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Canada and the world say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II : In The News for Sept. 19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden will attend the ceremony at historic Westminster Abbey, as will other world leaders, royalty, church leaders and members of the public who have been recognized for their service.

After the funeral service, King Charles III and other members of the Royal Family will walk behind the gun carriage carrying the queen’s coffin in a procession that will include members of the armed forces from around the Commonwealth, including the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP. 

She will then be transferred to a hearse and taken to Windsor Castle, where she’ll be buried at St George’s Chapel alongside the late Prince Philip, her husband of almost 74 years.

The queen’s death has prompted an outpouring of grief and affection from around the world.

In London, an entire park near Buckingham Palace has filled with floral tributes, while people at one point were waiting up to 24 hours in line for a chance to view the queen’s casket at her lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.

Crowds have swelled in the areas surrounding the royal residences and Westminster, prompting a huge number of police and security staff to cordon off entire sections of the city with metal barricades in an effort to control traffic. 

The procession will pass by thousands of members of the public, some of whom have been camping outside for days in hopes of getting a front-row seat.

Also this …

Canadians will honour the long life and reign of their late queen with a televised ceremony and parade today.

Members of the military and RCMP will parade through the streets of Ottawa at 12:10 p.m., in tribute to Queen Elizabeth, and sound a 96-gun salute — one salvo for every year of the queen’s life. 

A service at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa will include eulogies by former prime minister Brian Mulroney and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson.

The ceremony will also include tributes, music and readings by prominent Canadian artists.

After the church service, Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter jets will perform a flypast over the cathedral and Parliament Hill. 

The commemoration will be televised, and members of the public will also be able to watch the events live on screens set up along Wellington Street in Ottawa.

And this too …

A sentencing hearing is expected begin today for a Dutch man found guilty of harassing British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd in the years before her suicide.

A B.C. Supreme Court jury convicted Aydin Coban last month of extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and possession and distribution of child pornography.

Crown prosecutor Louise Kenworthy told the jury before it began deliberations that a “treasure trove of information” connected Coban to Todd’s harassment, including two hard drives seized from his home.

Lawyers for Coban, who was extradited from the Netherlands to face the charges, argued the Crown’s evidence didn’t prove that he was the person behind numerous online accounts used to harass the teenager from Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Todd’s mother, Carol Todd, has said she will deliver a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing that is expected to last until the end of the week.

Todd was 15 when she died by suicide in October 2012, not long after posting a video on YouTube that described her being tormented by an online harasser.

She used flash cards to recount her ordeal in the video that’s since been viewed by millions, shining a light on the harms of online harassment and cyberbullying.

Coban was not charged in relation to Todd’s death.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

SACRAMENTO, Calif. _ A Northern California mother of two faces up to eight months in jail Monday for meticulously faking her own kidnapping so she could go back to a former boyfriend, prompting an intensive three-week, multi-state search before she resurfaced on Thanksgiving Day in 2016.

Sherri Papini, 40, pleaded guilty last spring under a plea bargain that includes paying more than $300,000 in restitution. Her lawyer says she’s troubled and disgraced and should serve most of the sentence at home while prosecutors say it’s imperative she spend her full term in prison.

“Papini’s kidnapping hoax was deliberate, well planned, and sophisticated,” prosecutors wrote in their court filing. And she was still falsely telling people she was kidnapped, prosecutors said, months after she pleaded guilty in April to staging the abduction and lying to the FBI about it.

“The nation is watching the outcome of Papini’s sentencing hearing,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Veronica Alegria and Shelley Weger wrote. “The public needs to know that there will be more than a slap on the wrist for committing financial fraud and making false statements to law enforcement, particularly when those false statements result in the expenditure of substantial resources and implicate innocent people.”

Probation officers and Papini’s attorney say she should serve one month in custody and seven months in supervised home detention. Senior U.S. District Judge William Shubb is to sentence her after a final hearing in Sacramento federal court.

“Outwardly sweet and loving, yet capable of intense deceit … Ms. Papini’s chameleonic personalities drove her to simultaneously crave family security and the freedom of youth,” defence attorney William Portanova wrote in his responding court filing.

So “in pursuit of a non-sensical fantasy,” Portanova said the married mother fled to a former boyfriend in Southern California, nearly 966 kilometres south of her home in Redding. He dropped her off along Interstate 5 about 240 kilometres from her home after she said she wanted to go home.

Passersby found her with bindings on her body, a swollen nose, a blurred “brand” on her right shoulder, bruises and rashes across her body, ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, and burns on her left forearm. All the injuries were self-inflicted, and all designed to support her story that she had been abducted at gunpoint by two Hispanic women while she was out for a run.

Prosecutors agreed to seek a sentence on the low end of the sentencing range in exchange for Papini’s guilty plea. That was projected to be between eight and 14 months in custody, down from the maximum 25 years for the two charges.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

TOKYO _ A tropical storm slammed southwestern Japan with rainfall and winds Monday, leaving one person dead and another missing, as it swerved north toward Tokyo.

Residential streets were flooded with muddy water from rivers, and swaths of homes lost power after Typhoon Nanmadol made landfall in the Kyushu region Sunday then weakened to a tropical storm.

A man was found dead early Monday in his car that was sunk in water on a farm, said Yoshiharu Maeda, a city hall official in charge of disasters at Miyakonojo, Miyazaki prefecture. Separately, one person was missing after a cottage was caught in a landslide, according to a Miyazaki prefectural official.

Nanmadol has sustained winds blowing at 108 kilometres per hour and gusts up to 162 kilometres per hour, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

Tens of thousands of people spent the night at gymnasiums and other facilities in a precautionary evacuation of vulnerable homes.

More than 60 people were injured, including those who fell down in the rain or were hit by shards of glass, according to Japanese media reports.

Bullet trains and airlines suspended service. Warnings were issued about landslides and swelling rivers. Convenience store chains and delivery services temporarily shuttered in southwestern Japan, while some highways were closed and people had some problems with cellphone connections.

The storm is forecast to continue dumping rain on its northeasterly path over Japan’s main island of Honshu, before moving over Tokyo and then northeastern Japan.

On this day in 1893 …

New Zealand became the first country to give women the vote.

In entertainment …

Ten Canadian contenders will vie for the Polaris Music Prize tonight.

The $50,000 award for this year’s best Canadian album will be handed out during a gala event at the Carlu in Toronto.

Among the nominees are rapper Shad, First Nations hip hop act Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Toronto singer-songwriter Charlotte Day Wilson.

Others up for the prize include pop provocateur Hubert Lenoir, Congolese-Canadian dance-pop artist Pierre Kwenders and electronic orchestral composer Ouri.

Indigenous duo Ombiigizi, St. John’s-based Kelly McMichael, Vancouver rock band Destroyer and Rosaireville, N.B.-raised Lisa LeBlanc round out the list.

The Polaris Music Prize names the best Canadian album of the previous year — irrespective of genre or sales — as chosen by a group of journalists, broadcasters and bloggers.

Last year, the Polaris went to hip hop artist Cadence Weapon for “Parallel World,’” his poetic reflection on race, policing and technology that was largely inspired by the George Floyd protests in 2020.

Did you see this?

OTTAWA _ If Shakespeare thought misery acquaints people with strange bedfellows, he may well agree that mourning a cherished monarch may also bridge some political divides.

At least temporarily.

Such was the case Sunday in London, when former prime minister Stephen Harper was invested into the Order of Canada while three of his previous political nemeses looked on.

Harper is one of four former prime ministers in the British capital for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

He was awarded the Companion of the Order of Canada in 2019, but an investiture ceremony had not taken place because of COVID-19.

So Gov. Gen. Mary Simon invested Harper in a private ceremony in London Sunday afternoon while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and former prime ministers Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Kim Campbell looked on.

Former governors general David Johnston, whom Harper appointed, and Michaelle Jean, were also in attendance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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