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New York City briefs

Florida man accused in hacking attempt

A Florida man was charged yesterday in federal court in Manhattan with trying to hack into the computer network of a "global charitable organization based in New York" that prosecutors declined to name.

Timothy Sedlak, 42, of Ocoee, Florida, allegedly told investigators before his arrest he had been investigating whether donations from the organization and other charities worked their way into jihadist causes, and hoped to sell the results of his research.

Prosecutors said 30 computers were seized from the home of Sedlak, and he was tied to two Internet addresses that had tried to make unauthorized entries into the charity's computer network nearly 400,000 times in June and July.

He faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted of attempting unauthorized access to a computer.

Judge: Yom Kippur

chicken rite can go on

A state judge in Manhattan yesterday refused to block Orthodox Jewish congregations in Brooklyn from carrying out the bloody Kaporos chicken-slaughter ritual on public streets in advance of Yom Kippur.

Residents and animal-welfare activist groups had sued, claiming the ritual -- an atonement ceremony in which believers swing the chickens by their wings and slit their throats -- subjected them to both a grisly display of screaming birds and a public health hazard.

Supreme Court Judge Debra James, ruled that city officials had discretion to decide whether to enforce sanitary codes, and private parties couldn't sue over an alleged "public nuisance."

Lawyer Nora Constance Marino, who brought the suit, said although she respected the ruling, "I feel terrible for my clients who are going to be forced to endure this bloodbath for another year and . . . deal with sights, sounds, smells, blood and toxins that could lead to a major public health threat."---- John Riley

NYPD retraining plan after Blake takedown

As the probe continued into the wrongful arrest and tackling of James Blake, city officials reiterated yesterday that the NYPD is retraining thousands of officers and trying to focus on the future.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said the department is aiming to have one of the most comprehensive performance review programs, including improving its early warning system for officers who receive several complaints, by employing attorneys, analysts and consultants from the Los Angeles Police Department.

Bratton said he expects the officer in the Blake incident to be interviewed by investigators sometime this week. The officer was placed on modified duty following the incident, which was captured on surveillance video.

"The department is developing an extraordinarily robust initiative to that regard," Bratton said, speaking at an unrelated news conference at police headquarters. "So I'm very comfortable as we're moving forward, like the LAPD, that we'll have one of the most comprehensive performance review systems in place not only for identifying potential issues with officers, but when officers do engage in behavior that needs to be corrected through training, discipline, that will also be done in a way that will be state of the art."

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