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An amateur photographer from the UK has won a prestigious Wildlife Photographer Of The Year award with this emotive shot of a polar bear sleeping in a makeshift bed carved into a small iceberg.

Nima Sarikhani captured the image off Norway‘s Svalbard archipelago after spending three days “desperately searching” for the animals through thick fog.

After his expedition vessel changed course, he eventually encountered two polar bears – and witnessed the smaller male bear making his bed before falling asleep.

The picture, titled Ice Bed, has been crowned the winner of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer Of The Year people’s choice award, after being whittled down to a shortlist of 25 from almost 50,000 entries from around the world.

More than 75,000 people cast their votes – a record number – to name Nima this year’s winner.

Organisers praised the “breathtaking and poignant” image, saying it “allows us to see the beauty and fragility of our planet” and acts as “a stark reminder of the integral bond between an animal and its habitat… a visual representation of the detrimental impacts of climate warming and habitat loss.”

Nima said he was “honoured” to win the award.

“This photograph has stirred strong emotions in many of those who have seen it,” he said. “Whilst climate change is the biggest challenge we face, I hope that this photograph also inspires hope; there is still time to fix the mess we have caused.”

Four photographs were highly commended and will be displayed alongside Ice Bed online and in the accompanying exhibition at the Natural History Museum in west London until the end of June.

The runners-up

The Happy Turtle. Pic: Tzahi Finkelstein

The Happy Turtle by Tzahi Finkelstein, from Israel

This image of a Balkan pond turtle sharing a moment with a northern banded groundling dragonfly was taken from a hide in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Tzahi was photographing shore birds when he spotted the turtle, but only turned his full attention to the reptile when he saw the dragonfly heading its way across the murky waters. When the insect landed, rather than snapping it up for dinner, the turtle appeared playful – leading to the perfect shot.

Shared Parenting. Pic: Mark Boyd/ Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Shared Parenting by Mark Boyd, from Kenya

A pair of lionesses devotedly groom one of their pride’s five cubs in this early morning image taken in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Photographer Mark Boyd said he had witnessed them the evening before, leaving the cubs hidden overnight in dense bushes while they went out to hunt. Returning from their mission, they called the cubs out on to the open grassland for a bit of sprucing up. “Here the youngster was clearly enjoying the moment of affection and attention,” Mark’s entry said.

Starling Murmuration. Pic: Daniel Dencescu/ Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Starling Murmuration by Daniel Dencescu, from Germany/Romania

A murmuration of starlings is always mesmerising, but when the huge, swooping mass forms itself into one giant bird you make sure to reach for your camera. Having seen the birds gathering in Rome after returning from foraging each day, Daniel Dencescu caught this image after spending hours following them around the city and its suburbs. “Finally, on this cloudless winter’s day, the flock didn’t disappoint,” he said.

Aurora Jellies. Pic: Audun Rikardsen/ Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

Aurora Jellies – Audun Rikardsen, from Norway

Illuminated by the aurora borealis, moon jellyfish swarm in the cool autumnal waters of a fjord outside Tromsø in northern Norway in Audun Rikardsen’s image. Sheltering his equipment in a self-made waterproof housing, he used a single exposure as well as his own system for adjusting the focus and aperture to capture the reflection of the sky’s colours on the surface of the water – and at the same time, light up the jellyfish with flashes.

The people’s choice award follows the winner of the overall Wildlife Photographer Of Year prize, which is decided by judges and was awarded to underwater photographer and marine biologist Laurent Ballesta in October.

The last UK winner for the people’s choice award was Sam Rowley, whose image of two fighting mice was voted the favourite in 2020.

A UK photographer last won the main competition in 2007, when wildlife and landscape photographer Ben Osborne picked up the prize for a picture of a large bull elephant kicking and spraying mud in Botswana.

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Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes actor, dies




Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly's Heroes actor, dies

Donald Sutherland, who appeared in films including The Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes, has died at the age of 88.

His agency, CAA, said he died in Miami “after a long illness”.

The Canadian actor won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in the mini-series Citizen X.

In 2017, he received an honorary Oscar.

His son, fellow actor Kiefer Sutherland, said “with a heavy heart” that his father had “passed away”.

“I personally think [he was] one of the most important actors in the history of film,” Kiefer Sutherland posted on X, adding that he was “never daunted by a role – good, bad or ugly”.

“He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

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Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters
Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters

In the Hunger Games franchise, Donald Sutherland played President Snow alongside Jennifer Lawrence.

In Kelly’s Heroes he starred alongside Telly Savalas and Clint Eastwood as Sergeant Oddball – on a mission to steal gold from the Nazis.

“I love to work – I passionately love to work,” Sutherland told US talk show host Charlie Rose in 1998.

“I love to feel my hand fit into the glove of some other character. I feel a huge freedom – time stops for me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I’m still a little crazy.”

Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP
Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP

His “breakthrough performances” were in 1967 movie The Dirty Dozen and MASH, CAA said.

He also took parts in Robert Redford’s Ordinary People and Oliver Stone’s JFK.

He is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer, daughter Rachel, and four grandchildren.

“A private celebration of his life will be held by the family,” CAA said.

Born in St John, New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada in July 1935, he was the son of a salesman and a mathematics teacher.

He started university in Toronto as an engineering student but switched to English and started acting in college productions.

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Travis Scott arrested for ‘causing a disturbance while drunk and trespassing’




Travis Scott arrested for 'causing a disturbance while drunk and trespassing'

Rapper Travis Scott has been arrested for “disorderly intoxication and trespassing”, police in the US have said.

Scott, who has two children with Kylie Jenner, was arrested for causing a “disturbance” on a charter boat at the Miami Beach Marina, where he “was drunk, and asked to leave multiple times”, the Miami Beach Police Department said.

Officers were called to the marina at 12.44 am on Thursday morning to reports of a disturbance, according to official records.

The 10-time Grammy Award nominee was reportedly getting off a charter boat when the owner of the boat asked him to leave, 7News Miami said on its website.

The force said officers found Scott, arguably one of the biggest hip-hop acts in the world, “standing by the dock yelling at the vessel occupants”, and while he complied with their instructions to begin with, he then ignored them, NBC, Sky’s US partner, said.

Officers could sense “a strong smell of alcohol coming from the defendant’s breath”, records showed.

Though he agreed to leave the dock after being threatened with arrest, he did not go quietly.

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As he walked to the boardwalk, Scott “walked backwards yelling obscenities to the occupants of the vessel”, police said.

He left the marina, but returned five minutes later and was seen by officers walking back toward the vessel.

Scott spoke to a sergeant he had spoken to earlier and began yelling once again – “becoming erratic” and “disturbing the peace of the occupants of the marina and nearby residential buildings causing a public disturbance”, court documents said.

The 33-year-old musician was arrested at 1.17am and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center at 4.35 am on a charge of alleged disorderly intoxication as well as trespassing property after warning.

He submitted a $650 (£512) bond – $500 (£394) for the trespass charge and $150 (£118) for disorderly intoxication, the Daily Mail said.

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Scott, real name Jacques Bermon Webster II, has achieved four number-one hits on the US charts and is known for his energetic live shows and successful albums, including Astroworld.

He has two children with the socialite and media personality, Kylie Jenner, but the pair are no longer together.

His European tour, titled Circus Maximus, is due to start in The Netherlands next Friday and he is scheduled to play Manchester’s Co-Op Live venue on 13 July.

In 2021, 10 fans died in a crowd surge at his Astroworld festival in Houston, Texas, where he was born.

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He did not face criminal charges over their deaths but remains involved in civil cases alleging that organisers were at fault.

Last year he scored his first UK number one album with Utopia, which has been streamed more than 50 billion times globally, NME said.

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Taylor Swift Eras Tour: Final UK shows at London’s Wembley Stadium ‘will boost economy by £300m’




Taylor Swift Eras Tour: Final UK shows at London's Wembley Stadium 'will boost economy by £300m'

The final UK shows of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour are expected to boost the economy by £300m, officials have claimed.

The US star will perform three gigs at London’s Wembley Stadium this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – before returning to the venue in August for a further five dates.

The sold-out shows will be attended by a total of nearly 640,000 people.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) estimates fans will spend an average of £471 per show, with many travelling from around the world or other parts of the country to watch.

The capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “delighted” the 34-year-old was playing more shows in the city than anywhere else in the world during her Eras Tour.

He said the gigs would be “a huge boost to our hospitality industry and [provide] further proof that London is the greatest city in the world to watch live music.”

It comes following the singer’s shows in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff this month.

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Taylor Swift greets fans in Welsh

Officials in London are keen to harness enthusiasm for Swift’s visit.

Transport for London has said it will rename some Tube stations in her honour, while Mr Khan has also unveiled a mural of the singer on the Spanish Steps outside Wembley Stadium.

EMBARGOED TO 0600 THURSDAY JUNE 20 EDITORIAL USE ONLY Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveils Swiftie Steps and new murals at Wembley Park as global popstar kicks off her first London show. Picture date: Wednesday 19 June 2024.
Mr Khan with the new mural at Wembley Park. Pic: PA

The GLA said its economic estimate was based on research by tourism body UKInbound.

A previous study claimed Swift’s shows would have an even bigger impact – with Barclays predicting that fans would fork out a total of almost £1bn across her 15 UK shows.

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UK leg of Eras tour kicks off

However, some commentators have questioned the claims.

George Moran, an economist at Japanese bank Nomura, expressed doubts over the alleged net benefit of the tour, saying he believed some fans would be cutting back on other spending in order to attend.

He told The Guardian last month: “We think the idea has been overhyped, especially for economies like the UK.”

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Nonetheless, there appears little doubt that fans – some of whom have spent around £200 on tickets alone – will be spending big on accommodation, food and merchandise during the UK leg.

The multi-billion pound tour is also expected to be a major earner for Swift, who has an estimated net worth of more than $1.1bn (£0.9bn), according to Forbes.

The star has faced criticism for some spending, including her frequent use of private jets.

General view of of Anfield Stadium in Liverpool where a Taylor Swift concert is taking place. Picture date: Thursday June 13, 2024.
Fans packed out Anfield Stadium in Liverpool to watch the star last week. Pic: PA

It comes amid a boom in concert tours worldwide – and their increasingly hefty economic impact.

Last year, officials in Sweden said two shows by singer Beyonce in Stockholm may have been responsible for a rise in inflation in the country.

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