Diana traumatised by engagement interview

In a documentary to be screened in the UK for the first time Princess Diana describes how Prince Charles was all over her “like a bad rash” at the start of their courtship.

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Diana reveals Charles’ attempts to woo her during a barbecue in Sussex in 1979 when she was 18 was not very romantic.

The princess speaks about her relationship with the heir to the throne in the Channel 4 documentary Diana: In Her Own Words, based around video tape interviews made by her speech coach Peter Settelen in the early 1990s.

After meeting Charles a few years earlier and not being swayed by the royal presence, she initially changed her mind at the barbecue.

“I sat there and this man walked in and I thought, ‘well I am quite impressed this time round’. I was different and everything else,” she said.

“He chatted me up – like a bad rash he was all over me.”

When she sympathised with the prince about the recent funeral of his great uncle and mentor Lord Louis Mountbatten, killed by the IRA in 1979, and how he had needed someone “beside” him at the service, Charles responded amorously.

Diana said: “Wrong word – whereupon he leapt upon me and started kissing me and everything – this is not what people do. And he was all over me for the rest of the evening, followed me around (like a) puppy.”

She confessed they only met 13 times before they married but when they were interviewed to mark their engagement the Princess was left dumbstruck by the Prince’s response to the question about whether they were in love.

Diana replied “of course” and Charles gave his famous response “Whatever in love means”.

The princess said: “That threw me completely, I thought what a strange (answer) – absolutely traumatised me.”

Diana later speaks candidly about her battles with an eating disorder.

“Everybody knew about the bulimia in the family and they all blamed the failure of the marriage on the bulimia, and that’s taken some time to get them to think differently.

“I said I was rejected, I didn’t think I was good enough for this family, so I took it out on myself.

“I said ‘I could’ve gone to alcohol, which would’ve been obvious, I could’ve been anorexic, which would be even more obvious. I decided to do the more discreet thing, which ultimately wasn’t discreet but I chose to hurt myself instead of hurting all of you’.”

Hamburg supermarket attacker was a ‘known Islamist’

The suspect who killed a man with a knife in a Hamburg supermarket was a known Islamist with psychological problems but his motives remain unclear, German officials said Saturday.

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Identified as a 26-year-old Palestinian, he arrived in Germany in 2015 from Norway but was due to be deported as his application for asylum was rejected.

Friday’s assault risks reopening a bitter debate over refugees two months before general elections, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her decision to open Germany’s borders in 2015 and let in more than a million asylum seekers.

Merkel expressed her sympathies to victims and their families and vowed that “the violent act must be and will be clarified”.

Investigators were still struggling to determine the exact motive for the assault, which left six people injured.

The suspect “was known as an Islamist but not a jihadist,” said the port city’s interior minister Andy Grote, noting “there are indications of radicalisation”.

But Grote stressed that while there could have been an Islamist motive, the suspect also suffered from “psychological instability”.

“It remains unclear which was the overriding element,” he said.

The Palestinian suspect is being held but has refused to speak about why he staged the attack, Nana Frombach, the spokeswoman for the local prosecutor’s office said.

Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere also cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

“The jihadist ideology could be used as a justification for action that may actually be motivated by other reasons,” he said, adding that “the real motives could perhaps lie in the personality of the perpetrator.”

The attacker had entered the supermarket and taken a kitchen knife from the shelves.

“He ripped off the packaging and then suddenly brutally attacked a 50-year-old man who later died,” said deputy police chief Kathrin Hennings.

He later wounded two more men in the supermarket before fleeing, hurting four other people along the way, before he was overpowered by courageous passers-by.

The man had brandished the bloodied knife, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest”) as he fled the scene, but bystanders gave chase and flung chairs to stop him.

0:00 One dead after Hamburg knife attack Share One dead after Hamburg knife attack

‘Almost exemplary’

If confirmed as an Islamist attack, it would be the first in Germany since Tunisian Anis Amri drove a truck into crowds at a Berlin Christmas market on December 19, killing 12 and injuring 48.

News website Spiegel Online named the supermarket attacker as Ahmad A., while officials said he had not appealed against Germany’s decision to deny him asylum. 

In fact, he had helped to obtain documents to facilitate his departure from Germany.

On the day of the attack, he had even gone to the authorities to ask if the papers had arrived. Police chief Ralf Meyer said the suspect was “almost exemplary” in this aspect.

And heavily armed police who searched a Hamburg asylum seekers’ shelter where the man lived failed to find any weapons.

‘Started drinking heavily’

At the accommodation in a leafy suburb, the suspect’s neighbour, who gave his name only as Mohamed, described him as “very intelligent”.

“He was always helping other asylum seekers with their paperwork,” the 31-year-old Syrian refugee told AFP.

But in recent weeks, he “had a crisis, he bought Islamist clothes and read the Koran very loudly in his room”.

“And three weeks after Ramadan, he had another crisis. He started to drink heavily and smoke joints… he was sad that his mother was ill and that his asylum request was rejected,” recounted Mohamed.

Ahead of elections in September, the latest assault risks rekindling the debate over the record refugee influx.

“It makes me especially angry that the perpetrator appears to be a person who claimed protection in Germany and then turned his hate against us,” said Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz.

“What was this man doing in Germany?” the mass-circulation Bild newspaper asked.

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Shorten’s republic plan ‘not way forward’

The Turnbull government has ridiculed Bill Shorten’s latest push for a republic, with a senior minister claiming it won’t lead to anything.

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The federal Labor leader has promised to take “the first real steps” to make Australia a republic in his first term in government.

That would include putting a straightforward ‘yes or no’ question to the Australian people.

“We must seize the day and become a republic,” Mr Shorten told the crowd at the Australian Republic Movement’s gala dinner in Melbourne on Saturday night.

But cabinet minister Mathias Cormann said Mr Shorten was not proposing any way forward.

He was merely trying to distract from his lack of a plan for the economy and jobs.

“The truth is that what Bill Shorten’s proposing won’t actually lead to any outcome,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

“Here he’s talking about yet another topic that doesn’t actually relate to how we can make our economy more successful in the future.”

Senator Cormann said the more difficult question was not if the Australian people wanted a republic, but what system they wanted to change to.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese dismissed suggestions there would be a need for two plebiscites – one to determine if Australians wanted a republic, then a second to approve a model – as well as a referendum to change the constitution.

A model would emerge by consensus during the debate to the first plebiscite about an Australian head of state, he said.

“It’s a plan to achieve a republic by doing it in a two-stage process,” Mr Albanese told Sky News of the Labor proposal.

Mr Shorten, in his speech on Saturday night, used the current debate about dual citizenship – which has forced two senators to quit parliament and another to resign from cabinet – to note that Australia’s current head of state is a “foreign power”.

But government backbencher Eric Abetz said the fact a dual citizen can’t serve in parliament debunked his argument.

“It shows beyond any doubt that Australia is a genuine stand alone nation with its own very rich heritage,” he told ABC TV on Sunday.

Australia was one of the most stable democracies in the world and people that came here were not clamouring for a change to the system, he said.

Apple removing VPNs from China App Store

Apple says it’s removing virtual private network services from its app store in China, drawing criticism from VPN service providers, who accuse the US tech giant of bowing to pressure from Beijing cyber regulators.

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VPNs allow users to bypass China’s so-called “Great Firewall” aimed at restricting access to overseas sites.

In January, Beijing passed laws seeking to ban all VPNs that are not approved by state regulators. Approved VPNs must use state network infrastructure.

In a statement on Sunday, an Apple spokeswoman confirmed it will remove apps that don’t comply with the law from its China App Store, including services based outside the country.

Beijing has shut down dozens of China-based providers and it has been targeting overseas services as it bids to tighten its control over the internet, especially ahead of the Communist Party congress in August.

While personal VPN providers have been the subject of state-led attacks in the past, this marks the first time Apple has complied with requests to scrub overseas providers from its store, a move that VPN providers say is unnecessarily supportive of China’s heightened censorship regime.

VPN provider ExpressVPN said on Saturday that it had received a notice from Apple that its software would be removed from the China App Store “because it includes content that is illegal in China”.

“We’re disappointed in this development, as it represents the most drastic measure the Chinese government has taken to block the use of VPNs to date, and we are troubled to see Apple aiding China’s censorship efforts,” ExpressVPN said in a statement.

Other major providers, including VyprVPN and StarVPN, confirmed they also received the notice on Saturday from Apple.

“We view access to Internet in China as a human rights issue and I would expect Apple to value human rights over profit,” Sunday Yokubaitis, president of Golden Frog, which oversees VyprVPN told Reuters on Sunday.

Yokubaitis said Golden Frog will file an appeal to Apple over the ban.

China users with billing addresses in other countries will still be able to access VPN apps from other branches of the App Store. A number of VPN apps were still accessible on the China App store on Saturday.

Apple is in the middle of a localisation drive in China, and named a new managing director for the region – a new role – this month.

Does PM Sharif’s ouster mean chaos for Pakistan?

Sharif’s disqualification Friday by the Supreme Court over corruption allegations denies him the chance of becoming the country’s first prime minister to complete a full five-year term.

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Yet despite the country’s history of military rule, power will likely remain within the hands of a civilian government — and probably that of Sharif’s eponymous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Party, analysts say.

“In a country as volatile as Pakistan, there’s good reason to be concerned whenever a prime minister is dismissed,” said Michael Kugelman of the DC-based Wilson Centre.

“But my sense is that everything will eventually fall into place — a successor will be chosen and the current government will serve out its term.”

Pakistan has been roiled by military coups and instability for much of its 70-year history.

But recently there has been a surge of optimism in the militancy-plagued developing country, which has seen a dramatic improvement in security and positive economic growth in recent years.

While the 2013 election that brought Sharif to power for a third time was also a powerful symbol of stability, representing Pakistan’s first democratic transition from one elected government to another.

Related readingSupreme Court judged most harshly 

Sharif was disqualified from the prime minister’s office but remains the head of the PML-N party which holds a majority in parliament, meaning the next prime minister will likely emerge from its ranks.

Political analyst Hasan Askari said that Pakistan’s parliamentary system of government remains unshaken despite the Supreme Court’s ousting of a democratically-elected premier.

“Sharif will bring forward some person from the party. Obviously his personality will not carry as much weight (as Sharif)… But at the moment we can say, the first impact of the judgement has not proved to be destabilising,” he said.

With Pakistan just a year away from general elections, the question is whether the country’s opposition parties can capitalise on Sharif’s removal.

Opposition leader Imran Khan has breathlessly pounded his party’s anti-graft slogans and called for Sharif’s removal as his slow downfall has played out on Pakistan’s TV news channels over the last year.

But his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which governs one of Pakistan’s four provinces, has so far failed to turn itself into a national party.

“(It is PTI) that initiated the case against the prime minister (Sharif), therefore they are going to be the major beneficiary in terms of reputation and credibility,” said Askari.

But, he cautioned, the party would benefit most from early elections, while popular opinion is still on its side — a remote prospect, with the PML-N-dominated National Assembly more likely push for elections to be held as scheduled in June 2018.

“This is a party (PML-N) that has the luxury of not facing a formidable opponent with national clout,” said Kugelman.

“This decision is not a game-changer for PTI,” agreed senior political analyst Rasul Bakhsh Rais. “The only change is that Mr Nawaz Sharif is no longer a prime minister.”

The immediate reaction to Sharif’s ouster from Pakistanis was muted, analysts agreed, with passionate statements made on both sides but only sporadic demonstrations in the streets, suggesting citizens believe the PML-N is still in control. 

While Sharif now has to face down allegations that his family has illegally amassed huge wealth, some observers say that it is the Supreme Court who will ultimately be judged the most harshly.

“When history is written this is going to go down as one of a series of decisions that the Pakistani judiciary has given against popularly elected governments,” said constitutional lawyer Yasser Hamdani.