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Struggling Knicks fire coach Fisher in second season

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Feb 6, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the third quarter at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Knicks 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 6, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the third quarter at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Knicks 92-88. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The struggling New York Knicks have fired head coach Derek Fisher less than two years after he was brought in to help turn around the once-proud franchise, the National Basketball Association team said on Monday.

Fisher was dismissed a day after the NBA’s most valuable team (23-31) lost their fifth consecutive outing, falling five games back of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Associate head coach Kurt Rambis has been named interim head coach, the Knicks said in a statement.

Fisher, a five-times NBA champion player with the Los Angeles Lakers, had no coaching experience when he was hired in mid-2014. It represented one of the first major moves in a makeover spearheaded by president Phil Jackson.

A former president of the NBA Players Association, Fisher took over a Knicks team that had a 37-45 record in the 2013-14 season and missed the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Fisher, fresh off the final season of an 18-year playing career, toiled as the Knicks posted the second worst record in the league, going 17-65 in his first campaign.

He finished with a 40-96 overall record with the team.

Rambis, hired by the Knicks in 2014, is an 18-year NBA coaching veteran. He also led the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons from 2009.

Last month a Forbes poll showed the Knicks, worth $3 billion, were the NBA’s most valuable team due to a new cable deal and because they have the highest premium-seating revenue in the league.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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Fake heiress who dazzled New York elite sentenced to up to 12 years in prison

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019

Anna Sorokin, 28, posed as a wealthy heiress to scam banks for loans in millions | Courtesy: Reuters

A German woman who posed as a wealthy heiress to scam boutique, New York hotels and fashionable friends was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.

Blinded by the glitter and glamour of New York City, Anna Sorokin, 28, was sentenced to prison for defrauding hotels, restaurants, a private jet operator and banks out of more than $200,000.

Sorokin, a would-be art collector, planned to open a members-only arts club but became known as the “soho grifter” after her deception upon New York’s glitzy social scene came to light. She was found guilty last month of grand larceny and theft of services.

She was also fined $24,000 and ordered to pay restitution of about $199,000.

At the hearing, Judge Diane Kiesel rejected the Defence Lawyers’ claim that Sorokin was merely trying to make it in New York, in the words of the Frank Sinatra song about the city.

“Sadly I agree with the people, if Miss Sorokin spent half as much time, half this much time, working legitimately to raise money for a foundation that sounded like a good addition to New York as she spent concocting phony bank statements, fake wire transfers, and non-existent financial advisers, she might have done quite well for herself. She’s clearly smart and very creative,” Judge Kiesel said.

Under her assumed name Anna Delvey, Sorokin falsely claimed she had a multi-million-dollar trust fund at her disposal, as she hired a private jet, attended elite parties, and lived in a luxury New York hotel. She maintained the scam for almost four years.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said, Sorokin had “not a cent to her name”.

Her father is reportedly a former trucker, who runs a heating-and-cooling business.

U.S. immigration and customs enforcement said in a statement that Sorokin was a German citizen who had illegally overstayed in the United States.

The agency said it will seek to send her back to Germany once her criminal proceedings are over.

Meanwhile, during the trial, she was admonished for throwing tantrums when she couldn’t get her stylist-curated outfits and drew unflattering sketches of the lead prosecutor during testimony.

“The defendant repeatedly delayed these court proceedings because she was not happy with the clothing that was offered to her by the department of corrections.

“She seemed to be basking in the press attention and rather than thinking seriously about the crimes she committed and how it affected people,” saidNew York Prosecutor Catherine Mccaw.

But at sentencing she was humbled.

“I apologize for the mistakes I made,” Sorokin said.

Sorokin’s story became a media sensation, and a tv series about her life was also planned.

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Fatal, drug-resistant fungus targets hospital-bound New Yorkers

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Photo of a drug-resistant, fatal superbug fungus strain that Doctors at the Nassau University Medical Center said has infected hundreds of hospital-bound people in New York and New Jersey. | Photo grabbed from Reuters footage

Doctors at the Nassau University Medical Center warned New Yorkers to take caution against a drug-resistant, sometimes fatal superbug fungus that has infected hundreds of people in the tri-state area and nationwide.

The recent outbreak of the fungus candida auris, which was discovered in 2009, has disproportionately affected New York and New Jersey, with 309 of the nation’s 617 cases in New York state alone.

Typically spread within healthcare facilities, the fungus kills 20 to 50 percent of patients.

“Anybody who has concerns about fevers, chills, sweats, wound infections, anything like that, should seek care as soon as possible. They should certainly let their healthcare provider know about their symptoms. They should let their healthcare provider know about prior use of antibiotics. They should let their healthcare provider know about travel,” Dr. Janice Verley, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Nassau University Medical Center said.

People in hospitals and nursing homes, particularly those with already suppressed immune systems, are at the greatest risk of becoming infected.

Infection can spread to the blood, heart or brain in severe cases.

The fungus is difficult to identify, as doctors frequently mistake it for other candida strains, and even harder to treat because it is resistant to common antifungal medications.

“This particular species is resistant to the Azole class, which is the class that we would use first-line. So it is possible, if you don’t know what it is, you may be treating it with an ineffective drug,” Verley explained.

According to the Center for Disease Control, several U.S. cases of the superbug may be linked to hospital stays in India, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

“The infections occur on two levels, one its introduction of the infections from other areas, and clearly the New York-New Jersey area has a high amount of immigrant populations coming from all over the world. And then, once it’s introduced then they’re spread within that community, within that organization,” Verley said.

“You know we know that we have seen it going from hospitals to long-term care facilities, so people who get admitted, transferred to a nursing home, transferred back to a hospital, these cases, if, you know, would be at an increased risk,” she added. (REUTERS)

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New York orders mandatory measles vaccinations

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

New York City declares public health emergency and orders mandatory vaccination amid rise in measles infection cases in the state. | Photo grabbed from Reuters footage

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn in response to a measles outbreak.

The declaration will require unvaccinated people living in the affected areas to get the vaccine or face fines.

The city’s largest measles outbreak since 1991 has mainly been confined to the Orthodox Jewish community in the borough of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.

285 cases were confirmed since October.

While there have been no confirmed deaths so far, 21 people have been hospitalized, with five admitted to intensive care.

All but 39 of the confirmed cases are in children.

“Today we are declaring a public health emergency effective immediately. This will mandate vaccines for people living in the affected area. Department of health will issue violations and fines to people who remain unvaccinated,” de Blasio said.

“The only way to stop this outbreak is to ensure that those who have not been vaccinated get the vaccine. It’s crucial for people to understand, the measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time tested,” he added.

The outbreak is part of a broader resurgence in the United States, with 465 cases reported in 19 states so far this year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (REUTERS)

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