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Britain's Queen Elizabeth dies aged 96 after 70-year reign

Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the nation’s figurehead and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the new king, her eldest son Charles, said.

“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” the 73-year-old said in a statement.

News that the queen’s health was deteriorating emerged shortly after midday on Thursday when her doctors said she was under medical supervision, prompting her family to rush to Scotland to be by her side.


King Charles III, Britain's conflicted new monarch

With the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth on Thursday, Prince Charles has become king of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms, ending a wait of more than 70 years - the longest by an heir in British history.

The role will be daunting. His late mother was overwhelmingly popular and respected, but she leaves a royal family that has seen reputations tarnished and relationships strained, including over lingering allegations of racism against Buckingham Palace officials.

King Charles III confronts those challenges at the age of 73, the oldest monarch to take the throne in a lineage that dates back 1,000 years, with his second wife Camilla, who still divides public opinion, by his side.


Ukraine claims to have taken back dozens of communities

Ukraine on Thursday hailed a lightning counteroffensive it said had recaptured swathes of its territory in the east and south, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the country to pledge further aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address that Kyiv’s forces had “liberated dozens of settlements” and reclaimed 1,000 square kilometres of territory in the east and south since Sept 1.

Zelensky also posted a video in which Ukrainian soldiers claimed to have captured the eastern town of Balakliia near Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine.


Washington mayor declares public emergency over migrants

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday declared a public emergency over buses of migrants sent by Republican governors from the US-Mexico border states of Texas and Arizona.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sent more than 7,600 migrants to Washington, DC, since April in an effort to push responsibility for border crossers to Democrats, including US President Joe Biden. Arizona as of mid-August had sent about 1,500. Texas has also sent migrants to New York City and Chicago.

Bowser's office called the busing a "political stunt."


Fleetwood, Hovland share BMW PGA Championship lead

Stormy weather provided a fitting backdrop for the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Thursday where players on both sides of golf’s bitter power struggle were in action on the soggy fairways.

The flagship tournament of the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) has been overshadowed by the presence of 17 golfers who have signed up for the divisive LIV Tour – the Saudi-backed series rocking golf’s status quo.

Northern Ireland’s four-times major champion Rory McIlroy, one of the favourites for the title, has pulled no punches in criticising his former Ryder Cup colleagues who have jumped ship for the LIV Tour riches.


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