Thursday, 06 May 2021
News & Stories

News & Stories (2055)

An anonymous buyer purchased a signed football card of Tom Brady for about $1.68M worth of LTC at an auction presented by Goldin Auctions. The company revealed that this is the most expensive item to be paid in cryptocurrency since it started accepting such payments.

LTC in Exchange for a Football Card

Cryptocurrencies have intertwined with American football as Goldin Auctions revealed a massive purchase at their auction with one of the most popular digital assets. The autographed card of the seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was sold to an unknown buyer for $1.68M paid in litecoin which, at the time of writing, trades at $260.

According to Goldin Auctions, the company has never sold a more expensive item since it started allowing crypto payments a month ago. Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions commented after the deal:

”The hobby is undergoing increadible growth unlike anything I have seen in my 40+ years in the industry.”

Goldin outlined the connection between crypto and purchasing football cards and stated that this is one of the most expensive hard assets to be given in return for digital currencies:

”Trading cards and crypto are now two of the most rapidly growing alternative asset classes and we know there is a lot of overlap between the communities.”

Tom Brady’s card is regarded as the ”Holy Grail” of the collecting industry according to Tyler Winklevoss – CEO of the crypto exchange Gemini. In fact, a similar card of the football legend from the 2000 Playoffs still holds the pricing record as it was sold for $2.25M at Lelands Auctions.

Brady and Other Celebrities Got Into NFTs

Tom Brady and many other popular individuals dived inside the crypto industry and more specifically the NFT trend lately.

The 43-year old legend of American football recently revealed his plans to dip into the craze of non-fungible tokens. As CryptoPotato reported, Tom Brady announced his intentions to release his own NFT platform called Autograph.

Another popular name jumping into the world of non-fungible tokens is the hip-hop titan Eminem. Following the rumors, the 15-time Grammy award winner has officially dropped a collection of his own. The so-called Shady Con came out on Sunday with a ”variety of Eminem-approved collectibles.”

Posted On Thursday, 29 April 2021 22:59 Written by

An anonymous buyer purchased a signed football card of Tom Brady for about $1.68M worth of LTC at an auction presented by Goldin Auctions. The company revealed that this is the most expensive item to be paid in cryptocurrency since it started accepting such payments.

LTC in Exchange for a Football Card

Cryptocurrencies have intertwined with American football as Goldin Auctions revealed a massive purchase at their auction with one of the most popular digital assets. The autographed card of the seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was sold to an unknown buyer for $1.68M paid in litecoin which, at the time of writing, trades at $260.

According to Goldin Auctions, the company has never sold a more expensive item since it started allowing crypto payments a month ago. Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions commented after the deal:

”The hobby is undergoing increadible growth unlike anything I have seen in my 40+ years in the industry.”

Goldin outlined the connection between crypto and purchasing football cards and stated that this is one of the most expensive hard assets to be given in return for digital currencies:

”Trading cards and crypto are now two of the most rapidly growing alternative asset classes and we know there is a lot of overlap between the communities.”

Tom Brady’s card is regarded as the ”Holy Grail” of the collecting industry according to Tyler Winklevoss – CEO of the crypto exchange Gemini. In fact, a similar card of the football legend from the 2000 Playoffs still holds the pricing record as it was sold for $2.25M at Lelands Auctions.

Brady and Other Celebrities Got Into NFTs

Tom Brady and many other popular individuals dived inside the crypto industry and more specifically the NFT trend lately.

The 43-year old legend of American football recently revealed his plans to dip into the craze of non-fungible tokens. As CryptoPotato reported, Tom Brady announced his intentions to release his own NFT platform called Autograph.

Another popular name jumping into the world of non-fungible tokens is the hip-hop titan Eminem. Following the rumors, the 15-time Grammy award winner has officially dropped a collection of his own. The so-called Shady Con came out on Sunday with a ”variety of Eminem-approved collectibles.”

Posted On Thursday, 29 April 2021 22:58 Written by

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted and seized 200 million kilogrammes of assorted drugs with a street value of over N80 billion, NDLEA chairman, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, has said.

Marwa, who stated this when the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Wednesday, in Abuja, said that over 2,100 criminals had also been arrested in connection with the seizures with over 350 convictions secured.

He said that the NDLEA was working on the mandate given to it by President Muhammadu Buhari to mop up all crime related issues in Nigeria, as the use of illicit drugs and substances had been confirmed as major way criminals used in terrorising communities and the society at large.

According to him, banditry, terrorism and other related crimes were generally triggered by intake and consumption of illicit drugs.

“The NDLEA has remained upstanding and in 100 days, we have made these heavy and large arrests and seizures.

“This is the time for more collaboration with the Police. We believe the Police will support us with intelligence and training.

“We are very encouraged to have the IG here, for us to join hands to curb crimes and criminality in Nigeria.

“And I want to assure you that I will be readily available to rub minds with you, as we need a renewed collaboration between the NDLEA and the Police,” he said.

In his remarks, the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, commended the NDLEA for the number of seizures so far made.

He said any collaboration between the two organisations would be very beneficial, having seen the improvement and hard work put in by the Chairman in his 100 days in office.

“We want to assure the agency that we will always be ready to work and do anything to ensure use of illicit drugs and substances were curbed and reduced to the barest minimum.

“Anywhere you need our support, we will be available,” Baba told his host.

(NAN).

Posted On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 19:29 Written by

President Biden is a man with a plan. Three plans, actually.

On Wednesday, Mr. Biden announced the third blockbuster domestic funding proposal of his presidency, hours before his first speech before a joint session of Congress. Mr. Biden’s plans add up to about $6 trillion and reflect an ambition to restore the federal government to the role it played during the New Deal and Great Society.

Here is what the plans — one passed and two pending — would do.

Mr. Biden’s coronavirus relief bill, passed in the Senate by a 50-to-49, party-line vote in March, was a sequel to the $2.2 trillion pandemic relief bill enacted during the Trump administration a year ago.

The centerpiece of the bill was a one-time direct payment of up to $1,400 for hundreds of millions of Americans, along with a $300 weekly federal supplement to unemployment benefits through the summer, and money for distributing vaccines.

It included $350 billion in emergency funding for localities — $195 billion for states, $130 billion for local governments, $20 billion for tribal governments and $4.5 billion for territories.

But it was also aimed at reducing long-term poverty. The plan provides $21.6 billion for federally subsidized housing, an enormous infusion of cash into a long-stagnant sector, with billions in emergency rental assistance and longer-term capital projects.

Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan, unveiled on March 31, includes $621 billion for transportation projects, including bridges, roads, mass transit, ports, airports and electric vehicle development.

It would also funnel $111 billion into improving drinking-water infrastructure, and provide billions more for expanding broadband access and upgrading electric grids.

It adds $20 billion worth of tax credits for the construction and renovation of 500,000 units of affordable housing, an additional $40 billion for public housing capital improvements, and $100 billion for building and upgrading public schools.

About $300 billion is slated for assisting manufacturers and small businesses, and improving access to capital and investment in clean energy, along with $100 billion for work force development.

The most transformational and polarizing element of the plan is a $400 billion for “home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities” — an attempt by Mr. Biden to expand the definition of infrastructure to include the fast-growing network of workers responsible for caring for the country’s aging population.

How he would pay for it: raising the corporate tax rate, which Republicans have cut in recent years, to 28 percent from 21 percent and forcing multinational corporations to pay significantly more in taxes.

The Biden administration on Wednesday detailed a collection of spending increases and tax cuts that seeks to expand access to education, reduce the cost of child care and support women in the work force.

While some details remain vague, the plan includes $1 trillion in new spending and $800 billion in tax credits.

It includes a $225 billion investment in federally subsidized child care and a paid family and medical leave program that will cost about $225 billion over the next decade as well as a $200 billion reduction in premiums for people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act.

It would also provide $200 billion in new education funding that would include free universal preschool for 5 million children in low-income and working-class families. In addition, Mr. Biden is also requesting funding for two free years of community college education to all Americans, including young immigrants known as the Dreamers.

How he would pay for it: The plan includes $80 billion in enhancements to the I.R.S., which the administration estimates could raise $700 billion from high earners and corporations that evade taxes.

Mr. Biden also wants to increase the marginal income tax rate for the top 1 percent of American income earners, to 39.6 percent from 37 percent and raise capital gains and dividend tax rates for those who earn more than $1 million a year.

Posted On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 19:25 Written by

On April 27, the American bank holding company U.S. Bank revealed in a blog post that the financial institution plans to offer cryptocurrency custody services. The bank’s chief strategy officer for U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, Christine Waldron, says she is proud of her company’s steps toward blockchain and cryptocurrency practices.

US Bank to Offer Cryptocurrency Services Pending Compliance Approval

During the first week of January 2021, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) revealed that national banks and savings associations in the U.S. could deal with stablecoins and public blockchains. Following that announcement, The oldest bank in America, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) disclosed in mid-February that it created a digital currency unit. On Tuesday, the fifth-largest banking institution in the country, U.S. Bank published a blog post that details new cryptocurrency offerings.

Although, the blog post does not reveal when the bank will deploy these products, but the bank mentioned three types of services. The bank will offer a “new cryptocurrency custody product for customers with the engagement of a sub-custodian for fund servicing.” At the moment, the company is finalizing the arrangement for a sub-custodian. U.S. Bank also says that the company is also working on strategic relationships.

“We recently announced our investment in Securrency – a developer of institutional-grade blockchain-based financial and regulatory technology,” the bank said. U.S. Bank will also be working with NYDIG’s exchange-traded fund. “U.S. Bank has been selected to administer NYDIG’s ETF bitcoin fund this year, pending regulatory approvals. It expands on the bank’s long-standing private fund servicing relationship with NYDIG,” the announcement notes.

‘Driving Innovation in Our Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Practice’

U.S. Bank’s Christine Waldron explained that she is proud of her financial institution for its forward-thinking practices. “I am proud of how we came together from all areas of banking and brought forward our best thinking across our digital capabilities, product development, and technology to drive innovation in our blockchain and cryptocurrency practice,” Waldron detailed.

“We’ve been active in this space for years – ensuring we are always best situated to serve our institutional clients – and these latest initiatives demonstrate our ongoing commitment and enthusiasm to grow this market,” the chief strategy officer for U.S. Bank Global Fund Services concluded.

Posted On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 19:03 Written by

By Kofoworola Belo-Osagie and Olabisi Salau/ THE NATION

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has announced the creation of a USSD code to further simplify registration process for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, Oloyede said the USSD code, which launches on Friday would help candidates get their codes just by dialing *55019*1*NIN#.

He said: “We came together as a team to proffer solution by creating a USSD Code which will start functioning from Friday 30th of April.

“The USSD code would be available to the student who is yet to send their NIN number to the number requested, they can get to send the USSD code which consists of *55019*1*NIN# then they get the Pin needed for further registration.”

Oloyede said before the USSD, the registration was seamless but attributed hitches to errors by parents and candidates.

While visiting some registration centres in Lagos, he was able to troubleshoot issues for some of the candidates.

He told journalists there was a N50.00 charge to get the code after candidates send their NIN as SMS to 55019.

However, many received error messages because they had no airtime credit or did not input the NIN with required spacing between the numbers.

“Some of the students didn’t know that after you have send the code with a number at first then the number would be registered so if he or she attempts another number it won’t go unless they resolve the issues with the number and then attempt again with the registered number then the Pin will be generated for the registration process.

“We have an open ticket on www.jamb.com so the student could also check for the reasons why the NIN number isn’t been processed with their phone.

“If there are problems we will know because we are also receiving the company of the process on the database of the jamb,” he said.

Oloyede accused parents of causing some of the problems by not allowing the candidates to register by themselves.

He said he had encountered many parents who input the wrong data on behalf of their ward then claimed the process was not working, while on the contrary candidates were registering successfully on daily basis.

As at the time of the interview, he showed registration data on the JAMB website that noted that 11,296 candidates had registered that day.

Speaking on claims on the social media that the admission process at the University of Ibadan was fraught with fraud, Oloyede said it was false.

He said UI was the most compliant university in the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS) set up by JAMB.

“The matter of the University of Ibadan circulating the media of the institution jumping students has been false allegations.

“We have checked thoroughly and monitored the process. So far the University of Ibadan has been the most compliant. The complaints of them jumping candidates are false.

“Candidates are picked accordingly and if institution is caught in the act then we have the EFCC for thorough investigation. It is for this reasons we got linked with them and the police force,” he said.

Posted On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 18:47 Written by

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has become the latest body to warn of risks associated with cryptocurrency investments. In a public warning, the law enforcement agency argues that investing in cryptos “is a high-risk activity as the terrain is largely unregulated and prone to fraud.”

Proliferation of Scams

According to a report that quotes Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC spokesperson, the law enforcement agency is alarmed by “the rate at which Nigerians sent them petitions on fraudulent investments.” Meanwhile, the spokesperson also bemoans the fact crypto scams continue to proliferate “despite enforcement and public enlightenment interventions by the commission and other stakeholders.”

However, Uwujaren still urges the Nigerian investing public to be more careful when making investment decisions. He said:

While EFCC will continue to investigate and prosecute persons complicit in fraudulent investment schemes, it is incumbent on the investing public to be circumspect in their investment decisions.

The Regulatory Pushback

Meanwhile, with this warning, the EFCC joins the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in publicly discouraging Nigerians from dealing or trading in cryptocurrencies. In his warning earlier in the year, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor went as far as to state that cryptocurrencies have no place in Nigeria’s monetary system. He also said crypto transactions should “not be carried out through the Nigerian banking system.”

Similarly, some members of Nigeria’s State State have attacked the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. One Senator, Sani Musa claimed that “bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless.”

However, despite the increasing warnings and adverse comments by regulatory bodies, cryptocurrency use continues to grow in Nigeria. For instance, Bitcoin.com News reportedrecently that Nigeria’s peer-to-peer bitcoin traded volumes had increased in Q1 of 2021. The volumes increase occurred despite a February 6 CBN directive that cut off cryptocurrency traders from the country’s banking system.

It remains to be seen if the EFCC’s warning is going to change the public’s view of cryptocurrencies.

Posted On Wednesday, 28 April 2021 16:49 Written by

The Duke of Edinburgh, who married the future queen in 1947, brought the monarchy into the 20th century, but his occasional tactless comments hurt his image.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, father of Prince Charles and patriarch of a turbulent royal family that he sought to ensure would not be Britain’s last, died on Friday at Windsor Castle in England. He was 99.

His death was announced by Buckingham Palace, which said he passed away peacefully.

Philip had been hospitalized several times in recent years for various ailments, most recently in February, the palace said.

He died just as Buckingham Palace was again in turmoil, this time over Oprah Winfrey’s explosive televised interview last month with Philip’s grandson Prince Harry and Harry’s wife, Meghan. The couple, in self-imposed exile in California, lodged accusations of racism and cruelty against members of the royal family.

As “the first gentleman in the land,” Philip tried to shepherd into the 20th century a monarchy encrusted with the trappings of the 19th. But as pageantry was upstaged by scandal, as regal weddings were followed by sensational divorces, his mission, as he saw it, changed. Now it was to help preserve the crown itself.

And yet preservation — of Britain, of the throne, of centuries of tradition — had always been the mission. When this tall, handsome prince married the young crown princess, Elizabeth, on Nov. 20, 1947 — he at 26, she at 21 — a battered Britain was still recovering from World War II, the sun had all but set on its empire, and the abdication of Edward VIII over his love for Wallis Simpson, a divorced American, was still reverberating a decade later.

The wedding held out the promise that the monarchy, like the nation, would survive, and it offered that reassurance in almost fairy-tale fashion, complete with magnificent horse-drawn coaches resplendent in gold and a throng of adoring subjects lining the route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

More, it was a heartfelt match. Elizabeth told her father, King George VI, that Philip was the only man she could ever love.

Philip occupied a peculiar place on the world stage as the husband of a queen whose powers were largely ceremonial. He was essentially a second-fiddle figurehead, accompanying her on royal visits and sometimes standing in for her.

ImagePrince Philip at a banquet at a Tokyo hotel held by the Japanese Equestrian Federation in 1986.
Prince Philip at a banquet at a Tokyo hotel held by the Japanese Equestrian Federation in 1986.Credit...Tsugufumi Matsumoto/Associated Press

And yet he embraced his royal role as a job to be done. “We have got to make this monarchy thing work,” he was reported to have said.

He kept at it until May 2017, when, at age 95, he announced his retirement from public life; his final solo appearance came three months later.

But he did not entirely fade from public view. He surfaced in May 2018, when he joined the sun-splashed pomp of the wedding of Harry and Meghan, waving to crowds lining the streets from the back seat of a limousine, the queen beside him, and striding up the steps of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in a crisp morning suit.

By then he had re-emerged as a kind of pop-culture figure, introduced to a whole new generation through the hit Netflix series “The Crown,” a costume drama that has traced the events of postwar Britain through the prism of his buffeted royal marriage. (Matt Smith played the prince as a young man, and Tobias Menzies in middle age.)

Philip’s public image often came dressed in full military regalia, an emblem of his high-ranking titles in the armed forces and a reminder of both his combat experience in World War II and his martial lineage: He was a nephew of the war leader Lord Mountbatten.

Many saw Philip as a mostly remote if occasionally loose-lipped personage in public, given to riling constituents with off-the-cuff remarks that were called oblivious, insensitive or worse. To a Black British politician he was quoted as saying, “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”

As the years went by, word seeped out that Philip, in private, could be irascible and demanding, cold and domineering — and that as parents, he and an emotionally reserved queen brought little warmth into the household.

Even more, as many Britons came to see the royal family as increasingly dysfunctional, they found Philip to be a not-insignificant actor in a state of affairs that had many questioning the very thing that he and Elizabeth had been elevated to ensure: the monarchy’s stability.

Philip had apparently not expected the type of public scrutiny that came with the times, when the washing of dirty linen, even the queen’s, had become a staple of the tabloid press, which he grew to despise.

No headlines were more boisterous than those during the tumultuous marriage and divorce of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. But Philip himself felt the spotlight’s unwelcome glare when the royal family was castigated for a seemingly grudging response to Britain’s outpouring of grief over Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

The royal family in 1969. From left, Prince Edward, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.
The royal family in 1969. From left, Prince Edward, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.Credit...Associated Press

Painful, too, for Philip was the revelation that Prince Charles, his oldest son, had let it be known that as a child he had been deeply wounded by a father who belittled him time and again, often in front of friends and family.

A 1994 biography, “The Prince of Wales,” by Jonathan Dimbleby with the cooperation of Prince Charles, noted that while Philip indulged “the often brash and obstreperous behavior” of his daughter, Princess Anne, he was openly contemptuous of his son, whom he thought of as “a bit of a wimp.”

Charles, for his part, “was cowed by his father,” who he believed had forced him into a “terrible mismatch” with Diana, Mr. Dimbleby wrote.

Though the glory he knew was largely of the reflected kind, Philip nevertheless enjoyed the privileges and prerogatives of the British crown, living in luxury, sailing yachts, playing polo and piloting planes. And he used his station to promote the common good, lending his name and time to causes like building playing fields for British youths and protecting endangered wildlife.


Prince Philip, an avid sportsman, at a bicycle polo game at Windsor in 1967.
Prince Philip, an avid sportsman, at a bicycle polo game at Windsor in 1967.Credit...United Press International

Another was instituting efficiencies at Buckingham Palace, originally bought by his and Elizabeth’s ancestor George III. Philip had intercoms installed, for example, to obviate the need for messengers.

At home he showed — by palace standards, at any rate — a common touch. When the telephone rang, he answered it himself, setting a royal precedent. He even announced to the queen one day that he had bought her a washing machine. He reportedly mixed his own drinks, opened doors for himself and carried his own suitcase, telling the footmen: “I have arms. I’m not bloody helpless.”

He sent his children to school instead of having them tutored at home, as had been the royal custom. He set up a kitchen in the family suite, where he fried eggs for breakfast while the queen brewed tea — an attempt, it was said, to provide their children with some semblance of a normal domestic life.

Prince Philip carried British passport No. 1 (the queen did not require one) and fulfilled as many as 300 engagements a year, including greeting President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, at Buckingham Palace in April 2009 and again in May 2011. (He was not in attendance when the queen met with President Donald J. Trump in December 2019 in London.) And he was front and center at royal events, like the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011, watched around the world, and Elizabeth’s visit to the Irish Republic, the first by a British monarch, the next month.

Philip was the first member of the royal family to go to the Soviet Union, representing the queen on a trip with the British equestrian team in 1973.

To escape the court life, Philip liked to drive fast, often relegating his chauffeur to the back seat. Once, when the queen was his passenger, a minor accident led to major headlines. He ultimately surrendered his driver’s license in 2019 at age 97, after his Land Rover collided with another vehicle, injuring its two occupants, and overturned near the royal family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

He liked to pilot his own planes and once had a near miss with a passenger jet. He enjoyed sailing, but was said to have so little patience with horse racing that he had his top hat fitted with a radio so that he could listen to cricket matches when he escorted the queen to her favorite spectator sport.


Prince Philip in a training plane at White Waltham Airfield in England in 1953. He liked to pilot his own planes.
Prince Philip in a training plane at White Waltham Airfield in England in 1953. He liked to pilot his own planes.Credit...Associated Press

When he first came to public attention, his every colorful remark was noted. When a man introduced his wife as the Ph.D. in the family, saying, “She’s much more important than I am,” Philip replied, “We have the same problem in our family.”

Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who was the brother of King Constantine of Greece. His mother was the former Princess Alice, the oldest daughter of the former Prince Louis of Battenberg, the first Marquess of Milford Haven, who changed the family name to Mountbatten during World War I.

Philip’s family was not Greek but rather descended from a royal Danish house that the European powers had put on the throne of Greece in the 19th century. Philip, who never learned the Greek language, was sixth in line to the Greek throne.

Through his mother, Philip was a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, just as Elizabeth is Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter. Both were great-great-great-grandchildren of George III, who presided over Britain’s loss of the American colonies.

Philip in Greek dress on his ninth birthday. His family was descended from a royal Danish house that the European powers had put on the throne of Greece.
Philip in Greek dress on his ninth birthday. His family was descended from a royal Danish house that the European powers had put on the throne of Greece. Credit...The New York Times

A year after Philip was born, the army of King Constantine was overwhelmed by the Turks in Asia Minor, now part of Turkey. Prince Andrew, Philip’s father, who had commanded an army corps in the routed Greek forces, was banished by a revolutionary Greek junta.

In “Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II” (2011), the British writer Philip Eade reported that as an infant Philip was smuggled out of Greece in a fruit crate as his father, eluding execution, found refuge for his family in Paris, where they lived in straitened circumstances.

Philip’s father was said to have been an Anglophile. The boy’s first language was English, taught to him by a British nanny. He grew to 6 feet 1 inch, his blue eyes and blond hair reflecting his Nordic ancestry.

When his parents separated, Philip was sent to live with his mother’s mother, the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. He spent four years at the Cheam School in England, an institution bent on toughening privileged children, and then went to Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which was even more austere, promoting a regimen of hard work, cold showers and hard beds. In five years, he said, no one from his family came to visit him.

Even so, Philip sent Charles to both schools, to have him follow in his footsteps.

At Gordonstoun, Philip developed a love of the sea, learning seamanship and boatbuilding as a volunteer coast guardsman at the school. He seemed destined to follow his Mountbatten uncles into the British Navy.

While he was at Gordonstoun, in 1937, he learned that his pregnant sister Cecilie had died in a plane crash along with her two children and her husband, a German aristocrat and prominent Nazi Party member. Philip, at 16, traveled to Germany for the funeral and was photographed having to march alongside men in Nazi uniforms with whom he would soon be at war. (Three of his four older sisters had married into the German aristocracy, and another of their husbands became an SS officer. His surviving sisters were later not invited to his wedding to Elizabeth.)

Philip in 1963 at the tiller of Coweslip, his Flying Fifteen class sailboat, with Uffa Fox, a friend and the originator of the design, on the Isle of Wight.
Philip in 1963 at the tiller of Coweslip, his Flying Fifteen class sailboat, with Uffa Fox, a friend and the originator of the design, on the Isle of Wight.Credit...Associated Press

Philip entered the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in 1939 and was honored as the best all-around cadet of his term. The next year, with Britain at war, the 19-year-old Philip went to sea as a sublieutenant aboard the battleship Ramillies in the Mediterranean fleet. He was later transferred to the Valiant, another battleship.

On March 28, 1941, the British fleet caught an Italian squadron off Cape Matapan in Greece and, with the Royal Air Force’s help, sank three cruisers and two destroyers. Philip participated in the clash, operating a searchlight. “Thanks to his alertness and appreciation of the situation,” his captain wrote, “we were able to sink two eight-inch-gun Italian cruisers.”

Philip was promoted to lieutenant in June 1942 and took part in the Allied landings in Sicily in July 1943 before sailing for the Pacific campaign. There he served as aide-de-camp to his uncle Louis, Lord Mountbatten, who was then the supreme allied commander in Southeast Asia; Philip was on the United States battleship Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese formally surrendered. (Lord Mountbatten was killed in a bombing by the Irish Republican Army in 1979.)

Where or when Philip first met Princess Elizabeth remains unclear, but it seems certain that he was invited to dine on the royal yacht when Elizabeth was 13 or 14, and that he was also invited to stay at Windsor Castle around that time while on leave from the Navy. There were reports that he had visited the royal family at Balmoral, its country estate in Scotland, and that by the time the weekend was over, Elizabeth had made up her mind, telling her father that this dashing young naval officer was “the only man I could ever love.”

George VI had doubts. He took her to South Africa on a royal tour, cautioned her to be patient and wrote to his own mother, Queen Mary.

Princess Elizabeth and Philip in Quebec in 1951. The next year, they were in Kenya when they learned that her father, George VI, had died. Her coronation followed.
Princess Elizabeth and Philip in Quebec in 1951. The next year, they were in Kenya when they learned that her father, George VI, had died. Her coronation followed.Credit...Fox Photos, via Getty Image

“We both think that she is too young for that now, as she has never met any young men of her own age,” George wrote. But he added: “I like Philip. He is intelligent, has a good sense of humor” and “thinks about things in the right way.”

Elizabeth was said to have written to Philip three times a week while she toured South Africa. By the time she returned to England, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark had renounced his foreign titles and become Lt. Philip Mountbatten, a British subject. The gesture pleased his future father-in-law. The engagement was announced on July 10, 1947.

Articles about the coming marriage pushed reports of food and coal shortages off the front pages. Sales assistants sent ration coupons to the princess (even the royal family was living within limits) so she could have new dresses. The House of Commons approved 100 extra clothing coupons for her. On the eve of the wedding, in 1947, Lieutenant Mountbatten was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron of Greenwich, and given the title His Royal Highness.

A year later, on Nov. 14, 1948, Elizabeth gave birth to the couple’s first child, Charles Philip Arthur George, at Buckingham Palace. Charles was followed by Princess Anne, in 1950; Prince Andrew, in 1960, after Elizabeth had become queen; and Prince Edward, in 1964. In addition to the queen and his four children, Prince Philip is survived by eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

After his marriage, Prince Philip took command of the frigate Magpie in Malta. But King George VI had lung cancer, and when his condition worsened, it was announced that Philip would take no more naval appointments. In 1952, the young couple had reached Kenya, their first stop on a commonwealth tour, when word arrived on Feb. 6 that the king was dead.

It fell to Philip to break the news to his wife.

Philip presided over the Coronation Commission, and in 1952 the new queen ordained that he should be “first gentleman in the land,” giving him “a place of pre-eminence and precedence next to Her Majesty.” Without this distinction, Prince Charles, who was named Duke of Cornwall and later Prince of Wales — the title traditionally given to the heir to the throne — would have ranked above his father.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on June 2, 1953. One of her first acts was to give Philip “a place of pre-eminence and precedence next to Her Majesty.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on June 2, 1953. One of her first acts was to give Philip “a place of pre-eminence and precedence next to Her Majesty.” Credit...Associated Press

Philip was appointed to the highest ranks in the armed services: admiral of the fleet, field marshal and marshal of the Royal Air Force. He held the posts without pay.

Four years later, in 1956, Philip, then 35, took a four-month, 36,000-mile sea tour. Ostensibly he was on his way to Melbourne, Australia, for the opening of the Olympic Games, but the trip followed reports of his carousing with friends at bachelor parties in London.

On his return, the queen gave Philip the title Prince of the United Kingdom. By royal warrant, Elizabeth brought her husband’s name into the royal line, ordering that their children, except for Prince Charles, be known as Mountbatten-Windsor.

There were rumors of trouble in the marriage, reports of raised voices in the palace corridors. But the marital difficulties of their children overshadowed any discord between the parents. Princess Anne was divorced from her first husband, Mark Phillips, in 1992, and Prince Andrew’s divorce in 1996 from Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, who was known as Fergie, provided a field day for the tabloids.

But those divorces paled beside the travails of Charles and Diana. And Philip, a vigilant guardian of royal propriety (he once complained that Henry VIII, whom he called a “wonderful military strategist,” was remembered solely for his six wives), was not a silent bystander in the melodrama. According to Andrew Morton, in his book “Diana: Her True Story,” written with Diana’s cooperation, Charles told her that his father “had agreed that if, after five years, his marriage was not working, he could go back to his bachelor habits.”

From left, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Spencer, Prince William and Prince Philip stood as the coffin bearing the body of Princess Diana was taken into Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 7, 1997.
From left, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Spencer, Prince William and Prince Philip stood as the coffin bearing the body of Princess Diana was taken into Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 7, 1997.Credit...Pool photo by John Gaps III

Once their differences had become public, however, Philip registered his disapproval of Diana by snubbing her at the Royal Ascot horse race. And after Diana, at 36, was killed in 1997, Philip came in for his share of criticism when the royal family remained out of view at Balmoral, seemingly out of touch with the public’s grief, an attitude portrayed as stubborn and cold in the 2006 film “The Queen,” in which James Cromwell played Philip to Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth.

Over the years, Philip became a national gadfly and occasional source of embarrassment. In 1961 he criticized British industry as a bastion for “the smug and the stick-in-the-mud,” calling failures in manufacturing and commerce “a national defeat.” He was said to write his own speeches, and his habit of saying what he thought made him good copy.

In 1995 he asked a Scottish driving instructor, “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” On a visit to Australia in 2002, he asked an aboriginal leader, “Do you still throw spears at each other?” And speaking about smoke alarms in 1998 to a woman who had lost two sons in a fire, he said: “They’re a damn nuisance. I’ve got one in my bathroom, and every time I run my bath, the steam sets it off.”

The comments invited scorn. “I know all about freedom of speech,” he told some students, “because I get kicked in the teeth often enough for saying things.”

Philip was a sportsman. He was captain and mainstay of the Windsor Park polo team. When he turned 50, troubled by arthritis and liver problems, he curtailed his playing and turned to carriage racing. He also started painting.

In an interview on BBC Radio in 1965, Philip recognized that he was missing out on things like “just being able to walk into a cinema or go out to a nightclub or go to a pub.” But he quickly acknowledged the bright side.

“I’ve got a lot of advantages which compensate for it,” he said.

Prince Philip inspecting Canadian troops in 2013 in Toronto.
Prince Philip inspecting Canadian troops in 2013 in Toronto.Credit...Chris So/Toronto Star, via Getty Images

Posted On Friday, 09 April 2021 19:19 Written by

The government says more than a half million Americans have already taken advantage of the Biden administration’s special health insurance sign-up window that’s keyed to the COVID-19 pandemic

Biden campaigned on a strategy of building on the Obama-era health law to push the United States toward coverage for all. As president, he’s wasted no time.

Those sweeteners are available the rest of this year and through the end of 2022. Consumers who were already covered by the health law at the beginning of this year are also entitled to the increased financial aid, but will have to go online or call to update their plan. People on average could save $50 a month, the government says.

The numbers released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that 528,005 people newly signed up for government-sponsored private plans from Feb. 15 to Mar. 31.

But those figures are incomplete because they cover only the 36 states served by the federal HealthCare.gov insurance market. National enrollment will be higher when totals are factored in later on from states such as California and New York that run their own insurance websites.

The new report also showed that more than 870,000 people who went to the HealthCare.gov website or reached out to the call center were found to be eligible for Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low-income people.

Although President Donald Trump spared no effort to overturn the Obama-era law, more than 20 million people remained covered under it at the end of Trump’s term. That number combines those with HealthCare.gov plans as well as low-income adults covered through expanded Medicaid. But with the economy shedding jobs because of coronavirus shutdowns, the number of uninsured Americans has been on the rise. Biden sought to stop the erosion, and hopes to ultimately reverse it.

Among the states showing strong gains in enrollment are several big ones that went for Trump in last November’s election, including Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. Florida recorded the biggest gain, with more than 146,000 sign-ups.

The CBO estimates about 3 million people lost coverage as a result of the pandemic. Some private experts estimate higher numbers, in the range of 5 million to 10 million.

Posted On Wednesday, 07 April 2021 16:53 Written by

Everybody has that one movie that they really want to see out of all the films that have seen their release date continually delayed, and for some, that one movie has to be Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The movie, that will reunite most of the original cast of the first two Ghostbusters movies was originally on a fast track to theaters when it was first announced, but then it, like everything else, was delayed. However, those fans who are waiting for something have been given a little treat, as a short scene of the new movie has just dropped, introducing Paul Rudd to what are being called “Mini-Puffs.” Check them out in the clip above.

Of all the returning characters that we knew we would see in Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and those we hoped we might see, I’m not sure anybody was expecting the return of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And yet, that’s basically what we have here, as Paul Rudd’s character who is seen in a grocery store in the clip, comes across a bag of marshmallows where something strange is happening. Then out pops a tiny version of the Stay Puft character from the first Ghostbusters film. But he’s not alone, the store is apparently full of the little guys.

Also, is it a coincidence that Paul Rudd is buying Baskin Robbins ice cream, or is that an intentional Ant-Man reference?

More to come…

Posted On Wednesday, 07 April 2021 16:01 Written by
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