Can The Celtics Keep On Winning

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Nov. 16, 2017), Neil, Chris, and Kyle discuss the recent Time article on athlete activism by the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, Stan Van Gundy. Next, the Boston Celtics. The team’s prospects looked dire after Gordon Hayward’s opening-game injury, but the Celtics have won 13 consecutive games and have the best record in the NBA. Can they keep up this remarkable start? We investigate. Plus, a small-sample-size take on East vs. West parity.Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcasting app, or use the links in the player above.Here are links to what we discussed this week:Earlier this year, FiveThirtyEight found that NBA fans tend to lean liberal.Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.In case you missed it, check out our conversation about the Celtics in the immediate aftermath of Hayward’s injury. Embed Code read more

Continue Reading →

Beside The Points For Monday Jan 22 2018

All newsletters Oh, and don’t forgetScrew the Empire State Building have just a little pride you citywide embarrassment. We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe See more NBA predictions Things That Caught My EyeDarkest timeline!The Philadelphia Eagles will play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52, and New England is the slight favorite: Our Elo model gives them a 58 percent chance of winning the game and Tom Brady winning a sixth ring. The Patriots had an 18 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl at the start of the season, a figure which rose to 31 percent by the start of the playoffs. [FiveThirtyEight, ESPN]Guilty monster hears impact statementsLarry Nassar, who pleaded guilty to multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and federal child pornography charges related to his capacity as the U.S. Gymnastics team doctor, has heard pre-sentencing from over 100 of his victims speaking out about the impact his molestation had on their lives. Still, with other topics dominating headlines, major cable networks haven’t been devoting time to the explosive story of the serial molester who worked inside the U.S. Gymnastics team for years. [Media Matters]Vikings doomed by a strength, againPrior to the Minnesota Vikings game against Philadelphia, Kyle Wagner wrote that the Vikings had historically always been doomed by that which was their perceived strength. Incidentally, the all-time third down defense which allowed third downs to be converted to first downs only 25.2 percent of the time — league best since 1991 — choked in the match against Philly, with the Eagles converting 10 of 14 thirds into firsts. [FiveThirtyEight]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?A massive “neutral” contingent at the Olympics this yearRussia was banned from the Pyeongchang games, but Olympic Athletes from Russia were not, though they will compete under a neutral banner. An IOC panel has excluded 111 of 500 Russian athletes put forward, but of the 389 remaining competitors the neutral squad could be up to 200 Olympians, which is only a few less than the 214 who competed for Russia at Sochi. [Inside The Games]Surely Foles will also be perfect in the Super Bowl, of course.In the second half of his win against national sweethearts the Minnesota Vikings, Nick Foles had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 and a perfect QBR of 99.9. Certainly he can replicate that feat reliably to pull off the win against New England in two weeks. [Bill Barnwell]Make sure to try your hand at our fun NFL game: Can you beat the FiveThirtyEight predictions?Big Number29,993That’s how many points LeBron James has scored in his career, and with only seven points to go until 30,000 and a game against the Spurs Tuesday, he’s nearly a lock to become the fastest NBA player to score 30,000. LeBron has scored 10 or more points in his past 836 games, so I’d say it’s likelier than not, you know? [ESPN]Leaks from Slack, Sunday Night: sara.zieglerLOL, Vikings.gfoster:Super Bowl 52 may go down as the worst ever.tchow:Amazinggfoster:Line? Pats -8.5?neil:-5.5colleen:hahaha no one is going to like this super bowlPredictions NFL NBA See more NFL predictions read more

Continue Reading →

Football Signing Day 2017 is one for the record books with five

OSU coach Urban Meyer smiles during his press conference on National Signing Day on Feb. 1, 2017. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Assistant Sports DirectorOhio State coach Urban Meyer has championed recruiting. The Buckeye program has been known for recruiting and receiving commits from the state’s top football talents. Meyer, however, has done that and taken the program to new heights in recruiting across the country. His second-ranked 2017 class is a perfect example with the most out-of-state signees since he joined OSU.Eight of OSU’s nine early-enrollees were available to the media on Wednesday after team workouts. Here are three stories from National Signing Day.Meyer’s best class adds MunfordFive five-star, 14 four-star and two three-star recruits make up what many consider to be Meyer’s greatest recruiting class not just at OSU, but in his entire coaching career. The class had the most five-star signees in Meyer’s time at OSU. Twelve of the 21 new Buckeyes are ranked in the top five of their respective positions. The Buckeyes became richer on Wednesday with the addition of four-star offensive tackle Thayer Munford.The 21 players in the 2017 class are the fewest Meyer has ever had, but there’s reason for celebrating given the talent he brought in from across the nation, including the state of Texas. However, only 33 percent of the class came from the state of Ohio, which is not enough, Meyer said.“50 percent is kind of the mark that I’ve been trying to (meet). I keep it right in front of me and I stare at it and make sure that we’re doing right,” Meyer said. “I’m glad it worked out with Thayer. We had another spot saved if we wanted to go after an Ohio guy and it just didn’t materialize.”There were no surprises for OSU on Signing Day. Munford actually committed to the Buckeyes a couple days before, Meyer said. OSU targets Marvin Wilson and Jay Tufele signed with Florida State and University of Southern California, respectively.Now with 90 players on scholarship, counting sophomore punter Drue Chrisman who paid his own way in 2016, the Buckeyes have to cut down to 85 players by fall camp.Defensive backs readyThe OSU defensive back class is second to none. And that’s a good thing.With the early departures of cornerbacks Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore and safety Malik Hooker to the NFL draft, OSU had to replace its three key members in the secondary. However, Meyer is confident that the recruits in the secondary will help immediately.Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade are the top two cornerbacks of the 2017 class and both could see the field immediately. Those two, cornerback Marcus Williamson and safety Isaiah Pryor enrolled early to get a leg up on the open positions.Wade was the Gatorade National Player of the Year. He and Okudah are taller than most cornerbacks in college, both at 6-foot-1, but have a similar size to former OSU cornerbacks Lattimore and Conley, who will all be in the NFL next season.“I know a spot is open,” Okudah said. “It’s all about competition and I know the best two corners will get on that field. It’s just whatever I make of it.”Wade and Okudah are in the running to start alongside junior cornerback Denzel Ward, who will likely have one of the starting positions in 2017. But the No. 1 junior college cornerback signee Kendall Sheffield has already had the college experience at Alabama, which qualifies him for the starting job.Brendon White’s positionOne of the few Ohio players in this class is Brendon White. He doesn’t have a true position right now, but is arguably the most versatile player in the class. His position is designated “athlete,” but he thinks of himself as a receiver.Meyer told White this offseason that the unexpected early departure of wide receiver Noah Brown left a spot for White. He has been playing on both sides of the ball in workouts and said he likes the comparisons of Darron Lee at linebacker and Michael Thomas at receiver.“It definitely helps (being versatile) because it helps coaches know that I can play different positions,” White said. “If I struggle at wide receiver, I can go to linebacker. If I struggle at linebacker, I can go to safety.”On top of that, White has deep ties in his family to OSU and expressed his interest of becoming a captain in his time at OSU. He has started to do that within the freshman class having been with the team during bowl practice.“When they first got here and the first move-in day was Jan. 9, I told them this warm-up they were about to do was going to be hard,” White said. “After the end of the warm-up, they thought that was our workout and so I was like, ‘We got way more than this.’ We’re doing better now.” read more

Continue Reading →

Ohio State footballs special teams lays ground work for road upset of

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — While much attention will be given to Daniel “Boom” Herron and the OSU rushing attack after Ohio State’s 17-7 win over No. 16 Illinois, credit also belongs to the Buckeyes’ special teams. Head coach Luke Fickell said after the game that he knew two of the key aspects of the game would be the rushing game and field position. “Obviously, the field position was a big part of special teams,” Fickell said. “When you come here (to Illinois), you know you’re going to get some kind of weather condition.” On the Buckeyes’ first drive of the game, the OSU coaches ordered up a shot at a 43-yard field goal going into the wind, which sophomore kicker Drew Basil converted for his eighth straight field goal this season. “Going into the game, we had a certain distance that we would take a (field goal) shot at,” Fickell said. “It was a little beyond where we said we wanted to take a shot, but we thought with how (the wind) was twisting, we’d take a shot.” Junior punter Ben Buchanan, one of the top punters in the nation, booted another seven punts in the game including a 54-yarder. Buchanan also had two punts that pinned the Illini inside their own 20-yard line. Buchanan leads the Big Ten with 17 punts inside the 20-yard line. In coverage, the Buckeyes allowed just 11 yards per kick return and -1 yards per punt return. Junior defensive lineman John Simon called the OSU special teams “tremendous.” “The punt is the most important play in football,” Simon said. “Our guys take so much pride in special teams. I’ve never been on a team that has so much pride in what they do, and they do a great job for us.” Redshirt junior tight end Jake Stoneburner, the recipient of the only pass completion of the game, said the win was a culmination of a total team effort. “We just needed a full team game; we’ve been lacking that the whole year,” Stoneburner said. “So, for … the special teams to play like they did and for us to come out and score points, that was a great feeling.” OSU (4-3, 1-2) continues Big Ten Leaders Division play against the Wisconsin Badgers (6-0, 2-0) Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

Continue Reading →

Ohio State uses late 143 run to beat Notre Dame 6461 stay

Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) drives to the basket during a game against Delaware Dec. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 76-64. Credit: Mark Batke / Lantern photographerWith just 58 seconds remaining, it looked as if the Ohio State Buckeyes were going to be knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten.No. 3 OSU trailed Notre Dame, 58-50, but used a 14-3 run over the final minute of play to beat the Irish, 64-61, in the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.OSU’s leading scorer, senior guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr., did not enter the scoring column until the final minute of the game. His nine points just before the final buzzer coupled with a free throw by senior guard Aaron Craft with three seconds left helped the Buckeyes hold on to win.The Buckeyes (12-0, 0-0) led 33-26 at halftime after shooting 50 percent from the field and holding Notre Dame to just 34.4 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes.But the Buckeyes would hit a dry spell in the second half, going nearly nine minutes without a field goal. That allowed the Irish to take an eight-point lead.Back-to-back baskets by junior center Amir Williams and junior forward LaQuinton Ross cut the lead to four, but the Irish (8-4, 0-0) were able to extend the lead back to eight before giving up the late run to OSU that cost it the game.Four turnovers and a missed free throw allowed OSU to regain control for good.Ross led the Buckeyes with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Williams added 13 of his own. Craft and junior guard Shannon Scott chipped in with 10 each.The Buckeyes are scheduled to return home Dec. 27 against Louisiana-Monroe (3-3, 0-0). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Continue Reading →

Ohio State on track heading into Jesse Owens Track Classic

Distance runners, freshman Dominik Seitzer (left) and redshirt-sophomore Josh Sabo, pace the field during the Buckeye Tune-Up Feb. 21 at French Field House.Credit: Brandon Claflin / For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s and women’s track and field teams are set to pay tribute to legendary runner Jesse Owens as the team debuts at its only home outdoor meet of the season.This weekend, the Buckeyes are slated to host more than 24 collegiate teams along with several unattached runners Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for the 29th annual Jesse Owens Track Classic.Owens, known as the Buckeye Bullet during his time at OSU, is most recognized for his ability in the sprints and long jumping events. He set three world records at the 1935 Big Ten track meet and holds four gold Olympic medals: one each in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, long jump, and 4×100 meter relay.In the past, Olympians such as John Drummond, Allen Johnson, Edwin Moses and Buckeye Olympians Diane Dixon and Joe Greene all competed in the Jesse Owens Track Classic according to an OSU press release.The Buckeyes are excited to return home after five weeks on the road, men’s coach Ed Beathea said. He said he believes the Buckeyes have gotten off to a steady start into the outdoor season, but are looking forward to competing hard this weekend as they transition into the next phase of the season.“I think that we are on track for where we would like to end the season,” Beathea said.Beathea is confident the team is on pace to face high competition.“Performances have been a bit of a mixed bag,” Beathea said. “Some guys have thrived and done well and some guys have done relatively average. But when I look at our results from last year, we are where we should be on how we train.”Senior sprinter and hurdler Justin Hines agreed with Beathea, saying the pace the Buckeyes have taken in their training during the outdoor season.“We usually start off a little slower, then pick it up a little,” Hines said. “Coach usually peaks us right before conference. We are at a good spot based on the marks we have right now and I think that if we keep moving forward, we will be very competitive in the conference meet.”Moving forward is one thing Beathea hopes to see his team do this weekend.“We are taking each week for what it is, but we understand that for our training, we need to get our legs back and turn over a little bit faster,” Beathea said. “I would like to see them fight a little more and compete with a stronger sense of urgency.”He said many athletes are still adjusting from the indoor to outdoor season. But with a few meets under their belts in the outdoor season, he hopes they will be “more spirited.”One athlete who intends to improve and compete harder is senior sprinter and hurdler Demoye Bogle.Bogle said he has had a “rough” couple of meets to start the outdoor season, but is being patient with his training. He hopes this weekend at home will help him get his confidence back.“We want to do our best and show that we can’t be beat at our own track,” Bogle said.Bogle said he and his teammates are continuing to practice hard each day and keep healthy in order to be successful this weekend.The home track advantage comes with bittersweet returns for Hines because this is his last race at home as a Buckeye. He said he is excited, however, to have his family and friends make it down to the meet.“The guys tend to enjoy being at home because they get more support,” Beathea said. “Mechanically (they) look the same, but there is a feeling of comfort of being at home.”The meet starts Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.Correction April 17: An earlier version of this story noted the athlete in the photo on the left to be Jackson Neff. In fact, it is Dominik Seitzer. The caption now reflects the correct individuals in the photo. read more

Continue Reading →

Ohio State baseball wins in walkoff fashion takes down Penn State 76

The OSU baseball team celebrates a walk-off win on April 5 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU defeated Penn State, 7-6.Matt Wilkes / Lantern photographerThere’s no place like home.Dorothy might have said it in “The Wizard of Oz,” but that’s been the theme for the Ohio State baseball team throughout the month of March, and now into the first week of April. That stretch has seen the Buckeyes win 12 of their last 14 games at Bill Davis Stadium, and the run continued through the weekend.In a back and forth battle, OSU beat the Penn State Nittany Lions in walk-off fashion Sunday afternoon, giving the Buckeyes their fifth walk-off win of the year.After struggling in the batters box for five at bats, sophomore outfielder Troy Montgomery dug in again with a runner on base. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions were tied, but Montgomery got the hit when it counted most, smashing a double to right field that allowed freshman outfielder Tre’ Gantt, who had come in as a pinch runner, to score, giving the Buckeyes (21-7, 6-2) the 7-6 win.“When you have a chance to win a ballgame, you have to win a ballgame,” OSU coach Greg Beals said. “This is a series where we need to take care of business, to play good baseball.”Getting runs and coming up with big hits in crucial moments has become a trend for the Buckeyes, and redshirt-junior second baseman Nick Sergakis attributed that to the team’s resiliency.“We are overall a scrappy team, top to bottom,” Sergakis said. “We fight till the last out is made and I think that’s the biggest difference between this year and last year.“We remember last year. It’s good to go out there and when we need it, we get the hits. It’s good to know we have that ability.”OSU struggled to put any runs on the board until the bottom of the third, when senior catcher Connor Sabanosh stepped to the plate. Sabanosh continued his dominance at the batters box with the first home run of his OSU career.The catcher has impressed with a .426 slugging percentage and a .373 on-base percentage. He has also recorded six doubles this season to go along with his career-high 14 RBIs.The Buckeyes also hit back-to-back home runs for the first time since 2011 this weekend, as senior outfielder Pat Porter and junior third baseman Troy Kuhn slammed back-to-back homers in sixth inning to give OSU a two-run lead going into the seventh.“These guys just continue (to) battle, we have two outs, nobody on and we just barrel two balls and Porter and Kuhn get two big hits to get us back in the lead,” Beals said.After hitting 23 total home runs last season, OSU is on track to surpass that with 20 home runs so far in 2015. The Buckeyes swatted a total of four home runs this weekend with sophomore outfielder Ronnie Dawson tallying the lone homer in Saturday’s 7-1 win over the Nittany Lions.“We have confidence, there’s no doubt about that. I think that ability to win, our guys feel that,” Beals said. “Winning is a learned thing and our guys have that right now. They feel like they can get hits and find ways to win games.”The Buckeyes are set to complete their third Big Ten series on Monday at 1:05 p.m. against the Nittany Lions at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

Continue Reading →

Ohio State womens volleyball takes home tournament title extends win streak to

Geoff Carlston scheduled tough for a reason. In an effort to prepare his team for Big Ten play, the Ohio State women’s volleyball coach tasked his squad with one of the hardest nonconference schedules in the country.Thus far, it’s safe to say the team has responded well.OSU took home its second straight tournament win over the weekend at the Blackbird Invitational in Brooklyn, New York, beating a pair of teams who came into the competition without a loss.On Friday, the No. 15 Buckeyes (8-1) took care of host Long Island University Brooklyn (0-7), before topping Syracuse (6-2) and No. 13 Arizona (8-1) on Saturday. After losing its season opener to Wyoming, OSU has now won eight straight matches, including three against top-15 opponents.Led by a strong defensive showing, OSU defeated previously unbeaten Arizona in four sets (25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 29-27) in its final match of the weekend.The contest proved to be a tough early-season test for Carlston’s squad, featuring 31 ties and 12 lead changes as neither team won a set by more than three points.Junior libero Valeria León came up big for the defense, helping the Buckeyes hold Arizona to a .173 attack percentage. León set a new career high with 35 digs, breaking her previous best of 32 which was set just a week earlier against Florida State. Her efforts also marked the second-best single-game total in OSU history, and the most in a four-set match.The Buckeyes also had 14 blocks against the Wildcats, tying a season high. Four Buckeyes picked up at least three total blocks, while nine different players had at least one. Senior middle blocker Tyler Richardson led the way with five blocks, while junior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe had four.Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell had her third double-double of the season against the Wildcats, with a team-leading 19 kills to go along with 10 digs. Freshman setter Taylor Hughes also had a double-double — her third in as many games and fourth on the season — via 24 assists and 10 digs.Saturday’s first match was a four-set OSU win over Syracuse (25-12, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18), who had also entered the tournament undefeated before losing twice.Campbell again led the Buckeyes in points with 27, picking up 23 kills, four blocks and two service aces. Sandbothe put up big numbers as well, with 25 points on 18 kills, eight blocks (four solo) and one ace.OSU’s two freshmen — setter Taylor Hughes and outside hitter Audra Appold — continued to establish themselves as key contributors with impressive performances against the Orange. Hughes had her second of three double-doubles on the weekend on 36 assists and 10 digs, and Appold nearly had one of her own with nine kills and 11 digs.León once more led all players in digs with 22, averaging 5.5 per set.The Buckeyes didn’t have much of a problem against winless LIU Brooklyn in their first game of the weekend, rolling to a win in three sets by a combined 31 points (25-17, 25-10, 25-17).OSU never trailed in the first set, but was slow out of the gate in the second as LIU Brooklyn grabbed an early 6-3 lead. The Buckeyes were able to gather themselves, however, closing the set on a 22-4 run.A pair of senior outside hitters led the OSU offense, as Campbell had 12 kills and Katie Mitchell tacked on 11 at a .450 attacking percentage. Sandbothe continued her hot start to the season with 13.5 points on nine kills, six blocks (one solo) and one ace.The freshmen again played a big role in a win as Hughes had her second career double-double with 35 assists and 10 digs, while Appold had eight kills and three blocks.León was named the Blackbird Invitational’s most valuable player after leading all players with 71 digs (6.5 per set). For a second straight weekend, she was joined by Sandbothe (38 kills, 17 blocks) and Campbell (54 kills, 23 digs) on an all-tournament team.OSU is scheduled to wrap up its nonconference schedule in the Golden Grizzlies Invitational next weekend, facing Eastern Illinois and Western Michigan on Sept. 18, and Oakland on Sept. 19. read more

Continue Reading →

Heatwave breaks with spectacular lightning show but what is the Bank Holiday

first_imgA boy jumps into the River Thames at Henley as temperatures soar A man paddles on a surfboard at Henley-on-Thames A series of dramatic images captured lightning strikes over Cambridge on Wednesday eveningCredit:Wessex News Thunderstorms pushed northwards across southern parts of the UK throughout the night, with the Met Office saying more thunderstorms were possible on Thursday. Here’s the latest radar showing heavy #rain across parts of the UK, also #thunderstorms to the west of N Irelandhttps://t.co/nze1ktlJLj— Met Office (@metoffice) August 25, 2016 Cambridge lightning People took to the beaches across the UK on Wednesday as thermometers recorded the hottest day of 2016, with health officials warning people to take extra care of themselves and vulnerable friends in the blistering temperatures.Temperatures hit 33.9C (93F) at Gravesend in Kent, topping the 33.5C (92.3F) recorded at Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, on July 19.  Sunseekers take it easy on the coast at Llandudno in Wales A boy jumps into the River Thames at Henley as temperatures soarCredit:Carl Court/Getty Thursday will still feel warm in the South East, with temperatures reaching the mid-20Cs, while across the rest of the country thermometers will register around the low 20Cs.Showers overnight will push northwards from the south coast, and while rain will only be sporadic it could be heavy in localised areas.The weekend will see a “mixed bag”, Ms Sharples said, with cloud and rain coming in from the South West on Saturday – before turning brighter and clearer on Sunday.Bank Holiday Monday is expected to be the best day of the long weekend, with sunny spells and temperatures reaching the mid-20Cs, along with the odd isolated shower.UK weather forecast – Friday, August 26 Fine for most yesterday, but it was hot in the southeast. 33.9C recorded at Gravesend, #hottestdayoftheyear so far! pic.twitter.com/Xv9gQa2vS2— Met Office (@metoffice) 24 August 2016 After issuing a series of heatwave alerts earlier this week, the Met Office said the hot weather was due to a combination of strong sunshine and extra warmth being pushed northwards from the continent.But there will be a respite from the heat in the coming days as temperatures fall a little, with some cloud and rain bringing fresher conditions. Bookmaker Coral is offering odds-on at 2/1 that August will be the hottest ever, and has it at 5/2 that the record high temperature of 37.5C (99.5F) is broken this year.Coral’s John Hill said: “The odds suggest by the time this month is out, it will have been the hottest August in history in the UK, while the gamble behind this summer being the hottest on record is showing no sign of stopping, leaving bookmakers sweating over a big pay-out.” Explaining the heatwave, Emma Sharples, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “We are drawing on the continental flow from France and Spain, where they have been having equally high and higher temperatures as we have seen today.”As we go through the next couple of days that changes subtly and we will see some cloud and showery rain around, which will cool things off.” Sunseekers take it easy on the coast at Llandudno in WalesCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty A man paddles on a surfboard at Henley-on-ThamesCredit:Carl Court/Getty The new high for 2016 spurred bookies to slash odds on it being the hottest summer on record, with Coral offering 2/1.With more people flocking to the UK’s beaches and after five people who were pulled from the water at Camber Sands died, the Royal National Lifeguard Institution (RNLI) has urged seaside visitors to take care and respect the water. The odds suggest by the time this month is out, it will have been the hottest August in history in the UKJohn Hill, Coral 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. Issuing a warning to seaside visitors, an RNLI spokesman said: “The sea may look appealing, and the RNLI would encourage people to use it, but do so safely – it can be dangerously unpredictable.”Please visit lifeguarded beaches and swim between the red and yellow flags – the safe swim zone and the area watched by lifeguards.”RNLI lifeguards are always happy to answer any questions or advise of any risks, including where any rip currents may be, which can catch out even the most experienced swimmers.” Dramatic lightning storms have broken the heatwave causing parts of Britain to swelter after the hottest day of the year so far.After a muggy Wednesday evening that made for uncomfortable sleeping conditions in the south and south east of England, widespread heavy and thundery showers helped to clear the air and bring fresher weather.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Men who go to the gym have less active sex life study

first_imgThe researchers asked 1,100 men in the US to respond to an online poll about their sex lives, such as how often they thought about sex.They also asked detailed questions about exercise habits like how often and how intensely the men worked out.Among those who took part were running, cycling and ameteur endurance athletes who were contacted through trade magazines. Women trying to get pregnant are normally the ones who face questions about the amount of exercise they do 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. People who exercised for a shorter amount of time wanted more sex as well.Professor Hackney said that there was a clear ‘tipping point’ at which exercise started to ruin your sex life, a point he hopes to narrow down with further research.The study was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.It said: “Exposure to higher levels of chronic intense and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis are significantly associated with a decreased libido scores in men.”Normally women trying to get pregnant are the ones who face many questions about their love life and the amount of exercise they do.But Professor Hackney said: “Fertility specialists will often ask a woman about whether and how much she exercises.”Based on our data, we think they should also be asking the man.” Women trying to get pregnant are normally the ones who face questions about the amount of exercise they doCredit: www.eddiemacdonald.co.uk Men who strenuously work out have a lower libido than those who do low intensity exercise, a study has found.Males reach a ‘tipping point’ at which they are too tired to have sex or are just not interested any more.The study’s conclusions are so clear that fertility specialists should consider asking men how much exercise they do if their partners are trying to conceive, the results showed. Each of the men was then categorised according to whether they had short or long workouts and if they were light, moderate, or intense. Their sexual appetite was also categorised into high, moderate or low libido.According to the researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in the US, there was a ‘significant’ relationship that emerged.Lead researcher Anthony Hackney, a professor of exercise physiology and nutrition, said that those who had a less intense workout had a higher libido.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Top Gear return gets nearly two million fewer viewers than last years

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Last year’s series opener was largely savaged by viewers, mainly due to Evans’s hosting style. The decline in audience numbers follows a pattern in recent years, as the motoring magazine show scored higher viewers on average for its series openers with Clarkson, Hammond and May in the driving seat.The first episode of Top Gear’s 2015 series was seen by 5.3 million, and the overall average for the trio’s final five years fronting the programme – between 2011 and 2015 – saw an average of 5.2 million viewers per debut episode for every new series. Meanwhile, Call The Midwife, which concludes its sixth series next Sunday night, has mostly seen a steady increase over the past seven weeks. The first episode of the series in late January was seen by 7.72 million fans during its broadcast while the overall series average is now at 8.55 million, due to a spike in viewers during its fifth episode at 9.09 million. Show more Elsewhere, the BBC’s alternative reality period drama SS-GB has continued to drop in the ratings as its third episode, which aired on Sunday night at 9pm, scored an overnight average of 3.4 million viewers.The second episode last week had declined to 3.9 million from the first episode’s 6.1 million.The drama series, an adaptation of Len Deighton’s 1978 book of the same name that takes a look at what would have happened if the Nazis had won the Battle of Britain, lost viewers after many complained they found it difficult to hear much of the dialogue.  Despite largely positive reviews from fans, the return of Top Gear failed to impress in the ratings as it was seen by nearly two million fewer viewers than its series debut last year.However, the BBC Two motoring programme was up against the penultimate episode of BBC One’s popular period drama Call The Midwife in the Sunday 8pm timeslot.Top Gear, which has been revamped with Matt Le Blanc at the helm alongside co-hosts Chris Harris and Rory Reid, was watched by an average of 2.8 million people, according to overnight data, while Call The Midwife was seen by an average of 8.9 million.These initial figures do not account for those watching on catch-up at a later time.Top Gear’s series launch in 2016 – with Chris Evans and Le Blanc as new presenters following the departure of long-running hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May – had scored 4.4 million viewers overnight.Fans praised the new-look show on social media, with former Friends actor Le Blanc as Top Gear’s leading man. Sunday’s instalment, which featured a trip to Kazakhstan and an interview with Scottish actor James McAvoy, prompted viewers to describe the new series as a “massive improvement” and that it had made “a promising start”.”Top Gear is back how it should be!” enthused one viewer on Twitter, while another joked the show “was so sweet I could have licked it”.LeBlanc, 49, was called “a natural” as a presenter and several people said the programme was better without Evans, who quit after the last series, saying he gave it his best shot but that it was “not enough”.last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Man hit by bus as he crosses road before dusting himself down

first_imgA man was knocked down by an out-of-control bus – before miraculously getting up and walking into a pub.Simon Smith said he is lucky to be alive after being struck by the double-decker as he crossed the road in Reading.CCTV footage showed him being knocked off his feet from behind and thrown around 20ft by the bus that mounted the pavement. Mr McNaught said: “We’ve known Simon for about 20 years. He went to hospital, he’s ok he’s a bit frail today, he’s not feeling the best. He went to hospital the paramedics who called the ambulance took him. He’s bruised and shocked I think. It’s absolutely crazy.”A spokesman for South Central Service said Mr Smith’s injuries were initially recorded as a result of being hit by debris because they were so minor.  Simon Smith looked over his shoulder towards the commotion just before he was hitCredit:Purple Turtle/SWNS.com Mr Smith was crossing Gun Street when he was knocked down by the Number 17 bus that had veered onto the pavement. Incredibly, Mr Smith walked away with only minor injuries. Seconds after the crash, he is seen standing up unaided, dusting himself down – and walking into the entrance of a bar.Thames Valley Police said they are still investigating the crash but have not made any arrests at this stage. Mr Smith’s wife told the Telegraph: “He’s suffering. He’s on a lot of pain, he shouldn’t be here. She added that his “recovery is the main thing”. South Central Ambulance service said they initially misreported Mr Smith’s injuries because he appeared to have come out of the crash unscathed.A spokesman said: “he informed staff that he had been hit by a bus and they thought from the incident log that he was unscathed and initially sent out a statement saying he was hit by debris from the shop front”. He added: “He was taken to hospital with minor injuries and discharged later that day I believe”A Thames Valley Police spokesman said the road was closed for about two hours. No arrests have been made. The double-decker bus windscreens is seen to have shattered in the impactCredit:Purple Turtle/SWNS Simon Smith looked over his shoulder towards the commotion just before he was hit She added that his “recovery is the main thing”. South Central Ambulance service said they initially misreported Mr Smith’s injuries because he appeared to have come out of the crash unscathed.A spokesman said: “he informed staff that he had been hit by a bus and they thought from the incident log that he was unscathed and initially sent out a statement saying he was hit by debris from the shop front”. Reading Buses said it is investigating the “awful incident”, which happened at about 9.10am on Saturday. The driver has been “taken off the road” pending the investigation. He is flung over onto the pavement by the vehicleCredit:Purple Turtle/SWNS A Reading Buses spokesman confirmed the pedestrian was injured, but said he was not seriously hurt. He said the driver had been “taken off the road” while an investigation into the incident was carried out. Apparently without having suffered serious injury, Mr Smith walks into the entrance of the Purple TurtleCredit:Purple Turtle / SWNS Mr McNaught said: “We’ve known Simon for about 20 years. He went to hospital, he’s ok he’s a bit frail today, he’s not feeling the best. He went to hospital the paramedics who called the ambulance took him. He’s bruised and shocked I think. It’s absolutely crazy.”A spokesman for South Central Service said Mr Smith’s injuries were initially recorded as a result of being hit by debris because they were so minor.  Reading Buses said it is investigating the “awful incident”, which happened at about 9.10am on Saturday. The driver has been “taken off the road” pending the investigation. The pedestrian lies on the pavement after being thrown around 20ft – as the bus goes in a different directionCredit:Purple Turtle/SWNS The vehicle also hit street furniture before hitting the pedestrian, who looked over his shoulder towards the commotion just before he was hit.After behind thrown through the air, he landed outside The Purple Turtle Bar. The bus itself had its windscreen shattered following the impact, before coming to a halt a short distance away.Stuart McNaught, the bar manager of the establishment, told the The Daily Telegraph Mr Smith was later transferred to hospital but had emerged from the accident with just bruises. The double-decker bus's windscreens is seen to have shattered in the impact “The incident is the subject of an ongoing internal investigation as well as an investigation by the police with whom we are working and sharing footage from our on-board CCTV, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate on this until it has run its course.”We can assure the public that all our drivers are incredibly professional and trained to the highest standard. Our buses receive regular checks by our award-winning engineering department.”We send our regrets to those affected, especially the pedestrian injured in the street and hope that he is recovering from his injuries.” Apparently without having suffered serious injury, Mr Smith walks into the entrance of the Purple Turtle The bus's windscreen was shattered after the man was knocked down A man was knocked down by an out-of-control bus – before miraculously getting up and walking into a pub.Simon Smith said he is lucky to be alive after being struck by the double-decker as he crossed the road in Reading.CCTV footage showed him being knocked off his feet from behind and thrown around 20ft by the bus that mounted the pavement. He added: “He was taken to hospital with minor injuries and discharged later that day I believe”A Thames Valley Police spokesman said the road was closed for about two hours. No arrests have been made. But he was knocked off his feet from behind as the bus mounted the pavement Mr Smith was crossing Gun Street when he was knocked down by the Number 17 bus that had veered onto the pavement. Damage outside the Purple Turtle following the crashCredit:Nic Hoskins/SWNS The Reading Buses spokesman added: “We are obviously shocked by the incident as well as the very graphic footage that has been shared a number of times.”Thankfully, the pedestrian does not have any major injuries and there were no major injuries to passengers on the bus. Incredibly, Mr Smith walked away with only minor injuries. Seconds after the crash, he is seen standing up unaided, dusting himself down – and walking into the entrance of a bar.Thames Valley Police said they are still investigating the crash but have not made any arrests at this stage. Mr Smith’s wife told the Telegraph: “He’s suffering. He’s on a lot of pain, he shouldn’t be here. A Reading Buses spokesman confirmed the pedestrian was injured, but said he was not seriously hurt. He said the driver had been “taken off the road” while an investigation into the incident was carried out. The bus’s windscreen was shattered after the man was knocked downCredit:Nic Hoskins/SWNS The pedestrian lies on the pavement after being thrown around 20ft - as the bus goes in a different direction 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. Damage outside the Purple Turtle following the crash But he was knocked off his feet from behind as the bus mounted the pavementCredit:Purple Turtle/SWNS.com “The incident is the subject of an ongoing internal investigation as well as an investigation by the police with whom we are working and sharing footage from our on-board CCTV, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment or speculate on this until it has run its course.”We can assure the public that all our drivers are incredibly professional and trained to the highest standard. Our buses receive regular checks by our award-winning engineering department.”We send our regrets to those affected, especially the pedestrian injured in the street and hope that he is recovering from his injuries.” He is flung over onto the pavement by the vehicle The vehicle also hit street furniture before hitting the pedestrian, who looked over his shoulder towards the commotion just before he was hit.After behind thrown through the air, he landed outside The Purple Turtle Bar. The bus itself had its windscreen shattered following the impact, before coming to a halt a short distance away.Stuart McNaught, the bar manager of the establishment, told the The Daily Telegraph Mr Smith was later transferred to hospital but had emerged from the accident with just bruises. The Reading Buses spokesman added: “We are obviously shocked by the incident as well as the very graphic footage that has been shared a number of times.”Thankfully, the pedestrian does not have any major injuries and there were no major injuries to passengers on the bus. The Number 17 bus throws the unsuspecting pedestrian forwards The Number 17 bus throws the unsuspecting pedestrian forwardsCredit:Purple Turtle/SWNSlast_img read more

Continue Reading →

Czech agent claims 15 Labour MPs met spies as Ken Livingstone and

first_imgSpeaking to The Telegraph, Mr Sarkocy claimed that: The new claims come after he said on Friday that the Labour leader had shared information with the Communist Czechoslovak regime. Jan Sarkocy, a former Czechoslovak spy, described the MPs as “great sources” to himself or his colleagues in the KGB. Ken Livingstone, John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn were part of a group of at least 15 senior Labour figures who shared information with Eastern bloc agents, it is claimed. Mr Livingstone also discussed information with the Czechoslovak regime; The future London mayor made frequent visits to the Czechoslovak embassy, where he drank whisky; Mr McDonnell met a KGB agent on several occasions; Between…last_img read more

Continue Reading →

Forest Gate shooting Three people arrested after shots fired at police in

Three people were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a car chase ended with shots being fired at police officers in east London.Witnesses described hearing gunshots as police cars raced through the streets of Forest Gate.Scotland Yard said armed police returned fire, but no one was injured.The incident began when police were called to reports of suspects seen in possession of a firearm in Lascelles Close.”A short time later a vehicle was seen nearby which failed to stop for police and a pursuit was authorised,” said a spokesman.”During the pursuit, a number of sots were fired towards officers. Police firearms were discharged. There are no reported injuries.” Heard a crash sound, saw the police chase a car and then heard what sounded like gunshots. Now there’s a helicopter going around #ForestGate not sure what’s happening but it’s sounds serious! #E7 #E11— Hannah Lane (@hellohannahlane) July 26, 2018 Earlier, residents described scenes of high drama as helicopters flew overhead and officers went door to door. Some said they heard five or six gunshots.Images shared on social media showed armed police with a suspect on the ground and a black BMW with broken windows nearby. Gun shots. Police helicopters. 20+ armed police running up our road. Crazy times in Forest Gate.— Karl Newson (@Karlwheel) July 26, 2018 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. He added that the incident had been referred to the Directorate of Professional Standards, which is routine when officers discharge their weapons.The suspects have been taken to an east London police station. read more

Continue Reading →

Days of prima donna parish priests are over says new Dean

The Very Reverend Nicholas Papadopulos The new Dean of the 800-year-old Salisbury cathedralCredit:Ash Mills/Salisbury Cathedral “Once upon a time the vicar was a king – I say king advisedly because it would in those days have been a he – he was the king in his patch.”Whatever anyone else in the surrounding patches was doing was of no consequence really. The vicar was supreme.”These days, the vicar will probably be overseeing, in a rural diocese, six or seven of those patches, and he or she will be working with a whole range of different colleagues, retired priests, part-time priests, lay ministers, lay officers of the church.”And what the vicar needs is a capacity to supervise those people and to get the very best out of them, and to nurture and oversee a cohesive team. That is quite a shift in culture,” he said.”Clergy need to be people who above all else, can be open with God, open with one another, not defended, not prima donna-ish, but willing to collaborate in the building of the kingdom.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Very Reverend Nicholas PapadopulosCredit:Ash Mills/Salisbury Cathedral The Church of England is moving away from “prima donna” priests, the new Dean of Salisbury has said.Modern clergy need to be willing to work with others, and can no longer be a “king” in their parish, the Very Reverend Nicholas Papadopulos told the Sunday Telegraph.Mr Papadopulos, who worked with newly ordained priests for five years in his previous role as canon treasurer of Canterbury Cathedral, was installed on September 9 as the 81st Dean of the 800-year-old cathedral.Ahead of starting his new role he said the shift towards clergy being responsible for several different parishes meant they needed to be able to “nurture” others and be collaborative.  Shrinking congregations and a smaller clergy means vicars are increasingly having to cover more than one parish as part of their job, particularly in rural areas.A Church of England report released in 2016 shows that between 1960 and 2011 the proportion of parishes which were in “multi-parish benefices” rose from 17 per cent to 71 per cent. The new Dean of the 800-year-old Salisbury cathedral Senior church figures have previously said that they are considering implementing psychometric testing as a national policy, in order to pick out clergy who have desirable values such as collaboration and teamwork.The tests have also been linked to a desire to weed out potential paedophiles amid concerns that potential child abusers could be slipping through the net.Thorough background checks already prevent convicted abusers from joining the clergy but the tests are being considered to strengthen the current process. read more

Continue Reading →

Slavery probe at £12m home of university lecturer after man kept in

 Items inside the garden shed in Chilworth, Hampshire. Items inside the shed, where a Polish man is said to have livedCredit: GLLA/Solent News & Photo Agency Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A barely-started breeze block extension sits at the top of the driveway, with two parked cars – one a high-powered Lexus saloon – in front of a garage which is set underneath the house. The breeze block shed, which the Polish man claimed to have been forced to live, was visible in one corner of the garden.Mrs Binning has worked at the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences since 1998. She describes her area of expertise as ‘Adult Nursing, specialising [in] respiratory, cardiovascular and high dependency care’.In 2013 a University newsletter commended her, noting ‘congratulations to Pritpal Binning who has passed her Masters in Education with a stunning 82 per cent’.Test Valley District Commander Chief Inspector Kory Thorne said: “Instances of modern day slavery in the Test Valley are rare.“However, when information is received suggesting someone is being subjected to modern day slavery we will work with partner agencies to investigate and where necessary take action against those people responsible.” “I have seen a white guy walking past my house with a trailer full of rubbish. He stopped to talk to my gardener once and she [Pritpal] came out and told him off for chatting.”The house has changed a lot now, the building work has been going on for about a year now but that particular man was around before that.” Mrs Binning, a lecturer in health sciences at the University of Southampton, refused to comment on her and her husband’s arrest.Speaking at her home, she said: “I know why you’re here. We’re not going to talk. You just want a story, I’m not going to talk about it.”A male neighbour said he had seen a man working around the five-bedroom property but was shocked to hear of the allegations about the ‘nice’ couple.He said: “I did go round there once, a few years back. They’ve lived here for at least 20 years – they were certainly nice when I went round there.”I saw the police there the other day and one of the vans actually parked outside my house for a little while.”It’s shocked me, hearing what has been reported to have happened. A slavery probe is underway at the £1.2m home of a university lecturer after a man was found in “degrading and disgusting” conditions in a garden shed.The man, a Polish national, told police he had been forced to work in exchange for food, and that he had been sleeping on a plastic sun lounger in a shed at the bottom of the garden, with no working toilet. He said his kitchen only comprised a barbecue and a fridge.Police were alerted after NHS staff at a walk-in centre he attended raised the alarm.The couple arrested for the alleged abuse were named locally as Pritpal Binning, 56, and her 54-year-old husband Palvinder, who have been having an extension done on their home in the leafy village Chilworth, near Southampton.They were arrested in a raid on their home by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), assisted by Hampshire Police, and have been released pending further investigation.Tony Byrne, GLAA senior investigating officer, said: “First and foremost, we are pleased that the man is now receiving the help and support he so desperately needs. In the 21st century, no-one should be forced to live in such degrading and disgusting conditions. Hampshire Police refused to confirm the names of those arrested when contacted. “Following the two arrests we made, our investigation is ongoing as we examine and assess the evidence we collected from the property.“I would also like to praise the NHS staff who reported their concerns. It’s really important that people get in touch if they believe someone is being exploited.“By contacting us, we can ensure that some of the most vulnerable people in society are protected and supported.” read more

Continue Reading →

Why your Brussels sprouts will be smaller this Christmas

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. Some Christmas diners will be delighted, others horrified: much of this year’s crop of Brussels sprouts will be closer to pea-sized as a result of summer’s heatwave.Suppliers said that because of the lack of rain the sprouts did not grow to their normal size, but supermarkets had found creative ways to get around the resulting shortage. Waitrose, for example, is embracing the availability of smaller versions and selling them packaged as “baby sprouts”.Hannah Steward, technical manager at Waitrose, said: “Sprouts have had a tricky time this year but our suppliers have worked incredibly hard and the quality this year is superb.“Due to the very warm weather over the summer and the long growing ­period, we spoke with our farmers to figure out the best way to maximise the crop. This year our baby sprouts, or ‘sproutlets’, will be widely available.“Measuring around 15mm (instead of the usual size of up to 40mm), these sprouts allow our farmers to utilise most of their crop without forgoing flavour, texture and taste.”While they are ignored for most of the season, demand for sprouts soars in mid-December, going up 800 per cent from the 10th to the 17th. However, those looking for good-sized globes will be disappointed. Vernon Mascarenhas, from Nature’s Choice, at New Covent Garden Market, told The Sunday Telegraph that the baby sprouts “haven’t been grown especially as miniature,” they are the same variety that just failed to grow. Mr Mascarenhas said: “With the hot summer and lack of rain they just didn’t grow to the normal size, so they are ­being sold as baby sprouts.”However, there is a silver lining to tiny sprouts. While they may look less impressive on the dinner table there is good chance they willl taste better. Mr Mascarenhas said that smaller sprouts “will cook evenly and be less likely to be soggy. Because they’re smaller they’re easier to roast too.” read more

Continue Reading →

Giant luxury events boat Ocean Diva makes waves over pollution and disturbance

Plans have been submitted to the Corporation of London for approval to extend Swan Lane Pier, on the north bank of the Thames, from where corporate clients would regularly board the 282 ft vessel for lavish cruises along the river.The Ocean Diva’s website boasts it will give “every customer a unique and unforgettable experience”, whether its “dinner on the outside deck, while enjoying the skyline of your own city” or creating “an inspiring and immersive brand event”.It says that since 2003 its two ships, the original Ocean Diva and the Futura, have hosted dozens of successful river events in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium and now promise to do the same in Britain with a third vessel.But people living close to where the boat will be moored say they will be made to pay for the pleasure of others.The Living Bankside group, which represents over 13,000 residents along the river from the OXO Tower to City Hall, says the impact would be detrimental to both people and the river itself.Amir Eden, of Living Bankside, said: “It is unacceptable to have a three storey vehicle the size of a football pitch driving around London’s streets spewing invisible diesel emissions, so why should it be allowed to go up and down the Thames, which is London’s biggest open space?“The ship creates a big safety issue on the river, just as we come up to the anniversary of the sinking of the Marchioness. There will also be a significant visual impact by mooring a boat this big on the banks of the Thames, impeding views that are enjoyed by thousands of people.” The Anglican church has also joined opposition to the plans.In a letter of objection Andrew Nunn, the Dean of Southwark, stated: “The size of this barge and the potential disturbance to the area in the evening would be very disruptive and detrimental to the quality of life in the area.”He added: “We have had a long history of care of the users of the river and are the location of the Marchioness Memorial, this being the 30th anniversary year of that disaster.“We rejoice in the use made of the river and especially as a means and route for transport. But the increase in party boats has had a detrimental effect upon the life of the communities around the river and therefore we object to this proposed development.”The Environment Agency has also objected to the plans, stating that building the new pontoon would lead to erosion and a loss of habitat and that dredging work would release high levels of contamination from the sediment of the river bed into the water.But the scheme’s supporters say the impact on the environment would be minimal, as the newly built Ocean Diva will have a hybrid engine, reducing pollution and noise.Greg Lawson, the chief executive of Smart Group, which will operator Ocean Diva London, said: “London is still the business hub of Europe and a major tourist destination and we are confident that despite these times of uncertainty the vessel will be very popular.“We are totally cognisant that we must operate without causing local difficulties. The acoustics are fantastic and the design means that we are able to operate with very little sound escaping from inside the vessel. It is designed to work on the Thames without causing problems to local residents.” The interior of the Ocean Diva The Ocean Diva The Ocean Diva The interior of the Ocean Diva 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. With space for more than 1,500 passengers, glitzy interiors, yards of open deck space and even a helicopter landing pad it promises to be the perfect venue for blue chip events in the heart of London.But it doesn’t look like it will all be plain sailing for the Ocean Diva.Plans for the boat – which will be the length of a football pitch – have been roundly condemned as a threat to the River Thames’s delicate environment, air quality and passenger safety.Opponents say work to build a mooring station for the Ocean Diva would dredge up toxins from the river bed, threatening river wildlife, and once on the Thames it’s powerful diesel electric hybrid engines would spew out harmful emissions at a time of growing concern over London’s air quality.The boat’s Anglo-Dutch backers want to be able to moor it close to London Bridge, just yards from where the Marchioness pleasure cruiser sank with the loss of 51 lives after colliding with a dredger in August 1989. read more

Continue Reading →

LETTER Govt must release ExxonMobil contract

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related Many persons have been calling on the Government of Guyana to release the full text of the Production Sharing Agreement with ExxonMobil and its partners but the government has refused, consistently, to publish this document.The previous PPP/C administrations of former presidents Janet Jagan, Jagdeo and Ramotar also failed to disclose it and kept it secret since June 1999. So, in a sense, they are all the same.At the GYEITI ‘Outreach’, held at the Marian Academy on July 20, 2017, this question was again put to Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman. Minister Trotman replied that he could not release the contract because of restrictions placed on its release by Section 4 of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act.I, therefore, examined Section 4 which states as follows:‘Subject to Subsection (2) no information furnished or information in a report submitted pursuant to this Act by a licensee shall be disclosed to any person who is not a Minister, a public officer or an employee of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission except with the consent of the licensee’.Subsection (2) allows for the disclosure of information without the consent of a licensee in seven (7) situations.However, Subsection (3) refers specifically to a petroleum agreement and states as follows:‘Where a licensee is party to a petroleum agreement, the right of the licensee, his servant or agents to disclose information about prospecting or production operations under the licence shall be subject to any restrictions or limitations in that respect specified in the agreement’.Subsection (4) provides for penalties of seventy-five thousand dollars (G$75,000) and imprisonment for three years for contravention of Section 4.First of all Section 4 (1) speaks about ‘information furnished’ or ‘information in a report’ submitted pursuant to the Act by the licensee.The Production Sharing Agreement is neither ‘information furnished’ nor ‘information in a report’.Therefore, Section 4 does not apply at all.Now let me refer you to Subsection (3) which speaks about a petroleum agreement, which is what the public is rightfully demanding to be published.These restrictions affect only the licensee, his servants or agents (not the Minister except, of course, if the said Minister considers himself an agent or servant of ExxonMobil) and deal with information about ‘prospecting or production operations’ and these restrictions have to be ‘specified in the agreement’.There is nothing here about restrictions on publication of the agreement.The language of the law is clear and this Minister as a lawyer should know better than to keep peddling inaccurate information to the public.In an interview in a section of the media dated Sunday, July 23, 2017, Minister Raphael Trotman repeated the lie that the Act ‘does not support the disclosure of contracts’. He then spoke some nonsense about ‘curing a mischief’.The fact of the matter is that the Minister is misleading the public while stubbornly refusing to release the contract. If the Government of Guyana is truly interested in joining EITI, then it must start now by publishing the deal. There is no law that prevents this.The government is far too secretive about matters concerning the people of Guyana, although, in all fairness to Minister Trotman, the previous government, also, behaved in the same way, keeping the original contract secret since June 1999.Yours respectfully,Ramon Gaskin read more

Continue Reading →

Letter Sugar is indeed too big to fail

Dear Editor,Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan during his press conference on (Friday) April 13, 2018 announced that the economy expanded by only 2.1 per cent, the lowest growth rate in recent times. Incidentally it was Black Friday, was it coincidence?The Minister, among other things, charged that sugar production of 137,307 tonnes in 2017 was responsible for the poor economic showing. The GAWU will not rehash the reasons for the poor production which we shared publicly on more than one occasion. Though the Minister seeks to use sugar as one of his punching bags in seeking to explain what is clearly a worrying situation, at the same time, the admission by Minister Jordan serves to demonstrate the importance of the sugar industry to the wider economy.As GAWU has been saying consistently, the sugar industry cannot be seen solely and only from the financial/profitability argument the Government, like a horse with blinkers, is focused on. Important as that is, the GAWU strongly believes, and must reiterate, that sugar has to be seen from its wider economic impact in terms of direct and indirect employment, taxes whether be income or consumption, foreign exchange receipts, among other things. The four (4) closed estates aggregately paid its workers $11.9B in 2014, using data available from the Sugar CoI report. To illustrate the significance of what the economy has really lost we contrasted what obtains in the private sector. Using most recently available data concerning employment costs at Banks DIH Limited, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), and Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited – four (4) publicly listed companies in Guyana and among the country’s largest enterprises – we learnt they spent aggregately G$9.6B.Also, it is estimated that the now jobless workers of Skeldon, Rose Hall, East Demerara and Wales, conservatively, utilized about 85 per cent of their earnings on the purchase of goods and services. In other words, directly shop keepers, market vendors, fisherfolk, transportation providers, etc have lost $10.15B. Indirectly, using the income multiplier formula, a further $70B has been removed from the economy. This is a massive and substantial hit and one which many, especially in rural Guyana, may not be able to recover from. With now four closed estates, some resuming operations in a minimalistic way at this time, it would be interesting to know what the 2018 figures would reveal. Clearly, from all appearances, the wiser economic decision was to keep the industry going while working to make it profitable and viable as the SPU is now seeking to do at Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt. What is clear, as the Minister Jordan is reported in April 14, 2018 to have said, sugar is too big to fail.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGAWU General Secretary Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLETTER: Response to Ramjattan’s false claims on sugarFebruary 27, 2019In “latest news”Dismal sugar production no fault of workers, Union- GAWUDecember 22, 2017In “Business”GAWU to Govt: Cut down on unnecessary spending and give public servants a bonusNovember 22, 2017In “latest news” read more

Continue Reading →