Kenneth Faried, of the Denver Nuggets, holds the MVP trophy after the Rising Stars Challenge basketball game at NBA All-Star Weekend, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Denver Nuggets have put out targeted trade feelers on Kenneth Faried to gauge his value, according to multiple sources around the NBA.According to Grantland, the Nuggets have put Kenneth Faried on the trade market, gauging his value and demanding a very good return. Faried averaged 11 points, 9.2 rebounds and won the MVP award of the Rookie-Sophomore Game at All-Star Weekend last season. Faried is entering the third season of his four-year rookie deal, and given his per-game numbers, he figures to get paid on his next contract.Faried is a highly valued player, he has well-above average athleticism, and a motor that seemingly never stops. There will definitely be offers, but the asking price would undoubtedly be extremely steep.Though the Nuggets organization denies putting Faried on the market, sources around the league say that the Nuggets are just trying to get a feel of what they can get for him.It’s highly unlikely that Faried will be traded, but it does make sense for Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw to see what he can get for his big man.
Shaquille O’Neal21 PLAYERWON TITLELOST TITLE Michael Jordan62 Dave Cowens10 LeBron James26 The Cleveland Cavaliers’ season could come to an end Monday night, and with it the latest chance for the city to end its half-century championship drought. A pair of NBA Finals losses is not the legacy LeBron James was hoping to leave when he returned home two summers ago.As usual, it isn’t because of a lack of statistical performance on James’s part. In these finals, he’s averaging 24.8 points, 11 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game, which would mark only the second time since 19841The first year for which Basketball-Reference.com has complete game-level data. that a player has averaged at least 20, 10 and 8 in the finals. (The only other time? That would be when James did it last year.)In terms of average Game Score in the series, nobody else on the Cavaliers — or the Golden State Warriors — is close to James’s 20.2 per-game mark. And in the playoffs as a whole, James leads the NBA in value over replacement player (VORP), Win Shares and John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating-based value metric Estimated Wins Added.Yet it’s not enough, as it seldom has been for LeBron. If he hangs on to his lead this year, James will have been the playoff leader by consensus of these three statistics eight times over his career, tying Michael Jordan for the most since ’74. But he’ll have won a championship in just two of those playoff campaigns; Jordan, by contrast, went six for eight. Elvin Hayes10 IN YEARS LEADING THE POSTSEASON, NUMBER OF TIMES … LeBron’s losses are out of place among playoff stars Tim Duncan20 Clyde Drexler10 “Lost Title” includes losses at any stage of the postseason.Source: Basketball-reference.com Magic Johnson30 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar12 Larry Bird30 How uncommon is it for a player to lead the NBA playoffs numerically and still not lead his team to a championship? Since 1974, the consensus best statistical player of the postseason also won the title about 70 percent of the time. James, on the other hand, has won a ring on only a quarter of the occasions he’s been the playoffs’ best individual performer. If he, like his peers, had 70 percent odds each time, there’d be only a 1 percent chance he’d go two for eight.On the one hand, this is kerosene-soaked kindling for fans who decry James as a choker with a disappointing postseason record. (For what it’s worth, a loss to Golden State would put him about 0.6 titles below expectation, after accounting for the strength of his finals opponents.) On the other hand, it’s tough to criticize LeBron too harshly for some of his off-the-charts statistical performances in losing efforts over the years, particularly given the supporting casts he’s been saddled with at times.But on the — um, third hand? — James’s teammates also have a history of undershooting expectations in ways that go beyond even their performances in the finals. As part of my research into Kobe Bryant’s career, I looked for the effect a player had on his teammates, in terms of whether they met their preseason projections while suiting up with the player in question. And among the top 100 players since 1974 by VORP, only seven2Elton Brand, Alvin Robertson, Charles Barkley, Josh Smith, Hersey Hawkins, Tracy McGrady and Andrei Kirilenko. were associated with bigger, more persistent shortfalls by teammates than James. Mystifying as it may be for a player known for his vision and playmaking skills, LeBron might simply be a difficult player to slot in next to and play your best alongside.All of this makes James’s legacy one of the most complicated to assess of any player in NBA history. And unless he and the Cavs can capitalize on Draymond Green’s Game 5 suspension — then conjure up miracles in games 6 and 7 as well — the stark juxtaposition between James’s own numbers and his teams’ record in the finals will continue to dog LeBron into the summer and beyond.Check out our NBA Finals predictions.
The potential for success is there for the Ohio State men’s soccer team, but with 11 newcomers from last season there are questions at almost every position.Eighteen of the 25 players are freshmen and sophomores, but it’s the hope of coach John Bluem that competition at every position will be the ingredient for success.“We are young, we are inexperienced and there are going to be some growing pains along the way,” Bluem said. “But we’re beginning to see what players are capable of and where they might be able to play.”Despite all the newcomers to the team, the coaching staff has been pretty pleased. Six games into the schedule the Buckeyes stand at 3-0-3 heading into their game on Wednesday night. At the outset of the season, the team set out to be more fit and organized than any opposing team. They planned to exert maximum effort. The team worked on those things in the offseason. Bluem said that is the key to having a successful season. “If you do those three things, if you’re fit, organized and you work hard, you’re going to like the results,” he said. The offense is coming together and as OSU plays more games the underclassmen will gain more and more experience, helping to cut down the mistakes that a young team like this tends to make. The coaching staff is also still trying to find the starting lineup and style of play they want to run this season to put them in the best position to win. But so far the Buckeyes have to feel good about themselves, considering all the unanswered questions surrounding the team.“It’s a learning process to get good results,” Bluem said. “But at the end of the day we’re pleased.” Something seems to be working, as the team has not lost on the season so far and their last game was a 0-0 draw to SIU Edwardsville. The Buckeyes have now gone six games without a loss, the longest stretch since the start of the 2001 season when they opened 6-0-1.The team opened its season against Cincinnati getting a 5-1 win. The team’s other two wins included Cal State Fullerton and Butler. They also faced Gonzaga, Louisville and SIU Edwardsville, all three games ending in draws.The Buckeyes’ next opponent will be IUPUI on Wednesday at 7 P.M in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Although the Buckeyes’ wrestling season might not have lived up to expectations, the team is entering the Big Ten Tournament boasting five seeded competitors. Coach Tom Ryan called this tournament the beginning of the real season. Senior captain Colt Sponseller, 165 pounds, and redshirt freshman Nick Heflin, 174 pounds, were selected as No. 2 seeds for the weekend’s tournament. The two are tied for the most wins on the team at 19 each. Redshirt freshman Peter Capone, 197 pounds, redshirt sophomore captain C.J. Magrum, 184 pounds, and sophomore captain Ian Paddock, 133 pounds, all received seeds for the tournament. Magrum was given a No. 7 seed, while Capone and Paddock received No. 8 seeds. For the Buckeyes (2-11, 1-7 Big Ten), seeds do not mean much. “Seedings don’t matter,” Heflin said. “You have to beat everyone to win it anyway.” Although the Buckeyes’ season has not been great, Ryan said this is where the real season starts for the competitors. “In the competitive world, the season starts now. Records don’t matter; mentality matters,” Ryan said. “I’m sure all our guys are anxious to compete.” The team has been preparing hard for the Big Ten Tournament, and wrestlers said the week following their last dual was filled with two practices per day. “We’ve had a couple of hard weeks,” Paddock said. Capone said the team brought in Tommy Rowlands — who won two National Championships for Ohio State in 2002 and 2004 — to help the team prepare for the tournament. Capone welcomed the chance to train with the former National Champion. “He kills me for 10 minutes straight, then for another 10 minutes,” Capone said, “so I can’t even barely stand.” Capone said he hopes training will make facing someone in his weight class easier as he grows accustomed to wrestling the former heavyweight National Champion. Magrum said he is looking forward to a potential rematch with Iowa’s Grant Gambrall. “That was an upsetting one. I started off winning the match, and ended up getting beat pretty bad,” Magrum said. “I’d like another shot at that.” Sponseller said he’s looking to put the “icing on the cake” of his Big Ten career. “I want to go out there and win,” Sponseller said. “It’s the only thing I have on my mind right now is go out there and win a Big Ten title.” The Buckeyes began the season as the No. 12 team, but injuries and inexperience have contributed to their less-than-stellar record. The team is looking to salvage what it can in the Big Ten Tournament, and send as many wrestlers as possible to the NCAA Championships. “We just really want to go out there and get as many guys to nationals as we can,” Sponseller said. Ryan agreed. “Right now, this thing’s about qualifying for the national tournament,” Ryan said. “Right now, we got to get our guys to the national tournament and represent this program the way it needs to be.” The Big Ten Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday in Evanston, Ill.
The Ohio State men’s golf coach said his team just couldn’t recover. The Buckeyes finished 11th among 11 teams with an overall score of 629 at the two-day Jack Nicklaus Invitational on Tuesday in Dublin, Ohio. Coach Donnie Darr was not pleased with OSU’s play, and attributed the team’s performance to losing its drive. “The biggest thing was we really struggled with our ball striking and we hit the ball in position where it was hard to get it up and down,” Darr said. “Once it started to go bad on us the momentum went away from us and we never recovered.” From the get-go, the team faced minor delays due to frost on Monday and Tuesday morning and the tournament was reduced to 36 of the original 54 holes. Freshman Tee-K Kelly led the Buckeyes tied for 23rd place with a score of 74 for the first round and 81 for the second round. Sophomores Boo Timko and Grant Weaver tied senior Matt Turner for 35th place. Timko scored a pair for 79’s for the first and final round, while Weaver scored 77 the first round and 81 the final round. Turner scored 78 the first round and 80 the final round. Following the trio tied for 35th place, freshman Max Rosenthal tied for 50th place with scores of 82 and 81 in the first and final rounds of the tournament, respectively. Behind Rosenthal, sophomore Logan Jones placed 59th with a score of 88 the first round and 85 the final round, while freshman Sean Busch followed Jones, finishing 60th with a score 86 the first round and 89 the final round. Darr said even though the team did not place its best Tuesday, he is still happy with the team’s play this season. “I think we had a really good fall leading up to this event, our first three tournaments we played very well and very consistent and we were growing as a team,” Darr said. “We just had a bad week this tournament, just a small set back, you are going to have good days and bad days.” The Buckeyes will compete in the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 29-30, for the team’s last tournament of its 2012 fall season.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger should be 10 games into his eighth NHL season as of Tuesday night. But instead of playing games at Nationwide Arena, Umberger can be found at the Schottenstein Center.With the NHL in the midst of its second lockout in nine seasons, Umberger has temporarily traded in his blue jersey for scarlet and gray as a volunteer coach for Ohio State men’s hockey team.“I’m very fortunate to be able to come here and help out, and I’m glad they want me to be here,” Umberger said.Umberger, who played at OSU from 2001 to 2003, said it’s fun helping out his alma mater, but he would rather be playing.The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Association expired in September, and the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. Until they do, the jobs of Umberger and every other NHL player are on hiatus. All scheduled games in November have already been canceled.The NHL and NHLPA resumed talks Saturday after more than two weeks apart, but Umberger said it was a “disappointing moment” when the previous round of negotiations ended Oct. 18 without a deal.“The NHL gave their offer and we came back at them and they kind of walked out in 10 minutes,” Umberger said. “That was a little bit of a reality moment … this could go a long time. This is something that might not end shortly.”Umberger said working with the Buckeyes has helped him stay focused during the lockout.“I’ve been on the ice so I’m staying in shape … (and) just being around the game and staying fresh and staying prepared mentally,” Umberger said. “This (lockout) is such an unknown thing, it could be tomorrow and they tell us we got to be at the rink, so it’s a challenge to stay fresh every day.”While many NHL players have continued to play professional hockey overseas during the lockout, Umberger said he decided to stay close to his family.“That first decision was staying in Columbus, and then it was … what can I do while I’m here in Columbus?” Umberger said. “(OSU coach Mark) Osiecki presented me with this offer, and it was something I couldn’t pass up.”Osiecki said having an NHL player leading by example at practices is “worth its weight in gold.”“His practice habits, how he takes care of his body after practice, what he puts into his body nutritionally, he can speak to that,” Osiecki said. “If you don’t approach the game that way … you don’t have a chance to get to the NHL level.”Junior forward Travis Statchuk said he has been motivated by practicing with Umberger.“It’s a huge honor for us having him on the ice,” Statchuk said. “For a guy like that who’s obviously a veteran in the NHL to come back and give back to where he played college, he didn’t have to do that.”Umberger, who completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing from OSU in 2011, said “one small reason” for finishing his degree was so he can pursue coaching following his playing career.As a minor league player at the time, Umberger said he was not affected by the league’s previous lockout in 2004-2005 but said the current lockout is unnecessary and disappointing.“I think both sides just need to realize they need to … meet in the middle,” Umberger said. “Both sides got to be willing to give concessions. Both sides got to realize that there’s more damage that could be done by letting this (lockout) progress any longer.”
Sophomore Alabama running back Kenyan Drake (17) avoids defenders during a game against Kentucky Oct. 12 at Commonwealth Stadium. Alabama won, 48-7.Courtesy of MCTThere are few things that bring us together as a country like football.Small towns everywhere gather together under Friday night lights to bask in the glory of high school games. College towns huddle together through scorching heat and blistering cold for the love of the game. Even big cities jump on board to cheer on their own professional teams.Quite simply, football is inescapable. Hell, other countries call it American football. It’s ours. We made it and we love it. We have parties based around it, and companies across the nation bid for their advertisements to be featured alongside the game.So to imply that half of the population can’t follow football is insulting and downright sexist.Yet, here we are. Bring in University of Alabama running back Kenyan Drake, who tweeted Jan. 20 from his personal account, @KDx17, “Most girls like basketball more than football (because) they can follow it alot (sic) easier.”Sure, we can blow it off as another stupid thing an athlete sent out to the cyber world and another thing for which an athlete received a major repercussion (re: backup OSU quarterback Cardale Jones’ infamous tweet about how he didn’t come here to “play school” but rather to play football). But to me, it’s more than that.The idea that women can’t “follow” football easily is a blatant exclusion of women from part of the American identity and it’s downright insulting. Football has always been a boy’s club, sure, but there would be a great deal fewer fans without women filling the stands.But let’s play along with his stereotypes.All those women who cook your meals before games and after practices (because that’s where women belong, right? In the kitchen?) don’t know what’s going on in the game. They’re just there to serve you.Same with that woman who knows how to get grass, blood, mud and the smell of sweat out of your uniform. Football is too complicated for her to realize how all those stains got there, but thank God she can wash it for you.And don’t forget the cheerleaders who follow you to every game, throwing themselves in the air to celebrate your achievements? Surely they have a man nearby telling them when to cheer because they’re too stupid to know what’s happening by themselves.Most importantly, what about all the mothers out there? All the mothers who drive their sons to practices, adorn themselves with buttons with their son looking dashing in his uniform so they can properly cheer him on, pray for his safety in every single play and never miss a game — all those mothers are so blissfully ignorant of what their son is doing.Of course, football has always been a male-dominated sport. It takes almost no common sense to figure that out. But to say girls can’t follow it is sexist, insulting and dated.Sexism starts in the most basic jokes. Saying someone can’t follow something or that they follow a certain stereotype, even in a joking matter, makes sexist comments down the line seem less insulting and detracts from the reality of exclusion.The worst part to me is that Drake later retweeted Iowa State redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Duaron Williams (@UntamedBigDawg), who replied back “Or cuz they basic lol,” as a response to his first tweet. He isn’t sorry for what he did and he doesn’t realize his actions are insulting.But football has and always will be a part of my life that I definitely can follow and no, I’m not “basic.”
Then-junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) rushes the ball during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Lantern file photoWith kickoff just a little over a month away, the best players from the Big Ten are set to join their coaches for a media frenzy in Chicago scheduled for July 28 to 29.There will be plenty to talk about as the players and coaches take the podium, but here are 10 of the top storylines to look for during the 2014 Big Ten Media Days.10. Player unionizationThe topic of player unionization has been discussed throughout the past year with former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter leading the charge for the players. While the discussion of player unionization has died down over the past few months, look for it to resurface in Chicago, especially when Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and his players take the stand.9. Michigan vs. Notre Dame in its final yearWhen Notre Dame signed a contract last year to play six ACC teams per season, it was announced that the Fighting Irish would not renew their yearly battle with the Wolverines after the 2014 season. Michigan coach Brady Hoke famously called out the Fighting Irish last spring saying that Notre Dame was “chickening out” of the rivalry game.Michigan went on to win the 2013 matchup in Ann Arbor, Mich. However, with the final year of the rivalry game looming, expect more bulletin board material coming from the Wolverines.8. Record amount of night games for Ohio StateOSU coach Urban Meyer has always been an advocate of night games in college football, and with the recent announcement of the Buckeyes’ fifth night game in 2014, he has gotten his wish. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Virginia Tech, Cincinnati and Illinois at home under the lights as well as Penn State and Michigan State on the road in prime-time starts.The matchup with the Spartans is the game that seems to be circled on everyone’s schedule as the game of the season, as the two met in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game when MSU won 34-24, snapping a 24-game winning streak for OSU.7. OSU’s defenseFor a team that went 12-2 last season, the Buckeyes boasted a less than stellar defense.Enter new defensive coordinator Chris Ash, who joined the Buckeye staff after leaving Bret Bielema’s staff in Arkansas. Ash is no stranger to the Big Ten, as he coached under Bielema while he was at Wisconsin, even helping coach the Badgers to an upset win against the Buckeyes in 2010 –– the only game OSU dropped that season.Expect OSU’s only defensive representative, defensive lineman Michael Bennett, to receive plenty of questions about not only Ash but also of longtime Penn State coach Larry Johnson Sr., who replaced Mike Vrabel after he bolted for a coaching job with the Houston Texans in the NFL.6. Braxton Miller’s off-seasonEver since getting banged up in the Orange Bowl against Clemson, OSU senior quarterback Braxton Miller has stayed out of the spotlight, something a Heisman Trophy candidate usually doesn’t do.Miller sat out all of spring practice after undergoing minor shoulder surgery as redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett took the majority of the snaps.Buckeye fans are hoping for a Troy Smith-like jump from Miller’s junior to senior year, but Miller and Meyer will surely be bombarded with questions as to whether Miller can stay healthy for an entire season.5. Addition of Maryland, RutgersWith Maryland and Rutgers now in the Big Ten, we will see two new coaches and a handful of players who largely have not been heard from by Big Ten fans and members alike.Coaches Randy Edsall of Maryland and Kyle Flood of Rutgers will likely be bombarded with questions as to what their expectations are in the Big Ten East Division and how they plan to make a smooth transition. Players to watch for from these two teams are Maryland wide receiver and preseason all-conference selection Stefon Diggs and now-former Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson.Nelson was a two-year starter for the Minnesota Golden Gophers before transferring to Rutgers this offseason. He was then involved in an altercation with another man and is facing charges of first and third degree assault. He was kicked off the team by Flood. Expect both Flood and Golden Gophers coach Jerry Kill to receive plenty of questions on the situation.4. Penn State coach James FranklinThe second coach to take the reins of the Penn State program since the unfortunate Jerry Sandusky scandal, Franklin will face the Big Ten media for the first time.The former Vanderbilt coach led the Commodores to three consecutive bowl games, something that had never been done in the history of the Vanderbilt program.Franklin inherits a scholarship-deprived team in Happy Valley but brings an intensity that could very well be contagious in the PSU locker room.3. College football playoffAlthough it has been discussed for years, 2014 will be the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff. Gone are the ways of the controversial BCS, and players and coaches will undoubtedly be asked about their feelings on the new process.This topic will be very hit-or-miss as coaches will either dismiss the questions concerning the process completely or express strong opinions either for or against the playoff.2. OSU vs. Michigan State rematchAs alluded to earlier, the Buckeye-Spartan rematch is being tabbed as the biggest game in the conference this year –– as it should be.The Spartans’ upset of OSU in the Big Ten Championship game last year kept the Buckeyes out of the national championship discussion and sent MSU to Pasadena, Calif., where it defeated Stanford.The winner of the Nov. 8 showdown will be the favorite to go on to represent the East Division in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game, and both Meyer and MSU coach Mark Dantonio will probably be asked if it is circled on their calendars just like it is on everyone else’s.1. Bob Bowlsby’s commentsThe Big 12 commissioner’s comments concerning the NCAA have sent wavelengths through not only the college football landscape but college athletics in general.Bowlsby thrashed the NCAA saying that “cheating pays” and that the NCAA “enforcement is broken.” This will absolutely be one of, if not the most, discussed topics at Big Ten Media Days, especially for OSU and PSU, who have been the most recent Big Ten schools to receive heavy punishments for NCAA violations.
The Princess Royal has moved to allay fears about the Queen’s health by insisting she was feeling “better” despite missing church at Sandringham for the second successive Sunday.Concerns for Her Majesty have been growing since a heavy cold prevented her from joining the Royal family at church on Christmas Day, the first time in 28 years she had missed the service.Her absence from the New Year’s Day service came after Buckingham Palace announced she “does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold”.Her Majesty has enjoyed such robust health throughout her life that it is rare for her to miss any public appearance, and her continued absence has led to speculation around the world about the extent of her illness. 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 Duke, 95, had recovered sufficiently by Christmas Day to walk to church, though he was driven to the New Year service to avoid heavy rain. He was accompanied in the car by the Countess of Wessex.The Earl of Wessex and his daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 13, chose to walk to and from the church with Princess Anne and Sir Tim.The Earl wished a Happy New Year to onlookers, saying: “Let’s hope it gets better. It can’t get much worse.” The Queen has not been photographed since December 9, when she attended a function at Buckingham Palace, and will not now be seen in public until at least next Sunday, when she will again be due to attend St Mary Magdalene Church, 400 yards from Sandringham House.If she does make an appearance, it will be the first time in a month that she has been photographed.She has stayed indoors for almost a fortnight, though royal sources have insisted she is “up and about”. Prince Harry had already left Sandringham and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been spending the Christmas break with the Middleton family in Berkshire.Among the wellwishers outside the church were horticultural worker John Disdel, 69 of Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire, who said: “I didn’t really expect the Queen to attend. Being wrapped up warm at home is the best place for a 90-year-old who is ill. You can’t read anything into her not being here.”Catherine Jarvis, 40, of Loughton, Essex, said: “We are just hoping she is OK. She doesn’t have to come out and prove anything to us. Christmas is all about being with your family.” Show more The Duke of Edinburgh arrives by car with Sophie Countess of Wessex at the church service on the Sandringham estateCredit:Albanpix.com/Matthew Usher The Queen first started feeling unwell before Christmas, cancelling her planned train journey to Sandringham from London on December 20.She and the Duke of Edinburgh were both poorly, and they flew to Norfolk by helicopter on December 21 instead. Clare Gerada, former head of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said a particular nasty cold strain was hitting people of all ages this winter, taking three weeks to clear.She said: “We are seeing an awful lot of people this winter with a virus that is more severe than a normal cold, almost a type of bronchitis.“It is causing a hacking cough and if the Queen has got it, then she is probably exhausted from coughing. It may well be affecting her sleep as well, which would leave anyone feeling exhausted, never mind a 90-year-old.“It’s taking three to four weeks for people to completely recover, and the length of time the Queen has been ill would be in keeping with that.” The Queen has not been photographed since December 9, when she met the High Commissioner of Bangladesh Credit:Getty /John Stillwell Prince Philip smiles at wellwishers on New Year’s Day morningCredit:Andrew Parsons/i-Images The Royal family rarely comment on health matters, but when she was asked by a member of the public how the Queen was feeling, the Princess Royal smiled and said: “Better.”Her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence was asked the same question and said: “Not too bad.”The Duke of Edinburgh looked anything but worried as he attended the New Year service, smiling at wellwishers and appearing to make jokes about the weather.
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 hatchling Protoceratops andrewsi fossil from the Gobi Desert Ukhaa Tolgod, MongoliaCredit:Amercian Museum of Natural History M. Ellison In contrast, birds and small mammals only took a few weeks for their offspring to emerge giving them a distinct advantage.The discovery was made by scientists at Florida State University and the University of Calgary, who realised it was possible to calculate how long it took for dinosaurs to hatch based on marks on the teeth of embryos and babies.Just like tree rings growing a new layer each year, teeth grow a new layer each day, which can be seen in microscopic lines in the dentine.By simply counting the lines, scientists found that it took dinosaurs between three and six months to hatch. However, similar sized reptilian eggs typically take twice as long, ranging from several weeks to many months. To find out where dinosaurs fitted in, the team studied the fossils of dinosaur embryos.“Time within the egg is a crucial part of developmentt, but this earliest growth stage is poorly known because dinosaur embryos are rare,” said Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of geoscience at the University of Calgary.“Embryos can potentially tell us how dinosaurs developed and grew very early on in life and if they are more similar to birds or reptiles in these respects.”The two types of dinosaur embryos researchers examined were those from a protoceratops, a sheep-sized dinosaur found in the Gobi desert whose eggs were quite small, and hypacrosaurus, an enormous duck-billed dinosaur found in Alberta, Canada with eggs weighing nine pounds.The team ran the embryonic jaws through a CT scanner to visualise the forming dentition. Then, they extracted several of the teeth to examine them under sophisticated microscopes. Growth lines on the teeth showed researchers precisely how long the dinosaurs had been growing in the eggs. Prof Erickson said the teeth are “kind of like tree rings, but they’re put down daily. So we could literally count them to see how long each dinosaur had been developing”.Their results showed nearly three months for the tiny protoceratops embryos and six months for those from the giant hypacrosaurus.The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gregory Erickson is a professor of biological science at Florida State UniversityCredit:FSU Photography Services Researchers examined a fossilized embryo of the dinosaur HypacrosaurusCredit:Credit, courtesy of Darla Zelinitsky The mystery of why the dinosaurs became extinct after the Cretaceous meteor strike, while birds and mammals flourished, may finally have been solved.Paleontologists have discovered that dinosaur young took so long to hatch and grow into adulthood that populations failed to recover quickly enough after the devastating impact 65 million years ago. This image shows the daily growth lines in the dentine of an embryonic tooth of Hypacrosaurus Credit:G.M. Erickson The lengthy incubation period – in comparison to small mammals – made the hatchlings, and their parents, vulnerable to predators and left them struggling to re-establish their species.“Some of the greatest riddles about dinosaurs pertain to their embryology, virtually nothing is known,” Gregory Erickson, professor of biological science at Florida said.“We suspect our findings have implications for understanding why dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period, whereas amphibians, birds, mammals and other reptiles made it through and prospered.” Because birds are living dinosaurs, scientists have long assumed that the duration of dinosaur incubation was similar to birds, whose eggs hatch within 11 to 85 days.
A violent paedophile who made a “hidey hole” in his home to conceal a girl he was abusing has been convicted of a string of sex crimes in a case described as “reminiscent” of Josef Fritzl.Michael Dunn, 57, from Redcar, North Yorks, knocked through the wall behind his fridge to create a cavity that he used to hide the runaway girl from the police.Teesside Crown Court heard that Dunn, who was “paranoid, controlling and short tempered”, abused four victims with the offences spanning a number of decades.A source who worked on the case later described it as “reminiscent in many ways of Josef Fritzl”, the Austrian who kept his daughter prisoner for 24 years as a sex slave. The ‘hidey hole’ in the home of violent paedophile Michael Dunn, which he used to conceal a girl he was abusingCredit:CPS/PA Prosecutor Richard Bennett told the jury that if any of Dunn’s victims challenged him, “they suffered physically” and “he had sex when he wanted”.”Michael Dunn is a violent, controlling and sexually abusive man,” he said.He told the jury that the victims “were in his thrall and felt almost powerless” against their “paranoid and short-tempered” abuser.The court heard he would use a bag of dust and a panel to camouflage the hole where the girl was kept, concealing her from the police on eight or nine occasions. 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. Det Sgt Dave Pettrick, of Cleveland Police, said: “This was an extremely complex and difficult inquiry which spanned many years and several locations in the UK.”I would first of all like to pay tribute to the victims for their bravery and for supporting our investigation, which enabled us to bring Dunn before the courts. “Essentially Dunn groomed several women and young girls, in some cases making them completely dependent on him, and carrying out sexual offences against all of them.”Some of the victims were kept in line through Dunn’s extreme violence or even through the fear of violence and he had complete and absolute control over their lives.”He ensured he and his victims evaded the authorities while he continued to abuse and control the women. Needless to say, all four women are deeply affected by their terrible ordeal. I hope today’s verdict will bring some comfort to them as they attempt to move on with their lives.”Judge Tony Briggs remanded Dunn in custody until his next appearance. Michael Dunn knocked through a wall behind his fridge to create a cavity that he used to hide the runaway girl from policeCredit:Cleveland Police The girl had already been the victim of sexual abuse, having been raped and beaten by another man, the court heard.Mr Bennett said: “The Crown say he took advantage of that situation for his own sexual gratification.”He imprisoned a second female victim, subjecting her to repeated violence, and filled his house with cameras, locks on the outside of doors and alarms.He also groomed and sexually assaulted another vulnerable under-age girl, giving her alcohol and cigarettes, and raped another pre-teenage girl.On Wednesday, the jury convicted him of 10 rapes, three charges of false imprisonment and three charges of indecent assault. He was cleared of one charge of rape, one of making a threat to kill and one of grievous bodily harm. Michael Dunn’s case has been compared to that of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian paedophile (pictured) Dunn groomed several women and young girls, in some cases making them completely dependent on him, and carrying out sexual offences against all of themDet Sgt Dave Pettrick
South Central Ambulance Service has been informed about the release of the tape of a 999 call… and have launched an immediate investigationSpokesman for the ambulance service September 2011 till December 2016 best years of my life. I will always forever miss you. Xxx— Fadi Fawaz (@fadifawaz) January 15, 2017 George Michael’s boyfriend tried to wake the singer up for an hour and described him as “beyond help” in an emotional 999 call after he found his body.Fadi Fawaz, who found Michael dead at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day, described the singer as “cold” and “blue” in the call to the emergency services. In the four-minute recording, Mr Fawaz is heard telling the female call handler that he found the singer “in bed, dead” Credit:Stillwell/PA Wire PRESS ASSOCIATION A spokesman added: “South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has been informed about the release of the tape of a 999 call. We take matters of confidentiality very seriously and have launched an immediate investigation.“As Thames Valley Police are preparing a file for the coroner we are also liaising with Thames Valley Police and are therefore not able to comment further at this time.” Thames Valley Police said it was a matter for the ambulance service. In the four-minute recording, released on Friday night by The Sun, Mr Fawaz is heard telling the female call handler that he found the singer “in bed, dead” and that he was “very stiff”.When asked whether the singer is “beyond help”, Mr Fawaz replies and says he is “dead”. He then says: “I’ve been trying to wake him up for the last hour but it’s not possible. He’s gone. He’s blue. He’s cold.”He is heard confirming Michael’s age – 53 – and address. The call-handler tells him to wait at the property and not speak to anyone while the authorities are called.South Central Ambulance Service confirmed it had launched an immediate investigation following the release of a tape. Mr Fawaz did not respond to a request for comment. A solicitor representing Michael’s family said: “George’s family and friends are extremely upset and truly appalled that such a personal, painful and clearly confidential recording has been leaked to the media.”On their behalf we will be ensuring that a full investigation takes place to establish how this material was made available and we will expect the culprit(s) to be dealt with appropriately.” Flowers left outside the home of George Michael in Highgate, north London, after news of his death brokeCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire “Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I.”Now everything is ruined. I want people to remember him the way he was – he was a beautiful person.”Police have since spoken to Mr Fawaz – along with a number of other witnesses – in order to ascertain the star’s last movements to compile a report for the coroner. She added that the family believed that anyone contacting the emergency authorities should do so in the confidence it remains private. News of Michael’s death broke late on Christmas Day, with hundreds of fans flooding to his riverside property in Goring, Oxfordshire, to pay tribute to the star.Mr Fawaz later tweeted it was a Christmas he would “never forget” and said he had found Michael “dead peacefully in bed first thing this morning”.Speaking about the devastating news on Boxing Day, he told The Telegraph: “We were supposed to be going for Christmas lunch. I went round there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed. We don’t know what happened yet. 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.
Paralysed people could regain control of their own limbs, scientists have proven, after connecting a man’s thoughts to his arm muscles, allowing him to feed himself for the first time in eight years. The device was developed by scientists from Case Western Reserve University, who are based at the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center in Ohio.Mr Kochevar became paralysed in 2009 during a 150 mile charity bike race when a postal van that he was riding behind stopped suddenly to deliver a package, and he went into the back. For the past eight years he has relied on carers to help him with every task, but now has the first hope of independence.“People have to do stuff for me that I can’t do myself. They have to turn my every two hours, if I want water, they have to get me water. This research has enhanced my ability to be able to do things,” he added. “Now we can tell the world it is possible to reconnect the brain and make the arm move again. I ate a pretzel, it really got good one day I had some mashed potato.” When asked, people with quadriplegia say their first priority is to scratch an itch, feed themselves or perform other simple functions with their arm and hand, instead of relying on caregivers.“Every day, most of us take for granted that when we will to move, we can move any part of our body with precision and control in multiple directions and those with traumatic spinal cord injury or any other form of paralysis cannot,” said Dr Benjamin Walter, associate professor of Neurology at Case Western“The ultimate hope of any of these individuals is to restore this function. By restoring the communication of the will to move from the brain directly to the body this work will hopefully begin to restore the hope of millions of paralyzed individuals that someday they will be able to move freely again.”And the devices could soon be available outside of the lab. Work is underway to make the brain implant wireless, and the scientists are improving decoding and stimulation patterns needed to make movements more precise.“This is a major step toward restoring some independence,” said Dr Bob Kirsch, chair of Case Western Reserve’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.“He’s really breaking ground for the spinal cord injury community,”The research was published in The Lancet. Mr Kochevar became paralysed in 2009 during a 150 mile charity bike raceCredit:Case Western Reserve University A team of surgeons implanted two electrode arrays, each around the size of a baby aspirin, on the surface of Mr Kochevar’s brain to record signals when he imagines moving his own arm and hand.That signal is then fed into a computer which turns the command into an electrical pulse which triggers 36 electrodes in his hand, wrist, arm, elbow and shoulder. To overcome gravity that would otherwise prevent him from raising his arm, Mr Kochevar also a mobile arm support, which is also under his brain’s control.After 45 weeks of training Mr Kochevar can now move each joint in his right arm independently just by thinking.“By taking the brain signals generated when Bill attempts to move, and using them to control the stimulation of his arm and hand, he was able to perform personal functions that were important to him,” said Dr Bolu Ajiboye, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and lead study author.“Although similar systems have been used before, none of them have been as easy to adopt for day-to-day use and they have not been able to restore both reaching and grasping actions“With further development, we believe the technology could give more accurate control, allowing a wider range of actions, which could begin to transform the lives of people living with paralysis.” Bill Kochevar, 56, who was left paralysed from the neck down following a cycling accident, is now able to drink coffee, eat macaroni cheese and mashed potato and even scratch his nose with a loofah after being fitted with the groundbreaking technology.The device works by sending Mr Kochevar’s brainwaves to a computer, where they are translated into electrical pulses and directed to electrodes implanted near the paralysed muscles in his arm and hand. As the muscles switch on they allow him to grasp objects and raise his arm. 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. He is the first person with quadriplegia in the world to have arm and hand movements restored using a direct link to the brain.“For somebody who’s been injured eight years and couldn’t move, being able to move just that little bit is awesome to me,” said Mr Kochevar, 56, of Cleveland, Ohio. “It’s better than thought it would be. It’s pretty cool to be the first one in the world to do it.“I’m making it move without having to really concentrate hard at it. I just think ‘out’ and it goes.” The device gives hope to millions of disabled and paralysed peopleCredit:Case Western Reserve University Bill Kochevar eats mashed potato again Credit:Case Western Reserve University Mr Kochevar’s imagines he moving his own arm and hand and a signal travels to his musclesCredit:Case Western Reserve University
Farewell dearest Roger. All our love, Andrew and Madeleine— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) May 23, 2017 A message shared on the actor’s official Twitter account read: “With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated.” James Bond actor dies in Switzerland aged 89Family say he had short battle with cancerStatement says: ‘We are all devastated’Moore portrayed 007 in seven Bond filmsHe is also remembered for role in The SaintFans and friends pay tribute to Roger MooreSir Roger: ‘I was never very confident with girls’Why Roger Moore was the greatest James BondSir Roger Moore – The Telegraph obituaryRoger Moore: his life and career in picturesFormer James Bond star Sir Roger Moore has died in Switzerland at the age of 89 after a short battle with cancer, his family has announced. “Today, I think we’re very lucky to have Daniel Craig because he is quite extraordinary. I always say that Sean looked like a killer – but Daniel Craig would finish it off. Despite having been criticised somewhat throughout his decades-long career for having a lack of depth, Sir Roger remained self-deprecating.He once said he could not act “in the Olivier sense”, although he described himself as a good technician. ‘Thank you Pops for being you’The statement continued: “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce our loving father, Sir Roger Moore, has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.”The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.” “The affection our father felt whenever he walked on to a stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Starring in 1978 film The Wild GeeseCredit: Allstar/Cinetext/RANK “In that Roger taught me what a movie star really was and should be,” she added. “Through his lifelong work with Unicef he showed me the true meaning of being a humanitarian and giving back. He was my Bond.” Sir Roger on 007Sir Roger was the longest-serving actor to play the womanising MI6 agent, having portrayed 007 in seven films.He held the title for a total of 14 years, from 1972 – when he was officially confirmed as 007 – to 1986, when his successor Timothy Dalton was formally announced. With Christopher Lee in The Man With The Golden GunCredit: Everett Collection / Rex Feature Roger Moore in his role as James BondCredit: My dearest uncle Roger has passed on. What a sad, sad day this is. Loved the bones of him. Generous, funny, beautiful and kind. #ROGERMOORE— Michael Ball OBE (@mrmichaelball) May 23, 2017 “Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people.”Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time, and in accordance with our father’s wishes there will be a private funeral in Monaco.”The statement was signed by Sir Roger’s children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian. Sir Roger in Moonraker, 1979Credit: “From his announcement as Sean Connery’s replacement in August 1972 to his retirement in December 1985, he thrilled and charmed a whole new generation of Bond fans and redefined the series.”They said that in his seven films, “he made James Bond his own”. “Arguably the greatest purveyor of Cool Britannia before the term had been invented, he kept the British end up as his reign as 007 saw Bond through the 1977 Silver Jubilee and national resurgence in the 1980s.”He was the Bond not only of his generation but the Daniel Craig generation by keeping Ian Fleming’s gentleman spy alive when people thought his best days were over. “I think that I’ve got an even-money chance to make it,” he told reporters. “After all, I’ve been around a long time in this business. I did The Saint on television for seven years.”He would end up playing 007 for twice that long. “You were a big part of my life, from The Saint to James Bond… you were a magnificent James Bond and one that lead the way for me, the world will miss you and your unique sense of humour for years to come. My sincerest condolences to your family and children. RIP.”The British Film Institute wrote on Twitter: “We’re sad to hear of the loss of one of the giants of British film and TV, Sir Roger Moore.”The official Bafta Twitter account wrote that it was “saddened to learn” of Moore’s death.Pinewood Studios described Moore as a “force of nature”, adding that “his humour and spirit will be missed by all of us”. At the time, he said the citation “meant far more to me than if I had got it for acting … I was proud because I received it on behalf of Unicef as a whole and for all it has achieved over the years”. Seymour starred with Sir Roger in 1973’s Live and Let Die, his first as the M16 agent. Along with a picture of the two of them together, the actress wrote on Instagram: “I am devastated to learn of Roger Moore’s passing.”The first leading role I ever had as a Bond girl was such a new and frightening world and Roger held my hand and guided me through every process.”She said he taught her “about work ethic and humility”, adding that he was “funny, kind and thoughtful to everyone around him”. Sir Roger MooreCredit: Last year during a question-and-answer session at London’s Southbank Centre, he admitted that, despite winning the coveted role of the martini-swirling spy, one part he wished he had landed was Lawrence of Arabia.He said: “I remember Bob Baker and I going to see Lawrence of Arabia and coming out both being very depressed and saying ‘We might as well give up the business’, because they had made the best movie that had ever been made.” “We are all sad at the passing of a great British icon. Nobody did Bond better.” “When I saw Casino Royale, I thought that Daniel Craig did more action in the first seven minutes than I did in seven movies.” Sir Roger on actingWhile arguably best known for his role as 007, Sir Roger will also be remembered for his work in TV’s The Saint in the 1960s.He once joked of his role as Simon Templar in the spy thriller series, which he also produced: “When I was doing The Saint on television I had two expressions; as Bond I’ve managed to work up to four.” “The capacity crowd cheered him on and off stage, shaking the very foundations of the building just a short distance from where he was born. With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017 The debonair star, who added a distinct light-hearted touch to the 007 role, also admitted that, while he thought Sir Sean Connery had been the greatest Bond, fans were “lucky” to have the current star of the franchise, Daniel Craig.He said: “I think that Sean was obviously the great Bond.”He was obviously the right person, he brought the right personality to the performance, otherwise Bond would not have gone on past the first six that he did. He was a tremendous Bond. Along with Bond films including Moonraker, A View To A Kill and The Man With The Golden Gun, Sir Roger appeared in movies such as The Cannonball Run, Spice World, The Boat That Rocked and The Man Who Wouldn’t Die.Off screen, he was respected for his charity work, and in 1999 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2003. Roger Moore and Barbara Bach in 1976Credit: CHRIS CAPSTICK / Rex Features Moore was officially unveiled as James Bond at a press conference at the Dorchester Hotel in London on August 1 1972. Maud Adams, Roger Moore, Britt EklandCredit: Moviestore Collection/REX Sir Roger in the Ivanhoe TV series in 1958Credit: Everett/REX/Shutterstock So sad to her Sir Roger Moore has died,he was a lovely man. R.I.P— Tony Blackburn (@tonyblackburn) May 23, 2017 They continued: “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for Unicef, which he considered to be his greatest achievement. Sir Roger Moore with Prince Philip at the Duke of Edinburgh Award 60th Anniversary Diamonds are Forever Gala in Buckinghamshire last yearCredit:REX/Shutterstock ‘Nobody did it better’Tributes to Sir Roger have been led by The James Bond International Fan Club, which has said “nobody did Bond better”.A statement from the club read: “Sir Roger will always be remembered as the most enduring actor to play 007 and as a great ambassador for the franchise. Pierce Brosnan, who also portrayed Bond in four films, described Sir Roger as “magnificent” as he shared a photograph online of the pair together.In a post on Instagram, he wrote: “Dear Sir Roger Moore, It is indeed with a heavy heart that I hear the news of your passing this morning. Sir Roger has written two other autobiographies and a history of his years playing 007. O’Mara told The Bookseller he had “never worked with a more professional author or one with a more positive attitude to life”. We’re saddened to learn that Sir Roger Moore has passed awayhttps://t.co/laW0ZbRig1 pic.twitter.com/UI6eDmcanQ— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 23, 2017 His knighthood was given for his humanitarian work, his main focus for many of his final years. Australian actor Russell Crowe tweeted: “Roger Moore, loved him.” British star Joan Collins shared two nostalgic photos of herself with Sir Roger, whose early 70s series The Persuaders! she guest-starred in.She tweeted: “Devastated to hear about my good friend Sir Roger Moore. He was the kindest, warmest, wittiest gentle man. Love to Kristina and his children.”Former Bond girl Jane Seymour paid tribute as she fondly described the actor as “my Bond”. Sir Roger’s new book Sir Roger submitted a final volume of memoirs just two weeks ago, his publisher revealed following the announcement of his death.Michael O’Mara said the book would be a “typically amusing and self-deprecating” look at growing old, and “a suitable subject for a man in his 90th year”. It includes sketches by Sir Roger, who was also an artist. In total he spent 5,118 days as James Bond and starred in seven films, beginning with Live And Let Die in 1973 and ending with A View To A Kill in 1985.Current 007 actor Daniel Craig is the second longest-serving Bond, having so far spent 4,239 days playing the secret agent. 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 yellow severe weather warning for #rain and #snow has been updated: https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs Stay #weatheraware @metofficeuk pic.twitter.com/wC1fOTRMBR— Met Office (@metoffice) December 26, 2017 TrainsMajor improvement works on Britain’s rail network will be undertaken during Christmas and into the New Year.Many of Britain’s mainline routes will be partially shut as Network Rail carries out its biggest ever Christmas investment programme.Great Western RailwayLondon Paddington will be closed between Christmas Eve and December 27. Passengers are being urged to complete journeys by Saturday “at the latest”.The West CoastThe West Coast main line will be halted between Preston and Lancaster from Christmas Eve to December 27, with buses replacing trains.London and GlasgowPassengers travelling between London and Glasgow during this time are advised to go via Edinburgh, adding around an hour to journeys.SoutheasternSoutheastern, which serves London, Kent and East Sussex, will not be able to run trains to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street between Saturday and January 1.Virgin TrainsStrike action by Virgin Trains workers over pay has now been called off after talks. MerseyrailMerseyrail said it will run a reduced service across its network on Friday, with RMT members pressing ahead with a 24-hour stoppage in a dispute over the role of guards.AirAbta, the travel trade organisation, has urged flyers to allow extra time to get to the airport during the period from December 18 to January 2. Fun in the snow in West Lothian on Boxing DayCredit:Ger Harley/EdinburghEliteMedia Strong gale force winds and the high tide combine to whip waves crashing into the sea defences on the promenade in Aberystwyth on Christmas DayCredit:Keith Morris/LNP A Met Office weather warning for snow and ice is in force for between 7pm on Christmas Day to 11am on Boxing Day. Boxing Day sunrise at the snow-covered Mam Tor in North DerbyshireCredit:Charlotte Graham The Met Office has now broadened its definition to extend to other parts of the country, although the snow still has to be recorded by a professional. “The rain is likely to turn to snow in places, initially across Wales and then across parts of central England and eventually some of the higher ground in counties north and west of London.”Some roads and railways are likely to be affected by longer journey times due to standing water or snow. There is also a smaller chance that individual homes and businesses could be flooded.” Tips for travellingIssuing a warning to travellers, the Met Office said: “The secret to a successful and stress-free Christmas is planning and preparation. HOT OF THE PRESS – Spadeadam (in Cumbria) has recently reported light snow. Parts of southern Scotland are also seeing rain turning to snow. This has officially made it a white Christmas for some (just in the nick of time!)— Met Office (@metoffice) December 25, 2017 It was estimated that 11.5 million leisure trips will have been made by car between December 17 and Christmas Eve.But this is expected to be eclipsed by the 17.5 million between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as people take advantage of post-Christmas sales at shops.Airports will also be exceptionally busy over the festive period , with more than 4.5 million people expected to head abroad over Christmas and the new year.Latest travel informationRoadsThe Highways Agency has lifted almost 400 miles of roadworks due to take place over the Christmas and New Year period to ease festive congestion. Airports will be exceptionally busy over Christmas and New YearCredit:Reuters The Met Office warned that roads and railways “likely to be affected by longer journey times due to standing water or snow”. It added there is also a chance that homes and businesses could be flooded.Spadeadam in Cumbria and parts of southern Scotland saw rain turn into snow at about 10pm on December 25.The last officially white Christmas was recorded in 2014, when parts of Scotland had some snowfall. Another Met Office yellow weather warning for rain and snow has been issued for between 6pm on Boxing Day until 11am on Wednesday.Warning of heavy rain turning to snow in places, it said: “An area of heavy rain will extend north and east across the area later on Tuesday and last though Tuesday night, easing away from eastern areas on Wednesday. Britons are being warned of Boxing Day travel disruption as rain turns to snow, threatening road and rail delays.After those dreaming of a white Christmas Day had their wishes granted in parts of the UK, the Met Office said more wintry showers are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.The forecaster said temperatures would turn colder on Boxing Day and there is the chance of 4in (10cm) of snow on the highest ground in Scotland.Despite a largely mild Christmas Day – the highest temperature recorded was 12.6C (54.6F) in Bude, Cornwall – weather warnings for snow and ice are in place on Boxing Day for southern, central and eastern Scotland, and the most northern parts of England.A further warning for rain and snow is in place for the Midlands and Wales running from 6pm on Tuesday until 11am on Wednesday. For years, Christmas was declared “white” if a single flake of snow was observed by a professional meteorologist falling on the roof of the London Weather Centre. 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. Long delays are expected on many roads over the festive season. File pictureCredit:PA Highways England’s customer service director Melanie Clarke said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Christmas and that’s why we’re keeping 99 per cent of the road network we manage free from roadworks.” Fog shrouds Shap in CumbriaCredit:CumbriaWeather/Twitter The high of 12.6C is a few degrees off the record for the warmest Christmas, when 15.6C (60.08F) was recorded at Killerton, Devon, in 1920.And while mild, it was still chillier than last year when temperatures reached 15C (59F) in a number of places including Hull, east Yorkshire. Met Office forecaster Mark Wilson said temperatures would turn colder on Boxing Day, with averages of 2C and 4C in Scotland and between 7C and 9C in the south of the UK.Speaking on Monday night, he said: “To be a white Christmas, we only need to see one flake but we have reported snowfall in Spadeadam for the last couple of hours.”It will turn a bit colder – but nothing like the temperatures we saw earlier this month – I think it would be fair to describe the Boxing Day temperatures as ‘around average’.”Two to four degrees (35-39F) in Scotland and seven to nine in the south. It will start bright, but there will be some wet weather in the south west and it will meet cold air over Wales and the Midlands towards the end of Boxing Day.” “Just as you wouldn’t want to buy your presents in a Christmas Eve panic, it’s never sensible to leave planning your travel arrangements until the last minute either.” Warning that temperatures will fall with a risk of ice and snow in some areas, it said: “Rain will turn to sleet and snow in parts of southern, central and eastern Scotland, as well as the north Pennines, with further wintry showers in places overnight. “So a cover of snow in places, chiefly over high ground (0-2 cm over some low ground, 2-5 cm above 200 m elevation and perhaps 10 cm on the highest routes). Ice is looking to become more widespread later as skies begin to clear into Boxing Day. “Some roads and railways may be affected by longer journey times, with icy surfaces leading to the possibility of slips and falls on roads, pavements and cycle paths.”
Dominic Reid, chief executive of the Invictus Games Foundation, said it was during those games that organisers realised the competition must continue beyond its original plans, saying it would now be held every two years for the “foreseeable future”.He told the Telegraph that new competitors are still coming forward, some who have endured physical injury or mental health problems for years but only now feel able to join in. UK team trials for the Invictus Games Sydney, held in BathCredit:AFP “When we started in London, it was a one-off event meeting immediate need,” he said. “What we’ve see is the appetite and the positive effect on people’s lives, and a real demand for the games to continue. “The Netherlands has supported the Games from the very beginning, and I know that everyone there will fully get behind and support then soldiers and veterans who have served their countries so bravely.”The Hague was selected following a competitive international tender process, with Sir Keith Mills, the Invictus Games Foundation chairman, noting “the bid exemplified the Invictus spirit”.He added: “Post-War, the Hague has undergone its own process of rebuilding and rehabilitation, a theme many of those competing can intimately relate to.” The Invictus Games will be held in the Netherlands in 2020, the Duke of Sussex has announced, as organisers say they feel a moral duty to keep it running. The Duke of Sussex said the games, for sick and wounded servicemen and women, will be held at The Hague, before continuing every two years for the foreseeable future.The Duke and Duchess are now likely to make a trip to the Netherlands for an official launch this summer, before travelling to Sydney for the next games in October.Invictus, founded by Prince Harry, is particularly close to the couple’s heart, and is where they chose to make their romance public.In Toronto last year, Meghan Markle appeared hand-in-hand with the Prince for the first time to watch the wheelchair tennis, as well as attending the opening and closing ceremonies. “We very much feel that in creating the games we’ve lit a beacon and we have a moral responsibility to keep that beacon lit. To give people the opportunities and something to aim for.”The Duke said: “I am delighted to announce that the Hague is taking up the challenge of hosting the fifth Invictus Games in 2020.”The city will soon become the motivation for hundreds of servicemen and women using the Invictus Games to inspire their recovery from physical and mental injuries. Prince Harry congratulates Mark Ormrod in TorontoCredit:Karwai Tang Prince Harry and Meghan watch the wheelchair tennis in TorontoCredit:Samir Hussein 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.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedT&T preparing for deportation of would-be Islamic State combatantsAugust 2, 2016In “latest news”US identifies two Trinidadian nationals as financiers of ISISSeptember 20, 2018In “Regional”Caribbean News Round-upNovember 15, 2015In “Regional” TRINIDAD EXPRESS – The United States imposed sanctions Thursday on seven people for allegedly supporting the Islamic State group or al-Qaida.Among them is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, Shane Dominic Crawford, who has been accused of being an ISIS terrorist.The State Department says the Trinidad and Tobago citizen is believed to be fighting for ISIS in Syria.US media say it is a sign of growing U.S. concern that the Caribbean island nation has unexpectedly emerged as a source of foreign fighters and money for IS.The U.S. said Crawford had served as an interpreter for IS, translating the group’s propaganda into English.He is the only person from the Western Hemisphere that has been named among those sanctioned.The State Department also declared El Shafee Elsheikh, one of the notorious British-sounding captors accused of executing hostages, to be a global terrorist. The U.S. said Elsheikh travelled to Syria in 2012 and first joined al-Qaida’s branch there, and then later joined IS, beheading more than 27 hostages and torturing others.The designations freeze any assets that Elsheikh and others targeted may have in the U.S. and bars Americans from doing business with them.The U.S. also targeted Anjem Choudary, one of Britain’s best-known radical Islamic preachers, who was sentenced last year to 5 1/2 years in prison for encouraging IS. For years, he ran groups in the U.K. under the names al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK and Muslims Against Crusades.Several people who attended his rallies or events have been convicted of violent attacks. The State Department said Choudary has vowed to continue recruiting extremists while in prison.The latest round of targets indicated the U.S. is attempting to pursue IS followers who have sought to spread the extremist ideology in Southeast Asia and other areas far from Iraq and Syria.Muhammad Bahrun Naim Anggih Tamtomo, an Indonesian national, was targeted for allegedly helping associates in Indonesia plan attacks. And the U.S. said Muhammad Wanndy Bin Mohamed Jedi, of Malaysia, had ordered an IS cell in Malaysia to carry out multiple attacks there. The U.S. said Wanndy is based in Syria and Iraq, and Naim in Syria.A New Zealand native, Mark John Taylor, was targeted for fighting for IS in Syria for the last several years. The U.S. said he’d appeared in an IS propaganda video intended to inspire terror attacks in New Zealand and Australia.A Swedish member of al-Qaida, Sami Bouras, was an unusual addition to the list. The U.S. said Bouras, who is of Tunisian descent, had helped plan suicide attacks.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related A 28-year-old fisherman who was on Tuesday busted by Police under a bed hugging two bags of marijuana, will now spend three years behind bars after admitting to possession of the illicit substance.Jailed: Shaheed AliAppearing before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, Shaheed Ali admitted that on April 25 at Albouys Street, Albouystown, Georgetown he had in his possession 2.025 kilograms of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.Prosecutor Arvin Moore informed the court that on the day in question, Police acting on information swooped down upon the premises called “Gym Yard” where a search was conducted. Prosecutor Moore related that the man was found hiding under a bed gripping the bags. Ali was then ordered to come out of hiding by a rank, who reportedly seized the said bags and opened it in his presence; revealing a quantity of leaves, seeds and stems suspected to be cannabis.The defendant was told of the offence, cautioned, arrested and escorted to the Brickdam Police Station where he was charged with the offence.In court on Thursday, Ali said that he uses the prohibited herb for medicinal purposes when questioned by the Chief Magistrate.He was then ordered to pay a fine of $3,037,500 (triple the street value of the drug) and ushered out of the courtroom.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedKevin Rudd ousts Australian Prime Minister Julia GillardJune 26, 2013In “World”Australian ruling party looses to oppositionSeptember 7, 2013In “Other Stories”Warne criticises Australia for too much whingeingMay 18, 2018In “latest news” Barbados’ superstar Rihanna and former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard first came together for a good cause in 2016 and were reunited earlier this year while doing philanthropic work in Malawi.RIHANNA (LEFT) AND FORMER AUSTRALIAN LEADER JULIA GILLARD (RIGHT) IN A CLASSROOM IN MALAWILast week, a video of their January trip was released, showing the multiple Grammy award-winner and the former politician meeting with community leaders and schoolchildren as they seek to raise US$3.1 billion between 2018 and 2020.“I’m really here to see it. It’s one thing to read the statistics, but I want to see it first-hand and find out all that can be done and where to start first,” Rihanna said in the clip.“We’re here really to get a sense of the dimensions of change and what more needs to be done, and we know these challenges are profound,” Gillard added.The pop princess and the politician previously joined forces for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a campaign designed to improve the quality of education in developing countries.Gillard joined the charity in 2014 as chair of the Board of Directors, while Rihanna, who founded The Clara Lionel Foundation in honour of her late grandparents, is an ambassador.Also present on the trip was Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, an organisation committed to helping GPE raise money and help children access education in more than 60 impoverished nations.Various issues impact the education system in Malawi, including a lack of skilled teachers and limited access to education.“Statistically 70-75 percent of students get into primary school, but only eight percent get to complete secondary school,” said Angeline Murimirwa, Regional Executive Director of Camfed.There is approximately one teacher to every 100 students in the south-east African nation. (Caribbean360.com)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBandit shot in robbery attempt on Soesdyke businessmanAugust 18, 2017In “Crime”Corporal arrested following robbery of Prison OfficerFebruary 18, 2018In “Crime”Gunman apprehended while attempting to rob Gafoors’ customerOctober 5, 2018In “Crime” Police on Tuesday evening managed to apprehend six males shortly after a report of an attempted robbery on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD).The weapons, ammunition and items recovered by the policeBased on information received, the suspects reportedly attempted to commit a robbery under arms on a 63-year-old poultry farmer at his Supply, EBD home.According to the police in a released statement, the farmer, identified as Michael Chang Yuen, a Chinese national, was in the company of his two sons relaxing at home when he heard noises emanating from the direction of his eastern door. Upon investigating, the elderly man reported that he observed four men in his yard.As such, he immediately raised an alarm causing the alleged perpetrators to panic and escape in a waiting hire car, HC 4543.The businessman reportedly contacted the police resulting in the law enforcement ranks setting up a road block in the vicinity of the Grove Public Road, East Bank Demerara.The road block resulted in the six men- four of whom suspected to have attempted the robbery- being apprehended.Their motorcar was then searched and police discovered two 9 MM pistols- one with the serial number filed out- along with twenty two live rounds, one Beretta pistol with eleven live rounds, one .32 Taurus pistol –with the serial number filed out- along with six live rounds, one sledge hammer, two pairs of latex gloves and trade plates.Further investigations, by the police, revealed that the motorcar the six were travelling in was stolen during a robbery under arms committed on the owner on vehicle on March 25, 2018, at Princes Street, Georgetown.