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Why Prince Harry Finally Snapped



prince harry

Although she notably starred in the legal drama Suits prior to her foray into royalty, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is not especially known as litigious. She’s usually off doing her princess thing (so it’s more like Dresses than Suits). But this week, she and Prince Harry announced that they are indeed suing a tabloid in England. How did we get here? Is Harry following President Donald Trump’s footprints to an all-out assault on the press? What does this have to do with Princess Diana? All those questions and more, answered below.

Who are Meghan and Harry suing, and why?

On Tuesday, while the couple was still finishing up a 10-day tour of Africa (dramatic timing!), Harry announced the lawsuit against the parent company of the Mail on Sunday, a British tabloid. At issue specifically was a private letter from Meghan to her father that the tabloid published earlier this year. The prince also released an incensed 500-word statement (“written himself and not passed by the queen’s advisers,” according to the Daily Beast) calling out the paper’s “relentless propaganda” and “ruthless campaign” against Meghan. “I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” Harry’s statement said.

Have the royals ever sued the press before?

Yes, many times in fact, so it’s not unprecedented.

Has press coverage of Meghan really gotten that bad?

Throughout this year, royal observers have noted that tabloid coverage of the Sussexes has been particularly aggressive, and it escalated during Meghan’s pregnancy and maternity leave, as stories continued to emerge about her estranged father and half siblings. Recently, the duchess was criticized for her guest editorship of an issue of British Vogue and her use of Elton John’s private jet, among other things.

What’s the deal with the specific letter the duke and duchess are suing over?

The couple did not specify which letter is at the center of the suit, but all signs point to one published in February, handwritten by Meghan and provided by her father, Thomas Markle. What was so special about this letter that it pushed the couple over the edge into legal action? Meghan supposedly wrote the missive to her father after her wedding last year. At the time of the wedding, Meghan and her father’s relationship was reportedly in a rough patch because of his decision to speak to the press, and he did not attend. Friends of Meghan said the purpose of the post-wedding letter was to ask to heal their relationship privately, but Thomas told the tabloid the letter left him “devastated.” “Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces,” an excerpt read.

What law do the royals allege that publishing this letter broke?

The royals claim the letter was manipulated to mislead readers (through the omission of words) and is in breach of the U.K.’s Data Protection Act 2018, which requires the permission of the author to publish a letter. The Mail on Sunday in turn announced that it plans to defend its case vigorously.

Didn’t Harry write a letter yelling at the press for being terrible to Meghan already?

Yes, he did: In 2016, the prince censured British tabloids for racist coverage of his then-girlfriend.

Does this mean Harry is taking a page out of Trump’s “fake news” book?

Even if this is the start of a full-on war against the papers, it would still differ considerably from Trump’s war on the media. The U.K. tabloids have … very different journalism standards and practices. More austere outlets like the Guardian would seem to be exempt from this war, in contrast to Trump’s disdain for our high-minded New York Times and Washington Post.

Why did Diana come up in all of this?

The most dramatic part of Harry’s statement compared his wife’s situation to that of his late mother, Diana, who died in a car accident while being pursued by paparazzi, warning that he does not want to see “history repeating itself.”

There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.

Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.

How have the lawsuit and statement been received so far?

A BBC royal correspondent called Harry’s statement “remarkably outspoken” and “a stinging attack on the British tabloid media.” Another royal commentator told the news agency, “The press—particularly the tabloid press—is far less powerful now than it was during his mother’s era.” Also working in Harry’s favor is that his popularity is at an all-time high; NBC News cited a recent poll that ranked him the second-most popular royal—after his grandmother. The press storm is a good reminder for Harry that whatever the outcome, Granny remains No. 1.


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Oboe player dies in fall at concert hall before performance




Oboe player dies in fall at concert hall before performance

A Miami symphony oboe player died after she tumbled down a flight of stairs minutes before a season-opening concert performance, the band said.

Greater Miami Symphonic Band member Janice Thomson, 62, hit her head Sunday when she fell on the tile floor of the lobby of the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall in Coral Gables, according to the symphony’s Facebook page.

One concertgoer said she was in the lobby purchasing a ticket when she heard a “bone-crunching splat,” the Miami Herald reported.

“We turned around and everyone was screaming and she was on the floor bleeding,” Grace Harrington told the newspaper. “Everyone was running to get her. They were screaming for a doctor.”

Thompson was rushed with internal bleeding to Jackson South Medical Center, where she succumbed Monday to her injuries, the Miami Herald reported.

The Greater Miami Symphonic Band said Monday that it will dedicate their Dec. 10 concert to Thomson.

“As has been our tradition, we will have an unoccupied seat in the oboe section with a single rose on it,” the band wrote on Facebook.


By James Smith

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Venice Floods Because of Highest Tide in 50 Year




Venice devastated by second highest tide in history

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – Venice’s mayor called the city a disaster zone on Wednesday after the second highest tide ever recorded swept through it overnight, flooding its historic basilica and leaving many squares and alleyways deep under water.
A local man from Pellestrina, one of the many islands in the Venetian lagoon, died when he was struck by lightning while using an electric water pump, the fire brigade said.

City officials said the tide peaked at 187 cm (6ft 2ins) at 10.50 p.m. (2150 GMT) on Tuesday, just short of the record 194 cm set in 1966.Night-time footage showed a torrent of water whipped up by high winds raging through the city centre while Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region, described a scene of “apocalyptic devastation”.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the situation was dramatic. “We ask the government to help us. The cost will be high. This is the result of climate change,” he said on Twitter.

He said he would declare a disaster zone and ask the government to call a state of emergency, which would allow funds to be freed to address the damage.

Saint Mark’s Square was submerged by more than one metre of water, while the adjacent Saint Mark’s Basilica was flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years – but the fourth in the last 20.

A flood barrier was designed in 1984 to protect Venice from the kind of high tides that hit the city on Tuesday, but the multi-billion euro project, known as Mose, has been plagued by corruption scandals and is still not operative.

Brugnaro said the basilica had suffered “grave damage”, but no details were available on the state of its mainly Byzantine interior, famous for its rich mosaics.

Its administrator said the basilica had aged 20 years in a single day when it was flooded last year.
Some tourists appeared to enjoy the drama, with one man filmed swimming across Saint Mark’s Square wearing only shorts on Tuesday evening.

“Venice is on its knees.. the art, the basilica, the shops and the homes, a disaster.. The city is bracing itself for the next high tide,” Zaia said on TV.

The luxury Hotel Gritti, a landmark of Venice which looks onto the Lagoon, was also flooded.

On Wednesday morning the tide level fell to 145 cm but was expected to rise back to 160 cm during the day.

Local authorities and the government’s civil protection unit will hold a news conference at 1100 GMT.

The overnight surge triggered several fires, including one at the International Gallery of Modern Art Ca’ Pesaro, with hundreds of calls to the fire brigade.

Video on social media showed deep water flowing like a river along one of Venice’s main thoroughfares. Other footage showed large waves hammering boats moored alongside the Doge’s Palace and surging over the stone sidewalks.

“A high tide of 187 cm is going to leave an indelible wound,” Brugnaro said.

Much of Italy has been pummelled by torrential rains in recent days, with widespread flooding, especially in the southern heel and toe of the country.

In Matera, this year’s European Capital of Culture, rain water cascaded through the streets and inundated the city’s famous cave-dwelling district.

Further bad weather is forecast for the coming days.

Reporting by Riccardo Bastianello; Writing by Crispian Balmer, Giulia Segreti and Gavin Jones; editing by Grant McCool and John Stonestreet

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Disney Plus streaming package debuts Tuesday with Marvel, Star Wars and more





The new service is $7 a month, commercial free

NEW YORK — Disney will sprinkle its pixie dust on the streaming arena Tuesday, as its Disney Plus service debuts with an arsenal of marquee franchises including Marvel and Star Wars, original series with a built-in fan base and a cheap price to boot.

The $7-a-month commercial-free service is poised to set the standard for other services like WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock to follow, as major media companies behind hit TV shows and movies seek to siphon the subscription revenue now going to Netflix and other streaming giants.

Disney’s properties speak to its strengths. Besides classic characters such as Snow White and Pinocchio, Disney has Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic — big names that most people would recognize. Disney Plus will also have all 30 past seasons of “The Simpsons.” Original shows include “The Mandalorian,” set in the Star Wars universe, and one on the Marvel character Loki.

“I really love both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises and I grew up watching classic Disney shows and movies so I do think there will be enough content for me,” she said.

Marlina Yates, who works in marketing in Kansas City, said she signed up because of her husband’s enthusiasm about the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” and her daughter’s “love affair with princesses and everything Disney.”

Disney Plus’s $7 a month price is about half of the $13 Netflix charges for its most popular plan, and there are discounts for paying for a full year up front. Disney is also offering a $13 package bundling Disney Plus with two other services it owns, Hulu and ESPN Plus. That’s $5 cheaper than signing up for each one individually.

Everything won’t be available to stream right away, though, as Disney needs to wait for existing deals with rival services to expire. Recent movies missing at launch include the animated Pixar movie “Coco” and the live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” Others like “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” haven’t been released for streaming yet. Disney expects 620 movies and 10,000 TV episodes by 2024, up from 500 movies and 7,500 episodes on Tuesday.

Disney has said that it is losing about $150 million in licensing revenue in the most recent fiscal year from terminating deals with Netflix and other services. But Disney is betting that what it makes through subscriptions will more than make up for that — at least eventually.

Disney is boosting its subscription base initially with heavy promos, much as Apple TV Plus has done and HBO Max and Peacock plan to do. Members of Disney’s free D23 fan club were eligible to buy three years of Disney Plus service up front for the price of two years. Customers of some Verizon wireless and home-internet plans can get a year free.

The hope is that subscribers will stick around once they see what the service offers.

Long-term success is by no means guaranteed. With a slew of services launching, subscription fees can add up quickly. Consumers might be reluctant to drop an existing service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime to pay for something untested.

“I can’t keep up with so many services. It gets expensive,” said William Pearson, a Drexel University student who describes himself as a “massive” Marvel fan but already pays for Netflix, HBO and the DC Comics streaming service.

But compared with other newcomers, experts believe Disney will have no problem gaining — and keeping — the 60 million to 90 million worldwide subscribers it is targeting for 2024. It took Netflix twice as long to get to 90 million.

“Disney Plus has a gigantic array of content and a library that’s unmatched, so it feels like an easy addition for consumers to get a gigantic library at that low price,” said Tim Hanlon, CEO of Vertere Group.

Bernie McTernan, internet and media analyst at Rosenblatt Securities, said Apple’s venture into streaming, Apple TV Plus, has to build brand recognition for its new shows, while viewers may have difficulties seeing what HBO Max offers beyond the standard HBO subscription.

Source Denver Post

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