Boston63.175.647.51.915.82.4<1<1<1 TEAMOVERALLOFF.DEF.WLTPLAYOFFSFINALSWIN Kansas City103.696.1113.26.08.35.7521 RATINGAVG. SIM. SEASONPLAYOFF CHANCES Chicago99.689.3220.127.116.11.846167 Houston93.683.618.104.22.168.2521 W. New York120.3138.197.822.214.171.1249%65%37% This year’s surprise standout, the Western New York Flash, has skyrocketed to the top of our table and now has the greatest chance of winning the NWSL championship — 37 percent — up from just a 5 percent chance before the season started. With the league’s top two goal scorers, Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald (seven and six goals, respectively), the Flash are almost certain to earn a playoff spot. The Washington Spirit will likely grab another — our model gives them a 96 percent chance of making the playoffs.There’s a little less certainty for the third and fourth playoff spots. The Portland Thorns are currently in first place in the league, with 26 points, and have an 86 percent chance of making the postseason. But the team has lost their past two games, in part because several national team players have been absent as they prepare for the Olympics. So Portland may continue to fall in our rankings over the next month. The Chicago Red Stars’ chances of making the playoffs have remained about the same from our initial forecast — dropping to 46 percent from 47 percent — but a strong start to the season has given way to three losses in the past four games.The biggest shock this season, however, has undoubtedly been the rapid descent of the league’s top two teams, Seattle and Kansas City. Both teams were heavily favored in our initial predictions — with a 78 percent and 72 percent chance of making the playoffs, respectively — but at this point, it’s extremely unlikely that either team will earn a playoff berth. There are still six weeks of matches left, but both teams’ chances of winning the championship have plummeted more than 20 percentage points since the season started. Sky Blue97.299.4126.96.36.199.82073 Although our preseason forecast didn’t think it was impossible for both Seattle and Kansas City to miss the playoffs (it assigned roughly a 6 percent chance to that possibility), their drastic decline may indicate that we should re-evaluate some components of the model for next year’s NWSL season. As in many of our sports forecasts, each NWSL team’s rating is reverted toward the league average between seasons to account for factors such as changes in personnel and retirements. For the NWSL, two-thirds of a team’s rating from the previous season carries over into the new season; that amount is based on the first three seasons and is in line with other soccer leagues around the world (both men’s and women’s). This year’s results, however, may indicate that NWSL teams should be reverted further toward the league average each season. Or maybe this is just a crazy season. Only time (and more data) will tell. If at the start of the National Women’s Soccer League season you thought two-time defending champions FC Kansas City would be in third-to-last place just over halfway through the season or that two-time regular-season champions Seattle Reign FC would have almost as many losses as they did in their previous two seasons combined, you’re either psychic or your predictive abilities are far greater than ours.Before this year’s matches got underway, we built a model to forecast the league using the best information we had available: data from the three previous NWSL seasons. But because two of those years were dominated by Seattle and Kansas City, correctly predicting this year’s chaos in the league would have been very difficult. So with the table in tumult and the end of the regular season not far off, we thought this would be good time to update our initial predictions, see what’s changed and look ahead to which four teams are most likely to reach the playoffs this fall. Below is a table showing each team’s overall rating — made up of offensive and defensive components (higher is better for both) — as well as its projected win-loss-tie record and its chances of making the playoffs. Portland106.9110.9102.09.73.96.5863515 Orlando90.882.1188.8.131.52.82773 Seattle109.9101.6184.108.40.206.81785 Washington115.0123.5104.3220.127.116.115829
Heading into the weekend, the young NBA season’s three most impressive overachievers were the Orlando Magic, the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons, each of whom were on track for winning records despite what were projected to be a trio of losing seasons. Hot starts can fade fast, though: The Magic and Pacers have gone a combined 0-4 since Friday, losing by a total of 56 points as Orlando’s shooting went cold and Indy’s defense collapsed.Detroit, however, has kept on winning. After handling the Bucks and Kings at home (not to mention managing a road win over the Warriors two Sundays ago), the Pistons are now 7-3 on the season, good for second-best in the East — and there’s evidence they might have done it despite being slightly unlucky along the way. Is it possible that Stan Van Gundy’s shambolic plan is finally coming together?The 2016-17 Pistons were a solid defensive team in desperate need of some spark at the other end of the floor. Whatever offensive promise Andre Drummond (ostensibly the team’s star, and certainly its highest-paid player) flashed early in his career seemed to have been a mirage; the attack sputtered to a halt whenever high-usage point guard Reggie Jackson set foot on the court; and the team generally hoisted way too many inefficient shots and not enough 3s. Detroit needed an offensive resurgence if it hoped to achieve its second winning season in the last decade, though it wasn’t clear where that breakthrough was going to come from.The Pistons did some offseason rearranging, like any team. They let Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aron Baynes walk in free agency, traded midrange scorer Marcus Morris to Boston for Avery Bradley, signed Anthony Tolliver and Langston Galloway, and drafted Duke’s Luke Kennard with the 12th overall pick. Jackson was going to be healthy again, and former No. 8 overall pick Stanley Johnson would have another year of much-needed development under his belt. But this was far from a total teardown; Detroit’s existing talent would also need to play much better in order to keep Van Gundy’s coach/exec seat from spontaneously combusting.And so far, the talent has delivered. Drummond has been one of the most improved players in the league this season, upping his true shooting percentage, assist rate, rebound rate and Box Plus/Minus at both ends of the floor. He’s back to taking 68 percent of his shots within 3 feet of the rim (last year that number had dipped to a career-low 49 percent), wreaking more havoc on putbacks and basket cuts instead of reprising the plodding, inefficient, post-heavy offensive role he played last year.And although it’s unrealistic to expect Drummond to keep hitting 75 percent from the free-throw line (considering he began the year with a 38.1 percent career rate), it’s likely that he has improved there to some extent — the odds of a “true” 38 percent shooter making 30 of his first 40 free throws are about 1 in 459,000. Maybe his new form at the line really is working.Drummond isn’t the only Piston holdover playing significantly better ball this year. Jackson has bounced back from his miserable 2016-17 with superior numbers nearly across the board, and his plus/minus impact finally befits a player of his salary and reputation. He and Ish Smith are at last the effective point guard platoon the team expected to get from them going into last season. Forward Tobias Harris has continued to refine his new-school spin on the classic Van Gundy stretch four. Meanwhile, Johnson has taken an encouraging leap forward from his first two NBA seasons, when he was one of the league’s worst regular players.1According to Box Plus/Minus. He still isn’t burning up the box score (averaging 8.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game), but Johnson is at least making enough shots to space the floor and play his role with an acceptable level of efficiency.And as a whole, Detroit is playing a more efficient brand of basketball. A year ago, the Pistons took the league’s second-most midrange shots per game — trailing only the Carmelo Anthony-led Knicks — and the fifth-fewest 3-point shots per game. This season, they’re down to 18th in midrange tries per game and up to 17th in attempted 3s per game. After generating the worst shot quality in basketball last season (according to Second Spectrum), they’ve risen to 17th this year, while making just about as many shots as they deserve to have made. And on defense, Second Spectrum’s tracking data indicates that Detroit is forcing the third-most-difficult set of shots in the league — and that the Pistons’ 14th-place defensive ranking is mainly a result of opponents hitting more shots than they should have (no team in the league has been unluckier in this respect), a trend that ought to reverse itself as the season goes on.Given all that, these Pistons might have the most staying power of any early surprise team. Ten games in is still pretty early in the season, but we learn a lot about basketball teams in a short amount of time. Since the league last expanded in 2004, teams that start the season 7-3 tend to go on to win about 50 times per 82 games. And even those who finished below .500 the previous year — like Detroit did last season — ended up winning roughly 45 games on average.Although the East is apparently in flux, it’s still probably premature to suggest the Pistons are poised to make a deep playoff run this season. But for a franchise that has made the playoffs just once in the last eight seasons, even a return to the postseason would represent a successful campaign. And based on the way these Pistons have started off, they’re well on their way.
FiveThirtyEight Embed Code The official start of NBA free agency caused quite a stir. Most notably, big-name free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving committed to the Brooklyn Nets, leaving the New York Knicks without a star. We unpack this missed opportunity for the Knicks and what might define “the new NBA.”In honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, Geoff and Neil have a heated debate on the merits of competitive eating. Is it a sport? Is it the antithesis of sports? Has someone on the pod participated in a hot dog eating contest in the past?!For our Rabbit Hole, we’re joined by FiveThirtyEight copy desk intern Santul Nerkar, who dug into oddities in tournament point allocation in the World Cup and beyond.What we’re looking at this week:Neil Greenberg for The Washington Post breaks down the financial implications of the Knicks’ actions during free agency.Kawhi Leonard’s monumental decision from The Ringer.Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.Research behind “excitingness” and awarding 3 points for a win in soccer. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed
Emotions ran high after Ohio State won a match against Penn State on Nov. 12. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Assistant News DirectorThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team was hungry on Saturday, and unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, they were on the night’s menu. The Buckeyes put on arguably their best performance of the season, toppling No. 10 Penn State at St. John Arena in five sets (25-23, 15-25, 19-25, 25-22, 18-16). OSU’s last win over the Nittany Lions dates back to 2006. The Buckeye momentum started rolling on Friday evening with a home sweep over Rutgers. Moving into Saturday, nearly 4,400 fans — including a rival student section, a rarity in collegiate regular season volleyball — packed into St. John Arena to watch the underdog defend their court against the Nittany Lion powerhouse. Penn State swept the Buckeyes in University Park during their last matchup on Oct. 19. OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he was overjoyed with the performance and determination that his team showed. “I’m so happy for our team as a whole, but especially our seniors,” he said. “We’ve been grinding hard to get a win like that, and to be on the brink of defeat so many times but to be able to fight back like we did, I couldn’t be more proud.” Carlston started out the game by changing his offense. His team ran a 6-2 against Penn State for the first time this season, which utilizes two setters and a total of six hitters, depending on rotation. Right from the beginning of the first set, OSU limited the Nittany Lions’ multiple-point runs and stifled Penn State’s pair of dynamic hitters, Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington. Four straight Buckeye kills mid-set would make the score 15-10. With few points left in the first set, Penn State inched their way back into contention, tying the score at 19, 21, 22 and 23. Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe secured three kills in the final five points to give the Buckeyes an edge. An attacking error from the Nittany Lions would give the first set to OSU. Senior libero Valeria León said the Buckeyes came out with a solid mindset, and that helped them play strong coming out of the gate. “We believed that we’re good enough to beat them, so we came out with that thought,” she said. Things turned sour for the Buckeyes in the second set as unforced errors caused OSU to play catch-up. They allowed Penn State to go on costly runs without countering. Penn State held the Buckeyes to just a .077 attacking percentage, which allowed the Nittany Lions to capitalize on OSU’s mistakes and secure themselves the second set. Carlston said to his team during intermission that they were going to have to fight back if they wanted a victory.“After the second set, we talked about, “Moral victories suck,”” he said, recalling his pep talk following the second set. “We’re just as deserving as Penn State to win this match, but the game is not just going to give it to you.”The Buckeyes improved slightly in the third set, but old habits from the prior set still lingered. A late OSU effort put the team within four points of the Nittany Lions at 19-23, but two Penn State kills quickly fell and ended the set. Penn State then held the advantage 2-1. Both teams had a lot to lose in the fourth set, and the nine tie scores showed it. León led the Buckeyes on a three-point run to lock the score up at 9-9. Not long after, Penn State’s Abby Detering took the Nittany Lions on their own three-point run to an 11-13 edge. Nearing the end of the fourth, it was anyone’s game. Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe emerged with monstrous kills and a look on her face of pure determination. She put down eight kills without any trouble, and gave OSU the set win it needed to stay alive. Entering the final set, the Buckeyes briefly held the lead before it changed hands to the Nittany Lions. Down by three points (7-10) in the critical fifth set, OSU took a timeout to evaluate their strategy. It was once again Sandbothe who slammed down another kill out of the break and helped to pull the Buckeyes out of the hole. Back and forth play pushed the set to extra points, and the biggest crowd OSU has seen this season made themselves heard. Senior setter Abby Fesl said it was motivating to hear those yells and cheers, and their voices added to the anticipation of the moment. “Just hearing everyone towards the end of game five, really getting into it – I could tell people were feeling it with us, and that’s when you love to play the game,” she said. Tied at 16-16, junior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer shined in the final moments. She swung away for two kills to give OSU the match victory and the upset. Carlston said the fifth set says a lot about a team, and he’s glad his team persevered through the fire.“The fifth set is just about heart and guts and grit. I was so happy with the heart and grit we showed, especially at the end,” he said. Sandbothe led the team’s offense with 25 kills and tied sophomore outside hitter Audra Appold in attacking efficiency with .320. Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes had the program’s first triple-double in at least five years with 10 kills, 34 assists and 12 digs. Fesl also contributed 27 assists on the night, while León added 24 digs. Fesl said the unsatisfying defeat they faced at Penn State on Oct. 19 was in OSU’s mind during tonight’s match.“Going to Penn State mid-week a couple weeks ago and dropping three straight sets kind of sat with us for a while, so this win was really big for us,” she said. “It means a lot for us going forward.” León has been through four years of losing to the Nittany Lions, and she said she’s proud to help put an end to that streak.“They (Penn State) fought. They played hard, and they didn’t give it to us. We went out there and we got it,” she said. “It’s one of those feelings I’m not going to be able to recreate.” Carlston said the nature of the Big Ten conference relies a lot on timing and opportunity.“This is a league you put a lot of heart and soul into, but you have to be really patient (to get a win),” he said. Ten years of patience paid off for the Buckeyes on Saturday.
OSU junior offensive lineman Jamarco Jones (74) blocks Rutgers redshirt junior Darnell Davis (59) during the Buckeyes game against the Scarlet Knights on Oct. 1. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorJunior offensive tackle Jamarco Jones announced on Twitter that he is returning for his final season with Ohio State. The Chicago native said that he still has “another year till I get paid.”I got another year till I get paid https://t.co/tcXmYe09m1— Jamarco Jones (@jjones_74) January 11, 2017Jones replaced All-American Taylor Decker in 2016, who was the starter at the position for three consecutive years. Jones played sparingly behind Decker, but started in all 13 games this past season and statistically outperforming Decker.In pass protection, Jones had a 97.4 percent blocking rate in the regular season, compared to Decker’s 96.4 percent his senior year, according to CFB Film Room.Jones is one of four returning starters on the offensive line from the 2016 season. Redshirt junior guard Billy Price announced his decision to return for his senior year after the Fiesta Bowl. Price will play center in 2017.
Two weeks ago, Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann said he expected his team to add “one or two” graduate transfers. Tuesday night, the Buckeyes landed one of the top graduate transfers on the market, bolstering a thin backcourt.Redshirt senior Keyshawn Woods, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound sweet-shooting guard who spent the past four seasons at Wake Forest announced on Twitter he will play his final collegiate basketball season at Ohio State. As a graduate transfer, he will be immediately eligible to play in the upcoming season.Despite coming off the bench in 23 of his 28 games last season, Woods was second on Wake Forest with 11.9 points per game and added 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25.7 minutes per game. His 15 games with at least 10 points were second-most off the bench in program history. Woods shot 43.9 percent from the field, hit 37.4 percent of his 3-pointers and made 84.5 of his free throws.Woods will presumably slide into the Buckeyes’ starting lineup alongside point guard C.J. Jackson, who will also be playing his final season of eligibility. Ohio State graduated Kam Williams and Andrew Dakich, two guards who played key roles in the team’s surprisingly successful season last year. The Buckeyes also lost forward Jae’Sean Tate to graduation and forward Keita Bates-Diop to the NBA draft. Both Tate and Bates-Diop played as de-facto guards in different lineups.The addition of Woods will lessen the reliance on Jackson as a ball-handler and takes pressure off incoming freshmen guards Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington, along with sophomore Musa Jallow, to step into major roles. Though Woods came off the bench last season, he started 22-of-33 games in the 2016-17 season, averaging 12.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He is a career 42.5 percent shooter from beyond the 3-point arc.
Ohio State’s Myles Martin wrestles Mitch Bowman in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignSenior 184-pound captain Myles Martin and redshirt junior captain Kollin Moore have both accomplished many feats in their time at Ohio State. But one thing they both happily reflect on is their time spent in Romania battling alongside one another.Moore and Martin traveled to Romania to compete in the U23 World Championships as two of 400 wrestlers representing 34 nations. Moore, after participating in the event in both 2016 and 2017, earned a silver medal in the tournament. “I got to wrestle a lot of good guys,” Moore said. “Just to wrestle some Russians and some other guys from countries who are really good at wrestling. It’s an honor and I thought I competed well.”Both wrestlers said they learned a lot and had a different experience compared with anything they’ve ever had in the states. And it was something Martin loved, giving him goals for his future. “I took a lot away from it, but one big thing I learned was that I want to make as many world teams as possible and compete overseas as much as I can,” Martin said. “I’m not used to wrestling foreigners where they have a different mindset towards wrestling. One little mistake and you can get beat. I’m excited to compete in another one.”In his first trip to the U23 World Championships, Martin said it was good to have Moore there, one who had competed overseas three times before and as a teammate and a familiar place in a foreign country.Moore was even more excited about having his teammate and friend competing alongside him.“It was nice to have a good buddy in the room to talk to and to work out with. Especially on the travel,” Moore said. “We traveled for 29 hours on the way back, so it was nice to suffer through that with a guy you’re really close with.”Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan was very proud of both Martin and Moore, saying that what they’ve been able to accomplish is incredible.“To be at the level they’re at is rare. I think the numbers are .005 percent of high school wrestlers make it to the college level. And then those that make it to world teams are at a whole different level,” Ryan said. “To see guys like Kollin and Myles who have talent and incredible work ethic and provide great leadership for us.” But the goal for both Moore and Martin remained the same when they went to Romania as to when they wrestle for Ohio State: to show their ability on the mat. Moore said that when facing international talent, every positive performance provides a statement for not only him and Ohio State, but also the United States. “I let them know the USA is getting better and we’re coming for them,” Moore said.
Holidaymakers are being warned they face lengthy delays at European airports this summer after border checks were tightened.Passengers have been forced to wait in queues for up to four hours – longer than some of their flights – after arriving at airports popular with British tourists.The delays are reportedly being caused by the introduction of newly-toughened and more time consuming immigration checks.The problem – at what is traditionally already the busiest time of the year for flights – is being made worse by a lack of border officials on the continent, it is claimed.An association representing airlines said queues stretching for “hundreds of metres” are in some cases causing passengers to miss their flights.It warned that “shameful” queues can be expected at airports including Madrid, Palma, Lisbon, Lyons, Paris Orly, Milan and Brussels. Some flight delays have increased by 300 per cent in a year, it claimed. 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. Airlines for Europe (A4E), the association that represents carriers such as British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet, said lengthy delays had been caused by many countries failing to provide enough staff for passport checks.Thomas Reynaert, A4E’s managing director, said: “Travellers face long lines and can’t get on their flights. Queuing for up to four hours has been the top record these days. Queues form at Barcelona airport ahead of security checksCredit:Manu Fernandez/AP Amsterdam airport @Schiphol is a disaster again today. Schengen-passport control queue extends beyond E-gates 4hrs waiting time #noholiday pic.twitter.com/X75Q8ziML2— Joepie (@joep19711) June 27, 2017 The problem is being blamed on the introduction of tighter European Union-introduced border controls in Schengen, the border-free area that incorporates most EU member states.Previously, British travellers have been given only visual passport checks by European border officials.But new rules, which were introduced after a series of terror attacks in Europe, mean checks against a series of databases are now carried out on each passenger from non-Schengen countries.The new tests, on both entry and exit, are said to take around two minutes per passenger. @SimonCalder queues for passport control at Palma airport this morning – what a farce! pic.twitter.com/cIunShy9r6— Catherine Little (@calittle1967) July 29, 2017 “Airports like Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Lyon, Paris-Orly, Milan or Brussels are producing shameful pictures of devastated passengers in front of immigration booths, in lines stretching hundreds of metres.”At some airports, flight delays have increased by 300 per cent compared to last year.”A4E warned that the situation could worsen in the coming weeks as the new regulations have not yet been fully implemented. The six-month period to put the enhanced checks in place ends on October 7. EU member states have until the autumn to implement enhanced border checks, but many have already introduced them.A spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: “New, stricter passport checks are resulting in longer queues at some airports, including Palma, which is already busy due to a significant increase in passenger numbers.”Tour operators will ensure that customers get to the airport in plenty of time so that they are not in danger of missing their flights.”However, independent travellers will need to check the situation with their airlines and, where necessary, ensure they factor these longer queuing times into their travel plans when flying in and out of the airport.”It is also extremely important that border control check points are sufficiently resourced so that queuing times are kept to a minimum.” The Government has been urged to use “whatever influence it can” to pressure EU states to adequately staff their airports.Airlines UK, an industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said it had warned the Department for Transport (DfT) about the problem in May, although they were told by ministers the issue had eased. Have you been hit by long airport delays in Europe? Let us know your experience by leaving a comment below. Tim Alderslade, the body’s chief executive, said: “Clearly the situation has changed markedly as we enter peak holiday season, and it is now up to the UK Government to work with industry to use whatever influence it can within the EU to persuade Schengen Member States to resource their border operations properly.”Pictures on social media in recent days have shown long lines of passengers in crowded terminals.
One of those men, a self-confessed IRA bomb maker called Michael Christopher Hayes, gave a television interview earlier this year to say he was sorry that innocent people died in the blasts. The 69-year-old who lives in south Dublin refused to say if he had planted any of the bombs, but told the BBC last month he was speaking out to give “the point of view of a participant”.He said he had been “accused of a lot of things, without one shred of forensic evidence, without one statement made, without one witness coming out against me.”Hayes has not been charged with any offences and no one has been convicted of the Birmingham bombings.The coroner’s decision that suspects would not be identified prompted some relatives to announce they would boycott the new hearings, scheduled for later this year.The families’ campaign said it was launching an appeal for public donations because applying for formal legal funding would take too long.Ms Hambleton said: “We fight for our loved ones, who aren’t here to fight for it themselves.”She added: “If they were alive and we were dead they too would be standing where we are standing.”We are now in a position to have to beg for the good people of this country to help us to raise money to fight this challenge in the High Court.”It is pivotal for us to have a judicial review, and appeal and challenge the coroner’s decision to exclude the perpetrators from this inquest. The Mulberry Bush pub in Birmingham was one of two attacked on November 21, 1974.Credit:PA Julie Hambleton, whose elder sister Maxine was killed in the Tavern in the Town, said that without the prospect of naming the bombers, “we may as well not bother having an inquest at all”.A statement from the Justice4the21 campaign group said: “We do not believe justice can be served through an inquest that does not consider the core issues relating to the bomb-makers, bomb-planters and their associates and their actions.”Six Irishmen, known as the Birmingham Six, were wrongly convicted of the bombings and spent 16 years in prison before being freed in 1991.A ITV World in Action Documentary the previous year had named four of five men it said were responsible for the bombings. Michael Christopher Hayes apologised to the families in a July 2017 BBC interview Families of those killed in the IRA’s Birmingham pub bombings are crowdfunding a High Court challenge to try to overturn a coroner’s ban on naming the suspect bombers.Peter Thornton QC, one of the country’s most senior coroners, ruled out identifying the suspects at fresh inquests into the deaths of 21 people killed in the 1974 bombings.But families of the victims killed when blasts tore through two city centre pubs are now seeking a judicial review to widen the scope of the hearings. “Please, please, please, help us to raise the money.”She added: “We have four weeks to raise £10,000.”
The heroic police officer seriously ill in the nerve agent attack on a Russian spy is “anxious and concerned” as his chief constable admitted: “He’s not the Nick I know”. Wiltshire Police’s acting chief constable Kier Pritchard said after visiting the detective at his hospital bedside that he was “well and sat up”, but added: “He is not the Nick that I know. He’s very anxious, he’s very concerned.” Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey was named as the officer being treated in intensive care after being contaminated when he raced to save the lives of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. A close colleague also spoke of fears for his recovery, saying: “Don’t forget this is a nerve agent attack. He’s…
Eugenie is ninth in line to the throne since the birth of Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child.After leaving Take That in 1995, Williams achieved significant commercial success as a solo act. During his career he struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs.Last year he boasted that he “smoked a spliff in Buckingham Palace” when he headlined the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012. Last year Robbie Williams boasted that he “smoked a spliff in Buckingham Palace” when he headlined the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012Credit:Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Europe The Duke of York announced in February that the couple would marry on Friday, October 12.Eugenie, the Queen’s granddaughter, became engaged to Mr Brooksbank, her long-term boyfriend, in Nicaragua in January. The daughter of Robbie Williams will reportedly be a flower girl at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in October. The ex-Take That star and his wife, Ayda Field, have been friends with Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice, for several years and will both attend the wedding, according to a report.Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank are going to get married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle – the same venue at which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in May.Along with Williams’ five-year-old daughter, Theodora Rose, other flower girls will be three-year-old Princess Charlotte and Maud Windsor, the four-year-old daughter of Lord Freddie Windsor and his actress wife Sophie Winkleman, according to the Mail on Sunday.Maud Windsor is in the same class as Prince George, the eldest child of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at St Thomas’ School in Battersea.Prince George is due to be a pageboy at the wedding, along with Louis de Givenchy, the son of the JP Morgan banker Olivier de Givenchy and his wife Zoe, it was reported. She is the younger daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, formerly Sarah Ferguson. The 27-year-old is one of the Queen’s granddaughters and her elder sister is Princess Beatrice of York. 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.
Temperatures are set to soar this weekend with the hottest day of the year predicated for parts of the UK.According to the Met Office, the south-east of England could see the mercury rise to 29C on Saturday.The joint warmest days of 2019 so far were April 19 and May 15, recording highs of 25.8C.However, a mixed weekend is forecast due to the high pressure dominating much of Saturday being replaced by low pressure on Sunday.A Met Office spokesman said: “The heat on Saturday is going to be limited to the south and east really, some parts of England and Wales, but with the main emphasis on the south-east corner and East Anglia.”There will be some medium and high-level cloud around. It will make the sunshine a bit hazy at times so not necessarily wall-to-wall blue skies, it’ll be feeling quite humid as well.”A similar figure again on Sunday in the south-east. Although the heat will be much more limited, we could still reach those sorts of temperatures.” 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’ve got that rain pushing in from the west on Sunday, so Scotland will see some quite persistent rain on Sunday.”Northern Ireland will see some rain and other western parts of England and Wales too.”The average temperature for June is 17C (62.6F).The bookmaker, Coral, has cut the odds on this summer being the hottest on record from 2-2 to 4-6 following a flurry of bets. “All the early forecasts point to a glorious summer this year and that has prompted punters to rush in to back it being a record-breaker,” said Coral’s John Hill.”After a scorching start to the month, the odds have also been slashed on this being the hottest June ever.” Northern England will be significantly cooler than the south on Saturday, with the average at around 18C.”The dividing line really is northern England for Saturday,” the spokesman continued.”Scotland, Northern Ireland and perhaps parts of northern England will not be necessarily particularly wet, but certainly a good deal cooler. Temperatures could soar in the south of EnglandCredit:David Rose
“Accessible contraceptive services are often focused on the needs of younger women and women over the age of 25 can in particular find themselves excluded from schemes providing free, pharmacy access to emergency contraception.”As so many women in the UK rely on pills and condoms as their main methods of contraception, it is vital that there is swift access to emergency options when those methods fail or a pill is missed.”She said greater access to services was also needed for women who are already mothers. “It’s time we ended the culture where abortion is seen as the only option. Women need to be supported and informed about the wide variety of alternative out there.”A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to maintaining a safe and caring environment for all women who need an abortion. It is encouraging to see that the number of women under 18 having abortions has fallen – however we do want to better understand why rates in other age groups are increasing and we are monitoring this trend closely. We are looking at ways to increase access to contraception, which will be set out in PHE’s reproductive health action plan to be published this year.” “Unplanned pregnancy in the year after birth is not uncommon, particularly among women who are breastfeeding,” she said.”However, it is also possible that over the longer term couples are making different decisions about family size and the number of children they can afford and feel able to properly care for.”The two-child benefit cap was designed to influence reproductive decision-making and we are certainly aware of cases where that has been a factor in a woman’s decision to end a third, unplanned pregnancy.” However, anti-abortion activists said that the latest abortion data represented a “national tragedy”.Clare McCarthy, spokeswoman for the Right to Life charity, said: “Every one of these abortions represents a failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.”Proposals from abortion campaigners to remove legal restrictions around abortion and introduce abortion right to birth would likely see these numbers get even worse.”There has been a sharp rise over the last decade in the proportion of abortions to women who are already mothers.In 2018, 56% of abortions (111,633) were to women who had had one or more previous pregnancies that resulted in a live or stillbirth, up 5% on the 106,550 the previous year. Less than half (48%) of abortions in 2008 were to women who had already had one or more previous births. Overall abortion rates have increased in the last decade for all women over the age of 25. The rates for women aged 30 to 34 increased from 15.6 per 1,000 women in 2008 to 19.9 in 2018.Among those aged 35 and over, they have risen from 6.7 per 1,000 women in 2008 to 9.2 per 1,000 women in 2018.In total, 34,380 women aged 35 and over had an abortion in 2018, up 6% on the 32,330 the year before. The data also showed there were 1,267 abortions to girls aged under 16 (0.6% of the total) in 2018.Of these, 363 were to girls aged under 15 (0.2% of the total). Overall, the abortion rate among under-18s has been falling for a decade.Nola Leach, chief executive at Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), added: “The fact that the abortion rate for women 35 or over has increased again since last year raises big questions about the pressures of modern life.“The instability of cohabitation and the intense pressure for couples to maintain two incomes are taking a heavy price. Abortions have reached the highest level ever in the UK, as new data reveals that 200,000 women had their pregnancies terminated last year.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published figures today revealing that there were 200,608 abortions for women in England and Wales in 2018. This marked an increase of 4% or 192,900 from the previous year. A further 4,687 abortions were carried out on non-residents in 2018.Experts said that the increase was as a result of older women and mothers being more likely to have abortions.Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at abortion provider the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “The reasons for the increase in abortions for older women in England and Wales are complex. 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.
He told one set of officers that he had first been abused at a military base, but told others it had been at a wildlife park. This included Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who had overall responsibility for historic abuse investigations and Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, who was in charge of Operation Midland and had famously described Beech as “credible and true”. Those findings were finally published last week on the day that Beech was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud at Newcastle Crown Court.Again the IOPC findings completely exonerated the officers involved, stating there was “no evidence that any of the officers deliberately withheld evidence from the applications with the intention of misleading the district judge”.Mr Proctor, who remains locked in a civil action again Scotland Yard, for the loss of his job and his home, described the findings as a “whitewash”. Carl Beech told police he had been abused as a youngster At Lord Brittan’s former constituency home in North Yorkshire, the officers were described as acting as if they were “digging for bodies” as they carried out their inquiries, seemingly unmoved by the fact Lady Brittan was still grieving for her husband who had lost his battle with cancer just weeks earlier.In Hampshire, Lord Bramall – the D-Day veteran and former head of the army – struggled to explain to his wife Dorothy, who was suffering from dementia, what the men in their home were doing. Sir Richard Henriques, who carried out a thorough review of the Met’s handling of Operation Midland, believes the officers applied for the warrants under false pretences and ought to be investigated for allegedly perverting the course of justice. Police raided Lord Bramall’s home while his wife was suffering from dementiaCredit:Geoff Pugh Just after 8am on March 4 2015, Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP, was midway through his regular morning routine of listening to the Today programme and feeding his two dogs, when he saw a police van pull up outside his home.After settling Duke, his Red Boxer, and Sushi, his Japanese Akita, he opened the door to be greeted by Detective Sergeant Matt Flynn of the Metropolitan Police’s murder squad.He was brandishing an official search warrant and demanded unfettered access to the property, which lies in the grounds of Belvoir Castle in Rutland.Mr Flynn and around 20 of his colleagues – some wearing blue forensic suits – then marched into the three bedroom cottage and began systematically turning the former politician’s life upside down.Mr Proctor, who at the time was working as private secretary to the 11th Duke of Rutland, was simply informed that the search was part of an investigation into historic child abuse.At around the same time in other parts of the country fellow Scotland Yard officers – armed with virtually identical warrants – were conducting similarly intrusive searches at the homes of Field Marshal Lord Bramall, and the recently deceased former Home Secretary, Lord Brittan. However what the officers did have to support their case was more than 20 hours of intense police interviews with the alleged victim, Beech.In all three search warrant applications submitted to Mr Riddle, the officers stated that Beech had been consistent when making his allegations.But as was laid bare during his 12 week trial, Beech was anything but consistent, having changed his story dramatically on numerous occasions.Two years before speaking to the Metropolitan Police, Beech, a former nurse and NHS manager, had told detectives from the Wiltshire Force that he had first been abused by an unnamed Lieutenant Colonel.But in a separate interview he claimed the first person to abuse him had actually been his late stepfather, Major Raymond Beech. In the days leading up to the searches, Detective Chief Inspector Diane Tudway, supported by her colleagues, Detective Inspector Alison Hepworth and Detective Sergeant Eric Sword, had sought a private hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in order to apply the warrants needed.The hearing took place in front of District Judge Howard Riddle, with the officers required to show reasonable grounds to support their claim that a crime had been committed.With the Operation Midland investigation still in its very early stages, there was little concrete to put before the court. Lady Brittan’s home was searched just weeks after Lord Brittan had died The searches lasted for more than 15-hoursand involved police officers rummaging through every aspect of their subjects’ private lives and seizing armfuls of intimate personal possessions in the process. Harvey Proctor’s home was searched in March 2015Credit:David Rose As far as the Metropolitan Police was concerned the searches represented a significant ramping up of its Operation Midland inquiry – which had been launched four months earlier to investigate claims of a VIP paedophile ring operating in Westminster in the 1970s.They believed that by conducting thorough searches of the homes of the three key “suspects”, they would find evidence supporting the allegations made by Carl Beech, that he had been ritually abused and tortured by a group of men when he was a child.But it is now the Metropolitan Police themselves who are in the dock, after a retired High Court judge accused them of obtaining the warrants unlawfully. The IOPC findings into the two officers, which was conveniently published on the day of the 2017 budget, concluded that they would face no further action because there was nothing to suggest they had acted “maliciously, dishonestly or in bad faith”.The conclusion had been reached without any of the three officers being interviewed by the IOPC.The allegation that Mrs Tudway, Ms Hepwoth and Mr Sword had misled a judge however was described as a “serious matter”, with inspectors insisting they would continue to investigate the matter thoroughly. Beech had solemnly told investigators that he had been removed from school every Friday so that the abuse could take place.But a cursory examination of his school attendance records showed this to be a blatant lie.He further told police he had suffered scores of injuries during years of physical abuse and torture, but when a doctor examined him, no sign of any injuries could be found. None of this information was known to the district judge when the applications for the warrants were made and Sir Richard has said he does not accept that the officers involved were unaware of the inconsistencies. As we now know, every one of Beech’s allegations was a lie, and when Operation Midland collapsed in early 2016, Sir Richard spent several months looking at the case in detail.His findings – while heavily redacted and conveniently published on the same day as the US general election – were scathing.He identified 43 separate mistakes by the Metropolitan Police, including the claim that officers had missed Mr Riddle when applying for the search warrants.As a result of the damning report Scotland Yard referred itself to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which began an investigation into potential misconduct by five officers. Carl Beech has been jailed for 18-yearsCredit:David Rose 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. Lord Hogan-Howe was in charge of the Met at the time of Operation Midland Steve Rodhouse, the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner was cleared of any wrongdoing by the IOPC Lord Bramall, whose wife died, while he remained under a cloud of suspicion, dismissed the IOPC’s conclusion as “completely ridiculous”. DCI Diane Tudway was cleared by the IOPC
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMurder of Sophia labourer: Prime suspects in custodyNovember 18, 2017In “Crime”Sophia labourer shot dead in row ‘over female’- PoliceNovember 4, 2017In “Crime”24-Y-0 charged with murder of Sophia of BusinessmanJuly 10, 2015In “Crime” A 31-year-old Sophia, East Coast Demerara resident was on Tuesday morning charged for the murder of 24-year-old Jamal Munroe which occurred on November 3, 2017.Travis Cleveland called “Spin and Kill” of Lot 337 South Sophia, East Coast Demerara pleaded not guilty when he was read the murder charge before Magistrate Alicia George at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court.Dead: Jamal MunroeIt is alleged that on the day in question, Munroe, a labourer of “C” Field Sophia, was shot and killed following a prolonged rivalry with the alleged suspect, an 18-year-old accomplice and his [Munroe’s] family members.According to reports, Munroe sustained gunshot wounds to his legs, upper hand and lower back. He died while receiving treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital.His alleged shooter, who has been identified as 18-year-old Mark Ferrel, then evaded Police and went into hiding. However, he was subsequently taken into custody along with Cleveland.The rivalry between the dead man and the suspects started some time ago following a reported gambling disagreement.Monroe who was no stranger to the law, was facing multiple armed robbery charges before the courts.Cleveland was remanded and is expected to re-appear on December 20, 2017.
A four storey hotel in Central India collapsed on Saturday night killing 10 people and leaving three severely injured.The Associated Press reported that rescuers worked tirelessly through the night and the wee hours of this morning to pull 10 people from then debris of the fallen building located in Indore, Madhya Pradesh State.It is being reported that some five people may still be trapped under the rubble.The old building reportedly came thumbing down when a car smashed into the front portion of it.The hotel with 25 rooms was located in the commercial hub of Indore, close to railway and bus stations. Indore is around 900 kilometers (560 miles) south of New Delhi.Building collapses are common in India as builders try to cut corners by using substandard materials, and as multi-story structures are erected with inadequate supervision.The massive demand for housing around India’s cities and pervasive corruption often result in builders adding unauthorized floors or putting up illegal buildings.In August 2017, 33 people were killed when an apartment building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIndia train crash: 100 killed in derailment near KanpurNovember 20, 2016In “latest news”Italy bridge: Genoa motorway collapse kills 35August 14, 2018In “World”5 injured as hotel building collapses in Jamaica…stop order placed on constructionMay 11, 2016In “latest news”
He related that the police are currently investigating the matter and have no information as to how the man suffered his injuries. According to Police Public Relations and Press Officer, Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, the victim, Munir Amin, 31, of First Dam, Garden of Eden, EBD, was first taken to the East Demerara Regional Hospital by his father, with severe injuries to his head and face. A male labourer who was on Monday morning found lying in a pool of blood at First Dam, Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara (EBD), is presently admitted at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, in a critical condition. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPensioner killed in EBD accidentAugust 31, 2019In “Crime”Lifeless body of a 70-year-old man “neatly placed” along Garden of Eden road sideMay 3, 2017In “Crime”Labourer critical following assault from brotherDecember 3, 2018In “Crime”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJustin Nedd confirmed as GTT CEODecember 9, 2015In “Business”Fibre-optic cables ‘sabotaged’ again- GTTSeptember 16, 2017In “Business”120 employees on the breadline as GTT restructuresFebruary 15, 2017In “Business” CEO of GTT, Justin NeddTelephone giant GTT has decided to terminate twelve (12) of its employees over what the company has described as suspicious activities unearthed during a routine internal review of the company’s financial procedures.In a statement issued confirming the terminations, GTT posited that the suspicious activities warranted further investigations, while highlighting that the “reorganization of staff resources was required to ensure and maintain integrity and smooth operation.”“GTT would like to assure the public that no adverse impact to any customer was realized and the review and findings bode well for the customers and are necessary for the evolution of organization” the company explained.Touching on the move to send the 12 staffers packing, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Justin Nedd, posited that “We constantly review systems, procedures and resources to maintain an organization that operates at the highest standard of transparency and integrity. This means that our actions must align with a strong value system and high ethical benchmarks as we strive to make GTT the best place to work in Guyana by 2020.”In August of 2018, Nedd announced that the company has taken steps to get international quality management systems certification as the GTT “pivots to be much more customer oriented and quality focused.”
As of Monday, Government approved salary increases across a number of pay ranges for public servants; inclusive of retroactive payments from January 2018, one week ahead of the reading of next year’s budget.This is according to a circular dated November 19, 2018, that was sent out by the Finance Ministry to the heads of all budget agencies and seen by <<<
GAF has been awarded a contract to design and establish the new automated and countrywide Mining Registry and Cadastre System for Mongolia. GAF starts work on-site this month. The project under the Governance Assistance Program (GAP) aims to improve governance in the mining sector, through the establishment of a transparent system to grant, manage and cancel permits. The efficient and reliable management of mining titles is considered as a backbone to increase investment and growth in the mining sector of Mongolia.The project’s objective is to strengthen the property rights and security of tenure within the mining sector; enhance the transparency of the mineral licensing process and government’s regulatory capacity through improved efficiency, information availability and management.A core element of the project is the supervision, development, equipping and implementation of a fully computerised mining registry and cadastre system. Existing analogue and digital data will be inventoried and re-organised. Institutional strengthening including focussed training activities and legal advice shall enhance the overall framework created by the new Mineral Law for the benefit of the administration, miners, investors as well as the public.Works will be performed for the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia, MRPAM. The project duration is 24 months, including a maintenance and support phase of 12 months. Activities are funded by the World Bank, International Development Association. The contract value amounts to €0.5 million. The activities in Mongolia follow countries like Nigeria, DRC, Madagascar and Namibia, where GAF has set-up nationwide computerised mining titling systems, some successful in operation for more than 10 years.