New York buildings collapse in possible gas blast, 19 hurt
By Ellen Wulfhorst and Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Four apartment buildings in New York's East Village neighborhood caught fire from an apparent gas explosion on Thursday and three collapsed, causing 19 injuries, authorities said. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference that preliminary evidence indicated it was a gas-related explosion. A Fire Department spokesman said late on Thursday that three of the four buildings had collapsed or partially collapsed. The seven-alarm blaze in the neighborhood of small businesses, restaurants and apartments involved more than 250 Fire Department personnel.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi bruised some longtime liberal allies when she worked with Speaker John Boehner to craft a rare bipartisan accord on Medicare. But lawmakers say it will enhance her stature as a dealmaker, and may help her party avoid being sidelined by majority Republicans over the next two years.
San Francisco jail guards forced inmates to fight: public defender
By Emmett Berg SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Several guards at San Francisco's main county jail orchestrated "gladiator-style" fights between inmates, placed bets on the outcomes and threatened those who disobeyed, the city's public defender said on Thursday. The report released by San Francisco's elected public defender, Jeff Adachi, highlighted fights arranged between two inmates who were promised hamburgers if they won or beatings and other punishment if they refused. Adachi alleged that San Francisco sheriff's deputy Scott Neu, who was accused in 2006 of forcing inmates to perform sex acts on him, forced the inmates to fight twice. "Deputy Neu forced these young men to participate in gladiator-style fights for his own sadistic entertainment," Adachi said in a statement The San Francisco Deputy Sheriff's Association told the San Francisco Chronicle that the allegations were "exaggerated" and the fighting was "little more than horseplay." "(Adachi) has done a cursory sham investigation by interviewing a few inmates over a scant two days rather than having the decency to request a serious impartial investigation," Harry Stern, an attorney for the deputy's union, told the Chronicle in a statement.
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