The Thrilla in Albany
• Bill Clinton chimes in on the Bloomberg party switch, and he's all smiles about it: "I suppose he just couldn't bear to be in the Republican Party anymore," and he won't affect Hillary's margins. [NYP] • The grad student who drove journalist David Halberstam to his death in a car crash will be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter: The accident happened when he made an illegal turn. [amNY] • Jason Giambi finally admitted to steroid use. He will now meet with MLB steroid czar George Mitchell, thus becoming the only current player to cooperate with the probe. [NYDN] • The Haywards — a wealthy Native American family, who built the Foxwoods casino — say they're being "shunned" and "pushed out" of the 800-person Connecticut tribe. Which makes them the Trumps of the Pequot. [NYT] • And the city credits its "hard-hitting" TV ads (starring Ronaldo the Hole-in-the-Throat Guy) with reducing the local smoking rates to a historic low. Could be that. Or could be the fact that you can't smoke anywhere. [NY Metro]
• This year's edition of the Puerto Rican Day blowback begins: activists say the police have overreached in their pre-parade gang sweep and wrongly jailed innocent bystanders. [NYDN] • Peter Braunstein dusted off his dormant journalism skills to write a long leniency-seeking letter to the judge: "I implore you, your honor, to [ignore] the venomous tabloid media and its premodern understanding of mental illness." Hey Pete, "media" is plural. [NYP] • The NYPD premieres a new siren, the Rattler (a low-frequency aural assault) to go with its storied repertoire: the Yelp, the Wail, the Hi-Lo etc. The Times article actually links to the sound samples for each. [NYT] • Wednesday's weird confluence of NYC critter sightings — a hawk and a kestrel in Manhattan, a lamb tearing through the Broonx — made for the busiest day in Animal Control's history. [FoxNews] • And, one more squeeze of the Sopranos-ending "controversy": James Gandolfini admits he has no idea if his character lives or dies. His career is a far more clear-cut case. [AP via amNY]
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