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Husband Of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip Dies At Age 99

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Britain’s Prince Philip, a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades, died Friday at age 99, Buckingham Palace announced.

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described him as her “strength and stay all these years”.

The outspoken former navy commander devoted much of his life as the queen’s consort to charity work — but was notorious for numerous gaffes, many deemed downright offensive.

He was admitted to hospital on February 16, 2021, and went home after a month during which he was treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.

Announcing his passing, BBC television played the national anthem over a picture of Philip in his prime, dressed in military dress uniform

Philip, who was by the queen’s side for nearly eight decades, retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96.

His death came just months before his 100th birthday in June — an event typically marked in Britain with a congratulatory message from the queen, who is now Britain’s longest-serving monarch.

The couple, who celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November, had been living largely in isolation at Windsor Castle, west of London, because their advanced age put them at heightened risk from Covid-19.

Philip and the queen received their first vaccinations against the virus in January.

– Few public appearances –

Philip was no stranger to health issues.

He was previously fitted with a stent in 2011 after suffering from a blocked artery.

He also had a hip operation in 2018 and in January 2019, he emerged unscathed after his vehicle was involved in a traffic accident that injured two people near the monarch’s Sandringham estate in eastern England.

The prince then spent four nights in hospital in December that year, receiving treatment for what was described as a “pre-existing condition”.

He was discharged on Christmas Eve, in time to rejoin the rest of the royal family for the festive period.

Since the pandemic, Philip has made few public appearances.

He was last seen at a staged appearance at a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in July, days after attending the wedding ceremony of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice.

In November, he and the queen marked the latest anniversary of their 1947 nuptials by releasing a photograph of them together, again at Windsor.

Philip and the queen have four children — Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward — eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

– Shelved personal ambitions –

Philip, the longest-serving consort in British history, was born on the island of Corfu with Danish and Greek royal titles.

He fled the country when he was just 18 months old with his parents and four sisters, after his uncle, king Constantine of Greece, was forced to abdicate.

The family initially settled in France.

Philip was formally introduced to princess Elizabeth, the future queen, in July 1939 and they kept in touch during the war, meeting on a number of occasions.

The pair married in Westminster Abbey in London in 1947.

A rising star in the British navy, Philip had reached the rank of commander by the time Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952. He eventually shelved his personal ambitions to support his wife in the role.

Over the ensuing decades he was involved in numerous charities, including the World Wildlife Fund For Nature and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for young people.

AFP

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Joe Biden In Fresh Trouble As 120 Retired Military Officers Pass Vote Of No Confidence on His Mental Health

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A group of more than 120 retired military officers have written President Joe Biden a letter to tell him his election was illegitimate while raising questions about his mental acuity.

The letter talks about former US President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud and comes a day after Rep. Liz Cheney was voted out of the Republican party leadership for criticisms of Trump for still peddling claims of electoral fraud.

The letter from the group which calls itself ‘Flag Officers 4 America’ and consists of retired military officers including generals and admirals reads:

‘Without fair and honest elections that accurately reflect the ‘will of the people’ our Constitutional Republic is lost,’

‘The FBI and Supreme Court must act swiftly when election irregularities are surfaced and not ignore them as was done in 2020,’ they wrote.

The letter, called an ‘Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals,’ was first reported by Politico.

The letter buttresses Trump’s claims that absentee ballots are not secure.

‘Election integrity demands insuring there is one legal vote cast and counted per citizen. Legal votes are identified by State Legislature’s approved controls using government IDs, verified signatures, etc,’ they write.

‘Today, many are calling such commonsense [voter ID] controls “racist” in an attempt to avoid having fair and honest elections. Using racial terms to suppress proof of eligibility is itself a tyrannical intimidation tactic,’ they write.

The retired officers raise doubts about Biden’s mental capacity – and reference Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to get assurances about the nuclear codes in the days after the January 6 MAGA riot.

‘The mental and physical condition of the Commander in Chief cannot be ignored. He must be able to quickly make accurate national security decisions involving life and limb anywhere, day or night,’ they write.

‘Recent Democrat leadership’s inquiries about nuclear code procedures sends a dangerous national security signal to nuclear armed adversaries, raising the question about who is in charge. We must always have an unquestionable chain of command.’

The group pledged to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’

 

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Bloomberg Removes Bill Gates From Billionaire List After Divorce

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Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest men has been removed from Bloomberg’s billionaire list after news of his divorce from Melinda Gates.

The business platform took the action shortly after news of Gates divorce to his wife of 27 years went viral.

Before being taken off the list, Gates was fourth on the index with a net worth of $145 billion, having gained over $13 billion in 2021 alone.

Financial details of their parting ways are not yet clear but Melinda may take half of her estrange husband’s wealth.

An unmarried Gates became the youngest American Billionaire in 1987, a record he held until Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder came to the billionaire status in 2007.

He got married to Melinda in 1994, after already being named the richest man in America. They have three children together.

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Verizon To Sell Yahoo, AOL For $5bn To Private Equity Firm

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Verizon announced on Monday it was selling faded internet stars Yahoo and AOL to a private equity firm for $5 billion, ending the online media ambitions of the telecoms giant.

The deal with Apollo Global Management also includes the entire Verizon Media unit, including the advertising tech operations of the two brands.

Verizon will retain a 10 percent stake in the company, which will be known as Yahoo going forward and will continue to be led by chief executive Guru Gowrappan, the company said in a statement.

Verizon acquired Yahoo in 2017 for some $4.5 billion, ending the run for one of the storied brands of the early internet. It merged Yahoo into its division with AOL, another star of the early internet era, which Verizon acquired in 2015.

Both AOL and Yahoo lost traction — and lofty market valuations — as internet users shifted to newer platforms such as Google and Facebook.

Verizon had been seeking synergies from Yahoo’s massive online presence and its other media operations including news websites TechCrunch and the recently sold Huffington Post.

With Google and Facebook dominating the online ecosystem, “Yahoo didn’t do things well and Verizon wasn’t able to do much with it,” said Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

“Yahoo was a fully formed entity with its technology, and Verizon couldn’t make a bird into a fish.”

Kay said it will remain difficult to break the ad-tech “oligopoly” of Google and Facebook, and that prospects were uncertain for the new Yahoo.

“It may be (Apollo) will try to extract something, and put it back on the market,” Kay said.

– New opportunities –

Executives at Verizon and Apollo said they saw opportunities for the new Yahoo.

“We are big believers in the growth prospects of Yahoo and the macro tailwinds driving growth in digital media, advertising technology, and consumer internet platforms,” said David Sambur, senior partner and co-head of private equity at Apollo.

“Apollo has a long track record of investing in technology and media companies and we look forward to drawing on that experience to help Yahoo continue to thrive.”

Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s CEO, said the media unit “has done an incredible job turning the business around over the past two and a half years and the growth potential is enormous.”

Vestberg added: “The next iteration requires full investment and the right resources. During the strategic review process, Apollo delivered the strongest vision and strategy for the next phase of Verizon Media. I have full confidence that Yahoo will take off in its new home.”

Apollo has a wide-ranging investment portfolio including real estate, finance, and consumer brands. In recent years it acquired the Venetian resort in Las Vegas, the Qdoba restaurant chain, and the Fisker electric car company.

Monday’s deal marks the latest change in ownership at AOL, whose massive valuation enabled the pioneering internet service firm to close a deal for Time Warner in 2001, which was unwound eight years later.

AOL operated independently, focusing on digital media and news until it was acquired in 2015 by Verizon for $4.4 billion.

AFP

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