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Jul 24, 2014

N.Y. Met Opera threatens to lock out musicians in labor dispute

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Opera said it will lock out its musicians and other unionized employees next week if a new contract agreement is not reached in an escalation of a labor dispute that threatens to derail an entire opera season.

Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, wrote a letter to chorus members, orchestra players, stage technicians and other employees on Wednesday saying that they should prepare for a work stoppage if a new agreement is not reached when the current contracts expire on July 31.

Jul 24, 2014

New arrest videos add to scrutiny of N.Y. police use of choke holds

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Relatives of Eric Garner, who died soon after New York police put him in a choke hold, will ask federal prosecutors this week for an investigation as new videos emerged of a second recent case of police apparently using the banned hold on another man.

Bystanders’ videos of Garner’s dying moments last week as he was arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes have tested Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign promise of mending frayed relations between the police and New Yorkers who belong to minority groups.

Jul 24, 2014

Preachers rail at police in funeral for NYC man who died in custody

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city’s police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who died soon after police put him in a banned chokehold.

As hundreds of mourners fanned themselves against the heat, the outrage sparked across New York City by video recordings, which show Garner flat on a sidewalk pleading to the officer gripping his neck that he cannot breathe, was never far from the surface.

Jul 23, 2014

Funeral to be held for NYC man who died after police chokehold

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Family members gathered on Wednesday evening for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him in New York City where the death has sparked outrage and a promise to reform police training.

Garner’s wife, Esaw Garner, entered the Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn leaning heavily on two young boys and looking distressed and exhausted. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, followed a few minutes later, her head bowed.

Jul 22, 2014

NYC police training to be overhauled after custody death

NEW YORK (Reuters) – All New York City police officers are expected to undergo retraining in the wake of a man’s death on a city sidewalk shortly after he was placed in a chokehold by officers, Bill Bratton, the police commissioner, said on Tuesday.

The dying moments of Eric Garner, 43, can be seen in two bystanders’ videos, which have provoked outrage in the city. Garner can be seen arguing with several police officers, who were arresting him on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes, before he is grappled onto the sidewalk, pleading that he cannot breathe.

Jul 22, 2014

In chokehold death, NY police tactics clash with moves to mend relations

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When Bill Bratton returned in January for a second stint as New York City’s police commissioner, he often invoked two priorities – to mend relations with black and Latino citizens and to keep serious crime down with the same methods he used in the 1990s.

Just months into the job, those two missions appear to have clashed violently in the death of Eric Garner outside a Staten Island beauty parlor last Thursday after police placed him in a chokehold. The events have been watched by thousands on two videos taken at the scene and circulated widely online.

Jul 20, 2014

Four emergency workers barred from 911 duty in NYC arrest death

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Four emergency responders have been put on modified duty while authorities investigate their response to a man who died after New York police put him in a chokehold on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes, a fire department official said on Sunday.

The two paramedics and two emergency medical technicians will not be permitted to respond to 911 calls while the death of Eric Garner, who was 43, is investigated, the fire department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not a department spokesman.

Jul 17, 2014

New York transit strike averted after contract deal is reached

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – A threatened strike on New York’s Long Island Rail Road has been averted after a tentative contract agreement was reached on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference.

“It is my pleasure to announce today that we have settled a four-year dispute,” said Cuomo, who was flanked by leaders from the unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the region’s public transit.

Jul 17, 2014

NY transit strike averted, two labor unions say

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – A threatened strike on New York’s Long Island Rail Road has been averted after a tentative contract agreement was reached on Thursday, two of the labor unions involved in the negotiations said on their websites.

“A STRIKE HAS BEEN AVERTED!” the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 589 wrote. The railroad’s metalworkers union posted a similar announcement on its website.

Jul 15, 2014

Atheist to open meeting in N.Y. town at center of prayer case

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An atheist will deliver the first non-religious invocation at a town board meeting in Greece, New York, on Tuesday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the town’s practice of opening its meetings with a Christian prayer was constitutional.

Dan Courtney, 52, said he wrote to Greece’s board offering to give a secular invocation on the same day the court ruled 5 to 4 in the town’s favor in May in a closely watched case on the limits of religious freedom.