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The queen said the government will balance opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom. Wikimedia Commons

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth delivered the official Opening of Parliament speech Tuesday, her first ceremonial appearance since the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

The speech, traditionally a large-scale event full of pageantry in which the queen opens the new parliament, was scaled back considerably due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the queen wearing a day dress instead of the usual robes and crown.

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The queen presented Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s agenda, focusing on economic recovery and development in a post-pandemic Britain. Johnson’s Conservative majority party made gains in regional elections late last week and is expected to press that advantage by pushing through reforms sidelined by the pandemic in the past year.

The queen outlined several bills the government hopes to pass during the next year on everything from job creation and strengthening the National Health Service to stripping back post-Brexit bureaucracy.

Johnson’s Conservative majority party made gains in regional elections late last week. Wikimedia Commons

In a speech prepared by Johnson’s cabinet the queen said, “My government’s priority is to deliver a national recovery from the pandemic that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.”

The queen said the government will balance opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses, and economic growth and addressing the impact of the pandemic on public services.”

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Much of Tuesday’s “Queen’s Speech” comprised policies and proposals already offered, prompting the opposition Labour Party to challenge the government to turn its “rhetoric into reality.”

While Johnson solidified his majority in parliament, last week’s elections also brought him problems in Scotland. There, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s ruling party won a pro-independence vote majority, and she told him Saturday that is not a question of “if, but when” Scotland will hold another referendum on independence from Britain. (VOA/KB)



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Naraka or Narakasur was the son of Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) and fathered either by the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu or Hiranyaksha. He grew to be a powerful demon king and became the legendary progenitor of all three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha.

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The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.

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Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.

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