How to Predict MLB Records From Early Results

We often hear announcers and commentators say a baseball team is “on pace” to win and lose a certain number of games, by simply applying a team’s current winning percentage over 162 games. Those statements may technically be true, but in a randomness-filled reality, they’re meaningless.Sabermetrics constantly struggles with randomness, an unavoidable fact of sporting life and the reason there’s almost always a difference between a team’s observed performance and its actual talent level. Moreover, the smaller the sample of games, the less confident we can be that what we’re seeing is skill and not luck. We’re fewer than 10 games into Major League Baseball’s season.This is why it’s necessary to regress observed statistics to the mean. Things — including baseball stats — tend to average out. But how much do we need to regress? And which mean should we regress to?The most naïve prior to use would be the league average (in the case of regressing team records, a .500 winning percentage). And the question of how much we need to regress depends on what the preferred ratio is of skill to luck. Sabermetricians typically set a regression to match the number of games it takes for half the variance in team records to be due to talent and half to chance.In that case, we need to add about 67 games of .500 baseball (33½ wins, 33½ losses) to a team’s record, based on seasonal data since the MLB last expanded in 1998. (Here are a couple of mathematical proofs explaining this method as it relates to Bayes’ theorem.)So while the Washington Nationals’ and Milwaukee Brewers’ current MLB co-leading 6-2 records come with a .750 winning percentage, we’d really only expect each of them to have .527 winning percentages from now on, based on the information we have relative to our prior (the population of MLB teams from which the Brewers and Nationals are selected).We can do this for all MLB clubs:Regression to the mean lets us get a better sense of a team’s pace by giving us a realistic estimate of its future winning percentage. That’s why a 1-0 team isn’t on pace to win 162 games; in the absence of other information about the quality of the team, it’s really only on pace to win 82.7 games.Another great thing about this procedure is that the “add 67 games of .500 ball” trick works no matter how far into the season a team is. It’s just as valid now as it will be in late July. The difference between now and then will be the amount of weight that a team’s observed results take in the formula. In April, the .500 prior dominates any team’s projection. By the time 67 games roll around, precisely half of a team’s regressed record will be made up of its observed results, and the other half will be the prior.Of course, we don’t have to limit ourselves to a prior winning percentage of .500 for every team, either. We know that sources such as Las Vegas over/unders and computer projections do a better job of setting preseason expectations than simply expecting every team to finish 81-81. If we plug in an aggregation of Vegas and computer models from before the season as priors (using a standard deviation of nine wins for those predictions), we come to the following regressed-to-the-mean records:Whichever method we use, it’s important to note how long it takes for observed records from the current season to start to have an impact on an assessment of a team’s ability level. At this stage of the season, the only conclusions we can draw should be extremely small relative to the expectations we had for each team a few weeks ago.Correction (April 12, 11:25 p.m.): The second table in an earlier version of this article miscalculated the true win and true loss paces. The correct table appears above. read more

Abby Wambach Retires As The GOAT

“CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?! ABBY WAMBACH HAS SAVED THE USA’S LIFE IN THIS WORLD CUP,” announcer Ian Darke screamed in disbelief. But those who knew Wambach probably weren’t too surprised her dome had rescued the team. In the 2004 Olympic final — also against Brazil — a 24-year-old Wambach scored the game-winning goal in overtime — also with her head. Want some other crazy Wambach stats?According to ESPN’s Paul Carr, Wambach scored a goal every 99.3 minutes for the USWNT, the best rate of the 13 players with 40 or more goals;She holds the USWNT match record (in a six-way tie) for the most goals in a game (5);She also holds the USWNT career record for the most multiple-goal games (39);And the most yellow cards (23) — a result of her tenacity in her early days, and her flop-like tendencies in her later days.But snapshot statistics don’t do Wambach justice. For more than a decade, she dictated the style of American women’s soccer (for better or for worse). Wambach will play her last game for the USWNT on Dec. 16, but her legacy will live on in long balls and last-minute headers, a relic of the ’99-ers style of play that many are ready to retire … until the U.S. needs saving and Wambach won’t be there to header one home. With 184 international goals — the most of any soccer player in the world, male or female — Abby Wambach is going out on top. The 14-year veteran of the U.S. women’s national team (USWNT) announced her retirement today (after snapping a selfie with POTUS, no less), marking the end not just of her reign in women’s soccer but also the end of one of the most dominant careers in American sports.Not all great athletes have a single moment that encapsulates their career, but for me, Wambach does. Down 2-1 against Brazil in the 122nd minute of the 2011 Women’s World Cup quarterfinal, the game appeared all but over — a loss for the Americans would have meant the worst performance in a World Cup by any USWNT. A cross from Megan Rapinoe on the left side seemed hopeless, until you saw Wambach on the far right, floating above four Brazilian defenders and heading the ball in. At nearly 6 feet tall, Wambach was plain dominant in the air in the women’s game. She has scored 77 international goals with her Twitter-famous head. That means her head, by itself, is the seventh-most prolific scorer in USWNT history.But focusing only on her head ignores the 107 goals Wambach has scored with the rest of her body. Even minus the headers, Wambach has scored more goals internationally than all but one man. read more

Baseball season preview Coach aims for history books

Over the years, Ohio State has seen many talented coaches turn teams into national powerhouses. One man who has made OSU his home away from home is baseball manager Bob Todd. Todd began coaching the Buckeyes in the 1988-89 season and hasn’t left. Since his appearance in Columbus, Todd has become the winningest coach in the history of the program — the oldest varsity sport in OSU history.This longevity will allow Todd to join a selective group. With three more wins, Todd will be the 41st coach to win 1,000 games in the history of college baseball.Todd has guided the Buckeyes to a winning record every season.“This just shows I have had some talented players,” he said.Todd may have been trying to be modest by giving his players credit, but every year players find themselves with postseason awards. Todd has had numerous players win Freshman of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and so on.Todd’s latest standout pitcher is junior Alex Wimmers. Last year, Wimmers threw the first nine-inning no-hitter in OSU history against Michigan.“It would be a great honor to be on the field to get [Todd’s] 1,000 win,” Wimmers said.Todd’s teams haven’t always been great but they find ways to shine.In 1991, Todd’s fourth season, the team set a school record with 52 wins and made it to the NCAA Tournament. In 2002, the Buckeyes had to win 15 of the last 17 games just to make it into the Big Ten Tournament. Once in the tournament, they won four of five games to win the tournament and secure a berth in the NCAA Tournament.Todd has also produced players to go on and play professional baseball. Just this year former Buckeye great Nick Swisher was celebrating a World Series title with the New York Yankees.In 1999, OSU was one of two northern schools to host an NCAA regional. That same year OSU found itself one game away from the College World Series before getting knocked out.The Buckeyes start their season this Friday, looking to defend their Big Ten regular season title. read more

Ohio State mens lacrosse drops Detroit in season opener

It took the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team a while to get going, but once it did, it never looked back. The Buckeyes beat the Detroit Titans, 14-8, in Saturday’s season opener at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Following the trend that started during preseason play, OSU went into an offensive hibernation for about 10 minutes during the first period and allowed Detroit to take a 3-1 lead. “We kind of let up a bit on the offensive end,” said senior attacker and co-captain Logan Schuss. “We didn’t make some of the opportunities we had, but overall we got into our offense and that’s what coach wanted.” The Buckeyes trailed 3-2 at the end of the first period but managed to come back during the second period, outscoring Detroit, 4-3. Heading into the locker room at halftime tied 6-6, OSU coach Nick Myers said he knew he had to say something to get his team going against a talented Detroit team. “I told them to take a deep breath. It’s 30 minutes left, it’s 0-0,” Myers said. “It’s not the first half that we intended to play, so let’s go out there and play the second half the way we know we can.” The Buckeyes kept up their second period pace during the third and fourth periods, out-scoring Detroit 8-2 en route to the victory. OSU improved its all-time record against Detroit to 5-0, all under Myers. OSU also remains undefeated at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center with the win, with 11 wins and no losses all-time. Schuss had a career day, tying a career high with seven goals and setting a new career high of 10 points in one game. Myers, though, wasn’t surprised. “His job is to score goals. I know Logan would like to have two or three more goals to be honest with you,” Myers said. “If we are going to get him scoring opportunities, he’s going to take care of them. He’s done that for four years for us, it’s a good start for him and we’re going to build on it.” Freshman attacker Tyler Pfister, who scored two goals in his regular season debut for the Buckeyes, said he was encouraged by the teamwork showed during the match. “I think sometimes it’s just us being ourselves. I think we showed today that we can play cohesively. We know our strengths and we can play to them,” Pfister said. OSU is set to travel to Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday to take on Jacksonville University at 3:15 p.m. in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Classic. read more

Mens Basketball Ohio State takes on Houston for chance at first Sweet

Head coach Chris Holtmann talks to the Buckeyes during a timeout in the second half of the game against Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament on Mar. 14 in Chicago. Ohio State lost 77-70. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State head coach Chris Holtmann has never lost in the Round of 64. Because of the Buckeyes’ 62-59 win against No. 6 Iowa State on Friday, that remains true, remaining 5-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.But to move into the Sweet 16, the Buckeyes will have to go through No. 3 Houston for an attempt at its first Round of 32 win since 2013, something Holtmann has a less successful history in. In the four previous times Holtmann has led a team into the Round of 32, his teams have went 1-3.Projected StartersNo. 11 Ohio State (20-14)G — C.J. Jackson — Senior, 11.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.1 apgG — Keyshawn Woods — Redshirt senior, 8.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apgG — Musa Jallow — Sophomore, 2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.7 apgF — Andre Wesson — Junior, 8.7 rpg, 4.0 rpg, 1.8 apgF — Kaleb Wesson — Sophomore, 14.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.8 apgNo. 3 Houston (32-3)G — Corey Davis — Senior, 16.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apgG — Galen Robinson — Senior, 7.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.9 apgG — Armoni Brooks — Junior, 13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.9 apgF — Braeon Brady — Senior, 6.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.5 apgF — Fabian White —Sophomore, 6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.7 apgThe Cougars come in winners of 32 of their 35 games this year, most recently defeating No. 14 Georgia State 84-55.Houston held the Panthers to 30 percent shooting while getting 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists from senior guard Corey Davis.Davis is the Cougars’ leading scorer, averaging 16.9 points per game, shooting 38.2 percent from 3 and a team-high 86.7 percent from the free-throw line.While Houston averages 77.8 points per game, No. 2 in the American Athletic Conference, its strength is on the defensive end.The Cougars allow 61.1 points per game, seventh-least in the NCAA, forcing opponents to 36.5 percent shooting from the field, the lowest in the nation.Teams shoot an NCAA-low 27.5 percent from 3 against Houston on the season.Another strength for Houston is on the boards, with its 1,442 rebounds ranking No. 3 in the NCAA.Against Georgia State, the Cougars outrebounded the Panthers 51-27.The rebounds come from a variety of pieces on the roster, with eight Houston players averaging two rebounds or more.According to KenPom, Houston ranks as the No. 12 team in the country, ranking No. 22 in offensive efficiency and No. 12 in defensive efficiency.The Buckeyes are No. 41 on KenPom, and are given a 32 percent chance to win on the analytics website.No. 11 Ohio State takes on No. 3 Houston in Tulsa, Oklahoma at 8:40 p.m. Sunday. read more

Britains biggest divorce The Ivy owner Richard Caring faces £350m bill after

first_imgA source told the newspaper: “He’s under no illusions. Splitting up and starting a new life will be costly. But he’s so wealthy his standard of living won’t drop by a millimetre. He can afford to do what he wants.”Mr Caring, who is close friends with former BHS owner Sir Philip Green, made his fortune in the rag trade after leaving school at 16.He is now worth an estimated £700 million after also investing in high-end restaurants and clubs.One of the tycoon’s biggest pay days was during Sir Philip’s reign at BHS when he landed £93 million in share dividends. Richard with his wife Jacqui Richard with his wife JacquiCredit:Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock A restaurant tycoon’s wife could be in line for £350 million in one of Britain’s biggest divorces after ‘her husband left her and moved in with’ a Brazilian woman half her age.Multi-millionaire Richard Caring, 68, who owns a string of London restaurants including The Ivy, is said to have moved out of the north London home he shared with his wife of 45 years.It is alleged he has now moved in with his 35-year-old lover, Patricia Mondinni, with whom he has a young son.They are said to be living in a £32 million ten-bedroom gated mansion in St John’s Wood, north-west London, which includes an indoor pool.A friend of the Caring’s told The Sun: “Richard left Jacqui in February and is very happy with Patricia now. They had been living apart for some time before the split.” Mr Caring is also well-known for the fancy dress parties he throws Credit:REX/Shutterstockcenter_img Mr Caring is also well-known for the fancy dress parties he throws  Mr Caring, also a friend of Tony Blair, has been a major donor to both Labour and Tories and enjoys “non-dom” tax status due to his late father having been a US citizen.He met former model Jacqui, the daughter of a retired British Army major, after meeting her at a catwalk show.She gave up her modelling career three days after they were introduced and the pair went on to have two sons – Jamie, a vice-president of MTV Networks Europe, and Ben, who works for Soho House.Jacqui is still living in their north London home – dubbed ‘The Versailles of Hampstead’.Surrounded by ornamental gardens and high security fences, it has a 55ft ballroom, a private cinema, gilt and marble staircases and paintings by Degas and Matisse are hung on the walls.Lawyers told The Sun that Jacqui could be entitled to half his money.His spokesman said of the split: “No 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.last_img read more

Exclusive Teenager linked to Tube bomb plot was pokerloving loner

first_imgDescribing the mother as “friendly”, Mr Wilkinson added: “He (the son) used to play poker, he’d play poker he was a real poker fan and he used to join clubs and things like that. He didn’t speak too much.”His wife added: “He was a quiet boy actually. He was just an ordinary teenager, he must have been about 15 or 16 when they moved in there.”He was very friendly with a lad that lived around in George Street. A couple round there had a lad about the same age and thy were very friendly, he used to go round there and then you would see him come down and go off somewhere.”Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “Damon went to go to university. He just seemed like a really gentle lad.”He is really smart, really smart. I know he played poker and stuff,  he’s really good at it. “From meeting him I would he really surprised. He is the gentlest natured person. He was lovely, you just knew he was smart.” Smith moved to London from Devon this summer, his neighbours claimed Smith moved to London from Devon this summer, his neighbours claimedCredit:Twitter The scene in Newton Abbot Several addresses linked to the student have been visited by police since a suspect device was found on board a Tube carriage on the Jubilee Line near the O2 Arena in Greenwich on Thursday.Police, who refused to confirm he was the 19-year-old in custody, raided his former home in Newton Abbot on Saturday and are also understood to have visited a nearby relative.In Devon, officers discovered a second suspect device, understood to be behind a garage, which has since been described as “not viable”. The scene in Newton AbbotCredit:BBC Damon Smith was described as a big poker fanCredit:Twittercenter_img Counter-terrorism officers cordoned off streets near the property and are known to have visited at least one relative of Smith’s nearby.The housing association property Smith shared with his mother is just yards from the town’s police station on nearby Baker’s Hill.Ray and Enid Wilkinson, who live on the same street as Smith’s former home, said Smith’s mother was divorced.She said: “We knew the pair there because she had a dog and she used to go past with her dog…. Back in the summer they moved to London, the mother and son. We used to speak to her and the son.”They are Teign Housing Association houses so she put in for a transfer, she told us that she wanted to move.”He went first. He went the son and then one day she said to Ray, I’ll be moving soon, they’ve got me a place in London.” Damon Smith was described as a big poker fan A teenager linked to the London Underground bomb plot was a poker-loving student who was only ever seen with his mother, The Telegraph can disclose.Damon Smith, 19, had moved from Devon to the capital over the summer to attend university. He was joined there by his mother, Antonitza, who feared he would struggle to cope on his own, neighbours claim.On his Twitter account, Smith poses with wads of cash he has won playing poker and also posts pictures of a recent trip to Tunisia and Turkey. The neighbour added: “Mum felt she needed to still be nearby to cook his dinner and stuff. I think that was another reason why I thought he was a bit vulnerable.”It wasn’t just because he was starting university but it was that they were fed up of the area, there was nothing here for them….They were always together, I don’t really remember him being with anyone else. He didn’t have a big friendship circle or anything.”One member of the Smith family told The Telegraph relatives had been told not to speak to the press.Security sources say the man in custody, who was Tasered outside London Metropolitan University on the Holloway Road, close to Arsenal’s football ground, was acting as a “lone wolf “.Scotland Yard has until Friday to question the suspect in custody. The force refused to confirm his identity.A statement said: “Officers are keeping an open mind regarding any possible motive. They are not looking for anyone else in relation to this investigation at this stage.”The discovery and subsequent arrest came 11 years after the 7/7 bombings of the London transport network. 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

British prison is first to use disruptor to create droneproof shield around

first_imgA British prison has become the world’s first to use a new system designed to stop drones flying over perimeter walls to drop contraband into jails.The device creates a 2,000ft (600m) shield around and above a prison that will detect and deflect the remote-controlled devices.It uses a series of “disruptors”, which are sensors to jam the drone’s computer, and block its frequency and control protocols. The operator’s screen will go black and the drone will be bounced back to where it came from.Drones have become a major security problem in Britain’s prisons and are increasingly used to smuggle in drugs, weapons, phones and other valuables.The new system, called Sky Fence, is being introduced at Les Nicolles prison on Guernsey, where around 20 “disruptors” will be installed on the perimeter and inside.The Channel Island jail was initially going to install a drone detection system, but went a step further to put in the technology that stops drones in-flight. The new system in Guernsey is part of a £1.7 million security upgrade that also includes new cameras, a new lighting system and new alarms.The final phases of the work are being completed and the upgrades are due to be ready by June.Les Nicolles is a mixed category prison which holds both men and women, young offenders and adults, and has a capacity of just 139.It opened in 1989 and its population has fallen to an all-time low in recent years. It is independent of the mainland prison and justice system and is run by the State of Guernsey.Guernsey’s Home Affairs president Deputy Mary Lowe said the introduction of the technology was “an exciting time”.She said: “Here we have Guernsey leading the way in the world.” Credit:Drone Defence / SWNS 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. Prisoner governor David Matthews said: “This is the first time this technology has been used in any prison anywhere in the world.”I would like to see it adopted in other UK prisons because it has become a significant problem there. Drones can carry weapons, contraband, mobile phones and drugs. This is about prevention.”Sky Fence has been created by UK companies Drone Defence and Eclipse Digital Solutions.Nottingham-based company Drone Defence has worked on the idea in the past year.Founder and CEO Richard Gill said: “It disrupts the control network between the flyer and the drone. The drone then activates return to home mode and it will then fly back to the position where it had signal with its flyer. Credit:Drone Defence / SWNS Drone defence Drone defence “Someone described it as the final piece in a prison’s security puzzle. I think it could have a significant worldwide impact.”Mr Gill said the technology is perfectly safe and does not “hack” or damage the drones. It is relatively cheap to install and, depending on the size of the prison, costs range from £100,000 to £250,000.Eclipse managing director Alan Drinkwater said they had modified existing technology to create Sky Fence.last_img read more

Prince Harry and Meghan wouldnt want us swept off the streets say

first_img“I’m off drugs now, but my parents wont take me back,” she says. “And being homeless means you can’t sign on for benefits and people won’t give you a job because you don’t have a permanent address. They also have issues about hygiene and trust if you’re on the streets.” But Mr James – and the majority of the rough sleepers we found in Windsor yesterday – reject Mr Bradley’s claim that they are professional beggars.“We’ve got to stop talking about these people in Dickensian terms,” said Mr James. “Rents are rising, housing benefit is capped, property is expensive. All this adds to increasing numbers of homeless people.”“I don’t know any beggars that are ‘professional’. If they are driven to the point of asking for money it is because there is something seriously wrong, whether its mental health problems, drugs or poverty.With 24-year-old Carla one led to the other. Thrown out of her parents’ house in Windsor after developing a drug addiction she now calls a bus stop in front of Natwest bank her home. One huddles in the doorway of McDonald’s. Another has erected a makeshift home of cardboard and sleeping bags in the shadow of Windsor Castle.A third has wrapped herself in blankets against the chill wind, at a bus stop on the town’s high street.These are just some of the dozens of homeless people who flock to Windsor town centre every day.Here they rely for food and money on the generosity of the hundreds of tourists and shoppers who pass them on their way to the sights of the royal town.But the presence of so many rough sleepers and beggars has sparked a huge row, after the leader of Windsor and Maidenhead council (RBW&M) called for them to be cleared from the streets in advance of the May wedding of Prince Harry and his fiancee, the American actress Meghan Markle.Writing on Twitter during a family skiing holiday in the United States, Conservative councillor Simon Bradley said they had made a “commercial life choice praying on residents and tourists.” He even claimed some are “marching tourists to cashpoints to withdraw cash”. Shoppers wait for their bus while Carla faces another day on Windsor's streets “Nobody wants to look out onto that while they’re eating,” he said. “The council leader is absolutely right. Some are legitimately homeless, but others come from miles around to beg and make good money. They should all be cleared away now.”Windsor and Maidenhead council said Mr Dudley was “out of communication” and would not be adding to his earlier statements.Councillor Jesse Grey, of RBW&M, said: “Nobody should be homeless in Windsor. We have found suitable and adequate accommodation for any individual to take up and its better than being on the streets.” “I can’t believe for a minute that Prince Harry and Meghan would agree with us being driven away. They seem as if they care about people.”James, 35, who also comes from Windsor, became homeless a year ago, when his mother was moved into a single flat by the council, leaving him with no room. Tracey, 49, found herself homeless after her partner died of cancer.  For months she ‘sofa surfed’, sleeping in friends’ flats until they ran out of patience six months ago. Massimo Quagliozzi, who runs viva L’Italia restaurant in Windsor, says the rough sleepers outside his windows are damaging tradeCredit:Eddie Mulholland/The Telegraph James and Tracey huddle from the wind in the doorway of a Windsor McDonald's Stuart turned down the offer of a B&B in Southall, 15 miles away, so he can be close to his elderly motherCredit:Eddie Mulholland /The Telegraph Leader of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Simon Dudley, called for the removal of beggars and rough sleepers from the townCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. She is qualified in adult social care and still has ambitions to work in that field.“Getting rid of us in the way the council leader said is ridiculous,” she insists. “We’d just move on to another town. Why don’t they get together and convert empty buildings into homes instead?”As a young woman, Carla is particularly vulnerable on the streets, with sexual assault an ever present threat.As we speak a kindly woman hands her a paper bag containing a fresh croissant.A hundreds yards further along James and his friend Tracey have also been the recipients of people’s generosity, in their case a packet of M&S christmas cake squares.A little coffee cup at their feet contains a handful of coins left by sympathetic passers’ by.“Some people are horrible. I’ve been attacked, sexually assaulted, spat on, had my sleeping bag pulled away, you name it,” said Tracey, 49. “But others are really nice and will leave us food, or a bit of money. But neither of us beg. We don’t approach people for money and we’re definitely not aggressive. Shoppers wait for their bus while Carla faces another day on Windsor’s streetsCredit:Eddie Mulholland/The Telegraph Stuart turned down the offer of a B&B in Southall, 15 miles away, so he can be close to his elderly mother James and Tracey huddle from the wind in the doorway of a Windsor McDonald’sCredit:Eddie Mulholland/The Telegraph In contrast to claims that Windsor’s rough sleepers can make as much as £150 a day by begging, Tracey and James maintain they collect no more than £15 each on a good day.“If I made £150 do you think I’d be sleeping in a shop doorway? Don’t be daft,” said James. “I’d rent a flat.”Stuart, 40, whose pitch is in front of Windsor Castle, was offered a bed and breakfast room by Windsor and Maidenhead council in Southall, 15 miles away. But he says that is too far from his 70-year-old mother’s care home in the town.“It think it’s fair enough of me to turn it down,” he said. “But I’ve been offered nothing else and here I am.” Massimo Quagliozzi, who runs viva L'Italia restaurant in Windsor, says the rough sleepers outside his windows are damaging trade Massimo Quagliozzi, a former priest from Naples, has little sympathy. He says business at his Viva L’Italia restaurant has plummeted as a result of rough sleepers bedding down outside its windows. Mr Bradley says traders have been driven to despair by the presence of so many rough sleepers outside the towns’ shops, restaurants and cafes. Leader of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Simon Dudley, called for the removal of beggars and rough sleepers from the town Charities criticised Mr Bradley, saying the homeless and destitute could not simply be driven off the streets.But one charity worker admitted yesterday that Windsor has a particular problem because, as an affluent tourist destination, it attracts beggars from less well-off towns in the Thames Valley area.Murphy James, of the Windsor Homeless Project, said: “We have about 12 to 15 rough sleepers from Windsor and on top of that people come from Slough and other towns. They go where the money is and so would you if you were homeless and desperate.”last_img read more

Block of ice falling from the sky almost hits London street cleaner prompting

first_imgA frozen ball of urine and excrement also smashed through a retired couple’s roof in Wiltshire after falling from a jumbo jet toilet in 2015. The ball caused £1000 worth of damage. Credit:Sky News Amir Khan, 39, was driving past when he managed to capture the dramatic moment on his dashboard security camera. “It was like the start of a disaster movie,” Mr Khan said.“It made such a loud noise like a meteorite crashing down. The street cleaner was so confused and scared.”Pavi Singh, who works in the family-owned Kew Convenience Store just metres from where the ice fell, heard the crash from inside the shop. He said: “I heard it and went outside immediately because it was a really big bang.“There were passers-by and they said it was something from the sky. I’m so glad no one was hurt or anyone was around it,” he told the Evening Standard.Kew Garden councillor Monica Horner called for the CAA to investigate the “worrying” incident.She said: “It definitely needs to be investigated, I’m shocked. This could have killed someone.” Amir Khan, 39, was driving past when he managed to capture the dramatic moment on his dashboard security camera Amir Khan, 39, was driving past when he managed to capture the dramatic moment on his dashboard security camera Ms Horner added: “This is the problem when you have planes going over a populated area and another argument to say that Heathrow is the wrong place for expansion. “It is a very worrying incident and there needs to be some explanation as to why this happened so close to people.”It comes less than five months after a block of ice left a 4ft by 3ft crater in a family’s back garden in Renfrewshire.Similarly a piece of ice fell from a flight landing at Heathrow last February, causing substantial damage to a roof in Windsor.A shop assistant in Essex was almost crushed by a lump of frozen urine which fell 33,000ft from a plane and landed at her feet in 2008.center_img Credit:Sky News Amir Khan, 39, was driving past when he managed to capture the dramatic moment on his dashboard security camera Credit:Sky News A block of ice which fell from the sky narrowly missing a pedestrian in a London suburb has led to calls for an investigation into debris falling from planes.Street cleaner Serhiy Mysehkov was working under a flight path to Heathrow when a giant piece of ice crashed beside him and almost crushed him to death.It comes after ice, frozen urine and even the body of a stowaway have plummeted onto residential areas across Britain in recent years. The latest incident has prompted calls for an investigation into the issue. However, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said that while they receive reports of around 30 ice falls every year they are “unable to investigate the potential origin”.The near miss next to Kew Gardens station, believed to have happened on Wednesday, was caught on CCTV and shows Mr Mysehkov crossing the road before the giant ice block smashes to the ground making a loud sound on the floor. In the same year a suspected stowaway plunged to his death from a plane and landed on offices in a west London high street. The man, believed to be in his 20’s, was making an 8,000 mile journey from Johannesburg, South Africa when he fell from the British Airways flight and landed on an office roof in Richmond. The man was believed to have clung on to the plane as it flew towards Heathrow.A spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said that whilst the ice block might have come from a plane, incidents such as this can also be as a result of meteorological phenomena.The spokesperson said: “Ice falls can be as a result of meteorological phenomena, however ice falls from aircraft are considered to be rare in UK airspace.   “The CAA receives reports of around 30 ice falls every year. We are unable to investigate the potential origin of an ice fall, but do record reports of this nature.”  The UK Civil Aviation Authority added that efforts are made to minimise the risk of ice falls by performing regular maintenance to prevent leaks and take prompt corrective action if a defect is found.last_img read more

Judy Garlands daughter diagnosed with brain tumour after collapsing following London performance

first_imgLiza Minnelli and her sister Lorna Luft  Lorna Luft, the daughter of US actress Judy Garland, has been diagnosed with a brain tumour after collapsing following a performance in London.The singer, 65, was “forgetting lyrics and monologue” before she collapsed back stage at the Pizza Express Jazz Club on Friday night.She was rushed to hospital by her husband, Colin Freeman, who had been concerned for Luft during her performance, spokeswoman Victoria Varela said.She added she had been “initially diagnosed with a brain tumour”.Luft, an Emmy-winning TV producer and Broadway star, is currently in remission from breast cancer which she has been battling for more than six years. Ms Varela said: “Luft was rushed to hospital by Colin Freeman, her husband, who was also concerned that she was forgetting lyrics and monologue.”Following admission to hospital, Luft has been initially diagnosed with a brain tumour.”Further information will be available following additional medical tests and examinations.”Luft’s performance at the Jazz Club on Friday was the second of four sold-out shows at the venue.Her father is producer Sidney Luft and she is the half-sister of actress and singer Liza Minnelli. 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. Liza Minnelli and her sister Lorna Luft at a variety club luncheon.Credit:Ken Masonlast_img read more

Former SNP councillor sent racist texts to secret lover

first_imgA former aide to a senior SNP MP has been convicted of sending a string of racist text messages to his married lover in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks.Craig Melville, 37, who resigned as an SNP councillor in Dundee and an aide to Stewart Hose over the allegations, sent the messages to Nadia El-Nakla, a case worker for health minister Shona Robison, on the night of the 2015 Bataclan attacks.They were later found by Miss El-Nakla’s husband when he searched her phone after discovering the pair were having an affair.Miss El-Nakla told Dundee Sheriff Court she started working at the party’s Dundee offices in January 2014 and in April began an “on off, intimate” affair with Melville, who married his fiancée later that year.She said she was at home on the night of the Paris attacks and in the early hours of the morning she received a drunken call from Melville, who then sent text messages.One read: “It’s not personal I just f*****g hate your religion and I’ll do all in I’m life do defeat your filth.” Another text attacked “horrible murdering Islamic *****”. Nadia El-Nakla received texts Miss El-Nakla said her now estranged husband, Fariad Umar, had taken her phone from her after discovering a text from Melville’s number and downloaded 14,000 pages of information from her phone, including many deleted texts. nadia el nakla Mr Umar, 39, confronted his wife and when she denied the affair the IT specialist used data recovery software to retrieve text messages.He later collated them on a disc that was subsequently passed to police. The messages shown in court included sexual messages mixed among mundane conversation and the racist content.Mr Umar said: “Initially I was only thinking about the affair, but later I thought that someone in his elected position shouldn’t have these views so I sent them to MSPs and his bosses.”Melville, from Dundee, was fined £1,000 after being found guilty of behaving in a threatening and abusive way towards his former lover by sending messages containing “threatening, abusive and derogatory remarks regarding Muslims”.Defence solicitor Douglas McConnell said his client had lost his career in politics and was now working as a personal trainer.last_img read more

Russian spy poisoning Police officer says life will never be the same

first_imgHe said it was not possible to say whether the “current lack of capacity” was temporary or permanent.“On balance the lack of capacity arises from an impairment or disturbance of the brain arising out of both sedation and the impact of the exposure to a nerve agent,” he added.The judge heard evidence from five witnesses, from Porton Down scientists to senior Foreign Office and Home Office officials who addressed “sensitive” issues. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Police officers in protective suits and masks work near the scene where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were discovered  Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia “The evidence is that samples taken from living individuals are of more scientific value than post mortem samples,” he said.“The precise effect of their exposure on their long term health remains unclear, albeit medical tests indicate that their mental capacity might be compromised to an unknown and so far unascertained degree.“At present both Mr and Ms Skripal are critical but stable; it is not inconceivable that their condition could rapidly deteriorate.” “I want people to focus on the investigation- not the police officer who was unfortunate enough to be caught up in it. All I have done is represent every police officer who goes out there every day and puts their life at risk.” Court of Protection hearingMeanwhile, Mr Justice Williams heard details about the case at a private Court of Protection hearing in London, after which he gave permission for blood samples to be taken from the Skripals to enable international chemical weapons experts to carry out crucial tests.In a detailed judgment, he said the pair lacked the mental capacity to give permission and revealed that they remain in a critical condition under heavy sedation and may never recover from the nerve agent attack.He said Col Skripal was unable to communicate at all, while his daughter could not communicate “in any meaningful way.”Not a single relative has sought information from the hospital about their condition since they were admitted almost three weeks ago, the court heard, meaning that the judge was unable to consult them about his decision. The policeman who rushed to help poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter said his life will “never be the same” as he was released from hospital.Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey said he was now having to concentrate on rebuilding his life after suffering from the effects of the deadly nerve agent used to target Col Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, in Salisbury.The development came as a High Court judge gave doctors permission to take blood samples from the pair while they are still alive so that tests can be carried out by chemical weapons experts.The Skripals may have suffered permanent brain damage and their condition could “rapidly deteriorate,” tests have shown.As Bailey returned home following his ordeal, he said in a statement: “I recognise that ‘normal’ life for me will probably never be the same- and Sarah and I now need to focus on finding a new normal for us and for our children.”He added: “I have spent all my time since the incident really focusing on trying to get better and trying not to think about anything else. Police officers in protective suits and masks work near the scene where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were discovered Credit:Jack Taylor/Getty Images Police officers in protective suits and masks work near the scene in SalisburyCredit:Jack Taylor/Getty Images Detectives are trying to established whether the nerve agent which left the Skripals fighting for their lives was inserted into Col Skripal’s car or unwittingly brought from Russia to Britain by Yulia in her suitcase, possibly secreted in a present or item of clothing. Police officers in protective suits and masks work near the scene in Salisbury He heard that security measures were in place at Salisbury District Hospital, where they are both in intensive care, “to ensure their physical safety.”The judge had to make his decision in the absence of information about the beliefs and values of the Skripals but noted that most people had an “acute” sense of justice would want to “truth spoken to power” when a serious crime had been alleged so that “no-one whether an individual or a State is above or beyond the reach of the law”.“An individual subjected to such an attack with personally catastrophic consequences would want to see it fully and properly investigated and that all appropriate steps to identify the perpetrators (individual and state) have been taken so that they can be held to account,” he said. The judge concluded that the OPCW’s investigation may provide information on how to treat Mr Skripal and his daughter and what happened to them.Inspectors working in SalisburyThe inspectors arrived in the UK earlier this week and will now collect fresh blood samples from the Skripals in order to conduct their own analysis about the use of nerve agents and confirm the results of tests already undertaken by UK experts from Porton Down.On Thursday, they visited Col Skripal’s home, which has been cordoned off by police since the attack, and took swabs from door handles inside and outside the house, along with swabs from a keyboard and other objects.They have also visited the Mill pub, where the Skripals enjoyed a drink shortly before they collapsed, and the Porton Down chemical weapons research centre to take samples of the nerve agent gathered by police from locations in Salisbury in order to carry out their own analysis.Detectives are trying to established whether the nerve agent which left the Skripals fighting for their lives was inserted into Col Skripal’s car or unwittingly brought from Russia to Britain by Yulia in her suitcase, possibly secreted in a present or item of clothing.The Russian government has been blamed for the attack on the former Military Intelligence Officer turned MI6 agent, who was exchanged in a spy swap and moved to Britain in 2010. The couple spoke through Wiltshire’s temporary chief Constable Kier Pritchard after reports emerged that a second police officer investigating the nerve agent attack is receiving treatment for suspected poisoning.The uniformed constable is understood to have developed minor symptoms, including skin irritation, and is receiving treatment as an outpatient at Salisbury District Hospital.He is reported to have come into contact with an object that possibly had ‘secondary contamination from the nerve agent used to target the Skripals nearly three weeks ago. But DS Bailey’s wife Sarah described her husband as a hero.She said: “Nick doesn’t like the term hero, but he has always been a hero to me and our children.”Mrs Bailey, who said she and her husband had been overwhelmed by messages of support from the public and the wider “police family”, added: “This has quite simply been the most traumatic event of our life and it feels like our world has been turned upside down in a really short space of time.”DS Bailey will continue to receive intensive occupational therapy and occupational psychotherapy while his wife and their two young children are receiving specialist support to help them overcome the “horror” of seeing their father injured in the line of duty, it emerged. 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

Young heavy metal fans five times more likely to selfharm or attempt

first_img“The belief that alternative subcultures may be at an increased risk of self-harm and suicide is considered by some to be a myth,” added Dr Taylor.“But the literature we reviewed does suggest that these individuals are indeed in greater danger.”Dr Taylor said specific support groups for heavy metal fans, goths or emos could help tackle the problem.Dr Mairead Hughes, from the University of Liverpool said: “There is not enough evidence to tell us why it is that people belonging to these subcultures are at greater risk.“Young people who have faced more adversity may be more likely to become part of a subculture, but this does not seem to fully explain the increased risk.“Stress associated with being different and belonging to a minority group may also explain some of the risk”The research was published British Journal of Clinical Psychology. 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. Young heavy metal fans are five times more likely to self-harm or attempt suicide, a new study has found.Researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool found that groups belonging to alternative subcultures – which also include goths and emos – are at far greater risk of hurting themselves, possibly because they feel isolated from the rest of society.Clinical psychologist Dr Peter Taylor, of the University of Manchester, said doctors, teachers and social services should look out for signs of self abuse or depression in youngsters who visibly identified as goth or heavy metal fans.“We’re not saying that doctors should be worrying about everyone wearing a Metallica t-shirt, but if there are also other signs which point towards self harm, then they definitely ask the question,” said Dr Taylor.“Many people become affiliated with these groups because they feel like they don’t fit into society and so face a lot of vulnerabilities.“But there also might be victimisation and stigma associated with belonging to these subcultures.” The new study reviewed 12 papers looking at the link between belonging to subcultures and the risk of suicidal behaviour or self-harm.In one Scottish study researchers found that around six per cent of schoolchildren had self-harmed or attempted suicide, but that rose to 24 per cent for those who belonged to the subcultures. When taking all studies into account, goths, emos and heavy metal fans were five times more likely to harm themselves.center_img Goths are also at risk, the study showed Credit:Danny Lawson PA  Goths are also at risk, the study showed last_img read more

Prince Harry thanked Meghan Markles wedding dress designer Oh my God she

Asked if there was any tears from the bride, she said: “No, she was incredibly composed. It was really quite extraordinary. She’s just the most beautiful person.”Asked what the Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, had thought of her daughter, Ms Waight Keller said: “As she went into her car, her mother was already sitting in the car and you just could see there was so much love between them.” This meant that the designer got to know her, and she said of the new Duchess of Sussex: “She’s exactly what you see on TV. She’s just so genuine and warm and radiant. She’s just glowing.”She’s a strong woman. She knows what she wants, and it was really an absolute joy working with her.” Ms Waight Keller also revealed she was told by the Duchess in early January that she was the chosen designer.She said: “It was an extraordinary moment when she told me. Of course it’s an incredible thing to be part of such a historic moment.”Ms Waight Keller said the process was collaborative, adding: “I think she had very much seen my work and knew what I did.”I think she loved the fact that I was a British designer, and working in a house such as Givenchy which has its roots in a very classical, beautiful style.” Asked about the moment the Duchess was able to look at herself fully dressed and ready in the mirror on Saturday morning, Ms Waight Keller said: “She was just glowing.”There’s so much emotion on a day like that anyway. But I think particularly when it all comes together, I think, is tremendous. She was absolutely radiant.” 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. Clare Waight KellerCredit:Peter White /Getty Prince Harry thanked Meghan Markle’s wedding dress designer for her role in making his bride look “absolutely stunning”, she has disclosed.Birmingham-born Clare Waight Keller – the first female Artistic Director at French fashion house Givenchy – revealed the new Duke of Sussex spoke to her after the ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, on Sunday.”He came straight up to me and he said ‘oh my God, thank you, she looks absolutely stunning’,” she said.”So I think for the both of them, they were just radiant at that time,” she said.The designer added: “Well I think everybody saw on television – he was absolutely in awe, I think. She looked just incredible and it showed.” Ms Waight Keller said over time they quickly got to a point where the Duchess felt she knew exactly what she wanted after various meetings and trials. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave St George’s Chapel, Windsor, as husband and wife on SaturdayCredit:BEN STANSALL /AFP The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave St George's Chapel, Windsor, as husband and wife on Saturday Clare Waight Keller read more

Salisbury doctors did not believe Skripals would survive Novichok poisoning

She said she remembered thinking: “‘have we just gone from having two index patients [to] having something that actually could become all-consuming and involve many casualties?’ because we really didn’t know at that point.”  Sergei and Yulia Skripal photographed having a meal while fit and healthyCredit:supplied by pixel8000 Members of the emergency services in green biohazard encapsulated suits afix a tent over the bench on which the Skripals were foundCredit:BEN STANSALL /AFP All three have now been discharged, with Mr Skripal leaving hospital the most recently, on May 18, after 10 weeks of treatment.In her first appearance since leaving hospital, Ms Skripal spoke to the news agency Reuters at a secret London location last week. She said she felt she and her father were “lucky to both have survived this attempted assassination”. Medical staff also said they had no idea of the future prognosis for any of those affected by the nerve agent. Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director at the hospital, told the programme, “the honest answer is we don’t know”.The medical team at the hospital had also been helped by their proximity to Porton Down laboratory, they revealed, as it offered to carry out testing and give advice on the best therapies. Dr Duncan Murray, head of the intensive care department, said “international experts” had helped the three to recover, alongside the “excellent teamwork by the doctors, fantastic care and dedication by our nurses”.  The doctors who treated the Skripals following the Salisbury Novichok attack did not believe the former Russian spy and his daughter would survive, they have revealed. Medics at Salisbury District Hospital said that the prognosis for Sergei and Yulia Skripal was not good when they first arrived in the Accident and Emergency department on March 4 after collapsing on a park bench in the city. Dr Stephen Jukes, Intensive Care consultant, told BBC Newsnight: “When we first were aware this was a nerve agent we were expecting them not to survive. We would try all our therapies. We would ensure the best clinical care. But all the evidence was there that they would not survive.”He added that the medical team initially thought the pair had succumbed to an opioid overdose, but the diagnosis quickly changed  to nerve agent poisoning. They were heavily sedated and given large doses of drugs designed to help their bodies produce a key protective enzyme.  Sergei and Yulia Skripal photographed having a meal while fit and healthy Members of the emergency services in green biohazard encapsulated suits afix a tent over the bench on which the Skripals were found She added: “I don’t want to describe the details, but the physical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing.” Staff were concerned that the illness could spread, particularly after PC Nick Bailey, a police officer who became unwell after visiting Mr Skripal’s home, was also brought in for treatment.  Lorna Wilkinson, the Director of Nursing at the hospital, said: ” “I suppose the key marker for me was when the PC [Nick Bailey] was admitted with symptoms – there was a real concern as to how big could this get.” 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 British government has accused Russia of being behind the attack, expelling 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation. It has denied any involvement and expelled British diplomats from Moscow, as well as questioning the legitimacy of Ms Skripal’s statement. In a statement, it said: “The UK is obliged to give us the opportunity to speak to Yulia directly in order to make sure that she is not held against her own will and is not speaking under pressure.” read more

Fantasist jailed after accusing innocent taxi driver of sexual assault

The driver was arrested – but Morgan’s web of lies began to unravel after she gave different accounts of the attack to friends. An innocent taxi driver was unable to provide financial support for his family after he was falsely accused of groping a female passenger, a court heard.The father of three spent six hours in custody and faced possible sex assault charges as part of the “devastating impact” of claims made by Claire Morgan.Morgan, 35, alleged she was sexually assaulted three days after she took a five-minute fare from the driver in Bridgend, south Wales in May last year.She lied the man had taken her to an adventure playground, grabbed her breast and put his hand down her underwear.The victim, a treasurer at his local mosque, was the sole source of income for his family but was forced to hand over his badge during a six-week investigation, the court heard. Police spent 60 hours investigating Morgan’s allegations as well as £450 on forensics.A judge said the man avoided charges because of “diligence” from investigators while CCTV also proved inconsistencies in her account.After reporting the fake offences, Morgan later set up a fake Facebook profile under the name Sarah Jenkins to answer a police appeal in which she claimed she witnessed the attack. She also made an anonymous call to Crimestoppers to provide further bogus details. Morgan’s clothes were taken for forensic examination but only her DNA were found on the items. She later admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for two-and-a-half years at Cardiff Crown court.Judge Eleri Rees said: “She went to remarkable lengths to bolster her account.The court heard Morgan had told lies in the past including that her daughter had left the Manchester Arena half an hour before the bomb went off and that her brother was killed by a drink driver.Cardiff Crown Court heard the mother of one suffers from a personality disorder.After the hearing, Detective Constable Steve Gunney said: “Her allegations also had a devastating impact on the man she accused. “I hope she uses her time in prison to reflect on the harm her lies have caused. 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