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Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral | Live updates

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Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral | Live updates

LONDON — A two-minute silence has been observed across the United Kingdom in memory of Queen Elizabeth II as the late monarch’s state funeral service drew to a close in Westminster Abbey.

Britain’s royal family, along with hundreds of world leaders and dignitaries gathered at the Gothic abbey in London for the service Monday, lowered their heads as Household Cavalry trumpeters played “The Last Post.”

The congregation then observed a two-minute silence before singing the national anthem.

A lament, played by the Queen’s Piper, brought the service to a close.

After the service, the queen’s coffin was to be laid to rest at Windsor Castle .

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

— Britain and the world to lay Queen Elizabeth II to rest

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— Order of Service for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

— Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is huge security challenge

— World leaders head to London for Queen Elizabeth II funeral

— Royal lying in state rituals endure despite changing times

— Queen paved the way for transition to Charles in final years

— Find more AP coverage here

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

LONDON — Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has said “few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen” for Queen Elizabeth II.

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In a sermon at the monarch’s funeral in Westminster Abbey, the leader of the Church of England said the queen “was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.”

Recalling the queen’s promise on her 21st birthday that “her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and the Commonwealth,” Welby said: “Rarely has such a promise been so well kept.”

The funeral service includes readings and hymns of significance to the queen, including the hymn “The Lord’s My Shepherd,” which was sung at her wedding to Prince Philip in the same abbey in 1947.

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LONDON — The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is underway at Westminster Abbey, where 2,000 mourners are gathered to say goodbye to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

The queen’s coffin sits at the center of the abbey after being borne Monday by pallbearers and accompanied by her son King Charles III, and other members of the royal family.

They included Prince William, his wife Kate and their two elder children George, 9 and Charlotte, 7. Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, also walked behind the coffin.

Dean of Westminster David Hoyle opened the service in the ancient abbey, where Elizabeth was married and crowned.

He said: “We gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth, and from the nations of the world, to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service, and in sure confidence to commit her to the mercy of God our maker and redeemer.”

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LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession has arrived at the West Gate of Westminster Abbey for a state funeral service.

Pallbearers have lifted the coffin from the state gun carriage and carried it inside the Gothic medieval abbey where 2,000 mourners stood as it entered Monday.

Crowds lined the route of the procession through London. Bagpipes played as soldiers in bear skin hats and 142 sailors escorted the coffin from Westminster Hall, where the queen lay in state for four full days for the public to pay their respects ahead of her funeral.

The queen’s coffin is draped with the royal standard and a wreath of flowers including blooms and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House at Charles’s request.

They include rosemary for remembrance, and myrtle cut from a plant that was grown from a sprig of myrtle in the queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.

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LONDON — Pallbearers formed by members of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards have taken Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin from Westminster Hall for a solemn procession to nearby Westminster Abbey, where her state funeral service is to be held.

The late monarch’s coffin has been lying in state in Westminster Hall for four days. Hundreds of thousands of people have filed past to pay their last respects.

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On Monday morning the coffin was placed on a state gun carriage, to be drawn by 142 Royal Navy service personnel to the nearby abbey past crowds of mourners lining the route.

The gun carriage was also used for the funerals of Edward VII, George V, George VI and former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

King Charles III and other members of the royal family, members of the King’s Household and the Household of the Prince of Wales are following the coffin.

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LONDON — U.S. President Joe Biden and his wife Jill have arrived at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

The American leader is among hundreds of heads of state and political leaders from around the world attending the funeral service in London.

Throngs of people were lined up, six people deep along the route of the funeral procession after the service. Many held up their cellphones to grab images of the day’s events.

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in the city for the ceremonies.

After the funeral the queen’s coffin will be taken to Windsor Castle to be laid to rest.

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LONDON — A bell at Westminster Abbey has begun tolling 96 times, once for each year of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.

The abbey’s Tenor Bell struck at 9:24 a.m. Monday and was due to toll once a minute until the queen’s funeral service begins at 11 a.m.

Hundreds of mourners have already arrived at the Gothic cathedral for the service. They will be joined by royalty, heads of state and political leaders from around the world.

Others drawn from members of the public include long-serving nurse Nancy O’Neill, recognized for her efforts in the fight against Covid-19, and Pranav Bhanot, who helped deliver 1,200 free meals during the pandemic.

Afterward, a funeral procession will wind through city streets with the coffin carried on the state gun carriage as it makes its way to Windsor Castle to be laid to rest.

London authorities said almost three hours before the procession that all public viewing areas were already full.

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LONDON — Mourners are arriving at Westminster Abbey to take their seats for Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral service.

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Guests began entering the Gothic medieval abbey shortly after 8 a.m. (0700 GMT; 3 a.m. EDT) on Monday.

Dignitaries were arriving later, with many heads of state gathering at a nearby hospital to be driven by bus to the abbey.

Westminster Abbey is where Elizabeth was married in 1947 and crowned in 1953.

A day packed with funeral events in London and Windsor began early when the doors of 900-year-old Westminster Hall were closed to mourners after hundreds of thousands had filed in front of her coffin since Sept 14.

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CANBERRA, Australia — Around 300 people are expected to watch a broadcast of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral at an official Australian residence where during her final visit to the country the late monarch was woken in the mornings by shrieking sulfur-crested cockatoos.

The doors of Government House, the residence in the Australian capital Canberra of the British monarch’s representative Governor-General David Hurley, will be open to registered members of the public for the funeral.

Hurley is attending the London funeral in person. The queen spent several nights in Government House during her last Australian visit in 2011 and remarked at the time on the noise that the large white parrots made at dawn.

The public offer of an opportunity to watch the funeral at the 19th century mansion set on 54 hectares (130 acres) of parkland populated by kangaroos and other native wildlife was overwhelmed. Registration closed on Tuesday last week, a Government House official said.

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The queen visited Canberra during 14 of her 16 Australian visits, beginning in 1954.

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PARIS — The Paris Metro has renamed one of its stations after Queen Elizabeth II to honor the British monarch on the day of her state funeral.

The Metro company tweeted that the George V station, which serves the French capital’s famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, has been renamed Elizabeth II station for the day on Monday.

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LONDON — The last member of the public to view Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as it lay in state at the Houses of Parliament was Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the Royal Air Force from Melton Mowbray.

Heerey says “it felt like a real privilege to do that.”

She said Monday she went through Westminster Hall twice — the first time in the early hours of the morning and then again just before its doors closed to mourners at 6:30 a.m. (0530GMT).

She says the experience was, “one of the highlights of my life and I feel very privileged to be here.”

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As the end of more than four days of the queen’s lying-in-state drew to a close, the stream of mourners slowed to a trickle. After Heerey bowed her head toward the coffin and moved away, parliamentary officials paid their last respects before leaving the queen’s coffin in the 900-year-old hall ringed by four candles and military guards in ceremonial uniforms.

Her coffin was being taken later Monday morning to Westminster Abbey for a state funeral attended by 2,000 people.

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LONDON — Prince William and his wife Catherine’s 9-year-old son Prince George and 7-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte will attend Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral.

George, who is now second in line to the throne, and his sister will walk through Westminster Abbey with the royal family in procession behind the queen’s coffin as it is carried by pallbearers Monday.

The funeral’s order of service showed that George and Charlotte will walk together behind their parents. They will be followed by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and other royal family members.

The royal children’s 4-year-old brother, Prince Louis, is not expected to be present at the funeral, which will be attended by some 2,000 people.

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Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

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Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

The patience of Memorial Day weekend travelers was tested Thursday by widespread delays across the country, but there were relatively few canceled flights, raising hopes that airlines can handle bigger crowds expected Friday.

By early evening on the East Coast, more than 6,000 flights had been delayed Thursday, with the biggest backups at the three major airports in the New York City area and Dallas-Fort Worth International.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

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Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

The Transportation Security Administration predicted that Friday will be the busiest day for air travel over the holiday weekend, with nearly 3 million people expected to pass through airport checkpoints. It could rival the record of 2.9 million, set on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

“Airports are going to be more packed than we have seen in 20 years,” said Aixa Diaz, a spokesperson for AAA.

When they aren’t waiting out flight delays, travelers are reporting sticker shock at the prices.

At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Larisa Latimer of New Lenox, Illinois, said her airfare was reasonable but other expenses for a getaway to New Orleans were not.

 

 

 

 

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Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

“I just have to make the accommodation,” she said. “The rental car is up … this year, the hotel accommodations were very unusually expensive.”

Kathy Larko of Fort Meyers, Florida, used frequent-flyer miles — and some flexible scheduling — to pay for her trip to Chicago.

“I’m really conscious of looking at the cost of the entire trip. We’re staying a little farther out than we normally would” to get a lower hotel rate, she said. “We’re also flying back a day later, because we could get cheaper miles.”

More travelers will be on the road. AAA estimates that 43.8 million people will venture at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home between Thursday and Monday, with 38 million of them taking vehicles.

 
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Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

 

Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

 

Airport unions are using the holiday weekend to highlight their demands.

About 100 workers who clean airplane cabins and drive trash trucks at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, started a 24-hour strike Thursday, demanding better pay and healthcare, according to the Service Employees International Union. About 15% of flights were delayed, but it was unclear whether the strike played any role.

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A planned strike at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York was averted, however. Teamsters Local 553, which represents about 300 workers who refuel passenger and cargo jets at JFK, said that it reached a settlement with Allied Aviation Services and called off a walkout planned for Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

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“We are happy an agreement has been reached, a need for a strike averted, and we are hopeful that the deal will be ratified by our members,” said Demos Demopoulos, the secretary-treasurer of the local.

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Associated Press video journalist Melissa Perez Winder in Chicago and Associated Press radio reporter Shelley Adler in Washington contributed to this report.

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Texas health department appoints anti-abortion OB-GYN to maternal mortality committee

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Texas health department appoints anti-abortion OB-GYN to maternal mortality committee

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ health department has appointed an outspoken anti-abortion OB-GYN to a committee that reviews pregnancy-related deaths as doctors have been warning that the state’s restrictive abortion ban puts women’s lives at risk.

Dr. Ingrid Skop was among the new appointees to the Texas Maternal Morality and Morbidity Review Committee announced last week by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Her term starts June 1.

The committee, which compiles data on pregnancy-related deaths, makes recommendations to the Legislature on best practices and policy changes and is expected to assess the impact of abortion laws on maternal mortality.

Skop, who has worked as an OB-GYN for over three decades, is vice president and director of medical affairs for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion research group. Skop will be the committee’s rural representative.

Skop, who has worked in San Antonio for most of her career, told the Houston Chronicle that she has “often cared for women traveling long distances from rural Texas maternity deserts, including women suffering complications from abortions.”

Texas has one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S., and doctors have sought clarity on the state’s medical exemption, which allows an abortion to save a woman’s life or prevent the impairment of a major bodily function. Doctors have said the exemption is too vague, making it difficult to offer life-saving care for fear of repercussions. A doctor convicted of providing an illegal abortion in Texas can face up to 99 years in prison and a $100,000 fine and lose their medical license.

Skop has said medical associations are not giving doctors the proper guidance on the matter. She has also shared more controversial views, saying during a congressional hearing in 2021 that rape or incest victims as young as 9 or 10 could carry pregnancies to term.

Texas’ abortion ban has no exemption for cases of rape or incest.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says abortion is “inherently tied to maternal health,” said in a statement that members of the Texas committee should be “unbiased, free of conflicts of interest and focused on the appropriate standards of care.” The organization noted that bias against abortion has already led to “compromised” analyses, citing a research articles co-authored by Skop and others affiliated with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

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Earlier this year a medical journal retracted studies supported by the Charlotte Lozier Institute claiming to show harms of the abortion pill mifepristone, citing conflicts of interests by the authors and flaws in their research. Two of the studies were cited in a pivotal Texas court ruling that has threatened access to the drug.

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Michigan farmworker diagnosed with bird flu, becoming 2nd US case tied to dairy cows

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Michigan farmworker diagnosed with bird flu, becoming 2nd US case tied to dairy cows

A Michigan dairy worker has been diagnosed with bird flu — the second human case associated with an outbreak in U.S. dairy cows.

The male worker had been in contact with cows at a farm with infected animals. He experienced mild eye symptoms and has recovered, U.S. and Michigan health officials said in announcing the case Wednesday.

A nasal swab from the person tested negative for the virus, but an eye swab tested Tuesday was positive for bird flu, “indicating an eye infection,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said.

The worker developed a “gritty feeling” in his eye earlier this month but it was a “very mild case,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive. He was not treated with oseltamivir, a medication advised for treating bird flu, she said.

The risk to the public remains low, but farmworkers exposed to infected animals are at higher risk, health officials said. They said those workers should be offered protective equipment, especially for their eyes.

Health officials say they do not know if the Michigan farmworker was wearing protective eyewear, but an investigation is continuing.

In late March, a farmworker in Texas was diagnosed in what officials called the first known instance globally of a person catching this version of bird flu from a mammal. That patient reported only eye inflammation and recovered.

Since 2020, a bird flu virus has been spreading among more animal species — including dogs, cats, skunks, bears and even seals and porpoises — in scores of countries.

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The detection in U.S. livestock earlier this year was an unexpected twist that sparked questions about food safety and whether it would start spreading among humans.

That hasn’t happened, although there’s been a steady increase of reported infections in cows. As of Wednesday, the virus had been confirmed in 51 dairy herds in nine states, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Fifteen of the herds were in Michigan.

The CDC’s Dr. Nirav Shah said the case was “not unexpected” and it’s possible more infections could be diagnosed in people who work around infected cows.

U.S. officials said they had tested 40 people since the first cow cases were discovered in late March. Michigan has tested 35 of them, Bagdasarian told The Associated Press in an interview.

Shah praised Michigan officials for actively monitoring farmworkers. He said health officials there have been sending daily text messages to workers exposed to infected cows asking about possible symptoms, and that the effort helped officials catch this infection. He said no other workers had reported symptoms.

That’s encouraging news, said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist who has studied bird flu for decades. There’s no sign to date that the virus is causing flu-like illness or that it is spreading among people.

“If we had four or five people seriously ill with respiratory illness, we would be picking that up,” he said.

The virus has been found in high levels in the raw milk of infected cows, but government officials say pasteurized products sold in grocery stores are safe because heat treatment has been confirmed to kill the virus.

The new case marks the third time a person in the United States has been diagnosed with what’s known as Type A H5N1 virus. In 2022, a prison inmate in a work program picked it up while killing infected birds at a poultry farm in Montrose County, Colorado. His only symptom was fatigue, and he recovered. That predated the virus’s appearance in cows.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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