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Hundreds Of Cops Search Queens For Terror Suspects

AP | TOM HAYS and DEVLIN BARRETT | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Casting a wide net in a neighborhood where high-profile raids prompted nationwide terror warnings, investigators searched for anyone who might have been behind the alleged terror plot beyond an airport shuttle driver and two others, authorities said.

The driver, Najibullah Zazi, his father and New York City imam Ahmad Wais Afzali all were scheduled to be in court for detention hearings later Thursday in Denver and New York. Authorities say they found bomb-making instructions on a hard drive on Zazi's laptop computer but still were unsure of the specific target or scope of a possible terrorist attack.

The 24-year-old Zazi – whom authorities have linked to al-Qaida – his father and Afzali have been charged with lying to FBI investigators trying to uncover the terror plot. Zazi met with his attorneys in Colorado on Wednesday. His father, Mohammed Zazi, was expected to be freed on $50,000 bail after Thursday's hearing.

The arrests came after the raids of several apartments in the Queens neighborhood, where Zazi had driven from Denver to visit earlier this month, and were followed by a flurry of nationwide warnings of possible strikes on transit, sports and entertainment complexes.

On Wednesday, hundreds of federal agents and NYPD investigators again fanned out in the neighborhood where apartments were searched – and backpacks and cell phones removed – over a week ago, to re-interview "people previously encountered" during previous raids there, and to locate others who know them, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the probe.

Feds probe US Census worker hanging in Kentucky

AP | JEFFREY McMURRAY and ALLEN G. BREED | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drew on years of experience for a warning: "Be careful."

The 51-year-old Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

"Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as 'the government.' I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there," said Acciardo, who directs an after-school program at an elementary school where Sparkman was a frequent substitute teacher.

The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, until the investigation is complete, an official said.

The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word on the chest of Sparkman, who was supplementing his income doing Census field work. He was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of Daniel Boone National Forest and an autopsy report is pending.

Russian tycoon to buy Nets, move team to Brooklyn

AP | TOM CANAVAN | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

The NBA has truly gone global.

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov reached an agreement Wednesday to buy 80 percent of the financially strapped New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

The only thing that stands in the way is a nyet from the league's board of governors, and that doesn't seem likely with NBA commissioner David Stern already giving the deal his initial blessing.

The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets' current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the Barclays Center, the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.

It would make Prokhorov, a billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA's first non-North American owner.

Pollan's 'Defense Of Food' Sparks Debate In Dairyland

AP | RYAN J. FOLEY | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

One best-selling book advocating fresh, local foods is shaking up America's Dairyland.

Students across University of Wisconsin-Madison's campus, organic grocers, scientists, and dairy farmers large and small have jumped into the debate on how food is produced and eaten. The discussions started last month when the university began giving Michael Pollan's book, "In Defense of Food," free to all incoming freshmen and school officials urged professors to use it in class.

"I have not seen the students this excited about something in years," Irwin Goodman, a horticulture professor who is vice dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences said of the buzz on campus about Pollan's field-to-table philosophies.

The book urges readers to "eat food, not too much, mostly plants" and criticizes food companies and scientists for replacing traditional foods with unhealthier, highly processed substitutes and confusing consumers with health claims.

Pollan's work has been used on college campuses from the University of California-Berkeley, where he is a journalism professor, to Columbia University in New York City for courses ranging from science journalism to environmental politics. But the program at UW-Madison is unique because the book and related topics are being discussed everywhere from French and political science courses to an exhibit on the history of food. And Pollan is to speak at the 17,000-seat Kohl Center Thursday in the liberal college town.

Things to do this weekend in NYC Sep 24-Oct 1

City Guide. | City Guide | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

The Fall weekends are always filled with activities for New Yorkers on staycations and those visiting New York City on vacations. From music outdoor...

2 NY men plead not guilty in Harvard dorm shooting

AP | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Two New York men have pleaded not guilty in connection with a fatal shooting at a Harvard University dormitory.

Twenty-year-old Blayn Jiggetts of Mount Vernon, N.Y., was arraigned on murder and weapons charges Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court.

Twenty-three-year-old Jason Aquino of New York City was arraigned armed robbery and weapons charges.

Both were ordered held without bail.

Jiggetts, Aquino and Jabrai (juh-BRY') Jordan Copney are charged in connection with the May 18 shooting of Justin Cosby, of Cambridge, Mass.

Terror Investigation: Feds Investigating Najibullah Zazi's Contacts In Queens

AP | TOM HAYS and DEVLIN BARRETT | Posted 05.25.2011 | Denver

Three suspects charged in a wide-ranging terror probe are going to court in New York City and Denver.

Colorado air shuttle driver Najibullah Zazi (nah-jee-BOO'-lah ZAH'-zee) and his father have detention hearings later Thursday in Denver. A New York City imam, Ahmad Afzali (AKH'-mahd ahf-ZAH'-lee), has a hearing in New York City.

The three were charged last week with lying to FBI investigators trying to uncover a possible plot to detonate homemade bombs. Officials remain unsure of the scope or target of a possible terror attack.

They're casting a wide net to try and determine who might be connected to Zazi, who authorities have linked to al-Qaida. Hundreds of investigators are back at a Queens neighborhood that was the site of antiterror raids over a week ago.

A Russian owner in NBA: Tycoon buying NJ Nets

AP | TOM CANAVAN | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Could the New Jersey Nets become the Nyets?

The basketball team once known as the New Jersey Americans is a step closer to being owned by Russia's richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov, who on Wednesday said he has a deal to buy 80 percent of the NBA team and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

The proposed blockbuster deal would give the Nets' current principal owner, Bruce Ratner, the needed cash to move forward with the centerpiece of his Atlantic Yards development, which includes plans for retail and residential projects.

It would make Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire and former amateur basketball player, the NBA's first non-North American owner.

It would mean the Nets really do seem headed to Brooklyn, a New York City borough without a major pro sports franchise since baseball's Dodgers decamped for Los Angeles in 1957.

Padres end Rockies' eight-game home winning streak

AP | ARNIE STAPLETON | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Will Venable homered and tied a career high by driving in four runs in the San Diego Padres' 6-3 win over Colorado on Wednesday night that snapped the Rockies' eight-game home winning streak.

The Rockies' lead in the NL wild-card race was whittled to four games over Atlanta, which beat the New York Mets 5-2 Wednesday night. The San Francisco Giants, who played at Arizona, also began the night five games behind Colorado.

Venable hit a solo homer in the second, his 12th, and added a three-run double in the fifth off right-hander Jason Marquis (15-12), who failed for the third time to win his career-best 16th game.

Reliever Ryan Webb (1-0) got the win with one inning of scoreless relief and Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 40th save.

Bronx News Roundup, September 23

Bronx News Network | Bronx News Network | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will throw the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox. Soto...

Area where census worker died has troubled history

AP | JEFFREY McMURRAY and ALLEN G. BREED | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drawing on years of experience warned: "Be careful."

The 51-year-old Sparkman was found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery and had the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

"Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as 'the government.' I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there," said Acciardo, who directs an after-school program at an elementary school where Sparkman was a frequent substitute teacher.

The Census Bureau has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, until the investigation is complete, an official said.

The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word on the chest of Sparkman, who was supplementing his income doing Census field work. He was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of Daniel Boone National Forest and an autopsy report is pending.

UN offsets climate summit's carbon footprint

AP | SLOBODAN LEKIC | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Striving to underscore the importance of efforts to reduce global emissions, a team of U.N. officials figured out the amount of carbon dioxide generated by a daylong climate conference – about 450 tons – and purchased offsets to neutralize its carbon footprint.

The summit on Tuesday drew more than 50 presidents, 35 prime ministers and many environment ministers.

The largest single factor in the calculation was the amount of emissions generated by air travel for all the delegations, said Janos Pasztor, director of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's climate change support team. By contrast, other elements accounted for a fraction of the overall air miles total.

"We calculated in advance the amount of emissions the summit would cause, based on the number of heads of state traveling to New York, emissions from their motorcades, police escorts and other elements," Pasztor said.

The offset was achieved by directing funding to a power project in rural India that converts cast off agricultural products such as corn husks and stalks into electricity, Pasztor said. The plant in rural Andhra Pradeshis significantly contributes to reducing carbon emissions in India, one of the world's largest emitters of dangerous greenhouse gases.

Mangia, Manhattan - The City's Top Italian Restaurants

City Guide. | City Guide | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

New York City is home to many of the world's finest restaurants, including a plethora of fine Italian eateries. From small plates to family-style, fro...

Riverdale Pols Say Cookie Company Owes City

Bronx News Network | Bronx News Network | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Local lawmakers are not letting the Bronx-based cookie factory, Stella D'oro go without a fight.Congressman Eliot Engel, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz ...

Fall Tracking: The Highlands

Eater | Eater | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Highlands, 150 West 10th St., West Village Initial Projection: Summer '09 Current Debut Projection: October 7 Odds, On Time Arrival: Even Eater Pro...

Eugene Hernandez: The Oscar Marathon

indieWIRE | indieWIRE | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

New York City, September 21, 2009—If the annual Oscar race is a twenty six week marathon that begins on Labor Day weekend, we’ve just pa...

Bowlmor Readies to Unleash Carnies upon Union Square

Eater | Eater | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

"Step right up and apply for the HOTTEST positions in NEW YORK CITY NIGHT LIFE," begins the opening line of a Craiglist posting for Carnival, Bowlm...

The Ten Most Wanted Resys in New York City

Eater | Eater | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

There are difficult reservations to get and then there are the ones that are nearly impossible to come by. Some require the use of an inside phone nu...

Things to do this week in NYC Sep 19-Sep 26: Outdoor Activities

City Guide. | City Guide | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

New York City is not only home to great cultural institutions, shops and events; it's also a place where there are plenty of things to do outside. ...

A Beer At...Denny's Steak Pub

Eater | Eater | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

There are more than 6,000 bars in New York City. About 200 of them get regular press. This column is about the other ones. Robert Simonson, a journa...

Flashback Fridays: Cheryl Pepsii Riley

Essence | Essence | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

###EMBED######EMBED2###Undoubtedly, Cheryl Pepsii Riley charts as one of Brooklyn's finest. Best known for the 1988 testimonial torcher, "Thanks for M...

Paranormal Activity Trailer Promises Just As Many Pants-Soiling Moments As The Blair Witch Project

NYMag.com | NYMag | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Keep your fingers crossed that it will open in the New York City area....

Fingering Potatoes: Introducing "Dutch Yellow Fingering Potatoes," a...

Eater | Eater | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

Introducing "Dutch Yellow Fingering Potatoes," a new photo blog "dedicated to the wonderful but underappreciated culture of grocery store typographi...

A Guy Got Stabbed While John Mayer Was at Goldbar

NYMag.com | NYMag | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

These New York City stabbers. Have they no respect for celebrity? ...

New York City Elections: Real Estate's The Hot Issue

Gotham Gazette | Courtney Gross | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home

The real estate market is reeling but that has not stopped the industry from doling out $2.5 million to candidate for citywide office this year and mo...