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Britain Bids Farewell To Margaret Thatcher Amidst High Security

BBC RADIO 4, THE INDEPENDENT (UK) REUTERS

Worldcrunch

LONDON – Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was honored Wednesday at a solemn funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral in central London.

An estimated 2,300 people from 170 different countries attended the ceremony, which Reuters compared to Winston Churchill's funeral in 1965.

The scene inside St Paul's #thatchertwitpic.com/cjy5bs

— Shropshire Star (@ShropshireStar) April 17, 2013

The Independent reports that activities of extremists from Northern Ireland, as well as left-wing protesters, were being tracked by MI5 agents and counter-terrorism services ahead of the morning procession, and that security was increased in response to the terrorist attack on the Boston marathon.

#Thatcher passes. Somber silence, then a wave of polite British applause. twitter.com/davidenrich/st…

— David Enrich (@davidenrich) April 17, 2013

Four thousand police were on duty in London but there were no signs of protests during the funeral procession, which carried Thatcher's coffin draped in the Union flag from parliament to the church of St. Clement Danes on a hearse, before military guard placed it on a horse-drawn gun carriage that carried the coffin to St. Paul's Cathedral.

Dismissing concerns by some Thatcher critics about the cost and pomp of the event (an expected 10 million pounds), Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron told BBC Radio 4 "I think what is happening today is absolutely fitting and right," before adding “in a way we are all Thatcherites now.”

Some in the funeral crowd applaud as a marching band heads through Ludgate Circus to St Paul's. Others boo and chant "Waste of money!"

— Jon Kay (@jonkay01) April 17, 2013

Britain’s longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, the "Iron Lady" — a nickname Thatcher’s uncompromising politics earned her -- died from a stroke on April 8, aged 87.

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Major Russian Advance, Pakistan Mosque Toll Rising, Bear On Mars

Rescue teams are scrambling to extract people trapped in the rubble after a suicide bombing struck a mosque in the city of Peshawar in Pakistan. The death toll of the attack, one of Pakistan's bloodiest in years, has risen to 92

Emma Albright, Ginevra Falciani and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Konta!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Russian forces reportedly advance in southeastern Ukraine, the death toll in yesterday's mosque attack in Pakistan rises to 92 and NASA snaps a beary odd photo on the red planet. Meanwhile, Aytug Özçolak in independent online Turkish news site Diken looks at the economic evidence of the chumminess between Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan.

[*Papiamento, Dutch Caribbean]

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