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Hurricane Lee Strengthens Into ‘Dangerous’ Category 5 Storm

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Lee

Hurricane Lee has strengthened to become the Atlantic season’s first Category 5 storm, with communities in the northern Caribbean bracing for swells and rip currents.

According to the National Weather Service in the United States, Lee was located around 1,015km (630 miles) east of the northern Leeward Islands on Friday morning, with gusts of up to 270km/h (165 miles per hour).

According to the agency, the storm was traveling west-northwest at 22km/h (14mph).

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said late Thursday that Lee has strengthened to a “dangerous” Category 5 hurricane.

In a Friday morning advisory, the National Hurricane Centre stated that hurricane-fueled seas would reach sections of the Lesser Antilles later in the day.

The swells are forecast to strike the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, and Bermuda at the weekend.

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Hurricane Lee has strengthened to become the Atlantic season’s first Category 5 storm.

“These swells are likely to create dangerous surf and rip current conditions.” “Dangerous surf and rip currents are expected to begin along most of the US East Coast on Sunday,” according to the agency.

According to the National Hurricane Centre, the storm will remain a major hurricane until next week before slowing “considerably” across the southern Atlantic.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden was briefed on the hurricane’s new path and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) preparations.

According to the White House, FEMA has deployed undisclosed assets to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

“We will see waves between 10 and 15 feet [three and five metres], so we don’t want anyone on the beaches,” said Ernesto Morales of the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Lee is the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring in September.

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SOURCE – (AJ)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

U.K News

Bank of England Keeps Key Interest Rate at 5.25% Despite Inflation Falling

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Bank of England

The Bank of England maintained its main interest rate at a 16-year high of 5.25% on Thursday, despite inflation falling to its target of 2%, with several policymakers warning that a premature decrease may spark another wave of price increases.

Seven of the nine members of the bank’s ruling Monetary Policy Committee voted against a rate drop for the second week in a row, while two supported one. Interest rates have been constant since August, following a series of rises.

The statement accompanying the vote made it plain that there was disagreement on the forecast for inflation, with some expressing concern about continued significant price increases in the services sector, the key driver of the British economy.

“It’s good news that inflation has returned to our 2% target,” said Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, who voted to maintain current policy. “We need to be sure that inflation will stay low and that’s why we’ve decided to hold rates at 5.25% for now.”

The decision will likely dismay the ruling Conservative Party ahead of the United Kingdom’s general election in two weeks. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would have seen a cut as good economic news, especially if it came with a drop in mortgage rates.

Upcoming UK Election

The panel maintained that the upcoming election, which the main opposition Labour Party, led by Keir Starmer, is generally expected to win, did not influence its conclusion. It stated that the decision was, as always, based on meeting the 2% inflation objective “sustainably in the medium term.”

Economists anticipate a rate decrease is on the way, either at the bank’s next policy making meeting in August or the one following in September. They expect clear evidence by then that inflation will remain close to the target for the next year or two.

“We continue to believe that the MPC will ease restrictive policy beginning in the summer and deliver two rate cuts this year,” said Sanjay Raja, Deutsche Bank’s senior U.K. economist.

The reduction in the primary inflation measure to a near three-year low of 2% in the year to May does not imply that prices are falling; rather, they are rising at a slower rate than they have in recent years during a cost-of-living crisis that has resulted in reduced living standards for millions in Britain.

Central banks worldwide dramatically increased borrowing costs from the lows seen during the coronavirus pandemic, when prices began to rise, first due to supply chain issues accumulated during the pandemic and then due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which pushed up energy costs.

Bank of England unduly cautious

Higher interest rates, which cool the economy by making borrowing more expensive, have helped to reduce inflation, but they have also weighed on the British economy, which has hardly expanded since the pandemic’s recovery.

Critics of the Bank of England argue that it is unduly cautious about inflation and that keeping interest rates too high for too long will put undue strain on the economy. It is an accusation that has also been leveled at the United States Federal Reserve, which has held interest rates constant in recent months.

“Given that the U.K. has moved onto a milder inflationary trajectory, rate setters remain overly cautious about the likelihood of loosening policy, risking impeding the U.K.‘s growth prospects,” said Suren Thiru, economics director at The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Some central banks, like the European Central Bank, have begun to decrease interest rates as inflationary pressures have subsided. On Thursday, the Swiss National Bank cut its main interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 1.25%.

Source: The Associated Press

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U.K News

UK Royals Unite On Palace Balcony As Princess Kate Returns To Public View After Cancer Diagnosis

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Princess Kate | AP News Image

LONDON – A military parade on Saturday marked the Princess of Wales’ first public appearance since her cancer diagnosis early this year, as Britain put on a birthday spectacle for King Charles III.

Following months in which cancer treatment had sidelined both the king and Kate, the wife of Prince William, the heir apparent, the yearly event was also a display of stability by the monarchy.

Following the King’s Birthday Parade, Charles, Queen Camilla, William, Kate, and their kids were joined by other royal family members on a balcony of Buckingham Palace in a symbolic show of solidarity. As the official birthday celebrations ended, the family waved to the assembled audience and watched military planes fly by.

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Princess Kate | AP news Image

UK Royals Unite On Palace Balcony As Princess Kate Returns To Public View After Cancer Diagnosis

Since December, Kate had not made an appearance in public. She announced in March that she was having treatment for an unidentified type of cancer.

“As anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days,” Kate said in a statement issued on Friday. She added that she still has “a few more months” of treatment ahead of her.

Officials stress that Saturday’s engagement does not signal a complete return to public life, and Kate declared she is “not out of the woods yet.”

Every June, crowds gather to watch the birthday parade, popularly called Trooping the Colour. It starts with a horse and musician procession, followed by hundreds of troops in ceremonial uniforms from Buckingham Palace.

The 42-year-old princess made her first public appearance as she rode in a horse-drawn carriage with her children George, 10, Charlotte, 9, and 6-year-old Louis from the palace down the magnificent Mall. Watchers applauded when they saw Kate wearing a wide-brimmed Philip Treacy hat and a white Jenny Packham dress.

She observed the event with the children from the window of a building overlooking the Horse Guards Parade, a ceremonial parade area in downtown London. Louis watched mostly but yawned loudly at one point in the proceedings.

For the occasion, when soldiers parade past the monarch waving their regimental flag, or “color,” Prince William mounted a horse in military garb. The days of a regiment’s flag serving as a crucial rallying point amid battle are the source of the precision marching and martial music displays.

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Princess Kate | AP news Image

UK Royals Unite On Palace Balcony As Princess Kate Returns To Public View After Cancer Diagnosis

Unlike last year when he rode on horseback, Charles, who is also receiving treatment for an unidentified type of cancer, traveled in a carriage with Queen Camilla. Saluting as elite Foot Guards units marched past, the monarch examined the soldiers from a dais on the parade ground.

A company of the Irish Guards, with Kate as its honorary colonel, was the first to display their colors this year. Five regiments alternately do so. Seamus, the Irish wolfhound mascot, led the soldiers in scarlet tunics and bearskin caps onto the parade field.

The 75-year-old Charles recently eased back into public life after disclosing his cancer in February. He went to events last week honoring the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe on June 6, 1944.

The king’s birthday comes in November, one of the many oddities of British royal tradition. Saturday is not that day. Charles was born on the second Saturday in June, the same day his mother Queen Elizabeth II was born. Though the early sun on Saturday gave way to a windy, rainy day in London, the date was selected because of the generally decent weather.

The rain held off for most of the event, but as the gathered troops led the royal carriages back to Buckingham Palace, they encountered wet but ecstatic spectators.

As the family stepped out onto the balcony to watch a flyby featuring the Royal Air Force aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, trailing red, white, and blue plumes of vapor, a blue sky reappeared.

Thousands of royal supporters applauded while a few anti-monarchist demonstrators yelled, “Not my king.”

Those who endured the stormy weather were treated to a show of grandeur and accuracy, including more than 200 horses, 250 military musicians, and 1,400 troops. Trojan, Tennyson, and Vanquish—three of the five military horses that caused mayhem in April when they fled and ran amok through central London—were among the horse contestants.

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Princess Kate | AP News Image

UK Royals Unite On Palace Balcony As Princess Kate Returns To Public View After Cancer Diagnosis

The horses were exercising regularly close to Buckingham Palace on April 24 when they were startled by noise from a nearby construction site and bolted through the city’s streets, smashing into cars and creating mayhem during rush hour.

According to the army, the remaining two horses are healing nicely and should soon return to the battlefield.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Pope Francis Meets More Than 100 Comedians At The Vatican: ‘You Also Make God Smile’

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Pope Francis | AP News Image

Vatican City – On Friday, Pope Francis celebrated the value of humor with a rather unusual audience at the Vatican before taking off for the southern Puglia region of Italy to meet world leaders at the Group of Seven meeting.

The pope welcomed over a hundred comedians from fifteen different countries, including American stars Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O’Brien.

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Pope Francis | AP news Image

Pope Francis Meets More Than 100 Comedians At The Vatican: ‘You Also Make God Smile’

Francis addressed the comedians, “You have the potential to transmit peace and laughter in the face of so much bad news, involved as we are in many social and even personal difficulties.

“Laughter is contagious, therefore you unite people,” he said, laughingly adding, “Please pray for me: for, not against!”

As Francis noted, God was delighted in the creation and “Divine wisdom practiced your art for the benefit of none other than God himself, the first spectator in history.”

Just keep this in mind, he said. God grins as well when you can make even one observer smile intelligently.

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Pope Francis | AP news Image

Pope Francis Meets More Than 100 Comedians At The Vatican: ‘You Also Make God Smile’

According to Francis, laughing at God was acceptable in the same manner as playing and joking with the ones we love.

Following his address, Francis greeted each comic separately, cracked jokes, and laughed with a few.

Goldberg recalled, “It was fantastic, really loving, and quick. It made me happy.”

Pope Francis “spoke in Italian, so I’m not quite sure what was said,” O’Brien said.

“It was really strange to be in that room with all my fellow comedians, some of whom I’ve been close friends with for many years,” the TV personality said. Every one of us was wondering how this could have happened. When will they toss us out, and why are we here?

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Pope Francis | AP news Image

Pope Francis Meets More Than 100 Comedians At The Vatican: ‘You Also Make God Smile’

Colbert said that he might need to improve his Italian. However, he succeeded in reminding the pope that he had produced the audiobook of his autobiography.

“It was amazing, he won’t forget me,” he said.

SOURCE – (AP)

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