No. 3 Notre Dame (53 percent win probability) vs. No. 7 Wichita StateLocation: ClevelandWhen to watch: At 7:15 p.m. EDT on CBSPower ratings: Wichita State 88.1, Notre Dame 87.2Upset probability: 47 percentPlayer to watch: Fred VanVleet, Wichita StateAfter prevailing in what was arguably the round of 32’s most exciting game, Notre Dame’s next hurdle will be a terrific all-around Wichita State team that is coming off one of the biggest victories in program history. These two teams are very evenly matched; the Fighting Irish are better offensively (according to KenPom.com’s ratings), but the Shockers have the better defense. There are a few peculiarities that could decide the matchup — Wichita State’s defense is good at gathering rebounds and stopping 2-point field goals, which should mitigate two of the Irish’s offensive strengths. Notre Dame, meanwhile, has the superior long-distance shooters. But this is such a tossup that it might come down to something as obscure as travel distance. Notre Dame is favored to win in part because South Bend is almost four times closer to Cleveland than Wichita is. Wichita State has the better power rating in the FiveThirtyEight model, but the travel is what makes the prediction tilt Notre Dame’s way. File it under “every little edge counts,” I suppose. After a three-day break, the Madness continues Thursday with the commencement of the Sweet 16. And according to the FiveThirtyEight power ratings of the teams involved, Thursday’s games are pretty clearly better than Friday’s slate of matchups. Headlining the action, as always: undefeated Kentucky, who’ll take the court against West Virginia in their sternest test yet (granted, the Wildcats still have an 87 percent chance of advancing). But the most intriguing game of the night might just be North Carolina versus Wisconsin in a battle of contrasting styles.Read on for more about Thursday’s NCAA tournament action …No. 1 Kentucky (87 percent win probability) vs. No. 5 West VirginiaLocation: ClevelandWhen to watch: At 9:45 p.m. EDT on CBSPower ratings: Kentucky 97.9, West Virginia 85.5Upset probability: 13 percentPlayer to watch: Karl-Anthony Towns, KentuckyWest Virginia is a deep, balanced squad with a great swarming defense, but its run likely ends Thursday night against the nation’s most talented team. While the Mountaineers do employ some high-variance strategies that could help their upset chances — particularly a pressing defense that specializes in forcing turnovers — there are plenty of weaknesses for Kentucky to exploit if it can adequately protect the ball. Kentucky had the third-best shooting efficiency differential in the country during the season, while West Virginia had the nation’s 30th-worst; the Mountaineers also allowed the highest free throw rate in the country on defense. (For its part, Kentucky’s offense ranked 30th-best in forcing fouls and 74th in free throw accuracy.) So if this game is decided by conventional means, West Virginia probably won’t win; the Mountaineers will need takeaways and a lot of good fortune to hand Kentucky its first loss of the season. No. 1 Wisconsin (73 percent win probability) vs. No. 4 North CarolinaLocation: Los AngelesWhen to watch: At 7:47 p.m. EDT on TBSPower ratings: Wisconsin 93.6, North Carolina 88.0Upset probability: 27 percentPlayer to watch: Frank Kaminsky, WisconsinWorlds are colliding in Thursday’s most interesting pairing. The Badgers, known for slowing the pace of the game down to a veritable crawl, will meet the Tar Heels, one of the nation’s fastest-paced teams. During the season, Wisconsin’s average possession lasted nearly six seconds longer than North Carolina’s, while the proportion of UNC’s plays on which they had a transition opportunity was more than double that of Wisconsin. (The Badgers were at the bottom of Division I with a 7.5 percent rate of transition chances per play, according to Synergy.) The tempo of this game will be worth watching. Beyond that, the possibility of an upset might come down to whether UNC can get the 2-point shots upon which they thrive against a tough interior Wisconsin defense and — relatedly — whether the Heels can do any damage on the offensive glass versus the Badgers’ great defensive rebounders. No. 2 Arizona (87 percent win probability) vs. No. 6 XavierLocation: Los AngelesWhen to watch: At 10:17 p.m. EDT on TBSPower ratings: Arizona 94.8, Xavier 85.5Upset probability: 13 percentPlayer to watch: T.J. McConnell, ArizonaBy navigating past a tough Ohio State team with relative ease in the round of 32, Arizona earned the right to face Xavier in one of the Sweet 16’s easier matchups. The Musketeers aren’t a bad team, but they are among the weaker remaining squads in the field. And that’s not good when facing the second-highest-rated team in the FiveThirtyEight power ratings. There are stylistic reasons to think Xavier is overmatched here. The key to the Musketeers’ success has been their offense, particularly on 2-pointers (big men Matt Stainbrook and Jalen Reynolds both shot in excess of 62 percent on twos this season), but the Wildcats excel at short-circuiting opponents’ 2-point efficiency. And in the absence of its bread-and-butter, Xavier might have trouble knocking down enough threes or forcing enough turnovers to make life difficult for Arizona. The Musketeers shouldn’t feel too bad, though: Despite being the No. 2 seed, Arizona is a 58 percent favorite to emerge as the West’s representative in the Final Four. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

For years, many Black college basketball fans have held an animosity—OK, a downright hatred—for Duke’s program and its perceived rich boy, elitist school pompousness and upper-crust, trust-fund baby student body. All that, and they played a lot of white boys, too.Why such disdain resonated is a psychological paradox that could perplex the most diverse minds. But one thing is certain: It should stop.Duke celebrates its fifth NCAA Tournament championship today, and all the African-American fans that pushed back (present company included) should give in and embrace what is the personification of team basketball, keen coaching and a heritage of excellence.Isn’t that why we love the game?What the Blue Devils accomplished in defeating Wisconsin in last night’s title game was more than reaching the pinnacle of college hoops. It was a performance that should detonate the “Duke hate” that is derived from social and class biases that really should not matter.It’s just kids playing basketball.For sure, Danny Ferry never elicited much in the way of likability. He was utterly unlikable. Christian Laettner rubbed even his teammates the wrong way. Bobby Hurley was an irritant, just like Steve Wojciechowski. J.J. Redick was Laettner 2.0. There were other white players over the years you can throw into this mix—Cherokee Parks, Mike Dunleavy, Josh McRoberts—who were sort of non-personalities.These Duke white players “seem to be so every-guy-like,” said Peter Roby, director of Northeastern University’s Center for Study of Sport in Society to The Washington Post. “Guys sitting in the stands might say, ‘What gives you the right to play like that when you look so much like us?’ ”Roby could have said the same thing about Black guys, which would be part of the animus. African-Americans believe they own the game, and so when a team made up of key white players wins, they take it as a personal affront. . . instead of a testament to the value of team play. (Imagine the outrage had almost-all-white Wisconsin won it all.)Do not get it backwards: all the aforementioned Duke players needed the likes of Johnny Dawkins, Tommy Amaker, Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Trajon Langdon, Jeff Capel, Carlos Boozer, Chris Duhon, Shane Battier, Sheldon Williams, Luol Deng and many other Black players to win—and a coach who as adept as anyone ever at meshing skills, personalities, socioeconomic backgrounds and races in Mike Krzyzewski.Justise Winslow, left, and Grayson Allen were keys to Dukes 5th titleAnd that’s the ultimate point. Sports in general, basketball in particular, is a team game. Blacks and whites can play together in harmony for the greater good of the game. If you don’t, you lose.Duke has done it better than anyone else. So it wins. That’s no reason to hate the Blue Devils.In reality, it’s a reason to admire and appreciate them. No, a lot of their players do not come from impoverished backgrounds or broken homes, giving many fans that inherit reason to root for their achievement more than a perceived silver-spoon kid. Jalen Rose has said that he “hated” Duke when he was a star at Michigan. Why? Because of the perception that their lives were together, that they did not come from broken homes and that they were already set up for life.The class issue is a real thorn in the Black community, and not just toward Duke. Someone articulates and the perception among many is that he’s “talking white.” A player attends Duke and he’s no longer down for the cause?Redick, who was mercilessly heckled on the road during his Duke days, said back then that he did not take it “personally. (But) I think if I played for another school, and still played the way I play, I wouldn’t get it as bad. I get it from fans because it says ‘Duke’ on my jersey. I’m not really sure why it’s white guys.”It’s a complex issue, but silly, too. You have disdain for Kyrie Irving because he plays for Duke? Instead of “hating” Irving when he was there (briefly), fans should respect him and Dawkins, Hill, Amaker, Brand and all the other Black players.Such disdain for Duke likely will persist for many, probably most. But it would seem last night that the Blue Devils—with Black players Kyle Cook, Tyus Jones, Jahill Okafor and huge contributions from white player Grayson Allen—may have won over its haters along with the National Championship. read more

With a player like Ohio State’s Evan Turner on the court, there may be a tendency for the opposition to divert all of its attention in his direction.Unfortunately for Jon Diebler, however, that has not been the case. Since the start of Big Ten play, the Buckeye junior has found that, even with Turner on the court, teams are not exactly willing to let him run free. There have been times when Diebler has been faced with a defender assigned to do nothing but hassle him for 40 minutes. In both of OSU’s games against Wisconsin, the Badgers put senior guard Jason Bohannon on Diebler and turned the game into what Buckeye coach Thad Matta said was more like “four on four.”But even though he may struggle to get open outside shots, Matta said that Diebler has been virtually unaffected by it. “I give him a lot of credit,” Matta said. “He couldn’t care less. I’m sure he’d like to shoot and score, but as long as we’re winning he’s happy with it.”That is not to say, however, that Diebler has done nothing to combat the extra attention. Recently he has made an effort to take the ball to the basket when faced with pressure on the outside. For someone who has been almost exclusively a perimeter player during his career, adding the ability to drive to the basket has done wonders for his game. Two weeks ago against Wisconsin, as expected, Diebler was faced with constant harassment. But rather than become a virtual non-factor, on more than one occasion Diebler beat his man off the dribble and was able to get to the hoop. Although it didn’t always earn him an open shot, the penetration opened up his teammates underneath the basket resulting in either free throws or easy points.“As far as going to the basket, I was just trying to take what the defense was giving me,” Diebler said. “Obviously [the defense] wasn’t used to me doing that so I was able to get in the lane.”The Buckeyes’ next game saw more of the same. Although he did get more open looks on the perimeter against Northwestern, there were situations where, in the past, Diebler might have rushed a contested 3-point shot. However, when he was smothered by a defender, he again beat people off the dribble, creating open shots for both him and his teammates. Diebler scored 17 points in the Buckeyes’ win and tied his season high with five assists.Matta said that Diebler’s newfound affinity for driving to the basket was nothing the coaches forced on him, but rather a product of his willingness to understand a game plan and know when and where he could find open shots. The addition to Diebler’s game, Matta said, has led to his team being less reliant on the 3-point shot, something his team has been criticized for in the past. “I think we’ve changed how we’re playing,” Matta said. “At times last year I think we got a little bit ‘3 happy,’ but I’ve been pretty pleased with the attempts that we’ve been getting. I think our guys have a pretty good understanding of what’s a good [shot] and what isn’t.”As the season progresses, if Diebler is able to continue to quell any frustration and create open shots, he could make a big difference for OSU. With each passing week, the games will get more and more meaningful.It is a process that Diebler said he’s become very familiar with over the course of his career, and one he is looking forward to. “Every game is a grind and you got to bring it every single day, even in practice,” he said. “I think we enjoy the competitive aspect of it.”“That’s what you play college basketball for.” read more

For years I had been telling myself that baseball still reigned supreme in this country, that Americans still held the national pastime in higher regard than the NFL. Then I had an epiphany after watching Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night. To a baseball aficionado, the game had a little bit of everything. Pitching: A masterful performance by the Giants’ 21-year-old rookie starter Madison Bumgarner, who blanked the Rangers, owners of the majors’ highest team batting average during the regular season, in eight innings. In the history of baseball, only one starting pitcher younger than Bumgarner has thrown eight shutout innings in a World Series game. Hitting: In the third inning, San Francisco designated hitter Aubrey Huff, who grew up a Rangers fan, mashed a two-run home run that seemingly landed down the road in Cowboys Stadium. Fielding: The Giants put on a defensive exhibition. Second baseman Freddy Sanchez was all over the infield making plays. Left-fielder Cody Ross had a nice sliding catch, and catcher Buster Posey threw out Josh Hamilton, the modern-day Mickey Mantle, trying to steal second base. And yet, I thought to myself, “More people are probably watching Sunday Night Football.” Turns out I was right. And I’m OK with that. USA Today reported that the New Orleans Saints’ win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (11.8 percent of TV households) outdrew Game 4 of the World Series (10.4). CNBC’s Darren Rovell reported it was the first time an NFL regular-season game has out-drawn a World Series game. Curiously, the NFL has traditionally conceded Sunday nights to the World Series. That changed this year, and it has proved that football is king in this country. And it’s relatively easy to explain. Popularity in football, a game that features a collection of the world’s best athletes engaging in violent collisions at high speeds on every down, has soared. As attention spans and attention to detail have waned in society, so has interest in baseball, the game that prizes those two attributes. And although USA Today reported that the Giants’ World Series-clinching Game 5 victory out-drew Monday Night Football in terms of television ratings, it is clear baseball is falling behind. The best thing baseball had going was performance-enhancing drugs. Big biceps brought big home run numbers during the steroid era. However, the advent of drug testing stifled those numbers. According to Baseball Almanac, from 2005-09, the highest rating a World Series garnered was an 11.7, in 2009. The lowest rating a World Series garnered during the 1990s was a 14.1, in 1998. To be fair, baseball isn’t doing itself any favors. The regular season is too long — the World Series stretches into November. And any World Series without a team from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or Boston isn’t going to draw the average sports fan to the tube. But ever since gladiators clashed against fellow human beings and animals alike, the spectator has been fixated on action and violence. Today’s sports fans are no different. Baseball can’t compete with that. A sport based more on strategy and proficiency will always fall victim to a sport of pick-sixes and spread offenses in the public eye. If I’m the only one jumping out of my seat because of a perfectly executed suicide squeeze or a flawless relay from an outfield wall to home plate, that’s fine with me. read more

OSU basketball coach Thad Matta laughs as he answers a question during Media Day Oct. 10 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State basketball coach Thad Matta isn’t sure what to expect for the 2013-14 version of the Buckeyes, but does know one thing: he’s looking forward to it.“I don’t know if I could give a true projection or expectation for this team just yet. I think we have a chance to have a really, really good basketball team. I love the energy, I love the cohesiveness of us,” Matt said. “I’m very excited about this team.”Matta, along with the rest of the team (except true freshmen Kam Williams and Marc Loving) met with the media Thursday, to discuss the upcoming season.A topic sure to be a story line throughout the winter is how OSU will replace Deshaun Thomas, who led the team with an average of 19.8 points per game his junior season before deciding to enter the NBA Draft. In order to fill the void left by Thomas, Matta said it must be a team effort.“Collectively, I think guys have got to score more,” Matta said. “I think (the offense) needs to be more well-rounded, we got to have a little more of a flow to (it). Something that we’ve tried to put a big premium on this offseason was shooting the basketball and getting more offensively skilled.”A player that could be counted on for more offensive production is starting senior point guard Aaron Craft, who finished last season second on the team in scoring average with 10 points per game.“As a team, I think we’ve done a great job this spring and summer understanding that we need to shoot the ball better. It can’t be one guy,” Craft said. “Even with (Thomas), we shot one of the worst percentages in (Matta)’s career here at Ohio State.”Craft said getting open looks at the basket is a luxury that rarely comes around during games, so taking and making those shots will be vital to OSU’s success this season.“Our biggest focus is being able to knock down open shots, elevating our shooting percentage and that opens up countless other things on the offensive end,” Craft said.Replacing Thomas’ offensive production is not the only thing that will be a team effort, though. Junior forward LaQuinton Ross said the leadership side of things is “going to be a group effort from everybody.”“I think you get leadership from all different angles on this team,” Ross said. “I think you got Craft who everybody knows is one of the main leaders for this team. Then you got guys like (junior guard) Shannon Scott who’s also been a leader for this team, got other guys like (junior forward) Sam Thompson who are also doing the same thing. I think this year, (the leadership)’s going to be a group effort from everybody.”On the defensive side of the ball, however, the mindset stays the same.“We’re never going to go away from our defense,” Matta said. “I think that may be the best thing we did last year as a group, collectively as a group was team defense.”Matta and the Buckeyes are scheduled to open their regular season Nov. 9 at the Schottenstein Center against Morgan State at noon. OSU’s first Big Ten game is in West Lafayette, Ind., New Year’s Eve against Purdue at 1 p.m. read more

Junior forward Sam Thompson dunks the ball after an alley-oop. OSU lost to Michigan, 70-60, Feb. 11 at The Schottenstein Center. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAfter slugging through a forgetful January in which they lost five of seven games, the Ohio State Buckeyes came into a showdown with No. 15 Michigan on a three-game winning streak, threatening to get back into the thick of the Big Ten race.They left the Schottenstein Center Tuesday still on the outside looking in on the Big Ten’s best, falling to the Wolverines, 70-60.Led by 15 points from sophomore guard Nik Stauskas, Michigan (18-6, 10-2) came back from an early 10-point deficit to win.“Every loss hurts. Obviously you can’t get comfortable and we found a way to play tough on the road for a couple games and we came home and got one and today we didn’t have it,” senior guard Aaron Craft said after the loss. “We have six games left, so as much as this may hurt, we have to move forward. We have to find a way to continue to get better because nothing’s guaranteed and there’s still a lot to play for.”The Buckeyes (19-6, 6-6) got off to a fast start, as back-to-back dunks by junior forwards Sam Thompson and LaQuinton Ross gave OSU an 11-5 lead with 15:26 left in the first half.Ross had the hot hand early, nailing his first five shots from the field on his way to 13 first half points.After Michigan freshman guard Zak Irvin hit two of three free throws to make the score 21-16 with 7:49 left in the opening half, OSU extended its lead to 10 with an acrobatic layup by junior center Amir Williams and a deep 3-pointer from the wing by senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.Michigan responded, though, using an 8-0 run near the end of the half to stay close. Two free throws from Ross with less than two seconds left gave the Buckeyes a 30-26 lead at the break.After Stauskas nailed a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half, OSU proceeded to go on a 7-0 run aided by another 3-pointer by Smith Jr.Michigan was able to stay close though, and took a 44-43 lead after two free throws by Stauskas.OSU cut Michigan’s lead to 51-50 following a free throw by Ross, but Michigan gathered an offensive rebound on three straight possessions, helping the Wolverines get back a six point lead.Thompson got another dunk in transition, but with the lead cut to four, Williams missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3:09 to go.Michigan sophomore forward Glenn Robinson III then hit a 3-pointer in the corner to make the score 59-52.Williams then fouled freshman guard Derrick Walton Jr. on a 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining as the shot clock expired, negating the slim hopes the Buckeyes had to get back in the game. Walton Jr. made all three free throws, and a miss on the other end by OSU forced the Buckeyes to foul to stop the clock.But Michigan made eight free throws in final 1:32 to ice the game.“I thought at times we played some pretty good basketball, but we hit that stretch as we did in some of those games in January where we took our foot — I don’t want to say we took our foot off the gas — but we played hard but we weren’t as sharp execution-wise as we needed to be,” OSU coach Thad Matta said after the game.Ross led the way for OSU with a game-high 24 points on 8-17 shooting, while Smith Jr. chipped in 13 of his own.After the game Ross said even though it was a tough loss, he thinks his teammates will be able to bounce back.“We’ve got a tough group of guys. I think everybody’s going to come in when we go back to practice with a different mentality and they know that we’ve got another game,” Ross said. “Guys will be down about it tonight but we’ve gotta look forward. We’ve got six games left in the Big Ten so we’ve gotta be ready for those.”Up next, OSU is slated to travel to Champaign, Ill., Saturday to take on the Fighting Illini. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. read more

Freshman pitcher Shelby Hursh winds up a pitch during a game against Michigan State March 22 at Buckeye Field. OSU won, 11-7.Credit: Kim Dailey / Lantern photographerBefore its series against Michigan State, coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said the softball team’s return to Buckeye Field for its first Big Ten matchup was “a whole new season” for it.Her players responded to the fresh slate, with Columbus’ first glimpse of Ohio State in 2014 looking a lot more like a fresh team on opening day than a “battle-tested” team 26 games into its season when the series began.The Buckeyes (15-14, 3-0) completed their sweep of MSU (7-18, 0-3) underneath gray skies and brisk winds to bring their record above .500 for the first time all season.OSU smacked 15 extra base hits (nine doubles, one triple and five home runs) while recording a .432 batting average. Senior first-baseman Evelyn Carrillo had a .700 batting average including six RBIs and two home runs. Carrillo was hitting so well that Schoenly said she was surprised MSU was pitching to her by the end of the weekend.“She is a senior and she really wants it. She loves playing here, she always does well at home, so I wish I could schedule all our games here for her,” Schoenly said of Carrillo. “She really was just tuned in and she hit the center of the ball every time.”Junior pitcher Olivia O’Reilly was a major contributor to OSU’s success against the Spartans, starting the first and third games and pitching in relief in the second game. She won both starts to bring her record to 5-2 on the season with a 2.58 ERA. Schoenly said O’Reilly is quickly emerging as the team’s No. 1 pitcher.“She’s doing great. The fact that she can still have it after I put her in the first game and then she pitched seven innings this last game — she’s making the ball move enough that they can’t hit the middle of the ball which is great,” Schoenly said.O’Reilly pitched a complete game in the last game Saturday, a 4-3 Buckeye victory, giving up six hits, three runs and five strikeouts. O’Reilly said although she pitched well, she wouldn’t have had her outstanding weekend without the support of her team.“I think that the team overall played so well and honestly I would not have the wins without the defense behind me,” O’Reilly said. “They saved my butt so many times and as a pitcher, you want to make every pitch but sometimes when you don’t, it is good to have your defense behind you and they were behind me 100 percent.”The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader began with some defensive struggles for the Buckeyes, as two errors in the third inning contributed to a six-run third inning for MSU. Down 7-1 in the fourth inning, OSU began to mount a comeback with a two-RBI single off of Carrillo’s bat and added another run to bring the score to a 7-4 Spartan lead.OSU kept chipping away at the Spartans, eventually taking the lead in the sixth and never giving it up, winning the game 11-7. Schoenly said the comeback showed the team’s resiliency this year.“The game was such an amazing team effort to get back into the game and then take it. It was just really fun to see them fight like that and defend their home turf,” Schoenly said. “You could hear them in the dugout saying ‘They’re not going to beat us at home, we’re not going to let that happen,’ so the fact that they have so much pride in being on our field in front of our fans was so fun to hear and watch.”In its first game on Friday, OSU jumped out to an early lead in the first inning with four runs on five hits. The Buckeyes did not let up, scoring four more runs in the second inning to give OSU an early 8-0 against the Spartans.MSU tried to come back with a six-run fifth inning, but that would be it for the Spartans offensively, giving the Buckeyes an eventual 13-6 victory.O’Reilly won the game pitching 5.1 innings with two hits, four runs, one earned run and one strikeout. Carrillo started the weekend 4-4 with two home runs and three RBIs in the game. Holding its longest winning streak of the season, Carrillo said the team is just focused on improving in any way it can.“We’re going to keep focusing on the fundamentals and the basics. We’re going to go back to practice on Monday and work on little things that we can get better on and then once we play Pitt, we’ll see what we can do against them,” Carrillo said.The Buckeyes are scheduled to hit the road for a doubleheader against Pittsburgh Tuesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. in Pittsburgh. read more

Sophomore setter Taylor Hughes (6) sets the ball during a match with Wisconsin on Nov. 2 at St. John Arena. She had 45 assists and 11 kills on Friday. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Former Assistant News DirectorThe No. 21 Ohio State women’s volleyball team kicked off its season on a high note, claiming 3-0 and 3-1 victories against University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Saint Louis, respectively, Friday. However, the Buckeyes were unable to carry that momentum into their Saturday matchup against No. 10 BYU as they lost 3-1 to the Cougars.University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Ohio State came out of the gate red-hot and dominated Valley in the first two sets, winning 25-17 and 25-11.The third set started off as a nail-biter with UTRGV surging early to take a 9-5 lead. The Buckeyes began to gain back their momentum when middle blocker Madison Smeathers tied the game 10-10 with a kill. The Buckeyes followed with a 15-5 run to claim the third set and their first win of the season.Setter Taylor Hughes was the star of the match as she picked up 42 kills and 33 assists. Outside hitter Ashley Wenz tallied 13 kills and 3 service aces with a .667 hitting percentage. Ohio State’s .451 hitting percentage diminished UTRGV’s (.191). The Buckeyes held a 47-29 advantage in kills.Saint Louis Ohio State fell behind to start the first set. But after an ace by outside hitter Luisa Schirmer gave Ohio State gave a 9-8 advantage, the Buckeyes led the rest of the set to a 25-16 victory. Despite taking the early lead in the match, the Billikens won the second set 25-23 to tie the contest at one set apiece.However, Ohio State regained the lead in the third set and utilized 10 kills to earn a 25-17 victory.The Buckeyes blazed through the final set with three aces from outside hitter Bia Franklin and another from defensive specialist Kalisha Goree to take the set 25-13, and win their second match of the day.Although Ohio State held a narrow 46-44 edge in kills, the Buckeyes .302 hitting percentage greatly exceeded that of the Billikens (.068).BYU The Buckeyes were still riding their victory high from their last two matches, but were not as successful against BYU. The first set featured five lead changes and 10 ties as Ohio State fought hard against BYU. With 13 kills and one ace, Ohio State won the set, 25-19. However, that would be the highlight in the match against the Cougars as BYU took the next three sets, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17.Although the night did not end in victory for the Buckeyes, defensive specialist Hannah Gruensfelder racked up 27 digs, Smeathers recorded 13 kills and six blocks, and Hughes had 36 assists, seven blocks and five kills in the match. The Buckeyes will be playing their home opener at St. John Arena on Friday when they host Missouri State. read more

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota 2017 record: 5-7 (2-7 Big Ten) Head Coach: P.J. Fleck 2018 record: 3-1 (0-1 Big Ten) All-time record vs. Ohio State: 7-44What has happened thus far in 2018:Minnesota found early season success in its nonconference schedule. Starting the 2018 season with a three-game winning streak, the Gophers outscored New Mexico State, Fresno State and Miami (Ohio) 95-27. With a 3-0 nonconference record, Minnesota traveled to College Park and lost to Maryland 42-12 after a slow first half and a poor defensive performance. Impact Player:Freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad has made strides in the passing game for Fleck’s offense in his collegiate debut. Annexstad completed 16-of-33 pass attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns against New Mexico State, helping lead the team to 522 yards of total offense. This season, the freshman quarterback has completed 52.3 percent of his passes, throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions. Despite the loss against Maryland, the increased number of passing and rushing yards will create more opportunities for Annexstad to succeed down the stretch. Strengths: The biggest strength for Minnesota this year is its offense. Entering his second year, offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca has produced a high-tempo offense that so far has accumulated 1,387 yards of total offense, with 748 total passing and 639 total rushing yards so far this season. This offense outshined the Aggies defense, totaling 23 first downs, 522 yards of total offense, 295 rushing yards and 227 passing yards in the season opener.Weaknesses:In the first three games of the season, Minnesota’s defense started off strong, holding teams to under 14 points. However, when the Gophers took a trip to Maryland, the defense gave up 42 points to the Terrapins’ offense. Maryland defense was positive when it controlled the game against the Aggies, giving up no points in the second half and holding New Mexico State to 271 yards on total offense. read more

first_imgThe rapid industrialisation of the last century has caused the Earth to enter its first new geological epoch in more than 11,500 years, scientists believe.An international team of researchers say the worldwide spread of plastics, new metals and concrete, combined with manmade climate change, has pushed the planet into the Anthropocene epoch.While human activity has left visible traces on the Earth since before the current Holocene epoch, which begun around 9,700 BC, the scientists argue that the recent changes to global systems are sufficiently simultaneous and significant to justify the adoption of a new geological time unit characterised by human domination. Prof Jan Zalasiewicz, a palaeobiologist at the University of Leicester and a member of the working group, said carbon and nitrogen levels in the atmosphere had remained reasonably steady before the “great acceleration” of the 20th Century.“Human action has certainly left traces on the earth for thousands of years, if you know where to look,” he said.“The difference between that and what has happened in the last century or so is that the impact is global and taking place at pretty much the same time across the whole Earth.“It is affecting the functioning of the whole earth system.”The concept of an Anthropocene epoch was first proposed by Nobel-prize winning chemist Paul Crutzen and colleague Eugene Stoermer in 2000.This week’s AWG vote is scientific endorsement that the epoch is geologically real and of a sufficient scale to be considered for formal adoption as part of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart. 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. Prof Colin Waters, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey and WGA secretary, said: “Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planet.“The concept of the Anthropocene manages to pull all these ideas of environmental change together.”Changes to the Earth system which characterise the potential Anthropocene Epoch include the presence of plastic and aluminium particles and high levels of nitrogen and phosphates in soils, as well as “large-scale chemical perturbations to the cycles of carbon and nitrogen,” according to the AWG. Being able to pinpoint an interval of time is saying something about how we have had an incredible impact on the environment of our planetProfessor Colin Waters, British Geological Survey Prof Zalasiewicz said that there has traditionally been an element of national competition when putting forward geological “golden spike” candidates for the beginning of an epoch.He added, however, that countries may be more reluctant to put forward locations representative as the beginning of the new Anthropocene epoch because of its negative associations.Once one or more candidate sites have been selected, a formal proposal for the formal recognition of an Anthropocene epoch will be made to a series of commissions, culminating in the Executive Committee of the International Union of Geological Sciences.The process is likely to take at least three years. The Working Group on the Anthropocene (AWG), which is meeting in Cape Town this week, is proposing that the starting date for the new epoch should be set for around 1950.The group’s committee of 35 members voted by a majority of 20 to recognise the new time division as an epoch, rather than the lower ranked age, such as a subdivision of the Holocene, or a higher ranked period like the Jurassic or Cretaceous.The search is now on to find what geologists call a “golden spike”, a physical reference point that can be dated and taken as a representative starting point for the Anthropocene epoch.A river bed in Scotland, for example, is taken to be the representative starting point for the Holocene epoch.last_img read more

first_imgThe winner off this year’s One Man and his Dog sheep handling competition on the BBC’s Countryfile has said that having only one eye did not stand in his way, and being that being diagnosed with a red wine allergy would have been worse.Dick Roper said: “Every morning I wake up and open my eyes, and I can see with the good one. It really does make you appreciative of what you have when you lose something”.The estate manager, from Nortleach, Gloucesterhire, added: “I’ve been sheepdog trialing for 32 years. I took it up when I gave up rugby, when my legs could no longer do the work – I let the sheepdog’s legs do it for me. Mr Roper said he is “extremely close” to his dog WillCredit:David Hedges For those that want to know, it’s different sheep each time. pic.twitter.com/4J9QHfO5ap— BBC Countryfile (@BBCCountryfile) September 25, 2016 Mr Roper has worked with sheep for 32 yearsCredit:David Hedges  Dick Roper with his dog and sheep  Woof! Here we go One Man And His Dog #countryfile pic.twitter.com/KWTxC5tD84— BBC Countryfile (@BBCCountryfile) September 25, 2016 Dick Roper and Will the dogcenter_img “[Losing an eye] was very debilitating to start with. You lose all depth-perception. But the brain’s a wonderful thing and my brain’s got used to it. Six months ago I never thought I would be able to trial ever again. “I woke up one morning and it was going. I was first diagnosed with MS, but then I went to see a top expert and they said it was ischemic necrosis. Basically the blood vessels that supply your optic nerves shut down overnight. “It was very distressing. But when you get to 62 if its the worst thing of getting old…It was better than being diagnosed with MS.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Roper, 62, finally lost the eye in July last year, after a 6-8 week period of declining vision. But, he said, he no longer thinks about it much.”I’m probably not quite as good as I was before, but I can still go out and compete at a good level”.Perhaps surprisingly, dog handling played only a small role in Mr Roper’s coming to terms with his sudden disability.”I’m fairly laid back,” he said. “If I’d been diagnosed with a red wine allergy, that would have been a disaster!” He added: “I love to win. But it is quite nerve-wracking walking out to compete. It’s really important that those nerves don’t go through to the dog.”When you’re doing well the crowd goes quiet. That silence is a drug, an absolute drug. Once you’ve got them so everyone’s watching, the longer you can keep them quiet – you want more of that”. Mr Roper, who is “extremely close” to his five-year old dog Will, credited his ability to think like both dogs and sheep for making him a national champion in the centuries-old art. “It’s the understanding of how dogs think, and how sheep think as well, the way sheep move. I was born and brought up on a sheep farm, it’s natural to me to look at a sheep and see what it’s going to do. “It’s putting it all together. They love their work, and they want to be with you to work.last_img read more

first_img“Due to human error, the list of people we provided included the bereaved families.”As soon as this was realised, we immediately contacted each family through their specially trained officers to ensure they had warning before a letter arrived.”We are sorry for any unnecessary hurt this may have caused them.”The BTP added that it was “looking into” who wrote the address on the letters.A spokesman for the RAIB said: “Several families did not receive their copies of our interim report in the post on time.”Where we were made aware that a report had not been received, we dispatched further copies. Unfortunately, not everyone received the report before it was published. We are sorry that this has happened.”We take our responsibility to keep victims’ families informed extremely seriously and are looking at how this can be avoided in the future.”All of the families of the people who lost their lives in the accident were offered a briefing of the content of our interim report with one of our inspectors, before the report was published.”We will continue to stay in contact with the families and those involved in the accident to keep them updated throughout our investigation.” Police accidentally sent letters to the seven dead victims of the Croydon tram crash inviting them to a survivors party.The family of one victim, 52-year-old Philip Logan, are “fuming” after one of the letters from the British Transport Police was posted through his door earlier this month.The heartfelt letter, sent by the BTP, was written by the wife of a survivor asking if other survivors would like to meet and discuss their experience.The letter is the latest of a string of blunders by the force which also released Philip’s name to the press before telling his family.All seven bereaved families have also revealed that they did not receive the second interim report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) until it had been publicly released. Dane-Chinnery-Philip-Logan-Philip-Seary-Donald-Collett 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. Croydon Tram CrashCredit:Paul Grover/Telegraphcenter_img Croydon Tram Crash Danielle Whetter, Philip Logan’s 26-year-old granddaughter said: “Receiving the letter was a bit of a kick in the teeth”.Transport officers had agreed to send the letter out to all survivors on behalf of its author as the force has the addresses and names of those on board the tram when it derailed on November 9.But they also sent it to all the victims, Philip Logan, Phil Seary, Dane Chinnery, Donald Collett, Robert Huxley, Dorota Rynkiewicz and Mark Smith.Ms Whetter said: “I wasn’t there at the time but my nan was quite distressed when she opened it which is totally understandable.”This is a lack of care and attention.”Marilyn and Philip’s family were first told that he had been injured and had been taken to St George’s hospital in Croydon, south London, but when they arrived they were told he wasn’t there.It was two days until the family realised that the much loved grandfather was not coming home.A liaison officer then visited Marilyn personally to apologise because the news of his formal identification had been released to the media first.On the days following the crash all seven families received a “bog-standard” letter from Transport for London and failed to tell them that TfL would pay for the funerals.And the second RAIB interim report was published the Logan family never received a copy, despite the Branch insisting they had posted it.Ms Whetter said: “We received the news he had been formally identified through Sky News.”So again the police didn’t get to us in time.”Surely that would have been their priority so we could release our statement and release information and have a bit of time to ourselves to take it in.”Last Wednesday a BTP officer visited the family to apologise personally about the letter, which is understood to not have been sent to the tram driver Alfred Dorris.Ms Whetter added: “How many times are they and other authorities going to apologise for the mess ups that are happening?”A spokeswoman for the BTP said: “We are working hard to ensure that everyone involved in the Croydon tram derailment is receiving the support they need and sent out letters to invite people to a forum being organised by one of the survivors. Croydon tram crash victims Dane Chinnery, Philip Logan, Philip Seary and Donald Collettlast_img read more

first_imgMartin McGuinness will be “difficult to forgive” in the eyes of many, a priest has told mourners at the former IRA leader’s funeral.The Irish Republican politician was remembered by mourners including Bill Clinton, the former US president, at a ceremony in the Long Tower church, Londonderry. The coffin of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness is carried up Barrack Street The son of former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Emmet McGuinness (centre left), helps to carry the coffin “That’s a great political story but I’m the last American president that ever lived in a house without an indoor toilet and it’s very much overrated, except for its political value,” Mr Clinton said.Earlier thousands lined the streets of Mr McGuinness’s home city as his coffin was carried from his home in Bogside to the church.Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster, the former Democratic Unionist Stormont first ministers,  also attended the requiem mass. There was a round of applause inside the church as Mrs Foster took her seat.The symbolism of the leader of unionism attending a former IRA man’s funeral is highly significant.While Mr McGuinness was leader of the IRA it carried out attacks including a remote controlled IRA bomb near Sligo which killed Lord Louis Mountbatten. Hours later, 18 paratroopers from the British Army were killed in an IRA ambush in Co Down.  But he also helped broker a historic peace deal, the Good Friday Agreement, in 1998. “Republicans were not blameless, and many people right across the community find it difficult to forgive and impossible to forget,” he said.”By any standards, Martin McGuinness was a remarkable man and his life was a remarkable journey. The values he had, the principles he championed are still very much alive.” The coffin of former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is carried through the Bogside area of Londonderry Chief celebrant Father Michael Canny recalled the many tributes made to the Sinn Fein politician since his death, but admitted that for many, his leadership of the IRA would be “difficult to forgive”. Mr Adams amongst mourners at the funeral Credit: REUTERS/Phil Noble Mr Adams amongst mourners at the funeral  Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill, Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald speak at Derry City CemeteryCredit:Brian Lawless/PA Wire 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 coffin of Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness is carried up Barrack StreetCredit:Brian Lawless/PA Wire Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald speak at Derry City Cemetery He added: “There was not a bad Martin McGuinness or a good Martin McGuinness. There was simply a man, like every other decent man or woman, doing his best.”Mr Clinton also delivered a heartfelt eulogy, as he told modern leaders to copy Mr McGuinness’s “honourable compromises”. His comments came before Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, speaking at the graveside, challenged those who described Mr McGuinness as a “terrorist”.”Martin McGuinness was not a terrorist. Martin McGuinness was a freedom fighter,” he said. “He was also a political prisoner, a negotiator, a peacemaker, a healer.” Clinton arrives at the service. McGuinness was once chief of staff of the IRA but later became Sinn Fein's chief negotiator in the talks that led to the Good Friday agreement bringing peace to Northern Ireland Former US President Bill Clinton and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (left) arriving for the funeral of Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinnessCredit:Niall Carson/PA Clinton arrives at the service. McGuinness was once chief of staff of the IRA but later became Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator in the talks that led to the Good Friday agreement bringing peace to Northern IrelandCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe “Most of the publicity Martin got as a politician was the very absurd notion that he actually got along with Ian Paisley. I thought it was great that he got a word in edgeways, I never could,” he said.Mr Clinton’s speech was also interspersed with applause and laughter as he recalled Mr McGuinness’ “marriage” to “Gerry” Adams and compared his own upbringing in Arkansas with Mr McGuinness’ early years as one of seven children in a Bogside house with no indoor toilet. The coffin of former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is carried through the Bogside area of LondonderryCredit:PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images The son of former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Emmet McGuinness (centre left), helps to carry the coffinCredit:PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images He made a number of jokes as he spoke to mourners, including admitting he could never get a word in when he spoke to Ian Paisley. Former US President Bill Clinton (centre) and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (left) arriving for the funeral of Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness, at St Columba's Church Long Tower, in Londonderry. Mr McGuinness. 66, died on Monday from a rare genetic condition. Speakers paid tribute to his efforts in the Northern Irish peace process, which led to the Good Friday agreement, signed in 1998.last_img read more

first_imgBlackman shot the insurgent, who had been seriously injured in an attack by an Apache helicopter, in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol before quoting a phrase from Shakespeare as the man convulsed and died in front of him. Alexander Blackman Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey once served in the armed forcesCredit:Andrew Crowley for the Telegraph  The judges were due to deliver their decision on Friday but postponed it until this week, meaning the former marine spent mother’s day weekend in prison. “He is incredibly kind, thoughtful and generous,” she said. “He is the first to help anybody in need.”The arrest and conviction was a huge shock,” she added. “But it was the dismissal in disgrace that was the hardest aspect of all to bear. I have often said if you cut my husband in half you would see a Royal Marine all the way through him.”During the appeal which overturned the murder conviction, judges found that the incident was the result of a mental illness – an “adjustment disorder”.The judges ruled that the marine’s ability to “form a rational judgment” was “substantially impaired”. former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey  The former Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is praying for Marine A’s release, arguing that the soldier has been punished enough for a split second decision made in the “heat and dust of battle”.George Carey, who himself served in the armed forces, argued ahead of Sergeant Alexander Blackman’s sentencing on Tuesday that it was “hard to understand the pressures” soldiers endured “unless you have walked a mile in their shoes”.Blackman, 42, better known as Marine A, from Taunton in Somerset, was convicted of murder in 2013 for shooting dead a wounded Taliban insurgent. Earlier this year, judges overturned this verdict and replaced it with a conviction of manslaughter.  Marine A’s new legal team, led by Jonathan Goldberg QC, told judges on Friday that “at the forefront of our submission is the plea that he should be released today”.Mr Goldberg added: “the incarceration of almost three and a half years which he has already served is already too much for his crime”.The judges had previously ruled that Blackman was suffering from an “abnormality of mental functioning” at the time of the incident.In court last week the soldier’s wife Claire Blackman said she had only been together for four and a half years with her husband for the duration of their eight year marriage because he has either been fighting for his country or in jail.center_img Claire Blackman has campaigned for her husband’s releaseCredit:Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph  Alexander Blackman will be given his new sentence on TuesdayCredit:Andrew Parsons /PA  He told him: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c—. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.”He then turned to comrades and said: “Obviously this doesn’t go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention.”The shooting was captured on a camera mounted on the helmet of another Royal Marine.During his trial, Blackman, who denied murder, said he believed the victim was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse. Claire Blackman Lord Carey said: “I understand this man was a magnificent soldier with a long and distinguished record of service to the Queen. “I have served myself in the armed forces and know that in the heat and dust of battle, split second decisions must be made and expediency can sometimes overcome strict morality even for the best of men. And unless you have walked a mile in their shoes it is hard to understand the pressures. “The long prison sentence he has already served seems long enough both for him and his dignified wife, and I pray for his release”.The former Archbishop, who served in Iraq as a radio operator in the Royal Air Force in the 1950s, added: “We need men like this at this time.”A panel of five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court are due to re-sentence Blackman for diminished responsibility manslaughter on Tuesday. 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

first_img Credit: Heathcliff O’Malley London and Buenos Aires last year signed a deal to try to identify the soldiers, marines and airmen from the 1982 conflict, splitting the £1m cost. The unnamed graves are marked ‘Argentine Soldier Known Only By God’ The Red Cross team has called on Col Cardozo, who as a captain with the Royal Dragoon Guards in 1982 was given the job of collecting Argentine dead from across the islands’… Col Geoffrey Cardozo will this month work with a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) trying to name bodies in 123 anonymous Argentine graves. A retired Army officer who spent months collecting and burying dead Argentine forces in the aftermath of the Falklands War will return to the islands to help forensic scientists finally identify scores of bodies. Argentine military cemeterylast_img read more

first_imgThe inquest heard from the coroner’s officer who said: “He (Mr Deacon) was called to a meeting with the chief executive of Cowdray as he had lied on his CV when applying for the job and they were going to terminate his employment and seek to repossess the property he was living in.”Coroner David Skipp said: “In view of the evidence and the fact he intended to take his life, I will record a verdict that James Deacon took his own life. My condolences to the family, particularly his son. I think there’s nothing else to say.” The SMC has run Championship side Hull City’s KCOC Stadium since it was opened in 2002. He was found dead at his home beside a shotgun on Saturday, November 18 last year. A coroner was told that police had been alerted by Mr Deacon’s ex-wife after his teenage son discovered an email sent the night before from his father saying he was going to kill himself.He had been given the gun by his current girlfriend along with a bag of ammunition after she thought he had a licence, although it later transpired he did not. James Deacon had lost his former role as managing director of a company that ran Hull City FC’s stadiumCredit:INS James Deacon The estate manager of Cowdray Park, which hosts Royal polo tournaments, killed himself after he was sacked when his boss discovered he lied on his CV, an inquest heard.James Deacon had been given the job after losing his former role as managing director of a company that ran Hull City FC’s stadium.The 54-year-old was found dead just hours after he was marched back to his house by a security officer. He had been sacked by chief executive Jonathan Russell for lying on his CV, an inquest heard.The West Sussex coroner heard that the firm’s boss had also told him his company-owned house in Easebourne, Midhurst, was going to be re-possessed.Mr Deacon had joined the company in June that year after previously spending 18 months as a director of the Superstadium Management Company (SMC) before resigning in January 2017. A post-mortem examination found Mr Deacon died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.A handwritten note was discovered by officers after they forced their way into the locked property in Easebourne the next morning. He had lied on his CV when applying for the job and they were going to terminate his employmentWest Sussex coroner’s officer 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

It emerged earlier this month that under-18s was the only age group see a rise in terror-related arrests compared with last year and will raise new concerns about extremism amongst the young fuelled by social media.”The number of young people getting involved with terrorism surged with Isis who were particularly effective at using social media to radicalise them,” said Richard Walton, a former head of counter terrorism with the Met Police.”We are also seeing an increase in right wing extremism in part fuelled by Islamist terrorist attacks in London and Manchester in 2017.”Among the youngest were two 15-year-olds arrested on suspicion of far-Right terror offence in Ramsgate in September.In 2015, public bodies were placed under a statutory duty to stop people being drawn into terrorism.The sectors accounting for the highest number of Prevent referrals in 2017/18 were education (2,462) and the police (2,364).Regionally, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of those referred were from London, followed by the North East (17% per cent.While police and ministers say it forms a crucial plank of anti-terror efforts, Prevent has repeatedly come under fire, with critics labelling it heavy-handed and “toxic”. 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 number of people flagged up to the authorities for far-Right extremism has surged to a record high, new figures reveal.There was a 36 per cent increase in the number of referrals to the Government’s Prevent programme over concerns about right wing extremism. It jumped from fewer than 1,000 in 2016/17 to 1,312 in 2017/18.The Home Office figures also revealed a sharp rise in the number of children and teenagers being referred to the programme, up by a fifth to 2,009 including 297 girls.More than half of those reported for possible deradicalisation interventions in 2017/18 were 20 or under.The rise in right-wing extremism accounted for an overall 20% increase in referrals to Prevent, from 6,093 to 7,318 in 2017/18.While Islamist concerns accounted for a larger proportion of referrals, the number in the category fell by 14 per cent year-on-year.With an annual budget of around £40 million, Prevent aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.When authorities conclude there is a risk that the person could be drawn into terrorism, they can be supported through a scheme known as Channel. Engagement is voluntary and it is not a criminal sanction.For the first time a similar number of individuals received Channel support for concerns relating to Islamist and right-wing extremism, the report said. read more

Gerrard Tyrrell, solicitor to Harry, said the Duke and Duchess were “no longer” able to live in the house following the disclosure.He told the hearing the “well-known paparazzi agency” had misused private information, breached the Duke’s right to privacy, GDPR laws and the Data Protection Act.Splash has since apologised and agreed to pay “substantial” damages and legal costs to the Royal, according to a prepared statement read to the court.Mr Tyrrell said: “The property had been chosen by the The Duke for himself and his wife, given the high level of privacy it afforded given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access.“The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude, allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom.”Harry and Meghan chose to spend time in the Cotswolds while Frogmore Cottage, their new home in Windsor, underwent £3 million in renovation work earlier this year.It was reported the temporary country retreat was worth an estimated £2.5 million and dated from the 18th century.Mr Tyrrell continued: “The photographs were taken for commercial gain and syndicated for that purpose.” The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were forced to move out of their Cotswolds hideaway after a paparazzi helicopter swooped over to take intrusive pictures, a court has heard.The Grade II listed farmhouse, tucked away in four acres of private land in Oxfordshire, was rented by Harry and Meghan as they prepared for the arrival of their first child.The royal couple were said to have selected the property due to the high levels of seclusion it afforded, which promised to keep away the prying lenses of photographers.However, their plans for a life of rural solitude were dealt a blow when the location was made public on January 9, prompting a celebrity news agency to hire a helicopter to investigate.Splash News and Pictures flew at a “low altitude” over the farmhouse to take pictures and video, which gave a view directly into the bedroom, a privacy case launched by Harry claimed.The shots were published by various news outlets in both print and online on January 11 in a move which was said to have “very seriously undermined” the couple’s security.Details of their hasty departure from the area came as legal action against the organisation concluded at the High Court He added: “The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property.”The photographs were subsequently removed from sale by Splash, which also agreed not to use “any aerial means” to take pictures of the Duke’s private home again.Neither Harry nor Meghan were in court to see the privacy case concluded, but the Duke later acknowledged and welcomed the formal apology.All damages he received were donated to charity, it was claimed.A spokesman for Splash News said: “Splash has always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgement and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated.“We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused.”The royal couple have since returned to live in Frogmore Cottage, where they will raise their son Archie, who was born at the start of the month.They have already taken steps to guard the baby’s privacy by choosing not to release his birth certificate publicly, in a break with Royal Family custom. 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

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related$550M cocaine bust: GRA agent, others refused bail, remanded to prisonMay 31, 2017In “Court”$500M cocaine bust: CANU seeking popular biker, businessmenMay 15, 2017In “Crime”$550M drug bust: Stephen Vieira arrestedMay 20, 2017In “Crime” (CMC) The Guyana Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) says it is seeking international assistance as investigations continue into the recent G$550 million drug bust in East Bank Essequibo.The police report that on May 14, CANU agents conducted a raid at a premises in the area and searched a truck laden with several pallets of 1×6 dressed lumber prepared for export to the United States. According to CANU, several boards were drilled randomly and revealed a white substance suspected to be cocaine.The cocaine being unearthed (Stabroek News photo)Following the discovery, the truck, its driver and porters were escorted to CANU headquarters where a detailed search of the cargo was completed. The search revealed cocaine in random boards scattered among genuine boards in each pallet. The compromised boards all had a dug out cavity with vacuum sealed plastic packets containing the drug.CANU said its investigation revealed that the truck was hired to pick up and transport the lumber from a saw-mill and then transport it to a wharf in Georgetown. Three men – Hakeem Mohamed, Tazim Gafoor and Nazim Gafoor — were held after the discovery but they were subsequently released when the 72-hour maximum period for detention without charge expired.The investigators did not apply for an extension since they did not gather any new information. The police later held motorbiker Stephen Vieira whose name was found on several shipping documents. Vieira who was in the country at the time of the bust, had travelled to Jamaica via Suriname and Trinidad, one day after the bust was made.He returned to Guyana late last week and was arrested on arrival at the Cheddi Jagan Airport. When he appeared in court on Tuesday, he was released from custody, but according to CANU, he remains under investigation.Following Vieria’s release CANU said a digital video recording device was retrieved from Nazim Gafoor but the information was erased.As such, CANU is now seeking international assistance in retrieving the data that may have been therein,” the agency said in a release on Tuesday.CANU also confirmed that Vieria’s girlfriend, who was arrested and questioned, was also released from custody.However, the owner of the saw-mill, Narine Lall, has not yet been contacted or questioned. Meanwhile, CANU has appealed for patience as investigators work to ensure the anti-drug agency does not lose the expected court case.“It would be expedient to charge persons only after we have enough evidence to link the parties and the contraband all with a view to ensuring a successful prosecution rather than to rush and come up short in the courts,” the agency said. read more

After being on trial for the July 2015 murder of Ryan Clementson, the two accused Edward Skeete and Nabadingi Gobin were on Thursday freed by Justice Navindra Singh at the High Court in Georgetown.(R) Edward Skeete called ‘Pretty Boy’ and (L) Nabadingi “Dangles” GobinThe duo were acquitted of the Turning Point, Tucville shooting of former Mocha-Arcadia resident Clementson who died between July 24 and 25 2015, two weeks after being shot to his thigh.This result comes in spite of the deceased having stated in his dying moments that the duo and another were his assailants.Deceased: Ryan ClementsonHowever, defence counsels for accused, Nigel Hughes and Mark Waldron were successful in preventing certain pieces of evidence from entering the main trial which were disclosed in the jury’s absence.Justice Singh, who considered the submissions overnight, on Thursday, ruled that the prosecution did not make out a case against the two and he formally directed the jury forewoman to return a not-guilty verdict.Prosecutor Narissa Leander however informed the judge of the State’s intention to appeal the court’s decision.Nevertheless, Skeete ran to freedom but Gobin returned to prison pending his relatives’ presentation of a bail receipt on a separate charge.The duo were accused of opening fire on Clementson and his friend Ayodele Solomon on July 14, 2015, near the Turning Point Snackette in Tucville.Clementson, who had been shot in his thigh, succumbed almost two weeks later from cardiac arrest following a surgery. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTaxi Driver charged with Tucville murderAugust 3, 2015In “Crime”‘Pretty Boy’ charged with Tucville murderAugust 1, 2015In “Crime”‘Pretty Boy’ wanted for murder of Tucville manJuly 26, 2015In “Crime” read more