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Rikers Island Accidentally Released a Prisoner a Year Early

The NYPD would appreciate the public's help in solving yet another problem created by the staff of Rikers Island: On July 15, a 23-year-old inmate named Kimmanie Waisome was released from the prison even though his sentence is not up until July 15 of next year. (It reportedly took the Department of Correction three days to notice the mistake.) According to the Daily News, Waisome — described as a six-foot-two-inch, 185-pound black man — was jailed after pleading guilty to "stealing a CD with an alleged accomplice armed with a gun," so he probably isn't too dangerous to anyone who doesn't still use a Walkman. Meanwhile, CBS 2 reports that "disciplinary action may be forthcoming" for the Rikers officer who accidentally let Waisome out. Of course, when compared to everything else that's been going on over there, this incident seems almost harmless.

This Guy Is Probably the Only Cross-Dressing Assumed Murderer Once Played by Ryan Gosling to Ever Get Arrested for Peeing on Candy at CVS

When we last checked in on Robert Durst, the millionaire NYC real-estate heir whose colorful past, immortalized in the Ryan Gosling film All Good Things, includes a trail of dead bodies and some women's clothing disguises, he'd moved back to the city to live next to a funeral home. These days, apparently, he's back in Texas (where he killed his 71-year-old neighbor and got off on self-defense) but just can't seem to stay out of trouble.


Try Not to Breathe Too Much Air Today, NYC

As you have probably noticed, our streak of pleasant summer weather ended today when a thick cloud of smog rolled into town. The haze isn't just ugly and oppressive — it's also dangerous. With the Air Quality Index at an unofficially "unhealthy" 110, the National Weather Service has issued an alert advising New Yorkers to avoid "strenuous outdoor physical activity" until 10 p.m. (People with conditions such as asthma or heart disease should be extra careful.) On the upside, this gives anyone who doesn't go on a run tonight an opportunity to feel smug about their healthy choice.

Mom Arrested for Letting Her Kid Play at the Park Loses Her Job

Debra Harrell, the South Carolina mother who was jailed for letting her 9-year-old daughter play, unsupervised, at a crowded park, is now out of a job. Harrell's lawyer, Robert Phillips, told Think Progress that his client was fired from her position at McDonald's, even though she was released on bond the day after she was arrested. A spokesperson for the fast-food chain declined to explain exactly why Harrell was let go.


Police Report Says Eric Garner, Who Died, ‘Did Not Appear to Be in Great Distress’

The video says otherwise, but an internal NYPD report claims the arrest of Eric Garner on Staten Island went relatively smoothly, except for the cardiac-arrest part. The preliminary document, obtained by the New York Daily News, quotes Sergeant Dhanan Saminath, an officer present at the scene, saying "he perpetrator's did not appear to be in great distress." Shall we check the tape on that? Nope, definitely full of distress.


I’m Arab-American. My Boyfriend Is Jewish. A Selfie of Us Kissing Has Become a Viral Symbol of Peace.

We posted the picture without a second thought.

My boyfriend is Jewish, raised in an orthodox family, and I’m half Lebanese. Last week we were on vacation and, at the suggestion of a journalist friend, added a photo of us together in support of what was then a little-known initiative called Jews and Arabs Refuse to be Enemies. I wrote those words on a piece of paper, kissed my boyfriend, snapped a picture, and posted it on the group's Facebook page. I also tweeted it to my modest following and added this caption: “He calls me neshama, I call him habibi. Love doesn’t speak the language of occupation.”

It went viral.


U.S. and European Airlines to Stop Flying to Israel for Now

With the Israeli ground assault in Gaza now in its fifth day and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 still very fresh in everyone's mind, American air carriers have suspended their regularly scheduled flights to Israel for at least 24 hours. Delta, United, and US Airways made the decision to stop shuttling people to and from the war zone on Tuesday, after the FAA issued a warning about a Hamas rocket, "which landed approximately one mile from [Tel Aviv's] Ben Gurion International Airport." Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM soon followed suit.


Julia Stiles Thinks NYC’s Rats Are Getting Bigger and Bolder

Name: Julia Stiles
Age: 33
Neighborhood: East Village
Occupation: Actress. Beginning next Monday, July 28, you can catch her in a production of Scott Organ’s Phoenix at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
There are so many great New Yorkers! Maybe Keith Haring? I have a fondness for graffiti art, and he’s just such an iconic artist, and part of a specific time in New York. I still get really excited when I see the Crack Is Wack mural. Also Dorothy Parker, who was just a badass woman. And you know, I’ll add Bette Midler because of all the trees that she planted in the East Village. And Cynthia Nixon. She's a great talent, and I think it’s really great her kids go to public school here, and she seems very much involved. That's four.


A Start-up Guru Has Enraged Israeli Techies With Seemingly Pro-Palestinian Tweets

Looks like "RTs aren't endorsements" doesn't apply to major geopolitical conflicts yet, because one Silicon Valley guru, Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, is in hot water with Israeli start-ups over some tweets that suggested that he was skeptical of Israel's actions in Gaza.

"I will not support Y Combinator in Israel," wrote Roi Carthy, an Israeli venture capitalist and TechCrunch contributor, in response to some of Graham's tweets. Y Combinator, which has helped companies like Airbnb and Dropbox achieve billion-dollar status, periodically scouts for Israeli start-ups, but may have a harder time with locals like Carthy running interference. "I will not lend my hand to an organization who is comfortable with its founder criticizing a nation, while at the same time, pitching to incubate its best and brightest," he wrote.


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