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
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