How to be overly prepared for college with apps

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As we enter the thick of back-to-school season, companies are discounting school supplies and kids are packing up to return to the dorms. No matter who you are or what school you attend, there are numerous apps that can help your college life feel a little easier and less stressful. Some of the better ones will continue being useful and follow you post-graduation. Besides the basic social media apps and word processing essentials like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, what are some other standout apps of the 2.2 million plus that are in the app store? I’ve selectively chosen a few, knowing from my own studies that memory, data, and mental energy are the most frequent constraints. Nearly all of these should be available for both Android and iPhone.

WolframAlpha

This app is the only one you’ll need to solve calculus and physics problems. Whether you’re taking a general requirement, or you’re majoring in engineering, everyone gets stumped on a problem once in a while, and WolframAlpha is there to provide tips when you need them. Once you’re done with classes, though, feel free to uninstall to free up extra memory on your device. After all, who wants to be visually reminded of the hard sciences and math classes you’ve had to take? The WolframAlpha app is available on Android and iOS.

Wunderlist (soon to be Microsoft To-Do)

Wunderlist is the classic to-do list, but it’s streamlined in a way to make your typical bullet points look very appealing. With minor tasks that litter your agenda, like checking in with the registrar and the bursar’s office and assigned readings, you’ll need to stay organized in order to stay on top of everything. You’ll also need it to look pleasant enough so that staring at your to-do list won’t send you into a spiral of procrastination. I’ve used other to-do list apps before, and Wunderlist — even the basic, free version of it — looks better than most. Just be aware that soon it will be replaced by Microsoft To-Do, which should offer most of the same features under a new name. The app is available on Android and iOS.

Khan Academy

If you’ve used the browser version before, you might be excited to learn that the app version is highly rated as well. Do you ever sit down in a class where the professor is droning on and you know that they purposefully allowed electronic devices because they’ve given up on the chance of any student listening to them? Also looming in this scenario: the approaching deadline of a major exam that you’re definitely not ready for. So since your professor is going to be no help to you in this case, there’s the helpful Khan Academy, which primarily works best for math and science courses. The app teaches you concepts, one step at a time, and tests you on them. For higher-level calculus, I found it extremely helpful. (The humanities equivalent of this app is probably a combination of SparkNotes, office hours, and dumb luck.) The Khan Academy app is available on Android and iOS.

Google Slides

If you’re a communications, marketing, history, or another major that relies heavily on group work, you will need to compile a bunch of PowerPoints in your lifetime. And while you could wait around for your teammates to complete their fair share, what’s most likely going to happen is they will fail you and make up some kind of an excuse: they had to work a night shift; their computer broke down; they didn’t know the presentation was today. At this time, instead of arguing with your group members, you can tell them to whip out or download this app during class and work on the presentation right now. Then, you can monitor their work through your own Google Slides app, which updates every time they make a change on the slides. You may also want to get the Google Drive app, too, to make saving and accessing files easier. The Google Slides app is available on Android and iOS.

Adobe Photoshop Mix

For all of my drawing purposes, I got many of the Adobe iOS apps, including Adobe Illustrator Draw and Adobe Creative Cloud. These work better on a tablet, with a stylus, than simply on phone, because of the greater surface area it gives you to draw. Whether you are taking an art course or just doodling between classes, these free Adobe apps are easy and intuitive to use for almost all of your image-editing needs. All the barriers to using Adobe programs — the expensive subscription and the complicated toolbars — are mostly gone with these apps unless you require their more advanced features. These apps are available on Android and iOS.

Scrivener

Scrivener is my all-time favorite writing software, now made into an app, available only on iOS for $20. Like the Photoshop apps, Scrivener works best on a tablet or with as big a mobile screen as possible. It has so many buttons and features for drafting the perfect novel, play, or poem that even after five years of use on both Mac and PC, I still unearth new features all the time. It syncs up with other instances of Scrivener running, so it’s meant to be used alongside the original desktop software version. Fun fact: Erin Morgenstern drafted The Night Circus using desktop Scrivener.

Starbucks Mobile App

If you drink coffee daily and you don’t have a coffee machine readily available, what is there to do? If there’s a Starbucks on campus (there usually is) and they take mobile orders, you’ll need this app to start getting discounts. Make the call and get the app as soon as possible if you realize you need it. I was a Starbucks regular for years before I got this app, and I mourn all of the free drinks that I’ve lost by not using it. Just don’t fall for the hype and start ordering a turkey pesto panini five days in a row for the stars — there are better options. The Starbucks app is available on Android and iOS.

Discover

The Discover credit card is a great first choice for students, because it has a good grades reward of $20 for a 3.0 GPA or higher and a relatively easy approval. Part of the stress of having a credit card is having to pay the bills on time. With the app, I schedule payments and never have to even touch a physical statement or call anybody. It also starts you off with a small credit line so that you can test the waters before going for bigger cards. No matter which bank you’re with, mobile finance apps are all starting to get pretty good; Mint is a good one for tracking all of your accounts together. The Discover app is available on Android and iOS.

Hopper

When it comes time to get away from campus and visit family, Hopper looks for the best flight deals for you and tells you whether you should wait until a certain date for cheaper deals. It takes all of the legwork out of thinking about where to get the best deals and when to buy them, revealing all the unlikely sweet spots of the next 12 months. Plus, there’s a cute little rabbit sprinting across the loading screen. After using sites like Expedia and Kayak, I can say that Hopper’s design gets you all the information at once, saving you all the clicking back and forth between tabs that comes with looking on other sites. The Hopper app is available on Android and iOS.

Venmo

I can’t count the number of people who owe me money and have given me a blank, glazed stare when I ask them if they have Venmo. “What’s that? Never heard of it.” Thankfully, it’s a little better known these days. If you’re like me and you don’t carry a lot of cash on you (because you keep losing your wallet), but you also hate owing others money, get this app to start paying them back quickly. It connects to major banks and cards. I’ve even had a sketchy employer pay my final paycheck through Venmo, so it just goes to show how useful this app can be. The Venmo app is available on Android and iOS.

Headspace

Finally, winding down the count, there’s Headspace, a peaceful meditation app, for when you can’t sleep at night. Andy Puddicombe co-founded the app and guides your meditation with his calming British accent. According to him, Headspace has the emotional effect of taking an aspirin. Between the chaotic hustle and bustle of classes, extracurriculars, relationships, and the shine and glimmer of these apps and the many push notifications they’ll be sending you, you’ll need the aspirin. The Headspace app is available on Android and iOS.

[“Source-theverge”]

How the world is reacting to war of words between Trump and North Korea

Image result for How the world is reacting to war of words between Trump and North Korea

This week, tensions between the United States and North Korea hit a boiling point.

Things ratcheted up Tuesday when President Trump told reporters that the United States would respond with “fire and fury the likes the world has never seen” if Pyongyang continues its provocations. (He later suggested that his world-rattling words might not have been “tough enough.”) Those comments came in response to U.S. intelligence reports suggesting that Pyongyang had the capacity to fit a nuclear weapon to a long-range ballistic missile.

On Wednesday, North Korea struck back, calling Trump’s statement a “load of nonsense,” and accusing the U.S. president of being senile and spending too much time on golf. The country also warned that it is working on a plan to deploy four missiles that would envelope Guam, a U.S. territory with several American bases, in a wall of fire.

Though senior U.S. officials rushed to calm Americans and allies, the president did little to cool tensions Thursday, announcing that his administration is reviewing its options and that the military is “locked and loaded,” ready to #fighttonight.

Here’s a look at how other countries are responding to this tense situation:

China

In the past, China has tried to act as something of a mediator between the United States and North Korea, urging restraint and caution on both sides. As The Washington Post’s China correspondent reported, “China has become deeply frustrated with the regime in Pyongyang, and genuinely wants to see a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. But it has always refused to do anything that might destabilize or topple a regime which has long been both ally and buffer state . … That’s because Beijing does not want to see a unified Korean state allied to the United States on its border: Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers died during the 1950-53 Korean War to prevent that from happening.”

But on Friday, Beijing said in no uncertain terms that it would not come to North Korea’s defense if the Hermit Kingdom launched a preemptive strike against the United States. An editorial in the state-run Global Times reads, in part, “if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral. … If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long argued for a tougher line on North Korea, pushing to strengthen Japan’s military and antimissile defense. In recent days, Abe and other senior officials have reiterated their support of the U.S. president’s strategy. Trump is “putting all options on the table,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said to the New York Times. “Our government approves of that stance. It’s extremely important that the Japan-U.S. alliance further strengthens its ability to deter and respond.”

That might not sit so well with Japan’s electorate, which largely does not share Abe’s bellicose position. “If it looks like the U.S. set off the chain of events that led to escalation, and Abe didn’t use his relationship with Trump to moderate that, it’s easy to imagine that there would be a domestic price to pay,” Tobias Harris, a Japan analyst at Teneo Intelligence, told the New York Times.

South Korea

On Friday, South Korea said that the country’s national security adviser had been in touch with his American counterpart and had been assured that the White House will not do anything on the Korean Peninsula that would “catch the South off guard.” “Both South Korea and the United States reaffirmed their promise that as they take step-by-step measures to ensure their security and the safety of their peoples, they will coordinate with each other closely and transparently,” a statement from presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said.

Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Friday that Russia will not accept a nuclear North Korea. But he blamed the current tensions on the United States and Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying that there has been an “overwhelming amount” of “belligerent rhetoric” from Washington and Pyongyang. Lavrov also advocated for his country’s preferred solution to the crisis — a “smart plan” developed by Russia and China that would have Kim freeze his country’s nuclear tests in exchange for the United States and South Korea freezing their large-scale drills.

Live on state television, Lavrov said that “there are direct threats of deploying [military] power” and that “the side that is stronger and cleverer” will take the first step to defuse tensions.

Australia

In a statement to 3AW, an Australian radio station, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that if North Korea launches an attack on the United States, Australia will have our back. “America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Turnbull said, according to ABC. “Be very, very clear on that. If there’s an attack on the U.S., the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked.”

He also called on Kim’s regime to stop its “illegal, reckless, provocative conduct.”

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the escalation of rhetoric “the wrong answer.” She has pledged her country’s support to “any nonmilitary solutions,” telling reporters in Berlin: “I don’t see a military solution to this conflict . … I see the need for enduring work at the U.N. Security Council … as well as tight cooperation between the countries involved, especially the U.S. and China.”

United Kingdom

British officials have called on the United States to dial back the rhetoric. First Secretary of State Damian Green has said that it is “obviously” in Britain’s interests for the the two countries to avoid war; he also called on Trump to “be sensible” and go through the United Nations before undertaking military action. According to the Sun, an unnamed government source has said the U.K. won’t support a U.S. military strike. “The Americans are more than capable of doing what they might want, or have to do, in the region without our help,” the paper quoted the source as saying.

France

On Wednesday, government spokesman Christophe Castaner told reporters that his country was “preoccupied” by the situation and urged “all sides” to “act responsibly.”

Guam

Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo has endeavored to calm nerves and reassure the island’s 160,000 citizens that they’re safe. In a video address, he said, “There is no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea events” and that “there are several levels of defense, all strategically placed to protect our island and our nation.” But Guam also released a two-page pamphlet advising residents on how to react to a North Korean strike.

“Our island has been a target since 2013, and even before that,” Dee Cruz, a senior watch officer with Guam Homeland Security, told The Post. “We’re ready, and prepared, as much as possible.”

Source:-washingtonpost

From Wallets and UPI to Blockchain, How Digital Payments are Evolving in India

From Wallets and UPI to Blockchain, How Digital Payments are Evolving in India

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The government has played a key role in the digitisation of cash in India
  • Digital payments went down in February but are rising again
  • Upcoming payments firms will have to expand reach via new channels

Most accounts of successful digitisation feature technology providers or tech-hungry consumers in the lead role. But in the story of digital payments in India, it is the government that is the unlikely hero.

In his budget speech this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley set the nation a target of 25 billion digital transactions for 2017-18. And enabling this, we have the creation of a new category of financial institutions, namely the Payments Banks. Telecom/ e-commerce companies have turned into payments banks, and are processing huge numbers of low-value transactions via digital wallets and other electronic prepaid instruments for their subscribers and customers, many of whom never had the benefit of formal financial services.

ALSO SEECash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

In August 2014, India’s financial inclusion agenda got a huge boost with the launch of the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana”, devised to provide every Indian easy access to basic banking services. In just over two and a half years, the Jan Dhan Yojana has garnered a record breaking 282.3 million “no-frills” bank accounts and deposits worth Rs. 640 billion. From here, the next step is to enable these accounts to make and receive digital payments. Aadhaar, India’s unique identification program, is the perfect platform for that because it links to bank accounts to enable both Direct Benefit Transfer (of government payouts) and a host of simple financial transactions via the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.

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Another government initiative that ended up promoting digital payments, even though that was not its primary intent, was the overnight demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes in November 2016. With about 86 percent of cash instantly going out of circulation, consumers from all segments, and even tiny, unorganised businesses were forced into digital transactions, shooting that number from 672 million in November 2016, to 958 million just a month later. Even after the new notes flowed into the system and digital transactions dipped considerably, they remained at higher than pre-demonetisation levels at 763 million in February 2017, and were at 844.7 million in June 2017, as per the RBI.

But arguably, the government’s crowning achievement is the Unified Payments Interface, which has transformed the fragmented mobile payments landscape with an environment where money can move from any bank or financial provider to any other, instantly, cheaply, securely and transparently.

The path ahead
Although the average Indian consumer is way more financially empowered today than a few years ago, as a nation, India still has a long way to go. Getting the one billion plus largely feature phone subscribers to use their device for simple financial transactions is one thing, educating them into financially responsible, informed consumers, quite another. Although India’s payments infrastructure is looking solid, there is a need for a massive effort to build awareness about basic financial management as well as safe financial practices to protect customers from fraud. The fact that India is deemed a favourite target for cyber-attack underlines the seriousness of the problem.

Viability is a big challenge for India’s niche digital payment providers, who are pouring large sums of money into acquiring customers and keeping them happy. At present, almost all digital payment services are being offered free of cost or with attractive incentives – for instance Paytm Payments Bankcharges no fees on any online transaction, while Airtel Payments Bank offers free talktime. Once the honeymoon is over, providers will certainly look at charging these services, which might put the brakes on growth.

payent1

One way to keep costs (and hence fees and charges) down is to leverage Blockchain and other open source technologies to facilitate digital payment transactions. Actually, Blockchain fells several challenges in one go – it collapses transaction time and cost, improves transparency, and provides virtually impenetrable security. It can also scale up to meet India’s requirements with ease.

The last point is crucial because it is also the key to viability. Niche payment providers will need to extend their services down to the very last mile and feature phone to sustain the business; banks, although under less pressure, should also look at expanding reach via mobile and other channels, such as micro ATMs and business correspondent agents carrying handheld devices for delivering digital payments to the doorstep.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

How Donald Trump filled his company coffers with charity money

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Image: Bobby Bank / Wireimage / Getty Images   

Like autumn leaves, sponsored Cadillacs, Ferraris and Maseratis descend on the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, in September 2016 for the Eric Trump Foundation golf invitational. Year after year, the formula is consistent: 18 holes of perfectly trimmed fairways with a dose of Trumpian tackiness, including Hooters waitresses and cigar spreads, followed by a clubhouse dinner, dates encouraged. The crowd leans toward real estate insiders, family friends and C-list celebrities, such as former baseball slugger Darryl Strawberry and reality housewife (and bankruptcy-fraud felon) Teresa Giudice.

The real star of the day is Eric Trump, the US president’s second son and now the co-head of the Trump Organization, who has hosted this event for ten years on behalf of the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. To date, he’s directed more than $11 million there, the vast majority of it via this annual golf event. He has also helped raise another $5 million through events with other organisations.

The best part about all this, according to Eric Trump, is the charity’s efficiency: Because he can get his family’s golf course for free and have most of the other costs donated, virtually all the money contributed will go toward helping kids with cancer. “We get to use our assets 100 percent free of charge,” Trump tells Forbes.

That’s not the case. In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it’s clear that the course wasn’t free—that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.

Additionally, the Donald J Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

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The Eric Trump Foundation golf outing brought in millions for St Jude, billings for the Trump Organization
Image: Gant Lamos IV / Getty Images

And while donors to the Eric Trump Foundation were told their money was going to help sick kids, more than $500,000 was re-donated to other charities, many of which were connected to Trump family members or interests, including at least four groups that subsequently paid to hold golf tournaments at Trump courses.

All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors. It also raises larger questions about the Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and his brother, Don Jr, can be truly independent of their father.

Especially since the person who specifically commanded that the for-profit Trump Organization start billing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the non-profit Eric Trump Foundation, according to two people directly involved, was none other than US President Donald Trump.

In order to understand the Eric Trump Foundation, you need to understand the Donald J Trump Foundation. The president was never known for giving his foundation much money, and from 2009 to 2014, he didn’t give it anything at all. Outsiders still donated, though, allowing Trump to dole out their money to a smattering of more than 200 charities as if it were his own, with many of the donations helping his business interests.

Eric Trump set out to do things differently. Coming out of Georgetown, he decided he would try to translate the good fortune he had inherited into support for children’s cancer research. Why this cause, especially for a guy who still doesn’t have kids? “It’s a great question—it’s one that I’ve been asked before—and I’m not really sure,” he says. “I think there is something about that innocence that has always affected me.” After visiting various hospitals, he chose to give to strength, St Jude, the world’s best-known paediatric cancer centre.

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Eric Trump set up his foundation as a public charity, a classification that allows it to raise most of its money from outside donors. In 2007, when he was 23, the first Eric Trump golf tournament took place, raising $220,000. A compelling sales pitch evolved—the free golf course and the donated goods and services assured donors that every penny possible went to charity. The Eric Trump Foundation employed no staff until 2015, and its annual expense ratio averaged 13 percent, about half of what most charities pay in overhead. His original seven-person board was made up of personal friends, an innocuous lot who helped sell tournament tickets, which last year ranged from $3,000 for a single all-day ticket to $100,000 for a pair of VIP ¬foursomes.

For the first four years of the golf tournament, from 2007 to 2010, the total expenses averaged about $50,000, according to the tax filings. Not quite the zero-cost advantage that a donor might expect given who owned the club but at least in line with what other charities pay to host outings at Trump courses, according to a review of ten tax filings for other charitable organisations.

But in 2011, things took a turn. Costs for Eric Trump’s tournament jumped from $46,000 to $142,000, according to the foundation’s IRS filings. Why would the price of the tournament suddenly triple in one year? “In the early years, they weren’t being billed [for the club]—the bills would just disappear,” says Ian Gillule, who served as membership and marketing director at Trump National Westchester during two stints from 2006 to 2015 and witnessed how Donald Trump reacted to the tournament’s economics. “Mr Trump had a cow. He flipped. He was like, ‘We’re donating all of this stuff, and there’s no paper trail? No credit?’ And he went nuts. He said, ‘I don’t care if it’s my son or not—everybody gets billed’.”

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Katrina Kaupp, who served on the board of directors at the Eric Trump Foundation in 2010 and 2011, also remembers Donald Trump insisting the charity start paying its own way, despite Eric’s public claims to the contrary. “We did have to cover the expenses,” she says. “The charity had grown so much that the Trump Organization couldn’t absorb all of those costs anymore.” The Trump Organization declined to answer questions about the payments. But it seems that for the future president, who Forbes estimates is worth $3.5 billion, a freebie to help his son directly fight kids’ cancer took a backseat to -revenue.

“I saw that Eric was getting billed,” Gillule adds. “I would always say, ‘I can’t believe that his dad is billing him for a charitable outing.’ But that’s what they wanted.”

It’s also very consistent. The Donald J Trump Foundation famously acted like an arm of the overall business, using the charity’s money to settle a Trump business lawsuit, make a political donation and even purchase expensive portraits of its namesake. Meanwhile, Trump businesses billed the Trump campaign, fuelled by small outside donors, more than $11 million to use his properties, chefs and private aircraft.

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The Eric Trump Foundation declined to comment on that donation. In effect, though, this manoeuvre would appear to have more in common with a drug cartel’s money-laundering operation than a charity’s best-practices textbook. That $100,000 in outside donations to the Donald J Trump Foundation (remember: Trump himself didn’t give to his own foundation at this time) passed through the Eric Trump Foundation—and wound up in the coffers of Donald Trump’s private businesses.

“His father, Mr Trump, always, until the presidency, had a very, very tight rein on what was going on,” says Gillule, referring to the company’s golf courses. “The buck always stopped with him.”

The costs for Eric’s golf tournament quickly escalated. After returning, in 2012, to a more modest $59,000—while the event brought in a record $2 million—the listed costs exploded to $230,000 in 2013, $242,000 in 2014 and finally $322,000 in 2015 (the most recent on rec¬ord, held just as Trump was ratcheting up his presidential campaign), according to IRS filings. This even though the amount raised at these events, in fact, never reached that 2012 high.

It’s hard to find an explanation for this cost spike. Remember, all those base costs were supposedly free, according to Eric Trump. The golf course? “Always comped,” he says. The merchandise for golfers: “The vast majority of it we got comped.” Drinks: “Things like wine we were normally able to get donated.” And the evening performances from musicians like Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and comedians like Gilbert Gottfried: “They did it for free.” So many sponsors donated, in fact, that the event invitation has carried enough logos to make a Nascar team proud.

Eric Trump maintains that “our ex¬penses on a tournament that made us somewhere in the $2 million range every year was somewhere around 100 grand,” even though his foundation’s tax records show costs soaring to $322,000. When asked for an itemised list of expenses, the Eric Trump Foundation declined to respond.

More than $500,000 was redirected to a variety of other charities, several of which had nothing to do with children’s cancer—but happened to become clients of Trump’s golf courses

Thus it’s hard to figure out what happened to the money. All the listed costs are direct expenses: Items like overhead and salaries appear elsewhere in its IRS filings. Even if the Eric Trump Foundation had to pay the full rate for literally everything, Forbes couldn’t come up with a plausible path to $322,000 given the parameters of the annual event (a golf outing for about 200 and dinner for perhaps 400 more). Neither could golf tournament experts or the former head golf professional at Trump National Westchester. “If you gave me that much money to run a tournament, I couldn’t imagine what we could do,” says Patrick Langan, who worked at the club from 2006 to 2015. “It certainly wasn’t done that way.”

Opaque accounting doesn’t help, as the Eric Trump Foundation began hosting a few other golf events and fundraisers; former board member Kaupp says some were lumped into the cost figures of the Westchester event on the IRS filings. Hundreds of thousands of dollars over this time went directly to the Trump Organization, including one payment of $87,000 to Trump’s golf course in Washington, DC, which hosted a separate event for St Jude.

For his part, Eric Trump offers no indication that the charity is paying for much beyond the day in Westchester. “I’m sure if I hunted, I could find examples of expenses associated with the charity that aren’t due to day-of activities,” he says. “But I would probably have to think pretty long and hard about that.”

It doesn’t seem a coincidence that at the same time the Eric Trump Foundation went from what appeared to be a clean, efficient operation to a seemingly Byzantine one that suddenly found itself saddled with costs, there was a clear shift of control.

I would always say, ‘I can’t believe that his dad is billing him for a charitable outing’. But that’s what they wanted.

In 2010, the year the economics of the tournament suddenly pivoted, four of the seven original board members, who were personal friends of Eric, left. They were replaced by 14 new board members, the majority of whom owed all or much of their livelihoods to the Trump Organization. Six of them were effectively full-time employees, including Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and executive vice president Dan Sca¬vi¬no Jr, who both serve in political roles for President Trump. Another owns a company that billed the Trump campaign $16 million. Add in Eric himself, as well as his wife, Lara, and 9 of the 17 Eric Trump Foundation board members had a vested interest in the moneymaking side of the Trump empire. The foundation had become a de facto subsidiary of the Trump Organization.

“They were wearing two hats,” says Langan, the former director of golf, who says he sat in on meetings where he couldn’t tell where the business ended and the charity began. “You’re dealing with people talking about the event and the charity who also at the same time are thinking about it as a corporation and as a business. It’s a for-profit club. You know, they’re trying to make money.”

Until this board turnover, the Eric Trump Foundation pretty much did what it told its donors it would: Send its money to St Jude. But starting in 2011, more than $500,000 was redirected to a variety of other charities, many of which were personal favourites of Trump family members and several of which had nothing to do with children’s cancer—but happened to become clients of Trump’s golf courses.

In 2012, the Eric Trump Foundation sent $5,000 to a charity called Abilis, which provides services to people with disabilities. That same year, Donald Trump’s nephew Fred Trump, whose son has cerebral palsy, hosted the inaugural Golf for Abilis fundraiser at the Trump National Westchester. Over the next five years, Abilis spent an estimated $240,000 hosting tournaments at the property.

In 2013 and 2014, the Eric Trump Foundation paid $15,000 for tables at a gala for the Little Baby Face Foundation, according to a spokesman for the latter foundation. Over the next three years, Little Baby Face spent an estimated $100,000 to hold golf outings on the Trump course. The foundation denies any direct connection between the two transactions.

Janet McHugh, the founder of a small charity named Julie’s Jungle, was delighted to receive $25,000 from the Donald and Eric Trump foundations in 2013—money she figured came from Eric and Donald Trump personally. Two years later, her charity hosted a golf tournament at Trump National Hudson Valley. McHugh says the decision to hold her tournament there was unrelated to the donation. “They didn’t comp us the golf course,” she says. “We paid.”

Altruism as a business-development strategy isn’t necessarily illegal. But a situation in which outside donor money is redeployed away from the core mission in ways that seem to ultimately benefit the family that pays the majority of the board is—at best—an appearance problem.

Other extra expenditures raise eyebrows. In 2013, Eric Trump used his foundation’s money, rather than his own, to pay $1,600 to the American Society for Enology & Viticulture for a copper wine still and an antique bottle washer at a trade event and fundraiser that he was keynoting. Eric runs the family vineyard in Char¬lottes¬ville, Virginia, about an hour down the road from where the event took place. “I have no idea what that is,” says Eric Trump, referring to the payment.

In 2012, the Eric Trump Foundation wrote a cheque for $25,000 to the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. That same year, George Rodrigue, who had said that his famous “blue dog” paintings sometimes sold for about $25,000, created a portrait of Donald Trump for the auction at Eric’s event. That portrait ended up hanging over the couch in Eric Trump’s house.

What does Eric say about the donation? “Let’s follow up later on,” he replies, when asked about it in a phone call, before getting off the line.

Later the next day, after being told Forbes had several other questions, he sent a paragraphs-long text message, which read in part: “I was reflecting on it last night and have to say I was really disappointed when you said the story would be ‘fair’… It seems like there is a motive against either myself or my family. And if that is the case, I would simply rather disengage.” A spokesperson for the Trump Organization similarly declined to respond further to questions about Eric and Donald Trump.

The ultimate tragedy here is that the Eric Trump Foundation has done so much good. Yes, Eric has indulged in the family trait of vainglory, from Eric Trump bobblehead dolls at the tournament to statements that leave the impression he’s giving the money personally, even though tax records suggest he’s donated six figures total, at most. (Trump wouldn’t tell Forbes how much he’s given to his own foundation. “I think it’s totally irrelevant,” he says, citing the fact that “we never charge” for use of the courses.) But in 2015, a new intensive-care unit at St Jude opened with Eric Trump’s name on it, and the foundation’s money has funded research into a rare form of cancer.

It’s hard to imagine how the early incarnation of the golf tournament—big hauls, understandable costs—would have any problem continuing to spew out millions for years to come. Last year, the Eric Trump Foundation donated $2.9 million, according to St Jude.

But in December, Eric Trump said he would stop fundraising. Running an event with an increasing commingling of business and philanthropy created the kind of conflict-of-interest (not to mention image) concerns that similarly plagued Ivanka Trump’s aborted attempt to auction off a coffee date on behalf of Eric’s foundation.

More recently, the foundation has rebranded itself as Curetivity. A spokeswoman for the organisation said it would continue hosting golf tournaments to raise money for St Jude. A Curetivity event was held this past May outside Washington, D.C., with Eric Trump in attendance, at the Trump National course.

(This story appears in the 04 August, 2017 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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