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Security Scare Hits Mourning As King Charles Meets Foreign Leaders

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King Charles III was due Saturday to meet leaders from his new Commonwealth realms ahead of his mother’s ornate funeral, after a security scare interrupted her sombre lying-in-state.

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Princes William and Harry were later set to lead a vigil of Queen Elizabeth II’s eight grandchildren at her coffin, joining tens of thousands of members of the public who have been queuing round the clock for days.

Those inside parliament’s Westminster Hall for the lying-in-state received a shock late on Friday when a man burst out of the line and approached the coffin, which sits topped with the Imperial State Crown.

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A live television feed of the mourners briefly cut away around 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) as police detained the man, two hours after Charles and his three siblings had held their own vigil in the cavernous hall.

“He was arrested for an offence under the Public Order Act and is currently in custody,” London’s Metropolitan Police said.

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The queen’s death on September 8 aged 96, after a record-breaking 70 years on the throne, has sparked an outpouring of emotion.

Members of the public are braving waits that have stretched to more than 25 hours, and chilly night-time temperatures, to view her flag-shrouded coffin.

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Lines have snaked for miles along the River Thames since Wednesday when her coffin was brought to the UK parliament complex.

– Fainting –
Some 435 people have needed medical treatment, often for head injuries after fainting in the queue, the London Ambulance Service said.

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But Fiona Campbell-Bell, 46, was undeterred as she joined the queue.

“I’ve got an iPad, I have downloaded quite a few things to watch, I’ve got a very thick winter coat and hopefully that will get me through the night,” she told AFP.

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Police are mounting Britain’s biggest-ever security operation for Monday’s funeral, as hundreds of dignitaries including US President Joe Biden are set to jet in.

Charles will meet on Saturday with the prime ministers of the Commonwealth realms — the 14 former colonies over which he now reigns in addition to the United Kingdom.

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From Australia and Canada to Jamaica and Papua New Guinea, they have formally proclaimed him their new sovereign.

But republican movements are gaining ground in many of the countries, and efforts to keep them all in the royal fold will likely be a feature of his reign.

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Charles on Friday wrapped up his maiden tour as monarch to the four UK nations with a visit to Wales, part of an operation dubbed “Spring Tide” to launch him in his new role.

Large crowds in Cardiff chanted “God save the king” as he shook hands with well-wishers following a multi-faith service in Llandaff Cathedral, and at Cardiff Castle.

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Charles met Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, an avowed republican, and there was isolated booing on the streets after the new monarch was quick to declare his son William the new Prince of Wales.

But Drakeford said questions over the future of the monarchy were “a footnote to the dominant feelings of the day”.

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– ‘Tide of emotion’ –
Back in London, Charles joined the 15-minute vigil with his siblings — Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — around their mother’s casket on Friday night.

They stood, silent and eyes lowered, while members of the public filed past.

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The vigil will be repeated on Saturday evening by the eight grandchildren, including the new heir to the throne Prince William and his estranged brother Harry.

Harry — who served two tours with the British army in Afghanistan — has been given special permission by his father to wear military uniform despite no longer being a working royal.

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The move appeared to be the latest olive branch offered to Harry by Charles after the prince and his wife Meghan, now living in California, accused the royal family of racism.

The personal sorrow of the queen’s family has been playing out in the glare of intense international attention.

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But the queen’s youngest son Edward said: “We have been overwhelmed by the tide of emotion that has engulfed us and the sheer number of people who have gone out of their way to express their own love, admiration and respect.”

The public have until early Monday to view the coffin before the queen is honoured with Britain’s first state funeral in nearly six decades.

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The spectacular ceremony at Westminster Abbey — expected to be watched by millions around the globe — will see 142 sailors pulling the gun-carriage bearing her lead-lined coffin.

It will be attended by more than 2,000 guests, but leaders from countries at loggerheads with the UK such as Russia, Belarus and Afghanistan have not been invited.

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China’s vice president Wang Qishan will attend, Beijing’s foreign ministry confirmed, after a diplomatic spat saw Chinese officials barred from visiting the coffin inside parliament.

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Foreign

The Only Place Where Rent Hasn’t Increased in 500 Years

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For most people rent is the biggest expense they have to face each month and although the prices fluctuate, it seems to have a slight increase each year that is strongly felt for those with a lower income.

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The increase in rent rates is due to various reasons such as economical inflation, an increase in the housing market, and of course demand.

Many people around the world don’t own a home and the criteria for getting a mortgage are becoming more demanding, therefore in today’s economical situation, fewer people identify as homeowners.

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Our world is facing major inflation when it comes to renting, one that has not been seen in many years, and experts are only estimating that prices are going to keep rising.

Despite all this, there is one place on this capitalist earth where rent hasn’t been affected by anything for exactly 500 years.

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Inflation has been the main reason for the increase in all prices and this is because as time goes on, more people are strengthening their purchasing power.

1$ per year in Fuggerei
This place is located on the outskirts of Augsburg which happens to be the oldest city in Germany.

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In the small Bavarian village named Fuggerei, there is a social housing complex that hasn’t changed its rent since it has been built in 1521.

This small social housing complex is also considered to be the oldest in existence.

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The house has been built by Jakob Fugger the Rich as he was known in the local community during the early 16th century.

It was built specifically for citizens who were below the poverty line through no fault of their own.

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The criteria to apply for housing have also stayed the same. If someone wants to apply they need to show proof of their financial status and have no debt whatsoever.

The complex is made up of 67 houses that have been split up into 147 apartments.

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One of the houses hasn’t been refurbished as it is used to present what Bavarian medieval houses looked like in the 16th century. Most people that live in the complex today are seniors that have a small pension.

It is amazing to see how the price has been kept the same for so long despite the complex suffering many damages through this period of 500 years due to the various wars that had taken place.

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Destroyed and Rebuilt several times
In fact, the complex was destroyed more than three times, with the worst event taking place during the Second World War where 70% of the complex was bombed.

However, every time the complex would be demolished, it had been rebuilt accordingly to the same style and traditional architecture.
With time the apartments were renovated to stay up with the times, but the outside has been kept the same.

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If we look at the price of something very common from 500 years ago such as bread, a loaf would have cost you around 2 cents.

500 years ahead and applying inflation the average price for bread is around 1$. If you want to visit the complex you have to pay an entrance fee that sums up to five years of rent, so around 5$.

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Although many people have not heard about this place, it used to be quite popular in its contemporary era.

The most famous person that stayed here was actually Mozart’s great grandfather, making it special.

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What is really special is the community within the complex that helps one another and is very welcoming to the tourists who want to visit the complex as long as they respect the laws and rules.

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Breaking: Coup In China As Xi Jinping Is Under House Arrest

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Rumours of a coup against Chinese President Xi Jinping are going around on social media, but experts have highlighted that there is no concrete evidence of coup or any disturbance in China so far.

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The internet is abuzz with reports saying ‘something is up’ in China, with people’s guesses ranging from a political or military coup against President Xi Jinping to potential military activity in Western China.

The evidence cited for such guesses includes reports of cancelled passenger flights in parts of China, Xi not being seen in public for some time, and footage allegedly of military vehicles moving towards the capital Beijing.

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However, there is neither any official comment on these guesses nor any confirmed report on military movement towards the capital.

Here we share what’s being said on social media, particularly in India, and what are the facts that we know for sure.

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Is Xi Jinping facing a coup?

Twitter accounts with several thousands followers have shared that there has been a coup against Xi. Photographs of a successor have also appeared.

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However, none of these updates are from verified or credible accounts and most of these accounts are of anonymous users.

Videos of alleged military movement have also surfaced.

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“This video of military vehicles moving to Beijing comes immediately after the grounding of 59 per cent of the flights in the country and the jailings of senior officials.

There’s a lot of smoke, which means there is a fire somewhere inside the CCP. China is unstable,” said author Gordon G Chang.

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Defence affairs writer Saurav Jha shared on Twitter that there were no flights over Tibet Autonomous Region of Cihna earlier on Saturday.

“Of direct concern to us here in India. Many Flights to Lhasa Gonggar are also being cancelled. We have to see if there is an uptick in military air traffic over the Tibetan plateau or not,“ said Jha, hinting at possible military activity in Western China that borders China, where India and China are engaged in a military stand-off for over two years.

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What experts have said?
Most of the China experts have highlighted that there are no signs of the coup beyond commentary on social media, particularly in Indian circles.

China expert Aadil Brar noted that Xi is likely in quarantine after returning from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, which would explain his absence from public affairs at the moment.

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Brar also shared flight data showing there is no disruption of flights. He further shared visuals of public briefings by senior Chinese officials, suggesting that government is functioning normally.

Journalist Zakka Jacob higlighted that Xi has a powerful institutional hold over China which makes a coup unlikely.

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“Lots of rumours this morning about a military coup in China. Nothing credible so far. Military coups are unlikely in China because the People’s Liberation Army comes under the Central Military Commission.
Xi, as General Secretary of the Communist Party heads the CMC. The Army is that of the party, not government,” said Jacob in a tweet.

Journalist and author Ananth Krishnan also said there is no evidence so far of a coup.

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“While Chinese politics is the blackest of black boxes, I’ve come across zero evidence in Beijing today to substantiate any of the social media rumours,” said Krishnan on Twitter, noting that the rumours have surfaced in the run up to the crucial Chinese Communist Party in which Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term.

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post has not reported about any coup or political upheaval in China at all.

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It has posted dozens of tweets in the last 24 hours about various issues concerning China and the world, but not even a remote hint about the alleged development in Beijing.

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15 dead, 24 wounded in school shooting in Russia

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A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing 15 people and wounding 24 others before shooting himself dead, authorities said.

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The shooting took place in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region.

Russia’s Investigative Committee identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the same school, and said he was wearing a black t-shirt bearing “Nazi symbols.” No details about his motives have been released.

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The Committee said 15 people, including 11 children, were killed in the shooting, and 24 other people, including 22 children, were wounded in the attack.

The governor of Udmurtia, Alexander Brechalov, said the gunman, who he said was registered as a patient at a psychiatric facility, killed himself after the attack.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the shooting as “a terrorist act” and said Russian President Vladimir Putin has given all the necessary orders to the relevant authorities.

“President Putin deeply mourns deaths of people and children in the school, where a terrorist act took place,” Peskov told reporters Monday.

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The school educates children between grades one and 11. It has been evacuated and the area around it has been cordoned off, the governor said.

Russia’s National Guard said Kazantsev used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets. The guns were not registered with the authorities.

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A criminal probe into the incident has been launched on charges of multiple murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Izhevsk, a city of 640,000, is located west of the Ural mountains in central Russia.

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