Kushner family (Kikes) in talks to buy Miami Marlins

(JTA) — The family of presidential adviser Jared Kushner is in talks to purchase the Miami Marlins baseball team, The New York Times reported.

The Kushners, a New York area real estate family, regard the team’s $1.6 billion price tag as too high, the Times reported Thursday.

The negotiations, which have been ongoing for several months, are being led by Joshua Kushner, a venture capitalist and Jared’s younger brother, and Joseph Meyer, his brother-in-law and key lieutenant for the family’s investments.

The talks include a complicated financial arrangement that would include bringing in partners later, unnamed sources told the Times.

Jared Kushner is a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and the husband of his eldest daughter, Ivanka. The couple married in 2009 following her conversion to Judaism.

Neither Jared Kushner nor his father, Charles, the family patriarch who spent over a year in prison for illegal campaign donations, tax evasion and witness tampering, is participating in the effort, the sources added.

Any deal would have to be approved by Major League Baseball, which would closely scrutinize the buyer’s financing and probably seek to ensure that Charles Kushner had no role in operations, according to the Times report.

Jared Kushner, who has pledged to refrain from any involvement in transactions tied to his family to avoid the possibility of conflict of interests, had previously bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers with his brother. They eventually withdrew from the bidding in 2012. The winning group paid over $2 billion.

Representatives for the Kushners, the Marlins and the LionTree investment bank declined to comment when approached by the Times.

The Marlins are currently owned by Jeffrey Loria, a Jewish businessman from New York. He paid $158 million for the team in 2002 after selling the Montreal Expos back to Major League Baseball.

The Marlins won the World Series in 2003, defeating the New York Yankees, but since then have not returned to the playoffs.


Sanders said in talks with Clinton over endorsement

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns are discussing a potential event next week in New Hampshire during which the Vermont senator would endorse Clinton’s White House bid.

A Democrat familiar with the plans said Wednesday if the two sides continue to make progress, Clinton and Sanders would appear at the joint event Tuesday in New Hampshire. The Democrat spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the plans.

Clinton and Sanders officials declined comment on the possible rally, which was first reported by NBC News.

Sanders has withheld his endorsement of Clinton since the effective end of the Democratic primaries in mid-June, pressing for policy commitments from the campaign and party leaders developing the platform that will be considered at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. But he has shown signs of coming around.

The senator praised Clinton’s announcement of a proposal earlier Wednesday to tackle the rising cost of college tuition and the burden of student loan debt, calling it a “very bold initiative.” In a positive sign for Democratic unity, Sanders said he hoped to find more areas of agreement with Clinton “sooner rather than later.”

Sanders trounced Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, and holding the event in the Granite State would put the two rivals in a fall battleground state where Clinton will compete against Republican Donald Trump. It would also draw comparisons to 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama joined Clinton for an endorsement event in Unity, New Hampshire, a symbol-rich town where Obama and Clinton split the vote in the primary.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives to speak on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Sanders was wildly popular with young voters during the Democratic primaries, with many drawn to his calls for free tuition at all public colleges and universities. Clinton cast her opponent’s proposals as unrealistic, saying that while she shared his concerns about rising debt, she didn’t want wealthier families to be able to take advantage of opportunities aimed at the middle and lower classes.

The new policy proposal from Clinton would place a three-month moratorium on loan payments for all federal borrowers. It would also ensure that families with annual incomes up to $125,000 pay no tuition at in-state public colleges and universities.

Sanders said the plan combined “some of the strongest ideas which she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles I fought for. The final product is the result of the work of both campaigns.”

EU, Israel said in talks to restore ties hurt by labeling

European Union officials were said Wednesday to be in talks with their Israeli counterparts in an effort to end a diplomatic row over the EU’s new labeling guidelines for West Bank and Golan Heights products.

The EU announced last November it was instructing member states to begin labeling products manufactured by Israeli-owned companies in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as made in those areas rather than “made in Israel.” At the same time, EU foreign ministers voted to required any future agreements signed between the EU and Israel to stipulate that they do not apply to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

The decisions, especially over labeling, infuriated Israeli leaders, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charging that the moves gave the Palestinians an incentive to continue their campaign of international appeals instead of engaging in direct peace talks with Israel. In November, Netanyahu ordered that Israeli government agencies exclude the EU, a member of the peace process Quartet, from any Israeli-Palestinian engagement or negotiations efforts.

According to a report in the Haaretz daily Wednesday, the EU and Israel have launched quiet talks aimed at healing the breach.

While EU officials were quoted as saying the labeling recommendations would not be withdrawn, sources spoke of an unspecified concession the EU could grant Israel in compensation.

The talks may have been first proposed when Netanyahu and the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, met at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

European External Action Service Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid at the OSCE's Annual Security Review Conference in Vienna, June 26, 2012 (OSCE/Jonathan Perfect)

The talks were reportedly launched in the last two weeks, including during an unpublicized visit to Israel last week by the EU foreign service’s Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Helga Schmid, Mogherini’s top policy adviser, who met with Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold and officials from Israel’s National Security Council, among other government agencies.

During the meetings in Jerusalem, Israeli officials told the EU diplomat “that the decisions of the foreign ministers’ council of the European Union and the decision to mark [settlement] products were unilateral, and in practice adopted the Palestinian narrative,” an unnamed senior Israeli official told Haaretz. “That’s not how one conducts a respectful dialogue.”

Another unnamed official was quoted as saying that the EU “is very unhappy that we’ve frozen [all contacts] connected to the peace process. They understand they have to give us something in words and deeds.”

The tension between Israel and the EU has seen the union’s officials, especially European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Fernando Gentilini, all but absent from discussion with the Quartet and other forums. Meanwhile, Israel has begun demolishing EU-built Palestinian housing it says was constructed illegally in the Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank.