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.
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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.
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.”
Negotiators from both houses of Congress have finally hammered out an agreement that will address the many issues plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs health-care system. Vermont’s independent senator Bernie Sanders is scheduled to announce the agreement at noon on Monday, alongside Representative Jeff Miller from Florida.
The Ebola epidemic rages on in West Africa, and two American aid workers have now caught the deadly disease. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have been diagnosed with the Ebola virus, and are now quarantined and in serious condition.
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.
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.
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.
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.