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AMMAN, Oct 12 (Reuters)Jordan’s Finance Minister Mohamad Al Ississ will keep his job in a new cabinet due to be sworn in later on Monday, underlining the country’s commitment to ambitious economic reforms backed by the International Monetary Fund, officials said.

Harvard-educated Al Ississ, who has won IMF praise for his handling of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic,helped negotiate a four-year IMF programme worth $1.3 billion, approved in March, that signalled confidence in Jordan’s reforms.

The IMF deal will enable Jordan to access more than $3 billion in cheaper financing through concessionary loans and grants from its major Western donors that will help soften the effects of COVID-19 on its economy, they said.

Jordan’s economy is expected to shrink by more than 5.5% this year, the sharpest contraction in two decades. Before the pandemic struck, the IMF had estimated economic growth of 2%.

The country’s public finances and balance of payments have been strained by the collapse of tourism, a major source of foreign currency, and lower remittances from workers overseas.

Unemployment hit a record 23% in the second quarter as layoffs and bankruptcies increased and poverty deepened in an aid-dependent country that was already struggling before the pandemic.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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The Boca Raton Country Club hasn’t been making money, and now its owners are handing it over to the city.

Will it become a municipal money pit? No one knows.

Optimistic city officials say they might break even or perhaps lose a bit of money, but it’s a gamble they’re willing to take.

“It’s a matter of preserving green space,” said Boca City Councilman Andy Thomson. “The city of Boca Raton takes an enormous amount of pride in its beaches, parks — none of those things generate money. It’s an amenity, and that’s how we view it.”

The owners of the exclusive club announced the unusual donation this week, and the city plans to open the 130-acre property to the public in about a year.

The club, at 17751 Boca Club Blvd., features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a clubhouse and pool. The course and clubhouse are surrounded by 12 subdivisions in a giant gated community featuring townhomes, single-family homes and condos.

The country club’s owners, MSD Partners and Northview Hotel Group, acquired the property in June 2019 when they also bought the Boca Raton Resort and Club, a luxurious destination situated off Camino Real that is frequented by the wealthy, famous and business leaders.

The owners said they were giving up the country club to focus on the Boca Raton Resort and Club. They would not reveal the country’s club’s finances on Friday.

The city’s cost to operate the Boca County Club course will be built into next year’s budget, but a city spokeswoman said no records are available to show what the cost will be or how much the city expects to lose, if anything. Those projections are still being studied, said spokeswoman Chrissy Gibson.

Thomson said he was told the course could cost “something like $1

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Nearly two weeks after Lakewood announced it reached an agreement to part ways with Carnegie Management and Development Corporation regarding the proposed $72 million mixed-use One Lakewood Place development, city officials are talking about the decision.

“We’re paying Carnegie $255,000 to avoid future litigation, which could tie up the site for years to come,” Lakewood Mayor Meghan George said. “We believe this was in the best interest of the city.

“My focus is to ensure that we’re in the best position to move forward. The outcome of this settlement allows the city to begin a new chapter with a new developer on this site. We’re looking forward to that.”

The mayor noted the agreement includes the city retaining Carnegie-completed market studies, surveys and geotechnical reports that will provide value for any future developer.

“It’s disappointing that this partnership fell through,” Lakewood City Council President Daniel J. O’Malley said. “We wanted to have some finality about the matter, so we reached a settlement with Carnegie. It’s very important that that site not be encumbered by any litigation or potential litigation. It bought our freedom.

“You have cities that have these sites tied up for 30 years with litigation. This allows us to avoid that. We’re also conscious of the fact that lawsuits are expensive, even if you win. The settlement amount we reached with Carnegie is a fraction of what we’d likely spend on attorney fees alone.”

Located on the 5.7-acre site of the former Lakewood Hospital at the corner of Detroit and Belle avenues, One Lakewood Place included 200 apartments and 12 townhomes with retail and office spaces.

The mayor noted resetting the project could bring changes to the next development.

“This provides us an opportunity to re-examine the site,” George said. “There are some things that

But each of those changes have also eaten up valuable time and money, election officials say.

“Everybody is swamped, everybody is overwhelmed,” said Vicky Olin, a Republican commissioner in Steuben County, in the state’s Southern Tier, and an officer with the state association of election commissioners. “And every executive order we get puts us probably another two weeks behind.”

The state received $20 million in federal funds that were earmarked for election-related costs driven up by the pandemic, through the federal CARES Act, though the Cuomo administration said that money had largely been spent. Mr. Cuomo has repeatedly pleaded for federal help for the state and its localities, though negotiations on additional coronavirus-related aid is stalled in Washington.

Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, said he had offered extra staff — including National Guard troops — to all local boards, often without response.

“It’s a person-power function, staffing function — that’s the main factor in running the election for them,” Mr. Cuomo said last week. “We have personnel that we can make available, but they have to tell us what they need and they have to be organized.”

But some election officials acknowledged that they were uncertain how much this election year would cost.

“I’ll be candid: I don’t think my finance department has figured out what we spent yet,” said Kristen Z. Stavisky, the Democratic Party’s commissioner of elections in Rockland County, northwest of the city, noting the “astronomical” cost of postage of thousands of applications and postage-paid return ballots. “The CARES grant could never cover everything that we’re paying for.”

Nicholas LaLota, the G.O.P. commissioner in Suffolk County on Long Island, echoed that, estimating that the county would incur about $2 million in expenses in this year’s election, including spending some $150,000 on things like hand sanitizer and extra