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Apple green livery cabs to debut this summer

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City will see a new kind of taxi on its streets this summer -- and it won't be yellow.

Apple green was announced Sunday as the official new color for the 18,000 livery cabs that will serve Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and northern Manhattan.

The head of the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission, David Yassky, says the new cabs will be licensed to pick up passengers by street hail. It's currently illegal for livery cabs to be stopped on the street, though it's common practice.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the Boro Taxis he proposed will bring safe, comfortable, less costly service to areas outside Manhattan. The first of 6,000 annual batches of cab permits will be issued in June.


Canal system opens a few days early

ALBANY (AP) -- New York's canal system has opened a couple of days ahead of usual.

The Erie, Cayuga-Seneca and Oswego canals opened Saturday, and the Champlain Canal opened Sunday.

The 188th navigation season on the Erie Canal began Saturday with the passage of a barge carrying three vintage aircraft -- a MiG-15, a Douglas F-3D Skynight and a Supermarine Scimitar -- from their former home at the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan to the Empire State Aerosciences Museum near Schenectady in Glenville.

They entered the canal at Lock 2 in Waterford.

May 1 is the traditional opening day for the canals.

The system was heavily damaged by last summer's flooding, but the mild winter and relative lack of ice made repairs easier.


Stop-and-frisk trial gets under way today

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nearly two dozen demonstrators who criticized police for stopping and frisking people on New York City streets are gearing up to go to trial.

Twenty-two people arrested at an October protest outside a police station are due to go on trial today. It stands to be one of the city's biggest political protest trials in recent years, at least in terms of sheer numbers.

The group includes Princeton University professor and civil rights activist Cornel West.

Police say the demonstrators blocked the sidewalk and the entrance to the station and ignored orders to leave. Defense attorneys plan to argue that the demonstrators' cause justified their conduct, among other defenses.

Police, who conducted more than 684,000 "stop-and-frisk" stops last year, say the stops are crucial for fighting crime.

Critics say they reflect racial profiling and often are made without proper cause. Blacks and Hispanics make up about 87 percent of those stopped, but only 53 percent of the city's overall population.