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Wednesday, March 15, 2006


REAL ESTATE CENTER: BANK OF AMERICA AND ONE BRYANT PARK 



Bank of America is signing up for more lease space - this time the new digs are across the street from where a new Midtown skyscraper is being built.

INSATIABLE Bank of America just scooped up three more floors at Douglas Durst's 1133 Sixth Ave., across the road from where Durst's and BofA's joint-venture One Bryant Park is rising on the avenue between 42d-43d streets.

The new, 67,000 square-foot lease, signed within the past few days, seems a drop in the bucket compared to the 522,000-foot chunk the bank recently took at its new, $1 billion headquarters, on top of 1.1 million feet it had earlier pre-leased.

But while the new building won't open until 2008, BofA plans to move immediately into the extra floors at 1133 Sixth.

"They already had two floors there, 39 and 40, which they inherited from Fleet," said Durst leasing chief Tom Bow. "Now they've signed for 17, 42 and 43 as well."

Online database mrofficespace.com lists the asking rent on the 17th floor as $58 a foot, and, in the tower-topping 42nd and 43rd, $70 a foot.


Steve Cuozzo: BOFA GETS NEW LEASE [NYPost]

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SUPREME COURT JUSTICE GINSBURG BLAMES REPUBLICANS FOR DEATH THREAT AGAINST HER 

73 year old Supreme Court Justice says Republican politicians who oppose foreign law "fuel the irrational fringe"


This should raise some eyebrows in Washington.

In a speech last month at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Ginsburg suggested the [death] threat was prompted by bills introduced by Republicans in Congress that would prohibit federal courts from referring to foreign laws or rulings in interpreting the U.S. Constitution.

"Although I doubt the current measures will garner sufficient votes to pass, it is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support," said Ginsburg. "And one not-so-small concern - they fuel the irrational fringe." She then revealed the online threat.


Ginsburg gave a spirited defense of citing foreign law in court decisions. Ginsburg points to finding "basic fairness" in terms of using foreign law to arrive at decisions. While some see the Constitution as a legal document that grants powers, states what powers are proscribed and does not mention certain rights others see the Constitution as what they wish it to be.

Text of Ginsburg's speech in South Africa.

Others commenting: PowerLine, CaliforniaCons on Sandra Day O'Connor, Ace of Spades, , Malkin,

Washington Post Editorial: Citing Foreign Law

Legal Times: Justice Ginsburg Acknowledges Death Threat Against Her

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NEWS SPOTLIGHT: THE TOP 7 STORIES OF THE DAY 



1) Jonah Goldberg, Vive la Sloth!: Even the best French are a mess

The Sorbonne takeover is the most interesting and revealing part of the story because these are the best students France has to offer. In other words, these kids should have the least trouble finding work. But they're revolting because they understand that France isn't an egalitarian society — French propaganda notwithstanding. It is a system designed to lavish job protections, perks and, most of all, the French "lifestyle" on the upper-middle class.


2) BBC, A Tale of Two Argentinas

The Argentine economy appears to be booming. Unemployment is down, exports are up and the economy grows month after month. But do these statistics tell the full story?


3) Washington Times, GSA study finds rich contractors owe back taxes

Government-sanctioned contractors owe $1.4 billion in back taxes yet maintain million-dollar homes and luxury cars and go gambling at casinos, says a congressional oversight study.


4) NYTimes, Colleges Open Minority Aid to All Comers

Facing threats of litigation and pressure from Washington, colleges and universities nationwide are opening to white students hundreds of thousands of dollars in fellowships, scholarships and other programs previously created for minorities.


5) Oscar Arias, Latin America's Shift to the Center

If Latin American politics are moving in any direction, it is toward moderation and democracy. The age of ideological dictatorships in the region is, with very few unfortunate exceptions, over. Bolivia's elections were free and fair, and although the winner's politics represent a shift to the left, his ethnicity represents a shift toward democracy: Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian, is the first indigenous president in the history of this majority-indigenous nation.


6) John Tamny, The Fatal Conceit of Anti-Trust Laws: Arrogance and ignorance are what will block the AT&T/Bell South merger

What seemingly is missed every time the anti-trust crowd gets in a froth over a proposed merger is the nature of profits. If anything, consumers should hope that companies succeed in achieving monopoly profits. Large profits by definition speak to an unmet market need that is being met. More importantly, large profits attract competition. It can even be argued that if companies do not achieve monopoly gains, they’re engaging in activity that is not important to consumers and that will not attract competition.


7) Rich Lowry, Jobs Americans Won’t Do? Think Again

According to a new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, illegals make up 24 percent of workers in agriculture, 17 percent in cleaning, 14 percent in construction, and 12 percent in food production. So 86 percent of construction workers, for instance, are either legal immigrants or Americans, despite the fact that this is one of the alleged categories of untouchable jobs.

Oddly, the people who warn that without millions of cheap, unskilled Mexican laborers, this country would face economic disaster are pro-business libertarians. They believe in the power of the market to handle anything — except a slightly tighter labor market for unskilled workers. But the free market would inevitably adjust, with higher wages or technological innovation.


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