Didier Drogba Leads Chelsea to First Ever Title

Didier Drogba added to his growing legend by scoring a dramatic header in the 88th minute to bring his club Chelsea to a tie with favored Bayern Munich at their home stadium, then he heroically won the match with a penalty kick to give Chelsea a 4-3 advantage and its first-ever European Champions League title.Drogba’s contract with Chelsea expires next month, so it could have been the theatrical 34-year-old’s last match with the British club. He couldn’t have gone off in a more dramatic fashion, lifting his club onto his shoulders after team captain John Terry was suspended for the final match. Drogba, who is from the Ivory Coast, later called his winning penalty kick his “best ever goal.”Bayern Munich scored first and held the league for much of the tense match until Drogba’s header with just minutes left pulled desperate Chelsea into a tie.“He’s a hero. Without him we’re not here,” said Lampard, who scored with Chelsea’s third penalty. “I’d love him to stay. What he did tonight he’s been doing all his career.”A total of seven starters from the two teams were suspended for the game, giving it an unsettled feel that home team Bayern was quick to take advantage of. The win guarantee Chelsea a spot in next year’s Champions League tournament, which is crucial to the team’s finances and elite status. read more

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Blake Griffin Gets 95 Million Extension From Clippers

Blake Griffin said he did not want to leave the Los Angeles Clippers and it looks like he will be the centerpiece of the franchise —  and wrecking rims in L.A —  for years to come.The powerful and explosive power forward agreed to a five-year extension with the Clippers worth as much as $95 million if he is voted an All-Star starter again or named to a second All-NBA team next season under the so-called “Derrick Rose Rule” in the new collective bargaining agreement.“I feel good about them (the Clippers),” Griffin told ESPNLosAngeles last weekend at Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas. “Like I’ve said, everything’s been positive. Everything’s been moving forward. It’s been a good experience. I’m not a believer in breaking up something that’s working.”The Rose rule allows a player finishing his rookie contract to make 30 percent of a team’s salary cap — up from 25 percent — if he’s twice been voted an All-Star starter, twice been voted All-NBA or won an MVP award.Under another clause in the new CBA, rookies may extend their contracts by four years. However, a team may designate one player to sign a five-year extension.Griffin was always going to be the Clippers’ designated player, according to sources within the organization. However, had Eric Gordon not been traded to the New Orleans Hornets last December as part of the Chris Paul trade, it might have created a problem.With Griffin the only player on the Clippers’ roster in line for such an extension and his place in the league firmly established — he was the rookie of the year in 2011, as well as a two-time All-Star — he will receive the designation.Griffin’s extension would begin with the 2013-14 season. He would be able to opt out of the final season of the contract but is otherwise committed to the franchise through 2018.Since drafting Griffin No. 1 overall in 2009, the Clippers have tried to surround him with a mix of talented young players and veterans that could help him succeed and the franchise to win. read more

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Cougar DJ Hayden Nearly Dies From Injury In Practice

Houston Cougar cornerback D.J. Hayden was close to death when he suffered massive internal bleeding after a routine collision with a teammate in practice.The Houston team doctor said 95 percent of those who suffered the kind of injury Hayden did dies. He tore the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart. That injury is unprecedented on a football field.“This injury has never been seen or reported in association with a football injury and is more associated with high-speed motor vehicle injuries,” head team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said in a release. “The type of injury D.J. had is 95 percent fatal in the field and we are all very thankful for the coordinate response from the University of Houston trainers, EMS paramedics, the trauma team at Memorial Hermann and operating surgeon Dr. John Holcomb.”Given his low odds of survival at the time of the injury, and that it happened on a football field during practice, the efforts to save Hayden’s life had to be incredible. The school said Hayden is in stable yet critical condition, according to CougarsDen.com.Hayden, a senior, was Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year last season and was earned second team All Conference.“D.J. is a tremendous young man and has been a great asset to our program, both on and off the field,” coach Tony Levine said. “I ask that everyone continue to keep D.J. and his family in their thoughts and prayers. We are very fortunate to have some of the nation’s top physicians and medical facilities just minutes away from our campus and I would like to extend our appreciation for their efforts on Tuesday evening. We thank you for respecting the privacy of D.J. and his family at this time. We look forward to supporting D.J. on his road to recovery.” read more

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Javon Belcher Is Not The Victim Hes A Murderer

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or position of Atlanta Black Star or its employees Is anyone on the Kansas City Chiefs mad at Jovan Belcher, murderer? He killed a 22-year-old woman, leaving a three-month old motherless. He did this in a house with his mother in a nearby room. And yet his jersey still hangs in the team’s locker room as some sort of twisted memorial.Not cool.If he died as former Chief running back Joe Delaney did in 1983, drowning while trying to rescue three children in a lake, or as former K.C. linebacker Derrick Thomas did tragically from a massive blood clot resulting from a car accident in 2000 . . . then such a display would be appropriate.Delaney’s and Thomas’ names and numbers reside on the Arrowhead Stadium Ring of Honor – an appropriate place for fallen players who did not die from their own hand.Belcher killed himself – after killing his girlfriend. And for that, he should be shunned like poison ivy.It is a tragedy that Belcher, 25, took his own life after gunning down his girlfriend, but with the murder should come disassociation and anger, not sympathy.This is not a cold-hearted approach, but one born of empathy for Kasandra Perkins and her parent-less child; for her family that grieves the unnecessary death a loved one, including her cousin – the wife of Belcher teammate Jamaal Charles – who introduced her to the athlete that would take her life.And then there is his mother, Cheryl Shepherd, who was left to seek help for her dying “daughter-in-law.” You could hear her pain and fear in the 911 call recording. She’s making his funeral plans and left to raise his child, who will be a constant memory of the tragedy that will tug at her heart the rest of her life.After shooting his girlfriend, Belcher headed to the team’s practice facility to shoot himself in front of the general manager, head coach and his position coach. They are undergoing mandatory counseling for witnessing someone put a bullet through his own head. Think they will forget that moment anytime soon?More significantly, little Zoey will grow up and one day will be old enough to ask about her parents. How do you craft an answer that does not scar her for life?This is the carnage Belcher left behind. For that, he hardly should earn anyone’s sympathy – or a place in the Chiefs’ locker room.“I don’t know if it’s a shrine, or whatever you want to put it. It’s a tribute,” offensive tackle Eric Winston said. “He was a player on this team. We’re all struggling to reconcile the conflicting emotions we have.”No doubt, for the players, it is a difficult balance, but how did he earn a tribute? He killed a young woman.His teammates got dressed in suits and attended a memorial service for Belcher on Wednesday. They are hurt and confused, shocked. How could someone they thought they knew flip as he apparently did. Maybe it was brain injury that turned him, although any other known case of NFL players with such malfunctions have only hurt themselves. Maybe it was one false moment that he wished he had back the instant it occurred, although the multiple gun shots could suggest something different.Lots of maybes. . .Whatever the case, Belcher’s locker should be cleaned out and discarded like so much trash. He does not deserve the attention it brings or the sympathy it elicits.No one will know what drove a seemingly fine young man to such an awful tailspin. But he is not the victim here; he created the victims, and there are many.And for that, Belcher should be cast aside, at least figuratively. His mother has already said she will always love her son; that’s a mom for you. His friends certainly will have similar feelings.To onlookers, it is a bit frustrating and disheartening to see so much attention paid to a murderer. The attention and focus should go to the real victims in this horrible case – and to someone worthy, someone who can use the prayers and use the support.His daughter. read more

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Michael Sams Father Not Happy With Sons Gay Revelation

Michael Sam Sr., the father of Missouri football star Michael Sam who revealed this week that he is gay, was so upset when his son told him of his sexuality that he said he could not finish his meal.“I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. told The New York Times. “I don’t want my grandkids raised in that kind of environment.”He said he received a text message from his son that read, “Dad, I’m gay” last Tuesday. And while many have publicly applauded Sam’s son for his courage, the player’s father was less than thrilled. He told the Times that he’s “old school” and that the idea of a homosexual player in the NFL bothers him, even when that person is his own son.“As a Black man, we have so many hurdles to cross. This is just one he has to cross,” Sam Sr. told The Times.He told the newspaper that late Hall of Famer Deacon Jones, the leader of the Rams’ Fearsome Foursome who is credited with terming the word “sack,” is “turning over in his grave.”He told the newspaper, however, that he loves his son and hopes he makes it into the NFL.Sam led the SEC with 11.5 sacks, and 19 tackles for a loss. Many NFL draft projections see him as a likely mid-round pick, with some saying Sam could go as high as the third round, with a possible position switch to outside linebacker. He is rated as the 12th-best outside pass-rusher in the draft by ESPN Scouts Inc.His upbringing in Hitchcock, Texas, was filled with adversity. As such, he told ESPN that his decision to come out seemed easy compared to the tragedies he has had to endure.“I endured so much in my past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her,” he said. “My second-oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him … my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since eighth grade, currently both in jail.“Telling the world I’m gay is nothing compared to that.”On Sunday, the defensive end told ESPN that his parents, who are no longer together, took the news well, which contradicts the comments from his father to The Times.“I told my mom and dad last week, and they just pretty much said, ‘We knew and we love you and support you,’” he said. “I’m their baby boy. I’m the first to go to college. I’m the first to graduate college. Something like this is just another milestone.”The Times reported that when Sam returns to his hometown he usually stays with friends instead of his family.“I’m closer to my friends than I am to my family,” Sam told the newspaper. read more

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WBNS stops student radio

The estimated 200 listeners of The Underground’s webcast of Ohio State football games might have to turn to other means of media to cheer on the Buckeyes this season.Steve Snapp, the OSU sports information director, told Aaron Stollar, director of the sports department at the Underground, to cease broadcasts of the games immediately. Stollar was told that WBNS – The Fan 1460 AM and 97.1 FM – has an exclusive $1.5 million deal for the rights to broadcast football games.The Underground had been offering a completely free webcast of the games, while WBNS’s service charges a monthly fee through the athletic department’s Web site. Both Snapp and Director of Athletics Andy Geiger denied that there is a charge for the service, Stollar said.Stollar admitted The Underground is technically in violation of the contract signed by WBNS, but that everyone at its station thought the games could still be broadcasted without a problem.“I guess The Fan sees our 150-200 viewers a week as a threat,” Stollar said.Scott Barthelmas, who announces OSU games along with Stollar every Saturday, calls the ordeal an “odd situation.”“We’ve been doing this a long time, and the communication from the athletic department has not been clear,” he said.Ruth Gerstner from Student Affairs said she was surprised the Underground had been allowed to broadcast games. She said anything other than the WBNS broadcast would be violating the contract made by the athletic department and WBNS, which holds exclusive rights to the games.The athletic department gave The Underground $3,000 in August in order to ensure the broadcast capabilities of the station. The Underground broadcasts many Ohio State sports, including football.In an article which appeared in the Oct. 3 issue of The Lantern, Snapp said it was important for students to hear a wide variety of games from the perspective of other OSU students. He also said Geiger wanted to assist the troubled organization so it could continue broadcasting games.“Student affairs tells us to be more visible, and get our name out there and advertise, and then we get shut down,” Stollar said.Barthelmas and Stollar both said they might be able to solve the issue and keep broadcasting the games on Saturdays, but they might need some help from Geiger, whom Stollar said is on their side.Numerous phone calls to Snapp and Geiger were not returned.“Nothing is final as of yet,” Stollar said. “This could still be worked out.” read more

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Opinion March Madness doesnt always represent college basketballs best

Connecticut junior guard Ryan Boatright (11) points to the sky in celebration after the 2014 National Championship April 7 at AT&T Stadium. Connecticut won, 60-54.Courtesy of MCTI absolutely love the NCAA Tournament. Nothing comes close to beating it, in my eyes. The hustle, the close games, the heartbreak and jubilation — it is the ultimate sporting event.But it’s certainly not without its flaws.The Connecticut Huskies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 to be crowned National Champions Monday night. But does this really make them top in the country?Obviously this is a massive accomplishment. UConn’s second national title in four years is something most fans can only dream about. But is it fair that surviving the tournament is the sole mark of the nation’s best team?The problem I often have with the tournament is that it is a simple reflection of which teams got hot at the right time. It’s not like that’s not a problem in other sports (look at the New York Giants’ two most recent Super Bowl wins, both of which saw the Giants playing on Wild Card weekend), but the tournament is so much easier to get into than the playoffs in other sports.Look at Ohio State basketball this year. It was a mediocre team, plain and simple. It had no semblance of an offense, no go-to scorer, no interior presence, and seemed to only excel at defending inbound passes.But the Buckeyes easily made the tournament. Dominating their exceptionally weak non-conference schedule and squeezing out a few big conference wins was enough for 25 victories, a lock to get in, despite a 10-8 record in Big Ten play.The Buckeyes didn’t find the magic that UConn did, though, as their season came to a close in their first tournament game against the No. 11-seed Dayton. But what if OSU had figured out how to score late in the season?If the Buckeyes had managed to get hot and make a tournament run, could you really say that a team that lost twice to Penn State was one of the nation’s elite teams? I don’t think anyone could watch its offensive strategy of passing the ball around the perimeter for 30 seconds and argue that.UConn finished the regular season ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll, just four spots better than the Buckeyes. Its season featured some good wins over Florida, Memphis, and Cincinnati, but despite 32 wins, it was still only good enough to earn a No. 7 seed.Kentucky didn’t even finish the season ranked in the AP Poll, although its name can be seen in the “others receiving votes” column.Are these the teams that can be narrowed down as the two best in the country? I realize basketball is more than just stats and polls, and the postseason is what it’s all about, but is it possible that winning the tournament creates an overrated legacy just a little?I’m not saying there’s a better way to determine the season’s champion. But when you look back on this season 10 years from now, will it be easily recognizable that Wichita State didn’t lose a regular season game or Arizona, Florida, and Syracuse spent a combined 15 weeks at No. 1? No, the only thing you will see will be UConn claiming the national title.I am not trying to take away this tremendous accomplishment by the Huskies, but is it right that a few weeks in March and April completely wash out an OK regular season? read more

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Football Ohio State coaches mostly rated meets expectation in 2016 performance reviews

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer observes the field at Memorial Stadium prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State football coaches, including coach Urban Meyer and each assistant coach who remains on the staff from the 2016 season, either exceeded or met expectations in their overall ratings, according to performance evaluations obtained by The Lantern through a public-records request.Meyer was reviewed by Athletics Director Gene Smith while Meyer evaluated every assistant coach. The reviews were conducted in June. Each assistant coach rated himself in a variety of categories and added comments and goals with input from Meyer. The head coach added overall comments at the bottom of the documents.Reviews of former co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell, former co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Beck and former co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Ed Warinner were not completed because they departed before reviews took place. Urban MeyerDespite reaching the College Football Playoff, Meyer received a “performance meets expectations” when determining the competitive success of the program. “Reaching the CFP represents another milestone!” Smith wrote in Meyer’s review.Meyer earned an overall rating of “exceeds expectations.” He was given exceptionally high reviews for Ohio State’s off-field performance. “The academic performance of all students represented the best in many years,” Smith wrote. “Embedded with that is the ever growing positive culture. The young men represent the highest character almost across the board. Urban’s continued approach as an excellent community engager (all communities) is significant for the entire university.”According Smith’s review, Meyer’s performance exceeded expectations in the academic success of the program, commitment to compliance, “student-athlete welfare,” leadership and “public relations/donor relations.”  The head coach met, but did not exceed, expectations with his communication and budget management.Smith noted that Meyer should continue to strive for a team GPA of above 3.0, which, according to Meyer’s contract, would result in the coach receiving a $50,000 bonus. Meyer was told to continue to focus on “cultural and behavioral issues all students face,” to “think outside of the box on education about these issues” and to recruit “the most talented and gifted players and put them in position to win championships.” Greg SchianoDespite having only worked with the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach for one season, Meyer called defensive coordinator and safeties coach Greg Schiano the “best coach I’ve worked with.”Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano shakes hands with players prior to fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.In his first year with Ohio State last season, Schiano worked with Fickell as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach. He is one of two coaches to give himself a five out of five — which means he exceeded expectations — in his overall rating as a coach.Unsurprisingly, given first-round draft pick Malik Hooker’s ascendance last season, Schiano earned positive comments from Meyer based on his unit’s strength and performance, development of his unit, and recruiting. The head coach also gave Schiano positive reviews for his leadership of the defensive staff, creativity in the system, loyalty and his demand of accountability.Schiano positively evaluated his unit’s productivity, position productivity, player development, teaching methods, “thirst for knowledge” and “selfless recruiting.” The defensive coordinator noted he should work on patience, enlisting Meyer’s support earlier in the recruiting cycle and turning administrative paperwork in on time.Larry JohnsonOhio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson walks to the practice field at fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.Having developed and recruited one of the more dominant units in college football, it comes as no surprise that defensive line coach Larry Johnson was the second of the two assistant coaches who gave himself a five out of five overall rating, which means the coach exceeded expectations.Johnson earned positive comments from Meyer for his recruiting, player development, unit performance, loyalty, ability to get players to the NFL, “expertise at his trade” and his motivation of the team. Meyer wrote that Johnson should use his motivational skills more often.In the review, Meyer noted Johnson needed to work on continuing to develop young players and enhance defensive game planning.Kerry CoombsCornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs, whom Meyer calls an “elite coach,” earned high marks for his productivity and development of his players on the field. Coombs determined the cornerback play was “very effective” and highlighted the development of first-round picks Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley.Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs fires up the team prior to fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.Coombs rated his recruiting as exceeding expectations and Meyer listed it as a positive. The cornerback coach noted the Buckeyes had a “very good [2017] class both in area recruiting and position recruiting.” But Meyer also noted Coombs had “too many misses in recruiting.”Given the loss of Lattimore and Conley, Meyer noted Coombs needed to work on development of young players and said it would be key for the 2017 season. He mentioned Coombs needed to continue enhancing special teams and work on game planning due to his additional responsibilities as assistant coordinator, defense.The head coach listed Coombs’ loyalty, special teams enhancement and motivation, enthusiasm and energy in all aspects of the program, staff chemistry, leadership of the freshman class and unit performance as positives.Coombs wrote that even though punt, kick return and kickoff units reached “Ohio State Standards” last season, the Buckeyes’ punt return must improve this year. The special teams coordinator also noted that Tyler Durbin, a walk-on kicker, exceeded expectations and punter Cameron Johnston was honored as first-team All-Big Ten. Zach SmithThough wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith wrote his goals were to be the “Best in America” as a recruiter, wide receiver coach, unit leader and staff member, he was the only two coaches to give himself a three out of five — meaning he marginally met expectations — on his productivity and development of his players on the field.Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith talks to junior wide receiver Eric Glover-Williams prior to fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.Meyer wrote that Smith needed to work on the unit behavior, referring to “last year failures.” He also mentioned Smith needed to work on his unit strength, “equating the meeting room,” “personal matters,” “focusing on the task” and special teams.Smith earned positive comments for his creativity in recruiting, with his unit and the offense as a whole. Meyer noted Smith’s knowledge of the offense as a positive, but said he needed to use it. The receiver coach’s recruiting, adaptivity to new coordinators and enhancement of his unit’s offseason schedules, were positively evaluated by Meyer.The wideout coach wrote that he should enhance his productivity in recruiting, with the goal to “be the best.”Tony AlfordRunning backs coach and assistant head coach for offense Tony Alford gave himself a four out of five, meeting expectations for the productivity and development of his players on the field. Running back Mike Weber was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2016 when he rushed for 1,096 yards. But Alford noted he needs to get more production from the backup running backs.Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford prepares for practice at fall camp on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.Alford earned positive reviews for his recruiting, “development of his unit,” loyalty, staff chemistry and “preaching of Ohio State culture.” Meyer noted that he has had “zero issues” with the running backs off the field and mentioned the unit had a strong cohesion.According to Meyer’s review, the third-year Ohio State assistant coach must work on “equating the meeting room,” game-planning, speaking in front of the team and becoming the best in the country.Alford wrote that one of his goals is to continue on the path of professional growth in order to obtain a head coaching job. He also listed having his unit held in high regard by the team and coaching staff as a goal.Greg StudrawaThough two players — right guard Billy Price and center Pat Elflein — earned first-team All-American honors last season, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa gave himself either a three or four out of five (both were circled on the evaluation) in terms of his overall rating as a coach.Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa coaches his unit at a fall practice on Aug. 5. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.He evaluated himself as a three out of five — marginally meeting expectations — for the productivity and development of his players on the field. Studrawa wrote he needs the unit to improve pass protection and finish blocks more consistently. The need for improvement extended off the field as the offensive line coach evaluated himself as marginally meeting expectations for his off-field social productivity and development, writing he needs to “continue to stress social behavior.”Studrawa wrote that his goals are to have the best offensive line in the country, improve at staying involved in players’ lives outside of football and a continuation of leadership development.Studrawa earned high marks from Meyer for his passion, creativity and productivity in recruiting, as well as his caring for players and family involvement.According Meyer’s review, the offensive line coach must work on improving his unit’s culture, specifically its toughness and fundamentals. Meyer also noted Studrawa needs to work on improving “unit pride,” his value in the offensive staff room, “ownership and understanding of the offense,” and his relationships with the staff, including strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti. Meyer also mentioned Studrawa need to work on his use of sarcasm. There is “no place for it,” Meyer wrote.View the full performance evaluations here: Urban Meyer, Greg Schiano, Larry Johnson, Kerry Coombs, Zach Smith, Tony Alford, Greg Studrawa read more

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Stowaway mouse causes British Airways flight to be delayed for hours

first_imgA British Airways flight was delayed for hours because a mouse was spotted on the plane.Passengers had already boarded the 10.40am flight from Heathrow to San Francisco when it was announced there was going to be a delay.They were told they had to change planes, but were informed that it would be several hours before a gate would be available for the new plane. Now we are of course discussing the mouse’s potential travel looks. pic.twitter.com/3KlKe6OrdT— Midland (@midlandsound) March 1, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A passenger told the BBC that it was announced that “a rather unusual occurrence has occurred”.They then said rules stipulate that planes cannot take off if a mouse is found on board.The passenger, called Carly, said: “I’m not sure people knew how to react. There was general disbelief.”center_img Just had my flight to SFO cancelled because of a mouse on board the plane. Could it not get a visa?? #britishairways— Mark Watt (@markwatt) March 1, 2017 Some passengers tweeted about the flight, with one writing a Haiku about the mouse.Another flight was provided for the passengers four hours later.British Airways said: “We know almost everyone wants to fly with us to San Francisco, but on this occasion there was one very small customer who we had to send back to the gate.”Everyone with two legs is now on their way to California, and we are sorry for the delay.”last_img read more

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Manchester attack hero stole purse from teenage victims grandmother while she lay

first_imgChris Parker A man hailed as a “homeless hero” after the Manchester Arena bombing stole the purse of a teenage victim’s grandmother while she lay stricken, a court has heard.Chris Parker, 33, is alleged to have taken Pauline Healey’s purse and its contents from her handbag while she was on the ground of the foyer.Mrs Healey’s granddaughter – 14-year-old Sorrell Leczkowski, from Leeds – was among the 22 people killed by Salman Abedi after an Ariana Grande concert in May.Parker is also accused of taking the mobile phone of another teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.He entered formal not guilty pleas to the two charges when he appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.Prosecutors allege that Parker took a purse, containing bank cards, from Mrs Healey’s handbag as she lay on the ground.Ben Southam, prosecuting, said it was clear that the defendant provided “some limited assistance” to people injured at the entrance to the venue’s foyer, but it was the Crown’s case that he “equally” took the opportunity to commit the thefts. He told how he had wrapped an injured girl in a T-shirt and tending to a woman who passed away in his arms.More than £50,000 was raised for him on the GoFundMe website following reports of the help he had given.Minute by minute, how the attack unfolded Mrs Healey had attended the concert with Sorrell and Sorrell’s mother, Samantha.The grandmother later underwent 15 hours of surgery to remove shrapnel from her body and suffered multiple compound fractures to her arms and legs, while Sorrell’s mother was also seriously injured. Parker, who gave his address as Crumpsall, Manchester, was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Manchester Crown Court on September 13.District Judge John Temperley said the case was too serious to be dealt with within his jurisdiction and must be heard in a crown court.As Parker was led from the dock after the short hearing, he said: “I have done nothing. Absolutely nothing.” Following the attack, Parker had described witnessing the blast and tending to the injured.Speaking at the time, he said: “It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away, my gut instinct was to run back and try and help. There was people lying on the floor everywhere.” Sorrell, who was a pupil at Allerton High School in Leeds, was hoping to be an architect and wanted to study at Columbia University in New York.On the day of her funeral, her family said: “Sorrell was only 14, but she was our rock, she kept us all grounded. She was such a clever, talented, creative girl, there was nothing she couldn’t do.”Abedi killed 22 people when he detonated a home-made bomb packed with metal nuts as shrapnel moments after the concert ended on May 22. Police have said they do not believe he was part of a larger terror network. Chris Parker, who was dubbed a ‘homeless hero’ after the Manchester attackCredit:MEN MEDIA Salman Abedi Salman Abedi detonated a home-made bomb packed with metal nuts after the Ariana Grande concertCredit:Facebook Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Labour too tolerant of antiSemitism new poll

first_imgFormer cabinet minister Sir Eric Pickles, of Conservative Friends of Israel, said: “Modern anti-Semitism has been allowed to flourish in the left of British politics, unchallenged by the Labour leadership, this report is a wake-up call.”They cannot continue to be half-hearted in their approach, the time has come to root anti-Semitism out of British life.”A Labour spokesman said: “The Labour Party campaigns against anti-Semitism and condemns all anti-Semitic abuse.”That’s why Jeremy Corbyn set up the Chakrabarti Inquiry into anti-Semitism.”Its recommendations have already led to far-reaching changes to the practices of the Labour Party.”The party has also taken decisive disciplinary action over allegations of anti-Semitism and will continue to do so in the future.”Last week the Labour MP John Mann, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on anti-Semitism, called on Mr Corbyn to change his position on Venezuela, claiming the Government of Nicolas Maduro were failing to prevent attacks on Jewish groups. Ken Livingstone was suspended but not expelled following comments about HitlerCredit:Eddie Mulholland There has been a record-number of anti-Semitic hate incidentsCredit:Oli Scarff/Getty Ken Livingstone 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. Sizeable minorities thought the police – 41 per cent – and the courts – 47 per cent – could do more, while only 39 per cent of British Jews felt confident that anti-Semitic hate crime would be prosecuted.CAA chairman Gideon Falter said: “Our research clearly shows that British Jews have pointed their fingers at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Labour Party.”If British society can fight anti-Semitism, why are our world-renowned criminal justice system and some of our famous political parties still doing too little?”There is not a moment to lose. Without urgent change, British Jews may start to leave, as has happened elsewhere in Europe.”The poll comes after the Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, reported a record number – 767 – of anti-Semitic hate incidents in the UK in the first six months of 2017.Despite this, the CAA/YouGov survey suggests anti-Semitism, measured by how many respondents agreed with seven anti-Semitic statements, has been in decline over the past three years, dropping to 36 per cent in 2017center_img The vast majority of British Jews believe the Labour Party is too tolerant of anti-Semitism, the results of a new poll suggest.Eighty-three per cent of those taking part in a survey said they thought racist sentiment was not sufficiently challenged among Labour MPs, members and supporters, compared to 19 per cent about the Conservatives.The YouGov survey also suggests one in three jews in the UK has considered emigrating due to pervading anti-Semitic feeling. The poll for the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) follows mounting criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to combat anti-Jewish sentiment within Labour.The party has been criticised for failing to expel Ken Livingstone, one of Mr Corbyn’s most prominent allies, after he appeared to suggest Hitler was a supporter of Zionism.The independence of an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the party was also questioned after its chair, Shami Chakrabarti, was subsequently made a Labour peer.Last night the CAA said there had been a “failure to excise anti-Semites” from British politics.The survey of 2,025 British Jews, conducted in July and August, found that 36 per cent felt anti-Semitism was tolerated in the Liberal Democrats.Sixty-five said they believed Government does not do enough to protect Jews in the UK, while 52 per cent think the Crown Prosecution Service Could do more. Why are our world-renowned criminal justice system and some of our famous political parties still doing too little?Gideon Falter, CAA Chairman Traditionally dressed Jews in UKlast_img read more

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Worlds oldest bowling club faces sexism row after refusing to lift ban

first_imgThe worlds oldest bowling club Chesterfield Bowling Club which has been criticised for having a ban on women players Chesterfield Bowling Club The worlds oldest bowling club Chesterfield Bowling Club which has been criticised for having a ban on women playersCredit: SWNS – LEEDS SWNS.com 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. Bowling Green, New Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, c 1910  The world’s oldest bowling club has been accused of sexism after a member quit when it refused to lift its ban on female members.The Chesterfield Bowling Club – which dates back to the 12th century – recently voted against admitting women for the first time in its 700-year history.A bowls player, who has since quit, called for the vote to overturn the Derbyshire club’s long-standing tradition. The source claims this means council tax payers are subsidising an organisation with an openly discriminatory membership policy.center_img Chesterfield Bowling ClubCredit: jackie ellis / Alamy Stock Photo Bowling Green, New Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, c 1910 Credit:North East Midland Photographic Record “I was always told it was a male-only club – that there should be no women involved.”The former member says the club needs to let in female players to secure its future, claiming it is struggling financially.The club pays just £2,000 a year to Chesterfield Borough Council for the lease of the site in the centre of town just off Beetwell Street. But his attempts were blocked by a two-thirds majority and its 50 paying members have pledged to fight to maintain the club’s strict male-only policy.The former member, who does not want to be named, has now lashed out at his ex-teammates following the contentious ruling.He said: “I suggested that women be allowed to come along and play but I got drowned out. A spokesperson for Chesterfield Bowls Club said: “We have traditionally been a male only club for many years.”The subject of female members was discussed recently and members were happy with the current situation.”The spokesman added that claims made by the source that the club was struggling financially were ‘not true’.A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesman said: “Chesterfield Bowling Club is not subsidised by the council.”The club has a 20-year lease on land we own, for which they pay a commercial rate for land of this type and which is higher than all the other bowling greens we own.”We currently maintain other bowling greens in the town but do not do that at Chesterfield Bowling Club where the club is responsible for its own maintenance costs.”The game of bowls is said to have been played on the same site in Chesterfield since 1294.The British Crown Green Bowls Association has been contacted for comment.last_img read more

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Salisbury poisoning Nerve agent feared to have spread as police officer might

first_imgWiltshire Constabulary Police Sergeant Nick Bailey A woman whose back garden overlooks DS Bailey’s cul-de-sac, said: “It’s very distressing to find this sort of event coming to your doorstep like this. We are worried, but all we can to is let the police get on with their investigation.” Theresa May with Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard in Salisbury on ThursdayCredit:Toby Melville /PA Mrs May said: “We do hold Russia culpable for this brazen and despicable act that has taken place on the streets of what is such a remarkable city.” She added: “I have come down today to say thank you to our emergency services, our police and health services, and everybody at Porton Down and Public Health England who have been working so hard.” Mrs May met members of the emergency services and military at Salisbury’s Guildhall, including Pc Way and Pc Collins, two Wiltshire Police officers who were first to respond to the emergency call.PC Collins told the Prime Minister they had believed the incident was “a routine call”. Residents were being allowed to and from their homes, but only accompanied by a police officer. Neighbours said the operation began in the early hours, with police arriving in substantial numbers and sealing off the streets around his home.DS Bailey, who was among the first to attend to Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia, before possibly examining their red BMW, where it is thought the nerve agent Novichok may have been placed, was initially discharged from hospital after a check up.He later admitted to Accident and Emergency at Salisbury District Hospital feeling extremely unwell. Police and ambulance vehicle outside the property in the village of Alderholt Police guard the home of Sergeant Nick Bailey beside an Army vehicleCredit:Jeff Gilbert for The Telegraph  Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May visited Salisbury on Thursday to speak to emergency services, members of the public and local businesses.She visited local businesses before surveying the scene at the Mill pub and the bench where the Skripals were found.Mrs May spoke about the impact of several police cordons on businesses in the city while being escorted by Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and Salisbury MP John Glen. Mrs May said: “You had no idea what you were dealing with. Thank you – what you did was what police do day in and day out. olice gaurd the address of Seargent Nick Bailey whilst the army  An Army crane was driven into position mid-morning in apparent preparation for loading DS Bailey’s car, which may have also been driven by his wife Sarah, 37, onto a low-loader.Neighbours said two cars were taken from the family’s driveway, one belonging to DS Bailey and the other to his wife. They said they were “wrapped” and removed by officers in hazmat suits. The family were not believed to be staying at the property on Thursday, but had been at the address in the days after the attack. Wiltshire Constabulary Police Sergeant Nick Bailey DS Bailey is now described as in a stable condition recovering from the effects of the nerve agent. The Skripals remain in a critical and life threatening condition.His neighbours expressed alarm on Thursday at the latest turn of events.There were questions as to why it had taken more than a week since the attack for DS Bailey’s car to be removed.Roger Hooke, 79, a retired school maintenance worker, said: “We woke and saw lots of Army and police all over the place. It’s a bit disturbing.”Why is there so much concern about his house when it all happened in Salisbury? There’s a lot that we don’t know and it’s worrying.” Concern for the family of the police officer who went to the aid of the poisoned Russian spy has grown after Army and police sealed off his street and began work to remove his car for examination.Speculation grew that Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey may have carried traces of the nerve agent Novichok home with him after attempting to resuscitate Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.Police erected a wide cordon around DS Bailey’s street, in the village of Alderholt, 20 minutes drive from Salisbury on Thursday.At the same time, soldiers set up tents and began unloading equipment such as boxes and tables on a village green yards from his semi-detached house in a quiet cul-de-sac.Firefighters in chemical protection suits were seen preparing to begin the operation to remove the officer’s family car. The Metropolitan Police said it would not comment on specific searches or aspects of the operation.A spokesman said: “We are pursuing various lines of inquiry at various location in connection with the incident in Salisbury.” Prime Minister Theresa May, with Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, in Salisbury Police and ambulance vehicle outside the property in the village of AlderholtCredit:Patrick Sawer “A routine call and you don’t know what’s there. You did a great job.”Mrs May said: “What is important in the international arena – and we have taken this into Nato, into the United Nations, take it through into the European Union – is that allies are standing alongside us and saying this is part of a pattern of activity that we have seen from Russia in their interference, their disruption that they have perpetrated across a number of countries in Europe.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Plastic straws stirrers and cotton buds may be banned so what should

first_imgOfficial figures show that Britons use 44 billion plastic stirrers and 42 billion plastic straws every year. The Prime Minister has called on all other Commonwealth countries to join in the fight against plastic pollution at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London. A consultation proposing a ban on single use plastic in England will be published by Environment Secretary Michael Gove later this year. Plastic straws So, what should you use instead? The Government is set to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds as early as next year in a bid to help save the environment, which is currently under threat from plastic pollution. These may well be the easiest to give up – as pubs,…last_img read more

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Veterans will be offered extra help from the NHS under a national

“It’s great to see successful local initiatives being rolled out nationally so that they can benefit patients across the country. I’m incredibly proud of the College’s Midland Faculty, of which I am a member, for identifying a good idea, turning it into reality and taking the lead on this.”It comes after a survey of veterans last year found a quarter have had  suicidal thoughts and more than two in five have felt lonely or isolated. The research by YouGov into more than 2,000 former military personnel  indicated higher levels of mental health issues than in the population as a  whole. The figures compiled for Ssafa, the Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Families  Association, also found that a third of veterans polled said that they have  “felt overwhelmed by negative feelings”. A seperate study last month for Ssafa, Britain’s largest tri-service  charity, found 77 per cent of veterans said they felt unprepared for  civilian life.The report found many working-age service leavers feel  “undervalued by society and misunderstood by civilians”. Gemma Morgan, an army veteran, told the Telegraph at the time: “The  military puts huge effort into creating a separate society, a separate  fighting force, for good operational reasons,” she added, “but sometimes  the real world can be more complicated and there is often a reverse  culture-shock and loss of that sense of belonging once someone leaves”.   Military veterans will be offered extra help from the NHS under a national scheme to help them adjust to civilian life.GPs are signing up to become “veteran friendly” under the plan which aims to identify former members of the armed forces and ensure support is available.The scheme, backed by NHS England and the Royal College of GPs, is being rolled out nationally following a pilot involving 90 GP practices in the West Midlands.Dr Mike Brookes, a North Yorkshire GP who served in Iraq, came up with the idea when a patient told him that he had specifically joined his practice to see someone who could understand his needs as a veteran.Dr Brookes said: “It made me reflect on a potential unmet need for our veterans. I could see how pivotal a GP practice could be at identifying ex-service personnel to help ensure they receive care and treatment that is considerate of their time in the armed forces. It is great to think that a conversation with a patient at a GP practice in the Dales could lead to a national project to improve veterans’ health.”To become accredited, GP practices need to undertake dedicated training, introduce a system which identifies former members of the armed forces, and have a lead person responsible for veterans.Dr Jonathan Leach, a GP, who served in the army for 25 years and chairs the NHS England Armed Forces Clinical Reference Group called on GPs across the country to sign up.He said: “We are committed to providing veterans with a seamless, high quality service when it comes to their health needs. Our priority is to make sure that no matter where a veteran lives in the country, they will have access to a GP who understands their military related health needs and supports them to get the right treatment and support.  We are therefore urging every GP practice to sign up to this important scheme.”Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs said: “Veterans often have unique health needs, and this new scheme is a fantastic way of ensuring that when they visit their GP, for whatever reason, these needs are flagged up, considered and accommodated. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Cocaine deaths reach alltime high in England and Wales

The rate in the capital dropped from 32.3 deaths per one million people in 2016 to 24.6 in 2017. Ellie Osborn, a health statistics specialist at the ONS, said: “The figures published today show that the level of drug poisoning deaths in 2017 remained stable.“However, despite deaths from most opiates declining or remaining steady, deaths from fentanyl continued to rise in 2017 as did cocaine deaths which increased for the sixth consecutive year.“These findings combined can be used to develop initiatives and policies that are targeted to support those at greatest risk of drug addiction.” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says ‘hypocritical’ middle class drug takers are driving the crime surgeCredit:PA Cocaine prices are currently believed to be at their lowest level for 25 years, meanwhile the purity of cocaine sold on the street has risen for the fifth year running, increasing the risk for the end user. Overall there were 3,756 drug poisoning deaths involving both legal and illegal drugs registered in England and Wales in 2017, an increase of 12 deaths on the previous year.Two-thirds of these deaths related to drug misuse. While the number of deaths have risen, so too has the age of those impacted.Since 2010, the proportion of people aged 20 to 29 who died from cocaine has dropped by 34 per cent, and by 18 per cent among those aged 30 to 39By contrast, deaths increased by 46 per cent among those aged 40 to 49, and 138 per cent those aged 50 to 69. Meanwhile a global survey found that people living in England and Scotland could, on average, get cocaine delivered to their front door faster than a takeaway pizza. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick says 'hypocritical' middle class drug takers are driving the crime surge The new report comes after after a study by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction identified people in England and Wales as the highest users of cocaine in Europe. Cocaine deaths have reached their highest numbers since records began, official figures reveal.A new report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there were 432 deaths relating to use of the Class A drug in 2017, nearly quadruple the number in 2011 when rates began to rise again following a brief decrease.The figures follow police warnings that low prices are fueling a boom in cocaine sales, with an estimated 875,000 people using the drug in England and Wales last year, a 15 per cent year-on-year hike.Last week Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said “hypocritical” middle-class users were behind the trend which is partly driving the increase in gangland killings.The ONS report found that deaths from cocaine – the second most commonly used drug after cannabis, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales – have increased 16 per cent from 2016 alone. Home Office figures released last week showed use of the drug among the wealthiest people in England and Wales is as its highest for nearly a decade, with 3.4 per cent of 16 to 59-year-olds living in households with an income of at least £50,000 taking the drug in powder form last year.The ONS statistics comprise both deaths relating to cocaine in powder form and crack cocaine.Last Week Cressida Dick said: “There is a challenge that there’s a whole group of middle class people who will sit round happily talking about global warming, fair trade, environmental protection and organic farming, but think there’s no harm in taking a bit of cocaine.”The ONS report found the rate of male deaths relating to drug misuse had fallen for the first time since 2012.Since 1993, when drug death statistics began being collected, the increase in cocaine deaths by cocaine is almost 4000 per cent. The North East of England had the highest rate of drug misuse deaths last year, with 83.2 per one million people, while London had the lowest. Deaths from the opioid fentanyl, which has been partly blamed for being behind the opioid epidemic afflicting the US and Canada, reached 75 last year, 15 times higher than a decade ago.However, there was good news for the struggle against so-called new psychiatric substances, such as “spice”, deaths from which halved between 2016 and 2017 to 61. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Sandhurst cadets investigated by military police after waterboarding fellow recruit

A British Army officer cadet from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, pours water from his boot  in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, after a 36-hour, 50-mile march with kit.Credit:Matt Cardy/ Getty Images Europe Military police are investigating bullying at Sandhurst after two recruits allegedly subjected another trainee officer to waterboarding.The Sandhurst cadets are said to have held down an individual, covered his face with a cloth and poured water over it, creating the sensation of drowning, according to a report in The Sun. The alleged waterboarding incident occurred at the prestigious establishment on August 7. Deputy Commandant of the Royal Military Academy in Berkshire, Brigadier Bill Wright, said he was “aware of the allegations”.“I have ordered an investigation by the Royal Military Police (RMP),” he said.“The Army and I expect the highest standards of behaviour at Sandhurst; anyone found to have fallen short is dealt with robustly, including dismissal, if appropriate.”The Telegraph understands that the incident did not take place during training. The cadets involved are understood to be in the same all-male platoon and no instructors were involved. The swift involvement of the RMP suggests the army is treating it as a serious incident.  A British Army officer cadet from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, pours water from his boot  in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, after a 36-hour, 50-mile march with kit. All British Army officers are trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhust on a year-long commissioning course. Both the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex are former graduates, with Prince Harry saying that although he felt he had been “treated like dirt”, he had enjoyed the experience.Prince Harry returned to the academy in 2016 to represent the Queen at the commissioning parade. As head of the army three years ago, the current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, introduced a new code of conduct to eradicate any forms of bullying and harassment. Speaking at the time he said: “I’m not arguing for political correctness, what I’m arguing for is to live by our values and standards and to accept everyone in an inclusive way”.”I think there is a risk we will lose sight of our ultimate goal, which is to close with and kill the Queen’s enemies, and we have to have that at the forefront of our mind, but equally we cannot accept unacceptable behaviour.” 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. Waterboarding was used as an interrogation process by the CIA, after the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. It was banned as an interrogation technique in 2009 by then US President Barack Obama.The military still conducts resistance to interrogation training to prepare soldiers for the mental and physical rigours to be expected if they ever fell into enemy hands. Waterboarding has never been included in such training and its use is banned in the British armed forces. Other techniques, such as placing a hood over a captive’s face and the use of extreme stress positions, have also been outlawed in recent years.   read more

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Fury at plan to turn Grade II listed pub into childrens nursery

A former Mothercare director has sparked fury over her plans to turn a 500-year-old Grade II listed village pub into a children’s nursery.Fiona Murray-Young submitted proposals to change the use of the Swan Pub in Ley Hill, Buckinghamshire, causing concern among some residents who fear excessive noise and swarms of traffic in the village.Retired medical researcher and resident Sarah Peterson said: ‘‘Everybody is up in arms because the noise that would be generated from having children playing is quite substantial.”The other thing is, the pub doesn’t have a car park, it will be an absolute nightmare. ‘–– ADVERTISEMENT ––‘We’ve got a petition with over 300 signatures and are looking at trying to raise the funds between a group of people to buy it.’’The day nursery would provide care for 33 children aged from three months to five years who would attend for a full day; and a further 14 who would attend only morning or afternoon sessions. It would open between 7:30 am and 6:30pm.South Bucks District Council has received more than forty letters of objection over the plans to convert the property, believed to have been built during the 1600s.   “As a publican I too am concerned about the closing of pubs.  I’ve tried to sell it as a pub, but had absolutely no interest.  The reality is that we have to move on,’’ he said.A spokesperson for South Bucks District Council said:  ‘’The application is still open for neighbours comments and a decision expected in September.  Until then we can’t comment.’’ 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.  Clark Gable drank in the pub during WWIICredit:Science & Society Picture Library  During World War II the pub was a favourite haunt of Hollywood stars such as Oscar winners Clark Gable and James Stewart, and jazz musician Glenn Miller.  Clark Gable drank in the pub during WWII Construction work on the nursery would involve the demolition of parts of the historic pub’s interior, and the scale of the re-modelling has lead some to question the building’s suitability to play host to a group of infants.”The building is unsuitable to be converted to a nursery and there would be people coming in and out of a narrow village lane. The loss of a grade II listed building to the community, is not something to be agreed without significant consideration,’’ said Mary Buckman, Parish Councillor for Latimer and Ley.However, Ms Murray-Young, who currently works as a consultant, has responded to claims suggesting a nursery would disturb the tranquility of the quaint village.Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph she said: ‘‘ I know that noise is a comment that has been made but I don’t really see that because actually pubs are quite noisy and I would wonder why parking would be any different to a pub?”I think it’s important that a building, as beautiful as that, is saved in whatever way and it’s a good thing that somebody is willing to invest in it.’’While residents are keen to see the Swan remain a pub its landlord, Nigel Byatt, has stated that it has been up for sale for two years. read more

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Lawyer whistleblower struck off despite revealing misconduct

“If I hadn’t blown the whistle that company would still be ripping people off,” she told the Sunday Telegraph.“They encourage you to give them information then hang you out to dry. This could potentially prevent others coming forward in the legal world.”The law graduate first worked at the company in 2010 as an unpaid intern for six months before becoming a paralegal and then securing a trainee solicitor role. When Miss Scott managed to move to another solicitors she approached her new boss to say she wanted to report malpractice at De Vita Platt.“I was told by a senior partner that there was protection for whistleblowers,” she continued.“I wanted to do something to stop De Vita Platt’s practices hurting anyone else.”She filed a report to the SRA in 2015 and, unlike De Vita and Platt, attended the hearing in December.She accepted she had acted for four months dishonestly, but under duress and told to follow orders, waited two years to report malpractice to the SRA and at one point misled regulators.“People should not be punished if they come forward as whistleblowers, rather they should be protected,” she added.“I’m not a dishonest person. I acted naively and have now lost a career that I had pursued since the age of 18. The governing body and tribunal has punished me for doing the right thing.”An SRA spokesperson refused to comment specifically on the case, but said: “Solicitors must act with integrity, and that includes reporting serious misconduct. Our whistleblowers’ charter sets out that if someone is involved in wrongdoing, reporting to us can act as mitigation, particularly if done promptly. We cannot however comment on the details of this case.” A trainee solicitor struck off after reporting her bosses for overcharging clients by up to 2,000 per cent has warned how the legal industry does “precious little” to protect whistleblowers.The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last month removed Emily Scott, 31, from the register of lawyers despite finding she had been “deceived, pressured, bullied and manipulated” by a senior partner into covering up misconduct at  De Vita Platt.Although the panel said it had “sympathy” for the “very junior” trainee who “had blown the whistle” on the North Lincolnshire company accused of overcharging, falsifying records and taking clients’ funds without their knowledge, it still charged her £2,000 costs and struck her off for dishonesty.They even accepted she had been in a “difficult position”, would not have behaved immorally unless coerced and in no way benefited financially from the malpractice.The solicitors, based in Barton-Upon-Humber, has been shut down, and its bosses, qualified lawyers Jonathan De Vita and Christopher Platt, have been struck off for dishonesty.Last night, Miss Scott said she felt “terribly let down” by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the prosecuting body, and the tribunal for failing to protect her, despite her being the only person to report the misconduct. However, partners De Vita and Platt later gave her more responsibility and for four months she said she was “pressured” to falsifying documents.The tribunal heard the partners had repeatedly taken advantage of vulnerable clients, often those grieving or ill, to boost funds.Platt, motivated by “self-enrichment” and who even boasted he could not live on less than £2,000 a week, was found to have bullied Miss Scott, then in her early 20s.“The things I was asked to do were terrible, and I felt awful about it,” she said.“Whenever I questioned what they were asking me to do Mr Platt would say I could be replaced easily and there were hundreds of law graduates desperate for training contracts.  “I was trying to leave, but was told by recruitment companies that not completing my training at De Vita Platt could be frowned upon by other employers. I was between a rock and a hard place.” Christopher Platt (left) and Jonathan De Vita (right) have been struck off as solicitorsCredit:Christopher Platt/Jonathan De Vita Christopher Platt (left) and Jonathan De Vita (right) have been struck off as solicitors Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Fatal stabbings hit 100 in Britain in 2019

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 number of people stabbed to death in the UK in this year has reached 100, analysis from the BBC has shown. On Tuesday evening in Middlesbrough, John Lewis, 32, died after being fatally attacked with a knife in Crescent Road, becoming the 100th victim. This year’s deadly spate of stabbings started with 2019 just minutes old when 33-year-old mother Charlotte Huggins was killed in London. The youngest victim so far this year is 14-year-old Jaden Moodie, who was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death by a gang in Leyton, east London in January. Barbara Heywood, at 80 years of age, is the oldest victim so far. She was attacked at her Bolton home in March.The BBC’s analysis showed that 83 of the 100 stabbed were male and almost half the victims were under 30.Unsurprisingly, London was the biggest hotspot with 30 of the fatal stabbings happening in the capital. But Greater Manchester (10) and the West Midlands (eight) are also showing trends of deadly violence. While knife crime in England and Wales reached record highs for 2017-18, if the rate continues this year at a fatal stabbing every 1.45 days, it would fall short of the 285 figure recorded last year.  read more

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