Meghan says talk with Oprah without royals’ input ‘liberating’

Meghan says talk with Oprah without royals’ input ‘liberating’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex has described to Oprah Winfrey how “liberating” it was to have a conversation – let alone a sit-down interview – with the television host without royal minders.

“CBS This Morning” aired a clip on Friday of Winfrey speaking to Meghan about a conversation they had before the actor’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.

The clip opens with Winfrey describing how she asked for an interview and Meghan recounting how there were others in the room and she wasn’t even supposed to be speaking with Winfrey.

“As an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is um… different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes,” Meghan tells Winfrey.

Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry is set to air Sunday night in the United States on CBS and will air in Britain on Monday evening.

Despite stepping back from royal duties a year ago and moving to California, there still intense interest in the couple and their relationship with the royal family.

When Meghan was asked what was right about doing the interview now, she said it was because of the couple’s newfound freedom.

“That we’re on the other side of a lot of, a lot of life experience that’s happened,” Meghan said. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make.”


It’s Honestly Hard for Me to Put into Words How Much I Love These Hasselback Waffle Potatoes

It’s Honestly Hard for Me to Put into Words How Much I Love These Hasselback Waffle Potatoes

First method, Hasselback squares (see video here): For the squares, you need to peel a large Russet potato and trim off the top and bottom. Trim off the rounded edges and form it into a block-like rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch squares that should look the size of a box of matches.

This is where the knife work gets fun. Take two chopsticks and line them up on the top and bottom of the square. Then, make thin, vertical knife cuts down your little square potato, using the chopsticks to ensure that the knife doesn’t cut all the way through. Once you go across one way, rotate the potato and do the same cut perpendicular to your first round of cuts, creating a waffle-like design, but leaving the bottom of the potato square intact.

Once your potatoes are cut into these cute little waffle bites, you’ll toss them in a garlic Parmesan butter and roast them for about 40 minutes, flipping and re-brushing with butter about halfway through.


Democrats Agree To Cut Weekly Unemployment Benefits From $400 To $300, But Exempt $10,200 In 2020 Unemployment From Federal Tax

Democrats Agree To Cut Weekly Unemployment Benefits From $400 To $300, But Exempt $10,200 In 2020 Unemployment From Federal Tax


Democrats have agreed to reduce the federal supplemental unemployment benefits in the next stimulus bill from $400 to $300 per week—a major concession to moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia—as the legislation enters a crucial 24 hours in the Senate.  Getty Images

Key Facts

The previous version of the legislation would have authorized supplemental federal unemployment benefits of $400 per week through August.

The change Democrats plan to introduce would reduce the weekly supplement to $300 but extend the benefits another month, this time through September, multiple news outlets reported Friday. 

It would also exempt the first $10,200 in 2020 unemployment benefits from federal income tax—a proposal that Democrats have floated once before.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is expected to introduce the amendment during the Senate’s marathon voting session on Friday, CNN reported

 White House press secretary Jen Psaki endorsed the compromise on Friday, and added that an extra month of benefits and new tax forgiveness provisions means the amendment would provide “more relief to the unemployed” than the old version of the legislation.

Crucial Quote

“I have personally felt the benefit should be $400,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said during debate on the Senate floor Friday, “but I know some of my colleagues feel otherwise. So what we’re looking at is making sure that we can get a benefit so that people can make rent and pay groceries, that we prevent that cliff, and by God, we sure as hell shouldn’t let folks who are unemployed pay taxes on those unemployment benefits that they secured in 2020.”


Some states, including Maryland, Delaware and Arkansas, have already enacted policies to exempt unemployment benefits from state income tax, too.


San Diego Zoo Vaccinates Apes Against COVID-19

San Diego Zoo Vaccinates Apes Against COVID-19

The San Diego Zoo announced it will be inoculating many of its great apes after several of the gorillas became sick with the virus that causes COVID-19 in January.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, nine apes are being vaccinated. The vaccines are specific for animal use only. "Zoetis provided our veterinarians with a limited supply of recombinant purified spike protein vaccine, intended for use in protecting animals against SARS-CoV-2," San Diego Zoo said in a statement. "The vaccine doses originated from a supply strictly intended for nonhuman use."

ABC News reports that the animals were getting two shots three weeks apart, and have had no adverse reactions.


Beyond Meat Is Opening a Major Production Facility in China

Vegan meat brand Beyond Meat is opening a major production facility in China; the California-based brand aims to have a global reach.

Beyond Meat is making history as the first multinational vegan brand to open a major production facility in China.

The California-based brand signed an agreement to build two production plants around Shanghai earlier this month. It’s known for the Beyond Burger and other meat analogs (the Beyond Meatball was announced on Monday). The brand expects facilities to reach full scale by early next year. They will manufacture plant-based pork (pork is the most-consumed meat in China), beef, and chicken under the Beyond Meat brand.

Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat, said in a statement: “China is one of the world’s largest markets for animal-based meat products and potentially for plant-based meat.”

Beyond Meat made its mainland China debut at more than 3,300 Starbucks locations earlier this year.

Beyond Meat partnered with Yum China, owner of several fast-food chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. All three chains introduced new menu items featuring Beyond Meat in June. That same month, the Beyond Burger launched at select Shanghai Freshippo locations, an Alibaba-owned supermarket chain.

Beyond Meat aims to have a global reach; it acquired a new European manufacturing site in the Netherlands this summer.

Investing in the Future

The Chinese plant-based meat market is growing, expected to reach $12 billion by 2023, according to the South China Morning Press. In 2016, the government outlined plans to halve meat consumption in order to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions.

Many Asian plant-based brands have taken root in recent years. OmniFoods, a Hong Kong-based brand known for its plant-based pork, also plans to establish facilities in mainland China.

Startups are attracting funding from investors. Zhenmeat—a Beijing-based brand that targets Chinese palates with plant-based crayfish, pork tenderloin, sausages, and mooncakes—hopes to raise $2 million this year. Like Beyond Meat, pea protein is the primary ingredient in its products. Starfield, a plant-based meat startup based in Shenzhen, recently launched meatballs in Chinese Papa John’s locations. It received an undisclosed investment from impact investor Dao Foods International earlier this year.

Shanghai’s Hey Maet, a newcomer to the space, received an investment from Shenzhen Tiantu Capital and Silicon Valley investor Wei Guo. It also announced a strategic cooperation with Shuangta Food, which supplies pea protein to Beyond Meat.





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