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09 January 2020 08:32

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If you were surprised by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's announcement they would step back from duties as "senior" royals, it seems you're in good company. Buckingham Palace was "blindsided" by Prince Harry and Meghan's decision, according to the BBC's royal correspondent Jonny Dymond. On the record, the palace says it can "understand their desire to take a different approach" but adds "these are complicated issues that will take time to work through". In their statement, Harry and Meghan said they made the decision "after many months of reflection". There appears to be a de-escalation of tensions between the US and Iran, with Washington saying it is "ready to engage, without preconditions, in serious negotiations" following the countries' exchange of hostilities.

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As of 1 February, the UK will no longer be an EU member and by the year's end, says Boris Johnson, an ambitious new trade deal will have been negotiated and signed off by both sides. The Daily Star relegates the story to a small front-page image but has the most fun with its headline: "The Royal formerly known as Prince." Therefore the couple wanted the opportunity to carry out duties for the Queen while also being able to work externally.This would therefore enable them in the long run to become even more wealthy and powerful without having to adhere to strict royal laws. The Sovereign Grant that the couple previously received "is the annual funding mechanism of the monarchy that covers the work of the Royal Family in support of HM The Queen including expenses to maintain official residences and workspaces". It also stresses that Meghan and Prince Harry, are keen to remain part of the Queen's legacy and continue to support her work, if called upon. Twitter users have been quick to express their dismay at the news of Meghan and Harry's royal departure.

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READ MORE:Queen's dismay as Meghan and Prince Harry step back from royal life Meanwhile the Queen is said to be dismayed by the announcement of the couples departure, and blindsided by the news after receiving no prior warning. The Queen is said to be dismayed by the announcement of the couples departure That's according to Scottish marathon runner Callum Hawkins, who is doing everything possible to prepare his body for the hot and humid conditions in Japan this summer. The Olympic marathon and race walk events have already been moved more than 500 miles north from Tokyo to Sapporo to reduce the impact of heat on the athletes. Image: Callum Hawkins collapsed from heat exhaustion while leading the 2018 Commonwealth Games marathon THE pilot of a Ukranian airliner which crashed in Tehran did not make a call for radio help and was trying to turn back to the airport when the plane plunged from the sky, according to Iranian investigators. Iran is refusing to hand over the black box recorders of the Boeing 737-800, which burst into flames in mid-air before crashing yesterday - killing all 176 people on board.

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29 Rescue workers walk past rows of body bags at the scene of the plane tragedy Credit: AP:Associated Press Iran has launched its own investigation and said today the pilot was trying to turn back to the airport when the Kiev-bound flight crashed three minutes after take off. Three American sources, along with one European and one Canadian, told Reuters the initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies was that the plane had suffered a technical malfunction. Ukraine's Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement, saying it could not officially comment on the cause until after a probe. The plane crashed shortly after take-off at Tehran Airport 29 The plane was filmed hitting the ground in a ball of flames Credit: Twitter 29 Harrowing images showed victims placed in body bags at the scene Credit: AFP or licensors 29 A child's book lies among the wreckage strewn across the ground Credit: Getty - Contributor 29 The scorched crash site is seen form air air after the plane slammed into the ground Credit: AFP 29 Rescue teams examine what appears to be the wheel of the airliner in the wreckage Credit: AFP or licensors 29 Wreckage could be seen strewn across the ground in a field near the airport Credit: EPA 29 Emergency crews sift through the wreckage this morning Credit: AFP or licensors 29 The possessions of victims were collected near the crash site Credit: EPA They were on the plane with four members of their wedding party and another 24 Iranian-Canadians from Edmonton. The three-year-old plane stopped sending data almost immediately after it took off, according to website FlightRadar24.

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29 Tearful relatives were seen at the airport in Ukraine where the plane was due to land Credit: Reuters 29 Flight trackers show the plane crashed near Parand just moments after take-off Credit: flightradar24.com Images show flaming wreckage strewn across the ground in the immediate aftermath of the crash. 29 Burning wreckage is seen strewn across the ground ion the immediate aftermath Credit: AFP or licensors 29 Rescuers could not get near the crash site at first because the fire was too intense Credit: AFP or licensors 29 Iranian state media claimed the plane caught fire after suffering engine problems Credit: IRCS 29 Small charred parts of the plane were found on the ground Credit: AP:Associated Press