An Orthodox Brooklyn Clothing Line Shared a Photo of a Woman In a Hijab, and Their Customers Flipped Out

Image via Hipster Hijabis
The "controversial" skirt photo.
We'll begin with the nice, non-controversial part of this story: Mimu Maxi is a small clothing line in Brooklyn, owned by two sisters-in-law from Crown Heights, Mimi Hecht and Mushky Notik. Hecht and Notik are observant Orthodox Jews, and as such, as they write on their website, they've often struggled to find clothes that were stylish but still as modest as Orthodox custom requires. "But instead of bemoaning the trials and tribulations of shopping with modest sensibilities in mind," as their company bio puts it, "they took matters into their own hands and set out to create the ultimate pieces they so needed for their wardrobe."

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Protest Planned After a Carriage Horse Named Spartacus Fell Near the Plaza Hotel [Updated]

Image via NYCLASS
The two sides of the carriage horse debate are arguing furiously this morning, after a horse named Spartacus toppled over near the hack line at Central Park yesterday. Predictably, neither side can agree on what happened: the anti-carriage, pro- animal rights groups, including NYCLASS and Friends of Animals, say the horse spooked after a bus got too close while making a turn. But a spokeswoman for the carriage industry who was present during the incident says the horse simply got tangled with another carriage, and was soon back on his feet and heading for home, where he was examined by a veterinarian and found to be unharmed.

The photo above is being distributed by NYCLASS, who posted it on their Facebook page last night. They're calling for an emergency protest and press conference at 1 p.m. today at 59th St and 5th Ave, near the hack line, where the incident took place.

Friends of Animals New York director Edita Birnkrant says the incident highlights the need to push a ban bill quickly through the City Council: "Had there been passengers in that carriage when the horse spooked and it fell over, they could have been badly injured."

But Christina Hansen, a carriage driver and spokeswoman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York, an industry group, says that while Spartacus did trip, he was quickly helped up by a team of drivers and sent home to his stable. She also sent the Voice of a photo of Spartacus, standing in his stall this morning, "happy and unharmed," she says.

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Celebrity-Stuffed PETA Video Denounces Carriage Horse Industry, Urges de Blasio To Ban It Already

Screenshot via PETA
The battle over carriage horses in the city is dragging on and on, with no end in sight, and, as yet, no bill introduced in the City Council that would actually ban the industry and replace it with the classic cars favored by animal rights group NYCLASS. While Bill de Blasio famously promised "an immediate ban" on carriage horses during his campaign, the mayoral reality hasn't been quite so neat; a recent Newsday story found that 19 city council members are undecided on the merits of a ban, versus 15 who support it and eight who oppose it.

Neither side definitely has the 26-vote majority they'd need for victory, and in the meantime, everyone is ramping up their publicity. First there was Liam Neeson's big visit to the Clinton Park stables, where he called carriage driving "a beautiful industry." And yesterday, PETA released a new video wherein millions of celebrities denounce the carriage horse industry as cruel and inhumane. If you were waiting to hear what Dave Navarro's eyebrows think about horses before you made up your mind, wait no more.

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James King, Newbie Voice Writer: Casual Racist BS Will Be Called BS By (Slightly) Older Voice Writer

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"In the old days, reporters, in the pages of the Voice, went after one another. Readers enjoyed taking sides in these civil wars, and we ourselves sometimes discovered what we should have known before we so confidently wrote."

So wrote Nat Hentoff in "Why I Oppose the Downtown Mosque: How I questioned an imam's motives and broke Tom Robbins's heart" in September of 2010, when Hentoff went after his colleague, friend and onetime union shop steward.

Indeed, there is a long, proud, half-century old tradition here at the Voice of writers duking it out with words within our own paper. "I do not want to get in the way of what looks like it has the making of a really good feud (the old Voice excelled at these; usually we had them with each other)" Robbins himself commented on another 2010 Voice article, where Editor in Chief Tony Ortega got into the ring with Louis Black of the Austin Chronicle. (After Robbins dropped in, he ended his message, "gentlemen, please go back to ripping each other up.")

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Rayon McIntosh Plans to Take "Civil Action" Against McDonald's After Metal Rod Beatdown

As we reported earlier, McDonald's employee Rayon McIntosh was cleared of all charges stemming from the infamous beating of two customers who charged at him behind the counter at the fast food chain's West Village location in October. A grand jury ruled that McIntosh was provoked by the two women, citing the graphic viral video of the event as evidence. DNAinfo spoke with McIntosh over the phone after his release from Rikers Island, and he said he feels "elated" and "splendid." He also said he wants to sue McDonald's.

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Salman Rushdie Fights Facebook, Wins

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The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie is an enthusiastic tweeter. He often prompts his followers to play games like "Literary Smackdowns" (Joan Didion vs. Susan Sontag, for example), and today he started a new one: blasting Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook deactivated Rushdie's page, thinking it wasn't real. Rushdie sent in a copy of his passport to prove it was him and Facebook reinstated the page with his first name, Ahmed, instead of Salman.

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EMT Injured While Breaking Up Fight at Occupy Wall Street [Update]

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Last night at Zuccotti Park, an EMT broke his leg responding to a fight and had to be taken away to in an ambulance. This was one of four fights that required security's attention at the park between 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. The offender in the fight that injured the EMT was also taken away in an ambulance.

When the Voice arrived on the scene around 10:30 we were greeted with a commotion on the eastern end of the park near the red structure. A man with facial tattoos and a dog had grabbed an American flag and was trying to burn it.

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Oligarch Fight!: Billionaire Punches Billionaire on Russian Talk Show [VIDEO]

What would you rather watch: A discussion on economic turmoil or a fistfight? Thanks to Russian television, you don't have to choose! Billionaires Alexander Lebedev and Sergei Polonsky appeared on a panel to give their thoughts on the recent financial crisis. Both men made their fortunes with varying investments, and their insight into this economic quagmire is valuable. What is invaluable, however, is Lebedev's one-two combination that sent Polonsky stumbling out of his chair. Until Elizabeth Warren cold-clocks Mitch McConnell on Meet the Press, we're watching Russian television for all our global financial news. Video after the jump.

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Sponge Bob Jumped During Celebrity Appearance With Green Lantern

Well, in the latest sign of the coming apocalypse, two women jump Sponge Bob Squarepants in this video posted this morning by the folks at TMZ. There's really not much more to say, is there?

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Your Daily YouTube Subway Fight Video Has Arrived, Ladies and Gentlemen

The above video, titled "A Train Fight with Drunk Guy August 5, 2011 6:35 PM," is just that: A fight on the A Train. The alleged drunk takes a rather old-fashioned fighting stance as he hovers outside the doors, preventing them from closing. One man goes onto the platform to enter single combat and looks to land a knockout punch. Look for a flying double kick at 2:23. This A Train is currently running an express route...TO PAIN! After all these fisticuffs, let's cool off with some Duke Ellington, shall we? [h/t @katie_honan / @Cheronique13]