As Kushner Companies plans a top-down renovation of its Manhattan headquarters, the real estate empire is losing tens of millions of dollars each year on the Fifth Avenue property, as vacancy rates remain high and the cost of debt service balloons.
According to the Real Deal, after Citibank left the premises three years ago, the vacancy rate has climbed to around 30 percent, and the cost of the adjustable rate mortgage has doubled over the past five years, losing $10 million in 2015 and apparently even more in 2016.
That puts the pressure on for Kushner Companies to finalize its deal to redevelop the property, originally purchased a decade ago by Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and son-in-law to President Trump. Plans include expanding the tower by 40 floors, adding an apartment complex, quadrupling the retail space, installing a hotel and changing the address from 666 Fifth Avenue to 660 Fifth Avenue.
The largest source of monies for white nationalist Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute used to be a Georgia nonprofit that was not aware of the man’s politics.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area contributed $25,000 to NPI between 2013 and 2014, quite the departure from the anodyne charitable causes, including the Masters golf tournament, than the nonprofit group generally donates to.
“In no way did our organization, its board or its staff actively know or support the mission of this organization, and I don’t want it to be construed that we ever did,” said the Foundation’s head Shell K. Berry. She told the Los Angeles Times that Spencer had gotten the money through a donor-advised fund, in which the Community Foundation forwarded the monies to Spencer on behalf of an unnamed donor and absent independent vetting. The revelations came from tax returns for NPI that were obtained from Spencer.
Spencer’s finances have drawn greater scrutiny as the white nationalist and his fellow “alt-right” devotees have gained more attention with the election of President Trump. Spencer cointed the term “alt-right,” which is the label favored by contemporary white nationalists.
A third of Jewish Israelis would leave the country if they could, according to a poll conducted by Masa Israeli, a group looking at the divisions of Jewish society in Israel.
It found that secular Jews were the most likely to want to emigrate, with 36% saying they would leave the country if they could. Orthodox Jews were the least likely to want to emigrate; only 7% said they would leave.
The poll, which was reported by the Walla! news site, found that while 44% of secular Jewish Israelis identify as Israelis foremost, 83% of traditional and 90% of religious Jewish Israelis identify as Jews foremost.
The poll was conducted ahead of a conference called the “Israeli Journey to Change” in the Knesset which is looking for common ground in Israel.
“The survey data indicates a problem with a sense of identity, connection and belonging to the people, to the land and to the state among a growing part of society in Israel and that reality already has created a rift and split in all of Israeli society,” said Masa Israeli director, Uri Cohen.
Meyer, 77, grew up in Tunis. He studied at the École normale supérieure de la rue d’Ulm (ENS) in Paris and got his PhD from the University of Strasbourg in 1966.
Described as an “intellectual nomad” and a “visionary,” Meyer worked and taught at various research centers until 2008, when he formally retired. He is still a professor emeritus at the École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay in France. He is also a member of the French Academy of Science and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Abel Prize has been referred to as the math Nobel prize, which has no category for mathematics. The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has issued the award each year since 2003.
The King of Norway will hand Meyer the prize, which comes with an award worth roughly $715,000 on May 23 in Oslo.
Meyer is not the first French Jew to receive an international award for his outstanding contribution to mathematics. In 1966, the late Alexander Grothendiek won the Fields Medal, which is given every four years to mathematicians under age 40.
The House of Representatives is set to vote Thursday on the American Health Care Act, also known as “Trumpcare,” “Ryancare,” or the “repeal and replace” bill, and Jewish members of Congress are breaking strictly by party line in what could be a tight vote.
All 20 Jewish Democrats in the House are expected to deliver a “no” vote, as will their other party members.
The two Jewish Republicans are also seen as safe vote for their party.
New York’s Lee Zeldin has made clear in a letter to constituents that he is supportive of the bill that would “provide relief from the significant amount of taxes and mandates enacted under the ACA.” Zeldin stressed, however, that there “must be a smooth transition to a better reality that will improve affordability, access, quality of care and option.”
Tennessee’s freshman Republican congressman David Kustoff, who is also Jewish, is still learning the “final product” of the legislation, according to local WKRN but his statements indicate support of the bill.
Neither Zeldin nor Kustoff are listed on any Republican whip list as potentially opposing the bill.
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