Kevin Rudd 'deeply disturbed' by Jeffrey Epstein donations – politics live

Happy Thursday!

The worst day of the week is also the last day of parliament for a couple of weeks, and the last (full) day of estimates hearings, so it will most likely get a little feisty today, with a lovely dollop of fatigue just to keep it interesting.

For the first time in a while, it’s news from outside Australia capturing attention. As AAP reports:

US financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein donated $US650,000 ($A920,500) to the Internat­ional Peace Institute between 2011 to 2019, a revelation the think-tank’s chair Kevin Rudd says is “deeply disturbing”.

The former Australian prime minister, who became vice-chair of the UN-affiliated organisation in 2014 and chair in 2018, has convened an extraordinary board meeting after reports IPI president Terje Rod-Larsen borrowed $US130,000 from convicted pedophile Epstein in 2013.

“I first learned of contributions from Epstein’s foundations to the IPI in November 2019 through reporting by the Norwegian press. I was blindsided by this,” Rudd said in a statement to Norwegian business newspaper DN on Wednesday.

“These revelations were deeply disturbing to me and to other members of the board. IPI’s work includes combating human trafficking and sexual violence”

Rudd has asked for a report to be given to the board He said he has no recollection of meeting Epstein, but was on a conference call that Epstein was also on, in 2014.

Expect to hear more on that today.

We’ll also bring you parliament, a bit of the last hours of the Queensland election campaign and of course, the Covid situation across Australia.

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You have Amy Remeikis with you.

Ready? Let’s get into it.


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