National briefs: Obama vows Sandy relief
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NEW YORK -- President Barack Obama vowed Thursday to stick with New Yorkers still struggling 17 days after Superstorm Sandy "until the rebuilding is complete" after getting an up-close look at devastated neighborhoods rendered unlivable.
Mr. Obama brought the spotlight to people still without heat or electricity and hugged many of those trying to rebuild their lives.
The president, touring a devastated Staten Island neighborhood, announced that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, a former chief of New York City's Housing Authority, will be his point person to oversee long-term redevelopment in the region.
NEW YORK -- The man charged with killing a 6-year-old boy in 1979 made a false confession and will plead not guilty in a case that catalyzed the missing-children's movement, his lawyer said Thursday.
Pedro Hernandez's admission in May to suffocating Etan Patz was a stunning turn in one of the most notorious and vexing cases in New York City history, prompting the first arrest ever in the case. But he is mentally ill, and his statements "are not reliable," his lawyer, Harvey Fishbein, said after Mr. Hernandez made a brief court appearance.
NEW YORK -- A computer outage at United Airlines delayed thousands of travelers Thursday and embarrassed the airline at a time when it's trying to win back customers after glitches earlier this year.
The two-hour outage held up 250 of the 5,679 United flights scheduled for Thursday, the airline said.
NEW YORK -- More than $1.5 million worth of Apple Inc. products were stolen from a cargo building at John F. Kennedy International Airport that was the site of a 1978 heist memorialized in the movie "Goodfellas."
Investigators at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport in the New York City borough of Queens, suspect that the theft was an inside job and are pursuing leads, Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the agency, said Thursday.
The building where the crime took place, Building 261, was the location of the 1978 Lufthansa heist that was documented in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film "Goodfellas," Mr. Marsico said.
CINCINNATI -- An amendment to Michigan's state constitution that barred its public colleges from considering race, gender or ethnicity in admissions is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
The voter-initiated amendment, known as Proposal 2, placed special burdens on minority interests and violated equal protection laws, a majority of a 15-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said. A smaller panel of the court reached the same conclusion in July 2011.
The struggling U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported an annual loss of a record $15.9 billion and forecast more red ink in 2013, capping a tumultuous year in which it was forced to default on billions in payments to avert bankruptcy. ... The number of people living with diabetes is soaring in the United States, as 18 states had at least a doubling in those with the illness since 1995, a government survey found.
First Published November 16, 2012 12:00 am