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    NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Rent Guidelines Board holds its preliminary vote Thursday night on whether rents for rent stabilized apartments will increase this year, and tenants could be in for some sticker shock.After two years of rents either frozen or increases kept unusually low due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with eight years of mostly modest increases during the de Blasio administration, the board is looking at yearly increases that are the highest in decades.The board is looking at increases of 2.7% to 4.5% on one-year leases, and 4.3% to a whopping 9% on two-year leases, with the final vote expected in June.A 9% hike would be the largest increase since 1990.Ahead of the vote, the Legal Aid Society is calling for a freeze on all rent increases."Over one million people reside in a rent-stabilized dwelling, including many of our clients who are low-income and predominantly from Black and Latinx communities, and any increase that would siphon away money for groceries, medical care or other essentials to pad landlords' pockets is both unconscionable and immoral," Adriene Holder, Attorney-In-Charge...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles and Orange counties recorded their largest increases since July 14, 2015, Friday. The Los Angeles County average price rose 13.8 cents to $5.152 and the Orange County average price increased 14.5 cents to $5.135, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. READ MORE: Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher Launch Fund For Ukrainian Refugees With $30M GoalThe Los Angeles County average price has risen 30 times in 33 days, increasing 48.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday, setting records 26 of the past 28 days. It is 30.4 cents more than one week ago, 43.1 cents higher than one month ago and $1.383 greater than one year ago. The Orange County average price topped $5 for the first time Friday, at $5.135, setting its 25th record in 30 days. It has increased 20 of the past 22 days, rising 41.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday. The Orange County average price is 30.8 cents more than one week ago, 42.9 cents higher than...
    LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles and Orange counties on Friday recorded their largest increases since July 14, 2015.The Los Angeles County average price rose 13.8 cents to $5.152 and the Orange County average price increased 14.5 cents to $5.135, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.The Los Angeles County average price has risen 30 times in 33 days, increasing 48.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday, setting records 26 of the past 28 days. It is 30.4 cents more than one week ago, 43.1 cents higher than one month ago and $1.383 greater than one year ago.The Orange County average price topped $5 for the first time Friday, at $5.135, setting its 25th record in 30 days. It has increased 20 of the past 22 days, rising 41.3 cents, including 8.6 cents Thursday.The Orange County average price is 30.8 cents more than one week ago, 42.9 cents higher than one month ago and $1.385 greater than one year ago. Oil industry analysts attribute the price...
    The loss of Earth's grazing megafauna between 50,000–7,000 years ago led to a dramatic increase in grassland fires across the globe, a study has determined. These large herbivores — which included the iconic woolly mammoth, giant bison and ancient horses — are thought to have gone extinct as the climate warmed. Experts led from Yale University, however, have now shown that their loss had knock-on effects — with the grasses they were no longer eating providing fuel for wildfires. The team added that their findings highlight the need to consider the role of herbivores when predicting global fire activity in the present and the future. The loss of Earth's grazing megafauna — including woolly mammoths — 50,000–7,000 years ago led to a dramatic increase in grassland fires across the globe, a study has found These large herbivores — like the iconic woolly mammoth, giant bison (the remains of which are pictured) and ancient horses — are thought to have gone extinct as the climate warmed  The research was undertaken by palaeoecologist Allison Karp of Yale University, Connecticut, and her colleagues. 'These extinctions led to...
                      by Anthony Gockowski  A new study found that Minneapolis experienced the fifth-highest increase in homicides in the nation between 2019 to 2021. The overall rankings were based on both a city’s current homicide rate and the change in its number of homicides across the last two years. Minneapolis landed in the 11th position overall, behind cities like New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Detroit, according to the WalletHub survey. From the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021, the city of lakes saw the fifth-highest increase in per capita homicides in the nation. In this time, Minneapolis endured the death of George Floyd, unprecedented levels of rioting, mass unemployment caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, and a political assault on its police department. Minneapolis has recorded 49 homicides this year, a roughly 64% increase over the same time last year, which was one of the deadliest years on record. Nationally, homicide rates have increased by an average of 33% in 50 of the most populated cities, WalletHub says. Democrat-run cities saw a larger increase...
    The Tucson, Arizona, City Council unanimously approved up to $30 million in raises for city employees, including a "historic" pay increase for the city’s police department, officials said.  City council members’ Tuesday vote granted Tucson Police Department "the largest raise TPD employees have ever seen," the Tucson Police Officers Association (TPOA) said Wednesday in announcing and applauding the news. "Our pay scale has surpassed all the Southern Arizona departments and is now on par with the top Phoenix Valley agencies. The compensation plan helps triage attrition and communicates value for the job you perform," the TPOA wrote. "It should be noted that for the first time CSO's were included in these compensation talks." ARIZONA GOOD SAMARITANS TALK ABOUT SAVING TROOPER FROM BURNING CAR LAST MONTH The TPOA did not specify how much of a raise its officers could expect to receive.  In the message, TPOA also thanked Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus for his "behind the scenes" efforts, and said he "repeatedly highlighted the case for competitive pay." Magnus was recently announced as President Biden’s pick to head U.S. Customs...
    New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City.Spencer Platt | Getty Images A group of 250 CEOs and business leaders sent a letter to New York's governor and legislators expressing "alarm" at what they say could become the largest spending and tax increase in the state's history. The letter, delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democratic members of the state Assembly and Senate, urged politicians to postpone any tax increases until after the state and New York City have more fully recovered from the pandemic and workers return. As employers of over 1.5 million people, the executives said many of their workers have moved out of the city and if taxes increase "they will vote with their feet." "Only about 10% of our colleagues are in the office and prospects for the future of a dense urban workplace are uncertain," the letter said. "Many members of our workforce have resettled their families in other locations, generally with far lower taxes than New York, and the proposed tax increases will make...
    BEIJING (AP) — China is increasing its defense spending by 6.8%, a slight uptick from last year, amid high government debt and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic impact. A national budget report issued Friday said China would spend 1.355 trillion yuan ($210 billion) on national defense in the coming year. That’s up from the 6.6% increase last year to 1.3 trillion yuan ($180 billion), the lowest percentage increase in at least two decades. The military budget has dipped during periods of slower economic growth, but has also been dropping steadily from the double-digit percentage increases over years as the increasingly powerful military matures and rapid expansion of what is already the world’s second largest defense budget is no longer required. The double-digit percentage increases of years past have given China the second-largest defense budget in the world behind the U.S. With 3 million troops, the world’s largest standing military has added aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines and stealth fighters to its arsenal. The government says most of the spending increases go toward improving pay and other conditions for troops while...
    BEIJING (AP) — China is increasing its defense spending by 6.8%, a slight uptick from last year, amid high government debt and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic impact. A national budget report issued Friday said China would spend 1.355 trillion yuan ($210 billion) on national defense in the coming year. That’s up from the 6.6% increase last year to 1.3 trillion yuan ($180 billion), the lowest percentage increase in at least two decades. The military budget has dipped during periods of slower economic growth, but has also been dropping steadily from the double-digit percentage increases over years as the increasingly powerful military matures and rapid expansion of what is already the world’s second largest defense budget is no longer required. The double-digit percentage increases of years past have given China the second-largest defense budget in the world behind the U.S. With 3 million troops, the world’s largest standing military has added aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines and stealth fighters to its arsenal. The government says most of the spending increases go toward improving pay and...
    New Jersey, New Hampshire and Rhode Island had the highest month-to-month percentage increases in the nation for firearms background checks, according to new data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. These states saw background checks increase between December 2020 and January 2021 by roughly 33.4%, 33% and 30%, respectively. The next states by percentage increases in background checks were Michigan and Pennsylvania, both of which were up by at least 26%. On a year-over-year basis from January 2020 to January 2021, New Jersey still had the highest percentage increase – a staggering 239.6% – followed by Indiana, Michigan and Maryland, which had percentage increases of 227.2%, 155.2% and 122.1%, respectively. While the complexity of gun purchasing laws vary from state to state and make direct comparisons difficult, the broad increase in background checks among states is consistent with national trends indicating that 2020 was a record year for background checks. Reports indicate that even during the early stages of the pandemic, safety concerns led Americans to seek out gun purchasing background checks en masse....
    President Trump is trying to help African nations battle the coronavirus in an apparent effort to boost the US’s influence there to combat China’s, according to a new report. The Trump administration has offered ventilators to African countries grappling with the virus and pledged some $270 million in foreign aid to at-risk places including Algeria, Botswana, the Republic of Congo, Ghana and Liberia, Politico reported Friday. The commander-in-chief made phone calls last month to the leaders of Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria, a notable outreach given his limited emphasis on Africa since he took office, according to the outlet. The administration also reportedly pledged up to 1,000 ventilators to South Africa, home to Africa’s largest number of coronavirus cases. The White House sees Africa as a battleground in its recent spat with China, which has been the continent’s largest trading partner for more than a decade, Politico’s story says. “It’s an important source of support for the Chinese Communist Party and they are working hard to make sure their narrative gains traction over the US message,” Joshua Meservey...
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