Trump’s fortune slides by $600 million on Forbes wealth list

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the Heritage Foundation's President's Club Meeting in Washington, U.S., on Tuesday. (REUTERS)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Trump’s fortune slides by $600 million on Forbes wealth list

NNEW YORK: America’s richest may be getting richer but President Donald Trump’s fortune has slid by $600 million to $3.1 billion, according to a list of 400 billionaires released by Forbes magazine on Tuesday.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates topped the list for a 24th consecutive year on a net worth of $89 billion with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, worth $81.5 billion, number two.
But Trump, the first US president to come solely from the private sector, is ranked 248 — sharing the spot with 27-year-old Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, the youngest person on the list.
Forbes attributed Trump’s decline to a weakening New York retail and office real estate market, and new information about his assets. The Manhattan tycoon ranked 156 in 2016, the year he was elected to the White House.
Forbes said those on its 36th annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans have a record-breaking, combined total net worth of $2.7 trillion, up from $2.4 trillion in 2016. Entrance to the exclusive club cost a record breaking $2 billion.
There were 22 newcomers, including Netflix cofounder and CEO Reed Hastings. Twenty-six people dropped off from last year, including US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
There were only 50 women on the list. Alice Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, was the highest ranked at 13. Unlike her brothers, she has focused on curating art rather than working for Wal-Mart.
The biggest gainer in dollar terms was Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, chalking up a $15.5 billion increase in net worth to retain his number four ranking at $71 billion. The full list can be found at www.forbes.com/forbes-400/.


More than 70 countries commit to combat terror financing

Updated 26 April 2018
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More than 70 countries commit to combat terror financing

  • Participants at an international conference in Paris agreed to “fully criminalize” terror financing
  • The two-day event was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron

PARIS: More than 70 countries committed Thursday to bolster efforts in the fight against terrorism financing associated with Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
Participants at an international conference in Paris agreed to “fully criminalize” terror financing through effective and proportionate sanctions “even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act.”
The two-day event was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron to coordinate efforts to reduce the terror threat in the long-term.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, IMF chief Christine Lagarde, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Abdel Al-Jubeir and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani were all present.
Macron, who has returned to France from a state visit to the United States, is expected to close the conference later with a call for the necessity for multilateral action.
Daniel Lewis, executive secretary of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, said he is hoping that words will be put into action.
“When we have information — for example the UN list of individuals and entities financing terrorism — we need to make sure measures like asset freezing are implemented fully and quickly,” Lewis told The Associated Press.
Participants called for better information-sharing between intelligence services, law enforcement, financial businesses and the technology industry. They also agreed to improve the traceability of funds going to non-governmental organizations and charity associations.
Participants included countries that have accused each other of funding terrorism, notably in the Arabian Gulf.
France has pushed for international coordination and more transparency in financial transactions. But it has recognized how sensitive the issue is, and saw the conference as a first step for coordinated action.
The French organizers noted that Daesh military defeats on the ground have not prevented the group from pursuing its terrorist activities, along with Al-Qaeda — especially in unstable regions of Afghanistan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Yemen, Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa.
Terror groups don’t only rely on the cash economy — they’re using increasingly hard-to-track tools like prepaid cards, online wallets and crowdfunding operations.
Daesh has also invested in businesses and real estate to ensure its financing. Daesh revenues alone were estimated at $2.5 billion between 2014 and 2016, according to the French president’s office.
Though most of the attacks in Western countries do not cost a lot of money, a French official said terror groups “behave like big organizations” in that it “costs a lot to recruit, train, equip people and spread propaganda.” The official was speaking anonymously under the presidency’s customary practice.
The French counterterrorism prosecutor Francois Molins told FranceInfo radio that Daesh uses micro-financing techniques to collect a great number of small amounts of money.
Work with the financial intelligence unit helped identify 416 people in France who have donated money to Daesh over the last two years, he said.
Money, he said, went to “320 collectors mostly based in Turkey and Lebanon from whom jihadis in Iraq and Syria could receive funds.”
In recent years, the US and other Western nations have encouraged Middle Eastern nations to close off such sources.
However, allegations over extremist funding in part sparked a near-yearlong boycott of Qatar by four Arab states.
Qatar denies funding extremists, though it has faced Western criticism about being lax in enforcing rules.
Participants agreed to hold a similar conference next year in Australia.