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Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is launching a nonprofit organization that will seek solutions to harms created by social media, she said on Thursday.

The former product manager at Facebook, since renamed Meta Platforms META.O, made headlines last year after coming out as the source of thousands of leaked internal documents, which she said detailed the social media company’s failures to protect teen girls on Instagram and clamp down on vaccine misinformation.

Facebook has consistently said it disagrees with Haugen’s characterization.

Her nonprofit, Beyond the Screen, will create an open database to document ways that Big Tech companies are failing their “ethical obligations to society” and outline possible solutions, according to a press release.

It will partner with Project Liberty, an organization working to build a new operating protocol for social networking, and Common Sense Media, which advocates for safe media content for kids.



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Iran’s official death toll more than doubled to 35 Saturday as a violent crackdown by Iran’s security forces continued to brutalize anti-regime protesters on the eighth straight day of demonstrations.

State media acknowledged the increase in its official toll from the 17 dead — including five security officers — it had previously claimed, the Times of Israel reported.

But Oslo-based Iran Human Rights estimated that at least 50 dissidents have been killed in the ongoing protests, while Amnesty International denounced “a harrowing pattern of Iranian security forces deliberately and unlawfully firing live ammunition at protesters.”

The group said it had reviewed video footage proving that “on the night of 21 September alone, shootings by security forces left at least 19 people dead, including at least three children.” It is continuing to investigate reports of additional deaths.

Demonstrations have erupted across the country since Mahsa Amini, 22, died in state custody last week after being arrested by the feared Morality Police for letting her hair peek out from under her headscarf — violating the strict women’s dress code enforced by the regime’s harsh morality police.

Demonstrators light a barrier on fire during a protest in Tehran, Iran on Sept. 21, 2022.
Demonstrators light a barrier on fire during a protest in Tehran, Iran on Sept. 21, 2022.
Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A group of students burned some veils as a form of protest. Protest in front of the embassy of Iran organized by Iranian students living in Rome to protest against violence of Iranian regime and against death of Mahsa Amini, girl who died in Iran on September 16 after being arrested by the Tehran police for not wearing the veil correctly.
Human rights groups claim at least 50 Iranian protesters have been killed so far.
Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Saturday — one day after pro-government demonstrators hit the streets demanding executions for those protesting Amini’s death — Tehran University students gathered to defiantly chant “Death to the dictator,” according to a video posted by the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Another Saturday protest was captured in a video filmed in Gilan province, about 200 miles north of the capital Tehran, whose police chief announced 739 arrests since the demonstrations began Sept. 16.

US-based Iranian activist Masih Alinejad, whose “White Wednesdays” protest movement connected her with hundreds of dissidents, posted a clip of a young woman with a bleached-blond mane tying her uncovered hair into a bun.

Iranians stage a demonstration in support of the Iranian government and security forces after protests broke out following the death of a 22-year-old woman under custody in Tehran, Iran on September 23, 2022.
Approximately 35 people have died amid demonstrations against Iran’s morality police after the death of Mahsa Amini.
Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

“This Iranian woman is getting ready to stand face to face to security forces,” Alinejad tweeted. “Iranian regime have guns and bullets but they scared of our hair. … Let’s have a Hair Revolution.”

But with Internet access all but eliminated by Iranian authorities, information from the ground was sparse.

Hardline President Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday decried the protests as “riots” organized by Iran’s “enemies” — signaling that violent attacks on demonstrators will continue.

People protest in front of Iran’s embassy in Rome, Italy on Sept. 23, 2022.
People protest in front of Iran’s embassy in Rome, Italy on Sept. 23, 2022.
Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Iran must “deal decisively with those who oppose the country’s security and tranquillity,” Raisi said, state media reported.

The protests spread across the border into neighboring Iraq Saturday, where exiled Iranian Kurds, many carrying posters with Amini’s photograph, shouted “Women, Life, Freedom” at a demonstration outside the United Nations compound in the northern city of Erbil.

“We are not against religion, and we are not against Islam,” said protester Maysoon Majidi. “We want religion to be separate from politics.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched a cross-border artillery attack on opposition bases in largely Kurdish northern Iraq Saturday, according to Iranian state television, claiming that Iranian Kurdish dissidents were behind the ongoing unrest.





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An Upper West Side synagogue has given the boot to a local Republican club after it scheduled an evening with Dick Morris, a former Bill Clinton advisor who has more recently become a Trumpy political commentator.

The Society for the Advancement of Judaism — a reconstructionist temple whose motto boasts “Judaism that Stands for All — said Morris’ support for former President Trump’s false claim of election theft were too much for their sanctuary to bear.

“The climate in our country has changed since the 2020 election and January 6.  We cannot abide by any speaker in our sacred space whose words amplify and broadcast the anti-democratic ideas of the … insurrectionists, or who condone or incite violence against our elected representatives,” said board chair Janet Brain and Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann in a statement.

The synagogue booted a local Republican club after it scheduled an evening with Dick Morris, above.
The synagogue booted a local Republican club after it scheduled an evening with Dick Morris, above.
Getty Images
The synagogue had previously hosted Republican club events since Nov. 2018.
The synagogue had previously hosted Republican club events since Nov. 2018.
Google Maps

Morris was scheduled to address the club in October and promote his new book, “The Return: Trump’s Big 2024 Comeback.” Morris’ talk was scheduled to be broadcast on C-Span.

“It’s really a little ridiculous. We have been renting space there since November 2018 and it’s been a super relationship,” said Marcia Drezon-Tepler, president of the West Side Republican Club. “I’m sad because we’ve always had two parties that disagreed without hatred. We number many Democrats who appreciate our openness.”

Morris added that it was “amazing how far liberals will go to avoid hearing the truth.”



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Disgraced “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli is now free in New York City — and angling to reclaim his place on social media.

As of last week, the 39-year-old was out of the Brooklyn halfway house where he lived for five months after serving five years in a federal prison in Pennsylvania for securities fraud.

Besides trying to start up a collaboration with hip-hop artist Moneybagg Yo, Shkreli has been holding court on his YouTube channel and made an appearance Wednesday at Mainnet, an annual tech conference focusing on cryptocurrency.

Regularly labeled the “most hated man in America” in 2015, Shkreli became symbolic of Gordon Gekko-like greed when, as the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he obtained the license to produce the AIDS drug Daraprim — and promptly raised the price from $17.50 to $750 per pill.

Shkreli — who also co-founded three hedge-fund firms, software start-up Gödel Systems and the pharmaceutical company Retrophin — was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2017.

Martin Shkreli — who became notorious as “Pharma Bro” after astronomically jacking up the price of a life-saving prescription drug — is now out of prison on securities fraud charges and ready to reinvent himself.
Martin Shkreli — who became notorious as “Pharma Bro” after astronomically jacking up the price of a life-saving prescription drug — is now out of prison on securities fraud charges and ready to reinvent himself.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

He was found guilty of three of the eight counts against him: two counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn federal court mounted an exhaustive five-week case against Shkreli, accusing him of draining funds from Retrophin to pay off investors of his failed hedge funds, MSMB Capital Management and MSMB Healthcare.

Once worth around $45 million, he reportedly is now close to broke. Shkreli did not respond to questions from The Post.

One source told The Post Shkreli had been staying with one of his two sisters in Queens or Brooklyn after the halfway house, but may be in his own place now. In a TikTok video posted last month, Shkreli said he preferred to live in Manhattan but can’t for parole reasons and hoped to get a place in Brooklyn or Queens.

Shkreli (left) made an appearance this week at the Mainnet crypto conference in Manhattan.
Shkreli (left) made an appearance this week at the Mainnet crypto conference in Manhattan.
William C. Lopez/NY Post

“If you live in a lit building and you want Pharma Bro there, let me know and I’ll go rent an apartment in your building,” Shkreli said in the video. “There has to be wild parties … it’s gotta be a dope building with sick views.”

Pashko Shkreli, 68 still lives with his wife in the small Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, apartment where they raised Martin and his two sisters. It’s at the end of a dimly-lit hall in a slightly run-down building, four stories above a bustling, working-class neighborhood of Orthodox Jews and Eastern European immigrants. Martin was born at nearby Coney Island Hospital in 1983.

“Martin did nothing as bad as some of these criminals you see assaulting people on the streets and getting out the next day, but he was treated as someone much worse,” Pashko, who immigrated here from Montenegro with his wife, told The Post last week.

After getting out of an NYC halfway house, Shkreli was reportedly staying in Brookyn with a sister.
After getting out of an NYC halfway house, Shkreli was reportedly staying in Brookyn with a sister.
Gabriella Bass

“I don’t think he should have gotten so much prison time and I don’t think he should have gotten such bad press. The media is very unfair to Martin.”

“Pashko is such a lovely man,” Shkreli’s former girlfriend Christie Smythe told The Post. “I think when you are as smart as Martin is and you come from such humble circumstances you feel like a misfit and you’re always trying to prove yourself. Especially when you’re as ambitious as Martin has always been.”

His childhood home is far from the dizzying heights of Wall Street to which Shkreli briefly ascended as a Manhattan-based hedge-fund boss.

Pharma Bro fans posted #FreeShkreli pleas on social media during his incarceration.
Pharma Bro fans posted #FreeShkreli pleas on social media during his incarceration.
@edmundsullivan

Friends and associates say that Shkreli’s modest beginnings — he went to the same Brooklyn public schools as Bernie Sanders and was so bright that, his father said, he frequently skipped grades — are key to his Shakespearean-like downfall.

They claim he was basically a math and science nerd who was, and still is, so obsessed with being cool that he deliberately molded himself into a scoundrel for cred and clout.

“Martin as a young man clearly was never cool. And he has this voracious desire to be cool,” said Jason Aryeh, one of the activist investors who successfully ousted Shkreli as boss of Turing in late August. “He’s very, very smart and, with that tremendous intellect, could focus on doing positive things for the world. He has a voracious appetite for fame. He’s a very bright guy but he found that the only way to keep himself relevant was to be the scoundrel. Doing good is not nearly as salacious.”

Shkreli plays Fortnite on Youtube and tweeted a desire to work with rapper Moneybagg Yo.
Shkreli plays Fortnite on Youtube and tweeted a desire to work with rapper Moneybagg Yo.
YouTube

At the ex-convict’s 2018 sentencing. U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said that “for years, Shkreli told lie after lie in order to steal his investors’ money, manipulate the stock market and enrich himself.”

He also was banned from Twitter in 2017 for the “targeted harassment” of a journalist.

His former girlfriend Smythe, a journalist who met Shkreli when she was assigned to cover him for Bloomberg News in 2015 and eventually left her husband for him, told The Post that Shkreli got angry with her for talking to the press because she has spoken about “the other side of him.”

Shkreli grew up in this Bay Ridge apartment building, where his parents — Eastern European immigrants — still live.
Shkreli grew up in this Bay Ridge apartment building, where his parents — Eastern European immigrants — still live.
Dana Kennedy

“He can be very sweet and childlike and, believe it or not, has a naive innocence at times that he doesn’t want people to know about,” Smythe said.

Indeed, Shkreli was back to trying hard to be cool last week as soon as he was relieved of his ankle monitor.

He celebrated his newly-won freedom by posting a selfie on his Instagram account and announcing that there were “so many ratchet thots in this club not sure what to do.” (“Ratchet Thot,” which is also the title of a 2108 Lilmar rap track, usually is a derogatory term meaning slutty women.)

Shkreli's ex Christie Smyth told The Post, “When you are as smart as Martin is and you come from such humble circumstances ... you’re always trying to prove yourself.
Shkreli’s ex Christie Smyth told The Post, “When you are as smart as Martin is and you come from such humble circumstances … you’re always trying to prove yourself.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

In June, Shkreli, who holds a degree in business administration from Baruch College, announced he was working on a rap album that includes a song called “God’s Gift.” He also tweeted out his desire to work with no less than MoneyBagg Yo, currently one of the hottest recording artists in rap.

Moneybagg Yo — known as “Bagg” by his friends — earned praise in a New York Times magazine profile two weeks ago. The story, pegged to his upcoming fifth studio album, called the Memphis native “trap’s new ambassador” and noted that five singles from his 2021 album “A Gangster’s Pain” reached the top 20 of Billboard’s rap chart.

“My goal is to attract the esteemed @MoneyBaggYo to feature his sublime skill in verse, as a guest contributor to the song,” Shkreli tweeted. Attempts by The Post to reach Bagg, real name DeMario DeWayne White Jr., were unsuccessful.

Shkreli is trying to start up a collaboration with hip-hop artist Moneybagg Yo.
Shkreli is trying to start up a collaboration with hip-hop artist Moneybagg Yo.
Redferns

Shkreli’s own effort to gain entry to the hip-hop community began in 2015 when he purchased the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” for $2 million during his heyday as a hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical company founder. 

Wu-Tang insisted Shkreli not release any of the songs on “Once Upon a Time” — called a “protest against the devaluation of music” by the Times — to the public until 2103.

In July 2021 a judge forced Shkreli to sell the album to help satisfy an outstanding restitution debt of $2.2 million, out of $7.4 million total, which was still owed to his victims.

Shkreli purchased the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" for $2 million and was court-ordered to sell it.
Shkreli purchased the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” for $2 million and was court-ordered to sell it.
VIA REUTERS

Now, Shkreli has been permanently banned from serving as a public company officer or director. But he’s looking for other ways to make money. in addition to working on his rap album, he’s been trying to revive what was once a powerful social media presence and doling out investment advice, including crypto strategies, in question-and-answer sessions on investor podcasts like “Stacks.” Shkreli also has his own Youtube channel, with 30,000 subscribers, which has lately featured long streams of him playing the popular video game Fortnite.

Though he still has his fans — who posted #FreeShkreli tweets and Reddit posts — during his incarceration, others who know him are not so optimistic that Shkreli can get out of his own way long enough to achieve something of lasting value.

Martin's father, Pashko Shkreli, says his son's punishment was far too harsh for any crime he committed.
Martin’s father, Pashko Shkreli, says his son’s punishment was far too harsh for any crime he committed.

“I’m sure he could make a real positive impact on the world if that was the way he deployed his intelligence,” Aryeh said. “Sadly, Martin is all about Martin. Martin is one of those people who believes that no press is bad press. I think he was probably a young man who maybe didn’t get the social attention that he wished he had.”

Smythe, though, agrees with Shkreli’s dad that the ex-con got a raw deal in the media.

“News stories about him were only ‘allowed’ to fit into one of two frames,” Smythe wrote in her serialized memoir about their relationship, SMIRK, which is in talks to become an independent film. “Either Martin Shkreli was doing something bad that should be hated, or something bad was happening to Martin Shkreli. Facts that did not fit either one of those themes were either discarded or contorted so that they did fit.”

Since his conviction, Shkreli has been permanently banned from serving as a public company officer or director.
Since his conviction, Shkreli has been permanently banned from serving as a public company officer or director.
AP

Smythe, who is in a new relationship, said she has reunited with Shkreli once since his release from prison — and that, while it was an enjoyable moment, she didn’t feel “the spark” that once existed between them.

“I’m hopeful for him though,” Smythe said. “I want him to be productive and to do his best and not hurt anyone. He has this facade up because he wanted to much to change the narrative he had about himself but I hope he feels more relaxed now and can be himself more.”

Pashko, who worked with his wife as a janitor when Martin was growing up, said he, too, is optimistic about his son’s release from prison and his future.

“He’s a good man and he was a very smart boy,” Pashko said. He first suggested taking a stroll outside his apartment with the Post’s reporter but then got a call from his son.

“I apologize but Martin says he doesn’t want a story now,” his father said. “I’m so sorry to be rude.”





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It was a tempest in a tiara — courtesy of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Not long before her 2018 wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wanted Queen Mary’s bandeau tiara fitted while her own private hair stylist was in London.

The only problem, according to a new book about behind-the-scenes tensions between the Palace and Meghan and Harry, was that the Crown Jewels can’t be picked up and tossed around like costume jewelry from Target.

A picture of Meghan Markle on her wedding day wearing one of Queen Mary's tiaras.
Meghan Markle on her wedding day wearing Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara.

A picture of Queen Mary watching a performance.
Queen Mary was seen watching a performance at the London Casino in 1949, wearing a diamond bandeau tiara.

The Queen’s dresser, Andrea Kelly, had to explain to Meghan and Harry the strict protocol around the Crown Jewels and how adjustments could not be made without arrangements done carefully in advance.

The pair did not take it well, the Sun reported, citing the upcoming book, “Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown,” by veteran Times of London royal correspondent Valentine Low.

Harry reacted badly, according to the book, spewing vitriol at Kelly using “fairly fruity language,” the Sun said.

 A picture of the Queen's dresser, Andrea Kelly.
The Queen’s dresser, Andrea Kelly, had to explain to Meghan and Harry the strict protocol around the Crown Jewels.
AFP via Getty Images

Kelly, who was upset, allegedly reported his behavior to Queen Elizabeth who “firmly” put Harry “in his place”.

“He had been downright rude”, an aide told author Low.



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A Florida high school teacher has been removed after video showed him berating a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

A TikTok video of the incident had amassed more than 1.4 million views as of Saturday.

“You are gonna sit there on your butt?” the unnamed teacher at Bradenton High School angrily asked the student. “If you want to do something, just get up and do it … I will defend my country to the very end.”

The student responded, “I won’t hurt you.”

The teacher then told the student to “go back … where you are from. Mexico or Guatemala? Where?”

When the student said he was born in the United States, the teacher reacted in disbelief.

“You were born here? And you won’t stand up for the flag?”

A rep for Manatee County Schools told Insider that the teacher had been removed and an investigation was underway.

“The School District of Manatee County strongly condemns any language or behavior that degrades, humiliates or insults any individuals — most especially the young people, families and community we have the privilege of serving,” the district said in a statement.



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He lost his golden oppor-tuna-ty.

A professional angler is out nearly $200,000 in prize money from a Rhode Island fishing tournament because officials don’t believe his nearly 200-pound catch was above board, according to a lawsuit.

Edward Pollner, 58, and his captain, Rudolf Bonicelli, failed a lie-detector test administered by tourney officials.

The fishermen’s defense? They were too drunk to pass it.

Pollner says the test was unfair — and invalid — because he and his buddy were drinking like fish in celebration of the giant bigeye tuna they caught.

He is now suing competition host Tri-State Tournaments, claiming it was wrong to administer the polygraph so soon after they returned to dock. Rules allow seven days for a test to be administered. Such tests are given after fishing tournaments to ensure winners have followed all the rules.

“Both Mr. Pollner and Mr. Bonicelli had consumed alcohol provided by Tri-State at the post-tournament ceremony, and Mr. Bonicelli informed the polygraph examiner that he had not slept the night before,” Pollner said in court papers. “Despite the fact that their alcohol consumption and Mr. Bonicelli’s fatigue made them unsuitable examinees under widely accepted polygraph standards, Tri-State proceeded with the polygraphs.”

The winning fish being weighed before a gathered crowd.
The winning fish being weighed before a gathered crowd.

The fish tale began July 24, when the annual four-day Tri-state Canyon Shootout in the waters off Block Island kicked off.

Competitors battled to see who could catch the largest wahoo, mahi mahi or tuna. Bigeye tuna can grow to 500 pounds and eight feet long.

Pollner, of Miami, set off aboard his 46-foot Westmac, christened Ragnar and piloted by Montauk fisherman Bonicelli. On the final day of the competition, they claimed they snagged a fintastic catch: a 195.6-pound bigeye.

The whale of a fish was big enough for fourth place for the largest tuna in the competition and earned Pollner $199,880 in side bets overseen by Tri-State, known as calcuttas.

But instead of letting Bonicelli and Pollner take their polygraphs days later, competition organizers Kerry and Kyle Douton allegedly insisted the tests happen immediately, Pollner carped in legal papers.

Bonicelli was quizzed on whether he’d followed “tournament rules concerning” equipment, had witnessed or knew about any tournament infractions, and whether Ragnar broke any rules. The examiner claimed his responses “indicated deception,” according to the litigation.

Though Bonicelli and Pollner passed later lie-detector tests given by a polygraph examiner they’d hired, Tri-State rejected the results and has refused to release the winnings, according to the lawsuit.

A lawyer for Pollner declined comment. Tri-State did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.



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Prince William was reportedly so concerned about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s unhappiness during their 2019 trip to South Africa, he asked to meet with his brother — but was turned down.

Harry rejected the offer because he was worried word of the sit-down would leak to the press, The Sun reported, citing an upcoming book about the royals by journalist Valentine Low.

William allegedly became alarmed after watching a bombshell ITV interview with Harry and Meghan while they were in South Africa.

William tried to set up a meeting after seeing that Harry and Meghan were “were in crisis,” according to the book, “Courtiers: the Hidden Power Behind the Crown,” by Low, a veteran Royals correspondent for The Times of London.

But when Harry found out that William’s private secretary would be made aware of the meeting, Harry bailed on the idea because he was afraid intel from the chat might be leaked to the press, according to the book.

Prince William was reportedly concerned after seeing Harry and Meghan's ITV interview during their trip.
Prince William was reportedly concerned after seeing Harry and Meghan’s ITV interview during their trip.
Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in South Africa.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in South Africa.
WireImage



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New York City school kids are losing their minds over the zonked-out drug addicts and raving vagrants they encounter every day – and are flocking to therapists to find ways to cope with the stress, The Post has learned.

In neighborhoods such as Hell’s Kitchen “a lot” of kids are now in therapy, according to mom Katie Hamill, 43, whose 7-year-old daughter is being treated for anxiety.

“My daughter has seen everything from fornication, masturbation, defecation, urination, you name it, she has seen it. … consistently and constantly. She is in this constant state of panic,” said Hamill, who works in real estate.

The little girl gets upset when she sees “the dying people” — the junkies who look dead whom she thinks no one is helping, the mom said. And she sees far too much vile behavior from adults, including one addict trying to rip out his hair after getting high at a West 42nd Street playground.

“My kid asks me to move,” Hamill said. “We have considered leaving the city. It’s hard.”

The city funneled thousands of homeless people to Hell’s Kitchen to living in the area’s hotels after the pandemic started. The move led to high-profile crimes including the brutal March 2021 beating of a Filipino-American woman walking to church allegedly at the hands of convicted killer Brandon Elliot, 38, who was living at a nearby hotel.

A picture of a kids playing in a playground.
According to parents, in neighborhoods such as Hell’s Kitchen “a lot” of kids are now in therapy.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Pos

In late August, police charged Nickolas O’Keefe, 33, a shelter resident, with two unprovoked stabbing attacks including one targeting an ER nurse who was knifed in the back.

Exacerbating the qualify-of-life decline is state bail reform, which has caused the release of scores of dangerous accused criminals, as well as the decriminalization of drug paraphernalia which prompted the NYPD to stop detaining junkies shooting up in public.

Major crimes in all three precincts that cover Hell’s Kitchen are up this year, with the surge nearing 60 percent in Midtown North and South. Robberies are up 57% in Midtown South and 20% in Midtown North. There have been 10 murders so far this year in the three precincts, double the number during the same period in 2021.

In Chelsea, mother Cindy Sanders, 47, said her daughter, who attends the city’s Professional Performing Arts High School, saw a therapist through a school program last year for a combination of concerns, including spiraling crime and the sudden proliferation of unhinged hobos.

“I think everything after COVID has added to the amount of stress on them. So it’s very unclear what exactly is causing the stress and anxiety,” Sanders said. “Since they just got back from COVID, the crime rate was higher, and the number of homeless on the streets was higher as well. All of it, I think, in combination created a lot of anxiety.”

A picture of a NYC mother dropping her children off to school.
NYC mother, Cindy Sanders, said her daughter saw a therapist through a school program last year for a combination of concerns, including spiraling crime.
Robert Miller

Sanders drives her daughters to the West 48th Street school to keep them safe from the legion of aggressive vagrants, but even that didn’t stop them from being harassed recently.

“A woman … started yelling at us in the car. My daughter was nervous about getting out of the car and crossing the street to go to school,” she said.

Christine Capolupo, 38, a stay-at-home mom who lives in Hell’s Kitchen, and her father, Alex Vado, called police Wednesday when they saw a vagrant asleep on a bench at the Ramon Aponte Playground on West 47th Street near Ninth Avenue.

“It’s terrible especially like this street, in this vicinity, it’s gotten so freaking bad,” Capolupo said. “It’s like in broad daylight you see them shooting up and crazy stuff. It wasn’t like that. It was pretty decent, the neighborhood. I don’t know what’s going on.”

The neighborhood’s current state of affairs is worse than the bad old days, said one lifelong resident and mom whose two daughters are also in therapy.

“My kid is like lunging and attached to me like she wants me to carry her and she is 8 years old. It’s not a way for anybody to live, especially kids,” said the stressed mama, who said her children don’t want to go outside.

A picture of a child playing on a playground.
A longtime Hell’s Kitchen resident’s mother, Christine Capolupo, and her father called the police when they saw a vagrant asleep on a bench at the Ramon Aponte Playground.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Pos

The 43-year-old woman recalled, “a lot of acts of violence when grew I up here.”

“But it was murderers murdering each other. They weren’t attacking innocent people walking in the street – women, kids, elderly,” she said. “It felt safer then.”

Sara Pashmforoosh, 40, an architect, who lives in the East Village, said her 19-month-old son constantly sees people smoking crack on their building’s stoop but is unaware of what is happening.

“When he gets older, I’m like, how am I going to explain what they’re doing?” she said.

Therapists say the toxic combination of pandemic stress and daily doses of depravity is creating a veritable Generation Angst in the Big Apple.

“It’s a lot of change and having these people in the neighborhood — that’s a part of that change,” said Dr. Judith Fiona Joseph, a Manhattan psychiatrist who treats children from all over the city. “I do think it’s one of the stressful changes that the post-pandemic era has brought to the city.”

Joseph also noted that children are naturally more empathetic and that  “It can be stressful, especially with the sensitive children in my practice — they do voice concerns about seeing people suffering in the streets, people who are not getting treatment and they feel that they want to do something about it.”

Therapist Dawn Adjei Jackson agreed that the street mayhem “contributes to the already existing anxiety that’s running prevalent in the younger clients.”

Psychologist Taylor Chesney, director of the Feeling Good Institute on the Upper East Side, said the worsening street conditions take a toll on parents, too.

“Their environment and where they chose to raise their families is changing so It makes sense that they’re stressed about it,” Chesney said. “And so if they’re going to feel stressed about it, the kids are gonna feel stressed in that way.”

Some families are coping by picking up and leaving.

One study found that families with young kids led the flight from major US cities in the first two years of the pandemic. Manhattan saw a 9.5% decline in children under 5 since 2019. Total New York City public school enrollment has dropped by 73,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Justin McShane, 38, who works in finance and development, left Hell’s Kitchen for New Jersey in February after a rent increase and the surge in violence and drug use in the neighborhood.

A picture of a family inside a playground.
Alex Vado, 63 with his daughter Christine Capolupo, 38, and her daughters Chloe, 7, and Ava, 3 at a children’s playground in Hell’s Kitchen.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Pos

“There’s almost like a blissful ignorance within the leadership. It starts with the mayor obviously and no one wants to prosecute anybody. So, you know, everyone feels like they can just run amok without any disincentives,” McShane said.

Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College, said the city is seeing the impact of moving away from enforcing quality-of-life concerns.

“Yes, the little things do matter, because the impact on other people — whether it’s crime, or in this case psychological — these things can be avoided,” Giacalone said. “There’s always a cost to something, whether it’s a cost in crime or a cost in therapy. This is what many of the reformers don’t understand.”

Kimyra Garel, 32, a chef, and partner Ernesto Santana, 34, a delivery driver, moved from the Big Apple to Newark last year with their twins, “just to get out of New York because it’s too much craziness.” 

The couple returned Friday and brought the boys, who are 8, to play at Washington Square Park, but kept them close.-

“Usually they run around. We don’t hold their hands. I have not let go of their hands. I’m so scared. You don’t know what’s going on now,” Garel said.



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A veteran Los Angeles police captain claims she was so distraught when co-workers shared a fake nude photo of her that she had to check herself into a hospital on Christmas Eve.

Greg Smith, a lawyer for LAPD Capt. Lillian L. Carranza, told jurors Thursday that when the 33-year department veteran learned about the circulated doctored photo, her blood pressure skyrocketed, landing her in a hospital bed on the holiday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Carranza alleges in a 2018 lawsuit that department brass knew the “deeply humiliating” naked image was being circulated within the force, along with disparaging comments about her, but never alerted her. The trial on her suit began this week, and she’s slated to testify Tuesday.

Carranza's blood pressure spiked after she learned about the fake nude photo circulating.
Carranza’s blood pressure spiked after she learned about the fake nude photo circulating.
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LAPD Chief Michel Moore testified Thursday the image was intended to “ridicule, embarrass or harass or smear” Carranza. However, he said that after Carranza sued the department in late 2018 and asked him to notify the 13,000 members of the force the photo was a fake, he declined because doing so might create “a viral interest, human or otherwise” and a “potential for further embarrassment,” with others potentially seeking out the image.

Carranza said in recent court documents she believes parts of her face were Photoshopped onto the nude image, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I noted that the facial features of the woman in the picture bore a striking resemblance to me, although the photograph was not actually of me,” she said in a declaration. “In fact, I concluded that my own eye appears to have been Photoshopped into the picture.”

Carranza said she felt “hurt, abandoned and devalued by my superiors."
Carranza said she felt “hurt, abandoned and devalued by my superiors.”
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She also said she felt “hurt, abandoned and devalued by my superiors … who took no steps to prevent known harm to me from occurring and who stood by and watched, encouraged or simply looked the other way as I was ridiculed, humiliated and degraded by fellow LAPD employees, despite my persistent pleas for help.”

Carranza, who now heads the agency’s Gangs and Narcotics division, also claims she was victimized in 2013 when a detective supervisor was captured on audio telling her that she was a “very cute little Hispanic lady” who had been “swapped around a bunch of times,” according to her lawsuit.

The incidents are part of a sexist culture within the department that subjects women to ongoing verbal harassment, Carranza maintains.



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