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Harry and Meghan given guard of honour as they arrive in Morocco | UK News

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been greeted by a guard of honour as they arrived in Morocco for a three-day tour.

After a 90-minute delay, Harry and Meghan flew into Casablanca, famous for the romantic Hollywood film.

But this is a business trip for the royal couple, and their second major overseas tour, as they visit Morocco on behalf of the government and the Foreign Office.

With Meghan’s baby due in April or May, the Palace confirmed that medical provisions had been made. It is not unusual for doctors to travel as part of the royal party, although officials did not go into detail.

The couple are staying privately as guests of the king of Morocco in a royal residence.

They will use the visit to highlight their interest in issues around female empowerment, inclusivity, education for women and girls, and encouraging young entrepreneurs.

The duchess is due to give birth in April or May
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The duchess is due to give birth in April or May
A guard of honour welcomed Harry and Meghan at the airport
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A guard of honour welcomed Harry and Meghan at the airport

Morocco is seen as a key focus for UK foreign policy, as a gateway to Africa.

Speaking ahead of the visit, ambassador to Morocco Thomas Reilly said: “It is hugely exciting to have The Duke and Duchess of Sussex here for the next few days, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to showcase the vital roles that girls’ education and youth empowerment are playing in shaping modern Morocco.

“When we began planning for this visit, I had a very clear view in my mind of the story we wanted this visit to tell.

“It is the same story that we have been telling consistently at this embassy about Morocco since my arrival here 20 months ago, and in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, we have found that this story fits with interests close to their hearts.”

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF SUSSEX ARRIVE IN MOROCCO
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Harry and Meghan are staying as guests of the king

In the medina in Rabat, Sky News met 18-year-old Loubna Ouraich.

She is from a Berber family that live in a village near the Atlas Mountains. Her father is a teacher and encouraged her and her sisters to study.

She is the first woman in her family to go to university and is studying French literature in Rabat.

She told Sky News she admires what Meghan stands for: “I saw some pictures of her in all the world, doing a lot of things, a lot of beautiful things for humanity, humans, helping poor people and that was so great.

“And when I see her I just remember the Princess Diana, she’s wonderful.”

It comes at the end of a busy few days for the duchess who spent most of last week in New York with her friends, who put on an opulent baby shower.

The Duchess of Sussex is spending five days in New York on a low-key visit
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The baby shower in New York attracted a lot of media attention
American photographers could not believe their luck
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Meghan’s stay in the Big Apple came in for some criticism

However, the private baby shower became a very public event with journalists tipped off about the event.

Her friends reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to spoil Meghan and cover the cost of penthouse suites and private jets.

The cost and the way it was managed has come in for some criticism.

Arthur Edwards, royal photographer for The Sun, said: “I remember going to New York with Princess Diana, and she used to stay at the Carlisle, very sort of small hotel, but beautifully smart.

“And there used to be about four of us waiting outside for her to come and go, you know completely different, and she’d come out and give us a smile and get into the car – but I mean Meghan it was a massive showbiz event.

“She’s become America’s Diana, she’s so massive now.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will fly into the Atlas Mountains on Sunday to carry out engagements in Asni town where they will visit the Education For All boarding house that houses girls aged 12 to 18 to make sure girls in rural communities get access to secondary education.

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Cyclone Idai may have killed 1,000 people in Mozambique, says country’s president | World News

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Four days after Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique, there are fears it may have killed more than 1,000 people in the country.

It is thought to have been the most destructive storm to have hit the southeast African nation in more than 10 years.

Widespread flooding has left whole villages submerged and bodies were floating in the water, as some areas were completely cut off by road.

Mozambique’s president Filipe Nyusi said the official number of dead was 84 but added “it appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths”.

He also said it was a “real disaster of great proportions”.

“The waters of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making whole villages disappear and isolating communities, and bodies are floating,” he said.

Aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique
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Buildings have been damaged by the powerful storm

President Nyusi spoke after flying over the central port city of Beira and the rural provinces of Manica and Sofala, where there was severe flooding.

According to the Red Cross, 90% of Beira, which has 500,000 inhabitants, has been damaged or destroyed.

Jamie LeSueur, who led a Red Cross aerial assessment of the city, said the damage was “massive and horrifying”.

“The situation is terrible,” he said. “The scale of devastation is enormous.”

“Communication lines have been completely cut and roads have been destroyed. Some affected communities are not accessible.”

A destroyed car amid the destruction caused by the cyclone in Beira, Mozambique
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A wrecked car is pictured in Beira following the cyclone

Mozambique was hit last Thursday before the cyclone moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi.

More than 215 people have been killed by the storm in the three countries, including 89 in Zimbabwe, official figures show. And hundreds more were reported missing.

In Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district, rescuers were struggling to reach people cut off after torrential rains and winds up to 105mph swept away roads, homes and bridges and knocked out power lines.

UN agencies and the Red Cross have been helping with the rescue efforts that included delivering food and medicine by helicopter in the impoverished countries.

Mozambique is a long, narrow nation with a population of 30 million people, and has a 1,500-mile coastline along the Indian Ocean.

This time of year, it is prone to cyclones and tropical storms, and was struck by severe flooding from Cyclone Eline in February 2000.

That storm killed 350 people and made 650,000 homeless across southern Africa, including Zimbabwe.

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Utrecht tram shooting: Suspected gunman arrested | World News

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A suspected gunman wanted over the Utrecht tram shooting has been arrested, a Dutch police chief says.

At a press conference, Prosecutor Rutger Jeuken confirmed that the Turkish-born suspect, identified as Gökmen Tanis, had previously been arrested, without giving further details.

Three people killed and five injured after the shooting on tram in Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday.

Turkey’s official Andadolu news agency said the suspect’s relatives believe the gunman’s motive appeared to be family related.

Citing the gunman’s relatives, it said the gunman fired at his relative over “family reasons” and later shot at others trying to help.

The father of the 37-year-old suspect said his son should be punished if he is to blame.

Mehmet Tanis, who lives in Turkey’s central Kayseri province, told Demiroren news agency that he had not spoken to his son in 11 years.

“If he did it, he should pay the penalty,” he said.

The city was put into lockdown after the deadly shooting shortly after rush house, which authorities said was an apparent terrorist attack.

Police conducted raids in several locations and helicopters hovered over the usually quiet town before the suspect’s arrest.

Authorities raised the terrorism threat in Utrecht to its highest level as schools were told to shut their doors.

Paramilitary police also increased security at airports, other vital infrastructure and mosques.

Police released a photo of the suspect a few hours after the attack and said he was “associated with the incident”.

Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said there could be more than one attacker.

“We cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more,” Mr van Zanen said.

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Utrecht tram shooting: Three people killed in possible terror attack | World News

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Three people have been killed and five injured in a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

The city’s mayor Jan van Zanen said authorities were treating the incident, which happened just before 11am local time, as a terrorist attack.

He said: “We cannot exclude – even stronger, we assume – a terror motive.

“Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more,” he added.

As he spoke, police were seen at a number of properties in the city but they seemed particularly interested in an apartment block a few hundred metres from the shooting.

Utrecht
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Police closed off the scene and there have been very few witness accounts reported

Local media reported that the building was connected to the gunman, but police did not confirm this.

During the afternoon, police released a CCTV image of Gökmen Tanis, a Turkish-born 37-year-old man whom they said was “associated with the incident”. They warned he should not be approached by members of the public.

More from The Netherlands

After the shooting, police moved quickly to close the scene and there were very few witness accounts reported by those who saw the incident.

A police officer with a service dog in Utrecht, Netherlands
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A police officer with a service dog near the scene of the shooting

But Jimmy de Koster, who lives nearby, told RTV Utrecht that several shots had been fired and that he had seen a woman lying on the ground shouting: “I didn’t do anything.”

Mr De Koster said: “At that moment I heard pang pang pang three times, four men walked very fast towards her and they tried to drag her away and then I heard pang pang pang again and those guys let go of that woman again.”

Bernhard Jens, a police spokesman, said one person may have fled the scene by car, and that the possibility of more than one gunman being involved had not been ruled out.

Soon after the attack, Dutch authorities raised the terror alert for the region to the maximum level and security was strengthened at key buildings in the country, such as the main airport near Amsterdam.

Police at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht
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Five people were also injured in the shooting, the city’s mayor has said

German authorities stepped up surveillance of the Dutch border, and were initially told to look out for a red Renault Clio car. It was later found abandoned in Utrecht.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “Our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht…a terror motive cannot be excluded.

“The first reports have led to disbelief and disgust. Innocent people have been struck by violence… we are now doing everything we can to find the perpetrator or perpetrators as soon as possible.

“That is now our complete focus.”

Utrecht is the Netherlands’ fourth largest city, with a population of around 340,000. The shooting took place in Kanaleneiland, a residential district on the outskirts of the city which has a large immigrant population.

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