Morning Headlines | Must-Reads from the WNYC News Hub

DNA Match Tying Protest to 2004 Killing Is Doubted (NYT)
William K. Rashbaum and Joseph Goldstein add some context to why DNA from evidence collected from a protest  would’ve been compared with DNA from a murder: “The decision by investigators to search for DNA samples on the chain, which was used to hold open a subway entrance gate, illustrates how such collections have become a routine part of a wide range of criminal investigations.”

February trial date set for NYC comptroller aide (Crain’s)
The AP reports: “A February trial date was set Tuesday for the former campaign treasurer for New York City Comptroller John Liu while her co-defendant's lawyer said he'll seek to have charges against his client dismissed because investigators pressured him to help them build a case against others. U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan set the Feb. 4 trial date in Manhattan for Jia Hou, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements.”

The Chickens and the Bulls: The rise and fall of a vicious extortion ring that preyed on prominent gay men in the 1960s (Slate)
William McGowan writes about a crime ring based in New York that exorted hundreds of gay men, many of whom were married with families: “In the year following the Western Union arrest, the NYPD and the FBI, working in parallel (and sometimes at odds), would uncover and break a massive gay extortion ring whose viciousness and criminal flair was without precedent. Impersonating corrupt vice-squad detectives, members of this ring, known in police parlance as bulls, had used young, often underage men known as chickens to successfully blackmail closeted pillars of the establishment, among them a navy admiral, two generals, a U.S. congressman, a prominent surgeon, an Ivy League professor, a prep school headmaster, and several well-known actors, singers, and television personalities.”

City Going After Predator Landlords Who Lure Homeless Families Into Squalid Housing (NYDN)
Erin Durkin reports: “For years, homeless families have been lured into squalid or dangerous buildings by slumlords hoping to profit off city rent subsidies. Now, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the city’s Department of Homeless Services are rolling out a new set of rules to keep families safe.”

Mayor Bloomberg Pledges to Help Assemblyman Linares Raise $100K (NYDN)
Kenneth Lovett reports: “Bloomberg last month vowed to help raise a six-figure sum for Assemblyman Guillermo Linares’ bid in the Democratic primary, a fund-raising email obtained by the Daily News showed. Before Linares took his seat in the Assembly in 2011, he was Bloomberg’s commissioner of immigrant affairs from 2004 to 2009.”

Chancellor Merryl Tisch Calls on Mayor Bloomberg & UFT to Strike Teacher Eval Deal (NYDN)
Rachel Monahan reports: “The city will lose $292 million in state money if the deal fails to come together by January. ‘They’re killing me,’ Merryl Tisch told the Daily News Editorial Board on Wednesday. ‘They’re killing me, because it is time for New York City to negotiate this, to have an evaluation system in place.’”

ConEd Union Asks State to End Lockout (WSJ)
Anjali Athavaley reports: “Consolidated Edison Inc.'s biggest union is asking the state commission that regulates the utility to use its power to end the lockout of thousands of field workers dismissed last week. In a petition filed Wednesday with the New York Public Service Commission, the Utility Workers Union of America said the company is unable to provide adequate service as required by law with its smaller work force.”

Midtown’s New Look Unveiled (WSJ)
Laura Kusisto and Eliot Brown reports: “City officials Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited plan to encourage developers to build new office skyscrapers in the aging district near Grand Central Terminal by allowing them to build higher and denser. The Department of City Planning is proposing a major rezoning of the area around the transportation hub and stretching up major arteries, including Park and Madison avenues. In some cases, developers would be allowed to build 60% more space than what's allowed under today's zoning without a lengthy approval process.”

Weprin Says Certified NY-6 Results Show Meng Will Roll in November (City & State)
Chris Bragg reports: “Councilman Mark Weprin, a Meng campaign co-chair, called in to tout the certified results — and says they prove definitively that Meng, running against three white candidates, took the most white votes of anyone in the race. According to Weprin, no more than 30 percent of the NY-6 Democratic primary electorate was Asian American, and, given that Meng more than doubled Lancman’s vote total, its impossible that she received fewer white votes than Lancman or her two other opponents, Councilwoman Liz Crowley and allergist Robert Mittman.”

In a Hot Dog Cart, Prime Real Estate on Fifth Avenue (NYT)
Corey Kilgannon reports: “Dan Rossi has for the past seven years claimed the spot directly in front of the museum’s crowded steps... But after another vendor nearly beat him to it, almost a month ago, Mr. Rossi has refused to move his cart.... ‘It’s illegal to leave it unattended, so I’ve been sleeping in it,’ he said, folding out a lawn chair inside the cart Tuesday night. He lay between shelves of hot dog buns and shelves of ketchup, his head next to the grill and his feet sticking out of the cart’s open door.”

Michele Bachman Warns Clinton Aide and Anthony Weiner’s Wife Huma Abedin Is a Mole for the Muslim Brotherhood (Gannett)
Mark Sommerhauser reports: “The letter to the State Department singles out Huma Abedin, a deputy chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and asserts that three of Abedin’s family members are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. It says Abedin’s position affords her access to Clinton, and adds that the department has ‘taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests.’”

City Reservoirs and Lakes Turn Bright Colors from Aquatic Blooms (NY World)
Sasha Chavkin reports: “The strange hues of these lakes are not signs of the Mayan apocalypse. Instead, experts reassure, they are caused by the blooming of aquatic plants that thrive in the summer sun and have appeared with unexpected vigor this year. Some are longtime inhabitants of the city’s lakes and ponds, such as duck weed, but others are new arrivals whose impact is less clearly understood.”

New Exhibit Features Brooklyn Boys Getting Their First Haircuts (NYT)
“The pictures come from an archive amassed by Al Criscillo, an immigrant from Naples who for 54 years ran a barbershop on Metropolitan Avenue. Mr. Criscillo began offering a free photo with every first haircut sometime in the 1960s — family members don’t remember exactly when. He would keep a copy for a collage he had in the shop or for storage at home. He continued the practice until he closed the shop in 2005. Mr. Criscillo died in 2007, at 90.”