Funeral urns wash up on Dutch beaches

A Dutch shipping firm has apologised after three German funeral urns washed up on beaches in the Netherlands.

The urns, containing human ashes, were found in Katwijk and Noordwijk, north of The Hague, over five days.

The company, Trip Scheepvaart, told DPA news agency they were intended to be used in a marine funeral but had fallen overboard.

The company said it had since buried the remains of two urns at sea, and intended to do the same with the third.

Local resident Leen van Duijn found one of the urns whilst looking for washed up seals with his son on Noordwijk beach.

“In 30 years [of beachcombing] you will of course encounter everything, but this is very bizarre,” Mr van Duijn told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

The three urns had initially come from Greifswald crematorium in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, northern Germany – 800km (500 miles) from where they were recovered.

In an interview with DPA, Silvia Roos, a spokeswoman for Trip Scheepvaart, said an employee had let a wet box holding the urns slip over a railing into the sea by accident.

Ms Roos added that the firm was considering how to apologise to the relatives of those affected.

Public prosecutors in Germany told Ostzee-Zeitung they were deciding if a crime, such as disturbance of the dead, had been committed.

Germany has some of the strictest rules in Europe for the disposal of human ashes, prompting initial confusion about how the urns made their way to the Netherlands.

In most German states it is illegal to keep, bury or scatter human ashes outside of a cemetery.

Sea burials are heavily regulated too. Ashes must be contained in a biodegradable urn and released from officially-designated ships at least 12 miles from the coast.

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Bush Funeral, Emissions, Facebook: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Five living presidents, plus family, friends and dignitaries from around the world, gathered in Washington National Cathedral, above, for a memorial service to honor George Bush, the 41st president.

In a eulogy for his father, former President George W. Bush remembered him as an imperfect, but beloved man who bestowed wisdom. “To us, his was the brightest of 1,000 points of light,” Mr. Bush said, invoking a phrase the elder Mr. Bush used.

A generation of Cold War-era leaders has now receded. Only Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader, is alive — and he was too ill to attend the funeral. With those leaders, our White House correspondent writes, the world order they helped build is also fading.

In addition to winding down the Cold War, the elder Mr. Bush is credited by historians with helping in the reunification of Germany and Europe and the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union, and laying the groundwork for the World Trade Organization.

But critics argue that he didn’t do enough to address the AIDS epidemic raging during his time in office.


2. Facebook gave special access to users’ data to favored companies like Airbnb, Lyft and Netflix, emails and other internal Facebook documents show.

The documents, released by a British parliamentary committee investigating the company, shine a light on Facebook’s internal workings from roughly 2012 to 2015, as it determined how to manage the mountains of data it was accumulating on users. Above, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

In a statement, Facebook said the documents were part of a “baseless” lawsuit and “only part of the story.”

In Opinion: A historian of Silicon Valley argues that the end of privacy began in the 1960s, when Congress made choices that allowed tech giants to become as powerful as they are.


3. Emissions are rising faster.

Worldwide carbon emissions are expected to rise by 2.7 percent this year, according to studies in three scientific journals. Emissions rose by 1.6 percent last year.

The spike was driven primarily by stronger demand for natural gas and oil, which surprised the researchers. “We thought oil use had peaked in the U.S. and Europe 15 years ago,” one said. Above, fracking near Epping, N.D.

The world’s largest polluters are still China, India and the U.S., which together produce almost half of the world’s carbon emissions. And U.S. emissions are expected to rise this year after several decades of declines.


4. Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin pushed through bills that strip power from the state’s incoming governor, a Democrat.

The legislation, which was the subject of protests and vehement opposition by Democrats, passed early this morning after hours of closed-door meetings. Now it awaits the outgoing governor’s signature. Above, tallying the final votes at the capitol in Madison, Wis.

The bills limit early voting and give lawmakers — not the governor — the majority of appointments on an economic development board. They also shift more authority to lawmakers that would ordinarily be held by the state attorney general, another position about to be filled by a Democrat.


5. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, helped substantially with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference and should receive little to no prison time, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Mr. Flynn was the first person from Mr. Trump’s inner circle to strike a deal with Robert Mueller, the special counsel. He pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to the F.B.I. about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.


6. Les Moonves, the former chief executive of CBS, destroyed evidence and misled investigators in an attempt to save his severance deal, according to a draft of a report prepared for the company’s board.

The report, by lawyers hired by the network, said CBS would be justified in denying $120 million in severance to Mr. Moonves, who was forced to step down in September.

Among the revelations: Multiple people told the outside lawyers that CBS had an employee “who was ‘on call’ to perform oral sex” on Mr. Moonves. Above, CBS headquarters in Manhattan.

The report, our business columnist writes, shows that senior executives and even board members were aware of Mr. Moonves’s alleged misconduct — and did nothing to stop him. The repercussions for that failure in corporate governance are likely to reverberate at CBS for years.


7. Eritrea is one of the world’s most closely controlled nations, where citizens aren’t allowed to leave and foreign journalists are rarely allowed in.

But now, after the end of a 20-year war with its neighbor Ethiopia, the country is slowly opening up. Above, family members reuniting.

Our reporter, whose father was born in the reclusive nation, shares the signs she found of new beginnings in photographs, video and words.


8. “You just go until you reach your own finish line.”

Ridiculously long races are growing in popularity, and female runners appear able to hold their own with men. At longer distances, experts say, the biological advantages that men have grow smaller.

Courtney Dauwalter, above, a 33-year-old with a reputation for outrunning men and shattering course records, will try to break the women’s world record for the most miles run in 24 hours this weekend, at a competition in Phoenix. She will have to run more than 161.55 miles to do so.

She already holds the American women’s record: 159.32 miles.


9. Coming soon: “Clueless, The Musical.”

Amy Heckerling, the writer and director behind the hit 1994 comedy, always thought the film should be a musical. “Two people falling in love,” she said, “well, they got to sing.”

For years, an adaptation of the movie, which was based in part on Jane Austen’s “Emma,” was considered too expensive. But Ms. Heckerling never stopped trying, and now it’s in previews Off Broadway, opening next week.

As a female director, Ms. Heckerling, above, was a woman who was somehow able to join a fraternity and thrive in it. She directed touchstone ’80s comedies like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Look Who’s Talking.” Our writer takes a look at her career and examines the ways she — like her masterpiece’s main character, Cher — has grown.


10. Finally, what’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Our two chief film critics share their picks, with links to reviews. One singles out “Roma,” above, a Mexican remembrance of things past; the other has a four-way tie for first place.

Separately, our chief classical music critic shares his favorite performances, accompanied by a Spotify playlist of best surprises.

Have an outstanding evening.

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What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at [email protected].

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Funeral of Leicester City owner gets under way in Bangkok

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was one of five people killed when the aircraft crashed leaving the ground after the club’s 1-1 draw with West Ham last Saturday.

The 60-year-old died when the helicopter he was in came down in a car park seconds after taking off from the pitch, along with two of his staff members, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare and pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral is taking place at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, with members of Thailand’s elite expected to pay tribute to the well-connected billionaire.

His body was flown to Thailand on Friday and taken to Wat Debsirindrawas ahead of the official ceremony which lasts until 9 November.

Sky’s southeast Asia correspondent Siobhan Robbins in Bangkok said: “Guests have been going through (the main part of the temple), or entering through different gates.

“Behind that they cross through a private area, over some water and into a very private ceremony and that’s where, being held, is a huge eight-sided golden casket which has been given to this funeral by the royal family.

“What is meant to have started at half past five (local time), which we are not allowed to see because it is private, is the traditional bathing ceremony.

“The king has given some sacred water which traditionally is poured on to the hand of the deceased by either a royal representative or a high up member and then other members of the family can follow in that practice, and once that’s over people will be allowed to come and pay their respects. That will happen every single night.”

Leicester City footballers will play their first game since the tragedy later, when they travel to Cardiff for an away fixture.

Before heading to Cardiff the players spent time outside the King Power Stadium looking at the thousands of tributes left to Mr Srivaddhanaprabha.

Many of the players were close to the club owner and thought of him as a father figure.

Some of the players will fly out to Thailand after the match to take part.

England and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy told Sky Sports: “We all spoke about … wanting to play, it’s what Vichai would’ve wanted and that’s what we are going to do.”

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha rose from having a single store in Bangkok to owning the duty-free King Power empire, whose shops are widespread at Thailand’s airports.

His funeral ceremony will feature court musicians playing drums and flutes and Buddhist monks reciting prayers.

The body will be kept for a further 100 days and his cremation will take place at a date in the future.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has begun examining wreckage recovered from the crash site and the in-flight recorder.

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Egypt's Christians bury victims of latest militant attack

MINYA, Egypt (Reuters) – Thousands of Christian mourners prepared on Saturday to bury six members of the same family who were killed while returning from a baptism at a Coptic monastery in Egypt’s Minya province.

Gunmen opened fire on Friday on two buses near the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor in Minya, 260 km (160 miles) up the River Nile from Cairo, killing seven people and wounding another 18, including children.

The attack was claimed by Islamic State which, along with affiliated groups, has said it was responsible for several on Egypt’s Christian minority, including one that killed 28 people in almost the same spot in May 2017.

Although Egypt’s army and police launched a crackdown on the militant groups in February, some of the Christian mourners blamed security lapses for repeated attacks against them.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he mourned the victims as martyrs and vowed to push ahead with the campaign.

“There is a mix of sadness and pain; sadness as these painful events are being repeated and pain because Copts are part of this homeland and part of its fabric,” Bishop Macarius, head of the Coptic diocese in Minya, told mourners at the Prince Tadros Church in Minya, tears streaming down his face.

Crowds spilled over from the pews screaming, sobbing and praying over six white coffins and refusing an offer of condolences from security officials.

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