Month: September 2019

Lakers Remain Kobe Bryants Team – He Says So

At 37, Kobe Bryant remains resolute about his role with the Los Angeles Lakers. “It’s my team,” he said as he begins his 17th NBA season.In other words, the arrival of perennial all-stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard changes nothing.“I got a question earlier about whose team this is,” Bryant told reporters at the Lakers media day Monday. “I don’t want to get into the, ‘Well, we share …’ No, it’s my team. But I want to make sure that Dwight, when I retire, this is going to be his. I want to teach him everything I possibly know so that when I step away this organization can ride on as if I never left.”That will be hard to do, but it’s a nice sentiment. The point is Bryant knows he he is nearing the end of his legendary career.As for Howard, who is less the serious person than Bryant, he said he is OK acquiescing and learning from Bryant.“I’m willing to go through that process, learn from one of the greatest to ever play the game and I think it will be great,” Howard said. “I think learning from a guy like Kobe, I know he’s going to be tough on me but I expect that and I want him to do that. So, I’ll take all the heat that he’s going to give me because I know at the end of the day that’s going to make me a better player and a better person and it’s going to make this team better.”According to Bryant, he wants to prepare Howard to become the face of the Lakers’ franchise — after Bryant walks away. He has two years left on his contract. Howard only has one year, but it is widely assumed that he will re-sign a max extension with the Lakers after the season.“This organization has done so much for me. I’m so thankful to them,” Bryant said. “That’s one of the conversations that (Lakers vice president of player personnel) Jimmy (Buss) and I had over the summer. It was like, ‘If you have the opportunity to get Dwight, get him because I want to see this organization continue to flourish and continue to be successful long after I’m gone.’ ”In the meantime, it’s Bryant’s team. He said so. read more

Denver Broncos Linebacker Von Miller Arrested

Denver Broncos’ Von Miller just can’t stay out of trouble.The linebacker, who is scheduled to appeal his four-game suspension for violating the NFL drug policy, was arrested Sunday for failure to appear in court. Miller posted a $1,000 bond and was released after he failed to appear in an Arapahoe County court for a traffic citation, Sheriff Dave Walcher told USA Today Sports.Miller was cited in October for driving without a license, having no proof of insurance, and careless driving. An arrest warrant was issued in January when the 24-year-old failed to appear for that court date.The team issued a statement Wednesday indicating they were aware of Miller’s latest incident.“We have been aware of the matter involving Von Miller’s failure to appear in court for traffic violations,” the Broncos said in a statement. “It was reported to the league earlier this week and is being handled through the legal system.”The Broncos had a day off from training camp Sunday so Miller’s arrest had no effect on the team’s practice. read more

Welcome To The 2018 World Series Where Even SalevsKershaw Turns Into A

BOSTON — Tuesday night was billed as one of the greatest pitching matchups in World Series history: Clayton Kershaw versus Chris Sale — two of the elite starters of their generation. On a cool night in Boston, a sold-out Fenway Park was well-aware of the pedigree of its foe and greeted the Los Angeles Dodgers ace with chants of “Ker-Shaaawww, Ker-Shaaawww,” drawing out the last syllable of his surname as he pitched. But the lyrical taunting was short-lived as Kershaw didn’t make it far into Game 1 — and neither did Sale, for that matter.We didn’t get a classic pitching duel. Instead, we received a heavy dose of 2018 baseball. And that style of play — namely bullpenning — favored the Red Sox en route to an 8-4, series-opening victory.Six Red Sox relievers combined to allow just one run over five innings, and Boston pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez broke the game open with a three-run homer off Dodger reliever Alex Wood in the seventh inning.That both of the starting pitchers lasted only four innings is telling of how quickly the game is changing. Tuesday marked just the fourth Game 1 — the game that often features a pair of aces — in World Series history in which neither starting pitcher recorded an out in the fifth inning. In the three previous occasions — in 1923, 1966 and 2004 — all but one of the starters allowed as many or more runs as Sale or Kershaw did in fewer innings prior to departing.1And that other starter — Baltimore’s Dave McNally in 1966 — had walked the bases loaded in the third inning before getting the hook. In other words, those starters had been battered. That wasn’t the case Tuesday. Instead, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Red Sox manager Alex Cora had their aces on short leashes.Teams have become aware of how performance typically declines the deeper a starter pitches into a game, and teams are also eager to try to gain righty/lefty platoon advantages when they can find them in the later innings. Teams also monitor fatigue, and Sale was somewhat taxed in throwing 91 pitches.During the 232-minute game Tuesday, the two clubs combined to use 12 pitchers, who threw a total of 308 pitches. Through Tuesday, relievers have accounted for 50.5 percent of innings this postseason, which would be a record. That mark is up 4 percentage points from last postseason (46.5 percent) and significantly from the 2010 playoffs (32.3 percent). While bullpens have taken on more and more work in the regular season, their usage and importance in the postseason is reaching unprecedented levels.Dodger infielder Brian Dozier said “anything goes” in the World Series. But the urgent, anything-goes practices employed Tuesday were carryovers from the regular season. In fact, the Dodgers have already faced the most extreme form of pitching game strategy this postseason.While some traditionalists have bemoaned the move toward bullpens, Red Sox reliever and Game 1 winner Matt Barnes told FiveThirtyEight in a cramped postgame clubhouse that he is all for this style of play.“I’m about whatever it takes to get wins in the World Series,” Barnes said. “How you do it? It doesn’t matter to me. You just have to win 11 games before anyone else does.”Cora began the Red Sox parade of relievers in the top of the fifth when he summoned Barnes out of the right-field bullpen to replace Sale, who had walked the lead-off batter, Dozier. Barnes, who has become a trusted setup man, allowed a single to Justin Turner, and Dozier later scored on a Manny Machado groundout to tie the score at 3.Kershaw entered the game with questions about his postseason performances and left with a career ERA of 4.28 in 145 postseason innings. He also continues to suffer from declining fastball velocity, as the pitch sat between 90 and 91 mph Tuesday. He relied heavily on his breaking pitches. Only CC Sabathia owns a worse ERA among pitchers who have made at least 15 postseason starts. While Kershaw was hit hard at times on Tuesday — including a 105.9 mph single and a 109.1 mph double off the bat of J.D. Martinez — he wasn’t helped by his surrounding cast, either. L.A.’s starting first baseman, David Freese, failed to catch a foul pop-up in the first inning. It wasn’t ruled an error but was a play that could have been made — and it might have cost the Dodgers two runs.Kershaw allowed three runs through four innings. After walking Mookie Betts and allowing a single to Andrew Benintendi to begin the fifth, he was was pulled from the game. Roberts called on Ryan Madson, who allowed both inherited runners to score to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead.More innings pitched by relievers requires lineups to remain flexible as offenses try to counter the platoon advantage gained by switching the handedness of pitchers. For instance, the Brewers had left-handed starter Wade Miley throw just five pitches in a start in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series before going to a right-handed-heavy cast of relievers against the platoon-heavy Dodgers. And on Tuesday, five of the six relievers that followed the lefty Sale were right-handed.In response to pitching strategies, Dozier joked Monday that the Dodgers have begun to pull hockey-style line changes in games. Los Angeles was the first club in World Series history to start nine right-handed batters with no switch-hitters. But by the seventh inning Tuesday, three L.A. lefties and a switch-hitter had joined the game, and only three Dodgers were playing positions they had occupied on the starting lineup card: Turner (third base), Machado (shortstop) and Yasiel Puig (right field).While the two managers traded chess pieces, it was Cora who seemed to win the most strategic battles, as he has done all October. He struck a decisive blow on Tuesday by pinch-hitting Nunez for left-handed hitter Rafael Devers when Roberts called the left-handed Wood into the game in the seventh.“Cora is prepared,” Barnes said. “Tonight is another example, pinch-hitting (Nunez). It’s a lot of fun playing for him. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”The Red Sox have won 116 games under Cora this season, a year in which the game seems to be changing so quickly. They are now three wins from a fourth championship this century.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

David Robertss Overworked Bullpen Is A Bad Omen For The Dodgers

Of the five teams who leaned on their bullpen most in the series since 2000, three went on to lose, and the Dodgers’ fate is still undecided. Only the 2002 Anaheim Angels came back, and they faced an opponent (in the San Francisco Giants) who employed their relievers even more frequently.That’s not to say that reliever usage is a death sentence. Oftentimes, it simply reflects poor starting pitching: Each of the teams who used their starters less than the Dodgers saw them give up more than a dozen runs. This underscores how unusual Roberts’s reliever usage has been because his starters, comparatively, have been quite good. Aside from Darvish’s clunker last night, the Dodgers had two of the best starts for their length in World Series history, from Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. If Roberts had allowed them to go deeper into games when they were dealing, the bullpen might be fresh now.Roberts didn’t help matters when he used his bullpen aggressively Friday night, attempting to keep Houston within striking distance. In total, the Dodgers manager called on five different relievers to end the game, and only one — Kenta Maeda — went longer than 2 innings. Combined with the workload from the previous two games, key relievers have been pitching almost as much as the starters. So far, Maeda has pitched 4 innings this series, and Brandon Morrow, the crucial bridge to closer Kenley Jansen, has pitched 2 2/3 innings as well. Jansen himself has pitched 3 full innings.But as ESPN’s Sam Miller pointed out, if the Dodgers had managed to come back, Roberts’s tactics would have been hailed as strategically brilliant. Like many other postseason managerial moves, the aggressive reliever usage is easy to criticize in hindsight but much harder to argue with in the moment. It might have been a good bet that failed to pay out, but the strategy still leaves the Dodgers depleted of bullpen arms at the time when they need them most. In contrast, Houston manager A.J. Hinch relied on only two pitchers to carry the Astros to victory: starter Lance McCullers and starter-turned-reliever Brad Peacock. Despite running into some high-leverage jams, they managed to hold a powerful Dodgers lineup to only three runs. Like Roberts’ decision, keeping McCullers in the game in the third inning with the bases loaded was a gamble. But Hinch’s call managed to pay off when Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager hit into an uncharacteristic double play.The Astros’ win leaves them with a 67 percent chance of taking the World Series. That’s far higher than our opening prediction, but it comes almost entirely from the two victories they’ve edged out over the Dodgers. The remaining games are all coin-flip affairs, so the importance of that extra win in an evenly divided series can’t be overstated. That it came down to two managerial decisions that might have gone either way speaks to how balanced this matchup is. Had one or two pitches gone differently, the Dodgers might be in a commanding position right now, instead of fighting to tie the Series. LA is taxing its bullpenTeams with the fewest innings pitched by starters in the first three games of the World Series, 2000-17 Angels200212.713 Source: Rockies200711.314 TEAMYEARINNINGSRUNS ALLOWED Dodgers201712.76 Cardinals200411.315 Giants200211.016 A poor start from Yu Darvish hurt the Dodgers early on Friday, and they never mounted a comeback. With the Astros now riding a 2-1 lead and two games left in Houston, the Dodgers are in trouble. In addition to their deficit, a pattern of heavy reliever usage might leave them understaffed in the remaining World Series games.Darvish didn’t have his best stuff Friday night. Despite impressive fastball velocity, his slider was unusually flat. Houston pounced on the normally dominant ace in the second inning, gaining a four-run lead. From then on, the Dodgers attempted to build a handful of unsuccessful rallies but only managed to score three runs.Darvish’s bad outing adds to two other shorter-than-necessary starts for Los Angeles and might leave the bullpen tired in the next two pivotal games in Houston. Even if the relievers were fine Friday, the pattern of short starts is a poor omen for the Dodgers. read more

Ohio State mens hockey prepares for homeandhome with Robert Morris

OSU then-sophomore forward Matthew Weis (16) tries to corral the puck during a face-off in a game against Michigan on Jan. 15. OSU won in a shootout. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Oller ReporterThe Ohio State men’s hockey team started the 2016-17 season with a bang, taking down then-No. 3 Denver on the road. Since then, the Buckeyes have continued to improve and are soaring up USCHO college hockey rankings heading into its two-game set against Robert Morris, starting Friday.No. 11 OSU took care of business last weekend with a sweep over Niagara University, scoring a combined 16 goals in two games. The two wins brought OSU’s record to 5-0-2, the first time the program has been undefeated through its first seven games since 1983-84. Junior forward Matthew Weis tallied six points in those two games against Niagara — two goals and four assists. Senior forward Nick Schilkey earned his first career hat trick as a Buckeye, and sophomore defenseman Tommy Parran had three points on the night, including two goals. Weis and Parran were named the conference’s first and third stars of the week, respectively.“It’s a great accomplishment,” Weis said. “My linemates played very well alongside me, so it’s a team award.”OSU has one of the most potent offenses in the NCAA. The Buckeyes lead the country with 99 points and rank third nationally with 4.86 goals per game. OSU has scored five goals in each of its last four games, one big reason being freshman forward Tanner Laczynski.The 6-foot-1, 191-pound winger has assimilated into college hockey with ease. He leads the team in points (11) and assists (8), making his line one of the most productive on the team. Laczynski has also garnered attention on the powerplay unit, scoring twice in the first seven games. He said that while the points are appealing on the stat sheet, it’s more about the team result for him.“Teams are not going to take us lighter anymore. I think that’s a good thing,” he said. “We’re going to start to get people’s best games, and that’s just going to make us better as a team and better for the future.”The Robert Morris Colonials are coming off of a split against Army, where Colonials freshman goaltender Francis Marotte made 26 saves on 27 shots, placing him in the top 10 in the country in save percentage at .946. Marotte is 2-1-1 in the net for coach Derek Schooley, but the Colonials are 0-2-0 without Marotte.In its own net, OSU senior goalkeeper Matt Tomkins has been unbeatable this season. He has kept OSU in several games, including an overtime tie at Miami. For the year, Tomkins has a .928 save percentage and is 4-0-2 between the pipes. For OSU to get past Marotte and provide support for Tomkins, special teams will play a large factor in the two-game set. Robert Morris ranks second to last in the NCAA in penalty kill, which serves as the perfect opportunity for OSU to assert its dominance on the powerplay, which is 8-for-26 through seven games.“We work on powerplay every week and (OSU coach Steve Rohlik) has been drilling into us that we’re not just given a spot,” Laczynski said. “You really have to work for it and it shouldn’t take him jumping on us in practice to realize that.”Robert Morris junior forward Brady Ferguson and sophomore defenseman Eric Israel lead the offensive attack of the Colonials. Ferguson leads the team with 10 points and Israel has already chalked up seven assists. The penalty kill of OSU is struggling at a rate of 78.9 percent. Coach Rohlik said that the team still has plenty of room to improve from its fast start, mostly on the defensive side of the puck.“When you start scoring a few goals, it starts affecting your overall game and you start cheating the game,” he said. “And I thought we did that this past weekend. You still got to play the right way.”OSU begins its two-game home-and-home on home ice at the Schottenstein Center. The puck will drop around 7 p.m. for the Buckeyes’ second home game of the year.The Ohio State Marching Band will perform Script Ohio on Ice during an intermission on Friday. read more

Softball sweeps away state competition

On the same day the NFL promoted breast cancer awareness, college teams from Ohio finished a softball tournament with the same purpose.The 19-team tournament at Fred Beekman Park ended with only two undefeated teams. The Buckeyes were one of them. The softball team won its first three games in dominating fashion: 11-1 against Dayton, 7-1 against Ohio and 10-1 against Kent State. Victories over Dayton and Kent State were ended by the mercy rule at the end of the fifth inning.OSU’s defense won its fourth game 5-2 against Bowling Green, and allowed just two runs from a home run in the third inning. The offense did not get started until the bottom of the fourth when freshman Julia Peccina hit a triple down the left field line to score freshman Brittany Mills. Peccina then scored a run on a single by senior Rebecca Schultz. One more run was added later in the fourth on a single by sophomore Katie Simonton to cap the three run inning. The Buckeyes took the lead back for good, and went on to win 5-2.“We’re pleased with the weekend … after only two weeks of practice,” said coach Linda Kalafatis. “We looked more comfortable and showed maturity. We took a great step in the right direction. This tournament gives us game experience to grow as a team.”Offensive numbers for the Buckeyes were impressive throughout the tournament. The team had a collective batting average of .390 with 13 extra base hits including six home runs. Senior Sam Marder led the team offensively with a .450 batting average, nine RBI and two home runs. The pitching staff had a 1.88 ERA while allowing only 20 hits. Senior Megan Miller and freshman Melanie Nichols carried the brunt of the load for the Buckeyes on the mound, combining for 19 strikeouts and walking only three batters.“Fall is all about getting freshmen ready and comfortable,” Kalafatis said.Freshman contribution was not only present on the mound with Melanie Nichols, but at the plate and on the field with Peccina and Megan Coletta. Peccina appeared in three games, starting two of them, and went 4-8 with two runs scored and three RBI. Coletta had a big weekend, going 4-10, including a home run and a double, with five RBI, She started all four games. Coletta also made a spectacular double play as the third baseman in the bottom of the fifth inning against Ohio. She dove to catch a low line drive down the third base line then threw to first base to double off the runner heading to second base.“The freshmen will contribute this season,” Kalafatis said.The money raised from the volunteer-run tournament benefits the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.Chris Spielman spoke at this year’s Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic to inform the participating women about the tournament, the Stefanie Spielman Fund and the precautions needed to deal with breast cancer, urging them all to be educated and know about their body. “While you’re playing softball, you might be savings someone’s life. … I promise you will make a difference,” Spielman said to the players. “What you give will grow, what you keep you lose.”Kalafatis was grateful for the overwhelming support from the crowd. “We had a good crowd and we are thankful for their support of this important event,” she said. read more

Tressel stirs together perfect bowl game mix

With a dash of Tresselball and a pinch of risky business, the Buckeyes finally found their recipe for bowl game success. All it took was a strong defense that has been around all season and a timely fourth-and-one conversion for the Buckeyes to step out ahead of the Oregon Ducks 26-17 in the 2010 Rose Bowl.Ohio State owns third downThe Buckeye defense held the Ducks to only two third down conversions in 11 attempts. They allowed Oregon just 12 first downs throughout the game. Junior Cameron Heyward said that all it took for the OSU defense to hold up Oregon was “Discipline. They are a great, high-powered offense but we knew we could hang with them,” he said.On the other side of the ball, quarterback Terrelle Pryor and the Buckeye offense dominated on third down conversions. They were successful for 11 of 21 attempts, and totaled 26 first downs, more than double that of Oregon. “It was pretty tough because every time we’d get late in the game, they’d get a third down [conversion]. It was frustrating,” said Kenny Rowe, Oregon linebacker and Defensive MVP of the Rose Bowl. “We’ve just got to get them off the field on third downs.”Ohio State ran 89 plays throughout the course of the game, the third-most in Rose Bowl Game history. Oregon ran 53 plays, the eighth-fewest number of plays in Rose Bowl Game history. The difference, 36 plays, is the second-most in the history of the game.Time of possession weighs on Ohio State’s sideAll year long, the Ohio State defense has spent most of the time on the field. “The offense did a great job to help out the defense. [The defense] has been carrying a lot this year,” Pryor said. “We’re just glad that we got out there and tried to help them out as much as we could.”And help they did, by holding the ball for more than 41 minutes, while asking the defense to cover quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and his squad for only 18 minutes, allowing them to rest in between bouts with the quick and up-tempo Oregon offense.When asked how they were able to stand up to that offense, coach Jim Tressel simply said, “We have an up-tempo defense.”Buckeyes slow down Oregon’s playmakersAll talk leading up to Friday’s game centered around the speed and unpredictable nature of Masoli and Oregon’s running backs. However, the Buckeyes were able to limit Masoli to only six carries for nine total yards, his lowest total all season.“I thought our [defensive] guys prepared extremely well,” Tressel said. “And we were going to make sure that [Masoli] wasn’t running scot-free.”Redshirt freshman LaMichael James led the Ducks in rushing with 70 yards on 15 carries, but fell far short of his average of 123 yards per game. Similarly, LeGarrette Blount, the highly touted back who was suspended for most of the season, was held to 36 yards on five attempts.Blount also fumbled at the 18-yard line late in the third quarter, which ended Oregon’s last drive deep into the red zone.Buckeyes succeed on fourth down attemptWith two minutes left on the clock in the first half, Ohio State was stuck on fourth-down with one yard to go and the score tied 10-10. Knowing that Oregon would receive the ball to start the second half, Tressel knew he had to try and score before halftime, he said. “[Oregon coach] Chip [Kelly] was calling timeouts before the half while we had the ball because he wanted it with a minute to go to try to get points for them,” Tressel said. “It was that kind of game that you knew every possession, every opportunity was going to be key.”The Buckeyes took the opportunity to convert on fourth-and-one and Brandon Saine succeeded in pushing the ball four yards to the Oregon 10-yard line to set up OSU for a field goal to give OSU the lead heading into the half. read more

Ohio State footballs Jake Stoneburner Jack Mewhort removed from scholarships

Ohio State redshirt senior tight end Jake Stoneburner and redshirt junior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort have been removed from their scholarships-at least until the end of the summer. In a statement released Friday night from Urban Meyer via an OSU department of athletics spokesperson, the two football players “will each be removed from athletic scholarship beginning with the summer term, and they will continue to be suspended from team activities until stipulations are successfully met.” “We are disappointed with the decisions made recently by two of our football players,” the release said, though, “(Stoneburner and Mewhort) will have an opportunity to return to the team in good standing following the summer session.” The decision comes nearly two weeks after Stoneburner and Mewhort were suspended June 3 after being arrested for obstructing justice. According to a police report from the Shawnee Hills Police Department, police said they spotted Stoneburner, Mewhort and a third person, Austin Barnard, urinating on what appeared to be an early childhood education school called The Oxford School near the Bogey Inn in Dublin, Ohio. After shining a bright light, police said the three suspects ran away. Police said they found Stoneburner and Barnard crouched between cars while Mewhort fled to a nearby wooded area before turning himself in after threatening to use a police dog. Stoneburner and Mewhort were expected to be starters under first-year football coach Urban Meyer. In 2011, Stoneburner caught 14 passes for 193 yards and had seven touchdown catches. Stoneburner was recruited out of Dublin Coffman High School. He has caught 37 passes so far in his career at OSU. Meyer listed Stoneburner after this year’s Spring Game on April 21 as one of his “top offensive playmakers.” Mewhort was a highly recruited prospect out of St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio. read more

Wrestling No 2 Ohio State returns home for matchup against No 14

Ohio State redshirt senior wrestler Bo Jordan battles Arizona State sophomore Zahid Valencia during a dual meet on Nov. 12. The Buckeyes won 31-12, but Jordan lost the match. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorComing off victories against Maryland and Rutgers, No. 2 Ohio State (8-0, 3-0 Big Ten) faces off against No. 14 Minnesota (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at 7 p.m. Friday at the Schottenstein Center.Minnesota defeated Michigan State Sunday, and has seven wrestlers on InterMat’s top 20 individual class rankings. One potential matchup that would highlight the night involves No. 4 Ethan Lizak of Minnesota, who will likely wrestle against Ohio State’s No. 1 Nathan Tomasello at 125 pounds.  “That’s probably the premier matchup of the night,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said.Tomasello made his season debut against Maryland, winning 18-2 by technical fall, but sat out the Buckeyes’ next meet against Rutgers. He missed the first couple months of the season with a right knee injury.Ohio State junior Te’Shan Campbell and Minnesota senior Nick Wanzek will square off at 165 pounds. They come in ranked 13th and 9th, respectively. Campbell lost to Rutgers’ No. 12 Richie Lewis by decision 5-2 in his last matchup.Redshirt sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes also lost by decision against Rutgers, when No. 12 Eleazar DeLuca got the best of him in a 12-7 decision. Hayes is No. 6 in the 149-pound division, and will likely face redshirt junior Steve Bleise Friday.  At 174 pounds, redshirt senior Bo Jordan looks to build off of his 3-0 win vs. Rutgers’ Joseph Grello. Friday’s meet marks the first of two meets at the Schottenstein Center. Usually the team’s home matches are at St. John Arena. “I haven’t wrestled in the Schott a whole lot since I’ve been in college, but a few times, and did a lot in high school, so it’s good to get back in that venue,” Jordan said.His brother, No. 6 Micah Jordan, will take on Minnesota’s No. 18 Jake Short at 157 pounds. “[Short’s] like a veteran, he’s been in the sport a while, so I’ll be pumped up for that match,” Micah Jordan said. Ohio State junior Joey McKenna will compete against Minnesota junior Tommy Thorn at 141 pounds. McKenna is coming off a win by major decision against Rutgers, and is a perfect 6-0 on the season. Both McKenna and Thorn are inside the top 11. “Every single week I’ve seen his progression, and Joey McKenna with energy? Watch out,” Ryan said.Ohio State sophomore Luke Pletcher will likely wrestle Minnesota sophomore Mitchell McKee at 133 pounds. The matchup between the two second-year wrestlers will be a chance for a pair of young up-and-comers to showcase their talents. Pletcher is already up to No. 2 and has yet to lose this season.  “They’ve seen each other before in high school. I don’t believe they’ve wrestled yet in college, but that will be a real big one for us at 133,” Ryan said.Ohio State completes its lineup with junior Myles Martin at 184 pounds, redshirt sophomore Kollin Moore at 197 pounds and senior heavyweight Kyle Snyder.Ohio State men’s wrestling team will finally be at full health, and is getting into the meat of its schedule, with dual meets coming up against No. 7 Iowa on Jan. 21 and No. 22 Purdue on Jan. 28 at the Jordan brothers’ former high school, St. Paris Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio. read more

Composer releases album of music for cats but does it work

first_img“We put on the music just a while ago and the cats just calmed down” 🐱🐱🐱 a lot of them are snoozing— Telegraph Trending (@TelegraphTrend) October 19, 2016 Tinkerbell is more interested in stealing the sandwiches for journalists than listening to the specially-composed cat music 🐱— Telegraph Trending (@TelegraphTrend) October 19, 2016 Victor was quite charmed by the cello! @music4cats— Lady Dinah’s Cats (@LadyDinahsCats) October 20, 2016 Other cats also came to investigate and sit by him as he played the music.Cats have differing personalities just as humans do, so while some were sent off to sleep by the music and others were less affected by it, and more interested in food and their toys.The same was found by University of Wisconsin researchers, who published their work in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science journal.They found the songs elicited positive reactions from 77 per cent of cats that heard them.The researchers wrote that “cats showed a significant preference for and interest in species-appropriate music”.’Music For Cats’ has proven hugely popular, with Mr Teie’s initial Kickstarter campaign raising over $200,000. More than 10,000 copies of the album have been sold. So, it turns out cats like music just as much as we do, and now this invention means they don’t have to be irritated by human music, as they now have tunes specially composed for them. A composer has released an album of music specifically for cats to enjoy  – and on Wednesday night, The Telegraph went to the launch, which was also attended by 15 cats.The music, composed by David Teie, a soloist with America’s National Symphony Orchestra, and released by Universal Music, simulates purring, heartbeats and “sympathetic cat noises”, to put felines at ease.He launched it at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Shoreditch, which is a cat cafe, and it appeared to go down a treat with some of the cats, who promptly fell asleep.9-month-old Tinkerbell was the exception to the rule, however, and was more interested in trying to steal the sandwiches laid out for journalists. This is David Teie who composed the music for cats 🐱— Telegraph Trending (@TelegraphTrend) October 19, 2016 Journalists and Wookiee the cat are listening to cat music 🐱🐱— helena horton 🐱 (@horton_official) October 19, 2016center_img He researched the hearing range of cats and sounds they enjoy, and sent the finished music to scientists to test.He explained: “This started as a test of my theory of how music can affect other species – I have taken music apart and put it back together again.”I’ve become a total animal nut! I no longer see humans as special – we are just another one of the species”. The music for cats sounded soothing, but the noises were slow and there wasn’t a catchy tune or melody like the music often played for humans in coffee shops.However, the cats did certainly seem to enjoy it. That is, until their food was brought out and they quickly ended their snoozes and ran to the food bowls.When the composer treated the audience to a live cello performance, Wookiee a large tabby tom cat took a front-row seat. The Telegraph asked Mr Teie whether cats snoozing to his tunes was an intended effect. “Yes, it is. The sounds are supposed to soothe cats and be on their wavelength.”I used different ‘purr’ instruments to create sympathetic expressions for cats. I also simulated kitten sounds and a suckling sounds they would have heard as their brains were developing.”As a violin simulates a woman’s voice, which is sympathetic for humans, so the cello simulates cat noises for cats”. He said he hasn’t yet managed to make noises which liven cats up – dance music for cats, that is – because our speakers don’t make noises which are high-pitched enough.Mr Teie is working on developing speakers which go above the wavelengths humans can hear, and to mimic the singing of mice, in order to make sounds which cats enjoy and also make them more lively.The composer and cellist said: “The cats have reacted like this because they have had to listen to human music their whole life – but this music is for them, and on their wavelength”. 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

Madonna has applied to adopt fouryearold twins called Stella and Esther reports

first_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. We have the file, we have everything, we have all the documentationMlenga Mvula Madonna performs onstage during the rally at the Women's March on Washington on January 21 Madonna has applied to adopt four-year-old twins called Stella and Esther from Malawi, reports have claimed. The singer, 58, is said to have appeared in court in Lilongwe, the capital city of the country, after filing an application to adopt on Wednesday. No further details regarding the identities of the children were released. But today, reports suggested she has filed to adopt two girls, who have allegedly been staying in an orphanage for two years.  Lucy Bandazi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, added to MailOnline, which disclosed the alleged names: “Madonna has lodged an application with the High Court to adopt two girls. They are aged four years old.”All the necessary paperwork is before the High Court and they will make the ultimate decision if the adoption can go ahead.”The Daily Telegraph has contacted representatives for Madonna for comment but has not yet received a reply. Mlenga Mvula, the judiciary spokesman, said: “We have the file, we have everything, we have all the documentation and the matter will be determined by the judge soon. If the court grants her an adoption order, she will have the twins this time around.” Claiming Madonna was trying to deliberately keep the details under wraps, he added: “We have no time to be lying to the general public when they know the truth of the matter.” center_img Madonna performs onstage during the rally at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21Credit:Kevin Mazur/WireImage Madonna, centre, tours the Mphandura orpahange near Lilongwe in 2013 Madonna, centre, tours the Mphandura orpahange near Lilongwe in 2013Credit:AP Photo/Thoko Chikondi The singer has so far denied claims that she is interested in adoption, telling US magazine People that she is in Malawi to check on a children’s hospital. “The rumours of an adoption process are untrue,” she said. “I am in Malawi to check on the children’s hospital in Blantyre and my other work with Raising Malawi and then heading home.” But on Thursday, government officials insisted that Madonna had filed documentation and said a judge would make a decision on her request soon. last_img read more

Theresa May set to be asked to send more troops to Afghanistan

first_imgTheresa May will host Nato’s general secretary in Downing Street and it is expected the UK will be asked to send more troops to Afghanistan.Jens Stoltenberg will meet the Prime Minister in Number 10 for talks ahead of a summit meeting of Nato leaders in Brussels on May 25.Leaders of Nato countries been told to think about their military levels in Afghanistan as the US looks to increase its presence by sending at least 3,000 extra troops.The US has written to Nato countries about the 13,000-strong presence in Afghanistan and “future contributions” will be considered at the Brussels meeting, a Nato official said.Around 500 British troops are already in Afghanistan in training and mentoring roles as the local security forces continue to battle the Taliban. “These requests are not targeted at only one nation, but are part of our force generation process which concerns all allies and partners.”As regards Afghanistan, it’s premature to discuss specific figures, as Nato leaders will discuss the mission at the May 25 meeting, with a further discussion on details by defence ministers in June.” The issue risks becoming caught up in the heat of the General Election campaign after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn suggested he would be prepared to turn down any Nato request for reinforcements.The Labour leader said “at the end of the day wars are not solved by the presence of foreign troops” as he called for a political solution to the violence in the war-torn nation, while vowing to “look at” any request.A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The UK keeps its contribution in Afghanistan under regular review to ensure it remains suited for the needs of the mission.”A Nato official said: “Nato regularly asks allies and partners to contribute forces for our missions and operations, for instance in Afghanistan and Kosovo. 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. Show more last_img read more

Royal harpist accused of sex assault on underage boy with her lover

first_img“She says she didn’t say something earlier because she feared her position as a musician would be damaged.”The trial, which is expected to last two weeks and is being overseen by Judge Rupert Overbury, continues on Thursday, when the victim is expected to give evidence. 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. Mr Carter added: “It was through Richard Barton-Wood that [the victim] met Danielle Perrett. He [the victim] remembers being taken to a hotel where they sat at a table, watching Danielle Perrett play the harp. The three of them also stayed together in a flat.”One at least one occasion, Mr Barton-Wood also allegedly got into bed with the pair to engage in sexual activity with both Ms Perrett and the teenage victim.Mr Carter said: “He recalls she smelled of roses. Afterwards, Richard Barton-Wood came into the room. He got into bed so [the alleged victim] was between them.”In the morning, [the alleged victim] had a shower. He was joined by Danielle Perrett and she performed oral sex on him.”The prosecutor told the jury of another occasion in which Perrett got into bed with the young victim.”The victim went to bed and after a while Danielle Perrett came into the bedroom,” said Mr Carter.”She got undressed and cuddled up to him. They then had sex. The victim said he was attracted to her and the sex was nice as well.” Prosecutor William Carter told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court: “He (the victim) was obviously too young to consent to what was happening. He described her as kind and gentle and says he felt safe around her. Her actions, pleasant though they seemed to him at the time, were unacceptable.” The church warden is accused of sexually abusing the boy on various occasions – including while camping and on a sailing trip.The jury heard how the former teacher would give the teenager money, and buy him cigarettes and alcohol, and sometimes they would smoke cannabis together.Mr Carter said: “Such sexual activity was not confined to the boat. The final occasion was one where he had tied his trousers to prevent them being removed and woke to find Barton-Wood trying to pull them down.”In 2001, the victim contacted Mr Barton-Wood, saying he wanted to meet to find out why he had done what he did, the court was told.In a statement, Mr Barton-Wood, of Wymondham, Norfolk, claimed he was being blackmailed.Mr Carter said: “He felt the email was in some way threatening. [The victim] said there were things he could say about him and Richard Barton-Wood felt he was being blackmailed.”There were subsequent phone conversations where he said he wanted money.”Ms Perrett, of Alpheton, Suffolk, was also contacted by the victim and she too claimed she was threatened.”She said she thought [the victim] was blackmailing her, although she had nothing to be blackmailed about,” said Mr Carter. “They both continue to deny that anything of this sort occurred. Ms Perrett and her former partner Richard Barton-Wood are accused of sexually abusing the teenage boy in the 1980's The renowned harpist is accused with her lover of sexually abusing a boy aged 14 Ms Perrett and her former partner Richard Barton-Wood (pictured) are accused of sexually abusing the teenage boy in the 1980sCredit:David Rose/The Telegraph The court heard how Mr Barton-Wood got to know the victim in 1984, while working as a substitute teacher at Claydon High School, while he was in a relationship with Ms Perrett. The world-famous harpist Danielle Perrett has been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy with her church warden lover.Ms Perrett, 59, who has performed for the royal family, including the Queen, first met the teenager after her partner Richard Barton-Wood, now 68, took him to watch her play the harp in a hotel recital.On Wednesday a court heard the recital signalled the start of a torrid affair between the three, lasting six months from March and September 1984.Now Ms Perrett, who has performed for four consecutive prime ministers and at Prince Phillip’s 70th birthday celebrations, stands accused of eight counts of sexual assault on a minor, while Mr Barton-Wood is accused of six offences of indecent assault, one of attempted buggery and one of attempted indecent assault.Both Ms Perrett and Mr Barton-Wood deny the charges.A jury at Ipswich Crown Court heard how after first meeting the teen at a hotel, Ms Perrett – who sat in the dock wearing a pink coat, a long cream-coloured dress, glasses and held a pink handbag – slept with him on multiple occasions at a flat in London where Mr Barton-Wood was also present. The renowned harpist is accused with her lover of sexually abusing a boy aged 14Credit: read more

Teen found hanged after mistakenly confessing to cheating on boyfriend in Snapchat

first_imgToxicology reports showed Miss Guy had taken cocaine while under the influence of alcohol. The hearing was told that the previous night she had been out with friends.Earlier, Miss Guy’s parents Martin and Deborah Guy told the inquest their daughter had previously self harmed and had been referred to healthcare professionals. Mr Hurst had previously told them their daughter had made comments to him about ending her life.Recording a narrative conclusion, coroner Alan Walsh said: “It is important to note that there was no evidence that Charlotte used cocaine in the past and no evidence that she was a regular user. On the balance of the evidence it is likely that she used cocaine in what I have described as the chaotic last 48 hours of her life. A girl of 17 was found hanged after she accidentally sent a Snapchat message to her boyfriend revealing she had cheated on him, an inquest heard.College student Charlotte Guy had intended her confession that she had slept with someone else to go to a friend, but she mistakenly sent it to 20-year-old Jack Hurst, who was away at university.After realising what she had done, Miss Guy sent a message to Mr Hurst saying: “Goodbye. Please forgive me”. In a final message, she wrote: “I love you – knowing that you hate me is enough.”Mr Hurst called police after reading the messages from his on-off girlfriend. He used Miss Guy’s Snapchat account to pinpoint her location, but her body was found near St John Rigby College in Wigan, Greater Manchester, where she had been studying healthcare.The Bolton hearing was told Miss Guy, who also worked poolside at a Total Fitness gym, was discovered dead on September 24 last year after she had been dating Mr Hurst for two years.In a statement, Mr Hurst – who is sitting exams at Newcastle University – said: “She text me to say that she wanted to talk. I said I was busy doing something and I would speak to her later. After this she sent me a Snapchat message that was meant for her friend but that she had sent to me instead. “The Snapchat referenced her sleeping with someone on the Saturday night. She told me that it wasn’t for me, and apologised and said she was a horrible person. She said that she wanted to talk and explain but I said that I didn’t feel like talking and to message me to say what she wanted to say.”At 17:11 I got a long text massage for her starting with ‘OK I think I get the point’. This message concerned me and I tried to call her but she didn’t answer. I got another message at 17:13 saying ‘it doesn’t matter. Goodbye. Please forgive me.’ The last message I got from her at 17:14 said: ‘I love you, knowing that you hate me is enough’.” He added: “I believed it had the usual ups and downs of young people both aged between 17 to 20. It is usual for these relationships to have its ups and downs – on one minute and off the next.”I know that it is typical of young people in a relationship. I accept that she was the one who ended the relationship, but it still would have had an effect on her.”I believed that I would have had an effect on Jack at the time and certainly affected him after finding out she died. I accept at the time she may have been under the influence of cocaine and some of the effects of that may have changed her behaviour and may have changed her state of mind. I believed she was a troubled young lady. The effect it will have on her family and friends is beyond imagination.” “But particularly important in the chaos what her mental state of mind in that period. As a non-regular user, it may have had a greater impact on her mind at that time.”Charlotte was 17 years of age when she died. She was at college, and her trigger points were work related stress of both college and work and domestic life with her boyfriend. That may well have been a factor to affect her state of mind. She was in a relationship with Jack Hurst for the best part of two years.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. Charlotte Guy Charlotte Guy had taken cocaine under the influence of alcohol, tests revealedCredit:Cavendish Press last_img read more

Poor rural broadband means elderly people in the countryside will miss out

According to Ofcom, rural areas make up the majority of the final five per cent of homes which are still unable to access superfast broadband. Newbuild houses are not keeping up with ambitious plans to connect the whole country to high-speed internet, with one in five rural homes built in the last three years not connected to superfast broadband, the LGA said. Rural areas are also poorly served by mobile coverage, with Ofcom’s most recent figures showing that only 60 per cent of rural homes and businesses can receive an outdoor 4G signal from all operators. Earlier this week the National Infrastructure Commission warned that rural areas risked being left out of plans to roll out high-speed fibre broadband across the country and urged the Government to subsidise its installation in areas where it is less economically viable for private companies. Health ministers have repeatedly spoken about the potential for technology to help care for older people, though others have raised concerns about data protection risks and the impersonal nature of a robot carer.  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. In a speech in March health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt said technology had a “potentially transformative role” in the future of social care. Earlier this week he said the UK would follow the example of high-tech Japan by introducing robot carers and virtual health coaches which can track someone’s health data while they are in their home, including monitoring their vital signs and analysing their habits. Cllr Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s people and places board, said: “Rural areas face a perfect storm. It is increasingly difficult for people to buy a home in their local community, mobile and broadband connectivity can be patchy, and people living within rural and deeply rural communities face increasing isolation from health services.” Poor rural broadband means elderly people living in the countryside will miss out on the healthcare revolution, local authorities have warned. Technology has been touted as the answer to social care shortfalls, but those most in need could be unable to access crucial at-home help – because rural internet is too slow. In a report about rural England the Local Government Association predicted that in non-city areas there would be 53 people aged 65 or over for every 100 working people aged 16 to 64 by 2039. It said people living outside cities were still struggling with slow internet, which could prevent them using smart devices which can monitor someone’s activity and alert family or carers if something goes wrong. The devices have been hailed as a way to allow older people to stay independent in their own home while reducing the need for expensive at-home carers. The report, by the LGA’s Post-Brexit England Commission, said there was “still an unmistakable digital divide in the country between urban and nonmetropolitan areas”. “The Commission has also received evidence from areas that some of the most significant savings within healthcare costs lie in the development of technologies that will allow rural communities to be looked after with smart devices, negating some of the need for outreach services. “However, as detailed previously, issues with digital connectivity in non-metropolitan areas remain a barrier to their implementation on a wider scale,” it added.  read more

Carmaker hits trouble with advert that takes pot shot at hunting

Stewart Abbott, from Belper, in Derbyshire, added: “Well done Seat UK for looking forward. It really should be in the past.”In a response to criticism of the advert the Spanish car manufacturer stated: “The ‘Because Them, us’ advert  is all about the strength of the individual. Seat UK supports and encourages those who contribute to a more inclusive society and the metaphors in this advertisement reflect that, encouraging people to move forwards in life and make a positive contribution to society. It features art by Jonathan Calugi created in association with the mental health charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).”Mr Calugi added: “The idea behind the artwork is that we are all connected and helping each other.” The Countryside Alliance said that the advert should not have been given approval, claiming it breaches rules banning political advertising. A spokesperson said: “We are surprised that Clearcast saw fit to ban Iceland’s Christmas Rang-Tan advert, but let this clearly political advert air.  “When this advert first aired over the festive period, hundreds of thousands of people attended meets to show their support for hunts up and down the country. “It is a shame Seat have gone out of their way to alienate so many potential customers, as well as anyone else who wants to see advertising free of subliminal political messages.”A number of Seat owners have also criticised the advert for it’s representation of the hunting community.Graham Atkinson, from Cumbria, wrote to Seat on Twitter: “I have just seen your advert describing the tradition of Fox Hunting as ‘Backward’. Your quote: ‘Because they look back’, can someone please explain this? I take part in Countryside pursuits, and own a Seat Ibiza. I may now rethink my decision on this.”Francesca Jones, from Crewe, added: “I don’t take part in country pursuits but don’t shame those who do. I own a SEAT too. Feel like I need to watch the advert again to see who else they are slagging off.”However others defended its stance. One Scottish environmental activist said: “Thanks immensely Seat UK for your bravery, morality and catching feelings of vast majority in posting the anti-hunting ad. Seeing wildlife free enhances health of so many of us.” 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. Car manufacturer Seat have been accused of “political advertising” after they used footage of fox hunting in an advert to represent “backwards” attitudes.The advert, released last month, is titled ‘Because them, us’ and is themed around the idea of challenging the conventions of the past.It contrasts a series of more traditional scenes with alternatives, such as commuting versus working on a laptop outdoors and a dinner party versus a food truck. One of the juxtapositions sees footage of a group of fox-hunters with hounds, with the words “Because they look back” emblazoned over it, contrasted with a group of young adults walking across a bridge with the message “We move forward”. This has prompted an angry response from some in the hunting community. Country Life writer Octavia Pollock tweeted: “The ad is absolutely disgusting. Intolerant, prejudiced, ignorant. “Never buy Seat UK, not a brand for any open-minded person with respect for the ways of life millions hold dear, not to mention great art & reasoned debate. Just fostering division.” read more

Jihadi Jacks parents spared jail after being found guilty of funding terrorism

Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said the Crown would not seek a retrial and asked for the charge to lie on file.There were gasps in the public gallery but defendants made no reaction in the dock.The court had heard how Jack Letts left the family home in May 2014 and embarked on what his parents saw as a “grand adventure” to learn Arabic in Jordan.Before his departure, a friend of the teenager had tried to warn his parents about his growing extremism and urged them to confiscate his passport.From Jordan, Jack Letts moved to Kuwait and married Asmaa, the daughter of a tribal elder, in Iraq before travelling on to Syria. A post on Facebook by Jack LettsCredit:PA Lane told jurors she was “horrified” when he rang her to say he was in Syria in September 2014.She said: “I screamed at him, ‘How could you be so stupid? You will get killed. You will be beheaded’.”John Letts begged his son to come home, telling him: “A father should never live to see his son buried.”He went on to accuse him of being a “pawn … helping spread hatred, pain, anger, suffering and violence”, jurors heard.In early 2015, police raided the family home and warned the defendants not to send any property or money to their son.Jack Letts ranted about it to his parents, saying police would “die in your rage”.In July 2015, he posted on Facebook that he would like to perform a “martyrdom operation” on a group of British soldiers, and threatened to behead his old school friend Linus Doubtfire, who had joined the Army. Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC sentenced John Letts and Lane to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months “in the very special circumstances of this case”.He said: “It was one thing for parents to be optimistic about their children and I do acknowledge he is your son who you love very much. But in this context you did lose sight of realities”He told the couple: “The warning signs were there for you to see. He said that they were “intelligent adults” and set aside their suspicions to “please your son”. Jack Letts aka Jihadi Jack pictured in SyriaCredit: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. The parents of a Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack have been spared jail after being found guilty of funding terrorism after sending money to their son.Organic farmer John Letts, 58, and former Oxfam fundraising officer Sally Lane, 57, refused to believe their 18-year-old son Jack had become a dangerous extremist when they allowed him to travel, the Old Bailey heard.They ignored repeated warnings he had joined Islamic State in Syria and sent – or tried to send – a total of £1,723 for him despite being told by police three times not to.Prosecutor Alison Morgan QC said the couple, from Oxford, “turned a blind eye to the obvious” – that their son had joined the murderous terrorist group by the time they sent £223 in September 2015.The defendants claimed their son, who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, was trapped in Raqqa and by December 2015 when they tried to send more funds, they were acting under “duress” fearing he was in mortal danger.A jury deliberated for nearly 20 hours to find the defendants guilty of one charge of funding terrorism in in September 2015 but not guilty of the same charge in December 2015.Jurors were discharged after they were unable to decide on a third charge relating to an attempt to send money in January 2016. When challenged by his parents, he said: “I would happily kill each and every one of Linus Unit personally… I honestly want to cut Linus head off.”Ms Morgan said it was “ridiculous” to claim the message had been posted by someone else using Jack Letts’s account, because he even knew the name of the family cat. A post on Facebook by Jack Letts At the time, Lane conceded in a message to her son it was “naive of us to believe” he was not a fighter.The defendants also consulted an academic expert who told them it was “highly improbable” that Jack Letts had not engaged in military activity, the court heard.In spite of the mounting evidence, Lane sent £223 after Jack Letts gave her his word the money would have “nothing to do with jihad”.Police followed up with a second warning, telling Lane that “sending money to Jack is the same as sending money to Isis”.But in December 2015, Jack Letts began indicating he would like to leave Syria and told of a “big misguidance in the state”.John Letts told a family liaison officer that Jack Letts was “desperate to get out” and in “danger”, and was advised he could send him money to leave.The advice was quickly corrected and the defendants were issued with a written notice stating: “The police do not endorse or authorise the sending of any monies to Jack Letts.”Lane told her son: “We know you are in danger so we feel we have no choice but to help you and send it.” But when she asked him to spell out the danger he was in, Jack Letts responded: “Define danger.”She went on to attempt two money transfers which were blocked, and the defendants were arrested.John Letts declined to give evidence, but his barrister Henry Blaxland QC told jurors the prosecution was “inhumane to the point of being cruel”.He said: “These parents have to all intents and purposes lost their son. They are having to deal with the trauma.”The jury was not told that father-of-one Jack Letts, now aged 23, is being held by Kurdish authorities in northern Syria accused of being a member of IS.Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes said the conviction sends a clear message, adding: “It’s not for us to choose which laws to follow and which not to and when it’s OK to break the law.”She said investigators had a “huge empathy” for the Letts family, adding: “Fundamentally John Letts and Sally Lane are not bad people.”It’s hard to imagine the kind of agony they must be going through because of the choices their son made.” Jack Letts aka Jihadi Jack pictured in Syria read more

Electric skateboard crash kills man just weeks after YouTube star dies on

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. Emily Hartridge, who became the first person in Britain killed in an electric scooter crash In a crackdown following her death Metropolitan Police officers caught 100 illegal e-scooter riders in London.The Metropolitan Police said that people caught driving the scooters are usually given a warning, but 10 were fined and had their vehicles seized in the crackdown across the capital.E-scooters are similar in design to a traditional child’s scooter but are powered by an electric motor and can reach speeds of more than 30mph. A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “We are appealing for witnesses after a man was seriously injured while riding an electric skateboard in Stoke Row, Oxfordshire.”The incident happened on the main road, which is unnamed, in the village of Stoke Row on Wednesday, July 17 at about 7.30pm.”The victim, a 38-year-old man, was riding his skateboard when it is believed he fell from it, causing him a serious head injury.”He was taken to hospital by air ambulance for treatment where he remains in a serious condition.”Investigating officer, Police constable Mark Dunne, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “I am appealing to anyone who saw this incident, or who saw the victim using his skateboard prior to the collision, to get in touch.”I would also like to speak to any drivers who have dash-cam footage relating to the incident. If you can help, please call Thames Valley Police on 101.”Grant Salmon, the bar manager of the Cherry Tree Inn in Stoke Row, paid tribute to Mr Visser, describing him as “a lovely guy”.He said: “He used to come in regularly and buy everyone drinks, including the staff after they had finished their shifts. Metropolitan Police officers in Islington, London, talk to people about the risk of riding e-scooters, which are currently illegal to use on public highways, including pavements. A man has died in hospital after being seriously injured when his electric skateboard crashed in Oxfordshire, raising further concern over the use of electrified scooters and boards.Bradley Visser, 38, was taken to hospital by air ambulance after suffering a serious head injury when he crashed on July 17, but died of his injuries ten days later – becoming the first person thought to have been killed while riding an electric skateboard.The crash happened while Mr Visser, from Stoke Row, near Henley-on-Thames, was riding along the main road through the village. It is not thought that any other vehicles were involved.Mr Visser’s death has once again thrown the spotlight on small motorised vehicles, such as e-scooters and skateboards, with police and Government officials repeating warnings to users that they are illegal on public roads and pavements. Along with electric skateboards they are increasingly being used for short journeys in a number of cities in Europe and the US, but can only be used legally on private land in the UK.The Department of Transport last night repeated its warning about the use of electric scooters and skateboards.It stated: “It is illegal to use a powered transporter in spaces which are set aside for use by pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders. This includes on the pavement and in cycle lanes.“Any person who uses a powered transporter on a public road or other prohibited space in breach of the law is committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted.” “He would always have some fun, he would talk to anyone pretty much. He would either come himself or with his family. His widow came in when he was in hospital putting a brave face on it, it’s a terrible thing.”I used to see him riding the skateboard to and from work, but he would never bring it to the pub.”Another neighbour said she frequently saw him on his skateboard or driving around the village in a go-kart style buggy. “It’s sad it’s come to this,” she said.The use of battery powered scooters and similar devices has become increasingly fraught in recent weeks, following the death of TV presenter Emily Hartridge while riding one in south London.The 35-year-old YouTube star became the first person in the country to be killed while riding one after she was struck by a lorry in Battersea last month. Metropolitan Police officers in Islington, London, talk to people about the risk of riding e-scooters, which are currently illegal to use on public highways, including pavements.Credit:Yui Pok/PA Emily Hartridge, who became the first person in Britain killed in an electric scooter crash E-skateboards, which cost upwards of £900, are powered by a small electric motor attached to the rear wheels, which is controlled by a wireless handheld remote, and can reach speeds of 25mph.Thames Valley Police said it was carrying out investigations into Mr Visser’s death on behalf of the coroner, and his next-of-kin were being supported by specially trained officers.Mr Visser, a specialist furniture maker, is understood to have been a married father of two, originally from South Africa. His Facebook page carried several photographs of skateboards. read more

CPL 2017 Shadab guides Knight Riders home in thriller

Trinbago Knight Riders 120-6 (Shadab 30*, Searles 29*, Shillingford 4-22) beat St Lucia Stars 118-4 (Fletcher 40, Sammy 25, Cooper 3-21) by six wicketsTrinbago Knight Riders celebrating the fall of a wicket (CPL T20 photo)An innings of great maturity on a testing pitch by the 19-year-old Shadab Khan alongside Javon Searles guided Trinbago Knight Riders to a thrilling four wicket victory against St Lucia Stars in Match 6 of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League.After the Knight Riders had restricted the Stars to 118 for 9 it seemed as if they had the match won. However, a fantastic spell of bowling from Shane Shillingford reduced the Knight Riders to 52 for 5 on a turning pitch that demanded a partnership of great responsibility from Shadab and Searles who inch-by-inch, marshalled the Knight Riders towards their target.Eventually they got there in a flourish as Searles clubbed back-to-back sixes before two balls later guiding a four to complete the chase, but they were made to work bitterly hard before then by some tight bowling.Brendon McCullum and Sunil Narine had got the Knight Riders off to a typically quick start, Narine slamming a straight six before McCullum hit three of his own with some scintillating shots. After three overs they had 35 runs on the board but the trouble was their aggressive approach had cost them three wickets: Narine, McCullum and Colin Munro all back in the dugout.It was not until the Knight Riders lost two more wickets: Darren Bravo—bowled when trying to cut and Denesh Ramdin—bowled by a quicker one, that the home team appeared to adjust their approach. By that point they had been reduced to 52 for 5 and Shillingford had taken four wickets.When Dwayne Bravo’s brief resistance was ended by a searing yorker from Mitchell McClenaghan, the Knight Riders were 75 for 6 and the Stars were favourites for the first time in the match.However, it was that wicket that brought together Shadab and Searles who combined brave boundary attempts with sensible placement and busy running to take the Knight Riders home.Earlier in the evening Trinbago bowled brilliantly after winning the toss to restrict the Stars to just 118 for 9.Slow left arm spinner Khary Pierre opened the bowling and started with a maiden to Johnson Charles. With the first ball of the third over Pierre trapped Charles lbw with one that didn’t turn.After Pierre had bowled his four overs straight through—finishing with 1 for 15—it was the medium pace of Kevon Cooper that made the second breakthrough, finding Kamran’s edge with an off cutter.Two boundaries from Fletcher off Dwayne Bravo’s first over—the ninth—were the last moments of joy for the Stars before a brilliant middle-over squeeze begun. It took the Stars 52 more balls to find the boundary again as Shadab, Narine and Cooper bowled with exemplary control.The final four overs of the innings brought 35 runs and four wickets as the Stars desperately hit-out. That only ten of those runs came from boundaries was indicative of the nature of the pitch. The TKR spinners—Pierre, Shadab and Narine—finished with 3 for 48 across their 12 overs, while Cooper took 3 for 21. Bravo and Ronsford Beaton’s four overs cost 43. Little did they know quite how challenging a target 119 would prove to be. (CPL T20) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCPL 2017: Shadab shines in nervy Knight Riders winAugust 8, 2017In “latest news”CPL 2017: Tournament’s most consistent teams vie for biggest prizeSeptember 9, 2017In “latest news”Umar Akmal denies Zouks perfect home record at Hero CPLJuly 26, 2016In “Sports” read more

Appeal Court upholds former officers dismissal

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice Sergeant slapped with 12 fraud chargesAugust 13, 2018In “Court”Appeal Court throws out Bisram’s request for DPP to withdraw murder caseJuly 31, 2018In “Court”NBS wrongful dismissal case: After 6-year wait compensation should be swift- LuckhooJuly 20, 2017In “Court” Appeal Court Justices Dawn Gregory, Rishi Persaud and acting Justice Dr Arif Bulkan upheld the 2013 decision of High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds who ruled that the June, 15, 2002 dismissal of police corporal Patrick Austin was fair.He was dismissed via a letter signed by the then Police Commissioner Floyd McDonald after Austin was found guilty by disciplinary action of receiving a bribe. Austin was the subordinate officer in charge of the licencing and certifying office in Anna Regina, Essequibo back then.According to the case file, the police force received an anonymous letter in January 2001 from a concerned citizen with claims that Austin solicited a bribe to obtain a driver’s licence in the year 2000.Investigations later revealed that he obtained $50,000 from Abdul Khan to secure two driver’s licences,The ex-corporal implicated in the illegal act was informed of the investigation in November 2001.He took his case to the High Court but after Justice Reynolds ruled against him, he appealed.However, according to the Appellate Justices, while there may been procedural lapses in the conduct of the investigation, the purpose of the Police Discipline Act was exercised in Austin’s matter.The Appeal Court affirmed Justice Reynolds’s May 2013 decision. read more