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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.

Jun 14, 2014

Coast Guard rescues man trying to row from New York to Scotland

NEW YORK, June 14 (Reuters) – A man trying to row across the
Atlantic from New York to a Scottish island was rescued during a
storm early on Saturday by a U.S. Coast Guard team who plucked
him from choppy waters off Long Island, an official with the
agency said.

Niall Iain Macdonald, 39, of Scotland was about 50 nautical
miles from the coast when he sent out a distress call by
satellite phone saying he had been injured, the Coast Guard said
in a statement.

Jun 6, 2014

N.Y. police charge man in elevator stabbing of two children

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York police have charged a man in the weekend stabbing of two children, one of them fatally, in the elevator of a Brooklyn housing project, officials said.

Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was charged on Thursday evening with murder in the death of Prince Joshua Avitto, 6, and attempted murder in the stabbing of Mikayla Capers, 7, along with assault and various weapon and graffiti charges, according to police.

Jun 5, 2014

New York drops surgery rule for changing sex on birth certificate

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Transgender people born in New York state, with the exception of New York City, will no longer have to prove that they have had sex-reassignment surgery to change the sex marked on their birth certificate, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office said on Thursday.

About 100 people a year seek to change the sex on their birth certificate in New York state, according to the office of the governor, who is a Democrat. New York City has a separate records system from the rest of the state and still requires proof of surgery for such a change.

Jun 2, 2014

New York Mayor de Blasio belatedly begins move to Gracie Mansion

NEW YORK (Reuters) – More than five months after he was sworn in as mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio is leaving behind his modest Brooklyn home and moving to Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, his wife announced in a blog post on Monday.

Chirlane McCray, de Blasio’s wife, wrote that a sewing machine table that used to belong to her mother would be among the first items moved to the 18th-century mansion in Manhattan that hugs the East River.

Jun 2, 2014

Retired NY cop kills wife, leaves body on bedroom floor: police

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A retired police officer strangled his wife during a fight and left her body on the floor of their bedroom for several days in central New York, authorities said on Monday.

A worried friend had reported to the police that Kathleen Wilkinson had not been seen in several days, prompting a deputy to visit her home in the town of Malta on Sunday, the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office said.