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Boy testifies in death of sister tied to mom

NEW YORK (AP) -- The 6-year-old brother of a New York City girl found drugged, beaten and starved testified Thursday in the murder case against their mother, saying that his little sister was rarely fed and was tied to the bed before her death.

Tymel Pierce spoke from a closed-circuit TV in another part of the Brooklyn court as his mother and jurors watched. He could not see them. Wearing a crisp white shirt with a vest and tie, Tymel sat with wide eyes, often sucking his fingers while answering prosecutors with short, soft-spoken sentences.

His mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, cried during most of his testimony.

She is charged with murder in the death of her daughter. The grandmother, Loretta Brett, is also on trial. Both women have pleaded not guilty.

Marchella, 4, was found dead in September 2010. Prosecutors said she was tied to her bed, beaten, drugged and starved and that her stomach contained one kernel of corn.


Hotel abuzz as bees arrive at new home

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is buzzing with thousands of tiny new visitors.

The luxury hotel has installed six beehives on its rooftop with the goal of harvesting honey by mid-summer. One mature hive has 20,000 bees and five starter hives have 5,000 bees each.

By August, the hotel hopes to host 300,000 bees in total.

The bees arrived last week in a luxury car. Then they were escorted through the lobby to their new home on the 20th floor.

Guests at the hotel can tour the hives. The insects also are visible from certain rooms.

Honey will be used in dishes served at the hotel's restaurant.