Morning Read 5/16: U.S. official questioned Israel’s claim to the Western Wall

The fight over how to pray at the Kotel is approaching violence [Bgabel at wikivoyage]
A U.S. official reportedly claimed that the Western Wall belonged to the West Bank in an argument over whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would accompany President Donald Trump there during his upcoming visit [Bgabel at wikivoyage]

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INTERNATIONAL


Trump Shared Intelligence Secrets With Russians

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump shared sensitive intelligence obtained from a close U.S. ally with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador in a meeting last week, according to U.S. officials, potentially jeopardizing critical intelligence-sharing agreements in the fight against Islamic State.

Mr. Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak in the Oval Office the day after firing Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey.

During the meeting with the Russian officials, Mr. Trump mentioned details about Islamic State in a way that revealed enough information for the Russians to potentially compromise the source, according to the officials, who said the intelligence came from the U.S. ally.

According to one U.S. official, the information shared was highly sensitive and difficult to acquire and was considered extraordinarily valuable. The Wall Street Journal agreed not to identify the ally because another U.S. official said it could jeopardize the source.

The Washington Post reported Mr. Trump’s disclosure and said White House officials called the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency to warn of Mr. Trump’s disclosure and its possible consequences.

In a brief statement to reporters, National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster responded to a Washington Post article that claims President Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office last week. 
The White House denied on Monday that Mr. Trump disclosed any sources and methods of U.S. intelligence services or those of U.S. allies.

“I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said in a statement outside the White House. [WSJ]

North Korea missile program progressing faster than expected, says South

North Korea’s missile program is progressing faster than expected, South Korea’s defense minister said on Tuesday, hours after the UN Security Council demanded the North halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests and condemned Sunday’s test-launch.

The reclusive North, which has defied all calls to rein in its weapons programs, even from its lone major ally, China, has been working on a missile, mounted with a nuclear warhead, capable of striking the U.S. mainland.

President Donald Trump’s administration has called for an immediate halt to Pyongyang’s provocations and has warned that the “era of strategic patience” with North Korea is over. U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said on Tuesday China’s leverage was key and that it could do more.

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo told parliament Sunday’s test-launch was “successful in flight”.

“It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed,” he said, referring to a class of missile designed to travel up to 3,000 to 4,000 km (1,860 to 2,485 miles).

Asked if North Korea’s missile program was developing faster than the South had expected, he said: “Yes.”

The North’s KCNA news agency said Sunday’s launch tested its capability to carry a “large-size heavy nuclear warhead”. Its ambassador to China said in Beijing on Monday it would continue such test launches “any time, any place”.

The missile flew 787 km (489 miles) on a trajectory reaching an altitude of 2,111.5 km (1,312 miles), KCNA said. [REUTERS]

Gulf States Offer Better Relations If Israel Makes New Bid for Peace

Arab Gulf states have offered to take concrete steps to establish better relations with Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make a significant overture aimed at restarting the Middle East peace process, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The offer to the U.S. and Israel comes ahead of President Donald Trump’s trip to the Middle East. The potential steps include establishing direct telecommunications links with Israel, allowing overflight rights to Israeli aircraft, and lifting restrictions on some trade, said these people.

The Gulf countries, in turn, would require Mr. Netanyahu to make what they would consider to be a peace overture to the Palestinians. Such steps could include stopping construction of settlements in certain areas of the West Bank and allowing freer trade into the Gaza Strip.

The Arab states’ position, outlined in an unreleased discussion paper shared among several Gulf countries, is aimed in part at aligning them with Mr. Trump, who has stressed his desire to work with the Arab states to forge a Middle East peace agreement, the people said. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have informed the U.S. and Israel of their willingness to take such steps.

Mr. Netanyahu’s office declined to comment. [WSJ]

White House: Western Wall comments ‘unauthorized,’ do not represent Trump’s stance

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday said that comments from a US official who told his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is not part of Israel were “unauthorized” and do not represent the stance of the Trump administration.

“The comments about the Western Wall were not authorized communication and they do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the president,” a senior administration official told The Times of Israel.

In a bitter diplomatic incident, a senior member of the US delegation making preparations for Trump’s visit to Israel next week angrily rejected a request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany the president when he visits the Western Wall, and then sniped at his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank,” Channel 2 reported Monday.

The angry exchanges, according to the report, began when the Israeli team working with the American delegation asked whether Netanyahu could accompany Trump when he visits the Western Wall, a key stop expected on his May 22-23 visit to Israel and the West Bank.

No serving US president has ever visited the Western Wall, because US policy has been that the final status of Jerusalem has yet to be resolved in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The US team reportedly rejected the request for Netanyahu to join Trump, saying it would be “a private visit” by the president and that he would go on his own. The Israelis then asked whether a TV crew providing live coverage of the Trump visit could at least continue to film there.

At this point, the TV report said, a senior American official rudely responded: “What are you talking about? It’s none of your business. It’s not even part of your responsibility. It’s not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank.” [ToI]

U.S. says Syrians built crematorium at prison to dispose of bodies

The United States has evidence Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government has built a crematorium at a large military prison outside the capital Damascus, a State Department official said on Monday.

Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, said U.S. officials believe the crematorium could be used to dispose of bodies at a prison where they believe Assad’s government authorized the mass hangings of thousands of inmates during Syria’s six-year-old civil war.

“Credible sources have believed that many of the bodies have been disposed in mass graves,” Jones told reporters. During the briefing, he showed aerial images of what he said was a crematorium.

“We now believe that the Syrian regime has installed a crematorium in the Sednaya prison complex which could dispose of detainees’ remains with little evidence.”

Amnesty International reported in February that an average of 20 to 50 people were hanged each week at the Sednaya military prison north of Damascus. Between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years since a popular uprising descended into war, it said.

“These atrocities have been carried out seemingly with the unconditional support from Russia and Iran,” Jones said. “The (Assad) regime must stop all attacks on civilian and opposition forces. And Russia must bear responsibility to ensure regime compliance.”

He did not say what measures the United States might take if Russia does not change its stance. [REUTERS]


NATIONAL


Federal judges ask if travel ban is biased against Muslims

SEATTLE (AP) — Federal judges on Monday peppered a lawyer for President Donald Trump with questions about whether the administration’s travel ban discriminates against Muslims and zeroed in on the president’s campaign statements, the second time in a week the rhetoric has faced judicial scrutiny.

Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, defending the travel ban, told the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the executive order should be reinstated because it falls well within the president’s authority.

“No one has ever attempted to set aside a law that is neutral on its face and neutral in its operation on the basis of largely campaign trail comments made by a private citizen running for office,” he said.

Further, Wall said the president had backed off the comments he made during the campaign, clarifying that “what he was talking about was Islamic terrorist groups and the countries that sponsor or shelter them.”

Neal Katyal, who represented Hawaii, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, expressed disbelief at that argument and said Trump had repeatedly spoken of a Muslim ban during the presidential campaign and after.

“This is a repeated pattern of the president,” Katyal said.

The 9th Circuit panel was hearing arguments over Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging the travel ban, which would suspend the nation’s refugee program and temporarily bar new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The judges will decide whether to uphold a Hawaii judge’s decision in March that blocked the ban. [AP]

United says cockpit door codes may have been published online

Codes to gain access to United Airlines cockpits may have been made public, the carrier said on Monday, but it stopped short of confirming a report that a flight attendant inadvertently published the codes online in a potential threat to air security.

The airline still could keep its flight decks secure through other measures, Maddie King, a spokeswoman for United Continental Holdings Corp, said in an email. She declined to specify the other safeguards because of security considerations.

“We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” she said.

Citing a pilot who was briefed on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that United, the world’s third-largest airline by revenue, had alerted pilots that access codes to unlock cockpit doors were mistakenly posted on a public website by a flight attendant.

Cockpit security emerged as a top priority for airlines in September 2001, when hijackers took control of United and American Airlines planes and crashed them into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. A third airliner commandeered by jihadists crashed in a western Pennsylvania field.

The United unit of the Air Line Pilots Association said in a statement that the accidental leak of information showed the need for stronger protections for flight deck doors.

The union has long backed secondary barriers, which it said would cost $5,000 each, and called on Congress to mandate them. [REUTERS]

Slain DNC staffer had contact with WikiLeaks, investigator says

There is tangible evidence on the laptop of a former DNC staffer that confirms he was talking to WikiLeaks prior to his murder, a private investigator suggested Monday.

Seth Rich was killed last July in what authorities have called a robbery gone awry.

But Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. homicide detective and Fox News contributor, is leading a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder.

Wheeler told Fox 5 DC that he believes there is a cover up and the police department may have been told to back down from the investigation.

Wheeler added that a source in the D.C. police department “looked him in the eye” and told him that investigators were told to stand down in the case.

“Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department,” he said. “Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out.”

Links between Rich and WikiLeaks was raised when the Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website, offered a $20,000 reward leading to the arrest of the killers.

Assange also implied in August that Rich was killed because he was the WikiLeaks source of emails from top DNC officials showing they conspired to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders from becoming the party’s presidential nominee. That controversy resulted in Debbie Wasserman Schultz having to resign as DNC chairperson.

Security footage showed two men following Rich home moments before he was shot twice in the back. The camera only captured the assailants’ legs. Police said nothing of value was stolen from Rich.

Rich would have had access to sensitive DNC information. His main duty at the DNC was to build an online system to get out the vote. The system, which combines government data, technologies and formats from all 50 states, allows anyone to check if they are registered to vote and, if not, where to register and how. [FOXNEWS]


LOCAL


New York set to drop Workers Compensation rates yielding $400M in savings for employers

ALBANY – Workers Compensation rates in the state are set to drop 4.5%, a move that will save New York employers about $400 million in reduced premiums this year, state officials announced Monday.

In announcing the lower rates, the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board – a non-governmental rate service organization – cited the package of cost-saving measures implemented by Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers as part of the state’s recently adopted budget, including limits to certain temporary disability payments.

“The reforms to the Workers’ Compensation system in this year’s budget will help New York businesses cut costs – enabling them to further reinvest, grow and create more jobs across the state,” Cuomo said.

State business leaders also hailed the lower Workers Compensation rates and praised the state Senate’s GOP majority for making them a priority in budget talks. [DN]

3 people seen fleeing synagogue during wild inferno

Three people were caught on surveillance video fleeing an abandoned Lower East Side synagogue as it erupted in flames, police sources said Monday.

A fire engulfs the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue on Sunday, May 14, 2017.G.N. Miller
The footage shows the trio sprinting from the historic Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue — which has been plagued by trespassing teens for weeks — right around the start of Sunday’s 7 p.m. blaze, sources said.

Aerial photos show the charred landmarked building on Norfolk Street completely gutted and its facade destroyed.

A witness told FDNY marshals that he also saw the three people running from the synagogue as smoke began billowing from it, sources said.

The fleeing individuals, believed to be minors, were captured on video, sources said. Cops are not sure if they are involved in the blaze, but are looking to question them.

Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were briefly at the scene Monday. A high-ranking police source said the agents were there because the structure is a synagogue.

Authorities were still investigating the cause of the blaze. [NYP]

Horse on wild dash hit by taxi

A horse being ridden through traffic on Eighth Avenue toward Central Park for a tourist ride got spooked by a truck Monday morning and fell backward, hitting a taxi, its owner said.

Billy, a 16-year-old brown draft horse, and another white horse were being ridden by workers from their stable near 11th Avenue and 48th Street to meet with customers in the park when Billy lost his footing, said Hasan Ugder, the owner of the horse-rental business, Central Park Sightseeing.

A video of the incident, taken by a passer-by, showed Billy getting quickly back up his feet, flaring his nostrils.

“This horse just got hit by a cab,” Thomas Beckner, who identifies himself as a video director at Hearst, said in an Instagram post alongside a video of the 10 a.m. incident.

Taxi driver Lakhwinder Singh said he was stopped at the red light when the horse “went crazy” and bashed into his car, denting the side.

“It hit the truck and came back into my car. This is very dangerous, you know.”

Ugder said he offered his apologies to the cabbie and offered to pay for the damages.

Police said when officers responded to the scene, “all parties had departed, and nobody wished to make a report.”

The city’s Department of Health and Hygiene said the horses were licensed and walking at a normal pace when the accident happened.

The horse was examined by a veterinarian and did not sustain wounds, the agency said. [NYP]

Plane crashes near New Jersey airport

Two pilots were killed when the private plane they were flying crashed and burst into flames Monday afternoon during a failed landing at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, law-enforcement sources told The Post.

The Learjet 35 was en route from Philadelphia International Airport when it went down while approaching Teterboro’s Runway 1 at 3:30 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The twin-turbo aircraft hit the ground near Kero and Commerce roads in Carlstadt, about one-half mile from the runway, according to the Port Authority, which owns and operates the airport.

There were no passengers aboard the plane, officials told WNBC, but it was unclear if anyone on the ground was injured or killed. [NYP]


POLITICS


Deep State Leaks Highly Classified Info to Washington Post to Smear President Trump

Current and former U.S. officials, supposedly concerned that President Trump had shared some “highly classified information” with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S. last week, leaked that information to the Washington Post in anarticle published Monday.

However, the report admits that it is “unlikely” Trump broke any laws.

“As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law,” the report said.

In addition, his national security adviser, who was at the meeting, told the Post nothing was shared that was not already publicly known.

“At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly,” said Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

McMaster later told reporters at the White House, “Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of state, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources. I was in the room, it didn’t happen.”

“This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced,” added Dina Powell, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, who also attended the meeting.

The current and former officials told the Post that Trump shared information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak that was obtained by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing agreement and was so sensitive it was withheld from U.S. allies and restricted within the U.S. government.

The officials said Trump’s disclosure risked cooperation from an ally that had access to the inner workings of the Islamic State, which they then shared details of with the Post.

The current and former officials told the Post that Trump discussed an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

They said that senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and National Security Agency after the meeting.

The officials bashed the president, portraying him as “reckless.”

A “former senior U.S. official close to current administration officials” said Trump “seems to be very reckless, and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.”

They also claimed that Trump seemed to be “boasting” about his inside knowledge of the threat.

The officials said Trump “did not reveal the specific intelligence gathering method, but described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances.”

“Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat,” it said.

The officials then leaked the name of the city to the Post, which decided to withhold most of the plot details under the urging of current officials.

The officials said the name of the city would be useful for Russia to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved.

The Post said the officials declined to identify the ally that collected the information, but said, “It is one that has previously voiced frustration with Washington’s inability to safeguard sensitive information related to Iraq and Syria.”

The officials claimed Trump described measures the U.S. has taken or is contemplating to counter the threat, “including military operations in Iraq and Syria as well as other steps to tighten security,” but did not say what those were.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that was false.

“During President Trump’s meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov a broad range of subjects were discussed among which were common efforts and threats regarding counter-terrorism. During that exchange the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations,” he said. [BREITBART]

Deputy attorney general to brief full Senate on Comey firing

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will conduct a classified briefing on Thursday, May 18 for the full U.S. Senate on President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday.

The top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said in a statement he hoped senators would use the briefing at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT) to seek the “full truth” about Comey’s dismissal, press Rosenstein “to make way” for a special prosecutor and ensure the administration preserves and makes public any audio recordings of his conversations with Comey.

Critics have assailed Trump for abruptly firing Comey, who was leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Russia denies it sought to interfere in the election. Trump has dismissed such talk as little more than sour grapes by Democrats who cannot accept his upset victory on Nov. 8. [REUTERS]

Trump says process for finding new FBI chief is moving rapidly

President Donald Trump said on Monday that his search for a new FBI chief to replace the fired James Comey is moving quickly.

“Moving rapidly,” Trump told reporters when asked about the process as he met in the Oval Office with the Abu Dhabi crown prince. [REUTERS]

High Court Won’t Review North Carolina Voting Law

WASHINGTON — In a win for voting-rights advocates, the Supreme Court Monday declined to consider an appeal that sought to revive North Carolina’s Republican-backed tighter rules for voting.

The court’s action was a final legal blow against the restrictions. It came after the state’s new Democratic administration sought to drop the case, which prompted an intrastate squabble in which the GOP sought to keep it alive.

A federal appeals court last year invalidated the contested North Carolina voting rules, finding state lawmakers had enacted them with an intent to discriminate against black voters. Because the Supreme Court took a pass on the case, the appeals court ruling will remain the final word in the litigation.

North Carolina, with Republicans in control, passed the changes in 2013, citing a need to preserve the integrity of elections. The new rules didn’t allow voters to register and vote on the same day, and also didn’t allow voting out-of-precinct. The state also reduced the days available for voters to cast a ballot early. The state additionally imposed a requirement that most voters show photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or military or veteran’s identification card.

Voters, civil rights groups and the Obama-era Justice Department challenged the North Carolina law, arguing the state purposely made it harder for minorities to vote.

Litigation over the state restrictions was among the most closely watched election law battles ahead of last November’s vote.

The appeals court decision that prohibited the voting restrictions criticized North Carolina lawmakers for targeting African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.” [WSJ]


CULTURE


Former chief rabbi convicted of fraud, breach of trust

A former chief rabbi of Israel was convicted of fraud on Monday for his part in a bonus-scam that allegedly swindled hundreds of millions of shekels from the government in civil servants’ wages.

The Jerusalem District Court found Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron guilty of fraud offenses including fraud in aggravated circumstances, falsifying documents, and breach of trust.

He is the second former chief rabbi to be convicted of fraud this year after former Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yona Metzger pleaded guilty to fraud, theft, conspiracy, breach of trust, money laundering, tax offenses and accepting bribes involving some NIS 10 million ($2.6 million) under a plea bargain.

Bakshi-Doron was indicted in 2012 over his involvement in the scam, known as “the rabbis’ case,” which included the issuing of false rabbinic credentials to over 1,000 police and security services employees. The extra honorific entitled them to wage bonuses of NIS 2,000-4,000 ($530-$1060) a month.

As a result the government paid out hundreds of million of additional shekels to the civil servants.
Bakshi-Doron’s initial indictment was a first for a chief rabbi of Israel. He served as Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003 and, as head of the Chief Rabbinical Council of Israel, authorized the issuance of the rabbinic credentials.

According to the indictment, many of those who were issued with the bonus-earning credentials did not come close to having the necessary qualifications. However, Bakshi-Doron, 76, admitted ordering officials to “turn a blind eye” and rubber-stamp the necessary paperwork.

In 2007, indictments were served against 10 individuals involved in the ongoing investigation. Although Bakshi-Doron was questioned at the time, investigators decided that there was not enough evidence to prosecute him for any wrongdoing. However, at a later date, while giving testimony as a prosecution witness in court during the trial of those who were charged, the rabbi contradicted some of his earlier statements to police, whereupon the attorney general decided to press charges.

A date has not yet been set for sentencing deliberations. [ToI]


FINANCE


Researchers say global cyber attack similar to North Korean hacks

Cybersecurity researchers have found evidence they say could link North Korea with the WannaCry cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide as global authorities scrambled to prevent hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.

A researcher from South Korea’s Hauri Labs said on Tuesday their own findings matched those of Symantec and Kaspersky Lab, who said on Monday that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, identified by some researchers as a North Korea-run hacking operation.

“It is similar to North Korea’s backdoor malicious codes,” Simon Choi, a senior researcher with Hauri who has done extensive research into North Korea’s hacking capabilities and advises South Korean police and National Intelligence Service.

Both Symantec and Kaspersky said it was too early to tell whether North Korea was involved in the attacks, based on the evidence that was published on Twitter by Google security researcher Neel Mehta. The attacks, which slowed on Monday, are among the fastest-spreading extortion campaigns on record. [REUTERS]

Ford Aims to Cut Global Workforce by Roughly 10%

Ford Motor Co. aims to cut about 10% of its global workforce amid Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields’s drive to boost profits and the auto maker’s sliding stock price, according to people briefed on the plan.

The move comes as Ford targets $3 billion in cost reductions for 2017, a plan intended to improve profitability in 2018 even as U.S. auto sales plateau. Ford’s share price has suffered during Mr. Fields’s three-year tenure, and the company’s market value has slipped far behind those of Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co.

The job cuts, expected to be outlined as early as this week, largely target salaried employees, these people said. It is unclear if the plan includes reductions in the hourly workforce at Ford’s factories in the U.S. and abroad. Ford has 200,000 employees globally, half of which work in North America.

“We remain focused on the three strategic priorities that will create value and drive profitable growth, which include fortifying the profit pillars in our core business, transforming traditionally underperforming areas of our core business and investing aggressively, but prudently, in emerging opportunities,” Ford said in a statement.

“Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible also remain part of that work. We have not announced any new people efficiency actions, nor do we comment on speculation,” the company said.

Deep job cuts in the U.S. could trigger a political backlash at the White House, as President Donald Trump has repeatedly pointed to auto makers like Ford as examples of companies adding U.S. jobs.
Mr. Trump pressured Ford to pull back on Mexico production and invest in U.S. factories. Ford committed to scrap a Mexican factory that had been under construction until earlier this year. The company will add 700 jobs in Michigan with money saved in Mexico. [WSJ]

Here’s what the $10M-$20M NYC investment sales market looked like last week

2.) Marcal Group sold a 46-unit rental building in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens for $20 million to Joseph Weiss. Marcal bought the seven-story building at 382 Lefferts Avenue for $6 million in 2014. The previous owners had initially planned to build a 26-unit condo building but switched to middle-income affordable housing after the project stalled during the recession, and leasing opened building in 2013. Apartments rent for an average of $38 per square foot, according to StreetEasy. [TRD]

05/16/2017 10:33 AM by David Kinzer
Tags: Morning Read

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