Connect with us

Business

Kate Middleton reveals cancer diagnosis: What we know so far

Published

on

kate-middleton-reveals-cancer-diagnosis:-what-we-know-so-far

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has disclosed that she has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy.

Here is what is known so far:

What did Kate say?

On Friday afternoon, Kate released a video update regarding her health. The message, recorded on Wednesday, was broadcast two days later.

It came after weeks of speculation about her whereabouts and health since she was hospitalised in January.

“In January, I underwent major abdominal surgery in London and at the time, it was thought that my condition was non-cancerous,” Kate said.

“The surgery was successful. However, tests after the operation found cancer had been present. My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy and I am now in the early stages of that treatment.”

She explained her diagnosis was a “huge shock”.

“As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK,” Kate added, referring to her three children with Prince William, the eldest son of King Charles and heir to the British throne.

Prince George is 10 years old; Princess Charlotte, 8; and Prince Louis, 5.

Kate didn’t reveal what type of cancer she had been diagnosed with, while she also asked for space and privacy.

“We hope that you will understand that, as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment,” she explained.

“My work has always brought me a deep sense of joy and I look forward to being back when I am able, but for now I must focus on making a full recovery.”

From left: Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte leave Buckingham Palace
From left: Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte leave Buckingham Palace [File: Alastair Grant/AP]

The cancer diagnosis is the latest in a series of health challenges that the royal family has had to battle.

King Charles was diagnosed with cancer in February, less than 18 months after succeeding his mother Queen Elizabeth following her death in September 2022. He has since stepped back from public engagements. Buckingham Palace has not said at what stage his cancer was found.

On January 21, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, said she had malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

What kind of surgery did Kate have on January 16?

Kate, 42, had what was described as abdominal surgery on January 16. The news wasn’t announced until the next day when Kensington Palace revealed that the princess was recovering from a planned operation.

At the time, officials said her condition wasn’t cancerous but did not specify what kind of surgery she had, saying only that it was successful. They also explained she was unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter, which falls this year on March 31.

Kate was released from the London Clinic, a private hospital located near Regent’s Park in the heart of the UK capital, on January 29. Following her discharge, she went back to Windsor, which is situated to the west of London, to further her recuperation.

Charles was discharged from the same hospital on the same day as Kate.

What happened next after leaving the hospital on January 29?

Despite the palace explaining the timeline of the princess’s recovery, Kate’s health and location triggered huge speculation. Kate made her first public appearance on March 4 when she was spotted in Windsor. She was seated in the front passenger seat of a car driven by her mother, Carole Middleton.

What about the Mother’s Day picture on March 10?

The speculation continued to grow and amid a social media frenzy, Kate and William published an official photograph of her and her three children on Mother’s Day – celebrated on March 10 in the UK.

But instead of ending the speculation, it fuelled it further, after news agencies retracted it because it appeared to have been manipulated. A day later Kate admitted that she had edited the photograph, and apologised.

Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day. C

— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) March 11, 2024

She was later photographed alongside her husband in a car departing Windsor Castle.

“First of all, why in this current climate do you think you can release a manipulated image and get away with it,” Afua Hagan, journalist and royal commentator, told Al Jazeera.

“But what really baffles me is Kate didn’t do this alone. She has a team around her,” Hagan said.

“There is also an issue with the public relations and communications team, which has badly let you down. Your team has thrown you under the bus, Princess of Wales, and you are taking the blame,” she added.

Is it unusual to find cancer after surgery?

While it’s rare to find cancer after surgery for a noncancerous problem, it does happen in about 4 percent of such surgeries, said Yuman Fong, a surgeon at the City of Hope cancer centre in Southern California.

“That 4 percent figure represents someone who’s going to the operating room for what is thought to be benign disease such as a procedure to remove the gallbladder or ovarian cysts,” Fong said.

What kind of treatment is Kate having?

The palace statement said no details would be provided about her cancer or her treatment, other than that she started it in late February.

After successful surgery, chemotherapy is often used to help kill any stray cancer cells and to prevent the cancer from coming back. Treatments have evolved, and when chemotherapy is used now, it’s sometimes for shorter periods or lower doses than it once was.

“Fatigue, nausea, tingling in the hands and feet, and sometimes hair loss are side effects of chemotherapy,” said Monica Avila, a doctor at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. “But there are medications for improving these side effects. And cold caps that cool the scalp can prevent hair loss,” Avila said.

“A patient can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two to recover from those effects,” Avila added. Numbness and tingling can take longer to disappear, she added.

Is it unusual to find cancer in someone young?

Cancer is rare in young adults. But in developed countries, rates of some cancers are rising among younger adults. Kate is 42.

“We hate it when young people get cancer, but at the same time, they are the ones that recover best,” Fong said.

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, “about 393,000 people in the UK are given the news that they have cancer” every year.  According to the centre, in the UK on average someone is diagnosed with cancer at least every 90 seconds.

And about 167,000 people die from cancer every year in the UK, an average of “460 people every day”.

What have been the reactions after Kate’s announcement?

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who have been estranged from William and Kate since their move to California in 2020, wished the princess well.

“We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace,” they said in a statement.

Kate’s brother James Middleton also offered his support, with a photo of the two of them when they were children.

“Over the years, we have climbed many mountains together. As a family, we will climb this one with you too ⛰️❤️”

– James Middleton on Instagram 🤍 pic.twitter.com/UN35dGbi0F

— Princess of Wales News (@HRHPWales) March 22, 2024

King Charles said he was very proud of Kate for speaking about the cancer.

Charles is “so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did” and has “remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks,” after they spent time in hospital together, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

Charles and his wife Camilla “will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time,” the spokesperson added.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Kate “has the love and support of the whole country”.

The Princess of Wales has the love and support of the whole country. pic.twitter.com/IFX51Wm5Q3

— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) March 22, 2024

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also wished Kate a speedy recovery.

My thoughts are with the Princess of Wales, her children, and the entire Royal Family following the news of her cancer so courageously shared.

On behalf of Canadians, I’m sending my support as she undergoes treatment. We’re all wishing her a swift recovery.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 22, 2024

In a post on X, US President Joe Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden “join millions around the world in praying for your full recovery, Princess Kate”.

Jill and I join millions around the world in praying for your full recovery, Princess Kate. https://t.co/jtLp8Uo23d

— President Biden (@POTUS) March 23, 2024

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

North Korea conducts test on new ‘super-large warhead’: State media

Published

on

By

north-korea-conducts-test-on-new-‘super-large-warhead’:-state-media

Pyongyang says new warhead designed for cruise missiles, adding that a new anti-aircraft rocket was also tested.

North Korea has conducted a test on a “super-large warhead” designed for a strategic cruise missile, state media reports, adding that it also launched a new type of anti-aircraft missile.

“The DPRK Missile Administration has conducted a power test of a super-large warhead designed for ‘Hwasal-1 Ra-3’ strategic cruise missile”, KCNA news agency reported on Saturday, referring to North Korea by an abbreviation for its official name – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea also carried out a test launch on Friday afternoon of a “Pyoljji-1-2”, which state media said was a “new-type anti-aircraft missile”.

KCNA added that “a certain goal was attained” through the test without providing further details.

The weapons tests were part of the “regular activities of the administration and its affiliated defence science institutes”, KCNA reported, referencing the operation of “new-type weapon systems”.

The tests “had nothing to do with the surrounding situation”, KCNA added, but did not give any further information.

In early April, North Korea said it had tested a new medium-to-long-range solid-fuel hypersonic missile, with state media sharing a video of it being launched as leader Kim Jong Un looked on.

Cruise missiles are among a growing collection of North Korean weapons designed to overwhelm regional missile defences. They supplement the North’s vast arsenal of ballistic missiles, including intercontinental variants, which are said to be aimed at the continental United States.

Analysts say anti-aircraft missile technology is an area where North Korea could benefit from its deepening military cooperation with Russia, as the two countries align in the face of their separate, intensifying confrontations with the US.

The US and South Korea have accused the North of providing artillery shells and other equipment to Russia to help extend its warfighting ability in Ukraine.

Since its second nuclear test in 2009, Pyongyang has been under heavy international sanctions, but the development of its nuclear and weapons programmes has continued unabated.

Source

:

Al Jazeera and news agencies

Continue Reading

Business

Ecuador weighs security, international arbitration in latest referendum

Published

on

By

ecuador-weighs-security,-international-arbitration-in-latest-referendum

Quito, Ecuador – He was elected president at a time of crisis, as Ecuador’s murder rate skyrocketed and gang violence seeped across the country.

Now, Ecuadorian leader Daniel Noboa is taking a plan of action to the voters, with an 11-part referendum on Sunday.

The referendum includes a wide range of proposals, from the militarisation of Ecuador’s police to tougher punishments for crimes like drug trafficking, murder and money laundering.

But Sunday’s vote is set to go beyond beefed-up security practices. One question, for example, aims to reform the judiciary system. Another considers whether arbitration should be the default approach to settling international financial disputes.

Noboa has been pushing for Ecuadorians to vote in favour of all 11 ballot measures, in an effort to streamline the economy and stamp out gang violence.

“Voting yes will strengthen our laws and leave no opportunities for those criminals who wish to joke with our justice [system] with the help of corrupt lawmen,” Noboa said in a public event on Monday.

But the broad nature of the proposals has prompted concern, with critics wondering what the consequences could be for human rights, the economy and efforts to stabilise Ecuador’s security situation.

Some have even questioned whether the referendum reflects a shift towards the “mano dura” or “iron fist” policies popular in countries like El Salvador, where human rights organisations have warned of false imprisonment and a lack of due process.

Daniel Noboa speaks into a microphone.
Daniel Noboa has made the national security referendum a goal of his presidency [Dolores Ochoa/AP Photo]

Limited opposition

Still, only one major political group in the country has consistently called for Ecuadorians to vote “no” on all 11 ballot measures: the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).

The group has accused the government of exploiting the referendum to further Noboa’s political ambitions, as the country approaches its 2025 general election.

Noboa — a 36-year-old politician and heir to a banana industry fortune — was sworn in last November to serve an abbreviated 18-month term, after the departure of embattled President Guillermo Lasso. But he is widely expected to run for a full term in the next race.

In a virtual forum on April 11, CONAIE president Leonidas Iza called the referendum a chance for Noboa to rally support.

“The government needs to consolidate its strength to impose neoliberal policies,” Iza said.

Referendums, he added, are costly to organise, and he called for the policies to instead be considered in Ecuador’s National Assembly.

Another CONAIE leader, Agustin Cachipuendo, was later quoted in the newspaper El Universo as saying any repercussions from the vote would disproportionately fall on marginalised groups.

“This government does not know poverty [but] makes decisions that affect the poor,” he said.

Soldiers in fatigues and combat gear walk through fields in rural Ecuador.
Soldiers patrol during a presidential visit to dairy farms in Poalo, Ecuador, on March 21 [Dolores Ochoa/AP Photo]

Rallying public support

Nevertheless, the referendum enjoys relatively broad public support. According to the research institute Comunicaliza, 42.7 percent of voters plan to back Noboa’s proposals.

Still, another 27.5 percent said they have not made up their minds yet.

Maria, a 48-year-old resident of Guayaquil who asked to use a pseudonym for her safety, is among those supporting the president’s measures to tighten security in the country.

Her city has been at the forefront of the crisis. In January, for instance, a criminal group stormed a local TV station during a live broadcast and held employees at gunpoint, generating international outcry.

Maria explained she had been targeted by a criminal group herself: They blackmailed her by threatening her children. But she said she feels safer thanks to the state of emergency Noboa imposed in January, which allowed the military to be deployed to city streets.

“Policemen and soldiers have been patrolling the borough in these months, so we can finally sleep tight at night,” Maria told Al Jazeera.

She credits the soldiers with curbing the violence in her neighbourhood. The referendum could pave the way for the military to have a permanent role in policing, something Maria hopes will happen.

“If they will leave us, what happens then? This is what everyone is worried about,” she said.

A soldier stands in shadow in front of a row of orange-clad prisoners.
A soldier guards cell block 3 of the militarised Litoral prison in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on February 9 [Santiago Arcos/Reuters]

Searching for a permanent fix

Noboa’s government has argued that the referendum is a necessary step to curb the wave of violence that has rattled the country since 2018.

Declaring a state of emergency, officials argue, is only a temporary solution.

“The general purpose of the [referendum] is to establish some permanent mechanisms, breaking the cycle of enacting emergency decrees and then going back to business as usual,” said the government spokesperson Roberto Izurieta in an interview with local television station Teleamazonas.

The state of emergency granted the government additional powers, allowing officials to impose a curfew and take stronger action against gangs.

Under the state of emergency, for instance, Noboa’s government labelled 22 criminal groups as “terrorist” organisations, clearing the way for the police and military to focus extra resources towards combatting them.

Security forces also seized 77 tonnes of drugs and detained 18,736 people, 300 of whom have since been accused of terrorism. According to the authorities, violent deaths have reduced by 26 percent since Noboa took office.

But in early April, the state of emergency came to an end. Ferdinando Carrion, a security expert, believes some of the reforms in the referendum could help Noboa to continue his campaign against the violence, but more structural reforms are needed.

“They achieved good results in the first two months,” Carrion said of the government’s state of emergency. “But it looks like the effect has been exhausted.”

He pointed to Ecuador’s prison system as a particular area of vulnerability. Investigations have shown that criminal organisations use prisons as spaces through which they can run their operations.

But under the state of emergency, the military was allowed to intervene. Carrion said that produced positive results.

“They intervened in 18 prisons out of 36, managing to sever [the gang leaders’] relations with the outside,” Carrion explained.

“But the minute the army leaves the prisons and gives them back to the national service SNAI, they will return to business as usual, since it has shown problems of efficiency, corruption and collusion.”

Carrion would like to see even greater reforms to government agencies like SNAI, beyond what is on the ballot on Sunday.

“Strengthening our institutions is paramount,” he told Al Jazeera, calling for the creation of a new body to replace SNAI.

A tank sits in front of a Guayaquil prison
The Ecuadorian government has deployed the military to control prisons like the one in Guayaquil [Santiago Arcos/Reuters]

Elections in the crosshairs

Still, some analysts question the efficacy of the referendum, even if it is successful.

Carla Alvarez, a professor studying security at the National Institute for Higher Studies, believes that the referendum will fall short of addressing the country’s gang crisis.

“No query made for public consultation will damage the structure of criminal organisations,” she told Al Jazeera.

She echoed concerns that the referendum has done more to bolster Noboa’s public image than to address the roots of crime in Ecuador.

Many experts trace the rise in the violence to Ecuador’s strategic location between the two largest cocaine producers in the world, Colombia and Peru.

They also point out that Ecuador’s economy was significantly weakened during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving unemployed youth vulnerable to gang recruitment.

But Alvarez said Noboa’s emphasis on holding the referendum is also motivated by his future ambitions. “This vote is happening in the middle of an electoral race. And this allows the president to revive his image on social media and achieve more visibility.”

The security situation has a direct impact on the integrity of Ecuador’s democracy. In the lead-up to the snap election last August, a presidential candidate running on an anticorruption platform was gunned down outside of a rally.

And in recent months, politicians have continued to be targets of the spike in violence.

Five mayors have been shot dead since the year began, the most recent murder unfolding on Friday, just days before Sunday’s vote.

The slain mayor, Jorge Maldonado of Portovelo, was the third to be killed in less than a month. His death followed that of Mayor Brigitte Garcia of San Vicente and Mayor Jose Sanchez of Camilo Ponce Enriquez.

Suspects kneel in front of armed police officers. In front of them is a blue table with guns arrayed as evidence.
Suspects and weapons are displayed for reporters at a police station in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on January 11, shortly after a TV station was stormed during a live broadcast [Ivan Alvarado/Reuters]

Chance of a split vote

Critics like Alvarez underscore that referendums are no silver bullet to the security crisis.

Rather, they are a relatively common political tool. Since 2006, Ecuadorians have been asked to express their will through referendums nine times, on issues ranging from oil exploration to presidential term limits.

Paulina Recalde, director of pollster Perfiles de Opinion, also questions whether Sunday’s referendum will create the groundswell of support Noboa seeks.

While Noboa is angling for approval on all 11 items, Recalde’s research suggests that voters will not unanimously back all the proposals.

“Since the very beginning, we never found an overall majority. People won’t vote the same in all the 11 queries,” she said.

Recalde also said there was confusion over the vote. According to her research, 68 percent of respondents knew little or nothing about the referendum a month ago.

She added that the power outages Ecuador is currently experiencing — as well as a controversial police raid on Mexico’s embassy in Quito — could dent Noboa’s popularity, regardless of the vote’s outcome.

“If people vote yes to expand the role of the military, does it mean that they are providing strong support for the president? I would say no,” she said.

An armed soldier in a helmet stands guard on a Quito city street.
A member of Ecuador’s security forces stands guard outside the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Quito, Ecuador, on April 16 [Karen Toro/Reuters]

Arbitration on the ballot

One of the most controversial ballot measures in Sunday’s referendum asks Ecuadorians to implement a system of “international arbitration” to resolve conflicts between the state and private foreign investors.

In international arbitration, a third neutral party is used to reach a binding decision that settles any claims.

Supporters of the measure feel arbitration could safeguard foreign investment in Ecuador, thereby boosting the country’s economy.

“In a dollarised economy like Ecuador, we need an increase in strong direct foreign investments aligned with our public policies,” said Eric Vinueza, investment counsellor for the Corporation for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (Corpei) who supports the measure.

But activists have criticised this proposal as a tool to discourage the government from enacting environmental reforms that might disadvantage foreign mining interests and other overseas companies.

With arbitration, foreign investors could file complaints and negotiate settlements behind closed doors, leaving the public no recourse to appeal.

“These are private and unilateral judicial spaces which allow transnational companies to sue the states, where the states are only able to defend themselves,” said Ivonne Ramos, a mining expert at the NGO Accion Ecologica.

In the 2008 constitution, Ecuador prohibited any international agreement that would limit its national sovereignty, including through international arbitration.

Sunday’s referendum would undo that protection. Ramos added that international arbitration could come with steep expenses for taxpayers.

Ecuador already owes $2.9 trillion to foreign companies. It is currently involved in 29 different lawsuits before international tribunals, with half of the complaints related to mining and fossil fuels.

“Three of the eight pending procedures could cost more than another $10 trillion, which is our national budget for education and health for 2024,” Ramos said.

Continue Reading

Business

What’s the solution to the rising tensions between Israel and Iran?

Published

on

By

what’s-the-solution-to-the-rising-tensions-between-israel-and-iran?

The United States says it was warned in advance of the Israeli drone strike on Iran.

Iran has shot down Israeli drones in the latest confrontation on Friday.

There have been global calls for restraint – with both East and West fearful of what further conflict could mean for the region and the world.

So, what is the thinking in Iran and Israel? And what is next?

Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam

Guests:

Mohammad Marandi – Dean of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran

Gideon Levy – Columnist for the Haaretz Newspaper

Roxane Farmanfarmaian – Professor of Modern Middle East Politics at the University of Cambridge

Continue Reading

Trending