Robert Griffin III Impressive in Leading 1st GameWinning Drive

In his first attempt to bring his team back in the waning moments of an NFL game, Washington’s Robert Griffin III had more than the Tampa Bay Bucaneers’ defense to contend with: He was playing on the road, so the crowd was a factor. And then, all of a sudden, the headset in his helmet to communicate with the coaching staff went dead.Not good.And not surprising to the Redskins’ Santana Moss.“Happens every time,” Moss said. “No lie. I’ve been in the league 12 years, I’ve been in plenty of games, and the home team goes, ‘Oh well.’ ” Then he mimicked yanking an imaginary plug out of a wall.Whatever the reason for the technical difficulty, Griffin had to take Moss and the Redskins all the way down the field, and do so with only the single play he ran onto the field with after a touchback stopped the clock with 1:42 to play and the Redskins down 22-21.And he did. Griffin, using arm and legs,  methodically moved the Redskins down the field for the game-winning field goal by Billy Cundiff as time expired.Before Tampa Bay’s Connor Barth kicked a field goal to put his team up late in a second half in which the Redskins had scored zero points, backup Rex Grossman turned to Griffin on the Washington sideline and said, “You want them to make this so you can lead the team down the field and win.” Griffin laughed and said, “Yeah, I also want him to miss this field goal.”Above all, Grossman’s position shows just how much the Redskins think of RG III.“Every week,” Grossman said after the game, “the way he handles himself. The way he translates what he learns – it’s extremely impressive. As a whole, that’s the most impressive thing to me. Not the plays he makes, but the total sum of what he’s been doing. It’s the whole [expletive] thing.” read more

Dont Leave Big Papi

Right now, Ortiz’s Hall of Fame odds are right on the boundary. If he decided to retire tomorrow, his current JAWS total of 42.6 would yield a 25.4 percent prediction for the Hall, about a one-in-four shot. But Ortiz is in a critical part of the curve: Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS system projects that he would add another 7 WAR (for a JAWS score of 46.2) if he played through 2019, and with that boost he would be almost a coin flip to make the Hall, with a predicted probability of 46.3 percent. Although he may not realistically be able to add that many WAR anyway — projections are an imperfect science — each small contribution boosts his chances substantially.Obviously, this methodology is a simplified way to quantify Ortiz’s Hall of Fame prospects. In addition to his prodigious regular-season achievements, Ortiz is a postseason hero who helped lead Boston to a curse-breaking World Series win. He also has the specter of a positive steroid test hanging over his record — which can be enough for some Hall of Fame voters to deny a player, regardless of his on-field contributions. So Ortiz’s case comes down to a lot more than just his JAWS total.But at this point in his career, every little bit helps. With a place in Cooperstown on the line, maybe Ortiz will reconsider his decision to retire and keep slugging away for another couple of years. At age 40, David Ortiz is off to the second-best offensive season of his long and distinguished MLB career. He’s also set to retire at the end of the year, no matter how well his 2016 season with the Red Sox ends up going.“My body, man,” Ortiz explained to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. “My body’s pretty beat up. Remember, if you look at guys my size, they don’t last. I noticed that seven or eight years ago. That’s why I needed to start doing things right. I lost 25 pounds. I started eating better, do things better. But let me tell you: It’s not easy, man.”He makes a compelling case. But for the purposes of building a Hall of Fame résumé, Big Papi might also be making a strategic error in hanging up his spikes: A few more years of even modest production could mean the difference between enshrinement and not.To judge Ortiz’s Hall chances, I used Jay Jaffe’s JAWS score, which balances the peak and total wins above replacement for each player relative to the average for his position — in Big Papi’s case, first base. (Yes, Ortiz has spent most of his productive years as a designated hitter, but since the position has existed since only 1973, JAWS lumps Ortiz in with first basemen.) My model uses logistic regression to turn a first baseman’s JAWS score — and whether he was a known performance-enhancing drug user1This part is based on my informed judgment about whether mainstream baseball writers consider the player associated with PEDs. It also applies to only top-40 players at the position since, realistically, almost everyone below that level has a near-zero chance of getting into the Hall — so marking them as steroid users or not wouldn’t make a difference. — into a probabilistic prediction of whether he’ll be inducted in Cooperstown someday.2I also manually marked three players as certain Hall of Famers, though they aren’t yet eligible: Albert Pujols, Jim Thome and Miguel Cabrera, all of whom are well above the typical thresholds for induction. read more

Phil Jacksons Legacy With The Knicks Isnt All Bad

Phil Jackson is no longer leading the New York Knicks’ front office, agreeing to leave the organization Wednesday. In the video above, Neil Paine discusses Phil Jackson’s legacy with the Knicks.Read more: At Least Phil Jackson Didn’t Leave The Knicks In Ruins

Football AD Gene Smith talks Kevin Wilson and new coaching changes

Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith sits down with The Lantern on Jan. 24. Screenshot by Colin Hass-Hill | Assistant Sports DirectorOhio State’s 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl came as a shock to many. What happened after the Fiesta Bowl wasn’t surprising to anyone.Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson were hired to co-coordinate the offense while former coordinators Ed Warinner and Tim Beck took on other opportunities. Day will coach the quarterbacks and Wilson will coach tight ends on top of their duties as offensive coordinators. Warinner was named Minnesota’s offensive line coach and Beck will coordinate Texas’ offense.OSU Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith told The Lantern in an exclusive interview that those discussions of revamping the coaching staff happened immediately after the game in Glendale, Arizona.Smith said Meyer approached him to talk about staffing after the conclusion of the Fiesta Bowl. Meyer and Smith worked out a schedule over days of meetings, pinpointing selective dates when Meyer wanted to have matters concerning his staff completed.“(Urban Meyer) began to talk about people and who he wanted to get, and so we went through that process and he kind of had a vision of what he thought he needed to do,” Smith said.One of those people was Wilson, whom Meyer has known for a long time. Wilson resigned from his head-coaching position at Indiana University on Dec. 1 during his sixth season with the Hoosiers amid “philosophical differences” with Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass. Multiple reports cited Wilson’s treatment of players, including one player who told the Indianapolis Star that Wilson forced him back during an injury.Smith said the first thing discussed regarding Wilson was the terms of which he left Indiana.“We talked about that from the beginning before (Meyer) even made the call (to Wilson),” he said.Meyer and Smith discussed, at length, how they would vet Wilson before offering him the position. The two assembled lists of people who could talk about Wilson as a coach and as a person. The first name on Smith’s call list was Glass, who Smith said is a good friend of his.“(Glass and I) kind of went through the details of what happened there and I felt comfortable at the end,” Smith said.“Urban and I came together and we talked about what we found out and we felt comfortable. Kevin sat at this table and we had a good conversation on what happened there, and how it’s going to work here. He was thoroughly vetted and we had a good, candid conversation. He’ll fit our culture fine.”Smith declined to share details on the conversations he had with Glass or Wilson to respect their privacy.Smith said he also reached out to people who were at the University of Oklahoma when Wilson was the Sooners’ offensive coordinator from 2002 to 2010. Smith added that his one-on-one, sit-down conversation with Wilson was “phenomenal” and Meyer’s familiarity with Wilson’s career helped him decide that the former Indiana coach was ethically suited for the job.Regarding the other hired coaches, Smith expressed his excitement for Day and new linebackers coach Bill Davis, who replaced former co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.“Ryan Day is, like, off the chain and Kevin Wilson is like a mad scientist. They’re really, really good people and they fit our culture,” Smith said. “We had Bill Davis in mind and he was already here (as a defensive analyst). And so that was a benefit for us.”Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of The Lantern’s conversation with OSU Senior Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith. Part 2 will print in Thursday’s paper. read more

Turners position switch leads to uncertain rotation

It’s no secret that the Ohio State men’s basketball team wants to run its offense through Evan Turner. Coming off a season in which he led the team in nearly every offensive category, the junior will again be the Buckeyes’ focal point, but from a new position.Turner, who spent the majority of his first two years as a forward, is expected to transition this season into OSU’s point guard position.However, his move to the point creates a log jam on the Buckeyes’ roster. Both P.J. Hill and Jeremie Simmons played significant time at the position last season and there is debate where each will fit in this year. Perhaps the easiest and most likely solution for Simmons, a senior, is to move him to shooting guard. The former junior-college transfer is thought to be one of the better outside shooters on the team, and said he expects to see time at both positions.“[The coaches] still want me to play some point guard because I can handle the ball,” Simmons said, “but I think I’ll play a little more wing this year.”It is also possible that because the Buckeyes plan to have a faster pace on offense this year, both Turner and another point guard could be on the court simultaneously, Simmons said.“I like the up-tempo ball,” he said. “We can have two point guards out there at the same time because it’s like the spread offense. Everybody can bring up the ball.”For Hill, also a former junior-college transfer, competing for play time is nothing new. He entered last season as a third-string point guard, behind both Simmons and Anthony Crater. But when Crater transferred out of the program after just 10 games, Hill found himself in competition for the starting spot.In the team’s 26th game of the season, and the 49th game of Hill’s career, the senior made his first start. After waiting his turn for nearly two years, he appeared to be ready to take the reins as the Buckeyes’ point guard. Now Hill might have to take a back seat again. It is inevitable that as Turner takes over the position, Hill will see less playing time than expected, but he said he fully supports the change.“Evan, he’s real versatile and he can do a lot of stuff for us,” Hill said. “Coach [Matta] believes that, and I believe too, that wherever coach puts him at will be best for the team and will make us successful.”While some may see the move as a demotion for Hill, he said being designated to a backup role is more positive than negative.“It definitely doesn’t take away from my game,” Hill said. “It actually adds to it, because it makes me work harder and then be more productive in the time that I’m on the court.”Even though Turner will start at point guard, Matta said he expects the team to use him at nearly every position on the floor. As Turner moves through the lineup, there will be chances for Hill to make an impact.If there was an argument to be made for Hill’s playing time, he made it himself during the team’s summer exhibition games in Canada. In the Buckeyes’ 90-39 win over the University of Windsor, Hill shot seven of nine from the field and recorded 18 points in just 20 minutes of play.Hill’s 18 points were more than he has ever scored in a Buckeye uniform, but just like he has done in the past, Hill has embraced his role on the team, no matter what it is. “I’m just going to get in where I fit in,” Hill said. “When I come in the game I’ll just be productive as usual. I’ll bring energy and just try to make a big impact.”Regardless of when and where Hill and Simmons end up playing this season, the Buckeyes will live and die with the play of Turner at the point, and Hill expects Turner to thrive at his new position.“Evan is such a great player and he can not only create for himself, but he can create for others,” Hill said. “Good things happen when he has the ball. He’s a very special player.” read more

Reverend suspended after being arrested on suspicion of voyeurism

first_imgA senior clergyman has been suspended by church elders after he was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism at a shopping centre.The Very Rev Martin Thrower, 55, has been banned from the pulpit for now by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in Suffolk after he was detained by police.The churchman’s shocked wife Pauline said the arrest had caused his family “great sadness” but insisted they were all standing by him with “unconditional love”. Whilst this has come as a shock to us as a family we are all supporting Martin with unconditional love at this difficult time.Pauline Thrower Mr Thrower in front of St Mary’s Church, Hadleigh, SuffolkCredit:Su Anderson/Archant Mr Thrower in front of St Mary's Church, Hadleigh, Suffolk Mr Thrower, a widely-respected figure in the local church, has been rector of Hadleigh with Layham and Shelley for the last seven years.The father-of-three also holds the important regional positions of Dean of Bocking and Rural Dean of Hadleigh.Mr Thrower was arrested on August 4 at the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich. He hasn’t been charged over the serious allegations but has been bailed to return to Suffolk Police HQ in Martlesham, near Ipswich, in October.John Howard, spokesman for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “I can confirm that The Very Rev Martin Thrower, Rector of Hadleigh, Layham and Shelley, and also rural dean of Hadleigh, has been arrested by Suffolk Constabulary for voyeurism.”He has been suspended from all offices within the diocese until further notice. We have made arrangements to look after his church duties and to offer support to his parishes at this difficult time.”Mr Howard added: “We will make no further comment while the police investigation is ongoing. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with everyone affected by this situation.” 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. Mrs Thrower told the East Anglian Daily Times: “It is with great sadness that we find ourselves in the situation we are now in.”Whilst this has come as a shock to us as a family we are all supporting Martin with unconditional love at this difficult time.”Mr Thrower has led the church in Hadleigh since 2009 and leads a team that has been doing a lot of work in the local community.His determination to shake up St Mary’s in Hadleigh sparked controversy three years ago as he said he wanted to remove many pews to create a more flexible space.The Victorian Society objected to his radical scheme. But Mr Thrower, who has three children got his way after winning permission from church leaders and the work was carried out.His church has since been used by a much wider variety of community groups as a result of his pioneering blueprint.One of these is the Porch Project for youngsters aged from 11 to 20, who meet there twice a week for leisure groups.Although it is backed by St Mary’s and meets there, it is a separate organisation and supports 300 youngsters in Hadleigh.The market town has regularly been slammed for a lack of activities for young people.At the time of the firestorm over the pews in 2013, Mr Thrower insisted: “Churches weren’t built with pews in.”They were built to be the community space, to have the market in and host big meetings and we have an aspiration to return the building to being the true parish church.”last_img read more

Lifttheflap books may stop toddlers learning new words say scientists

first_imgDr Shinskey said: “Books with these sort of features are very popular with parents who hope the interactive feature will aid learning and enjoyment of reading.“However, if parents want their children to learn factual information about the world from books, it doesn’t appear to help to make books more toy-like by adding 3D features.“This seems to enhance their tendency to treat books as just another type of physical toy, rather than a tool for learning.“As the findings suggest young children can find these features in a book distracting we would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the world around them.”The research was presented at the British Psychological Society’s Developmental Psychology Section annual conference. They are meant to make learning more fun and interactive, but lift-the-flap books could significantly harm a toddler’s chance of learning words, a new study suggests.Picture books for children often include unusual textures or pop-ups, which are thought to encourage engagement and keep youngsters interested.But researchers found that when toddlers have to hunt for a word or object they are less likely to remember it.In tests with 31 toddlers, those who used books with lift-up-flaps were half as likely to remember words compared to those using normal books. 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 Jeanne Shinskey, a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London said: “Many educational picture books for toddlers often feature manipulatives like flaps or texture to encourage interaction, but do these actually help toddlers to learn new words?“We wanted to test how a commercially-available book with or without flaps affected two-year-olds’ learning of a new word for an unfamiliar object.”For the experiment the toddlers were split in to two groups. Each group were asked to look through a book with a researcher that contained nine food objects including a new fruit they had not seen before – a starfruit. Children were half as likely to remember the word starfruit when using flap bookscenter_img We would recommend having a range of books available so children learn to love reading as well as learning more about the worldDr Jeanne Shinskey Children were half as likely to remember the word starfruit when using flap books The books were exactly the same but one had lift-the-flaps and the other had these sealed.Around 68 per cent of the youngsters who looked at the book without flaps correctly remembered the starfruit at the end of the session compared to just 30 per cent of those who were given books with flaps.last_img read more

Exserviceman admits attempting to burgle Wayne Rooneys mansion

first_imgAn ex-serviceman has admitted the attempted burglary of Wayne Rooney’s mansion as the footballer played in his club testimonial match.Robert McNamara, 24, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to attempting to enter as a trespasser at the striker’s family home in Prestbury, Cheshire, with intent to steal on August 3.The alarm at the Manchester United and England star’s £6 million property in Prestbury was reportedly triggered at about 9pm and police descended to carry out a full search of the area. Rooney, his wife, Coleen, and their three sons, Kai, Klay and Kit, were attending the charity tribute game at Old Trafford against his first club, Everton, when the break-in bid took place.McNamara, of Newby Farm Crescent, Scalby, was arrested six days later. The prosecution case was not outlined during the brief hearing but the court heard that McNamara had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and that his concerned family had sought help earlier this year from Combat Stress, a veterans’ mental health charity.Judge Nicholas Woodward said there were “very worrying features” in the case as he adjourned sentencing until December 21 for a pre-sentence report to be carried out by the Probation Service. Robert McNamara, 24, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court  Robert McNamara, 24, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court Credit:Neil Jones 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

Waitrose rebrands its British ready meals which are made with meat from

first_imgLet’s test this. Describing a meat dish as ‘British lamb’ but making it from New Zealand lamb is…— Herdwick Shepherd (@herdyshepherd1) February 12, 2017 @waitrose can you explain this ?? British meals made with NewZealand #lambs 👿👿👿 #buybritish ?? pic.twitter.com/FOQXinBFMq— rattycastle (@rattycastle) February 12, 2017 Waitrose is to rebrand some of the ready meals in its “British” range because they use meat from New Zealand.The microwaveable meals will instead be labelled “Classic”, after criticism from consumers.The change will only affect recipes containing lamb, such as the Lamb Hotpot and Shepherd’s Pie. Products made from pork, beef and chicken will keep the “British” branding, as all the meat used in those comes from the UK. The problem was first noticed last year, at which stage stickers were places on the front of the packs to make it clearer that the lamb was from New Zealand.Now the supermarket chain is to go further with by rebranding the packaging.”We are about to re-launch the range with the branding “Classic”, removing the large ‘British’ reference from the front of pack,” a spokesman for the supermarket said. “This was only ever supposed to denote the origin of the recipe but we understand why confusion has arisen.” The supermarket is now looking into getting more British meat into its ready meals.The National Farmers Union (NFU) President Meurig Raymond told the BBC: “We made our concerns very clear to Waitrose right from the beginning on this product.”The inclusion of the word ‘British’ in the brand name despite the meat being sourced from New Zealand is misleading for shoppers – and it’s frustrating for British farmers, especially those who produce lamb Waitrose could have sourced.”center_img A farmer from the Lake District had started a poll on Twitter at the weekend asking whether the previous lamb labelling was acceptable or not.It attracted over 4,000 votes in 12 hours, with 97 per cent of respondents voting “Unacceptable (and a lie)”. @skier517 Hi Trish, ‘British’ is the name of the range of meals denoting the origin of the recipe. We understand why confusion has arisen.— Waitrose (@waitrose) February 13, 2017 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

Soaring numbers spending 12 hours in AE with 100000 cases in three

first_imgDr Chris Moulton, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “Waiting times in A&E are going through the roof. We have got an older population, with increasingly complex needs, but not enough beds so we are seeing more and more cases stuck in A&E.”“It has been getting worse and worse for years but we are now seeing this rapid deterioration because it’s like an elastic band,” he said.“The NHS can stretch and stretch but now the elastic is close to snapping,” the A&E consultant added, highlighting concerns that death rates are higher in crowded casualty units.Liz McAnulty, Chairman of the Patients Association, said: “These figures are shocking, and reveal a serious degradation in patient experience and safety over a very short period of time.”She expressed concern that the elderly were being forced to endure some of the worst delays, with previous figures showing the longest waits are among pensioners.It comes amid fears of shortages of doctors this weekend, amid accusations that some locum doctors have run an “organised campaign” to hold the NHS to ransom by threatening not to work unless given higher rates of pay.Agency doctors say new tax rules which came in last week and attempt to clamp down on tax avoidance will leave them worse off. “Since Theresa May became Prime Minister the decline in standards for NHS patients has been unbelievable,” he said. “Behind each of these statistics is a patient suffering and in discomfort.”An NHS England spokesman said: “We have just announced a series of measures for implementing the next steps of the Five Year Forward View aimed at relieving the intense pressures A&E departments have come under this winter. We expect these to have a direct and significant impact on the numbers of patients having long waits for a bed.” The NHS can stretch and stretch but now the elastic is close to snappingDr Chris Moulton, Royal College of Emergency Medicine Experts said the provisional figures, published by NHS Digital, reflect major bed shortages across the NHS. A target to treat 95 per cent of A&E patients within four hours, or else admit them to a hospital bed, has only been hit once since 2014. It comes as the NHS plans for an expected rise in A&E pressures over the long Easter weekend, with many GP practices closed for four days.Jonathan Ashworth shadow health secretary, said the new figures were “astonishing and totally unacceptable”. 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. MORE than 100,000 patients have been left in Accident & Emergency departments for more than 12 hours in recent months, amid a five-fold increase in delays, NHS data reveals.The disclosures triggered warnings of a “serious degradation in patient safety” as the NHS is braced for a surge in A&E pressures over the long Easter weekend.The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said waiting times were “going through the roof” with warnings that “the elastic is close to snapping” in some parts of the health service.The statistics show that over a three-month period, 105,718 patients spent at least 12 hours at major casualty units – almost twice the figure last year, and a rise from 19,322 such cases four years ago.The figures from NHS Digital covering all A&Es show 48,000 delays in January alone.Yet health officials announced just 985 such delays – because NHS England only discloses the cases where a doctor has taken the decision to admit a patient to hospital.Now the UK Statistics Authority is to investigate why health officials only publish such cases, amid concerns that a wealth of delays have gone ignored.Patients’ groups said the latest disclosures covering the period from November to January – were “shocking” – amid warnings that A&E pressures could spike again over the four day weekend ahead, as GP surgeries close.last_img read more

MS forced to change lavatory signs after complaints of sexism

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 male toilet sign at Marks and Spencer at the Holmbush Centre in Shoreham, Sussex She added: “This is in your Holmbush store at Shoreham. Please could you explain why this happened in your recent revamp and what plans you have to ensure that if you continue with these signs that both signs reflect or just have no pictures of children in for the future.”It has nothing to do with baby changing. They are the entrances to the male and female toilets, there are no baby changing facilities in the toilets. It’s just plain sexist for all concerned, men and women. Symbols means a lot.” The male toilet sign at Marks and Spencer at the Holmbush Centre in Shoreham, SussexCredit:Brighton Pictures/ Sharon Sawyercenter_img Jenni Readman also commented: “The signage represents an outdated assumption that women will be the only ones taking children to the toilet as there is nowhere, according to the signage in this store, for men to take children to the toilet.”The design was also condemned by Sussex Police hate crime ambassador Sergeant Peter Allan, who wrote on the Facebook thread: “This should not be happening in 2017.”A spokesperson for Marks and Spencer said: “Our baby changing facilities are in a unisex area and we also provide a baby changing mat in both the male and female toilet facilities.” M&S has been forced to change lavatory signs in their stores after complaints of sexism. A customer at the chain’s Holmbush store in Shoreham spotted that the female toilet sign showed a woman with a baby while the sign for male toilet just showed a man, and claimed this suggested that only women look after children. Writing on Facebook, Sharon Sawyer said: “I was surprised and disappointed at the pictures for the toilets.”I expected being a family store that you understood that families very much share children’s needs and personal care, not just women. “The picture shows a woman and child. The picture in the comments just shows a man, why?”last_img read more

Theresa May Appalling that Scottish Government put pressure on MS

“And I think it is frankly appalling that the Scottish government did not want to see the Union Flag and the word British on produce.”It’s not only appalling, it fails to reflect the vote that took place in Scotland, which showed that people in Scotland want to stay part of the United Kingdom.”It emerged last week that in a briefing to Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Rural Affairs Minister, a civil servant said that M&S had promised to “urgently investigate” the categorisation of Scotch and reported back that there had been an error. Although the company confirmed that the website had been changed, officials then suggested that it issue a public message to “clarify” that the mistake had been rectified. They also promised that Mr Ewing “would respond positively” if M&S did so. whisky A whisky ‘nosing’Credit:Getty Theresa May has condemned the Scottish Government’s “appalling” behaviour after MPs were told it did not want the Union flag and the word British on food and drink labelling.SNP ministers were accused of leaning on Marks and Spencer after documents showed that officials telephoned the high street giant “to seek clarity on the situation” after Scotch whisky was listed on its website as being from the UK. Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Tory MSP, said at the time there was “not a person in the world who doesn’t know whisky is Scottish”.A separate briefing on Tesco strawberries recommended that “no formal action is taken at Cabinet Secretary level at present”, but asked whether Mr Ewing wanted a meeting “in the near future” with the supermarket.Both cases prompted a series of SNP supporters to write to Scottish ministers, with one questioning whether it was “an attempt by Westminster at a spot of brainwashing or is there something more sinister going on.”The Scottish Government said the documents showed it had raised public concerns “in a constructive manner”. M&S was contacted about its signage for ScotchCredit:Getty 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. M&S A separate briefing marked “urgent” was sent to Nicola Sturgeon over Tesco’s decision to change the branding on Scottish strawberries from the Saltire to a Union Flag.Luke Graham, the Scottish Tory MP, and a former M&S employee, asked Mrs May at Prime Minister’s Questions if she would stand with him “against this petty bullying and support companies that are proud of Scottish and British produce”.The Prime Minister said she “absolutely agreed”, adding: “We should all be proud of Scottish and British produce, of produce from any part of our United Kingdom. read more

Boris Becker becomes Central African Republic diplomat after 90minute meeting despite never

The three-time Wimbledon champion is asserting diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings, as creditors chase him over a £54 million debt. However, his case rests on whether or not he has been duly appointed to the attache role, and that is a source… It may also be news to residents of the Central African Republic, as it emerged that Becker has never visited the country and his only public effort since his April appointment as “sporting, cultural and humanitarian affairs attache in the European Union” has been to wish his Twitter followers a “Happy Africa Day”. When Boris Becker announced that he had become a diplomat for the Central African Republic, it came as a surprise to tennis fans. 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

Private schools refusal to embrace new GCSE marking system gives pupils major advantage

Meanwhile, state schools are effectively forced to take the new GCSEs, after the Department for Education removed iGCSEs from league tables in 2017.–– ADVERTISEMENT –– This Thursday, thousands of students will receive their grades, many of whom are the first cohort to take the new “tougher” GCSE courses. Many independent schools have declined to switch over to the reformed qualifications which use a numerical grades, opting instead to continue with international GCSEs – known as iGCSEs – which use A* to G. Private schools are giving their pupils a major advantage by refusing to embrace the new 1-9 GCSE marking system, it has been claimed. “Independent schools are likely to have stayed with the iGCSE partly because… 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

Theresa May switches on Downing Street Christmas lights

Prime Minister Theresa May turned on the Downing Street Christmas lights with help from three children from her Maidenhead constituency. 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.

Christmas deliveries now taking two days longer than previous years as online

Retailers struggling to cope with a bigger than expected online shopping boom are taking too long to deliver items, resulting in a surge of complaints from shoppers. Research by retail analysts at accounting firm Accenture show retail delivery times during the Christmas period have gone up, with firms now taking an average of five days to deliver, compared to 3.6 days last year.It tracked the deliveries of 57 retailers and found one in three are slower at getting parcels to their owners than their stated maximum delivery.  A quarter of retailers admitted they were struggling to cope with purchasing demands at peak times.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––And in a further kick in the teeth, customers are also being asked to spend more in order to qualify for free delivery, with the spending threshold for free delivery rising by 5 per cent compared to last year, it found. It comes after official stats showed retail sales jumped more than expected in November, helped by Black Friday promotions and stronger growth in sales of household goods.Official figures showed sales rose 1.4 per cent from October, despite economists’ forecasts of a 0.3 per cent gain.Separate data from complaints handling firm Resolver shows complaints about online shops and delivery firms in December has soared when compared to the same period last year. This December it has taken 443 complaints a day about online shops and delivery firms, having tripled from last December when 166 complaints a day were taken. Siobhan Gehin, managing director at Kurt Salmon, part of Accenture Strategy, said: “While many retailers delivered an excellent customer experience, a surprising number of retailers struggled to deliver a strong ordering and delivery experience across channels.  Those retailers now only have a limited window to fix problems with longer delivery times and technical issues ahead of the Boxing day and January sales, if they’re to satisfy customer’s high expectations.“Certain UK names are consistently strong while others need to re-focus investment to enhance their competitive agility and ensure they’re equipped to deal with promotional peaks. As brands face fierce competition and wavering customer loyalty, poor performance during these crucial calendar events can leave a lasting impression. “ Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Prince Philip crash As Duke takes delivery of another Land Rover will

The delivery driver backed the Land Rover out of the… The Land Rover is the same model as the one Prince Philip, 97, was driving in yesterday’s crash, which also involved a Kia. A replacement Land Rover, previously driven by the Duke of Edinburgh, has been delivered to the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, hours after his car was involved in a horror crash. It is believed to be the same car he has been seen driving near to Balmoral in September 2018, with a shared number plate.  Armed police were on hand as the replacement vehicle was delivered to Sandringham, where Prince Phillip is now recovering. A black Land Rover Freelander was driven into Sandringham inside a delivery truck on Friday morning.

Oxford City Council uses plane with thermal imaging to clamp down on

The government funding has enabled Oxford City Council to visit more than 1,000 suspected beds in sheds since January last yearCredit:Oxford City Council/SWNS 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 aircraft spotted illegal structures where often vulnerable people are charged to live in cramped squalor The council funded its operation after securing a £274,942 grant from the government’s Controlling Migration Fund, which aims to prevent the exploitation of migrants.It now plans to inspect a further 400 suspected “beds in sheds” by the end of the year as it urged residents to report any suspicions of people living in illegal accommodation.Linda Smith, from the council, said: “We work proactively to drive up standards in private rented housing and we won’t tolerate rogue landlords exploiting tenants by providing substandard and dangerous housing – whether this is a bed in a shed, a house in multiple occupation or a family home. “Conditions in some of these beds in sheds are appalling and we won’t accept this.”  In 2013, Slough Borough Council estimated that up to 3000 people were illegally living in their town after it used a plane to construct a 3D map of every building. Rogue landlords who housed tenants in garden sheds were snared after a council flew an infrared plane above homes where suspected migrants resided.Oxford City Council deployed an aircraft equipped with thermal imaging technology to identify illegally built structures where people were found living in “appalling” conditions.The aircraft uses a sensor to detect high heat emissions from buildings that have not been “officially mapped” on the Ordnance Survey Mastermap produced by the council.The sheds, which were rented out for profit, were often constructed without planning permission or building approval. Twenty-one sheds have been shut down by the local authority with 31 enforcement notices served on landlords since it began its search in January last year.Two landlords have been prosecuted but the council is unable to provide details as their cases are still “in progress”. Other councils have used aircraft to detect heat signals from “suspicious dwellings” in order to locate illegal immigrants in the past. The aircraft spotted illegal structures where often vulnerable people are charged to live in cramped squalorCredit:Oxford City Council/SWNS The government funding has enabled Oxford City Council to visit more than 1,000 suspected beds in sheds since January last year read more

Govt has to curtail its highhanded approach in dealing with farmers

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMotion to reverse MMA/ADA rate hike to be tabled in ParliamentJanuary 18, 2017In “Local News”RPA condemns ‘over 600%’ increase in land rent for farmersJanuary 14, 2017In “latest news”Op-Ed: Draconian MMA-ADA rate hike ‘political punishment targeting farmers’ – RamsammyJanuary 18, 2017In “Opinion”,Rice farmers from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) have once again expressed their disapproval over the increases in land rental rates by the Mahaica, Mahaicony Abary/Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA), which were announced earlier this year.Rice farmers protested the MMA increases in land rental rates at the Agriculture Ministry on WednesdayOn Wednesday, a group of irate farmers gathered outside the Agriculture Ministry where they vented frustrations over the 2017 hikes. The Agriculture Ministry announced the increase of land rent from $3500 to $15,000 per acre, which represented a 600 per cent increase and land rates from $1000 to $7000. MMA had stated that the fee is implemented so that it can take care of drainage and irrigation.The farmers however clearly stated that they cannot afford the increases, highlighting that the future of their offspring is in jeopardy.“From $1000 an acre we ah pay to over $7000 an acre, is better de Government take back de land and plant um heself; if you can’t plant to survive, you got to make de jail lil bit mo big and abbe ah get mine in de jail… wha de lil child dem gone do when they grow, crime escalate high and higher,” a protester noted. He further vented that these increases are coupled with a rising cost of living.Meanwhile, a farmer from Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice (WCB), expressed similar concerns. He, along with other farmers, noted that Agriculture Minister Noel Holder has repeatedly ignored their calls for dialogue.The WCB farmer also decried the reduced earnings farmers have been receiving for their paddy. “We [are] getting a very hard time with the MMA and Minister for Agriculture. In de MMA scheme you cannot get more than 25-30 bags of paddy,” the WCB farmer expressed.The farmers told the press that while they are receiving $1300 for a bag of paddy, it was noted that manure amounts to $1000 per bag.“They recommend that you got to throw three doses [but] where you gone find this money from,” the WCB farmer pondered.“This Minister not realise what going on with the farmers,” he added.Moments after their demonstration wrapped up, the protesters took their cries to Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo at his Church Street office. It was explained that the farmers condemned the “huge increases” in land rent, drainage and irrigation rates, lease fees and Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural inputs, equipment and machinery.In a press statement from the Office of the Opposition Leader on Wednesday, it was noted that during the meeting with the farmers and input suppliers, Jagdeo outlined a clear vision “to off-set the challenges confronting farmers and the agricultural sector”.The statement noted that Government has to curtail its high-handed approach in dealing with farmers whose concerns are genuine and legitimate. “The Opposition Leader has committed to reversing all the hardship measures imposed by the coalition Government once the PPP/C returns to office in the near future,” the statement said. Rice farmers from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) have once again expressed their disapproval over the increases in land rental rates by the Mahaica, Mahaicony Abary/Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA), which were announced earlier this year.Rice farmers protested the MMA increases in land rental rates at the Agriculture Ministry on WednesdayOn Wednesday, a group of irate farmers gathered outside the Agriculture Ministry where they vented frustrations over the 2017 hikes. The Agriculture Ministry announced the increase of land rent from $3500 to $15,000 per acre, which represented a 600 per cent increase and land rates from $1000 to $7000. MMA had stated that the fee is implemented so that it can take care of drainage and irrigation.The farmers however clearly stated that they cannot afford the increases, highlighting that the future of their offspring is in jeopardy.“From $1000 an acre we ah pay to over $7000 an acre, is better de Government take back de land and plant um heself; if you can’t plant to survive, you got to make de jail lil bit mo big and abbe ah get mine in de jail… wha de lil child dem gone do when they grow, crime escalate high and higher,” a protester noted. He further vented that these increases are coupled with a rising cost of living.Meanwhile, a farmer from Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice (WCB), expressed similar concerns. He, along with other farmers, noted that Agriculture Minister Noel Holder has repeatedly ignored their calls for dialogue.The WCB farmer also decried the reduced earnings farmers have been receiving for their paddy. “We [are] getting a very hard time with the MMA and Minister for Agriculture. In de MMA scheme you cannot get more than 25-30 bags of paddy,” the WCB farmer expressed.The farmers told the press that while they are receiving $1300 for a bag of paddy, it was noted that manure amounts to $1000 per bag.“They recommend that you got to throw three doses [but] where you gone find this money from,” the WCB farmer pondered.“This Minister not realise what going on with the farmers,” he added.Moments after their demonstration wrapped up, the protesters took their cries to Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo at his Church Street office. It was explained that the farmers condemned the “huge increases” in land rent, drainage and irrigation rates, lease fees and Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural inputs, equipment and machinery.In a press statement from the Office of the Opposition Leader on Wednesday, it was noted that during the meeting with the farmers and input suppliers, Jagdeo outlined a clear vision “to off-set the challenges confronting farmers and the agricultural sector”.The statement noted that Government has to curtail its high-handed approach in dealing with farmers whose concerns are genuine and legitimate. “The Opposition Leader has committed to reversing all the hardship measures imposed by the coalition Government once the PPP/C returns to office in the near future,” the statement said. read more

Hurricane Maria pummels Puerto Rico

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHurricane Maria killed 4,500 in Puerto Rico, 70 times official toll — studyMay 29, 2018In “World”Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico may be months without powerSeptember 21, 2017In “World”Conditions growing dire in hurricane-hit Puerto RicoSeptember 25, 2017In “World” Trees are toppled in a parking lot at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017, during the passage of the Hurricane Maria. Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on Wednesday, pummelling the US territory after already killing at least two people on its passage through the Caribbean. (Photo: AFP)SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AFP) — Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on Wednesday, pummelling the US territory after already killing at least two people on its passage through the Caribbean.The US National Hurricane Center warned of “large and destructive waves” as Maria came ashore near Yabucoa on the southeast coast.Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello has told residents to brace for “the worst storm of the last century”, opening 500 shelters that can accommodate 67,000 people.“The wind sounds like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs!” photographer and storm chaser Mike Theiss posted on Twitter as the hurricane hit.“We are getting absolutely hammered right now.”Puerto Ricans had scrambled to board up windows and buy last minute supplies as the storm approached the densely populated island of 3.5 million.“Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane,” tweeted US President Donald Trump.“Be careful, our hearts are with you — will be there to help!”Maria made landfall as a Category Four storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, packing winds of 155 miles (250 kilometres) per hour.The US and British Virgin Islands — still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irma — are also on alert, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands and parts of the Dominican Republic.Maria has already torn through several Caribbean islands, leaving two people dead in the French territory of Guadeloupe and causing major damage on the independent island of Dominica.“I’m not denying I’m scared,” said Noemi Aviles Rivera, a 47-year-old schoolteacher in Puerto Rico who experienced Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Georges in 1998.“I feel worried because it’s the first time I’ll see a hurricane of this magnitude.”Governor Rossello tweeted that more than 11,000 people had sought shelter already, with nearly 600 pets in tow.In the US Virgin Islands, locals reported horizontal rain and trees swirling in the wind.“Very violent and intense right now as we have just begun to experience hurricane force winds,” said 31-year-old Coral Megahy, hunkered down on the St Croix island.“We can hear debris banging on the aluminium windows as well.”In Guadeloupe, one person was killed by a falling tree as Maria hit, while another died on the seafront.At least two more are missing after their boat sank off the French territory, while some 40 per cent of households in the archipelago of 400,000 were without power.On neighbouring Dominica, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit posted on Facebook on Tuesday that there were initial reports of “widespread devastation”.Communications to the tropical island of 73,000 people have been cut, and its airports and ports have been closed.There had been fears that Maria could wreak fresh havoc on islands that were already flattened by Category 5 hurricane Irma earlier in the month.Reports suggested St Martin, a French-Dutch island that was among the most severely hit by Irma with 14 dead, had escaped the worst this time around.“Compared to Irma this was a breeze,” Gordon Snow, editor of the Daily Herald newspaper, told the radio station Paradise FM.Britain, France and the Netherlands had boosted resources in their Caribbean territories ahead of Maria, after heavy criticism of poor preparations for Irma.UK Commonwealth minister Alan Duncan told BBC radio the region had suffered “a fortnight of relentless catastrophe”, with nine killed in the British Virgin Islands.But he added: “Although the fear is that these islands are going to get another hit, it looks at the moment that the British Virgin Islands will not get hit as hard as they did before.”All three European countries have increased their troop deployments to the region after complaints of looting and lawlessness after Irma.Building supplies were hurriedly flown in to help islanders repair roofs torn off by Irma, which left 40 dead across the Caribbean and 58 more in Florida.Irma broke records this month by whipping up winds of 295 kilometres per hour for more than 33 hours straight.French President Emmanuel Macron told the UN General Assembly in New York that the lethal sequence of hurricanes — Irma and Maria came after Harvey blasted through Texas — was “one of the direct consequences of global warming”.The French leader is pushing US President Trump to reverse his decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris climate accord, which triggered an international outcry. read more