Tuesday, October 3, 2023


UK Prime Minister Liz Truss Resigns After Stunning 44 Days in Office

Newly appointed British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned her position following an economic plan many described as disastrous.

Truss spent only a month and half in office following her official appointment by Queen Elizabeth II on September 6.

Key points

  • Her new mini budget plunged the British pound. Though she reversed it and appointed a new chancellor, she faced opposition within her party and the economic market as UK grapples with inflation.
  • She is now the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.
  • She will remain on as PM until the Conservative Party selects a new party leader next week.
  • She served under former PMs Theresa May and Boris Johnson in various capacities. After Johnson resigned, she was the favourite to replace him.

In Pictures: A Final Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

The world said a final goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, marking the end of her 70 year reign.

As millions watched on television, thousands more traveled to London and Windsor for the state funeral and burial to honor the Queen in an hours-long service.

Flowers adorning the coffin were picked from Buckingham Palace. On the wreath, her eldest son King Charles III penned a note to his deceased mother, “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who delivered the eulogy said grief for the late queen was felt around the world. “She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.

“People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer.”

Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who at times became emotional, followed the coffin as it was carried in a procession through London. Mourners lined the route, many seen weeping openly.

The Queen will be laid to rest at the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside her husband Prince Charles who died last year.

She died on September 8 at the age of 96.


Photo credit: Sky News, The Guardian

Kings Charles III is Now Monarch of the Bahamas. 10 Things to Know About Him

When Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday, her eldest son Charles succeeded the throne and became King. He will be officially known as King Charles III, while his wife Camilla will be known as Queen Consort.

Here are 10 things to know about the newest king:

  1. King Charles II is 73 years old and was born at Buckingham Palace. At 3 years old, he was bestowed as heir to the throne and known as Prince of Wales when his mother Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne.
  2. Charles served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force after graduation from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
  3. He married Princess Diana in 1981 who became known as the Princess of Wales. The couple had two sons: Prince William and Prince Harry. His controversial marriage to Diana became public and played out in the media, and he later revealed that he was never in love with Diana but was forced to marry. During the marriage, he had an affair with Camilla Bowles and the two later married after his relationship with Diana went awry.
  4. Charles has five grandchildren who stand in line to the throne.
  5. He embraces special projects of interest like farming, climate change, art and environmental conservation.
  6. He wrote the book, “The Old Man of Lochnagar” in 1980, which has since been adapted into an animated film, ballet and music.
  7. Prince Charles is known to express his personal opinions, veering into politics, unlike his mother who steered clear of expressing her political opinions.
  8. He believes in sustainable living. “I can’t bear waste, including food waste. I’d much rather find another use. Which is why I’ve been going on for so long about the need for a circular economy, rather than a linear one where you just make, take and throw away which is a tragedy because inevitably we over-exploit natural resources that are rapidly depleting.”
  9. He launched a sustainable fashion line in partnership with YOOX NET-A-PORTER to promote highend textile skills among young craftsmen. He said, “I have always believed in the ‘Buy once, buy well philosophy, so the  more I wear them, the more sustainable I hope I become.”
  10. Charles now reigns as head of state of the UK and 14 countries including the Bahamas, Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. He is also head of the Commonwealth, which is an association of 56 independent countries.
    Photo credit: Nadav Kander

UK Doctors Concern for Queen’s Health as Family Rushes to Her Side. What We Know So Far

It appears Queen Elizabeth’s health is deteriorating as doctors placed her under medical supervision at Balmoral.  Buckingham Palace said she “remains comfortable.”

  • It is unusual for Buckingham Palace to issue a statement like this:The Royal Family on Twitter: "A statement from Buckingham Palace: https://t.co/2x2oD289nL" / Twitter
  • All of her children have gathered and some are travelling to her Scottish estate. Princess Anne is already with her. Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, boarded a helicopter at Dumfries House in Scotland travelling to be with her, while Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex arrived at Aberdeen airport, ahead of their arrival at Balmoral. And Meghan and Harry, already in the UK, are travelling separately and are coordinating with family members.
    Prince Charles
    Prince Charles boards a helicopter to Balmoral at Dumfries House (Sky News)

    Royal helicopter which has landed at Balmoral Castle this morning. Pic: Peter Jolly
    A royal helicopter landed at Balmoral this morning (Pic: Peter Jolly)
  • Prime Minister, Liz Truss, said in Parliament: “The whole country will be deeply concerned.” The Archbishop of Canterbury said his “prayers and the prayers of the people across the Church of England and the nation” were with the Queen.
  • She pulled out of an online meeting of the Privy Council on Wednesday after being advised by doctors to rest.
  • The 96-year-old has ongoing “episodic mobility problems” and has been using a walking stick.
  • She missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years in May. Charles read her speech instead.
  • She was forced to miss some celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee in June, after experiencing discomfort.
  • Buckingham Palace scaled back her “official duties” and had rewritten her duties.

Liz Truss Succeeds Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of UK

Liz Truss will be the next Prime Minister of Britain after beating Rishi Sunak for the leadership position of the Conservative party.

In her acceptance speech, Truss vowed to press ahead with promised tax cuts and to tackle the rising cost of energy and living.

The big picture

Truss, a close friend of Boris Johnson, is succeeding him after he announced his resignation in July after months of scandals, support for his administration dwindled and many resignations within the party.

Liz competed with Rishi Sunak for the leadership post

Why it matters

Truss was the foreign minister in Johnson’s cabinet and was one of the favorites to win against finance minister Rishi Sunak. She received 81,326 votes while Sunak garnered 60,399 votes.

Truss takes over as Britian faces a high cost of living, industrial unrest, and war in Europe, where Britain has been a strong supporter of Ukraine.

She promised to deliver a great victory for her party in 2024.

What she says

“I will deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply.”

What’s next

Johnson will meet with Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday to officially tender his resignation. Truss too will meet with the queen and will be asked by the monarch to form a government.

Johnson said on Twitter, “I know she has the right plan to tackle the cost of living crisis, unite our party and continue the great work of uniting and leveling up our country. Now is the time for all Conservatives to get behind her 100 percent.”

Queen Elizabeth II Celebrated as Longest Serving British Monarch While Battling Mobility Problems

Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating 70 years on the British throne and the United Kingdom is throwing street celebrations.

Why it matters

Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Commonwealth, is the longest-serving British monarchy in history. The 96-year-old queen, ascended to the throne on Feb. 6, 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI.

Seventy years on the British throne is a once-in-a-generation celebration.

According to Time Magazine, she is the world’s third longest-ruling monarch in modern history.

Photo credit: USA Today

The big story

As she gets older, Queen Elizabeth has suffered physical challenges identified as episodic mobility in recent months, which prevented her from traveling and participating in national events.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: Getty

What’s happening

The Queen and members of the royal family gathered on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the 70-aircaft flypast.

Thousands of people flocked to central London for the jubilee celebrations, which began with the Queen’s birthday parade, known as Trooping the Colour.

The Platinum Jubilee celebration included the traditional Trooping the Color birthday parade, a star-studded concert led by Diana Ross and thousands of street parties across the UK.

In her honor, the four-day celebration will end on June 5th.
Photo credit: Getty

COP26: Climate Change Leaders Show Their Hypocrisy. Is the Summit a Fad?

More than one hundred leaders around the world, including the country’s Prime Minister Philip Davis, gathered in Glasglow, Scotland to fight climate change and address the increase in greenhouse gases which according to experts, are having an adverse effect on small island nations like the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica, where hurricanes are intensifying in frequency and strength.

Prime Minister Philip Davis called on developed countries to act now to prevent further damage by climate change.

Leaders like US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are agitating for countries to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions. However, one cannot help but notice that these leaders and dignitaries are increasing the usage of these gases and can be accused of not practicing what they preach.

Fox News has dubbed the conference, “gas-guzzling get-together.”

Biden arrived in Glasgow in a 21-vehicle motorcade, including 4 planes and a Marine One helicopter, leaving behind his carbon footprint, which contributes to climate change. His arrival in Scotland follows his stay in Rome where an 85-vehicle motorcade accompanied him while releasing tonnes of fumes in the air.

Yet, he preached from the stage in Glasglow, “…No more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue among ourselves.”

Biden’s entourage

The British press counted more than 400 private jets that are not climate-friendly which huddled on the runway carrying dignitaries and celebrities to Glasgow. Some used limousines, using tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“Conservative predictions suggest the fleet of private jets arriving for COP26 will blast out 13,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in total — equivalent to the amount consumed by more than 1,600 Britons in a year,” the British newspaper the Daily Mail reported.

One individual uses only 8 tonnes of carbon dioxide in one year.

The British Royal Family was also present preaching for countries to do more to combat climate change and Queen Elizabeth delivered a speech by video, “Time for words, have moved to a time for action,” she said.

But her family burns 3,810 tonnes per year, according to reports. This indicates that they are a part of the problem.

The world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was also present advocating that “we must all stand together to protect our world.”

Critics have lambasted him for failing to implement green policies at Amazon, and his journey into space this year, has chalked up a significant amount of fossil fuels.

World leaders have failed to deliver on climate change as the summit has had 25 other summits without solutions to the climate change problem.

They seem not to have the solution to keep the planet from heating up above 1.5 degrees Celsius.

China, was not present at the summit even though it produces the greatest amount of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

At the summit, leaders are praised for their lofty statements and rhetoric but if climate change is real, the small island nations will continue to suffer at the hands of richer nations until concrete proposals are presented and world leaders practice what they preach.

New Coronavirus Strain Emerges. Some Countries Ban Travel To and From UK

A growing number of European countries have stopped travel from Britain after a new virus strain was discovered in that country. At least six European countries have announced flights will no longer fly there, while France and Belgium have banned train travel.

Why it matters

Health officials in the U.S and the UK said the strain apparently infects more easily than others. But they are still examining if it is more deadly. It is believed to be 70% more transmissible.

What’s driving the news

The British government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said the strain “moves fast and is becoming the dominant variant,” causing over 60% of infections in London by December, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The new strain is said to have nearly two dozen mutations and some are on the spiky protein that the virus uses to attach to and infect cells. That spike is what current vaccines target.

“I’m worried about this, for sure,” but it’s too soon to know how important it ultimately will prove to be, said Dr. Ravi Gupta, who studies viruses at the University of Cambridge in England.

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the new strain of the coronavirus is “out of control.”