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Times Square Superhero Crackdown Continues; 5 More Arrested, Including Captain America

In an ongoing battle that’s beginning to resemble the plot of X-Men, the rogue, undocumented superhero population of Times Square and the cops of New York City are warring for the hearts and minds of the people (mostly tourists). Following the violent arrest of a grown man in a Spider-Man costume on Saturday, the latest of many rough incidents involving the fleet of not so cuddly characters, five more were busted, the New York Post reports, including the Naked Black Cowboy (who, to be fair, is not exactly a superhero), Jessie from Toy Story (same), Captain America, and a different Spider-Man.


New York Magazine Competition No. 27: Near-Miss Greeting Cards

Welcome back to the New York Magazine Competition. On alternate Mondays, we lay out a challenge and offer a sample responses. Enter in the comments section, or on Twitter with the hashtag we've provided, and the editors will select a winner. Criteria are highly subjective, but heavily retweeted and favorited posts will have an advantage. The prize is a year's subscription to New York in print or a two-year subscription to the iPad edition (winner's choice). Full rules are here.

The new Competition, and the last installment's winners. »

Is Paul Ryan Still Paul Ryan?

In the wake of the disastrous 2012 election, Paul Ryan recognized that he faced a central problem: He was beginning to be seen not as the bold paragon of fiscal rectitude that media accounts had relentlessly depicted when he first emerged as a Republican leader, but as an “Ayn Rand miser.” Over the last year he has moved to repair the damage, undertaking a putatively secret yet widely publicized poverty tour, and finally, last week, unveiling an actual plan to address poverty. The question looming over Ryan is whether he believes his policy profile was substantively flawed or merely misunderstood.


U.N. Security Council Calls for Immediate Cease-fire Between Israel and Hamas

The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Sunday night, just ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. The “lesser eid” marks the end of sun-up to sundown fasts observed by believers during the month of Ramadan. In its statement, signed by all 15 members, the council suggested “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance.”


Why Fans Are Now More Into Free-Agent Negotiations Than Games

At halftime of game two of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in May, ESPN analyst Bill Simmons voiced a strange theory about why LeBron James, the best player in the NBA, had played poorly in the first half. LeBron’s Heat were down 1-0 in the series to the Pacers, and even though Miami led at halftime, LeBron had struggled, looking lifeless and distracted. Simmons, who, like the rest of us, had been watching the NBA draft lottery before the game (in which LeBron’s former team, Cleveland, had secured the No. 1 pick), had a guess as to why.

“LeBron came out kind of strange,” Simmons said. “I was almost wondering, Did someone tell him Cleveland won the lottery? Was he thinking about that?

Now, it is probably worth pointing out that this makes no sense. LeBron James was going for his third consecutive NBA title, his team was behind in a critical series, and he had to carry aging, injured teammates on his back. Of all the things on his mind at that moment, a Ping-Pong ball coming up Cleveland was rather far behind I am thirsty from all this running around and jumping (if anyone had even told him in the first place). The notion that something so profoundly beside the point would somehow affect James’s game—the thing he is better at than anything else in the world—was absurd. If LeBron James really were distracted by such silliness, he would spend most of his time on the court tripping over his own feet.

And yet: I got what Simmons was saying. Because I had been thinking the same thing. »

Boko Haram Kidnaps the Vice–Prime Minister of Cameroon’s Wife

Boko Haram, the brutal militant group best known for abducting around 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in April, has kidnapped the wife of Cameroonian Vice–Prime Minister Amadou Ali, as well as her maid, the BBC reports. (Ali himself managed to escape.) The attack took place at the Ali home in the north Cameroon town of Kolofata, which is near the country's border with Nigeria. Reuters reports that Boko Haram also kidnapped a local religious leader, Seini Boukar Lamine, and five members of his family in Kolofata. Another three people there were reportedly killed.


Drunk Man Accidentally Runs Over Friend Who Refused a Ride Home

According to the Suffolk County police, 23-year-old Lawrence Pagano accidentally ran over 21-year-old Krystal Berkowitz at around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, shortly after she refused to let him drive her home because she thought he was drunk. WABC reports that Berkowitz had gotten out of Pagano's 2006 Jeep Liberty and was walking down Setauket, Long Island's Nesconset Highway when Pagano pulled up to her in an attempt to convince her to get back in the car. He ended up hitting her with the vehicle instead. Emergency responders pronounced Berkowitz dead at the scene, reportedly of a head injury. "I can't even quantify how hard it must have hit him, because he loves the girl," said a friend of the pair, who had once been a couple and remained friendly. So far, Pagano has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

Yet Another Times Square Spider-Man Arrested

It happened again. For the third time in one year, a man in Spider-Man costume has been arrested in Times Square. (This happens with people dressed up as other characters, too, but something about the Spidey suit seems to encourage bad behavior.) The New York Times reports that the trouble started on Saturday afternoon at around 2 p.m., after a man and a woman offered Spider-Man — a.k.a. Junior Bishop — just one dollar for the privilege of taking a photo with him near Broadway and 42nd Street.

This Spider-Man accepts "fives, tens, or 20s only." »

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