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Readers sound off on the gang database, NYCHA and the Pizza Rats

Brooklyn: In the early days of federally funded public housing, NYCHA was the gold standard of performance and maintenance as determined by the federal funders. NYCHA was rated at 90+%, while Chicago Housing Authority was rated in the 40% range. Lying to federal inspectors and trying to deceive federal auditors ...

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McDonald’s to ditch plastic straws

Image copyright PA Image caption Paper straws will replace the plastic ones McDonald’s will replace plastic straws with paper ones in all its UK and Ireland restaurants, starting from September. The fast food giant is the latest company to opt out of the single-use plastic, which can take hundreds of ...

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The surprise place where hijab can spell trouble

Image copyright Dalia Anan Image caption Dalia says she was refused entry to two restaurants because of her hijab “It is easier to be wearing hijab in London than Cairo.” This is how 47-year-old Dalia Anan describes her experience as a woman wearing the Islamic headscarf – also known as ...

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Pension sweeteners a bitter prospect for New York City

New York City police officers and firefighters, including those hired since the new benefit tier went into effect, get extremely generous compensation, including pension benefits. They can count virtually all overtime toward their pensions while many large cities exclude overtime entirely and New York state limits it to about 15% ...

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NHS groups welcome immigration change for doctors and nurses

Image copyright Getty Images NHS groups have welcomed the decision to relax immigration rules to allow more doctors and nurses from outside the EU into the UK. The Home Office said foreign medics would be excluded from the government’s cap on skilled migration. NHS bosses said it would be a ...

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Hungary jails gang for deaths of 71 migrants in lorry

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The shocking case drew attention to the suffering of migrants smuggled to Europe Four men have received 25-year jail terms in Hungary over the deaths of 71 migrants who suffocated in a sealed lorry in August 2015. Police found the victims’ decomposing bodies in ...

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Unfit in middle age: Are you doomed?

Image copyright Getty Images Are you someone in middle age who keeps putting off that planned health kick for another day? If so, a couple of new studies may give you a sense of urgency. One paper found that elevated blood pressure in middle age increases the risk of dementia, ...

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London Breed becomes San Francisco’s first black mayor

Image copyright Facebook A black woman is to lead San Francisco for the first time in its history – at a time when African-American residents are becoming increasingly scarce in the gentrified US city. The ascent of London Breed to the mayoralty is all the more remarkable given she was ...

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Should the UK ban parking on pavements?

Image copyright Alamy Parking on the pavement has been dividing opinion in the UK for more than 40 years. Now, new legislation threatens to reignite the debate. The Scottish government is planning the complete “prohibition” of pavement parking while, earlier this year, the Department for Transport admitted it was considering ...

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Raccoon hailed a hero after Minnesota skyscraper climb

Image copyright Evan Frost/ MPR News Image caption The animal has been scaling the UBS building since Tuesday as crowds watch on A daredevil raccoon in St Paul, Minnesota, has had the internet on tenterhooks after scaling 23 floors of a building for nearly a day. The critter, dubbed #MPRraccoon ...

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