanye West during the June 7-9 festival — leaving the 10-acre plot a black swamp.

As a result, Bloomberg had to push back his extravaganza, which was scheduled for last weekend.

Every year, Hizzoner transforms a swath of the public park into a wonderland with exotic palm trees, carnival rides, a petting zoo, ice-skating rinks and a play casino.

The Governors Ball organizer, Founders Entertainment, is paying for repairs, but taxpayers could get stuck with a hefty overtime bill for Parks workers.

DeLea Sod manager Mike Hollander warned that future events could further destroy the Kentucky bluegrass.

The mayor's media company, Bloomberg LP, pays for the party and gives back to the city by hiring local vendors.

Geoffrey Croft, of NYC Park Advocates, called the city "shameful" for selling out public parks.

"The general public is prohibited from using the island's largest open space for up to four months to accommodate these inappropriate uses."


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City Council approves two bills that jeopardize NYPD’s stop-and-frisk

The City Council passed two bills early this morning that could drastically rein in the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk.

Mayor Bloomberg has said he plans to veto both measures, one of which would facilitate lawsuits against the NYPD for those who believe that they were unfairly profiled during a stop-and-frisk, and the other of which would create an inspector general to oversee the department.

But even if Bloomberg uses his veto, both bills passed the 34-vote threshold that will make them veto proof.

The profiling bill passed 34 to 17, while the IG bill passed 40-11.

NOW WHAT? The measures passed by the City Council early this morning could jeopardize stop-and-frisk.

Warzer Jaff

NOW WHAT? The measures passed by the City Council early this morning could jeopardize stop-and-frisk.

The profiling bill passed without the support of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn — the first time legislation has passed over her opposition in her seven-year tenure.

The mayor, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association — the rank-and-file police union — plan to spend the next few weeks pressuring council members to vote against overriding Bloomberg's vetoes.

In one of the most heated sessions in recent years, supporters of the bills said they are a necessary step to curtail stop- and-frisk, a practice they say enables racial profiling.

"Today, we are striking a blow against a practice which has become a perverse right of passage for all young men of color in the City of New York," said Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn.) "It will do nothing to handcuff or prevent the Police Department from ensuring that all of us are safe."

Several members shared stories of being subjected to stop-and-frisk.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) in opposing the bills fumed, "It's an unnecessary waste of money. Why don't we take the money we're going to use to establish the office of the inspector general and hire more cops?"

Bloomberg warned that the bills would undermine the NYPD's successful effort to slash crime.

"Last year, there was a record-low number of murders and a record-low number of shootings in our city, and this year, we're on pace to break both of those records," he said in a prepared statement immediately after the council votes.

"Unfortunately these dangerous pieces of legislation will only hurt our police officers' ability to protect New Yorkers and sustain this tremendous record of accomplishment."

The profiling bill would create a private right of action for those who feel they were stopped and frisked simply because of their race, ethnicity, sexuality or other identifying factors rather than reasonable suspicion of a crime.

The measure would allow people to sue the city to force changes in policies such as stop and frisk.

Quinn has said she opposes it because it would give state judges too much power over city policing.

The other measure would create an inspector general within the city Department of Investigation with subpoena power. It would prepare public reports on NYPD policy.

The council also passed the $70 billion Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which takes effect Monday, and overrode Bloomberg's veto of a bill that requires private companies provide at least five annual paid sick days beginning next April.

sally.goldenberg@nypost.com


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Nelson Mandela put on life support

JOHANNESBURG — As reports surfaced that Nelson Mandela is on life support, South Africans were torn between the desire not to lose the critically ill former leader, who defined the aspirations of so many of his compatriots, and the resignation that the beloved former prisoner and president is approaching the end of his life.

The sense of anticipation and foreboding about 94-year-old Mandela's fate has grown since late Sunday, when the South African government declared that the condition of the statesman, who was rushed to a hospital in Pretoria on June 8, had deteriorated.

FERVENT PRAYER: South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

EPA

FERVENT PRAYER: South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

FERVENT PRAYER:South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

FERVENT PRAYER:South Africans pray outside the Pretoria hospital yesterday where ex-President Nelson Mandela is clinging to life.

CNN reported yesterday that Mandela had been put on life support.

A tide of emotional tributes has built on social media and in hand-written messages and flowers laid outside the hospital and Mandela's home. Yesterday, about 20 children from a day-care center posted a hand-made card outside the hospital and recited a poem.

"Hold on, old man," was one of the lines in the Zulu poem, according to the South African Press Association.

In recent days, international leaders, celebrities, athletes and others have praised Mandela, not just as the man who steered South Africa through its tense transition from white racist rule to democracy two decades ago, but as a universal symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation.

In South Africa's Eastern Cape province, where Mandela grew up, a traditional leader said the time was near for Mandela, who is also known by his clan name, Madiba.

"I am of the view that if Madiba is no longer enjoying life, and is on life-support systems, and is not appreciating what is happening around him, I think the good lord should take the decision to put him out of his suffering," said the tribal chief, Phathekile Holomisa.

Mandela's 95th birthday will be July 18.


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Lewis hopes steady approach leads to her 1st U.S. Women's Open

Written By kom nampuldu on Rabu, 26 Juni 2013 | 20.50

SOUTHAMPTON — Stacy Lewis has had quite a couple of years.

Since April 3, 2011, Lewis has won seven LPGA events, including her first career major championship, and spent some time as the top-ranked player in women's golf.

So she has done a lot. Just about everything except win a U.S. Women's Open, that is.

"My nemesis,'' is what Lewis described the U.S. Women's Open as Tuesday, two days before the tournament begins at Sebonack golf club.

"If you're a U.S. player, this is your national championship, this is the tournament you want to win. This is the trophy you want to have,'' said Lewis, who is playing in her seventh Open this week. "It's definitely been my nemesis the last few years — more of the emotional side of it. I haven't handled it very well. So this week, my No. 1 goal is to see how level I can remain all week.''

Lewis, now ranked No. 2 in the world behind Inbee Park, who won the first two majors of the season, said she gleaned some inspiration on the mental side of the game by watching Justin Rose win the U.S. Open two weeks ago at Merion.

"You look at Justin Rose, when he won a couple weeks ago ... he got excited when he made a birdie, but he didn't get too excited,'' she said. "When he made a bogey, he didn't get too upset. So I think it's how level you can stay all week and how patient you can be.''

Lewis' best finish at the U.S. Open was a tie for third in 2008. Since then, she has a tie for 48th, 14th, 34th and 46th.

She recalled a specific U.S. Open incident in 2011 at the Broadmoor in Colorado, where her tournament got away in an errant third round when she did not handle adversity well.

"I kind of had a bad stretch of four or five holes and I let that decide the whole golf tournament for me,'' Lewis said of the third-round 79 she shot after carding 68 and 73 in the first two to get into contention for the weekend.

"Looking back, everybody's going to have a bad stretch of holes, and if I would have just been OK with it and just kind of kept trucking through it,'' she said. "But instead, I let it affect the rest of the tournament and I went from tied for the lead and I think I finished 40th [34th]. So I really kind of let things go the other way.''

After watching Rose keep his composure when the late final-round head was on at Merion, Lewis said she learned a few things.

"I've always been a player that I like to learn from other people, and I especially like watching people under pressure and watching how they handle the big situations,'' Lewis said. "So watching [Rose] on Sunday, I learned a lot from it.''

Lewis, an Arkansas native, used last week's LPGA event in her home state as a primer for the pressures this week will bring.

"Being in Arkansas, it felt like a major championship to me, so I kind of used that as an experience to help me learn on trying to keep those emotions in check, and not getting too upset,'' she said. "I really thought I handled it pretty well. I didn't play as well as I would have liked on Sunday [she finished tied for fourth], but I was still able to come out of there with a lot of positives.''

As much of a learning tool Rose's poise under pressure was two weeks ago, Lewis also enters this week inspired by last week's PGA Tour winner, Ken Duke, who captured the Travelers Championship in Hartford in a playoff Sunday.

Just as the 28-year-old Lewis has since she was a child, Duke has battled, lived with and prospered in golf with scoliosis. Also, Duke is a fellow Arkansas native.

Lewis, who had a steel rod and five screws fused to her backbone 10 years ago, can appreciate the hard work that went into Duke's victory.

"It definitely put a smile on my face,'' Lewis said of Duke's first career PGA Tour win at age 44. "I've actually met Ken and we talked about our backs. He's in his mid"'-40s and he's still playing golf at a high level and he's competitive. The doctors don't really know what our time-frame is, how long we can do what we're doing. So the fact that he's doing it is definitely exciting for me.''

mark.cannizzaro@nypost.com


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Violence soars as mercury rises: Two dead, five wounded in city shootings

Byron Smith

Police investigate the scene on Crown heights where a 24-year-old was fatally shot in the chest last night.

It was a hot time in the city last night, as bullets flew all over town, leaving two dead and five seriously wounded, cops said.

As temperatures hit the 90s, a 24-year-old man was shot in the chest at about 4:20 p.m. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and later died.

A 25-year-old man was then killed on Saint John's Place near Troy Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, taking a bullet to the torso at around 11:30 p.m. cops said.

Two other men were also shot in Brooklyn, but their wounds were not deemed life-threatening.

A Bronx man was shot in the head and rushed to Lincoln Hospital in serious condition last night.

And a man was shot in Manhattan and another in Queens before the bloody day was done. Both were expected to survive, cops said.


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WATCH: Paula Deen's makeup 'Today' appearance ends in tears, says she wouldn't have fired herself

Paula Deen says that anyone who's never sinned should pick up a rock and throw it at her.

The celebrity chef dissolved into tears during a "Today" show interview Wednesday, trying to explain she wasn't a racist despite saying in a legal deposition that she's used racial slurs in the past.

"I believe that … every one of God's creatures is created equal. I believe that everyone should be treated equal, that's the way I was raised and that's the way I live my life."

STEVE CUOZZO: TOSS OUT THIS QUEEN OF TRASHY FOOD

Deen told "Today" host Matt Lauer that if there's anyone in the audience who's never said anything they regretted to "please take up that stone and throw it as hard as they can and kill me."

She urged her fans not to boycott the Food Network, which dropped her last week, but said she wouldn't have fired someone in the same position.

"Would I have fired me? Knowing me? No," she said. "I am so very thankful for the partners I have who believe in me."

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"I is what I is and I'm not changing."

Page Six reported today that Deen hired crisis p.r. maven Judy Smith.

Deen testified in a May 17 deposition that she used the N-word when describing the fantasy wait staff to Lisa Jackson, a former employee who is now suing for racial and sexual harassment at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, which Deen owns with her brother Bubba.

In 2007, the 66-year-old chef suggested that her brother's wedding be a "plantation"-style affair, complete with middle-aged black men in white jackets and black bowties serving as waiters

With AP


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Patriots star Hernandez taken into police custody

Aaron Hernandez led away in handcuffs.

MYFOXBOSTON.COM

Aaron Hernandez led away in handcuffs.

Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was taken into custody by police on Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement officials walked into Hernandez's office before 9 a.m. and emerged minutes later with the tight end in handcuffs, according to MyFoxBoston.com. They then led him into the back of a police cruiser

This comes nine days after the murder of Odin Lloyd, an associate of the Patriots star. It is unclear what the charges are against Hernandez, though obstruction of justice is a possibility after he allegedly destroyed his security system, cell phone and had his house cleaned shortly after Lloyd was killed.

Hernandez is known to be one of the last men to see Lloyd alive.


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Jeb: Go frack!

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush blasted Gov. Cuomo last night for failing to approve fracking to boost New York's upstate economy.

Bush, a featured speaker at the state Conservative Party's annual fund-raising dinner at the Sheraton in Midtown, called hydraulic fracking of natural gas one of America's great energy innovations.

"We should be celebrating this phenomenal achievement," said the former Florida governor, who is believed to be considering a GOP presidential run.

He said fracking can be done safely and "create economic activity for all sorts of people who don't live in Manhattan."

Cuomo has delayed issuing a fracking ruling, insisting more scientific study is needed.

ccampanile@nypost.com


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Lewis hopes steady approach leads to her 1st U.S. Women's Open

SOUTHAMPTON — Stacy Lewis has had quite a couple of years.

Since April 3, 2011, Lewis has won seven LPGA events, including her first career major championship, and spent some time as the top-ranked player in women's golf.

So she has done a lot. Just about everything except win a U.S. Women's Open, that is.

"My nemesis,'' is what Lewis described the U.S. Women's Open as Tuesday, two days before the tournament begins at Sebonack golf club.

"If you're a U.S. player, this is your national championship, this is the tournament you want to win. This is the trophy you want to have,'' said Lewis, who is playing in her seventh Open this week. "It's definitely been my nemesis the last few years — more of the emotional side of it. I haven't handled it very well. So this week, my No. 1 goal is to see how level I can remain all week.''

Lewis, now ranked No. 2 in the world behind Inbee Park, who won the first two majors of the season, said she gleaned some inspiration on the mental side of the game by watching Justin Rose win the U.S. Open two weeks ago at Merion.

"You look at Justin Rose, when he won a couple weeks ago ... he got excited when he made a birdie, but he didn't get too excited,'' she said. "When he made a bogey, he didn't get too upset. So I think it's how level you can stay all week and how patient you can be.''

Lewis' best finish at the U.S. Open was a tie for third in 2008. Since then, she has a tie for 48th, 14th, 34th and 46th.

She recalled a specific U.S. Open incident in 2011 at the Broadmoor in Colorado, where her tournament got away in an errant third round when she did not handle adversity well.

"I kind of had a bad stretch of four or five holes and I let that decide the whole golf tournament for me,'' Lewis said of the third-round 79 she shot after carding 68 and 73 in the first two to get into contention for the weekend.

"Looking back, everybody's going to have a bad stretch of holes, and if I would have just been OK with it and just kind of kept trucking through it,'' she said. "But instead, I let it affect the rest of the tournament and I went from tied for the lead and I think I finished 40th [34th]. So I really kind of let things go the other way.''

After watching Rose keep his composure when the late final-round head was on at Merion, Lewis said she learned a few things.

"I've always been a player that I like to learn from other people, and I especially like watching people under pressure and watching how they handle the big situations,'' Lewis said. "So watching [Rose] on Sunday, I learned a lot from it.''

Lewis, an Arkansas native, used last week's LPGA event in her home state as a primer for the pressures this week will bring.

"Being in Arkansas, it felt like a major championship to me, so I kind of used that as an experience to help me learn on trying to keep those emotions in check, and not getting too upset,'' she said. "I really thought I handled it pretty well. I didn't play as well as I would have liked on Sunday [she finished tied for fourth], but I was still able to come out of there with a lot of positives.''

As much of a learning tool Rose's poise under pressure was two weeks ago, Lewis also enters this week inspired by last week's PGA Tour winner, Ken Duke, who captured the Travelers Championship in Hartford in a playoff Sunday.

Just as the 28-year-old Lewis has since she was a child, Duke has battled, lived with and prospered in golf with scoliosis. Also, Duke is a fellow Arkansas native.

Lewis, who had a steel rod and five screws fused to her backbone 10 years ago, can appreciate the hard work that went into Duke's victory.

"It definitely put a smile on my face,'' Lewis said of Duke's first career PGA Tour win at age 44. "I've actually met Ken and we talked about our backs. He's in his mid"'-40s and he's still playing golf at a high level and he's competitive. The doctors don't really know what our time-frame is, how long we can do what we're doing. So the fact that he's doing it is definitely exciting for me.''

mark.cannizzaro@nypost.com


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Clues point to GWB leap

The NYPD Harbor Unit was searching for a person who may have jumped from the George Washington Bridge after a tipster spotted a cellphone and some clothes abandoned on the span last night.

There were no witnesses, but the abandoned items recalled the February death of 22-year-old Ashley Riggitano, who left behind a handbag and a note saying she had been bullied before jumping.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

Two dead, five wounded in city shootings

Byron Smith

Police investigate the scene on Crown heights where a 24-year-old was fatally shot in the chest last night.

It was a hot time in the city last night, as bullets flew all over town, leaving two dead and five seriously wounded, cops said.

As temperatures hit the 90s, a 24-year-old man was shot in the chest at about 4:20 p.m. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and later died.

A 25-year-old man was then killed on Saint John's Place near Troy Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, taking a bullet to the torso at around 11:30 p.m. cops said.

Two other men were also shot in Brooklyn, but their wounds were not deemed life-threatening.

A Bronx man was shot in the head and rushed to Lincoln Hospital in serious condition last night.

And a man was shot in Manhattan and another in Queens before the bloody day was done. Both were expected to survive, cops said.


18.18 | 0 komentar | Read More

'Colonel' Sanders trademark white suit purchased at auction for $21G by Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan president

Written By kom nampuldu on Selasa, 25 Juni 2013 | 20.49

DALLAS — The president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan purchased the trademark white suit worn by company founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders at auction Saturday for $21,510 — then promptly tried it on.

Masao "Charlie" Watanabe grinned while putting on the suit jacket and black string tie at the Heritage Auctions event, standing beneath a photograph of Sanders. He had already planned to attend a company marketing meeting in Dallas, but arrived early after he found out about the auction, he said.

Watanabe was one of hundreds of in-person, telephone and online bidders vying for various items, including a gun belt owned by legendary outlaw Jesse James and leg irons that restrained abolitionist John Brown.

AP

Masao "Charlie" Watanabe, president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan, stands beneath a portrait of company founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Watanabe is wearing Sanders' trademark white suit jacket and black string tie after he purchased them at the auction,

Watanabe also bought a mini-collection of Sanders' memorabilia — including his 1973 Kentucky driver's license — for $1,912.

Sanders is a popular figure in Japan, and most KFC restaurants there have statues of him in front, Watanabe said. He plans to display the suit at a restaurant in Tokyo.

"Every child in Japan knows Colonel Sanders' face and his uniform," Watanabe told The Associated Press through a translator.

Sanders was named a "Kentucky colonel" by the state's governor in 1935, five years after he began cooking meals for travelers who stopped at his gas station, according to his biography on the KFC website.

Earlier Saturday, the leg irons used on Brown after his failed 1859 raid on a federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., sold for $13,145. The winning bidder declined to be identified.

Many scholars believe Brown and his raid hastened the start of the Civil War as he tried to end slavery. The Connecticut native and some followers seized the arsenal, hoping to provide 100,000 weapons to slaves who never joined them. Brown later was hanged for treason, murder and inciting a rebellion.

James' gun belt, one of two that he owned at the time of his death, sold for $16,730. The buyer was not immediately known.


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More legal trouble for Lil' Reese: rapper charged with misdemeanor theft

CHICAGO — Rapper Lil Reese is in more legal trouble.

The Chicago rapper was in bond court Sunday on a misdemeanor theft charge and the Chicago Sun-Times reports that records show the Def Jam rapper and friend of fellow rapper Chief Keef was arrested after he "presented false documentation to obtain" a BMW in April. The paper says that neither police nor prosecutors elaborated on the charge on Sunday.

His arrest over the weekend comes about two months after he was arrested in Chicago after police in Champaign identified him as the alleged attacker of a woman whose 2012 beating was captured on videotape. Court records indicate he has pleaded not guilty in that case


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Angelina's war on rape as a weapon: Jolie urges U.N. to fight sex attacks in conflict

Jolie, a goodwilll ambassador for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, urged the U.N. Security Council to make the fight against warzone rape a top priority.

REUTERS

Jolie, a goodwilll ambassador for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, urged the U.N. Security Council to make the fight against warzone rape a top priority.

UNITED NATIONS — Actress Angelina Jolie made her debut before the U.N.'s most powerful body as a special envoy for refugees Monday and urged the world's nations to make the fight against rape in war a top priority.

She told the Security Council that "hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women, children and men have been raped in conflicts in our lifetimes."

Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said the Security Council has witnessed 67 years of wars and conflict since it was established "but the world has yet to take up warzone rape as a serious priority."

"You set the bar," she told the council. "If the ... council sets rape and sexual violence in conflict as a priority it will become one and progress will be made. If you do not, this horror will continue."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who presided over the meeting, stressed that "in conflicts in nearly every corner of the globe, rape is used systematically and ruthlessly, in the almost certain knowledge that there will be no consequences for the perpetrators."

Soon after Jolie spoke, the council adopted a legally-binding resolution demanding the complete and immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict. It noted that sexual violence can constitute a crime against humanity and a contributing act to genocide, called for improved monitoring of sexual violence in conflict, and urged the U.N. and donors to assist survivors.

It was the broadest resolution adopted by the council on the sexual violence in conflict. Hague said Britain plans to follow-up by convening a global gathering during the annual General Assembly meeting of world leaders in September to keep up the pressure for action.

"The time has come for the world to take a strong and determined stand to make clear that the systematic use of rape as a weapon is not acceptable in the modern world and our objective is to change the entire global attitude to these issues," Hague said.

Jolie, who has traveled extensively in her role as goodwill ambassador, recalled several of the survivors she had met — the mother of a five-year-old girl raped outside a police station in Goma in eastern Congo, and a Syrian woman she spoke to in Jordan last week who asked to hide her name and face "because she knew that if she spoke out about the crimes against her she would be attacked again, and possibly killed."

"Let us be clear what we are speaking of: Young girls raped and impregnated before their bodies are able to carry a child, causing fistula," Jolie said, referring to an injury caused by violent rapes that tear apart the flesh separating the bladder and rectum from the vagina.

She continued: "Boys held at gunpoint and forced to sexually assault their mothers and sisters. Women raped with bottles, wood branches and knives to cause as much damage as possible. Toddlers and even babies dragged from their homes, and violated."

Jolie pleaded with the Security Council — and all countries — to implement the resolution and not let the issue drop.

"Meet your commitments, debate this issue in your parliaments, mobilize people in your countries, and build it into all your foreign policy efforts," she urged. "Together, you can turn the tide of global opinion, shatter impunity and finally put an end to this abhorrence."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Jolie for being the voice of millions forced to flee their homes "and now for the many survivors of wartime rape whose bodies have been used as battlegrounds."

He called on all leaders to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators "and be part of a global coalition of champions determined to break this evil."


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Bizarre 7-hour ocean standoff ends in arrest

John Michael White, 46, was being pursued by police officers for a drug-related felony warrant when he ran into the ocean.

FOX 5 San Diego

John Michael White, 46, was being pursued by police officers for a drug-related felony warrant when he ran into the ocean.

CORONADO, Calif. — A man who appeared to be high on drugs surrendered early Monday after spending more than seven hours in the ocean off Coronado evading police, who said he was wanted on a felony warrant.

John Michael White spent seven hours in the surf off Coronado trying to avoid the police.

John Michael White, 46, took off all of his clothes except for his briefs and ran into the water from the area of the Hotel Del Coronado around 9:50 p.m. Sunday as officers were trying to take him into custody on a felony warrant alleging narcotics violations, according to the Coronado Police Department.

Throughout the night, White stayed in the water as Coronado police, lifeguards, the Coast Guard and Navy Shore Patrol surrounded him and tried to coax him out of the surf. Helicopters flew overhead, divers were on standby and police K-9 patrol units waited on the beach, but the man threatened to kill himself if anyone approached.

Ocean currents eventually pushed him down to Silver Strand State Beach. Finally, shortly before 5:30 a.m., a Harbor Police dive team took White into custody, police said. He was taken to a UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest for observation and faces a charge of resisting arrest, as well as those on the original arrest warrant.

Read more at FOX 5 San Diego.


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City yanks license for Bronx produce shop used as front

A Bronx produce peddler who was running his shop as a front for his son's business lost his license today, according to the city's Business Integrity Commission.

Dae Soo Yu, 51, operated 3's Produce at the Bronx Terminal Market last year until the BIC shut him down because he didn't disclose a TKYEAR grand larceny conviction for stealing $128,000 from a former employer.

Yu, however, didn't take the rejecton seriously.

In February, he opened another produce wholesaler, called S&M Tropical Corp., on Longfellow Avenue, right next to the market under his father's name, Sam Nam Yu, 70, legal papers show.

BIC investigators discovered that the father actually running the business for his son, who was rarely showing up at the new site.

And at a March hearing to determine whether S&M Tropical deserved a license to operate, the father was unable to name any of his 10 clients, according to a ruling made public yesterday.

He also was unable to provide the names of one of his three employees and the first name of his manager — even though he claimed to have hired all of these employees, the ruling notes.

As a result, the company's license was pulled.

The investigation "keeps the markets a level playing field for legitimate businesses," said BIC Commissioner and chair Shari C. Hyman.

Neither the elder or younger Yu could be reached for comment.

BIC oversees about 2,000 vendors who operate waste-hauling businesses or in other regulated industries to make sure they're free from corruption or Mafia influence.

Philip.Messing@nypost.com


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'Colonel' Sanders trademark white suit purchased at auction for $21G by Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan president

DALLAS — The president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan purchased the trademark white suit worn by company founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders at auction Saturday for $21,510 — then promptly tried it on.

Masao "Charlie" Watanabe grinned while putting on the suit jacket and black string tie at the Heritage Auctions event, standing beneath a photograph of Sanders. He had already planned to attend a company marketing meeting in Dallas, but arrived early after he found out about the auction, he said.

Watanabe was one of hundreds of in-person, telephone and online bidders vying for various items, including a gun belt owned by legendary outlaw Jesse James and leg irons that restrained abolitionist John Brown.

AP

Masao "Charlie" Watanabe, president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan, stands beneath a portrait of company founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Watanabe is wearing Sanders' trademark white suit jacket and black string tie after he purchased them at the auction,

Watanabe also bought a mini-collection of Sanders' memorabilia — including his 1973 Kentucky driver's license — for $1,912.

Sanders is a popular figure in Japan, and most KFC restaurants there have statues of him in front, Watanabe said. He plans to display the suit at a restaurant in Tokyo.

"Every child in Japan knows Colonel Sanders' face and his uniform," Watanabe told The Associated Press through a translator.

Sanders was named a "Kentucky colonel" by the state's governor in 1935, five years after he began cooking meals for travelers who stopped at his gas station, according to his biography on the KFC website.

Earlier Saturday, the leg irons used on Brown after his failed 1859 raid on a federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., sold for $13,145. The winning bidder declined to be identified.

Many scholars believe Brown and his raid hastened the start of the Civil War as he tried to end slavery. The Connecticut native and some followers seized the arsenal, hoping to provide 100,000 weapons to slaves who never joined them. Brown later was hanged for treason, murder and inciting a rebellion.

James' gun belt, one of two that he owned at the time of his death, sold for $16,730. The buyer was not immediately known.


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More legal trouble for Lil' Reese: rapper charged with misdemeanor theft

CHICAGO — Rapper Lil Reese is in more legal trouble.

The Chicago rapper was in bond court Sunday on a misdemeanor theft charge and the Chicago Sun-Times reports that records show the Def Jam rapper and friend of fellow rapper Chief Keef was arrested after he "presented false documentation to obtain" a BMW in April. The paper says that neither police nor prosecutors elaborated on the charge on Sunday.

His arrest over the weekend comes about two months after he was arrested in Chicago after police in Champaign identified him as the alleged attacker of a woman whose 2012 beating was captured on videotape. Court records indicate he has pleaded not guilty in that case


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Angelina's war on rape as a weapon: Jolie urges U.N. to fight sex attacks in conflict

Jolie, a goodwilll ambassador for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, urged the U.N. Security Council to make the fight against warzone rape a top priority.

REUTERS

Jolie, a goodwilll ambassador for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, urged the U.N. Security Council to make the fight against warzone rape a top priority.

UNITED NATIONS — Actress Angelina Jolie made her debut before the U.N.'s most powerful body as a special envoy for refugees Monday and urged the world's nations to make the fight against rape in war a top priority.

She told the Security Council that "hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women, children and men have been raped in conflicts in our lifetimes."

Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said the Security Council has witnessed 67 years of wars and conflict since it was established "but the world has yet to take up warzone rape as a serious priority."

"You set the bar," she told the council. "If the ... council sets rape and sexual violence in conflict as a priority it will become one and progress will be made. If you do not, this horror will continue."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who presided over the meeting, stressed that "in conflicts in nearly every corner of the globe, rape is used systematically and ruthlessly, in the almost certain knowledge that there will be no consequences for the perpetrators."

Soon after Jolie spoke, the council adopted a legally-binding resolution demanding the complete and immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by all parties to armed conflict. It noted that sexual violence can constitute a crime against humanity and a contributing act to genocide, called for improved monitoring of sexual violence in conflict, and urged the U.N. and donors to assist survivors.

It was the broadest resolution adopted by the council on the sexual violence in conflict. Hague said Britain plans to follow-up by convening a global gathering during the annual General Assembly meeting of world leaders in September to keep up the pressure for action.

"The time has come for the world to take a strong and determined stand to make clear that the systematic use of rape as a weapon is not acceptable in the modern world and our objective is to change the entire global attitude to these issues," Hague said.

Jolie, who has traveled extensively in her role as goodwill ambassador, recalled several of the survivors she had met — the mother of a five-year-old girl raped outside a police station in Goma in eastern Congo, and a Syrian woman she spoke to in Jordan last week who asked to hide her name and face "because she knew that if she spoke out about the crimes against her she would be attacked again, and possibly killed."

"Let us be clear what we are speaking of: Young girls raped and impregnated before their bodies are able to carry a child, causing fistula," Jolie said, referring to an injury caused by violent rapes that tear apart the flesh separating the bladder and rectum from the vagina.

She continued: "Boys held at gunpoint and forced to sexually assault their mothers and sisters. Women raped with bottles, wood branches and knives to cause as much damage as possible. Toddlers and even babies dragged from their homes, and violated."

Jolie pleaded with the Security Council — and all countries — to implement the resolution and not let the issue drop.

"Meet your commitments, debate this issue in your parliaments, mobilize people in your countries, and build it into all your foreign policy efforts," she urged. "Together, you can turn the tide of global opinion, shatter impunity and finally put an end to this abhorrence."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Jolie for being the voice of millions forced to flee their homes "and now for the many survivors of wartime rape whose bodies have been used as battlegrounds."

He called on all leaders to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators "and be part of a global coalition of champions determined to break this evil."


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Bizarre 7-hour ocean standoff ends in arrest

John Michael White, 46, was being pursued by police officers for a drug-related felony warrant when he ran into the ocean.

FOX 5 San Diego

John Michael White, 46, was being pursued by police officers for a drug-related felony warrant when he ran into the ocean.

CORONADO, Calif. — A man who appeared to be high on drugs surrendered early Monday after spending more than seven hours in the ocean off Coronado evading police, who said he was wanted on a felony warrant.

John Michael White spent seven hours in the surf off Coronado trying to avoid the police.

John Michael White, 46, took off all of his clothes except for his briefs and ran into the water from the area of the Hotel Del Coronado around 9:50 p.m. Sunday as officers were trying to take him into custody on a felony warrant alleging narcotics violations, according to the Coronado Police Department.

Throughout the night, White stayed in the water as Coronado police, lifeguards, the Coast Guard and Navy Shore Patrol surrounded him and tried to coax him out of the surf. Helicopters flew overhead, divers were on standby and police K-9 patrol units waited on the beach, but the man threatened to kill himself if anyone approached.

Ocean currents eventually pushed him down to Silver Strand State Beach. Finally, shortly before 5:30 a.m., a Harbor Police dive team took White into custody, police said. He was taken to a UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest for observation and faces a charge of resisting arrest, as well as those on the original arrest warrant.

Read more at FOX 5 San Diego.


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City yanks license for Bronx produce shop used as front

A Bronx produce peddler who was running his shop as a front for his son's business lost his license today, according to the city's Business Integrity Commission.

Dae Soo Yu, 51, operated 3's Produce at the Bronx Terminal Market last year until the BIC shut him down because he didn't disclose a TKYEAR grand larceny conviction for stealing $128,000 from a former employer.

Yu, however, didn't take the rejecton seriously.

In February, he opened another produce wholesaler, called S&M Tropical Corp., on Longfellow Avenue, right next to the market under his father's name, Sam Nam Yu, 70, legal papers show.

BIC investigators discovered that the father actually running the business for his son, who was rarely showing up at the new site.

And at a March hearing to determine whether S&M Tropical deserved a license to operate, the father was unable to name any of his 10 clients, according to a ruling made public yesterday.

He also was unable to provide the names of one of his three employees and the first name of his manager — even though he claimed to have hired all of these employees, the ruling notes.

As a result, the company's license was pulled.

The investigation "keeps the markets a level playing field for legitimate businesses," said BIC Commissioner and chair Shari C. Hyman.

Neither the elder or younger Yu could be reached for comment.

BIC oversees about 2,000 vendors who operate waste-hauling businesses or in other regulated industries to make sure they're free from corruption or Mafia influence.

Philip.Messing@nypost.com


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Nelson Mandela in critical condition for second straight day: officials

Written By kom nampuldu on Senin, 24 Juni 2013 | 20.49

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela's condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day Monday, said South Africa's president who described the stricken anti-apartheid hero as being "asleep" when he visited Mandela the previous evening

President Jacob Zuma told at least 60 foreign and South African journalists that doctors are doing everything possible to ensure the 94-year-old's wellbeing and comfort on his 17th day in the hospital. The president repeated some of the content of a presidential statement issued on Sunday and refused to give any details about Mandela's condition, saying: "I'm not a doctor."

"Madiba is critical in the hospital, and this is the father of democracy. This is the man who fought and sacrificed his life to stay in prison, the longest-serving prisoner in South Africa. He is one of those who has contributed to democracy," Zuma said, using Mandela's clan name. "All of us in the country should accept the fact that Madiba is now old. As he ages, his health will ... trouble him and I think what we need to do as a country is to pray for him."

Zuma, who in the past has given an overly sunny view of Mandela's health, briefly described his visit to the hospital in the capital and seeing Mandela.

"It was late, he was already asleep," Zuma said. "And we then had a bit of a discussion with the doctors as well as his wife, Graca Machel, and we left."

Asked why none of Mandela's doctors had been made available for a news briefing, presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said an arrangement had been made in consultation with Mandela's family whereby information would be provided through a "single source in an authoritative way."

"We've come to that arrangement on the basis that we need to respect the privacy of the family, we need to adhere to doctor-patient confidentiality," he said.

"You can be assured that what we are saying is based on agreement with the doctors," Maharaj said. Doctors approve the text of announcements on Mandela's health, and believe some media reporting has transgressed professional ethics, he said.

Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after the end of apartheid in 1994, was hospitalized on June 8 for what the government said was a recurring lung infection. This is his fourth hospitalization since December.

Mandela was jailed for 27 years under white racist rule and was released 23 years ago, in 1990. He then played a leading role in steering the divided country from the apartheid era to an all-race democracy, becoming South Africa's first black president in all-race elections in 1994.

As a result of his sacrifice and peacemaking efforts, he is seen by many around the world as a symbol of reconciliation.


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Germany opens case against Nazi commander hiding out in Minnesota

Michael Karkoc, photographed in Lauderdale, Minn. on May 22, 1990.

AP

Michael Karkoc, photographed in Lauderdale, Minn. on May 22, 1990.

BERLIN — German prosecutors have opened a formal preliminary investigation of a Minnesota man who was a commander of a Nazi-led unit during World War II, to determine whether there is enough evidence to bring charges and seek his extradition.

The Associated Press found that 94-year-old Michael Karkoc entered the U.S. in 1949 by lying to American authorities about his role in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, which is accused of torching villages and killing civilians in Poland. AP's evidence indicates that Karkoc was at the scene of the massacres, although no records link him directly to atrocities.

TOP NAZI COMMANDER ACCUSED OF ATROCITIES HAS BEEN LIVING IN MINNESOTA FOR 60 YEARS

Kurt Schrimm, the head of the special German prosecutors' office responsible for investigating Nazi-era crimes, said Monday prosecutors "have opened a preliminary investigation procedure to examine the matter."


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US factory boss held hostage in Beijing by disgruntled workers

BEIJING — An American executive said Monday he has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department.

Chip Starnes, 42, a co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, said local officials had visited the 10-year-old plant on the capital's outskirts and coerced him into signing agreements Saturday to meet the workers' demands even though he sought to make clear that the remaining 100 workers weren't being laid off.

AP

American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, looks out from a window after he was held hostage by workers inside his plant at the Jinyurui Science and Technology Park in Qiao Zi township of Huairou District, on the outskirts of Beijing, China Monday, June 24, 2013. An American executive said Monday Starnes has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by dozens of workers demanding severance packages like those given to co-workers in a phased-out department. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

The workers were expecting wire transfers by Tuesday, he said, adding that about 80 of them had been blocking every exit around the clock and depriving him of sleep by shining bright lights and banging on windows of his office. He declined to clarify the amount, saying he wanted to keep it confidential.

"I feel like a trapped animal," Starnes told The Associated Press on Monday from his first-floor office window, while holding onto the window's bars. "I think it's inhumane what is going on right now. I have been in this area for 10 years and created a lot of jobs and I would never have thought in my wildest imagination something like this would happen."

Workers inside the compound, a pair of two-story buildings behind gates and hedges in the Huairou district of the northeastern Beijing suburbs, repeatedly declined requests for comment, saying they did not want to talk to foreign media.

It is not rare in China for managers to be held by workers demanding back pay or other benefits, often from their Chinese owners, though occasionally also involving foreign bosses.

The labor action reflects growing uneasiness among workers about their jobs amid China's slowing economic growth and the sense that growing labor costs make the country less attractive for some foreign-owned factories. The account about local officials coercing Starnes to meet workers' demands — if true — reflects how officials typically consider stifling unrest to be a priority.

Huairou district and Qiaozi township governments declined to comment.

A local police spokesman said police were at the scene to maintain order. Four uniformed police and about a dozen other men who declined to identify themselves were standing across the road from the plant.

"As far as I know, there was a labor dispute between the workers and the company management and the dispute is being solved," said spokesman Zhao Lu of the Huairou Public Security Bureau. " I am not sure about the details of the solution, but I can guarantee the personal safety of the manager."

Representatives from the US Embassy stood outside the gate much of the day, and eventually were let in. US Embassy spokesman Nolan Barkhouse said the two sides were on the verge of an agreement and that Starnes would have access to his attorneys. It was unclear what agreement might be reached, and subsequent attempts to contact Starnes were not immediately successful.

Starnes said the company had gradually been winding down its plastics division, planning to move it to Mumbai, India. He arrived in Beijing last Tuesday to lay off the last 30 people. Some had been working there for up to nine years, so their compensation packages were "pretty nice," he said.

Some of the workers in the other divisions got wind of this, and, coupled with rumors that the whole plant was moving to India, started demanding similar severance packages on Friday.

Christian Murck, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said he wasn't familiar with Starnes' case, but that such hostage-taking was "not a major problem" for the foreign business community.

"It happened more often say 15 years ago than today, but it still happens from time to time," he said. "It rarely leads to personal harm to the managers involved, but there are cases when it has in years past."


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