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Yankees vs Mets The Battle For New Yorks Heart

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found that, in a hypothetical Yankees vs. Mets World Series, 59 percent of New York City residents would root for the Yankees, and 37 percent would favor the Mets. The Yankees haven’t always had such a large lead on this question. So what influences the balance between Yankees and Mets fandom in New York?There isn’t a strong relationship between the Mets’ or Yankees’ winning percentages and New Yorkers’ Subway Series preferences. Nor does there seem to be much of a connection between the Yankees making the playoffs and whom New Yorkers would root for. Most sports fans want their team to win but know it often won’t. The Yankees are different. Winning isn’t hoped for. It’s expected.The Mets have a somewhat lower bar to clear. Quinnipiac’s polling suggests that in the battle for hearts and minds in the Big Apple, the Yankees’ success is baked in, assumed. The Mets making the playoffs is what appears to sway New Yorkers.The Mets came closest to parity with the Yankees after the 2006 season — the only season in the past 25 years when the Mets advanced further in the playoffs than the Yankees. The Mets shaved the Yankees’ advantage down to one point in a survey conducted a few months into the 2007 season. (Note: We assigned each poll to the prior season if it was conducted before the All-Star break.)But the Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, and the fan base in New York has slowly slid toward the pinstripes. The 22 percentage-point gap in the most recent Quinnipiac survey was the second largest found. The Yankees held their largest lead in the Quinnipiac poll taken about midway through the 1998 season, when it had been 10 years since the Mets made the playoffs.For each additional year removed from a playoff appearance, the Mets fall by an average of about two more points behind the Yankees in a hypothetical Subway Series.We’re dealing with only nine data points, which means the relationship might not hold in future polling. And factors besides the Mets’ success contribute to whom New Yorkers support.Case in point: The biggest outlier above is a poll taken after the 1999 season, when the Mets had made the NL championship series. But the Yankees still held a 17 percentage-point edge in the Quinnipiac survey. Why? The Yankees were coming off three World Series wins in four years. This suggests that the Yankees have some control over New Yorkers’ hearts, even if the effect isn’t nearly as significant as the Mets’. read more

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LeBrons Growth As A Player Shows In His Leadership

Put LeBron James on a team with Kyrie Irving, one of the game’s top young point guards, and throw in Kevin Love, a 6-foot-9 scorer from the perimeter and in the post, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked to be on their way.Then the NBA season started. The Cavs were smoked in their season-opener and dismantled Tuesday night in Portland. This is where James showed his most significant growth. He did not show panic or even frustration. He talked of remaining a team, of leading by example, of being patient, of teaching.Now he is getting it. LeBron James understands the magnitude of his presence.“There’s a lot of bad habits; a lot of bad habits have been built up over the last couple of years and when you play that style of basketball it takes a lot to get it up out of you,” James said. “But I’m here to help and that’s what it’s about.”Some of the best leaders in NBA history got it done on the court, confronted teammates when necessary and sent poignant messages through the media. James, in his post-defeat interview, showed he has learned how to send a message to the team without directly speaking to anyone.“Everyone wants to win, I would hope,” James said. “Would you rather play selfish basketball and lose, or play unselfish basketball and sacrifice and win? So you pick it.”He was speaking to his new teammates. But were they listening?The consensus best player on the planet has become adept at the mind games. He low balls expectations so progress can be viewed as special. Cunning.“Hopefully not too long, but it could go on for a couple months until we’re all on the same page,” he said. Inside he must have been smiling. Taking two months to flow could be tantamount to trouble. . . and inciting a doubting public.“We know exactly where we need to be both offensively and defensively and we buy in on what it takes to win,” James said. “I think a lot of people get it misconstrued on what it takes to win [by thinking] just scoring or just going out and trying to will it yourself. This is a team game and you have to rely on your teammates as well. So we will get an understanding of that as the time goes on.”Clearly, James, motivational speaker, has the ear of his teammates. And until things turn around, he will continue to deliver it. read more

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Beside The Points For Monday Dec 11 2017

Things That Caught My EyeGiancarlo Stanton to the BronxThe Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. Next year the only two hitters with more than 50 homers last season will be playing for the same ball club, with both Aaron Judge and Stanton in the Bronx. Here’s the bigger scoop: Marlins Park blows for batters, and adjusting for the move we’d anticipate his 59 home runs would have been about 66 home runs if he played half his games in a normal park. [FiveThirtyEight]Wildcats favored to win each remaining gameWith a decisive 88-72 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs last week, Villanova is now rated the best team in men’s college hoops per Basketball Power Index. They have a higher than 50 percent chance of winning each of their remaining games. Their overall chance of going undefeated in the regular season is 0.9 percent though. [ESPN, ESPN]Nine out of 10 times one of these teams wins the titleThe Warriors, Rockets, Celtics, Raptors and Cavaliers are all locks for the playoffs, with our CARM-Elo projections giving them all a greater than 99 percent chance of making the postseason. More to the point, there’s an 89 percent chance that one of those five teams wins the NBA title this year, with the Spurs, Thunder and Timberwolves accounting for most of the other 11 percent of universes. [FiveThirtyEight]Short passes are a prelude to puntsWhen a quarterback threw pass past the sticks on 3rd-and-10 or longer in the first 13 weeks of the season, 42.6 percent of the time it converted and became a perfectly good first down. When a quarterback threw a short pass in the same scenario, a decision made over twice as often, they converted 12.5 percent of the time. Stop doing that guys. [FiveThirtyEight]Try out our fun new interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Chaos in the SouthThe AFC West has mostly sorted out its ridiculous three-way competition for their division championship with a Kansas City win over Oakland pushing them to a 71 percent chance of taking the division. It’s the NFC South that is truly anyone’s ball game, except naturally the Tampa Bay Bucs who can be found in their safe space of #4 in the division. New Orleans has a 59 percent chance of winning the division, Atlanta a 22 percent chance and Carolina a 19 percent. Each of those three teams has a 66 percent chance or higher of making the playoffs. [FiveThirtyEight]Toronto, the sports capital of North AmericaJust weeks after their amazing win in the Grey Cup, Toronto now has won their second league championship since American Thanksgiving. Toronto FC beat the Seattle Sounders in the MLS Cup 2-0 on a winning goal from Jozy Altidore. [SB Nation]Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions? game!Big Number96 percentWith 2 minutes and 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Cleveland up a touchdown over Green Bay with the ball at their own 37 yard line and four yards to convert, the Cleveland Browns had a 96 percent chance of victory and snapping their thus-far totally defeated season. That is not how it went down. Green Bay got that touchdown and pushed the game into overtime, when Davante Adams scored the winning touchdown to continue the Cleveland losing streak. The Browns have three more games. [ESPN]Leaks from Slack: Yo Did Giancarlo Stanton Just Get Traded edition College Football See more NFL predictions See more NBA predictions gfoster:This isn’t final yet right?neil:MLBTR says they’re still waiting for him to approvechris.herring:This is insane.[trade confirmed]neil:Whew. Thank god(I don’t enjoy the Yankees getting great players, but I enjoy writing stories that can’t pub even less)Predictions NFL See more college football predictions Oh, and don’t forgetScott Hanson breaks his streak We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe NBA All newsletters read more

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Are Pro Wrestlers Dying at an Unusual Rate

I was barely 13 years old during WrestleMania VI on April 1, 1990, and just about at the height of my pro-wrestling fandom. I watched every televised event and read wrestling magazines, and I had been to a live event at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. I even watched unofficial wrestling-analysis shows that aired in the middle of the night. I was delirious.My favorite wrestler was Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, who took on “Mr. Perfect,” who had yet to lose in a televised head-to-head matchup. Brutus won. “Mr. Perfect,” a.k.a. Curt Hennig, had finally lost.Hennig died in 2003 at age 44.Of course, the main event at WrestleMania VI was the “Ultimate Challenge,” in which The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan to unify the Intercontinental Championship and the WWF Championship for the first — and so far only — time ever (the WWF changed its name to the WWE in 2002).The Ultimate Warrior, James Hellwig, died two weeks ago at age 54.Here are a few other pieces of information about WrestleMania VI:One match — Earthquake’s defeat of Hercules — featured two wrestlers who are now both dead.It was Andre the Giant’s last major televised match; he died in 1993 at age 46.Dusty Rhodes, who won his first wrestling title in 1968, is 68. His tag-team partner, Sapphire, his opponents “Macho Man” Randy Savage and the Sensational Queen Sherri, and his surprise manager, Miss Elizabeth (who was in a “feud” with Macho Man, her real-life husband), died in 1996, 2011, 2007 and 2003, respectively.Just five of 14 matches featured wrestlers who are all alive today.Here’s the card with all of the televised matches for the night. I’ve marked the ones who are dead in red; it’s one-third of the wrestlers who appeared (12 of 36, plus Miss Elizabeth).For all the dramatized bloodshed of professional wrestling, the card for WrestleMania VI certainly looks like a bloodbath. Is there anything fishy about pro wrestling, or are my intuitions about what percentage of young 1990s athletes should be alive 25 years later just way off?Let’s look at some data.I collected biographical information (including date of birth and date of death, if applicable) from the Internet Wrestling Database on all WWF wrestlers who are/would be younger than 60 in 2014, and who had at least 20 pay-per-view appearances between WrestleMania I in 1985 and the time the WWF was forced to change its name by the World Wildlife Fund in 2002 — for 203 in all.I then calculated each wrestler’s chances of dying between the ages of 25 (roughly around when his or her career may have started) and however old he or she is/would be in 2014, using actuarial tables from the Social Security Administration. Because health technology has improved significantly, I used a 1990 actuarial table to cover years before 2000, a 2000 table to cover years 2000 to 2009, and a 2010 table to cover 2010 to the present.I then broke them down by age groups and compared each group’s death rate with its expected death rate:We can also calculate the probability of so many wrestlers dying in each age group and overall by chance (using binom.dist), and it comes out like so:Note: I calculated each wrestler’s odds individually, but the probabilities in the last column of this table are based on the average probability for each group (which gets us extremely close, though technically it could be calculated precisely).I don’t want to speculate as to the cause of this phenomenon, though a number of theories in varying shades of sinister spring to mind. But it saddens me to think that my 13-year old self was so thoroughly entertained by watching ghosts. Rest in peace. read more

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What Did We Learn From The NFL Divisional Playoffs

Salfino: I’m surprised that the Saints barely won play success over the Eagles. But that just shows you that they were unreal on third downs — 8-for-15, and a lot of them a high degree of difficulty.neil: And Foles’s third-down magic seemed to abandon the Eagles. They only went 2-for-7 during the game on third downs. Usually third-down efficiency is a calling card of these Foles playoff runs.joshua.hermsmeyer: Neil beat me to it.Salfino: Re: Josh’s point, it’s really easy to say not to overpay for a QB unless you don’t have a QB. Someone is going to give Foles $100 million. I see the Giants or Jaguars as the landing spots for Foles.gfoster: Josh, I don’t know what team fits that bill and needs a quarterback. It would almost need to be like the Sam Bradford trade a couple years ago when Teddy Bridgewater got hurt. Maybe Washington gives him big money because they are mess and have no idea what they are doing?neil: The Giants would be HILARIOUS. Jettisoning Eli for basically a younger EliSalfino: Washington just gave big-ish money to Alex Smith though.gfoster: Yeah, but his career is possibly over. What do they do?Salfino: Someone on my Twitter mentions said that Foles is the new Earl Morrall. (I liked that.)joshua.hermsmeyer: Googles Earl Morrallgfoster: LOL. Here you go.neil: Ooooh, I like that. Or maybe Craig Morton? LOL.Salfino: Morton was never really a backup though. He was part of the two-QB rotation with Staubach. Morton I believe has the all-time record for yards per completion in a season. Morrall had a magical MVP season in 1968 and then flagged the Super Bowl against the Jets with all those picks and then basically disappeared until Shula resurfaced him in Miami after Griese got hurt during the perfect 1972 season.gfoster: Let’s stay in the NFC and talk about the Rams. Are we feeling better about them? They survived another tough road contest at home this weekend.neil: I loved how they completely ran over the Cowboys D.joshua.hermsmeyer: The fact that there isn’t a top 10 defense left in the playoffs confirms all my priors and warms my cockles.neil: Who knew CJ Anderson would be such an effective featured back? Or, like, their featured back at ALL?Salfino: The Rams had 51.3 percent play success, which is oddly exactly what the Patriots registered. CJ Anderson was hilarious in killing all the Gurley DFS guys but actually quite effective. A generational talent, some may say.gfoster: Gurley got his points, though.neil: (Kinda speaks to your story earlier this season, Josh, about Gurley being kind of a product of McVay and that offensive scheme.)joshua.hermsmeyer: That (incredibly large) hole Gurley ran through for his long TD was so much not Gurley it was amazing.Salfino: Is Gurley like Marshall Faulk with the St. Louis Rams, “the queen on the chessboard,” or is he replaceable? I would have thought the former, for sure.neil: One thing on the Rams is that Goff didn’t necessarily play all that well. Again.gfoster: Imagine what Zeke would do in that Rams offense. Because he seems to have to work for every yard, regardless of how much praise the Dallas O-line used to get or maybe still gets.Salfino: Yeah, I have a hard time envisioning Goff beating Brees in New Orleans. Huge home-road splits for Goff, too. Does Jason Garrett get that extension still?joshua.hermsmeyer: I saw a report that Garrett will get extended. Does anyone think he deserves it?Salfino: The Cowboys offense is good if it’s working but if it’s not working, Garrett never seems to be able to figure something out on the fly. Garrett is weird in that he’s a CEO coach, but is so closely tied to the offense, which he doesn’t really run.So what is Garrett’s value, really? Managing the staff? Managing the game? I think when you are a CEO coach you have to have a really strong personality like a Bill Parcells, be that “leader of men.” This is not Garrett, IMO. He just seems easily replaceable.joshua.hermsmeyer: He is elite at clapping.Salfino: Lombardi ended his clapping, which is sad.neil: Yeah, I don’t understand Jerry Jones’s fascination with Garrett. It’s like they were looking for ANY excuse whatsoever to extend him.gfoster: I just don’t think it’s a desirable job to coach with Jerry breathing down your neck.Salfino: Remember, Jones doesn’t want a strong personality that will basically kick him out of the locker room and tell him to stay in his owner’s lane.neil: He’s going to end up being one of the longest tenured coaches ever, and his record will pale in comparison with the others in the conversation. (Except maybe Marvin Lewis.)joshua.hermsmeyer: For all the grief Jones gets, he does seem incredibly loyal, and that is a terrific boss to have in a league like the NFL that moves on from most coaches far too quickly. Stability does have value.Salfino: He is basically Marvin Lewis, who also was a CEO coach without a really strong personality/culture. Tell that to Jimmy Johnson🙂:gfoster: Going back to Rams-Saints: The Saints lost their starting DT, Sheldon Rankins, to a possible torn Achilles. That’s a big loss, especially to be down a big interior lineman against the Rams.joshua.hermsmeyer: Mike, good point about Jimmy Johnson.neil: The way the Rams were clearing space against Dallas was unreal. According to ESPN Stats & Info Group, the Rams rushed 33 times for 195 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry before first contact between the tackles.Salfino: Maybe that will trick the Rams into running even more, especially on first down, right Josh?joshua.hermsmeyer: You never want to lose a starter, but if I had to pick a position to lose, give me DT.gfoster: That’s fair.Salfino: Exactly right. If it’s a pass rusher DT, OK, that’s worrisome. But there are only like one of those and he’s on the other team. Where are the big plays in the Rams passing game? They’re going to need some, I’m certain, to win.neil: True, their longest reception vs. Dallas was a 21-yarder to Brandin Cooks.Salfino: 186 passing yards on 28 attempts is not the Rams offense from October, for sure.joshua.hermsmeyer: With the loss of Rankins and their success with play-action, I would think the shot plays would come there. The linebackers may try to make up for Rankins’s loss by cheating a bit more than usual.Salfino: Are they still successful at play-action, Josh? I think that’s debatable.joshua.hermsmeyer: They did OK with it against Dallas I think.neil: Yes, Goff was 6-of-11 for 108 yards off play-action vs the Cowboys. That’s not as amazing as their early-season standards. But it’s still much better than when he passed without play-action.gfoster: Let’s talk about the AFC. The Chargers, who were 9-0 on the road, got absolutely destroyed by the Patriots. This was the one game that seemed completely over in the first quarter.Salfino: Yeah, getting to Josh’s point, the Patriots-Chargers were exhibit A in “offense mostly controls outcomes.”neil: Classic Patriots home divisional-round win.Salfino: I absolutely hated the team flying back to Los Angeles after the Wild Card win in Baltimore.gfoster: I think people tend to overweight air travel. But maybe you are right in this case.joshua.hermsmeyer: The win probability charts basically concur with your assessment Geoff. gfoster (Geoff Foster, sports editor): The Divisionals returned normalcy to the NFL. All four home favorites won outright – three of them covered the spread comfortably. There will be no wild card team making a run this year, which seems like a harder and harder path to the Super Bowl. But let’s start with the last team to get in, the Saints, who were the only home favorite to not cover, and they actually had to dig out of a 14-0 hole as Philly looked primed for another upset. So, is Foles Magic officially dead? And, where is Foles playing next year?Salfino (Michael Salfino, contributor): Foles seems to have said his goodbye to Philadelphia. So it seems safe to say he’s leaving.joshua.hermsmeyer (Josh Hermsmeyer, NFL analyst): Hanging this on Foles seems deeply wrong. On that last drive, it was the receivers that failed, not Foles. That said, since we are positing magic, I guess it’s true it is gone.gfoster: I wasn’t blaming Foles. I actually thought he played great.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Foles started the game so hot. The script seemed to be writing itself. But after those early drives, he really reverted back to the QB he has usually been over his career.Salfino: The last drive was definitely not Foles’s fault but after those first two drives, he really did not make a play.neil: In quarters two through four, Foles went 10-22 for 4.0 YPA and 0 TDs, 2 INTsgfoster: OK, so maybe “great” was a reach.neil: (Brees, meanwhile, went 26-32 for 8.5 YPA and 2 TDs, 0 INTs after a rough first quarter start — literally as rough as it gets on the first play of the game.)gfoster: I feel like someone could have huddled up with the Eagles defense and said “Hey, I think they might be trying to throw to Michael Thomas; should we do something about that?”joshua.hermsmeyer: 💯Salfino: Ginn was open, too, by a couple of steps. Brees also was short on another throw later to Taysom Hill. But he was really good at attacking the deeper middle of the field, especially on third down. Plus the Eagles helped by suffering a spate of injuries.neil: And at one point the Saints seemed to be doing everything they could to give the game away with penalties.gfoster: The Saints seemed to almost abandon the run, which is very unlike them. And until that late 36-yard run by Ingram, the Eagles took Kamara and Ingram basically out of the game plan, it seemed.joshua.hermsmeyer: I think Foles will get hired on somewhere, but if I were a GM I would let the other guy overpay for his services. His completion percentage by depth is really just average. Overpaying for average is a team killer unless you are absolutely loaded everywhere else. neil: I do wonder how much the travel had to do with it. They seemed out of sorts most of the game, especially on defense early. Didn’t help that their weird hybrid LB/DB scheme was totally ineffective against Brady and the Pats.Salfino: I hate a West Coast team in the early slot in a playoff game, but the Chargers were their own worst enemy in opting to go back home. Still, it probably wouldn’t have mattered, as flat as Los Angeles seemed (especially with the missed tackles). The Patriots were flawless. Brady looked like a different player, and there are reports that trick play with him as a receiver against the Titans hurt his knee pretty badly. He was able to practice fully again though.joshua.hermsmeyer: Angry Tom in the cold is the narrative, I think.Salfino: Did you see how the Patriots taped that thermostat on the wall where the Chargers had to come out on the field? Seems lame but maybe it worked.gfoster: Also, people spent all week talking about Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. That’s not too relevant when you dump the ball to James White 15 to 20 times a game.neil: Tactically, you have to appreciate the way they used their RBs against Los Angeles’s defense. Sony Michel ran for 129 and 3 TDs, plus James White had 15 catches out of the backfield. The Chargers had no answer for that attack. Michel was averaging 4.6 YPC with eight-plus defenders in the box against a defense that had smothered the run-heavy Ravens a week before.Salfino: The Patriots are all spares and no strikes now. They ran a ton with Michel. They had 15 catches for under 100 yards from White. Edelman got some big plays somehow, but he’s not a gamebreaker. Gronk had one catch. But this hyper efficiency works for them because they avoid mistakes. I’m not sure why the Chargers stuck with the Ravens defense with all those defensive backs. The Patriots are not a fast team at all. You want more size against them.neil: Well, people spent all week saying they’d revolutionized NFL defense with that scheme.joshua.hermsmeyer: Against a mobile QB, I think it’s a great defense. Against a pocket passer, I’m not sure what you are gaining.Salfino: The difference between the Patriots and other teams is that they solve the puzzle with an opponent and move on to the next opponent. They don’t bring whatever worked one week necessarily into the next.gfoster: Is Gronk a concern? Or not so much? Considering we’ve seen them go on SB runs without him before. He practically got the Bronx cheer from the Foxboro crowd when he made that one catch.joshua.hermsmeyer: Gronk had a fantastic day…checks notes…blocking.Salfino: Gronk’s yards per target this year was still good. He did gain 27 yards on that one play. It’s hard for me to believe he’s shot. He’s clearly not the same player, but I think he can still be effective. The Chargers are really designed to stop tight ends, though, with Derwin James.gfoster: Also, is it me, or did Rivers’s deep balls look terrible? Just floating up in the wind, asking Mike Williams to make jump ball catches 40 yards downfield.neil: In fairness, he was under heavy pressure much of the game.Salfino: Williams has to make that catch, Geoff. I thought Rivers had a lot of pop on most of his throws. But the Patriots played that Ravens blitzing defense and it really surprised Rivers. By the time he adjusted, the game was over.neil: According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, Rivers was pressured 24 times against New England, which was most of any quarterback in a playoff game in the last 10 seasons.joshua.hermsmeyer: What’s interesting is that while the Chargers kept their Ravens defense, the Patriots adopted the Ravens defense with their cover-zero looks and massive pressure on Rivers.Salfino: Yes, interesting but clearly not surprising that Belichick out-coached Lynn. That was the big worry for the Chargers in this game.What was interesting and unknown was “how” Belichick would get the edge.gfoster: Rivers’s deep ball seemed like me trying deep passes in Thanksgiving touch football. “I got someone out there, so just going to heave it and hope for the best.”Salfino: This is what those Ravens blitzes reduce you to, low-percentage deep throws.What’s funny is that exactly no one thinks that the Patriots having had success blitzing are going to bring that into the Chiefs game.gfoster: When the Chiefs played the Pats in the regular season, it was 43-40 and probably the most entertaining game of the season. I don’t think we will see 80+ points again. Or will we? The Chiefs defense seems to have improved recently.Salfino: I think we do see 80 points again.gfoster: Interesting. Even if conditions are much worse?Salfino: If it’s windy, that’s a problem. Cold? Nah. Unless it’s Ice Bowl-like.neil: Certainly seems like Patriots punter Ryan Allen probably won’t get as much of a workout as Rigoberto Sanchez against KC. Seemed like every time you looked up, Indy was punting.gfoster: Judging by the Chargers games, I wasn’t aware the Patriots had a punter.Salfino: Luck was so bad. It seemed like every other pass was deflected at the line. The first three, I’m pretty sure, though whether the first pass of the game was tipped is not entirely clear. That has to be a record though.joshua.hermsmeyer: Regarding the total, Vegas has it at 57.5. That’s super high. I’m not sure I take the over.gfoster: Kareem Hunt totaled 185 combined yards in that Patriots game. But Damien Williams has made people forget about him pretty quickly. Interestingly, Patriots were able to limit Kelce’s production (somewhat), which the Colts had no answer for.Salfino: OK, I revise my prediction since the forecast is for a high of 16 degrees on Sunday.joshua.hermsmeyer: If Sammy Watkins can contribute big, high-leverage plays, I think he will be one too many weapons for the Patriots to account for.Salfino: Belichick wants to x-out Kelce in these games. And then Hill kills them. Also Hunt out of the backfield in the last game, though that’s no longer a threat.neil: Gosh, that 57.5 is with the temperature baked into the over/under? (Well, maybe not “baked.” Frozen?) What would it be in a dome?Salfino: Hunt actually killed the Patriots as a receiver in the last two games they played. Can Williams function this way? I don’t see it.gfoster: Weather moves the total more than anything (except quarterback injuries), so we will see what happens with that line.Salfino: No appreciable wind in the forecast, though about 20 mph on Saturday so maybe that’s a threat, too. I tell all my fantasy friends, it’s just wind other than super extreme conditions on the other side — cold, rain or snow. And really wind at over 20 mph only.gfoster: Who does the weather help though? You could argue the Patriots. Has Mahomes played in games this cold? Brady sure has.joshua.hermsmeyer: I’m going to fade the idea that something like weather can stop Mahomes. While it didn’t snow as much people envisioned, the Indianapolis game was plenty cold and Mahomes looked fantastic.neil: For the sake of fun trivia, it was 17 degrees in Mahomes’ debut start. (According to PFR, that’s the coldest game he’s played as a pro.)Salfino: Brady has played one game in 10 degrees or colder — in 2003. He had a 73.3 passer rating. (Note that includes playoffs.)joshua.hermsmeyer: Are any of you picking the Patriots?gfoster: Great segue! Let’s close with our Super Bowl predictions.neil: If the game was at Foxboro, I’d think about it. But Brady hasn’t won a road playoff game since this wacky one against the Chargers. Hard to believe! But Pats usually play at home in lead-up to Super Bowl.gfoster: That’s where the game-sealing interception was fumbled for a first down?Salfino: He’s 0-2 since then.neil: Yes, the Marlon McCree game.Salfino: So I will stick with my Chiefs-Saints Super Bowl.neil: I will do the same!Salfino: Save us, Josh.joshua.hermsmeyer: I think we’ll see the proverbial passing of the torch from Old Angry Tom to Mahomes, kinda like when Favre beat Young in the playoffs. And I still like the Rams in the NFC.neil: Josh, Elias says this is the biggest age difference in a QB matchup in conference champ history. joshua.hermsmeyer: Great statneil: I am also looking forward to Mahomes potentially doubling the record for playoff wins by a Big 12 quarterback.gfoster: I also will take the Chiefs. But I’m going to say Chiefs-Rams just because I still haven’t seen the return of that devastating Saints offense. It’s been hibernating since the loss to the Cowboys in Week 13. The Saints managed just 20 points against a banged-up Eagles defense. It seemed like a struggle at times, even though a lot of that was self-inflicted penalties. Brees was under a lot of pressure. Trubisky even had more passing yards than Brees! Trubisky!!!Salfino: I will defend the Saints. They had 420 yards to 250 for the Eagles. That’s actually 28 expected points (formula is a point every 15 yards from scrimmage). To me, that’s pretty close to being on schedule. I mean, they had 25 first downs.gfoster: You know what the Saints need Mike, right?Salfino: Do not say it, Geoff.gfoster: More Taysom Hill gadget plays!Salfino: Payton was determined to make noise with Hill in that game.Salfino: Who would Taysom Hill be in the Star Wars universe? (Only episodes I-III.)gfoster: He’s young Anakin in Episode I. Ten minutes into the movie, you are like “Is this kid really going to play this big of a role, here?”joshua.hermsmeyer: I was going to say Porkins. “Stay on target.”gfoster: I would love to see a close-up of Brees’s face every time he is set out wide with Hill under center; I feel like he’s rolling his eyes — but I can’t be sure.Salfino: Ha ha ha.joshua.hermsmeyer: His body language instills fear in the DB every time.neil: One day, Brees will burn someone over the top.Salfino: Brees has large hands and probably could win 50/50 balls.joshua.hermsmeyer: No matter what combination of teams ultimately makes it, this is the correct four teams in the championship round, and the perfect end to the greatest offensive season in NFL history.neil: Agreed! It’s the first time since the 1970 merger that each of the top four teams in scoring made the conference title game.gfoster: We wanted offense. We got offense. Will see you next week when we know who is heading to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. read more

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Ohio State softball wins 4 games before dropping final one in USC

OSU then-freshman pitcher Shelby Hursh (19) throws a pitch during a game against Northwestern on April 28, 2014. Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe Buckeyes are still looking for a weekend without experiencing defeat.This weekend in South Carolina, the Ohio State softball team (9-3) came a game away from an unblemished weekend but were defeated in their final game against South Carolina Upstate (11-2).Three Buckeyes combined for five home runs over the weekend, three of which came from junior Alex Bayne. The outfielder now has 11 RBIs on the year, which is only two short of her 2015 total.The tournament marked the first of 2016 in which all five OSU pitchers saw action, which allowed the team to maintain its stamina throughout the weekend. Junior Shelby Hursh now has 44 strikeouts this season, and the staff’s combined ERA is a mere 1.88.Game 1OSU started strong in another weekend opener with a 13-0 shutout against Virginia Tech (4-10) on Friday. The Hokies only delivered one hit, a double by redshirt senior catcher Katey Smith, and momentum remained on the Buckeyes’ side.All of OSU’s runs were earned, and five Buckeyes contributed multiple hits. Bayne and sophomore center fielder Taylor White both had three RBIs, but sophomore pitcher Shelby McCombs led the squad with four RBIs while going 2-for-3.McCombs, who played as the game’s designated hitter, delivered a stellar performance offensively last weekend in Atlanta, including a walk-off home run in OSU’s first matchup against Georgia Tech. McCombs got the Buckeyes on the scoreboard first with a one-out, two-run single after senior shortstop Maddy McIntyre ignited the offense with a leadoff single in the first inning. White hit a single to left field to make the game 3-0.OSU ballooned its lead to 10 in the second inning after a handful of wild pitches by Hokies senior Maggie Tyler advanced runners into scoring position. Bayne, White and senior catcher Cammi Prantl contributed two-run singles, and junior second baseman Anna Kirk recorded an RBI with a sacrifice fly.The Buckeyes did not become complacent though. Bayne and McCombs teamed up to deliver two home runs in the third inning and three more RBIs. Bayne now has six homers on the year, while McCombs has two.From the mound, Hursh struck out three in her two innings pitched. The Buckeyes’ comfortable lead over the Hokies allowed freshman Katya Duvall to make her debut for the team, in which she also struck out three and earned the win.Game 2OSU continued an unstoppable Friday outing, beating Furman (7-9) in the second game of the doubleheader. Building upon a strong offense against the Hokies, seven Buckeyes, led by Bayne, contributed RBIs in the team’s 15-3 win.Bayne added two home runs, one in the top of the first inning and one in the sixth. The left fielder’s bat seemed to inspire the rest of the Scarlet and Gray because the team combined for nine multiple-base hits. Prantl and sophomore Becca Gavin each hit one over the fence, and Prantl continued her streak, going 4-for-4.These key hits provided OSU with a 7-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, after the Paladins took advantage of passed balls and a throwing error by the Buckeye defense in the sixth. Furman sophomore third baseman Brittany Houston had a two-run single to center field against freshman Morgan Ray, who had just stepped onto the mound to relieve McCombs.The Buckeyes responded loudly in the top of the seventh and added eight more runs to solidify their win. Five of these runs were scored with two outs as the Paladins began to run out of steam. Senior first baseman Erika Leonard, senior pinch hitter Jayla Saibene and freshman second baseman Emily Clark all gave the Buckeyes a final push at the plate.Defensively, OSU made plays that kept the Paladins from scoring or even stringing hits together. In the bottom of the third, the infield cleared the bases with a double play. In the following inning, McCombs, who got the win in the matchup, hit two batters but was able to strike out two more to get out of the situation.Like McCombs, Furman sophomore Lindsey Bert also hit two batters, but her effort on the mound, along with that of senior Alex Sappington, could not trip up the Scarlet and Gray as they moved to an undefeated Friday.Game 3The Buckeyes got off to another quick start Saturday with a comfortable 9-1 win against Morehead State (5-6). Junior Lena Springer got her first chance of the weekend on the mound and her first complete game of the season.Like its two previous matchups in South Carolina, OSU got on the board first with Leonard’s RBI groundout. The Buckeyes extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning when Prantl singled up the middle, which was followed by two throwing errors by the Eagles.OSU left runners on base in all six innings but still managed to chip away at Morehead State’s defense and pitchers, sophomore Mackenzie Grossmann and junior Megan Tymorek. The Buckeyes left the bases loaded in the third inning but returned in the fourth to score another run on a triple to right field by McIntyre.The Eagles did not score until the final inning with an unearned run on senior first baseman Dana Hutchins’ double. Morehead State, which went winless over the weekend, put the ball in play but could not find gaps to send runners home.Game 4The Scarlet and Gray’s second matchup against Virginia Tech resulted in a much tighter contest than the first. OSU won the game 6-5 after a back-and-forth struggle over seven innings.The Buckeyes rotated three pitchers onto the mound, starting in the second inning when Ray gave up two runs. Hursh earned the win with three innings pitched and five strikeouts, and McCombs received her first save of the season after stopping the Hokies’ offense in the final two innings.For OSU’s offense, extra-base hits made the difference. McIntyre opened the game with a double, followed by Leonard’s RBI double to left field. The Buckeyes then extended their lead to four in the second inning, after Prantl sent a solo shot over the centerfield fence and White and Gavin stole home. Virginia Tech responded in the bottom of the third inning when Hursh walked junior Elizabeth Birle with the bases loaded. A couple of batters later and the bases still loaded, Hursh walked sophomore center fielder Breanna Davenport for the Hokies’ second run of the inning.The Hokies’ redshirt freshman Chelsea Whitcomb walked six batters throughout her four innings on the mound. Two of those walks set up OSU runners in scoring position in the top of the fifth inning, and both scored after White doubled on her first and only hit Saturday.The Buckeyes’ narrow 6-4 lead tightened even more in the bottom of the fifth after two Virginia Tech hits through the gap moved freshman right fielder Emma Strouth to third base. Strouth then scored on McCombs’ wild pitch.The game came down to the bottom of the seventh inning, but Virginia Tech went down in order to cement the Buckeyes’ second win over the Hokies and fourth of the weekend.Game 5Even though OSU had more hits than its final opponent of the weekend, USC Upstate edged out the Buckeyes 2-0 on Sunday. The Spartans’ two runs came from a timely home run, while the Buckeyes could not execute at the plate to bring any of their eight runners left on base home.The first two innings were scoreless for both teams, despite a two-out double by Saibene in the second. The Buckeyes came close again in the third, when Prantl and Leonard each delivered a single with two outs, but the two seniors were left stranded on base.USC Upstate’s offense ignited in the bottom of the third, thanks to freshman second baseman Megan Obier’s leadoff double. Freshman left fielder Brittany Case then blasted a home run to center field, giving the Spartans their 2-0 advantage.The Buckeyes spent the next four innings trying to start a rally, but even with leadoff singles from Prantl and junior pinch hitter Jess Machovina, they could not get one sparked.The stars of the game were the pitchers of both teams: Hursh for the Buckeyes and junior Holly McKinnon, who came on in the first after only one batter, for the Spartans. Hursh struck out seven, while McKinnon collected eight of her own.Coming upThe Buckeyes do not see any action next weekend, but they are scheduled to head to Tempe, Arizona, from March 11 to 13 to face four opponents at the Arizona State Tournament. OSU’s first matchup is scheduled against No. 10 James Madison and is set to begin at 1 p.m. read more

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Scarlet meets Scarlet Ohio State takes on Rutgers for 1st time

OSU senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett (63), tackles Maryland redshirt-senior quarterback C.J. Brown (16) during an Oct. 4 game at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. OSU won, 52-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhile the colors won’t exactly clash in Ohio Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Rutgers Scarlet Knights are set for battle in their first-ever meeting on the gridiron.The Scarlet Knights (5-1, 1-1) enter Columbus coming off a bye week of their own after defeating Michigan on Oct. 4 in just their second-ever Big Ten game.Now, Rutgers enters Columbus to play its first-ever Big Ten road game, and it comes during homecoming week at OSU.The Scarlet Knights are led offensively by senior quarterback Gary Nova, who is coming off a game in which he threw for 404 yards and three scores in a win over the Wolverines, a performance OSU coach Urban Meyer said he noticed.“The quarterback (Nova) had a hell of a day against our rival,” Meyer said. “We got our hands full. We feel that (they) have very quality receivers. We are going to be very aggressive and we got to get this quarterback down ‘cause he is playing the best he has ever played right now.”OSU redshirt-freshman cornerback Eli Apple said the Buckeye defense has been preparing to limit the big play. The Buckeye defense allowed three scoring plays of 60 yards or more the last time they played at home, against Cincinnati.“They’ve got great receivers who can take the top off of defenses so one thing is just making sure to eliminate the deep balls and make sure we keep Gary Nova in the pocket and make sure he doesn’t scramble and beat us like that,” Apple said.While Nova may be playing the best he has ever played, he has struggled with turnovers in the past.Nova entered the 2014 season with 39 career interceptions and has added seven more this season, five of which came in Rutgers’ first Big Ten game against Penn State on Sept. 13.Apple said the Buckeyes are going to try and exploit Nova’s tendency to turn the ball over.“That is something that we definitely watch, and feel like we can take advantage of,” Apple said. “Sometimes he does get a little bit rattled and he feels like he just has to throw it up there. That is something we are going to try and capitalize on.”Senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said it is his unit’s job to fluster the quarterback, something the defense focuses on each week.“We have a count each game about how many hits this guy is going to take to break, and so we will have a count on Gary and we will find out how many he has,” Bennett said. “He gets flustered, he kind of gets a little nervous so I’m sure against us he will bring everything he’s got, but we are going to try and hit him and we are going to try and hit him a lot.”During his five-interception game against Penn State, Nova was sacked three times, losing 19 yards. He scored the Scarlet Knights’ only touchdown in the game, a 14-yard run in the second quarter.In order to fluster Nova, Bennett said the Buckeyes will have to force him to drop back more than usual, which means shutting down the ground game.“If we are able to stop that run early, then we will have chances to go get the quarterback and it should be a fun night,” he said.While getting pressure on the quarterback will be the key for the Buckeye defense, protecting their own signal caller will likely be a concern as Rutgers is tied for third in the country in sacks.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said Rutgers is successful rushing the quarterback because of how the Scarlet Knights design their pressure.“Front four are very active. They don’t blitz a ton on first and second down. I think somewhere in the range of 15 and 20 percent,” Herman said. “On third down, they try to really create confusion and havoc and they’ve got a whole third down specialist-type deal where they’re going to run a bunch of different guys in on the field and line up in some crazy alignments and try to confuse you and pressure the quarterback on third down.”OSU, which allowed seven sacks in a loss to Virginia Tech against a bear cover zero defense, has allowed just five sacks since.Despite its recent success, junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker said Monday that he expects to see the kind of defense that gave OSU troubles against the Hokies.“We are expecting them to blitz a lot. We are probably expecting them to throw that bear cover zero at us too, because everybody has been trying it,” Decker said.Apple, who is a native of New Jersey, said he believes Rutgers has more talented athletes than Buckeye fans might think, which is critical to being successful when running the bear defense.“Rutgers, they always have great talent,” Apple said. “They have a great roster, and we just got to make sure we are focused so we don’t take a game off.”The Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights are scheduled to meet Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. read more

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NHS chief mired in scandal steps down from sideways move after public

first_img“We listened to feedback, reflected, decided she wasn’t employable and rewarded her with quarter of a million,” it tweeted.Last month the trust’s interim chairman stood down. In April, inspectors concluded that the trust was still failing to protect patients from risk of harm.Care Quality Commission inspectors found that robust arrangements to probe incidents, including deaths, had not been put in place, resulting in ‘missed opportunities’ to prevent similar events. The mental health trust provides services to 45,000 people across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.It employs around 9,000 staff at more than 200 sites, including community hospitals, health centres, inpatient units and social care services. ‘Following the recent announcement that Katrina Percy will take on a regional strategic advisory role, we have received correspondence from the public, patients and families expressing their concerns’Southern Health NHS Foundation trust The trust said in a statement on Friday: “Following the recent announcement that Katrina Percy will take on a regional strategic advisory role, we have received correspondence from the public, patients and families expressing their concerns. We have listened to all of this feedback and reflected.”Both the trust and NHS Improvement believe it is no longer possible for Katrina to continue in her new advisory role. Katrina shares this view and we have worked with NHS Improvement to come to a settlement where she will leave Southern Health with immediate effect, to pursue other opportunities. “We thank Katrina for her significant contribution to the NHS and we wish her well for the future.”As a board we are now making arrangements to continue the important work that Katrina was due to finish. We hope that the organisation can now continue to focus on our primary objective: delivering the best possible care to all those we look after.” Southern has been under intense scrutiny following the deaths of hundreds of patients, including 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk who died in 2013.His mother expressed anger at the payout, and said it was “scandalous” that action had taken so long. “I think it’s good that she’s gone, but the payoff is obscene,” Dr Ryan told ITV News. “How can the NHS afford such payoffs for people who have failed?”She said the departure of the executive had only happened because of a long campaign by families who lost loved ones at the trust. “It’s scandalous that it’s taken this long,” she said. “It’s shameful that Jeremy Hunt has done nothing – it’s all been down to the families.”“The rest of the board need a good old shake out now. It shouldn’t have taken families and campaigners making so much noise to get to this point. 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. “It’s outrageous she hung on as long as she did. The whole sorry tale has shown there are serious problems in the way the NHS is organised. The lack of accountability is a scandal,” she told the Oxford Times. “The money she has received is an obscene misuse of public funding, especially given that the NHS is completely stretched. The former chief executive of a troubled mental health trust has been given a £190,000 payoff after she left her latest role.Katrina Percy faced repeated calls to resign over Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s failure to investigate hundreds of deaths.She resigned as chief executive in August but went straight into a role specially created for her at the same trust.Critics last night attacked the trust for offering “a completely unjustifiable reward for failure” .Dr Sara Ryan, whose teenage son Connor died while he was under the care of the trust, described the payoff as “obscene”. Ms Percy resigned as trust chief executive in August, after facing repeated calls to stand down over the trust’s failure to investigate hundreds of deaths.However, she went straight into a new advisory role at the same trust, keeping her pay and benefits of £240,000 a year.The revelation prompted outrage among patients’ groups and MPs. Connor Sparrowhawk who was found drowned in the bath at Slade House in Headington In October, a jury inquest ruled that neglect contributed to the death of Mr Sparrowhawk, who drowned after an epileptic seizure at Slade House in Headington, Oxfordshire.Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “This is hugely disrespectful to Southern Health patients and their loved ones, who I campaigned with over the Trust’s scandalous failure to properly investigate unexpected deaths. ““It was insulting that Ms Percy was offered this very lucrative advisory position at the Trust when this first came to light, and for her now to be offered such a generous pay-out is a completely unjustifiable reward for failure”.John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This golden goodbye can only be seen as a reward for failure. Not only is it an insult to those who have suffered or lost a loved one because of mismanagement or incompetence, it is a also slap in the face for taxpayers who will be picking up the bill. Connor Sparrowhawk “People will want to know why anyone should be compensated when they stand down voluntarily and those responsible for this hugely expensive farce must be held to account to ensure nothing like this happens again.”Regulators NHS Improvement, who agreed the deal, said Ms Percy was entitled to six months’ pay in lieu of notice, and would be given a further six months’ pay as part of the settlement.A spokesman said the body had received legal advice which suggested that attempts to get rid of Ms Percy without a payout could have cost them more. “We know that this won’t please  some who think that she ought to have received no payment at all, and in situations like this, a perfect deal is not possible. But the strong legal advice we have received is that to do anything else would have a much greater cost to the public purse, and as a consequence, would go against good management of public money.”Deborah Coles, director of Inquest,  said the resignation “should mark the end of Southern Health’s denial of responsibility for systemic failings and the start of vital work to protect the lives of the people in its care”.Campaign group Justice for LB – LB was Connor’s nickname, and stands for Laughing Boy – called the settlement “utterly disgraceful”.last_img read more

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Charles Is lost painting for sale minus breasts removed by prudish owner

first_imgObviously someone, maybe in the 19th century, wanted to be prudish and took off the breastGeorge Wachter, chairman of Sotheby’s North America It then passed to Agnew’s, London, before being sold privately in 1989. Its current owner, a woman from Philadelphia, now hopes to sell the work to raise money for research into the painter and his legacy. Sotheby’s have estimated it at $2-3 million (£1.6-2.5 million).It is one of the items still missing from Charles I collection, after Charles II made a concerted effort to recover some of the works once he was reinstated to the throne.The Royal Academy will next year stage a blockbuster exhibition reuniting many of the works, using old inventories to track down paintings from other public institutions and private owners.Last year, Sotheby’s sold Gentileschi’s Danaë to the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA  for a record $30.5 million.George Wachter, chairman of Sotheby’s North America, said the “amazing” painting was particularly striking for its modern look, calling it a “super rare and beautiful” example of the artist’s best work.”Obviously someone, maybe in the 19th century, wanted to be prudish and took off the breast,” he said.  “This is a great opportunity for someone to own a work by this super important artist which can easily hang in your home.”There’s something so immediate and striking and modern about it.”The auction house will frame the painting in black to match its original presentation, after finding the detail in an original inventory from Charles I’s day.The sale will take place in New York on January 25. It once hung outside Charles I’s bedroom, sold off after his execution as his famous art collection was scattered across Europe.This month, a Gentileschi portrait of a woman will come up for sale for the first time in 380 years – minus some of its assets.The portrait, entitled Head of a Woman, is estimated at up to £2.5 million, thanks to its venerable royal history and skill.But experts have determined it looks somewhat different to the painting Charles I admired, after the bottom of the canvas showing the woman’s naked bosom was removed by a previous prudish owner. “the Picture of a woeman with her left breast naked her right breast covered with a part of her Smock” The statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square The statue of Charles I in Trafalgar SquareCredit:JULIAN SIMMONDS/TELEGRAPHcenter_img ‘The Picture of a woeman with her left breast naked her right breast covered with a part of her Smock’ This is one of only two surviving works by the artist on panel.This painting dates from the early 1630s and was bought by Charles I in 1636 to hang in a small room between his withdrawing chamber and long gallery at Whitehall.It formed part of his impressive art collection, later broken up and sold off by Parliament after his execution in 1649 to pay the late king’s debts.More than 1,300 paintings were consigned by Cromwell to Somerset House, where they were offered to the public.The sale has gone down in history both as a tragic loss of national art and for its odd detail, with a Titian painting famously being given to a plumber to pay his bill.The Gentileschi was part of 51 paintings which went to Robert Houghton, “gentleman and brewer” to Charles I, staunch puritan and sponsor of the early colony in Massachusetts.It is believed to have passed to his family after death, being lost to the private houses of England until it was rediscovered in 1930 as part of a Royal Academy exhibition. An original inventory describes the painting as “Naked Woman”, detailing “the Picture of a woeman with her left breast naked her right breast covered with a part of her Smock”.In the interim years, the canvas has been cut across the bottom to show only her bare shoulders.The painting is nevertheless being considered one of the highlights of the forthcoming Sotheby’s sale, with bids predicted to soar following a new world record for Orazio Gentileschi of $30.5 million (£25 million) last year. 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

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Backlash after sexist hats found in gift shop at National Trust property

first_imgGraham Jones, Tatton Park’s visitor and commercial operations manager, said the hat was removed from the shelves as soon as they were made aware of the complaint. Tatton Park, Knutsford, CheshireCredit:Robert Harding World Imagery The National Trust has been dragged into a sexism row after one of its stately homes was found selling pink  “future footballers wife” hats for girls.The hats, complete with the lack of apostrophe, were being sold in the gift shop at Tatton Park, Cheshire, but were removed from the shelves yesterday (TUES) after a barrage of criticism on social media.Laura Goss, creative director at a digital agency, photographed the “stupid” hat and published it on Twitter, telling the Trust: “Your young female visitors deserve better merch (+ better grammar).” Hey @nationaltrust – this stupid hat is for sale at Tatton Park. Your young female visitors deserve better merch (+ better grammar) pic.twitter.com/isTBCSHm3L— Laura Goss (@sparklepanties) August 29, 2017 “We get a job lot of hats from our supplier, including children’s hats, but I don’t know how these ended up on our shelves. Someone’s put them out without thinking,” he said.“If they have offended anyone and are considered inappropriate, then as far as we are concerned, it was a mistake and we take that very seriously.”The shop includes stock often seen in National Trust gift shops such as the charity’s popular throws, but no National Trust branded items.Ms Goss said she was pleased the hat had been withdrawn from sale.“I was disgusted and saddened by it,” she told the Telegraph.“It would be wrong wherever it was sold. National Trust may not have direct responsibility for the shop but if it falls under their brand then they should accept some of the blame.“It’s fantastic that it’s been taken off the shelf. It’s only a tiny thing really but it all helps.”The Trust has endured a tricky summer, during which it has faced criticism for requiring volunteers to wear Gay Pride badges, the public “outing” of Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, former owner of Felbrigg Hall near Cromer, and a change in the recipe for its celebrated flapjacks.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire The post attracted a stream of comments from disgusted National Trust members, who branded it “everyday sexism” and “an appalling lack of judgment”.One said the hat “put the Tat into Tatton” whilst another added: “Trying to imagine the hat… ‘future footballer’s husband’ for all the little boys aspiring to marry well.”Another wrote: “Young girls aspiring to marry into money, @nationaltrust keeping the true spirit of the Stately Home/Landed Gentry alive.”National Trust thanked Ms Goss for flagging up the existence of the hat in its shop and said it would be contacting Tatton Park about it.However, it noted that although the historical estate was bequeathed to the charity in 1958 it is financed and maintained by Cheshire East Council which does not consult the Trust about what is sold in the shop.last_img read more

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Beast from the East Why youre not entitled to compensation if your

first_imgWhat other exceptions are there?For example, when the delay is due to war or civil unrest, security issues, natural disasters, extreme weather conditions (including an airport’s failure to de-ice the aircraft on time), air traffic control restrictions, strikes by airport staff, a medical emergency on board, and some crew issues. The Beast from the East has delivered as promised The Beast from the East has delivered as promisedCredit:Cover Images Will I be fed and watered?In the case of delays or cancellations, passengers have the right to care and assistance, in the form of food, drink, access to communications and accommodation, if necessary. The airline must pay for a hotel if an overnight stay is required.Make sure you keep any receipts for anything purchased while delayed as you may be able to claim the cost back.What about other arrangements I have paid for?If you have booked a hire car, a hotel, a villa or other accommodation independently of your flight, and you are delayed or unable to travel, the airline is not liable for any losses you may incur. You are still responsible for paying the bill. The CAA says that airlines have an obligation to book you onto the flight of a rival airline if the other carrier is flying to your destination “significantly sooner”, adding “you can discuss this with your airline”.If you are flying further than 1,500km, to say, southern Spain, Italy, or Greece and beyond, then a five-hour rule applies. If your flight is delayed for more than five hours you are entitled to a refund if you no longer wish to travel. Will I receive compensation on top of my refund?Unfortunately not. As snow-related delays and cancellations are not the fault of the airline, compensation as protected by EU law does not apply.Among the situations for which an airline is not culpable for a delay is “extraordinary circumstances”, which usually covers weather.Of this week’s disruption at Heathrow, the CAA says: “Heathrow required airlines to cancel a proportion of their flights based on forecast bad weather. “The reduction in capacity was to ensure flights could continue to operate safely and airlines could give advance notice to their passengers. The flights […] were cancelled based on the expected weather conditions and in our view would be considered to be an extraordinary circumstance and not subject to compensation.”When “extraordinary circumstances”, as defined by the EU regulations on flight delays, apply, passengers are not entitled to the compensation normally due for delays and cancellations should they be the fault of the airline.The CAA explains: “The EU Regulation does not define ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and there have been a number of cases in the European and English courts regarding what the term covers.”When it comes to weather the argument is whether the airline’s operations have been hindered by extreme conditions, or ineffective operations or over-packing a schedule. Unfortunately, for passengers to find out they must go head to head with the airline and could end up in court. In 2013, Easyjet was forced by a judge to pay a passenger compensation after she proved that the bad weather blamed for a delay was not as described in both London and Nice when the flight took place.At the time, a spokesperson for the airline said that the ruling did not set a precedent. A spokesperson for the CAA said at the time that the issue was “something of a grey area”. The Beast from the East arrived, and brought with it flight delays and cancellations.The snow has led to larges swathes of cancellations across the UK and Ireland, with some airports shutting down entirely. Airports on the Continent, too, have suffered from the disruption. Airlines are advising passengers to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.What should I do if my flight is cancelled?Under EU law an airline is not allowed to leave you high and dry if they cancel a flight you are booked on, says the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which governs UK airlines.Generally, if your flight is cancelled you are due a refund on the unused parts of the ticket, or to be rebooked onto an alternative flight. BA said of its cancellations that it was finding new flights for passengers.last_img read more

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Police arrest man on suspicion of murder and sexual activity with child

Police search the scene in Southampton where Lucy was foundCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency At the time of her disappearance, Lucy’s mother, Miss White, posted an appeal for help finding her on Facebook.She wrote: “Anyone seen Lucy White she is missing and police are out looking. Any help appreciated. She is wearing blue jeans, black/white jacket, grey or green top. Blue digital watch.”On Friday evening, she added that her daughter had “been found” as comments from friends and family offered condolences.Ms White wrote: “Thank you everyone for sharing. I shall post a update soon but Lucy has been found and at the moment that’s all I can say. “Sadly Lucy was found the following morning by a member of the public. We’re really keen to know what she did after leaving her house and would ask that anyone who saw her, had contact with her or knows of her movements on Wednesday contacts the incident room.”The spokesman added: “Lucy was last seen wearing a distinctive black jacket with white sleeves and the logo for the band Falling in Reverse on the front. It had RADKE 01 in red on the back.”A post mortem examination took place today and some of her injuries are unexplained.”A 24-year-old man from Southampton has been arrested on suspicion of murder and having sexual activity with a child. He remains in custody at this time.” The man, aged 24, remains in custody “We are continuing to investigate the circumstances of her death and are asking for the public’s help.”We know Lucy left her house in Mansel Road East, Southampton, at 9.30am on Wednesday, July 25 and did not return home that evening as expected.”She was reported to police that night as a missing person and an investigation commenced. The man, aged 24, remains in custodyCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency Detectives have launched a murder investigation into the death of a teenage girl whose body was found in a woodland.Officers arrested a man aged 24 in connection with the death of Lucy McHugh, 13, who went missing from her home two days ago.Hampshire Police revealed they were investigating the “tragic” death and arrested the man on suspicion of having sexual activity with a child and murder.The body of blonde-haired Lucy was discovered at 7.45am yesterday morning in woodland on the grounds of Southampton Sports Centre, Hants. Her devastated mother wrote on social media about feeling “numb” at the news.A spokesman for Hampshire Police said the 13-year-old was reported missing after she left her house at 9.30am on July 25 and didn’t come home.Detective Superintendent Paul Barton said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts go out to Lucy’s family and friends at this terrible time. Police search the scene in Southampton where Lucy was found “Thank you everyone for your kind words. We’re all trying to come to terms with it all slowly and just feel numb.”Large parts of the sports facility were cordoned off yesterday after the body was discovered early in the morning.Officers began blocking off the area at the top of an outdoor dry ski slope after they were called at 7.45am.Friends of Lucy took to social media today to pay tribute to the teenager, from Southampton.One told her mother: “So sorry for your loss, thoughts are with you and your family!! She was such a sweet girl, she will be missed at school a lot.”Another wrote: “Lucy was the kindest person I’ve met from school and was always there for me no matter what happened.” 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

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Waitrose comes under fire for its student essentials list which includes Harissa

On the Waitrose website however, the products, handpicked for ‘the fledgling cook about to fly the nest’ mainly receive positive reviews.One customer, who gave the Harissa paste a five stars said: “This is the best harissa I have tasted,” while another called the bouillon powder a ‘must-have’.Waitrose has also defended its recommendations, with a spokeswoman saying: “All these ingredients go a long way and can be the basis of many simple, tasty and great value home cooked meals.” For many university students, takeaway pizza, instant noodles and late-night kebabs are staples of a first year diet, but supermarket chain Waitrose is looking to change that.The upmarket retailer has named five must-have ingredients for freshers to purchase ahead of moving into halls, including a jar of Belazu Rose Harissa paste at £4.35 and a tub of Marigold Swiss vegetable bouillon powder for £2.With student maintenance loans of up to £11,354 for the forthcoming academic year, Waitrose could be about to cash in on a new student market, but parents and students alike were quick to ridicule the chain for the items seen as more fine dining than first year.Commenting on the list that also includes Aspall organic cyder vinegar (£1.70), Clearspring organic Tamari soya sauce (£3.15) and Waitrose cooks’ ingredients organic Italian seasoning (£1.89), Fiona Kabuki wrote on Twitter: “That’s £13 and you have nothing to actually eat.”Claire Farrow added: “This is completely ridiculous. Some students may want to try their hand at creative cooking, but these are not essentials. How about Sunflower oil, salt & pepper, garlic bulb and tomato puree?” 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 Waitrose concept of essential cooking staples for new students!?! pic.twitter.com/0a8h8utiwz— Andrew Stronach (@aistronach) September 9, 2018 One unprepared parent wrote jokingly: “Uh oh…my son has just gone off with 3 jars of coffee, 4 packs of Super Noodles, 2 Pot Noodles and a bottle of Nandos peri peri sauce.” read more

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Medicinal cannabis should be available for all NHS patients campaigners say

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. “When you’re talking about cannabis as a medicine, you really do have to compare the risks associated with cannabis that we’re aware of versus the risks of those drugs that patients are already taking.” Patrick O’Hara, 63, who imports cannabis oil for his daughter Caroline, who has a brain tumour, said that a doctor told him discreetly where to buy the drug online but could not formally recommend its use.He imports the oil from Canada at a cost of around £1,000 per month, and has written to the Home Secretary asking for cannabis to be available to cancer patients on the NHS.He said: “There’s a groundswell of opinion among the medical staff, that this is something people should consider doing.”A spokesman for the Department of Health said that the new law will not limit the types of treatment for which cannabis can be prescribed. Medical cannabis should be made available for all NHS patients, campaigners have said, amid expectations it will only be prescribed to help treat three conditions.The Telegraph understands formal NHS England guidelines, due to be released before November 1, will advise specialist doctors on prescribing cannabis for epilepsy, chronic pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy.Although new legislation technically allows cannabis to be taken for any condition, doctors are expected to strictly follow the guidelines, meaning they are unlikely to prescribe it for conditions other than those listed.Campaigners have urged for the drug to be accessed by all patients and pointed to the thousands of people taking cannabis oil illegally for a variety of other conditions.Patients using the oil for cancer symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, and PTSD must wait until full prescription guidelines are published in October 2019 to see if GPs will prescribe for their conditions.The full guidelines are expected to give the UK some of the most liberal medicinal cannabis laws in the world.In the meantime, users could be prosecuted for using cannabis oil or growing their own plants for medicinal use, campaigners said.Jon Liebling, Political Director of the United Patient Alliance, said: “We do believe that everybody should have access.  read more

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Greater protection needed for endangered seas around South Sandwich Islands

A spokesperson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “The first 5-year review of this MPA recently concluded, with the independent panel agreeing that the MPA is achieving its conservation objectives, while proposing a number of recommendations for further protection.”The panel did not agree on the closure of the South Sandwich Islands, or whether this would deliver any conservation benefits.“Based on these recommendations a number of additional measures were announced by the Commissioner of SGSSI on 12 December.”These include the expansion the MPA to cover the entire SGSSI Maritime Zone; lengthening the seasonal closure of the krill fishery from 5 to 7 months; extending the no-take closed areas to 23%; prohibition of all commercial mining or hydrocarbons; and prohibition of the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil.”Additional reporting by  Sam Hall and Claisse Opulencia “It is disappointing that so far they have only committed to protection of a fifth of the area highlighted by Blue Belt Charter. That is not good enough. We need bolder change if we are to save precious ocean wildlife and habitats.” Penguins swimming off the South Sandwich IslandsCredit: Jim Wilson/www.irishwildlife.ie   Professor Roberts added: “We were on the cusp of a protected area that could offer a world-class refuge for wildlife, far away from many other human disturbances. It is still possible. All it would require is for government to enact a total ban on industrial fishing around the South Sandwich Islands, to bring it in line with international standards on marine protected areas.” Penguins swimming off the South Sandwich Islands Luke Pollard MP, the Shadow Fisheries Minister, said: “If we are to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 the Government must speed up its designation and protection of waters around South Sandwich Islands and other British Overseas Territories.“The Government has committed to leave our environment in a better state than they found it but this announcement falls far short of fulfilling that pledge.”Greenpeace UK said: “The UK Government has committed to protecting nearly a third of the world’s oceans by 2030 yet has stumbled at the first hurdle – the opportunity to protect the waters around the uninhabited South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic.“Millions of Blue Planet II viewers watched enthralled the scenes of chinstrap penguins battling extreme weather on these icy volcanic islands. Recent research has shown that these are some of the last remaining wilderness areas on our planet. If the UK is to be a global leader in ocean protection, this must be where to start.” A curious bird inspects a camera on the South Sandwich IslandsCredit: Jim Wilson/www.irishwildlife.ie   A curious bird inspects a camera on the South Sandwich Islands The Blue Belt Charter, which calls for greater protection of waters around UK Overseas Territories, estimates that 87 per cent of the ocean around the South Sandwich Islands has been directly impacted by human activities such as shipping and industrial fishing for species such as krill.It says that even around the far-flung Pitcairn Islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean, only 15 percent of waters have survived as wilderness.Professor Roberts pointed out that waters around the South Sandwich Islands – where thousands of chinstrap penguins live alongside elephant seals and albatrosses – contain unexplored deep sea ridges and hot water springs, thought to contain creatures that have as yet to be discovered.“The government says more science is needed to justify further protection. But we know enough to be sure this environment is rich and fragile and needs to be protected without delay,” he said.The call for greater protection of the South Sandwich Islands has won support across all parties.Theresa Villiers, the Conservative former Northern Ireland Secretary backed the call by the Blue Belt Charter, saying “we need radical action to clean up our oceans”.She added: “Full protection of the seas around the South Sandwich Islands could play a big part in delivering that goal. I want the UK Government to maintain the pressure on the authorities in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands to deliver this. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. They have been likened to a “string of snowy pearls set amid the dark blue sea”, a series of islands rich teeming with fish and wildlife on the edge of the Antarctic Circle.But the biodiversity and natural environment of the South Sandwich Islands is threatened by industrial fishing, say campaigners.Environmentalists are now calling for the British Government to issue a complete ban on industrial scale fishing around the islands.They say that although the local authority that governs the territory has recently announced measures to increase marine protection more needs to be done as a matter of urgency.Professor Callum Roberts a marine conservation biologist at York University, said: “The South Sandwich Islands and their associated marine environment are one of the last great ocean wildernesses. Nearly 40 per cent of the seas around the South Sandwich Islands are wilderness.“The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands recently discussed options to enhance protection in the Marine Protection Area and last week announced measures to enhance fully protected areas. However, while banning mining and oil extraction throughout the protected area, they chose to allow industrial fishing to remain in 77 percent of its waters.” read more

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Gardeners warned after neverbeforeseen pest which covers trees in unsightly white strands

The RHS is keen to hear from gardeners who find the pest in their garden so that it can build a picture of host plants in the UK and tailor advice to gardeners.Magnolias, mulberries, elders, sycamores and dogwoods are thought to be a favourite. Gardeners are encouraged, where practical, to remove egg masses with a stiff brush and water. An RHS spokesperson said: “Given that many plants are grown for their blooms, foliage or textured stems and branches, the pest could certainly lessen their enjoyment.”If it proves impossible to remove [with a brush and water] and its aesthetics are considered too much to bear a pesticide can be applied strictly according to label instructions, this is likely to be most effective when the eggs hatch in summer.”Pests which mar and destroy gardens have been brought in from abroad in recent years, sometimes to devastating effect.The RHS identified one new plant disease last year – a Phytophora on a Water Iris – and in previous years their identification includes deadly diseases which have taken hold in gardens across the UK, including Box blight in the 1990s, Escallonia leaf blight in 2007 and Kerria twig blight in 2014.The Fuchsia Gall mite, discovered in the UK by the RHS in 2007,  is now causing real problems for fuchsia growers in the South East. The spokesperson added: “The arrival of the cotton stringy scale in the UK is evidence of the need for biosecurity issues to remain a top priority – not all of them promise to be as benign.”There are currently more than 1,000 plant pests and diseases on the risk register including Xylella – a bacterium which is known to affect more than 350 species of plant, including garden favourites such as lavender, hebe and rosemary – has been found in Italy, France and Spain.” 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. Gardeners have been warned to look out for a new pest, which has never been seen before in the UK, which covers popular garden trees in unsightly white strands.Cotton stringy scale is a pest usually found in Asia and parts of Italy that is thought to be attracted to magnolia, mulberry and dogwood trees – and it is suspected to have been brought to the UK for the first time on a plant imported from abroad.The Royal Horticultural Society has warned of the pest which can be a nuisance to gardeners and is easily spread, as the eggs are carried in the wind.Their head of plant health head of plant health Gerard Clover told The Telegraph: “Many of the UK’s 27 million gardeners take pride in their green space and the unsightly appearance of cotton stringy scale will be an unwelcome addition.”Its anticipated spread is a reminder of the battle we face in preventing new pests and diseases from finding their way into the UK and protecting our gardens for the future. To reduce the risks from new problems it is important that gardeners are aware of plant health threats and how to mitigate them.”The pest has spread around the world because of plant trade and is prevalent in parts of Italy. read more

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Number of missing dogs in Tamworth grows to six as pug of

The dogs all reportedly vanished while being walked at Hopwas Woods near Birmingham A pug belonging to a pet-sitter at the centre of a missing dog mystery known as the ‘Tamworth Five’ has also vanished, it has emerged.Louise Lawford, a professional dog-sitter from Birmingham, is alleged to have had five dogs go missing in her care while out on a walk on Hopwas Wood near Tamworth on June 23rd.The whereabouts of dogs Pablo, Maggie, Ralph, Jack and Charlie is still not known.Now Ms Lawford’s own pet pug, Freddie, is also missing, her relatives have claimed, as the mystery around what has happened to the dogs continues to grow. West Midlands Police have launched an investigation into the disappearances, which they are treating as an alleged theft, and officers are yet to find any of the dogs. The dogs all reportedly vanished while being walked at Hopwas Woods near BirminghamCredit:BPM Media 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. Alongside the two dog owners who have lost their pets in the mystery, April Lock and Liz Egan, Ms Parsons said that they “clung to hope” their pets may have been found when they first disappeared five and a half weeks ago. A spokeswoman from West Midlands Police said: “Enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a number of dogs that allegedly went missing under the care of a Birmingham-based sitter are continuing.“A woman was voluntarily interviewed under caution on July 12 as part of the investigation.“To date, none of the pets have been found and we are still investigating this case as an alleged theft.“Speculation about what has happened to the animals is unhelpful and may hinder the investigation.”Earlier this year, the RSPCA introduced guidelines for professional dog walkers to ensure the best welfare for dogs who are being looked after by professional walkers. Dog welfare expert Dr Sam Gaines said: “Dog walkers are currently unregulated and unlicensed meaning there are no checks on who these people are and how they ensure the needs of the dogs in their care are being met. “We felt it was extremely important – not only for the welfare of dogs but also for dog walkers themselves – to produce a set of guidelines to ensure that dogs are always being well looked after and to guarantee that dog walkers know what is expected of them.” The fate of the dogs is currently being disputed, as owner Becky Parsons – whose pug Pablo and jack russell Maggie are part of the missing Tamworth Fiv – has claimed that her two pets are dead. “I cannot tell you how I know but it was said in a statement which could not have been false,” she said. Ms Parsons, 39, said she is devastated by the loss of her dogs, adding: “They were my comfort, my best friends, my shadows. It’s left a massive hole.” read more

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Britains biggest ever divorce case as Russian oligarchs exwife brings claim in

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. Britain’s biggest ever divorce case is set for the High Court after a Russian oligarch’s wife launched a legal bid to claim a third of his £15 billion fortune.Natalia Potanina, 58, who has lived in London for several years, lost a protracted legal battle against her former husband of 31 years in Moscow.But she is now expected to pursue Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s second wealthiest man, in the British divorce courts, long famed for their generous payouts to women.Mrs Potanina is said to have instructed Charles Howard QC to lead her case, which concerns the division of property.Her former husband, father of their three grown up children, has hired prominent divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, dubbed the Steel Magnolia, who has represented a string of royals and celebrities, from Sir Paul McCartney to the Prince of Wales, following their marital breakdowns.Mr Potanin made his wealth in metals following the break up of the Soviet Union and is estimated to be worth in excess of £15 billion, however he has disputed that figure.Sources in Russia have suggested that she is seeking £5.8 billion, claiming that she was by his side as he built up his vast fortune. The couple split when she claimed she had been betrayed by her husband who started a relationship with an employee 15-years his junior.Baroness Shackleton is one of the most formidable divorce lawyers in the country and is currently representing Princess Haya bint Hussein – one of six wives of the ruler of Dubai – in her court battle with husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum .Mr Potanin has three children from his marriage to Natalia, and two from his second marriage to current wife Ekaterina.Last year a Russian billionaire was ordered to pay his ex-wife £453 million, which was thought to be the country’s biggest divorce settlement at the time. read more

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Blustery showers look set to deny Britain a bank holiday heatwave

Blustery showers are expected across the UK over the next few days, while hopes of a Bank Holiday heatwave have been dashed by forecasters.Sunny spells will brighten up the weekend in between showers, and maximum temperatures are expected to be average – about 21C in the South and about 19C in the North.People can expect to see a “gradual improvement” in the weather next week, but one last hot weekend of summer is not looking likely.Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: “We can’t get much worse, can we? We’ve had such wet and windy weather so far this month.”He added: “It’s likely that Saturday right through to Wednesday, at least, will be summarised by sunny spells and showers.”And hopefully from Thursday through the rest of the week those showers should start to become less, but a bit of uncertainty with exactly how less they will become as we head towards the Bank Holiday weekend.”I’d say, overall, compared with the wet and windy weather we’ve had over the last few weeks, there is a gradual improvement over the next four or five days.”But it is only a gradual improvement, rather than any heatwave or hot and sunny weather on the way.” 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. Looking ahead to the Bank Holiday weekend, Mr Dewhurst said it was too far off to know with any certainty, but said it was more likely to be “pleasant” rather than “hot and sunny”.Singer Liam Payne was forced to cancel an outdoor charity concert in west London on Friday because of the wet weather and bookmaker Coral said it has suspended betting on this month being the wettest on record. read more

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Duke of Sussex says private jet use essential for his familys safety

Of his hopes for encouraging change, he said people are now “speaking up” in the hopes of making their own travel more sustainable but can be left overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.“They want to see the world, but they also want to know that with all the good that they take home – souvenirs, memories, photos- that they leave just as much good behind,” he said. “They want a paradigm shift and I believe one is coming. I believe we can—and we must—find new ways to minimise the dangers and maximise the opportunities of tourism. Opening his remarks by conceding he is “not an expert”, he said his own travel as a working royal had “given me a unique perspective on the issues the world faces, and an opportunity to meet a diverse range of communities— to hear them describe their problems as well as their ideas for solutions”.Saying he had been particularly struck by one small boy in the Caribbean who told him: “Because of your country, my country’s coral reef is dying”, he said: “These human-caused challenges often need a giant system shift to make a significant enough impact.“And that is what this partnership is here to try and do. But just because it is such a massive undertaking, doesn’t mean we can’t all play our part.” The Duke of Sussex arriving in Amsterdam Prince Harry speaks to travel industry experts in Amsterdam “More and more people will travel, and we can’t stop that, nor would we want to, because it truly opens our minds and broadens our horizons. “We seek to appreciate what is different… and to find what connects us. “Travel expands our understanding of the world, it breaks down barriers and preconceptions, it also offers us an escape. “It can also deepen our sense of obligation to this borrowed place we call home.”The Duke’s speech echoes much of what his father, the Prince of Wales, has warned of for years, referencing the “alarming” lack of “symbiosis or connection” between community, the environment and its visiting tourists. In particular, he said, he hopes to find a way for developing communities to benefit from the tourist industries they serve.A spokesman said Travalyst had offset the environmental costs for the event, including flights for all attendees. Prince Harry hosts a Q&A in Amsterdam Prince Harry launches TravalystCredit:PA The Duke of Sussex has defended his use of private jets, saying the “unique circumstances” of his family’s safety made it sometimes essential and promising to “balance out the impact that I have”. The Duke, who spoke as he launched an eco-tourism initiative in Amsterdam, insisted he would never choose to fly privately if there were other options and admitted “we can all do better” when it comes to sustainable travel.Saying “99 per cent” of his flights were commercial, he told an audience he had always offset his carbon footprint but noted that, when it comes to the “alarming” threats to the planet, “no-one is perfect” in their actions.The Duke flew commercially to Amsterdam to launch Travalyst, a new collaboration between companies Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and VISA to find solutions to the threats facing the planet as a result of the growing tourism industry. Asked directly about his own travel choices as he hosted a Q&A, the Duke said: “I came here [to Amsterdam] on commercial.”I spend 99 per cent of my life travelling the world by commercial.”Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe.  “It’s genuinely as simple as that. But as I said in my speech, it is about balance. “If I have to do that – and it’s not a decision I would want to take but if I have to do that – then I will ensure, as I have done previously and will continue to ensure that I do, is to balance out the impact that I have. “I’ve always offset my CO2. In my mind it’s the right thing to do. We need to make it cool. It can’t just be a ticking-the-box exercise. “Somehow we need to connect people to where this money is actually going and the moment you have that connection, feel you have a bigger connection in life and you can actually see the difference that you’re making, then I think that’s acceptable.” Earlier in the Q&A, the Duke had raised the issue himself by asking the panel: “Is the solution to sustainable aviation not encouraging people to fly less often?”  Jane Sun, CEO of Ctrip, replied that the solution lies in “investing in technology” to improve fuel efficiency and make plane travel time shorter and less environmentally damaging.In a speech, the Duke outlined his hopes that the public will soon be able to select “sustainable” travel options as a default, allowing developing countries to benefit directly from tourism and halt the destruction caused by too many visitors. The launch, at the A’dam Tower, comes just weeks after the Duke faced accusations of hypocrisy for a string of overseas trips by private jets this summer which appeared to be in contrast to his public words on the environment.One trip allegedly saw him fly to Sicily to deliver a barefoot speech about the environment to billionaires and celebrities at Google Camp, and he also took holidays to Ibiza and Nice with his wife and son.While other members of the Royal Family also fly by private charter, the Sussexes travel plans became a worldwide talking point after celebrities including Sir Elton John cited threats to their safety.In the same month, the Cambridges were photographed flying with members of the public from Norfolk to Scotland with their three small children on budget airline FlyBe. The Duke said: “Sometimes the scale of the conservation crisis feels overwhelming and that individual actions can’t make a difference.“I’ve certainly felt that – but I’ve learned that we cannot dismiss the idea of trying to do something, just because we can’t do everything. “We can all do better. And while no one is perfect, we are all responsible for our own individual impact; the question is what we do to balance it out.” The result of two years of private meetings, the Travalyst collaboration will announce the results of its research and the tangible projects inspired by it over the coming months. Prince Harry hosts a Q&A in AmsterdamCredit:Getty The Duke of Sussex arriving in AmsterdamCredit:Gareth Fuller/PA The Duke, who believes the wider benefits of travel outweigh calls from the green lobby to cut down on flying altogether, now hopes companies can find a way to make eco-friendly option the default for members of the public at all price points.  Prince Harry speaks to travel industry experts in AmsterdamCredit:Getty Prince Harry launches Travalyst read more

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