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  • Fearful Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Report Multiple Drone Flybys to LAPD, Will Now Pay for Own Security

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are concerned for their family’s safety following multiple incidents at their Hollywood Hills home, where drones have flown as low as 20 feet above their property to snatch photographs of the couple and their young son, Archie.A source has exclusively told The Daily Beast that the couple has been coping with “unimaginable” levels of press intrusion at their temporary new home, which is reportedly owned by their friend Tyler Perry. It is not known whether the couple is paying rent for the property or not.Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Baby Archie Move Permanently to Los AngelesThe source also claimed that reports that Prince Charles is paying for Harry and Meghan’s security are untrue.The couple has now told friends that when they do hire their own security team, they will pay for any such service out of their own money. “They are not asking for any special treatment, and have not received any,” the friend said.At least five drone-related incidents have been reported to the LAPD’s non-emergency line. The Daily Beast has been informed that there have been drone-related incidents at their home on May 9th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 25th, which were all reported to the authorities.The drones are believed to be operated by paparazzi photographers. However, Harry and Meghan, who have faced repeated racist abuse and trolling, are forced to also treat incoming drones as potential terrorist threats, the source said.“They see these drones coming in at them, and they guess that they are being operated by photographers, but they can’t just assume that. Meghan received racist death threats at the time of her wedding, so the terror threat is very real for them,” the friend said.“But, aside from that, imagine if you were in their shoes facing that, how that would feel? To have drones buzzing around 20 feet above your head when you are trying to play with your son?”“It’s like people forget they are real people. But this is a real family. They are not asking for any special treatment; they are just asking for the safety and security we all expect in our own homes to be respected.”A spokesperson for the LAPD said the May 20 incident was reported at 11:12 am, with the incident report reading: “Unknown suspects were flying a drone in the area and they were last seen on Coldwater Canyon.” A report for the Memorial Day attack said that “a drone was flying over residences” and that it is “an ongoing drone issue.”The Sussexes have been buzzed by drones at least four times in the past week, with the most recent incident taking place on Memorial Day, when the couple were playing with Archie poolside at the house they are living at temporarily.While there is some debate surrounding the legality of publishing pictures taken by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, it is unequivocally illegal to fly a UAV over people, or beyond your line of sight, unless you are a registered drone pilot.However, commercially available drones costing as little as $1,000 can be operated from several miles away and frequently go un-registered with the FAA. Live footage is streamed back to the user’s cellphone, while GPS enables the drones to navigate with pinpoint accuracy.Highly intrusive photographs and videos of Harry and Meghan playing with their dog by the pool, believed to have been taken by illegally flown drones, have been published by numerous gossip publications and sites in recent days.Harry and Meghan are also becoming increasingly concerned by the antics of paparazzi in cars pursuing them to take photographs, the friend said.“They were out driving in the last month in Los Angeles and were noticed by paparazzi,” the friend said. “They were then tailed, followed and chased by two cars, which were being driven very erratically. When they parked up, one of the cars following them, which had been in an outer lane, cut across two lanes of traffic to park themselves. The photographer’s car was five meters away from causing a T-bone crash. It was incredibly dangerous, shocking and scary. They were rattled, but they handled it the best way they could.”“But the reality is people are following and tailing them every day. They are trying not to let the aggressiveness get to them. Protecting their family is their top concern.”The friend said baby Archie was not with them at the time as they were delivering food for the Project Angel charity.The claim that the couple is being habitually chased by cars will inevitably recall the fate of Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash as her driver attempted to outrun paparazzi in a Paris underpass. Prince Harry said last year that he is reminded of his mother’s death whenever he sees camera flashes.However, being besieged by drones when they try to play with their son outside around the pool of their luxury Hollywood home, which is not being named by The Daily Beast, is causing them more concern on a daily basis.The friend said that Meghan and Harry felt violated by a media “hunt” to find out and publicize where they were living, and by “wild speculation” in the media about their security arrangements.The friend said that fresh reports that Prince Charles was paying for their security were untrue, saying: “Charles is not paying for security costs.”It is understood that the couple has yet to hire a permanent security team and is currently being protected by the private team already in place at the house they are residing at.The issue of funding their security blew up in March after Donald Trump said U.S. taxpayers would not contribute to protecting the Sussexes. Harry and Meghan’s spokespeople said at the time that “privately funded security arrangements have been made.”The couple is also believed to be upset by suggestions that they have “invited” press intrusion into their lives by moving to L.A. However, many unsympathetic critics have argued that life in L.A. was bound to be characterized by such activity.Even Lindsay Lohan is among those to have questioned the likelihood of the couple being able to live a peaceful life in Southern California. Lohan, interviewed on Sirius XM’s Andy Cohen Live in March, let out a laugh when the host said the royal couple had moved to Malibu to seek out a more peaceful life, and said it was hard to picture, “Unless they own another, a different private beach. You can’t go to those beaches without being [photographed]-you can’t even surf out far enough. It’s just really hard to do anything publicly there.”However, Meghan and Harry’s friend hit back at such charges and said: “It’s absurd to say they are inviting this because they are in California. When they were in a totally remote location in Canada, they still had swarms of paparazzi photographers descending on them from all over the globe.” “No one would expect that in rural Canada, but it happened, just as it has now happened in L.A. They have absolutely not tried to bring any attention onto themselves.”The friend said there had been a “hunt” to “pinpoint the family’s location,” and obtain details on their security arrangements.“It’s relevant to all of us,” the friend said. “We expect to be safe and secure at home, especially when we are doing something like playing with our kids.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Family blasts 'ridiculous' condo occupancy fee after daughter comes home to shelter in place

    A Mississauga family says it's "ridiculous" their condo corporation is making them pay a $30-a-day "occupancy fee," because their daughter came home to shelter in place with them during the COVID-19 pandemic - but the condo board says the fee is appropriate and the payments have been postponed until at least June. "Thirty dollars a day is just ridiculous and we just want to know what the rationale for this is, and where the money is going," said Roshaan Wasim, 26. In March, as the COVID 19 outbreak was getting out of control in New York City, Wasim left her apartment in Queens to return to the condo her family has lived in for 17 years to put her "parents' minds at ease." Meanwhile, at the end of February, the condo corporation at 135 Hillcrest Ave. notified residents in a letter obtained by CBC News that due to an "increase of water consumption" and a "substantial increase of long term visitors," it would charge any visitor staying longer than two weeks an occupancy fee of $30 per day.The fee would start March 1, the corporation said.Paying fee is tough while parents laid off, Wasim says Prior to that "unilateral" decision, Wasim says, the long-term occupancy fee for visitors to the building was $30 a month. At first, her family ignored the rule and didn't register her as a visitor.  "For the first few days, we sort of resisted and said, 'No, no, she's not here,' but then they just kept contacting us and they wouldn't stop," said Wasim. Ultimately, the family complied after receiving a letter from the condo corporation's lawyer demanding that they register their daughter.For staying with her parents and two sisters for roughly a month from early April until early May, her family has been told they owe roughly $1,000 for the occupancy fee, and $536.75 in fees incurred by the condo corporation for drafting the legal letter.  Wasim says both her parents are off work and are receiving federal emergency benefits due to the pandemic. "To ask for $1,500 out of the blue at any time is a lot, but I think particularly in these circumstances when not just my family, but a lot of folks are stretched," she said."It's a lot of money to ask for."Condo corporation 'acted appropriately,' its lawyer says In a statement, the condo corporation's lawyer, Denise Lash of Lash Condo Law, wrote the daily occupancy fees "cover the increased utility costs and wear and tear on the common elements." "This corporation acted appropriately" when it introduced the occupancy fee for long term visitors in 2003, as a way to deal with "overcrowding of units," Lash wrote. "The recent notice," she wrote, "related to issues with a number of residents breaching the occupancy standards bylaw and the condo corporation wanted to make sure that residents were aware of what this would mean." But condo lawyer Audrey Loeb, with Shibley Righton LLP, told CBC News "you can't just pull a number out of a hat." Loeb, who doesn't represent any party in the case, says long-term occupancy fees for visitors are "rarely" used and are supposed to be tied specifically to "justifiable and reasonable" expenses incurred as a result of the guest's stay. "The notion of charging without any justification $30 a day, and without an invoice to support that, is in my view an unreasonable expense," Loeb said. "What I think they are doing is just fining the people for having an extra body in their apartment," she said, "which the Ontario government has said condominium corporations in Ontario cannot do." Family charged fee for 4-year-old, Syrian refugee mother-in-law Radwan Altaleb is part of a group of roughly 15 residents from the building who have hired a lawyer to argue against the fee.After fleeing the Syrian civil war in 2012 with his wife and two daughters, Altaleb moved into 135 Hillcrest Ave. In 2015, they had their son.Since there were more than two people per bedroom in the two-bedroom unit, he was told he would have to pay the monthly occupancy fee for his son. "They've been accumulating this amount and sending it through their law firm," Altaleb said.Then, last year his mother-in-law came to Canada as a refugee and now she also lives with him. Altaleb says he's being told he has to pay $30 a day for her, as well.That's $1,800 a month he says he doesn't have and never plans to pay. "They are taking advantage in this kind of pandemic," said Altaleb. Residents CBC News has spoken to say they would like more communication from the condo corporation and an emergency meeting to discuss the occupancy fee. Postponed payments due to COVID"The board is not aware of any emergency meeting or request by the owners," said Denise Lash, the lawyer for the condo corporation. "As a result of the pandemic, the Corporation chose not to enforce this payment because some residents had family members occupying due to COVID-19 and has postponed the payment until June and possibly later," Lash wrote. But Roshaan Wasim worries the postponed fee continues to accumulate for her family and for many other residents. "I don't see how that's a compromise at all. June 1st is imminent. I mean we're going to have to pay it next month and it's not like our financial situation is suddenly going to be ok next month."

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