Ivanka Trump's India visit raises questions about her brand

Ivanka Trump is making a significant solo outing by headlining a business conference in India, but her trip highlights questions about whether her message of empowering poor women matches her actions.

Trump landed yesterday in the southern city of Hyderabad and was scheduled to make the opening address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

The city has cleared away beggars and filled potholes ahead of the visit by Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior presidential adviser.

President Trump has signed a new order aimed at stopping companies from sourcing foreign goods and labour. Source: 1 NEWS

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to join her at the opening and will later host her for dinner at the luxurious Falaknuma Palace Hotel.

Many in India are excited about Trump appearing at the conference, which is being co-hosted by the United States and India.

"It's cool that she's coming," said Amani Bhugati, a medical student. "She's glamorous, beautiful and powerful. It's like a combination of Hollywood and politics."

Others marvelled at the improvements made around the city. "All new," said Gopal, a taxi driver who gave only his first name.

But he also pointed to the potholes that remain on many smaller streets. "She's not coming here, so they didn't fix it," he said.

More than 1,200 people were expected to attend the three-day conference, including Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and head of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

Critics say Ivanka Trump could use her leadership to do more good

The US first daughter’s father, President Trump, has been the subject of many an SNL skit, now it’s Ivanka’s turn. Source: SNL/You Tube

Yet the conference's focus on female entrepreneurs raises questions about some of the commercial decisions made by Trump and her famous namesake brand.

Critics have excoriated her for failing to use her leadership role to call out labour and human rights abuses, particularly in China, where the bulk of her US merchandise ships from.

And they say she has failed to take a public stand on alleged abuses in her brand's own supply chain.

Trump stepped back from day-to-day management of her brand before taking on an official role as White House adviser, but still retains an ownership interest.

Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, has called supply chain integrity "a top priority," but the brand has not joined the growing number of companies that publicly identify their manufacturers.

Secrecy surrounding Ivanka Trump's business dealings

A September investigation by The Associated Press showed that Trump's supply chain has become more opaque than ever since she took on her White House role, making it impossible to know who her company is doing business with around the world. The brand has said supply chains are the responsibility of its licensees.

Earlier this month, 23 rights groups signed a letter urging Trump, her brand and two licensees to publish the names and addresses of suppliers.

They also demanded that the Chinese government not prosecute three activists detained this past summer while investigating the brand's supply chain, and allow independent monitoring of factories.

In India, the cleanup of Hyderabad, a southern technology hub, began a month ahead of the conference, when the city began rounding up several hundred homeless people and beggars.

Officials said the drive against begging was launched because two international events were taking place in the city — the entrepreneurship summit and the World Telugu Conference in December. Begging is a criminal offense in India and can be punished by as much as 10 years in prison, although the law is rarely enforced.

Beggars tend to crowd around cars at traffic signals, knocking on windows and asking for food and money. They include children as young as 5, who weave through dangerous traffic and often perform small acrobatic acts.

At least one traffic overpass on the road that leads to the city from the airport has been painted in the colors of the rainbow. At night, laser beams dance across the overpass, turning a routine traffic stoplight into a psychedelic experience.

The annual entrepreneurship conference has a theme this year of "Women first, prosperity for all," and involves networking, mentoring and workshops.

Trump is expected to host at least two panel discussions, where she will be joined by Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, before leaving Wednesday (US time). She is not planning to address the media during the trip.


Donald Trump suggests 'rogue killers' murdered Saudi journalist

President Donald Trump suggested today that "rogue killers" could be responsible for the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an explanation offering US ally Saudi Arabia a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm. 

The Saudis continued to deny they killed the writer, but there were indications the story could soon change.

While Mr Trump commented at the White House, Turkish crime scene investigators finally entered the Saudi consulate to comb the building where Mr Khashoggi was last seen alive two weeks ago.

Mr Trump spoke after a personal 20-minute phone call with Saudi King Salman and as the president dispatched his secretary of state to Riyadh for a face-to-face discussion with the king. Late in the day, there were published reports that the Saudis were preparing to concede that Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, had been killed in an interrogation gone wrong.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it," Mr  Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia. Mr Trump said he didn't "want to get into (Salman's) mind," but he added, "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. I mean, who knows? We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial."

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government and in particular Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to get paperwork for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman. Turkish officials have said he was killed and dismembered.

In a sign of new cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that could shed light on the disappearance, Turkish investigators wearing coveralls and gloves entered the consulate on Monday local time. It remained unclear what evidence they might be able to uncover. Earlier in the day, a cleaning crew with mops, trash bags and what appeared to be bottles of bleach walked in past waiting journalists.

Trump administration officials told The Associated Press that intelligence collected by the US is inconclusive as to what actually happened to Mr Khashoggi. With such a lack of clarity, the administration has not ruled out any possible scenario. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, hurriedly sent to Riyadh, expected to get more clarity during talks with Saudi leaders tomorrow. The White House expects credible answers quickly after Mr Pompeo wraps up his trip with a stop in Ankara for meetings with senior Turkish officials.

The State Department has urged a thorough investigation into Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and called on Saudi Arabia to be transparent about the results - advice broadly tracking messages from allies in Europe. Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement over the weekend expressing "grave concern" and calling for a credible investigation to ensure those responsible for the disappearance "are held to account."

Mr Trump quoted the King today as saying that neither he nor his son, Crown Prince Mohammed, had any information about what had happened to Mr Khashoggi.

The prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions. He and Mr Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, have forged close ties.

Just last week, Mr Trump vowed to uncover the truth about what happened to Khashoggi and promised "severe punishment" for those responsible. But he has said repeatedly that he does not want to halt a proposed $US110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia - as some in Congress have said he should - because it would harm the US economically.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any US punitive action. That would be an unprecedented breach in a decades-old, deep economic and security relationship that is key to Washington's policies in the Middle East. A Saudi-owned satellite channel later suggested the world's largest oil exporter could wield that production as a weapon against America.

President Donald Trump stops to talk to members of the media outside the White House in Washington. Source: Associated Press


First baby gift: Meghan & Harry given baby ugg boots, toy 'roo as Royal tour kicks off in Sydney

Baby Sussex has already received his or her first presents thanks to Australia - baby ugg boots and a stuffed kangaroo with a joey in the pouch.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex held the first engagement of their first Australian tour at Admiralty House in Sydney on Tuesday morning.

The event was to focus on the upcoming Invictus Games, an event started by Prince Harry to help war veterans.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Australia's Governor General Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne Cosgrove stand in the grounds of Admiralty House in Sydney, with a view of the Sydney Opera House, on the first day of the royal couple's visit to Australia Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Harry and Meghan will take part in 76 engagements in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand over their 16-day trip to the Pacific region. (Phil Noble/PA via AP)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex pose in front of the Sydney Opera House. Source: Associated Press

But the real interest was in the news - announced on Monday night - that the royal couple were expecting their first baby next year.

The Sydney sun shone on their first public appearance 15 hours after the news broke of her pregnancy.

Australia's Governor General Peter Cosgrove gives the Duke and Duchess of Sussex a toy kangaroo - with a baby - at Admiralty House in Sydney on the first day of the royal couple's visit to Australia Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Harry and Meghan will take part in 76 engagements in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand over their 16-day trip to the Pacific region. (Phil Noble/PA via AP)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with Australia's Governor General Peter Cosgrove. Source: Associated Press

Meghan wore a tight fitting, sleeveless cream dress by Australian designer Karen Gee that barely revealed a royal bump at all.

Harry, dressed in navy blue suit, smiled proudly as the couple held hands on their tour through Admiralty House.

The announcement took many by surprise including Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove, who dispatched a staff member to hastily purchase the toy kangaroo for their pregnant guest.

The visit coincides with the Invictus Games in Sydney, which kick off on Saturday and run for a week.

Prince Harry who served with the British Army for a decade, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan, set up the Invictus Games after visiting the US Warrior Games in 2013, when he saw the positive impact sport was having on the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded servicemen and women.

The royal couple met with representatives of the 18 countries competing in the games at Admiralty House.

They then met invictus Games officials including ambassador and former swimmer Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing, as well as Peter Leahy and Patrick Kidd.

They then posed for the standard shot with the Opera House in the background.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, was the first government official to meet the pair, after they greeted Invictus Games flag bearers.

"It's my fault if the weather is bad," she told the smiling couple in the sunshine.

After their meeting with the Invictus Games representatives, Sir Peter presented the couple with the baby gifts and the Akubra hats Australia had made as a wedding gift.

"The Morrisons have asked us to pass on a gift for your trip to Dubbo," the Governor-General said handing over the two grey akubra hats.

They then headed for Taronga zoo where they met two joey koalas named in their honour and officially opened the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.

Harry ditched the tie for the zoo visit, while Megan donned a beige trench coat.

They'll then hop on a boat to cross the harbour to the Opera House to watch a rehearsal by the Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Afterwards, they'll do a walkabout on the forecourt to meet eager royal fans, including 98-year-old war widow Daphne Dunne who has met Harry during his previous visits.

Hundreds of royal fans are already in place, including Megan Jones from the Central Coast.

"I love them ... I think Meghan is great for royalty," she told AAP whole waiting.

Tuesday is the first opportunity for the public to interact with the couple - and to be the first to congratulate the royal couple.

In a jam-packed schedule of 76 engagements across 16 days, the royal duo will visit Sydney, Dubbo, Melbourne and Queensland's Fraser Island as well as Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were welcomed to Sydney's Admiralty House by Australian Governor General Peter Cosgrove for the first official engagement of their Australian tour. Source: Associated Press

Remains of 10 foetuses and an infant found in one-time US funeral home

The remains of 10 foetuses and one infant were found hidden in a former funeral home that had lost its license when decomposing embalmed bodies were found there earlier this year.

Naveed Syed last month bought the one-time Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit. He plans to rehab the property and transform it into a community center.

An anonymous letter led state inspectors Friday to the decomposed remains hidden between the building’s first and second floors.

Syed said he was shocked about the development, adding he was resolved to help investigators in any way he could.

Authorities have said the foetuses were found together in a cardboard-like box while the full-term infant was in a coffin.

The remains were taken to the Wayne County medical examiner’s office, which is coordinating efforts with authorities to identify the remains.

No arrests have been made.

Cantrell Funeral Home was shut down and had its mortuary license suspended in April after decomposing embalmed bodies were found and other violations were discovered.

Syed says he plans to organize a funeral service for the families of the foetuses and infant once they become known.

The remains of 10 foetuses and one infant were found hidden in a former funeral home in Detroit that had lost its license when decomposing embalmed bodies were found there earlier this year. Source: Associated Press