Anti-Bloomberg-Drink-Ban Advocates Hit the Beach for Petition Signatures

"This is New York City. No one tells us what neighborhood to live in, what team to root for or what deli to eat at." Or so the logic goes. 

In the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices' first viral video, the narrator attacks Mayor Bloomberg's sugary drink ban by sticking to the basics: Big Apple denizens know what they're doing. The YouTube advertisement for the start-up, industry-laden advocacy group is just the beginning of the group's attempt to push the issue into the forefront.

And they're hitting Coney Island and Rockaway Beach in this heat wave to ask us all, "What's next?" in the form of an increasingly popular, good ol' fashioned petition.

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Insanity Defense Likely for Levi Aron; Funeral for Former NYC Governor Hugh Carey Today; Man Steals $46,000 From the NYPL

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• Lawyers for Levi Aron, the man who confessed to killing and dismembering 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, are likely formulating an insanity defense. According to hospital evaluations, Aron is "confused and apathetic with a 'practically blank' personality and schizophrenic tendencies." (Aron's sister died while she was institutionalized for schizophrenia.) In a court-ordered report, Aron has been determined fit to stand trial. [NYP]

• A funeral for former New York Governor Hugh Carey will be held today at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Carey, who took office in 1975, died on Sunday at 92. [NY1]

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Fourth Night of Violence in the U.K.; Sex Ed Now Required in NYC Schools; Get Your Bernie Madoff iPad Case

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Mark Duggan
• Last night marked a fourth night of violence in the U.K., particularly in the northern part of the country, including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Woverhampton, West Bromwich, and Nottingham. Nearly 700 people have been arrested in London in the past four days, and at least 111 police officers have been injured. Ballistic tests have found that Mark Duggan, suspected gang member, who was shot by police -- sparking, initially, the protests that became riots -- didn't fire at the police before he was killed. He was found to have been carrying a weapon. In the midst of all that, there are some uplifting cleanup stories. [The Daily]

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Riots in the U.K. Spread; U.S. Stock Futures Are Up; Upper East Side's Suspected Serial Groper Caught

Riots and looting in the UK continued last night, spreading in intensity and span, affecting not just London but areas in locations including Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, and Bristol. Prime Minister David Cameron, who returned home from vacation in Tuscany, has pledged that 10,000 extra police officers will be put on the streets (making that number 16,000), and that Parliament will have an emergency session. Shops, cars, and buildings were set on fire, and there were said to be "hundreds of arrests." A 26-year-old man was shot and killed in Croyden, the first known fatality since the riots began on Saturday. Countering back, some citizens have been cleaning up debris today (here's a great photo of two offering tea to the officers protecting their street). The Telegraph has live coverage of the riots. [NYT, Telegraph]

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170 Arrested in London Riots; Former NYPD Officers Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno Sentenced Today; Bat on a Plane!

• More than 170 people have been arrested in London after two nights of riots and looting. Violence began after a small anti-police demonstration took place in Tottenham, in north London, on Saturday, and then spread across London, with young people and police forces clashing. 35 police officers have been injured. [NYT]

• We are keeping a slightly nervous eye on Wall Street after Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating on Friday and, today, the European Central Bank began to purchase Italian and Spanish government bonds to keep those countries afloat. Prepare for *some* ups and downs today. [NPR]

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Couple Keeps Hope Alive for Return of Stuffed Monkey Doll, Bongo; Man Will Live Homeless for a Week in Grand Central

• Despite ridicule and ransom demands, the couple who lost their monkey doll Bongo in Park Slope are still confident that they will find the stuffed toy, which is "like a son." Also, don't go trying to pass off any fake monkeys for the $500 reward -- "Bongo has specific marks and features," [Bonni] Marcus said, refusing to reveal them. "We will definitely know if it's Bongo." [NYP]

• A black bear was framed. It did not actually injure two New Jersey boys -- hospital officials concluded the abrasions found on the 11- and 12-year-old campers were not caused by a bear. The bear is still being hunted with "baited bacon and boysenberry-scented traps," however. [NBC NY]

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Levi Aron, Alleged Killer of Leiby Kletzy, Arraigned Today; AT&T Outage for NYC Customers; Rich People Are Still Rich

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• Levi Aron, the alleged killer of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, who was drugged, smothered, and then dismembered, will be in court today to be arraigned on murder charges. Autopsy results for Kletzky found he'd ingested "cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant; quetiapine, an antipsychotic drug; hydrocodone, a pain medication; and acetaminophen, the drug found in Tylenol." [CNN]

• AT&T wireless customers in New York City are facing an outage due to "a software upgrade"; the problem started at 1:30 a.m. and won't let users make or receive calls. There's currently no ETA for fixing the problem. [NBC NY]

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Peacock Flies Back to Central Park Zoo; 6-Year-Old Girl Intrudes on White House Lawn; Sexting Scandal in New Jersey

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C.C. Kellogg
• The peacock that escaped the Central Park Zoo to great human acclaim and consternation yesterday simply to sit on a window ledge near East 65th Street has flown back to his coop. "Our staff monitored the bird through the night, and at 6:45 a.m., he flew back on his own," the zoo's director, Jeff Sailer, said in a statement. "A thorough understanding of the peacock's natural behavior allowed for the successful planning of its recovery." Until next time! [NYT]

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Senate to Vote on Debt Ceiling Bill Today; Artist Loses Paintings in Cab; Gigi Jordan's Blood Sample Goes Missing

• The Senate will likely vote on the debt ceiling bill at noon today. The bill, which would cut $2.1 trillion in federal spending and increase the amount the government can borrow -- a/k/a "a sugar-coated Satan sandwich" -- passed in the House yesterday. [NY1]

• Renelio Marin, an artist who recently showed at the Hudson River Cafe, left two of his paintings in a cab after using it to transport his art back to his studio on the Upper East Side. He's working with the TLC to find the works, which are valued between $2,000 and $2,500 each, and was able to track down the cab driver -- but there are no leads. [DNA Info]

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"Pippa Butt Lift" Is Hot New Surgery Craze; Post Employees Ordered to Preserve Documents

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  • People are now asking, en masse apparently, for surgery to make their butts look like Pippa Middleton's. A plastic surgeon in Miami told Fox News that "ever since the royal wedding, Pippa Middleton has become the new queen of the booty! She opens the doors to those who did not know you could have a small, shapely and perky backside without the large size." It doesn't stop there; people are also demanding Pippa and Kate's nose and eyes. [Fox News]
  • In a memo sent out yesterday, New York Post employees were told to keep any documents pertaining in any way to phone hacking: "Any documents pertaining to unauthorized retrieval of phone or personal data, to payments for information to government officials, or that is related in any way to these issues, must be retained," reads the legal team's memo. In editor Col Allan's memo, he writes that the staff is required to do this "in light of what has gone on in London at News of the World, and not because any recipient has done anything improper or unlawful." The staff of the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch's other New York paper, was not asked to do any such thing. [Media Decoder / NYT]

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