Meghan Markle To Make Animated Adventure Series For Netflix

FILES) In this file photo taken on October 01, 2019 Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex arrives at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Michele Spatari / AFP

 

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, is to produce an animated adventure series for Netflix about a 12-year-old girl who is inspired by historical female figures, her production company said Wednesday.

The couple signed a deal to produce content for the popular streaming platform after quitting their royal duties in Britain.

The animated series, the first to be announced by Archewell Productions, the company the couple formed together and which is named after their son Archie, is to be called “Pearl.”

“Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Meghan said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.”

Last year, the couple announced the company would create a documentary series about the Invictus Games for wounded servicemen and women, which Prince Harry has long championed.

Meghan will be an executive producer for “Pearl,” alongside several others including Carolyn Soper, director of the animated movie “Sherlock Gnomes” and Liz Garbus, a US film maker whose work includes “Lost Girls,” as well as David Furnish, a Canadian filmmaker and husband of Elton John.

Earlier this year, Meghan published an illustrated children’s book called “The Bench,” which started out as a Father’s Day poem for Prince Harry.

-AFP

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Welcome Daughter

In this file photo Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in central London, on March 11, 2019.  Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced Sunday the birth of their daughter Lilibet Diana, who was born in California after a year of turmoil in Britain’s royal family.

“Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales,” said a statement from the couple.

The child — the couple’s second, who will be eighth in line to the British throne — was born Friday in Santa Barbara and was now out of the hospital and at home.

“She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home,” the statement said.

The couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, live near Los Angeles following their decision to quit frontline royal duties early last year.

The couple sat in March for a bombshell interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, triggering the royal family’s biggest crisis since Harry’s mother died in a car crash in 1997.

During the two-hour sit-down, viewed by more than 17 million people in the US and over 11 million in Britain, Harry and Meghan said racism had played a part in them quitting the UK for North America.

The couple said a senior royal had speculated how dark their child’s skin would be before he was born. Meghan’s mother is Black and her father is white.

Meghan, a former actress, also told Winfrey she was “naively” unprepared for life as a royal and had contemplated suicide while pregnant with her first child Archie.

Harry, 36, and Meghan 39, accused newspapers of racial stereotyping, particularly set against coverage of Harry’s sister-in-law, Kate, who is white.

Prince Harry was said to have a good relationship with his grandparents.

He told talk show host James Corden earlier this year that he had spoken via video call Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip since moving to the United States so they could see their great-grandson Archie.

Harry has spoken to his father multiple times since the Oprah interview came out, notably after Prince Philip’s funeral, according to British media.

In a new documentary series released last month, Harry once again emphasized that his family turned a blind eye to the struggles of his wife, saying he will “never be bullied into silence.”

Buckingham Palace Banned Hiring Ethnic Minorities For Office Roles, Papers Reveal

PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech on the Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

 

Senior aides to Queen Elizabeth II barred the hiring of ethnic minorities – coloured immigrants or foreigners –  in office roles at Buckingham Palace until at least the late 1960s, a media report said Thursday.

The Queen and Britain’s royal household also negotiated an exemption from 1970s-era laws on race and sex discrimination that still exists today, The Guardian reported.

Citing historical papers it unearthed at the National Archives, the newspaper said that in 1968, the Queen’s chief financial manager told government officials of the hiring policy towards ethnic minorities.

“It was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners” to clerical and other office posts, one document quoted the royal courtier as having stated.

“Coloured applicants” were considered only for “ordinary domestic posts”, it added.

READ ALSO: Israel Opposition Leader Agrees On Coalition Government To Oust Netanyahu

It is unclear when the policy ended, but Buckingham Palace has said its records show people from ethnic minority backgrounds being employed in the 1990s, The Guardian noted.

The palace added it did not keep records on the racial backgrounds of employees prior to that, according to the paper.

A palace spokeswoman said in a statement: “Claims based on a second-hand account of conversations from over 50 years ago should not be used to draw or infer conclusions about modern-day events or operations.”

She added the royal household complied with the provisions of the 2010 Equality Act “in principle and in practice”.

“Any complaints that might be raised under the Act follow a formal process that provides a means of hearing and remedying any complaint,” the spokeswoman said.

The revelations are the latest in an ongoing investigation by The Guardian into the royal family’s use of an arcane parliamentary procedure — known as Queen’s consent — to influence British legislation.

The official documents show senior aides to Britain’s longest-serving monarch coordinated with government officials on the wording of new racial and sexual equalities laws in the 1970s.

The exemption secured for the royal household meant a government board, rather than the courts, has since dealt with allegations of discrimination within the royal household.

The disclosures are likely to renew focus on allegations of historical and more recent racism with the British royal family.

In a bombshell interview earlier this year, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle revealed a family member had expressed concern about their expected child’s skin colour.

Shock at the claim prompted Prince William, second-in-line to the throne and Harry’s elder brother, to tell reporters in March that the family was “very much not” racist.

AFP

Meghan Markle Wins UK Copyright Claim Over Letter To Father

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 25, 2019 Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle in Windsor.  (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn / POOL / AFP)

 

 

A British court on Wednesday upheld Meghan Markle’s copyright claim against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over its publication of a letter to her father.

The ruling by judge Mark Warby means the Duchess of Sussex, as Markle is formally known, has now won every part of her legal claim against the newspaper group, which published a handwritten letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle.

Warby said on Wednesday at a remote hearing lawyers acting for Queen Elizabeth II had assured him the copyright did not belong to the Crown so he was granting “summary judgement” over that remaining aspect of the case, too.

In February the High Court issued Meghan with a “summary judgement”, meaning she won her privacy and data protection rights claims against Associated Newspapers over the letter’s publication without having to go to trial.

Warby also ordered the Mail on Sunday to print a front-page statement acknowledging her legal victory.

But the judge said at the time her copyright claim needed further scrutiny because the newspaper group suggested Meghan did not fully own the letter’s copyright and members of the royal communications team helped her draft it.

Meghan’s solicitor, Ian Mill QC, said on Wednesday lawyers for the Keeper of the Privy Purse — the official responsible for the monarch’s private funds — had written “disclaiming any claim to copyright on behalf of the crown”.

Mill said he also received a letter from lawyers for Jason Knauf, previously communications secretary to the Sussexes, saying he did not write or help draft the letter.

The newspaper group’s lawyer, Andrew Caldecott, said it was “a matter of regret” that Knauf had not clarified this earlier.

Meghan’s letter to her estranged father was written a few months after she married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, Prince Harry, and asked him to stop talking to tabloids and making false claims about her in interviews.

Meghan and her husband, the Duke of Sussex, have successfully mounted further legal action over media breaches of their privacy since moving to the United States last year.

At the same time the couple have engaged with media on their own terms, giving an explosive interview in March to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey, in which they said unnamed royals had made racist remarks about how dark their son’s skin would be.

Harry But No Meghan At Scaled-Down Funeral For Prince Philip

 In this file photo taken on December 25, 2017 (L-R) Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry (R) arrive to attend the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
In this file photo taken on December 25, 2017 (L-R) Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, US actress and fiancee of Britain’s Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry (R) arrive to attend the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, will take place next week, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday, announcing a stripped-back ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions, and a return for exiled royal Prince Harry but not his wife, Meghan.

The announcement came as the couple’s eldest son, heir to the throne Prince Charles, 72, paid a heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa”, and said he and the royal family missed him “enormously”.

“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” he added.

“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

The Duke of Edinburgh – the 94-year-old queen’s husband of 73 years — died peacefully on Friday just two months short of his 100th birthday, triggering eight days of national mourning.

Royal officials said his funeral, which will be televised, will take place at 1400 GMT on Saturday, April 17 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, west of London.

It will be preceded by a national minute’s silence.

Government guidelines restrict mourners to just 30 people and close attention has been paid to the pared-down guest list for the funeral, particularly whether the duke’s grandson Harry would attend.

Palace officials confirmed he would but his American wife, Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, had been advised against travelling from the United States on medical grounds.

The couple, who quit frontline royal duties last year, have launched a series of broadsides against the royals, including accusing them of racism, and of failing to treat Meghan’s mental health.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also not be attending the funeral because of Covid restrictions, Downing Street said.

“The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the Royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday,” a spokesperson said.

Gun salutes

Gun salutes earlier echoed around the United Kingdom on Saturday as the armed forces paid solemn tribute to the duke.

The coordinated 41-round volleys to the former Royal Navy commander were fired at a rate of one per minute from 12:00 (1100 GMT) in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as at naval bases, from warships at sea, and in the British territory Gibraltar.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 09, 2012 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, proceed through the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, in London on May 9, 2012 during the State Opening of Parliament. (Photo by Leon NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Similar salutes — the most according to military protocol — were also held in Canberra and Wellington, as the Queen is head of state in Australia and New Zealand.

At the Tower of London, a crowd of more than 100 onlookers kept a respectful silence as they watched the Honourable Artillery Company fire shots on the banks of the River Thames.

One onlooker, Heather Utteridge, said she had come to show her respects “for a superhuman”.

“It’s a great loss to not just the Queen, but actually to the country. He represented stability for all of our lives,” the 65-year-old told AFP.

Alexander Beaten, 30, said the royal couple had been an integral part of British identity and culture.

“We can disagree with the government… but the Queen and Prince Philip are just such a constant,” he said.

Sporting events, including Premier League football matches, English county championship cricket, and the Grand National horserace, held silences as part of worldwide tributes to mark the death of the duke, during a period of national mourning.

The death of the duke, the longest serving royal consort in British history, is a profound loss for the Queen, who once described her loyal husband as her “strength and stay” throughout her long reign.

Flags at half-mast

Flags were flying at half-mast on government buildings and will do so until the morning after his funeral.

The well-rehearsed protocol for the duke’s death — codenamed “Forth Bridge” — has been hastily revised because of the coronavirus pandemic, eliminating public events where crowds could gather.

Parliament will be recalled on Monday for lawmakers to pay tribute, but the duke will not lie in state, nor will there will be military processions.

British television stations cleared their schedules for special broadcasts looking back on his life on Friday, although the BBC said it had received complaints about the blanket coverage.

Westminster Abbey, where the couple married in 1947, tolled its tenor bell 99 times on Friday, once for each year of the prince’s life.

‘Deep sorrow’

Philip had been ill for some time, and spent more than a month in hospital from February 16 being treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.

Despite looking frail on his release from hospital on March 16, hopes were raised for his recovery.

But the Queen announced Philip’s death at Windsor Castle “with deep sorrow” on Friday.

‘Farewell, my beloved’

The duke’s death dominated Britain’s newspapers on Saturday. “We’re all weeping with you Ma’am,” The Sun tabloid said on its front page.

The Daily Mail splashed a picture of the Queen looking at her husband along with the headline “Farewell, my beloved” on the front page of its 144-page souvenir edition.

Tributes poured in from home and abroad, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving “thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip”.

Political and faith leaders in Britain, and from the United States, Europe and Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and Pakistan also paid their respects.

Global royalty also paid their respects, while Pope Francis praised the prince’s “devotion” to his family and marriage, and sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the Queen.

Flowers discouraged due to Covid

Philip retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96, declaring “I’ve done my bit”.

The couple had been living largely in isolation at Windsor because their age put them at heightened risk from Covid-19.

He was last seen at a staged appearance at a military ceremony at Windsor in July, days after attending the wedding ceremony of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice.

On Saturday members of the public continued to pay their respects outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor, despite royal family requests not to gather at royal residences because of the restrictions.

Hundreds of flowers that had been laid outside the Queen’s official residence in central London on Friday have been moved to Windsor, apparently to discourage further gathering.

An online book of condolences on the royal family’s official website has been put in place rather than conventional public tributes.

 

AFP

TV Host Piers Morgan Steps Down Amid Meghan Controversies

 

British television host Piers Morgan on Tuesday left his role presenting ITV breakfast show “Good Morning Britain”, shortly after sparking 41,000 complaints and storming off the set in a row over Meghan Markle. 

“Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain,” the network said in a statement.

“ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”

Morgan has been a vocal critic of Markle ever since she cut off contact with him after she met Prince Harry, and he launched a scathing attack on her following the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The former CNN host said he did not believe Markle when she said at one point she “didn’t want to be alive anymore”, sparking a deluge of complaints.

Barely a day after his remarks, regulator Ofcom said that it had already received more than 41,000 complaints.

Morgan also stormed off the set on Tuesday morning after clashing with fellow presenter Alex Beresford over the interview.

Beresford told Morgan “I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off.

“She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has but yet you continue to trash her,” he added, leading to Morgan’s departure.

Morgan has also been the most outspoken media critic of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic over the past year, leading to many high-profile rows with ministers.

Morgan hosted his CNN show for three years until it was axed due to falling ratings in 2014.

He irked US gun owners after launching a crusade for greater gun control and struggled after stepping into the shoes of popular host Larry King in the coveted 9:00 pm primetime slot.

-AFP

Queen ‘Saddened’, Takes Racism Claims ‘Seriously’ After Harry-Meghan Interview

FILES) In this file photo taken on June 21, 2017 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II attends the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Houses of Parliament in London on June 21, 2017. 
Carl Court / POOL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II is saddened by the challenges faced by her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, and takes their allegations of racism in the royal family seriously, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the palace said in a statement released on the queen’s behalf.

“While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”

 

 Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have lifted the lid on life inside Britain’s royal family with an explosive interview that reverberated around the world. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Meghan’s Father Suggests She Exaggerated Royal Racism

File photo of Meghan and Thomas Markle

 

Meghan Markle’s estranged father on Tuesday suggested that his daughter exaggerated racism in the British royal family during her interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

Thomas Markle told ITV the couple’s two-hour chat with Winfrey was “way over the top” and suggested a royal family member could have asked a “dumb question” about her future baby’s skin colour.

The 76-year-old Emmy-winning former lighting director was interviewed from his home in Mexico by one of Meghan’s most vehement critics, the former tabloid newspaper editor Piers Morgan.

READ ALSO: Lebanon Protesters Block Roads Over Worsening Poverty

“They (Harry and Meghan) went way over the top with these stories with Oprah and should have waited, considering the Queen’s age and Philip’s age,” he said of the CBS show broadcast on Sunday.

Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is 94 and her husband Prince Philip is 99 and currently in hospital recovering from a heart operation.

He played down Meghan and Harry’s comments that an unnamed royal family member had asked how dark her baby’s skin would be.

“This whole thing about colour and how dark the baby is, is bullshit,” said Markle, who is white while Meghan’s mother is black.

“I’m guessing and hoping that it’s just a dumb question from somebody. I don’t think the British royal family are racist.”

At the same time, he said he was upset by his daughter’s account of feeling suicidal after joining the royal family in 2018.

“Had I known she had psychological problems, I would have been there for her,” he said.

But he claimed that Meghan had “pretty much ghosted” her family in the US and “she really had no one to reach out to”.

Thomas Markle separated from Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland when the duchess was young.

Raglan was at her wedding at Windsor Castle and has had tea with the queen but she dropped contact with her father soon after her wedding.

Thomas Markle declined to attend after he took part in staged paparazzi photos. He also cited forthcoming heart surgery.

“They didn’t care if I died,” he claimed while saying he wanted to see Meghan, Harry, and his grandson Archie, who are now living in California after quitting the royal frontline last year.

Meghan won a legal victory in February against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday newspaper after it printed a private letter from her provided by her father.

He said he released part of the letter because Meghan’s friends were telling “lies” about him.

US magazine People cited Meghan’s friends as saying she wrote she loved her father and was heartbroken by his behaviour.

The part he did not release was “horrible”, he said. “The word love was never written by her for me.”

Meghan told Winfrey in the interview that she had tried to protect both her parents before the wedding but felt “betrayal” when she found out he was cooperating with newspapers.

“I’m just trying to decide if I’m comfortable even talking about that,” she added.

AFP

Piers Morgan Tears Into Prince Harry, Meghan Expository Interview

 

English broadcaster and journalist, Piers Morgan has waded into Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s apparent revelatory interview about the royal family, calling it an “absolutely disgraceful betrayal” and “shameful” act

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,  in an exclusive interview on Sunday night  with Oprah Winfrey, had accused the monarchy of racism, while Meghan also revealed she contemplated suicide while at the royal residence,

Piers in a series of tweets was quick to defend the British royal family slamming Harry and Meghan’s alleged accusations.

 

“This interview is an absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen and the Royal Family,” the tweet read in the early hours of Monday

“I expect all this vile destructive self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle – but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful”

He went further to add that the Duke was trying to make the rest of the world see the Monarchy in a bad light.

 

 

“Harry wants America and the rest of the world to hate his own family, hate the Monarchy, and hate his country.”

“I suggest everyone waits for the victims of his wife’s rampage to have their say on her outlandish claims before they do so.”

Meghan in the no holds barred interview claimed she was silenced by the Royal family while she was a sturdy proponent for women using their voices

In reaction to these claims, Piers said “I wouldn’t believe Meghan Markle if she gave me a weather report.”

 

“Let’s be clear: Prince Harry and his wife just spent two hours trashing everything the Queen stands for & has worked so hard to maintain, whilst pretending to support her,” he said

“And they did it while her 99yr-old husband Philip is seriously ill in hospital. It’s contemptible.”

Piers’ criticism has seen similar reactions coming from several British media with The Daily Telegraph calling it  “enough bombshells to sink a flotilla”, while The Daily Mail tabloid, which has been highly critical of Meghan, quoted royal expert Robert Jobson as saying that the couple were “self-obsessed”.

 

Serena Williams, Gorman Lead Support For Markle Over Royal Racism

Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for DirecTV

 

Tennis superstar Serena Williams and poet Amanda Gorman led an outpouring of support for Meghan Markle following her explosive allegations of racism in the British royal family.

In a two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle, whose mother is Black, said her husband Prince Harry revealed his family’s concerns over “how dark” her son Archie’s skin would be.

She also said no members of the royal family had spoken out to defend her against a torrent of what she said was racist coverage from British tabloids.

“Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced,” Williams tweeted after the interview aired on Sunday.

“I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us,” said Williams, hailing her “selfless friend.”

“We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”

Markle told Winfrey she had contemplated taking her own life after joining the royal family and that she was denied help during her mental health crisis.

“Royalty is not a shield from the devastation and despair of racism,” Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted in support.

“We can know racism exists in an institution and still hurt for someone who was hurt by it,” she wrote.

“I’m grateful that Meghan Markle is still here.”

– ‘Missed opportunity’ –

African American poet Gorman, who became a star after her reading at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, said the British royal family had missed an opportunity to change.

“Meghan was the Crown’s greatest opportunity for change, regeneration, and reconciliation in a new era. They didn’t just maltreat her light — they missed out on it,” the 22-year-old Gorman tweeted, referencing Prince Harry’s mother Diana, who was killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris in 1997 as she tried to escape paparazzi.

“Meghan is living the life Diana should have, if only those around her had been as brave as she was. Meghan isn’t living a life without pain, but a life without a prison.

“This isn’t Meghan’s princess ‘happy’ ending. But sometimes change, the decisions that bring us the most hurt, aren’t about happiness, but healing.”

Gorman said it was unclear if it would change the royal family, but Markle would inspire women.

“Think of the women who will be inspired to stand up for their lives, the partners who will be kinder & more courageous than the kin they were born into,” she tweeted.

Meena Harris, niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, also voiced support for Markle.

“She was suicidal and begged for help,” she said, adding a tweet with a quote from Markle after discussing her mental health struggles with Winfrey.

“Meghan Markle: ‘I’m still standing.'”

-AFP

Monday Update: Kaduna Banditry, US Visa Hopes For Nigerians and Meghan Markle’s Explosive Revelations

Good morning.

Happy International Women’s Day.

We are leading with the banditry situation in Kaduna, renewed hopes for Nigerians seeking a US visa, and stunning revelations from Meghan Markle about the UK royal family.


A file photo of a gun seized from crime suspects in Nigeria.

Bandits in Kaduna

Bandits terrorising some parts of Kaduna State and the Northern region are still going strong but the military has said it is not giving up on taking them out.

In its latest onslaught against the bandits, the military said it conducted aerial missions over locations in Chikun and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, killing several of the bandits.

Meanwhile, at least 12 people were kidnapped by bandits during an attack on the Junior Staff Quarters of the Kaduna International Airport on Saturday. One of the victims, who is a member of staff of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), was kidnapped along with his wife, five children, and three other persons who had visited them.

Bala Bantex: The former Deputy Governor of Kaduna State said some people are benefitting from insecurity in Nigeria and would not want it to end. He also opposed the idea of offering amnesty to bandits.

Related: Police authorities say they have arrested a 75-year-old visually-impaired man, Iskilu Wakili, who is accused of being the mastermind of series of attacks against farmers in the Ibarapa Area of Oyo State, where cases of violent attacks against farmers had been reported.


Zulum Discovers Ghost IDPs

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has discovered fake Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and about 650 ghost households at an IDP camp in Maiduguri.

The discovery was made after Zulum showed up at the camp in the early hours of Sunday, ordered the sealing of the entrance, and immediately supervised a headcount.

Out of 1,000 households on record in the camp, at least 650 were non-existent, the Governor said.

A household normally consists of at least six persons who are either related through families or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving aid.

Officials who were part of the midnight headcount said Governor Zulum was open to providing support to residents in need of food but will not tolerate dubious practices.

Context: Borno State is at the epicentre of an insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east that has lasted for over a decade. It has one of the highest concentrations of IDP camps in the country.


A combination of photos showing President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo taking the AstraZeneca vaccines at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 6, 2021.

Buhari ‘Normal’ After Covid Vaccine Shot

Hours after President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received the Covid vaccine jab, spokesman Garba Shehu said the President “felt normal and went about doing his job.”

“If there are side effects that follow, we will be open about that but so far there is nothing of a side effect, serious or mild on the President.,” Mr. Shehu said. “He is carrying on as normal.

“We hope this will help to send a strong message among the people, especially those grappling with hesitancy about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, State Governors are expected to follow suit this week in receiving the vaccine.

Vaccine Finance: The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has insisted that the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) will bear the cost of transporting the vaccines to states from the nation’s capital.

CACOVID is a private sector-led organisation established to assist the Federal Government in combating the novel coronavirus.

There had been reports suggesting that the Ministry of Health, through the NPHCDA, had budgeted over N10 billion for vaccine transportation.

NCDC: Nigeria reported 269 new cases of the virus and five deaths on Sunday, the disease control agency said.


What else is happening?

Obituary: A Justice of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta has died. The senior judge, who was preparing for his retirement, would have turned 70 on March 30.

Kayode Fayemi: The Ekiti State Governor has condemned the killing of two farmers after a clash with herders in Isaba, Ikole Local Government Area of the state.

Aso Rock: The presidency has dismissed some media reports suggesting that a fire outbreak was recorded inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja. What happened, instead, was a bush fire close to the villa, spokesman Garba Shehu said.

Yemi Osinbajo: The Vice President turns 64 today. In a Sunday tribute, President Buhari described him as “a reliable and dedicated deputy.”

Immigration: The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, has said plans are underway to address the huge backlog of visa applications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. An extended interview with the ambassador, conducted by our Foreign Affairs correspondent, Amarachi Ubani, will air later today at 7:30pm (WAT).

Blackout: Ghana suffered a nationwide power cut on Sunday, the West African country’s electricity provider GRIDCo said, as it attempted to restore power.

Royal Rumble: Meghan Markle said she contemplated suicide after marrying into the UK royal family and raised allegations of racism in the monarchy during an explosive television interview with Oprah Winfrey.


And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow.

For more updates, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channelbit.ly/2Hb8hjx

Watch us on DSTV:420 | Sky UK: 518 | Live Stream: www.channelstv.com/live

Meghan Says She Contemplated Suicide After Marrying Harry, Alleges Royal Racism

This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey.  Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP
This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain’s Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP

 

Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle on Sunday said she contemplated taking her own life after joining the royal family, and raised allegations of racism in the monarchy during an explosive television interview.

Explaining the couple’s dramatic exit from royal life, Meghan said she was denied help during her mental health crisis, was targeted by lies, and that there was official concern about the skin color of her unborn son.

Meghan, whose father is white and mother is Black, spoke out in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that immediately became one of the most extraordinary chapters in recent royal history and was set to rock the British institution.

“I… just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” she told Winfrey, describing the impact of a torrent of vitriol from hostile tabloids and social media.

Asked if she had had suicidal thoughts while pregnant, Meghan replied “Yes. This was very, very clear.”

Recalling how she felt at the time, she said that “I’m scared, because this is very real.”

Meghan, 39, also told of royal “concerns” about “how dark” her son’s skin would be, saying Harry revealed to her official conversations over Archie’s appearance, as well as the security he would be entitled to, ahead of his birth on May 6, 2019.

‘How dark his skin might be’

“In those months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of ‘he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan said.

“That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him,” she said.

After the couple’s surprise decision to move to North America, the former television actress has been portrayed in some British newspapers as headstrong, calculating and spoiled, and the couple reckless and selfish for quitting royal life.

The two-hour interview with the queen of US television was the biggest royal tell-all since Harry’s mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to his father Prince Charles in 1995.

Harry, 36, revealed the deep divisions within his family, saying he felt “really let down” by how his father had handled the situation.

But he also said Charles — the heir to the throne — and Harry’s older brother William were “trapped” by the conventions of the monarchy.

“They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that,” he said.

Winfrey reportedly sold the interview to US broadcaster CBS for $7-9 million, and retained the international rights to the footage, which will feed an appetite of interest about Britain’s centuries-old monarchy — and their troubles — across the globe.

Royal fans were offered a treat when the couple revealed the gender of their second child  — the first senior royal due to be born outside Britain in 100 years.

“It’s a girl!” Harry and Meghan chimed in tandem.

But it was a rare light-hearted moment in the drawn-out interview — and viewers who tuned in to see if the pair had scores to settle with Buckingham Palace were likely left shocked at how far they went.

Knives out

Taking aim squarely at senior royals, Markle flatly denied reports — feasted on by the gossip press — that she made Kate Middleton cry before her wedding to Harry, saying the reality was the opposite.

“Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Meghan told Winfrey.

“The reverse happened,” Meghan added, saying that Kate “was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized.”

“A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining — yes, the issue was correct — about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.”

Meghan called the claims “the beginning of a real character assassination” and “a turning point” in her relations with the royal family.

“I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she said.

Ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, revelations emerged Meghan was facing an internal palace investigation into claims that she bullied royal household staff after she and Harry married in a fairytale wedding in 2018.

Further reports the couple are facing a probe into their charitable foundation have been seen as a counter-offensive in a bitter battle for public support.

Last month, when Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would not return to their senior roles, it said they would not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”

“I’m sad that what’s happened has happened, but I know… we did everything that we could to make it work,” Harry said as the interview wrapped up.

The Sunday Times said Queen Elizabeth II, 94, would not be watching the couple.

The weekly quoted unnamed courtiers as calling the situation a “circus,” and the palace would “come out swinging” if individuals were attacked.

 

AFP