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The world prepares to farewell Queen Elizabeth II



Thousands of people have queued in London to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, ahead of her funeral

Over the weekend, lines extended along the Thames beyond Tower Bridge, as mourners came from far and wide.

Thousands of police, hundreds of troops and an army of officials made final preparations for the state funeral.

It will also be the biggest gathering of world leaders for years.

Joe Biden arrives

U.S. President Joe Biden and other dignitaries are in London for the funeral, to which around 2000 royals, heads of state and heads of government from around the globe have been invited.

From across the UK, and around the world, they came to say goodbye.

The queue stretching along the Thames, as far as the eye could see, so they could see their beloved monarch, one last time.

From the common man, to the sportsman, David Beckham joining the queues and shedding a tear by the coffin.

World leaders arrive

Britain’s airports were busy too, as thousands of foreign dignitaries arrived in London.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived, their motorcade speeding through London’s streets to Westminster Hall .. to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth.

They signed a condolence book at Lancaster House.

The First Lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, was in tears as she visited Westminster Hall.

She them met with the Princess of Wales at Buckingham Palace.

Other distinguished Heads of States, including the President of France, Bulgaria, Singapore and Nigeria, plus Prime Ministers from across the commonwealth, entered Westminster Hall to pay their respects to the monarch.

They arrived at Buckingham Palace by bus for a diplomatic reception hosted by the new King.

Earlier, the queen’s eight grandchildren, led by heir to the throne Prince William, circled the coffin and stood with heads bowed during a silent vigil.

The miles-long queue was closed to new arrivals late Sunday so that everyone in line can file past the coffin before the funeral.

This is the first state funeral in London since Winston Churchill died in 1965. And with thousands of world leaders in attendance, it’s a necessary, but security nightmare for the British security services.

But this is a well rehearsed plan, and London has had years to prepare.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says it one of the first things he was prepared for when he took the top job.

“If you think about the London marathon, the carnival, previous royal weddings, the Olympics – it’s all that in one.”

The size of the crowds turning out to farewell the queen is impossible to predict, but with unprecedented crowds lining for almost a day to view her coffin, police aren’t taking any chances.

An estimated 4 billion people are expected to watch the funeral on television, as the eyes of the world turn to London.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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TikTok CEO testifies as U.S. considers nationwide ban



FBI says TikTok threatens U.S. national security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The hours-long fiery hearing on Capitol Hill was incredibly tense as Chew was grilled by both Republicans and Democrats.

With bipartisan support, both parties are pushing for a nationwide ban on the app which the FBI has said threatens the national security of the United States.

TikTok says it has 150 million America users – almost half the country.

The CEO gave testimony to try and reassure lawmakers and Americans that TikTok is not an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, but critics aren’t convinced.

Chew was bombarded with questions from representatives from both sides of the aisle about the company’s ties to the CCP, security, data storage, well-being, and mental health. 

Many lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Congress is now weighing a nationwide ban on the popular social media platform amid concerns that it is used to harvest Americans’ information and harm children online.

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Protests continue across France over pension reforms



Protestors blocked a terminal at an airport and sat on train tracks

The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption – events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

Protestors blocked a terminal at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.

Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tear gas has been used against them on occasions.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68.

Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Macron earlier in the week said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit – failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.

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Prosecutors allege Donald Trump misled people on potential arrest



The move prompted Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice

Manhattan prosecutors say Donald Trump has misled people to expect he would be arrested, prompting Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice.

A probe is currently under way into his alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Saturday, the former President said he would be arrested on Tuesday.

This saw three Republicans launching an offensive against the District Attorney, who is a Democrat.

They accused him of abusing authority, while also seeking communications, documents and testimony.

A grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case is yet to issue an arrest warrant for Trump.

The attorney’s office has since sent the committee chairmen a letter.

It says the lawmakers’ accusations “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation he would be arrested”.

It also confirms the attorney’s office is “investigating allegations that Donald Trump engaged in violations of New York State penal law.”

If indicted, Trump would be the first U.S. President to face criminal charges.

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