Meghan Markle criticized Kate Middleton’s royal wedding long before she met Harry

Meghan Markle long before meeting Prince Harry had once criticized the massive royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William.

The Duchess of Sussex had claimed the world’s obsession with Kate and her royal life set a bad example for young girls who grow up with the wrong idea about what they need to search for in life

Back in 2014, long before Meghan had met Prince Harry or had any connection to the royals whatsoever, she had criticized the enormity of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate.

In her lifestyle blog, The Tig, Meghan had written: “Little girls dream of being princesses. I, for one, was all about She-Ra, Princess of Power. For those of you unfamiliar with the ’80s cartoon reference, She-Ra is the twin sister of He-Man, and a sword-wielding royal rebel known for her strength.”

“We’re definitely not talking about Cinderella here. Grown women seem to retain this childhood fantasy. Just look at the pomp and circumstance surrounding the royal wedding and endless conversation about Princess Kate,” she added.

Little did Meghan know back then that she herself would also be tangled in the same royal mess only a few years after. 

Rally in Taxila for Solidarity with Kashmiris on 5th August

Govt of Pakistan decided to organized rallies in cities for solidarity with Kashmiris. Assistant Commissioner Taxila Mian Faheem Khan and Member Provisional Assembly Ammar Siddiqui Khan lead rally from TMA to Taxila Chowk. The participants of rally will condemn the aggressive Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and the worst atrocities.

The international community now realizing that the premier Narinder Modi and his followers are not targeting only the innocent Kashmiris but other minorities in India with their terrorism and fascism. Mian Faheem

Pakistan will support its Kashmiri brothers till they get the right of self-determination as per the resolution of the UN . Ammar Siddique Khan

The whole Pakistani citizens support the Kashmiris brothers for their right of freedom. And the international community should take action against India for such terrorism in Jammu And Kashmir.

Toll expected to rise in blast that shook Beirut, killing 78 and injuring thousands

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.

Officials said they expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday’s blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful explosion in years in Beirut, which is already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.

President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and said it was “unacceptable”.

He called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday and said a two-week state of emergency should be declared.

“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told broadcaster Mayadeen.

“There are victims and casualties everywhere.”

Hours after the blast, which struck shortly after 6pm (1500 GMT), a fire still blazed in the port district, casting an orange glow across the night sky as helicopters hovered and ambulance sirens sounded across the capital.

A security source said victims were taken for treatment outside the city because Beirut hospitals were overwhelmed with wounded. Ambulances from the north and south of the country and the Bekaa valley to the east were called in to help.

The huge blast revived memories of the 1975-90 civil war and its aftermath, when Lebanese endured heavy shelling, car bombings and Israeli air raids. Some residents thought an earthquake had struck. Dazed, weeping and injured people walked through streets searching for relatives.

Others sought their missing loved ones in the overflowing hospitals. One medic said 200 to 300 people had been admitted to a single emergency department.

“I’ve never seen this. It was horrible,” the medic, who gave her name as Rouba, told Reuters.

“The blast blew me off metres away. I was in a daze and was all covered in blood. It brought back the vision of another explosion I witnessed against the US embassy in 1983,” said Huda Baroudi, a Beirut designer.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab told the nation there would be accountability for the deadly blast at the “dangerous warehouse”, adding “those responsible will pay the price.”

The United States embassy in Beirut warned residents in the city about reports of toxic gases released by the blast, urging people to stay indoors and wear masks if available.

Smoke and fireball

Footage of the explosion shared by residents on social media showed a column of smoke rising from the port, followed by an enormous blast, sending up a white cloud and a fireball into the sky. Those filming the incident from high buildings 2km from the port were thrown backwards by the shock.

Bleeding people were seen running and shouting for help in clouds of smoke and dust. Streets looked as if they had been hit by an earthquake, with damaged buildings, flying debris, and wrecked cars and furniture.

Officials did not say what caused the blaze that set off the blast. A security source and local media said it was started by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.

The government said it was still struggling to establish the magnitude of the disaster.

“There are many people missing. People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan told Reuters.

Hasan said 78 people were killed and nearly 4,000 injured.

Lebanese broadcaster al-Jadeed read out appeals for information about the missing into the early hours of the morning. Some people posted photos of missing relatives on social media.

The prime minister called for a day of mourning on Wednesday.

Tangled wreckage

The explosion occurred three days before a UN-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from the Shia Muslim group Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing which killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others.

Hariri was killed by a huge truck bomb on the same waterfront, about 2km from the port.

Israeli officials said Israel, which has fought several wars with Lebanon, had nothing to do with Tuesday’s blast and said their country was ready to give humanitarian and medical assistance.

Iran, the main backer of Hezbollah, also offered support, as did Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia.

Qatar and Iraq said they were sending makeshift hospitals to assist the high numbers of casualties.

The United States, Britain, France and Germany expressed shock and sympathy and said they were ready to help.

US President Donald Trump indicated at a White House briefing that the explosion was a possible attack. Asked later to elaborate, Trump said that he had met with some US generals who felt it was not “some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event.”

Two US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said initial information contradicted Trump’s view, however.

The blast threatens a new humanitarian crisis in a nation that hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and which is already grappling with economic meltdown under one of the world’s biggest debt burdens.

Images showed port buildings reduced to tangled masonry, devastating the main entry point to a country that relies on food imports to feed its population of more than six million.

Residents said glass was broken in neighbourhoods on Beirut’s Mediterranean coast and inland suburbs several kilemetres away. In Cyprus, a Mediterranean island 180km across the sea from Beirut, residents heard the blast. One resident in Nicosia said his house and window shutters shook.

EU launches probe into Google’s bid for Fitbit

BRUSSELS: The European Commission launched an “in-depth investigation” on Tuesday into whether US tech giant Google’s planned $2.1 billion purchase of smartwatch maker Fitbit would give it an unfair market advantage.

“Our investigation aims to ensure that control by Google over data collected through wearable devices as a result of the transaction does not distort competition,” EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

In November last year, Google announced it had reached agreement to buy Fitbit, which produces wearable fitness trackers and watches that communicate with a health monitoring app.

But Google also produces an operating system for smartwatches and Brussels is concerned that acquiring Fitbit’s user data will strengthen its already powerful position in targeted advertising.

“The use of wearable devices by European consumers is expected to grow significantly in the coming years,” Vestager said in a European Commission statement announcing the probe.

“This will go hand in hand with an exponential growth of data generated through these devices. This data provides key insights about the life and the health situation of the users of these devices.” Google has promised not to use Fitbit health and wellness data for Google ads, but the buy out has attracted concerns from consumer groups and Australia’s competition commission.

The European Commission now has 90 working days -— or until December 9 — to carry out the investigation and decide whether to impose new conditions on Google.

Brussels has acknowledged that Google has created a data silo to keep users’ health data separate from its advertising platforms.

We have prepared well and are raring to go, says Azhar

LAHORE: Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali on Tuesday said though he has many inexperienced players in the side, they are extremely talented and showing lot of promise and will surely give tough time to England in the three-Test series starting from Wednesday at Old Trafford in Manchester.

While announcing 16 probables for the first Test in a presser held through video-link, Azhar replying to a question regarding unusual playing conditions owing to Covid-19, said: “Despite the challenging Covid-19 situation, all players are excited for the series with a positive frame of mind. The players have taken the situation in their stride and as Muslims are prepared to face it. We love cricket and we are going to play good cricket for which credit goes to both ECB and the PCB for arranging the series under these extraordinary circumstances.”

Speaking about lack of experience among his players, Azhar said: “As a cricketer you have to meet tough challenges. Yes we have some inexperienced bowlers and batsmen in the side, but they have tremendous talent and are proving their mettle. As cricketers you have to look at positive things and our last two series have been very good here in England. So that is the motivating force for us. We will bring further improvement in those performances.

“In batting, we have experienced batsmen like me, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood and promising Abid Ali and we will go in with a strategy to give tough time to the opposition,” said Azhar. “And similarly, promising, young fast bowlers like Nasim Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi are improving a lot with every day.”

Azhar, who has played 78 Tests and needs just 81 runs to complete 6,000 runs in Test cricket, has confined himself to Test cricket after retiring from One-day International cricket three years ago.

MANCHESTER: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali speaks during an online media conference at Old Trafford on Tuesday.—PCB
MANCHESTER: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali speaks during an online media conference at Old Trafford on Tuesday.—PCB

“We have done our best preparations for the Test series as the boys put in good hard work, both in Worcester and later in Derby, and now the task ahead is to translate that hard work into the Tests,” he said.

To a question Azhar said that both openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali proved to be the best opening pair in the last home series and they would open in the first Test as well. “Though Imam-ul-Haq, as third available opener, has also been doing a lot of hard work and is improving but at the moment he has to wait in the wings.”

Asked if the experienced coaching staff of the Pakistan team had tried to impose their decisions on him as captain in anyway, Azhar said: “No. I am quite comfortable working with the coaches. They are trying to solve players’ problems by giving good guidelines and coaching.”

Azhar also admitted that his own performance lacked consistency but vowed to do his best to overcome that with good scores in the series.

“My performance has not been consistent and as a top player I am not happy with it. But I am working hard and that should pay off,” said Azharwho has led Pakistan in only five Test matches, with one victory, three defeats and a drawn game under his belt.

“It is an important series and I and Asad Shafiq fully realise that being the most experienced batsmen, we have to perform.”

Azhar observed that the last series between England and the West Indies proved that the role of spinners was quite vital and if Pakistan’s batsmen set a good total on the board, Pakistan had good bowling resources in both spin and fast bowling to defend it.

“Yasir Shah is our match winner and as spinner his role is very important. After watching the playing conditions, we will decide either to go with one or two spinners,” he said.