Morning Links: Heroin Bust in Hell's Kitchen; Less-Popular Obama Won't Cave on Tax Cuts; Adventures in Bikram with Lady Gaga

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• Happy Friday! The heroin den formerly located at 417 W. 43rd St., inside, as the New York Post puts it, a "Next to Normal-seeming ground-floor duplex," (wink, wink! groan, groan) has been busted and a stash worth $6.5 million has been seized. Note: when the neighbors move in and put black sheets over the windows of their $3800-a-month apartment, you know something's up. Read the original article if you're really into Broadway puns. A for effort, guys. [NYP]

• The bloom has left the rose: Barack Obama is not only less popular in the U.S. -- as he travels through Asia, he's less popular everywhere, it seems. However, he says he still has a bunch of "genuine friendships" with world leaders, even if they do have differences. [NYT]

• At a news conference at the end of the G-20 summit in Seoul, Obama said his "number one priority" is preserving tax cuts for the middle class and denied that "his administration is about to cave in to Republicans who also want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy." [CNN]

• Five years after he fell into a coma, former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, 82, who's diagnosed as being in a "permanent vegetative state," (according to doctors, his condition has not improved) has been moved back to his Negev ranch for the weekend to prepare for the possibility of him staying there permanently. [NPR, CNN]

• Lady Gaga was given a shirt to put on when she showed up at Bikram Yoga Studio on the Lower East Side in a bra, panties, and an American flag bandana. The instructor/owner, Tricia Donegan, apparently also helped save Gaga's life by fixing her "food problem." [DNA Info]

• One of the original Apple computers, up for auction in London, is expected to bring in $240,000. And it doesn't even have Wi-Fi! [Pat's Papers]

• Google = Fashion retailer? [WWD]

• Firefighters rescued a baby from the fire yesterday at the Ageloff Towers in the East Village. She was not hurt. One apartment was destroyed in the fire. [NYP]

• The merger goes through! Newsweek + The Daily Beast = Love? Or, just "The Newsweek Daily Beast Company"? Either way, Tina Brown will be editor in chief. [The Street]

[JDoll]



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