THE WIRESunday, 10 p.m., HBO3.5 STARSPerhaps fittingly for a series rooted in the shadowy world of clandestine surveillance operations, "The Wire" has often not felt the spotlight of HBO glamour shows like "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City." But with Tony's crew barreling toward the last roundup and "Deadwood" cut criminally short, "The Wire" should move to the head of what will be a slightly weaker class. While the fourth-season opener features the usual warp-speed intercuts of a dozen plot lines, its central focus is ingeniously linking the tribulations of 1) street-corner drug dealing and 2) running for mayor of Baltimore. Both are portrayed as high-stress sales jobs with a big upside if you do it right or get lucky. Both involve tough logistical decisions, constant adversity and a willingness to abuse underlings, though the abuse has more lasting consequences in the drug biz. Mayoral candidate Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen), whose campaign is not soaring, confines himself to profane verbal outbursts. Associates of big drug dealer Avon (Wood Harris) and medium-sized drug dealer Bodie (J.D. Williams) periodically take bullets in the head. The mayoral race is clearly on the writers' minds, so expect politics to continue as a major theme for the first few weeks. Hint: Do not expect the words or deeds of candidates like sleazy incumbent Mayor Clarence Royce (Glynn Turman) to show up in any civics textbook. As in the past, the sheer size of the cast in "The Wire" works against the show developing breakout stars because there simply isn't that much airtime to go around. Still, viewers will welcome back favorites like Detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West), a great cop with serious psychological cuffs around his ankles, enigmatic Detective Roland (Prez) Pryzbylewski (Jim True-Frost), who is starting an, ahem, "new career" as an inner-city math teacher, and Detective Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters), who thinks his wiretaps can finally bust this Continue Reading

WIRED FOR TROUBLE. Overloaded outlets lead to disaster

WHEN THE THERMOMETER threatens to hit triple digits - like it has recently - New Yorkers become more vulnerable than ever to electrical fires. Air conditioners are big electricity eaters - they can push old wiring past the danger point. So can the other appliances you're using when you stay indoors to beat the heat. If you're using more electricity than your old wiring was meant to handle, you could be baking the insulation right off the wires - a fire hazard in the making. Houses and apartments that are more than 50 years old are especially vulnerable to electrical fires unless they've been rewired recently, said John Drengenberg of Underwriters Laboratories, a nonprofit safety testing organization. Old homes weren't wired to handle all the energy-eating appliances that people use today, he said. "The wire doesn't melt by itself - it's being overtaxed," Drengenberg said. The problem is particularly worrisome in a city like New York where many buildings are old. Faulty wiring and light fixtures cause fires in 32,000 homes nationwide each year. Make sure you aren't harboring a potential killer in your walls, Drengenberg said. DANGER SIGNS - SHOCKS from touching appliances, outlets or wall switches point to a potential hazard. - HOT CORDS, plugs, outlets or wall switches - which you can't keep your hand on for more than five seconds - are a danger sign. - FLICKERING OR DIMMING LIGHTS - or the smell of burning metal or plastic - mean loose or faulty wires, overloaded circuits or arcing and sparking inside the walls. - IF FUSES BLOW - and blow again when replaced - or circuit breakers keep tripping after you reset them, you have a problem with your wiring. - If your bathroom and kitchen outlets don't have built-in CIRCUIT INTERRUPTERS, you're in danger of electrocution. - If you have more than one HIGH-WATTAGE APPLIANCE plugged into an extension cord, you're drawing more current through your wiring than you should. Appliances that Continue Reading

Obama discusses drug war with ‘The Wire’ creator David Simon

WASHINGTON — Talk of overhauling the criminal justice system is serious business — but before diving into the subject, President Barack Obama had something else he wanted to say. Obama told David Simon, creator of the acclaimed HBO series "The Wire," that he was a huge fan of the program about life in drug-plagued Baltimore. Obama and Simon sat down this week at the White House for a 12-minute discussion about the need to reduce the incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders and steps to make cities safer. A video of their conversation was played at Thursday's Bipartisan Criminal Justice Summit in Washington. Obama said "The Wire" wasn't just one of the greatest TV shows ever. He called it one of the greatest "pieces of art" in the last couple of decades. The president said people looking for solutions to the drug war need to "humanize what so often, on the local news, is just a bunch of shadowy characters and tell their stories." "That's where the work you've done has been so important," Obama told Simon. Obama once again paid tribute to his favorite "Wire" character: Omar Little, a stick-up man who targets drug dealers. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

18 injured after hot air balloon crashes into electric wires in Turkey

A hot air balloon carrying 20 tourists including two Americans in Turkey struck electricity wires and caught fire Friday. Eighteen of those on board were injured after the accident in Cappadocia, central Turkey, reports the Independent. The balloon was forced to make an emergency landing after hitting the wires. It burst into flames because gas leaked when it hit the ground. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK. CLICK HERE TO "LIKE" The tourists were treated for burns, though none were thought to be seriously injured. The pilot suffered first degree burns to his arms and head. Authorities launched an investigation, reports the Independent. As well as the Americans, tourists from China and Greece were also aboard. Cappadocia is particularly popular for hot air ballooning but there have been concerns over safety in recent years. In 2013, a Brazilian tourist was killed after two hot air balloons collided in midair. In 2009, a British tourist died when balloons crashed into each other. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Porsche recalls 918 Spyder supercar for potential wiring harness fault

Like an A-list celebrity getting a parking ticket, even hyper-fast supercars costing nearly $1 million dollars can have everyday problems from time to time. The outrageous 887-horsepower Porsche 918 Spyder has been issued with a global recall, to fix a potentially faulty wiring harness. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE. According to Porsche, a “carbon-fiber component” could damage the electric wiring harness for a radiator fan. It goes without saying that a busted radiator would not make the 918 Spyder’s mighty 4.6-liter V-8 engine, which is mounted behind the 2-passenger cabin, a very happy motor. The voluntary recall affects a total of 223 vehicles in the U.S., all of which were manufactured until the end of April 2015. Porsche says a visual inspection and repositioning of the wiring harness will solve the issue. At $867,000 per copy, the 918 Spyder is Porsche's ultimate sports car. In addition to the gas-fed V-8 engine, two additional electric motors work to provide extra power – or even an all-EV driving mode – as needed. Top speed is pegged at 210 mph, and the sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes an incredible 2.5 seconds. READ MORE PORSCHE NEWS HERE. That’s almost Formula One car levels of fast! But like a complex modern F1 car, a speed machine of this pedigree needs a lot of care and attention. This isn’t the first time the 918 Spyder has been the subject of a recall. In fact, it’s not even the second time, come to think of it. Last year, two separate recalls were issued, both of which focused on the cars suspension, and the possibility that the front or rear control arms could fracture. Continue Reading

‘The Wire’ filming location burns down during Baltimore riots as show’s creator David Simon, stars plead for end to violence

A building that played a key role on “The Wire” was set ablaze during the wave of violence that rocked Baltimore on Monday night. Novak’s Grocery Store, where character Omar Little’s death scene was filmed, was among the 15 buildings set on fire during the riots that plagued the Maryland city in response to the death of Freddie Gray, according to Balitmore Sun reporter Justin Fenton. MORAL: FREDDIE GRAY'S DEATH CAN BE OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE David Simon, the creator of the acclaimed HBO drama set in Baltimore, called for an end to the violence, noting that the riots were detracting from the original peaceful protests held in Gray’s name. The 25-year-old black man died from a severe spinal injury after being taken into police custody. “The anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease,” he wrote on his blog about the riots that happened after Gray's funeral, which resulted in the arrests of nearly 200 people. “There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today. “But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death." Simon then urged those who were responding to Gray’s death with violence to “turn around (and) go home.” VIDEO: MARYLAND SENATOR TELLS OFF GERALDO, FOX IN BALTIMORE “If you can’t seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore,” Simon wrote. In addition to Simon, some actors who starred on “The Wire” also reacted to the unrest that erupted in the city. “To my Beloved city Baltimore..I feel your pain. Stand up..rise UP without breaking Continue Reading

Malaysian human traffickers’ camps had 139 suspected graves, barbed-wire cages

WANG KELIAN, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities say a cluster of abandoned jungle camps used by human traffickers contained 139 suspected graves as well as barbed-wire pens likely used to cage migrants, shedding more light on a regional trade that preyed on some of Southeast Asia's most desperate people. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Monday forensics experts were exhuming the suspected graves found at 28 vacated camps in the hilly jungle area on the border with Thailand where trafficking syndicates were known to operate. "It is a very sad scene," Khalid told reporters at a police outpost in the town of Wang Kelian several miles from the camps, one of which appeared large enough to hold about 300 people. "I am shocked. We never expected this kind of cruelty." At one forest camp, police found several parts of a decomposed body inside a wooden pen. The parts were placed into white bags and brought to Wang Kelian, and district police chief Rizani Ismail said they would be examined by forensics experts. Police said they would begin digging up other suspected graves — mounds of earth, covered with leaves and marked by sticks — on Tuesday. "We have discovered 139 of what we believe to be graves," Khalid said. "We believe they are victims of human trafficking." Prime Minister Najib Razak, in Tokyo on an official visit, vowed to find the perpetrators. "I am deeply concerned with graves found on Malaysian soil purportedly connected to people smuggling. We will find those responsible," he said on Twitter early Monday. The finding in the northern Malaysian state of Perlis follows a similar discovery earlier this month by police in Thailand who unearthed dozens of bodies from shallow graves on the Thai side of the border. Thai police Maj. Gen. Puthichart Ekkachan said 36 bodies had been found there in seven abandoned camps. The discoveries have exposed hidden Continue Reading

At least 17 dead after electrical wire falls on bus headed to wedding in India

JAIPUR, India  — An electrical wire fell on a bus carrying people to a wedding in western India on Friday, killing at least 17, a local official said. Government official Rekha Gupta said the bus was carrying more than 50 people to the wedding in Rajasthan state's Tonk district. The bride and bridegroom were not on board, he said. At least 23 others were injured and taken to a hospital. Few other details were immediately available. India's power transmission infrastructure is often poorly maintained and electrical cables sometimes fall, electrocuting nearby people. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

19 arrested in Alabama police raid for EBT card fraud scheme that wires cash to Yemen

Nearly 300 arrest warrants are out for suspects in Alabama who authorities believe are behind a massive food stamp fraud scheme that has been funneling money to Yemen. Police raided 11 Jefferson County corner stores and arrested 19 people Wednesday that were suspected of turning EBT cards into cash for drugs and then illegally wiring some of those profits to Yemen, authorities said. "This is huge for us,'' Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls told The defendants are accused of buying the government-issued debit cards from those who legally qualified to have them, and then using them to purchase bulk food products to stock their store shelves. The pervasive scheme cheated the food stamp system out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, authorities said. The takedown was comprised of multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals and the USDA. The 19 people arrested were charged with public assistance fraud, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft of property. They are: Jowher Almnasoob, 53; Abdulrahman Alqublani, 48; Ismail Hassan Elnaham, 28; Saleh Yahya Rowaid, 42; Ramzi Jowher Ali Almansoob, 30; Mujahed Jowher Ali Almansoob, 23; Bashir Abosaleh Mohamed, 34; Fouad Zamzami, 47; Muneer Zindani, 30; Sufyan Saleh, 33; Mansoor Almansoob, 34; Audrey Morris, 47; Jerry Brown, 49; Keith Lee Lucas, 27; Travis Wayne Holmes, 62; Murad Nooruddin, 38; Mable Olympia Kirksey, 39; Fred Shunnarah; Faisal Elnaham. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Thief tore copper wiring from Brooklyn cell phone tower: police

Coppers are hunting for a thief who ripped off the copper wiring from a cell phone tower in Brooklyn, police said Monday. The approximately 40-year-old man climbed to the roof of a building on 42nd St. near 31st Ave. in Long Island City and removed the copper grounding wires from a Sprint tower, according to police. He then took off, heading south on 42nd St. He is described as Hispanic, about 5-foot-9 and weighing 200 pounds. Copper scrap sells for around $2.75 a pound. It was not immediately known how much of the lucrative metal the man took, cops said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading