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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the eponymous financial information company, has been given an honorary knighthood in the UK.

Michael Bloomberg, 72, was knighted in honor of his “prodigious entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors”.

As an American citizen he cannot be called “Sir Mike”, but can add KBE (Knight Commander) to the end of his name.

Michael Bloomberg said he was “deeply honored”.

“[It] is especially meaningful to me because of my close personal, business and philanthropic ties to London and Britain, which stretch back four decades,” he added.

Michael Bloomberg was knighted in honor of his prodigious entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors

Michael Bloomberg was knighted in honor of his prodigious entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors

British ambassador to the US Sir Peter Westmacott, who announced the honorary award, said Michael Bloomberg had “played a key role in forging transatlantic diplomatic, economic and cultural ties”.

Peter Westmacott said he had made a “significant contribution” to British business life through Bloomberg, and his “considerable philanthropic endeavors in the arts and education is felt by Britons every day”.

During his time as New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg renewed a tourism partnership between New York and London to boost travel between the two cities.

The British Embassy said Michael Bloomberg was also a “great supporter of the arts and education in the UK”.

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Michael Bloomberg has returned to the helm of Bloomberg LP, the data and financial news company he founded more than three decades ago.

The former New York mayor still owns 88% of the company, and is taking up the role less than a year after leaving City Hall.

Michael Bloomberg will be replacing Daniel Doctoroff, who steps aside as president and CEO at the end of the year.

Both men indicated the decision was mutual after realizing there was no room at the top for both of them.

“I never intended to come back to Bloomberg LP after twelve years as Mayor,” Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

“However, the more time I spent reacquainting myself with the company, the more exciting and interesting I found it – in large part, due to Dan’s efforts.

“I have gotten very involved in the company again and that led to Dan coming to me recently to say he thought it would be best for him to turn the leadership of the company back to me.

“It was a gracious and thoughtful offer and one that I finally accepted after significant pushback and great reluctance.”

Michael Bloomberg launched his namesake company after being fired from investment bank Salomon Brothers

Michael Bloomberg launched his namesake company after being fired from investment bank Salomon Brothers

Michael Bloomberg added that Daniel Doctoroff “expertly guided Bloomberg LP through the worst financial crisis of our generation”.

Daniel Doctoroff has led Bloomberg for the past seven years, first as president and then as chief executive in 2011.

Prior to joining Bloomberg LP, Daniel Doctoroff worked as New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding for six years.

Daniel Doctoroff said: “I love the company and have deep respect and affection for Mike, so leaving is not an easy decision, but it is the right one for the company, for Mike and for me at this stage of my life.

“It is and has always been Mike’s company and given his renewed interest and energy, it only makes sense for him to retake the helm.”

Michael Bloomberg, 72, launched his namesake company after being fired from investment bank Salomon Brothers and is now worth about $33 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Many had been expecting him to focus on philanthropy work such as gun control and public health after leaving government.

But after spending an increased amount of time at its headquarters, Michale Bloomberg said he will lead the company “with support from the existing leadership team” but without taking Daniel Doctoroff’s titles.

Bloomberg LP makes most of its income from the computer terminals that it sells to financial institutions and currently has 321,000 terminal subscribers. It also provides legal, government and energy data.

The company holds more than a third of the financial information market and saw revenues rise to over $9 billion in 2014.

The New York-based company has also been aggressively expanding its news offerings by hiring over 500 reporters and editors.

In recent years, Bloomberg LP re-launched its television channel and acquired Businessweek magazine, which is now named Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Actress Shannon Richardson, who posted ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been given an 18-year prison term.

Shannon Richardson, 36, from Texas, had accused her estranged husband Nathaniel of sending the three poisoned letters in an apparent attempt to frame him.

“I never intended for anybody to be hurt,” the actress told the court.

Shannon Richardson pleaded guilty in December to the charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin.

Shannon Richardson posted ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Shannon Richardson posted ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

A federal judge gave her the maximum sentence under that plea deal and ordered her to pay restitution of about $367,000.

Shannon Richardson, a mother of six, has played small roles in The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead, according to IMDB.

Prosecutors say that after ordering the ingredients online, Shannon Richardson made the ricin and then posted three letters before going to police and claiming her estranged husband was to blame.

According to a federal indictment, one letter to Barack Obama read, exactly as she wrote it: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president.”

Another letter received by Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate, contained a threat to “shoot in the face” anyone who came for the sender’s guns.

A third ricin-laced letter was opened by Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control advocacy group founded by Michael Bloomberg.

In asking the judge for leniency on Wednesday, Shannon Richardson apologized and said: “I’m not a bad person. I don’t have it in me to hurt anyone.”

Shannon Richardson asked for “mercy and compassion” and said she’d already been punished by being parted from her six children.

Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wants the former New York City mayor to “raise political will and mobilize action” on climate change, a UN spokesman said.

Michael Bloomberg will also work to bring “concrete solutions” to a major climate summit in New York in September.

Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change

Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change

As New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg accused politicians of a failure of leadership on climate change.

He later hinted at a link between Hurricane Sandy and global warming.

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, welcomed Michael Bloomberg’s appointment, posting on Twitter: “Mayor @MikeBloomberg knows how to get things done. We need more leaders like him here @UN.”

Michael Bloomberg, a former news tycoon, made combating climate change a major focus of his 12 years as mayor of New York City.

Bill de Blasio, the first Democrat in more than two decades, has been sworn in as the new mayor of New York City.

Bill de Blasio took the oath of office outside his home a few minutes into the New Year, in line with tradition.

A grander inauguration ceremony will take place later at City Hall, with former President Bill Clinton administering the oath of office.

Bill de Blasio succeeds billionaire Michael Bloomberg, and has promised to govern with a liberal agenda.

He won November’s election by a record margin, contrasting himself with the pro-business Bloomberg years which he said had created a “tale of two cities”.

Michael Bloomberg is credited with leaving New York a safer, healthier and revitalized place after his 12 years in office. However, critics say his policies have widened the gap between rich and poor.

Democrat Bill de Blasio has been sworn in as the new mayor of New York City

Democrat Bill de Blasio has been sworn in as the new mayor of New York City

Bill de Blasio, 52, was joined by his wife Chirlane McCray and their two teenage children outside their home in Brooklyn for the oath of office administered by state attorney Eric Schneiderman.

“To everyone, this is the beginning of a road we will travel together,” he said after he was sworn in.

He is New York’s first Democratic mayor since David Dinkins, who became the city’s first black leader in 1993.

Bill de Blasio has promised to reverse the city’s rising income inequality and end a controversial stop-and-frisk policy which has been criticized for disproportionately targeting black and Hispanic men.

He worked as an aide to David Dinkins when he was mayor and has also worked closely with the Clintons, managing Hillary Clinton’s successful 2000 run for the US Senate.

He was elected to New York City Council in 2001, representing his home area of Brooklyn, before becoming public advocate, the city’s official watchdog.

Bill de Blasio’s bid for the mayor’s job was aided by the implosion of the campaign of former congressman Anthony Weiner.

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Texas actress Shannon Guess Richardson, who is accused of mailing ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, according to federal court documents.

Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, whose acting career included minor television roles, had attempted to blame her husband for sending the letters in May that tested positive for the presence of ricin, according to prosecutors.

Notice of the plea deal was filed on Thursday in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Shannon Guess Richardson is accused of mailing ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Shannon Guess Richardson is accused of mailing ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Shannon Guess Richardson was arrested in June and a federal grand jury accused her in a three-count indictment of mailing the letters to Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group founded by Bloomberg that lobbies for stricter gun laws.

Ricin, a highly toxic substance, is found naturally in castor beans, but it takes a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people, according to the CDC. Exposure to even a small amount can cause death and no known antidote exists.

Shannon Guess Richardson is charged with one count of making a threat against the president of the US and two counts of mailing threatening communications. She faces up to five years in prison on each count if convicted.

According to court documents, the letters read, in part: “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face.”

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With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades.

With 99% of votes counted in New York, Bill de Blasio secured 73% of the vote, convincingly defeating his Republican rival Joe Lhota, who polled 24%.

In his victory speech, Bill de Blasio said the poll showed that America’s largest city had chosen “a progressive path”, and he promised to make fighting income inequality his top priority.

Bill de Blasio is the city’s first Democratic mayor since 1993.

With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades

With almost all votes counted, Bill de Blasio will succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg to become the first Democrat leading New York City in two decades

He ran Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, and is seen as one of the most liberal politicians to run for mayor in decades.

Joe Lhota admitted defeat, saying the race had been a good fight and a fight worth having.

He ran the city’s public transport authority under Mayor Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, and also worked in the administration of Rudolph Giuliani.

Last year, Joe Lhota was lauded for quickly getting the vast subway system running again after a huge storm, Sandy, flooded swathes of the city.

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New York City is choosing a successor to three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent.

Tuesday’s races are seen as an early test of the Republican and Democratic parties’ strengths ahead of next year’s critical congressional elections.

In New York City, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls over Republican Joe Lhota

In New York City, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls over Republican Joe Lhota

In New York City, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has taken a commanding lead in opinion polls over Republican Joe Lhota, a former senior official in the mayoral administrations of Michael Bloomberg and his predecessor Rudolph Giuliani.

Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, ran Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign. He is seen as one of the most liberal mayoral candidates in decades.

Under Michael Bloomberg, Joe Lhota ran the city’s public transport authority. He was lauded for quickly getting the vast subway system running again after a huge storm Sandy flooded swathes of the city last year.

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Texas actress Shannon Richardson has been charged with threatening President Barack Obama after allegedly posting ricin-laced letters to him.

Shannon Richardson, 35, a pregnant mother of five, first accused her husband Nathaniel of sending the letters, but authorities say she sent them.

Agents in protective suits searched her home in New Boston on Wednesday.

Shannon Rogers has had small roles in The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead, according to the film database IMDB.

On Friday, Shannon Richardson made a brief appearance in a courtroom in Texarkana, Texas, accused of sending a threatening communication to the president.

The federal charge carries up to 10 years in prison, according to US attorney’s office spokeswoman Davilyn Walston.

Officials say Shannon Richardson contacted the FBI on May 30 to implicate her estranged husband in the letters, which were also sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

But investigators found a number of inconsistencies in her story and she failed a lie-detector test, according to an FBI affidavit.

During an interview with authorities on Thursday, Shannon Richardson is said to have admitted posting the letters, knowing they contained ricin.

Shannon Richardson has been charged with threatening President Barack Obama after allegedly posting ricin-laced letters to him

Shannon Richardson has been charged with threatening President Barack Obama after allegedly posting ricin-laced letters to him

But she claimed her husband Nathaniel Richardson had typed them before making her post them, the affidavit states.

Three letters were sent from Shreveport, Louisiana, on May 20, without a return address.

No charges have been filed against her husband, Nathaniel Richardson.

His lawyer, John Delk, told the Associated Press news agency on Friday his client was innocent and pleased with his wife’s arrest.

John Delk said his client, a 33-year-old military mechanic at a Texarkana Army depot, was in the process of getting a divorce from his wife, whom he married in October 2011.

The lawyer said the couple were expecting their first child this October and that Shannon Richardson has five other children from previous relationships.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement on Friday thanking investigators “for their outstanding work in apprehending a suspect”.

The letter sent to him referenced his support of stricter gun control, reportedly containing a threat to “shoot in the face” anyone who came for the sender’s guns.

In a separate case, a Mississippi man was charged earlier this month with sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, a judge and a state senator.

In that case, James Dutschke is accused of sending the letters to frame a local Tupelo Elvis impersonator, with whom he had reportedly fallen out.

Another man has been arrested in Washington state in connection with letters sent to a judge, a local air force base, a post office and the president.

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A suspicious letter sent to President Barack Obama was intercepted by the Secret Service.

The Secret Service said the letter was “similar” to two ricin poisoned letters mailed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week and was being tested by FBI investigators.

The letters to Mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to his support for stricter gun control.

One was delivered to the Washington DC office of Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The other was addressed to the New York City mayor’s office but intercepted at a mail sorting facility.

Police have said preliminary testing of the letters sent to Michael Bloomberg indicated the presence of ricin, a poison extracted from castor beans.

A suspicious letter sent to President Barack Obama was intercepted by the Secret Service

A suspicious letter sent to President Barack Obama was intercepted by the Secret Service

One thousand times more toxic than cyanide, it can be fatal when inhaled, swallowed or injected, although it is possible to recover from exposure.

Law enforcement officials have told US media that all three letters were marked as having been sorted in a facility in Shreveport, Louisiana.

A Louisiana State Police spokeswoman said the Shreveport postal centre handled mail from Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, so the letter could have come from any of those states.

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters on Thursday he believed that the letter addressed to Barack Obama was identical to those sent to Michael Bloomberg.

According to Ray Kelly, the letters contained a threat to “shoot in the face” anyone who came for the sender’s guns.

Civilian personnel who came into contact with the letters experienced no symptoms. Minor symptoms in emergency workers who handled the letter at the sorting facility for the mayor’s office “have since abated”, the New York Police Department said in a statement.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of the most prominent proponents of stricter gun control laws in the US.

The firearms debate divides Americans and has leapt to the top of the political agenda since 26 people were killed in a school shooting in Connecticut in December.

In a separate case, a Mississippi man is charged with sending ricin-laced letters to Barack Obama, a judge and a Mississippi senator. Another man has been arrested in Washington state in connection with letters sent to a judge.

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New York City population is at an all-time high, with an estimated 8,336,697 residents living in its five boroughs, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

More people moved into New York City in 2012 than moved out, marking the first time that’s happened in more than 60 years.

Some 12,200 more people moved into the city than left it, with large immigrant populations adding to the city’s ever-changing dynamic.

All five of NYC’s boroughs gained residents, Michael Bloomberg said, using the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg added the moderate boom “reverses a trend that has been a fact of life for decades and that a number of pundits have talked about when they predicted the end of New York City”.

The urban flight started slowly in the years after World War II and reached its zenith in the 1970s, when NYC’s poverty, crime, prostitution, and homelessness rates were at an all-time high.

The data reveals that the Asian population in New York City – which includes immigrants from China, India, and Bangladesh – has risen 30% in the last decade. The Hispanic population has grown around 8%, according to city planners.

Borough by borough, Brooklyn has grown the most in the last decade, gaining more than 60,000 residents. This could be in part because those previously living in Manhattan were driven out by staggering price increases or the desire for more space.

New York City population is at an all-time high, with an estimated 8,336,697 residents living in its five boroughs

New York City population is at an all-time high, with an estimated 8,336,697 residents living in its five boroughs

Previous population increases have been as a result of a surplus of births in the city. There were also more births than deaths in New York City in 2012, which could have helped the rising numbers of residents.The net influx was the first seen in the city since at least 1950, when the Census Bureau changed its methodology and made it possible to calculate the number of people moving into and out of New York, city officials said.

Michael Bloomberg hailed the city’s population increase to a number of factors, including the general climb in quality of living.

Crime rates are down in post-Giuliani New York, there is a new booming tech sector, and life expectancy is up to 80.9 years for a baby born in the city.

The national average is 78.7 years.

According to the Associated Press, there were several population booms following World War II, but “white flight” in the 1950s led to dramatic urban shifts.

Families looking for space and privacy left the city for the surrounding suburbs of Westchester, Connecticut, and Long Island.

During the 1970s, the alarming trend was at an all-time high, with as much of 10% of the population leaving. The city became derelict and almost went broke; graffiti tags were omnipresent around the city, and large parts of the Bronx were literally on fire.

“We have many indicators of quality of life in the city – record low crime, record high tourism, record high life expectancy, record high graduation rates, record job growth and more – but there’s no better indication of the strength of our city than a record high population and a net population influx,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

“Generations change, and they change their views on where the good life is,” the mayor said.

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Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer reportedly made the decision to ban telecommuting at the company after checking up on how many times remote workers were logging into the company’s network and discovering it wasn’t enough.

A recently released documentary shows Marissa Mayer criticizing feminism and explaining her own approach to women’s equality. Makers is a PBS/AOL documentary about the “women who make America”.

In the film Marissa Mayer says: “I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that, I certainly believe in equal rights. I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so, in a lot of different dimensions.

“But I don’t, I think, have sort of the militant drive and sort of the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think feminism has become, in many ways, a more negative word.

“There are amazing opportunities all over the world for women, and I think that there’s more good that comes out of positive energy around that than negative energy.”

As Business Insider points out, women still earn less than men at every level of education, and women hold just 17% of senior management roles in the U.S.

It has also been revealed that Marissa Mayer banned working from home as she believed employees had being taking advantage of the benefit.

In a business meeting last week Marissa Mayer noted that workers had not been logging on enough, as reported by AllThingsD.

Marissa Mayer, who places huge emphasis on the analysis of metrics and data, had studied the records of Yahoo’s Virtual Private Network (or VPN) which remote workers use and found employees hadn’t been using it as frequently as expected.

This reportedly made up her mind on the telecommuting ban.

Marissa Mayer imposed Yahoo ban on working from home after spying on employee log-ins

Marissa Mayer imposed Yahoo ban on working from home after spying on employee log-ins

Last week Michael Bloomberg weighed in on the debate over working from home, as the opinionated mayor came out in support of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.

The billionaire businessman-turned-politician said that Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting at her company was a smart one even though she came under a firestorm following the revelation that the new mom had a nursery built for her new son just prior to announcing the rule.

“I’ve always said, telecommuting is one of the dumber ideas I’ve ever heard,” Michael Bloomberg said during a radio interview on Friday.

“Yes, there are some things you can do at home. But having a chat line is not the same thing as standing at the water cooler. And standing at the water cooler is where you get a lot of ideas and information and it’s a euphemism for a lot of interpersonal dialogue,” Michael Bloomberg said according to NBC.

Marissa Mayer’s decision sparked an outcry from working mothers and other companies in Silicon Valley who blasted the hypocrisy of her banning the action but allowing herself an in-office space for her child.

Another big-name opponent was Virgin CEO Richard Branson who called the ban on working from home a “perplexing” decision.

“This seems a backwards step in an age when remote working is easier and more effective than ever,” he wrote in a post on his blog.

“If you provide the right technology to keep in touch, maintain regular communication and get the right balance between remote and office working, people will be motivated to work responsibly, quickly and with high quality.

“Working life isn’t 9-5 any more. The world is connected. Companies that do not embrace this are missing a trick.”

The Yahoo decision will only impact a small percentage of the company’s workforce, primarily customer service representatives or staffers who work in cities where Yahoo does not have an office.

But the internal announcement on Friday has ruffled feathers as many employees say the flexible work arrangement is a key part of their job and will have a significant impact on their personal lives.

Though Yahoo will not publicly comment on the internal matter, employees disclosed the new HR policy to AllThingsD co-executive editor Kara Swisher.

The move is described as harsh since it requires employees to “either comply without exception or presumably quit”.

“Many such staffers who wrote me today are angry, because they felt they were initially hired with the assumption that they could work more flexibly. Not so, as it turns out,” Kara Swisher wrote in a blog posting about the change expected to impact several hundred workers.

Yahoo! headquarters is located in Sunnyvale, California, near San Jose. The public corporation employs 11,500 people in more than 20 countries across the globe.

Marissa Mayer, a 37-year-old Silicon Valley whiz kid who was previously a big deal at Google before switching to the competition, was appointed the head of Yahoo in July 2012.

She instituted free lunches at the company headquarters and started giving out smartphones to employees.

“I want Yahoo to be the absolute best place to work, to have a fantastic culture. We’re working really hard right now to remind people about all the opportunities that are there,” Marissa Mayer said shortly after she was hired at a Fortune magazine event in November.

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The north-east US coast is braced for a big snowstorm that has already caused hundreds of flight cancellations.

The storm is set to cause power cuts and transport chaos as it arrives from the Great Lakes and brings blizzards to parts of New England on Friday.

It is expected to peak on Saturday morning east of Cape Cod.

Schools have already been closed in Boston, where sustained strong winds are set to exacerbate heavy snowfall – as much as two feet in some areas.

The National Weather Service said the combination of two weather systems from the polar and subtropical jet streams would produce a “potentially historic” storm, with weather warnings extending from New Jersey to Maine.

Winds of up to 35 mph with significantly stronger hurricane-strength gusts were expected to create deep drifts.

Airlines have already cancelled hundreds of flights across the region.

In Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino urged businesses to consider allowing staff to stay home to reduce the risk of commuters getting stranded.

“We are hardy New Englanders, let me tell you, and used to these types of storms,” said Thomas Menino.

“But I also want to remind everyone to use common sense and stay off the streets of our city. Basically, stay home.”

The north-east US coast is braced for a big snowstorm that has already caused hundreds of flight cancellations

The north-east US coast is braced for a big snowstorm that has already caused hundreds of flight cancellations

In New York, where memories of October’s Hurricane Sandy are still fresh in the mind, the famous Staten Island ferry has had its schedule reduced. While schools remain open for now, residents are being advised to prepare for the worst.

“Due to potential power outages and transportation difficulties, New Yorkers are advised to stock up on potential supplies, including medicine,” said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

With up to a foot of snow expected over the next two days, Michael Bloomberg said snow ploughs and 250,000 tonnes of salt were being readied for use.

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – a political independent who has played a prominent role in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – has delivered a big boost to President Barack Obama by endorsing him for re-election.

Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat who became a Republican to run for Big Apple mayor in 2001 and ran as an Independent for re-election in 2009, said that Hurricane Sandy had helped reshape his thinking about the presidential campaign.

He had been pointedly critical of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, saying that both men had failed to address properly the problems afflicting the nation.

But Michael Bloomberg said in recent days he had decided that Barack Obama was the best candidate to tackle climate change, which the mayor cited as a contributory factor to the violent storm that took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and brought carnage costing billions of dollars.

“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast – in lost lives, lost homes and lost business – brought the stakes of next Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Michael Bloomberg wrote in an article for his own website Bloomberg View.

“Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be – given the devastation it is wreaking – should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has delivered a big boost to Barack Obama by endorsing him for re-election

NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has delivered a big boost to Barack Obama by endorsing him for re-election

The timing of the endorsement is unexpected because Michael Bloomberg this week publicly called on Barack Obama to resist visiting New York this week because the city was too busy dealing with the disaster.

But his backing is the latest indication that Hurricane Sandy could be a big factor in Tuesday’s election.

Barack Obama has already used it to burnish his bipartisan credentials and a Washington Post/ABC poll found that 80 per cent of voters viewed his actions favorably.

Republicans dismissed the endorsement saying that Michael Bloomberg, as the epitome of the monied east coast elite, would hardly sway voters in the mid-West battleground states.

But there is little doubt that the Romney campaign would dearly have loved to have had the New York mayor’s backing.

Barack Obama said in a statement: “I am honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he’s doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.”

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New York’s police chief has confirmed today that all nine people injured in Friday’s Empire State Building shooting were hurt as a result of police fire.

During the incident, which was captured by surveillance cameras, police officers shot dead a gunman who had just killed a former work colleague.

Commissioner Ray Kelly said bystanders had been hit by bullets or fragments of bullets striking objects.

They suffered minor injuries and all are expected to survive.

New York's police chief has confirmed today that all nine people injured in Friday's Empire State Building shooting were hurt as a result of police fire

New York's police chief has confirmed today that all nine people injured in Friday's Empire State Building shooting were hurt as a result of police fire

Detectives are still trying to establish what drove the gunman, t-shirt designer Jeffrey Johnson, to ambush Steven Ercolino, vice-president of a clothing firm.

According to police, Jeffrey Johnson hid behind a car and killed Steven Ercolino with five shots as he arrived for work in Manhattan soon after 09:00 a.m.

“It appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police,” said Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Video released by police shows the moment when officers challenge Jeffrey Johnson and open fire as he appears to draw a gun in a busy street.

“We have on tape the perpetrator pulled his gun out and tried to shoot at the cops,” NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg said earlier.

“Whether he got off any bullets or not [is] to be determined.”

Jeffrey Johnson lost his job last year and is believed to have held a grudge against Steven Ercolino.

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Jeffrey Johnson has been identified as the gunman responsible of this morning Empire State Building shooting.

Jeffrey Johnson, 53, a disgruntled employee, returned to his former workplace and fatally shot his ex-boss three times in the head, sparking early-morning chaos and multiple other injuries near the Empire State Building.

But he was scuppered in his plans to escape after a construction worker saw the killing, chased him down the street and alerted police, who shot the gunman dead.

In the rush-hour ruckus, nine passersby were injured, including four who suffered gunshot wounds. Two people – the gunman and his former boss – were killed.

The deadly dispute horrified tourists and workers swarming the area around 34th street and Fifth Avenue which, at the height of summer, is experiencing its busiest few weeks.

Jeffrey Johnson had visited clothing retailers Hazan Imports, where he had been an accessories designer before he was fired as it downsized last year, on 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue at 9:00 a.m.

He was dressed in a smart grey suit and was carrying a briefcase, the New York Daily News reported.

Jeffrey Johnson returned to his former workplace and fatally shot his ex-boss three times in the head, sparking early-morning chaos and multiple other injuries near the Empire State Building

Jeffrey Johnson returned to his former workplace and fatally shot his ex-boss three times in the head, sparking early-morning chaos and multiple other injuries near the Empire State Building

After his former boss, identified as 41-year-old Steven Ercolino, came out into the street to talk with him, Jeffrey Johnson shot him three times in the head and ran from the scene with his .45 caliber handgun hidden in a bag under his arm.

But he was followed a block north by a construction worker who had witnessed the deadly shooting and alerted two police officers on duty outside the Empire State Building.

When the gunman pulled out his firearm and aimed at them, they shot him dead.

During the gunfire, four people were shot and a total of nine people were injured. The seven men and two women were whisked away to nearby hospitals, where some are undergoing surgery.

In a press conference near the scene, Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the nine people who were injured may have been hit or grazed by police gunfire.

The two officers fired a total of 14 rounds, AP reported. Jeffrey Johnson’s semi-automatic weapon was equipped to fire at least eight rounds; at least one round was left in the clip, police said.

It is “not likely” any of the victims will die, Commissioner Ray Kelly said. None are children or elderly.

When asked if the construction worker was the hero, Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded: “He did what he should have done. When he saw something, he said something and then turned it over to the professionals.”

Ray Kelly and Michael Bloomberg added that it was too early to say if Jeffrey Johnson was legally permitted to be carrying a gun, but early reports did not indicate he had a criminal record.

Witnesses recounted the chaotic scene during rush hour in an built-up area swarming with workers and tourists.

“The gunshots were like a movie scene, everybody running in every direction and you can hear the gunshots everywhere not knowing where to run,” witness Suzy El Ayoubi said on Twitter.

Aliyah Imam told Fox 5 News that she was standing at a red light when a woman next to her fell to the ground after being hit in the hip. She claimed the gunman was “shooting indiscriminately at people”.

Witness Kay Hudson, who said she was three feet away when a man was shot, said she heard seven shots then saw a man carrying an orange helmet lying on the ground.

Kay Hudson said she began shouting for people to run and started fleeing down 33rd Street.

Jill Greenwood, who works as an account supervisor at Prosek Partners in the Empire State Building, told the Wall Street Journal that she heard several gun shots beginning at 9:04 a.m.

She said that people inside the building began yelling because an echo from the shots made it sound like the shooting was happening inside the building.

“We heard these gunshots, it sounded like fireworks. So, we both got up and went to the window and looked down,” Jill Greenwood, 30, told the WSJ.

Helicopter footage apparently showed the gunman lying on a stretcher in handcuffs, before officers placed a white sheet over his body.

A fire department spokesman said it received a call about the shooting just after at 9:00 a.m. and that emergency units were on the scene within minutes. The FBI confirmed it was not terror related.

“What I want to do is assure everybody this is nothing to do with terrorism,” Michael Bloomberg said at the press conference.

“Thank God nobody else was seriously injured. Again, there’s an awful lot of guns out there,” the mayor, a staunch advocate of stricter gun laws, added.

Coincidentally, just minutes before the shooting, Michael Bloomberg had warned about the dangers of “too many guns on the streets” on his weekly radio show.

While discussing proposed tougher gun laws in Albany shortly before 9:00 a.m., he said: “The argument guns don’t kill people, people kill people is one of the most disingenuous things you can say.”

“It does take a person to pull the trigger, but if they didn’t have the gun… We are the only developed country in the world with this problem,” the mayor continued.

 

Taking a cue from New York City’s proposed ban on sugary drinks, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is looking to pass a similar crackdown to combat obesity and diabetes.

Residents of Cambridge may have to sacrifice larger portions of soft drinks in its battle of the bulge, nearly a month after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made national headlines with his own proposal.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis submitted the proposal at a city council meeting on Monday night.

The size limit on the drinks was not mentioned in her resolution, but it’s expected to follow Bloomberg’s limit of 16 ounces.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis told WHDH: “When people are served these gigantic portions of soda in bottomless cups, sometimes it’s just more than people are able to resist.”

Taking a cue from New York City's proposed ban on sugary drinks, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is looking to pass a similar crackdown to combat obesity and diabetes

Taking a cue from New York City's proposed ban on sugary drinks, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is looking to pass a similar crackdown to combat obesity and diabetes

Also like Michael Bloomberg’s resolution, the Davis’ measure has ignited a heated discussion.

Axis Sivitz, 25, of Cambridge, told The Boston Globe that he supports the ban, saying: “When faced with a health crisis, you have to do something about it.”

Sophia Talamasm, 29, told the paper she is against Henrietta Davis’ proposal.

She said: “Sometimes you need a soda.”

Cambridge is home to Harvard University, where Michael Bloomberg got his MBA degree.

New York City opened the issue for public debate after Michael Bloomberg pitched the crackdown to the city council late last month.

While Michael Bloomberg has faced uproar in New York over the ban, polls show that New Yorkers are mostly split on the issue.

The city Board of Health, which is appointed by the mayor, is expected to approve the measure after a three-month comment period.

It could take effect as early as March, unless the critics who accuse Michael Bloomberg of instituting a “nanny state” can get the courts or state lawmakers to intervene.

Last week, the legality of such a crackdown was called into question.

It’s not just businesses and industry groups that could sue. In theory, any individual affected by the ban could bring a legal challenge.

But it wouldn’t be enough to simply claim that the ban infringes on personal freedom, said Rick Hills, a New York University law professor specializing in local government law and New York City.

And Rick Hills said that opponents would have to do more than argue that the law affects one source of sugar more than others.

Courts, he said, have repeatedly ruled that the government can try to eradicate societal ills one step at a time.