Duolingo's approach to teaching Latin is quite confusing for the reason you've identified among others. The majority of contemporary Latinists primarily use the language to (silently) read historical texts....I can't imagine New York being referenced in those texts, so what's the rationale behind including American cities? Perhaps Duolingo is betting on a resurgence of spoken Latin sometime soon (or just lazily using the framework from its modern languages).....ugh!
There are actually some, although very few, individuals in the Vatican that actually have conversations in Latin. Although the latin they speak is a little different than classical Latin... i personally think it would be cool to be able to have a modern conversation in Latin. So their reasons could me different... Maybe it helps make the language more relatable to people learning. Or it could be lazyness :)
True! YLE Radio 1 broadcast Nuntii latini 1989–2019 once a week. A well-run program and the only news source in Latin—no wonder it had got a big audience around the world, and the protests were fierce when some **** within the radio organisation decided to interficere the program.
Here’s the Nuntii latini website, you can still listen to some old news. Enjoy!
Guys, "est" meaning "is", think of it as equating the 2 parts of the sentence.
"Quid est Novum...?", nominative case, says: What real-world thing equates to the entity or subject that is named "New York"? In simpler terms: what is New York?
"Quid est Novi...?", locative case, says: What real-world thing has a location that equates to the location of New York? In simpler terms: What is in New York?
According to the Tips and Notes, Novum Eboracum is the nominative (it's neuter) and Novi Eboraci is the locative case. See https://www.duolingo.com/skill/la/places/tips-and-notes
I see, but I just wonder about another way to express "location" using "ablative of place" which is actually more common than the use of "locative case". But here the ablative case hasn't formally introduced yet. But you have seen them with 1st declension word already, like "in America" or "in Italia". But I think "ablative of place" should be accepted anyway, because it also the very correct way to express it.