Daily News Roundup

January 20, 2020

Prince Harry breaks silence after announcing he's 'stepping back' from royal family
Image: Entertainment Tonight

MONDAY JANUARY, 20

Prince Harry has “taken a leap of faith” in stepping back from his life as a member of the royal family saying “there really was no other option”, during a speech at a private dinner for his charity Sentebale. 

In London, Prince Harry spoke of his decision to leave the family in search of a more private life. 

“I also know that you’ve come to know me well enough over these years to trust that the woman 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,” he said. 

“We both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride.

“I’ve accepted this knowing this 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 can be a more peaceful life. I was born into this life and it is a great honour 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.

Prince Harry said when he and Meghan were married “we were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve”.

He stated that it was with “great sadness” that they had decided to step back, but there was “no other option”.

“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” he added. 

Harry said he and Meghan were “not walking away.”

“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding,” he said. 

“Unfortunately that wasn’t possible.”

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The bodies of the 11 Ukrainian citizens who died when a passenger plane was accidentally shot down by Iran this month have been brought back to Ukraine on Sunday in a solemn ceremony at Kiev airport. 

All 176 passengers on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight from Tehran to Kiev were killed when the Boeing 737-800 was shot down on January 8, during the time Iran was on high alert for a US attack.

Most on board were Iranians or dual nationals with 57 Canadian citizens on board. Nine of the Ukrainian citizens were crew members. 

“Today at Boryspil Airport the bereaved families and the whole nation have an opportunity to pay their respects to the Ukrainian crew and passengers of #PS752 who are now home,” Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko wrote on Twitter. 

The Ukrainian flag was draped over coffins that were carried one by one from a Ukrainian military plane to hearses waiting at the airport. 

Soldiers also held up flags to represent the different nationalities of those who had died. 

Meanwhile, Iran has denied reports it will return the downed plane’s black boxes to Ukraine, saying it is trying to analyse them itself, the state IRNA news agency reported on Sunday. 

“We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran,” Hassan Rezaifar, the director in charge of accident investigations at Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization told IRNA. 

“Otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country.”

Mr Rezaifar had been quoted by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday, saying the black boxes could not be decoded in Iran and would be sent to Ukraine. 

The Boeing 737-800 was en route from Tehran to the Ukrainian capital.

The downing occurred as Iran was on a high alert for possible retaliatory action following its strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops. 

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Residents of western New South Wales have been struck by what has been described as “the worst dust storm to date”. 

The dust storm spread from Broken Hill across to Nyngan, Parkes and Dubbo, blocking out the sun and leaving residents in complete darkness. 

Residents in Nevertire and Narromine were left without power “for hours”. 

“2020 – the year of dust! The worst dust storm we have had to date,” Nevertire Hotel publican Harriet Gilmore said. 

“Complete darkness, no power for hours. 

“And this is the fourth one this week.” 

Locals have been left feeling frustrated after another forecast of rain was wrong. 

“Next time they forecast a storm, I’ll know just to assume a dust storm,” Collie resident Jason Herbigg said. 

“Do not for one second think that the drought is over because some of the state has had a drop of rain,” Dubbo resident Erinna Colton said. 

Winds peaked at 7:45pm in Dubbo with gusts of 107 kilometres per hour. 

“The dust storm was moving fast and was so thick that it went completely dark and zero visibility in less than a minute,” Dubbo resident Jenny Duggan said.

A total of 2.2 millimetres of rain fell in Dubbo after the storm passed with Cowra receiving 34mm in the last 24 hours. 

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