Amazon’s Jeff Bezos commits $2 bln to help homeless, pre-schools

Jeff Bezos made a $2 billion commitment to helping homeless families. (Reuters)
Updated 14 September 2018
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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos commits $2 bln to help homeless, pre-schools

  • The announcement marks a deeper foray into philanthropy for Bezos
  • Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter last year for ways to donate some of his wealth

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Inc’s founder and the world’s richest person, said on Thursday he will commit $2 billion to helping homeless families and starting pre-schools for low-income communities.
The announcement marks a deeper foray into philanthropy for Bezos, whose fortune has soared to more than $160 billion thanks to his stake in Amazon. Dominance in e-commerce and the nascent field of cloud computing has made Amazon the world’s second-most valuable public company.
Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter last year for ways to donate some of his wealth. While he has financially supported cancer research and scholarships for immigrants, among other causes, Bezos has primarily devoted his fortune to his Blue Origin rocket company, which he described on Thursday as an “investment in the future of our planet through the development of foundational space infrastructure.”
His private ownership of The Washington Post, which has published articles critical of the White House, has also put him at odds with US President Donald Trump.
The new philanthropic effort is called the Bezos Day One Fund, a nod to the executive’s management philosophy that organizations must view every day with the fervor of a new start, or face stagnation and decline.
Within this, the “Day 1 Families Fund” will support existing non-profit organizations that offer shelter and food to young homeless families.
The “Day 1 Academies Fund” will start an organization to operate a new network of full-scholarship pre-schools for low-income communities. Citing the Amazon mantra of customer obsession, Bezos said in a tweet : “The child will be the customer.”
Bezos said in remarks to the Economic Club of Washington that it is “really really hard” for a child to catch up if they fall behind in their early years. The money will pay “gigantic dividends for decades.”
He said he did not know how much money he would eventually give away.
Bezos has yet to join “The Giving Pledge” created by fellow billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, whose more than 180 signatories have promised to give more than half of their fortunes to philanthropy.
The Amazon chief’s wealth has become problematic for some.
Earlier this month, US Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, proposed a bill in Congress called the “Stop BEZOS” Act, which would make large corporations pay workers more or pay for public assistance programs like Medicaid. Amazon has said Sanders’ statements about the company were “inaccurate and misleading.” 


Cybersecurity firm: More Iran hacks as US sanctions loomed

Updated 23 min 24 sec ago
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Cybersecurity firm: More Iran hacks as US sanctions loomed

  • Officials with FireEye said on Tuesday the hackers appear to belong to a group it refers to as APT33

DUBAI: A cybersecurity firm is warning that Iranian government-aligned hackers have stepped up their efforts in the wake of President Donald Trump pulling America from the nuclear deal.
Officials with FireEye said on Tuesday the hackers appear to belong to a group it refers to as APT33, an acronym for “advanced persistent threat.” APT33 used phishing email attacks with fake job opportunities to hack computers.
FireEye says the “cyberespionage” effort from July 2 through July 29 targeted primarily Mideast energy firms, as well as some organization in North America and Japan.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
FireEye similarly issued a warning about APT33 a year ago. It says “the current geopolitical climate” may lead to more hacking attempts by the group.