From left: Tom Barrack, former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.Play “six degrees of separation” with Middle Eastern investors active in the U.S. real estate market, and chances are Tom Barrack’s name would pop up.The founder of Colony Capital is under scrutiny for his ties to the wealthy Middle Eastern nations of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Federal prosecutors are looking at whether Barrack, whose firm took in $1.5 billion from those two countries since his close friend Donald Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, sought to sway the Trump campaign and later the administration when it came to foreign-policy decisions.Barrack, an Arabic speaker of Lebanese descent, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But over his career, he’s developed deep ties to the Middle East and has been one of the most successful industry figures at bringing in money from wealthy investors there.ADVERTISEMENTHis dealings in the region date back to the 1970s, when he was a lawyer at the firm of Herbert Kalmbach, who had served as President Nixon’s personal attorney and was a prominent character in the Watergate scandal.In 1972, a client at Kalmbach’s firm asked him to play squash with some local Saudi contacts, and he ended up partnering with the son of the king of Saudi Arabia, according to an account in The Hill.“I had no idea who he was, but my boss said, ‘However much he wants to play, you play,” Barrack said in a 2014 speech at the Lebanese consulate in L.A. “We ended up playing three hours a day.”Teaming upMiddle Eastern investors have poured billions of dollars into Colony Capital over the years.After teaming with Saudi Prince Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on the Fairmont chain in 2006, Barrack partnered with the Qatar Investment Authority to buy Miramax Films for $660 million four years later. They sold the company to Doha-based beIN Media Group for an undisclosed sum.And in 2011, amid the upheaval of the Arab Spring, Barrack swam against the current by saying he would be “looking hard” at expanding his then-$200 million worth of investments in the region.“The time to buy is when everybody else is running for the hills,” he said at the time. “The Middle East is printing money and it’s used to operating in chaos.”A year later, Colony sold several luxury properties in Sardinia to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, a move that prompted Italian prosecutors in 2017 to accuse him of avoiding taxes in the deal.The New York Times reported that Colony has raised more than $7 billion in investments since Trump’s nomination, nearly a quarter of it coming from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.Barrack’s support for Trump has complicated his relationships in the region, particularly after the president’s 2015 comments on the presidential campaign trail that called for a temporary but “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” The Times uncovered emails in which Barrack tried to assuage United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba’s concerns over the ban. The emails were regarding those 2015 comments, which Trump, as president in 2017, switched to a travel ban on people from majority Muslim countries. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were never on the list of banned nations.“We can turn him to prudence,” Barrack wrote in an email at the time, referring to Trump. “He needs a few really smart Arab minds to whom he can confer — u r at the top of that list!”Pushing backBarrack appears to have chosen his business over a closer role with Trump’s White House. The White House has offered Barrack at least one job before — in mid-2017 he was considered for U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, but that never happened.Barrack says he has also pushed back on Trump over his more divisive comments about the Middle East. In June 2017, when the president called Qatar a “funder of terrorism at a very high level,” Barrack reportedly told him, “you don’t need to get involved.”A month earlier, Qatar’s neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and blockaded the tiny nation. It was done over claims that Qatar financed terrorism and was becoming too close with regional rival Iran, which supports Houthi fighters in Yemen fighting a civil war against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. The blockade remains in effect.The split between Qatar and its neighbors put Barrack in a difficult spot, since he had deep connections with both sides. Two years ago, he filed plans for a 77,000-square-foot mega-mansion in Bel Air. But this palace was not for him. Barrack filed the design, sources said at the time, on behalf of former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.At a February business summit in Abu Dhabi, Barrack jumped to the defense of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the kingdom admitted dissident journalist — and U.S. resident —Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the embassy in Istanbul.“… The atrocities in America are equal or worse to the atrocities in Saudi Arabia,” Barrack said, at the event hosted by CNN. “The atrocities in any autocratic country are dictated by the rule of law. So for us to dictate what we think is the moral code there when we have a young man and a regime that’s trying to push themselves into 2030 I think is a mistake.”Barrack later apologized for the remarks, calling the October 2018 killing “atrocious” and “inexcusable.” The CIA has found credible evidence to conclude bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s execution.Barrack now appears to be reducing his role at Colony. The firm announced in July that he would step down as CEO as part of a merger with Digital Bridge Holdings that will see Digital Bridge CEO Marc Ganzi take the reins. Barrack will return to his role as executive chairman when the merger is completed sometime in the next two years.Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund invested in a $4 billion Colony-Digital Bridge fund, a deal that preceded the recent merger. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now
Dead & Company, the Grateful Dead spinoff band consisting of rhythm guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir, drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, bassist/vocalist Oteil Burbridge, and lead guitarist/vocalist John Mayer resumed their summer tour at the venue known and loved by Deadheads since 1989 as Deer Creek Music Center, but whose current corporate sponsor has deemed it the “Ruoff Home Mortgage Center.” This was the first show after an initial run of six performances on the west coast as part of their ongoing summer trek that contained a few new songs and some nice peaks, and Midwestern fans were excited for their first in-person taste of this tour.While the traditional Appalachian murder ballad “Cold Rain & Snow” was not an accurate reflection of the 70-degrees-and-humid weather at showtime, the Mayer-sung tune was nonetheless a well-received start to the show, and his mid-song guitar solo hit several satisfying notes to get things off to a solid start. Weir quickly followed with, the New Orleans classic “Iko Iko”, giving the Indiana crowd an early treat by moving this one forward to the first set after last week’s prominent second-set appearance at the Hollywood Bowl.The party continued with the tour debut of Weir’s “Minglewood Blues”, one of the oldest and trustiest first-set numbers in the repertoire, and a song that was born in the 1920s as a Memphis jug band tune. The first Grateful Dead original came next in the firm of the “Tennessee Jed”, and this Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter classic fit the varied, but very American run of songs.Then came a detour into back-to-back love songs, always a rarity in the live catalog used by the Dead and its various spinoffs. Mayer got the first shot at it with “Sugaree”, a timeless ode to a woman who has to remain secret, and an ode with three opportunities for Mayer to churn out bubbling guitar solos as the band swayed behind him. Not to be outdone, Weir responded with the tour debut of his classic “Looks Like Rain”, which was co-written with the late, great John Barlow and remains Weir’s most emotional lyric.The American vibe soon returned with the mysterious world of “Row Jimmy”, which seems to be back in the band’s favor this summer. For the second time this show, a song whose tour debut was in the second set (this time at Saturday Shoreline), John Mayer’s vocals give Dead & Company versions and earthier, woodier flavor and he also played a beautiful solo, but by its end the band had aired four consecutive slower songs and a tempo change was needed.Some familiar-sounding chords soon ushered in the first “Let It Grow” of the tour, and the first performance of the song since Shoreline last year. It was played at a slightly slower pace to start, but that didn’t affect Mayer’s ability to scatter beautiful, delicate leads throughout the verses and bridge. When it came time for the song’s larger jam that’s split into three distinct sections, Mayer’s smooth and subtle leads continued through the first section and maintained the slower pace, but as Weir led the band into the “quieter” second section, the band picked up the pace with Mayer’s leads growing more authoritative as Chimenti added thick piano chords behind him. The third and final section reverted back to a slightly slower tempo once again. The music quickly started to bounce thanks to Oteil’s heard-and-felt bass line. The jam soon regained full momentum when Chimenti was given an extended piano solo that he made the most of, only to hear Mayer returned the favor from a few minutes earlier by strumming some subtle power chords in support. All in all, a welcome closer to a generous and thematically consistent first set.Watch the opening performance from set one below.Dead & Company – “Cold, Rain & Snow” [Pro-Shot] – 6/12/2019[Video: Dead & Company]The second set started with a bit of a surprise in “Fire On The Mountain”, which for the second straight appearance was disconnected from its traditional partner “Scarlet Begonias”. The song got off to a quick, upbeat start as Oteil quickly dove into his first lead vocal of the evening, to a loud cheer from the crowd. Mayer’s solo after the final verse soon hit a nice groove as he stared into space and bobbed back and forth, allowing himself to just get lost in the music for a couple of minutes before circling back to the famous descending guitar solo line made famous by Jerry Garcia.After “Fire” came to a full stop after 10 minutes, the mood changed dramatically with Weir’s opening chords to “Lost Sailor”, and a languorous vibe quickly washed over the crowd. It was a beautiful version of a song where Dead & Company’s style is perfectly suited to its every hook and melody. After the nice, expected crescendo, Weir led the band into “Sailor’s” longtime companion song “Saint Of Circumstance”, which was well-played but suffered from a slower tempo that affected the waves of momentum that this song can generate on its best nights.The relaxed vibe continued with “He’s Gone” as Weir and Mayer traded vocals on the Garcia/Hunter classic that debuted way back on the incomparable Europe ’72 Tour. Chimenti’s piano added some bluesy flavor in between the vocal lines as the crowd sang along with all the big verse and chorus parts. During the vocal outro, Mayer’s bluesy solos slowly increased in intensity and prompted a gathering of band momentum, and after a minute or so it quickly became obvious that the band was heading right for one of the most tried-and-true options to flow from “He’s Gone”: the Grateful Dead’s signature song, “Truckin’”. After a spirited romp through the song, which started unusually by using its outro jam as the intro, the band served up another familiar and welcome progression, drifting into the Howlin’ Wolf classic “Smokestack Lightning” in a surely unintentional repeat of this pairing that occurred at the Dead’s first show at Deer Creek in 1989. There was further toying with the “Truckin’” riff during an outro jam that lasted several minutes before yielding the stage to the two drummers after almost an hour of music.The “Drums” segment got off to a quieter start as Kreutzmann played syncopated beats on his kit while Hart gently pawed at the beam, and within a couple of minutes, Burbridge was out there using a pair of mallets to make it a trio. The relative lack of electronics gave the drums an “80s Dead” feel at times, but the closing salvo of the trio pounding away on drums with phased effects and an electronic sequence under it was very much a reflection of the drums segment as it exists in 2019. After Hart made a short return to the beam the frontline musicians returned for a brief “Space” segment, highlighted by Mayer’s use of a thick, dirty tone while playing short, sharp bursts of notes.Soon the drummers returned and laid down a gentle beat while Mayer noodled for a couple of minutes, backed by Chimenti’s chords and giving no clear hint as to what was coming next. Eventually Weir sprung the three-chord progression that comprises Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”, but this version opened at a slower tempo until Mayer’s quick solo after the first verse prompted a welcome increase in velocity. Mayer’s final solo hit a nice peak before a reggae-style vocal outro led by Weir slowed the tempo to allow “Stella Blue” to make its drifting entrance. This is one of the Garcia ballads where Weir’s vocal phrasing really works effectively, and rather incredibly. Back out in the real world, the NHL’s St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup since their inception in 1967 during the song’s final minutes.The set came to a more upbeat close by circling back to the show’s opening Americana themes via a spirited “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad”, Woody Guthrie’s Great Depression-era lament that was somehow recast as an optimistic song once the Grateful Dead got hold of it. Weir, Mayer, and Burbridge each sang a verse and both Chimenti and Mayer delivered hot solos before the final choruses brought the set to a close. All things considered, while “Fire On The Mountain” served as a fun opener to the set, it was an outlier as it was a stand-alone version that didn’t feel connected to the at-times slower but certainly cohesive run of music that followed.Watch the second set-opening performance of “Fire on the Mountain” below.Dead & Company – “Fire on the Mountain” [Pro-Shot] – 6/12/2019[Video: Dead & Company]For the encore, the band made a wise choice with the tour debut of “Black Muddy River”, which fit the overall vibe of the evening perfectly and allowed the crowd to gently drift back to earth. This was Dead & Company’s first performance of the song since last year’s experimental version at Alpine Valley which featured guest artist Justin Vernon’s falsetto vocals, but this time Mayer was on his own. And just like with “Row Jimmy”, Mayer’s rough-but-somehow-polished vocals give this one a different, welcome flavor that the crowd could savor on the walk back to the parking lot after the band took their bows.Dead and Company’s summer tour continues this weekend with performances scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.Setlist: Dead & Company | Ruoff Home Mortgage Center | Noblesville, IN | 6/12/2019Set 1: Cold Rain & Snow, Iko Iko, Minglewood Blues, Tennessee Jed, Sugaree, Looks Like Rain, Row Jimmy, Let It GrowSet 2: Fire On The Mountain, Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance, He’s Gone > Truckin’ > Smokestack Lightning > Drums > Space > All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover) > Stella Blue > Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad (Woody Guthrie cover)Encore: Black Muddy River
Qorvo has announced financial results for the Company’s fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, that ended on March 30, 2019. The revenue for Qorvo’s fiscal 2019 fourth quarter was $681 million, gross margin was 39.2%, operating income was $64 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.50.They ended the fiscal year 2019 strongly with March quarter revenue, gross margin and earnings per share well above their initial expectations. They forecast an even stronger start to fiscal year 2020 and currently project growth in revenue, earnings and free cash flow for full-year fiscal 2020.Strategic HighlightsAcquired Active-Semi International, entering rapidly growing $3B power management marketAchieved IDP revenue of $238 million, led by strength in 5G base station deployments, including massive MIMOAwarded entire RF front end section, including BAW filtering, for meshed Wi-Fi access points by a leading manufacturer of Wi-Fi home networking systemsSecured multi-year design win to supply GaAs and GaN components to Lockheed Martin for U.S. Department of Defense ground-based radar programIncreased support of 5G massive MIMO infrastructure deployments and secured new design wins across all anticipated sub-6 GHz 5G frequency bandsSupplied production volumes of highly integrated mid-/high-band PADs to the world’s top-six smartphone OEMs and received orders for next-generation 5G-enabled variants Introduced industry’s first stand-alone ET PMIC capable of modulating the power supply at 100 MHz for 5G New Radio (NR) operationDelivered record shipments of BAW-based band 1/3 quadplexers and achieved first design wins for highly integrated BAW-based hexaplexers, enabling higher orders of carrier aggregation Sampled BAW-based 5G antennaplexer solutions allowing customers to utilize current antenna architectures for 5G devices Experienced robust revenue growth for tuners and envelope trackers (ET) in support of some of the world’s most popular wearable devicesBob Bruggeworth, CEO of Qorvo feels that they executed well in the March quarter, and are poised to benefit from multiple long-term growth trends, including 5G, IoT, and the proliferation of GaN. On May 6, Qorvo completed the acquisition of Active-Semi International. This will now enable them to expand their product offerings and extend their reach into new high-growth power management markets.Qorvo currently believes the demand environment in its end markets will result in quarterly revenues in the range of $780 million to $800 million in the June 2019 quarter.
Deandre Ayton shines as Suns pound Knicks Taal evacuees make the most of ‘unusual’ clothing donations, leaves online users laughing For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. ‘Smallest team’ Lyceum comes up big to open NCAA Season 95 Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Olympic rings arrive in host city on barge into Tokyo Bay “Our mantra is really defense first rather than offense. defense wins us championships so hopefully we continue to play defense every game and achieve our goal in defending our crown,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.The Lions’ defense was tested in the first half by the returning Kent Salado, who was a one-man show for the Chiefs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsSan Beda responded in the last two quarters where it held the guard to just five points after scoring 13 in the first half. 11 nabbed for shabu, drug den busted in Maguindanao Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Ukrainian prime minister resigns after recordings published MOST READ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Defending champion San Beda clamped down on defense in the second half to beat Arellano University, 59-46, in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.Donald Tankoua posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds while James Canlas and Evan Nelle combined for 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Red Lions, who are gunning for a fourth straight title.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia PLAY LIST 00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments