Before news of Bill Gates’ divorce from his wife, Melinda French Gates, became public, he told his golf buddies about the couple’s relationship problems and even described his marriage as loveless, according to a report by the New York Post.
“Bill did talk to his close friends on the golf course,” a source told the Post. “He told them a while back that the marriage was loveless, that it had been over for some time and they were living separate lives.”
Gates, an avid golfer, was at his $12.5 million mansion at The Vintage Club, an exclusive California golf club, when news of his divorce broke, a source told Page Six on Tuesday. He had been staying there for three months, the source said.
Deaths continue to mount, with at least 83 people now killed in Gaza and seven in Israel.
A BBC reporter in Gaza said it had been the “longest and most difficult night since the 2014 war”. Israel said it had been targeted with 1,600 rockets.
Israel is now mulling a possible ground operation in Gaza.
It has sent reinforcements to the border.
This is now the worst violence since 2014, fuelled initially by weeks of Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which led to clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. This spiralled into an incessant exchange of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes.
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The fear among civilians on both sides is taking its toll.
Najwa Sheikh-Ahmad, a Gaza mother, said of Wednesday night: “You cannot sleep… In any moment your home might be your grave.
“You cannot be secure. As a mother it’s very terrifying, it’s very exhausting for my feelings, for my humanity,” she told the BBC’s Today programme.
In Israel, an apartment block was destroyed in the city of Petah Tikva shortly after residents had gone to their bomb shelters.
“We heard an alarm and suddenly there was a bang. Smoke entered the shelter, and the neighbour next to me who was sitting on a chair flew back,” one resident told the news website Ynet.
Palestinians assess the damage in Gaza after a night of air strikes by Israeli forces
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image captionPalestinians assess the damage in Gaza after a night of air strikes by Israeli forces
Mohammed Abu Rayya, a doctor living in Gaza told the BBC: “[There are] a lot of deaths, a lot of wounded – children, old women and old men. We cannot sleep at home, we are not feeling safe. Air strikes all over Gaza. There are not any places safe.”
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Authorities in Gaza, which is controlled by the Islamist militant group Hamas, say many civilians have died, including 17 children.
Israel says dozens of those killed in Gaza were militants, and that some of the deaths are from misfired rockets from Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they had struck Hamas targets more than 600 times. They said they had targeted homes and businesses used by militants and a school Hamas was using “to hide a terror tunnel”.
A family in Israel takes shelter under a bridge in Tel Aviv after rockets were fired from Gaza
IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionA family in Israel takes shelter under a bridge in Tel Aviv after rockets were fired from Gaza
In the Israeli city of Sderot, a young boy was killed when rocket fire from Gaza hit his home, and shrapnel penetrated the shelter he was hiding in.
The escalating conflict has prompted international airlines, including KLM, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, to suspend services to Israel.
Earlier on Thursday, incoming flights were diverted south from Tel Aviv’s main Ben Gurion airport to Ramon airport amid a flurry of rocket launches.
The Post’s latest article joins a growing number of reports that suggest a rocky relationship between the philanthropist couple in recent years, contrasting with their public statements. French Gates told Insider in 2019 that her husband was “incredibly supportive” and had encouraged her to develop her career. She added that the couple still did the dishes together every night to keep the partnership equal.
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Announcing their divorce on May 3, the couple said in a joint statement: “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Read more: How the ultrarich avoid messy public divorce battles by keeping their disputes out of court
French Gates said in the divorce filings that their 27-year marriage was “irretrievably broken.” She added that the two were already separated.
Reports have suggested that French Gates sought divorce lawyers in 2019, about the same time as Gates’ ties with Jeffrey Epstein surfaced.
Lawyers representing former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao argued in a new court filing late Wednesday that the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on George Floyd was “coerced” by a prominent doctor in Washington, D.C., into altering its findings – and that prosecutors were aware.
The filing accuses that same doctor, who threatened to write a damaging op-ed in the Washington Post against the medical examiner, of later targeting the key medical witness called by the defense in the trial for Derek Chauvin, resulting in an investigation by the state of Maryland following his testimony. That has caused a “chilling effect,” Thao’s defense attorneys argue, making it difficult for the defense to find other medical experts to testify for fear of losing their licenses or damaging their reputation.
The lawyers for Thao, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng – the three officers at the scene when Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck and upper back of Floyd for more than nine minutes – appeared in court Thursday to argue pre-trial motions. Judge Peter Cahill pushed the trial for the three officers back to March 2023 and also weighed a request that prosecutors be sanctioned or submit written affidavits stating that they were not responsible for leaking to the media that Chauvin had agreed to plead guilty to a third-degree murder charge last year before then-Attorney General William Barr refused.
In the filing on behalf of Thao, his attorneys, Robert and Natalie Paule, argued that Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, was “directly and indirectly coerced by the State and its agents.” Baker performed an autopsy on Floyd on May 25, 2023, and told prosecutors the next day that he found “no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation,” the attorneys wrote.
The Daily Beast reported that she had warned her husband years earlier about Epstein, who was known to have been convicted of sex crimes before the two were said to have begun meeting for business. Gates’ willingness to meet with Epstein made her “furious,” the publication reported, citing sources close to the couple.
A report from The New York Times also suggested that French Gates’ body language at events with Gates gave away her unhappiness years before their divorce announcement.
A source told People the couple wanted to wait until their youngest daughter turned 18 before they announced divorce, while the New York Post has reported that they may have timed the announcement to avoid clashing with Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder meeting.