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NEW YORK | A 12-year-old Muslim boy accused of trying to rip the head scarf off a Muslim classmate during recess has been charged in New York City with a hate crime.

The boy appeared Thursday in family court with his father and his attorney. He’s sixth-grader at a Staten Island middle school and is being charged as a juvenile. A call to his attorney wasn’t immediately returned. The boy’s father says his son is also a Muslim.

Police and school officials say the boy has a history of harassing the 13-year-old girl, taunting her and threatening her on at least four separate occasions. The police report says he asked, “Are you Muslim?” while trying to remove her scarf. The girl suffered minor injuries.

If convicted, he faces 18 months in juvenile detention.


Kasich signs bill limiting union power

CLEVELAND | Gov. John Kasich on Thursday signed into law a limit on the collective-bargaining rights of 350,000 public employees, defying Democrats and other opponents of the measure who have promised to push for repeal.

His signature came a day after the measure was approved by the state House and Senate, which are led by his fellow Republicans.

The measure prompted weeks of pro-labor protests by thousands of people amid a national debate over union rights, keyed by a similar bill passed in Wisconsin and signed by the governor there.

The Ohio bill prevents unions from negotiating wages but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. It also eliminates automatic pay increases and bans strikes. It applies to teachers, nurses and many other government workers, including police and firefighters, who were exempt in the Wisconsin measure.

From wire dispatches and staff reports