Tycoon killed in plane crash leaves $52m fortune to Oxfam

Richard Cousins was killed along with his family members on New Year's Eve in a plane crash in Australia. (Reuters)
Updated 21 August 2018
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Tycoon killed in plane crash leaves $52m fortune to Oxfam

LONDON: A tycoon killed with his family in a seaplane crash in Australia on New Year's Eve left a $52 million fortune to the crisis-hit charity Oxfam.
The bequest comes at a time when Oxfam is trying to find $21 million in savings as it grapples with the fallout from a sex abuse scandal.
The charity, which has lost thousands of donors since reports earlier this year that its staff used prostitutes while working in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, said it had only recently been notified and could not confirm the amount.
"We are extremely grateful for this bequest," Oxfam said in a statement.
Richard Cousins, 58, boss of catering giant Compass Group, died with sons William, 25, Edward, 23, fiancee Emma Bowden, 48, and her daughter Heather, 11, when their plane nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney.
The Sun newspaper reported that some time before the crash Cousins drew up a will with a "common tragedy clause", leaving his money to Oxfam in the event that he and his sons were killed together.
Oxfam said it was working with Cousins' family and its board of trustees to identify how the bequest would be used.
The sum is more than twice the amount received from legacies in the year 2016 to 2017.
The Sun said all but £3 million pounds of Cousins' fortune would go to the charity. Two brothers will receive £1 million each.
The seaplane was part of the Sydney Seaplanes business that has operated since 2005 with no previous record of mishap.
A preliminary investigation found it was off course, but could not determine the cause of the crash, which also killed Australian pilot Gareth Morgan.


EU members united behind draft Brexit deal

Updated 14 min 24 sec ago
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EU members united behind draft Brexit deal

BRUSSELS: Ministers from the 27 non-British EU members agreed on Monday not to reopen talks on the draft Brexit divorce deal ahead of its signing this weekend.
“The first difficult step is done,” said Austrian minister for Europe Gernot Blumel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, after the ministers met.
Negotiations in Brussels will now focus on finalizing a political declaration on ambitions for the post-Brexit relationship between Britain and the European Union.