PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

Solution to WTC Islamic Center Controversy?

September 9, 2010

NEW YORK - It may be one of those "why didn't somebody think of this sooner?" ideas. Lee Klein, who writes a food blog for the Miami "New Times," admits he went a little off-topic with a recent post. He suggested the people behind the proposed Park 51 Islamic community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site could defuse what has become a nationwide controversy - not by moving it further away, but by making its planned interfaith center truly transparent.

"Have glass partitions and have three prayer rooms - one for Judaism, one for Christianity and one for Islam - so those praying can look over and see they're going for the same thing, only in a different format."

Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf confirms the center will have separate prayer rooms for Muslims, Christians, Jews and other faiths, but glass walls aren't part of the current plan. A recent poll showed 50 percent of New Yorkers are opposed to the project as planned, while 62 percent said people have the right to build it.

Some families of 9/11 victims and survivors charge it's insensitive to locate an Islamic center near the WTC site. Others suggest "Islamophobia" is behind some opposition. Klein says a glass-walled multi-faith center could end the debate.

"This would bring people from the other religions in. It would become more of a tourist spot for everyone in New York. And who knows, maybe some good could come out of it."

Klein says he thinks his idea might appeal to Imam Rauf, one of the leaders of the effort to build the Park 51 Islamic center and mosque.

"You know, he's being asked, as a compromise, to move the mosque. And I think this might be less objectionable to him than the other thing."

Gov. Paterson on Tuesday asked New Yorkers and all Americans to consider a moratorium on the heated debate until after Saturday's 9/11 anniversary is over.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY