What If Rafael Nadal Had Never Won a Grand Slam Title

Imagine a tennis world in which Rafael Nadal never picked up a racket. Some of his rivals must have. Novak Djokovic could be excused for daydreaming about it after Nadal beat him in Sunday’s French Open final, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.Who would benefit most in a hypothetical world without Nadal? Well, let’s divvy up Nadal’s 14 Grand Slam titles. Although he might never reach Roger Federer’s record of 17 major titles, Nadal already leads Federer and all other Open-era greats in the ranking of biggest obstacle to a single Grand Slam title.To quantify this, I give you the “title block.” A title block isn’t an official tennis stat — I made it up. Here’s how it works: If Nadal beat a player in a final, I figure that given the next best possible opponent, the man who lost to Nadal would, on average, have a 50 percent chance of winning. So that win counts as half a title block. (This may undersell some blocked players’ chances of winning, but because this is hypothetical, treating unplayed matchups as coin flips is safest.) Similarly, a semifinal win cost the loser a quarter of a Grand Slam title and so on. Then I summed the title blocks for each Grand Slam tournament. I used data from Tennis Abstract, adding data from the just-completed French Open from rolandgarros.com. I ignored walkovers but included mid-match retirements.No matter how many times Nadal bites trophies, they don’t get broken up into pieces. But because this is a what-if exercise, these hypothetical titles come in fractions. If Nadal beats a player enough times, those fractional titles can start adding up. Nadal’s four wins in French Open finals over Federer, plus one semifinal ousting, count for two and one-quarter titles that Nadal has deprived Federer. Meanwhile, by beating Djokovic in two French Open finals, three semifinals and a quarterfinal, Nadal has cost him one and seven-eighths French Open titles.In a non-Nadal world, Djokovic would have one more U.S. Open crown in addition to those one or two French Opens. Federer would have another Australian Open title, along with those two or three additional French Open titles. And David Ferrer would no longer be in the running for best player never to win a major, because he’d have lifted a French Open trophy.We can expand this to other tennis greats. Let’s skim the cream off the top of the tennis world one great player at a time: Let’s get rid of each of the 12 men who have won at least six Grand Slam singles titles since the Open era of pro tennis began in 1968, one by one. We’ll add an unlucky No. 13 in Murray, who has had the misfortune to compete in an era dominated by three of those 12 men: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.Nadal’s dominance of Federer and Djokovic rank first and second, respectively, among title blocks at the four Grand Slam tournaments, ahead of other famous blocks like Federer’s of Andy Roddick at Wimbledon, Pete Sampras’s of Andre Agassi at the U.S. Open and Bjorn Borg of Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon. Nadal’s defeats of Ferrer at the French Open the Top 10: By costing Ferrer one title, Nadal also takes the 10th spot on the list.Overall, Nadal has blocked Federer from three and three-quarters major titles; Federer would have 21 without Nadal. That’s No. 1 on the title-blocks list overall, and Nadal’s blockage of Djokovic from almost four major titles is No. 2 on the overall list.Don’t pity Federer too much, though: He did win the French Open in 2009, the one year in the past decade that Nadal didn’t. Djokovic still hasn’t won the clay-court major. Murray, meanwhile, would have more than triple his current total of two Grand Slam titles if not for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, who each have cost him more than one.Nadal has had the better of all of his rivals, but he, too, could have won more majors without Federer, Djokovic, et al. By beating Nadal in two Wimbledon finals, Federer has cost Nadal a third Wimbledon title to go with the two Nadal has won. Djokovic, meanwhile, beat Nadal in the finals of three consecutive Grand Slam tournaments over 2011 and 2012, which cost Nadal one and a half major titles. read more


Arian Foster Bucks NCAA System I took Cash While

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster is fighting for college athletes’ rights. The pro player says he isn’t scared of the NCAA, and hopes that his admission that he was paid while playing in college at Tennessee will help change rules about paying college athletes.“I just feel strong about the injustice that the NCAA has been doing for years,” Foster said Friday. “That’s why I said what I said. I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus. … I feel like I shouldn’t have to run from the NCAA anymore. They’re like these big bullies. I’m not scared of them.”In an interview posted on SI.com for a documentary called “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” Foster said he took extra money so he could pay his rent and food while playing at Tennessee.“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year (2008), I was getting money on the side,” Foster said in the video. “I really didn’t have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, ‘Man, be careful.’ But there’s nothing wrong with it. And you’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.”Foster described a time when he had to beg his coach for a meal.“Either you give us some food or I’m gonna go do something stupid,” Foster told his coach. The coach bought him and three others 50 tacos,  Foster recalled, laughing.Foster played at the University of Tennessee under former coach Phil Fulmer from 2005-08. read more


The NFL Rushers And Receivers Who Are Carrying Their Teams

5Spencer WareChiefs3,7691,07728.6 PLAYERTEAMTEAM YARDSPLAYER YARDSPLAYER SHARE Players with the highest share of team scrimmage yards, 2016 2Ezekiel ElliottCowboys4,5731,50232.8 5David JohnsonCardinals21026180.5 Receivers with the most first-down receptions per route run, 2016 1David JohnsonCardinals4,2901,53435.8% 1Mike EvansBuccaneers41013232.2% 9Greg OlsenPanthers4136211.3 More than in any other sport, in football, individual statistics reflect a player’s environment as well as that player’s individual talent. A running back can be hamstrung by a poor offensive line, and a wide receiver can’t do much if his quarterback can’t get him the ball. While there’s no one advanced stat that can perfectly contextualize individual performance within a team environment, there are a few that do a pretty good job. Today, we’ll look at four stats that help demonstrate a player’s contribution to his team.Yards from scrimmage … as a percentage of team yardsDavid Johnson has been remarkable this season: He was my midseason choice for Offensive Player of the Year, in part because he had gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in every game to that point. He has maintained that streak since then and is now just the second player since at least 1950 to hit the century mark in each of his team’s first 11 games.Johnson leads the league in yards from scrimmage with 1,534, but he also leads the league in percentage of team scrimmage yards. He’s gained 35.8 percent of all Cardinals yards this year, making him one of only three players to gain at least 30 percent of his team’s yards: 11C.J. FiedorowiczTexans2320411.3 10Matt ForteJets3,78496125.4 The Colts’ Frank Gore and Patriots’ LeGarrette Blount are overshadowed by playing alongside star quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Tom Brady, but don’t overlook how important those players are to their teams. Indianapolis has only given three carries per game to other running backs, while the Patriots are calling Blount’s number 81.9 percent of the time when handing off to a back. And Chargers second-year back Melvin Gordon ranks second in this category, after ranking third in our first metric. He’s having a remarkable bounce-back year after struggling as a rookie.Receiving share of targetsAntonio Brown and Julio Jones are the two biggest stars at the wide receiver position. Brown leads the league in receptions, and Jones ranks first in receiving yards, a year after the duo far outpaced the rest of the league in those same two categories. But the Steelers’ Brown and the Falcons’ Jones also benefit from playing with a pair of star quarterbacks in, respectively, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan.The passing games in Pittsburgh and Atlanta revolve around their star receivers, of course: Brown has accounted for 28.8 percent of all Steelers targets this season, and Jones is at 27.6 percent for the Falcons. Those are great numbers, but not quite good enough for No. 1. 1Mike EvansBuccaneers6240615.3% 3Julio JonesFalcons4936113.6 10Christine MichaelPackers11816372.4 8DeMarco MurrayTitans22930176.1 5Jarvis LandryDolphins3218827.4 15Jordy NelsonPackers43210524.3 12Demaryius ThomasBroncos3629225.4 20Stefon DiggsVikings3718723.5 Among players with at least 20 receiving first downsSource: ESPN Stats & Information Group 18Amari CooperRaiders4089824.0 5Jordan ReedRedskins3829812.8 3Frank GoreColts17821184.4 19Greg OlsenPanthers3708823.8 7Le’Veon BellSteelers4,1361,13627.5 8Antonio BrownSteelers5042811.7 12Mike EvansBuccaneers4,1531,02024.6 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 8Odell BeckhamGiants40710726.3 21Jeremy Kerley49ers3457822.6 6Matt ForteJets20225280.2 11Jordan HowardBears3,9841,00825.3 9Terrelle PryorBrowns41510926.3 6Lamar MillerTexans3,6381,03228.4 2Melvin GordonChargers23427385.7 PLAYERTEAMFIRST-DOWN RECEPTIONSROUTES RUNRECEPTIONS PER ROUTE RUN 4DeMarco MurrayTitans4,7161,35228.7 12Jay AjayiDolphins16123369.1 Receivers with the highest share of team targets, 2016 7DeAndre HopkinsTexans38610226.4 11Isaiah CrowellBrowns14520271.8 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 10Brandon MarshallJets3719726.1 6Julian EdelmanPatriots3649927.2 6A.J. GreenBengals4133712.2 No wide receiver is a bigger part of his team’s passing offense than Mike Evans is for the Buccaneers. And you may have noticed his name on the first table too — he was the only wide receiver to rank in the top 12 in percentage of team yards (all the others are running backs). Evans had a dominant game in Week 12 against Seattle, helping Tampa Bay pull off the upset: He was targeted on 39.3 percent of Tampa Bay’s 28 pass attempts and caught eight passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns.The Broncos’ Emmanuel Sanders beat out Jones for third on this list, despite playing with an inexperienced passer in Trevor Siemian, the 250th pick in last year’s draft. Denver doesn’t pass very often, but when they do, Siemian tends to look toward Sanders, who is quietly having a phenomenal year. Sanders, like Evans, was one of the stars of Week 12: In a losing effort, he caught seven of 10 targets for 162 yards and a touchdown.First downs per route runGaining a first down is one of the most important things a wide receiver can do, and he has a chance at it whenever he runs a route. Yards per route run is the wide receiver version of yards per pass, but by replacing yards with first downs in the numerator, we can focus on a less-popular (but very important) statistic that shows us which guys move the chains.Evans ranks first in this category1Among players with at least 20 receiving first downs.: He has picked up a first down on a remarkable 15.3 percent of his routes. One reason for that is that Evans runs deeper routes, and he easily leads the league with 62 first-down receptions (no other player has more than 50). 3Melvin GordonChargers4,2251,27330.1 16Michael CrabtreeRaiders4089924.3 8Todd GurleyRams3,43188225.7 11T.Y. HiltonColts40210325.6 2Antonio BrownSteelers41712028.8 7Ezekiel ElliottCowboys24331178.1 4LeGarrette BlountPatriots21225981.9 9Lamar MillerTexans21128474.3 Some other players stand out here despite less impressive raw totals. Kansas City’s Spencer Ware plays on a low-octane Chiefs offense, but he’s a big driver behind any success the offense has. Ware is averaging 4.7 yards per carry; all other Kansas City backs are averaging just 3.5 yards per rush. And Ware has averaged 12.4 yards per target, compared to just 6.5 on passes to all other players.Also note the presence of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell high on the list, despite the fact that he missed the first three games of the season. Since returning from suspension in Week 4, Bell has gained an impressive 37.6 percent of all Steelers yards from scrimmage. When he’s active, no team relies on one player like the Steelers do with Bell, who’s been used heavily in both running and passing plays — he ranks third in the league in receptions per game and second in rushing yards per game.Percentage of team carriesHow many yards a player averages per carry is subject to a lot of random variation, making yards per carry one of the most overrated stats in football. And the number of carries a team has in a game is often the result of what’s happening on the scoreboard. But how often a team chooses to hand off to a particular running back — as a percentage of all handoffs to running backs — says a lot about how much his team trusts him relative to the other backs on the team.While L.A.’s Todd Gurley has had a frustrating year, he leads the league in this metric. Rams running backs have rushed 227 times this year, and 200 of those carries were given to Gurley. The Rams aren’t a good team, so they can’t afford to run as frequently as teams like the Cowboys, but the Los Angeles coaches still have a ton of faith in Gurley (or perhaps they just have very little faith in the other Rams backs): 17Allen RobinsonJaguars43010424.2 24Kelvin BenjaminPanthers3708121.9 25Kenny BrittRams3678021.8 9LeSean McCoyBills3,87799425.6 2Cole BeasleyCowboys3928113.9 13A.J. GreenBengals3829524.9 23Jordan MatthewsEagles3828522.3 1Todd GurleyRams20022788.1% 10Kelvin BenjaminPanthers3732811.3 7Stefon DiggsVikings3932112.1 4Tyreek HillChiefs2317113.5 Running backs handed the highest share of team rushes, 2016 22Golden TateLions3778422.3 PLAYERTEAMTEAM TARGETSPLAYER TARGETSPLAYER SHARE TEAM RUSHES Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group PLAYERTEAMHANDED TO PLAYERHANDED TO ANY RUNNING BACKPLAYER SHARE 14Larry FitzgeraldCardinals44210924.7 12Michael ThomasSaints4338311.2 3Emmanuel SandersBroncos36210428.7 4Julio JonesFalcons37010227.6 But a few other players are worth mentioning. Cole Beasley plays on a run-heavy offense, but when the Cowboys pass, the team is extremely efficient. One reason for that is Beasley, who is adept at getting first downs.Jordan Reed and Stefon Diggs have each missed two games this season, depressing their raw numbers, but both players fare well in this metric. Reed leads all tight ends, while Diggs ranks seventh overall despite suffering from poor quarterback play.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more


PSG And Real Madrid Werent Supposed To Have This Many Problems

Few clubs came into this season with grander ambitions than Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Both clubs were among the top contenders to win the Champions League when the competition began. Now, one will be eliminated from competition after the two face off Tuesday in the second leg of their round of 16 matchup. And the problems run deeper than just elimination — PSG is looking to survive an injury to its superstar Neymar, and Real Madrid has already fallen out of title contention in La Liga. Whichever team fails to advance from the match will have questions to answer about what went wrong.So how did we get here? Let’s start with the summer transfer window after the 2016-17 season. Real quite reasonably avoided making major changes to its roster after winning three of the last four Champions League trophies. PSG, having once again been eliminated from the Champions League before the semifinals, embarked on an unprecedented spending spree — laying out hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire Neymar from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco.Despite these purchases, PSG is once again struggling in the Champions League. A 3-1 first-leg defeat in Madrid has left the French with a roughly 25 percent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, according to FiveThirtyEight’s club soccer predictions. To reach the quarterfinals, PSG must win by three or win by two while holding Real scoreless. If PSG wins 3-1, the teams will be tied in both aggregate and away goals over the two legs, and the match will go to extra time and possibly penalty kicks to decide who will advance. For PSG, the Champions League appears to be slipping away. And worse, Neymar recently broke a bone in his foot, which will sideline him for at least six weeks.For both ball progression through midfield and shot creation around the penalty area, PSG runs through Neymar. He has scored 19 goals and assisted 13 in Ligue 1, with a non-penalty scoring and assist rate of 1.34 per 90 minutes played. These numbers are no fluke: Neymar hasn’t benefited particularly from good fortune in either his own or his teammates’ finishing. Neymar has taken shots valued at around 13 expected goals, a statistical estimate of the quality of scoring chances, and created chances worth about 11.5 expected goals. His expected goals and assists rate of 1.18 per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the top five European leagues1The English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1. (that means he’s doing better than Lionel Messi).Neymar also moves the attack forward through midfield or into the penalty area before the shot more effectively than anyone else in the top leagues. He has provided about 7.7 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes, just edging out Messi, who has provided 7.2. (Progressive passes and runs occur when a player either moves the attack forward by 10 or more yards beyond its furthest point of progression or moves the ball into the penalty area for the first time in a possession. A progressive run must also include a successful take-on of an opponent.)These comparisons to Messi are not superfluous — Neymar’s production at PSG has reached such a high level that Messi is his only peer. This chart shows the company that Neymar is keeping this season. It displays all 9,000-plus player-seasons in the top five leagues in which a player had at least 1,500 minutes. There are 10 seasons in the top right corner, where players have more than 0.9 expected goals plus expected assists per 90 minutes and more than five progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes. Eight of them are Messi, starting with his 2010-11 season and running through the current one. And nestled among them is Neymar’s current season. This analysis might suggest that Paris Saint-Germain should abandon hope — the attack has been totally dependent on Neymar, and now he’s out. However, PSG may be the only club in the world that is rich enough to have a reasonable Neymar replacement sitting on the bench. Angel Di Maria, who played in Neymar’s wide forward position this weekend against Troyes, put up similarly huge numbers for PSG in 2015-16 (before Neymar’s arrival). While that season was a career-best for Di Maria, he has consistently put up more than 0.5 expected goals and assists per 90 minutes (averaging over 0.7) and 4 to 6 progressive passes and runs per 90 minutes. Most clubs would have to reshuffle their tactics upon losing Neymar, transferring some of his scoring load to one player and some of his ball progression work to others. But PSG can plug in Di Maria and keep everything else roughly the same. If PSG is to get the big win it needs on Tuesday, the man in the center of it is likely to be Di Maria.Scratching back from a two-goal aggregate Real Madrid lead might normally seem like an insurmountable task, but Real hasn’t been the same team this season. Los Blancos have already fallen 15 points off Barcelona’s pace at the top of the La Liga table, effectively conceding the league title with months to go in the season. Real’s defense has been unusually permeable this season, conceding 29 league goals. That’s the club’s worst defensive record through 27 matches since 2010-11. Real has conceded 43 clear scoring chances — defined as a situation like a one-on-one in which a player is expected to score — also its highest number since 2010-11.On the attacking side, the team appears to be reeling as well — but these numbers are a little misleading. Typically, the very best teams in the world outperform expected goals. After all, these teams have the best strikers, and the best strikers convert the easy chances and also score more often in situations when goals are not expected. Real Madrid is getting their normal amount of chances this season: The team has 63 expected goals and has averaged 61 through 27 matches over the past seven seasons. What has changed then is that the finishing has gotten worse. This year, Real has converted only 58 nonpenalty goals from those chances. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been uncharacteristically unproductive with his chances, accounts for most of the gap, with 13 nonpenalty goals and 17 expected goals.These statistics provide the context for Real Madrid’s disappointing position in La Liga. The weakened defense is enough to make Real fall short of first-place Barcelona, but it is uncharacteristically poor shooting from superstars like Ronaldo that has dropped Los Blancos out of title competition entirely.The stakes could not be higher for this match. PSG is desperate and missing its star. Real Madrid appears more vulnerable than usual — even if the attack is most likely better than its relatively disappointing top-line numbers show.Neither team has much to play for this season other than Champions League glory, and both clubs were constructed precisely for this task. The stage is set for a great European clash between two of the richest and most successful clubs — even if it’s not what these two heavyweights envisioned when this all started.Check out our latest soccer predictions. read more


Arniel happy with Blue Jackets performance despite loss to Ducks

Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks was the Columbus Blue Jackets’ first regulation defeat in their last six games — and it hurt. Goals from left winger captain Rick Nash, who has scored in the Jackets’ past eight games, and center Derick Brassard were not enough to overcome early power-play goals by Anaheim at Nationwide Arena. In the first period, Jackets winger Derek Dorsett unleashed a dangerous hit on Ducks winger Corey Perry, sending him headfirst into the boards. Perry fell to the ice, and players from both teams exchanged shoves behind the Anaheim goal before referees separated the players and assessed a five-minute boarding penalty to Dorsett. “It was a hit from behind,” Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. “It’s the referee’s judgment call. When you give (Anaheim) a five-minute major, that gets them off to a pretty good start.” That judgment call produced a two-goal lead for the Ducks. Anaheim wingers teamed up for the first tally. Bobby Ryan fed a pass across the slot to a streaking Teemu Selanne, who had no trouble scoring his 15th goal of the year to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Cam Fowler’s fifth goal of the year gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead just more than a minute later. After being fed by defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky and center Saku Koivu, Fowler snapped a long-range shot that snuck past Jackets goalie Steve Mason. Before Columbus fans had settled into their seats, the Ducks had scored their first two shots of the game. But the Jackets responded with a power-play goal of their own just before the first intermission. Nash cut the Ducks’ lead in half with a wrist shot from the slot. Brassard assisted on Nash’s 23rd goal of the season, which made the score 2-1. A quiet second period saw the teams exchange scoring opportunities, but Mason and Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller denied everything. Mason and Hiller finished the night with 19 and 35 saves, respectively. But the game had more goals in store, as Ducks winger Jason Blake would give the Ducks breathing room early in the third period. Blake scored his 10th goal of the season on an uncontested backhand shot, extending the Ducks’ lead to 3-1. Mason was left helpless and hunched in the lower, left-hand corner of his goal when Blake emerged from behind the net. Brassard later narrowed Columbus’ deficit to 3-2 after a redirected shot from the blue line fell to him just outside Hiller’s crease. The tap-in goal, assisted on by winger Jakub Voracek, was Brassard’s 12th of the season. Thanks to Hiller, who extinguished a late surge by the Jackets, the Ducks eventually held on for a 3-2 win. Despite Tuesday’s loss, Columbus will enter the NHL All-Star break with a 3-1-2 record in its last six games. Brassard focused on the Jackets’ recent improvements following the loss to Anaheim. “I think we had a good push tonight,” Brassard said. “In the third, we competed really hard. We are just going to take some rest right now and make sure we are ready to make a big push.” Coach Randy Carlyle’s Ducks head into the midseason break in fifth place in the Western Conference. Carlyle commended his players for their effort. “The guys are putting it on the line,” Carlyle said. “Our guys have worked extremely hard to get themselves in the position we are in. We’re having some fun right now.” Arniel managed to stay upbeat about his team’s current standing after the game. “What we’ve done in the last two weeks has been very good,” Arniel said. “I like the way we’re working and competing.” The Blue Jackets will host the Chicago Blackhawks at 7 p.m. Tuesday. read more


Commentary Ohio State coach Luke Fickell needs to give Jaamal Berry the

It’s time for Jaamal Berry to leave the Ohio State football program. Not for a couple days, games, or weeks. He needs to go. Permanently. After being charged for assault, battery and disorderly conduct Wednesday, based on an Oct. 21 incident in Columbus, Berry was suspended from the team. But head coach Luke Fickell needs to set a precedent for the post-Jim Tressel era of football at OSU and kick Berry off the team. This isn’t Berry’s first run-in with the law. He was allegedly involved in another assault as recently as Sept. 28 and was arrested for marijuana possession before even enrolling at OSU. The bottom line is he can’t stay out of trouble. I’m all for second chances. Young adults are going to make mistakes, but at some point somebody needs to draw the line. And the line at OSU should be a little stricter than at other schools because of everything the program has been through. With Tat-gate and all the ensuing insanity it caused for the program, OSU has had enough negative headlines for a lifetime. Berry and any other distractions just add fuel to the already negative image OSU has attached itself to. OSU has always portrayed itself as a program of integrity. Ever since Woody Hayes, OSU football was at least perceived as a program that won and won the right way. The mentality has been a core facet in OSU’s success ever since. It brought in talented recruits and created a product people wanted to cheer for. Tressel carried on the image, but with his tumultuous exit, that image was destroyed. Now the program is in a transition period. It’s up to Fickell to rebuild the image and restore the luster of the program. By kicking Berry off the team, Fickell takes the first step in the rebuilding process. He tells the rest of the college football world that OSU will not stand for bad behavior and actions that embarrass the program and compromise what it represents. But more important than telling everyone else, Fickell would be sending a message to his team. The sturdiest structures are solid at their foundation and the foundation of a football team will always be the football players. If Fickell can send a message to the most fundamental level of the program, the larger and more complicated matters will take care of themselves. I’m sure it’s difficult to look a kid in the eye and tell him he’s no longer wanted. You’re about to change the player’s entire life, but playing football for the Buckeyes is a privilege. It sounds cliché, but there are hundreds of other athletes who would love the opportunity to run out of the scarlet tunnel into Ohio Stadium on a fall Saturday afternoon. If someone compromises their opportunity, not just once, but multiple times, that player obviously doesn’t value it and should be dismissed. Suspending Berry from the team was a good first step and makes sense legally, but Fickell needs to finish the job and show Berry out. read more


Ohio State refrains from commenting on Kosta Karageorge investigation medical treatment

Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Kosta KarageorgeCredit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsMoments before coach Urban Meyer addressed the media on Monday, an Ohio State spokesman said the school is unable to comment on the investigation surrounding the death of walk-on senior defensive lineman Kosta Karageorge or the medical treatment he received at OSU.Karageorge’s body was found Sunday afternoon near his apartment in Columbus after being reported missing on Wednesday. Columbus Police said the cause of death appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.The Columbus native had last been seen around 2 a.m. on Wednesday. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Karageorge’s family was concerned his disappearance had something to do with concussion-related injuries, of which he reportedly had a history.During his Monday press conference, Meyer said Karageorge’s death is an “incredible tragedy.”Meyer added that Karageorge “loved” his time as a football player at OSU. He joined the team in August after competing as a varsity wrestler for three seasons for the Buckeyes.On Friday, the OSU Department of Athletics released statements from Meyer and team physician Dr. Jim Borchers. Borchers’ statement said he was “not able to discuss or comment about the medical care regarding our student-athletes.”After police confirmed Karageorge’s body had been found, OSU athletics released a statement expressing the shock and sadness of learning of the player’s death.“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Karageorge family, and those who knew him, during this most difficult time,” the statement said.When asked about how the OSU handled Karageorge’s health, Meyer said he could not comment but expressed his faith in the medical staff.“This is the best group of medical people I’ve ever been around,” Meyer said. read more


Womens lacrosse Buckeyes look to get back on track with weekend in

OSU freshman goalie Jill Rizzo saves a shot against Vermont Credit: Walt Middleton – Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team (6-5) has dropped four of their last five games, three of which came on the road to Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Harvard. The latest loss came in a one-goal, overtime contest at home against Michigan. The Buckeyes now head to New Jersey on Friday to take on Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights were responsible for ending OSU’s 2016 campaign, when they beat the Buckeyes for the second time in the Big Ten tournament. “After last year we kind of have a rivalry,” senior attacker Molly Wood said. “They ended our season last year and no matter who ends your season you have a chip against them in the next year.”OSU will need to come out and find a source of offense as they’ve only averaged 8.75 goals per game over their last four contests. The offense has not been at full strength for the last couple games, as freshman attacker Liza Hernandez has missed the previous two games.“She’s working hard to back on the field,” OSU coach Alexis Venechanos said. “We’re going to continue to work together as a unit. I think our offense, midfield, defense and goaltending is picking it up and that’s all you’ve gotta do is control what you can bring.”While the Buckeyes have hit a rough patch, they could not have been a better spot in the season for a slump to occur. Their last four losses have been by an average of just 2.75 goals against some very tough competition on the road. That coupled with the fact that Big Ten play is still young bodes well for OSU (0-1 Big Ten) if the team is able to come out on the right end of this swing in New Jersey.“With Big Ten play, we all know how important this part of the season is,” sophomore midfielder Baley Parrott said. “I think we’re all going to come out really fired up for the rest of the season.”Rutgers (5-4, 0-1 Big Ten) are coming off an 18-7 loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions, but were riding a three-game win streak prior. Their leading points getter, senior attacker Amanda Turturro, has 14 goals and 11 assists, and will look to continue to be a steady stream of production for her team, but the Scarlet Knights are able to find goals from many different players. Their leading scorer, junior attacker Nicole Kopyta, has found the back of the net 17 times coming off of the bench.“We all have some of our closest friends that pgo and play lacrosse at Rutgers so I think it makes it a friendly rivalry in a way,” Parrott said. “I think we’re all that much more motivated with the way our season ended last year. We’re that much more motivated to come back this year and beat them.”The Buckeyes will remain in New Jersey over the weekend to take on the University of Southern California on Sunday. The No. 10 Trojans are 6-2 on the season and will also arrive to the Northeast on Friday, when they take on Stony Brook. The game between OSU and Southern Cal will take place at a neutral site — Mountain Lakes High School. “We love playing in the Northeast,” Venechanos said. “A majority of our players are from there … so I think it’s an opportunity for both of our programs to play in front of some friends and family but also play against a strong opponent.”The first game of the weekend is set for a 7 p.m. face-off against Rutgers, with the second game scheduled to start at noon on Sunday. read more


Simple spit test could diagnose asthma researchers say

first_img“We were therefore interested to know if techniques for metabolic profiling of saliva to identify physiological stress from exercise – developed by Loughborough – could be applied to asthma diagnosis. “We were very excited to discover that they could.”The findings were published in the journal Analytical Methods.Researchers said further large and long-term studies are needed before the tests can be offered in a clinical setting.If successful, the tests could be used to provide an early diagnosis of asthma, and to monitor patients being treated for the disease, they said. ‘Unlike other sampling methods … saliva can be collected from the very young to the very old without causing distress’Professor Colin Creaser from Loughborough’s Department of Chemistry Earlier this year a study suggested that half a million children who have been diagnosed with asthma may not actually have the condition.More than one million children have been diagnosed with asthma in Britain, but the British Journal of General Practice study suggested more than half may not have the chronic lung condition and could be at risk from the side effects of their medication.Last year the NHS watchdog warned that around one third of ‘asthmatic’ adults showed no clinical signs and had probably been misdiagnosed.Research published earlier this month suggested that a daily dose of Vitamin D could help treat the disease.Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said: “There is no single, simple test to diagnose asthma because it is such a complex condition with many different causes which we are yet to fully understand. This research suggests a saliva test could potentially be a simple way to diagnose asthma in the future.”However, this research into saliva tests was carried out with a relatively small group of only 30 people, and it will need testing in much larger numbers before we have a good picture of how effective it could really be in diagnosing asthma.” A simple saliva test could diagnosis asthma and tell doctors how severe condition is, researchers say.Around 5.4 million people currently receive treatment for asthma in the UK, including more than 1 million children.Diagnosis usually means measuring a person’s airflow lung capacity.However, such tests can be inaccurate, while other measures – such as blood, urine and sputum analysis can be distressing, especially for children, experts say.Researchers from Loughborough University say the new test, developed in collaboration with Nottingham City Hospital, could offer a “one stop” diagnosis, which is completely painless. The study collected saliva from 30 patients, with and without asthma.Researchers performed liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis on the samples to find metabolic biomarkers which showed the presence of the disease.They said the sampling methods also had the potential to pinpoint the severity and progression of the disease.Professor Colin Creaser from Loughborough’s Department of Chemistry said:  “Unlike other sampling methods, such as expired breath analysis, saliva can be collected by passive drool from the very young to the very old without causing distress.”center_img Child with inhaler  Children can find current tests for asthma distressing, experts sayCredit:PA  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


Enshrine new conscience clause for Christians in Bill of Rights ministers urged

first_imgReligious liberty is a fundamental right, but recently we have seen it being downgraded compared to other human rightsDavid Burrowes MP Instead of setting out a list of competing rights, as the Human Rights Act effectively does, there should simply be a new duty on employers or businesses to make “reasonable accommodation” for people’s beliefs, the report suggests.It follows a string of high-profile cases in which the rights of Christians to manifest their beliefs came up against other rules, ranging from company uniform policies to laws preventing discrimination against gay people.In perhaps the most high profile example, Nadia Eweida, a British Airways check-in clerk who was sent home because her cross contravened the airline’s uniform policy at the time, took her discrimination claim to the European Court of Human Rights and won.But as part of the same case, the court ruled that Shirley Chaplin, a nurse who was forbidden from wearing a cross at work had not suffered discrimination because in her case the reason given by the hospital was a “health and safety” issue. 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. While the Strasbourg court also threw out a challenge by Lillian Ladele, a registrar who asked not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies because of her traditionalist beliefs, two judges offered a dissenting minority  judgment warning of the danger of Christians’ rights being sidelined.Last month the Court of Appeal in Belfast upheld a discrimination finding against Ashers, a bakery run by an evangelical Christian family, for cancelling an order for a cake bearing the political slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. The case is now set to go to the Supreme Court.The report argues that, in the English courts at least, there is mounting evidence of a “growing preference” for putting the right to manifest a religious beliefs second to the right not to be discriminated against for sexual orientation.It argues that such cases are part of a wider trend towards the “relentless privatisation of religious beliefs”.Other faiths too, especially little known minority sects, are being mistreated or even branded “insufficiently British” for sticking to traditional ways of life, it adds.But it argues that a new rule of “reasonable accommodation” – similar to principles already applied in catering for people with disabilities – could sidestep such bitter confrontations.“Examples of reasonable accommodation might include public swimming-pools reserving special hours for women whose religion prohibits mixed swimming; or a hospital offering menus without pork to accommodate the dietary  practices of Jewish and Muslim patients; or an employer making reasonable effort to rearrange work timetables to permit religious employees to observe religious holidays,” it explains.“What distinguishes the doctrine from indirect discrimination is that the employee would no longer bear the burden of proof – he would not need to show that a rule or requirement puts him at a disadvantage.“Instead, the employee need only make a request that his religious beliefs or practices be accommodated, and the burden of proof rests with the employer to assess whether reaching an accommodation would impose an unreasonable degree of hardship.”David Burrowes, the Tory MP and Chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, said: “Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but recently we have seen it being downgraded compared to other human rights.“This ResPublica report delivers a strong set of recommendations for Government in light of the future British Bill of Rights, which would be the perfect vehicle for underlining the UK’s commitment to reasonable accommodation of religious belief.“I encourage the Government to consider these recommendations carefully.” Christians and followers of others faiths should have new protections enshrined in law to enable them to “reasonably” opt out of tasks at work which go against their beliefs, a new report published in Parliament concludes.The paper, by the influential conservative-leaning think-tank ResPublica, blames existing equalities legislation for stirring up divisions between different minority groups and even spreading “political extremism”.It urges ministers to use a Tory election manifesto pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a new “Bill of Rights” as an opportunity to develop a new way to protect religious believers at work.last_img read more


Widow to marry homeless man who used to rummage through bins outside

first_imgMs Neininger, who went on to become a mental health campaigner, said: “People with schizophrenia are imprisoned by the voices.”Ken believed everything these voices were telling him, so it was very difficult to have a relationship. I did not know anything about it, but I soon learned.”Because of Mr Selway’s illness, the couple’s relationship has always been celibate, but Ms Neininger believes this has made them even closer.And this meant that for several decades Mr Selway and the Neiningers all lived happily together.Ms Neininger added: “I married at 16 and Norman was a wonderful man and a lovely husband and father. Because there was no sexual jealousy it was fine and Ken and Norman were like brothers. It was like a little paradise, just Ken, Norman and me.”After Mr Neininger died of a heart attack, Mr Selway developed health problems that meant he eventually had to move into a residential home, where he was later joined by Joan. Joan Neininger and Ken Selway at a wedding in GloucestershireCredit:SWNS For a long time, Mr Selway refused all offers of help and money, but he eventually opened up about his own life. He revealed that he had been born in London and had been evacuated to Wales.When the Welsh man he regarded as a father died, he returned home, but his mother could not cope with his mental health problems.After being made homeless, Mr Selway slept in railway stations and shop doorways until he went to Gloucester looking for relatives of his evacuee father and stumbled across a derelict house to sleep in at night.His only belongings at the time were a set of clean clothes, a radio, a fossil he once mined and a few personal pieces that he hid behind a wall.He frequently considered suicide, but Ms Neininger said she spotted an “innate dignity and a measured way of speaking” that made her realise he was from an educated family.Over the next few years, Mr Selway came in and out of the family’s life, but caring for him took a toll on Ms Neininger’s 30-year marriage.At one point, Mr Neininger issued an ultimatum and she moved out into a caravan which Mr Selway would come and stay at.At first they were happy, but Mr Selway’s mental health problems made him unpredictable and he could “fly off the handle”. Mr Selway had become friendly with Ms Neininger and her then husband, but following Mr Neininger’s death, the pair started a romance.Ms Neininger, a great-grandmother with three children, lives with her husband-to-be at a residential home in Gloucester.She said: “When I saw him ferreting through the bins outside a fish and chip shop near my bookshop, I never thought for a minute it would end like this.”But although he was living on the streets, I knew straight away that Ken was a lovely man with a beautiful soul.”Ms Neininger said that from their first meeting, she always felt Mr Selway was different. She spent years battling with Mr Selway’s schizophrenia before proposing last year.They will now become husband and wife on Ms Neininger’s birthday, four days after Valentine’s Day, at Cinderford registry office.She said that when she first saw Mr Selway he was smartly dressed and drank only milk so she presumed he was staying in a B&B and just had nowhere to go during the day.But she said that after reading Down and Out in Britain by Jeremy Sandford, she realised that he could be one of the many people slipping through the welfare state safety net.Ms Neininger added: “The first time I saw him searching for food in a rubbish bin, I silently broke my heart.”She began leaving sandwiches in the bin for him because he would not take any money and eventually, with the blessing of her then-husband Norman, she invited Mr Selway in for a meal. The first time I saw him searching for food in a rubbish bin, I silently broke my heartJoan Neininger Joan Neininger with her first husband, Norman (left), and Ken Selway at a pub in Gloucestercenter_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. Joan Neininger and Ken Selway at a wedding in Gloucestershire Joan Neininger with her first husband, Norman (left), and Ken Selway at a pub in GloucesterCredit:SWNS A woman is set to marry a former homeless man she fell in love with after striking up a friendship when she found him rifling through a bin.Joan Neininger, 88, took pity on 89-year-old Ken Selway when she saw him looking for food outside her bookshop while he lived on the streets.She started to make him sandwiches and, over the the years, the couple grew close as she helped him overcome his many demons.The couple’s love story, which began in spring 1975, will now have a happy ending when they tie the knot at a registry office next month.last_img read more


Drivers warned of criminals using Tasers after spate of attempted carjackings where

first_imgStun guns and Tasers are illegal in the UK and anyone caught with one of the devices faces imprisonment for possession of a prohibited weapon. The maximum sentence is 10 years. Despite this, figures released at the end of 2015 showed police forces across the country had seized and destroyed hundreds of them that year.It is thought criminals often buy stun guns or Tasers on the “dark web” and have them delivered from overseas.Experts have also previously warned about the devices being disguised as mundane items, such as phones or lipstick.An investigation last year revealed that weapons, including a stun gun disguised as a handheld torch, were readily available online. In a separate case, a report claimed a lipstick-style stun gun could be bought for just £20.A spokesman for the Home Office said: “Our firearms controls are among the toughest in the world and Border Force works closely with the police and National Crime Agency to prevent the illegal importations into the UK.“Anyone caught trying to smuggle these devices into the country will have them confiscated and could face prosecution.” 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. Drivers have been warned of criminals using Tasers after a spate of attempted carjackings where suspects disabled their victims using the weapons.West Midlands Police urged motorists to stay vigilant as they stepped up patrols following a number of “Taser robberies”.In one shocking incident, a female runner was left with burns after she was attacked by three men in the affluent Kings Heath area of Birmingham. On Sunday night, two alerts were put out on behalf of West Midlands Police confirming that extra patrols were being conducted in the Moseley, Kings Heath and Springfield areas of the city to “combat recent Taser robberies”.The first urged motorists to stay alert, adding: “When in your vehicle ensure door locks are on and be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle.”The second, issued an hour later, confirmed there had been “several crimes” in the area involving suspects using a Taser. “Attempts to target lone females and rob them of their cars are amongst the crimes being investigated,” it said.center_img Attempts to target lone females and rob them of their cars are amongst the crimes being investigatedWest Midlands Police alert Barbara Partridge, a member of Kings Heath Running Club, which the woman is part of, said the “serious incident” happened on a well-lit street near Colmore School before a group run last Thursday.“It was an attempted car theft by three young men who demanded a runner’s car keys,” she wrote on Facebook. “She refused and an electric Taser device was used on her during a physical struggle. She managed to alert a passing van, the van driver stopped and the men ran away.“She was shaken, is bruised and has seen a doctor who has assessed the burns left by the Taser. The police were called at the time and have logged the incident.” The runner has not been identified. Commenting on the attempted robbery, another member of the club claimed that similar attacks had been occurring in the area since November.West Midlands police have put extra patrols out after receiving six reports ioof stun attacks in as many days. Four teenage boys, two aged 15 and two aged 16, have been arrested and bailed over one of the attacks. Robberies involving stun guns have also been reported elsewhere. In November, a woman in her 30s was confronted at her home in Sale, Greater Manchester, by masked men, who stunned her before stealing her car.last_img read more


Shocking CCTV shows elderly woman being dragged to ground in violent robbery

first_imgA 92-year-old widow was dragged along the ground as she tried desperately to stop a violent robber from taking her handbag in broad daylight.The elderly women had just posted a letter and was on her way to her GPs when CCTV footage captured the hooded man creep up behind her.As she was right outside the surgery he snatched her bag in broad daylight and she desperately tried to hang on to it.But she was yanked to the floor and dragged along the pavement before being forced to let go.The thief then ran off leaving the woman bruised on the ground in Hackney, east London.She suffered extensive bruising all over her body, with the most severe on her ribs and side where she was dragged along the floor.She also suffered a three inch bruise to her left arm from where the handbag dragged on her arm.The woman, who recently lost her husband of nearly 70 years, was left incredibly distraught, nervous, afraid of her attacker and left terrified of leaving her house.Scotland Yard said: “On Tuesday, 27 June, the 92-year-old victim was walking north on Hoxton Street in Hackney at approximately 2.40pm. The suspect pulls the woman’s bag so hard she falls to the groundCredit:Met Police Robbery “The victim, who recently lost her husband of nearly 70 years, is currently being supported by her family, including her niece who described how she is incredibly distraught, nervous and does not wish to be named out of fear.”She is now terrified of leaving the house and has lost her independence. “Her route took her past the Papa Johns Pizzeria before she turned right into an alleyway that leads to the medical centre. “She had just been to post a letter and was heading to the Lawson Medical Centre on Nuttall Street.center_img “The suspect is described as a black man with short black hair. He was wearing a blue hooded jacket and dark coloured trousers. “The suspect followed her from the street into the alleyway.”As she entered the grounds of the medical centre she was attacked from behind.”The man made several attempts to grab her bag, he used such force that she was pulled to the ground.”The victim, who was screaming, refused to let go of her bag, so the suspect dragged her until she was in so much pain that she eventually let go.”The suspect ran back into the alleyway and turned right heading north on Hoxton Street.”The woman sustained extensive bruising all over her body.”The most severe bruising was on her ribs and side of the body where she was dragged along the floor.”She also has a three inch bruise to her left arm from where the handbag dragged on her arm. “The handbag contained a £50 Virgin mobile phone, her Freedom Pass, documents and £100 in cash.”Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, who is leading the investigation, said: “I have been involved in many serious cases, however the devastating psychological trauma of this victim is possibly the worse I have encountered.”The events have emotionally moved the initial officers that tended to the lady in the aftermath as well as the investigation team, especially witnessing this inconsolable elderly lady sobbing about the robbery and recent tragic events.”I cannot comprehend how anyone could target a frail lady in her 90s using this amount of violence, it is truly horrific.” 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


Butlins owner helps parents fight ban on term time holidays

first_imgMedia House is understood to have lobbied MPs on behalf of the campaign group, contacted government departments and trade unions and sent out press releases that accused the government of “unfairly criminalising hard-working families”.Mr Irvine said Media House had not charged Bourne Leisure any extra for its work with Parents Want a Say between 2014 and 2016. 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 company that owns Butlins helped fund a parent organisation’s fight against the term time holiday ban.Bourne Leisure, which also owns Haven caravan parks and Warner Leisure Hotels, allowed  Parents Want a Say free use of its PR agency.Jack Irvine, executive chairman of Media House International, said Bourne Leisure had asked him to help with the “very interesting campaign”.He told the Sunday Times: “Butlins, like every other holiday company in the UK, has quite a long holiday season, yet there is this mad rush for places during the very brief six-week school holiday period. Anything to ease that pressure is good news and good business.”Parents Want a Say was co-founded by Craig Langman, a father of one, and Karen Wilkinson, a mother of three, in 2013 to protest against a change in government regulations that meant head teachers could not grant any leave of absence to pupils during term time without “exceptional circumstances”. last_img read more


Swans reunited as missing mate returns to rekindle 19year romance

first_imgCroupier’s grandparents Nijinsky and Caroline, were first recorded at Slimbridge in 1969 and the family are known affectionately as the ‘Gambling Dynasty.’ A heartbroken swan who flew into Britain alone six weeks ago after losing his mate during the 2,500 mile journey has finally been reunited with his partner.Wildlife experts at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust feared the worst when 26-year-old Bewick’s swan Croupier arrived without Dealer, who is mother to his 29 cygnets.The pair have been together for 19 years and are part of a lineage of swans which can be traced back decades. Bewick’s swan numbers have plummeted in the past two decades and it was feared Dealer may have been shot or poisoned on her journey back from Russia. But on Monday the Trust in Gloucestershire announced that Dealer has finally arrived after going missing for six weeks.WWT’s swan expert Julia Newth said: “During the 19 years they were together, Croupier and Dealer reared and brought back to Slimbridge 29 cygnets.”The cygnets learned the 2,500 mile migration route when following their parents and we often see different generations of the same family on Swan Lake at the same time.”Few families have demonstrated these birds’ characteristic site fidelity and loyalties to each other and we hope to see them continue to winter at Slimbridge for many years to come.” Croupier in ‘Swan Lake’ at Slimbridge Croupier in 'Swan Lake' at Slimbridgecenter_img Although swans live a long life but they do not produce many young. Bewick’s swans lay around five eggs each year on the Arctic breeding grounds but usually only one or two cygnets make it to their wintering sites in Western Europe.Experts at Slimbridge have been carrying out research to find out why the swans have declined by 40 per cent in recent years. WWT’s swan research assistant Steve Heaven said: “Our long-term study of the Bewick’s swans at Slimbridge has shed light on their ecological needs, important for survival. This information is crucial for helping us to understand why the population has been struggling”. 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


Social media firms face £18m fines if they send children notifications at

The charity proposes a simple traffic light style labelling of red, amber and green which would tell parents and children which products had the most compulsive or addictive features and also which offered the highest levels of privacy.It wants strict curbs on the social media firms’ ability to collect and use children’s data not only to protect their privacy but also “reduce the incentive” to deploy features that keep children online.Firms would be required to delete all information when a child left a site. “Children should be given repeated and frequent offers to delete the data they have created, including on logging in, logging out and at predetermined intervals,” says the charity.It argues that firms’ use of profiling of children to target products at them should be banned unless it can shown to be in the child’s best interests. Geolocators which are used by the firms to track children but can also give away a child’s location to a potential predator should be switched off by default, and every time they log off.“When a child’s location is being tracked, it must be made obvious to the child,” says 5Rights. The charity also demands a re-write of the firms’ terms and conditions so they can be understood by a child with a reading age of nine, saying it is “cynical” of the firms to expect children to read them when most adults and experts do not. It even suggests the way firms operate in compelling children to read the conditions or be locked out of services may be illegal.“This raises the question of whether consent can be relied upon as a basis for lawful processing of children’s personal data,” says the charity.Last year it was Baroness Kidron’s amendment to the Digital Economy Act, backed by the government, the Tory peer Dido Harding, ex chief executive of TalkTalk, Lord Stevenson, a former adviser to Gordon Brown, and the LibDem Lord Clement Jones, which paved the way for the code. Social media firms face fines of up to £18m if they disturb children with notifications and alerts at night or during the school day under plans being considered by the information commissioner.Elizabeth Denham, the commissioner, is drawing up a new statutory code that will target strategies used by the firms to keep children online such as the timing of notifications and auto-play.Among the proposals is a ban on the social media giants posting messages, notifications or any alerts that disturb children’s sleep at night or distracts them during the school day.The firms could also be forced to set auto-play, notifications, buzzes, read receipts and non-specific alerts to “off” by default every time a child logged on so they would have to be reset them to prevent them becoming addicted to the technology.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The plans have been submitted by 5Rights, a charity founded by filmmaker Baroness Kidron, which has been working with the commissioner and was instrumental in securing the legislation for the new code to prevent children’s personal data being exploited by the social media firms.There could also be automatic timeouts to limit children’s use of social media, save buttons so they are not forced to stay online to complete a task or game and “streak holidays” where they can escape features that require daily attention to keep up with friends. 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 commissioner warned the companies that she will be focusing on strategies used by sites and apps to “personalise a child’s experience to encourage them to stay online longer.”“We have to make sure the code is designed with children at its heart,” she said.This is expected to be underlined next week by research for her office that will confirm growing public concern at the impact of online harms from cyber-bullying and violence to the tactics of the social media firms to keep children online.The code, the consultation for which closes on September 19, is designed to ensure firms comply with the Digital Economy Act, which carries fines of up to £18m or 4% of global turnover for breaches.Baroness Kidron, whose films include Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, said one of today’s biggest health issues was the “epidemic of sleeplessness” among children from the compulsive nature of the technology which contributed to increased depression, anxiety and obesity.“If you ask any teacher what is the problem in your class, they will say that the kids are coming to school tired,” she told The Telegraph.“If you ask parents, it’s about pulling the device out of children’s hands in the night.” read more


Smoking shisha linked to diabetes and obesity study finds

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. Smoking shisha “significantly increases” the risk of users developing diabetes and obesity, a major study has revealed for the first time.Research carried out by the Brighton and Sussex Medical School found that smokers were more likely to gain weight and develop type 2 diabetes in comparison to non-smokers after inhaling ‘hookah’ fumes.In the largest study to ever explore the adverse effects of hookah smoking, the participants baseline characteristics were measured against their biochemical results which were observed through blood tests.Out of the 9840 participants involved, 6742 were non-smokers, 976 were ex-smokers, 864 were cigarette smokers, 1067 were hookah smokers and 41 were both cigarette and hookah smokers.Obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and dyslipidemia were all positively associated with hookah smoking while negatively associated with cigarette smoking.The research has cast doubt on the widespread belief that smoking hookah is less toxic because it involves an apparatus designed to purify tobacco smoke by passing it through water.Professor Gordon Ferns, Head of the Department of Medical Education Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: “A single session of hookah smoking may be equivalent to more than a packet of cigarettes, and the inhaled toxic compounds may be even greater.“It is unclear why hookah smoking is associated with obesity and diabetes. It is possible that the toxins in the smoke stimulate an inflammatory response that causes tissues to become resistant to the effects of the hormone insulin, that regulates glucose in the blood. However, it is also possible that hookah smoking is associated with other social behaviours that lead to weight gain.” As cigarette sales have steadily been falling for decades, people are increasingly turning to ‘healthier’ alternatives like e-cigarettes, vaping and hookah smoking.Many people are attracted by the taste of shisha- the sweet sticky tobacco used with hookah- and can spend hours casually using the pipe when out with friends.However, while a cigarette is finished in an average of 20 puffs, shisha smokers can be exposed to greater volumes of tar heavy metals and other carcinogenic chemicals over a longer period of time.The practice now accounts for around half of all the smoking that teenagers do, according to a British Medical Journal study published earlier this year.Experts have warned that the long term health effects of hookah smoking could in fact be greater than cigarettes,so more needs to be done to reduce their appeal to younger generations.Professor Ferns added:  “There is now good evidence that hookah smoking is not harmless. The risks of hookah smoking with respect to some types of cancer is well established, and the evidence for an association with cardiovascular disease is growing.“From a health policy perspective, it would be important for the public to recognise the risks of hookah smoking. The use of flavoured tobaccos may be particularly attractive to young people. Hookah smoking should be treated no differently from cigarette smoking.” read more


Lord Snowdon on flatpack furniture inheriting Princess Margarets love of antiques –

The Earl of Snowdon on his furniture empire, Ikea flatpacks, support of new artists and why he sold Princess Margaret’s valuables Despite selling bespoke commissions worth thousands of pounds, the Queen’s nephew insists “Ikea is not the enemy,” admitting: “I have made pieces in my holiday time for my wife and assembled them, there’s only the odd argument.” It is one of many revelations – including that he cannot work a digital television – as we chat at Linley, the 57-year-old furniture maker’s eponymous luxury store in London’s Belgravia where he is supporting up-and-coming artist Kerry Lemon, a scholar of the art charity… Lord Snowdon is enthusing about the design quality of flat-pack furniture. read more


Four teenagers charged after female couple were attacked on bus because they

Four teenage boys aged between 15 and 17 have been charged with an aggravated hate crime over a homophobic attack against two women on a London night bus in May.The incident caused widespread outrage on social media after Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris posted about being beaten by a group of youths.They were attacked after they refused to kiss for the strangers’ entertainment, they said.Four boys, two aged 16, one aged 15 and another aged 17, have been chargedOne of the 16-year-olds, from Wandsworth, south London, is also charged with theft and handling stolen goods, while the other, from the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is accused of possessing cannabis.The 15-year-old boy, also from Kensington and Chelsea, faces an additional charge of handling stolen goods.All four are due to appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on August 21.Former prime minister Theresa May condemned the assault, saying: “This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected.”Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community.”In a post on Facebook, Ms Geymonat – who worked recently as a Ryanair air hostess and is originally from Uruguay – said: “I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because. “We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s— like this happens.”Both women were taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries after the incident on the N31 bus in the early hours of May 30. 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


Holidaymakers sue Tui for cost of trauma care after 10ft fall at

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: “At the moment we simply do not know what the future holds, so we are just doing everything we can to ensure that Wendy will be able to get access to the best levels of support as she begins her road to recovery.”But the holiday company has blamed Mrs Brown for the accident, claiming she was negligent.Tui says the path was lit at the time of the accident, the edge was protected by raisededging stone, and a thickly planted border up to 80 cms high.In court papers the firm argues that to fall Mrs Brown must have stepped over a series of edging stones, through plants and over some coping stones and that she must have failed to take enough care to stay on the pathway.In its defence Tui states: “It is denied that the use of the steps, pathways and terraces posed the alleged or any hazard to hotel guests when used in ordinary conditions or in any conditions other than the most extraordinary.” In papers lodged with the High Court they say the drop should have been protected by a rail or barrier and claim that following the accident the hotel erected a wooden fence at the spot where she fell.Mrs Brown, a former telecoms worker, has suffered from a catalogue of mental and physical problems following the accident, including severe fatigue, disturbed sleep and poor concentration.She underwent brain surgery and also had metalwork fitted to stabilise her spine while she was still in Tenerife and according to her legal team at Irwin Mitchell she continues to require significant rehabilitation support, as her injuries continue to have a devastating impact on her and husband’s day to day lives.Her sight is damaged, her speech has been reduced to a whisper, and she needs help in walking.Mr Brown, who has had to give up work to look after his wife and has launched a GoFundMe page to help raise some of the funds he needs to do so, said: “We were walking back to the hotel room and Wendy was slightly behind me when she fell. As there were no wall or railings, she plummeted onto the concrete below.“She was initially unconscious and I performed CPR before she was taken to La Palma Hospital and placed in an induced coma. To see her in such a condition was just awful and I have still not come to terms with the incident.” A woman who suffered permanent trauma after plunging 10 feet onto concrete from a staircase at a holiday resort is suing her travel operator for the care she will need for the rest of her life.Wendy Brown, 56, was three days into her holiday with her new husband Gary, 55, when she fell from the unguarded staircase while returning to their room, suffering severe head and spinal injuries.She was airlifted to hospital in Tenerife where she underwent emergency surgery and spent two weeks in an induced coma.Mr Brown states in court documents that he suffered psychological trauma after witnessing his wife’s fall, including post traumatic stress disorder, an intense phobia of motorway driving, and depression.Fearing she was dead after finding her unconscious and bleeding from a head wound, it was only when she responded to his emergency resuscitation and started to breathe again that Mr Brown realised his wife had survived the fall.The couple, from Bollington, Macclesfield, are now suing holiday firm Tui UK for £200,000 damages, claiming the company was negligent and in breach of contract for its failure to provide reasonably safe accommodation at La Palma & Teneguia Princess Hotel during their holiday in January 2018. read more