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Rory McIlroy Could Be A Bigger Threat To Jack Nicklaus Than Tiger

You couldn’t have scripted a more media-ready changing-of-the-guard than this year’s PGA Tour Championship. Since Tiger Woods’s gentle smack-talk after Rory McIlroy’s British Open win in July, McIlroy won at WGC-Bridgestone (taking back his No. 1 ranking), and on Sunday he followed that with his third win in a row and fourth major victory — coming from behind, in the dark, and fending off Phil Mickelson, no less!Meanwhile, Woods missed another cut, amid lingering health questions, and still hasn’t won a major since George W. Bush was president. For the better part of a decade, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Woods would meet or surpass Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major wins. Now, that goal is less and less attainable.Even a few days ago, I would have thought positing McIlroy as a greater threat to Nicklaus than Woods was ridiculous, but this is where we stand: McIlroy has built up one of the best starts to a career in modern golf history, essentially matching the Golden Bear through age 25, and each day Woods moves farther away from his prime.It may not look like much, but that four-major start by McIlroy is firmly in Woods and Nicklaus territory — they are the only players to have won four majors through age 25. Winning those four majors in a 15-tournament span is also a rare accomplishment. There have been a number of similarly meteoric rises in golf, but they usually come at a more mature age (see, for example: Nick Faldo, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan). And some early starts aren’t so meteoric (Seve Ballesteros).McIlroy has had both:Of course, after Woods won his fourth major, he went on to win the next two as well, and four of the next seven, so it’s silly to call McIlroy the next Tiger. But McIlroy doesn’t have to be as good now as Woods was then to have a chance at passing Nicklaus — Woods was way ahead of Nicklaus’s pace before injuries and possibly other things got the better of him.And now, even after clawing his way back to the top of the rankings, Woods isn’t who he used to be. At this point, it would take something unprecedented for him to match or pass Nicklaus. He needs four majors for a share of the lead, but by the time the Master’s comes around again in 2015, it will have been nearly seven years since Woods last won a major (no player has ever won four majors after going even five years between wins). And Woods will be 39 years old (no player has ever won four majors after the age of 39, not even the notoriously ever-spry Nicklaus).The good news for Woods is that he has some experience doing things that are fairly unprecedented in golf.But what about McIlroy’s expectation at this point? Trying to model the long-run performance and behavior of outliers can be particularly difficult, because the other data isn’t really a good guide. Nonetheless, assuming McIlroy faces the same regression to the mean as the average golfer does after a hot start (about a 50 percent to 75 percent reduction in win rate for the rest of his career), my best estimate is that he should win around 12 majors — plus or minus six or eight.For Tiger to beat Jack, he’ll have to break an unexpected trend, and for Rory to beat Jack, he’ll have to maintain a trend unexpectedly. read more

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Podcast Blatters Out Womens World Cup NBA Finals And The Astros Turnaround

Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (June 2, 2015), we discuss the announcement by FIFA’s Sepp Blatter that he will step down, and preview the Women’s World Cup, which kicks off Saturday. We also preview the NBA Finals and look at how the Astros and Twins got so good after being so bad. Plus, our Significant Digit of the week on a bold decision by Florida in the Women’s College World Series to hand the ball to two untested pitchers.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above.Below are some links to what we discuss in this week’s show:Adam Silver writes us a letter about our anti-tanking proposal.The FiveThirtyEight staff takes a crack at fixing FIFA after Blatter’s announcement.We’re doing Women’s World Cup predictions, and our tournament preview lays out how the U.S. team is favored, but just barely.Neil Paine writes that this is the second weakest team that LeBron James has carried to the NBA Finals.The Astros are making a historic turnaround.Significant Digit: Zero innings. In the Women’s College World Series finals, Florida handed the ball to two pitchers who hadn’t pitched in weeks. Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Hot Takedown If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

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Luis Valbuena Is Having A Very Weird Season With The Astros

152002Jim Thome5235.6 192003Barry Bonds4533.8 141994Matt Williams4336.1 41995Mark McGwire3944.8 91999Mark McGwire6544.8168 12001Barry Bonds7346.8%235 141999Barry Bonds3436.6148 71996Mark McGwire5239.4 81997Mark McGwire5839.2 RANKYEARPLAYERHRHR/H PERCENTAGE 92012Adam Dunn4137.3 132009Carlos Pena3936.5 This list consists of big boppers — and Luis Valbuena. You wouldn’t expect to see him on many lists that include Barry Bonds three times and Mark McGwire seven.Nineteen home runs is certainly a career high for Valbuena, and his .236 isolated power average (slugging percentage minus batting average — a measure of extra-base hits) beats his 2014 number by 50 points. But in the middle of those impressive power numbers, he appears to be struggling. His on-base percentage is .286. His walk and strikeout rates have gotten worse. Even with his high power numbers, his slugging percentage is only three points better than it was in 2014 thanks to his low average.Here is that above chart again, but this time it shows players’ corresponding wRC+. 22001Barry Bonds7346.8 122006David Ortiz5433.8157 112010Jose Bautista5436.5 111997Mark McGwire5839.2161 182001Sammy Sosa6433.9 172015Luis Valbuena1933.9 101999Barry Bonds3436.6 62002Jim Thome5235.6189 202006David Ortiz5433.8 122015Giancarlo Stanton2736.5 31998Mark McGwire7046.1 At the end of the 2014 season, the Houston Astros had improved from being a floating pile of garbage in the Pacific Ocean to a modest landfill in New Jersey. After losing more than 105 games in 2011, 2012 and 2013, a 70-92 finish in 2014 was both a welcome change for fans and a sign that GM Jeff Luhnow’s scorched-earth plan might actually be working.The Astros have taken an aggressive approach to rebuilding since Luhnow took over in 2011. Not interested in the traditional lumbering process of retooling, Luhnow ostensibly sold off any player he could in exchange for even the fringiest of prospects and salary relief. Payroll plummeted from almost $77 million in 2011 to just $26 million in 2013. The most the Astros paid a player in 2013 was $5 million to Wandy Rodriguez. The thing was, Rodriguez was pitching for Pittsburgh at the time (the Astros agreed to cover part of his salary when they traded him for a trio of of middling prospects in 2012.)This approach led to some horrendous teams, a small group of promising prospects, and a combination of high draft picks and a good deal of bonus slot money. The Astros told their fans to trust the process, that it had to get worse before it got better. This sounded all well and good on paper, but it was hard to imagine just how bad the Astros would actually get. Still, 2014 saw improvements in the major league club as well as a glimpse into the future as some of their better prospects started making a name for themselves.When it was time to prepare a roster for the 2015 season, the Astros made further moves to upgrade. Perhaps this was to appease the remaining fans of a recently disgusting baseball team, or to shut up national columnists who had taken umbrage at Houston’s radical approach. Perhaps it achieved a little of both. Either way, it was a surprise to see a team with a record of trading any player with a modicum of value pivot to signing and trading for actual major league talent. That’s how Houston got into the Luis Valbuena business. The previous tenant of third base, Matt Dominguez, had gone from being a glove-first prospect with some power to being a corner infielder with a 63 wRC+ (that stands for weighted runs created plus, a measure of a player’s total offensive value, with 100 being league average) and a -11.9 UZR/150. (UZR, or ultimate zone rating, is a measure of defensive ability. Anything below a -10 is an embarrassment.) Dominguez’s performance indicated that a change was needed at the hot corner.The Astros dipped into their deep pool of toolsy outfielders and sent Dexter Fowler — who had been traded to the Astros just one offseason before — to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Dan Straily and third baseman Valbuena.Valbuena was coming off a serviceable 2014 season, logging a 116 wRC+, and though his defensive numbers weren’t on par with his 2013 season, he came in just a shade below average with the glove. It seemed like a logical move: put a competent player at third and let the young core of players grow around that. And by the numbers, Valbuena has performed more or less competently. He’s just doing so in a very strange way.If it seems odd to see a player hitting .2031Stats throughout this article are current as of Thursday afternoon. described as competent, trust me that it feels just as odd to write. But buried in that .203 average are 19 home runs, the most of any Astros player and tied for seventh-most in the American League. Although Valbuena hasn’t yet crossed into Sylvester Coddmeyer III territory, an unusually large chunk of his hits have left the yard.This table gives the 20 highest percentages of home runs per hit, since 1985, for players with at least 19 home runs. 151999Sammy Sosa6335.0143 192001Mark McGwire2951.8104 182012Adam Dunn4137.3115 81995Mark McGwire3944.8183 With the exception of McGwire’s weird 2001 season, Valbuena is the only hitter flirting with league average. Hitters with a high home run percentage should put up good offensive numbers. Even the Three True Outcome players like McGwire, Dunn, Bonds, Thome and Sammy Sosa (all of whom generated large numbers of walks, strikeouts and home runs) have produced at an above-average level thanks to their abilities to get on base and hit for power. Valbuena has a 9.3 percent walk rate this season. He’s a Two Outcome player right now. Yet he’s keeping his head above the league-average water thanks to his home run total and the relatively weak crop of AL third basemen (one wonders how many points his wRC+ would jump if Josh Donaldson were playing in the NL.)A big factor in Valbuena’s weak season is BABIP (batting average on balls in play, which shows how often a ball in play becomes a non-home-run hit). Valbuena’s BABIP stands at .196, which is crazy low. McGwire’s 1997 season was the only other of our group to log a BABIP below .200. This isn’t a function so much of luck as of Valbuena’s high fly-ball rate. More than 48 percent of Valbuena’s batted balls this year have been fly balls. Usually, if fly balls aren’t clearing the fence, they’re getting caught.Valbuena’s ratio of home runs to hits is so high in part because very few of his other batted balls are dropping for hits. If all of his home runs dropped for doubles instead, his BABIP would be higher, yet his batting average would be the same (and his wRC+ would be much lower). If he had 19 more doubles and 19 fewer home runs, his BABIP would be .267, yet his average would remain at .203. No qualified hitter has had an average less than or equal to .200 and a BABIP greater than .266 for a season. Melvin Upton Jr. came close in 2014, with a .208 average and .286 BABIP.Luis Valbuena is having a weird season thanks to his home run totals. If his home runs were doubles, he’d also be having a weird season — one that would likely cause Houston to scout for third-base talent at the deadline.Jed Lowrie, another 2015 pickup for Houston, is expected to come off the disabled list after the All-Star break. His normal shortstop position has been taken over by some kid named Carlos Correa, so he and Valbuena could platoon at third for the remainder of the season. This may very well kill The Weird Season of Luis Valbuena: The Astro Who Only Hit Homers. It would most likely be good for the Astros, but bad for those of us who love baseball oddities. So it goes. To (terribly) paraphrase Rick Blaine, we’ll always have the first half of 2015. 51996Mark McGwire5239.4190 161999Sammy Sosa6335.0 51999Mark McGwire6544.8 102010Jose Bautista5436.5165 172009Carlos Pena3936.5132 72001Sammy Sosa6433.9186 132015Giancarlo Stanton2736.5156 31998Mark McGwire7046.1205 22003Barry Bonds4533.8212 161994Matt Williams4336.1133 RANKYEARPLAYERHRHR/H PERCENTAGEWRC+ 42000Mark McGwire3244.4195 12001Mark McGwire2951.8% 202015Luis Valbuena1933.9101 62000Mark McGwire3244.4 read more

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Tennis Finally Crowns An American Woman Not Named Williams

During the first 20 years of the “Open era,”2The Open era began in 1968 when the French Open decided to allow professionals to play alongside amateurs. the women’s draw at the U.S. Open saw 15 champions from the U.S. It took American women three years to capture their first U.S. Open title in the Open era (Virginia Wade of Great Britain was the first to lift the trophy, in 1968, and Australian legend Margaret Court, who along with Billie Jean King is the only woman to win the U.S. Open in both the pre-Open era and the Open era, won in 1969 and 1970). But after that slow start, American women won 15 of the next 17 titles. King won in 1971, 1972 and 1974 (her last time) before passing the torch to Chris Evert.Evert dominated the tournament from 1975 to 1982 — her six titles in that span are tied with Serena Williams’s for the most in the Open era.3Helen Wills Moody — also an American — still holds the all-time record, with seven titles. Tracy Austin picked up two titles, in 1979 and 1981, and Martina Navratilova, who became an American citizen in 1981, won four of her own from 1983 to 1987.4She lost in the 1985 U.S. Open final to Hana Mandlíková.This American pre-eminence carried over to the other majors as well. From 1971 to 1987, U.S. women won at least one major in each season.51988 and 1989 were busts for anyone in women’s tennis not named Steffi Graf. In 1988, Graf asserted herself as the best tennis player on the planet by winning all four majors — and Olympic gold. In 1989, she won three of the season’s four majors. And from the beginning of the Open era through 1984, 12 different Americans made it to at least one Grand Slam final (and five of those 12 won at least one Grand Slam).The parity that once existed in U.S. women’s tennis dwindled a bit in the years that followed Navratilova’s final title at Wimbledon, in 1990 — at least in terms of the number of players who made it to a Grand Slam final. In the subsequent 27 years, just nine Americans have made at least one Grand Slam final. But of those nine, six have gone on to win at least one Grand Slam.Before Stephens did it on Saturday, the last American not named Williams to lift a trophy at a major was Jennifer Capriati, who knocked off Martina Hingis at the 2002 Australian Open. Fifteen years is a huge gap in parity, but the work of the sisters alone in this period — particularly Serena Williams, who won 23 titles — still meant that this would go down as one of the most dominant eras of American women’s tennis. The pair have won 30 of the last 75 finals and have combined for eight U.S. Open trophies.In the end, it’s fitting that the final major of the 50th season of Open-era play would go to an American — of the 199 majors contested over that span, 85 have been won by an American, by far the most of any country. And if Stephens, Keys and Vandeweghe have anything to say about it, that number should only grow. And above all, parity in American women’s tennis appears to be on the upswing again. Saturday marked the first time since 1998 that the women’s draw at the U.S. Open was won by an American not named Serena or Venus. Sloane Stephens, who was ranked 957th in the world in July and entered the tournament unseeded, beat fellow American (and good friend) Madison Keys handily, 6-3, 6-0. Stephens, Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe, all of whom made at least the semifinals at this year’s Open, are all 25 years old or younger and have tons more tennis to play in their primes. Could they be the players who finally take the torch carried so long by Serena and Venus Williams?Before Thursday, it had been 36 years since every player in the semifinals of the women’s draw at the U.S. Open was an American. And before Saturday, the last American not named Williams to lift the U.S. Open trophy was Lindsay Davenport, who dominated the game from 1998 to 2000, finishing the 1998 WTA season as the top-ranked player in the world and nearly collecting a career Grand Slam over the course of just three seasons.1Davenport now coaches Madison Keys. Not a bad influence to have in your box. The Williams sisters’ dominance notwithstanding, American women have had a rough go of it at the U.S. Open — and have seen less success at every other major as well — during the past two decades. But that wasn’t always the case. read more

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How FiveThirtyEights NCAA Tournament Forecasts Did

We love making predictions at FiveThirtyEight, but we know that they’d be meaningless if we didn’t check to see how accurate they turned out to be. Over the past month, we forecast every NCAA college basketball game for the women’s and men’s tournaments, updating our numbers almost a hundred times as 132 teams were pared down to two champions.So let’s relive the NCAA tournament not through “One Shining Moment” but through a vetting of FiveThirtyEight’s forecasts.MEN’SOne way to assess our accuracy is to pit ourselves against Vegas, the gold standard of sports predictions. We took our final probabilities from before each March Madness game — converted to a point spread1The calculation for converting a win probability to a point spread in R: -qnorm(win_prob, mean = 0, SD = 10.36). That standard deviation is derived from a model Nate Silver built several years ago, based on about six years’ worth of tournament games. We then rounded to the nearest half point. — and used them to place hypothetical bets on the final Vegas line. For example: Vegas had Texas at -2.5 over Butler, but we gave the Longhorns just a 54 percent chance of winning. This implied a line of -1, so we bet on Butler to cover. (And we won!)Here’s how our hypothetical bets did through the round of 64. Note that if our implied line matched Vegas’s exactly, we wouldn’t place a hypothetical bet on that game.A 17-13 record is strong — enough to maybe make some money. More importantly, our model performed well when it differed significantly from Vegas. In seven games, marked in gray above, our model had a perceived edge of three points or more — a sizable gap in forecasting between the two basketball forecasts. In these games, our bets went 5-2.After the round of 64, things didn’t go so great:Through these last 31 games, our spreads tracked Vegas very closely. We disagreed on the favorite just once (correctly picking Notre Dame to beat Wichita State), and there were no games where our perceived edge was three points or greater. In 21 games, our edge was half a point to a point, a relatively small advantage to place actual money on. Luckily we didn’t, as these hypothetical bets went 6-15. When our perceived edge was greater than a point, our bets went 3-3. That gave us an overall March Madness record of 26-31, with 10 no bets.Betting against Vegas is great, but we’re aware that many of our readers stopped looking at our forecasts the moment they turned in their bracket. This means that the performance of our first, pre-tourney predictions was especially important.If you built a men’s bracket using only FiveThirtyEight’s initial numbers, you would have gotten 70 percent of the games correct. It’s hard to tell if we should be happy with that number — it’s certainly not going to impress sammyholtz16 or anyone else on top of the ESPN Bracket Challenge leaderboard. A better way to assess probabilistic forecasts is a calculation known as a Brier score, which we can use to compare ourselves to other models like Ken Pomeroy’s, Jeff Sagarin’s,2Sagarin just produces a power ranking, so for that model we used the converted probabilities that appeared in The New York Times. The Power Rank, ESPN BPI, and numberFire.A short, but still mathy, example of how Brier scores work: Our initial predictions gave No. 6 seed Xavier a 26.5 percent chance of advancing to the Sweet 16, while Ken Pomeroy’s log5 model gave them a 24.8 percent chance.3It’s sort of unfair to compare our forecast to Pomeroy’s, as our model incorporates his numbers as one of our variables. Pomeroy’s ratings and Jeff Sagarin’s power rankings can be used to forecast the tournament, but they were built to be useful throughout the entire college basketball season; they’re intentionally more generalized. Xavier did advance, so our Brier score for that event was (1 – 0.265)^2, or 0.54, while Pomeroy scored a 0.57. Being closer to zero is better, so we were (slightly) more accurate for that prediction.We calculated each model’s average Brier score for each round of the tournament. To benchmark all the results, we added a “chalk” model that assigned a 100 percent probability to the higher seed winning each game.4For games between teams with the same seed, the S-curve was used as a tiebreaker. Not every model predicted the play-in games, so for consistency we used every site’s predictions from before the First Four, but only measured the accuracy of predictions from after those games were played. Here are the results, including an overall average:FiveThirtyEight came in third, and all the models beat the chalk. Our forecasts started strong, with the lowest Brier score for the round of 64. We assigned the highest probabilities to Georgia State’s and Dayton’s upset chances — 24 and 38 percent, respectively. The Dayton pick — calculated before the play-in games began — was a coup for the geographic component of our calculations: Dayton had a home game against Boise State for its play-in, and then had to travel just a few dozen miles for its round of 64 matchup.NumberFire came in second, leaning heavily on favorites throughout the tournament. This killed numberFire early on — it gave Iowa State a 96 percent change over UAB — but this confidence paid off as the bracket became chalkier and chalkier. Other models, like Pomeroy’s, consistently underrate the favorites’ probability of winning, leading to weaker Brier scores.Once Duke started rolling, The Power Rank pulled away. Among the models we looked at, the site gave the Blue Devils the highest probability of advancing to the Sweet 16 (88 percent), Elite Eight (71 percent), Final Four (46 percent), and Championship game (27 percent). Duke was given a 12 percent chance to win the title at the tournament’s start. To compare, our model and numberFire each put Duke at six percent, while BPI had it at just three percent. Given that Duke is traditionally undervalued in bracket pools, fans who built their brackets on The Power Rank’s numbers likely had a pretty good tournament.WOMEN’SVegas might be the gold standard of sports predictions over in the men’s tournament, but unfortunately we couldn’t find a reliable source of betting lines for the women’s NCAA tournament (nor could we find them for any games other than the championship). This year was the first time we made March Madness predictions for the women’s tournament, and we knew there would be less data available for making the women’s model.Because there’s no major alternative we can use to judge our forecast, we were left with an imperfect measure: Did it do better than if we had just picked favorites? It’s a draw! if you built a women’s bracket using only FiveThirtyEight’s initial numbers, you would have gotten 84 percent of games correct, compared to … 84 percent if only favorites won.But Brier scores can help settle the tie. Here’s what happened when we compared our probabilistic results to the all-favorites picks.Our model outperformed the chalk model in the opening rounds (as it should have), but in some matchups it did more than just outperform. We gave DePaul, a No. 9 seed, a 77 percent chance of upsetting Minnesota, a No. 8 seed, and the Blue Demons won by seven. In the Spokane region, we gave Gonzaga a 48 percent chance of upsetting George Washington, nearly a coin toss, and sure enough, Gonzaga made a strong run all the way to the third round.We didn’t predict the Dayton upset of Kentucky (we gave them only a 22 percent chance of making it that far), and by the Sweet 16, the chalk model began to outperform us. Perhaps our model’s biggest oversight was placing too much weight on South Carolina making it to the national championship over Notre Dame, which was due in part to the geographical advantages we assigned to their playing in Greensboro. Both teams were No. 1 seeds, but Notre Dame was the higher 1 seed. We gave South Carolina a 40 percent chance of making it to the finals, and Notre Dame only a 34 percent chance. This was a very chalky tournament to begin with, however, with heavy, heavy favorites like UConn and the rest of the No. 1 seeds dominating the bracket.In total, however, we outperformed the chalk, and we’re pleased with how our first women’s March Madness predictions did. We’ll have more data to build on for next year, plus a better understanding of the fat-tailed distributions particular to the women’s tournament — and we’ve got a pretty good idea of who our model will favor again.CORRECTION (March 15, 2016, 12:10 p.m.): An earlier version of the first footnote in this article misstated the equation used to calculate implied point spreads from win probabilities. This calculation used a mean of zero, not one. The numbers that appeared in the article were not affected. read more

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Opinion NBA makes right move in punishing LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits courtside with V. Stiviano during a game against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center in October 2013.Credit: Courtesy of MCTBanned for life.That is the exact punishment handed down to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling by NBA commissioner Adam Silver Tuesday, after an audio recording was leaked over the weekend that captured Sterling making racist comments to his girlfriend.Silver not only banned Sterling for life, but also fined him $2.5 million, which is the maximum fine allowed by the NBA constitution. Silver said in a press conference the money will go toward “organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts” to be decided on by the NBA and its players association.Silver absolutely made the right decision, and should be commended for acting quickly and appropriately.The comments made by Sterling have no place in sports or in society. Thanks to the leadership of Silver, they did not go unpunished.One can only hope the reaction of the players and fans, which has thus far been professional, remains that way.I not only feel awful for the black community, but for those within the Clippers organization, especially the players who are in the midst of a highly competitive playoff series with the Golden State Warriors.As a former athlete at the high school level and club level in college, I know that off the field – or in this case, court – situations can sometimes disrupt one’s ability to perform, and I hope not only the Clippers, but all NBA players, will be able to rise above this situation and continue to succeed on the court.I also hope this situation does not cause any sort of issue between players of different races in the locker room. One would hope in today’s society this would not be a problem, however, Sterling’s comments should not be a part of today’s society either.Some people have suggested players and fans alike boycott the upcoming playoff games, but I feel that action would prove nothing. Sure, Sterling won’t profit from the upcoming games, but what of the players who have worked so hard all season and are chasing a championship?I firmly believe once that first whistle blows, all outside circumstances cease and it is strictly a game. The focus is on the game and that alone.I do not believe I am alone in saying that I hope the NBA owners vote to eliminate Sterling permanently, and I believe we as an American society would emerge from this stronger and more united.As a white male, I cannot begin to understand what the black community must feel, or the distrust that must be felt by those associated with the Clippers organization. I can, however, offer them my full support in the hope that justice will be served and Sterling will be rightfully punished for his actions. read more

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Mens Hockey No 7 Ohio State loses to No 5 Notre Dame

Ohio State then-freshman goaltender Tommy Nappier covers up a puck during Ohio State’s 4-0 win against Wisconsin on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternThe No. 7 Ohio State men’s hockey team split its Big Ten opener with No. 5 Notre Dame after dropping the second game of the road series 2-1.Ohio State (4-3-1, 1-1) shutout Notre Dame (4-3-1, 1-1) in the first game of the series 1-0 and led or tied most of the game Saturday night before a late goal by the Fighting Irish sealed the 2-1 victory for Notre Dame.After a scoreless first period featuring 13 shots by each team, senior forward Mason Jobst tallied the first goal of the game in the second period with assists by junior forward Carson Meyer and senior forward Freddy Gerard.The Fighting Irish quickly tied it up minutes later with an even-strength goal by sophomore forward Colin Theisen.A scoring drought took place for the rest of the second period and well into the third before Notre Dame senior forward Joe Wegwerth scored the eventual game-winning goal with just under seven minutes remaining.Ohio State didn’t convert on either of its two power play attempts of the night but killed every penalty they gave Notre Dame, an improvement on the previously lackluster special teams that plagued the Buckeyes through the first part of their season.The Buckeyes tried to tie the game with what time they had left, bringing sophomore goaltender Tommy Nappier out of the net with around a minute remaining, but their comeback effort fell short.Nappier allowed two goals and saved 36 shots in his fourth start in the net this season.The Buckeyes will stay on the road next weekend against Colgate, with the puck dropping on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. read more

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How Anjem Choudary swore allegiance to Islamic State after curry house meeting

first_imgChoudary and Rahman had a combined 60,000 Twitter followers and were avid users of YouTube – their chosen platform to deliver their message through recorded lectures.Mr Justice Holroyde explained he would not take into account allegations against Choudary and Rahman spanning 20 years and said: “My duty is to sentence you for the offences for which you have been convicted.’But he told them: “You indirectly encouraged violent terrorist activity.’The judge said: “You are both mature and intelligent men who knew throughout exactly what you were doing.”While Rahman was “something of a hothead”, he said Choudary was “more calculating”.“In your differing ways I regard each of you as dangerous.”Both were likely to continue to spread their message as long as they could, the judge  said.Speaking after the conviction, Cdr Dean Haydon, head of the Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, said the pair had “poisoned vulnerable minds”.He said: “These men have stayed just within the law for many years and there has been frustration for both law enforcement agencies and communities as they spread hate.”We have watched Choudary developing a media career as spokesman for the extremists, saying the most distasteful of comments, but without crossing the criminal threshold.”Their recent speeches and the oath of allegiance were a turning point for the police – at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they were actively encouraging support of [Isil].”This has been a significant prosecution in our fight against terrorism and we will now be working with communities to ensure that they are not replaced by others spreading hate.” Mohammed Mizanur Rahman was also sentenced to five-and-a-half-yearsCredit:Nick Edwards After the meeting, Choudary and his co-defendant, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, agreed to swear an oath of allegiance to the new Isil movement under their Islamic nicknames.The timing of the document made it all the more important, Mr Justice Holroyde said.With turmoil across Iraq and Syria after the advent of the caliphate, many Muslims were seeking guidance on whether the new organisation was legitimate.While the great majority of the Muslim world dismissed the extremists, the judge said Choudary had quickly set about communicating his message to as many persons as he could. Mohammed Mizanur Rahman Choudary dismissed questions about why Isil was killing people or beheading Western hostages.Mr Justice Holroyde said: “At no point did either of you say anything to condemn the violent means by which ISIS claimed to have established a caliphate.“In fact, none of the many speeches which the jury heard contains any criticism by either of you of any of the violent actions of [Isil] or its supporters. On the contrary, each of you was invariably able to find a way of justifying their most appalling acts.“Throughout all of your speeches and broadcasts you expressed your contempt for the values of the democracy in which we live, and encouraged your audience to believe that no one who failed to support the caliphate established by [Isil] could be a true Muslim.”The danger of their oath and lectures was multiplied by their army of social media followers, the court heard. 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. It was the obligation of every Muslim to obey the caliph who ruled in accordance with sharia law and to fight those who differed from him, he said.In his lecture he said every Muslim would want to live under sharia, and stressed that the caliphate needed to expand to achieve world domination.A few days later in the second lecture, he said al Baghdadi was the legitimate caliph and that apostates who left Islam would face capital punishment.Choudary happily referred to the prospect of the flag of Islam fluttering over Downing Street and the White House.center_img Choudary was hugely influential among extremists, the court heardCredit:Luke MacGregor/Reuters Within days, the oath of allegiance document, affirming the legitimacy of the caliphate, was posted on the internet by Choudary’s associate in Indonesia, Mohammed Fachry.Weeks later, Choudary went on to restate his support in two lectures.In the first of two online talks in late August 2014, Choudary said that Isil had established a legitimate caliphate. Anjem Choudary Those present included Siddhartha Dhar, also known as Abu Rumaysa, who is later alleged to have become an Isil executioner, and Abdul Muhid, who was jailed for fundraising for terrorists in 2008.Also present was convicted terrorist Simon Keeler, who was jailed alongside Omar Brooks earlier this year when they were caught in Hungary in breach of their travel bans.Even among such notorious figures though, Choudary’s influence was supreme, the Old Bailey heard.Dhar had pleaded by text message with Choudary to give his “Islamic verdict” on the new caliphate, saying his “words would be gold on Twitter.’ After 20 years of avoiding serious prosecution, Anjem Choudary was finally bought down after pledging allegiance to Islamic State following a curry house meeting with his associates in East London.Days after militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) streamed across the Syrian border to seize swathes of northern Iraq in June 2014, Choudary and his henchmen met to discuss Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s self-styled caliphate.At the meeting at Hayfield Masala, in Mile End Road, Stepney Green were some of the Britain’s most notorious extremists.last_img read more

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Roald Dahl was inspired by his wifes stroke to create the words

first_imgRoald Dahl Dahl is well known for his diverse language, with six of his made-up words, including “Oompa Loompa”, being added into the Oxford English Dictionary last month.In The BFG, cheerful is replaced with “hopscotchy”, writing with “squabbling” and silly with “frothbuggling”. “The BFG has all these weird words and weird expressions,” Prof Solomon said. “The BFG struggles to get his words out just like a stroke victim.”Following his wife’s stroke, Dahl set up a “rehabilition” programme in a bid to help her learn to speak again. The BFG struggles to get his words out just like a stroke victimTom Solomon Prof Solomon’s said Dahl told him that his wife’s problems with words “must have” influenced his writing. “I had always enjoyed making up new words,” the author said, according to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine.“That is part of the fun, you know, that keeps the nippers interested… But I suppose, yes, some of the trouble Pat had did work its way into The BFG; yes it must have.” 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. Some of the trouble Pat had did work its way into The BFG; yes it must haveRoald Dahlcenter_img Roald Dahl came up with words such as “snozzcumber” and “gobblefunk” after being inspired by his wife’s stroke, his doctor has revealed.The author, who died in 1990, also drew on side effects of the condition for his character the BFG and made him get his words out “just like” a stroke patient, Professor Tom Solomon said.Dahl’s wife, American actress Patricia Neal, suffered multiple strokes while bathing her eldest daughter in 1965. The author later became an active campaigner and played a part in creating The Stroke Association.  Prof Solomon, who was attending the Cheltenham Literature Festival to speak about his book Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine, spoke to Dahl about the link while looking after him.Speaking about the moment he asked Dahl, he said: “I said to him, ‘did all these new words and the difficulty with the BFG’s speech, did that come from Pat’s stroke?’“She struggled with her words like people do when they’ve had a stroke. She came up with all these funny words, like ‘oblogon’ for a cigarette and ‘you make me jake my diddles’ meaning ‘you’re making me cross’.” “Back then there was no rehabilitation, she would have got an hour every couple of days but he thought how is she going to relearn to speak and relearn to walk on an hour a day?” Prof Solomon said.“Look at children. Children have six hours a day in school to help them learn and so he thought that’s what we’re going to do.“He set up for friends and family to come and do an hour each, six hours a day to help her talk again.” Dahl’s approach to stroke rehabilitation became a whole movement and eventually became absorbed into the Stroke Association. Roald Dahl invented wordsCredit:Ronald Dumont /Gettylast_img read more

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Trojan Horse school governors son was killed fighting with Isil

first_imgThey just ruined him. They lured him into something he knew little about. He didn’t have any understanding or comprehension about what he was walking intoNicola Benyahia Rasheed Mrs Benyahia, 46, a British convert to Islam, has recently set up a support group to reverse the process of radicalisation, working with experts to identify “triggers” in vulnerable young people.But she believes that the Trojan Horse affair could have been used as one of the triggers to the radicalisation of her son, Rasheed.The teenager, an enthusiast for the acrobatic craze free-running, disappeared in May last year and travelled to the so-called Islamic State where he was killed six months later in a Coalition drone strike.In an extensive interview with the BBC she offers a rare glimpse into the experiences of families of those who have travelled to join Jihadist networks, Mrs Benyahia describes how the teenager gradually changed during the course of 2014. Park View School, the academy at the centre of the ‘Trojan Horse’ claimsCredit:PA Park View But around New Year 2015, Rasheed, who had been doing an apprenticeship in electrical engineering, presented her with a diamond necklace, for which he had saved up, with a note reading: “Mama – no matter how much gold and how many precious stones are used, it’s never enough to show how precious you are to me.”She now believes this marks the point at which he had made up his mind to travel to Syria.“I think that was his goodbye present to me,” she said.“At that point he had made the decision to go – and that was his way of saying so.“I think that was how he was saying goodbye to me.“That calm, I now know, is one of the tactics that the recruiters deploy.“They tell their recruits to avoid tension, to be placid, to not bring attention to himself and just go along with what his parents wanted.“He was over decision time and into preparation mode.” A former governor of a group of schools at the centre of the so-called “Trojan Horse” affair has spoken of how her 19-year-old son was radicalised by Islamic extremists and eventually died fighting with Isil in Syria.Nicola Benyahia was among a group of board members from the Park View Educational Trust in Birmingham who stood down in July 2014 at the height of the uproar into allegations that hard-line Muslim groups had attempted to infiltrate schools in the city.An official review by the former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke concluded there was “disturbing” evidence of attempts to take control of schools to spread an ultra-conservative brand of Islam, leaving children “vulnerable” to radicalisation. She said that despite concerns about what was happening she had hoped to stick it out as a governor because she wanted a progressive Muslim female voice to be heard on the board.But she fears the case might have been used by extremists to turn him against Britain.“I could see a great man that he was going to become and it was just taken away in the last year of his life,” she said.“They just ruined him.“They lured him into something he knew little about.“He didn’t have any understanding or comprehension about what he was walking into.“His softer nature and that vulnerability in him was manipulated [by saying] ‘Oh this is the Caliphate, this is what you must do, if you don’t do this, if you don’t do this journey then you’re not a believer, you’re not a Muslim, you’re not a good Muslim’.“That would have got to him more than anything.”  She recounted how he became increasingly preoccupied and angry about events in the Muslim world, especially Syria, during the course of 2014 and was particularly animated by news of the establishment of a so-called Islamic State. Nicola Rasheed Benyahia in SyriaCredit:News Scan Mrs Benyahia, a care manager and counsellor, details how, with hindsight, changes in her son’s mood and outlook chart a process similar to grooming by a group of people she believes he met after joining late night Islamic study circles in the city.She singles out two elements in their family life at the time which she believes may have made him more vulnerable to extremists: a rocky patch in his parents’ marriage and her own experience in being caught up in the Trojan Horse affair. Nicola Benyahia (right) and her son on holidayCredit:News Scan 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

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Hero dog sniffs out litter of abandoned puppies during woodland walk

first_imgThis puppy was left for dead on a cold winter’s nightCredit:Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary This puppy was left for dead on a cold winter's night “Ideally potential owners should be home most of the time and possibly have some knowledge of active dogs such as collies/labs etc but in the meantime, how cute are they!”They have been named Tosca, Mabel, and Carlos and are being fostered while they await families to adopt them permanently.If people want to help out the animals at the sanctuary, Holly Hedge has an Amazon wishlist, so kind-hearted donors can choose which gift they want to give the puppies. The dog’s owner then dropped off the three puppies at the sanctuary.The animal sanctuary wrote on Facebook: “Luckily a dog out walking sniffed them out, and in a true ‘lassie style’ moment, alerted her owner to rescue them, thank goodness as we truly feel they wouldn’t have survived a cold winters night”.”There is no excuse for leaving puppies in this manner. They were not secure in the box and could have easily have been killed.”The puppies have all been taken to the vet and were in good health, except for needing a de-worming. The sanctuary continued: “Anyone interested should call in to the sanctuary and fill in an application form, due to the high demand for rescue pups we will select the most suitable homes to meet them. 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. A heroic dog has sniffed out a litter of abandoned Border Collie puppies while on a walk in the woods.The puppies are now all happy and healthy, and are likely to find loving homes.Their lives were in jeopardy when they were dumped in a plastic recycling bin in Failand Woods in Bristol.Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary referred to the rescue as a “lassie style moment”, as the heroic dog who sniffed them out alerted her owner.last_img read more

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UK weather Weeks worth of rain to fall on Monday as wet

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Up to a week’s worth of rain is expected to hit parts of Britain on Monday as a wet weather front moves in from the Atlantic.Forecasters warned of torrential downpours and winds of up to 60mph that could cause difficult driving conditions.The west, Wales and the North West through to the South West are among the areas that will see the wettest weather.The Met Office said Monday could see up to 20mm of rain and gusts of around 50mph, particularly in the west, or up to 60mph in Scotland, thanks to weather moving in from the Atlantic.Forecaster Emma Sillitoe said: “It will be heavy rainfall for the day and it will affect most of the country as the rain will be moving slowly eastwards.”She said 15 to 20mm of rainfall is expected on Monday, while the long term local average is about 100mm for February. Surf-spotters brave the rain to photograph huge waves battering Chesil Beach, DorsetCredit:Stuart Fretwell/REX/Shutterstoc​k Wales could get gusts of 45mph to 50mph while the Scottish coast could see winds of 55mph to 60mph.It can be traced back to weather moving in from the Atlantic that will be a “quite a slow moving” system.The rain is set to move away by Tuesday, but it will linger around the east coast and the winds will not be as strong.UK weather forecast: Monday, February 6Forecaster Mark Wilson described the weekend’s weather as a “north-south split” and that temperatures had started to fall again.Monday night could see snow for upland parts of Scotland and the tops of the Pennines. Rain is expected to become more confined to Scotland and northern and eastern parts of England later, leaving clear spells and a few showers elsewhere. The Meteogroup said Tuesday will bring a mixture of sunshine and showers, which are likely to be heaviest and most frequent across south-west Britain – potentially producing hail and the odd rumble of thunder.It said the rest of the week will be largely cloudy, grey and chilly across eastern areas with some patchy rain and hill snow, but with brighter skies across the west.center_img Surf-spotters brave the rain to photograph huge waves battering Chesil Beach, Dorset Pedestrians shelter from the rain on Westminster Bridge, LondonCredit:Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock Pedestrians shelter from the rain on Westminster Bridge, Londonlast_img read more

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Creator of Beware of Jews sign says it was art after it

first_imgDespicable, nasty behaviour that has absolutely no place in our community https://t.co/TtlUfsVJO7— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) March 14, 2017 “You have to think about the people you are talking about and the type of message and type of meaning it would have for them.” Barry Bard, Shomrim’s operational supervisor in Stamford Hill, said the incident was the first known sighting of such a sign, which had caused alarm in the local community due to its meticulous planning.He said: “The people of Stamford Hill are very sadly used to instances of anti-Semitic hate crime, but most of those times it will be verbal abuse or even assault.”A lot of the time it will be more of a person-to-person kind of thing, or graffiti, which is more unprofessional.”The person who planned (this sign) has obviously gone to an effort to cause alarm and distress to local people.”Labour’s MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, said the incident amounted to “despicable, nasty behaviour that has absolutely no place in our community”.Hackney Council is expected to remove the sign on Wednesday morning. The creator of an antisemitic sign has said it was “art” after a Jewish neighbourhood watch group reported the road sign which appears to warn “beware of Jews” to the police.The sign, which appears to depict the silhouette of an orthodox Jewish man wearing a traditional Fedora hat, was found just 200 yards from a nearby synagogue in Stamford Hill, north London, on Tuesday.Freelance photographer Franck Allais apologised for his creation, claiming the red, triangular sign depicting the silhouette of a Jewish man was not meant to cause offence.It was spotted by a member of a local Jewish neighbourhood group, Shomrim N E London, which then reported it to Hackney Police.Diane Abbott, shadow home secretary and MP for Hackney North, denounced the sign as “disgusting” and “unacceptable”. The artist’s contrition was welcomed by one rabbi, but he was condemned for a “lack of sensitivity and knowledge”.”It was a project about crossing the road,” Franck Allais told The Guardian.”How everyone is different, everyone has an identity. There is not only one sign in the street. I put more signs up in the street, but only this one got noticed. I am sorry for any offence caused.”Rabbi Herschel Gluck, president of Shomrim, told the Press Association: “I’m very pleased that he has apologised but rather surprised at his lack of sensitivity and knowledge that a sign like this could prove to be offensive.”Especially with people who have been traumatised in recent history by similar signs barring them from professions and parks.center_img Disgusting. Unacceptable. https://t.co/uym6OisBsl— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) March 14, 2017 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

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Buckfast makers hit out at copycat Easter eggs as they warn children

first_imgThe makers of Buckfast have hit out at an Easter egg sold with a bottle of the tonic wine in the box as they warn children may drink the alcohol.The firm behind the controversial drink are taking action to have the chocolate treats removed from shelves.  The Buckfast chocolate eggs, which come with a miniature bottle of the tonic wine and a lighter, are being sold by Northern Irish company d-Bees Offsales.They report 2000 orders coming in from all over the UK, America and Australia. However, J Chandler & Co, who bottle and distribute the wine which is made by Benedictine monks in Devon, have distanced themselves from the product.They said they were concerned the chocolate treats could attract children and called on consumers to boycott them.Stewart Wilson, sales manager of J Chandler & Co, who bottle and distribute the wine, said: “The Easter eggs that are currently being advertised for sale in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK have not been authorised or instigated by our company.”We strongly advise the public not to purchase them. “As an alcoholic drinks manufacturer we take our responsibilities very seriously.”Our products are for adults and we do not engage in any activity that promotes our products, either directly or indirectly, to children and young people.”We do not manufacture or advertise any confectionery items.”Customers are advised not to purchase these Easter eggs and we are taking the necessary action to have the products removed to ensure the protection of the public.” d-Bees, who are based in Lurgan, County Armargh, has attracted interest in the past after creating a Christmas Buckfast hamper and a Valentine’s collection of the drink.But it appears to be the Easter package, which costs £9.99, which has drawn the most support from the beverage’s loyal following.Derek Brennan, who owns the shop, said: “The website crashed due to interest. We currently have 2,000 orders.”Last year Fife-based firm Chillilicious, who run Scotland’s only chilli farm, sold Buckfast Easter eggs and sold out within a few days.The Church of Scotland criticised SNP MP Roger Mullin, who endorsed the eggs on social media. Buckfast has been repeatedly blamed for fuelling drunken violence and anti-social behaviour in Scotland.The drink has an alcohol content of 15% and the caffeine equivalent of about four coffees per 75cl bottle.In 2015, the Scottish Prison Service found 43.4% of inmates had consumed Buckfast before their last offence despite it accounting for less than 1% of total alcohol sales nationally.But J Chandler insist most customers drink it responsibly and have accused politicians and police of unfairly singling them out.d-Bees have not responded to requests for comment. 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

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Pensioners playing video games more than ever thanks to smartphones

Pensioners are playing video games more than ever thanks to smartphones, a new report has revealed, as one in four over 65’s are now accessing them through their mobiles.More than four in ten Britons aged 55 to 64 have played video games in the past five years as a way to keep their minds stimulated and bond with younger family members.Among those aged 65 and over, 40 per cent say the pastime is a good way of exercising their brain, particularly strategy-based titles that studies have shown can help delay the effects of ageing.Others admitted that the pastime has become a crucial way to interact with their grandchildren in place of board games which have traditionally united families.The survey of 2000 adults, commissioned by UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) as part of the Must Play Campaign highlighting the most popular gaming trends, shows the activity spreads far beyond the younger generation. Joan Low, 97, from Renfrewshire in Scotland, says that she plays games on her iPad “every day” and that it keeps her mind sharp. Playing virtual games like Scrabble on a touchscreen is easier for players like Joan as it means she doesn’t have to handle small pieces. “I have arthritis in my hands, so I’m not handling things that I invariably drop,” she said. Parents are more likely to use games as a way of socialising with both friends and their childrenCredit:Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg For many of the older players, gaming offers a chance to go back to their youth, playing the kind of games they used to in arcades as teenagers. Criticshave associated video games with violent titles, but games such as Super Mario Bros, racing games and football themed titles are among the most popular across all age groups. Video games can also give the older generation an outlet when they are on their own. “I used to play with my family and enjoyed the company and playing with them,” explains Joan. “So now when you’re on your own, I found it very interesting to do and I can play against the computer. It gives me a challenge, in fact I think I’m addicted! But I don’t think it’s a bad thing.” “I don’t think older people would be interested in the violent games. I don’t really think of myself as a gamer. But maybe I am! It’s the first time I’ve been called a gamer.”Dr Jo Twist OBE, UKIE CEO said:  “The Must Play May campaign wants to show how games now offer consumers of all ages a huge range of genres across many platforms, from physical disks to mobile. This includes more and more pensioners playing games as way to relax, engage with other people, keep their brains active and have fun with their grandchildren.”While the biggest players are still predominately under 35, most are not growing out of the habit as they get older, with 75% of 35-44 year olds still participating in the activity.Parents are more likely to use games as a way of socialising with both friends and their children, with 31 per cent playing simply to escape the stresses of everyday life. Parents are more likely to use games as a way of socialising with both friends and their children Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Police forces baseball caps make officers look like they work at Burger

A police force is to swap its traditional helmets for baseball caps amid hopes the change of headgear could see officers become more approachable to young people.Gloucestershire Constabulary told Gloucestershire Live that unisex “bump” caps are being rolled out across the force over the coming weeks to offer officers more protection.But the caps have met with a mixed reaction within Gloucestershire and in other parts of the country some forces have tried and rejected them because they proved unpopular with the public.Last November Northamptonshire stopped using them because they did not “portray the right image” and Thames Valley also halted a roll-out after members of the public said it made police look like they were working for Burger King.Senior officers in Gloucestershire are phasing in the hats which are said to be lightweight but sturdy, and allow officers to clamber in and out of vehicles without removing them.Police officers in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean are among the first to take delivery of the headgear but eventually all frontline staff will wear them.Sergeant Mark Burns was happy to don his cap which arrived on Monday and said he is already used to wearing the reinforced baseball-style headgear on searches and similar duties. “The bump helmets are far more practical,” he said.“They don’t fall off and they offer more protection.”The officer said the spin-off benefit is that it made the police more approachable for young people.He admitted not all his colleagues approved of the changes but officers could not opt out because it is important to maintain a distinct corporate image.“There has been a bit of a mixed response because a lot of people like the traditional old custodian helmets,” he said.Mike Harrison of the Gloucestershire Police Federation said the body had not received any complaints from members in Gloucestershire who did not want to wear the new headgear.“There was a lot of debate initially and we did a trial period, but the feedback was very positive because they are more practical,” he added.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Police destroy 4acre ganja farm at Ituni backdam

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice destroys ganja farm, discover abandoned bikesSeptember 26, 2018In “Crime”8000 cannabis plants destroyed at Ituni June 21, 2019In “Crime”Marijuana farm at Ituni destroyedJune 20, 2019In “Crime” An intelligence-led operation conducted by ranks of the Guyana Police Force on Wednesday at Ten Miles Backdam, Ituni, Upper Demerara River, has resulted in the destruction of a four-acre cannabis cultivation which had in excess of five thousand plants measuring from four inches to four feet.There were also several nurseries with an estimated four thousand seedlings; a large quantity of dried cannabis and three make-shift camps. The Police said no arrests have been effected. read more

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Hurricane Irma leaves Caribbean totally devastated says Govt delegation

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIrma aftermath: Some Guyanese want to return home, while others will remain- CDCSeptember 19, 2017In “latest news”Public urged to donate to Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund- CDCSeptember 16, 2017In “latest news”Int’l Donors Conference to be called for hurricane-devastated islandsSeptember 15, 2017In “latest news” …secures British Military Cargo plane to shuttle relief suppliesThe Guyana Government’s delegation has returned from Antigua,  St Marteen and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) where it had sent a Needs Assessment Team, following the damages left in the wake of Hurricane Irma.Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix who spearheaded that team, on Thursday, met with members of the local media corps where he briefed operatives on some of the support initiatives government is currently considering and to provide a first-hand account of the extent of the devastationMinister of Citizenship Winston FelixAccording to Minister Felix, in addition to food, building and medical supplies, some of the affected Guyanese have been inquiring about the possible evacuation from the devastated islands to Guyana, specifically school aged children.He explained that many of the Guyanese present have expressed a willingness to remain on the on the Caribbean islands in order to cash in on the rebuilding efforts.According to Felix, the information supplied to him and his team indicates that in St Marteen there are some 7,000 Guyanese domiciled there while in Tortola, BVI, the population stands at around 1,500.Felix was quick to point out that whatever relief efforts will be made by Government it will be incumbent on the governments of those countries to spearhead the local relief efforts and that the supplies with not be sent directly to Guyanese groupings.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who was on hand for the Press engagement had earlier indicated that Guyana currently has 10 containers of supplies ready for delivery to Antigua—the designated hub for all of the relief efforts pouring into the region.Irma damage: Barbudan houses were ripped to pieces. This is what a touring CARICOM delegation saw on Wednesday. (CARICOM photo)According to Minister Harmon, government has secured the assistance of the British Government—through the local High Commissioner—for use of a C-130 military cargo aircraft in order to transport the supplies from Guyana to Antigua.Felix also used the opportunity to touch on the shortcomings encountered by the team which he said was due in part to the extent of the damage to the communities that led to the diaspora members being unprepared for the visit.This was compounded by curfews that had been set in place both in St Marteen and Tortola, BVI. Felix told media operatives the team was unable to travel to the neighboring Virgin Gorda, Jost van Dyke or Anegada, the other two of the larger populated islands in the BVI where Guyanese currently reside.Providing an extensive briefing, Minister Felix reported that Needs Assessment team was flown to St Marteen by Chartered Aircraft where there was a complete devastation of the island much like Barbuda—Barbuda has since had to evacuate all of the residents to the neigbouring sister island Antigua.According to Minister Felix, “there we met total devastation of the island, any house in sight was without roof, electricity, water, telephone services have been disrupted and there’s was severe damage to property.”The team did manage to meet with a pocket of Guyanese living in St Marteen and they “all expressed the need for assistance in terms of building materials, water, bedding and items to make them comfortable.”He did report however, that while they would have been able to meet with a few representatives in St Marteen, “they were so badly affected that the level of preparation we expected there we did not have it so we did not meet large numbers of Guyanese, remember those persons were also affected by the Hurricane.”According to Felix, the team while in Tortola managed to meet with only a few scores of Guyanese estimated between 80 and 100.He told media operatives, the team did manage to traverse the British Overseas Territory where they were able to have a first-hand assessment of the extent of the damage in addition to meeting with BVI’s Premier, Dr Orlando Smith.According to Felix, while the requests from the Guyanese living in Tortola were similar to those in St Marten in relation to food and medical supplies, “they needed some addition.”He spoke to the need for vector control materials such as treated mosquito nets as a result of the mosquitos.Minister Felix was quick to also point out that during his meetings with Guyanese living in Tortola, “many of them did not want, they did not express a need to return to Guyana, those we met did not express a need to return to Guyana but they wanted their children to return.”He told media operatives that this request poses a situation that will have to be carefully managed given the immigration and other demands that could make the process a tedious one.“Unaccompanied children on travel, is never advisable particularly where the aircraft might not be one, a private charter, so that is a situation we have to manage carefully.”The Minister did point out that the Guyanese delegation has made some recommendations namely, Antigua be made the staging point or hub for the relief efforts and that children returning to Guyana should be accompanied by an adult.It was reported that the Guyana Government has agreed to also repatriate to Guyana, Dereck Ragnauth’s corpse, the 55 year-old Guyanese that perished in the BVI when his house collapsed killing him during Hurricane Irma. read more

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70 years later Struggles of Enmore Martyrs remain relevant today

The five Enmore Martyrs – Rambarran, Lall called Pooran, Lallabagie Kissoon, Surujballi called Dookie and Harry – who lost their lives 70 years ago fighting for their rights and the rights of others were on Saturday paid homage.Deemed heroes, the five lost their lives while on strike at Plantation Enmore, East Coast Demerara, June 16, 1948.Struggles remain relevantOn the occasion, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) emphasized on the profound relevance of the incident today.The party outlined that in 1948, having being strangled by social and economic hardships, the burdensome “cut and load” cane harvesting system and being deprived from having a union of choice to represent them, sugar workers were forced to mount protest actions after their fair demands were continually being ignored by the sugar producers.According to the PPP, seventy years after the Enmore shooting, “thousands of sugar workers have been coldheartedly fired and plunged into economic despair through the politically motivated closure of estates by the APNU/AFC government ravaging the sugar belt and the national economy in the process.”“Tens of thousands of others, who indirectly depended upon these estates for their livelihoods, have also been severely affected as many local economies were decimated by the government’s uncaring action.”“Guyanese are once again confronted by a burgeoning dictatorship under the APNU/AFC government which, through its visionless and inept leadership, is strangling our people through harsh and unjustified economic policies. With innumerable taxes, within the three years of its administration thus far, Guyanese have seen a derailing of progress, their standards of living plummet, continually steep rise in cost of living and opportunities for advancement dwindled” the Party said. “In addition, they continue to witness encroachment on their freedoms, growing societal fears through spiraling crime and oppressive policies, massive corruption, discrimination, rising unemployment and blatant disregard for constitutional processes.”Also paying homage was Minister of Social Cohesion Dr George Norton, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, representatives from the Guyana Trade Union Council (GTUC), the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and relatives of the slain sugar workers.Minister Norton said the wreath-laying ceremony should be a time to reflect and honour the sacrifices of the fallen sugar workers who paid the ultimate price so that hundreds of others could be heard.“We all involved in the effort to improve the conditions of not only the sugar workers but workers in general and I call upon all of us to make full use of the conditions that are put in place by this administration to capitalise and work towards the benefit of all” the Minister stated.GTUC Organising Secretary Leslie Gonsalves said that while it is good to reflect on what happened 70 years ago, it is important to ensure that it never occurs again.“I call on trade union movement, I call on the department of labour, I call on every conscious worker within the length and breadth of this country to ensure that your rights as a worker, are being represented,” he stated.GAWU’s Executive Committee member Gordon Thomas in his address posited, among other things, that he was perturbed that the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) “has not been allowed” to participate in Saturday’s events.Addressing the recent downsizing of the sugar industry by the incumbent Administration, Thomas said “We also cannot fail to recognize that at this time, as we reflect on the Enmore Martyrs and their lasting legacy, our observances are overshadowed by the fact that there is no operable Enmore Estate; this is indeed a disturbing and distinguishing feature of this year’s anniversary.“Comrade Chairman, for the sugar workers the many promises that life will be better has been dashed and today, thousands of Guyanese who were depended on the operation of Enmore, Skeldon, Rose Hall and Wales Estate live in difficult economic conditions. They face the real challenges of having adequate meals; to send their children to school; to pay their bills, and to confront the harsh realities of life. What is worst, Comrade Chairman, is that this need not have occurred. There are solutions to the challenges of sugar but they were ignored, and today we see the sad consequences of not going in the right direction” Thomas expounded.He also touched on what he said was the plight facing working-people generally, with the increase in taxes, higher fuel prices and the rising coasts in medical care, among others.Dr Jagan’s roleThe PPP, as well as GAWU spoke extensively on the role that Dr Cheddi Jagan played in improving conditions for the working class.It was outlined that Dr Jagan was deeply affected by the Enmore Martyrs tragedy.“On that unforgettable day of their funerals, he silently pledged to dedicate his life to the cause of the Guyanese people and to free them from bondage and exploitation” said the PPP.According to GAWU, on the centennial anniversary of Dr Jagan’s birth, “we cannot fail to take into account and reflect on his and his comrades monumental role in ensuring a vastly better and improving conditions for the working class and their families. The Enmore Massacre indeed served, in a significant way, as an awakening call for the masses. It heightened their consciousness and steeled them in their resolve to demand freedom.”“The sustained struggle saw Guyana attaining independence eighteen (18) years after the Martyrs massacre and Guyanese being the owners of the sugar industry ten (10) years after our independence. Comrade Chairman, indeed the Enmore Martyrs sacrifice was not in vain. It was sacrifice that bore so many achievements and it is an incident that serves as a stark reminder of the wretched system of the plantocracy and colonialism.”June 16, 1948, also served as a catalyst for change that resulted in statutory recognition of all trade unions, in collective bargaining for better wages and benefits with employers, and a broad menu of labour laws that regulate wages, holidays with pay, termination of employment, old age pension, national insurance and social benefits.According to the PPP, the “struggle of the sugar workers seventy years ago and that of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan have not only become more relevant in the current circumstances in our country, but have intensified for a better life for all.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPPP pays tribute to Enmore Martyrs – Party recommits to defending rights of sugar workersJune 15, 2016In “latest news”EYEWITNESS: Martyrs…June 16, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”“GuySuCo is a headless chicken without a Board of Directors” – GAWU’s Komal ChandJune 17, 2014In “Politics” read more

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Australia Hay Point coal terminal expands again

first_imgBHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) will expand the Hay Point coal terminal in central Queensland, Australia to accommodate the throughput required to support new mine projects. Aurecon Hatch will provide engineering services for the HPX3 terminal expansion project, which will increase output capacity to 55 Mt/y of coal.The design scope includes:New 2-km trestleTwo new outloading conveyor streamsTwo new surge bins on a 10.2-ha reclamation that will replace existing infrastructureNew third berth and dredging worksNew shiploaderAssociated yard and berth tie-in components to transfer coal from the stockpiles to the shiploaders.The Hatch team will also support BMA with documentation and approvals for the HPX3 project.In earlier assignments, Aurecon Hatch provided EPCM services for Hay Point coal terminal expansions HPX1 and HPX2, which increased capacity from 34 to 44 Mt/y.last_img read more

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