'Get stuck in' – Billy Bragg rallies Glastonbury in Brexit aftermath

Damon Albarn, Novelist and James among those voicing anger onstage as audiences deal with poll news – and heavy rain

'Get stuck in' – Billy Bragg rallies Glastonbury in Brexit aftermath
Crowds at the Pyramid stage on day three of Glastonbury. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

“That’s it, I think we should declare Glastonbury an independent nation state.” As word of the referendum results slowly rippled across the festival campsite on Friday morning, bleary-eyed campers grappled both with hangovers and the realisation that they were unzipping their tents to a UK changed forever. And for the many of the 180,000 ticket-holders who were firmly in the remain camp, talk soon jokingly turned to “Glexit”.

A noticeably sombre mood gripped Worthy Farm as the first acts of the festival took to the stage under darkening clouds. The 50-piece Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, accompanied by Damon Albarn, Blur frontman and founder of Africa Express project, opened the Other Stage. Albarn did not mince his words as he spoke of his anger at the referendum results.

'Get stuck in' – Billy Bragg rallies Glastonbury in Brexit aftermath
Damon Albarn introduces and plays with the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians on the Pyramid stage. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

“I have a heavy heart today,” he said to the gathered crowds. “Democracy has failed us. Democracy has failed us because it was ill informed. And I want all of you to know that when we all leave here, we can change that decision. It is possible.”

It was a strangely uplifting performance, as the audience were reminded there are places in the world worse to be even than a broken Britain.

“It’s really emotional. It suddenly brings it all to the front of your mind how united we should be, when you consider what these people from Syria are going through,” said Tanya Chesworth.

“That made my Glastonbury. It’s brought unity after what we have woken up to,” said Mitch Pendered, who lives in Switzerland but comes from Devon and voted remain.

The political mood also gripped other stages. As Novelist, the grime artist, took to the stage he started up a rousing chant of “Fuck David Cameron”, while the guitarist from rock band James told the crowd: “It is with incredible sadness that we stand here today, unified in sadness that our country has turned on people. Fuck them!”

“It’s like Yugoslavia without the bombs, a country disintegrating,” said Robert Smith from Swindon.

Spirits were also not lifted by the weather, which by midday had turned to torrential rain and did little to improve the treacherously muddy conditions underfoot.

The Other Stage was almost an hour late opening and logistical difficulties meant the controversial women-only Sisterhood stage, which was due to host various female-led performances and even a twerking workshop, was still not open on Friday.

The seismic referendum aftermath also led to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pulling out of his appearance at the Left Field tent on Sunday, with a spokesperson saying he was focusing on “momentous” results.

Nonetheless, Corbyn’s continued popularity with young voters was reaffirmed as mere mention of his name in the tent prompted a huge cheer.

'Get stuck in' – Billy Bragg rallies Glastonbury in Brexit aftermath
Skepta performing on the Pyramid stage. Photograph: Richard Isaac/Rex/Shutterstock

And while many festivalgoers tried to focus their efforts on forgetting politics for the rest of the weekend, throwing themselves into watching acts such as Skepta, Sigur Rós and headliners M Speaking before his performance, Glastonbury stalwart Billy Bragg offered a call to arms to the young generation, the majority of whom voted to stay in the EU. Admitting he had not voted when he first got the vote in 1979, Bragg said now was not the time for political apathy.

“My guess is there’s a lot of young people who woke up this morning thinking, there’s absolutely no way this country would be so stupid to vote us out,” he said. “You probably thought there’s no point in going to the polling station, I’ll let someone else do that. I’m not here to condemn them, after I made the mistake I got stuck into the fight. So now it’s your job to get stuck in.”

His message was echoed by Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norfolk South, who called for “progressives” to rebuild, be resolute and help him make the world know that “the England Nigel Farage represents is not the UK I want to be part of”.use, Left Field remained a hive of heated political discussion.

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Bernie Worrell, Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder, dies aged 72

Worrell, who announced in early 2016 that he had lung cancer, influenced funk, rock and hip-hop artists

Bernie Worrell, Parliament-Funkadelic co-founder, dies aged 72
Bernie Worrell, who co-founded Parliament-Funkadelic died on Friday, 24 June, 2016. He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in January 2016. Photograph: Clayton Call/Getty Images

Bernie Worrell, the ingenious “Wizard of Woo” whose amazing array of keyboard sounds and textures helped define the Parliament-Funkadelic musical empire and influenced performers of funk, rock, hip-hop and other genres, has died.

Worrell, who announced in early 2016 that he had stage-four lung cancer, died on Friday at age 72. He died at his home in Everson, Washington, according to his wife, Judie Worrell.

Throughout the 1970s and into the 80s, George Clinton’s dual projects of Parliament and Funkadelic and their various spinoffs built upon the sounds of James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone among others and turned out some of the most complex, spaced out, political, cartoonish and, of course, danceable music of the era, elevating the funk groove to a world view.

With a core group featuring Worrell, guitarist Eddie Hazel and bassist Bootsy Collins, P-Funk maintained an exhausting and dazzling pace of recordings, from the hit singles Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) and Flash Light to such albums as One Nation Under a Groove and Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome. The studio music was just a starting point for the live shows, costumed spectaculars of wide-brimmed hats, war paint, dashikis, military gear or perhaps a white sheet with only a fig leaf underneath.

Worrell was among the first musicians to use a Moog synthesizer, and his mastery brought comparisons to Jimi Hendrix’s innovations on guitar. Anything seemed possible when he was on keyboards, conjuring squiggles, squirts, stutters and hiccups on Parliament’s Flash Light that sounded like funk as if conceived by Martians. On Funkadelic’s Atmosphere, his chatty organ prelude, like a mash-up of Bach and The Munsters, set up some of Clinton’s more unprintable lyrics.

Worrell’s contributions as a keyboardist, writer and arranger didn’t bring him a lot of money, the source of much legal action and fierce criticism of Clinton, but fellow musicians paid attention. He played with Talking Heads for much of the 1980s and was featured in their acclaimed concert documentary Stop Making Sense. Worrell also contributed to albums by Keith Richards, Yoko Ono, Nona Hendryx, Manu Dibango and the Pretenders. In 2015, he was a member of Meryl Streep’s backing group in the movie Ricki and the Flash.

“Kindness comes off that man like stardust,” Streep said during a 2016 benefit concert for Worrell at Manhattan’s Webster Hall.


Meanwhile, he toured frequently on his own and released such solo records as Funk of Ages and Blacktronic Science and most recently Retrospectives. His other credits ranged from co-writing the soundtrack for the 1994 film Car 54, Where are You?, based on the old TV sitcom, to his brief membership in Paul Shaffer’s band on Late Show with David Letterman.

In 1997, Worrell, Clinton and more than a dozen other P-Funk members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A native of Long Branch, New Jersey, he was a musician virtually from the time he could speak, trained to play piano at age three and giving public performances by age 10 with the Washington Symphony Orchestra. While at the New England Conservatory, in Boston, he became interested in synthesizers through listening to a group not otherwise known for its contributions to funk, the British progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Worrell met Clinton in the early 1970s and performed with him off and on through the following decades even as P-Funk had imploded by 1980 amid reports of drug abuse and unpaid royalties. He would remember P-Funk’s prime as stressful, “circuslike”, but worth it once the music began.

“When the band wasn’t getting into arguments and fooling around, it was OK,” he said. “There were family things that came up. A group that size, and everybody’s living together, it’s just like family. After they’d go through their antics and settle down with whatever was going on, I’d come in and crack the whip. ‘All right, let’s do Flash Light.’”

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John Boyega cast in Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming film about 1960s Detroit riots

The Star Wars actor John Boyega is the first named to star in Bigelow’s anticipated follow-up to Zero Dark Thirty, a crime drama set against the backdrop of the Detroit riots

John Boyega cast in Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming film about 1960s Detroit riots
John Boyega has reason to smile. Photograph: John Phillips/Getty Images

John Boyega is on a roll.

Weeks after it was announced that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens breakout star had signed on for the lead role in the sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, it is announced that the British actor has been cast in Kathryn Bigelow’s next film.

Billed as an “Untitled Detroit Project” by Annapurna Pictures, the production company behind Bigelow’s last feature, Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow’s latest is a crime drama set against the backdrop of the Detroit riots that took place over five summer days in 1967. The film explores “systemic racism”, according to a statement released by Annapurna. Bigelow’s frequent collaborator, Mark Boal, is writing the screenplay.

Further details on the production, which is set to begin shooting this summer, have not been revealed. To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the riots, the film is aiming to open sometime in 2017.

Boyega is in the midst of shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII, and will next be seen onscreen opposite Tom Hanks and Emma Watson in The Circle. He will be making his stage debut on London’s West End in Woyzeck at the Old Vic, next year.

As for Bigelow, she last directed Last Days in 2014, a short film about elephant poaching. Her last feature film, Zero Dark Thirty, received five Oscar nominations including best picture and best actress for Jessica Chastain.

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Helen Mirren criticises Israel boycotters

Actor says on a visit to Jerusalem that she is a ‘believer’ in the state, which she calls ‘an extraordinary country’

Helen Mirren criticises Israel boycotters
Helen Mirren was in Israel to host the $1m Genesis prize – the ‘Jewish Nobel’ – given to the violinist Itzhak Perlman. Photograph: Ammar Awad/Reuters

The Oscar-winning actor Helen Mirren said that she was a “believer” in Israel and that she rejected efforts to boycott the country.

Mirren showered Israeli artists with praise and said she opposed efforts by pro-Palestinian groups to boycott them and the decision of some international artists to shun Israel.

“I think that art is an incredibly important way of communication,” she said at a press event in Jerusalem on Wednesday. “The artists of the country are the people you need to communicate with and make a relationship with and learn from and build upon. So I absolutely don’t believe in the boycott, and here I am.”

Mirren was in Israel to host the Genesis prize, an award known as the “Jewish Nobel”. The $1m award was given to Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman for his accomplishments as a musician, teacher and advocate for the disabled.

Mirren, who is not Jewish, has visited Israel several times and has been a vocal critic of pro-Palestinian activists who have called for a cultural boycott of Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) has enlisted the support of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and has persuaded Elvis Costello, Lauryn Hill and other performers to call off concerts in Israel.

Mirren, 70, is one of the few actors to have won the so-called Triple Crown, having collected an Oscar, a Tony and four Emmy awards. She received her Academy award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 film The Queen.

She has played the role of a former Mossad agent in The Debt, a remake of an Israeli film of the same name. And in Woman in Gold she played an elderly Jewish refugee who fought the Austrian government for a decade to reclaim a Gustav Klimt painting stolen from her family by the Nazis.

She said her strong connection to Israel dates back to 1967, when she volunteered on a kibbutz, or collective farm, with her Jewish boyfriend at the time. She fondly recalled picking grapes and doing kitchen duty.

“I am a believer in Israel … I think this is an extraordinary country filled with very, very extraordinary people,” she said. “It’s just a lucky … accident in my life that I have had this privilege.”

Mirren shied away from further political questions, but she said she had already voted by proxy in favour of Britain remaining in the European Union.

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Al Pacino, the Eagles and Mavis Staples to receive Kennedy Center honors

The star of The Godfather trilogy, as well as a host of famed musicians, will be awarded with the prestigious lifetime achievement honor in December

Al Pacino, the Eagles and Mavis Staples to receive Kennedy Center honors
Al Pacino is among those honored by the Kennedy Center. Photograph: Jonathan Short/AP

This year’s Kennedy Center honorees, the prize that awards artists for influencing American culture through their lifetimes, have been announced.

The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts revealed on Thursday that Godfather actor Al Pacino, Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich, blues singer Mavis Staples, singer/songwriter James Taylor and rock band the Eagles will be the recipients of the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors, which will be broadcast on CBS in the US on 27 December.

The Eagles were set to be honored last year, but delayed it due to the health of co-founder Glenn Frey, who died in January at age 67.

For Pacino, the honor might seem overdue: many of his peers who came up around the same period in the 70s, when Pacino earned four Oscar nominations (for The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather: Part II and Dog Day Afternoon), have already taken the prize, including Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford.

Pacino has hardly been short of gongs, however; he has received the Golden Globes’ Cecil B DeMille award for lifetime achievement, the AFI life achievement award, as well as the National Merit of Arts, given to him by Barack Obama in 2011. The president and first lady are also regular guests at the Kennedy Center event, and are set to attend this year’s gala and performance, after receiving the honorees, along with the center’s board of trustees, at the White House.

Last year, the Kennedy Center Honors hosted by Stephen Colbert, awarded George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa and Carole King, with performances and tributes from Aretha Franklin, Stephen Spielberg, Viola Davis and Miranda Lambert.

This year’s special guests have yet to be announced, as has the host.

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'Thumbs down': female critics vastly outnumbered by male counterparts – new study

Film criticism remains ‘a heavily male pursuit’, according to a study of Rotten Tomatoes by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film

  • Men outnumber women by 73% to 27%
  • Study author says gender bias impacts exposure female protagonists receive
'Thumbs down': female critics vastly outnumbered by male counterparts – new study
One of the greats … film critic Pauline Kael Photograph: AP

Women’s struggles to secure adequate representation in the film industry have been well documented in recent years. Now, a new study suggests they are outnumbered when it comes to writing and broadcasting about films, too.

The San Diego-based Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film (CSWTF) has published the report Thumbs Down 2016: Top Film Critics and Gender, which analyses the gender ratio of writers appearing on the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. It has concluded that men outnumber women by 73% to 27%, a factor of more than two to one.

Martha Lauzen, the report’s author and executive director of CSWTF, said: “The discussion of film … remains a heavily male pursuit, reflecting an industry with the same bias. Women’s underrepresentation among the top critics is not only an employment issue for women who write about film, it also impacts the amount of exposure films with female protagonists receive.”

Lauzen’s analysis revealed that the gender imbalance also affects the nature of coverage films receive. Crucially, she reports, while male and female reviewers on average award similar ratings to films featuring female protagonists, a male critic is considerably less likely to review it in the first place. According to the study, 34% of reviews written by women are of films that feature at least one female protagonist, compared with only 24% of reviews written by men.

The study’s research took as its focus the work of Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics”, which the site says “must be published at a print publication in the top 10% of circulation, employed as a film critic at a national broadcast outlet for no less than five years, or employed as a film critic for an editorial-based website with over 1.5 million monthly unique visitors for a minimum of three years”.

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London Gay Men's Chorus releases vigil song in aid of Orlando shooting fund

Choir releases Bridge Over Troubled Water to help Orlando victims and families fund after vigil performance is widely viewed

London Gay Men's Chorus releases vigil song in aid of Orlando shooting fund
Thousands listen to the London Gay Men’s Chorus singing at the vigil in Soho

A British gay men’s choir is to release a cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water for victims of the Orlando shooting.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus (LGMC) will release its version of Simon & Garfunkel’s hit on Friday, with proceeds to be split equally between the Pulse Victims Fund, organised by Equality Florida, and Galop, a London-based charity that works to reduce LGBT hate crime in the UK.

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured during the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on 11 June – the worst mass shooting in American history. The gunman, Omar Mateen, was killed by police during a shootout.

The release of the charity single follows a performance of the song by the chorus at the London vigil to honour Orlando’s victims. Footage of the LGMC singing in a packed Old Compton Street in Soho was shared on social media and by news outlets around the world, receiving millions of views.

Speaking about the release, Simon Sharp, the artistic director of LGMC, said: “The attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando sent shockwaves through the whole LGBT community. The LGMC responded in the only way we could: through song.”

The chorus’s version of the track, from its forthcoming album, was actually recorded hours before the shooting. Following the unprecedented response to its performance at the vigil, the LGMC – which is Europe’s largest male voice choir – decided to release the track early in honour of the victims of the tragedy.

Sharp said: “We were truly overwhelmed by the public response to our performance at the Soho vigil and want to do everything we can to raise money for the victims of the Orlando attack and for victims of LGBT hate crime in the UK.”

In the footage, members of the chorus can be seen wiping tears away as the gathered crowd cheers at the end of the emotional performance. “It’s a song that has taken on new meaning for us as a chorus but we hope it sends out a message of love and support to all of our LGBT brothers and sisters and our straight allies across the world,” Sharp said.

The chairman of the LGMC, John D Carrion, added: “The LGMC believes passionately that music has the power to heal and to inspire, to lift souls and to unite people in times of joy and sorrow.

“The Orlando attack was an act of hatred directed towards the LGBT community and we want to combat this hate with a message of love, hope and solidarity. The response to our performance at the vigil has been incredibly overwhelming and humbling for all of our members.”

This digital-only release will be available to purchase or stream on all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal.

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Jury deliberating in Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven plagiarism trial

In closing arguments, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were criticized for ‘selective’ memories and ‘convenient’ truths in their testimony

Jury deliberating in Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven plagiarism trial
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page are drawn sitting in federal court for the Stairway to Heaven hearing. Photograph: HANDOUT/Reuters

A key chapter of music history could be rewritten by a jury that began deliberating on Wednesday over whether Led Zeppelin ripped off a riff for its epic Stairway to Heaven.

A lawyer representing the trust of a deceased songwriter criticized members of Led Zeppelin for “selective” memories and “convenient” truths in testifying about the origin of Jimmy Page’s acoustic guitar opening of the 1971 rock anthem.

“He didn’t tell you where he got the idea for the introduction,” attorney Francis Malofiy said in his closing argument in federal court in Los Angeles. “It was a piece of music lifted from Taurus by Randy California.”

Jurors deliberated for several hours but did not reach a verdict. They were scheduled to resume on Thursday.

The trust for Randy Wolfe, who adopted the surname California, is seeking millions of dollars and a third of the songwriting credit for Stairway, which it claims the band took from Taurus, released by Wolfe’s band Spirit in 1968.

Led Zeppelin’s lawyer, however, said the trust didn’t own the copyright and the passage in question was a common descending chord sequence in the public domain.

Page and Plant vividly recalled creating Stairway at a country house south of London, though their testimony was at odds with previous accounts given in interviews by band members over the years. Their recollections of Spirit, a band they opened for at their first US show in 1968, were less clear.

Jury deliberating in Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven plagiarism trial-2
Was Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven partially stolen from another song?

The plaintiff needs to show that Page and Plant would have had some familiarity with the work. The record that included Taurus was found in Page’s massive collection of records and CDs but he claimed never to have heard it.

Spirit’s former bassist recalled playing Taurus at the Denver show where Led Zeppelin opened, but there was no other evidence to support that. Page said he didn’t stick around to see Spirit play that night and he denied ever seeing them in concert, despite articles in which he said he liked seeing them and they struck him on “an emotional level”.

“Spirit and Led Zeppelin were never on stage together, they never toured together,” attorney Peter Anderson said. “There was not a single person that said anyone from Led Zeppelin was present when Taurus was performed.”

Malofiy said he didn’t need camera footage of Page and Plant transcribing Taurus to show they stole the work.

The trust must also show the works are substantially similar. That is a tricky task because the copyright is based on the sheet music filed with the Library of Congress.

Defense experts said the songs shared little in common other than a chord sequence that dates back 300 years. Experts for the trust said there were significant other likenesses including the use of arpeggios, similar note combinations, pitch and note durations, which Malofiy said was “more than coincidence”.

The defense said jurors probably won’t need to decide damages but reminded them of the $868,000 in net profits that a record executive attributed to the song during the past five years. Anderson also mentioned that only a fraction of the eight-minute song is in question, which could further trim any award. That would be a fraction of the millions Malofiy mentioned, though he didn’t specify a figure that the jury should award.

The case is not the first time Led Zeppelin has been accused of swiping another artist’s work. The lawsuit lists at least six other songs in which the band has reached settlements over songwriting credits for works including Whole Lotta Love, The Lemon Song, and Dazed and Confused.

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Glastonbury traffic chaos prompts warning to stay away for now

Avon and Somerset police have urged ticket-holders to delay their journey as queues build up around Worthy Farm

Glastonbury traffic chaos prompts warning to stay away for now
A woman walks along the B3136 past queuing traffic as festival-goers make their way to Glastonbury festival. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Glastonbury festival has got off to a miserable start as traffic chaos and wet weather prompted police to warn ticket-holders against travelling to the site.

Long queues of vehicles were building up around Worthy Farm in Pilton, where about 180,000 revellers were expected to attend for one of the highlights of the musical calendar.

Avon and Somerset police have urged festival-goers to stay at home. “If you’re planning to travel to the festival, please delay your journey until later in the day or avoid coming to the site today altogether,” a statement said.

The festival site was described as a mudbath earlier in the week following showers, and pictures shared by workers at the festival showed boggy fields and submerged paths.

The Met Office posted a weather update on its Twitter account, saying:

This year’s headline acts are Muse, Adele and Coldplay, who will all perform on the Pyramid Stage.

Ticket-holders making their way to the site shared their frustration and dismay online.

Police said traffic was queuing from the festival site in Pilton along the A361 to West Pennard. There is also heavy traffic on the A37 north and south of the junctions with the A361. There is congestion south of the A361 to within a few miles of the A303.

A temporary camper van and caravan holding site has been set up at Bath & West.

The Glastonbury festival founder and organiser, Michael Eavis, told the BBC: “Because of the rain a couple of days ago we did ask people to come in later, to postpone their trip by six or seven hours but because of that, funnily enough, more people have come early this time, which is extraordinary really.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron urge people to eat less meat

Terminator actor and director fronting a new campaign to try and curb animal product consumption, endorsing initiatives in China to reduce meat eating by 50%

Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron urge people to eat less meat
Hasta la vista, meat … Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron on the shoot of their PSA. Photograph: WildAid

More than two decades since the first, gut-crunching Terminator movie, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger have collaborated again on a campaign encouraging people to cut down on the amount of meat they eat.

Spearheaded by WildAid, the drive has American and Chinese audiences in its crosshairs, and endorses efforts by the latter government to reduce the population’s meat consumption by 50%.

“You have to respect that,” says Cameron in backstage footage from the shoot. “That’s a leadership position.” The director, whose off-screen ecological activism has been detected in the plots of films such as Avatar, said he’d been stirred into action after clocking his own hypocrisy.

“How can I call myself an environmentalist when I’m contributing to environmental degradation by what I eat?”

Speaking alongside Cameron, Schwarzenegger reports health benefits of cutting down his meat and dairy intake on the advice of doctors. “I’m slowly getting off meat,” he says, “and I tell you: I feel fantastic.”

The video, which is part of a wider strategy including billboards and online pledges, features Schwarzenegger staggering through a ravaged landscape presumably destroyed in part by the carbon emissions of the livestock industry.

“Less meat, less heat, more life,” concludes the actor in the film, who also states that the notion meat is needed for muscle strength is incorrect.

The campaign makes curious contrast with a video released earlier this week, fronted by Matt Damon, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, lobbying for an end to the torture and slaughter of some 10,000 dogs in the far east as part of an annual food festival.

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London film festival to open with A United Kingdom

Amma Asante follows Belle with period tale of interracial relationship starring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo

London film festival to open with A United Kingdom
European premiere … Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo in A United Kingdom. Photograph: Handout

A United Kingdom, the story of the real-life relationship between an African king and the English office worker he married in 1947, has been selected as the opening film of the London international film festival.

Starring David Oyelowo as Seretse Khama, who in 1925 became king of Bechuanaland (then a British protectorate, now the republic of Botswana) aged four, and Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams, the Londoner who married him despite considerable controversy at the highest political levels, both in apartheid South Africa and in the UK, A United Kingdom is directed by Amma Asante, the British director who won a string of awards for her previous film, Belle.

After their marriage, Khama and Williams were forced to live in exile in the UK, but were allowed to settle in Bechuanaland in 1956, after popular demand culminated in the sending of a telegram to the young Queen Elizabeth II. Khama gave up his royal status, and was elected the first president of an independent Botswana in 1966. The couple had four children, before Khama died in 1980 and his wife in 2002.

The film is billed as having a European premiere in London in October, implying it is likely to have its world premiere at Venice or Toronto film festivals months before.

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Glastonbury 2016: man dies in fire-related incident

Petrol spillage believed to be cause of blaze that left man in his 20s severely burned before being airlifted to hospital, where he died

Glastonbury 2016: man dies in fire-related incident
Waterlogged fields at Glastonbury hampered firefighters in their attempts to aid the man. Photograph: PA

A man has died after suffering serious burns at the Glastonbury festival.

The man, who is in his 20s, was airlifted from Worthy Farm in Somerset on Monday evening after catching on fire. He later died in hospital after suffering “significant burns”, Avon and Somerset police said.

A police spokesman said: “We were called by the fire service after reports of a man on fire at the Glastonbury festival site at about 5.20pm last night.

“The man suffered serious burns and was taken by air ambulance to Southmead hospital in Bristol. He was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, where he sadly later died.”

The fire is believed to have involved a petrol spillage and the ambulance helicopter was seen landing in the Green Fields area of the farm.

However, firefighters reportedly found it too difficult to get to the victim because of the mud and floods that are currently hampering the site after days of rain.

The police spokesman added: “The man’s family have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this time.

“Our enquiries are continuing but we are treating the death as unexplained and do not believe it to be suspicious.”

The fatal accident comes just two days before the festival opens its gates to ticketholders on Wednesday morning.

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Troy Ave indicted on attempted murder charge after shooting at TI concert

The 33-year-old rapper also faces four counts of criminal possession of a weapon over incident at New York City’s Irving Plaza that left his bodyguard dead

Troy Ave indicted on attempted murder charge after shooting at TI concert
Prosecutors claim Troy Ave ‘recklessly fired a gun five times in a crowded venue’ during the concert at Irving Plaza on 25 May. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

The 33-year-old rapper Troy Ave – real name Roland Collins – has avoided a murder charge but has been indicted on five other felonies after a deadly shooting at a New York rap show in May.

The New York Daily News reported that the rapper was indicted on four counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of attempted murder after prosecutors claimed he “recklessly fired a gun five times in a crowded venue” at a concert by rapper and actor TI at Irving Plaza on 25 May.

The incident left Troy Ave’s bodyguard Ronald McPhatter dead, with other reports that Troy Ave allegedly shot himself in the leg. Troy Ave pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in May.

Video shot inside the venue showed concertgoers rushing to leave the VIP area – where the incident took place – as a group of people tended to a person on the floor.

Johnny Wilkins, who was in the green room, told the Daily News: “It was a fight over a push, it was some bullshit. It was like 50 or 60 people in the VIP room. It was crazy. It’s crazy more people didn’t get shot.”

Troy Ave’s lawyer, Scott Leemon, claimed that the clips released by the New York police department do not tell the full story.

“Nothing in this indictment is a surprise or new. It’s the same wrong story that NYPD has been trying to portray. The released video does not show everything nor explain what happened in the VIP room before Troy came running out, as a victim, after he was shot,” he said.

The NYPD commissioner, William Bratton, blamed rap culture for the shootings. “The crazy world of these so-called rap artists basically celebrates the violence,” Bratton stated. “Unfortunately, that violence sometimes manifests itself in their performances and that’s exactly what happened last evening.”

He was criticised after making the statements, with Erik Nielson, an assistant professor at the University of Richmond who studies hip-hop, saying Bratton’s comments were “antiquated”.

“It is really rooted in a pretty basic misunderstanding of the genre and it feels intended to place the blame on an artistic and cultural movement, rather than on systemic forces that, frankly, the NYPD has had a significant role in perpetuating,” Nielson added.

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Hollywood tributes continue to pour in for Star Trek's Anton Yelchin

Stars, including Nicolas Cage and Jodie Foster, have been sharing their condolences for the actor, who has died at the age of 27

Hollywood tributes continue to pour in for Star Trek's Anton Yelchin
‘He was the kindest person I ever worked with’ … Nicolas Cage on the late Anton Yelchin. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Tributes across Hollywood have continued to pour in for actor Anton Yelchin, who has died in a car accident at the age of 27.

The star, known for roles in the rebooted Star Trek franchise and acclaimed indie horror Green Room, has been remembered by those who worked with him and those who knew him.

Jodie Foster, who directed Yelchin in the 2011 comedy The Beaver, has released a statement to remember the actor.

“What a rare and beautiful soul with his unstoppable passion for life,” it read. “He was equal parts serious thinker and the most fun little brother you could ever dream of. I am so honoured to have been able to direct such a deep actor, so committed and genuine. I will forever be grateful for all of those little exchanges we shared, his contagious enthusiasm, his questions, his company. My heart breaks for his mom and dad who were a part of every anecdote. He carried their love into everything he touched.”

Justin Lin, who directed Yelchin in this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, tweeted to highlight the actor’s “passion and enthusiasm”.

Yelchin worked with director Paul Schrader in the 2014 thriller Dying of the Light, which also starred Nicolas Cage, and the pair shared a tribute via Facebook.

Hollywood tributes continue to pour in for Star Trek's Anton Yelchin

On Twitter, stars from Elijah Wood to William Shatner also shared their condolences.

Yelchin was involved in a freak parking accident at his Los Angeles home on Sunday morning. He has a number of projects still to be released, including this summer’s Star Trek Beyond and sci-fi mystery Rememory with Peter Dinklage.

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Pixar sequel Finding Dory is US's highest-grossing animated debut ever

Finding Dory, which comes 13 years after Finding Nemo, took in $136.2m in North American theaters this weekend, beating record set by Toy Story 3

Pixar sequel Finding Dory is US's highest-grossing animated debut ever
Hank, voiced by Ed O’Neill, and Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, in Finding Dory. Photograph: Pixar/AP

The Pixar sequel Finding Dory far surpassed expectations to take in $136.2m in North American theaters this weekend, making it the highest-grossing animated debut of all time, according to comScore estimates on Sunday. The 2007 film Shrek the Third was the previous record-holder, with $121.6m.

Finding Dory, which comes 13 years after Finding Nemo, is also the second-largest June opening of all time, behind Jurassic World from 2015. The well-reviewed film features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks. Analysts expected it to take $100m or more, but never this much.

“The thought was, ‘Could this be the movie to eclipse Toy Story 3’s opening,’ not, ‘Could it become the biggest animated opening of all time,’” said Paul Dergarabedian, comScore’s senior media analyst. “That’s the power of the Pixar brand.”

Toy Story 3 was previously the biggest Pixar opening ever, with $110.3m.

Disney’s executive vice president of distribution, Dave Hollis, was particularly heartened that the film did such robust late-night business on both Friday and Saturday.

“That’s really a testament to this being a picture for everyone – not just for families,” he said.

Finding Dory has the animated seas to itself until The Secret Life of Pets opens on 8 July.

The Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson buddy comedy Central Intelligence also had a relatively muscular weekend, with a better-than-expected $34.5m putting it in second place.

“It’s a real home run,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros’ executive vice president of domestic distribution. “These two comedians are just stars. They connect with their audience and each other in such a strong way. You just laugh when you watch them.”

Central Intelligence cost a reported $50m to make and scored especially well with younger audiences, who the studio hopes will propel the word of mouth in weeks to come. The next major comedy releases don’t come until mid-July with Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Ghostbusters.

In third place, the James Wan horror pic The Conjuring 2 fell 62% in its second weekend in theaters, earning $15.6m and bringing its domestic total to $71.7m. Rounding out the top five were Now You See Me 2, with $9.7m and Warcraft, with $6.5m. Both opened last weekend.

Overall, the weekend was down nearly 5% from last year, when Inside Out launched with $90.4m and Jurassic World earned $106.6m in its second weekend.

Still, Dergarabedian noted that the comparatively big audiences this weekend were good for the business in the long run since they will be exposed to trailers for upcoming summer films. The success of Finding Dory and Central Intelligence comes after a few weekends of underwhelming sequels and all-out flops.

“A movie like ‘Dory’ can reinvigorate a marketplace that has been in the doldrums for the last few weeks,” he said. “It helps everyone.”

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