Barry Bonds Wasnt Half Bad Either

Ken Griffey Jr. has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving a vote on 99.32 percent of ballots — a record. Earlier, we examined how Griffey’s prime, once separated from his unfortunate latter years, compared with the primes of other all-time great players. Junior turned out to be Willie Mays, more or less. While we’re at it, and for no particular reason today, we figured we’d run the same numbers for Barry Lamar Bonds, destroyer of worlds.Don’t worry, we think it’s weird to see Chipper Jones and Albert Pujols as Bonds’s most comparable peak-season players, too. More than anything else, consider this a sign that Bonds breaks the system — no other player had a truly similar mix of skills in their best seasons, particularly considering the absurd proportion of Bonds’s top years that came when he was in his mid-to-late 30s. Unlike Griffey, whose career bifurcation was so stark that his career-long comps end up being players he didn’t much resemble, a look at Bonds’s full career finds a satisfying pair of comps at the top:Remember when we made a big deal about how closely Griffey matched Willie Mays’s statistical profile? Mays is also Bonds’s most similar career player — except that Bonds showed better patience, power and contact skills than Mays, while still coming close to matching the Say Hey Kid on the basepaths and in the field.Because Bonds’s statistical profile is an invitation for the absurd, we thought it might be instructive to compare his worst years (i.e., his aggregate rate statistics after giving more weight to his “worst” WAR seasons) against the best years of other players. Those “bad” Bonds seasons were most comparable to — and, in fact, surpass — the best seasons of two current or soon-to-be Hall of Famers.You may now return to whatever it is you were doing, which is likely not as fun as looking at Barry Bonds stats. read more

These Bengals Are The Best In Franchise History

—2015Cincinnati1349411087— 19881626.113613310689 142001Oakland122861067982.0 OFFENSEDEFENSE 62011Green Bay13597958372.6 YEARMAX ELOPASSINGRUSHINGPASSINGRUSHING 132008Indianapolis122851099481.5 20151666.31349411087 151995Green Bay12687979084.2 112009San Diego12884989580.6 71983Miami124961189175.9 19741632.711611010578 An elite passing offense is where the similarities between the 1981 and 2015 Bengals end, though. While the 1981 squad also employed a solid rushing attack4An underrated feature that causes their estimated EPA to rise despite a middling yards-per-carry mark: rarely fumbling. No team fumbled less than Cincinnati in 1981, and most of its fumbles were committed by quarterbacks and receivers, not running backs. and a balanced defense that was essentially league-average against the run and the pass, the 2015 Bengals defend the pass well but aren’t particularly good at running the ball or defending against the run. Among historical Bengals squads, that profile more closely matches the strengths and weaknesses of the 1975 team, which was also good at passing and stopping the pass but lousy in the running game on both sides of the ball. (The 1975 Bengals ultimately lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.)But if we’re looking for historical teams truly comparable to this year’s Bengals, we’ll have to leave Cincinnati. We can measure how similar any two team’s strengths and weaknesses are by using the differences in their EPA grades from above.5Specifically, we can take the squared differences in their passing and rushing grades on each side of the ball and weight them by the relative importance of each category in determining a team’s overall quality during the Super Bowl era. In this case, the weights are 44 percent to passing offense, 12 percent to rushing offense, 31 percent to passing defense and 12 percent to rushing defense.Here are the teams most similar to the 2015 Bengals: 91988L.A. Rams12510311310179.8 RANKYEARTEAMPASSINGRUSHINGPASSINGRUSHINGDIFF² OFFENSEDEFENSE 19761663.3110108121112 202009Indianapolis1209110897100.5 19811666.41251119898 102006New Orleans125100998780.6 122015New England1311191089380.9 19891627.012011810487 20131630.710693126115 192012Atlanta120861088696.6 32014Green Bay1301081099742.5 161991Washington1371061239687.4 19731618.7117111106100 52003Indianapolis12698998667.5 22005Indianapolis133981139514.5 According to our NFL Elo ratings — FiveThirtyEight’s pet metric for determining an NFL team’s strength at any given moment1For an explanation far more extensive than you probably need (or want), click here. — the best Cincinnati Bengals team ever was the 1981 edition, led by quarterback and league MVP Ken Anderson. Those Bengals notched a franchise-best Elo rating of 1666.4 after they beat the San Diego Chargers 27-7 in the AFC championship game on Jan. 10, 1982. But two weeks later, they lost the Super Bowl to the San Francisco 49ers, and while Cincinnati has had a handful of good moments since, things have never quite looked as bright for the franchise as they did that winter day 33 years ago.At least not until tonight — potentially. Going into Thursday’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns, the Bengals have an Elo rating of 1666.3, a mere fraction of a point behind the high-water mark set by the 1981 team. Any win, no matter how small the margin, would make the 2015 Bengals the best team in franchise history.At 7-0, they’ve already started the season better than any other Cincinnati squad. Formerly maligned quarterback Andy Dalton ranks fourth in the NFL in Total QBR. And he has the support of a solid defense that ranks third in’s Simple Ratings and 12th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. It’s a good recipe for a Super Bowl run, and Elo assigns the Bengals the NFL’s fourth-highest probability of winning it all this year (12 percent).That 1981 Bengals club shared an important characteristic with this year’s team: great passing. If we scale every team’s per-play expected points added (EPA)2Estimating EPA for seasons before 2006 using a weighted random forest regression model trained on data from 2006-2015. The model attempts to predict what a team’s rushing and passing EPA (on offense and defense) would have been if such data were available, based on the team’s box-score statistics relative to the NFL average that season. such that the league has an average of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 each season, we can measure how effective a team’s offense and defense was in the passing and running games. This season, Cincinnati’s aerial attack leads the league with a 134 grade.3Meaning its EPA is 2.3 standard deviations better than that of the average passing offense. The 1981 team ranked second in the NFL with a score of 125. The only Bengals squad with a better passing offense than either 1981 or 2015 was the 1988 version, whose 136 grade was fueled by Boomer Esiason’s own MVP campaign.Here are the best Bengals teams ever: 172004Indianapolis134107969587.6 20051642.71211129487 UPDATE (Nov. 6, 7:39 a.m.): The Bengals added six points to their Elo rating on Thursday night, defeating the Cleveland Browns 31-10. Cincinnati’s current Elo rating, 1672, is the best in franchise history. The article below was written before Thursday night’s game. 42013New Orleans123951118758.3 11970San Francisco13492108924.4 181979Dallas12397999394.0 19821644.41201089292 81984Miami1391151067677.5 According to this method, the 2015 Bengals’ closest historical doppelgangers were the 1970 San Francisco 49ers, with John Brodie playing the role of Dalton alongside little rushing support and a defense that was much better at stopping the pass than the run. The next five teams on the list are perhaps more interesting, if only because they’re more recent; there are two Peyton Manning-era Colts squads, two Aaron Rodgers-helmed Packers teams and a Drew Brees-led Saints team. We’re only halfway through the season, but this list puts the Bengals among great offensive company. Yet, like the comparison with the 1975 Bengals, it also lumps them in with a bunch of teams that went to the playoffs with impressive records only to lose before reaching the Super Bowl.Cincinnati has an 89 percent probability of beating the Browns tonight and claiming its mantle as the best Bengals squad ever. But their real work may be saved for the playoffs, in bucking the trend toward postseason disappointment for teams constructed out of similar parts. read more

Football report Luke Fickell in negotiations to become Cincinnati head coach

OSU co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell walks out of the Buckeyes’ locker room before a game against Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell is underway with contract negotiations to become the Cincinnati Bearcats head football coach next season. The Bearcats fired Tommy Tuberville from the position on Dec. 4 after a 4-8 season.Fickell has served as a member on the OSU staff since 2002 when he was a special teams coordinator. He has been one of the defensive coordinators for OSU since 2005.Fickell stepped in as interim head coach in 2011 following the departure of then-coach Jim Tressel amid NCAA violations. Fickell led the Buckeyes to a 6-7 season and loss in the Gator Bowl.Once Urban Meyer took over as head coach of OSU, Fickell resumed his duties as defensive coordinator. He currently shares the defensive play-calling responsibilities with Greg initially reported the story. read more

Jackets search for comfort while finally back home

After beginning the 2009-10 season with eight of its first 13 games on the road, Columbus (7-5-1) is now amid a stretch of five of six games at Nationwide Arena.The Blue Jackets ______(beat or lost to)______ the San Jose Sharks Wednesday. They travel to Atlanta (6-4-1) Thursday, and finish the weekend back home against the Carolina Hurricanes (2-8-3) Saturday night.Columbus began the second month of the season with a 5-4 overtime victory at Washington Sunday. Blue Jackets forward Raffi Torres scored his second goal in the third period with 23 seconds remaining and sent the game into overtime.R.J. Umberger, former Ohio State men’s hockey player, claimed the victory for Columbus with his second goal of the game 1:45 into extra play.The win against the Capitals snapped a three-game losing streak for Columbus. The Blue Jackets currently sit in second place in the central division of the Western Conference after one month of play, but know there is still room for improvement.“I think it was good for us to get a win and find a way to get it done,” Umberger said. “I think we need to know as a team that is not our best hockey. We need to play better in the third period, but we are going to take the momentum from the win.”The Jackets come into the week with a 3-1-1 record at home and are 29-9-3 at Nationwide Arena since Nov. 29, 2008.“This home stretch is big for us,” forward Jakub Voracek said. “Getting eight to nine points during these six games as a team is something we are looking to do and that would be great.”Scouting the Thrashers, HurricanesColumbus knows how to beat the East.The Blue Jackets play two of their three games this week against Atlanta and Carolina of the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division. Columbus is 1-0-1 against the East this season after going 13-3-2 vs. the conference last season. The record against the East was the best record of any Western Conference team in the NHL.“I don’t think there’s a difference between the Eastern or Western conference,” Voracek said. “It’s just another game in the NHL where we are trying to win it.”Looking forward to Atlanta, the Thrashers have struggled at home with a 1-3-0 record this year. The Jackets will have to be careful on special teams against Atlanta. The Thrashers will be missing All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk who is out with an injury.“We have to play our best game,” Voracek said. “If everybody plays 100 percent and plays smart, we think we can beat them.”The Blue Jackets will need to put Carolina away early. A close third period could be exactly what Carolina needs right now. The Canes have dropped nine-straight games (0-6-3) heading into this week and rank 29th in the NHL in goals scored (2.15 per game) and goals allowed (3.85 per game).Columbus earned a 5-1 win at Carolina Feb. 14, 2009 in the only meeting last season.“We just have to play them hard like we do every other team,” Voracek said. “It doesn’t matter how many games they’ve lost, its going to be a tough game.”Offensive improvementIt’s easy to see the improvement the Jackets have made since last year. The team is the highest-scoring team in the Central Division.Columbus ranks 11th in the NHL on the power play at 22.8 percent (13-of-57). Last year, the team was 30th in the league on the power play and didn’t score its 13th power play goal until its 128th power play opportunity of the season in game No. 27 Dec. 7 at Anaheim. “We are shooting the puck more and we are getting our first shots on net, which makes the other team scramble,” Umberger said. “We are winning more face offs in the zone and keeping the puck in there. Basically, it comes down to execution.”The team entered the week ranked ninth in the NHL in scoring, averaging 3.23 goals per game.Nash continues to lead teamBlue Jackets captain Rick Nash has not slowed down offensively at all this season. He scored two goals against Pittsburgh Oct. 30 and added three points vs. Washington.The 25-year-old ranks fourth in the NHL in points, sixth (tied) in goals and seventh (tied) in assists, while also tying for the league lead with two shorthanded goals.Look for Nash to have no letdown this week either, as he continues to take this young team to the next level at home this week. read more

Mens lacrosse coach feels honored to be Buckeye

At 30 years old, Ohio State’s second-year head lacrosse coach Nick Myers is living his dream.“I still pinch myself occasionally driving in each morning knowing that I am the head coach at Ohio State,” Myers said. “It’s very special to me.”On July 10, 2008, Myers became the 13th head coach of the OSU lacrosse program. He spent the previous three seasons as the Buckeyes’ top assistant.It was during those three years and two other seasons as a volunteer assistant under former coach Joe Breschi when Myers grew and learned how to coach.“Watching Nick develop from a young 24-year-old volunteer assistant into the head coach is great to see,” said Breschi, who is currently the coach at the University of North Carolina.In between his two assistant coaching jobs at OSU, Myers spent two seasons as the top assistant coach at Butler University.In his first year, Myers lead OSU to a 7-7 regular season record and the team advanced to the championship game in the Great Western Lacrosse League tournament.This year the team has a 6-6 record overall and is 2-3 in its new conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference.When the team’s three senior captains Scott Foreman, Brandon Freeman and Andrew Stimmel talked about their coach, the one word they all used to describe him was “passionate.”Freeman said that Myers always brings high energy and passion to games and practices. Stimmel said that Myers pushes the players both on and off the field.“Nick has tremendous attention to detail, energy and passion for the game of lacrosse,” said Pat Myers, Nick’s brother and assistant coach at the University of North Carolina.Nick Myers’ stepfather introduced him to lacrosse, and Nick said he got his first look at a lacrosse stick as an eighth-grader.“For me it was a passion that I developed quickly,” Myers said. “It’s a game that is unique in a sense where it combines so many aspects of not only athleticism, but speed and scoring.”In high school, Myers was a two-time All-American and represented his home state of Maine in the 1997 North-South All-Star game.Myers was also a Division III All-American playing for Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he earned a degree in sports studies and physical education.After college, Myers came to OSU to be a volunteer assistant coach.“I knew financially it would be a burden,” Myers said. “I worked a couple of different jobs but it was so valuable, the time with coach Breschi, this staff and this family.”In Columbus, Nick joined his brother Pat who was playing lacrosse for the Buckeyes.“The chance to be with my brother for two years was really fun, too,” Nick Myers said. “We had a lot of fun together. I enjoyed coaching him.”In addition to on-the-field performance, Myers has the team set goals off the field as well.“At the beginning of the year we talk about family, academics and lacrosse,” Myers said. “We give a player handbook similar to what coach [Jim] Tressel has done with his ‘Winner’s Manual.’”This year, the team has achieved academic goals with a team grade point average of over 3.0. It also had 26 scholar athletes last quarter. The team also has contributed more than 600 hours of community service, beating its preseason goal of 500 hours.“Nick recognizes that playing lacrosse for Ohio State is a special honor, and is a privilege not a right,” Pat Myers said. “Lacrosse is secondary to the OSU lacrosse family and the academic aspect of the OSU lacrosse program.”Nick Myers has found a home in Columbus and at OSU. His face lit up as he said that he and his wife are expecting their first child this month.“I really feel like in a lot of ways this is where I have grown up. It is a place where I am very connected to through my family,” Myers said. “This athletic department is the finest in the country and it is very humbling at a young age to just be a part of it.” read more

Ohio State schedules homeandhome series with Notre Dame

The Ohio State football team has boosted its future schedule by going outside the “big five” conferences.OSU has set up a home-and-home series with the University of Notre Dame for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, according to an OSU release. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play the Fighting Irish on Sept. 3, 2022, in Columbus in their first game of the season. The two teams are set to play in South Bend, Ind., Sept. 23, 2023, to complete the series.Notre Dame is scheduled to play their final game of a 13 consecutive year series against rival Michigan Saturday. The Saturday finale between the Fighting Irish and the Wolverines will mark the 42nd meeting in their series.For football, Notre Dame is an independent program and not affiliated with any conference.OSU executive associate athletic director Martin Jarmond said in the release that OSU is “extremely pleased” to scheduled games against Notre Dame.“Notre Dame adds to the prestigious series of non-conference games we have been seeking to schedule that are competitive, attractive for our fans and exciting for our student-athletes to be a part,” Jarmond said in the release.The football program now has home-and-home series set with Virginia Tech (2014-15), Oklahoma (2016-17), Texas Christian University (2018-19), Oregon (2020-21), Texas (2022-23) and Boston College (2023-24) in addition to Notre Dame over the next decade.The two programs have played five times in the past with the Buckeyes taking a win in the most recent matchup, 34-20, in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.OSU’s next game is scheduled for Saturday against Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. The game marks the Buckeyes’ 2014 home opener. read more

Two arrested in west London antiterror raid

first_imgBoth suspects, from London, are in custody following a pre-planned raid on a west London address on Thursday by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command and the South East Counter Terrorism Unit.Another man, aged 19, was arrested in south-east London on suspicion of a religiously aggravated offence in a separate matter and remains in custody, police said.Officers searched addresses and vehicles in west and south-east London and the Thames Valley area following the arrests. Two men have been arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism.A 19-year-old was detained on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts and a 20-year-old was arrested on suspicion of funding terrorism and failure to disclose information regarding an act of terrorism, Scotland Yard said.The older man was also held on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism relating to a separate investigation by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit. 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

Many online child sex crimes using Facebook and Twitter not recorded by

first_imgDerek Penman, HM Chief Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland, said: “Criminals are increasingly exploiting opportunities from the internet to commit crime.“As Police Scotland develops its response to these new and emerging threats, it is likely that crimes including fraud and other cyber-enabled offences will increase significantly and impact on the historic reductions in reported crime.”It emerged earlier this month that more than 1,900 offences involving possession of indecent images of children were reported by police in Scotland over the last three years. This was the highest total of any UK force and included a 17 per cent increase last year.However, the HMICS crime audit, which examined whether crimes are being recorded correctly, found more than a quarter of cyber-related sex offences did not result in a police report. Facebook declined to comment but it has a zero tolerance policy on child and sexual exploitation, with any instances discovered reported to the police and the content quickly removed.Twitter declined to comment but it has a policy of instantly removing child exploitation images, reporting them to the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and suspending the relevant account.Instagram also declined to comment but it has strict community guidelines and has facilities that allow users to report actions that make them feel uncomfortable. It also has a zero tolerance policy on content or behaviour that puts youngsters at risk. Police Scotland does not record many online sex crimes committed by offenders who live elsewhere Highlighting the fact that many of the perpetrators are outside Scotland, and their actions are not recorded as a crime, it said: “This is a concern given that statistics may be used to develop policy, resource policing and design victim support or education services.”The audit also examined several cases where young Scots shared indecent images of themselves and others, actions that amounted to a crime.HMICS called on Police Scotland and ministers to work with the major social media companies to highlight the risks to children and consider what additional safeguards could be put in place.Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick said: “The growth of cyber-related crime is a challenge for society as a whole. “It will require new approaches and effective collaboration with our partners and communities to prevent and investigate types of cyber-related crime which can range from complex fraud investigations to predatory sexual offending.”A Scottish Government spokesman said a range of measures are being take forward to prevent  child sexual exploitation and improve online safety.He added: “We are also currently working across government to update our internet safety action plan and are taking steps to ensure the refreshed action plan is linked to work being taken forward in schools.” Sex criminals are using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to carry out attacks against Scottish children including rape but many are not recorded by the police, according to a disturbing official report.HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) conducted an audit that found 11.4 per cent of sex crimes had a “cyber element” but this proportion increased to 17.5 per cent in some parts of the country.It discovered that the majority of sex crimes involved social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Oovoo, as well as online dating sites. The report concluded that some of the most popular social media networks used by children were “recurring vehicles for sexual crime”.Among the offences committed were rape, sexual assault, causing a young child to participate in a sexual activity, communicating indecently, causing a young child to look at a sexual image, coercing a person into being present during a sexual activity, possession of child and extreme pornography, and grooming.In one incident, an eight-year-old child received indecent images via a popular app on their smartphone. Other crimes involved young children being coerced to view adults engaging in sexual activity via their phone, or being bullied into taking and sending indecent images of themselves.center_img Although many parents are aware of the need for internet restrictions on their home computer to protect their children, the report said it was “clear” that many of the sex crimes targeted at children were committed via apps on smartphones and tablets.However, HMICS warned that many of the incidents are not recorded by Police Scotland because they are committed by adults living elsewhere in the world. Instead the location of the crime is deemed to be the place from which the criminal sent the communication or 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. Police Scotland does not record many online sex crimes committed by offenders who live elsewhereCredit:Alamylast_img read more

High Court victory for air pollution campaigners in legal battle with Government

first_imgCampaigners have won the latest legal battle against the Government in a long-running action over harmful air pollution levels.A judge at the High Court in London ruled in favour of environmental lawyers ClientEarth in their “clean air” judicial review action.The law group went to court over the Government’s “continuing failure to tackle the national air pollution crisis”.The latest proceedings in the case followed a ruling won by ClientEarth at the UK’s highest court in April 2015.Supreme Court justices declared then that “immediate” action was needed to address the issue, and set a deadline for the Government to produce new plans to comply with European Union (EU) law on limits for nitrogen dioxide in the air.But, ClientEarth said the Air Quality Plan (AQP) which was subsequently produced is “flawed”, “woefully inadequate” – and needs to be “drastically” improved.On Wednesday the judge announced to a packed court that the judicial review application was being “allowed”. 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

Rural schools set for funding boost under new Government proposals

first_imgNot everybody who lives in the countryside lives in some sort of rural idyll. There are pockets of poverty and deprivation right across the countrysideNigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, said funding per pupil in his area was £1,000 per head lower than in neighbouring areas. “Not everybody who lives in the countryside lives in some sort of rural idyll. There are pockets of poverty and deprivation right across the countryside,” he said.Following Ms Greening’s announcement in Parliament on Wednesday Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network, said he supported the proposals, as the current system sees County schools receive half the funding per pupil that inner London schools get. “This is inequitable and needs redressing,” he said. Natalie Perera, the Education Policy Institute’s executive director, said:  “Small schools in rural areas can often find it difficult to manage because they suffer from small pupil numbers. In areas where those small schools are vital to avoid children having to travel very long distances, the sparsity factor should help them to be sustainable.” Education Secretary Justine Greening unveiled proposals on Wednesday The announcement was welcomed by MPs in rural areasCredit:Fredrick Kippe / Alamy  Rural schools are set for a boost in funding as the Government proposes to change rules to ensure that institutions in remote areas have enough money to stay open.Education Secretary Justine Greening unveiled proposals on Wednesday to end an “unfair, opaque and outdated” funding system that favoured children in London over those in the countryside.Under the biggest reforms to school funding in a decade, a new national formula will use a host of factors to calculate how much money is allocated to each school, including “sparsity”, which takes into account how small and remote it is.  Education Secretary Justine Greening unveiled proposals on WednesdayCredit: PETER NICHOLLScenter_img The announcement was welcomed by MPs in rural areas Ms Greening told the Commons: “We’ll protect those small rural schools which are so important to their local communities by inclusion of a sparsity factor.”What we can’t accept is other areas in other parts of the country that have similar challenges in relation to deprivation and lower prior attainment, not being funded, for no other reason than that they’re not London. It’s now time to have a fair approach.”Under the proposed changes, primary schools which qualify for sparsity funding would receive up to £25,000, which rises to £65,000 for secondary, middle and all-through schools. Overall, an extra £27 million would be spent on the sparsity factor.The announcement was welcomed by MPs in rural areas. Simon Hoare, MP for North Dorset, said one of the biggest issues facing schools in his constituency is “recruitment of and retention of staff in a rural areas where costs are higher, living costs are higher and all the rest of it. The sparsity quota will be warmly welcomed by those head teachers”. The Education Secretary also promised extra money to schools with a high population of “mobile” students, meaning children who join mid-way through the academic year.Schools in areas with an influx of migrants, as well as military children, Roma gypsies and travellers stand to gain under this measure.Kevin Courtney, General Secretary at the National Union of Teachers, said: “Far from being the levelling up that some councils and heads have demanded, this is a levelling down. Even the schools currently worst funded will see real terms cuts in this Parliament.” 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

Austerity Number of people who say they have been affected by cuts

first_imgPerceptions about the future of policing have declined to the lowest levels since 2002. Two in five people think that the way their area is policed will decline over the next few years, with just one in ten believing it will improve. There are similarly low levels of optimism about education, with 40 per cent of people saying they expect standards to get worse, compared to 32 per cent in the previous year.The figures suggest that more people are worried about the possible future impact of cuts than are feeling the effects they are having now. But the figures, by researcher Ipsos Mori, also show that people are more pessimistic about public services now than at any other point in the past 15 years. Three in five think they have declined in the past five years, an increase from the 43 per cent who said the same in 2015. The figures show that people feel more pessimistic about almost every aspect of public services than they did in 2015. But only 26 per cent said they or their families have been directly affected by cuts. The number of people who say they have been affected by austerity has fallen from more than one in three to one in four. Six years ago, 36 per cent of people said they had felt the impact of cuts to public services. This has now fallen to 26 per cent, despite continued reports about the impact of austerity measures.  There was also a drop in the number of people who felt cuts had been necessary, with just 45 per cent feeling that way compared to 59 per cent in 2013. Analysts said the data showed “record levels of concern” about public services, but that worries were not yet affecting the significant Conservative poll lead, which currently stands at 21 points.Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori, said: “Confidence in the government’s policies for public services is much lower than in its economic policies, but so far that isn’t stopping the Conservatives keeping a clear lead in people’s voting intentions.” 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

Seven suspected illegal immigrants from Ukraine discovered on a yacht in Suffolk

first_imgThis area has been used for smuggling for hundreds of years. Now you have got the same situation with immigrants.Stuart Bacon The five men and a woman were detained by UK Border Force staff who were lying in wait after tracking the yacht across the North Sea. They were all later deportedCCTV which covers the quay and the riverside at Orford was upgraded in 2015 with a grant of £2,660 from Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore.He said that the grant was aimed at reducing petty crime and discouraging the use of the quay as “a drop-off point for illegal immigrants”.Mr Passmore added: “Suffolk’s coastline is vulnerable to people-trafficking, as is the whole of the south and east coast, so we made sure the CCTV system was suitable for the UK Border Force, which is responsible for the security of our coastline, to obtain evidence if required.”Whilst Suffolk Constabulary is not responsible for border control, it is clear we need to work together to protect our coastline.”Orford Quay is an isolated area so it is important we do all we can to reassure local residents that their community is safe particularly during the hours of darkness.”Last September six suspected illegal immigrants were smuggled on a yacht which landed them at nearby Bawdsey.The group of men and women were seen getting into a Range Rover and then dropped off in a pub car park at Bromeswell near Woodbridge.CCTV images of the car park showed them fleeing out of the car as soon as it stopped.Stuart Bacon, 84, who owns a craft shop in Orford said last year: “This area has been used for smuggling for hundreds of years. UK Border Force staff foiled another smuggling attempt in July 2014 when a 35ft yacht arrived at Orford with six Ukranians on board. “Now you have got the same situation with immigrants. I am sure that it is still going on all the time.”This part of the coast is has got to be one of the most favourable spots for bringing in people.”You can just turn up at the quay in a boat, and off you go. It is wide open all along the coast. After midnight, there is nobody around and no security at all.”I sometimes see Customs and Excise staff coming by in their 4 X 4 but I never see Border Force people around.”A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Border Force and Suffolk police were contacted at 11.45am today regarding a boat stuck in the River Ore. The coastguard intercepted and towed the vessel to safety.”Border Force officers were deployed in conjunction with Suffolk Police and 7 individuals were arrested in relation to immigration offences.”All have now been taken to local police stations and will be subject to interview.” Seven suspected illegal immigrants from Ukraine were discovered on a yacht on Sunday after it got into difficulties near the Suffolk coast. The alarm was raised by the coastguard after a 28ft yacht was reported to have run aground on mud at the mouth of the Rover Ore near Orford, Suffolk.It follows warnings that the east coast of England is particularly vulnerable to small boats of immigrants trying to enter the country illegally.A whisteblower who worked for the Border Force told ITV News last year that staff cuts had let to cuts in security checks, with people arriving by small vessesl often only being discovered “by accident”.  All weather and inshore lifeboats were sent to the scene and seven Ukranians were reportedly found on the boat.The yacht was towed to Orford where the group were detained by UK Border Force officials.The seven were being held in custody on Sunday night on suspicion  of immigration offences.A spokesman for the RNLI said: “On arrival at scene, the ILB (inshore lifeboat) crew discovered that the yacht was inside the river mouth and was in danger of running aground again, after it had initially managed to refloat.”Communication was difficult due to language barriers, but a tow was eventually secured and it was taken to Orford Quay.”The yacht was handed into the care of HM Coastguard Shingle Street, in addition to the Border Agency.” 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

Birth of farming caused jawdropping changes to the human skull scientists find

first_imgScientists mapped points of the skull from farming communities and compared them with hunter gatherers  To pick out the changes, researchers studied more than 1,000 skulls and jaws from pre-industrial groups throughout the world who were either hunter gatherers or farmers.They found that in farming communities one part of one of the major chewing muscles, the temporalis, became smaller and changed position as communities changed their diet. As a result the upper jaw became shorter and the lower jaw smaller.”The main differences between forager and farmer skulls are where we would expect to find them, and change in ways we might expect them to, if chewing demands decreased in farming groups,” added Dr Katz.“Agriculture changed not only human culture and lifeways, but human biology as well.The largest changes in skull morphology were observed in groups consuming dairy products, suggesting that the effect of agriculture on skull morphology was greatest in populations consuming the softest food.”At least in early farmers, milk did not make for bigger, stronger skull bones.” Moving to a dairy diet changed the whole human face  Moving to a dairy diet changed the whole human face Credit: Christopher Furlong It’s certainly a fact worth chewing over.Humans have small, slender heads and weaker jaws, because of our discovery of soft foods like cheese and dairy, a new study suggests.Research by The University of California suggests the advent of farming, especially dairy products, had a small but significant effect on the shape of human skulls.The reason is all in the effort it took to eat farmed food. Humans who live by hunting and foraging wild foods have to put more effort into chewing than those surviving on a softer diet of cheese and cereal mush.Without the daily work-out of crunching, grinding and gnawing, bones and muscle declined, refining the features of farming communities.“The effect of farming is mostly visible in the areas of the skull that generate or experience stress during chewing,” said graduate student David Katz, formerly of UC Davis, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, Alberta.“The simplest explanation is that these stresses were reduced because farming diets were generally softer.” Hunter gatherers began to rely on diets from domesticated plants and animals from around 10,000 years ago, and archaeologists have noted the skulls began to shrink but could never quantify the change or say why it happened.center_img Commenting on the findings, Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel, Associate Professor at the University of Buffalo, said: “The profound effects of the transition to agriculture on the biology of modern humans cannot be overstated. “Anthropologists have noted for some time that even prehistoric farmers had more gracile crania and lower jaws than foragers. “Drawing on an expansive global dataset and an innovative analytical approach (this study). demonstrates small but consistent effects of a soft agricultural diet on skull morphology thatrelate directly to chewing anatomy.”A previous study by The University of Cambridge suggested that over time human skeletons have become much lighter and more fragile since the invention of agriculture as we switched from foraging to farming.While human hunter-gatherers from around 7,000 years ago had bones comparable in strength to modern orangutans, farmers from the same area over 6,000 years later had significantly lighter and weaker bones that would have been more susceptible to breaking.Bone mass was around 20 per cent higher in the foragers – the equivalent to what an average person would lose after three months of weightlessness in space.The new research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 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. Scientists mapped points of the skull from farming communities and compared them with hunter gatherers Credit:David Katz and Tim Weaver, UC Davislast_img read more

Middle aged adults drinking too many sugary drinks twice as likely to

first_imgMiddle aged adults who drink too many sugary drinks are twice as likely to die from heart disease, new research has shown.Over a period of six years, participants in the study over the age of 45 who drank at least 24 ounces of sugary beverage daily were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those consuming less than one ounce.Scientists also found an increased risk of death from all causes among top consumers of sugary drinks.But there was no link between eating sugary foods and premature death. This may be related to the different ways sugary drinks and foods are processed by the body, said the researchers.Previous studies have shown a link between added sugar and both obesity and chronic disease, but its impact on death rates has not been clear.Lead researcher Dr Jean Welsh, from Emory University in Atlanta, US, said: “There were two parts of this question we wanted to understand. Do added sugars increase risk of death from heart disease or other causes, and, if so, is there a difference in risk between sugar-sweetened beverages and sugary foods? “We believe this study adds strong data to what already exists highlighting the importance of minimising sugary beverages in our diet.”The team drew on data from almost 18,000 participants in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (Regards) study, a long-running US health and lifestyle investigation.A questionnaire was used to estimate sugary food and beverage consumption. Sugary beverages included sodas and fruit drinks while desserts and breakfast cereals were among the sugar-sweetened foods.Information from death records was compared with people’s sugar consumption habits while they were alive.The findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions meeting in New Orleans. 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

Wife hits out at bigamist husband who called her every day for

Rattue, of York, admitted bigamy at a a hearing at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court last month.Susan had paid off £30,000 of debt, from credit cards and loans taken out with Rattue, but still had a ‘staggering’ £37,500 to be paid.She said: “Why did he not ask me years ago for a divorce or when he met his new wife? Instead he was leading a double life.”I have spent the last 19 years living with my mum as he left me with no other option. I am paying for this both mentally and emotionally. He has stolen my life from me.”I could have remarried and moved on. I could have had children. It hurt me to learn he has gone on to have children of his own.”We were still married but I did not see my husband. I was having to work a lot of overtime in the hospital to pay off my debts.”Rattue was sentenced to eight months in prison. He has stolen my life from me. I could have remarried and moved on. I could have had children. It hurt me to learn he has gone on to have children of his own.Susan Rattue Neil Rattue (left) was jailed for 18 monthsCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency A furious wife says “her life has been stolen” after her bigamist husband who called her everyday for 17 years following their split was jailed.Neil Rattue, 60, set himself up with a new wife and children but continued to call first wife Susan, who he was married to for 15 years.Mr Rattue had bought a home with Susan, which he said they had to sell and she must move in with her mother because they were in debt.He then forged a divorce certificate using a friend’s as a template so he could marry his second wife Rebecca, with whom he had two children and lived 256 miles away.Though he stopped seeing his first wife in 2001, he dutifully continued to call her daily for 17 years to ask how she was and discuss their debts, which she was paying off.When Rebecca’s sister discovered what he had been up to, she wrote to Susan and informed her of Rattue’s actions – and she contacted the police, the court heard. The bigamist, who often worked away, then met his second wife Rebecca while in Stratford-upon-Avon. The pair, who married on October 3, 1998, lived together in York, North Yorks, having two children together. 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. Judge Richard Parkes QC said Rattue had been ‘cowardly’ and ‘deceitful’ in maintaining his marriage to Susan despite having started a new life without her.Salisbury Crown Court, Wilts, heard today Rattue had met his first wife Susan in Wiltshire in 1980 and they were married three years later. Neil Rattue (left) was jailed for 18 months read more

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wedding speeches The most moving lines and

After the speeches and the dancing, guests were reportedly treated to candyfloss and burgers as a midnight snack. Here are all the rumours and confirmed details about the speeches Prince Harry,… At the Frogmore House reception, away from the world’s eye, it was just the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and a few hundred of their closest friends. There were reports Prince William gave a “naughty” best man’s speech, and the crowd partied to tunes spun by DJ Sam Totolee, who also performed at Pippa Middleton’s wedding. Meghan Markle reportedly broke with tradition and thanked Prince Charles in her speech at the wedding reception on Saturday evening, while Prince Harry’s father moved the crowd to tears. 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

Call The Midwife to focus on abortion after drama faced criticism over

Dame Pippa said the storylines were influenced by research into now closed HMP Holloway, once Europe’s largest women’s prison, as records showed more than 50 abortionists were incarcerated before the practice was legalised in 1967. Executive producer Dame Pippa Harris revealed abortion will be a central theme throughout the eighth installment of the period drama, which follows a group of nurses in London’s East End, when it returns to BBC One on Sunday. The latest episodes, set in 1964 in Poplar, eight miles from the north London jail, will “remind people… The new series of Call The Midwife will focus on abortion after it sparked complaints by showing an illegal termination before the watershed.

Fragment of Bismarck shell that struck Prince of Wales donated to UKs

Gordon Hall, with wife Elizabeth and two-month old Brenda, on leave from HMS Prince of Wales, 1941.Credit:BBC Antiques Roadshow Royal Navy Battleship HMS Prince of Wales, anchored in an undisclosed location in 1941. German battleship Bismarck in action during the naval battle against battleships HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, May 24, 1941. The destruction of HMS Hood spurred a relentless pursuit by the Royal Navy involving dozens of warships. She recalled how the block, measuring around four square inches with the inscription ‘fragment of shell fired from German battleship Bismarck in action against HMS Prince of Wales May 24th 1941’, had sat on her mother’s desk for as long as she could remember.”She died and I had it but nobody in my family is interested in looking after it now,” she said.”I’m coming up towards 80 and I felt I had to make a decision.”I didn’t want it shoved into the back of the garage or up in the attic so I offered it to the new Prince of Wales ship and they said ‘yes please’ to it.” Before giving the shrapnel to the Navy, Brenda took it to the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow when it was filming at Buckfast Abbey last year.She was filmed showing the shrapnel, mounted on a small wooden plinth, her father’s medals and the telegram relaying his loss, to military specialist Mark Smith.  Brenda explained: “He said he hadn’t seen a bit of the shrapnel from Bismarck before and he was very interested in it.”He valued it at between £600 and £1,000 but it’s not about the money it’s a bit of history and there aren’t many bits of shrapnel from what was Germany’s biggest battleship at that time.” As he collected the fragment of shrapnel that had just blasted through the hull of HMS Prince of Wales, seaman Gordon Hall could not have imagined the lump of metal, fired from the Bismarck, would one day be valued at £1,000.The deadly reminder of Germany’s greatest Second World War battleship and one of the most famous naval battles of the war, has just been donated by Brenda Benham, Mr Hall’s daughter, to Britain’s newest aircraft carrier and namesake of her father’s ship.Brenda’s father had been a mechanic on HMS Prince of Wales when she was involved in the encounter with the Bismarck at the Battle of the Denmark Strait on May 24, 1941.The Prince of Wales was badly damaged in the fight and pieces of shrapnel from a huge Bismarck shell had smashed into the engine room deep in the bowels of the ship where Gordon was working. The vessel managed to limp to Rosyth for repairs.However, the battlecruiser HMS Hood, pride of the Royal Navy, was destroyed in the battle and sank in less than four minutes. All but three of the 1,418 seamen on board were drowned. 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. Gordon had taken the shell fragment from Bismarck home with him to Totnes, Devon, when he was given a week’s leave in 1941 to visit his wife, Elizabeth, and two-month-old daughter Brenda.It was the first and last time Brenda ever saw her father.Gordon returned to HMS Prince of Wales which then headed to Japan as the flagship of Force Z, the British naval squadron that also consisted of HMS Repulse and accompanying destroyers.Only six months after seeing his infant daughter, Force Z came under attack by Japanese aircraft and HMS Prince of Wales sank with 372 fatalities, including Brenda’s father. She was just eight months old.”When the Prince of Wales was in dry dock in Rosyth, my father had the Bismarck shrapnel mounted on a piece of wood,” Brenda said. Royal Navy Battleship HMS Prince of Wales, anchored in an undisclosed location in 1941.Credit:Arkivi/Hulton Archive Brenda has kept hold of her late father’s medals, letters, photographs and the telegram informing her mother that her husband was “missing presumed dead”. German battleship Bismarck in action during the naval battle against battleships HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales, May 24, 1941.Credit:Apic/Hulton Archive Gordon Hall, with wife Elizabeth and two-month old Brenda, on leave from HMS Prince of Wales, 1941. The telegram to Mrs Hall, informing her that her husband had 'not been reported as a survivor' after HMS Prince of Wales was attacked by Japanese aircraft in the Far East, 1941.  The telegram to Mrs Hall, informing her that her husband had ‘not been reported as a survivor’ after HMS Prince of Wales was attacked by Japanese aircraft in the Far East, 1941. Credit:BBC Antiques Roadshow The telegram to Brenda’s mother stated: ‘Deeply regret to inform you that your husband Gordon E J Hall who is believed to have been serving on HMS Prince of Wales has not been reported as a survivor. He must therefore be regarded as missing’.Brenda donated the mounted shrapnel to Captain Steve Moorhouse, the former commanding officer of HMS Prince of Wales, who invited her to Rosyth to visit the new aircraft carrier that carries the name of her father’s ship.”They are going to put it in the ship somewhere on display, with a write-up about it and my dad where the ship’s company can see it.”HMS Prince of Wales, sister ship to HMS Queen Elizabeth, is due for commissioning later this year.  Two days later heading for occupied France for repairs, Bismarck was attacked by 16 biplane torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal.One scored a hit that rendered the battleship’s steering gear inoperable and in her final battle the following morning the already crippled Bismarck was severely damaged during a sustained engagement with two British battleships and two heavy cruisers.She was eventually scuttled by her crew and sank with a heavy loss of life. read more

Traffic Chief warns motorists CCTV cameras are operational

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDrunk driving, speeding account for 75% of road fatalities for first quarterApril 29, 2019In “latest news”‘You will be prosecuted’ – Traffic Chief warns drivers with ‘coloured lights’July 8, 2019In “latest news”Acting Traffic Chief warns ranks to be professionalAugust 10, 2015In “Business” Traffic Chief, Superintendent Linden IslesAll of the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at key city intersections are functioning says Traffic Chief, Superintendent Linden Isles who warns that drivers will continue to be prosecuted.Isles, during a recent interview at Eve Leary, said that despite some misconceptions, “all the cameras are working” and are constantly monitored and the subsequent images stored.He also confirmed that there are, and continue to be, successful prosecutions of errant motorists who commit traffic offences.“Footage from some of these cameras has led to convictions in hundreds of careless driving and dangerous driving cases.” The CCTV usage has also boosted crime-fighting efforts by enabling law enforcement ranks to track and intercept criminals.Installed over seven years ago and constantly upgraded, the closed-circuit camera system was initiated under the PPP/C administration. At least 130 cameras were installed initially.According to a DPI release, the government has also started a Citizens Security Programme (CSP), funded with support from the Inter-American Development Bank. Phase Two of the CSP will see an “emergency smart street safe city proposal” that will see the installation of over 100 CCTV cameras in and around the city, where over 50 per cent of crimes are committed.The proposal also includes the construction of a command centre, where the footage would be monitored day and night. read more

Komatsu America introduces PC210LCi10 intelligent Machine Control excavator

first_imgKomatsu America has introduced the PC210LCi-10 intelligent Machine Control excavator to the North American market. The PC210LCi-10 features Komatsu’s unique machine control and guidance technologies, built upon the successful foundation of the standard Komatsu PC210LC-10 excavator. Komatsu stated: “Thanks to the exclusive control function, the PC210LCi-10 goes beyond simple guidance to semi-automatically limit over-excavation and trace a target surface. From rough digging to finish grading, the PC210LCi-10 excavator offers improved efficiency and accuracy over traditional methods.”“The PC210LCi-10 represents a huge leap forward by bringing automation features to excavators,” said Jason Anetsberger, Product Manager of Intelligent Machine Control. “Thanks to the exclusive semi-automatic control function, customers will unearth their productivity and operators can focus on moving material while the machine semi-automatically protects the target surface.” Anetsberger added, “The efficiency improvement, greater value and operation simplicity of the PC210LCi-10 mirror what has been proven with Komatsu’s established intelligent Machine Control dozer products: experienced and inexperienced operators alike will realise the benefits.”With an operating weight of 23,603 kg, and a net horsepower of 118 kW, the PC210LCi-10 is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-2 engine and is EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage 3B emissions certified.last_img read more