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Death

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Another Construction-Worker Death

This time it was a worker at a tower on 41st Street and Eleventh Avenue. It’s unclear why the scaffolding gave way, but the result was a deadly plunge of 40 stories.

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Another Grim Chapter in Long Island Family’s Saga

The Point
On Wednesday night, Frederick John Handler, 57, was found dead by a neighbor in front of his home on his family compound, the Point, on the Gold Coast of Long Island. Handler's death is the latest in a string of tragedies to befall his family, who have feuded for years over the estate, a 21-acre spread that includes a vineyard, lily pond, tennis and squash courts, a horse paddock, a greenhouse, and formal gardens that is believed to have inspired Jay Gatsby's home in The Great Gatsby. “It was rather idyllic, but a fool’s paradise as it turned out,” Handler's mother, Marjorie Brickman Kern, told the New York Times last year. Kern, whose father, Herman Brickman, built the compound in 1951 and her son Russell were involved in a bitter legal battle with John Handler: They alleged he had tricked his mother into selling him her 22-percent share of the estate and put the family $1.7 million into debt. The dispute dragged on for over a decade. “My father’s intent was that we all live in great harmony in a beautiful setting,” Kern told the Times ten years ago. But then “avarice and greed took over.” Also, apparently, really bad luck.

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Heath Ledger: To Belabor or Not to Belabor?

Heath Ledger Memorial

Those of you who, like us, watch Anderson Cooper 360 religiously, probably noticed last night that Manderson didn't have much in the way of Heath Ledger coverage. While many other news outlets were repeating the same information over and over, he decided to focus on other things. He explained this decision on his blog last night:
[Ledger's] shocking death is clearly a story a lot of people are interested in, but tonight we will not be reporting more on it. The truth is there is not really anything new to report. The full results of the various tests done on Mr. Ledger will not be ready for perhaps a few weeks and there is very little new information. I have no doubt other networks will spend a lot of time tonight discussing his death and the various rumors about what might have caused it, but I am not a fan of speculation, so unless there is something really new to discuss we probably won't be covering it anymore anytime soon.
Wow, that makes sense (unless, like us, you are covering the coverage). Frankly, it's a sober, levelheaded choice to make when deciding how to handle Ledger's death. But it's certainly not the only one. In fact, we were just watching Fox News and heard this teaser for Bill O'Reilly's show later today: "ON THE O'REILLY FACTOR: DO AMERICANS CARE MORE ABOUT THE LIVES OF CELEBRITIES THAN THE LIVES OF OUR TROOPS?" Mmm. Anderson's View: Heath Ledger coverage [CNN] Earlier: Heath Ledger Posts

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WMD Found — in Midtown

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• A soda-size can of phosgene, the deadly chemical Saddam used to kill countless Kurds in the eighties, was discovered stashed away in a U.N. office yesterday, but no one has any idea how it got there after weapons inspectors brought it back from Iraq in the mid-nineties. Reassuring. [NYT]

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Hilly Kristal's Last Interview

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Hilly Kristal went to the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian last month with a cancer complication. The CBGB founder was admitted to the hospital, and the next morning he spoke to New York contributor Arianne Cohen from his hospital bed. Kristal's long, rambling, reflective discourse may have been his last interview:
I was always in very good health. And I think anybody looks forward to living forever. Unfortunately, I found out I have cancer. So, some of the things I looked forward to, some of the adventurous things, I can't do. I can't climb Mt. Everest no matter how much time I have. I can't walk the Rockies. There are a lot of things I can't do because I'm not physically able. Unfortunately that's how it is. I'm 75; when I was 73, I was in wonderful health. But I think I'll be all right. I'm trying to read a lot more. It doesn't take that much energy to read.

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