Month: September 2019 Page 1 of 11

Romo Disputes Cris Carters Claim He Threatened to End

In his day, former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski did some pretty volatile and nasty stuff, like spiting in J.J. Stokes’ face and viciously beating up a teammate. But he made it clear he did not threaten to end former receiver Cris Carter’s career, as the former wide receiver claimed on Tuesday.“It is absolute fiction,” Romanowski said on the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday.  “If he could read my mind in pre-game, yeah, maybe he had it right. But I didn’t talk before games. I was in the zone.”On ESPN radio’s Hill and Schlereth show, Carter said he had approached his offensive lineman to offer a bounty on opposing players, including Romanowski, who he said told him, “Carter, I’m gonna end your career” during pregame when he played for Minnesota and Romo for Denver.“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever admitted it, but I put a bounty on guys before. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put a bounty on him, right now.”Said Romanowski: “If he put a bounty on me, it wasn’t very good because it didn’t work,” Romanowski said. “I just think this is his way of trying to make himself relevant for what is going on now.” read more

Usain Bolt Makes Donations To Cancer Charity

Usain Bolt is known for his lightening speed and gold medals, but very rarely is he recognized for his charitable donations to the community; thus, Bolt has made to two big contributions to the British community.He donated a pair of autographed running spikes to nine-year-old Matthew Smith, who is a cancer victim that had to have his leg amputated in April.  Smith is currently learning adjusting to using a prosthetic limb, which he is hopeful that the limb will allow him to return the soccer field and play for Brislington Juniors FC in Bristol.The Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 meters, heard about Smith’s situation from his cousin Vinette Jones.  Jones with Smith’s soccer coach.“I think the story really struck a chord with him,” Jones said.  “Usain is a very quick runner so he thought about what it would like for him to lose a leg.”Bolt’s mother, Jennifer, presented the signed spikes to the family before flying to Jamaica after the London Olympics.The Smith family was shocked and thankful for Bolt’s gratitude.“Having Usain Bolt’s mum come and present Matthew with a signed pair of his spikes was brilliant,” said his father, Colin.  “Matthew really appreciated it and couldn’t believe that one of the biggest superstars in the world had done that for him.”The family has placed the shoes on eBay and hope to raise $1,300 to help go towards medical expenses.Bolt did not just stop his charitable ways with the Smith family, but he recently helped out Great Britain’s Mel Edwards.Edwards, 69, was a reserve for the Great Britain marathon team in 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, was diagnosed six years ago with multiple myeloma and bone marrow cancer.Edwards was able to get Bolt to autograph one of his Jamaican international running tops for his cancer charity. He understands how rare of an opportunity this for his charity.“He only signs three or four vests each year for charitable purposes so I am delighted he has decided to choose my charity,” Edwards said.The top will be auctioned off on Nov. 8 at London’s Dorchester Hotel at a gala dinner for Myeloma UK charity. read more

Even The Data Thinks The Cubs May Have Been Cursed

This Buffalo Bills Team Is Worse Than Most Bills Teams This Century

2010-21.34.35.54 SeasonDVOAPYTHagorean WINSESTimated WINSActual WINS The 21st century has not been good to BuffaloThe Bills’ past 18 seasons by Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, Pythagorean wins and estimated wins 2012-12.15.76.56 2001-22.03.94.23 2017-9.86.36.89 2007-5.04.98.07 2003-7.36.87.06 20161.08.57.47 Source: Football Outsiders 20000.67.07.38 2013-3.36.77.16 2002-8.07.57.18 2005-17.85.25.85 2008-8.47.86.77 201410.59.69.09 After the “Music City Miracle” knocked the 1999 Buffalo Bills out of the postseason, Bills fans suffered through the longest playoff drought in American professional sports. But with only a few hours left in 2017, the streak came to a glorious end. After beating Miami on Sunday, Buffalo desperately needed Cincinnati to eliminate Baltimore, and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton complied — finding Tyler Boyd for a game-winning touchdown on 4th-and-12 in the final minute. The play sent the Bills locker room into hysterics, while fans back home braved bitterly cold weather past midnight on New Year’s Eve to greet the team plane at the airport.New head coach Sean McDermott has led the franchise out of the regular-season desert, but there’s an irony to his triumph: This Bills squad is actually worse than many of those that failed to make the playoffs since that 1999 season. There are Bills fans old enough to buy beer who can’t remember what a Bills playoff team looks like — but even they ought to be able to tell that this squad is something less than one of the 12 best teams in the NFL.“You are what your record says you are,” Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells famously asserted. But ESPN’s Brian Burke estimates that randomness accounts for about 42 percent of NFL outcomes, and the NFL’s playoff structure builds in even more inequity. The 2008 New England Patriots won 11 games but missed the playoffs, while the 2014 Carolina Panthers got in with a 7-8-1 record.This year’s Bills team finished 9-7, but based on Football Outsiders’ estimated wins and Pythagorean wins metrics,1Per Football Outsiders, Pythagorean wins are based on pure point differential, while estimated wins use a “Forest Index” to emphasize consistency and performance in high-leverage situations. it only earned 6.8 and 6.3 wins, respectively. Put another way, an NFL team that gets outscored by 57 points on the year (as the Bills did) mathematically ought to win about six or seven games.But it’s not just about wins. Pick a metric of team strength, and the Bills are typically at or below the median: 21st in scoring differential, 15th in FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings, 23rd in Simple Rating System,2Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System is derived from scoring differential and strength of schedule. 21st in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.3Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric breaks down every NFL play and determines its value when compared to a league baseline based on situation (i.e., down and distance, field position, score).These Bills don’t stack up well against the 17 iterations that came before them, either: The best Bills team since 1999 was the 9-7 2004 squad. At 31.3 percent better than average, it was the NFL’s No. 3 team by overall DVOA. Buffalo’s defense, led by Pro Bowlers Takeo Spikes and Nate Clements, ranked No. 1. The team’s 12.4 estimated wins and 11.1 Pythagorean wins show they were actually much stronger than what their record said.The 2004 Bills lost their first four games, three by a combined margin of just 8 points and the other a 31-17 loss to the (eventual Super Bowl champion) New England Patriots. They then went 9-2 over their next 11 games, including a six-game win streak during which they outscored their opponents 228-89. Needing one last win to secure a playoff berth, they tripped up against a Pittsburgh Steelers team resting some of its starters. Football Outsiders deemed the 2004 Bills the best team to miss the playoffs since 1986 — as far back as its data goes.Despite racking up the same number of real-world wins, 2017’s Bills are a whopping 41.1 percentage points worse in DVOA. They also produced 5.6 fewer estimated wins and 4.8 fewer Pythagorean wins. Remember that 42 percent randomness? That this year’s Bills got to the same 9-7 record as the 2004 team suggests these two squads approached the upper and lower bounds of “lucky” and “unlucky” NFL results.The 2017 Bills aren’t the best Bills team since 1999, or anywhere close — they’re actually no better than seventh-worst in any of these metrics. Outside of running the ball with LeSean McCoy, these Bills don’t do anything well: They’re 29th in offensive yardage and 26th in yardage on defense. They keep their heads above water with a per-drive turnover rate that’s a little higher on defense (13.1 percent, 10th-best) than offense (8.9 percent, eighth-worst).2012 is the most recent year the Bills weren’t better across the board than they are now — and that group went 6-10.None of this can take away the joy Bills fans everywhere felt when the Ravens’ Week 17 collapse handed their team a wild-card berth, of course. But there’s a reason the Bills organization sent the Cincinnati Bengals thank-yous: This trip to the postseason was much more about being lucky than good.Check out our latest NFL predictions. 2006-2.17.78.07 2009-10.45.96.66 20152.78.58.88 2011-9.76.47.16 200431.3%11.112.49 read more

The 2019 Orioles Are One Of The Most Anonymous Teams In MLB

PosPlayerWARPlayerWARPlayerWARPlayerWAR Only three teams in our sample — the 1977 and 1982 Toronto Blue Jays and the 1980 Oakland Athletics — had lower established WAR levels for their starting lineups on Opening Day than the Orioles will have this season. CCerone-0.2Heath-0.3Whitt+0.4Sisco+0.1 SSTorres+0.3Guerrero-0.3Griffin-1.1Martin+0.0 The 2018 Baltimore Orioles were so bad that we questioned whether they belonged in the major leagues at all. They were our runaway pick for worst pro team of the year, going far beyond the many wannabe Astros and Cubs who’ve jumped on the tanking fad in recent seasons.Amazingly, things might get even worse this year. Since the middle of last season, Baltimore has traded away established veterans Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman, Darren O’Day and Brad Brach, and watched as others such as Tim Beckham, Caleb Joseph and Adam Jones departed in free agency as well. Now there are only three remaining members of the Orioles’ lineup with even two years of MLB service time heading into 2019: Jonathan Villar, Trey Mancini — both average players at best — and Chris Davis, who had arguably the worst individual season in MLB history in 2018 when he hit .168 (in 470 at-bats!) with a .539 on-base plus slugging and -2.9 wins above replacement (WAR).1According to our usual 50-50 blend between the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. Davis’ untradeable contract means the Orioles are stuck with him, so they’ll pencil his name in on opening day no matter how bad he was last season.And those are the guys in the starting lineup who can be remotely labeled as household names. The rest is filled out with either youngish players who are past “prospect” status or journeymen plucked off the scrap heap. Taken as a whole, the 2019 Orioles’ roster basically recalls this scene from “Major League”:(No word on whether Baltimore owner Peter Angelos secretly built this team of cast-offs so he can move the team to Miami.)There have been a few teams who went into a season with less apparent talent than Baltimore — but not many. Using Baseball-Reference.com, we gathered data for each American League team’s opening day lineup since 1973 (to include every team who used the designated hitter full-time) and calculated those players’ established WAR track records going into the season.2To find a player’s established level of performance, we multiplied his WAR from the previous season by three, doubled his WAR from two seasons before and added it on, then added his WAR from three seasons before, and divided by six. This is an old Bill James invention for roughly projecting how much you can expect out of a player (in any given stat) based on the previous three years of performance. The track records for these Orioles — to the extent they have track records at all — place the team at or near the low-water mark at each position relative to all other AL opening day starting lineups since 1973: CFWoods-0.1Murphy+0.7Moseby+0.5Mullins-0.1 LFScott+0.0Henderson-0.4Woods+0.6Mancini+0.6 1977 Blue Jays1980 Athletics1982 Blue Jays2019 Orioles Baltimore’s place among the worst opening day lineupsAmong American League teams since 1973, the four worst opening day lineups according to the sum of players’ established wins above replacement (WAR) levels DHVelez+0.7Essian+1.6Mayberry+1.8Santander-0.2 2BGarcia-0.6Picciolo-0.8Garcia-0.2Villar+1.8 RFBowling-0.1Armas+0.3Barfield+0.7Hays+0.0 Total-0.5+1.4+1.8+2.1 1BAult+0.0Newman+0.7Upshaw-0.4Davis-1.0 3BMcKay-0.5Klutts-0.1Mulliniks-0.3Nunez+0.9 Established level is calculated as a weighted average of WAR from the previous three seasons.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs One of those teams, the ’77 Jays, was an expansion club that won just 54 games. But the two others finished around .500, meaning there are limitations to predicting off a lineup’s previous MLB track records. Of course pitchers can come to the rescue, as they did for Toronto in 1982 (led by the underappreciated Dave Stieb). Also, young players can emerge in dramatic breakout fashion: Rickey Henderson had done little as a rookie for the 1979 A’s before erupting for 8.3 WAR in 1980, for instance.But it’s tough to find the next Stieb or Henderson waiting in the wings to save Baltimore this year. De facto staff ace Dylan Bundy had a 5.45 earned run average last season, while the top prospect in the Orioles system, outfielder Yusniel Diaz, is starting the year in the minors and probably won’t be a full-time contributor until 2020. Among those actually in this lineup on opening day, outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays and catcher Chance Cisco probably have the best breakout potential. In fact, FanGraphs currently projects Mullins for a team-best 1.8 WAR, thanks to a combination of power and speed that could make him one of the few Orioles worth watching this season.New Orioles general manager Mike Elias told BaltimoreBaseball.com earlier this month that he wants the rebuild to go quickly: “This team finished last last year with a bad record,” he said. “I want to get out of that phase as quickly as possible, and so every decision that we’re going to make is going to be towards accelerating our advancement to be a playoff-caliber team again. I see no reason to stretch that out, drag it out beyond what we have to.”For now, though, this Baltimore lineup looks like it will battle the Miami Marlins for the saddest collection of mediocre veterans and anonymous prospects in the game. In each case, you’ve probably never heard of half of these guys, and the ones you do know are way past their prime. (Or never had a prime.) We’ll just have to see if this ragtag group can rally together and win the pennant anyway — or more realistically, rally to avoid 115 losses this time around. read more

Opinion Cleveland Browns painful losses a possible sign of future success

Browns coach Mike Pettine acknowledges fans after the Browns’ 26-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 14 in Cleveland.Credit: Courtesy of TNSBeing a Cleveland Browns fan means that Sunday afternoons in the fall have great opportunity to be a day filled of letdown, gloominess and disappointment. Frankly, this has been the case five out of the last six weeks.What may be the worst part of this expanse is the fact that the Browns have lost four of these games in the second half after having a solid lead or on the last play of the game. Here a few examples from this current season: Sept. 27 – The Browns hosted the Oakland Raiders, in which Cleveland had played a hardfought game. Quarterback Josh McCown performed well with 341 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The Browns rallied from behind to score a field goal and a touchdown with six minutes left in the game. Driving one last time, Cleveland had the ball on Oakland’s 35-yard line with 43 seconds left on the clock. McCown tried to connect a deep pass to wide receiver Travis Benjamin for a potential game-tying score, but veteran safety Charles Woodson intercepted the ball, killing the drive and thus ending the game.Oct. 4 – Cleveland traveled to the West Coast to face the San Diego Chargers. Out of all the games listed, I think this one wins the title of biggest disappointment. Another solid game from McCown and the entire team kept the Browns close in all four quarters. Under the five minute mark, Cleveland engineered a late touchdown drive, then converted on the two-point conversion to knot the game at 27. The Chargers stormed quickly down the field in response, setting an opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal. The first attempt went sailing as time expired but the ball clanked off the post. The field goal was no good.  However, an offside penalty on the Browns essentially gave the Chargers’ kicking unit a redo, which it sent through the heart of the uprights.Oct. 18 – The Denver Broncos — undefeated and led by future hall of fame quarterback Peyton Manning — made their way to the banks of Lake Erie for a visit to an electric First Energy Stadium. Cleveland was coming off a win over its rival Baltimore in thrilling fashion — storming back in the second half and eventually connecting on game-winning field goal in overtime. (It’s crazy how the Browns can be on the bright side for once). Now, back against the Broncos, the Browns’ defense had quite the game, forcing three interceptions. This enabled the offense — despite the lackluster performance — to hang on in yet another tight game. Forcing overtime for a second straight week, Cleveland had backed the Broncos into a corner by intercepting the ball and having incredible field position. On par to what the season had been thus far, the Browns offense had a brain-fart, stalling out and eventually punting to give the Broncos the ball back. As the clock in overtime continued to dwindle down, Manning and the Broncos rallied, generating an impressive drive to only end the game on a 34-yard field goal. The Browns had their opportunities but they fell through their grasp.Nov. 1 – This past week, Arizona arrived in town. Cleveland got off to sluggish start before putting on an offensive clinic in the first half. McCown connected with tight end Gary Barnidge — who appears to now be McCown’s go-to man — for a touchdown, followed by a pair of connections with former Ohio State Buckeye Brian Hartline for two scores to give the Browns a 20-10 lead heading into the locker rooms at halftime. The momentum ceased to continue in the second frame though, as the defense struggled to pressure Cardinals’ signal-caller Carson Palmer, which allowed the 13-year NFL veteran to surgically dissect the Browns defense through the air. To no one’s surprise, the offense then stalled. Though the end result was not close, the first half sure gave fans a false hope for the rest of the game. But, in typical fashion, fans were left shaking their heads as another ‘L’ was added to the Browns’ record.What is by far the most painstaking element, and the utmost epitome of Cleveland Browns football is the fact that the team consistently loses games it has been a contender in. The past few seasons are great examples, in which the final record in no way represents how the season actually went.The Browns are on the verge of something good — a winning season, a playoff berth perhaps. The games this season reflect such a bold statement. One positive season is on the way, loyal Browns fans. I feel it.But it cannot come with a quarterback struggle and rearranging of coaches and front office personnel.  It is difficult to give hope for a team that is a laughingstock of a league, but know that when these games are close, they are signs that there is success on its way. read more

Five questions to ask about Ohio State – Indiana

Will Terrelle Pryor’s injury return the offense to ‘Tresselball?’ Following Pryor’s left quadriceps strain and his subsequent exit from the Illinois game, OSU reverted back to the offense featured during most of 2009: a heavy dose of the running game. Coach Jim Tressel said Pryor “will be fine” and should be near 100 percent in practice. As Pryor heals, expect Tressel to tone down the zone-reads and bootlegs and install more short passes and traditional hand-offs to the running backs. Even if Pryor is completely healthy come Saturday, presume OSU will dial back the offense a tad. Is it time for another Jeannette, Pa., native to shine? OSU’s running back situation is pretty transparent. Dan Herron is a solid but unspectacular between-the-tackles runner. Although Brandon Saine has tremendous straight-ahead speed, he has difficulty cutting quickly and moving laterally. Jordan Hall’s numbers aren’t mind-blowing (72 yards on 13 carries), but Pryor’s high school teammate has shown shiftiness and ability to burst through the hole and has some calling for him to see more playing time. Despite saying he is a “Jordan Hall fan” and has “1 million percent faith” in the sophomore, Tressel gave the vibe that “Boom” and “Zoom” would continue to share most of the carries. Can Christian Bryant fill Tyler Moeller’s shoes? With Moeller out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, Tressel said the defense will most likely proceed with Bryant as the starter at the “star” position. Bryant “got a good baptism Saturday and he’s going to get immersed [this Saturday],” Tressel said. The former Cleveland-Glenville star played every offensive-skill position in high school in addition to being an All-Ohio defender while playing both cornerback and safety. That versatility, in addition to his football savvy, has ignited his rise up the depth chart. Will the high-powered Hoosier attack exploit the banged-up Buckeye secondary? In last Saturday’s loss to Michigan, Indiana senior quarterback Ben Chappell set school records with 45 completions, 64 attempts and 480 passing yards. He’s posted eight straight multi-touchdown games and leads the Big Ten with 342.5 passing yards per game. Junior wide receiver Tandon Doss leads the Big Ten with almost 108 yards a game receiving and is second in the conference in receptions with nearly eight per contest. As a unit, the Hoosier pass offense ranks No. 4 in the nation. Although the OSU defense ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in pass defense, allowing about 161 yards per game, aside from Miami, it hasn’t faced as diverse a passing attack as it will see Saturday against IU. OSU has also lost two of its normal starters, Moeller and C.J. Barnett, to season-ending injuries. Will the Buckeyes be caught looking ahead to their Oct. 16 showdown in Camp Randall against Wisconsin? OSU’s first big road test was supposed to come next Saturday against Wisconsin, but instead it came last Saturday against the Illini. Tressel said that game was a bit of a reality check for some players. “I think the fact that we played a Big Ten game and our guys see the difference between the non-conference and the Big Ten was great for us,” Tressel said. “We didn’t play our best and our guys would like to get to the point where we play our best, so I think they’ll be ready to go.” Although Wisconsin lost its first game of the season Saturday at Michigan State, the showdown a week from Saturday could go a long way in determining the winner of the Big Ten. read more

Quick hits Midweek news notes from OSU football

Ohio State football (3-1) is just days away from opening Big Ten play against the Michigan State Spartans (3-1). First-year head coach Luke Fickell discussed freshman quarterback Braxton Miller’s Saturday performance against Colorado at a Tuesday press conference. Fickell might have also issued a veiled challenge to OSU students to ratchet up the noise level for the Buckeyes’ remaining games. No more “or” The latest OSU depth chart, released to the media on Tuesday, now shows only freshman Braxton Miller’s name in bold print. Every previous depth chart had both Miller and redshirt senior Joe Bauserman’s names in bold and read: “Joe Bauserman or Braxton Miller.” Miller helped lead the Buckeyes to a 37-17 win against Colorado Saturday. “(Miller) did a good job,” Fickell said. “The number one thing he did was hold onto the football… threw some good balls later in the game.” Showing the students some love For the second time since the conclusion of the Buckeyes’ 37-17 Saturday win against Colorado, first-year coach Luke Fickell spoke of the OSU student body. “I think the one thing our guys enjoyed as much as I did is having students back on campus,” Fickell said. “Obviously, the way we played is a boost, but it’s nice to have that behind you. Really want to thank them. Hopefully they continue to do the same things and get better each and every week.” Injury update The status of senior defensive lineman Nathan Williams and sophomore defensive back Corey Brown for the Buckeyes’ next game remains uncertain. “Maybe we’ll have a little better idea (of their status) maybe by Wednesday,” Fickell said. Captaincy carousel Junior running back Jordan Hall, defensive back and special teams player Nate Ebner and defensive back and linebacker Nate Oliver will act as captains for this week’s game against Michigan State. Hall, along with defensive back Travis Howard and defensive back Corey Brown, was suspended for the first two games of the season for accepting $200 in a white envelope from a former university booster at a Cleveland area charity event. In his two games since returning from suspension, Hall has amassed 354 all-purpose yards while also scoring a touchdown. Saturday’s game against the Spartans is set for a 3:30 p.m kickoff in Ohio Stadium. The game will be televised regionally by ABC. read more

Meyer Christian Bryants redshirt petition looks to be denied wont play in

Senior safety Christian Bryant is helped off the field after breaking his ankle in a game against Wisconsin. OSU won, 31-24, Sept. 28 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Senior safety Christian Bryant readied himself on the field, scarlet Buckeye fans erupting in cheers around him Sept. 28, 2013. Instead of taking down intended target, Wisconsin running back James White, Bryant took a hit from teammate sophomore Joshua Perry resulting in a broken ankle.A broken ankle that meant an end to his season and potentially his college career.Despite his inability to play, Bryant’s name was never out of discussions within the team. However, attempts to receive a an extra year of play from a medical redshirt as well as rehabbing his broken ankle seem to be thwarted. Coach Urban Meyer announced Thursday at a press conference Bryant would neither play in the Orange Bowl Friday nor have his petition approved by the NCAA for a medical redshirt.“I believe the appeal was denied. I’m not sure if there’s another one, to come back for another year. He won’t be able to play in this game,” Meyer said. “There was a little bit of outside hope to get him ready, but the injury that he had was pretty severe. I’m not sure if there’s another appeal process left.”Bryant might not be on the field, but the responsibility he garnered as a leader will be. After his injury, another stepped up on the defense: junior linebacker Ryan Shazier.The game following his friend’s injury, Shazier donned a No. 2 jersey rather than his traditional No. 10. Changing numbers wasn’t taken light heartedly – Shazier even has “10” tattooed on his arm. From then on, he was playing for someone else as well.“When Bryant went down, Ryan Shazier assumed a lot of that responsibility, including taking his number, and has done a really magical job at that. He was not a leader a year ago,” Meyer said.Losing Bryant meant the Buckeyes were losing more than just a pivotal defensive player.“Christian Bryant was our best player on both sides of the ball, and we lost him and his leadership skill,” Meyer said.While Bryant’s injury ended his own career. it might have had an impact jump-starting Shazier’s. The latter ended the 2012 season with 115 tackles, Bryant second to him with 71. This year, the linebacker has racked up 134 tackles, according to Ohio State.“He’s been a very good player this year, but he’s done a nice job leading, leading by example, practicing hard, and even being more vocal. That assumes some of the Christian Bryant responsibility,” Meyer said.Kickoff between the No. 7 Buckeyes (12-1, 8-1) and the No. 12 Clemson Tigers (10-2, 7-1) is set for 8:30 p.m. Friday at Sun Life Stadium. read more

Keita BatesDiop providing spark off the bench for Ohio State mens basketball

Freshman forward Keita Bates-Diop drives toward the basket during a game against Penn State on Feb. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 75-55. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerWhile the Ohio State men’s basketball team has seen its share of production from familiar names such as freshman guard D’Angelo Russell and senior forward Sam Thompson, it’s been the play of a young forward that is starting to get the attention of coaches.And not just his own.Freshman Keita Bates-Diop has scored more than a fifth of his points this season in the last two games for the Buckeyes, both wins for OSU.Bates-Diop had a career night with 14 points, while adding nine boards and three assists, in a 79-60 thrashing of Rutgers on Sunday.He followed that up with a seven-point, five-rebound performance in a 75-55 win against Penn State Wednesday night, and Nittany Lion coach Pat Chambers said he was not surprised by it.“He played really well against Rutgers. He knocked down some shots for them so he gives them another outside threat,” Chambers said after the game. “He’s long, he’s athletic and he’s rangy so he’s going to be a really good player for years to come. But he gives you another guy you have to worry about out there other than No. 0.”No. 0 is Russell, who said after the game that when players like Bates-Diop perform well, it makes it simpler for him and for the team to succeed.“Teams can’t really key on me if other guys are stepping up and doing what they’re good at,” Russell said. “It makes the game a lot easier for me.”Bates-Diop has been seeing increased minutes since the temporary departure of sophomore forward Marc Loving, who has missed the last three games with a suspension for an undisclosed reason. OSU coach Thad Matta said he expects Loving to return to action in the Buckeyes’ next game against the Michigan State Spartans, but added that Bates-Diop has earned more minutes with his recent play.“I think from the standpoint of how Keita has played, I am just so excited for him. This is kind of what we’ve been trying to get out of him just in terms of his aggressiveness,” Matta said. “He’s long, he can block shots he can rebound out of his area. I don’t think he shot the ball particularly well tonight (against Penn State), but we know he can do that and really stretch a defense.”Bates-Diop’s offensive game might not have been put on full display against the Nittany Lions, but the Normal, Ill., native shot 4-of-7 from the field against Rutgers, including 3-of-4 from long range.However, it isn’t just Bates-Diop’s offensive game that Matta has been pleased with. Matta added after the win over Penn State that Bates-Diop is starting to learn his role on defense better and it was evident Wednesday as he finished the night with three blocks and two steals.“He is learning how to use his length,” Matta said of the 6-foot-7-inch freshman. “He made a couple rotations defensively tonight that I think kind of solidified he understands what’s going on out there now.”Thompson, who scored a career-high 22 points in Wednesday’s win, said Bates-Diop will be key for the Buckeyes moving forward as the regular season winds down.“Keita’s been huge. He has been asked to step up, and in the last few games he has really answered the call,” Thompson said. “He has made shots, he has been aggressive offensively and defensively. We need Keita to keep that going.”Bates-Diop and the Buckeyes will look to do just that as they are set to take on the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. Tip-off is scheduled for noon. read more

Olympic gold medalist hired as womens hockey coach

USA’s Jenny Potter (12), of Anoka, Minnesota, carries her daughter Madison after the USA women’s hockey team beat Finland 4-0 to win the bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, on Monday, February 20, 2006. Credit: Courtesy of TNSJust over a month after former Ohio State women’s hockey coach Nate Handrahan resigned, the Buckeyes have found his replacement.Jenny Potter will become the third head coach in the program’s history, OSU announced Sunday.“We are extremely excited to welcome Jenny Potter to the Ohio State family as the head coach of the women’s hockey program,” Shaun Richard, associate athletics director for sport administration, said in an OSU press release. “Her experience in the sport of hockey as a highly decorated player both at the NCAA and Olympic level will give the student-athletes an instant ‘winners’ mentality.”Potter, who most recently was the head coach at Trinity College, is an Olympic gold medalist as a member of Team USA in the 1998 games.She also earned a silver medal as a part of the 2002 and 2010 teams and earned a bronze medal in 2006 to go along with a NCAA national title in 2003 as a member of the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.“I am very excited for this opportunity,” Potter said in the press release. “The Ohio State University has a storied tradition of academic and athletic excellence, and I look forward to contributing to this standard of excellence. I am proud to be a Buckeye, and I look forward to coaching and mentoring these young women.”As a player at Minnesota Duluth, Potter set the program’s scoring record, and currently holds a share of the NCAA’s single-game goals record at six. She was inducted into the Bulldog’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.Her coaching career began in 1997 with the Community Olympic Development Program and progressed to two high school stops before she moved on to coach at Trinity. Potter is the co-owner of Potter’s Pure Hockey, which puts on hockey camps for a variety of age groups.Potter’s hiring comes after the resignation of Handrahan, who was reportedly being investigated by the university for “inappropriate and unprofessional conduct,” according to The Columbus Dispatch. Former assistant coach Keith Maurice also resigned amid the investigation.The Buckeyes are coming off of a 17-16-3 season with an 11-12-3 mark in WCHA play, winning just one of its last six games. read more

NFL draft Malik Hooker selected 15th overall by the Indianapolis Colts

Former OSU safety Malik Hooker (24) and redshirt freshman longsnapper Liam McCullough (49) high-five Buckeye fans after their 30-23 overtime victory over the Wisconsin Badgers on Oct. 15. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorThe Indianapolis Colts selected former Ohio State safety Malik Hooker with the 15th pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.The former Buckeyes playmaking safety started just one year in scarlet and gray, but took full advantage of the opportunity in OSU’s defensive backfield, becoming an Associated Press first-team All-American.Midway through the second quarter during his first start in college against Bowling Green on Sept. 3, 2016, Hooker sped from his position in the center of the field, leapt, and miraculously tipped the ball into his lap as he fell. One quarter later, he snagged his second errant Bowling Green pass of the day.The next game, against Tulsa, he picked off a pass and returned it 26 yards for his first career touchdown. By the end of the season, Hooker had racked up a Big Ten-high seven interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, tying a school record. The 6-foot-1-inch, 206-pound safety scored his final touchdown as a Buckeye — a 16-yard interception return — in the second quarter of OSU’s 30-27 double overtime win against Michigan. Only later did he reveal that he suffered injuries against the Wolverines necessitating hip labrum and sports hernia surgeries.Due to the former OSU defensive back recovering from surgery, Hooker did not participate in drills at the NFL combine or join his teammates in drills at the Buckeyes’ pro day. Instead, he watched his former teammates, including cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley, participate in workouts from afar. Despite the injuries suffered in OSU’s win against Michigan, he decided to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson. Bright spots were hard to find in the Buckeyes’ scoreless performance, but Hooker did his best to keep his team in the game as he had his final interception in college during the second quarter.At the combine, Hooker said he anticipates returning to the field for rookie camp with the Colts in July.He was the second-highest ranked safety in the draft, behind former LSU safety Jamal Adams, according to NFL.com’s Mike Mayock and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. Among all 2017 NFL draft prospects, the former OSU safety was ranked 13th, 11th and 10th by Mayock, Kiper Jr. and McShay, respectively.Entering the 2016 season as a first-year starter, the former three-star prospect from New Castle, Pennsylvania, had played racked up just 10 tackles in the 2015 season as a reserve after redshirting his first season in Columbus. After three years of development, Hooker was the second OSU player to hear his name called in the 2017 NFL draft after Marshon Lattimore was drafted with the 11th overall pick by the New Orleans Saints.Hooker racked up 74 tackles during the 2016 season. His high of 14 tackles came during OSU’s 24-20 win over Northwestern.The Colts last season were frequently victimized through the air last season, surrendering the sixth-most passing yards allowed (4200) and tied for the 10th-most passing touchdowns allowed (27). By adding Hooker, who was tied for third among Division I schools with seven interceptions and the most returned for a touchdown (three), the Colts are looking to improve their ball-hawking ability after they finished tied for second with the fewest interceptions in the NFL last season (eight).Hooker’s likely debut as a pro will come on Sept. 10 when the Colts travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the first week of the 2017 NFL season. read more

Football Ohio State lands 2018 fourstar Toledo linebacker Dallas Gant

Ohio State reeled in its 10th member of its 2018 football recruiting class when four-star linebacker Dallas Gant announced his commitment to the Buckeyes Tuesday afternoon at St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio.Gant is the 126th-best prospect in the country, according to 247Sports. He is rated as the fourth-best player in the state of Ohio and the fifth-best at his position in the country. Gant is the second-lowest ranked prospect of OSU’s ten commits, according to the recruiting service.The Toledo native is the first of his position in his class to commit to OSU. He is the second in-state prospect to commit to the Buckeyes, following running back Jaelen Gill, a Westerville, Ohio native.OSU’s 2018 class is led by two five-star prospects, quarterback Emory Jones and defensive tackle Taron Vincent. Cmmitted pic.twitter.com/06R86sDhc1— Dallas Gant (@dallas_gant) May 16, 2017 read more

Football Wide receiver Cameron Brown signs with Ohio State

Ohio State picked up only its second wide receiver commitment of its 2018 class after Cameron Brown announced he had faxed in his letter of intent with the Buckeyes Wednesday afternoon.The four-star wide receiver had previously been committed to Nebraska, but flipped his commitment on Early Signing Day. He joins Kamryn Babb as the only wide receiver in Ohio State’s class, though L’Christian Smith is likely to become a wide receiver despite being listed as an athlete.The St. Louis native is ranked as the No. 339 recruit in the nation according to the 247Sports composite rankings. The rankings aggregator also has him pegged as the No. 58 recruit at his position and No. 6 in the state of Missouri.

How a smile in your pocket could help ease depression and anxiety

first_imgScientists now believe that emotions and expressions happen at exactly the same time, so triggering one automatically activates the other. It therefore follows, that smiling, or seeing a smile, even when you don’t feel happy could stimulate happy thoughts, or vice versa. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Elkin said: “We know that smiling is contagious. But is the emotion also contagious? Is happiness contagious as well? That’s what we want to find out.“If you see someone smiling and you consciously try not to smile back at all, and keep a very neutral face, it quickly becomes awkward. Mimicry is inbuilt within is.”The scientists are hoping that thousands of people will sign up to the PocketSmile which takes 20 days. Participants are initially asked about their levels of happiness and depression before being sent images of smiling faces for 10 days and then landscapes for 10 days as a control. It is said that when you smile, the world smiles with you and now neuroscientists are putting the time-worn adage to the test.A new project by University College London is aiming to find out if simply looking at a smiling face could help ease depression and anxiety.Javier Elkin and Dr Parashkev Nachev have developed a new app called PocketSmile which sends a grinning image to smartphones throughout the day in the hope it could actually cheer people up.It follows recent research which suggests that when people see someone smiling, their own smile muscles cannot help but also switch on. The emotion appears to be contagious and it is virtually impossible to avoid mimicking the expression. The PocketSmile app  Javier Elkin center_img The PocketSmile app  The contagion of emotional states is a fundamental feature of human beings. The brain is constantly trying to predict what is going to happen next.Professor Parashkev Nachev If the app is found to have a beneficial effect on mood it could be used as a stop-gap for depressed people while they wait to be referred for therapy, following an initial diagnosis of anxiety of depression.“It is a nudge intervention,” added Mr Elkin.  “Obviously it’s not for people who are severely in need, it’s not supposed to tackle major depression. But if it works the long term goal will be to give people the app while they are waiting for their referral to a professional, because it may take up to two months before they see someone.“This might be able to help them sustain themselves until they can get a referral.”Scientists say emotions and facial expressions act like a ‘push-pull’ effect. If you block a negative emotion, a positive effect comes out.However blocking positive emotions can have the reverse action. Prof Nachev has worked with patients who have complete facial paralysis and it paralyses their emotions.Dr Nachev said: “The reality is an emotion and its expression go hand in hand. So if you alter the expression you may well alter the emotions. The crucial point is that the expression might have an effect on the mood because it runs in parallel, it’s not secondary. The two are tied together.“Not only is having, or inducing a facial expression oneself potentially helpful at changing mood, it’s also the case that you can induce it simply by viewing another face.”It is thought that humans mimic each other to help bonding and also to stay alive. Canned laughter is used in comedies to induce the same response and make jokes sound funnier. In contrast, if you see fear in someone’s face it makes sense to be frightened because whatever is endangering them, could also endanger you.“The contagion of emotional states is a fundamental feature of human beings, added Dr Nachev.“The brain is constantly trying to predict what is going to happen next.”In the future the team hope to work on projects which could alter the sound of the voice to make is sound less anxious, or create an avatar of a person in which they look calmer.“The obvious application for this is call-centre where you can make voices soothing both for yourself and for the other listeners, so even though the call-centre worker is really annoyed or angry he founds perfectly soothing,” added Pro Nachev.“Then we move to the realm of avatars and the idea is we form some kind of reasonably compelling digital representation of yourself which becomes a distorted digital mirror in a way that is beneficial to you.“This isn’t about misrepresenting you to the outside world but it’s about recalibrating the way you think about yourself so as to improve the way we can relate to ourselves.”To take part in the project download the app here  Javier Elkin last_img read more

GP put £1 in exgirlfriends bank account as part of revenge campaign

first_imgA doctor faces being banned from treating patients after putting £1 in his ex-girlfriend’s bank account in a revenge campaign after he lost job for attacking her, a tribunal heard.Dr William Fleming, 30, had been suspended from practising medicine after he got drunk and repeatedly struck his victim when he discovered they were splitting up.But although a disciplinary panel lifted the suspension after just 18 months, Fleming harboured “feelings of loss, anger and resentment” and within two weeks of being allowed back to work, menaced the same woman again over the internet, the hearing was told.He ignored a three-year restraining order banning him from contacting the woman and began following her on the social media site Pinterest, it was said.The unnamed woman – known as Ms A – tried to block him, but police were called when Fleming who had kept his ex-girlfriend’s online bank details, deposited £1 into her account.It emerged in the preceding months when he was battling to get his job back that Fleming posted 18 messages to the woman’s sister on Facebook warning he would “make it his mission to seek revenge”.He added: “Your sibling owes me at least £300… lucky I’m a nice guy and won’t press charges. I want a communication from your sister, at least an apology.”In a statement, Ms A said: “The attack I experienced was very unpleasant. I just want nothing to do with him. I spent a lot of time upset after the assault. I suffered nightmares and don’t want to bring this all back – it’s bad enough him contacting me.” The victim who lived near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, suffered head injuries plus bruising to her arms and legs and suffered scrape injuries to her hands. She later said she shocked at being attacked “so violently and viciously.”In October 2013, Fleming – who blamed a “loss of control whilst under the influence of alcohol” – was given an 18-week suspended prison term and ordered to pay his ex girlfriend £1,000 compensation by Scarborough magistrates after he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.The following July the doctor was suspended from practise for 12 months after he said he had attended anger management classes and a course on domestic violence.Hoping he would be back at work after a year, Fleming compiled a portfolio of reports for the British Medical Journal, attended medical events and was offered a post as a Clinical Fellow in Emergency Medicine.But in July 2015, when he tried to get his job back, a second disciplinary panel extended his suspension by a further six months when it emerged he had previously been given a police fixed penalty notice for vandalising a road sign in a fit of rage during a night out with friends in 2010. 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 suspension was eventually lifted on January 27 last year after the doctor wrote “reflective essays” acknowledging the consequences of his actions.Fleming, of York, appeared before Bexley magistrates in south London in June 2016 and pleaded guilty to three charges of harassment. He was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 24 months and a new restraining order was taken out against him.He is now battling to avoid being struck off. The MPTS hearing continues. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester was told the harassment arose out of a vicious attack upon Ms A in 2013 in which Fleming grabbed a wooden handled hammer and began attacking the victim after their romance broke down.During the beating, Fleming hit the woman on various parts of her body in her lounge before trying to break down her bathroom door as she cowered inside.last_img read more

Four candles tribute to Ronnie Corbett in touching Westminster Abbey service

first_imgAnne Corbett, wearing her husband’s CBE, emerges from the Abbey after the serviceCredit: Geoff Pugh Comedy star Rob Brydon became tearful as he recalled his friendship and golfing partnership with Corbett.He described how Corbett helped him overcome his nerves when he heard him laugh, “out there in the darkness”, with that “unmistakable, beautiful voice” while on stage early in his career in Croydon “living the dream”.The pair became firm friends after Corbett visited Brydon backstage.”In these horribly dark and troubled times he’s brought us all together … We will never forget you,” he said.”One of the great pleasures of my life was to walk down the street with Ronnie Corbett and witness … wonderful faces which would light up with joy when they saw him.” Four candles during the Service of Thanksgiving Wellwishers join Mrs Corbett outside the Abbey Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley and Ben Elton Sarah Ferguson Four candles, after a procession through the Abbey, were laid out behind the chair in an “oblique” reference to the duo’s famous sketch.The joke, as well as the class satire, which debuted on The Frost Report, and Mastermind skit were played to the congregation.Fans heard Corbett and comedy partner Ronnie Barker’s famous sign-off: “It’s goodnight from me … and it’s goodnight from him.” Stars and fans have paid tribute to 5ft 1in comedy giant Ronnie Corbett at Westminster Abbey with four candles, referencing the famous sketch, placed “centre stage”.Dame Barbara Windsor, actress Joanna Lumley, comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, Stephen Fry, Ben Elton, Graham Norton, David Walliams and Sir Bruce Forsyth’s wife Lady Wilnelia Forsyth attended the packed service of thanksgiving.Corbett’s trademark armchair, from which he would deliver his monologue on The Two Ronnies, was placed in the Abbey in his memory. David Walliams with his mother arrive for the service Credit: Geoff Pugh He said he once told Corbett when they were meeting the Queen: “Don’t bow too low or she won’t be able to see you”, adding: “He told me to go away.” Wellwishers join Mrs Corbett outside the AbbeyCredit:Geoff Pugh Comedian Tarbuck gave a moving tribute to the entertainer, who died in March last year aged 85, saying: “Ronnie was a poet of comedy and when a poet dies he leaves us with the laughter.”Despite his short stature, the pint-sized star was “10ft in comedic talent”, he added.He joked that before his rise to fame, when Corbett was an RAF officer, “he got his uniform from Mothercare”. David Walliams with his mother arrive for the service  Anne Corbett, wearing her husband's CBE, emerges from the Abbey after the service Anne Hart, Corbett’s widow, was at the service, while actress Penelope Keith represented the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duchess of York represented the Duke of York. Sarah Ferguson at Westminster AbbeyCredit: Geoff Pugh “They were at the top of the tree. They always left me in stitches and gasps of admiration.”She said of the service: “He would be absolutely delighted and amazed.”Tarbuck added: “I think he would have loved to be here. He loved a party…. I’m very honoured to be here.”Broadcaster Nicholas Parsons said: “It’s lovely that someone who was so loved should be remembered in this amazing building. Four candles during the Service of ThanksgivingCredit:Yui Mok/PA Wire Music was played by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Abbey choir.Corbett became a household name as part of The Two Ronnies, with the late Barker.The show, which pulled in up to 22 million viewers and was famous for its four candles sketch, ran for 16 years on the BBC.Before the service began, Dame Barbara said: “He was very special. And we had a lot in common. We were both little.”He always knew his lines and was there on time. He was very professional….He was a breath of fresh air.”Lumley said: “The Two Ronnies were as good as it gets. “It is iconic and he was an iconic performer.”Former BBC executive James Moir described Corbett as a “comedy alchemist, who lifted the word from the page and transformed it into echoing, golden laughter”. He told the congregation he wanted to give his friend the knighthood he did not receive in life.”He never received a knighthood and I could never understand why,” Tarbuck said.”I’m taking the opportunity to make him a knight. All those in favour say ‘aye’.”The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster gave thanks to the “comic genius that gave immeasurable joy to countless people” at the packed service.He recalled Corbett’s “brilliant comic timing, the twinkle in the eye” and “the richness in the voice”. Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley and Ben EltonCredit: Geoff Pugh 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

Duchess of Cornwall to take on new role as she celebrates her 70th

first_img“Research shows that a person over the age of 50 is five times more likely to be made redundant, and eight times less likely  to find alternative employment than a person 18 – 30  age group,” he said.”That’s the extraordinary thing. People very often think it’s the other way round.” Mario Testino also took this picture following Princess Charlotte’s baptismCredit:Mario Testino/PA Wire Duchess of Cambridge The Royal couple are pictured together in a new portrait, marking the Duchess’ 70th birthday.They were photographed by Mario Testino in the morning room at Clarence House during a shoot in May, looking relaxed and happy as they smile for the camera side-by-side.The Duchess is captured for posterity in a navy blue dress coat with white embroidery by Fiona Clare, while the Prince wears a coordinating dark blue suit, shirt and tie.Testino paid tribute to the Duchess, describing her as “a kind and beautiful person with a wonderful sense of humour” after working with her again. 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. As the Duchess of Cornwall celebrates her 70th birthday, she could well be forgiven for occasionally putting her feet up like the majority of her retired contemporaries. Not much chance of that, it appears, as it is announced she is to take on a new patronage championing older people.In addition to some 90 charities and organisations she already represents, the Duchess will also lend her experience to a helpline to combat loneliness in older age.She joins the Prince of Wales in becoming an influential voice for older people, after he last week spoke out for the forgotten would-be workers aged over 50 who struggle unnoticed to find employment. A fellow party guest Dame Esther Rantzen has announced the Duchess is to be patron of her charity The Silver Line, with her 70th birthday placing her in the perfect position to help.Dame Esther said: “The Duchess has an understanding and empathy for older people who are so often forgotten and undervalued in today’s busy world.  “She cares about them, and values them as we do.”The Prince, too, has recently used his platform to speak up for older people, presenting awards to entrepreneurs over 50 during a visit to Wales last week.Speaking at Prime Cymru, the Prince’s initiative for “mature enterprise”, he told an audience that the difficulties faced by older workers are too often forgotten. Mario Testino also took this picture following Princess Charlotte's baptism To mark HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s 70th Birthday, we are releasing this new portrait, taken by @MarioTestino. pic.twitter.com/tD05etWVl8— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) July 16, 2017 Highgrove House The Duchess is understood to be celebrating at HighgroveCredit:Chris Jackson/Getty The photographer was among several hundred guests invited to a Clarence House garden reception to acknowledge those the Duchess works with, from former Royal household staff to charity leaders. Referring to the Prince’s Trust, which supports young people in finding careers, he added: “What I am very pleased about is to be able to help with both ends of the spectrum, if you know what I mean.”Frequently people don’t realise the over-50s are in these difficult situations. Bespoke services for the 50+ age group, to assist with addressing their often multiple barriers, is not always so easy to find.”Which is another reason, ladies and gentlemen, why Prime Cymru I think is of such importance.” The Prince and Duchess are understood to be celebrating her birthday privately with family, following a party at Highgrove for friends on Saturday night.Though most women her age have long retired, there is no expectation in Royal circles that the Duchess will change her workload following the landmark birthday, continuing charity work in areas including children’s literacy, women’s empowerment and cancer care.Her portfolio of charities will remain around the same size in the foreseeable future, a Royal source confirmed, with no sense of slowing down as she aids the Prince in his public duties. Both will join the wider Royal family in supporting the Queen and representing her in public engagements as the Duke of Edinburgh retires in the autumn. The Duchess of Cambridge is turning 70Credit:Chris Jackson /Gettylast_img read more

Exsoldier held in Turkey on terror charges is innocent parents insist

first_imgA British solider arrested on holiday for fighting Isil was only in Syria “to help people”, his parents have claimed, as they appealed for his release.Joe Robinson, 24, from Accrington, Lancs, was arrested on 22 July while on holiday in the town of Didim in south-west Turkey.He was accused of “being a member of a terrorist organisation”, apparently in connection with time he spent in Syria fighting with the Kurdish militia in 2014, and was initially held alongside his girlfriend and her mother. Joseph Robinson Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “He’s only just managed to get an English-speaking solicitor after more than a week in custody.”Robinson’s solicitor, Kaya Kayaoglu, who visited Robinson on Tuesday, told the BBC he was in jail in the town of Aydin, western Turkey. Joseph Robinson “He looked fine and in good spirits but we do not know when he will be taken to court,” he said, adding that it could take months for prosecutors to write an indictment.Robinson’s girlfriend, Mira Rojkan, 22, said: “We were still wet and in our towels when about 20 armed plain-clothed police surrounded us and took us inside the house we were staying in.“They searched the house for more than an hour but found nothing except a water pistol we’d been messing around with the day before.“It was just awful. They said someone had sent them an email saying we were terrorists about to do something in Turkey. “That is complete rubbish. They said pictures on Facebook of Joe in Kurdish uniform proved he is a terrorist.”Sharon Robinson insisted her son was “not capable of anything like that”.“He’s impulsive, he’s crackers, but he’s not that. He’s a really good lad.”A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of the detention of a British national in Turkey and have requested consular access.” Joseph RobinsonCredit:Facebook They were released after six days, but Robinson remains in custody.“I just want information,” his mother, Sharon, 48, told the Guardian.“We don’t know if there’s a court date, how he is coping or what he’s actually being charged with.”I’ve asked if there’s any way we can get in touch with him but I’ve heard nothing at all.”I had no idea about the situation in Turkey and I don’t think Joe did either, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone there on holiday.”Robinson’s father Andrew, 53, added: “We can’t get anywhere. I’m ringing Turkey and getting no response.”It’s not the Foreign Office’s fault – they’re ringing Turkey and Turkey aren’t telling them anything. Joseph RobinsonCredit:Facebooklast_img read more

Britains youngest councillor is found dead aged 21

first_imgBritain’s youngest councillor – a Conservative youth leader who had a “bright future” in politics – has been found dead at her university accommodation.Clarissa Slade, 21, who was 18 when she was elected to Mid Devon district council and to Tiverton town council, was found in bed by one of her housemates on Monday morning. Her parents, who are also both Conservative councillors in the area, are said to be in “shock” at the news of her death, which is being treated as unexplained. Colin Slade, her father, said: “We are still pretty much in the dark as to the circumstances and we are waiting for the coroner.”She had a bright future ahead, she was very keen on politics and she was a very bright young councillor, the youngest in the country when she was elected.”She was looking to possibly pursue a career in politics. She was very active in the Conservative Party.” She was found in bed by one of her housemates in her student accommodation on Monday Morning. Ms Slade was elected to Mid Devon District Council and Tiverton Town Council in May 2015  at the age of 18 years, 2 months, 1 week and 6 days – making her the youngest councillor in Britain at the time. Her mother, Elizabeth, was elected the same year and her father was re-elected. At the time Ms Slade it was a “shock” that the three of them had been so successful at the polls. Later that year she moved to Winchester to begin her Classical Studies course, but with the support of her fellow councillors said that she had “no intention” of resigning her seat and would continue representing the  ward.  The third year classics student at Winchester University had been born with a heart defect and though doctors had told her she could live a normal life she had in recent weeks and had complained of pains and attended hospital. Doctors found no cause for alarm, it is understood.Cllr Slade said: “It is such a shock. She was due to come back to visit yesterday and the first thing we knew was when she was not on the train. ” Ms Slade was a leading light in the Conservative youth movement and had been the chair of Devon Conservative Future at the age of 16.Her social media profiles contain photographs of her alongside Theresa May, the Prime Minister, Sajid Javid and Jacob Rees-Mogg and she had been due to carry out work experience at the Westminster office of her  her local Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish. Clarissa Slade with Theresa May  Clarissa Slade was born with a heart defect  Clarissa Slade with her father and fellow Conservative councillor Colin Slade  Clarissa Slade was born with a heart defect  Police are currently treating her as unexplained and a post mortem is yet to take place. Cllr @ClarissaELSlade with Jacob Rees-Mogg at Party Conference #cpc2017 pic.twitter.com/d8o76TfZY6— MidDevonConservative (@MDTories2015) October 2, 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. Clarissa Slade with Theresa May Stephen Walford, Mid Devon District Council’s chief executive, told Devon Live: “Sadly I was informed last night that a serving member of our council, Clarissa Slade, had passed away suddenly yesterday. “This is clearly a great shock to everyone at the council and will affect all those who worked with Clarissa and the community she served.”Clive Eginton, leader of Mid Devon District Council said: “The devastating news regarding the sudden passing of Cllr Clarissa Slade has been deeply felt by myself, fellow councillors and officers across Mid Devon District Council.  “As our youngest ever elected councillor, Clarissa worked hard for her residents in Cranmore ward and also participated across the town in a whole in a variety of events.  “On the national stage she had also made her mark with her involvement in youth politics.”Clarissa had an endearing personality to all those who knew her well, and we will miss her enormously. “Our thoughts at this time are with Clarissa’s parents Colin and Elizabeth.” Clarissa Slade with her father and fellow Conservative councillor Colin Slade last_img read more

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