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Kate Middleton’s engagement ring has fitting link to Queen Victoria


    The engagement ring now wears with immense pride first belonged to the late mother-in-law she never met, . Then Lady Diana Spencer debuted the ring to much royal fanfare when her engagement to Prince Charles was announced in 1981. After Charles and Diana’s marriage ended in divorce in 1996, and the Princess died in a car crash in 1997, the ring had been hidden from view until it emerged again in 2010 on the hand of a brand new owner.

    The Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring is perhaps one of the most iconic royal rings ever, and it was a creation of then-royal jeweller, Garrard & Co.

    Leroy Dawkins, Editor, Fashion Stylist and Blogger, told Express.co.uk of the engagement ring’s provenance: “Diana’s iconic engagement ring from Charles is known to the eye of almost everyone.

    “Diana was fortunate to choose her own ring and decided on the iconic sapphire with 14 round solitaire diamonds. She chose the ring from jeweller Garrard from its catalogue, which raised eyebrows. Reportedly, the Royal Family was not too pleased with this choice as it would mean commoners could buy the same ring, which was priced at £47,000 in 1981.”

    Jewellery experts estimated that Kate’s stunning engagement ring could be worth between £300,000 and £400,000, although to William and Kate, the gem is undoubtedly priceless.

    READ MORE: Royal Family: Sussex’s Netflix series ‘smells of desperation’

    While its association with Princess Diana alone makes it a ring shrouded in history, its royal provenance actually goes back centuries.

    Prince Albert, the beloved consort of Queen Victoria, commissioned a blue sapphire and diamond brooch from Garrard as a present for his bride-to-be in 1840.

    Sara Prentice, Garrard’s creative director, told Vogue: “She found she loved it so much that she decided to wear it on her wedding day as her something blue on the front of her dress.”

    After her wedding, Queen Victoria wore the brooch throughout her lifetime and was known to be incredibly fond of it.

    “It was only right the two were put together. It was my way of making sure mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”

    In the years since got engaged, Kate has rarely been pictured without her beloved sapphire ring.

    Now she regularly pairs it with her Welsh gold wedding band, which she received in 2011, and a simple diamond eternity band which was thought to have debuted after the birth of Kate and William’s first child, Prince George.

    Fittingly for Kate, when she is Queen Consort, she will be able to wear the sapphire brooch and her engagement ring together.

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    New Moon horoscope: What to expect from the New Moon in Cancer


      The last  New Moon came to help lay the foundation for new and positive changes. The Full Supermoon that followed helped you embrace the changes with optimism and a sense of adventure. Now we’re under the influence of the  in Cancer, which will help propel you forward with a good sense of intuition, confidence, and self-trust. Express.co.uk spoke to Moon Mentor and author of ‘Lunar Living: Working with the Magic of the Moon Cycle and Crystals for Self-Care’, Kirsty Gallagher (@kirsty_gallagher_ on Instagram), to find out what’s in store for the New Moon. 

      Astrologically, New Moons are all about embracing new beginnings, given it marks the end of one lunar cycle and the start of a brand new one.

      The New Moon moved into its home sign of nurturing Cancer on Wednesday, June 29 at 3.52am.

      Kirsty said: “As the moon moves into her home sign of Cancer, she wants to bring you home; back to yourself, your heart, your soul, and your life.”

      “This new moon wants you to create a safe space within, for you to know your inner world and trust yourself, your intuition, what you are being shown, what you know and what is stirring within you calling for attention.”

      READ MORE: Virgin Orbit to blast top secret MoD mission with US into space

      Cancer Moon transits always tend to be a more emotional time than any other; suppressed emotions rise to the surface and long-held grudges and resentments can become slightly more crushing.

      Kirsty said these darker Moon energies talk you through “the depths of your emotions… stirring your inner being”, but they only bring what’s ready to come to the fore.

      As a cardinal water sign represented by the crab – boasting a hard outer shell and a safe and hidden interior – Cancer transits invite a sense of overprotectiveness and defence, as well as a desire to retreat.

      However, this New Moon will help you “remove the crab-like shell that we often build around ourselves” to “try to protect us from fear, failure, intimacy, and love”, according to Kirsty.

      It comes, Kirsty said, while “You wait for this imaginary sense of safety that you believe will come with having it all figured out, or approval or permission, or waiting until it’s perfect or when this or if that.

      “But the truth is that true safety will only ever come from within you.

      “From you being at home in yourself knowing that you can trust, rely on, believe in, and support yourself and face anything that life brings you – and that’s what this new moon wants for you.”

      Kirsty added: “This moon wants you to be able to trust yourself. And from that place of trust take the leap.”

      This New Moon is synced up with expansive planet Jupiter, supersizing feelings, emotions and intentions – but the alignment always brings blessings.

      So, it’s important to utilise the energy wisely and “think big”, trust your intuition, and head into the second half of the year with good intentions.

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      Rafael Nadal vs Ricardas Berankis LIVE: Wimbledon updates as Spaniard eyes Calendar Slam | Tennis | Sport


      Rafael Nadal is facing world No 102 Ricardas Berankis on Centre Court in his Wimbledon second round. The second seed is hoping to get his hands on the trophy to extend his Grand Slam record to 23 titles, pulling further ahead of rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. He is also in contention for the Calendar Grand Slam after winning the first two Majors of the year for the first time in his career.

      Nadal is back on Centre Court following his four-set victory over Francisco Cerundolo in the first round. The Spaniard battled from 2-4 down in the fourth set, reeling off four games in a row for a 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 win over the world No 41 who has just one main-draw grass-court win to his name.

      It was also the world No 4’s first professional match on the grass since losing his Wimbledon semi-final to Federer three years ago, and he was feeling positive after his return to the surface.

      “I think, as I said before, I need to keep improving things. But at the end of the match I improved. At the most critical moment, I think I raise my level. That’s a very positive thing. So let’s keep going. Good practice tomorrow. Be ready for Ricardas in the second round. Be another day. Be humble enough to accept the challenge, accept that the situation will not be perfect for the moment,” he said after the three-hour and 33-minute match.

      Follow live updates of Nadal vs Berankis with Express Sport below…

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      John Downing book: Roller-coaster career of John Downing shot at by the Taliban | Books | Entertainment



      John snapped Swedish pop sensations Abba at Waterloo station in 1974 (Image: Getty)

      My life’s great epiphany happened on an otherwise unremarkable day as I watched David, the older brother of a fellow Cub Scout, develop some amateur photographs in his darkened South London bathroom. I thought the whole process was nothing short of magical. That was it for me then; I was hooked for life. I was born in Llwchwr Hospital, West Glamorgan, on April 17, 1940. Mum was a Navy wife, and by the time my father went off to war as a sergeant, she was pregnant with me. In 1948 we moved to London with my baby brother Ronald (Andrew and David joined us in 1950 and 1951).

      One Christmas, Mum and Dad bought me a little Agfa Billy folding viewfinder camera. From that day on, I took photographs of everything and spent all my pocket money on film. Everything else became secondary.

      When our headmaster launched a school magazine I immediately volunteered to take all the pictures for it. At our school prize-giving ceremonies I was allowed to wander around and take photographs.

      I especially loved being able to break ranks when everyone else had to do what they were told. The idea of being an observer rather than a participant appealed immensely. When a professional photographer encouraged me further, I couldn’t wait to leave school and look for a job.

      Then, one Sunday in November 1955, something really important happened. The news came on the radio that my uncle’s train had derailed near Didcot in Berkshire, after the driver missed a signal.

      Eleven people died, but Uncle Miah was thankfully unscathed and later that evening I went with my father to collect him from Paddington Station. Standing on the platform were dozens of press photographers in trilby hats. It was night-time and all the cameras were flashing.


      A visibly shaken Margaret and Denis Thatcher after the IRA bombed (Image: Getty)

      It all seemed unbelievably exciting. I was so fired up that from that day on I resolved to become a newspaperman. At the age of 15 I won a five-year apprenticeship in Fleet Street, starting on my 16th birthday. I’d made it!

      During this time, a photographer called Steve Davis introduced me to his son who worked at the Express – the biggest and most important photographic newspaper in Britain. In early 1963, aged 22, I was offered a trial. There were no less than 64 staff photographers and 14 freelancers.

      My first impression was one of industry, chaos and irreverence. From the ceiling above the news desk hung a sign: Make It Early, Make It Accurate, to which some wag had added, Make It Up.

      Later, the sign was changed to the more prosaic Get It Straight and – to everyone’s delight – it was hung crookedly.

      Chain-smoking journalists tapped furiously on ancient machines with their two best fingers. Then the huge printing presses would thunder into life, shaking the entire building. It was a cacophony of endeavour, served up with unspeakably bad tea.

      By the time the first edition deadline had passed, the office was awash with a sea of discarded typing paper. Years later, when we were graced with a visit from the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, she was so appalled that she picked up a bin and started clearing it up.


      The Thatcher’s Brighton hotel in 1984 (Image: Getty)

      Keen to make a name for myself, I’d pick up any reject jobs the staff photographers thought were beneath them. It was all good experience. One was “door-stepping” Judy Garland at her Kensington house. To our surprise, she came out and invited us in for photographs but only if the article mentioned her ­daughter Liza Minnelli.

      Another job was photographing ballerina Margot Fonteyn and newly defected Russian star Rudolf Nureyev in Drury Lane in 1962. It was their first time dancing together. Nureyev was the nastiest and most foul-mouthed person I ever photographed.

      “That f*****g photographer put me off!” he screamed, while I sat at the back of the room. I had the last laugh because my pictures were later syndicated around the world.

      Every photographer remembers their first foreign job. It’s a real badge of success.

      “I want you to go on a secret assignment to the Sudan,” said the foreign editor, Stewart Steven. “There’s a civil war going on. Has been for almost 20 years. We need you to bring us back a full report.”

      Before we set off he gave us our final instructions: “Book into the Grand Hotel. Act like tourists. Do not make any contact with the office, and keep a low profile. The next time you see this,” he added, holding up my business card, “will be in the hands of your contacts, with this mark.” He pointed to a small cross he had made in the top left hand corner alongside his initials. “Don’t say anything until he identifies himself.”

      john downing

      Legendary Express photographer John with his wife Anita (Image: Hazel Thompson)

      I felt like a latter-day James Bond. Undercover with guerrilla fighters and their families in South Sudan, sharing their scant rations and the ever-present threat of injury or death, I soon became established as the local “medicine man” after I repurposed a local head dress into a bandage for a woman’s son.

      I’d awaken every morning to ever more patients whose healthcare I supervised with frightening little knowledge and even fewer resources, but I did make one useful discovery – if I filled my empty but watertight film canisters with antiseptic and a wad of cotton wool, I could hand them out to the injured.

      Thankfully, when we got home the Express gave the story the space it deserved. It was a proper old-fashioned scoop, earned the hard way, but I never forgot my time with those brave men in that deeply troubled country.

      I was on a roll. One day I might be dispatched to cover The Troubles in Northern Ireland, and another day teenage girls screaming over the arrival of The Osmonds in London. I could be in war-torn Beirut trying to sneak a photograph of PLO soldiers lobbing hand grenades into the sea to catch fish, or at Waterloo station photographing Abba.

      Any regular weekday could find me recording rebels crossing the border from Mozambique, or in Paris to photograph Sophia Loren. I snapped the Monty Python team, Peter O’Toole and Alfred Hitchcock. I covered the Vietnam War, the Bosnian ­genocide, the war in Afghanistan and the Chernobyl disaster.

      I was the only photographer present at the IRA bombers’ assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher in Brighton on October 12, 1984.

      I photographed hundreds of celebrities, including Shirley MacLaine, Raquel Welch, Princess Diana and most of the rest of the Royal Family. I was shot at by Russian helicopters while working in Afghanistan for five weeks with Afghan rebels, one photograph of which became one of my seminal shots. In a Calcutta refugee camp in 1971, the children made the most haunting pictures, leaving an indelible stain on my memory.

      In Uganda, covering Idi Amin’s brutal regime, I was lounging by the pool of Kampala’s Hotel International when soldiers carrying machine guns arrived in the lobby. We were urged to pack. I dialled the number of the Express copytakers, a team of typists who would take down the stories journalists dictated over the phone.

      My words appeared verbatim in the newspaper the following day: “I’m having to keep my voice down in case anyone hears me…There are troops all around the hotel, in the bushes… They’re coming to cut me off…”

      It was almost midnight when I was arrested, handcuffed and placed in a stinking jail crawling with cockroaches.

      I managed to take pictures of my captors – I hid my camera under a towel and asked my fellow prisoners to bunch around me to hide it. 


      American singer Judy Garland in 1964 (Image: Getty)

      A couple conveniently had a coughing fit so the guards didn’t hear the shutter.

      Some time later, a plain clothes policeman told me I was to be deported. I knew I would have to quickly hide my film in plain sight. I opened two dozen new boxes of 35mm film and – having discreetly marked my two viable ones – threw them into the jumble of my case.

      “Where are your guns?” shouted my escort, before he took all the films he thought had been exposed en-route to the plane home. Soon after we’d reached altitude, I went through all of my films, hands shaking. To my amazement and relief, the two vital films were there, untouched.

      A few minutes later the captain came back to congratulate us for escaping Idi Amin’s clutches and said he would pass on messages to friends and family.

      Mine was to my picture editor. It said simply: “I’ve done my job.”

      • Extracted by Jane Warren from Aperture: Life Through a Fleet Street Lens by John Downing (Seren Books, £19.99). Order from serenbooks.com

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      “SOCIAL MEDIA IS A BLESSING AND A CURSE”- PRAIZ (Nigerian Entertainment News)


        Don’t Just Watch and Go, For more exciting Videos, Click here to Subscribe to HipTv Official YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/SubscribeToHipTv Enjoy! HipTv is a Nigerian urban contemporary music…


        Lily Allen speaks out about her abortion, saying women do not need ‘exceptional’ reasons to ‘justify’ decision | Ents & Arts News


        Lily Allen has spoken out about having an abortion – saying women should not need to have to “justify” a pregnancy termination with “exceptional reasons”.

        The British singer – who appeared on stage with teen star Olivia Rodrigo as a surprise guest at Glastonbury to perform her hit song F*** You, in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to end the country’s constitutional right to abortion – made the comments in a statement on Instagram.

        Allen, who is a mother of two, said women justifying their abortions plays “into the hands of the baddies”.

        Olivia Rodrigo performing on the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Saturday June 25, 2022.
        Allen joined US teen star Olivia Rodrigo as a surprise guest during her Glastonbury performance

        “I wish people would stop posting examples of exceptional reasons for having abortions,” she wrote. “Most people i know, myself included, just didn’t want to have a f****** baby. AND THAT IS REASON ENOUGH! WE DON’T HAVE TO JUSTIFY IT.

        “It shouldn’t have to be said, and I think all these examples just play into the hands of the baddies.”

        Allen, 37, joined 19-year-old Rodrigo on the Other Stage at the Glastonbury Festival on Saturday, the day after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case.

        Rodrigo said it was “the biggest dream come true” to perform with Allen, but that she had mixed emotions due to being “heartbroken over what happened in America yesterday”.

        She went on to say that “so many women and so many girls are going to die because of this”, before introducing Allen’s song and dedicating it to “five members of the Supreme Court who have shown us that at the end of the day they truly don’t give a s*** about freedom”.

        Allen is married to Stranger Things and Black Widow star David Harbour, 47, and has two daughters, Ethel and Marnie, with her ex-husband Sam Cooper. Before her children were born, she suffered a devastating miscarriage when she was seven months pregnant.

        Lily Allen is married to Stranger Things star David Harbour
        Lily Allen is married to Stranger Things star David Harbour

        She and Rodrigo are among a number of celebrities who have condemned the Supreme Court.

        Billie Eilish also spoke out against the controversial ruling at Glastonbury during her history-making headline set as the youngest ever solo headline performer, just hours after the decision was announced.

        “Today is a really, really dark day for women in the US,” she said. “I’m just going to say that, as I cannot bear to think about it any longer in this moment.”

        Protests took place across the UK after the decision to scrap the constitutional right to abortion in the US, which is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half of the country’s states.

        Read more:
        Roe Wade – How did we get here?
        Patients panic as clinic prepares to close

        Billie Eilish performs on the Pyramid main stage at Glastonbury Festival, in Worthy Farm, Somerset, England, Friday, June 24, 2022. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
        Billie Eilish became Glastonbury’s youngest solo headliner. Pic: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

        British star James Corden is also among the celebrities who have condemned the “incomprehensible” decision, saying it had moved the country “back to a dark age” and endangered “millions of women and their families”.

        Corden has hosted The Late Late Show in the US for eight years, but earlier this year announced his decision to step down in 2023.

        Speaking in London on Monday, on the first of a special set of recordings for The Late Late show, he drew comparisons between the US and UK legal systems.

        “It was here in 1967 that David Steel, a member of parliament, brought in a bill which legalised abortion in the UK,” he said.

        “Now, if that was ever to change, it would take at least 326 elected officials to agree to such a thing. It would then take another 400 appointees in the House of Lords to vote on that bill before it could ever become law.

        “So that’s nearly 800 people who would all have to agree before the fundamental rights of half the population would be endangered in the United Kingdom.”

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        Hells Angels founding member Sonny Barger dies aged 83 after brief battle with cancer | Ents & Arts News


        Founding member of Hells Angels, Sonny Barger, has died at the age of 83 following a brief battle with cancer.

        The biker, author and California outlaw died surrounded by his wife, Zorana, and his “loved ones”.

        In a Facebook post, published after his death, Barger wrote: “If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing.”

        Born Ralph Hubert Barger, he wrote in his autobiography that the Hells Angels were a small club in San Francisco before he joined.

        The Sons of Anarchy actor went on to create the Oakland Hells Angels in California – now the club’s most significant charter – and is often acknowledged for building it into a worldwide group.

        “I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club,” his Facebook post continued.

        “Although I’ve had a public persona for decades, I’ve mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends.”

        He ended the note by saying: “Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honour.”

        Inside the UK biker feud between the Hells Angels and Outlaws

        Ralph "Sonny" Barger (Centre), president of the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels, reads a statement during a news conference in Oakland, Ca., Nov. 19, 1965
        Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger (Centre), pictured in 1965. Pic: AP
        Ralph "Sonny" Barger, left, the founder and president of the Oakland, Calif., Hells Angels chapter, is led to a waiting van by a U.S. marshal after being arraigned on an explosives charge at the Federal Building in San Francisco, Nov. 10, 1987. Hells Angels in five states were arrested on drugs and weapons charges. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
        Mr Barger after being arraigned on an explosives charge in 1987. Pic: AP

        From prison to an anti-smoking campaigner

        Hells Angels has been accused of being a criminal organisation by a number of authorities but Mr Barger has defended the group on numerous occasions, including during one of its biggest controversies when a fan at the Altamont Free Concert in 1969 was fatally stabbed by a member.

        He has also been in trouble with the law. In 1972, he and three others were acquitted of murdering a Texas drug dealer and setting a home on fire.

        He was later imprisoned for possession of narcotics and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

        Hells Angeles chieftain Ralph "Sonny" Barger and his wife Sharon are shown after his release $100,000 bond in San Francisco Friday, Aug. 1, 1980. He has spent more than a year in jail on Federal racketeering conspiracy charges. (AP Photo/Robert Houston)
        Mr Barger and his former wife Sharon in 1980. Pic: AP

        In the early 1980s, Barger was diagnosed with throat cancer and had his vocal chords removed.

        Following his diagnosis, he started publicly advocating against smoking using the message: “Want to be a rebel? Don’t smoke as the rest of the world.”

        He went on to write six books, his autobiography Hell’s Angel, Ridin’ High Livin’ Free, Dead In 5 Heartbeats, 6 Chambers 1 Bullet, Freedom and his guide to motorcycling Let’s Ride.

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        ‘Big eyes’ artist Margaret Keane, whose husband claimed credit for her work, dies aged 94 | US News


        Margaret Keane, the American artist known for her “big eyes” paintings, has died at the age of 94.

        Her portraits of children with large eyes gained popularity in the 1950s and 1960s.

        Keane was embroiled in a legal battle over the rights to her work after her ex-husband Walter Keane claimed credit for them, a battle told by Tim Burton’s 2014 film Big Eyes.

        A statement on the artist’s Facebook page confirmed the “Mother of Big Eyes, our Queen, a Modern Master and Legend” passed away peacefully on Sunday morning at her home in Napa in California.

        Jane Swigert, Keane’s daughter, told the New York Times her cause of death was heart failure.

        Keane was born in 1927 in Nashville in Tennessee.

        She married Walter in 1955 who began to sell her work and took credit for it as it grew in popularity and sold by the million.

        While her artwork, which featured portraits of sad and large-eyed ‘waifs’, was dismissed by critics, it was loved by celebrities and the public.

        She later sued Walter in 1986 and a judge ordered the pair to paint in the courtroom – Walter refused to.

        Actress Amy Adams portrayed Keane in Big Eyes, which sparked further interest in the artist’s work.

        Amy Adams played Margaret Keane in 2014 film Big Eyes. Pic: The Weinstein Company
        Amy Adams played artist Margaret Keane in Big Eyes. Pic: The Weinstein Company
        Amy Adams played Margaret Keane in 2014 film Big Eyes. Pic: The Weinstein Company

        Tributes have poured in for the artist on social media with a message from her Instagram page reading: “We will miss her love, creative ingenius and passion to continue to create new works up until her passing.”

        While Larry Karaszewski, who co-wrote Big Eyes, posted an image of himself with Keane.

        He wrote: “Grateful we all got to spend so much time getting to know her beautiful spirit. It took a decade to bring “Big Eyes” to the screen. But her tale of surviving abuse was important. She wanted the world to know the truth about her life and art.”

        Keane’s Big Eyes influenced a variety of toy designs and cartoons, including Blythe dolls the cartoon Powerpuff Girls, created by Craig McCracken.

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        Travis Barker’s daughter Alabama shares message following Blink-182 drummer’s admission to hospital | Ents & Arts News


        Travis Barker’s daughter has thanked his fans for their “prayers and love” as it was reported in the US that the star is expected to “be okay” following his admission to hospital.

        The 46-year-old Blink-182 drummer, who recently married Kourtney Kardashian, was pictured being carried into Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles on a stretcher on Tuesday morning.

        US entertainment channel E!, owned by Sky News affiliate NBC, cites a source close to Kardashian saying Barker is now “doing better”.

        And his 16-year-old daughter Alabama Barker has shared a photograph on Instagram of her hand placed next to her father’s – showing his distinctive tattoo – with the caption: “Thank you guys for all of the prayers and love, I appreciate you & love all of you.”

        Alabama Barker shared this picture on Instagram following her father Travis Barker's admission to hospital. Pic: @alabamaluellabarker
        Alabama Barker shared this picture on her Instagram Stories. Pic: @alabamaluellabarker

        “He was in extreme pain yesterday, and he and Kourtney were both really worried,” a source close to Kardashian told E! News. “It was to the point where he could barely walk.”

        But after spending the night in hospital, Barker is reportedly expected to “be okay and is doing better today”.

        The source told E! that Kardashian was trying to keep her husband positive: “Kourtney is trying to lift his spirits and hates seeing him in excruciating pain.”

        More on Kourtney Kardashian

        According to US entertainment news site TMZ, sources connected to the family have said Barker, 46, was suffering from pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) – which doctors reportedly believe resulted from a prior colonoscopy.

        Neither he nor reality TV star Kardashian, 43, have commented publicly about his illness.

        Fans of the star had feared the worst after he tweeted on Tuesday to say: “God save me.”

        However, some felt this might have been a reference to Machine Gun Kelly lyrics rather than his illness.

        Pictures obtained by TMZ showed Barker raising a fist while being taken to hospital early on Tuesday.

        Wearing a black tracksuit, Kardashian – who has changed her name to Kardashian Barker on Instagram – was shown by his side.

        The couple were married in a lavish ceremony in Italy in May following a “practice” wedding in Las Vegas in April.

        Barker has two children with ex-wife Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA – Alabama and 18-year-old Landon.

        Kardashian has three younger children with her ex-partner Scott Disick – Mason, Penelope and Reign.

        Dubbed “Kravis”, the couple got engaged in October after Barker proposed on a beach with a display of red roses in California.

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        Passport application appointments scarce, leading to months-long waits


          NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

          Jon Poganski was worried he wasn’t going to make it to Toronto, Canada, to help his team in a race car series. He faced the challenge of trying to get a passport, though he said the process of applying for one was the easy part. 

          Finding an appointment to apply for one, on the other hand, wasn’t so easy. 

          Poganski couldn’t find a passport acceptance center. That’s because most places are completely booked with no available appointment windows.

          Before 7 a.m., customers begin to line up at the Sutter County clerk-recorder's office to send out passport application materials. 
          Before 7 a.m., customers begin to line up at the Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office to send out passport application materials. 
          (Fox News)

          In Northern California, some locations have no available appointments until the middle of September. 


          The United States Postal Service passport acceptance facility accepts walk-ins for the service, but nearly every appointment was booked for the next 45 days. 

          “Because of the surge in demand for passports, we are seeing a large volume of requests for passport appointments,” a USPS spokesperson.

          This leads to situations like Poganski’s. Travelers may not be able to make scheduled travel due to the demand.

          Sutter County clerk-recorder's office workers say there has been a sharp rise in people applying for passports. 

          Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office workers say there has been a sharp rise in people applying for passports. 
          (Fox News)

          “It did take a little time to plan it,” Poganski said, adding he had to drive more than an hour to find an acceptance facility that was able to accept his passport application.

          The Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office is one of the few passport acceptance facilities in Northern California that only accepts walk-ins and doesn’t schedule appointments. 

          “There was a time when the passport agency wasn’t accepting any applications, so we’ve got that backlog of folks wanting to get an application,” Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston said. 


          Johnston said customers begin to line up early in the morning before the office even opens to make sure they can submit their passport applications. The acceptance center will then send the applications to the State Department for processing. 

          The Sutter County clerk-recorder's office in Yuba City, Calif., is one of a few passport acceptance centers that accepts walk-in appointments rather than appointment-only services. 

          The Sutter County clerk-recorder’s office in Yuba City, Calif., is one of a few passport acceptance centers that accepts walk-in appointments rather than appointment-only services. 
          (Fox News)

          “I got a co-worker to come in early, so I could be here when they opened at 7,” Poganski said. Johnston said they occasionally have travelers to the office from out of state to submit applications. 


          “Having travel restrictions eased up has increased the number of people coming in as well,” Johnston said. 

          State Department data shows a sharp decline in passports issued during the pandemic in 2020

          Just under 12 million passports were issued in 2020, compared to the more than 20 million in 2019. In 2021, more than 15 million passports were issued. 

          “To avoid delays and potential travel disruptions, U.S. citizens and nationals should apply as early as they can for a new passport,” a State Department spokesperson said. 


          Due to the lack of appointments and factoring in the processing times, it could take months to get a passport. 

          The current processing time for a passport is 8-11 weeks for routine service and 5-7 weeks for expedited service. These time frames represent waits after applications arrive at a passport agency. 

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