Tuesday, 19 Jan 2021

Trump Says He Delayed China Talks, Faults Beijing

Myanmar to restart peace process with rebel groups

More than 20 armed groups have been demanding independence for decades.

Myanmar’s stalled peace process will restart with another round of negotiations between the government and ethnic fighters.

More than 20 armed groups have been demanding independence for decades.

Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay looks at why progress is proving difficult.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, George Clooney And Byron Allen Among L.A. Hosts Of Post-Convention Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Fundraiser

EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off of accepting the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and their spouses are set for a fundraiser on Friday, with hosts including Jeffrey Katzenberg, George Clooney and Byron Allen.

The afternoon event will be virtual, but it features an L.A.-centric group of hosts. In addition to Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn, Clooney and Allen and his wife Jennifer Lucas, other hosts include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and philanthropists Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Andrew Hauptman, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Tickets for the event will start at $100,000 per person, rising to levels of $250,000, $500,000 and $730,600. The event is being organized by Jennifer Gonring, Jennifer Lin and Andy Spahn.

The Katzenbergs hosted Biden for an event in June, which raised nearly $6 million. Last month, Clooney and former President Barack Obama headlined a fundraiser for the Biden campaign.

The Bidens, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are scheduled to also do a smaller-dollar grassroots event. The Biden campaign has lined up a series of fundraisers throughout this week, including an event on Tuesday featuring Biden and Tom Hanks.

“Every election comes along, and you can always make the argument, ‘This is the most important election of our lives.’ This is the most important election in the history of America,” Hanks said at the event.

Steven Mnuchin’s 740 Park co-op returns with massive discount

Even US Treasury Secretery Steve Mnuchin is feeling the burn of falling real estate prices.

He has just relisted his apartment at 740 Park Ave. — and slashed the asking price more than 20 percent from when the co-op first went on the market in 2018.

740 Park Ave is one of the city’s poshest addresses.

Mnuchin’s sprawling duplex on the eighth and ninth floors hit the market for $32.5 million two years ago; it was last listed for $27.5 million in 2019. It now has a price tag of $25.75 million.

Mnuchin bought the palatial five-bedroom pad from his aunt, Carol Lederman, around 20 years ago for $10.5 million.

The home comes with a private elevator landing and features high ceilings, a grand layout and multiple woodburning fireplaces.

Famed architect Rosario Candela designed the building, which was developed by Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s grandfather, James Lee.

The listing brokers are Carol Terner Lederman — the former owner of the unit — and her daughter Judy Kloner, both of Warburg Realty. Both brokers declined to comment.

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South Africa warns COVID-19 crisis could destroy tourism industry

South Africa’s government is warning that the coronavirus crisis could cost the jobs of 400,000 workers – and that is just in the tourism industry.

South Africa’s government has warned that the coronavirus crisis could cost the jobs of 400,000 workers – and that is just in the tourism industry.

Five months of lockdown restrictions are being eased but the tourism industry could take years to recover.

Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller has more from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bill Foley Is Said to Raise $1.3 Billion in Blank-Check Deal

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Veteran investor Bill Foley’s latest blank-check company has raised $1.3 billion through an initial public offering after increasing the size of the deal by $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp. II raised $1.5 billion including the $200 million overallotment to the underwriters, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

A representative for Foley declined to comment.

Repeated issuers like Foley are flooding the market and are on the hunt for potential targets to buy. Foley’s other special purpose acquisition company, Foley Trasimene Acquisition Corp., raised $1 billion in May.

Foley, alongside former Blackstone Group dealmaker Chinh Chu, was also part of blank-check firm CF Corp., which acquired life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life in a $1.84 billion deal in 2017.

Foley is an owner of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team and is involved in several financial services companies.

Trump Says He Delayed China Talks, Faults Beijing

President Donald Trump said he called off last weekend’s trade talks with China and that Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus is “unthinkable.”

“I don’t want to talk to China right now,” Trump said Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona. “We’ll see what happens” on pulling out of phase one of the deal, Trump said.

The talks had been aimed at reviewing progress at the six-month mark of their phase-one trade agreement. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was supposed to hold a video conference call with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin but it was postponed indefinitely.

The talks never made it on to any official public calendar in Washington or Beijing, but the South China Morning Post reported that they were set for Saturday. Earlier, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that information on high-level talks will be released “in due course.”

“What China did to the world was unthinkable,” Trump said, referring to the coronavirus.

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