Month: September 2019

Do We Even Need Minor League Baseball

Since the 1970s, Major League Baseball clubs have generally added more and more minor league affiliates. In 1979, there were an average of 4.7 affiliates per major league club.1According to Baseball-Reference.com data analyzed by FiveThirtyEight. This season there are 8.2 — a total of 245 minor league affiliates, the most since 1948, spread across 30 major league organizations.But the Houston Astros, a model of modern player development, bucked that trend a few years ago. After the 2017 season, they reduced their affiliate count from nine to seven clubs.2 The Astros cut ties with their Appalachian League team in Greeneville, Tennessee, and their second Dominican Summer League team. The Astros believed they could become a more efficient producer of talent with fewer farm clubs. Highest levelnumber of BattersAvg. First Year OPS+Avg. First Year Age So if some players are good enough to skip the upper levels of the minors, perhaps minor league resources should be spent trying to identify and develop those players — and perhaps a few rungs of the ladder ought to be removed. A Baseball America study of the 1981-2010 drafts found that only 17.6 percent of drafted and signed players reached the majors, and only 9.8 percent produced 0.1 career wins above replacement, a minimal level of production. Perhaps optimized skill development requires fewer games, and thereby fewer players and teams. “For the baseball people, it was a feeling that it was better to concentrate the coaching resources. We were trying to support a bunch of players that had a less than one percent chance of making the major leagues,” said an ex-Astros official whose current team didn’t grant him permission to speak to us.The Astros felt comfortable cutting the teams in part because of data harvested from new tech. Since turning over the vast majority of their player development staff and minor league coaches under GM Jeffrey Luhnow, the Astros feel they have become better at identifying which players have a chance to rise through their system. For example, while a number of teams were experimenting with their first high-speed cameras this spring to study pitch grips and body mechanics, the Astros had 75 such cameras hard-mounted at stadiums throughout their minor league affiliates last season. According to the ex-Astros official, the team believes it needs less time and fewer games to understand potential, and it is better served by consolidating resources around their most promising players.The Astros aren’t the only ones questioning the structure of the minor leagues in their organization. For decades, baseball has generally treated player development as a ladder. First comes Rookie ball, then multiple levels of Single-A ball leading up to Double-A, then Triple-A, then finally the majors.3More advanced amateur players, like college stars, often skip Rookie and Low-A levels. But recently some players — like young stars Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., and lesser talents like David Peralta and Rougned Odor — have skipped rungs. And they aren’t worse for it. AA or lower3299.022.2 AA or lower38118.623.3 Highest levelnumber of PitchersAvg. First Year ERA+Avg. First Year Age Minimum playing time for first-year players included 50 innings pitched or 100 plate appearances. Some players were demoted from majors to a higher minor-league level during their first-year seasons.ERA+ is earned run average adjusted for year and ballpark. OPS+ is on-base plus slugging adjusted for year and ballpark.Source: Baseball-Reference.com A year before the closing of two affiliates, in March 2016, the Astros hired Jose Fernandez to be part of their sports science department. He had worked with pro soccer teams in Europe. European soccer giants have centralized training centers focused on building skills rather than a decentralized sprawl of affiliates. The Astros were curious how FC Barcelona developed its players. Barcelona’s “La Masia” — which translates to “Farm House” — is regarded as one of the breeding grounds for talent. The information Fernandez shared was eye-opening.“On site in Barcelona, they have their whole development academy, from the little kids all the way up to the professional teams. They have one big campus. They do everything on-site. Everything is coordinated. Everyone is doing the same drills. Everyone was being measured with the same technology. That makes a ton of sense,” the ex-Astros front official said.While minor league baseball reorganized in 1963 to the classifications we are familiar with today (Single-A, Double-A, etc), the idea of affiliated minor-league baseball has fundamentally remained the same since Branch Rickey bought a stake in the Houston Buffaloes in 1919 and began building the first farm system. As Kyle Boddy, who runs the independent training facility Driveline Baseball, put it in my book, “The MVP Machine”: “Why is the minor-league system set up the way it is? Why does every coaching staff and player development staff feature the same titles, the same backgrounds and are approximately the same size? Why for so long has the minor league system been immune from disruption?” Is the highest level of the minors always necessary?Average ERA+ or OPS+ for first-year players by their highest minor league level before their MLB debut, for debuts between 2010 and May 20, 2019 AAA221101.924.4 On a late May afternoon in Erie, Pennsylvania, the Erie Sea Wolves — the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers — hosted the Bowie Bay Sox. A light fog rolled in off the lake, UPMC Park was perhaps at half capacity. While minor league baseball remains popular and big business for big-drawing clubs like the Columbus (Ohio) Clippers and Lehigh Valley (Pennsylvania) Iron Pigs, minor league attendance declined last season for the first time in 14 years last season and by 1.38 million fans. Erie is averaging 3,315 fans this year, 10th out of 12 clubs in the league.Top prospect Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall pick in 2018, pitched that day like he was ready to fit in the Tigers rotation. He tossed eight shutout innings on 89 pitches.Speaking afterward in a cramped, dated and faux wood-paneled clubhouse, where the players consumed postgame meals on card tables before their lockers, Mize seemed ready for another challenge. When asked about the practice of aggressively promoting players upward, Mize said, “I think failure is part of it and needs to be part of it. I see positives in being forced to fail.”Some influencers of modern skill-building suggest that athletes ought to push themselves through practices like weighted-ball training — called overload training — to hasten development. To increase skill, take on more than you’re used to and the body adapts and skills improve. But how does that translate to games? In the NBA and NFL, top amateur players get thrown straight into the fray against top professionals. In baseball, top prospects spend years against lesser competition. How do you improve against inferior players?“Major league [prospects] are seeing a lot of competition that is not helping them,” the ex-Astros official said. Because of this idea that players are feasting on lesser talent, minor league numbers can distort evaluation.All-Star pitcher Walker Buehler has been part of cutting-edge training techniques with the Los Angeles Dodgers and when pitching for Vanderbilt University. While much has been said of the low pay and financial struggles of minor-league players in recent years, Buehler thinks there’s another problem: There are too many players that aren’t MLB-quality in the minors.“At any affiliate, there are three players who have a chance to play in the majors. The rest of the players are there so they so they can play. I don’t think that’s fair,” Buehler told FiveThirtyEight. “You are preying on their dreams.”Rethinking the minor leagues is being discussed at the highest levels of the sport.MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told The Athletic in July that “we have to look at the efficiency of the [minor league] system that we’re running right now, how many teams, how many players, what we’re paying players, and all those issues are obviously related.”What that means for the future of the farm system suggests it could, and perhaps should, look much different than it does today. MLB’s approach to the minor leagues is ripe for change in part because of how much data can be collected off the field these days. Independent hitting instructor Doug Latta tells his clients that they “don’t need much space to get better,” as improving via reps, video analysis and ball-tracking tech lessens the need for a player to play in regulation games. Latta worked with Marlon Byrd, Justin Turner and Hunter Pence in various storage-like facilities just before they changed their approach at the plate and improved their performance. Cody Bellinger was already a good major league player but became great this season after he changed his swing in similar modest spaces last winter. While batting cages have existed since Rickey invented them, they’ve never been the feedback machines they are today when outfitted with ball-, bat- and body-tracking tech.On the pitching side, it’s perhaps even easier to gain skills. Adam Ottavino designed a new cutter last winter in a vacant Manhattan storefront that he outfitted with baseball’s cutting-edge tech. The Los Angeles Dodgers held several low-value minor league pitchers back from minor league games in 2016, giving them something of an extended spring training at their complex to see if they could improve throwing velocity. Dodgers pitchers Corey Copping and Andrew Istler learned how to throw harder and subsequently became trade chips last summer.Author Daniel Coyle has written about the benefits of shrinking training space — like Brazil’s futbol de salao (indoor soccer) — to increase reps and feedback. “How do you tighten the [feedback] loop, and deliver the right signal in a timely way?”This past winter, the Philadelphia Phillies tried to become more like the Astros, rethinking how they teach and train in the minor leagues. Two progessive hitting instructors were asked to implement new ideas, new programs and new technology for the 100-plus minor league hitters in the system, tailoring individual plans for each. They have transformed batting cages at each facility into feedback labs. Phillies minor leaguers in A- and Rookie-ball are required to wear sensors on their bats to record bat speed, bat path and biomechanical data. The Phillies also set up a device to track every ball hit in every batting practice before every minor league game. For decades, box scores were the only sources of data on player progress. But now practice is producing more data than games.“The game is the ultimate test but that’s only three or four at-bats a night,” Russ Steinhorn, one of those progressive hitting instructors, said. “The practice before games, you might be taking hundreds of swings. … For me, the practice environment, the lead-up to the game, is the most important. That’s where the development happens.”While there are rules on how players are assigned to teams, the ex-Astros official suspects we could see fewer affiliates one day and more time spent at facilities. “I think down the road in a few years you will see a guy go to an affiliate and play for a while and the team says, ‘OK, you’ve demonstrated that what you mastered at the training facility is working in games. So now it’s time for you to add a changeup.’ So it’s back to the training facility.”Still, Seattle outfielder Mitch Haniger — who has worked with Latta and hitting coach Craig Wallenbrock to improve his swing — says minor league games will never be replicated despite whatever gains are made in technology.“You can’t really simulate facing a pitcher in front of thousands of people,” Haniger says, “and failing in front of a whole bunch of people.” AAA32790.923.8 read more

NCAA Mens Tournament Forecast The Parity Is Over

Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.Not long ago, in a galaxy not so far away from wherever Comcast placed truTV in your cable lineup, the era of the dominant men’s college basketball team was over. Last year, no team had more than a 15 percent chance of winning the NCAA men’s tournament, according to FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament forecast (Louisville was the best bet). In 2011, the nominal favorite was Duke, with a 22 percent chance. In 2012, it was Kentucky, at 27 percent, and in 2013, Louisville led with a 23 percent chance. While two of those favorites (Kentucky in 2012 and Louisville in 2013) happened to win, the lack of dominant teams left the door wide open for lower seeds to make a deep run, as No. 7 seed Connecticut did in winning last year’s national championship.This year is much different — an echo from a bygone era of short-shorts and star players who actually played through their senior seasons. The Kentucky Wildcats are undefeated; they could become the first men’s team to finish the season undefeated since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Kentucky has a 41 percent chance of winning it all, according to our forecast — about double what we’ve seen from front-runners in recent years.There’s not a lot to critique in the Wildcats’ résumé. While the SEC is not a terrific basketball conference, Kentucky played a reasonable non-conference schedule and won 13 games against other NCAA tournament teams. The Wildcats rank first in all but one of the computer power ratings that the FiveThirtyEight model uses and a close second in the other. They were last year’s national runner-up and the preseason No. 1. They have all the talent in the world, including three possible NBA lottery picks.But a 41 percent chance isn’t all that high. It remains more likely than not that Kentucky will stumble at some point along the way and won’t win the national championship.What could go wrong? Some of it is the unforgiving mathematics of a 68-team tournament.The Wildcats will be a favorite in every game they play for the rest of the year, but they’ll be playing some capable basketball teams. The odds of running into a streak shooter, or having a game in which they miss some free throws down the stretch, are fairly high.Let’s get more specific. Below, I’ve tallied Kentucky’s chances of winning each round of the tournament, according to our model (the rightmost column). I’ve also listed the Wildcats’ chances of winning each round conditional on them having survived the previous round. So in the conditional column, we’re fast-forwarding the tournament and assuming that Kentucky wins at each stage. For instance, Kentucky has about an 85 percent chance of winning its Elite Eight game and advancing to the Final Four, provided that it’s made it that far.Kentucky is at least a 73 percent favorite in every round. It’s not in an especially tough region, and the team will be able to stay close to home, needing to travel no more than 282 miles from campus (the distance from Lexington, Kentucky, to Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Midwest regional) to win the tournament.But even with the odds stacked in Kentucky’s favor, winning six consecutive games won’t be easy.And there are some other excellent teams in this tournament. Suppose that because of some clerical error, Kentucky’s spot in the tournament instead went to Northern Kentucky, which went 13-17 in something called the Atlantic Sun Conference. In that case, the five teams with the next-best chances — Arizona, Duke, Villanova, Virginia and Wisconsin — would collectively have a 68 percent chance of winning the title. That’s better than the cumulative 54 percent chance that the top five teams had last year.In other words, this would be a top-heavy tournament even without Kentucky. While there’s not a clear No. 2 after the Wildcats, the teams ranked from second through sixth or seventh nationally (in some order) are a strong group, a bit stronger than we’ve seen in the most recent men’s tournaments.So let’s explore the field region by region. For each one, I’ve listed each team’s rating according to the seven ratings systems that the FiveThirtyEight model averages to generate its forecasts. The rankings from each system are normalized so as to make them directly comparable.Five of the seven systems are computer rankings, and they tend to produce highly similar results. It will usually be more interesting to compare the computer rankings with the two human-generated polls: where a team ranked in the preseason (teams that overachieve during the regular season have a history of reverting to the mean in the tournament) and where it placed on the selection committee’s 68-team S-curve. Teams with higher S-curve ratings than computer ratings are potentially overseeded; teams with higher computer ratings than S-curve ratings are possibly underseeded.The charts will also show the adjustment our model applies for injuries and player absences. Usually this has a negative effect, but it can be positive if the team is healthier now than it was during the regular season — as Maryland and Virginia are, for instance. We’ll start with Kentucky’s region, the Midwest:While the Wildcats may not quite have even odds of winning the national championship, they are more likely than not (a 72 percent chance) to reach the Final Four.Kentucky has a favorable draw, but some of that is by the committee’s design. The best No. 1 seed — Kentucky this year — is theoretically supposed to be paired with the worst No. 2, and the committee made good on that by placing Kansas in Kentucky’s region. While Kansas has an entirely respectable record for a No. 2 seed, it ranks behind the other No. 2 seeds (Virginia, Arizona and Gonzaga) by the metrics we track.Kentucky also faces a relatively easy Sweet 16 game. Maryland and West Virginia, the No. 4 and 5 seeds in the Midwest, are both slightly overseeded, according to our model.Dark horses in the Midwest include Wichita State and Texas, which are badly underseeded as No. 7 and No. 11, respectively. Even there, however, Kentucky catches something of a break. It can’t face either the Shockers or the Longhorns until the Elite Eight.But while the draw is reasonably favorable for Kentucky, there’s one potential glitch. In the national semifinal, it will be due to face the winner of the West region. And the West is probably the strongest in the tournament this year:In fact, the top two seeds in the West — Wisconsin and Arizona — rank as the second and third best teams nationally, according to our composite ratings. The No. 2 seed, Arizona, actually rates slightly higher than Wisconsin; Arizona is also the only team ahead of Kentucky in any of the seven systems we track (Arizona rates slightly ahead of Kentucky in Sonny Moore’s power ratings.).Still, these are marginal differences. (Arizona’s composite power rating is 94.7 while Wisconsin’s is 94.1, which means that Arizona would be favored by less than a point on a neutral court.) So why does the model give Arizona a considerably better chance — 46 percent against Wisconsin’s 33 percent — of reaching the Final Four? Some of it has to do with each team’s Sweet 16 matchup. Wisconsin’s prospective opponent (No. 4 seed North Carolina) rates as being stronger than Arizona’s (No. 3 seed Baylor). But the geography also works in Arizona’s favor; the regional final will be played in Los Angeles.There’s not much depth in the West after the top four seeds. But one potential exception is the No. 10 seed, Ohio State, which is as strong as a typical No. 5 seed by the computer ratings even though Aaron Craft finally graduated.Villanova is the second-most-likely team to win the national championship. That’s a bit misleading; there’s a huge gap between Kentucky (41 percent) and Villanova (11 percent) and a tiny one between Villanova and the next-most-likely champions (Wisconsin and Arizona, at 10 percent each). Still, Villanova will benefit from being on the opposite side of the bracket from Kentucky, Wisconsin and Arizona. Villanova does have a tough No. 2 seed in the East region in the form of Virginia, but there aren’t a lot of easy outs among the No. 2 seeds this year.Virginia wasn’t done any favors by the committee, by contrast. No. 7 Michigan State, which knocked the Hoos out of the tournament last year, looms as their Round of 32 matchup. Like last year, MSU seems to have been underseeded, even before considering Tom Izzo’s history of postseason overachievement. Full disclosure: I’m from East Lansing.The East region also features an unusual circumstance: The University of Dayton will get to play on its home court in its “play-in” game against the other No. 11 seed, Boise State. This is part of why our model considers Dayton a 73 percent favorite in that game despite having only a slightly stronger power rating than the Broncos.Last up is the South, the most wide-open region this year. Even as a member in good standing of the Christian Laettner Hate Club — we’re automatically enrolled in East Lansing — I don’t mean to disparage No. 1 seed Duke. One can question whether Duke deserved a No. 1 ahead of Arizona and Virginia, but that’s because the No. 2 seeds are really good this year. Duke would be a No. 1 without much question in most recent tournaments.But the Blue Devils do potentially face a tough No. 2 of their own in Gonzaga. And they’ll have to win their Sweet 16 game to get there, where they may face No. 5 Utah, among the more underseeded teams in the tournament and a favorite against No. 4 Georgetown. The South also runs fairly deep: No. 8 San Diego State and No. 10 Davidson are tough outs, for instance.What about the much-maligned No. 11 seed, UCLA? Actually, our forecasts suggest that the committee did just fine with that choice: UCLA’s computer ratings are right in line with its seed.Either way, though, it probably won’t matter. Overall, this isn’t the best year for underdogs — the favorites are really something for a change. read more

Football OSU prepares for brutality of Big Ten

OSU redshirt junior defensive linesman Tyquan Lewis (59) rushes towards the ball carrier along with the rest of the Buckeyes defense during a game against the Tulsa Hurricane on Sept.10. The Buckeyes won 48-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorWith three games down and nine to go, the Ohio State football team enters Big Ten play with a perfect record and a positive outlook for the rest of the season.The No. 2 Buckeyes bowled over then-No. 14 Oklahoma to round out nonconference play, 45-24. Although the Sooners were the first true test for the Buckeyes in 2016, conference play determines the validity of any top-ranked team and its chances of reaching the College Football Playoff.After enjoying a day off on Saturday, OSU has shifted focus to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and their head coach Chris Ash, former co-defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes under OSU coach Urban Meyer from 2014 to 2015.With a daunting Big Ten schedule ahead, the OSU is doing its best to focus on Rutgers without putting too much thought into the rest of the schedule before the game kicks off.“It’s so early right now and you better worry about the next game, the next practice, the next game, and not worry about anything else,” Meyer said. “That’s my concern is with all the added publicity, press conferences and everybody being told how good they are, that’s, I really worry about that.”Combined, the rest of the Big Ten excluding OSU has a record of 31-13 overall, with five undefeated teams. Of those five, the Buckeyes will be facing four of them. Even with the time off during the bye week and the implications of the rest of the season, the team is focused on the next matchup.“You come off this big road win and you get a week off. Not necessarily a week off, you get a Saturday off,” said OSU redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis. “You really get to sit back and watch. I know I watched a little film of myself and the other guys. You get to basically coach yourself and see what you need to do to get better.”Rutgers will present a familiar scheme to the Buckeyes, due to Ash’s involvement while he coached at OSU. When Greg Schiano arrived to coach the defense, there was much speculation as to how different the defensive approach would be.Redshirt junior linebacker Chris Worley said the defensive schemes by Ash and Schiano are extremely similar. The only difference is the emphasis on attacking the ball and creating turnovers.In terms of the team mindset from the players, the beginning of the Big Ten schedule marks the time to buckle down for the rest of the season.“The Big Ten, that’s the real deal,” Worley said. “(There are) good teams in the Big Ten right now. One of the strongest conferences if not the strongest conference right now.”Last season, the Buckeyes were 7-1 in Big Ten play, dropping the second-to-last conference game to Michigan State 17-14. The Scarlet and Gray dropped from the top four, and ultimately missed out on the College Football Playoff, which they had won in the previous year. With a younger, more inexperienced team, the Buckeyes will need the same kind of success in the next nine games that the team enjoyed through the first three to prevent the same fate as last season. Starting out well has given OSU a positive attitude, but the practice and hard work is far from over for the Buckeyes.“It’s a great league for our players. It just builds confidence especially with a young football team. It builds some confidence but you don’t want it to be false confidence. And that’s where you come back and evaluate what you’ve done,” OSU running backs coach Tony Alford said about the skill of the Big Ten. “Yes, we have done some good things, but we can’t rest on that either. We’ve got a lot of improvement to go.” read more

Ohio State mens soccer opens conference slate against Northwestern

Then-sophomore forward Zach Mason (7) dribbles the ball during a game against Northwestern on Oct. 20, 2013. OSU tied the Wildcats, 0-0, after two overtimes.Credit: Lantern file photoAfter seven overtime periods and three draws, the Ohio State men’s soccer team can finally stop fretting over grabbing its first win – just in time to face a familiar conference foe.“We’re not pleased that we have three draws, but we’re pleased that we don’t have three losses,” junior midfielder Zach Mason said. “Undefeated is always a good thing to have, obviously we want to start turning those (draws) into some wins, but getting one is the first step.”OSU is scheduled to open its conference slate Sunday against Northwestern after a week off.The Buckeyes (1-0-3) defeated Elon 1-0 in Wilmington, N.C., last Sunday to seal that first victory. Junior forward Joao Ehlers, playing in just his second game for the Scarlet and Gray after dealing with a groin injury before the season, dropped in the golden goal early in the first overtime period to deliver the victory. The Brazilian transferred to OSU from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., prior to the season.“It was an amazing play by my teammates, we always work together,” Ehlers said.He was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week Tuesday for his efforts.“I had the opportunity to finish close to the goal and I got lucky; the ball went through the net.”Fresh off their first victory, the Buckeyes are set to face a team they’ve had little success against in recent years.OSU has not beaten Northwestern since the 2007 season, although the two teams did battle to a scoreless draw in Columbus last year.“You play the conference foes every year, so you’re familiar with their players, we know some of their strengths and weaknesses,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “It is pretty easy to prepare for conference teams because you are very familiar with them.”Conference play has certainly shown it can be a major struggle for Bluem and the Buckeyes despite the familiarity between schools. The team went 1-3-2 against its conference opponents last season, including a 2-0 loss to Michigan State in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament.“It’s always the most important time of the year, because doing well in the Big Ten really sets your benchmark for the year,” Mason said. “If we can start off with a win, it will make a statement. We haven’t been that successful in the Big Ten the last few years, but it’s a new year, and I think we’re ready to get in the top tier of the Big Ten.”It has been a busy start to the season for OSU. The team has begun the season with a pair of two-game weekend tournaments. If that’s not enough, it has yet to finish a game in regulation time.“We’re really tired and beat up right now,” Bluem said. “It’s been a long preseason, it’s been a tough couple weekends playing Friday-Sunday-Friday-Sunday like that, so this is a good time right now to have a week to prepare for Northwestern.”The Wildcats (2-0-2) are led by a stifling defense that has only allowed one goal in their four games this season. Senior goalkeeper Tyler Miller set a school record with his 30th career shutout in Northwestern’s scoreless draw against California State University, Fullerton on Sunday.The Buckeyes’ Big Ten opener against the Wildcats is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

Common contraceptive hormone could protect women from flu

first_img 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 hormone commonly found in contraceptive pills may protect women from the worst effects of flu and help repair lungs damaged by the illness, a new study reveals.Trials of progesterone, which is present in most forms of hormone-based birth control, appeared to stave off the worst effects of influenza in female mice.The unexpected finding by scientists at Johns Hopkins University indicates that the sex hormone may have an effect far beyond the reproductive system and may one day offer a viable flu treatment.Women of reproductive age are twice as likely as men to suffer from complications related to the flu virus. When women go on birth control, they don’t generally think about the health implications beyond stopping ovulationDr Sabra Klein, Johns Hopkins Universitycenter_img The researchers are now calling for further investigations to establish whether women taking progesterone-based contraception, of whom there are an estimated 100 million worldwide, are enjoying unexpected protection from flu while on the pillDr Sabra Klein, who lead the study, which is published in the journal PLOS Pathogens,  said: “Understanding the role that progesterone appears to play in repairing lung cells could really be important for women’s health.“When women go on birth control, they don’t generally think about the health implications beyond stopping ovulation and it’s important to consider them.“Despite the staggering number of women who take this kind of birth control, very few studies are out there that evaluate the impact of contraceptives on how the body responds to infections beyond sexually transmitted diseases,” she added.The research team infected a cohort of mice with an influenza A virus, some of which had been implanted with progesterone and some not.Both sets of mice became ill, but those which had the implants suffered less pulmonary inflammation, better lung function and saw the damage to their lung cells repaired more quickly.The study found that progesterone was protective against the more serious effects of the flu by increasing the production of a protein called amphiregulin by the cells lining the lungs.When the researchers bred mice that were depleted of amphiregulin, the protective effects of progesterone disappeared as well.Dr Klein said she was not surprised progesterone lessened the inflammation and damage associated with the flu, but that she had not expected the hormone to help repair lung cells as well.When female mice, and probably humans, get sick with flu their natural levels of progesterone fall.But women non hormonal contraceptives get a steadier level of progesterone which overrides what the ovaries make naturally or what the virus takes away during infection.last_img read more

Football coach Barry Bennell charged with eight child sex offences

first_imgBennell, who lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, had been taken to hospital on Friday after being found unconscious at a hotel.He had been the youth coach at Crewe Alexandra but also had links to a number of other professional clubs including Manchester City and Stoke City.A CPS spokesman said: “On 27 September 2016, the Crown Prosecution Service received a file of evidence from Cheshire Police relating to allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse involving a former football coach, Barry Bennell.“Following a review of the evidence, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, Mr Bennell, 62, has today been charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy under the age of 14.“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Bennell will now begin and that he has a right to a fair trial.“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”Bennell has been charged with five counts of indecent assault against the boy; two charges of inciting the same boy to commit and act of gross indecency; and one charge of assault with intent to commit buggery.The offences are alleged to have been committed between 1981 and 1985.Bennell is due to appear at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on December 14. Barry Bennell was a youth coach at Crewe Alexandra 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. Barry Bennell, a former football coach, has been charged with eight offences of sexual assault against a boy.The Crown Prosecution Service announced that Bennell, 62, had been charged with historic child sexual abuse.The prosecutors said they had received a file of evidence against Bennell in September and now decided he should be charged with eight offences against a boy who was under 14 at the time of the alleged assaults. Barry Bennell was a youth coach at Crewe AlexandraCredit:PA Wirelast_img read more

Mystery diner stuns restaurant with massive tip on £79 bill

first_img 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 mystery diner at an Indian restaurant in Northern Ireland left staff gobsmacked when he left a huge tip as a reward for “excellent food”.Stunned staff at the Indian Tree restaurant in Portadown were left a £1,000 tip on top of a bill for just £79, according to the Portadown Times.Chef Babu (Shabbir Satter) cooked the food for the family of five, with owner of the business Luna Ekush praising his “hard work”.“It is a very simple thing to express gratitude, but this has had such a big impact. We are still in shock,” she explained, the BBC reports. “All the staff working that night will split the money as the customer said it was for everyone. I don’t think anyone at the restaurant has ever received such a massive tip, I definitely have not.“I want to thank Babu for his hard work; all credit for the food must go to him.”She added the mystery man was a regular at the restaurant, but would be keeping his identity a secret. Last year, this diner left a hateful note for a shocked waitress instead of a tip.   While this woman battling cancer was stunned by a diner’s amazing act of kindness. last_img read more

Duchess of Cambridge teaching George and Charlotte kindness and respect is as

first_imgThe Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Mitchell Brook Primary School, north London, where she and her husband are attending the Place2Be Big Assembly with Heads Together for Children's Mental Health Week. Kate wore an outfit by Luisa SpagnoliCredit: Ian Vogler The engagement is part of a series of events the Duke and Duchess are undertaking – many with Prince Harry – to promote the royal trio’s Heads Together mental health campaign.Heads Together is a umbrella organisation – with Place2Be a member – that aims to change the national conversation around psychological issues to a positive one. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sit down on a "kindness bench" as they celebrate the efforts of school children with the "K factor" The Duchess of Cambridge has said she wants to teach her children the importance of respect, honesty and kindness.Kate said making Prince George, the future King, and his sister Princess Charlotte aware of the value of these qualities was just as important as academic or sporting success.The Duchess’s comments came as she celebrated pupils with the “K factor”, or kindness factor, during a visit to Mitchell Brook Primary in north-west London with her husband the Duke for the launch of Children’s Mental Health Week.The annual event – which this year has the theme Spread A Little Kindness – is an initiative founded by the mental health charity Place2Be, which has Kate as royal patron, and runs counselling sessions at Mitchell Brook in Neasden. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sit down on a “kindness bench” as they celebrate the efforts of school children with the “K factor”Credit:Ian Vogler/PA Wire Kate, who wore an outfit by Luisa Spagnoli, said: “My parents taught me about the importance of qualities like kindness, respect, and honesty, and I realise how central values like these have been to me throughout my life.”That is why William and I want to teach our little children George and Charlotte just how important these things are as they grow up.”In my view it is just as important as excelling at maths or sport.” Kate wore an outfit by Luisa Spagnoli The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Mitchell Brook Primary School, north London, where she and her husband are attending the Place2Be Big Assembly with Heads Together for Children’s Mental Health Week.Credit: PA Wire/PA Images/John Stillwell Speaking during a special school assembly where those with the K factor were recognised, the Duchess added: “People often ask me why I am so interested in the mental health of children and young people.”The answer is quite simple – it is because I think that every child should have the best possible start in life.”When I was growing up I was very lucky. My family was the most important thing to me.”They provided me with somewhere safe to grow and learn, and I know I was fortunate not to have been confronted by serious adversity at a young age.” At the weekend, Kate, William and Harry competed in a relay race at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, where they joined around 150 London marathon competitors who are fundraising for the eight Heads Together charity partners or the campaign itself. Among the competitors was The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon, who shared a warm moment with Prince Harry when she was discussing the challenges of mental ill health with news reader Sian Williams. 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

Multiple sclerosis New stem cell transplantation may freeze disease progression

first_imgPatients were given a drug which encourages stem cells to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, where they were removed from the body.High-dose chemotherapy was then administered to kill all immune cells, before the patient’s own stem cells were put back into the body to “reset” the immune system.Nearly three in four (73 per cent) patients with relapsing MS – where the disease flares up before symptoms improve – found their symptoms did not worsen for five years after having AHSCT, compared with one in three patients with progressive MS, the more severe variant of the disease. We previously knew this treatment reboots or resets the immune system but we didn’t know how long the benefits lastedDr Paolo Muraro, Imperial College London The disease is caused by the immune system malfunctioning and mistakenly attacking nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.It leads to problems with movement, vision, balance and speech.The treatment, autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT), was given to patients with advanced forms of the disease who had failed to respond to other medications.A similar approach has been trialed on people with certain forms of cancer, with encouraging early results.Dr Paolo Muraro, the new study’s lead author, said: “We previously knew this treatment reboots or resets the immune system but we didn’t know how long the benefits lasted.”In this study, which is the largest long-term follow-up study of this procedure, we’ve shown we can ‘freeze’ a patient’s disease – and stop it from becoming worse, for up to five years.”The researchers noted, however, that the nature of the treatment, which involves aggressive chemotherapy, carried “significant risks”.The chemotherapy deactivates the immune system for a short period of time, which can lead to greater risk of infection – of the 281 patients who received AHSCT, eight died in the 100 days after treatment.The treatment works by destroying the immune cells responsible for attacking the nervous system. A multiple sclerosis treatment which “resets” the immune system has been found to “freeze” progression of the disease in nearly half of patients, according to scientists.A study led by Imperial College London found that 46 per cent of patients who underwent the treatment did not suffer a worsening of their condition for five years.The treatment could give hope to the estimated 100,000 people in the UK who are affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), for which there is currently no cure. 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

Jo Cox The Great Get Together what events are taking place this

first_imgJo Cox Brendan Cox, the MP’s husband, said his wife’s killing “aimed to divide communities but has instead brought them together”.He added: “Her killing by a far-right extremist shocked the country and unleashed a wave of compassion and kindness that has comforted us ever since and for which we are extremely grateful.“At a time when extremists of all types are trying to divide our communities there is a huge ground swell of people who just want to focus on the things that unite us, who want to draw closer to their neighbours and communities. Mr Cox said he was “awed by the scale of the reaction” to The Great Together.“We hope these events give us all a moment – as Jo talked about in her maiden speech – to focus on the things we have in common,” he said.“I also hope they are fun, full of energy and laughter. That’s what Jo would have wanted.”What else is going on?Yorkshire’s two regional TV news programmes will put aside 50 years of rivalry when they broadcast jointly for the initiative.  The editors of The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph have also published an opinion piece under a joint byline to support The Great Get Together.People taking part have also been sharing photos using the hashtag #moreincommon Yes – anyone can take part and it’s still not too late to register your interest online in The Great Get Together.“Arrange something with your neighbours, find an event taking place near you or join in online. Whatever you decide, you’ll be part of a huge national celebration,” organisers say. #JoCox as I’ll always remember her; smiling. Thinking of @MrBrendanCox & all Jo’s family today. Hoping everyone will enjoy @great_together pic.twitter.com/N1mwG6eWeq— Jo Stevens (@JoStevensLabour) June 16, 2017 People all across the UK will come together to enjoy picnics, street parties and concerts for The Great Get Together, marking the first anniversary of her death.Mrs Cox’s constituency will be the focal point of the event, with schoolchildren taking part in special assemblies, the renaming of a conference centre in Mrs Cox’s honour, moments of reflection in Birstall, where she was killed, and church services.You can search for your nearest event online.Can anyone take part? The Great Get Together, described as “the biggest neighbourhood celebrations since the Jubilee street parties”, will run from 16 – 18 June.Where is it? Mrs Cox’s family and friends came up with the initiative.“We believe there is a groundswell of people who reject divisive politics and simply want to bring our communities together and celebrate all that unites us. This is our chance,” they say.“As the Prime Minister said, when she remarked on Jo’s death in her New Year’s message: 2017 represents an opportunity to move forward and ‘bring this country together, as never before’.”What has the reaction been? #JoCox as I’ll always remember her; smiling. Thinking of @MrBrendanCox & all Jo’s family today. Hoping everyone will enjoy @great_together pic.twitter.com/N1mwG6eWeq— Jo Stevens (@JoStevensLabour) June 16, 2017 Brendan Cox, widower of murdered MP Jo CoxCredit:PA Brendan Cox, widower of murdered MP Jo Cox “We’re inviting people to get together with their neighbours to share food and celebrate all that we hold in common.“It could be a street party or a shared barbecue, a picnic or a bake off. What matters is that we have fun and bring communities closer together.”The organisers said they expect people to take part “for many different reasons”.Inspired by Jo Cox Tomorrow thousands of schools will be holding assemblies& Great Get Togethers – focussing on the things that bind us together. #moreincommon https://t.co/be20Z7ha1X— Brendan Cox (@MrBrendanCox) June 15, 2017 “I think people are sick of the narrative of hatred and division that neither represents who they are nor our great country.” What is The Great Get Together?The Great Get Together is inspired by Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was shot and stabbed to death in her Batley and Spen constituency, in Yorkshire, on June 16 last year. Jo Cox on her wedding day Credit:The Jo Cox foundation  Neighbourhood celebrations are taking place up and down the country to bring communities together, with more than 110,000 events organised.When is it? The Horror of what unfolded a year ago will live with me forever. Thinking of my brilliant, talented & wonderful friend #JoCox #MoreInCommon— Chris Elmore MP (@CPJElmore) June 16, 2017 Exactly a year ago, Jo Cox was killed. Today let’s keep her words alive. A powerful way you can help is by sharing Jo’s words #MoreInCommon pic.twitter.com/rA4rGA26L0— Great Get Together (@great_together) June 16, 2017 Today, as we remember Jo Cox, her work, her life, & legacy, let’s remember that we do, & always will, have #MoreInCommon pic.twitter.com/pXLj09ujyY— Steven Atkins (@StevenAtkinsUK) June 16, 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.last_img read more

Yorkshire burglars caught after DNA found on their flat caps

first_img SWNS.com The suspects were said to be wearing flat caps, and a vigilant witness spotted two men in caps behaving suspiciously in a vehicle.The vehicle was later located by North Yorkshire Police, and investigators were able to link the DNA of two men to two flat caps found inside.Glass experts also analysed the caps, and found samples of glass from one of the burglary scenes in both of them.Mobile phone data and fingerprints also provided evidence for the case.At York Crown Court on Wednesday July 4, Richards, from Doncaster, North Yorks., pleaded guilty to five distraction burglaries. He was jailed for four-and-a-half-years. Riddiough, also from Doncaster, pleaded guilty to the burglary and was jailed for four-and-a-half years.DC Sam Harding, of the Op Gauntlet Multi-Agency Safeguarding Team, said: “This was a complex investigation in which each agency played a key role. Richards’ and Riddiough’s offending left their victims extremely distressed, and it is right that they are both now behind bars.”Burglars often target the most vulnerable people in our communities, tricking or breaking their way into homes and stealing sentimental or valuable property. These awful crimes can have a huge impact on the victims and their families.”Residents can, however, be reassured that a number of agencies are working together to tackle this type of crime in North Yorkshire, and bring offenders to justice. We also want to encourage people – particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable – to be vigilant against this type of crime. Do not let anyone into your home if you are not certain who they are. If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.”Anyone who thinks they might have been a victim of distraction burglary, or who has strangers at their door acting suspiciously, should report it to the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”  SWNS.com Two burglars have been caught out – after police in Yorkshire linked them to a series of burglaries through DNA found on their flat capsShane Richards, 30 and Carl Riddiough, 30, were caught by eagle-eyed witnesses who spotted them in their flat caps after a police appeal.The thieves targeted elderly people in a series of distraction burglaries, which involved telling the vulnerable victim that they had kicked a football into their garden.One of the men would then help look for the imaginary football while the other raided the houses of the victim for valuable property between August 1 and August 3 2016. Flat cap burglar Shane RichardsCredit: SWNS.com Flat cap burglar Carl RiddioughCredit: SWNS.com Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Residents told not to ring 999 unless urgent after owl flies into

first_img 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. Neighbouring forces also helped field calls. The problem was rectified around 13 hours later at around 4.15pm. A spokesman said: “We’re pleased to confirm that all systems are now back up and running and normal bank holiday service has been resumed.”We would once again like to thank everyone for their patience and support, whilst we worked to rectify matters and apologise for the inconvenience caused.” Engineers spent the Bank Holiday working to rectify the problem, which happened at 3.30am when the owl flew into a sub-station and took out most of the power at police HQ in Portishead.Becky Tipper, centre manager for communications at Avon and Somerset Police, told the BBC that staff were coming in on their day off to ensure calls could still get through.  We’ve got computer/phone problems. Genuine 999 calls only. Engineers working to Engineers working to rectify problems. Thanks for support.— Avon&Somerset Police (@ASPolice) August 28, 2017center_img We’re working to restore systems Power outage caused by owl flying into sub station Limited 999 service Thanks for your patience.— Avon&Somerset Police (@ASPolice) August 28, 2017 Residents Somerset were told not to ring the police unless it was “urgent” after an owl flew into power cables and broke the phone system. The force urged people to call 999 only if they had a genuine emergency on Monday after the bird caused serious problems for their computer and phone systems. They also told households to avoid using the non-urgent 101 service. last_img read more

Blogger who shared heartbreak of failed IVF attempts is donated new eggs

first_imgJules Furness, husband Steven and their toddler son.  Jules and Steven Furness meets donor Amber Wilde( left) Amber Wilde (left), partner Kirsty Wilde (right) and their four children - boys Balthazar and Lysander, 3, and girls Embla and Olympia, 1.  Jules and Steven, an airport technician, were accepted onto the NHS donor egg list in 2010 and got to the top of the list after a year and a half wait. Jules Furness, husband Steven and their toddler son. Credit:Jessa Line / SWNS.com A blogger who shared her heartbreak at failed IVF attempts has had new eggs donated to her by a stranger who reached out via Facebook. Jules Furness, 35, posted a vlog after her second try at fertility treatment with husband Steven, 34, was unsuccessful. The emotional clip was seen by mum-of-four Amber Wilde, 28, who immediately contacted Jules via Facebook messenger and offered to donate her eggs – despite never having met her or spoken on the phone.The message said: “This might be wildly inappropriate and please accept my apologies if so, but if altruistic egg donation would make IVF more affordable to you and you’re not horrified by my weirdo genetics I’d donate in a heartbeat.”A year on, Amber’s eggs were artificially combined with Steven’s sperm at a clinic, producing two healthy embryos in November. Jules, from Ipswich, Suffolk, has premature ovarian failure which means her ovaries don’t release eggs.She effectively began experiencing the menopause aged 15 and was prescribed HRT and always knew she wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally. “I wanted people to see the real face of what IVF can look like and show what it’s really like,” said Jules.”It was a hard decision to make but we felt it was important for people to see that it doesn’t always work and that if that happens to them they aren’t the only ones.” Jules said: “It was just an incredible thing for someone to offer.”We wondered if it was really real, because it was just such a fairytale.”It’s hard to sum up but we are just so grateful she has given us the chance of another child – and our son the chance of a brother or sister.”center_img Amber, a fellow video blogger for Channel Mum, was one if those who spotted the post. The mum has twin girls, aged one and twin boys aged three, with partner Kirsty, a full-time mum, thanks to the help from a single sperm donor.Amber said: “While I was pretty spontaneous with my offer we definitely both gave it much more thought over the coming months.”Overwhelmed Jules said: “At first I couldn’t really take it in but then we started messaging back and forth about that ‘what ifs’ and the ‘are you sures’.”The pair exchanged messages and phone calls before the met up for the first time at Amber’s home for a picnic in London in May. Jules and Steven Furness meets donor Amber Wilde( left)Credit:Channel Mum / SWNS.com Amber Wilde (left), partner Kirsty Wilde (right) and their four children – boys Balthazar and Lysander, 3, and girls Embla and Olympia, 1. Credit: Channel Mum / SWNS.com It was the first time the ‘other halves’ had spoken and the family hit it off straight away, recording a video that was posted to Channel Mum.After six months of appointments and counselling, ten of Amber’s eggs were retrieved, seven were fertilised and two healthy “perfect” embryos were produced.They will be tested further over the coming weeks and the plan is for at least one to be transferred to Jules in January.The process is being funded by the Furness family and costs £13,000 for up to three attempts – which is refunded if none are successful. An anonymous donor gave two eggs which were transferred to Jules in 2012, but were not successful.”Sadly the eggs were not high quality but you just have to take what you are given,” said Jules, a blogger for Channel Mum.”We didn’t get pregnant. We felt like that was the end of the road for us.”The determined couple turned to adoption and were matched with their son, now a toddler, who joined the family as a baby.A year ago the “broody” couple started thinking about increasing their family but couldn’t have NHS-funded IVF due to already having a child.Faced with a £10,000 bill to go private in the UK, they paid £3,500 to try IVF in Prague in October last year.Sadly two implanted eggs failed and Jules recorded a video documenting the negative test weeks later, which was watched by more than 9,000 people. 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

Lecturers warned not to pressure students into avoiding classes ahead of latest

first_imgLecturers have been warned not to pressure students into avoiding classes ahead of the latest round of strikes.Students at Sheffiled University have told The Telegraph how they have been physically blocked from attending classes and made to turn away, while a department head at Sussex University wrote to students urging them to respect their peers’ decisions about whether to cross picket lines. Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said that any suggestion that students are being intimidated when trying to attend classes is “completely unacceptable”. Julia Coulson, a first year student at Sheffield University, told how she was blocked from entering through the main entrance to a faculty building before her seminar, so was forced to use a back entrance, and then was shouted at on the way out.“The lecturers were stood by the gates in a line, about 15 of them…they were asking me not to go [to my seminar], not to cross the picket line,” she said.“I then tried to go and two of them moved and stopped me from going. I felt awful, I felt like such a criminal for going to something that was on.” Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said that any suggestion that students are being intimidated when trying to attend classes is “completely unacceptable” In his email, Professor Andrew Cornwall, head of the School of Global Studies, enclosed a complaint from a student who wrote to express how distressing she found being heckled by her lecturers and peers as she crossed a picket line.The student explained that she needed to enter the university to visit a therapist she was seeing about a recent sexual assault, adding: “I find it completely unacceptable that by attending these services and having to cross the picket line I could be faced with a query as to why I’m not supporting the strike”. “I had my seminar at 9am and there were these people picketing in front of Elmfield not letting anyone in,” she said.“I wanted to get through to get to my seminar but was stopped and asked to leave and to not attend my seminar, as a solidarity with teachers affected by the pensions cuts issue.“They were holding each other’s hands, so there was literally no gap where I could get through them, so I ended up going home.”Meanwhile, a department head at Sussex University wrote to students to urge them to be “respectful” towards one another during the strikes, and asked them to consider the issues raised in an email he received from a concerned student. Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said that any suggestion that students are being intimidated when trying to attend classes is "completely unacceptable" A spokesperson for UCU said said they are “grateful for the fantastic support we have received from students throughout the action so far”.They added: “Picketing is a legal right and our members are encouraged to put their point of view robustly but politely. In addition to students and many politicians, we have welcomed a number of vice-chancellors to picket lines.”  UCU has threatened to go on strike for another 14 days during the summer exam term Dasha Pervuhina, a 21-year-old student at Sheffield University said that she was physically blocked from entering the Politics department Mr Gyimah said: “I have been clear that students should not lose out on the education they are paying for. In the first instance universities should look to provide additional lectures where they are missed due to strike action.”Where a student’s experience has been seriously affected, universities should consider offering compensation, as some, like King’s College London, have already started looking in to.”This week Universities College Union (UCU) threatened to go on strike for another 14 days during the summer exam term, meaning that students at universities across the country face having their final-year exams scaled back or even cancelled altogether.Members of UCU, which represents lecturers and campus staff, are in a dispute with Universities UK (UUK), the vice-Chancellor membership body, over controversial pension reforms which they claim would make them £10,000 worse off each year in retirement.The National Union of Students has urged members to join their lecturers on the picket lines, despite fears that the walk out will harm their exams. A spokesperson at the University of Sheffield said that they have told lecturers that it is not acceptable to harangue students who wish to attend their classes and seminars during the strike action. “No student or member of staff should feel intimidated about crossing any picket line,” the spokesman said. “We have worked closely with both UCU and the Students’ Union who have communicated this clearly to their members and we will continue to ensure this is the case.”  UCU has threatened to go on strike for another 14 days during the summer exam term 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

The Crown stardust adds lustre to medals put up for sale by

Sir Martin, latterly Baron Charteris of Amisfield, received the Queen’s Service Order, the Order of the Bath, The Royal Victorian Order and France’s Legion d’Honneur among numerous military honours, to be sold as one collection for an estimate of up to  £15,000. To a new generation of Netflix viewers he is the unexpected star of The Crown, the charming private secretary so invaluable to the Queen during her early reign. The real life of Martin Charteris, from distinguished Second World War veteran to palace aide and beyond, is to be illustrated at an auction house later this month, as his family agree to sell his extraordinary lifetime collection of medals. The orders and medals, spanning decades…

Scotland Yard receives fresh sexual assault allegation against Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein has been charged in New York with sexually assaulting three women.On Monday, the New York County District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr, announced a New York Supreme Court hearing originally set to take place later this week has now been pushed back to November 8.Investigators in Los Angeles are also looking into allegations against the 66-year-old. Police in the UK first confirmed they had opened an investigation into Weinstein in October last year after Merseyside Police received an allegation of sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s, and referred it to Scotland Yard.British actress Lysette Anthony said she had told the Metropolitan Police she was attacked by Weinstein in her London home in the late 1980s. On October 31 last year, an alleged eighth victim told UK police she had been assaulted by Weinstein in Ireland. The allegation has been passed on to Irish police. British police investigating Harvey Weinstein have received a further allegation of sexual assault after an 11th woman came forward.Scotland Yard said the latest allegation was received on August 16 after a woman alleged she was assaulted at an “unknown location in the early 1990s”.A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police added: “There has been no arrest at this stage or interviews under caution.”(We) can confirm that officers involved in this investigation travelled to the United States in June as part of their inquiries. We are not prepared to discuss further.”Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.Scotland Yard has not named Weinstein, but confirmed officers from the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command are investigating allegations of sexual assault under Operation Kaguyak.The allegation means police are now probing 16 alleged assaults from 11 women. Lysette Anthony attends The British Soap Awards , June 3, 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. Lysette Anthony attends The British Soap Awards , June 3, 2017Credit:Jeff Spicer/Getty Show more read more

Brian Mays 3D book is closest most people will get to walking

May, who has produced several books using the Victorian technology, said he had spent many nights compiling the images while he was on tour with the band Queen. The technique uses photographs taken at slightly different angles which give a three-dimensional effect which leaps off the page when readers wear special glasses. However most of the Apollo shots were not captured in 3D so May spent a year painstakingly altering them to get the effect ahead of the 50th anniversary of the landing next year.–– ADVERTISEMENT –– … A new book of stereoscopic images of the Moon landing created by Brian May, the Queen Guitarist, is the closest most people will ever get to walking on the lunar surface, astronauts have claimed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Mother 2 teens remanded for Corentyne security guards murder

Two teenagers, along with the mother of one of them, were on Friday remanded to prison for the murder of Corentyne security guard Muneshprem Ayasammy Monien.The entity was robbed and the guard securing the place was murderedCarlos Bollers, 19, of Williamsburg; and Yuvraj Singh, 17, of Guava Bush, Albion Front, Berbice, appeared before Magistrate Renita Singh at the Albion Magistrate’s Court.The two were jointly charged. Charged separately, for harbouring the murder accused, was the mother of Carlos, Lalita Bollers of Section E, Port Mourant.Charged: Lalita Bollers, mother of murder accused Carlos BollersThe three, who were unrepresented, were implicated in the murder Monien of Lot 45 Clifton, Port Mourant, Corentyne, during the course of a robbery on March 31.They were all remanded and the case will continue on April 23.On the day of the incident, Monien’s body was discovered in a pool of blood in a storeroom at Sukhram’s General Store (where the two teens were employed)  at Lot 13 Public Road, Rose Hall.The 53-year-old provided security services for two years for the store which sells agricultural products; working a 12-hour shift, which commenced at 17:00hrs.Following the discovery of the body, it was also discovered that money which was being kept in the store was missing.Police later arrested all of the employees following a theory that the robbery/murder was an inside job.Two days after, Bollers allegedly confessed to plotting the robbery and also implicated Singh, who later also allegedly confessed.As the Police continued to probe, Bollers allegedly took them to a house at Port Mourant where his mother lives.The woman reportedly went to a section of the yard and dug up some money, which was buried. Approximately $1.5 million was missing after the store was robbed.Her son also reportedly showed the investigators where he had hidden the murder weapon.Meanwhile, the Police are searching for another suspect. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSchool dropout arraigned with murder of Whim labourerNovember 22, 2018In “Court”Corentyne robbery spree: Alleged gang members remandedMarch 29, 2018In “Court”Accused in murder of GDF lieutenant remandedJanuary 7, 2019In “Court” read more

6 in custody for guns ammo possession following operations Police

Police ranks on patrols in A and D Divisions have arrested six males during three stop and search operations on Friday and early Saturday morning after the men were collectively found in possession of three handguns and 21 live rounds.According to the Police, the first weapon without ammunition was found in the possession of a 40-year-old labourer of Buzz Bee Dam, Craig East Bank Demerara (EBD) at around 07:30h at Craig New Housing Scheme.Around 09:30h the second weapon, with fourteen rounds, was found in 3rd Street, Agricola on a 22-year-old resident of Curtis Street, Albouystown.The other weapon, with seven rounds, was found on one of four persons intercepted in a vehicle at the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge about 00:20h on Saturday.It was outlined that two of the men are from Diamond Housing Scheme, EBD and the others of Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara.Pending the outcome of investigations, the suspects will more than likely be placed before the Courts. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related7 nabbed with illegal guns, ammoNovember 5, 2017In “Crime”Armed bandit fleeing on bicycle captured after robbing WCD businessJune 16, 2018In “Crime”Duo arrested with illegal guns, ammoSeptember 24, 2017In “Crime” read more

Latin American gold output increases in 2011

first_imgAccording to a recent mining industry report by Metals Economics Group (MEG), Latin American gold production should increase more than 10% in 2011. The report states that about two-thirds of Latin American production is from primary gold mines and the rest is from secondary sources, mostly copper and silver mines. Although Chile is Latin America’s fifth-largest gold producer – behind Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina – it holds the largest share of gold in active nonproducing projects equating to 29% of gold contained in resources under development. Mexico holds the second-largest nonproducing gold resources and the largest producing resources-holding 28% of gold contained in producing resources. Mineweb reported yesterday that Peru’s total gold production for the first nine months of this year from January to September declined 0.93% from 3,992,795 oz during the same period of 2010 to 3,955,699 oz, this year. Unrest in some of the mining areas is having an affect.The pie chart shows active Latin American non producing gold resources by country (Total: 412.3 Moz) Data source: MEG’s MineSearch database.In addition to the advanced exploration projects that are progressing from reserves development to production, early-stage exploration by junior companies is contributing to the Latin American gold project pipeline. Since 2000, junior companies’ allocations to all stages of Latin American gold exploration have increased each year except three – in 2001-02 when gold prices were languishing at the $300/oz level, and in 2009 when the equity markets collapsed. The number of exploration successes (positive drill intersections and resource increases) has followed the same general trend.last_img read more