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Trump International Hotel sale stalled

The planned sale of the Trump International Hotel has been put on hold indefinitely.

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The spirited efforts made by the Trump Organization to dispose of its Trump International Hotel in Washington DC was truncated, as the sale has been put on hold indefinitely.

This is even as the organization had already engaged Mr. Jones Lang LaSalle to look for buyers.

READ: Game Changing in Nigeria’s Lodging Industry – Hotel Chain

According to CNBC News, the asking price for the property is about $500m but none of the bids was close, with several bids less than $250m.

In consideration of the subsisting lease terms, industry executives and advisors are of the opinion that any realistic bid to purchase the hotel would have to be around $150 million to $175 million which is even less than the Trump Org.’s $200 million investment.

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READ: Hotels in Nigeria are on the verge of collapse

This scenario leaves the organization with the inevitable option of selling at a loss and as well default on the loans from Deutsche Bank loan and turn over the keys, or try to keep the property and return to profitability, at the end of the day.

What they are saying

According to Brian Friedman, CEO of Friedman Capital, who owns chains of hotels and properties in the DC area and as well bided for the property, “At this point, they could either just turn over the keys, or keep it and make it part of whatever media company the President decides to create. I just don’t think they’re going to get the price they expected.”

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According to industry executives, “Faced with a $100 million loan from Deutsche Bank on the property and continued losses, the Trump Organization may end up either having to subsidize the business for years to come, or default on the loan and hand back the property.”

READ: Donald Trump bans American investments in companies linked to Chinese military

In response to the insinuations by the industry executives, the Spokesman for the organization said, “There are absolutely no plans to default on the loan, nor have we ever missed a payment. As for the stalled sales effort, we have had offers north of $350M, which would have been the most expensive price ever paid for a hotel in Washington D.C. and we have rejected those offers in full. Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C. is one of the finest hotels in the country as rated by Conde Nast and so many others.”

According to President Trump, he admitted to have overpaid for the property and said, “I mean, we are paying too much for the Old post office. But we will make that so amazing that at some point in the future it’ll be very nice.”

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READ: Unmarked hotels and short-stay apartments report high occupancy rates during COVID-19

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What you should know

  • The Trump International Hotel is the flagship company of Donald Trump’s diversified business empire and was officially opened for business in October, 2016.
  • In 2019, the hotel achieved a total sum of $40.5m in revenue.
  • The Trump Organization is expected to pay $3 million annually over 60 years lease period and the sum of $200m was invested to renovate the property, out of which $100m was a loan from Deutsche Bank.
  • Importantly, potential buyers/bidders are averse and finding it difficult to agreeing to keeping the Trump name on the hotel which is one of the conditions of the offer.

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Biden to appoint Nigerian-born attorney as Deputy Treasury Secretary

Nigerian-born attorney, Adewale Adeyemo has been selected by US President-elect, Joe Biden as Deputy Treasury Secretary.

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United States President-elect, Joe Biden, has selected a Nigerian-born attorney, Adewale Adeyemo, as the Deputy Treasury Secretary.

This was disclosed by Biden on Sunday, according to Wall Street Journal.

Adeyemo, who is a former senior international economic adviser during the Obama administration, will serve under former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who Biden plans to appoint to lead the US Treasury Department.

Adeyemo’s appointment is one of many key cabinet positions Biden is expected to announce in the coming days.

What you need to know

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Born in Nigeria, Adeyemo was raised in California where he obtained a bachelor’s degree before proceeding to Yale Law School for his legal education.

Before his appointment into the Obama administration, Adeyemo worked as an editor at the Hamilton Project, then served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to Jack Lew in the United States Department of Treasury.

He later worked as the chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and also served as the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Elizabeth Warren.

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In 2015, he was appointed to concurrently serve as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

He went on to become the first president of the Obama Foundation.

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Canada extends travelers’ restrictions to January 2021

The Canadian Government has extended a temporary travel restrictions for all travelers seeking entry into the country.

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The Canadian Government has extended the mandatory isolation order and temporary travel restrictions for all travelers seeking entry into the country, except the United States, to January 2021.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, on Sunday.

In a statement seen by Nairametrics, he explained that the travel restrictions for US citizens and foreign nationals arriving from the US would remain in place until December 21, 2020 and might be extended at that time.

READ: Apple, Google launch COVID-19 exposure notifications in phones for contact tracing

The decision was taken to protect Canadians from COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the disease in Canada. Blair said: 

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“Protecting the health and safety of Canadians is my most important responsibility. We have introduced a number of policies to keep Canadians safe but must remain flexible and adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation, while keeping your health as our top priority.

READ: Four ways Nigerian government can minimize impact of COVID-19

“The ability to align US and international travel extension dates, as well as the Mandatory Isolation Order, beginning on January 21, 2021 will enable the Government to communicate any travel extensions or changes as quickly as possible and provide certainty for Canadians, US and international travelers.

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“In addition, the Government is amending its order and creating a framework for considering applications from high-performance amateur sport organizations seeking to hold International Single Sport Events.”

To be considered, applicants are expected to include written commitments of ongoing support from provincial/territorial and local public health authorities and provincial/territorial governments, as well as a robust plan to protect public health and the health of participants.

READ: Football: Lyon lost €36.5 million in the 2019/20 financial year

The authorization would be issued by the Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada) in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who has recently come into close contact with someone infected with COVID-19, should continue to quarantine or isolate for 14 days. At all Canadian ports of entry, the final determination on a traveler’s admissibility is made by border services officers who base their decision on the information presented and available to them at the time of entry,” he added.

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Quick Facts

  • The Department of Canadian Heritage will determine which foreign nationals can receive accreditation to enter Canada to participate in an International Single Sport Event.
  • An International Single Sport Event includes World Championships, Olympic or Paralympic Qualifications, as well as World Cups.
  • A high-performance amateur athlete is defined as an athlete competing at the international level and affiliated with his or her country’s national sport federation.

READ: COVID-19: NAFDAC to grant emergency approval for necessary products

What you need to know

In March, 2020, the Government introduced several measures, including prohibitions and restrictions on discretionary and optional travel from the United States (US) and all other countries, to minimize the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Canadians.

The measures included the requirement for all travelers entering Canada to quarantine or isolate for 14 days.

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Trump administration acknowledges likely election loss, agrees to transition with Biden

Trump administration seems to have officially commenced the transition to Biden after weeks of delay and law suits.

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President Trump leaves Walter Reed Hospital

The Donald Trump administration seems to have acknowledged the loss of the presidential election as the General Services Administration (GSA), after weeks of non-cooperation has informed President-elect, Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.

According to a report from CNN, this was disclosed in a letter from the Administrator of DSA, Emily Murphy on Monday afternoon, November 23, 2020.

READ: Donald Trump bans American investments in companies linked to Chinese military

The letter is the first major step taken by the Trump administration to acknowledge its defeat in the presidential election after over 2 weeks that Joe Biden was declared the winner.

Monday’s letter is coming hours after Michigan formally certified the election results and some Republican senators had called for the transition process to start. This is also as more lawsuits from Trump’s legal team were dismissed, and Georgia election earlier certified on Friday and Pennsylvania set to be certified as well.

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READ: U.S. budget suffers a deficit of $3.1 trillion in 2020, as pandemic slams the economy

While making the decision to cooperate with the President-elect, Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision out of fear or favoritism.

She said, “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official, including those who work at the White House or GSA, with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

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The letter signifies Murphy’s formal acknowledgment of Joe Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. This action will allow the transition process, which has been delayed for some weeks, to officially commence, ensuring that current administration agency officials cooperate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.

For some weeks after his announcement as the winner of the presidential election, the Biden team who have been denied access to government information and agencies by the Trump administration, had worked informally to kick start the transition process with some actions which include setting up a coronavirus task force, consulting with public health officials outside the government, meeting with top corporate leaders, amongst others.

READ: US Election: China congratulates Joe Biden

The delay in ascertainment meant that Biden’s team was denied access to government data and could not make contact with federal agencies, nor spend $6.3 million in government funding now available for the transition. A Biden official said the most urgent need was for the transition to be given access to Covid-19 data and the vaccine distribution plans.

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The Biden team is expected to have access to additional office space inside the agencies and the ability to use federal resources for background checks on Biden’s White House staff appointments and Cabinet appointments.

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Moments after the letter was sent, Donald Trump tweeted thanking Murphy for her work and affirming the decision to start the transition.

READ: How the United States plans to control the African Development Bank

His tweet reads, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused — and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” Trump tweeted. “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”

This letter from GSA now means that the Biden team will now have access to government agency staff with regular briefings in addition to details of administrative issues that need to be addressed immediately.

The President-elect and his vice will also be receiving classified intelligence briefings as white house officials will start to cooperate.

It can be recalled that Murphy, who was appointed by Donald Trump, had refused to go ahead with the ascertainment process, despite Biden’s clear victory. She has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition.

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