Joe Paterno Statue Could Come Down In Next 72

Joe Paterno Statue — a statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno in front of Penn State’s Beaver Stadium — may be the next casualty in the nasty ongoing fallout of the child sex abuse scandal.The decision whether to remove or move Joe Paterno statue is expected to be made by the school president Rodney Erickson within the next three days, a source familiar with Erickson’s plans told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”Much of the consternation on what to do about the statue stems from how the NCAA will perceive the actions. The school is fearful of the governing body leveling the “death penalty” on the football program.Trustees said on the show that the board had a spirited discussion about the statue in a conference call Thursday night — the same call in which the resignation of former board chairman Steve Garban was discussed. But the decision is not theirs, they said.Various tweets Friday morning said the board had voted and/or made a decision about the statue and that it would be removed this weekend. If the board had taken a vote during the call, it would have violated state law, which prohibits votes from being taken outside of declared board meetings.The trustees who spoke Friday morning said board members did discuss possibilities for the statue, including moving it from the stadium area, perhaps to the library on campus that bears the Paterno name or the Penn State All Sports Museum near the stadium. Board spokesman David LaTorre declined to comment Friday morning.The trustees have been concerned this week that the NCAA will hand down an extreme punishment, possibly the death penalty for its football program for its “loss of institutional control” during the Sandusky years. Dealing with the statue issue, and the resignation of Garban, has been needed to show the public the board was serious about “moving forward,” one trustee said.“It’s a highly sensitive decision,” another trustee said Friday. “The decision is a symbolic one. We have to be very careful about what kind of message we send.” read more

Beside The Points For Monday Sept 25 2017

NFL Things That Caught My EyeTrump vs. the NFLPresident Trump spent the weekend arguing that players shouldn’t take a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans. Trump also urged NFL team owners to do something to stop them. Trump may be reading the results of polls showing that most Americans disapprove of the players’ protests, and believes he can take political advantage of a cultural divide. And he may be right — for now. [FiveThirtyEight]NFL shocker: Bengals score touchdownSunday the Cincinnati Bengals scored three touchdowns, which is huge news for them: In the first two games of the season they scored no touchdowns, leading to their offensive coordinator getting promptly sacked. Prior to 2017, only 23 other offenses in NFL history failed to obtain a touchdown in their first two games. [FiveThirtyEight]Carmelo to Oklahoma CityCarmelo Anthony has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder by the Knicks in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second round draft pick. Oklahoma City is spending a small fortune on the acquisition indicating they think they seriously have a shot this year. [FiveThirtyEight]Not ready for prime time playersWith Washington beating Oakland and New York suffering a humiliating defeat in Philly, the Giants are down to a 4 percent chance of winning the NFC East. Isn’t ii delightful we got already got two primetime games out of New York? I root for these guys and am sick of seeing them televised nationally. The Eagles are up to a 41 percent chance of winning the inevitably contentious division, Cowboys have a 32 percent shot, and Washington’s got a 23 percent odds. Enjoy primetime, jerks! [FiveThirtyEight]Canucks vs. Kings vs. FogThe Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings played a preseason game in Shanghai, the first such NHL event held in China. Kings won 5-2, but the game was lightly attended and Shanghai humidity plus ice-based sporting events meant lots of fog in practice. Hey, they managed to jam NHL franchises in Tampa and Arizona of all places, this league will make this sport work in any climate. [The Globe and Mail]Mess with the frog you get the hornsIt’s college football upset time: Texas Christian University (ranked 12th) beat Oklahoma State (ranked 6th) 44-31 on Saturday. [ESPN]Big Number32 percentThe Jets can’t even tank right: their win Sunday means that San Francisco is now the favorite to get the number one pick in next year’s draft, roughly a one in three chance. [ESPN]Leaks from Slack[This transcript of a private conversation between NFC East rivals lightly edited to remove extensive use of profanity]neil:How on earth did the Giants find a way to not score on that drive???neil:Not even trolling…. that was crazywalt:I hate this teamwalt:Also, lol, this was the first thing I read after landing in Los Angelesneil:Eagles both had no business winning and had no business losingneil:Today was just a weird day. Jags crush the Ravens at 9AM in London, go figure that one outThen Browns almost win in a huge comeback on the road, Pats almost lose at home to TexansEagles win on the 4th longest game winning/tying FG everWeirdest of all, Bengals actually score a TDPredictions MLB See more NFL predictions Oh, and don’t forgetNeutral zone infraction, #45, offense See more MLB predictions We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe All newsletters read more

Dont Be Fooled By Baseballs SmallBudget Success Stories

The Houston Astros currently sit on top of the American League West with a 2.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels, a team paying Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver, and the rest of the squad a combined $146.4 million. The Astros, meanwhile, will spend less than half that figure on players in 2015. Their total payroll comes in just north of $69 million, 29th out of 30 MLB teams and a remarkable $158 million less than the Los Angeles Dodgers are spending to field a team this year.The success of the Astros and the (comparatively) minuscule payrolls of other plucky small-budget teams is often cited by people trying to advance an egalitarian narrative: that the amount a team spends does not matter. In recent years, Time called the Royals the future of baseball. The New York Times went with Smaller Markets and Smarter Thinking. Baseball America wrote an article asserting, “if you look at competitive balance as the opportunity for teams to make the playoffs and legitimate runs at titles, baseball is truly in a golden era.” Sports Illustrated argued that the average payrolls of playoff teams show that money isn’t the factor it used to be and the Providence Journal offered, “money can’t buy success.” Andrew McCutchen, 2013 National League MVP, is the poster boy for what small-budget teams can accomplish, saying, “Payroll doesn’t mean everything. If that was the case, the Yankees would win every year.”That’s all heart-warming, but evidence suggests that the relationship between money and winning is as strong now as it’s been any time in the free-agency era. Check out the figure below, which shows the relationship between spending and win percentage during each of the three 10-year spans since 1985.1Salary and win percentage were standardized within each season to account for the league’s financial growth and changes in league competitiveness. Data collected from baseball-reference.com. Each team season is one dot in the figure, and the red line reflects a smoothed curve fit through the points. The smoothed curves represent the general relationship between spending and performance for each team season in each decade; aggregating all the decade’s data points shows a pattern: More money generally means more wins.The line gets steeper going from left to right, implying that in recent seasons, jumps in salary have been associated with larger gains in win percentage. Altogether, none of the 20 teams with the highest relative salaries since 1985 have finished below .500. GRAPHIC: Using data from the last 30 years, we created win-pay curves for every team in Major League Baseball. Click here to see how well your favorite team spent its money.J.C. Bradbury, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University, found that winning more increases revenue exponentially. “Going from 85 wins to 90 is worth more than 80 wins to 85,” he says. As a result, while it might cost more per win for a team that wins 90 games than 85, it makes financial sense because the revenue reward will be higher as well. This leads to a self-perpetuating cycle. Additionally, fans of teams that win frequently expect them to continue winning, and management pays more to do so. For a team like the New York Yankees, paying 10 percent more than anyone else for a second baseman who is only 5 percent better than his closest peer is worth the money (and they can afford it).But though the current narrative revolves around small-budget success stories as an argument against the importance of salaries, baseball has always had small-budget overachievers. “Just because you don’t spend money doesn’t mean you can’t win,” Bradbury says. As long as there has been baseball, there have been teams with low payrolls that have exceeded expectations in the win column.Perhaps one reason for the renewed focus on the success of small-budget teams is the importance of playoff success versus the regular season. Postseasons in American sports offer a smaller sample size than, say, soccer’s English Premier League, where the winner is determined by 38 games. In baseball, the better team (the one with the higher payroll) is less likely to prevail over the course of a short playoff series than they would be over an entire season. That, combined with the expansion of the playoffs, means it’s easier for a small-budget team to reach the World Series, as the Kansas City Royals did in 2014, losing to the San Francisco Giants in Game 7. Winning a playoff series can come down to a few factors — a couple of good pitchers and luck — that are less important during the regular season. “The formula seems to be: limp through regular season, get into playoffs, then win,” said Rodney Fort, professor of sport management in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.Fort, however, also thinks that the case for the relationship between payroll and wins is overstated. “When have we ever been satisfied that a simple relationship between one variable and another variable tells the whole story of the determination of winning?” he says. “What you really need to do is stop and think about what are all the other things: nothing about coaches, nothing about front office/GM acumen.” In Fort’s view, equating payroll and wins leaves out too many other variables.He has a point, as the relationship between salary and winning can be drastically different among different franchises. Some teams don’t get results when they spend more — the New York Mets frowny face is almost too perfect given their fortunes.For a few small-budget teams such as the Cleveland Indians and the Royals, though, there’s a strong relationship between spending and winning.As you can see in the chart of every team’s win-pay curves, spending usually helps, but incompetent spending gets a team nowhere. It’s a waste.Click here to see every team’s win-pay curves. read more

We XRayed Some MLB Baseballs Heres What We Found

So far, these investigations have primarily looked at the exterior of the baseball.Broadly, MLB baseballs — which are produced by Rawlings in Costa Rica — are made of three components: an exterior shell of cowhide, a winding of several layers of yarn, and a core of rubber-coated cork, also known as a “pill.”To analyze possible changes to the inside of the ball, particularly the core, “ESPN Sport Science” purchased one new ball from Rawlings and seven game-used baseballs from eBay, confirming their authenticity through MLB’s authenticator program.2Contractors working for MLB affix a tamper-resistant hologram sticker to balls that they personally witness being used in the game. The sticker includes a serial number that can be entered into the MLB authenticator program to confirm that the ball is real and to find out which game it was used in.The eight baseballs we tested were split into two groups: an “old group” of four balls used in games played between August 2014 and May 2015, and a “new group” of three balls used in games played between August 2016 and July 2017, plus the brand-new ball. The aim was to see if the internal composition of the baseballs had changed in ways that would affect the ball’s performance.3This sample is admittedly small, but according to the Kent State scientists we worked with, it’s sufficient to determine statistical significance in the two groups.The balls were first analyzed by Dr. Meng Law, Dr. Jay Acharya and Darryl Hwang at the Keck School of Medicine at USC using a computerized tomography, or CT, scan. This test is typically used to look inside a human head or body, but in this case, it allowed Dr. Law’s team to examine the interior of the baseballs without cracking them open and destroying them.Initial CT imaging showed that baseballs in the same group had a negligible variation in internal properties.When comparing the new and old groups, however, there was a clear difference in the density of the core.In an MLB baseball, the core consists of four parts: a cork pellet at the center, surrounded by a layer of black rubber held together by a rubber ring where the halves meet, all of which is then molded together in a layer of pink rubber.Dr. Law’s team isolated the density difference to the outer (pink) layer of the core, which was, on average, about 40 percent less dense in the new group of balls.While other parts of the ball showed slight differences in density and volume, none were as noteworthy as the changes to the core. On 6,105 occasions last season, a major leaguer walked to the plate and hammered a baseball over the outfield wall. The 2017 season broke the home run record that was set in 2000 — the peak of the steroid era — when players hit 5,693 homers, and it built upon the remarkable 5,610 that were hit in 2016. It was a stunning display of power that played out in every MLB park almost every night. And with spring training underway in Florida and Arizona, MLB’s power surge is showing no sign of letting up.But while we now know what caused the spike in home runs at the turn of the century — even if we didn’t at the time — the reason for the most recent flurry of long balls remains an unsolved mystery. Any number of factors might have contributed to the home run surge, including bigger, stronger players or a new emphasis on hitting fly balls. But none of those possibilities looms larger than the ball itself.MLB and its commissioner, Rob Manfred, have repeatedly denied rumors that the ball has been altered in any way — or “juiced” — to generate more homers. But a large and growing body of research shows that, beginning in the middle of the 2015 season, the MLB baseball began to fly further. And new research commissioned by “ESPN Sport Science,” a show that breaks down the science of sports,1ESPN owns FiveThirtyEight. suggests that MLB baseballs used after the 2015 All-Star Game were subtly but consistently different than older baseballs. The research, performed by the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Kent State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, reveals changes in the density and chemical composition of the baseball’s core — and provides our first glimpse inside the newer baseballs.Looking inside the balls and testing their chemical composition revealed that the cores of recent balls were somewhat less dense than the cores of balls used before the 2015 All-Star Game. The newer cores weigh about a half a gram less than the older ones, which might be enough to cause baseballs hit on a typical home run trajectory to fly about 6 inches farther. That alone is hardly enough to explain the home run surge of recent seasons, but when combined with previous research finding that baseballs began to change in other small ways starting around the same time, it suggests that a number of minor differences may have combined to contribute to the remarkable upswing in home run power we’ve witnessed since 2015.Asked about these findings, MLB noted that it had commissioned a group of scientists and statisticians to investigate any changes to the ball, and that the committee would issue a report on its research soon. According to Alan Nathan, one of the physicists on the commission, the task force found that all the characteristics that MLB regularly measures, including the weight, circumference, seam height and bounciness of the ball, were within ranges that meant variations in the baseballs were unlikely to significantly affect home run rates. MLB declined to provide the data supporting these assertions.Independent investigations by FiveThirtyEight, publications like The Ringer, and Nathan himself have shown differences in the characteristics of the ball and the way it performs. Research has shown that balls used in games after the 2015 All-Star Game were bouncier and less air resistant compared with baseballs from the 2014 season, when players hit a relatively modest 4,186 homers, the fewest since 1995. (Nathan noted that MLB does not regularly measure air resistance.) Taken together, these changes would result in a ball that would come off the bat at a higher speed and carry farther. While investigations have been able to show that the baseball behaves differently in recent years, no one had looked inside the ball to see if there was evidence of changes to the way the baseball is constructed. It’s not just that the inside of the ball looks different — the chemical composition of the cores appears to have changed as well. After being tested at the Keck School, the same set of balls were sent to Kent State University. There, researchers at Soumitra Basu’s lab in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department cut open the balls to examine the cores using a thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). This test essentially cooks a material to see which parts parts of it vaporize at which temperatures. Using that information, researchers can create a molecular profile of a given material.This test showed that the pink layer of the core in baseballs from the new group was, on average, composed of about 7 percent more polymer than the same area in baseballs from the old group. Additionally, an analysis with a scanning electron microscope showed that the same layer in the new balls contained, on average, 10 percent less silicon, relative to the amount of other ingredients in the pill. According to the Kent State researchers, these chemical changes produced a more porous, less dense layer of rubber — which explains the results seen in the CT scan at the Keck School.It may not seem obvious, but these slight changes in the chemical composition of the core could have an impact on how the balls played once they were sewn up and shipped to major league teams. Less dense cores could mean lighter baseballs. The cores of the new balls weighed, on average, about 0.5 grams less than the cores from the old group. This difference was statistically significant, which means it’s highly unlikely that it was due to sampling error. The overall weight of the balls also dropped by an average of about a 0.5 grams between groups, but, unlike with the cores, this difference was not statistically significant.4The ball as a whole weighs much more than the core alone, and there was more variation in the weight of the full baseballs than in the weight of the cores, both of which meant that the bar for statistically significant variations in weight was higher for the whole baseball than for just the core.Half a gram isn’t much — it’s only about the weight of a paperclip. A tiny change like this might add only about 6 inches to flight of a baseball hit on a typical home run trajectory, according to Nathan’s calculations. But the timing of these changes to the weight and density of the core coincides with a much larger boost to the bounciness of the baseball. According to a previous analysis performed by The Ringer, that increase in bounciness alone would add around 0.6 mph to the speed of the ball as it leaves the bat and add roughly 3 feet to the travel distance of a fly ball — enough to make the difference between the warning track and the stands.On top of the fact that the balls became bouncier as the core itself changed, previous research at FiveThirtyEight showed that they also became less air resistant. The decrease in drag is probably a result of a smaller, slicker baseball with lower seams. The change in air resistance could add an additional 5 feet to the travel distance of a fly ball. Combine all these factors together — a lighter, more compact baseball with tighter seams and more bounce — and the ball could fly as much as 8.6 feet farther. According to Nathan’s calculations, this would lead to a more than 25 percent increase in the number of home runs. Asked whether these changes in combination could have significantly affected the home run rate, MLB declined to comment.In actuality, home runs spiked by about 46 percent between 2014 and 2017, which means that the changes to the ball could account for more than half of the increase. The remainder could be reasonably chalked up to a philosophical shift among MLB hitters, who are likely swinging upward to maximize the number of balls they hit in the air and are not shy about the increase in strikeouts that may come with that approach.MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has repeatedly denied that the baseball is juiced. On numerous occasions, he has said league testing found that baseballs continue to fall within the range that MLB designates as acceptable, and he recently said that MLB testing showed the balls to be fundamentally the same. But even if the baseballs still meet the league’s manufacturing guidelines, their performance could change enough to double (or, theoretically, halve) the number of home runs hit in a year.In fact, in January of 2015, Rawlings filed a patent application for a manufacturing process that would allow it to produce softballs and non-MLB baseballs5The patent applies to balls with foam cores, which might be used in softball or youth-league baseball, for example, but does not apply to the type of baseballs used in MLB, with layers of yarn around a cork-and-rubber core. that were as bouncy as possible while still falling within the manufacturing specifications set by the league. This type of ball is constructed quite differently from MLB baseballs, so there’s no indication that this patent means Rawlings is deliberately manipulating major league baseballs in this way, but it demonstrates that it’s at least theoretically possible for balls to be “fundamentally the same” while also performing differently than they have in the past.Kathy Smith-Stephens, senior director of quality and compliance at Rawlings, said that no change had been made to the baseballs but that “natural variation” occurs in the manufacturing process. She noted that they “continuously tweak” — though later in the interview she asked that we say “continuously refine” — the manufacturing process in an effort to reduce variations, but said that Rawlings’ internal testing had shown no difference in the ball’s weight or bounciness.Evidence that the baseball is at least partially responsible for the last few years’ spike in the home run rate mounted throughout the summer of 2017 and reached a peak during October’s World Series. In those seven games, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers smashed 24 homers, including eight in one game. In the wake of this power display, Manfred asked all 30 teams to start storing baseballs in a climate-controlled room and commissioned a task force of scientists and statisticians to investigate whether the ball was juiced in 2017. Our own research, combined with controlled tests from three separate academic laboratories, strongly suggests that the physical properties of the ball have changed. Taken together, all these studies give us a lot of evidence to suggest that today’s baseballs differ in meaningful ways from those of a few years ago. In other words, there are many questions for Manfred’s committee to address.Special thanks to Sean O’Rourke, Dr. Cynthia Bir and Nathan Beals for additional research assistance. read more

Baseball Ohio State drops three of four games to Pac12 opponents in

OSU then-junior catcher Jalen Washington (2) swings at a ball during a game against Bethune-Cookman at Bill Davis Stadium on April 1. Lantern file photoThe Ohio State baseball team knew facing off against the No. 5 Oregon State Beavers and the reigning Pac-12 champion Utah Utes that this would be a challenging weekend. And while the Buckeyes were able to split the series against the Beavers (7-1), they were swept by the Utes (5-1) and lost the weekend series 1-3 and dropped to 3-5 on the season.The pitching struggled over the weekend but, arguably the biggest issue of the series for the Buckeyes came behind the mound, as the defense struggled to field the ball cleanly. The club had four errors in their first game against Utah, three in the second game against the Utes and another one in the series finale against Oregon State. Game 1 versus UtahThis game was all Utah from the beginning, as they piled on the offense and came away with a convincing 12-0 victory over OSU.Redshirt junior starting pitcher and co-captain Adam Niemeyer allowed only a single run in the first inning, but the Utes piled on in the second. Niemeyer gave up five runs in the bottom of the second, thanks in large part to a bases-loaded double from freshman second baseman Oliver Dunn.The lead was expanded to 8-0 in the bottom of the fourth by a two-run home run off the bat of senior right fielder Josh Rose.The Utes scored three times in the fifth and once in the sixth, giving them their 12th and final run.Utah received a dominant combined effort from its pitching staff, as they held the Buckeyes to just five hits and three walks while striking out seven. Freshman starting pitcher Jacob Rebar delivered 5.2 shutout innings with only three hits and one walk allowed while striking out three.Game 2 versus No. 5 Oregon StateComing off a rough debut as a starting pitcher, redshirt junior starting pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos delivered six innings of three hit, shutout baseball and led the Buckeyes to a 6-1 victory over the fifth-ranked Beavers.After scoring in the first inning, OSU remained silent until the fifth inning. With a runner on second, sophomore third baseman Brady Cherry drilled a home run over the left-field fence to expand the Buckeye lead to 3-0.Both teams scratched across runs in the seventh inning before the Buckeyes tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth off an errant throw on a fielder’s choice and an RBI single by junior left fielder Tyler Cowles.In Pavlopoulos’ first career start, the right-hander surrendered six runs on four hits, two walks and lasted only 2.1 innings. This time around, he was able to miss bats and limit base runners, allowing only three hits and three walks while striking out four batters. Of the three hits he allowed, only one went for extra bases compared to the two extra-base hits he allowed in his last start.Game 3 versus UtahAfter falling into an early five-run hole, the Buckeyes staged a late comeback, but fell just short and lost to the Utes for the second time this weekend 6-4. With the game sitting at 2-1, things started to unravel for sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Feltner in the fourth inning. He allowed back-to-back doubles to open up the frame, which brought the score to 3-1. An error and a single followed the pair of doubles and Utah expanded its lead to 4-1. The Utes would later go on to score again in the fifth and seventh.After Utah’s starting pitcher exited the game having dealt six innings of one-run baseball, the OSU bats immediately came to life, scoring a run quickly in the seventh after Ratcliff doubled and later scored on a wild pitch and throwing error. The eighth inning was the most productive one of the night, however, for the OSU offense. With two down and runners on the corners, junior first baseman Bo Coolen singled up the middle to bring the score to 6-3. Redshirt senior designated hitter Zach Ratcliff followed Coolen’s single with one of his own, driving in another run and bringing the score now to 6-4. The Buckeyes would later load the bases, but a strikeout ended the frame.Sophomore catcher Jacob Barnwell doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth for the Buckeyes, but Utah’s closer was able to put away the next three batters and send the Utes home happy.After Feltner left the game, the Buckeyes received a lights-out performance by their bullpen. Senior relief pitcher Joe Stoll allowed only one run on two hits and one walk in 1.1 innings while freshman relief pitcher Jake Vance came in and provided OSU with 1.2 innings of three hit, shutout baseball. Redshirt junior relief pitcher Kyle Michalik provided the lockdown performance of the game, going 1.1 innings while allowing no runs on only one hit. Game 4 versus No. 5 Oregon StateNeeding a victory to secure at least a series split, OSU could not find enough offense and fell to Oregon State 5-1.The game was held scoreless until the fourth inning. After two straight hits began the inning, freshman catcher Adley Rutschman chopped one to the right side that Coolen couldn’t quite get to, plating the first run of the game and giving the Beavers the early 1-0 lead.Junior Michael Gretler followed Rutschman’s single with a double that rolled just under Cherry’s glove and brought the score to 2-0 Beavers. An error in the inning brought across the third run of the inning across for the Beavers.After Oregon State scored again in the sixth inning, there was little action until the top of the eighth inning. With two away and the Buckeyes’ hopes fading, Junior outfielder Tre’ Gantt stepped up to the plate and drilled the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence for a home run.The OSU offense was largely shut down in this one by redshirt junior starting pitcher Jake Thompson. Thompson limited the Buckeyes to just one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven across eight innings. OSU will travel to Builes Creek, North Carolina on Friday to kick off a three-game series against Campbell University. First pitch of the weekend series is set for Friday at 6 p.m. with Niemeyer, the likely starter for the Buckeyes. read more

Ohio State trounces Kent State 660 week after loss

OSU players enter Ohio Stadium prior to kickoff against Kent State on Sept. 13. OSU won, 66-0. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor Redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee (43) celebrates with senior linebacker Curtis Grant (14) during a game against Kent State on Sept. 13 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 66-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorOne week removed from its first loss of the season, the Ohio State football team jumped out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead on its way to beating Kent State, 66-0.The Buckeyes scored less than two minutes into the game to start things off before scoring touchdowns on six of eight first-half drives Saturday at Ohio Stadium.OSU coach Urban Meyer credited the win partially to the Buckeyes’ advantage in the talent column, and added his team needed a big game coming off a 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6.“I thought our guys played well,” Meyer said after the win. “Obviously a little talent advantage, but we had to have a game like this.”Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett tied an OSU record with six touchdown passes in the game — five of which came in the first half.Barrett said he already has an idea of what former Buckeye quarterback Kenny Guiton — who set that record against Florida A&M last season — will say to him after the performance.“I can hear KG calling me now, talking about ‘you tied me, you tied me, you didn’t beat me though,’” Barrett said.The Wichita Falls, Texas, native attempted 19 passes in the first quarter alone as Meyer said throwing the ball early and often was a big part of the Buckeyes’ game plan.“Early in the first half I wanted to throw a lot,” Meyer said after the game. “I wanted to force him (Barrett) to make plays, and the receivers — it’s not just him, it’s the whole combination of quarterback/receivers.”OSU tacked on 21 points in the second half to close out the scoring on improve its record to 2-1 on the season.Three different Buckeyes scored the first touchdowns of their college careers as role players saw time in both halves for OSU.Redshirt-freshman tight end Marcus Baugh scored a touchdown in the first half on the first reception of his college career. In the second half, redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall and freshman running back Curtis Samuel each made it into the end zone for the first time in their OSU careers as well.“I had a smile from my ear to ear,” Marshall said of his first touchdown with the Scarlet and Gray. “And it felt really good.”Barrett totaled 297 passing yards in the first half alone before tacking on 15 more yards in limited second-half action. Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott had 65 rushing yards to go with 52 receiving yards before the break, sparking OSU to a 45-0 halftime lead.The Buckeyes’ fast start was aided by two long pass plays on top of steady output from the running game. Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas took a Barrett pass 63 yards for a touchdown before senior wide receiver Devin Smith scored on a 50-yard catch and run to close out the first-half for OSU.Redshirt-senior running back Rod Smith led the first half scoring with a pair of touchdowns — the first on a short pass from Barrett and the second on the ground from a yard out.On top of the offensive explosion, the Buckeyes’ defense held the Golden Flashes to just 126 total yards as Kent State failed to crack the century mark on the ground or through the air.Junior linebacker Joshua Perry said OSU’s ability to hold Kent State to such a low number in the total yardage column made him even happier than keeping the Golden Flashes off the scoreboard.“That’s the thing that puts a smile on my face,” Perry said after the game. “Shutout is one thing…but when you can hold an offense to that I think it’s really impressive. Like I said, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, that’s a tough thing to do.”Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) stiff arms a defender during a game against Kent State on Sept. 13 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 66-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorSenior tight end Jeff Heuerman sat out the game due to an injury while junior defensive lineman Noah Spence was ruled ineligible by OSU on Friday due to a Big Ten and OSU rules violation.Meyer called the news about Spence — which came out to the public less than 24 hours before the team played Kent State — a “sucker punch,” but said the situation is not yet resolved.“I don’t know much other than he was declared he couldn’t play for this weekend, and what the future holds for him, I don’t know,” Meyer said after the game.Barrett’s 312 passing yards made him the first OSU quarterback to top 300 since Troy Smith in 2006.Redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones relieved Barrett in the second half and finished the day two for four on pass attempts for 32 yards and ran for 37 yards on four carries.Samuel finished the day with 15 carries for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also adding on 40 yards through the air. Elliott added 65 rushing yards and five different Buckeyes had 40 yards or more receiving. Eleven different OSU players recording at least one reception in the game.The OSU defense totaled four sacks, two of which were credited to freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who also led the team with seven total tackles in the game.McMillan said his success on the field Saturday came from his work in practice leading up to the game, which allowed him to come into the game with the right mindset.“I practice hard for the games during the week so the game will be easy,” McMillan said after the game. “I learned from what the guys around me are doing, so I feel like I can play more loose now.”The Buckeyes are scheduled for a bye week before hosting Cincinnati on Sept. 27 at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. read more

Politicians must not collude to stop closures of unsafe hospital services

first_imgSeveral of the plans have already triggered protests. Councils in north-west London have objected to plans which could see the number of major hospitals cut from nine to five.  Across Dorset, hospital beds will be cut from 1,810 to 1,570 with the centralisation of A&E services at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, under proposals. In Leicestershire and Rutland, the plan is to cut the number of hospitals from three to two, and cut acute hospital beds from 1,940 to 1,697. And plans for south-west London aim to achieve a 44 per cent reduction in inpatient bed days, with a 13 per cent dropped in planned operations.Derbyshire plans to slash 400 acute hospital beds, while 200 beds are earmarked for closure at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Stevens Simon Stevens recently told MPs that hospitals were not being “feckless” but under heavy pressureCredit:PA  Axing hundreds of beds was “simply not credible given the state of our acute hospitals this winter, which is likely to be similar next winter.”In the weeks running up to Christmas, more than a dozen hospitals across Englan were running at 100 per cent capacity, with latest figures showing average occupancy is still over 95 per cent.Last week a coroner wrote to the head of the NHS, after a woman died from a brain haemorrhage after at least three hospitals refused to admit her for surgery because they had no intensive care beds.Mr Ham said the NHS needed to embark on “difficult conversations with the public” about how changes should be achieved. It came as new figures showed NHS trusts racked up a deficit of nearly £900m in the first nine months of the 2016/17 financial year.Even that was only achieved because of a £1.8bn fund put aside to help hospitals tackle their financial problems, leaving an underlying deficit of close to £3bn, experts said.On Monday a report revealed that the NHS has seen the loss of 15,000 beds in just six years, with around one in ten closed. And he urged politicians to support changes as long as there was a clear evidence base for them.A failure to do could leave patients to suffer at the hands of poor services, he said.”If you’re not willing to do go through that process and support plans of this kind, essentially you are colluding as politicians in the continuation of unsafe services,” he said.Draft plans have been submitted from 44 areas of the country, and are now being considered by health service officials.Major changes to services – such as the loss of an Accident & Emergency unit or maternity ward  will require public consultation. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Too many hospital services are “unsafe” and politicians must not “collude” to keep them open because they fear controversy over closures, a leading think tank has said.NHS authorities are drawing up radical plans to reorganise services in a bid to save £22bn and cope with rising demand from an ageing population.Draft plans suggest this could result in the closure of 24 Accident & Emergency departments, with swingeing bed cuts.The King’s Fund today urged politicians to back radical changes as “the best hope” of achieving essential reforms. But it also urged NHS leaders to rewrite many of the proposals – saying it was “simply not credible” to scale back bed numbers when wards have been stretched to the limit this winter. In other areas, services will be centralised or merged, such as in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough where orthopaedics, stroke, maternity and paediatrics could be centralised.The think tank said the plans were “an opportunity to move care closer to home and moderate demand for hospital services.”But it said improvements would not be made unless investment was made first in services in the community.Chris Ham, chief executive of the think tank, said many hospitals were at “the limits” of their capacity.”We do not think now is the time to start cutting back on acute hospital beds and capacity, anything like on the scale set out in some of the plans,” he said.last_img read more

Water companies warn parts of UK could see drought this summer after

first_imgDrought alert…A general view of where the River Kennet usually flows along fields near the village of Lockeridge, just West of MarlboroughCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Water supplier Affinity, which covers large areas of the south-east of England, says it is “monitoring the situation closely with clear plans in place”.”January to March saw rainfall 50 to 70 per cent below average in our region” the company said.”We have not seen the rise in groundwater levels we expected, and some rivers have seen flows decrease.”Kent and Sussex are almost entirely dependent on groundwater from rain. A spokesman for Southern Water said: “The winter of 2016-2017 was drier than average, particularly in the months leading up to Christmas.”This means there are lower water levels across our regional water sources.”Water companies say work has started with farmers to reduce the impact of the continuing dry weather as summer approaches.Environment Agency officials have admitted that the dry weather could lead to drought management measures’ for some regions. They say they are working with water companies, businesses and farmers to minimise the impact of the continuing dry weather.Environment Agency spokesman George Leigh said some rivers, ground waters and reservoirs are lower than normal for the time of year.”Below average rainfall could increase the likelihood of drought management measures in some areas” he predicted.But he said bringing in restrictions is a decision for South East Water and other water companies hit by the dwindling levels.Britain has experienced parched weather in the six-month period between October and March – the driest since 1995 and 1996, according to the Met Office.According to long-term forecasts, the next three months will also be dry, making water restrictions likely.But South East Water’s head of water resources Lee Dance said that while the winter has been drier than usual, the company does not envisage water shortages this summer.Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said “It’s not yet a crisis, but we’re beginning what may become a period of drought.”A continued lack of rainfall could lead to water restrictions.”center_img Water companies have warned that parts of UK could see drought this summer after the driest winter in more than 20 years.Lack of rain over the autumn, winter and early spring has left some rivers and reservoirs,particularly in the south and west, with dwindling levels.With weather experts warning that there is little sign of rain to come, many farmers and gardeners are desperately watering their crops as the ground dries out.Until now water companies have played down talk of hosepipe bans, but as the dry weather continues the public has now been warned that restrictions could be on the way in some areas unless reservoir levels are replenished by prolonged rainfall. Drought alert...A general view of where the River Kennet usually flows along fields near the village of Lockeridge, just West of Marlboroughlast_img read more

Prince Philip tribe disappointed his retirement puts end to prospect of royal

first_imgThe villagers also associate natural phenomena with the Prince. In March 2015 it was reported they were convinced that a cyclone which ravaged parts of Vanuatu, killing at least 11 people, was nature’s dramatic curtain-raiser to the Duke of Edinburgh visiting the country the following year.Asked whether Philip’s blessings would help with the tropical storms that often batter the islands, such as the Category 4 Cyclone Donna currently passing over the archipelago’s north, Mr Malia said that wasn’t generally in his remit as they generally flowed up from the south. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Buckingham Palace may have announced his retirement from public life, but nearly 10,000 miles across the seas there is one tiny community that hopes The Duke of Edinburgh will change his mind.So remote is the village of Younanen that it’s inhabitants have only now received word of Prince Philip’s decision to retire.The reason it matters is that the villagers on the island of Tanna, in the South Pacific, revere him as the son of a local mountain god who will one day return to them.News of the Prince’s decision to discontinue further Royal engagements has been greeted with despondency among the locals.”Prince Philip has said one day he will come and visit us,” Jack Malia, the village chief told a Reuters reporter who reached Younanen on Saturday.Holding one of several photographs of the Prince proudly displayed by the villagers, including one from 1980 in a suit, holding a club they made and sent to him in London, he added: “We still believe that he will come but if he doesn’t come, the pictures that I am holding… it means nothing.”Each day the villagers pray to Prince Philip, asking for his blessings on the banana and yam crops that sustain their poor community. They had high hopes of a visit.”If he comes one day the people will not be poor, there will be no sickness, no debt and the garden will be growing very well,” said Mr Malia, 52, speaking at the village’s Nakamal, a traditional meeting place where the men gather at night to drink. Prince Philip’s status among the villagers is thought to have its origins in the local legend telling of the pale-skinned son of the mountain god who ventured across the seas in search of a rich and powerful woman to marry. A villager holds a photograph of Prince Philip in front of a hut in Younanen, on Tanna Island Credit:Reuters Anthropologists believe Philip became linked to the legend in the 1960s when Vanuatu was an Anglo-French colony known as the New Hebrides, now is the island nation of Vanuatu.Villagers at the time were likely to have seen portraits of Philip and the Queen at government offices and police stations run by colonial officials.The belief that the Duke of Edinburgh was indeed the mountain god’s wandering son was reinforced when he accompanied the Queen on an official visit to the New Hebrides in 1974.The Prince was told of the cult by John Champion, the British Resident Commissioner in the New Hebrides, who suggested he send them a portrait of himself.In turn the villagers dispatched him a traditional pig-killing club called a nal-nal, with which the Prince posed for a portrait sent to back to Younanen and since handed down to each chief.”Prince Philip is important to us because our ancestors told us that part of our custom is in England,” said Mr Malia, who took over from his father as village chief in 2003.Younanen is not marked on maps and reaching it requires a local guide and a three-hour drive through dirt trails from Lenakel, the capital of Tanna.Village children play naked, the women dressed in traditional grass skirts while the men, clothed in old t-shirts, usually carry machetes.Mr Malia added that Philip, who turns 96 in June, had told villagers not to ever take money from people who visited, but that they should accept food, like rice, to share among themselves. A villager holds a photograph of Prince Philip in front of a hut in Younanen, on Tanna Island last_img read more

Woman who died after her body shielded young niece in Manchester attack

first_img“I’ll remember you spilling drinks down your top at the house warming party and ending up in just a vest. I’ll remember you making paper games with Phoebe and ‘eating is cheating’.”We never did manage a night out on the town together but one day we will meet again and you’ll have many a story to tell me over a few drinks. For now sleep tight beautiful princess you’ll always be a hero.”Tributes have been flowing as details of the victims began emerging.The attack on Monday was the worst terrorist attack since 52 innocent people were killed in the July 7 bombings in London in 2005.The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the barbaric attack, which was carried out by Salman Abedi.Abedi is believed to have been born in Manchester and of Libyan descent. So sorry to report we’ve had to update our front page following confirmation of Kelly’s death. RIP #manchesterattack pic.twitter.com/MzMC8MiSAr— The Star, Sheffield (@SheffieldStar) May 23, 2017 “When the bomb has gone off the impact has broken Claire’s jaw and broken Hollie’s legs.”They are both currently in hospital having nuts and bolts removed from all places.”Claire is having a bolt removed from her face and poor Hollie is having bolts removed all the way up her legs.”After the impact Claire had gone to Hollie but when she looked up she couldn’t find Kelly. They lost her in all the commotion.”Chantelle Garrity, a friend of Ms Brewster, wrote on Facebook: “R.I.P my dear friend Kelly! I love you more than words can describe. I won’t be the same person without you!” “Well it has happened to us. What do you say to that?”I’m worried it will be Sheffield next. I’m. It not going to go to any big crowded places.”Speaking of Kelly being murdered in a despicable act of terrorism, Mr Winslow said: “Words cannot describe how it makes you feel, it’s surreal.”How a man can say that he has done this for Muslims. He is not a Muslim. He is evil. “I’m still trying to get my head round Kelly being swept up in this. It doesn’t feel real.” Kelly Brewster She had been reported missing after the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on Monday night. Her partner, Ian Winslow, later wrote on Facebook: “Not sure how this works but it isn’t good news. Kelly Brewster wasn’t one of the unidentified hospital patients. She has sadly passed away in the terror attack yesterday.”Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together. My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated like we all are.”Her local paper, the Sheffield Star, praised her for her bravery on the front page of the newspaper after confirming her death. It said that she will be remembered by her community for her selfless act. Ms Brewster had been attending the Ariana Grande concert with her sister Claire and her niece Hollie Booth when the home-made device packed with nuts and bolts exploded in the venue’s foyer as thousands of young people were leaving.Hollie has two broken legs and Claire has a broken jaw, Hollie’s grandmother Tracy Booth wrote on Facebook.Paul Dryhurst, Kelly Brewster’s uncle, spoke of her bravery. He told ITV: “Kelly has shielded Hollie and Claire from the damage.”The three were walking out in single file, with Claire in front, Hollie behind her, and Kelly behind her. He said: “Ian told me that they had just put a deposit down on a house and were trying for a baby.”We will miss her so much. “Ian has a seven-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Phoebe, and she and Kelly were very close, like sisters. Another friend, Payton Williams, wrote: “Heaven has gained another angel Kelly you were a hero right down to your last moments. I will always remember our dinners out in champs and you giving me to confidence to travel with contiki alone. I will always remember giving you a lift home when mum worked her late shifts because I didn’t want you to have to catch the bus. A woman from Sheffield’s family have confirmed she is one of the victims of the Manchester terror attack after her body reportedly “shielded” her niece from the blast. She leaves behind a young daughter, Phoebe.It has now been confirmed by those close to her that she was trying for a baby before the incident.Ms Brewster, 32, a civil servant,had just put a deposit down on a new home with her boyfriend Ian Winslow and was planning to start a family with him when she was killed.Ian’s father John Winslow, 62, revealed the tragic circumstances surrounding her death.Speaking at his home in Sheffield, his eyes red and swollen opened the door to his home in Sheffield, said: “We are all devastated at what had happened. Ian is devastated.”Kelly is such a lovely, lovely girl. They were a lovely couple.”He told how they had been together three years and were just planning their future together. Kelly BrewsterCredit:Kelly Brewster/Facebook “Ian will have to break the news to her when he comes home tomorrow.”He is still in Manchester at the moment. They are waiting to officially identify her body today.”He said last night that they were waiting on the identity of a critical person in hospital and if that woman wasn’t Kelly then they knew she was dead.”And of course it wasn’t.”The grandma of 11-year-old Hollie Booth broke down in tears as she thanked her aunt Kelly for saving her life. Tracy Booth said: “I’m devastated about Kelly’s death. She was a hero. I would not have my granddaughter if it was not for her. “It is such a shame to lose Kelly because I would have liked to have thanked her. “But if she had lived I would have been unable to repay her for what she has done. “I will be indebted to her for the rest of my life.”Hollie’s uncle Shane Booth also broke down in tears as he said: “My niece, I love her. “And we’ve lost Kelly. It awful. I can’t understand it all. I am now scared to go anywhere. “They say that you should get on with your life, that it probably wouldn’t happen to you.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Care home neglect residents dressed in wrong clothes amid rotting plants and

first_imgOnly one of the facilities inspected had been able to secure regular visits from a dentist, and many others reported difficulty in persuading local GPs to attend.Experts called it a “wakeup call” for the industry and regulators.While the probe reported some improvements in the sector, Healthwatch said there remains a “worrying culture of apathy” in England’s care homes.The report comes a month after the Care Quality Commission, the agency responsible for regulating the care homes, revealed that one in four adult social care facilities inspected since 2014 was unsafe.A resident in Wolverhampton told Healthwatch inspectors: “My laundry is not always returned and is worn by others”.Another in the same area said she was keen to take part in exercises with other residents in the lounge but, because she needed to be hoisted out of bed, was only able to join in every five weeks. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Healthwatch inspectors visited 197 care homes across England between January 2016 and April this year.The report found many examples of good care but also concluded that in many homes staff were “rushed off their feet” with residents picking up the strain.Inspections in London care homes triggered fears that much of the training undertaken by staff was not practical, but undertaken online, with a risk that it was not being completed by the staff member themself.Michael Cranfield, from the British Dental Association, said adequate dentistry was “too often the missing piece in care homes”.“We keep seeing vulnerable residents with dentures that have never been taken out and managers who admit oral health is at the bottom of their to-do lists,” he said. Some residents did activities every five weeksCredit:PA At one facility in South Tyneside, the budget for activities was just £50 a month. Elderly care home residents are being dressed in other people’s clothes and left languishing without exercise for five weeks at a time, a new investigation reveals.Surprise inspections of nearly 200 institutions found older people living in “filthy” accommodation with rotting plants on the window sills.The report by Healthwatch, a consumer champion for the health and social care sector, also revealed widespread lack of access to GPs and dentists for care home residents. Imelda Redmond, national director of Healthwatch England, said care homes were grappling with rising demand and stretched resources, but added: “Getting the basics right doesn’t have to cost the earth and should be the least we should all be able to expect for our loved ones and ourselves should we need care support.”Other examples of poor practice highlighted in the report include one resident waiting an hour to be taken to the toilet, problems with cleanliness and dilapidated decoration such as peeling wallpaper, and laundry not being returned to the correct person and being worn by other residents.Particular concerns were raised regarding the suitability of some care homes for residents with Alzheimer’s, such as a lack of dementia-friendly decoration and poor awareness of the condition.Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said:  “Sadly, I’m not at all surprised by these findings.“They testify to the existing issues with staff training across the sector, and echo what our investigation last year found – that one in three home-care workers had received absolutely no dementia training, resulting in people with dementia left in soiled sheets, and becoming ill after eating out-of-date food.” Old person Sadly, I’m not at all surprised by these findingsJeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Societylast_img read more

Brendan Cole axed from Strictly Come Dancing by BBC after arguments with

first_imgNope…huge mistake @bbcstrictly …@BrendanCole isnt just a pro dancer..his character is a big part of the show..we want pros who will question the judges and defend their partners..#strictly will become meh without that!!! #bigmistake #nothappy 😑— shelly white 💞🇬🇧 (@5hellsbells) January 30, 2018 Brendan Cole is leaving the show Sad news from my dance partner @BrendanCole this morning that he won’t be a part of @bbcstrictly anymore. What an end of an era – he’s been such an integral part of the show since it started 15 series ago. It won’t be the same without him 😔😔— Charlotte Hawkins (@CharlotteHawkns) January 30, 2018 Brendan Cole has announced he is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after 14 years with the show.He is one of the only two remaining original professionals, along with Anton Du Beke, and has been part of the show since 2004.Mr Cole claimed in an emotional interview that he is to leave because the BBC has not renewed his contract.The New Zealand-born dancer appeared close to tears as he told ITV’s Lorraine: “This is quite hard to talk about. The BBC haven’t renewed my contract – we get renewed year on year – and they made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show.” “I’m a little bit in shock. I’m quite emotional, a bit raw about it.”He explained he found out via a phone call, and said: “It’s done via a process of a phone call and stuff. I have had 15 incredible series on the show. I’m very proud of the whole show. It’s a great team. Cole auditioned for the role of head judge after Len Goodman’s departure but was passed over in favour of Ballas, which led to tension.He argued with Ballas on the show and was dismissive of her in interviews. A BBC insider said: “Brendan tested as the new judge and didn’t get it, and perhaps that made him bitter.“He said things about Shirley in public that were not pleasant. It felt like the right time to refresh the line-up.”He seemed emotional when he voiced his feelings about no longer being on the show: “To feel I’m not going to be part of it anymore is… It’s changed our lives dramatically. How do you get a petition started to get @BrendanCole back on strictly??!???? Absolutely appalling decision 😩😩 he’s the best dancer on there and the main reason I watch @bbcstrictly @TessDaly @ClaudiaWinkle @BrunoTonioli @DarceyOfficial @CraigRevHorwood— Carly13 (@carlyfelthappy) January 30, 2018 Sad to hear @BrendanCole now not part of @bbcstrictly Not only a brilliant dancer/choreographer/teacher, it was wonderful to have someone with such experience of the show. It’s a wild, wonderful and bonkers environment and he helped me enjoy it and gave others advice too 💃🕺— Sophie Ellis-Bextor (@SophieEB) January 30, 2018 Brendan Cole has clashed with the judges before, arguing that they have been too critical of his partners.Last year, when he was partnered with Charlotte Hawkins, he heavily criticised the judges for their treatment of the GMB presenter, who left in week three.A BBC spokesperson said in a statement: “We’d like to thank Brendan for being part of the show since the beginning – winner of the first series – and for the contribution he has made to its success. We wish him all the very best for the future.” He said his recent “partners … haven’t been able to do what I’ve wanted to do. No disrespect to them.”I haven’t had one of the ones that had a bit of dance experience which you can really challenge, like in the old days when I was young and handsome.” Mr Cole, 41, starred in every series of the show, and won the very first series with partner Natasha Kaplinsky.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. His former dance partner, Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins, tweeted her disappointment.She wrote: “Sad news from my dance partner @BrendanCole this morning that he won’t be a part of @bbcstrictly anymore. What an end of an era – he’s been such an integral part of the show since it started 15 series ago. It won’t be the same without him.”Former Strictly dancer James Jordan tweeted: “Just seen my mate @BrendanCole has not been asked back on Strictly. Seems like they don’t want anyone on the show that has an opinion. Especially when he played a massive part in making the show what it is today. Wishing him all the best in his future endeavours. Will be missed.”Many on social media appeared upset by the decision, criticising the BBC: Wrong decision by @BBCOne @bbcstrictly The show won’t be the same without Brendan Cole. So disappointed they have not renewed his contract. Seeing him so upset on @ITVLorraine was awful. Really gonna miss him— ❤️ FIONA ❤️ (@sadlerfiona21) January 30, 2018 Brendan Cole is leaving the showCredit: Andrew Crowley “I’m disappointed. It’s very hard to talk about. It’s a recent decision.”The dancer hinted that the decision could be due to his “strong views”, that he often expresses on the show: “I’ve always known this day would come. To get to this point, the BBC make the decisions year upon year. It’s an editorial decision. I’m sure I’ll never know the ins and outs. I’m a very strong character within the show, I have my strong views.” We’d like to thank @BrendanCole for being part of the show since the beginning – winner of the first series – and for the contribution hehas made to its success. We wish him all the very best for the future.— BBC Strictly Press (@bbcstrictlyPR) January 30, 2018 Poor @BrendanCole he’s definitely one of the bests professional dancers on strictly 😔 BBC have made a shocking decision there #StrictlyComeDancing— Charlotte Mears (@Charlottemearsx) January 30, 2018 “I think about everyone there, and I think b—– hell, I’m not going to be part of that team, and they are still going to be there.”I will still watch, I’m a big fan, I don’t like the decision though.”The dancer also claimed the BBC had recently stopped giving him the best  partners.last_img read more

17 British sperm donors have fathered more than 500 children between them

Up to 90 per cent of women with the BRCA1 mutation will develop breast cancer Credit:Supphachai  Up to 90 per cent of women with the BRCA1 mutation will develop breast cancer  Under HFEA rules donors are not allowed to create more than 10 families, which means many of the youngsters will live with their half-siblings, meaning all may end up carrying a defective gene.In 2013, it was discovered that Danish sperm donor Henrik Koch may have unknowingly passed on a cancer-causing illness to 50 percent of the children created using his sperm.Both men and women can pass the BRCA1/2 gene mutations and there is a 50 per cent chance of a child acquiring it if one parent is a carrier. However if both are carriers the child will definitely inherit. Although donated sperm is screened for major diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Huntington’s and cystic fibrosis, clinics do not yet test for genes which increase the risk of certain cancers or conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.Up to 60 per cent of women who carry a BRCA1 mutation will develop ovarian cancer in their lifetime, compared to just two per cent of the general population, and up to 90 per cent will develop breast cancer. In the US, IVF clinics are increasingly using enhanced screening techniques to make sure faulty genes are not passed on.Geoff Trew, Clinical director of The Fertility Partnership, one of Britain’s largest IVF providers, and researcher at Imperial College, said he believed enhanced screening would soon be brought in for sperm donors in the UK. “Everyone has a defective something, and if we are going to start screening everything out you may get to a point where we have no sperm donors left at all.” The charity Ovarian Cancer Action warned that the current genetic testing process is only carried out if there is family history of cancer and donor-conceived children can face ‘enormous barriers’ in accessing checks.Marie-Claire Platt, Head of Campaigns at Ovarian Cancer Action, said: “Without proper screening for hereditary cancer gene mutations, donors could unknowingly pass on an inherited risk of ovarian, breast, bowel and other cancers.“This is particularly worrying for couples who are trying for a baby who might not be aware of the implications for their sons or daughters in the future.“We urge the regulators to take action and include hereditary cancer gene mutation screening in the process of sperm and egg donation.” “This does bring up an interesting issue about how much we should be screening donors. Perhaps we should be doing a bit more.” he said.“I think over the next year we will start to see clinics brining in enhanced screening. It could highlight if there was a very big risk of passing on a defective gene, such as it both parents had it. The interaction between the genes is important.”Since 2005, donor-conceived children have been able to find out the identity of sperm donors but those born before cannot find out about their biological fathers.However Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology at The University of Sheffield, said bringing in further screening for donors could leave Britain facing a shortage. Around one third of donated sperm for IVF is currently imported from abroad.“There isn’t such a thing as a perfect donor,” he said. Seventeen British sperm donors have fathered more than 500 children between them, new figures show.The startling numbers have led to fears that men could be unknowingly passing defective DNA to dozens of youngsters, because currently donors are not screened for faulty genes such as BRCA1/2 which increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.It also raises the risk that siblings could unexpectedly meet and form relationships without realising they are related.Although more than 18,000 children have been born who have at least nine other half-brothers or sisters, just 163 have registered on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Donor Sibling Link, which attempts to reunite them.The new figures from the HFEA showed that 17 men had fathered at least 30 babies each between 1991 and 2015.  A further 104 men have fathered between 20 and 29 babies, and 1557 between 10 and 19. More than 6,000 have created nine or fewer. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Worlds first global vaccine for Lyme disease developed as disease spreads across

A drugs company is on course to develop the first global vaccine against the disease, which could be up to 96 per cent effective and would be available on the NHS for adults and children as young as two. The development comes as new Government data shows that the tick that carries the disease has been found in twice as many areas of the UK as it was a decade ago. The first vaccine that could stop people catching Lyme disease in the UK has been developed as the tick-borne illness spreads across Britain. Drug company Valneva has successfully completed the first human clinical trials of the vaccine, which concluded that it was safe and effective in protecting against all six types of Lyme disease,…

SAS instructors lost control of  training exercise which left three reservists dead

A post-mortem examination ruled his death was caused as a result of the effects of hyperthermia. At 4.10pm, Cpl Dunsby was noticed to be static, having left his penultimate check point at 2.51pm.He was found unconscious at 4.52pm and an ambulance arrived at the scene at 5.18pm. Cpl Dunsby died in hospital on July 30, 17 days after the drill. “It is clear that something went terribly wrong,” Mr Mably said.”The defendants lost control of events and ended up in a position where they couldn’t account for a number of candidates.” The court martial continues. The court heard L/Cpl Maher was identified as a “slow-moving candidate” at 4.10pm, having reached the penultimate check point at 1.22pm.Mr Mably said L/Cpl Maher’s tracker revealed he had not moved “very far at all” between leaving the check point and being found.”It was two hours and 38 minutes since he had left the check point at 1.22pm,” he said. L/Cpl Maher was discovered at 4.55pm.”He was sitting upright with his Bergen on, with a half full bottle of water in one hand and a half eaten chocolate bar in the other,” Mr Mably said. Brigadier John Donnelly, director of personal services at the Ministry of Defence, reads a statement outside the Civic Suite in Solihull after the inquest  Those who voluntarily withdrew from the march, or were withdrawn on medical grounds faced being failed, which provided an incentive to “keep on going”, Mr Mably said.Temperatures reached 26.3C from midday on the day of the march and had risen to 28.3C by 4pm. Mr Mably said the first casualty to be struck by a heat-related illness took place at about 11am.L/Cpl Roberts passed a drill at the penultimate check point but was later found unconscious less than a mile from the finish by another candidate. His “man down” alarm was activated at 3.36pm, with emergency services arriving about an hour later.L/Cpl Roberts was pronounced dead at 5.10pm, with his cause of death later found to be hypothermia. The widow of Corporal James Dunsby, Bryher Dunsby, reads a statement outside the Civic Suite Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The widow of Corporal James Dunsby, Bryher Dunsby, reads a statement outside the Civic SuiteCredit: Joe Giddens/PA Two SAS instructors “lost control” of a training exercise which left three reservists dead on the hottest day of the year, a court martial heard. Lance Corporals Edward Maher and Craig Roberts were pronounced dead in a drill on Brecon Beacons after suffering heatstroke in July 2013. Corporal James Dunsby later died in hospital after he also collapsed on the Welsh mountain range in near 30C temperatures.Two other soldiers suffered non-fatal heat illnesses. Two instructors, known only as 1A and 1B, have appeared at the Court Martial Centre in Bulford, where they both deny “negligently performing a duty” by failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of candidates taking part in the exercises.Prosecuting, Louis Mably QC told the court martial that the men, then an Army captain and Warrant Officer, had “lost control” of the exercise in which soldiers marched for 16 miles.Thirty-seven reservists and 41 regular troops took part in the exercise, which was part of the aptitude phase for selection of an elite military unit. Soldiers were expected to cover almost 30km or 18.5 miles within a target time of eight hours 45 minutes while carrying a bergen and a backpack, weighing between 22 and 27kg, as well as a dummy rifle. Brigadier John Donnelly, director of personal services at the Ministry of Defence, reads a statement outside the Civic Suite in Solihull after the inquest Credit: Joe Giddens/PA read more

Case of vicar said to have stripped off clothes in front of

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Church of England has been accused of using non-disclosure agreements to hush up a sexual harassment case involving one of its vicars.Jo Kind, a former assistant at St John’s Church in Harborne, Birmingham, alleges she was forced to sign an NDA before reading the official review into how her case was investigated this year.She accused reverend Tom Walker of stripping off his clothes in front of her and walking around the vicarage in “various states of arousal” during the late 1980s and early 1990s.The use of NDAs has become a matter of intense public debate after The Daily Telegraph published allegations about their use by businessman Sir Philip Green.Mrs Kind told Channel 4 News that she felt the church had wanted to protect the memory of Rev Walker, who died in 2016.A copy of the report seen by the broadcaster delivered damning findings about how her case was handled by the Bishop of Birmingham in 2011.It found the church “fell short on a number of basic standards of complaint handling” and said Bishop David Urquhart “lacked adequate knowledge of safeguarding and the capacity to manage the process”.The church paid Mrs Kind £40,000 after she launched a civil claim against them, but admitted no liability, the broadcaster reported. However the institution is likely to face fresh scrutiny over its alleged use of an NDA, after the Archbishop of Canterbury, its most senior cleric, questioned their legitimacy this year.He told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in March:  “A non-disclosure agreement seems to me to be dangerous because it creates suspicion, ‘Why are you doing an NDA? Surely you’re trying to cover something up’.”Mrs Kind claimed she was warned by an unnamed bishop not to talk to the media as it wouldn’t be “very godly”.Explaining her decision to speak publicly, she told Channel 4: “I have no fear of being ungodly in that way and because I have asked for 10 year for the church to speak up about this and they haven’t.”The Church of England in Birmingham said: ‘We are deeply sorry for the pain and distress these failings have caused.”The decision not to publish the full report … related to concerns regarding the safeguarding of the many contributors.” read more

Record Boxing Day spend expected as consumers wait until after Christmas for

Analysts have predicted a record £4.75 billion of transactions amid price cuts of up to 90 per cent. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Industry experts say shoppers, aware of the high street’s flagging fortunes, are increasingly delaying the purchase of “big-ticket” presents, such as computers and household appliances. Retailers are expecting the biggest ever Boxing Day spend on Wednesday as savvy consumers wait until after Christmas to buy their presents at discounted prices. It follows what some data suggests was the first “£1 billion Christmas Day”, involving approximately… The expected rush comes towards the end a disappointing month for high street vendors, who are now offering record bargains in a bid to rescue profits. read more

Police officers killed in line of duty should be eligible for Elizabeth

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Police officers killed in the line of duty should be eligible for the Elizabeth Cross, senior officers have said.The Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) is calling for the change in a bid to heal the relationship between the Government and the police and “bring value back to the service.”It comes just less than a month after the death of Pc Andrew Harper, who was killed while responding to reports of a burglary in Berkshire.Chief Superintendent Paul Griffiths, president of the PSA, is expected to ask Priti Patel, the Home Secretary to consider the change and to try to influence the decision.The Elizabeth Cross is one of the highest honours for military personnel killed in action and is awarded to victims’ next of kin. He wants the government to face up to “the human cost” of the cuts and will say: “The cost of running the service has been shifting from the organisation to the individual and this is not acceptable or fair.”Referring to officer safety, Mr Griffiths will warn that officers are “suffering as victims of their own dedication”.”These are the people we need to support and we owe them the promise of a commitment to change, support and value,” he will add.Officer numbers at the rank of superintendent have been cut by 25 per cent since 2010, according to the PSA, making it the worst affected rank across the police force.Three-quarters of members said they had experienced an increased workload in the last 12 months, with the average superintendent working 53 hours a week – 50 per cent more than the UK average.Mr Griffiths will call upon the Home Secretary to increase the number of superintendents as part of the plan to boost police numbers by 20,000. The commemorative emblem was created in 2009 to recognise the challenges that service personnel face on operations and from terrorism, and the particular burden this places on their families. It can be awarded in memory of personnel who have died since the Second World War.The subject is on the agenda at the PSA’s annual conference in Stratford-Upon-Avon which begins on Monday.Mr Griffiths will open the event with a plea to Ms Patel to “heal” the relationship between the government and the police after years of spending cuts. PC Andrew Harper PC Andrew HarperCredit:PA read more

Letter Until Parker is removed Communities Ministry will be deemed

Dear Editor,The Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) is concerned that Carl Parker is still allowed to fully assume office as Regional Executive Officer (REO) for Region 9.Pursuant to the multiple allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him by female workers in the region, and after two (2) long years of outcry, petitions and denunciations by the people of the Rupununi and GEPAN, Parker was finally charged on February 8, 2017, and brought before Judge Judy Latchman. Released on bail set at GY $200 000, he is scheduled to return to Court on February 16, 2017.Minister Bulkan promised to have Parker “immediately” removed from his functions following the charges of sexual assault laid against him. Minister of State Joseph Harmon, later confirmed the removal of Parker during the legal process by the Communities Ministry, during a press conference held two days ago.However, confirmation has reached our organisation that Parker currently still operates in his full capacity as REO for Region 9. Reports also indicate that Parker is encouraging the politicisation of his judicial process by gathering on-the-ground supporters to verbally harass the victim and her entourage in public.GEPAN believes that enough time has been granted for Parker to hand over the documents, keys and other assets in his possession before removing himself from the seat of REO. It is also our firm belief that allowing him to continue his mandate under the pretext that a new REO has not yet been appointed, is utterly irresponsible of the Communities Ministry.Further, permitting a senior political appointee and regional official currently being judged for sexual assault, to operate with such impunity, is demonstrative of the blatant disregard by authorities for the Law, and is equally disrespectful towards the victim who works in the same professional environment as Parker.Parker’s presence at the work place intensifies the malaise felt by the victim and workers, and can result in further emotional and psychological trauma. If this is not remedied immediately, any further trauma suffered by the victim may rightfully be imparted to the responsibility of the Communities Ministry.We urge Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan to put an abrupt end to this anomaly and let the Law take its course in bringing justice to the victim. Until he is removed from the office of REO, the Communities Ministry will continue to be deemed complicit in the tyranny and suffering inflicted upon the victim (s) and the Rupununi people by Carl Parker.Yours truly,The Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEmbattled Parker was still on the job long after Bulkan said he was interdicted from dutyJune 2, 2017In “latest news”Region 9 REO granted bail for sexual assault chargeFebruary 9, 2017In “Court”Residents lobby for Region 9 REO to be firedApril 16, 2016In “latest news” read more

NTFC says street dwellers to be relocated

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedInter-ministry teamwork to remove vagrants from Parliament Building environsJuly 13, 2016In “Local News”CH&PA plans to have all squatters relocated- CEOMay 15, 2018In “latest news”Patterson announces major road rehabilitation for Region 6July 25, 2016In “latest news” The National Task Force Commission (NTFC) is hoping to work with the relevant stakeholders to have street dwellers documented and assessed by professionals with the aim of relocating them.The NTFC is also seeking to provide street dwellers with counselling and therapy, and begin a process of rehabilitation. This exercise will commence by the last quarter of this year.Vagrants occupying the pavement at the Parliament.NTFC Chairman, retired Major General Joseph Singh, has said the National Committee has already begun work, and has been evaluating persons living on the streets to determine whether they are to be placed into shelters or drug rehabilitation centres.“To the extent of persons living on the streets, whether they are street dwellers or mentally challenged… The National Committee did some pilot work with trained therapists and psychiatrists from the Ministry of (Public) Health, to determine what type of therapy and welfare management would be appropriate for the categories,” Singh told journalists on Friday.According to Singh, it is a norm for persons to be taken off the streets, but they manage to find themselves back there in a matter of hours.“Persons, in the past, have been removed from the pavement, taken to the night shelters, cleaned up, and given all that they need; but the next day they are back on the very pavements. If you visit some of those persons, you will see that that is there home,” he said.He said there are some homeless persons who are intelligent, while there are others who prefer to be homeless even though they have families.He said that now that the Hugo Chavez Centre in Berbice is up and running, the NTFC would be working closely with the Social Protection Ministry to see how many persons could be relocated there, along with the Phoenix House which deals particularly with drug rehabilitation.Singh opined that homelessness is caused by many factors. “It has to do with the migration of a significant number of persons and people left here in the care of others. So the whole structure of the society needs to be retooled — restore that caring for the neighbour,” he said.He said many relatives are willing to take their family members back into the home, but it was found that those persons refuse to stay in the home.Meanwhile, regarding the project, Singh said the task force is currently getting together the relevant professionals to get the work started. He said a lot of pre- planning has to be done.The project will be based in Georgetown, and it is hoped that the experiences of this pilot project would inform future projects elsewhere.The issue of street dwellers has long plagued Guyana, and has received attention from many organisations over time. Earlier this year, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) announced that it was collaborating with the Anglican Diocese of Guyana to provide assistance to street dwellers and vagrants. It is unclear what has become of that plan.Vagrancy comes under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Protection, though there is scope for collaboration with other agencies.Back in 2015, then Minister of Social Protection (MSP), Volda Lawrence, had announced that the MSP would be working with a welfare committee to evaluate and possibly reintegrate the homeless into society.The committee comprised persons from the Ministry of Social Protection, Public Health, Public Security, Agriculture, and the Mayor and City Council.She had also acknowledged that there are those who use begging as a means to earn an income, even sending their children to beg. Saying that a programme has to be put in place to educate those individuals, Lawrence had pledged the Government’s support in tackling vagrancy.It is not clear what fruit this collaboration has borne, since begging and destitution, including among juveniles, remain fairly prevalent in the city. read more