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DULUTH — The five-day strike by snow plow drivers in St. Louis County ended overnight Monday, Jan. 20.

Teamsters 320 chief negotiator Erik Skoog announced an agreement on his personal Facebook page.

“After 15 hours of mediation, we reached an agreement that both parties can be proud of! Congrats Teamsters,” he wrote.

There will be a 4 p.m. ratification meeting Monday, he said. St. Louis County issued a statement early Monday, saying, “It is our understanding that the union has scheduled a meeting for 4 p.m. today. Out of respect for the mediation process, we will have no comment until after that time.”

Union leaders had wanted members to be able to retire with up to 1,500 hours of accrued sick leave, a figure that two other county bargaining units have negotiated. But the county maintained those units made concessions for a higher cap, and that it would be an unreasonable financial burden to raise the limit across the board.

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden reached out to the drivers in a tweet Sunday morning: “Every worker in this country deserves the dignity that comes with fair wages and benefits.”

Biden joins several presidential candidates, including Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders, to proclaim their solidarity with the strikers. U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, visited the picket line Friday.

Details of the agreement are not yet known at this time.

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BAGHDAD (AP) – Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live rounds during clashes with anti-government protesters overnight and on Monday morning in Baghdad, killing three and wounding dozens of demonstrators, officials said.

The clashes prompted authorities to close key streets and thoroughfares leading to the Iraqi capital’s center.

The violence is the latest since protests in Iraq reignited last week after a brief lull amid soaring tensions between Washington and Tehran following a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad earlier this month.

Anti-government protests have similarly resumed in Lebanon after a brief hiatus, entering a new, violent phase as anger against a worsening economic crisis and politicians’ inaction mounts. Hundreds of people were injured over the weekend as security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets in clashes in downtown Beirut.

In Baghdad, the tear gas and live rounds were fired near Sinak Bridge and also the nearby Tayaran Square, which have been the scene of violence in recent days, medical and security officials said.

A gunshot wound killed one protester, while a second died after being struck in the head by a tear gas canister, medical officials said. A third later succumbed to his injuries, the officials said.

A statement from the Baghdad Operations Command said fourteen officers were wounded by a group of rock-throwing “inciters of violence ” while trying to secure the entrance to Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protest movement.

Among the dead was Yousif Sattar, 21, a local journalist covering the protest movement, one medical official and an activist said.

“Despite these actions our forces continued to exercise restraint and follow up on the security duties assigned to them,” said the statement.

A security official said at least nine arrests have been made so far after the National Security Council authorized security forces to arrest demonstrators seen blocking main thoroughfares and roundabouts.

The U.N. envoy to Iraq, meanwhile, urged Iraqi political elites to resume pushing for reforms and for protests to remain peaceful.

“Any steps taken so far to address the people’s concerns will remain hollow, if they are not completed,” said Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert in a statement issued by the U.N. “Violent suppression of peaceful protesters is intolerable and must be avoided at all costs.”

In the southern city of Nasiriyah, protesters blocked the highway linking the city to the southern oil-rich province of Basra. At least six protesters were wounded when an unknown gunmen fired at them from a speeding car, a medical official said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

On Sunday, protesters in Baghdad and southern Iraq burned tires, blocking main streets. Clashes in Baghdad wounded at least 27 people. Iraqi activists gave the government a week’s deadline to act on their demands for sweeping political reforms or said they would up the pressure with new demonstrations.

The uprising began on Oct. 1 when thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to decry rampant government corruption, poor public services and a scarcity of jobs. Protesters are demanding an end to Iraq’s sectarian political system, alongside early elections and the stepping aside of its ruling elite.

The anti-government movement had scored several successes before the U.S. strike diverted public attention. In December, pressure from demonstrations lead Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, to withdraw support for the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, prompting the prime minister’s resignation.

Later that month, lawmakers passed a key new electoral law that would give voters more say in who’s elected to office.

But bickering between rival political factions has set back talks over the selection of a new premier. Abdul-Mahdi’s appointment was the product of a provisional agreement between rival parliamentary blocs led by the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and another led by Hadi al-Ameri.

Since the protests first erupted in October, at least 500 have died under fire from security forces.


Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj in Baghdad contributed to this report.

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FILE PHOTO: Aengus Kelly, CEO and Executive Director of AerCap, speaks at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Owners of Boeing’s (BA.N) grounded 737 MAX jet must keep cool heads and avoid offering panic discounts on sale or lease prices to avoid undermining its long-term value, the head of one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors Aercap (AER.N) said on Monday.

“Discipline and keeping a cool head is vital because if people panic and lease the airplane or sell the airplane at knock-down rates for an extended period of time, it will be harder for the residual value of that asset to recover,” Aercap’s (AER.N) Aengus Kelly told the Airline Economics aviation finance conference in Dublin.

Aercap has 100 Boeing 737 MAX jets on order.

“The brand is not in a great place right now and what we need to do is recover that brand operationally and then … be absolutely disciplined when it comes to placing the aircraft,” Kelly said.

(This story has been refiled to fix typographical error in headline)

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Goodman

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It’s Monday, which means it’s the perfect time for you to watch David Lynch asking a suited monkey if he’s ever been a card-carrying member of the communist party.

It’s a genuine thing that happens in David Lynch’s new Netflix short, What Did Jack Do?, a 17-minute film which sees the legendary director interrogating a monkey called Jack in a train carriage.

David Lynch interrogates monkey suspect in surprise Netflix murder mystery

Co-presented by Lynch’s company Absurda and Parisian contemporary art museum Fondation Cartier, the film was written, directed, and edited by Lynch himself. Along with a small crew, he also did the sound editing, set design, and assisted with set construction.

Here’s a small snatch of the dialogue, just so you know roughly what to expect:

Lynch: They found feathers.

Jack: Bullshit.

Lynch: Are you calling me a liar? I know why the chicken crossed the road.

Jack: This conversation just came to a screeching halt.

Lynch: Be a man, Jack, and tell me about her.

We won’t spoil what happens, but look out for a cameo from actor Emily Stofle (Twin Peaks star and David Lynch’s wife), and make sure you stick around for the catchy musical number towards the end.

Yes, you read that right. 

What Did Jack Do? is now available to stream on Netflix.

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Large icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland, on Aug. 16, 2019.

Felipe Dana/The Associated Press

Ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have played an important and under-appreciated role in the rapid warming of the Arctic, a group of U.S. and Canadian researchers has found.

The team’s analysis suggests the effect is so pronounced that climate change would, by now, be a far more urgent and dire matter in the North had it not been for the Montreal Protocol – the 1987 treaty that bans the release of those substances because of their harmful effect on the ozone layer.

“There are added benefits of this protocol that we keep discovering as we look at the data,” said Karen Smith, a climate scientist at the University of Toronto and a co-author of the study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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While the Montreal Protocol was not implemented with climate change in mind, it has effectively reined in a key contributor to Arctic warming, she added.

The study suggests that over the past three decades the protocol was buying time for policy-makers as they began to take seriously the cumulative effect of greenhouse gasses in Earth’s atmosphere.

“It’s only after decades that we’ve come to determine how it’s made a difference,” said John Fyfe, a research scientist at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis in Victoria, who was not involved in the study.

However, he added, it is a benefit “that we’re only going to realize for a period of time” because of rising emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, which remains the largest driver of climate change.

Dr. Fyfe called the new result “very solid” and said that it quantifies a known effect that has long been a challenge to measure.

While CFCs and related chemicals are far more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, they are present in the atmosphere in such low concentrations – in the parts per trillion range – that is it difficult to pin down their influence on Earth’s climate.

To overcome this barrier, Dr. Smith and her colleagues ran a series of computer models that show how the Arctic climate would have unfolded had the ozone depleting gasses never been invented. They focused on the second half of the 20th century, corresponding to the time when emissions of CFCs were growing because of their widespread use in spray cans and refrigerators.

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“If you want to understand the importance of these gasses, you’ve got to focus on the decades when they were being emitted and when their concentrations were increasing,” said Lorenzo Polvani, a Columbia University climate scientist who led the study.

The simulations showed that the rate of Arctic warming in a world without CFCs would be cut in half – a striking effect for a category of substances that are only present in small quantities to begin with. To ensure the result was not simply a quirk of the simulation, the researchers ran the experiment using two different climate models and arrived at a similar outcome.

The results closely match an Australian study published last fall, which simulated what the global climate would be like had the Montreal Protocol never been put into effect. Worldwide, that study found the protocol can be credited with a 25-per-cent reduction in global warming, “a remarkable success in climate-change mitigation,” Rishav Goyal and colleagues from the University of New South Wales wrote in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

In reality, the protocol was implemented within a few years of scientists discovering that CFCs were linked to an alarming degradation of the ozone layer – a region of the atmosphere that blocks cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The speed of the response stands in stark contrast to decades of delayed action on CO2 emissions, which require changes to the way the world does business that are far more sweeping and politically contentious.

Dr. Fyfe said that the influence of ozone-depleting gasses on climate, as indicated by the two studies, is large enough that it should finally be possible to spot the effect of the Montreal Protocol directly from observational data.

“What we’re looking for are trends against a huge amount of variability,” he said. “It took a certain amount of time for nature to play itself out.”

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Zurich Airport, near the World Economic Forum in Davos, on Monday touted the fact that a business aircraft used a blend of sustainable and conventional fuel.

The fuel, made by Finland’s Neste

NESTE, +1.39%

 , aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%, the airport said.

But it’s barely used — the International Energy Agency says aviation biofuel production of about 15 million liters accounted for less than 0.1% of total aviation fuel consumption in 2018.

Getting emissions lower from jet fuel is important. According to the IEA, aviation emissions account for just over 2.5% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and this is expected to rise to 3.5% by 2030.

Unlike cars, it is difficult to electrify plane travel. Batteries would have to deliver a massive amount of power on take-off, and be light and long-lasting. At the moment, batteries do not meet the requirements to replace jet fuel on long-haul commercial flights, so the only real way to lower the climate impact of flying is to make fuel greener.

The problem is that planes run on kerosene, an energy-dense fossil fuel that can operate at low temperatures that has proved hard to replace with more environmentally friendly options. Aviation biofuels exist, i.e. fuel made from plants or waste biomass that has a much lower carbon footprint, and is generally blended in with regular jet fuel. The big obstacle is making enough without competing with food production, at a low enough price.

At the moment, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), as the industry calls them, are about three times more expensive than commercial fossil-fuel derived jet fuel.

Another difficulty is sourcing. They are generally made from non-food crops and algae, or wood and waste biomass. Some of these fuels contain palm oil, the production of which is one of the main drivers of deforestation. Making jet fuel from algae seems like an ideal solution, but requires large amounts of space and it remains unclear whether this process can be scaled up to industrial levels.

The International Air Transport Association trade body says SAF can reduce the overall carbon footprint by around 80% over the fuels’ full lifecycle.

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Federal Supreme Court Abu Dhabi
Image Credit:

Dubai: India declaring the UAE as a reciprocating territory for the Civil Procedure Code will pave the way for a more law-abiding society by prevening people from absconding and encouraging amicable settlements between couples in marital disputes, lawyers told Gulf News on Monday.

As first reported by Gulf News on Sunday, India on January 18 published a gazette notification that facilitated the execution of the civil court orders from UAE courts designated as “superior” in India.

Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, had confirmed to Gulf News that the notification implies that the civil and commercial court orders from the UAE courts identified as “superior” should now be executed through Indian courts.

On Monday, lawyers Musthafa Zafeer O.V. and Almana Zafeer, whose Dubai-based legal firm, Mustafa Al Mana, handles several cases involving people and companies in India and the UAE, termed the move as a “marriage of the legal systems.”

NAT Almana Zafeer-1579536725732
Almana Zafeer

This will strengthen the fear of law, preventing people from fleeing the country to escape from being penalised in civil and commercial disputes, including bank loan defaulters and cheque bounce cases, pointed out Musthafa.

“The notion that I can escape to India and nothing will happen to me will change. People will try to stay back and settle the cases. This will pave the way for a more law-abiding society,” he said.


Musthafa said the multi-jurisdictional platform introduced through the new move would also ensure that UAE residents who have defrauded someone in India and living here also will also be bound to honour a court order issued in India.

“That means an Indian expat or a foreigner cannot come and stay here happily after committing civil offences back in India.”

NAT Musthafa Zafeer O.V-1579536723939
Musthafa Zafeer O.V.

He said their firm will soon be approaching a court in India to seek execution against a man who absconded from here after collecting Dh1.8m from various investors on the pretext of starting a supermarket here.

“It is not just loan defaulters who are absconding. People like this fraudster were also misusing the loopholes in the legal system. This new move will be a huge relief for companies that have suffered losses in commercial disputes as well.”

Helpful in divorce cases

Al Mana said this will also result in more amicable settlements between couples in marital disputes as well.

She said there are several instances of husbands not honouring court orders in divorce cases.

“Some fly back to India and will not provide the maintenance allowance for the wife and children ordered by the court. In some cases, children are taken away from one parent without the consent of the other parent in violation of the court order on child’s custody.”

“All these people will now be bound to honour the court order from here even if they escape to India. In such a situation, they are more likely to distance themselves from getting dragged into further legal procedures and would agree for amicable settlements with their spouses.”

How it will be implemneted?

Meanwhile, banks are waiting for finer details on the execution part of the law to understand how to proceed with cases against loan defaulters.

“We are in the process of understanding the new procedure. We need to understand which cases we can take up, what is the procedure etc,” said D. Ananda Kumar, CEO of Bank of Baroda.

He said the bank is currently dealing with about 200 cases of absconding loan defaulters who fled to India.

“We got stuck in many cases wherein ex parte decrees were not recognised by the Indian courts. Now, we have to see how these cases will be treated.”

“There is more clarification needed. We are trying to get the details through some topnotch advocates in India on how to proceed with these cases.”

When contacted, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said it was also in the process of getting finer details about the execution procedures.

Attaching properties

Though the government is yet to clarify on the procedure of execution, Musthafa said the district courts in India are now expected to order the revenue departments to attach the properties or freeze accounts of loan defaulters to help recover the money from the accused in a specified time.

He said the doubt about rejection of execution of ex parte decrees is just an ambiguity that people have.

“Setting aside an ex parte decree is subjective to the satisfaction of the court,” he said.

“When a judgment is passed in absentia, the other party has the right to go to the court and tell why he hasn’t been able to present his case. For example, if you don’t come to know about a litigation if the other party has deliberately avoided providing the information. But there is a time limit for that.”

“Whereas if you absconded to avoid legal consequences, and then the petitioner has the right to get the ex parte judgement.”

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BRUSSELS/LONDON — The battle lines between Britain and the European Union are taking shape on farming, fish, state aid, banking and a host of other issues ahead of the launch of negotiations for a free trade deal in March.

Britain will leave the EU on Jan. 31 and begin a no-change transition period that runs until the end of 2020, during which it will seek to negotiate its future relationship with the bloc.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out extending the transition and is in the process of making it illegal to do so, leaving only 11 months to seal a deal between the world’s fifth-biggest economy and its biggest trade bloc.

EU trade chief Phil Hogan warned London last week against taking talks to the wire. “We need to wake up to this reality that gamesmanship and brinkmanship are not going to work on this occasion.”


As well as terms of trade, an EU-Britain deal is likely to cover security and defence cooperation, energy and transport links, fishing rights, data flows and Britain’s participation in EU programmes in science, space and other areas.


The European Commission, which negotiates on behalf of the 27 remaining EU members, plans to thrash out its objectives early next month before putting them to EU governments on Feb. 25. Britain will also set out what it wants from the talks.

Negotiations are expected to start in March and the deal effectively needs to be wrapped up by October in order to kick in on Jan. 1 2021 because it will have to be checked by lawyers, translated into the EU’s 22 other languages and put to the EU governments and the European Parliament for approval.

If Britain changes its mind and asks to extend the transition, it would have to request it by June 30. An extension can be granted for up to two years.


Agreement should be simpler on security cooperation and transportation but tough on:

Rules/standards – The EU fears London may seek to undercut the bloc in areas such as environmental and labour rules, turning itself into a low-regulation “Singapore-on-Thames”.

But Britain does not want to commit to keeping EU rules that would make it harder to strike deals with other countries, especially the United States.

Finance minister Sajid Javid told companies last week they would have to adjust to new rules for cross-border business.

Services – Trade deals typically focus on goods but Britain wants to keep good access to EU markets for its services firms, notably financial services, which run a trade surplus with the EU. Brussels says Britain cannot have the same access as before because it no longer wants to play by the EU’s rules in areas such as immigration. Many banks and financial firms have set up operations in the bloc to minimise disruption.

Fisheries – The EU wants its fleets to retain access to British waters, while Britain wants to increase its catch.

Agriculture – France and other countries with strong farm lobbies are unlikely to accept unlimited imports from Britain. Also, if Britain strikes a trade deal with the United States, accepting U.S. food safety standards that are not allowed in the EU, this could limit British farm exports to Europe.


The man in charge on the EU side is Michel Barnier, a former French foreign minister who in Brussels has led financial sector reforms and the talks over Britain’s divorce agreement.

Opposite him will be David Frost, a diplomat who headed London’s side of the divorce talks for their last few months.


Britain wants to strike deals with other countries around the world and leaked government documents revealed the extent of preliminary talks with the United States last year.

Some Conservative Party lawmakers have urged Johnson to prioritise talks with Washington over Brussels.

But any U.S. demands that Britain open up its food market to meat exports – including chicken washed with chlorine and hormone-treated beef – or to allow higher prices of medicines could prove unpopular in Britain.

Britain sends about half its exports to the EU, so other countries are likely to want to wait to see the details of a British-EU deal before negotiating their own agreements.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and William Schomberg in London)

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ARCADIA, CA (KUSI) – The third horse in three days has died Monday at Santa Anita Park, while animal rights activists continue to push for a nationwide ban on racing.

Santa Anita officials confirmed Sunday that a horse that had been training at the track died, but declined to immediately share more details.

Tikkun Olam was a 4-year-old who raced nine times, winning once, finishing second once and third twice, earning $40,743. He finished sixth in a field of seven in his final race, a claiming race Aug. 28 at Del Mar.

On Saturday, a 4-year-old gelding named Uncontainable took a bad step nearing midstretch, and was pulled up and vanned off. The horse suffered a “fractured right front ankle,” according to a post on Santa Anita’s website. “Per recommendation from the attending veterinarian, the horse was humanely euthanized.”

A 6-year-old gelding named Harliss was euthanized Friday after fracturing his right front ankle in a race at Santa Anita after finishing seventh in a field of eight in the seventh race. He was also euthanized under the recommendation from the attending veterinarian.

The three deaths in consecutive days brought the number of horse who have died at Santa Anita to at least 42 since December 2018. Five horses have died at Santa Anita since its winter/spring meeting began Dec. 28.

“Three dead horses in three days requires immediate action,” PETA spokeswoman Brooke Rossi said. “The California Horse Racing Board was recently given the authority, in legislation backed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, to suspend racing, and now it must do exactly that.

“There is no sense in the board allowing racing and deaths to continue until it enacts all its own pending regulations and acts on the recommendations of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. If it takes the closure of a track to stop the deaths, then close the track.”

Meanwhile, officials at Santa Anita released a statement Saturday reaffirming the track administration’s commitment to horse safety.

“Santa Anita remains committed to transparency,” it said. “Our safety statistics and incident reports are publicly available on our website at

Home to 2,000 horses, Santa Anita Park is one of the largest equine training facilities in the United States. Horses raced or trained at Santa Anita Park more than 420,000 times over the last year with a 99.991% safety rate.”

Santa Anita — and the sport in general — have faced increasing pressure from animal-rights activists and elected officials since the deaths at Santa Anita started garnering media attention in early 2019.

The California Horse Racing Board is set to issue a report soon on the deaths.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office concluded Dec. 19 that there was no criminal wrongdoing connected to the deaths, but offered a series of recommendations aimed at improving safety at racetracks in California.

“Horse racing has inherent risks but is a legally sanctioned sport in California,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. “Greater precautions are needed to enhance safety and protect both horses and their riders.”

The district attorney called on state regulators to develop safety enhancements to reduce horse deaths, including possible enhanced penalties for rules violations, establishment of a tip line for people to report violations or animal cruelty allegations and mandated inspections of racing and training facilities, and reviews of necropsy and veterinary records of horses that have died.

The report also made recommendations aimed at identifying pre-existing conditions in horses that could lead to breakdowns, establishing track- maintenance protocols — including special measures during rain or extreme weather conditions, and creation of “safety codes of conduct” for owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and others who care for horses.

The report noted that officials at Santa Anita have implemented a series of safety-improvement measures that “have reduced the number of fatal racing and training incidents.”

Santa Anita recently debuted a PET Scan machine to provide imaging of the fetlock or ankle joint — the most common area for injuries to occur in thoroughbreds — without horses having to undergo anesthesia, and said it will help to diagnose pre-existing conditions.

“This state-of-the-art technology reflects a new standard of care within Thoroughbred racing — a standard that puts the health and safety of horses and riders first,” said Belinda Stronach, The Stronach Group’s chairman and president.

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“The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.

“I have grown up feeling supported by so many of you and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms. As you saw me find the love and happiness that I hoped for all my life. Finally the second son of Diana got hitched, hooray.

“I also know that you’ve come to know me well enough over all these years to trust that the woman that I chose as my wife upholds the same values as I do. And she does. And she’s the same woman I fell in love with. We both do everything that we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride.

“Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited, we were hopeful and we were here to serve. For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this. The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one that I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.

“What I want to make clear is: we aren’t walking away and we are certainly not walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.

“I’ve accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope that helps you understand what it had come to. That I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope could be a more peaceful life. I was born into this life and it was a great honor to serve my country and the Queen.

“When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing, you looked out for me for so long. But the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.

“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes. It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you, and to feel your excitement for our son Archie, who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant.

“I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.

“I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me.

“Together, you have given me an education about living. And this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could have ever imagined.

“We are taking a leap of faith. Thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”

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