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NY Regulators Revoke Charter Merger, Tell Them to Leave

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New York regulators revoked their approval of Charter Communications Inc.’s merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. on Friday and ordered the company to find another cable provider for its more than 2 million customers in the state.

The action by the Public Service Commission follows months of disagreements over the company’s progress in meeting goals set by regulators in 2016 as a condition of their merger approval— especially an expansion of broadband to rural areas.

The commission ordered Charter, doing business as Spectrum, to file a plan within 60 days to ensure an “orderly transition to a successor” provider or providers for New York state customers. Charter also must ensure that cable and internet customers’ service is not interrupted during the transition.

Charter serves 41 states and is New York’s largest cable provider. It provides service in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and parts of Brooklyn. The cable company completed its $67 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in May 2016.

“Charter’s repeated failures to serve New Yorkers and honor its commitments are well documented and are only getting worse … (T)he time has come for stronger actions to protect New Yorkers and the public interest,” commission chairman John B. Rhodes said in a prepared statement.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Charter said in a prepared statement that “In the weeks leading up to an election, rhetoric often becomes politically charged.” The company said it has extended its advanced broadband network to more than 86,000 New York homes and businesses since the merger agreement and is focused on continuing that work.

The company would not immediately say whether it planned to challenge the commission’s decision.

To obtain approval in New York, Charter agreed to extend its high-speed broadband network to 145,000 unserved or under-served homes and businesses over four years. The company agreed to deliver broadband speed upgrades to 100 Mbps statewide by the end of 2018, and 300 Mbps by the end of 2019.

The commission ordered Charter to pay $1 million for missing its June 2018 target for expansion and will seek additional penalties in court.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2018-07-27/ny-regulators-revoke-charter-merger-tell-them-to-leave

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9-year-old genius to graduate university

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Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne

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Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source nydailynews.com/

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