Meghan Markle humiliates Kate Middleton in Chelsea Flower Show despite royal intervention

first_imgLONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England.Photo by Clive Mason/Getty ImagesFollowing the news of the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from Kensington Palace, there have been many reports that suggested that tension has developed between both the Duchesses.And going by the recent event, it is clearly evident that the two sisters-in-law are not on the same page. Both backed different gardens at the annual event. Kate has designed her own nature-themed garden, while the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry opted to support an African-styled entry.Meghan’s entry looks at the ecological African culture and is already a firm favourite among gardeners. Julie Miller, who hosts ‘In the Limelight’ for Vanity Fair, said this put Kate’s in the shade. She further said, “If I was Kate I’d be humiliated they went down this route. I would be angry they hadn’t swapped notes before.” Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesKate’s garden features a treehouse, a waterfall, wild strawberries and a campfire where children can toast marshmallows. Elsewhere, Meghan’s garden features a breeze-block school house surrounded by crops that girls can learn to grow, such as peanuts and okra, as well as solar panels and smart irrigation system.Megan’s garden is run by Camfed, an organisation which is trying to eradicate poverty in Africa through the education and empowerment of girls and young women. Kensington Palace has already stopped Meghan and Harry from overshadowing Kate’s garden by forbidding Camfed to use a photograph of Harry for the publicity of the garden.As a royal biographer, Sally Befell Smith puts the character of the two duchesses by comparing their gardens. “They’re two very, very different women, with different backgrounds, different interests, temperaments, and personalities.”last_img read more

Citizenship Question Controversy Complicating Census 2020 Work Bureau Director Says

first_imgActing U.S. Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin stands in the lobby of the agency’s headquarters in Suitland, Md. The bureau is facing six lawsuits from more than two dozen states and cities, plus other groups, that want a new question about U.S. citizenship removed from the 2020 census.The head of the U.S. Census Bureau says the controversy over a new question about U.S. citizenship on the 2020 census is complicating its preparations to conduct a national head count.For the first time since 1950, the Census Bureau will ask all U.S. households about citizenship status, specifically, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”“Controversy about the content of the census does complicate our messaging,” acting U.S. Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin says in an exclusive interview with NPR. Jarmin is overseeing the 2020 census, the once-in-a-decade head count of every person living in the U.S. as required by the Constitution.“We need to get responses from everybody whether they like the question or they don’t like the question,” says Jarmin, an economist who has served at the bureau since 1992. “We need to be able to get both sides of this debate to respond to the census.”The interview is Jarmin’s first with a news organization since stepping in last July to lead the bureau, and it comes as preparations for the next national tally in 2020 are already drawing criticism over security and privacy concerns as well as legal action over the citizenship question.The bureau is facing six lawsuits from more than two dozen states and cities, plus other groups and individuals, who want the question removed because of fears that it will discourage noncitizens from participating and harm the accuracy of the census. As NPR has reported, some noncitizens plan to avoid answering the 2020 census because they are scared of sharing their information with the government.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, approved adding the question to census forms in March. Ross has said the Justice Department needs responses from the question to better enforce the Voting Rights Act’s provisions against racial discrimination. Internal documents the Trump administration recently released as part of the lawsuits are fueling suspicions that the decision to add the question was politically motivated.Jarmin says the lawsuits are creating “uncertainty” for his bureau and that the longer they persist, they increase “potential cost and risk to the program.”Still, Jarmin insists, he is “confident” the bureau can get a “good, complete and accurate census” regardless of the outcome of the lawsuits.These population counts touch the lives of people across the country. Census numbers help determine the balance of political power — they are used to determine how many seats in Congress and how many Electoral College votes each state gets, and they affect how legislative districts are drawn. In financial terms, an estimated $800 billion in federal funds is distributed every year based on the head count.Asked how he would respond to people who say they’re afraid of taking part in the head count, Jarmin defended the security of the census, saying the bureau always has a need to “encourage people to participate in the census regardless of the content of the form.”“Responding to the census is safe and secure, and we only use the data for statistical purposes,” he says, “so fears that we’re going to use the data and to give it to law enforcement agencies and things like that are unfounded. We do not do that.”“Confidentiality is [an] absolutely critical element of the success of our mission and so we take that very seriously,” he says.Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from releasing any information that would identify individuals. But the bureau can release anonymized information about specific demographic groups living in specific neighborhoodStill, some critics of the citizenship question — including Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former staff director of the House Subcommittee on Census and Population — are worried about whether people will trust the government with their personal information at a time of increased immigration enforcement under the Trump administration.“Regrettably, I think because of the anti-immigrant debate and rhetoric … more and more people are going to be afraid to turn personal information, especially if it’s about citizenship, over to a government agency,” she says. “Even if that agency is simply collecting statistics.”Lowenthal is now a consultant and advises the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which has filed an amicus brief for one of the citizenship question lawsuits. She says it is ultimately up to elected officials, local religious leaders and social service agency heads to “carry the message that it’s both safe and important to their families and the well-being of their communities to participate in the census.”To conduct past head counts, the bureau has received permission to hire noncitizens as temporary census workers for their special language and cultural skills. The Washington Post reported in January that Census Bureau staff were told during a meeting that the agency was not planning to hire noncitizens for 2020.But Jarmin says that some staffers may have “misinterpreted” an explanation about federal hiring laws and that the bureau is “going to be exploring every option.”“We need to get a complete and accurate census,” he says, “and we will do everything we can to ensure that.”The bureau’s preparations for 2020 include keeping a close eye on social media to monitor any misinformation about the head count, which is set to take place at the same time as the 2020 presidential race.Asked if he was worried that there could be a tweet from President Trump that does not match the bureau’s messaging about the 2020 census, Jarmin says, “I’m not too concerned about a tweet from the president in that regard. But I’m concerned about tweets from anybody that somehow, you know, if it gets enough traction, that that is giving the public bad information about the census.”Amid all the uncertainty, another question facing Jarmin is how long he will stay as the Census Bureau’s acting director. During a Senate hearing in May, the commerce secretary said the White House was “processing” a potential successor but did not announce a name.Jarmin says he doesn’t know who that person is or when he might be replaced.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Qatar Gives Houston 25 Million to Help Reduce Homelessness

first_img Listen Share Abner FletcherSheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S., and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.The State of Qatar is giving Houston $2.5 million to help reduce homelessness. The gift comes from the $30 million Qatar Harvey Fund, which the Gulf monarchy set up last year.“Nearly 20 percent of unsheltered homeless individuals and half of those who are homeless for the first time are homeless because of Hurricane Harvey,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, announcing the donation at City Hall. Turner said the donation will underwrite relief efforts in the five pilot neighborhoods of Houston’s Complete Communities initiative: Acres Homes, Gulfton, Near Northside, Second Ward, and Third Ward.The mayor shared the podium with Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S., Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani. “We appreciate the relation with the state of Texas and the people of Houston,” said Ambassador Al-Thani, “and we’re grateful for all the support that they give also to our citizens who come here to study and come here to get medical treatment.”This marks Qatar’s second donation to the region this week, following another $2.5 million gift to help reopen the historic Riverside General Hospital. The effort comes as part of a trend of supporting long-term disaster recovery projects. Qatar set up a similar fund in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.NOTE: The Qatar Harvey Fund’s board includes Dr. Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston. UH holds the license for Houston Public Media. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /00:48last_img read more