Although national mourning and celebration of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s life has been protracted for more than ten days after her passing, the official State Funeral ceremony is slated to begin in Westminster Abbey at 11 AM BST on Monday, 19 September 2022. Much of the passing chart remains in effect, but there are significant changes and additions which reflect the funeral itself.
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On July 17, 2020 US Representative John Lewis (D-GA), known as “the conscience of the Congress”, passed away at the age of 80. A former associate of Martin Luther King Jr, Lewis was an influential civil rights leader and had served his district as representative for more than thirty years. Lewis, one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington and the last surviving speaker at that rally, was a leader of the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, which protested suppression of black voting rights, when he was viciously beaten by Alabama State Troopers at the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Members of this same organization now saluted his remains when Lewis’ casket was conveyed across that bridge one final time, as part of a protracted funeral process.
The five-day official commemoration of Lewis’ death focused on Alabama, where he was born; Georgia, where he represented the state’s 5th district; and Washington DC, where he had served in the House, highlighted in a funeral and lying-in-state at the Capitol Rotunda, first African American to be given that honor.
Donald J. Trump’s “America first!” policies take on a whole new meaning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: the US is now the global leader in infections and deaths from the virus. With almost a million known to be infected and more than 50,000 deaths, the US now accounts for nearly a third of infections worldwide, and a quarter of the fatalities. We’re lightyears ahead of our leading competitor in COVID-19 incompetence, with four times as many cases as Spain. No one can catch us! The Trump administration can be justly proud of the new records it’s setting. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?
The plight of Central American immigrants was spotlighted again the week of June 23rd, 2019, as horrific conditions for some 300 migrant children at a Texas detention camp were exposed, followed by the intense, heart-wrenching images of a young father and his 23-month-old daughter, both drowned while attempting to swim the Rio Grande, their bodies still clinging to one another.
The week before, a team of lawyers and doctors visiting the Border Control facility in Clint, Texas, reported appalling conditions for the children detained there, separated from family members, including untreated outbreaks of flu and lice. Inadequate sanitation was a major issue, with children going without showers for weeks, a lack of soap and toothbrushes, living in soiled or filthy garments, toddlers without diapers, cared for by older children. Following the public outcry, the administration moved the children from the facility temporarily on Monday, but was forced to return more than 100 a few days later, citing lack of space elsewhere.
Two celebrity suicides shocked the world in the first week of June 2018. Kate Spade, New York fashion designer and sister-in-law of actor David Spade, was found hung by a scarf in the closet of her Manhattan apartment on June 5, and Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, food critic and global travel guide, was found unresponsive in his Strasbourg, France hotel room, an apparent suicide, on June 8.