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What’s News, Breaking: Friday, November 18, 2022

What’s News, Breaking: Friday, November 18, 2022 #Whats #News #Breaking #Friday #November. Here is what we have for you today on Blog de TmZ.

41ST ANNUAL FIREFIGHTERS’ TOY STORE SPREE BRINGS CHEER TO FAMILIES: FDNY firefighters will take over the iconic FAO Schwarz Toy Store at Rockefeller Plaza on Sunday morning, in a shopping spree to treat the widows and children of their fallen comrades. FDNY-Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro, FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, and fellow FDNY Firefighters will join forces in this 41st Annual Widow & Children’s Fund tradition that brings holiday cheer to families of New York City firefighters who were tragically lost in the line of duty.

The Widow & Children’s Fund was instrumental in bringing holiday toys to the children of the 343 Firefighters lost during the tragic terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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‘ANOTHER BATTLE WON IN THE WAR ON RATS’: A new legislative package that Mayor Eric Adams signed today takes aim at rats. The four bills in the package (Intros 414,442, 459 and 46), creates rat mitigation zones to drastically reduce the time that trash sits on city curbs and reduce rats in construction areas and other buildings with large rodent infestations; requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to issue an annual report on the success of rat mitigation measures in rat mitigation zones and to report on current and planned rat mitigation measures in each zone, including public outreach measures that are conducted; and requires buildings that receive two or more rodent-specific housing maintenance code or two or more rodent-specific health code violations to use approved rodent-resistant containers for at least two years.

“Today’s bills represent another battle won in the war on rats,” said Deputy Mayor of Operations Meera Joshi. r

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SPECIAL COUNSEL PROSECUTOR WILL OVERSEE TWO-PRONGED PROBE OF TRUMP’S ACTIONS: International prosecutor Jack Smith, whom U.S. Abogado General Merrick Garland appointed on Friday to oversee a special counsel investigation, once worked for the U.S. Abogado’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, here in Brooklyn, reports the New York Law Journal and other sources. Smith, whom Garland praised as a “veteran career prosecutor,” will examine former President Donald Trump’s role in two ongoing investigations, the first of which involves “any person or entity” who may have interfered with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election, or the certification of the electoral college vote held on Jan. 6, 2021; and the second involving classified documents and other presidential records as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation.

Smith is currently in the Netherlands, in his most-recent post as a chief prosecutor, investigating and adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo.

Whats News Breaking Friday November 18 2022
Jack Smith.
Photo: The specialist prosecutor for Kosovo in the Hague.

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GUNMAN WHO SHOT AT GROUP BY ‘MISTAKE’ CHARGED WITH MURDER: A Gravesend man has been charged in the murder of an Indiana man who was fulfilling a lifetime goal of visiting New York. Brooklyn District Abogado Eric Gonzalez said that the victim, Ethan Williams, 20, an Indiana University student on his first visit to New York City, was sitting on a stoop at 42 Eldert Street, in Bushwick, with several friends with whom he was renting an AirBnB, on October 24, 2020, when the defendant allegedly opened fire on the group, mistakenly thinking that one of them had killed his cousin. Ethan was struck in the chest and died of his wounds.

The defendant, 26-year-old William Freeman, was arraigned today, November 18 on two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and is being held without bail. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

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RUSSIAN PAIR CHARGED WITH COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS AND FRAUD: Two Russian nationals arrested last week in Argentina are at the center of an indictment and complaint filed Thursday in Brooklyn federal court for copyright infringement, wire fraud and dinero laundering. The defendants, Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova, operated Z-Library, an online e-book piracy website billing itself as “the mundo’s largest library” and claiming to offer more than 11 million e-books for download. However, Z-Library first stripped the materials of their copyright protections and encouraged users to download them for free.

When the pair were arrested at the United States’ request, Z-Library’s network of online domains was also taken offline and seized by the U.S. government, pursuant to a court order that was also unsealed today.

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SENTENCED FOR STALKING AND THREATENING WITNESS IN R. KELLY TRIAL: United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly today in federal court in Brooklyn, sentenced Donnell Russell to 20 months’ imprisonment for his participation in a scheme to stalk, harass, intimidate, and cause substantial emotional distress to Jane Doe, a victim in the Eastern District of New York racketeering case against Robert Sylvester Kelly, also known as “R. Kelly.” Russell, a self-described manager, advisor and friend of Kelly, harassed and threatened Jane Doe and her mother after Jane Doe filed a civil lawsuit against R. Kelly, and continued the harassment after it was clear that Jane Doe was a victim in Kelly’s criminal case in this District and would likely testify against Kelly.

Between November 2018 and February 2020, Russell threatened to reveal sexually explicit photographs of Jane Doe and to publicly reveal her sexual history if she did not withdraw her lawsuit against Kelly.

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CITY COMPTROLLER: NO IMPROVEMENT IN JAIL SYSTEM: New York City’s jail system has seen no noticeable improvement according to City Comptroller Brad Lander’s monthly update to the Department of Correction (DOC) Dashboard, released in time for yesterday’s status conference on the Nunez v. City of New York matter. Among the lead findings: November began with a one percent uptick from October in the jail population, which was at 5,940; while the average daily uniformed staff headcount declines, with a net loss of three thousand officers before the pandemic hit. Use of force within the city’s jails remains high at over 34 incidents per 100 persons in custody for the last quarter, also higher than the pre-pandemic average by 80 percent; conversely, assaults on staff also increased.

The Dashboard monitors pervasive issues in the city’s jails, including staff absenteeism, missed medical appointments, and incidents of violence among detained people and staff. It also tracks the jail population every month, which rose to 5,940 people in custody.

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NYU TANDON RESEARCHERS AMONG THOSE MOST-CITED WORLDWIDE: Two professors at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering are among a group of 23 scholars from the New York University system to be named among the mundo’s most-cited researchers in Clarivate Analytics’ Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list. Thomas Marzetta, Distinguished Industry Professor and Director of NYU WIRELESS, Tandon School of Engineering; and Theodore S. Rappaport, David Lee/Ernst Weber Professor of Electrical Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering; also Founding Director of NYU WIRELESS; Professor of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences; Professor of Radiology, Grossman School of Medicine made the annual list identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant and broad influence in their fields—which at NYU span biology, economics, engineering, medicine, and public health.

These scientists and social scientists have published papers that rank in the top one percent by citations in their fields over the past decade (2011-2021) in Clarivate’s Web of Science citation index.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND HIRING PRACTICES: As the Biden Administration recently introduced a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights outlining how the public should be protected from algorithmic systems and the harms they can produce, a team of NYU Tandon researchers, including Professors Mona Sloane and Julia Stoyanovich, both from the NYU Center for Responsible AI, have conducted a study revealing how resumé format, LinkedIn URLs and other unexpected factors can influence AI personality prediction and affect hiring. The study reveals how resumé format, LinkedIn URLs and other unexpected factors can influence AI personality prediction and affect hiring.

The study from the NYU Tandon researchers across computer and data scientists, a sociologist, an industrial psychologist and an investigative journalist finds that AI hiring tools such as Humantic AI and Crystal show substantial instability on key facets of measurement and cannot be considered valid testing instruments; for example, calculating different personality scores for various platforms such as LinkedIn versus a standalone resume.

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REPORT FOCUSES ON ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND MATERIALS DAMAGE: Tandon researcher and director of NYU CUSP, Maurizio Porfiri has led a team in publishing a study that has been shared by the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering. In this study, originally shared by ScienceDaily, Porfiri, explores webbing structures damage occurring after long exposure to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. These findings have the potential to lead to new ways to estimate UV damage to materials.

Porfiri worked along with Stony Brook University researcher Peng Zhang and LUNA Innovations Incorporated research scientist Osgar John Ohanian.

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NYU RESEARCH: BAD ACTORS CAN EXPLOIT ONLINE TRACKING: A process popular among third-party advertisers to target online users can be viewed or manipulated by online adversaries using merely an email address, according to new research of which New York University was a part. The researchers found that data is collected by tracking cookies, which are sent out by third-party ad networks and correlated with unique identifiers like email addresses. These cookies allow advertisers to create extensive profiles of internet users, which bad actors can unfortunately exploit, simply by tapping into the advertiser’s data and eavesdrop on the target user’s entire browsing history.

The researchers presented their findings Wednesday at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

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MANY SEE REP. JEFFRIES TAKING KEY CONGRESSIONAL ROLE: As outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is stepping down from her leadership role in the next Congress, many view Brooklyn Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries (D-8th District/central Brooklyn) as the next-generation leader in the Democratic Caucus, reports ABC News. Currently chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the 52-year-old Jeffries was first elected to Congress a decade ago, and is viewed as a media-savvy centrist, but faces some criticism on his stance from those farther-left on the progressive spectrum.

The Democratic Caucus consists of the (current) Speaker of the House, plus the (majority) floor leader, caucus chair and whip (a role mostly responsible for their party’s attendance and vote counting).

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COMMUNITY BOARD TO HEAR TALK ON AMENDMENT TO HELP BUSINESSES REPURPOSE SPACE: The Zoning for Economic Opportunity Text Amendment, which Mayor Eric Adams launched in June as part of his wider “City of Yes” vision, is on the agenda for Brooklyn Community Board 10’s next Zoning and Land Use Committee November 30 via Zoom and viewable on the Community Board’sYouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPueX4MsL5dhnFZ-wqDwvKw. A Department of City Planning representative will discuss the Zoning for Economic Opportunity Amendment, which aims to provide local businesses with the flexibility to repurpose their space for a post-pandemic city, remove  unnecessary geographic limitations on certain categories of businesses in the life sciences, custom manufacturing, maker-retail, and nightlife, and “create flexibility for local businesses to expand without relocation and without triggering needs for additional parking,” according to the City of New York official website.

This will be an informational meeting, with representatives from the local BIDs and merchant groups invited.

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ENCOURAGING SENIORS 60+ TO JOIN OLDER ADULT CENTERS: The New York City Department for the Aging has launched a new public service announcement campaign called “Join Us,” encouraging New Yorkers ages 60 and up to become members of their local older adult center. The Department for the Aging fondos more than 300 centers across the City that provide free membership (visit nyc.gov/aging or call 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469).

The campaign’s goal is to engage or re-engage the number of participants and connect them to the healthy meals, educational and recreational activities, and resources that these local community organizations provide.

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BELT PARKWAY’S 17TH AVE. PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE BEING REMOVED: NYC Department of Transportation has scheduled the removal of the 17th Avenue Pedestrian Bridge over the Belt Parkway during the overnight hours this weekend, from Friday, November 18 to Saturday, November 19. As a result, traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction as demolition takes place.

A new bridge will be constructed at the site.

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SOUTHERN BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOODS GET PEDESTRIAN RAMPS: New pedestrian ramps are being installed at several locations and around the city, as part of the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s Project HWPR20K1. The ramps are being built in parts of Mapleton and Borough Park, along 15th Avenue from 61st through 65th streets; and in Dyker Heights along 10th and 11th avenues from 67th to 86th streets.; in Bay Ridge along 80th St. from 4th to 6th avenues. Pedestrian ramps are also being installed in Community Board 18, southeastern Brooklyn along Glenwood Ave. from East 81st to 88th streets.

Notices will be posted in the affected areas prior to construction, but constituents in Community Boards 10, 11 and 18 can also view the planned work locations via https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/sidewalksch.pdf

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COMMITTEE APPROVES BILL TO TRACK MAIL-IN-BALLOTS: The Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform, in a strong bipartisan vote, approved its chair’s bill, Vote by Mail Tracking Act. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-12/northern Brooklyn), who chairs the committee, introduced the Vote by Mail Tracking Act, which would help the Postal Service more efficiently and effectively manage mail-in ballots in federal elections, by requiring all mail-in ballots to include a Postal Service trackable barcode and other stylistic requirements to make ballots easier to sort and track.


Helicopter operators will be reducing the number of tourist flights from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, but the Brooklyn Heights Association says that’s not enough. Photo by Don Evans

Comments on helicopter traffic noise due Monday

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Xam Xin

Soy Olamilekan Atolagbe, me impulsa mi pasión por comprender los matices de la publicación intercultural. Me considero un "estudiante para siempre", deseoso tanto de desarrollar mis bases académicas en programación e informática como de mantenerme en sintonía con las últimas estrategias de publicación de contenido a través de cursos continuos y desarrollo profesional.

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