New York

Tribune Co to buy 19 TV stations

Tribune Co to buy 19 TV stationsNew York, July 2 - Media conglomerate Tribune Co said Monday that it reached an agreement to purchase 19 television stations from Local TV Holdings LLC for $2.73 billion in cash.

The acquisition, which includes broadcasters in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Cleveland, Denver and Seattle, will leave Tribune with 42 stations nationwide.

The company also owns eight newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

It was only last December that Tribune Co completed a four-year-long restructuring under bankruptcy protection.


New York embraces bikes for the summer

New York, July 2 - New York City's famous yellow cabs will have to share the streets with the blue rental bicycles that have invaded thoroughfares across Manhattan in the past month, making it easier for people in the Big Apple to get around on two wheels.

New Yorkers and visitors have pedalled more than 1.5 million km during the first four weeks of the "Citi Bike" program, the public bicycle rental program rolled out in Gotham.

The program has already racked up 45,000 annual pass users and more than 55,000 occasional cyclists, who use the blue bikes to go to work, make a quick run to the bakery or just get some exercise.

Executives in suits and ties, exercise buffs and tourists are among those who can be spotted on the rental bikes on Manhattan's streets.


Don't misuse law against Dalit performers: rights body

Don't misuse law against Dalit performers: rights bodyNew York, June 26 : Indian authorities should conduct an independent review of apparent politically motivated terrorism charges filed against performers in a Dalit cultural group, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

Members of Kabir Kala Manch, charged in 2011 under counterterrorism laws, remain subject to prosecution for their alleged support of Maoist militants.

One of them, eight months pregnant, was denied bail and must wait until Thursday for an appeals decision on her bail application.


Sri Lankan media code threatens free speech

Sri Lankan media code threatens free speechNew York, June 19 : A new media code proposed by the Sri Lankan government contains overbroad and vague language that could have a severe and chilling effect on free speech, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

On June 17, the mass media and information ministry officially proposed a Code of Media Ethics that would apply to print and electronic media, including the Internet.

The proposed code comes at a time when the government has taken various measures to clamp down on Sri Lanka's once vibrant media, including forcing some electronic media critical of the government to close down.


Sri Lanka told reveal fate of 'disappeared' cartoonist

Sri Lanka told reveal fate of 'disappeared' cartoonistNew York, June 10 - Sri Lankan authorities should challenge a parliamentarian’s claim as to the whereabouts of a political cartoonist who was forcibly disappeared in 2010 and provide information on his fate, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Lawmaker Arundika Fernando told the Sri Lankan parliament June 5 that Prageeth Ekneligoda, a cartoonist and government critic who has not been seen since leaving work Jan 24, 2010, is currently living in hiding in France.


Poison found in two letters sent to NY mayor

New York, May 30 - Two threatening letters sent last week to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg contained the poison ricin, the city's police department announced Wednesday.

One of the letters was received last Friday at a New York municipal office and the other arrived at an office in Washington that houses the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an advocacy group Bloomberg founded to push for stricter gun control laws.

Bloomberg never came in contact with the letters.

The letters contain threats against Bloomberg over his policy against the unrestricted sale of firearms, an effort in which he has become more active after the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school massacre last December.

Preliminary tests performed on the letters confirmed the presence of ricin, a deadly poison.


US consumer confidence hits five-year high

New York, May 29 - US consumer confidence increased again in May to hit a five-year high, said a report by the research institute of Conference Board.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose to 76.2 from the revised-up figure of 69.0 in April, the report said Tuesday. The May reading marked the highest level since February 2008 and topped market estimates, reported Xinhua.

The report showed that the present situation index increased to 66.7 from 61.0, while the expectations index, which is a gauge of consumers' expectation for business conditions over the next six months, improved to 82.4 from 74.3 last month.


Spanish art gets privileged space in New York museum

Spanish art gets privileged space in New York museumNew York, May 25 : New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has reopened its European paintings galleries after a two-year renovation, giving a privileged space to Spanish masters Velazquez, El Greco and Goya.

Prior to the overhaul, the Met's large collection of works by Velazquez, Goya, Ribera, Murillo and El Greco had been distributed in different galleries organized either by artistic movement or thematically.

But as of Thursday, this museum now has a dedicated space for Spanish art.


UN asks Russia for more peacekeepers

UN asks Russia for more peacekeepersNew York, May 23 - Russia has been asked to increase the level of staff it commits to UN peacekeeping missions around the world, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said.

"Our peacekeepers are in great demand. We have been asked to increase the number of peacekeepers involved in UN peacekeeping operations," Kolokoltsev said after meeting UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.

Kolokoltsev said that about 80 Russian police officers are currently serving with eight UN peacekeeping operations.


India urged to protect Bangladesh war crimes witness

India urged to protect Bangladesh war crimes witnessNew York, May 16 - Authorities in India and Bangladesh should take all necessary steps to protect Shukhoranjan Bali, a long-missing witness in the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Bali, a Bangladeshi, claims he was abducted by the Bangladeshi police from the entrance to the ICT courthouse, detained, then forced by security forces across the border into India.

In India, he claims he was detained and tortured by the Border Security Force (BSF) before being held in Kolkata’s Dum Dum jail.


India urged to protect Bangladesh war crimes witness

India urged to protect Bangladesh war crimes witnessNew York, May 16 - Authorities in India and Bangladesh should take all necessary steps to protect Shukhoranjan Bali, a long-missing witness in the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Bali, a Bangladeshi, claims he was abducted by the Bangladeshi police from the entrance to the ICT courthouse, detained, then forced by security forces across the border into India.

In India, he claims he was detained and tortured by the Border Security Force (BSF) before being held in Kolkata’s Dum Dum jail.


Indian American wins US business chamber award

Indian American wins US business chamber awardNew York, May 10 : An Indian American businessman has been awarded by a US business chamber as its 2013 Ambassador of the Year.

Kiran Patel was named as the 2013 Ambassador of the Year by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce in the city of Henderson in the US state of Kentucky, thegleaner. com reported Thursday.

"Like previous winners of the Ambassador of the Year Award, (Patel) puts in several hours every day at their job and is very active in the chamber: attending ribbon cuttings, Brown Bag lunch events and other chamber events held throughout the year," the report quoted award presenter Janet Hortin as saying.


Indian-American woman running for US city council

	 http://topnews.in/usa/files/Vandana_Slatter.jpegNew York, May 7 - An Indian-American woman is running for a city council in the US state of Washington, according to a media report.

Clinical pharmacist Vandana Slatter is running for the Bellevue City Council and challenging the incumbent, Don Davidson, the Northwest Asian Weekly reported Monday.

Vandana works as a senior regional medical sciences liaison official at American biopharmaceutical company Amgen and is also a public leader, her campaign website said.


'Sinister' quest for gold lands man 20 years' prison

'Sinister' quest for gold lands man 20 years' prisonNew York, May 4 - A Jersey City man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for targeting Indian-American families for their high-quality jewellery in a series of home break-ins in 2009.

Miguel Ortiz and his crew of burglars took their search for gold to a "sinister" level, said Superior Court Judge Charles Delehey on Thursday sentencing Ortiz at the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly, New Jersey, according to phillyBurbs. com.


UNSC sets up new political mission in Somalia

UNSC sets up new political mission in SomaliaNew York, May 4 - The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to establish the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (or UNSOM), the world body said.

The mission will be based in the Somali capital Mogadishu from June 3 for a one-year initial period.

The Council stressed the need for "effectively coordinated international support for Somalia's federal government", and said the mission's mandate would in particular include providing assistance to the government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force
(AMISOM) with advice on peace and state building.


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