Afternoon Bulletin: Menendez Indicted, Bomb Plot Thwarted and More

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez has been indicted on corruption charges. (Getty Images)

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez has been indicted on corruption charges. (Getty Images)

Senator Robert Menendez has become the latest New Jersey politician to be indicted on corruption charges. He was charged Wednesday in a scheme to trade political favors for campaign donations and expensive hotel rooms, among other kickbacks. Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, the main benefactor of Mr. Menendez, was also charged–he directed $700,000 in campaign contributions to Mr. Menendez’s super PAC. In return Mr. Menendez encouraged the Obama administration to change the Medicare reimbursement policy in a way that would make millions for Dr. Melgen, and he also obtained visas for the doctor’s foreign girlfriends. (New York Times)

Two wannabe ISIS members were arrested Thursday for conspiring to detonate homemade bombs. Noelle Velentzas, 28 and Asia Siddiqui, 31, were roommates in Queens when they decided to become “bad bitches” and commit a terrorist act so as to join the Islamic State. The duo considered bombing a police funeral after seeing the packed service for slain officer Rafael Ramos, which Vice President Biden and Gov. Cuomo attended, among others. They believed that though Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev was wrong for killing innocent people, targeting “the enemy” was permissible. (Daily News)

Laurel Kaye, a Long Island native and senior physics/chemistry major at Duke University, is one of 100 finalists for an expedition to Mars. The catch is that the trip is one-way, because that only costs $6 billion while a round trip would cost about $90 billion, Ms. Kaye is surprisingly at peace with spending the rest of her days on the airless, cold Red Planet, saying “I don’t see myself as dying on Mars. I see myself as living on Mars.” She won’t be going up anytime soon, though- Mars One, the company sponsoring the expedition, has only raised about $1 million of the needed funds. (Gothamist)

Barbequing Brooklynites rejoice! A newly designed grilling zone will open Memorial Day weekend in Prospect Park. The grill site will be located just north of the Lincoln Road entrance on the east side of Prospect Park. Sue Donoghue, president of the Prospect Park Alliance, said the new grilling stations are part of a larger plan to improve the east side of the park. (DNAinfo)

Have you noticed that your subway commute is more crowded than usual? Before you blame it all on MTA delays, it’s more likely the result of a surprise hike in the population of New York City. According to the latest census data the current population in the Big Apple is only 60,000 people away from reaching 2020’s projected population of 8,550,971. There goes your chance of getting a seat on the L train. (Gothamist)

 

Afternoon Bulletin: Menendez Indicted, Bomb Plot Thwarted and More