Month: September 2019

Though Hes Still Battling Cancer Stuart Scott of ESPN

Stuart Scott, the ESPN host who is battling a rare form of cancer, posted on Twitter that rumors that he has been placed in hospice are false.His tweet read: “Rumor bout me in hospice. Not True. Airball. Swing & a miss. I continue treatment for C & missed some work but Hospice? No. Fighting? YES!”This summer, Scott—known for coining phrases like “Cool as the other side of the pillow”—gave a heart-wrenching speech at the ESPY Awards when he accepted the Jimmy V Award.Scott, 49, has been battling cancer in his stomach for seven years. He had his appendix removed and endured chemotherapy and radiation, and yet the cancer continues to return.Last month, Scott was greeted to an enormous ovation at the North Carolina Tar Heels’ Midnight Madness to kick off the basketball season. Scott attended UNC.“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott said then. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”He said he is encouraged to battle against the disease primarily because of his two daughters.During Scott’s acceptance of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, he said:“I listened to what Jim Valvano said 21 years ago, the most poignant seven words ever uttered in any speech anywhere: ‘Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.’ Those great people didn’t. Coach Valvano didn’t. So to be honored with this, I now have a responsibility to also not ever give up. I’m not special. I just listened to what the man said.”His strength in the face of the disease has been admirable. He has missed chunks of time from work as he deals with treatment. read more

Live By The Three Die By The Three Is Mostly A Myth

Were the Warriors just unlucky? Their opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were not a particularly good defensive team during the regular season, either overall or against perimeter shooters, although they may be better with Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson getting more minutes because of injuries. The Cavs forced the Warriors into some bad possessions, but the Dubs also missed on some good looks, shooting just 2-for-11 on corner threes.But there’s also the old adage: Live by the three, die by the three. If your shooters are going to get crazy hot on some nights, isn’t it inevitable that they’ll shoot a bunch of bricks on another, rendering a team’s offense more inconsistent and making it more upset-prone?Let’s look at some data from the 2014-15 regular season. In the chart below, I’ve sorted teams by the percentage of their field goals that were taken from 3-point range. Then I’ve looked at their game-by-game scoring, calculating their scoring range (as I’ll describe it throughout this article) as the span including the middle 80 percent of their games (that is, throwing out their top 10 percent and bottom 10 percent of performances).The Warriors, for instance, averaged 110 points per game in the regular season, while their scoring range ran from 98 points (at the 10th percentile) to 126 points (at the 90th percentile), a 28-point difference. That seems like a wide range … but it’s perfectly normal. The average NBA team this season had a 27-point scoring range. The average range since 1979-80 (when the 3-point shot was introduced) is 28 points.The Warriors weren’t the league’s most three-happy team, however. They were just seventh — behind the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. So maybe the Dubs were pretty steady, but were those other teams inconsistent?The Cavaliers were inconsistent: Their scoring range spanned 33 points, tied for the second-highest total in the league after Oklahoma City.2Like the Thunder, who dealt with injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Cavs went through numerous lineup changes and new “looks” over the course of the regular season. So that may reflect personnel changes more than inconsistency per se. But Houston, which took 39 percent of its attempts from long range (easily an NBA record), had a scoring range of just 25 points, below the NBA average. The three-happy Atlanta Hawks had a scoring range of just 24 points.What’s going on here? Are teams that shoot a lot of threes actually more consistent than others? (Maybe they’re more resilient when facing different types of defenses or benefit from having better floor spacing?)Actually, it’s mostly just because this data is pretty noisy. I ran a regression on all NBA teams since 1979-80 to predict their scoring range based on (i) the percentage of their field goal attempts that came from behind the arc and (ii) their per-game scoring average. Both variables have a positive and highly statistically significant relationship with a team’s scoring range. Teams that score more points have a wider scoring range, and, once you control for that, teams that shoot more threes do also.But statistical significance is not the same thing as practical significance. In the context of an actual basketball team, this result will make very little difference.Suppose, for instance, that a team scores 100 points per game and that 40 percent of its field-goal attempts are 3-pointers — higher, even, than this year’s record-setting Rockets. Its scoring range, according to the regression analysis, projects to be 29.7 points.What about a team that scores 100 points but does so with only 10 percent of its shots being threes? No team has shot such a low percentage of 3-pointers since the 1999-2000 Philadelphia 76ers, but we’ll run the numbers just for fun. That team, according to the regression, would have a scoring range of 28.0 points. So it’s more consistent, but only barely so; its scoring range is only 6 percent narrower. This just really doesn’t matter much.What matters a lot more, of course, is how effective a team is at scoring overall. The Oklahoma City Thunder, as I mentioned, had the most inconsistent offense in the regular season. But their 10th percentile score, 88 points, was still better than two-thirds of the league because they had a high per game scoring average.And Golden State’s 10th percentile score, 98 points, was better than what almost a third of NBA teams scored on average per game. The Warriors will have better shooting nights than they did Sunday, but their bad nights aren’t indicative of a fundamental problem — they’re just bad nights.CORRECTION (June 9, 11:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that if the Golden State Warriors had made 3-pointers at their regular-season accuracy rate, they would have won Sunday’s NBA Finals game 117-95. They would have won 111-95. “You’ll shoot your eye out,” I kept thinking while watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. The Warriors hoisted 35 3-point attempts and made only eight of them en route to scoring just 93 points. It was a maddening, sloppy game full of what-ifs. So … what if the Warriors had sunk threes at their normal accuracy rate?1The Warriors shot .398 on 3-pointers during the regular season, which would equate to making 14 of 35 shots. They would have won 111-95. read more

Serena Williams Only Loses In Big Upsets Because Shes Always A Big

For the second straight year, Serena Williams’s bid to make history at the U.S. Open was derailed in a semifinal upset. Last year, Williams was seeking to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988 and to tie Graf’s Open-era record of 22 career major titles when she was defeated by No. 43 Roberta Vinci. On Thursday night, Williams was two match wins from passing Graf in career major titles, but, hampered by an injury to her left knee, she lost to No. 11 Karolina Pliskova.Williams was ranked No. 1 heading into both matches. And according to win probabilities based on our tennis Elo ratings, both results were big surprises: She had a 97 percent chance of beating Vinci and an 87 percent chance against Pliskova.1In this article, our estimates of win probability heading into matches at this year’s U.S. Open use a blend of players’ overall Elo ratings and Elo ratings based only on hard-court matches, according to the methods described in our article about our tournament forecast. For earlier matches, we’re using probabilities based on overall Elo ratings for both players. That’s not unusual for Williams, who has left majors in two ways over the past five years, each one happening about as often as the other: Either as the champion (9 of 20) or as the loser of a big upset (11 of 20). She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning all 11 of the matches she has lost at majors since 2012 (her first year playing the majors in her 30s). Those 11 losses are among the 14 most surprising of her career at majors: In other words, her 14 Slam losses for which she entered the matches with the highest Elo-based win probabilities.The series of surprise losses is the result of two factors:1) Williams is losing more matches she should win, perhaps a reflection of increased susceptibility in her 30s to injury or wear during a tournament. She has won 89 percent of Slam matches since 2012 in which she had an 85 percent chance or better, compared with a 96 percent win percentage in the same type of matches before 2012.2In both time periods, the average of her win probability in these matches was 95 percent.2) Against a field with fewer all time-greats than she faced earlier in her career, Williams is playing a lot more matches as a big favorite, giving her more opportunities to be upset: She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning in 88 percent of her major matches since the start of 2012, compared with 64 percent earlier. read more

Sexy offense can be distracting

The sensual nature of modern times has seeped into college football. Offense has never been sexier. Whether it’s Penn State’s Spread HD, Oregon’s wide-open zone read or Florida’s shotgun spread offense, teams are piling up both points and “style points” in recent years. In 2008, Oklahoma rode the arm of Heisman winner Sam Bradford all the way to the national title game, smashing record after record in its path, eclipsing the mark for most points in a season. Four-star quarterbacks Bradford, Tim Tebow of Florida, Colt McCoy of Texas and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, defined the 2009 season. But substance doesn’t always translate to success. None of those teams won the big prize last season. Reigning national champion Alabama relied on a stout defense and a run-heavy playbook that would make Woody Hayes smile in its run to the top. The Ohio State offense will attempt to emulate the Crimson Tide’s winning formula in its push for an eighth national championship. That’s not to say OSU will run a “run and hide” offense a la the 2002 national championship team; anyone who has seen the first three games of the season would testify otherwise. But to attain success in football, one must protect the ball. Before the advent of the forward pass and subsequent explosion of offense in the game, field position ranked a close second. Thanks to the speed and athleticism of modern players, that’s no longer true. But that doesn’t mean coaches have forgotten about it. Jim Tressel believes the most important play in football is the punt. The punt is about as sexy as Larry the Cable Guy in a wet suit. Fortunately for OSU and its fans, the Buckeye offense has more than passed the eye test this year, becoming more Boise State than “three yards and a cloud of dust.” Part of that is because of the maturation of quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The reason Pryor has been given the keys to the sports car instead of the minivan this year is simple: He has minimized his turnovers. So long as No. 2 plays smart football, we won’t see the field-position, run-heavy offense Tressel employed following the Purdue loss last season. In fact, OSU leads the nation so far this season with a plus-10 turnover margin. That bodes well for an experienced team with a stifling defense, a balanced offense and a coach that knows how to close out games. In 2009, Boise State, who finished the season undefeated and beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, finished second in the nation in turnover margin. National champion Alabama finished No. 4. The top two teams in 2008? Florida and Oklahoma. The top teams in turnover margin that season? Florida and Oklahoma. If OSU is indeed destined for its eighth national title this year, it won’t be determined by Pryor’s numbers or “style points.” It will be because they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot going for the curvaceous blonde with no brains. read more

Tressel seeking 100th win at OSU

Jim Tressel (99-21) will be going for his 100th win as head football coach at Ohio State as the No. 2 Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) take on Indiana (3-1, 0-1) Saturday in Ohio Stadium. What does the potential accomplishment mean to Tressel?    “I guess I’m getting old,” Tressel said. “If you stick around long enough, you’re going to get some of those milestones.” Despite Tressel’s downplay, the win would be historic. Tressel would join Woody Hayes (205) and John Cooper (111) as the only coaches to top the 100 mark in wins as OSU head coaches. More noteworthy is how quickly Tressel might reach the plateau. “Woody got it his 144th game, Cooper his 138th game, and if Jim gets it Saturday, it will be his 121st game. That’s really something,” OSU football historian Jack Park said. Tressel has a chance of achieving another record. “If Ohio State wins every game the rest of the year and wins its postseason game, (Tressel) will have the highest winning percentage of any coach in the history of the Big Ten Conference that has coached in the conference at least 10 years,” Park said. Tressel’s success at OSU should come as no surprise considering what he accomplished at Youngstown State from 1986-2000. Tressel compiled a 135-57-2 record and won four national titles. “A lot of the things they are doing at Ohio State now are things they were doing at Youngstown State,” said Steve Helwagen, managing editor. “It’s just the Tressel form. It’s been amazing the success he’s had.” read more

Danica Deckard dominating for Ohio State field hockey

Senior forward Danica Deckard is athletically explosive on the field. “Her first three steps will eliminate most defenders,” said women’s field hockey coach Anne Wilkinson. Deckard has led the Ohio State field hockey team’s offensive attack in previous years, and her senior campaign is shaping up to be her best campaign yet. Last season, Deckard earned second team All-Big Ten honors and led the Buckeyes in goals, netting 11 scores in 20 games. In the nine games she has played this season, Deckard has already amassed 10 goals. “She’s really very strong, a tough player to play against and she’s a goal scorer. She loves to find the back of the net and if there is a will there is a way for her,” Wilkinson said. Deckard does not take any credit when she talks about her wealth of goals, though. “Yeah, the goals are going in, but it’s easy when you have the people around you that are getting you the ball in the right place and the right time,” Deckard said. Wilkinson recruited Deckard out of Selinsgrove Area High School in Selinsgrove, Pa., and has seen her advance in her OSU career. She said Deckard’s strength and dynamic play stands out. “Her physicality, she is just really very strong,” Wilkinson said. “She gets a good clean reception on it, she’ll take off on you.” During their first four games, OSU totaled four goals and Deckard was the lone source of offense, scoring all four unassisted. After the 2-2 start, Deckard was reunited with fellow senior forward Berta Queralt who returned from time with the Spanish U-21 national team. “It’s been four years, we know a lot about each other, where we are going to move. It’s great to have one of your classmates that is also on your line,” Queralt said. Queralt has assisted Deckard on two of her 10 goals and Deckard has assisted Queralt on two of her six goals. Deckard’s collegiate success extends beyond the field. She is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Deckard’s ultimate goals for this year are the same as they’ve been most years, but the senior is not looking too far into the future. “Our goal is always to win the Big Ten outright and then go to NCAAs,” she said, “but we’re really just taking one game at a time and trying to win each game.” read more

Ohio State mens hockey team enters final season in CCHA

The Ohio State men’s hockey team couldn’t have been more inconsistent last season. OSU returns 20 letter winners from last year’s squad that went 15-15-5, tying for eighth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and losing in the first round of the conference tournament. The team has six newcomers, all freshmen. The Buckeyes’ combination of youth and experience has OSU coach Mark Osiecki optimistic for the upcoming season. “I think after last year and the experience we gained, I think that the youth that we have, there’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement,” Osiecki said. The team’s growth, along with a number of other topics, including leadership, the CCHA, and the NHL lockout, were discussed heavily at OSU’s media day Oct. 1. Learning from 2011-12 OSU was one of the most inconsistent teams in the country last season. The Buckeyes were predicted to be a conference cellar dweller prior to the 2011-12 season but climbed to the top of the college hockey world by January, winning 14 of their first 19 games. OSU then fell off the face of the collegiate hockey earth, winning only one game in the final two-and-a-half months of the season. As disappointing as that was for OSU, it has them motivated to be better this year. “This year, having another year under our belt, we went through some of those highs and lows (last season) and we know what it takes to be consistent through the whole season,” said sophomore forward Max McCormick. What went wrong last season, according to junior forward Chris Crane, was a little bit of everything. One thing stood out though: poll watching. “I think we looked at (the rankings) a little bit too much, but I think the best thing we can take is it is something we can learn from,” Crane said. Osiecki has made sure that will not occur with this year’s squad. “At one of our preseason meetings, coach (Osiecki) talked about how to handle winning, and how to handle being successful. I think it’s something that we have to learn. There’s a process to it,” said senior defenseman Devon Krogh. Who’s going to wear the ‘C?’ For now, the Scarlet and Gray ‘C’s stitched to the sweaters of the OSU captains don’t have permanent homes. OSU had two captains all last season: former defenseman Sean Duddy and former forward Cory Schneider. This season, captains have yet to be named. “It’ll be interesting to see in terms of leadership. I think that’s one area where it’s going to be a team effort,” Osiecki said. “We’ve told them since day one … we’re going to continue evaluating it.” The Buckeyes have only four seniors, and Osieckisaid even the sophomores could be players that step up and lead. Rah-rah, in-your-face type leadership isn’t OSU’s style this season, though. “I think I’m a big believer in leading by example. They’re pretty big guys already – like grown up. So it’s little things like giving them advice before games,” Krogh said. Getting offensive Along with returning 20 letter winners, the Buckeyes also bring back five of their seven top scorers from the 2011-12 team. Crane and sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel led OSU last season with 24 points, and Osiecki wants his team to be more aggressive inside the blue line this year. “We want them to be more offensive and really put the pressure – I don’t want to say pressure, because pressure’s a bad word – but hold them accountable. We need Dzingel, Crane, McCormick, (sophomore forward Tanner) Fritz – they need to be offensive and they need to get looks at the net,” Osiecki said. Team speed should be an improvement this season as well, with freshman forward Anthony Greco – the team’s quickest player, Osiecki said – leading the bunch. “I think we’re a better skating team now than we were last year. We’re going to try to be a more pressure team, a more transition (team),” Osiecki said. On the road again OSU opens the season with six straight contests on the road: two at Minnesota Duluth, two at Quinnipiac and two at Bowling Green. Ten of the Buckeyes’ first 14 games are away from the Schottenstein Center. As young as OSU is though, with 17 freshmen and sophomores, going on the road early could be a benefit. “I think with a young team, it’s good to get on the road. It certainly brings you closer together,” Osiecki said. OSU concludes its regular season with eight of 12 games at home. The end of the season is when you want to be at home, in front of a raucous crowd gaining momentum for the postseason, Krogh said. “That’s when you really want to play well, going into the playoffs. So I think that’ll help,” he said. Goodbye CCHA, hello Big Ten The CCHA is disbanding after this season. Starting in 2013-14, OSU, along with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin, will form the first-ever Big Ten men’s hockey conference. Osiecki said OSU is already starting to reap the benefits of being a Big Ten hockey school, most notably in recruiting. “Especially if you’re in the state of Minnesota, or if you use recruiting differently in certain areas, but in Minnesota, it helps us get in the door of a household,” Osiecki said. “Does it help us land a kid? Maybe not yet, but it certainly opens the door now.” NHL lockout Columbus is home to another major hockey team: the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. For the time being, though, OSU is the only squad that Ohioans will be able to watch play. The NHL lockout has delayed the start of the Blue Jackets’ season, which means OSU could be featured more prominently in Columbus’ hockey spotlight. “Are we going to have a few more fans come in? I’m not sure. It’s a different style, a different brand. It’s obviously a little bit more affordable for families (than the NHL),” Osiecki said. One thing NHL fans that stop by the Schottenstein Center to watch OSU play can expect, Osiecki said, is an effort unlike that in the NHL. “College guys give it every single game. There’s two games a weekend. That’s it. They’re not playing 82 games. It’s such a different brand of hockey,” Osieck said. Building a program Osiecki, a Minnesota native and former NHL defender, is entering his third season at the helm of the OSU men’s hockey program. Despite the Buckeyes’ struggles at the end of last season, OSU’s coach and his staff are pleased with the way their program is developing. This season’s team, more than the previous two squads Osiecki has led at OSU, truly displays what college hockey should be about, the coach said. “When they step on the ice, or stepping in the locker room, they’re ready to go. The mentality of being a hockey player has really changed. It’s been fun to see that growth,” Osiecki said. OSU players have been itching to get on the ice as much as possible since last season ended, Osiecki said, and it’s something the coach loves to see. “You’ve got guys coming in this year – for the first time in the three years we’ve been here – you’ve got guys asking, ‘There’s open ice, can we go out and skate? Can we just go out and shoot pucks?’ No one ever asked that question before,” Osiecki said. OSU, with a storied football program and elite men’s basketball team, likely will never be a typical “hockey school.” It’s getting closer to being one, though. “My first year coaching at North Dakota, it was a great experience for me. The ice was there all day and kids came in periodically throughout the day and skated. They wanted to be a hockey player. I think we’re getting closer to that when kids are coming here, wanting to be a hockey player,” Osiecki said. OSU opens its season with an exhibition game Sunday against Waterloo at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes open the regular season Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. against Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, Minn. read more

Russell struggles as Ohio State mens basketball season ends with 7358 loss

For a half of basketball, the No. 10 seed Ohio State men’s basketball team was keeping pace with the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats for the right to head to the Sweet 16.But after trailing by just one at halftime, OSU (24-11) fell to Arizona (33-3) 73-58 on Saturday, ending its season in Portland, Ore.The Buckeyes were outrebounded by 17 for the game, and committed 12 turnovers as the Wildcats move on to the Sweet 16 and are set to take on the winner of Xavier vs. Georgia State in Los Angeles on Thursday.After a 28-point performance against Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday night, freshman guard D’Angelo Russell struggled in the first half shooting, as he made just 2-of-11 shots from the field.Russell, however, dished out five assists and added three rebounds in the first frame to keep the pace for the Buckeyes, as they trailed the favored Wildcats, 26-25, at halftime.He finished with nine points and six helpers for the game. He shot just 3-of-19 from the field.Arizona opened the second half pulling down rebounds and burying multiple shots from long range, led by junior guard Gabe York, who finished with 19 points, 15 of which came from deep.The Wildcats led by as many as 13 before OSU cut the deficit to eight with just under eight minutes to play.Within the minute Arizona’s lead swelled back to 13 as the Wildcats never trailed in the second half.Senior forward Sam Thompson, who scored just two points in the win over VCU on Thursday, scored seven points in the first half and added two blocks. He finished with a team-high 18 points in the game.Fellow senior, guard Shannon Scott added 10 points for the OSU, but also committed four turnovers in his final game as a Buckeye.Arizona senior guard T.J. McConnell, who lost to OSU two years ago in the Sweet 16, led the Wildcats with 19 points while adding six assists to go along with five steals.The loss means the end of the season for the Buckeyes, and the end of the OSU careers for Scott, Thompson, senior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald and redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee.Russell, is a projected lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft but has not yet announced a decision as to whether he will return to OSU for a sophomore season. read more

Mens basketball Ohio State hires Chris Holtmann as head coach

Butler head coach Chris Holtmann directs his team during the first half against Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Virginia advanced, 77-69. Credit: Courtesy of TNSOhio State announced it has hired Butler head coach Chris Holtmann to replace Thad Matta, who was fired Monday. Holtmann, the 14th head coach in OSU history, has agreed to an eight-year contract worth about $3 million annually, according to the press release.The initial report of Holtmann’s hire was first reported by Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch.“Chris is focused on academics, is a high-integrity person, a relentless recruiter with Midwestern ties and a proven winner,” said Athletics Director Gene Smith in the press release. Smith spoke about the importance of recruiting the Midwest at Monday’s press conference announcing Matta’s firing.Holtmann, who agreed to an extension with Butler through the 2024-25 season, spent the past three seasons at the helm of Butler. Last season, the Bulldogs finished 25-9 – Butler’s best record since 2012-13 – and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010-11 season, losing to eventual-national champion North Carolina.Butler finished with over 20 wins and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament in Holtmann’s first and second years as head coach.He was originally hired by the Bulldogs as an assistant coach in 2013, and spent a season in the position. In October 2014, he was named interim head coach when Brandon Miller took a medical leave of absence. Butler went 10-4 before the interim tag was removed on Jan. 2, 2015.The 45-year-old began his head coaching career at Gardner-Webb in 2010. His first two years in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, his team finished 11-21 and 12-20. But in his third and final year, the Runnin’ Bulldogs improved, achieving a 21-13 record and earning Holtmann a job offer as an assistant coach from Butler.Prior to being a head coach at Gardner-Webb, Holtmann spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Geneva (1998-1999), Taylor (1999-2003), Gardner-Webb (2003-2008) and Ohio (2008-2010). He was an assistant under former OSU assistant John Groce at Ohio.He has experience recruiting in the Buckeye State, as Butler reeled in commitments from Ohioans in each of its past three recruiting classes. His 2017 recruiting class is the No. 34 ranked class in the nation, according to 247Sports, and features 6-foot-6 small forward Kyle Young, a four-star prospect from Massillon, Ohio.In six years as a head coach, Holtmann owns an overall record of 114-85 and has reached the NCAA Tournament appearances on three occasions.Matta, who also coached at Butler, won 337 games at OSU, the most in program history. He presided over a program that reached the Final Four twice and reached the NCAA Tournament on nine occasions. Matta’s OSU teams won five Big Ten championships and won the conference tournament four times in his 13 seasons. read more

Carrie Fisher bought new home in London before she died

first_imgDisney, which owns the franchise, confirmed that “production had wrapped” on the film, which will see her reprise her role from last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, before her death.Film-makers remained tight-lipped about what would happen in the final planned episode of the film franchise.A documentary film about Fisher and her mother, veteran Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds, called Bright Lights, is still due to air next year.Premiered in Cannes in May, it follows the colourful family behind the scenes of their home for a heartfelt look at how Fisher cared for her mother as she went on performing at the age of 84. Sharon Horgan & I pretending we like each other while filming Catastrophe in London…..Succeeding!— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) December 19, 2016 Harrison Ford, her 74-year-old co-star with whom she had a youthful affair, said: “Carrie was one of a kind … brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.”Fisher, who became an international screen star when she appeared in the first Star Wars film in 1977, died in California on Tuesday morning, a family spokesman said.Her Star Wars legacy is set to continue as she returns as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: Episode VIII, due for release next December. Fisher’s main home was next door to her mother, Debbie ReynoldsCredit:Jill Connelly/AP Fisher in her most famous role, Princess Leia Fisher's main home was next door to her mother, Debbie Reynolds Carrie Fisher appearing on the Graham Norton show in DecemberCredit:PA Fisher had been in the UK to film scenes from the third series of Catastrophe, the comedy starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney as a newly-married couple and new parents.Fisher first appeared on the show in 2015, but had won a regular part as Delaney’s “awful” mother after Horgan persuaded her to join the cast. Carrie Fisher, the actress, had planned to move to a new home London before she died, buying a flat in Chelsea as a British base as she worked and spent time with friends.Fisher, who died this week at the age of 60, had hoped to build a stable part-time life while in London, after visiting regularly for work.Sources said she had bought a small Chelsea property while travelling in the UK for a recent publicity tour, inviting friends to visit her once she was settled in the new year.— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) November 24, 2016 She had also spent time in London publicising her book The Princess Diarist, appearing on a Christmas special of panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats, and on The Graham Norton Show in a episode broadcast earlier this month.The book topped the Amazon bestseller list yesterday, as fans downloaded and bought it to learn more about the star.Tributes have continued to flood in for Fisher, with her ex-husband, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, writing: “Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It’s too soon.” Carrie Fisher appearing on the Graham Norton show in December Fisher’s main home was next door to her mother, Debbie Reynolds, with Fisher walking over a small hill to visit her daily whenever she was in the United States.Though she was not planning to live in London full time, the actress had many friends and admirers in Britain, and was recently photographed walking her dog, Gary, here.She died on Tuesday, four days after suffering a cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles.She had posed for a photograph with a fan in Marylebone on December 22, a day before the journey back to America. Fisher in her most famous role, Princess Leia in Star Wars 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

Tom Daley confesses to cyber sex session with fan during relationship break

first_imgThe 22-year-old said the couple had struggled with their long-distance relationship  He added: “I’m 22 years old, and if you talk to someone through social media it is what it is. It was nothing more than that. We never physically met.”Fans had no idea the pair had temporarily split last year and Tom’s social media for 2016 is full of happy pictures of the pair. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It is claimed Daley sent pictures and videos to a 23-year-old from Liverpool during an 11-month online exchange Talking about his relationship with Mr Black, Tom said: “We’re soulmates — and the only way that we were going to get back to that point was to be honest, open and share everything that happened in our time away from each other.”Dustin told The Sun: “Tom and I talked about anything and everything that went on. That’s the secret to how we are so close and can survive tough times.”Mr Daley has been contacted for further comment.  Diving star Tom Daley has said he told his fiance of a cyber sex session with a fan while the couple were on an extended break and vowed it would “never happen again”.The two-time Olympic medallist reportedly sent explicit images to a stranger during some “time apart” from partner Dustin Lance Black last year.The 22-year-old told the Sun the couple had struggled with their long-distance relationship but they had since realised they were “meant for each other”.center_img According to the paper, Daley and the American screenwriter had a seven-month break in their romance, of which the couple chose not to speak publicly.They decided to temporarily split so the athlete could focus on the Rio 2016 games, where he won bronze, while Lance Black, 42, was filming a TV series in the US.It is claimed Daley sent pictures and videos to a 23-year-old from Liverpool during an 11-month online exchange.The diver told the paper: “This will absolutely never happen again now that we’re getting married. The date is set, and we’re raring and ready to go for that wedding now. The 22-year-old said the couple had struggled with their long-distance relationship Credit: Getty Images “We don’t have secrets in our relationship. We’re honest and open about everything. When we were back together I told him everything.” It is claimed Daley sent pictures and videos to a 23-year-old from Liverpool during an 11-month online exchangeCredit: ITVlast_img read more

Rabbit hole leads to 700yearold Knights Templar caves

The untouched caves, in Shropshire, apparently date back 700 years when they were used by the Knights TemplarCredit:Michael Scott / Caters The hole into the caves The inside of the cavesCredit:Michael Scott / Caters The Shropshire Star reports the caves “have also been visited by pagans and druids wanting to hold ceremonies, and are popular at solstice and Halloween”.They were reportedly sealed by the owners of the land in 2012 to deter vandals and practitioners of “black magic”. The untouched caves, in Shropshire, apparently date back 700 years when they were used by the Knights Templars The hole into the cavesCredit:Michael Scott / Caters The organisation estimated the caves were “probably late C18 or early C19, but undatable” and included “neo-Norman decoration to bays between columns, one neo-Norman doorway with beak-heads and roll moulding; decorative quatrefoils and designs abound”. Photographer Michael Scott said: “I traipsed over a field to find it, but if you didn’t know it was there you would just walk right past it. Considering how long it’s been there it’s in amazing condition, it’s like an underground temple.””I had to crouch down and once I was in it was completely silent. There were a few spiders in there but that was it. It was raining so the slope down was quite sludgy but inside the cave was bone dry.” Footage has emerged of an intriguing network of caves found through a rabbit hole that many believe were built by the Knights Templar order 700 years ago.The sanctuary in Shropshire is located under an unassuming set of what appear to be large rabbit holes in a farmer’s field near the town of Shifnal. The caves, some of which have to be accessed on hands and knees, are one metre underground and are carved out of sandstone. They feature several alcoves and a font.It remains unclear exactly what the caves were used for or when they were built, but Historic England describes them as a “grotto” and states it appears they have recently been used for “black magic rites”. The inside of the caves 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

I saw he was quieter and much more serious Westminster killer converted to

first_imgDetails of Masood’s history of criminality have continued to come to light, suggesting a propensity for violence which laid the groundwork for his armed rampage on Wednesday. Unarmed Pc Keith Palmer was knifed after the killer blazed a trail of destruction by driving a car at pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and storming the parliamentary estate armed with two knives.He was then shot dead by police.The middle-aged Muslim convert was born in Kent, but moved around the country and used a variety of aliases including Adrian Russell Ajao.Scotland Yard’s head of counter-terrorism Mark Rowley said detectives want to understand his “motivation, preparation and associates” and if he “either acted totally alone, inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him”.Detectives have seized 2,700 items from the searches, including “massive amounts” of computer data, while around 3,500 witnesses have been spoken to. Masood was jailed for two years over the 2000 attack in the car park of a pub in Northiam, near Rye, East Sussex, according to a news report at the time.The Brighton Argus reported that Masood, who stood trial as Adrian Elms, “left Piers Mott with a three-inch gash on his left cheek” requiring 20 stitches, after an altercation with “racial overtones”.Masood was known to police and MI5 but was a “peripheral figure” who was not implicated in any current probe.He had convictions for assaults, including grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences.Hero MP Tobias Ellwood, who tried to save Pc Palmer’s life, and security minister Ben Wallace have been appointed to the Privy Council for their roles in responding to the atrocity. A childhood friend of Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood has spoken of how his companion had completely changed after prison, where it is feared he was groomed for extremism behind bars.According to Mark Ashdown, 52, there were still flashes of his old friend’s personality, but otherwise he was like a different person.He told the Sun: “When he first came out he told me he’d become a Muslim in prison and I thought he was joking.”Then I saw he was quieter and much more serious.”I gave him some cash-in-hand work for a few months as a labourer.”He said he needed time to pray and read the Koran – something about finding inner peace.”Counter-terrorism officers have spent days piecing together what led the 52-year-old to shed his birth name and later unleash carnage on the capital. Only two men – a 27-year-old and 58-year-old arrested in Birmingham – remain in custody after a hunt for accomplices saw 11 people held after raids across the country. It remains unclear whether the destructive assault which left four dead and scores injured was carried out alone or with support.  Licensed to London News Pictures. 25/03/2017. London, UK. Members of public and police officers pay their respects to the victims of Westminster terror attack in Parliament Square 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. Searches at three addresses are continuing.Mr Rowley said: “We remain keen to hear from anyone who knew Khalid Masood well, understands who his associates were, and can provide us with information about places he has recently visited.”There might well be people out there who did have concerns about Masood but weren’t sure or didn’t feel comfortable for whatever reason in passing information to us.”Meanwhile, the widow of a man attacked with a knife by Masood in a pub assault said her late husband was injured after defending someone during a row. Ministers have announced plans to create specialist units within jails to tackle what a government-ordered review last year concluded was a “growing problem”.  Police said armed patrols would take place around Wembley Stadium and extra officers would be at the ground when England played a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday.There will also be a minute’s silence before the 5pm kick-off. Masood’s victims on the bridge included US tourist Kurt Cochran and his wife Melissa, from Utah, who were on the last day of a trip celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Mr Cochran was killed and Mrs Cochran was badly injured.Aysha Frade, who worked in administration at independent sixth-form school DLD College London, in Westminster, also died. She is believed to be a 43 year-old married mother of two. Leslie Rhodes, a retired window cleaner from Clapham, south London, died from injuries sustained in the attack. He was described by neighbours as a “lovely man”. Two people remain in hospital in a critical condition, one with life-threatening injuries.Pc Kristofer Aves and another police officer hurt in the attack are also in hospital with “significant injuries”. Mr Ashdown said that Masood’s personality was buried beneath the “deeply religious” man he had become.He continued: “There were still flashes of the old Ade, but they were few and far between.”I heard he’d split from his partner and got even more deeply into religion. But nothing could have prepared me for hearing his name on the radio.”His abrupt religious conversion will fuel concerns about the rising threat of criminals being brought under the influence of hardened jihadists while in prison.  Licensed to London News Pictures. 25/03/2017. London, UK. Members of public and police officers pay their respects to the victims of Westminster terror attack in Parliament SquareCredit:Tolga Akmen/LNPlast_img read more

Shameless touts target One Love Manchester with 10000 false claims for free

first_imgMy daughter was at the concert last wk but had no email. She’s devastated yet again. She’s not left the house since— Julie Maguire (@jmaguire11) June 1, 2017 The remaining tickets, intended for the general public, were snapped up within six minutes.Some were swiftly posted online at an increased price, with major ticketing sites Seatwave, Get Me In, Viagogo and Stubhub all pledging to block them.eBay said it was immediately remove any listings attempting to profit unfairly from the terror attack. Lies. My friend entered her correct details and hasn’t had an email, so unfair.— Alfie (@alfie_sandberg1) June 1, 2017 One woman, responding to a message explaining that unsuccessful applicants may have failed to prove their attendance properly, said: “I can show them my injury from when I was in the foyer and the bomb went off if they want to see it?” Absolutely have not received email, this is a farce!!! And so anxious for people who have been through enough!!!— trace77 🦋 (@TracyPaterson12) June 1, 2017 Ticketmaster later conceded a “number of fans” had not received their email, despite staff working through the night to verify thousands of bookings, and re-opened the system. The chaos led Ticketmaster to extend its deadline for applications until yesterday afternoon, after being inundated with complaints by those who feared they had missed their chance. An all-star concert to honour those affected by the Manchester terror attack has been targeted by ticket touts, who posed as victims to make more than 10,000 false claims for free seats as real survivors feared they had missed out.The One Love Manchester concert, headlined by Ariana Grande on Sunday night, has been swamped with “unscrupulous” requests for the free tickets offered to those who fled for their lives from the original show.Dozens of genuine fans feared they had missed out on their promised tickets, as organisers were unable to verify their details under the weight of applications. “Sadly, over 10,000 unscrupulous applications have been made.“At Ticketmaster we are doing everything we can – including extending today’s deadline – to ensure that tickets go to the actual fans and not the opportunists or touts who have also been applying for free tickets.”The concert will see Grande joined by a Manchester children’s choir, as well as stars Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Robbie Williams, Little Mix, the Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Pharrell Williams and One Direction star Niall Horan at Lancashire Cricket Club’s Old Trafford ground. #OneLoveManchester We’re working hard to get tickets direct to fans. We are cancelling tickets of those who are reselling wherever possible— Ticketmaster UK (@TicketmasterUK) June 1, 2017 Fans waited in a queue for tickets Some accused organisers of compounding the distress of their children, who have been recovering from the horror of the terror attack and had been buoyed by the prospect of seeing their musical idols.In a statement, Ticketmaster said: “We have set aside tickets for the 14,200 people who were at the Ariana Grande concert to attend One Love Manchester for free. More than 25,000 people applied for them. Pulled  together in a matter of days, it will see a major security operation from police forces around the country, including armed officers and stringent searches, to keep young concert-goers safe.This morning saw panic among fans, who did not receive email confirmation that their applications for free tickets had been successful and proclaimed themselves “heartbroken”, “devastated” and the system a “farce”.center_img I can show them my injury from when I was in the foyer and the bomb went off if they want to see it? If my tickets aren’t proof enough— ♔ROBYN♔ 142 (@RETR0GRANDE) June 1, 2017 I put the correct details in this is disgusting I am outraged and heart broken @ArianaGrande @scooterbraun @LiveNationUK @katyperry #help— Ryan Dixon (@ryanjohncasting) June 1, 2017 Wow, some people really do sink low. #OneLoveManchester— Mike P Williams (@Mike_P_Williams) June 1, 2017 Suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up as fans were leaving Grande’s concert on May 22 So thats it? Everyone who hasn’t got an email but witnessed this horror on Monday just gets ignored?! People are panicking and getting upset— malum // malec ➰ (@dominatemalum) June 1, 2017 A spokesman for Ticketmaster condemned “opportunists” who had taken advantage of the offer, and confirmed all genuine applicants would get a seat as long as they provided the correct proof of their attendance. Ariana Grande will return to Manchester Fans waited in a queue for tickets Despite working through the night, a source said, Ticketmaster staff had to battle known touts and members of the public chancing their luck by claiming to have been at the concert when it was hit by a suicide bomb attack which killed 22 and left many others injured.Tickets for the tribute show, which also went on sale to the public for £40, swiftly appeared on resale websites for £200 a piece, leaving eBay, Ticketmaster and others tracking down the culprits and cancelling their seats. All net ticket proceeds of the show will go directly to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, set up by Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross to support grieving families and victims of the attack.The BBC will broadcast the concert live on BBC One, and across BBC radio with TV coverage airing from 6.55pm to 10pm, hosted by Sara Cox and Ore Oduba. 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

Philip Pullman to name character after teenage Grenfell Tower victim as auction

first_imgThis is happening on the Philip Pullman ‘name a character’ lot and I’m now sobbing uncontrollably. #authorsforgrenfell— Laura Steven (@LauraMSteven) June 26, 2017 Inspired by this, many people have added money to the pledge, to ensure the character is named after Nur Huda. The character will be in the new novel from the acclaimed author, the second in the ‘Book of Dust’ series.Philip Pullman wrote: “This book will follow the first part of THE BOOK OF DUST, ‘La Belle Sauvage’, which will be published in October this year. The second part (not yet titled) will follow next year. The right to name a character doesn’t guarantee that he or she will be good, bad, beautiful or otherwise, but it will be a speaking role with a part to play in the plot.”People have now raised over £17,000, and the amount is going up all the time.No one has asked for another name since the name Nur Huda was suggested. “Please outbid me by lots though – it’s an important cause”. Nur Huda el-Wahabi Credit:Facebook 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.center_img Nur Huda el-Wahabi  He said: “I expect this will go for a lot more (and I hope it does) but here goes: £1,500.”If this is still the leading bid on Tuesday, I’d like to call the character Nur Huda el-Wahabi.”The real Nur Huda was an ex-pupil of mine who lived in Grenfell Tower and didn’t make it out of the building that night.”A life that was so full of promise has been cut short in the most terrible way.”As well as raising some money, this would mean her name would live on. Plus Nur Huda is a pretty cool name for a character. Philip Pullman is likely to name one of the characters in his newest book after one of the young victims believed dead after the Grenfell Tower blaze following an auction campaign which has raised thousands of pounds.The Authors for Grenfell campaign is raising money for the families affected by the fire as authors auction off literature-based prizes.Philip Pullman has offered to give a name of the winner’s choice to one of the characters in his latest book.A teacher of 15-year-old Nur Huda el-Wahabi, who is believed to have died in the fire along with her family, pledged £1,500 to secure her name.last_img read more

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle mania as couple visit Brixton youth radio

first_imgAt first glance it may have seemed a world away from their normal Kensington Palace lives.But Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received the warmest of welcomes as they visited a Brixton community radio station, coming away with a host of new friends, an elaborate handshake, and no shortage of offers for their wedding DJ.The Prince and his fiance were left seeming overwhelmed by their reception, surrounded by screaming admirers as hundreds of Londoners turned out onto the cold streets to shout: “We love you.”At one point, the noise proved too much for even the experienced ears of Prince Harry, who exclaimed “it’s so loud” before encouraging Ms Markle to give fans another wave.The generosity of strangers in her new home was, Ms Markle told one member of the crowd, “incredibly kind”, as she disclosed she was, naturally, “so excited” for her forthcoming May wedding. “He said ‘what, events?'” Mr Asiamah wrote on Twitter afterwards. “Fair enough.” After accepting bouquets of flowers and pictures made for them by children, the Prince and Ms Markle departed hand-in-hand.The public appearance, their first of 2018, came as it emerged Ms Markle had closed down her social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  “She is beautiful. Prince Harry is lucky to have her – and she is lucky to have him.” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Harry and Meghan greet noisy crowdsCredit:Andrew Parsons / i-Images At one point, station manager Adrian Newman told Prince Harry they had a question for him.The Prince, deferring to his fiance, pointed to Ms Markle and insisted: “She answers the questions.”“Yes, talking of gender equality!” Ms Markle agreed, smiling. Crowds awaiting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Reprezent 107.3FMCredit:Andrew Parsons / i-Images Just slipped Prince Harry the old business card in a bid to secure that #weddingdj gig @KensingtonRoyal @ReprezentRadio @meghanmarkle #triedit #godj— Jevanni Letford (@JevanniLetford) January 9, 2018 Prince Harry and Ms Markle visit Reprezent, BrixtonCredit:Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph Who do I call to DJ at the reception, @RoyalFamily? Also, can I bring a plus one? Safe.— P O T É (@PoteVersicolor) January 9, 2018 Gender equality close to Ms Markle’s heartIn the room next door, the couple meet with some of other young volunteers, DJs and those on the training programme, embarking on a discussion of an issue close to Ms Markle’s heart: gender equality.YV Shells said: “I couldn’t believe it when she spoke to me and said she had heard about my work on gender equality. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Reprezent 107.3FM Another woman in her 40s who wished to be known only as Tracey said: “I like her humanitarian work, I like that she had a career of her own – and I like her feminism.”  The couple, who were making just their second public appearance together, were praised by DJs and young people at radio station Reprezent, who gave them a crash course in new music and a seven-staged fist-bump handshake.DJ YV Shells, 24, from Woolwich, who juggles his medical degree with his work at the station, proclaimed them “so cool, so down to earth”, while Remi Adermi, 24, said of her handshake lesson: “I just thought it was now or never. He’s a cool guy, a sweet guy. And he did it!” “She just couldn’t hide her excitement when Grace asked her,” the children’s mother Helen added. “She was glowing.” Introduced to Gloria Beyi, 17, Ms Markle showed she had been listening carefully to information about the station, quizzing her on her future before declaring: “It’s amazing, it so cool.”She went on to praise the presenter, adding “I can see why your show is so popular. You’re so thoughtful and your approach is so engaging” before leaving bystanders in giggles with the promise: “I must tune in.”Prince Harry, who had thus far impressed young people at the radio station, faltered down slightly when asked by Jeremiah Asiamah whether he had heard of Giggs, a rapper. The Prince and Ms Markle spent 45 minutes at Reprezent, delaying their departure to undertake an impromptu walkabout outside. So basically I asked Prince Harry… does he know about Giggs … he said what events…Fair enough 😂🤷🏿‍♂️— Jeremiah Asiamah (@JeremiahAsiamah) January 9, 2018 Queen of the airwavesThey had arrived in Brixton, London, at 3pm, waving to visitors before stepping inside the social enterprise radio station for a private meeting with founder Shane Carey to learn about station’s success. It has so far trained more than 4,000 young people and nurtured talent including grime star Stormzy.Though they chose not to appear live on air, the Prince and Ms Markle were then taken into studios to meet the DJs and donned headphones to listen to a track: ‘Flirt’ by the artist Poté. Crowds awaiting Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleCredit:PA Meghan ‘couldn’t hide her excitement’As the couple left the studio, they made a detour to waiting crowds of well-wishers to shake hands and thank them for attending.Meeting Grace White, ten, and her sister, Olive, seven, Ms Markle thanked them for their proffered flowers and answered a question on whether she was excited about her wedding with an animated: “Of course I am!” One DJ, Jevanni Letford, went one step further, showing his entrepreneurial spirit as he slipped Prince Harry a business card, offering to perform at the couple’s wedding. “It was beautiful, if I am honest with you. I am firm believer in normal behaviour when it comes to women, not special, just normal, which means respecting people.“It spun me that she mentioned it.”Prince Harry told him: “As males we have to do our part or it’s not going to work.” Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleCredit:Stephen Lock / i-Images A palace source said: “Ms Markle is grateful to everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years, however as she has not used these accounts for some time. “She has taken the decision to close them.”  Prince Harry and Ms Markle visit Reprezent, Brixton Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle arrive at POP Brixton to visit @ReprezentRadio 🎧— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 9, 2018 Harry and Meghan greet noisy crowds Meghan Markle smiles during a visit with Britain's Prince Harry to the Reprezent 107.3 FM According to Shane Carey, CEO and Founder, it was Prince Harry and Ms Markle who approached him three days before Christmas, asking whether they could come and see the station for themselves after learning about its work with The Queen’s Young Leaders.”We didn’t invite them, they approached us just before Christmas,” said Mr Carey. “I was asked to give a major presentation the next day and have been working on this non-stop ever since.”The reason they are coming is because we are aligned very closely to their interests, we do a lot of work around mental health. The whole model of Reprezent is peer mentoring, and I know that is something that really interests Prince Harry.”This is brilliant for us. We have been slogging at it for 15 years and to actually have the spotlight shone on us in this way is remarkable.” Speaking after the visit, one member of the crowd, foster carer Sharley Watson, 55, said: “It’s good to see Meghan in Brixton, a black community – it’s the first time we’ve had a royal visit here.  “Hopefully she will want to help areas like this. I hope she liked it. I think she would like it even better at night – she could try out the nightlife.”  Meghan Markle smiles during a visit with Britain’s Prince Harry to the Reprezent 107.3 FMCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA .@KensingtonRoyal HRH Prince Harry – Ms. Meghan MarkleReprezent is ready for you! 👑— Reprezent 107.3FM (@ReprezentRadio) January 9, 2018  DJs at the radio station spent the morning excitedly discussing the visit, testing one another on their knowledge of all things royal and proclaiming themselves “gassed”. ReprezentThe Reprezent training programme was established 10 years ago in response to the rise in knife crime, to help young people develop and socialise through radio. Calling children “sweetie” and asking for their names, Ms Markle made her way along a line of people accompanied by Prince Harry, telling one gentleman who promised to go to Windsor for their wedding: “That’s incredibly kind, thank you so much.”  In the On Air studio, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle meet presenter Glory as she records her show for @ReprezentRadio.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 9, 2018 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

Watch memorial held for victims of Westminster terror attack one year on

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. Victims of the Westminster terror attack have been remembered at a special vigil.The ceremony in Westminster Hall was held to mark the first anniversary of the attack and was attended by politicians, senior police officers and people involved in the incident.Five people were killed, including Pc Keith Palmer, and dozens of others were injured when 52-year-old Khalid Masood launched a car and knife attack on Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster before he was shot dead.Earlier on Thursday, MPs observed a minute’s silence as Speaker John Bercow asked members in the House of Commons chamber to pause “in respectful memory” of those who died on March 22 last year.With heads bowed, MPs from different parties stood side-by-side along the green benches to pay their respects ahead of digital, culture, media and sport questions.The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, told the gathering: “A year ago, darkness struck across Westminster Bridge and in this palace.”It spread across the bridge like a snake, driving to left and right, killing and harming.”Friends share their memories of late Leslie Rhodes Rev Hudson-Wilkin praised Pc Palmer, saying he “ran towards the danger in order that we might be safe”.The vigil included a two-minute silence for the victims of the attack.Officer fights back tears as he pays tribute to friend PC Palmer Masood’s rampage left five people dead – 48-year-old Pc Palmer, who was on duty at the Palace of Westminster, along with US tourist Kurt Cochran, Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, and Britons Aysha Frade, 44, and 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes who were mown down on the bridge.Prime Minister Theresa May was not at the Westminster Hall service because she was attending an EU summit in Brussels.But Downing Street said she had attended an earlier private service in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster.Pc Palmer’s name will be one of 1,400 inscribed on the new UK Police Memorial being built in Staffordshire, commemorating officers who were killed on duty. Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Speaker’s chaplain, told the service: “A year ago today on this estate and on Westminster Bridge we were visited by what I regard as evil.”last_img read more

Piranha fish found in Chichester sewer as water company pleads only flush

first_imgIndigenous to the Amazonian basin, the piranha is a freshwater fish which can range in size from 5in to 20in depending on the species.They have been characterised in films and the media as extremely predatory due to their powerful jaws and feeding frenzies but in fact are omnivorous and pose a relatively low threat to humans. A water company has pleaded with householders not to flush exotic animals down the toilet after a piranha fish was discovered in a sewer in Chichester.The flesh-eating creature was found by a startled member of staff at Southern Water who was carrying out checks at the West Sussex treatment works.The South-American river predator, which normally hunt in packs, can rip flesh to shreds in a matter of seconds.Although the newly discovered piranha was dead and posed no threat, having most likely been flushed away after dying naturally in its tank, water bosses said that only ‘p’s that should go down the toilet were ‘pee, poo and paper.’Southern Water spokeswoman Nicola Crichton said: “Obviously someone who owns exotic animals must have flushed it down the toilet, I don’t think it managed to migrate all this way.”People will flush anything down their toilets, we once found a bed sheet at the waterworks, and find all sorts of strange things.” Alligators have been reported in the New York sewers  A page from The Telegraph in October 1989 And in the 1800s, a strange story circulated around London that the sewers of Hampstead were home to a population of  black pigs. It was claimed that a pregnant sow had fallen into a drain and been unable to find its way out.On the 10th October 1989, The Daily Telegraph reported that ‘the Hampstead sewers shelter a monstrous breed of black swine, which have propagated and run wild among the slimy feculence, and whose ferocious snouts will one day up-root Highgate archway, while they make Holloway intolerable with their grunting.” Alligators have been reported in the New York sewers center_img A page from The Telegraph in October 1989 Strange animals living in the sewers have been a part of urban legends since modern drainage began. There have been tales and anecdotes about alligators living the sewers of New York since the New York Times ran a story in 1935 claiming youngsters shovelling snow had found a creature writhing in a storm drain and dragged it out.New Yorkers are now so proud of legend that on February 9th they celebrate ‘Alligators in Sewers Day’.In 2008, the Eastbourne Herald reported that sewer workers at Southern Water’s treatment plant in Eastbourne, East Sussex, claimed to have seen a strange humanoid shadow in the underground passages, which would follow staff.They also reported muffled conversations emanating from behind the tunnel walls. Speaking of the latest sewer dweller, Southern Water communications officer Simon Fluendy said: “Our campaigns normally focus on stopping people flushing plastic-based materials such as wet wipes, sanitary products, condoms and nappies down the toilet.”There’s only the three Ps which should go down the loo – pee, poo and paper. Piranhas are not one of them.”We like to make it clear, we do not believe that there is any risk of shoals of piranhas swimming around our sewers – this would be highly unusual.”We would like to reassure our 4.6 million customers that it is safe to use their toilets as normal.” 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

Dr Jane Barton The Oxfordeducated GP at centre of Gosport hospital scandal

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Dr Jane Barton was educated at Oxford University, graduating with a degree in medicine in 1972.She worked as a GP in Dorset before joining the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in May 1988 as a clinical assistant.Her part-time role meant she had responsibility for the day-to-day medical management of the patients on two wards and also for prescribing the drugs needed.Dr Barton’s manner was sometimes questioned with one grieving relative claiming she overheard her say: “We’ve got another weeper here”, when she began crying.When she was brought before the General Medical Council over her role in the scandal, she claimed her long working hours and the intense pressure of the job had impacted on her performance.In a statement she said: “Anyone following this case carefully will know that I was faced with an excessive and increasing burden in trying to care for patients at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital.“Throughout my career I have tried to do my very best for all my patients and have had only their interests and wellbeing at heart.” The couple live in a £700,000 detached home in Gosport, but there was no sign of them on Wednesday, with neighbours claiming they had gone to Menorca.A neighbour said: ‘She doesn’t have many friends around here. I only know her from seeing her across the street. She’s friendly.” She is married to retired Royal Navy Commodore, Tim Barton, who has previously defended her role in what happened.In 2002 he told a newspaper: “Instead of trying to find a new Harold Shipman, it might be more constructive to ask why a part-time GP was looking after 48 beds.” Dr Barton was found guilty of professional misconduct but was not struck off and later retired to enjoy her hobby of wildlife photography. Show more read more

Girl nine dies after being struck by rock fall in Staithes North

A 9-year-old girl has died of serious head injuries after a rock fall at Seaton Garth in Staithes. North Yorkshire Police were contacted at 4.47pm to reports of an incident at the seaside town. Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance, Air Ambulance and Coastguard were all in attendance.Sadly, despite the efforts of the emergency services, the girl died at the scene from her injuries.Her family are currently being supported by specialist trained officers. The accident occurred under the cliffs in the seaside village of Staithes, north Yorkshire Credit:R A Kearton/Moment RF  The RNLI said in a statement: “The RNLI can confirm that volunteer crew members of Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station responded to a rock fall at Seaton Garth in Staithes this afternoon.”The RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew attended to a child who sadly died at the scene.”The RNLI, and in particular the volunteers of Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station, would like to share their deepest condolences with the child’s family.” 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 accident occurred in the seaside village of Staithes, north Yorkshire  read more