The 6 Questions That Will Define NBA Free Agency

We’re four days away from the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: NBA free agency. And with several of the league’s biggest superstars potentially on the move — at a time in which the race for the title seems as open as it’s been in years — we wanted to set the stage with the key questions players and teams alike will face as they prepare for their all-important meetings this weekend.Is Kyrie alone worth the trouble for Brooklyn?For months now, we’ve heard the speculation about Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving potentially landing with the same club this summer. But now, with Irving seemingly keyed in on the Nets regardless of what Durant opts to do, Brooklyn could find itself in an interesting spot.The Nets are fresh off their first playoff appearance since 2015 and were aiming to make a splash in free agency in hopes of taking their talented young roster to the next level. But the prospect of doing that with just Irving — who is unmistakably talented but seemed to mystify his Boston teammates this past season — would carry some degree of risk given the wholesale change it would mark. In doing so, Brooklyn would almost certainly be moving on from All-Star D’Angelo Russell, who made a considerable jump with the Nets this past year.While Irving is far more efficient and a more bankable star, the 27-year-old has also proved to be unpredictable in terms of what he wants from one year to the next. Russell, meanwhile, is just 23, and while there’s still a gap between him and Irving in terms of ability, our CARMELO player projection model at FiveThirtyEight has Irving as one of Russell’s closest player comparisons. Making this a more complicated conversation is Brooklyn’s reputation as one of the NBA’s most analytically inclined organizations, while also being one that prides itself on building its roster carefully. The analytics and the fanfare point to signing Irving, while the most cautious step might be to keep Russell (and hope he keeps blossoming) if it can be done for less than a max-level contract. The complicating factor here, though, is that Russell is a restricted free agent, meaning that a club like the Suns or the Lakers could put the Nets in a scenario in which they’d be forced to match a high-dollar offer to keep him. In other words, keeping Russell could end up being an expensive exercise for Brooklyn either way, depending on the market.If Irving ends up signing with the Nets, I think a defense-heavy club like the Pacers would be the best fit for someone like Russell, who can score a ton but isn’t much of a defender. He would make more sense for Indiana than Ricky Rubio, who is solid on D but not enough of an offensive threat.Who will get Kevin Durant?Nearly every aspect of how free agency would play out changed the moment it was announced that Durant ruptured his Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals. For a team like the Knicks — who seemed like the front-runner to land him — and obviously for Durant himself, everything got thrown into a tailspin.So what happens now, with the superstar likely to miss a lengthy amount of time rehabbing? While KD will have the ear of any organization he’s interested in — reports suggest that outside teams like the Nets and Clippers may be most in play here now — it seems Durant’s brutal injury and the Warriors’ loss in the NBA Finals makes it more likely for him to stay with the Warriors than before.The notion that Durant would go to the Knicks always stemmed from the belief that, by going there, he would want to resurrect a franchise that hadn’t been consistently successful in decades — a polar opposite scenario from the one he stepped into with Golden State. But now, for the first time in years, the Warriors will enter a season vulnerable, with everyone knowing how much value Durant carried. So there may not be a need anymore for KD to validate that by starting over elsewhere.In the aftermath of his injury, there’s still a lingering question of trust, given that Golden State officials mistakenly told Durant he couldn’t get any more hurt by coming back during the finals.1To be fair, the Warriors have argued this was a collaborative decision between the Warriors and outside experts, along with Durant and his team of folks. But as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday, Durant has continued to have contact with Warriors’ officials, seemingly a promising sign for them as we head into free agency. And if there is enough of a trust there, it may help Durant to know whom he’ll be doing his rehab work with, as opposed to stepping into an entirely new situation with a new set of doctors and training staffers. It also doesn’t hurt that the Dubs can offer him a total of five years and a staggering $221 million, while other clubs can offer up to four years and $164 million.Durant’s choice may not affect who wins the title in 2020, since we don’t even know whether he’ll be back to compete next season. But his decision — both in how it impacts Golden State and the way the Warriors will handle fellow injured star Klay Thompson’s free agency — could play a seismic role for the future. Things get really interesting if he does opt to leave and another star player goes along with him.How should the Lakers use their cap space?There is plenty out there to suggest the Lakers, who already have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the fold, are hoping to create the space necessary for a third max salary slot. Regardless of whether they get there, though, there’s an argument to be made that Los Angeles is better off splitting up its remaining cap space on multiple difference-makers instead of getting just one star.Of course, this depends on just how much of a star we’re talking about. If there is any indication that the Lakers can talk someone like Kawhi Leonard, or even a Jimmy Butler, into joining the mix, that’s a conversation worth having — particularly now, with the league wide open because of the long-term injuries to Durant and Thompson, who is scheduled to have surgery to repair his torn ACL this week. But star power on the level of Kemba Walker, for instance, doesn’t seem like it would be worth it.Yes, a player like Walker — who apparently will be courted by the Hornets, Celtics and Mavericks, according to a report — has unbelievable scoring ability, even when defenses are draped all over him. But aside from Walker’s issues on D, the Lakers don’t truly need another ball-dominant player. Instead, they would be wise to fill out the rest of the roster better than they did last season to make sure they have the necessary depth and balance around James, Davis and Kyle Kuzma.Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon would be an interesting option, though he’s restricted and could cost a lot depending on which teams pursue him. JJ Redick would be an ideal floor-spacer, and if he’s too pricey, a solid two-way veteran like Toronto’s Danny Green might come a bit cheaper. Depending on what someone like Indiana’s Bojan Bogdanovic goes for, he could be a great fit on both ends for the Lakers. And Pacers guard Darren Collison could be a perfectly fine signing, too.These aren’t the sorts of glitzy moves we’re used to hearing about when the Lakers have max or close-to-max space. But using that space to sign any two of these players looks more appealing than signing just one star who doesn’t make the club far better than it already appears to be.Which second-tier star shifts the balance most?Butler seems to be the line of demarcation as a game-changer this summer.We all watched him vault the Timberwolves into the playoffs the season before last and saw a number of moments in which he was integral to the Sixers this past year. Philadelphia will obviously prioritize keeping him, while the Rockets — desperately trying to pounce, with an aging Chris Paul and a hobbled Golden State — reportedly would love to negotiate a sign-and-trade for the 29-year-old.There still figure to be concerns around the way Butler will age, given the amount of minutes he’s racked up over the years — something we’ve written about before. But his ability to check off all the boxes — at a time in which the title is up for grabs and the Sixers were arguably a bounce or four away from beating the team that won it all — makes it seem as if Philadelphia will do what’s necessary to keep Butler, despite what it may cost in years and salary. (Keep in mind how much they gave up to get him, let alone Tobias Harris, who’s also a free agent and could end up walking.)There are a couple of other players of this caliber worth keeping an eye on, too. Despite his ACL tear, Thompson is the best shooter in the world not named Stephen Curry, and he will have suitors if the Warriors somehow don’t offer him a full max contract.2Though it’s hard to imagine that. If they lose Durant, you’d have to imagine they would want to keep Thompson because of his value to the franchise. And even if Durant stays, having Thompson in the fold would seemingly make them the favorites again once everyone is healthy in 2021. And Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton would fit any contender who needs a solid wing player that doesn’t dominate the ball.But since those two are widely expected to stay put, Butler — because of how many other teams will want to make a legitimate run at him and because of the risk involved with Philadelphia giving him a five-year contract — is arguably the most interesting free agent out there.Could Kawhi really leave Toronto?But what about arguably the best player in the world, who just led his team to a championship? How could he not be the most intriguing free agent right now?Leonard, who turns 28 this week, could obviously shift the balance for this coming season quicker than anyone by moving teams, as the Raptors would take a massive step back, and whichever club he joined would take a quantum leap forward. The truth is, no one knows what Kawhi — arguably the most enigmatic superstar the league has ever seen — will do. But it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he decided to run things back with Toronto on a two-year contract, with an opt-out after the first season of the deal.3Again, we have no clue what Leonard would prefer. He also could be against the idea of a short-term deal, given the quad injury that limited him to just nine games a season ago.Doing that would allow him a chance to defend his title with Toronto while also pressuring the Raptors to continue wooing him for yet another season, similar to the way LeBron did in Cleveland.The Clippers have been waiting almost a year now to make their pitch to Leonard, and they would ideally aim to pair him with another star. And other teams — the Knicks and Lakers, presumably — would love a chance to sell him on signing with them.We only truly know one thing in all this, as free agency approaches: The Raptors have done all they possibly could do to persuade Leonard to stay. And as much as it will sting Toronto fans if he opts to leave anyway, the ride to a championship, even if just for one year, was totally worth it.What will the Bucks do?Milwaukee has flown under the radar in the free-agent discussions because the Bucks almost certainly won’t be a contender for the biggest-name free agents. The reason for that: They’ve got a number of their own players they have to find ways to take care of.Middleton will be a top priority, and he figures to have a max deal headed his way. Brogdon could be a hot commodity as a restricted free agent. Brook Lopez earned himself a payday because of his ability to stretch defenses and protect the rim. And Nikola Mirotic, despite a brutal series against Toronto, will garner interest as a floor-spacing forward who defends better than he’s given credit for.The question for the Bucks, who had the league’s best record last season, is how much they can afford to spend without handcuffing themselves too much, too far into the future. Jon Horst, who won Executive of the Year this week, will want to maintain as much flexibility as possible to change things as necessary around league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. But with Antetokounmpo eligible for a supermax extension in a year, it would send the wrong message — and look cheap — to not offer Middleton, Giannis’s All-Star sidekick, a max contract.4The Bucks already signed Eric Bledsoe to a four-year, $70-million extension during the season.Assuming Milwaukee holds on to most of its own talent, the Bucks will be forced to bank on internal growth, not only from Giannis, but also from Brogdon, Middleton and Mike Budenholzer, who won Coach of the Year but made some questionable decisions down the stretch of the Toronto series.It’s crazy to think that a 60-win team — with the MVP, coach of the year and executive of the year — is a bit of an afterthought in free agency. But on some level, for Milwaukee, these next few weeks will be about playing defense as other clubs make a run at what looks like a wide-open bid for an NBA title. From ABC News: read more

Former soccer player Tyler Durbin raises eyebrows in first game with OSU

Walk-on senior kicker Tyler Durbin reflects on Saturday’s game against Bowling Green at a presser inside of Woody Hayes Athletic Complex. Credit: Nick McWilliams | Sports EditorEvery Ohio State football player has a different story about their journey to playing in Ohio Stadium, but few are as distinct as that of walk-on kicker Tyler Durbin. Durbin appeared in his first game for the Buckeyes last Saturday against Bowling Green and impressed OSU coach Urban Meyer.Listed as a senior, Durbin is in his second year with the team. Last season, the Burke, Virginia, native did not appear in a game, giving way to then-OSU kicker Jack Willoughby and current Buckeye junior Sean Nuernberger. In both 2012 and 2013, he was playing on the James Madison University soccer team.“I committed there my junior year of high school, not really knowing what I wanted to study,” Durbin said.Unfortunately for Durbin, who made the decision to study civil engineering after arriving on the Dukes’ campus, the program he seeked was not offered at the college he had signed with in high school.“They only had general engineering, they didn’t have any of the disciplines,” Durbin said. “After two years there, I decided to transfer.”During that same time, he also decided to pick up the art of kicking a football. He began practicing with his father at his former high school, trying to perfect the correct angles and motions to land him a chance to play with a top team in the nation.Durbin’s father recorded him doing kickoffs and field goals. During that time, Durbin said he worked with a man named Paul Woodside, who works for a kicking and punting training company called “Before U Kick.”Woodside is a former walk-on at West Virginia University, where he earned All-American status twice, as well as being inducted as a member of the West Virginia University Hall of Fame. Durbin learned to accurately and powerfully kick a football during his time with Woodside, and sent his tapes out to four colleges after leaving James Madison.Of the four universities Durbin sent tapes to — Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Ohio State — only the Buckeyes replied to the former centerback and expressed interest in his abilities.Kristin, Durbin’s wife, has connections to OSU. Her parents are both alumni of OSU and fans of the Buckeyes. Durbin’s in-laws and his now wife were pulling for the Buckeyes to reach out and extend an offer.Former OSU Director of High School Relations Greg Gillum did reach out to Durbin, and the wheels were set in motion for the former all-region soccer player to don the Scarlet and Gray.“(Gillum) emailed me and said he liked what he saw on the tape, so we scheduled a meeting and I came to campus,” Durbin said. “I came to campus and he called me back, I wanna say a month or two after that, and said they had an open spot on the team. They needed a kicker.”The first day for Durbin at OSU was a memorable day for all Buckeyes fans.“My first day on campus was the day the team won the national championship,” Durbin said. “I started workouts with the team a week after that.”OSU coach Urban Meyer spoke about the performance of Durbin during a Monday press conference following the blowout win of Bowling Green. In all, Durbin was able to secure an open field tackle, chase the returner out-of-bounds twice and make 11 extra points.An ongoing joke with the Buckeyes is Meyer not remembering the name of Durbin, since the first time the OSU coach saw his new kicker, he had no idea who Durbin was. Continuing the long-running joke, Meyer kept up the act on Monday.“I don’t know where the hell (Durbin) came from,” Meyer said. “He is really good.”Meyer was disappointed on the kick coverage the Buckeyes showed against the Falcons, but was quick to note the plays of Durbin that stood out. After the returner for Bowling Green had beat the first wave of defenders, Durbin was able to chase the ball carrier to the sideline, preventing a long return.Although transitioning from a different sport may seem challenging, Durbin said his soccer background propelled him into the OSU starting lineup.“It’s not too different. There’s little differences in technique,” Durbin said. “But, as I mentioned before, Paul Woodside. I worked with him a lot, and it was a pretty easy transition for me from soccer to football for me. I’ve always had a big leg and it came pretty naturally to me.”The big leg Durbin claims to have has given him quite a lot to brag about on the team. According to the senior, he made a 70-yard field goal with a little wind support behind him in practice.With praise from his coaches and his teammates, Durbin is shaping up to handle the kicking duties for the Buckeyes for the foreseeable future. Along his long journey from Burke to Harrisonburg, Virginia, to Columbus, the former soccer defender is still trying to soak in the wild ride he has had in the last few years.“It’s crazy to me. None of this would have happened if God hadn’t put this opportunity in front of me,” Durbin said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity I’ve gotten here. It’s been the best experience of my life.” read more

OSU field hockey team focused on Final Four matchup with No 1

The No. 7-ranked Ohio State field hockey team (18-4) will be making its first NCAA Tournament semifinals appearance in program history. On Friday, the Buckeyes face No. 1-ranked University of Maryland (21-1), six-time NCAA Tournament champions. “Maryland’s a big opponent, traditionally a highly ranked team, winners almost every year of the national championship,” senior forward Jena Cacciatore said. The Buckeyes are the underdog heading into Friday’s game but are using it to their advantage. “I think it’s an advantage for us. Maryland might not see us as something that they have to worry about, but I think that we are going to give them a game for sure,” Cacciatore said. This isn’t OSU’s first daunting task during its tournament run. OSU beat Albany 2-1 in overtime in the first round. Freshman forward Paula Pastor-Pitarque scored a goal with just 1:30 remaining in regulation. Ten minutes into the overtime period, Pastor-Pitarque scored again for the OSU victory. The second-round game against Syracuse ended in similar fashion for the Buckeyes. OSU trailed Syracuse 2-1 in the second half when junior midfielder Aisling Coyle tied the game for the Buckeyes, scoring off an assist from Pastor-Pitarque with 12:26 left in regulation. The game went into overtime, when Coyle scored the game-winning goal off a penalty shot. “Going into overtime both games to get to the Final Four, from behind, shows a lot about (the players’) character and commitment, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said. Even though it will be OSU’s first visit to the Final Four, Coyle said the experience the team has gained from the first two tournament games gives it confidence against Maryland. “We are relaxed about it. The girls that were playing the past weekend in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight had never even got to that stage before, so we have a lot of confidence and have fun when we play,” Coyle said. “We know that we can do this. We aren’t too worried about Maryland. They should be more worried about us even though we are the underdog.” OSU plays Maryland at 4:30 p.m. Friday in College Park, Md. read more

New scoreboards huge addition to the atmosphere of Ohio State baseball and

The scoreboard at Bill Davis Stadium during a game between OSU and Akron March 18. OSU won, 6-5.Credit: Sam Harrington / Lantern photographerAs Bill Davis Stadium and Buckeye Field opened their doors for the first time this season, new video boards and sound systems for the 2014 campaign were unveiled.The change is a clear improvement over the old video boards, much to the delight of Ohio State baseball coach Greg Beals. The team revealed its new toys for the first time March 14 in an 8-5 win against Siena.“It is a huge addition to the atmosphere of our ballpark,” Beals said after his team defeated Xavier, 10-3, Wednesday. “The umpire who was (at) third base today has been at our park for the last five years and I go out for the game and the sounds and the bells are playing for the bottom of the first inning and he is like, ‘Yeah it’s sweet.’”The old scoreboard, which was installed in 1997, was not capable of the color animation that is brought by the new and improved video board.The new baseball video board cost approximately $475,000, while the sound system cost $192,000, an OSU athletic spokesman told The Lantern, in an email. The video board at the softball field cost $400,000, while the board at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium cost approximately $600,000.Senior starting pitcher Greg Greve said the improvements have definitely made a difference, especially with the players.“Huge improvement, no doubt about it,” Greve said. “It pumps the boys up in the dugout … it brings a nice energy to the ballpark.”Not only was the video board revamped, the renovations included adding a new sound system which plays each player’s walk-up song as well as between inning music and, of course, the OSU fight song.“It is great to finally hear the music and not have to you know, sit out there during (batting practice) wondering what is playing,” Greve said. “It is really awesome.”Junior pitcher Ryan Riga, who leads the team in strikeouts, echoed his teammate’s excitement about the renovations.“It’s sweet,” Riga said. “The sound system is 10 times better … you get a more baseball vibe out of it.”The baseball team is 7-1 at home this season, while the softball team is 3-0.The scoreboard at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, which plays host to men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and track and field also received the same modifications. read more

Columbus to host NCAA womens basketball Final Four in 2018

For the first time ever, the city of Columbus is set to host the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four in 2018.The announcement was made Monday evening on ESPN2 after the women’s basketball committee visited Columbus in September.Columbus was up against Dallas, Houston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and New Orleans in the bidding process. Each city was in the running to host the Final Four between 2017 and 2020, with Dallas getting 2017, Tampa Bay being awarded the 2019 tournament and New Orleans receiving the Final Four in 2020.Columbus has never hosted the women’s Final Four, but last hosted first round matchups at Ohio State’s St. John Arena in 2013.Tampa Bay is set to host the 2015 women’s Final Four.Bids to host the Final Four were due in May and the committees narrowed the list down to select finalists before visiting each of those cities earlier this fall.According to an NCAA release, any venue that wishes to host the women’s Final Four must have a seating capacity of at least 18,000. Nationwide Arena — the likely site for a Final Four in Columbus — has a capacity of 19,500 for basketball.A Greater Columbus Sports Commission release estimated in September that the women’s Final Four could generate $18-20 million in visitor spending and could attract 40,000 fans. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State drops four spots to No 17 in latest

Ohio State redshirt senior guard Kam Williams (15) speaks with head coach Chris Holtmann during a timeout in the first half of the game against Maryland on Jan. 11 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State dropped four spots to No. 17 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll following Thursday’s 82-79 loss to Penn State, the Buckeyes’ first defeat in conference play this season.Last week, the Buckeyes came in at 13th in the poll. It was their highest placement since they were ranked 12th on Dec. 15, 2014.The Buckeyes (18-5, 9-1 Big Ten) are joined in the top 25 by three fellow Big Ten teams — No. 3 Purdue, No. 5 Michigan State and No. 24 Michigan. Ohio State beat Michigan State 80-64 at the Schottenstein Center on Jan. 7 and took down Michigan 71-62 at home on Dec. 4. It will take on the Boilermakers on Feb. 7 and will head to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to face the Wolverines for the second time this season on Feb. 18.Ohio State will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Indiana at the Schottenstein Center.. read more

Womens Lacrosse Strong secondhalf start propels Ohio State to 73 victory against

OSU Freshman goalie Jill Rizzo saves a shot against Vermont Credit: Walt Middleton – Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team took down Robert Morris 7-3 with a strong second-half rally Wednesday afternoon. The Buckeyes (5-5, 1-1 Big Ten) went on a 3-0 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half to extend to a four-goal lead that proved too big for the Colonials (4-6) to overcome. A series of turnovers and fouls led to a slow start for both teams. Robert Morris junior defender Shannon Lynch put the first goal on the scoreboard following a foul on Ohio State 12 minutes into the first half.Buckeyes junior attack McKayla Conti tied the score at one with fewer than 15 minutes remaining in the game, and junior midfielder Baley Parrott followed up with a free-position goal to give Ohio State the lead before just before the end of the first half.  “We weren’t moving the ball that well in the first half,” head coach Alexis Venechanos said. “I thought our decision making was a little poor so we changed our set up a little bit [and] attacked from up top.” After a near 15-minute scoring drought in the second half after Ohio State’s early second-half  run of three straight goals, the Colonials inched closer with a goal by junior attack Kerri Sayrafe. Robert Morris’ final push to close the gap was not enough, and a goal by Parrot with fewer than three minutes remaining secured the game for the Buckeyes. “I’m really proud of our team. We stepped up,” Venechanos said. “We didn’t like our start of the game, but I thought our defense definitely held the fort tight for us.”Parrot led the team with three goals and now leads the team with 28 goals. Ohio State sophomore goalie Jillian Rizzo had 13 saves and gave up a season-low three goals. The Buckeyes will turn their attention back to conference play and look to keep the momentum going when they face No. 6 Penn State at noon Saturday. read more

CCTV catches man waving shotgun before blasting victim in Brixton

first_imgThree men are seen on the CCTV at the junction of Marcella Road and Serenaders Road at around 7pm on Thursday May 12.A man in a white shirt, upon realising one of the suspects has a shotgun, runs and dives behind a parked car before sprinting away.Moments later, the gunman appears to shoot the weapon over a wall and then takes a bicycle and flees the scene, followed by his two accomplices along Ferry Mews, in the direction of Brixton Road.Detectives from the Met’s Trident unit have released the footage in an appeal to identify the men, who are sought in connection with the attempted murder. Detective Constable Jo Ross, from Trident and Area Crime Command, said: “The 21-year-old victim was fortunate to recover from what were potentially life-threatening injuries at the time of the incident.”Other passers-by were threatened by having a shotgun pointed at them – these are dangerous people.”We are keen for the public to give us any information in relation to this appeal, who witnessed the incident or who recognises the suspects. It happened in broad daylight and in an area full of schoolchildren.”The gunman is described as a black man in his 20s, of medium build and seen with a dark coloured bag over his shoulder and wearing black and white gloves.His accomplices are both said to be black men in their 20s.One was wearing a dark top with a large Franklin and Marshall logo on the front, a fur-lined hat and dark grey bandana and the other wore a dark hooded top, black gloves and a baseball cap with a white mark on the peak. Three men stand on a street corner with a shotgunCredit:MET Police Police are appealing for any information Credit:MET Police A gunman is caught on CCTV waving a shotgun at passers-by moments after blasting a man in the chest in a residential street.The suspect, wearing a dark blue hooded top and a black bandana over his face, can be seen taking the sawn-off shotgun from an accomplice before roaming around and shooting at bystanders.A 21-year-old man was found shot in the chest and windpipe and a 16-year-old schoolboy suffered a minor gunshot wound to his arm, the Metropolitan Police said.The older victim suffered a punctured lung and serious damage to his windpipe but made a full recovery after undergoing immediate surgery at a London hospital.center_img Three men stand on a street corner with a shotgun Police are appealing for any information  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

M62 shooting Mother of stud badboy breaks down in tears at his

first_imgThe mother of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub was visibly distraught as family members were joined by scores of other people for prayers at a Huddersfield mosque.Safia Bano had to be supported by relatives as the coffin with her son’s body was carried out of the Masjid Bilal in Huddersfield before a burial at a nearby cemetery. Around 100 protesters took to the streets to express their feelings about the police shooting of Mohammed Yassar YaqubCredit: Telegraph and Argus / SWNS.com Sofia Yaqub, the mother of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, is comforted at Masjid Bilal, Huddersfield, where prayers are being held ahead of his funeralCredit:Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire Mr Yaqub’s coffin was carried into and out of the service through the men’s entrance and mourners embraced as they paid their respects.Banners have been placed at the scene of the shooting by campaigners criticising the police actions. Earlier this week, Mr Yaqub’s father, Mohammed, told Sky News: “I don’t feel like he was a risk at all. I believe he was a target and it was a pre-planned assassination.”The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the death and said none of the officers involved were using body-worn video cameras during the stopping of the white Audi in which Mr Yaqub was travelling.Moshin Amin, of Dewsbury, appeared before magistrates in Leeds charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possession of a sound moderator and possession of ammunition.Two men, aged 37 and 26, who were also arrested on Monday evening, have been released on police bail pending further inquiries. Forensics officers inspect the scene The coffin of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub is carried towards Masjid Bilal Huddersfield where prayers were heldCredit: Anna Gowthorpe / PA Wire Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, 28, died during a police operation The funeral took place at the Masjid Bilal mosque in Huddersfield Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, 28, died during a police operationCredit: Mr Dalby said the vehicles were stopped at 6.10pm on Monday and Mr Yaqub was pronounced dead at 6.47pm. He was first identified with his fingerprints and then later by his sister.A post-mortem examination revealed he died from gunshot wounds to the chest, the inquest heard.In 2010, Mr Yaqub was cleared of attempted murder and a firearms offence after it was alleged that he opened fire on a car in Birkby Hall Road, Huddersfield.Coroner Mr Fleming described his death as “very sad” and adjourned the case until March.At the same time as the funeral and the inquest opening were taking place, a 30-year-old man, Moshin Amin, was remanded in custody by magistrates in Leeds after he was arrested as part of the same police operation on Monday. Sofia Yaqub, the mother of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, is comforted at Masjid Bilal, Huddersfield, where prayers are being held ahead of his funeral Bradford coroner Martin Fleming was told how Mr Yaqub was in an Audi car which was brought to a “hard stop” by four unmarked police cars along with a Volkswagen Scirocco.Coroner’s officer Chris Dalby said one of the police cars, a Mercedes, collided with the Audi during the stop as it cut in front of the vehicle. At the same time, a coroner in Bradford heard brief details of how father-of-two Mr Yaqub, 28, described as an office clerk, was shot by a police officer “in the execution of his duty” on a slip road of the M62 near Huddersfield on Monday evening. The funeral service in Huddersfield was attended by too many people fit in the mosque and there were emotional scenes in the street outside. Around 100 protesters took to the streets to express their feelings about the police shooting of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub The funeral took place at the Masjid Bilal mosque in HuddersfieldCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty Images The coffin of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub is carried towards Masjid Bilal Huddersfield where prayers were held Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Dalby told the three-minute hearing: “During the incident, an officer discharged a firearm in the execution of his duty, with the shots going through the windscreen of the Audi.”He said a firearm was found in the front passenger footwell of the vehicle. Forensics officers inspect the sceneCredit:OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Imageslast_img read more

Prince William launches his own award scheme for children

first_imgPrince William talking to pupils Duke of Cambridge helps children complete a construction task  The Duke of Cambridge meets schoolchilren at Llanfoist Fawr Primary School in Abergavenny, WalesCredit:PA Chief executive of SkillForce Ben Slade said William asked for instruction in his Welsh pronunciation before making the speech and had rehearsed what he was going to say a couple of times.He said of the prince: “He is absolutely fantastic. He is genuinely interested in the people themselves, what they are gaining from the awards and what we can do to improve it.” “The ability for a child to develop character, courage and resilience to overcome setbacks is something about which I care deeply.”Over the years I have seen, time and again, how the development of personal skills puts a young person in better stead for education, future employment and for life.” SkillForce works with schools to transform lives using the skills and experience of ex-services veterans.It supports children and young people in more than 200 primary and secondary schools across England, Scotland and Wales, preparing them for their next steps in education, work and life, and William became patron in 2009.Jon Murphy, headteacher at Llanfoist Fawr Primary School, said the school had seen huge benefits from taking part in the pilot.He said William’s first public event was on St David’s Day in 1991 when he visited Cardiff with his parents.He said: “You have visited our small village of Llanfoist. We will always remember that and St David’s Day will have a new significance for us.” The Duke of Cambridge center_img Giving a speech to mark the award launch, which has been piloted in 37 schools around the country, William addressed the crowd first in Welsh, saying: “Bore da, dydd gwyl Dewi Hapus (Good morning. Happy St David’s Day).”The Duke said he was passionate about SkillForce and added: “I believe that an individual’s academic success, wellbeing and mental health depends not only on traditional qualifications, but on nurturing non-academic attributes like self-confidence, discipline and determination.”It is not enough that someone is good at English and maths if they cannot withstand the pressures that life throws up. The Duke of Cambridge helps children complete a construction task Credit:Getty Images Children from the host school then demonstrated the skills needed for the Explorer Award, for children aged eight to 11, by taking part in a “hover ball” teamwork challenge, using ropes to move a ball across the playground without it dropping. The Duke smiled as he took up one of the ropes and helped the children balance the ball and drop it into a bucket.Abigail Squirrell, 10, said: “When we were playing the game it felt like he was not there because he was casual with us.”It felt like he was not a prince. I could see he was getting really involved. He was really enjoying the games.” Duke of Cambridge greets children as he launches the new Prince William Award with SkillForceCredit:AFP/Getty Images 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

Thirteen monkeys killed in devastating fire at Woburn Safari Park

first_imgMonkeys at Woburn Safari Park, where 13 of their number where killed in a fire on TuesdayCredit:Alamy “When firefighters from Woburn and Dunstable Community Fire Stations arrived along with the water carrier from Toddington they found the outbuilding housing Patas monkeys was well alight and its roof had fallen in. ‘They fought the fire using fire hoses while wearing breathing apparatus to protect themselves from the smoke and fumes. The building was 90 per cent damaged by the fire. “The fire was spotted by security guards on a routine patrol.”An investigation by Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service concluded later that the fire started accidentally following a fault in an electricity generator housed in the same building as the monkey house.In the wild, ground-dwelling Patas monkeys are found in the grassland, open savannah and dry woodland of central Africa.They can grow up to 34in (85cm) in length, with a 30in (75cm) tail, and can live for around 20 years.Woburn’s troop of Patas monkeys shares a 16-acre enclosure with other species, but is housed at night during the winter months.The fire at Woburn Safari Park came after a blaze at London Zoo killed one aardvark and four meerkats in December.The blaze has led to the postponement of Tuesday’s planned annual stock-take at the zoo, in Regent’s Park.Every one of the zoo’s animals was due to be accounted for, but the stock-take has now been put on hold until FebruaryThe fire broke out in the animal adventure section of London zoo, destroying the cafe, shop and around half of the adjacent petting zoo, London Fire Brigade said.The world-famous attraction reopened to visitors on Christmas Eve. Monkeys at Woburn Safari Park, where 13 of their number where killed in a fire on Tuesdaycenter_img Thirteen monkeys have died following a fire in an enclosure at Woburn Safari Park. The fire broke out in the early hours of Tuesday in the Patas’ monkey house within the African Forest drive-through enclosure of the park in Bedfordshire.The Patas monkeys were killed when the roof on the building they were living in collapsed as a result of the fire.A spokesman for the park said: “Staff and fire crews attended the scene; however, devastatingly for everyone at the park, none of the 13 animals could be saved.”All other animals within the jungle drive-through enclosure are being monitored, but early signs suggest they have not been affected by the fire.Fire crews managed to put the fire out by 4.46am and firefighters said 90 per cent of the building was damaged. A Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at a monkey enclosure at Woburn Safari Park at 2.37am this morning. 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

Shoreham Airshow disaster pilot to stand trial accused of causing 11 deaths

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 pilot accused of killing 11 people in the Shoreham Airshow disaster will stand trial for manslaughter next January.Andy Hill, 54, was performing a loop-the-loop stunt when the 1955 Hawker Hunter jet crashed onto the A27 in West Sussex, killing 11 men and injuring 13 people.The trained Royal Air Force instructor was thrown from the aircraft as it landed on the dual carriageway.He suffered serious injuries and was placed in an induced coma before eventually being discharged from hospital.Hill appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday wearing a dark grey suit over a white shirt and dark tie. He pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of gross negligence manslaughter and one of endangering an aircraft.Gross negligence manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, and Judge Richard Marks QC set a trial date of 14 January 2019.The Shoreham Airshow has not been staged again since the disaster on August 22, 2015, out of respect for the families of the men who died.The decision to charge Hill was announced to the relatives in a private meeting at Sussex Police’s Lewes headquarters back in March.According to the charges, the 11 who died were wedding chauffeur Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton; retired engineer James Mallinson, 72, from Newick, near Lewes; window cleaner and builder Mark Trussler, 54, from Worthing; cycling friends Dylan Archer, 42, from Brighton, and Richard Smith, 26, from Hove. The others were NHS manager Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove; grandfather Mark Reeves, 53, from Seaford; Worthing United footballers Matthew Grimstone and Jacob Schilt, both 23; personal trainer Matt Jones, 24; and Daniele Polito, 23, from Worthing.Hill, of Sandon, West Sussex, remains on bail ahead of his Old Bailey trial which is expected to last up to seven weeks. read more

Victims of Westminster attack remembered at inquest He was my best friend

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Cochran, an American citizen from Utah, was hit by Masood’s car and thrown off Westminster Bridge onto the embankment. He was pronounced dead at the scene and pathologist later concluded he died from severe head injuries.Closing her account of her husband at the Old Bailey yesterday morning, Mrs Cochran said: “My husband, my friend, my love, my mentor, my admirer, my inspiration, my rockstar. I miss you with all my heart.”Aysha FadeMother of two Aysha Frade was walking home from work when she was  “cruelly and brutally taken away” from her family and young daughters, her husband told the inquest.Mrs Frade, 44, was an administrative assistant at a nearby Westminster college when she was killed in Masood’s attack.Holding back the tears as he spoke, John Frade said his wife “lived and breathed for her daughters” and that she would “always wanted to provide for her friends and family.” Kurt Cochran, one of the victims of the Westminster Bridge terror attack, was described as a “hero” for saving his wife’s life in the attack last MarchCredit:Metropolitan Police/PA Kurt Cochran She said: “He loved a cup of tea with his customers, many of whom remained his friends over the years.”Everyone loved him. He would do anything to help anyone who needed it.”Mr Rhodes was struck by Masood’s car as he was leaving a hospital appointment at the nearby Thomas’s Hospital.He was later taken to King’s College Hospital where he was treated for very serious injuries. However, he never regained consciousness and died just over 24 hours after the attack.Pc Keith PalmerPC Keith Palmer was the “face of British policing” and “must be dotted all over the world” in pictures taken by thousands of tourists who flocked to the Palace of Westminster, his colleague said.Pc Palmer loved greeting visitors at the Palace gates and talking about the history of the building, Pc Nick Carlisle told the inquest.“He was popular with tourists looking to have their photo taken with a British bobby,” he said. Pc Palmer died from stab wounds after terrorist Khalid Masood attacked him inside the grounds of Parliament in March last year. He was pronounced dead at the scene.He joined the Metropolitan Police in 2001 and became a police officer outside the Houses of Parliament in 2016.Pc Carlise said: “Keith became a police officer protecting Westminster because he wanted a new experience and to spend more time with his family.“I am immensely proud to have called him my friend. But most of all I shall remember him as a family man. That is why he went to work – to provide for his wife and his daughter.”Andreea CristeaAndreea Christea, 31, had written of her hope that 2017 would be the best year of her life.She had planned to start a family with her partner Andrei Burnaz. But her “dreams were shattered” by Khalid Masood; his car striking her and she fell 40ft into the Thames. She was rescued after nine minutes in the water but never regained consciousness and died on April 6. Mrs Frade’s sister Michelle also spoke at the inquest and revealed that the mother of two had expressed concern at working in the Westminster area because of the terrorism threat.She said: “Her job relocated to Westminster where she was worried about terrorist attacks, but we put it down to her usual nervous self and that she was probably in the safest part of London.“But now she will never be able to smile again, see her daughters grow up or grow old with her husband.”Mrs Frade was killed “almost instantaneously” when she was hit by Masood’s car and thrown under a passing bus, the inquest heard.Leslie Rhodes“I remember him smiling and happy,” Leslie Rhodes’s niece told the Westminster Bridge inquest about her uncle, a retired window cleaner, who was the oldest victim of last year’s attack.Mr Rhodes, who was 73 at the time of his death, was born in Battersea, London in 1941 and was the youngest of three sons.An enthusiastic cricket fan who loved to fish, Mr Rhodes was “a very private man” who never had his own children Amanda Rhodes told the inquest, adding: “He acted like a father to us.” Aysha Frade ‘lived and breathed for her daughters’, her husband saidCredit:Metropolitan Police/PA In the opening day of the Westminster Bridge terror attack inquest, moving “pen portraits” were written and read aloud by the family members of the attack’s five victims.Kurt Cochran“Hero” Kurt Cochran pushed his wife out of the way of Khalid Masood’s oncoming vehicle and “took the full force” of the attack, the inquest heard.Mr Cochran, who was 54 at the time of his death, was visiting London with his wife, Melissa Cochran, when he was the first victim of the Westminster Bridge terror attack in March last year.Yesterday’s inquest opened with touching accounts from Mr Cochran’s family, including his sister Angela Stoll who spoke on behalf of Mrs Cochran because “she didn’t think she could get through it herself.”Mrs Cochran described the day her husband was killed as a “cowardly attack on humanity.” Leslie Rhodes was a retired window cleaner. His family described him as “a very private man.”Credit:Met Police/PA Her family, some of whom followed proceedings from the British Embassy in Bucharest, paid tribute to Ms Cristea on what would have been her 33rd birthday.She was described as a “lovely, enchanting and life-loving” woman, who had a thriving interior design business.“All her dreams were shattered when she went on her final trip to England, London, and she suddenly became the victim of the Westminster terror attacks,” their statement said. “It is awful and heartbreakingly painful. The pain we felt and feel now cannot be expressed in words.” She said that, despite his old age and retirement, Mr Rhodes still continued to clean windows for family and friends. Andreea Cristea  He said: “An outside babysitter was never an option. When [our daughter] was four-years-old we realised that we had not been to the cinema in four years. The even stranger part was that we had not even missed it. We loved being a family – all four of us.” Aysha Frade In a New Year’s Eve note, she wrote: “The year 2017 will be the best of my life… I will have a wonderful man by my side, who will love and cherish me and with this man I will start a wonderful family.” His sister Angela said: “He was always brave and took his role as a police officer seriously. He treated everyone with respect.”Keith died protecting strangers whilst doing his job and he will be remembered by many for his courage and bravery.” A-level students Tyler Chapperley-Russell and Will Robins met PC Keith Palmer while on a college trip to London last year. They were taking photos around the Palace of Westminster when they noticed PC Palmer was behind them and he joined inCredit:BBC PC Palmer She said: “He was my bestfriend, my husband and my hero. I was so lucky to have had 25 wonderful years with the man of my dreams. He made me laugh every single day. I cherish every single memory we made.”I am forever grateful for the time we had together, allowing me to be the mother to his children, and especially his heroic actions on that day, saving my life.” Leslie Rhodes Andreea Cristea would have turned 33-years-old on the day the inquest into her death beganCredit:Met Police/PA read more

Smartphones cause family row every single day in British homes study finds

Although parents were as or more likely than those in the US or Japan to feel their teenagers spent too much time on the phone, Britons were the least likely to feel it had damaged their relationships. And more than half of parents and almost two thirds of teenagers always or very often felt the need to respond immediately to texts, social media messages and other notifications.The Telegraph has been campaigning for a statutory duty of care on the social media and gaming firms to better protect children from online harms. Mobile phones provoke conflict and argument every day in a fifth of Britain’s families, according to a ground-breaking study into their impact on family life.Half of parents and teenagers admit they get distracted by their phones on a daily basis with similar proportions also saying they feel “addicted” to their devices.As a result, conversations and meal-times are regularly disrupted with both children and parents critical of each other’s usage.Almost two-thirds of parents felt their teenage children spent too much time on their devices but more than a quarter (29 percent) of the children said their parents were also on their phones too much.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Two-thirds of families said they set rules on the use of mobiles in the home such as a ban at meals or bedtime but 70 percent admitted they were broken, mostly by the teenagers but in up to 17 percent of cases by parents.The study of 1,200 parents and their children aged 13 to 17 by US-based Common Sense Media and University of Southern California (USC) is the third in an international series that for the first time enables comparisons with the US and Japan.British parents and teenagers were, in each other’s eyes, seen as the most addicted to their phones of any of the three countries. However, the technology was most likely to cause daily arguments in US households. Willow Bay, dean at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, said that while there was conflict, parents and children also saw benefits in the technology that could enhance relations.“We have to find a way to integrate them into our lives and the lives of our children. This is the first generation of parents immersed in the technology but also helping their teenagers manage mobile devices and social media,” she said.Parents rated screen time as one of the top three sources of regular conflict between them and their teenage children alongside rows over chores and bed times.A third of parents said phones interrupted conversations, and 28 percent said they disrupted meals. While a fifth said phone usage caused a row at least once a day, another quarter said it was once a week.More than a quarter of parents (27 percent) and almost half of teenagers (48 percent) said they checked their devices within five minutes of waking up.Another 45 percent of parents and 31 percent of teens check their devices within 30 minutes of waking up. More than half of parents and teens admitted they checked their phones at least every hour. 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

Simon Mayo launches new classical radio station after joining BBC exodus

In a statement released after Evans left the Radio 2 studio, he said: “In many ways Virgin Radio is my spiritual home. I see nothing but exciting and groundbreaking opportunities ahead.”In a medium that is changing so quickly on a daily basis, the potential for growth is unprecedented.”Our plan is, to give it all we’ve got, see where we can get to and have the most possible fun along the way. It makes me smile every time I think about it.” Simon Mayo has announced the launch of a new classical radio station, becoming the latest presenter to defect from the BBC.Scala Radio is billing itself as “a brand-new classical entertainment radio station, offering classical music for modern life,” and has picked up Mayo after he left his Radio 2 drivetime show just before Christmas.The popular DJ joins Chris Evans in turning his back on the BBC, with the latter returning to his “spiritual home” of Virgin Radio.52-year-old Evans was the second highest-earning star at the BBC, taking home between £1.6 million and £1,669,999 for his Radio 2 Breakfast show. He previously hosted the Virgin Breakfast Show from 1997 to 2001, and had his first broadcast back at the station yesterday morning. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Chris Evans in his studio at the News building fo his first Virgin Radio breakfast show. Chris Evans rejoined Virgin radio and hosted their breakfast show on MondayCredit:Dan Charity / The Sun Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson described the appointment as a “major coup”.Commenting on the launch of Scala radio, Simon Mayo said: “There are hundreds of radio stations playing rock and pop, and only two classical music stations – until now. We’re different because we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners, and have a good time. Some of it will be familiar, some new and exciting but all timeless, beautiful and all absolutely relevant to today”.Drum and bass DJ Goldie will host ‘Goldie’s Classic Life,’ which will feature classical music mixes, alongside a narration of his own journey into classical music, explaining how it inspires him to write, perform and paint – as well as introducing listeners to exciting new classical artists.Launching on the 4th of March 2019, the station will also feature topical shows covering the influence of classical music in gaming, mindfulness and special guest weekly round ups. The sound of the station has been created with modern bespoke scores recorded by The City of Prague Philharmonic. read more

Army diversity poster girl abused by fellow soldiers on social media

The Armed Forces has made other moves to address a deepening recruitment crisis, including allowing foreign nationals to join the Armed Forces without having ever lived in Britain – in the first quarter of 2018 only seven per cent of the required number of soldiers had been recruited.  The group of British troops based in Germany have been given formal warnings after posting racist remarks about Kerry-Ann Morris, pictured The group of British troops based in Germany have been given formal warnings after posting racist remarks about Kerry-Ann Morris, pictured A defence source told the newspaper that the soldiers who wrote and ‘liked’ the comments were interviewed by senior officers. They said: “Cpl Morris a high achiever and it appears some of her colleagues are looking for excuses as to why they’re not doing as well as her. They know they will be in very serious trouble if they ever repeat such offensive accusations which breached the Army’s values and standards policy.  The soldier has also featured on the cover of Locker magazine The soldier has also featured on the cover of Locker magazine Cpl Morris, from Nottingham, recently appeared in the ‘Your Army Needs You’ millennial recruitment campaign 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. “It was to Cpl Morris’s credit that she requested the soldiers should be dealt with lightly on this occasion. As the victim, she could have pressed for more severe sanctions to be imposed but she was adamant that should not happen.” An Army investigation concluded that the messages were racially abusive. The group faced being kicked out of the Army, but Cpl Morris reportedly intervened to persuade senior officers against severe punishment.  Cpl Morris joined the Army in 2011 and has been promoted twice – she recently transferred from the Royal Artillery to the Adjutant General’s Corps. She has represented the Army and Combined Services at athletics and has appeared on the cover of the Army lifestyle magazine The Locker. The latest recruitment drive that Cpl Morris features in was designed to focus on “how the Army sees beyond stereotypes to spot young people’s potential”, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said.    An army poster girl was abused by fellow soldiers on social media, it has emerged after the Ministry of Defence confirmed six soldiers had been disciplined for it. The group of British troops based in Germany have been given formal warnings after posting racist remarks about Kerry-Ann Morris, the face of British Army Equality and Diversity campaigns. The six soldiers from 159 (Colenso) Battery accused Cpl Morris of using her skin color to secure promotions and ‘playing the race card’ at work to sabotage her colleagues’ careers. Comments were also made about Cpl Morris accusing others of being prejudiced against her because she is black, the Mail on Sunday reported.Cpl Morris, from Nottingham, recently appeared in the ‘Your Army Needs You’ millennial recruitment campaign, which launched last month, and when the picture was circulated on Facebook, the group of soldiers based on Gutersloh posted a series of racist comments.   The comments reportedly received multiple ‘likes’ and the post was shared among other soldiers. Cpl Morris, of Jamaican descent, is said to have brought it to the attention of the Army’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network – a group set up in 2017 for ethnic minority soldiers, of which Cpl Morris is a leading promoter.  Cpl Morris, from Nottingham, recently appeared in the 'Your Army Needs You' millennial recruitment campaign The campaign launched last month has reportedly led to a rise in the number of applications to join the Armed Forces. The MOD has also set a target of 10 per cent being from BAME backgrounds by 2020, with just 2.4 per cent of personnel currently being from BAME communities.For ranks below officer, 8.7 per cent of all armed forces personnel were from ethnic minorities, but the MOD says the Army had the highest percentage of people from ethnic minorities working both as officers and in other ranks, compared with the other armed forces. read more

Oxford dean accused of trying to remove tutors from salary committee after

He reportedly took umbrage with the head of the salaries committee’s long tenure and questioned whether this was appropriate under governance guidelines for charities.The row between the dean and members of the College’s governing body escalated, with both sides exchanging legal letters. This culminated the Dr Percy being relieved from his duties, pending a tribunal which will be conducted later this year by a retired High Court judge.“The data is clear – he was low paid by head of house standards or well paid by clerical standards,” a source told The Daily Telegraph. “You can see how it’s all got very bitter. £90,000 does look low – but it’s more than the Arch bishop of Canterbury.”His current salary of £90,000 makes him one of the best paid clergymen in the country, but it is lower than the heads of some other Oxford colleges. Writing to alumni January, Prof Richard Rutherford, Christ Church’s “Censor Theologiae”, or acting chair of the governing body, said: “It is worth stressing that the current dispute does not concern safeguarding. Neither does it concern supposed gender bias in the College, or a lack of commitment to access initiatives, or the pay of academic staff. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “We are not able to discuss the detailed basis of the complaint except to say that it related to issues surrounding the Dean’s own pay and how it is set.”In a nod to the fallout from alumni over the College’s handling of the debacle, Prof Rutherford added that anyone who had “generously supported” Christ Church through donations “should be reassured” that no money raised will be spent on legal fees.A spokesman for Church Church said they have nothing further to add. Dr Percy declined to comment.   An Oxford dean is accused of trying to remove tutors from the salary committee after his demand to increase his £90,000 salary was refused. The Very Rev Professor Martyn Percy, who presides over both Christ Church College and Cathedral, was suspended last November – a move with led to an outcry from alumni who felt he had been treated unfairly.The College, which was founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, said he had committed “immoral, scandalous or disgraceful” conduct, prompting speculation about the nature of his alleged offences.Under pressure to clarify the nature of the allegations, the College later wrote to thousands of alumni to clarify that Dr Percy’s suspension related to a dispute over pay.Under Christ Church’s statutes, the dean can only be removed from office under specific circumstances. These include being convicted of an offence that renders the dean unfit for office, conduct that constitutes persistent failure or neglect of duties, physical or mental incapacity — or behaviour of an “immoral, scandalous or disgraceful nature”.Now it has been claimed that Dr Percy, the first dean to be democratically elected in the College’s 494 year history, attempted to have members of the College’s salaries committee removed from their post when his request for a pay rise was blocked. read more

Police are giving criminals carte blanche to attack shopkeepers retail chief warns

James Lowman, the chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said retail staff were feeling increasingly isolated and often believed they had no choice but… Recent figures suggested there are now almost 10,000 assaults on retail staff every year, with attackers becoming increasingly violent, often arming themselves with deadly weapons. Criminals have been given “carte blanche” to rob and attack shopkeepers because the police no longer intervene and the courts no longer punish, a senior retail industry figure has warned. At the same time shoplifting offences have rocketed across the country, with many police forces no longer sending officers to investigate when crimes are reported.

Phoebe WallerBridge defends privilege as she says its not a fair criticism

Fleabag’s creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has defended her “privileged” background and claimed that pinpointing her social status is not a fair criticism of her work.In an interview with writer and author Elizabeth Day on her podcast How to Fail, Waller-Bridge, 33, admitted that although the hit BBC comedy is told through the “prism of a very middle class family”, she was using them as a device to “tell a story that was emotional”.Her comments came after the second series of Fleabag, which aired on BBC Three earlier this year, was reviewed as a show reserved for “posh girls”.As a guest on the podcast for the second time, Waller-Bridge, who grew up in Ealing, West London and had a private education, laid bare that she has never pretended to be from a lower class.Instead, she defended her upbringing, claiming she would have been inspired to write the story – now also a sold-out West End play – regardless of where she lived. 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. “To criticise a story on the basis of where the author had come from, or how privileged the author is, undermines the story,” the actress and writer said.She added: “It’s not like my privilege created Fleabag. “I created Fleabag, but from a point of place in my life where I was able to sit and write.”I like to think that whatever life I’d lived, wherever I’d been born or brought up, I would still have written if I had been given the encouragement.” read more