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British actors and actresses have delivered a strong showing in the Golden Globe nominees list, which was announced earlier.

Emily Blunt was nominated for her work as Mary Poppins, while Olivia Colman was nominated for her role as Queen Anne in historical drama The Favourite. Rachel Weisz was also nominated for her role in The Favourite.

Rosamund Pike was nominated for her portrayal of British war correspondent Marie Colvin in A Private War and Claire Foy got a nod for her role as wife of US astronaut Neil Armstrong in First Man.

British actors nominated included Benedict Cumberbatch for Patrick Melrose, based on the novels by Edward St Aubyn and Hugh Grant for his role in A Very English Scandal – the story of MP Jeremy Thorpe who was accused of conspiring to murder his ex-lover, Norman Scott.

Olivia Colman attends the 21st British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate on December 02, 2018 in London, England
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Olivia Colman has been nominated for her role in The Favourite

Welsh actor Matthew Rhys was nominated for The Americans and Scottish actor Richard Madden for Bodyguard, which was also nominated for best TV drama series.

Elsewhere, there were six nominations for Vice, the biographical drama starring Christian Bale; and A Star is Born, The Favourite and Green Book all had five.

The nominations for A Star Is Born were for the two leads Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga as best actor and actress, Cooper for best director, Gaga for best original song and the film for best picture (drama).

The show features a female home secretary and has had positive reviews
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Bodyguard was nominated for best TV drama series

For best drama, it will be up against Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody and If Beale Street Could Talk.

Best film (musical or comedy) nominees were Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns and Vice.

The nominations were announced by Danai Gurira, Leslie Mann and Christian Slater at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

The 2019 Golden Globes, which will be hosted by Killing Eve star Sandra Oh and Brooklyn Nine-Nine comedian Andy Samberg, will take place in Los Angeles on 6 January.

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Pig hearts transplanted into baboons

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Pig hearts have been transplanted into baboons – a development that could pave the way for humans to receive porcine organs in future.

Researchers from Germany, Sweden and Switzerland said two Anubis baboons had survived for six months, while another two lived for at least three months.

Previously, the longest a baboon had survived after such a procedure was 57 days.

Since then, genetic modifications have been made to the hearts and a new transplant technique has been developed.

Anubis baboon
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The transplant procedure was refined during three trials. File pic

The pigs were modified so that they produced a human version of two proteins which block an immune response in alien cells.

It was also ensured that they generated thrombomodulin, which prevents blood from clotting after surgery.

The research team also stopped preserving donor hearts in cold storage and kept them at 8C instead.

Fluids containing oxygen, hormones, red blood cells and nutrients were circulated through them.

The baboons were given drugs to stop the pig heart growing too big, and to lower their blood pressure to match that of the pigs.

The transplant procedure was refined during three trials involving 14 baboons.

One of the five baboons in the final experiment had to be put down after developing a blood clot.

The transplantation of an organ between two different species – known as xenotransplantation – is thought to be one way of overcoming a shortage of organs for humans needing a transplant.

The scientists’ findings were published in the Nature journal.

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Shops, restaurants and museums to shut ahead of fresh riots

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Paris police have urged shops and restaurants on the Champs-Elysees to close ahead of new protests against embattled president Emmanuel Macron.

A dozen museums have announced weekend closures following vandalism and clashes with police during the “yellow vest” riots last week.

Shops, restaurants and other businesses are expected to shut on the famous avenue during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year before Christmas.

Authorities warned that another wave of “great violence” and rioting could be unleashed in the French capital despite Mr Macron’s surrender over a fuel tax hike.



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Macron U-turn over fuel tax after violent protests

The Paris Opera has cancelled planned performances at two sites in the city, and two theatres also plan to close.

The Arc de Triomphe remains closed since last weekend’s protest damaged the monument, while two music festivals have also been postponed.

The Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower still plan to remain open.

A vandalized car and bank front are seen the morning after clashes with protesters wearing yellow vests, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher diesel fuel taxes, in Paris, France, December 2, 2018.
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A vandalized car and bank front are seen the morning after clashes with protesters
Shops were vandalised in a third weekend of demonstrations
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Shops were vandalised in a third weekend of demonstrations

Many stores were smashed and looted during the capital’s worst rioting in decades, which saw more than 130 people injured and 412 people arrested.

Tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon were used and cars were torched, while rocks were hurled at police as protesters rampaged in the streets around the capital’s tourist landmarks.

Mr Macron is promising “exceptional” security measures for the planned protests amid fears that radicals and troublemakers will take advantage to seed chaos.

Nationwide, 89,000 security force members will be deployed – 8,000 of them in Paris.

Emmanuel Macron (C) with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (2ndR) and Paris police chief Michel Delpuech (R) arrive at the Arc de Triomphe
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Emmanuel Macron visited the Arc de Triomphe in recent days
Protesters face riot police in Paris on 1 December
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Protesters face riot police in Paris on 1 December

Speaking Thursday to lawmakers, the France’s prime minister Edouard Philippe said the government is taking “all measures necessary” to secure the protests.

Mr Philippe urged “yellow vest” protesters to stay home for their own protection from those who could hijack the rallies.

Burned cars litter the streets of Paris following Saturday's unrest
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Burned cars litter the streets of Paris following Saturday’s unrest

The protests started around three weeks ago as a response to green taxes on diesel that have pushed up the cost for many drivers, with another hike due next month.

On Wednesday, Mr Macron agreed to abandon the fuel tax hike.

However people are now taking to the streets in cities across the country over the general rise in the cost of living and a feeling that the president is out of touch with normal people.

Mr Philippe acknowledged that government’s dramatic concession over fuel tax rise “doesn’t respond” to all the protester’s concerns.

Earlier this week, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said shops and restaurants reported takings down between 20% and 50% – with the Christmas shopping surge in Paris feared “lost”.

A manager of the Alsace brasserie on the Champs Elysees told Le Parisien he had lost €50,000 (£44,508) on Saturday after evacuating customers through a back door and closing for the day.

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Woman faced 22 years in jail for criticising her government

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After spending one year in a Rwandan prison waiting for the country’s high court to decide on her case, Diane Rwigara feared the worst.

The 37-year-old told Sky News: “I will just have to accept it and go to prison because I guess that is the price that you pay for freedom.”

The former financial accountant faced a 22-year spell in jail for “inciting insurrection” and “forgery” after she tried to run in last year’s presidential election against Rwanda’s long-time president Paul Kagame.

Her mother, Adeline, also faced a 22-year term after sending messages that were critical of the government on Whatsapp to her sister and a couple of her friends.

But in a surprise judgment, the court found that both members of the Rwigara family were innocent.

“All charges… have been dropped. The court finds that the prosecution charges were baseless,” said one member of the three-judge panel.

The activist ran for president in 2017
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The activist ran for president in 2017

While the decision will come as a great relief to both women, it will not erase what the pair have been through.

Ms Rwigara’s difficulties began when she declared her candidacy in Rwanda’s 2017 presidential contest.

Her 44-year old campaign manager, Thadeyo Muyenzi, went missing and has still not been found.

Then, nude photos – purportedly of Ms Rwigara – were published and shared on social media.

Finally, the country’s election board banned her from participating after they accused her of forging people’s signatures in support of her bid. Kagame won a third term in office with 98% of the vote.

Paul Kagame is credited with creating stability in Rwanda - but has grown increasingly authoritarian
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Paul Kagame is credited with creating stability in Rwanda – but has grown increasingly authoritarian

Undeterred, the budding politician launched her own political party called the People Salvation Movement, but the police raided the family home – detained the accountant and her mother for the following 12 months.

Speaking to Sky News hours before the verdict was announced, Ms Rwigara said she was targeted by the state because she is prepared to challenge Kagame and his ruling clique.

She added: “This is what happens when you dare to have a different political opinion – a different view from those in the government.

“This is what happens if you don’t disappear like my campaign manager or get thrown into prison or lose your life. So yes, you do pay a price for speaking out in this country.”

Diane Rwigara was found innocent today
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Diane Rwigara was found innocent by a Rwandan court

Paul Kagame, the country’s towering, beanpole-like president, has been widely praised for his role in providing stability and economic growth after Rwanda’s catastrophic genocide in 1994.

However, human rights groups and others have tired of his increasingly autocratic style.

Criticism of the government is rarely tolerated and in 2015, he engineered a constitutional amendment which means he can hold the presidency until 2034.

Amnesty International welcomed the court’s verdict on Diane and Adeline Rwigara but called on the Rwandan government to do more to protect freedom of expression and political debate: “[They] should never have faced charges for expressing their views.

“We call on the Rwandan authorities to build on this judgment and work towards developing greater tolerance and acceptance of alternative and critical views.”

Ms Rwigara, who is described as “fearless” by those close to her, is not about to apologise for attempting to hold Rwanda’s leaders to account. Nor is she likely to stop trying.

“I speak the truth, that the system is built on a lie,” she said. “They simply do not want to be exposed.

“The lie is that everything is well in Rwanda and I just talk about [the reality] which is the high level of unemployment, the high level of poverty, the disappearances, the killings, all that, and they are not ready for that to be exposed.”

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