The husband of Queen Elizabeth the second, Prince Phillip, father of Prince Charles, has died at the age of 99.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Britain’s first gentleman, has worked hard to shepherd the British monarchy into the 20th century, even though it was still encrusted the trappings of the 19th century.
His mission changed somewhat with the transformation of the monarchy as pageantry was upstaged by scandal, and as regal weddings were followed by sensational divorces. The Prince decided his role was then to help preserve the crown itself.
He married the future Queen Elizabeth in 1947. His death on Friday was announced by Buckingham Palace that he passed away peacefully.
Philip has been hospitalized several times in recent years for various ailments, most recently in February.
British prime minister, Boris Johnson speaking at Downing Street, said that the duke had “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world”.
United States president Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden paid tribute to Prince Philip as a selfless servant of Britain and its people.
He said in a statement “from his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye – Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family.”
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said that Prince Philip was a ‘global icon’ as he paid tribute. He said the Commonwealth will remember the prince “for generations to come”.
In a statement Buhari also called the Duke of Edinburgh “a great man” and hailed his “enormous contributions” to philanthropic activities and charities, especially those dealing with wildlife conservation and youth development.
Also in a tweet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Duke of Edinburgh for his “distinguished career in the military” and work at the forefront of “many community service initiatives”.
He added “My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,”. “May his soul rest in peace.”
Likewise, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his tribute tweeted “It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh today,” adding that the Prince was “a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others, Prince Philip contributed so much to the social fabric of our country – and the world.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Duke of Edinburgh had been a unifying figure, calling him a “great man”.
He said “His Royal Highness Prince Philip has been a towering symbol of family values and the unity of the British people as well as the entire global community.”
The head of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has sent her condolences following the death of the UK’s Prince Philip.
She praised the duke for founding the Earthshot Prize council, an environmental award that she is involved with.
Prince Philip, born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with the Queen.
Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.
His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes.
His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
India Tops 24 Million COVID-19 Cases As New Variant Spreads Across Globe
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised an alarm over the rapid spread of the highly transmissible coronavirus mutant first detected in the country as the official tally of infections crossed 24 million, and 4,000 persons died for the third straight day.
Jairo Mendez, a World Health Organization infectious diseases expert said the Indian B.1.617 variant of the virus has been found in cases in eight countries of the Americas, including Canada and the United States.
Mendez said “These variants have a greater capacity for transmission, but so far we have not found any collateral consequences” adding that “the only worry is that they spread faster.”
People infected by the variant included travellers in Panama and Argentina who had arrived from India or Europe. In the Caribbean, cases of the Indian variant have been detected in Aruba, Dutch St Maarten and the French department of Guadeloupe.
The mutant strain has also been detected in Britain, as well as in Singapore.
According to health ministry data, India recorded 4,000 deaths and 343,144 infections in the last 24 hours.
Public Health England said the total number of confirmed cases of the variant had more than doubled in the past week to 1,313 across the United Kingdom.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said “We are anxious about it – it has been spreading,” adding that there would be meetings to discuss what to do. “We’re ruling nothing out.”
Israel Intensifies Attacks In Gaza As Conflict Enters Fifth Day
At least 119 Palestinians, including 31 children, have been killed and more than 830 wounded since hostilities flared up on Monday as Israel continued to bombard the Gaza Strip with air raids on Friday.
Israel stepped up the deployment of troops and tanks near the besieged Palestinian enclave as hundreds of Palestinian families have taken shelter in UN-run schools in northern Gaza to escape Israeli artillery fire.
Video from Gaza City showed the night sky lit up by explosions from Israeli artillery, gunboats and air strikes.
Meanwhile, Jewish and Israeli-Arab mobs have been fighting within Israel, prompting its president to warn of civil war.
Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered a “massive reinforcement” of security forces to suppress the internal unrest that has seen more than 400 people arrested.
Police say Israeli Arabs have been responsible for most of the trouble and reject the accusation that they are standing by while gangs of Jewish youths target Arab homes.
Save the Children said that at least thirty-one schools attended by more than 24,000 children and a health facility in Gaza have been damaged by Israeli airstrikes.
In southern Israel, due to the violence impacting thousands of children, all schooling has been suspended.
Save the Children’s Gaza Field Manager, Ibrahim Abu Sobeih “We keep telling my young daughter and son that the heavy shelling is celebrations, fireworks, what a joke! We resort to different ways to distract their attention from this awful atmosphere but all are in vain.”
Israel Declares Emergency In Lod As Unrest Spreads
Israel has on Tuesday night declared a state of emergency in the central city of Lod after rioting by Israeli Arabs, after demonstrations by Israeli Arabs broke out and escalated to rioting, with protesters clashing with police.
Amid intensified conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in Lod. Israeli border police have been brought in from the West Bank
Earlier in clashes Lod’s mayor likened to a civil war, cars were set alight while 12 persons were reported injured. A father and daughter – both Israeli Arabs – died when a rocket from Gaza hit their car.
Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets deep into Israel, while Israel carried out heavy airstrikes on Gaza.
At least 40 persons have died in some of the worst violence in years.
Israel’s military says it is targeting militants in Gaza in response to rocket attacks on Jerusalem and other areas.
The confrontation came after weeks of rising tensions that were stoked by violent confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters at a site in Jerusalem that is holy to both, Muslims and Jews.
The Palestinian militants said they targeted the Israeli city of Tel Aviv after an Israeli air strike demolished a tower block in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
There have been calls for calm from all over the world following the escalation, which follows days of unrest in Jerusalem.
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