Tag Archive: New York City


Image: mafia Alessandra Tarantino / AP
U.S. and Italian authorities hold a joint press conference Tuesday after the anti-mafia operation.

ROME – Police in Italy and the United States have broken up a major organized crime network made up of powerful mafia clans plotting to smuggle huge amounts of illegal drugs and weapons, officials said on Tuesday.

Officers on both sides of the Atlantic worked together in what they called an “unprecedented” two-year operation involving wiretaps and undercover officers penetrating deep into the heart of the alleged network, American and Italian officials said at a press conference in Rome.

Seventeen people in Italy and seven in New York were arrested in coordinated sweeps just after 7 p.m. ET on Monday. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars in cash were also recovered in the raids.

“We realized the ‘Ndrangheta wanted to create a bridge with the U.S. to move narcotics across the ocean,” U.S. magistrate Marshall Miller said, referring to the powerful criminal organization in Calabria, Italy.

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via NBC New York

Elderly dog abandoned in New York

Elderly dog abandoned in New Yorkvia NBC New York
February 11, 2014

According to Tuesday’s NBC New York News, an elderly, neglected dog was abandoned in the cold near a veterinary hospital in Manhattan, N.Y., on Sunday.

According to CBS New York, a security camera captured an image of the man who left the senior chow chow tied to a gate outside of a store; the dog was later retrieved and take to the Riverside Animal Hospital for care.

The abandoned 12-year-old dog is in poor condition – according to veterinarians at the hospital, the dog was emaciated, dehydrated and his coat so matted that it took hours to shave the fur away.

The dog is also confused; Georgia Weber, a veterinarian who treated the dog stated:

Then he was sitting crying in a cage here on Sunday just with me, not knowing where he was, not knowing what had happened to him,

“What he does know is he’s been abandoned.

Staff at the facility believes that the man who left the dog behind may have been at a loss over what to do with the dog, but they noted that there are much better options than what was done.

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Crain's New York Business

Up to a foot of snow is expected in New York City. Long Island Railroad is adding additional trains as needed, and says services may be canceled if the weather gets bad enough.

Snow January21
The National Weather Service forecasts wind chill as low as 10 degrees below zero. Photo: Associated Press

Updated: January 21, 2014 2:23 p.m.

(AP) — Thousands of flights were canceled, students got an extra day off from school or were being sent home early, and the federal government closed its offices in the Washington area Tuesday as another winter storm bore down on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The National Weather Service said the storm could bring 10 to 14 inches of snow to Philadelphia and southern New England and up to a foot in New York City, to be followed by bitter cold. An arctic air mass will plunge the eastern half of the United States into a deep freeze, with wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero, the weather service said.

It warned of heavy winds and hazardous driving conditions as the storm moved up the East Coast.

Nearly 2,200 flights were canceled and thousands more delayed Tuesday, with airports from Washington to Boston affected, according to flight-tracking site Flightaware.com. An additional 450 flights for Wednesday were already canceled.

Schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky stayed closed for an extra day after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, or planned to send students home early. Some parents kept their kids home even if their schools were open, unwilling to put them on slippery roads.

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Button up: Snowstorm over, but cold settles in

TODAY’s Al Roker and The Weather Channel managing editor Sam Champion provide a winter storm update and say temperatures are continuing to drop on the East Coast due to an “arctic express.”

Anyone living east of the Rockies can expect “reinforcing shots of cold air,” said Bob Oravec, a National Weather Service forecaster.

“We’re in a pretty persistent cold pattern right now, and the biggest break we’re going to get is on Saturday — but that’s before the next cold front comes through Monday,” Oravec said.

It’s getting pretty chilly in the Orange Room as Carson Daly presents some of the best viewer-submitted snow pictures.

Expect below zero temperatures in some parts, he warned.

Temps remained below average Wednesday, forcing folks to bundle up tight while shoveling snow. Commuters had to slog through messy roads, while flights and schools were canceled.

The snowfall ended south of Boston by 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to The Weather Channel. But in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C, where the weather had caused havoc on the Tuesday evening commute, wind chills had plummeted well below zero.

The temperature in all three cities was between 9 and 12 degrees — with wind chills as low as minus-7 in Washington, D.C. Wind gusts across the region will get up to 33 mph, the National Weather Service reported.

That was hardly the worst of the cold. Fargo, N.D., was enduring wind chills of minus-38 on early Wednesday, and the air temperature in northern New England was -12 at mid-morning.

Andrew Kelly / Reuters

A woman sits on her cot at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport Tuesday.

As for snow, residents of the Northeast faced the prospect of digging themselves out of some heavy snowfall, the heaviest fell in Manalapan, N.J., which got 15.5 inches.  A foot fell in New York City and 13.5 inches in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Schools across the Northeast were closed on Wednesday, although New York City had a regular school day for its 1.1 million students.

It was not only people on the ground subjected to winter misery: More than 1,400 flights coming into or out of the U.S. on Wednesday had been canceled by 11 a.m.

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The Baltimore Sun

Cold lingers as Northeast digs out from snow

1 of 76 Photos

A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions. -Reuters

A TAM airlines plane sits shrouded by snow as plows work around it at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York January 21, 2014. A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly) A TAM airlines plane sits shrouded by snow as plows work around it at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York January 21, 2014. A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly) A man runs down a street past snow covered cars in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn in New York City, January 22, 2014. The northeastern United States on Wednesday dug out from a storm that dumped over a foot of snow in many places with frigid, windy weather keeping some schools and offices closed and flights canceled. (REUTERS/Mike Segar) A man runs down a street past snow covered cars in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn in New York City, January 22, 2014. The northeastern United States on Wednesday dug out from a storm that dumped over a foot of snow in many places with frigid, windy weather keeping some schools and offices closed and flights canceled. (REUTERS/Mike Segar) A squirrel stands in the snow on the National Mall January 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. A strong winter storm is bearing down on the East Coast between Virginia and Massachusetts and could dump four to eight inches of snow on the Washington area. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A squirrel stands in the snow on the National Mall January 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. A strong winter storm is bearing down on the East Coast between Virginia and Massachusetts and could dump four to eight inches of snow on the Washington area. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) People walk past a CitiBike stand during a snowstorm on January 21, 2014 in New York City. Areas of the Northeast are predicted to receive up to a foot of snow in what may be the biggest snowfall of the season so far. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

People walk past a CitiBike stand during a snowstorm on January 21, 2014 in New York City. Areas of the Northeast are predicted to receive up to a foot of snow in what may be the biggest snowfall of the season so far. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) A snow blower clears a path on a pedestrian walk way during a snow storm in New York, January 22, 2014. In New York, a storm alert was issue for noon (1700 GMT) Tuesday to 6:00 am (1100 GMT) Wednesday with as much as a foot (30 centimeters) forecast for the metropolitan region. (Emmanuel Duand/AFP/Getty Images)

A snow blower clears a path on a pedestrian walk way during a snow storm in New York, January 22, 2014. In New York, a storm alert was issue for noon (1700 GMT) Tuesday to 6:00 am (1100 GMT) Wednesday with as much as a foot (30 centimeters) forecast for the metropolitan region. (Emmanuel Duand/AFP/Getty Images)

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• Andrew Cuomo in surprise reverse of hardline position

• Small but significant change to highly restrictive laws

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo at the inauguration of New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio on January 1, who has set a liberal agenda. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York is poised to become the latest US state to relax its laws covering marijuana. Governor Andrew Cuomo will make a surprise turnaround in policy later this week, to allow limited use of the drug for medical purposes.

As Colorado residents continue to flock to their local pot shops, after their state became from 1 January the first to allow the sale and possession of cannabis for recreational purposes, signs have emerged that New York will now make a small but important amendment to some of the strictest laws on the drug in the US. Cuomo is expected to announce an executive action in his annual state of the state address on 8 January, to permit a small number of hospitals to prescribe marijuana for medical use in the treatment of serious illnesses including cancer and glaucoma, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has always been staunchly against legalising cannabis, including for medical use. Even though the likely announcement would only loosen restrictions on the drug very slightly, it will be seen as a significant move at a time when a number of states are liberalising their laws in ways ranging from the use of medical marijuana to decriminalising basic possession of the drug, up to full recreational use. Voters in Washington state have also voted to allow recreational marijuana and it is expected to follow Colorado later this year and become the second state to implement such laws.

More than 20 states currently have laws allowing a variety of medical uses of marijuana.

Cuomo is expected to emphasise that medical marijuana will only be allowed for a tightly circumscribed list of illnesses, to be drawn up by the state Department of Health.

By announcing a unilateral executive action, the governor will sidestep the legislative process in the state capital, Albany, where the senate has repeatedly struck down bills passed in the lower assembly to permit medical marijuana.

Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told the New York Times Cuomo’s move was “bold and innovative”.

Even limited medical marijuana use is banned under federal law but the Obama administration has signalled that it is not interested in actively pursuing prosecution in states that have relaxed their laws around the drug. Whether there will be any clash between federal law enforcement and state authorities in Colorado and Washington state remains to be seen.

 

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Michael Appleton for The New York Times

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has received over $30 million from him since 2002.

Michael R. Bloomberg loves tropical fish. So when he was elected mayor, he installed two giant aquariums in City Hall.

The cost to him for having the tanks cleaned out every week for the past 12 years: around $62,400.

The mayor likes to nosh, too. So he paid to feed his staff daily a light breakfast (coffee, bagels, yogurt) and a modest lunch (tuna salad, PB&J, sliced fruit).

The bill for his entire mayoralty: about $890,000.

Mr. Bloomberg, above all, enjoys hassle-free travel. When he took his aides anywhere, from Albany to Athens, it was by private plane.

The price tag for all that jetting around: roughly $6 million.

When Mr. Bloomberg leaves office at midnight Tuesday, he will bequeath a litany of record-shattering statistics on crime reduction, sidewalk safety and skyline-altering construction. But perhaps the most staggering figure is the amount of his own money that he devoted, day in and day out, to being mayor — much of it unseen by the public.

An analysis by The New York Times shows that Mr. Bloomberg has doled out at least $650 million on a wide variety of perks and bonuses, political campaigns and advocacy work, charitable giving and social causes, not to mention travel and lodging, connected to his time and role as mayor. (His estimated tab for a multiday trip to China, with aides and security in tow: $500,000.)

In the process, he has entirely upended the financial dynamics surrounding New York’s top job.

In the past, the city paid its mayor; Mr. Bloomberg paid to be the city’s mayor.

In moves that would make a financial planner’s head spin, he rejected the $2.7 million worth of salary to which he was entitled (accepting just $1 a year) and, starting in 2001, turned on a spigot of cash that has never stopped gushing. He poured at least $268 million of his personal funds into three campaigns for mayor.

He donated at least another $263 million to New York arts, civic, health and cultural groups, personally and through his company, Bloomberg LP.

Campaign donations? He handed out about $23 million of them.

He even chipped in $5 million to renovate an official mayoral residence that he never inhabited. (He preferred the familiar privacy of his own nearby mansion.)

“A modern Medici” is how Mark Green, the former public advocate, described him, reaching back to 15th-century Italy for any kind of precedent.

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Nanette Lepore
Founder

Nanette Lepore Company

via  AmericanMade Heroes .com

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That ‘Made in U.S.A.’ Premium

Margaret Cheatham Williams/The New York Times

 

The designer Nanette Lepore is a cheerleader for New York City’s garment district. Most of her contemporary women’s clothing line, which sells at stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, is made locally.

American Made

The Price Barrier

This series examines the challenges associated with manufacturing in the United States.

The Fessler USA factory in Pennsylvania was unable to keep running.

Her company occupies six floors in a building on West 35th Street and uses, among other businesses, six nearby sewing factories, a cutting room and even a maker of fabric flowers in the neighborhood. She organizes “Save the Fashion District” rallies, writes about the danger of losing local production and lobbies lawmakers in Washington to support the American fashion industry.

“If my only option as a young designer was to make my clothing overseas, I could not have started my business,” she said.

Yet Ms. Lepore says that when she signed a deal with J. C. Penney for a low-cost clothing line for teenagers — clothing that sells for about one-tenth the price of her higher-end lines — Penney could not afford production in New York.

Of the 150 or so items she now has featured on Penney’s website, none are made in this country. “That price point can’t be done here,” Ms. Lepore said of lower-end garments.

As textile and apparel companies begin shifting more production to the United States, taking advantage of automation and other cost savings, a hard economic truth is emerging:  Production of cheaper goods, for which consumers are looking for low prices, is by and large staying overseas, where manufacturers can find less expensive manufacturing. Even when consumers are confronted with the human costs of cheap production, like the factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,000 garment workers, garment makers say, they show little inclination to pay more for clothes.

Essentially, to buy American is to pay a premium — a reality that is acting as a drag on the nascent manufacturing resurgence in textiles and apparel, while also forcing United States companies to focus their American-made efforts on higher-quality goods that fetch higher prices.

Last year, Dillard’s, the midtier department store, wanted to promote American-made clothing, according to Fessler USA, an apparel maker in eastern Pennsylvania. It turned to Fessler to produce tops. Theirs was a brief relationship. “Almost overnight, they called and said, ‘Made in America just doesn’t sell better than made in Asia, and you can’t beat the price,’ ” said Walter Meck, Fessler’s chief executive and principal owner.

The pattern repeats across retailers. Brooks Brothers’ American-made cashmere sport coats sell for $1,395; comparable imported ones go for $1,098. At Lands’ End, American-made sweatshirts cost $59, while the ones made in Vietnam cost $25. The label on an Abercrombie & Fitch American-made sweater, which sells for $150, screams about its American origins. But most of the sweaters for sale at Abercrombie are the cheaper ones priced at $68 and up, and made abroad.

Eric Schiffer, known as Ricky, and his business partner, Leonard Keff, last year opened Keff NYC, a knitting operation in New York’s garment district. Business has been good, with contracts from higher-price retailers like Abercrombie, Anthropologie and Ralph Lauren. One afternoon earlier this year, Mr. Schiffer watched as a table full of women knotted loose threads on Ralph Lauren gloves destined for the American team in the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi, Russia. (Ralph Lauren chose American manufacturing only under pressure from consumers and government officials up in arms after it supplied Olympics uniforms made in China for the 2012 Summer Games.)

Though labor costs about 40 percent more than in China, and retail prices end up 20 percent higher, Mr. Schiffer says Keff’s clients — and, more important, their customers — can afford it.

“We can’t work with the Targets and the J. C. Penneys of the world,” he said. “It’s not for everyone. It’s really just for the higher-end companies.”

Paying for Quality, or Not

Americans spend more than $340 billion a year on clothes and shoes, more than double what they spend on new cars, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association. And they say they want to buy American, even if it hits them harder in the pocketbook.

Two-thirds of Americans say they check labels when shopping to see if they are buying American goods, according to a New York Times poll taken early this year. Given the example of a $50 garment made overseas, almost half of respondents — 46 percent — said they would be willing to pay from $5 to $20 more for a similar garment made in the United States.

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Previous Articles:

A Wave of Sewing Jobs as Orders Pile Up at U.S. Factories

U.S. Textile Plants Return, With Floors Largely Empty of People

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Matt Rourke/Associated Press

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Save the Garment Center

Blowback601

Uploaded on Nov 3, 2009

The Garment Industry used to be the number one employer in New York City. Today, a small core of businesses remains that are being pushed out by high rents and overseas competition. They have banded together to petition the city for policies that would Save the Garment Center.

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democracynow democracynow

 

Published on Nov 8, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – Tuesday’s election signaled a political sea change in New York City as voters chose a candidate who repeatedly emphasized his progressive vision. The city’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, crushed Republican Joe Lhota in the mayoral race to replace billionaire mayor Mike Bloomberg. De Blasio is set to become the first Democrat to lead the city in two decades. During his campaign, de Blasio’s signature message focused on what he called a “tale of two cities” and challenge the police department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” program. Mayor-elect de Blasio rose to power with the help of the Working Families Party, an independent political coalition sponsored by labor unions and focused on reducing social and political inequality. The party’s grassroots organizing efforts are not limited to New York. It recently won landmark legislation to tackle the student debt crisis in Oregon, fought the corporate education reform agenda in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and won paid sick days in Jersey City, New Jersey. Voters in New Jersey also approved a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage by a dollar to $8.25 an hour and add automatic cost-of-living increases each year. “We are living in the world Occupy made,” says Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party. “We are the beneficiaries of what they did in terms of making this [about] inequality, which is from my point of view the core issue of our time.”

 

 

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Two kittens that shut down a New York City subway line for more than an hour have been found and rescued from the tracks.

Kittens that brought New York subway lines to a standstill rescued

A kitten stands between the rails on subway tracks in the Brooklyn borough of New York Photo: AP

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Julie Glave says the kittens were discovered Thursday evening under the third rail of an express track in Brooklyn.

Glave says MTA workers and police officers removed the kittens from the subway tunnel in crates.

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U.S. fast-food workers protest, demand a ‘living wage’

Strikers march outside a Wendy's restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts August 29, 2013, as a part of a nationwide fast food workers' strike asking for $15 per hour wages and the right to form unions. REUTERS-Brian Snyder

NEW YORK | Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:52pm EDT

(Reuters) – Fast-food workers went on strike and protested outside McDonald’s, Burger King and other restaurants in 60 U.S. cities on Thursday, in the largest protest of an almost year-long campaign to raise service sector wages.

Rallies were held in cities from New York to Oakland and stretched into the South, historically difficult territory for organized labor.

The striking workers say they want to unionize without retaliation in order to collectively bargain for a “living wage.”

They are demanding $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25. The median wage for front-line fast-food workers is $8.94 per hour, according to an analysis of government data by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), an advocacy group for lower-wage workers.

“It’s almost impossible to get by (alone),” said McDonald’s worker Rita Jennings, 37, who was among about 100 protesters who marched in downtown Detroit Thursday. “You have to live with somebody to make it.”

Jennings said that in her 11 years at McDonald’s, she has never received a raise above her wage of $7.40 an hour.

In Atlanta, about 20 fast-food workers at two different chains presented their managers with “strike letters” before walking out, Roger Sikes, a coordinator with the nonprofit group Atlanta Jobs With Justice, told Reuters.

And in Oakland, about 80 fast-food workers from various restaurants and their supporters rallied outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.

“I’m doing it for the respect for myself and for my other coworkers,” said Ryan Schuetz, 20, who works at McDonald’s. He said his work hours have been reduced recently and that he was struggling to keep a roof over his head.

Several politicians came out in support of the protesters on Thursday.

In New York City, mayoral candidate and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined several hundred demonstrators outside a McDonald’s in midtown Manhattan, holding a sign that read “On Strike: Wages Too Damn Low.”

“Better pay will put more money into local businesses and spur economic growth,” Democratic Representative George Miller of California said in a statement.

Robert Hiltonsmith, a policy analyst at Demos, a liberal think tank, said that if the minimum wage had kept up with productivity and inflation, it would be closer to $17 per hour.

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