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America's Mayor and South Africa's Police Chief?

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You can't take Rudy Giuliani anywhere these days. He merely visited Johannesburg in June to speak at a conference, and he commented that crime there could be reduced by 60 percent if the city were run like a business. Since then, the South African city has been abuzz with rumors that the mayor who transformed urban policing in the United States is set to oversee security when Johannesburg hosts the 2010 World Cup — or maybe even to take over policing the city. (According to one local commentator, Bill Bratton, the former NYPD commissioner now running L.A.'s force, turned down the job — and a seven-figure salary — in the late nineties.) But it's all just wishful thinking, says Giuliani spokesman Sunny Mindel. "Mr. Giuliani spoke in general terms about how to turn around an urban center," she says, noting that Joburg mayor Amos Masondo has never formally offered Giuliani any job. And the soccer people say his intervention isn't necessary, anyway. "We are certain that South Africa's authorities have the necessary resources to face the task of providing security and safety for World Cup 2010," says their top flack. Mayor Masondo, remaining coy, declined to comment. — Nadine Rubin

It's Springtime for Hitler Kid

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• You've got to hand it to the Hitler Kid: After getting ejected from school for donning the costume on Halloween, yesterday he wore it again — this time for the media, and purely in protest. This is quickly turning into the lamest ACLU case ever. [NYP] • You do not cross American Girl Place. The Mattel-owned dainty emporium has filed a complaint against Actors' Equity that says AEA has been goading its employees to unionize. This is going to be like On the Waterfront, except with Barbies. [NYDN] • ExamGate! Staten Island high-school administrators may have tampered with grades on Regents exams and directed teachers to do it as well. A whopping seventeen science teachers came forward with the accusations. Better late than never, we suppose (the exams were administered in June). On a lighter note, but on the same theme, a Brooklyn high-school principal has distributed a pie chart explaining her new grading system — with the slices totaling more than 100 percent. [NYT, NYDN] • A Bronx man is DOA at St. Barnabas after a police shootout. According to the cops, two plainclothes officers clearly saw the gunman armed and assaulting another man; the DOA fired first. [WNBC] • And, it's beginners' luck for the Knicks, who eked out their first win (against Memphis, 118-117) under coach Isiah Thomas. In a more disturbing portent, it took them three OTs to do so. [amNY]

Fires and Crashes and Shootings

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• A four-alarm fire in the Bronx wiped out five wood-frame houses and left close to 25 firefighters hospitalized; yesterday's brutal wind helped the blaze along. "Scores" are reported homeless. [amNY] • The tabs diverge on what's the tragedy of the day: The Post has a gruesome SUV crash in Harlem — a speeding Explorer overstuffed with eight teen passengers, one dead; the News goes with the murder-suicide on a Brooklyn sidewalk, featuring an estranged Greek husband, a sawed-off shotgun, and horrified onlookers. [NYP, NYDN] • The NYPD will require the city's cops to cover up all visible ink ("to promote uniformity," but really to avoid embarrassments like last year's flap over a recruit with a "jihad" tattoo). But what about piercings? The article doesn't say. [NY1] • First was talk of a trans-fat ban, and now the Board of Health is threatening to visit another indignity on our restaurateurs: "the nation's most rigorous system of calorie disclosure." Yes, hard numbers, right on the menu. (Most likely to be heard at Per Se and Masa next year: "No, sweetie, that's the price.") [NYT] • Finally, the Post (where headline writers appear to be under the impression "Kazakh" rhymes with "rock" and "block") gets in on the Borat-wagon in the most yawnsome way possible, letting Cohen pen an NYC visitor's guide in character. Did we mention the movie is a 20th Century Fox — which is to say, News Corp. — release? [NYP]

Kids These Days

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• New York parents keep their kids from starting kindergarten until they're nearly 6, or even older, all in hopes of ensuring their kid isn't the "runt of the class." We suggested last November it might not be the worst idea. But remember: It also increases the chance your daughter is the one who's first to bring tampons to school. [NYT] • In other kid-related news, a New York City prosecutor wants parents to put "license plates" on their kids' strollers so that bad nanny behavior can be reported. But what if you're the one reported, on nanny's day off? Awk-ward! [NYDN] • The debate over nightlife security got even uglier yesterday, with, first, the Bloomberg administration backing away from the City Council proposal to install I.D. scanners and security cameras at nightclubs; second, the New York Nightlife Association raising a hue and cry over the entire thing; and, third, NYNA and NYPD fighting over whether off-duty cops should be allowed to do security. Sit back, get comfy, and watch the fight. [NYS] • Moynihan Station is officially dead for now, thanks to Shelly Silver. He thinks the current plan to turn the main post office into a new train station isn't comprehensive enough. He added that he'll never let Bloomberg build a plan he wants on the West Side, ever. Then he said nanny-nanny-poo-poo. [amNY] • Rangers lost; Devils won; nobody cared. Those Mets, on the other hand... boo-yah! [NYP]

So You Want to Throw a Parade?

At eleven o'clock this morning, the 77th annual Columbus Day Parade, sponsored by the Columbus Citizen's Foundation, started making its way up Fifth Avenue. Yesterday the Hispanic Day Parade marched the same route. On Saturday, the Korean American Parade took over Broadway. In total, New York will see some 79 parades this year. How do you get permission to put on one of your own?

Bollards and Gribbles and Photogs, Oh, My!

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• NYPD and DOT realize, after five years, that concrete bollards don't actually protect us from terrorism. They do, however, teach us new words like "bollard." [NYT] • The Dolans really want to take Cablevision private. So much, in fact, that they'll be happy to absorb $11.3 billion in debt (the company is valued at $7.9 billion). [WCBS] • Yanks bask in the ultimate humiliation: throwing the postseason to the Tigers and getting outlasted by the Mets. Steinbrenner is likely to fire Torre and replace him with Lou Piniella. [WNBC] • The city's operas try to freshen up their crowd by offering $20 or $25 orchestra seats. Giving quotes like "We were all amazed that out of the woodwork these people came roaring up" does not help the populist cause. [NYT] • In a textbook case of good news, bad news, cleaner water in the Hudson nurses back to life an array of disgusting critters like shipworms and gribbles. Bring back the pretty petroleum slicks! [IHT] • And finally, city photojournalists, sounding surreally combative ("We are not a group to be trifled with"), demand rights to shoot in Port Authority facilities. Once you've seen the Christopher Street PATH station at dawn, you'll understand. [AMNY] [Ed. note: Apologies, by the way, for the late start. The Morning Line should post about two hours earlier than it did this morning, assuming in the future we can figure out how to use Movable Type.]