INDEPENDENT 2024-04-02 16:07:22


Photo agency explains editor’s note on Kate cancer diagnosis video

Visual media agency Getty Images has been forced to explain why it added an editor’s note to the video in which the Princess of Wales revealed her cancer diagnosis.

The note was spotted on Monday and immediately sparked a reaction online, coming after recent controversies regarding the release of edited photos by the royal family. A Mother’s Day photo of Kate with her children was withdrawn by international agencies as the palace admitted it had been digitally altered.

The new note, placed on Getty’s version of the video in which Kate told the nation about her cancer diagnosis, read: “This handout clip was provided by a third-party organisation and may not adhere to Getty Images’ editorial policy.

Getty did not immediately provide any further details, but has now offered an explanation after some users leapt on the note as an opportunity to further outlandish conspiracy theories around the princess’s condition. “Of course the Kate Middleton video was fake: Getty adds addendum that suggests video was not legitimate… Kensington Palace stumbling around in the dark,” wrote one.

“Getty Images have placed an editor’s note on the video of Kate Middleton where she reveals she has cancer. The note states the footage ‘might not adhere to its editorial policy’. Why on earth have they done this?” a user asked on X, formerly Twitter.

Getty said the way the video was flagged was standard practice for content handed to it by third-party organisations – in this case Kensington Palace.

Some X posts about the Getty video have now been amended with readers’ notes of their own. Under one of the posts is a message that says: “This is a standard disclaimer that Getty Images uses when distributing video provided by a third party.”

It has been disclosed by the palace that BBC Studios recorded the video of Kate announcing her cancer diagnosis to the public on 20 March, just two days prior to its release. BBC Studios issued a short statement confirming that they filmed the video.

“BBC Studios filmed a message from the Princess of Wales at Windsor this week. We would like to wish Her Royal Highness a speedy recovery,” the statement read.

Last month, the Princess of Wales announced in a video statement that she had begun preventative chemotherapy. She told other cancer patients: “You are not alone.”

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” Kate explained in the video. “The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventive chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

In the video, the 42-year-old said the cancer diagnosis was a “huge shock” for her family.

After her announcement, there has been a global outpouring of support, including from US president Joe Biden, and King Charles III who is also undergoing treatment for cancer.

Earlier a photograph of Kate and her children, taken by the Prince of Wales, was the first to be issued since the princess’s abdominal surgery and was released by the palace to mark Mother’s Day.

The princess publicly took the blame for editing the family photograph and issued a personal apology for the “confusion”.

“Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing,” Kate said. “I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C.”

National Trust defends scone recipe after ‘secretly’ making it vegan

The National Trust has been forced to defend itself over the charity’s decision to sell vegan scones at its cafés.

Some visitors recently complained the scones, which are made with vegetable spread instead of butter, taste like “dry biscuits”.

But the charity has hit back and said its scones have been made without butter for years anyway.

Maude Newby, a 64-year-old long-time member of the National Trust, from Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk, told The Daily Mail: “I can’t stand the taste of the new scones. They are not like traditional ones at all – they are flatter, drier and have an unappealing texture.”

More than three million scones are served at the National Trust every year across its more than 300 cafés and tearooms, and there is even a blog dedicated to the baked goods.

Sir Bill Cash, the Conservative MP for Stone who often enjoys tea and scones in parliament, added: “It makes me wonder what will happen next – will they stop selling Madeira cake because of historical events in Madeira?

“There’s far too much wokery going on at the National Trust, this is just the latest example.”

But Celia Richardson, the director of communications for the charity, wrote on X: “The culture warriors have reached the gates of the citadel. Now our scones are ‘secretly woke’.

“If you come for our scones you’d best not miss. (National Trust⁩ scones have been made without butter for many years and we publish all our recipes).”

Conservative MPs have previously attacked the National Trust for its so-called “woke agenda”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Tories of “waging a war” on charities and civic institutions, as he promised to create a “society of service” and embrace charities across the country.

Last year, more than 24 million people visited the National Trust’s 500 historic houses, castles, gardens, parks and nature reserves across the nation.

A National Trust spokesperson said: “National Trust cafés serve millions of customers a year and we work hard to accommodate dietary needs and allergies. Our scones are made with vegetable-based spread.

“This means our iconic plain and fruit scones can be enjoyed by those with dairy allergies, and vegans. However, all scones can be enjoyed with butter or cream. Every purchase in our cafés supports the work of the National Trust.”

Who would want to lead the Tories after electoral wipeout?

Mark Littlewood, who fronts “PopCon” – the right-wing Popular Conservatives which launched themselves, with some fanfare, in February – is reported to think that the former home secretary Priti Patel should be the “Truss-style libertarian” candidate in the race to be the next Tory leader.

They just cannot help themselves, can they?

Patel would like to be leader, so she doesn’t want to discourage think-tankers and Conservative MPs from talking up her chances. Several MPs who would like to be leader have adopted the same posture – of cultivating fellow MPs and spending a lot of time talking to local Tory associations without ever explicitly mentioning that there might be a leadership election soon.

Veteran refuses to pay fine over Hamas sign at South Yorkshire protest

A 77-year-old US military veteran has told a judge he will not pay more than £2,300 in fines and costs after he was found guilty of carrying a sign supporting Hamas at a protest in South Yorkshire.

Michael Rabb, of Boulder, Colorado, was among up to 500 people who had gathered outside Sheffield City Hall for the protest on October 21 2023 over the ongoing Hamas/Israel conflict.

The former fighter pilot was spotted carrying a homemade sign which read “Stand With Hamas, End Israel, Free Palestine,” City of London Magistrates’ Court heard.

District Judge Annabel Pilling was sentencing Rabb after finding him guilty at trial of a charge of displaying an article, namely a sign, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he was a member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.

The judge ordered Rabb to pay a £1,000 fine, which she said was “designed to hurt”, £930 costs and a £400 surcharge.

Rabb, who stood throughout sentencing, responded: “No judge, I’m not going to pay. I refuse to pay.”

He was then warned by the judge, who said he had “extremely strongly held views”, that he may find himself in contempt of court and was given seven days to make the payout in full.

Hamas is a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act and the prosecution had said it was not necessary for Rabb to show support for the group in order to take part in the peaceful public protest.

The protest was staged two weeks after Hamas’s deadly October 7 attack on Israel.

In sentencing, the judge told Rabb that he was of previous good character and that in having “served for your country you have had exemplary character”.

She added “it is clear that you did not appreciate that Hamas was a proscribed organisation” and that Rabb had been “peaceful and co-operative” during the investigation, which did not find him in possession of any terrorist-related material.

Rabb told the court: “I am a 77-year-old USA citizen, a veteran who has served as a fighter pilot for the US Navy in Vietnam.

“I know what it is to do military actions. I have been engaged in the struggle to free Palestine for several years and participated in several missions to Palestine. I have been to Gaza and know how the people are being genocided by the state of Israel.

“I have been in prison in Israel and deported for my activism. I’m here with you to say ‘Yes, I stand with Hamas’.

“I’m here as a tourist. I’m retired, have a small military pension and social security and that is the way I live.”

Earlier the court had been told that Rabb left the protest after having been spoken to about the sign but later returned.

The sign caused “distress” among organisers, potentially inflamed tensions and the police were asked to step in to talk to him, prosecutor Sebastian Walker said.

He said Rabb had shown no remorse or regret for what he had done.

When Rabb was approached by a uniformed police officer, he said: “What’s the problem. We are standing with Palestine.”

When he was told that he may be committing a terror offence, Rabb asked “It’s against the law to say this?” and added “No way, it cannot be.”

He was later arrested.

Under cross-examination, Mr Walker asked: “Do you accept that to protest against Israel’s actions in the conflict, it was not necessary to specifically talk of your support for Hamas?”

Rabb responded: “I suppose you could say anything you wanted but it was critical to my stance and to the people of Palestine to support and stand with Hamas.

“Hamas took armed resistance to the overwhelming attacks that Israel has been committing for years.”

Rabb told the court that while mass murder was taking place, he was simply holding a sign and carrying out a peaceful non-violent public protest.

He described his actions as a “legitimate act of civil disobedience” which was not disproportionate and claimed his arrest was an attempt to shut down dissent.

Rabb described the use of the Terrorism Act to bring him to court in this way as “arbitrary” and that by any standards of “decency” he should be found not guilty.

Trump posts $175m bond as judge expands gag order in hush money case

Donald Trump posted the $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case late on Monday, temporarily halting enforcement of the full $464m in penalties the former president faces after his company was found guilty of misrepresenting the value of its assets over a ten-year to swindle banks and insurers.

The belated bond payment came as state officials were preparing to seize Mr Trump’s properties to fulfill the judgement.

Meanwhile, the judge in the Republican presidential candidate’s hush money trial has moved to tighten his gag order in accordance with a request from Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg over Mr Trump’s continued and “vitriolic” attacks on the justice’s family.

New York Supreme Court judge Juan Merchan said that the defendant’s statements represented a “very real” threat to the integrity of the trial.

Also on Monday, the parent company of Mr Trump’s Truth Social platform lost 20 per cent of its value during trading on the Nasdaq after an SEC filing showed the company had made a $58m loss in 2023.

Having only gone public last week, it has been a volatile ride for Trump Media & Technology Group, which peaked at $79 per share on Thursday before falling to $48.66.

Netanyahu has led his wounded nation down a bloody dead end

On 7 October, when Hamas attacked southern Israel – killing some 1,200 people and taking 253 others hostage – virtually the whole world stood with Israel; and virtually all of Israel stood with the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr Netanyahu even invited his main rival, Benny Gantz, to join a coalition war cabinet.

A nation united in grief was united in determination to defend itself against the worst antisemitic crime since the Second World War. And for a time, Mr Netanyahu – a divisive figure – enjoyed broad support to bring home the hostages and neutralise the terrorists.

No longer. The widespread demonstrations in Israel, where thousands are calling for Mr Netanyahu’s removal from office, show the true extent of the opposition to the way Mr Netanyahu has prosecuted this pitiless and counterproductive war in Gaza. Opinion polls in Israel reflect the despair that the protesters express about the conduct of the war. The prime minister himself is deeply unpopular.

What would a Labour landslide mean for Starmer – and for Britain?

If the latest opinion polls are correct, the general election is already in the bag for Keir Starmer. He hasn’t just got one foot in No 10 – he is so far ahead he can start measuring up the curtains.

That’s because Labour is on course to win 468 seats with the Conservatives reduced to fewer than 100, according to Survation’s new survey of more than 15,000 people. That would mean a Commons majority of nearly 300. Yes, you read that correctly – 300.

If it turns out to be right, Starmer could do almost anything he wanted. He wouldn’t have to worry about what the Labour manifesto said. He could say voters had given him carte blanche. And if they give him 468 out of the 650 MPs in Westminster, who could argue?