With sale of the Venetian, Las Vegas Sands exits the Strip
FILE - This Aug. 2, 2005 file photo shows the Venetian Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Las Vegas Sands is selling the real estate and operations of its Venetian casino resort and Sands Expo and Convention Center to VICI Properties and Apollo Global Management in a deal worth $6.25 billion. Under Adelson, the company's focus turned to Asia years ago, where revenue eventually outpaced even the operations on the Las Vegas Strip. AdThe global pandemic broadsided Las Vegas, shuttering the Strip where Las Vegas Sands has been the biggest operator for years. The Venetian, located on the Las Vegas Strip, has three luxury hotel towers with gaming, entertainment, shopping and dining.
Without Adelson, Las Vegas Sands posts $299 million loss
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)FILE - This June 17, 2014 file photo shows the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 reported a fourth-quarter loss of $299 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Sands Corp. posted a fourth-quarter loss of $299 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier, as the casino and resort operator saw its business dry up due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the first quarter Las Vegas Sands is reporting after the death of its CEO and chairman, Sheldon Adelson, earlier this month. Las Vegas Sands shares have fallen 18% since the beginning of the year.
Donor backlash fuels GOP alarm about Senate fundraising
The GOP already faces a difficult Senate map in 2022, when 14 Democratic-held seats and 20 Republican ones will be on the ballot. That includes at least two open seats that Republicans will be defending because of the retirements of GOP Sens. One of those lawmakers, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, is the new chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a post that makes him the public face of the Senate Republican fundraising efforts. But two senior Republican strategists involved in Senate races say the cumulative effect of the companies' decisions could have a bigger impact. That puts more pressure on the NRSC and the leading Senate Republican outside group, Senate Leadership Fund, to cover the difference.
Sheldon Adelson, casino mogul and GOP donor, dies at 87
Adelson died Monday night from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Las Vegas Sands announced Tuesday. “If you do things differently, success will follow you like a shadow,” he said during a 2014 talk to the gambling industry in Las Vegas. In politics, Adelson was a record-breaking campaign donor who had the ear of domestic and international leaders, including President Donald Trump. Late in 2015, Adelson secretly purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Soon his Macao revenue outstripped that of his Las Vegas holdings.
Convicted US spy Pollard arrives in Israel, welcomed by PM
The Israeli leader jubilantly presented Pollard and his wife Esther with Israeli ID cards, granting them citizenship. Pollard, 66, and his wife walked slowly down the steps as they exited from the aircraft. Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, sold military secrets to Israel while working at the Pentagon in the 1980s. Despite the damage he caused to relations with the U.S. over the years, Pollard was warmly embraced by Israel's nationalist politicians. His arrival in Israel gives the embattled Netanyahu a welcome boost as he fights for reelection in March 23 parliamentary elections.
Record shows US sold ambassador's home in Israel for $67M
An official record shows that the United States sold the ambassadors residence in Israel for more than $67 million in July. The State Department confirmed the sale in September but refused to identify the buyer or disclose the sale price of the sprawling beachfront compound in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya. At more than $67 million, it appears to be the most expensive single residence ever sold in Israel. In Israel, the sale price listed by the tax authority almost always matches the actual sale price, but in exceptional cases — for example, when a property is gifted to someone — the two may differ. The State Department had earlier said it would continue to lease the property until spring 2021, without specifying how much it would pay in rent.
Inauguration planners rethink how to party in age of virus
The inaugural platform on the Capitol's West Front is going up just like always, but it probably won't be as crowded. Work to build the inaugural platform at the Capitol and the White House reviewing stand began before the Nov. 3 election, as is traditional. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who heads the congressional inaugural committee, has been careful not to refute Trump’s baseless claims that he won the election. But Waltz said the congressional inaugural committee staff nonetheless is ready to work with Biden's Presidential Inaugural Committee. Even though plans are still taking shape, Biden's inaugural committee is already raising money for such events as balls and concerts.
GOP tries to save its Senate majority, with or without Trump
Republican senators are fighting to save their majority against an onslaught of challengers in states once off limits to Democrats that are now hotbeds of the backlash to President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans are fighting to save their majority, a final election push against the onslaught of challengers in states once off limits to Democrats but now hotbeds of a potential backlash to President Donald Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill. With it, a reelected Trump could confirm his nominees and ensure a backstop against legislation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. With the chamber now split, 53-47, three or four seats will determine Senate control, depending on which party wins the White House. Swooping in to fill the gap for Republicans is the Senate Leadership Fund, tapping deep-pocketed donors.
How Trump plowed through $1 billion, losing cash advantage
This time around, though, he was betting on a massive cash advantage to negatively define Biden and to defend his own record. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien insisted money was no issue. And it’s just not a good sign for the Trump campaign,” Ridout said. — Over $7.4 million spent at Trump-branded properties since 2017. — At least $35.2 million spent on Trump merchandise.
GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, wife finance anti-Biden group
The money from the couple has been the driving force behind a more than $76 million attack campaign against Biden by the group Preserve America, which launched in August. Preserve America declined to comment. A major funder of Republican causes, Adelson has donated over $250 million to GOP candidates and super PACs since 2015. And she noted that the group is coordinating advertising buying decisions with Preserve America. America First Action has raised nearly $200 million over the past two years, according to figures provided by the group.
Assange bugged while at Ecuadorian Embassy, UK court told
LONDON – Julian Assange's conversations in the latter part of his 7-year stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London were systematically bugged, even in the toilet, a London court heard Wednesday. Assange lived in the embassy for seven years from 2012 after seeking refuge there while fearing his potential extradition to the U.S. The anonymous witnesses both claimed that Morales said the surveillance was initiated at the behest of “our American friends" and that he had been handsomely rewarded. “All of these suggestions Morales said were under consideration during his dealing with his contacts in the United States,” the witness said. “I used a nearby socket to conceal a microphone in a cable in the toilet in the back of the embassy,” the witness said.
Trump camp hopes Mideast pacts translate to Jewish support
The Trump campaign is ramping up its own efforts as well, launching a new “Jewish Voices for Trump” initiative effort in September that centers on the president’s support for Israel. But whether Trump can gain ground with Jewish voters on the strength of his foreign policy agenda remains an unanswered question. And most Jewish voters broke for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Trump ended the call by telling the Jewish American leaders, “We really appreciate you. This includes Orthodox Jews, who comprise a minority of the Jewish American population but skew majority-Republican, according to a 2013 Pew study.
UN food chief urges rich to help keep millions from starving
In this Nov. 14, 2008, file photo, a woman receives a bag of maize meal from the World Food Program in the town of Rutshuru, eastern Congo. The World Food Program chief warned Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, that millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and he urged donor nations and billionaires to help feed them and ensure their survival. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)TANZANIA – The World Food Program chief warned Thursday that millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and he urged donor nations and billionaires to help feed them and ensure their survival. And in Nigeria and South Sudan, millions more people have become food insecure because of the pandemic, he said. He said WFP needs $4.9 billion to feed 30 million people who will die without the program's assistance for a year.
Congress questions sale of US residence in Israel to Adelson
WASHINGTON The State Department has informally confirmed to Congress that Republican super-donor Sheldon Adelson is the buyer of the U.S. ambassadors official residence in Israel, a congressional aide told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The U.S. Embassy in Israel announced the deal this week -- a sale that is meant to cement President Donald Trump's controversial move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A congressional aide said the State Department has confirmed public reports of the sale to Adelson. However, the State Department also said it is not at liberty to comment on the details related to contracts underway with private entities. Nearly all foreign delegations have their embassies in Tel Aviv because of Jerusalems contested status.
Spain: court hears testimony on whether Assange was spied on
Spanish lawyer Baltasar Garzon, who is part of Assange's legal team, second left, arrives at Spain's National Court in Madrid, Spain, Monday, July 27, 2020. Spain's National Court is due to hear testimony Monday in an investigation into whether a Spanish company was hired to spy on Julian Assange during the seven years the Wikileaks founder spent in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID Spains National Court is due to hear testimony Monday in an investigation into whether a Spanish company was hired to spy on Julian Assange during the seven years the WikiLeaks founder spent in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Staff of the Spanish security company are due to testify on Tuesday. Assanges legal team says the court has asked U.S. authorities to question Lahav and Rohrabacher on its behalf.