Latest Sophie Rhys-Jones News

Maya Gebler, center, Cate and Sophie Carroll , right, write letters to fairies in Norfolk, Virginia on Monday Oct. 12, 2020. In the last few months, more than 700 letters have arrived at a fairy tree village outside the home of a journalist and children's book author. (AP Photo/Ben Finley).

Pixie post: Fairy letters offer advice, respite in Virginia

Oct. 20, 2020 11:51 AM EDT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — With the coronavirus lockdown and school out for the summer, 9-year-old Maya Gebler’s social world had shrunk to her immediate family and a few friends. When her human pen pals stopped writing, she turned to the fairies who had taken up residence at a tree in her Virginia...

FILE - This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. YouTube is following the lead of Twitter and Facebook, saying that it is taking more steps to limit QAnon and other baseless conspiracy theories that can lead to real-world violence. The Google-owned video platform said Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020  it will now prohibit material targeting a person or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify violence. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

YouTube follows Twitter and Facebook with QAnon crackdown

Oct. 15, 2020 6:05 PM EDT

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — YouTube is following the lead of Twitter and Facebook, saying that it is taking more steps to limit QAnon and other baseless conspiracy theories that can lead to real-world violence. The Google-owned video platform said Thursday it will now prohibit material targeting a person or...

In this photo provided by the Mali Presidency, three-time Malian presidential candidate and ex-hostage Soumaila Cisse, center, is accompanied by his wife Astan Traore, left, and Issoufi Maiga, right, head of the crisis unit for the release of Cisse, as they arrive at the presidential palace after Cisse was released and flown to the capital Bamako, Mali, late Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. A prominent Malian politician and three European hostages freed by Islamic extremists in northern Mali this week landed in the country's capital late Thursday where they held emotional reunions with family members and were greeted by government officials. (Mali Presidency via AP)

Freed Malian politician details months as al-Qaida hostage

Oct. 10, 2020 6:38 AM EDT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Malian politician Soumaila Cisse's captors kept him constantly on the move in the inhospitable desert, he told French television, describing his six months with al-Qaida-linked militants as “near permanent physical and moral isolation.” His interview with TV5 Monde came as...

Tina Arons, 32, speaks as she removed her phone from a tripod at the Harvey Cornell Rose Park Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Arons used the video recording setup to capture a dance routine with silk fan veils, draped over her shoulder, for and online she teaches. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

The Latest: New Mexico loses ground in COVID-19 spread fight

Oct. 9, 2020 10:29 PM EDT

SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico is losing ground in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as newly reported daily infections hit a record of 488 cases. Three additional deaths from the pandemic also were disclosed Friday by state health officials as fatalities from the pandemic surpassed 900. Bernalillo...

FILE - In this April 24, 2012, file photo, released Swiss hostage Beatrice Stoeckli, left, stands in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, following arrival by helicopter from Timbuktu, Mali, after being handed over by militant Islamic group Ansar Dine. Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry said Friday, Oct. 8, 2020, that Stoeckli has been killed by an Islamist group. The ministry said it was informed by French authorities that the hostage had been “killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam Muslimeen about a month ago.” Stoeckli was kidnapped four years ago. (AP Photo/Brahima Ouedraogo, File)

Switzerland says Swiss hostage in Mali has been killed

Oct. 9, 2020 6:58 PM EDT

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that a Swiss woman who was held hostage in Mali has been killed by an Islamist group. The ministry said it was informed by French authorities that the hostage had been “killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization...

France President Emmanuel Macron, right, stands as Sophie Petronin, center, a French aid worker held hostages for four years by Islamic extremists in Mali, is greeted by relatives upon her arrival at the Villacoublay military airport near Paris, Friday Oct. 9, 2020. Sophie Petronin was released with three other hostages from Mali and Italy this week. Before leaving Mali's capital, she said she was doing well and wanted to return to Mali to resume her humanitarian work with malnourished children and orphans.(Gonzalo Fuentes, Pool Photo via AP)

French hostage freed in Mali arrives home in France

Oct. 9, 2020 6:51 PM EDT

PARIS (AP) — A 75-year-old French aid worker held hostage for four years by Islamic extremists in Mali was reunited Friday with her grandchildren in France, as relatives also welcomed home two Italians and a Malian politician freed with her this week. They were released earlier this week, days after the...

In this photo provided by the Mali Presidency, Italian ex-hostages Father Pierluigi Maccalli, left, and Nicola Chiacchio, right, arrive at the presidential palace after being released and flown to the capital Bamako, Mali, late Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. A prominent Malian politician and three European hostages freed by Islamic extremists in northern Mali this week landed in the country's capital late Thursday where they held emotional reunions with family members and were greeted by government officials. (Mali Presidency via AP)

Mali: 3 European hostages, 1 Malian politician freed

Oct. 8, 2020 8:59 PM EDT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A prominent Malian politician and three European hostages freed by Islamic extremists in northern Mali this week landed in the country's capital late Thursday where they held emotional reunions with family members and were greeted by government officials. Their freedom came just days...

FILE - This Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018 file photo released by the Union for the Republic and Democracy party shows then opposition presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse casting his ballot during the presidential second round election in Niafunke, Mali. Islamic extremists have freed prominent Malian politician Soumaila Cisse after holding him hostage for more than six months along with a French aid worker who was kidnapped back in 2016, an official said Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (Boubacar Sada Sissoko/Union for the Republic and Democracy via AP, File)

Families await freed hostages' return in Mali's capital

Oct. 7, 2020 10:59 AM EDT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Relatives and supporters on Wednesday anxiously awaited the return of a prominent Malian politician and a French aid worker released by Islamic extremists, after families were notified of their release. Family members of Soumaila Cisse and Sophie Petronin still were awaiting details of...

FILE - This Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018 file photo released by the Union for the Republic and Democracy party shows then opposition presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse casting his ballot during the presidential second round election in Niafunke, Mali. Islamic extremists have freed prominent Malian politician Soumaila Cisse after holding him hostage for more than six months along with a French aid worker who was kidnapped back in 2016, an official said Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (Boubacar Sada Sissoko/Union for the Republic and Democracy via AP, File)

Relatives: French woman, Mali politician freed by jihadists

Oct. 6, 2020 5:21 PM EDT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Relatives of a prominent Malian politician and a French aid worker held hostage by Islamic extremists said late Tuesday that both had been freed and would soon be on their way to the capital, Bamako. An official with Soumaila Cisse's political party told The Associated Press that the...

Official: Malian politician Cisse, French aid worker freed

Oct. 6, 2020 11:24 AM EDT

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Islamic extremists have freed prominent Malian politician Soumaila Cisse after holding him hostage for more than six months along with a French aid worker who was kidnapped back in 2016, an official said Tuesday. The 70-year-old who was abducted back in late March while campaigning...