Oct 19, 2017

Blackstone says infrastructure plan not reliant on Trump

Mary Altaffer / AP

Tony James, president of The Blackstone Group, said in a media call this morning that his firm's new infrastructure investment effort will not be impacted by whether or not President Trump's promised $2 trillion infrastructure plan comes to fruition:

"We think that based on today's market conditions, today's regulations and today's market that there's a huge opportunity for the fund we're raising. There has been around $9 billion of opportunity we've been unable to action in just the past year, that would have gone into this fund."

Background: Blackstone announced in May that it is raising up to $40 billion for its debut infrastructure fund, including up to a $20 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia and up to $500 million from Blackstone itself. At the time, the White House was still talking about infrastructure as a viable 2017 priority — something that is longer operative. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman also was chair of a CEO advisory council that has since disbanded, in the wake of Trump's comments about Charlottesville.

Timing: James says to expect a first close on the fund by the end of Q1 2018.

Go deeper

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World