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NY cabbies to wear bullet-proof vests

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NEW YORK — A handful of New York cabbies are to wear bullet-proof vests as part of a pilot program in response to assaults on drivers, their representative said Monday.

Initially, a dozen police-issue flak jackets, which fit under a shirt or jacket, will be given to drivers of livery cabs in tough areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, NY1 television reported.

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The plan responds to the June shooting murder of a livery driver in the Bronx neighborhood. A livery driver in the Queens neighborhood was shot and severely wounded during a robbery in December.

Fernando Mateo, head of the New York Federation of Taxi Drivers, says that some 300 robberies and assaults against livery cab drivers take place monthly.

“One shooting is a lot and whatever we can do to help improve the safety of our drivers is something that we will do,” he told news site Examiner.com.

Livery cabs, often painted black, respond to telephone requests, while the city’s more famous yellow cabs pick up passengers from the streets.

Mateo, said in a television interview “we’re going to reach out to NYPD, to individual police officers,” with a request for more of the dark vests.

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However, city officials said the idea was overkill.

“I do not think they need to do that,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted by Examiner.com as saying.

Mateo responded that drivers knew best: “Neither the mayor nor the commissioner drive a cab.”

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Reflecting tensions over driver safety in New York, Mateo caused a stir in December when he urged drivers to think twice before picking up African American or Hispanic passengers.

“You know sometimes it’s good that we are racially profiled because the God’s-honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these drivers are blacks and Hispanics,” he said.

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Mateo was accused by some commentators of racism, but others in the city supported him, while he claimed he could not be racist since he was part Hispanic and part African American himself.


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GOP appointees considered disloyal to Trump won’t be spared as president’s new hatchet-man begins purge: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, longtime government employees who landed their jobs because of their Republican bonafides are now coming to work each day with the threat of dismissal hanging over their heads if it is believed they are are not totally on board with Donald Trump policies.

Following a report that Johnny McEntee, a 29-year-old loyalist just installed to take over the Office of Presidential Personnel, is instructing "departments to search for people not devoted to the president so they can be removed," the Times notes that just because a staffer is a Republican in good standing doesn't mean that won't be booted.

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2020 Election

Here is why these Nevadans are betting on Sanders

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LAS VEGAS — Any doubts that Nevadans wouldn't show up for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) were quickly squashed by the amount of people lined up to get into his Friday night rally in Las Vegas on the eve of the Nevada caucus: an estimated 2,020, according to his campaign. One would have been forgiven for assuming the crowd spilling out the main entrance and down the street had lined up to get into one of the city's hottest shows, not a "Get Out the Vote" event. Despite stereotypes that Sanders only draws support from the young (and mostly white), the crowd was visibly diverse in age, ethnicity and race. And anyone who didn't arrive already wearing the requisite Bernie gear had plenty of opportunities to buy some as they waited to enter the venue.

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Roger Stone’s dream of booting judge for sentencing comments brutally crushed by ex-US Attorney: ‘He’s met his match’

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Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance crushed any hopes former Donald Trump associate Roger Stone might have that his prison sentence will be voided due to comments made by the presiding judge in his federal trial.

Speaking with host Alex Witt, Vance left no doubt Stone's latest legal gambit will collapse just like his previous attempts to squirm out of his trial did.

"Stone's legal team says that Judge Amy Berman Jackson's assertion that the jurors served with integrity shows bias," host Witt stated. "Do you buy that argument and legally would that be enough to get the judge dismissed from the case?"

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