Boston terror attack; Jasmin, Desmaret arraignments; Knicks-Celtics Game 2: Top 5 stories for April 23, 2013

The Knicks huddle around Carmelo Anthony after defeating The Knicks huddle around Carmelo Anthony after defeating the Boston Celtics during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. (April 20, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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1) Federal authorities will continue their investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing and its primary suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who remains hospitalized at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. Tsarnaev was officially charged Monday with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against Americans and could face the death penalty, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Massachusetts. According to an Associated Press source, unnamed U.S. officials said that Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, were motivated to attack at least in part by religion, but there is no evidence linking them to Islamic terrorist groups. Read more here.

2) When Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino delivers his fourth State of the County address Tuesday night in White Plains, he'll have a bully pulpit in which to frame his re-election campaign. Democrats commonly label Astorino a Tea Party Republican who has laid off county workers, cut spending on social services and sought to privatize Rye Playland, the county-owned amusement park, by handing over its management to a local nonprofit organization. Astorino can face those criticisms head-on in Tuesday's speech, forcing Democrats to react to him at their Wednesday convention. The State of the County speech is also a chance for Astorino to publicly strike a new path on the controversial HUD issue. He won office in 2009 in part because of his opposition to the HUD settlement, which was reached by his Democratic predecessor, Andy Spano. Read more about Westchester's HUD settlement and the Democratic convention here.

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3) Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, Deputy Mayor Joseph A. Desmaret, state Sen. Malcolm Smith and three others will be arraigned in federal court in White Plains on Tuesday after indictments were issued Thursday in connection with a widespread corruption case. The political figures are implicated in a number of political schemes, including an alleged attempt to bribe officials to pave the way for Smith, a Queens Democrat, to be elected New York City mayor on the Republican ticket in November. In addition to Jasmin, Desmaret and Smith, New York City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), Queens GOP vice chairman Vincent Tabone and Bronx GOP chairman Jay Savino also were indicted. Smith, Halloran, Tabone and Savino were charged with wire fraud, bribery and extortion, and Jasmin and Desmaret were charged with mail fraud and extortion, prosecutors said. Read more here.

4) Hudson Valley businesses looking to secure work for the new Tappan Zee Bridge will have two chances Tuesday and Wednesday. Representatives from the State Thruway Authority, bridge builder Tappan Zee Constructors and the state Department of Labor will meet with interested businesses at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Westchester Marriot in Tarrytown. On Wednesday, the information session will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Suffern. For more information or to register, visit the new bridge website here.

5) The Knicks will look to stay hot while taking a 2-0 lead in their NBA playoff series against the Boston Celtics. In Game 1 on Saturday, Carmelo Anthony lit up the Celtics for 36 points in an 85-78 victory. Tipoff at Madison Square Garden is at 8 p.m. Read more here.

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