Ms. Madgwick survived, her leg broken by a dislodged radiator. Her sister and brother, Marilyn and Carl, both died.

The scale of the disaster quickly made it a moment of national introspection and trauma, and the queen soon decided to visit.

One of the biggest regrets of her reign was that she did not go sooner, a leading aide later said, and some villagers say the eight-day delay rankled the community at the time. But today, the residents largely remember her arrival as a moving gesture of solidarity from someone they never expected to lay eyes on.

research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Other wings of the British state angered the village by refusing to prosecute any coal industry officials for negligence. Successive governments also declined to cover the whole cost of removing other dangerous slurry tips near the village, forcing villagers to dip into donations intended for survivors, until they were finally fully reimbursed in 2007.

But the queen’s concern for Aberfan meant that she was seen as separate from the state’s indifference, despite being its titular head.

Elsewhere in Britain, people have debated whether the queen could really ever rise beyond politics, given the monarch’s interest in maintaining her own role in Britain’s political system. But in Aberfan, there was less doubt.

“There’s no political agenda there,” said Jeff Edwards, 64, the last child to be rescued from the rubble. “The queen is above all that.”

In Aberfan, most people expressed sympathy for her family and respect for her sense of duty. But there are those, particularly among young generations, who have had a more ambivalent response to the queen’s death.

For some, the accession of King Charles III — as well as the abrupt appointment of his son William to his former role of Prince of Wales — is more problematic.

“I should be Prince of Wales, I’m more Welsh than Charles or William,” said Darren Martin, 47, a gardener in the village, with a laugh. Of the queen, he said: “Don’t get me wrong, I admire the woman. But I do think the time has come for us in Wales to be ruled by our own people.”

The abruptness of the queen’s death was a psychological jolt that has prompted, in some, a rethinking of long-held norms and doctrines.

“If things can change drastically like that, why can’t things change here?” asked Jordan McCarthy, 21, another gardener in Aberfan. “I would like Welsh independence.”

Of a monarchy, he added: “Only if they’re born and raised in Wales — that’s the only king or queen I’ll accept.”

Generally, though, the mood in Aberfan has been one of quiet mourning and deference. The local library opened a book of condolence. Villagers gathered in the pub to watch the new king’s speeches and processions. Some left bouquets beside the tree planted by the queen.

On Monday night, a men’s choir, founded by grieving relatives half a century ago, gathered for their biweekly practice. Proud Welshmen, they were preparing for their next performance — singing songs and hymns, some of them in Welsh, on the sidelines of the Welsh rugby team’s upcoming game.

But halfway through, the choir’s president, Steve Beasley, stood up.

“We all know about the queen,” Mr. Beasley said. “Please stand up for a minute’s silence.”

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‘Biosphere’ Review: A Hilariously Thought-Provoking Sci-Fi Comedy

By Daniel Feingold
September 16, 2022

This uproariously funny and clever buddy comedy uses humor to talk about pressing societal issues.

Two dudes are in a biosphere after the world has ended. We don’t know exactly why, or how long ago. But childhood friends Ray (Sterling K. Brown) and Billy (Mark Duplass), who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Mel Eslyn, in a stellar debut) are now presumably spending the rest of their days in a dome protecting them from whatever made Earth uninhabitable. Climate change feels implied but is never directly referenced. Ray is a charismatic, quietly confident scientist who built the biosphere, while Billy is a well-meaning putz who somehow served as the last president of the United States when end times happened. Humanity had to have already been on its last legs for Billy to be an elected official at any level of government.  

The biosphere is designed not just to sustain life, but to also maintain some semblance of normalcy. The guys play video games, exercise, read, cook and have the necessities for comfortable living, relatively speaking. But they both seem to recognize this can only last for so long, and it’s a ceremonious seafood dinner, of all things, that sparks a doomsday scenario for their safety inside the dome, challenging their friendship, the way they see each other and the way they see themselves.  

And that’s really all I feel I should say. The less you know about this movie going in, the better. No trailer, no detailed plot summary, not even too much discussion about the themes “Biosphere” is tackling. Because, rest assured, while it approaches some deep, important topics in the span of 106 minutes, even knowing what those are would tip you off to possible directions the story is headed. That doesn’t seem fair. “Biosphere” made its world premiere with a surprise screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is appropriate for a movie you should embrace as a complete surprise.  

What I will tell you is “Biosphere” is creative, daring and hysterical. Eslyn and Duplass show no hesitation in pushing these two characters to unexpected, bold places. And they do so with comedy that often plays as both outrageous and tender. It’s their conduit for the social commentary that reverberates throughout the biosphere and in the feelings and interactions of the last men on Earth who inhabit it.  

 Eslyn also makes a remarkably assured feature-length directorial debut, helming an ostensible sci-fi comedy that’s so much more. A lot could go wrong with how this story is told and the messages it offers, and the seemingly unique but actually relevant questions it presents. She fearlessly handles this with sincere thoughtfulness and empathy.  

And when you have a cast of two, that dynamic had better work. Brown and Duplass are a delight to watch, both together and individually. Their chemistry as lifelong friends is believable from the moment we meet them on their morning jog around the dome, discussing the dynamics of video-game brothers Mario and Luigi. It’s a galaxy-brain conversation you have only with someone you feel comfortable around. Their banter never feels forced, and it seems likely the screenplay was light on dialogue in some places to allow space for the two actors to just riff organically.  

A surprise entry at TIFF, and one of the most pleasant surprises of the year for me, “Biosphere” goes far deeper than what it means to live in a post-apocalyptic world, continually pushing the audience to consider the human experience in ways most ordinarily wouldn’t. In the case of Ray and Billy, that consideration comes while stuck in a doomsday dome. Fortunately for us, all it could take is watching a movie.

Source: newsy.com

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Disgraced Prince Andrew, back in the spotlight but still out in the cold

Britain’s Prince Andrew and Prince Edward march during a procession where the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is transported from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament for her lying in state, in London, Britain, September 14, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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  • Presence at funeral events a reminder of his fall
  • Barred from wearing uniform, heckled in Edinburgh
  • Still eighth in the line of succession to throne

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Amid the displays of emotion and deference since the death of Queen Elizabeth, the presence of one figure has added a discordant note to the solemn rituals leading up to her funeral – that of her disgraced son Prince Andrew.

Reputedly the queen’s favourite son, Andrew was stripped of most of his titles and removed from royal duties due to a scandal over his friendship with U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and a related sex assault allegation.

He has not been charged with any criminal offence and has denied any wrongdoing.

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After a period where he has been out of the public eye, the sight of Andrew, 62, in the global spotlight following his mother’s death has served as a reminder of his fall from grace.

A Royal Navy veteran of the Falklands War, he has not been allowed to wear a military uniform during two solemn processions, one in Edinburgh and one in London, when he and his three siblings walked behind the queen’s coffin.

King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward wore full dress uniforms while Andrew was in a morning suit, drawing attention to his peculiar status. He will be allowed to wear uniform as a special mark of respect for the queen during a final vigil the siblings will hold as her body lies in state.

In Edinburgh on Monday, one heckler shouted out: “Andrew, you’re a sick old man”.

The man was bundled away and has been charged with a breach of the peace. But if that was a rare instance of loud public protest, the sentiment seems to be more widely shared.

“There’s no place for Andrew in the future of the family or country, but I think the queen did right to sideline him. He’s brought shame, but I think his family knows what the British people think of him,” said Mary Burke, a 47-year-old from the south coast town of Brighton, as she waited in the long line to view the queen’s coffin in London’s Westminster Hall.

Andrew has not taken part in events at which royals have greeted members of the public, other than a brief appearance outside Balmoral Castle two days after the queen’s death.

Eyebrows have been raised over his continued position as a Counsellor of State, a formal position.

“If this isn’t changed, the monarchy is going to lose many who currently might support them,” wrote Sheila Le Mottee in a comment on an article in the pro-independence Scottish newspaper The National.

“The only reason he is tolerated just now is because he is a son who has just lost his mother.”

PLAYBOY PRINCE TO PARIAH

Once upon a time, Andrew was a popular figure.

Tabloids nicknamed him the “Playboy Prince” as they cheerfully reported on his love life, and he won respect for his service as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands.

His marriage in 1986 to Sarah Ferguson was seen at the time as bringing a breath of fresh air to a stuffy institution.

It all went wrong gradually and then suddenly.

As a roving trade ambassador, he gained the nickname “Air Miles Andy” for his frequent travels, which often involved rounds of golf. His marriage ended in divorce in 1996. The media criticised him for what was described as high-handed behaviour and an overly lavish lifestyle.

But it was the Epstein affair that brought true ignominy upon Andrew.

He stayed at Epstein’s various homes and one video from 2010 showed him inside Epstein’s New York townhouse, waving to a woman from the door. Epstein had been jailed in 2008 for child sex offences.

A photograph circulated picturing him with his arm around a young woman named Virginia Roberts – who accused Epstein of grooming her as a “sex slave”. Also in the picture is socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who in June this year was sentenced by a U.S. court to 20 years imprisonment for child sex trafficking.

Roberts, now called Virginia Giuffre, said as a teenager she had been forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002.

In an effort to clear the air, Andrew sat down for an interview with the BBC in November 2019.

He said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, denied having sex with Roberts and said he had no recollection of even meeting her.

But his justifications, for example saying that her account of dancing with him in a nightclub where he sweated profusely could not be true because he was unable to sweat following an overdose of adrenalin during the Falklands War, were widely ridiculed.

Giuffre eventually sued Andrew alleging he sexually assaulted her when she was aged 17. In March this year, he settled the suit without admitting any liability. The settlement included an undisclosed payment.

Andrew remains eighth in the order of succession to the throne, and British media have speculated that he may still hold the hope of making a full return to public life.

But royal observers think that is highly unlikely, not least as Charles has already spoken of having a slimmed-down monarchy with fewer working royals.

Andrew has, however, assumed one new role. A spokesperson said he would take over care of his late mother’s two corgi dogs.

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Additional reporting by Humza Jilani; Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Andrew Heavens

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Putin Alludes to China’s ‘Concerns’ Over Ukraine War

Credit…Pool photo by Alexandr Demyanchuk/Sputnik

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Thursday that Moscow understood that China had “questions and concerns” about the war in Ukraine — a notable, if cryptic, admission from Mr. Putin that Beijing may not fully approve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He made the remark as he met with Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, in Uzbekistan. China has staked out a neutral position on the invasion publicly, even as it has echoed the Kremlin’s rhetoric about Russia’s being treated unfairly by the West and as China’s propaganda apparatus has parroted Russian disinformation about Western bioweapons.

The summit, meant to signal the strength of the relationship between the two authoritarian leaders at a time of increasing animosity with the West and challenges to their agendas, is particularly important to Mr. Putin, who has become more isolated by the United States and its allies over his invasion of Ukraine. Russia has also faced a spate of recent losses on the battlefield.

“We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis,” Mr. Putin said in televised remarks at the start of the meeting. “We understand your questions and concerns in this regard. During today’s meeting, of course, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before.”

After the meeting, China released a statement saying that “China is ready to work with Russia in extending strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.” It said that “in the face of changes in the world, times, and history, China is willing to work with Russia to demonstrate the responsibility of a major country, play a leading role, and inject stability into a turbulent world.”

The transcript did not have any comment from Mr. Xi regarding Ukraine or the threat posed by NATO. Mr. Putin, by contrast, railed against the “unipolar,” American-led world order that he sees Beijing and Moscow aligned against.

“We jointly stand for the formation of a just, democratic and multipolar world order based on international law and the central role of the U.N., and not on some rules that someone has come up with and is trying to impose on others, without even explaining what it’s about,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Xi. “In general, I must say that the attempts to create a unipolar world have recently acquired an absolutely ugly shape and are absolutely unacceptable for the vast majority of states on the planet.”

One of the core principles of Chinese foreign policy, repeated again in official statements from Mr. Xi’s meetings this week with Central Asian heads of state, is that countries should not intervene in others’ internal affairs and should respect one another’s borders.

Mr. Xi, who is under pressure as China’s zero-Covid policy hurts the economy, needs to project power in the weeks before a meeting of the country’s Communist Party leadership.

The two held talks on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a multilateral, security-focused organization that includes China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four Central Asian nations.

Chinese support is important to Russia. China bought record levels of Russian oil in May, June and July. But Beijing has been careful to avoid violating sanctions on Russia that could lead to it being punished as well.

Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi last met in February, before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. In a 5,300-word statement, they declared a friendship with “no limits” and criticized the influence of the United States in their regions.

For Mr. Xi, the meeting is also a chance to resume his role as a global statesman.

As he tries to build up a regional power base, Mr. Xi went to Kazakhstan on Wednesday for a brief stop at the start of his trip before heading to Uzbekistan in the evening. Mr. Xi used a 2013 trip to the country to announce a vast international investment and development program that became known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

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Xi, Putin Hold Summit In Uzbekistan As Ukraine War Dominates

By Associated Press

and Newsy Staff
September 15, 2022

Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi were due to meet one-on-one to discuss the war in Ukraine, according to one presidential adviser.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and leaders from India and Central Asia gathered Thursday in Uzbekistan for a summit of a security group formed by Beijing and Moscow as a counterweight to U.S. influence.

The meeting Friday of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization is overshadowed by Putin’s attack on Ukraine and strains in China’s relations with Washington, Europe, Japan and India due to disputes over technology, security and territory.

The event in the ancient sultanate of Samarkand is part of Xi’s first foreign trip since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic 2 1/2 years ago, underscoring Beijing’s desire to assert itself as a regional power.

Putin and Xi were due to meet one-on-one and discuss Ukraine, according to the Russian president’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov.

Xi’s government, which said it had a “no limits” friendship with Moscow before the invasion, has refused to criticize the attack. Beijing and India are buying more Russian oil and gas, which helps Moscow offset the impact of Western sanctions.

China “states explicitly that it understands the reasons that forced Russia to launch a special military operation,” Ushakov said Thursday, according to the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass.

Putin planned to meet Friday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ITAR-Tass said, citing Ushakov.

There was no indication whether Modi might meet Xi. Chinese-Indian relations are strained due to clashes between soldiers from the two sides in a dispute over a border in a remote area of the Himalayas.

Other SCO governments include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

The meeting planned to consider an application by Iran, an observer of the group, to become a full member, according to ITAR-Tass.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which has the status of “dialogue partner,” was also in attendance.

Putin and Erdogan planned on Friday to “evaluate the effectiveness” of a deal under which wheat exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea resumed, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to ITAR-Tass.

The Chinese leader is promoting a “Global Security Initiative” announced in April following the formation of the Quad by Washington, Japan, Australia and India in response to Beijing’s more assertive foreign policy. Xi has given few details, but U.S. officials complain it echoes Russian arguments in support of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.

The region is part of China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to expand trade by building ports, railways and other infrastructure across an arc of dozens of countries from the South Pacific through Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

On Thursday, Xi met with President Sadyr Zhaparov of Kyrgyzstan and said Beijing supports the “early operation” of a planned railway linking China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

China’s economic inroads into Central Asia have fueled unease in Russia, which sees the region as its sphere of influence.

Xi made a one-day visit Wednesday to Kazakhstan en route to Uzbekistan. Pope Francis was in Kazakhstan, but they didn’t meet.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Armenia Says 49 Soldiers Killed In Attacks By Azerbaijan

By Associated Press
September 13, 2022

The countries are in a decades-old conflict over a piece of land that’s part of Azerbaijan but has been under ethnic Armenian forces since 1994.

Azerbaijani forces shelled Armenia’s territory Tuesday and killed at least 49 Armenian soldiers, Armenia’s prime minister said, a large-scale attack that fueled fears of broader hostilities breaking out between the longtime adversaries.

The hostilities erupted minutes after midnight, with Azerbaijani forces unleashing an artillery barrage and drone attacks in many sections of Armenian territory, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry.

The ministry said fighting continued during the day despite Russia’s attempt to broker a quick cease-fire. It noted that the shelling grew less intense but said Azerbaijani troops still were trying to advance into Armenian territory.

The ministry added that the Azerbaijani shelling damaged civilian infrastructure and also wounded an unspecified number of people.

Azerbaijan charged that its forces returned fire in response to “large-scale provocations” by the Armenian military, claiming that the Armenian troops planted mines and repeatedly fired on Azerbaijani military positions, resulting in unspecified casualties and damage to military infrastructure.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh in a six-week war in 2020 that killed more than 6,600 people and ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal. Moscow, which deployed about 2,000 troops to the region to serve as peacekeepers under the deal, has sought to maintain friendly ties with both ex-Soviet nations.

Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, held a meeting with military officials to discuss the situation. “It was noted that the responsibility for the current tension rests squarely with the political leadership of Armenia,” his office said.

Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan, also placed the blame for the violence on Armenia. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called for Yerevan to halt its “provocations,” and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar condemned “Armenia’s aggressive attitude and provocative actions.”

Speaking in parliament early Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Azerbaijani shelling killed at least 49 Armenian soldiers. He squarely rejected the Azerbaijani claim that it was responding to Armenian provocations.

The governor of Gegharkunik province, one of the regions that came under Azerbaijani shelling, said there was a 40-minute lull in the fighting, apparently reflecting Moscow’s attempt to negotiate a truce, before it later resumed.

The governor, Karen Sarkisyan, said that four Armenian troops in his region were killed and another 43 were wounded by the shelling.

As the fighting raged overnight, Pashinyan quickly called Russian President Vladimir Putin and later also had phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron, European Council President Charles Michel, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the hostilities.

Speaking in parliament, Pashinyan noted that the Azerbaijani action followed his recent European Union-brokered talks with Aliyev in Brussels that revealed what he described as Azerbaijan’s uncompromising stand.

The Armenian government said it would officially ask Russia for assistance under a friendship treaty between the countries and also appeal to the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Moscow-dominated security alliance of ex-Soviet nations that includes Armenia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refrained from comment on Armenia’s request but added during a conference call with reporters that Putin was “taking every effort to help de-escalate tensions.”

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said top officials from the security grouping held a meeting to discuss the fighting. Armenia’s representative at the grouping emphasized during the meeting that Yerevan expects its allies to take “efficient collective steps to ensure security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry urged both parties “to refrain from further escalation and show restraint.”

Moscow has engaged in a delicate balancing act, maintaining strong economic and security ties with Armenia, which hosts a Russian military base, while also developing close cooperation with oil-rich Azerbaijan.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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White House Flags Fly At Half-Staff To Honor Queen Elizabeth II

President Biden expressed gratitude for the queen’s consistency with the 14 U.S. presidents throughout her 70-year reign.

There’s a storied history between Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. presidents that reflects a deep bond between the two countries.

Over her 70-year reign, she met with 13 of 14 sitting presidents — with Lyndon Johnson being the exception.

“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after her passing.

Her official visits to the U.S. go back to 1951, when then-Princess Elizabeth was greeted by President Harry Truman in Washington.

“I think your visit will improve, if that’s possible, the cultural relations which exist between our two great countries,” he said.

Then in 1957, she visited as queen hosted by President Eisenhower at the White House. In 1976, during America’s bicentennial celebration, she attended a state dinner hosted by President Ford.

“Mr. President, the British and American people are as close today as two peoples have ever been,” the queen stated.

In 1991, she visited President George H.W. Bush and attended a state dinner. During her visit they planted a tree on the South Lawn of the White House, replacing one previously planted in honor of her father. Then in 2007, she visited the White House again meeting with his son, President George W. Bush.

“Administrations in your country and governments in mine may come and go but talk we will, listen we have to, disagree from time to time we may, but united we must always remain,” the queen stated during a toast.

Through the years, the queen was the constant.

“Queen Elizabeth really represents to our country the manifestation of the special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain and for seven decades she has been the embodiment of that friendship,” said Anita McBride, former chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush and former assistant to George W. Bush, and a staff member in the George H.W. Bush administration. “The relationship I think she had with each of our presidents was one of great admiration and respect on their part, vis-a-vis her.”

McBride said of the relationship between the queen and the Bushes: “I think there was a long friendship, a bond that was very special.”

She recalled the care and attention that went into making the White House shine, and the excitement in the months of planning the visit with all hands on deck, down to coordinating colors of dresses.

“I think the other thing I remember about Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2007 that was really meaningful to the Bushes was Queen Elizabeth and President George H.W. Bush visited the World War II memorial together,” said McBride. “Here are these two world leaders; of course, she was still a sitting world leader, he was a former, but who so much of their life, you know, was formed by that incredible pivotal, historical, dramatic event in world history.”

She said Laura Bush had a great respect for the queen, noting in private moments they had a sense of humor and laughed over their dogs. The 2007 visit was timed with the Kentucky Derby, which the queen attended. Laura Bush invited the winning jockey to White House for the state dinner, as the queen was an avid horse rider.

“What I particularly am grateful for, too, was Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were very gracious to those of us on the staff of the White House who really had been deeply involved in the planning of her visit. And she invited us to come over to Blair House, so she could say thank you to us. And I felt it was my time to say thank you to her for what she meant, what she represented the great respect I had for her and, and really the privilege that it was to work on her visit. So I’ll always be grateful for that,” McBride said.

Over the years, Queen Elizabeth also welcomed U.S. Presidents to Great Britain, including the Nixons, Reagans, Kennedys, Clintons, Obamas, Trumps and President Biden, and met presidents in other locations — George H.W. Bush at a Baltimore Orioles game and the Reagans at their ranch in California.

“They, I think, in some ways were the closest relationship of a president and the Queen of England,” said Barbara Perry, the presidential studies director at the University of Virginia Miller Center, about the Reagans and the queen. “She asked if she could come visit them there because she wanted to go horseback riding with President Reagan as they had done at Windsor.”

Perry said each president seemed to find their own relationship with the queen.

“I really do think it went from this father-daughter relationship to a, perhaps, a son-and-mother or son-and-grandmother relationship, and that each president seemed to find sort of a special link with her and vice versa,” Perry said.

But it reflected a significant and important relationship for the countries.

“Well, for example, in the case of the Reagan administration, particularly important as the cold war comes to its height, and ends then with the vice president under Reagan, when he becomes president Bush 41 was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union,” Perry said. “But again, to maintain that Atlantic Alliance that is embodied in NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that had been conceived by FDR and Winston Churchill, who was the first prime minister that that the queen served with, was really important to keep that alliance going particularly at the height and peak of the Cold War.”

Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, President Biden ordered flags to fly at half staff and visited the British embassy in Washington, D.C., where people had placed flowers outside.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” the president said in a statement.

Former American presidents reflected on her legacy.

“Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration,” former President Jimmy Carter stated.

“Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity, and genuine care for the welfare of all its people.  In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity, and strength,” former President Bill Clinton stated.

“Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark moments with her confidence in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow. Our world benefited from her steady resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign. Americans in particular appreciate her strong and steadfast friendship,” stated former President George W. Bush.

“Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance,” former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stated.

“Her leadership and enduring diplomacy secured and advanced alliances with the United States and countries around the world. However, she will always be remembered for her faithfulness to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow countrymen and women,” stated former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Source: newsy.com

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A Victim Of Human Trafficking Shares Their Story

A major FBI crackdown on human trafficking recently freed dozens of minors. A former victim explains how trafficking happens.

Milwaukee’s April Bentley spent the last five years as a victim of human trafficking. She was taken in as a teenager by a woman who befriended her, then began using her as a prostitute. 

“I think I was about 19 when I woke up one day in a strange place because alcohol would erase my memory,” Bentley said.  

“I didn’t know that I was being trafficked. There were many years that I had no idea what that was. I didn’t know that I was in a bad space.” 

The Polaris Project, a non-profit that runs the National Human-Trafficking Hotline, said sex trafficking is a global industry generating $150 billion a year. 

This week, the FBI announced the results of a multi-state crackdown on human trafficking called Operation Cross Country.  

Footage provided by the FBI showed people being taken into custody. Officials said law enforcement identified or arrested 85 people suspected of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. 

They rescued more than 200 victims, including 84 children. 

The average age was 15 and a half, and the youngest victim was 11 years old. 

Bentley shared her story with Newsy partner station WTMJ.

“It was a woman who befriended me. She was an older woman. I was 14, she was 25. She basically kind of said ‘oh I’ll take you under my wing, you’re such a pretty girl.’ She groomed me,” Bentley said. 

Bentley said that she quickly learned it wasn’t the friendship the woman was after. 

“So once she gained my trust she basically just sold me to someone down the street and then made it seem like she didn’t know what happened — ‘oh, you were supposed to just go make breakfast,'” she said.  

Today, Bentley’s non-profit organization Rubies works with girls who are at risk of exploitation. She said exploitation is embedded in some communities. 

“The community that I grew up in — it was more or less that they celebrated it instead of tolerated it. Knowing that I was 14, where was I getting that kind of money? Why was my appearance changing?,” Bentley said.  

Bentley has a message to survivors: “We want you to grow and to know that you are purposed, you are valuable and we value you as a person.”

If you suspect someone is caught in a trafficking situation, call the national Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. 

Source: newsy.com

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Actress Anne Heche In Coma After Fiery Car Crash


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Actress Anne Heche is in critical condition and in a coma after a fiery car crash Friday in Los Angeles. 

Heche's friend and podcast partner Heather Duffy Boylston originally said the star was in stable condition on Saturday following the accident.

"Anne is currently in stable condition. Her family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect her privacy during this difficult time,” Boylston said in a statement.

Heche's speeding car came to a T-shaped intersection and ran off the road and into a house in the Mar Vista section of Los Angeles' westside shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, Los Angeles police Officer Tony Im said.

The car came to a stop inside the two-story house and started a fire that took nearly 60 firefighters more than an hour to douse, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Television news video showed a blue Mini Cooper Clubman, badly damaged and burned, being towed out of the home, with a woman sitting up on a stretcher and struggling as firefighters put her in an ambulance.

No other injuries were reported, and no arrests have been made. Police detectives are investigating.

A native of Ohio, Heche first came to prominence on the NBC soap opera "Another World" from 1987 to 1991. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for the role.

In the late 1990s she became one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, a constant on magazine covers and in big-budget films. She co-starred with Johnny Depp in 1997's "Donnie Brasco"; with Tommy Lee Jones in 1997's "Volcano"; with Harrison Ford in 1998's "Six Days, Seven Nights"; with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix in 1998's "Return to Paradise"; and with an ensemble cast in the original 1997 "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

Her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000 heightened her fame and brought immense public scrutiny.

In the fall of 2000 soon after the two broke up, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on the door of a stranger in a rural area near Fresno, California. Authorities said she had appeared shaken and disoriented, and spoke incoherently to the residents.

In a memoir released the following year, "Call Me Crazy," Heche talked about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.

She was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son together. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series "Men In Trees."

Heche has worked consistently in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows in the past two decades. She recently had recurring roles on the network series "Chicago P.D." and "All Rise," and in 2020 was a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

"Better Together," the podcast hosted by Heche and Boylston, is described online as a celebration of friendship.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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In South Korea, Pelosi Avoids Public Comments On Taiwan, China

After South Korea, Pelosi will travel to Japan.

After infuriating China over her trip to Taiwan, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met South Korean political leaders in Seoul on Thursday but avoided making direct public comments on relations with Beijing and Taipei that could further increase regional tensions.

Pelosi, the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said Wednesday in Taipei that the American commitment to democracy in the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad.” In response, China on Thursday began military exercises, including missile strike training, in six zones surrounding Taiwan, in what could be the biggest of their kind since the mid-1990s.

After visiting Taiwan, Pelosi and other members of her congressional delegation flew to South Korea — a key U.S. ally where about 28,500 American troops are deployed — on Wednesday evening, as part of an Asian tour that included earlier stops in Singapore and Malaysia. After South Korea, Pelosi will travel to Japan.

She met South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo and other senior members of Parliament on Thursday. After that hour-long meeting, Pelosi spoke about the bilateral alliance, forged in blood during the 1950-53 Korean War, and legislative efforts to boost ties, but didn’t directly mention her Taiwan visit or the Chinese protests.

“We also come to say to you that a friendship, (the) relationship that began from urgency and security, many years ago, has become the warmest of friendships,” Pelosi said in a joint news conference with Kim. “We want to advance security, economy and governance in an inter-parliamentary way.”

Neither Pelosi nor Kim took questions from journalists.

Kim said he and Pelosi shared concerns about North Korea’s increasing nuclear threat. He said the two agreed to support their governments’ push for denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula based on both strong deterrence against North Korea and diplomacy.

Pelosi and her delegation later spoke by phone with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on the alliance, foreign policy and other issues. Yoon is on vacation this week, but critics accuse him of intentionally shunning a face-to-face meeting with Pelosi in consideration of ties with China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner. Yoon’s office said it had reviewed national interests and that Yoon’s vacation plan had already been set up when, about two weeks ago, Pelosi’s side contacted his office about a possible meeting.

During the phone conversation, Pelosi and other members of her congressional delegation didn’t bring up the Taiwan issue, and Yoon also didn’t raise the matter, Yoon’s office said.

In recent years, South Korea has been struggling to strike a balance between the United States and China as their rivalry has deepened. Yoon, a conservative, took office in May with a vow to boost South Korea’s military alliance with the United States and take a tougher line on North Korean provocations.

Later Thursday, Pelosi was to visit a border area with North Korea that is jointly controlled by the American-led United Nations Command and North Korea, South Korean officials said. If that visit occurs, Pelosi would be the highest-level American to go to the Joint Security Area since then-President Donald Trump visited in 2019 for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Yoon said Pelosi’s visit to the JSA would demonstrate “a strong deterrence against North Korea” by the allies, said Kim Tae-hyo, a deputy presidential national security adviser.

Sitting inside the 2.5-mile -wide Demilitarized Zone, a buffer created at the end of the Korean War, the JSA is the site of past bloodshed and a venue for numerous talks. U.S. presidents and other top officials have often traveled to the JSA and other border areas to reaffirm their security commitment to South Korea.

Any statement critical of North Korea by Pelosi is certain to draw a furious response. On Wednesday, the North’s Foreign Ministry slammed the United States over her Taiwan trip, saying “the current situation clearly shows that the impudent interference of the U.S. in internal affairs of other countries … (is) the root cause of harassed peace and security in the region.”

The Chinese military exercises launched Thursday and planned to last until Sunday involve its navy, air force and other departments. They include missile strikes on targets in the seas north and south of the island in an echo of the last major Chinese military drills aimed at intimidating Taiwan’s leaders and voters in 1995 and 1996.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the exercises are joint operations focused on “blockade, sea target assault, strike on ground targets, and airspace control.”

Taiwan has put its military on alert and staged civil defense drills, while the U.S. has numerous naval assets in the area. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry called the Chinese drills “unreasonable actions in an attempt to change the status quo, destroy the peace and stability of the region.”

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province to be annexed by force if necessary. It considers visits to Taiwan by foreign officials as recognizing its sovereignty.

“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” Pelosi said in a short speech during a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday. “America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.”

The Biden administration and Pelosi have said the United States remains committed to the “one-China policy,” which recognizes Beijing as the sole, legitimate government of China but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei. The administration discouraged but did not prevent Pelosi from visiting.

Pelosi noted in Taiwan that congressional support for Taiwan is bipartisan, and she praised the island’s democracy. She stopped short of saying that the U.S would defend Taiwan militarily and emphasized that Congress is “committed to the security of Taiwan, in order to have Taiwan be able to most effectively defend themselves.”

Tsai said at her meeting with Pelosi that “facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down.”

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that U.S. officials “don’t believe we’re at the brink now, and there’s certainly no reason for anybody to be talking about being at the brink going forward.”

On Thursday, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations called for calm in the Taiwan Strait, which separates mainland China and Taiwan, and urged the avoidance of any “provocative action.” ASEAN foreign ministers, who are meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a regional forum, said they were concerned the situation could “destabilize the region and eventually could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers.”

Pelosi’s focus has always been the same, she said, going back to her 1991 visit to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, when she and other lawmakers unfurled a small banner supporting democracy two years after a bloody military crackdown on protesters at the square. That visit was also about human rights and what she called dangerous technology transfers to “rogue countries.”

China and Taiwan, which split in 1949 after a civil war, have no official relations but multibillion-dollar business ties.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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