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Royal Family: Talks on Sussexes’ future to start
The Royal Family could have a better idea by the end of today of the “next step” in its relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge will meet Prince Harry at Sandringham, Norfolk, later, with Meghan expected to take part via telephone from Canada.
But BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond says it might “take some time” for the two sides to reach a deal, following Harry and Meghan’s announcement last week that they want to “step back” as senior royals and work towards becoming financially independent.
So what is up for discussion at the “Sandringham summit”? Funding is likely to come up, as are the number of royal duties Harry and Meghan are expected to do and their future accommodation arrangements. Read a full preview here.
Philippines volcano: Taal starts spewing lava
A huge plume of ash from Taal volcano in the Philippines has already led to the evacuation from the surrounding area of 8,000 people. But the authorities are warning of a worsening situation, as lava is beginning to spew, with a “hazardous” eruption possible soon.
Taal is situated in a lake and stands only 70km (45 miles) south of the capital Manila. More than 450,000 people live in the danger zone.
Time-lapse footage shows a lightning storm above Taal. We also ask why, following this and other eruptions – including the recent one in New Zealand – people continue to visit volcanoes,
Pope Benedict XVI defends priestly celibacy
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has issued a defence of the Catholic Church’s policy of celibacy among the priesthood. The intervention, made in a book, comes as his successor, Francis, is looking at easing the ban on married men serving as priests.
‘I want an egg donor with my heritage’
Natasha is 38 and is struggling to have a baby. She got married in 2011, and started trying to conceive immediately. Eventually it became clear there was a problem.
“I actually had four rounds of IVF treatment and obviously none of them were successful. And after the third round the doctor said, ‘We doubt that your eggs are going to be any good and you probably need to consider going down the egg donation route.'”
Natasha’s next step was to call organisations that might help her obtain a donor egg. One was a donation bank.
“They basically said, ‘We’re going to have to be honest with you, but we don’t have many black Afro-Caribbean egg donors come forward.'”
What the papers say
Speculation is rife ahead of the Royal Family’s meeting at Sandringham. The Daily Mail says Prince Harry will be warned of “formidable obstacles” to his desire to step down as a senior royal, while the Sun claims he and Meghan may threaten a “tell-all” interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey if they are not happy with the outcome of the talks. Elsewhere, the Guardian reports on growing public anger in Iran after the shooting down of a passenger plane. And the Financial Times quotes the boss of MI5 saying the UK has “no reason to think” allowing Chinese firm Huawei to be involved in the UK’s 5G network would damage its intelligence-sharing relationship with the US. Read our newspaper review in full.
Iran plane downing Canadian prime minister promises “justice” at memorial event
Drive-by shooting Boy, 12, injured in leg after gunman opens fire in Sheffield
Sir Roger Scruton Conservative thinker who advised government on housing dies at 75
Moon voyage Japanese billionaire looks for “life partner” to share Space X’s maiden tourist trip
If you see one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
09:30 The Office for National Statistics publishes UK GDP figures for November.
13:15 The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards are announced. Here are six things to look out for.
On this day
1991 Fourteen people are killed and more than 140 injured by the Soviet military in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, as Moscow continues its crackdown on the Baltic republic and its drive for independence.
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