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Bronx tenants finally revolt against America’s worst slumlord — and it’s awesome

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Ved Parkash earned the award for the worst slumlord in New York City despite swearing to the Norwood News that his building is in “excellent” condition. Residents disagree and staged a protest outside the Bronx Housing Court waving signs reading “We want housing for us” and “No tenants should be harassed.”

For years, tenants in 15 Parkash-owned properties have demanded he improve living conditions. Residents have been forced to handle building problems on their own, such as rodent infestation, boiler problems and even a collapsed ceiling in a bathroom that has gone unrepaired for over a year. It collapsed on a pregnant mother. Residents report that calls to maintenance in Parkash’s office either go unanswered or the person who picks up the phone hangs up. He gets away with it with because his sons are both housing attorneys.

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Some even accuse Parkash of deliberately holding their rent checks to cash when they least expect it. “I feel like he likes to play tricks with the rent,” said Kingsbridge Heights resident Dawn Goodall. “I personally received a lease without the proper amount on it. I’ve been in court with him two or three times.”

Tenants in a Creston Avenue building had no hot water for over six months.

“We had paint buckets, washed them out, boiled it and put it in the shower,” Brigida Velenzuela recalled. “It seemed like everybody except for one didn’t have hot water.”

The one person, she said, is someone with a close relationship with Parkash.

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He’s also pocketing more than $500,000 of taxpayer dollars by providing Section 8 housing.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James attended the tenants’ protest to meet and hear their concerns. Her office is responsible for updating the Worst Landlords Watchlist each year.

“Most of the residents are low-income residents,” she said. “A lot of them are women with children. A lot of them are senior citizens, and all they want is what everyone else wants… to live in decency and to live without these conditions.”

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James’ department collects data for the list from the NYC Department of Buildings and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Parkash’s records show that he has always made the list, scoring a prime spot on the “Dirty Dozen” list of the worst, most mismanaged apartment buildings. A landlord gets on the list by having a minimum number of open violations and complaints from the departments. Of his 60 buildings in the city, many of them have complaints open.

James spoke at the rally announcing that she was there to “lend her voice to these tenants.”

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2020 Election

Trump slams ‘partisan’ whistleblower, Biden pushes back

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US President Donald Trump on Friday vigorously rejected a whistleblower's claim of wrongdoing, amid reports he used a call with Ukraine's president to pressure him to investigate the son of Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The whistleblower's secret complaint has triggered a tense showdown between Congress, whose Democratic leaders are demanding to review the complaint, and the executive branch which has barred them from doing so.

It has also raised concerns Trump sought to strong-arm Ukraine into providing damaging information on the president's possible 2020 challenger, which would represent dangerous foreign meddling in the US election -- similar to the interference blamed on Russia in 2016, when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

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Dem senator accuses the FBI of a carrying out a ‘cover-up’ for Brett Kavanaugh — and calls for an investigation

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angry Brett Kavanaugh

Old wounds were reopened this week when a New York Times article, written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, focused on Deborah Ramirez — one of the women who, in 2018, accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, in a USA Today op-ed published on Friday, argued that Kavanaugh wasn’t adequately vetted as he should have been.

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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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