National briefs: NYC's mayor targets housing

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NEW YORK -- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio presented plans Monday to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in the next decade by increasing rent protections for the poor and requiring developers to include below-market apartments in newly zoned areas.

The $41.1 billion program, paid for with city, state, federal and private funds, would focus 60 percent on preservation and 40 percent on new construction. About $8.2 billion of the cost would be borne by the city, according to a 116-page report detailing the plan.

Holder signals bank cases

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday his department is readying criminal cases against banks in an effort to show that financial institutions aren't too big to prosecute.

Mr. Holder, in a video message posted on the Justice Department's website, said improved coordination with regulators is creating a relationship that "will prove key in the coming weeks and months" as prosecutors pursue charges. The government is nearing decisions on whether to charge Credit Suisse Group AG and BNP Paribas SA, people familiar with those probes said. Mr. Holder didn't specify any banks.

Benghazi panel chairman

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner on Monday chose Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former federal prosecutor, to head a special committee that will investigate the deadly September 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the Obama administration's response.

Mr. Gowdy has been an outspoken critic of how President Barack Obama and his top aides handled the fallout from the assault, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Freed from prison for real

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Cornealious "Mike" Anderson spent 13 years free from prison due to a clerical error, then nearly a year behind bars when the mistake was caught. On Monday, he walked out of a southeast Missouri courtroom a free man again.

Judge Terry Lynn Brown of Mississippi County Circuit Court needed just a 10-minute hearing before ruling that he was giving Mr. Anderson, 37, credit for time served for all 4,794 days between his conviction for his role in the robbery of a fast food restaurant's assistant manager and when he was arrested last year.

MERS patient improves

WASHINGTON -- The first U.S. patient to contract a potentially lethal virus from the Arabian peninsula is improving and no new cases have been identified, federal and state officials said Monday.

The patient infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, remains in isolation at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind. The man, a health care worker whom authorities haven't identified, was admitted April 28, after returning April 24 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Circus fall tied to clamp

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Investigators looking into why eight circus acrobats plummeted to the ground during an aerial hair-hanging stunt have found that a clamp snapped, a public safety official said Monday.

Three of the acrobats remained in critical condition, though none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, according to Stephen Payne, a spokesman for Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.

-- Compiled from news services


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