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.

Century-old battle sums up horrors of WWI

Dismembered soldiers sucked into cesspools of mud.

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Shattered tree trunks and the waft of poison gas hovering over the wounded who were awaiting their fates on the scarred soil of Flanders Fields.

The Third Battle of Ypres, fought in western Belgium a century ago, was as bad as World War I would get.

Half a million soldiers were estimated to have been killed or wounded during the 100-day battle and one name keeps coming back: Passchendaele, now as grim a symbol as any field of war ever remembered.

Monday marks the centennial of the start of the Allied offensive, which ended up barely moving the front line. Thus it became a metaphor for the folly of war as soldiers from Australia, Canada and New Zealand joined mostly British forces attempting to break Germany’s hold on the Western Front.

“It is the largest massacre ever to have taken place on Belgian soil,” said curator Piet Chielens of the In Flanders Fields Museum, which has recorded over 150,000 dead – and still counting – in the months of fighting.

Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are expected to join Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge over two days of centenary ceremonies, starting with a Last Post at Ypres’ Menin Gate on Sunday.

When the Third Battle of Ypres started on July 31, 1917, World War I was entering its fourth year, bogged down in trench warfare.

Both sides were desperate for a breakthrough following the hundreds of thousands of casualties the year before at Verdun and the Somme in northern France, two other battles that vie with Passchendaele as the most costly of the Great War.

Britain’s Douglas Haig was convinced he could force a breakthrough at Ypres, even though two earlier battles there had failed. The goal was to shut down German submarine operations on the Belgian coast. Haig’s plan to take the village of Passchendaele in a few days and move on to the coast turned out to be wildly ambitious.

With rain turning the swampy terrain to mud and the Germans armed with mustard gas, it would take until November for the Allies to capture the village. They never got close to the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend.

British painter Paul Nash was at Passchendaele in November and used the depth of despair he witnessed as inspiration for his painting The Menin Road.

“The rain drives on, the stinking mud becomes more evilly yellow, the shell holes fill up with green-white water, the roads and tracks are covered in inches of slime, the black dying trees ooze and sweat and the shells never cease,” Nash wrote to his wife.

“Annihilating, maiming, maddening, they plunge into the grave which is this land.”

In the end, the British would argue that even though the advance stalled, the long and costly battle weakened the German enemy. History, however, has highlighted the futility of the exercise, Chielens said, pointing out that Passchendaele could not be held once it was taken.

“Passchendaele was ultimately a small and indefensible salient,” Chielens said.

Josh Jackson backs under-fire Des Hasler

Senior Canterbury forward Josh Jackson has come out in support of Bulldogs coach Des Hasler as conjecture continues to surround his NRL future.

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Hasler is set to miss the finals for the first time since his debut coaching year with Manly in 2004 this season, while the Bulldogs’ absence will be their first since 2011.

Canterbury have won seven games this year to sit 13th, while they have scored just 13.7 points per game – on track for their worst attacking year since the Super League war.

But NSW State of Origin second-rower Jackson said the fault could not lay with Hasler.

“We know how important Des is for our team and to the club,” Jackson said.

“He’s a guy who leaves nothing to chance.

“His preparation, the work he puts in for the team and for the club, and the way he looks after us as players, he gives you the motivation to want to go out there and play for him and the club.”

Hasler was re-signed by the club in April, on a deal that secured his future until at least the end of 2019.

However he came under fire from the club’s former captain, Michael Ennis last week, after he accused Hasler of botching the club’s recruitment and retention.

Hasler also attended a Bulldogs’ board meeting on Tuesday night, however chairman Ray Dib has since insisted they are not looking to sack the two-time premiership-winning coach.

Hasler’s future is likely to play a key component of the lead in to next February’s club board election, as speculation mounts of a possible rival ticket led by Paul Dunn.

Crucially, incoming five-eighth Kieran Foran told News Corp Australia on Sunday he’d be disappointed if Hasler wasn’t at the club next season.

Foran does not have a clause in his contract that would allow him to look elsewhere if Hasler wasn’t coach, but said his former Manly mentor was a big reason he was moving to the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have also signed NSW prop Aaron Woods for next year, as they attempt to rebuild the club.

More support for suicide prevention in Vic

Reducing stigma and discrimination around suicide is the next step in the Victorian government’s plan to halve the number of people who self harm in the state.

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Mental Health minister Martin Foley announced the second phase of the Labor government’s plan to combating suicide by increasing local support services.

“It’s our goal to halve the rates of suicide over the next ten years,” Mr Foley said on Sunday.

“We will do that by having community conversations about seeking to remove stigma, discrimination and bringing the discussions out about what we can do to provide hope,” he said.

He said using case studies would help develop the best strategies to tackle suicide with two organisations chosen to help reduce stigma and seek help.

Advocate Georgia Hocking lost her 22-year-old brother, Benjamin to suicide in 2016 and backed the plans to support people at-risk of suicide and their families.

“If I take anything from what happened with Ben it’s that suicide is 100 per cent preventable and I feel that my brother’s death was preventable,” Ms Hocking said.

She said the “ripple effect” from a suicide for those left behind was “catastrophic” and urged people to speak to their loved ones about the issue.

The organisations to help tackle suicide are the Lived Experience Project which will aim to reduce stigma and promote help-seeking behaviour in the Frankston Mornington Peninsula and Dandenong regions.

Roses in the Ocean directly supports those who have survived suicide or lost a loved one to suicide to help train and mentor people to talk about the issue in their community.

This is the second phase of a government rollout of the Suicide Prevention Framework, which has been provided with $27 million over four years.

The first stage saw hospitals receive funding to help those who attempted suicide in their community after being in the Emergency Department.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

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Typhoon Nesat injures 81 in Taiwan

Taiwan’s first typhoon of the year has left 81 people injured and coastal towns flooded as the island braced for a second tropical storm on Sunday.

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There were earlier reprts that two people had been killed. One man, climbing a mountain in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, died while trying to make his way down and a woman planting rice was killed by a planting machine which was blown over in the rice field.

Howling winds toppled motor scooters and hit people with flying glass, the Central Emergency Operations Centre said.

In Yilan county on the northeast coast, one person was blown down, another was struck by a wind-driven object and a third was injured when a utility truck flipped.

Typhoon Nesat made landfall on the northeast coast of Taiwan on Saturday evening with maximum sustained winds of 137km/ph and gusts of up to 173km/h, according to the national weather bureau.

All but two of the injuries were light, an operations centre staff person said.

The typhoon also left shops and streets in agricultural Pingtung county knee deep in muddy water after dumping about 600mm of rain.

More than 10,000 people, largely from Taiwan’s south, were evacuated before the typhoon and 1,612 were still in shelters Sunday morning.

Nesat caused the cancellation of 145 international flights and cut power to nearly half a million households.

The typhoon passed through Taiwan and reached Fujian province in southeastern China by 7am on Sunday as a less severe tropical storm, officials said.

Close to 70,000 people have been evacuated so far and dozens of trains and flights suspended in Fuzhou, the provincial capital, Fujian’s water resources department said.

Taiwan, meanwhile, is on alert again as a second tropical storm was due to make landfall on Sunday night.

Philippine mayor killed in anti-drug raid

Twelve people, including a city mayor, have been killed in a shoot-out with police officers during a series of pre-dawn anti-drug raids in the southern Philippines.

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Police officers also arrested the vice mayor of Ozamiz City, about 780km south of Manila, during the raids on Sunday, Chief Superintendent Timoteo Pacleb, a regional police director said.

Police simultaneously served search warrants against the properties of Reynaldo Parojinog Senior, mayor of Ozamiz City, his daughter Vice Mayor Nova Parojinog and three other family members on allegations they were trading in illegal drugs, Pacleb said.

“The police personnel were met with volley of gunfire from their security, prompting the police to retaliate,” he added.

Aside from Parojinog, his wife, a provincial board member who was also a relative and four security aides of the family were among those killed in the shoot-out, Pacleb said.

The identities of the other people slain were still being verified.

Police confiscated high-powered firearms and an undetermined amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu, from at least four houses of the Parojinog family, the city’s information office said.

Last week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vowed that his aggressive campaign against illegal drugs will not ease despite mounting criticism over the rising death toll.

More than 3000 suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations since Duterte became president on June 30, 2016, according to police statistics. But human rights groups have warned that the actual death toll could be higher.