Queen legend Brian May has accused the U.K. government of ignoring his high-profile campaigning by pushing ahead with a second badger cull in Britain on Monday (08Sep14). The guitarist is vehemently opposed to killing the animals in a bid to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis in cattle, and has spent months protesting against the plans, even staging a mass demonstration in London and recording a badger-themed song.
A second wave of culling began in Gloucestershire, England on Monday night and May has spoken out to condemn British Prime Minister David Cameron for ignoring his pleas for mercy.
May says, "It's almost beyond belief that the Government is blundering ahead with a second year of inept and barbaric badger killing... This is a most inappropriate moment for Cameron to be wasting tax payers' money persecuting our wildlife... This cull is a failure and a disgrace - no more than the fulfilment of a dirty promise - which will rebound on this Government at election time."
British royal Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge is pregnant for the second time. Prince William and his wife welcomed their first child, son George, in July last year (13).
The news was announced on Monday (08Sep14), with a spokesman for the couple also confirming the duchess is suffering a repeat of the severe morning sickness that blighted her first pregnancy.
A statement from representatives at the couple's office in Clarence House reads, "Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their second child.
"The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.
"As with her first pregnancy, the Duchess is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer accompany The Duke of Cambridge on their planned engagement in Oxford today. The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace."
The couple wed in 2011 after dating for eight years. They met while studying at university in Scotland.
Following the baby news on Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron took to Twitter.com to congratulate the couple, writing, "Many congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I'm delighted by the happy news that they're expecting another baby."
Actors Mia Farrow and Dylan Mcdermott have led the tributes to their former co-star Lord Richard Attenborough, following the British movie icon's death on Sunday (24Aug14). The exact cause of death has yet to be revealed, but Attenborough had been living in a nursing home with his wife, Sheila Sim, and was confined to a wheelchair after suffering a serious fall in 2008.
McDermott, who starred alongside Attenborough in the 1994 reboot of Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street, took to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the man who played Kris Kringle, and wrote, "Rest in peace Richard Attenborough. U (sic) were the best Santa ever."
Their co-star and former child actress Mara Wilson also added, "Sir Richard Attenborough was the only Santa Claus I ever believed in. A wonderful man. Still in shock right now. May he rest in peace."
News of Attenborough's death comes almost two weeks after Wilson's Mrs. Doubtfire co-star, Robin Williams passed away after committing suicide.
Mia Farrow, who worked with Attenborough in 1964's Guns at Batasi, also added her own tribute to her friend, and wrote, "Richard Attenborough was the kindest man I have ever had the privilege of working with. A Prince. RIP 'Pa' - and thank you," as well as comedian Ricky Gervais, who added, "RIP Richard Attenborough. One of the true greats of the silver screen."
Other Twitter tributes have come from Edgar Wright, former 007 star Samantha Bond, Rob Schneider, Stephen Amell, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who noted that Attenborough's "acting in 'Brighton Rock' was brilliant, his directing of 'Gandhi' was stunning," and adding, "Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."
Born in Cambridge, England, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and served in the Royal Air Force during World War II before pursuing an acting career.
He made his debut as a sailor in the 1942 film In Which We Serve and gained popular acclaim playing ruthless young thug Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock in 1947, eventually becoming a staple of countless British films over the next 30 years.
An accomplished stage actor, Attenborough was one of the original cast members of The Mousetrap, which went on to become the longest-running play in London's West End.
In the 1960s, he expanded his range of acting, taking on a variety of roles that exposed him to a wider audience - most notably as Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett in 1963's The Great Escape.
Hitting his stride, Attenborough won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor in 1967 and 1968 - for The Sand Pebbles and Doctor Dolittle.
But he'll be most fondly remembered for his behind-the-camera skills. In the late 1950s, he formed a production company, Beaver Films, and directed his first picture, Oh! What A Lovely War, in 1969.
He later scooped the Best Director and Best Picture Oscars in 1982 for his epic Gandhi, which also won him another Golden Globe Award the following year.
Other directorial credits followed - notably the 1992 biopic Chaplin, and classic 1993 movie Shadowlands - before Attenborough made a welcome return to the screen in 1993 as eccentric John Hammond in Jurassic Park.
Attenborough won a total of eight Oscars during his career. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967, and a knighthood came in 1976. In 1993, he was bestowed the honour of life peer, becoming Baron Attenborough, of Richmond upon Thames, London.
And in 2006, Attenborough and his brother David, a popular broadcaster and beloved nature expert, were awarded the title of Distinguished Honorary Fellows of the University of Leicester in recognition of their services to the university.
Attenborough was also later awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Drama from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and was an Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.
On Boxing Day 2004, tragedy struck Attenborough's family when his eldest daughter Jane, her daughter Lucy, and her mother-in-law, also named Jane, died in the devastating Asian tsunami.
His family is expected to make a full statement about his death on Monday (25Aug14).
Dame Helen Mirren is to return to the Broadway stage after more than a decade to reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. The actress won an Olivier Award for her portrayal of the British monarch in the play in London's West End last year (13) and now she has joined Stephen Daldry's production at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, which is slated to begin on 8 March (15).
The show centres on the Queen's weekly meetings with British prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.
The play marked Mirren's second turn as Elizabeth II - she won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award, among other accolades, for her portrayal of the royal in The Queen.
The actress last appeared on the Broadway stage in 2001's Dance of Death with Ian McKellen.
Indian actress Freida Pinto joined British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Tuesday (22Jul14) to campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM). The Slumdog Millionaire star attended the Girl Summit, the first global conference dedicated to eradicating FGM and child marriage, two issues which plague African and Asian countries.
Pinto spoke to representatives from 50 nations in her role as ambassador for Plan International, a children's rights charity.
During the conference she said, "Every 10 seconds, one girl has been cut. No religion or culture can be used to help cushion or justify these acts. They need to go. I often think of the fear a girl faces when she is taken to the forest, pinned down and cut. I think of the fear a girl feels when she is told the man she is to marry is a little older than her father."
The Cloud. It's the data storage solution of the future. But is it evil? Sure, it's useful for storing documents and pictures, but what exactly is the Cloud in the first place? Is it dangerous? Am I breathing it in right now? Isn't it disturbing how little the average person knows about the technologies we use every day? The new Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape might looks like just another raunchy rom-com, but it's really a sobering warning about the dangers of computers and technology. Look down. You're probably reading this on a computer right now. That's how far they've gotten. They're right under our noses! Filmmakers have been warning us for years about the dangers of computers, and how with just a few mouse clicks, our lives can be ruined forever. Before we all retreat to our luddite caves, let's take a look at all the ways computers have screwed things up in movies.
Sex Tape The Technology: An iPad/the CloudWhat It Did: Synched a couple's embarrassing sex tape to multiple iPads given out as gifts to all their friends Fallout: The couple feels the appropriate amount of embarrassment at having your friends seeing you bump uglies in a crappy tablet video. Also, ridiculous hijinks ensue while they try to get the video deleted. In terms of technology screwing things up, this one isn't bad at all.
Her The Technology: Samantha, a sentient operating system What It Did: Fell head over heels in love with the hapless Theodore Twombly, then broke his heart after the OS race decides to fly away to another plane or universe or something. Fallout: Mr. Twombly (how is that an actual name?) loved and lost, but at least he became a better person because of it.
Office SpaceThe Technology: The Initech computer virusWhat It Did: Office drones Peter, Michael, and Samir, in an attempt to get back at their bosses for years of mistreatment, decide to infect their company's accounting system with a virus that would steal fractions of pennies over time from Initech. The amount stolen would be so small that no one would notice. Unfortunately, a missing decimal point caused the virus to steal thousands of dollars over just a few days.Fallout: Before the trio could get into any trouble, Initech is mysteriously (though not that mysteriously) burned to the ground, along with all of the evidence pointing Peter to the crime. The situation resolves itself, but being caught could have meant years of jail time.
American PieThe Technology: Jim Levenstein's PC What It Did: Jim hooks up a webcam and unwittingly shares his embarrassing sexual encounter with Nadia, a foreign exchange student from Slovakia, with his entire school.Fallout: Jim blows it for all of the internet to see and Nadia's foster parents send her back home, leaving him dateless and sexless for the prom. Happily, he does hook up with Michelle before the end credits roll.
Back to the Future The Technology: The DeLorean, a car-shaped time machine What It Did: It sent Marty McFly to the year 1955, where he unwittingly meddles into his parents' past and almost prevents his own birth. Fallout: Marty is able to get his parents back together at the end, but has to forever live with the idea that his mother tried to get into his Calvin Kleins. Yuck!
Captain America: The Winter SoldierThe Technology: Arnim Zola, a HYDRA supercomputer What It Did: Zola helps HYDRA infiltrate the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leads the team of scientists that turn Bucky Barnes into the Winter Solder. He then tries to kill Captain America and Black Widow, but the heroes survive in the end. Fallout: Cap's best friend, Bucky is turned into a brainwashed HYDRA spy and the terrorist organization nearly takes over the entire world after infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.
WarGamesThe Technology: Joshua the WOPR, a supercomputer at NORADWhat It Did: After hacker wunderkind David Lightman hacks into NORAD and plays a mock game of "Global Thermonuclear War," Joshua stages a real Soviet nuclear attack to win the "game." After that fails, Joshua tries to launch the missiles himself, and nearly plunges the world into World War III.Fallout: After playing a couple rounds of tic-tac-toe, Joshua learns that nuclear war has no real winner except the cockroaches and settles for a game of chess instead. The day is saved, but the world came dangerously close to ending.
Terminator The Technology: Skynet, a self-aware intelligence system What It Did: Skynet, given command of the U.S.’s computerized defense programs, becomes self-aware and starts a nuclear war with Russia, leading to the near genocide of humanity. The intelligence system then sends Terminators to kill what’s left of the population Fallout: The initial nuclear attack kills three billion people and locks humanity in a war with machines. Skynet then sends a Terminator into the past to kill John Connor, the leader of the human resistance. This is certainly a far cry from your sex tape getting leaked onto the internet. It's a slippery slope.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Over the course of her career, Cameron Diaz has played everything from an ogre princess to a crime-fighting angel to the most irresponsible teacher of all time. But though she's best known for starring in goofy, raunchy comedies, Diaz's resume is filled with varied compelling roles that don't get talked about nearly as much as her underwear dance in Charlie's Angels. In fact, we'd go so far as to say that over the course of her career, Diaz has steadily delivered surprising, awards-worthy performances that often get overlooked by both the press and the public. In honor of her latest film, Sex Tape, arriving in theaters Friday, we've taken a look back at Diaz's life and career to pinpoint every single performance that shocked, moved, and impressed us... and, in a just world, would have impressed the Academy as well.
The CounselorLet’s get this out of the way: yes, Diaz’s character does have sex with a car. It’s a shame, though, that the hubbub surrounding that scene overshadowed everything else about her performance, which is insane in the best possible way. As Malkina, the calculating girlfriend/partner in crime to Javier Bardem’s Reiner, Diaz turned everything up to 11 to give an over-the-top, off-the-wall performance that is more entertaining than attempting to figure out what’s happening with Bardem’s hair. Despite a star-studded cast and a script by Cormac McCarthy, Diaz was easily the most memorable thing about The Counselor, as well as the most compelling.
ShrekOkay, so the Oscars don’t honor voice over work. That doesn’t mean that Diaz’s work as Princess Fiona isn’t worthy of praise. With anyone else voicing her, Fiona would probably turn out to be another cookie-cutter animated princess – kooky, sure but not downright weird, and probably not willing to convince a bird to sing itself to death or having a burping contest with an ogre. Diaz gives Fiona an absurd amount of personality, depth and fun, making her feel as alive as she would if it actually ere Diaz up on that screen.
My Best Friend’s Wedding Julia Roberts get all of the attention, but her Julianne Potter would be nothing without Diaz’s sweet, warm-hearted Kimmy Wallace. A character like Kimmy could have easily been one-dimensional: an unrealistic perfect girl meant to make the protagonist jealous. But Diaz’s Kimmy is a fully realized person; she’s not just sweet, she’s also naïve and awkward and genuinely open-hearted. And her ability to turn what would otherwise be a painfully embarrassing karaoke scene into an endearingly goofy moment deserves much more credit than Roberts letting Dermot Mulroney go.
USA Films via Everett Collection
Being John Malkovich And you thought The Counselor was a strange movie. In Being John Malkvoich, Diaz plays Lotte, the unhappy, pet-obsessed wife of John Cusack’s Craig, who enters into a relationship with Craig’s work crush Maxine (Catherine Keener) while inside the head of John Malkovich. It would be easy to let the craziness of the plot outshine the characters, but Diaz, wearing a horrendously frizzy wig and a series of unflattering outfits, uses the opportunity to give a weird, intense, complex performance that is, unfortunately, often forgotten in favor of her comedic ventures.
There’s Something About Mary The Mask may have put her on the map, but it was the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy that really made Diaz a star. The entire movie hinges on her being the most irresistible woman in the universe, so she needs to win over the audience in addition to the characters. Diaz does exactly that. Her performance is bright, charming and effortlessly funny, and it’s not hard to see why everyone fell in love with her hilarious and heartwarming character.
In Her Shoes In Her Shoes is a much better movie than it appears in its trailer, and much of that is due to Diaz’s performance as Maggie, the free-spirited wild child sister of Toni Collette’s Rose. It would be easy to turn Maggie into a flighty, one-dimensional character, but Diaz manages to turn a somewhat trite reveal – Maggie is dyslexic and has trouble reading and doing basic math – into an opportunity to showcase the insecurity, doubt, and hurt that has turned Maggie into the frivolous party girl that she is. It’s a surprisingly layered performance for a light-hearted movie about the relationship between sisters, and Diaz easily holds her own opposite Collette and Shirley MacLaine, both of whom received more attention.
Vanilla Sky Whether you loved Vanilla Sky or found it impossible to get past Tom Cruise’s melted face, there’s no denying that Diaz’s performance was the standout of the film. As Julie, the suicidal, jealous ex-girlfriend of Cruise’s David Aames, Diaz is simultaneously terrifying and heartbreaking, showcasing all of the hurt, anger, and instability that drive her to extreme measures. More than just the femme fatale or the vindictive ex, Diaz’s Julie is a tour de force performance that unfortunately got overshadowed by some terrible prosthetics.
British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media adviser Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months on Friday (04Jul14) for his role in the U.K.'s phone-hacking scandal. Coulson was editor of Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid News of the World from 2003 until 2007, during which several members of staff on the paper routinely tasked a private detective to intercept voicemail messages of the rich and famous.
He had denied any knowledge of the practice under his leadership but was last month (Jun14) convicted of conspiracy to intercept communications.
Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of Murdoch's News International, was cleared of all charges relating to the scandal.
Victims of the hacking included British Princes William and Harry, Sir Paul McCartney, and actors Jude Law and Sienna Miller. Murdoch closed the News of the World in 2011 at the height of the furore.
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend warned Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair not to court friendships with celebrities ahead of his famous 'Cool Britannia' event in 1997. The U.K.'s current leader David Cameron mimicked Blair's stunt by hosting his own star-studded bash at the Foreign Office in London on Tuesday (01Jul14), welcoming guests including actress Helen Bonham Carter and Townshend's bandmate Roger Daltrey.
However, Townshend, who was not invited to Cameron's event, insists politicians should not seek approval from stars, and reveals he warned Blair against his party plans.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "My advice was: 'Don't let f**king Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher come and talk to you, because as soon as things go a little bit difficult - and as soon as they get their tax bill - they'll drop you like a stone.' Which is exactly what happened."
A Downing Street spokesperson said this week's (beg30Jun14) event, which was also attended by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes among others, was held to mark the creative industry's contribution to the economy.
British funnyman Russell Brand, rocker Sting and tycoon Sir Richard Branson are among the notable figures who have signed a letter urging the U.K. government to review the country's drug laws. The stars are backing the Support, Don't Punish campaign by U.K. charity Release to change the way lawmakers deal with drug users.
The letter, signed by 90 celebrities, lawyers, and health experts, will be sent to British Prime Minister David Cameron and claims 1.5 million citizens have been unnecessarily convicted on drug possession charges in the last 15 years.
The charity's bosses want new rules to help addicts rather than treat them like criminals.
As part of the drive, a protest has been scheduled to take place in Parliament Square in London on Thursday (26Jun14).
Brand, a former heroin addict, has long campaigned for the decriminalisation of drugs, and he was a speaker at a United Nations panel on the subject in Vienna, Austria in March (14).