Turning 40 is a big occasion, so the Duchess of Sussex needed to come up with a something special to celebrate.
In a video released to mark her milestone birthday, Meghan can be seen chatting through ideas with her Hollywood pal Melissa McCarthy.
The pair discuss getting matching tattoos, but Meghan jokes that she already has “something really similar across my back” and it’s maybe one to save for the 50th. So that’s out.
McCarthy then asks if the duchess is going to reunite with her castmates from legal drama Suits, the show that made her famous.
She doesn’t entirely dismiss it, but questions why that would be part of her birthday celebrations.
McCarthy, star of films including Bridesmaids, Spy and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, also teases the duchess by asking if she will mark the occasion with “another photo shoot under a tree where you’re looking very peaceful”, in reference to the picture Harry and Meghan released when they announced they were expecting their second child.
“Peaceful under a tree is me every day,” Meghan replies.
In outtakes seen at the end of the clip, McCarthy asks whether “afternoon tea with your chickens” – which Meghan spoke about in her famous Oprah interview earlier this year – is an option, and the pair burst into laughter as they realise Harry can be seen juggling outside.
But the real reason for the video is actually the announcement of the 40×40 project, which involves 40 activists, athletes, artists and world leaders who Meghan has asked to contribute 40 minutes of their time to support women re-entering the workforce.
The duchess is urging other people to get involved too.
“Because I’m turning 40 I’m asking 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman who’s mobilising back into the workforce,” she says in the clip, which has been released on Harry and Meghan’s Archewell website.
“Over two million women in the US alone and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs due to COVID. And I think if we all do it and all commit 40 minutes to some sort of active service, we can create a ripple effect.”
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In a statement on the website, Meghan said that women are “shouldering the brunt of the crisis when it comes to unpaid labour, including schooling and caring for family members” and that research shows “fewer women than men will regain work” as the world recovers from the pandemic.
McCarthy shared the video on her Instagram page, and said: “Whether you donate time to mentoring, community service, or any act of service that you can, we can all contribute to a global wave of compassion and positive change together.”
Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy reach ‘agreement in principle’ on raising US debt ceiling
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have reached an “agreement in principle” on raising the US debt ceiling, according to sources in Washington.
The tentative deal would bring to an end the months-long stalemate between the Republican controlled Congress and Democrat run White House.
Currently, the debt ceiling stands at $31.4trn (£25.4trn) with the new limit yet to be announced.
Mr Biden and Mr McCarthy held a 90-minute phone call on Saturday evening to discuss the deal, as the 5 June deadline looms.
Following the conversation, the speaker tweeted: “I just got off the phone with the president a bit ago.
“After he wasted time and refused to negotiate for months, we’ve come to an agreement in principle that is worthy of the American people.”
During a very brief press conference on Capitol Hill Mr McCarthy said they “still have more work to do tonight to finish the writing of it”, adding that he expects to finish writing the bill on Sunday, then hold a vote on Wednesday.
The deal would avert an economically destabilising default, so long as they succeed in passing it through the narrowly divided Congress before the Treasury Department runs short of money to cover all its obligations.
Republicans have pushed for steep cuts to spending and other conditions, including new work requirements on some benefit programmes for low-income Americans and for funds to be stripped from the Internal Revenue Service, the US tax agency.
They said they want to slow the growth of the US debt, which is now roughly equal to the annual output of the country’s economy.
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Exact details of the deal were not immediately available, but negotiators have agreed to cap non-defence discretionary spending at 2023 levels for two years, in exchange for a debt ceiling increase over a similar period, according to Reuters news agency.
The impasse frightened the financial markets, weighing on stocks and forcing the US to pay record-high interest rates in some bond sales.
A default would take a far heavier toll, economists say, likely pushing America into recession, rocking the world economy and cause unemployment to spike.
Winnie The Pooh characters used in US school district’s mass shootings safety book
A Dallas school district has apologised after distributing a Winnie The Pooh-themed book about school shootings.
The book is titled Stay Safe: Run, Hide, Fight and its cover says: “If there is danger, let Winnie the Pooh and his crew show you what to do.”
Inside, it includes passages such as: “If danger is near, do not fear. Hide like Pooh does until the police appear. Doors should be locked and the passage blocked. Turn off the light to stay out of sight.”
Dallas Independent School District said in a statement it works “hard every day to prevent school shootings” by dealing with online threats and improving security measures.
“Recently a booklet was sent home so parents could discuss with their children how to stay safe in such cases,” the statement read.
“Unfortunately, we did not provide parents [with] any guide or context. We apologise for the confusion and are thankful to parents who reached out to assist us in being better partners.”
The school district did not say how many pupils received the book.
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, was among those who criticised the book, posting on Twitter: “Winnie the Pooh is now teaching Texas kids about active shooters because the elected officials do not have the courage to keep our kids safe and pass common sense gun safety laws.”
‘It’s not exactly cute’
Cindy Campos, whose five-year-old son was sent home with the book, said she cried when she read it.
“It’s hard because you’re reading them a bedtime story and basically now you have to explain in this cute way what the book is about, when it’s not exactly cute,” she said.
Ms Campos said it seemed especially “tone deaf” to send it home around the time Texas was marking the anniversary of last year’s mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
The book was published by Praetorian Consulting, a Houston-based firm that provides safety, security, and crisis management training and services.
The company says on its website that it uses age-appropriate material to teach the concepts of “run, hide, fight” – the approach US authorities say civilians should take in active shooter situations.
Read more: America’s 10 most deadly mass shootings of 2023
Active shooter drills have become common in American schools in recent years.
While many associate the characters of Winnie The Pooh with Disney, they are free to use legally in the US with no repercussions.
US copyright law means that works of authors are available to use by anyone either 70 years after the author’s death or 95 years after publication.
As well as the book, AA Milne’s characters have also been featured in a recent horror film titled Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey.
Boy, 11, ‘shot in the chest’ by police officer he had called for help
An 11-year-old boy who was shot by a police officer has returned home from hospital after almost a week of treatment.
Aderrien Murry spent five days in hospital with a collapsed lung, lacerated liver, and fractured ribs after the officer shot him in the chest early on Saturday, lawyer Carlos Moore said.
Aderrien was well enough to leave hospital on Wednesday, and is continuing his recovery at home in Indianola, about 95 miles northwest of Jackson, Mississippi.
Mr Moore said the family is “demanding justice”.
“An 11-year-old black boy in the city of Indianola came within an inch of losing his life – he had done nothing wrong and everything right.”
Mr Moore said that Aderrien’s mother Nakala had asked him to call police at about 4am on Saturday after a previous partner had showed up at home.
Ms Murry felt threatened, Mr Moore said, and the child had “called the police to come to his mother’s rescue, he called his grandmother to come to his mother’s rescue, the police came there and escalated the situation”.
Two police officers arrived and one kicked the front door before Ms Murry opened it, telling them that the man had gone but her three children were inside.
Child does not understand why a police officer shot him
Mr Moore said that Sergeant Greg Capers, who is black, yelled out that anyone inside should come out with their hands up.
When Aderrien walked into the living room with nothing in his hands, Capers shot him in the chest, Mr Moore said.
Indianola City Attorney Kimberly Merchant confirmed to Indianola’s Enterprise-Tocsin newspaper that Capers was the officer who shot the little boy and Mr Moore said on Thursday that Capers had been suspended with pay while the incident is investigated.
Ms Murry said her son is “blessed” to be alive but he does not understand why a police officer shot him.
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‘That’s my child, y’all’
She described what had happened as “the worst moment in my life”, adding: “I feel like nobody cares – that’s my child, y’all.”
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said its agents are looking into what happened and will share their findings with the Attorney General’s Office.
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