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William and Kate eschew crowns for life with nappies

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

William and Kate eschew crowns for life with nappies
Reuters / Phuket Gazette


PHUKET: They are one of the most famous couples on the planet, one day destined to be Britain’s king and queen.

But royal experts say what Prince William and wife Kate really want is as much normality as possible within the confines of being in the spotlight.

The eyes of the world have again turned on Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and his wife, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with the birth of their second child, a girl.

Millions of people across the world tuned in to watch their sumptuous wedding in 2011 while the birth of Prince George two years later provoked an international media frenzy outside a hospital in west London.

But while they regularly grace the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and Kate is considered a fashion icon, commentators say what they really enjoy is having a normal family life away from the cameras.

Rather than crowns and tiaras, William and Kate will be eagerly looking forward to bath time and changing nappies.

“They’ve always tried to have the minimum amount of staff, they like to look after themselves as much as they can,” royal historian Hugo Vickers told Reuters.

“I’m sure that they’ll be again very hands on and very much wanting to be as normal a family as possible.”

Britain’s royal family has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the last decade, mainly fueled by its young members, Kate, William and his younger brother Harry, restoring its reputation after the divorce of their parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and her subsequent death in a Paris car crash in 1997.

Supporters say they connect with people in a way Charles does not, and their easy-going nature and Kate’s background as the first “commoner” to marry a prince in close proximity to the throne in more than 350 years reflected a new version of royalty.

A poll last month found eight out of 10 Britons liked William and Kate, including three-quarters of those aged 18 to 24.

Author Claudia Joseph said while Prince Charles enjoyed a gilded lifestyle but was kept at arms length by his parents, William and Kate were modern parents, following the model of Diana who would queue with other visitors when she took her sons to an amusement park.

BATH TIME

“I’m sure William does bath time, reads stories to Prince George, and Kate obviously emulates her mother,” said Joseph, author of “William And Kate’s Britain”.

She said William enjoyed being with Kate’s parents, away from the usual formality and paraphernalia surrounding the royals.

“He spends a lot of time with them and wants his son to enjoy that side of royal life,” she said.

Royal aides also say the couple are much more media-savvy than their forebears and are acutely aware of the difficulties faced by many Britons coping with financial hardship as austerity measures bite.

Kate regularly recycles her favorite outfits, is seen shopping at supermarkets and according to newspaper reports takes Prince George to farm parks with other mothers and the couple enjoy meals out in local pubs.

For his part, William has so far eschewed a life solely dedicated to official duties and is currently an air ambulance helicopter pilot.

“It’s going to be normal family. Dad goes off to work, comes home and they all have dinner together,” veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards told Reuters.

“He’s taken this time out to do a real job. It’s as near normal as you can get when you are second-in-line to the throne and to achieve that is something very special and I think he’s fought hard to get that.”

But critics question how ordinary can a couple really be when they live in gilded palaces and stately homes, renovated at the cost to the taxpayer millions of pounds, and travel the world in luxury.

Kate might not be an aristocrat, but comes from a wealthy middle-class family and enjoyed a privileged upbringing.

Maternity rooms at the private St Mary’s Hospital, where the new baby was born, cost well over 5,000 pounds ($7,500), and afterwards the couple were expected to initially return to their London residence, Kensington Palace.

Then they will head to Anmer Hall, their country mansion on the queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, to the northeast of London.

Many Britons are worried by soaring property prices, cuts to the national health service, and other economic austerity measures – issues which have figured in campaigning for next Thursday’s parliamentary election.

“Should the country be called on to celebrate a royal birth when 3.5 million children are growing up in poverty?” said Graham Smith, the chief executive of anti-monarchist campaign group Republic.

“To single out this birth because they are ‘royal’ is simply wrong.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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World

Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50%

Caitlin Ashworth

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Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50% | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Alexander Popov

The richest people in the world, who make up just 1% of the population, are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. A study shows that the “1 percenters” make up twice as much carbon pollution than the poorest half of the world. Some say the poor are the least responsible for climate change, but have to deal with most of the negative consequences.

In a 25 year study led by Oxfam, researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute found that wealthy countries were responsible for using up nearly a third of the Earth’s carbon budget. The study was conducted from 1990 to 2015, when annual emissions grew by 60%.

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.

63 million people made up the richest 1% of the world. Since 1990, they have been responsible for 9% of the ‘carbon budget’. The carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can go into the air before temperature rises to catastrophic levels. 3.1 billion people make up the poorest half of the world’s population. The carbon emissions growth rate of the rich 1% was 3 times more than the poorest half of the world.

There’s not just an economic inequality between the rich and the poor, according to the head of policy, advocacy and research, Tim Gore. He told AFP the research shows the world’s “carbon inequality.”

“It’s not just that extreme economic inequality is divisive in our societies, it’s not just that it slows the rate of poverty reduction …But there is also a third cost which is that it depletes the carbon budget solely for the purpose of the already affluent growing their consumption … And that of course has the worse impacts on the poorest and least responsible.”

Carbon emissions have decreased since the pandemic. But just a few months doesn’t take away the damage that has been done for years. Temperatures are still on track to rise several degrees this century. Although the 2015 Paris climate deal was set to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, emissions have continued to increase.

“It’s clear that the carbon intensive and highly unequal model of economic growth over the last 20-30 years has not benefited the poorest half of humanity… It’s a false dichotomy to suggest that we have to choose between economic growth and fixing the climate crisis.”

Some say the global economy needs to prioritise “green growth.” If not, the decrease in pollution during the pandemic will have a very small and insignificant overall impact on climate change. Some say carbon emissions affect the poorest nations the most who don’t have enough resources to fight natural disasters possibly brought on by the rising temperatures, like wildfires and droughts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | AFP

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World

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine

The Thaiger & The Nation

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England’s self-quarantine rule breakers will receive up to a 10,000 pound fine | The Thaiger

England’s self-quarantine rule breakers are receiving up to a 10,000 pound fine, starting September 28, according to British PM Boris Johnson. The fine will be handed down to anyone who tests positive for the virus or has been in contact with someone who has the virus and dodges the rules for self-quarantine.

For the first offence, rule breakers will receive a 1,000 pound fine and from there it will rise up to 10,000 pounds for those who repeatedly break the rules. Employers who threaten to fire staff over choosing to self-isolate instead of going to work will receive the maximum fine amount of 10,000 pounds. For those lower income workers, Johnson says they will receive a 500 pound support payment in addition to other benefits in which they may qualify.

Despite current British Covid-19 quarantine guidelines matching those of the rest of the world, there has reportedly been little enforcement of self-quarantine rules. Now, Britain is seeing a fast influx of Covid cases prompting the government to get the police involved in compliance checks.

Johnson has come under scrutiny after repeatedly being called to issue a lockdown nationwide with reports coming in that he is planning to reject calls from advisors to issue a 2 week lockdown to slow the virus’ spread.

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Thailand

US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River

The Thaiger & The Nation

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US accuses Chinese companies of exploitation along the Mekong River | The Thaiger

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is accusing Chinese companies of “exploitative practices” in the Mekong River region after a new partnership has been launched to combat “transnational crimes”. Pompeo named the China Communications Construction Company as one of the big offenders and says the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for the increase in human, wildlife and drug trafficking in the region.

He says the new partnership will also strengthen water security for partner countries where China has added to a drought in the region as an upstream damming by China has been carried out in “a completely non-transparent and non-consultative way.”

“We encourage countries of the Mekong region to hold the CCP accountable to its pledge to share its water data. That data should be public. It should be released year-round. It should include water and water-related data, as well as land use, and dam construction and operation data.”

“We stand with our ASEAN partners as we insist on the rule of law and respect for sovereignty in the South China Sea, where Beijing has pursued aggressive campaigns of coercion and environmental devastation.”

Pompeo also said such companies associated with the CCP are linked to human and narcotics trafficking but he did not provide evidence to support the accusation.

Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand all share resources of the Mekong delta and Pompeo reiterated that they “deserve good partners”. The US has reportedly pledged a total of US$156.4 million for multiple initiatives under the new US-Mekong Partnership.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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