- News The Independent
It is a too little appreciated fact that France can expel Britain from the European Union. President Macron can do this by simply refusing to re-open the Withdrawal Agreement and by vetoing any further extension to the Article 50 procedure. Thus, even if the British Parliament were to “seize back” control and seek more time for, say, a general election, Emmanuel Macron could still say “Non!” He might even do so if the UK asks for the time to hold another referendum - though that be a lot tougher for him to pull off.Macron holds the power to end the unending Brexit crisis, and his exasperation is palpable.
- Style Hello!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to the Caribbean island of Mustique earlier this summer, but on Thursday, the royals were pictured touching down in a location much closer to home - Scotland. William, Kate, their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and royal nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo were all spotted disembarking the 8:45am FlyBe flight from Norwich to Aberdeen.It's thought the Cambridges were staying at their country home in Norfolk, Anmer Hall, which is an hour's drive away from Norwich airport. Video footage obtained by the MailOnline shows William walking away from the plane with his elder children George and Charlotte, carrying their backpacks. Kate, who looked stylish in a thin jumper and long skirt, carried baby Louis in her arms while Maria walked alongside her carrying holdalls.George and Charlotte, pictured previously, boarded a FlyBe flightA passenger on the plane told MailOnline: "The family were sat right at the front. I fly this route all the time and we were non the wiser. No one knew they were on the flight. Later on I realised that Kate's mother was sat a few rows in front of me."MORE: Ola Jordan opens up about Neil and Katya Jones' 'sad' splitThe Cambridges will likely spend the bank holiday weekend with the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral Castle. Prince Charles and Camila are also enjoying their summer holiday close by at Birkhall estate. Members of the royal family all go up to Balmoral over the warmer months and so far this summer, fans have caught a glimpse of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex and Prince Andrew and his daughter Princess Beatrice, among other royals.Kate and the kids, pictured at the polo, are heading to BalmoralMORE: Gemma Atkinson reacts as Gorka Marquez fails to land a Strictly partner this yearPrince William and Kate have been visiting Balmoral since their university days. The parents-of-three have had some of their most romantic moments at the residence, staying at a cottage called Tam-na-Ghar during their breaks at St Andrews University. William also surprised his then-girlfriend in 2009, arranging a candle-lit in a remote log cabin on the banks of the River Dee.The Queen's summer residence is located in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. The magnificent estate turreted grey stone castle is set amid mountains, lochs, glens and grouse moors. It is the Queen's private home and was handed down to her through generations of royals after being bought for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852. The couple first visited the Highlands in 1842 and were so struck by its beauty they resolved to return. The monarch famously called Balmoral a "paradise in the Highlands" and wrote in her diary: "All seemed to breathe freedom and peace, and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils."The royal family have been visiting Balmoral for decadesBalmoral is where the Queen and her family can truly relax and be themselves.Her granddaughter Princess Eugenie has declared that 'Granny' is most happy in the Highlands, saying: "Walks, picnics, dogs - a lot of dogs, there's always dogs - and people coming in and out all the time. It's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run." Speaking on ITV's Our Queen At Ninety, she added: "It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands."Picnics, home cinema evenings, games and bracing walks are all laid on. And despite being on their summer holiday, the royals will occasionally attend official engagements, namely the Braemar Gathering, where the Queen is Chieftain of the Highland games. The sovereign and her husband Prince Philip are always pictured having a laugh as they watch the annual tug-of-war and the sack race.Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.
- Style Hello!
Brooke Vincent has been on Coronation Street since 2004, but the fabulous actress has bid a fond farewell to the show as she heads off on maternity leave. Brooke - who plays Sophie Webster on the soap - has spoken about her emotional departure from Corrie as she prepares to welcome her new little baby, and even gave her fans a glimpse of her last scene on the Corrie cobbles in a video uploaded to Instagram.Brooke wrote: "I can’t believe 15 years ago I came onto the street to play 'Sophie Webster' and today I left to play my biggest role yet, 'Mummy'. My amazing family at Coronation Street I am going to miss you all so much. Thank you for always looking after me, for keeping me on the straight and narrow and for letting me get away with murder over the years."Brooke posted a series of videos to InstagramHer final scene will take place in Dev's famous corner shop, and it seems that the cast and crew of Corrie are just as sad about Brooke's departure as she is. Several cast and crew members say their goodbyes in the clip, including Mikey North who plays Gary Windass and Antony Cotton who portrays Sean Tully on the show. On-screen mum Sally Dynevor even gave Brooke a lovely bouquet and told her: "We're going to miss you so much! You've been here since you were 11. This is your home. Come back anytime you want to, bring the baby!"MORE: Pregnant Corrie stars Hayley Tamaddon, Brooke Vincent and Julia Goulding show off their growing baby bumpsThe baby is almost here!We'd love to see Brooke and her new bundle of joy visiting the Corrie set, hopefully she shares that adventure on her Instagram too!MORE: Coronation Street's Brooke Vincent shows off gorgeous bump during romantic babymoonBrooke's Corrie departure comes after her character Sophie inherits thousands of pounds on the show and decides to venture on to pastures new. Will we see the return of Sophie further down the line? We'll certainly keep our fingers crossed!Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.
- Style Hello!
Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley have managed to keep their romance off social media since news first broke of their relationship back in March, but on Friday the couple surprised fans by sharing a sweet picture of them posing together alongside a member of the dancer's family.Posting the sweet snap on his Instragram, Kevin captioned it: "So proud watching my cousin @sophiematthew19 playing the lead in @mammamiamusical West End last night. You’re so talented and we had the best time! Superstar."There is no doubt that talent and success run in Kevin's family. Not only is his cousin playing the lead in Mamma Mia the Musical, but he and his sibling, Joanne Clifton, have been taking part in West End productions for years. Most recently, Kevin in Rock of Ages, and Joanne in The Rocky Horror Show.MORE: Strictly's Stacey Dooley gives fans a tour of her new homeKevin and Stacey have been pictured together just a handful of times since winning the Strictly Come Dancing series in December 2018. Their last appearance together was back in May, when they attended WWE Raw in London and they happily posed for the official WWE UK Instagram account. The rare photo of the couple showed them posing backstage with matching WWE belts.There is a reason behind the couple's discreet approach to their relationship, however, with Stacey telling The Guardian: "Kev and I have agreed not to go into too much detail about our private lives because you can’t really indulge that and then ask for privacy."She continued: "That's why we've turned down interviews that have offered us tens of thousands of pounds... What I am happy to say is Kev's amazing, I'm happy, life happens, I've got an amazing career and I’m very lucky."Karen Clifton, Kevin's estranged wife, has also commented on their relationship, telling FUBER Radio: "I don’t really know anything about that. When we go in [to rehearsals] we’re literally going crazy with all the routines. But you know what he looks extremely happy, so I’m happy that he's happy."
- News RFI
A top Zimbabwean comedian has been abducted and beaten in Zimbabwe by suspected state security agents. Samantha Kureya, also known as Gonyeti, fronts the satirical current affairs channel, Bustop TV.Kureya was abducted from her home in Harare’s Mufakose suburb late on Wednesday by men carrying weapons and wearing masks.Writing on Twitter, Bustop TV said Kureya was stripped naked and beaten by her assailants, who later dumped her in Harare’s low-income Crowborough North suburb where she had to beg for clothes from startled residents.“She only got assistance (from) the sixth house whose residents had to throw a dress through the window. Everyone was scared,” Bustop TV said.Kureya is the most prominent person to have been abducted in recent days.The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says a number of its officials and their family members have been abducted and beaten in the western city of Bulawayo, where police banned a protest march from going ahead on Monday.The party led by Nelson Chamisa says a “de facto state of emergency now pervades the country, especially in the towns”.A MDC MP in the town of Marondera, around an hour’s drive east of Harare, said unidentified attackers fired shots at his home on Wednesday night.Pictures circulated on social media showed bullet holes in the tailgate of a pick-up truck and in the walls of the home of the MP, Caston Matewu.Rights group, Heal Zimbabwe Trust says the police have confirmed that automatic weapons were used in the attack though police have not yet commented publicly.Constitutional rightsPresident Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has come in for heavy criticism over its crackdown on protesters in Harare last Friday, and for its banning of this week's planned protest marches across the country.A joint statement from the heads of foreign missions in Harare, including those of France, the EU, Britain and the US called on the authorities to “respect the constitutional rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression as well as to peaceful protest.”The government has hit back, saying the marches were illegal and the police bans had been upheld by the courts. It accused the Western diplomats of being "intrusive and judgmental" and of wanting to promote "unrest and public disorder".But the abductions and attacks on individuals are a worrying new development, which the government claims it has no hand in. There has been no official comment yet on the abduction of Kureya, or the attack on the MP’s house.Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said last week that a “third force” -- bent on tarnishing the image of Mnangagwa's administration -- could be behind the abduction and torture of citizens.