Can you stop your parents sharing photos of you online?

Love it or hate it, parents have made their way on to social media, and seem to be there to stay.

It’s a great way of staying in touch – and it’s always amusing watching your parents attempt to take selfies or use emojis.

But if they share photos of you online without your permission – and have no understanding of privacy settings – have they crossed the line?

And – if you want to – how do you convince them to take the photos down?

“Sharenting” – the act of parents sharing news and pictures of their kids online – is in the news after Gwyneth Paltrow posted a picture of her and her 14-year-old daughter Apple Martin skiing.

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More than 150,000 people liked the picture, but Apple wasn’t so impressed, writing (from her private Instagram account): “Mom we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.”

Paltrow replied: “You can’t even see your face!”

Many of Paltrow’s fans have argued that, as the mother, she had every right to share pictures of her daughter – but others say children deserve a right to privacy too.

Why do people find ‘sharenting’ upsetting?

Ironically, children aren’t technically allowed to register with most social media services until they are 13 anyway – which means some rule-abiding teenagers get a shock when they finally get online.

Konrad Iturbe, a 19-year-old software developer in Spain, says he had a “big awakening at 14” when he realised his parents had been posting photos of him online.

Konrad Iturbe
Konrad: “Back in the day, pictures disappeared, but now everything is online and it stays forever”

“My mother had Instagram before I even had a phone – so I wasn’t aware that photos of me had been published,” he told the BBC.

“I really don’t like photos of me online anyway – I don’t even post photos of myself on my Instagram account – so when I followed my mother and saw them on her profile, I told her to ‘take this down, I’ve not given you permission’.”

He says it felt like a “breach of privacy”. It particularly bothered him because there were photos of him as a young child, and his mother’s Instagram account was open to the public.

“I didn’t want photos of my youth shared, it’s a very intimate thing,” he says, adding that he is also worried about “facial recognition algorithms” and people being able to “start tracing me when I’m older”.

Sonia Bokhari, a 14-year-old in the US, had a similar experience when she first joined Twitter and Facebook.

Writing in Fast Company magazine, she says: “When I saw the pictures that she [her mother] had been posting on Facebook for years, I felt utterly embarrassed, and deeply betrayed.

“There, for anyone to see on her public Facebook account, were all of the embarrassing moments from my childhood: the letter I wrote to the tooth fairy when I was five years old, pictures of me crying when I was a toddler, and even vacation pictures of me when I was 12 and 13 that I had no knowledge of.”

Not everyone minds “sharenting”, however. Charlotte Christy, a 23-year-old studying in London, says she personally thinks it’s “quite normal”.

Charlotte Christy
Charlotte, from the US, says she’s used to her mum sharing photos of her now

She was 13 when her mum started uploading photos of her on Facebook. “She would tag me and it would be on my news feed so everyone could see it. I thought it was embarrassing, but I wasn’t upset to the point of asking her to remove it.”

“I feel like we live in a society where everyone wants their photos to be really flattering – but if my mum posts an unflattering photo of me it doesn’t really bother me.”

“I think I share photos of my mum just as much as she shares photos of me – I think it’s a natural thing to share and I don’t see why she should ask for my permission – she’s my mum.”

Can ‘sharenting’ be dangerous?

For Sarah (not her real name), a 29-year-old health professional in Hong Kong, the most worrying thing was the privacy implications.

“When I was 21, my mum tagged me on Facebook, and I saw that she’d posted a bunch of photos of me – from when I was a baby to me in my 20s,” she told the BBC.

“Her settings were public, so I just found it very unsafe. I didn’t want my baby photos leaked to everyone, and I knew that with Google, you can search for someone’s name using their photos. And by her contributing more photos of me online, technology companies have more data on how I look.”

File photo: A young girl holding a mobile phone
Experts say sharenting could encourage cyber-bullying

Andra Siibak, a professor in media studies at the University of Tartu in Estonia, has conducted several studies into “sharenting”.

In one study involving Estonian children aged nine to 13, she found that children liked “parents sharing positive things about them”, but that “there were big discrepancies between what children and parents considered to be nice photos”.

“Children were not in favour of parents sharing unflattering visuals of them – for example, if their hair was messed up or they were wearing a dress they didn’t actually like.”

“In many contexts the parents would not consider those things to be a big problem, but for the pre-teens this could affect their self-image” or potentially lead to cyber-bullying.

Another potential risk from “sharenting” is “digital kidnapping”, Prof Siibak says, where strangers take publicly available photos of children, and use them for fraudulent or sexual purposes.

Should parents take their children’s concerns more seriously?

Prof Siibak says many parents feel that, as the adult, they are responsible for their child’s wellbeing, and don’t need their child’s permission as long as they believe the photos are not doing any harm.

However, she argues that parents should “absolutely” take their children’s privacy concerns more seriously.

“Just having a simple discussion that involves children on what kind of photos they like, and if it’s ok to upload them, helps build a better parent-child relationship.”

Parents often set strict internet usage rules for their children to protect their privacy, but the “rules only seem applicable to children, and not adults in the family”.

Stock photo of a family of four sitting on a sofa, using a laptop, mobile and a tablet
Prof Siibak says discussing social media use can help build trust

Both Konrad and Sarah say their parents initially dismissed their concerns – partly due to a lack of understanding about internet privacy.

“At first my mum laughed and said, ‘nobody’s going to see it – it’s just for friends’, even though her Instagram profile was open to everyone,” says Konrad. Eventually, after he explained his privacy concerns to her, she understood, and now asks his permission before posting.

Meanwhile, Sarah says when she told her mum to change her privacy settings, her mum was “quite offended at first”.

“She said she was proud of me and wanted to share things about me online… when I tried to explain [my privacy concerns] she didn’t understand and said ‘everything is being monitored online anyway’.”

“I don’t think many parents understand cyber security quite as well as we would, because their generation was born without the internet.”

Eventually, Sarah says her mother did agree to change her privacy settings to “friends only”, although “she’s got more than 1,000 Facebook friends and most of them she doesn’t actually know – so in a way that’s still quite public!”

“After she tagged me, I also started getting friend requests from her friends as well. I immediately declined.”

“Thank God she doesn’t know how to use Instagram yet.”

How can you convince your parents to change their settings?

It’s complicated – especially as there’s no way of physically or legally stopping them from posting. Often it comes down to persuasion – or compromise.

Konrad suggests appealing to their empathy in ways they can understand.

“I’d say – how would you feel if my grandparents posted pictures of you doing embarrassing things on the front of a newspaper? Back in the day, pictures disappeared, but now everything is online and it stays forever.”

Meanwhile, Sarah says: “I found it better to stick to the facts and not get emotional about it.

“When I used emotions – telling my mum I looked horrible in the baby photos, or that I felt the photos were indecent because I wasn’t fully clothed – she’d say, ‘but people will just find it cute’.

“Whereas if I explained the facts about internet security, and how we didn’t know what people would do with those photos, my mum agreed to be more careful.”

Her mum still posts photos without her permission, but Sarah sees her mum’s improved privacy settings as a reasonable compromise – and she’s also found her own workaround.

“Basically, I’ve changed my own privacy settings so my friends can’t see the photos my mum has tagged me in.”

She also acknowledges that, for many parents, sharing photos of their children is a way of “expressing their love”.

“It’s a way for them to show how much they miss their kids [if they don’t live together] – that’s one of the main reasons why I decided not to completely stop her.”

World's most expensive cities revealed

Caracas was ranked the least expensive city

Paris has come top of a ranking of the world’s most expensive cities, alongside Hong Kong and Singapore.

It’s the first time three cities have shared the top spot in the 30-year history of the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey.

The French capital – ranked second most expensive last year – is one of four European cities in the top 10.

The survey compares the cost of 160 items, such as food, drink, transport, utility bills, and rent, in 133 cities.

It then tracks whether prices have gone up or down by comparing them with the cost of living in New York, which is used as a benchmark.

The annual index was designed to help companies calculate cost-of-living expenses for expatriates and business travellers.

The most expensive cities in the world

1. Singapore (Singapore)

1. Paris (France)

1. Hong Kong (China)

4. Zurich (Switzerland)

5. Geneva (Switzerland)

5. Osaka (Japan)

7. Seoul (South Korea)

7. Copenhagen (Denmark)

7. New York (US)

10. Tel Aviv (Israel)

10. Los Angeles (US)


Barber in Caracas
Caracas was ranked the least expensive city

Inflation and volatile currency fluctuations helped drive changes in this year’s ranking, with places like Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and Venezuela all seeing a sharp fall in their cost of living ranking.

Caracas in Venezuela, where inflation neared 1,000,000% last year forcing the government to launch a new currency, was ranked the least expensive city in this year’s survey.

The price of a cup of coffee in the capital Caracas doubled to 400 bolivars ($0.62; £0.50) in the space of only a week last December, according to Bloomberg.

Damascus in Syria was ranked the world’s second cheapest city.


The 10 cheapest cities in the world

1. Caracas (Venezuela)

2. Damascus (Syria)

3. Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

4. Almaty (Kazakhstan)

5. Bangalore (India)

6. Karachi (Pakistan)

6. Lagos (Nigeria)

7. Buenos Aires (Argentina)

7. Chennai (India)

8. New Delhi (India)


Caracas was ranked the least expensive city
Passengers in Caracas describe living in the world’s “cheapest” city

World’s most expensive cities revealed

Paris has come top of a ranking of the world’s most expensive cities, alongside Hong Kong and Singapore.

It’s the first time three cities have shared the top spot in the 30-year history of the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey, which compares prices in 133 cities globally.

The French capital – ranked second most expensive last year – is one of four European cities in the top 10.

The survey compares the cost of common items, such as bread, in 133 cities.

It then tracks whether prices have gone up or down by comparing them to the cost of living in New York, which is used as a benchmark.

Haircut comparisons

Report author Roxana Slavcheva said Paris had been among the top 10 most expensive cities since 2003 and was “extremely expensive” to live in.

“Only alcohol, transport and tobacco offer value for money compared with other European cities,” she said.

The average cost of a woman’s haircut, for example, costs $119.04 (£90) in Paris, compared with $73.97 in Zurich and $53.46 in Japanese city Osaka.

“European cities tend to have the highest costs in the household, personal care, recreation and entertainment categories – with Paris being a good representative in these categories – perhaps reflecting a greater premium on discretionary spending,” Ms Slavcheva said.


The most expensive cities in the world

1. Singapore (Singapore)

1. Paris (France)

1. Hong Kong (China)

4. Zurich (Switzerland)

5. Geneva (Switzerland)

5. Osaka (Japan)

7. Seoul (South Korea)

7. Copenhagen (Denmark)

7. New York(US)

10. Tel Aviv (Israel)

10. Los Angeles (US)


World's most expensive cities revealed
Caracas was ranked the least expensive city

Inflation and volatile currency fluctuations helped drive changes in this year’s ranking, with places like Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and Venezuela all seeing a sharp fall in their cost of living ranking.

Caracas in Venezuela, where inflation neared 1,000,000% last year forcing the government to launch a new currency, was ranked the least expensive city in this year’s survey.

The price of a cup of coffee in the capital Caracas doubled to 400 bolivars ($0.62; £0.50) in the space of only a week last December, according to Bloomberg.

Damascus in Syria was ranked the world’s second cheapest city.

The Economist Intelligence Unit said a “growing number of locations” were becoming cheaper because of the impact of political or economic disruption.


The 10 cheapest cities in the world

1. Caracas (Venezuela)

2. Damascus (Syria)

3. Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

4. Almaty (Kazakhstan)

5. Bangalore (India)

6. Karachi (Pakistan)

6. Lagos (Nigeria)

7. Buenos Aires (Argentina)

7. Chennai (India)

8. New Delhi (India)

One of the leading causes of civilian deaths was suicide attacks - here in the capital, Kabul, in November

Afghanistan: Civilian deaths at record high in 2018 – UN’

More civilians were killed last year in Afghanistan than at any time since records have been kept, according to a new report from the UN.

There were 3,804 civilian deaths in 2018, including 927 children, the highest recorded numbers in the country’s long-running war.

The Afghan war began after US forces led a campaign to overthrow the Taliban in the wake of 2001’s 9/11 attacks.

The report comes a day before the next round of talks to end the conflict.

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is expected to meet Taliban negotiators on Monday in Qatar.

Why were the figures the worst since records began in 2009?

In 2018 there was a spike in suicide attacks by “anti-government elements” as well as increased harm to civilians from aerial and search operations by pro-government forces, the report said.

The year saw the highest number of civilian casualties ever recorded from suicide attacks and aerial operations, with more than 500 civilians killed by “aerial operations for the first time on record”, the report noted .

Ground engagements, mainly between pro-government forces and anti-government groups, also remained a leading cause of civilian casualties.

The rockets date back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1980s.
The rockets date back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1980s.

“This is the UN’s 10th annual report documenting the plight of civilians in the Afghan conflict – more than 32,000 civilians killed and around 60,000 injured in a decade. It is time to put an end to this human misery and tragedy,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the top UN official in Afghanistan.

“The best way to halt the killings and maiming of civilians is to stop the fighting. That is why there is all the more need now to use all our efforts to bring about peace.”

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) recorded 10,993 civilian casualties (3,804 deaths and 7,189 injured), which it says represents a 5% increase in overall civilian casualties and an 11% increase in civilian deaths compared to 2017.

Earlier this year, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said more than 45,000 members of the country’s security forces had been killed since he became leader in 2014 – a figure far higher than previously thought.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai: "Peace is more difficult than war"
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai: “Peace is more difficult than war”

What are the prospects for the peace talks?

Peace talks in Afghanistan have been gaining momentum, amid moves by US President Donald Trump to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed.

In January 2019 the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said the US and the Afghan Taliban had made “significant progress” in talks aimed at ending the 17-year-old conflict, after reaching a framework agreement in their last round of talks in Qatar.

The Taliban also said progress had been made, and their negotiators will meet Mr Khalilzad again in Qatar on Monday.

But the Taliban have so far refused to hold formal talks with the Afghan government, which they say is a puppet of the West.

And despite the framework agreement, there is no accord on a timetable for a US pullout, or a ceasefire in Afghanistan.

Queues built up at the border between Venezuela and Brazil following the order to close it

Venezuela crisis: Maduro closing border with Brazil”

Queues built up at the border between Venezuela and Brazil following the order to close it

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has announced the closure of the border with Brazil as a row over foreign humanitarian aid continues.

The embattled leftist leader went on TV to say that he was also considering shutting the border with Colombia to stop the opposition bringing in relief.

He denies any crisis and calls the aid delivery plans a US-orchestrated show.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is leading a convoy from the capital, Caracas, to the Colombian border.

Later on Friday, a huge concert will be held on the Colombian side of the border to raise money for Venezuela.

At the same time, Mr Maduro’s government will hold its own event, reportedly just some 300 metres away.

Mr Guaidó declared himself interim leader during anti-government protests last month and is recognised by dozens of foreign states, including the US and most Latin American countries.

Scuffles broke out and tear gas was fired when the convoy of buses and cars was briefly stopped by security forces on a road near Mariara, west of Caracas, but they later moved on.

Meanwhile, after Mr Maduro’s announcement that the border would be closed indefinitely on Thursday night, many Venezuelans rushed across the frontier to the Brazilian city of Pacaraima to stock up on supplies, Brazilian news portal G1 reported.

The crossing usually closes at night and would normally have opened at 08:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Friday.

Opposition supporters scuffle with national guardsmen near Mariara, 21 February

Opposition figures scuffled with national guardsmen on the road taken by the convoy

Mr Guaidó and his allies hope to collect food and medicine in defiance of President Maduro.

The Venezuelan military has so far managed to block shipments of US aid from coming across the border with Colombia.

Despite denying there is any humanitarian crisis, Mr Maduro announced this week that 300 tonnes of aid would be shipped to Venezuela from its ally Russia.

How the story unfolded

14 April 2013
Nicolás Maduro is narrowly elected president of Venezuela after the death of long-serving socialist leader Hugo Chavez. The vote is marred by claims of fraud by the opposition.

18 February 2014
A wave of protests against Mr Maduro leads to the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who remains under house arrest.

29 March 2017
Venezuela’s Supreme Court says it is taking control of the National Assembly, prompting months of anti-government protests that leave 100 dead. The Supreme Court reverses its decision.

17 July 2017
More than seven million Venezuelans vote in an opposition-organised referendum against Mr Maduro’s plans to create a new body with the power to control the National Assembly.

20 May 2018
Mr Maduro wins snap election. The two leading opposition candidates reject the results, saying the election was marred by vote-rigging.

8 November 2018
The UN announces that the number of refugees and migrants who have left Venezuela has passed three million. Venezuela’s economy is tanking, creating widespread food and medicine shortages.

10 January 2019
Mr Maduro is inaugurated as president. The little-known new leader of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, calls the president a “usurper”.

21 January 2019
As Venezuela’s economy continues to fail, a Caracas based charity says it has recorded at least 107 episodes of looting and several deaths across the country.

23 January 2019
Citing emergency powers, Mr Guaidó declares Mr Maduro’s leadership illegitimate and claims the presidency. He is recognised by the US and several Latin American countries, creating two rival claims to the office.

7 February 2019
Humanitarian aid arrives at the Colombian border with Venezuela, ready to enter the country, but Mr Maduro instructs the army to block the roads with oil tankers.

More than three million Venezuelans have fled in recent years as the country grapples with hyperinflation and shortages of essentials like food and medicine, the UN says.

Mr Maduro, in power since 2013, has been criticised at home and abroad for his handling of the economy.

Is support for Guaidó growing?

Venezuela’s military has so far resisted calls to abandon President Maduro and support his rival.

However, on Thursday former military intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal recognised the opposition leader as “president in charge”. In a video address posted online he issued a stinging rebuke to Mr Maduro.

“You have killed hundreds of young people in the streets for trying to claim the rights you stole – this without even counting the dead for lack of medicines and security,” he said.

Mr Carvajal, a congressman, called on the military to break with the president and to allow humanitarian aid in.

In another development, Mr Guaidó’s aides in Washington said 11 Venezuelan diplomats based in the US had defected and declared their support for him.

Why is the Brazilian border being shut?

Flanked by Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez and other top military commanders, Mr Maduro announced that the border with Brazil would be closed “completely and absolutely” until further notice.

The president also added: “I don’t want to take any decision of this type but I am evaluating it, a total closure of the border with Colombia.”

He says the delivery of aid is part of a US-led attempt to depose his government and seize Venezuela’s oil reserves.

Map locator

The right-wing Brazilian government of President Jair Bolsonaro is among those that recognise Mr Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, pending elections.

Presidential spokesman Gen Otávio Régo Barros said on Tuesday that, in co-ordination with the US, food and medicine would be available in the border town of Pacaraima to be collected by “the government of acting President Juan Guaidó in Venezuelan trucks driven by Venezuelans”.

“Brazil is taking part in this important international initiative to support the Guaidó government and the Venezuelan people,” he said.

Desperate Venezuelan women are selling their hair at the border

Mr Guaidó has said 600,000 volunteers have already signed up to help carry aid into the country on Saturday.

Venezuela earlier closed its sea and air border with Curacao, a Dutch Caribbean island off Venezuela’s north coast which is planning to host US aid.

Where is Guaidó’s convoy going?

It is expected to travel some 800-900km (500-560 miles) to the Colombian border where aid is being stockpiled on the Colombian side, in the city of Cúcuta.

“Confirmed – it’s rolling,” a spokesman for Mr Guaidó’s convoy told AFP news agency on Thursday after he left Caracas by car.

“We know that the regime is going to put all obstacles to prevent us from reaching the border, but nothing is stopping us, we are going to continue,” opposition MP Yanet Fermin told the news agency.

James Reynolds: A bus ride through crisis-hit Caracas

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan government announced it would deliver 20,600 of its own food boxes to the Colombian border area.

A video posted on Twitter by Food Minister Luis Medina Ramírez showed cargo lorries.

Battle of the bands?

British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has organised a huge benefit concert for Friday near the Tienditas Bridge crossing, on the Colombian side of the border at Cúcuta, to raise money for Venezuela.

Venezuela Aid Live, he says, was organised at the request of Mr Guaidó and another opposition leader, Leopoldo López.

The Branson concert is on the Colombian side of Tienditas Bridge…

The government stage at Tienditas, 21 February

. and a Venezuelan government stage has gone up just a few hundred metres away

About 250,000 people are expected at a gig which organisers hope will raise about $100m (£77m) to buy food and medicine for Venezuelans, Reuters news agency reports.

Not to be outdone, the Venezuelan government has erected a stage on its side of the crossing.

Oscars 2019: What this short speech winner did with his jet ski":

Oscars 2019: What this short speech winner did with his jet ski”:

Last year’s Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel had been looking for ways to keep the ceremony short

Nothing bogs down an event like a long and boring speech.

While a sharp and succinct speech can keep things moving along nicely, a monotonous and rambling speech will often prompt yawns in the audience – whether it’s at a wedding, a birthday party… or the Oscars.

The Academy Awards ceremony often runs to more than three-and-a-half hours, which can be a bit much even for the most fanatical film fan.

So, last year, presenter Jimmy Kimmel came up with an idea to keep things moving.

At the beginning of the 2018 ceremony, the chat show host announced he’d be offering a jet-ski to the winner who delivered the shortest speech of the night.

“I will be timing you. I have a stopwatch,” he said.

“Why waste precious time thanking your mom when you could be taking her for the ride of her life on a brand-new jet-ski?”

And he wasn’t kidding.

Dame Helen Mirren was tasked with presenting the jet-ski to the shortest speech winner

The eventual winner was Mark Bridges, who went home with the prize for best costume design for Phantom Thread.

But his 30-second speech meant he was also the recipient of a jet ski worth $18,000 (£13,800) – which was presented to him by Dame Helen Mirren.

“I have the philosophy that nobody wants to hear the costume designer yammer on about who to thank,” Bridges tells BBC News ahead of this year’s Oscars.

“I want to make it short and sweet.”

Dame Helen Mirren and Mark Bridges

Despite his speech policy, Bridges says his jet ski win was accidental rather than deliberate – as his speech was shorter even than he had intended.

“Basically, I forgot one sentence I was going to say, which was thanking [director] Paul Thomas Anderson more for working with me all these years,” he explains.

“So I guess that’s why it ended up being the shortest speech, because I skipped that sentence… so winning [the jet ski] actually was coincidence.”

Most other winners at last year’s ceremony were unswayed by the prospect of prizes and delivered the long speeches they had planned.

“Obviously I’m not going to win the ski,” best actor winner Gary Oldman joked at the end of his three-minute speech.

Best supporting actor winner Sam Rockwell was more ambitious , commenting when he arrived on stage: “Run that clock, Jimmy, I want to get that ski-jet or whatever that was.”

(Obviously he was unsuccessful too.)

But the whole idea was generally praised by critics for brightening up the ceremony.

“As ‘Oscars too long’ riffs go, the jet-ski business was actually brilliant,” wrote Tasha Robinson in The Verge .

Dave Fawbert of Short List described it as “the funniest part of the Oscars”, praising Kimmel for “Injecting a little levity into proceedings”.

So, the big question, of course, is whether Bridges has now become a regular jet ski user.

Mark Bridges

“No, there were a couple of reasons why I was not going to use that jet ski,” he explains.

“Someone had asked me shortly after I won it whether I’d had any experience on a jet ski. And all I could reply was ‘none good’.

“And also it’s interesting here in America when you win something, then you’re liable for taxes on it, so it was quite expensive jet-ski, so it was quite a bit of money to pay for taxes for it.

“So I thought I’d turn lemons into lemonade, so to speak, and I donated it to the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF). That does a lot of charitable work for people in the industry.”

Bridges explains the MPTF has a senior citizens home and a health facility, adding it’s an organisation he’d wanted to contribute to for a while.

Speech advice

“And I thought they could probably auction it and make some money, and I got a lovely phonecall from [Foundation board chairman] Jeffrey Katzenberg thanking me, and I do think it was a win-win situation, I think they were able to get some influx of donations from it.”

This actually wasn’t the first time the Academy had offered a prize for the shortest speech.

In 2001, it was announced at the Oscar nominees luncheon that the winner who delivered the shortest speech would win a flatscreen TV.

That year, it ended up going to Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit, who won for his animated short Father and Daughter.

With his 18-second speech, De Wit won the prize despite not even knowing it was on offer, as he had missed the luncheon.

Not wanting to ship it home to the Netherlands, he instead donated itto an LA-based residential facility for abused children.

Michael Dudok de Wit
Michael Dudok de Wit delivered an 18-second acceptance speech after winning best animated short film in 2001

But Bridges took away more then the jet-ski. As part of the prize, he also won a vacation to Lake Havasu, Arizona.

The very mention of the holiday at the Oscars resulted in a tourism boost for the city.

But, as a result of work commitments immediately after the Oscars, Bridges says he hasn’t yet had the time to take that holiday.

“No, I still have the gift certificate in my drawer some place,” he laughs.

“Although I got a request to go and talk to school children there about water safety – I’m not kidding you.

“And I was like ‘I’m sorry I won’t be able to partake in that at all!’ It was really interesting because there was a moment where winning the jet ski was overshadowing me getting my Oscar.

“I’m all for a gag and everything, it was a fun moment, but that was [too far]!”

Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps

Bridges was the costume designer on Phantom Thread, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps

Last year’s Oscar win for costume design was the second for Bridges, who also took home the same prize in 2012 for his work on The Artist.

And he could well find himself nominated again next year. His next project to hit the big screen will be Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the DC Comics character, which is released later this year.

Bridges recalls advice the Academy gave to all nominees back in 2012 in order to keep their speeches succinct – something he clearly paid attention to.

“The Academy used to give you a very informative DVD to give you some suggestions about your speech and how to make it personal and succinct. So I kind of go by the suggestions that they gave.

“It’s already a very long show, and they also have a thank you camera backstage. After you are on the main stage you go backstage and then you’re able to thank people too.

“So rather than bog down the show, I could go backstage and thank my mom and my family and things like that. So nobody gets missed, but a billion people don’t need to listen to you thank your mom for tucking you in at night.”

follow us on Twitter @BCNewslight or on Instagram at @bbcnewslight
. If you have a story suggestion email BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk , or mrbenrory@europe.com .

Venezuela crisis: Brazil vows to deliver aid, defying Maduro

Venezuela crisis: Brazil vows to deliver aid, defying Maduro”

Aid shipments on the Colombian border have so far been blocked by Venezuela

Brazil says it will send humanitarian aid to its border with Venezuela by the weekend, despite the protests of embattled President Nicolás Maduro.

The delivery and distribution of the aid is being organised by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the Brazilian presidential spokesman said.

Mr Maduro denies there is a crisis in Venezuela and calls the growing aid operation a US-orchestrated show.

Venezuela also closed its sea and air border with Curacao.

The Dutch Caribbean island, off Venezuela’s north coast, is planning to host US aid.

The military has so far managed to block shipments of US aid from coming across the border with Colombia.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s military has reaffirmed its support for President Maduro, rejecting a call by US President Donald Trump to switch allegiance to Mr Guaidó.

Juan Guaidó, right, meets EU representatives in Caracas, Venezuela February 19

Juan Guaidó (r) has been recognised by several governments as interim president

Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino, appearing alongside senior officers, said any attempt to impose a new government would have to be done over “our dead bodies”.

He said the armed forces would block the delivery of aid sent by the US and other countries that have recognised Mr Guaidó as interim president.

What has Brazil said?

The government of President Jair Bolsonaro is among those which recognises Mr Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, pending elections.

Presidential spokesman General Otávio Régo Barros said on Tuesday that, in co-ordination with the US, food and medicine would be available in the border town of Pacaraima to be collected by “the government of acting President Juan Guaidó in Venezuelan trucks driven by Venezuelans”.

Map locator

“Brazil is taking part in this important international initiative to support the Guaidó government and the Venezuelan people,” he said.

However, it is not clear if the convoy of aid will be allowed to cross the border. Mr Padrino warned on Tuesday that the military was “deployed and on alert along the borders… to avoid any violations of territorial integrity”.

Mr Guaidó has said 600,000 volunteers have already signed up to help carry aid into the country on 23 February – the deadline he has set.

What has the US said?

Mr Maduro insists the planned deliveries of aid to Venezuela are a smokescreen for a US-led invasion.

In a speech on Monday, President Trump described Mr Maduro as a “Cuban puppet” and accused a “small handful at the top of Maduro’s regime” of stealing and hiding money.

President Trump addressed Venezuelan Americans in southern Florida

He called on the military to abandon Mr Maduro, saying: “They are risking their future, they are risking their lives and Venezuela’s future for a man controlled by the Cuban military and protected by a private army of Cuban soldiers.”

On Tuesday Cuba denied it had security forces in Venezuela.

“Our government categorically and energetically rejects this slander,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in Havana.

What’s the background?

Mr Guaidó, the head of the country’s opposition-led National Assembly, declared himself interim leader during anti-government protests last month.

He has vowed to oversee fresh elections on the grounds that Mr Maduro’s 2018 re-election for a second term was flawed. Many opposition candidates were barred from running or jailed and there were allegations of vote-rigging.

The UN say more than three million Venezuelans have fled in recent years as the country grapples with hyperinflation and shortages of essentials like food and medicine.

Mr Maduro, who has been in power since 2013, has been criticised at home and abroad for his handling of the economy.

He has, however, retained the support of key allies who have helped bankroll the country’s economy, including Russia and China.

How the story unfolded

14 April 2013
Nicolás Maduro is narrowly elected president of Venezuela after the death of long-serving socialist leader Hugo Chavez. The vote is marred by claims of fraud by the opposition.

18 February 2014
A wave of protests against Mr Maduro leads to the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who remains under house arrest.

29 March 2017
Venezuela’s Supreme Court says it is taking control of the National Assembly, prompting months of anti-government protests that leave 100 dead. The Supreme Court reverses its decision.

17 July 2017
More than seven million Venezuelans vote in an opposition-organised referendum against Mr Maduro’s plans to create a new body with the power to control the National Assembly.

20 May 2018
Mr Maduro wins snap election. The two leading opposition candidates reject the results, saying the election was marred by vote-rigging.

8 November 2018
The UN announces that the number of refugees and migrants who have left Venezuela has passed three million. Venezuela’s economy is tanking, creating widespread food and medicine shortages.

10 January 2019
Mr Maduro is inaugurated as president. The little-known new leader of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, calls the president a “usurper”.

21 January 2019
As Venezuela’s economy continues to fail, a Caracas based charity says it has recorded at least 107 episodes of looting and several deaths across the country.

23 January 2019
Citing emergency powers, Mr Guaidó declares Mr Maduro’s leadership illegitimate and claims the presidency. He is recognised by the US and several Latin American countries, creating two rival claims to the office.

7 February 2019
Humanitarian aid arrives at the Colombian border with Venezuela, ready to enter the country, but Mr Maduro instructs the army to block the roads with oil tankers

Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel fashion designer, dead at 85″:

Karl Lagerfeld often appeared at shows alongside his models

Superstar fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died, aged 85, in Paris following a short illness.

The German designer, who was the creative director for Chanel and Fendi, was one of the industry’s most prolific figures and worked up until his death.

His signature ponytail and dark glasses made him an instantly recognisable figure around the world.

Industry heavyweights, including Italian designer Donatella Versace, have issued heartfelt tributes.

“Today the world lost a giant among men,” the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, said in a statement.

Rumours of Lagerfeld’s ill health had swirled for several weeks after he missed a number of events – including Chanel’s spring/summer show last month.

He died on Tuesday morning after being admitted to hospital the night before, French media report.

As a designer he transformed the fortunes of Chanel, one of the leading names in high fashion, but his work also filtered down to the high street.

Away from his work, Lagerfeld made headlines for a range of provocative, and sometimes offensive, statements.

Who has paid tribute?

Members of the fashion industry have been lining up to praise Lagerfeld’s work.

Donatella Versace said his genius had “touched so many” and was a source of inspiration for her and her late brother.

Anna Wintour described the designer’s “creative genius” as “breathtaking”.

“Karl was brilliant, he was wicked, he was funny, he was generous beyond measure, and he was deeply kind. I will miss him so very much,” her statement went on.

Chanel’s Chief Executive Alain Wertheimer credited Lagerfeld for transforming the brand since he joined in 1983.

“Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of Chanel’s success throughout the world,” he said in a statement.

It has been announced that Virginie Viard, his deputy at fashion house Chanel, will succeed him as creative chief.

Pier Paolo Righi, his own fashion brand’s CEO, described him as a “creative genius”.

“He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the greatest designers of our time,” a statement from the House of Karl Lagerfeld said.

Celebrities including Victoria Beckham, actress Diane Kruger and models Gigi and Bella Hadid have also paid tribute.

The making of a fashion giant

He was born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt in 1933 in pre-war Germany. Lagerfeld changed his original surname from Lagerfeldt, because he believed it sounded “more commercial”.

He emigrated to Paris as a young teenager, and became a design assistant for Pierre Balmain, before working at Fendi and Chloe in the 1960s.

Karl Lagerfeld
Lagerfeld was photographed on a seaside-themed catwalk at Paris Fashion Week in October 2018

But the designer was best known for his association with the French label Chanel.

He began his long career with the fashion house in 1983, a decade after Coco Chanel died.

Lagerfeld’s designs brought new life to the label, adding glitz to the prim tweed suits the couture house was known for.

The designer worked tirelessly, simultaneously churning out collections for LVMH’s Fendi and his own label, up until his death.

He also collaborated with high street brand H&M – before high-end collaborations became more common.

Karl Lagerfeld with Katy Perry, Cara Delevingne and Claudia Schiffer
Lagerfeld, seen here with Katy Perry (left), Cara Delevingne and Claudia Schiffer (right), was known for mingling with the young and trendy

Lagerfeld was known to encouraged new designers, like Victoria Beckham – who has praised him for his kindness.

Lagerfeld’s own look became famous in his later years – wearing dark suits and leather gloves with a signature white pony-tail and tinted sunglasses.

Lagerfeld said of his appearance: “I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that.”

The designer was known for his scathing wit and provocative comments, famously describing sweatpants as a “sign of defeat”.

However, some of his remarks drew sharp criticism in recent years.

In particular, he sparked outrage by evoking the Holocaust as he attacked Germany’s response to the migrant crisis and and for controversial remarks he made about the #MeToo movement.

Contact Email, (bbcnews.co.uk@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (Annenakashima@journalist.com)

More Labour MPs and some Tories could join new group – Chuka Umunna”:

MPs resign from Labour over Brexit and anti-Semitism

More Labour MPs could quit the party unless it listens to their concerns, Jeremy Corbyn has been warned.

Seven MPs have walked out in protest at the Labour leader’s handling of anti-Semitism and Brexit.

One of the seven, Chuka Umunna, said “a lot of Labour MPs” could follow suit, together with Tories “demoralised by the UKIPisation of their party”.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has warned his party could see more defections if it did not change.

He said Labour had to do more to tackle anti-Semitism and he also urged Mr Corbyn to reshuffle his shadow cabinet to reflect a wider range of MPs.

Mr Corbyn has said in a statement he was “disappointed” by the defections, which represent the biggest split in the Labour Party since the Social Democratic Party was set up 40 years ago.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the seven should now stand down as MPs and seek re-election against Labour Party candidates.

The seven MPs – Mr Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey – quit Labour in protest at what they said was a culture of “bullying and bigotry” in the party and frustration over the leadership’s reluctance to back another EU referendum.

Mr Umunna said another “big issue for us” was the belief that Mr Corbyn could not be trusted with national security, if he became prime minister.

“Many Labour MPs agree with us on that,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Mr Umunna said the new Independent Group was not yet a new political party, but he believed it could become one in time.

He urged members of all parties to join them in building an “alternative” to the current two party system, which he said was “fundamentally broken”.

Infographic showing ex-Labour Mps, their majority and when they were elected

The BBC has been told two Conservative MPs are thinking of joining the new Independent Group in Parliament.

Mr Umunna refused to speculate on who they could be but he added: “There are a lot of Labour MPs wrestling with their conscience on this issue but also Conservatives who have become demoralised by the UKIPisation, if you like, of the Conservative Party.”

A number of Conservative MPs are at the centre of rumours about joining the new group.

Sarah Wollaston, a supporter of the People’s Vote campaign for another EU referendum, along with the seven Labour defectors, has warned about former UKIP members joining local Tory parties and the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG) pushing the party to the right.

On Monday evening, she tweeted: “#BLUKIP has been busy taking over the Tory Party alongside the ERG. Soon there will be nothing left at all to appeal to moderate centre ground voters.”

Other Conservative MPs unhappy with the party’s direction include Anna Soubry, another People’s Vote supporter, who has called in the past for a new centre party.


A new political landscape?

This splintering might, just might – in time – turn into a much bigger redrawing of the landscape.

For now though that is way off. And this is first and foremost about the Labour Party – the seeds of the splinter sown more than three years ago, bearing bitter fruit just when Parliament’s biggest decisions over Brexit are about to be made.

▪ Read Laura’s full blog

Several Labour MPs have said they are considering their future in the party – but more have said they are sticking with it.

Former shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh told Today: “I have [been approached] and I’ve said no. I think what is important is we now take a long hard look at ourselves as a political party.

“It is clear that Brexit is pushing both parties to the brink, it is clear that anti-Semitism has taken root in our party.”

More Labour MPs and some Tories could join new group - Chuka Umunna":
John McDonnell:

John McDonnell: Resigning MPs have ‘responsibility’ to call by-elections

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray told the BBC he was sticking with Labour but “may change his mind” unless the party responded to concerns about its culture and direction.

Labour MP Jess Phillips, writing in the Daily Telegraph, called on Mr Corbyn to listen to why the MPs had quit and “act on it”, warning that reacting with bitterness could cause the party to “burst apart”.

However, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told the Daily Mirror that the resignations were a “distracting and divisive exercise”.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Labour MPs had to “listen to each other”.

But she added: “Equally, I think we also have a duty to unify and make sure that we provide a force for change within Britain.”

Sturgeon to urge EU citizens to stay in Scotland after Brexit”:

Efforts to encourage EU citizens to stay in Scotland after Brexit are to be stepped up, Nicola Sturgeon is to tell members of the French parliament.

The Scottish first minister is to address a committee of the Assemblée Nationale during a visit to Paris.

She said she would “always make it clear that EU citizens are welcome”.

The Home Office is currently testing an application system for settled status in the UK, which it said 100,000 people had successfully taken part in so far.

In January, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that fees for EU nationals to apply to stay in the UK after Brexit had been scrapped – although Ms Sturgeon said this was only after lobbying from other parties.

The first minister began a two-day visit to France on Monday, with a meeting with French European Affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau.

She is to address members of the Assemblée Nationale, the lower house of the French Parliament, after opening a new Scottish government office in Paris.

Ms Sturgeon will tell the foreign affairs committee that her government “will always stick up for” the EU citizens living in Scotland, who include 7,000 French people.

She will say: “In recent months we have lobbied successfully to ensure EU citizens would not have to pay a fee to obtain settled status in the UK. And we will always make it clear that EU citizens are welcome.

“In fact in the coming months, we plan to step up our efforts to encourage EU citizens to stay in Scotland.”

Karin has spent 35 years living in Scotland but worries about signing up for Settled Status

Under current legislation, the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March, whether an exit deal is agreed or not.

In January, Mrs May told MPs that her government was “committed to ensuring that EU citizens in the UK will be able to stay and continue to access in-country benefits and services on broadly the same terms as now, in both a deal and a no-deal scenario”.

The Home Office is currently developing the system for EU citizens to get “settled status”, allowing them to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.

This is due to be fully open by 30 March, but officials said 100,000 people had already successfully taken part voluntarily during the pilot phase of the system.

A spokeswoman said the department had “invested heavily” in the scheme, with a dedicated mobile app developed and 1,500 caseworkers recruited.


Analysis by BBC Scotland chief political correspondent Glenn Campbell, in Paris

Scotland’s international reach is expanding, especially in Europe.

Since the EU referendum the Scottish government has opened new trade and investment hubs in Berlin and Paris. These are in addition to offices in London, Brussels and Dublin.

Since 2016, the devolved administration has increased its staff working on international affairs from 80 to 114.

It has had over 400 engagements with European governments, EU institutions and other international bodies in Europe.

Opposition parties accuse the first minister of straying into areas of responsibility reserved to the UK and spending too much time away from Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon describes that as the worst “parochialism” and insists that with Brexit just over 5 weeks away it has never been more vital to promote Scotland internationally.

Venezuela crisis: the view from Yare:

Humanitarian aid meant for Venezuelans has been arriving in US military planes on the Colombian border. President Nicolas Maduro denies there’s a humanitarian crisis, saying the relief is a cover for a US invasion — and his troops will not let it through. But Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido has called for crowds to converge on the border to collect the aid. The BBC’s International correspondent Orla Guerin reports from Yare where the lack of food and medicines are claiming lives.

Facebook needs regulation as Zuckerberg ‘fails’ – UK MPs

Facebook needs far stricter regulation, with tough and urgent action necessary to end the spread of disinformation on its platform, MPs have said.

A Commons committee has concluded that the firm’s founder Mark Zuckerberg failed to show “leadership or personal responsibility” over fake news.

Untrue stories from foreign powers were risking the UK’s democracy, they said.

Facebook welcomed the digital select committee’s report and said it would be open to “meaningful regulation”.

MPs said that what was needed to deal with the proliferation of disinformation online and the misuse of personal data was a “radical shift in the balance of power between social media platforms and the people”.

The inquiry into fake news, which lasted more than a year, was conducted by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, with much of the evidence focusing on the business practices of Facebook before and after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Cambridge Analytica was a political advertising firm that had access to the data of millions of users, some of which was alleged used to psychologically profile US voters. The data was acquired via a personality quiz.

How such data, particularly in terms of political campaigning, was shared by Facebook was at the heart of the inquiry, alongside the effects of fake news.

“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,” concluded the report.

“The big tech companies are failing in the duty of care they owe to their users to act against harmful content, and to respect their data privacy rights.”

The report called for:

  • a compulsory code of ethics for tech companies, overseen by an independent regulator
  • the regulator to be given powers to launch legal action if companies breach the code
  • the government to reform current electoral laws and rules on overseas involvement in UK elections
  • social media companies to be forced to take down known sources of harmful content, including proven sources of disinformation
  • tech companies operating in the UK to be taxed to help fund the work for the Information Commissioner’s Office and any new regulator set up to oversee them

In response, Facebook said: “We share the Committee’s concerns about false news and election integrity and are pleased to have made a significant contribution to their investigation over the past 18 months, answering more than 700 questions and with four of our most senior executives giving evidence.

“We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee’s recommendation for electoral law reform. But we’re not waiting. We have already made substantial changes so that every political ad on Facebook has to be authorised, state who is paying for it and then is stored in a searchable archive for seven years. No other channel for political advertising is as transparent and offers the tools that we do.”

MPs made no secret of the fact that they found it difficult dealing with Facebook during the inquiry and chair Damian Collins had strong words for the firm and its leader, Mr Zuckerberg.

“We believe that in its evidence to the committee, Facebook has often deliberately sought to frustrate our work, by giving incomplete, disingenuous and at time misleading answers to our questions,” he said.

“These are issues that the major tech companies are well aware of, yet continually fail to address. The guiding principle of the ‘move fast and break things’ culture seems to be that it is better to apologise than ask permission.”

AFP

Mark Zuckerberg addressed the US Congress but refused to travel to the UK to speak to MPs

MPs were particularly angry that Mr Zuckerberg did not come to the UK to answer questions in person.

“Even if Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t believe he is accountable to the UK Parliament, he is to billions of Facebook users across the world,” said Mr Collins.

“Evidence uncovered by my committee shows he still has questions to answer yet he’s continued to duck them, refusing to respond to our invitations directly or sending representatives who don’t have the right information.”

He also accused Facebook of “bullying” smaller tech firms and developers who rely on their platform to reach users.

The committee did not list specific examples of fake news. But it pointed to the government response to its interim report, which found at least 38 false narratives online after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury in March 2018.

The report also noted that disinformation was not just spread on Facebook but also on platforms such as Twitter.

And it found that, in the month following the publication of its interim report, 63% of the views to the online government response were from foreign internet protocol (IP) addresses, more than half of which were from Russia, highly unusual for a UK-based political inquiry.

The wide-ranging inquiry did not just look at fake news. It also examined how tech firms use data and data-targeting especially in political contexts, the use of political campaigning online and relationship between a complex network of firms including Canadian AIQ, Cambridge Analytica parent firm SCL and IT firm Six-Four-Three.

MPs said that current electoral regulations were “hopelessly out of date for the internet age” and needed urgent reform, so that the same principles of transparency of political communications that operate in the real world were applied online too.

Facebook works with more than 30 fact-checking agencies":
GETTY IMAGES

The committee called on the government to reveal how many investigations are currently being carried out into Russian interference in UK politics, particularly the EU referendum in 2016. They asked the government to launch an independent investigation into that.

In order to better regulate social media firms, the MPs suggested creating a new category of tech firm – one that was neither a platform nor a publisher but something in-between, which would tighten the legal liability for content identified as harmful.

Fact-checkers

Pressure is mounting on the tech giants to get to grips with the issue of fake news, and will add to calls from other ministers for regulation on the issue of harmful content, following the death of teenager Molly Russell.

Her father accused Facebook-owned Instagram of facilitating her death, by failing to remove images of self-harm.

And the Cairncross Review into the future of UK news recently recommended that  a regulator should oversee Google and Facebook to ensure their news content is trustworthy.

In her report, Dame Frances Cairncross said that such sites should help users identify fake news and “nudge people towards news of high quality”.

Facebook has repeatedly said that it is committed to fighting fake news and works with more than 30 fact-checking organisation around the world.

Two of those agencies – Associated Press and Snopes – recently quit working with the social network.

The ease with which fake news can be created was illustrated recently by a team of researchers at OpenAi which showed a machine learning system produce coherent, but untrue articles, just by trawling through news site Reddit.

El Salvador: Woman jailed over stillbirth is freed from 30-year sentence”:

Evelyn Hernandez was convicted of murder but said her son was stillborn

A court in El Salvador has freed a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby in a toilet.

Evelyn Beatríz Hernández Cruz, 20, had served nearly three years of her sentence for aggravated homicide.

Following an appeal a court ordered she be re-tried, but she will be able to live at home during the process.

She and her lawyers have always maintained she was unaware she was pregnant and no crime had occurred.

But prosecutors said she was guilty of murder because she had had not sought out antenatal care.

Activists greeted her at the jail gates, chanting “Evelyn, you are not alone”.

The Central American country bans abortion in all circumstances, and dozens of women have been imprisoned for the deaths of their foetuses in cases where they said they had suffered miscarriages or stillbirths.

In April 2016, Ms Hernández gave birth in the latrine of her home in a small rural community. She lost consciousness after losing large amounts of blood.

Her mother told the BBC that police arrived at a hospital after the pair went there for emergency care.

Ms Hernández said she did not know whether her baby had been born alive or dead, and that she would have gone to see a doctor if she had known she was pregnant.

During her original trial she said she had been repeatedly raped. Her lawyers said she was too frightened to report the rapes, and some reports said the man who raped her was a gang member.

Medical experts could not determine whether the foetus had died in her womb or just after being born.

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El Salvador: Woman jailed over stillbirth is freed from 30-year sentence":
Evelyn Hernandez was convicted of murder but said her son was stillborn

A court in El Salvador has freed a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby in a toilet.

Evelyn Beatríz Hernández Cruz, 20, had served nearly three years of her sentence for aggravated homicide.

Following an appeal a court ordered she be re-tried, but she will be able to live at home during the process.

She and her lawyers have always maintained she was unaware she was pregnant and no crime had occurred.

But prosecutors said she was guilty of murder because she had had not sought out antenatal care.

Activists greeted her at the jail gates, chanting "Evelyn, you are not alone".

The Central American country bans abortion in all circumstances, and dozens of women have been imprisoned for the deaths of their foetuses in cases where they said they had suffered miscarriages or stillbirths.

In April 2016, Ms Hernández gave birth in the latrine of her home in a small rural community. She lost consciousness after losing large amounts of blood.

Her mother told the BBC that police arrived at a hospital after the pair went there for emergency care.

Ms Hernández said she did not know whether her baby had been born alive or dead, and that she would have gone to see a doctor if she had known she was pregnant.

During her original trial she said she had been repeatedly raped. Her lawyers said she was too frightened to report the rapes, and some reports said the man who raped her was a gang member.

Medical experts could not determine whether the foetus had died in her womb or just after being born.





This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is p05v8qhk.jpg




"I miscarried now I'm serving a 30 year sentence"



Although she was in the third trimester, Ms Hernández said she had confused the symptoms of pregnancy with stomach ache because she had experienced intermittent bleeding, which she thought was her menstrual period.

She told the court: "I did not want to kill my son."

The judge did not believe she did not know she was pregnant.

Much of the case centred on whether the baby was dead at birth or died in the moments afterwards, but medical experts were unable to determine the answer definitively.

Rights organisations in El Salvador says there are still at least twenty other women in jail under the country's strict abortion laws. In the last decade, campaigners have managed to free around 30 through evidence reviews and retrials.

Pro-choice campaigners in the Salvadoran group Agrupación Ciudadana welcomed Ms Hernández's release and said they hoped a new judge would consider that there was no scientific evidence to incriminate her.

Amnesty International has said El Salvador is "one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman".

El Salvador: Woman jailed over stillbirth is freed from 30-year sentence":
“I miscarried now I’m serving a 30 year sentence”

Although she was in the third trimester, Ms Hernández said she had confused the symptoms of pregnancy with stomach ache because she had experienced intermittent bleeding, which she thought was her menstrual period.

She told the court: “I did not want to kill my son.”

The judge did not believe she did not know she was pregnant.

Much of the case centred on whether the baby was dead at birth or died in the moments afterwards, but medical experts were unable to determine the answer definitively.

Rights organisations in El Salvador says there are still at least twenty other women in jail under the country’s strict abortion laws. In the last decade, campaigners have managed to free around 30 through evidence reviews and retrials.

Pro-choice campaigners in the Salvadoran group Agrupación Ciudadana welcomed Ms Hernández’s release and said they hoped a new judge would consider that there was no scientific evidence to incriminate her.

Amnesty International has said El Salvador is “one of the most dangerous countries to be a woman“.

Mexico border wall: Trump faces fight in the courts.

Trump: ‘I’ve signed the order – now we’ll be sued’

President Trump faces legal challenges to his decision to use emergency powers to build a wall on the US border with Mexico.

California and New York said they would take legal action to challenge his move to bypass Congress and secure funding for the project.

Building the wall was a key pledge of Mr Trump’s campaign.

Democrats said it was a “gross abuse of power” and vowed to contest it “using every remedy available”.

On Friday, Mr Trump signed the emergency declaration along with a spending bill aimed at preventing a repeat of a recent government shutdown.

Declaring an emergency could give him access to billions of dollars. Mr Trump announced the plan after Congress refused funding for the wall.

Within hours, the first legal challenge against the declaration of national emergency was launched.

A liberal advocacy group, Public Citizen, sued on behalf of a nature reserve and three Texas landowners who have been told the wall may be constructed on their properties.

How have Democrats responded?

Governor Gavin Newsom of California dismissed the president’s decision as “political theatre”.

“He’s been embarrassed, and his base needs to be fed,” he told reporters.

“Fortunately, Donald Trump is not the last word. The courts will be the last word,” he added.

New York state’s Democratic attorney general, Letitia James, said the state would not “stand for this abuse of power and will fight back with every legal tool at our disposal.”

Activist group Rise And Resist in New York City put out a call for a demonstration at the Trump Hotel in Columbus Circle
GETTY IMAGES

Democrats have described the national emergency as “made up”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would file a lawsuit in the coming days to curb “this blatantly illegal executive action”.

On Friday the two most senior Democrats – House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer – said they would challenge the “power grab by a disappointed president” in Congress and in the courts.

Ms Pelosi also seized on a remark by Mr Trump in response to a question from a reporter, in which he said he “didn’t need to do this”.

Analysts suggest that this remark could undermine Mr Trump’s case that the country is facing an emergency.

What did Mr Trump say?

Making the announcement in the White House Rose Garden, the president said the emergency would allow him to get almost $8bn for the wall.

This is still considerably short of the estimated $23bn cost of the wall along almost 2,000 miles (3,200km) of border.

Mr Trump accepted that he would be sued for the move, and predicted that the emergency order would lead to legal action which was likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

Senator McConnell supports the president; Speaker Pelosi warns it sets a dangerous precedent

“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border,” he said.

“Everyone knows that walls work.”

Later, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told reporters that Mr Trump’s move “creates zero precedent”.

“This is authority given to the president in law already. It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money,” he said.

Presentational grey line

Dangerous precedent

By Jon Sopel, BBC North America editor

The trouble with going nuclear is there is fall-out. This has been presented as a predictably partisan issue.

On one side of the wall, Republicans; on the other side Democrats. But by going nuclear the president has made it more complicated than that. There are a lot of Republicans – in the Senate and in the House – deeply uneasy about what Mr Trump is doing.

Why? Because the constitutional arrangement of the US is that Congress – not the president – controls the purse strings and allocates funds.

This is a major land grab by the president. It undermines their position and sets a very dangerous precedent.

▪ Read more U.S and Canada

Can Congress stop Trump’s emergency move?

The National Emergencies Act contains a clause that allows Congress to terminate the emergency status if both houses vote for it – and the president does not veto.

With a comfortable majority in the House, Democrats could pass such a resolution to the Senate. The Republicans control the Senate, but a number of Republican senators have been vocal in their unease about the president invoking a national emergency.

Chart: Apprehensions on the US-Mexico border were at their lowest in 2017 since 2000

The dissenting Republicans include 2012 presidential contender and new senator for Utah Mitt Romney, Florida senator Marco Rubio, and the senator from Maine Susan Collins, who said the move was of “dubious constitutionality”.

The resolution would however still require Mr Trump’s signature to pass, allowing him to veto it. A supermajority in both houses of Congress is needed to overturn a presidential veto.

What is a national emergency?

The National Emergencies Act is intended for times of national crisis. Mr Trump has claimed that there is a migration crisis at the nation’s southern border – a claim strongly refuted by migration experts.

▪ Who controls Canada’s indigenous lands?

The largest number of illegal migrants settling in the US each year is those who stay in the country after their visas expire.

Declaring a national emergency would give the president access to special powers that effectively allow him to bypass the usual political process, and he would be able to divert money from existing military or disaster relief budgets to pay for the wall.

Chart: There are 31 ongoing national emergencies

Emergency declarations by previous presidents have been overwhelmingly used for addressing foreign policy crises – including blocking terrorism-linked entities from accessing funds or prohibiting investment in nations associated with human rights abuses.

Where will the money come from?

On Friday, Mr Mulvaney said the $8bn would be made up of:

  • $1.4bn from the agreed budget
  • $600m from cash and assets seized from drug traffickers
  • $2.5bn from a defence department anti-drug trafficking fund
  • $3.5bn reallocated from military construction projects

The latter is the biggest amount and the relevant statute allows a president to divert funds for projects that “require use of the armed forces”. This is almost certain to bring a legal challenge.

A congressional aide told ABC News projects that could be cancelled include constructions at Guantanamo Bay, a military school in Japan and special forces facilities in North Carolina.

Poor living conditions for military families have become a concern but a Pentagon spokesman, Bill Speaks, insisted “military family-housing projects will not be affected”.

Trump officials also said that projects affecting force-readiness would not be compromised.

Mr Trump said military officials had told him the wall was more important and that what he was told would be cut “didn’t sound too important to me”.

Other presidents got money for a border barrier – why not Trump?

Contact Email, (bbcnews.co.uk@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (Annenakashima@journalist.com)

Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in Downfall, dies aged 77

Ganz was well-known in German-language cinema and theatre

Bruno Ganz, who played Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall, has died aged 77.

The Swiss actor died at home in Zurich on Friday night, his management said.

Ganz was well-known in German-language cinema and theatre and also had roles in English-language films including The Reader and The Manchurian Candidate.

His most famous role, however, was as Adolf Hitler in Downfall. One particular scene depicting Hitler in apoplectic fury became a meme and spawned thousands of parodies online.

The film, called Der Untergang in German, told the story of Hitler’s final days in his Berlin bunker. It grossed $92m (£71.3m) at box offices around the world when it was released.

It was named winner of the BBC Four World Cinema Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but since then it has become almost as famous for a wave of internet parodies of its final scene, poking fun at numerous news events.

A New York Times reviewer called Ganz’s performance “intriguing” and “creepily charismatic”.

Anke Engelke is seen on stage (in the background actor Bruno Ganz)
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Tributes were paid to Ganz at the end of the Berlin film festival on Saturday, hosted by actress Anke Engelke

In 2005 Ganz told The Guardian newspaper that he spent four months preparing for the role, studying historical records including a secretly-recorded tape of Hitler and observing people with Parkinson’s disease, which he came to believe the dictator had.

But he said: “I cannot claim to understand Hitler. Even the witnesses who had been in the bunker with him were not really able to describe the essence of the man.

“He had no pity, no compassion, no understanding of what the victims of war suffered.”

Ganz, the most famous Swiss actor, had a rich and varied career. He appeared in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) and played an angel in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire (1987) and its sequel Faraway, So Close! (1993).

He appeared in genres including noir – The American Friend (1977) – and science fiction – The Boys from Brazil (1978), which starred Sir Laurence Olivier. In 2008 he had a role in The Baader Meinhof Complex and his last role was in Lars von Trier’s 2018 film The House that Jack Built.

At the time of his death, Ganz was the holder of the Iffland-Ring, an accolade to the German-speaking actor judged “most significant and worthy”.

The ring is passed from person to person, and it is not yet clear who Ganz had intended it to transfer to on the occasion of his death.

It has been reported that Ganz had been diagnosed with colon cancer.

US ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick defrocked over abuse claims”:

Multiple allegations against Theodore McCarrick have emerged A former Roman Catholic cardinal has been defrocked after historical sexual abuse allegations. Theodore McCarrick is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times. US Church officials said allegations he had sexually assaulted a teenager five decades ago were credible. Mr McCarrick, 88, had previously resigned but said he had “no recollection” of the alleged abuse. “No bishop, no matter how influential, is above the law of the Church,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement. “For all those McCarrick abused, I pray this judgment will be one small step, among many, toward healing.” The alleged abuses may have taken place too long ago for criminal charges to be filed because of the statute of limitations. Mr McCarrick was the archbishop of Washington DC from 2001 to 2006. Since his resignation last year from the College of Cardinals, he has been living in seclusion in a monastery in Kansas. He was the first person to resign as a cardinal since 1927. He is among hundreds of members of the clergy accused of sexually abusing children over several decades and his dismissal comes days before the Vatican hosts a summit on preventing child abuse. The Vatican said Pope Francis had ruled Mr McCarrick’s expulsion from the clergy as definitive, and would not allow any further appeals against the decision.

‘Zero tolerance’

Martin Bashir, BBC religion editor This is a significant moment in the Roman Catholic Church’s effort to address the tide of sex abuse scandals – not least because of the high status this former Cardinal Archbishop once held. Not only was he the first cleric in more than 100 years to resign from the College of Cardinals, but his removal from the priesthood also confirms Pope Francis’ assertion that anyone found guilty of abuse will be treated with zero tolerance, regardless of their status within the church. The Vatican has said that the investigative process was completed in January and Mr McCarrick was informed of the decision to dismiss him from the priesthood last night. It comes days before Pope Francis will host all the presidents of bishops conferences around the world at a summit in Rome. The summit is designed to reflect upon the global challenge of abuse and to develop protocols and procedures that could be applied across continents.

What are the allegations?

Mr McCarrick is alleged to have assaulted the teenager while working as a priest in New York in the early 1970s. The claims were made public by the current Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He said an independent forensic agency had investigated the allegations. A review board, including legal experts, psychologists, parents and a priest, then found the allegations “credible and substantiated”. At the time, Mr McCarrick said in a statement that had “no recollection of this reported abuse” and believed in his innocence. Several more men have since said the cleric forced them to sleep with him at a beach house in New Jersey, while they studied for the priesthood as adult seminarians. One man has come forward saying he was assaulted while still a minor. It has also since emerged that financial settlements were reached in at least two cases of alleged sexual misconduct with adults involving Mr McCarrick. They involved “allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago”, while he was working as a bishop in New Jersey, bishops in the state told US media.
“It’s your word against God’s” video testimony from three Pennsylvania victims
How does this fit into the widersexual abuse scandal? The dismissal of Mr McCarrick is the latest incident in a series of long-running cases of sexual abuse of children and young men by priests at the Church. In Germany, more than 3,600 children were assaulted by priests between 1946 and 2014, a leaked report revealed in October 2018. In the US, a Pennsylvania grand jury named more than 300 clergy in a report which found more than 1,000 children had been abused, In June 2018, a former Vatican diplomat was sentenced to five years in prison in the Vatican for child pornography offences. In Chile 34 Roman Catholic bishops offered to resign in May 2018 in the wake of a child sex scandal and cover-up. In recent weeks, Pope Francis has also admitted that priests have sexually abused nuns and in one case kept them as sex slaves.

Vogue Brazil exec quits over ‘slave party’ criticism”:

Donata Meirelles has apologised after photos from her 50th birthday party were criticised for “evoking slavery”

Vogue Brazil’s fashion director has resigned after photos from her 50th birthday party were criticised for “evoking slavery.”

One image, now deleted from Instagram, show fashion boss Donata Meirelles sat on a throne with two black women in traditional dress stood either side of her.

Critics on social media have accused her of being racially insensitive,

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Ms Meirelles has apologised and denies the images were linked with slavery.

The image first emerged in a now-deleted Instagram post by Brazilian journalist Fabio Bernardo.

It has been suggested that the black women’s clothes were similar to those worn by slaves, while the throne resembled a cadeira de sinhá – a chair for slave masters.

Other pictures from the party in Salvador de Bahia in northeast Brazil, show traditionally-dressed black women welcoming and ushering guests.

TV presenter Rita Batista, posted the party picture with another photograph, taken in 1860, of a white woman sat next to two slaves.

“Think about how much you can hurt people, their memories, the plight of their people, when you choose a theme to ‘spice up’ a happy moment in your life,” said Brazilian singer Elza Soares in an Instagram post.

Ms Meirelles apologised in a now-deleted statement on Instagram. She added that the women’s clothes were traditional Bahian party dress and the chair was a relic from the Afro-Brazilian folk religion candomblé.

On Wednesday, she announced her resignation in a separate post.

“At age 50, it’s time for action. I’ve heard a lot, I need to hear more,” she said.

Vogue also issued an apology for the incident, saying it “deeply regrets what happened and hopes that the debate generated will serve as a learning experience.”

The fashion magazine also said it would form a panel of experts and academics to address concerns about inequality at the publication.

This is the third racially-charged incident Vogue has apologised for this years.

In February, it again misidentified two actresses from the movie Crazy Rich Asians.

China closes its Everest base camp to tourists”:

More and more people want to see the world’s tallest peak

China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest to visitors who don’t have climbing permits.

Authorities have resorted to the unusual move to deal with the mounting waste problem at the site.

The ban means tourists can only go as far as a monastery slightly below the 5,200m (17,060ft) base camp level.

More people visit the mountain from the southern side in Nepal, but over the past years numbers have been rising steadily on the Chinese side as well.

The Chinese base camp, located in Tibet, is popular as it is accessible by car – whereas the Nepalese camp can only be reached by a hike of almost two weeks.

The world’s highest peak has been struggling with escalating levels of rubbish for years, as the number of visitors rises.

The Chinese Mountaineering Association says 40,000 visited its base camp in 2015, the most recent year with figures. A record 45,000 visited Nepal’s base camp in 2016-7 according to Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation.

Everest view from Tibetan side
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Tourists are still allowed to go as far as the Rongbuk monastery

Ordinary tourists will only be banned from areas above Rongbuk monastery, which is around 5,000m above sea level, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.

Mountaineers who have a permit to climb the 8,848m peak will still be allowed to use the higher camp.

In January, authorities announced that they would limit the number of climbing permits each year to 300.

On Chinese social media, claims have spread in recent days that its base camp will be permanently closed to tourists – but Xinhua cited officials denying that.

Nepalese sherpa picking up trash on Everest
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The temperature and high altitude make clean-up efforts on Everest a tough task

The official announcement about the closure was made in December, on the website of the Tibetan authorities.

It stated that three clean-up operations last spring had collected eight tonnes of waste, including human faeces and mountaineering equipment climbers had left behind.

This year’s clean-up efforts will also try to remove the bodies of mountaineers who have died in the so-called death zone above 8,000m, where the air is too thin to sustain life for long.

Due to the cold and high altitude, these bodies often remain on the mountain for years or even decades.

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Climate strike: Schoolchildren protest over climate change,”:

Schoolchildren across the UK have gone on strike as part of a global campaign calling for action over climate change.

Students around the country walked out of school to call on the government to declare a climate emergency and take active steps to tackle the problem.

“Save our planet” was the message chanted by thousands of people gathered in Parliament Square in London.

Organisers Youth Strike 4 Climate said protests were taking place in more than 60 towns and cities across the UK.

The action is part of a much wider global movement, known as Schools 4 Climate Action.

It began with 15-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg skipping class to sit outside government buildings in September, accusing her country of not following the Paris Climate Agreement.

Since then, tens of thousands of children across Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia have been inspired to hold their own demonstrations.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said that while it was important for young people to engage with issues like climate change, the disruption to planned lesson time was damaging for pupils.

However, energy minister Claire Perry said she was “incredibly proud” of young people’s passion and concern.

She told the BBC: “I suspect if this was happening 40 years ago, I would be out there too.”

Lola and Christina in Parliament Square
Christina (right) says she’s worried for her future

In London, 15-year-old Christina, from London, said the issue was too big to ignore.

“A lot of us are very good, obedient students but when it comes to climate change, it’s really important,” she says.

“The youth of our time tend to get pushed to one side. We often stay quiet but when it comes to climate change we are going to have to pay for the older generation’s mistakes.

“It really scares me.”

Scarlet at protest in London
Scarlet, one of the organisers, says they will keep making noise until they are heard

Part of the UK Student Climate Network, 15-year-old Scarlet, from Suffolk, says the group has a detailed list of demands.

“We want the UK government to declare a climate emergency and make moves to achieve climate justice, prioritising this above all else,” she told BBC News.

“We’re demanding the government listen to us and we will continue to make a noise until they do so.

“It can’t be about behaviour change any more; it has to be about system change.”

Scarlet says she has been vegetarian since she was six, wears second-hand clothes and avoids plastic bags; she also carries a reusable straw.

Hannah Jane at protest in London
Eleven-year-old Hannah Jane’s mum wrote a letter to the head teacher asking for her permission to give her daughter the day off
Banners in Parliament Square
Banners filled London’s Parliament Square
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At the scene

By BBC education reporter Judith Burns

Protestors sitting down in the road
Some of those involved staged a sit-down protest

Teenagers brandishing brightly-coloured posters packed Parliament Square chanting “save our planet”.

Many were keen to point out it is their generation who will be left to pick up the pieces of our civilisation’s waste and pollution.

They don’t feel the government is listening to scientists’ warnings on climate change. Without a vote, protests like this one are their only option, they say.

Some climbed onto statues but were quickly ordered down by police.

The organisers had planned a revision session to show the protestors take their education seriously but instead, shortly after noon, some of the teenagers, sat down on a crossing, blocking traffic.

Again they moved on quickly, but took an unplanned walk up Whitehall. Most of the protesters left the square and marched to Downing Street.

The protest is good-humoured, but the organisers’ plans have been abandoned.

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Hundreds of young protesters chanted for climate justice in Cambridge, carrying banners with slogans including ‘There is no planet B’ and ‘When did the children become the adults’.

Ten-year-old Zachary, who attended with his mother, said he thought climate change was more important than lessons.

He said: “People just have to change their ways as we don’t want the world as it is right now.

“We just want to make people aware of it. We were talking about it in our class, so we just came along.”

Protesters at a Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside Shire Hall in Cambridge
Students in Cambridge gathered outside the Cambridgeshire County Council’s offices
Brighton
Students marched down the streets of Brighton
Ivy in Sheffield
Ivy, 9, is home-schooled; she received permission from her mother to join the protest in Sheffield

In Wales, hundreds of primary and secondary school pupils descended on the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

Protest outside the National Assembly for Wales

Meanwhile in the Scottish Highlands, pupils staged hour-long walkouts outside their school gates.

Prince Philip will not be prosecuted over crash”:

The Duke of Edinburgh will not face prosecution over his road crash near the Sandringham estate, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

The 97-year-old voluntarily gave up his driving licence on Saturday after his Land Rover Freelander collided with another vehicle in Norfolk last month.

He later apologised to the occupants of the other car – two women and a baby.

The CPS says it decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute the duke.

Chris Long, Chief Crown Prosecutor from CPS East of England, said: “We took into account all of the circumstances in this case, including the level of culpability, the age of the driver and the surrender of the driving licence.”

The duke escaped injury after his vehicle landed on its side following the collision with a Kia on 17 January on the A149 near the Queen’s country estate.

Two days later Norfolk Police gave him “suitable words of advice” after he was pictured driving without a seat belt.

He wrote to one of the passengers in the Kia – Emma Fairweather, who broke her wrist in the accident.

In the letter, dated 21 January andreproduced by the Sunday Mirror , the duke acknowledged the “very distressing experience”.

“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident,” he wrote, on Sandringham House headed paper.

“The sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming… but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”

Ms Fairweather had previously criticised the duke for a lack of communication following the crash.