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What you need to know about the Trump Foundation

Legal documents have been uncovered that show Donald Trump has spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involve his for-profit businesses. 

According to the report by the Washington Post, four expenditures made by the foundation may have violated "self-dealing" laws. In total, the questionable payouts amount to $258,000.

If the IRS were to determine that Trump violated those laws, he could face penalties or be forced to reimburse the foundation for the money that was spent to settle the lawsuits. 

>>Got questions about the news? See our Explainers here 

The documents and interviews are the latest in recent trouble related to the way the charitable foundation is operated. 

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office launched an investigating in mid-September into the charitable foundation "to make sure it's complying with the laws governing charities in New York," Schneiderman said.

That investigation began in the spring after a 2013 campaign contribution to Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general, was traced back to Trump and his Foundation. 

>>New York AG investigating Trump donation to Florida AG Pam Bondi

Trump’s campaign explained the donation as a mistake made by a clerk and paid a fine of  $2,500 (It is against the law for a charitable organization to donate to a political campaign). Trump reimbursed the foundation for the $25,000 contribution to a political action committee that backs Bondi.

Here’s a few things we know about the Trump Foundation and the way it is run.

About the Foundation

• It was started in 1988 to, according to Trump, give away some of the money made from sale of  his book, “The Art of the Deal.”

• It’s assets are modest – the largest amount of money in it at any one time was $3.2 million (2009). Its lowest point was in 2007, the foundation’s assets were $4,238. It had about a $1.3 million at last report (2014).

• No paid staff; the board is made up of Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump  and one Trump Organization employee. The Trumps report they each spend 30 minutes a week on foundation work.

Where does the money come from?

Not Donald Trump, apparently. The last time he donated to the foundation was in 2008, according to tax records that go through 2014. That is not to say he has not donated in 2015 or 2016, those records have not been released. The money is donated by others and is doled out to people who request donations.

According to David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post, the money has come from a variety of donors who don’t wish to talk about donating. What Fahrenthold has found out from tax filings is that:

• WWE head Vince McMahon and his wife, Linda, donated $5.5 million.

• Richard Ebers, who Fahrenthold described in an NPR interview as “a sort of high-end ticket broker, like tickets to events, in New York City,” gives between $450,000 and $600,000 every year, “always in very odd amounts. It’s never an even amount.”

• John Stark, the chief executive of a carpet company that does business with Trump, has given more than $64,000.

• NBC Universal gave the foundation a $500,000 donation. Fahrenthold said  the donation was to cover the cost of the contributions Trump made to contestants on his show, “The Apprentice.”

• People Magazine gave $150,000 for photos of  his son, Barron.

• Comedy Central gave $400,000 as an appearance fee for Trump for a roast sponsored by the channel.

• Donna Clancy  gave $100,000. She was a tenant at a Trump-owned office building.

How much has Trump given?

 Trump has given a total of $5.4 million to the foundation through 2014.

Who gets the money? How much?

The donations have generally been small, by foundation standards - $5,000 to $15,000 - and have often gone to organizations that have done business with Trump.

Here are a few of the larger donations made by the foundation through the years:

• $100,000 to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and $35,000 to Samaritan’s Purse, both run by Franklin Graham 

• $50,000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

• $25,000 the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

• $40,000 to the Drumthwacket Foundation, which maintains the upkeep of the New Jersey governor’s mansion

• Trump sponsored one of Sen. Rand Paul’s trips to Guatemala where the senator in his capacity as a physician performed eye surgeries for needy patients.

• $100,000 to the conservative activist group Citizens United

7 things to know now: New DNC hack; Trump childcare plan; 'America's Got Talent'

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Another hack: The Democratic National Committee said on Tuesday it had been hacked again, allegedly by the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0. A link to the information taken was posted on WikiLeaks’ Twitter account. Information about donors and private phone numbers – including the phone number of Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine -- were said to be included in the release.  The DNC was hacked prior to this summer’s convention and emails reveal in that hack lead to the resignation of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

2. Manning to get surgery: U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning will be allowed to have gender transition surgery, according to attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union. Manning, who is  serving a 35-year prison term for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, had been on a hunger strike since Friday. The 28-year-old was born a man, but identifies as a woman. 

3. Typhoon to hit Taiwan: Super Typhoon Meranti, sporting 190 mph winds, is headed toward Taiwan. The storm is expected to  weaken slightly before it as it moves toward Taiwan then on to mainland China on Thursday. An America’s East Coast, Tropical Storm Julia was bringing heavy rain to the northeast coast of Florida and southeast Georgia. Forecasters say to expect 3 to 6 inches of rain through Friday. 

4. Trump’s childcare proposal: With his daughter Ivanka by his side, Donald Trump on Tuesday said if he is elected he would allow for a federal income tax deduction for childcare, and would institute a cap on the cost of care in each state. The plan also guarantees six weeks of paid maternity leave, provided by the government if the woman’s employer does not provide such a benefit.

5. Climate change and the military: A group of former U.S. military officers and national security officials have endorsed a statement issued by a climate change think tank that says rising tides due to climate change poses a threat to U.S. military installations. The Center for Climate and Security said climate change “presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option.” The risk comes from extreme weather and rising sea tides that would impact coastal bases, according to the group. The former officers and officials want the next president to establish a cabinet-level position to address climate change and the impact it would have on national security.

And one more

Tonight a winner will be crowned in the finale of season 11 of  “America’s Got Talent.” While singer Grace VanderWaal has become the star among the contestants, it remains to be seen if she can win it all tonight. The 12-year-old is a singer/songwriter who plays  the ukulele. The show airs at 8 p.m. ET.

In case you missed  it

Here's what happens when  you accidentally buy a cow.

Burned debris may be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

A man who's found several pieces believed to be from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 now says he's found pieces with burn marks.

Debris hunter Blaine Gibson recently found five new pieces that allegedly belong to the plane, which mysteriously veered thousands of miles off course and crashed in the Indian Ocean in 2014. Two of those pieces show burn marks.

>> Read more trending stories

If they're confirmed to be part of MH370, it would be the first evidence of a fire having broken out.

But it may only add another mystery — Gibson noted it's unclear if the fire would have come before the crash or after.

Many of the pieces that have been found are small, which could mean the plane crashed hard, versus gliding down. A BBC analyst says if a fire broke out before the crash, the theory that the pilot killed himself would be less likely.

Gibson is a lawyer from Seattle. He has spent more than a year jumping from island to island in the Indian Ocean in a self-funded search for wreckage.

In June, Gibson found 15 to 20 personal effects, such as a backpack and a computer case, from passengers on the flight.

The new pieces have reportedly been sent to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which has been the lead investigator of the crash.

The ATSB did not immediately comment on the possible evidence. Gibson's find may help convince Australia, China and Malaysia's governments not to suspend their search in December.

It's already cost the three governments almost $180 million.

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Is sugar a dangerous drug? One man thinks so.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Monday claims the sugar industry distorted scientific research into the effects of the sweetener on humans, going so far as to pay for a "review" that blurred sugar's role as one of the factors that can cause heart disease.

According to the report, “Big Sugar” paid for research that downplayed any link between an increase in sugar consumption and an increase in heart disease in Americans in the late 1950s.  

The research presented in the JAMA paper comes from correspondence exchanged in the 1960s between a sugar trade group and researchers at Harvard University. As early studies began to question a link between sugar and heart disease, the article says, the Sugar Association was busy crafting a campaign to turn around "negative attitudes" toward their product.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

In 1965,  the group approved "Project 226," which set up a fund to pay Harvard researchers nearly $50,000 in today’s money to review material supplied by the industry and produce a report that stated cholesterol and fat were what was causing the increase in heart disease. The report claimed that sugar played no part in heart disease.

"[The review] concluded there was ‘no doubt’ that the only dietary intervention required to prevent coronary heart disease was to reduce dietary cholesterol and substitute polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat in the American diet," the study authors wrote in 1967 when the paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Associated Press reported:

The findings published Monday are part of an ongoing project by a former dentist, Cristin Kearns, to reveal the sugar industry's decades-long efforts to counter science linking sugar with negative health effects, including diabetes. The latest work, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, is based primarily on 31 pages of correspondence between the sugar group and one of the Harvard researchers who authored the review. In a statement, the Sugar Association said it "should have exercised greater transparency in all of its research activities," but that funding disclosures were not the norm when the review was published. The group also questioned Kearns' "continued attempts to reframe historical occurrences" to play into the current public sentiment against sugar. The Sugar Association said it was a "disservice" that industry-funded research in general is considered "tainted."

Sugar as a regulated substance

A story from the website Vox features an interview with Robert Lustig, a man who has for years researched the effects of sugar on the human body. Lustig  says he thinks sugar should be seen in a different light – and not a good one.

Lustig says his research has shown that sugar is as toxic to the body as alcohol can be because humans can only process so much sugar at a time. Because of that and other factors, Lustig says he thinks the sweetener should be regulated by the federal government.

“Once upon a time, sugar was a condiment. Now it's a diet staple. That's a problem, because as it turns out, we as human beings have a limited capacity to metabolize it. … So a little is okay; a lot is not,” Lustig said. The dose determines the poison. The data says that the dose on average that is safe is six to nine teaspoons of added sugar per day. Currently, Americans are at 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That excess is driving obesity, diabetes, lipid problems, heart disease, cancer, dementia, fatty liver disease — virtually every chronic metabolic disease that you can think of is being driven by this excess of sugar.”

Lustig says he believes there is a strong case for sugar – which is a carbohydrate made up of 12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen – being treated by the government as a controlled substance.

"If a substance is abused and addictive, ... that's criteria for regulation," Lustig told Vox.

“This has all been put into our food by the food industry because they know when they add it, people buy more. It's addictive — weakly so, but addictive nonetheless. … The definition of addicted is that you know it's bad for you and you can't stop anyway, … because the biochemical drive to consume is greater than any cognitive ability to restrain oneself.

“There are two phenomena attached to addiction: one's called tolerance, the other is withdrawal. It turns out sugar does both of those as well. If a substance is abused and addictive and it contributes to societal problems, that's criteria for regulation.”

Lustig went on to say in the interview from 2014 that sugar meets what he considers the four criteria a substance should have in order to be regulated.

“There are four things that have to be met in order to consider a substance worthy of regulation. Number one: ubiquity — you can't get rid of it, it's everywhere. Number two: toxicity — it has to hurt you. Number three: abuse. Number four: externalities, which means it has a negative impact on society.

Sugar meets all four criteria, hands down.”

Lustig explained that whether he would consumer an unhealthy amount of sugar or not doesn’t matter, he would still be paying for others who do. "How does your sugar consumption hurt me? Well, my employer has to pay $2,750 per employee for obesity management and medicine, whether I'm obese or not.”

Lustig says he is not suggesting that sugar be banned, but that its consumption be reduced.

“So no one is talking about getting rid of it, but in order to solve this public health debacle we have to reduce consumption. The only way to do that for an addictive substance is to reduce availability, and the only way to reduce availability is taxation or restriction of access or banning. Forget banning; that's out. That leaves taxation and restriction of access — well, that's regulation.”

Click here to read the full interview with Lustig.

iOS 10 released today; more Siri, new iMessage, photo, music features

The newest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 10, is available for download Tuesday with an impressive list of upgrades.

The free download will give Apple device owners a host of new features including the addition of popular virtual assistant Siri in most every app, and an Apple map system that offers traffic alerts and alternative routes.

Perhaps the most talked-about addition comes in iMessages where you can now send “Tapback” reactions, add larger emojis and use “emojification” in which the app looks at what you have written and allows you to substitute emojis for certain words.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here  

The news app has been redesigned for easier reading, and Apple Pay is now online and easier to use.

Here are some other upgrades included in the download:

  • Apple Photos now has face recognition as well as smart grouping for location, topics and other categories. The new system is called “Memories,” and it will be done automatically.

  • Look for more 3D-touch enabled apps

  • Apple Music has been overhauled. It is easier to get to and edit. It’s easier to control what goes into your music library. You can also get lyrics.

  • Notifications have changed. You no longer have to open the app to reply,  just tap on the notification to launch the app. It’s easier to  clear all notifications now, too.

  • A new setting for your lockscreen lets you set your phone to light up when you lift it. 

  • The Control Centre has two panels now. The first shows the same quick controls, the second shows music, the app that’s playing, volume and playback controls. There  is also a drop-down to select the output device.

  • A new app call Home lets you turn on lights and unlock doors when you are away from home.

  • In iMessages, “Invisible ink” allows you to send a message or photo that remains hidden, then is revealed when the recipient swipes it.

The iOS 10 update is available for the iPhone 5 and newer,  iPad mini 2 and newer, iPad 4 and the sixth generation iPod touch.

Click here for more on what’s new and to download iOS 10.

7 things to know now: Clinton's health; Ryan Lochte; Galaxy Note 7 fix

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What we know now

1. Feeling better: Hillary Clinton said Monday that her campaign did not disclose the fact she had pneumonia because she didn’t think it was "going to be that big a deal."  The announcement about her illness came after a video surfaced showing her stumbling into a van as she left a 9/11 memorial ceremony Sunday. Clinton said she left after feeling dizzy and overheated, then lost her balance as she was getting into a van. She was diagnosed with pneumonia Friday. "I was supposed to rest five days -- that's what they told me on Friday -- and I didn't follow that very wise advice," Clinton told CNN's Anderson Cooper in a phone interview. Clinton said she was feeling much better.

2. DWTS protests aimed at Lochte: Ryan Lochte’s debut on “Dancing With the Stars” was marred when protesters rushed the stage as the swimmer had just finished his dance and was hearing a critique from the judges. Two of the protesters got onto the dance floor and near Lochte and his partner, Cheryl Burke. Security guards got them off stage, according to reports. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was yelling, “Excuse me!” as the men came toward Lochte. While the incident happened during the live show, the TV audience did not see it as the camera stayed on Inaba. The men were arrested. 

3. Planned veto of 9/11 bill: President Barack Obama is expected to veto a bill that would allow victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. According to White House press secretary Josh Earnest the president  will not sign the bill because it would complicate diplomatic relations with the country. The bill passed the Senate in May and was unanimously passed by the House on Friday.

4. Galaxy Note 7: Samsung is set to issue a software update for its troubled Galaxy Note 7 phones after reports say the device’s battery can catch fire or explode. The update will limit battery recharges to less than 60 percent of a full charge. Note 7 owners are being urged to return the smartphones for a newer version that has corrected the manufacturing problem Samsung says causes the battery issue.

5. NCAA pulls championships: The NCAA has pulled seven championship events set to be played in North Carolina in response to a bill that, in part, requires transgender people to use the public restroom that corresponds with their gender at birth. The group that governs college sports says House Bill 2 prevents them from hosting events that “promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.” The National Basketball Association announced earlier in the summer that they have pulled the 2017 All-Star game out of the state because of HB2.

And one more

The tech expert who set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server has been called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Bryan Pagliano who was a tech manager at the State Department when he installed the server at Clinton's home, has already spoken to the FBI under a guarantee of immunity from prosecution. He told the bureau that Clinton’s  server had never been  successfully breached. He refused to talk to the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks earlier  this year.  

In case you missed it

The stalkers become the stalked.

Australian woman spends hundreds to save pet goldfish

An Australian woman shelled out hundreds of dollars to save her pet goldfish after the fish accidentally swallowed a large pebble and started to choke.

>> Read more trending stories

The pebble became lodged in Conquer the ranchu goldfish's throat after the fish accidentally ate it from his tank, Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Services said Thursday in a Facebook post.

In images shared by the veterinary service, the black rock can clearly be seen inside the fish.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); = id;  js.src = "//;version=v2.7";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>Recently our patients have been keeping us particularly busy! Just last week we had a client with a fishy problem!...Posted by Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Services on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Conquer's owner, 21-year-old Emma Marsh, told The Courier Mail that she took her 1-year-old pet to Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Services in Greenslopes, Queensland, after she saw him choke.

"I treat fish like they're any other pet," she told the newspaper.

Veterinarians put an anesthetic into Conquer's water to keep him asleep as they examined him.

"He was making excessive mouth movements trying to dislodge it," veterinarian Emma McMillan told The Courier Mail. "If we did nothing he would have starved to death."

McMillan removed the pebble, which was about 8 or 9 millimeters long. Conquer is only about 5 centimeters long, the vet said.

The fish was kept overnight for recovery and was released back to Marsh.

The ordeal cost Marsh $500 ($376 USD) -- $100 ($75 USD) for the emergency consultation and $400 ($301 USD) for the anesthetic and overnight stay, according to The Courier Mail.

"So far (he) has stayed out of any more trouble," according to Brisbane Bird and Exotics Veterinary Services.

The Great Barrier Reef is dying

The Great Barrier Reef is dying, and tourists from all over the world are rushing to see it while there's still time.

Nearly 70 percent of people who visited the reef in 2015 said they made the trip to Australia to witness its beauty before it's gone.

>> Read more trending stories  

Almost half of the reef's coral has vanished over the past three decades, thanks to warming ocean temperatures, invasive species and coastal development.

This year, the reef suffered the worst coral bleaching in recorded history. One study estimated over 90 percent of the reef has been affected. 

The Australian government thought the reef's dire state would drive tourists away, but it's done the opposite. That's great news for the multibillion-dollar tourism industry, but it could be bad news for the reef itself.

This phenomenon is called last-chance tourism, and it happens all the time at vanishing destinations, like the Maldives and Galapagos Islands.

Researchers fear it could make the reef's plight even worse. 

One of the study's authors wrote in The Conversation, "There's a vicious cycle at play here: tourists travel to see a destination before it disappears, but in so doing they contribute to its demise, either directly through on-site pressures or ... through greenhouse gas emissions."

But a reef scientist told Motherboard the impacts of tourism are actually "overwhelmingly positive."

"The greater the value of Great Barrier Reef tourism, the easier it is to justify government investment in reef management," said reef scientist Peter Mumby.

And the reef might already be seeing those positive effects. A new video from early September showed at least part of the reef has almost fully recovered from coral bleaching.

7 things to know now: Clinton pneumonia; Dolphins players kneel; 'basket of deplorables'; Arquette dies

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Clinton stumbles at ceremony: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stumbled and appeared to go limp as she left a  9/11 anniversary remembrance ceremony in New York City Sunday. Clinton stumbled as she attempted to get into a van and had to be held up by three  people. According to her campaign,  she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday and on Sunday became overheated during the ceremony. A short time after the incident, she emerged from her daughter Chelsea’s apartment in Manhattan and waved to the crowd there, saying she was OK.

2. Not standing for the anthem: Fans are criticizing four players for the Miami Dolphins who chose to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem Sunday. Some say that the decision by linebacker Jelani Jenkins, wide receiver Kenny Stills, running back Arian Foster and safety Michael Thomas was a particularly poor one in light of Sunday’s  anniversary of the terror attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised a fist during the anthem Sunday, as did New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett and safety Devin McCourty prior to their game. The moves have come in the wake of San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the playing of the anthem.

3. Explaining the ‘basket’: Hillary Clinton on Saturday backtracked comments she made at a fundraiser Friday saying that at least half of Donald Trump’s supporters could be lumped into “the basket of deplorables.” Clinton said the “basket” contained people who are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.” Clinton partially walked back the remarks on Saturday after they became public, saying, “ Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that's never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ -- that was wrong.”

4. Dancing with the Stars: Ryan Lochte, along with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Amber Rose and Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady from “The Brady Bunch”) are among the cast of the next season of “Dancing With the Stars.” The latest installment of the dancing competition is set to begin Monday at 8 p.m. ET. Also set to put their dancing shoes on is Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Marilu Henner and Vanilla Ice.

5. Arquette dies: Alexis  Arquette, a transgender actress and sibling of David Arquette and Patricia Arquette, died Sunday. Arquette, who had roles in “Pulp Fiction,” “Bride of Chucky,” and who starred as a Boy George impersonator in “The Wedding Singer,” was 47. Arquette had surgery to transition  to a woman in 2006.  No cause of death was released.

And one more

Savvy Shields, Miss Arkansas, was named Miss America Sunday night. Shields bested 51 other contestants in the annual pageant, where she performed a jazz  dance. Shields was asked a question about Hillary Clinton during a portion of the competition and replied, "If you're trying to be leader of the free world, everything you say and do matters and all of your actions are held to a higher standard. Both of the contestants have done a good job, but they also need to watch what they're doing."

In case you missed it

It's 15,000 dominoes and 25 hours of work. Amazing!

110 people got stuck in cable cars during a trip to the French Alps

Views of Mont Blanc in the French Alps are stunning. But views of Mont Blanc while you are stuck in a cable car about 12,000 feet in the air probably seem a little less stunning.

>> Read more trending stories

That was the view for 110 people trapped in cable cars Thursday afternoon. Some passengers were rescued by helicopter that day, but others had to stay in the cars overnight until it was safe enough for the rescue team to get them.

The cars stopped working after cables got crossed. NPR reports officials think strong winds might have caused the cable issue.

The last of the passengers were rescued safely Friday morning. 


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