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New Yorkers Push Forward

It's not "Sir Rudy" but it is "Rudolph Giuliani, K.B.E." now.

The steady stream of dignitaries visiting New York in the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster continued Monday, as Mayor Giuliani welcomed Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

Andrew brought with him an honorary knighthood for Giuliani from Queen Elizabeth II for his "outstanding help and support to the bereaved British families in New York."

The queen also conferred honorary titles — Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire — on the city's police and fire commissioners, Bernard Kerik and Thomas Von Essen, respectively.

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Of the scores of foreign countries whose citizens died in the World Trade Center disaster, Britain suffered an especially high death toll.

While in New York, the Prince is expected to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and visit the headquarters of the American Red Cross, which has played a leading role in disaster relief efforts.

Rain early Monday made things worse for the workers at the disaster site, where the number of missing is now 4,688, with 450 confirmed dead.

New Yorkers are continuing to go about their business despite the disaster but have had a major case of the jitters since the news last Friday of anthrax exposure at NBC's headquarters, at Rockefeller Center.

Giuliani Sunday held a news conference with an update on that situation, saying that a police officer and two lab technicians who handled an anthrax-infected letter are being treated for exposure.

That's in addition to an assistant to NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw; she was the first to be exposed there and is expected to recover.

Drugstores are doing a brisk business in Cipro, the antibiotic prescribed to individuals who have been exposed, even though authorities have been warning against both stockpiling and taking the drug unnecessarily.

More statistics continue to accumulate on the economic damage of the Sept. 11 attacks.

According to the Zagat Survey, more than 30 New York restaurants have been permanently shut down because of the disaster, and another 40 remain temporarily closed.

Many restaurants report having lost between a third and half of their business during the three weeks following the attacks.

Thousands of restaurant employees have been laid off, and others expect their jobs to disappear at least temporarily.

There are, however, some signs of hope.

The Zagat Survey says things have been getting a little better in the past ten days, although customer traffic remains off by about 15 percent.

One thing that has yet to decline: suspense about New York City's mayoral election, which took another strange twist over the weekend.

Unofficial results show some votes in last Thursday's Democratic primary were mistakenly counted twice. Mark Green, who declared victory over Fernando Ferrer last week, says he's still the winner.

Official results aren't expected until next week; the genral election is in November.

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