The unveiling of a new statue of Diana, princess of Wales, next month could help thaw frosty ties between her sons prince William and Prince Harry, a royal biographer said Friday.
The princes are due to attend the July 1 ceremony in the gardens of Kensington Palace, unveiling a statue they commissioned to mark what would have been their mother's 60th birthday.
Omid Scobie, a journalist and writer whose 2020 book "Finding Freedom" covers Harry and Meghan's marriage and move to the United States, said he expects the event "will demonstrate that both of them are able to be cordial and respectful when it comes to remembering the life of their mother, despite their differences".
The once-close brothers, who studied together at Britain's elite Eton school, and both served in the military, have become distant since Harry's marriage to Meghan and the couple's move to California.
The brothers' meeting could remind them "how well" they work together to preserve the legacy of their mother, who was killed in a Paris car crash, aged 36, in 1997, Scobie told the Foreign Press Association in London, answering a question from AFP.
"Maybe that will be the icebreaker that is needed," he added, while saying the princes would not be able to talk privately at the large event and "there's a lot to be discussed".
- Jubilee visit? -
The brothers showed "a little bit of this at Prince Philip's funeral", Scobie added, referring to their conservation after the funeral of their grandfather, Queen Elizabeth II's late husband, on April 17.
In a sensational Oprah Winfrey interview in March, Harry and Meghan accused the royal family of racism, saying a member had asked about the skin colour of Harry and Meghan's future child.
The royal family responded by saying "some recollections may vary" and promised to look into the claim.
William, second-in-line to the throne and also known as the Duke of Cambridge, only commented briefly, saying: "We're very much not a racist family".
Scobie, a royal correspondent for US media, is sympathetic to Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in the book he co-authored with fellow journalist Carolyn Durand.
He is often seen as unofficial spokesman for them, although he denies this, insisting he simply has very good sources.
He said Friday that despite initial reports that Meghan was planning to attend the statue unveiling, this was never on the cards since she gave birth to the couple's second child earlier this month.
But the couple will both come to Britain next year when the Queen, 95, marks 70 years since she acceded to the throne, he predicted.
"I would imagine that next year during the Queen's Jubilee, we will see both Harry and Megan supporting the Queen," he said.
© 2021 AFP
Moving to reverse one of the Trump administration's many corporate-friendly deregulatory actions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday announced plans to revive a rule aimed at establishing specific animal welfare standards that food producers must meet to qualify for the USDA's organic seal.
"A major victory for all those who care about a meaningful organic label."
—Amy van Saun, Center for Food Safety
Finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration, the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule would have required organic food producers to ensure adequate indoor and outdoor space for farm animals, spelling an end to the widespread industry practice of cramming thousands of hens and chickens into windowless barns. The rule also would have clarified previously murky standards for the humane treatment of poultry and livestock.
The rule was applauded by small farmers and activists as a key step toward preventing big corporations from attaining the "organic" label for their products despite raising animals in over-crowded and cruel conditions. But soon after taking power, the Trump administration stopped the rule from taking effect and withdrew it entirely in 2018—a boon for factory farms.
On Thursday, the Biden USDA said in a statement that it intends to "reconsider the prior administration's interpretation that the Organic Foods Production Act does not authorize USDA to regulate the practices that were the subject of the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule."
"I have directed the National Organic Program to begin a rulemaking to address this statutory interpretation and to include a proposal to disallow the use of porches as outdoor space in organic production over time and on other topics that were the subject of the OLPP final rule," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We anticipate sending the proposed rule to OMB within six to nine months from the date of the remand."
Amy van Saun, senior attorney at Center for Food Safety (CFS)—a group that sued the Trump administration over its withdrawal of the OLPP rule—said that the USDA's announcement is "a major victory for all those who care about a meaningful organic label."
"After four years of hard-fought litigation, the Biden administration is recognizing that the Trump withdrawal decision was inconsistent with organic standards and principles," van Saun continued. "Finally, USDA will close the loophole allowing factory farms to produce 'organic' eggs and chicken, and level the playing field for real organic farmers already providing high welfare to their animals."
The National Organic Coalition's Abby Youngblood similarly applauded the USDA's move as "a huge victory in securing the trust of consumers and farmers alike who expect meaningful and consistent standards for animal welfare under the organic label."
"Consumer trust in the USDA Certified Organic label is vital and assures the success of the organic seal in the marketplace," Youngblood added.
An Ohio man has died after calling 9-11, only to have a responding police officer run him over with a patrol car, Newsweek reports.
Eric Cole, 42, called police after he was shot by an unknown assailant, telling dispatchers that was laying in the middle of the street and "about to die."
When responding officers arrived, Cole told the dispatcher that "They just hit me." When the dispatcher asked who hit him, he replied, "The police."
"Eric was lying in the street...and the officer did not see him and struck him with their vehicle," Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said, adding that the officer immediately got out to help before he was transported to a hospital, where he later died.
An autopsy report obtained by WHIO found that Cole suffered blunt-force trauma to his torso, arms, legs and knees as well as receiving a gunshot wound to his left arm. He also had multiple fractured ribs with internal bleeding.
The officer who fatally struck Cole was identified as Amanda Rosales. She has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. An investigation into how Cole was shot is also underway.
"This was an accident. It doesn't mean it's OK. It was an accident. This was not an intentional act on the part of the officer. I am sure of that," Graf said during the press conference.
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