Ms. Madgwick survived, her leg broken by a dislodged radiator. Her sister and brother, Marilyn and Carl, both died.

The scale of the disaster quickly made it a moment of national introspection and trauma, and the queen soon decided to visit.

One of the biggest regrets of her reign was that she did not go sooner, a leading aide later said, and some villagers say the eight-day delay rankled the community at the time. But today, the residents largely remember her arrival as a moving gesture of solidarity from someone they never expected to lay eyes on.

research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Other wings of the British state angered the village by refusing to prosecute any coal industry officials for negligence. Successive governments also declined to cover the whole cost of removing other dangerous slurry tips near the village, forcing villagers to dip into donations intended for survivors, until they were finally fully reimbursed in 2007.

But the queen’s concern for Aberfan meant that she was seen as separate from the state’s indifference, despite being its titular head.

Elsewhere in Britain, people have debated whether the queen could really ever rise beyond politics, given the monarch’s interest in maintaining her own role in Britain’s political system. But in Aberfan, there was less doubt.

“There’s no political agenda there,” said Jeff Edwards, 64, the last child to be rescued from the rubble. “The queen is above all that.”

In Aberfan, most people expressed sympathy for her family and respect for her sense of duty. But there are those, particularly among young generations, who have had a more ambivalent response to the queen’s death.

For some, the accession of King Charles III — as well as the abrupt appointment of his son William to his former role of Prince of Wales — is more problematic.

“I should be Prince of Wales, I’m more Welsh than Charles or William,” said Darren Martin, 47, a gardener in the village, with a laugh. Of the queen, he said: “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the woman. But I do think the time has come for us in Wales to be ruled by our own people.”

The abruptness of the queen’s death was a psychological jolt that has prompted, in some, a rethinking of long-held norms and doctrines.

“If things can change drastically like that, why can’t things change here?” asked Jordan McCarthy, 21, another gardener in Aberfan. “I would like Welsh independence.”

Of a monarchy, he added: “Only if they’re born and raised in Wales — that’s the only king or queen I’ll accept.”

Generally, though, the mood in Aberfan has been one of quiet mourning and deference. The local library opened a book of condolence. Villagers gathered in the pub to watch the new king’s speeches and processions. Some left bouquets beside the tree planted by the queen.

On Monday night, a men’s choir, founded by grieving relatives half a century ago, gathered for their biweekly practice. Proud Welshmen, they were preparing for their next performance — singing songs and hymns, some of them in Welsh, on the sidelines of the Welsh rugby team’s upcoming game.

But halfway through, the choir’s president, Steve Beasley, stood up.

“We all know about the queen,” Mr. Beasley said. “Please stand up for a minute’s silence.”

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How One Woman Describes Living With Schizophrenia

Michelle Hammer is a New York resident with schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder. She shares her journey.

Michelle Hammer wants you to know schizophrenia. To know the illness is to know her. 

“I go, ‘listen, no couches were harmed in the making of this video.’… People with schizophrenia can have a job or actually speak to people or can do things themselves,” said Hammer. 

Schizophrenia is a brain disease and patients’ symptoms run a spectrum. They can include negative symptoms like social withdrawal or psychosis, when someone is detached from reality. Usually it looks like hallucinations: Seeing or hearing something that isn’t there; or delusions: Fixed false beliefs that a person can’t change. 

For Michelle it began in her teens with paranoid thoughts about her mother. And again at age 18 with her college roommate. 

It would be three more years before she was diagnosed as schizophrenic. 

“Things were up, things were down. And I ended up in the psych ward twice my freshman year and once my sophomore year,” Hammer said.

“Schizophrenia is a very serious psychiatric illness, but we can do a lot to help these people function and have a normal life,” said Dr. René Kahn, the head of psychiatry at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York.

He says Michelle’s experience is more common for female patients. 

RENE KAHN: Women in general have a better prognosis than men.  

NEWSY’S LINDSEY THEIS: Why?  

KAHN: One of the reasons may be that in women, it starts about five years later than men, meaning that their brain may have developed more and they may have matured more than in men.  

THEIS: What are some of the biggest questions, right now, that are still out there? What are the unknowns that you’re trying to answer, you know, in the immediate future, the next couple of years? 

KAHN: The biggest question still is ‘what is the cause or what are the causes of schizophrenia?’ Because we don’t know, and we really need to find out if we really want to cure the disease or prevent the disease. 

With neither a cure nor prevention, doctors say medication is key for patients. That process is complicated.   

Antipsychotic drugs are available to counter psychosis. But that is only one part of the illness. 

“Finding the right meds probably took me about ten years, and I’ve probably tried about 20 different medications,” said Hammer.  

Today Michelle’s life includes daily meds and frequent psychiatrist televisits to make sure they work and she’s still taking them. It also includes her partner, Carolyn. They married last year. And most recently, a new puppy.  

“People kind of like treat people with schizophrenia — they’re always wondering, ‘who’s your support team?'” said Hammer.  “They don’t think you’re independent at all.”  

THEIS: So no caregiver?  

HAMMER: Yeah.  

THEIS: Just you.  

HAMMER: I can take care of myself. I can do that. I’m a big girl, you know? I’m a big girl. I can do things, you know. I can do things.

THEIS: Does the schizophrenia diagnosis impact how you guys are as a couple in marriage?  

CAROLYN HAMMER: If we’re talking and then like I say something and then I’m like waiting for her to respond, but she’s talking to like somebody else instead, it’s like, not bad it’s just like annoying.  And I’m like, okay, I guess I’m going to say what I have to say again.  

Schizophrenia is rare. About 1% of U.S. adults have the mental illness. Compare that to one in five people who have an anxiety disorder. 

But it reportedly shows up more often in the media. It;’s portrayed negatively and falsely, according to research. 

THEIS: Was that ‘Violence and a dangerous person’ — is that common or is that more of the exception?  

KAHN: It’s absolutely the exception. 

Since 2019 Michelle’s recorded and shared video of her schizophrenic episodes. She wants to debunk the stigma that people with her illness are violent. 

In them, she appears to speak to someone off camera — except no one is there. She describes this as being in another world.

“I am currently under seven medications and I’m still doing that. So if I wasn’t on any medication, I’d be doing that constantly, all the time,” she says. 

She’s also started a business called Schizophrenic NYC. She sells original activist-minded clothing and art. They include colorful rorschach prints and t-shirts with hopeful slogans. 

“I saw a guy on the F train and he was talking to himself in the same mannerisms in which I talked to myself and I was like, you know, what’s the difference between me and him? And the difference is that I have my support team of a family, friends and doctor, and if I didn’t have that, I would totally be in his position,” said Hammer. 

Michelle says it’s a way to give a voice to her community, especially those who otherwise could not. 

Newsy’s mental health initiative “America’s Breakdown: Confronting Our Mental Health Crisis” brings you deeply personal and thoughtfully told stories on the state of mental health care in the U.S. Click here to learn more.

Source: newsy.com

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Disgraced Prince Andrew, back in the spotlight but still out in the cold

Britain’s Prince Andrew and Prince Edward march during a procession where the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state, in London, Britain, September 14, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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  • Presence at funeral events a reminder of his fall
  • Barred from wearing uniform, heckled in Edinburgh
  • Still eighth in the line of succession to throne

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Amid the displays of emotion and deference since the death of Queen Elizabeth, the presence of one figure has added a discordant note to the solemn rituals leading up to her funeral – that of her disgraced son Prince Andrew.

Reputedly the queen’s favourite son, Andrew was stripped of most of his titles and removed from royal duties due to a scandal over his friendship with U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and a related sex assault allegation.

He has not been charged with any criminal offence and has denied any wrongdoing.

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After a period where he has been out of the public eye, the sight of Andrew, 62, in the global spotlight following his mother’s death has served as a reminder of his fall from grace.

A Royal Navy veteran of the Falklands War, he has not been allowed to wear a military uniform during two solemn processions, one in Edinburgh and one in London, when he and his three siblings walked behind the queen’s coffin.

King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward wore full dress uniforms while Andrew was in a morning suit, drawing attention to his peculiar status. He will be allowed to wear uniform as a special mark of respect for the queen during a final vigil the siblings will hold as her body lies in state.

In Edinburgh on Monday, one heckler shouted out: “Andrew, you’re a sick old man”.

The man was bundled away and has been charged with a breach of the peace. But if that was a rare instance of loud public protest, the sentiment seems to be more widely shared.

“There’s no place for Andrew in the future of the family or country, but I think the queen did right to sideline him. He’s brought shame, but I think his family knows what the British people think of him,” said Mary Burke, a 47-year-old from the south coast town of Brighton, as she waited in the long line to view the queen’s coffin in London’s Westminster Hall.

Andrew has not taken part in events at which royals have greeted members of the public, other than a brief appearance outside Balmoral Castle two days after the queen’s death.

Eyebrows have been raised over his continued position as a Counsellor of State, a formal position.

“If this isn’t changed, the monarchy is going to lose many who currently might support them,” wrote Sheila Le Mottee in a comment on an article in the pro-independence Scottish newspaper The National.

“The only reason he is tolerated just now is because he is a son who has just lost his mother.”

PLAYBOY PRINCE TO PARIAH

Once upon a time, Andrew was a popular figure.

Tabloids nicknamed him the “Playboy Prince” as they cheerfully reported on his love life, and he won respect for his service as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands.

His marriage in 1986 to Sarah Ferguson was seen at the time as bringing a breath of fresh air to a stuffy institution.

It all went wrong gradually and then suddenly.

As a roving trade ambassador, he gained the nickname “Air Miles Andy” for his frequent travels, which often involved rounds of golf. His marriage ended in divorce in 1996. The media criticised him for what was described as high-handed behaviour and an overly lavish lifestyle.

But it was the Epstein affair that brought true ignominy upon Andrew.

He stayed at Epstein’s various homes and one video from 2010 showed him inside Epstein’s New York townhouse, waving to a woman from the door. Epstein had been jailed in 2008 for child sex offences.

A photograph circulated picturing him with his arm around a young woman named Virginia Roberts – who accused Epstein of grooming her as a “sex slave”. Also in the picture is socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who in June this year was sentenced by a U.S. court to 20 years imprisonment for child sex trafficking.

Roberts, now called Virginia Giuffre, said as a teenager she had been forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002.

In an effort to clear the air, Andrew sat down for an interview with the BBC in November 2019.

He said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, denied having sex with Roberts and said he had no recollection of even meeting her.

But his justifications, for example saying that her account of dancing with him in a nightclub where he sweated profusely could not be true because he was unable to sweat following an overdose of adrenalin during the Falklands War, were widely ridiculed.

Giuffre eventually sued Andrew alleging he sexually assaulted her when she was aged 17. In March this year, he settled the suit without admitting any liability. The settlement included an undisclosed payment.

Andrew remains eighth in the order of succession to the throne, and British media have speculated that he may still hold the hope of making a full return to public life.

But royal observers think that is highly unlikely, not least as Charles has already spoken of having a slimmed-down monarchy with fewer working royals.

Andrew has, however, assumed one new role. A spokesperson said he would take over care of his late mother’s two corgi dogs.

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Additional reporting by Humza Jilani; Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Senate Majority Leader Schumer Seeks 10 GOP Votes On Marriage Equality

By Associated Press
September 13, 2022

Earlier this summer, the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act by a vote of 267 to 157.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor to urge passage of a marriage equality bill, saying “I truly hope, for the sake of tens of millions of Americans, that there will be at least ten Republicans who will vote with us to pass this very important bill.”

Work continues on the legislation behind the scenes, and Schumer praised two Democrats, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, along with one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins for their work in putting together the legislation.

“I encourage my colleagues to continue these conversations,” Schumer said. “The American people support protecting marriage rights of same sex marriages by a large margin. So let’s get it done.”

Earlier this summer, the House passed the Respect for Marriage Act by a vote of 267 to 157. Forty-seven Republicans joined Democrats to support the bill.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Live Updates: Charles Is Officially Proclaimed King

LONDON — Swiftly taking on the mantle of Britain’s monarch, King Charles III returned to London from Scotland on Friday, a day after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, to pledge that he would serve the British people “with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.”

The king’s speech capped a day of mourning across Britain, but it was also a vivid demonstration of continuity in this constitutional monarchy. He met with the new prime minister, Liz Truss, just four days after the queen anointed her at Balmoral Castle, in the last official act of her seven-decade reign.

“Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept,” Charles said in a televised address that was at once dignified and deeply emotional, a son’s grieving eulogy for his mother and a sovereign’s solemn oath of duty.

Recalling Elizabeth’s vow, on her 21st birthday, to serve her people for the remainder of her life, “whether it be long or short,” the 73-year-old king declared, “I, too, now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.”

As king, Charles will no longer be able to throw himself into the charity work or the policy issues, like climate change, that occupied him during his long wait for the throne. Instead, he will shoulder his mother’s unique burden: imperial symbol of the United Kingdom, but a largely ceremonial figure, strictly removed from politics.

Charles’s ascent also marks a new chapter in the relationship between Britain’s head of state and its head of government — one that, under the queen, stretched back to Winston Churchill, her first prime minister. And it augured a new royal style, led by a king who has signaled he wants to reshape his family’s role in British life.

A glimmer of that new approach surfaced on Friday afternoon when Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, arrived at Buckingham Palace. The king jumped out of his vintage Rolls-Royce to engage in some distinctly democratic glad-handing, more typical of a politician on the campaign trail than a member of royalty.

To cries of “God save the king,” Charles shook hands, clasped elbows, and even accepted a peck on the cheek from the iPhone wielding well-wishers lined up outside the palace. Then he and Camilla lingered to look at the flowers and cards laid at the wrought-iron fence, before turning to walk into their new home.

Credit…James Hill for The New York Times

Once inside, the king recorded his nine-and-a-half minute address in the blue drawing room, a photo of the queen on the desk beside him. He made some news, bestowing his old title, Prince of Wales, on his eldest son and heir, William.

The king’s words were piped into St. Paul’s Cathedral, echoing under its cavernous dome where Britain’s political establishment gathered for a service of thanksgiving for the queen, who died on Thursday at Balmoral, her summer retreat, at the age of 96.

The rituals were the start of 10 days of ceremony that will strike some as charming and others as hopelessly out of date. Next up is an Accession Council, convened on Saturday to formally designate Charles as the king, followed by a proclamation, to be read from the balcony of the Friary Court by the Garter King of Arms. The mourning rituals will culminate with a state funeral in Westminster Abbey, the first since Churchill’s in 1965.

In London and other parts of the realm, it was a day replete with tributes to the queen. Bells pealed at St. Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, and Windsor Castle. Artillery guns roared in Hyde Park, the Tower of London, on the island of Jersey, and in the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar. In the House of Commons, the members stood in a minute’s silence, a rare stillness blanketing their often-raucous chamber.

Credit…Mary Turner for The New York Times

Opening the tributes in Parliament, Ms. Truss hailed the queen as “the nation’s greatest diplomat.” She recalled watching Elizabeth charm a meeting of global business executives last year. “She was always so proud of Britain and always embodied the spirit of our great country,” Ms. Truss said.

The prime minister heralded the dawn of a new Carolean age, a phrase previously used to refer to the reign of Charles II from 1660 to 1685. Praising Charles III’s commitment to issues like environmental protection, she said, “We owe him our loyalty and devotion.”

Her recently deposed predecessor, Boris Johnson, noted wryly that the queen “saw off her 14th prime minister,” after he submitted his resignation to her at Balmoral on Tuesday. “She was as radiant and knowledgeable and fascinated about politics as ever I remember,” Mr. Johnson said of their leave-taking.

Mr. Johnson, now speaking from the backbench, recalled that at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, the leader of a Middle Eastern country asked if the queen really had jumped out of a helicopter, wearing a pink dress, and parachuted into the stadium — a memorable live stunt that cemented her status as a pop-cultural phenomenon.

Later in the afternoon, Ms. Truss traveled to Buckingham Palace for her first face-to-face meeting with the king. Neither the palace nor Downing Street disclosed details of the session, though it was not hard to imagine they discussed the energy crisis and soaring inflation that is gripping the country — Ms. Truss’s most daunting challenges as she takes up the job.

If history is any guide, the relationship between the new king and Ms. Truss will remain opaque. The queen never discussed the advice she gave her prime ministers, and the prime ministers have been uniformly tight-lipped about what goes on during their weekly audiences at Buckingham Palace.

Credit…James Hill for The New York Times

Charles, however, has never been shy about voicing his views on climate change, organic farming, architecture, or other favorite issues. When candidates for the Conservative Party leadership began raising doubts in July about Britain’s ambitious target to reach “net zero” in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Charles got involved in the debate, seizing on the record-setting temperatures set during a heat wave.

“Those commitments around net zero have never been more vitally important as we all swelter under today’s alarming record temperatures across Britain and Europe,” he said in a statement.

Given the obligation of the monarch to stay out of politics, Charles will now have to keep those opinions to himself. But that does not mean he cannot seek to influence policies in his private discussions with Ms. Truss, said Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at King’s College London.

“He’s got a lot more experience than this prime minister because he’s mixed with senior politicians for decades,” Professor Bogdanor said. “That’s the reverse of the position the young queen was in with Winston Churchill.”

Harold Hongju Koh, an American legal scholar who has taught at Oxford University, said the monarchy acts as a kind of “balance wheel” for the government, stabilizing the ship of state if its political leaders tip it too far in one direction.

“The Charles-Truss dynamic will inevitably unfold very differently from that of Elizabeth-Boris,” said Professor Koh, who teaches at Yale Law School. “The balance between the partners will inevitably get struck in a different place.”

For the king, the transition has also reinforced his partnership with his wife, Camilla, who made her public debut on Friday as the queen consort. It is a title her mother-in-law wished her to have. In marking her 70 years on the throne last February, the queen anticipated this moment of transition. She appealed in a personal statement for Britons to open their hearts to Camilla, as well as to Charles.

Credit…Mary Turner for The New York Times

“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” the queen wrote. “It is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”

That settled a longstanding, delicate question about how the former Camilla Parker-Bowles would be known when Charles acceded to the throne. The two were romantically involved before and during Charles’s marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales. He and Diana later divorced, and Charles married Camilla. He then pursued a subtle but persistent campaign to recognize her as queen consort once he was king.

In his speech, Charles said, “I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla.” But he saved his final words for his mother. Quoting from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the king said, “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

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Politician Accused Of Killing Las Vegas Journalist Appears In Court

By Sean DeLancey

and Associated Press
September 9, 2022

County Public Administrator Robert Telles has been ordered to remain jailed without bail pending arraignment on a murder charge.

The DNA of a jailed elected official who was angered by past and upcoming newspaper stories was found on the hands of a Las Vegas investigative reporter who fought for his life while being stabbed to death outside his home, authorities said Thursday.

County Public Administrator Robert Telles stood handcuffed in court with bandages on his wrists and police officers at his elbows while a prosecutor told a judge that Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German’s death was a planned attack by an assailant who left his own cellphone at home and waited in a vehicle outside German’s home.

“The published articles regarding a public figure, the public administrator’s office, ruined his political career, likely his marriage, and this was him lashing out at the cause,” Chief Deputy Clark County District Attorney Richard Scow said of Telles.

Scow said German was stabbed seven times. His body was found Saturday.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Elana Lee Graham called a police report detailing the attack “chilling,” including the discovery of wounds on German’s arms and DNA believed to be from Telles in German’s fingernails.

“He was fighting for his life,” the judge said of the 69-year-old longtime journalist. “It appears from this report that Mr. Telles was waiting … and called (German) over to the side of his own home.”

Graham ordered Telles, 45, jailed without bail pending arraignment next Tuesday on a murder charge.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson called German’s death “brutal and meaningless” and the case against Telles important for the community. Wolfson said a decision about whether to seek the death penalty will be made in coming months.

Earlier Thursday, police officials described Telles’ arrest late Wednesday after a brief police standoff at his home.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Telles was hospitalized for what the sheriff called “self-inflicted” wounds, hours after investigators served a search warrant and confiscated vehicles in the criminal probe of German’s killing.

Telles had been a focus of German’s reporting about turmoil, including complaints of administrative bullying, favoritism and Telles’ relationship with a subordinate staffer in the county office that handles property of people who die without a will or family contacts. Telles, a Democrat, went on to lose his bid for reelection in the June primary.

Telles was identified early in the investigation as a person “upset about articles that were being written by German, as an investigative journalist, that exposed potential wrongdoing,” Las Vegas Police Capt. Dori Koren said.

In addition to Telles’ suspected DNA at the crime scene, Koren said investigators serving a search warrant at Telles’ home found shoes and a distinctive wide straw hat.

Koren said the items matched those worn by a person captured on security camera video wearing a blaze orange shirt and walking toward German’s home. He showed photos of the shoes and the hat and said they had been been cut up.

A murder weapon has not been found, but Lombardo said police have “distorted” video that shows the attack. He said investigators were attempting to enhance it.

Investigators said a distinctive maroon GMC Yukon Denali SUV was seen driving around German’s neighborhood Sept. 2, the morning of the killing, stopping several times. That vehicle, registered to Telles’ wife, departed Telles’ home around 9 a.m. and returned around noon, Koren said.

Police believe German was attacked about 11:15 a.m., and his garage door was open.

Telles was questioned by police Wednesday and then returned home, where he ignored reporters’ questions as he entered and did not respond to officers at his door until SWAT units and an ambulance arrived in the evening.

German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter who covered courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.

Telles, a lawyer who practiced probate and estate law, won his elected position in 2018, replacing a three-term public administrator. He lost his June party primary to Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid, who faces a Republican challenger in November. Telles’ term expires Dec. 31.

Clark County officials said Thursday that Telles was suspended and banned from county offices or property pending a review of his position as an elected official.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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King Charles III Takes The Throne As Britain Honors Queen Elizabeth II

Charles has been preparing to take the throne for decades. At 73, he will be the oldest monarch to ascend the throne.

King Charles III has spent a lifetime in the public eye. 

He became heir apparent when he was just 3 years old, when his grandfather King George VI died and his mother became queen in 1952. 

After attending several boarding schools, he studied archeology, anthropology and history at Trinity College. He was the first heir apparent to earn a degree.  

Charles spent five years in military service that included aviation training in the Royal Air Force. As he ended his service, he created the Prince’s Trust, a charitable organization.  

He was an early environmentalist. In 1970, he delivered a warning about what he called “the horrific effects of pollution in all its cancerous forms.”

Charles has advocated sustainability across the board in urban design, corporate production, organic farming and energy generation. And he’s keenly aware of the effects of climate change. 

“As I’ve tried to indicate for quite some time, the climate crisis really is a genuine emergency and tackling it is utterly essential for Cornwall, the country and the rest of the world,” he said.

King Charles III has also been an outspoken critic of modern architecture.    

The funding of his many charities came under scrutiny in July with reports one organization accepted a donation from Osama bin Laden’s family, and another received $3 million from a Qatari billionaire. 

His 1981 marriage to Diana Spencer was a global media event with hundreds of millions of people watching the ceremony on television. Their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were born soon after. But the marriage didn’t survive amid intense media coverage and rumors of infidelities. The couple eventually divorced in 1996. 

A year later, Princess Diana died in a car crash. Charles traveled to France with Diana’s sisters to bring her body back to England. He walked with his sons in her funeral procession.    

Several years later, he married Camilla Parker Bowles. 

In February, the Queen announced Camilla would become queen consort when Charles became king.

Source: newsy.com

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Prenups Aren’t All Bad. Here’s Why They’re Becoming More Common

Prenups can be a touchy subject, but the stigma is fading, with some experts saying it could be a smart move for anyone getting married.

Prenups, or pre-nuptial agreements, don’t always have the most positive connotation. 

While they are legal agreements entered into by couples before marriage — often to keep finances separate despite being otherwise legally joined  — they can be a touchy subject for couples starting to build a life together.

But that stigma seems to be fading away. A new report from The Harris Poll said that this year, 15% of U.S. adults surveyed signed a prenup, which is up from just 3% in 2010. It also found that 35% of unmarried people say they’re likely to sign a prenup in the future.

In the Americas, prenups go back to 17th century Canada, when French colonist men married women who came to the country with financial assistance from King Louis XIV. These women were so highly sought after that they were able to convince their husbands to sign prenups. This came at a time when men outnumbered women, so women had a leg up. Eventually that gender ratio evened out, and prenups went away.

They got popular again in the U.S. much later. A 1970 Florida case Posner v Posner ruled that prenups should be a standard practice.

One big possible factor in their usage today is the fact that millennials now have more debt than previous generations. One survey found that nearly three quarters of millennials have over $100,000 in debt on average, not including mortgages. 

The most common debt is credit card debt followed by student loans. There’s also medical debt and personal loans. 

Prenups can protect your partner from taking on your debt in the case of death of divorce. In some states, your spouse can be held accountable for all of your debt acquired during the marriage.

Kelly Chang Rickert is a family law attorney in California who specializes in prenups, and she sees debt come up in divorce cases all the time.  

“It’s not unusual for me to have a divorce where one side has a Neiman Marcus card and charged up $70,000, and the other side… they are responsible for half the debt because it was acquired during the marriage,” Chang Rickert said.

But the breakdown of who’s responsible for what differs from state to state. For instance, some states are community property states, meaning unless you sign a prenup, everything acquired during the marriage must be split 50/50. That’s how things work in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

In other states, laws differ. There can be different rules around what makes prenups enforceable. For example, in Connecticut there’s a specific window of time between when the prenup is presented and when the marriage happens for it to hold up. So, it’s important to see what a state requires beforehand.

Another reason more people could be getting prenups is because they’re getting married later in life and have more assets to protect coming into the marriage. According to Pew, in 2019 the average age a man first got married was 30, and for women it was 28. That’s three years later for both men and women compared to 2003 and four years later than 1987.

“These days, a lot of people work for themselves,” Chang Rickert said. “If you’re a social media influencer or you’re an artist or you’re a writer, a lot of people make money off their creative efforts. So if they have a business coming into the marriage, a lot of them don’t want to share that in case it doesn’t work out.”

This leads to the question of how finances are split. This determines what a prenup could look like. In the 70s and 80s, it was common practice to put all your money into shared accounts with your spouse. But over the past several years, the number of married couples who keep some of their finances separate has risen.

Experts say if couples have a joint account for things they share, they can opt to keep everything else separate, and in the case of divorce, they’ll only have to worry about dividing the joint account. But it’s important to note that separate accounts won’t stay separate unless a prenup is signed stating that.  

“Even if you don’t have a prenup, you kind of do: It’s called the law,” Chang Rickert said. “So if you don’t have a prenup, you’re just going by what your state law says. California says community property, so your debt is my debt. That’s what the state law says. So if you don’t like that, then you should craft your own.”

Rickert Chang recommends getting a prenup ideally a year before your wedding. She also points out a few pros of prenups. For one, the stereotypical scenario we see in movies where a rich guy asks his fiancé to sign a prenup — it could actually be a good thing.  

“If you were smart about it, and the guy’s like, ‘I want you to sign a prenup saying I don’t want community,’ then what you could do is you can negotiate it,” Chang Rickert said. “You could be like, ‘Fine, I won’t touch your stuff, but in lieu of that, I would like 50,000 a year or 1,000, 100,000 a year,’ and that way you can negotiate, and you can actually get money by agreeing to sign a prenup.”

There’s also certain professions where it’s strongly encouraged to protect the other person. 

“Definitely lawyers or doctors, I think you should always get prenup,” Chang Rickert said. “Not just only because it’s my business — I don’t want you taking half of it, but also it’s a business that I can get sued on. So, I would like to protect you from any lawsuits that I might get.”

As prenups have become more common, more people have dug into this topic on social media platforms like TikTok. Chang Rickert has an account of her own where she educates people on prenups to help break down myths and stigmas, including that they aren’t just for rich people and not just in case of divorce.

Now, there aren’t necessarily more divorces now. CDC data shows that divorces declined between 2000 and 2020. 

However in the case of a divorce, not signing a prenup could really pile on to the cost of divorce, which can already be pretty high, costing between $15,000 to $20,000 on average.

Source: newsy.com

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