Morning Links: Charles Rangel Faces Ethics Charges; Tropical Storm Bonnie Screws With the Gulf

• Representative Charles Rangel has been accused of violating ethics rules -- including accepting four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem for a price below market value, failing to pay taxes on rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic, and using his office to preserve a half-billion-dollar tax loophole for an oil exec who pledged money to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York. Rangel says he looks forward to fighting the charges. [NYT, AP]

• Tropical Storm Bonnie is pushing back work in the Gulf to permanently stop the leak by at least a week -- ships around the area have been ordered to evacuate, though authorities have decided the cap is strong enough to leave it sealed during the storm. There will be no live monitoring of the capped well until the storm blows over. [CBS]

• BP says they haven't "bought the silence" of the scientists and academics helping them fight litigation -- they're just keeping information confidential! Per the contract with the company, scientists can't publish research conducted for BP or speak about the data for at least three years, "or until the government gives the final approval to the company's restoration plan for the gulf." [Guardian]

• There's an even more horrible twist in the story of the house fire that killed a mom and her four kids on Staten Island yesterday. It was apparently set by her 14-year-old son after he cut the throats of his two sisters and before he cut his own. He'd recently set a fire in a school bathroom and at a nearby pool, though neighbors say "he wasn't an evil child." [NYDN]

• Army National Guard Lieutenant Dan Choi has been discharged for defying "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" after serving as grand marshal in the city's "Heritage of Pride" parade this year. [NY1]

• Bloomberg says Albany's plan to lay a big tax on New York City's hedge fund managers who live out of state isn't working; the money is being "wooed" to Connecticut. [ABC]

• A pot plant is growing on 1st Street (and Second Avenue). [NYC The Blog]


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