Falcons Roddy White to Miss First Game of His

Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White will sit out his first game ever in his nine-year career this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Placed on the Falcon’s injury report Friday, White was one of the team’s three starters listed as out for Sunday’s game.The four-time Pro Bowler hurt his left hamstring in Week 5, when the Falcons lost to the New York Jets and he hasn’t participated in practice since. Before the hamstring troubles, the Falcons’ career-leading receiver played the first five games with a ankle injury, and only caught 14 passes for 129 yards.Atlanta (1-4) will also play against Tampa Bay (0-5) without running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) and left tackle Sam Baker (knee). Whether starting middle linebacker Akeem Dent (knee) will play is also questionable. read more

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Suspended Josh Gordons Behavior Impacts More Than Just Him

In general, NFL receivers are known as “divas,” high-maintenance players who need the ball and attention—and are quick to let it be known.Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns is more that a “diva.” He’s a diva with issues, and that’s why he finds himself suspended and seeking to become a free agent, although his contract with the team is not up until 2016.For a player who has been suspended by the league for substance abuse violations and DUI arrests but is still in the league, it would stand to reason that he would be the poster child for showing up on time or anything else that depicts he appreciates his status in the league.And yet yesterday, Gordon missed a team meeting the day before the final game of the season. The Browns, who covet his immense talents, are frustrated by the uncertainty Gordon brings, and put him on the reserve/suspended list.This is significant because Gordon’s behavior impacts others who come behind him, young receivers with a controversial past that teams might back away from with Gordon in mind. Is that young player worth the potential trouble?That’s how it is—in the NFL and in business: The Black employee before you sets the standards, creates the opportunities or blows the opportunities for the Blacks that come behind you. It goes without saying that white employees don’t carry the same burden. Someone like former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito gets in trouble for being a bullying a teammate, but his misdeeds have no burden on others who come behind him because his actions are not a barometer for young white offensive lineman. That’s just how it is.Gordon, meanwhile, is on a self-destructive, selfish path, unable to see beyond his needs and into a bigger picture of leading.Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys came off originally as a “diva” who would be an issue for the team. He had legal issues and was bashed for acting out on the sideline when he did not get the ball. Bryant righted himself, however. He has had no troubles off the field and has been among the best, most lethal receivers in the NFL.Bryant’s success is being offset by Gordon’s mess. The Brown receiver is talented as all get out: He led the league in receiving last year. He’s big and fast and has sure hands. But he is unsure of his future.Gordon, who has missed 12 games due to suspensions in the last two years, was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season but needed to play six games—or be paid for six game weeks—to get the accrued season in 2014. Now he won’t become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2016 season, since players must have four NFL seasons to reach such status, unless he is successful in his efforts to get paid for his Week 17 absence.If he does not get paid for this week, he will be a restricted free agent after the 2015 season, meaning the Browns would have the right to match an offer sheet if he signed one with another team.By then, depending on what he does, the Browns might not want Gordon on their squad, which would be a shame considering his youth (23) and talent. Between then and now, maybe someone will impress upon Gordon that his behavior impacts more than just himself. Maybe if he understood that he’s influencing the impressions of others behind him he will straighten up and be a leader and abandon the nonsense. It would serve a lot of people, including himself, well. read more

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Black Hockey Star Joel Ward Says He Wont Protest

San Jose Sharks right wing Joel Ward lines up against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward says he has decided not to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.Ward had said he was considering a protest to raise awareness to the issues of racial inequality and excessive force by police against minorities in the United States. But he said Thursday that he doesn’t want the focus to be on the anthem and wants to work on bringing minorities and law enforcement together.Ward says he wants to spend more time talking about these issues in the locker room, at kitchen tables and in the community.The 36-year-old Ward, one of about 30 black players in the league, is from Canada. read more

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Heres Why the Rangers Will Face Their Toughest Test in the Stanley

Erasing the doubts cast by their shaky 7-4 loss on Tuesday, the New York Rangers stifled the Montreal Canadiens at every turn Thursday night, winning 1-0 and closing out the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals. New York is now four wins away from the Stanley Cup. The Rangers dominated the flow of play in Game 6, particularly on defense, where they yielded just 18 shots (all of which were turned aside by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist).It was a master class in shutting a team down, but it’s also somewhat uncharacteristic of this Rangers team. During the regular season, New York was an excellent offensive team in terms of creating chances (it ranked fourth in Fenwick events — that is, shots directed at the net, excluding blocks — per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 action), but were merely average (14th) at preventing those same types of chances on defense. Yes, part of the Rangers’ blueprint has always been to rely on Lundqvist to make saves, but their defense usually makes him work more than it did Thursday.In the playoffs, the Rangers’ offense-first tendencies have only been amplified. The following table lists how New York has done at generating and preventing Fenwick events per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, relative to the playoff-wide average rates (stats courtesy of the fantastic ExtraSkater.com). In addition, it lists how we’d expect them to perform against each opponent, based on those opponents’ regular-season numbers relative to the league average.For example, the Rangers’ rate of Fenwick events per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play against the Philadelphia Flyers was 10.3 greater than the playoff-wide average. But the Flyers also allowed two more events per 60 minutes than the average team during the regular season, so the Rangers’ performance was more like 8.3 Fenwick events per 60 minutes better than an average team.The difference between the actual and expected rates is, theoretically, how the Rangers have performed relative to average after accounting for their strength of schedule. By that measure, New York’s offense has played above average (if below its regular-season standards), while its defense has been worse than the norm, even after effectively shutting down Montreal for most of the Eastern Conference finals. This is consistent with the Rangers’ regular-season profile of a good offense and middling defense, despite the deep playoff run.Of course, in the end, it doesn’t matter whether a team generates chances on offense or prevents them on defense, as long as it manages to control possession of the puck. But that’s why the Rangers might be in for an uphill battle in this Stanley Cup Final, regardless of whether the Los Angeles Kings or Chicago Blackhawks prevail. Those teams finished the regular season No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in close-score Fenwick percentage, which measures a team’s share of all unblocked shots directed at either net during its games. The Rangers finished sixth, and they haven’t really done much to suggest they’ve improved in that area since the postseason commenced. (In fact, their 50.5 Fenwick percentage in the playoffs is below what we’d expect an average team to have done against their slate of opponents.)Fenwick isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it has a good track record when it comes to postseason success. And that, coupled with the West winner’s home-ice advantage, suggests the Rangers are unlikely to be favored when the Final starts Wednesday. read more

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This Down Year Could Be Good For Anthony Davis After All

Dwyane Wade*2007-08+3.0+8.4-5.40.2 Richard Jefferson*2006-07-1.8+3.0-4.80.3 Ray Williams1982-83-0.4+3.9-4.31.0 Tony Parker*2009-10-1.7+3.1-4.80.4 Bill Cartwright1988-89-4.8+0.9-5.70.1 Kevin Willis1994-95-3.2+1.1-4.32.4 Donyell Marshall2005-06-0.7+3.9-4.62.1 PLAYERYEARBPMPREVIOUS SEASON BPMCHANGELIKELIHOOD OF CHANGE Chris Paul*2009-10+4.9+11.2-6.30.0 Even as Stephen Curry and LeBron James were dueling under the bright lights of the NBA Finals last season, the league’s collective presumption was that both would soon have to make room for Anthony Davis as the face of the NBA’s future. But by the time the postseason rolls around this year, almost certainly without Davis and his New Orleans Pelicans in it, that presumption may be due for a re-examination — and not just because Curry has only gotten more superlative since June.Davis has stalled out this season. The Pelicans are significantly worse than they were a year ago, and Davis’s own numbers have endured a major setback. By Box Plus/Minus, his dip from +7.1 in 2014-15 (sixth in the league) to a mere +2.5 (33rd) this year is tied for the 11th-biggest single-season decline since the NBA introduced the 3-point shot in 1979-80.1Among players who logged at least 1,500 minutes in back-to-back seasons. Bob Sura*2000-01-2.8+2.1-4.90.9 Mookie Blaylock1999-00+0.2+4.9-4.71.2 Kenny Anderson*1997-98-0.6+5.0-5.60.3 Biggest single-season drops in Box Plus/Minus Anthony Davis2015-16+2.5+7.1-4.60.2 Lance Stephenson*2014-15-3.5+2.3-5.80.0 Kevin Love2014-15+1.9+8.4-6.50.1% * = Missed 20 or more games during the seasonSource: Basketball-Reference.com Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf1996-97-3.5+1.1-4.60.7 Based on Davis’s track record going into the season, we’d have predicted there was only a 0.2 percent probability of his numbers slipping as drastically as they have.It’s not all bad or all Davis’s faultSome of these struggles can be explained, however, and some portion of Davis’s offensive drop-off — from a BPM of +4.2 at that end of the floor to +1.0 — may even be in the service of an expanding all-around game. For instance, during his first three NBA seasons, Davis scarcely ever wandered out to the 3-point line — fewer than 1 percent of his field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc those years — but this season 9.2 percent of Davis’s shots have been launched from downtown. He hasn’t been very accurate out there, converting about 32 percent of his 3-point tries (the league average is 35 percent), and it’s an obvious drain on his offensive efficiency when the alternative is making 51 percent of his 2-point attempts (the equivalent of making 34 percent on threes). But the eventual development of a reliable deep jumper would make Davis the most frightful scorer this side of Curry.And many of Davis’s statistical markers are down because he’s being asked to do a little more with a lot less. Before the 2014-15 season, a simple projection of the Pelicans’ roster would have called for their offense to be 0.3 points better than average (per 100 possessions) even if Davis were swapped out for an average player;2With Davis, New Orleans finished 2.6 points above average per 100 possessions. this season, the same process would have predicted an offense 1.3 points below average (again per 100 possessions) without Davis.3With him, the team is 0.6 points below average per 100 possessions. Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson are a solid (offensive) trio to have on your side, but Davis has also shared the floor often with a steaming pile of Alonzo Gee, Dante Cunningham, Norris Cole and Omer Asik.Downturns in the quality of a player’s teammates aren’t always associated with declines in personal offensive performance, but in Davis’s case, it does help explain some of why his usage rate has risen, his scoring efficiency is down and his turnovers are up. And in addition to Davis’s increased offensive responsibility, New Orleans has focused on getting him more low-post touches; according to Synergy Sports Technology, Davis’s number has been called on the low block about 1.3 more times per game than a year ago, with post-ups now making up over 18 percent of Davis’s total offensive plays. This helps account for why Davis isn’t notching as many helpers (per SportVU data from NBA.com, assists are about 20 percent less common on post touches) and may even explain why his rates of putbacks and other offensive boards are also down. (Anecdotally, Davis spent plenty of time following up on teammate misses last year; that has become less possible this season with the ball in his hands so often.)But what about that defense?With his combination of athleticism, mobility and length — including an albatross-like 7-foot-5.5-inch wingspan — Davis is the prototypical defensive big man for an era that favors speed over mass. It’s hardly unreasonable to expect a player with his off-the-charts attributes to at least anchor a solid defense, and during his first three seasons, Davis was on track to do just that. Over that span, he tied for the seventh-best defensive BPM of any player aged 21 or younger since 1973-74, and his defensive Real Plus-Minus4An even more accurate performance metric than BPM — but only available for recent seasons — that augments box-score stats with play-by-play data to estimate a player’s on-court impact after controlling for the quality of his teammates and opponents. was even better. He was, without question, following the same defensive path laid out by Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett early in their careers.This season, though, Davis hasn’t traced the same trajectory. At age 22, Duncan, Howard and Garnett were averaging a defensive BPM of +3.0,5That is, they were 3 points better than an average player for every 100 possessions they played. and their teams averaged a defensive rating 3.3 points better than the NBA average per 100 possessions. By contrast, Davis’s defensive BPM is only +1.5 — his RPM, at +1.9, isn’t much better — and his Pelicans are carrying a defensive rating 2.5 points worse than the NBA mean.It should not come as a surprise to hear that the rest of the Pelicans roster stinks defensively. The guards are mostly sieves (here’s looking at you, Holiday, Gordon and Norris Cole!), Davis’s frontcourt partner Anderson is one of the league’s worst defensive bigs, and the plodding Asik, the only other Pelican capable of defending the paint, has been hobbled by injuries and is logging only 17 minutes a night in Alvin Gentry’s up-tempo scheme anyway (more on this later). But Davis’s teammates were equally putrid on D last year, and the team’s overall defensive rating has only gotten worse since then.Besides, the whole point of a metric like RPM is to filter out the distorting effects of a player’s teammates using a complex, regression-based methodology to isolate individual performance. And those stats say Davis’s defense is trending in the wrong direction: Among big men with as many minutes as Davis this season, only OKC’s Serge Ibaka has seen a bigger drop in defensive RPM since last season.A redefined defensive roleSo clearly something is off with Davis and the Pelicans’ defense. But at the granular level of simply assigning plays to individual defenders and tracking the efficiency they allow, it’s tough to account for the decline. According to Synergy, the distribution of play types that Davis defends against hasn’t changed much from a year ago. More than two-thirds of his defensive tasks still involve either grappling with pick-and-rolls (he switches to the ballhandler around 70 percent of the time) or closing out on a shooter who has inched away from the paint for a spot-up jumper, and he’s improved against both on a per-play basis. And although his post defense has been slightly less efficient this year, Synergy still classifies it as “average.”In other words, Davis’s individual defensive data points haven’t changed much from last season. But that’s also kind of the point — given the seismic shift that Davis’s defensive role has undergone, his numbers should have changed. In a roundabout way, that they haven’t helps explain why New Orleans’s defense has backslid.Simply put, these aren’t the same Pelicans as last season. Led by Gentry, they’re a much smaller, faster team than they were under Monty Williams in Davis’s first three seasons, and that’s required Davis to log far more time at center than he did a year ago. Back then, Davis spent more than half his minutes sharing the floor with Asik, a highly traditional defensive center who ranked among the league’s better rim protectors. Davis himself was below average by SportVU’s rim protection metrics, but he and Asik clicked as New Orleans’s best defensive combo because each made up for the other’s shortcomings.By contrast, less than a third of Davis’s court time this season has been spent alongside Asik, often leaving Davis as the Pelicans’ sole rim-protecting presence inside. It’s a role in which he’s improving — getting close to average this season, in fact, according to Nylon Calculus’s metrics — but still one to which he’s not fully suited. The situation is made worse, of course, by the fact that nearly half of Davis’s minutes have come manning the 5 alongside a grievous defensive liability like Anderson. As APBRmetricians, we still don’t have great ways to account for these kinds of changes to a player’s role, particularly on defense, where with-or-without-you style plus-minus measures are so central to our method of evaluation.Earlier, I mentioned Duncan and Garnett as prototypes for Davis. But their best defensive teams — Duncan’s Spurs in 2003-04 and Garnett’s 2007-08 Celtics — had them playing power forward alongside lumbering behemoths like Rasho Nesterovic and Kendrick Perkins, much like Davis and Asik a year ago. Those combos worked in a league ruled by size, but they couldn’t be used for more than brief stints against, say, the 2015-16 Warriors. To compete in today’s NBA, Davis doesn’t get the luxury of playing power forward alongside a bulky pivot anymore.Instead, perhaps Howard’s 2008-09 Magic offer a template for the type of team that could eventually thrive around Davis, with a single dominant defensive center surrounded by tons of floor-spacing shooters. (Coincidentally, Anderson bridges the gap between Howard’s Magic and Davis’s Pelicans, having played a sort of Rashard Lewis 2.0 role on Howard’s final Magic squad.) Howard at 22 was much more of a rim protector and one-on-one post defender than Davis is now, so Davis still has a bit of work to do in those areas. But if everything goes right, he could blossom into a more versatile offensive player than Howard with a similar level of defensive impact.To do that, though, Davis first has to ride out the growing pains of this season. And if his game successfully adapts, Davis could find himself in the finals limelight like Curry and James sooner than we might think. read more

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Ohio State versus Tulsa delayed at halftime resumed at 635 pm

A message on the Ohio Stadium video board issuing a delay due to inclement weather. Credit: Nick McWilliams | Sports EditorThe Ohio State Buckeyes led Tulsa at halftime at Ohio Stadium by a score of 20-3, but it took a while before the game began in the second half.The first lightning strike was spotted at 5:25 p.m., the last one detected at 5:45 p.m. There was a 30 minute delay for every lightning strike detected within a 10 mile radius.Fans were told to seek shelter or exit the stadium. If fans chose to exit the stadium, their ticket will be honored for re-entry.The halftime show for the evening was cancelled.Rain began around the two-minute mark of the second quarter and continued through the rest of the game.The teams came back onto the field at 6:17 p.m.The second half got under way at 6:35 p.m. read more

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Ohio State remains at No 2 in AP Top 25 Poll

The Ohio State Buckeyes stayed put at No. 2 in Sunday’s latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. OSU remained among the undefeated teams in the country following a comeback 30-23 victory over the now-No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers.Alabama claims the top spot by even a greater margin after dispatching Tennessee 49-10 on the road. The Crimson Tide earned 60 out of 61 first-place votes. The other team to earn the only other first place vote was Michigan who moved up to No. 3 after its bye week. The previous third-ranked team, the Clemson Tigers, held on in overtime at home to unranked North Carolina State. The Tigers dropped to No. 4 and Washington was ranked No. 5 for the second straight week. Nebraska jumped to No. 8 after the losses by Wisconsin and Tennessee. The Cornhuskers defeated Indiana 27-22 on the road.This is the second week in a row that four Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10.OSU battles Penn State on the road on Oct. 22 at Beaver Stadium at 8 p.m. read more

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Ohio State mens soccer team struggles to score in seasonopening draws

Then-junior midfielder Yianni Sarris dribbles during a game against Cleveland State Oct. 27. OSU won, 1-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorIf early season matchups are any indication, offense and discipline might be a point of concern for the Ohio State men’s soccer team.OSU started its regular season with two games as part of the Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic this weekend and tied both games while scoring two total goals on top of being shown a total of two yellow cards and one red card. OSU’s opponents were issued a total of eight yellow cards and one red card between the two games.The Buckeyes (0-0-2) battled the University of California-Davis to a scoreless draw in double overtime Friday night, before having almost the same result — albeit with a total of four goals — against Butler University on a rain-soaked Sunday afternoon, resulting in a 2-2 tie.The first half of the Sunday matchup against Butler (1-0-1) ended with OSU failing to register a shot on goal as the two teams entered the half scoreless.The second half, on the other hand, was much more explosive.A frantic stretch began at about the 65th minute, when OSU junior defender Kyle Culbertson dove into the leg of Butler’s junior midfielder Vincent Mitchell. As Mitchell was lying on the ground, Culbertson was issued a red card, knocking OSU down to 10 men for the remainder of the game.Less than a minute later, despite being short-handed, sophomore forward Danny Jensen fought around with the ball in front of the net surrounded by three Butler defenders. His maneuvers were enough to draw a foul, and the referee whistled for a penalty kick.Buckeye junior midfielder Liam Doyle took the kick, and OSU saw a tally on the scoreboard for the first time.Doyle said being able to get that first goal — both of his OSU career and the team’s season — was a big relief and allowed the offense to press the issue less.That lead, however, disappeared before the offense had time to relax.The Bulldogs tied the game just 17 seconds later, when OSU senior goalie Alex Ivanov mishandled a shot from junior forward Jeff Adkins.The shot was hit straight at Ivanov, but the wet conditions appeared to make him fumble it and it rolled past the goal line.“(That goal) is just a blur to me, I try to block that out after it happened,” sophomore defender Tyler Kidwell, who was named to the Classic’s all-tournament team alongside Doyle, said. “I think the ball just got deflected, and somehow snuck in between the pipes. It was unfortunate.”Butler grabbed the lead at about the 74th minute when a connection between preseason All-Big East selections David Goldsmith and Zach Steinberger enabled Goldsmith to launch a shot past Ivanov.But, borrowing Butler’s strategy of answering a goal immediately, the Buckeyes scored less than a minute later. A scramble in front of the Butler net allowed senior midfielder Yianni Sarris to dribble a shot that crept over the line.“I’m extremely happy with our team,” coach John Bluem said. “A man down, we scored twice.”The lineups became even again during the 82nd minute, when Mitchell tackled OSU sophomore forward Christian Soldat with both feet, earning a red card. Soldat was down initially, but rose to his feet within seconds and did not leave the game.No more opportunities came in regulation, and the game again headed to overtime. The offensive opportunities regressed to first-half levels in the 20 minutes of overtime, and OSU had their second-consecutive draw to open the season.“(Butler is) a very, very good team,” Bluem said. “When you get to the end of the season and we look back on this result, I think that we’ll be pretty happy to come away with a 2-2 draw.”The Buckeyes’ season opener on Friday saw yellow cards outnumber total shots on goal seven to six between the two teams.“The game got a little bit chippy, I think, right from the very beginning,” Bluem said. “There (were) some hard challenges right away, so I think both teams got after it a little bit.”Both teams struggled for scoring opportunities in the game as UC-Davis totaled just three shots on goal while the Buckeyes had three shots on goal of their own on 21 total shots.“I think (the offense struggling) was something where, we were doing the right things, it just wasn’t — the final ball or that final pass wasn’t unlocking the defense,” junior midfielder Zach Mason said. “I think we had the right idea. It was just that execution of that final pass, that critical pass.”A scoreless opener was certainly not what Bluem was hoping to see after he said the majority of the offseason was focused on improving the offense. The Buckeyes were shut out nine times in 17 regular season games in 2013.However, Bluem said he wasn’t unhappy with the effort and chances his team created.“It’s a positive result. I think our guys feel like we should’ve won the game,” Bluem said. “Statistically, we dominated the game, dominated possession, corner kicks, shots, and the only thing we didn’t do is score.”The Buckeyes’ next games are set for Friday and Sunday in Wilmington, N.C., against the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Elon, respectively, before returning home to face Northwestern on Sept. 14. read more

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Football How will Ohio State rotate running backs JK Dobbins and Mike

OSU freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs a play during the 2017 season opener vs Indiana. OSU won 49-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State running back Mike Weber was fully equipped, taped up and ready to play against Indiana in Week 1 if necessary. After the Buckeyes’ 49-21 victory, coach Urban Meyer said last year’s starter could’ve played, but was feeling “80 percent” and was “on call.”Once freshman J.K. Dobbins began taking handoffs, it became clear Weber, who had been dealing with a hamstring injury since the beginning of fall camp, wouldn’t be needed. Dobbins sliced through an Indiana defense that held Ohio State to just 13 first-half points, taking 29 carries for 182 yards. His rushing yardage total is the most of any freshman making his debut for the Buckeyes, and more than Weber rushed in any game last season.At Monday afternoon’s press conference, Meyer said Weber had a good practice, went full speed and will play against the Sooners Saturday night. Given the ascendance of Dobbins, Meyer and co-offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day must determine how to split snaps and touches in future games.Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (left) speaks with running backs coach Tony Alford (right) prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorMeyer also said Monday he hadn’t determined how the tandem will rotate in Saturday night’s game against Oklahoma and reiterated the uncertainty the next day. “They’ll both certainly play and I think they’re good complements to each other,” Meyer said on the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday afternoon. “Kind of remains to be seen on how we use it. But they’ll both play.”One possibility is that both Dobbins and Weber, who was just the third freshman to rush for more than 1,000 yard in school history, could share the field at the same time.“It just gives us a lot of options,” redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett said. “Whether it be triple-option or things we have going on, all three of us having the threat to run, or having them getting out of the backfield and having them in routes as well. I think that it just opens a lot of things up for us offensively.”Regardless of how they rotate or whether they’re on the field at the same time, Dobbins’ and Weber’s teammates are acutely aware of how different they are and how that might allow them to complement each other.“[Dobbins is] kind of one of those guys who can get into those creases and be able to kind of just flip things and roll,” redshirt senior center Billy Price said. “Mike kind of is that bruiser. He is that guy that’s able to kind of get in there and if he needs a couple extra yards.”Barrett agreed with Price and mentioned Dobbins could benefit from Weber’s return because it will allow him to rest. Besides, having too much talent in the backfield is a problem most coaches would welcome. In running back coach Tony Alford’s performance self-review of the 2016 season, he wrote that Ohio State needed more production from its backup running backs. With Dobbins and a healthy Weber, that doesn’t seem to be a dire issue this year.Ohio State freshman running back J.K. Dobbins runs out of the tunnel prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorAnd don’t be surprised if a couple other backs earn carries against Oklahoma.Against Indiana, sophomore Antonio Williams carried the ball seven times for 44 yards, finding the end zone twice. He played a similar role, albeit in a lesser capacity, to what Weber might play against Oklahoma. The 5-foot-11, 208-pound Williams had just six carries in 2016, and if Weber doesn’t feel fully healthy, Williams might be called into action in goal-line and short-yardage situations.Demario McCall was also listed as a running back on the first two depth charts of the season, though he said in August he was primarily working with the H-backs. Last year, as a freshman, McCall took 49 rushing attempts for 273 yards, showcasing his athleticism and explosiveness. However, on his call-in show on 97.1 last Wednesday, Meyer said he was still recovering from a sports hernia he suffered in the spring.Considering Ohio State’s seemingly never-ending search for a playmaker and its continued transition to the new coordinators’ style of offense, expect the Buckeyes to test different packages utilizing multiple running backs to confuse Oklahoma’s defense. Ohio State and the Sooners kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium. read more

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Womens Basketball Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell named preseason AllAmerican

Ohio State then-junior guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) facilitates the offense against Purdue during the Boilermakers’ 71-60 win against the Buckeyes at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station ManagerFor the third season in a row, Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell has been named an Associated Press preseason All-American.The high expectations are warranted for the senior who was a first-team All-American in 2016 and second-team All-American in 2015 and 2014. She has been honored as a first-team All-Big Ten member every season at Ohio State and was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2015 and 2017.Last season, Mitchell led the Big Ten with 22.6 points per game and paced her team with 137 assists. As a freshman, Mitchell set the program record for most points in a season, then broke her own record the next season with 889 points. Though she has played just three seasons, the guard holds the record for most career 3-pointers (368).In the Buckeyes’ two exhibition games against Ashland and Urbana, Mitchell scored 53 points and 17 assists combined between both matchups. Mitchell’s season starts when the Buckeyes take on Stanford at 6 p.m. Friday at St. John Arena. read more

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New national tests could lead to grade inflation at GCSEs

first_imgThe decision has not been welcomed by all, with some suggesting that new exams will only serve to put more pressure on the current education system. Results from the NRT will only be used to measure changes in performance nationally and these will be published. Ofqual said there will be no results for individual students or schools, adding that the test reflects the content and style of the new English language and maths GCSEs.Jill Stokoe, education policy adviser at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “It is good news that the NRTs could in future allow GCSE grades to rise in line with a genuine improvement in pupils’ performance. “However, we are concerned that the NRTs will not apply to independent schools, meaning the sample of pupils who will take the test will not be nationally representative and the data will not accurately support the grades awarded at GCSE.” Anxious studentsHowever, leading head teachers warned the new tests shouldn’t add to the burden to already-overly anxious students.Mike Buchanan, chair of the Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) said: “We hope the NRT will avoid the risk of mimicking GCSE too closely as this is likely to cause pupils taking the two exams close together to be distracted and over-anxious.”There is also a risk that teachers will feel under even greater pressure to prepare them for both. The whole point of a reference test is to be an anonymised, stress-free and valid measure of attainment of each annual cohort of pupils.”Suzanne O’Farrell, curriculum and assessment specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We welcome this test as it has the potential to resolve a catch-22 situation. “The system for awarding GCSE grades is based on past experience of attainment and means grades are effectively capped.”It is therefore difficult to reflect genuine improvements in pupil performance and this is unfair on young people and schools.” Ofqual introduces new exam 'to prove whether standards in school are actually improving' GCSE grades could rise as the exams regulator announced a new national test to prove whether standards in school are actually improving, it has emerged.Ofqual has said the first National Reference Test (NRT) will be taken by about 18,000 pupils next year in February and March next year. Each year a sample of students will take the same test so it will show, over time, if there is any change in how students perform at a national level.’Exam boards currently have limited evidence’Ofqual said exam boards currently have limited evidence of how performance can change from year to year, so the test has the potential to provide additional information to inform their awarding of GCSEs. About one in 40 students in year 11 in England will take the one-hour test annually, and the first test will be held between February 20 and March 3 next year. The announcement follows consideration by Ofqual’s board of the outcomes of a trial test held in March.The watchdog said 300 schools, which have been selected to take part later this month, will be contacted. Up to 30 students will take the test in English and another 30 students will take the maths test in each of these schools. Students will be selected so that the test results will be nationally representative. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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NHS chief pushed out after exposing a sex ring involving consultants and

The NHS’s longest serving chief executive has been “pushed out” of his job after he suspended senior consultants who used hospital premises to have sex, according to hospital insiders.Sir Leonard Fenwick, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital Trust’s chief executive, was put on “extended leave” from the hospital under mysterious circumstances earlier this year, a decision which angered a number of staff and governors.Sir Leonard, 69, who has been at the helm of hospitals in the North East for 40 years, had exposed a ‘sex ring’ involving consultants who would meet female staff for liaisons – including on hospital premises – prior to being put on leave.A hospital worker told the Telegraph they were “appalled” that the married consultants who “shared” female staff between them and would use code words such as “marmite” and “cappuccino” for sex had not been “disciplined correctly”.The staff member said one trauma and orthopaedic consultant would meet a female colleague at the Signature Sandman Hotel, near the hospital, for sex during working hours. “They also visited each other in clinical rooms groping and openly flirting in a patient environment,” they alleged.An investigation uncovered hundreds of emails from the consultants to three female secretarial and clerical members of staff containing details about the trysts.According to the source, the ring sent “hundreds” of “indecent” emails and text messages “when they were paid to be working”. They referred to one of the women as ‘the Madam’ who they allegedly met when they worked at another hospital.  Concerns have also been raised that the group took photographs of their activity.Sir Leonard had moved to suspend the two consultants, but the Trust’s chair, Kingsley Smith, and a non-executive director, Bryan Dodson, decided the pair could keep their jobs following a 20-minute disciplinary hearing, according to a source in the hospital.“It sickens me to think that the consultants involved were reinstated with no action taken,” they said. The consultants have since resigned from their posts at the hospital, following pressure from other staff who said they felt uncomfortable working with them.Another source said: “All the other staff were thoroughly disgusted. It was Mr Smith who allowed them back. The CEO was not actually party to the discussion. He was pushed out on gardening leave a few months later. Sir Leonard Fenwick Sir Leonard Fenwick Mr Briggs said there were still outstanding questions over “the reasons why the CEO was suspended,” and that a letter he sent to the Trust secretary demanding to know why Sir Leonard had been removed had been returned without being circulated.Mr Briggs said he suspected Sir Leonard’s departure may partly have been due to “a difference of opinion on the future of the hospital’s running” with the Trust’s chair Mr Smith.But he added: “That’s not the way of doing it – this decision damages the reputation of the Trust”.A spokeswoman for the Trust said they “strongly refute” allegations that pressure was placed on staff or governors to remain silent.”The trust has been clear with staff and governors that Sir Leonard Fenwick is on a period of extended leave,” she said.”We have a duty to protect the confidentiality of all of our staff, and for that reasons we would not comment on his leave.”Staff are also concerned about the future of the Trust, with Sir Leonard is no longer at the helm and Jim Mackey, CEO of another NHS hospital, tipped as a possible replacement for Sir Leonard.Other arrangements at the hospital have been called into question, such as the position of the Trust’s chair, Mr Smith, who reached the nine-year limit for the role last September. Paul Briggs “The hospital has been Sir Leonard’s heart and life’s work and now he has been ousted. As far as I’m concerned it’s a cover up”.The source told the Telegraph that the Trust’s governors had been forbidden from speaking about the issue and have been unable to contact Sir Leonard since his departure in January.”No one is allowed to speak to [Sir Len] and no one will talk. The board of governors have a duty to the public to tell us what’s going on. But there’s been very clearly some sort of silencing and it’s very clear they’re not being told”.Nick Brown, a Newcastle MP, has also called on the hospital to give a “reasonable explanation” as to why Sir Leonard is on extended leave. Paul BriggsCredit:Scott Heppell  Paul Briggs, a former governor and Trust member, told the Telegraph: “I have spoken to governors and they have been gagged” on the issue of Sir Len’s departure. “One has to ask what happened to the process for finding his replacement which commenced in January 1st 2016 and then mysteriously petered out?” said Mr Briggs.Newcastle upon Tyne Trust confirmed that Mr Smith had reached the end of his term of office and had advertised on two occasions to seek a suitable replacement.This had led to Mr Smith’s term being extended for a number of months. However, Ray Venus said he was “sacked” from his post as an appointed governor, after he put forward a motion that Kingsley Smith’s term in office should not be extended.He said: “It looks like an orchestrated attempt to silence criticism. It’s a bit disgusting to sack you over the phone after 12 years’ service – I can’t even say bye to my colleagues.“It’s the way it’s been dealt with; the way we’ve been dealt with. They’ve held us in contempt.”Newcastle upon Tyne Trust said Mr Venus had to step down from his role because the organisation he was appointed to represent – Pentagon Partnership – ceased to exist.However, Mr Venus claimed while the organisation had disbanded four years ago, he had been permitted to continue in the role because he represented other voluntary organisations. “But it begs the question why they were looking [now],” he said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Who is Darren Osborne Everything we know about the Finsbury Park mosque

first_imgOwners the van hire said they were “shocked and saddened” that one of their vehicles was used in the attack and pledged to help the police with their investigation.Neighbour Saleem Naema, 50, a taxi driver, said: “I can’t believe it. I know him. I’ve lived here for five years, he was already living here when I moved in.”If I ever needed anything he would come. I just can’t believe that he did that. I am a Muslim.”Khadijeh Sherizi, who lives next door to Osborne, said: “I saw him on the news and I thought ‘oh my God’ that is my neighbour. A white van is seen at the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North LondonCredit:REUTERS/Neil Hall The father of four suspected of mowing down a group of worshippers outside a Finsbury park mosque was a “complex” and “troubled” individual known for “flipping his lid” when he drank too much, it has been claimed, as his mother said he is “no terrorist”.Darren Osborne, 47, is being held in custody on suspicion of terror offences including attempted murder. He is alleged to have expressed increasingly antagonistic views towards Muslims in the weeks since the London Bridge atrocity.After ploughing down a group of men as they left Ramadan prayers, he is alleged to have rammed his hired van into bollards before jumping out and shouting “I’m going to kill all Muslims – I did my bit”. But Osborne’s mother, 72-year-old Christine, said her son was “not a terrorist and had never shown any hatred towards Muslims”.“I’m at my wit’s end. I saw him on TV and recognised him straight away. I just screamed,” she told The Sun.“My son is no terrorist – he’s just a man with problems and I don’t know how to cope with all this.”‘Not political’Meanwhile, Osborne’s sister Nicola denied that her brother is political.“He wouldn’t even know who the Prime Minister is,” she said. “I’ve never heard him say anything about Muslims or anything racist.” When the police eventually arrived, Osborne smiled, waved and blew kisses, apparently taunting witnesses as he was bundled into the back of a van.He was recognised on television by stunned Welsh neighbours more used to seeing him on the school run, who rang the police to identify him.They later described him as “shouty” and “aggressive” but said they were gobsmacked to learn that he was a terror suspect. The alleged suspect with bruises on his face clearly visable The suspect following his arrestCredit:Universal News And Sport He then drove more than 150 miles to north London throughout the evening, careering onto the pavement in Finsbury Park shortly after midnight. One of his former neighbours in Weston-Super-Mare, who did not wish to be named, said: “We all know Darren, from our youth generally.”When I heard what happened it absolutely made me feel ill. You don’t imagine this.”Weston is a small town. He would just drink too much and flip the switch I guess.” She added: “Sorry is not a word that you can use really. I’m sorry that my brother has been that troubled that it has taken him to that level of troubledness.”She insisted he was “not interested in terrorism”.A complex family lifeOsborne left Weston-Super-Mare several years ago and moved to a terraced house in Pentwyn, Cardiff with his partner, children and two dogs.The couple have four children, aged between 16 and five and Osborne is said to help with the daily school run.A complicated picture emerged of his personal life, with neighbours describing him as a  “family man” who was heard singing in his kitchen with his children on Sunday afternoon, just hours before he is alleged to have driven to London. Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, Mid GlamorganCredit:PA REUTERS/Neil Hall The suspect following his arrestcenter_img ‘A privileged life’Osborne was born in Singapore but raised by his parents John and Christine in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, where he attended Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College.Mrs Osborne, 72, told ITV News her son was a “complex” person, adding: “I’m not going to defend him but you know he’s my son and it’s a terrible terrible shock and it’s not just robbing the bank, it’s an atrocity.“At this moment in time I can’t cope with it, I can’t. It’s a terrible, terrible shock.” Another neighbour said: “I actually heard him singing in the street yesterday – weird really. I never knew what he did for a living.His partner was described as “a really nice woman” by those who know her through work.One said: “She’s a kind and friendly person. Everyone said she was too good for him.”Osborne, who was not known to the police or security services, is believed to have driven 15 miles from his home in the Welsh capital to Pontyclun Van Hire on Sunday, hiring an £80-a-night Luton van. “He has been so normal. He was in his kitchen yesterday afternoon singing with his kids. He was the dad of the family. He has kids. He lives next door. He seemed polite and pleasant to me. I just can’t believe it.” Finsbury Park mosque tragedy in pictures Mobile phone footage taken by onlookers in Finsbury Park early on Monday showed him wild eyed and sweating as he repeatedly shouted “kill me”.But as he left the vehicle he was chased and pinned to the floor before being dragged along the pavement where his victims’ bodies lay strewn. She claimed that Osborne had tried to kill himself just a few weeks ago by jumping into a river and had asked to be sectioned.”He tried to kill himself six, eight weeks ago,” she told MailOnline. “He threw himself into the river in Cardiff. He asked to be taken into care, to be sectioned but they wouldn’t do it.” It came amid claims Osborne had allegedly hurled insults at his Asian neighbour’s 12-year-old son in the wake of the Islamist attack in the capital earlier this month. She claimed he was “disturbed” and had been on medication for mental health problems. She said she had recognised him straightaway in television reports, describing it as “every mother’s worst nightmare”.“My son is no terrorist — he’s just a man with problems and I don’t know how to cope with all this”, she told The Sun. Neighbours described Mrs Osborne as “long-suffering”. One said: “Christine is a great grandmother – Darren’s nephew stays a lot.”Darren’s not had a bad life. He’s had quite a privileged life. He’s had more options than a lot of people.”His former drinking partners described him as a “loveable mentalist”.His sister, Nicola Osborne, 50, said her brother had been “troubled for a long time.” The alleged suspect with bruises on his face clearly visable Finsbury Park van attack – How it unfolded Pontyclun Van Hire in Pontyclun, Mid Glamorgan However, others said they believed he and his partner had separated in recent months and that he was often seen shouting at her in the street.Pharmacist Rebecca Carpenter, 26, said: “He’s quite a shouty person, always shouting at his wife and kids.”He drove around in an old car that was always damaged. He never caused us any real problems, but we could often hear him shouting from the other side of the street.”None of us have ever really spoken to him but we recognised him straight away when we saw him on the telly this morning.”last_img read more

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Walter Mitty fantasist secretly pestered soldiers wives for sex

first_imgVictim Caroline Lemon, 33, from West YorkshireCredit: SUNDAY MIRROR Caroline Lemon, 33, from West Yorkshire, said: “He targets vulnerable women. In my case I had just broken up with my husband and he knew that too.”His youngest victim, thought to be just 17, was asked about her lingerie while her boyfriend was in the Gulf. The woman, who was contacted via the WAGS of the Royal Navy support group, told The Sunday Mirror: “It was a wicked thing to do. I was at college and he asked me to help with his charity.”He asked for my number and address ‘for security’. Then the smutty chat started. He and a friend would ring at 3am and say they wanted sex talk. “I am truly sorry for the hurt, harm, pain and shame I caused each of these ladies and my own wife who has been impacted by this old conduct.”My conduct was driven by a compulsive sexual addiction, which I am now receiving treatment for by means of therapy and attending a 12 step group.”He also insisted he suffered from PTSD but said that came from being brought up in a “dysfunctional childhood and broken home”.Regarding wearing military gear he said: “I accept that I have “dressed up” as a soldier on many occasions and I truly and sincerely intended to harm, disrespect or hurt from my actions. “I will cease and desist wearing any form of military clothing at future events and wear my SBFOH Polo Shirts and continue with my charity service via SBFOH.”He added: “We need to up our game in order to win back trust.” Victim Caroline Lemon, 33, from West Yorkshire A Walter Mitty fantasist who ran a bogus charity which sent parcels to British troops “secretly pestered forces’ wives for sex” while their husbands were serving in war zones.Married father-of-two Chris Webster, 43, from Derby, used his position as chief executive of Shoeboxes For Our Heroes to target lonely women.He asked them what underwear they were wearing and demanded “sex talk” in the early hours.Some of his 14 victims had contacted his organisation which sent shoeboxes filled with gifts, toiletries and luxuries to British troops worldwide offering help. He found others on military websites. Chris Webster, 43, arranged for 20,000 shoeboxes, packed with goodies, to be delivered to British troops worldwide 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. Chris Webster, 43, arranged for 20,000 shoeboxes, packed with goodies, to be delivered to British troops worldwideCredit: SUNDAY MIRROR Since then, SFOH has continued to run stalls and seek donations.He was confronted by former soldier at the Long Eaton carnival where he refused to answer questions about his business activities.He initially said the accounts for the organisation were all online but later claimed he “didn’t have to publish anything” and that they were instead in a folder.A spokesman for The Charity Commission said: “Several concerns have been raised with the commission in regards to the organisation Shoeboxes For Our Heroes, which is not a registered charity with the commission.”We are currently assessing these concerns to determine what, if any, regulatory action is required.”In a statement Mr Webster said he was “deeply sorry” for his conduct.He said: “I am ashamed to admit that I did engage in sexual chat, send unsolicited, inappropriate and explicit pictures and videos of myself to a number of ladies, all of whom were above the age of consent.”I fully accept that my historic conduct in relation to me sending unsolicited sexual messages, ‘sexting’ and sending explicit pictures of myself to some 14 females over a period of time, (often when they were at low points emotionally and emotionally vulnerable).  Caroline Lemon, 33, from West Yorkshire, said: “He targets vulnerable women. In my case I had just broken up with my husband and he knew that too.”It started with him asking rude questions about my breasts and if I was on any dating sites. He would ask about my underwear and ask when we were meeting up.”Then he sent photos of himself and a video. It was totally disgusting. He made my skin crawl.”Mr Webster has apologised for his actions which he described as being driven “by a compulsive sexual addiction”.He added: “However none of the ladies were married to men from any deployed or serving forces. I fully accept this was totally inappropriate, morally and ethically wrong, spiritually wrong and I am deeply ashamed of the hurt I caused to these ladies, their husbands, their families and to my own wife and family.”Webster had set up the organisation in 2011 and attended events and carnivals dressed in Army uniform.He lied about having been in the forces and suffering PTSD. In reality he failed to complete training as an Army reservist.Shoeboxes for Heroes was established as a company in October 2015 but that status was dissolved in February this year and, according to Mr Webster, it has been running as an organisation with charitable aims.  “He would ask what underwear I was wearing and say he was excited. He said he needed someone young to have sex with to keep up with his sex appetite. He was relentless, asking for explicit photos of me naked.”last_img read more

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Phone zombies see moped thefts on Oxford Street rocket 2100 per cent

first_img“Nowadays people are phone zombies. They are on their phone walking along the street, bumping into people, not knowing where they are going.” VIDEO: This CCTV shows the moment a prolific moped gang try to steal @George_Osborne ‘s mobile phone near the BBC in central London pic.twitter.com/UTcQnFRK9X— Nick Beake (@Beaking_News) October 11, 2017 He has said moped thieving is the “crime of the moment”, because it is so easy and lucrative to do. The value of the stolen device goes up even more if stolen while being used, as it does not then have to be unlocked and can be wiped and sold as a new phone.The Metropolitan Police force has also warned about pedestrians being caught unawares by phone-snatchers while they look at or talk on their tablets or mobiles.Superintendent Mark Payne told The Telegraph: “These offenders rely on the unwariness of the public to snatch their phones while they make calls so it is so important that the public is aware of their surroundings at all times and protect their personal property, particularly when emerging from a train or underground station or anywhere where they might suddenly decide to take out and use their phone. “Smartphones and IPads are very valuable to these criminals and they can snatch them in an instant.”Other hotspots include Regent Street, which saw the number of thefts jump from 3 to 91 between 2015 and 2017, and Bond Street, which went from 1 to 14. A rise in moped theft on London’s streets has been partially blamed on “phone zombies” – people who look at their phones while walking. Oxford Street is full of rich pickings for moped thieves, who sit two to a bike as one drives and the other snatches phones from the hands of those talking on or gazing at them. The crowds mean it is easy for a moped driver to escape the scene of the crime, and many distracted shoppers have their mobile telephones out in the street.Police say each device snatched can be sold for around £200, and some thieves manage to take dozens a day out of the hands of pedestrians.Thefts there have rocketed by 2100pc in two years; there were 291 offences in 2016 – up from 13 in 2014-15.Dr Simon Harding, associate professor of criminology at the University of West London, told the BBC that “phone zombies” help fuel the crime: “If you look at mobile phones five years ago, they were pretty much in our pockets unless we got a phone call. This problem has become so prolific that the force has had to put special measures in place to clamp down on the crime, including remote-controlled spikes which punch holes in the tyres of mopeds used by suspects.The force has also developed forensic tagging sprays and purpose built, lightweight motorbikes that help support policing these offences.Superintendent Payne said: “Due to the rise in offending in and around Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, Westminster borough police have been carrying out intensive operations, and patrols around hotspot areas to target those responsible for snatch, theft of motor vehicle, and smash and grab offences.”Many Londoners have been hit by the crime, including former Chancellor George Osborne, who according to a statement he gave felt “shocked and stunned” after a moped thief mounted the pavement in a futile attempt to snatch his mobile phone. Upper Street, Kings Road and Marylebone High Street are also popular target areas for moped thieves. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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British Airways seats to shrink as airline squeezes more passengers into Boeing

first_imgThere will now be four seats in the middle row of World Traveller Credit:Nick Morrish British Airways The tickets which are expected to be between 10 and 20 per cent cheaper, do not include checked luggage or seat selection and are designed to compete with Norwegian on popular routes to North America.It could mean that the cost of a return flight from London to New York could fall from £468 to between £375 and £420. Travellers can already fly from London to New York over the same dates for as little as £265 with Norwegian. There will now be four seats in the middle row of World Traveller  British Airways  refused to say what the new size of seats would be, but when its part-owner Qatar Airways ‘densified’ its own 777 economy seats, their width shrank from 18.5 inches to 17.Experts said the move, which adds 12 more seats into the World Traveller cabin, would make lengthy trips of up to 11 hours more uncomfortable and leave passengers feeling hemmed-in.“The drawback is a combination of physical discomfort and a sense of overcrowding,” said travel writer Simon Calder. A diagram showing the changes Credit:British Airways  However the company was forced to reintroduce a second hot meal and free snacks on long-haul flights after customer uproar when they removed them last year. Alex Cruz, the head of BA who was brought in from budget airline Vueling to cut costs, admitted that ‘mistakes had been made’On Tuesday the carrier announced that it was planning to launch no-frills “basic economy” fares on its long-haul flights. BA announced that screens would become larger, but refused to say how much smaller seats would beCredit:Nick Morrish British Airways  The revamped aircraft, which are scheduled to be in operation by this winter, will be flying on routes to Cancun in Mexico, the Dominican Republic resort of Punta Cana and the Jamaican capital, Kingston. “In April 2018, we will be introducing a new long-haul basic economy fare on selected transatlantic routes,” said BA in a statement.“The new fare will give customers a lower price point and more choice.”The airline also announced that travellers in the new 777 World Traveller Plus would enjoy new bespoke lighting to reflect the time of day, helping to lull travellers to sleep at night and wake them in the morning to combat jet-lag.Six hundred million pounds is also to be spent on Club World to improve catering and introduce bedding from The White Company.British Airways has also promised that wi-fi will be available on all flights within the next two years. But from next year, all British Airways long haul flights from Gatwick will use the new layout.The announcement is the latest in a series of changes at the airline which is struggling to compete with budget rivals. In January 2017, BA stopped free food on short-haul flights and introduced a range of paid-for Marks & Spencer sandwiches and snacks, to the consternation of passengers.The following March the airline announced it was reducing legroom from 30 inches to 20 inches on its A320 and A321 Airbus aircraft. Fresh flowers were also scrapped in the First Class Toilets as well as a complimentary amuse-bouche on boarding. Show more 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. BA announced that screens would become larger, but refused to say how much smaller seats would be A diagram showing the changes  British Airways passengers will be squeezed into narrower seats, after the beleaguered airline said it will add an extra passenger space into economy rows on some aircraft.This week the company unveiled its ‘make-over’ for World Traveller section on its Boeing 777 long haul fleet flying from Gatwick Airport.But although BA announced ‘elegant new seats’ with entertainment screens that are 50 per cent larger, they failed to mention that economy passengers will be sitting in spaces that are nearly 10 per cent smaller.The World Traveller section will now contain 10 seats per row, instead of nine, moving from a 3-3-3 formation to a 3-4-3 design, which according to industry experts, will bring the size of long haul seats down by 1.5 inches.last_img read more

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Number of over65s needing 24hour care to rise by third over next

The team developed the Population Ageing and Care Simulation (PACSim) model as little research had previously been done on how levels of dependency might change for different generations of older people.PACSim accounts for multiple risk factors for dependence and disability, including a wide range of sociodemographic factors (such as level of education) and health behaviours (for example, smoking status and physical activity), as well as 12 chronic diseases and geriatric conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and depression.Using longitudinal data from three large nationally representative studies of adults (aged 35 and older), the study modelled future trends in social care needs for the population aged 65 and older in England between 2015 and 2035, according to varying levels of dependency.Adults were categorised as high dependency if they required 24-hour care, medium dependency if they needed help at regular times daily, low dependency if they required care less than daily and were generally looked after in the community, or independent (without care needs). The number of adults aged 65 and over needing round-the-clock care will rise by over a third to more than one million during the next 20 years, experts have suggested.The number of over-85s requiring 24-hour care will almost double to 446,000 in England by 2035, according to a new modelling study published in The Lancet Public Health.The research, carried out by Newcastle University and the London School of Economics and Political Science, found there will be plenty of people living independent lives, with the number of over-65s living without care needs set to rise to 8.9 million – an increase of more than 60% from 5.5 million in 2015.They predict this increase in independence will be seen mainly in men.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Nevertheless, they said the estimates predict a rise in the number of people living into old age with multiple long-term conditions, with the majority (80%) of older adults with dementia and in need of substantial care in 2035 likely to have two or more other diseases. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive, Jeremy Hughes, said: “These new estimates paint a challenging future, with the number of people needing constant care – the majority of whom will be living with dementia – starkly increasing in the next 20 years.”After decades of starved funding, the social care system is buckling under the strain.”Through our helpline we hear of people with dementia being forced to choose between a wash or a hot meal due to the limited time of a homecare visit, and ending up in hospital with an infection because they didn’t have the support to shower each day.”A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “In the Autumn we will set out our plans to reform adult social care alongside our long term plan for the NHS, so we can address the challenge of our growing ageing population head on and ensure services are sustainable for the future.” They said their study highlights the importance of ensuring that health and social care services adapt to the unprecedented needs of an increasing older population with complex care needs, with the authors warning that relying on the informal carers who provide around £57 billion worth of care in the UK is not a sustainable solution.Professor Carol Jagger, from the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, said: “The challenge is considerable.”Our study suggests that older spouse carers are increasingly likely to be living with disabilities themselves, resulting in mutual care relationships that are not yet well recognised by existing care policy and practices.”On top of that, extending the retirement age of the UK population is likely to further reduce the informal and unpaid carer pool, who have traditionally provided for older family members.”These constraints will exacerbate pressures on already stretched social care budgets.” The researchers also analysed how the burden of dementia with and without other chronic diseases will change demand for social care over the next 20 years.For instance, while numbers of over-65s with dementia will fall by around a third (equivalent to 16,000 less people) by 2035, those with dementia and two or more conditions will more than double (equivalent to an additional 493,000 people).Prof Jagger said: “This expanding group will have more complex care needs that are unlikely to be met adequately without improved co-ordination between different specialities and better understanding of the way in which dementia affects the management of other conditions.”Nick Forbes, senior vice chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), said: “This report is a further warning of the crisis in adult social care and the urgent need to plug the immediate funding gap and find a long-term solution on how we pay for it and improve people’s independence and wellbeing.”With people living longer, increases in costs, decreases in funding, care providers closing and contracts being returned to councils, the system is at breaking point, ramping up pressures on unpaid carers who are the backbone of the care system.”Adult social care services face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards of care. The likely consequences of this are more and more people being unable to get quality and reliable care and support, which enables them to live more fulfilling lives.” Estimates suggest that the number of people over 65 will increase by just under 50% from 9.7 million in 2015 to 14.5 million in 2035, and highlight the very differing future care needs of men and women.Between 2015 and 2035, life expectancy for men aged 65 is projected to rise by 3.5 years to 22.2 years, and the average number of years spent independent is expected to increase by 4.2 years (from 11.1 years to 15.2), while time spent living with substantial care needs (medium or high dependency) is likely to decline.In contrast, for women average life expectancy at 65 will increase by just three years (from 21.1 to 24.1).Over this time, the average number of years spent independent is expected to rise by less than a year (from 10.7 years to 11.6), and women will spend almost half of their remaining life with low dependency needs such as help with activities like washing and shopping, alongside a small increase in years requiring intensive 24-hour care (from two years in 2015 to 2.7 years in 2035).Prof Jagger added: “Over the next 20 years, although young-old cohorts (aged 65-74) are more likely to enter old age independent, the proportion with multi-morbidities is projected to rise with each successive cohort, and this will result in a greater likelihood of higher dependency with further ageing.”However, trends for men and women are likely to be very different, with women experiencing more low-level dependency than men, highlighting the importance of focusing on disabling long-term conditions such as arthritis that are more common in women than men.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Facebook delusion cant replace religion says Church of England bishop as social

The idea that Facebook can replace religious communities is “a delusion”, a Church of England bishop has said, as the social network surpasses global Christianity in numbers. Figures released by the social network for 2018 show that it has 2.32bn monthly active users, more than the most recent available figures for the reach of Christianity. Facebook was founded 15 years ago last Monday, and in a blog post to mark the occasion chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that “people’s experience in the past was defined by large hierarchical institutions – governments, mass media, universities, religious organisations… Data from the Pew Research Centre suggests that the faith has 2.3bn adherents worldwide.   read more

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Danny Baker reveals how panic and revulsion washed over him after royal

The DJ announced on October 22 he would depart to spend more time writing novels, after a troubled few months for the drivetime show.BBC bosses decided earlier in 2018 that Whiley would share presenting duties, in part to address concern over a lack of female voices on the airwaves. Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon 2013 Sachs was scheduled to be interviewed over the phone on the show. Shortly before he was called, Brand told listeners: “In a minute we’re going to be talking to Andrew Sachs, Manuel actor. The elephant in the room is, what Andrew doesn’t know is, I’ve slept with his granddaughter.”When Brand and fellow Radio 2 DJ Jonathan Ross, who was co-hosting, tried to call Sachs during the pre-record, he does not pick up.Ross and Brand left Sachs four voice messages on the then 78-year-old’s home phone, during which Brand joked about the fact that both he and Sachs had appeared on The Bill.Ross is recorded shouting: “He f—– your daughter”, much to the ribald laughter of everyone in the studio. This sparked a run of messages that were, nominally, Brand and Ross trying to apologise for the outburst, but swiftly became increasingly offensive.  The Corporation later said that “a senior editorial figure signed off the programme, including its strong language, before it was broadcast”.Lesley Douglas, Controller of Radio 2, resigned within two weeks and Ross was suspended without pay from all BBC shows for three months.Ross later left the BBC in January 2010, saying: “I think it’s not a bad time for me to move on. It’s possibly not a bad time for them either”. Jeremy ClarksonOn March 25, 2015,  Jeremy Clarkson was told his BBC career was over and that Top Gear would continue without.The presenter had failed to maintain “standards of decency and respect” at work, Lord Hall said.Clarkson was found guilty of “a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature” that left his victim, Oisin Tymon, in need of hospital treatment at an A&E department.Announcing the news, previously reported in the Telegraph, Lord Hall said: “It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly.“I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion.”It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the broadcaster, having sparred with the controversial presenter for a number of years.  Baker tweeted: “Following one of the worst days of my life I just want to formally apologise for the outrage I caused and explain how I got myself into this mess.”I chose the wrong photo to illustrate a joke. Disastrously so.”In attempting to lampoon privilege and the news cycle I went to a file of goofy pictures and saw the chimp dressed as a Lord and thought, ‘That’s the one!’ Danny Baker’s tweet, which he later deletedCredit:@Prodnose/Twitter Danny Baker has revealed how “waves of panic and revulsion” washed over him when he realised the gravity of the royal baby chimpanzee picture he tweeted, which saw him sacked by the BBC.The DJ was fired by BBC Radio 5 Live for posting joke about the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex’s son featuring a picture of a chimpanzee.Following a backlash and allegations of racism given the Duchess of Sussex is mixed race, Baker, 61, deleted the post and apologised.He was lambasted Thursday for attempting to make light of the situation, but on Friday the presenter posted a lengthy thread on Twitter detailing what he described as one of the worst day of his life. In it, he admitted that the post was “racism at it’s basest”, but claimed it was a “genuine, naive and catastrophic mistake”. The segment takes a celebrity and gets two guests to guess which condiment the famous person would ask for if handed a sausage sandwich – brown sauce, red sauce or no sauce at all.Baker said he gave the BBC staff member who fired him short shrift: “I was given a lecture – which I must say I terminated after about 30 seconds with a couple of words I can leave you to fill in.” He said there were “other broadcasters they wouldn’t have done that to” and that the broadcaster was “siding with the vampires who didn’t like me anyway”.Many pointed out that Lord Sugar was not sacked from his BBC job after making a similarly ill-advised Twitter post comparing the Senegal football team to beach hawkers in Spain.  Hazel Irvine and Peter Alliss during the third round of the Ricoh Women's British Open at the Old Course, St Andrews The cross-bench peer and former chairman of Tottenham Hotspur was initially bullish when Twitter users called his comment offensive, saying: “Frankly, I can’t see that. I think it’s funny.”Babita Sharma, an anchor for BBC World News, wrote that his tweet was “vile”, to which Lord Sugar replied: “You make me sick.”But an hour later, having perhaps taken some advice from the BBC, he issued a contrite statement that read: “I misjudged my earlier tweet. It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.”The BBC decided not to sack Lord Sugar. John InverdaleJohn Inverdale, 56, sparked a furore in the summer of 2013 when he made the comment about the appearance of the French player, who had just won the ladies final at Wimbledon.The BBC received around 700 complaints after Inverdale questioned, on Radio 5 Live, whether Bartoli’s father had told her, when she was younger, that she was never going to be a “looker…a Sharapova… you’re never going to be 5ft 11in, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that”. Hazel Irvine and Peter Alliss during the third round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the Old Course, St Andrews in 2003Credit:David Cannon/Getty Baker took several months out of radio after announcing in November 2010 he had cancer. He started chemotherapy and radiotherapy the following January and was given the all clear in June 2011 and returned to radio shortly afterwards. Controversial departures from the BBCRichard BaconBlue Peter presenter Richard Bacon was sacked in 1998 after he admitted taking cocaine. Addressing his departure from the popular children’s show, the then head of BBC children’s programmes Lorraine Heggessey said: “It is sad that such a talented presenter as Richard Bacon has not only let himself and his colleagues down but, most important of all, he has let down the millions of children who watch Blue Peter.” The presenter later attempted to clarify the “ham-fisted” comment and said that he had written to Bartoli to apologise for using a “clumsy phrase”. Lifelong Millwall supporter Baker appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here in 2016. It is not the first time he has been in hot water with the BBC.In 2012, he delivered an extraordinary on-air rant criticising BBC bosses for dropping his afternoon show and asking him to stay quiet about it.He has also been sacked by 5 Live before. In 1997, he was fired for encouraging listeners to heckle a referee. Tricks included playing a miniature piano, posing for photographs and drinking Coca-Cola at the local soda counter.The picture shows the primate dressed to the nines as he attended “Trial of the Century,” the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. Thousands watched as Clarence Darrow defended high school science teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in his classroom while William Jennings Bryan argued for the prosecution. Time magazine described the proceedings as ”the fantastic cross between a circus and a holy war.” Lew Backenstoe and his wife Gertrude Bauman paraded the chimp in front of the waiting press, and the photograph made many of the newspapers the next day.It was the first trial in American history to be covered by the broadcast media, so many Americans were able to see the monkey perform in front of the courthouse on screens across the country.Joe Mendi spent almost a decade in showbusiness before his death. Simon MayoA month after his Radio 2 colleague Chris Evans announced he was leaving, Simon Mayo followed suit after a backlash from listeners over his pairing with Jo Whiley. How the story unfolded on ThursdayHarry and Meghan revealed on Wednesday that their new arrival was named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.Reacting to the news, radio DJ Danny Baker made a joke about the birth, tweeting a black and white photo showing a well-dressed man and woman holding hands with a suited chimpanzee.Baker captioned it: “Royal baby leaves hospital”. Following a backlash and allegations of racism given the Duchess of Sussex is mixed race, he deleted the post and apologised.On Thursday morning, he posted another message on social media, saying he had been “fired” by the BBC, later saying he had made a “grotesque mistake”.A BBC spokesman said: “This was a serious error of judgment and goes against the values we as a station aim to embody. Danny’s a brilliant broadcaster but will no longer be presenting a weekly show with us.”Speaking outside his Blackheath home, he admitted his relationship with the BBC has always been tense, and said he did not know the royal baby was Meghan and Harry’s.When a follower pointed out to him that baby Archie’s mother is mixed race, Baker said he immediately took the tweet down. “No matter how you wrap it up, women will never be able to do things that men can do. If we want to be equal, are you going to get a woman fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world [in] boxing? Are you? Could you?” Later in the show, Brand joked about Sachs committing suicide in the wake of the revelations, saying: “The main news again. Manuel Andrew Sachs hung himself today . . .’”Despite the fact the show was pre-recorded, producers and executives at the BBC greenlit it to be aired on the radio, and didn’t cut the recording of the voice messages left on Sachs’s phone.  Bacon, who was 22 at the time, said: “I have been stupid and regret making a silly mistake experimenting with drugs.”But I have learned the lesson the hard way and I hope it serves as a lesson to lots of other young people. I would also like to apologise to all loyal Blue Peter viewers.”Jonathan RossThe TV and radio host eventually left the BBC under a cloud after the fallout of his and Russell Brand’s lewd messages to Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs. A pre-recorded edition of The Russell Brand Show aired on Radio 2 in October 2008 But listeners soon complained at a lack of chemistry between the new pairing. An online petition called “Bring back Simon Mayo and the dream team” gathered more than 10,000 signatures. The presenter himself admitted that the upheaval had been “difficult and upsetting”.Within weeks of the relaunch the BBC was forced to issue a response, asking fans to let the show “settle” and to “give it a chance”. Radio 2 controller Lewis Carnie pledged changes, insisting “no show ends up where it starts”.But listeners were not reassured, and the complaints kept coming.And the controversial non-departureLord SugarThe BBC faced calls to drop Lord Sugar after he tweeted a “joke” comparing the Senegal football team to beach hawkers in Spain.The businessman, who has appeared in The Apprentice since 2005, posted a doctored image of the team posing with sunglasses and counterfeit handbags last summer, and wrote: “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multitasking resourceful chaps.” Revealing he had been fired after a phonecall from his bosses, Baker added: “For the record – it was red sauce. Always,” in reference to the regular feature Sausage Sandwich Game on his Saturday morning Radio 5 Live show.   Lord Sugar's tweet Lord Sugar’s tweet Alliss continued: “I think women are more delicate than men. I like holding chairs for women. I enjoy the company of women. I don’t want to be bullied by them. I don’t care for macho women, I don’t care for them very much. And yet they’re prevalent today, and very prevalent in some cases. And very forward.” After the 2015 Open, the BBC felt obliged to apologise for Alliss’s aside about Zach Johnson’s wife, Kim Barclay, as he stood over the putt to win the Claret Jug.”She is probably thinking – ‘if this goes in I get a new kitchen’,” Alliss said. Earlier that year he had caused consternation when telling the Radio Times that the Equality Act had “buggered up” the game.History of the photographThe photograph is a picture of famous 1920s chimpanzee Joe Mendi “the gentleman chimpanzee”.The primate was the most popular animal entertainer of the time.He was billed as having “the intelligence of a five-year-old child” and toted around Broadway, New York by circus-owner Lew Backenstoe. The remark on BBC Two satirical show Mock The Week, made in 2008, earned a reprimand from the BBC Trust who branded it “humiliating” and “offensive”.Adlington went on to make a formal complaint through her agent, arguing that the reprimand was nothing more than “a slap on the wrist”.Peter AllissPeter Alliss said in 2017 he would try to be less of a “dinosaur” as he commentated on the Masters.The 88-year-old has worked for the corporation for 58 years, establishing himself as the voice of British golf in he process. However, he has come under increasing criticism over recent years for remarks, which many believe to be sexist.”I’ll try not to be too much of a dinosaur [when covering this year’s Masters], but remember: dinosaurs are making a comeback,” Alliss told Newsweek ahead of the 2017 tournament. Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon 2013Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley “Had I kept searching I might have chosen General Tom Thumb or even a baby in a crown. But I didn’t. God knows I wish had.”Minutes later I was alerted by followers that this royal baby was of course mixed race and waves of panic and revulsion washed over me.”F—, what had I done? I needed no lessons on the centuries slurs equating simians and people of colour. Racism at it’s basest.”I am aware black people do not need a white man to tell them this. Deleting it immediately and apologising for the awful gaffe I even foolishly tried to make light of it. (My situation that is, not the racism involved.) Too late and here I am.”I would like once and for all to apologise to every single person who, quite naturally, took the awful connection at face value. I understand that and all of the clamour and opprobrium I have faced since. I am not feeling sorry for myself. I f—-d up. Badly.”But it was a genuine, naive and catastrophic mistake. …”I am now paying the price for this crass and regrettable blunder and rightly so. Probably even this final word from me will extend the mania. (‘Dog whistle’ anyone?) I would like to thank friends on here for their kinder words and once again – I am so, so sorry.” The presenter, who a year later signed up with Bartoli to commentate for ITV on the French Open, told Radio Times magazine that as well as feeling unwell, he was attempting to fill time.Frankie BoyleThe two-time Olympic swimming champion said she laughed at comedians who made jokes at the expense of others, so had no right to expect special treatment.Frankie Boyle joked on television that Adlington “looks pretty weird… like someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon”. Rebecca Adlington in the pool in 2008 at the Beijing Olympic GamesCredit:Vladimir Rys/Bongarts Richard Bacon Credit:Neil Munns/PA Embarrassingly for the BBC, his tweet coincided with the publication of the corporation’s ethnic diversity report, which called for a “substantial culture change” and recommended that managers be given compulsory cultural awareness training. Show more Danny Baker's tweet, which he later deleted Rebecca Adlington in the pool in 2008 at the Beijing Olympic Games What on earth was Danny Baker thinking? I don’t believe he’s racist but it was inappropriate and he should know the climate on Twitter when it comes to “outrage”He was sacked – a bit harsh – but it does beg the question why @Lord_Sugar faced no repercussions for this tweet. pic.twitter.com/hvLMByb3m1— Peter C. Barnes (@Barnesy19) May 9, 2019 Richard Bacon  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Trump says Obama wiretapped him during campaign gives no evidence

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedU.S. senators ask government for evidence Obama wiretapped TrumpMarch 8, 2017In “World”Trump, sworn in as U.S. president, promises to put ‘America First’January 20, 2017In “World”Trump will get wake-up call when he takes office, Obama saysNovember 15, 2016In “latest news” By David Shepardson | WASHINGTONU.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets President-elect Donald Trump at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Trump as president on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria(Reuters) U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping him in October during the late stages of the presidential election campaign, but offered no evidence to support the allegation.“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!,” Trump said in a series of Tweets on his Twitter account early on Saturday. “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”Obama’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. The White House also did not respond to a request to elaborate on Trump’s accusations.Former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes strongly denied Trump’s allegations.“No president can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you,” Rhodes wrote on Twitter.In response to Trump’s tweet about a lawyer making a “great case,” Rhodes responded: “No. They couldn’t. Only a liar could do that.”A Trump spokeswoman said the Republican president is “having meetings, making phone calls and hitting balls” at his golf course in West Palm Beach.In one of the Tweets, Trump said the alleged wiretapping took place in his Trump Tower office and apartment building in New York, but there was “nothing found.”Trump’s administration has come under pressure from Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigations into contacts between some members of his campaign team and Russian officials during his campaign.House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ridiculed Trump’s assertions. “The Deflector-in-Chief is at it again. An investigation by an independent commission is the only answer,” she wrote on Twitter Saturday.Several Republicans on Saturday again urged an investigation into a series of intelligence-related leaks.Obama imposed sanctions on Russia and ordered Russian diplomats to leave the United States in December over the country’s involvement in hacking political parties in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.On Saturday, Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News that Trump “is not credible when it comes to talking about Russia.”Swalwell downplayed Trump’s allegation. “I think this is just the president up early doing his routine tweeting, he said. “Presidents don’t wiretap anyone. These are pursued by the Department of Justice in accordance with the FBI and signed off by a judge.”Under U.S. law, a federal court would have to have found probable cause that the target of the surveillance is an “agent of a foreign power” in order to approve a warrant authorizing electronic surveillance of Trump Tower.Several conservative news outlets and commentators have made similar allegations about Trump being wiretapped during the campaign in recent days, without offering any evidence.Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned in February after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.Flynn had promised Vice President Mike Pence he had not discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russians, but transcripts of intercepted communications, described by U.S. officials, showed that the subject had come up in conversations between him and the Russian ambassador.Trump has often used his Twitter account to attack rivals and for years led a campaign alleging that Obama was not born in the United States. He later retracted the allegation.(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and David Shepardson in Washington; Additional reporting by Melissa Fares in West Palm Beach, Florida; Editing by Alexander Smith and Jonathan Oatis) read more

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