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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.

Jun 21, 2014

Study points to increase in great white sharks off U.S. Atlantic Coast

NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters) – The number of great white
sharks off the U.S. Atlantic Coast appears to have increased
since the early 1990s after conservation measures were
introduced to halt their decline, a U.S. government scientist
said on Saturday.

Scientists for the National Marine Fisheries Service
presented the findings in a study published this month in the
PLOS ONE online journal.

Jun 19, 2014

Chinese mogul invites homeless Americans to NYC Central Park lunch

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) – A Chinese recycling tycoon who
has been angling to buy the New York Times Co aims to
throw feasts for 1,000 homeless Americans, starting with a lunch
for 250 in New York City’s Central Park next week, where he also
plans to perform a song.

Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling
business before becoming a well-known philanthropist in China,
took out advertisements in the New York Times and the Wall
Street Journal on Monday inviting “poor and destitute Americans”
to the lunch at the park’s Loeb Boathouse.

Jun 18, 2014

NYC firefighters will respond to all gas leak reports

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City’s fire department will now respond to all reports of leaking gas, according to a report released by the city on Wednesday, a move that comes three months after a gas explosion leveled two buildings in Harlem and killed eight people.

The new arrangement, which will route all gas leak reports through the 911 system, is intended to improve response times.

Jun 14, 2014

Jimmy Scott, angel-voiced jazz singer, dies at 88

June 14 (Reuters) – Jimmy Scott, a jazz singer whose
soulful, androgynous voice won him the admiration of the likes
of Ray Charles and Lou Reed before he found a wider audience
later in life, has died at age 88, his wife said on Saturday.

Scott died in his sleep at home in Las Vegas on Thursday as
a result of cardiac arrest following a period of illness, his
wife, Jeannie Scott, said in a telephone interview.