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Diversity an 'important conversation' for film industry, says Winslet

British actress Kate Winslet has said the fact that the issue of diversity in the film industry has sparked attention this year is a "great thing" as it is an "important conversation" that needs to be had.

Winslet, who is nominated in the supporting actress category at this year's Bafta awards, is one of a number of British stars hoping to pick up an award tonight.

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Stars begin to arrive for Bafta awards ceremony

Stars have begun to arrive on the red carpet ahead of this year's Bafta awards ceremony in London.

One of the first to arrive was Star Wars actor John Boyega, who stopped to meet members of the crowd and take photos with fans as he made his way into the Royal Opera House where the ceremony will take place.

Addressing the issue of the current awards race row, 'rising star' nominee Boyega said he doesn't expect his colour to impede his career as "the right conversation is being had now".

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Russia: foreign troops in Syria will lead to 'a long war'

US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles conducting airstrikes in Syria Credit: Reuters

Sending foreign troops into Syria will lead to a "a full-fledged, long war", Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned in an interview.

He spoke out after John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, said that more foreign troops could enter the conflict if attempts to reach a diplomatic solution fail.

The US has ruled out sending in ground troops - but Saudi Arabia this month offered to send ground forces to fight Islamic State.

Mr Medvedev hit back at Mr Kerry today in an interview with Euronews TV station, saying he should have held back his “futile words".

He should not have said that for a simple reason: if all he wants is a protracted war, he can carry out ground operations and anything else. But don't try to frighten anyone.

– John Kerry

Major powers agreed on Friday to pause combat operations which have left at least 125,000 dead in the war-torn country.

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France urges Turkey to end assault on Kurds in Syria

France has urged Turkey to end its assaults on Kurds living in Syria today as conflicts continue to escalate in the war-torn region.

The French Foreign Ministry said bombardments of Kurdish zones in Syria should be halted as the priority should be the fight against Islamic State.

The ministry said: "France is worried about the deteriorating situation in the region of Aleppo and the north of Syria. We call for the cessation of all bombardments, those of the regime and its allies on the entire territory and those of Turkey in the Kurdish zones."

Family of Viola Beach guitarist "heartbroken"

All four members of Viola Beach and their manager died in a fatal crash on Saturday Credit: Facebook

The family of Viola Beach guitarist River Reeves have said they are "heartbroken" after he was killed with the group and their manager in a car crash in Sweden.

Reeves died after the car he was in plunged more than 80 feet from a bridge into a canal near Stockholm.

We are all heartbroken following River's tragic death and the circumstances which have seen him lose his life alongside the band-mates and manager he adored and loved being with. Viola Beach were on such an exciting journey and River could not have been happier. He would have loved to have stuck around for the party.

All River wanted to do was perform and entertain and to think that he will never make us laugh again with his ridiculous impressions and cheeky banter is beyond comprehension for all his family. River had such talent and such humility, such charm and such innocence it seems so unfair that he can be taken so cruelly from us like this.

We are so proud of him, not only for what he achieved in his short, beautiful life, but also what he was clearly destined to achieve. He will live forever in our hearts and we hope the band's wonderful music lives on.

– Reeves family statement
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