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  • Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) --  Meghan Markle is not yet a member of Britain's royal family but she's already drawing comparisons to the woman who would have been her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana of Wales.Markle, 36, will wed Diana's youngest son, Prince Harry, 33, in a fairy-tale wedding at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19.Diana wed Harry's father, Prince Charles, in what was billed as "the wedding of the century," at St. Paul's Cathedral in July 1981.Markle was born less than one month after Diana and Charles's wedding. She would never meet Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at age 36, when Harry was just 12. Biographer Andrew Morton wrote a biography on Diana, "Diana: Her True Story," that was a New York Times-bestseller when it was first published in 1992.Morton's new book, "Meghan: A Hollywood Princess," sheds light on Markle's life before she met and fell in love with Harry. Morton interviewed Markle’s teenage friends who claim Markle was crying as they watched the funeral for Diana in 1997. Another person whom Morton identifies as a childhood friend of Markle’s was also quoted in the book as saying Markle “wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.""Though much divides Diana and Meghan, much connects them," Morton told "Good Morning America." "They share a humanitarian vision and a mission."He continued, "Both are glamorous and charismatic. Both realized that they could harness their celebrity to give back."Morton's extensive research on both Markle and Diana for his two books gives him a unique perspective on the lives of the two women who hold special places in Harry's heart.Five similarities and differences between Markle and Diana, according to Morton:1. Both came from broken homesDiana's parents, John Spencer and Frances Roche, divorced when she was just 6 years old. Diana, one of four children, later spoke publicly about the painful experience of her parents' divorce.Markle's parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, divorced when Markle was just 6 years old. Markle's mother still lives in the Los Angeles area, where Markle grew up, while her father lives in Mexico."Both felt like outsiders," Morton said. "Diana felt different because divorce was unusual in her community. Meghan felt different because she was biracial."2. Far different backgroundsDiana grew up in a stately home on her family's Althorp Estate. She grew up cared for largely by nannies and later attended boarding school.She also grew up close to royalty, becoming Lady Diana Spencer after her father earned the title of Earl Spencer in 1975.  Diana was also reportedly a playmate of the royals, including Charles' younger brothers. In Diana's early years, the Spencer family lived at Park House, next door to the Queen's home of Sandringham.Markle grew up in Los Angeles, the daughter of a lighting director in Hollywood. She was educated at an all-girls, private Catholic high school in Los Angeles.Markle's mom, Ragland, is a yoga instructor and social worker.3. One was shy, one is an actorWhile Diana was "painfully shy" as a teenager, Markle was involved in school plays and much more assertive, notes Morton.  Markle appeared in her first play at 5 years old, according to Morton. She would go on to star in the TV drama "Suits" for seven seasons, ending her run only when she became engaged to Harry in November 2017.Diana, on the other hand, "only agreed to go on stage if she was able to be at the back in a silent role," said Morton."Diana was also a good, all-around athlete, a winner of diving and swimming cups," he said. "By contrast, Meghan was not athletic. She was interested in books and discussion and debate."4. Concern for the welfare of othersDiana was known as "the people's princess," a named she earned because of her ability to connect with everyday people, particularly for the sick and children who lacked a voice. Markle, who graduated from Northwestern University, is also a human
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Defense Secretary James Mattis is not ruling out possible U.S. airstrikes against Syria in the wake of an apparent chemical weapons attack on a rebel area in Syria that killed dozens of civilians.“I don’t rule out anything right now,” Mattis responded when asked by reporters Monday about the possibility of the U.S. launching airstrikes against the Assad regime in the wake of this weekend's attack in Douma.Mattis made his comments at the top of meeting at the Pentagon with Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar.“The first thing we have to look at is why chemical weapons are still being used at all," Mattis added."Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons and so working with our allies and partners, from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere we are going to address this issue," he said.How the administration will react to the apparent chemical attack in Douma will be a topic of discussion at a National Security Council meeting to be held Monday at the White House, a U.S. official told ABC News.Another official said it was possible that President Donald Trump could be presented with U.S. military options at the meeting.Speaking to reporters before a morning Cabinet meeting, Trump condemned the suspected chemical attack in Douma in no uncertain terms, calling it a "heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons.""We'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours," he said. "We are very concerned. When a thing like that can happen, this is humanity, we're talking about humanity. It can't be allowed to happen."Last April, the Trump administration launched 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase, following a chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun. Those missiles were launched from U.S. Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea.If the administration decides to launch Tomahawk missiles again, there's only one Navy ship in the Mediterranean region that could do it: the USS Donald Cook.On Monday, the Navy announced the ship was leaving Larnaca, Cyprus after a port call. A U.S. defense official told ABC News that the Cook's departure on Monday was previously scheduled and not related to possible military action in Syria.While U.S. intelligence is still assessing the circumstances of the attack in Douma, a State Department official said the victims' symptoms, "reported by credible medical professionals and visible in social media photos and video, are consistent with an asphyxiation agent and of a nerve agent of some type."On Sunday night, the Pentagon issued a statement denying reports from Syrian state media claiming that the U.S. had attacked the T-4 airbase in western Syria."At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria," said the statement. "However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable."
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