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TOP TALKER: "Sheldon Adelson Facilitated EPA Connection for Israeli Firm" by Timothy Puko: "The Environmental Protection Agency has signed a deal to test technology from an Israeli company whose executives were twice granted access to EPA chief Scott Pruitt at the request of Republican Party donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. The EPA agreed to test a water-purification system developed by Water-Gen Ltd. , an Israeli technology company whose board includes Harvard legal scholar and television pundit Alan Dershowitz."
"Adelson declined to comment. But a person close to Mr. Adelson said that while he has no financial interest in Water-Gen, he has been impressed with its work... Professor Dershowitz reportedly demonstrated Water-Gen’s technology on stage at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington last year. And the company’s website touts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bragging about the technology at the same event this year. It “improves on Moses,” Mr. Netanyahu said in video posted by the company. “He brought water from a rock. They bring water from thin air.” [WSJ]
-- Josh Dawsey tweets: A great WSJ correction: "An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Benjamin Netanyahu said Moses brought water from Iraq. He said the water was brought from a rock."
MBS ROAD SHOW: "Mohammad bin Salman US visit: Leaked itinerary shows Saudi crown prince to meet Oprah, politicians and media bosses" by Bethan McKernan: "On Tuesday alone in New York City, MBS is believed to have met with ex secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and Michael Bloomberg. Other notable media meetings include dinner with The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, Rupert Murdoch, Jeffrey Goldberg."
"He is also meeting past luminaries such as Barack Obama, John Kerry, General David Petraeus and Condoleezza Rice, as well as paying a visit to George W Bush’s Texas ranch. Other notable meets outside of politics include Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Tim Cook of Apple and the CEOs of Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Uber, the Walt Disney Company and Lockheed Martin." [TheIndependent]
--As we exclusively reported yesterday, MBS also met with Jewish leaders including the heads of AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents, the Jewish Federations of North America, the ADL, AJC and B'nai B'rith.
HEARD AT SAUDI-US CEO FORUM: "Dina Powell: Trump found “partner” in Saudi crown prince during 2017 meeting" by Joyce Karam: "Ms Powell, speaking on Tuesday at the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2018 in New York, recounted the early thaw between Washington and Riyadh. When Mr Trump was elected in November of 2016, one of his first priorities was to tackle the terrorist threat and “we had to engage quickly and meaningfully in the region”, she said. Prince Mohammed, then deputy crown prince, “reached out [to the US administration] and built strong relations with Jared [Kushner] and others”, with both sides pushing ahead on what could be achieved, Ms Powell said." [TheNational]
BIG DEAL -- "Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Plan World's Largest Solar Project" by Vivian Nereim and Stephen Cunningham: "Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, known for backing ambitious endeavors with flair, unveiled the project Tuesday in New York at a ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.... Saudi Arabia also plans to build at least 16 nuclear reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion." [Bloomberg]
SPOTTED: Saudi Crown Prince MBS, Mike Bloomberg and Josh Steiner at Starbucks in NYC [Pic] h/t Sheekey Daily Read
-- What they were discussing: "Misk Foundation Partners with Bloomberg to Advance Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 with Major Investments in Financial Training and Global Market Capabilities" [PressRelease]
"Saudi Crown Prince, on U.S. Visit, Urges Tough Line on Iran" by Ben Hubbard: “Delaying it and watching them getting that bomb, that means you are waiting for the bullet to reach your head,” Prince Mohammed... said Monday during his first meeting with editors and reporters from The New York Times... He said that the current nuclear agreement should be replaced with one that would ensure that Iran never obtained a nuclear weapon while also addressing Iran’s other activities in the Middle East." [NYTimes]
"John Kerry warns against leaving the Iran deal" by Carol Morello: "Speaking to the World Affairs Council at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia, Kerry... called it the “strictest, most transparent, most accountable arms control agreement on the planet today.” “If we pull back from what they have done, it will be 30 years before another president will ever sit down with Iranians to negotiate,” said Kerry... Kerry suggested Iran would likely take immediate steps to enrich more uranium and other actions now prohibited... “Why would anyone want to leap ahead 15 years, and make it happen now?” Kerry asked." [WashPost]
Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz writes... "On Iran and North Korea: Don’t trust, and verify, verify, verify: If Trump withdraws the United States from the agreement, with Iran complying and with our allies clearly committed to its continuation, he will have compromised the most stringent nuclear verification standard ever achieved, with no credible prospect for restoring or improving it. Such a move would... undercut vital arguments for verification of any agreement reached with North Korea." [BostonGlobe]
"Iran's Facing a Mutiny From Within the Mosque" by Geneive Abdo: "The controversy over the detention of Ayatollah Hussein Shirazi this month is reigniting an important debate over whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, should be able to claim divine sanction for his unlimited powers to rule the state... The younger Shirazi reportedly called the supreme leader “the pharaoh” during one of his recent lectures, providing the pretext for his arrest..." [BloombergView]
INSIDE THE ADMIN -- "Can Jim Mattis Hold the Line in Trump’s ‘War Cabinet’?" by Robert F. Worth: "On April 19 last year, I joined Mattis on a weeklong tour of the Middle East and North Africa... The Saudis welcomed Mattis like a long-lost brother, thrilled to meet an American leader who shared their feelings about Iran. Their dislike of Obama and his diplomatic rapprochement with Tehran was no secret, but it was amazing to see how openly and eagerly they were embracing the new administration. Mattis did not disappoint..."
"The following night, I visited a Saudi I’ve known for years who was briefed on Mattis’s closed-door sessions with King Salman and his advisers. My friend seemed beside himself with pleasure and poured me a glass of white wine as he praised Mattis. "He said, ‘As long as the mullahs are ruling Iran, there will be no stability in the Middle East,’ ” he said, grinning broadly and seeming to nourish hopes that this was some sort of code for a looming carpet-bombing of Tehran."" [NYTimesMag]
"Don't Blow Up The Iran Deal. Trump's Strategy Is Working" by Eli Lake: "While discarding the Iran deal now would be a mistake, Trump does deserve credit for throwing its future into doubt. We all know the drill. Every six months Trump is required to waive the secondary oil and bank sanctions the agreement lifted... And every six months, he has hemmed, hawed and threatened not to do it... Some critics might say that Trump has to follow through on his promise or he will lose credibility. He can just as easily delay his decision, point to the European negotiations, and follow through on his own promised plan to ramp up non-nuclear sanctions on Iranian entities." [BloombergView]
"John Bolton Told Israel: ‘Condi Rice Sold You Out,’ Ex-Official Says" by Noga Tarnopolsky: "Dan Gillerman served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN in 2006 when Bolton was U.S. ambassador and told The Daily Beast that “in more than one case, Ambassador Bolton called me and alerted me to the fact that his mission—the United States mission to the UN—was about to vote against Israel and asked that I alert the prime minister, who at that time was Ehud Olmert.” Gillerman added, “In more than one case the prime minister called the president, who was then George W. Bush, and got him to overrule the State Department.”
"The “most striking” example came in August 2006 when the UN Security Council was considering Resolution 1701, with the purpose of ending a month-long war between Israel and the Islamist militant group Hezbollah... “In that case John Bolton got in touch with me at about 8 o’clock in the evening, which was 3 in the morning in Israel, calling to say ‘You have to call your prime minister and tell him that Condi Rice sold you out to the French.’" [DailyBeast]
TRUMP TUMULT: "‘He knows he is done’: Veterans Affairs chief lies low amid rumors he’ll be ousted" by Lisa Rein, Josh Dawsey and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux: "Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has lived in presidential purgatory for weeks... “I think he wakes up every day wondering if this is the day he’s going to get fired,” said one Shulkin ally... “He knows he is done,” although the uncertainty “is wearing on him, there is no doubt about that.” Despite rumors of his ouster, Shulkin... has kept a busy schedule... Shulkin, say people close to him, is under no illusions that he still has the president’s confidence. He has long feared that Trump will mete out the same fate on Twitter as some of his former colleagues have. To that end, the secretary is laying low." [WashPost] Famous for ‘You’re Fired,’ Trump Offers V.A. Chief Silence [NYTimes]
THE DAILY KUSHNER -- "White House denies probe into loans to Kushner company" by Stephen Braun: "Even as White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders firmly denied any formal investigation into [Jared] Kushner, she acknowledged that the White House Counsel’s office often plays a role in checking whether ethics guidelines have been met by administration officials. “While the White House Counsel’s office does follow-up with staff to assist with compliance with various ethics standards, it is not probing whether Kushner violated the law,” Sanders said." [AP]
SCENE YESTERDAY -- President Trump hosted a delegation of Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis in the Oval Office to sign a proclamation marking March 27, 2018 as Education and Sharing Day, in honor of the 116th birthday of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi Levi Shemtov gave the President a silver menorah and a leather-bound Passover Haggadah with Trump's name embossed in gold on the cover. Jared Kushner's aide Avi Berkowitz, who first met Kushner on the basketball courts during a Passover program in Arizona, attended the meeting. [Pic]
PIC OF THE DAY -- Trump's Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt hosted a group of students from Yeshivat HaKotel at the White House last night. [Pic]
Countering TV report, White House says Trump ‘undecided’ on Jerusalem visit: "US President Donald Trump has not yet decided if he will travel to Israel in May, when the US opens its new embassy in Jerusalem... the White House said Tuesday. The comment followed an Israeli TV report based on Israeli sources that said Trump had ruled out visiting Israel for the opening. Asked to confirm the Hadashot TV news outlet report, White House spokesman Michael Anton told The Times of Israel the matter was “not decided.” [ToI; Mako]
VIRAL -- "Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu has mild viral illness, hospital tests show" by Amir Tal and Ingrid Formanek: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was taken to a hospital on Tuesday where he was diagnosed with a mild viral illness of the upper respiratory system... Netanyahu, 68, was released early Wednesday after a series of exams... "Thank you all for worrying. I'm on my way home," he tweeted... "I'm sure a little rest and a hot soup will sort things. Goodnight." ... The Prime Minister's personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Herman Berkovich, thinks Netanyahu did not complete the period of rest needed for full recuperation since his illness two weeks ago, and his symptoms worsened." [CNN]
HEARD THE OTHER DAY -- Ambassador Ron Dermer delivered the keynote for Westminster's Churchill Fellows Weekend at Westminster College on Sunday: "Israel's ambassador to the U.S. has a connection to Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain speech, famously delivered in Fulton. "He wrote it while he was on vacation in Miami Beach, Florida, which is where I was born and raised," Ambassador Ron Dermer said... "Winston Churchill was a faithful friend of Jews," Dermer said. Specifically, Churchill was a lifelong, strong supporter of the formation of a Jewish state, he explained... "Churchill would be proud of the remarkable state we have accomplished," Dermer added... Today, his picture stands behind the desk of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." [FultonSun; Video]
INTERVIEW -- Outgoing Jewish Agency Chief Natan Sharansky disagrees with Ron Lauder -- by Judy Maltz: “In a farewell interview with Haaretz, Sharansky was asked whether he shared the concerns voiced by World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder Lauder’s problem, according to Sharansky, is that he doesn’t understand it takes two to tango when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The way he puts it, if Israel wanted to have a two-state solution, they would have it,” Sharansky says.” As if the solution were entirely in our hands and there wasn’t another side to this.”
"On the issue of religious extremism he argues, Lauder is wrong to claim that the problems all began with the current government. “I know it’s very easy to blame Bibi for everything, but this is something that began back with [David] Ben-Gurion and the Labor Party,” he says “Often, when I’ve had arguments with Bibi, he asks me whether I think things would be different under a Labor coalition,” Sharansky says. “‘Look at history,’ he tells me. And you know what? Unfortunately, history is on his side.” [Haaretz]
PRISON REFORM BY BALLOT -- What If Prosecutors Wanted to Keep People Out of Prison?" by Nick Tabor: "For almost three decades, George Soros has been quietly funding efforts to end the drug war and reduce the inmate population. Throughout the ’90s and 2000s, he was behind almost every state ballot initiative to legalize marijuana and has given millions in grants for liberal legal scholarship. It was [Scott] Colom’s luck that in 2015 he’d adopted a new strategy: backing progressives in local elections, specifically DAs, who every day make decisions about whom to charge, with how serious of a crime; whether to engage in plea negotiations; how much prison time, if any, to recommend... Soros got interested in the power of district attorneys in the aftermath of the deaths of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray... While opponents of the Soros spending, which has reached roughly $10 million, say it interferes with the local democratic process, it’s getting the kind of results he... hoped for." [NYMag]
"Virginia GOP dumps leader who claimed only Christians are fit to run for office" by Antonio Olivo: "Fredy Burgos... was voted off the State Central Committee over the weekend, a state party spokesman said Monday... Burgos faced a backlash last month from party leaders when he posted a Facebook comment saying that only Christians are fit to run for office. The comment was viewed as anti-Semitic because Burgos had been campaigning for Tim Hannigan in his successful bid over Mike Ginsberg, who is Jewish, to become the party’s committee chair in Fairfax County." [WashPost]
2018 WATCH -- "Mitt Romney Is Not Joining the Resistance" by McKay Coppins: "As a senator from Utah, the 71-year-old Romney will likely have an extremely safe seat from which he is free—perhaps for the first time in his political career—to be unabashedly who he is, without any serious threat of electoral blowback. That could lead him to hold the president accountable in ways that other Capitol Hill Republicans have shied away from... But those expecting him to take up the fight against the more traditionally conservative elements of Trump’s agenda will be disappointed." [TheAtlantic]
"Obama will appear at McCaskill fundraiser in Beverly Hills" by David Siders: "Former President Barack Obama will appear at a Beverly Hills fundraiser for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in May... a sign Obama is edging into the midterm elections. Obama is listed as a special guest at the May 6 fundraiser hosted by the actress Katie McGrath, film studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and others Los Angeles-area heavyweights." [Politico]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Josh Kushner's healthcare startup is now worth $3.2 billion [Axios] Uri Levine: I Co-Founded Waze And I'm No Longer Going To Own A Car [Forbes] VC Firm Linked With Roman Abramovich Backs Israeli Real Estate Startup RealX [Calcalist] El Al Sues Israel After Air India Flies Through Saudi Airspace [NYTimes]
SPOTLIGHT -- "A New Film Studio From the Moguls Behind Justin Bieber and Marvel" by Joe Coscarelli: "For the powerful music manager Scooter Braun, there were a few mythic figures who proved influential in his formative years... “I read a book about my mentor David Geffen when I was 19, and he said music was the fastest way in because a song could change your life in a night while film and TV takes years,” Mr. Braun, 36, said recently at his casual home office. “I actually always wanted to be in film.” ... For his next Geffen-esque act, he is leaping more fully into film, partnering with David Maisel, the founding chairman of Marvel Studios, to form a new company, Mythos Studios, which aspires to make its own hit comic-book movie franchises in live-action and animated formats." [NYTimes]
"Robert Mercer’s Secret Adventure as a New Mexico Cop" by Zachary Mider: "For most of the past six years, as Mercer became one of the country’s political kingmakers, he was also periodically policing Lake Arthur, according to the department... The story of his adventures in Lake Arthur, which hasn’t been previously reported... shows just how far a man of means will go to get something he can’t buy: the right to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in America... In 2012 several of Mercer’s associates had set up a nonprofit in Georgia blandly named the Law Enforcement Education Organization. Among the founders were Mercer’s son-in-law George Wells and Wells’s longtime friend Peter Pukish—both of whom were also Lake Arthur volunteers... In 2016, Centre acquired South Carolina’s PTR Industries Inc., the maker of a civilian version of a Cold War-era German battle rifle called the G3... Mercer didn’t get into the gun business to get rich; the Bloomberg Billionaires Index values his wealth at almost $1 billion. But his family seems to be having fun. They’ve shown off their guns to political allies, taking them to a vault deep under the streets of Manhattan or to the warehouse near Las Vegas and pointing out some of the more remarkable weapons." [Bloomberg]
"Facebook’s Zuckerberg Said to Agree to Testify Before Congress Over Data Privacy" by Cecilia Kang and Sheera Frenkel: "[Mark Zuckerberg] has agreed to testify in at least one congressional hearing over the social network’s handling of customer data... Specifically, he plans to appear next month before the House Energy and Commerce Committee... Mr. Zuckerberg may make other appearances; he has also been asked to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary and Commerce Committees." [NYTimes]
PREMIERING TODAY -- "‘Alex, Inc.’ is a sitcom about a podcast about a podcast company. How did that get on TV?" by Sonia Rao: "Zach Braff plays a fictionalized version of [Alex] Blumberg in the series, which premieres Wednesday night. Just as Blumberg left his gigs as a “This American Life” producer and “Planet Money” co-founder behind, Alex Schuman quits his unspecified radio job in order to found his own company." [WashPost]
HOLLYWOOD -- "Steven Spielberg nixes Carl's Jr.'s 'SpielBurgers' dreams" by Sandra Gonzalez: "Since Sunday, the restaurant chain [Carl's Jr.] has been touting a rebranded version of its charbroiled sliders called "Spielburgers," in honor of director Steven Spielberg and his new film, "Ready Player One." ... On Tuesday, Spielberg dashed the fast food company's "SpielBurger' dreams in a video posted to the Twitter account for his production company, Amblin Entertainment. "They're pretty good but I'm passing. Cease and desist. Can't do it," Spielberg said in the video. "Sorry, guys." ... On Tuesday, a representative for Carl's Jr. acknowledged in a statement to THR that the "social stunt" was an attempt to "get the attention of Spielberg and his team to celebrate the launch of Ready Player One."" [CNN; HollywoodReporter]
TALK OF THIS TOWN -- "Bagels, lox and apologies at breakfast to discuss D.C. lawmaker’s anti-Semitic comments" by Fenit Nirappil: "After claiming a Jewish banking dynasty controls the climate and federal government, D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr.’s path to atonement included a bagels-and-lox breakfast with fellow lawmakers and local Jewish community leaders. The Tuesday morning meal — catered by a kosher supermarket and served in a D.C. government building — turned into a chance to air grievances and begin healing... Lawmakers and Jewish leaders at the breakfast made clear they were content with his attempt to make amends." [WashPost]
TALK OF THE NATION -- "A new epithet emerges for Parkland teens calling for more gun control: Nazis" by Eli Rosenberg: "Memes comparing the Parkland students to Nazis have circulated at the fringes for days, but on Tuesday seemed to find a wider audience. Alex Jones, the conservative host of Infowars known for spreading baseless conspiracy theories, depicted two of the most prominent students, Emma González and David Hogg, in a jarring video that spliced images and videos of them into what appeared to be Nazi footage." [WashPost]
"What Farrakhan Shares With the Intersectional Left" by Chloe Valdary: "Intersectional theory and Farrakhan’s message have a lot in common: They both promote the idea that life’s meaning can be found by dividing people into a hierarchy of virtue where those with histories of oppression have supreme value over those who belong to communities who have engaged in oppression historically. Unpacking this toxic doctrine and offering an alternative is necessary for fostering better relationships between communities involved in coalition-building in progressive spaces, both on the street and in the classroom." [Tablet]
COMING SOON -- David Litt, a former Obama speechwriter and author of "Thanks, Obama," has announced a new book called 'Parties on the Fault Line: Adventures in a Troubled Democracy -- and Why Fixing it is Easier Than You Think.' [Playbook]
TRANSITION -- Ronen Bergman, investigative journalist and military analyst for Yediot Ahronot, has joined the New York Times Magazine as a staff writer. [NYT]
SPORTS BLINK: "Carolina Panthers Headed Toward Record Sale Price" by Ken Belson: "Sports bankers and people involved in the process expect the Panthers to sell for around $2.5 billion. So far, there are six bidders, according to a person with knowledge of the process, though only four are publicly known. David Tepper, the founder of the hedge fund Appaloosa Management and a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers; Michael Rubin, the chairman of Fanatics, the sports merchandise company; and Ben Navarro, who owns Sherman Financial Group, an investment firm; have made bids to buy the team. The three offers were between $2 billion and $2.2 billion. Alan Kestenbaum, the chief executive of Bedrock Industries, has also bid, though it’s unclear at what price."
"Certain N.F.L. owners have already started to make their preferences known. Many owners have said that, all bids being equal, they prefer Tepper because he already owns a stake in the Steelers, which he would have to sell if he bought the Panthers, and because he has the financial wherewithal, with a net worth of roughly $11 billion." [NYTimes]
DESSERT -- "Umami Burger Debuts Two All-Vegan Impossible Burgers" by Anna Starostinetskaya: "Restaurant chain Umami Burger debuted this week two new vegan Impossible Burger options to its menu at locations nationwide... “Since our initial launch, we have seen a tremendous response from our fanbase as well as first-time guests who have come in specifically to try the Impossible Burger, and it inspired us to expand our innovative partnership with Impossible Foods even further," SBE (the restaurant’s parent company) CEO Sam Nazarian said." [VegNews]
"Matzo S’mores: Brilliant? Or Brooklyn?" by Charles Passy: "[Adrienne] Sherman, of Bridgewater, N.J., uses a s’mores-making kit, which also includes chocolate, from Manischewitz Company, called “S’more Matzo.” “Just plain matzo gets old,” she says... Enterprising outfits, bakers and chefs are trying to reverse tradition and give the holiday staple a culinary makeover... At the Naga Bakehouse, a family-run bakery in the Vermont town of Middletown Springs, matzo gets the artisan treatment. Husband-and-wife founders Doug Freilich and Julie Sperling use locally sourced wheat in their flour and bake their matzo—or “Vermatzah,” as they call it—in a wood-fired oven. Pieces are wrapped in parchment paper and tied with yarn before being boxed. The taste is a bit nutty, Ms. Sperling says, with a “hint of the fire.”" [WSJ]
"East High boys missing prom, cooking comes first" by Samara Kalk Derby: "A team of four East High School students are foregoing their junior and senior prom to compete at the highest level of a national culinary competition. "It's a bummer, but it will be worth it in the long run," said Gabe Wasserman, a junior, who is on the East team with his twin brother, Isaac. The team won first place in the ProStart Invitational culinary Midwest competition held earlier this month and will go on to represent Wisconsin at the National ProStart Invitational in Providence, Rhode Island the weekend of April 27... Because his family has kept kosher his entire life, the team let that guide them toward their eventual menu and the elimination of pork, shellfish and not mixing meat and dairy. "Obviously, that takes away a lot of different food options," Wasserman said." [WisStateJournal]
MAZAL TOV: “Couple achieves 'Diamond Status' in Delta-themed wedding” by Emma Kate Protis: “Airline fanatics and Medallions Bess Wohlner and Jeremy Simons recently pledged their love in a Delta-themed wedding. As the airline has held a significant place in their relationship, the Memphis couple thoughtfully wove all things Delta into their wedding, including airport code table assignments and boarding lanes to line the dance floor Jeremy met Bess in rabbinical school in 2009. The friends frequently flew out of Delta's Los Angeles hub for student assignments. Bess agreed to do a "mileage run" with Jeremy and purchase trips from one Delta city to the next to accrue SkyMiles” [Delta]
BIRTHDAYS: Professor emeritus of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics, Jerome Isaac Friedman turns 88... Investor and philanthropist, chairman and CEO of the Hartz Group, Leonard N. Stern turns 80... Expert on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, supporter of women's health issues and wife of former US Senator and VP-candidate Joe Lieberman, Hadassah Lieberman... Iranian-born billionaire, CEO of Los Angeles-based toy company MGA Entertainment, Isaac Larian turns 64... Member of the Knesset since 2006, previously a journalist, Shelly Yachimovich turns 58... CEO of the American Health Policy Institute and a presidential historian, he was a White House aide and Jewish Liaison in the George W. Bush administration (2005-2007) and Deputy HHS Secretary (2007-2009), Tevi Troy turns 51... Film producer Brett Ratner turns 49... Journalist Jake Adelstein turns 49... Author of six best-selling novels including in 2003 "The Devil Wears Prada" based upon the author's time as an assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Lauren Weisberger turns 41... Member of the Knesset since 2015 for the Likud party, Makhlouf "Miki" Zohar turns 38... MLB outfielder, who has played for the Boston Red Sox in 2010 and 2012 and for the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and 2016, now with the Atlantic League's New Britain Bees, Ryan Kalish turns 30... Rising real estate star Zach Sokoloff turns 29... Glenview, Illinois native, Genie Kutchins... Tarzana, California native, Marlene R. Bane... Gus Kayak... Dr. Ivan Hronsky...