What Pat Summitt Did For The Game Of Basketball

Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (June 28, 2016), we discuss legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who died Tuesday. Kate Fagan describes what she meant to generations of young women desperate to play the sport. Then, The Wall Street Journal’s Chris Herring joins us to chat about the trade of Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, and we wonder why the Knicks never seem to acquire quality talent. Finally, Chris sticks around to talk about this year’s NBA free agents and whether the Golden State Warriors would be set up for an 82-0 season if they got Kevin Durant. Plus, a significant digit on Buddy Ryan, the NFL defensive coordinator who helped lead the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears to Super Bowl titles. He died Tuesday at the age of 85.Links to what we discuss are here:Kate Fagan tells us what Pat Summitt meant to her and generations of women basketball players.Neil Paine dives into the numbers that show Summitt built the best women’s college basketball program of all time.Gary Smith’s 1998 profile of Summitt in Sports Illustrated looks at her through the eyes of a 16-year-old college basketball prospect.In 2012, Dave Zirin asked in The Nation: Are we brave enough to say goodbye to Pat Summitt?Chris Herring wonders how Derrick Rose will fit in with the Knicks.Chris also writes that the Knicks are setting their sights on Kevin Durant now that Rose is on board.But Matt Borcas at The Ringer thinks Durant will never go to the Knicks.Neil Paine thinks a Durant-led Thunder will be a better team without Serge Ibaka.The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg agrees.Significant Digit: 72. That’s the number of sacks Buddy Ryan’s 1984 Bears put up — the most in a single NFL season. If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

Unbelievable Serena Williams Suffers Surprising Defeat at Wimbledon

The 34-game winning streak of Serena Williams ended after the top seed, defending champion, and world No. 1 lost at Wimbledon today.German player Sabine Lisicki got an early lead on Williams and survived a late surge of an eight-game drought to defeat Williams in three sets 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.Williams won 34 consecutive tennis matches before being knocked out by Lisicki, who equaled Serena Williams’ power and capitalized on the former champion’s mistakes.

USC Program Is Interviewing Every Black Baseball Player from

Hank AaronA University of Southern California (USC) professor has launched an ambitious project to catalog the thoughts of every Black baseball player who played major league baseball from 1947 to 1971.The 25-year period includes integration and the turbulent post-integration years.Daniel Durbin, the USC professor who created the project, is being assisted by graduate student Neftalie Williams. Although Williams, a skateboarding aficionado, didn’t know much about baseball when he started the project, he has a way of drawing information out of the retired players.“You come away thinking, why did I tell that guy all of that?” said Dusty Baker, who played for the Dodgers, Atlanta, Giants and A’s. He also managed the Giants for 10 years. “He prods without pushing.”Williams said he sees his work documenting the players’ stories as living Black history.“I want to go back and let those dudes say how they felt, what was happening; yalk about how much they loved baseball, talk about how much it meant to them,” said Williams in a Los Angeles Times interview.Durbin said some of the stories revealed painful experiences from the past. Baker recounted a story about being visited by the FBI because of an anthrax scare. He also said Hank Aaron told him not to get too close him when he was about to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record, because he was getting death threats.Don Buford, who played for USC and the Chicago White Sox, tells a story of going into retrieve a teammate, Deacon Jones, who had gone into a gas station in the Deep South. However, the man behind the counter had pulled a shotgun on Jones. Back on the bus, Buford chastised his teammate for forgetting where he was.“Deacon just said, ‘Man, I forgot,” Buford told The Los Angeles Times.Williams said he is able to connect with the players because he shares a similar experience with them. He grew up in Springfield, Mass. and was bused into an all-white school as part of a desegregation program. His mother made him wear a suit on his first day, because she wanted to show white people that Black people could be just as good as them. He was ostracized and spent much of the time fighting, until he discovered skateboarding and bonded with his classmates.“These guys matter,” Williams said. “Black America, they had them on their backs. And the players knew it. They might not say it, because these guys are all really humble, but they know. And I will tell you that when the camera’s off and I’m breaking down and we are talking, that’s the thing, they say: ‘You knew you had it on your backs.’ Just like I had it when I was a kid and my mom said, ‘Hey, you have to wear a suit and you have to do well because you have the culture on your back.’” read more

Kyle Lowry Is The NBAs Master Of Taking The Clutch Charge

TORONTO — With just more than four and a half minutes left and the Toronto Raptors nursing a 97-94 edge over division rival Boston, budding Celtics star Jayson Tatum had a 1-on-1 matchup against Danny Green on the right wing. Green cheated left, allowing Tatum to get to his dominant hand with a potential path to the basket. But the opportunity to trim the deficit or even tie the score on that possession vanished in an instant, when Kyle Lowry, the Raptors’ All-Star guard, swiftly slid in front of Tatum, drawing a charging violation.On the left wing just over two minutes later, with Toronto leading by five, nearly the exact same scenario played out: Tatum got a step on Kawhi Leonard after a well-executed flare screen and barreled into the paint, only to meet Lowry, who’d gotten there a hair quicker. Offensive foul;1The third one Lowry had drawn in a two-minute, 20-second window if we include the illegal shove called on Marcus Morris. Raptors’ ball. The play essentially ended any hope of a Boston comeback in the Oct. 19 Toronto win.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/TATUM.mp400:0000:0000:27Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Somehow, in a league flowing with more 3-pointers than we’ve ever seen, Lowry has found a way to make momentum-shifting plays without hitting dagger jumpers. Instead, he’s taking dagger charges — stifling an opponent’s last-ditch comeback efforts. He all but sealed Wednesday’s victory by taking one against Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox with a little more than three minutes left. Three days prior, he drew one on the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma in the final two minutes of an eventual win in Los Angeles.“It just feels like he always takes them at the right moment, when the other team has some momentum going,” point guard Delon Wright, one of Lowry’s backups, told me after the team’s Monday win in Utah. “He steps in there and gets the call, and it’s kind of defeating for the other team.”There’s no doubt that Lowry has impeccable timing on such plays, and not just in the waning minutes of close games. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Lowry has drawn a league-high 49 charges2In the regular season and playoffs combined. — an eye-popping number for anyone, but especially for someone who earns upwards of $30 million a year and plays a position that isn’t known for welcoming physical punishment. Nonetheless, this past Sunday, he drew one on runaway freight train LeBron James, who enjoys an 8-inch, 45-pound advantage on the 6-foot Lowry.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/LOWRY1.mp400:0000:0004:35Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“You get hit in the private area. You might get hit in the gut,” said Lowry, who also led the NBA in assists heading into Thursday’s games with 135 — a whopping 38 more than Jrue Holiday, who ranked second. “You’ve just got to be willing to take the hit and can’t be scared of the consequences. You’ve gotta say, ‘All right, cool — I’m willing to do to help my team win games.’”Not everyone is an ideal candidate to take charges. Aside from the fact that certain players are horrible at selling officials on bang-bang plays of that nature, there’s also the possibility of getting hurt, all for the sake of trying to force a single turnover.Raptors coach Nick Nurse doesn’t seem too worried when Lowry puts himself in harm’s way — largely because he’s shown an expertise in knowing how to do it.“His instincts are unbelievable. He sees that stuff coming way ahead of time and gets himself in position. That’s just being a super smart, high-IQ player,” Nurse said. “He’s pretty good at knowing how to take them. Every now and then, he takes a pretty crushing blow. But you know how it is: The good [charge-takers] kind of start to fall just before they take a hit, and hopefully don’t get hurt on those [sorts of plays]. But his instincts to play hard amaze me almost nightly.”While taking that many charges speaks to Lowry’s next-level anticipation, the teamwide strategies of the 11-1 Raptors — still incorporating two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard — are playing a role here as well. Toronto has had a help defender, the one most often in position to draw a charge, present during an opposing player’s drive to the basket 36 percent of the time, the NBA’s third-highest rate, according to Second Spectrum.When Lowry is the player serving as the help defender, the club allows just 0.86 points per direct drive — a number that would lead the league if it carried over for all team minutes. This is part of why the Raptors figure to be such a tough out, especially now with Leonard in the fold: Lowry, Green, Pascal Siakam and Serge Ibaka3Who, while clearly diminished from his days as a first team All-Defense selection, is still a solid defender. can all slide over and at least hinder, if not completely halt, the progress of a player trying to get to the rim.As for Lowry himself — who’s taken more charges this year than 23 entire teams — his knack for generating these types of turnovers can be traced to Villanova, where he played for Jay Wright. Villanova started a program known as the Attitude Club, a point-based recognition system that rewards players for different types of hustle plays, including diving for loose balls, tapping back an offensive rebound and, yes, drawing charges on defense.4This sounds similar to a college upbringing we’ve reported on in the past, that of perhaps the league’s most efficient charge-taker, Anthony Tolliver.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/LOWRY2.mp400:0000:0004:47Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Lowry said he took charges even during his high school days but became more committed to it during college and upon reaching the NBA, where it’s nearly impossible for him — at his size — to make the sorts of high-flying plays that can truly ignite a crowd.“I can’t normally block a shot, and I can’t energize my team with a crazy dunk,” he said. “But I can take a charge at a big moment in a game, and I think my teammates appreciate me laying myself out there. That’s my energizing play.”Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Another World Chess Championship Draw — Its Time For Caruana To Attack

Seven games. Seven draws. And the World Chess Championship in London, between the two top-rated grandmasters in the world, remains level with five games to go.Magnus Carlsen of Norway, 27, is No. 1 and trying to successfully defend his title for the third time. Fabiano Caruana of the U.S., 26, is No. 2 and trying to become the first American world champion since Bobby Fischer in 1972. On Sunday, Carlsen marshalled the white pieces and Caruana the black.The first nine moves of Game 7 exactly matched those of Game 2, which ended in a 49-move draw this past weekend. These moves fall into a category of chess opening called the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Harrwitz Attack. In 1858 in Paris, Daniel Harrwitz deployed his eponymous attack to victorious effect in a game against Paul Morphy, the great American player and unofficial world champion. But “Attack,” in Sunday’s case, was a bit of a misnomer.“What I did was just way too soft,” Carlsen said after the game.Caruana’s 10th move — retreating his queen back to its home on d8 after it essayed an aggressive journey to a5 — was a rarity. And after the 11th move, the two grandmasters were in completely uncharted chess territory, according to the ChessBase database. That looked like this: The game’s brakes locked in this complex position, and moves 12, 13 and 14 alone took an hour and a half to complete as the players each contemplated a number of plans.But the game never really appeared to anyone like anything but a draw. (I’ll renew my pro tip here: If you want to sound smart about a championship chess game, just say it “looks drawish.”) In an interview at the venue in London, Demis Hassabis, the co-founder of DeepMind and co-creator of the impossibly strong chess-playing program AlphaZero, predicted a draw at this point. Bookmakers put the live chances of a draw at around 97 percent. The supercomputer assessed it at 0.00 — dead level. And Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the world No. 6, predicted a draw within the next half hour on a Chess.com broadcast.But Carlsen wasn’t quite done yet.“Magnus likes to play these positions until he’s sucked the life out of them,” Vachier-Lagrave said. Such is Carlsen’s reputation at the board. The position in question was a bishop-versus-knight endgame with constellation of pawns that looked like this after the 36th move: 87654321abcdefgh Someone will win eventually. If the 12 games end with the score tied — a possibility that is drifting toward a probability — the two grandmasters will play a tie-breaking series of much faster “rapid” and possibly “blitz” games — and possibly even an “Armageddon” game. According to the live world ratings, Carlsen is the No. 1 rapid player and the No. 1 blitz player in the world. Caruana is No. 8 and No. 16, respectively. Given that Carlsen would be the heavy favorite in the tiebreakers, meta-match strategy seems to dictate that Caruana should favor the gas pedal in the five lengthy games to come. If he has any secret attacking weapons, the time has come to fire them.Watching every second of this match has taken on the cast of a Buddhist meditation — the games are drawn and the mind is cleared and the mantra is repeated. It is, frankly, a rather lovely routine and a cheap bit of self-care. I’ve also been starting to dream about this match. Last night’s installment featured Caruana and an unidentified friend sitting on the ground in the center of a large complex of tennis courts, with me on the outside of its chain link fence, looking in. Players on these courts were equipped with strange wooden spatulas, rather than racquets, and white tennis balls. Caruana and friend had given up playing this weird quasi-tennis, cast their spatulas aside and sat playing with purple Gameboys. What does this augur for the rest of the match? I do not know. Freudians, get in touch.Game 8 begins Monday at 3 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time — that’s 10 a.m. Eastern. I’ll be covering it here and on Twitter. read more

The Texas Rangers Got Better But Their Record Got Way Worse

Even among those lucky teams, the Rangers’ fall this season has been especially steep. They’re on pace for a 15-win decline from 2016, in part because their luck has actually turned in the opposite direction. So far this season, they’ve managed to win one fewer game than they would have with neutral sequencing and normal luck in close games. And this fickle twist of fate is basically the difference between Texas comfortably returning to the playoffs and being on the outside looking in: The Rangers are currently two games out of the American League’s second wild-card spot, with five teams ahead of them to leapfrog as well. If they had last year’s luck again, they’d be five games clear of the New York Yankees for the first wild-card.Instead, the Rangers serve as yet another reminder of just how unpredictable baseball can be. A team can boast practically identical talent in consecutive seasons,4According to The Baseball Gauge’s meta-metric that mixes the various types of WAR available online, here were Texas’ 2016 ranks in batting, fielding, starting pitching and relief pitching value: 16th, 9th, 13th and 21st. Those same ranks in 2017: 14th, 13th, 9th and 22nd. and still see their record fluctuate wildly from one year to the next. In the face of such a cruel and random universe, the best a team and its fans can do is to relish the breaks when they go their way, and enjoy the small blessings of a season when they don’t.Check out our latest MLB predictions. 1987Twins8577+5+6+11+6 2016Rangers95670+13+13-15 After the luck has goneMLB teams with the most extra wins of luck from sequencing and close games, 1961-2017 YEARTEAMWINSLOSSESSEQUENCINGCLOSE GAMESTOTALCHG. IN WINS NEXT SEASON 1961Reds9361+1+10+110 1977Orioles9764+2+9+11-7 2013Yankees8577+6+6+12-1 Change in wins is the difference in wins between this season and the next. In cases where an uneven number of games were played, the change is derived by pro-rating the team’s change in winning percentage over the number of games they played during the “lucky” season.Source: The Baseball Gauge 1984Mets9072-1+12+11+8 ACTUAL RECORDWINS OF LUCK 1985White Sox8577+8+2+11-13 1962Reds9864+6+5+11-12 1972Mets83730+11+11-4 2008Angels10062+5+12+17-3 1969Mets10062+6+8+14-17 1963Dodgers9963+6+7+13-19 1985Angels9072+5+6+11+2 1987Cardinals9567+10+3+13-19 Just about everything that could go right for the 2016 Texas Rangers did. Flying in the face of preseason projections that called for them to finish around .500, the Rangers rode stellar seasons from Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels and Elvis Andrus (among others) all the way to 95 wins, the AL West crown and the league’s best record. At the same time, however, they relied on a combination of metrics that confounded sabermetricians all season long: a 36-11 record in one-run games — the best mark in MLB history — and on top of that, a better run differential than we’d expect from their underlying stats, too.In other words, number-crunchers suspected the Rangers had been massively, historically lucky last season — and were probably due for a downturn in 2017. But even the statheads didn’t see Texas’s fortunes reversing quite as much as they have. After that record-setting mark in close games a year ago, the Rangers somehow have the league’s second-worst winning percentage in one-run contests this year, and they’ve also scored fewer runs (and allowed more) than their statistics would predict. All the things that went right last season are now going wrong; as a result, Texas is in fourth place with little chance of making the playoffs.Here’s the funny thing, though: Deep down, the Rangers’ 2017 squad is probably every bit as good as its 2016 iteration, and possibly a little better, despite the huge decline in winning percentage. According to wins above replacement (WAR),1Averaging together the Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com versions of WAR. Texas had the 16th-best team in baseball last season with 32.4 total WAR. (For a sense of scale, the average team has about 33 WAR,2A .500 record in 162 games is 81-81, and WAR sets the replacement level at about 48 wins for an entire season. 81 minus 48 equals 33 WAR for the average team. meaning the 95-win Rangers were basically a middle-of-the-road ballclub after stripping away their good fortune in high-leverage situations.) This season, the Rangers are on pace for 32.8 total WAR over 162 games — ever so slightly more than they posted a year ago, and good for 13th-most in MLB.Some Texas players have been even better than last year (Andrus) and some disappointingly worse (Rougned Odor), but on the whole they’ve played basically the same at an individual level. The only real difference between the two versions of the Rangers has been in sequencing — that is, scoring more (and/or allowing fewer) runs than the underlying stats would predict, because events were timed right within an inning — and performance in close games. As Texas is learning, those categories can be extremely fluky, and teams who overachieve in them one year tend to see their records dramatically regress to the mean in the following season.We can measure how much a team benefited from each kind of good fortune with a couple of metrics: Base runs, which estimate how many runs a team “should have” scored and allowed based on its underlying stats, and the Pythagorean expectation, which estimates how many games a team “should have” won based on its run differential. Deviations from each estimate come, respectively, from fortunate sequencing and good luck in close games. And by those standards, last year’s Rangers — who beat their estimated record by a staggering 13 wins — were one of the luckiest teams in baseball history. According to TheBaseballGauge.com, they tied for the third-biggest difference between a team’s actual and expected records during the expansion era.3Since 1961. 2006Athletics9369+6+8+13-17 1973Reds9963+7+5+12-1 1982Red Sox8973+7+4+11-11 2012Orioles93690+11+12-8 2007D-backs9072+2+11+13-8 1989Astros8676+3+7+11-11 read more

Scouting Notre Dame A look at the 2015 Fighting Irish

Notre Dame redshirt freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer scores a touchdown against Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on Nov. 7. Notre Dame won 42-30. Credit: Courtesy of TNSOn New Year’s Day, two of the most storied programs in the history of college football, Ohio State and Notre Dame, are set to square off on the gridiron.The Buckeyes and Fighting Irish last played each other in 2006 in the same game they’re playing on Jan. 1: the Fiesta Bowl.This year’s game is considered by many to be the best matchup outside of the College Football Playoff semifinals, as the teams’ three combined losses have all come against opponents ranked in the top 6.OSU’s lone loss came via No. 3 Michigan State on Nov. 21, while Notre Dame’s first defeat was at the hands of top-ranked Clemson by just two points on a rainy, sloppy Oct. 3 in South Carolina.The Fighting Irish’s second loss was again by a mere two points, but this time against sixth-ranked and Rose-Bowl-bound Stanford on Nov. 28.A lot of the hype focusing on the game is due to OSU and Notre Dame’s history, but a decent portion of it is because a missed kick or a successful two-point conversion might have been enough to put both teams in the playoff.But instead, they’re slated for a date in the desert to welcome in the new year.Here is a deeper look at coach Brian Kelly’s team.Injuries wearing offWith each passing week, it seemed like another key cog for the Irish fell victim to the injury bug. As it stands, five players sustained season-ending injuries that will keep them out of the Fiesta Bowl. That number should be higher, except the long layoff is allowing two major contributors to get back in the lineup after initially being ruled out for the year.The first of that duo is tight end Durham Smythe. The redshirt sophomore tore his MCL during Notre Dame’s win over Virginia on Sept. 12, resulting in an operation on his right knee, as well as a minor procedure on his right shoulder.Spring practice was originally set as his return date, but his rehabilitation has gone quicker than expected. In early December, Kelly said he was at “full strength” and had been cleared to practice immediately.Smythe had been the starting tight end for the first two games of the season prior to being hurt. He had two catches for 13 yards and one touchdown. The 6-foot-4 Texan will be a big boost to the Notre Dame passing game that, at times, has struggled to find a secondary target beyond junior wide receiver Will Fuller.Rejoining the active roster alongside Smythe is redshirt junior Jarron Jones. The defensive tackle tore his MCL during fall practice and has yet to play in a game for the Fighting Irish. The Rochester, New York, native was projected to start at nose tackle, but instead, Kelly was forced to look elsewhere to fill that spot.Jones had appeared in 12 and 11 games in his first two seasons, respectively. Sophomore Daniel Cage, who is from Cincinnati and had been recruited by OSU, filled Jones’ void for the most part, doing a decent job. Cage will likely start the Fiesta Bowl, but Jones will be in the rotation on the defensive line.OSU junior running back Ezekiel Elliott has the ability to wear teams down as the game progresses, so Notre Dame getting Jones back adds to the depth, allowing Cage and his fellow defensive linemen to stay more fresh throughout the game’s 60 minutes.Players coming back from injury doesn’t just stop with Smythe and Jones, though. Two more contributors, linebacker James Onwualu and running back C.J. Prosise, are trading their spots on the injury report for a place on the depth chart.Onwualu, a junior and former wide receiver, missed the final two games of the season with an MCL sprain, but he will be back at his outside linebacker spot in Arizona. On the year, Onwualu has 36 tackles, five of which were for a loss.The Notre Dame defense has, by no means, been impenetrable this season, but it still ranks 39th nationally, surrendering 362 yards per game. It has dealt with a gaggle of injuries throughout the year, but getting two contributors in Jones and Onwualu back will certainly help the unit in its quest to slow down the Buckeyes.For Prosise, the redshirt junior will be back after missing the third-to-last game against Wake Forest, as well as the regular-season finale versus Stanford, with injury.A concussion and upper body injury kept him sidelined against Wake Forest, but he returned the next week against Boston College, only to suffer a high ankle sprain, causing him to leave the game prematurely, while also missing the loss to Stanford.Prosise wasn’t even supposed to be the starter this season, but Tarean Folston tore his ACL on his third carry of the year against Texas, elevating Prosise to the No. 1 spot. He responded nicely to the promotion, carrying the ball 156 times for 1,032 yards and 11 scores.He might not get the same percentage of carries prior to the injury, but for Kelly’s offense, having Prosise back alongside freshman running back Josh Adams is another crucial addition.Players being lost to injury dominated the narrative surrounding this Notre Dame team during the regular season. If the Fighting Irish are victorious against the Buckeyes, players with injuries again might be part of the discussion. But this time, it might be about the players’ contributions after returning, instead of their departures.Counting on KizerUnder center for the Fighting Irish on New Year’s Day will be redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer. Fitting with the theme surrounding the rest of his team, Kizer was not supposed to be the starter, but Malik Zaire fractured his ankle against Virginia in Week 2 and has been out ever since.Kizer assumed the starting position with questions swirling about whether the freshman was ready to lead the Fighting Irish.He answered them.The Toledo native, who was not offered a scholarship from OSU, has been rock solid for Kelly’s squad — even sensational at times — throwing for 2,600 yards and 19 touchdowns on a 63 percent completion rate.Kizer supplemented that with 499 yards and nine scores on the ground. He has developed exceptional chemistry with Fuller, the team’s leading receiver with 1,145 yards and 13 touchdowns. Smythe returning helps Kizer, too.When Kizer took over for Zaire, it was, essentially, sink or swim for Notre Dame. The Irish would either go down in flames with the inexperienced Kizer, or he would flourish, keeping the team in the discussion as one of the nation’s elite.The latter happened.Kizer has proven that despite being 19 years old, he was ready for the limelight associated with being at the helm for Notre Dame. The OSU defense will definitely be a test for him, but based on his performance throughout the year, the expectation is he will not sink under the pressure.OSU and Notre Dame are set to kick off at 1 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona, on Jan. 1. read more

Ohio State mens hockey trying to get back on track vs Penn

OSU junior forward Nick Schilkey (7) during a game against Minnesota on Feb. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Evan Szymkowicz | Sports DirectorThe Ohio State men’s hockey team (8-16-2, 3-7-2) will want to put a disappointing weekend at home in the past as it gets set to travel to Penn State (18-8-4, 8-5-1) for the first time this season.The last time the two sides met was back on Jan. 23 in Columbus. That contest ended in a 5-1 Buckeye victory, and OSU will be looking for a repeat performance at the Pegula Ice Arena in State College, Pennsylvania.OSU coach Steve Rohlik said the team is looking to get off to a strong start this weekend to avoid the large deficits early on, which is what happened against Minnesota on Saturday.“If we’re determined and we play desperate, we’re a pretty good hockey team,” Rohlik said. “We just kind of ran out of time there on Saturday, but we put ourselves in a big hole against a team like (Minnesota), a 4-1 lead. It’s tough to come back even though all of us believed we could’ve.”Consistency countsThe Nittany Lions enter the series with a three-game unbeaten streak. The nation’s fifth-ranked offense scored five goals or more in two of those contests. Penn State’s last time out was a 2-2 tie against Michigan State, but eventually, it would grab the victory in the shootout.OSU senior defenseman and co-captain Craig Dalrymple said he isn’t stressing too much about any drastic changes to the game plan despite the Nittany Lions’ offense prowess.“We’re just going to keep to our game,” Dalrymple said. “We know they shoot the puck.” Because of that, OSU will try to keep Penn State’s offense outside of the area right next to the goal. Outside shots and those from the safe areas are the ones the Buckeyes are “OK with,” Dalrymple said. “We know shots are going to come, but we’ve just got to limit the Grade-A opportunities,” he said. Rohlik said he hopes to bring some uniformity to the Buckeyes’ play. The last five games have been a mixed bag for the Scarlet and Gray, with two wins and three losses, including Friday’s overtime defeat.“You guys can see it. We play good then all of a sudden, it’s like a turnover you just can’t explain, and it ends up being in the back of our net,” Rohlik said. “It’s some of the little things that end up costing us. If you could take back 50 seconds of a hockey game, all of a sudden that’s three goals.” On the other hand, an example of consistency is junior forward David Gust, who has 16 points over his current 15-game point streak. He currently leads the Buckeyes with 20 assists and 27 points this season.OSU forward Tommy Parran (6) tries to clear the puck in front of the Buckeyes’ goal in a game against Minnesota on Feb. 12 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Evan Szymkowicz | Sports DirectorPower play powersIt will be a battle of power play offense versus shorthanded defense in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions currently lead the Big Ten in penalty kills with 46. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are tied for second in the conference with 10 power play goals. The Nittany Lions are also dangerous offensively while shorthanded, leading the nation with 10 shorthanded goals. Gust currently leads the Buckeyes with 11 power play points, coming from two goals and nine assists. Fellow junior forward and co-captain Nick Schilkey leads OSU in power play scoring with five goals.Schilkey highlighted his disappointment with the lack of points gained from the Minnesota series, but he said he is looking forward to facing the Nittany Lions once again.“We’ve got to get back out there and get back to our game,” Schilkey said. “It’s frustrating to drop another two games to Minnesota. They’re a good team in our league, but we have another chance to play another good team in our league this weekend. We’re going to get back out there and get those points back.”The goals keep comingDespite their struggles on defense, the Buckeyes have still been scoring goals at a high rate. They have scored three goals or more in four of their last five games, which includes the 5-1 win against the Nittany Lions back in January.The Buckeye offense will have to challenge Penn State’s standout junior goaltender Eamon McAdam once again, who currently leads the conference with a .931 save percentage. Even with his solid play, the plans put in place to score goals stays the game, Schilkey said. “You’ve got to get shots on them, work them down low,” he said. “Get them moving side to side. Just like any other goalie.”The puck is set to drop at the Pegula Ice Arena at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and again on Saturday at 3 p.m. read more

Ohio States John Simon Braxton Miller named best of the B1G

The accolades just keep coming for members of the Ohio State football team. A day after being named first-team All-Big Ten by the media, sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller and senior defensive end John Simon were recognized as the Big Ten Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, on Tuesday. The award comes three days after OSU completed its undefeated season by defeating Michigan 26-21. Miller, who was also named the Greise-Brees Quarterback of the Year for the Big Ten, joins elite Buckeye company in being honored as the Big Ten’s Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year. Former OSU greats Eddie George, Orlando Pace and Troy Smith are the only other Buckeyes to have received the award, established in 1990. Simon sat out the Michigan game with a knee injury, ending his streak of 37 consecutive starts, but his nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss were enough to earn him the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year in addition to being named the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year. “It means a lot to win this award,” Simon said in a release. “It is truly a great honor, but first and foremost it is a team award. I wouldn’t be given this award if it weren’t for the great play of my teammates … great coverage in the back end and guys taking up blocks on the front end. I praise those guys for helping me get this and that is what it is all about.” Coach Urban Meyer has called Simon “the heart and soul” of his team and said the awards are well-deserved. “I think everyone knows how highly I think of John Simon,” Meyer said of the two-time OSU captain in a release. “He is absolutely one of the finest young men I have had the privilege to coach. His determination and effort and selfless approach are second to none, and there is no better player or person to be honored with this player of the year award.” OSU’s coach was complimentary of his quarterback as well. “Winning this award is quite an achievement for this young man because he can still get better,” Meyer said. “I am happy for him and very proud. This is a terrific honor for a Buckeye to receive.” In his opening season at the helm of Meyer’s offense, Miller thrived while propelling OSU to a 12-0 record – the school’s first undefeated mark since 2002. The sophomore quarterback set a Buckeyes’ record for total offense, throwing for 2,039 yards while running for 1,271, surpassing the former mark of 3,290 yards that was set by former OSU quarterback Bobby Hoying in 1995. Miller had 28 touchdowns on the season, the most by an OSU quarterback since 2006, when Smith, a Heisman Trophy winner, had 31. “I’m appreciative of everything that went down this year,” Miller said Tuesday. “The work we put in in the offseason with coach Mick (Mickey Marotti), it paid off at the end. So I’m pretty appreciative of that.” After a dismal 6-7 season in 2011 that saw Miller and the Buckeye offense put up about 25 points per game, OSU exploded in 2012. Led by Miller, the Buckeyes averaged 37.1 points a game in 2012, a figure that ranked best in the Big Ten. The sophomore quarterback seemed to improve greatly from his freshman campaign, too. He threw for 880 more yards, upped his rushing total by 556 and got in the end zone eight more times, in just three more starts. Miller attributes most of his growth to the new coaching staff, specifically Meyer and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman. “Coach Meyer and coach Herman, they helped me a lot since (freshman year),” Miller said. “A lot of things outside of football (too), I learned a lot.” Miller said he got stronger and faster in the offseason, but the sophomore quarterback didn’t truly realize how much better he and the rest of the Buckeyes had gotten until the Nebraska game Oct. 6. OSU blew past the Huskers at Ohio Stadium, 63-38, with Miller accounting for 313 yards of offense and two touchdowns. “It was crazy. The first night game, I believe, the guys were hyped and everybody was excited to get out there (in front of) the home stands and just light it up,” Miller said. Following that performance, Miller started to receive serious Heisman consideration from the media. He said he never really paid attention to it, though, besides the occasional teasing from his teammates. “I heard (Heisman talk) a few times, in the front side of the season. I didn’t really pay attention to it. The guys, they always make a joke about it and see it on TV,” Miller said. Since then, the talk of Miller holding the bronze trophy has quieted, with Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, or “Johnny Football,” emerging as the favorite. Miller said he’s seen Manziel play, and that the two young quarterbacks have a similar style of play. Regarding the nickname, Miller said, “it’s smooth.” But does Miller need a nickname to compete with the Aggies’ star? “I don’t know about a nickname,” Miller said. Miller’s first name, Braxton, seems to stand on its own fairly well. “The only person that I know (named Braxton) was one the Jamie Foxx show, the dude, ‘Braxton.’ He’s the only one I know,” Miller said. Nickname or not, Miller’s head coach said there is plenty of room for him to improve next season. “Our quarterback fundamentally, he wasn’t the best fundamental quarterback in America,” Meyer said in his postseason news conference Monday. Miller agrees, saying he needs to improve on his footwork, which is “jittery” at times, along with his passing mechanics. But when he does get technically sound, OSU’s offense – the best in the Big Ten this season – and its quarterback could be even scarier. “I still have no idea where his ceiling is. Pocket awareness, comfort, just the fundamentals of throwing the ball, I don’t see the ceiling yet. He’s got that much further to go,” Meyer said. “Braxton, if he becomes fundamentally the best quarterback in America, I think he will be the best quarterback in America. It will be comical what he’ll do.” Miller’s offensive coordinator feels similarly. “The sky’s the limit for him,” Herman said. Miller recognizes what his coaches see in him, too. “Just the potential I have, I haven’t really reached all the things I can accomplish yet. Just taking it one day at a time and getting better,” he said. When he does get better, Miller and OSU can likely expect a few more awards and trophies to come their way. read more

Ohio State uses second half run to beat Minnesota 6446

Junior forward Sam Thompson dunks the ball. OSU beat Minnesota, 64-46, Feb. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorFor 20 minutes, it looked like Minnesota was the only team that wanted to be on the court in a critical Big Ten Conference game.Unfortunately for the Golden Gophers, they still had 20 minutes to play against Ohio State Saturday at the Schottenstein Center.Led by junior forward Sam Thompson, who scored 16 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, the Buckeyes surged out of their first half funk with a 25-5 run to beat Minnesota (17-11, 6-9, seventh in the Big Ten), 64-46.“In essence I just said, ‘There’s nothing I can draw up on the board. There’s nothing we can really talk about until we play better basketball,’” OSU coach Thad Matta said after the game about his halftime speech. “For whatever reason … we didn’t have what we needed. We weren’t attacking the way we needed to attack.”The Gophers led, 28-18, at halftime after a sluggish start by OSU (22-6, 9-6, fifth in the Big Ten). Minnesota scored the first seven points in the game, and the Buckeyes failed to score their first point until the 16:04 mark on a layup by junior forward LaQuinton Ross.That started a 7-0 run by the Buckeyes, who never took the lead in the opening 20 minutes after shooting 6-22 from the field and committing eight turnovers.“The first half was definitely the worst we’ve played (this season),” Thompson said after the win. “Coach Matta said that at halftime. Up to this point in the season, we hadn’t come out and just laid an egg, but we did that in the first half of the game. We came out in the second half, we played some of the best basketball.”After Gopher junior guard DeAndre Mathieu scored the first points in the second half, the Buckeyes would finally come to life, taking the lead after a free throw by Ross with 14:24 left.OSU never trailed again.After the game, Ross said the reason the Buckeyes were able to get going “was a combination of everything.”“Big plays spark this team, especially on the defensive end so any time we get the steal and you are getting out there you can see everybody in the crowd, they was up on their feet knowing that we was about to do something exciting,” Ross said. “I think our defense is what this team is based on and how we win.”Thompson snagged an alley-oop from junior guard Shannon Scott at the 10:42 mark to give OSU a 45-35 lead, and the momentum for the Buckeyes continued as the Golden Gophers struggled to find their groove offensively.Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said the reason for his team’s collapse was basic: turnovers.“Second half — very simple. I think we had nine turnovers,” Pitino said after the game. “And they made us pay on every single one of them.”The lead swelled to as much as 21 after a jumper by Scott with 1:33 remaining, signaling the end of a complete turnaround by the Buckeyes, who held Minnesota to just 18 points in the second half.Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. finished the game with 13 points while grabbing six rebounds, and Scott chipped in 10 of his own. Junior center Amir Williams was a force inside during the second half, and finished the game with seven points, four rebounds and four blocked shots while altering many others.Junior guard Andre Hollins finished with 13 points in a losing effort for Minnesota.Matta said the way that his team was able to respond in the final 20 minutes to avoid dropping its fourth game at home this season was because it played desperately in the second half — something that has to be done night in and night out in the Big Ten.“I think just from the standpoint of quite honestly every game is like the biggest game of your life in this league,” Matta said. “Obviously the way we played in the first half, if you’re not ready to compete, if you’re not ready to fight, if you’re not ready to execute, you can get embarrassed.”OSU is scheduled to head to Penn State (13-14, 4-10, tied for 11th in the Big Ten) Thursday. The Nittany Lions gave the Buckeyes arguably their most disappointing loss of the season Jan. 29, when they came to Columbus and won, 71-70, in overtime. Tipoff for Thursday’s game is set for 7 p.m. read more

Football Ohio State vs Maryland – By the Numbers

Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) prepares to pass the ball downfield during the second quarter of the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Ohio State beat Maryland 62-14. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorNo. 10 Ohio State dominated Maryland in one of its most impressive games all season, beating the Terrapins 62-14. Whether it be on offense or defense, the Buckeyes had the answer for everything Maryland threw at them, as they outgained it 584-66 in total yardage. Here are some important statistics from Ohio State’s victory against Maryland.1 – total first quarter offensive yards for Maryland. Ohio State was off to a hot start in the first quarter not just offensively — having put up 20 points on 187 yards — but also defensively. The defensive line had already blown up the Terrapins’ offensive line several times, sacking quarterback Max Bortenschlager twice and forcing him to fumble that led to a scoop-and-score from linebacker Jerome Baker. Bortenschlager failed to complete a pass in two attempts that quarter and the two running backs for Maryland totalled only 16 net yards.On Maryland’s first drive of the quarter, Bortenschlager was sacked on both the first and third plays, coughing up a fumble on the latter sack that was recovered by linebacker Jerome Baker and returned 20 yards for an Ohio State touchdown. The Terrapins brought those seven points back on the subsequent kickoff from redshirt junior kicker Sean Nuernberger, but had another play on the next drive that lost yardage before a pair of incomplete passes and a punt.This quarter essentially set the tone for the rest of the game as the Ohio State defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage all game long. This, combined with the inaccuracy of Bortenschlager in critical moments, prevented the Maryland offense from finding any form of consistency throughout the game.8 – different Ohio State starters who caught a pass. The only two skill-position starters who did not catch a pass in the game were running back J.K. Dobbins and quarterback J.T. Barrett. The redshirt senior signal-caller distributed the ball to everyone at his disposal, finding all six starting wide receivers, the starting tight end and running back Mike Weber.Junior wide receiver Parris Campbell (21) runs the ball downfield during the first quarter of the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorAfter the season opener, wide receiver Johnnie Dixon said every game gives a new wideout a chance to shine. In Saturday’s victory over the Terrapins, no one receiver in particular really stood out above the rest, rather each contributed and put the depth of Ohio State’s receiving corp on display. Perhaps most notably, each receiver with the exception of H-back K.J. Hill caught at least one pass for 10-plus yards.Teams often count on at least one player to step up and emerge as that one top guy the quarterback can rely on situations he needs to make a completion. At times, that guy has looked like it could be H-back Parris Campbell or wide receivers Johnnie Dixon or Binjimen Victor. For now, Barrett will have to continue to rely on a group rather than a go-to receiver.1.2 – Maryland offensive yards per play. In what was Ohio State’s most dominant defensive showing of the season, the Buckeyes limited the Terrapins to a mere 1.2 yards per play. Up until a 20-yard touchdown rush by third-string running back Javon Leake on Maryland’s last drive of the game, the Terrapins had averaged only 0.85 yards per play with 46 total yards coming on 54 plays. Maryland’s offense picked up the fewest yards allowed by Ohio State since 1960. The Buckeyes had more total penalty yards (85) than the Terrapins had total yards (66), and the Terrapins had just as many penalty yards as total yards.The key takeaway in this game is that without starting defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and its top cornerback Denzel Ward, who was ejected for targeting, for most of the game, the Ohio State defense put up its most dominating performance this season. This comes at a crucial time in its season because the schedule begins to feature its most challenging opponents, with road trips to Nebraska and Iowa as well as home games against Penn State and Michigan State on the horizon.12 – Ohio State tackles for loss. The key to that defensive dominance — as it so often is — was the performance of the defensive line. Playing without two starting defensive tackles — Jones (injury) and Michael Hill (suspension) — hardly seemed to impact the end result as the Terrapin offensive line was transformed into a revolving door all night by the defensive line.Sophomore linebacker Malik Harrison (39) and sophomore safety Jordan Fuller prepare for the kick-off during the first quarter of the OSU-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorThe unit forced three fumbles (recovering two), including one that was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Jerome Baker, sacked the quarterback five times and held the opposition to just 50 yards on the ground. Twenty of those 50 yards came on one rush in garbage time in the fourth quarter.With Jones expected back next week, Hill’s indefinite suspension potentially eventually coming to an end and the continued display of depth from performances like defensive ends Chase Young (a tackle for a loss and forced fumble) and Jonathon Cooper (three tackles), Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer can continue to rely on his defensive line moving forward.“I think you felt the D-line in several games, and like Indiana, you couldn’t feel them because the ball was out so fast. The line of scrimmage we just dominated,” Meyer said. “I don’t want to take away our pass defense. When you hold them to, looked like 16 yards or something like that passing, that’s good secondary play. But I know why they didn’t throw very much. The D-line was all over them.” read more

Football Ohio State makes final case for College Football Playoff spot in

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer celebrates with the Big Ten championship trophy. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorINDIANAPOLIS — A Big Ten championship title. An 11-2 record. Wins over four top-25 opponents. That is the resume Ohio State (11-2, 9-1 Big Ten) will bring to the table when the College Football Playoff committee decides on its four teams to make the playoff.Ohio State beat the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers 27-21 in Indianapolis to claim the Big Ten championship and leave its fate up to the voters. Following No. 6 Georgia’s win in the SEC title game, an ACC championship win by No. 1 Clemson and No. 3 Oklahoma winning the Big 12 title, three spots appear to be locked up. The only other teams that would appear to have any claim to that fourth spot are No. 11 USC, a two loss Pac-12 champion, No. 2 Auburn, which lost the SEC championship game, and No. 5 Alabama, a team that lost to Auburn. However, more than likely, the the final spot in the playoff will come down to the Buckeyes or the Crimson Tide. The committee might have to decide on which is more important: a stronger slate of wins or fewer losses.The Buckeyes have wins against No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 9 Penn State and No. 16 Michigan State, as well as a road win against Michigan, which has been ranked at times this season. Alabama has wins against No. 17 LSU, No. 23 Mississippi State and No. 25 Fresno State. Ohio State’s list of quality wins is what could give it the potential nod, but its two losses could be what holds it back. Though one of the losses came against highly ranked Oklahoma, the second came in a 55-24 blowout loss to a 7-5 Iowa team. Alabama’s only loss came to Auburn, which finishes the season 10-3 and as the runner-up in the SEC championship game.This will be unchartered territory for the committee, no matter which of the two teams it picks. No two-loss team has ever reached the playoff. No conference has ever been represented by two teams.There is precedent involving two previous Ohio State teams that could seem to apply here. A one-loss, non-conference champion Ohio State in 2015 was not enough to make the playoff despite being the reigning national champions and having a team deemed by many to be among the most talented in the nation. Ohio State, a one-loss, non conference champion in 2016, reached the College Football Playoff because of its strength of schedule, and two-loss Big Ten champion Penn State — which beat Ohio State — did not make the playoff. This situation, in only the fourth-ever College Football Playoff, seems to not fit in perfectly with any of the aforementioned scenarios, leaves this as a much of a mystery for how the committee will respond Sunday when the announcement is made at noon. read more

Jo Cox gunman killed MP then calmly walked away with not a

first_imgJean and Gordon Leadbeater, the parents of Jo Cox, arriving at the Old BaileyCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP He just walked away with not a care in the world, he just walked awaywitness David Honeybell A knife that was allegedly used in the killing of Jo Cox A far-Right extremist “walked away with not a care in the world” after murdering the Labour MP Jo Cox, a court has heard.Thomas Mair calmly left the spot where he repeatedly shot and stabbed the Remain campaigner in what a witness described as “very cold, he just walked away”, jurors were told.The 53-year-old waved his knife at horrified onlookers and warned they had “better move back” as he killed Mrs Cox a week before the EU referendum vote, his Old Bailey trial heard.Mrs Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two, was set upon outside her constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds, in front of her staff and shocked residents on June 16. Jack Foster told the court he saw the man, having shot Mrs Cox once, reload his gun before shooting her twice more.The England fan, who was wearing a red Three Lions football shirt ahead of a Euro 2016 game that evening, told how he shouted “f—— leave her alone” but he took no notice.”He reloaded his gun again, putting two cartridges in, cocked it and shot her on the floor,” Mr Foster said.He told the court he and two other men followed the man into a nearby street. Mr Foster added: “He casually walked off. No remorse, no nothing.” Clarke Rothwell was in a nearby sandwich shop when he heard a “popping” noise and a woman scream.Mrs Cox then slumped to the floor before she was shot in the stomach, he said.The man shouted words such as “this is for Britain” and “put Britain first” before reloading his gun and shooting for a third time, the witness told jurors. Tracy Bywood saw the killing as she was washing up in a care home kitchen overlooking the scene.She said the MP “went down on the floor like a sack of potatoes”, adding: “It was so awful to see a woman have such animosity shown towards her.”Fighting back tears, she told the court: “I known it was a popping noise because I won’t even buy Pringles any more, I can’t handle the noise of the seal breaking.” Mr Hussain demonstrated in the witness box how the man had stabbed Mrs Cox five or six times in front of him.He said: “When I reached near, he stepped back. I said: ‘What are you doing? What’s wrong with you?'”He said: ‘Move back, otherwise I’m going to stab you.’ He was standing there with two ladies and another man. He said ‘better move back’. He shot twice. He moved back and shot again.”Mr Hussain told jurors that by this point Mrs Cox, whom he had recognised as his MP, was being helped by an Asian woman.He said: “Jo’s head was in her lap and she was pleading for Jo to stand up, talking about her kids. Her hands and clothes were covered in blood. She was the only person there helping her.” Police at the scene of Jo Cox’s killing in Birstall, West YorkshireCredit:Ben Lack for The Telegraph 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. Jo Cox was allegedly killed by Thomas Mair, rightCredit:PA/Metropolitan Policecenter_img Police at the scene of Jo Cox's killing in Birstall, West Yorkshire Mair denies Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon, a dagger.He has also pleaded not guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mr Carter-Kenny on the same date. The trial continues. Her assistant stepped in and hit the man with her handbag, while 78-year-old passer-by Bernard Carter-Kenny desperately tried to intervene but was stabbed too, the trial has heard.A witness described how the killer “just walked away with not a care in the world”, leaving Mrs Cox dying in the street.David Honeybell, who had gone to see Mrs Cox before her surgery, told jurors: “He just walked away with not a care in the world, he just walked away.”Another witness, Stephen Connolly, said: “It was very cold, he just walked away.”Taxi driver Rashid Hussain pulled up at around the same time as Mrs Cox’s arrival at Birstall library in a silver Vauxhall Astra.As he was giving his passenger her change, Mr Hussain heard what sounded like a “firecracker”, jurors were told. A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas Mair A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police Jo Cox was allegedly killed by Thomas Mair, right Julie Holmes, who witnessed the attack from her cake shop, told how Mrs Cox’s killer looked straight at her as if to say “here I am”.She said: “He took a step into the road and he looked around and he looked over to where I was standing.”He looked me right in the eye and lifted the gun, not pointing it at me but as a gesture, saying ‘here I am’.” A knife that was allegedly used in the killing of Jo CoxCredit:West Yorkshire Police Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, the parents of Jo Cox, arriving at the Old Baileylast_img read more

UK weather Commuter delays as fresh band of fog blankets Britain on

first_imgRush-hour commuters could face hazardous driving conditions and delays as a fresh band of thick fog blankets the UK on Monday.The Met Office issued its second consecutive severe weather warning for fog, after the misty visibility-reducing conditions blighted the south of the country overnight on Saturday.Greg Dewhurst, a Met Office meteorologist, said the new severe weather warning they have issued covers southern parts of England and Wales and is valid until 10am on Monday. Want to know what’s happening this coming week? It’s all go, with #fog, frost, rain, wind and yes, some #sunshine too…here are the details pic.twitter.com/L2DeoVaaKv— Met Office (@metoffice) December 18, 2016 A yellow severe weather warning for #Fog has been issued: https://t.co/dJ1l6CLuuO Stay #weatheraware @metofficeuk pic.twitter.com/qWSCumFUHx— Met Office (@metoffice) December 18, 2016 A van driver negotiates thick fog in Wimbledon, as motorists were warned of difficult conditions A van driver negotiates thick fog in Wimbledon, as motorists were warned of difficult conditionsCredit:Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock “For the morning there could be some tricky driving conditions, the fog will be in and out – you could be fine driving along and the next minute come across this thick fog,” he said.”It is worth drivers being aware first thing in the morning,” he said, adding that “some dense patches are definitely possible”. Show more Over the weekend, Gatwick and Heathrow airports warned their passengers they could face delays and cancellations because of the “foggy conditions”.And as the next batch of fog rolled across the South West, southern Wales, the Midlands and parts of the South East, Mr Dewhurst said visibility in Bournemouth was around 200 metres and 400 metres in Exeter. However, passengers travelling from England’s main airports escaped delays and cancellations on Monday morning after a blanket of fog over southern and central parts of the country began to lift.There were fears that flights might be badly hit after the Met Office issued a severe weather warning for fog for a large swathe of land stretching from the South Coast to the Vale of York and East Anglia.But forecasters said the fog had eased overnight to a lighter mist in some areas and would continue to break up throughout the day.Both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports warned passengers on their websites of delays and cancellations overnight, but by Monday morning Gatwick said “reasonable” visibility meant there was no impact on flights, while Heathrow was a little misty with just a few knock-on effects from delays at the weekend. The Met Office warning advised people to “be aware of potential delays and hazardous driving conditions”.Mr Dewhurst said that in terms of temperatures on Monday morning “it could be on the cold side” and a “little bit frosty in one or two places”.”But that is more likely in countryside, towns and cities will be holding up around four or five degrees – which is about average,” he added.”It will be quite a dull start to the day elsewhere as well – with generally cloudy conditions and some light patchy rain.” 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

Prince William tells of things that cannot be unseen ahead of final

first_imgHe said: “As part of the team, I have been invited into people’s homes to share moments of extreme emotion, from relief that we have given someone a fighting chance, to profound grief.”I have watched as incredibly skilled doctors and paramedics have saved people’s lives. These experiences have instilled in me a profound respect for the men and women who serve in our emergency services…” The Duke of Cambridge has described how “there are things that cannot be unseen” as he carries out his final shift as an air ambulance pilot.Paying a personal tribute to the nation’s emergency services, Prince William spoke of his “profound respect” for its men and women who deal with experiences “on a daily basis that they will carry with them for life”.The Duke joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in March 2015, after serving for nearly five years as a helicopter pilot with the RAF’s Search and Rescue Force, and began piloting his first operational missions in July that year.  He also mentioned another young man involved in a road traffic accident: “His uncle in the car with him sadly didn’t survive, and I was sure that from what we were faced with he wouldn’t either – but thanks to the skills of our medical team he is alive today.”We were first on scene and in such circumstances we all had to pitch in to fight to save the young man’s life. It is days like this, when you know you have made a difference, that give you the determination to keep going.”The Duke announced in January he would be leaving the EAAA and has clocked up more than two years flying medical crews to emergencies from a base at Cambridge Airport. Pilot William Wales and paramedic, Jemma Varela at the morning briefing. The Duke of Cambridge has appeared in an online BBC documentary posted today chronicling his work as a pilot  The Duke added: “From the moment I joined, when that phone rang at the base for the first time, it was clear that I was a fellow professional, a pilot with a job to do – in such a team there can be no other option, but still I am grateful to my colleagues for accepting me so readily.”Speaking about the difficulty of dealing with harrowing experiences, the Duke wrote: “You need to be physically and mentally fit to do this job properly and so we are encouraged to talk through the things we have seen, to share the trauma within the team.”I now know though that there are things that cannot be unseen and experiences that our first responders deal with on a daily basis that they will carry with them for life.” Prince WIlliam and paramedic Jemma Varela during a morning briefing at the air ambulance headquartersCredit:Olivia Howitt/BBC/PA 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 Duke of Cambridge as he begins his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Writing in the East Anglian Daily Times, the Duke said he had “been so proud to serve” with his crew mates and was “grateful to my colleagues for accepting me so readily”.center_img Since then he has responded to dozens of call-outs alongside his colleagues, attending road accidents, rescues and suicide attempts and landing his helicopter in residential gardens, car parks, beaches and roadsides across the region.His life as a full-time working royal will begin after his final shift ends at about midnight, with the expectation the future king will carry out more royal duties in support of the Queen and his own charity work and causes. Out of the many emergencies he has attended, he highlighted two: “One of the first call-outs I made was to a young man who had committed suicide; it was an incredibly tough day and had a profound effect on all of us, not least in my determination now to draw attention to this issue.” He joined the organisation as a pilot in March 2015 and, after completing an initial period of job specific training involving simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills training, he began piloting his first operational missions in July that year.He has flown as part of a team including specialist doctors, critical care paramedics and pilots providing emergency medical services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.Patrick Peal, EAAA’s chief executive, said about the Duke: “To us, he has simply been another hard-working member of the team; one of eleven highly respected pilots who help us to save hundreds of lives each year.” On his final day at work, the Duke will arrive for a night shift and attend the handover briefings from the day team as usual. He will then join his team-mates at the helicopter he has flown for the past two years for a group photograph. Show more The Duke joined the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in March 2015Credit:Stefan Rousseau/PAlast_img read more

Grenfell Tower fire At least 60 tower blocks fail new test on

first_imgMeanwhile, an investigation has found that hundreds of towers across England were discovered to have fire safety flaws including broken fire doors and holes that could help blazes spread.New figures uncovered by Inside Housing on fire risk assessments (FRAs) at 436 social housing blocks revealed nearly a third (268) had fire doors that were damaged, unable to close properly or of an inadequate standard.The trade magazine found 71 blocks had been identified as suffering from a lack or deficiency of emergency lighting in stairwells or communal areas, which could hamper the escape of tenants.At 73 buildings, residents were either offered no safety information for fires or it was unclear or incorrect, the investigation found. Police do not have the power to arrest individuals under the offence of corporate manslaughter, but someone can face gross negligence manslaughter charges if a death may have been caused by an act or omission on their part.The Metropolitan Police said the letter was “simply an update on the investigation so far” and “should not be taken to conclude that the identified offences and organisations are the only offences, organisations or individuals that are being investigated”. The revelation comes after campaigners called for individuals to be prosecuted over the Grenfell Tower fire. Scotland Yard said it had “reasonable grounds” to suspect corporate manslaughter offences may have been committed.Residents affected by the blaze have been told senior figures from Kensington and Chelsea Council and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation will face formal police interviews. A nationwide safety operation was launched to establish how many buildings were clad in material similar to that blamed for aiding the Grenfell Tower fire’s spread, exposing hundreds potentially at risk. The news was cautiously welcomed by campaigners, who urged the Metropolitan Police to also consider gross negligence manslaughter charges against individuals. In a letter updating residents on the criminal investigation, the force said: “We have seized a huge amount of material and taken a large number of witness statements.center_img “After an initial assessment of that information, the officer leading the investigation has today notified Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that each organisation may have committed the offence of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.” Dozens of tower blocks have failed a new safety test that was more thorough than previous checks in the wake of the Grenfell Tower blaze, it has been reported.Cladding and insulation used in at least 60 high-rises are said to have not passed the latest inspection, the BBC said.Fire safety at high-rise buildings has been thrust into the spotlight after at least 80 people died, many as they tried to escape, from the 24-storey Grenfell Tower last month.Previous fire safety checks have only examined cladding from towers. The new test checked the cladding along with the foam insulation used in Grenfell.Lord Porter, the Local Government Association chairman, told the BBC that housing associations and private sector landlords will be among those that own the 60 tower blocks that failed the latest fire test.The government is expected to release its full findings of the “whole system fire test”, along with guidance, on Friday. FRAs from the blocks were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from 36 councils or arms-length management organisations and seven housing associations, dated between 2012 and July 2017 – meaning some issues could have since been resolved.There are around 4,000 tower blocks across England, at which there is no legal requirement for those managing the buildings to carry out the fire-safety assessments within a specific time-frame. Fire experts, however, recommend annual checks. 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

Retiring soldiers should face psychological exams to help them avoid prison says

Soldiers should receive assessment from psychologists before they leave the army to help them avoid prison and homelessness, the former head of the army has told The Telegraph.General Lord Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff from 2006 to 2013, said proposals for mental health assessments for retiring soldiers, sailors and airmen “had merit” and should be provided “as part and parcel of the pre-existing resettlement package.”His comments come as campaigners revealed the combined number of veterans in prison or on probation, or who are homeless, or who are suffering with mental health problems may be as high as 66,000.Harry Fletcher of the Victims Rights Campaign said: “There needs to be a comprehensive medical assessment of the condition of all military personnel prior to discharge from service.“This must cover mental health and addiction issues. Most of those ending up on the streets, in the justice system or mentally ill are male, under 30, working class and from Army regiments. This group must be given coordinated assistance without delay.” Under the the MoD’s Career Transition Partnership, service personnel are provided with help and consultation on housing, employment and training.A higher level of assistance is provided to longer-serving or wounded personnel but the CTP does not include a mental health assessment.A Government spokesman said: “The majority of veterans go on to lead happy, healthy and successful lives, but we are committed to supporting those who struggle. Last year, the MOD launched the Veterans’ Gateway – a 24 hour helpline that acts as a single point of contact for former service personnel to access the help they deserve, from advice on health care to finances and housing.“In addition, the Government is providing more than £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness through to 2020, and veterans have high priority access to social housing to ensure they are not disadvantaged by their service.” General Dannatt told the Telegraph: “To do what is being suggested has a lot of merit, within the context of the overall resettlement scheme.“I think to make it a normal part of the resettlement programme would have benefits, but to give it undue prominence might help some, but have adverse effects on others by suggesting a problem which might not be there for them. “It should be part and parcel of the pre-existing resettlement package.”Government research eight years ago found there were 2,820 former service personnel in prison: around 3.5 per cent of a prison population of just over 81,000. Soldiers from 3 Company the Coldstream Guards carry a 100kg log during an exercise in Windsor Park.  That percentage was confirmed by the MoJ in a Parliamentary answer this summer, and would equate to nearly 10,000 veterans either in prison, or among the 260,000-strong probation population, charities say.The Royal British Legion points out there has been less research on this in the UK than in the US, and warns many detainees do not admit to a service background either for fear of prison beatings or a sense of embarrassment at having let down the regiment. Other research has placed the estimate as high as nine per cent.The Mental Health Foundation has said 25,000 veterans are receiving treatment for mental health conditions, and estimates that only half of those suffering are receiving treatment, suggesting as many as 50,000 veterans have mental health issues.And based on figures from the Government, homeless charities, and veterans organisations, Plaid Cymru – which is calling on the government to provide more joined-up care for veterans – estimates that there are some 6,000 homeless veterans across England and Wales. Soldiers from 3 Company the Coldstream Guards carry a 100kg log during an exercise in Windsor Park. Credit:Sgt Paul Randall RLC Lord Richard Dannatt said the idea "had merit" Lord Richard Dannatt said the idea “had merit”Credit: David Rose Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Sailor shortage means four of Navys 13 frigates have not spent a

A lack of sailors has meant four British warships have not spent a day at sea in 2018, new data have revealed.Responding to a parliamentary question, the Ministry of Defence figures show the effect on Britain’s Type 23 fleet due to ageing hulls and under manning.A National Audit Office report in April showed that the Royal Navy suffered a manpower shortage of 16 per cent in 2016/17.First commissioned in 1989, the Type 23 Frigates have a planned 18-year lifespan which has been regularly extended. As they age the frigates need more time in maintenance as systems require updating or refitting.The fleet is due to be replaced by eight Type 26 ships, the first of which is currently under construction in Scotland.  Increasing naval deployments from six to nine months due to the lack of sailors has meant that ships are alongside for greater periods before the tour, to allow service personnel time with their families. In turn this means a longer maintenance period is required at the end. The ships are also in port for about two weeks in the middle of a deployment for crew leave.   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. Post-deployment each frigate will revert to a very low readiness state. The Daily Telegraph understands that a number of training exercises in UK waters now happen from Monday to Friday, allowing servicemen and women to go home at weekends and shortening the overall time ships spend at sea.A government review of defence in 2010 saw 5,000 naval servicemen and women made redundant, and the UK’s overall defence budget reduced by 7.7 per cent over four years.New data show that the UK’s thirteen frigates have spent a total of 817 days at sea in the period to Oct 1. Between 2010 and 2014, the ships were at sea for at least 1500 days each year.HMS Argyll and HMS Sutherland have spent the longest at sea this year, with 117 and 154 days respectively.Admiral Lord West of Spithead, a former Labour security minister, told The Daily Telegraph that funding cuts were making recruitment and retention of staff more difficult for the Navy.“There’s no doubt that the hollowing out of the military is causing a lot of problems,” he said.“People aren’t doing the things they thought would happen when they joined up, and they’re saying ‘to hell with this’ and they’re going to go.”“We need all these ships operating. There are jobs for them to do around the world, and when they’re doing those jobs it helps stabilise things and helps keep peace”. HMS Portland is seen on the Atlantic Ocean, near Ascension Island. MoD data have shown that the Frigate is one of four in Royal Navy service that have spent no days at sea in 2018.Credit:Reuters HMS Portland is seen on the Atlantic Ocean, near Ascension Island. MoD data have shown that the Frigate is one of four in Royal Navy service that have spent no days at sea in 2018. A Royal Navy spokesman said: “Type 23 frigates are true workhorses  across the globe, as shown by current operations with HMS Monmouth in the USA and HMS Argyll in the Far East.” Each costing about £130 million, the Type 23 frigates are all named after British Dukes and are known as ‘Duke Class’. Based in Portsmouth and Devonport the primary role of the ships is anti-submarine warfare, through the use of a towed array sonar which trails behind the ship, electronically listening for emissions from submarines.The data show that since 2010 the entire Type 23 fleet has spent a total of 32.5 years at sea. Assuming a crew of 185 sailors this equates to roughly 2.2 million man-days. On average that means each frigate has spent around 28.5 per cent of its time at sea annually. This figure will vary widely depending on the role of the vessel at the time and serviceability state.However, ‘days at sea’ can be an unhelpful metric when assessing the value to the taxpayer. Many tasks require a serviceable ship to be in port. For example, the Fleet Ready Escort role requires a ship to be available for immediate tasking, such as for escorting Russian warships through the Channel.Ships on deployment will also spend many days in port for maintenance, replenishment or to host visitors and foreign VIPs. Many UK defence sales come from such engagements. read more

Royal baby Prince Harry says birth of son is the most amazing

2:46PMMeghan and Harry share the news 3:28PMRoyal fans celebrate in Windsor In a statement, Buckingham Palace elaborated: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son.”And with those few short words began a new generation: a family of three, a first half-American, biracial royal baby, and a once lost little prince finally transformed into a proud father.As he stepped out in front of a television camera to announce the news, appearing to all-but burst with joy, Prince Harry’s awe was infectious. Dressed casually, and standing in front of the stables at Windsor Castle, the Duke thanked the press for their interest before turning, slightly dazed, and thanking two horses for behaving themselves during the broadcast.The Duke and Duchess will now settle in to life as parents with the help of Ms Ragland, before the new father flies off for a day-long engagement to launch the Invictus Games at the Hague on Thursday.In a second Instagram post of the day, the couple said: “Their Royal Highnesses thank you for your support and kindness during this exceptionally joyful time in their lives as they welcome their baby boy.”The congratulations came thick and fast from the Royal Family, fans around the world and the Duchess’s celebrity friends. 2:31PMDid Meghan have her baby this morning? 5:10PMPrince Harry WILL go to the Netherlands View this post on Instagram Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the safe delivery of your baby boy!⁣ ⁣ #Repost @sussexroyal⁣ • • • • • •⁣ We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.⁣ ⁣ The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives.⁣ ⁣ More details will be shared in the forthcoming days. A post shared by The Duke of York (@hrhthedukeofyork) on May 6, 2019 at 7:14am PDT Below are some of the regal names Harry and Meghan could choose for their little boy.The Telegraph has created a name sweepstake for you and your colleagues to enjoy – find out more here.- AlbertQueen Victoria used to insist that the name Albert was used as a middle name by her descendants, if not a first, in honour of her much-loved consort Prince Albert.Albert is also one of Harry’s middle names.- ArthurThe legendary King Arthur was the mythical leader of the Knights of the Round Table, who supposedly lived in the 5th or 6th century.- PhilipA lasting tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh might see the baby called Philip.Charles and William both have Philip as a middle name.- FrederickFrederick has been a popular royal middle name, including for George VI.- CharlesHarry may want to pay the ultimate tribute to his father.Charles is also the name of Diana, Princess of Wales’s brother, Earl Spencer.- JamesHarry has a cousin called James – the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s son Viscount Severn. Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the arrival of their baby boy. Wishing you all the best at this happy time.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) May 6, 2019 The Jewish tradition reminds us that the birth of every child is a reminder that God is not finished with us yet. There is hope. Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and prayers of blessing for them and their baby.#royalbaby— PB Michael Curry (@PB_Curry) May 6, 2019 The easel announcing the birth at Buckingham PalaceCredit:Yui Mok/PA The Duke of Sussex will be a “terrific” father and bring a sense of fun to his new role, the chief executive of the Invictus Games has said.Dominic Reid said everyone involved in the games, created by Harry for wounded and sick service personnel, is delighted to hear of the baby boy’s birth.He said Harry’s natural and relaxed style will likely come into play as he embarks on the adventure of fatherhood.Mr Reid told the BBC: “I think he will be terrific, he’s got an incredible way with people, entirely natural, unforced, whether that’s with the military guys whether it’s the wounded.”I mean everybody I’ve seen him come into contact with he’s very relaxed, very natural, very charming and he’s got a great sense of fun too. I think he’s going to be a terrific father.”Mr Reid, who was with Harry and his wife Meghan when they appeared together for the first time at the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017, said it was clear then that the couple are “extremely happy together”.He said: “It’s great to see this new, young family. It’s great to have been with them on at least part of that journey and I think everybody involved in the Invictus will be supporting them all the way.” It is considered unlikely, although not impossible, that the Sussexes son will be styled similarly.The name of the Sussex’s son will be announced in the coming days, with Buckingham Palace due to clarify the title at the same time. He is expected to be known formally as the Earl of Dumbarton, because a first son of a duke is allowed to use one of his father’s other lesser titles as a courtesy title.  The Scottish title – which refers to Dumbarton on the north bank of the River Clyde, to the west of Glasgow – was given to Prince Harry by the Queen on the morning of his wedding.A daughter would have been Lady [firstname] Mountbatten-Windsor, rather than the Countess of Dumbarton as daughters are not allowed to take on such titles due to the longheld convention of primogeniture in hereditary peerages.As a boy, Baby Sussex will one day inherit the title the Duke of Sussex from his father.  Unofficial Town Crier delivers the baby newsCredit: Alastair Grant/AP The choir also performed at the closing ceremony of last year's Invictus Games The easel announcing the birth at Buckingham Palace 5:49PMCheers! A Windsor well-wisher enjoys some bubbles after the baby news was announced 5:26PMDuke and Duchess thank fans on Instagram 5:20PMMeghan’s Suits co-star Patrick J Adams: “Much love to him and his incredible parents” 9:43PMSussexes’ wedding choir to perform lullaby for newborn royal  Well-wishers are celebrating the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby boy by cracking open some bubbly outside Windsor Castle… Well Child, which helps seriously ill children to be cared for at home, said the continued support of the royal couple will help to ensure its important work goes on.Its chief executive Colin Dyer said: “On behalf of all at WellChild, our children and families, nurses, staff and volunteers, I would like to pass on our heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess on the birth of their baby and wish them well in this exciting new stage in their lives.”The ongoing support of the Duke and the Duchess makes a huge difference for WellChild in the work we are able to do for seriously ill children and their families across the UK.”Baby2baby helps children and parents in need in Meghan’s home city of Los Angeles.The charity tweeted: “Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their baby boy! We’re beyond grateful that they used their platform to help bring awareness to our mission by choosing @Baby2Baby to donate to in honor of their first child!”Last month, Harry and Meghan thanked royal fans – by way of their their @SussexRoyal Instagram account, for “making a real difference” by donating to charities in honour of their baby.They said donations to date had helped the Lunchbox Fund provide 100,000 additional hot nutritious meals to children in need across South Africa. So pleased to hear that the #RoyalBaby has been born. Sending congratulations and love to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. This little chap already has a legacy of helping 100s of babies & children, as people have kindly donated money & gifts to us, instead of sending him gifts. pic.twitter.com/do1UHD0sYM— Little Village (@LittleVillageHQ) May 6, 2019 How close is Baby Sussex to the throne?The baby boy will be seventh in line to the throne, making it very unlikely that he will grow up to be the British monarch.The current heir is Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year-old son. He is followed by his son William and William’s three young children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Next comes the new baby’s father, Prince Harry, and then the newborn boy.Will the baby be a prince?This won’t happen automatically. It’s really up to the queen to decide, although Harry and Meghan may also have a say.A decree issued by King George V in 1917 limits the number of grand royal titles in a way that would make Harry and Meghan’s son known as a “Lord” rather than as a prince. He wouldn’t become “his royal highness” under the current rules.The queen has the authority, however, to intervene as she did when William and his wife Kate started having children. The queen decreed that all of their children would be princes and princesses.She could do the same for Harry and Meghan’s offspring, but the queen’s feelings on that subject haven’t been made public. She did not make any immediate announcement after the baby’s birth.It is also possible that Harry and Meghan could decide they don’t want the special designation for the baby, in order to give their child a more normal upbringing.Will the baby be an American?Meghan is American, but palace officials said at the time of her engagement to Harry that she planned to eventually become British, a process that can take several years.She and Harry could decide to pursue American citizenship for their baby, so their boy could end up having dual UK-US nationality. Meghan hasn’t indicated whether she plans to give up her American status once she has British nationality, a decision that could have an impact on her tax liabilities but something she is not forced to do by British or American law. 4:21PM   Prince Harry’s uncle congratulates the new parents Footmen Stephen Kelly and Sarah Thompson bring out the easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London Confiding he had scraped a “few hours” of sleep, he steadied himself for the formalities, relaying carefully: “I’m very excited to announce that Meghan and myself had a baby boy earlier this morning, a very healthy boy.“Mother and baby are doing incredibly well.”After that, the emotion so many associate with his late mother poured forth.“It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined,” he said.”How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful to all the love and support from everybody out there. It’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody.” 9:57PMHarry ‘will make a terrific father and have a sense of fun in his new role’  Charities helped by public donations in lieu of gifts to the new royal baby have sent their best wishes to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.Harry and Meghan asked the public to donate to four children’s charities, instead of sending presents for the royal baby.The suggested charities are Little Village, the Lunchbox Fund, Well Child, and Baby2Baby.Little Village, a clothes, toys and equipment bank for young children, has received donations from around the world and had a surge in volunteer applications.The organisation said Meghan and Harry’s baby son already has a legacy, having prompted people to help hundreds of babies and young children so far. 3:12PMJeremy Corbyn congratulates the Duke and Duchess Arthur is the 5-1 favourite with leading bookmaker Coral to be the name of the new Royal baby boy after the couple confirmed the gender.Philip is next best at 6-1, Albert and James are 8-1, while Alexander and Alfred are 10-1. Royal fans enjoy some bubbly outside Windsor CastleCredit:Hannah McKay/Reuters Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon: “The Duchess went into labour in the early hours of this morning. The Duke of Sussex was by Her Royal Highnesses’ side. An announcement will be made soon.” Royal fans have been gathering in Windsor for the last few weeks hoping to catch a first glimpse of Baby Sussex – and their wait may soon be over.Maud Garmy has been waiting since April 22 The firstborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is expected to be given the title of the Earl of Dumbarton, unless the Queen makes an unexpected last-minute intervention.The Queen intervened for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the children of a future king, in order for them to inherit the titles in a public announcement published months before George’s birth. 7:04PMInvictus Games Foundation welcomes ‘newest member’  View this post on Instagram We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz. The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives. More details will be shared in the forthcoming days. A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on May 6, 2019 at 6:37am PDT Windsor well-wishers celebrateCredit:Adrian Dennis/AFP Footmen Stephen Kelly and Sarah Thompson bring out the easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in LondonCredit:Yui Mok/PA The Duke will still go ahead with his official visit to The Hague on Thursday, the palace confirmed.He is due to launch the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games 2020.Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is at Frogmore Cottage, helping the family adjust to the life with a newborn. It is, insiders say, very hard to call who the Duke and Duchess might choose to be spiritual guides for their baby boy.The invite list to their wedding is thought to be the clearest indication yet as to the status of their inner circle.Could it be the Clooneys? Or perhaps Meghan’s best friend Jessica Mulroney? Read more here. 4:05PMPrince Harry’s most supportive moments Unofficial Town Crier delivers the baby news The Archbishop of Canterbury has congratulated the Duke and Duchess on the arrival of their first child and shared a heartwarming picture of the couple on their wedding day… Click here to see which of Meghan’s family members could be in line to visit Baby Sussex in the coming days and weeks View this post on Instagram This afternoon, His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex shared the news of the arrival of his and the Duchess’ first born child. Their son was born early morning on the 6th of May, 2019 and weighs 7lbs and 3oz. Their Royal Highnesses thank you for your support and kindness during this exceptionally joyful time in their lives as they welcome their baby boy. A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on May 6, 2019 at 9:17am PDT Windsor well-wishers celebrate 8:07PMBaby expected to become Earl of Dumbarton  5:11PMMichelle Obama: “We can’t wait to meet him!” Congratulations, Meghan and Harry! Barack and I are so thrilled for both of you and can’t wait to meet him. #RoyalBaby https://t.co/mfE7uc6ooV— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 6, 2019 5:00PMEasel announcing birth is displayed at Buckingham Palace 4:27PMFramed notice of birth at Buckingham Palace Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018  9:00PMOdds slashed on baby being named Alexander  5:44PMBishop who married Harry and Meghan wishes them “prayers of blessing” Here’s a reminder of how excited we all get when a new member of the Royal Family is on the way… Footmen Stephen Kelly and Sarah Thompson bring out the easel into the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in London… 8:34PMCharities helped by royal baby donations: Baby Sussex already has a legacy Unofficial Town Crier delivers the baby news 6:41PMA look at what the latest royal birth means for the monarchy 4:02PMThomas Markle reacts to the birth of his grandson 3:10PMThe Prime Minister congratulates the couple Click here to look at some of the famous moments from the Duke of Sussex’s youth. View this post on Instagram We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019. Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz. The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives. More details will be shared in the forthcoming days. A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on May 6, 2019 at 6:37am PDT Canada joins the world in celebrating a new addition to the @RoyalFamily! Congratulations, Prince Harry & Meghan! Enjoy every minute of this happy time together as a new family of three.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 6, 2019 4:44PMWho will the godparents be? Karen Gibson, choir leader, said: “On behalf of the whole of The Kingdom Choir, congratulations on the arrival of your little one and God Bless you all.”The group’s rousing performances of Stand By Me and Amen/This Little Light Of Mine during the wedding resulted in the ensemble signing a major record deal. Duchess of Sussex gave birth to baby boy at 5.26am on MondayPrince Harry was by his wife’s side and said baby is ‘to die for’Follow Tuesday’s live updates on the new Baby Sussex and the Royal family hereChild weighs 7lbs 3oz and the couple are yet to decide on nameRoyal baby 2019: everything we know so farBryony Gordon: Harry’s reaction was gloriously himselfBaby Sussex’s secretive birth shows couple as royal trailblazersYour Royal Appointment: Sign up for our weekly royal newsletterThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex have welcomed a newborn baby boy into their lives, as the proud father tells the world of the “amazing, absolutely incredible” joy his “to-die-for” son has brought them.The Duke, who could barely contain his excitement as he personally announced the safe arrival of his firstborn child, said he and his wife were “just over the moon” in their first few hours of parenthood.The baby boy, who weighed 7lbs 3oz, made his arrival at 5.26am on Monday, after the Duchess went into labour in the early hours of the morning with the Duke by her side.He was believed to have been born in the sanctuary of Frogmore Cottage – the Sussexes’ home on the Windsor Estate. But the Daily Mail reported that Meghan had her son at a London hospital, possibly The Portland.A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “We are unable to confirm speculation about individuals who may or may not have been cared for at The Portland Hospital.”After hours of blissful privacy, along with proud grandmother Doria Ragland, the couple authorised Buckingham Palace to share the news with the waiting world.In a mixture of tradition and modernity the Sussexes have made their hallmark, a formal announcement was accompanied by an Instagram post – coloured in blue – declaring: “It’s a boy!” An unofficial Town Crier has announced the birth of the baby boy outside Windsor Castle. He wore full uniform (including a Union-Jack themed hat) and rang a huge bell… Unofficial Town Crier delivers the baby newsCredit:Hannah McKay/Reuters Prince Harry speaks to media outside Windsor Castle In a statement Mr Markle, 74, said: “I’m delighted to hear that mother and child are doing well.“I am proud that my new grandson is born into the British royal family and I am sure that he will grow up to serve the crown and the people of Britain with grace, dignity, and honour.“God bless the child and I wish him health and happiness, and my congratulations to my lovely daughter Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry, and God save the Queen.”But will he meet his new grandchild? Find out more here. 7:38PMJustin Trudeau offers congratulations from Canada It is not yet clear whether the Duchess of Sussex had her baby earlier today.Harry and Meghan have promised to share news of their son or daughter’s birth once they have had the chance to celebrate privately as a new family.They will want to inform the Queen and family and friends before telling the world. 5:03PMRoyal fever 4:17PM”I thought it would be a boy” – Royal fans reflect on the big news Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their baby boy. May God bless the new family with love, health and happiness. #RoyalBaby pic.twitter.com/KmVV9mWpEB— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) May 6, 2019 Royal fans enjoy some bubbly outside Windsor Castle Really very lovely news today – many, many, congratulations! (Good to have another Taurean in the family….)— Charles Spencer (@cspencer1508) May 6, 2019 The BT Tower in London lights up with baby boy news 3:37PMWill the baby look like Prince Harry? 4:08PMAdorable cousins for Baby Sussex to play with The baby boy has not only been born into one of the world’s most famous families but a growing collective of adorable young cousins.Click here to find out who the newest addition to the Royal Family will be playing with as he grows up. Everyone at the Invictus Games Foundation is incredibly happy to hear the news of the #RoyalBaby – congratulations to our Patron HRH The Duke of Sussex and to HRH The Duchess of Sussex!We know that our #InvictusFamily will join us in welcoming its newest member.— Invictus Games Foundation (@WeAreInvictus) May 6, 2019 His safe arrival fulfils a long-held dream for both the new mother and father.The Duchess made reference to her hopes of having children in several interviews in her days as an actress, once saying: “I dream to be a mom with wee ones running around my house.”And a young Prince Harry rarely made a secret of his longing to have a family, and showing his natural bond with children through years of fun public engagements in his 20s.”I’ve longed for kids since I was very, very young,” he said in 2012. “I’m waiting to find the right person and someone who’s willing to take on the job.”With that person now firmly by his side and a newborn baby in his arms, that Prince so cemented in the nation’s memory as the small boy who lost his own mother begins a new era: proud, emotional, and with a new responsibility he has dreamed of for so long.   2:49PMPrince Harry: “It’s the most amazing experience” Prince Willliam Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, on September 5, 2018q Credit:Getty Prince Harry has confirmed he and Meghan are “still thinking about names” for their son.He said: “The baby was a little bit overdue so we’ve had a little bit of time to think about it.”That’s the next bit.”He said he planned to make another announcement in two days’ time “so everyone can see the baby”. 2:57PMDuke and Duchess yet to decide name of baby boy 3:22PMOdds on name of Baby Sussex The gospel choir catapulted into the spotlight after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will pay their own musical tribute to the royal baby.The Kingdom Choir, who are currently on a UK tour following the success of their stint at the nuptial ceremony last May, have written a new lullaby especially for the Sussexes’ newborn son.They will perform it on Tuesday night when they will be at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Movingly, the siblings of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, were included in the formal announcement from Buckingham Palace, in a gesture which long-term followers of the Royal Family cannot fail to have found moving.“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news,” it said.“The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”Thomas Markle, the Duchess’ father who has been estranged after a very public series of interviews, also shared his good wishes, telling a tabloid newspaper: “God bless the child and I wish him health and happiness, and my congratulations to my lovely daughter Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry, and God save the Queen.” Just heard that the world just got heavier by 7 pounds and 3 ounces. Much love to him and his incredible parents. Learned first hand 7 months ago how transformational becoming a parent is and couldn’t be happier for Meghan and Harry as they begin this adventure. #playdatesoon— Patrick J Adams (@halfadams) May 6, 2019 A beaming Harry said: “It was amazing. Absolutely incredible. I’m so proud of my wife.”It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined.”How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension. But we’re both absolutely thrilled.”We’re both absolutely thrilled and so grateful for all the love and support from everybody out there, it’s been amazing, so we just wanted to share this with everybody.” 5:08PMDavid Cameron congratulates Harry and Meghan A gaggle of well wishers have gathered in Windsor for the third time in the past year to celebrate the latest royal news. Caryll Foster has been camping outside the castle since Friday, sleeping out overnight on the high street, waiting for news of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first born. Popping a bottle of Crémant de Bourgogne to celebrate the happy news, Ms Foster said she was “thrilled” the baby was finally here.“This is what Britain needed. Let’s have something to celebrate!” Her friend Michelle Lassiter added: “I haven’t been able to concentrate all week I’ve been so excited. It’s wonderful news. I thought it was going to be a boy.” Heartfelt congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the arrival of their baby boy. Such wonderful and happy news! Sending love and very best wishes— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 6, 2019 The BT Tower in London lights up with baby boy newsCredit:Daniel Sorabji/AFP A framed notice of birth will go on display on a ceremonial easel on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace following the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, the palace announced.The framed notice will be brought out of the Privy Purse Door of the Queen’s London residence and carried across the forecourt, to be placed on the easel. 4:53PM”It’s a baby boy”: The BT communications tower in Fitzrovia, London, lights up with Baby Sussex news 3:52PM”May God bless the new family with love” The Labour leader tweeted: “Congratulations to Meghan and Harry on  the birth of their baby. I hope they’re all doing well.” The choir also performed at the closing ceremony of last year’s Invictus GamesCredit:Andrew Whitton 7:22PMHow Baby Sussex’s ‘home birth’ shows Harry and Meghan aim to be the ultimate royal trailblazers  4:26PMWhat will Baby Sussex be called? Asked whether they had settled on a name, he disclosed they were “still thinking” about it, despite the extra time they had been bought by the “little bit overdue” baby boy.Next, he promised, would be a photocall for the family of three on Wednesday “to share it with you guys and so everyone can see the baby”.Asked what it was like to be present for the birth, he laughed and said: “I haven’t been at many births. This is definitely my first birth. It was amazing, absolutely incredible, and, as I said, I’m so incredibly proud of my wife.”As every father and parent will ever say, you know, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to-die-for, so I’m just over the moon.” Prince Harry speaks to media outside Windsor CastleCredit: Getty Images Europe/WPA Pool 2:11PMExcited well-wishers gather in Windsor “Their Royal Highnesses thank you for your support and kindness during this exceptionally joyful time in their lives as they welcome their baby boy.” The Prime Minister shared her congratulations, Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, said she and her husband “can’t wait to meet him”, and Sajid Javid joked that, unlike the Home Secretaries of history, he had not been required to attend the birth.The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the baby’s uncle and aunt, are said to be “overjoyed and looking forward to meeting the latest addition to the family”.Tradition was not dispensed with entirely.The birth was formally announced on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on an easel, carried by two butlers which relayed the fact that “the Queen and the Royal Family are delighted”.Unlike the announcements for each of the Cambridge children, the paper was not signed by the doctors who delivered the baby, as the Sussexes strive to maintain an air of secrecy around the place and manner of the birth.The baby’s name will be shared with the public in the coming days, with his title expected to be the Earl of Dumbarton. 2:43PMBuckingham Palace confirm Baby Sussex is a boy Bishop Michael Curry gave a rousing sermon about love at the couple’s wedding. 3:40PMThe Duke of York congratulates the new parents on Instagram Buckingham Palace said: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 05:26.”The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz. The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth.”The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news.”The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.”Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”The name of the baby, which is seventh in line to the throne, will be announced at a later date. The Duke of Sussex was by his wife’s side as she gave birth to their first child.Watch some of his most loving and supportive moments here… After a busy day for bookies, the latest odds put ‘Alexander’ climbing as a likely name for Baby Sussex according to William Hill.Alexander has halved in price from 10/1 to 5/1,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.Here are the very latest top five odds:4/1 Arthur 5/1 James5/1 Alexander10/1 Albert11/1 Phillip  4:35PMTown crier announces birth  Camilla Tominey writes how today, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex once again reminded the world that they are determined to carve their own royal path:Since they married in the Berkshire town almost a year ago, Harry and Meghan have been determined to do things their own way – and the arrival of their first born was no different.Over recent years, we have grown used to the sight of royal parents posing for photographs upon leaving hospital – a moment that started with Princess Anne at St Mary’s Hospital in the late Seventies and continued with the births of Princess William and Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three children.But now further down the royal pecking order at sixth-in-line to the throne, Harry has the freedom to do things a little differently – with his wife’s support.Read the full article here #RoyalBabyWatch contender for most committed Royal reporter – Maud Garmy is here from Paris and has been waiting in Windsor since April 22nd (and is still smiling!) 😃👑 @GMB #BabySussex #Meghan #PrinceHarry pic.twitter.com/g0ohJqgQzP— Nick Dixon (@NickDixonITV) May 5, 2019 2:07PMDuchess of Sussex goes into labour 5:33PMWho will meet the Royal Family’s latest member? read more

Scotch whisky guardians roll out the barrel with a twist of tequila

This is after all what gives ‘the water of life’ it’s unique flavour. It is a tradition dating back hundreds of years that Scotch whisky should be aged in barrels only previously used to mature spirits such as cognac, brandy or sherry. But, in what some purists may regard as sacrilege, a change in the industry rules means whisky can now be aged for a period in barrels previously used for other spirits, such as tequila. In a break with tradition the Scotch Whisky Association has relaxed the rules governing production of the drink to allow tequila barrels to be used – as long as the final product does not end up tasting more like the cactus-based Mexican drink than the Scottish one made from distilled…