Prince Philip, 97, gives up license after car crash

In this Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prince Philip waits for the bridal procession following the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, near London, England. (AP)
Updated 10 February 2019
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Prince Philip, 97, gives up license after car crash

  • Philip came under days of media criticism for failing to quickly and publicly apologize for causing the crash

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II’s 97-year-old husband Prince Philip on Saturday surrendered his driving license after causing a car crash that outraged the media and stirred a debate about old age and driving.
Buckingham Palace said Philip — formally known as the Duke of Edinburgh — took the decision on his own after rolling over his Land Rover last month.
“After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement.
Police in the eastern part of England where the accident happened outside a royal residence said they had passed Philip’s file to prosecutors to determine whether anyone should be charged.
“Norfolk Police can confirm that the 97-year-old driver of the Land Rover involved in the collision at Sandringham ... voluntarily surrendered his license to officers,” said a police statement.
“The investigation file for the collision has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for their consideration.”
A CPS spokesman said the service “will take this development into account” as it studies Philip’s case.
Few royal watchers seriously expect the duke to be punished by the police.

A witness told British media that Philip had emerged unharmed but “shocked and shaken” from the collision with the much smaller Kia hatchback.
Police said a nine-month-old baby in the back seat of Kia was uninjured. One woman in the vehicle broke her wrist and the other cut her knee.
The duke was forced to follow standard police procedure and take a breath test.
Police said the results “provided negative readings” for both drivers.
Philip came under days of media criticism for failing to quickly and publicly apologize for causing the crash.
The same witness said Philip had told police he was “blinded by the sun” when he turned onto the road without seeing the oncoming car.
Two days after that accident, the duke was photographed driving a replacement Range Rover without a seatbelt, which is illegal in Britain.
James Brookes, of the Royal Central news site, said Philip was a “strong-willed” individual who was probably not swayed by the public backlash when deciding to hang up his key.
“He wants to enjoy his retirement but he was very shaken by the crash,” Brookes told the BBC.
But Brookes conceded that Philip would have “obviously” been aware of the bad press.
Philip’s behavior also raised questions about why he was still driving instead of being chauffeured around by his entourage.
“There will be some surprise that the duke still drives himself on public roads,” BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond wrote last month.
Dymond also called Philip a “fiercely independent” person who “would have resisted any suggestion that he be denied the right to drive himself.”
Philip retired from public life in 2017 and underwent a hip replacement operation last April.
He is famous in Britain for his forthright manner and his love of speed.
The royal family website says the duke learned to fly all types of aircraft after passing a Royal Air Force test in 1953.


El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

Evelyn Hernandez (C) is surrounded by activists after being released from the women's Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador, on February 9, 2019, where she was serving a 30-year-sentence for aggravated homicide after her baby died at birth. (AFP)
Updated 57 min 11 sec ago
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El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

  • Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A Salvadoran court on Friday freed Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby at home.
After serving 33 months for aggravated homicide, 20-year-old Hernandez smiled as she was reunited with her parents and a brother in the capital San Salvador.
The court in Cojutepeque, east of the capital, ruled that she will be retried but while living at home. A hearing has been set for April 4, with a new judge, her lawyer Angelica Rivas said.
El Salvador has an extremely strict abortion ban. Hernandez gave birth in the makeshift bathroom of her home in the central Cuscatlan region. She was 18 years old and eight months pregnant.
She said her son was stillborn but was convicted of murdering him, abortion rights group ACDATEE said.
ACDATEE cited a pathologist’s report which it said indicated the baby had choked to death while still in the womb.
Prosecutors argued Hernandez was culpable for not having sought prenatal care, ACDATEE said.
The group said Hernandez had not known she was pregnant and gave birth on the toilet after feeling abdominal pains. She got pregnant as the result of a rape, which she did not report out of fear because her family had been threatened.
Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador. Campaigners say some have been jailed after suffering miscarriages.
The country’s abortion law made international headlines in 2013 when a sick woman was forbidden from aborting a fetus which developed without a brain.
Under a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Salvadoran state eventually authorized her to undergo a cesarean section. The baby died shortly after the procedure.