This Years Sweet 16 Is Downright Odd

Round of 32Buffalo1376 With two rounds of the NCAA men’s tournament in the books, it’s clear that there’s no overwhelming favorite to win the national title. No. 1 overall seed Virginia was gone less than 36 hours into the tourney,1Excluding the play-in games, because, come on. and defending champ North Carolina didn’t last a whole lot longer. Although most of the Cinderellas have cleared the dance floor (save for South region No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago2Yes, Syracuse is also a No. 11 seed, but sorry — nobody is considering the six-time Final Four entrant a Cinderella.), the next few weeks could belong to any of about a dozen teams.Here’s what jumped out to us during the tournament’s first weekend-plus of action:This is the Strange 16Glance at the seed numbers of the teams left standing, and you’ll notice an odd mix. Only two No.1 seeds survived the tournament’s first weekend — the fewest since 2004 — and as many teams seeded seventh or worse (six) advanced as teams seeded in the top three of their regions. The resulting Sweet 16 isn’t necessarily stocked with scrappy opening-weekend flukes, as many of the first-round giant killers — such as UMBC, Buffalo and Marshall — didn’t make it past their second opponent. As a result, plenty of other years had more double-digit seeds reach the tourney’s second week. So this year’s Sweet 16 is just … well, strange.To measure this, I compared the distribution of this year’s Sweet 16 teams by seed to the average from 19853When the NCAA tournament’s 64-team era began. to 2017. This year’s glut of 5-, 7-, 9- and 11-seeds stands out, as does the general dearth of top seeds:In fact, if we compute the squared difference between this year’s number of Sweet 16 teams at each seed and the historical average for every year since 1985, this is the most aberrant distribution of seeds in any modern tournament, surpassing even 2000 (when 12 of the 16 surviving teams were seeded between slots 4 and 10).Underdogs are winning bigPerhaps more surprising than the barrage of upsets that highlighted opening weekend was the sheer magnitude of those unexpected wins. As No. 16 seed UMBC personified with its historic 20-point thrashing of No. 1 Virginia, these weren’t games in which the underdog squeaked by on a last-second shot; no, the favorites tended to be mercilessly crushed when they lost.Including both the rounds of 64 and 32, games won by lower-seeded teams this year have come by an average of 10.6 points, only the third time in the 64-team era that the average upset at this stage of the tournament came by a margin of 10.5 points or more. The others were in 2000 (yes, that tournament again), when underdogs won their games by an average of 10.9 points per game, and 1997, when they won by 10.6 on average. But those years’ first two rounds saw only 12 and 13 total upsets, respectively, by teams with an average seed number of 8.9. This year’s tourney has featured 15 upsets, by teams with an average seed of 10.1, which makes this collection of underdog landslides even more impressive.Kentucky can cruiseBefore the tournament, we relegated Kentucky to “dark horse” status in the South region, if simply because its path to the Final Four was shaping up to be a daunting one: First, a tough Davidson team in the round of 64; then, most likely, Arizona, Virginia and Cincinnati, all in a row. For all of Kentucky’s talent, that seemed like a tall order.Then, Arizona lost. And Virginia. And now, Cincinnati. (Not to mention Tennessee, Miami and Texas, too.) Suddenly, Kentucky finds itself as the sole team seeded better than seventh in its region, with a relatively clear road ahead. Our model currently gives UK the best Final Four odds of any team remaining in the field, at 57 percent.According to the Basketball Power Index system developed by ESPN’s Stats and Information Group, Kentucky’s toughest game along its path to the Final Four will end up being its opening-round matchup against Davidson — which is an astounding testament to the ease of the Wildcats’ path if they do wind up winning the South: Sweet 16Kansas State968 Round of 64Davidson1261% RoundOpponentSeedWin Probability Elite EightLoyola-IL/Nevada11/766 Of course, given the underwhelming performances by favorites in the tournament so far, there’s no telling if Kentucky will be able to take advantage of its big opportunity here, either. But no team can potentially benefit from the opening weekend’s shake-ups as much as the Wildcats — and it’s not even close.There’s still no tournament favoriteFor all the wackiness of the tournament’s first weekend, a look at our model’s list of most likely tournament winners reveals plenty of tried-and-true programs at the top, from 2016 champion Villanova at No.1 to 2015 winner Duke in second place, 2012 champ Kentucky in third and ‘08 winner Kansas in fourth. Although some would-be inaugural champions — such as Gonzaga, West Virginia and Texas A&M — are lurking right below, the odds are pretty strong we’ll see a familiar team cutting down the nets in San Antonio a few weeks from now.However, it’s still anybody’s guess which team that will be. Even Nova, as the nominal favorite, has but a 22 percent probability of winning the championship, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Only four teams have double-digit title chances right now, which is just one more than there were before the tourney began. And remember, last year’s champ, North Carolina, was only at 9 percent at this stage of the NCAAs.It’s only fitting that a season as wide-open as this one continues to be clouded with uncertainty about who the best team is — and whether it will even be the last one standing in two weeks. After a wild, weird first two rounds of the tourney, we can only hope for more of the same when play resumes Thursday.CORRECTION (March 19, 2:45 p.m.): Because of an error in data collection, 38 games from the 2015, 2012, 2009, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1990 and 1987 tournaments were not accounted for in the original article, while 38 games were counted twice. This caused several factual errors in the distribution of seeds in the Sweet 16 and margin of victories for those years. All text and charts have been updated with correct numbers. Is Kentucky’s toughest South region game already behind it?Kentucky’s pregame chance to win by round, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index Kentucky’s Elite Eight win probability is based on a weighted average of its chances of facing each opponent.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group read more

Most Of UConns Games This Season Were Over At Halftime

Mike Pesca knows just how dominant Connecticut’s women’s basketball team has been this year. He lamented recently on Slate’s “Hang Up and Listen” podcast (around 49 minutes in) that every time he tuned in to a UConn game while working out at the gym this season, usually with 10 minutes left on the clock, the game was already effectively over.By just how much have the Huskies been draining the drama out of Pesca’s workouts? A lot, and by a whole lot more than their predecessors did.At halftime of the average UConn game this year, the Huskies were winning by 25 points. That’s staggering — so staggering that it blows away four of the best teams in recent history: the last four UConn teams, which all reached the Final Four. The last two won the title. Those two championship teams averaged halftime leads of a mere 20 points; the Huskies’ average halftime lead was even lower in the two years before that.By five and a half minutes into the second half, this year’s UConn team averaged a lead of more than 32 points, compared to less than 26 points last year and 24 points or less in the prior three seasons. (Just four teams other than UConn this year beat opponents by more than 20 points per game. And that was their margin at the end of games, not soon after halftime.)But at that 5:30 mark we begin to see a dip. At that point, the ultracompetitive Huskies showed a tiny fraction of mercy. If they’d carried on at the same rate for the whole game, they’d have won by an average of 51 points. Instead they won by only 42 points per game. By the time Pesca was tuning in, UConn led by an average of 35 points. (This is all based on data provided by ESPN Stats & Information, supplemented with play-by-plays from the UConn website.)We also looked at the data another way: How often this season was UConn, say, trailing? Or winning by 40 points?The Huskies established dominance early: By six and a half minutes into their games this year, they were tied or trailing just once. And they led for the entire second half in most games, though Stanford tied things up in regulation and then dealt UConn its only loss, back in November. More than half the time, UConn led by at least 30 points two minutes into the second half. That all adds up to lots of minutes of Mike Pesca doing bicep curls with dull basketball on in the background.This doesn’t necessarily mean this year’s UConn team is the best UConn team of the last five years. The school shifted to the American Athletic Conference two seasons ago from the Big East, which has made for easier conference games and more blowouts. And the previous seasons’ stats include NCAA tournament games, some of which were close — though many were also blowouts.Even so, it’d take a whole lot of NCAA tournament drama to undo all the meaningless second halves the Huskies have played so far this year. Our forecast currently gives them a 74 percent chance of winning the title, before they’ve played their first game. That doesn’t leave much room for nail-biters.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

Commentary Buckeyes in NBA playoffs a testament to Thad Matta

The NBA playoffs are in full swing and Ohio State fans looking for a reason to watch the games need look no further than the four former Buckeyes playing in them. Former OSU basketball players Evan Turner, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook and Kosta Koufos are all playing in this season’s NBA playoffs. Turner plays in the Eastern Conference as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, while Conley, Cook and Koufos are in the Western Conference playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, respectively. All four players were recruited by and played for OSU basketball coach Thad Matta. The fact that they’re all vying for the NBA title in the same season speaks loudly of Matta and the OSU basketball program. Conley and Cook were members of the “Thad Five” 2007 NCAA runner-up team. Koufos was named the National Invitation Tournament MVP when the Buckeyes won the tournament in 2008, and Turner became the first OSU player to win the John R. Wooden Award in 2010. Since taking over the basketball program for the 2004-2005 season, Matta has turned the Buckeyes into perennial NCAA championship contenders and brought some of the best basketball talent to Columbus that the program has ever seen. Taking OSU to two Final Fours (2007, 2012), Matta has won five Big Ten championships (2006, 2007 and 2010-2012) and seen seven of his players drafted into the NBA: Greg Oden (2007), Conley (2007), Cook (2007), Koufos (2008), B.J. Mullens (2009), Turner (2010) and Jon Diebler (2011). That number will likely grow to nine after this season’s NBA draft where it’s expected that former Buckeyes Jared Sullinger and William Buford will be selected. Not including Sullinger, projected as a first-rounder in the 2012 Draft, Matta has produced six first-round draft picks, including the only top two picks in program history with Oden (No. 1 overall) and Turner (No. 2 overall) in their respective drafts. Matta has produced more NBA draft talent in a five-year span from 2007-2011 than Duke’s NCAA men’s all-time winningest coach Mike Krzyzewski (five draft picks), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (five), Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun (four), Michigan State’s Tom Izzo (one) and as much as North Carolina’s Roy Williams (seven). The skill level of the players that Matta has recruited to OSU to play basketball should not be taken lightly and the NBA playoffs are simply a microcosm of the talent Matta is responsible for. In each of the last four NBA seasons, at least two of Matta’s former Buckeyes have played on basketball’s biggest stage, and lately they’ve been making their presence felt. In 2011, Conley helped Memphis upset the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, becoming only the fourth No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NBA playoffs. He averaged 15.2 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game and 6.4 assists per game in the 2011 playoffs with the Grizzlies. This season, Conley and Memphis are back in postseason play and as of Tuesday night, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists through four games in a series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Turner is attempting to match Conley’s and the Grizzlies’ feat from a season ago. Through the first four games of the series between the Sixers and the Chicago Bulls the former OSU Wooden Award winner is averaging 14.0 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game. From 1996 to 2005, there were just four Buckeyes to play in an NBA playoff game, Jim Jackson, Lawrence Funderburke, Herb Williams, and Michael Redd. OSU has four former players, all products of Matta, in this season’s playoffs alone. If Sullinger and Buford are selected in the 2012 NBA Draft, nine Buckeyes under Matta will have been drafted in the span of six seasons. To put that into perspective, the previous nine OSU basketball players selected into the NBA draft span across the course of 19 drafts from 1983-2001, with only four first-round selections. As long as Matta continues to roam the sidelines in Columbus, Buckeye fans should expect to have a rooting interest in May and June when the NBA playoffs come around. read more

The Torg I have paid the price and I want to be

Scott “The Torg” Torgerson apologized and tried to show remorse, but it was too little, too late. Torgerson, former co-host of “The Common Man & The Torg” radio show on Columbus’ WBNS 97.1 The Fan, was fired Wednesday as a result of an Oct. 13 tweet in which he wished death on ESPN college football analyst and former Michigan football star Desmond Howard. Torgerson and his laywer, Columbus attorney Joe Edwards, said they believe the firing was unlawful and will consider legal action as well as an investigation into ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit’s potential role in the firing. From 97.1 The Fan’s Twitter account, @971thefan, the station announced the firing, tweeting: “Scott Torgerson is no longer employed by our company as of today. We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.” In an email interview with The Lantern, Torgerson said he did not initially expect to be terminated but eventually started to “hear a few things” and began to suspect it. On Friday, The Fan offered Torgerson the opportunity to resign “with a small severance,” but he declined, opting instead to request to be allowed back on the air at a Monday meeting. “I would have had to sign an agreement not to ever talk about this and could not take legal action,” Torgerson said. “The other option was termination with no severance or insurance. They gave me that option Friday and gave me the weekend to think it over. I showed up Monday for our meeting and told them I want to go back on the air. They told me that wasn’t an option. I received a termination letter (Wednesday).” From his Twitter account, @myguythetorg, Torgerson tweeted on Oct. 13: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch ‘GameDay’ again.” Torgerson later issued an apology via Twitter, tweeting: “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke.” He said he maintains the position that the tweet was a joke, and added that he reached out to Herbstreit and ESPN college football analysts and former OSU football player Chris Spielman to apologize. “(Herbstreit and Spielman) work for ESPN and I am sure it wasn’t a good situation for them. I think everyone who listens or knows me knows it was a joke,” Torgerson said. “Now I have to deal with the (punishment) for my actions. I just don’t feel firing me is a way to handle it. I was employee of the quarter the Friday before. I would think being the sports director, strong ratings, and the income I have made for the station, that deserves a second chance.” The Fan did not respond to The Lantern‘s multiple requests for comment on Wednesday. Josh Krulewitz, vice president of communications for ESPN, declined to immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for comment. Edwards, who knew Torgerson prior to the Oct. 13 tweet and was hired as counsel for the firing, agreed, saying he feels it was an unjust firing. Edwards told The Lantern he didn’t think 97.1, which is owned by the Dispatch Media Group, “had just cause in discharging” Torgerson. “He’s now fired. He had a job where he was doing very well, had very high ratings, was very well-liked in the Central Ohio market and now all of the sudden he doesn’t have a job. So we’re going to explore filing a lawsuit against the station and anybody else that was involved in his discharge.” Torgerson had between a year and a year-and-a-half remaining on his agreement with The Fan, Edwards said, and part of a potential investigation of his client’s firing could involve Herbstreit. Edwards, who emphasized that he can’t be sure if Herbstreit played any role in his client’s firing, said he could choose to investigate Herbstreit for “tortious interference,” or interfering with Torgerson’s contract. “At some point in time, we would like to know how Scott ended up getting fired and, at some point in time, what Mr. Herbstreit said, who did he say it to and why did he say it,” Edwards said. “That’s our interest – why did 97.1 The Fan fire Scott? And I know that Kirk Herbstreit did a radio show – his radio show on 97.1 – on Oct. 15 where he went off on Scott Torgerson. And we’d like to know, you know, did he talk to anybody else at the station? Did he call any people in management? What did he say? Why did he say that?” Torgerson said his wife, Lauren Torgerson, has been crying for days, but the couple has maintained some semblance of a sense of humor – in a nod to one of Scott Torgerson’s familiar jokes about firings, she suggested he work at a Citgo gas station for a couple of weeks. “I may do it,” Scott Torgerson said. In the mean time, Scott Torgerson said he appreciates the support he’s received from fans. “Just to the listeners … Their support has been unreal. Someone created a ‘Save The Torg’ Facebook page and in 10 days it has more “likes” than the 97.1 site,” he said. “The ‘Save the Torg’ has over (8,000), (97.1 has) under 5,400. I would have to say the listeners have spoken. They want me back and I want to be back. “I am sorry for what I did. I feel I have paid a huge price and I want to be back on air.” read more

Sunday Morning Quarterback Evaluating Ohio States win against Wisconsin

Columbus, it’s time to party like it’s 2002. Well, almost time at least. Your Buckeyes still have to beat Michigan next weekend to cap off the program’s first undefeated season since 2002, when the Scarlet and Gray won 14 games and the national championship.  The 2002 squad was notorious for squeaking out wins in close games, and Ohio State seems intent on honoring that team’s 10-year anniversary with an eerily similar season. In 2002 and 2012 OSU entered the season ranked outside the top 10 and was largely an afterthought when talking about the nation’s top teams. Yet week after week they won, sometimes convincingly, but more often by prevailing in nail biters. Such was the case again on Saturday, as OSU overcame Wisconsin in overtime, 21-14. The Buckeyes almost took its connection with the 2002 season too far on Saturday, as the coaching staff channeled its inner “Tressel ball.” It was surprising to see first-year coach Urban Meyer’s staff call such a conservative game. And it was even more shocking how it went about doing it. Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller never got it going as a runner, but the staff seemed intent on making it happen for the Heisman hopeful. Miller averaged just 2.1 yards while receiving a team-high 23 carries. Meanwhile, junior running back Carlos Hyde averaged 5.8 yards per touch, yet only carried the ball 15 times. Hyde received eight carries on first down, and averaged 6.5 yards on those attempts. Miller averaged less than three yards on his 12 first-down carries. It was as if the coaching staff was trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, with a circular block lying right beside it. OSU’s inability to move the ball forward on first down set up many third-and-long situations. As a result, it punted a season-high nine times. Had Hyde received just a few more first-down touches, that number could have dropped dramatically. But thanks to some superb defense, clutch special teams, timely offensive production and a little bit of luck, OSU was still able to come away with the win. Just like in 2002. Put a fork in it OSU’s undefeated season is still intact, but the same can’t be said for Miller’s Heisman candidacy. Though he’s had a spectacular season, it was always unlikely that Miller would walk away with college football’s most coveted individual award. There was simply too much working against the sophomore. He plays on a team ineligible for postseason play, in a weak conference against a weaker schedule. Still, there was an outside chance that Miller could receive a late surge with statement performances against Wisconsin and Michigan. He effectively ended that hope with a clunker on Saturday, throwing for a season-low 97 yards while looking lost running the football. Surprisingly enough OSU still has a chance to win the Associated Press national title, which not long ago seemed more of a long shot than Miller winning the Heisman. The Buckeyes still need plenty of help to be chosen as the AP’s top team. Without a bowl game it will be out of sight, out of mind after next weekend, and that will hurt its cause. Not to mention there will be a definitive winner in a game designed to crown a national champion. Yes, OSU has to hope for chaos. But chaos is the name of the game in college football, especially in November. Last night alone the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams, Kansas State and Oregon, lost when they were heavily favored to win. There’s still plenty of November football to be played, with the possibility of more contenders falling at the hands of underdogs. Is it likely to happen? No, but it’s certainly possible. And just the fact that we are mentioning OSU and national championship in the same breath this season is fairly remarkable. Give an extra helmet sticker to… The entire OSU defense. Yes, it allowed more than 200 yards rushing. Yes, it surrendered the game-tying score in the final seconds of regulation. And yes, its play redefined the term “bend but don’t break.” The Buckeye defense had plenty of shortcomings on Saturday. You can blame just about every one of the members of the Buckeye offense. OSU’s offense managed a meager 36 yards in the second half, while never sustaining a drive of more than 3 minutes. By the end of the fourth quarter the defense was absolutely gassed. It was unfortunate that they conceded a score to send the game to overtime, but it could have been much worse for the Buckeyes. Senior defensive end John Simon terrorized the Wisconsin offensive line, matching a career-high with four sacks. Sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier made the play of the season, forcing a fumble on the goal line and preserving a late OSU lead. Junior safety Christian Bryant recovered that fumble, and also broke up a pass in overtime to win the game. There were some great individual efforts from OSU’s defense on Saturday. But as a whole, the unit played its most complete game of the season, in a contest in which it was needed the most. read more

6 Ohio State womens track team members hospitalized released

A member of the Ohio State women’s track team was hospitalized on Friday, but has been released, an OSU athletics spokesman told The Lantern. He said others on the team were also treated after being evaluated.Spokesman Dan Wallenberg sent a statement that said one member of the team reported not feeling well Friday and was evaluated. After that, medical staff looked at the rest of the team for similar symptoms, and an additional five members were referred to the hospital for testing. They have since been released, though the statement also noted “one student-athlete was admitted and is responding well to treatment.”The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday the track athlete was diagnosed with muscular condition exertional rhabdomyolysis.Rhabdomyolysis, or rhabdo, is the breakdown of muscle tissues that can lead to muscle fibers being released into the bloodstream. The fibers releasing into the blood can break down into substances that can damage kidney cells. The disease can occur when the muscles are overworked.Wallenberg said the issue did not arise from workouts outside the NCAA-permitted eight hours of practice time per week in an offseason.“It’s important to note this incident was not related to strength and conditioning activities. Student-athletes were taking part in allowable team practices under the supervision of the coaching staff,” Wallenberg’s statement said.Wallenberg did not say whether the school had been in contact with the families of the student-athletes involved.A source with knowledge of the team told The Lantern that OSU was downplaying the importance of the issue.“I think it was just a misjudgment of how tough practice would be,” the source said. “I don’t think they’re reacting enough.”Six members of the OSU women’s lacrosse team were hospitalized with rhabdo in 2012. According to a Lantern article from March 2012, none of those six players suffered kidney damage. A report  at the time cleared coaches, players, physicians and trainers from wrongdoing but recommended that the strenuous workout that contributed to the hospitalizations be dropped from training.Clinton Hartz, a team physician for the OSU athletic department, declined to comment on the matter. read more

Baseball Three Ohio State players selected in MLB draft two recruits also

Ohio State redshirt senior outfielder Shea Murray stands in the box against Purdue on April 1, 2017 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterIt was a down year for the Ohio State baseball team, but three players managed to find success this season as graduates starting pitcher Shea Murray and catcher Jalen Washington, along with junior Tre’ Gantt were selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.The Buckeyes also heard the name of their top two recruits — left-handed starting pitcher Seth Lonsway and right-handed starting pitcher Xavier Moore — called on Wednesday.Though Murray had made the transition from the mound to the outfield this past season, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 18th round, 538th overall as a pitcher. This marks the second time Murray has been drafted by a MLB team, as he was drafted as a pitcher in the 39th round (1,158th overall) by the Texas Rangers in 2015.On the mound, Murray owns a career 10.95 ERA over 12.1 innings of work. He struck out 17 batters, though 12 walks and overall control issues led to the decision for him to switch to the outfield. In his only season as a hitter, Murray posted a .252/.329/.449 slash line with three home runs and a pair of stolen bases. His three triples on the season were tied for the most on the team, and his .449 slugging percentage was the fourth-best on the team. Ohio State’s starting shortstop this past season, Washington, was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 29th round with the 858th overall pick. But like Murray, it was not for the position he played in 2017.Washington was drafted by the Padres as a catcher, the position he manned in the 2016 season during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten tournament title run. That year, he caught 59 games and was placed on the Johnny Bench Award watch list on May 18, 2016. However, the team opted to shift him over to shortstop for the 2017 season, in an effort to make the most of his athleticism.Over his career, he has a .254/.357/.393 slash line with 10 home runs and 32 stolen bases. At the plate, 2017 was a career year for Washington as he posted career-highs in doubles (14), triples (five), home runs (seven), batting average (.266) and slugging percentage (.468), while tying a career-high in stolen bases (14).Gantt was the third and final Buckeye drafted on Wednesday after he was selected in the 29th round, 882nd by the Cleveland Indians. He still has one remaining year of eligibility, and could return to the team if he and the Indians do not agree to terms on a contract.In his first year as a regular starter, Gantt maximized every opportunity and spent the bulk of the season batting atop the Buckeyes’ lineup and playing center field.Though he did start in 38 games and appear in 47 games two seasons ago, it was not until the second half of the year when now-Colorado Rockies’ minor league first baseman Jacob Bosiokovic made the switch from right field to first base to free up the position for Gantt to play.Gantt enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2017, posting career-highs in every major statistical category, including a team-leading .426 on-base percentage. He was also tied for the team lead with 14 stolen bases with Washington. His overall slash line of .314/.426/.426 proved valuable for the Buckeye offense as he served as the catalyst for the team’s offense batting out of the leadoff spot in 41 of the team’s 56 games.The Buckeyes also saw a pair of recruits drafted on Wednesday.The first pitcher selected was Xavier Moore, a recruit from Lorain, Ohio, who was drafted in the 16th round with the 494th overall selection by the Texas Rangers. The graduate of Amherst High School is expected to sign with the Rangers.Ohio State’s top recruit, Seth Lonsway, was selected in the 19th round with the 557th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds.The southpaw out of Celina High School in Celina, Ohio, was ranked as the 148th best draft prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was projected to be a third-round pick in the draft by MLB.com and Baseball America. Prior to the draft, he told The Daily Standard’s Colin Foster that he would determine the strength of his commitment based on where he was selected in the draft. The amount of days he has remaining until he can reach an agreement with the Reds is still unknown. read more

Football Ohio State stays at No 10 in College Football Playoff rankings

The Ohio State Buckeyes walk onto the field before the game against Nebraska on Nov. 3. Ohio State won 36-31. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorComing off of a 36-31 win over Nebraska on Saturday, Ohio State remained at No. 10 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday. The Buckeyes are the lowest one-loss Power 5 team in the Top 25.The Buckeyes were ranked as the No. 10 team in the country last week when the playoff rankings were first released.Ohio State is one of five Big Ten teams represented in the playoff rankings along with No. 4 Michigan, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 20 Penn State and No. 21 Iowa.On Sunday, Ohio State was ranked as the No. 8 team in the country in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, staying in the same spot as the previous week. The Buckeyes were also ranked No. 7 in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll, moving up one spot after their five-point win over the Cornhuskers.Ohio State will face No. 18 Michigan State in East Lansing at noon on Saturday.1.) Alabama 2.) Clemson 3.) Notre Dame 4.) Michigan 5.) Georgia 6.) Oklahoma 7.) LSU8.) Washington State 9.) West Virginia 10.) Ohio State 11.) Kentucky12.) UCF13.) Syracuse 14.) NC State 15.) Florida 16.) Mississippi State 17.) Boston College 18.) Michigan State 19.) Texas 20.) Penn State 21.) Iowa 22.) Iowa State 23.) Fresno State 24.) Auburn25.) Washington read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State plays in survival mode during win streak

Ohio State sophomore forward Kyle Young (25) questions the referees after he was called for a foul in the second half of the game against Indiana on Feb. 10. Ohio State won 55-52. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorBLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana had already made its comeback against Ohio State. After trailing by nine points with 6:29 left in the game, the Hoosiers managed to tie the game, hitting three 3s in the next three possessions. Trading baskets with Ohio State with the game tied at 49, Indiana junior guard Devonte Green hit a deep 3, a supposed dagger, causing an eruption from the 17,000-plus in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. With the arena buzzing with an excitement, creating a momentum that seemed impossible for the Buckeyes to overcome, redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods passed the ball to senior guard C.J. Jackson, who, after holding it for three seconds, threw up and made what head coach Chris Holtmann called “a prayer.” “How many times has he done that in his career?” Holtmann said. But this shot, this prayer that secured an eventual three-point victory for Ohio State, tied the game the Buckeyes had in its grasp for the majority of the contest, first losing the lead with Green’s 3 with 1:46 left in the game. Throughout the contest, it was prototypical Ohio State basketball: inconsistency ruled in Bloomington. In the first half, the Buckeyes struggled offensively, making 10-of-26 attempts from the field, and struggled to keep possession, recording nine turnovers and allowing 11 points off those mistakes. Jackson said these are the kind of games that unite teams: to be able to beat a team on the road, but do so with things to work and improve on, knowing there is still a lot of work to be done. But the senior guard said there is momentum on Ohio State’s side after a win like this. “It feels like we are kind of getting our stride back that we had earlier in the season,” he said. But this stride, according to Holtmann, is a different kind of stride than the one the Buckeyes were on in nonconference play. This is a stride in which, he said, players and coaches can take time to appreciate the process of team building and going through trials as a group. “When you live in the valley a little bit, you tend to appreciate the climb to the mountaintop,” Holtmann said. “Maybe it’s just going through what we went through in that stretch that kind of forces you to appreciate this journey we are on and appreciate winning a game and enjoying the moment because that can get lost a little bit when you are 12-1.” The head coach said it takes a group of players that have been through rough stretches and tough times to set the tone on what the process should look like. He looked to junior forward Andre Wesson, who, scoring a team-leading 15 points, put down a dunk with 20 seconds left to secure the victory, setting up the play solely for the veteran. But this process is something Holtmann has tried to ingrain within his coaching from Day 1. “I don’t know if that’s just something you can turn on in the middle of February, this idea of just playing to the next play and staying with it,” Holtmann said. “You know you get so frustrated, coaches get frustrated, players get frustrated, but it’s a fast game, and if you let it get the best of you, then you got no chance.” That’s an improvement Ohio State saw in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the field, making 5-of-9 from 3 and recording six turnovers. Ohio State is focused on what’s next. But it’s what is immediately next: the next play, the next game, not the Big Ten tournament or whether the team will earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Because Holtmann knows how this game could have gone, mentioning what could have been the game-winner for Indiana — a 3-point attempt by freshman guard Romeo Langford that rimmed out late in the second half. “It was a fight to the finish,” Holtmann said. And it’s the immediate fight that he and Ohio State are focused on. read more

Parents had weekold baby taken away by social services after father heard

first_imgA local council has been ordered to pay damages after taking a week-old baby into care because the father expressed “unorthodox” views about the need to sterilise feeding bottles.A family court judge awarded the couple and their son, who is now 15 months old, a total of £11,250 after ruling that Kirklees Council had breached their human rights and misled a judge in a bid to remove the child from their care.The case, which has cost the taxpayer around £120,000, centred on a couple in their mid-twenties, who cannot be identified. They both suffer from mild learning difficulties and have received assistance from adult social care workers for around a decade. The separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family lifeMr Justice Cobb 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. In a ruling published yesterday, Mr Justice Cobb said that the couple had not been referred to social services ahead of the baby’s birth, in November 2015, despite the fact that the mother suffers from minor mental health problems and the father had “displayed aggressive behaviour”.Four days after the child was born, however, hospital staff called the council to raise concerns about “the long-term parenting capacity of this mother and father”.Mr Justice Cobb said: “It was suggested that the mother had no family support, and that the father was expressing unorthodox views about the need for sterilisation of bottles, and the benefits of formula milk.”Social workers then sought an emergency hearing to place the child under the care of its paternal grandmother, however they did not tell the parents that the hearing was taking place, wrongly told the judge that they had been informed, and also “forgot to notify” Cafcass, the agency that represents children’s interests in court.center_img The judge said: “The failure of the local authority to notify the Claimants that the hearing was taking place on the afternoon of 13 November was particularly egregious; misleading the district judge no fewer than three times that the parents knew of the hearing aggravates the culpability yet further.”The judge said that the baby boy was returned to his mother and father after three months and “has continued to thrive in his parents’ care”.He added: “There is no doubt in my mind, indeed it is admitted, that Kirklees Council breached the human rights of a baby boy and his parents.”I am satisfied that the breaches were serious…the separation of a baby from his parents represents a very serious interference with family life.” The judge criticised “unwarranted expenditure” of the law firms involved in the case, after cost schedules supplied to the court showed that the family had racked up legal aid bills of nearly £80,000, while Kirklees Council had costs of around £40,000.The judge awarded the mother, father and baby £3,750 each, but said that as they did “not conscientiously attempt to settle” the claim, they were “unlikely to receive these sums” because the funds were likely to be recouped by the Legal Aid Agency.A Kirklees Council spokesman pointed to a section of the judgment in which the judge noted that the council was “entitled on the information available to them” to bring the proceedings.A spokesman said: “Mistakes were made which resulted in the court awarding the family compensation.  “The local authority has been ordered to pay a contribution of the publicly funded costs of the claimants, which cover specific periods of the case.  This is due to the way the claimants’ litigation was conducted.”last_img read more

Dont judge a bookshop by its cover shoppers warned as Waterstones opens three

first_imgMany shopkeepers in the town blame the arrival of national chains for pushing up rents and therefore affecting business rates, which are due to rise by an average of 177 per cent in the area over the next five years.The Waterstones store in Southwold is located in a Grade II listed building, and has a sign written in plain lettering on a light blue background above the front door and on a traditional swinging sign.However, a small handwritten sign in the window states: “Southwold Books is the trading name of Waterstones Booksellers Ltd.”Waterstones has launched another two unbranded stores in Rye, East Sussex, and Harpenden, Hertfordshire.The shops are said to be such a success that the chain is considering opening more.Chris Viner, 77, who works in a Rye studio that sells model soldiers, said: “I suspect Waterstones wouldn’t have been able to set up shop if they had stuck a big sign on the front. The whole town would have been up in arms. They would have had their pitchforks out.”Clive Sawyer, 66, who owns a gallery a few doors along, added: “Waterstones has crept in under the guise of a nice, independent book store, which it simply isn’t. Ultimately, it’s the dishonesty I really dislike.” However, managing director James Daunt denied that Waterstones was using “subterfuge” to attract customers, and said he wanted the company to have stores with their own identities.He said: “We don’t pretend we are not Waterstones. The idea that this is some type of subterfuge is ridiculous.” Local competitors has complained that the bookseller is being ‘dishonest’Credit:Clara Molden The self-help section in Waterstones 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. High street booksellers Waterstones has opened three unbranded stores, sparking accusations of “dishonesty” from rivals.Three shops, including Southwold Books in Suffolk, have opened under different names, with only a handwritten notice in the window stating the owners’ true identity.However, local competitors have complained about the tactic.John Wells, 77, who has owned book, card and gift shop Wells of Southwold for 30 years, said: “To call themselves Southwold Books is a bit naughty. Locals know what the shop is, but visitors don’t.”last_img read more

Corrie McKeague Police confident missing RAF gunner will be found in landfill

first_imgA search team investigating the disappearance of RAF gunner Corrie McKeague have trawled through 60 tonnes of waste at a landfill site as his mother warned it would be “just a matter of time” until his remains are found.Police have warned that it could take up to 10 weeks for the team of eight search officers to sift through vast swathes of rubbish at the site in Milton, near Cambridge.However, a spokesman for Suffolk police say the force is “confident” he will be found.It comes as refuse vehicle, seized shortly after Mr McKeague disappeared from Bury St Edmunds after a night out with friends, was found to be carrying a heavier load than originally thought.The lorry, which had been due to collect a 11kg load, has since been found to have contained a haul weighing more than 100kg. Nicola Urquhart, mother of missing 23-year-old Corrie McKeague “Regardless of how he’s ended up in there, I cannot get my head around how he’s ended up in landfill.”I don’t understand how the process has allowed him to get to landfill. It was the one thing that was giving me hope that he was still alive.” Corrie McKeague, 23, went missing in September 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. “We’ve been working tirelessly on this investigation to try and find Corrie – that’s been our priority the whole way through.”To have that information really reinforced the decision that we’d already made that we needed to come and search this landfill site.””The search of the landfill is a huge undertaking, and still may not provide the answer as to what happened, but now, with new information uncovered by the officers working on the case, this is the priority.”The six-month investigation has cost more than £300,000 to date and the search of the landfill site could cost more than £500,000 if it runs to 10 weeks. Corrie McKeague, 23, went missing in September last yearcenter_img Ms Elliott said it was a “dreadful” time for the family of Mr McKeague and her thoughts are with them.Following his disappearance on September 24 last year, the last known CCTV sighting of Mr McKeague showed him walking from a shop doorway into a horseshoe-shaped area in  Brentgovel Street, from which he failed to reappear.After he was reported missing, signals showed his mobile phone had been in nearby Barton Mills, and matched the route of a bin lorry. Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said she does not believe there was a “deliberate attempt to mislead” the investigation, and that the focus had to be on finding Mr McKeague.”I have a strong belief that we will find him here,” she added. “”It’s frustrating for me, I think it must be terribly frustrating for Corrie’s family.” The landfill search follows the discovery of CCTV footage this week, showing that a bin lorry was stationed near Brentgovel Street in the town around the same time that Mr McKeague was last seen.The movements of the vehicle also appear to match the location signals traced on his phone.The area of the landfill site where the load was deposited is now being searched, with a digger mechanically excavating mounds of waste and officers in white protective suits raking through it on the ground.A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice over the discrepancy in the lorry’s load weight, but has since been told he faces no further action. Officers are now considering whether the lorry, which was spotted on CCTV making a collection near where Mr McKeague was last seen, could have carried Mr McKeague to a landfill site.Commenting on the developments, the mother of the 23-year-old, Nicole Urquhart, said the search could “only mean one thing”.“We know we are going to find Corrie in the landfill. There’s just no way realistically that Corrie was not in the bin,” she added. Nicola Urquhart, mother of missing 23-year-old Corrie McKeaguelast_img read more

Man filmed slapping Muslim teenager with bacon in street as he shouts

first_imgAlex Chivers was jailed for six months over the attackCredit:Metropolitan Police Alex Chivers holds the packet of bacon up to the camera Detective Constable James Payne, from Enfield community safety unit, said: “This was a truly shocking incident.”The victim was out with her mother and getting on with her day when Chivers abused her and then set upon her with something he knew would both upset and offend her.”We know other people were present during this attack, including an associate of Chivers who filmed the incident.”Inquiries are ongoing to trace these people and if you have any information that may assist in identifying them please contact the community safety unit at Enfield via 101.”The community safety unit here in Enfield would encourage all victims of hate crime to contact police so that the culprits can be identified and brought to justice.”Chivers was given a 26-week jail term for the assault, and 12 weeks’ imprisonment for a public order offence, to run concurrently.He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and will complete a 12-month supervision order when he is released from jail.Muslims are forbidden from eating pork and previous incidents in other parts of the UK have seen extremists prosecuted for similar attempts to cause upset to members of the Islamic community. Alex Chivers Alex Chivers bacon attack The thug approaches the mother and daughter in the streetCredit:Metropolitan Police He also made reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group when he shouted “Isil scum” at one of the women.Police said the victim was not injured, but left “very distressed” by the attack at around 4.40pm on Thursday, June 8 and reported it to police later that day. He is then seen running as the mother and daughter, wearing traditional Islamic dress, walked along a pavement in Enfield, north London.Chivers then confronted the pair, striking the younger women with the open packet of bacon. Alex Chivers holds the packet of bacon up to the camera Credit:Metropolitan Policecenter_img Chivers, of Waltham Cross, north London – two miles north of the attack location – has now been jailed for six months.He pleaded guilty to one count of racially or religiously aggravated common assault, and one count of causing racially or religiously aggravated alarm or distress. Chives launches the attack on the women A man was filmed slapping a Muslim teenager in the face with bacon after shouting “Isil scum” in an Islamophobic street attack.Alex Chivers was videoed by a friend as he launched a volley of verbal abuse at the young woman and her mother, telling them “you deserve this”.The footage filmed on a smartphone shows the 36-year-old holding up the bacon, which is forbidden by Islam, to the camera. Chives launches the attack on the womenCredit:Metropolitan Police The incident was filmed on camera by an associate of Chivers, who the Metropolitan Police said remains at large. Chivers was sentenced at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on June 29. 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

Grenfell Tower cladding would have burned as quickly as petrol expert reveals

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. Victims and survivors groups have voiced their anger at the authority’s actions in the lead up, and in response, to the devastating fire at the 24-storey block that left at least 80 people dead.A public meeting on Tuesday night descended into shouting as residents’ frustration boiled over, with several outbursts about the delay in rehousing survivors.Just 32 of 169 offers of temporary accommodation had been accepted as of Tuesday morning.The petition to be debated by the council said: “The cabinet’s decisions across a series of departments have culminated in the horrifying and completely avoidable loss of life in the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower on the 14th of June 2017.”Given the council’s failure to respond to the litany of safety and fire concerns raised by Grenfell Tower residents, we have no confidence in this council’s ability to manage or build public buildings and therefore demand the immediate cessation of all regeneration projects, particularly the construction of new buildings, but including the demolition, or ‘improvement’ of current buildings stock – projects of the kind that the current cabinet have shown themselves grossly incapable of managing.” Elizabeth Campbell, who is to step in as leader of Kensington and Chelsea CouncilCredit:Jonathan Brady/PA Elizabeth Campbell, who is to step in as leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, In a response, interim chief executive Dr Barry Quirk, the head of Lewisham Council, said the council’s response to what he called “the most disastrous incident in the UK since the Second World War” was inadequate. The BBC said it had seen information released by French authorities which indicates the burning cladding would have released 14 times more heat than a European standard of “limited combustibility”.All buildings over 18 metres which have submitted cladding samples have failed combustibility tests rolled out after the fire, the Department for Communities and Local Government said on Tuesday.Meanwhile, a petition demanding the resignation of the entire elected leadership of the council at the heart of the Grenfell Tower disaster will be debated at its meeting later. The plastic core of the cladding used on Grenfell Tower could have burned as quickly as petrol, a fire safety expert has said.The energy output from the burning building would have been equal to burning 51 tonnes of pinewood, research by the University of Leeds has suggested.Dr Roth Phylaktou, an expert in fire investigation at the university, said the cladding combined with insulation was “optimum for vertical fire spread”.He told the BBC: “If you set that on fire near the bottom you can imagine what would happen and how fast the fire will grow.”Before the blaze, Grenfell Tower had been recently refurbished with Reynobond PE cladding, consisting of Reynolux-coated aluminium sheets over a Reynobond polyethylene core.Dr Phylaktou said: “The polyethylene in the cladding would have burnt as quickly as petrol.” More than 1,500 people have signed the petition to Kensington and Chelsea Council, passing the threshold for a debate by councillors.The full council meeting will also see the formal election of its new leader after the local Conservative group nominated Elizabeth Campbell earlier this month, while the new chief executive will be appointed. “This is deeply regrettable and the council needs to provide an apology to those whom it has corporately let down. These failings have served to corrode the public’s trust in the council as a competent public authority.”Trust cannot be commanded, it can only be earned. And the council needs to acknowledge that it needs to deliver quality, reliable, consistent and credible responses if it is to begin to earn public trust.”Of the call for the cabinet to resign, Dr Quirk’s response said Mrs Campbell had selected a new leadership team, which would need to be approved by the full council.More inquests of victims are expected to open on Wednesday, after the coroner said on Monday the number of those formally identified had risen from 34 to 37.last_img read more

Britains safest car revealed with no road deaths in 16 years

first_imgThatcham Research calls AEB the most significant development since the safety belt, which has been compulsory in new vehicles in the UK since 1965.Thatcham says AEB could save 1,100 lives in the UK over the next decade, and more than 122,000 casualties.The technology also has the potential to reduce car insurance premiums, as evidence suggests that its use can lower the risk of collisions by up to 38 per cent.Although AEB systems are expensive to replace if they are damaged, the lower risk for insurers can result in lower premiums.Research by the BBC suggests that the cost of insurance on a 2018 Volkswagen Golf with AEB is 10 per cent lower than a 2011 model without it.Overall, one in three cars on sale in the UK comes with AEB, and a further one in three has it as an optional extra. 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. Researchers suggested that car insurance premiums may be lower in the future, if AEB becomes standardCredit:Jonathan Brady/PA The technology is similar to automatic cruise control systems that detect the rear bumper of other cars on a motorway, and match their speed.More recent developments allow vehicles to detect pedestrians while performing other potentially dangerous manoeuvres, such as reversing out of a parking space.center_img The country’s safest car has been revealed as a Volvo model that has seen no drivers or passengers killed inside it in the 16 years it has been on sale.A high-tech safety mechanism for automatic braking saw the Volvo XC90 crowned the safest vehicle ever tested, according to independent laboratory Thatcham Research.Since the launch of the Volvo XC90 in 2002, the car has sold more than 50,000 units, and researchers attribute the spotless safety record to the car’s early adoption of hazard detection technology that warns drivers of potential collisions.Updated versions of these systems are called Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and are now able to automatically apply the car’s brakes, preventing a collision from happening.While the technology is now standard for many vehicles, including the Volkwagen Golf and several Mercedes models, the Volvo XC90 was one of the first to develop it.There are various forms of AEB, but many work using lasers, cameras or a radar to detect other vehicles or pedestrians. PICTURE POSED BY MODEL File photo dated 13/08/14 of a driver at the wheel.last_img read more

Prince Louis Arthur Charles Royal baby name announced by Duke and Duchess

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have named their new baby Prince Louis Arthur Charles.The names honour both the Prince’s grandfather, Prince Charles, and Louis Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh’s mentor who was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979.Prince George and Prince William both have Louis as middle names, with the announcement confounding bookies and experts who had believed it would not be repeated for the third baby Cambridge.Arthur had been the favourite predicted first name, eventually announced as a middle name. It is also one of the Duke of Cambridge’s own middle names.Kensington Palace said: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son Louis Arthur Charles.”The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.” Asked about the baby’s name, she added tactfully: “The jury’s out on that one. I don’t know, we’re all just going to have to wait and see.” Asked how the Duchess and the baby were doing, Prince William said: “They’re very well thanks.”The now father of three said they are “in good form, luckily”, and added: “Sleeping’s going reasonably well so far, so he’s behaving himself which is good news.” Speaking for himself and the Duchess of Cornwall, presumably with a twinkle in his eye, he said: “We are both so pleased at the news.  “It is a great joy to have another grandchild, the only trouble is I don’t know how I am going to keep up with them.”The Prince is now a grandfather to Prince George, four, Princess Charlotte, who will turn three on May 2, and the baby boy. Lord Louis Mountbatten pictured in 1977, two years before he was murdered by the IRACredit:PA The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showing their third child to the world outside the Lindo Wing on MondayCredit:Karwai Tang /WireImage The Duchess of Cornwall also has five grandchildren who are regular visitors to their home, with the Prince said to delight in reading the youngsters stories. Sophie, Countess of Wessex meets pupils during her visit to Tregolls School in Truro ‘Highlight of my career!’ The young Pc who took centre stage at baby’s first public outingThe baby joy extended not just to the Royal Family and avid monarchists. Pippa Middleton pictured leaving Kensington Palace on Tuesday afternoon ‘I don’t know how I’ll keep up with them’, proud Prince of Wales jokesA delighted Prince of Wales welcomed the birth of his third grandchild, saying it was a “great joy”. The name is a significant tribute to the Royal Family, with the newborn Prince sharing names in common with his brother Prince George Alexander Louis, his father Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, and his grandfather Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.Kensington Palace announced the name of the Royal couple’s third child, who was born on Monday at 11.01am weighing 8lb 7oz.The Duke and Duchess will have shared the name with the Queen and the rest of their family before making it public. The Prince of Wales already has two grandchildren in Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured arriving at the Lindo Wing The Prince of Wales, who was on Tuesday travelling to France in time for a dawn service to commemorate the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day, will pay his first visit to hold the baby on his return from duty.Other family members earlier remained tight-lipped about the baby’s name. The Countess of Wessex, who was conducting a string of engagements near Truro, Cornwall, said during a visit to Tregolls School on Tuesday: “I’m thrilled for them all, it’s lovely – really good news.” Prince William greets his brother Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle as they arrive for an ANZAC day service at Westminster Abbey  Pippa Middleton pictured leaving Kensington Palace on Tuesday afternoonCredit:Paul Grover for The Telegraph  Since then, the Duke and Duchess have been kept busy settling in to life as a family of five at Kensington Palace.Born fifth in line, the baby is the Queen and Philip’s sixth great-grandchild and Kensington Palace said the couple, along with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and the Middletons, were delighted with the news of the new arrival.  The Duke of Cambridge holds up three fingers as he tells the media he has ‘thrice the worry now’ as he leaves the Lindo Wing Credit:BEN STANSALL /AFP New baby Louis evokes memories of Charles’ beloved uncle murdered by IRALouis was the first name of the Prince of Wales’ beloved great-uncle Earl Mountbatten of Burma.Charles will be touched that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge decided to pay tribute to Lord Mountbatten, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979, by naming their son Prince Louis.The name, also one of Prince George’s middle names, is French and German in origin and means “renowned warrior”. Duke and Duchess settle into life as family of fiveAs the outside world clamoured for details, the Duke and Duchess appeared to simply get on with life: with two older children, even with the help of a nanny, they could hardly do less.The Duke, sporting a light stubble, was seen driving out of Kensington Palace on Tuesday afternoon, on an unidentified errand. Pippa Matthews, the first visitor seen driving into the Palace, spent several hours with her sister, the Duchess, and infant nephew before being photographed driving away. Parents Carole and Michael Middleton were unlikely to have been far away, famously supportive of the Duke and Duchess and their growing brood.Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, too, could surely not have kept away from joining the first eager visitors, living just next door and both adoring children.The Prince once called George and Charlotte “the most amazing things ever”.The Queen, who was in Windsor, is unlikely to meet her sixth great-grandchild imminently, with further duties at the castle on Wednesday, while the Duke of Edinburgh is recuperating privately from a hip replacement operation. Famous people named Louis include pop star Louis Tomlinson from One Direction and jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong.Lord Louis Mountbatten was also the Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle and the brother of Philip’s mother Princess Alice.He was the last British Viceroy of India before independence in 1947.He was very close to Charles but Uncle Dickie, as he was known in the family, was assassinated by the IRA in August 1979.His boat was blown up on a fishing trip off the coast of County Sligo in the Republic of Ireland.Meeting the family: Auntie Pippa one first visitors at Kensington PalacePrince George and Princess Charlotte had already been introduced to the new baby at St Mary’s Hospital and were likely being eased into their new roles as big brother and middle sister in their own home on Tuesday. Royal Collection releases official souvenirs before baby’s name announcedThe official commemorative souvenirs marking the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby son have gone on sale – before the new prince’s name had been announced.Featuring a lion cub and unicorn inspired by the Royal Arms, the Royal Collection china is decorated with gold ribbons, silver pompoms and a coronet-inspired pattern.The pieces bear the words “Welcome to our new royal baby” and display William and Kate’s coronet. Louis was the 71st most popular name in England and Wales, according to the latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics.In 2016, just 911 boys were given the name Louis in England and Wales.It was more popular in the early 2000s when it ranked around 39th, but was not popular throughout the 20th century.Louis has been the name of many rulers across the world, including 18 kings of France. The Royal couple introduced two new members to the family today…. An honour and utter privilege to have been the ‘Door Officer’ for the birth of Their Royal Highnesses new baby boy! Today was an amazing day and a highlight of my career! #RoyalBaby3 #RoyalBaby3 #RoyalBaby pic.twitter.com/md6kMw3WSs— PC Tyler O’Hare (@TylerOHare) April 23, 2018 Prince William leaves Kensington Palace by car on Tuesday afternoonCredit:Jack Taylor /Getty The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge show their third child to the world outside the Lindo Wing on Monday Sophie, Countess of Wessex meets pupils during a visit to a school in Truro on TuesdayCredit:Cornwall Live / SWNS.com  Prince William greets his brother Harry’s fiancee Meghan Markle as they arrive for an Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey Credit:HANNAH MCKAY /Reuters The Prince of Wales already has two grandchildren in Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured arriving at the Lindo WingCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS /AFP The Queen horse riding at Windsor on Monday before the latest Royal baby was born Abbey bells and gun salutes mark Royal birthOfficial celebrations were already under way, with the bells of Westminster Abbey ringing out from 1pm and gun salutes fired in London at 2pm.The soldiers, horses and Guns of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery rode out from Wellington Barracks into Hyde Park for a 41 round salute, and the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC), the City of London’s Army Reserve regiment, fired a 62-round Gun Salute from The Tower of London.Video: Moment royal birth was marked by gun salutes Video: New Prince of Cambridge’s first public outing The official range includes a pillbox costing £35, a tankard for £39 and a plate priced at £49.Each item in the range is gilded with 22-carat gold and made in Stoke-on-Trent using traditional methods.There is also a pram-shaped woven decoration, made with glistening threads, delicate pearl detail, and embroidered on the back with “Royal Baby 2018”, for £14.95. Lord Louis Mountbatten pictured in 1977, two years before he was murdered by the IRA A young Metropolitan Police constable, Tyler O’Hare, who took centre stage during the Royal baby’s first public appearance outside the Lindo Wing was also celebrating.Sharing pictures of himself sternly keeping them safe by standing guard, he wrote on Twitter: “An honour and utter privilege to have been the ‘Door Officer’ for the birth of Their Royal Highnesses new baby boy!“Today was an amazing day and a highlight of my career!” The range of official commemorative chinaware to celebrate the prince’s birth Credit:Royal Collection Trust The announcement had been eagerly anticipated since the couple showed off their new son to the world on the steps of the exclusive maternity unit, the Lindo Wing, on Monday evening.  Duke of Cambridge holds up three fingers to signify his three children to answer a question from the press as he leaves the Lindo Wing  Prince William leaves Kensington Palace by car on Tuesday afternoon The Queen horse riding at Windsor on Monday before the latest Royal baby was bornCredit:Kelvin Bruce  range of official commemorative chinaware to celebrate the birth  Prince William: ‘Sleeping’s going reasonably well so far, so he’s behaving himself’The Duke of Cambridge joined his brother Prince Harry and soon-to-be sister-in-law Meghan Markle at Westminster Abbey for an Anzac Day service on Wednesday afternoon.But the topic of conversation quickly turned to the new Prince. The Prince’s words chimed perfectly with those of his son the Duke, who had held up three fingers – one for each of his children – when departing from hospital and laughed that he had “thrice the worry now”. 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

Oxford student who stabbed her boyfriend admits she will never become a

Lavinia Woodward Leaves Oxford Crown Court after receiving her 10-month suspended sentenceCredit:Jason Hedges/INS Sitting with Lord Justice Simon and Mr Justice Goose, she said: “We accept that she had powerful mitigation.”This nonetheless remained a serious offence which, in our view, merited a custodial element to the sentence.”It was by reason of the powerful mitigation that the judge was able to take an exceptional course and suspend the custodial term. It was a constructive and compassionate sentence.” The stabbing happened in December 2016 when Woodward’s partner, a Cambridge University student, visited her in Oxford.He realised she had been drinking and when Woodward discovered he had contacted her mother, she became “extremely angry” and attacked him with a bread knife before throwing things at him.He sustained cuts to his leg and fingers as a result of the attack. A promising Oxford University medical student who avoided jail after stabbing her boyfriend with a bread knife has conceded she will never be a heart surgeon after losing an appeal against her suspended sentence.Lavinia Woodward attacked her then partner after drinking at her university accommodation at Christ Church college in 2016.The 25-year-old was given a 10-month prison term suspended for 18 months at Oxford Crown Court in September last year after admitting unlawful wounding, but challenged her sentence at the Court of Appeal on Friday.Judges rejected her appeal, prompting her lawyer to tell the court Woodward has accepted she will never fulfil her ambition of becoming a heart surgeon, but hopes to pursue a career in medical research.Woodward is understood to have one year to complete on her five-year medical degree, which she suspended voluntarily before her sentencing.In doing so, she bettered her position in terms of negotiating the remainder of her studies because the university’s disciplinary committee could not meet to exclude her. Oxford University declined to comment, but a senior source told The Telegraph: ‘It’s in her hands in terms of when she would like to come back, but it’s not a done deal.” 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. Lavinia Woodward, pictured, has lost her appeal  Because of the severity of her crime, if Woodward wanted to return to the prestigious college, she would have to apply to continue her studies.  Lavinia Woodward Leaves Oxford Crown Court after receiving her 10-month suspended sentence Mr Sturman told the court Woodward has undergone voluntary drug tests and has been clean for the past 18 months.A character reference from her former professor at Oxford said she was the most talented undergraduate who had been in his laboratory over the past 25 years.The court heard she had made an observation whilst studying which led to the founding of a research department at the university. Lavinia Woodward, pictured, has lost her appeal  Her application would then potentially go through three panels – the proctors, a second committee and the school of medicine – who would either invite her back to complete her degree, reject her request or exclude her. But none of this could be done until she completes her sentence in March 2019, which means her best case scenario would be to hope to get a place on the September enrollment of the same year. Her lawyers argued the “exceptional” circumstances of her case – including her mental health difficulties – meant she could have been given a conditional discharge or a fine.Jim Sturman QC said the suspended sentence has affected her ability to find work and told the court: “I appreciate it would be an exceptional course, but she is an exceptional candidate.”But, rejecting her appeal, Judge Johannah Cutts said the Crown Court judge had taken an exceptional course by suspending her jail term and his sentence was “constructive and compassionate”. read more

Ben Stokes says he was defending his gay friends during street fight

Ben Stokes' injured hand The defence’s case for both Stokes and Ali opened this afternoon after the body-worn camera footage from arresting officer PC Stacey Alway was released to the media this morning. The video shows Stokes being handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle and was played to the jury yesterday.  Stokes said he and Ali scuffled on the floor, with Hale – also with a bottle – then becoming involved. “At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others,” he claimed.“They were complete strangers. We knew that they were prepared to use weapons that could do serious injury and I feared they could have other weapons with them.”Hales initially told police he had not witnessed the brawl, the jury were told. Yesterday they heard Hales had stamped on Ali three times during the brawl. He was not charged.Stokes and Ali each deny affray. The trial, which continues, was due to run for a week. “I struck Ryan Ali with my right hand just after he had delivered the blow on Kai and as he came at me with the bottle and had it raised.” Stokes, 27, claims he was forced to knock out Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale out of “instinct” and because he was “vulnerable”, “frightened” and “felt the need to defend myself”.Key allegations from days one and twoStokes verbally abused doorman after refusing entry Stokes “mocked” gay men Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor England cricketer accused of flicking cigarette at themThey had mocked Stokes’ gold-encrusted trainersAli and Hale left the club and started talking to gay menMr Barry appeared to touch Ali’s groin inappropriatelySwinging a bottle, Ali made contact with Mr BarryStokes then charged at Ali and Hale, knocking them outHale “armed himself” with bottle and metal barDuring fracas, Alex Hales kicked Ali three timesStokes told police he was defending gay menAlex Hales was not charged for the incidentIn two statements to police, Stokes claimed violence erupted after he shouted at the pair for verbally abusing “flamboyant” Kai Barry and William O’Connor, who later thanked him for intervening.Stokes and Alex Hales, his England team-mate, were walking “calmly” towards a casino when they heard “homophobic” abuse aimed by Ali and Hale at the two men, Bristol Crown Court heard. Mr Cole told the court Wednesday: “He asked whether you could loosen the handcuff on his right hand? He said it was because it had been injured, not because of what happened but because he had three operations on it?”The officer replied: “Yes, that is correct.”Mr Cole asked: “You loosened the handcuff and he thanked you for it?” She replied: “Yes.” Ben Stokes on the night of the incident Stokes said he drank two pints and five vodka shots in the hours before the fight took place.Stokes said he and Hales decided to walk to a casino and headed down Queens Road, where they passed Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor, who were with Hale and Ali. “Although I can’t remember anything specific now, I do recall that the language being used was homophobic in nature and was being directed at Kai and William by Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali,” he said.”[They] were taller and broader than Kai and William. I noticed that they both had glass bottles in their hands…“What [they] were saying was far from harmless banter, it was nasty homophobic abuse.”When Stokes intervened, he said Ali attacked Hales with a bottle, then used it on Mr Barry.“I decided at this point matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene to stop Ryan Ali,” Stokes told police. Ben Stokes in the police vehicle Show more Ryan Hale, who was found not guilty of affray after a judge ordered the jury not to convict himCredit:Andrew Matthews/PA Ben Stokes on the night of the incident On Wednesday, the court heard Stokes told officers he punched his co-defendants – who were armed with bottles – in self-defence. He said he felt “under immediate threat of attack” from two bottle-wielding brawlers after he leapt to the defence of two men suffering “nasty homophobic abuse”, jurors were told. When he returned to the hotel he drank two or three pints of lager with a meal before heading out with his England teammates Liam Plunkett, Jonny Bairstow, James Anderson and Jake Ball. They headed to Mbargo, but told the court he wasn’t drunk. In the nightclub, he said he had five or six vodka and lemonades before leaving to go to Pryzm.  Stokes and Hales then decided to return to Mbargo, where doorman Andrew Cunningham told them they would not be allowed back in. “As soon as I decided to get involved… everything that I carried out… I felt under threat by these two and felt I had to do whatever it was to keep myself and others around me safe.” Ryan Hale (front) and Ryan Ali (back) leave Bristol Crown Court Ryan Hale, who was found not guilty of affray after a judge ordered the jury not to convict him England cricketer Ben Stokes and his wife Clare, arrives back at Bristol Crown CourtCredit:Andrew Matthews/PA The court heard how when she told him to leave Stokes, who had money to “make his own way home” Mr Hales replied: “I feel bad. He’s my best friend. I saw him after everything happened.”PC Alway told Mr Hales that Stokes had money on him and so would be able to get home after being released from custody.Mr Hales then asked Stokes: “I don’t want to go. Are you sure? I turned up after the whole thing.”PC Alway told Bristol Crown Court that she did not take Mr Hales’ details. “He told me that he didn’t witness anything so I didn’t ask him,” she said.Ryan Hale also features on the video, purportedly insisting he wasn’t going to press charges because “he (Stokes) hasn’t done anything to me”. He later returns to talk to PC Alway, and tells her that the incident was “just a bit of a scuffle”. Ryan Ali's injuries after the fight “My attire on that night got mentioned,” he said. “It was one of the gay couple. I get told by quite a lot of my teammates that I dress the worst in the team,” Stokes said.”We both exchanged comments about what one another were wearing.” Ryan Hale (front) and Ryan Ali (back) leave Bristol Crown CourtCredit:Peter Nicholls/Reuters Ben Stokes in the police vehicle Stokes told the court Thursday afternoon that after finishing a match against the West Indies in Bristol hours before the incident, he may have had a beer to celebrate the win, explaining it’s a team tradition to have one in the changing rooms after games.  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 prosecution closed their case on Thursday morning with Hale’s statement to police. Jurors were told how the Afghanistan veteran, who is also a father, later told officers he thought Stokes was “going to kill him”. He claimed in the interview, the transcript of which was read out in court, that he had not done “anything wrong”, despite witnesses saying they saw him with a bottle and a metal bar during the fracas. Hale said: “He could have killed me. I don’t know why he didn’t stop. It’s shocking to see someone doing that to someone who didn’t do anything wrong.”I was the innocent bystander getting assaulted brutally for nothing, standing there with open fists being smacking around the place,” Hale said.”There’s no self-defence and he isn’t defending anyone else.” On Thursday morning, Ben Stokes had wished his England teammates luck ahead of the second Test at Lord’s as he prepared to giving evidence for the first time at his trial. Stokes denied mimicking the gay couple, and told jurors the exchange was “about the state of my shoes”. “The only comments between myself and the gay couple was what we had chosen to wear that night,” he said. The jurors watched the CCTV clip of what appears to be Stokes flicking a cigarette butt towards one of the gay men.”I don’t remember flicking a cigarette towards anyone,” he said, insisting there was “absolutely not” anything homophobic about the exchange.Talking of the fight, Stokes said: “I was protecting myself. I would say that I took a decision of what I did very quickly. As soon as this episode started I knew that not just myself, but other people could be a target of either of these two men.”One had already verbally told me what he would do if I didn’t ‘Shut the f— up’. He had ran at a close friend of mine with a bottle. Explaining the reason why the cricketer has been arrested, PC Alway can be heard on the video saying: “A guy over there was covered in blood and I’ve been told you punched him.”Stokes can be heard on the video replying: “Because he was abusing my two friends for being gay.”Gordon Cole QC, defending Stokes, asked PC Alway to confirm that his client was “calm and compliant” with her when he was arrested.Stokes appears to have a good relationship with the police officer, and the video ends with the pair joking about PC Alway briefly losing the sportsman’s driving licence.  Ben Stokes Injury after fight in Bristol The judge in the trial of Ben Stokes directed the jury to clear an ex-soldier of affray – based on evidence proving he never used a road sign that he picked up as a street fight escalated. Ryan Hale, 27, was jointly charged with affray along with Stokes, 27 and Ryan Ali, 28, but after the prosecution closed its case at Bristol Crown Court, the judge intervened. Judge Peter Blair QC told the jury: “I am directing you to find him not guilty in my analysis of the evidence.”Ryan Hale was formally found not guilty of the charge relating to the incident outside a Bristol nightclub and invited to leave the dock before Gordon Cole QC, defending Stokes, called his client to give evidence. Stokes denied the prosecution’s allegations that he mocked two gay men outside Mbargo and also denied that he had called a doorman who had refused him re-entry a “c—“. He told jurors how Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali, 28, walked out of the club and made homophobic remarks about Kai Barry and William O’Connor, who he was talking to outside the club. Stokes said when he defended the gay men, Ali said to him, “Shut the f— up or I’ll bottle you”. The cricketer said when Ali brandished a bottle and swung it, he decided to defend himself and those around him. Court sketch of Ben Stokes, who was asked to show his hand to the court to reveal his pre-existing cricket injuries  In what could be argued is the most important day in court for him, Stokes is having his say today having listened to three days of allegations put to jurors by the prosecution. Despite this, the Durham cricketer took to Instagram to post a message of support to the men due to take the field in his absence and singled out 20-year-old debutant Ollie Pope. Posting a picture of him celebrating with rookie Sam Curran, who impressed against India in the first Test, wrote: “Good luck to all the England cricket lads today and for the rest of the week. Always exciting seeing guys get their first opportunity, hope it goes for you well for you, Ollie Pope.”Surrey’s Pope has been brought in for the dropped Dawid Malan, while Stokes’ direct replacement will be a toss up depending on conditions between Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali. As they battle it out at The Home of Cricket, Stokes will be fighting his own tribulations 120 miles west in Bristol’s courtroom one. Stokes said he shouted “leave it out, you shouldn’t be taking the p–s because they are gay”, but Ali responded by saying “f— off or I’ll bottle you”.However, an off-duty police support officer told the court that Stokes was the “main aggressor” in the 2am brawl that left fire brigade worker Mr Ali “completely unable to move”. The all-rounder, 27, is missing the match which is due to start Thursday against the top ranked team in the world India due to the case of alleged affray against him being heard at Bristol Crown Court.  Court sketch of Ben Stokes, who was asked to show his hand to the court to reveal his pre-existing cricket injuries Credit:Elizabeth Cook/PA Ben Stokes' message to his England teammates on Instagram Ryan Ali’s injuries after the fight England cricketer Ben Stokes and his wife Clare, arrives back at Bristol Crown Court Ben Stokes’ injured hand Ben Stokes Injury after fight in Bristol The prosecution allege Stokes had called the doorman a c—, which he denied from the witness stand.  Stokes added: “I said to him, “Come on mate, I’ve got s— tattoos as well, let us back in’.”Mr Cole asked Stokes to explain the reference to tattoos and he replied: “I am constantly getting told by teammates and by who I play with that I have got s— tattoos.”Stokes denied flicking a cigarette butt at Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor or making a V-sign to Mr Cunningham or mentioning his gold front teeth.He said he been wearing black ripped jeans, a green t-shirt and white Buscemi high-top shoes with gold padlocks on the back. The footage taken from the camera she was wearing was played to the jury, alleging to show Stokes asking the arresting officer: “Is there going to be any sort of cameras around here?”He said: “Have those two other guys gone? What about two other lads – gay guys?”Teammate Alex Hales appears to tell PC Alway that he had not witnessed the alleged fight. “I came after you guys turned up,” he said. Ben Stokes’ message to his England teammates on InstagramCredit:Ben Stokes/Instagram read more

Search for British cruise entertainer who fell overboard from Royal Caribbean ship

His disappearance occurred whilst the ship was en route to Philipsburg, St. Maarten.A HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Clearwater and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute are understood to be searching for Mr Hough.The US coastguard, who are assisting the search efforts, said: “The Coast Guard is searching for a missing crew member, who went overboard from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Seas 267 miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. A search is underway for a 20-year-old British crew member who fell overboard from a Caribbean cruise ship on Christmas Day.Arron Hough, a member of the entertainment team on a Royal Caribbean boat, did not report to work as scheduled on Christmas morning.After his colleagues raised the alarm, the ship’s CCTV footage was reviewed and it showed a young man entering an area on Deck 5 at around 4am and he was not seen again.  Local authorities were notified and a ship-wide search for the crew member was conducted, Royal Caribbean have said.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Mr Hough was working on board Harmony of the Seas, which is currently sailing on a seven night itinerary that departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday December 23 with port calls to Philipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Haiti. “Missing is Arron Hough, 20, of the United Kingdom.”Days before his disappearance Mr Hough, who is thought to be from Sunderland, posted pictures on social media of himself and colleagues on the beach in Cozumel, Mexico.According to his Twitter account, he was a performer in the musical “Grease” aboard the ship.He was previously a student at Urdang Academy, a London-based theatre school, who tweeted that they were “praying” for Mr Hough and his family that he is found safe.In a statement, Royal Caribbean said: “Our Care Team is providing support to the family and friends of our colleague, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”The Foreign Office confirmed to the Telegraph that it was aware of the missing man.A spokeswoman said: “We are providing assistance to the family of a British man who has been reported missing off Fort Lauderdale.” Mr Hough Mr Hough was previously a student at Urdang Academy, a London-based theatre school, who yesterday tweeted they were “praying” for Mr Hough and his family that he is found safe 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

Sadiq Khan accused by rank and file police of aggravating Extinction Rebellion

Sadiq Khan was criticised by policing and business leaders after activists from Extinction Rebellion were able to disrupt major transport routes for a third day. Hundreds of arrested protesters even cited the Mayor’s support for their cause to police in a bid to escape criminal charges, The Telegraph has learned. It came after another chaotic day in which three protesters glued themselves to a train, while Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square were brought to a standstill. The Mayor of London has been accused by rank and file police officers of “aggravating” climate protests as demonstrators brought havoc to the capital. Around half a million people are thought to have been affected… read more