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Scottish charity rower injured on solo Transatlantic trip

A charity rower has sustained serious injuries during his attempt to sail solo from New York to Stornoway in Scotland.

Niall Iain MacDonald was tracking his progress on his website, Credit: STV

The New York Coast Guard used a helicopter to evacuate Niall Iain MacDonald from his 24-foot ocean rowing craft, Alliance Trust, which was more than 50 miles south of the city's Shinnecock.

They were alerted to the rower's distress by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Falmouth.

Mr MacDonald, 39, was aiming to row 3,400 miles on a three-month trip across the North Atlantic to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Friends find $41,000 in sofa bought from charity shop

Friends who bought a second-hand sofa from a charity shop found $41,000 (£24,000) stuffed inside the cushion covers.

Calli Guasti told local news station KTVU, "Our neighbours thought we won the lottery or something 'cause we were just screaming."

But that was not the end of the story - realising the envelope that contained the hidden treasure had a name on it, the pair successfully contacted the rightful owner.

The haul belonged to a retired woman who had stashed her life savings in the sofa, before her unwitting family donated it to the Salvation Army.

The woman, who has not been named, gave the roommates a $1,000 (£600) for their honesty.


Two boys hurt after playhouse blows 15ft in the air

Two boys were taken to hospital in New York after falling from an inflatable playhouse after strong winds sent it into the air.

NBC Washington reports that a 10-year-old girl and two boys, aged five and six, fell after the inflatable broke loose from stakes holding it down.

Police say the girl was near the door of the playhouse and fell as it became airborne, suffering minor scrapes. The house was about 15 feet off the ground when the boys tumbled out of the toy. One landed on a parked car while the other fell onto the ground, according to local media.

Alec Baldwin 'arrested after riding bike the wrong way'

Hollywood star Alec Baldwin was arrested in New York after allegedly riding his bike the wrong way down a Manhattan street and arguing with police who tried to ticket him, NBC 4 New York has reported.

In Touch Weekly magazine tweeted the following picture from the scene.

Baldwin is believed to have been stopped by police on East Side street this morning and is said to have got angry when he was summoned to arrest after failing to show his ID.

Police say the actor has now been released, the Associated Press reports.


Hunt for 'serial cat killer' behind 25 violent deaths in NY

Animal protection investigators in a New York suburb are investigating the "violent" deaths of about 25 cats who were killed with blows to the head before being hung in plastic bags from trees.

Plastic bags containing the remains of about 25 cats hanging from a tree in a wooded area in Yonkers, New York, yesterday. Credit: AP

The bodies of the cats were found yesterday in a wooded area of Yonkers and appear to have been killed with blows to the head at various times over the past year, local animal welfare charity director Ernest Lungaro said today.

A baseball bat, two shovels and a metal pipe were found near the scene, though investigators have not yet confirmed whether they were the weapons used on the animals - some of which were killed only a few days before the grim discovery.

"Pretty disturbing, smashing their heads in and displaying them like that," Mr Lungaro said. "We have found, in the past, cases where cats were poisoned, but we've never seen anything where they're killing them this violently."

NYC cops and firefighters brawl at charity hockey game

A charity ice hockey game between the New York Police Department and the city's firefighters erupted into a brawl this weekend.

Video footage on YouTube shows players throwing punches and grappling on the ice as the teams were tied 3-3 during the second period.

Warning: Video contains some graphic language from the crowd:

Eventually referees were able to break up the scuffle and the game continued, ending in a 8-5 win for the NYPD.

Bodies of 'eight missing' after NY blast recovered

The bodies of all eight people reported missing after a gas explosion destroyed two New York apartment buildings have been recovered, but workers are treating the scene as a rescue operation in case there are survivors in the rubble.

An excavator clears debris at the site of a building explosion in the Harlem section of New York Credit: Reuters

Fire commissioner Salvatore Cassano said no one else is known to be unaccounted for but workers will continue to scour the debris from the flattened buildings for victims.

He predicted detectives and fire marshals would soon gain access to the buildings' basements to begin the investigation into what caused the explosion.

"Right now we are in the process of removing the final amount of debris," Mr Cassano said. "We should be moving much more quickly now."

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