Finding Freedom

‘Finding Freedom’ dissects Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s break with the royal family – The Washington Post

Usually, deciphering British palace intrigue is like reading tea leaves: trying to discern nuance from opaque gestures. But the latest chapter of the saga of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle requires little decoding. In “Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex effectively spill the tea on their frustrations with the monarchy, from which they officially exited senior roles in March.

Co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand draw on interviews with more than 100 friends, aides and others in the Sussexes’ “inner circle” to draft, if not an authorized biography, the couple’s version of the past four years. The open question is whether Harry and Meghan are among the sources for this friendly account. Scobie and Durand have said they did not speak with the couple on the record for the book, though the authors’ note acknowledges direct conversations “when appropriate.” A spokesman for the couple stated last month: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”

The sensitivity of some details — Harry’s secret Instagram handle (@SpikeyMau5), the prince’s fondness for the ghost emoji, that the couple fired their night nurse over “unprofessional and irresponsible” behavior on her second shift — suggest proximity to the couple, who, tellingly, have not denied the accounts. There isn’t much for them to quibble with.

For admirers of Harry and Meghan, “Finding Freedom” is 354 pages of sorbet: a dishy narrative that pushes back against media attacks while tracing the couple’s connection from a July 1, 2016, blind date (“ ‘Almost immediately they were almost obsessed with each other,’ a friend said. ‘It was as if Harry was in a trance.’ ”) through their engagement, globally televised wedding and the birth of their son, Archie Harrison. (While fans of Harry and Meghan will undoubtedly enjoy the book’s unwaveringly positive portrayal of her angelic disposition and his emotional intelligence, those who sympathize with other relatives, or closely follow the royals are more likely to see the book as telling only part of the story — or as a means to air grievances against palace courtiers and Harry’s relatives.)

After their relationship became public in October 2016, paparazzi and media outlets aggressively hunted Meghan. When friends questioned the fast-moving relationship or the “suitability” of the biracial divorced American actress, Harry “would wonder, ‘Is this about race? Is it snobbery?’ ” He cut off longtime friends and grew estranged from his older brother after Prince William reportedly urged Harry to “take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.”

Citing the rapid emergence of bias and race-baiting in media coverage, the book says a “major theme” of racism in Britain involves “the question of who is authentically ‘English’ ” — which means “to be born and bred in the UK — and be white.” (Scobie, whose father is Scottish and mother Iranian, mentions his history with biracial bias, including “microaggressions” from a palace staffer that suggest authority on discrimination Meghan may have faced. His previous sympathetic coverage of the couple also suggests why Harry and Meghan would have authorized friends to talk.)

Beyond mentioning some of Meghan’s earlier experiences with racism, and saying Archie’s birth raised “visibility around race and inclusion at the heart of the monarchy,” the book says little about how the Windsors — as opposed to aides — viewed Meghan as a person of color. Although Meghan called herself a “woman of color” in South Africa last fall, how she or Harry hoped to explore her — or Archie’s — heritage in their work is unclear.

Scobie and Durand report on the distant relationship between Meghan and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. They go deep behind the scenes in unraveling the controversy Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, caused in colluding with paparazzi to appear in sympathetic images shortly before the wedding — which he ultimately didn’t attend. The book also chronicles the Sussexes’ longtime unhappiness with palace practices of not commenting on media inaccuracies (with occasional exceptions for higher-ranking relatives) and prioritizing senior royals’ initiatives. Unaddressed is the implicit issue that however right Harry and Meghan’s arguments may have been about their popularity, and media bias, they were outranked in a centuries-old hereditary hierarchy. Yet, the book notes, “the establishment feared their popularity might eclipse that of the royal family itself.”

Harry’s trauma over the media’s role in the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and the damage tabloid scrutiny inflicted on previous relationships is evident in his hair-trigger hostility toward paparazzi and his determination to protect his wife. “Battered and bruised” by media attacks and absent family support, the Sussexes decide to opt out — and announce their plan before finalizing details with the palace, sparking a media firestorm and family rifts that remain unhealed.

As the book details the couple’s final official engagements, a tearful Meghan tells Scobie, “It didn’t have to be this way.”

The book portrays a couple driven away by a toxic media environment and untenable protocol. “I don’t need to have that movie moment where we get out of a car and wave to a hundred photographers before going into a building,” Harry reportedly told a friend, saying the focus should be on “the work happening inside.” Therein lies the conundrum: The Sussexes quit official life, but the monarchy is Harry’s family business. Criticizing the Windsors stands to damage family ties — and possibly weaken the affiliation that produced the couple’s platform. Harry and Meghan may feel freer to speak out, but as the very existence of “Finding Freedom” demonstrates, there’s still reason to be careful about what they say.

Autumn Brewington, a journalist in Washington, is a former editor and royal blogger at The Washington Post.

Finding Freedom

Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family

By Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand

Dey Street. 354 pp. $27.99

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Chance Finding

Chance of finding young Earth-like planets higher than previously thought –

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research from the University of Sheffield has found that the chance of finding Earth-like planets in their early stages of formation is much higher than previously thought.

The team studied groups of young stars in the Milky Way to see if these groups were typical compared to theories and previous observations in other star-forming regions in space, and to study if the populations of stars in these groups affected the likelihood of finding forming Earth-like planets.

The research, published in The Astrophysical Journal, found that there are more stars like the Sun than expected in these groups, which would increase the chances of finding Earth-like planets in their early stages of formation.

In their early stages of formation these Earth-like planets, called magma ocean planets, are still being made from collisions with rocks and smaller planets, which causes them to heat up so much that their surfaces become molten rock.

The team, led by Dr. Richard Parker, included undergraduate students from the University of Sheffield giving them the opportunity to apply the skills learnt on their course to leading published research in their field.

Dr. Richard Parker, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “These magma ocean planets are easier to detect near stars like the Sun, which are twice as heavy as the average mass star. These planets emit so much heat that we will be able to observe the glow from them using the next generation of infra-red telescopes.

“The locations where we would find these planets are so-called ‘young moving groups’ which are groups of young stars that are less than 100 million years old—which is young for a star. However, they typically only contain a few tens of stars each and previously it was difficult to determine whether we had found all of the stars in each group because they blend into the background of the Milky Way galaxy.

“Observations from the Gaia telescope have helped us to find many more stars in these groups, which enabled us to carry out this study.”

The findings from the research will help further understanding of whether star formation is universal and will be an important resource for studying how rocky, habitable like Earth form. The team now hopes to use to explain the origin of these young moving groups of stars.

The research team included Amy Bottrill, Molly Haigh, Madeleine Hole and Sarah Theakston from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Molly Haigh said: “Being involved in this project was one of the highlights of our university experience and it was a great opportunity to work on an area of astronomy outside the typical course structure.

“It was rewarding to see a physical application of the computer coding we learnt in our degree by sampling the initial mass distribution of and how this can relate to the future of exoplanet detection.”

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield explores the fundamental laws of the universe and develops pioneering technologies with real-world applications. Researchers are looking beyond our planet to map out distant galaxies, tackling global challenges including energy security, and exploring the opportunities presented by quantum computing and 2-D materials.

More information:
Astrophysical Journal (2020). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab8e39

Chance of finding young Earth-like planets higher than previously thought (2020, June 5)
retrieved 5 June 2020

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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accurate Finding

Finding accurate coronavirus antibody tests remains a challenge – CBS News

Coronavirus antibody testing is supposed to tell who’s been exposed to the virus, but questions have risen about how accurate they are and how much protection those antibodies provide. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is warning officials that they should not use these tests to provide so-called “immunity passports.”

Finding out who has been exposed to the coronavirus has been identified as a key to reopening the country. But there are problems.

The WHO said there’s no guarantee of immunity after infection but here in the U.S., medical experts overwhelmingly agree that the antibodies that remain give some level of protection.

“So the tests that we have now on the market … Don’t tell you individually whether you have the neutralizing antibodies, whether you have the antibodies that can prevent you from getting an infection again,” CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus said.

Of the more than 160 antibody tests flooding the market, the FDA has only given emergency use authorization to eight.

Bioengineer Patrick Hsu from U.C. Berkeley and colleagues set out to see how many are accurate. Results so far are mixed.

“There are definitely some that are better than others,” Hsu explained. “We see out of the 10 we tested … I think that’s three that after two weeks were 90% positive.”

Along with new symptoms, there are new clinical trials.

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health is quietly testing the acid reflux medication Pepcid, also known as famotidine, to see if it blocks the virus from replicating.

“We don’t know if taking famotidine causes more harm than good,” Dr. Kevin Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institutes, told CBS News. “We will be studying hundreds of patients who are hospitalized, receiving intravenous famotidine.

Researchers are currently studying whether acid reflux medication helps treat the coronavirus. Right now, there’s no evidence that it does. Doctors stress the potential dangers in misusing drugs — prescription or over the counter. Bottom line: always consult your physician.

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Crosby Finding

Finding Crosby: Raiders can discover more late-round gems –

When the Raiders selected defensive end Maxx Crosby in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Eastern Michigan product wasn’t supposed to become a defensive cornerstone right out of the gates.

Crosby was viewed as a backup/special-teams player. He was an undersized edge rusher from a small school with the burst, length and motor to intrigue teams to draft him with a late-round selection and see if they could develop him.

His burst and motor propelled him to 10 sacks in his rookie season and saw him be the runner-up for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Finding players like Crosby — underrated guys with developmental potential and one or two skills that will immediately help a team — is what can take a draft class from great to historic.

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As the Raiders enter the 2020 NFL Draft with three third-round picks, a fourth-round pick and fifth-round pick to go along with the No. 12 and No. 19 overall picks.

It’s in the third and fourth rounds where general manager Mike Mayock knows he will make his mark, believing he should add three or four starters with those selections.

Crosby went from situational pass-rusher to star edge rusher in a flash, and there will no doubt be players available in the third and fourth rounds who can mirror Crosby’s immediate leap from fourth-round pick to key franchise piece.

Let’s look at four NFL draft prospects who are being overlooked, but have elite skills that will translate to the NFL level much like Crosby’s burst.

Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech

Elite skill: Ball skills

We know the Raiders need cornerback help. At 5-foot-8, Robertson profiles as a slot corner at the NFL.

He’s physical at the line of scrimmage, a fearless tackler, great anticipation and has A-plus ball skills. He’s currently projected to be a late third-round pick and he could be a nice grab for the Raiders at No. 91 overall.

While Lamarcus Joyner currently occupies the slot-corner role, he was disappointing in Year 1 in silver and black, so his time could be limited. Either way, a guy with Robertson’s ball skills and a massive chip on his shoulder would be a good fit in Las Vegas.

So, for the rest of my Amik Robertson clips.

Guy’s got like classic Cover-2 corner skills.

Problem is that has gone extinct as a base D.

Good news tho, is it’s a skill set far more applicable to the slot, where he’s likely to get moved immediately.

— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 15, 2020

Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island

Elite trait: Athleticism

In a deep and loaded receiver class, Coulter could end up being one of the best of the bunch.

At 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, Coulter possesses the length, speed and athleticism to entice teams to believe he can develop into a star X receiver at the NFL level. He currently is projected to be a fourth-round pick who is listed as a developmental prospect with intriguing traits.

The Raiders are expected to take an elite wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft, but could look to add another enticing developmental receiver in the later rounds.

Another Rams WR, Isaiah Coulter, decided to join Parker in this year’s class. He displays nice movements off the line and strider’s speed to separate downfield. #SnapScout

— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) February 11, 2020

Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis

Elite trait: Explosiveness

The Raiders need offensive firepower, especially at the wide receiver position. While the Raiders could add an electric talent like Alabama’s Henry Ruggs in the first round, you can always use another home-run threat.

Gibson was a do-it-all offensive Swiss Army Knife for Memphis, averaging 19.3 yards per catch and scoring 14 touchdowns on 77 touches in two seasons. He has great straight-line speed and the versatility to operate out of the backfield or at wide receiver.

Projected to go between the fourth and sixth rounds, Gibson is a threat to take the ball to the house any time he touches the ball.

Antonio Gibson had a night in the Memphis Tigers 54 to 48 win over SMU. A look at Gibson’s 3 touchdowns

— Kevin Barbee (@local24kevin) November 3, 2019

[RELATED: Why Raiders could again mine elite college programs]

Geno Stone, S, Iowa

Elite skill: Coverage anticipation

The Raiders are set at safety this year, but with Damarious Randall only on a one-year deal they should be looking for a late-round addition at the position.

Stone has incredible instincts, toughness and tackling ability. Questions about his length and long-term fit will see him drop, but Stone could be one of the steals of the draft.

#Iowa S Geno Stone (5-foot-10, 207) — Plays with urgency (eyes, instincts). No hesitation as a downhill defender.

Watch this rep — Tracks the ball from a post alignment. That’s game speed. @NFLMatchup

— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 4, 2020

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