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ABBA through the years – from Eurovision in 1974 to their digital stage production in 2022 | Ents & Arts News

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Since their spilt in the 1980s, ABBA vowed never to reform.

But in a move that delighted fans around the world, the Swedish pop quartet announced they were releasing their first new album in 39 years, and taking their hits to the stage once again.

Their new digital production has been created by the same people that do visual effects for the likes of the Star Wars and Marvel films, and means Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha can (virtually) perform as they looked in their ’70s and ’80s heyday.

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ABBA are back!

Sky News has delved into the archives to look at the group from their humble beginnings, to their iconic Eurovision win, to their technological stage show next year.

ABBA performing as an unknown band in Sweden before they were famous in 1973. Pic: I B L/Shutterstock
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1973: ABBA performing as an unknown band in Sweden before they were famous – the people in that room had no idea just quite how influential they would be. Pic: I B L/Shutterstock
In this April 6, 1974 file photo, Swedish pop group ABBA celebrate winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest on stage at the Brighton Dome in England with their song Waterloo.
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1974: But it wasn’t long before the group were catapulted into global stardom, winning the Eurovision song contest with classic tune Waterloo. Pic: AP
1977: At the height of their fame, ABBA toured all over the world - here they are in Manchester in February 1977. Pic: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock
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1977: At the height of their fame, ABBA toured all over the world – here they are in Manchester in February 1977. The group said that the UK always felt like the place to be. Pic: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock
Abba performing at United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday evening, January 9, 1979 in New York, during taping of NBC-TV Special, "The Music for UNICEF concert."  (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
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1979: Performing at a UNICEF fundraiser at the United Nations in New York – a long way from the bars of Stockholm… Pic: AP
1979: Voulez-Vous had just been released and the group went on to tour it - here they are in Edmonton in those dashing blue outfits on the first night of a North America tour. Pic: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock
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1979: Voulez-Vous had just been released and the group went on to tour it – here they are in Edmonton in those dashing blue outfits on the first night of a North America tour. Pic: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock
FILE - Members of the pop group ABBA, from left, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Foltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, appear in Tokyo on March 14, 1980.
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1980: They’d only been going a few years but it was already close to the end for Benny, Agnetha, Bjorn and Anni-Frid, pictured here in in Tokyo. Pic: AP
 In this file photo dated Nov. 5, 1982, Swedish pop group ABBA are pictured at the Dorchester Hotel in London, with from left: Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
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1982: It’s all smiles here – but the hit-churning group were about to take a break that ended up being their end – this is one of the last pictures of them as a group at the Dorchester in November 1982. Pic: AP
2021: The moment ABBA fans were waiting for - Benny and Bjorn at the Olympic park in east London speaking to Zoe Ball about the band's new music and stage show. Pic: Sue Moore
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2021: The moment ABBA fans were waiting for – Benny and Bjorn at the Olympic park in east London speaking to Zoe Ball about the band’s new music and stage show. Pic: Sue Moore
Bjorn Ulvaeus attends the American premiere of "Mamma Mia" at the Ziegfeld Theater on Tuesday, July 16, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini).
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2008: Bjorn Ulvaeus, who along with Benny Andersson, was the brains behind Mamma Mia! appeared at the premiere for the film version in New York – it was after the huge success of the stage show. Pic: AP
Benny Andersson, left, and Bjorn Ulvaeus pose for photographers upon arrival at the World premiere of the film 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again', in London Monday, July 16, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
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2018: And then the ABBA boys both appeared a decade later at the premiere of the sequel – Here We Go Again. Pic: Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

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Manny Pacquiao: Boxer to run for Philippines president | World News

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Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao has said he will run for president of the country next year.

The boxing star attacked corruption in the government and singled out President Rodrigo Duterte‘s relationship with China in particular.

He was nominated by his political allies during the national assembly of the faction he leads in the ruling PDP-Laban Party.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been nominated for vice president, a move critics have called a cynical attempt for him to retain power
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President Rodrigo Duterte has been nominated for vice president, a move critics have called a cynical attempt for him to retain power

It comes days after a rival faction nominated Mr Duterte’s long-time aide, Senator Christopher “Bing” Go, as its presidential candidate.

The faction also nominated Mr Duterte for vice president, which critics have called a cynical attempt for Mr Duterte to retain power.

Mr Go declined the nomination and the rift between the factions that supported Mr Pacquiao and Mr Duterte has deepened.

“I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Mr Pacquiao, 42, said during a live-streamed speech during the assembly.

“I am accepting your nomination as candidate for president of the Republic of the Philippines.”

His faction has not expressed support for Mr Duterte’s vice-presidential bid.

Manny Pacquiao is the only boxer to hold world titles in eight different divisions
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Manny Pacquiao is the only boxer to hold world titles in eight different divisions

The current president is prohibited from running for a second six-year term by the country’s constitution.

Mr Pacquiao is the only boxer to hold world titles in eight different divisions.

But despite his popularity, he has lagged in opinion polls which have consistently been topped by Mr Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Mr Pacquiao was voted out as PDP-Laban leader in July after he challenged Mr Duterte about his alliance with China and record on fighting corruption.

Mr Pacquiao was once a close ally of Mr Duterte, but has said more than 10 billion pesos (£145,000) in pandemic aid intended for poor families remains unaccounted for.

He said it was just one discovery in his planned corruption investigation.

It comes as the Senate opened an investigation into alleged overpricing of medical supplies and equipment purchased by the government through its pandemic response programme.

Mr Duterte challenged Mr Pacquiao to name corrupt government officials and Mr Pacquiao responded by warning corrupt government officials would go to jail.

He said: “Your time is up!”

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COP26: China’s Xi Jinping yet to confirm attendance at climate change talks, admits summit president Alok Sharma | Politics News

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China’s Xi Jinping is yet to commit to attending this year’s climate change summit in Glasgow, COP26 President Alok Sharma has admitted.

Earlier this month, Mr Sharma held two days of talks in China ahead of the international summit being hosted by the UK in November.

But, asked on Sky News’ Trevor Phillips On Sunday show if Chinese president Mr Xi had committed to being in Scotland for the gathering of world leaders, Mr Sharma said: “No, not yet.”

He also admitted that China would be “key” to the climate change talks, as the country is one of the world’s biggest polluters.

“There is no doubt that China is going to be part of the key to all of this,” Mr Sharma said.

“They are the biggest emitter in the world.

“What President Xi Jinping has said is that they are going to strictly restrict the use of coal in this next five-year period, from 2026 they are going to phase down.

“But we want to see the detail of that. That is what we are pressing them.

“They have said to me they want the COP26 to be a success. The ball is in their court.

“We want them to come forward and make it a success together with the rest of the world.”

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Liz Truss hails ‘hard-headed’ AUKUS submarine deal amid deepening row with France | Politics News

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New Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has defended the UK’s “hard-headed” security pact with the US and Australia, amid a deepening diplomatic row with France.

The AUKUS deal saw the UK, Australia and the US form a security pact to develop and deploy a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, adding to the Western military presence in the Pacific region.

Ms Truss said the agreement showed Britain’s readiness to be “hard-headed in defending our interests”, adding that it could result in hundreds of new jobs.

France was outraged by the deal which sees them losing out on a £30bn contract to supply conventional submarines to Australia, who opted for nuclear-powered subs provided by Britain and the US.

In response, they recalled their ambassadors to the US and Australia, although there was no similar order to return to Paris for the French envoy to London.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Truss made no mention of the diplomatic stand-off with the French.

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British nuclear-powered subs make rare ‘surface’

Earlier, however, a French minister scornfully referred to the UK as the “junior partner” in the trilateral agreement and accused it of returning to hide in the “American lap”.

It comes after Gerard Araud, a former French ambassador to the US, referenced the omission of UK from the ambassador recall.

He wrote on Twitter: “You can interpret the omission of the UK as a sign of conciliation or contempt. Your choice.”

In her article, Ms Truss said the agreement, widely seen as a counter to increasing Chinese military assertiveness in the region, underlined the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific.

She said Britain would always be a “fierce champion” of freedom and that the agreement illustrates the nation’s commitment to “challenging unfair practices and malign acts”.

“Freedoms need to be defended, so we are also building strong security ties around the world,” she wrote.

“That is why last week the prime minister announced, alongside our friends President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison, the creation of a new security partnership called AUKUS.

“It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts.”

On Saturday, the president of the French National Assembly told Sky News that the bonds of friendship between France and the UK, US and Australia have been “tarnished” by the AUKUS pact.

Speaking while attending the G7 Speakers’ Conference in Chorley, Lancashire, Richard Ferrand said: “I think it has somewhat tarnished the bonds of friendship that we have. Yes, it has made things more difficult in terms of trust and friendship.”

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‘AUKUS alliance will bring us closer than ever’

Pressed on why Catherine Colonna, the top French diplomat in the UK was not recalled, Mr Ferrand said: “Obviously it was not my decision but we thought it was more important to recall the ambassadors of the two main protagonists in this thing.”

Andreas Michaelis, Germany’s ambassador to the UK, has suggested the AUKUS agreement threatens the “coherence and unity of the West”.

In the Commons on Thursday, Boris Johnson sought to smooth over the differences, insisting relations with France remained “rock solid” while Downing Street described Paris as “a close ally and friend” of the UK.

Nevertheless, the prime minister also made clear he expected the agreement to bring “hundreds” of highly-skilled jobs to Britain – jobs which may well have otherwise gone to France.

Ms Truss said the deal could “create hundreds of new and high-skilled jobs, from the shipyards of Govan to the factories of Tyneside”.

The French were reportedly given just a few hours’ notice of the new agreement ahead of what is expected to be a tough election year for Mr Macron.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the snub was a “stab in the back” and constituted “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners”.

The pact between the UK, US and Australia has been widely seen as an attempt to counter the growing military assertiveness of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Beijing swiftly denounced the initiative as “extremely irresponsible” and a threat to regional peace and stability.

Mr Johnson, however, said it was not intended as an “adversarial” move against China or any other power.

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