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By Hilary Russ NEW YORK (Reuters) - The "Bridgegate" scandal that rocked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration earlier this year is threatening a deal that would allow developer Larry Silverstein to finish building the next World Trade Center skyscraper. Silverstein needs a guarantee from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to secure a $1.2 billion construction loan for 3 World Trade Center. On Wednesday, the agency's board will vote on whether to approve that guarantee, part of a deal that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars more to the Port Authority and allow it to foreclose on the $2.4 billion tower if Silverstein cannot pay debt service costs. But Silverstein's deal, even with the concessions to the Port Authority, has become entangled in a fierce debate within the agency over its mission, including whether it should be in the real estate business at all.
The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in April though the rate of growth was slightly lower than expected as inventories fell, but factory output growth hit its fastest pace in three years, an industry report showed on Wednesday. Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary or "flash" U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index dipped to 55.4 in April from 55.5 in March.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities. The 6-2 vote and the four opinions issued by justices in the majority revealed divisions on the court as to the legal rationale in rejecting civil rights groups' challenge to the ban. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote the sole dissenting opinion, read excerpts from the bench, calling the decision a blow to "historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights." The court emphasized that it was not deciding the larger and divisive question of whether affirmative action admission policies can be lawful. But the decision made it clear that voter-approved affirmative action bans can withstand legal challenges.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) ? A school bus driver in Olympia, Wash., has been placed on leave while the school district investigates accusations that he bullied a developmentally disabled 14-year-old girl.
SAO PAULO (AP) ? Brazil's Congress passed a bill guaranteeing Internet privacy and enshrining access to the Web on the eve of a major conference in Sao Paulo on the future of Internet governance that's expected to draw representatives from some 80 countries.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars, according to a person familiar with the matter.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) ? A Florida woman says an airline worker at a North Carolina airport refused to allow her to fly home with an oxygen tank because she didn't have the proper paperwork.
Unidentified material that washed ashore in southwestern Australia and is being examined for any link to the lost Malaysian plane is unlikely to have come from the jet, an official said Wednesday. The ...
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) ? A Kansas judge will on Wednesday consider Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley, as she serves a 35-year sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.