Josh Smith, the enigmatic but immensely talented small forward from Atlanta, skipped the team he grew up watching, signing a four-year, $56-million contract offer from the Detroit Pistons.While Smith reportedly considered rejoining the Hawks, he chose Detroit over Houston and his hometown team with whom he has had a sometimes-turbulent run over nine years.Certainly Smith was impressed that the Pistons made him their primary target, meeting with him one minute after midnight last week, when free agent discussion could begin. He cannot sign the new deal until July 10.A former NBA slam-dunk champion with dynamic athleticism, averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Hawks last season.But his time was marked by surly behavior at times, run-ins with coaches, questionable effort and a penchant for firing up three-point shots that puzzled fans and the organization because his perimeter game is average.Smith will be playing for new coach Maurice Cheeks, who replaces fired Lawrence Frank. Detroit has not made the playoffs in four years, and while the addition of Smith should inject some excitement within the franchise, the Pistons remain a young team.Smith, 27, will start at small forward alongside 20-year-old center Andre Drummond and power forward Greg Monroe, who is 23. And the team’s backcourt likely will be second-year player Brandon Knight and rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the eight pick in the recent NBA Draft.For Smith, the change of teams could take his career to another level. He will be the most talented player on the Pistons, and will be relied on to score points in bunches. He will have to continue to be a solid rebounder and shot-blocker, while either becoming a more reliable shooter from deep or minimizing the number of jump shots beyond 15 feet that he takes.The Hawks plugged in Paul Millsaps, a hard-working, rugged forward who had some good years in Utah playing a relatively limited role.
OSU freshman forward Dakota Joshua (8) scores the game-winning goal in a shootout against Michigan on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Sports EditorThe Ohio State men’s hockey team will look to recover from Sunday’s loss to Michigan against the No. 14 Penn State Nittany Lions when the teams face off in back-to-back matches at the Schottenstein Center over the weekend.The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.The Buckeyes (6-12-2, 1-3-2) and Penn State (15-4-3, 5-1-0) are meeting for the first time this season. Last time out a season ago, the Scarlet and Gray took down Guy Gadowsky’s men by a score of 3-1 in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, ending Penn State’s season in the Big Ten tournament.Penn State finished off a two-game sweep of Wisconsin last Saturday. Junior forward David Goodwin is likely to keep the Buckeyes’ defense on its toes as he leads the Nittany Lions in points with 21, including 15 assists.Penn State is one of the nation’s leaders in shots on goal with 981, and it is also quite efficient at putting it in the net — the Nittany Lions have 13 players with at least 12 points this season, and each player who has made more than one appearance on the year has at least one point.“Penn State, I mean, you can see what they do. They’re as good as anybody, compete as hard as anybody,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “They’re shooting pucks from the bus and they’re going on the net. We’ve just got to be disciplined, we’ve got to be good defensively and take advantage of our chances.”Magic MasonOSU will be looking for its breakout freshman forward, Mason Jobst, to continue his high-flying performances. Jobst was named the Big Ten’s third star of the week on Tuesday in recognition of his performances last weekend against Michigan.Jobst has a career-high four points in Friday’s encounter in Columbus, and followed it up with three points in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He assisted senior forward Anthony Greco off a faceoff in Game 1 at the Schottenstein Center for the tying goal with 6.7 seconds left in regulation.Even after the breakout weekend, however, the freshman said he already has his mind set on Friday’s match with the Nittany Lions.“(Michigan and Penn State) are totally two different styles,” Jobst said. “A few adjustments have been made in practice but not a whole lot. Just mainly focus on what we’ve got to do and just pay attention to their tendencies and just keep doing what we’ve been doing.”OSU freshman forward Mason Jobst (26) celebrates with the bench in a game against Michigan on Jan. 15 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won in a shootout. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Sports EditorThe seven points extended Jobst’s point streak to six games, and he has three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in the stretch. He is second among Big Ten rookies with 19 points, from five goals and 14 assists this season, and is seventh in the NCAA among rookies with 1.00 points per game.“He’s always brought that energy this year,” Rohlik said. “Somehow right now he’s finding the back of the net and making some plays. He’s certainly an energy guy, he’s going to continue to bring that, but that’s what the expectations are, and he would tell you that.”“Next man standing”After the final whistle on Sunday at Yost Ice Arena, the bad blood between OSU and Michigan boiled over, and multiple players on both sides were involved in an on-ice clash. On Tuesday, the Big Ten announced a series of suspensions as a result of the altercation.Two freshmen forwards, Dakota Joshua and Brendon Kearney, were issued major penalties and received one-game disqualifications. Joshua received his penalty for facemasking, while Kearney received his for fighting.“Well, we’re going to have a lot of guys step up. Those two guys will be out, Kearney and Dakota,” Rohlik said. “I mean, next man standing, we got to have two more guys step up and be good teammates for us.”The players, such as senior defenseman and co-captain Craig Dalrymple, said they believe whoever on the roster is asked to fill the void will do so to the best of his ability.“Pretty much a ‘next man up’ mentality. Things happen at the end of the game. It was kind of interesting, but to see two guys get suspended, you never like to see that,” Dalrymple said. “Everyone will just step up, and whoever’s name is called to play will play, and we’re excited for Friday.”Joshua scored the shootout-winning goal in Friday’s game against the Wolverines, and the Buckeyes’ first goal in Sunday’s match.Up nextOSU is set to play the second of its three-weekend homestand on Jan. 29 and 30 against Michigan State. The puck is scheduled to drop at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, at the Schottenstein Center.
Because of Ohio State’s convincing defeat of Indiana on Saturday, coupled with Alabama’s loss at South Carolina, the Buckeyes head to Wisconsin this weekend with the No. 1 ranking in the nation. Despite the hype the top ranking creates, OSU coach Jim Tressel said Tuesday that Wisconsin is going to come prepared. “They were going to be ready if we were 15th,” Tressel said. “I don’t know that that will change their readiness. What’s most critical is our readiness and our preparation and how we handle the adversity.” Although Tressel said the ranking won’t change things in Wisconsin, senior defensive end Cameron Heyward said the ranking could present a more difficult challenge. “We always just want to be No. 2, then we just go under the radar,” Heyward said. “No one expects No. 2 to do everything, but when you’re at No. 1, everyone is looking for you to fall … We look forward to just proving them wrong.” Injury report After adding another dimension to the Buckeye offense with his strong play to open the season, tight end Jake Stoneburner has missed the last two games after spraining an ankle against Eastern Michigan. However, Tressel said there is a chance the junior could return to the lineup Saturday. “He was back doing individual drills on Sunday night,” Tressel said. “I’m told that he is probable, but that was said cautiously.” Offensive lineman J.B. Shugarts missed part of the Indiana game with lingering foot problems. Tressel said it is something Shugarts will deal with all year but said he expects Shugarts to be ready to go this weekend. Pryor continues to impress Even with his legs being a non-factor against Indiana, Terrelle Pryor continued to prove he is developing into a precision passer. Setting a personal best through the air with 334 yards and 24 completions, Pryor earned both Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week and team Player of the Week honors. And after another week to rest his quadriceps strain, Pryor is ready to run, Tressel said. “We feel going into every game that we need the two-way threat because sometimes the best decision that a quarterback makes is to tuck it and take off,” Tressel said. “It just so happens when he tucks it and takes off, it could be 60 (yards). So that’s huge to us, having that ability.” Battle in the trenches Wisconsin typically possesses one of the premiere offensive lines in the country. Tressel said that this week, winning the battle in the trenches is of utmost importance. “Every game is won there,” Tressel said. “The trenches are where it will be. Run game certainly, pass protection, for sure, both sides. That’s where the game is won and lost.” Heyward echoed his coach’s sentiments and said going up against Wisconsin’s offensive line will be no easy task. “I think Miami (Fla.) was a great offensive line as well, and there’s a couple teams that have a couple good players on the offensive line, but I think this is the most complete,” Heyward said. “They run so hard and finish blocks very well. They’re some trees and they get so much push, it’s going to be critical for us to keep up the line of scrimmage on our side.” Physical game With both Dan Herron and Dane Sanzenbacher suffering concussions during their last trip to Camp Randall, the Buckeyes are well-aware of the level of physicality to expect. “It’s a physical game,” Tressel said of OSU–Wisconsin meetings. “That’s the way Wisconsin plays and that’s why they’re good … They’ve got good intention to smack you.” Going for BCS No. 1 The Buckeyes might be ranked No. 1 in the polls, but projected BCS rankings have OSU at No. 5. Heyward said the team isn’t concerned. “I think every week is a chance,” he said. “We have so many opponents left on our schedule. No matter what the ranking is, it’s not even an upset or anything, it’s just Big Ten football. We know every opponent is going to give us their best shot, and every week we have to prove to everybody that we deserve that ranking.”
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer’s success on the recruiting trail keeps on coming. Quarterback prospect J.T. Barrett, out of Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas orally committed Wednesday to play for OSU after he graduates from high school in 2013. During his junior year, Barrett completed 102 of 171 passes for 1,605 yards, as he threw for 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Barrett also contributed 1,521 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. OSU’s 10th commitment of the class stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 209 pounds. Recruiting website Rivals.com ranked Barrett as a four-star recruit and the No. 134 overall player in the 2013 class. The site also ranked him as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback. Barrett narrowed his choices down to OSU, LSU, Texas Tech and Nebraska in March before finally committing to OSU. As Meyer’s first quarterback signee, Barrett is expected to compete with 2012 signee Cardale Jones to eventually replace current sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. Meyer has had his fair share of success at recruiting the quarterback position, signing notable players such as Heisman Trophy winners, Tim Tebow and Cam Newton (transferred to Auburn University) while coaching at the University of Florida.
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 in Minneapolis. OSU won, 31-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorOhio State redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett set three program records against Minnesota on Saturday, then tied a Big Ten mark Monday.The conference announced Monday morning that Barrett had been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this season, tying former Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase who won the award six times in 2010.The Rider High School product set school records for the longest run by a quarterback (86 yards), the most single game rushing yards by a quarterback (189 yards) and the most total touchdowns in a season (37) during the Buckeyes’ 31-24 win against the Golden Gophers. Currently injured senior quarterback Braxton Miller previously held all three records.Against Minnesota, Barrett finished 15 of 25 on pass attempts for 200 yards and racked up 189 yards of total offense to go with four total touchdowns. His third-quarter scoring toss to redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas gave him the total touchdowns records, while a first-quarter 86-yard touchdown run moved him past Miller’s old mark of 81 yards.A fourth-quarter touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Evan Spencer also moved the Wichita Falls, Texas, native within one of Troy Smith’s school record of 30 touchdown passes in a season, set during his Heisman Trophy winning season in 2006.On top of his six freshman of the week awards, Barrett has also earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors three times.Through 10 games as the starter, Barrett has totaled 2,356 passing yards and 29 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions. He’s also second on the team with 771 rushing yards and first among OSU players with nine rushing touchdowns.Barrett and the Buckeyes are scheduled to return to the field on Saturday against Indiana at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.
Royal sources said that trend would continue in 2017 as they help to lighten the workload for the Queen, who will be 91 in April, and the Duke of Edinburgh, who will be 96 in June.“They want to be in a position that when they are asked to do more, they are in a position to say yes,” said one insider. An added factor is that the Duke’s two-year piloting contract comes to an end in March, and he will have to decide before then whether he is able to sign on for another lengthy period.One likely scenario is that he will continue working for East Anglian Air Ambulance until the summer, even though his contract with Bond Air Services expires in March.The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry have carried out more engagements this year than in 2015. Since they became parents three years ago, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have turned Anmer Hall in Norfolk into their perfect family home, offering a “normal” childhood for Prince George and Princess Charlotte away from prying eyes.In 2017, however, they are expected to leave it behind after deciding Prince George should be schooled in London and that Kensington Palace should be their full-time base.The Duke and Duchess are also ready to step up their royal duties, with the Duke contemplating giving up his career as a helicopter pilot to take up a full-time public role.Sources close to the couple have said they are committed to expanding their own Royal Foundation charity by giving more time to pet causes including mental health.They have told friends they expect 2017 to be a milestone year, in which they settle into roles that will last until they become king and queen. 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 Prince of Wales wants a slimmed-down monarchy and that will also have an effect in terms of the number of duties carried out by each of the core members.“Also their ambition for their charitable side is increasing. The impact of the Heads Together mental health campaign, in particular, is making them want to be more active on the issues they care most about.”Before Christmas the Queen passed on her patronages of 25 organisations to members of the Royal family including the Duke and Duchess.The Duchess has become patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon and the Duke is patron of the Welsh Rugby Union, among other groups. A source said: “The Duke, in particular, has a lot of thinking to do over the Christmas and New Year period.“He has his job as an Air Ambulance pilot, which he enjoys very much, but he also wants to take on more royal duties, as does the Duchess. “Decisions about schooling and nurseries are all part of that.” The Duke and Duchess are understood to have put Prince George’s name down for £6,500-a-term Wetherby School in London, the pre-prep school attended by the young Princes William and Harry.Officially, they have made no final decision on schooling, but the Duchess is said to be privately resigned to moving back to London. They want to be in a position that when they are asked to do more, they are able to say yes Anmer Hall in NorfolkCredit:Rex
Miss Hyndman was admitted to hospital on May 16, 2010 with stomach pains and had become jaundiced. Despite emergency surgery, she died the next day.Asked by the area coroner, Jonathan Leach, if he thought it was more likely the fall or an assault that caused Miss Hyndman’s death, Prof Johnson said: “I do not think with the state of the injuries it’s really possible to say one way or another.”The inquest continues. But giving evidence on the first day of a British inquest into her death, Prof Colin Johnson – a consultant surgeon and a specialist on the pancreas – said a fall while out drinking with friends 11 days before she died might have triggered her deteriorating health.Witnesses claimed Miss Hyndman, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, had a bottle in one hand while her left hand was in her belt as she adjusted her clothing, and so fell straight “like a plank” without putting her hands out in front of her.Prof Johnson claimed that her left fist caught in her belt could have been enough to cause the damage to her pancreas, which eventually caused multiple organ failure.He told Wakefield Coroner’s Court: “In the case of someone who is drunk and the abdominal muscles relaxing, falling on the fist is sufficient to suppress the pancreas and cause the injury. Falling in the way described is sufficient.” Chelsea Hyndman with her boyfriend Luke WalkerCredit:SWNS.com Chelsea Hyndman died in hospital in May 2010Credit:SWNS.com A British woman whose boyfriend was convicted over her death while she was working in Crete could have been fatally injured when she fell on her fist 11 days before her death, an inquest heard.Chelsea Hyndman, 20, fell straight “like a plank” while out drinking with friends on the Greek island with a hand in her belt and it might have caused damage to her pancreas that later caused multiple organ failure, a coroner was told.She died from severe abdominal injuries in May 2010 and her long-term boyfriend, Luke Walker, from the West Midlands, was initially charged with her murder.During a trial in May 2013, the charge was reduced to grievous bodily harm leading to Miss Hyndman’s death, of which he was convicted last year and given a three-year suspended sentence by a court in Crete. 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 family bought sandwiches as well as the cushions, and created a comfortable area.Mancunians have set up a Facebook group which organises food and blanket drop-offs for local homeless people, and many people in that group are incensed about the spikes.Ms Platt said: “I know they won’t last and I knew they’ll get wet, but the people who manage that building need to know how to treat people.”Pall Mall Medical, which rents the building, said they did not have any involvement in erecting the spikes.The company said on Twitter: “This decision was made fully without our consent or involvement.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A Mancunian mother was angry that spikes had been erected in Manchester city centre to deter homeless people from sleeping in the shelter of buildings at night.So, she took action; recruiting her sons – George, 11, and Sam, 10, -to go to Primark with her to buy cushions and create a cosy place for people without a home to sleep.She told the BBC: “This is not the Mancunian thing, it’s not how we treat people”.Mrs Platt, who is an estate agent, said: “The building owners are treating human beings like pigeons.”I woke up on Sunday morning with a right bee in my bonnet and had to do something.” Credit:Jennie Platt/Facebook
An anonymous note left on a vending machine at a cancer hospital offering free treats to patients and staff has gone viral.The note was found on the machine at The Christie hospital in Manchester, revealing the snacks had already been paid for. Lauren Hunstone, health care assistant at The Christie, who was one of the first to discover the contents of the vending machine, said “it left everyone buzzing”. “The bottom of the vending machine was absolutely full of chocolate, crisps, cereal bars and snacks. It really perked up everyone’s day to realise that someone had randomly done something so lovely and kind out of the goodness of their heart and not wanting to take any thanks.“It made all the nurses on our ward feel so happy and we were all beaming for the rest of the day. To whoever did this amazing random act of kindness, I’d like to say a huge thank you.”Meanwhile, last year a mother left this unexpected note for thieves who broke into her car.And this pub wrote the perfect sign to noisy regulars about waking the neighbours. Lauren Hunstone, health care assistant at The ChristieCredit:Provided 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 note in full Credit:Provided “Please find a variety of snacks in the bottom of this machine that have been paid for,” it said. “I simply wanted to perform some random act of kindness to try and brighten up someone’s day.“Hopefully there will be something in there for you to enjoy.“Finally, if you can, try and spread the kindness.”
Mr Gates will say in his speech that most of the things needed to protect against a naturally occurring pandemic are the same things needed to prepare for an intentional biological attack.Nations must amass an arsenal of new weapons to fight such a disease outbreak, including vaccines, drugs and diagnostic techniques.Being able to develop a vaccine as soon as possible against a new outbreak is particularly important and could save huge numbers of lives, scientists working at his foundation believe.It typically takes up to a decade to develop and license a new vaccine. To halt a deadly airborne disease outbreak, that would need to be cut to as little as 90 days. The increasingly common use of gene editing technology would make it difficult to spot any potential terrorist conspiracy. Technologies which have made it easy to read DNA sequences and tinker with them to rewrite or tweak genes have many legitimate uses.He said: “It’s not like when someone says, ‘Hey I’d like some Plutonium’ and you start saying ‘Hmmm.. I wonder why he wants Plutonium?’”Mr Gates said the potential death toll from a disease outbreak could be higher than other threats such as climate change or nuclear war.He said: “This is like earthquakes, you should think in order of magnitudes. If you can kill 10 people that’s a one, 100 people that’s a two… Bioterrorism is the thing that can give you not just sixes, but sevens, eights and nines. Bioterrorists could one day kill hundreds of millions of people in an attack more deadly than nuclear war, Bill Gates will warn world leaders.Rapid advances in genetic engineering have opened the door for small terrorism groups to tailor and easily turn biological viruses into weapons.A resulting disease pandemic is currently one of the most deadly threats faced by the world, he believes, yet governments are complacent about the scale of the risk.Speaking ahead of an address to the Munich Security Conference, the richest man in the world said that while governments are concerned with the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons, they are overlooking the threat of biological warfare. Because the population is naïve, there are no real preparationsBill Gates “With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100million. Smallpox won’t stop. Because the population is naïve, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number.”He said developments in genetic engineering were proceeding at a “mind-blowing rate”. Biological warfare ambitions once limited to a handful of nation states are now open to small groups with limited resources and skills.He said: “They make it much easier for a non-state person. It doesn’t take much biology expertise nowadays to assemble a smallpox virus. Biology is making it way easier to create these things.” He went on: “They do tend to say ‘How easy is it to get fissile material and how accurate are the plans out on the internet for dirty bombs, plutonium bombs and hydrogen bombs?’“They have some people that do that. What I am suggesting is that the number of people that look at bio-defence is worth increasing.”Whether naturally occurring, or deliberately started, it is almost certain that a highly lethal global pandemic will occur within our lifetimes, he believes.But the good news for those contemplating the potential damage is that the same biotechnology can prevent epidemics spreading out of control. The last time that happened naturally was the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic, which went on to kill more than 50 million people – or nearly three times the death toll from the First World War.By comparison, the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa which killed just over 11,000 was “a Richter Scale three, it’s a nothing,” he said.But despite the potential, the founder of Microsoft said that world leaders and their militaries could not see beyond the more recognised risks.He said: “Should the world be serious about this? It is somewhat serious about normal classic warfare and nuclear warfare, but today it is not very serious about bio-defence or natural epidemics.” 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. “With nuclear war, once you have got a six, or a seven, or eight, you’d think it would probably stop. [With bioterrorism] it’s just unbounded if you are not there to stop the spread of it.”By tailoring the genes of a virus, it would be possible to manipulate its ability to spread and its ability to harm people. Mr Gates said one of the most potentially deadly outbreaks could involve the humble flu virus. It would be relatively easy to engineer a new flu strain combining qualities from varieties that spread like wildfire with varieties that were deadly. The need to stop a disease epidemic is so important that countries should prepare for it as they currently prepare for war, complete with large exercises and drills.He will tell his audience: “Getting ready for a global pandemic is every bit as important as nuclear deterrence and avoiding a climate catastrophe.” Mr Gates, whose charitable foundation is funding research into quickly spotting outbreaks and speeding up vaccine production, said the defence and security establishment “have not been following biology and I’m here to bring them a little bit of bad news”.Mr Gates will today (Saturday) tell an audience of international leaders and senior officers that the world’s next deadly pandemic “could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist”.He told the Telegraph: “Natural epidemics can be extremely large. Intentionally caused epidemics, bioterrorism, would be the largest of all. Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security
Police search the home of Sergei SkripalCredit:Paul Grover Sergei SkripalCredit:Social media; EAST2WEST NEWS Sergei Skripal with his daughter YuliaCredit:Social media; EAST2WEST NEWS As the cordon at Col Skripal’s home was extended to include the whole of his road, a large blue forensic tent was erected on the street and more police and incident support vehicles arrived from South Western Ambulance Service.A tent has also been erected in Col Skripal’s back garden while the ambulance station of the vehicle which took him to hospital, Zizzis restaurant and an office block next door have also been taken over as part of the investigation.Meanwhile, a photograph emerged of Col Skripal and his daughter raising their drinks in the same branch of Zizzi’s Italian restaurant in which they ate shortly before the attack. Mrs Skripal died of cancer in 2012 aged 59. Their son, who was 43, died whilst on holiday in St Petersburg last July, apparently from liver failure although it was been suggested that no record of his death can be found. He said: “It would have to have been been provided by a very specialised scientific facility. In other words, it was state sponsored.”Whoever it was handed to would have needed a high degree of expertise themselves. Sergei Skripal with his daughter YuliaCredit:Social media; EAST2WEST NEWS In other pictures, thought to have been taken relatively recently, the pair clink their glasses over dinner in a home and enjoy a meal in a restaurant. In one, Skripal poses with a beer in a pub. Police and forensic experts at the sceneCredit:Eddie Mulholland The investigation into the Russian spy attack intensified on Thursday as police sealed off a section of the cemetery where Sergei Skripal’s wife is buried.The cordon around the former double agent’s detached home in Salisbury was also extended as pressure mounted on the counter-terrorism officers leading the investigation to identify who was behind the sophisticated plot.The developments raise the prospect that detectives believe Col Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, may have been monitored in the days before they were attacked with a deadly nerve agent on Sunday.The involvement of hero police sergeant Nick Bailey, who remains in intensive care after rushing to the pair’s aid when they were found slumped on a shopping centre bench, has led to calls for the Government to take a hardline approach against Russia if state involvement is confirmed.Officers were yesterday guarding London road Cemetery in Salisbury, where Col Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, was buried in 2012 and where his son, Alexander, is commemorated with a plaque.Questions have been raised about the deaths of both following the assassination attempt. One of the theories being probed is that their food or drinks were spiked with the deadly nerve agent.Combing through the city centre CCTV has been one of the main lines of investigation, sources said as well as identifying anyone who had been in contact with the Skripals in the days before their attempted murder.Prof Andrea Sella, an inorganic chemistry expert at University College London also told the Telegraph that any residue from the nerve agent would provide possible clues.Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of the British Army’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear regiment, said such an attack could only have been carried out by well trained operatives. It emerged that both Col Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who are now both fighting for their lives in hospital, visited the cemetery last week, leaving flowers to mark what would have been Mr Skripal’s 44th birthday.A Wiltshire detective suggested the cordon had been extended around the house and erected around the graves in the hunt for forensic clues to the identities of the assassination squad.The source said: “The only reason to put up those cordons is to examine the area to see if the pair were under surveillance by hit squad. They will be looking in bushes and undergrowth for clues.” He said: “If this had been a shooting, we would be much further on than we are now. This is classic, clandestine, spy-type operations.”Will Geddes, who runs the International Corporate Protection agency, said the rare nerve agent used in the attack could be like VX – one of the deadliest chemicals known to man. “You can administer these things either as a spray or a liquid. A spray would be much more conspicuous, and instantaneous. For instance, if they had been sprayed in the eyes they would have collapsed almost immediately.”A liquid is better as it is more concentrated. There is also a delayed effect as it has to be ingested.”The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, which has state-of-the-art equipment to look for trace amounts of substances, is believed to have been involved in examining the substance. 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 new qualifications, which will see the courses dubbed “T-levels” – the technical version of A-levels, are due to be piloted from 2020. The current system, where students have to pick from 13,000 different qualifications, will be replaced with just 15 standalone courses Earlier this year, the prime minister said the notion that vocational education was for “other people’s children” needed to change.Theresa May urged people to “throw away” the “outdated attitude” that university is the only desirable route for young people.Last year the Government announced that it would be launching the biggest overhaul of post-16 education in 70 years, as part of a multibillion pound drive to improve technical training.Philip Hammond unveiled his “radical” plans to put technical education on an equal footing with academic studies in his Budget last March.The current system, where students have to pick from 13,000 different qualifications, will be replaced with just 15 standalone courses.Teenagers who undertake the technical training, such as courses to become an engineer or builder, will spend 50 per cent longer learning than they do now, equalling 900 hours of teaching a year. Ms Milton later backtracked, telling MPs that “I probably made the mistake in using my own personal experience to emphasise the point that I think all parents are always wary of new qualifications.”She went on to say: “The point about T levels is that we’re introducing them, designed by employers – they are very rigorous. I know that take-up will be low in the first years. It will take a while to persuade both young people and their parents that these are a cut above.” If somebody said to me, ‘Your children could do this new qualification,’ I’d say, ‘Leave it a year’Skills Minister Anne Milton The Labour MP James Frith said he found the minister’s comments “quite remarkable”, adding: “Why shouldn’t every other parent of the children considering what they do next also say, ‘Leave it [a year],’ when the minister in charge for launching this believes it is not right for your children and, in fact, they are not ready?” The skills minister has said that she would advise her own children to “leave it a year” before taking the Government’s flagship T-Levels.Anne Milton, the minister charged with overseeing the introduction of the new vocational qualifications, said that it will inevitably be “tough” to persuade parents of the merits of the new system.During an Education Select Committee hearing, the Labour MP Lucy Powell asked Mrs Milton why a parent would want their child to do a childcare T-level when there was already a well-respected and industry-backed qualification in place.Ms Milton responded: “The job of persuading parents to do any new qualification is always quite tough and we know that not huge numbers will do it in the first instance because… I mean, I’m a parent of four children.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––“If somebody said to me, ‘Your children could do this new qualification,’ I’d say, ‘Leave it a year.’“You know, instinctively, that is what parents will do. I think what we will need to do as a department, and the providers will need to do, is to make absolutely clear what you are getting in addition to any of the existing qualifications already set out.” 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 said: “I wish to apologise wholeheartedly to my family, the club, my team-mates, the manager and all of the supporters.”Drink-driving is completely unacceptable, I take full responsibility for my actions and it is not the example I wish to set.”On Sunday, France beat the Netherlands in Paris in the team’s first home fixture since winning the World Cup in Moscow. Lloris missed the game with a thigh injury, but lifted the trophy in front of jubilant French fans as part of the ceremonial celebrations. Last month his club dealt with the matter internally, saying it would be taken “extremely seriously”, but hours after he was released from police custody, Lloris apologised in a public statement. Hugo Lloris arrives in court to plead guilty to drink drivingCredit:Tolga Akmen/AFP Tottenham Hotspur captain Hugo Lloris has admitted being more than twice the drink-drive limit having been showered with drinks by diners at a London restaurant.The 31-year-old goalkeeper, of East Finchley, north London, was charged and bailed following a routine patrol stop in the early hours of August 24.He was fined £50,000 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and banned from driving for 20 months after admitting drink driving.Prosecutor Henry Fitch said police in an unmarked car spotted Lloris’ vehicle driving at 15mph in a 30mph zone.He also ran a red light, veered his car “towards parked vehicles” before correcting himself and when police stopped the vehicle, they discovered vomit and said Lloris had to be helped from the car.There was an unnamed passenger in the car with him at the time. Defending, David Sonn described his client’s fall from grace after being arrested.He said: “On July 15 he was arguably the proudest man on the planet (having captained France to the World Cup victory). Just 40 days later, he was arrested.”He experienced the indignity of being handcuffed and put in a police station overnight. The spectacular fall from grace is not lost on Mr Lloris.” Outlining the case, prosecutor Mr Fitch said: “Shortly before 2.20am, officers were on patrol in an unmarked vehicle when their attention was drawn to a Porsche – it was moving strangely and doing 15mph in a 30mph zone.”It veered a number of times towards parked vehicles, nearly clipping them, before correcting itself. It then went through a red light.”Three days later, he captained Spurs to a 3-0 Premier League victory away at Manchester United, with the goalkeeper keeping a clean sheet. The 31-year-old Frenchman admitted a charge of drink driving at Westminster magistrates Court on Wednesday.The France international, who led his team to World Cup glory in Russia, was driving his 2018-plate Porsche Panamera along Gloucester Place, Marylebone, when he was pulled over during a routine stop by police.The court heard Lloris provided a sample containing 80 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit in England and Wales is 35 microgrammes.Lloris, wearing a dark suit and no tie, was flanked by two members of his entourage as he made his way from his vehicle into the court, confronted by dozens of photographers and video journalists.After the hearing, he left court, walking past photographers and reporters without making a statement, and got into a waiting black BMW. The court heard the goalkeeper had been dining in a restaurant and was showered with drinks from fellow diners. The case was due to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London on Tuesday, but was moved to Wednesday morning.Lloris has been with Tottenham since joining from Lyon in 2012, making 207 appearances in the Premier League and keeping 74 clean sheets.He has grown to be regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers during his time in England.Lloris has won more than 100 international caps and lifted the World Cup in July, after France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final. Lloris admitted being more than twice the drink-drive limit having been showered with drinks by diners at a London restaurantCredit:JULIAN SIMMONDS FOR THE TELEGRAPH France’s Hugo Lloris, center, and teammates celebrate with the World Cup trophy during a ceremony Credit:Christophe Ena/AP 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.
Dr Kathy McLean, the NHS Improvement chief operating officer, said: “At this stage, we are unable to confirm how many historical cases will be considered… We are examining in detail anything that may be relevant, ensuring that possible duplication is taken into account.”Deirdre Fowler, the SaTH director of nursing, midwifery and quality, added: “We recognise that, taken in isolation, the number of cases … may cause concern or anxiety for families currently using our services. It is important that any families who have questions or concerns over their care are given the chance to have them explored.” 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. In August, an NHS Improvement spokesman said it had agreed “to consider additional historical investigations where women, infants and newborn babies had died or suffered harm”.At the time the trust said these cases were already in the public domain, but it is now understood that at least 104 families have come forward wanting their cases to be considered. The review into Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH) is examining cases involving up to 104 families, it is understoodCredit:Alamy Stock Photo A review into the deaths and injuries of babies at a scandal-hit NHS maternity unit is now looking at more than 100 cases, it is understood.In January 2017 Jeremy Hunt, then the health secretary, ordered an independent inquiry led by Donna Ockenden, a senior midwife, to examine 23 cases of mother and baby deaths and injuries at hospitals in Shropshire.It is now believed that the review into Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH) is examining cases involving up to 104 families, according to the BBC.Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent action against the maternity department.The extent of alleged malpractice between 1998 and 2017 threatens a scandal bigger than that of Morecambe Bay, which saw the avoidable deaths of 11 babies and one mother.Now the team being led by Ms Ockenden is looking into allegations that some babies born at the trust between 2000 and 2017 suffered avoidable harm due to errors by maternity staff. Parents claim they were pressured into natural births and that caesarean or forceps-assisted deliveries would have prevented brain damage.Some deaths were also blamed on the failure of midwives to properly monitor foetal heart rates and detect infection.Prof Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, confirmed it was taking further enforcement action against SaTH following an inspection last month that highlighted safety fears “within the trust’s maternity services”.The trust said it “continues to engage fully” with the CQC “during our current, ongoing inspection”.A SaTH spokesman said: “In line with normal CQC processes, we will be making representations to them in respect of this matter within the permitted 28-day time frame.”
Scotland’s former chief constable, who resigned earlier this year in the wake of a series of misconduct allegations against him, is reportedly being given a new role.Phil Gormley, who tendered his resignation from Police Scotland in February amid ongoing investigations into the claims of gross misconduct, will be announced as inspector of constabulary for England and Wales, the BBC said.He denied any wrongdoing, and resigned after saying it would have been “impossible for me to resume my duties in a meaningful way prior to the end of my contract”.The role will see Mr Gormley assess and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces and will start on October 22, the broadcaster said. The work will involve inspecting 12 forces in the north of England, according to the BBC.Mr Gormley, formerly chief constable of Norfolk Constabulary, was investigated by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) over allegations of bullying.The conduct, which was the subject of one of the allegations, would – if proved – amount to “gross misconduct”, the commissioner said. Pirc said all misconduct investigations regarding Mr Gormley were closed following his resignation.Claire Gormley, a retired police officer, said at the time her husband Phil had been “vilified” in a “disproportionate fishing expedition”, while describing him as one of the most inspirational police leaders of his generation. She said he had never before had a single complaint from those who worked for him in 32 years of policing, and suggested he may have been treated as an “outsider” in Police Scotland because he is English.His resignation meant Police Scotland’s first two chief constables since it was formed in 2013 had left under a cloud. Sir Stephen House, his predecessor, stood down in 2015 following a series of scandals culminating in a furore over a woman who was left dying in a crashed car by the side of the M9 motorway for three days. 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 UK Border Force is risking collisions in the Channel, say experts, as it is claimed their vessels are acting in an “unseaman-like” manner by turning off tracking systems. Tom Sharpe, a former Royal Navy officer and… Merchant shipping operating on autopilot in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes often rely on the location devices as their “only means of anti-collision”. The Border Force cutters operating off the Kent coast have potentially risked collision by failing to use the internationally-recognised Automatic Identification System (AIS), which alerts fellow seafarers and coastal authorities of their location, route and other safety-related information to aid safe passage at sea.
NHS sandwiches have killed two more patients, bringing the death toll to five, Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed, as it continued to investigate whether more people have died at dozens of trusts.Last week, public health officials said three seriously ill patients had died, and three more infected, after eating food which contained the deadly bacteria listeria.Another of those original six has since died, PHE confirmed on Friday along with a fifth person who was not initially linked to the outbreak. Post-mortem DNA analysis showed the critically ill patient had been infected with the same bacterial strain.Two other hospital patients were also infected, bringing the overall total to nine and the NHS is now running genomic tests on people who died over the past two months amid concerns some of the deaths were caused by the food poisoning outbreak..Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director of the National Infection Service at PHE, said: “To date, there have been no patients linked to this incident outside healthcare organisations, but we continue to investigate.“Swift action was taken to protect patients and any risk to the public is low. PHE is continuing to analyse all recent and ongoing samples of listeria from hospital patients to understand whether their illness is linked to this outbreak.” Dr Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer at the FSA said: “Our sympathies remain with the families of the patients who have tragically passed away.“We have taken action along with local authorities to minimise the risk based on the evidence so far. The FSA will continue to investigate the cause of the outbreak to prevent a reoccurrence.” The original deaths occurred at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Aintree Hospital in Liverpool. PHE is carrying out its investigations alongside the Food Standards Agency (FSA), NHS England and NHS Improvement, as well as partner organisations in Scotland and Wales. A spokesman for The Good Food Chain said: “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the families of those who have died and anyone else who has been affected by this outbreak. The underlying cause of it remains unclear.”Experts have warned that more people could be infected because of the long incubation period of listeria. The bacteria can lie dormant for up to 70 days and sandwiches were not withdrawn from the NHS until May 25th after investigators realised they had been eaten by all three of the victims.Some 43 out of the 135 NHS trusts were supplied by The Good Food Chain and they have been placed on alert for cases of listeriosis, which can lead to deadly sepsis and meningitis. In pregnant women it can also cause miscarriage and be passed on to the unborn child. All those who died had been given sandwiches supplied by The Good Food Chain, a company based in Stone, Staffordshire, whose Whole Lotta Good brand was developed specifically for hospitals.The company, which also supplies some schools, has voluntarily ceased production while an investigation continues, as has the firm which supplied its meat, Northern Country Cooked Meats, which operates out of Salford. Show more 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.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related16-yr-old arrested after fatally stabbing rival in love triangleNovember 21, 2016In “Crime”Texas shooting: Gunman Devin Kelley ‘had row with mother-in-law’November 6, 2017In “World”US ‘Dreamer’ Daniela Vargas ‘facing deportation’ after speechMarch 3, 2017In “World” (BBC) Two young sisters have died in Texas after their mother allegedly left them in a car for 15 hours in temperatures of up to 32C (90F).Amanda Hawkins, 19, left the girls, aged one and two, in the car at 21:00 on Tuesday (03:00 GMT Wednesday) to visit friends nearby, police said.Her daughters cried during the night but she ignored them, a sheriff said, and returned only at noon the next day.Ms Hawkins has been charged with two counts of child endangerment.Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said it was the worst such case he had seen in 37 years on the force.Ms Hawkins left one-year-old Brynn Hawkins and two-year-old Addyson Overgard-Eddy in the car to visit a 16-year-old male friend and others at a house in the town of Kerrville, 65 miles (105 km) north-west of San Antonio.The sheriff said the male friend had at some point slept in the car alongside the children but they were not let out.Ms Hawkins finally took the children out at noon the next day and found them unconscious.She tried the bathe them, the sheriff said, but fearing she would get into trouble did not seek medical help immediately.‘Smelling flowers’Only after a friend suggested it did she take them to the nearby Peterson Regional Medical Center.She reportedly told staff that she, the teenage male and the children had been at a nearby lake and the girls had “collapsed after smelling flowers”.“They thought maybe they’d gotten into something poisonous – that’s what the story was,” Sheriff Hierholzer told the CNN affiliate station KABB.“She left them in the car – intentionally in the car – while her and the 16-year-old male friend were in the house,” he said.The girls were quickly taken to the University Hospital in San Antonio but died at about 17:00 on Thursday.Police say the charges may now be upgraded.Ms Hawkins’ husband was reportedly not present during the incident.
Current Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum is one of the most successful Crime Chiefs to have served in the Guyana Police Force in recent memory. And he has created a reputation that soars higher every time he comes under public scrutiny.This is according to Senior Counsel Ralph Ramkarran, who also had this to say of Blanhum: “The Crime Chief does not court the press, but every time he comes under public scrutiny, his reputation soars. He spoke truth to power, and was quite clear that the story of the complainant Andrif Gillard was ‘inherently incredible.’ The results show that he is one of the most successful Crime Chiefs in recent memory. Even though Guyana still lives in fear of crime, there would be much public concern if there is second-guessing of the work of the Crime Chief.”Blanhum has told the CoI into the plot to assassinate President Granger that on March 29 he received a call from the Ministry of Public Security informing him of the alleged plot. The caller, a female, told him that Andrif Gillard was at the ministry making the accusations. Blanhum said he immediately made contact with Divisional Commander Clifton Hicken, and because of the nature of the allegations, a decision was taken to have the Major Crimes Unit investigate the matter.Blanhum said he had received several reports of Gillard frustrating the investigation. He said GPF Legal Adviser Justice Claudette Singh (ret’d) did not recommend any charges to be made in the matter because the evidence was tenuous and there was simply nothing with which to charge anyone.As his testimony continued, the Crime Chief clashed with Commissioner Slowe when asked whether he had checked to ensure that a record was made of the incident in the ‘A’ Division log. Blanhum said he is not responsible for finding out whether proper records are documented, because he functions at the executive level of the GPF and there are supervisors and other ranks below him who are tasked with those responsibilities.He also related that he does not find it strange that the men were released less than 24 hours following the commencement of the investigations.Slowe and Blanhum clashed once more when the Commissioner asked the Crime Chief why the matter was not being treated as treasonous. Blanhum replied that the offence was treated as “incitement to commit murder”, although the allegations had implications for the life of the President. He said he relied on facts, and not feelings.Based on legal advice, he said he viewed the information obtained as ‘tenuous,’ and not sufficient to base legal charges.Crime Chief Wendell BlanhumBlanhum expressed satisfaction with the investigation. “The Crime Chief has been rightly praised for his work in the past,” Ramkarran wrote.He added that Blanhum was only acting on the advice of the Police Legal Adviser, former Justice of Appeal Claudette Singh, who advised that no charges be brought against the accused, Nizam Khan, since the Police have evidence to show that Gillard was making up the story.“With such conflicting evidence in the Police file, there would have been no hope of a conviction. In fact, based on their investigations, according to the evidence of Corporal Keion Benjamin, the Police concluded that Andrif Gillard should be charged for giving false information to the police,” Ramkarran commented.Since assuming responsibility as Crime Chief, He has reopened several high profile cases, such as the execution of fashion designer Trevor Rose; the 1993 murder case of Monica Reece, and the robbery/murder of Sheema Mangar.Mashramani Costume Designer and Events Coordinator Trevor Rose was gunned down on January 26, 2014 while sitting in the back seat of a Toyota 212 motor car on the Eccles Public Road, East Bank Demerara (EBD). He had fathered eight children, and the investigations are progressing according to the Police.Former Demerara Bank employee Sheema Mangar, 20, was the victim of the brutal robbery sometime after 18:00h on September 10, 2010, as she waited for transportation on North Road. She chased the robber, who jumped into the car that hit her down and dragged her from outside the Bedford Methodist Church, at Camp Street and North Road, to the intersection of Camp and Church Streets. She died hours later at St Joseph Mercy Hospital.The body of 23-year-old security guard Monica Reece was dumped from a speeding pickup in the vicinity of the Geddes Grant building (now Courts) on Main Street, Georgetown on April 9, 1993 (Good Friday night). At the time of the murder, now Minister of Citizenship, Winston Felix, was Crime Chief. He subsequently retired as Commissioner of Police. At that time there was a prime suspect, but he mysteriously vanished.Blanhum and a team of detectives were able to crack the murder case of Babita Sarjou, in May 2016.Since Blanhum took the post, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has been solving a greater percentage of crime. according to Ramkarran Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCrime Chief Wendell Blanhum demotedDecember 4, 2017In “Local News”Crime Chief commends Detectives for solving murders; close eye being kept on ‘staged robberies’September 15, 2015In “Crime”Ramnarine’s testimony to CoI a “deliberate falsehood”- Crime ChiefAugust 16, 2017In “Crime”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMan who assaulted wife allegedly beaten to deathMarch 24, 2019In “Crime”Update: Berbice pensioner in custody for allegedly beating partner to deathJuly 4, 2018In “Crime”Top Cop concerned about vigilante justiceJuly 19, 2015In “Crime” (JAMAICA GLEANER) A Manchester woman is now in police custody after stabbing to death her 38-year-old common-law husband, Oneil Coleman.The woman reportedly stabbed Coleman in the neck this morning after he used a machete to beat her at their home in the southern community of Woodlands.The police say both Coleman and his common-law wife have made complaints about each other for varying reasons.One person claiming to be a friend of the deceased, said, ordinarily Coleman would not have been in confrontation with anyone.“He was a hard-working farmer. Him neva make trouble wid anybody. The most you hear from him is when him drunk and him start run him jokes.”He also said Coleman was in an abusive relationship.