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New York City has dropped its plans to limit the number of Uber cars operating in the city.

Instead of the cap, the taxi hailing app has agreed to take part in a four-month study looking at the impact of its cars on traffic and pollution in the city.

In return, New York said it would not impose a car limit for this period.

The move comes the day before a city council vote, which could have seen the cap imposed.

The deal NYC has struck with Uber appears weaker than the legislation in the vote, which called for a 1% cap on the company’s growth in the city and a year-long study.Uber taxi in NYC

In a statement, Uber said it welcomed the agreement.

“We are pleased new drivers will continue to be free to join the for-hire industry and partner with Uber. Together, we can build an even better, more reliable transportation system,” said Josh Mohrer, Uber NYC’s general manager.

Since being founded in San Francisco in 2009, Uber has grown into a huge ridesharing enterprise – with services now offered in more than 200 cities.

However, in many cities, local cab companies and drivers have staged protests against the service.

In New York, complaints have centered around the idea that Uber has become too dominant, overtaking the city’s iconic yellow taxis.

The biggest snowstorm of this season is poised to hit NYC, Boston and Philadelphia over the weekend.

The storm could bring the first widespread heavy snowfall of the winter to the Interstate-95 Northeast corridor, the northern and western suburbs of the I-95 cities and parts of the Appalachians.

Even where moderate snowfall occurs or snow changes to rain, the storm can easily be the biggest snowstorm of the winter so far and bring substantial travel disruptions.

The storm responsible for spreading snow into New Mexico and Texas into Thursday will spread a swath of snow and rain to a large part of the East Friday night and Saturday.

How much snowfall versus rainfall will depend on the track of what will become a significant coastal storm.

Since the storm is still a couple of days away and the exact track is still somewhat uncertain, a shift in track farther to the east or west by as little as 50 miles could have a huge impact on snowfall accumulation.

People traveling to, from or through the I-81 and I-95 corridors on spanning Friday night into Saturday night should expect major delays due to rain in the South and snow or a wintry mix farther north.

Accumulating snow is most likely to fall from the mountains of western North Carolina, eastern Kentucky and western Virginia to southern and eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, the lower Hudson Valley of New York state and southeastern and central New England. Enough snow is likely to fall to shovel and plow in this area.

Included in the potential swath of accumulating snow is the Interstate-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. Even though rain could mix in over all or part of this zone, roads will be slippery during much of the storm. Airline delays are likely with the potential for cancellations.

Motorists should expect difficult travel in the I-81 swath from Virginia to Pennsylvania due to slippery and snow-covered roads.

How quickly the storm strengthens will determine how nasty the weather gets in New England. A full-fledged nor’easter or blizzard could hit part of New England with blowing and drifting snow, as well as the potential for damaging wind gusts and coastal flooding.

The storm will behave differently than the storm from last Saturday in that in most cases this will be a snow, rain or snow/rain mix, rather than an extended period of freezing rain. Some sleet can be mixed in as the storm transitions to rain in some coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

Over much of the southern Atlantic Seaboard and the Piedmont areas of the Carolinas, enough rain can fall to cause urban flooding problems. Where heavy rain follows heavy snow, along part of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts, there can be street and poor drainage area flooding.

Another storm with snow may swing from the Midwest to the coastal Northeast during the first part of next week.

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At least one person has died in a Park Avenue apartment building collapse following an explosion, NYPD says.

Local TV stations report that 11 people suffered minor injuries in the incident in East Harlem.

Residents heard a blast in the five-storey building at 116th Street and Park Avenue before it caved in.

Residents heard a blast in the five-storey building at 116th Street and Park Avenue before it caved in

Residents heard a blast in the five-storey building at 116th Street and Park Avenue before it caved in (photo AP)

All train services in and out of Grand Central terminal have been halted following the incident near its tracks.

The New York fire department has elevated the incident to the highest threat level possible and dispatched 168 members from more than three dozen nearby fire stations to battle the blaze.

The local utility has been called to shut off the gas following the explosion, which damaged windows in the area, reports WABC TV.

A witness told the New York Daily News she had smelled gas “for weeks” before the explosion.

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Monday, October 10, is Columbus Day 2011 and many banks, state and local offices as well as U.S. post offices will be closed. In New York, the Columbus Day Parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, lasting until about 3:00 p.m.

New York’s Columbus Day Parade starts on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street and continues up Fifth to 79th Street.

A Columbus Day Mass will take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and Fith Avenue at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation has been organizing New York’s Columbus Day Parade since 1929.

More than 35,000 participate in the Columbus Day Parade each year, including more than 100 groups sporting floats, bands and an assortment of entries. About one million spectators view the parade – including almost 500,000 lining the streets to watch live – and it is among the largest celebrations of Italian-American culture in the world.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation has been organizing New York's Columbus Day Parade since 1929

The Columbus Citizens Foundation has been organizing New York's Columbus Day Parade since 1929

Traditionally, Columbus Day is held on the second Monday in October.

The first record of an event commemorating Columbus Day in the United States was on October 12, 1792.

Columbus Day celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ “discovering” Americas.

Columbus arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Observance of Columbus Day varies throughout the United States. It became an official holiday in Colorado in 1906, and a federal holiday in 1937, although Hawaii and South Dakota do not recognize Columbus Day at all.

In New York, and in other cities around the country, Columbus Day celebration is a big, annual event, however.

Columbus Day Parade is one of the New York City’s annual big events

Columbus Day Parade is one of the New York City’s annual big events


Regarding this year’s Columbus Day Parade in New York Columbus Citizens Foundation said in a press release:

“On October 10, 2011, Fifth Avenue will be transformed during the Columbus Day Parade, the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture. The parade was led by Grand Marshal Joseph Plumeri, proud philanthropist, and Chairman and CEO of Willis Group Holdings.

“The Columbus Day Parade is a fun filled parade that gets bigger and better every year. Participants from all over the world march in our Parade with pride.

“This is already a special year for us, as we have invited and received confirmation from some of the most talented performers. Pia Toscano (American Idol Favorite) as well as the Italian Musical, “The Italian Fairy” are just some of the notable performers. The Sacred Heart University Marching Band as well as Stony Brook University Marching Band will be just a few of our new and exciting musical acts in the Parade. This year, the Parade will be marching up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street. The grandstands will be located on Fifth Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets.

“The parade celebrates the spirit of exploration and courage that inspired Christopher Columbus’s 1492 expedition and the important contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States. Over a dozen high school bands, as well as virtuosi professional groups from the United States and Italy, marched up Fifth Avenue and filled the canyons of midtown with joyous, heart-pounding music. Traditional folk groups performed centuries-old dances, and cutting-edge designs were brought to the parade route in displays of the vibrant culture that is Italy today.”