Which NFL Teams Really Have the Toughest And Easiest Schedules in 2014

The NFL released its 2014 schedule Wednesday night, confirming the dates and locations of all 256 matchups (and ending your chance to enter the St. Louis Rams’ schedule-guessing contest, even though you had no chance of winning). With the slate solidified, you can probably expect to see more of the standard strength-of-schedule analysis that averages the 2013 winning percentages of a team’s opponents. Unfortunately, those numbers aren’t especially useful, because they assume each team will be exactly as good in 2014 as it was in 2013; in reality, NFL teams vary quite a bit from season to season, and our ability to predict which ones will and won’t be good in a given year is extremely limited.For example, going into the 2013 season, the Detroit Lions were expected to have the league’s second-hardest schedule based on the 2012 records of their opponents. So, what ended up happening? According to the strength-of-schedule component of Pro-Football-Reference’s Simple Rating System, Detroit actually had the league’s easiest slate of opponents last season.In cases like this, a better tactic is to make regressive predictions. We can use a regression formula to predict each team’s 2014 Simple Rating from its ratings over the previous two seasons, while building in plenty of regression to the mean to reflect our limited knowledge. If we base each team’s projected 2014 strength of schedule on these regressive predictions (while also taking into account a 2.5-point home-field advantage depending on where the game is being played), we arrive at the following projected schedule strengths for 2014:The biggest differences between our projected SOS numbers and the NFL’s official rankings center around a handful of teams in the AFC East and NFC South. The AFC East’s record was better in 2013 than it had been in 2012 — despite posting a poorer point differential — while the NFC South had a better record in 2012 than in 2013 (mainly because the Atlanta Falcons’ record declined so much in 2013).Because the regression is looking at two years’ worth of data (albeit weighing results from 2013 about 2½ times as strongly as those from 2012), it expects Atlanta to be roughly an average team in 2014 — not the 4-12 team it’s perceived to be by the NFL’s official SOS metric — which feeds most heavily into the SOS ratings of Atlanta’s divisional foes in Carolina, Tampa Bay and New Orleans.Meanwhile, the two-year regression is skeptical about the AFC East having as good a record in 2014 as it did in 2013. It’s not so much about the AFC East’s improved out-of-division win-loss record in 2013 (it was 22-18 outside the division in 2013, only a modest improvement over its 19-21 record in 2012), but more about the way the division’s records didn’t match up with its teams’ point differentials. According to Football Outsiders, AFC East teams’ actual wins exceeded their pythagorean wins by 3.9 victories in 2013, including 2.6 for the New York Jets alone. Research has shown that such overachievement is rarely sustainable, so our regression method would be expecting a decline for the Jets (and the division as a whole) in 2014.Such a regression-based system is far from perfect; for example, it doesn’t even know about which players changed teams in the offseason between 2013 and 2014. (But even methods that try to account for such wrinkles do a relatively poor job of prediction compared with simple metrics like our regression.) In other words, the above SOS rankings are going to be wrong — but they’re almost certain to be a more accurate gauge of each team’s schedule difficulty in 2014 than the official rankings that only tap into last year’s records. read more

Tiger Woods Plays His Best In The Midwest

In the Northeast … Finished in top 2580% In the West … Average finish15.9 Average finish17.4 In the Southwest … Finished in top 543% There’s a reason that Woods, like so many other PGA Tour players, has a home — and a private golf course — in Florida.Tiger has finished in the top five in 40 percent of his starts in the Sunshine State. That feat is only further amplified by the fact that he’s played more events in Florida (62) than in any other state. He’s won more than a quarter of those events, including the 2009 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, less than a year after his knee surgery.“Once we figure out what courses we like, we tend to play those,” Woods said after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2013 — for the eighth time.He has four wins at Augusta National, tied with Arnold Palmer for the second most by any player,8Nicklaus has six. and he has finished in the top five in at least half of his appearances in Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland and North Carolina. Three-fourths of his career starts in the region resulted in top-25 finishes.With its wide fairways, Augusta National is tailor-made for big hitters like Woods. “Augusta has always rewarded length more than any other course,” Nicklaus once said.Southwest Woods has managed his most dominant performances in the center of the country. He has a higher percentage of top-25 finishes, top-five finishes and wins in the Midwest than he does in any other region of the U.S. One-third of the 69 total tournaments he played there resulted in wins, and nearly 30 percent of his PGA Tour victories have come in the region.Woods has won more than twice as many tournaments in Ohio alone (13) as he has in the Southwest (four) and Northeast (two) combined. “He’s just making mincemeat out of golf courses,” the redoubtable Jack Nicklaus said after Woods won the 2000 Memorial Tournament2Which Nicklaus designed. in Dublin, Ohio, by five strokes. The following year, Woods won the tournament by an even wider margin. As he once succinctly put it, “[I’ve] done well in Ohio, I guess.”If you took Tiger’s accomplishments only in Illinois — his two major championships (the PGA Championship in 1999 and 2006) among his seven career victories — he would already qualify for the World Golf Hall of Fame upon being of eligible age.3He’d also qualify in California, Florida and Georgia.In total, Woods has placed in the top 25 at Midwest tournaments a gaudy 80 percent of the time. From 2000 to 2009, his average finish at Midwest tournaments was an unimaginable 5.3. Fewer than 30 players in the history of the sport have enough total PGA Tour victories to match Tiger’s tally of 23 just in the Midwest.When compared with Tiger’s performance in other regions of the United States, his degree of dominance in the Midwest is unparalleled. So why has his success largely manifested itself in middle America?Three tournaments — the WGC Bridgestone Invitational (formerly named the WGC-NEC Invitational), the Memorial Tournament and the BMW Championship (formerly the Western Open) — served as the backdrop of 18 of Woods’s 23 Midwestern wins. Each is longer than the PGA course average,4Which ranged between 7,200 yards and 7,300 yards from 2003 to 2015, according to GolfPredictor.com. allowing bombs-away players like Tiger to attack scoring openings. Firestone Golf Club, home of last week’s Bridgestone Invitational, features a 667-yard 16th hole, among the longest par-5s in the world.5Woods birdied the hole in his first round last week, though he hit water there during the final round and double-bogeyed the hole. Woods has been known to obliterate those kinds of holes with his transcendent power and pin-seeking style of play.Familiarity with a course also helps, particularly when putting: Greens can be deciphered with repetition, which is why Woods so often plays tournaments he’s played before.6Excluding majors and World Golf Championship events, the last time Woods won a tournament the first time he played the course was 1998. Tiger has played four courses in the Midwest7Cog Hill, Firestone, Muirfield Village and Warwick Hills. at least nine times each — accounting for 56 of his 69 Midwestern tournaments played.West Won33% Total events119 Total events31 Finished in top 2575% Finished in top 551% Won7% Finished in top 544% Average finish24.1 Finished in top 558% Average finish14.6 In the Southeast … Finished in top 532% Won14% Out of all the areas in the U.S. where golf is played, the Northeast has been particularly trying for Woods.9As trying as a region can be for an all-time talent the likes of which may never be seen again. He has won just twice in the region — the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black and the 2006 Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston — in 31 starts.If it’s difficult to dominate any golf course, it may be especially so in the Northeast. Just check June’s scores at Shinnecock Hills. Or the memories of the Massacre at Winged Foot.When Woods competed in the 2004 U.S. Open, which was also at Shinnecock Hills, he finished in the top 20 despite shooting 10 over par. When he won the 2002 U.S. Open, he was the only player who finished in the red. But he’s finished outside the top 30 in five of the past seven tournaments in the region.The patience demanded by many courses in the Northeast doesn’t match Tiger’s game or approach. We’re talking about a guy who finished outside the top 10 in driving distance only twice from 1998 to 200710He finished 11th in 2003 and 12th in 2007. but who has often failed to regularly hit fairways. The margin for error in the Northeast is often smaller, so it’s critical to avoid bogeys and mitigate errant tee shots. Deftly navigating recovery shots is paramount. So it’s no wonder that the player many identify with the most competitive and aggressive style the sport has ever seen struggles mightily to play conservatively. Average finish18.4 Tiger Woods has won golf tournaments in pretty much every corner of the map, from Australia to Dubai and even Japan.But the place where he’s dominated most is America’s heartland: the Midwest. He’ll get another chance to pad his numbers there in this week’s PGA Championship, at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri. Woods has never won in the Show Me State — nor has he even finished a tournament there before — but if his track record in nearby states is any indication, the PGA might provide him with a good chance to check off yet another stop on his Midwestern victory tour.To figure out which region Woods has ruled over the most, we dug through Tiger’s tournament results since 1992, when he played his first professional event, and cataloged all of his starts.1I used National Geographic’s regional map to determine regions. (Apologies to those offended by Oklahoma’s inclusion in the Southwest or any of the states listed as being in the Midwest). We looked at tournaments held in the U.S. that Woods started, excluding unofficial events or team events like the Ryder and Presidents cups. That gave us a sample of 316 tournaments to parse — and some clear through-lines emerged.Midwest Total events28 Won25% In the Midwest … There was a time when Texas — most notably the Byron Nelson Championship — served as an annual stop on Tiger’s tour schedule, but he hasn’t played a PGA Tour event in the state since 2005.In fact, he’s largely avoided the Southwest in general, having played only four events there since 2010. Maybe that’s because his all-time record for most consecutive cuts made was snapped at the Byron Nelson in 2005; he hasn’t returned since.But regardless, Texas has been arguably Woods’s most successful state in the region; he’s finished in the top five in more than 50 percent of his 15 tournaments and won twice.Northeast Total events69 Total events65 Finished in top 2579% Finished in top 2558% Won23% Woods was born and bred on the West Coast, so it’s fitting that the native son dominates the region. He’s played nearly twice as many events in California (52) as he has in the Southwest (28) over his career, and his home-state trophy case is ostentatiously full.Tiger’s last major championship was the 2008 U.S. Open, at Torrey Pines, arguably the most herculean performance of his career. With two stress fractures below his knee and a torn ACL, Woods walked 91 holes over five days (because of a 19-hole playoff with Rocco Mediate) at the South Course, which, at more than 7,600 yards, is among the longest courses in major championship history. Effectively playing on one leg, Woods produced one of the greatest individual efforts ever seen in a major.The performance wasn’t an outlier; it was a continuation. Woods won five consecutive events at the course over a four-year stretch and has won nine in total if you count his Junior World title. In at least half of his starts in each of California, Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada, he’s finished in the top five.His coastal success at courses like Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Kapalua largely follow the same cadence that his success in the Midwest does: Use length to establish an advantage on the rest of the field, make timely putts and dominate scoring holes.Southeast Finished in top 2577% At this stage of his career, Woods only traffics where he’s had success; aside from majors, you can expect him to tee it up where he’s dominated in the past. This week represents a rarity for Tiger: the opportunity to try his hand somewhere new. Bellerive is enormous, catering to his power-driven approach. Plus, the Midwest certainly qualifies as the backdrop for some prime Woods domination over the course of his career. So even though he hasn’t yet completed a tournament in Missouri, it would hardly be surprising to see him in contention. History says so. read more

Easy Buckets Ohio State mens basketball news and notes

With the Ohio State men’s basketball season set to begin Friday, coach Thad Matta addressed members of the media Thursday. Matta gave his thoughts on the situation involving the firing of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, pregame preparations for his team’s Friday opener against Wright State and even voiced some concerns about the team’s exhibition game against Walsh. Matta on Paterno The Penn State board of trustees fired former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno late Wednesday after former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually abused children. Matta said he was troubled that “nobody was talking about the kids (who were allegedly abused).” “Nobody’s talking about the families,” Matta said. “That, to me, is the saddest part of, maybe, where athletics are. You’ve got some victims there that nobody is about. My feelings are toward those people and the situation they’re in.” Improving on the Walsh game Matta was critical of the Buckeyes’ 95-49 win against Walsh last Sunday, saying he wasn’t necessarily comfortable with the team’s performance. “We weren’t as good as we needed to be, to be honest with you,” Matta said. “I think (the players) … didn’t do what they were supposed to do all the time.” Matta said the team didn’t play as hard as it needed to. “We didn’t have the sense of urgency,” he said. “Off the ball, our execution just wasn’t as precise as it needed to be.” Preview of Wright State Like the Buckeyes, the Raiders have only one senior on their roster — forward Johann Mpondo. Wright State posted a 19-14 record during the 2010-2011 season, which included a 5-11 record away from its home court, the Nutter Center. “I think that, looking at last year … (Wright State) is young,” Matta said. “They’re going to try to space you out. They play extremely hard. (They) are very, very sound in their man-to-man defense.” Matta said the early season game was hard to scout. “I think that’s one of the big challenges… that’s why we looked at so much tape from last year of different types of opponents (Wright State) played,” Matta said. “You really won’t know until the ball goes up. We have to play Ohio State basketball.” Friday’s game against Wright State tips at 9:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Mickey Marotti antsy to get Buckeyes buff

The Ohio State football team did not get much time to rest after its 24-17 loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2. Just days after the conclusion of the 2011 season, the Buckeyes were back in the weight room for training and conditioning under the instruction of new strength coach Mickey Marotti, who pushed up the start of offseason workouts by a week. “We were getting antsy,” Marotti said at his introductory press conference on Jan 12. “It’s time to go.” Marotti, whose official title is assistant athletic director for football sports performance, will serve as strength and conditioning coordinator and manage the entire sports performance staff of the football program under new coach Urban Meyer. “Anybody that touches our athletes in the football program, I kind of oversee it from a communications standpoint to see what we can do better to be the best out there,” Marotti said. This will be the fourth time that Marotti and Meyer will work together. The two met as graduate assistants at OSU in 1987 and were reunited nearly a decade later at Notre Dame where Meyer coached wide receivers and Marotti served as strength coach. When Meyer was hired as coach at Florida in 2005, one of his first hires was Marotti, who went on to serve as director of strength and conditioning for the Gators until coming to Columbus. Meyer said he has complete confidence in Marotti, as well as the four full-time assistants that will work under him. “There are times in the year when the strength staff has more contact with the team than the coaching staff,” Meyer said. “I have complete trust in Mickey Marotti’s abilities to prepare our student-athletes to be the strongest, fastest and mentally toughest football players they can be.” Marotti said having assistant athletic director as part of his title was something that was very important to him as far as future career aspirations. “I had a similar role at Florida, but there wasn’t a title involved,” Marotti said. “I think it has a little bit more meaning and maybe, down the road 10 or 15 years from now, maybe that’s an avenue that I’d like to take, to get into administration.” Marotti received a master’s in strength in conditioning from OSU in 1987 and is only one of 100 strength trainers to receive such an honor . His salary for 2012 is $380,000. He is known for incorporating unusual exercises into his workouts, such as flipping tires and hauling rocks. “I’m going to go very hard on these guys,” Marotti said. “We’re going to be doing a lot of things here in the upcoming weeks that I know (the players) are looking forward to. “Well, I am at least.” read more

Ohio State set for ridiculous rushing attack from Hoosiers Tevin Coleman

Left: OSU sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa reacts after a sack against Minnesota on Nov. 15 in Minneapolis. OSU won, 31-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorRight: Indiana junior running back Tevin Coleman carries the ball against North Texas on Oct. 4 in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana won, 49-24.Credit: Rachel Meert / Indiana Daily StudentA Heisman candidate, a Lombardi Award finalist and a jump in the College Football Playoff rankings are all topics surrounding the Ohio State football team.Coach Urban Meyer, however, is only focused on one thing.“I’m just worried about Indiana,” Meyer said Monday.The Hoosiers (3-7, 0-6) are scheduled to enter Columbus on Saturday as the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win, despite boasting the third-best rushing attack in the league.Leading the way for Indiana is junior running back Tevin Coleman, who has rushed for 1,678 yards and 12 scores in just 10 games for the Hoosiers.Coleman, a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, did not play last year against the Buckeyes due to injury as OSU cruised to a 42-14 win.Despite the easy victory, Meyer said Coleman is a “ridiculous” running back and compared him to other skilled running backs in the Big Ten.“The game he just played, (he had) 300 yards. You give him a crack, he has great acceleration, (he is) big, a little bit like the kid from Wisconsin. Just a big back,” Meyer said, referencing Wisconsin redshirt-junior running back Melvin Gordon in comparison to Coleman. “Those are all outstanding backs that will be playing on Sundays and this kid is one of those too.”Junior defensive lineman Adolphus Washington, who has started all but one game this season said it would not be acceptable to give up a big game to Coleman, even if the Buckeyes win.“Our goal is to keep him under 100 yards,” Washington said Wednesday. “That’s our goal and we are going to do that and still get the win.”Coleman’s carries are likely because of the season-ending injury suffered by Indiana junior quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who was averaging 191.8 passing yards per game before suffering the shoulder injury in a 45-29 loss to Iowa.Indiana has not won a game since Sudfeld’s injury and his replacement, freshman Zander Diamont, has thrown for just 282 yards in the four games he’s played.With a rush heavy offense, Washington said getting off blocks has been stressed in practice this week in order to shut down the Indiana rushing attack.“We know that these guys can run through arm tackles, so we have to work on getting off blocks every play,” he said. “Not trying to walk away from blocks and that kind of stuff because these backs are pretty good.”Sophomore Joey Bosa, who was named a finalist for the Lombardi Award on Thursday, added that it is not just Coleman, but the Hoosier offense as a whole that he is worried about.“Definitely (Coleman) and (the Hoosiers) are very fast-paced zone team,” Bosa said Wednesday. “They will be going side-to-side a lot and really up-tempo so just have to get in good shape this week.”Bosa, who enters Saturday’s game with a Big Ten best 11.5 sacks, said he has adjusted his personal goals from the beginning of the season because of his recent success.“I was actually going for 12, but now I am trying to beat the record,” he said. “(It would mean) a lot. As a sophomore, I think that would be something great to accomplish.”The current school record is 14 sacks held by Vernon Gholston, who set the mark during the 2007-08 season.Bosa’s single game high in sacks in his short Buckeye career is 2.5 in games against Penn State this season and against Illinois in 2013.If breaking the school record wasn’t incentive enough, Bosa said beating Indiana and getting a spot in the 2014 Big Ten Championship game should be.“That’s enough motivation right there, clinch the Big Ten (Championship game),” he said. “Every game is a big game obviously. We go in with the same mindset so there is just another step.”On the offensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes have a chance to break a few records of their own.Redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett is just two passing touchdowns away from breaking former OSU quarterback Troy Smith’s school record of passing scores in a single season.In addition, sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott has the opportunity to become the second player ever under Meyer to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, something Elliott said he doesn’t take for granted.“It means a lot. It’s something you dream of when you are a kid, being a football player at a Division I college,” Elliott said Wednesday. “Being able to rush for 1,000 yards, that’s just a great accomplishment.”Elliott currently sits at 954 yards rushing on the season, averaging 95.4 per game.Despite his rushing yards, Elliott said he believes he can do more than just run the football effectively.“I think I am just a versatile back. I can do a lot of things,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in my blocking, catching the ball out of the backfield, I can run it inside and outside.”Meyer said earlier in the week that he thought the Big Ten had some of the best running backs in the country and added “I’ve got to throw my guy in there,” when discussing including Elliott in that mix.Being mentioned by Meyer in such a light was motivating, Elliott said.“You just have to be thankful, thankful to God for the opportunities,” Elliott said. “Just have to go out there and keep grinding and get better every week.”Meyer also endorsed Barrett, whom Meyer said now belongs in the Heisman discussion heading into the Buckeyes’ matchup with Indiana.“I don’t know if my endorsement matters, but I (have) been fortunate to coach some guys that have been in New York, and he’s a Heisman candidate,” Meyer said Monday.Barrett acknowledged that the added attention has been “crazy” but said his focus is on one thing.“Being 1-0 at the end of the week, making sure that is the main focus,” Barrett said. “Not thinking about the Big Ten Championship Game, not thinking about that team up north, but just beat Indiana. That is the objective this week.”The Buckeyes and Hoosiers are scheduled to go head-to-head Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

Baseball Noah McGowans second gamewinning hit delivers Ohio State series victory against

Ohio State baseball players mob Noah McGowan following his walk-off double Sunday to give Ohio State the 6-5 win against Indiana. Credit: Mac Connor | Ohio State AthleticsSenior third baseman Noah McGowan laid on the ground next to third base. The hero of Saturday’s game against Indiana hit the eventual game-winning home run in the series’ second contest, but Sunday was different. He didn’t just win a game. He won a series.In the rubber match of the series, McGowan hit a walk-off double in the 12th inning to deliver the Buckeyes a 6-5 win against No. 8 Indiana.He was on the ground because a mob led by Ohio State junior catcher Jacob Barnwell tackled him following the shot into right field that knocked off the Hoosiers (29-8, 7-4 Big Ten) Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium.Now with another ranked win and a series victory against the top team in the Big Ten conference, Ohio State (27-11, 8-4 Big Ten) has started to stack its resume with just four conference series remaining in the year.“You read the national, social media, nobody’s said a fricking word about Ohio State all year long,” head coach Greg Beals said. “So hopefully we made a statement. And if nobody talks about it, we don’t care, that’s fine. We’ll just keep doing what we do.”  Inning after inning, Beals and Indiana head coach Chris Lemonis played bullpen chess, throwing their best relievers into play against two of the best lineups in the conference.The Buckeyes used a collection of four relievers. But as usual, they relied heavily on senior Seth Kinker.Ohio State tied the ball game an inning and a third into Kinker’s stint, then a deadlock began. Kinker held Indiana scoreless in the top of the ninth, but the Buckeyes couldn’t deliver a win in the bottom half. The cycle repeated itself until McGowan’s double finally won it in the 12th.“I don’t know what more I can ask [Kinker] to do,” Beals said. “Tough competitor, man.”Kinker kept the same calm demeanor throughout his 5.1-inning stint.“When I get on the mound I’m a completely different person,” Kinker said. “I’m not the goofy guy that talks a ton in the clubhouse before the game, during the game, until I go down to the pen. Once I go down to the pen, once I get loose I don’t worry about anything but me getting on that rubber and facing the guy that’s in the box.”Indiana also featured four relievers with sophomore Cal Krueger carrying most of the load with 3.2 innings of work.Junior designated hitter Brady Cherry gave Ohio State its first lead of the game on a laser of a home run in the second inning that knocked in Cowles.McGowan’s game-winning hit and game-tying hit could not have been much different. The game-winner was a drive into the gap while the base hit to tie the game was a bloop single that scored sophomore shortstop Noah West.Indiana took its third lead of the game in the seventh inning on an RBI single by sophomore first baseman Scotty Bradley that scored junior second baseman/pitcher Matt Lloyd.The Buckeyes crafted a response in the following inning, loading the bases with one out for senior left fielder Tyler Cowles. He delivered a single to score junior second baseman Kobie Foppe and tie the game at five.Both teams’ shortstops made game-changing plays. West chopped down senior right fielder Logan Sowers at home plate to prevent a run in the third inning. Indiana sophomore Jeremy Houston finished with five assists.Minnesota comes to Columbus next weekend, and Ohio State hopes to maintain the chip on its shoulder.“I don’t want to be ranked,” Kinker said. “We got a logo that everyone knows across our jerseys every single day. They’re gonna know who we are, they want to overlook us then let them do it.” read more

Wrestling Martin loses first match of the season in the NCAA Championship

Ohio State senior Te’Shan Campbell, the No. 21 seed in the country at 165 pounds, was eliminated in day two.Campbell started with a victory No. 27 Buffalo junior Troy Keller via pin.Just shortly after, Campbell, in front of his hometown crowd and family advanced with a victory over No. 13 North Dakota State redshirt junior Andrew Fogarty by a 7-1 decision.Campbell finished his senior year with a hard-fought loss and was defeated by a 3-2 decision by No. 7 Nebraska junior Isaiah White.Five Buckeyes advanced to day three of the NCAA Championships tournament.No. 6 Ohio State will attempt to hold second place in round three of the final day of the NCAA Championships starting at 11 a.m. Saturday in Pittsburgh.Updated at 12:57 p.m. Saturday to correct the information on Te’Shan Campbell. Ohio State’s Myles Martin wrestles Mitch Bowman in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignOhio State senior Myles Martin, the No. 1 seed in the country at 184 pounds, is no longer undefeated after losing to No. 5 Cornell sophomore Max Dean in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships. Despite Martin’s first loss, the Ohio State wrestling team advances three wrestlers to the finals after the second day of the NCAA Championships. In a surprising upset, Martin moves to the consolation bracket after being upset by Dean in a 5-4 decision. No. 6 Ohio State (12-2, 7-2 Big Ten) is currently in second place as a team, but are 32 points behind first place Penn State, who has won the team title two years running. Three of the top-5 seeds for the Buckeyes advanced to the finals, which will play a pivotal role in attempting to finish in the top three of the tournament for Ohio State in the final day of the NCAA Championships.Martin, at the start of the second day, continued his title hopes with a 11-2 major decision before falling to Dean in a last-second defeat.Ohio State senior Joey McKenna, the No. 2 seed in the country at 141 pounds, defeated No. 7 Minnesota junior Mitch McKee earlier in the day by a 11-1 major decision, giving the Buckeyes bonus points in their hopes to win a team title in the NCAA Championships.McKenna will face his only unavenged loss of the season: No. 1 Cornell sophomore Yianni Diakomihalis in the finals.Ohio State redshirt senior Micah Jordan, the No. 2 seed in the country at 149 pounds, made his first-ever finals in the NCAA Championships, defeating No. 6 North Carolina redshirt freshman Austin O’Connor by a 7-4 decision.Ohio State redshirt junior Kollin Moore, the No. 2 seed in the country at 197 pounds, advanced to the finals.Moore won both matches by first defeating No. 10 Virginia Tech redshirt senior Tom Sleigh 17-11 and then No. 3 Oklahoma State redshirt senior Preston Weigel by a 12-4 major decision.Ohio State junior Luke Pletcher, the No. 5 seed in the country at 133 pounds, defeated No. 4 Pittsburgh redshirt freshman Micky Phillippi in the quarterfinals 3-1 by decision to advance to the semifinals.Pletcher faced the top seed in No. 1 Oklahoma State redshirt freshman Daton Fix falling just short of his first ever NCAA Championship finals by a 4-2 decision.Ohio State redshirt freshman Chase Singletary and redshirt freshman Ethan Smith, the No. 16 seed and No. 19 seed in the country at 285 pounds and 174 pounds, respectively, both were eliminated one match short of the All-American qualifier in the consolation bracket. read more

Softball Ohio State faces Maryland hoping to continue success in Big Ten

Then-junior outfielder Bri Betschel holds her bat out, prior to pulling back for a swing in a game against Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternThe Ohio State softball team will continue its Big Ten season when it heads to College Park, Pennsylvania, to take on Maryland this weekend. The Buckeyes (18-9, 3-0 Big Ten) will take on the Terrapins (16-15, 0-3 Big Ten) in a three-game series.After three home wins against Indiana to begin conference play, sophomore outfielder Summer Constable said the team is coming in with a lot of momentum and excitement.“I think that if we were able to take that jump that fast, then it’s going to make the rest of our season even more exciting,” Constable said. Like Indiana, Maryland is also a familiar team to Ohio State, especially for Constable, who was a high school teammate of Terrapins sophomore infielder Sammie Stefan.Since 2016, Ohio State has won every game it has played against Maryland, including a 13-5 win in their first matchup this past season.Despite past records, Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said Maryland is a stronger team, and is very solid and competitive. Maryland freshman infielder Taylor Okada has been the leader of the offense, leading the team with a .426 average, adding nine extra-base hits with 15 RBI. Freshman catcher Gracie Voulgaris has added 10 doubles and three home runs this season. Maryland junior infielder Anna Kufta has been the main power threat, leading the team with five home runs and 35 RBI. “They have winning records. They’ve done well in the preseason. I know in the past we’ve done well but doesn’t predict the future for sure,” Schoenly said. “We have to play well.”Last week, the Terrapins played against Minnesota and scored 13 runs, losing all three games. Schoenly said even in the losses, Maryland demonstrated the ability to put up plenty of runs. She added this puts additional pressure on Ohio State’s offense to keep up with the Terrapins’ bats.“The nice thing about playing Indiana this past weekend is that there were a lot of different situations that happened in the game,” Schoenly said. “My expectation is we are going to continue to get better and performing in the pressure.”This series between Ohio State and Maryland will start at 6 p.m. Friday. The second game will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the final game will be at 1 p.m. Sunday. read more

Meet Nutmeg Could this be the worlds oldest cat

first_img“We celebrate his birthday in March every year so we know it was around March 1990 when we got him,” Mr Finlay told the Newcastle Chronicle.“I sorted out [an] abscess on his neck and then we took him to the Cats Protection League to check him over. The vet there said he was an adult, around five years.”They say the secret to Nutmeg’s long life is his love of chicken.“He comes in every morning at 5am from his bed next door and we get up and feed him. We have no children so he is our baby.”The Westway Veterinary Group posted photos of Nutmeg celebrating his birthday on Facebook. Corduroy, aged 26, is officially the oldest cat in the world. He lives with his owner, Ashley Reed Okura, in Sisters, Oregon, in the United States. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “The secret has been allowing him to be a cat – hunting and getting plenty of love,” explained Mrs Reed Okura when Corduroy was crowned by Guinness World Records.Born on August 1, 1989, Corduroy and his owner have been companions since he was a tiny kitten and she was just seven years old.  Here’s how the world’s oldest cat went from animal shelter to Instagram star.A feline previously named the world’s oldest cat tragically died just days after breaking the record. Could this cat living in the UK be the oldest in the world?A couple from Newcastle believe Nutmeg may be a record-breaking feline, claiming he has reached the grand old age of 31.Liz and Ian Finlay are looking for documentation to support their claim for the cat they adopted as a stray.The couple say they took Nutmeg, who they found in their garden in 1990, to their local Cats Protection League, where vets told them he was at least five years old.last_img read more

Rank schools by pupil wellbeing to tackle mental health crisis says former

first_imgHe added: “Since 2010, the ONS has measured the wellbeing of the British. We need to have the ONS methodology coming across to schools.”  Addressing parents, Sir Anthony criticised the Government for not taking mental health and well-being seriously.He said: “In the last three years, many state and independent schools have started taking well-being seriously but they face a massive discouragement because of the lack of recognition of their work. Only a change in league tables by the introduction of well-being measures will make the difference.”A Department for Education spokesperson said:  “Every young person deserves to grow up feeling supported and confident. That is why we are supporting schools to teach children about mental health and well-being through PSHE, and working with them to roll out counselling services.”This builds on the great work we know many schools are already doing through their pastoral systems to support the wellbeing of their pupils.” 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. Sir Anthony also advised that tables should look at how students report their own levels of happiness and how much time schools are giving to wellbeing.“The Government’s league tables are criminally negligent,” he said “We know much more than we did 10 years ago how to teach well-being and character.”Running a university, it has become even clearer to me that by the time students arrive the damage has been done. The groundwork needs to be done in schools.” Sir Anthony argued that a focus on exam results “doesn’t even prepare students for work”Credit:PA The Government must introduce a wellbeing league table for schools, in order to tackle the current mental health “crisis” in young people, a former leading head teacher has said.Speaking to the Telegraph at the Tatler Schools Live conference, Sir Anthony Seldon, former Master of Wellington College, said that the Government was being “criminally negligent” in its failure to take wellbeing seriously.Sir Anthony, who is currently vice-chancellor at the University of Buckingham, argued that schools which prioritise wellbeing help students to “perform better” academically compared with schools that are simply “exam factories”.He added that a focus on exam results “doesn’t even prepare students for work because employers want young people with character strengths and personal responsibility not A* junkies who can’t converse”. exam hall The call comes as figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that teenage suicides are at a 17-year high: 186 took their own lives in 2015, an increase of 48 per cent in the past three years.Speaking in London, Sir Anthony said that the situation was now “far more urgent” and that the Government needed to prioritise well-being.He suggested that the league table could include measures such as attendance, health and punishment records and measures of behaviour as recorded by inspectors, and should be released “at the same time as GCSE and A-level tables”.last_img read more

Lonelyhearted nurse accidentally killed herself after making last cry for help on Facebook

first_imgA lonely-hearted nurse who failed to find love on the internet accidentally killed herself after she posted a desperate last cry for help on Facebook in the hope of being rescued.Joanne Birt, 39, left her front door unlocked and posted an image of a person onto her social media page with the words “Please do not pity me I know.”But it is thought no-one spotted the message in time and she was found hanged in her kitchen by her lodger who arrived at the property to collect some belongings.An inquest heard Miss Birt who studied medicine at Salford University before becoming a podiatry nurse at Yarnspinners Primary Health Care in Nelson, Lancs, had been suffering from low moods since the death of her mother in 2006. Miss Birt was found by her lodger Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of misadventure, saying: “Joanne very highly thought of and very popular at work and very competent at work.”There are different ways people deal with grief and it couldn’t have been anticipated that for Jo her grief would manifest in the deterioration of her mental health and causing her 10-year spiral.”During those ten years she had the support from her family who she would use as a shoulder to cry on and a listening post and they did that for her. It seems to me she seemed to want help in bursts and she would seek it over the years.”This was a lady whose mood would be changing daily and the day before she did she was seen smiling driving her car. But then we heard from Mr Scott saying she said that she was fed up. These were rather unusual circumstances. The posting on Facebook at 8.30 that night.”Mr Scott spoke to her throughout the day from 2pm to 9.30pm. The leaving of the door open and expecting the lodger to come back to stop her from doing what she was doing and expecting somebody in Facebook-land to have done something.”She died because of a deliberate act but I cannot go that step further and say it was an intentional act to end her life.” She consulted with mental health professionals and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder but began looking for men on online dating sites and would then meet up with them – even travelling to Italy one Christmas to be with one.Her sister Amanda Carney told the Burnley hearing: “She was quite lonely and that did begin to manifest itself more and more. I think she had impulsive thoughts and anything else exacerbated that. She had risk-taking behaviour.”A couple of Christmases ago she flew off to Italy staying with someone she met on the internet for a few days. I find that behaviour to be worrying and risk-taking. She would sign up to dating websites and meet people on there.”Amanda said she last spoke to her sister on the phone on July 14 and added: “She was crying, she was quite in a strange way. She sounded as if she was in pain. She said she couldn’t go on. She said that she couldn’t take anymore. She had definitely got worse in the last 12 months. When I spoke to her last she said ‘I’m going to commit suicide’John Birkcenter_img “I was trying to ask her exactly what was wrong. We had had many, many conversations over the years like this and I think I had become complacent about them.”She sort of said things about not wanting to go on and she would attribute them to mum’s death and feeling that she couldn’t cope without mum being here.”People are going to decide what they are going to do themselves. I think we did become complacent about it because what more can you say, what more can you do. It always needed Joanne to reach out to somebody. She had a lot of people to reach out to.”Really lots of people did support Joanne both professionally and privately. One minute she would call absolutely desperate for support and help saying that she couldn’t cope or go on. The next day it would magically all be back to being okay.”Miss Birt’s father John Birk said that after her mother died his daughter said: “Don’t worry dad I won’t be here long.”Mr Birt added: “She had definitely got worse in the last 12 months. When I spoke to her last she said ‘I’m going to commit suicide’. I said go on then if you’re going to do it and I feel guilty about that more than anything ever.”Miss Birt’s ex-partner of 22 years Fred Scott told the court that he had been in almost constant contact with her on the day before her death up until 9.21pm, with her expressing that she was “fed up” with another previous boyfriend.Mr Scott said: “She called on and off. She said she was down, feeling a bit fed up. She said I’m fed up with him. She was saying that all day really. I had said to her that if she could get control of her demons we could work something out, I always left the door open for her.”The thing that sticks out is that her door was unlocked, the lodger thought that was strange she didn’t leave the door unlocked.”Miss Birt was found by her lodger who had planned to collect belongings. Miss Birt was found by her lodgerCredit:Joanne Birt 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

Exsoldier guilty of killing schoolgirl in 1976 after another man went to

first_imgA former soldier who violently raped and killed a schoolgirl has been found guilty of her manslaughter more than 40 years later.Stephen Hough, 58, let another man, Noel Jones, go to jail after the killing of Janet Commins, 15, in Flint, north Wales, in 1976.But last year, a sample of Hough’s DNA was taken by police and fed into their database – and it matched semen samples taken from the body of Janet and stored for four decades.The jury at Mold Crown Court heard the odds of the DNA being from anyone other than Hough were a billion to one. Janet was an only child and her mother Eileen, her only surviving parent, was too upset to come to court.Mr Justice Clive Lewis told the court he has ordered Hough to appear again on Friday morning, but he will not sentence him until next week when he has heard mitigation from his lawyers and considered the matter fully.Remanding the defendant into custody, he said: “It is critical, after 40 years, that justice is done.” Outside court, some of Janet’s relatives were in tears. Mr Jones, 59, who has since changed his name, told the jury he was picked up by police outside a pub the day after Janet’s body was found, questioned for two days without a solicitor and made a “scapegoat” by the force.The conviction ruined his life, he told the court, as he was attacked while inside jail and ostracised by friends and family on the outside.He said: “They were just saying to me, ‘You done it, you done it, you done it’. I just felt because I was a gypsy they were just taking advantage because I had no idea what was going on. I was like a scapegoat. It’s absolutely destroyed my life.”Last year he was visited again by police “out of the blue” and to his “shock and relief” told the case had been reopened.In the 40 years since the killing, forensic science has “developed considerably beyond their past limitations”, prosecutor Mark Heywood QC told the jury.In 2016 police took a sample of Hough’s DNA in circumstances “that are of no significance to this case”, Mr Heywood said – but it matched the sample taken from the victim in 1976. Stephen Hough Stephen Hough arriving at Mold Crown CourtCredit:ANDREW PRICE/View Finder Pictures The jury heard Hough was 16 when he attacked Janet, who was choked as she was repeatedly and violently raped.But within days police had arrested Mr Jones, who was 18 at the time and an illiterate scrap dealer from the gypsy community. He eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was jailed for 12 years.Mr Jones told Hough’s trial that he had been browbeaten and “coerced” into making a false confession by detectives conducting the investigation, which took place in the years before the landmark 1984 Police and Criminal Evidence Act when police interviews were not tape-recorded and access to solicitors for suspects was often denied.The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into the conduct of North Wales Police over the matter. Stephen Hough arriving at court for a previous hearing Credit:Andrew Price/View Finder Picturescenter_img While Mr Jones’s conviction still stands, he asserts he is not the killer and has denied any involvement. They were just saying to me, ‘You done it, you done it, you done it’Noel Jones Stephen Hough  He denied any wrongdoing but was convicted by the jury of rape, manslaughter and another sexual offence following a three-week trial. Hough, from Flint, was cleared of the alternative charge of murder.North Wales Police is now under investigation over how it handled the original inquiry and dealt with Mr Jones at the time of the killing.Mr Jones, who was then 18, admitted killing the teenager and was jailed for 12 years for manslaughter. But he now claims he was in fact innocent and only confessed because of police pressure.Hough made no reaction as the foreman of the jury read out the verdicts, while Janet’s remaining family sat in the public gallery. 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

Concrete bollard nominated for business award after social media fans crash vote

first_imgSome have complained that the bollard is taking the place of a local business, and that inanimate objects should be barred from the competition.  The person behind the account, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC they were “knocked out” to be nominated for the award.They said the bollard had been “always been overlooked, especially by rail replacement busses”.Fellow finalist Ed Walker, who was nominated for Blog Preston, which he edits, told the BBC: “I’ve never been up against the bollard before, although I know many drivers have.”I wish the bollard the best of luck. It has certainly become a semi-regular feature of Preston life, when it’s not rolling down Fishergate Hill that is.” #StormAileen pic.twitter.com/6DhOyiG1uO— Fishergate Bollard (@FishergateBllrd) September 13, 2017 Vote for me here and I’ll see what I can do about that Fishergate bus lane fine of yours.. https://t.co/Ky3UzfhSvo #PrestonStar pic.twitter.com/hzXfOa7iDS— Fishergate Bollard (@FishergateBllrd) January 5, 2018 Local  councillor Martyn Rawlinson tweeted: “Perhaps you need a new rule barring inanimate objects from nomination? Bit of a kick in the teeth to local entrepreneurs.”A local wrestling academy complained: “@FishergateBllrd in The running for Smiles Better Award but we can’t even get nominated. Why is this? we bring hundreds of thousands of pounds to #Prestons economy and broadcast to the world monthly.”However, the Business Improvement District said in response to the nomination “that’s democracy!”BID manager Mark Whittle added the award is “for things people have an affinity with”. A concrete bollard in Preston has been unexpectedly nominated for a business award after voters were charmed by a parody Twitter account.’Fishergate Bollard’ is known for being regularly knocked over by cars and has become a local landmark.Because of the account, which has 2,500 followers, it has become one of the eight finalists of the City Star Award which is run by the city’s Business Improvement District. The organisers of the award said that members of the public nominated and voted for the bollard, and 48,000 people cast votes to choose the finalists. 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

New 10p coin collection celebrates queuing cricket tea and other quintessentially British

first_img10p coins Some sports fans and royalists might be left disappointed, however, as cricket was chosen to represent sport in place of football or rugby and the Queen missed out in place of “queuing”.There were also arguably less imaginative coin designs –  including “X marks the spot” for the letter X, and a picture of a Macintosh overcoat for the letter M.”It’s the granularity of British life celebrated on the coinage,” Dr Kevin Clancy, Director of the Royal Mint Museum, said.  The designs were chosen after a poll on what represents the best of BritishCredit:JULIAN SIMMONDS FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  Would-be coin collectors wishing to discover the entire collection can download the Great British Coin Hunt app for free. The app allows users to “scan” a picture of the coin to place it into a digital collectors folder, and will feature a heatmap within the app that will show where coins have been found around the country. The app will also direct people to “swap shops” where they can trade coins with fellow collectors.A collectors’ folder and uncirculated versions of the 10p coins will also be available to purchase from The Royal Mint website. “The themes all reflect quirky and well-loved aspects of British life,” Anne Jessopp, Royal Mint CEO told The Daily Telegraph.”I think it is great fun to have familiar everyday items featured on our everyday coinage, so the public may be surprised and hopefully delighted to see favourites such as Ice cream cones, English breakfast and a Teapot on their 10p coins.”There is a lot to be proud of in the UK – whether it’s at the highest level, our Houses of Parliament representing democracy and freedom of speech, technological advancements such as Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web, or just a good cup of tea, it’s all here in the designs.”I see this as a celebration of all things British and quirky.” Queuing, cricket and tea represent what it means to be British, according to the Royal Mint, which has launched a new collection of 10 pence coins to showcase the “A to Z of what makes Britain great”. A collection of 2.6 million “quintessentially British” coins will be circulated by the Royal Mint on Thursday, decorated with a range of images designed to encapsulate British identity. There are 26 designs, one for each letter of the alphabet. The final designs, inspired by a public vote, were chosen by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee to showcase “The A to Z of what makes Britain great.”Designs include the Angel of the North and James Bond, as well as engravings showcasing the Loch Ness Monster, a post box, the world wide web, the National Health Service, and King Arthur.  There are 26 new coins to collect Credit:JULIAN SIMMONDS FOR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH  She added: “A – for Angel of the North, and Anne, is my favourite, as I originate from the north, but I also love the detail on R for Robin too. It’s very pretty, as well as topical at the moment – the robin is shown sitting on a branch surrounded by snowflakes.” The full range of coinsA – Angel of the NorthB – Bond… James BondC – CricketD – Double decker busE – English breakfastF – Fish and chipsG – Greenwich mean timeH – Houses of ParliamentI – Ice-cream coneJ – JubileeK – King ArthurL – Loch Ness MonsterM – MackintoshN – National Health ServiceO – Oak treeP – Post boxQ – QueuingR – RobinS – StonehengeT – TeapotU – Union flagV – VillageW – World wide webX – X marks the spotY – YeomanZ – Zebra crossing Coinslast_img read more

Knife crime soars by almost a quarter amid warnings drop in stop

Violent crime in general has increased in the last year, up 20.5 per cent with the police recording over 1.3m offences in the year ending December 2017. Over half a million of these were offences for violence with injury.Offences involving firearms were also up, by 11 per cent to 6,604 offences with murders involving guns also up 11 per cent.Elsewhere in the figures, that were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) , violence against the person was up a fifth on 2016 with an overall figure of 1.3 million.Recorded burglary was up nine per cent, while robbery saw a sharp rise up 33 per cent, year on year.Responding to the figures, police minister Nick Hurd said: “The independent Office for National Statistics is clear that overall levels of crime are stable, with traditional crime over a third lower than it was in 2010.”It is also welcome that the police’s recording of crime is improving, and that more victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence are feeling empowered to come forward.”But we know that some of the increase in police-recorded violent offences is genuine which is why we have taken urgent action to stop these crimes. Only four police forces recorded a decrease in offences for weapons possession between 2016 and 2017: North Wales, Dyfed-Powys, Derbyshire and Cumbria. Of these, only Cumbria saw a significant decrease of 6.4 per cent.  Commenting on the release of the ONS Quarterly Crime Statistics, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These statistics show once again that crime, and violent crime in particular, is rising at an unacceptably high rate across the whole of England and Wales, including London. This is clearly a national problem that requires national solutions from the Government.” The new rules meant police officers only had the power to stop and search if they had ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect someone was carrying; illegal drugs; a weapon; stolen property; something which could be used to commit a crime.But many frontline officers have expressed concern about the policy, which some claim leaves them fearful of being accused of being racist.In 2016-17, there were 303,845 stop-and-searches by police forces in England and Wales, a fall of 21 per cent compared with the previous 12 months. Knife crime soared by almost a quarter last year in Britain amid warnings that the reduction in stop and search is fuelling violence on the streets.According to the latest statistics, the police recorded just under 40,000 offences involving a knife in the year ending December 2017 – which was up 22 per cent on the previous year. murder victim Sami Sidhom A spate of knife murders – especially across the capital – in recent months, has led to calls for a re-think on the approach to the controversial stop and search powers given to the police.Criticism that the policy was being used disproportionately against young black men, led Theresa May to introduced reforms in 2014 in a bid to ensure stop and search was used in a more targeted way. The parents of 18-year-old Sami Sidhorn, said: “It is shameful that a single knife is allowed on the street. There isn’t a single fathomable reason why this is still tolerated, unchecked and unstopped.”Those who are responsible for enforcing the banning of knives in our streets are also responsible for his death.” Forest Gate murder victim Sami SidhomCredit:Metropolitan Police  Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Surrey saw the largest increases in weapons possession offences recorded by the police, at 50.1, 49.4 and 44.6 per cent respectively. Warwickshire police recorded 1,348 offences for weapons possession in 2017, compared to 898 in 2016. Last year the number of homicides involving a bladed weapon rose by 26 per cent across the country – with London’s overall murder rate rocketing by 44 per cent to 157.Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has warned against going soft on knife crime and recently called for more use of stop and search.Earlier this week the family of a model law student, stabbed to death outside his home in east London, blamed his killing on the failure of the police and government to tackle the knife crime epidemic. “We will be announcing tough new laws to crack down on acid attacks and knife offences.”And as crime changes, we will change our response – our serious violence strategy places a new emphasis on steering young people away from a life of crime, while continuing to promote the strongest possible law enforcement response.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Khan said there was evidence to suggest cuts to police budgets was having an impact on the ability to tackle knife crime. read more

Supermarkets selling cheap supersize punnets of strawberries after cold spring causes a

Cheap strawberries are flooding supermarket aisles this week due to a glut caused by this year’s extreme weather.Retailers across the country are selling super-sized, reduced-price punnets, and farmers say the unusually cold spring means the fruit took longer to ripen, making the strawberries much bigger, sweeter and juicier than usual.Not only are the strawberries more delicious, the recent hot weather caused the fruit to ripen all at once, making for a giant crop.Waitrose has reduced the price of its fruit, after the recent rise in temperatures forced the plants into a slightly later-than-usual season.Nicki Baggott, Waitrose strawberry buyer, said: “Strawberries love the sunshine and with the recent rise in temperatures, we’ve seen a bumper crop of the delicious summer fruit making its way to our shelves.”As our yields are up, we’ve reduced our prices to reflect this. In particular, our exclusive Summer Blush Strawberries are growing extremely well and are perfect for our customers to use in their puds, pavlovas and Pimm’s.”Discount supermarket Aldi has bought an additional 112 tonnes of strawberries to support British growers, who have too much fruit on their hands. The cold spring meant the fruit took longer to ripen – making it more deliciousCredit:Getty Images Contributor/ Henglein and Steets Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, said: “The recent warm weather has led to our growers needing to harvest a vast amount of their crop much later than usual. We always try to find ways to support them in times like this, while at the same time reducing unnecessary food waste. “British strawberries are also typically brighter in colour and tastier compared with imported varieties, meaning our customers can enjoy more of the fruit at the best time of the year.”Growers are also getting a good deal; each farm will be paid the same rate per kg of produce by Aldi as they would have done without the promotion.Tesco is also running a promotion, selling two of its £2 400g punnets for £3, while Sainsbury’s has reduced its 400g punnet from £2 to £1.60. The cold spring meant the fruit took longer to ripen - making it more delicious Farmers are urging customers to get their strawberries while they are still cheap and deliciously sweet.Nick Marston, chairman of British Summer Fruits, said: “February and March this year were considerably colder than in 2017. The strawberry crops develop more slowly if the weather is cooler.”There is a good level of supply, and because they’ve ripened more slowly they are bigger, tastier and juicier than last year. The supermarket will sell larger punnets at £2.95 per kg across many of  its stores, which will be alongside Aldi’s existing punnet  (£1.39 – 400g). “Because there is a good level of supply supermarkets have promotions in place for the next few days. These include Kilo boxes, two for one deals and all sorts. “We say that customers should rush out and buy strawberries now while the offers are on the very good quality fruit.”He added that while the strawberry season usually starts on May 1, the chilly spring meant it was a week and a half late. Now, the crop is in “full swing”, and it is likely the season will carry on successfully until July.However, those hoping the glut will mean a discount day out at Wimbledon are going to be disappointed.A spokesperson for the tennis competition said: “The strawberries and cream at Wimbledon will once again be priced at £2.50 – the price has remained the same since 2010.” 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

David Beckham charged with speeding in Bentley at 59mph in 40mph zone

Beckham’s next court date is for a case management hearing before magistrates in Wimbledon on September 4.The alleged offence happened at shortly after 5.30pm on Tuesday, January 23.Beckham made his name as a midfielder at Manchester United in the 1990s before going on to play for Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. He also earned 115 caps for England before retiring from the game in 2013. Beckham now splits his time between London and California.  David Beckham, playing for England in 2008, earned 115 caps for the national sideCredit:EDDIE KEOGH /Reuters David Beckham is facing a speeding charge, accused of driving a Bentley car over the speed limit in a 40mph zone.The former England captain allegedly drove at 59mph on the A40 at Paddington in west London.The 43-year-old, of Holland Park, is charged with exceeding a 40mph speed limit in contravention of a local traffic order.  A not guilty plea was entered on August 17 and Beckham is due to go on trial.Although his case appears on Tuesday’s list to be heard at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court in Battersea, south-west London, the hearing will be an administrative one known as a single justice procedure (SJP).This will be held behind closed doors alongside several similar cases with only a magistrate and a legal adviser present, a court official confirmed. A40 in west london  David Beckham 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. When in the capital, he is regularly pictured driving his Bentley Bentayga, which is worth around £160,000.Beckham and his wife, Victoria, attended the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Windsor in May. The A40 at Paddington in west London, where the speed limit is 40mphCredit:Google Street View read more

Regulators show lack of focus and urgency in tackling sexual harassment MPs

Mrs Miller, the Conservative MP for Basingstoke, said the committee was “particularly disappointed” at how few of the bodies understood their responsibility to have “due regard” towards eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace.She acknowledged that progress is being made in some areas, such as among the legal profession and financial services.  “But in other sectors, such as policing and healthcare, it is clear that the Government needs to step in to force these bodies to take sexual harassment seriously,” Mrs Miller added. Earlier this year the committee concluded its six-month investigation into harassment, triggered by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.MPs discovered that British employers were using nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) to bully victims into silence.During the inquiry, MPs heard “deplorable examples of how NDAs have been used to threaten, bully and silence victims of sexual harassment” . The committee concluded that sexual harassment remained “an everyday occurrence” and part of the culture in many workplaces, and accused employers, regulators and ministers of failing to stamp it out.Their report, published in July, recommended new laws that would make it an offence for employers to use NDAs to prevent victims of sexual harassment going to the police.The report suggested a new legal duty for employers to prevent harassment, supported by a statutory code of practice.  Regulators are showing a “lack of focus and urgency” in tackling sexual harassment in the workplace, MPs have said. Police and the healthcare sector should face Government intervention to “force” them to take sexual harassment seriously, according to the Women and Equalities Committee.Earlier this year, the committee wrote to ten regulatory and inspection bodies in sectors – including the Bar Standards Board, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission – asking them to explain what they were doing to tackle workplace sexual harassment.Maria Miller MP,  the committee’s chair, said that the “lack of focus and urgency” demonstrated by some of the responses is “very concerning”.“We know that employers are falling down in their responsibilities to create safe working environments,” she said.“It’s vital, therefore, that those who oversee employers and professions step up to the mark in setting expectations and taking action where sexual harassment takes place.” The committee conducted a six-month investigation into harassment, triggered by the Harvey Weinstein scandal The committee conducted a six-month investigation into harassment, triggered by the Harvey Weinstein scandal 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

Prince Philip crash Police investigating Duke car crash which left two women

The Duke’s car was seen to “tumble” across a road near the Sandringham Estate following the collision, with an eyewitness reporting that he was helped from his car before immediately asking whether others were “alright”. Police are investigating a car crash in which the Duke of Edinburgh was left bleeding and two women were hospitalised.  Two female passengers of the second car, a Kia, went to hospital with injuries, while a baby travelling with them was left unharmed…. The Duke, 97, has survived the serious car accident with no injuries, according to the palace, with a witness claiming his Land Rover turned over several times as it “careered” across a busy road near to the Sandringham Estate. read more

Farfan Mendes to establish 70M sawmill training facility

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAnsa McAL fully supports RHTY&SC Town WeekSeptember 2, 2016In “Local News”Suriname joins Guyana’s 50th Independence celebrationsMay 25, 2016In “Local News”President says ‘nothing secret’ about D’urban Park project – Opposition differsNovember 24, 2016In “Local News” …as company celebrates 50th anniversary with PresidentPresident David Granger and Managing Director of the Farfan and Mendes Group of Companies, Andrew Mendes engaged in conversation during the cocktail receptionPresident David Granger, on Friday evening, attended a dinner in celebration of the Farfan and Mendes Group of Companies’ 50th anniversary, held at the company’s complex at Providence on the East Bank of Demerara.Managing Director, Andrew Mendes seized the opportunity to restate the company’s commitment to ‘green’ building and the development of the ‘green’ economy in keeping with the President’s vision of a ‘green’ state trajectory.In addition to developing sustainable operational processes, Mendes announced that the company has committed to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) to establish a sawmilling training facility at its Coverden operation at a cost of $70 million and has also collaborated with the GFC in setting up and financing a forestry training centre and the formulation of a code of conduct for wood processing.Commensurate with their commitment to Guyana’s development, Mendes said the Group has also invested in a joint venture with partnering companies in the United States of America to develop logging, sawmilling and value added products from the Iwokrama Forest.“This approach is part of our commitment to providing real world practical solutions based on experience for our customers and it is evidence of my parents and the company’s continued commitment to the development of sustainable growth in Guyana,” Mendes said.Minister with responsibility for Labour,  Keith Scott, members of the Diplomatic Corps and the private sector were in attendance at the event, which featured performances by former Miss Guyana World, Lisa Punch, the Euphoria Dance Company and the Dharmic Nritya Sangh, among others. read more