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- The Independent
The Supreme Court has tossed out former President Donald Trump’s last remaining challenge to the 2020 election after he lied about the results of the nationwide vote and urged states to wipe out thousands of ballots while promoting false claims of fraud. The court without comment rejected Mr Trump’s appeal, which challenged thousands of absentee ballots filed in Wisconsin, an election battleground that the former president lost by more than 20,000 votes. It was the last of three petitions filed at the Supreme Court near the end of his presidency that the justices declined to take up.
- The Telegraph
New Zealand 'not likely' to become a republic in wake of Harry and Meghan interview, says Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand's prime minister says the country is “not likely” to become a republic in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan's interview, as Commonwealth countries face calls for the removal of the Queen as Head of State. Jacinda Ardern was asked whether the unflattering picture of the British royal family painted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had given her pause about New Zealand's constitutional ties to Britain. "I've said before that I've not sensed an appetite from New Zealanders for significant change in our constitutional arrangements, and I don't expect that's likely to change quickly," she said. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with The Queen as Sovereign. But discontent is bubbling elsewhere - #AbolishTheMonarchy was trending on Twitter on Monday morning.
- Business Insider
Biden nominates female generals who were passed over by the Pentagon because they feared Trump's reaction
Pentagon officials reportedly believed former president Donald Trump would oppose the promotion of female generals.
Tyler Perry provided Harry and Meghan a home and security in Los Angeles after their royal support was removed
The couple stayed at Perry's home in California for three months after leaving Canada when their royal security detail was removed.
- LA Times
Oprah Winfrey's interview with Meghan and Harry hasn't aired yet in Britain, but that hasn't stopped commentators from weighing in, mostly negatively.
- The Daily Beast
Joe Pugliese/CBSThe contemplation of suicide, blatant racism, and a family of “trapped,” emotionally stunted snobs: nobody expected Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey to be as dramatic as it was, or as grim. It was less a night for popcorn and low-stakes royal dish, and more one for stricken looks of surprise. One bombshell and within-palace-walls horror story followed another, one numbing thud after another. The opening revelation that Kate Middleton had made Meghan cry, not the other way round—as had been previously reported—was a relatively innocent aperitif. This grand guignol was just getting started.Meghan Markle: ‘I Just Didn’t Want to Be Alive Anymore’Harry and Meghan told a similar raw story of gilded nightmares just as Princess Diana told BBC’s Panorama in 1995. We have heard it before, and assumed the institution might have changed in response to the criticism that followed. Not a chance.It was every terrible part of being a princess/duchess in a fairytale-gone-wrong as Diana had told—with a happy ending of a kind, although the question lingering at the end, despite the principals’ smiles was: at what cost? Harry said he felt his mother’s spirit during this time, as well as living off her money having been cut off by the royal family. “She saw it coming,” he said.The British tabloid press, and Harry and Meghan’s harshest critics, will likely find ways to dismiss their words, to criticize them anew. Perhaps, as has happened before, Meghan and Harry will be decried as rich cry-babies, entitled whiners. But these familiar attacks will be harder to make, given how the couple told their stories to Oprah. Britain will finally see this documentary tonight, Monday.Oprah did not, as her detractors expected, simply act as a friend with a shoulder to cry on; she didn’t supply warm bathos or easy platitudes. Sure, she visited the couple’s hens. She joyfully welcomed Meghan’s pregnancy bump. But she interviewed with care and rigor. Every time Meghan or Harry waffled or said something imprecise, she asked them to be precise—especially when it came to identifying the racist or racists within the palace who demeaned Meghan, and who queried how dark Archie’s skin would be when he was born.That person (or persons’) identity remains unknown, but the stricken expressions on Meghan and Harry’s faces, their determination not to tell Oprah, suggest someone who was very close to them, or significant within the palace. The possible darkness of Archie’s skin, the fact he would be the child of a biracial couple, apparently necessitated he would not be thought of as a prince, and that he deserved no security.Oprah asked questions about what had gone wrong in the royal family, and was told bluntly about a catastrophe that—if true—shows just how unfit for modern purpose the royal family is. This was such a compelling interview, brilliantly done, that two hours did not seem enough. Indeed, Oprah said more would be revealed on CBS This Morning in a few hours time, co-anchored by her best friend Gayle King. Sure, Meghan was not asked about the investigation into bullying allegations that broke after the interview was recorded and had so focused minds before its transmission, and which seem—for now at least—the least of the royal family’s concerns.That family is very selective when it comes to opening investigations. For instance, at the time of writing there is one underway about alleged bullying by Meghan Markle of palace staff, and not one about Prince Andrew’s friendship with dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.Here is a suggestion for a few more, after Meghan and Prince Harry’s interview.Is it true a palace figure raised “concerns” about the “darkness” of unborn Archie’s skin? If so, whose racism was this? Why did they feel they could voice it to the baby’s father and mother? Why is this being said in the 21st century? What does it say about the royal family as an institution? Was it a royal family member, an aide, who? Will they be as thoroughly investigated, and if necessary reprimanded, as Meghan? What does the royal family have to say about this proud racism it exhibits directly to a woman of color, carrying a royal family member in her belly?Another investigation idea. Meghan said she felt suicidal when she was five months pregnant and that she approached the palace authorities seeking help, and was effectively told to get lost—when they surely have access to all the best doctors and specialists in the land. This reminds the casual royal observer of the complete dereliction of care when it came to Princess Diana, who was also left by this family to go mad within the confines of the palace.This investigation would focus both on both alleged cruelty and ignorance. Cruelty, because a woman is clearly struggling to maintain her psychological equilibrium. She is not only suffering, she is suffering right in front of you, and you are essentially rolling your eyes at her as if she is an inconvenience. Is this true? Who are you, the people that reportedly did this? And what are you, the institution that facilitates this behavior?After Diana died, so much was written about the changing royal family; that it would be the wake-up call to embrace at least the vestiges of 20th and now 21st century thinking. “Progressive” was the word. Harry and Meghan’s interview showed just how bogus that PR window dressing was. This is an institution, if Harry and Meghan are telling the truth, that is incapable of change, and more than that—actively resistant to it, and vicious to those who represent change, or who herald it. The royal family is not geared to welcoming such figures or forces. According to Harry and Meghan, the institutional instinct rather is to destroy. Prince Harry made brutally clear how deficient his father Prince Charles had been, and said—just as he felt “trapped,” so did his father and brother. The only winner in his recitation of awfulness was the queen, who Harry praised to the hilt.If we believe the couple, their departure from the royal family was quite literally a life or death situation. Harry left the royal family to save his wife’s life, and his son’s future. And to save himself. In her one misconceived idea, Oprah edged into the finale-of-Pretty-Woman territory, when she set up the dynamic of the couple saving each other, and it would have been easy for Meghan and Harry to go along with that, summoning up the image of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts on that apartment ladder joyfully clinging on to each other, allegedly equal saviors (but really, c’mon!).But Meghan could not go there. She said one of her regrets was “believing them when they said I would be protected,” meaning the royal family. They had done the opposite; they had left her not only exposed, she made clear, but life-endangeringly desperate. She told them this, and they did nothing. (Buckingham Palace, of course, may respond to this litany of charges, and claim things unfolded very differently—we shall see.) Harry and Meghan cautiously accepted the Pretty Woman dynamic Oprah offered, but their grim smiles suggested this was less a triumphant romantic ending, and more a case of lives saved by the grittiest of margins.Let’s say Pretty Woman had ended with Richard Gere weeping with fear on the ladder because of his fear of heights, and Julia Roberts coming to help him with the aid of the emergency services—that was more the tone of the end of the Oprah interview. When Meghan said it was “greater than any fairytale you ever read,” it sounded like she meant that this story could have ended very differently; that happiness had only just been snatched from the jaws of unhappiness and desperation.There seem to be a number of vying forces, which will govern the future of royal relationships after this shattering interview. The royal family were right to be nervous. This morning they will likely be pondering how on earth to respond to it.Judging by the sheer scale of anti-Harry and Meghan briefing hours before the broadcast, a war—and one without end—seemed very much on. We learned, variously, in the British Sunday papers that Meghan had exploded over a blanket shaded the wrong kind of red; that Harry was nicknamed “The Hostage” before his wedding, and that he had shouted “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets” in a row over a tiara.The other forces, probably mindful of how this rift might look publicly, were telling certain reporters that reconciliation between the warring Harry and William might be on the cards. The Sunday Telegraph said William and Kate were hopeful for a reconciliation whatever was said in the Oprah interview, and the Telegraph said that Harry was “determined to stand shoulder to shoulder” with William at the unveiling of a statue of their mother Princess Diana, scheduled for July 1 at Kensington Palace on what would have been her 60th birthday.Harry “desperately hopes” to attend the event and considers it “a priority,” the Telegraph said. That sense of old-school royal duty and loyalty mirrors the undertones of Queen Elizabeth’s message to the Commonwealth, broadcast earlier on Sunday by the BBC. The queen spoke of “friendship and a spirit of unity” in her address, praising examples of “courage, commitment, and selfless dedication to duty” in Commonwealth nations and territories, notably by those working on the front line, whether in health care or other public services. “The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others,” the queen said in the gentle program—also starring Prince Charles, Kate, William, Camilla, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex—which was in marked dramatic contrast to the Harry and Meghan interview. Post-pandemic, the queen said she looked forward to “a common future that is sustainable and more secure.”Harry and Meghan said they wanted to “move on” after the broadcast of the interview, considering it their opportunity to have their say, and now “consider the matter closed,” sources told the Telegraph. “It was something they felt they wanted and needed to do but now they have done it, they feel a line has been drawn under that chapter of their lives and they want to move on,” a friend told the paper.After the Oprah interview, however, all of this seems entirely unlikely—unless the royal family finally opens its minds and hearts to the multi-layered dysfunctionality it so willingly fosters and tolerates. The number and nature of revelations requiring detailed and considered response by the palace are simply too many. The fact that Meghan came so close to taking her own life; the fact the color of Archie’s skin was a matter of “concern” are matters that are un-spinnable (unless the palace challenges their veracity)—as is Harry’s damning summation of his relationship with Prince Charles. The Oprah interview is a depth charge. It can only be a roadmap to restored relations if the royal family rouses itself from its air of lost-in-time prejudices and snobbery, and answers the questions Meghan and Harry have laid at its door. As for Harry and Meghan, they didn’t seem too bothered about making friends, or making nice. Telling their truth seemed far more important, and this they did—devastatingly.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Week
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married on May 19, 2018, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, it was their second time around. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night, Markle revealed that the pair actually were married three days before their wedding, which was televised to millions of people around the globe. The private ceremony was conducted in their backyard by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with no one else present. "This spectacle is for the world," Markle said. "But we want our union for us." She added that on the day of their wedding at Windsor Castle, the couple tried to keep things "fun and light and remind ourselves that this was our day — but I think we were both really aware, even in advance ... that this wasn't our day. This was the day that was planned for the world." A year after their wedding, Markle and Harry welcomed their son, Archie. The pair announced last month that they are expecting their second child this summer, and shared with Winfrey that it is a girl. More stories from theweek.comLindsey Graham says his revived friendship with Trump is an attempt to 'harness' his 'magic'Britain's tabloids, vilified by Harry and Meghan, are all agog over the 'devastating' Oprah interview7 spondiferously funny cartoons about the Dr. Seuss controversy
- The Telegraph
Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview: Queen and Philip not members of Royal family that asked about Archie's skin tone
Blow-by-blow: Prince Harry and Meghan's claims Royal family discussed Archie's skin colour 'Kate made me cry' says Duchess of Sussex Harry and Meghan expecting baby girl Couple secretly married three days before Royal wedding Camilla Tominey | Forget hiding behind sofa, Royals need bulletproof vest It was not the Queen nor Prince Philip who voiced concerns about Archie's skin tone, it can be revealed. Buckingham Palace is under pressure to investigate claims of racism after Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in which it was claimed a member of the Royal family asked about how dark their firstborn's skin would be. The host appeared on CBS This Morning, and said: "He [Prince Harry] did not share the identity with me but he wanted to make sure that I knew and if I had an opportunity to share it that it was not his grandmother nor his grandfather were a part of those conversations." In other key developments during the two-hour interview, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told Oprah: Prince of Wales "stopped taking" Harry’s calls after their royal departure Meghan contemplated suicide, saying she "just didn't want to be alive any more" Duchess of Cambridge made the Duchess of Sussex cry before her wedding, she claimed Couple had a private marriage ceremony three days before their wedding officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury Sussexes wanted Archie to be a prince so he would have security Queen wasn’t “blindsided” by their departure the Duke insisted Couple are expecting a baby girl during the summer Princess Diana foresaw his departure from the Royal family, Prince Harry claimed Royal family has an "invisible contract" with the tabloid press, Harry claimed Follow our live blog for a play-by-play of the explosive interview and the global reaction.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are a rare Hollywood couple married for over 30 years - here's a timeline of their relationship
Rita Wilson just marked one year since she and Hanks fell ill with COVID-19, saying she felt "grateful" for their health.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has nominated two female generals to elite, four-star commands, the Defense Department announced, months after their Pentagon bosses had agreed on their promotions but held them back out of fears that former President Donald Trump would reject the officers because they were women. The nominations of Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost of the Air Force to head the Transportation Command, which oversees the military’s sprawling global transportation network, and of Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson of the Army to head the Southern Command, which oversees military activities in Latin America, now advance to the Senate, where they are expected to be approved. The unusual strategy to delay the officers’ promotions — intended to protect their accomplished careers — was devised last fall by Mark Esper, the defense secretary at the time, and Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times They both thought the two generals were exceptional officers deserving of the commands. But under Trump, they worried that any candidates other than white men for jobs mostly held by white men might run into resistance once their nominations reached the White House. Esper and Milley feared that if they even broached the women’s names, Trump and some of his top aides would replace them with their own candidates before leaving office. So the Pentagon officials delayed their recommendations until after the election in November, betting that if Biden won, then he and his aides would be more supportive of the picks than Trump, who had feuded with Esper and Milley and had a history of disparaging women. They stuck to the plan even after Trump fired Esper six days after the election. “They were chosen because they were the best officers for the jobs, and I didn’t want their promotions derailed because someone in the Trump White House saw that I recommended them or thought DOD was playing politics,” Esper, referring to the Department of Defense, said in an interview with The New York Times, which first reported the strategy last month. “This was not the case,” Esper added. “They were the best qualified. We were doing the right thing.” The strategy paid off Saturday, when the Pentagon announced in separate afternoon statements and in Twitter messages from its press secretary, John Kirby, that Biden had endorsed the generals’ promotions and that the White House was formally submitting them to the Senate for approval. The disclosure last month that the Pentagon senior leadership had held back the nominations to protect the careers of the two officers from Trump prompted a lively debate in military journals and on social media. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who left the military last summer after his own entanglement with the White House, argued in the national security blog Lawfare that Esper and Milley should have fought it out with Trump. “Upholding good order and discipline within the military does not mean dodging difficult debates with the commander in chief,” Vindman wrote. But defenders of Esper and Milley’s strategy say that Vindman’s argument ignores the civil-military crisis between Trump and the senior Pentagon leaders in the fall. Trump, furious that they had stood up to him when he wanted to use active-duty troops to battle Black Lives Matter protesters, was openly disparaging of Esper to his aides and to the public. Trump was also countermanding the Pentagon at seemingly every turn, especially on social issues. When Milley and senior Army officials sought to set up a commission to look into renaming bases that were named after Confederate generals, Trump took to Twitter, vowing that “my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.” Lloyd J. Austin III, the new defense secretary, declined last month to comment on the lengths to which Esper and Milley went to ensure that Van Ovost and Richardson received their command assignments. “I would just say that I’ve seen the records of both of these women,” he said. “They are outstanding.” Promotions for the military’s top generals and admirals are decided months before they take over their new positions. So the delay in formally submitting the two officers’ promotions should not affect when they start their new jobs, most likely this summer, Pentagon and congressional officials said. Van Ovost is a four-star officer, leading the Air Force’s Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Of the 43 four-star generals and admirals in the U.S. military, she is the only woman. Richardson is the three-star commander of the Army component of the Pentagon’s Northern Command, based in San Antonio, which is playing an important role in providing military assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s coronavirus vaccination program. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Princess Diana's chief of staff says Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal rift echoes the past - and responsibility for reconciliation lies with 'senior palace management'
Ahead of bombshell Oprah interview, Patrick Jephson told CNN that previous tell-all interviews with the royal family "in all cases" has "backfired."
- Reuters Videos
South Korea has agreed to cover more of the cost to station American troops on the Korean Peninsula.That's according to the U.S. State Department as part of a new deal between Seoul and Washington.The U.S. has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea for defence against North Korea.Under a previous deal, the State Department said more than 90% of Seoul's contribution went directly back to its own economy.Negotiations since that deal expired in 2019 have been gridlocked.Former President Donald Trump rejected Seoul's offer to pay $1 billion a year up from its current $920 million.Trump demanded as much as $5 billion.The State Department said the fresh deal negotiated an increase, but gave no further details.It also said that the agreement reflects U.S. President Joe Biden's commitment to "reinvigorating and modernizing [the U.S.'s] democratic alliances around the world to advance our shared security and prosperity."If approved by South Korea's government, the proposed 'Special Measures Agreement' would last six years.Its Foreign Ministry issued a statement confirming the agreement in principle without specifics.
- The Week
Prince Harry gave an honest assessment of his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, telling Oprah Winfrey that he has "compassion" for both of them because the are "trapped" inside the royal family. During an interview that aired on CBS Sunday night, Harry said he did not "blindside" his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, with the news that he would be stepping back from his royal duties, saying he has too much "respect" for her. Last year, Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, moved from Britain to California, and he said that recently, he's actually spoken to the queen more than usual, and they have a "really good relationship." It's been harder to relate with his father, though. Harry said he is "disappointed" in him, and does not think the family did enough to protect Markle from bad press. "I saw history repeating itself," he said, referring to his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was hounded by tabloids. Harry said he asked for help, but Charles stopped answering his calls. Had he received assistance, "we wouldn't have left," Harry said, but "we did what we had to do." He denied having long ago decided he would leave his royal duties, and Markle backed him up. "I left my career, my life," she said. "I left everything because I love him. Our plan was to do this forever." Harry told Winfrey he has money his mother left him, and believes she would have been "very angry at how this has played out, and sad. But ultimately, all she'd ever want is for us to be happy." Today, Harry said Charles is accepting his phone calls, but "there's a lot to work through there." He thought his father would be more understanding, and "there's a lot of hurt that's happened." It is now one of Harry's "priorities to try and heal that relationship," he added. As for William, Harry said he "loves him to bits" but "we're on different paths." Through Markle, Harry said he was able to see he was stuck in the "institution" he was born into, and his father and brother "are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have compassion for that." More stories from theweek.comLindsey Graham says his revived friendship with Trump is an attempt to 'harness' his 'magic'Britain's tabloids, vilified by Harry and Meghan, are all agog over the 'devastating' Oprah interview7 spondiferously funny cartoons about the Dr. Seuss controversy
- National Review
President Biden on Sunday signed an executive order aimed at increasing voter access as congressional Democrats push for the passage of H.R. 1, a sweeping voting-rights package. Biden’s order was announced during a recorded address on the 56th commemoration of “Bloody Sunday,” when state troopers in Selma, Alabama beat some 600 civil rights activists in 1965 as they tried to march for voting rights. “Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have it counted,” Biden said during a speech to Sunday’s Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast before signing the order. “If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.” The order directs federal agencies to expand access to voter registration and election information and to devise plans to give federal employees time off to vote. It also orders federal agencies to provide voting access and education to citizens in federal custody and to examine barriers to citizens with disabilities voting and improve ballot tracking for overseas voters, including active-duty military. Finally, it will modernize the government’s Vote.gov website. After the Democrat-controlled House passed the For the People Act of 2021, or H.R. 1, this week, Biden called the legislation “urgently needed” to protect the right to vote and to “strengthen” democracy. He pledged to work with Congress to “refine and advance” the legislation and said he would sign it if it passes the Senate. However, the bill passed the House Wednesday with a vote of 220 to 210, with zero Republicans joining Democrats in approving the bill. The measure is likely to be a tough sell in the evenly divided Senate: conservative groups have launched a $5 million campaign in an attempt to coax moderate Senate Democrats to oppose rule changes needed to pass the bill. Republicans have been critical of the bill, saying it serves as unwanted federal interference into states’ authority to run their own elections, though Democrats have argued that the measure is needed to help combat voter suppression. The bill includes provisions to restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, remove obstacles to voting and bring transparency to the opaque campaign finance system that allows rich donors to anonymously fund political causes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.,) last week blasted the legislation as “exactly the wrong response” to the “distressing lack of faith in our elections.” He accused Democrats of using their “temporary power” to “try to ensure they’ll never have to relinquish it.”
Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey "I was trapped, but I didn't know I was trapped" in a candid sit-down interview with his wife, Meghan Markle.
- Business Insider
A Trump appointee who was arrested over the Capitol riot asked a judge if he could be transferred to a cell with no cockroaches
Authorities arrested Federico Klein on Thursday, saying in an affidavit that he was seen attacking police officers during the January 6 insurrection.
- Business Insider
The Intercept reported that Attorney General Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, McConnell's political protégé, was atop a list of possible successors.
"TWD" is stirring the pot with Daryl's sexuality after 10 seasons. Fans have been vocal on who they have wanted to see Daryl paired with, if anyone.
'The Walking Dead' teased Daryl's romantic love interest episodes earlier in a small moment you likely missed
On Sunday's "Talking Dead," Melissa McBride said "TWD" seemed to hint at Lynn Collins' eventual introduction of the show earlier on season 10.
An Israeli-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar's junta said on Saturday that the generals are keen to leave politics after their coup and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China. Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli military intelligence official who has previously represented Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Sudan's military rulers, said Myanmar's generals also want to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The United Nations says more than 50 demonstrators have been killed since the Feb. 1 coup when the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won polls in November by a landslide.