Nuku'alofa, Oct 25 (AP/UNB) — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived Thursday in the tiny Pacific kingdom of Tonga, where people gathered at the airport to welcome them wearing traditional outfits, playing guitars and singing.
Prince Harry and wife Meghan were greeted by Princess Angelika Latufuipeka. They were later scheduled to meet with Tonga's king and queen and to attend a reception and dinner featuring traditional Tongan entertainment. Meghan stepped off the plane wearing a red dress while Harry wore a light beige suit.
The couple is on the 10th day of a 16-day tour of the South Pacific. They arrived in Tonga from Fiji, where on Thursday morning they unveiled a statue to honor Sgt. Talaiasi Labalaba, a British-Fijian war hero who died at age 30 while fighting insurgents during the 1972 Battle of Mirbat in Oman.
Labalaba helped save other soldiers by single-handedly firing a 25-pound gun that usually took several soldiers to operate, according to the BBC. He continued for more than two hours, even after his jaw was shot off, before he was eventually shot and killed. A member of the elite SAS group, his heroics were not widely known until recently because the British weren't officially involved in the conflict.
On Wednesday, Meghan, who is four months pregnant, was rushed through an indoor market in Fiji where crowds arrived to greet her and gave a speech about attending university.
Harry and Meghan have a relatively light schedule in Tonga before they return to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, which Harry founded in 2014. The games give sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball.
Tonga, home to just 106,000 people, is also known as the friendly islands. It was a British protectorate before gaining independence in 1970 and remains a part of the Commonwealth group of nations.
After Australia, the couple will finish their trip with a four-day visit to New Zealand.
Fiji, Oct 24 (AP/UNB) — The Duchess of Sussex was rushed through her visit to an indoor market in Fiji's capital Wednesday due to concerns about the large crowd that came to greet her in the relatively confined space.
Meghan chatted with one vendor and briefly greeted others at Suva Market, where throngs of people spilled into surrounding streets. She spent only about half of her allocated 15 minutes there as she was whisked through by security personnel in the enclosed and relatively dark market.
Meghan had visited Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have been involved in the U.N. Women's project "Markets for Change." Vendors were selling watermelons, pineapples and other fruit at the market, as well as handicrafts and fans.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman told The Associated Press that her visit was cut short due to crowd management issues.
Meghan, who is four months pregnant, and husband Prince Harry are on the 9th day of their 16-day tour of the South Pacific. Harry was not scheduled to visit the market, and was instead unveiling a plaque at a forest site home to species such as the Fiji tree frog.
Earlier on Wednesday, Meghan gave a speech at the University of the South Pacific where she talked about the excitement of attending university and the importance of education for women and girls in developing countries.
She said she was only able to attend university thanks to scholarships, financial aid programs and paid work on campus, but that it was, without question, worth the effort.
On Tuesday, the couple attended a state dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel and Harry said Fiji and Britain shared a love of rugby and a sense of humor.
"This visit is particularly nostalgic for us as a young married couple," Harry said. "My grandparents stayed in this very hotel, the Grand Pacific, a number of times over the years. But this visit is also an opportunity to learn more about the future of Fiji, your economic growth, sustainable tourism development and social enterprises."
The couple is scheduled to visit Tonga on Thursday before returning to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, Harry's brainchild and the focus of their tour. The couple will then finish their trip with a four-day visit to New Zealand.
Peru, Oct 24 (AP/UNB) — Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie said Tuesday the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from their country has led to a "shocking" migrant crisis in South America that was "predictable and preventable."
Jolie was ending a three-day visit to Peru as a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency. During her visit Jolie met Venezuelan refugees who live at a shelter in the capital city and also went to a border crossing in the north of the country.
On Tuesday, Jolie met with Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra to discuss potential solutions to the migrant crisis and ways of securing international support. After the meeting she thanked Peru for taking measures that are helping Venezuelans in that country to get legal status, and urged governments around the world to support procedures that help refugees to apply for asylum.
"None of the Venezuelans I met want charity" Jolie said. "They want an opportunity to help themselves."
More than 1.9 million people have left Venezuela since 2015 according to the United Nations and some 400,000 have moved to Peru. The UNHCR has described it as the largest population movement in Latin America's recent history.
Venezuela's government has denied there is a migrant crisis and said its enemies are playing up the situation in order to justify an invasion of Venezuela.
On Monday, Venezuelan Socialist Party boss Diosdado Cabello mocked Jolie's visit to Peru, writing on Twitter that it was merely a show that "right wing media" are using to distract from a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants heading to the United States.
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (AP/UNB) — The world will have to wait a little longer for the "Wonder Woman" sequel, which will now arrive in theaters in summer 2020.
Warner Bros. announced Monday that "Wonder Woman 1984" will now open on June 5, 2020. The film starring Gal Gadot as the Amazonian superhero had been slated for a November 2019 release.
Patty Jenkins is returning as director and has teased fans with tidbits about the series' time jump to the 1980s.
The first "Wonder Woman" was a major blockbuster for Warner Bros.' DC Comics franchise. The film earned more than $800 million globally. The original became the most successful live-action film directed by a woman.
The sequel would have been released a month after the "Joker" which is scheduled to open on Oct. 4, 2019.
Washington, 22 Oct (AP/UNB) — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name — Elaine Benes of "Seinfeld" and foul-mouthed Vice-President Selina Meyer — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.
On Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey--touching on the multiple aspects of her career.
Fey paid tribute to Louis-Dreyfus at the award ceremony by tracking the similarities between their lives.
"We both started comedy in Chicago. We both moved on to 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL castmate sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the "secret precision" of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.
"Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer," Fey said. "Julia's never been afraid to be unlikable--not on screen and not in person."
Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
During last year's ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby's name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, "167 days since the last Un-Twaining."
With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."
Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, "It's OK, he's not watching," then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel "in the penitentiary."
Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."
"We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together," Seinfeld said. "As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."
Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."
That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.
"The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!" Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.
"But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here," he said.
The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" particularly recalls her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.
"There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them," he said. "But she was just fearless and ego-less."
At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."
A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a high school party.
Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony_framing it around her performance a high school presentation of the play "Serendipity."
"I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it," she said, to a round of laughter and applause. "But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."
Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Her best-known role is her nine-year run as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." More recently, her work as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.
Production on the upcoming seventh and final season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.
PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.