World gets first glimpse of royal baby Archie

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Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are seen with their baby son, who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, Britain May 8, 2019. (Reuters)
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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019. (AFP)
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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019. (AFP)
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Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are seen with their baby son, who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, Britain May 8, 2019. (Reuters)
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The band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland leave Windsor Castle after the guard change, a day after Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a baby boy, in Windsor, Britain May 7, 2019. (Reuters)
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Members of the public gather to view and photograph an official notice set up on an easel at the gates of Buckingham Palace in London on May 6, 2019 announcing the birth of a son to Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. (AFP)
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The London Eye is lit up in red, white and blue colours in London on May 6, 2019 in honour of the announcement of the birth of a son to Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. (AFP)
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The band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland march towards Windsor Castle, a day after Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gave birth to a baby boy, in Windsor, Britain May 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 08 May 2019

World gets first glimpse of royal baby Archie

  • A visibly relieved Harry, 34, announced on Monday the arrival of the couple’s firstborn, who will be seventh in the line to the British throne
  • The mother and proud father, who said his son was “absolutely to-die-for,” will release a photograph of their new arrival later Wednesday

LONDON: Britain's Prince Harry and wife Meghan gave the world the first glimpse of their "dream" newborn boy who they named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on Wednesday. 
Harry, 34, and 37-year-old Meghan emerged in front of the cameras inside Windsor Castle to show off their son born on Monday, ahead of introducing him to great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.
"He's just been a dream," said a smiling Meghan, in her first public comments since giving birth to the seven-pound, three-ounce (3.26-kilogram) baby, who stayed firmly asleep during his public unveiling.
"He has the sweetest temperament. He's really calm," added the Duchess of Sussex, as Prince Harry cradled the newborn, wrapped in a white blanket, by her side.


Royal watchers have been desperate for a glimpse of the new baby, who is seventh in the line to the British throne, ever since the couple announced his birth to their 6.5 million followers on Instagram with the message "It's a BOY!"
But they disappointed those keen to know what they will call him, with neither new parent mentioning a name on Wednesday.
Instead, Harry focused his comments on life as a proud dad.
"Parenting is amazing," he said, the day after brother Prince William - two years his senior and with three children of his own - had jokingly welcomed him to the "sleep deprivation society that is parenting".
"We're just so thrilled to have our own little bundle of joy."
Meghan added: "It's been a special couple of days."

 


Indians demonstrate against ‘divisive’ citizenship bill

Updated 11 December 2019

Indians demonstrate against ‘divisive’ citizenship bill

  • The bill, which goes to the upper house on Wednesday, would ensure citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but exclude Muslims

NEW DELHI: Protests erupted across various parts of India on Tuesday, a day after the lower house of Parliament passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which makes religion the basis for granting Indian citizenship to minorities from neighboring countries. 

The bill, which goes to the upper house on Wednesday, would ensure citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but exclude Muslims.

“After the CAB, we are going to bring in the National Register of Citizens (NRC),” Home Minister Amit Shah said after the passage of the bill. 

The fear among a large section of Indians is that by bringing in the CAB and the NRC — a process to identify illegal immigrants — the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to target Muslim minorities. 

They insist that the new bill protects all other communities except Muslims, who constitute around 14 percent of India’s total population.

The opposition Congress Party said that the bill was a move to “destroy the foundation” of India.

“The CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation,” party leader Rahul Gandhi posted in a tweet.

Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul’s sister and a prominent opposition leader, called the bill “India’s tryst with bigotry.”

However, BJP spokesperson Sudesh Verma said: “The opposition is communalizing the bill. 

The CAB saves minorities who owe their origin to India from being prosecuted on grounds of religious status. The same is not the case with Muslims since they have not been prosecuted because of their religion.”

Eight northeastern states observed a day-long strike against the CAB. 

“Once the bill is implemented, the native tribal people will become permanent minorities in their own state,” Animesh Debbarma, a tribal leader who organized the strike in the state of Tripura said.

“The bill is against our fundamental rights and it is an attack on our constitution and secularism,” he told Arab News.

In Assam, some places saw violence with a vehicle belonging to the BJP state president vandalized.

In New Delhi, different civil society groups and individuals gathered close to the Indian Parliament and expressed their outrage at the “open and blatant attack” on what they called the “idea” of India.

“The CAB is not only against Muslim minorities but against all the minorities — be it Tamils or Nepali Gurkhas — and is a blatant attempt to polarize the society in the name of religion and turn India into a majoritarian Hindu state,” Nadeem Khan, head of United Against Hate, a campaign to connect people from different faiths, said.

Rallies and protests were also organized in Pune, Ahmadabad, Allahabad, Patna and Lucknow.

On Tuesday, more than 600 academics, activists, lawyers and writers called the bill “divisive, discriminatory, unconstitutional” in an open letter, and urged the government to withdraw the proposed law.

They said that the CAB, along with the NRC, “will bring untold suffering to people across the country. It will damage fundamentally and irreparably, the nature of the Indian republic.”

Delhi-based activist and a prominent human rights campaigner, Harsh Mander, said: “I feel the CAB is the most dangerous bill that has ever been brought by the Indian Parliament. We need a mass civil disobedience movement to oppose this legislation.”

Meanwhile, the international community is also watching the domestic debate on the CAB. 

Describing the initiative as a “dangerous turn in the wrong direction,”  a federal US commission on international religious freedom has sought US sanctions against Shah and other Indian leaders if the bill with the “religious criterion” is passed.

EU ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto, in a press conference in New Delhi on Monday said that he hopes: “The spirit of equality enshrined in the Indian constitution will be upheld by the Parliament.”