Aug 31, 2017

Kushner real-estate firm squeezed by bad bet

Richard Drew / AP

Kushner Cos., the family real-estate firm of Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been scouring the earth for new investors, Bloomberg reports today. The company is in a rough spot because it bought a Fifth Avenue building for $1.8 billion at the height of the real-estate boom. There's a $1.2 billion mortgage on the building that comes due in Feb. 19.

"One person familiar with the company's finances describes the tower, with its low ceilings and outdated floor plan, as the Jenga puzzle piece that could set the empire teetering," Bloomberg writes.

Why it matters: Questions surround Kushner's meetings around the world as an administration official. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says some of Kushner's meetings that have been described as official government business, were actually for the family business. Bloomberg says those meetings are now a focus of federal investigators.

Kushner denies any wrongdoing and says he gave a full account of his Russian interactions in his congressional testimony. Kushner Cos. said the article "contained many factual errors and drew unsupported conclusions," though didn't offer specifics.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,463,392 — Total deaths: 344,503 — Total recoveries — 2,195,325Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,653,904 — Total deaths: 97,948 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.