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Ed Sheeran takes stand at New York civil trial accused of copying Marvin Gaye classic | Ents & Arts News

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has taken the stand at the beginning of a civil trial in Manhattan alleging his hit “Thinking Out Loud” ripped off the classic Marvin Gaye tune “Let’s Get It On”.

Descendants of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer on the 1973 hit, claim Sheeran, his label Warner Music Group, and music publisher Sony Music Publishing owe them a share of the profits for allegedly copying the song.

The copyright infringement trial in Manhattan, New York, is the first of three Sheeran could face from lawsuits over similarities between the two hits.

Under questioning from Keisha Rice, a lawyer for Mr Townsend’s descendants, Sheeran was asked about a song of his, “Take It Back,” which contains the lyric “plagiarism is hidden”.

“Those are my lyrics, yep,” said Sheeran, wearing a black suit and light blue tie. “Can I give some context to them?”

Rice said if she needed more context, she would ask.

She then asked Sheeran, 32, about a video clip of a show in which he performed Gaye’s song live as a medley with “Thinking Out Loud”.

Ben Crump, another lawyer for the Townsend’s descendants, had earlier said the performance amounted to a confession by Sheeran.

“We have a smoking gun,” he said of the concert footage showing Sheeran flipping between the two songs.

Mr Crump said the case is about “giving credit where credit is due”.

Sheeran said he sometimes mashed up songs with similar chords at his gigs, but grew frustrated when Rice cut off his

“I feel like you don’t want me to answer because you know that what I’m going to say is actually going to make quite a lot of sense,” he said.

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Kathryn Townsend Griffin, center, daughter of singer and songwriter Ed Townsend, speaks outside New York Federal Court before the start of the trial. Pic: AP
Kathryn Townsend Griffin, center, daughter of singer and songwriter Ed Townsend, speaks outside New York Federal Court before the start of the trial. Pic: AP

Sheeran’s lawyer, Ilene Farkas, earlier said the two songs are distinct and told jurors that the plaintiffs should not be allowed to “monopolise” a chord progression and melody that are used in countless songs.

“No one owns basic musical building blocks,” Farkas said.

“You could go from ‘Let it Be’ to ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and switch back,” Sheeran testified, referring to the Beatles and
Bob Marley classics.

“If I had done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be a quite an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.”

If the jury finds Sheeran liable for copyright infringement, the trial will enter a second phase to determine how much he and his labels owe in damages.

The first trial is expected to last about a week.

Townsend, who also wrote the 1958 R&B doo-wop hit For Your Love, was a singer, songwriter and lawyer.

He died in 2003.

His daughter, Kathryn Townsend Griffin, is the plaintiff leading the case.

‘A feast for the eyes’: On board Hercules plane as it rehearses coronation flypast | UK News

The aircraft in the Royal Air Force fleet are impressive, but witnessing the skill and professionalism of their pilots and crew in person was awe-inspiring.

After clearing security at the passenger terminal at RAF Brize Norton, we were led to our aircraft for the journey ahead.

Two C-130J Hercules lay waiting on the tarmac – they are arguably the most familiar of all RAF aircraft.

But they do take your breath away nonetheless, especially when the propellers are turned on.

Flypast rehearsal

The Hercules planes were brought into service in the UK in 1999, but this is likely to be one of their final journeys before they are retired.

We boarded one of them at around 11am – both were about to work in tandem for a special one-off coronation flypast rehearsal.

The pilots allowed us to spend almost three hours with them in the cockpit plugged into their communications, with corresponding aircraft also taking part in the practice event.

More on King’s Coronation

Once we’d taken off, one of the crew made us a cup of tea on board as we cruised at 1,000ft.

We flew out off the coast of Norfolk at first, with the second Hercules cruising a few feet alongside us. This was the first moment of utter surrealism.

It can’t be overstated how rare it is to see aircraft flying this close together and this low. I could see the eyes of the other pilots. They flew like this, swapping sides occasionally for fun, for about an hour.

Coronation flypast rehearsal

Once at sea, we were joined by an A400M aircraft which, for lack of technical speak, was enormous. This is their new toy, entering operational service with the RAF in 2014.

We began to enter a tiered formation when it arrived as pilots across the three aircraft used their experience, negotiation and eyesight to fly seamlessly alongside each other, which felt like almost a whisker away.

We glided as a team at a much lower altitude of around 500ft to practice the distance they will fly at on 6 May.

Then more aircraft began to join the communications network and we suddenly were able to hear different voices of yet more pilots through our headphones.

Crew on C-130J Hercules

We headed for RAF Cranwell, the location for the practice flypast. A building on the site was being used as a faux Buckingham Palace for the day for the aircraft to aim for.

As we approached, aircraft began joining ahead and behind us, forming – what we could see ahead – was an impressive display of military precision.

We cruised at 500ft over RAF Cranwell, the headwind making it bumpy for us in the back but for the pilots there was unwavering focus and concentration.

This is what they are used to doing but squadron leader and commanding officer, Jim Rodon, says that even with 17 years of flying experience, and having led the flypast for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, there is still some pressure attached to the gig.

“I suppose there is a unique pressure,” he tells me.

“We want to provide a fitting tribute to His Majesty; we are all very proud of the monarchy.

“We are used to pressure, yes, but maybe slightly different pressure on operations, but I’d like to think we have been conditioned to deliver and we’re excited to do so.”

Flypast rehearsal

The rehearsal was the first and the last involving most of 60 aircraft due to be involved on the day in a flypast over The Mall.

The aircraft that will take part include 16 helicopters, the historic Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and the F-35B Lightning jets.

If the view from the ground is anything like the view from the skies, it’ll be a feast for the eyes.

Tottenham players to reimburse fans after ‘wholly unacceptable’ performance in 6-1 defeat to Newcastle | UK News

Tottenham players have apologised and pledged to reimburse fans who travelled to watch Sunday’s 6-1 humiliation at Newcastle.

The North London team went 5-0 down in the opening 21 minutes on Sunday.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy described the team’s performance as “wholly unacceptable” and sacked interim head coach Cristian Stellini after less than a month in charge.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Spurs squad admitted the performance “wasn’t good enough” and vowed to “give everything to put things right”, before offering fans to help cover the cost of the tickets to the game.

They said: “As a squad, we understand your frustration, your anger. Sunday wasn’t good enough. We know words aren’t enough in situations like this but believe us, a defeat like this hurts.

“We appreciate your support, home and away, and with this in mind we would like to reimburse fans with the cost of their match tickets from St James’ Park.

“We know this does not change what happened on Sunday and we will give everything to put things right, starting against Manchester United on Thursday evening when, again, your support will mean everything to us. Together – and only together – can we move things forward.”

Former midfielder Ryan Mason, 31, has been placed in charge of the first team for the second time, having taken charge of the squad for the remainder of the 2020/21 season following the departure of Jose Mourinho in April 2021.

Tottenham are fifth, six points behind third-placed Newcastle and Manchester United in fourth, who have games in hand.

Tottenham Hotspur's former first team coach Ryan Mason (L) and Cristian Stellini, who Tottenham have sacked
Ryan Mason (L) and Cristian Stellini, who Tottenham have sacked as acting head coach

Stellini took responsibility for Sunday’s result, describing the first 25 minutes as the worst he had ever seen in football.

Captain Hugo Lloris immediately apologised to fans for the “embarrassing” defeat at St James’ Park during his post-match interview, acknowledging the team showed a “lack of pride”.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust subsequently called for decisive action to “give us all some hope and something to get behind at the end of a truly awful season”.

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The trust also suggested fans “still deserve a refund” for Sunday’s disastrous display after the announcement dismissing Stellini, who was also part of Antonio Conte’s backroom staff.

“All supporters will now want to get behind Ryan in his attempt to rescue our season,” they added in a statement.

Hosepipe ban extended in Cornwall and Devon and won’t be lifted until December ‘without drought-breaking rainfall’ | UK News

A hosepipe ban has been extended to include more of Cornwall and parts of Devon as the region continues to experience lower than average levels of rainfall.

South West Water said it was taking action to “break the cycle of drought”, with reservoir levels falling to their lowest recorded level last year and some water storage already lower than this time in 2022.

It said it hoped the ban would be lifted on 1 December “or sooner”, if the area received “drought-breaking rainfall”.

In a statement on its website, it said said: “Our water resources across the region remain under pressure and as we go into the summer period we have taken the necessary action to safeguard supplies and break the cycle of drought following lower than average levels of rainfall last year and throughout February.”

James Corden and Adele brought to tears in final Carpool Karaoke | Ents & Arts News

James Corden and Adele were brought to tears as they reunited for a final session of “Carpool Karaoke”.

The long-running segment on the Late Late Show involves Corden “driving to work” with the help of various musical stars while singing songs from their various back catalogues.

The session with Adele was recorded ahead of Corden’s last episode as host of The Late Late Show, which will air on CBS in the US on Thursday.

Corden, a British comedian who began hosting the US talk show in 2015, hailed the “brilliant adventure” of his time stateside.

However, he reiterated that it was “time to go home” as he and Adele looked back on his tenure of the show.

During Corden’s time hosting The Late Late Show, Carpool Karaoke has featured titans of the music industry including Adele, Sir Paul McCartney, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billie Eilish and One Direction.

In her first appearance, filmed in London in 2016, Adele produced multiple viral moments including downing an entire cup of tea, and showing off her rap skills.

It became the most viral Carpool Karaoke clip of the show with 67.5 million views on YouTube – though it has now surpassed 260 million.

A clip of her new appearance shows Adele arriving at Corden’s house.

She then use cymbals to wake him up and declaring, in a twist, that she would be the one driving him to work – despite admitting her poor driving skills.

Reflecting on his time on the show, Corden said: “I’m excited and scared in equal measure. I don’t know it’s been a crazy eight years.”

“In one sense it feels like it’s gone like that and in the other I can’t really remember what life was like before being here.”

James Corden attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
James Corden is leaving his role as host of The Late Late Show

The pair later got emotional while singing a rendition of Adele’s “I Drink Wine” – with the singer explaining that the lyrics to the song had partly been inspired by a conversation they had once had.

She said: “We were on vacation together with the kids, and we were on our way home. And my mood had changed and it was like the first year where I felt like I had to hold myself accountable for being an adult.

“The year before I left Simon (Konecki) and stuff like that, and you and (Corden’s wife) Jules and the kids were so integral in looking after me… you used to do it with humour too.”

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Adele revealed Corden had confided in her that he had not felt “strong” and they had had a six-hour conversation about the pressures of their personal and professional lives.

Corden said he had been “floored” after first hearing the song, which had been “everything I had been feeling that day”.

Playing the track, Adele told him “every time I listen to this I think of you”, as Corden sat becoming visibly emotional.

Following his exit from the show, the comedian has said he plans to return to the UK to spend more time with his family.

Corden announced his departure from The Late Late Show almost exactly a year ago. He took over as host after comedian Craig Ferguson left the show.

Airing every weekday night, the show is billed as “the ultimate late night after party”, and features a mix of celebrity guests, musical acts, games and sketches.

Nurses’ strike: Health Secretary Steve Barclay says he is ‘left with no choice but to proceed with legal action’ | Politics News

The government will take a nursing union to court in an attempt to stop its latest strike action.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are due to walk out for 48 hours from 8pm on Sunday night until 8pm on Tuesday 2 May after rejecting the latest pay offer from the government.

But Steve Barclay, the health secretary, has written to RCN boss Pat Cullen, saying the union’s current six-month strike mandate runs out at midnight on 1 May.

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After talks to solve the issue last week failed, Mr Barclay said: “I therefore regretfully provided notice of my intent to pursue legal action with a view to protecting patients, NHS workers and RCN members whilst continuing to seek a way to resolve this through official channels.”

Ms Cullen said the RCN had told the government such action was “wrong and indefensible” but “the threat sadly became a reality”.

In an email to members, she added: “The only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them – including in court.

“It’s so wrong for the government to use taxpayers’ money to drag our profession through the courts.

“We’re determined to show that the nursing profession is strong and determined and defend our members’ right to strike.”

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Thousands of nurses are due to strike for the May bank holiday

In a statement released after the news broke, Mr Barclay said he had been “left with no choice but to proceed with legal action”.

He added: “I firmly support the right to take industrial action within the law – but the government cannot stand by and let a plainly unlawful strike action go ahead nor ignore the request of NHS Employers.

“We must also protect nurses by ensuring they are not asked to take part in an unlawful strike.”

Ms Cullen confirmed members would not be asked to walk out if the court ruled against them, saying: “If the government succeeds in silencing members like you and convinces the court to stop part of our strike, then we’ll have no choice but to cut it short.”

She added: “Our strike action has always been safe and legal. We would never ask our members to do anything unsafe or against your professional code.”

British troops fly into Sudan as UK works on evacuation plan for Britons | Breaking News News

A team of British troops have flown into a port in eastern Sudan on a reconnaissance mission as the UK works out options to help evacuate British nationals stranded in the crisis-hit country, Sky News understands.

The soldiers landed at Port Sudan, on the Red Sea on Monday.

A flight tracking website showed a C-17 transport aircraft heading in the direction of Sudan.

It does not mean any rescue is imminent, however, as the government is working out what are the best options to present to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to help thousands of British nationals, under fire in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

A British warship – HMS Lancaster – is also in the region and could be used to help with any rescue, according to Whitehall sources.

The more than 500-mile route to Port Sudan from the capital Khartoum is long and difficult.

Royal Air Force flights from a British airbase in Cyprus to a Sudanese military airfield outside the capital – a route used over the weekend to rescue British diplomats and their families – could be a more viable option.

However, any decision to order new evacuations will depend on the level of risk that the government is willing to take.

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The UK could ask allies to help its citizens.

James Heappey, the Armed Forces Minister, said the military was working up a range of options to present to the prime minister as pressure mounts on the government to help thousands of British nationals trapped in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

British forces extracted all British diplomats and their families from the city during a daring weekend raid.

“But of course the job isn’t done,” Mr Heappey said.

“Work is under way in this building and has been all weekend and all of the back end of last week to give the prime minister and Cobra [the emergency committee meeting of top ministers and officials] options for what else could be done to support the wider community of British nationals in Sudan.

“Those options are being developed at pace.

“The prime minister will be given the option to take any of the options that we present him with as and when they arise and that’s been the rhythm of things all weekend long.”

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman dies | Ents & Arts News

Len Goodman, who was head judge on Strictly Come Dancing for over a decade, has died aged 78, his agent has said.

His agent, Jackie Gill told Sky News the dancing star died on Saturday night at a hospice in Kent, surrounded by his family. He had been diagnosed with bone cancer.

In a statement, she said: “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.

“A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”

The ‘lung MOT’ scan trucks helping to diagnose lung cancer earlier in deprived areas | UK News

People in deprived areas are now more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer at an earlier stage, thanks to the success of trucks offering chest scans in supermarket car parks, the NHS has said.

For the first time ever, data shows more than a third of people diagnosed with lung cancer from the most deprived 20% of England had the disease detected at stage one or two in 2022 (34.5%) – up from 30% in 2019.

Now at 43 sites across the country, the mobile trucks scan those most at risk from lung cancer, including current and ex-smokers.

One person who has benefited from the “Lung MOT’s”, which were launched in 2018 in areas of the country with the lowest lung cancer survival rates, is Sandra Sloane.

Sandra, 69, a retired former smoker, was called for a scan, before being diagnosed in May 2021.

The scan was in the local area, a five-minute drive away and took around two minutes to complete.

Remembering the news of her diagnosis, she said: “I thought that was it, my days were over.

“I just went to pieces; I couldn’t stop crying. I was frightened.”

Sandra Sloane
Sandra Sloane was diagnosed in May 2021

But thanks to her early diagnosis, Sandra had surgery to remove the cancer two months later, before being given all-clear.

“I was the happiest person on earth that day, I was home by Saturday teatime. All I’ve got is a scar about two inches long. The scan I had was five minutes away, and it saved my life.”

She is one of more than 300,000 people who have already taken up the offer and visited the trucks, which have diagnosed more than 1,750 people with lung cancer.

Over three quarters (76%) were caught at stage one or two, compared with just a third caught at early stages in 2018.

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NHS tackles liver cancer with trucks

The link between deprivation and worse cancer outcomes is based on a number of factors.

Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer, NHS England, said: “We know that people who are less well-off are more likely to smoke, they find it more difficult to see their GPs and more often they live in parts of the country where the health service has less resources.”

Lung scan

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A report by Cancer Research published in 2020 supports this.

It found there were more than 30,000 extra cases of cancer attributable to socio-economic deprivation, with the starkest differences seen in smoking-related cancers, like lung cancer.

The success of the NHS scheme so far has come in targeting those groups.

“It used to be that people who were least well off were most likely to have lung cancer at an advanced stage when we found it,” said Prof Johnson.

“By taking these CT scans to people in that group and by diagnosing lung cancer earlier than ever before we have actually turned that trend on its head. So people who are least well off are now more likely to have their lung cancer identified at an early stage than anybody else.”

Man charged over fatal dog attack in Derby as victim is named | UK News

A man has been charged under the Dangerous Dogs Act in connection with the death of another man at a house in Derby.

Wayne Stevens, 51, died after the incident at around 5.50am on Saturday in the Cavendish area of the city.

The dog was shot because it posed a risk to officers and to the public, police said.

Gary Stevens, 53, of Cameron Road, Derby, has been charged with being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death.

He will appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The force said: “Formal identification has taken place, and the victim has been named as 51-year-old Wayne Stevens.

“Our thoughts remain with his family and friends at this time.”