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Funerals And Memorial Services

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A large number of North Koreans including leader Kim Jong Un have attended a funeral for a top official despite outside worries about its COVID-19 outbreak. Photos showed leader Kim Jong Un carrying the coffin of the late official and throwing earth into his grave. The photos showed a crowd of soldiers and officials at the cemetery and state media said “a great many” people turned out along streets to express condolences. The photos show Kim bare-faced while most other people wore masks. North Korea also maintains that its outbreak is subsiding, though outside experts doubt its figures. The omicron variant of the coronavirus was thought to have been spread by mass public events in late April.

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A 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of the 10 Black people killed at a Buffalo supermarket was remembered at her funeral for her love of family and friends and “smile that could light up a room.” Mourners said their final goodbyes to Roberta Drury on Saturday at the Assumption Church in Syracuse, not far from where she grew up in Cicero. She was shot to death last Saturday on a trip to buy groceries at the supermarket targeted by the white gunman. Also Saturday, the city of Buffalo and Tops Friendly Markets observed moments of silence to mark one week since the racist shooting

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The first of several funerals for 10 Black people massacred at a Buffalo supermarket was planned for Friday, one day after victims’ families called on the nation to confront the threat of white supremacist violence. A private service was scheduled Friday morning for Heyward Patterson, who was a beloved deacon at a church not far from Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo’s Black community. The family requested that the funeral service be closed to the press. Funerals for five other Buffalo shooting victims were scheduled throughout next week.

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Israeli authorities say they have given the go-ahead for a march of flag-waving Jewish nationalists to walk through the heart of the main Palestinian thoroughfare in Jerusalem’s Old City later this month. The decision threatens to re-ignite violence in the holy city. The office of Internal Security Minister Omer Barlev said on Wednesday that the march would take place on May 29 along its “customary route” through Damascus Gate. Each year, thousands of Israeli nationalists participate in the march, waving Israeli flags, singing songs and in some cases, chanting anti-Arab slogans as they pass by Palestinian businesses and shops. Last year’s Gaza war erupted as the march was just getting underway.

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When parents die, their adult children often must manage their financial affairs. Those kids and other caregivers are left in an unfortunate position if families don’t plan for this reality. On top of managing grief, adult children must guess at their parents’ wishes. And they may have to spend their own money to pay for their parents’ bills and end-of-life arrangements. Creating financial plans while your parents are living can prevent future headaches on top of heartbreak. Learn whether your parents have an up-to-date estate plan and a power of attorney. And broach the conversation with sensitivity, as it can be a touchy topic.

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The top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land says Israel's police attack on mourners during a funeral for an Al Jazeera journalist was a “severe” violation of human rights. Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa spoke on Monday from St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem. He said the police beating mourners as they carried Shireen Abu Akleh's casket was a disproportionate use of force that “disrespected” the Catholic Church. He added that Israel committed a “severe violation” of international norms. Israel and the Palestinians are wrangling over the investigation into Abu Akleh's killing last Wednesday. One independent research team says there’s evidence that Israeli troops fired the fatal bullet. 

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Thousands have gathered to mourn a slain Al Jazeera journalist in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. The head of the Palestinian Authority is blaming Israel for her death and on Thursday rejected Israeli calls for a joint investigation. Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Mideast conflict for more than 25 years, was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin. Journalists who were with her say Israeli forces fired upon them even though they were clearly identifiable as reporters. Israel says it is investigating the incident and wants to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank.

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Planning for death and navigating life after a loss can be difficult, complex and sometimes expensive. Several apps, including Lantern, Cake, Empathy and Everplans, among others, promise to help. Death-planning apps typically offer free tools for consumers and most have additional, premium services available for a fee. Tools and services include checklists, automated account closures and document storage, as well as access to experts. Some apps partner with employers, insurers, banks and other companies that provide the app’s features to employees or customers as a benefit. The apps also may earn referral fees for connecting users with service providers.

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Politicians, friends and colleagues paid tribute to the late U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch at a memorial service in Salt Lake City. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday called Hatch an ‘old friend’ and described him as a principled conservative, committed public servant and man of faith at a ceremony held in a chapel at the Institute of Religion in Salt Lake City. McConnell and others honored both Hatch’s legislative achievements, which included participating in the confirmation hearings of dozens of federal judges, cutting taxes and passing the Americans with Disabilities Act. They also recognized his hardscrabble origins growing up in Depression-era Pennsylvania, his frugality and his sense of humor. 

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A procession of family, friends and colleagues gathered to honor late U.S. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, who is lying in state in Salt Lake City. Hatch died on April 23 in Salt Lake City at age 88. He was honored in the Utah Capitol rotunda on Wednesday. There will be a funeral at a Church of Latter-day Saints chapel on Friday. The senator ended his tenure as the chamber's longest-serving Republican in 2019. He was known to constituents and colleagues as a steadfast conservative who opposed abortion, supported tax cuts and brokered compromises with Democrats on issues such as health insurance for children and stem cell research.

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President Joe Biden has saluted his “friend of five decades” Walter Mondale, traveling to the University of Minnesota to remember the former vice president and Democratic Party elder whose memorial service was delayed for a year due to the pandemic. Mondale died in April 2021 at age 93. He is credited with transforming the office of the vice presidency — which Biden himself held for eight years under President Barack Obama — expanding its responsibilities and making himself a key adviser to President Jimmy Carter’s administration. Biden said Sunday that Mondale “was a giant in American political history.” 

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Visitors to the newly constructed Holocaust Memorial Plaza at King David Memorial Cemetery in Las Vegas might be caught off guard by the crumbled brick wall with rebar sticking out at the plaza’s entryway.

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The memorial garden at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is about to get a lot more crowded. In the three years since the most recent Jazz Fest, a number of important musical figures have passed. So over the next two weekends, the festival will catch up on honoring those so-called Ancestors. There will be tributes on the festival’s stages, as well as jazz funeral processions that will conclude with the unveiling of the honoree’s likenesses alongside the other Ancestors at the Congo Square field. Among those being honored are the festival's founder, George Wein; Dr. John; Paul “Lil Buck” Senegal; Ellis Marsalis Jr.; Dave Bartholomew and Art and Charles Neville. 

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Current and former Delaware politicians, family and friends of Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV have gathered to remember the late governor, U.S. House member and presidential candidate nearly a year after his death. Friday’s memorial service at a Wilmington theater had been delayed due to COVID-19 safety concerns. The Republican served as governor two terms and ran for president in 1988. Friday's speakers credited him for reviving the state’s economy, working across the partisan aisle and sharing a cheerful spirit. He was a member of the family known for its chemical company holdings, but broke into law and politics. 

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An Associated Press analysis has found that Mississippi has long operated in violation of national standards for death investigations, accruing a severe backlog of autopsies and reports. Autopsies that should take days take weeks. Autopsy reports that should take months take a year or longer. Too few pathologists are doing too many autopsies. Some cases are transferred hundreds of miles to neighboring states for reports without their family’s knowledge. Records sent to AP in April show the office was waiting for about 1,300 reports from as far back as 2011. That leaves criminal cases incomplete. The public safety commissioner hired in 2020 is working to whittle down the backlog and says it's his top priority.

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The public is invited to pay tribute in May to a World War II soldier from St. Landry Parish whose remains were identified nearly 80 years after his death. Army Pvt. Hillary Soileau went missing during a mission to clear Guadalcanal of Japanese forces in January 1943. He was 23. He was declared killed in action in December 1945. Soileau's nephew, Greg Badeaux, told KATC-TV funeral services will be held May 21 at Sibille Funeral Home in Opelousas. Badeaux is working with the military and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to coordinate his uncle's final arrangements. He said the family decided to bring him home to St. Landry Parish where he'll be buried at the same cemetery where his parents and other relatives are. 

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A funeral has been held for a New York City firefighter killed while battling a Brooklyn house fire. Thirty-one-year-old Timothy Klein was remembered Friday as a selfless hero and fun-loving prankster who overcame childhood health obstacles to follow his father into the department. He died Sunday when the flames caused a collapse. One other person was killed in the blaze. Klein’s funeral was held at the Church of St. Francis DeSales in Queens. Klein grew up in nearby Breezy Point and was with the fire department for six years. Mayor Eric Adams says that “it's clear that Tim was born to be a hero.”

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency may have been double-billed for the funerals of hundreds of people who died of COVID-19, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report Wednesday. The GAO identified 374 people who died and were listed on more than one application that received an award from the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance fund. That amounts to about $4.8 million in assistance that could have been improper or potentially fraudulent payments, the report said. FEMA says this wasn't an example of large-scale fraud and the amount of funeral assistance identified as at-risk was relatively small, with FEMA’s multi-layered controls resulting in improper payments of less than 1%.

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Many state and local government offices were closed Monday for Confederate Memorial Day in Mississippi, which is a holiday set by state law. Some protesters say commemorations of the Confederacy need to stop, calling them enduring signs of systemic racism. Several members of Indivisible Northeast Mississippi held signs denouncing the holiday in front of a Confederate monument at the old Lee County Courthouse in Tupelo. They also criticized Republican Gov. Tate Reeves for proclaiming April as Confederate Heritage Month. Alabama also observed Confederate Memorial Day on Monday, and South Carolina will do so in May.

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President Joe Biden plans to speak at a memorial service on Sunday for former Vice President Walter Mondale, who died last April at age 93. The service was delayed by the pandemic. Biden will travel to Minneapolis for the event at the University of Minnesota. Biden has described Mondale as a “dear friend and mentor” and “one of our nation’s most dedicated patriots and public servants.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki says Biden wanted to attend because of the “important, personal relationship” he had with Mondale. Other speakers include Gov. Tim Walz, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. 

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