Trump sends $4.5 million aid to Syria’s White Helmets: White House

In this file photo taken on August 25, 2019, firefighters from the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the "White Helmets", extinguish a fire at a vehicle gathering point for fleeing civilians, which was hit by reported government forces' bombardment, in Maar Shurin on the outskirts of Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2019

Trump sends $4.5 million aid to Syria’s White Helmets: White House

  • Trump ordered the funds for what is formally known as the Syria Civil Defense group
  • The White Helmets have received global recognition for dashing into heavy bombing to pull victims from the rubble

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has authorized $4.5 million in aid for Syria’s White Helmets group, famed for rescuing wounded civilians from the frontlines in the civil war, the White House said Tuesday.
Trump ordered the funds for what is formally known as the Syria Civil Defense group “to continue United States support for the organization’s important and highly valued work in the country,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
The White Helmets have received global recognition for dashing into heavy bombing to pull victims from the rubble and get them to hospitals, which themselves have frequently been bombed or shelled.
The Syrian military, which is backed by Russia, has repeatedly targeted White Helmets activists, saying they are not independent but support anti-government insurgents.
Trump’s humanitarian gesture came amid a firestorm of criticism at home and abroad over his abrupt decision to withdraw a small but politically signficant contingent of US troops from Kurdish areas near Syria’s border with Turkey.
The withdrawal effectively opened the door for Turkey to launch a cross-border operation against the Kurds. Turkey sees them as a security threat but until now they had been a crucial ally of the US troops in fighting jihadist militants with the Daesh movement.


Meghan felt ‘unprotected’ by UK royal family while pregnant: Court papers

Updated 2 min 44 sec ago

Meghan felt ‘unprotected’ by UK royal family while pregnant: Court papers

  • Meghan is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles its Mail on Sunday newspaper printed last year
  • Markle and his daughter have not spoken since he pulled out of appearing at her wedding to Harry in May 2018 after undergoing heart surgery

LONDON: Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, felt “unprotected” by the British royal family while she was pregnant with her son Archie, according to London High Court documents filed as part of her legal action against a tabloid newspaper.
Meghan, wife of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry, is suing publisher Associated Newspapers over articles its Mail on Sunday newspaper printed last year which included parts of a handwritten letter she had sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
Markle and his daughter have not spoken since he pulled out of appearing at her wedding to Harry in May 2018 after undergoing heart surgery and following news he had staged photos with a paparazzi photographer.
The Mail justified publishing the letter by saying five unnamed friends of Meghan, who gave birth to Archie in May 2019, had put her version of events in interviews with the US magazine People.
Her legal team say it was untrue she had authorized or arranged for her friends to tell People about the letter.
“The Claimant had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the Defendant, which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health,” her lawyers said in a submission to the High Court.
“As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself.”
The couple are now living in Los Angeles after stepping down from royal duties at the end of March. Harry said he had fallen out with his elder brother, Prince William, and Meghan has spoken of a lack of support when pregnant and as a new mother.
They have also said media intrusion, and what they believe are some newspapers’ racist coverage toward Meghan, whose mother is African-American and father is white, were behind their decision.
The trial for Meghan’s case is not expected this year. But in May, the judge rejected part of her claim that the paper had acted dishonestly and stoked the rift with her father.
On Wednesday, Harry said he regretted racism was “still endemic” in society in comments for The Diana Award, established in memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in 1997 while fleeing paparazzi.