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AROUND THE STATE

> NEW YORK CITY

Sharpton named host of MSNBC program

NEW YORK (AP) -- After several weeks in a tryout role, the Rev. Al Sharpton has officially been named host of a weeknight hour on MSNBC.

The program, now called "PoliticsNation," will air at 6 p.m. Eastern and premieres next Monday, the network announced Tuesday.

In his new role, the well-known civil rights activist and minister will lead a lively and informed discussion of the day's top headlines, MSNBC said.

Sharpton called the hosting job "a natural extension of my life work and growth."

Besides his work as a community leader and religious figure, Sharpton already hosts a nationally syndicated radio show. He was a candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination that eventually went to Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass. The 6 p.m. time slot serves as an important lead-in to MSNBC's weeknight slate that includes Chris Matthews, Laurence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.

The network has done a swift reconfiguration in prime time since the abrupt January departure of its marquee host, Keith Olbermann.

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> MANHATTAN

USS New York set for visit Sept. 11

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Navy ship built with steel from the World Trade Center will anchor off lower Manhattan for ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that the Navy has agreed to bring the USS New York to the state it was named after.

Schumer said the Navy's decision came after weeks of negotiations.

Schumer said in a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus that it would be fitting for those who lost loved ones at the twin towers to be joined by the ship forged with steel from those towers.

The USS New York is an amphibious transport ship built with 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the trade center. The ship's motto is "Never Forget." It was commissioned in 2009.

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> BROOKLYN

Bar's beer challenge: 5 liters in 2 hours

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York City restaurant is challenging its customers to drink 5 liters of beer in two hours without throwing up.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Kebeer, a restaurant in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach, is offering "free beer for life" as a reward. Owner Max Aranbayev said winners will get a free half-pint of beer with any purchase as long as the restaurant stays open.

Aranbayev said he is "not pushing alcohol" and started the contest for fun. He said about 60 percent of people who attempt the challenge succeed.

Police said there is no state law that bans such a contest, although it's illegal to serve alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

Aranbayev said he lets only experienced drinkers participate and makes sure they aren't driving.

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