Tag:  Municipal governments

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International

Toronto mayor admits he has bought illegal drugs

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a Rob Ford bobblehead doll at Toronto city hall on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Up to 300 people lined up at City Hall Tuesday to buy the “Robbie Bobbie” dolls for $20 each, with the proceeds going to charity. The mayor has been dogged by accusations of drug and alcohol abuse. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn) by Rob Gilles and Charmaine NoronhaAssociated Press Writers TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted during a heated City Council debate Wednesday that he had bought illegal drugs in the past two years, but he firmly refused to step down from his job even after nearly every councilor stood up to ask him to take a leave of absence.

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International

US envoy was inspired by South African struggle

US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard is photographed during an interview with a local newspaper in Pretoria, South Africa. (AP Photo) by Christopher TorchiaAssociated Press Writer JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The new United States ambassador to South Africa says he was a “young kid” when he first met Nelson Mandela, who traveled to the U.S. a few months after he was released from jail in 1990. Patrick Gaspard, now 46 years old, was so enthralled that he ignored the anti-apartheid leader’s simple request in a municipal chamber in New York City.

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National

New leadership style coming to NYC City Hall

New York mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray exit Methodist Hospital after visiting a patient in the Park Slope neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) by Jonathan LemireAssociated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio does not just offer a sharp contrast to the policies of predecessor Michael Bloomberg — he will run the nation’s largest city with a very different leadership style: a hands-on approach that draws upon two decades in politics, with significant input from his poet-activist wife. “I think it’s fair to say the most important voice in my life is Chirlane McCray,” de Blasio said this week after a landslide victory that made him the city’s first Democratic mayor since 1989. “In terms of a formal role, in terms of what kind of specific issues she may focus on, that will take some time to work out.”

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National

NYC moves to vacate judge’s stop-frisk decisions

In this Aug. 13, 2013 file photo, police officers take a report from a woman who had her phone stolen in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. A federal appeals court on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, blocked a judge’s order requiring changes to the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program and removed the judge from the case. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) by Jake PearsonAssociated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Attorneys for New York City asked a federal appeals court to vacate a judge’s orders that require the police department to change its stop-and-frisk practice that critics argue unfairly targets minorities.

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Generation Y

‘Bama Greeks in $202 million building boom despite racism controversy

In this photo taken Oct. 26, 2013, guests and residents of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity gather on the lawn prior to an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) by Jay ReevesAssociated Press Writer TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – New multimillion-dollar mansions with white columns, wide balconies and grand foyers line the streets at the University of Alabama, and more are under construction to accommodate the school’s booming enrollment and record membership in Greek-letter groups. But with the powerful Greek system embroiled in controversy over claims of racism and electioneering, some wonder whether the massive expansion serves only to consolidate their power.

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International

Philippine typhoon death toll could reach 10,000

A resident passes by toppled car outside an airport terminal after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) by Jim GomezAssociated Press Writer TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — The death toll from one of the strongest storms on record that ravaged the central Philippine city of Tacloban could reach 10,000 people, officials said Sunday after the extent of massive devastation became apparent and horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees. Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla late Saturday and told there were about 10,000 deaths in the province, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings. The governor’s figure was based on reports from village officials in areas where Typhoon Haiyan slammed Friday. Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone “could go up to 10,000.” Tacloban is the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people and the biggest city on Leyte Island. About 300-400 bodies have already been recovered, Lim said. A mass burial was planned Sunday in Palo town near Tacloban.

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National

Detroit mayor-elect says he resents focus on race

Detroit Mayor-elect Mike Duggan listens during a news conference at his campaign headquarters in Detroit, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos by Corey Williams Associated Press Writer DETROIT (AP) — Detroit’s mayor-elect said Wednesday that far too much had been made of his skin color during a successful campaign that will make him the predominantly Black city’s first White mayor in four decades. Appearing at his first news conference as mayor-elect, Mike Duggan said he would meet over the next two days with Michigan’s governor and Detroit’s current leaders, including the state-appointed emergency manager who currently controls the cash-strapped city’s checkbook.

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Metro

Peduto beats 2 opponents for Pittsburgh mayor

Democratic candidate for Mayor of Pittsburgh, City Councilman Bill Peduto, right, walks with his communications director Sonya Toler on his way to vote in the Pennsylvania primary election on May 21. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic/File) PITTSBURGH (AP) — Democrat Bill Peduto has defeated a pair of weak opponents in his bid for a four-year term as Pittsburgh’s next mayor.

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International

Defiant Toronto mayor repeats he won’t resign

Mayor Rob Ford is flanked by security at City Hall in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. by Rob GillesAssociated Press Writer TORONTO (AP) — Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford repeated this weekend that he won’t resign despite mounting pressure for him to step aside after police said they had obtained a copy of a video that appears to show him puffing on a crack pipe.

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National

LAX suspect set out to kill multiple TSA officers

This photo provided by the FBI shows Paul Ciancia, 23. Authorities say Ciancia pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot his way past a security checkpoint at the airport, killing a security officer and wounding other people. Ciancia was injured in a shootout and taken into custody, police said. (AP Photo/FBI) by Tami Abdollah and Gillian Flaccus Associated Press Writers LOS ANGELES (AP) — The unemployed motorcycle mechanic suspected in the deadly shooting at the Los Angeles airport set out to kill multiple employees of the Transportation Security Administration and hoped the attack would “instill fear in their traitorous minds,” authorities said Saturday. Paul Ciancia was so determined to take lives that, after shooting a TSA officer and going up an escalator, he turned back to see the officer move and returned to finish him off, according to surveillance video reviewed by investigators. In a news conference announcing charges against Ciancia, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. spelled out a chilling chain of events at LAX that began when Ciancia strode into Terminal 3, pulled a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber assault rifle from his duffel bag and fired repeatedly at point-blank range at a TSA officer. The officer was checking IDs and boarding passes at the base of an escalator leading to the main screening area. After killing that officer, Ciancia fired on at least two other uniformed TSA employees and an airline passenger, who were all wounded. Airport police eventually shot him as panicked passengers cowered in stores and restaurants.