Royce White Suspended by Rockets

Royce White, the 16th overall pick in June’s NBA draft, was suspended by the Houston Rockets Sunday for refusing to provide services required by his contract.“The Houston Rockets have suspended Royce White effective immediately for refusing to provide services as required by his Uniform Player Contract,” Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said in a statement. “We will continue to work with Royce to hopefully come to a resolution.”One week ago White refused his assignment to Houston’s D-League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers after spending the majority of the season on the Rockets’ inactive list, while he and management tried to reach a reasonable solution for his overall mental health and anxiety disorder.The 21-year-old White is requesting that the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association, the Rockets and himself sign a document for mental health protocol, and does not plan to show up for any team activities until everyone signs the document, according to USA TODAY Sports.White’s demands will be difficult to accomplish because such an agreement is banned under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.The 6-foot-8 White went on a Twitter rampage after being suspended indefinitely by the Rockets organization.“What’s suspending me suppose to do. I’ve been away from the team for a month ½. Guess we want to give it a title shift accountability,” he tweeted.White even took at shot Morey in his second tweet.“Threat, Fines, Suspension won’t deter me. I won’t accept illogical health decisions, I will keep asking for safety & health. #BeWell @dmorey,” he tweeted.White, whose contract is guaranteed for $3.3 million for the first two seasons, will not be paid during his suspension.The Rockets and White had a tentative agreement in place at the beginning of the season to deal with his anxiety disorder due to the rigorous demands of the NBA’s travel schedule. Both parties agreed to allow him travel by bus to some games in an attempt to tackle his fear of flying and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He managed to fly to Detroit for the season opener and then bused to Atlanta and Memphis for the following games.Shortly after that White made the decision to stop participating in all team activities and took to Twitter saying dealing with his mental health was more important than his NBA career.White is hopeful that he can change the protocol for himself, the entire league and future players.“There’s no mental health protocol here, for not only the Rockets but the entire league, really,” White said in a SirusXM interview. “I expressed that that’s really unsafe if you think about it. So, basically, I’m fighting to have that rectified. I just don’t think it is OK or responsible or even logical to have GMs or any front office personnel have executive authority in medical situations.” read more

What Else Does LeBron Need To Do

Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On Friday’s show (June 1, 2018), Neil and Kyle discuss the controversial end to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, whether this series is more competitive than pundits thought it would be, and what more LeBron James has to do for his team to win.The Lab will be back with another episode next week. In the meantime, keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions, which are updated after every game. By Neil Paine and Kyle Wagner read more

Di Marias Injury Makes ArgentinaNetherlands Almost Even

The injury to Brazil’s Neymar might have made more headlines, but Argentina will also be shorthanded in its World Cup semifinal. Attacking midfielder Angel di Maria, who was hurt in the first half of Argentina’s win against Belgium, will miss the team’s match against the Netherlands on Wednesday.Di Maria is a big deal. He ranked No. 72 on The Guardian’s list of the world’s top 100 footballers and was UEFA’s man of the match in Real Madrid’s victory over Atletico Madrid in this past spring’s Champions League final.We can evaluate the impact of di Maria’s injury the same way we did for Neymar — by using the plus-minus rating system embedded within ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI). The plus-minus system has some blind spots. It will underrate world-class defensive players whose contributions don’t show up in the stat line, and it has a limited sample of data for players who don’t play in one of the top five club leagues in Europe. But for di Maria — an attacking player in Spain’s La Liga — it should do reasonably well.The system estimates that di Maria is worth about 0.33 goals per 90 minutes of play, relative to an average international footballer. (Of these, 0.28 are from his offense and 0.05 are from his defense.) That’s not quite in Neymar’s league, but it would imply that di Maria is somewhere around the 30th best player in the world — a little ahead of where The Guardian ranks him.Some of di Maria’s value lies in that he can play center midfield or on the wing. That flexibility also makes it hard to say how Argentina will replace him. There are at least five possibilities, including forwards Ezequiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio, and midfielders Enzo Perez, Ricardo Alvarez and Maxi Rodriguez.In contrast to Neymar’s potential replacements — which SPI had rated about evenly with one another — the footballers who might spell di Maria are seen rather differently by the system, as shown in the chart below (numbers are rounded). SPI rates Palacio and Rodriguez highly, Perez relatively poorly, and the others somewhere in between.But the ratings for Rodriguez and Perez are based on a small sample of games. (This is especially so for Rodriguez, who plays for Newell’s Old Boys in the Argentine Primera Division, not a league that we track.) Therefore, I’ve weighed the potential replacements by the number of minutes with them on the pitch in recent games in the SPI database.This weighted average estimates that the replacements are the equivalent of 0.13 goals per 90 minutes worse than di Maria, including both offensive and defensive play. This is enough to lower Argentina’s chances of beating the Netherlands from 57 percent at full strength to 53 percent.Nevertheless, the trade for Argentina — one missed match for di Maria (it’s hoped he’ll be back for the final) in exchange for two Neymar absences and one Thiago Silva suspension on rival Brazil — isn’t a horrible one. The injury-adjusted version of our World Cup odds, shown in the table below, gives Argentina a 21 percent chance of winning it all. This is slightly higher than the unadjusted version, which assumes Argentina and Brazil are healthy and puts Argentina’s chances at 20 percent instead. read more

Ohio State mens soccer topples Indiana in overtime

OSU senior forward Kenny Cunningham (19) celbrates after a goal during a game agaisnt Penn State on Sept. 20 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU tied 1-1.Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternSenior defender Liam Doyle converted a penalty kick in overtime, extending the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s unbeaten streak to seven with a 1-0 victory at Indiana.The Buckeyes improved to 6-4-2 overall and 2-1-1 in Big Ten play, while the Hoosiers fell to 7-4-1 on the season and 1-3-0 in Big Ten conference action.The Hoosiers came out strong as they immediately took charge of the game.By the 12th minute in the first half, shots were 2-0 Indiana.The Hoosiers continued to pile up offense, but OSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Chris Froschauer came across with two saves in the 17th minute to prevent the Hoosiers from putting a point on the board.In the 21st minute Indiana earned a corner kick, but Froschauer blocked the corner attempt keeping the game scoreless.The Hoosiers came close to scoring in the 29th minute when a shot hit off the post in a one-on-one break.Froschauer gained his fifth save of the game in the 30th minute after a diving save to keep the Indiana off the board.OSU junior forward Danny Jensen tried to get it going for the Buckeyes when he attempted a header near post off a free kick. However, Indiana’s junior goalkeeper Colin Webb was able to save it. The final action of the first half came from the Buckeyes when OSU earned its first corner kick of the night in the 38th minute, but the kick was knocked away leaving the score at 0-0 heading into the second half.After a scoreless first half, both teams began the second frame looking to break the game open. In the 52nd minute, OSU earned another free kick that was taken by OSU senior defender and co-captain Liam Doyle. His shot barely missed sophomore forward Marcus McCrary in front of the net.The Hoosiers went for a shot attempt in the 61st minute, but Froschauer came up with another diving stop to keep the game scoreless. In the 73rd minute, Doyle took another free kick for the Buckeyes but Webb denied the attempt, keeping his clean sheet intact for the time being. McCrary fired another shot from a distance in the 85th minute, but his shot went wide of the net.The final five minutes of play resulted neither team finding the back of the net, sending the match to overtime. Neither team could manage to score as it headed into the final three minutes of overtime.In the last three minutes of the game, the Hoosiers earned a yellow card, giving the Buckeyes an opportunity for a penalty kick.Doyle made that opportunity count, finding the back of the net to win the game for the Buckeyes.Overall shots were 18-4 in favor of the Hoosiers, with a 6-2 lead in corner kicks.Froschauer had a season-high seven saves and improved to 6-4-2 on the season.The Buckeyes will continue on the road against Kentucky at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Lexington, Kentucky. read more

What you see is what you get with Ohio States Dan Wallenberg

Dan Wallenberg, Ohio State’s associate athletic director of communications, is in charge of handling what might seem like a constant media frenzy surrounding Buckeye sports. His job – which includes working with football coach Urban Meyer and a men’s basketball program coming off a Final Four appearance – becomes more hectic as OSU sports move further into the national spotlight. “As you get to the Final Four, there are more media to coordinate because there are less teams to cover in the tournament,” Wallenberg said. “When you are hiring a new football coach like Urban Meyer, basically every football outlet in the country wants information.” The day-in and day-out demands from the media is something Wallenberg’s gotten used to. He has been the associate athletics director since August 2007 after originally joining the staff in July 1998 as the men’s basketball communications contact. For some, Wallenberg’s gig might even seem like a dream job. “Everyone always tells me how my job must be fun and it is,” Wallenberg said. “But it’s also work.” When controversy consumes OSU athletics, Wallenberg plays a key responsibility dealing with the influx of media attention. “His leadership during some of the department’s more troubling times within the past few years have proved Dan can handle anything and make sure his staff is prepared for anything,” said Kendra Willard, an assistant director for OSU’s athletics communications . The work comes with a price, too. “I go to work on weekends and holidays,” Wallenberg said, “and I don’t always get to leave the office at 5 p.m.” Wallenberg, though, said he tries to find time to do the things he loves. He said he wakes up at 6:15 a.m, grabs his iPod and his dog and sits outside on his porch while he catches up on the morning news. “I like being outside in the quiet of the morning,” Wallenberg said. “It’s my time to read the news. I like knowing what’s going on in the world.” Besides keeping up with the news, Wallenberg also enjoys traveling. “I like to go to Chicago and stay downtown. I grew up there and absolutely love it,” Wallenberg said. “I go about three times a year.” He even likes to indulge in his grandmother’s home-cooked food. “If there was one meal I could have for the rest of my life, it would be my grandma’s pasta sauce and spaghetti,” he said. “I love to grill too, but nothing beats grandma’s spaghetti.” Wallenberg extends his knack for communicating to other people in his life, including his colleagues. “Dan is a great communicator with both people inside our office and externally with media, coaches and other athletic department personnel,” said Brett Rybak, an assistant director for OSU’s athletics communications . Even though Wallenberg’s career is immersed in sports, his wife, Laura Wallenberg, has never been a fanatic. “I’ve never come home from a football game day to have the Hallmark Channel on,” Dan Wallenberg said. “But after the first game day this season, that’s what she was watching.” Laura Wallenberg appreciates her husband’s sports enthusiasm, but also loves other characteristics about him. “Dan is a pretty face-value guy and that is pretty cool,” she said. “What you see is what you get with him.” Although many people might find Dan Wallenberg to be an interesting person, he insists that his job is the only thing that makes him unique. “I’m just like everyone else,” he said. “I love to mow my grass, I like to work outside and I love to golf.” read more

Sam Thompson Ohio State mens basketball overpowers offensively anemic Penn State

Ohio State’s men’s basketball team got its second scorer when it needed him the most. For much of this season, members of the No. 14-ranked Buckeyes have expressed the need for an additional offensive threat behind junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Against unranked Penn State, though, such an conundrum failed to manifest itself as sophomore forward Sam Thompson dropped 16 points on the Nittany Lions en route to a 65-51 win Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. Already a Buckeye fan favorite because of his theatrical dunks, Thompson’s 16 points helped push OSU (15-4, 5-2 Big Ten) past a Penn State squad that finds itself still winless (0-8) in Big Ten play more than halfway through the regular season. Thompson, who was 6-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-2 behind the arc, proved to be a catalyst for OSU in a game that saw its other starters shoot a combined 9-for-27. Notably, Thomas struggled with his touch against Penn State (8-12, 0-8 Big Ten), shooting 4-for-13 and 1-for-3 from 3-point range. The 11 points he mustered were the lowest output for Thomas in any game this season. And, perhaps against a more formidable opponent, such a deficit would’ve proved costly – especially on the road. In losses against Duke, Illinois and Michigan State away from the comfortable confines of the Schottenstein Center, OSU stuggled to find someone – anyone – outside of the Big Ten’s leading scorer. Need an example? Most recently, against the No. 13 Spartans, Thomas scored 28 of the Buckeyes’ 56 total points. In the team’s worst loss to date, a 74-55 defeat to the Illini, Thomas notched 24 points and junior guard Aaron Craft’s 11 points made him the only other Buckeye that day to score in double digits. In its game against Penn State, however, Thomas had help – and not just from Thompson. Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. totaled 11 points and knocked down 7 of 8 free throws to help keep the game out of reach from a gritty, yet offensively anemic, Nittany Lions crew. While OSU’s bench helped the Buckeyes manage a 43 percent outing from the floor, Penn State shot 36 percent in total and 24 percent from behind the arc (4-for-17). Most devastating for the Nittany Lions, though, was a 10-minute scoring drought in the first half that allowed OSU to mount a double-digit cushion that would withstand a late Penn State rally that cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 10 with 2:41 to play. It wasn’t enough to overcome an otherwise shaky performance, as the Nittany Lions were outrebounded, 39-25, despite only turning the ball over four times compared to OSU’s eight miscues. OSU also made 83 percent of its 23 free throw attempts while Penn State struggled its way to a 59 percent connection rate. The loss is the Nittany Lions’ 18th straight to OSU. Conversely, OSU OSU is scheduled to next play Wisconsin Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Baseball Underclassmen prove pivotal in Ohio States win against Purdue on Senior

Ohio State sophomore infielder Conner Pohl (39) takes a swing at a pitch in the fourth inning of the game against Ohio University in April 10. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorSophomore shortstop Noah West’s earned a consistent starting role for the Ohio State baseball team almost exclusively because of his defense. He’s batted .232 and slugged .284 resulting in a near-permanent spot at the bottom of the order.It must have startled the poor baseball West obliterated in the eighth inning, enough that it jumped all the way over the left field fence for a grand slam, West’s first ever. “It didn’t hit me until I rounded third base and saw coach [Greg Beals] and slapped his hand,” West said.The blast put Sunday’s game out of reach at 14-6 before another home run made it 16-6, securing a senior day win for the Ohio State Buckeyes (33-17, 13-8 Big Ten) against the Purdue Boilermakers (30-18, 14-6 Big Ten). He was far from the only underclassman to deliver for the seniors.“I think everybody was in ‘deliver for senior’ mode today,” Beals said.Beals specifically referenced a play in the seventh inning where junior catcher Jacob Barnwell went first to third on a wild pitch.“That’s a momentum thing,” Beals said. “Barnwell played harder than they did, and that hurts the psyche of a ballclub.” Not everything began so well for the Buckeyes, but down 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth it was West, sophomore Dominic Canzone and junior Kobie Foppe that got the offense humming again with three consecutive doubles to manufacture two runs.All told, Canzone went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, but arguably more crucial than any of his offense was a throw he made in the seventh to throw out Purdue left fielder Ben Nisle. Nisle was attempting to go first-to-third on a single by right fielder Alec Olund.“One-run ball game, assist to third base, that’s a pretty big play,” Beals said.   More underclassmen broke the game open in the sixth.Canzone singled through the right side to score senior first baseman Bo Coolen, and sophomore third baseman Conner Pohl came through for a two-run single with the bases loaded to give the Buckeyes a 7-6 lead.Combined underclass batters scored 12 of Ohio State’s 16 runs and batted in 10 of them. West finished 3-3 with four runs scored and five RBIs“The thing about us is, we have fight in us,” West said. “Especially on senior day, we’re not gonna go down without a fight.” read more

Funding for EU students guaranteed for those applying in 2017

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. EU students applying for a place at a university in England next year will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants, the Government announced today.Under the plans, funding will continue from 2017/18 throughout their course, even if the UK exits the EU during that period.The move will give higher education institutions certainty over future funding, while providing prospective students assurances that they will not lose out should Brexit occur.  Looking ahead, as the Government develops plans post-Brexit Britain, a commitment is needed to ensure that students, from Europe and beyond, are able to continue to come to the UK to studyDame Julia Goodfellow “Over recent weeks the university sector has made very clear to Government the urgent need to address this issue. It is good to see the Government has recognised the value of EU students and acted positively to guarantee their access to financial support.”She warned that: “Every effort must now be made to ensure that this announcement is communicated effectively to prospective students across Europe.””Looking ahead, as the Government develops plans post-Brexit Britain, a commitment is needed to ensure that students, from Europe and beyond, are able to continue to come to the UK to study without unnecessary bureaucratic burdens.” Jo Johnson, ​the universities minister, said: “We know that the result of the referendum brought with it some uncertainties for our higher education sector. That is why in June we acted quickly to provide immediate funding guarantees for existing students and those applying to study this year.“International students make an important contribution to our world class universities, and we want that to continue.”Under the current system, EU students are eligible to receive undergraduate tuition fee loans if they have lived in the European Economic Area for at least three years prior to starting university.  Tuition fees for EU undergraduates are currently set at the same rate as home-students. EU nationals who have lived in the UK for over five years, are also able to apply for undergraduate maintenance support and Master’s loans.Responding to the Government’s announcement, Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of  the vice-chancellors’ group, Universities UK, said: “This announcement provides much needed clarity for EU students applying to start courses at English universities in autumn 2017. The Government needs to think very carefully about the message it wants to send to the rest of the world at this challenging timeSally Hunt Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), said: !We are pleased the government has now clarified the situation for EU students who want to apply to English universities for next year and hope the devolved nations will soon follow suit.”We don’t believe this measure can undo the damage that various proposals floated at the Conservative party conference last week may have done via headlines around the world. The news that the government was also seeking to ban leading foreign academics from advising the UK government over Brexit because they are not British nationals will have also done little to help our international standing.”The Government needs to think very carefully about the message it wants to send to the rest of the world at this challenging time.”last_img read more

Humiliating job centres are failing young women

first_imgThe charity is concerned that job centres are driving young women away and alienating them from claiming the temporary financial support they need.Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said: “Young women are more likely to be out of education, employment and training than young men.  They want to work and be financially independent but they aren’t getting the necessary support. It is clear from this report that job centres need to change.“Young Women’s Trust’s report offers solutions based on what we have found works. We are calling on the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to learn from this and improve the advice and support they offer.”The charity also found that more needs to be done to support young women into work as more than half said they lack self-confidence generally while nearly 40 per cent said they are not confident applying for a new job.Around 62 per cent said they will not apply unless they feel they meet all the criteria, compared to 54 per cent of young men – while 85 per cent say they do not receive feedback when they do apply. Only 19 per cent of young women who visited a job centre in the last year said it helped them find a position, new research shows.The Young Women’s Trust surveyed more than 4,000 18-30 year olds, and found the vast majority were negative about their experiences.Almost half of the 358 who visited a Jobcentre Plus said it had not given them useful information about work and training opportunities.More than half described their time at the job centre as “humiliating” and 68 per cent said it was “stressful”. Twenty-one per cent said they were treated with no respect by centre staff. The charity has launched a ‘Work It Out’ service which provides free coaching and personalised advice on job applications in a way that empowers young women and fits around their lives. ‘Work It Out’ client Isis Mason said: “My coach was fully flexible and ever supportive of me. We’d arrange to talk after I had tucked my daughter into bed, and spend the evening focusing on me, my achievements, and where I wanted to go in life. She gave me practical ways to deal with anxiety and overcome issues that made me feel as though I wasn’t good enough.  By the time my coaching had come to an end, my confidence was fully restored… I secured part-time employment and had begun the process to apply for postgraduate study.”A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “This report fails to recognise that there are more women in work than ever before – up by well over a million since 2010 with fewer than five per cent of all young women unemployed and not in full-time education.”Our jobcentre staff provide first rate support to thousands of people looking for work each day and our latest survey showed that over 85 per cent of women were happy with the help they received.”center_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.last_img read more

Drunk driver banned after getting his Mercedes stuck on tram tracks

first_imgMaurice Cooney References from clients of Cooney were passed to magistrates, including one from a police firearms officer and another from an NHS worker.Cooney – who has no previous convictions – accepted the offer of a drink-driving rehabilitation course which will reduce his ban by 17 weeks. He was fined £246 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £135 and a £30 victim surcharge. A Mercedes driver who was over double the drink-drive limit caused hours of disruption after blundering onto a tram track in an error his lawyer admitted will “hit him in the pocket”.Maurice Cooney was forced to raise the alarm at an office building after getting stranded on a tram-only section of the Midland Metro, causing five hours of disruption to services and  £6,000 of damage to his week-old Mercedes.Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that Cooney failed a breath test – which showed a reading of 86mcg, more than double the legal limit of 35mcg – after driving for 100 metres along the tracks at about 7am on Sunday November 6. The car caused disruption to servicesCredit:PA  Ms Rashoda told the court: “This is a gentleman entitled to full credit for his guilty pleas.”He went to a nearby building and located a porter and alerted them to the fact that the vehicle was stuck on the tramlines. He told them to call the police.”Before the offence, the court heard, Cooney, who runs a personal training business, had travelled from Shropshire to Birmingham after being invited on a night out with friends. 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. His lawyer told magistrates: “He felt okay and foolishly made the decision to get up and drive his vehicle home.”Once you are following the Metro line at the back of Snow Hill there is no way of turning back and he had to carry on. The line then rises and that’s where he became stuck. He tried to turn left and right and couldn’t move the vehicle either way.”The vehicle is currently in the garage and it’s going to cost £6,000 to repair. That’s going to hit him in the pocket.” The 33-year-old, of Station Road, Donnington, Telford, Shropshire, admitted drink-driving, having no insurance, and causing a danger or inconvenience by obstructing the tracks near Birmingham’s Snow Hill tram stop. His solicitor Harjit Rashoda told magistrates the no insurance offence was an “oversight” linked to the acquisition of the 66-plate Mercedes. Maurice Cooney admitted drink-driving at Birmingham Magistrates’ CourtCredit:PA  The car on the tracks The vehicle is currently in the garage and it’s going to cost £6,000 to repair. That’s going to hit him in the pocketHarjit Rashoda, lawyerlast_img read more

Astonishing rise in demand for exorcisms putting mental health at risk report

first_img“Outside the established church, there’s a huge increase which you can see with your own eyes. If you walk down the Old Kent Road there are flyers and stickers everywhere.”A spokesman for the Church of England said: “The Church of England takes deliverance ministry very seriously and treats each case in a pastoral and private way. Any case would be dealt with locally through the diocese.”Our guidelines state that particular caution needs to be exercised, especially when ministering to someone who is in a distressed or disturbed state. ” An “astonishing” rise in harmful Christian exorcisms is being partly driven by migrant communities, a think tank has warned. A report by Theos, a think tank focusing on religion, found that experts were concerned that the “booming industry” in exorcisms was putting Christians’ mental health at risk.The report, which examines the relationship between Christianity and mental health, said: “Exorcisms are now a booming industry in the UK, with a number of interviewees noting the astonishing increase in demand – often, as one noted, in defiance of any actual rules or procedures put in place by any church.”It said that this industry was in part “driven by immigrant communities and Pentecostal churches which are very open about their exorcism services”. Research found that interviewees, including mental health chaplains and other Christians working in mental health, said that “in the vast majority of cases, the person in question was suffering with mental health issues which required psychiatric assistance.”Ben Ryan, a researcher at the think tank and the report’s author, said: “There has been an increased focus in the Anglican church on exorcisms, and partially that’s in response to increased demand. They have been getting more and more people calling them saying there’s demand for this. 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

Victoria Crosswinning war hero has grave destroyed by vandals

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. “That way the next generation will realise it’s something special and we need to respect it.” Mr Stapleton said: “Why should the youth of today listen to us?”Why would they think these graves are anything special – we don’t care as a nation. Our generation doesn’t care about them.”It’s a bit rich of us to say to youths, ‘these are men of historic importance’, you shouldn’t desecrate their graves.”The nation as a whole needs to recognise these are men of historic, national importance.”Their graves should be looked after, they should be preserved and regularly maintained. A fundraising page has been set up by The Victoria Cross Trust, which has so far raised almost £300.The Victoria Cross was introduced in the 1850s by Queen Victoria to reward heroes of the Crimean War. It has since been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individuals. It is the highest award of the UK honours system, and is given out for acts of bravery and gallantry “in the face of the enemy”. Last year, when four World War One graves were destroyed in County Durham, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said such incidents were “extremely rare”. The Brierley Hill matter has not been reported to police. Heartless vandals have trashed the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning war hero at a churchyardCredit:The Victoria Cross Trust / After retiring from the Army, he settled in Brierley Hill until his death of December 8 1899.Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South, said: “It’s disgusting that the grave of VC recipient Anthony Booth in Brierley Hill has been desecrated, but [I’m] pleased that the The Victoria Cross Trust is planning repairs.” Mr Stapleton added that the vandalism was “quite rare” and the second time a VC hero had had his grave deliberately destroyed. “We are putting a plan together for restoration but it needs to be approved by the diocese first.”The headstone has been snapped off near the base and all the kerb sets have been dislodged.”It’s not just the headstone, the kerb sets need repointing and fixing. Its disgusting really that somebody could do this,” he said. Rev David Hoskin, rector in Brierley Hill, said: “Brierley Hill is proud of having a Victoria Cross recipient among their number. This is sad.”Booth received the VC on June 26 1880 at Windsor Castle from Queen Victoria, for his bravery when a large group of Zulus launched an attack on the British on the Intombe River.He covered the retreat of 50 soldiers and others for three miles, and his actions saved the lives of all involved.center_img Anthony Clarke Booth VC. Heartless vandals have trashed the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning war hero at a churchyard Anthony Clarke Booth VC. Heartless vandals have trashed the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning war hero at a A manifestation of ‘Broken Window Theory’? Who is to blame? the vandal that desecrates or the indifferent who ignore? #wearyofthefight— Gary Stapleton FRSA (@Gary_Stapleton) August 16, 2017 Heartless vandals have trashed the grave of a Victoria Cross-winning war hero at a churchyard The headstone of a Victoria Cross-winning hero’s grave has been destroyed by vandals. Gary Stapleton, chairman of the Victoria Cross Trust, said that the “next generation” did not realise the importance of war heroes’ graves because they were not well enough looked-after by society.The broken headstone of Anthony Booth, at St Michael’s Churchyard in Brierley Hill, West Midlands, could cost thousands of pounds to repair, according to the TrustBooth was given the award for fending off 400 Zulu warriors with just a handful of men in South Africa, during the Anglo-Zulu War in March 1879.Military history enthusiasts say they have been left devastated by the vandalism and have launched a fundraising campaign to fund repairs to the headstone, which could cost “four figures”. last_img read more

Judge bans man from taking daughter out of the country for the

first_imgThe man, who had a “black African Muslim heritage”, had travelled to the UK more than a decade ago to study.He had met the girl’s mother, who had a “white English Christian heritage”, through an “online introduction site”.They had married in Conakry in 2007. Ms Justice Russell said an FGM protection order would stay in force until the girl turned 17.Legislation providing for the making of FGM protection orders came into force more than two years ago.The youngster’s mother had been represented by barrister Zimran Samuel, who specialises in legal issues surrounding FGM.In 2015 Mr Samuel said FGM protection orders wound “make a very real difference”. They aimed to protect potential victims rather than punish offenders, could put barriers in front of people who posed a threat and give comfort and support to vulnerable females.  A judge has banned a man from taking his six-year-old daughter out of the country for the next 11 years over fears she may be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).High Court judge Ms Justice Russell was told that the girl’s father came from Guinea, West Africa, where the practice of FGM was “widespread”.Her mother is English and had raised fears about the girl being subjected to FGM The judge concluded that the man would come under pressure to have his daughter “mutilated” if he took her to Guinea and has imposed an FGM protection order.She had analysed the case at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London in November and has revealed detail in a written ruling.Ms Justice Russell said she had heard evidence from the girl’s mother and father, who were separated, plus other family members, and from an academic who had carried out research into the practice of FGM in Guinea and other West African countries.She said she had barred the man from taking the youngster out of the UK because there were no direct flights and all travel to Guinea took place via a third country.The judge said the girl could not be identified. The girl lived with her mother, who is in her 40s, in the south east of England. Her father, who is in his 30s, had been born in Conakry, Guinea. 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

Surge in keyless crime as thieves take advantage of new technology

The statistics, which show an 11 per cent increase in claims settled over the period, suggest a higher number of high-value vehicles being stolen. Richard Billyeald, chief technical officer at Thatcham Research, told The Telegraph that relay attacks require a certain level of knowledge and are likely to be carried out by gangs who use the technology to target more expensive vehicles. “Some level of knowledge is required. Where we’re seeing this is with organised crime groups. It’s not so much opportunistic thefts,” he said.”This is not off-the-shelf kit – this is specialist and bespoke, made from readily available equipment.”Mr Billyeald advised car owners to keep their keys away from the front of their houses – and doors and windows in particular – in order to reduce the likelihood of relay attacks. “A vehicle is a high-value item and owners need to be sure they’re being careful with it. Like all security, there are many layers you can apply. It’s about what you do and don’t do,” he said.  Keyless car crime surged last year as industry experts warned that criminals are embracing new technology to break into vehicles. Insurers paid out a record £271m in theft claims in the first nine months of this year – a 32 per cent increase on the same period last year, according to the Association for British Insurers. Malcolm Tarling, of the ABI, said keyless car theft was the ‘main driver’ of the increase in thefts.The advent of keyless technology, which requires drivers to use digital fobs instead of keys to unlock a car’s door and start its engine, has created security problems for car manufacturers. Thieves are now using readily available technology to launch so-called ‘relay attacks’, in which handheld electronic devices are used to amplify the signal being given off by a digital fob from within a victim’s house in order to fool a car parked outside into opening its door. Mr Tarling said car manufacturers were in a constant battle to stay ahead of criminals as they employ increasingly sophisticated technology to break into vehicles.”The industry recognises that car criminals don’t stand still. As cars become better protected, criminals see a challenge to break into them. The sector is always working out how it can ahead.” 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

Second climate change march pupils told by headteacher to prove they care

Pupils planning to participate in a second climate change march must prove they care about the environment, as one headteacher attempts to clamp down on those hoping to exploit the rally and play truant.Oxford Spires Academy has ruled its schoolchildren will only be allowed to join protests in the city tomorrow if they answer four questions which outline their concerns about the environment and the impact of the strikes.Headteacher Marianne Blake said the measures were introduced after some students took the opportunity to miss school and not attend the nationwide protests, despite indicating they would.The Youth Strike 4 Climate in the UK follows action taken by 15,000 students last month calling on the Government to take more stringent action on climate change.Its organisers are demanding the curriculum give more priority to environmental issues and for the government to declare a ‘state of climate emergency’ to highlight the severity of the ‘ecological crisis’. 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is seen on stage as she takes part in a protest calling for urgent measures to combat climate change, in Hamburg, Germany Students from the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement outside the gates of Downing Street during a climate change protest in Westminster, LondonCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA But school leaders have warned that the strikes are causing major disruptions to planned lesson time which is damaging for pupil development.Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We appealed to all involved in last month’s climate change ‘strike’ not to repeat the exercise, and we are disappointed that another protest is taking place. It places schools in a difficult position. “The problem is not only the disruption and loss of learning time but the fact that schools have responsibility for the safety and well-being of pupils, and it is a serious concern if pupils are off site and unsupervised. “While we understand the strength of feeling over climate change, missing school is not the right approach.”Speaking at the annual ASCL conference, education secretary Damian Hinds urged children to stop walking out on strikes and instead learn how they can play an active role in saving the environment.He said: “I want children in school, and I want children learning to be the engineers, the climate scientists, the geographers of the future. And you’ve got a much better chance of that being in school than not being in school.“I would also say to those children, it is great that they take an interest in this topic, which is one of the biggest topics facing us as a country and as a world. “Additional requirements have been put in place for this strike to ensure that the students attending are attending for the right reasons. Students will need to complete a written application. This must be submitted to me no later than 6pm on Wednesday.”The turnout for the second demonstration, which will see sizeable protests in major cities including London and Leeds, is expected to attract more students than attended the last ones. The action is part of a much wider global movement- spanning from Germany to Australia- known as Schools 4 Climate Action.It began when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, from Sweden, skipped class to sit outside government buildings in September to protest at her country for not following the Paris Climate Agreement. 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is seen on stage as she takes part in a protest calling for urgent measures to combat climate change, in Hamburg, GermanyCredit:Morris MacMatzen/Reuters Students from the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement outside the gates of Downing Street during a climate change protest in Westminster, London Youth Strike 4 Climate wants the voting age to be lowered to 16 so young people can shape future environmental policy as they feel politicians are currently ignoring it.Jake Woodier, from the Youth Strike 4 Climate said: “Students have proven over the last month that they’re highly intelligent and passionate about climate change. Schools are delivering an inadequate level of climate change education to students around the country, so it’s ironic that they’re choosing to examine students on climate change when they have been questioning the status quo.” However, headteachers across the country have expressed their suspicions about the protest being used as a cloak by some pupils to truant from their lessons. Ms Blake wrote in a letter to parents: “Unfortunately there were a number of students who were provided with permission from parents who did not to attend the rally on February 15 and this is not acceptable. “But they can actually take some pride in what this country has been doing. When you talk to people in other governments around the world, they do talk about what this country has done, and the leadership role that we have taken on climate change.“But there’s more that we need to do, clearly there is more that as a community we need to do. So yes in that respect, yes I’m delighted those children are taking a keen interest. But I would rather they were in school.” 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

Judge says foreign criminal should stay in UK as gang membership shows

“In my view, although it is a sad and unpleasant conclusion, the likely association of the appellant with this North London gang is a good example of his integration into one of the less savoury aspects of UK life.”But when the case came before the Upper Tribunal, a higher court, it was ruled that Judge Ruth had “erred in law” in accepting Binbuga’s argument that integration should not exclude gang culture.Judge Alistair McGeachy said: “I simply cannot accept that being a member of a gang in North London can possibly be considered to be an example of social and cultural integration.”There must be imported into the term ‘social and cultural integration’ the norms of British society. Indeed, I consider that being a member of a gang is the antithesis of being socially and culturally integrated in the UK.”Binbuga’s appeal against the decision to deport him was dismissed last week at the Court of Appeal.The Home Office has not said whether Binbuga has been deported yet.A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes in the UK should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them and we have removed around 47,000 foreign offenders since 2010. “It would be inappropriate to comment whilst legal proceedings are ongoing.” 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. A judge proclaimed a foreign criminal should be allowed to stay in the UK as his membership of a gang is evidence he has integrated into British society.Turkish national Tolga Binbuga, 29, came to the UK with his family when he was nine, and went on to be convicted for offences including robbery, assault and burglary.He had been linked with north London’s Get Money Gang.Although the rest of his family was granted British citizenship in 2010, he did not make an application.The Home Office first tried to deport him in 2014, but there have since been a number of appeals, with one judge ruling in 2016 that he should be allowed to remain here because he could be regarded as a “home-grown criminal”.Judge Evan Ruth said in his First Tier Tribunal ruling: “It is a sad and unpleasant fact of life that in various parts of London ‘gang culture’ is an accepted and widespread part of life for many young people.”According to the probation service report, the appellant is known to have previously associated with a gang called the ‘Get Money Gang’ in north London.”It is clear from the report that the probation service accepted that the appellant conducted his previous offending behaviour always in the presence of other young persons. read more

More than two million smart meters in the UK do not work

“Any first generation smart meter that has temporarily lost smart functions will be enrolled into the secure national communications system by the end of 2020 and all smart services will be restored without the need for any further action from consumers.”The nationwide installation of smart meters is a key part of the shift from standard, passive electricity grids to ‘smart grids’.These use digital technology so network operators can predict much more accurately how much electricity is needed by the country, and when, so they can better match supply with demand.The Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy told the BBC: “Since 2012, smart meters have helped millions track how much they’re spending on gas and electricity, so they can save money.”Work to ensure devices stay smart when switching is already underway and will be completed by the end of next year. Smart meters which have lost some smart functionality will be prioritised.”Energy giant SSE announced this month that it will be cutting more than 400 jobs in its retail business covering smart meter installation.Unite, which represents more than 4,000 employees at SSE, said the job cuts were a direct result of the failure of the Government’s smart meter rollout plan. Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB, said: “We face a climate emergency. Smart meters are a vital upgrade to our national energy infrastructure, putting in place the foundation needed to decarbonise Britain.”Everyone with a smart meter has taken a small, but important step to contribute to a smarter, greener energy system. More than two million smart meters in the UK are not working, new research suggests, as energy customers continue to feel pressured into having them installed.Of the nearly 15 million of the devices which were installed by the end of 2018, only 12.5 million were operational, government figures show.This means that 2.3 million which have been set up for customers are not working, the BBC reports.Smart meters are an alternative to gas and electricity meters, and are designed to make controlling energy use easier. They come with a display screen to show customers how much energy they are using in money terms and usage information is sent directly to energy suppliers so there is no need to have the meter read manually.An £11 billion government plan began in 2016 to rollout 53 million smart meters into homes by 2020, replacing all current gas and electricity meters.By September 2018, energy suppliers had installed more than 13.65 million smart meters in homes in Britain, but research by Which? suggested that the rollout rate was too slow to hit the 2020 target.It is claimed smart meters are an important step to tackling climate change, but the technology has been plagued with technical glitches. Tony Keeling, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Head of Retail, at SSE Energy Services said: “Like a number of suppliers, we are facing challenges due to competition increasing, the introduction of the energy price cap and higher operating costs.”To run a sustainable business, we need to become more efficient and ensure we have the right number of employees in the right locations to best serve our customers.”We are committed to engaging and consulting openly and transparently with colleagues, our trade union partners and appropriate employee representatives and have today announced Voluntary Enhanced Redundancy opportunities for some of our customer service and metering teams.” Mark Harris from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, had his smart meter fitted a few months ago. But when he switched suppliers to get a better deal, he found that his device no longer worked. He told the BBC: “How smart is that?”Andy Bannister from Wakefield told the BBC that his smart meter has never worked.He added: “My supplier was hassling me to get one fitted, but when the installer left he said my gas box wasn’t compatible with a smart meter, and the smart reader in the house wasn’t working yet as it wasn’t connected.”The company DCC is tasked with repairing smart meters which are not working – but they have not yet developed the technology to do so.DCC told the BBC: “We’ll be supporting energy suppliers to connect millions of first-generation meters to the central DCC network, bringing consumers the full benefits of smart metering, like the ability to switch supplier without losing smart functionality.” 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

White supremacist Jack Renshaw who plotted to murder Rosie Cooper MP gives

A far-right paedophile who plotted to murder a Labour MP gave a Nazi salute in court as he was jailed for life in prison at the Old Bailey. Jack Renshaw, 23, planned to kill Rosie Cooper – member of Parliament for West Lancashire – and also threatened to kill a police officer.He was sentenced to life on Friday and told he would have to serve a minimum of 20-years before he was considered for parole.As he was being taken down to the cells, a man in the public gallery shouted “we are with you Jack”, and he responded by giving a Nazi salute.Renshaw, who was a member of the far-right group, National Action, before it was outlawed, admitted hatching a plan to Ms Cooper after he was arrested on suspicion of child sex offences last year.But the 23-year from Skelmersdale in Lancashire, told other members of the extremist  group that he had been set up by the police and left wing campaigners who wanted to discredit him.He then sought the group’s permission to take revenge by murdering the MP and also the female police officer who had arrested him. Jack Renshaw was a member of the outlawed neo Nazi group, National Action He told his National Action colleagues of the plan during a meeting at a pub in Warrington, but he was arrested before he carry out his plot when an informant, called Robbie Mullen, who was present at the meeting, contacted the anti-extremist group, Hope Not Hate to alert them as to what was happening. Last year Jack Renshaw was jailed for child sex offences Rosie Cooper became the target of Renshaw's murderous plot  Rosie Cooper became the target of Renshaw’s murderous plot Credit:PA It was later revealed that he had set up two fake Facebook profiles in order to groom two boys aged 13 and 14. He also requested intimate photographs of the pair, but was reported to police when one of the boys told a teacher what was happening.Renshaw was convicted of the offences last year, jailed for 16 months and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10-years.Once a poster boy for the far right British National Party, he had vehemently denied he was gay, telling police he did not believe in sex outside marriage and viewed homosexuality as “unnatural”.But when police seized his phones they revealed internet searches for homosexual pornography.Jenny Hopkins, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “A crime of this type against anyone is a serious matter but when our MPs are targeted it is also an attack on the democratic process and public service.“Jack Renshaw was prepared to act on his white supremacist world view and plotted to kill a Member of Parliament – a plan reminiscent of the abhorrent murder of Jo Cox MP.“He also made threats against a police officer and his prison sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences.” Last year Jack Renshaw was jailed for child sex offences As part of his plot to kill Ms Cooper, he purchased a Gladius Sword from the internet and had carried out internet searches on how to cut the jugular artery. MP Rosie Cooper said in a statement: “My deepest wish is that this case is the last occasion when any public servant, any politician, has their life threatened for simply doing their job.”I believe today justice has been served. Not for me personally, but for every MP and public servant, and for our democratic way of life which affords us the privilege of free speech, without fear of violent retribution.”I wish to thank Robbie Mullen whose bravery saved my life, the Parliamentary Authorities including the Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation Team, the Police – Lancashire and Merseyside Forces and the North West Counter Terrorism unit for keeping me safe.”Thanks also to my family, friends and constituents for all their kindness, hard work and support over the last two years.”Now the case has ended, I will not be making any further comment. I look forward to focusing solely on my work on behalf of the people of West Lancashire as their MP.” He boasted to the youngsters he was rich and offered one of the boys £300 to spend the night with him. Jack Renshaw was a member of the outlawed neo Nazi group, National Action Jack Renshaw purchased a sword in order to kill the Mp, Rosie Cooper Jack Renshaw purchased a sword in order to kill the Mp, Rosie Cooper The prosecution claimed Renshaw had hatched his plot because he feared his true sexuality was about to be exposed, following his arrest for child sex offences. 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

Change UK raise hopes of antiBrexit electoral pact with Lib Dems

The hopes of voters who want Britain to ditch Brexit received a boost after Change UK said it could form an electoral pact with the Liberal Democrats.Former Labour MP Chuka Umunna, the party’s spokesman, said the parties should agree not to stand against each other in the next general election.He said politicians who want Britain to remain in the EU need to work “even more closely together” following the European elections.It comes after his party’s leader, Heidi Allen, admitted she threatened to quit in an internal row over tactical voting to maximise the pro-remain challenge to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.Mr Umunna told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Saturday: “The remain forces in this country need to work even more closely together than we have managed to achieve up to this point between now and the general election.”Asked if Change UK could form a pact with the Liberal Democrats – similar to the alliance between the SDP and the Liberal Party in the 1983 general election – where their candidates do not stand against each other, Mr Umunna said: “I think it would be sensible.”He added: “I personally don’t think we should be competing at a general election and, of course, whilst we had a system of proportional representation at the European elections, it’s going to be first past the post in a general election, so we have got to get our ducks in a row and work out what configuration is appropriate for 2019 and beyond instead of just perhaps using the same model from the 1980s.” Ms Allen was asked earlier this week  if she had threatened to quit as Change UK leader over an internal dispute over whether to publicly back the Liberal Democrats outside London and the South East. She told Channel 4 News: “Yes. I did. I am very, very troubled by this. This is a massive decision for a party to take. Had it been left to me, I would have absolutely advised tactical voting.”Ms Allen, who left the Conservative Party to join other breakaway Tory and Labour MPs, said the majority view was that “they didn’t want to go that way”.She added: “But it is something that still troubles me. I have no doubt that the British public will look at the tactical voting websites out there and make their own decisions.”Change UK was founded in April, two months after a number of Labour and Conservative MPs left their respective parties and joined forces as The Independent Group, following growing dissatisfaction at the way Brexit and other major political issues were being handled by the two main parties.It has 11 MPs in Parliament, but has been dogged by basic setbacks since its launch, including the failure to join forces with other Remain-backing parties in the Peterborough by-election. Change UK leader Heidi Allen speaking during Cardiff's Principality Stadium on May 13 The party had been in talks with the Lib Dems, Greens and Renew about standing a single candidate in the vote on 6 June.The plan collapsed, however, after the unnamed candidate pulled out just hours before the deadline for submitting nomination forms. Change UK leader Heidi Allen speaking during Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on May 13Credit: Mark Hawkins / Barcroft Images 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