Month: September 2019

Introducing NBA Power Ratings And Playoff OddsIntroducing NBA Power Ratings And Playoff Odds

Starting this week, with the help of basketball analytics experts Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi, we’re rolling out weekly NBA power rankings fueled by ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus player ratings. These power ratings predict how well each team will perform over the coming week of games; we’ll also list each team’s projected end-of-season win total and its odds of making the playoffs.If you want to read more about how these ratings work, scroll below the rankings.Q: What do these ratings mean?A: They represent each team’s projected per-100 possession performance — schedule-adjusted and relative to league average — for the coming week, taking into account the quality of players on each roster, as well as injuries and expected minute allocations.Q: How is player quality measured?A: Using ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus (RPM), which attempts to isolate each player’s contribution to the team’s scoring margin while on the court by adjusting for the quality of his teammates and opponents faced. While the version of RPM listed at ESPN.com is a single-season metric, these power ratings use the more predictive multiyear version of RPM.Q: Where do the rosters come from?A: ESPN’s depth charts and injury wire.Q: Who generates the projected minute allocations?A: Jeremias Engelmann, the creator of Real Plus-Minus, provides the minute projections for each team.Q: How are these different from other computer power ratings available, such as the Hollinger Power Rankings?A: Most power ratings are, to some extent or another, backward-looking; they can only generate ratings using inputs from games the team has played. Given a large enough — and relevant enough — sample of played games, this is usually not a problem. But in the case of early-season rankings, or when a team experiences roster changes midseason (via trades or injuries), it takes time for traditional power ratings to catch up to the team’s new quality.These RPM power ratings, however, are based on the talent of the players on hand for each team. The advantage of this approach is that when a player is added to or subtracted from a team, a talent-based rating can adjust immediately, without waiting for new games to be played. In other words, injuries, trades and signings are instantly accounted for in these rankings.The other side of that coin is that, barring personnel changes, these ratings aren’t going to change drastically from week to week. RPM player talent estimates have a strong grounding in Bayesian statistics; and for veteran players, their prior rating carries a good deal of weight. So, while a team’s “statement win” in a given week might have a tangible effect on human or even recency-weighted computer power rankings, it’s unlikely to move the needle much with these ratings.Q: Why look at only the next week?A: The ratings can also be modified to use long-term minute projections for players who are injured but will return later in the season. For now, though, we’ve chosen to use the short-term version to get a good snapshot of where each team stands.Q: What are the projected wins and playoff odds?A: Those are generated via the aforementioned long-term RPM talent ratings, rather than the short-term numbers from the power rankings themselves. The long-term ratings are used to simulate every remaining game in the 2014-15 schedule, and the simulated results are added to the NBA’s actual standings. Expected wins are the average number of wins for the team at the end of the season across the simulations; playoff probability shows the percentage of simulations in which the team qualified for the postseason.Q: How good are these ratings?A: It’s hard to say, as this type of analysis — using aggregated player talent ratings to estimate team strength — doesn’t have a long track record. However, RPM itself (or at least its predecessor, xRAPM) is consistently the single most predictive advanced metric available to the public. And the FiveThirtyEight preseason projections, which used a similar methodology, are performing well in a prediction contest against other metrics. read more

Red McCombs Apologizes For Remarks About Charlie StrongRed McCombs Apologizes For Remarks About Charlie Strong

It took a while, but San Antonio billionaire and Texas Longhorn booster Red McCombs finally offered an apology to new Longhorns coach Charlie Strong for saying Strong’s hiring was a “kick in the face.”McCombs told San Antonio Express-News that he had a phone conversation with Strong, who is Black, and said the new coach had his “total support.”McCombs, who also slighted Strong by saying the former Louisville coach “would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator,” said: “He wanted my help and my support,” McCombs said. “I told him I’d be happy to do it.”He tried to explain away his comments by saying “my interest in this coaching issue was to see that we had one of the three best coaches in the United States.”McCombs, former owner of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, sounded genuinely hurt that his comments had been interpreted as racially motivated.  McCombs obviously cares about the school; he’s donated more than $100 million to Texas. read more

Super Bowl XLIX Was Not The Most Exciting Super Bowl EverSuper Bowl XLIX Was Not The Most Exciting Super Bowl Ever

Well, that was quite a game. Despite a 10-point fourth quarter comeback, the New England Patriots looked like they were headed for another gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of a circus catch (this time with the Seattle Seahawks’ Jermaine Kearse playing the role of David Tyree), before undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler stepped in front of a Russell Wilson pass and sealed the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl crown since 2001.Much will be made of the Seahawks’ decision not to run the ball from the Patriots’ 1-yard line, instead opting for the fateful pass that Butler intercepted. During the 2014 season, 57.5 percent of all rushing plays from the opponent’s 1 yard-line ended in touchdowns — and, as Harvard Sports Analytics Collective pointed out Sunday night, you could make a strong case for Seattle’s probability of scoring being even higher against New England’s defense: But I’ll leave most of the second-guessing to others for now. In the moment, I was mainly interested in where this game ranked among all classic Super Bowls in terms of excitement. (After all, it featured an impressive comeback and some wild swings in win probability late in the game.) To quantify how thrilling the game was, we once again turn to the Excitement Index, which we wrote about in our Super Bowl preview Friday. The Excitement Index measures the sum of the absolute changes in win probability throughout a game, which theoretically captures how many extreme ups and downs there were in a given Super Bowl.Perhaps surprisingly, though, this year’s game only ranks 12th all-time if you use the data from NumberFire’s in-game Win Probability tool:(Consider this an unofficial early return; the numbers we used last week were from Pro-Football-Reference, which won’t post Super Bowl win probability until Monday. It’s worth noting that some of the NumberFire probabilities don’t completely match what Brian Burke’s model lists.)Certainly, there were some plays that moved the probability needle dramatically. According to NumberFire’s model, Wilson’s interception dropped Seattle’s chances of winning from 64 percent to essentially zero. The bobbled completion to Kearse several snaps earlier raised the Seahawks’ probability by 30.8 percentage points. But most of the changes before that sequence were more gradual. The Patriots built a modest cushion for most of the first half before the Seahawks tied the game; likewise, the Seahawks rise to 91 percent win probability early in the fourth quarter was a slow march.At the same time, models like the Excitement Index are, well, just numerical representations of football reality. No index can really capture the craziness and excitement of what just transpired on the field — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. read more

Cian Dabrowski looking for seniors to leave legacy for Ohio State womensCian Dabrowski looking for seniors to leave legacy for Ohio State womens

OSU then-freshman attacker Cian Dabrowski (14) during a game against Maryland on May 1. Credit: Courtesy of Ben SolomanSenior attackman Cian Dabrowski said she believes the leadership and influence of the senior class will lead the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team to reach new heights this season on the heels of a 13-8 campaign.Dabrowski enters her senior season coming off a 2015 season for the books. She is the team’s active leader with 69 goals and 25 assists and she scored a team-high four goals when OSU knocked off No. 1 Maryland in the semifinals of the 2015 Big Ten tournament. This broke the Terrapins’ 27-game winning streak and gave the Buckeyes their first win over a top-ranked team in program history.“That was my favorite moment of my career as a Buckeye,” Dabrowski said. “No one really expected us to beat them, so it made that victory so much sweeter, and we all take a lot of pride in that game.”Going into the 2016 season, Dabrowski said she wants to continue the success the team has had in the past as different people step up and fill new roles.“Our team’s goals this year revolve around trying to build off of a great season last year and continuing to grow,” Dabrowski said. “We proved to be a big threat in our conference, as well as in the country, so continuing with that elite mentality is something we work on everyday.”Dabrowski said her personal role on the squad has evolved drastically since her freshman year.“We had some phenomenal players my first few years, so it was my job to learn from them and find a way to complement them,” Dabrowski said. “Now it’s my opportunity to put everything I’ve learned to work, and I’m looking forward to having more trust and assurance from my teammates when I have the ball.”OSU then-freshman attacker Cian Dabrowski (14) celebrates with teammates after a goal during a game against Maryland on May 1. Credit: Courtesy of Ben SolomanCoach Alexis Venechanos, in her sixth year at the helm for the Buckeyes, said Dabrowski and the rest of the senior class have always had great leaders above them, and she expects them to carry that quality on to their younger teammates.“I think Cian is really taking on the leadership role well,” Venechanos said. “She’s taking some of these newcomers under her wing in the attacking end, and she’s working well with our returners and some players who need a little more game experience.”Dabrowski said having nine teammates in her class brings a sense of variable leadership, which is reflected throughout the entire team.“Looking at nine of us for leadership is a blessing for our team, because it allows for so much diversity, and that unifies us with the younger girls,” Dabrowski said. “Our senior class is the most determined, hardworking and passionate group of girls that I am fortunate enough to call my teammates.”Venechanos said she is excited to see how Dabrowski will influence her team this season.“In the big stage, Cian is clutch,” Venechanos said. “She will be a person we will look up to both on and off the field this year.”Growing up in a lacrosse and hockey family, Dabrowski said she has a different perception of the game, which is something that she said she can use to her advantage as a leader.“I hope to continue to use this to my advantage in the upcoming season by inspiring my teammates to approach things differently,” Dabrowski said. “This is something that the Buckeye lacrosse atmosphere motivates me to do, while continuing with our own traditions, it can be truly humbling.”Venechanos said Dabrowski is a phenomenal player and an even better person, making her the ideal leader for the team. The hype around the Canadian product led to her being one of three OSU players named to the Big Ten’s players to watch list on Monday.“She has this great sense of self-confidence and never gets flustered when she makes a mistake,” Venechanos said. “She has this poise around her, and I’m really impressed with her competitiveness and determination.” Dabrowski and the Buckeyes are set to kick off their 2016 season on Feb. 13 against Detroit at 3:30 p.m. at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. read more

Turning a new corner OSU guard takes on new challengeTurning a new corner OSU guard takes on new challenge

As if Evan Turner didn’t do enough already.In the game of basketball, guards typically handle the ball and pass, forwards shoot and score and centers rebound and block shots. So what position is Turner, who led Ohio State in points, rebounds, assists, 3-point percentage and steals a year ago?“He would be your hybrid point forward, whatever those announcers call those guys,” coach Thad Matta said. “He’s a guy that can do a lot of different things.”Technically speaking, Turner started all 33 games last season at shooting guard, with juniors Jeremie Simmons and P.J. Hill splitting the point guard duties. But the 6-foot-7 swingman handled the leather as much as any point guard would, as evidenced by his team-high 7.1 assists per game.As the Buckeyes turn the page on a new season, Matta will present Turner with a new role to add to his arsenal: the team’s true point guard.“I think I’m going to do a little bit of everything,” said Turner, a First Team All-Big Ten selection last year. “I’m going to start off at point guard, trying to orchestrate the team. I always prefer to have the ball in my hands and try to have control over the game.”While his all-around statistics impress, Turner’s passing ability caught Matta’s eye, triggering the idea to start the junior at the point.“One thing I’ve seen a lot of improvement in is Evan’s passing,” Matta said. “That’s something that we talked about in the offseason. From that standpoint, we’ve got to get him the ball in certain situations because he finds guys, and it’s advantageous for us where he is when he catches it. The defense has a lot of decisions to make. When we have guys around him that can shoot it, that’s good for us.”The switch means that Hill and Simmons will both come off the bench, a demotion they refuse to scoff at, knowing full well that the team excels best when Turner possesses the ball.“It benefits us a lot because Evan is such a great player that he can not only create for himself, but he can create for others,” Hill said. “That makes the game easy when a guy can drive. Everybody is all eyes on him, they help, we move into position, and he gets us the ball on time every time where we want it.“And even if they don’t help, then he scores. Good things happen when he has the ball. He’s a very special player.”Matta hopes that the move will enable Turner’s teammates to contribute more for a team that won 22 games and lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago.While defenses concentrate on Turner setting up the offense, forward David Lighty expects the rest of the players on the court to get less attention, and open shots as a result.“He creates for everyone out there on the floor,” said Lighty, who missed the majority of last season with a broken foot. “You have to double-team him because if you don’t, he’s going to hurt you. Whatever defenders have to do to stop him, it’s going to help us out because they have to read him.”He might not match his league-high 17.3 points per game average from last year, but Turner should find plenty of open teammates.“I score in other ways,” Turner said. “We have an equal balance of scoring, and it makes it even easier for everyone else on the team. If [his scoring] takes a hit, it takes a hit. We’re just trying to get some more wins in the win column.”In all, both coaches and players feel that placing Turner at the point puts him — and the team — in the best position to exceed the predicted preseason finish of third in the conference.“Coach Matta is helping me understand the system more and putting trust in me to carry out what needs to be done,” Turner said. “I think that I can make plays, and I have a lot of teammates who can make shots. Whichever way we go, we’ll try to be successful with it.” read more

Commentary Amid football turmoil the other sports show true meaning of ScarletCommentary Amid football turmoil the other sports show true meaning of Scarlet

In an era of Ohio State athletics history defined by discounted tattoos, dishonesty and disgrace, it’s hard not to feel let down or jaded as football scandals are unearthed, one by one. But it’s times like these when the character of the majority should outshine that of a few. In my time with The Lantern, I’ve covered a variety of sporting events and talked to countless athletes and coaches. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the athletes worthy of recognition aren’t just the ones wearing helmets and shoulder pads. Sure, Terrelle Pryor hitting DeVier Posey over the middle for a touchdown is impressive. But it pales in comparison to synchronized swimmer Meghan Kinney fighting for her life against bone cancer as she’s forced to watch her team win a national championship without her. Watching Solomon Thomas’ Sugar Bowl-clinching interception was incredible, but it’s no more impressive than watching the men’s volleyball team defeat California-Santa Barbara for its first national championship in program history. Watching women’s lacrosse player Kirsten Donahue check opponents to the turf can be just as brutal as watching Mike Adams pancake defensive linemen. I could discuss men’s track and field All-American Michael Hartfield’s pursuit of competing at the Olympic trials in the name of his father who passed away shortly after Hartfield arrived at OSU. Or senior women’s tennis captain Paloma Escobedo fighting back from a late-season injury to compete in the sport she loves. I sat glued to my seat while softball’s Karisa Medrano pitched a complete game to clinch a 4-3 victory with runners on base against Pittsburgh. The point is, all of these athletes play with grit and determination. They win with pride and courage, and they lose with emotion and dignity. Just because they don’t enter Ohio Stadium every Saturday and play while millions watch live on television, doesn’t mean we should ignore, or worse, forget who these athletes are. They compete at every opportunity for a fraction of the recognition, and they do it with integrity and love for their sport. These are the people who represent what Buckeye athletics really are. read more

Urban Meyer Buckeyes moving forward after win against Michigan State Dontre WilsonUrban Meyer Buckeyes moving forward after win against Michigan State Dontre Wilson

Fresh off a win that moved Ohio State into solo first in the Big Ten East Division, coach Urban Meyer met with the media to discuss the win against Michigan State and an upcoming matchup with Minnesota.Meyer praised the offensive performance against Michigan state, but added the Buckeyes have room to improve defensively as they prepare for a Minnesota team that gives “relentless effort.” He also addressed the play of a few particular Buckeyes and said one OSU sophomore made a big play on a broken foot during Saturday’s 49-37 win in East Lansing, Mich.He said sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson has a broken foot. “He actually caught a touchdown pass with a broken foot.”Wilson is “out for a few weeks,” Meyer said. Added he might have to have a pin put in his foot.He said the Buckeyes are “fortunate” and “blessed” to have both Barrett and injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller set to return to OSU next season.Meyer said the Buckeyes “played their best game” against Michigan State, but added there’s still a lot of room for improvement.Meyer said the players to grade as champions on defense were sophomore safety Vonn Bell, senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett and senior cornerback Doran Grant. Grant was the defensive player of the game.He said the players who graded out as champions on offense were senior wide receiver Evan Spencer, sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall, redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Pat Elflein and redshirt-freshman offensive lineman Billy Price.Meyer on Spencer: “He’s my MVP, as far as just all around what we ask him to do.”He said the offensive players of the game were junior offensive lineman Jacoby Boren, redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett, senior wide receiver Devin Smith and sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott.Meyer said Devin Smith played his best game against Michigan State.Meyer said Spencer and redshirt-junior wide receiver Corey Smith were the top special teams players. He said Corey Smith should be in the wide receiver rotation going forward.He praised Minnesota coach Jerry Kill and called him a friend. He added Minnesota gives “relentless effort” and is “very well coached.”Meyer on moving on from the win at Michigan State: “We’re done with the celebration part, now we’re learning from it. The players will receive their directive tomorrow, and now we’re moving forward.”Meyer on performance against Michigan State: “We didn’t play as well as we could on defense, and we expect to play much better.”He said Barrett has to be in the Heisman Trophy conversation statistically, but conceded he hadn’t watched many other players nationally.Meyer on the offensive performance against the Spartans: “It’s our best performance we’ve had since we’ve been here.”He said he’s “upset” that the Buckeyes haven’t found a strong rotation on the defensive line.Meyer said he’s very comfortable with redshirt-freshman H-back Jalin Marshall running the wildcat. Added the Buckeyes have “a couple passes ready for” Marshall.He said Barrett’s biggest improvement has come from his “understanding of the game.”Meyer: “Early in the season, we were not a great team.”“This is the most improved team I’ve been apart of,” he said.Meyer praised the play of OSU’s wide receivers, said he’s comfortable with that group for the first time in a long time.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

2017 Big Ten football preview Wisconsin Badgers2017 Big Ten football preview Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12), under pressure, puts the ball in the air against Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The host Wolverines won, 14-7. Credit: Courtesy of TNSLocation: Madison, Wisconsin2016 record: 11–3 (7–2)Head coach: Paul Chryst2017 record so far: 2-0All-time record vs. OSU: 18-58What has happened thus far in 2017Wisconsin made quick work of Utah State and Florida Atlantic, outscoring both by a combined score of 90-24. Its offense rode the legs of two running backs, freshman phenom Jonathan Taylor and redshirt sophomore Bradrick Shaw. Taylor ran all over Florida Atlantic, racking up 223 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Badgers have been lights out against their opponents, limiting them to an average of only 276 yards per game and just 24 total points. Wisconsin travels to Provo, Utah, to take on BYU in its next test Saturday.Impact playerWhile eyes might gravitate to 6-foot-6, 249-pound senior tight end Troy Fumagalli, the Badgers’ season hinges on the play of redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook. He’s been steady through the team’s first two games, throwing for 445 total yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Hornibrook grew into the starting role last season, and though his numbers from a season ago indicate he might not put up eye-popping stats, he should be able to, at least, remain a steady presence for the team under center.StrengthsWisconsin fields another all-around solid team in 2017. There’s plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but the Badgers’ offensive line has the potential to be the best unit on the team. If redshirt sophomore left guard Jon Dietzen can stay healthy, the line could provide Hornibrook with some of the best protection in the conference. With Taylor and Shaw also lining up in the backfield, Wisconsin boasts its latest grouping of talented running backs.WeaknessesYou’ll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to pencil a different Big Ten West team ahead of Wisconsin. Why? The Badgers are extremely talented and have one of the easiest schedules in the country, with neither Ohio State nor Penn State on the docket. The problem with the Badgers last year, though, was their inability to close out games, losing by seven points to Michigan, to Ohio State in overtime and then to the Nittany Lions in the conference-title bout. Wisconsin must come out on top in those kind of matchups if it is to take the next step this season. read more

Senior medics urge junior doctors to call off strike plansSenior medics urge junior doctors to call off strike plans

first_imgJeremy Hunt will impose a new contract on junior doctors from October Credit:Neil Hall  But the first such strike was suspended following warnings that the health service could not operate safely if so many doctors walked out at short notice.A number of senior doctors have expressed concern about the dangers of pushing ahead with such lengthy periods of action. Until now, the longest strike has been two days. The meeting on Wednesday came after the head of the NHS said it was impossible to ensure no harm to patients, if up to 50,000 junior doctors abandon their posts for weeks on end – regardless of how much notice was given.In a public intervention last week, Simon Stevens said: “We should be in no doubt that it will not be possible to ensure there will be no harm to patients, even with several weeks’ notice, if we are talking about multiple weeks of up to 50,000 doctors not being available for emergency care at hospitals across this country.” 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. Junior doctors have been urged to consider calling off planned strikes by senior medics from the British Medical Association.A meeting of the union’s council -made up of around 30 leading doctors – on Wednesday urged trainee medics to think again before embarking on the biggest strikes in NHS history. It followed warnings from senior BMA figures that the plans could cost lives. The meeting is understood to have passed a motion urging the BMA’s junior doctors committee (JDC) to consider all actions short of the strikes, before planned industrial action goes ahead.  Jeremy Hunt  Sources close to the negotiations said several senior doctors felt the plans were too dangerous and did not have the backing of most junior doctors. However, one said they expect the more militant JDC to proceed with the strikes regardless, after holding their own discussions later this month. Thousands of medics have been asked to take part in a string of week-long strikes, starting on October 5, in action which was billed as “the trade union dispute of this century”. The BMA last night refused to comment on what was discussed at the meeting.  Leaked documents have recently revealed a limited appetite for strike action among junior doctors, who will sacrifice three weeks’ pay if they take part in the action.Junior doctors were initially balloted about a new contract last November, when they voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action to reject changes to pay and working patterns.However since then there have been a series of concessions, resulting in terms which the head of the union’s junior doctors committee described as “fair” and “safe.”In recent weeks, a number of junior doctors have expressed concern that they have never been asked if wish to strike over the current deal, let alone take part in week-long walkouts. Private polling of junior doctors has found just one in three support walkouts.last_img read more

Former Archbishop of Canterburys picture removed from Kings College London amid concernsFormer Archbishop of Canterburys picture removed from Kings College London amid concerns

first_imgA picture of a former Archbishop of Canterbury has been removed from a “wall of fame” at one of Britain’s top universities amid concerns about his views on gay marriage.Lord Carey of Clifton’s image has been removed from the “wall of fame” at King’s College London. It follows a campaign by a group of students who claimed his views on same-sex marriage were “offensive”.The student activists originally called for his image to be removed in 2012 after he was quoted as saying gay relationships should not be “put on the same level” as heterosexual ones.Last year, it was reported that Ben Hunt, leader of the college’s LGBT Liberation Association, met the principal to discuss setting up a committee to come up with a new list of alumni. Lord Carey ahead of his last service at Dagenham Parish Church Show more “The individuals were notified in advance and expressed themselves fully supportive.” Lord Carey said he did not wish to comment when contacted by The Telegraph.In an article published online by Times Higher Education, lecturer Niall McCrae and Rev Jules Gomes criticised the removal of the image.They wrote: “For a prestigious institution of Christian heritage to allow this campaign to claim victory is worrying.“Lord Carey is not homophobic, but his name has been tarnished by a ‘gay-stapo’ that refuses to acknowledge that a clergyman cares for all, while maintaining a traditional view of marriage.”It follows a series of cases where student campaigns have led to the removal of images or objects from university campuses.In 2013, two students wearing T-shirts with images of Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed on were ordered to cover up after student union officers said that it could constitute religious harassment against Muslims.Earlier this year, officials at Oriel College at Oxford University faced calls for a statue of Cecil Rhodes to be removed as student campaigners believed he should not be celebrated.A controversial bronze cockerel was also removed from a display at Jesus College, Cambridge University, after a group claimed it was looted during a raid in Africa in the 19th century. Lord Carey is not homophobic, but his name has been tarnishedNiall McCrea and Rev Jules Gomescenter_img Lord Carey ahead of his last service at Dagenham Parish Church Credit:BRIAN SMITH Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A spokesman for King’s confirmed that a number of static portraits, including ones of Lord Carey, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Michael Howard, were removed following a review into the university’s “window display policy”.The university said it had carried out the review before deciding some of the images did not represent the “diversity of our university community”. It did not comment on the campaign by students.A spokesman said: “The decision was taken that we should expand the breadth of content to include the achievements of our students and staff.”The first digital screens, launched in July 2016, now bring to life examples of research breakthroughs and student and staff successes, as well as the contribution of our renowned alumni.”In order to make space for the screens next to the prominent Strand campus entrance, a number of static portraits, including those of Lord Carey, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Sir Michael Howard, were removed.last_img read more

UK weather Mini Beast from the East set to grip Britain asUK weather Mini Beast from the East set to grip Britain as

first_imgHe added: “We don’t expect anything like the same impact as a result of it, although there will be some snow about.” Most of England is likely to see snow this weekend, the Met Office has said, as a second cold snap dubbed a “mini Beast from the East” looks set to grip the country.Temperatures are poised to tumble as the bitter blast could bring up to 5cm (2in) in some parts and up to 20cm (7in) on higher ground – prompting yellow snow warnings to be issued.A yellow severe weather warning of snow and ice for eastern parts of the UK on Friday has been updated by the Met Office. The warning will be in place from 6pm until 11.55pm.Met Office warnings for snow and ice for central and eastern Scotland and the north east run into all of Saturday, where more of England – including London, the South East and southern England – is included.The warning for all of Sunday, when “significant snowfall” is expected, shows vast swathes of the south, central and east of England covered by the yellow advisory.Across the weekend, the Met Office yellow snow warning states that travel disruption is possible, rural communities could become cut off, vehicles may be stranded and power cuts may occur. “As we go through the course of Friday the rain across eastern Scotland and north east England will gradually transition to snow across the higher ground,” he said.”Then as we go through Friday night and into Saturday, that snow risk then falls down to lower levels and with an increased risk of ice as well.” 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. Mr Snell added: “I think if you live in England at least there will be a good chance you will probably see some snow, whether it amounts to much will depend on where you are.”Some places might see 2-5cm other places might see a brief dusting.”Weather map for Friday and four days ahead  Meteorologist Martin Bowles said the weekend’s weather is not Beast from the East Mark Two, but could be called a “mini Beast from the East” as it will be less severe. A yellow severe weather warning for #ice has been issued: https://t.co/QwDLMg9c70. Stay #weatheraware @metofficeuk pic.twitter.com/zTn4YZXej6— Met Office (@metoffice) March 16, 2018 Forecaster Craig Snell said the cold snap will only last a few days, and with a high of 15.9C (60.6F) on Thursday, he warned many places in Britain over the weekend will be nearer to freezing. He added: “Sunday will see a fairly widespread yellow warning for snow across a good chunk of England, and also parts of eastern Wales.”The other thing to note is that will be quite windy and that will enhance the cold feel.”If you factor in the strength of the wind it will be feeling probably sub zero, so a big change in how it is going to feel out there over the weekend.”last_img read more

Missing WWI memorial to brave airman listed after being broken up andMissing WWI memorial to brave airman listed after being broken up and

first_imgWhen Captain Eric Lubbock was shot down over Belgium in 1917 his grief stricken mother Lady Avebury commissioned a touching memorial in the shape of his plane to stand forever in the graveyard of her family estate.But it has taken a decades long fight to restore the memorial to its rightful place after corporate vandalism led to it being broken up and lost.At one stage the Avebury family were even forced to spend £8,000 buying it back from the stonemason’s yard where it had eventually ended up.Now the memorial to Captain Lubbock – who before his death had been awarded the Military Cross for “conspicuous gallantry and skill” – has been granted listed status to ensure its protection for future generations.It is one of 14 war memorials dedicated to British airmen from the First and Second World Wars being listed by Historic England on Wednesday to mark the centenary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.They also include a memorial to Britain’s most decorated airman, who shot down 57 enemy aircraft, and the first British pilot to shoot down a German Zeppelin airship. 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. Cpt. Lubbock, who had been awarded the Military Cross before his death, was shot down over Belgium in 1917 The plaque at High Elms Country Park in Kent, honouring Cpt. Lubbock's sacrifice His mother Alice commissioned his memorial to be erected in the family burial ground on the Avebury estate at High Elms, Bromley, where it stood near the graves of his brother and brother-in-law, also lost in the Great War..During the 1930s the family was forced to sell the estate, which became the responsibility of Kent County Council, later transferring to Bromley Council.In 1981 the Avebury family graveyard was broken up, several gravestones destroyed, and the rest moved into the grounds of the nearby St Giles’ Church.It was at this point that the Lubbock memorial went missing, apparently carted off by somebody with access to the graveyard who thought they could sell such an unusual stone figure for cash.The memorial was only re-discovered by pure chance, when a member of the Avebury family spotting it adorning the entrance of a stone mason’s yard near Hungerford, Wiltshire, several years later.Lyulph Lubbock, 5th Baron of Avebury, said: “They were just passing and saw it advertising the stonemason’s services at the entrance to the yard. The mason wouldn’t say how he got hold of it and refused to give it back. In the end my father had to buy it back at auction for £8,000.” The memorial was placed in the grounds of the Avebury’s family’s walled kitchen garden, now part of Bromley Council’s visitor centre at High Elms Country Park, where it was reconsecrated in 2010. Cpt. Lubbock, who flew with the Royal flying Corps, the predecessor of the RAF, was shot down in his Sopwith Camel bi-plane over Belgium on 11 March 1917. Captain Lubbock was awarded the Military Cross after shooting down a German Albatross plane on 25 October 1915.Also being newly listed is the McCudden War Memorial in Chatham, dedicated to the four McCudden brothers – Royal Flying Corps pilots William, James and John and Royal Air Force test flight engineer Maurice.James McCudden shot down 57 enemy aircraft and became the most decorated British pilot of the First World War, with medals for bravery including the Victoria Cross – one of 11 awarded to the Royal Flying Corps – Distinguished Flying Order and the French Croix de Guerre.He died of his injuries on 9 July 1918, aged 23, when his aircraft developed an engine fault on the way to France and crashed.Baron Avebury said: “It’s terribly important we list these memorials to stop what happened to my great uncle Eric’s happening again. We need to protect our link to the past and remember the stories that go with these memorials.”Michael Ellis, minister for heritage, added: “From the pioneering pilots of the First World War, to the heroism of the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force has a proud and distinguished wartime history.   Cpt. Lubbock, who had been awarded the Military Cross before his death, was shot down over Belgium in 1917 The plaque at High Elms Country Park in Kent, honouring Cpt. Lubbock’s sacrificeCredit:Chris Redgrave/Historic England Archive “As we mark its centenary, it is right that we remember the stories of the brave pilots and staff who served in defence of Britain. These listings commemorate this legacy and preserve these historic memorials for future generations.”last_img read more

Watchdog urges plasticbacked fridges to be removed from sale over fire riskWatchdog urges plasticbacked fridges to be removed from sale over fire risk

first_imgSimilar testing of metal and aluminium laminate-backed refrigeration products found that none caught alight after the 30-second test, with samples of metal and aluminium laminate-backing less than 1mm thick able to withstand an open flame for a full five minutes, the group said.It has now labelled 250 models “don’t buys” and is recommending consumers do not buy plastic-backed models.Fires due to faults with refrigeration appliances are rare, with UK statistics showing they are responsible for just 8% of domestic fires.But Which? is calling on manufacturers to stop making refrigeration products with any plastic backing and urging retailers to immediately stop selling them.Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: “People will rightly be outraged to learn that manufacturers and retailers are selling potentially unsafe products that could be putting their lives at risk.”If manufacturers and retailers fail to act and leave plastic-backed fridges, freezers or fridge-freezers on sale, the Office for Product Safety and Standards must step in and take action.”A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesman said: “The Government’s top priority is to keep people safe.”Manufacturers selling white goods in the UK must meet some of the strictest safety laws in the world and we are working with Which? and other parties to see whether standards can be made even more stringent.” A spokesman for the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances said: “All appliances on the market have to be safe and tested to the rigorous safety standards prevailing at the time. These standards are continuously revised.”The aim of the latest revision in relation to refrigeration, now being rolled out around the world, is to improve fire retardance in case a fire starts elsewhere in the home. Fires starting in a fridge are extremely rare.” 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.center_img A watchdog has called for plastic-backed fridges to be “urgently” removed from sale after finding they pose a fire risk and could even hasten the spread of a blaze.Which? said an industry-wide investigation of more than 500 of the most popular refrigeration appliances on the market found that backing material on 45% of them was made of unsafe plastic which posed a potential fire risk.The research also found that a number of models backed with plastic which manufacturers previously claimed was flame-retardant could speed up the spread of a fire, the consumer group said.All plastic-backed fridges, freezers and fridge-freezers on the market pass existing safety standards but Which? said the tests were “inadequate, not fit for purpose and do not come close to replicating the source of a real house fire”.The current British Standard requires refrigeration appliances to pass a glow wire test to assess their fire resistance, involving putting a hot wire through a sample of the fridge or freezer backing material and seeing if it catches alight.However, Which? said its own, more stringent, tests found that no plastic backing sample was able to withstand a flame for 30 seconds, indicating that in the event of a fire it would not sufficiently prevent the flame from reaching the flammable insulation used in all refrigeration appliances.last_img read more

Cancers should be treated by type not location new study suggestsCancers should be treated by type not location new study suggests

first_img“At the project’s infancy 10 years ago, it wasn’t even possible, much less on such a scale, to do the types of characterisation and analysis that were being proposed. It was a hugely ambitious project.” The researchers believe that by breaking down different cancer types on a genetic level more effective treatments can be developed.”It’s time to rewrite the textbooks on cancer,” said Professor Christopher Benz, from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California.”It’s time to break down the silos in clinical oncology that make it difficult for patients to take advantage of this paradigm shift in cancer classification.” 33 cancer types can be reclassified into 28 different molecular types Cancer should not be treated based on where it is first found in the body, but depending on the type of tumour, scientists have said.Until now medics have treated cancers according to the part of the body they originate, such as the lungs, bowel, or breasts.But a new study has found that all 33 cancer types can be reclassified into 28 different molecular types, or “clusters”, based on their cellular and genetic makeup and independent of their origin in the body. Nearly two-thirds of these clusters shared molecular similarities and were found in more than one area of the body. Patients suffering from lung and colorectal cancers could benefit most from more targeted treatment 33 cancer types can be reclassified into 28 different molecular types The US study looked at data from more than 10,000 patients as well as 23 of the most common tumour types, plus 10 rare kinds, and found that common cancers, such as in the lung and breast, can be broken down into more than one cancer.This discovery means that in some cases medications for one type of cancer should be used to treat another and drugs used for treating other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, could also be used to fight cancer.Dr Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded the US research, said: “This project is the culmination of more than a decade of groundbreaking work. 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. “This analysis provides cancer researchers with unprecedented understanding of how, where, and why tumours arise in humans, enabling better-informed clinical trials and future treatments.”Patients suffering from lung and colorectal cancers could benefit most from more targeted treatment, the study found.But in some cases, cancers that are harder to treat might require a combination of medications, researchers said.Dr Carolyn Hutter, a director at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the team lead for TCGA, said: “TCGA was the first project of its scale to characterise – at the molecular level – cancer across a breadth of cancer types. Patients suffering from lung and colorectal cancers could benefit most from more targeted treatment Researchers mapping cancer genomes, as part of the Pan-Cancer Atlas project, found one tumour type was in 25 parts of the body and therefore would have previously all been treated differently.last_img read more

Private schools top Alevel grades drop to lowest level in eight yearsPrivate schools top Alevel grades drop to lowest level in eight years

Natasha Vincent, daughter of presenter Katie Derham, celebrates her A Level results Credit: Gareth Fuller Natasha Vincent, daughter of presenter Katie Derham, celebrates her A Level results  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. Barnaby Lenon, chair of the ISC, is the former headmaster at Harrow SchoolCredit: PAUL GROVER Barnaby Lenon, chair of the ISC, is the former headmaster at Harrow School One reason for the fall in private schools’ results is that many of the brightest pupils are entered for the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Pre-U instead of A-levels, he added. “Some of our most selective schools – including Eton, Westminster, Charterhouse and Winchester – are doing the Pre-U on quite a big scale,” said Mr Lenon, a former headmaster of Harrow.“Independent school pupils have done incredibly well at A-levels, despite the fact that the cleverest pupils are doing the Pre-U and IB.”Devised by Cambridge University, the Pre-U launched a decade ago and is now offered at 92 ISC schools. It became a popular among teachers at some of the country’s most prestigious public schools who saw it as more testing than A-levels.Last summer, a series of disclosures by The Daily Telegraph about Pre-U cheating allegations at Eton and Winchester College led to the exams watchdog opening an inquiry into exam malpractice.  The IB was introduced in the late 1960s to cater for internationally mobile students. Students study six subjects over two years and the focus is on breadth rather than depth of knowledge. Private schools’ top A-level grades have dropped to their lowest level in eight years, figures show, amid concern that they have suffered from the new “tougher” A-levels which do not permit re-sits. This year 17.7 per cent of privately education children were awarded A*s in their A-levels, which is the lowest since 2010, when the A* was introduced.There has been a steady decline in the number of children educated in the independent sector winning top grades at A-levels in recent years, according to data compiled by the Independent Schools Council (ISC).This summer was the second year that students sat exams in the new “tougher” A-levels, many of which have had coursework reduced or removed.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Modules have also been scrapped following concern that students were taking endless re-sits until they achieved better marks. Chris McGovern, chair of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “It is well known that in private schools that teachers or parents do the coursework. “Having endless re-takes and re-sits inevitably favours students with pushy, middle class parents. One can’t blame them for doing that, at the end of the day they do the best they can for their children.”   Mr McGovern, a former Government advisor, added: “That is why getting rid of modules and coursework was a good thing. If we can remove some of the advantages for privileged children, it is inevitably fairer.”The proportion of private school students achieving A* and A has decreased by five per cent since 2010, from 52 per cent to 47 per cent. Meanwhile, the proportion of all students winning top grades has only gone down by 0.6 per cent over the same period. Lord Ralph Lucas, editor in chief of the Good Schools Guide, said that the drop in top grades at private schools is linked to improvements in state schools.“Ofqual [the exam watchdog] operates a system of comparable outcomes which effectively rations the number of top grades,” said Lord Lucas, a hereditary peer.“Because state schools are doing better, it means necessarily private schools have to do worse as there are only so many top grades to go round”.Originally bought in to curb grade inflation, the “comparable outcomes” system ensures that roughly the same proportion of children are awarded the top grades, year-on-year.Ofqual has said it will also mean that students are not disadvantaged for being the guinea pigs of the new A-levels.   Barnaby Lenon, chair of the ISC, said that while it is “theoretically possible” that reformed A-levels have contributed to the decline in top grades, he has not seen any evidence to prove that this is the case.  read more

Falling asleep in front of the TV could increase the risk ofFalling asleep in front of the TV could increase the risk of

Compared to those not exposed to artificial light, women who slept with a light or television on in the same room were 17 per cent more likely to gain 5kg or more over the next five years.They were also 22pc more likely to become newly overweight and 33pc more likely to become newly obese. 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. “These results suggest that exposure to artificial light at night while sleeping may be a risk factor for weight gain and development of overweight or obesity,” the authors said.The researchers note that exposure to artificial light while sleeping might reflect other unhealthy behaviours, such as a sedentary lifestyle, and socioeconomic disadvantage.However, commenting on the study, Professor Malcolm von Schantz, from the University of Surrey, said: “The findings make perfect biological sense.”We know that light in the late evening will delay our body clocks.”We know from experimental studies in people that light at night affects our metabolism in ways that are consistent with increased risk of metabolic syndrome.”These new findings won’t change the advice to maintain good sleep hygiene, and avoid light and electronic distractions in the bedroom, but they add further strength to the case for this advice.” Falling asleep in front of the TV could increase the risk of obesity, new research suggests.Women exposed to artificial light at night were more likely to gain weight and become obese or overweight over the next five years, according to a study of almost 44,000 people.The findings, published in journal JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that eliminating lights and screens from the bedroom could be another way to tackle the obesity crisis, the study authors said.The researchers, from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the US, followed 43,722 women aged between 35 and 74 years old, over a period of at least five years.The group provided information on their weight, body mass index (BMI), and any exposure to artificial light during the night.Exposure to artificial light at night was linked with an increased risk of weight gain and the development of obesity, the study found. read more

Animal lover given permission to keep lions in his back garden despiteAnimal lover given permission to keep lions in his back garden despite

Pablo and Penny, 15 year-old Humboldt penguins were returned to South Lakes Safari Zoo in CumbriaCredit:Nottinghamshire Police Some people complained that the enclosure is too close to a bridleway and that having two lions on the property would be “unsafe for residents of the village and other animals such as horses and domestic pets.” Reece Oliver, 27, with his puma, Rogue Pablo and Penny, 15 year-old Humboldt penguins native to South America, were taken from South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria months earlier and when Mr Oliver noticed their microchips he called the police. Sergeant Andrew Browning from Nottinghamshire Police said: “My first thought was this is one for the books, and one to tell the grandkids, because there’s no way we thought we would go down there and actually find two penguins. It was an unusual one.”Mr Oliver said that he had no intention of allowing public access to the land, or to develop a zoo on his property. Reece Oliver already has a Puma called Rogue on his propertyCredit:Reece Oliver /SWNS.COM Mr Oliver claimed the young lions would have faced being put down if he lost the appeal, but despite planning officers advising refusal, councillors backed it, citing limited visual impact and lack of alternate homes for the animals.Chairman of the council’s planning committee, Councillor David Watts, said: “In total I’ve sat on the planning committee for sixteen years, most of that as chair.”This is by far the most unusual application that we have dealt with in that time.”I’ve been talking to Lib Dem colleagues up and down the country and I haven’t come across anyone who has had an application like this before.”Speaking after the meeting on Wednesday evening, Mr Oliver told the BBC that his heart had been going “at a million miles an hour”, and he had thought he would lose the animals.”It’s the best feeling in the world, it’s the best result ever,” he said.”I love those animals, they’re like children to me. It would have been like taking my children off me.”Mr Oliver also came to national attention in January after he bought two penguins online that turned out to be stolen. The quintessential British country garden has manicured lawns, wooden tables and chairs, and plenty of flowerbeds.But in the quiet village of Strelley, Nottinghamshire, the chirping of the birds and the buzzing of the bees will soon be drowned out by the roars of two pet lions.Animal lover Reece Oliver, 28, has won planning permission for a 400 square metre enclosure to house Rocky and Rora, two seven-month-old African lions, much to the chagrin of his neighbours who said the animals could be a danger to members of the public.Mr Oliver rescued the two cubs from a circus in the Czech Republic in February and installed them in the fenced area he created especially for them, but it emerged that their new home had been built without the correct permits, and Mr Oliver had to retrospectively apply for permission.The licensed big cat keeper already has a two-and-a-half-year-old Canadian Puma called Rogue and is an experienced animal handler, but some 14 neighbours objected to his plans, citing the importance of preserving green belt land and fears for the safety of the general public. Pablo and Penny, 15 year-old Humboldt penguins 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

Armed bandits escape from Police after robbing Triumph manArmed bandits escape from Police after robbing Triumph man

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice disarm Triumph gunman following Freeman St robberyOctober 2, 2018In “Crime”Police capture suspected bandit shortly after robbery; ammunition recoveredApril 29, 2014In “Crime”Bandits caught robbing ‘Fish Depot’ at Meadow Bank wharfDecember 2, 2016In “Crime” Police are investigating a robbery under arms committed on a 42-year-old GuySuCo Supervisor of Agriculture Road, Triumph East Coast Demerara (ECD).The robbery occurred around 22:00hrs on Friday night at his residence by three males, two of whom were armed with a handgun and a knife.According to the police in a released statement, investigations revealed that the victim was sitting on a bench in his yard conversing with an in-law when the bandits pounced and demanded cash and valuables.The suspect with the firearm reportedly escorted the victim inside his house, where he ransacked the place and took a quantity of gold jewellery and electronic gadgets, while his accomplices kept the in-law under guard.As the suspects were about to flee the scene, they were confronted by ranks of a mobile patrol who were minutes earlier alerted of the robbery-in-progress and promptly responded.The police in their report said that the armed bandit upon seeing the officers immediately discharged several rounds at the lawmen who returned fire but unfortunately, the suspects managed to elude the cops by scaling a southern fence.No ranks were injured.Investigations are ongoing. read more