Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge expecting third child

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced.

The Queen and both families are said to be “delighted with the news”.

As with her previous two pregnancies, the duchess, 35, is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.

She will no longer carry out her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London today.

Catherine is being cared for at Kensington Palace, the statement said.

The duke and duchess have one son, George, and one daughter, Charlotte, aged four and two.

With the previous two pregnancies, the couple announced them before the 12-week mark – when most women have their first scan – because of the duchess being unwell with hyperemesis gravidarum.

Her first pregnancy was revealed when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Prince George after she was admitted to hospital in December 2012.

Her second pregnancy with Princess Charlotte was announced in September 2014, when she was treated at the palace for the condition.

Hyperemesis gravidarum affects about one in every 200 pregnancies and results in severe nausea and vomiting – with one of the main dangers being dehydration.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the couple had “clearly been forced” to make the announcement because of the duchess’ condition.

“It is quite a significant week for them because Prince George is due to start at big school,” he told BBC News.

“Presumably his mother would be keen to take him to that, [but] whether she is going to be well enough to do that remains to be seen.

“It had also been expected that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be taking a foreign trip this autumn,” he added.

“Whether they will be able to do that or whether the duchess will be well enough to do that also remains to be seen.”

The expectant child will become the fifth in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

A change – which stops royal sons taking precedence over their female siblings in the line of succession – came into force in March 2015.

The child will be the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild.

The last third-born monarch

To become King or Queen as the third-born royal child is rare – and has yet to happen within the current House of Windsor.

But the third child of George III and Queen Charlotte, William IV, took on the task and ruled from 1830 to 1837.

The Hanoverian king acceded to the throne aged 64 when his older brother, George IV, died without an heir.

He became next in line when he was 62 and his other older brother, Frederick, Duke of York, died.

Prime Minister Theresa May has tweeted her congratulations to the couple, calling it “fantastic news”.

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Trump pushing for $6 billion in Harvey recovery funding

President Trump is requesting that nearly $6 billion be made available for the Harvey recovery process.

The administration urged Congress on Thursday to approve and provide $5.95 billion for the initial response and recovery efforts related to the devastating hurricane affecting parts of Texas and Louisiana, Axios reported.

A senior administration official told the website that White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will be calling Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill this week, asking them for their support on the funding plan.

The official added that the Trump administration believes the requested amount will be more than enough to support hurricane recovery efforts until year’s end.

If approved by Congress, $5.5 billion would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its disaster relief operations and $450 million to the Small Business Administration to assist affected businesses.

To access the funding, the U.S. debt limit would have to be increased – a move that would aim at lowering the risk of default, Bloomberg Politics reported.

A separate official told the news site that the White House was looking to extend the limit long enough to move back the threat of default until Congress is able to draft a budget for the full federal fiscal year.

Trump has expressed his desire to move swiftly on recovery efforts and rebuild damaged areas in Houston and southeast Texas. Some Democrats have said that the area could need more than $150 billion in federal aid. The initial request is expected to be a down payment on a larger federal aid package, the Washington Post reported.

The news came on the same day that President Trump pledged $1 million of his personal money to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey in both Texas and Louisiana.

“The president is pledging a million dollars of personal money to help,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Thursday.

Sanders said the president asked that she “check with” reporters for “suggestions” on groups and organizations that would be “best and most effective in providing aid.”

The press secretary was asked whether Trump would pay the $1 million from his personal funds, or from the Trump Organization.

“I know the president said he was going to give — I don’t know the legal part of exactly that, but he said his personal money,” Sanders answered. “So I assume that comes directly from him.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed reporting to this story.

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @perrych


Brexit healthcare deal is ‘good news for pensioners’

British pensioners who have retired to other EU countries will continue to have their healthcare paid for by the NHS post-Brexit, after a deal in principle was agreed by negotiators in Brussels.

In one of the few advances made in discussions about EU citizens’ future rights, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, said there had been agreement on four key areas, including reciprocal healthcare for British and EU retirees affected by Brexit.

“This is good news for British pensioners in the EU,” he said.

Other areas of agreement included protection for “frontier workers”, those who live in one EU member state and work in another. This would include people who live in the UK and commute to Europe, or Britons settled in one country, for example Germany, who commute to work in another, say Luxembourg.

Also, professional qualifications would be recognised across the bloc after Brexit, allowing lawyers, doctors, accountants, seafarers, train drivers and others who have moved to or from the UK to another EU country to work under their existing credentials.

There was also agreement to coordinate on social security post-Brexit. However, there was still disagreement on more than half the issues discussed, including the eventual oversight of the legal rights of EU citizens.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, hinted that Brussels was insisting that such oversight should be held by the European court of justice – a “red line” for Britain.

In his opening address at the press conference after the third round of talks, Barnier raised serious concerns about the Home Office’s capacity to oversee or police any deal on EU citizens’ rights given the recent debacle when it mistakenly sent letters to about 100 EU citizens, threatening deportation.

“The UK quickly recognised that it was a mistake, but this is not the first time this has happened and it reinforced the point that [this] needs to be under the control of the ECJ, a point [on] which we disagreed today,” Barnier said.

British pensioners across Europe will be relieved, however, that there has been progress on reciprocal healthcare rights.

According to figures issued to a parliamentary select committee this year, Britain spends £650m reimbursing other EU countries for treating British patients. Of that, about £500m goes on 190,000 registered pensioners, including 70,000 in Spain, 44,000 in Ireland, 43,000 in France and 12,000 in Cyprus.

The agreement will allow a British pensioner who has retired in another EU country to travel to other EU countries on holidays and use the existing European Health Insurance Card should they need medical attention.

It is understood Britain was pushing for this agreement to cover British tourists as well, but the EU said it was not an issue to be discussed in a deal for EU citizens.

Twenty-seven million Ehic cards have been issued in Britain.

Davis said EU citizens would remain “a top priority” and there had been a wide range of agreements in discussions this week.

It is understood Britain reiterated its commitment not to enforce the requirement that EU citizens who are “self-sufficient”, including students and stay-at-home parents, have private health insurance. They will be able to be treated by the NHS.

Newspaper headlines: ‘Barbs fly at Brexit talks’

The end of the latest round of Brexit talks provides the lead for many papers.

The Guardian highlights the view of the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier that the UK’s approach is nostalgic, unrealistic and undermined by a lack of trust.

The Daily Express sounds a defiant note.

“You can’t bully us Mr Barnier,” is its headline, saying his comments enraged the British side.

The Times emphasises an EU demand that the UK pays billions of pounds in foreign aid to Africa as part of its financial settlement with Brussels.

Business paper City AM sums up the problem as “money trouble”, and says deadlock over the so-called divorce bill has triggered fresh alarm that trade talks could be shunted into next year.

The Financial Times and the Daily Mail have a photo of EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker greeting former PM Tony Blair with a kiss.

The Mail calls it a “nauseating love-in” that “reminds us why we were so right to get out”.

The Guardian, which publishes an investigation into the gambling industry, claims online casinos are targeting people on low incomes and those who have stopped gambling.

In an editorial, the paper says the record fine levied on one company on Thursday is a sign that the UK has a gambling problem and that greater regulation is needed.

“Making the necessary changes will be painful,” it acknowledges, “but the costs to public health cannot be ignored”.

The Times says for an industry that relies on expert judgement in studying form and setting odds, betting operators have an uncanny knack of shooting themselves in the foot.

It says modest cuts in stakes and prizes might be enough to satisfy critics, but the industry’s poor record on responsible gambling is shortening the odds of a drastic outcome.

The Daily Telegraph is among the papers to concentrate on the role of a sat-nav in the alleged terror attack outside Buckingham Palace a week ago.

Evidence taken from the car of Mohiussunath Chowdhury, who appeared in court on Thursday, suggests he programmed his sat-nav for Windsor Castle.

However, the in-car system is believed to have taken him to a central London pub of the same name rather than to the castle itself.

The Times and the Sun point out that the suspect was a driver for taxi firm Uber.

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Brexit: UK ‘must not allow itself to be blackmailed’

The UK must not allow itself to be “blackmailed” by the EU over its Brexit settlement bill, the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said.

Talks on the final settlement should begin as soon as possible “because that’s good for business”, he added.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said trade talks are still “quite far” away.

Both he and UK Brexit Secretary David Davis made clear on Thursday that the size of the UK’s Brexit “divorce bill” remained a sticking point in talks.

The UK wants to begin trade talks and discuss the future relationship between Britain and the EU as soon as possible, saying it would benefit both sides.

However, Brussels insists that discussions about the future relationship can only begin once “sufficient progress” has been made on the “divorce bill” – the amount the UK will pay to settle its liabilities when it leaves the EU – citizens’ rights, and the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic.

Mr Barnier said that at the current rate of progress, he was quite far from being able to recommend opening parallel talks on a future trade relationship.

No figure has yet been put on the “divorce” payment, but European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested it could come in at about 60bn euros (£55bn).

Unconfirmed reports have put it as high as 100bn euros (£92bn).

Britain, which voted to leave the EU in June 2016, officially began Brexit talks on 19 June this year and is due to leave the EU on Friday, 29 March 2019.

Speaking in Japan on Friday, Mr Fox said everyone would benefit from Brexit if the outcome was free trade with no tariff barriers.

Asked whether it was time for the UK to name its Brexit price, he told ITV News: “We can’t be blackmailed into paying a price on the first part (the divorce fee).

“We think we should begin discussions on the final settlement because that’s good for business, and it’s good for the prosperity both of the British people and of the rest of the people of the European Union.”

Mr Fox and Prime Minister Theresa May have been holding talks with Japanese leaders about the future of trading relations between the two countries after Brexit.

‘Unlock some tension’

Speaking to the BBC at the end of the three-day visit, Mr Fox said: “It’s very clear that businesses, not just in Europe but investors in places like here in Japan, are getting impatient and want to see what that final shape of that [Brexit] arrangement is going to be.”

He said a willingness by the EU to negotiate on the future trading relationship now would “unlock some of the tension”.

He added that it was a “mistake” for the EU to think a delay in talking about the economy and the trading arrangement would not potentially damage them too.

But writing in the Daily Telegraph on Friday, Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the European Parliament’s Brexit group, said the EU has been “fully transparent” about its negotiating positions and mandates since day one.

“This is not a ploy to derail talks, but an inevitable consequence of the Brexit decision,” he said.

Mr Verhofstadt called on UK politicians to “be more honest” about the complexities of Brexit negotiations, asking them to recognise that “other governments also have obligations to their own taxpayers”.

‘Sabre rattling’

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who works with the pro-EU Open Britain pressure group, said Mr Fox’s comments were “sabre rattling from a trade secretary who is twiddling his thumbs because he cannot do anything until the trade position of the UK has been resolved with the EU”.

“Cabinet ministers like Liam Fox and Boris Johnson have been engaging in overblown rhetoric during the referendum campaign and ever since,” he said.

“Until the government makes progress on the divorce settlement bill there will be no progress on… any kind of trade arrangement.”

The European Council is due to meet in October and will decide whether sufficient progress has been made on key Brexit discussions to allow negotiations to move on to trade and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

‘Duty to taxpayers’

If it has not, as Mr Barnier has suggested, the next opportunity would be the council’s meeting in December – meaning talks about the future relationship would be unlikely to begin before the end of the year.

Speaking on Thursday following talks in Brussels with Brexit Secretary David Davis, Mr Barnier said the UK did not feel “legally obliged to honour its obligations” after Brexit.

He said “no decisive progress” had been made on key issues, following the third round of talks.

Mr Davis said the UK had a “duty to our taxpayers” to “rigorously” examine the EU’s demands.

And he urged the EU to be “more imaginative and flexible” in its approach.

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