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Listen to short and long New York City stories from WNYC Radio

Listen to short and long New York City stories from WNYC Radio
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Listen to short and long New York City stories from WNYC Radio

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English


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As NYPD Loosens Marijuana Enforcement, Will Old Convictions Be Sealed?

6/20/2018
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With the NYPD planning to stop arresting as many people for smoking marijuana, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is looking at how to help those already convicted. Gonzalez revealed his plans during a press conference Tuesday, where Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police commissioner announced their new enforcement policy. "I need to think about the people who have already received convictions on their record based on these cases that we’re no longer going to prosecute," he said. "We...

Duration:00:00:47

Despite Claims of Better Oversight, New York State Falls Short On Housing Repairs

6/20/2018
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When the New York City Housing Authority received $100 million from state lawmakers in 2015, it was the first major infusion of state funds for NYCHA in almost two decades. And it was sorely needed: the inability to keep up with repairs had left residents with major issues such as leaky roofs, faulty boilers and mold. Housing officials estimated the price to fix the nation's largest public-housing system at more than $16 billion. On the top of their to-do list: fixing 123 of the worst...

Duration:00:07:34

Opportunity for Refugees, Nourishment for New Yorkers

6/20/2018
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This is not a story about the politics of immigration. This is not a story about walls or detained children, DACA or TPS, green cards or immigration courts. This is a story about food. At Emma's Torch, a new restaurant in Brooklyn where refugees and victims of human trafficking are cooking all the food, Chef Alexander Harris runs the culinary training program. (Matt Katz/WNYC) Although the Trump Administration views refugees as security risks, and despite the fact that they are...

Duration:00:06:25

Cheers and Skepticism Greet NYPD's New Marijuana Enforcement Policy

6/19/2018
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The NYPD's new marijuana enforcement policy means those caught smoking in public are supposed to be given summonses that carry fines -- in other words, they'll be given a ticket. The city predicts police will make 10,000 fewer arrests each year. "Every time there's one fewer arrest inherently it means someone's life is not affected as negatively," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Tuesday. "And we know overwhelmingly those arrests are people of color, particularly young men...

Duration:00:04:44

Sullivan County Consultant Admits Rigging Election

6/19/2018
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The final defendant in a voter fraud scheme intended at taking over an upstate village government pleaded guilty Monday. In 2013, consultant Volvy Smilowitz and a couple developers were trying to build a massive housing development in the Sullivan County village of Bloomingburg. But some locals objected. They alleged the project was an effort to draw ultra-orthodox Jews from crowded city neighborhoods like Williamsburg, changing the character of the village with thousands of new units. So,...

Duration:00:00:46

NYPD Expected to Ease Off Arrests for Public Pot Smoking

6/19/2018
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Starting this September, the NYPD will arrest fewer people for smoking marijuana in public, according to several sources familiar with the matter. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce Tuesday that people caught smoking marijuana will be given a criminal summons or a ticket—which carries a fine—instead of getting arrested. However, the policy won't apply to those with an open warrant, and police could still arrest people for behavior that appears to endanger the public, like smoking...

Duration:00:00:48

For One Asylum Seeker, Attorney General's Decision on Domestic Violence Clipped her 'Wings'

6/19/2018
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Naomi claims she was fleeing a violent boyfriend in Honduras five years ago when she came to the U.S. seeking asylum. Here in New York, the 23 year-old woman says she feels free as a dove. "Because here, women like me who have suffered through these horrific things, we feel like we have wings here," she said in Spanish. "That we are able to fly with our wings, to work and do as we wish." Naomi asked us not to use her real name because she's afraid of what she left behind: the man she said...

Duration:00:02:13

One Dead, 22 Injured in Shooting at NJ Arts Festival

6/17/2018
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Authorities said a number of fistfights broke out at an all-night New Jersey arts festival and the event was on the verge of being shut down when gunfire erupted, killing a suspect and injuring 22 other people, some critically. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said it appears that several Trenton-area gangs had a dispute at the venue, the Roebling Market, and multiple suspects began shooting at each other. Onofri said the suspect who was killed, 33-year-old Tahaij Wells, was recently...

Duration:00:01:47

This Week in Politics: NY's Congressional Primary Debates

6/16/2018
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With just over a week to go before New Yorkers head to the polls to vote in the Congressional primary, some of the candidates in the most contentious races faced off in a series of debates. Several longstanding Democratic members of Congress are facing challengers from the left, while a pair of Staten Island Republicans are scrambling to see which of them can be the "Trumpiest." This week, Spectrum News NY1 has hosted several televised debates ahead of the election. The network's...

Duration:00:05:49

Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and America's Unfinished Conversation on Race

6/15/2018
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Former New York Senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy is often remembered as a progressive hero and a civil rights icon. But in reality, his legacy with racial politics was a complicated one. In his new book, "What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America," Georgetown University professor and author Michael Eric Dyson unpacks a 1963 meeting between Kennedy, Baldwin, and a group of leading artists and activists from the...

Duration:00:04:53

Jersey City Politics, Unraveled

6/15/2018
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It's been a raucous week in Jersey City. It started with a feud between newspaper publishers and Mayor Steve Fulop, who has impounded more than 200 news boxes that he said had become a blight on city streets. And it ended with an epic City Council meeting that lasted nine hours — six of them spent on the removal of a Polish statue from the Hudson River waterfront. On top of that, the teachers union is mad at City Hall for changes to their health plan, and the first woman (Amy DeGise,...

Duration:00:04:59

Teachers, Alumni Support HS Tutoring Program Changes

6/15/2018
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Two weeks after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed to change the single-test admissions process that controls eight of the city's specialized high schools, attention has shifted to one of the changes that begins immediately, affecting admissions for September, 2019. The Discovery program is a summer program for a very particular subset: students who took the specialized high school test but just missed the cut-off score, completed an application form, demonstrated academic skill...

Duration:00:02:07

England and Soccer: Tempest-Tossed

6/15/2018
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In this, the last of our stories about teams that Americans might root for in the 2018 World Cup, we turn to the tragi-comedy of the English soccer fan. Our guide will be Melinda Siriwardana, born and raised in South London and now a resident of New York City. Siriwardana still vividly recalls the day when, as a teenager, she defied her parents’ wishes and snuck off to "a bloke's flat" with a friend, where they clutched each other in front of a TV while watching an excruciating showdown:...

Duration:00:03:56

New York Attorney General Sues to Shut Down Trump Foundation

6/14/2018
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After nearly two years of investigating, the New York attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit against the Donald J. Trump Foundation over what it calls a "pattern of illegal conduct." The suit alleges that President Donald Trump and three of his adult children have long violated state laws governing charities by using his foundation to fund business expenses, settle lawsuits against Trump companies, and to promote his presidential campaign in 2016. Attorney General Barbara Underwood...

Duration:00:04:07

The American Flag: Symbol of Beauty or Intimidation?

6/14/2018
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On a recent morning I stood with a man in East Elmhurst, Queens, not far from LaGuardia Airport. The two of us were looking up and down the street, counting American flags. There were at least ten on this block, and this made my companion nervous. "Like someone's looking out their window watching me," he explained, before asking that we keep moving. The man didn't want to give his real name, so we'll call him Nasaar. He lives nearby and normally avoids this area. Ever since Nasaar was a...

Duration:00:09:39

Root For My Team! No, Mine!

6/14/2018
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Americans need suggestions for who to root for in 2018 World Cup so what better place to seek them than a pick-up soccer game in Prospect Park. And not just any game: this one has been happening most Sundays for more than 40 years. Most of its players are immigrants with both a passion for soccer and a knowledge of how it’s played around the world. Let them tell you. Mario Pottinger implored everyone root for Argentina. But why, when he’s Jamaican? Because he’s named for Argentine...

Duration:00:02:32

Confronting Mental Illness in Restaurant Kitchens After Anthony Bourdain

6/13/2018
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Working in a restaurant kitchen often consists of long hours, low pay and a high-pressure environment. It can all add up to a recipe for extreme emotional and physical stress. But while many workers pride themselves on how far they can test their limits, the restaurant industry is now taking a hard look at itself after the suicide of TV host, food writer and former chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential may have launched him into international stardom, but he became...

Duration:00:04:53

Up the Ozzies!

6/13/2018
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Matt Larsson – born in Houston but raised in Sydney, Australia – is not the most knowledgeable soccer fan in the world. But he’s got a lot of other good things going for him: he’s affable and game and went so far as to call his soccer-mad friend Jonesy back home for a quick download on the Socceroos, the nickname of Australia’s team. Larsson did it to meet a WNYC challenge: with the U.S. absent from the men’s World Cup finals, which kick off in Russia on June 14, what country should...

Duration:00:03:13

Despite New Harassment Policy, Cuomo Faces Critics on All Sides

6/12/2018
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the anti sexual harassment policies enacted in the state budget are among the strongest in the nation, but his political rivals say the governor has not done enough to respond to allegations of sexual harassment in his own administration. Cuomo, in his speech at last month’s state Democratic Party convention, contrasted New York’s newest policy to prevent sexual harassment to the lack of action in Washington, where he says “the silence is deafening”. “New...

Duration:00:03:51

Fair Fares Arrive After 4-Year-Long Wait

6/12/2018
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After four years of urging the city to subsidize MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers, advocates on Tuesday celebrated a handshake deal between Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Corey Johnson on a budget that puts $106 million towards the program. "I'm standing here on behalf of all New Yorkers living paycheck to paycheck in a city so rich it's crazy to think that many of us have to sacrifice basic necessities for a MetroCard ," Darlene Jackson, a single mom who lives in the...

Duration:00:00:48