Harry, Meghan to ‘step back’
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, plan “to step back” as senior members of the royal family, a statement issued on Wednesday by Buckingham Palace said. “Harry and Meghan intend to become financially independent” and to “balance” their time between the UK and North America, the statement said. “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” it said. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support her majesty the queen.”
Bieber announces illness
Pop super star Justin Bieber on Wednesday announced that he has Lyme disease. In a post on Instagram, Bieber said he would address his struggle with the illness, which is contracted through a tick bite, in a YouTube documentary. “It’s been a rough couple years, but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever,” the 25-year-old entertainer wrote in the post’s caption. He called out critics who he says have been saying he looks like he is “on meth.” He said: “They failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my, skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.”
Mayor-elect’s body found
The body of a missing mayor-elect who disappeared in the nation’s south more than a year ago has been found, authorities said on Wednesday. Prosecutors in Guerrero State said that information obtained from people linked to the case led investigators to a river bank where remains were found. Those remains were matched to Daniel Esteban Gonzalez by DNA testing. Gonzalez disappeared on Sept. 2, 2018, after winning the mayorship of the town of Cochoapa el Grande. Gonzalez was the candidate of the Democratic Revolutionary Party. Representatives of that party have blamed the disappearance on the rival Institutional Revolutionary Party, whose candidate had disputed the election.
Twitter to test new controls
Twitter on Wednesday said that it would test new features early this year that would allow people to control who can reply to their tweets, as it looks to limit abuse and harassment on the platform. “We want to help people feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter by giving them more control over the conversations they start,” the San Francisco-based company said in a tweet.
Old paper finds new owner
A retiree has canceled an around-the-world trip to save the Mountain Messenger, California’s oldest weekly newspaper, which was set to shut down when editor Don Russell retires this month. The paper began in 1853. Its claim to fame is that Mark Twain once wrote there under his real name, Sam Clemens. Carl Butz said he is to take over the Mountain Messenger. “I’ve been a widower for three years and this is a new chapter in my life,” Butz told SFGate. “What am I going to do? Go on another trip around the world? Instead, I’m doing something good for the community, and I feel good about it.” Known in the area as the “Mountain Mess,” the paper covers school board meetings, federal land use and other issues.
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
ACADEMIC FREEDOM: One professor told her students to submit anonymized papers and not to record any online classes. Some US schools have announced similar steps Students at Oxford University specializing in the study of China are being asked to submit some papers anonymously to protect them from the possibility of retribution under the sweeping new security law introduced three months ago in Hong Kong. The anonymity ruling is to be applied in classes, and group tutorials are to be replaced by one-to-ones. Students are also to be warned that it will be viewed as a disciplinary offence if they tape classes or share them with outside groups. The Hong Kong National Security Law was imposed on June 30 by Beijing after more than a year of pro-democracy
Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40. News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides. Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has been an uptick in the number
China on Thursday lashed out at the US at a high-level UN meeting over its criticism on the COVID-19 pandemic, with its envoy declaring, “Enough is enough.” Two days after US President Donald Trump used his annual address to the General Assembly to attack China’s record, US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, also took an outraged tone — after which her Chinese counterpart showed palpable anger. “I must say, enough is enough. You have created enough troubles for the world already,” Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun (張軍) told a Security Council meeting on global governance attended through videoconference