Slatest PM: It's a Boy!

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 22 2013 4:18 PM

Slatest PM: It's a Boy!

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A nation celebrates.

Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

It's a Boy!: The official decree: "Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm. The baby weighs 8lbs 6oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news.Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well and will remain in hospital overnight."

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Baby Cambridge's Future: BBC: "It is an event which in recent times has only occurred once every 30 years or so, the birth of a child in direct line to the British throne. ... In one sense, the future for baby Cambridge is already infinitely more mapped out than that of just about any other newborn child. Barring revolution in Britain, the shape and trajectory of his life is, in every real sense, inescapable.This is a child whose destiny is to inherit one of the oldest hereditary thrones in the world."

Why It's OK to Obsess: Simon Akam in Slate: "Middleton, after all, is not Michelle Obama. She is not married to the most powerful man on the planet. Though the political emasculation of constitutional monarchies is not completely straightforward—in 1981, for example, King Juan Carlos I of Spain played a sizeable role in derailing an attempted coup d’état, and even William’s father Prince Charles has repeatedly pushed the bounds of his theoretically apolitical status—royalty, at least in Europe these days, does not helm the ship of state. Monarchy therefore takes our basic human urge to bow before power and redirects that urge toward a politically insignificant quantity. That is a good thing."

More Royal Baby Coverage from Slate:

Happy Monday. Welcome to the Slatest PM, where I'm rounding up the day's top stories and resenting the fact that I now have to share my birthday with HRH Royal Baby. Follow me, your afternoon news guide, on Twitter at @s_brodez and the whole team at @slatest.

Obama to Set Economic Agenda: New York Times: “President Obama’s push to restart an economic conversation with the American public this week is a clear indication of how often world events, his Republican adversaries and his own competing agenda have conspired to knock him off that subject. … The new public relations effort, which begins with a major address Wednesday and as many as six economic-themed speeches over the next two months, is intended to give Mr. Obama a chance to claim credit for the improving economy and to lift his rhetoric beyond the Beltway squabbles that have often consumed his presidency.”

Violence Flares Up in Egypt: CNN: “Supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy clashed in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Monday, leaving one person dead and seven others injured, according to Egyptian state news. The clashes come nearly three weeks after Morsy, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, was forced out of office by the Egyptian military.”

Russia Says Assad Ready for Talks: New York Times: “The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said on Monday that the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was ready to engage in peace negotiations without preconditions and he urged the United States and other Western nations to bring Syrian opposition groups to the table for a new round of talks. Mr. Lavrov, who met here on Monday with the Syrian deputy prime minister, Qadri Jamil, blamed opposition groups for the lack of progress in peace efforts. He and Mr. Jamil said that they had discussed the possibility of additional economic aid for Syria, in the form of a loan from Russia, with terms to be finalized later this year.”

White House Working On Israel-Palestine Talks in DC: Reuters: “The White House said on Monday it is working out a date in coming weeks for Israeli and Palestinian representatives to meet in Washington, but spokesman Jay Carney said finding a peace deal remains an ‘enormous challenge.’ Carney made his remarks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Israel and the Palestinians had tentatively agreed to resume peace talks after three years.”

Snowden Didn't Get the Good Stuff: CNN: "U.S. intelligence now believes Edward Snowden did not gain access to the 'crown jewels' of National Security Agency programs that secretly intercept and monitor conversations around the world, CNN has learned. The Obama administration is reviewing what the admitted leaker of classified information actually got his hands on and what damage he may have caused. The ongoing damage assessment indicates he did not gain access to what is called ECI or 'extremely compartmentalized information,' according to a U.S. official familiar with the review."

Quake in China Leaves Dozens Dead: NBC News: “A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck central China on Monday, reportedly killing at least 75 people and collapsing many homes. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit in Gansu province about eight miles east of Chabu at 7:45 a.m. Beijing time (7:45 p.m. ET Sunday). The USGS recorded it at 6 miles deep and said it caused shaking in a rural region where the infrastructure isn't seismically resistant. State news agency Xinhua said the death toll had risen to 75. It put the number of people injured at 600.”

RIP Law and Order Star Dennis Farina: New York Times: “Dennis Farina, a onetime Chicago police officer who as a popular actor played a police detective on the television show ‘Law & Order,’ died on Monday. He was 69. The cause was a blood clot in his lung while being treated in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital, according to his publicist, Lori De Waal. For three decades, Mr. Farina was a character actor who displayed remarkable dexterity, charm and, when called for, toughness, making effective use of his craggy face, steel-gray hair, ivory smile and ample mustache.”

A Few More Quick Hits from Slate:

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until next time, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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