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New Orleans agrees to give firefighters $75 million in 30-year-old back pay dispute

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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said on Friday the city had agreed to pay $75 million to settle a longstanding dispute with its firefighters over back wages, ending a quarrel in which he was threatened with house arrest.

“After decades of gridlock, court battles and uncertainty for our firefighters and for taxpayers, together we have solved this problem, hopefully once and for all,” Landrieu said at a news conference

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Under the deal, the city agreed to pay firefighters $75 million over more than a dozen years to resolve the standoff dating back to the 1980s.

Finalizing the complex agreement, which involves pension reforms, will require action by the state legislature and city council, Landrieu said. Voters will be asked to approve a tax increase to help pay for it.

Under a 1980s judgment, the city owed firefighters $75 million in back wages, plus $67 million in interest, because it had not given firefighters raises required by state law.

The mayor did not address all of the details of the deal in his remarks at the news conference, which was also attended by union officials.

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Landrieu was held in contempt by a civil district judge over the dispute last month, but he was spared weekend house arrest during an appeal.

The deal marks a significant accomplishment for the two-term mayor. New Orleans has been ordered by the federal government to carry out costly reforms to its prison and police department, and has also has been struggling to afford more police officers and make street repairs.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Alan Dershowitz boots rival lawyer from sex abuse case

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Alan Dershowitz continues to deny accusations that he had sex with an underage woman on Jeffrey Epstein's private island. Flight logs show Dershowitz regularly flew on Epstein's private plane, dubbed the Lolita Express.

Dershowitz' explanation for why the allegations continue to dog him despite his firm denies is that a lawyer for the woman accusing Dershowitz—Virginia Giuffre—is out to get him.

On Wednesday, a judge agreed to take David Boies, the high-profile lawyer, off the case, reports the Daily Beast.

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Here are the six most absurd things Trump just said in his unhinged Wednesday press conference

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President Donald Trump unloaded a whole lot of crazy during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Trump attacked America's allies in the Middle East, his own political allies on Capitol Hill and repeated talking points used by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdo?an.

Here are six of the most absurd things from the press conference.

Trump proved he has no idea what's happening

During the press conference, Trump claimed his decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria was "strategically brilliant."

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Trump’s capitulation cheered on Russian TV: Ambassador McFaul says ‘they are joyous in Moscow’

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America's former ambassador to Russia explained how their state media is celebrating President Donald Trump's capitulation in Ukraine and Syria.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed Wednesday by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

"How do you think this should play out, now that they are assembling step-by-step insider accounts with people who are bravely stepping forward, some giving up their careers, Mike McKinley and others having had to quit over this," Mitchell noted. "How do you think this plays out legally or in terms of the politics of impeachment?"

"Well, legally, I’ll defer to others who are more expert. I think what it does underscore is how grossly inept and just broken down the Trump foreign policymaking process is," McFaul replied.

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