Democrat Bill de Blasio elected mayor of New York

Updated 07 November 2013

Democrat Bill de Blasio elected mayor of New York

NEW YORK: New York City’s mayor-elect Bill de Blasio seeks to push ahead with an ambitious liberal agenda aimed at easing the economic inequality that he hammered in his “tale of two cities” campaign, which propelled him to a landslide victory that signaled a break with the 12-year era of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Voters were drawn to the contrast that the Democratic de Blasio made with Bloomberg, the outgoing mayor whose policies helped make New York one of the nation’s safest and most prosperous big cities but also one that has become increasingly stratified between the very rich and the working class.
On Wednesday, de Blasio met privately with Bloomberg at City Hall.
The mayor-elect said he “feels great.” When a swarm of media followed him up the City Hall steps, he marveled: “All this, it’s incredible.” De Blasio, the city’s public advocate, was trouncing Republican rival Joe Lhota 73 to 24 percent in incomplete, unofficial returns that were on pace to post one of the largest routs in the history of the nation’s largest city. He will become the first Democratic mayor of New York City in a generation when he takes office Jan. 1.
Bloomberg, who first ran as a Republican and later became an independent, guided the city through the US financial meltdown and the aftermath of 9/11. He is leaving office after three terms.
Though polling shows New Yorkers largely approve of Bloomberg’s policies, those same surveys revealed the city was hungry for a change.
“Today you spoke loudly and clearly for a new direction for our city,” de Blasio told a rollicking crowd of supporters at the YMCA in his home neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn, a far cry from the glitzy Manhattan hotel ballrooms that usually host election night parties.
Lhota, a former deputy mayor, spent much of the campaign slamming de Blasio’s “tale of two cities” appeal as class warfare and argued that de Blasio’s time in the 1980s with the left-wing Sandinistas in Nicaragua as an aid worker and activist made him a Marxist.
De Blasio, 52, reached out to New Yorkers from the city’s four outer boroughs, who he contended were left behind by the often Manhattan-centric Bloomberg administration. He pledged to improve economic, educational and quality-of-life opportunities in minority and working-class neighborhoods.
He decried alleged abuses under the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy that allows police to question people deemed suspicious. De Blasio enjoyed a surge when a federal judge ruled that police had unfairly singled out blacks and Hispanics.
A white man married to a black woman, de Blasio also received a boost from a campaign ad featuring their son, a 15-year-old with a big Afro hairstyle.
He will need the capital from his commanding victory to tackle his signature campaign promise: to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers in order to fund universal early education known as pre-kindergarten.


Bangladesh court indicts Islamist militants for 2015 killing

Updated 13 October 2019

Bangladesh court indicts Islamist militants for 2015 killing

  • In October 2015, suspected militants hacked Faisal Abedin Deepan of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house

DHAKA: A court in Bangladesh’s capital has indicted eight suspected Islamist militants tied to a banned group over the 2015 killing of a man who published books on secularism and atheism.
Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal Judge Majibur Rahman read out the charges to six of the suspects on Sunday while they pleaded not guilty. Another two, including a sacked military official, remained fugitives, but the judge issued arrest warrants for them. Police say they belong to the domestic militant outfit Ansar al Islam.
In October 2015, suspected militants hacked Faisal Abedin Deepan of the Jagriti Prokashoni publishing house. He was a publisher of Bangladeshi-American writer and blogger Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death in February 2015.
Several other atheists and bloggers were killed by suspected militants in 2015.