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The ex-president of a NYC art gallery sues board for $10 million

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The ex-president of a NYC art gallery sues board for $10 million

An eminent gallery founded by a once internationally-renowned art dealer — who was convicted in connection to defrauding Mark Rothko and his estate — is embroiled in a fresh scandal over its leadership, according to a $10 million Manhattan lawsuit.

Former Marlborough Gallery President Max Levai says the family of now-deceased founder Frank Lloyd has “embarked on a scheme to seize control” and destroy his reputation in a “coup” executed at the height of the pandemic, the suit says.

Levai, who’s father is Lloyd’s nephew, began working at the gallery in 2012 and was soon recognized in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for raising the company’s profile, the filing alleges.

But gallery board members Stanley Bergman and Franz Plutschow, at the behest of the Lloyd family, allegedly fired him in June shortly after his father contracted COVID-19.

They then locked him out of his personal Instagram account, which has 75,000 followers, defamed him to others in the industry and seized his private art collection — all to ensure he can’t compete against them in a new venture, according to the suit.

Bergman and Plutschow, who have worked for the Lloyd family for decades, allegedly falsely told Levai that the Chelsea gallery location would be permanently closed to extract valuable information from him before his ouster, the filling says.

Marlborough Gallery
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

Lloyd’s adult children own 80% of the gallery while Levai’s father owns 20%.

Bergman dismissed Levai’s claims, saying, “The whole complaint is without foundation.” Plutschow couldn’t immediately be reached.

Lloyd stepped away from the business after the Rothko scandal resulted in an 11-year-long civil battle that destroyed the gallery’s reputation, the suit charges.

After Rothko committed suicide, his heirs sued Lloyd in 1971 for engaging in fraud by undervaluing his work during his life then, after his death, selling the works at steep prices for which they received hefty commissions.

Lloyd was also convicted of tampering with evidence in connection to the civil case.

At the height of Lloyd’s business, he had galleries in London, New York, Rome and Zurich representing some of the most famous modern artists — including Rothko, a famed abstract expressionist, and Jackson Pollock. Now there are just two locations, one in Chelsea and a second in London.

Levai is suing for $10.85 million in damages in addition to attorneys’ fees and other costs. He is also seeking the return of his personal property, control over his Instagram account and an injunction barring the defendants from continuing to defame him.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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General News

Trump will leave office peacefully if he loses election

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Trump will leave office peacefully if he loses election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday said President Trump will leave office if he’s defeated Nov. 3 by Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

“The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792,” McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted.

McConnell weighed in as Democrats expressed horror at Trump’s apparent refusal to commit at a Wednesday night press briefing to a peaceful transition of power. Trump said he intends to win.

Within an hour of McConnell’s tweet, Trump told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on his radio show that he does intend to leave office if Biden wins, but that he expects the Supreme Court to decide the outcome due to possible problems with mail-in ballots.

Kilmeade asked Trump: “If it gets to the Supreme Court and they decide Joe Biden won, Joe Biden won. Do you agree with that?”

“Oh, that I would agree with but I think we have a long way before we get there. These ballots are a horror show,” Trump replied.

Trump’s initial response Wednesday night was in response to a question from Playboy reporter Brian Karem, who asked the president to “commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transferal of power.”

“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said.

When Karem asked his question again at the press conference, Trump said: “We want to have — get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very trans- — we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation.”

Trump told Kilmeade he felt that he was being subjected to an unfair double standard in coverage of the remarks.

Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnellAFP via Getty Images

“Well, remember crooked Hilary Clinton a week ago, she said to Joe Biden, ‘don’t concede under any circumstances, do not concede under any — never concede,’ OK? Now, nobody does a story about that, right?” the president said.

Other Republicans echoed that point.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told reporters, “What he says doesn’t matter any more than what Hillary Clinton advised Biden to do: don’t concede the election. So it seems to me there’s a feeling on both sides that somehow the Constitution doesn’t apply. But the Constitution does apply.”

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska — called a “RINO” by Trump last month — said of Trump, “He says crazy stuff. We’ve always had a peaceful transition of power. It’s not going to change.”

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Aid to Palestinians from foreign countries is plummeting: report

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Aid to Palestinians from foreign countries is plummeting: report

Palestinian officials fear the recent agreements between Israel and Arab nations will result in a lack of funding, according to a report on Thursday.

The Palestinian government hasn’t received a morsel of financial aid from Arab Gulf states since March, as well as a 50 percent decrease in foreign aid, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing data from the Palestinian Finance Ministry Service and The New Arab.

Overall, it said Ramallah’s total revenues fell by about 70 percent this year.

Foreign aid to the Palestinian government plummeted to $255 million in the first seven months of the year from $500 million last year.

At the same time, aid from Arab countries dropped to $38 million from $267 million in 2019.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki explained to reporters that “most of the Arab countries did not abide by the decisions of the Arab summits to provide a financial safety net of $100 million for Palestine in the face of US and Israeli sanctions.”

The report pointed out that the cut in funding happened during the coronavirus pandemic, but also as the Trump administration was brokering ties between Israel and a number of Arab countries.

President Trump stopped sending millions of dollars of US aid to the Palestinians and has urged Arab nations to stop cutting checks, as well.

After Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize ties to Israel in a ceremony at the White House, Trump predicted that Palestinians would be isolated as other countries try to make similar deals with the Jewish state.

“We do not know if this was the result of the financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, or at the request of the United States, as President Trump said,” Al-Maliki said.

“But the result is the same,” he added.

The loss of aid has forced the Palestinian government to increase domestic borrowing and go in search for new revenue streams.

The European Union has also ordered an investigation into how aid from the countries in the trading bloc end up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists and insisted that loopholes that allow the transfer of funds to be closed.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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United becomes first US airline to offer passengers COVID-19 tests

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United becomes first US airline to offer passengers COVID-19 tests

United Airlines announced Thursday that it will become the first US carrier to offer a rapid-response coronavirus testing program – with passengers flying from San Francisco to Hawaii having an option to order home kits or be tested at the airport.

Fliers who test negative on either test will not be subjected to the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement, according to United, which plans to roll out the program on Oct. 15. It said it plans to eventually extend the pilot program to other destinations.

They will be able to choose between taking a test from Abbott Labs at the airport on the day of their flights — with results available in about 15 minutes – or use an $80 mail-in test prior to their travel, United said.

Those who prefer the home test, which will be administered by clinical testing company Color, are advised to request the kits 10 days before their departure date and submit their sample within 72 hours of their flight.

“Our new COVID testing program is another way we are helping customers meet their destinations’ entry requirements, safely and conveniently,” Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United, said in a statement.

“We’ll look to quickly expand customer testing to other destinations and US airports later this year to complement our state-of-the-art cleaning and safety measures that include a mandatory mask policy, antimicrobial and electrostatic spraying and our hospital-grade HEPA air filtration systems,” he added.

The company also teamed up with GoHealth Urgent Care, which will administer the tests along with Dignity Health.

“We are excited about expanding our partnership with United and continuing to support their proactive safety measures,” GoHealth CEO Todd Latz said.

“Our on-site, real-time testing for passengers is yet another example of GoHealth’s nationwide efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 and ensure a safer return to normal activities and business operations,” he added.

The announcement comes as Hawaii is seeing 70 percent fewer flights, 91 percent less TSA checkpoint traffic and 94 percent less travel into the Aloha State compared to usual, according to CNN, which cited numbers from Airlines for America.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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