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1 WTC could be tallest building by next week

One World Trade Center could become the tallest building in the city by early next week, taking the crown from the Empire State Building, the Port Authority said Tuesday.

The building, which presently stands 1,244 feet and six inches above ground at 100 floors, will likely surpass the Empire's 1,250 feet, the Port Authority said.

"Within the next several days, weather permitting, perhaps as early as Monday . . . One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in Manhattan," Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye told reporters Tuesday at Crain's Breakfast Forum.

Before they were destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the World Trade Center's twin towers had been the city's tallest skyscrapers since 1972.

One World Trade Center, which has been under construction for six years, is slated for completion sometime in 2013 or early 2014. It will eventually reach 1,776 feet at 104 floors, not including its antenna spire, the Port Authority said.

Once completed, it will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. -- amNY


DA: Suspects' names would disclose victims

The Brooklyn district attorney's office says Orthodox Jewish defendants accused of sex crimes through a community hotline aren't being publicly identified out of concerns that it could lead to revealing the identities of victims.

Various media outlets had filed Freedom of Information requests to get the names, after the Brooklyn district attorney said late last year that 85 people had been arrested since the hotline had opened in 2009. In a letter to The Jewish Daily Forward last week, the office said there was a "significant danger" that revealing the defendants would disclose the victims in such a tight-knit and insular community.

That stance is being criticized by those who say it's protecting perpetrators by not naming them publicly.

Brooklyn is home to most of the city's Orthodox Jews.


Court to hear appeal in murder conviction

New York's top court is set to hear the appeal of a Manhattan murder conviction by a woman whose live-in partner fatally beat her son in 2004 while she was out shopping.

Zahira Matos was convicted of murder based on her "depraved indifference" in failing to get the toddler medical care for about seven hours. Her partner, Carmen Molina, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Matos, now 27, is serving 20 years to life after her conviction.

Her lawyer argues Matos didn't initially believe the injuries were fatal, that one egregious lapse proves neither depravity nor indifference, and the trial judge's refusal to let her present expert testimony on abusive relationships deprived her of the right to present a defense.


Large sculpture at JFK to stay put

A plan to remove a large sculpture at Kennedy Airport to make room for food vendors has been temporarily put off.

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday against the management group that runs Terminal 1.

"Star Sifter" has occupied the terminal for 14 years. Terminal One Group Association had planned to dismantle the steel and aluminum artwork Wednesday.

Artist Alice Aycock argued in a civil lawsuit that removing the sculpture would be a breach of her contract. The management group commissioned her to create the work for the terminal's opening in 1998.

The group didn't immediately return a request for comment.

The judge has set a hearing for Friday on whether to issue an injunction


City steps up effort to boost tourism dollars

The city's tourism agency wants to generate $70 billion in economic impact by 2015.

NYC and Company, the city's tourism and marketing arm, announced the new goal Tuesday at International Pow Wow in Los Angeles, a travel industry conference.

The agency is planning to focus on drawing international visitors, who account for 50 percent of direct tourism spending in the city.

A record-breaking number of tourists visited the city last year, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg surpassed his original goal of 50 million tourists in a single year.

The mayor's office says the tourism industry will contribute $45 billion in direct spending to the city and add 30,000 new jobs to the City's workforce by 2015.

Compiled with wire service reports

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