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Aug 5, 2014

NYC police union denies choke hold used in man’s death

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York coroner’s ruling that a police choke hold caused the death of a Staten Island man was politically motivated, the head of one of the city’s police unions said on Tuesday, denying that officers used the outlawed form of restraint to subdue the suspect.

“This was not a choke hold,” Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said at a press conference, referring to a July 17 incident in which Eric Garner, who was accused of selling illegal cigarettes, died in a scuffle with police.

Aug 5, 2014

DOJ finds NYC’s Rikers Island breaches rights of young inmates

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City’s Department of Correction routinely violates the constitutional rights of male teenagers at the Rikers Island jail complex by tolerating a “culture of violence” that permits the savage beating of young inmates, according to a federal report released on Monday.

The 79-page report, prepared by the U.S. Justice Department, describes a fearful and brutalized environment in which correction officers regularly batter young men, sometimes after they are handcuffed and dragged out of sight of surveillance cameras. The excessive use of force goes well beyond what is needed to control the inmates, it said.

Aug 4, 2014

NYC jail routinely violates rights of teen inmates: DOJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday a multi-year investigation of New York City’s Rikers Island jail has found a pattern of conduct that violates the constitutional rights of adolescent male inmates.

The findings, which focused on the use of force by jail guards, solitary confinement and violence at the city’s largest detention facility, recommended that New York begin housing teenage inmates elsewhere.

Aug 1, 2014

Death of New York man in police custody caused by choke hold: autopsy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The death of a man during an arrest last month in the New York City borough of Staten Island was caused by a choke hold used on him by a police officer, the chief medical examiner’s office said on Friday, declaring the death a homicide.

Eric Garner, who was arrested by police on July 17 for peddling untaxed cigarettes, died as result of compression to his neck, compression to his chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police,” according to autopsy results.

Aug 1, 2014

Tape emerges of Clinton discussing bin Laden day before 9/11 attack

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former President Bill Clinton said he “could have killed” Osama bin Laden in remarks to an audience in Australia the day before al Qaeda’s 2001 attacks on the United States, according to an audio tape that emerged this week.

Clinton and officials from his administration have expressed similar sentiments both before and after the Sept. 11 attacks that killed more than 3,000 people but the recording appears to have attracted attention because he was speaking less than 36 hours before al Qaeda hijackers would board four airliners for attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Aug 1, 2014

New York’s Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours, lockout delayed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Opera agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72 hours, preventing a threatened lockout at the nation’s largest performing arts organization, the Met said late on Thursday.

The Met Opera also said that it had reached new contract agreements with three of the 15 involved labor unions. The three unions, whose contracts were to expire at midnight, represent building engineers and various opera staff such as ticket takers, ushers and security guards.

Aug 1, 2014

N.Y.’s Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours, lockout delayed

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Opera
agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72
hours, preventing a threatened lockout at the nation’s largest
performing arts organization, the Met said late on Thursday.

The Met Opera also said that it had reached new contract
agreements with three of the 15 involved labor unions. The three
unions, whose contracts were to expire at midnight, represent
building engineers and various opera staff such as ticket
takers, ushers and security guards.

Jul 31, 2014

Federal mediator joins New York’s Met Opera labor talks as lockout looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The unions representing the orchestra and chorus of New York’s Metropolitan Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join negotiations with management on Thursday in the final hours before a deadline for a threatened lockout.

The Met said in a statement that management planned to negotiate into the night with its three largest unions on Thursday, the last day of the current contract.

Jul 31, 2014

Federal mediator joins N.Y.’s Met Opera labor talks as lockout looms

NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) – The unions representing the
orchestra and chorus of New York’s Metropolitan Opera agreed to
have a federal mediator join negotiations with management on
Thursday in the final hours before a deadline for a threatened
lockout.

The Met said in a statement that management planned to
negotiate into the night with its three largest unions on
Thursday, the last day of the current contract.

Jul 31, 2014

New York Met Opera proposes federal mediators in bitter labor dispute

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Opera has proposed bringing in a federal mediator to resolve its most bitter labor dispute with musicians and other unionized employees in decades, the company said on Wednesday.

The suggestion comes a day before current contracts expire, but will not alter the Met’s plans to lock out employees and suspend their health benefits on Friday if new agreements are not reached, the company said.