Shoe-bomb plotter reveals terror targets

NEW YORK (AP) – A British shoe-bomb plotter testifying by video for a second time in a New York courtroom revealed potential U.S. and English terror targets that were discussed at al-Qaida brainstorming sessions.

Saajid Badat testified Tuesday that Khalid Sheik Mohammed – the self-professed architect of the Sept. 11 attacks – said in 2001 that al-Qaida should consider attacking the U.S. West Coast or the Canary Wharf financial district in London. It was Badat’s second day of testimony at the trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri, an Egyptian cleric who became an extremist Islamic figure in London in the late 1990s.

Just a month after testifying at the trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Badat was filmed in the United Kingdom as he answered questions from a U.S. prosecutor and a defense lawyer.


State raises maximum college tuition grant

ALBANY (AP) – New York has raised the state’s maximum college tuition grant for the coming academic year to $5,165. The $165 increase is the first in 14 years. Nearly 400,000 state residents received Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP, awards last year.

They can be used for higher education at public or independent colleges or universities in New York.

Meanwhile, state officials say students who qualify as an orphan, foster child or ward of the court for federal student aid programs will now be considered dependent students in determining TAP awards, making them eligible for the maximum. For some that’s expected to mean an additional $2,140 per year.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, more than 372,000 New Yorkers got $931 million in TAP funds for tuition, averaging $3,049 per student.


Animal groups add to reward for cat killers

YONKERS (AP) – Five animal welfare groups have added a total of $22,500 to the reward for capturing whoever killed 25 cats in a New York suburb. Rewards of $5,000 each were announced Tuesday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. The Defense of Animals Fund added $2,500.

The organization Alley Cat Allies had previously posted a $750 reward.

The cats were found Thursday in plastic bags hanging from trees in Yonkers. Tests on three bodies showed they had been killed with blows to the head. Some cats had been dead about a year, some just three days.


Some residents can get free air conditioners

ALBANY (AP) – New York State has set aside $3 million to buy air conditioners for low-income residents whose medical problems could be worsened by high summer temperatures.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the funding Monday. Residents are encouraged to apply for the assistance program soon so the air conditioning units can be installed before summertime.

To be eligible residents must meet income guidelines, have a household member who has a medical condition affected by extreme heat, and must have documentation from a health care provider.

Applications may be submitted to local social services departments.