10 Things in Politics: Meghan’s biggest interview bombshells

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Oprah
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Getty Images

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Today is International Women’s Day! Send your tips and thoughts to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. STUNNING ACCUSATIONS ABOUT THE ROYAL FAMILY: Meghan Markle said members of the royal family expressed “concerns” to Prince Harry about “how dark” their son’s skin would be before he was born. Oprah Winfrey, who interviewed the couple, appeared stunned by the accusation. Harry refused to give any more details. 

Other shocking allegations from the two-hour interview:

Markle said she contemplated suicide amid negative stories: “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” the Duchess of Sussex said. She added that she asked an unnamed, senior royal staff member about seeking treatment, but was turned away. Markle said this was her breaking point.

  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for those in crisis or looking to help someone else at 1-800-273-8255.

Harry said his father briefly stopped taking his calls: Harry said Prince Charles stopped speaking to him after the couple decided to step back as senior members of the royal family. Both said their decision to step back was due to the palace’s lack of support.

Markle said she was silenced: She was told to respond “no comment” to any gossip or tabloid story regardless of its accuracy. Markle said she later regretted believing the monarchy “when they said I would be protected.”

Read the rest of the stunning claims here.

Initial press coverage: The couple said the royal family’s failure to denounce the tabloids’ racist and sexist coverage of them featured prominently in their decision to step back as royals.

Daily Mail:

 

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Daily Mirror:

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Note: The palace has not yet responded to the interview, which is scheduled to air in the UK tonight


2. House set for Tuesday vote on $US1.9 ($2) trillion relief plan: President Biden’s stimulus package is nearing the finish line. The Senate made some changes to the legislation when it passed it entirely without any GOP support on Saturday. The debate over the bill included a nearly-12-hour vote, which shattered the modern record. The rush is on as some aid will expire March 14. Biden said Americans will start receiving their $US1,400 ($1,829) checks this month.


Police reform collage
Rep. Karen Bass, Patrisse Cullors, Vanita Gupta, and Sen. Cory Booker. Photos by: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Rich Fury/Getty Images for Teen Vogue; Tom Williams/Pool/AFP via Getty Images; Tasos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

3. The 10 people shaping the debate over policing: Police reform is becoming one of the key challenges the Biden administration takes on. Behind the scenes, lawmakers like Democratic Rep. Karen Bass and Republican Sen. Tim Scott, to activists like Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, are shaping the fight. Check out the rest of Insider’s exclusive list.


4. Top NY Democrat calls on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to step down: Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a fellow Democrat and the majority leader of the New York State Senate, called on Cuomo to resign, saying “we need to govern without daily distraction.” Cuomo said resigning would be “anti-democratic” even though he has called for others’ ouster in the past. Five women have now accused the governor of inappropriate behavior.


5. Jury selection in Derek Chauvin’s trial begins today: The former Minneapolis officer is charged with second-degree murder over George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020. Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. The Associated Press has more on the trial and what to expect.


6. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:

  • 11:00 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top officials hold a White House press briefing.
  • 11:30 a.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House daily news briefing with leaders of the new Gender Policy Council.
  • 4:20 p.m.: Biden, Vice President Harris, Defense Secretary Austin speak on International Women’s Day.

7.  US proposes power-sharing government with the Taliban: The Biden administration proposed an interim agreement between the Taliban and Afghan leaders ahead of a May 1 deadline for a possible withdrawal of US troops, The Washington Post reported. Biden promised to cease “endless wars” on the campaign trail, but withdrawing the remaining 2,500 troops could hand the Taliban key victories.


8. Trump vows to travel 8,047km to Alaska to campaign against Lisa Murkowski: The former president told Politico he will campaign against the GOP senator’s reelection campaign next year after she repeatedly turned against him, including voting to convict him of inciting the Capitol riot. But his efforts may not matter since Alaska no longer has party primaries.


9. Top disease expert warns against letting our guard down: Dr. Michael Osterholm said the US is in the “eye of the hurricane” in the fight against COVID-19. He stressed that while cases are going down and vaccinations are accelerating, the potential spread of a variant first found in the UK is a cause for concern.


10. Meet Afghanistan’s fearless Gen Z influencers: “Mixing traditional and streetwear styles, they blast Travis Scott, Rihanna, Nina Simone, and Afghan musicians like Ahmad Zahir. They post selfies in front of Kabul’s graffiti walls and carefully timed videos … Put simply, they’re young, gifted and Afghan.


One last thing. 

Today’s trivia question: Today is International Women’s Day. What US political party is credited with starting the global holiday? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].