Our Model Thinks Ohio State Not Clemson Is The Championship Favorite

Houston25233330%2%<1% Utah12152118%6%<1% TCU84237%31%11% Baylor610132%31%13% USC—20530%4%1% Alabama42614%41%11% Oklahoma St.14111415%6%1% North Carolina—262323%<1%<1% LSU25822%30%8% Memphis13143621%6%<1% The first College Football Playoff rankings are out, and the selection committee ranked Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama as the top four teams, in that order, worthy of the playoff were it held today. But we at FiveThirtyEight want to look into the future. Our model (outlined in the table below) simulates the rest of the season to project which teams the committee will let into the playoff when it releases its final selections on Dec. 6. It expects that Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama and TCU, in that order, are most likely to make the cut. If you want to read more about how the model works, here’s Nate Silver’s explanation of its methodology. If you just want to get to the rankings, here they are: Read more: Our preview of this week’s college football games Florida1091241%18%4% Michigan State731915%22%3% Wisconsin—18245%<1%<1% Clemson17756%51%12% Penn State—2741<1%<1%<1% Florida State16131513%5%<1% RankingProbability of … Oklahoma1516315%14%5% Notre Dame589—25%5% Iowa9122925%7%<1% Mississippi St.201917<1%3%<1% Mississippi18171020%8%2% Arkansas—3926<1%<1%<1% Texas A&M193016<1%<1%<1% Toledo24244328%<1%<1% Ohio State31447%61%16% Northwestern214257<1%<1%<1% Temple22324541%<1%<1% Michigan1722187%6%<1% UCLA2321225%1%<1% Oregon—2532<1%<1%<1% Stanford1161346%19%3% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title read more

Michael Johnson Does Not Want Double Amputee In Olympics

Former Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson is running amok with his mouth these days. First he said that African Americans are strong athletes because they are descendants of slaves and have a genetic advantage. He followed up that unfounded claim with a dose of total insensitivity.The world-record holder in the 400 meter race said South African sprinter and double amputee Oscar Pistorius should not be allowed to participate in the Olympics. Before he shot down Pistorius, Johnson prefaced his venom by calling the running “a friend.”“I consider Oscar a friend of mine, but he knows I am against him running,” Johnson told the London Telegraph. “Because this is not about Oscar; it’s not about him as an individual. It is about the rules you will make and put in place for the sport which will apply to anyone, and not just Oscar.”Huh?Pistorius, also known as “The Blade Runner,” has garnered a lot of attention since being approved to compete in the London Games.  The South African sprinter lost the lower part of his legs as a child and uses blade-like prosthetic limbs when he competes on the track.Johnson isn’t the first to broach the subject of whether a disabled runner whose limbs have been rebuilt with modern technology be allowed to compete with able-bodied athletes? But Johnson was far from eloquent in explaining his position.Meanwhile, Pistorius finished second in a 400-meter race in Italy on Tuesday, his final tuneup for Olympics. He clocked 46.56 seconds – well off the personal best of 45.07 he ran at the same meet last year. Calvin Smith of the United States won in 45.52.“My time wasn’t among the best. But I’m good physically and mentally,” Pistorius said. “I’ve used a lot of energy in these past few days, both in training and with the media because of my participation in the Olympics. The race went well, I felt fine, I just lost a bit of acceleration halfway through.”Pistorius will become the first amputee track athlete to compete at the Olympics after being selected by South Africa. He’s set to compete in the individual 400 and the 4×400 relay, although the team hasn’t decided which leg he will run. read more

World Cup Crib Notes Day 18

Africa’s last two hopes take the field Monday, but neither of them have much of a shot. Can one (or both) of them shock a European power?France vs. Nigeria: 12 p.m. EDTGermany vs. Algeria: 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHDespite losing its final match of the group phase to Argentina (yielding a pair of goals to the incomparable Lionel Messi), Nigeria was still able to qualify for the World Cup’s knockout round by way of an Iranian defeat against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now it has to face France, which ranks as the world’s fifth-best national team in ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI). Do the Super Eagles have a chance?Our current projections give Nigeria only a 24 percent probability of toppling a tough French side that’s as balanced as it is talented (France ranks sixth in SPI offense and fifth in defense). Nigeria will need to keep particular tabs on Karim Benzema, France’s all-universe forward. In the tournament’s round-robin phase, he terrorized Group E with three goals and two assists, and has been one of the best players of the World Cup thus far. He was a big reason why France scored eight total goals in its first two group-stage matches (before being held scoreless by Ecuador in a match France didn’t really need in order to win the group).Nigeria’s best hope to shut down France lies in its defense. Before Messi menaced the Super Eagles in the group-stage finale, they had kept clean sheets in each of their first two matches. According to the metric of individual contribution I computed here, five of Nigeria’s six most instrumental performers during the group stage were defensive-minded players — goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose, and holding midfielders John Obi Mikel and Ogenyi Onazi. Life won’t be easy for them Monday (our model says there’s a 56 percent chance France scores at least two goals during regulation time), but it will be tough for Nigeria to prevail unless they keep France’s offense in check.In the other matchup of the day, Germany faces Algeria in what looks to be one of the Round of 16’s most lopsided affairs. I wrote about the Germans at length when they faced the United States last Thursday, so I won’t belabor the point. They’re one of the best sides in the world, incredibly dangerous offensively and composed almost entirely of players in their soccer primes. It’s going to be a tall order for the Algerians to stop them, especially since Algeria has (by far) the worst defense of any team to advance to the knockout round, according to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) numbers.Algerian attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli enjoyed a good start to the tournament, racking up a goal and an assist in his first two group-stage appearances, but the pressure will be on him to perform against Germany as one of the few Algerian players of world-class quality. Then again, Algeria’s defense is so porous (and Germany’s offense so potent), that it may not matter. With just an 17 percent probability of victory according to the FiveThirtyEight model, it would be the upset of the tournament thus far if Algeria somehow manages to topple the German juggernaut.YESTERDAYFor 87 minutes, Mexico looked ready for el quinto partido. It took just seven minutes for crushing defeat to set in.Wesley Sneijder’s goal in the 88th minute and a penalty kick by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the fourth minute of added time brought Mexico’s tournament to an abrupt end.In the first half, El Tri matched the Netherlands touch-for-touch in possessions in the attacking third (50-46 in favor of the Dutch). The Mexicans held the Dutch to one chance created and one shot on goal, both tournament lows for the Oranje.But the Netherlands exploited a Mexican weakness to score the latest equalizer in Dutch World Cup history. Mexico leaves the tournament having allowed opponents eight chances created off set pieces, tied with South Korea and Uruguay for most of any country. Holland’s first goal came off a corner kick, as Huntelaar’s back-post run left him open to head the cross back to the center of the box. As Sneijder struck the ball just inside the penalty area, the closest Mexican defender in front of him was just outside the 6-yard box. That was more than enough room for Sneijder.Miguel Herrera, whose team had been in almost constant attack throughout the tournament, became conservative over the last 90 minutes. Before the 61st minute (when Dos Santos subbed off), the Dutch had a 75-62 lead in attacking-third touches, a respectable margin for Mexico against the Oranje. But after Dos Santos left for midfielder Javier Aquino, the Dutch had a 63-30 advantage in attacking-third touches.More important, they translated that advantage to two goals and extended the drought for that elusive quinto partido. — John Parolin, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHTrying and failing to colonize Nigeria in the early 18th century hasn’t stopped France from holding influence in the country. According to AidData, France provided Nigeria with $4.5 billion in aid between 1973 and 2011. The bulk of the aid ($4.2 billion) was distributed for debt alleviation in 2005 and 2006, after Nigeria was overlooked for debt relief in 2004 due to its oil revenues. More recently, France hasn’t provided as much aid, but it’s been allocated more broadly. Six of the 18 projects to which France contributed in 2011 were for building education infrastructure, three were for building technical expertise in education, health and government, and one was for developing agriculture. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGWorld Cup Players to Know: Costa Rica’s Keylor NavasWere the Billions Brazil Spent on World Cup Stadiums Worth It? read more

5 things we saw between Ohio State and Maryland

OSU redshirt junior linebacker Craig Fada (38) celebrates during OSU’s 49-28 victory over Maryland on Oct. 10.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorBefore Ohio State’s 49-28 victory over Maryland, The Lantern’s sports editors Ryan Cooper and Kevin Stankiewicz gave the five things they would be looking for on Saturday. Here is what came of those five items.Can OSU convert on third down?Coming into Saturday, OSU had successfully converted just 23 of 66 third-down attempts — a mark that ranked 103rd nationally.OSU coach Urban Meyer said during the week that the Buckeyes would have to improve their third-down opportunities in order to run a more efficient offense — and they did just that against Maryland.The combination of redshirt junior Cardale Jones and redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett at quarterback combined to convert five of 11 third downs, plus a fourth down.Early in the game, OSU was tested with a 3rd-and-16 after Barrett came in for Jones near the red zone. Barrett threw his first pass attempt of the game with a strike to redshirt junior receiver Michael Thomas for 20 yards and a first down.That conversion ended up leading to a touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7, and is even bigger when considering that redshirt senior kicker Jack Willoughby has missed all three of his kicks from more than 31 yards away, including a wide-left 44-yarder on Saturday.PenaltiesGetting flagged for mistakes due to both over-aggressiveness and lack of discipline was another item Meyer said concerned the coaching staff on both offense and defense.While an improvement over the eight penalties for 109 yards the week before against Indiana, the coach likely still wasn’t pleased with the performance in avoiding the laundry.The Buckeyes were flagged six times for a total of 45 yards on Saturday, including four by the offensive line.Redshirt senior Chase Farris, redshirt sophomore Billy Price and redshirt sophomore Evan Lisle were whistled for false starts. Additionally, senior center Jacoby Boren was called for a hold, which negated a positive run and led to Willoughby eventually missing the field goal.The other two penalties came on the defensive side of the ball, namely by junior defensive end Joey Bosa. First came an offsides penalty on Maryland’s first drive, then a nearly critical one on the first drive of the second half.Bosa flew in with a late two-handed shove to the helmet of Maryland redshirt junior quarterback Perry Hills, immediately drawing a 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer. That wasn’t all, however, as Bosa was also tabbed with targeting, meaning a possible ejection from the remainder of the contest.An automatic review of the targeting call led the referees to overturn it, allowing Bosa to stay in the game. The Terrapins ended up finding the end zone and tying the game at 21.Will Curtis Samuel factor in more?After having only one touch against Indiana, sophomore H-back Curtis Samuel equaled that low number on Saturday.Meyer said after the Indiana game that Samuel was limited in practice leading up to the game because of back spasms. It remains unclear if that ailment resurfaced or if he was just unable to generate any offense.A carry for one yard on OSU’s second possession marked the extent of Samuel’s offensive day.With just two runs for five yards making up the last two games for the Brooklyn, New York, product, it is possible that he is simply falling out of the offensive picture for the time being.Red zoneAgainst Indiana, the Buckeyes did not score a touchdown in any of their three trips to the red zone. They came away with two field goals and a turnover, dropping their scoring rate to just 75 percent overall and 37.5 percent of trips resulting in touchdowns.That negative statistic turned completely on its head Saturday.The Buckeyes went to the red zone six times, and came away with 42 of its 49 points by scoring touchdowns every time.A big reason for that success was the implementation of a quarterback system that saw Barrett check in for Jones when OSU got near or in the red zone. Of the Buckeyes’ six red-zone scores, five came with Barrett at the helm — three rushing touchdowns by Barrett and two by junior running back Ezekiel Elliott.In the postgame press conference, Meyer was asked about the team going six for six in the red zone. Meyer asked for the question to be repeated, only to quip, “I heard you the first time. I just wanted you to say it again.”It truly was music to the coach’s ears, and should be an enormous difference-maker for the offense if it keeps up at anywhere near that success rate.Total turnoversThough OSU and Maryland came in as two of the worst teams in the country in terms of coughing up turnovers, each kept it mostly clean on Saturday.Maryland — which came into the game with 17 turnovers including 15 interceptions, both the worst in the nation — did not allow any turnovers until toward the end of the game.At that point with the game already out of reach, the wheels came off, as Hills was intercepted on consecutive possessions.Redshirt junior safety Tyvis Powell grabbed the first on an errant throw right into his lap for his second interception of the year and seventh of his career. Four plays into the Terrapins’ next possession, redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Hubbard dropped into coverage and snagged his first collegiate interception.To the Buckeyes’ credit, they did not allow a single turnover after coming into the game with 13, the ninth-most through five weeks.The only major mistake came late in the game, when a shotgun snap flew over Barrett’s head and traveled 25 yards downfield back into OSU territory. Barrett fell on the ball to avoid a turnover, but it took the Buckeyes out of field-goal range. Had the scoreboard not read 49-28, it could have stood as a costly error. Regardless, Saturday’s contest was a big step for multiple facets of the heavily scrutinized OSU offense. read more

Size doesnt matter Prahalis outshines pair of tall centers

The spotlight was on the 13 feet and 1 inch of All-American candidate centers in the Ohio State-Michigan State women’s basketball game Saturday, but 5-foot 7-inch Samantha Prahalis stole the show in the Buckeyes’ 65-62 win.Allyssa DeHaan, at 6 feet 9 inches, and Jantel Lavender, at 6 feet 4 inches, didn’t have much of a battle in the paint like anticipated. Prahalis had a huge game, leading the Buckeyes to victory with a career-high 32 points — 16 in each half — and five assists. She never had a cold spell in the game, scoring the team’s first seven points and seven of its last nine.“When I saw that [the shots] were falling, I just kept shooting,” Prahalis said. Although their matchup wasn’t the highlight of the game, Lavender and DeHaan each played a major role.DeHaan’s size allowed her to take away Lavender’s ability to post-up and made every OSU player think twice before attempting a shot in the key. She had three blocks in the game along with 12 points.Lavender had a more profound impact on the stat sheet than DeHaan did. Lavender had 20 points and 13 rebounds — her ninth double-double of the season.She had a slow first half, however, succumbing to MSU’s defensive game plan to keep her out of the paint on both ends, but she came alive in the second half, using her speed to get around DeHaan and not allow her to challenge her shots.“My focus is trying to get to the basket,” Lavender said. “The taller you get, the slower you get, no matter how athletic you are. I just need to get her off her feet and drive her to the basket.”Both Lavender and DeHaan are largely considered All-American candidates this year and have been since before the season began. This game may have vaulted Prahalis into the same arena.Prahalis has been ranked in the top 10 in assists most of the season and is currently ranked second with 8.2 per game, behind only Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot, an All-American Honorable Mention last season.“We have two great players [in Lavender and Prahalis],” coach Jim Foster said. “They are very competitive, they want to win games and they’re going to put their responsibility into the game.”Prahalis has now been the difference for OSU in the last two games. She hit the game-winning shot against Michigan Jan. 3 and Saturday she scored nearly half of OSU’s points against MSU. “I think she’s an amazing player,” Lavender said. “She can shoot, she can drive, she can pass … she can do it all.” read more

Commentary NFL lockout in full swing only matter of time before NBA

The NBA is changing. For one, there is an imminent lockout. Owners want to find ways to make even more money. Players are quite happy with the current collective-bargaining agreement, and who can blame them for wanting to keep a system that can net Travis Outlaw a four-year, $28 million contract and Amir Johnson $34 million over five years? That’s highway robbery. But the association is also seeing a changing of the guard in terms of its upper echelon of teams. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, who have combined to win 10 of the past 12 NBA titles, are officially in decline. Their championship dreams have been locked out. The No. 1-seeded Spurs were stunned by the upstart No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round. The wheels on their Tim-Duncan-Manu-Ginobili-Tony-Parker machine have significant wear and tear. Rarely are all three healthy at once, and their roster lacks young talent. The Lakers were embarrassed in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. Kobe Bryant, L.A.’s fading superstar, must find away to reinvigorate himself, his team and the organization, especially considering the Lakers’ legendary coach, Phil Jackson, appears to have paced the sidelines for the last time. Boston’s loss at home to the Heat in Game 4 sealed its fate, as this was its last legitimate shot at another ring. Its bench has been transformed into an infirmary and it, too, probably will lose its title-winning coach, Doc Rivers, after the season. Of course, everything is cyclical in the NBA. Magic’s Lakers and Bird’s Celtics gave way to Isiah’s Pistons, who were eventually topped by Jordan’s Bulls. The Spurs started their run the year after Jordan’s second retirement in 1998, ironically after a lockout shortened the regular season to 50 games. So, who are the teams next in line to carry the NBA’s mantle? I give you the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat, spearheaded by their 2 1/2 superstars, will continue to attract other talented teammates to South Beach. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are just hitting their peak years and should be even better in the future, after going through mutual struggles in year one of their grand experiment. Derrick Rose, the MVP, will continue his ascent to stardom and attempt to lead his defensive-minded Bulls back to their former glory, reached under His Airness. And finally, the Thunder, who not only play as if they love one another but perform in a town that loves them back. The parts are all there for a title run, but one question remains: Can Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring champ and the anti-LeBron, coexist with his headstrong, ultra-athletic point guard, Russell Westbrook? Fans may have to wait to see all of this unfold. It’s virtually certain there will be a lockout. Let’s hope it doesn’t last long enough to rob fans of seeing a new era of great basketball teams. read more

Ohio State Michael Nodianos is no longer a student at The Ohio

Michael Nodianos is no longer an official Buckeye.The Steubenville High School graduate with a role in a video at the heart of an alleged rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, is “no longer a student at The Ohio State University,” according to the school’s Facebook and Twitter pages Monday.OSU spokeswoman Gayle Saunders confirmed to The Lantern Nodianos was no longer enrolled, but would not disclose the terms of his leave, citing Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.OSU released a statement Friday that said “the student in question was in attendance only through Dec. 12,” the last day of the university’s final examinations. Saunders reiterated that statement to The Lantern Sunday, as well.“Find People,” the school’s faculty, staff and student directory, showed Thursday that Nodianos was a student in electrical and computer engineering.Nodianos, who has not been charged criminally, did not respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.Nodianos’ involvement in the Steubenville case, a town of about 18,000 along the Ohio River, has pulled OSU into a situation that’s increasingly garnered national attention in recent weeks.The video taken from an August night of back-to-school parties where, allegedly, 16-year-old Steubenville High School football players Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays raped a 16-year-old girl, shows him talking and laughing about the alleged rape for more than 12 minutes.Some found the video so offensive that it prompted a Facebook group titled, “OSU expel Michael Nodianos ‘Rape Crew’ member,” which amassed about 3,000 “likes” by Monday evening.The video itself, which can be found on YouTube under various names, shows Nodianos, wearing an OSU T-shirt, talking and laughing about the alleged incident.Nodianos makes several analogies that the alleged victim was “deader than” or was “raped harder than” as most voices off-camera laugh at his comments. Some rebuke him for his choice of words.Nodianos is reportedly being represented by Dennis McNamara. The attorney, according to multiple sources, held a press conference with members of the media in Steubenville Monday. He did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, McNamara said, “there was no excuse or justification” for Nodianos’ comments.The Plain Dealer wrote that Nodianos attended OSU on an academic scholarship.McNamara, according to the paper, said his client was interviewed by Steubenville police not long after the incident and that he was elsewhere at the time of the alleged assault.McNamara told reporters, according to the Plain Dealer, that Nodianos was “ashamed and embarrassed” at his actions in the video.It appears, though, some OSU students are confused as to whether or not Nodianos left on his own terms. While there is no confirmation that the university kicked Nodianos out, some students seemed to carry that impression.Samantha Arrowsmith, a second-year in psychology, applauded Nodianos’ departure from the university, but was also under the impression that the Steubenville High School graduate was forced out.“The kid that got kicked out of Ohio State, I’m happy about that … I wouldn’t want someone here that was like that,” she said.There is, however, no known evidence to suggest that Nodianos was expelled by OSU nor is there any formal indication that he will be charged with criminally.“I wasn’t aware that a student here had been involved at all … If he hasn’t officially been arrested or charged with anything, it might be a little premature for them to permanently expel because I guess, innocent until charged or proven guilty,” said Nathan Cotton, a first-year in public affairs.According to The New York Times, Richmond and Mays are under house arrest and awaiting a trial that has been set for Feb. 13.Dan Hope contributed to this story. read more

Always buy the cheapest bottle on the wine list in restaurants food

first_img​​ He told the audience he was once dining at City Social – Jason Atherton’s restaurant in central London, where one bottle of wine can cost £2,990 – when he caught out a waiter, who did not know details about some of the establishment’s wines because its list was “stratospheric”.“I asked the waiter if he could find me a bottle of Pinot Noir for under £50,” he said. “He looked at me as if I was some kind of scum on his heel and he couldn’t so I then called him back and said, ‘there’s one for £49, you didn’t even know your own wine list’.” Wine lists are fraught with problems but mostly because of the b——- spouted by wine connoisseursJay Rayner Diners should only buy house wine in restaurants in protest at complex and overpriced wine lists, Jay Rayner has suggested.The critic, 50, recommended that customers buy the “cheapest bottle on the list” due to the snobbery of wine connoisseurs.He went as far to say that expensive wines should only ever be bought in shops and enjoyed at home. Jay Rayner Jay Rayner hit back at the snobbery of wine connoisseurs Credit:Clare Molden for The Telegraph  I do not hold to being intimidated by anything in this lifeJay Rayner Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said: “I refuse to be intimidated by a wine list.“Wine lists are fraught with problems but mostly because of the b——- spouted by wine connoisseurs. They irritate me profoundly.”He added: “I do not hold to being intimidated by anything in this life and if a wine list irritates you just buy the cheapest on the list and tell them all to p— off.” During the talk, Rayner also hit out at those who criticise others for eating takeaways.“There is a group out there who will make an assumption and wag their finger at you and say ‘if you don’t cook everything from scratch you will be unhealthy’,” he said.“The evidence based on all the academic papers I have looked at is not conclusive on that and it is the home cooks, the ones who absolutely love cooking at home, who can also turn out to be the greedy b——-. So you just can’t make an assumption.”The Telegraph has contacted City Social for comment. 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

Antiques conman stole valuables worth £126k to open shop named after Lovejoy

first_imgYou were to trade on this brief acquaintanceship putting it around that you and he were going to open a pub in NorfolkJudge John Pini QC Porter, who had a criminal record for dishonesty going back 40 years, has been jailed for five years and four months after admitting six charges of fraud amounting more than £270,000 over a period from 2011 to 2013.The charges include the missing stock and money owed to a string of creditors as well as an electrical export scam.Martin Hurst, prosecuting, told the court how even when his new shop was raided Porter of Corby, Northants, simply refused to accept his true identity forcing police to prove it with identity parades.“Those who consigned their goods to him did so because they trusted him because he was running what looked like a smart shop on the High Street,” he said.“These were principally elderly people in possession of property they had owned for many years. Stuart Porter Antiques in Stamford Show more Stamford Stuart Porter set up his antiques centre in the historic Georgian market town of Stamford, LincolnshireCredit:Dave Porter /Alamy Antiques worth more than £120,000 went missing from Stuart Porter Antiques in Stamford Police eventually tracked him down a month later in the North Yorkshire town of Yarm where he was using the name Alan Johnson and had started a new business called “Lovejoy Antiques”.The name carries echoes of the television series which ran in the 1980s and early 1990s in which Ian McShane played a charming but unscrupulous antiques dealer.Among his stock were items the Stamford shop. “The sad reality is that a very large number of people were persuaded by the attractive way in which the shop was displayed.“It appeared to be above board and proper. He was able to play the role of the knowledgeable antiques dealer.“He always had plenty of cash, generally drove nice cars and was living in nice houses but didn’t pay the rent.“He sent his children to private schools but didn’t pay the fees. He was someone living beyond his means at everyone else’s expense.”Mr Hurst said that almost £60,000 worth of antiques taken from the Stamford store were eventually recovered and returned to their owners.The court was told that Porter was first convicted of dishonesty back in 1974. In the early 1980s he received an 18 month jail sentence for theft and deception and was sent to prison again in1991 for similar mattersJudge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told him: “You are a plausible and engaging conman.“You have brought about very widespread distress to a great many people.“This was a sustained abuse of trust with many people losing treasured items. I accept entirely that you started this business legitimately but when things started to go wrong you reverted to type.”Lee Masters, defending, said that Porter had problems in the past with alcohol as well as various personal difficulties. A crooked antiques dealer disappeared with £126,000 worth of his customers’ valuables to open a new shop 150 miles away named after his roguish television counterpart Lovejoy, a court has heard.   Stuart Porter, 57, an electrical engineer who reinvented himself as an antiques expert, played on an acquaintance with the chef Marco Pierre White to bolster his claim to celebrity connections, Lincoln Crown Court aws told.He invited the Michelin-starred restaurateur to cut the ribbon when he opened an upmarket antiques shop in Stamford, Lincs, in 2012 and later claimed the pair were about to go into business running a gastro-pub in Norfolk.When his business began to unravel the following year – facing mounting debts including unpaid rent and school fees for his children – he disappeared overnight, clearing out the stock and leaving a sign saying simply: “Sorry for the inconvenience but we are closed today.” 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

Surgeon wrote love letter to patient after falling for her during colonoscopy

first_imgSachiendra Amaragiri, a surgeon who wrote a love letter to a woman he was treating for a stomach complaint Sachiendra Amaragiri, a surgeon who wrote a love letter to a woman he was treating for a stomach complaintCredit: Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd Counsel for the GMC, Robin Kitching told the Manchester hearing: “She was nervous about the procedure when she attended with her mum. She was asked to undress, leaving a bra on and hospital gown.”Apart from the hospital gown she was naked from the waist down. She was placed on a bed in a small ward and was pushed to the procedure room where she met the doctor for the second time.”Mr Amaragiri reassured her everything would be alright and said he would take good care of her. There was a nurse present at that time. Patient A didn’t feel Mr Amaragiri had acted inappropriate during that meeting. The GMC don’t suggest anything he did was in any way inappropriate.”After the procedure, Mr Amaragiri told Patient A that the procedure went well and advised her to alter her diet and not eat fibre. He also said that he had done a biopsy and the results should be available in the next couple of weeks. She received the biopsy results and fortunately they were all clear. But soon after that she received the letter.”Amaragiri’s note which read to the hearing said: “For a number of weeks now, I have been deliberating and strongly resisted writing this. However, my feelings and my emotions have taken the better of my logical rational reasoning.”When you stepped into my clinic for the first time, I was suddenly stunned and taken aback by your presence. You twanged some distant cord which had laid dormant in me for so many years.”You induced this unusually extraordinary tender feelings of weakness in my emotional setting. To this day I have been unable to fathom this power you hold on me.”On that other occasion and when you came for the investigation, I had to summon enormous mental strength to remove myself from showing any emotional feelings and perform my intended duties unemotionally and professionally. Now, I am not sure how successful I was.”Should I have digressed from my professional behaviour I sincerely request you overlook this error. By writing this letter, I strongly feel I am taking advantage of the information I have about you and I am sure you will feel that I have dipped below your expectation and belief in me as a doctor.”May I have the honour of inviting you for an afternoon coffee or tea in a place of your choice?”Mr Kitching added: “Her home address had been typed on to the envelope and she noticed it had been franked with the hospital’s franking machine. But the post mark was Tyneside so it had been sent from a different part of the country.”The envelope itself identified the doctor and she noted her surname was incorrect but it was sent to the correct address. She described her feelings on reading the letter, she described how shocked she was when she began to read the letter and started to experience a feeling of panic.”Initially she was not sure who had written the letter or which of the doctor’s she had seen but on closer reading it was clear it was from the doctor who had carried out the colonoscopy procedure on her.”She described realising he would be in possession of information as being a horrible feeling. She spoke to family members, including her brother, who suggested she contact police which she did.”After they took a copy of the letter they said they would contact the hospital and make further enquiries. The police told her no criminal offence had been committed and advised her to contact the GMC.”The patient in her statement describes being contacted by the hospital with details of a follow up appointment. She says she went – although she was somewhat reluctant. That appointment ran smoothly and she was discharged from the care of the hospital.”She was a vulnerable woman and was suffering from anxiety and depression. She says on top of the violation she suffered a relapse of her symptoms. She now feels a lack of trust to be able to place in doctors generally. “Amaragiri, who was not the MPTS hearing, insisted he had not taken advantage of Patient A and described his letter to her as a “moment of madness and an indiscreet, irrational action”.In letters to the GMC, he said: “I was never physically attracted to her, it was a moment of emotional awareness. Not only is this extremely disturbing but distasteful to read. I never had or have any intention of causing any hurt in any manner. I did invite her for a social drink and I acknowledge this was a mistake.”I reassure you I’ve not taken advantage of my position as Patient A’s surgeon. My letter can be interpreted in many ways, yes I did confess I did have feelings but these were pure from my heart. I sincerely regret this event happened and it’s sad that my letter has been interpreted so cheaply.”The hearing continues. 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. She was a vulnerable woman and was suffering from anxiety and depression. She says on top of the violation she suffered a relapse of her symptomsRobin Kitching, for the GMC A surgeon wrote a love letter to a woman he was treating for a stomach complaint in which he claimed she had “twanged some distant cord which had laid dormant” in him for many years, a tribunal heard.Dr Sachiendra Amaragiri, 59, put pen to paper claiming the patient had induced “unusually extraordinary tender feelings” in his “emotional setting” just five weeks after he performed an invasive procedure upon her at a hospital.In his letter, the infatuated consultant – who is an expert on bowel conditions – invited the woman for afternoon tea claiming she held a “power” over him and adding: “My feelings and my emotions have taken the better of my logical rational reasoning.” But police were called in after the patient – who suffers from an anxiety and depression – was shocked to receive the letter after it was posted to her.She was said to have “experienced a feeling of panic” claimed she felt “violated” and described the “horrible feeling” she had when she realised the surgeon had acquired details of her home address.The envelope had been franked with the hospital’s franking machine but it had posted near the post mark was near the doctor’s home in Consett, Co Durham. Officers investigated but said no criminal offences had been committed and the woman complained to the General Medical Council.The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service was told the incident occurred after the woman known as Patient A was admitted to the Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, in the West Midlands in July 2015 with stomach related issues.She was referred to Dr Amaragiri and the following September underwent a colonoscopy, which is the passing of a camera into the patient’s bowel.last_img read more

No 10 falls for Valentines Day hoax after comedian claims Donald Trump

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Please pass Mr Trump’s regards on to Theresa because really he is such a lovely man and he had such a lovely time with Theresa he just wants to pass that on to her, OK? The aide replied: “Of course, I will certainly relay that message.”The Don’t Panic advertising agency was behind the sting. A spokesman for No 10 declined to comment. Downing Street was tricked into thinking that Donald Trump wanted to send Theresa May flowers for Valentine’s Day.Heydon Prowse, a comic, rang Downing Street claiming to work for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and suggesting that Mr Trump wanted to send a bouquet.The Downing Street aide called Mr Trump back and clarified further details, asking: “Can I check who the gift is coming from?”center_img Mr Prowse replied: “It’s essentially from Mr Trump but Sean Spicer is organising it.”  She replied: “Ah yes, I see, fantastic. OK, my hunch is hydrangeas.”Mr Prowse said: “OK, what we’ll also do is we’ll send over a lovely card with a picture of Mr Trump grabbing Theresa May’s p****, I mean hand, sorry, (aide laughs and says ‘Oh God’) — I meant hand obviously, sorry, that was a slip of the tongue.”last_img read more

Moving to university has devastating effect on childhood social circles according to

first_imgMoving away to university will see you lose friends at a rate of 40% every 6 months, Oxford University says Prof Dunbar also said that having too many friends could make women more stressed and even impact fertility. However, having five close female friends could cancel out the effect. “The stresses you incur destabilise the menstrual system endocrinology and very quickly lead to infertility,” he said. “Women’s infertility is heavily driven by social stresses.”It’s the number of people bumping into you. It’s the commuter problem – they’re not attacking you in the underground, they’re just crowding you. It’s social stresses“There is a suggestion that your core friends – the shoulder to cry on friends – can bolster your fertility.“A core of five best friends are crucial in buffering you against the stress of other people.“If you do not have these friends, you are more likely to have your menstrual cycle and endocrinology disrupted.”Prof Dunbar was speaking at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.  Moving away to university will see you lose friends at a rate of 40 per cent every six monthsCredit:Julian Simmonds Evolutionary psychologist Professor Robin Dunbar said: “These were a bunch of secondary school kids. They all went off to university. Couldn’t go back see friends at weekend as used to. We followed them through their first year.  “We looked at what happened to the original set of friendships – they deteriorate really rapidly over a matter of months. The churn was phenomenal. Forty per turnover every six months.”What determined with original friendships whether they survived with girls was whether they made effort to talk more to each other on the phone. “The telephone was only of any use to the girls though. Talking had absolutely no effect on boys’ relationships at all. What held up their friendships was doing stuff together. Going to a football match, going to the pub for a drink, playing five a side. They had to make the effort.”Prof Dunbar said there was a “very striking sex difference” between men and women’s social groups. “Women clearly have much more intense close friendships,” he said. “They’re very intense, very like romantic relationships – in the sense if they break they break catastrophically. “Guys tend not to have that relationship. They tend to have a group of four guys that they do stuff with. That is much more casual.”If you move away to another town, girls will be on the phone or Facebook with each other to keep the relationship going. With guys it is out of sight out of mind. They just find four more guys to go drinking with.” The cast of university-themed sitcom Fresh Meatcenter_img The cast of Channel 4’s university-themed sitcom Fresh MeatCredit:Channel 4 Leaving home to study at university has a devastating impact on friendship groups, with students losing 40 per cent of friends every six months, Oxford University has found.Researchers discovered that original social circles rapidly deteriorated when people could not get home to see their friends at weekends.They also found that girls needed to talk regularly on the phone to keep friendships together, while men needed to meet up in person.  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

Nurse reveals she left the NHS after being charged £80 for parking

first_imgA judge has ruled that the employees, including nurses, doctors and admin staff, must pay the charges dating back to April 2016 after losing a legal fight with Indigo, the private operator that manages the car park at the University Hospital of Wales.One nurse reportedly owes £150,000 after the court ruled that £128 must be paid for each unpaid ticket, plus £26,000 in court fees. The nurse replied: “In my haste I did stop and buy a parking ticket, pinged in my registration number, accidentally missed a digit, contested it with no luck and [my fine] then went up to £80.”Q&A:  Do you have to pay car park fines?Mrs Plummer said she no longer works for the NHS because of how much money she was losing on parking tickets.This comes as NHS staff were left “broken” and face losing their homes after a court ordered them to pay thousands in parking fines racked up at a Cardiff hospital. “You also got a ticket as a patient – your mum was rushed into A&E in the ambulance and you got a fine for that?” My patient arrested, the usual thing, you’d  to stay there, it’s not a 9-5 job, you can’t leave, the nursing and midwifery council wouldn’t think fairly on you if you did up and go just to change your parking ticket or move your car.”In the end I had to pay £80 on top.”Susanna Reid said: “Unbelievable. So you stay over y our shift and over your parking time in order to save a patient’s life and you get a parking ticket which is outrageous.center_img A nurse has revealed she was charged £80 for parking, on top of parking fees already docked from her wages, because she stayed after her shift as her patient went into cardiac arrest.Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan described her tale as “extraordinary” and “outrageous” as the extent of parking fines which hit nurses across the UK is revealed.Sally Plummer told Good Morning Britain: “We would have a certain amount of money taken out of our wages which wasn’t a problem, we didn’t mind alongside other hospital staff paying for parking.”But you’re not guaranteed a parking space so therefore have to park in public parking spaces. 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

Bad mother stigma preventing women seeking help for postnatal depression

first_imgDr Judy Shakespeare, who co-authored the study and speaks for perinatal mental health for the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: “We know it takes an enormous amount of courage for women to approach their doctor with concerns, so it is vital that when they do they are taken seriously, not told that what they are feeling is ‘normal’, and that they feel safe and secure enough to disclose their feelings to healthcare professionals.“The routine six-week postnatal check, offered to all new mothers after giving birth, is an important opportunity for GPs and new mothers to discuss issues around mental health and wellbeing – and begin to address any resulting concerns.“But it’s incredibly hard for GPs to explore all the physical and psychological factors affecting our patients’ health within the time constraints of the consultation as it stands.” While all new mothers are currently screened for depression around six weeks after giving birth, doctors’ leaders have said the routine appointments are often too short to pick up signs of distress.One woman who took part in the surveys reviewed by the BJGP said: “There’s a huge stigma about feeling depressed, particularly postnatal”, while another said: “Coping was entwined with perceptions of good mothering.“I felt like like I was a bad mother and I couldn’t cope with it all.”Experience of unsympathetic or unhelpful staff during previous pregnancies is also preventing women seeking help, the study found.Mothers reported simply being offered a prescription for antidepressants and then “sent away”.Others were put off by having to explain their situation to a different member of staff each time. I felt like like I was a bad mother and I couldn’t cope with it allSurvey participant Women are hiding postnatal depression because they fear unsympathetic NHS staff and being labelled a “bad mother”, a new study reveals.A survey in the British Journal of General Practice also found new mothers kept quiet about mental anxiety and being unable to cope because they believed nurses would be more likely to focus on their baby’s weight than their own mental health.Postnatal depression affects between 10 and 15 per cent of women after having a baby. 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

British ballerina moves to Bavarian State Ballet for more exciting repertoire

Laurretta Summerscales, the 27-year-old dancer from Surrey, has revealed her decision to leave the English National Ballet all came down to its “repeated repertoire” and her need to “live a bit” outside the confines of the ENB. But for one British ballerina it was time to grand jete on to “more exciting” pastures than those being performed on the English dancing circuit. And after just one year of being at the Bavarian State Ballet she said the move had unquestionably been “good for my soul”. When most people think of going to the ballet, productions of the Nutcracker and Swan Lake often spring to mind as family favourites. “I needed to experience something different and the repertoire of ENB… read more

Theatre cancels LGBT play after two cast members were subjected to homophobic

A theatre has cancelled performances of a play about an LGBT couple after two members of the cast were attacked in the street.Two actresses received homophobic abuse from a car and were hit by stones on their way to work at the theatre in Southampton.The producers of ‘Rotterdam’ announced that performances would not go ahead at the Nuffield Southampton Theatre on June 8.Rebecca Bantavla, 27, told The Telegraph she now fears kissing in public after her girlfriend was assaulted.She said: “We kissed in the street, and then when we leaned in again someone from a moving car threw something at Lucy.” 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. Lucy Jane, 31, said: “We were walking down the street having a laugh, we kissed and then heard some young men shouting. “We couldn’t get their reg (sic), it all happened so fast. I was shocked, we got to the theatre and my manager called the police.”I just feel sorry that those boys couldn’t watch the show and learn about the community rather than them being oppressive.”Ms Bantavla, from east London, said her partner was left bruised with her face swollen after she was struck by a flying object.She said: “Lucy was hit in the temple and went down to the floor. All I could hear was the sound of the young boys laughing. “Lucy was in shock, it all happened so fast, all I can remember now is the sound of aggressive noises and seeing her on the ground.”We are still going to continue with the show, now more than ever we want to tell the story of a woman who plans on coming out.” She added: “My reaction was complete shock, what happened has made me much more way of kissing, it shouldn’t be like that.”The producers of Rotterdam confirmed in a statement online that the play was cancelled due to a “homophobic hate crime”.It read: “We are devastated this behaviour is still so prevalent, a fact which reinforces the importance of this play’s message. “We are doing all we can to support the team and thank our audiences and colleagues for their support.“They have sustained only minor injuries but are hugely shaken from this cowardly, homophobic hate crime.”Hampshire constabulary said: “We have received a report from a third party relating to an incident which happened on Hill Lane.“It has been reported that homophobic abuse was shouted at two women, and stones thrown at them, by the occupants of a car.”It comes after Melania Geymonat, 28, and her girlfriend Chris were subjected to a homophobic attack and robbery on a London night bus. The couple were left covered in blood after they refused to kiss on May 30 – and five teenagers arrested over the incident have been bailed.Meanwhile, it was confirmed that the play is going ahead in Eastbourne tonight (Mon), and in Manchester on Thursday and Friday.Rotterdam, by Jon Brittain, premiered at Theatre 503 in south London in 2015 and moved to Trafalgar Studios the following year.It revolves around a couple living in the Netherlands, with both characters grappling with their emerging sexual identities.Director Sam Hodges tweeted: “This only makes us more determined to tell these important stories on our stages.” read more

Whaley Bridge Derbyshire town evacuated amid fears flooding could cause dam to

Dr Mohammed Heidarzadeh, a professor from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Brunel University London, said: “Due to heavy rainfall in Whaley Bridge area, the spillway is now broken and a big chunk of its concrete structure is damaged.”There is a possibility that the spillway could then become fully broken in a few hours.”If the spillway is fully gone, the embankment dam will be washed away very rapidly which could cause a massive flood.” Crazy that Whaley Bridge has been completely evacuated because the dam might burst. I was there last year and took this picture at that same dam pic.twitter.com/EuflDUHJIM— 🥃 (@Greg_Ivan_) August 1, 2019 The Toddbrook Reservoir dam after it was damaged in heavy rainfall. Professor Roderick Smith, from Imperial College London, said: “Extreme weather events mean that there is increasing unease about the safety of older dams: particularly the need to release excess water safely and easily.”The reservoir was damaged due to flooding in 1964, according to the Environment Agency, but another specialist said it was “unlikely” it had been in an unsafe condition before the heavy rainfall on Thursday.Professor Tim Broyd, Professor of Built Environment Foresight at University College London, said: “Dams are highly regulated structures, which includes regular structural inspections by highly qualified engineers.”It is unlikely therefore that the dam was in a previously unsafe condition.”What may have been the cause, however, is that the flow rate into the reservoir was exceptionally high, as a result of extreme local rainflows.” Experts are divided as to whether the concrete and earthwork structure will survive that long.Dr Mohammad Heidarzadeh, an engineer at Brunel University London, said such designs could be “washed away very rapidly”.“Due to heavy rainfall in Whaley Bridge area, the spillway is now broken and a big chunk of its concrete structure is damaged,” he said.“There is a possibility that the spillway could then become fully broken in a few hours.”Anna Aspinall, 36, from Whaley Bridge, said she and others had been called to help place sandbags near the dam, but were sent away after structural engineers warned “that the wall is at high risk of failing”.She said: “We are praying the dam wall holds whilst the Canal and River Trust try to drain the water from the reservoir.” The evacuation has been exacerbated by the deterioration of the roads in and around the town, following days of torrential rain.Steve Cliffe, a pensioner, said the surface of the road to his hamlet of Fernilee, 1.5 miles away, was all torn up and the community completely cut off. “We just can’t get out,” he said. Paul Nash and his partner Janet Williams barely had time to grab their cat and a few essentials before being forced to abandon their home.They cannot know when – or if – they will see it again. “If the whole dam goes, it’s going to cause absolute chaos,” he said.“Probably the village will go, because it [the river] goes straight through.”The couple joined an exodus of more than 6,000 people fleeing the centre of Whaley Bridge on Thursday as the concrete dam began to crumble.The blotched notices hastily handed out by the emergency services left no room for doubt. “EVACUATE your property now”, they read, “Take any medication and medical equipment with you.”As the heavens opened once more on Thursday night, the centre of the picturesque Peak District community was a ghost town, save for the sound of police going door to door, trying to coax out every last resident from the “red” danger zone.Evacuees were told to gather at a school three miles away in Chapel-en-le-Frith while engineers began pumping water out of the reservoir to take pressure off the stricken dam.It will take an estimated three days to reduce the volume to a safe level. Workers inspect a damaged dam after a nearby reservoir was affected by flooding, in Whaley Bridge, Britain August 1, 2019.Credit:PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS 5:13PM”If it overflows it will be a disaster” Whaley Bridge evacuated amid fears of dam collapseCommunity could be levelled if Toddbrook Resevoir barrier burstsAround 400 tonnes of aggregate brought in overnight to divert water RAF helicopter called in to aid effort Police say future of dam ‘remains in balance’Thousands of residents in the Derbyshire town of Whaley Bridge have been evacuated amid fears a dam could collapse after it was damaged by floodwaters.Concrete panels on one side of the dam on the Toddbrook Resevoir, which holds back 300 million gallons of water, partially collapsed.By 2.30pm on Thursday it was deemed too unsafe for people in the village below, who were ordered to “evacuate your property now”.There are concerns the village could be levelled if the dam, which dates to 1838, gives way. Derbyshire Police said 400 tonnes of aggregate will be brought in overnight to divert water from entering the reservoir, with a Chinook helicopter aiding a multi-agency taskforce.Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann, chairwoman of the Local Resilience Forum, said: “To move the substantial amount of aggregate into place – a Chinook helicopter will be operating in the area in the coming hours to allow precise placement and divert the flow of the water.”With all that said, at this time the future of the dam wall remains in the balance and I would remind people of the very real danger posed to them should the wall collapse.” Rebecca Simpson, who was evacuated from Whaley Bridge with her children, said: “This morning at 8.30am I walked over the dam with our dog and it was okay, but it quickly became apparent that the amount of water we had yesterday was too much and was causing a big run-off.”The sluices were opened mid morning but there’s so much water and it’s now currently raining very hard again. There’s nowhere for it to go, the river has already burst its banks and the ground is sodden.”All roads were closed midday and we all got asked to evacuate about two hours ago. Now we’re stuck in traffic in the outlying town of New Mills as everyone is trying to leave and some local roads are flooded. My children are coping well after being worried this morning.”I don’t think I would class it as scary, lots of experts on hand and it seemed well managed. The scary part will be what happens next as all services – such as electricity, gas and medical services, and the primary school – are in the direct line of the water.” Toddbrook Reservoir near the village of Whaley Bridge Toddbrook Reservoir near the village of Whaley BridgeCredit:PA Carolyn Whittle, 45, who lives in Meadowfield, on the hillside in Whaley Bridge, said she had never seen water flood over the dam in her lifetime.She said: “We are situated north-west of the mouth of the reservoir, approx 400 feet about the water level.”There is currently a request, we believe, for all to evacuate due to emergency services access.”An hour ago, there was a lot of emergency service activity and frenzy while my son was trying to reach home. Another section of the concrete on the dam face has now collapsed.”We have friend’s children here with us, who would have had to camp out at the high school otherwise.”Everyone I know is horrified that our whole town could be decimated in a matter of minutes, it’s terrible.”I’ve lived in Whaley for the best part of 45 years and I’ve never seen water flood over the dam like that, ever, nor thought that we could possibly be at risk in this way.”We’re gaining all our information from social at the moment. If we need to go, we will get in my defender and head over Disley tops. It’s closed, but mainly to stop people trying to access Whaley centre, which police are not allowing at the bottom of our road.”I’m really scared the dam will actually go. Best solution is a smaller flood of the Goyt river, with flood risks as far as Marple. When we went to see what was happening earlier, the fire brigade had arranged a tanker to pump water away from the reservoir, and a digger to dam the area where the river was still refilling the reservoir.” 11:31PMRAF helicopter deployed to prevent dam from collapsing further, police confirm A police spokesperson said: “There is a high probability that there will be significant flooding due to damage caused in recent severe weather.“People are asked to make alternative arrangements to stay with friends and family. If anyone is not able to do so then they will be accommodated, however, there is limited capacity to do so.“We understand that there will be some concern around not being able to return home, however, our priority is to ensure people are kept safe and well and are not taking unnecessary risks.“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly and we appreciate that there is significant impact on this community, however, this is an unprecedented, fast-moving, emergency situation.“We will keep people regularly updated and we are working with our partners to resolve the issue as quickly as we can.” 9:11PM”Horrified” residents fear the whole town could be “decimated” within minutes, witness says 6:33PMWhat Whaley Bridge dam looked like a year ago… Sandbags are being used to help shore up dam wall at Whaley BridgeMore than 6,000 people have been told to leave their homes amid fears the dam could burst https://t.co/BrCWXF9AtV pic.twitter.com/jJKLDsfGFZ— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) August 1, 2019 4:54PMPictures of the dam show the extent of the damage 7:47PMThe latest from Derbyshire police An RAF Chinook is being drafted in overnight on Thursday to help prevent the dam from collapsing further.Derbyshire Police said over 400 tonnes of aggregate will be used to divert water from entering the reservoir.Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann, chairwoman of the Local Resilience Forum, said: “To move the substantial amount of aggregate into place – a Chinook helicopter will be operating in the area in the coming hours to allow precise placement and divert the flow of the water.”With all that said, at this time the future of the dam wall remains in the balance and I would remind people of the very real danger posed to them should the wall collapse.”Water pumps will continue to remove water from the reservoir to relieve pressure on the dam wall. 9:01PMFurther evacuations take place downstream of river, police say Workers inspect a damaged dam after a nearby reservoir was affected by flooding, in Whaley Bridge, Britain August 1, 2019. 4:52PMDerbyshire Police say the situation is ‘unprecedented’ 5:33PM”Lucky we live up the hill”  6:14PMMother evacuated with her children: “The scary part will be what happens next” An aerial photograph shows the damage to the damCredit: PHIL NOBLE/Reuters 5:52PM”It could cause a massive flood” Toddbrook Reservoir is on the north-west edge of the Peak District National Park, sitting above the small town of Whaley Bridge.It was built in 1831, according to some experts, while the Environment Agency record it as being built between 1840-41.The structure supplies water to the Peak Forest Canal, a waterway in northern England running between the town and Ashton under Lyne.Owned by the Canal & River Trust, the reservoir is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to local wildlife.Reservoir safety is maintained by inspections under an act created in 1930 and strengthened in 1975, according to experts, but flooding and other weather events have led to concerns about safety of older structures. 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. Evacuated from work. Lucky we live up the hill #whaleybridge pic.twitter.com/3K6B3xz2h1— David Brocklehurst (@D8rok) August 1, 2019 This is not a decision that has been taken lightly and we appreciate that there is significant impact on this community, however, this is an unprecedented, fast-moving, emergency situation.— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) August 1, 2019 Trauma nurse Philomena Smith, 53, lives on a road above the reservoir.She told The Telegraph: “Many Whaley Bridge residents who were on the bridge yesterday looking over the dam said they have lived here all their lives and never seen anything like this.“If the dam overflows it will join the River Goyt and be a disaster.“Even last night many houses had started to place sandbags up against their doors.“Today the bridge is now closed and the concrete has broken away – the whole village has been evacuated and Whaley Bridge is completely closed off due to the high risk of the dam collapsing.“My husband is working in Buxton but may not be able to get home tonight.” An aerial photograph shows the damage to the dam 7:03PMTeams work to keep the water under control The Toddbrook Reservoir dam after it was damaged in heavy rainfall.Credit:PA 12:51AMWhat is the history of the reservoir? Derbyshire Police said further evacuations were taking place downstream of the reservoir as work continues to ensure the structure of the damaged wall.A small number of properties in Furness Vale and New Mills – outside Whaley Bridge but inside the flood risk area – are in the process of being evacuated.A number of roads in the area remain closed, police said. Edwina Currie, the former MP, lives in a 400-year-old cottage above Whaley Bridge. “The first job is to lower the level as safely as possible – that means taking risks further downstream,” she told the BBC.“It’s more important to try to save the dam and get it repaired.“As dusk fell last night the only vehicles in the main street of Whaley Bridge belonged to the emergency services.A spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: “We understand that there will be some concern around not being able to return home. However, our priority is to ensure people are kept safe and well and are not taking unnecessary risks.“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly and we appreciate there is a significant impact on this community. However, this is an unprecedented, fast-moving, emergency situation.”The Environment Agency has issued a severe flood warning, suggesting a danger to life, covering the River Goyt at Whaley Bridge. It states that the river could “rise rapidly” due to water rushing in from the reservoir.Police have closed railway lines in the Whaley Bridge area amid concerns a dam will burst and cause flooding, East Midlands Trains said.Trains on the route between Liverpool Lime Street and Norwich are disrupted due to the predicted flooding. read more

WPA says Central Govt should intervene in City Hall garbage woes

The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of the political parties that comprises the governing coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), has raised concerns over the Mayor and City Council’s inability to honour its over $300M debt to Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers and the health consequences that could entail from the improper management of Georgetown’s waste.According to the party, while the smaller contractors that the Council brought on board will suffice in the short term, “they will have great difficulty in the medium and long term continuing their operations if and when they are confronted with the same conditions which negatively impacted the operations of Cevons and Puran Brothers.”The WPA says it is calling on “Central Government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, health and well being of citizens of Georgetown in this period of grave uncertainty engendered by the inability of the Council to deal with the problem.”See their full statement below:The WPA is deeply concerned that the Georgetown City Council’s inability to honour its financial obligations to Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers has the potential of endangering the health and lives of citizens.On this occasion the problem is propelled by the inability of the administration at City Hall, which is headed by Town Clerk Royston King, to effectively manage the resources of the Council. The failure of the Council to meet its financial commitments to the garbage collectors has resulted in Cevons and Puran Brothers withdrawing their services. This is not the first occasion that this course of action has been taken by these garbage collectors.WPA believes that, notwithstanding the fact that there has been an announcement from the Town Clerk’s office of an agreement with a number of small contractors who will be collaborating with the Council’s waste collection department to address the situation, residents of Georgetown and its environs are very worried about the possible negative impact to their health as a result of the approach of the Council’s administrators to payment of garbage collectors.WPA calls on Central Government to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of citizens of Georgetown in this period of grave uncertainty engendered by the inability of the Council to deal with the problem.WPA uses this opportunity to warn the public that while we believe that small contractors could be effective in the short term, they will have great difficulty in the medium and long term continuing their operations if and when they are confronted with the same conditions which negatively impacted the operations of Cevons and Puran Brothers.WPA is of the view that the problems of the Georgetown City Council are partly rooted in the shortfall of revenue and the poor performance of its top administrators for a number of years. The continued existence of these factors has eliminated any chance of the Council arriving at a solution to its many problems and must be addressed. WPA strongly believes that a long term solution to the administrative shortfall in the Council is critical to a more enlightened/professional approach to addressing the problems of the Council. While we do not see this being addressed with the urgency it deserves we wish to propose that the Council adopts a three prong approach which involves(a) immediately re-engaging the large contractors, with the issue of outstanding and current payments not only talked about as being allotted a high priority but the Council must ensure that payment timelines are kept;(b) the continued employment of small contactors with payment schedules being kept; and(c) the council must move expeditiously to develop its own capacity to actively participate in the garbage collection exercise in Georgetown. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCevons, Puran Brothers to resume collection after meeting with Central Govt, M&CCDecember 8, 2018In “Business”Small contractors to step in if Puran, Cevons halt services – Solid Waste DirectorNovember 24, 2018In “Business”Owed for over 6 moths, Puran, Cevons pull services from M&CCNovember 27, 2018In “Business” read more

Govts pattern of going after former Finance Ministers may be aimed

In light of the latest arrest and interrogation of a former Finance Minister under the People’s Progressive Party Administration, Sasenarine Kowlessar, the Opposition is convinced more than ever that Government’s aim is to target former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo.Former Finance Minister Saisnarine KowlessarWhile being a former President, Jagdeo- from 1999 to 2006- has immunity from being prosecuted, as a former Finance Minister, he does not.This was confirmed by former Attorney General (AG), Anil Nandlall, who in a post on social media expressed his belief that Government is using the criminal legal process to persecute political opponents.Kowlessar served as Minister of Finance from 1999 – 2006. Some of the transactions about which he was questioned took place over 20 years ago, said Nandlall.“It is clear beyond any doubt that these investigations are driven by a political and vindictive motive. Ultimately, they are designed to get to the period when Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, was the Minister of Finance. Constitutional immunities prevent them from charging him for acts done while he was President. Recognising this, they intend to go back to two decades to persecute him for transactions done while he was Minister of Finance,” he explained.Opposition leader Dr Bharrat JagdeoAccording to Nandlall, Jagdeo served as a Minister under the tenures where Cheddi Jagan and Janet Jagan were Presidents.The former AG further questioned whether the coalition Government will stop at Jagdeo’s tenure as Minister of Finance or if they intend go all the way back to the first Finance Minister in the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Asgar Ally.However, he expressed certainty that the APNU-AFC Administration will stop at October 5, 1992- People’s National Congress/Reform’s tenure.“What I do know is that they will stop at October 5, 1992. So they will not investigate the sale of Guyana Telecommunications Corporation to ATN; they will not investigate the sale of Demerara Timbers Limited, or the sale of over 7 state-owned rice mills, or the sale of the National Paint Company or the sale to Carl Greenidge, while he was Minister of Finance, of a property at Bel-Air Gardens by NICIL – none of which was the subject of any form of tender and none of which were sold pursuant to any valuation certificates, or even at market value,” he posited.Yesterday, former Minister of Finance of the PPP Sasenarine Kowlessar, was arrested by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and interrogated.He was subsequently released on bail and requested to return next Monday.Attorney by profession, Nandlall explained that there is a principle of law which prevents investigations of certain transactions that took place several years ago, on the grounds that it is unfair and against public policy to do so because of the lapse of time.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall“The rationale is that if persons were to be charged as a result of those investigations, it would amount to an abuse of process to subject those persons to a trial because of the lapse of memory, absence of evidence and absence of witnesses, etc. – all of which will militate against an accused person having a fair trial which is guaranteed as a constitutional right because the law recognises that such a person may be unable to adequately defend himself in the circumstances. Our justice system protects against such eventuality in preservation of the doctrine of presumption of innocence,” he said.Moreover, the former AG noted that it is unfortunate that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) “does not see it as part of its constitutional mandate to protect the citizenry from these types of investigations, which are widely regarded as abusive and oppressive, but rather is part of the design that is promoting it.”Prior to this incident, Kowlessar’s successor as Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NICIL were both arrested and dragged before the courts on a charge of “misconduct in public office; contrary to common law” as it pertains to the sale of three plots of state lands.On Monday a High Court Judge ordered that a stay be placed on the proceedings at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, following the ruling by the Chief Justice, Roxanne George-Wiltshire on the validity of the charges.The hearing for this challenge is expected to commence on May 25. (Ramona Luthi) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFormer AG representing Ashni Singh in SOCU probeJune 29, 2017In “latest news”Sale of Sanata Complex: Case against Singh, Brassington adjournedJune 29, 2018In “Court”Stay granted in misconduct charge against Singh, BrassingtonJuly 17, 2018In “Court” read more

KKR spinner Yadav hails extraordinary Russell

Andre RussellKolkata Knight Riders chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav has hailed Windies all-rounder Andre Russell for an extraordinary innings in a 25-run eliminator win over Rajastan Royals on Wednesday.With KKR wobbling at 106 for 5 Russell stood firm at the crease where he smoked a blistering  49 from 25 balls to put the team firmly in control.  In the end, the Knight Riders made 169 for 7 before restricting the Royals to 144 for 4.  Russell blasted three 4s and fives 6s, which saw KKR score 54 runs in the last five overs with the batsman getting 41.  He took 19 runs in the 17th over bowled by Jaydev Unadkat.  Yadav, who had an economical 4.50 and took one for 18, hailed the West Indian for his tenacity at the strike.“He (Russell) played an extraordinary innings of 49. We were looking at a total of 140-145 runs but ended up with a good score of 169 thanks to the way he batted. He truly deserves the man-of-the-match,” Yadav, who had an economical 4.50 and took one wicket for 18 runs, said.“Generally with nine wickets in hand after 10 overs you end up winning. The plan was to bat deep and I was playing positively. The credit goes to the KKR bowlers the way they bowled in the last three-four overs.” (SportsMax) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPL: KKR to fight Sunrisers for spot in IPL finalMay 23, 2018In “Sports”IPL: Kuldeep, Russell push KKR closer to playoffsMay 15, 2018In “Sports”IPL: Gayle, Rahul launch Kings XI to the topApril 21, 2018In “Sports” read more