Tiger Woods Voted PGA Tour Player of The Year

Tiger Woods has officially been voted by his peers PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 11th time, based on five big wins and his return to No.1 player in the world.Friday morning, the PGA announced the results and Woods had the votes.“It’s been an incredible year to have won five times, two of those World Golf Championships and one Players,” Woods said on a conference call Friday. “It’s been just a fantastic year all around. It’s also an incredible feeling to be voted by your peers, and to have that type of respect is something that’s very humbling.”On the ballot with Woods was British Open champion Phil Mickelson, Masters champion Adam Scott, FedEx Cup champion Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar. The PGA does not release the percentage of votes, so we will never know who finished second.Also, this is the third time that Woods has won the Jack Nicklaus Award while losing the majors. He is the only player to win the award more than twice, since it began in 1990. read more

Only A Superteam Could Stop LeBron

FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS On the latest episode (June 13, 2017) of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast, we first talk about the right way for teams to approach the MLB draft. Then FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner stops by to talk about the Golden State Warriors’ 129-120 Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Are these Warriors the greatest team of all time, and what makes them so good? We deliberate. Plus, a significant digit on Rafael Nadal.Here are links to stories we discussed this week:FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine argues that Moneyball’s draft advice has outlived its usefulness.Neil also writes that although the Warriors are still in the GOAT debate, they blew their chance to end it.Check out Kyle Wagner’s piece on how the Warriors duped the NBA.Kyle and Chris Herring write that the Warriors belong to Kevin Durant now.Sports Illustrated’s Deantae Prince does a category-by-category examination of the Warriors vs. the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.Significant Digit: 10, the number of French Open titles Rafael Nadal has won. Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka to win his first Grand Slam in three years. read more

Weve Stopped Talking About Domestic Violence And The NFL

The fleeting public outrage was enough to force the NFL to reconsider its personal conduct policy, but the league hasn’t yet codified many policies. Public pressure to do so, meanwhile, along with the media spotlight, has largely disappeared. In early September, the story of Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City casino exploded in the media, sparking a debate about how to prevent — and respond to — domestic violence in the NFL and society at large. But why September? The actual assault happened in February, and yet it took almost seven months for media coverage to reach its height, according to a search of Lexis-Nexis.The answer is simple: On Sept. 8, TMZ released the video of the assault, which brought the story back into the news. But even then, our attention spans — perhaps unsurprisingly — are short. Here’s a more detailed look at the media coverage that Rice, as well as the overall issue of domestic violence in the NFL, has received since the beginning of September.For the week following the video’s release, articles mentioning “Ray Rice” averaged about 1,900 per day, according to Lexis-Nexis; articles mentioning both “domestic violence” and “NFL” averaged nearly 1,120 per day. The past week, however, pales in comparison: “Ray Rice” has been written about 37 times per day, and “domestic violence” and “NFL” have been mentioned in 44 articles per day. This is despite news that Rice could be reinstated as soon as next month.Rather, NFL news is back to covering on-the-field events. For example, Google Trends shows news about Peyton Manning has been chugging along at about the same rate (not including the recent surge in coverage of his breaking the career touchdown record) and has overtaken headlines about Rice. read more

Russell Westbrook For MVP Whatever That Means

The NBA MVP derby was once a two-man race between James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.Not anymore.After recording his fourth straight triple-double on Wednesday night with a ridiculous stat line of 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is undeniably an MVP contender.Westbrook’s recent output has been mind-blowing: He’s averaging 37 points, 13.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game during his triple-double streak, which began as he was closing out one of the best statistical months in NBA history. As ESPN’s Stats and Info group noted, Westbrook’s performance in February (31.2 PPG/10.3 APG/9.1 RPG) was just the second time an NBA player ever averaged 30 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists per game over a calendar month.1Minimum 10 games played in the month. (The first — and, until recently, only — player to do it was inner-circle Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.)But there are barriers to Westbrook’s MVP candidacy. Algorithms based on previous MVP voting trends still consider him a long shot for the award, with Basketball-Reference.com’s MVP tracker assigning Westbrook a mere 6.6 percent probability of winning. By contrast, the tracker says it’s about 66 percent likely that either Curry or Harden takes home the hardware.The key determinant there: Oklahoma City’s record. Both Curry’s and Harden’s teams have won in excess of two-thirds of their games — good for the first- and fourth-ranked records in the Western Conference, respectively — while Westbrook’s Thunder have a winning percentage of 55.7 percent and are clinging to the eighth (and final) playoff spot in the West. Fair or not, team performance has historically mattered to MVP voters. (Although Westbrook will likely get bonus points for keeping the Thunder afloat in the playoff race during spells in which defending MVP Kevin Durant was injured.)Plus there’s the question of where Westbrook ranks statistically, even after his recent streak of brilliance. Single-season Real Plus-Minus (RPM), Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) and Win Shares all have Harden and Curry ranked No. 1 and 2 in terms of value produced this season. So if things hold steady over the next six weeks, Westbrook will have to overcome both the stats and historical patterns of MVP voting if he is to win the award. It’s been done before, but not all that often.Then again, what does “Most Valuable” even mean? It’s a debate that comes up every year, in every sport, and it never ends with a satisfactory answer. The great sportswriter Joe Posnanski put it best in a podcast last fall:I love [the MVP] because it makes us argue about the word ‘valuable.’ … When somebody named the MVP award, you know in their mind they just had: ‘Best Player.’ The best player ought to get an award, and what are you going to call it? Just call it the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award. OK, great.And ever since then, we have been parsing that word to absolute death. I think my favorite argument against somebody winning the MVP award is when they say, ‘Look, it’s not the Player of the Year Award or the Most Outstanding Player — it’s the Most Valuable Player.’ Like there is any difference between any of those things. You’re just pulling synonyms out.I love that, and in a way, I would never want that to change because it brings up such extraordinarily stupid arguments that just rage on and on every year.And this year’s NBA race brings a particularly interesting twist. According to long-term predictive RPM, which is the best single-number assessment of a player’s current talent level,2In the sense that it best predicts out-of-sample lineup results. the best player in the league is still probably Cleveland’s LeBron James — as he has been for the past three seasons running.James was so far out in front of his peers a few seasons ago that he could afford a relative down year (by his standards). But therein lies the problem — the game’s best player hasn’t quite played like it this season. By just about any metric, Harden, Curry and Westbrook have been better than James in 2014-15.This kind of thing happens all the time in baseball, where performance fluctuates wildly around true talent. (Or did anyone really think Ken Caminiti was the best player in a league that featured Barry Bonds in his prime?) But basketball is supposed to be different — in the absence of voter fatigue, there’s a lot of crossover between MVP and “best player” in the NBA, to the point that the former can circle back to become a referendum on the latter.So do you still give the 2014-15 MVP to the best player? OK, then give it to James. Or do you honor the player who has had the best season? Then you have to decide between Harden and Curry. Or maybe you just eschew the whole process and give it to Westbrook — if not the Most Valuable, possibly the Most Electrifying Player in the NBA right now. read more

Homan following in Laurinaitis footsteps

A four-star recruit coming out of Coldwater High School, senior co-captain Ross Homan was highly touted coming to Ohio State in 2006. Entering a program in Columbus with a long tradition of great linebackers, Homan said he embraced the challenge. “At Ohio State you always have great expectations, it comes with great challenges,” Homan said. “But I think every person here, all the seniors, we want to be challenged everyday. I think it is a matter of stepping up to those challenges and meeting those expectations.” Now halfway through his senior campaign and with more than 250 career tackles to his name, Homan has certainly lived up to the hype and met, if not exceeded, those expectations. A three-year starter, Homan made an impact right away, appearing in all 13 games his freshman year. Collecting 28 tackles in his first year at OSU, Homan said having premiere linebackers such as James Laurinaitis to learn from definitely helped his transition from high school to college. “When I first came in, the person who hosted me on my recruiting visit was James (Laurinaitis) and he really was my older brother here, which was a huge asset to me,” Homan said. “I saw how he watched film, how he worked out, how he approached the game overall … It just really helped me out playing with James.” With Laurinaitis gone, Homan began to gain fame in 2009 when he led the Rose Bowl-champion Buckeye squad in tackles with 108. Despite now being a focal point on the defense and a captain on this year’s team, the 2009 second-team All-Big Ten selection’s production has stayed strong, once again leading the Bucks in tackles. Recognizing his role as a leader on the team, Homan has taken his job as captain to heart and hopes his all-out playing style rubs off on his teammates. “Now I have to be a leader,” he said. “I’m not a real vocal leader, but I’m more of a by-example leader, so I have to lead this team anyway I can, get on the younger guys and just try to get better at that everyday.” As his Buckeye career comes to a close, Homan continues to cement his name in OSU history. Defensive tackle Dexter Larimore believes, as far as linebackers go, he may be one of the tops this university has ever seen. “I think once you look back on his lifetime here and what he has done here, I think he will be up there,” Larimore said. “If you look at the film and you watch him move side to side and do the things that he has done … I personally think he will be one of the top five guys that have come out of here.” read more

New bats could change complexion of college baseball

When athletes on the Ohio State baseball team step up to the plate next season, they’ll be gripping a new and relatively unfamiliar type of bat. Beginning Jan. 1, all NCAA teams must use bats that are aluminum — like the bats they have used in the past — but are designed to knock the ball slower, at the same speeds as wooden bats. “It’s definitely going to change our game,” OSU coach Greg Beals said. “It’s not going to be as offensive.” The new regulation is a response to rising offensive statistics by college baseball teams. Some say the aluminum bats are to blame for the offensive outburst and hope the new bats will level the playing field. “The teams that are going to be successful are teams that get ahead of the curve,” Beals said. “You don’t want to play 15 to 20 games and realize, ‘Oh hey, the games are going to be different.’“ Players also have to adjust to using the new bat. “A well-struck ball that sometimes might go for a double or even a home run, stays in the yard or is cut down to a single,” senior infielder Tyler Engle said. Although teams aren’t required to use the new bats until January, OSU has been practicing with them all fall. “We’ve seen enough in our scrimmage games here in the fall that we know the games are going to be different,” Beals said. “We’ve got to value each base runner and each base that we can get.” Athletes said the Jan. 1 deadline to switch over to new bats won’t be a problem. “Nike is our bat manufacturer and Nike has supplied us with a full line of the new bats for our guys to use,” Beals said. The new regulation also aims to protect pitchers, who have taken more hits from fast-flying balls in recent years. But Engle said he doesn’t think pitchers will be much safer. “They are such a short distance away and the force (of the ball) coming off the bat, I don’t think they have enough time to react anyway,” he said. Some athletes have said the new bats have a smaller “sweet spot,” but the bats aren’t expected to stump batters who have been successful in the past. “Good hitters are still going to get hits, and good teams are still going to score runs,” Beals said. Using an aluminum bat similar to their wooden counterparts might help college players prepare for using wooden bats at the professional level. “It definitely will prepare our guys a little bit more for playing at the professional level,” Beals said. The Buckeyes won’t be the only ones getting used to the new bats, but Engle said to expect lower-scoring games next spring. “I think everybody in the country is going to have to (change) because the balls aren’t leaving the yard,” Engle said. “You won’t see too many double-digit run games.” read more

Following slow start to Big Ten slate Ohio State baseball facing mustwin

Sophomore infielder Jacob Bosiokovic (17) throws to 1st base during a game against Toledo April 2 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 7-2.Credit: Elliot Schall / Lantern photographerWhen the Big Ten announced the 2014 Big Ten Baseball Tournament was expanding to an eight-team field for the first time in conference history after previously having just six eligible teams, the Ohio State baseball team believed it could show up to Omaha, Neb., as the No. 1-seed.Now three weeks into its conference schedule, the Buckeyes might soon be thankful for that expansion.The Buckeyes (19-14, 2-7) currently sit 10th in the Big Ten standings heading into their weekend series at home against Penn State (16-14, 4-1, third in the Big Ten) Friday, a series some players are calling a must-win.Last year, OSU swept Penn State in a three-game series at Bill Davis Stadium.After the Buckeyes were swept in back-to-back weekends at home against Indiana and at Nebraska, they defeated Eastern Michigan, 8-1, Tuesday, and then were tripped up against Dayton the following day, losing 8-5.OSU’s closer and preseason All-American junior pitcher Trace Dempsey got a rare start against the Flyers in the hopes of building confidence after a lackluster start to the season. Dempsey has recorded a 6.23 ERA, four saves, given up 15 earned runs while tallying a 1-3 record in 21.2 innings pitched so far this year.After the loss to Dayton, Dempsey said the team cannot dwell on the past couple weeks and only look forward to its series against the Nittany Lions.“Clean slate from here on out. You can’t look back on the last two weekends or even today, you’ve got to move on to tomorrow,” Dempsey said. “All three of those games at Nebraska, it’s in the past. Nothing really to hang our heads on, just a couple plays here and there. It’s not like we could have won just one of those games, we easily should have won all three of those games.”The first pitcher OSU is set to send out to the mound against PSU is freshman Tanner Tully who has started the season with a 3-1 record and 1.91 ERA.With a 2-7 in-conference record, junior catcher Aaron Gretz said it is imperative the team comes out hot against PSU Friday.“It’s simple — we’ve got to win a series,” Gretz said. “It’s a must-win series. Our goal is to win all three games. Obviously that’s the goal for every weekend, but it’s magnified this weekend. We need to get some wins.”The opener against Penn State is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Friday at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

Rule violations rolling in but not for Ohio State football

Click to enlargeThrough the first six months of 2014, the Ohio State football program self-reported six NCAA or Big Ten rules violations. In the following two months and 20 days, it reported none.In fact — through at least Sept. 20 — the football team hasn’t had a self-reported violation since April 22, or a span of nearly five months.Within that time span, junior defensive lineman Noah Spence reportedly failed a drug test — resulting in a violation of OSU and Big Ten rules — and was declared ineligible by the university for the Buckeyes’ Sept. 13 game against Kent State. Spence — who had not played this season because of a three-game suspension after a separate failed drug test — practiced once after the Kent State game, coach Urban Meyer said, but no further update on his status has been released.Since the most recent football violation, all of OSU athletics has self-reported 18 different violations, just one of which involved the men’s basketball program. In total, OSU has self-reported 30 NCAA or Big Ten rules violations this year up until Sept. 20.This information is the result of two separate public records requests submitted by The Lantern. The first was submitted July 8 and filled Aug. 11, while the second was requested Sept. 23 and filled Tuesday evening. The requests span the dates of Jan. 1 through Sept. 20.Despite lower numbers in recent months, the football program still has the most self-reported rules violations so far in 2014 with six. In total, 18 different athletic programs at OSU had self-reported violations listed among the records, with the institution being listed on a pair of violations.Seven of the teams had multiple violations listed, but only football and women’s rowing had more than two. The rowing team was named on four of the violations, two of which came on the more recent records request that spanned from July 1 through Sept. 20.Women’s rowing is the only OSU program to have self-reported multiple violations since July.Responses to the violations from OSU included issuing letters of education to the coaching staff for teams involved with the incidents, a restriction to one program’s financial aid capacity for the 2014-15 academic year and the repayment of $28 worth of “impermissible per diem” for multiple student-athletes.Regardless of punishment, the 30 violations all count as minor NCAA or Big Ten violations. But those 30 infractions still put OSU on track to hit about 40 for the year.OSU athletic director Gene Smith — who is know also the school’s vice president — said the athletics department usually has about 40 self-reported rules violations every year during an interview with The Lantern on May 15, 2012.“On an annual basis, we have about 40,” Smith said in the interview. “It ranges in that area we’re sitting at. In that 40 range is where we always hang.”Smith added that a lower number wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing for OSU.“Our whole thing is if we have 10 (violations), I’d have a problem,” he said. “I mean, I really would because people are going to make mistakes. And that means if I only have 10 out of 350 employees, 1,000 athletes — something’s not right.”While OSU does have one of the largest athletic departments in the nation, its number of violations comes in higher than some other programs. In the second half of 2013, the school self-reported around double the number of NCAA or Big Ten violations than five other schools in the conference.OSU has already self-reported more than double the violations that at least one other school with a major college football program reported during the 2013-14 year. According an Aug. 5 The Oregonian article, University of Oregon athletics self-reported just 14 violations in that academic year. read more

Football Ohio StateMichigan rivalry continues overseas

Ohio State self-defense instructor Mark Karman (right) and Ohio State Navy ROTC member Scott Wostiac (left) aboard the USS Enterprise. Credit: Courtesy of Mark Karman.Imagine being an Ohio State fan thousands of miles away from Columbus while deployed and stationed on a military base. Now imagine your deployment is during the biggest college football rivalry game of the year. What do you do? How do you manage to watch the game? Who do you watch it with?For some military members affiliated with Ohio State, this scenario is all too real. Yet, those members of the armed forces are resilient in their effort to watch their beloved Buckeyes take on Michigan. From watch parties to finding Ohio State sports bars in foreign cities, the strategies of finding a way to watch the biggest game in college football seemingly never end while overseas.Ohio State self-defense instructor and lieutenant colonel Mark Karman’s experience watching the game differed depending where he was located, but the process of finding Buckeye and Wolverine fans was always the same.“You knew who was from Michigan because it would come out naturally,” Karman said.During his deployment in Africa and Iraq, Karman said he needed people to pick up his watch shifts in order to see the game. He also said watch parties often formed among Ohio State and Michigan military members. There was always some sort of food set-up, like chips and dip or other leftovers scrounged up from dinner before the game started. Each team’s fans would watch in a separate room, just close enough where they could hear the other group cheering and yelling. When Karman was stationed in South Korea, the experience vastly differed. On the night of the game, he and other Buckeye fans in his squadron were led into town to watch the game at a local bar. As they entered the bar, it didn’t take long to realize this bar was unlike any other in South Korea. Hundreds of Ohio State fans packed the small sports bar, anxiously waiting for kickoff at 2 a.m. Korea Standard Time. Karman said it was unlike anything he had seen before overseas, and the atmosphere was “electric.” When asked if the time zone difference played a factor, Karman shrugged it off and said that those determined to watch the game found a way no matter the time zone. The game was always watchable via the Armed Forces Network (AFN), a service network that offers ESPN and other channels streamed to troops anywhere. Ohio State strength and conditioning instructor and retired staff sergeant Jason Sturgill remembered dedicating the entire month of November to the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry during his time stationed at Guantanamo Bay for the military police. Sturgill said his military unit was from Ohio and there were always a few units from Michigan that made their presence known. From flying flags outside tents to repping school colors while off-duty, everyone on base knew who was from Ohio and who was from Michigan. Though he was not able to watch the game, Sturgill said his unit would usually watch the game from inside this huge tent on base that would fit between 500 and 1,000 people. On the day of the game, the tent was filled with both Ohio State and Michigan fans. Sometimes the rowdiness of the fans forced the game to be viewed in separate tents. Sturgill said his time at Guantanamo Bay was filled with small pranks and bets between the schools’ followers. He recalled how the flags of each school often flew over their respective tents leading up to the game.“We would steal [Michigan’s] flag the night before, and give it back the next day,” Sturgill said. One popular bet among the two groups was that the losing school’s unit would fly the winning school’s flag after the game.Sturgill also said another bet from the Michigan units was a push-up wager. The unit supporting the losing team would have to do the same amount of push-ups the winning team scored during the game.“So if Michigan scored 48 points on us and won, the Ohio guys had to do 48 push-ups,” Sturgill said.Karman and Sturgill said the overall tone of the rivalry overseas between the two schools was a friendly rivalry. They stressed how, even though there was animosity between the schools, everyone stationed overseas was there for the same reason: to serve and protect the United States and the rest of the world. Of course the rivalry can get intense at times, but sometimes fans have to take a step back from the feud in order to accomplish something greater. Ohio State fans usually don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan, but they sure do give a damn about the whole military and its time and sacrifice. read more

New roll of honour uncovers stories of lost SAS heroes of the

first_imgMembers of the SAS Veterans Association lay wreaths to members killed during the Second World War, in Vosges, France The author, a former solider using the pen name Ex-Lance-Corporal X, said: “As far as I’m aware it is unique, no other regimental roll of honour having gone to anywhere near the same level of detail. “I think you will find it’s commonplace that people didn’t talk about it much and particularly the SAS, because of the nature of what they did, they didn’t talk about it.She added: “My grandfather would not want any fuss at all and none of those guys would, that’s their whole thing, they very, very rarely talked about it.” My grandfather would not want any fuss at all and none of those guys would, that’s their whole thingTracy Ireland The roll of honour records that around a fifth of SAS casualties were summarily executed by German troops after being captured.Profits from The SAS and LRDG Roll of Honour 1941-47 will go to Combat Stress. Up until now all official or unofficial rolls have only ever consisted of a list, none of the actual individual stories having been researchedEx-Lance-Corporal-X Members of the SAS Veterans Association pay tribute to members who were killed during the Second World War in Vosges, FranceCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph Members of the SAS Veterans Association lay wreaths to members killed during the Second World War, in Vosges, FranceCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph “Up until now all official or unofficial rolls have only ever consisted of a list, none of the actual individual stories having been researched.”The research has also confirmed the identities and details of six soldiers from the SAS and seven from the LRDG who were either unknown, or had only been suspected of being members.Poor paperwork, secrecy, spelling mistakes and wartime confusion meant that some casualties were only recorded according to their parent unit, with no mention of them being attached to the SAS, he said.In some cases the research has put names to casualties described in operational reports, but whose identities were not known. Tracy Ireland, his granddaughter, said until the research she had little idea of the circumstances of his death.The 56-year-old from outside Bristol said: “I didn’t know my father had died in this country and I didn’t know how the operation had gone. A 13-year project to document and commemorate every member of the SAS killed in the Second World War has for the first time confirmed identities of 13 lost members of the secretive, elite unit.The 800-page roll of honour for the SAS and its forerunner, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), contains the stories of 374 men who died during the conflict, some of whose stories were on the verge of being lost.The three-volume memorial published for this month’s 75th anniversary of the SAS’s founding has been complied from an exhaustive trawl of service records, operational reports, medal citations, diaries and letters from next of kin. Members of the SAS Veterans Association pay tribute to members who were killed during the Second World War in Vosges, France As a result of the research, some new names have already been added to the SAS official memorials in Hereford and Stirling.The author said his research had also recognised 21 French and Greek nationals killed while officially attached to the British SAS.Next of kin have also contributed to the roll of honour.When contacting the next of kin of one soldier, Pte Fred Ireland of 2nd SAS who died in a 1944 air crash in England while returning from an aborted operation, the author found the man’s best friend, who was also on board, had later married Pte Ireland’s widow and raised his children. One unknown SAS casualty killed when his jeep hit a mine was identified as a soldier called Gunner Thomas Wall buried in Libya and recorded simply as serving in the Royal Artillery. 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

Killer clown with machete threatens two girls in Suffolk

first_imgOfficers including firearm and dog units arrived on the scene within five minutes of the report being made and scoured the streets, woodland and industrial estate for the offender, but nobody matching the description given was found, the force said.It is the latest instance of the “killer clown” craze sweeping the UK which has led to a deluge of calls to Childline from youngsters left terrified by the sinister phenomenon.A 10-year-old boy in Plymouth was threatened by a clown who jumped out of a bush carrying a hammer, while in Workington, Cumbria, a clown brandishing an axe chased an 11-year-old girl.Children have also been targeted online, with a case in which a 13-year-old boy was arrested and bailed for malicious communications after a girl the same age in Kendal received Instagram messages from someone posing as a clown threatening to cut her throat and rape her.Kent Police saw 59 clown-related incidents between October 7 and 10, Thames Valley Police had 14 reports in 24 hours, and on Wednesday South Yorkshire Police said it had received 61 reports since September 21, including two of clowns with knives.Armed officers from Scotland Yard’s aviation unit also arrested a suspect wearing a clown mask and carrying a fake gun in Hillingdon, west London, on Tuesday, about five miles from Heathrow Airport.Suffolk Police said anyone carrying out activities that may scare members of the public could be committing public order offences and may be subject to arrest. Two girls have been left shaken after they were threatened by a knifeman dressed as a clown.The incident took place on Durham Close, Bury St Edmunds, at around 6.25pm on Saturday, Suffolk Police said.Two teenage girls were approached by a man dressed as a clown holding what was described as a machete.The man ran towards the pair saying he was going to harm them, and the girls then ran off in the direction of Severn Road.Police said the girls were not injured but were very upset and shaken by the incident. 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

Millionaire property developer stalked women by showering them with unsolicited luxury gifts

first_imgMiss McAdam told how Bryson “constantly contacted” Miss Nelson by phone, text and WhatsApp when their three-month relationship ended.She said: “She [Miss Nelson] returned all the gifts he had given her but on the 10th and 11th September, 2016, the accused deposited £1000 each day to her bank account and left a bag with an iPhone and cream donuts on her front door.”The matter was then reported to the police.”Mr Bryson, from Strathaven, has admitted stalking the women at various locations between February and October this year.Sentence on Bryson was deferred until next month but he has been banned from contacting women online in the meantime.Defence advocate Gordon Jackson QC said: “He is not a danger just a pest to these women.”He entered into a relationship, became very committed to the relationship and lavished gifts which seem to be OTT at that stage of the relationship.”He found it difficult once matters were brought to a conclusion.”Sheriff Marie Smart bailed Bryson but warned him he could spend time behind bars.She said: “You must not by any means contact these two complainers or any other women online.”If there is any contact you will ultimately be arrested and returned to custody.” Heather Munro was lavished with expensive gifts Heather Munro was lavished with expensive giftsCredit:PRESSTEAM A millionaire property developer stalked women he met on dating websites by showering them with unsolicited luxury gifts and deposited £1,000 a day into one of their bank accounts, a court heard.David Bryson, 41, began relationships with Heather Munro, 46, and Ciara Nelson, 32, after contacting them through social media and dating websites.Both women were lavished with expensive gifts including a horse for Miss Munro and a £6,500 Rolex watch and a £20,000 Mini Cooper for Miss Nelson.Bryson, who is the director of the Burnhead building group in Lanarkshire, began seeing Miss Munro in September last year after his marriage broke down.They dated for several months but after she tried to end the relationship, Mr Bryson became increasingly possessive and abusive towards her, branding her a “b***h, a cow and a waste of time” and threatening suicide. Depute fiscal Wendy McAdam told Hamilton Sheriff Court that Bryson began plaguing Miss Munro after she tried to end their relationship.She said: “During the relationship he gave her a number of expensive gifts including a Louis Vuitton handbag and purse as well as a horse.”He offered to buy her a house in an attempt to get her back. She tried to block his number but he would use other numbers to contact her.”Eventually she got the courage to contact the police in February.”Mr Bryson then began seeing Miss Nelson after meeting her through the dating site Plenty of Fish.He gave her a Rolex watch, bought her a £35,000 engagement ring, a £20,000 Mini Cooper with a £6000 personalised number plate, and also took her on a two week luxury holiday to Tenerife.However last month she told him she wanted to end the relationship because he was constantly calling her at work and police were called again. He is not a danger just a pest to these women. He entered into a relationship, became very committed to the relationship and lavished gifts which seem to be OTT at that stage of the relationship. He found it difficult once matters were brought to a conclusionGordon Jackson QC 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

Scientists divided over whether FurkuAl rock inscription is genuinely the work of

first_imgThe Isle of EiggCredit:John Peter /Alamy “She couldn’t identify this as a recognisable name and wondered if it might be a futhark inscription, where lines or parts of the futhark alphabet are carved,” said Mr Borland.”However it doesn’t really work as that either. She also noted that the A rune is slightly unusual in its form, differing from the A of the early futhark alphabet. Whilst reluctant to absolutely right it off as being modern, she couldn’t really confirm it as genuinely Norse.”Meanwhile, Professor Henrik Williams, who teaches at the University of Uppsala, Sweden, said he could not identify the name as Norse and did not like the form of some of the runes, particularly the R. Professor Michael Barnes from University College, London – who is one of the leading authorities on Norse inscriptions in the British Isles – believed it was unlikely to be very old “due to layout, form of runes and the size of stone bearing the inscription”.”He offered an interesting alternative reading of furkuson, being an attempt to phonetically represent the Scottish surname Farquharson. It might be worth investigating if the house where the stone was found was ever occupied by someone of that name.”Mr Borland concluded: “I think it’s fair to say that on balance, even the expert opinion is tending towards uncertain at best but probably not genuinely Norse.“Having said that, someone in the future might arrive at a different conclusion so don’t go chucking it out. At the very least it’s an interesting piece of social history.”He said he hoped to make a trip to the island and see the stone for himself. 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. “Furk equalling the obvious expletive, similar to the way someone might say/write frock off or feck off. Plus, the early futhark alphabet does not have the letter C.”Us could be read as ‘us’ but I thought it might be the west-of-Scotland vernacular ‘yous’, meaning you plural. Al reading as ‘all,’ the missing second L due perhaps to a lack of space. So furk us all or furk yous all.”Dr Ragnhild Ljosland, who lectures at the Centre for Nordic Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands, Orkney, also read it as “either furkusal or furku.al”, the letter explained. Isle of Eigg It was found by a resident of the isolated Isle of EiggCredit:Stephen Finn/Alamy When a resident on the Isle of Eigg decided to clean his drains, he had no idea that he would stumble upon a mystery that would baffle archaeologists around the world.The islander’s discovery of a boulder with the letters “Furku.Al” scratched into its surface has sparked a lively debate among experts as to whether it is a genuine runic inscription.The resident alerted Camille Dressler, chair of the Eigg History Society, about his potentially significant find, and she sent a photograph to Historic Environment Scotland (HES).   “It looks quite ancient. We are intrigued by it,” Ms Dressler told The Daily Telegraph. “We just hope it is a genuine Norse inscription as that would highlight the Norse heritage of the island.”The island, which off the coast of Scotland and is home to around 100 residents, was invaded by the Vikings around 1,300 years ago. John Borland, a survey manager and member of the HES Heritage directorate, wrote to Ms Dressler, explaining that he consulted several experts in runic inscriptions about the find.”My reading of the inscription was furkusal. Whilst this might be a recognisable Norse name, I thought it more likely that it was a humorous (attempted, anyway) play on words,” he said. Eigg I think it’s fair to say that on balance, even the expert opinion is tending towards uncertain at bestJohn Borlandlast_img read more

Sheridan Smith pulls out of Bradford run of Funny Girl after being diagnosed

first_imgActress Sheridan Smith has been forced to pull out of the Bradford run of West End hit Funny Girl because she’s been diagnosed with mumps.Theatre-goers were left disappointed after the star was confirmed to be missing the week long stint of the show at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre in West Yorkshire. A statement issued by the theatre read: “Following test results, it is confirmed that Sheridan Smith has contracted mumps and on doctor’s advice will not be able to perform in Funny Girl at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford this week.”The producers and company wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming her back as soon as possible.”This week, the role of Fanny Brice will be played by Natasha J Barnes who is currently sharing the role of Fanny Brice with Sheridan Smith on the UK Tour of Funny Girl.” Customer Notice. RE. Funny Girl pic.twitter.com/jfzqZDrXfy— Bradford Theatres (@BradfordTheatre) June 7, 2017 Gutted @Sheridansmith1 won’t be performing in Funny Girl tonight😓— jess (@jess_brandrethm) June 8, 2017center_img Smith, 35, has already missed weeks of the play in London due to “stress” and “exhaustion”, producers revealed last month.She will be replaced in the role of Fanny Brice by her alternate Natasha J Barnes. The show will be wrapped up on Saturday evening (June 10). 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

Elderly mans travel dream comes true after 35 years without a holiday

first_imgMr Silver added: “I told Dave about the funds, that 200 people have donated! He just laughed and laughed, he couldn’t believe it!! He even hugged me, he’s not a hugger, he never hugged me before!!!“He wants to pass on his heartfelt thanks to everyone. Now we have more than enough to pay for the ticket, Dave doesn’t want a fuss or more money than he needs, so I will be closing this page and getting his tickets sorted.“Anything left he gets for spending money, which is going to be about £1000. He’s in for a lovely shock!!”See the JustGiving page here.  “Dave lives next door to me, he has since we moved in 20 years ago,” explained Mr Silver.“He cared for his wife Ivy, who had dementia, at their home for the last ten years. They had been married for 51 years! He never complained about it, even though she didn’t even recognise him for the last few years.“She died in December. He told me the day she died that he hadn’t left the house in two months.”He added that his neighbour’s dream has always been to travel. He wants to see his brother in Florida, explore New York and return to his honeymoon destination in Greece. “Now he really wants to travel in his twilight years, he hasn’t had a holiday for 35 years, but he only has his pension,” his neighbour added.“I asked him if he had any dreams left at his age, he said ‘I always wanted to see a bit of the world, but it can’t happen now, I missed my chance.’ “I’d like to help. He’s 73, he’s in good health and the last holiday he had was in 1982!”More than £2,000 has already been raised for Dave’s holiday, with hundreds of people donating. Wow. That climbed quickly!!! Looks like the goal has been reached!!! AWESOMEWould love to see some pictures and/or video of his adventures— Chris W. Lawson 💻 (@Chris_Said_it) July 19, 2017 I’ll try and post some photos on here when Dave gets on the plane. What an amazing few days!— Payne Silver (@PayneSilver1) July 20, 2017center_img Woman who photoshopped herself into bad holiday photos gets amazing offer Strangers have helped an elderly man’s dream come true by helping pay for his first holiday in 35 years.Charity worker Payne Silver set up a JustGiving page for his 73-year-old neighbour Dave who has cared for his wife, who had dementia, for the last ten years. 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. I’m trying to help my 73 year old neighbour. Could you help spread the word with a RT? https://t.co/q1sRJAXZhy#charitytuesday— Payne Silver (@PayneSilver1) July 18, 2017last_img read more

Dad dancing police officer charms children and adults alike at Bestival

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. A special constable who was filmed “Dad dancing” at a music festival has become an internet hit.Special constable Jason Cox, 41, took part in a dance-off with revellers at Camp Bestival in Lulworth Castle, Dorset, at the weekend.The 28-second clip, uploaded to Facebook by Dorset Police, has been viewed tens of thousands of times.It was captioned: “We hope you love ‘dad dancing’ Special Constable Cox as much as we do!”When he was challenged to a dance off at Camp Bestival he couldn’t resist strutting his stuff before being inundated with selfie requests.”Assistant chief constable Mark Cooper praised SC Cox and other colleagues at the family festival, which was headlined by Mark Ronson, Madness and Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds.”We’re really proud of the work of our officers who were supporting the onsite security at Camp Bestival,” Mr Cooper said.”Whilst being vigilant in protecting the public, as a safe family event, officers were able to spend time interacting with festival goers and families.”By engaging with members of the public in this way, we hope it will build relationships and encourage young people in particular to run to us when they’re in danger, rather than be scared of the uniform.” SC Cox was also praised on social media, with one fan writing: “Just shows that all police are normal well done officer”.last_img read more

Fears National Trust publication of hunt details could lead to online trolling

first_imgHuntsmen and saboteurs face each other during a meet in Wiltshire Lee Moon, spokesman for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “We will monitor the National Trust website. If they are trail hunting then there’s no issue. We believe, however, that they are illegally hunting and killing foxes on National Trust land.”A trust spokesman said they were simply making public details of the licence which includes a broad location and the planned dates. Specific information, such as start and finishing points which may often include hotels and pubs, are not included, he added. The row over the National Trust’s decision to publish details of hunts intensified yesterday amid fears that countryside businesses could become the target of animal rights activists.The move to post details of meet locations and times on trust property has raised the prospect that pubs, hotels, veterinary clinics and even farriers that trade with hunts could become victims of online “trolling”, where activists use the internet to try to destroy a company’s reputation.Online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and customer ratings websites have been used by animal rights campaigners to denounce companies connected to hunts.The trust’s website will now be monitored by hunt saboteur groups so they can attend legal trail hunting, where hounds and huntsmen chase a scent, in the hope of spotting them illegally killing a fox. Huntsmen and saboteurs face each other during a meet in WiltshireCredit:Matt Cardy/Getty Images They also will be better able to see what local businesses offer support to the hunts, raising the prospect that militant activists could target them.Nigel Smith, landlord of the Fleece Inn on trust land in Bretforton near Evesham, said he was targeted online after his 15th Century pub hosted a hunt breakfast.“I believe in upholding the traditions of the countryside,” he said. “But, about three years ago I had a breakfast for the North Cotswold Hunt and had people trolling me online.“While I support the trust being honest and open about the trail hunts, I think they should make clear that these hunts are legal and not fox hunts. People need to be fully informed. I would now think twice about holding another hunt breakfast after people online said they would not come to the pub. I’m not saying I won’t do it again. But, I have to consider it carefully.”Reverend John Bundock was targeted on Facebook after he was filmed by hunt saboteurs blessing the hounds at a hunt that went through the trust’s Slindon Estate in West Sussex.“I wasn’t aware that they were filming or that footage had been posted on the internet,” said the retired Anglican priest, who does not hunt but accepted a request to attend a meet because it was a legal trail hunt.“I know there are people who do participate in anti-hunt activities and they can get out of control and there is ill feeling and potential violence.“I’m not quite sure why the National Trust wants to publicise these details. It seems a bit unnecessary.” In recent years, there have been hoax bomb threats at a Blackburn hotel that hosted a hunt ball, bad reviews and ratings for pubs used by hunts, and even online calls to boycott veterinary clinics that have treated injured hounds.Polly Portwin, head of hunting at the Countryside Alliance, said: “It is of huge concern that not only the tenants of the land may be impacted by the publication of meets, but also rural businesses too, particularly those which hunt supporters may frequent.”Pubs and other venues that support legal trail-hunting activities have previously experienced harassment both at their establishments and online by anti-hunting extremists.”Fake and abusive online reviews regularly have a negative impact on these businesses, despite the fact they are only supporting a legal activity.”Lou Berry, of This is Hunting UK, said some activists try to “ruin” businesses connected to legal trail hunting with online slurs.“Over the last six months we have worked with about 40 business that have become innocent victims of a vitriolic campaign of hate because they have connections to legal trail hunts.” 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

Motorists to be given protection against the parking cowboys

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. Andrew Pester, Chief Executive of the British Parking Association has also welcomed the bill. “A single, mandatory code of practice across the whole sector is important to ensure that unscrupulous providers don’t undermine the parking sector with bad practice,” he said.“As the leading authority in the sector we shall continue to work closely with Government and key stakeholders to press for progress towards a positive outcome for all.”Unlike parking tickets issued by the council or a fixed penalty notice from the police, private car parking notices are charges for breaking a contract rather than breaking the law. In England and Wales wheel clamping by private landowners, or companies that work for them, was banned in 2012 under the Protection of Freedom Act. In Scotland it was banned in 1992. In March 2015 councils were told to give drivers a 10-minute grace period before issuing a parking fine in an effort to reduce the number of disputed tickets. Drivers are set to receive new legal protections from private parking operators as the Government backs plans to ban cowboy firms from accessing motorists’ details and issuing fines.Independent parking companies are issuing almost 13 times more illegitimate tickets than a decade ago, making as much as £100million a year. The government has confirmed that it will support new legislation aimed at raising standards among parking companies to stop drivers being subject to unreasonably large charges and threats.The RAC estimates that the total value of illegitimate parking tickets issued by private companies in a single year could be as much as £100million. Nearly 10,000 people approached the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for advice on private parking tickets last year.The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government says drivers are increasingly complaining of inconsistent practices, substandard signage, confusing appeals processes and intimidating payment letters.“For too long drivers have suffered from unjust fines at the hands of dodgy parking firms,” said Secretary of State for Communities Sajid Javid.Under the proposed plans a new code of practice will be developed in conjunction with motorists groups. Those falling foul of the rules will then be blocked from accessing DVLA data, with the aim of forcing them out of the industry. The DVLA makes more than £1.4million a month from selling motorists’ information to companies for £2.50 a vehicle.“We need a fairer, clearer and more consistent system that brings the small minority of unscrupulous operators in line with those who are behaving appropriately,” said Javid.center_img “That is why Government is putting the brakes on these rogue operators and backing new laws that will put a stop to aggressive behaviour and provide a simpler way for drivers to appeal fines.”The latest crackdown comes after dozens of doctors, nurses and support workers were left suffering high levels of stress and sickness after a NHS trust authorised a private car park operator to pursue them through the courts over unpaid fines. In July last year medical and admin staff at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) face an estimated total bill of £12.8 million after a court ruled they were liable to pay £128 for each ticket they received, plus tens of thousands in court fees.Industry bodies have voiced their support for the bill, which was introduced by Sir Greg Knight MP, and it will receive its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday.“Motorists will be delighted that the Government is throwing its weight behind Sir Greg Knight’s move to bring some much needed regulatory rigour to the world of private parking,” said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.”We all hoped the ban on clamping would end the sharp practices that had come to plague private parking, but the fact that companies are issuing millions of penalty tickets annually is clear evidence that something is still going badly awry.“Drivers don’t want a parking free-for-all, but they do want a system that is fair to all parties and that’s what a code of practice set by Government – rather than the industry itself – should bring about.”last_img read more

Victims of medical blunders should receive less compensation or NHS could face

first_imgThe leaders of the NHS Confederation, the British Medical Assocation and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said recent changes in the law have had a “disastrous effect” in inflating payouts to those… Victims of NHS blunders should receive smaller compensation payouts or the “staggering” costs of Britain’s negligence bills will bankrupt the health service, the Justice Secretary has been told. Health service leaders have written to the Government, calling for cuts to payments for patients who suffer devastating injuries as a result of medical errors.center_img The controversial demand follows years of rising negligence payments, with current liability now at £65bn – a rise from £29 billion in 2014/15.last_img

Archers appoints Radio 4 veteran as new editor after string of TV

first_imgOne editor was accused of turning it into Eastenders in a field. Another scarpered to the world of television soaps barely a year after he started.The BBC appears to have learnt its lesson when it comes to appointing the new editor of The Archers, as it announces a Radio 4 veteran from the world of radio drama.Jeremy Howe has worked as Radio drama and fiction commissioning editor for 12 years, responsible for more than 300 titles a year.Calling the Archers editor post “another of the best jobs in the world”, Howe said it was an “honour and a privilege” to pick up the reins of the Ambridge soap.His appointment, from a role which saw him oversee The Archers, is likely to reassure listeners, who have been subjected to a string of short-lived editors in recent years. Howe said it was an “honour and a privilege” to pick up the reins of the Ambridge soapCredit:David Jones/PA Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer, has previously warned that editors were being lured away by higher salaries elsewhere, suggesting the role could be at risk of being seen as a training ground for a best editorial roles in television.Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said editors leaving for television jobs were becoming “the nature of the beast”, despite the Archers cast hoping they had reached a settled period last year.After his appointment was announced, Howe said: “Being in charge of Radio 4’s drama and fiction has been one of the best jobs in the world.”I am thrilled to be asked to do another of the best jobs in the world, to take up the reins of The Archers and to carry on the work of my illustrious predecessors Huw Kennair-Jones, Sean O’Connor and Vanessa Whitburn.”It is an honour and privilege to be moving to Ambridge. I just hope that my favourite country walk along the Am hasn’t been ruined by Brian’s chemical misdemeanours.”In his current role, Howe is responsible for commissioning over 300 titles a year including Book At Bedtime and all the drama on Radio 4. Howe’s predecessor Huw Kennair-Jones quit the radio soap after just over a year to work on ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.Sean O’Connor, editor before that, spent two-and-a-half years in the role, regularly accused of making Borsetshire rather too eventful in the manner of a television soap.After an acclaimed storyline about domestic abuse starring characters Helen and Rob, O’Connor left in 2016 to join the EastEnders team, later moving into film. He will take up his post with The Archers later this year. It is an honour and privilege to be moving to Ambridge. I just hope that my favourite country walk along the Am hasn’t been ruined by Brian’s chemical misdemeanoursJeremy Howe Howe said it was an “honour and a privilege” to pick up the reins of the Ambridge soap Gwyneth Williams, Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra controller, said: “Jeremy has made an outstanding contribution over many years as Radio 4’s drama commissioning editor.”He has brought drama into the heart of Radio 4 and commissioned countless memorable and agenda-setting programmes, in addition to overseeing our considerable portfolio of series, serials and individual dramas, including The Archers.”During Jeremy’s time we’ve had record audiences and each week over six million people listen to Radio 4 drama. Jeremy’s contribution ranges more broadly than drama and includes repositioning our fiction though short stories and Book At Bedtime.”She added: “I am delighted that he has accepted the post of editor of The Archers and I know that he will bring his wit, flair and storytelling genius to the role. Archers fans will be in for a treat – Jeremy is the best.”Howe has previously called the Archers “extraordinary”, hailing Radio 4 as having “one hell of a smart audience.”His golden rules for drama writing include “never ambush your audience”, and he has advised would-be writers to protect themselves against criticism by making storylines “brilliant.“Excellence is your best defence,” he said.Howe has also written a memoir about the death of his wife, who was murdered in 1992 when his daughters were aged six and four. Commissions have included an all-day dramatisation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and War And Peace.last_img read more