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Plan for $7.5 billion Kushner family New York tower faces hurdles: report



The family-owned company that until recently was headed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law hopes to turn an aging New York office tower into a signature development that could be worth up to $12 billion, a report said on Wednesday.

Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group is in advanced talks to provide as much as half of $2.5 billion in equity for the planned redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The overall project for the flagship 39-story building, which is controlled by Kushner Cos, is valued at $7.5 billion. The company was run by Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. He sold his stake to a family trust in January.

Extensive talks are under way between Kushner Cos., its partners in the building, potential investors, lenders and tenants who would have to be paid to move for the project to go forward, the Journal said, citing people close to the deal.

Plans call for stripping the structure down to its steel columns and adding about 40 floors to the building, which was built in 1957. The project was designed by Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Prize award winner for architecture, before she died last year.


Concerns about a conflict of interest given Jared Kushner’s role as an advisor to Trump could halt Anbang from taking part. Anbang last week said it was not investing in the project after Bloomberg News named the firm as a potential investor.

Kushner Cos believes it could gain the necessary equity from other investors if Anbang decides to exit the transaction, the Journal said. The project faces other hurdles.

The Kushners would have to buy out the building’s current tenants to allow for domolition to start and an existing $1.15 billion in debt would need to be refinanced.


Talks are under way with Vornado Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that owns 49.5 percent of the building’s office space and much of the property’s retail space, to buy out its interests, the Journal said.

The need to sell the luxury condo units at near record prices and the overall financing for the project could raise the eyes of the U.S regulators, a banking source said.

(Reporting by Herbert Lash)

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Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe



On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.

Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.

Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!

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Trump offers to guarantee bail for rapper A$AP Rocky



US President Donald Trump offered Saturday to guarantee the bail of rapper ASAP Rocky, detained in Sweden on suspicion of assault following a street brawl.

Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who he said gave assurances that the singer would be treated fairly.

"Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative," Trump wrote.

There is no system of bail in Sweden.

Trump said he and Lofven had agreed to speak again over the next 48 hours.

Fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, to be freed since his arrest on July 3 following the fight on June 30.

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The best Civil War movie ever made finally gets its due



On Sunday and on July 24, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.

The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue.

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