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Leonardo DiCaprio has been awarded a prestigious Clinton Global Citizen Award for his environmental work.
Receiving the honor at a ceremony in New York on Sunday night (21Sept14), The Wolf of Wall Street star said it was "ridiculous" that less than three percent of the world's philanthropic efforts goes on preserving the environment. The actor, who had attended the People's Climate Change March earlier in the day, urged world leaders in attendance to address the "real and terrifying crisis" facing the planet.
He said, "The world is now at a turning point and climate change is the defining issue of our time...The task before us to protect this planet will require the largest movement in human history. It will have to cross all cultural, religious and political boundaries. But the good news is the solutions are ready and with leaders like the ones in this room who do not shrink in the face of crisis. They can rise, they can inspire and they can contribute. And that truly is the best hope of planet earth."
The star was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change last week (end21Sept14) and is due to speak at the UN's Climate Summit in New York on Tuesday (23Sep14).
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio has landed a prestigious new role as a United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change.
The Wolf of Wall Street star, who is a passionate environmentalist, will embrace his new job by speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York next week (23Sep14), where he hopes to raise awareness about global warming issues. A statement released by DiCaprio reads: "It's an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community. "I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history - it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet."
News of the appointment, announced on Tuesday (16Sep14) by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, comes just days after it emerged that DiCaprio will be honoured for his environmental activism at the eighth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards. The actor joins the likes of Charlize Theron, Stevie Wonder, Edward Norton and George Clooney, who have all been made Messengers of Peace by U.N. officials in recent years. Clooney stepped down from the peacekeeping role earlier this year (14) after six years due to ongoing personal and professional commitments.
Leonardo DiCaprio is to be honoured for his environmental activism at an upcoming gala to mark the 10th anniversary of the Clinton Global Initiative. Atifete Jahjaga, the President of Kosovo will also be feted for peacemaking at the eighth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea is stepping down from her role as a special correspondent for America's NBC News network after three years to prepare for motherhood. The pregnant 34-year-old is expecting her first child with husband Mark Mezvinsky, who she wed in 2010.
YouTube/Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
Kevin Spacey has joined Hillary Clinton to shoot a hilarious new video to celebrate her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's upcoming 68th birthday.
The actor, in character as his ruthless House of Cards politician Frank Underwood, mimics his pal Clinton in a call to Hillary, asking her if he can have an elephant for his birthday. When she insists such a creature might be dangerous for the family's dogs, Spacey - as Underwood impersonating Bill - says, "What about a baby elephant?"
He goes on to suggest names for their daughter Chelsea's baby, offering up Frank if it's a boy and Claire if it's a girl - Robin Wright plays Frank Underwood's scheming wife Claire in House of Cards. Hillary jokes she was thinking of the name Kevin, urging Spacey to hang up and simply sign her husband's online birthday card.
Bill Clinton turns 68 on 19 August (14).
Italian-American opera singer Licia Albanese has died, aged 105. The famed soprano passed away peacefully at her home in New York on Friday (15Aug14).
Albanese was born in Bari, Italy and made her mark in her native country as a singer in the 1930s before moving to America. She made her U.S. debut at New York's famed Metropolitan Opera in 1940, performing her signature role as Cio-Cio San in Puccini's Madame Butterfly.
Albanese, who became a U.S. citizen in 1945, went on to become the opera company's shining star from 1940 to 1966, racking up more than 400 performances, and she still holds the house record for most appearances at 87 as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata.
The diva also spent 20 seasons performing at the San Francisco Opera in California, and throughout her career, she sang alongside legendary tenors including Franco Corelli, Beniamino Gigli, Tito Schipa, Jussi Bjorling and Giacinto Prandelli, and was also a favourite of acclaimed conductor Arturo Toscanini.
In addition, Albanese spent her extra time sharing her talents with the younger generation, and taught classes at New York universities Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music and Marymount Manhattan College, and in 1974, she created the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation to help the careers of young opera singers.
In 1995, she received the National Medal of Honour for the Arts from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who noted that Albanese "Had the rare ability to combine her great talent as a singer with equal talent as an actress".
Albanese is survived by her two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A private burial service will be held on Thursday (21Aug14), and a memorial mass is planned for September (14) in New York.
British dance stars Rudimental have landed their dream collaboration after hitting the studio with funk legend George Clinton. The Waiting All Night hitmakers' songwriter Kesi Dryden reveals they are trying to recreate the vibe of the soulful dance hits of the 1960s and 1970s for their upcoming second album and they have received a little help from Clinton and U.S. jazz rockers Steely Dan.
Dryden tells the BBC, "One of our dreams came true recently. We managed to do two songs with George Clinton from Parliament Funkadelic. We worked with Steely Dan, as well. These are really big influences on us."
He adds, "We want to bring it back to what James Brown and Parliament were doing back in the day. It was dance music, but it was live.
"We're really digging deep in that side of things and trying to bring back that energy to the stage."
Rudimental are hoping to release the follow-up to 2013's Home by the end of the year (14).
Secret service agents flew into action over the weekend (09-10Aug14) after a stranger was spotted taking pictures outside a celebrity party close to the home of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. The incident occurred on Sunday (10Aug14) when a man was seen taking pictures close to Harvey Weinstein's home in New York's The Hamptons where the movie mogul was hosting a star-studded screening of his latest film The Giver.
The house is next door to a property rented by the former U.S. leader and his family, and secret service agents issued an alert after the snapper was spotted in the woods.
The unnamed man was questioned by local police and later released.
A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "An individual was observed between houses taking pictures of an adjacent property. They were stopped, and it was verified they were taking pictures of the other property. Local police were contacted as well. They were sent on their way with no charges."
Stars attending the party included Katie Holmes, Jeff Bridges, Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Bon Jovi, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton and their pregnant daughter Chelsea.
"Mary won an Oscar about the same time Bill Clinton became first-term Governor (of Arkansas) and they became great buddies... He gave her away at our wedding... They really are, like, Mary's best friends for so many years." Actor Ted Danson on his friendship with the former U.S. leader and his wife.
The stars of hit prison drama Orange Is The New Black have apologised to Monica Lewinsky over an onscreen joke about the former White House intern. The gag featured a crude reference to her affair with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and Lewinsky, who is a big fan of the show, revealed how it upset her in a new column for Vanity Fair magazine.
She writes, "I did what I usually do in these situations where the culture throws me a shard of my former self. After the cringing embarrassment, the whiff of shame, and the sense that I am no longer an agent running my own life, I shuddered, I got up off the sofa, and I turned it off."
Orange Is The New Black star Taylor Schilling has now said sorry for the jibe, telling E! Online, "I apologise, Monica Lewinsky, for the show - honestly. If you were offended, nobody wants to offend anyone."
Kate Mulgrew, who also appears in the series, adds, "I think if you've been subject to everything that she's been subjected to, you'd be sensitive about that, too."