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Opinion: Harry, Meghan and the power of their story

March 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 33.9%. 4 min read.

Family dynamics and palace intrigue are drawing intense attention to Oprah Winfrey's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, while the Covid-19 pandemic and economic turmoil are the pressing everyday realities for billions of people.

The palace announced Wednesday that it was investigating accusations that the duchess had bullied employees in the royal household and that it was "very concerned. " After the investigation was reported, Holly Thomas noted, "Meghan's spokesman said the duchess was 'saddened by this latest attack on her character,' and a spokesperson for the Sussexes dismissed the Times report as 'a calculated smear campaign. '" Thomas added that the palace's "eagerness" to respond to the allegations stands "in stark contrast to its previous reactions to the substantially more serious complaints against the Queen's third child, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

But the fascination with his family's story lands him and his wife in the headlines constantly, even at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic and economic turmoil are the pressing everyday realities for billions of people.

The story got top billing on Fox News and has been burning up right-wing Twitter," she wrote.

"In case you've been too busy paying attention to other things -- say, surviving a global pandemic," observed SE Cupp, you might have missed the outrage around "an Ice Age species of human that went extinct 40,000 years ago, a wildly popular series of children's books spanning the mid-20th century, and a starchy tuber-turned dress-up toy from the 50s. " She wrote that "right-wing culture warriors" not only fumed over the Seuss story but assailed the announcement of a gender-neutral "Potato Head toy. " They were also up in arms when President Joe Biden referred to state leaders who dropped mask mandates as exhibiting "Neanderthal thinking. "

On Friday, as the Senate moved toward passage of Biden's $1. 9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, the Labor Department reported that the United States added 379,000 jobs in February -- reflecting a faster pace of hiring but with a workforce still nearly 10 million smaller than a year earlier.

The relief bill proceeded through Congress without any Republican support, in contrast to bipartisan votes for stimulus during the Trump administration.

Even moderate GOP senators showed little appetite for the kind of major stimulus bill Biden wanted -- and he took note, wrote Julian Zelizer.

"It's likely that his experience as vice president taught him that there is in fact a red and blue America, and that trying to blend them could easily lead to political paralysis. . . Biden is making his own decisions, shaping his own agenda and counting on his own party to move policies forward rather than waiting for Republicans to help him along. "

Biden is likely to hail the bill's passage as a major accomplishment, wrote Lanhee J.

Chen, but it might prove to be a "Pyrrhic victory -- one that they may come to regret in the weeks and months ahead. " Such a "go-it-alone approach will only make it more politically challenging for Republicans to step out and work with Democrats in the future on issues such as prescription drug pricing, tougher action against China or infrastructure legislation. " And Chen suggested, the unilateral passage of the bill is uniting Republicans at a point when the party seemed in danger of fracture over the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

As David Oshinsky wrote in his Pulitzer Prize-winning "Polio: An American Story," the newly developed Salk vaccine was soon administered to a majority of Americans under 40.

This coming week marks the one-year anniversary of the lockdown that changed the lives of Americans, and naturally people are yearning for a return to normal life, just like when the polio threat ebbed.

Texas-based executive Katie Mehnert was getting her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Bayou City Event Center in Houston when the news broke that Governor Greg Abbott was "lifting Texas' mask mandate -- even as health officials warn not to ease restrictions aimed at stemming the pandemic.

Republicans have good reason to think they could make gains in Congress in the 2022 midterms, wrote Scott Jennings, but "there's no evidence the GOP can win the 2024 presidential campaign unless it embraces a more elastic brand, which welcomes country clubbers, white and blue collar workers, young and old, White and non-White. . . But who can lead the party to that broad coalition?" Likely not Trump, who "got a smaller percentage of the vote than Mitt Romney.

As new reports from the New York Times and Washington Post show, much of the right has embraced the conspiracy theory that the insurrection was a false-flag event, an effort by undercover anti-fascists to smear and discredit the Trump administration and the movement that supports it.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd, an event that convulsed America and the world last May. Outside the courtroom, the focus of the case will be around issues of "disproportionate treatment of Black Americans by the police," wrote Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and Minnesota-based law professor.

Melanne Verveer and Jessica Smith of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security gave the Biden administration high marks for its creation of a White House Gender Policy Council but argued that more needs to be done: "A top priority must be to apply a gender lens to one of the Biden administration's key issues: climate change. . . the administration should account for how gender and other factors like ethnicity, race and socio-economic status, leave some more seriously affected by climate change than others. "

On a worldwide scale, Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand and Laura Chinchilla, former President of Costa Rica, wrote that "to advance gender equity, we most prioritize the most basic rights that are still denied to women and children.

As Abigail Pesta wrote, "The stretch of Grand Avenue where Onesimo Garcia works in Brooklyn is not exactly grand.

'For me to come to work every morning, I feel so afraid something will happen to me,' he told me, noting that the virus has been especially deadly for Latino people like him. "

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