Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring
By ROD McGUIRK and GREGORY KATZ
Monday, October 15
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting their first child in the spring, Kensington Palace said Monday.
The announcement came hours after Harry and the former Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney at the start of a 16-day visit to Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. Hundreds of people gathered to catch a glimpse of the couple after they landed.
“Their royal highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public,” the palace said in a statement.
After their arrival in Sydney, the prince and the former American actress held hands and walked out an airport rear entrance and into a car. Meghan, wearing skinny black pants and a black, burgundy trimmed coat, was smiling and clutching folders, while Harry gave a thumbs up to bystanders.
The announcement of the pregnancy confirms weeks of speculation from royal watchers about why Meghan was not joining Harry on his Sydney Harbour Bridge climb set for Friday.
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37 — along with Prince William and his wife, Kate, the duchess of Cambridge — have stepped to the fore in the last year as Queen Elizabeth II, 92, slightly reduces her public schedule.
Monday’s announcement is welcome news in Britain, where Meghan has won many hearts since her engagement to Harry was announced last December.
British Prime Minister Theresa May offered her “warmest congratulations” on the news, which provided a bit of relief from concerns about the stalled Brexit negotiations. “Wishing them all the best,” May tweeted.
The baby would be seventh in line for the British throne.
The royal couple started dating in July 2016 after they were introduced by friends, and Harry courted Meghan on a trip to Africa shortly afterward. They kept their relationship secret for several months but word eventually leaked to the British press.
They were married in May in a spectacular ceremony on the grounds of Windsor Castle that drew tens of thousands of people to Windsor and was watched by a global TV audience.
Harry has become immensely popular in Britain, in part because of his military service and tireless work on behalf of wounded soldiers, and he has spoken often in recent years of his desire to settle down and start a family.
When the couple got engaged, Harry was asked about plans for children.
“You know, I think one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future,” he said.
He said in 2015, before he met Meghan, that he would “love to have kids right now.”
Meghan has also talked about wanting to have children.
She said in a 2016 interview that becoming a mother was on her “bucket list.” She was still acting in “Suits” at the time.
“I can’t wait to start a family, but in due time,” she said.
Meghan, with her American roots and successful acting career, has been seen as a modernizing influence on the sometimes stodgy royal family, and she is credited by many for bringing happiness to Harry, who has long struggled to cope with the early death of his mother, Princess Diana.
Harry has broken new ground by talking openly about his mental health issues related to the death of his mother when he was only 12, and that candidness, which is part of a royal campaign to raise awareness about mental illness and end the stigma surrounding it, has brought the royals increased public backing.
The royal couple’s trip Down Under is their only international tour since they were married, apart from a two-day visit to Ireland.
Days after watching Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie tie the knot in a lavish ceremony in Windsor, the couple touched down in Sydney on an overcast morning after a regular Qantas Airways flight from London with a brief stopover in Singapore.
Sydney’s weather is expected to be drizzly and cool on Tuesday, with showers forecast for most of the week.
It won’t be the first time Harry has had to brave the rain in Sydney. Last year, he made a whirlwind visit to cast his eye over the Invictus Games preparations, where he charmed his fans during torrential rain.
The couple’s current tour coincides with the games, which start in Sydney on Saturday. The sporting event, founded by Harry in 2014, gives sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball.
Harry and Meghan will attend the games’ opening and closing ceremonies. In all, they have 76 engagements scheduled over 16 days in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
The royal couple was driven from the airport to Admiralty House, the official Sydney residence of Governor General Peter Cosgrove, who represents Australia’s head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s grandmother. The couple had no official functions on Monday following the 17,140-kilometer (10,650-mile) flight that Qantas says takes 22 hours and 20 minutes.
Hundreds of well-wishers gathered with umbrellas outside the airport and Admiralty House in the hope of catching a glimpse of Harry and Meghan. The crowd cheered as the waving couple was driven through the gates of the harbor-side mansion.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s representative in Britain, Ambassador Woody Johnson, tweeted: “Happy news to wake up to on a Monday morning – congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!!”
The royal couple’s visit comes six months after Harry’s father, Prince Charles, made his 16th official visit to Australia, primarily to open the 21st Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast city in Queensland.
Katz reported from London.
Portman calls for action at Hollywood women’s luncheon
By LINDSEY BAHR
AP Film Writer
Monday, October 15
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Natalie Portman took a flamethrower to the patriarchy. George Clooney admonished what he called the Trump administration’s culture of fear. Emma Gonzalez implored people to vote. And host Jenifer Lewis spared no one, from Melania Trump and Kanye West to Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.
Nothing was off the table at Variety magazine’s Power of Women luncheon held in Beverly Hills on Friday, almost exactly a year since The New York Times and The New Yorker published accounts from dozens of women alleging sexual misconduct by the once-powerful movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein, who has denied any wrongdoing, was quickly ostracized by the entertainment industry, which helped gain momentum for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
In a commanding 15-minute speech, Portman addressed the underrepresentation of women in all industries and laid out guidelines to incite change, such as donating to Time’s Up, opting against depicting violence against women in films and hiring women for positions they’re not typically considered for. She was being recognized for her humanitarian efforts in co-founding Time’s Up, a legal defense fund that was created following the rise of the #MeToo movement to address and combat inequality in the workplace.
The Oscar-winning actress was being recognized for her humanitarian efforts in co-founding Time’s Up.
“Be embarrassed if everyone in your workplace looks like you,” Portman said.
Portman said Weinstein is “still free” because “our culture protects the perpetrators of sexual violence, not its victims.” She added that the Time’s Up defense fund has served more than 3,500 people from “workers at McDonald’s to prison guards to military personnel to women in our own industry who have faced gender-based harassment, coercion and assault.”
“Recently our lawyers helped Melanie Kohler triumph against Brett Ratner and his lawyer Marty Singer…who tried to use Brett’s enormous financial advantage over her to try to bully her into silence,” Portman said. “Because of our lawyers … he dropped his case of defamation.”
Regina King, an honoree supporting the I Have a Dream Foundation, followed Portman saying “Man, Natalie Portman 2020.”
Portman was not the only person to get a standing ovation Friday. Eighteen-year-old Emma Gonzalez, who became a nationally recognized advocate for gun control after surviving the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, also brought the well-heeled Hollywood crowd to their feet.
Advocating for March for Our Lives, Gonazelz, wiping away tears, said to the women in the vast ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire hotel, “You know that you are forces to be reckoned with. You can and have inspired peace and understanding and most importantly right now, you can inspire your audience to vote. Now more than ever, women need to continue to rise up.”
Gonzalez was introduced by George Clooney who announced himself as “Amal’s husband.” The audience, in turn, cheered. Clooney struck a more serious tone in discussing a time where fear is capitalized on — “fear of Muslims, fear of immigrants, fear of minorities, fear of strong women.”
“Are we really scared of all the things that actually make America great? And if the answer is yes, then we’ll have history to answer to,” Clooney said. “After all the jokes, and insults, and reality show frenzy, what will be remembered, what will stand the test of time is holding responsible these wolves in wolves’ clothing.”
Everyone who took the stage got a word in for a cause they were passionate about. Honoree Lena Waithe, there for The Trevor Project, said Time’s Up has had a huge impact on her life in the past year.
“I’ve befriended so many women I probably would have never even met or had a reason to speak to, and I can’t remember a time in this industry when women have huddled together. We’ve all gotten on the same page,” Waithe said. “I wish it didn’t take something so tragic to bring us together. I wish trauma in the workplace and sometimes at home wasn’t the thing we had in common. Luckily we have refused to be victims. Luckily we’ve refused to be silent. Luckily we’ve decided to rise up and scream at the top of our lungs and become a force of rebels who won’t be treated like second class citizens.”
The event, presented by Lifetime, with sponsors such as Audi, Morocco Oil and The Venetian Resort, also honored Tiffany Haddish, who spoke about the non-profit The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company and Participant Media CEO David Linde for helping to make female-focused films from “Roma” to “RBG.”
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
OPINION: Alec Baldwin: ‘We Need to Overthrow the Government of Donald Trump’
By Michael Graham
In a speech to New Hampshire Democrats that some have speculated is a first step toward a 2020 POTUS bid, actor and activist Alec Baldwin chose provocation over policy by declaring repeatedly that Democrats must “overthrow the government of Donald Trump.”
Baldwin, who spoke for less than 20 minutes to an audience of 700 in a Manchester, New Hampshire, ballroom, was careful to state clearly that the method of the “overthrow” was the ballot box. “We have a method for changing governments here in the United States,” Baldwin said. “We must in an orderly and lawful way overthrow the government of Donald Trump.”
“Let’s ‘Make America Great Again’ by making Donald Trump a failed casino operator again,” Baldwin said in a mic-drop-moment ending to his speech.
After his speech was over, Baldwin spoke with the media and re-iterated that his call for the “overthrow of the Trump government” is via the ballot box, not violence. But coming in the wake of former first lady Hillary Clinton’s claim that Democrats “cannot be civil” toward the GOP and former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder’s “When they go low, we kick ’em!” rallying cry, it’s clear that the American Left has adopted the “Avenatti” approach to the coming elections.
After beginning with the story of how he ended up back on “Saturday Night Live” in his recurring role as Donald Trump (“Lorne Michaels called in the fall of 2016 — ‘I only need you for three shows. Then he (Trump) will be gone.’ Three. Shows.”), Baldwin kept his comments both serious and personal. He talked about climate change, reporting that he’d done an unofficial canvas of friends and co-workers and it was their top issue by far. He expressed his personal concerns about the danger he says climate change presents and lashed out at what he described as the anti-science views of Republicans.
He also hit on the Democratic talking point of the influence of money in politics, claiming that a handful of wealthy, powerful people run our government. Baldwin also suggesting that money is the key driver of politics, not ideology. For example: “They (Republicans) shrug at gun violence and cash every check from the NRA, knowing they’ve earned every penny,” Baldwin said.
“Democrats may not have as many rich, power-mad billionaires pulling our strings … but those billionaires only have one vote. We have that advantage,” Baldwin said.
Republicans spent the weekend mocking the Democratic Party for inviting Baldwin, who has a notorious history of making bigoted, homophobic and misogynistic comments, to speak at a dinner named for progressive icon Eleanor Roosevelt, and at the height of the #MeToo moment. In November 2013, liberal icon and African-American activist Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an article for the Atlantic titled simply: “Yeah, Alec Baldwin Really Is A Bigot.”
New Hampshire GOP Chairman Wayne MacDonald released a statement in advance of Baldwin’s speech that said in part: “Surely, with a Democrat field as talented for 2020 as the Democrats claim, a better, less controversial speaker could have been arranged. The new Democrat normal, exemplified by the likes of Alec Baldwin and Michael Avenatti, won’t go unnoticed by voters this November.”
Baldwin’s speech in the home of the First-in-the-Nation primary occurs the same night his new TV talk show debuts. “The Alec Baldwin Show,” will air on ABC at 10 p.m., and will feature interviews with celebrities and cultural icons. Baldwin says it won’t be all politics.
So is Alec Baldwin in New Hampshire to set the stage to play the POTUS role … for real? Baldwin talked at length in his speech about the effect of being a dad with four children under 6 years old is having on his life, and it appears to be playing a role in his thoughts on a political career.
“My wife (Hilaria) told me she’ll divorce me if I run for office,” Baldwin said after the speech. “I’ve always wanted to do that and dreamed of doing. But I think that with my young children, that was a choice (I made).”
“But who knows what will happen in the future? Right now I’m just trying to make some money to pay all my kids’ tuition,” Baldwin said.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Michael Graham is political editor of NH Journal. He’s also a CBS News contributor. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Actress Mimi Kennedy Alerts California Voters with a Midterm Self-Defense Manual
Every election, voters are trapped into provisional voting by rules they don’t know (mail ballot surrender at the polls, registration deadline Oct. 22, only your precinct has you on the rolls and may not be the one near you.) This year, voting provisional has bad consequences due to a 2017 CA law, AB 840, that exempted the computer count of provisional ballots from our state’s mandatory hand-audit, by which counties must randomly select 1% of precincts and hand-count 100% of their ballots to check the computer count’s accuracy.
Also exempted from audit by AB 840 are mail ballots arriving too late to be processed into the Election Night precinct count – and that includes all mail ballots dropped off at the polls! If the federal balance of power (these famously tight races to “flip” House districts) comes down to unaudited computer counts, that’s trouble. Computers can change votes without evidence if no post-scan hand-audit is done.
Mimi Kennedy is an actress/activist/writer currently appearing on CBS’ MOM as 12-Step veteran “Marjorie.” Her films include “Midnight In Paris” “In the Loop” and “Erin Brokovich.” She was Advisory Board Chair of Progressive Democrats of America from 2004-2018 and continues on the Board with a focus on US Election Integrity from the local to national level.
White House, senators increase pressure over Saudi writer
By HOPE YEN
Monday, October 15
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is brushing aside threats by Saudi Arabia that it may economically retaliate for any U.S. punitive action imposed over the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, pledging a “swift, open, transparent investigation” into his disappearance.
Two leading Republican senators said Congress stands ready to act, including a possible halt of military sales, if President Donald Trump doesn’t.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised “severe punishment” in a “60 Minutes” interview, if the U.S. determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. On Sunday, the oil-rich kingdom suggested retaliation if the U.S. were to impose strict measures.
Trump has said he does not want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm U.S. manufacturers.
“We will take stern action with the Saudis if necessary,” Kudlow said. “The United States is the dominant energy player so we’re in pretty good shape, in my opinion, with our energy boom to cover any shortfalls. We’ll wait and see, but rest assured that when the president says we will take actions if we find out bad outcomes, he means it.”
Kudlow also said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be attending a Saudi conference this week to address terrorist financing, but those plans could change as details of the investigation become available.
“The president several times said we want a prompt, swift, open, transparent investigation,” Kudlow said.
Sens. Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, members of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Congress was prepared to move quickly and firmly if Trump failed to adequately respond to the Oct. 2 disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who had written columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Rubio said U.S.-Saudi relations may need to be “completely revised” and stressed the U.S. would lose credibility on human rights if the Trump administration remained silent.
He also said Mnuchin should skip the Saudi conference.
“I don’t think any of our government officials should be going and pretending it’s business as usual until we know what’s happened here,” said Rubio, R-Fla.
Rubio declined to rule out a halt to the arms sales, stressing that the U.S. must send a message to repressive governments worldwide, from Russia to Syria and China.
“There’s not enough money in the world for us to buy back our credibility on human rights if we do not move forward and take swift action,” Rubio said. “Arms sales are important not because of the money but because it also provides leverage over their future behavior.”
Flake said if the Saudis did, in fact, kill Khashoggi, Congress might specifically curtail U.S. military aid to Saudi-led forces in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Gulf states in a military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The U.S. provides weaponry, intelligence and logistical support for the bombing campaign.
“I do think that arms sales will be affected. Certainly our involvement in Yemen with Saudi Arabia will be affected,” said Flake, R-Ariz.
More than 20 Republican and Democratic senators instructed Trump last week to order an investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance under legislation that authorizes sanctions for perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross human rights violations. The writer had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year. The lawmakers’ letter was a preliminary step under the Global Magnitsky Act toward taking punitive action.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reviewed the U.S. intelligence into what happened to Khashoggi, has said, “The likelihood is he was killed on the day he walked into the consulate.”
Turkish officials say that they fear Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi after he entered the consulate and that they have audio and video recordings of it. The kingdom has called the allegations “baseless” but has offered no evidence the writer left the consulate.
Trump visited the kingdom on his first overseas trip as president and has touted arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Prodded Saturday to specify what type of “severe punishment” he could impose, Trump demurred.
“Well, there are many things we can do. Would you like to speak up about that?” he said, turning to Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., who was at the White House for the arrival of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was released from Turkey after nearly two years of confinement. “I don’t want to put you on the spot, but if you guys would like to tell them some of the many things we can do. There’s a big list.”
Lankford responded: “Yeah, there’s a big list. Obviously, we have a long-standing partnership with Saudi Arabia in a lot of areas.” He added, “Let’s find out what did happen first.”
Rubio appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Flake spoke on ABC’s “This Week,” and Kudlow also was on ABC and “Fox News Sunday.”
(Australian Pool via AP)