The royal family is in a state of transition after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they will be taking a “step back” from their roles as “senior members” on January 8. While the shake-up leaves many questions unanswered, the couple and their 8-month-old son, Archie, will be splitting time between Canada and the United Kingdom. Looking at astrology, their decision may have been written in the stars. Meghan Markle is a Leo, the intensely prideful lion of the zodiac. Leos identify strongly with their principles, talents and integrity. It’s important to a Leo to be seen and adored for their good qualities, and negative attention can really take a toll on Leo’s happiness. Embarrassment and shame are Leo’s greatest fears, so there’s a good chance that Meghan having her image picked at by negative press could make this Leo frustrated. Leos are also fiercely proud and therefore protective of their children, and it’s likely that the idea of persistent media attention on baby Archie could have been a sizable factor behind the Sussexes’ decision. Leading up to this decision, Prince Harry, a fiercely supportive Virgo, publicly slammed the British tabloids for harsh treatment of his wife Meghan. Harry has even compared Meghan’s treatment by the press to that of Princess Diana. But his strong words weren’t where his efforts would end. Virgos are not particularly verbally expressive and tend to show affection through their actions rather than words. Virgos also tend to be defiant and dedicated individuals, so it’s not surprising that Prince Harry made a bold, active decision to protect his family. Astrologically, a major planetary transit that occurred right as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot in May 2018, which could have had a big effect on the situation. So what is a transit and how could it have had a hand in all this? Have you ever felt off or challenged for no real reason for a period of time, only to feel total relief as if the fog cleared overnight when no change or solution actually occurred? It could be a funk, or it could be astrological forces at work. As the astrology saying goes, “as above, so below.” The planets are constantly orbiting and changing positions, and as they move to new spots, their properties can have different effects and challenges for us down here on Earth. In May 2018 as Meghan and Harry exchanged “I dos,” the lesson-teaching tough-love planet of Saturn, moved to a new position that opposed Meghan’s moon, which is a very challenging astrological position for someone’s emotions. And since Saturn is one of those slow-moving outer planets, it didn’t move out of this difficult position for quite some time. A transit like this one is known to set a person on a journey of emotional struggle that seriously tests strength and resilience. For Meghan Markle, it happened right in time for her to enter arguably one of the most-watched families in the world. Tough-timing. With a new year comes a new perspective. Right before January 2020, Jupiter, the planet of joy and optimism, moved to a new position in the sign of Capricorn that could have given Meghan a jolt of positive action, making her see that, for a happier future, she could simply cut the problem off at its source. Only time will tell if stepping back gives them what they are looking for.
- Yahoo News
If it takes a miracle for Trump to stay in office, evangelicals like Michele Bachmann are fine with that
As the inevitability of President Trump’s loss became apparent even to his acolyte Kellyanne Conway in recent days, his supporters increasingly pinned their hopes for a second term on a last-ditch appeal, not to the Supreme Court, but to the one power that can outvote it: God.
- Yahoo News
George Floyd’s death and the white response had placed an emphatic point on how twin scourges of economic disenfranchisement and racial segregation had manifested, with the pandemic as a backdrop. My role was victim and teacher all at once, and it enraged me.
- Associated Press
A cargo ship traveling past Yemen in the Gulf of Aden came under attack in unclear circumstances, maritime authorities said Saturday. The Gulf of Aden is a crucial route for global trade and has seen attacks attributed to Yemen’s Houthi rebels as its civil war rages on. The ship ended up off the small port city of Nishtun in Yemen's far east after coming under attack early Saturday morning, according to an alert from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization that is overseen by Britain's Royal Navy.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday rejected accusations his government had taken an illiberal turn with a contested bill to protect police officers and a crackdown on Islamist groups. The bill, which would have curbed the freedom to share images identifying police officers, a key plank in Macron's plans to court right-wing voters by being tougher on law and order, had sparked outrage among journalists. Asked in an interview by the Brut website about international media branding his police plans "illiberal", Macron said: "Today, the situation is not satisfactory but, forgive me, that doesn't make us an authoritarian state."
- Christian Science Monitor
Both countries must address feelings of humiliation over past actions. A window of opportunity opens next year to do just that.
- Associated Press
A California psychologist convicted of tax evasion was at the center of a mysterious, recently disclosed Justice Department investigation into whether White House officials were illegally lobbied to obtain a presidential pardon. The effort to obtain the pardon for the psychologist, Hugh Baras, involved a prominent Washington attorney and a major donor to President Donald Trump, according to lawyers involved in the case. One of the lawyers, Reid Weingarten, confirmed that the pardon was sought on behalf of Baras.
Russia protested on Friday after Latvia charged several journalists from the Rossiya Segodnya news agency with violating European Union sanctions. The journalists were charged because of their association with Dmitry Kiselyov, who heads Rossiya Segodnya, said Sputnik Latvia, a subsidiary of Rossiya Segodnya. The Kremlin media mogul was sanctioned by the EU for his role in Russia's seizure of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
- The Telegraph
China is conducting "human testing" to create "biologically enhanced soldiers," the head of US intelligence has claimed as he warned that Beijing poses the biggest threat to America's national security. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, warned that the US must be prepared for an "open-ended" confrontation with China which he likened to the Cold War. Mr Ratcliffe, who oversees America's intelligence agencies, said he believed China's intention was to "dominate" the planet in every sense: economically, militarily and technologically. He claimed that US intelligence showed China has "conducted human testing on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with biologically enhanced capabilities". "There are no ethical boundaries to Beijing’s pursuit of power," he said. Mr Ratcliffe said his unique vantage point on the current security threats facing the US had led him to conclude that "the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II". He went on to outline in granular detail China's strategy of economic espionage, which he framed as: “rob, replicate and replace.” “China robs US companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology, and then replaces the US firms in the global marketplace,” he said.
- Associated Press
The European Union’s aviation safety agency has extended a ban imposed on Pakistan's state-run airline this year barring it from flying to Europe after a plane crash that killed 97 people in the port city of Karachi, a spokesman said Friday. At the time — and while the probe into the May 22 Airbus A320 crash was still underway — authorities acknowledged that nearly a third of Pakistani pilots, 260 out of 860, had cheated on their pilot’s exams. Pakistan International Airlines subsequently grounded 150 of its pilots while a probe by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority into the other pilots is still ongoing.
- Business Insider
Biden officially has enough electoral college votes to win the presidency after California became the latest state to certify its election results
California's 55 electors put Biden over the 270 electoral college votes needed to win, while Trump continues to contest the election in court.
Violence in Afghanistan is "unacceptably high" as delayed peace negotiations get underway, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, adding that Washington has asked the warring parties to "stand back and indeed stand down." Pompeo's comments, made in a virtual address to the IISS Manama Dialogue, an annual security conference, came two days after Kabul-backed and Taliban negotiators reached a deal in Doha to proceed with talks on a political settlement to decades of strife. Pompeo noted that he met with the negotiating teams during a Nov. 21 visit to Doha and he said he told both sides that the strife must be reduced.
- The Telegraph
Michel Barnier is accustomed to being universally praised on his regular tours of the EU's capitals to preach the gospel against Brexit. On Tuesday, he was in the unfamiliar position of coming under friendly fire for the first time in three years as the EU's chief negotiator. It was an uncomfortable moment for Mr Barnier, who was headquartered at the Hotel Conrad in Westminster and is enmeshed in intensive Brexit negotiations with his UK counterpart David Frost. Expectation had been building that a trade agreement with Britain was close and a damaging no deal avoided. A fitting legacy for a politician who had dedicated decades of service to the EU was in Mr Barnier's grasp. He was far from the poisonous briefings in Brussels that were going on behind his back – but bad news travels fast. The chief negotiator was going soft on Britain, EU diplomats in the Belgian capital sniped. He risked giving too much away.
- Associated Press
A California attorney for an Illinois 17-year-old accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during a night of unrest in Wisconsin is extracting himself from his criminal defense after prosecutors raised ethical concerns about the lawyer. Los Angeles civil lawyer John Pierce has been at the forefront of the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused in the shootings during protests in Kenosha this summer. Pierce has also worked to help secure the $2 million bail for Rittenhouse, who was bound over Thursday for trial.
- Business Insider
Kellyanne Conway breaks from Trump's refusal to concede, saying 'Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will prevail'
Former White House advisor Kellyanne Conway's comments in an interview with The 19th go directly against Trump's claims undermining the 2020 election.
Iran plans to install hundreds more advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges at an underground plant in breach of its deal with major powers, a U.N. nuclear watchdog report showed on Friday, a move that will raise pressure on U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. The confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report obtained by Reuters said Iran plans to install three more cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-2m centrifuges in the underground plant at Natanz, which was apparently built to withstand aerial bombardment.
- The Telegraph
Brexit trade talks reached stalemate on Friday night after the EU was accused of making a "ridiculous" demand for 10 years of unfettered access to Britain's fishing waters as the price of a deal. Boris Johnson paused talks for a "stock take" of whether an agreement can still be salvaged. A senior Government source said: "Their new offer was frankly laughable. They know we can't possibly accept it. It's ridiculous. If they think we will just cave in, they have made a massive miscalculation." Mr Johnson will speak to Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, on Saturday in an attempt to break the deadlock. He could also make a personal plea to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, blamed for "destabilising" the talks by making unreasonable demands on fishing and state aid. Mr Macron is under pressure from other EU member states to give ground, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Friday urging "compromise" from both sides to get the deal over the line.
- Associated Press
The United Nations' human rights chief lamented a deteriorating situation in Belarus and said Friday that reported beatings of protesters by security forces may in some cases amount to torture. Michelle Bachelet, the high commissioner for human rights, told the U.N. Human Rights Council there has been no improvement since a September debate about Belarus and “recent weeks have seen continued deterioration, particularly with respect to the right of peaceful assembly.”
- FOX News Videos
President Trump's attorney gives an update on progress of lawsuits on 'Hannity.'
- LA Times
A woman's lawsuit against a TV host for sexual harassment finally goes to court. In China, supporters see her case as a milestone for women's rights.
Authorities in Moscow arrested a physicist on suspicion of state treason for allegedly passing classified information about Russia's aviation industry abroad, news agencies reported late on Thursday. A Moscow court ruled that Anatoly Gubanov, who works for the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, would be held in custody for two months pending trial. Russian news agencies said his lawyer had declined to comment on the case.