New York Meeting Offers India, Pakistan Leaders A Fresh Shot At Distant Goal: Peace

New York seeks delay of costly FERC power capacity zone decision

On top of that money, the opera company wants to raise an additional $13 million by the end of 2013 towards future seasons, according to a press release. “If we don’t raise the ($7 million) by the end of Monday the board is going to begin the process of bankruptcy,” spokesperson Risa Heller told CNN on Friday. The company started a campaign to raise $1 million of that $7 million through an online fundraising site — Kickstarter.com — that will end September 30. As of Friday the online campaign had raised only $202,223 donated from more than a thousand supporters. The organization raised $1.5 million outside of Kickstarter campaign, according to Heller. “The odds have been against us for a long time,” George Steel, general manager & artistic director for the company, said in an online video, “but in the face of that difficulty we have made tremendous progress.” The company, dubbed “The People’s Opera” by former NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, was founded on the principle that every New Yorker should be able to afford to go to the opera, Steel said. Steel explains that in order for the company to break even, it would need to sell every ticket for $600, but instead the starting ticket price is actually $25 to make it more affordable. The New York City Opera received critical praise in the past for its world premieres of work including Robert Ward’s “The Crucible” and Anthony Davis’ “The Life and Times of Malcolm X.” The company opened its current season on September 17 with the opera “Anna Nicole,” and should it fail to raise the necessary funds by Monday, that could be the Company’s last production. “We need the help of the people we were founded to serve to put on our season this year,” Steel said, speaking to New York residents and opera fans everywhere. “We need you to come together and carry it forward into the future. I hope we can count on you.” This year marks the 70th anniversary of the New York City Opera, which opened in 1943, making it the second opera house in NYC.

The Iranian president shared details of the call with the world over his English-language Twitter feed. He said that Obama had expressed his hope for progress on nuclear talks as well as respect for you and ppl of #Iran, and apologized for New York Citys traffic. It wasnt immediately clear what prompted Rouhanis change in strategy, though the U.S. official who described the call said it may have been the positive tenor of renewed talks about Irans nuclear program in New York the day before. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and counterparts from five other world powers met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif , who proposed a goal of reaching an accord within a year. Iranian Contact After saying that a meeting between Obama and Rouhani on Sept. 24 in New York would be too complicated, Iranian officials contacted their U.S. counterparts yesterday and said that Rouhani wanted to speak with him before leaving New York, according to the administration official. With Obama back in Washington, meeting with Indias prime minister Manmohan Singh and bracing for the prospect of a government shutdown over differences with congressional Republicans on the budget and health-care, the U.S. president said yes. The call took place as Rouhani was en route to the airport, Irans official IRNA news agency reported.

Photographer take pictures as the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of U.S. astronaut U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy blasts off from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov  (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

5 will choose a successor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg , 71, whose 12-year tenure ends Dec. 31. Whoever takes office in January must resolve lapsed contracts for 300,000 public workers, with some union leaders clamoring for retroactive raises that Bloomberg has said may cost as much as $8 billion. A growing local economy and civil servants who work through different administrations will help tackle the fiscal challenges, said Clark Wagner, fixed-income director at First Investors Management Co. in New York. New York will be able to grow its way out of some of these issues, said Wagner, whose firm manages $1.5 billion of municipal debt. The city has an incredibly professional and experienced set of managers who are not going to change because of the election. Voting Battle Democrat Bill de Blasio, 52, the citys public advocate, faces Republican Joseph Lhota, 58, a top aide to former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani , in a battle to lead the city of 8.3 million. Bloomberg, an independent who is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, is legally barred from seeking a fourth term. New York is selling into the biggest rally for muni debt since 2012 after the Federal Reserve delayed plans to reduce its monthly bond purchases. The New York issue offered preliminary yields of 4.18 percent on 20-year debt, according to three people familiar with the sale who requested anonymity because pricing wasnt final. That was 0.31 percentage point more than benchmark munis, down from 0.72 percentage point in July.

Obama-Rouhani Chat Covers Nuclear Talks, New York Traffic

Stephanie McCrummen Following a government crackdown, group has returned to the shadows, and taken its charitable empire with it. Annie Gowen Feminists decry the rise of a women-only culture, saying it marginalizes people it is intended to protect. Sharif calls the meeting a chance for a new beginning, but Singh has tamped down expectations for the talks which take place amid an upsurge in militant attacks in disputed Kashmir. Speaking Friday after a White House meeting with President Barack Obama, Singh said, the epicenter of terror still remains focused in Pakistan. The need for peace between the South Asian nuclear rivals has rarely been greater. They have been at loggerheads since Britain granted independence and carved up the subcontinent in 1947, but the impending U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan adds new uncertainty to a region increasingly threatened by Islamic militancy. Its timely for them to meet, said Karl Inderfurth, a former top U.S. diplomat for South Asia and now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington. Its Nawaz Sharifs first chance as the new prime minister to reach across to his Indian counterpart and its maybe Manmohan Singhs last chance to do what he has repeatedly said he wants to do, which is open up a new relationship with Pakistan. Both men are familiar with the pitfalls of seeking to improve ties between India and Pakistan a relationship scarred by three wars and deep mutual suspicion. Sharif was in power when Pakistan first tested a nuclear bomb in 1998. But he also presided over one of the more upbeat episodes in recent relations with India. He hosted then-Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee for a summit in Lahore in February 1999, where they signed a landmark declaration on avoiding nuclear conflict and opened a cross-border bus service.

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New York Skyline

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider its August decision allowing the state’s power grid operator, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), to create a new capacity zone in the Lower Hudson Valley that includes New York City. The NYISO has said it designed the new capacity zone to maintain system reliability and attract investments in new and existing generation and demand response resources. In basic terms, capacity markets pay generators to help keep existing power plants in service and build new units in order to maintain system reliability. Demand response providers who agree to reduce power usage when needed can also participate in capacity markets. The new zone will include the current NYISO zones G, H and I in the Lower Hudson Valley and zone J in New York City. The PSC and NYPA said the state is already working on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s so-called Energy Highway initiative to expand the state’s transmission resources to bring more power from upstate New York to the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City area. The PSC and NYPA said the Energy Highway could negate the need for FERC to offer financial incentives to build more power plants downstate. “We strongly urged FERC to reconsider its decision to create a new capacity zone in New York, which it says is needed to build more power plants downstate to alleviate demand for electricity,” PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said in the release. “We are well aware of the downstate demand for electricity…However, in its decision, FERC did not take into consideration the ongoing initiatives included in the Governor’s Energy Highway,” Zibelman said. The biggest power companies in New York include units of Consolidated Edison Inc, National Grid Plc, Iberdrola SA, Entergy Corp, TransCanada Corp and NRG Energy Inc. COSTS TO RISE The PSC said if FERC’s plan goes into effect, typical residential customers in the Lower Hudson Valley could see monthly bill increases ranging from 5 percent to almost 10 percent, depending on the utility.