British actor Richard Attenborough helped honour Nelson Mandela


This video is called BBC News – Filmmaker Richard Attenborough dies at 90.

By Will Stone in Britain:

Tuesday 26th August 2014

Tributes pour in for progressive actor who died aged 90

BELOVED actor Richard Attenborough was remembered yesterday for his “determination and courage” in helping to erect the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square.

The award-winning star, described as a “titan of British cinema” by film academy Bafta and famed for his roles in blockbusters Jurassic Park, Gandhi and The Great Escape, died at lunchtime on Sunday at the age of 90.

But left groups remembered his achievements off the screen too.

Jude Woodward, former culture and creative industries advisor at City Hall under Ken Livingstone, told the Star that few have mentioned Attenborough’s “irascible” nature, which she believed helped make sure the bronze statue of South Africa’s former president and anti-apartheid activist was built.

Mr Attenborough helped set up a fund for the statue with the widow of the late anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods, who originally came up with the idea and received approval from Mandela in 2001.

“He was absolutely determined,” she said, recalling that they had initially battled to get the nine-foot statue put up outside the High Commission of South Africa in Trafalgar Square.

However Westminster Council rejected the planning application on the grounds its location would disrupt events in the area.

After much discussion the council finally agreed to erect the £400,000 sculpture, designed by Ian Walters, in Parliament Square alongside the statues of other iconic figures including Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Disraeli.

This video from London, England is called Nelson Mandela‘s speech at the unveiling of his statue.

Mandela himself attended the unveiling of the sculpture in 2007, six years after it was first approved, and the statue is still the only one of a black person in the square.

Ms Woodward said that it was “a real achievement” and a “right and fitting legacy” to Mandela that the statue was erected in his lifetime.

Describing Mr Attenborough, she added: “If things got in his way he would not brook opposition. He was absolutely determined there would be a tribute to Mandela and that it would be erected while he was living.”

Also paying tribute, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “The death of Richard Attenborough is a sad day for the film world and the Labour movement. He and his work will be remembered.”

BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill added: “the world has lost a very, very special person.”

Great white shark in London


This video from London, England is called Shark Week: Finsbury Shark.

From Wildlife Extra:

Great white shark spotted in north London boating lake

Joggers, dog-walkers and early morning commuters in Finsbury Park in North London this week were treated to the unexpected sight of what appeared to be a great white shark fin slicing through the water among a group of rowers on the boating lake.

Luckily for all concerned, the ‘shark’ was a stunt set up to publicise a series of shark-related programmes on the Discovery Channel next week.

The shark’s fin was made by BAFTA award-winning art director and special effects designer Jamie Campbell, renowned for his work on Sea Monsters and the original Walking with Dinosaurs.

Campbell used a hand-carved polystyrene fin mounted onto a 3m tubular frame, with internal ballast and flotation devices to guide the shark. An underwater pulley system, connected between two points on the shoreline by an underwater steel cable, allowed the shark fin to travel at pace across the water.

Cameras were set up around the lake to capture the reactions of the unsuspecting boating enthusiasts. One person in every boat was aware of the prank.

A spokesman for Discovery Channel commented: “When you go for a genteel early morning row around the shallow Finsbury Park Boating Lake, the last thing you would expect to encounter is one of nature’s most renowned predators. All of the boaters saw the funny side and we can assure everyone that it is perfectly safe to go back in the water!”

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, which also features on Animal Planet, begins on Sunday 10 August and features documentaries such as Airjaws Finding Colossus, in which shark experts Chris Fallows and Jeff Kurr visit legendary Seal island in South Africa in search of great whites and Mythbuster Jawsome, which counts down the 25th biggest shark myths of all time.

Against glorification of World War I in London tonight


This video from England is called No Glory – Remembering World War One in Music and Poetry – St James’s Church, London – 25.10.13.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Anti-war events mark WWI centenary

Monday 4th August 2014

ANTI-WAR events will take place across the country today to counter 100th anniversary celebrations of Britain’s entry into WWI.

Britain’s recent record of foreign wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan, its commitment to Nato expansion and support for Israeli aggression make it essential that there is a strong anti-war message on the day, says Stop The War.

The campaign group is organising a No Glory — No More War rally in Parliament Square this evening from 6.30pm aimed at countering Prime Minister David Cameron’s “celebration” and “glorification” of the WWI centenary.

Speakers and performers at the event include actors Samuel West and Kika Markham.

Jeremy Corbyn MP will read Keir Hardie’s anti-war speech of 1914 and writer AL Kennedy will read Carol Ann Duffy’s Last Post in honour of Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier from the WWI trenches, who said until the day he died in 2009 that war was “legalised mass murder.”

Wreaths will be laid at bus stations and garages across London today in memory of the transport workers who died in the 1914-18 war.

Report of the London rally: here.