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"One person familiar with the company's finances describes the tower, with its low ceilings and outdated floor plan, as the Jenga puzzle piece that could set the empire teetering," Bloomberg writes.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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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

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.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

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