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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘million’

As 5777 Rolls In, Israel’s Population at 8.585 Million

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

On the eve of the Jewish new year 5777, Israel’s population is estimated at 8.585 million, not including about 183 thousand foreign residents, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Jewish population of Israel has reached about 6.419 million, constituting 74.8% of the overall population.

The Arab population is 1.786 million, or 20.8% of the overall population.

Non-Arab Christians, as well as members of other religions and individuals without religious affiliation are estimated at 380 thousand, about 4.4% of the overall population.

Since last Rosh Hashanah, Israel’s population has grown by about 172,000. The rate of growth remained at 2%, similar to previous years.

About 189 thousand babies were born in Israel in 5776, and an estimated 46 thousand passed away.

Some 30 thousand were added to the immigration balance, 25 thousand out of them new olim.

It should be noted that 5776 was a leap year, with 13 lunar months, or 385 days.


He Promised $100 Million, Now Adelson Finally Gives Trump $5 Million

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Back in May, the NY Times reported that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson promised presidential hopeful Donald Trump in a private meeting that he was willing to contribute “a sum that could exceed $100 million,” this “according to two Republicans with direct knowledge of Mr. Adelson’s commitment.” Well, according to CNN, on Tuesday Adelson kept 5% of said commitment. This time Adelson, who in 2012 sank $100 million in several Republican nominees and ended up with zero returns on his investment, will hand out $40 million to Congressional Republicans and only $5 million to the Trump campaign.

CNN pointed out that even this smaller donation is the first the Adelsons have doled out in all of the 2016 election season. After the giant bundle he parted with four years ago, Adelson has been courted by the entire Republican presidential field and every Republican on the Hill. Now that Sheldon and his wife Miriam have decided to give something, other big time GOP donors might get over their fears of helping Trump become the next president. In that context, Trump needed Adelson’s approval more than his money.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party have had their best fundraising month in August, pulling in $143 million for the campaign and for the party. This represents a 58% rise from July, when Hillary took in $90 million. The Washington Post reported that in August $62 million went to Hillary and $81 million to the Democratic National Committee and state parties. So, pneumonia, shneumonia, Hillary attended more than 70 fundraising events in August.

In May, Adelson wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post that since “it is clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president … I am endorsing Trump’s bid for president and strongly encourage my fellow Republicans — especially our Republican elected officials, party loyalists and operatives, and those who provide important financial backing — to do the same.” Not so much out of his admiration for the real estate magnate from New York City, but because “the alternative to Trump being sworn in as the nation’s 45th president is frightening.”

Adelson berated “some Republicans” who are “sitting on the sidelines, threatening to stay home on Election Day or, worse, suggesting they will vote for Clinton. They must realize the stakes are too high for an outcome that will have a damaging impact on our country.”

So, it’s clear Adelson doesn’t like Hillary Clinton. Does the same go for his protégé, Prime Minister Netanyahu? Who knows. The fact that Adelson is only risking $5 million on his Trump investment, after having lavished so much more on the likes of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, speaks volumes.

David Israel

Agreement Reached on PA $530 Million Electricity Debt

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Following a year-long negotiation, Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday signed an outline for the resolution of the latter’s debt to the Israel Electric Company as well as the reorganization of the PA energy market. As part of the outline, the PA will transfer to the IEC about $150 million, out of an overall accumulated debt of $530 million, in return for an Israeli agreement to forgive about $132 million in accumulated interest. The rest will be paid by the PA in 48 payments over the next four years.

The agreement was signed at the Government Compound in Tel Aviv, by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and the PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh.

The agreement places full responsibility for electric bills collection on the PA, which in the past rejected its responsibility for the debt, claiming it fell under the jurisdiction of local electricity distribution companies. This will enable the IEC to deal with just one PA customer, instead of the long list of power companies and individual clients it had been serving in the PA — and had difficulties collecting from. The mounting debt curbed the IEC’s capacity to develop and increase the power it was offering the PA economy. In fact, in an attempt to collect the debt, the IEC would initiate blackouts in various municipalities across the PA, and collected a portion of the taxes Israel collects for the PA on goods and income, which made things even worse for local economies and was fiercely criticized abroad.

Now Israel will pay the PA the more than $260 million it withheld on behalf of the IEC.

The Israeli Finance Ministry was delighted with the new agreement, stating that it will “establish a stable and fair commercial relationship between the IEC and the PA, introduce steps to guarantee full payment for future PA consumption, as well as facilitate new energy projects” for the economic development of the PA.

Minister Kahlon said at the signing that the new deal “will spare us many future disagreements and conflicts,” adding that “this is a first step on a long road and both sides are required to show dedication and decisiveness to complete the application of the outline.”

Minister Al-Sheikh said he hoped this negotiation would be one of many peace agreements between the PA and Israel.


Israel Expected to Supply Additional 30 Million Cubic Meters of Water to PA

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

At the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, Israel’s representative, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, reported the anticipated signing of an agreement by Israel to supply the Palestinian Authority with an additional 30 Million cubic meters of water (6,599,077,500 gallons) as part of the planned Red Sea–Dead Sea Canal.

All of which did not stop the PA representative from launching a sharp attack on Israel’s water policy.

David Israel

Israeli Satellite Company Sold to Chinese for $285 Million

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is buying Israeli Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd for $285 million, both companies announced last week. Spacecom operates the Amos-2, Amos-3 and Amos-4 communications satellites and is owned by Eurocom Group, which is controlled, in turn, by Shaul Elovitch, controlling shareholder of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication.

According to a press release statement, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group is buying Spacecom and will integrate it into an existing Luxembourg company called Luxembourg Space Telecommunication S.A., which will be the legal purchaser of Spacecom. After the acquisition is complete, Spacecom will become a private company, but its debentures will continue to be traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The merger requires shareholder and regulatory approval before it can be finalized. According to Space News, the transaction’s terms are pending the successful entry into service of Spacecom’s Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Sept. 3 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The price being paid is a 30% premium on the share’s market price, according to Globes. The deal reflects a premium of 41 percent to Spacecom’s average stock price in the past month, according to Reuters.

Spacecom Chief Executive David Pollack said in a statement that the “global market of communication satellites is undergoing a consolidation process, enabling the merging companies to improve their competitiveness,” and so “further to contacts with various entities, the negotiations with the Beijing Xinwei Group matured into this transaction, reflecting a substantial premium on the market price.”

Pollack noted that “Beijing Xinwei is a strategic partner, expert in the field of telecommunication, planning to expand its business in the communication satellites field. The merger will provide the Company with financial strength, and will enable further development and growth. The transaction is performed in accordance with Space Communication’s license terms, stipulating, inter alia, that the satellites will be operated from Israel, and that the Company shall remain an Israeli company, regardless of the identity of the shareholders of the Company.”


Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.


Lakewood Man Loses Bid to Change Guilty Plea in $200 Million Ponzi Scheme

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Eliyahu Weinstein, 41, a Lakewood man sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2014 for a Ponzi scheme that defrauded members of the Jewish Orthodox community of an estimated $200 million, on Friday lost his appeal to withdraw his guilty plea.

The new Weinstein plea argued that the federal judge who presided over his case, in which Weinstein admitted defrauding fellow Jewish investors on a Facebook initial public offering, was biased against the defendant because he was also involved in a case in which Weinstein pleaded guilty to a real estate scheme. Weinstein also accused his own lawyer in the 2014 Facebook IPO case of a conflict of interest because he had advised some of Weinstein’s investors, and feared his own prosecution. Weinstein’s new plea also argued that the Facebook case constituted double jeopardy.

On Friday, a three-judge panel with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Weinstein’s plea, finding that judge’s participation in the real estate scheme was too limited to suggest a bias and that Weinstein’s plea was based on “unsubstantiated hearsay.” The panel also absolved Weinstein’s original attorney of the accusation of conflict of interest, because when that lawyer was counseling clients on the IPO investment his assumption was that their money would be invested, not end up in Weinstein’s pocket. Which meant that the attorney had nothing to worry about and could represent Weinstein without fear for his own prosecution.

According to court documents, in February 2012 Weinstein and two co-conspirators offered two investors a chance to purchase large blocks of Facebook shares before the initial IPO in May 2012. Between February and March of 2012 the two “Facebook victims” wired millions of dollars to an account set up by Weinstein and a co-conspirator. That’s the last time they saw their money. Around the same time, Weinstein and his two co-conspirators talked the same investors into buying the Belle Glade Gardens apartment complex in Florida. The investors wired $2.83 million, of which Weinstein sent $1.8 million back to his victims as “return” on their Facebook investment. In July 2012, Weinstein scammed a different group of investors over purchasing seven condominiums in Florida at a discounted price of $3 million, and pocketed the money.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lakewood-man-loses-bid-to-change-guilty-plea-in-200-million-ponzi-scheme/2016/08/15/

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