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Panel vote could clear way for ground zero mosque

NEW YORK (AP) - A contentious plan for a mosque near the World Trade Center site will get a boost if New York City's landmarks panel votes to allow the demolition of the building that is there now.

The mosque would be part of an Islamic center to be operated by a group called the Cordoba Initiative.

Foes of the mosque are expected to attend Tuesday's meeting of the city Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The panel is voting on whether to grant landmark status to the 152-year-old building that would be torn down to make way for the Islamic center.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports the mosque, but opponents include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Congressman Rick Lazio, a Republican running for governor of New York.

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