NEW YORK: ‘ Hilton Worldwide Sells Waldorf Astoria Hotel to China ‘

#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES (New York) – October 08 – The worlds’ biggest hotel operator Hilton Worldwide has sold the iconic Waldorf Astoria in New York to a Chinese insurance company for nearly $2 billion, a record for a US hotel.

The Waldorf Astoria is pictured at 301 Park Avenue in New York '

‘The Waldorf Astoria is pictured at 301 Park Avenue in New York ‘

The deal marks the continued Chinese real estate shopping spree in America.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings sold the historic landmark to Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group for a record breaking $1.95 billion, which is the largest acquisition of US realty by a Chinese buyer.

The hotel will still be operated by Hilton, but is expected to undergo major renovations in the coming years.

Opened in 1931 and offering some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, the hotel is famed for its elite guest list from US presidents to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

President Barack Obama books the Presidential Suite when he travels to New York City, following the tradition of every US president since Herbert Hoover.

Next time the President stays at the hotel, it will be under Chinese ownership.

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Manhattan 911: ‘ Remembering Those That 13-Years Ago Died to Save Others ‘

#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES (Manhattan) – September 11 – Ceremonies marking the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks will be reserved for survivors and victims’ families in New York and at the Pentagon.

WTC Site Day, Silverstein Properties, New York, USA

Later Thursday, however, the public will be invited to tour the World Trade Center site, the first time it has been open on an anniversary.

“We wanted to take it back to the state where it was freely accessible to the public at night,” said Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

“The memorial pools will be lit themselves, which looks absolutely stunning at night,” Daniels said.

The Lower Manhattan museum, which opened on May 15, will be closed to the public all day.

Plans at the three sites:

World Trade Center. Closed to the public Thursday until 6 p.m. Traditional reading of the names of the 2,983 victims of the three 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing will begin at 8:46 a.m., after a moment of silence to mark when the first hijacked plane struck the north tower. Other key moments will be observed throughout the morning.

tribute_in_light_hdri_2_by_silentechodesigns-d2ztahq

The program is expected to conclude by 12:30 p.m. “Tribute in Light” twin beams representing the two destroyed towers will shine from sunset Sept. 11 until sunrise Sept. 12.

Pentagon. The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial will be closed to the public until 11 a.m. The commemoration will begin at 9:30 a.m., hosted by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. President Obama is scheduled to speak at the ceremony, which will observe a moment of silence at 9:37 a.m., the moment an airliner hit the Pentagon.

Shanksville, Pa. The Flight 93 National Memorial will be open to the public all day. An observance of the crash there will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a reading of the names of Flight 93 passengers and crew, ringing of Bells of Remembrance, a wreath laying and brief remarks by former House speaker Dennis Hastert.

Video Link  

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` Remains of Those Killed in 911 Attack are Moved Amid Family Protests ‘

#AceGuestNews – NEW YORK –  The unidentified remains of those killed in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City were moved into a repository at the bedrock level of Ground Zero on Saturday after a procession through Manhattan streets.

The 7,930 fragmentary remains in sealed containers were escorted by fire, police and Port Authority vehicles with flashing lights and no sirens from a Manhattan forensics lab to the repository at the site of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The repository will be under the care of the city’s chief medical examiner, whose office will continue trying to match the fragments to the more than 1,000 victims of the attacks that have yet to have had any remains identified.

The repository is sealed off from exhibition areas by a wall and will only be accessible to the medical examiner’s staff and family members of the victims, who will be able to visit the space even when the museum is closed, the city has said.

Some family members of those killed in the attacks protested the move, saying it was wrong to store the remains at what is essentially a tourist site, adding that the underground repository could be subject to flooding.

They put black bands over their mouths in a silent protest as the procession rolled past.

“The human remains repository is most certainly a part of the museum,” Jim Riches, the chairman of the 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims group, said in a statement.

Other family members have supported the move.

http://tinyurl.com/nx5mjgd

http://tinyurl.com/nx5mjgd

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jonathan Allen and Tom Heneghan)

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` Explosion tears through a building in `Manhattan’s East Harlem ‘ killing one person and injuring at least 16 others ‘

#AceWorldNews One man was killed and at least 16 others were injured today when an explosion tore through a building in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighbourhood, collapsing at least part of the structure, authorities said.

“They were right there,” one source told ABC News, referring to the explosion. Another victim is in very serious condition, the source said.

A New York City official said the casualty “numbers are going to change.”

Plumes of thick smoke have engulfed the area around the building at 116th Street and Park Avenue after residents reported hearing a loud explosion around 9:30 a.m. and the smell of acrid smoke was overpowering.

An FNDY source told ABC News that somebody was working in the building before blast.

It was unclear if it was a Con Edison crew, the source said.

The harsh winter has played havoc with utilities, due to the road salt, officials said.

Con Edison was responding to a report of a gas odour in the area just before the explosion occurred.

The FBI was on the scene as a precautionary measure, but there is no indication of terror or crime, authorities said.

Shattered windows in nearby shop-fronts show the extent of the explosion, which may have been caused by a gas leak, according to ABC station WABC-TV New York News

ABC News -http://abcnews.go.com/US/explosion-manhattan-apartment-building/story?id=22874973

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Manhattan US Attorney’s Office Announced Thursday the Forfeiture of Nearly 30,000 Bitcoins that were Seized from the Silk Road”

#AceWorldNews says the Manhattan US Attorney’s office announced Thursday the forfeiture of nearly 30,000 bitcoins that were seized from the Silk Road, an on-line bazaar for illicit materials such as illegal drugs and weapons. The FBI shut down Silk Road in October. That amount of the crypto-currency is worth around US$28 million, as of Thursday’s rates, and according to officials represents the largest ever forfeiture of the currency.
“We have not yet determined exactly how the bitcoins will be converted and liquidated,” said Manhattan US Attorney Office spokesperson Jim Margolin. Charges against Silk Road owner and operator Ross William Ulbricht include one count of narcotics conspiracy, one of count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

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UN:Expert on Democracy States there can be No Democracy without Freedom of Opinion

English: The United Nations Security Council C...

English: The United Nations Security Council Chamber in New York, also known as the Norwegian Room Français: La Salle de réunion du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies à New York Nederlands: De Zaal van de Veiligheidsraad van de Verenigde Naties in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There can be no democracy without freedom of opinion, a United Nations independent expert said today, highlighting the importance of access to information as he also presented his ideas on making the main bodies of the UN – the General Assembly and the Security Council – more democratic.

“You should not be subjected to the pressures, the intimidation, whether by Government or by the private sector, which would force you into self-censorship,” Alfred M. de Zayas, Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, told the UN News Centre following a briefing to journalists in New York.

“If you censor yourself, if you cannot articulate your needs, if you cannot articulate your priorities, then whatever you do, putting a little cross in a ballot box, etc, does not represent your view. It is an act of desperation,” he stressed.

Earlier in the day, Mr. de Zayas spoke to the General Assembly’s main social, humanitarian and cultural body (Third Committee), to which he presented 35 recommendations on international and national diplomacy, as well as studies to be carried out ranging from self-determination to issues related to indigenous people’s, war and peace and civil society.

“One of the problems that we have in the human rights community is that special interests often forget the interests of other victims, and there’s competition among victims expressions that are unnecessary,” he said, adding also that some victims are viewed as being “privileged” while others are more “excluded.”

Among those recommendations is the idea of establishing a world parliamentary assembly, or a UN parliamentary assembly, as a consultative body to the General Assembly, which would enhance the possibility of citizens participating in global decision-making and give greater voice to civil society.

Mr. de Zayas also highlighted international democracy deficits prevalent in the UN Security Council, and advanced the idea of phasing out the veto power available to the 15-member body’s five permanent States – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.

“The UN system is not very democratic, everyone knows that the Security Council is not democratic,” said the independent expert.

Speaking following a press conference heavily attended by representatives of indigenous groups, Mr. de Zayas said he wanted to show a “degree of solidarity” them.

He urged a workshop to be held which would focus on implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples whom he called “the forgotten victims” and “the unsung heroes.”

“You cannot turn the clock back, you cannot give the island of Manhattan back to the indigenous, but on the other hand, you can ensure that the indigenous can maintain their way of life,” Mr. de Zayas said.

He also called for the media to take up the issue and inform the public about the Declaration.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

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