Youd Have To Be Pretty Dumb To Fix A Tennis Match This

If suspicions that a mixed-doubles match was fixed at the Australian Open on Sunday prove true, it could go down in the gambling annals as the dumbest fix in sports history. Many of the telltale signs of match-fixing are indeed present; to a large degree, however, the stupidity of fixing a match now is just as strong a reason to doubt it happened.Pinnacle Sports suspended betting before a mixed-doubles match in which Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot faced the Spanish pair of Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero. Even though it looked on paper like a close matchup, with all four players experienced and highly ranked in doubles, most bettors backed Hlavackova and Kubot, even after the books shifted the odds to promise a bigger payout if Arruabarrena and Marrero won. And volume was heavy for mixed doubles, which many players treat more like an exhibition than like a meaningful match.After Hlavackova and Kubot won easily, 6-0, 6-3, all four players were questioned by journalists — a rarity in mixed doubles, especially in the first round. Kubot, facing more reporters than he did after winning the 2014 Australian Open men’s doubles title, said Arruabarrena and Marrero “were trying 100 percent.” The Spanish pair also dismissed the idea that they fixed the match. The New York Times put its story about the match on its home page Sunday, sent out a news alert and ran the print version on the front page Monday.The prominence given to the story by the Times is prima facie evidence for why this would be such a dumb fix. Since BuzzFeed News and the BBC published an investigation a week ago into accusations that tennis authorities aren’t doing enough to stamp out corruption in the sport, journalists have been focused on the possibility of match-fixing — and getting a piece of the story — like never before.Meanwhile, pressure is on tennis authorities to show they are taking the problem seriously, making it a bad time to try to slip something past them. Hlavackova and Kubot said at their post-match news conference that they’d already been contacted by the Tennis Integrity Unit, a joint initiative of tennis governing bodies that is tasked with fighting corruption in the sport.Grand Slam tournaments in particular have more officials on site than other events and far more journalists — an order of magnitude more than some of the tennis tour’s smallest stops. And for reporters at Slams, it’s easy to watch matches — tune your television to any court while the match is in progress, or access video of many matches after the fact. Doubles matches at other events usually aren’t televised at all. The Times story included a detailed account of the match that would be difficult to produce if a reporter were chasing reports of suspected fixing at a smaller tournament — such as many of the matches mentioned in the BuzzFeed-BBC report.Grand Slams also are more lucrative than other events. Although mixed doubles is worth less in prize money than men’s or women’s doubles — and doesn’t earn players ranking points — a win would have netted Arruabarrena and Marrero 2,250 Australian dollars ($1,570 U.S.) more each than their loss did. And they’d have had the chance to win 78,500 Australian dollars each if they went on to win the title. That’s not bad for doubles, where purses generally are far smaller than in singles.By losing, Arruabarrena and Marrero also miss chances to compete together and impress their national tennis federation. That matters because another mixed-doubles tournament is coming up this summer, one that should be easier to win yet matters far more than an exhibition. Just 16 pairs will get into the mixed-doubles event at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, meaning it will take just four wins to get gold, or three to win silver or bronze. Arruabarrena and Marrero are ranked in the top 35 in women’s and men’s doubles, respectively, which gives them a shot at making the Spanish Olympic team. Here’s one sign that mixed doubles matters more to pros this year: There are 12 pairs in the 32-team Australian Open draw made up of two players who represent the same country, up from just seven last year.At this site, we often try to use Bayesian thinking. That means we try to estimate the probability of something being true — our prior — and then update it as we gain new information. My Bayesian prior after match-fixing became the dominant tennis topic last week is that we were unlikely to see actual match-fixing with scrutiny so high, and that any suspected match-fixing was likely to be something else. How much should reports about the suspicious mixed-doubles betting change my beliefs?On the one hand, perhaps quite a bit. Betting on the match really did look funny. Tennis bettors and betting analysts told me that volume on the match — both in terms of the raw number of bets and overall liability — was far heavier than usual for mixed doubles, though the maximum bet at Pinnacle was just $500 at its peak, making it tough to turn too large a profit. And several Marrero doubles matches last year had unusual betting movements, the Times reported. So my Bayesian prior for a Marrero match being fixed might be higher.“It’s a strange one,” Ian Dorward, a London-based tennis bettor who used to set and adjust tennis betting lines for a bookmaker, said in an email. It “would be a really stupid time to fix it, but maybe he just does not care.” Dorward added, “Either way, it is this type of thing that the TIU should be investigating.” (The TIU doesn’t comment on details of its work.)On the other hand, as I wrote last week, betting data alone isn’t enough to identify match fixers. There are many other plausible explanations. One that Marrero offered is that he’s injured and that someone in his or his partner’s camp might have let that information slip. Or at a tournament with thousands of fans on the grounds, one could have seen Marrero struggle in practice or in his men’s doubles match, which he’d already lost. The video clips embedded in the Times article from the match hardly are conclusive evidence that Marrero wasn’t trying.There’s so little data on mixed doubles that it’s not surprising that bookies who often struggle to set opening odds for singles matches might miss big on mixed. Players’ lifetime match records in mixed doubles aren’t readily available and often include just a couple of dozen matches. “With only four mixed doubles events annually, it’s easy to get the opening prices wrong,” Scott Ferguson, a sports gambling consultant, wrote in an email. Odds at Pinnacle for at least two earlier mixed-doubles matches moved by even more.It could be that bettors noticed before bookies did that Marrero simply stinks at mixed doubles. As the Times reported, he has now lost his last 10 mixed matches and is 7-21 in his career. “Normally, when I play, I play full power, in doubles or singles,” Marrero told the Times. “But when I see the lady in front of me, I feel my hand wants to play, but my head says, ‘Be careful.’ This is not a good combination.” read more

OKC Wins In San Antonio Takes Control Of Series

Kevin Durant has OKC on top right now.A week ago, many observers were anointing the San Antonio Spurs as the eventual NBA champions. They were unspectacular, but sharp, and had won 20 games in a row, including two to open the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.Now, the Spurs look like a team on the way out, passed swiftly and deftly by a young Thunder team that was, as TNT analyst Steve Kerr astutely noted Monday night, “growing up before our eyes.”That might sound trite, but it also was completely apropos considering what OKC did in Game 5 Monday night in San Antonio. In short, the Thunder stunned the Spurs, 108-103 to take a 3-2 series advantage.OKC can advance to the NBA Finals for first time since moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle three years ago with a victory in Game 6 Wednesday night at home in a game that will have the city on fire.Monday, OKC confirmed that it has figured it out. It was one thing to come together and win Games 3 and 4 at home. But to go into the AT&T Center and play with enough poise and share the basketball, well, it signaled another level of maturity – and that was all the young and athletic team has been missing.“They are hard to guard, talented, hungry, athletic,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought we spotted them 24 minutes. We didn’t compete in the first half and they competed for 48 minutes. . . We don’t get that straight, it’ll be over on Wednesday.”Again, it was Kevin Durant (27 points) who led OKC’s surge, with a huge hand from Sixth Man of the Year James Harden. After getting just one shot in the first two quarters, Durant, the superstar forward, erupted in the third and fourth quarters, fashioning an array of shots. The Thunder overcame a slow start to both halves of the game with explosiveOKC led by 14 in the fourth quarter after a four-point play by Harden (20 points). It looked to be over then, but suddenly Oklahoma City reverted to point guard Russell Westbrook (23 points, 12 assists) dribbling aimlessly around the perimeter, stalling the offense.San Antonio took advantage and scored 11 straight to cut it to 101-99 with 1:37 to play. Westbrook and Tim Duncan (18 points, 12 rebounds) traded baskets before the biggest shot of the night – a step-back three-pointer with 28.8 to play by Harden to put the Spurs in front, 106-101.Manu Ginobili, who started and was brilliant with 34 points, made a layup and OKC turned over the ball, giving San Antonio a chance with 15 seconds left to tie it with a three. However, Ginobil, who made five threes, missed, and that was that. OKC had gained control of the series.“Heartbreaking,” Duncan said. read more

Former NFL RB Brian Westbrook To Officially Retire With

The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Tuesday that former running back Brian Westbrook will retire as a member of the team.Westbrook will hold a Wednesday morning press conference and will officially be honored at Lincoln Field prior to a game with the Washington Redskins on Dec. 23.Westbrook made sure to thank Philly fans via Twitter after the team announced the news.“Thank you everyone!” he wrote. “It was a great pleasure to be an Eagle for 8 years. I truly appreciate all of the support! Love you guys.”The versatile Villanova product becomes the third former Eagle this summer to retire with the organization, joining teammates Brian Dawkins and Tra Thomas.In eight years with the Birds, Westbrook rushed for5,995 yards and 37 touchdowns while adding 3,790 receiving yards and another 29 scores. He was a key part of the 2004-05 team that won the NFC Championship before falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.The Eagles’ third-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, Westbrook enjoyed his best season in 2007, rushing for a career-high 1,333 yards and seven touchdowns on 278 carries.He never eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau again as injuries slowed him down, leading the Eagles to eventually release him on March 5, 2010.However, his place in city lore remains firm.“I will always remember Brian for the electrifying, game-changing plays he made during his great career in Philadelphia,” Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a release. “He was one of those players you knew could score from anywhere on the field and one of the most exciting players I have ever watched. He was a great runner, receiver and returner and was certainly a fan favorite.”Westbrook was selected to two Pro Bowls (2004 and 2007) and was named First-team All-Pro in 2007.He last played in the NFL in 2010 with the San Francisco 49ers. read more

Ice Cube Files BillionDollar Lawsuit Against BIG3 Investors Who

Ice Cube announced the launch of BIG3 professional basketball league in Jan. 2017. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)Ice Cube and his BIG3 basketball league partner Jeff Kwatinetz are taking a group of Qatari investors to court over failure to invest in the retired baller’s league.Four men, including Qatar Investment Authority CEO Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani are named as defendants in the documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Thursday, April 5 by Cube and Kwatinetz’s attornies. According to TMZ, they allege that the investors were supposed to fuel $5 million into the organization as passive investors after being brought on in summer 2017. But instead, they actively inserted themselves in dealings without fulfilling the investment obligation.Instead, the investors spent lavishly, with Ahmed Al-Rumaihi losing $700,000 while gambling after the BIG3 finals. Excuses offered by the lenders for not paying up ranged from “sinuses” to it being a “long day bro.”At one point, when the plaintiffs asked for money yet again Al-Rumaihi allegedly yelled, “You don’t know who I know in L.A. and what they’re capable of. You should think of your safety and the safety of you and your family.”Plaintiffs and players are seeking a total of $1.2 billion in damages in the suit over defamation, defamation per se, trade libel and intentional interference with contractual relations. read more

NFL Week 5 Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

The perception after the NFL’s fourth week of play is that parity reigns supreme. Only two teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, remain undefeated — and they’re both 3-0 rather than 4-0, having had a bye last week. No one else seems to have much momentum. Consider the Atlanta Falcons, who crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14 two Thursdays ago in one of the most dominant single-game performances in NFL history. Last week, the Falcons lost by 13 points to the Minnesota Vikings. The Buccaneers? They upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were coming off a big win against the Carolina Panthers.Here’s the thing: All of this is pretty normal. Parity exerts a profound gravitational pull on the NFL. It’s a league of short careers, hard salary caps and redistributive schedules that punish winning teams. Its season is just 16 games. There’s always a lot of parity in the league.The question is whether there’s more than usual, and as best as I can tell, the answer is no. One way to evaluate this is through FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo ratings. (For the methodology, see here.) We can look at the standard deviation of each team’s Elo ratings through the first four weeks of the season. The higher it is, the less parity.After the first four weeks this year, the standard deviation is 92 Elo points. That doesn’t mean much except by comparison to past seasons; but by comparison, it’s about average. In 2013, the standard deviation through Week 4 was … 92 Elo points. In 2012, it was 87 points. In 2011, it was 90 points. The average since 1970 has been about 90 points.Some of the perceived parity in Week 4 is because a number of the best teams were out of action, including the Bengals, Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.Meanwhile, there are at least two really terrible teams in the NFL, and terrible teams count as much as great ones when measuring standard deviation. The Oakland Raiders squandered one of their better opportunities to pick up a win in a London game against the Miami Dolphins last week and now project to win only 2.4 games, according to the Elo simulations. That’s in part because of a tough schedule. (The Raiders have about a 10 percent chance of going 0-16.) The Jacksonville Jaguars have a more forgiving schedule, but they’re worse than the Raiders, according to Elo.We haven’t, however, seen much turnover in which teams might be considered great, average or poor. Before the season began — based on their Elo ratings at the end of 2013 — Elo’s top 10 teams were, in order, the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Broncos, New England Patriots, Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Bengals, San Diego Chargers, Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts.Are any of those teams clearly outside of the top 10 now? Only the Panthers and Saints have fallen out of the Elo top 10; they rank at No. 14 and 15, respectively. You could also make a case for the Patriots after their disastrous performance Monday night. But if there’s anything Week 4 demonstrated, it’s that one game may not tell us much.Meanwhile, the worst 10 teams at the start of the year were — from the bottom up — the Jaguars, Raiders, Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Falcons, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. Nine of those teams remain in the bottom 10. The exception is Atlanta, which has climbed to 22nd place.We’ve seen more reshuffling in the middle tier of teams. The Dallas Cowboys are the biggest gainers so far on the season, having added 61 Elo points. Still, the Cowboys’ schedule has been easy, and Elo will need to see more from them before it concludes they’re anything beyond slightly above average. The same might be said for the Detroit Lions, who are the next-biggest gainers, with 54 Elo points added.But if the early games have not done much to contradict preseason expectations, they have had a pronounced impact on playoff odds. A 10-6 team almost always makes the playoffs, an 8-8 team almost never does and a 9-7 team does about half the time. A “bad” or unlucky or uncharacteristic loss still matters a great deal whether it comes in Week 4 or Week 17. So, which teams have dug themselves the biggest holes, and which have more slack?The Patriots, despite their loss in Kansas City, are still more likely than not to make the playoffs. There are three major reasons for this: The Bills, Dolphins and Jets, the other teams in the AFC East. The Jets project to just a 5-11 record. Buffalo and Miami are better, but with each team at 2-2, Elo is still putting its money on a diminished version of Tom Brady rather than a team with an actual quarterback controversy.The Saints, 1-3 after a loss in Dallas, have seen their playoff chances fall more than any other team since the start of the season (they’ve dropped from 56 percent to 30 percent). Still, New Orleans got a reprieve because division rivals Carolina and Atlanta also lost last week. Every team in the NFC South now projects to finish the season with a negative point differential, and none projects to win more than 8.3 games. That means New Orleans can recover with a merely good — rather than extraordinary — performance. In our simulations, the Saints made the playoffs about 60 percent of the time when they finished 9-7, and almost 25 percent of the time when they went 8-8.The 49ers, on the other hand, still have their work cut out for them despite having secured a victory against Philadelphia last week and ranking third overall in the Elo ratings. They play in the NFC West, by far the NFL’s toughest division. In our simulations, a 9-7 record won San Francisco the NFC West only 1 percent of the time (although it was occasionally good enough to back the Niners into a wild card). The 49ers’ playoff chances improved, but only to 47 percent, from 40 percent a week ago.The loss hurt the Eagles more than the win helped San Francisco; Philadelphia’s playoff chances fell from 65 percent to 51 percent, in part because Dallas (now the divisional favorite) and the New York Giants won.The NFC North, meanwhile, has parity befitting the NFL’s old Norris Division: All four teams have an Elo rating between 1489 and 1521. But the Lions have three wins when everyone else has two, and that makes them the best bet to make the playoffs.Elo ratings can also be used to project point spreads. Since the start of the season, we’ve been recommending that you don’t bet on them, and we hope you’ve heeded that advice. They went 5-7-1 against closing betting lines in Week 4 and are 25-33-2 overall on the season. (As an aside, the Elo point spreads would have had you take Miami over Oakland against the point spread last week if we’d realized the game was in England instead of California. But that wasn’t the forecast we published, so we’ll take the loss.) On the positive side, Elo’s picks are 41-20 straight up this year, including a 10-3 performance in Week 4.In contrast to Week 4, when there were a number of “pick ’em” games, Week 5 features some easier calls, in part because the stronger teams tend to be playing at home. Straight-up (not against the point spread), Elo would have you take the home team in 13 of 15 games. The exceptions are clear: No home-field advantage would be enough to make Washington favored over Seattle, or Jacksonville over Pittsburgh.Compared against early Vegas point spreads, there are several cases with a discrepancy of at least a field goal. Against the point spreads, Elo would have you bet on the Chargers and Cowboys and against the Packers, Saints and Broncos. But to reiterate, we don’t recommend that you do this. I have nothing against gambling; I have something against losing money. read more

Bob Tewksbury Figured Out What Two Hall Of Fame Pitchers Couldnt

Tyler Kepner of The New York Times wrote a fun piece Monday about Mickey Morandini, an unformidable second baseman for the Phillies, Cubs and Blue Jays from 1990-2000. Turns out the 170-pound Morandini hit an impressive .352 for his career against three pitchers elected to the Hall of Fame Tuesday afternoon: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez.Morandini retired with a .268 overall average, so he’s a little like a guy who gets wet hopping over a puddle, then goes on to win the Olympic long jump.“I can name a handful of pitchers who threw probably 75 or 80 miles an hour, and I couldn’t sniff them,” he told the Times. “I can’t tell you how many ground balls to second I hit off Bob Tewksbury.”We can tell you.One.According to, in a June 5, 1992, game against Tewksbury and the St. Louis Cardinals, Morandini grounded to Cards second baseman Jose Oquendo, who threw to second to force out Morandini’s teammate Ricky Jordan.Morandini’s point — that he struggled against Tewskbury, an effective but by no means legendary pitcher — is right. He was a career 4 for 30 against Tewk, for a .133 average.By the way, the Times piece is a teensy bit misleading when it says Morandini “became Rogers Hornsby” (who hit a career .358) when he faced the three Hall of Famers. Morandini hit Smoltz and Martinez exceptionally well, but he hit just .200 (1 for 5) against Johnson.So to Morandini, Johnson was just another Bob Tewksbury.CORRECTION (Jan. 6, 6 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Mickey Morandini as a shortstop. In fact, he played mostly at second base.CORRECTION (Jan. 7, 10:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this article gave the wrong stats for Mickey Morandini’s performance against Bob Tewksbury. He was 4 for 30, not 4 for 32. read more

Shark week Without restrictions Titus has stories to tell

Although Mark Titus’ blog gave outsiders an unprecedented look at life as a college basketball player, its content was not without filter. Restricted by both NCAA and Ohio State overseers, some of Titus’ best stories might have gone untold.But now that he has broken the shackles of censorship, Titus plans to make it up to his fans. Free to tell all the stories he was forbidden to reveal, the former Buckeye benchwarmer has plenty to say. “I am going to write a book whenever I’m done,” Titus said. “I have some stories that need to be told that some people might not want me telling.” Titus, who said he plans to begin writing his book after he graduates in June, was witness to several exciting years as an OSU walk-on. He sat on the sideline during the Buckeyes’ Final Four run in 2007, an NIT title the following year, and he warmed the bench for this season’s Big Ten regular season and tournament championship team. With all that he’s seen, Titus said a book is the only way to tell it all. “Basically, it’s just going to be stories from all four years at Ohio State,” Titus said. “My first years here, I didn’t have my blog going, so there’s stuff from then, some Final Four stuff that I haven’t been able to write about, a lot of experiences.” Perhaps the most high-profile name Titus plans to write about is former Buckeye Greg Oden. Titus said that Oden, who made news earlier this year when some revealing photos of the NBA center found their way onto the Internet, should expect to be a popular subject of the book. “I’ve had the chance to play with some pretty great players at Ohio State,” Titus said. “There are a lot of stories to go with playing with such great players that I haven’t been able to tell. “Let me put it this way: I hope my book makes Greg Oden’s penis one of the least talked about stories involving him, because I have some good ones about him.” read more

WIth season winding down Buckeyes aiming to make postseason push

With only four games remaining in the regular season, the Ohio State men’s hockey team has little time to make a push for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament. OSU is currently the ninth seed, with the top five seeds receiving a first-round bye. “It’s crunch time,” senior forward C.J. Severyn said. “These last four games could mean life or death for us.” OSU coach Mark Osiecki said he likes the way his team is playing, though it lost six of its last seven games. He said he thinks the team hasn’t gotten the puck to slide its way. “That’s the hard thing,” he said. “We don’t have that puck luck.” Osiecki said it has been the same for his team all year. The pucks don’t seem to go its way, but he said that’s something the team has to overcome. “You’ve got to have great will,” he said. “You’ve got to have a relentless part of your game.” Though Osiecki said he thinks his team has been playing well, he said it’s not where the players expected to be at the beginning of the season. “I’m not sure if it’s where we want to be,” he said, “but we’re certainly better.” Four of the six losses — all of which were conference games — have been by two goals or fewer, so the team is usually within a couple of plays of winning. “We’ve got to play a full 60 minutes of Buckeye hockey,” Severyn said. “That’s where we’re going to get our wins.” The Buckeyes have two home series, of two games apiece, to round out the regular season: one against Lake Superior State and one against Ferris State. This weekend’s series against Lake Superior State is senior weekend, a time when the senior players reflect on their four years — especially this one — at OSU. One of the things the seniors have had to adjust to is a coaching change. Osiecki is in his first year as the men’s hockey coach, and it has been a transition for the seniors who had a different coach the previous three seasons. “It’s a hard thing to go through as a senior,” forward Kyle Reed said, “but I’m happy with it.” The Buckeyes (14-15-2, 9-13-2) have played well at home this season, going 7-5-1, and will look to continue to do that this weekend against Lake Superior State (10-12-8, 8-9-7). The games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. read more

AllAmerican gymnast notches another Wynn

Ohio State senior Brandon Wynn won his second consecutive individual National Championship in rings this weekend at the NCAA men’s gymnastics finals. Although OSU didn’t qualify for team finals on Friday night, seven individuals qualified for the all-around and individual group, and four of those seven qualified to move on to individual finals Saturday night. Wynn is just the second gymnast in program history to win two straight national titles in rings, tying interim co-coach Blaine Wilson. “I’m real happy I won an All-American,” Wynn said. “I just did what I needed to do.” Also competing for the Buckeyes in Saturday’s individual finals were freshmen Kris Done and Jeff Treleaven and junior Ty Echard. All four Buckeyes who competed in individual finals placed in the top eight for their event. Wynn tied for eighth on the parallel bars, was eighth on high bar and took home the National Championship in rings. Done took fifth on high bar, Treleaven placed third on vault and Echard placed second on the pommel horse. Treleaven and Done said they were just happy to have made it to the individual finals their freshman year. “I had nothing to lose,” Treleaven said. “There are a lot of juniors and seniors here, and they have four years of college experience compared to just one.” Wynn and Done were the only two Buckeyes competing in the all-around to move on to Friday night’s finals. “I was a little disappointed I messed up on the pommel horse,” Done said about his performance Thursday night. “But I still qualified for something (Friday) night.” Also qualifying into the individual group Friday night were senior Sean Regan and freshman Misha Koudinov for the floor exercise, Echard on the pommel horse, Treleaven on vault and junior Mike Behles on rings. The Buckeyes posted a total of seven top-ten scores in the six events Friday night. Placing for OSU were Wynn, who placed first on rings, sixth on parallel bars, seventh on the high bar and fifth in the all-round; Treleaven, who placed seventh on vault; Echard, who placed fifth on the pommel horse; and Done, who placed 10th on the high bar. Interim co-head coach Doug Stibel said he thought his team did well Friday night. “It’s hard to get back up and perform,” he said, “but the guys stepped up and had good routines.” Overall, the team said it was happy with the way it ended the season. “(This season) has been a roller coaster ride,” Done said. “But on the days it counted, we hit our routines.” read more

Ohio State athletics selfreports 8 NCAA Big Ten rules violations in roughly

Men’s wrestlingFinancial aid overage reported Aug. 20One member of the men’s wrestling team was given scholarship money that caused the program to go over its allotted financial aid limit for the 2013-14 season. The school imposed a financial aid penalty on the program, resulting in the loss of 3 percent of its financial aid limit for 2014-15. The NCAA accepted OSU’s self-imposed punishment. Click to enlarge.Through a roughly three-month period beginning in July, Ohio State athletics self-reported eight NCAA or Big Ten violations — including one that led to at least temporary ineligibility for student-athletes — but none involved football or men’s basketball.The list includes self-reported violations from seven different OSU programs, with women’s rowing being the only sport to appear twice. The women’s rowing team also had multiple violations self-reported on June 12, earlier detailed in an Aug. 13 article by The Lantern.The list of violations spans from July 3 through Sept. 15. There were two self-reported violations in July, four in August and two more up until Sept. 20.The information was the result of a public records request for all self-reported violations from June 1 through Sept. 20, submitted by The Lantern on Sept. 23 and fulfilled Tuesday evening.A previous records request by The Lantern showed 22 self-reported violations through the first half of the calendar year, bringing the total to 30 up until Sept. 20.Responses to the violations from OSU included issuing letters of education to the coaching staff for teams involved with the incidents, a restriction to one program’s financial aid capacity for the 2014-15 academic year and the repayment of $28 worth of “impermissible per diem” for multiple student-athletes.The NCAA’s response is pending for three of the violations, while it or the Big Ten either saw no need for further punishment or accepted OSU’s self-imposed punishment for four of the violations. Of the eight violations, one had brought additional action from the NCAA at the time the records were released.Of the eight violations, the following three had financial ramifications for either the university or student-athletes. Men’s soccerIneligible student-athlete reported Sept. 15A member of the OSU men’s soccer team took part in two games despite being ineligible. As a result, the school sent letters of education to each member of the athletic academic staff that discussed the rules surrounding player eligibility in relation to degree requirements. The NCAA imposed a $500 fine on OSU for each game the ineligible player took part in, totaling $1,000 in fines. Women’s tennisImpermissible per diem reported Sept. 5The OSU women’s program gave multiple members of the team “impermissible per diem” at two tennis tournaments hosted by OSU. The school declared each student-athlete who received the impermissible benefit ineligible until they paid the full value of the per diem, which was $28. Response from the NCAA was pending. read more

Womans hijab pulled down in busy London street in shocking raciallymotivated attack

first_imgThe incident happened as the women crossed the road by The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East LondonDet Con Ben Cousin, of Haringey Community Safety Unit, said: “This was a shocking attack in broad daylight in the middle of a busy street.”Racially and religiously-motivated crimes will not be tolerated. I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this attack to contact police.” Racially and religiously-motivated crimes will not be toleratedDet Con Ben Cousin A woman has had her hijab pulled down in a racially-motivated assault on a busy street.The victim, in her 20s, was not injured but was shocked and distressed by what happened, Scotland Yard said.She was walking in Haringey, north London, with a woman friend at around 7.30pm on Wednesday when the attack happened.As they crossed the road by The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, she was approached from behind by two men. The Metropolitan Police said one of them pulled down the hijab she was wearing before both fled the scene.Police in Haringey are appealing for witnesses and information about the incident.The first suspect is described as white, in his late 20s or early 30s, with blonde or ginger shaved hair and stubble.Police said he was about 5ft 6in and wearing a burgundy hooded top and carrying a Tesco bag in his right hand.The second suspect was of Mediterranean appearance, in his late 20s or early 30s, and clean shaven, with spiky hair. He wore a grey hooded top. 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

British schoolgirl ballet star on her first term at the Bolshoi ice

first_imgStarting at a new school is daunting for any 13-year-old girl. When you join it abroad, without speaking a word of the language, it must be doubly so.But Beatrice Millar, a schoolgirl from Oxfordshire, has spoken of her joy in becoming the first British child to join the Bolshoi ballet’s school in decades, after realising she had finally been accepted into the ranks when she started being ticked off in Russian.Miss Millar, who spoke no Russian when she joined the school last year, has told of her excitement at being welcomed into the world-renowned school, where she is now coached just as strictly as her fellow classmates.She told the Telegraph she was the only girl in her class to have attended every class in her first term, being invited to watch older students performing and even being given gifts by her teacher.Earlier this year, she became the first British student under 16 to be invited to study at the world famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow in decades, and only the 10th Briton ever to study in the elite institution’s 243-year history. She was accepted after teachers at the school watched a 15-minute audition tape, submitted by a dance teacher in the UK who saw the young dancer’s potential.Miss Millar has since moved to Russia with her mother, Lesley, and has spent her first term getting to grips with life under her new regime – not to mention navigating the icy pavements.Mrs Millar disclosed they had been learning to communicate with the “kind and friendly” Russian via Google translate, resorting to charades in shops when necessary.The pair have spent Christmas at the family home, and will return to brave the -16C temperatures of Moscow in the New Year.Miss Millar, who fits in 30 hours of schooling each week alongside her rigorous ballet schedule, said: “When I first came, my teacher treated me more gently than the Russian students but now she shouts at me and I am glad because it shows I am accepted as Russian. The Bolshoi, performing at the Royal Opera House this yearCredit:Paul Grover “Now I understand quite a lot of the messages and they are just simple things like it is someone’s turn to use the washing machine!  “But I remember worrying that they were saying something important and I didn’t know what it was.”The young dancer added she hopes to spend her holiday practicing her stretching and strength work, to help catch up with classmates who have been taking six ballet classes a week for the last four years.Before returning to school, she will visit the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to watch the Royal Ballet’s version of the Nutcracker for inspiration, hoping to join their ranks one day.“It is my dream that one day I will dance there too,” she said.  Beatrice Millar in warmer climes Beatrice Millar in Moscow “I only get upset if I don’t get many corrections. Corrections are the way you get better.“The teachers only really concentrate on the best students so I am always happy to get corrections.“However good we are they always think we should be better.”She is now planning to help her Russian classmates with their English, with a group of them applying to the Royal Ballet’s summer school next year.“If we all get in then I can translate for them and they will know what it feels like in my position,” she said.“None of the house mothers speak any English and I used to worry at first because I didn’t know what was being said on the tannoy. Beatrice Millar in MoscowCredit:Elena Chernyshova The Bolshoi, performing at the Royal Opera House this year Beatrice Millar in warmer climesCredit:Instagram 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

Dry January attempts are most likely to be scuppered by a sabotaging

first_imgAttempts to give up drinking for Dry January are most likely to be scuppered by a sabotaging partner, researchers have suggested. Men are more likely to put off their girlfriends by encouraging them on nights out and telling them they can have one more drink, a poll found. A survey of 2,000 couples  found that just 57 per cent of all people said they would drink less to help their partner if they were trying to cut down. 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. Women were more likely than men to say they would drink less if it was not for their partner loving booze, while a third of men admitted they liked to suggest one more drink if their partner was thinking of stopping for the night. This compared with 15 per cent of women.Twenty six per cent of women said they were concerned about the effects of alcohol on their partner’s health, while the figure was 21 per cent for men.At present, around 40 per cent of men and a fifth of women drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, according to industry-funded charity Drinkaware, which carried out the research.A third of those surveyed said alcohol being readily available in the home was an issue when it came to cutting down, while 40 per cent of those whose partner wanted to drink less thought the attempt would fail because stress would drive them to drink.center_img Rev Kate Bottley, from the TV programme Gogglebox, is supporting a new Drinkaware campaign.She said: “It’s quite sad to see that stress can really undo those good intentions, but we are a nation who bottle up our feelings, it would be far healthier to talk through your bad day rather than turn to a glass of wine or a beer.”Drinkaware’s chief executive, Elaine Hindal, added: “We know that couples who are planning a health regime together fare better when they really support each other.”It is sometimes difficult to stay on track with healthy plans but we have developed free tools such as the self-assessment and our Drinkaware app which can really help make a difference, especially if you’re trying to make up for the extra pounds gained over the festive period.”last_img read more

Social media firms accused of commercial prostitution

first_imgMs Cooper revealed that two other videos had only been taken down by Google after her committee, which has begun an inquiry into hate crime on social media,  protested. One had been posted by National Action, a neo-Nazi group that celebrated the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox, which was banned as a terrorist organisation in December.Ms Cooper told the three social media giants that she found none of their responses “particularly convincing”.She said: “We understand the challenges you face … but you all have millions of users in the UK and you make billions of pounds from these users.”You all have a terrible reputation among users for dealing swiftly with problems in content even against your own community standards.”Surely when you manage to have such a good reputation with advertisers for targeting content and for doing all kinds of sophisticated things with your platforms, surely you should be able to do a better job in order to be able to keep your users safe online and deal with this kind of hate speech.” You all have a terrible reputation among users for dealing swiftly with problems in content even against your own community standardsYvette Cooper Social media companies have been accused of “commercial prostitution” and having “no shame” after being grilled by MPs over their failure to take down abusive content.MPs condemned Google for not taking down a video by a former Ku Klux Klan leader which accused Jews of masterminding the genocide of white people because it did not breach its guidelines.David Winnick, a Labour MP, accused three senior figures from twitter, Facebook and Google of “commercial prostitution” and asked them if they had “no shame”. Peter Barron of Google Credit:PA Left to right, Peter Barron, of Google, Simon Milner, of Facebook, and Nick Pickles, of Twitter Credit:PA “To suggest we are in some way negligent or not caring about this issue is simply not true,” he said.Twitter suspended three accounts that were highlighted to it by MPs but one, which included a tweet with a hashtag “deport all Muslims”, remained.Nick Pickles, from the microblogging site, said that while it was “highly offensive” the tweet did not breach its rules around hateful conduct.He apologised that Ms Cooper had not yet received a response over tweets relating to German chancellor Angela Merkel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan that she had reported.center_img She added: “Don’t you feel any sense of responsibility as a multi-billion pound organisation to at least check that you are not distributing material from proscribed organisations?”Peter Barron, of Google, which runs YouTube, said: “We have 400 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every minute which is an extraordinary amount of content.”Clearly we don’t want illegal content on our platforms and when flagged to us we remove that as quickly as we possibly can.”Four pages that were flagged to Facebook all remained on the site, including one titled “Ban Islam”.Simon Milner, of Facebook, said the social media site spends a lot of time, effort and resource to tackling the problem. Yvette Cooper, the chairwoman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee told the three social media firms that they have a “terrible reputation” over their efforts to tackle abusive content.And she expressed disbelief when Google’s vice-president said the recording posted by David Duke, a notorious Holocaust denier, did not “breach our guidelines”.The recording, broadcast on YouTube, accuses “Zionists” of having “ethnically cleansed the Palestinians” and planning to do “the same thing to Europeans and Americans”.Ms Cooper told Google’s Peter Barron: “You allow David Duke to upload an entire video which is all about malicious and hateful comments about Jewish people. How on earth is that not a breach of your own guidelines? I think most people would be appalled by that video and think it goes against all standards of public decency in this country.” Peter Barron of Google  Left to right, Peter Barron, of Google, Simon Milner, of Facebook, and Nick Pickles, of Twitter 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

Admiral Nelson kept at sea by naval bosses to frustrate his scandalous

first_img“For no real good reason Nelson got it into his head that Troubridge was out to fix it that he remained at sea and away from Emma.”There is a letter that exists which Troubridge wrote to Nelson in August 1801, stating how hurt he was by what Nelson had said about him.”The letter is being sold by International Autograph Auctions in Marbella, Spain, on Saturday. The letter was written four years before Nelson was killed after leading the Royal Navy to a decisive victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.It has been in the possession of a private collector is now being sold for a pre-sale estimate of £15,000.Auctioneer Richard Davie said: “This is a letter of interesting content and good association.”Nelson had quite a ruthless streak in him, as reflected in this letter, and didn’t suffer fools.” Admiral Nelson writes in the letter that he feels sea sick Admiral Nelson's mistress Emma Hamilton “Who upheld him when he would have sunk under grief and mortification?…Nelson, that Nelson that he now Lords it over.”So much for gratitude. I forgive him, but, by God, I shall not forget it.”He enjoys showing his power over me. Never mind; all together it will shorten my days.”He signed off: “Ever my dear friend your affectionate half sea sick Nelson.” Admiral Nelson’s mistress Emma HamiltonCredit:BNPS The letter from Admiral Nelson to his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton in which he launches a bitter broadside at a superior officerCredit:IAA/BNPS Andrew Baines, a Nelson expert and head of historic ships at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said Nelson’s relationship with Troubridge became fractious after Nelson’s affair with Lady Emma Hamilton.Mr Baines said: “Troubridge took a dim view of the relationship as did the vast majority of the establishment.”It wasn’t so much that he had a mistress, but the issue was this menage-a-trois Nelson was involved in with her and her husband and there was no real attempt to hide it. Admiral Nelson was kept at sea by angry naval bosses who wanted to frustrate his scandalous relationship with his mistress, a letter reveals.After being made Lord of the Admiralty in 1801, Sir Thomas Troubridge was said to have deliberately kept Nelson at sea for long periods so he could not be with his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton, as their affair was a public scandal.Sir Thomas was once a friend of Nelson’s, but became his foe when he was promoted above the famously egotistical sailor. In a 216-year-old letter to Emma, Nelson wrote of his fury at Sir Thomas “lording it” over him and confessed to feeling seasick because he had been at sea for so long. The letter from Admiral Nelson to his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton in which he launches a bitter broadside at a superior officer Admiral Nelson writes in the letter that he feels sea sickCredit:IAA/BNPS Nelson found his treatment all the more galling as he had saved Sir Thomas from ridicule three years earlier at the Battle of the Nile where he ran his ship aground and was unable to take part.After leading the British to victory, Nelson insisted Sir Thomas still be given a gold medal commemorating the battle.But his feelings about his naval colleague had changed by October 1801.He wrote to Lady Hamilton: “Tomorrow week all is over no thanks to Sir Thos.”I believe the fault is all his, and he ought to have recollected that I got him the medal of the Nile. 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

A Yes vote in 2014 would have seen an independent Scotland begin

first_img Pro-Union parties said the statistics showed an independent Scotland would have faced “unprecedented” levels of austerity and accused the SNP of “deception”… Scotland would have begun life as an independent nation with a massive £13.3 billion deficit if voters had backed separation in 2014, official Scottish Government figures reveal.  The deficit is higher than any EU member state and double that of Spain, the next highest.center_img The revenue and spending statistics show the country is in the red to tune of 8.3 per cent of GDP, more than three times the UK figure of 2.4 per cent and the biggest gap between the two since Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) figures were first published in 1998.last_img read more

UK weather Black Ice Monday travel disruption as thousands stranded at airports

first_imgThe RAC said journeys by road would take up to three times longer than usual, as it warned of “treacherous” driving conditions.Western Power Distribution said engineers worked through the night as they aimed to restore power to 10,000 home in the Midlands, South Wales and South West. SSE said they restored power to 48,000 customers on Sunday and that 2,900 remained without power on Sunday night. People wait at Heathrow Airport after flight cancellations due to weather At the west London airport, passengers complained of being trapped on a British Airways plane on the ground for more than four hours with no information from the airline on Sunday.Four British Airways flights headed for Heathrow had to be diverted to Newcastle, 300 miles away.  State of @HeathrowAirport T5 thanks to all flights being cancelled by @British_Airways #weatheraware #baggage #TravelChaos— Rohan Mathur (@mathur02) December 10, 2017 However, Highways England claimed it had eight gritters patrolling the road continually but said there had not been enough cars in the morning to adequately spread rock salt across the road.“There was a lot of snow, and the action of the salt relies on traffic, and it was a Sunday and the emergency services were telling people not drive, so there were not enough cars for it to be effective,” said a spokesman. “We understand how frustrating this experience is for customers and we are offering refunds for those who no longer wish to travel from Heathrow today or tomorrow regardless of whether their flight is cancelled or not.”The airline also extended the offer to rebook until December 18 and added they had additional staff at call centres.TrainsNational Rail said poor weather conditions were affecting travel across England and Wales.Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Great Western, and Virgin Trains will all be affected, while East Midlands Trains customers are being advised to check their trains are running before setting off. Passengers endured long waits at Heathrow Airport after flight cancellations due to poor weather conditionsCredit:Laura Bryce/Twitter Snow brought traffic chaos to Britain  Settled snow has turned to treacherous ice and caused disruption on roads and railways across the country on what has been dubbed Black Ice Monday following a wintry blast that left thousands of people stranded at airports.The deep freeze has also seen hundreds of schools close, thousands left without power and flights delayed on Monday – including at Heathrow where passengers have complained of waiting hours for travel to be rescheduled.The Met Office has extended its yellow weather warnings for snow and ice to cover vast swathes of the country, including London and the South East, much of the Midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as the eastern coast of England and northern and western Scotland.Forecasters warned that clear skies on Monday night could see temperatures drop as low as minus 15C (5F), potentially beating Sunday night’s low of minus 11.6C (11F) in Chillingham Barns, Northumberland.Heavy snow still lying on the ground, particularly around the Hereford area, has disrupted services on West Midlands Railway and Great Western Railway, while London Northwestern Railway trains to Milton Keynes from London have been delayed or cancelled. Heathrow said it was operating three-quarters of its full schedule as airlines dealt with the knock-on effects of Sunday’s heavy snowfall, which turned to ice overnight as temperatures plummeted.Passengers shared images on Twitter of long queues and scores of suitcases lined up on Sunday evening, while others complained of a lack of information from the airport and airlines. Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: “It was chilly in Chillingham Barnes, but it wasn’t the coldest night of 2017 – that was Saturday night when temperatures went down to -12.4C.”We could well beat that tonight and could go as low as -12C and even -15C.”Road, trains and flights affectedDisruption from the wintry weather continued on Monday after difficult conditions on Sunday, with roads, trains and planes all affected.AirportsDozens of flights were cancelled at the UK’s busiest airport as the fallout from the weekend’s heavy snow continued to cause disruption for passengers. In Wales, 71 schools are closed in Flintshire, 11 in Wrexham and 49 in Denbighshire. An abandoned car on the roadside in the Peak District after heavy snowfallCredit:Danny Lawson /PA BA passengers trapped on plane for four hoursFlights were diverted, delayed and cancelled at Heathrow, where disruption was blamed on planes having to be de-iced before take-off, resulting in a lack of “parking space” for incoming flights. ‘Thought I was clever’: Michael Owen’s idea to park Bentley under tree to shelter from snow backfiresFormer footballer Michael Owen thought he was being clever when he parked his car under a tree in order to shelter it from snow, reports Helena Horton. A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Some flights at Heathrow are disrupted today.”However, the airport remains open and is operating three-quarters of scheduled flights. Before coming to the airport, passengers must check their flight status with their airline. If the status of your flight is cancelled, please do not travel to the airport, keep updated via the airline’s website.”The safety and comfort of our passengers is always our first priority and we are working closely with our airlines to ensure affected passengers are looked after. We apologise to those whose travel has been impacted and regret the inconveniences that have been caused.”A British Airways statement said: “We are very sorry that customers continue to suffer from the disruption to flights at Heathrow caused by the severe weather conditions that have affected airports across northern Europe.”Time spent on de-icing aircraft to ensure safe operation plus air traffic control restrictions and the re-positioning of aircraft and crews from yesterday have led to further cancellations and delays today. Passengers wait for their delayed flights at Heathrow on Sunday afternoonCredit:Tolga Akmen /LNP A Tube train in snowy conditions early on Monday  What have your travel experiences been during the snow? Join the debate by leaving a comment below. However, gravity was not his friend when the snow-laden branches collapsed under the weight, causing the tree to lean over onto his car. Many of Mr Owen’s Twitter followers were sympathetic, with one writing: “Poor Michael Owen, even his car is injured.” Others offered tips, with one tweeting: “Catch the bus Michael.”Some advised he invest in a garage – while others said it was “festive” to find a car under a tree.Highway officials blame ‘lack of cars’ for chaosTraffic was brought to a standstill on the M40 in Warwickshire, with motorists complaining that they had not seen any gritters, and that the road had been left covered in dangerous ice and slush.Driver Carl Palmer said the motorway looked “like a war-zone, with crashed cars everywhere, others spinning around”, while motorist Rebecca Matthews said the situation was “shambolic” with people forced to get out and push their cars up slip-roads.center_img A car that had spun out of control in Buckinghamshire on Sunday amid road chaosCredit:Ben Cawthra/LNP Lorries and cars queue as motorists begin to get stuck in the snow on the A417 outside Cirencester, GloucestershireCredit:Stephen Shepherd/LNP  RoadsPolice said lane three on the M42 in the West Midlands, between junctions 1 and 3, and lane three on the M5 between junction 4a and junction 3, were impassable on Monday morning, with only lanes one and two running on both motorways.The slip road to Stansted airport on the M11 eastbound was closed overnight for carriageway treatment due to freezing temperatures, according to Highways England. Thousands of air passengers had spent the night at Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham and Luton airports after dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed.On Monday morning, an estimated 50,000 British Airways passengers were said to have been affected by cancelled or delayed flights – 30,000 in Britain and 20,000 others in Europe. Not ideal at 5:30am when you’ve got a train to catch! Thought I was clever sheltering my car from the snow! 😂🙈— michael owen (@themichaelowen) December 11, 2017 An abandoned car on the roadside in the Peak District after heavy snowfall Should we expect more snow?Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We are not expecting too much more in terms of fresh snowfall and the risk now transfers to ice.”We have got fairly widespread clear skies, which will bring temperatures down and where there is lying snow, that creates an ice risk.”He said a weather front coming in from France would affect the east coast and South East, bringing with it wintry showers, and possibly snow, but he added it would be “nothing like what we’ve seen already”.RAC expecting 11,000 breakdownsPete Williams, the RAC’s road safety spokesman, said they are expecting 11,000 breakdowns on what has been dubbed Black Ice Monday, a figure which is 20 per cent above the seasonal norm.”I think the big thing is people are not going to leave enough time,” he said.”Journeys will take two to three times longer. It’s going to be treacherous driving conditions.”Mr Williams said low overnight temperatures could cause black ice and urged people to drive slowly, leaving plenty of space between them and the car in front. A sign warns of an icy road as a driver navigates their snow covered car down a road in Hockley, BirminghamCredit:Michael Scott/Caters Heathrow in chaos with flight cancellations, over 27, 000 people stranded.— Robert Glover (@robnchina) December 11, 2017 Weather forecast for today – and the week ahead A Heathrow spokesman said: “Heathrow airport remains open however we regret that weather across the UK is resulting in some passengers experiencing disruption to their travel arrangements.  “Airlines are responsible for ensuring their flights are fully de-iced before they are operated and this is resulting in some delays and cancellations.”Hundreds of schools closed in freezing conditionsAs a result of the snow and freezing conditions, Birmingham City Council has been forced to cancel all council-run school and related transport services on Monday, the authority said.More than 200 schools will be closed in Gloucestershire, and more than 100 in Shropshire. Towards the southeast there’ll be a mix of rain and sleet, with some snow over higher ground for the morning rush hour. Elsewhere it’s looking drier but cold with some showers and the risk of ice #weatheraware— Met Office (@metoffice) December 10, 2017 Passengers wait for their delayed and cancelled flights at Heathrow   A sign warns of an icy road as a driver navigates his snow covered car down a road in Hockley, Birmingham The deicing process is believed to have affected both outgoing and incoming flights, with planes not able to land because other aircraft were still in the stands. British Airways was inundated with messages from unhappy customers on social media, who complained of long waits and no response on their customer service phone line. The airline apologised on Twitter for the “problems and inconvenience”. Emergency services warned motorists to drive with caution, even on motorways, with icy slush on the M40 between junctions two and three causing a van to flip over following a collision with two other cars. . Lorries and cars queue and ssome tart to get stuck in the snow on the A417 outside Cirencester, Gloucestershire A Tube train in snowy conditions early on MondayCredit:JEREMY SELWYN /eyevine 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

John Worboys psychologist says sex offenders too often labelled monstrous individuals beyond

first_imgDr Craissati’s report into Worboys, 60, reckoned… Dr Craissati was hired by Worboys’ legal team to show he did not present “a risk of serious harm” to the public. Dr Craissati is also an official paid adviser to the Parole Board and sits on its Review Committee, which examines cases where former prisoners have committed serious further offences within three years of release. John Worboys’ release was secured with the help of a psychologist who believes sex offenders are too often labelled “monstrous individuals” who cannot be treated.center_img Dr Jackie Craissati’s expert report into Worboys helped to persuade the Parole Board to let the ‘black cab rapist’ out of jail after serving a minimum eight-year term.last_img read more

Cromer crab fisherman shortage as young people wont stick at it

Mr Rodnell explained: “Ultimately it comes down to the profitability of working in the fishing sector. Obviously it’s not for everybody, the hours and working in the elements, and that’s partly been one of the difficulties in terms of recruitment onto fishing vessels in the past.”Regulation is also a problem, increasingly, particularly in-shore fisheries like Cromer, the fleets becoming more and more limited on particular species. That’s affected the inshore fleet quite significantly.”That’s one of the things to look at post-Brexit – how we go about managing inshore fisheries that depend on the fish coming to them rather than travelling at a distance to find new fishing grounds.”Parts of the industry use migrant labour simply because they’re not able to recruit local people, parts of the fleet are profitable now so the opportunities are there to take up – it’s something we need to encourage.” “There’s a good living to be had, the demand is there and the demand is always going to be there.”They need to get off their a— and do a bit of work.” Crab fisherman John Lee brings his boat ashore on the beach at Cromer in Norfolk “Yes it’s hard work but I look at it as a challenge, especially on the rough days,” the father-of-four added.”You just get in the mindset ‘you’re not going to beat me, I am going to keep hauling these pots, I am going to land these crabs’.”At the end of the day that’s what’s paid my mortgage and paid for my kids to have an upbringing and that type of thing. A spokesperson for Seafish told The Telegraph that the industry is “embracing modern technology and is a great career choice for young people who may not want to spend their Monday to Friday sitting at a desk and perhaps want some adventure instead.”They pointed out that there are apprenticeships available, though not in Norfolk – the closest is in Whitby. Dale Rodnell, the Assistant Chief Executive at the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said that regulations and red tape from the EU mean that the career is not as profitable as it good be. He argued that opportunities could be expanded post-Brexit. A sweet Cromer crab is a prized British delicacy, best eaten fresh from the coast of Norfolk where it is caught, and a firm fixture on high-end restaurant menus across the land.Fans of the crustacean will be worried to hear that the future of the local industry is under threat, according to local fishermen.They argue that young people don’t want the work involved in a life catching Cromer crabs, and that they don’t have the gumption to stick at it.Local crab fisherman John Lee, 55, of Cromer, Norfolk, said that experience is not passed down from one generation to the other, and we are at risk of losing the skill.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––He is an eighth-generation crab businessman, and left school at 15 to learn the trade.An apprenticeship scheme was attempted in the past, he said, and “none of them stuck at it”. Hungry seagulls search for scraps while John Lee gets to work A prized Cromer crabCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire Freshly dressed crabs ready to eat from John Lee’s shop in CromerCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire Frank Yeung, who owns restaurants Mr Bao and Daddy Bao in London, said that he hopes the news of the declining industry will raise the profile of the crustaceans.He said: “We don’t currently have Cromer Crab on our menu but it would be a terrible shame if they were not available any more as they offer some of the sweetest meat, a real luxury from the sea. I’m hopeful that the news of this decline will mean a rise in demand for these delicious crabs, which would then attract more of the next generation to fish for them.”The crab fishing industry is working hard to attract young people, who can perceive it as a badly-paid, difficult and thankless career. “We’ve had youngsters, school leavers, try and do a bit, but if you want a lifestyle of going out with your mates and what not you’re probably coming in at half three in the morning rather than getting up at half three in the morning (to work) so it doesn’t really fit and bode well.” 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. Hungry seagulls search for scraps while John Lee gets to workCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire Freshly dressed crabs ready to eat from John Lee's shop in Cromer Crab fisherman John Lee brings his boat ashore on the beach at Cromer in NorfolkCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire A prized Cromer crab Chefs have spoken of their disappointment at the apparently dwindling industry – and said the delicacy is greatly in-demand for restaurants.Mike Reid, the Executive Chef at M Restaurants told The Telegraph: “Cromer Crab is one of the great british crabs. It’s a meaty crab, which is so tender and fragrant. It is such a shame that we are in danger of not keeping up the supply due to shortage of fisherman, we are already battling the elements as the extreme weather this year has already almost halved the supply. “The first time I tried it I was staying in the hotel The Hoste in Norfolk and it blew me away so much I’ve started using it in my restaurants where I can.”Mini Patel, Chef Patron at Blueprint Café, said: “I regard Cromer crabs as being some of the finest from our British coastline. They’re smaller but all the sweeter in flavour. It would be a real shame to not have these little beauties being delivered into the kitchens of some of the best restaurants in the country.”We need to support the crab industry in Norfolk so we can continue to eat this delicious crab for another century. I’m shocked to hear there are as few as 10 fishermen now landing crabs!” Mr Lee works 90 to 100 hours per week during the crab season and said there were almost 50 Cromer crab fishermen when he began and now there are no more than 10 of them fishing regularly.Among them is Matt Bywater, who at 36 years old is one of Cromer’s youngest crab fishermen.He worked in a series of different jobs, including as a health and safety manager in an office, before deciding aged 30 to follow in his father’s footsteps as a fisherman.He said he was “quite money-orientated”, adding: “The fishing industry, yes it’s hard work, but if you’re willing to work you can do as much as you like as such and earn as much as you like.”Asked why so few young people are entering the industry, he said: “There’s a bit of a stigma with the fishing industry, just the nature of the job really, and also the set-up costs. read more