The Best MLB Teams Of AllTime According To Elo

FRANCH.TEAMCOMP. ELOWON WS?RANK AMONG BEST TEAMS EVER –OAK1916Philadelphia Athletics14025 –TB2002Tampa Bay Devil Rays144296 –LAD1953Brooklyn Dodgers158640 –CHC1962Chicago Cubs144194 GRAPHIC: We calculated Elo ratings after every game in MLB history — more than 400,000 ratings in total. Explore every team’s history » –KC2005Kansas City Royals143771 –BOS1912Boston Red Sox1584✓46 –ATL1911Boston Rustlers14149 –MIN1904Washington Senators13871 The 1939 Yankees and 1906 Cubs are in a league of their own, more than 10 Elo points ahead of the other franchises. The Marlins have only been around since 1993, but it’s still sort of sad that their best team ever (World Series champions no less!) is just the 601st-best team ever. The Colorado Rockies, a franchise that was also born in 1993, are about as sad, but without the World Series rings. The San Diego Padres have had a much longer commitment to mediocrity; the franchise’s best team in its 47 seasons of existence comes in at No. 480. Fans of the Braves, Dodgers, Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, Twins and Phillies may also be disappointed by their team’s position in this list. All seven franchises go back to 1903, but none of their teams in the last 113 seasons have come close to cracking the top 25.But great seasons aren’t the only way to be an exceptional baseball team. Here’s every MLB franchise’s worst squad ever: –PHI1942Philadelphia Phillies14004 After the Yankees dynasty declined, MLB’s best teams started to be a lot less good. The 1960s were understandably weak — with just two teams in the Elo top 100 — because MLB expanded by eight teams during this span. The 1980s don’t have the same excuse, and the decade’s best squad — the 1986 Mets — rates as only the 62nd-best team ever. The first six seasons of the 2010s were similarly middling; of the teams from those years, the 2011 Phillies rank the highest on the all-time list, at No. 76. –TEX2011Texas Rangers1568141 –COL2007Colorado Rockies1537596 –TOR2015Toronto Blue Jays1565161 –TOR1979Toronto Blue Jays141922 –ATL1998Atlanta Braves158642 –OAK1911Philadelphia Athletics1607✓7 –MIL1969Seattle Pilots1443✓103 –SEA2001Seattle Mariners159034 –CHW1917Chicago White Sox1579✓68 –PIT1953Pittsburgh Pirates141819 –KC1977Kansas City Royals1560213 –SF1905New York Giants1601✓13 –DET1935Detroit Tigers1585✓43 –MIA1993Florida Marlins1449✓146 –CHC1906Chicago Cubs16202 –COL1993Colorado Rockies1444✓105 –CLE1915Cleveland Indians1451156 –ARI2002Arizona Diamondbacks1564166 –HOU1998Houston Astros1572110 –STL1908St. Louis Cardinals143251 –MIN1933Washington Senators157774 –MIL1982Milwaukee Brewers1558246 –ARI2004Arizona Diamondbacks1449143 Every MLB franchise’s worst season, 1903-2015 * 1994 World Series was not played Although that Philadelphia team lost in the division series, it still rates as the best Phillies squad in history. Here’s every franchise’s best team ever: –NYM1986New York Mets1580✓62 FRANCH.TEAMCOMP. ELO1ST YEAR?RANK AMONG WORST TEAMS EVER –DET2003Detroit Tigers13972 –NYM1962New York Mets1398✓3 One hundred and 10 years ago, the Chicago Cubs ended the regular season with a 116-36 record. That .763 winning percentage is the best in modern baseball history by a comfortable margin, but the Cubs went on to drop the World Series to the White Sox in six games. Might they still be the greatest team in baseball history?We recently calculated historical Elo ratings for every team after every game as part of our Complete History Of MLB interactive graphic. (We’ve done the same for the NBA and NFL.) Elo ratings are one of our preferred metrics at FiveThirtyEight, because their simple inputs make them useful for comparing the relative strengths of teams across the entire history of a league. We can also use Elo to calculate season ratings for every MLB team since 1903, when the first modern World Series was played.1Our interactive goes back a little further, to 1871. The quality of 19th-century baseball teams was pretty uneven — meaning the top teams from that time would dominate historical rankings — so to focus on more recognizable franchises, this piece is looking only at seasons since 1903. We arrived at an overall season rating — what the table below calls “composite” Elo — by blending each team’s peak, average and final Elo for each season. This lets us take into account a team’s highest level of performance, its sustained performance throughout the season and, broadly, how well it did in the postseason.2Elo ratings are carried over from season to season, which means that most of a team’s rating at the start of a season is based on its previous season. This is useful when trying to estimate a team’s quality early on, but for assessing individual seasons, it unfairly dings teams that rose to greatness after a terrible year. For our season calculations, “average” and “peak” Elo calculations start at game 40.So who comes out on top? The 1906 Cubs have the highest peak Elo, but because of their World Series loss, they rate as the second-best team since 1903, behind the 1939 New York Yankees. We ranked all 2,374 team-seasons from 1903 to 2015 — you can explore them below: –CIN1934Cincinnati Reds143669 –PIT1909Pittsburgh Pirates1609✓4 Every MLB franchise’s best season, 1903-2015 –BAL1911St. Louis Browns141715 –NYY1908New York Highlanders1449136 –WSH1994Montreal Expos1561*208 –SD1969San Diego Padres1419✓23 –WSH1969Montreal Expos1421✓25 Our Elo ratings find that the league was a bit more top-heavy in its earlier decades. If you scan through the top of the list, you’ll notice that most of the best seasons since 1903 happened more than 50 years ago — in fact, 71 of the 100 best seasons fall before 1960. The New York Yankees’ insane dominance in the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s is responsible for a lot of this imbalance. Twenty-five of the 100 best seasons are Yankees seasons from those decades: –BOS1932Boston Red Sox141412 –LAA1969California Angels1464279 –LAD1905Brooklyn Superbas143146 –HOU2013Houston Astros142535 –SD1998San Diego Padres1543480 –SEA1978Seattle Mariners142940 –CLE1954Cleveland Indians159424 –CHW1932Chicago White Sox143561 –PHI2011Philadelphia Phillies157776 –STL1942St. Louis Cardinals1605✓8 –SF1985San Francisco Giants1461251 –TB2012Tampa Bay Rays1558237 –MIA2003Florida Marlins1537✓601 –CIN1976Cincinnati Reds1595✓23 –LAA2002Anaheim Angels1576✓81 –BAL1970Baltimore Orioles1600✓19 –TEX1973Texas Rangers143144 –NYY1939New York Yankees1623✓1 The 2003 Detroit Tigers lost 119 games, winning five of their last six to avoid the 120-loss modern record set by the 1962 Mets in their first season as a franchise. Elo isn’t fooled, though — the 2003 Tigers had a slightly worse run differential than the 1962 Mets and have a slightly lower rating here. The 1904 Washington Senators, now the Twins, were even more terrible according to Elo, going 38-113 (the equivalent of a 121-loss modern 162-game season). Angels fans probably don’t look back on the 91-loss 1969 season too fondly, but, compared with the other franchises’ lousiest seasons ever, it’s not a bad low point, ranking just 279th-worst.So what will come in 2016? The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds have had a rough start and could make a run at new Elo lows for their franchises. But the real team to watch is the Chicago Cubs, who have started the season at 24-6 with an incredible +102 run differential. It’s a hard pace to keep up, but if they do, the Cubs could make a run at becoming one of the greatest teams of all time.See the complete history of every MLB team.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

For The Knicks The Playoffs Look Like a Scary

With the NBA playoffs right around the corner, teams like the New York Knicks are faced with an intriguing question right before the playoffs—the Heat or the Bulls?Neither alternative is encouraging for a team that will finish just a few games above .500.There was a slight possibility that the Knicks could finish 6th in the Eastern Conference Division and avoid those two powerhouses by playing the Indiana Pacers, but that hope was crushed when Orlando hung on for a close win against the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday.If the Knicks win against the Charlotte Bobcats, or the Philadelphia 76ers lose to the Detroit Pistons, New York will finish with the 7th seed and face off against the Miami Heat and the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. With an overall record of 46-19, the Heat swept the Knicks in their three regular season matchups.So should they hope to play the Bulls? Not really. Against the conference-leading Bulls, the Knicks also were swept during the season.Of late, the Knicks have been on an impressive roll, winning 16 of the last 20 games. Carmelo Anthony has been a big part of the Knicks’ momentum, averaging 22.6 points per game.“It doesn’t matter who we play, we just have to be prepared,” Anthony said.But he’s supposed to say that—it’s one of the game’s oldest clichés.Anthony does finally have his big man back—Amar’e Stoudemire, averaging 17.4 points and 7.9 rebounds, is back in the rotation. The Knicks also have shooting weapons Steve Novak and J.R. Smith coming off the bench, so maybe their plight isn’t so hopeless.If anyone should get credit for the Knick surge, perhaps it’s Coach Mike Woodson. Before Mike D’Antoni was replaced with Woodson as the head coach, it was certain that the Knicks weren’t going to the playoffs. Under D’Antoni, the Knicks’ record was 18-24. But the team seems to have a lot more energy and passion under Woodson, who has taken their overall record to 35-30.So it’s either the Heat or the Bulls for the team from the Big Apple. Either way, the odds are pointing to an early exit for Carmelo and Amar’e. read more

MLBs Prospects Are Showing Up Ready To Mash

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins arrived in the majors on August 10. By August 27, he had 11 home runs, including eight in nine days, and was already being declared the savior of the franchise. But we had seen this story unfold once already this summer. In late April, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger arrived in Chavez Ravine, where he started hitting dingers at a historic rate and basically never stopped.This isn’t supposed to happen in MLB. Call-ups from the minors often look overwhelmed and out of sorts when facing big league pitching for the first time — if not immediately, then at least at some point in their first month. But that’s not the case this season. Rookies are contending for MVP awards, young hitters across the league are mashing at a ridiculous rate and minor league prospects aren’t missing a beat when earning a first-time call-up.There’s evidence that this is not necessarily because today’s young hitters are just better than previous years’ crops, but rather because ballclubs are armed with new technologies, which is making them better at determining which players are ready for the majors and when.This skill is more important now than at any other time in the baseball calendar. Teams gained an additional 15 roster spots on Friday, which they often fill with players from the minors. About 20 percent of call-ups happen in September, and teams usually bring promising prospects up for a preview. That means we get a chance, if only for a brief moment, to see some of the best talent from each team’s farm system.Hitters called up for the first time1This category overlaps with rookies, but since rookie status is determined by service time, not all rookies are first-time call-ups. used to lag behind their more experienced colleagues. Each year from 2009 to 2014, the median batters in this group were typically below replacement level for the season. But since 2015, the same group has posted substantially higher WAR, in terms of both average and median, and these players now easily meet or (more often) exceed replacement level.Here’s a chart showing the average wins above replacement2Using Baseball Prospectus’s version of the stat. of first-time call-ups by year. The youngsters have built some of that value with the bat. From 2009 to 2014, first-time call-ups averaged a .218/.278/.336 slash line. An era of low offense didn’t help, but even compared to the league as whole, they were swinging poorly. Since 2015, first-time call-ups have improved to .234/.296/.363.But the slash lines can be a little misleading. When we look closer, it becomes clear that the post-2015 group of players derives some of its advantage from performing better in the first few months of their major league careers. It seems likely that recent batches of call-ups have been more ready to hit big league pitching when they first arrive, rather than scuffling for weeks as they adjust to higher pitch speeds and better pitcher control.It doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that this shift happened in 2015. The TrackMan system, which tracks crucial elements of hitting performance like exit velocity and launch angle, started to measure the minor leagues in 2010, but it wasn’t widely used across baseball until 2014 or 2015. Equipped with precise information about how each batted ball was hit, teams can now base their promotions and call-ups on more than just gut feel and minor league outcomes.This probably doesn’t affect star rookies much. After all, it doesn’t take a fancy tracking system to be able to see that someone like Mike Trout or Bryce Harper is pretty good at baseball and deserves a chance at the next level. Where TrackMan might be most useful is for telling who isn’t up to the challenge of major league baseball. While there are occasional exceptions, batters who can’t regularly muster exit velocities close to the MLB average will struggle to produce offensively. TrackMan offered a way for teams to screen those weaker hitters out. And just as expected, since 2014, the fraction of hitters with below-replacement-level value in their first year in the majors has dropped.The downside to TrackMan has been that players come in as mature products without the room for growth they once had. Before the advent of radar tracking, players showed a clear learning curve: Between their first 10 games in the majors and their 40th-50th, they gained an average of 92 points of OPS. Since 2015, that improvement has been much more muted, at only 47 points. The performance of the pre- and post-TrackMan era call-ups eventually converges, suggesting that much of the value that recent call-ups produce comes shortly after they join the majors.All that new information might have revolutionized how teams evaluate hitters, but it is much less useful for gauging pitchers. Hurlers don’t have as much control over how hard the ball is hit, or at what angle. Instead, the equivalent technology for pitchers is probably Pitchf/x, which was adopted in MLB in 2007 and measures such crucial characteristics as the velocity and break of pitches. Pitch tracking came into wide use in the minors in 2009, which coincides with a noticeable bump in rookie production. Young pitcher WAR totals have stayed relatively constant since then, so teams don’t seem to have built on whatever initial advantage Pitchf/x might have brought.Whether it’s baseball’s first scouting reports or the quantification of a batter’s swing, fresh data has frequently changed the balance of power between veterans and youngsters in the league. As the influx of technology at the major league level makes its way to the minors, the information gap between MLB and Triple-A will start to close. And as the risk that a call-up will flame out decreases, the league might soon be taken over by players in their early 20s making the job look easy. read more

How Our 2016 MLB Predictions Work

NAMEFRANCHISEDATEPITCHER SCORERATING ADJ. Pedro MartinezBOS6/8/200078.0+108.6 Bob GibsonSTL5/25/196968.676.6 Jake ArrietaCHC67.857.2 Pitchers in the table above are listed only once, at their absolute peak. If we listed multiple peaks per player, Martinez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens would occupy 18 of the top 20 spots.In addition to scores for each pitcher, we maintain a pitching score for every team — these are based on the game scores of every starting pitcher on that team. Each pitcher’s Elo adjustment is relative to his team’s pitching score; pitchers above the team average give the team a bonus when they start, and pitchers below the team average give the team a penalty. Note that in the table above, one pitcher may have a higher overall score than another pitcher but a smaller Elo adjustment; this generally means that his team had a better rotation or that he started more games and his game scores contributed more to the team’s overall average.These are the 2016 pitchers who give their team the biggest boost when they start: Gerrit ColePIT57.135.8 Frank TananaLAA6/24/197768.472.2 Jose FernandezMIA57.336.5 David PriceBOS57.928.6 This methodology article is for an old version of our MLB forecast. See how our latest MLB predictions work.During last year’s MLB playoffs, we introduced our baseball Elo ratings and used them to take a look at the best teams going into the playoffs and the World Series. Today we’re publishing two interactives using similar ratings: our 2016 MLB Predictions, which preview upcoming games and show the chances that each team will make the playoffs or win the World Series, and the Complete History Of MLB, which charts the successes and failures of every franchise throughout history.Thanks to Retrosheet, we’ve collected game results and box scores back to 1871 and used them to create an Elo-based rating system and predictive model for baseball that incorporates home-field advantage, margin of victory, travel, rest and — most importantly — starting pitchers. The ratings are also adjusted for park and era effects and account for the fact that favorites are more likely to win in the postseason than in the regular season.Elo is a simple but elegant system that can be tuned and customized endlessly to incorporate available data. In our baseball Elo system, each team has a rating (the average is about 1500), and after every game, the winning team gains some Elo points while the losing team loses the same number of points. The number of points exchanged is based on the chances our model gave each team to win the game and the margin of victory; a win by a big underdog results in a bigger exchange of Elo points than a win by a favorite, and the larger the margin of victory, the larger the exchange.Before every game, we also adjust each team’s rating based on whether it has home-field advantage, how far it’s traveled to the game, how many days of rest it’s had and which pitcher is slated to start.Home-field advantage is worth 24 Elo points in our model, and travel and rest adjustments are worth up to about 5 points each;1The travel adjustment is calculated as (-MILES_TRAVELED^(1/3))*0.31, and the rest adjustment is DAYS_REST*2.3. these three components are combined into the “Home field, travel and rest” section in the image above.2Here are some more of our baseball Elo parameters:The general K factor is 4, though it’s 6 for postseason games and also is adjusted based on margin of victory.Home-field advantage is worth 24 points.The difference in rating between two teams is multiplied by 4/3 for postseason games.Expected margins of victory are calculated with elo_diff^3*5.46554876e-08 + elo_diff^2*8.96073139e-06 + elo_diff*2.44895265e-03 + BASE (BASE is dependent on the year and stadium the game is played in but has an average of about 3.4).The actual margin of victory in each game is also adjusted for era/stadium effects and then flattened a bit with ((abs(margin_adj) + 1)^0.7)*1.41.Thus, the whole Elo shift is (outcome – winprob) * (adjusted_margin / expected_margin) * (6 if postseason else 4). Clayton KershawLAD66.0+63.5 J.R. RichardHOU4/30/198067.767.1 Jake ArrietaCHC10/7/201568.363.4 Bob FellerCLE8/4/194068.464.7 Sandy KoufaxLAD10/14/196568.164.4 Pete AlexanderPHI7/13/191567.764.7 Madison BumgarnerSF58.328.4 Johan SantanaMIN10/5/200467.666.9 Starting pitcher adjustments can have a substantial impact on pre-game team ratings and win probabilities. For example, in June of 2000, Pedro Martinez was worth about 109 Elo points to the Red Sox each time he started, which is the equivalent of a 15 percent boost to their chances of winning the game.3Starting pitcher adjustments give our model about a 1 percentage point improvement in the percentage of games correctly “called” and a corresponding improvement in mean squared error. This means Martinez was worth 109 points more than the average starting pitcher on his team (or even a bit more, since his starts were already incorporated into the team’s overall rating).To generate these pitcher adjustments, we’re using a version of Bill James’s game scores proposed by Tangotiger (and slightly modified by us) to isolate pitching performances. After each game, the starting pitcher’s game score is calculated as:47.4 + 1.5*outs + strikeouts – 2*walks – 2*hits – 3*runs – 4*homerunsWe maintain a running average of these game scores for each pitcher to produce his overall pitcher score.4Just like the margin of victory modifier, game scores are normalized for eras and stadiums so pitchers are directly comparable. They’re also adjusted to take the opposing team’s offensive strength into account. Here’s a list of the pitchers with the highest peak scores in history, the dates when they peaked and their corresponding Elo bonus:5A pitcher’s Elo bonus is calculated with 4.7*(pitcher_score – team_pitching_score). Tom SeaverNYM4/26/197267.372.8 All-time pitcher peaks, based on pitcher score Mike ScottHOU5/18/198766.961.4 Top 2016 pitchers by rating adjustment to their team Lefty GroveOAK6/13/193266.964.1 Pitcher scores include games through April 24Sources: Retrosheet, ESPN Since starting pitcher bonuses from the two teams are additive, they cancel each other out when two top pitchers face each other and can be quite large when a strong pitcher faces a weak pitcher. The biggest mismatch of all time according to our pitcher scores was a 137-point Elo swing back in 1997, when Randy Johnson (+87) faced Ricky Bones (-50).Our 2016 preseason team ratings are a blend of our 2015 end-of-season ratings (reverted to the mean by one-third) and four projection systems (PECOTA, ZiPS, Steamer and Davenport). Our preseason team pitcher scores use our 2015 end-of-season pitcher scores combined with projected starts from the same four projection systems.We use Monte Carlo simulations to play out the season thousands of times to see how often each team makes the playoffs or wins the World Series. As with our other forecasts, we run simulations “hot,” meaning that a team’s rating changes within each simulation based on simulated results, including the bonus for playoff wins. For games where a starting pitcher is not yet known, we assume a pitcher of average strength will play.Our Complete History Of MLB uses a slightly simplified Elo system that doesn’t take pitchers, travel or rest into account.6This means that the ratings in our Complete History interactive won’t always match the ratings in our 2016 MLB Predictions, but using separate rating systems gives us the flexibility to alter our forecast methodology from year to year but keep our Elo history interactives unchanged. Like the forecast, it will update after each game.It’s early, but the Cubs are looking pretty good. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season and hope you’ll follow along with us. Roger ClemensTOR7/28/199770.675.3 Chris SaleCHW60.032.3 The pitcher score is a running average of a pitcher’s individual game scoresSource: Retrosheet Curt SchillingARI4/7/200269.164.3 Ron GuidryNYY9/15/197866.962.4 Randy JohnsonARI5/16/200071.883.3 Greg MadduxATL7/19/199571.867.3 Dallas KeuchelHOU58.434.6 Dwight GoodenNYM5/6/198668.574.4 Zack GreinkeARI59.443.1 Kevin BrownSD10/8/199867.465.4 NAMETEAMSCORERATING ADJ. Dazzy VanceLAD5/5/192969.776.3 Kenta MaedaLAD60.738.5 read more

Lavender Buckeyes cruise through flawless weekend

For around the clock OSU sports updates, follow the Lantern Sports Twitter @lanternspts24_7 The Ohio State women’s basketball team opened its season this weekend with wins over Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green in the Preseason National Invitational Tournament.The No. 3 Buckeyes used the first half of both games to assert big leads and put the games away early.Led by junior center Jantel Lavender, OSU pushed a game that was tied at eight to a score of 27-8 with a 19-0 run.Missed shots and tough defense by OSU held the Eastern Illinois Panthers without a point for more than seven minutes. The Buckeyes pushed a 10-point lead at the half back into the 20s and won 91-68.Against Bowling Green, the Buckeyes used a three-headed attack in the first half to post a 27-point lead at the half. Lavender’s 18 points, along with freshman guard Tayler Hill’s 13 and sophomore guard Samantha Prahalis’ 12, left the Falcons in an insurmountable hole. OSU controlled the second half, with junior forward Sarah Shultze also scoring in double digits for the game with 15. OSU won, 91-72.Lavender recorded her 38th and 39th career double-doubles, finishing with 24 and 23 points in the contests. The Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year stressed that these first games gave OSU more things to improve.“We learned what we needed to work on. We did a lot of good things, but as a team, we still have things to work on,” Lavender said.She also gave credit to both teams, and said despite the lopsided outcomes, both played physical and should have successful seasons.Shultze posted 18 points in her first start on Friday, primarily in the second half. Her second-half play in both outings showed that the new starter is ready to contribute. Big games by players not named Lavender will only benefit OSU going forward.Prahalis was Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season. She started slow on Friday against Eastern Illinois but had a better day on Sunday against Bowling Green with 16 points and eight assists. Becoming more comfortable in her second year will make the Buckeye offense hard to stop.“I think I know where my teammates are on the floor better, and I know where they’re going to be,” Prahalis said about her progression. “I know where the shooters are going to be if I am driving on the wing, and I know where to put the ball to Jantel better. I just have a better feel of where to put the ball.”Coach Jim Foster expressed satisfaction in the fact that the Buckeyes were playing some winning programs early. Eastern Illinois was 24-9 last season, and Bowling Green has won its conference championship the last five seasons.“The difference between a lot of opening games and being in a tournament like the NIT is that you’re going to play better teams because they go out and try to get the best team they can get from a conference,” Foster said. “So from that point of view, we played a team who is used to winning, a team who is used to playing 40 minutes.”OSU will play the University of Alabama-Birmingham on Tuesday. read more

Womens basketball Kelsey Mitchell named Associated Press secondteam AllAmerican

OSU junior guard Kelsey Mitchell looks to move he ball inside against No. 9 seed Northwestern on March 3 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. OSU won, 99-68. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorOhio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell was named an Associated Press second team All-American on Monday, collecting the honor for the third straight year. Earlier in the season, Mitchell received the Big Tens Player of the Year for her second consecutive season. This season marks the third year which she has led the Buckeyes in scoring.The Cincinnati native is also the quickest player to score 2,000 points in the NCAA. Mitchell leads the Buckeyes in three-points made and is on-track to become the Buckeyes all-time leading scorer, trailing OSU’s leading scorer, Jantel Lavender, by only 265 points.OSU lost to Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 on Friday, ending its season. read more

Football Playoff destiny out of Ohio States hands

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) and redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) wait for a snap in the second half of the Ohio State-Michigan State game on Nov. 11. Ohio State won 48-3. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorJust a few weeks ago, then-No. 6 Ohio State (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) seemed in prime position to slide into one of the four College Football Playoff spots. It had the potential to finish the season with a single loss and a Big Ten championship. No team with that resume has been left out since the playoff was created.Then the Buckeyes played Iowa on Nov. 4, and everything changed. The Hawkeyes blindsided them, decimating Ohio State, 55-24. All playoff talk ended. The discussion turned to how the Buckeyes, a team loaded with a decorated quarterback and a talented corps of players featuring mostly former four-star and five-star recruits, could lose to an Iowa team that lost to Northwestern.But after taking down Michigan State 48-3 Saturday afternoon, the playoff optimism began to seep back into the minds of Ohio State fans. No two-loss team has ever made the playoff. Even last year, a two-loss Penn State — which had a similar resume to Ohio State’s this season — was left out.If the Buckeyes beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and defeat Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship, they would have a solid crop of victories.But head coach Urban Meyer is determined to quash all playoff discussion.“There will be zero conversation around here, especially when you guys talk to the players,” Meyer said. “There will be zero conversation about what happened before and what’s going to happen in the future. Zero.”Whether Ohio State’s players and coaches discuss the playoff does not matter. They are at the mercy of the teams ahead of them in the rankings. They need certain teams to lose to even have a chance at being chosen for a spot by the selection committee.If, for example, No. 1 Georgia, which lost to Auburn Saturday, defeats No. 2 Alabama in the SEC championship game, Miami or Clemson win the ACC championship game and Oklahoma wins the Big 12 championship, a two-loss Ohio State team would likely be left out even if it wins its final two regular-season games and the Big Ten title.Some Ohio State players, including sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa, have let their minds wander about what the season would look like had the team not lost twice, putting the fate of the playoff out of its control.“Yeah, I mean, I sometimes do that, but the older guys tell me to focus on what’s at hand and I know that’s the most important thing,” Bosa said after Saturday’s game. “So we’re focusing on obviously what’s in front of us right now.”For Ohio State, right now, the most important thing is to beat Illinois and Michigan and win the conference championship. Without winning those three games, playoff hopes — which, even now, seem somewhat far-fetched — would finally, mercifully dissipate.Prior to the Michigan State game, Ohio State had a team meeting and addressed the Big Ten standings, redshirt junior defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “It was mentioned that if we win this game, we’re two spots ahead in the Big Ten East and that was our focus,” Hubbard said after Saturday’s game. “We needed to win this game and our laser lights were on what we needed to do to win this game.”Now in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten East, the plan is simple: Beat Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, and beat them by as many points as possible. Style points matter to the selection committee, which picks the four best teams, not the four teams with the least losses.Sure, Ohio State needs help with higher-ranked teams losing. But in the meantime it can help itself by winning its final games — including the Big Ten championship — by large margins, just as it did down the stretch of the 2014 season, which ended with the Buckeyes sneaking into the playoff.Meyer might be determined to have zero conversation about the playoff, but it is a good problem to have — and one many people did not think would be happening after the Iowa loss. read more

Mens Hockey No 6 Ohio State to host No 17 Penn State

Junior forward Sam McCormick (17) celebrates Eugene Fadyeyev’s (21) goal in the first period of game one during Ohio State’s hockey game vs. Michigan State on March 1. Ohio State won 5-1. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternAfter winning the Big Ten regular season and coming off a bye week in the first round, the Ohio State men’s hockey team is ready to play again as they prepare for the first Big Ten Tournament semifinals matchup against Penn State.Following a split series against Michigan State, the Buckeyes (20-9-5, 13-7-4 Big Ten) have seen their USCHO ranking increase from No. 7 up to No. 6. The Nittany Lions (21-14-2, 11-12-1 Big Ten) remain behind in the overall rankings at No. 17 but are ahead in their offensive rankings, topping the nation with 4.59 goals per game, .53 more than any team in the country.The Penn State offense has been its ace in the hole all season, having scored 170 goals this season compared to Ohio State’s 107, which ranks tied for No. 22 in the NCAA. This offense is led by sophomore forwards Alex Limoges and Evan Barratt who are ranked No. 2 and No. 8 respectively in points in the country. Together they have accumulated 90 points this season, with Limoges’ 22 goals leading the team.In the first round of the Big Ten tournament against Wisconsin, it was junior forward Liam Folkes who stepped up for the Nittany Lions. In the three-game series against the Badgers, Folkes scored three points in each game, finishing the series with three goals and six assists, good enough to earn the NCAA Second Star of the Week.Folkes is No. 3 on the team and tied for No. 12 in the NCAA with 41 points this season. Penn State also holds the No. 4 power play in the nation, having scored 32 power-play goals this year on a 26.23 percent success rate.While the Nittany Lions have proven their offense is their strength, they have also proven their defense to be their weak point. Penn State’s defense is one of the worst in the nation, allowing, 3.65 goals per game, good for the fourth-most goals allowed in the NCAA. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, are ranked No. 13 with 2.24 goals allowed per game and have the No. 2 goaltender in save percentage in the nation, sophomore Tommy Nappier.The teams have played four games so far this season, with Ohio State winning three and losing one, outscoring Penn State 18-11 through the season series.The semifinals match between top-seeded Ohio State and No. 4 seed Penn State will be hosted at the Schottenstein Center, and takes place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. read more

Prison and probation must be overhauled to cut reoffending that costs taxpayer

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The potential impact that prisons could have on reducing re-offending and community safety has been undermined by a lack of consistent political leadershipRachel O’Brien, report author Around 128,000 – or one in four – of these offenders committed a new offence within a year. Last year, former justice secretary Michael Gove described the failure to reduce re-offending rates as “horrifying”.Mr Gove’s successor Liz Truss is poised set out her plans for prison safety and reform in the coming weeks, amid mounting concern over a rising tide of violence behind bars.A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “We are committed to rehabilitating offenders to reduce re-offending and create fewer victims.”We will set out full details of our plan for prison safety and reform in a White Paper in the coming weeks and are carrying out a comprehensive review of the probation system to improve outcomes for offenders and communities.” Liz Truss Liz Truss, the Justice Secretary,  is poised set out her plans for prison reformCredit:Andrew Crowley for The Telegraph Suggested measures include a rehabilitation requirement for prisons and probation, which would be a legal duty and require services to track individual and institutional progress, as well as a return to frontline staffing levels seen in 2010.It also proposes that the National Offender Management Service should have a smaller, “arms-length” function, and the creation of local prison boards to oversee long-term strategies.Report author Rachel O’Brien, director of the RSA’s Future Prison project, said: “The potential impact that prisons could have on reducing re-offending and community safety has been undermined by a lack of consistent political leadership and clear purpose.”This has led to reactive policy, episodic change and an over-centralised system, which has disempowered the workforce and undermined public confidence.”Official figures show that from October 2013 to September 2014, around 496,000 adult and juvenile offenders were cautioned, received a non-custodial conviction at court or released from custody. Prison and probation services in England and Wales must be overhauled to drive down re-offending rates that cost the taxpayer billions of pounds, according to a report.Ministers were urged to push up staffing numbers and bring in legislation to establish a new rehabilitation “duty”.The potential impact that prisons could have on reducing re-offending has been undermined by “a lack of consistent political leadership”, according to a report published by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).It welcomed the Government’s commitment to prison reform and called for the Ministry of Justice to compile a national rehabilitation strategy running to 2020.last_img read more

Jo Cox murder Police launch manhunt for accomplice who supplied stolen gun

first_imgHer colleague Fazila Aswat hit Mair with her handbag and pleaded with Mrs Cox to think of her two young children and get up and run.Despite being too hurt to move away, Mrs Cox’s thwarted Mair’s initial attack as she shielded her head with her hands.Mair briefly walked away to reload the adapted sawn-off .22 rifle before returning to shoot and stab her again.Mr Kenny, who by coincidence shared his birthday with Mrs Cox, staggered back and “flopped” down on the steps of a sandwich shop. .@MrBrendanCox does Jo and their family proud every single day #lovelikeJo #moreincommon https://t.co/lWc4xh8R9Y— Ruth Smeeth MP (@RuthSmeeth) November 23, 2016 A knife that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas Mair Police do not believe that Mair, who rarely left his home town of Birstall, was behind the theft and forensic search of his home and garden also found no evidence that he had modified the weapon.Detectives are now urgently exploring the possibility that a far-Right sympathiser provided Mair with the weapon in the knowledge of what he was planning.The 53-year-old, who hid his Nazi obsession for decades, showed no emotion as he was taken down from the dock to begin his sentence. A jury took just over 90 minutes to convict him for what the MP’s husband described as “an act of terrorism… driven by hatred”.Mair, who shouted “Britain first” and had a stash of neo-Nazi material at his home, was tried under the terrorism protocol. Mair, who had a teaching qualification and a Kirklees college student card, was a frequent visitor to Birstall and Batley libraries.An investigation of his use of library computers exposed Mair’s interest in far right, anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi politics in Britain and abroad.Two days after the killing, Mair was brought before Westminster magistrates under the terrorism protocol. Jeremy Corbyn, right, is joined by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, left, to honour Jo Cox in JuneCredit:PA Right-wing documents and books in the home of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police Thomas Mair, pictured being arrested by police, after shooting and stabbing Jo Cox in June Mr Justice Wilkie said Mrs Cox’s death had been “both a personal tragedy” and a crime with “great public significance”.He said her “generosity of spirit (was) evident in the selfless concern she had for others, even when facing a violent death”.The judge told Mair that the loss he had caused her friends and family would be “unbearable”, and that she had demonstrated herself to be “a credit to herself, her community, and her country” through her work. When asked to confirm his name, the defendant, described by neighbours as a shy loner, said: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”.He has refused to answer to the charges against him and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf to murder, grievous bodily harm to Mr Kenny and possession of the gun and dagger. Thomas Mair Jo Cox Brendan Cox, husband of MP Jo Cox, is embraced by his mother-in-law Jean Leadbeater, as his sister-in-law Kim Leadbeater and father-in-law Gordon Leadbeater look on outside the Old Bailey Mr Whittam went on to say it was fitting that the case had been held before another woman – whose statue holding the scales of justice adorns the Old Bailey.At the conclusion of the evidence, the scales were “weighted only one way”, he said.Mr Whittam said there was a “comprehensive” catalogue of evidence against Mair, including CCTV footage, the testimony of eyewitnesses, DNA and gunshot residue, ballistics and physical evidence.He told jurors: “The comprehensive nature of the evidence does not mean the defence case is bereft of points to make.”We submit to you that those points have no sufficient substance to cause any dent to the prosecution case.”  Mair denied Mrs Cox’s murder, possession of a firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence and possession of an offensive weapon – a dagger.He also denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent to pensioner Mr Kenny when he tried to stop the attack on Mrs Cox. Mair was convicted on all counts. Jo Cox was murdered a week before Britain voted in June’s referendum on membership of the European UnionCredit: SWNS.com Jo Cox, the Labour MP and mother of two Thomas Mair, who is accused of the terror-related murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, entering Birstall libraryCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Jeremy Corbyn, right, is joined by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, left, to honour Jo Cox in June Reaction to Thomas Mair’s convictionBrendan Cox’s statement outside courtOutside court, Jo Cox’s widower Brendan delivered an emotional statement:”As a family, we will not respond to hatred with hatred. We will love like Jo did and know that, although she is dead, the ideas and values that she held so dear will live on.”And know that, although she is not with us, her energy and her love are hard-wired into our children for the rest of their lives.”Finally, we hope the country will also take something from this – that Jo’s death will have meaning.”That those in politics, the media and our own communities who seek to divide us will face an unassailable wall of British tolerance and the articulation of Jo’s belief that we hold more in common than that which divides us.”Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leaderJeremy Corbyn said the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox was “an attack on democracy, and has robbed the world of an ambassador of kindness and compassion”. The Labour Party leader said:”Jo Cox believed passionately that all people can achieve their full potential given the opportunity. Her murder was an attack on democracy, and has robbed the world of an ambassador of kindness and compassion.”Jo’s values were lived out in her last moments, when she bravely put the safety of her staff before her own. Jo is someone the Labour Party will forever be extremely proud of. The single biggest tribute we can pay to Jo and her life will be to confront those who wish to promote the hatred and division that led to her murder.”Jo was a loving mother and wife. I hope that the verdict has delivered some sense of justice to those grieving, particularly Jo’s family, who all of our thoughts are with at this time.” As she lay mortally wounded in the street, the MP for Batley and Spen tried to protect her aides by urging them to leave her and save themselves.During the trial Mrs Cox’s family were left in tears as her constituency caseworker Sandra Major described the MP’s selfless response as she came under attack from Mair.She told jurors: “He was making motions towards us with the knife and Jo was lying in the road and she shouted out ‘get away, get away you two. Let him hurt me. Don’t let him hurt you’.”Her account prompted Mr Cox to tweet: “This is who Jo was”. Defending Mair, Simon Russell Flint QC said the killing of Mrs Cox as she carried out her “public duties” had been “truly shocking and appalling”.He told the court: “She was brutally and callously murdered and there is no issue or dispute about that.”Mr Russell Flint said: “Mrs Cox’s death, you know, has touched many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people, some who knew her and knew her well – her parents, her sibling, her husband, her children, not forgetting her friends and her colleagues who will forever be scarred by what happened to her in the street of that small West Yorkshire town on that June afternoon and will forever mourn her passing.”Addressing the jury, he said: “It is you and you alone who have been charged with the responsibility of determining what are the true verdicts on each of the counts on the indictment.”He added: “You and you alone will determine whether Thomas Mair can return to his quiet and solitary existence or will be forever remembered as the man who assassinated Jo Cox.” Jo's sister Kim Leadbeater delivers a statement outside the Old Bailey Let’s remember Jo’s life not the manner of her death. Her legacy lives on. Please support her Foundation https://t.co/k0o79zcTfF— Lucy Powell MP (@LucyMPowell) November 23, 2016 Brendan Cox, husband of MP Jo Cox, is embraced by his mother-in-law Jean Leadbeater, as his sister-in-law Kim Leadbeater and father-in-law Gordon Leadbeater look on outside the Old BaileyCredit:NEIL HALL/Reuters Philip Hammond, the ChancellorChancellor Philip Hammond, speaking in the Commons, associated himself with Mr McDonnell’s remarks on Mrs Cox.He said: “(I) send my very deepest condolences to the family and her friends who will be suffering again today.”Detective Superintendent Nick WallenOutside court, Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen said: “It is still hard to comprehend the magnitude of what happened in the quiet market town of Birstall on a day in June. The murder of Jo Cox was a tragedy on so many levels.”Not only had it caused devastation to her family, the killing was the first of a female serving Member of Parliament, he said.He said: “Jo Cox championed the democracy and inclusivity of this country and for that she paid the ultimate price.”The officer paid tribute to those who came to the aid of Mrs Cox as well as the courage of the unarmed patrol officers who arrested the “cold-blooded killer” while he was still armed.He added: “Nothing can excuse the evil and horror his actions brought to the small town of Birstall on June 16 this year.”Sue Hemming, Crown Prosecution ServiceSue Hemming, head of special crime and counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mair has offered no explanation for his actions but the prosecution was able to demonstrate that, motivated by hate, his pre-meditated crimes were nothing less than acts of terrorism designed to advance his twisted ideology.”The CPS worked closely with police from the outset of their thorough investigation to build a strong case. This included the evidence of a number of brave eyewitnesses, who are to be commended. A jury has now unanimously agreed on Mair’s guilt of all offences committed during this disturbing attack.”Our thoughts are with Jo Cox’s family, who attended the court hearing and have behaved with real strength and dignity throughout. The CPS will continue to work with criminal justice partners to combat those who seek to sow hatred and division by advancing extremist ideologies.”Jo Cox’s sister Kim LeadbeaterKim Leadbeater, Jo Cox’s sister, praised the “many acts of bravery” on the day of her murder as she vowed to continue the Labour MP’s legacy.Speaking outside the Old Bailey she thanked those who witnessed the attack on June 16 for their actions and for coming forward. Thomas Mair, who is accused of the terror-related murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, entering Birstall library Despite discarding some clothes, Mair was swiftly tracked down a mile away, still carrying his holdall containing the blood-splattered murder weapons.They included a reproduction of a Fairbairn-Sykes “fighting dagger”, a design first made in 1941 for British special forces and commando units, with a 17.4cm blade. The far-Right ‘terrorist’ who assassinated Labour MP Jo Cox may have had a sympathetic accomplice who provided him with the murder weapon, it has emerged.A major manhunt was underway on Wednesday night for the person who handed the 53-year-old loner the modified bolt-action rifle, which was stolen almost a year before the murder.Mair, who was obsessed with the Nazis and white supremacy, was told he will die in jail after a jury at the Old Bailey took just an hour and a half to find him guilty of the brutal and senseless murder of the mother of two in the run up to the EU referendum in June.During the trial it emerged that he had used a German-made .22 calibre bolt-action rifle which had been chopped down to just 12in in length so it could be used with one hand. The legally-held gun was stolen along with ammunition from a car in Keighley, West Yorkshire in August last year. Ms Leadbeater said: “Jo would have been extremely impressed although not at all surprised by the courage of her staff and constituents during this process and indeed on June 16.”There may have been one act of extreme cowardice on that day but there were many acts of bravery, particularly from Fazila and Sandra and Bernard Kenny. We think about them often.”Our focus now as a family is to look forward, we can begin to consider our own loss in our own way and in our own time.”We can and we will work through our pain and as a family we are stronger and more united than ever.”What can be difficult at times is thinking about the ripple effect of Jo’s murder and the many lives it has affected. However, it has always been my belief that whilst we can not always choose what happens to us, we can try to choose how we respond.”I for one will not be beaten by what has happened and I know I am not alone. It is the last thing my sister would want and it is not who I am.”I will channel my energy into ensuring Jo’s legacy continues and as a family we will respond with strength, love, positivity and enthusiasm.”Campaign group HOPE not hateNick Lowles, chief executive of campaign group HOPE not hate, said that seeing liberal politicians as a target is a “strong pillar” of thinking among UK neo-Nazis. He said:”Thomas Mair acted alone but he was inspired by over 30 years of reading Nazi propaganda. “In targeting a British MP, Mair was following a growing list of British Nazi terrorists who believe that they are at war with the system. This ideology, which sees the state – and in particular liberal politicians – as more of a target than minorities, became dominant among UK Nazis in the 1990s and remains a strong pillar of their thinking today.”While Thomas Mair pulled trigger, neo-Nazi propagandists must share some responsibility for fuelling and directing the hatred and violence inside him.”More needs to be done to tackle the growing threat of Britain’s far Right. While it might be numerically smaller than in the past, it is becoming more violent and dangerous.”And while the authorities will always prioritise targeting those individuals who could carry out terrorist attacks, it is also vital that they target the people who peddle the hatred that inspired the likes of Thomas Mair. This is something they have repeatedly failed to do.”Rev Paul Knight, vicar of BirstallThe vicar of Birstall, the Rev Paul Knight, said: “We’re relieved that it’s gone this far and that it’s wrapping up, really.”We want to concentrate on the good things that can come out of this.”Jo was so positive and changed so many lives. We want to make sure that’s the thing that’s remembered, not the guy that did it.”Speaking outside Birstall Library, Mr Knight said: “We’re getting back to a normality but we’ll never forget Jo. That’s what we promised.”He said: “Everybody always says that kind of thing doesn’t happen round here but it did. And we had deal with it and there was an incredible outpouring of grief.”Social media reaction from other MPs Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, arriving at the Old Bailey Thomas Mair in police custody after his arrest Emergency services at the scene of Jo Cox’s murder in Birstall, West YorkshireCredit:Ben Lack for The Telegraph The Nazi eagle found on Thomas Mair's bookcase containing books about the Third Reich By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country – parliamentary democracyMr Justice Wilkie Thomas Mair in police custody after his arrestCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Right wing documents and books in the home of Thomas Mair Thomas Mair, pictured in a police custody image, will serve a whole-life sentenceCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA Two police constables tackled Mair to the ground and in the scuffle, he cut his head.Following his arrest, police uncovered a hoard of neo-Nazi literature at his council house in nearby Lowood Lane. The attack was captured on grainy CCTV and witnessed by 16 members of the public who travelled to the Old Bailey to give evidence.They described the popping noise of Mair’s gun and how he threatened to stab people if they got in his way.Afterwards, Mair walked away as if he had “not a care in the world”, the court heard. A gun that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas MairCredit:West Yorkshire Police Mr Justice Wilkie said: “In the true meaning of the word she was a patriot.”You affect to be a patriot. The words you uttered repeatedly when you killed her give lip service to that concept.”Those sentiments can be legitimate and can have resonance but in your mouth, allied to your actions, they are tainted and made toxic.” Despite having the “element of surprise”, Mair failed in his first attempt and came back to shoot and stab Mrs Cox again, the court heard.Mr Whittam said: “Perhaps he underestimated Jo Cox’s tenacity and courage.”He said that all the evidence “compellingly establishes Thomas Mair was her murderer”. How the Jo Cox murder trial unfoldedAt the conclusion of the prosecution case, Mair’s lawyer Simon Russell Flint, QC, called no evidence on behalf of the defendant, of Lowood Lane, Birstall.In his closing speech, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors: “At 13.48 on the 16th of June in Market Street outside the public library in Birstall, the democratically-elected MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, was murdered as she carried out her duties on behalf of her electorate.”Mr Whittam said her attack “brought out the best of the people who were with her” – the two members of staff and Birstall residents who came to her aid. In pride of place on a bookshelf was a golden Third Reich eagle ornament with a swastika emblazoned on the front. Jo Cox, the Labour MP and mother of two Credit:Jo Cox Foundation/PA A knife that was presented in evidence during the trial of Thomas Mair Mair was also convicted of stabbing 77-year-old retired miner, Bernard Kenny, who tried to save the MP.In a statement, Mr Kenny described Mair’s actions as a “pure act of evil”.He said he would do the same thing again as it was “the right thing to do”, even though his actions were not enough to save Mrs Cox. The judge told Mair his inspiration was not from “love of country or your fellow citizens”, but was “an admiration of Nazism” and similar white supremacist ideas where “democracy and political persuasion are supplanted by violence”.He added: “Our parents’ generation made huge sacrifices to defeat those ideas and values in the Second World War. What you did, and your admiration for those views which informed your crime, betrays the sacrifices of that generation.”You are no patriot. By your actions you have betrayed the quintessence of our country, its adherence to parliamentary democracy.” Emergency services at the scene of Jo Cox's murder in Birstall, West Yorkshire Justice for Jo. Thoughts with all Jo’s family & friends & for the amazing woman we lost #moreincommon https://t.co/M0YeQkt4Ra— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) November 23, 2016 Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater delivers a statement outside the Old BaileyCredit:NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox, speaks outside courtCredit:NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Home Secretary Amber RuddAmber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said she was determined that we challenge extremism in all its forms. She said:”Jo Cox was a committed and passionate politician, devoted to her two young children and her husband, and our thoughts are with her family today.”The shocking and senseless murder of Jo was an attack on all of us and the values we share of democracy and tolerance.”As Home Secretary I am determined that we challenge extremism in all its forms including the evil of far-Right extremism and the terrible damage it can cause to individuals, families and communities.”Jo knew that tackling hatred and division is not something that can be done by Government alone but only by working in partnership with local people and groups, getting involved and speaking up for the values that make us the country we are proud to be.”Jo’s life was brutally taken away. It falls on all of us to redouble our efforts to make sure the principles that she stood for live on.”John McDonnell, shadow chancellorJohn McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, used his opening remarks on the Autumn Statement in the Commons to pay tribute to the murdered MP.Speaking shortly after the verdict was delivered, he said: “This morning we’ve heard the verdict from the trial following the tragic murder of Jo Cox.”Jo Cox’s murder robbed this House of a fierce advocate for social justice and a passionate campaigner. Her killing was an attack on democracy itself. Our thoughts are with her family this morning.” A Nazi eagle found on Thomas Mair’s bookcase containing books about the Third ReichCredit:West Yorkshire Police 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. Thomas Mair, pictured being arrested by police, after shooting and stabbing Jo Cox in JuneCredit:West Yorkshire Police/PA The Old Bailey heard how he collected a dossier on his 41-year-old Remain campaigning MP before launching his murderous attack.As the verdicts were read out, Jo Cox’s parents Jean and Gordon Leadbeater clasped their hands together and nodded. Mrs Cox’s family hugged and shook hands with prosecutor Richard Whittam QC and appeared tearful as they left court.Mrs Cox’s husband, Brendan Cox, told the Old Bailey he was not there for “retribution” and felt “nothing but pity for” Mair. He also described the far-Right killer as “cowardice personified”.In a statement he said: “The killing was, in my view, a political act and an act of terrorism. An act driven by hatred which has instead promoted an outpouring of love.” Show more But Mr Cox said it had been a “most incompetent and self-defeating” act, as it had led to communities pulling together and “allowed millions to hear a voice instead of silencing a voice”.After the verdicts were read out, Mair, who had refused to enter a plea and did not put forward a defence, said he wished to address the court, but the judge refused to give him permission.last_img read more

Duke of Edinburgh plays cowpat cricket with Prince Charles in rarelyseen home

first_imgThe Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales in later life The Duchess of Cambridge also made an appearance on the show, speaking of her own time completing the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award where she struggled to feed her camp-mates in the lashing rain. The Duchess, who completed her award during her A Levels before she became a member of the Royal family, said: “I can remember trying to cook bacon in the soaking wet. “Everything was just sopping and I was trying and trying to cook bacon.”I remember saying you know what, I think we’re just going to have plain sandwiches. Bread, basic bread and butter.”When Phillip Met Prince Philip: 60 Years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, will be aired on Monday, December 12th at 9pm on ITV. The Duke of Edinburgh agreed to take part in a documentary commemorating the 60th anniversary of his award Phillip Schofield will attempt to interview the Duke as part of the ITV show A toddling Prince Edward, now Earl of Wessex, is seen exploring the garden in dainty red shoes, while the family are chased by corgis.At one point, a young Prince of Wales appears to fashion a makeshift bosom out of a playmate’s pullover, under his own t-shirt, as Schofield commented: “What is he doing?”The reputation of the Duke, now 95, has come under considerable attention recently, as Netflix drama The Crown sought to reinstate him in the nation’s minds as a youthful, athletic, curious and fiercely clever part of the Royal household. The Duke of Edinburgh agreed to take part in a documentary commemorating the 60th anniversary of his award The Duchess of Cambridge will speak about her own Duke of Edinburgh Award experience It is the most quintessential of British summer pastimes, but rarely has cricket been played quite like this before.For the Duke of Edinburgh and his son the Prince of Wales will tonight be seen creating a rather unusual form of the sport, complete with cow pats.A new ITV documentary about the life of the Duke of Edinburgh is to reveal how he played with his young children on holiday, with footage captured on home video by the Queen herself. The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales in later life The Duchess of Cambridge will speak about her own Duke of Edinburgh Award experience “For her to have found somebody like him, I don’t think she could have chosen better.”The film will see the Duke in classic form, proclaiming some of the tasks award candidates attempt to undertake “idiotic”, that children are brought into the world “completely ignorant”, and asking Schofield: “How many more times have I got to do this?” after attending his third on-camera interview. The programme will see family members including the Earl and Countess of Wessex pay tribute to the patriarch, as he begrudgingly allows them to celebrate six decades of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.Actress Joanna Lumley will tell audiences she believes the Duke “could have been James Bond”, as a result of his athletic and military prowess, insisting he is the best person to turn to in a crisis for sound, sympathetic advice.Dame Judi Dench proclaims him “indomitable”, while the Countess of Wessex says he keeps “bang up to date with current affairs” as well as maintaining physical fitness under the maxim: “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. Phillip Schofield will attempt to interview the Duke as part of the ITV show “I think it must be a fairly lonely place being Queen,” the Countess added. “As a female in the top job it’s important, I think, to have somebody you can learn on, discuss things with, be open and honest with behind closed doors. Schofield added he had been granted special permission from The Queen herself to view the films, which include scenes from the Royal Yacht Britannia, of the Duke and children skimming down water slides. One scene, filmed in the 1960s, will show how he bowls what appear to be dried cowpats at his eldest son, who bats them away deftly.Later, the Duke is caught mock-cowering as children pelt him with the same substance, in footage revealing his playful side.The footage will be broadcast by ITV as part of a one-off documentary into the Duke and the outdoor adventure awards which bear his name.Host Phillip Schofield said: “What’s lovely here is that you get the impression of a really fun, warm loving father. So often, we’ve been told, he’s stern and very severe.“It’s great to see him as a fun, active young dad.”Narrating the film, the presented said: “There’s the Prince playing some sort of cricket. They look like cowpats.” Joanna Lumley and the Prince of Wales enjoy a party at Clarence House in aid of the Samaritans Joanna Lumley and the Prince of Wales enjoy a party at Clarence House in aid of the Samaritans 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

Underage driving on the rise as video games give youngsters the confidence to

first_imgAA president, Edmund King, said children’s video games could be contributing to the problemCredit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images “With these games you can buy a clutch, a steering wheel, a break so even if they’re getting into a manual car for the first time, they know, or think they know how to drive it.“These games are giving youngsters the confidence to get behind the wheel even when they shouldn’t be.”In November a 15-year-old boy caused the deaths of five people in Leeds when he crashed a stolen car into a tree after reaching speeds of 88mph.The teenager, who cannot be named due to his age, admitted five counts of causing death by dangerous driving and was detained for four and a half years. Mr King added that despite the myth that children are no longer interested in driving and prioritise social media, both driving lessons and tests are on the rise and teenagers remain as enthusiastic as ever.Currently, UK courts can impose driving bans on those who are legally too young to drive. Once they have turned 17 and their disqualification period ends, they will be able to drive again.RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said concerns were also being raised about how children were getting their hands on cars.He said: “There now appears to be a new way of children getting access to vehicles which involves legitimate adult drivers buying or hiring cars to let children, predominantly boys, have a go at driving, often for a fee.” Darnell Harte was killed along with four others by a 15-year-old boy driving in LeedsCredit:PA Darnell Harte was killed along with four others by a 15-year-old boy driving in Leeds AA president, Edmund King, said children's video games could be contributing to the problem More than 1,000 driving bans were handed to children in 2017 who were not old enough to drive, thanks to video games “giving youngsters the confidence to get behind the wheel”. It is feared that video games which are “teaching” young people to drive could be contributing to the number of underage driving bans being issued, rising from 696 in 2014 to 1,024 last year.Figures obtained by the BBC showed children as young as 12 were among those banned, with 33 disqualifications issued in total during 2017 for those aged 13 and under, according to DVLA statistics.It has been suggested that the rise could be down to children learning how to drive through their computer or gaming console.AA president Edmund King said: “There are more and more video games out there now that are able to effectively teach people how to drive.last_img read more

Jealous husband used wallmounted iPad in his smart home to spy on

The details of the incidents emerged as Ross Cairns was convicted of offences of stalkingCredit:Ricky Champagne/Cavendish Press Manchester magistrates’ court heard the the couple had been married for 16 years and had two daughters now aged five and three. Mrs Cairns told the hearing: “He repeated the conversation that I had with my mum. He said ‘oh, you don’t love me any more’. I told him that I would ring the police. I rang his mum to come to get him.”Mrs Cairns switched off the camera facility on the iPad and brought in an IT engineer to change the password on the system so Cairns could no longer access it – but the court heard he still logged in remotely.Whilst she was on holiday she found her Bumble account had been blocked due to “inappropriate content” and discovered an intimate photo had been posted on her profile.Prosecutor Neil White said: “They lived in a ‘smart house’ with various aspects of the property connected by an iPad-like device, including the alarm, lighting and heating.”He has been accessing the system when they were living separately and listened in on conversations. We submit that hacking into her phone to send messages, and listening in on conversations is stalking.”Cairns had denied wrongdoing, claiming he only accessed the home system to change the lights or adjust the volumes on the TV and not to view into the house. However, he was convicted of offences of stalking between August and November of last year and of using threatening behaviour towards his wife. A jealous husband used a wall-mounted iPad that controls the heating and lights in his home to spy on his estranged wife a court has heard.Electronics expert Ross Cairns, 35, monitored the movements and conversations of spouse Catherine by logging into a static device remotely using his mobile phone.The wall-mounted iPad had been installed by the couple as part of a home automation system at their house allowing them to access lighting, central heating and the alarm system when not at home.But after they split up and Cairns moved out, he used an app on his iPhone to log into an audio facility on the iPad so he could eavesdrop undetected as 33-year old accountant Mrs Cairns talked of their crumbling marriage.On one occasion when Mrs Cairns told her mother she no longer loved her husband, the father of two suddenly turned up on the doorstep and repeated the conversation she had just had, saying: “Oh, you don’t love me any more.”He also hacked into Mrs Cairns’ accounts on Facebook and the dating app Bumble and sent an intimate picture and obscene messages to men she had been chatting with online. Cairns will be sentenced in June. Ross Cairns 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

Parliament Square cars could be banned says UKs most senior police officer

Part of Parliament Square could be pedestrianised in the wake of the latest suspected Westminster terror attack, Britain’s most senior police officer has said.Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the move to ban vehicles from the road in front of the Houses of Parliament could be made in a bid to prevent further vehicle attacks – terrorists’ “weapon of choice”.A 29-year-old UK national – named as Salih Khater, a former Sudanese migrant – remains in police custody following his arrest on suspicion of preparing an act of terror after crashing a silver Ford Fiesta. Police revealed on Wednesday that he has been further arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.Addresses in the Midlands have been searched as police investigate the crash outside the Houses of Parliament in a suspected terror attack on Tuesday morning.The Fiesta was driven from Birmingham to London late on Monday, spent almost five hours in the Tottenham Court Road area and was then driven around the Westminster area for more than 90 minutes, before it crashed into a security barrier just before 7.40am. Steel and concrete barriers surround ParliamentThe Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete. Salih Khater is a former Sudanese migrant who is now a UK nationalCredit:Facebook There was nobody else in the vehicle and no weapons were found, police said.The car was removed from the scene late on Tuesday night.Questions over mystery white vanOfficers are also facing questions over a mystery white van which was seen behind the Ford Fiesta driven by the suspect.Another van was seen stopping on the other side of the road in the seconds after the crash. He added that the statistics relating to inquiries are “very, very challenging for police and security services who are constantly re-prioritising their investigations”.He went on: “There’s a big challenge in community policing which needs to be turned around and I’m sure that’s on the Home Office agenda.” Mr Khan added: “So some of the things we’re keen to do, working with the Palace of Westminster, working with the council and the experts, is to part-pedestrianise that part of Parliament Square immediately outside the gates to Parliament, but at the same time making it attractive… I think there’d be all sorts of challenges with doing the whole square because it is a thoroughfare for cars, vehicles, commercial deliveries going through London.”So it’s possible to have a design solution that meets the objectives… in relation to keeping our buildings and our people as safe as we can do, but also not losing what’s wonderful about our city which is a vibrant democracy and people can walk around our city, cycle around our city, safely.”Rooftop footage shows moment car hit cyclistsFootage captured on a rooftop camera showed the car’s approach towards Parliament, where it crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a group of cyclists before entering a small road and crashing into a security barrier. The terrorist threat against the UK is seen as unprecedented. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said there were 676 live investigations being carried out by the security services and counter-terror police at the end of June, up from more than 500 in March.Some 13 Islamist plots and four by far-right extremists have been foiled in the past 18 months, he added.There are roughly 3,000 active “subjects of interest” at any one time – while there is also a wider pool of more than 20,000 individuals who have previously featured in probes whose threat must be kept under review.Ex counter-terror chief: Security worked wellSir Mark Rowley, a former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner and the UK’s national lead for counter-terrorism policing, told Radio 4’s Today programme that constantly changing tactics by terrorists requires constantly changing tactics by the police, adding that “all that physical security worked really well yesterday”. Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018 He said police would be trying to understand the “ideology and the motivation behind the attack”, plus any possible associations. Police and security sources insist the driver was not being followed, however they confirmed an unmarked police van was in the area at the time of the incident.Both police and security sources insisted the suspect was not being followed, but they did not respond to questions of whom the van belonged to.’He was just deadpan’: what witnesses sawWitnesses described an emotionless driver ploughing through cyclists in what appeared to be a deliberate act. Three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. One man was treated at the scene while another man and woman were taken to hospital but both were discharged by Tuesday evening.Images posted online showed a man wearing a black jacket being led away in handcuffs from the car as armed police officers swarmed the scene.Video: Ford Fiesta that crashed is removed from scene Workmen measure up to replace a door broken in a police raid on a flat in Peveril Street, NottinghamCredit:Caters News  She said: “You will notice that the security around Parliament both in terms of armed officers and police officers and physical barriers has been further enhanced over the last several months and there is more to come on that in further months.”Whether that area outside should be pedestrianised further, there should be further physical works done, I think is a matter that will be discussed no doubt between parliamentary authorities, us, the intelligence agencies and indeed the local authorities and the mayor.”Video: Moment terror suspect is held by armed police Police outside Brinklow Tower in BirminghamCredit:James Ward/Caters The Bunna Internet Cafe in Sparkbrook, BirminghamCredit:James Ward/Caters Injured cyclists are treated by paramedics after the crash in WestminsterCredit:AP Khater was previously an accountancy student at Coventry University, but was kicked out after failing his first year.A university spokesman said: “Salih Khater studied accountancy at Coventry University between September 2017 and May 2018. As of May 2018 he is no longer enrolled at the university.”The spokesman added: “Salih Khater failed the first year of his course, therefore his enrolment was terminated.”Mayor of London backs part-pedestrianisationSadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, backed the part-pedestrianisation of Parliament Square, saying he is an “advocate” of the move.But he stressed there would be “all sorts of challenges” with making the entire area vehicle-free.Asked if the physical security around Parliament should be strengthened, including potentially pedestrianising Parliament Square, Mr Khan said on Wednesday: “I think it should be, I’ve been an advocate for a while now of part-pedestrianising Parliament Square, but making sure we don’t lose the wonderful thing about our democracy which is people having access to parliamentarians, people being able to lobby Parliament, visitors being able to come and visit Parliament. Internet cafe He said the apparent deliberate nature of the act, the method used and the “iconic” location of Parliament led the force to treat it as a terrorist incident.Suspect migrated from Sudan, studied accountancy at Coventry University… and loved Celine DionDetails have started to emerge about the Westminster suspect, Salih Khater, a Sudanese immigrant who studied accountancy in the UK and loved Western music and football.He lived in a small flat in Birmingham and described himself as a shop manager. Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff said it is believed the suspect had been living in his constituency.The suspect, who was said to not be co-operating with officers, was not known to security services, Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism head Neil Basu said. Video: Minute-by-minute – footage shows how crash unfolded Salih Khater Police outside Brinklow Tower in Birmingham Homes raided by counter-terror police officersCounter-terrorism officers conducted searches at two addresses in Birmingham and a residential property in Nottingham as part of the Westminster investigation.Plain-clothed police officers could be seen outside an address in Peveril Street in Nottingham on Tuesday evening, which was said by neighbours to be home to six Sudanese people.There was also a police presence near the Bunna Internet Cafe on Stratford Road in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, where Mr Khater is believed to have lived. Kirsty Moseley, of Brixton, south London, was a passenger in the first car behind the cyclists, who “were thrown everywhere” after being struck at what she estimated was 25mph.Ms Moseley, 31, added: “He (the driver) wasn’t shouting anything, he wasn’t screaming, he didn’t look crazed or out of control – he was just deadpan.” Salih Khater, who liked pop stars Celine Dion and Rihanna, is believed to have moved to the UK five years agoCredit:Facebook Jason Williams, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the “deliberate” crash.”It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang,” the 45-year-old said.Theresa May praises ‘formidable courage’ of policeAfter a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee, Theresa May urged the country to come together and carry on as normal.In a statement the Prime Minister, who is on holiday, praised the “formidable courage” and professionalism of the emergency services who “ran towards” danger.Home SecretarySajid Javid, who also thanked the emergency services, urged people to “keep an open mind” about the incident.Referring to the suspected act of terrorism, US President Donald Trump said on Twitter “these animals are crazy”. Westminster cyclists Ms Dick praised officers’ courage as they leapt into action following the “ghastly” crash at the entrance to the House of Lords.Over the past year-and-a-half, Westminster has become a target for attack for a variety of motivations, including terrorist, Ms Dick said. Salih Khater “What I’m seeking to do, you’ve seen since last March the temporary barriers across a number of our bridges, but also you can design in ways to keep buildings safe from hostile vehicles. You’ll have seen around Whitehall barriers which don’t look like barriers because they’ve been designed in a way to look attractive and not unattractive.Video: Khan is ‘advocate’ of banning cars near Parliament Workmen measure up to replace a door broken in a police raid on a flat in Peveril Street, Nottingham The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament. 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

Two serving soldiers helped smuggle illegal immigrants to UK from Calais

The Calais Jungle camp pictured in October 2016 Migrants wait on the roadside along the ring road leading to the port of Calais in July 2017 Migrants wait on the roadside along the ring road leading to the port of Calais in July 2017Credit:DENIS CHARLET/AFP When asked to open the boot he replied: “OK, I’m going to have to own up to this. There’s two people in the back.”An Iraqi and a Syrian man, both in their 20s, were found in the boot of his German-registered Hyundai hire car, hiding under the soldier’s combat kit. The trial continues. Two British Army soldiers were involved in a plot to smuggle illegal immigrants from the Calais Jungle camp into the UK, a court has heard.Lance Corporal Kyle Harris and Lance Corporal David Plumstead were both serving in the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment based in Paderborn, Germany, when they were involved in the scam during a two-month period, it is claimed.The initial agreement was to smuggle “one every Friday” for £5,000 each during trips back to England from their barracks, Maidstone Crown Court heard.It later increased to two at a time, with the immigrants collected from a McDonald’s near the encampment in Calais and then driven through the Channel Tunnel.The scam came to an end in May 2016 when an “anxious and nervous” Harris was stopped by Border Force officers at Coquelles.He told them he was a serving soldier, produced his army identification card and said he was on his way to spend two days with his mother in Epsom. However, not all of the trips were successful. 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. An attempt on April 29 was aborted after contact could not be made with an unknown intermediary who was helping with the migrant “collections”.On that occasion, Harris was joined in the car on his journey back to the UK by Plumstead, 24, who continues to serve in Paderborn.Plumstead told police he had travelled with Harris twice from Germany to the UK and that he had dropped him off in his hometown of Portsmouth.He said that on this occasion, it was Harris’s idea to stop at McDonald’s to use the lavatory and get some food.Plumstead said Harris had been using his mobile phone on the journey from their barracks in Germany, but denied calling or texting anyone on his behalf.Mr Hornsby told the jury: “Plumstead’s involvement in this conspiracy is a very minor one and did not involve the bringing of an illegal migrant into the UK.”But in getting into the car and going to pick up a migrant he must have been an active participant with Kyle Harris on this particular trip.”If that’s correct than he played a minor but nonetheless significant part of this conspiracy.”Plumstead and Ahmed both deny conspiracy to assist in the unlawful immigration to a member state. The Calais Jungle camp pictured in October 2016Credit:David Rose Harris, 29,  said he was to be paid £10,500 by an “unknown male” and hand the stowaways over in Solihull.He admitted people-smuggling earlier this year, blaming alcohol, drug and gambling problems.Walton Hornsby, prosecuting, said a subsequent Home Office investigation revealed that the incident was not a “one-off”, claiming that he was involved in six such organised trips between March and May 2016.He was even said to have boasted at the barracks about his involvement in the plot, allegedly orchestrated by Kurdish car wash owner Zinden Ahmed, 36, from Middlesbrough, who is described as the “central figure” and is also on trial.”He met up with Zinden Ahmed by arrangement at various venues within the UK,” Mr Hornsby told the jury.“Money was handed over, normally £2,500 in advance and £2,500 when the migrant was handed over.”In return, Harris brought over the illegal immigrant from Calais. He was directed to a McDonald’s in Calais, met the immigrant and put them, either one or two, into the back of his car, through immigration, onto a train into the tunnel and thereafter on to various venues in the UK where they were collected.”Three were successfully brought in, including Ahmed’s brother. The other two are unknown individuals.” read more

Prince Charles at 70 Touching tributes from Duchess of Cornwall Theresa May

He’s incredibly kind. I don’t think people see his incredible kindness and the things he does behind the scenes. People who worked for him years ago will write to him and if they’ve fallen on hard times he’ll do everything he can to help them. Put them on to the right doctors. I don’t think people see that and it’s not something he shouts about. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall Here, those who know him best pay tribute. The other thing, which probably doesn’t come over as well as it should, is that he has got…–– ADVERTISEMENT –– Philanthropist, eco-warrier, author, artist, gardener, father – and heir to the throne of Great Britain. In his many, many roles, the Prince of Wales has touched the lives of our whole nation. read more

Female couple in their 20s battered by four men after they refused

“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them. On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up.”The next thing I know is I’m being punched. I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness.”Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over. Our stuff was stolen as well.”I don’t know yet if my nose is broken, and I haven’t been able to go back to work, but what upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing, that sometimes it’s necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact.” She is still waiting to find out if her nose is broken, and is off work due to the attack.London Mayor Mr Khan is among those to have expressed his anger at the attack, and he tweeted: “This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack. Hate crimes against LGBT+ people will not be tolerated in London. The Metropolitan Police are investigating. If you have any information about this call 101 to report it.” Melania Geymonat has worked as an air hostess for RyanAir “They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions. I don’t remember the whole episode, but the word ‘scissors’ stuck in my mind.”It was only them and us there. In an attempt to calm things down, I started making jokes. I thought this might make” them go away.”Chris even pretended she was sick, but they kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it. “We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s— like this happens.”By the way, I am thankful to all the women and men in my life that understand that having balls means something completely different.” I just hope that in June, Pride Month, stuff like this can be spoken out loudly so they stop happening.”Describing how the attack unfolded, she wrote: “Last Wednesday, I had a date with Chris. We got on the night bus, heading for her place in Camden Town, climbed upstairs and took the front seats.”We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us. I don’t remember if they were already there or if they got on after us. There were at least four of them. Melania has worked as an air hostess for RyanAir 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 MP for the constituency in which the attack occurred, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted: “Horrified to see this homophobic attack against two women simply trying to enjoy a night out in West Hampstead. There can be no excuses, no space, for such obscene behaviour. My full solidarity is with these women and the UK’s LGBT community.” Horrified to see this homophobic attack against two women simply trying to enjoy a night out in West Hampstead. There can be no excuses, no space, for such obscene behaviour. My full solidarity is with these women and the UK’s LGBT community.https://t.co/ViajxDdERd— Tulip Siddiq (@TulipSiddiq) June 7, 2019 Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt added: “Appalled to see this kind of homophobic violence in the U.K., there’s no place for this kind of vile behaviour in our society. Please contact @MetCC if you have any information.”Detective Superintendent Andy Cox said: “This was a disgusting attack on two women who appear to have been picked out and targeted by a group of youths. The suspects have made a number of homophobic comments towards the couple before throwing coins at them. When the women tried to reason with the group, the attack escalated to an assault. “CCTV footage from the attack is being reviewed by detectives. We continue to appeal for information from the public, particularly those who were present on the bus before or after the attack to come forward and tell police what they saw.“A number of active enquires are in hand to trace other individuals suspected to have been involved in the incident. Lots of people will understandably be outraged by this attack. Our efforts to trace all the suspects involved and bring them in for questioning will be relentless.“Attacks of this nature on London buses are rare. I would like to reassure those heading out over the weekend that extra uniformed and plain clothes Safer Transport officers will be out on patrol working to keep them safe and prevent crime.”   A female couple were battered by a gang of four men after they refused to kiss “for their entertainment” on a London night bus. Four arrests have been made in relation to the attack, the Met Police said in a statement.The males, aged between 15-18, were taken into custody on suspicion of robbery and aggravated GBH.Melania Geymonat, 28, and her girlfriend Chris had been on a date in the capital last Wednesday and were heading home on the top deck of the bus when the men started abusing them. When they refused to kiss at the demand of the gang, they were viciously attacked. They were also later robbed of a phone and a handbag.Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the assault. She said: “This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected.”Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community.”In a post on Facebook, Ms Geymonat – who worked recently as a Ryanair air hostess and is originally from Uruguay – said: “I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because. read more

School children must be taught about different Education Secretary says amid LGBT

He said that in order to prepare children for life in modern Britain, they need to understand the world they are growing up in.“It is a world that is different from 20 years ago, when this guidance was last updated, and this is a significant step that will help young people to look after themselves and each other,” he said.While parents are allowed to withdraw their children from RSE lessons, they are only permitted to do so for the sex education sections and not for relationship education.Learning about same sex couples would be part of the latter section, meaning parents who disagree with this are not able to remove their children from classes.  Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Headteacherd, welcomed Mr Hinds’ intervention. “The Secretary of State has now made it abundantly clear that it is appropriate to teach primary-age children that there are different kinds of relationships, and that not every family is the same,” he said.“Dedicated public servants faithfully discharging their duty have an absolute right to feel confident and safe, pupils should never have to walk past noisy and aggressive protests on their way to school.”Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, has previously stated her support of schools running the “No Outsiders” course, adding that parents need to learn that “we don’t all get our way”. 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. School children must be taught about “different, strong and loving” families in the new relationship education lessons, Damian Hinds has said, in his strongest response yet to the Birmingham LGBT row.The Education Secretary said he would “strongly” encourage primary school teachers to discuss with children about how there are all sorts of types of families, including those with same-sex parents.His intervention comes amid a row over teaching children about LGBT relationships with several primary schools in Birmingham suspending the lessons following protests and petitions from Muslim parents.Parkfield Community School, along with five primaries run by the Leigh Trust, postponed the “No Outsiders” programme where children are taught  about same sex couples and gender identity.Hundreds of parents have protested outside the schools, saying that teaching children about LGBT rights and homophobia contradicts their Islamic faith.Meanwhile, Birmingham city council obtained a high court injunction to temporarily to bar demonstrators from an exclusion zone around Anderton Park primary, another school that was caught up in the row.The Government has published guidance for schools on how to teach Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), which will become a statutory requirement from September 2020.Mr Hinds said there is no reason why teaching children about “the society that we live in and the different types of loving, healthy relationships that exist” cannot be done in a way that “respects everyone”. read more

Swarm of flying ants over England so dense it could be seen

A flying ant day usually occurs when a spell of wet weather is followed by hot humid weather.Although referred to as a day, the mating ritual can last for several weeks in high summer.By the end, billions of ants will have taken to the skies. A cloud of flying ants that hit the south coast on Wednesday was so dense it could be seen in satellite images from space.The swarm of insects hit the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset and were captured on the Met Office’s radar. They were also spotted in East Sussex and Kent.The weather was perfect for ants to move into the “nuptial flight” phase of their reproduction, also known as “flying ant day” – where virgin queen ants are followed by male ants hoping to mate.As the queen sets off, she emits pheromones that attract the males.But when they follow her she will flee, meaning only the strongest are able to keep up and mate with her.The process helps to make sure her offspring are as fit as they can be.A Met Office spokesperson said the ants showed up on their image as a showers of rain because “the radar thinks the beams are hitting raindrops not ants”. It may have seemed like it was actually raining ants because male ants who have successfully mated shed their wings and fall to the ground where they will start new colonies.Flying ants are mostly harmless to humans, but they do have a strange effect on seagulls who can appear drunk after eating a few due to formic acid they expel. The latest view from space 📡 shows that our radar is picking up something that isn’t #precipitation along the south coast 🤔 pic.twitter.com/N4eU9n6Z6A— Met Office (@metoffice) July 17, 2019 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

Police bust man with unlicenced AR rifle handcuff bulletproof vest

The bulletproof vest and handcuff unearthed An intelligence led operation by the Police, on Thursday afternoon in the city, has resulted in the arrest of a 52-year-old male of church street, Georgetown and the seizing of an unlicenced AR rifle with magazine, a handcuff and one bulletproof vest from a motor car. Investigations are continuing. The AR rifle in questionAccording to the police, the suspect is a licenced firearm holder. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUPDATE: 9 busted in Barama River with high powered rifles, ammo, bulletproof vestOctober 25, 2017In “Crime”3 arrested for possession of bulletproof vestsJuly 11, 2019In “Crime”Police dismantle robbery gang during shootoutMay 20, 2019In “Crime” read more