WMD Found — in Midtown
• 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]
Bella Abzug Was Not in ‘The Apartment’Congresswoman Bella Azbug was once asked to be a stand-in for Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment, but she declined. On the set of her first movie, Kim Cattrall was told she resembled Marilyn Monroe, “not in looks, of course, but in lack of talent.” Harold Ford and three blondes hung out at Blue Ribbon Sushi till 2 a.m. Chris Robinson is happy that ex Kate Hudson is dating Dax Shepard because now he has more time to hang out with their 3-year-old son. The kiddie imprint of Simon & Schuster is releasing a guide to orgy etiquette. Ted Turner still owes merely $642 million of the $1 billion he pledged to donate to the U.N. a decade ago. Elton John once tried to commit suicide by sticking his head in an oven, though he used a pillow and put the gas on low.
British Prime Minster Gordon Brown, who spent the past two days golf-carting around Camp David with President Bush, arrived in New York last night, where he met with President Clinton to talk about his anti-poverty plans and then gave a speech today at the United Nations on the same topic. (After which employees massed to photograph him while he spoke to reporters.) We’d mention the details of the plan, but the more relevant part is this: That’s why there were all those cops around the Waldorf yesterday and today. Just in case you’re curious. (We were.)
Earlier: President Bush and His Toy Car
Oh, J-Vanka!Jared Kushner was caught making out with Ivanka Trump while bowling. While hanging with some ex-CIA spies, Robert De Niro hit the sauna with KGB colonels and fired guns with Taliban warriors. An aide in the Israeli U.N. mission quit after being outed as a DL gay-porn star. NBC paid $2.5 million for the rights to air a Princess Di tribute concert in July, which may have been the reason they also scored an interview with the princes. Surprising Time “100 Most Influential People” includee John Mayer will also perform at the party. Paris Hilton appears in court today for her DUI charges. Jon Stewart and Tom Brokaw helped raise $72 million from hedge-fund bigwigs at a Robin Hood Foundation charity event.
Mama Don’t PreachMadonna won’t let her daughter dress like, well, Madonna. The U.N. campus has a pretty serious rodent-and-eel problem. Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Building owner Jerry Speyer is proficient with a yo-yo. Oscar presenter Jerry Seinfeld has been asked to host the Oscars next year but can’t because of a movie obligation. “The Secret” is Hollywood’s new Scientology/Kabbalah. Martha Stewart just bought an unfinished apartment in the West Village for $16 million. Someone stole one of Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel dresses and sent it to Courtney Love to wear. Kathie Lee Gifford has as soft spot for Britney Spears, though her son fancies Paris. Mark Ruffalo is far nicer to the press than he needs to be.
the morning line
• A seven-months-pregnant Brooklyn cop stands accused of covering up for her ex-con husband, who shot another (plainclothes) officer. We give it seven weeks until it’s a Law & Order plotline. [NYDN]
• Speaking of ripping things from the headlines, the speed with which the Law & Order machine has absorbed Adrienne Shelly’s murder is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way — even the actress playing her corpse. [NYT]
• With the U.N. building set for a $1.2 billion spruce-up, diplomats are looking for a temporary home; Bloomberg has scheduled a private talk with Condoleezza Rice about keeping the august institution in NYC for the time being. We suggest HoJo’s. [NYP]
• The 55-story Bank of America Tower at 42nd and Sixth is going to be the greenest building in town, with a 300-ton icebox for a cooling system and recyclable tap water (it will feed the sprinklers in the rooftop garden). If, you know, costs allow. [amNY]
• And the state is hiring marketers to fuck up, sorry, “invigorate” the iconic “I ♥ N.Y.” ad campaign. Because leaving good enough alone is just not the New York way. [WNBC]
the morning line
Airplanes and Stem Cells
• A single-engine plane crashed into the driveway of a New Jersey home last night, killing the pilot and barely missing a row of houses. Details are still murky at the moment; the flight originated in North Carolina and was headed for the Essex County airport in bad weather. [WNBC]
• Governor Spitzer is about to sign off on a $1 billion government-financed stem-cell research initiative. Before we get too proud, however (or scream godless pinko), let’s recall that California is spending three times the amount on the same. And their governor used to kill clones personally. [NYT]
• The NYPD has been cracking down on one of its formerly invincible nemeses — diplomats who use their immunity to park wherever they want. The city’s already collected $3 million and is still owed $18 million more, from 77 countries. Worst offender? Egypt ($1.9 million in unpaid tickets). [NYDN]
• Miss New Jersey USA has resigned because she’s pregnant, and you can’t compete while pregnant. (By the way: Why not?) The runner-up, Erin Abramson, is presumed to be running around the living room yelling “I won I won I won I won.” [amNY]
• And a French-born New Yorker got slapped with an insulting “foreigner fee” at Aquagrill; the story is remarkable for marking the first time in the years the Post published a photo of a French person without Photoshopping a weasel head on him. [NYP]