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Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, US footballer Megan Rapinoe and transgender model Valentina Sampaio have joined Victoria’s Secret as the embattled lingerie company undergoes a “dramatic shift”.

Known for its famous annual fashion show featuring some of the biggest names in the modelling world – including Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Lily Aldridge, over the years – the brand has recently faced accusations of sexism and criticism over a lack of diversity.

With the last catwalk show held in 2018, Victoria’s Secret has now announced an overhaul – including the introduction of a group of seven high-achieving women, called the VS Collective, who will advise the brand and appear in adverts, the firm has said.

Martha Hunt, Lais Ribeiro, Josephine Skriver, Sara Sampaio, Stella Maxwell and Romee Strijd at the 2018 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in New York. Pic: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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The last Victoria’s Secret catwalk show, featuring models including Martha Hunt, Lais Ribeiro, Josephine Skriver, Sara Sampaio, Stella Maxwell and Romee Strijd, was held in 2018. Pic: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Models Karolina Kurkova, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in 2003. Pic: AP
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Karolina Kurkova, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima walking the famous catwalk in 2003. Pic: AP

As well as Chopra, 38, Rapinoe, 35, and Sampaio, 24, who has worked with the brand since 2019, the group also includes 17-year-old Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu, South Sudanese-Australian model Adut Akech, 21, photographer and media personality Amanda de Cadenet, 49, and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser, 29.

Chopra, who recently starred in the Oscar-nominated The White Tiger and is married to singer Nick Jonas, said they would be working “together to chart the path forward in a new and impactful way”.

She added: “I’m not only looking forward to developing future collections that are inclusive of all people but I am most excited for new customers and for those who have always been a customer of Victoria’s Secret to feel represented and like they belong.”

In a statement on Instagram, Sampaio said: “I am honored and grateful to partner with @VictoriasSecret as part of #TheVSCollective – along with women who I am so inspired by. We celebrate authenticity, community and love for all women.”

As part of the rebrand, Victoria’s Secret also announced The VS Global Fund for Women’s Cancers, which will aim to help find treatments and cures.

Paloma Elsesser at the 2019 Costume Institute Benefit Gala celebrating the opening of Camp: Notes on Fashion. Pic: zz/Elaine Wells/STAR MAX/IPx/AP
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Model Paloma Elsesser and media personality Amanda de Cadenet (pictured below) have also joined the VS Collective. Pics: AP – zz/Elaine Wells/STAR MAX/IPx and Pizzello/Invision
Amanda de Cadenet poses at the premiere of On The Basis Of Sex at the 2018 AFI Fest in Los Angeles in 2018. Pic: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The changes come in the wake of accusations the company focused on working with thin models rather than a broader and more representative range of body shapes.

The brand’s image has also been harmed by reports of a sexist corporate culture.

Chief executive Martin Waters said the new rebrand is “just the beginning”.

He said: “This is a dramatic shift for our brand and it’s a shift that we embrace from our core.

“These new initiatives are just the beginning. We are energised and humbled by the work ahead of us.”

Victoria’s Secret will split from parent company L Brands this summer, it was announced earlier this year.

Its former owner, Les Wexner, had stepped away from the board of L Brands amid scrutiny of his relationship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

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Body of missing boy, 2, found in alligator’s mouth in Florida

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Body of missing boy, 2, found in alligator's mouth in Florida

A missing two-year-old has been found dead after his body was spotted in the mouth of an alligator.

Taylen Mosley was reported missing on Thursday after his mother, 20-year-old Pashun Jeffery, was found dead in her apartment in St Petersburg, Florida.

She had been stabbed multiple times, police said on Friday.

The child’s father, Thomas Mosley, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, police chief Anthony Holloway said.

The child was found near Dell Holmes Park, which is close to Lake Maggiore, almost 10 miles from his mother’s apartment, the police chief added.

A detective shot and killed the alligator.

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“We didn’t want to find him this way, but at least we can bring some closure to that family now,” Mr Holloway said at a news conference.

Family members saw Jeffery and her child on Wednesday, and on Thursday, they asked an apartment manager to check when they couldn’t reach her, police said.

A search for the boy included dogs, a drone, and federal and state law enforcement agencies.

The boy’s cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.

Thomas Mosley checked himself into a hospital and had cuts on his arms and hands, the police added.

He was still in hospital on Friday but did not speak to detectives and requested a lawyer, according to police.

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Person killed after tornado causes roof collapse at Illinois heavy metal concert

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Person killed after tornado causes roof collapse at Illinois heavy metal concert

One person has died and 28 were injured after the roof at a heavy metal concert in Illinois collapsed during a storm.

Police in Belvidere, about 50 miles west of Chicago, believe a tornado was to blame and described the scene as “absolute chaos”.

It happened as a violent storm system hit the US south and Midwest, causing widespread damage to homes and businesses and killing at least six other people.

Belvedere fire chief Shawn Schadle said there were 260 people at the Apollo Theatre when the collapse happened at about 7.48pm local time on Friday.

He said emergency workers had to deal with downed power lines outside the venue and also had to rescue someone from a lift.

“I was there within a minute before it came down,” Gabrielle Lewellyn told local station WTVO-TV.

“The winds, when I was walking up to the building, it went like from zero to a thousand within five seconds.”

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Witnesses described chaos inside the venue

Ms Lewellyn said people at the gig helped rescue victims from the debris.

“They dragged someone out from the rubble and I sat with him and I held his hand and I was (telling him) ‘It’s going to be okay’,” she said. “I didn’t really know much else what to do.”

Another witness told NBC5 Chicago: “Everybody tried to leave the whole venue through the fire door.

“It was a lot of chaos, so I looked around and saw people in the rubble, and tried to help as many people as possible.”

Five of the 28 people hurt sustained severe injuries, authorities said.

It is unclear which – if any – of the bands on Friday night’s bill had started playing when the collapse happened.

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Twister tears through city Little Rock, Arkansas

Morbid Angel said they were “sheltering in place” in the aftermath, while Crypta band member Taina Bergamaschi said on Instagram that all the acts were “safe and sound”.

The roof collapse happened as thunderstorms and tornados caused dozens of injuries and damaged homes in states including Arkansas – where a state of emergency was declared – as well as Iowa and Indiana.

It came a week after tornadoes with winds up to 200mph also flattened parts of Mississippi, killing at least 21 people and destroying many homes.

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US tornadoes: Three dead and dozens injured as twisters causes widespread destruction including roof collapse during concert

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US tornadoes: Three dead and dozens injured as twisters causes widespread destruction including roof collapse during concert

Two people were killed and dozens of people injured after a tornado ripped through the Arkansas capital of Little Rock and surrounding US towns on Friday afternoon.

Elsewhere, a third person died after a theatre roof collapsed in Belvidere, Illinois, during another tornado with 28 people injured as the Midwest struggles with intense and destructive storms.

The collapse happened during a heavy metal concert at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, which is about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.

The fallen marquee is seen at the front entrance of the Apollo Theatre where a roof collapsed during a tornado in Belvidere, Ill., during a heavy metal concert, late Friday, March 31, 2023. Belvidere Fire Department Chief Shawn Schadle said 260 people were in the venue at the time. (AP Photo/Mattt Marton)
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The Apollo Theatre’s roof collapsed. Pic: AP

The governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, confirmed that two people had died in the twister with several other people reported to be trapped in the destruction.

The tornado also caused widespread wreckage of homes, overturned cars and uprooted trees.

The total number of people injured is unknown. Around 90,000 customers experienced electricity outages in the state.

The mayor of Little Rock, Frank Scott Jr, said on Twitter: “At this time, we know of 24 people who have been hospitalised at Little Rock hospitals and we are not aware of any fatalities in Little Rock.”

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The Baptist Health Medical Centre in the adjoining town of North Little Rock separately reported it was treating 11 patients from the storm, with one in a critical condition.

Sherwood, Ark. Police and firefighters get help from volunteers clearing downed trees on Keihl Avenue after storms ripped through the area, Friday, March 31, 2023
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Volunteers clear downed trees in Sherwood, Arkansas. Pic: AP

Other towns further away from Little Rock have also reported mass destruction and injuries.

Richard Dennis, the police chief in the town of Wynne – around 100 miles east of Little Rock, told a local television station there was “total destruction throughout the town” with dozens of people trapped.

The twister was caused by one of several violent thunderstorms that have battered the south and Midwest regions of the US – home to some 85 million people.

An apartment complex on Cantrell Road was severely damaged by a tornado Friday, March 31, 2023 in Little Rock, Ark. A monster storm system tore through the South and Midwest on Friday, spawning tornadoes that shredded homes and shopping centers, overturned vehicles and uprooted trees as people raced for shelter (Stephen Swofford/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
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An apartment complex in Little Rock, Arkansas. Pic: AP

The destructive storm system has also caused other tornados in Iowa, damaging hail in Illinois and wind-whipped grass fires in Oklahoma.

People were urged to evacuate in parts of Oklahoma City to escape the fires.

Meteorologists are forecasting another batch of intense storms next Tuesday in the same large area.

The fatal tornado came as President Joe Biden toured the aftermath of another deadly tornado that struck Mississippi a week ago. It killed at least 21 people and damaged around 2,000 homes.

Sherwood, Ark. Police and firefighters get help from volunteers clearing downed trees on Keihl Avenue after storms ripped through the area, Friday, March 31, 2023
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Volunteers clear downed trees in Sherwood, Arkansas. Pic: AP

Governor Huckabee Sanders activated 100 members of the Arkansas National Guard to help local authorities respond to the damage throughout the state.

“Praying for all those who were and remain in the path of this storm,” Ms Hucakabee Sanders, who declared a state of emergency, said on Twitter.

“Arkansans must continue to stay weather aware as storms are continuing to move through.”

In Little Rock, local Niki Scott took cover in the bathroom after her husband called to say a tornado was headed her way.

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The aftermath of last week’s tornado in Mississippi

She could hear glass shattering as the tornado roared past, and emerged afterward to find that her house was one of the few on her street that didn’t have a tree fall on it.

“It’s just like everyone says. It got really quiet, then it got really loud,” Ms Scott said afterward, as chainsaws roared and sirens blared in the area.

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