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Prince William launched Earthshot Prize so he ‘could look his children in the eye’ on climate change | UK News

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Prince William launched the Earthshot Prize so he could look his “children in the eye” and say he “did [his] bit” in the fight against climate change, a close aide has said.

Ahead of the 15 finalists for the environmental prize being announced later today, the Duke of Cambridge has revealed why he felt he needed to make a personal contribution to “the most pressing challenge of our time”.

In the introduction to a book about the Earthshot Prize the prince describes how a “wave of global pessimism” meant he felt he had to act.

He explains how in 2018 he witnessed incredible conservation work in Namibia but as he returned home was struck by the constant negative headlines around the climate debate.

An undated handout photo, taken by Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, shows Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, in Norfolk, Britain June 20, 2020. Pic: The Duchess of Cambridge
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Prince William was inspired to act on the climate by his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Pic: The Duchess of Cambridge

“The rich wildlife that I saw thriving on that visit struck a real chord,” he writes.

“But when I returned to the UK, just as the world was gathering again for the next round of climate change negotiations in Poland, I was hit by a wave of global pessimism.

“The headlines were dominated by a sense that world leaders were not moving fast enough.

“There was widespread finger-pointing and political and geographical division.”

He writes that the global conversation surrounding the issue “felt too complex, too negative, too overwhelming”, adding that he realised there was a “real risk that people would switch off”.

Since 2018, William has worked with his closest advisors on a concept that would inject enthusiasm and optimism into the discussion.

Earthshot - how to save our planet cover
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Earthshot: How To Save Our Planet by Colin
Butfield and Jonnie Hughes, with an Introduction by Prince William, is released on 30 September

The Earthshot Prize was designed to mirror the “Moonshot” challenge launched by former President J F Kennedy and inspire a new generation to come up with innovative and creative solutions to address the challenges facing the planet today.

Speaking about the duke’s commitment to the project Jason Knauf, CEO of The Royal Foundation, said: “The challenge the duke set himself was ‘what is the maximum positive personal contribution I can make in the next ten years in the fight against climate change?

“‘What am I going to do in the next decade that means I can look my children in the eye and say I did my bit?’ Every aspect of the prize bears the stamp of his contribution.”

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The first Earthshot Prize ceremony will be held in London on the 17 October, when the five winners will be revealed.

Some 750 nominations were submitted from 86 countries “exceeding the expectations” of those involved in the prize.

The winners receive £1m each, but all the finalists will get the backing of the Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Members – businesses and organisations that will help to support, promote and scale up their ideas.

The prize will run every year until the end of the decade, with a total £50m prize fund.

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Brexit: Latest Northern Ireland Protocol talks ‘constructive’, says UK – as EU negotiators head for London | Politics News

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UK officials have described the latest talks with the EU over the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol as “constructive”, as a Brussels delegation prepares to travel to London on Tuesday.

Measures recently proposed by the EU would cut checks on retail agri-food products arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain by 80%.

A 50% reduction in customs paperwork is also on the cards.

It is understood, however, that the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in resolving disputes between the UK and the EU remains a key sticking point.

A UK government source said the arrangement “must end”, while the European Commission has insisted it will not budge on the issue.

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EU’s Sefcovic pushed on UK’s red lines around ECJ

The UK source said: “The talks this week were constructive and we’ve heard some things from the EU that we can work with – but the reality is that we are still far apart on the big issues, especially governance.

“There’s been plenty of speculation about governance this week but our position remains unchanged: the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in resolving disputes between the UK and EU must end.”

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The source added that “real progress” must happen “soon” to avoid a “process of endless negotiation”.

At the end of the week, once several days of negotiations have been completed, Brexit minister Lord Frost and EU Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic are due to meet in Westminster.

The protocol is designed to avoid the introduction of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, following Brexit.

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Newcastle United takeover: Crystal Palace fans’ banner protesting Saudi-led consortium’s Tyneside takeover investigated by police | UK News

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A banner unfurled by Crystal Palace fans ahead of Saturday’s draw with Newcastle, protesting the recent Saudi-led takeover of the Tyneside club is being investigated by police.

The graphic sign, held up at Selhurst Park, showed a man wearing Arab-style clothing wielding a bloodied sword about to behead a magpie, as faceless supporters in the background sing: “We’ve got our club back.”

Crystal Palace fans with a banner about Newcastle United's takeover before the match
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The Premier League has been accused of ‘total hypocrisy’ over the deal

It listed offences the regime is accused of by human rights groups – terrorism, beheading, civil rights abuses, murder, censorship and persecution – which were all ticked off on a clipboard under the heading “Premier League Owners Test”.

The top-flight league’s chief executive Richard Masters is also depicted giving a thumbs-up to a bag of cash, standing in a pool of blood.

It comes after the controversial go-ahead was given for a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s state sovereign wealth fund – known as the Public Investment Fund or PIF – to take control of Newcastle United in a £300 m deal, earlier this month.

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This was despite the closeness of the fund to the Saudi state, which has faced criticism over its human rights record.

PIF is chaired by Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was linked to the gruesome 2018 murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, although he has denied any involvement.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs the investment fund

A post on the official Croydon Metropolitan Police Twitter account said: “On Saturday 23 October police received a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans.

“Officers are assessing the information and carrying out enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse will be taken very seriously.”

Palace supporters’ group Holmesdale Fanatics released a statement after the banner was unveiled.

It said: “The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly received widespread condemnation and anger.

“To give the thumbs up to this deal at a time when the Premier League is promoting the women’s game and inclusive initiatives such as rainbow armbands, shows the total hypocrisy at play and demonstrates the league’s soulless agenda where profits trump all.”

Proud and Palace, the club’s official LGBT+ supporters group, also posted a video on its Twitter account which highlighted the case of Suhail al Jameel, a gay man reportedly imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We don’t believe these owners have a place in the Premier League and we want to keep raising awareness.”

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Taiwan: Earthquake of magnitude 6.2 strikes island | World News

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 has struck Taiwan, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

It had a depth of 25 miles (40km), the EMSC added.

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