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Prince William reveals Earthshot Prize winners in global bid to tackle climate crisis

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Earthshot

Prince William reveals Earthshot Prize winners in global bid to tackle climate crisis

Celebrities have joined Prince William in London for the inaugural awards ceremony of his Earthshot Prize, an ambitious environmental program aimed at finding new ideas and technologies around the world to tackle the climate crisis and Earth’s most pressing challenges.

Actors and activists strode down a green carpet at Alexandra Palace in north London. Emma Watson, Emma Thompson and David Oyelowo joined Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in handing out the awards, with a £1m going to each winner.

Guests were asked to “consider the environment when choosing their outfit,” so Watson arrived wearing a gown made of 10 dresses from the charity Oxfam.

British actress Emma Watson wore a white gown made from 10 dresses from the charity Oxfam at the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in London.
William launched the Earthshot Prize through his charity, the Royal Foundation, last year with plans to name five winners every year until 2030.

In a video pre-recorded for the ceremony, William said: “We are alive in the most consequential time in human history. The actions we choose or choose not to take in the next 10 years will determine the fate of the planet for the next thousand.

“A decade doesn’t seem long, but humankind has an outstanding record of being able to solve the unsolvable … The future is ours to determine. And if we set our minds to it, nothing is impossible.”

I want to say something to all the young people watching tonight:

For too long, we haven’t done enough to protect the planet for your future.

But Earthshot is for you.

In the next ten years we are going to act. We are going to find the solutions to repair our planet. pic.twitter.com/sDHwUn7FSn

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 17, 2021
The Republic of Costa Rica picked up the “protect and restore nature” award for its efforts to protect forests, plant trees and restore ecosystems. The policy pays citizens to protect the rainforests and restore local ecosystems, reversing decades of deforestation and leading to a boom in ecotourism.

Costa Rica’s president, Carlos Alvarado, said the award was received “with pride but humility”, adding that “what we have achieved in this small country in Central America can be done anywhere.”

Indian company Takachar won the “clean our air” prize for developing pioneering technology to help end the burning of agricultural waste. Their cheap, small-scale, portable device attaches to tractors and converts crop residues into sellable products such as fuel and fertiliser, further helping to reduce smoke emissions by up to 98%.

Other winners included Coral Vita, a land-based coral farm in the Bahamas with a project to restore dying coral reefs by growing coral in tanks at a rate 50 times quicker than traditional methods.

The northern Italian city of Milan won the “food waste hubs” award as the first major city to enforce a city-wide food waste policy to recover food from local supermarkets and restaurants and distribute it to citizens in need, recovering about 130 tonnes of food a year, or an estimated 260,000 meals.

The “fix our climate” award went to a joint Thai-German-Italian team for the AEM Electrolyzer, which uses renewable energy to make clean hydrogen by splitting water into its constituent elements.

Each of the finalists – chosen by experts from more than 750 nominations – will be given help from companies to develop their projects.

Sir David Attenborough, Christiana Figueres, Dani Alves and a host of stars and performers including Ed Sheeran and Yemi Alade also attended the event.

The ceremony comes just days ahead of the Cop26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow, which begins on 31 October.

Earlier this week William took a swipe at billionaires embroiled in a space tourism race, saying in an interview with the BBC that the world’s greatest minds should be focused on repairing Earth instead of “trying to find the next place to go and live”.

The Queen was also recently overheard criticising world leaders who “talk” but “don’t do” enough about the planetary crisis.

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R&B hitmaker R. Kelly due in court for sex abuse sentencing

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R&B hitmaker R. Kelly due in court for sex abuse sentencing

R& B star R. Kelly faces the possibility of a quarter century or more in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday in a federal sex trafficking case in New York.

A jury found Kelly, 55, guilty of racketeering and other counts last year at a trial that was seen as a signature moment in the #MeToo movement.

Outrage over Kelly’s sexual misconduct with young women and children was fueled in part by the widely watched docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which gave voice to accusers who wondered if their stories were previously ignored because they were Black women.

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly is set to impose the sentence at a federal court in Brooklyn after hearing statements from victims and possibly Kelly himself.

Prosecutors are seeking a minimum 25-year term, while the defense says a sentence of 10 years or less is all he deserves.

Kelly’s lawyers argued in court papers he should get a break in part because he “experienced a traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence.”

They added: “His victimization continued into adulthood where, because of his literacy deficiencies, the defendant has been repeatedly defrauded and financially abused, often by the people he paid to protect him.”

The jury convicted the “I Believe I Can Fly” hitmaker after hearing about how he used his entourage of managers and aides to meet girls and keep them obedient, an operation prosecutors said amounted to a criminal enterprise.

Several accusers testified that Kelly subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.

Kelly, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, used his “fame, money and popularity” to systematically “prey upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification,” prosecutors wrote in their own filing earlier this month.

The accusers alleged they were ordered to sign nondisclosure forms and were subjected to threats and punishments such as violent spankings if they broke what one referred to as “Rob’s rules.”

Some said they believed the videotapes he shot of them having sex would be used against them if they exposed what was happening.

There was testimony Kelly gave several accusers herpes without disclosing he had an STD, coerced a teenage boy to join him for sex with a naked girl who emerged from underneath a boxing ring in his garage, and shot a shaming video of one victim showing her smearing feces on her face as punishment for breaking his rules.

Evidence also was presented about a fraudulent marriage scheme hatched to protect Kelly after he feared he had impregnated R&B phenom Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15. Witnesses said they were married in matching jogging suits using a license falsely listing her age as 18; he was 27 at the time.

Aaliyah worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” She died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.

An earlier defense memo suggested prosecutors’ arguments for a higher sentence overreached by falsely claiming Kelly participated in the paying of a bribe to a government official in order to facilitate the illegal marriage.

Kelly’s lawyers also said it was wrong to assert he should get more time because he sexually abused one of his victims — referred to in court as “Jane” — after her parents innocently entrusted him to help her with her musical career.

“The record shows that Jane’s parents directed Jane to lie to the defendant about her age and then encouraged her to seduce him,” the papers say.

Kelly has been jailed without bail since in 2019. He’s still facing child pornography and obstruction of justice charges in Chicago, where a trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 15.

 

AP

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Tems, Wizkid bag wins at BET Awards 2022 (Full list of winners)

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Tems, Wizkid bag wins at BET Awards 2022 (Full list of winners)

Nigerian music superstars, Tems and Wizkid bagged impressive wins at the recently concluded Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards ceremony on Monday, June 27.

On the eventful night that took place at the Microsoft Theatre, Los Angeles, Tems whose real name is Temilade Openiyi went home with two awards.

First, Tems and Wizkid alongside Canadian recording artiste, Justin Bieber received an award for ‘Best Collaboration’ for the song, ‘Essence’; with the win, ‘Essence’ has emerged as the first African song to win a BET award and Wizkid becomes the first Nigerian and African to win an Award outside the Best International Acts category.

Moments later, Tems, emerged as the winner of the Best International Act.

The Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer was nominated with other talented acts such as Fireboy, Dave from the UK, Dinos from France, Fally Ipupa from Congo, Little Simz from the UK, Ludmilla from Brazil, Major League Djz from South Africa, and Tayc from France.

Tems also made history at the 2022 BET awards when she became the first African female to win the Best International Category.

With her win at the 2022 BET awards, Tems joins Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy as Nigerians who have won the BET Awards.

Watch the moment she received her award below.

In addition to the usual honors, Diddy was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He joins Whitney Houston, Prince, Queen Latifah, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Samuel Jackson, and many more in receiving the honor.

Check out the full list of winners below.

BEST FEMALE R&B/POP ARTIST

Jazmine Sullivan — WINNER

BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST

The Weeknd – WINNER

BEST GROUP


Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak) – WINNER

BEST COLLABORATION

Wizkid f. Justin Bieber & Tems – “Essence” – WINNER

BEST FEMALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Megan Thee Stallion – WINNER

BEST MALE HIP HOP ARTIST

Kendrick Lamar – WINNER

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – “Smokin Out The Window” – WINNER

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Anderson .Paak – WINNER

BEST NEW ARTIST

Latto — WINNER

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – An Evening with Silk Sonic – WINNER

DR. BOBBY JONES BEST GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL AWARD

Lil Baby X Kirk Franklin – “We Win” – WINNER

BET HER

Mary J. Blige – “Good Morning Gorgeous” – WINNER

BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT

Tems (Nigeria) – WINNER

BEST MOVIE

King Richard – WINNER

BEST ACTOR

Will Smith – “King Richard” – WINNER

BEST ACTRESS

Zendaya – “Euphoria” / “Spider-Man: No Way Home” – WINNER

YOUNGSTARS AWARD

Marsai Martin — WINNER

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Naomi Osaka – WINNER

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

Stephen Curry – WINNER

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Grammys add new categories, including songwriter of the year

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Grammys add new categories, including songwriter of the year

The Grammys are adding a special song for social change award and five new categories including songwriter of the year, giving the Recording Academy an avenue to honor music’s best composer.

The academy announced Thursday that the new non-classical songwriter category will recognize one individual who was the “most prolific” non-performing and non-producing songwriter for a body of new work during an eligibility year. The category is taking a different approach than song of the year, which awards the songwriter or songwriters who wrote the lyrics or melodies to one song.

“This new category is truly for an expert person at the songwriting craft,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr told The Associated Press. Songwriters must have written a minimum of five songs in which they are credited “solely” as a songwriter or co-writer.

“Somebody who writes their own music and records it would not be eligible,” he said. “They would have to be doing songs for others. We want to highlight the craft of writing songs professionally for artists.”

“Songwriters are at the heart of our business and industry,” he said. “Nothing happens without songwriters. For us, this was a no brainer. It’s in alignment with all the changes. We thought, ‘How can we do more? Showcase more people and be more inclusive to different genres?’”

The new category is another huge step for songwriters. Last year, a rule update allowed that any songwriter, producer, engineer or featured artist on an album nominated for album of the year could ultimately earn a nomination.

The four other categories include best spoken word poetry album, alternative music performance, Americana music performance and score soundtrack for video games and other interactive media.

The academy created a special merit award that determines best song for social change. The award will be based on lyrical content that addresses a timely social issue and promotes “understanding, peacebuilding and empathy.”

“It’s always the right time to recognize music that’s changing the world,” he said. “I think it deserves a special recognition. These songs are important and impactful. We want to make sure we’re honoring and celebrating that artform. This is a great way to do that.”

Mason said it was yearlong process of accepting proposals to make changes, additions and updates from music creators and professionals that make up the membership body.

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