News from the Associated Press - August 22, 2014

Associated Press
August 22, 2014

New York gets $800M in Bank of America settlement

NEW YORK (AP) - New York state is getting $800 million as its share of a national $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the settlement Thursday. He says the bank has agreed to pay the state $300 million in cash and $500 million in the form of direct relief to consumers.

The deal calls for the bank, the second-largest in the U.S., to pay a $5 billion cash penalty and provide billions of dollars to struggling homeowners. Bank of America says its cash payouts will total $9.65 billion.

The settlement is the largest deal the government has reached with a bank over the 2008 mortgage meltdown.

 

Cuomo: Outlaw gender identity discrimination

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's governor says transgender people should be protected from discrimination and says that if elected to a second term he'll push to include gender identity and expression in the state's civil rights law.

In a letter to the Empire State Pride Agenda, Cuomo notes that transgender people face significant discrimination and that the state should outlaw discrimination against them when it comes to things like housing, employment and public accommodations.

The state already prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, disability and gender.

Legislation that would add gender identity and expression to the list has passed the state Assembly but not the Senate.

Empire State Pride Agenda, an organization that advocates for gay and transgender rights, announced Cuomo's support Thursday. It also says it's endorsing Cuomo's re-election.

 

Police: Couple wanted 2 Amish girls for slaves

FOWLER, N.Y. (AP) - An investigator says a northern New York couple kidnapped two Amish sisters from their family farm stand with a plan to turn them into slaves but released them after becoming frightened by news reports.

St. Lawrence County Sherriff's Sgt. Brooks Bigwarfe says Nicole Vaisey admitted she and boyfriend Stephen Howells Jr. lured the 7-year-old and 12-year-old girls to their car with an offer to pet their dog and that Howells shoved them in.

Bigwarfe says she told him they shackled the girls and intended to turn them into slaves, but released them about 24 hours later after hearing news reports.

Fowler Justice Paul Lamson ruled Thursday there's reasonable cause to believe Vaisey committed felony kidnapping. He ordered her held without bail.

Defense attorney Bradford Riendeau says Vaisey was Howells' slave.

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