Sep 5, 2017

Blackstone scraps $2.8b Australian mall sale amid Amazon arrival

Mary Altaffer / AP

Private equity giant Blackstone Group has abandoned the sale of its $2.8 billion Australian shopping mall portfolio amid buyers' fears that Amazon's pending Australian debut will hit brick-and-mortar stores hard, per Reuters. Instead, Blackstone will focus on renovating the malls to make them more competitive for the e-commerce giant's arrival.

"They had strong offers, but only for individual assets, not for the whole 10 (malls)," a source told Reuters. "There's been a hit on retail-sector sentiment because of the emergence of Amazon."

Why it matters: If Blackstone, the world's biggest alternative asset manager, can't keep up with even the mere mention of Amazon's arrival, then there is little hope that other small Australian companies will be able to either.

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Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Amnesty International: U.S. police must end militarized response to protests

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International issued a statement on Sunday morning calling for an end to militarized policing in several U.S. cities and the use of "excessive force" against demonstrators protesting police brutality.

Why it matters: The human rights group said police across the country were "failing their obligations under international law to respect and facilitate the right to peaceful protest, exacerbating a tense situation and endangering the lives of protesters."

1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Protestors rally in Minneapolis. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Health experts fear that massive protests against police brutality in major cities around the United States could result in new coronavirus outbreaks due to the close proximity of demonstrators, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already recorded more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. A potential surge in cases stemming from the protests would come as many states are weeks into their phased reopening plans.

The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.