* Independent redistricting became a hot topic in the new 6th Congressional District yesterday, with Councilwoman Liz Crowley accusing a fellow Democratic primary candidate, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, of flip-flopping on the issue. A new Crowley campaign ad shows Lancman, a co-sponsor of independent redistricting legislation, stating his support before cutting to him saying he is “happy” with his redrawn district, which he “had a big hand in drawing.” When Crowley confronted Lancman about the seeming inconsistency in yesterday’s NY1 debate, he countered that he worked within the existing process after Senate Republicans blocked independent redistricting and made sure his district was compact, contiguous and “respectful of minority communities.” “And when redistricting was completed, it was one of the districts that my friends in the good government movement pointed to as what we really should be trying to achieve through redistricting in New York,” he added. But before another forum in the evening, Crowley continued to criticize Lancman, saying he hadn’t answered the question. “Tell the truth – either you’re for it or you’re against it,” she said. “And if you’re for independent redistricting, then don’t vote on the lines that you just drew to ultimately benefit your future election.”
* Southern District Attorney Preet Bharara announced yesterday he is calling for the forfeiture of a “nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton” which was looted from the Gobi Desert. It must, he said, be returned to Mongolia, where taking dinosaur remains out of the country has been illegal since 1924. “The skeletal remains of this dinosaur are of tremendous cultural and historic significance to the people of Mongolia, and provide a connection to the country’s prehistoric past,” Bharara said in a release. “When the skeleton was allegedly looted, a piece of the country’s natural history was stolen with it, and we look forward to returning it to its rightful place.” How did someone smuggle an eight-foot-tall, 24-foot-long dinosaur into the country? According to the release, it was imported from Great Britain in March of 2010, though Tyrannosaur Bataars have only been found in Mongolia. The skeleton was described on the customs documents as “two large rough fossil reptile heads, six boxes of broken fossil bones, three rough fossil reptiles, one fossil lizard, three rough fossil reptiles, and one fossil reptile skull.” A Texas company put it up for auction in New York City, which is when the Mongolian government intervened and got the sale halted.
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