New York to probe money shifted from Eric Trump charity to father’s company

The Eric Trump Foundation was founded in 2007 to raise money for St.


Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, a nonprofit institution that cares for children with cancer and other serious diseases.

The foundation organized annual golf tournaments on a course owned by Eric’s father, the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County north of New York.


In the event’s early years, the use of the course was donated by the Trump Organization, headed by the future president. 

Using the donated facilities allowed the foundation to send most of the funds raised to the hospital, Eric Trump told donors.  

But starting in 2010, the Trump Organization billed the foundation for use of the club, according to a Forbes magazine investigation.

While the cost of organizing the one-day tournament was at first less than $50,000, it soared in later years, reaching $322,000 in 2015, according to tax filings seen by the magazine’s reporters. 

Expenses at that level “defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament,” according to golf event experts cited in the article.

WATCH: The moment Donald Trump crashes a wedding in New Jersey

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It quoted two people directly involved in the matter as saying the person who commanded that the Trump Organization start billing hundreds of thousands of dollars was Donald Trump himself.

Forbes said Eric Trump told its reporters that the cost of running the tournament was around $100,000 — raising questions about the gap between that amount and the $322,000 listed in tax papers for 2015. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has opened an investigation to clarify matters, a spokesman told AFP on Sunday.

In late 2016, the young Trump ended his own direct involvement in the foundation, which he said would be restructured and renamed, under new leadership, in a move to avoid any conflict of interest after his father’s election as president.

The magazine did note that over the years Eric Trump’s foundation had done “a ton of good,” raising more than $11 million for the children’s hospital, mostly through the golf event.




$1.8b social housing program for Qld

Queensland’s opposition has accused the Labor government of breaking an election promise not to sell assets after it announced it will open up land for community and social housing projects.


A day before the state budget, the government revealed it will open up large tracts of land to developers and allocate $1.8 billion over 10 years to build 4522 social homes and 1034 affordable homes.

The plan is front-loaded, with around 600 houses a year to be built on sites across the state for the first five years.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday shared her personal history, of her grandparents and parents living in community housing before eventually owning their own home.

She said her government will partner with the private sector to develop state-owned land for the low cost housing.

“We are looking at partnering with the private sector where we have under-utilised land to build housing on that land,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“There’s many examples of where that has happened in the past.”

But Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls has accused the government of selling off assets.

“Land sales are absolutely asset sales and that’s a broken promise by Annastacia Palaszczuk,” he told reporters.

Mr Nicholls also pointed out Labor last year scrapped the Logan Housing Initiative, which would have seen 2600 homes built south of Brisbane.

The government will also change the means test required for community housing, to allow adult children living with their family to earn a wage without affecting their parents’ subsidised home.

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni says the means test will be dropped for people under 25, removing a disincentive to find work.

“This is the most significant initiative to breaking the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage that we’ve seen in Australia’s history,” Mr de Brenni said.

The social housing component of the package will focus on housing for victims of domestic violence, as well as seniors and people with a disability.

Social welfare group QCOSS, as well as the Housing Industry Association, both welcomed the government’s plan, saying it will deliver for the building and construction sector, as well as give people more options for housing.

Indian scientist, Lebanese professor and Italian migrant recognised in Queen’s birthday honours

Among those on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2017 are a Muslim-Lebanese professor who has helped strengthen rural and remote medical education, an Indian scientist who is developing drugs for cancer treatment and an Italian migrant who has built a culturally targeted aged-care program.



Professor Mohamed Khadra, who has Lebanese heritage, was born in Ghana in West Africa and grew up in Sydney, has been named an Officer of the Order of Australia Medal for helping improve the numbers of doctors in rural Australia.

Professor Khadra’s medical background is in the field of urology as a surgeon, clinician and mentor, in rural and remote medical education. 

He says from a very young age he wanted to be a surgeon but his entry into the industry wasn’t in his chosen field. He began in dentistry before moving to medicine.

He went on to work with former Federal Health Minister Michael Wooldridge in Australia’s first rural clinical school – an initiative to grow the number of doctors in rural areas.

“What we found was that 70 per cent of doctors who trained in the bush actually ended up staying in the bush,” he said.

He says he’s humbled to make the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and hopes it will inspire other Muslim Australians.

“To be honoured and recognised by one’s country is a great thing indeed.  I hope that this award will inspire migrants, especially those of Muslim origin, to realise that this is a country of opportunity; it’s a country that rewards hard work and rewards loyalty.”

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Professor Rajiv Khanna received the Officer of the Order of Australia Medal for his work in medicine – specifically his contribution to the development of cellular immunotherapies.

He says he and his team are honoured to be recognised by those outside the scientific community.

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Professor Khanna has been working on a new cancer treatment alternative – a treatment he says is safer.

He believes his hard work shows how the Indian community values education.

“We tend to value education very highly in India. You go to any Indian parent, they all want their kids to become a doctor or an engineer or something,” he said.

“But in a terms of what it brings to the Australian community is that the highly educated Indian community… whether they’re in a medical area or an engineering area, they contribute hugely. And I’m part of that and I’m very proud of that heritage, to be from the Indian community.”

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Italian migrant Giuseppe Pino Migliorino has been named a Member of the Order of Australia for his work in the Italian community.

Mr Migliorino, who moved to Australia with his family when he was five, has helped build a bilingual school and a culturally targeted aged-care program.

Growing up, Mr Migliorino says he was ashamed of his Italian heritage and found it hard to balance the two cultures he was a part of.

“I find that a really interesting aspect in terms of my own upbringing, that my family sees me as someone who didn’t really necessarily comply with being Italian, yet I’ve become a great defender of Italian rights to cultural maintenance,” he said.

The bilingual school is something he says he’s proud to leave behind as his legacy, and he’s delighted that a majority of the students who attend the school don’t come from an Italian background. 

He says the aged-care program is framed around ageing with dignity for his community, who struggle with growing old in a country that is not their homeland. 

Mr Migliorino says the award isn’t just about his hard work but the hard work of those around him.

The Governor-General and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, approved the awards and has expressed his congratulations to the winners.

Mr Cosgrove also says the community is very fortunate to have such outstanding people who dedicate themselves to improving the country.

Other notable mentions include Aboriginal actor Deborah Mailman, Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, Muslim advocate Dr Jamal Rifi and SBS CEO and Managing Director Michael Ebeid.



Qatar says Gulf citizens can stay despite crisis

Iran also announced it had sent tonnes of vegetables to Qatar, which has seen food imports threatened after its neighbours cut air, sea and land links with the country.



Nearly a week after Saudi Arabia and several of its allies severed ties with Qatar in an unprecedented Gulf diplomatic crisis, there were no signs of the bitter dispute being resolved.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and others accused Qatar of supporting extremist groups, an assertion since backed by US President Donald Trump.

Qatar strongly rejects the allegations and says it is open to talks on ending the dispute, which also saw the three Gulf states order all Qataris out of their countries within 14 days.


The crisis has raised major concerns of instability in the region, and on Sunday Kuwait’s foreign minister said his country would continue its mediation efforts.

Qatar said late Saturday it would not retaliate with similar measures.

State media reported Doha would “not take any measures against residents of Qatar who hold the nationalities of countries that severed diplomatic ties… on the back of hostile and tendentious campaigns against the country”.

 No gas interruption 

 This will come as a relief to the more than 11,000 people from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain living in Qatar.

Concerns have been raised for the impact of these measures on people in all the countries affected. 

“For potentially thousands of people across the Gulf, the effect of the steps imposed in the wake of this political dispute is suffering, heartbreak and fear,” Amnesty International has said.

Saudi Arabia said Sunday it was ordering “suitable measures” to help families with mixed citizenships, but provided few details.

Despite the unprecedented sanctions, Qatar says that its crucial exports of liquified natural gas have not been interrupted.

“Qatar Petroleum… is conducting business as usual throughout all its upstream, midstream and downstream businesses and operations, and in all activities across all of QP’s world-class facilities,” a statement read.

Gas has helped transform the tiny emirate into one of the world’s richest countries, fuelling its rise into a major regional player and helping fund huge infrastructure projects such as the 2022 football World Cup, which Qatar will host.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Sunday said he was confident the crisis posed no threat to the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar’s rivals have also accused Doha of being too close to the Sunni Arab Gulf states’ arch-rival Shiite-dominated Iran — claims that Doha has also denied.

Iranian officials said Sunday that tonnes of vegetables had been sent from Iran to Qatar since the measures were taken against it.

Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi said five aircraft carrying around 90 tonnes of vegetables each had been sent to Qatar in recent days.

“We will continue deliveries as long as there is demand,” Noushabadi added, without saying if these were commercial exports or aid.

Three ships loaded with 350 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were also set to leave Iran for Qatar, the Tasnim news agency reported.

 Mixed US signals 

 Moscow on Saturday joined other nations in calling for dialogue, after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their “blockade” of Qatar.

Washington has sent mixed signals on the crisis, despite Qatar’s position as a key ally and host to the region’s largest US airbase.

While Tillerson and others have called for an easing of tensions, Trump on Friday said Qatar had “historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level”.

Kuwait, which has not joined its neighbours against Qatar, has led mediation efforts and on Sunday Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled Al-Sabah said that would continue.

“Kuwait stresses the need for the dispute to be resolved within the Gulf framework,” Sheikh Sabah said in a statement quoted by the KUNA news agency.

Qatar has expressed readiness “to understand the concerns of its brothers and respond to the efforts of the emir (of Kuwait) to strengthen peace and security,” he said.

In other diplomatic moves, the African Union chairman, Guinean President Alpha Conde whose country has close ties with Saudi Arabia, offered himself as a mediator.

Morocco said it was “concerned” by developments and was “willing to offer its good offices”, a foreign ministry statement said.

Cheers and chants as Trump gatecrashes New Jersey wedding

US President Donald Trump has made a surprise appearance at a wedding at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey this weekend.


He was greeted by guests with cheers and chants of “USA! USA! USA!”

Videos and images posted to social media showed Trump kissing the bride’s cheek, posing for photos with the bride and groom, and autographing ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.

“Everyone obviously got very excited, got out of their chairs and came to take pictures,” one guest told the Washington Post.

“The bride came running out, and he gave her a big hug and a kiss, so she was just ecstatic.”

President Trump regularly spends weekends away from Washington at his various hotels, clubs and golf courses.

Critics have accused the president of promoting his properties and wasting taxpayer money on his frequent trips out of Washington, with millions spent on extra security at each venue.

At one point, the New Jersey club had advertised that if the president was at the venue, he would likely drop in to say hello at weddings – a statement which has since been removed from advertising materials.

Trump poses with the elated bride.Laura Piatkowski / Instagram

On Sunday Trump hosted an $800,000 fundraiser for Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur at the New Jersey resort.

The lawmaker had floated a key ‘Trumpcare’ proposal credited with gathering enough votes in the House to pass legislation to repeal and replace elements of ‘Obamacare’.

At the wedding the happy couple posed for photos with the president free of charge – a night later, fundraiser attendees were asked to contribute $100,000 for the privilege. 

– with CNN