Diana Ross fans have defended the singer after viewers criticised Ross’s vocals as “off-key” during her Glastonbury set.
The music icon took the Pyramid stage on Sunday (26 June) in the festival’s legends slot, which has previously hosted Kylie Minogue, Dolly Parton, and Kenny Rogers.
Ross attracted a huge crowd at Worthy Farm, with many viewers taking to Twitter to comment on the size of the crowd.
“Can’t even see where it ends!” wrote one person. Another added: “LOOK AT THE CROWD FOR DIANA ROSS WOW!”
Many people – both in attendance at Worthy Farm and watching the show at home – strongly criticised Ross’s vocals as “terrible” and “off-key”.
Others, however, have defended Ross against the criticisim.
“Flat, sharp or whatever, you can tell EVERYBODY watching Diana Ross is having the best time,” said one person.
Another added: “People need to sod off with their high expectations from a 78-year-old woman or an 80-year-old man [Paul McCartney] singing live at Glastonbury. Seriously get lost and go watch your heavily autotuned ‘singers.’”
A third person wrote: “I don’t care that her vocals are not on point… it’s Diana Ross mate… LEGEND!”
“Some voice issues but so what. Diana Ross just gave 100,000 people a massive hug,” said someone else.
“To those of you taking the p*** out of Diana Ross, let’s see you do a song remotely like this at 80. She is and always will be a legend,” said another.
“Diana Ross should have mined, she’s nearly 80 and is amazing but the vocals are off. Crowd seems to be loving it, though and that’s what counts!” said another.
On Sunday night (26 June), Kendrick Lamar will perform as the festival’s last headliner, following on from Paul McCartney and Billie Eilish.
McCartney’s set on Saturday (25 June) left fans divided over his inclusion of a 2012 music video featuring Johnny Depp.
Almost four million people tuned in to watch Sir Paul McCartney’s history-making Glastonbury headline set with surprise guests Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen.
The Saturday performance at Worthy Farm had a peak audience of 3.9 million and an average audience figure of 2.6 million on BBC One, the broadcaster said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the music festival told the PA news agency Sir Paul’s set on the Pyramid Stage attracted “one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever had.”
Actor and comedian Steve Coogan described watching Sir Paul’s set as “quite overwhelming”.
Alan Partridge star Coogan, 56, was among the thousands in the crowd on Saturday night for the performance by Sir Paul, who at 80 became the festival’s oldest solo headliner.
Sir Paul performed Beatles and Wings songs in a set lasting more than two hours, and was joined on stage by Springsteen for Glory Days and I Wanna Be Your Man.
The electrifying show was further amplified as he introduced Grohl to the stage to sing I Saw Her Standing There and Band On The Run.
It was his first public performance since the death of his Foo Fighters bandmate, drummer Taylor Hawkins.
While the crowd sang Hey Jude in the background, Coogan told the BBC: “I don’t know what to say, it’s quite overwhelming.
“I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world who can just give such unadulterated joy to people… very, very privileged to be able to see that.”
The Guardian review gave Sir Paul four stars out of five for his gig, with The Telegraph honouring him with five stars and suggesting Glastonbury may have to be renamed “Maccabury”.
The newspaper praised the musician for delivering “one of the most thrilling, uplifting, banger-filled, star-studded sets this 50-plus-year-old festival had ever seen”.
The performance paid homage to those near and dear to the Beatle, with Sir Paul dedicating a song to his wife of more than a decade Nancy, and to former bandmate, John Lennon, who was killed in 1980.
Using special technology which could isolate Lennon’s vocals from old recordings, Sir Paul was able to duet on the Beatles’ track I’ve Got A Feeling alongside his former bandmate as part of the encore.
Speaking on-site after the show, fans were full of praise for Sir Paul.
Jake Richardson told the PA news agency: “I think I’ve probably just seen one of the most legendary performances ever.
“This is my first time at Glastonbury, I’ve never been before. I’m a huge Beatles fan, I’m a huge Bruce Springsteen fan, I’m a huge Foo Fighters fan, I got everything I wanted tonight.”
Despite the majority of the Glastonbury headline performances being shown live on the BBC iPlayer, Sir Paul’s show was not aired on the broadcaster’s channels until an hour after his set had started.
The BBC said it was not shown live due to the “complexity” of broadcasting an event of that scale and volume, adding in a statement that “there is sometimes variation between performances taking place and their transmission”.
On Friday night, Billie Eilish became the festival’s youngest solo headliner as she took to the Pyramid Stage.
Speaking ahead of her performance, she praised the impact the Beatles’ music has had on her, telling NME: “The Beatles were what raised me. My love for music I feel 95% owes to the Beatles and Paul.”
A group of lawmakers belonging to French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a bill to inscribe abortion rights into the country’s constitution, in the wake of Friday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned abortion legislation as a constitutional right.
The move, announced by two members of parliament on Saturday comes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 50-year-old ruling and stripped women’s constitutional protections for abortion.
The right to abortion in France is already inscribed in a 1975 law relating to the voluntary termination of pregnancy within the legal framework that decriminalised abortion.
A constitutional law will cement abortion rights for future generations, said Marie-Pierre Rixain, a member of parliament from Macron’s newly rebranded Renaissance party.
“What happened elsewhere must not happen in France,” Rixain said.
Constitutional protection for women
According to the statement released by two members of the National Assembly, the bill will include a provision that would make it “impossible to deprive a person of the right to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy.”
Aurore Berge, the leader of Macron’s party group in the parliament, said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to revoke abortion rights is “catastrophic for women around the world.”
“We must take steps in France today so we do not have any reversal of existing laws tomorrow,” Berge said in an interview with the public radio station France Inter on Saturday.
Macron’s party and his centrist alliance have the most seats in the National Assembly, although it lost its majority in last Sunday’s legislative election as voters opted for parties on the far right and the far left.
In a deeply polarized political climate, Berge said French lawmakers should not take chances on fundamental rights even if they already are inscribed in law.
“Women’s rights are still rights that are fragile and are regularly called into question,” Berge said. She added: “We don’t change the constitution like we change the law.” *
Macron expressed solidarity with women in the United States following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a nearly half a century old landmark ruling that will likely lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
Macron said women’s liberties are being undermined by the decision.
“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected,” the French president wrote in a Twitter post late Friday.
The Culture Secretary is set to urge sports leaders to ban trans athletes from competing in women’s events, arguing “we can’t pretend that sex doesn’t matter”.
Nadine Dorries will make the case to the country’s sports governing bodies, which set their own guidelines on the issue, at a meeting on Tuesday.
She will make it “crystal clear” she expects them to follow the example of swimming’s world governing body Fina and bar transgender athletes who have gone through male puberty from competing in women’s events.
Fina announced the decision after an extraordinary congress in Budapest last week, adding that it would look to set up an open competition category in which athletes could compete irrespective of their sex or gender identity.
Ms Dorries revealed she would be meeting the leaders in an article for the Mail on Sunday.
She suggested Fina’s move marked “reason… returning to the world of sport”.
“When I gather our own sporting governing bodies this week, I’ll be making it crystal clear that I expect them to follow suit,” she wrote.
The Culture Secretary argued that “in the vast majority of sports, asking women and teenage girls to compete against someone who was biologically born a male is inherently unfair”.
She added: “I have the greatest compassion for anyone who finds themselves living in a body they don’t recognise. But we can’t pretend that sex doesn’t matter.
“Sex has biological consequences – that’s a scientific fact. If you’re born a male, and you go through puberty as a male, your body develops natural physical advantages over a woman’s. That makes you stronger and faster.
‘I’m setting a very clear line on this issue: Competitive women’s sport must be reserved for people born of the female sex. Not someone who was born male, took puberty blockers or has suppressed testosterone.
“But unequivocally and unarguably someone who was born female. I want all our sporting governing bodies to follow that policy.”
Boris Johnson planned to build his young son a £150,000 treehouse fitted with bulletproof glass on the grounds of his countryside retreat Chequers, according to reports.
The prime minister and his wife Carrie wanted to construct the outdoor structure for their son Wilf in autumn 2020, a few months after he was born, it is claimed.
However, Mr Johnson’s close protection officers are said to have raised concerns it would be visible from the road and could be a potential security risk.
The couple decided against the project following police advice, The Times reports. It is not certain permission would have been given to build the treehouse because a lot of the trees on the estate are protected.
The exact details of the plans are not known but luxury playhouses can have a range of features including zip wires, rope bridges and even hot tubs.
The bulletproof glass on Wilf’s unbuilt treehouse significantly added to the cost of the project, it was reported.
Blue Forest, a luxury treehouse designer, told the newspaper that its playhouses for children start at £90,000 and go up to “whatever you want to pay”.
Mr Johnson refused to discuss the claims during an interview with journalists travelling with him in Rwanda, where he is attending a Commonwealth leaders summit.
“I’m not going to comment on non-existent objects or non-existent jobs to do with my family,” he said.
A government spokesman added: “We do not comment on private or family matters which do not involve any ministerial declarations or taxpayer funds.”
The details come as Mr Johnson continues to fight for his political life after two damaging by-election losses and the resignation of Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden.
Mr Dowden said he and Tory supporters were “distressed and disappointed by recent events”, telling Mr Johnson that “someone must take responsibility”.
On Thursday the Tories lost their former stronghold of Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats and Wakefield to Labour.
Despite being under immense pressure Mr Johnson came out fighting on Saturday and insisted he is not going to undergo any “psychological transformation”.
He said he must “humbly and sincerely” accept any criticism he receives in his job, but argued every government gets “buffeted” by bad by-election results mid-term.
Put to him that Mr Dowden had resigned as Conservative chair saying business could not continue as usual, Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If you’re saying you want me to undergo some sort of psychological transformation, I think that our listeners would know that is not going to happen.
“What you can do, and what the government should do, and what I want to do, is to get on with changing and reforming and improving our systems and our economy.”
The Bristol band performed at Worthy Farm on Friday night (24 June) while Self Esteem – real name Rebecca Lucy Taylor – took to the stage on Saturday afternoon (25 June).
Idles lead singer Joe Talbot dedicated the song “A Hymn” to Big Jeff, who is currently in hospital after suffering severe burns in a home fire.
“This next song goes out to our brother and our friend Big Jeff,” said Talbot. “He’s everything that we wish we represent, he’s everything that is music fandom and he is everything that is love. This is for you Big Jeff.”
The special shout outs have left many people curious as to who Big Jeff is.
Big Jeff is a well-known music fan from Gloucestershire who has spent much of his life attending gigs in Bristol. He has become a fixture at festivals including End of the Road and Green Man, where he has since become a resident DJ.
Earlier this month, Big Jeff was admitted to hospital in Swansea due to injuries that he sustained in a fire at his home in Totterdown. .
His family have issued statements updating his supporters about his health, stating that he remains in intensive care and is undergoing skin grafts.
“Jeff has been treated in Swansea Morriston hospital for severe burns. He is stable in intensive care, but still under heavy sedation and unconscious whilst a series of procedures and skin grafts are beginning,” they said.
“He is expected to remain in hospital for many months, and is unable to receive any visitors for the time being. His family and close friends would like to thank everyone for the enormous outpouring of love and support, and ask that people still keep Jeff in their thoughts.”
A Cambridge University college has been accused of hiring a “woke activist” with an agenda to produce a “shambolic” slavery report it is now being forced to correct.
Gonville and Caius college hired a junior researcher on a year-long fixed-term contract to investigate legacies of slavery and coerced labour.
However, it has descended into a furious row after a 50-page draft sparked a backlash from senior historians who condemned the “indefensible” attempt to tarnish the college’s history, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, in a quarrel that insiders said has “got completely out of hand”, Nicholas Bell-Romero, the postdoctoral researcher who was leading the report, has quit, accusing dons of “censorship” after the college ordered a series of clarifications.
In turn, dons have told The Telegraph that Mr Bell-Romero, who was hired between 2020 and September 2021 and stayed on afterwards, had produced a report with the “distortions of a politically motivated student”.
Report may be scrapped
The war of words has led college sources to speculate that the report, now severely delayed, may be scrapped altogether.
Gonville and Caius is Cambridge’s fourth-oldest college, and one of multiple university authorities to launch slavery inquiries since George Floyd’s murder.
The draft was circulated among college fellows in the spring, prompting one legal historian to send back what sources described as a 16-page “demolition job” identifying what they say are several major flaws with the research.
Sources said one error included an individual being wrongly named as having slave links to the college – but their identity was confused with someone else.
Incorrect monetary conversions between 18th century and modern-day currencies were also used, which produced “grossly inflated figures” around donations to the college, insiders said.
And another section allegedly claimed that the English “kidnapped” several million African slaves, when in fact many were sold by local despots to English traders.
‘Attempts to rewrite history’
One don, who wished not to be named, told The Telegraph that the blunders were “really typical of the situation we’re in where woke activists have got this big agenda and actually when it comes down to the details they make a complete mess of it – their attempts to rewrite history fall at the first hurdle”.
The don added: “The assumption which lay behind the report was that it could be proven that the college kept silent on slavery, which it didn’t because it made donations to the Society of Abolition as the report showed on occasions.
“So the whole tone of it was that we need to prove something – but that’s not how you conduct historical research.”
The report is said to have suggested that the profits from slave plantations helped spark the industrial revolution, which academics argued was “blown out of all proportion”.
Critics also pointed out that the college lived off agricultural land in Norfolk without accepting as many controversial investments as other Oxbridge colleges.
Mr Bell-Romero did not respond to a request for comment, but said earlier this month that objections from fellows were “disproportionate” and expressed in a “distressing” way. He also criticised “censorship” and a “non-academic working environment”.
A Gonville and Caius college spokesman said it would publish the report “in full when it is complete”, adding: “There is open dialogue with the author of the report seeking some clarifications to ensure accuracy.
“The researcher was employed on a one-year fixed-term contract which ended in September 2021. The college’s working group on the Legacies of Slavery is still working on the report and its recommendations before bringing them to the college council.”
More than a month ago, a stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicated that the Supreme Court was prepared to take the momentous step of overruling the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade from 1973 and stripping away women’s constitutional protections for abortion.
And that’s just what the court’s conservative majority ended up doing Friday in a ruling likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
When the court heard arguments in the abortion case from Mississippi in December, it was clear to observers that there was substantial support among the conservatives for overturning Roe and a second decision that had established and reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion.
But even before those arguments and Friday’s decision, the justices had much to say in public about abortion over the years — in opinions, votes, Senate confirmation testimony and elsewhere.
The vote was 6-3 to uphold Mississippi’s law banning most abortions after 15 weeks, but Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t join his conservative colleagues in overturning Roe. He wrote that there was no need to overturn the broad precedents to rule in Mississippi’s favor.
Alito, in the final opinion Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong had and to be overturned. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — the diminished liberal wing of the court — were in dissent.
A look at some of the justices’ earlier comments through the years:
Roberts voted to uphold restrictions in two major abortion cases, in the majority in 2007 to uphold a ban on a method of abortion opponents call “partial-birth abortion” and in dissent in 2016 when the court struck down Texas restrictions on abortion clinics in a case called Whole Woman’s Health. But when a virtually identical law from Louisiana came before the court in 2020, Roberts voted against it and wrote the opinion controlling the outcome of the case and striking down the Louisiana law. The chief justice said he continues to believe that the 2016 case “was wrongly decided” but that the question was “whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”
At his 2005 confirmation hearing, he said overturning precedent “is a jolt to the legal system,” which depends in part on stability and evenhandedness. Thinking that an earlier case was wrongly decided is not enough, he said. Overturning a case requires looking “at these other factors, like settled expectations, like the legitimacy of the Court, like whether a particular precedent is workable or not, whether a precedent has been eroded by subsequent developments,” Roberts said then.
In the same hearing, Roberts was asked to explain his presence on a legal brief filed by the George H.W. Bush administration that said Roe’s conclusion that there is a right to abortion has “no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution.’’ Roberts responded that the brief reflected the administration’s views.
JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS
Thomas voted to overturn Roe in 1992, in his first term on the court, when he was a dissenter in Casey. Since then, he repeatedly called for those rulings to be overturned.
In 2000, he wrote in dissent when the court struck down Nebraska’s ban on “partial-birth abortion.” Recounting the court’s decision in Roe, he wrote, “In 1973, this Court struck down an Act of the Texas Legislature that had been in effect since 1857, thereby rendering unconstitutional abortion statutes in dozens of States. As some of my colleagues on the Court, past and present, ably demonstrated, that decision was grievously wrong. Abortion is a unique act, in which a woman’s exercise of control over her own body ends, depending on one’s view, human life or potential human life. Nothing in our Federal Constitution deprives the people of this country of the right to determine whether the consequences of abortion to the fetus and to society outweigh the burden of an unwanted pregnancy on the mother. Although a State may permit abortion, nothing in the Constitution dictates that a State must do so.”
Breyer has been the lead author of two court majorities in defense of abortion rights, in 2000 and 2016. He has never voted to sustain an abortion restriction, but he has acknowledged the controversy over abortion.
Millions of Americans believe “that an abortion is akin to causing the death of an innocent child,” while millions of others “fear that a law that forbids abortion would condemn many American women to lives that lack dignity,” he wrote in the Nebraska case 21 years ago, calling those views “virtually irreconcilable.” Still, Breyer wrote, because the Constitution guarantees “fundamental individual liberty” and has to govern even when there are strong divisions in the country, “this Court, in the course of a generation, has determined and then redetermined that the Constitution offers basic protection to the woman’s right to choose.”
Alito has a long track record of votes and writings opposing abortion rights, as a jurist and, earlier, a government lawyer.
Alito has voted to uphold every abortion law the court has considered since his 2006 confirmation, joining a majority to uphold the federal “partial-birth” abortion law and dissenting in the 2016 and 2020 cases.
As a federal appeals court judge, he voted to uphold a series of Pennsylvania abortion restrictions, including requiring a woman to notify her spouse before obtaining an abortion. The Supreme Court ultimately struck down the notification rule in Casey and reaffirmed the abortion right in 1992 by a 5-4 vote.
Working for the Reagan administration in 1985, Alito wrote in a memo that the government should say publicly in a pending abortion case “that we disagree with Roe v. Wade.” Around the same time, applying for a promotion, Alito noted he was “particularly proud” of his work arguing “that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”
Sotomayor joined the court in 2009 with virtually no record on abortion issues, but has voted repeatedly in favor of abortion rights since then. Last September, when the court allowed Texas’ restrictive abortion law to take effect, Sotomayor accused her colleagues of burying “their heads in the sand.” She was in the majority in the Texas and Louisiana abortion clinic cases.
Sotomayor’s displeasure with the court’s recent Texas ruling was evident at a virtual appearance she made. “I can’t change Texas’ law, but you can,” she said.
Kagan also has repeatedly voted in favor of abortion rights in more than 11 years as a justice. She is also arguably the most consistent voice on the court arguing for the importance of adhering to precedents and can be expected to try to persuade her colleagues not to jettison constitutional protections for abortion.
Kagan was in the majority when the court struck down the Texas and Louisiana restrictions on abortion clinics. More recently, Kagan called Texas’ new abortion law “patently unconstitutional” and a “clear, and indeed undisputed, conflict with Roe and Casey.”
Kagan had already grappled with the issue of abortion before becoming a justice. While working in the Clinton White House she was the co-author of a memo that urged the president for political reasons to support a late-term abortion ban proposed by Republicans in Congress, so long as it contained an exception for the health of the woman. Ultimately, President George W. Bush signed a similar late-term abortion ban without a health exception. The Supreme Court upheld it.
JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH
Gorsuch has perhaps the shortest record on abortion among the nine justices. He was in the majority allowing Texas’ restrictive abortion law to take effect. In dissent in 2020, he would have upheld Louisiana’s abortion clinic restrictions. As an appeals court judge before joining the Supreme Court in 2017, Gorsuch dissented when his colleagues declined to reconsider a ruling that blocked then-Utah Gov. Gary Herbert from cutting off funding for the state branch of Planned Parenthood. But Gorsuch insisted at his Senate confirmation hearing that he was concerned about procedural issues, not the subject matter. “I do not care if the case is about abortion or widgets or anything else,” he said.
JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH
Kavanaugh’s name was added to President Donald Trump’s shortlist of Supreme Court candidates shortly after Kavanaugh sided with the administration in a 2017 case involving abortion. Trump chose him for the court the following year. As a justice, Kavanaugh dissented from the Louisiana decision and voted to allow the new Texas law to take effect, though he has taken a less absolutist stance than some of his conservative colleagues. In the Louisiana case, for example, Kavanaugh wrote that more information was needed about how the state’s restrictions on clinics would affect doctors who provide abortions and seemed to suggest his vote could change knowing that information.
Kavanaugh’s most extensive writing on abortion came while he was a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington. The Trump administration had appealed a lower court ruling ordering it to allow a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant in its custody to get an abortion. The administration’s policy was to decline to help those minors get abortions while in custody.
Kavanaugh was on a three-judge panel that postponed the abortion, arguing that officials should be given a limited window to transfer the minor out of government custody to the care of a sponsor. She could then obtain an abortion without the government’s assistance. The full appeals court later reversed the decision and the teenager obtained an abortion. Kavanaugh called that decision out-of-step with the “many majority opinions of the Supreme Court that have repeatedly upheld reasonable regulations that do not impose an undue burden on the abortion right recognized by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade.”
Kavanaugh was criticized by some conservatives for not going as far as a colleague, Judge Karen Henderson, who stated unambiguously that an immigrant in the U.S. illegally has no right to an abortion. At his appeals court confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh dodged questions on his own personal beliefs on Roe.
Kavanaugh voted to allow the Texas law to go into effect last September, but during oral arguments in November he appeared to have doubts about its novel structure and whether it would lead to a spate of copycat laws on abortion and other rights protected by the Constitution.
JUSTICE AMY CONEY BARRETT
Barrett’s one public vote on the Supreme Court concerning abortion was to allow the Texas “fetal heartbeat” law to take effect. She also cast two votes as an appeals court judge to reconsider rulings that blocked Indiana abortion restrictions.
In 2016, shortly before the election that would put Trump in office, she commented about how she thought abortion law might change if Trump had the chance to appoint justices. “I … don’t think the core case — Roe’s core holding that, you know, women have a right to an abortion — I don’t think that would change,” said Barrett, then a Notre Dame law professor. She said limits on what she called “very late-term abortions” and restrictions on abortion clinics would be more likely to be upheld.
Barrett also has a long record of personal opposition to abortion rights, co-authoring a 1998 law review article that said abortion is “always immoral.” At her 2017 hearing to be an appeals court judge, Barrett said in written testimony, “If I am confirmed, my views on this or any other question will have no bearing on the discharge of my duties as a judge.”
Although Barrett allowed the Texas law to take effect, she joined Kavanaugh during oral arguments in raising skeptical questions about its structure, asking about provisions of the law that force providers to fight lawsuits one by one and, she said, don’t allow their constitutional rights to be “fully aired.”