NFL Week 12 Playoff Implications Show The Cardinals Some Respect

UPDATE (Nov. 21, 12:24 p.m.): The interactive tables above have been updated to include the result of Thursday night’s Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs match-up, and that game has been removed (the text of the article has not been updated).After an upset-filled Week 11, the NFL playoff picture has shifted, but the outlook is as murky as ever. The Atlanta Falcons, at 4-6, were among the week’s winners, and have somehow found themselves atop the NFC South after a victory over the Carolina Panthers and a rare home loss by the New Orleans Saints. The Houston Texans — after their win over the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts’ Sunday night loss — saw their playoff chances double, to 24 percent.As for the losers, the Browns in a single week went from first to worst in the AFC North (and the Oakland Raiders, crossed out in the interactive above, became the first team to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention). The Colts have all but squandered any chance at a first-round bye, having dropped games to current Nos. 1 and 2 seeds the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. And the Saints seem determined to keep the race for the NFC South title interesting.Just two weeks ago, a Saints division title seemed very likely. Now New Orleans has ceded the lead to Atlanta, a team that has yet to win a game outside of the NFC South.1Although nothing to brag about, Atlanta’s poor record outside the NFC South doesn’t hurt their division tiebreakers. So, how bad could it get in the division? How about an NFC South victor with only five regular-season wins? It’s a mathematical possibility, although remote. Of the 50,000 simulations that form the basis for this weekly feature, nine resulted in the Panthers finishing 5-10-1 and atop the NFC South (granted, that’s just a probability of 0.02 percent). And there is about a 1-in-5 chance the division winner will finish with a losing record.Last week, we introduced the use of Gini coefficients to measure playoff uncertainty, specifically the uncertainty of each divisional race. Traditionally used to measure income inequality, Gini coefficients quantify how equally a resource (e.g. playoff probabilities) is distributed. We can also extend this approach to each conference’s overall playoff race.2The lower the Gini coefficient, the more equally allocated the playoff probabilities. As the regular-season progresses, one would expect the conference Gini coefficient to increase as teams begin to drop out of playoff contention — the have-nots ceding their wealth to the haves. By season’s end, the coefficient will reach its maximum value of two-thirds, corresponding to the six playoff berths being shared equally among six of the 16 teams in each conference.The chart below tracks the Gini coefficient by week for the AFC and NFC. There is an upward progression to both lines, but you can see that things have stagnated somewhat in the NFC, with the Gini coefficient declining after a chaotic Week 11.Looking ahead to Week 12, the game with the highest amount of “swing” features the Baltimore Ravens, who are traveling to the Superdome to play the Saints. A total of 87 percentage points of playoff probability is at stake, spread among 15 teams.The matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Broncos results in some conflicting allegiances for two teams in the AFC West. A Broncos victory would help the San Diego Chargers’ and Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff hopes, because both teams are competing with Miami for the two AFC wild card berths. But a Broncos victory would also hurt those teams’ chances of winning the AFC West title. I would imagine a Chiefs fan would prefer to aim high and root for the Broncos to lose. Chargers fans should probably be more pragmatic. An AFC West title is highly unlikely, making a Dolphins loss the more attractive outcome for San Diego’s slim playoff hopes.The most compelling divisional matchup takes place Sunday afternoon, when the Arizona Cardinals visit the Seattle Seahawks. The Cardinals, despite their NFL-best 9-1 record, have rarely cracked the top 10 in the betting market-based rankings used for this feature (see below). They are seven-point underdogs to the Seahawks, a team Arizona leads by three games in the standings. A win by the Cardinals would give them a 94 percent chance of winning the NFC West title — an outcome that was almost unthinkable at the outset of this season. Back then, most would have assumed a dogfight between the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. read more

By the numbers Ohio State starts slow finishes strong against Maryland

Redshirt sophomore defensive end Tyquan Lewis (59) drags down Maryland redshirt junior quarterback Perry Hills on Oct. 10. OSU won 49-28. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorOhio State started slow once again but scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to put away the Maryland Terrapins, 49-28, in Columbus.Maryland’s offense, after getting shut out at home the previous week to a streaking Michigan team, got on the board first after redshirt junior quarterback Perry Hills fired a 52-yard touchdown pass. The Buckeye defense, which had bailed the team out from several close calls already this season, gave up a season-high 28 points, as well as 386 yards of offense.The Terps put up a valiant effort throughout the game, going so far as to even the score at 21 in the third quarter before the cracks began to widen. Two key interceptions in the fourth quarter helped end a potential comeback from Maryland, which leads the nation in interceptions thrown.Despite defensive struggles, the biggest takeaway from Saturday’s game was the OSU offense, which in the second half finally began to play to its potential. OSU coach Urban Meyer used redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones to start drives and let redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett finish them inside the red zone.This system proved effective, as both quarterbacks looked sharp throughout most of the game. Jones completed 75 percent of his passes (21-of-28) for 291 yards and two touchdowns, while Barrett added three rushing touchdowns and 62 yards on the ground to help lead the Buckeye offense to an impressive 499 yards of total offense and 31 first downs.Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott pounded away 106 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries to lead the rushing attack, while redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller (79 yards, one touchdown), redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (78 yards, one touchdown) and redshirt junior receiver Michael Thomas (107 yards) put up impressive performances for the receiving corps. Redshirt junior safety Tyvis Powell and redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Hubbard both added interceptions for the defense.Maryland put up arguably its best game of the season in the loss, mostly thanks to its quarterback. Hills, after not playing for the last three weeks, put up 133 yards and a score through the air while rushing for 170 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground, as he was responsible for three of the four Maryland touchdowns. By the numbers:0: Arguably the most important number of all, as OSU’s offense didn’t have a turnover for the first time since facing off against Hawaii in Week 2.17: The number of interceptions thrown by Maryland quarterbacks this season, the most in the nation.2-0: OSU’s all-time record against Maryland.21: OSU’s margin of victory over the Terps, the same amount that Mid-American Conference team Bowling Green beat Maryland by earlier this season.11: Elliott has pounded away at least 100 yards for 11 consecutive games.26: OSU’s current regular-season conference winning streak, the longest in Big Ten history.-2: The Buckeyes’ current turnover margin for the season, as they have turned the ball over 13 times in six games compared to forcing 11 turnovers from opponents. 102: The numbers of weeks OSU has been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll after the Week 7 rankings were released on Sunday, which is the most of any college football team (Oklahoma is second at 101). read more

Keita BatesDiop leads Ohio State mens basketball to victory in final nonconference

Correction 12/28: The score has been updated to reflect the correct final score. OSU sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) dribbles the ball during a game against Northern Illinois on Dec. 16 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorPowered by a career-high 24 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop, the Ohio State men’s basketball team defeated the South Carolina State Bulldogs 73-57 on Sunday night in Columbus.Bates-Diop scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half, including five 3-pointers, which powered the Buckeyes to a 34-21 halftime lead that they never looked back from.Bates-Diop said it felt great to see so many of his shots fall in after several rattled out the previous game against Mercer.“My teammates got me in the right spots, I was really open most of the time and I just knocked down shots,” he said.OSU coach Thad Matta said although the team earned its fourth win in a row, he wasn’t happy with the number of turnovers in the first half.“The first half we weren’t very sharp at all, of the eight turnovers, five or six were unforced,” Matta said. “We’re not a very good offensive team when we’re not taking care of the ball.” Matta commended freshman guard A.J. Harris for getting the ball rolling.“A.J. really came in and kinda lit the wick for us,” Matta said.South Carolina State coach Murray Garvin said Harris’ play was the difference in the game.“He changed the tempo of the game,” Garvin said. “He’s so quick (that) he can turn off the lights and be in the bed before it gets dark.” Harris accounted for six of OSU’s 19 assists on the night, which were highlighted by five alley-oops. The Dayton native said things are finally starting to click for him in his debut campaign.“My goal is to just share the ball more,” Harris said. “So that’s all we’ve been practicing, is just sharing the ball more, making the extra pass to our teammates that are open. Just making the extra pass. I was seeing the floor really well and my big man was running, my two and three guards were running, so it really opened up the floor for me.”The Buckeyes’ next game is scheduled against the Minnesota on Wednesday, the first of the Big Ten season. Bates-Diop said the conference season brings on a whole new mentality, one that the team should be ready for come next Wednesday.“I think we’re finally hitting our stride,” Bates-Diop said. “Going into the Big Ten, that’s going to be huge for us.”The Buckeyes saw improved performance from its 3-point shooters, as OSU shot 36 percent from three after shooting just 13.6 percent against Mercer.Matta said he knows his team has to be more consistent for it to be able to compete in the Big Ten.“We’ve shown that we can play some really good basketball, and we’ve shown we can play some really bad basketball,” Matta said. “We’re a team that has to be dialed in to everything that we’re doing. The thing that excites me is we’ve seen one through 12, guys can play some really high-level basketball. Finding that consistency is going to be what the next 10 weeks is about.” Game notesFreshman forward Mickey Mitchell scored his first points as a Buckeye in his second game after being declared eligible by the NCAA.OSU’s largest lead was 24 points.OSU outrebounded South Carolina State 50-32.OSU had nine blocked shots while the Bulldogs failed to register one. read more

Mens soccer OSU loses season finale at Wisconsin earns sixth seed in

Ohio State forward Yaw Amankwa (23) sends a ball past Maryland defender Chris Odoi-Atsem (28) during a game at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Oct. 31, 2015. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State men’s soccer team faced off against No. 24 Wisconsin in its last game of the regular season on Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin. There was a lot at stake for both teams, as the game would determine the final Big Ten standings and seeding in the Big Ten tournament.In the end, the Badgers proved to be too much for the Buckeyes, defeating the Scarlet and Gray 2-1 in Madison.Wisconsin applied a ton of pressure early on in the match, earning the majority of chances and forcing the Buckeyes to spend most of the time in their own defensive zone.In the 16th minute, Wisconsin redshirt freshman defender Elan Koenig corralled a rebound off a save from OSU keeper Parker Siegfried and finished it off to put the Badgers up 1-0.Wisconsin would add to its lead in the 44th minute, again on a rebound opportunity. This time, it was redshirt sophomore forward Isaac Schlenker who buried the ball after a save from Siegfried, extending the Badger lead to 2-0.Wisconsin held a 15-3 shot advantage through the opening period, but the Buckeyes did not go quietly into the night.Late in the second period, OSU senior forward Yaw Amankwa launched a shot from 30 yards out that was able to beat the Badger keeper and find the back of the net, cutting the deficit to 2-1.The Buckeyes desperately battled back throughout the second stanza, outshooting the Badgers 12-4 in the period. However, they would be unable to find the equalizer, and the score remained at 2-1 as time expired.Sophomore forward Abdi Mohamed did not play in the match. Senior forward Danny Jensen played 58 minutes in his return from injury after a five-game absence.The Buckeyes finish the season with a 5-12-1 record (3-4-1 B1G).The loss gives OSU a sixth seed in the Big Ten tournament, where they will rematch Wisconsin in Madison this Sunday, Nov. 6. read more

Raekwon McMillan helps register voters through fraternity

OSU junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) dances towards the crowd after the Buckeye defense stops the Nebraska offense on their own two-yard line during the first half of the game on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorRaekwon McMillan came to Ohio State as one of the most highly rated recruits in the 2014 class. Like any other freshman, McMillan, a Georgia native, was getting acclimated with classes, new teammates and a new scenery. Two years later, McMillan is the face of the OSU defense, the Silver Bullets, and figures to be the next in the lineage of OSU linebackers in the NFL.The junior middle linebacker has been the soul of the defense for the Buckeyes, but also this fall, he began to exercise his political freedom. McMillan became involved in voter registration in central Ohio for the 2016 election season as a member of the Ohio State chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.“We had a program of voter registration and really just spread the word, mostly to the African-American people throughout central Columbus,” McMillan said. “That’s what we try to focus on, but we just want to build awareness and teach what this election is about, what each candidate stands for.”Omega Psi Phi is a historically African-American Greek life organization that is governed by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Redshirt sophomore safety Damon Webb also is a member.McMillan joined the fraternity after his sophomore year. At first, he said he never really saw himself as a fraternity member, however he began to look more into the extracurriculars, which drew him to Omega Psi Phi. McMillan said that, before the 2016 election cycle, he never really into politics, but began to pay more attention to it as the presidential campaign intensified. As an “Omega man,” McMillan felt like it was his duty to encourage others to take political action in an unprecedented election.OSU coach Urban Meyer hosted Patriot Week throughout the Memorial Day weekend this past spring, bringing in several guest lecturers to talk to the team about their responsibilities as Americans — voting being one of them. On Monday, Meyer expressed how important it is to him that his team understands the civic duties each individual has, and said he hopes each of his players votes on Tuesday. McMillan, along with redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, said they will vote on Tuesday.“It’s something that’s going to impact us not only here in Columbus but also around the country,” McMillan said. “So we want everybody to have awareness to what’s going on around us because you’re exercising your political rights.”Webb said McMillan’s activism in Omega Psi Phi has a direct correlation with the linebacker’s ability to persevere in intense situations and uplift his teammates. Webb added that the leadership traits McMillan are not confined to the gridiron.“I would definitely say he’s gotten better. He’s always been a leadership-type dude, so even outside of the football field — our fraternity brothers, he brought leadership to them,” Webb said. “It’s like a brotherhood outside of the locker room … we build a bond that is unbreakable.” read more

Former Buckeye Mike Vrabel reported to be returning to Ohio State as

Ohio State appears to have found a new linebackers coach in former Buckeye and Super Bowl champion Mike Vrabel. Multiple media outlets have reported Vrabel’s hiring by OSU. According to the university’s online directory, Vrabel’s working title is “Assistant Coach-Football.” In an email to The Lantern, Jerry Emig, assistant athletics communication director, said the athletic department was working Sunday on details regarding a press conference. Emig added that OSU has not “announced an (assistant) coach hire yet.” Emig also said the athletic department would release details on an upcoming press conference shortly, though he did not address what the purpose of the press conference would be. Vrabel, a former defensive end at OSU from 1993–96, was the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year during both the 1995 and 1996 seasons. During his college playing days, Vrabel was also a defensive line mate with new OSU head coach Luke Fickell — Vrabel was a defensive end while Fickell played nose guard. Vrabel was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and spent his first four years as a professional there. Vrabel was later traded to the New England Patriots where he became a force on both sides of the ball. In short-yardage situations, Patriots coach Bill Belichick used Vrabel as a tight end. In his eight years with the Patriots, Vrabel, who typically played linebacker, had 10 receptions, all for touchdowns. During his time in at New England, Vrabel won three Super Bowl and also appeared in the 2007 Pro Bowl. Vrabel was then traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009, where he is still under contract. Media outlets have reported that multiple sources close to Vrabel expect the former Buckeye to retire from the NFL and accept the coaching position at OSU. The Kansas City Chiefs did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on Vrabel’s status with the organization. Vrabel would be coming to OSU after a recent run-in with law enforcement. On April 5, Vrabel was arrested for theft at an Indiana casino and was released later that day after posting bond. Vrabel called the arrest an “unfortunate misunderstanding.” More recently, Vrabel has been a vocal member of the NFL Players Association and is one of 10 players involved in the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. Vrabel could not be reached for comment. read more

Former Ohio State football players one step closer to NFL after draft

Senior running back Carlos Hyde (34) walks of the field during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorLives have changed  forever for 256 players as they were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.Six of those players are former Ohio State Buckeyes.The first former Buckeye taken off the board was linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was selected 15th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round Thursday night. He became the ninth former OSU linebacker and 68th Buckeye ever taken in the first round.Shazier, who was a first-team Associated Press All-American in his final season at OSU, totaled a Big Ten conference-high with 143 tackles to go along with six sacks.Cornerback Bradley Roby, who joined Shazier as one of 30 prospects invited to New York for the draft, was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 31st overall pick in the first round.Roby became the first OSU defensive back taken in the first round of the draft since Malcolm Jenkins was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 14th overall pick in 2009.The Broncos, who dropped Super Bowl XLVIII 43-8 to the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2, have since bolstered their secondary by not only drafting Roby, but also signing former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to a six-year, $57 million contract in March.Just as they did in the first round, the Buckeyes produced two picks in the second round, as running back Carlos Hyde and offensive lineman Jack Mewhort came off the board.Hyde was selected 57th overall by the San Francisco 49ers, who are coached by former University of Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh.The former Buckeye running back became the first 1,000-yard rusher under OSU coach Urban Meyer and was named the Big Ten Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year in 2013. Hyde finished his senior campaign with 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.Mewhort was selected just two picks later with the 59th overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts.The selection of Mewhort marked the third straight year that an OSU tackle has been selected in the draft, following in the footsteps of Reid Fragel – drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013 – and Mike Adams, who the Pittsburgh Steelers selected in 2012.Mewhort was a three-year starter in his time as a Buckeye and was named a first-team All-American by ESPN.com during his senior season in 2013.Another Buckeye was not taken until the fifth round when center Corey Linsley was selected 161st overall by the Green Bay Packers.Linsley anchored an offensive line that ranked fifth nationally in 2013 in rushing, averaging 308.6 yards per game and breaking school records for points in a single season with 637, as well as touchdowns scored with 87.Linsley graduated from OSU with a degree in economics in December.Rounding out the former Buckeyes selected in the 2014 draft was safety Christian Bryant, who was selected 241st overall in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams.Bryant, who was named a team captain prior to the 2013 season, suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the fifth game of the year against Wisconsin Sept. 28., a game won by OSU 31-24. At the time of the injury, Bryant ranked third on the team in tackles with 22.Bryant, who was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes, finished his OSU career with 171 total tackles to go along with two interceptions, 23 pass breakups and three forced fumbles.The Buckeye safety petitioned the NCAA for a medical redshirt in January, but was turned down and entered the draft.Although six Buckeyes were drafted to NFL rosters, several draft-eligible players were not selected during the draft.According to multiple reports, many of the former Buckeyes not drafted have found homes in free agency.Some of the players signing in free agency took to Twitter to announce their new teams, one of them being wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown who announced his signing with the Carolina Panthers saying, “Here I come Carolina,” via his personal account @phillybrown10. Reportedly joining him in Carolina will be offensive lineman Andrew Norwell.Offensive lineman Marcus Hall confirmed with  The Lantern Sunday in an email that he has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, which reunites him with Mewhort.  Safety C.J. Barnett’s signing with the New York Giants was confirmed via Twitter by his signing agency IFA.Kicker Drew Basil also took to Twitter late Saturday night announcing he has signed with the Atlanta Falcons. Wide receiver Chris Fields also used social media to announce an agreement with the Washington Redskins.Running back Jordan Hall has earned a tryout with the Steelers according to multiple reports and quarterback Kenny Guiton remains unsigned as of Sunday morning. read more

Varsity sports cut at Newark campus

The OSU-Newark branch campus. Credit: Courtesy of OSUFor Chelsea Dobson, a fourth-year in art at Ohio State’s Newark campus, basketball games are a time for the campus to get together and share in one experience of fandom.“The main sport that I feel like gets the most attention is the basketball team. Usually, those are the best crowds,” said Dobson, who works as a student athletic assistant at OSU-Newark. “They will cheer, they yell crazy things when we have the ball and things like that.”But students at OSU-Newark will not get the chance to cheer on their team next year after it was announced on April 10 that varsity sports will no longer be offered beginning in the fall, because of budget reduction initiatives by the school.The school announced the decision as part of an email sent out to faculty and staff that said, as part of the budget planning for fiscal year 2016, the varsity athletic teams will be discontinued, effective June 30.OSU-Newark offers six varsity sports: women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, softball, men’s basketball, baseball and golf. The sports teams compete in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, which is an “independent sports organization that serves the regional campuses of Ohio,” according to the email.The school’s recreational and intramural sports will continue on campus, the email said.William MacDonald, dean and director of OSU-Newark, said he understands the impact this decision will have on both student-athletes and the general student population.“It certainly will have an impact on them and I have talked to several of them,” he said. “I had a meeting with our student government and students they invited. Several athletes attended and they made a very well-reasoned argument as to how athletics can benefit students.”During the 2014-15 academic year, OSU-Newark had 70 student-athletes involved in the school’s athletic teams, said Holly Mason, director of student life at OSU-Newark.“Depending on the year and student interest, we typically have 70 – 100 student-athletes competing in varsity athletics in the course of an academic year,” Mason said in an email.MacDonald said the decision to cut varsity sports is part of one set of cuts that have been proposed to balance the budgets for both OSU-Newark and the Central Ohio Technical College, which shares the campus.The budget reduction plans are a necessity because of several economic factors related to the cost of tuition, MacDonald added.“Part of the budget that we built this year (was) based on the assumption that we would have a 2 percent tuition increase, but of course, we didn’t increase tuition by 2 percent,” he said. “The university plugged that hole for all units. And so that helped us this year, so looking to next year, that was one-time money that is going to go away, so we have to cover that gap.”In addition to this expense, which MacDonald said is approximately $290,000, another cost the school has to plan for is caused by the fact that fewer students are enrolling at COTC and that enrollment at OSU-Newark is predicted to remain relatively stagnant.“(COTC’s) enrollment has declined a little bit, our share of expenses will increase because our proportion of the student body is going to increase,” he said. “And then we have all of the uncertainty of the subsidies and tuition. We are not expecting growth in enrollment, at least not in the next couple of years. And so we won’t be seeing new revenue there.”MacDonald said the school has taken precautionary measures by reducing the budget so that these impending costs will be covered in the upcoming years. In total, he said, the school is looking to offset approximately $915,000 in possible expenses with cuts.“It’s conservative, but we have to balance the budget, so that is why we are setting that target,” he said.Although he said it is hard to decide what to cut, MacDonald added that he thinks the cuts the school is making are the ones necessary to preserve the services students need the most.“I would argue that right now, there are other things that we have wanted to do, but haven’t been able to do and probably won’t be able to do until we are able to get through this period of budget pressure,” he said. “If we were, let’s say three or four years from now, we had some sort of boost to our revenue, we know there are things that we want to do that we think will improve student success. Things like expanding our first-generation student learning community (or) providing more scholarships.“Those kind of things would all take priority over varsity athletics.”But it is not just athletics that are on the expenditure chopping block for next year. Other budget cuts announced in the Friday email include the restructuring of the Office of Student Life and the Office of Financial Aid, changes in the hours of operation of the Warner Library, the elimination of at least eight univeristy positions and the discontinuation of large-scale food events such as the fall welcome lunch, spring picnic and holiday reception.Dobson said students were surprised and disappointed upon hearing of these expected cuts, especially the elimination of varsity sports.“General student reaction has just been complete shock, especially with the student-athletes,” she said. “We had no idea that it was even up in the air. It was extremely shocking, just because there was no prior knowledge. It makes it even harder and it is really sad, especially because we felt like this coming year was going to be our year for sports.”Mason said discussions and planning are “currently taking place,” and the school is looking into ways to increase options for recreational and intramural sports, as well as other student organizations“Budget cuts are extremely difficult to endure,” she said. “My heart goes out to our student-athletes, our staff – both administrative and coaching and all that have participated in or been an influence to our program.”MacDonald said even though he understands why students are upset, he hopes they will continue to find ways to be involved in the campus community.“I am hoping that they will realize the value of an Ohio State degree and stick with it, even though they won’t have that opportunity to play varsity sports,” he said. “In the scheme of things, of course, we are looking at preserving the things that are most vital to student success. And in the scheme of things, varsity sports are just not that closely connected to the core of our mission.” read more

Football 2019 wide receiver Jameson Williams commits to Ohio State

Ohio State added the second wide receiver to its 2019 recruiting class Friday as four-star receiver Jameson Williams committed to the Buckeyes. Williams is the No. 24 wide receiver in the 2019 recruiting class and is the No. 2 recruit in the state of Missouri according to the 247Sports composite rankings, coming from Cardinal Ritter College Prep in St. Louis. Williams will join five-star 2019 recruit Garrett Wilson, the No. 2 receiver in the class, in Ohio State’s recruiting class. With Williams being commitment No. 15 for the Buckeyes, Ohio State, according to 247Sports, has the second-best recruiting class in the Big Ten and the No. 15 2019 recruiting class in the country. Williams is one of 10 four-star recruits in Ohio State’s 2019 class, joining Wilson and offensive lineman Harry Miller, the two five-star 2019 recruits. read more

Football Chase Young finds himself against Penn State

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) and sophomore defensive end Chase Young (2) shake hands following the Ohio State-Penn State game on Sept. 29. Ohio State won 27-26. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorChase Young wants the play to go to him. He prays for it. With Penn State facing a 4th-and-5 at the Ohio State 43-yard line down one point with 82 seconds left in the game, the sophomore defensive end was lined up, ready to jump off the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. As Nittany Lions redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley stepped off, changing the play call, Young touched his chest and pointed to the sky, something he said he does often, though it’s not caught on film. “I think everything is in God’s plan,” Young said. “I prayed and said ‘God, if this play’s coming to me, help me make it.’ I sent one up and it came to me and I made it.”As McSorley snapped the ball, Young moved around Ohio State redshirt junior defensive lineman Jashon Cornell, who held off the right tackle, immediately plugging the hole Penn State junior running back Miles Sanders attempted to run through for the first down, securing the victory for the Buckeyes. This tackle capped off a career day for Young, who recorded three tackles for loss, including two sacks, two quarterback hits and two pass breakups in Ohio State’s 27-26 win over Penn State. Young was recognized as Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week, given to the defensive end with the best performance in college football that week. Young was the second Ohio State defensive lineman to receive the award this year, with junior defensive end Nick Bosa receiving the award after his performance in the season opener against Oregon State. After Bosa suffered an injury during the TCU game, and with no clear timetable for return, Ohio State’s defensive line has had to lean on Young to become a dominant pass-rusher — something he has embraced against both Tulane and Penn State. “Coach [Urban] Meyer, he tries to tell us not to wait, so I think every chance I got to get on the field, I tried to put my best out there,” Young said. “I guess the Penn State game, I just had a real good game. I thank God I had a real good game. It was a national stage, ABC, and I just thank God that the Penn State game was that I had a good one.”Even with all the success, Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson said he still sees a young player when he looks at the sophomore defensive end. With the high expectations Young had going into his career at Ohio State, a five-star recruit out of Hyattsville, Maryland, Johnson said there is still a lot more for him to learn. Things like using his hands at the line of scrimmage, something Young said Johnson called out as he watched tape from the Penn State win. However, he is looking to correct the mistakes made against Penn State for the Indiana game on Saturday. Young, according to Johnson, strives for greatness. “He’s a great learner, he wants to learn everything,” Johnson said. “He picks Nick’s brain every day on how to rush the passer, things he can learn. And I think that’s what you want out of a player who’s a highly competitive guy and wants to be a great player.” Without Bosa, Young played more snaps than he ever had in a collegiate game against Penn State. And Johnson said as he continues to play, offensive lines will have to begin to notice. But with other weapons on the defensive line, like redshirt junior defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones, Johnson said it will be hard for opposing lines to treat Young like they might Bosa. That’s the kind of attention Young wants from opponents, the attention the injured All-American has. “He wants the role,” Johnson said. “I think Chase, he’s a competitor, so he wants to do well.”So far this season, Young has shown potential. He leads the team with four sacks and is tied for the team lead with six tackles for loss. However, Young still thinks he has a ways to go to meet the expectation he has for himself. “Not close at all,” Young said. “I made a few mistakes and I got to get the corrected. Obviously, you never want to play a perfect game, but you want to play, you want to try and play a perfect game. That’s what I am trying to do.” For sophomore cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, the defensive line sets the bar for the rest of the defense in terms of what each unit strives to be. “Once everyone hits [the level of the] defensive line group, we are just all going to elevate together,” Okudah said.Even with Bosa out, that mentality for the rest of the defense has not changed. Instead, the rest of the defense strives to be like Young. read more

Asylum seeker did not recognise his own brother when he visited him

first_imgThe police think 30 people were involvedCredit:Neil Hall /Reuters Bus stop Graffiti is seen on a street cabinet near the scene of a violent attack in Croydon, London “When I saw him the first time he was like ‘are you my brother?’ and I said ‘what do you mean?… yeah I’m your brother what are you talking about?’,” the 23-year-old said of the hospital visit.”It was like that, just shocked. I was just hugging him saying ‘you’re my brother’.”I didn’t recognise him as well when the first time I see him… he didn’t have any affection. He didn’t want to hug me.”He added: “It was horrible. I started crying.”It’s really bad, I feel really gutted and disappointed about the situation that happened.” “Even when he was young he was wishing to come to this country. And now he was telling us ‘From a young age I was hoping for it and now I’ve got it. I’m here I’m happy’.”He was hugging me as saying everything is going alright. All we wanted was to come to this country, get the visa, start working and have a nice life.”  shrublands in Croydon, London A 17-year old asylum seeker beaten and left for dead in an alleged race-hate attack did not recognise his own brother when he visited him in hospital.Kurdish Iranian student Reker Ahmed was left with a fractured spine and bleed on his brain after he was set upon by a mob of up to 30 while he was waiting at a bus stop in Croydon, south London on Friday night.Hadi Ahmed said he visited his brother, who is being treated at London’s King’s College Hospital on Tuesday, and only found out on Monday he was the victim of the assault after seeing his picture in the news.center_img The attack took place at a bus stop in CroydonCredit:Neil Hall /Reuters A friend said the teenager had dreamed of coming to England since he was child, according to a friend who witnessed the assault.Dilshad Mohammed, 21, who was with the young Iranian Kurd, said: “Half an hour before that fight he was telling us ‘It was my dream to come to England and I’ve been here for a few months. That’s all I wanted in my life and I’m here now’. The teenager had come to London as an asylum seekerCredit:Neil Hall /Reuters Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Kurdish Cultural Centre based in south London, said he accompanied Mr Ahmed on the visit to see his brother.He revealed the teenager had been “smashed very badly” in the face, adding that he was being supported by people either side so he could walk and that there were bandages on his arm and leg.”He lost his memory because he didn’t recognise his brother,” Mr Abdullah said.”His face was very badly smashed and all black eyes.”If we saw him somewhere else… we couldn’t recognise him.”Police have so far charged 13 people in connection with the incident, for offences including violent disorder, wounding with intent and racially aggravated grievous bodily harm.The Metropolitan Police believes more than 30 people may have been involved in the hate crime, which members of the Kurdish community says has left them worried and shocked. 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

Political parties urged to commit to reversing NHS drug rationing plans

first_imgTablets The letter comes as political parties prepare to publish their manifestos for the election.Caroline Harding, chief executive of Genetic Disorders UK said: “Under these plans, some of the most critically ill patients are being denied access to potentially life-changing treatments.“Any decision to ration access to medicines should be taken by ministers, not unelected officials.”Kay Boycott, chief executive, Asthma UK, said: “There is a real risk that these plans will turn the clock back on access to life transforming treatment.”Sarah Vibert, chief executive, Neurological Alliance, said: “Politicians from all sides should pledge to rethink these damaging proposals.“It is completely unacceptable that patients with neurological conditions risk being denied access to treatment solely on the basis of cost.None of the parties have formally published their manifestos. But the draft Labour manifesto, leaked last week, said: “Labour will tackle the growing problem of rationing of services and medicines across England, taking action to address postcode lotteries and making sure that the quality of care you receive does not depend on which part of the country you live in. We will ensure that NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments.”Jonathan Ashworth, shadow Health Secretary, said: “There is a real and growing worry that Theresa May’s ongoing underfunding of the NHS means patients just aren’t getting access to new medicines. Patients need fast access to medicines and treatments which are recommended by Nice as being clinically and cost effective. Labour is committed removing the barriers which are being put in place and to ensuring that NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments.”A Conservative spokesman said: “NHS spending on medicines and treatments is now second only to staffing costs – in fact, the NHS in England spent more than £15 billion on medicines last year, a rise of nearly 20 per cent since Labour left office. But we can only ensure more patients than ever get outstanding care if we continue to invest in the NHS on the back of a strong economy – something Jeremy Corbyn and the other parties who’d prop him up in Downing Street simply could not do.”Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Norman Lamb said:  “This is a shameful retreat from the core principle of the NHS, that treatment should be available to patients regardless of their ability to pay.“The rationing of treatments is an inevitable consequences of this government’s chronic underfunding of the NHS. NHS England is caught between a rock and a hard place because they simply don’t have enough resources. Cancer, diabetes and asthma patients are all likely to be hit by the measures Credit:Geoffrey Kidd/Alamy More than 30 charities have written to the three party leaders urging them to commit to reversing NHS measures to increase rationing of medicines.Health officials last month brought in new thresholds which mean access to one in five treatments could be delayed or restricted.Under the rules, all drugs expected to cost the NHS a total more than £20 million a year will be checked against new “affordability criteria”.The cost threshold set by NHS England could affect medicines costing as little eight pence a day, if used commonly enough, as well as high cost medicines used for rare diseases.Rationing body the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has said it is likely to affect around 20 per cent of drugs it assesses, with the process including changes that the head of its rationing body has previously described as “unfair”.In an open letter to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron, the charities – which include Parkinson’s UK, the Children’s Heart Federation and the MS Society – ask all the parties to commit to reversing the changes.The signatories – all members of the Specialised Healthcare Alliance – said that the measures “stand to restrict and ration treatments for people with rare and complex conditions, and were implemented without the agreement of Parliament.” 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. Patients could die while waiting for the right treatment, charities have warned Credit:Paul Grover Pills last_img read more

Cyber attack Monday morning meltdown expected as Europol chief warns of escalating

first_imgPatients are being urged to stay away from GPs amid fears of a “Monday morning meltdown” as a result of the global cyber attacks.It comes amid warnings that the crisis could spread to other sectors, with a wider “escalating threat” as millions of workers switch on their computers.The director of Europol raised fears that the cyber attack that has hit NHS services and global businesses “will continue to grow” as people return to work after the weekend. The head of Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre echoed the warning, raising concerns that many existing infections may yet to have been detected, and others could spread within networks.He said the crisis could develop “at a significant scale” in coming days.The leader of Britain’s family doctors urged patients without appointments to stay away from GP practices at the start of the week unless their need is urgent.Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said the attacks, combined with precautionary measures, have had an “extensive impact” on GP practices, some of which are likely to struggle on Monday.Last night, she said: “The concern is that on Monday morning the appointment system may not be working, some places may not be able to access routine results, even the phone lines in some cases may not be working.”“If it is routine we are saying please leave it a day or two – if you are urgent we will prioritise but if not please give us a couple of days,” she said. On Sunday he said: “It’s very likely tomorrow that there will be some new cases emerging, possibly at a significant scale, but we don’t know.”So far, the scale of the damage has been limited by a UK security researcher, hailed as an “accidental hero” after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, which ended up halting it.The man is today revealed as Marcus Hutchins, from Ilfracombe in Devon.The 22-year old warned that a further attack is likely, saying hackers could upgrade their virus to remove his “kill switch” rendering any systems which are not patched to be  vulnerable. My real life friends don’t know about my blog/twitter/job, etc… So today is going to be interesting.— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) May 14, 2017 Darien Huss, 28, who worked with the British 22-year-old to stop the cyber attack  Urging patients to stay away unless their need was urgent, she said: “We are saying to the public, please bear with us.  “The system may be compromised, but if you are urgent we will prioritise; if it is routine we are saying please leave it a day or two.”If phone lines were not working, patients in need of urgent appointments should make their way to surgeries to seek them out she said.However, the leading GP said the situation across the country was unknown, with no central data  held on which operating systems were run by surgeries, or the extent of the impact.Many practices would have tried to carry out security updates over the weekend, she said.But there remain fears that the true damage could become clear as thousands of doctors try to log on.“In some cases computer systems will have been patched over the weekend but what we are frightened about is everyone logging on and there being a massive drain on the system as every computer is updated,” she said.Health officials have urged the public to use the NHS wisely, and said anyone with an appointment at a hospital or GP surgery should attend unless given specifically told not to.At least 47 NHS organisations have been affected by the crisis, with thousands of operations, tests and appointments disrupted as screens went blank across the country. The impact on GP services has been less clear, with the cyber attack occuring on Friday afternoon as many surgeries prepared to close for the weekend.Health officials are concerned about how the systems will cope when 8,000 GP surgeries open this morning, with no central record of how many surgeries have been affected.Since Friday’s breach more than 200,000 victims – including the NHS – across 150 countries have been infected by the Wanna Decryptor ransomware, also known as WannaCry.Europol director Rob Wainwright said he had been concerned for some time that the health service was not properly protected, unlike banks who had put “a proper strategy in place”.And he said he was fearful that the virus could spread across other sectors, with particular risks today as most workers return to their desks.”At the moment we are in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up, I am worried about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning,” he said.Mr Wainwright said: “What is happening here is the exploitation of a flaw in the Microsoft operating systems. It is only affecting those computers that are not patched. We have been concerned for some time that the healthcare sector in many countries is particularly vulnerable.” Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)  said the situation could worsen as the week goes on.“The way these attacks work is that there are compromises of machines and networks that probably haven’t been detected, and also ones that have been detected can spread.center_img Darien Huss, 28, who worked with the British 22-year-old to stop the cyber attack  “It’s very important that people patch their systems now,” he said.”We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us,” he said.”There’s a lot of money in this. There’s no reason for them to stop. It’s not really much effort for them to change the code and then start over.” On Sunday afternoon  even hospitals – including Barts NHS trust, the largest in the country –  were continuing to divert patients from Accident & Emergency departments, as they battled the crisis. The rest have been able to restore their functions, leaving them to attempt to sort out a major backlog of patients and attempt to identify what information has been lost since systems were last backed up. 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

WeStandTogether Twitter unites against hate after Finsbury Park terror attack

first_imgBoxer Amir Khan also tweeted  “Terrorists will not succeed in their attempts to divide us and make us live in fear.”Here’s everything we know about the attack.  Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: “This was an attack on London and all Londoners and we should all stand together against extremists whatever their cause.“Now is a time once again for London to stand together to face those who seek to divide us.”He added: “There is now an ongoing investigation by our Counter Terrorism Command to establish why this attack was carried out.“London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us. Emergency services also expressed their condolences This is Muslim Welfare House in #FinsburyPark on Saturday, a few yards from where the attack happened last night. #WeStandTogether still… pic.twitter.com/IsOU2t2DFG— Andy Hull (@AndyHull79) June 19, 2017 MPs also used the hashtag  I am really saddened to hear about the attack in #FinsburyPark -I pray for all the victims and their families #WeStandTogether— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) June 19, 2017 Many are using the hashtag #WeStandTogether on Twitter, reacting with shock and horror to the incident. “#WeStandTogether against hate and must not allow terrorism to divide us,” tweeted @ASPoliceCommissioner.‏“We are not divided. We are not filled with hate. #WeStandTogether,” posted another.#WeStandTogether –  How Twitter reacted  Thoughts with all affected by brutal #FinsburyPark attack. More important than ever that #WeStandTogether & reject the poison of hate— Richard Burden MP (@RichardBurdenMP) June 19, 2017 Cmsr: “#London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us.” #WeStandTogether— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) June 19, 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. Waking up to another attack in London. Thoughts & prayers with all those affected.#WeStandTogether pic.twitter.com/hcS4mUbl4h— Nick Downing (@NickDowningMPS) June 19, 2017 Yesterday we joined the #GreatGetTogether for Jo. Today another terrorist attack shows why it matters more than ever that #WeStandTogether— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) June 19, 2017 #WeStandTogether in solidarity with the victims of the horrific terrorist attack in #FinsburyPark.Thoughts & prayers with all those affected pic.twitter.com/04kxobdpYN— Shomrim N.E. London (@Shomrim) June 19, 2017 Our thoughts go to the victims, their families and the wider #FinsburyPark community this morning. #WeStandTogether https://t.co/xgGOkBQy4I— Surrey Police (@SurreyPolice) June 19, 2017 Social media users are sending out messages of solidarity and defiance following the Finsbury Park terrorist attack.One man has died and 10 others were injured after a van was rammed into worshippers outside a mosque in north London.According to one eyewitness, the driver is said to have screamed: “I’m going to kill all Muslims”. Horrific to see another terror attack on our streets. Thoughts with those killed, injured and affected#FinsburyParkattack #WeStandTogether https://t.co/nT35qOCHUD— Jim McMahon MP (@JimfromOldham) June 19, 2017 If you see anything suspicious, don’t take a chance call this hotline number #WeStandTogether https://t.co/m1Xfya8tb7 pic.twitter.com/AmceF4R5mT— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 19, 2017 Horrendous attack on people because of their Muslim faith near #FinsburyParkMosque. Thoughts+prayers with the victims.#WeStandTogether— Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis_MP) June 19, 2017last_img read more

More holiday please New haul of Roman letters reveals army life near

first_imgIn 1992, Robin Birley made arguably the most important find in British archaeological history when he uncovered a huge trove of soldiers’ letters from the Roman fort of Vindolanda, near Hadrian’s Wall.As scholars picked through the well-preserved accounts of legionnaire life on the edge of empire, a star character emerged: Masclus, and in particular, his demands for more beer.Now, 25 years later, Birley’s son Andrew claims to have discovered another haul of correspondence, which again appear to include written demands from the same Roman cavalry officer – except this time he wants to go on holiday. This is the find I have been hoping for all my working lifeAndrew Birley, Archaeologist Vindolanda dig letters Vindolanda from the airCredit:Telegraph 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. Many of the letters are written on slivers of birchCredit:Telegraph “My father has been rather poorly recently, but by the time I got home he had cracked open a bottle of champagne.”Most of the hundreds of letters already found at Vindolanda, near Bardon Mill on Northumberland, are in the care of the British museum, with a handful on loan at the ruined fort.They are considered some of the most famous existing documents from the Roman world, remarkable for their highly personal, warts-and-all account of army life. Archaeologists had to dig deep trenches to find the latest haulCredit:Telegraph The large oak-leaved document is currently illegible and the ink faded, but it is hoped the writing will be deciphered with use of infrared.The Bloomberg find comprise 405 well preserved wooden tablets found at the site of what is now the London offices of the financial data company.The earliest written documents found in Britain, they were found 40 feet underground following the demolition of a 14-storey office block which was built in 1953.The site had been partly excavated in the 1950s, but it was only after 2010 archeologists were able to dig properly. The new letters, believed to originate in the 1st Century AD, were found in a trench at the deepest level of the complex, which was repeatedly rebuilt over the years with turf and timber.Mr Birley said: “They were spaced out at regular intervals along the line of a trench, under a rubble-filled foundation layer.“We wondered if somebody was carrying them in a bag with a hole in one corner, or if somebody had been walking along reading them and chucking them away one by one.”While the Vindolanda letters are believed not to be as old as the Bloomberg Tablets, which were discovered in London between 2010 and 2013, they are more intimate in nature.“There is nothing more exciting than reading these personal messages from the distant past,” said Mr Birley. “These are not Post-It notes.“These were written when somebody had something of importance to communicate.” Vindolanda dig Vindolanda from the air The new cache of 25 letters were found last month in the deepest level of the fort complex and are now being conserved ahead of scanning with infrared lights.This should make the now faint ink marks legible, but experts already believe they have discovered a written request from Masclus, asking for leave from his duties.Most of the missives are, like those of the original big find, written on thin sheets of birch, however experts are particularly excited about a double-leaved oak tablet, which indicates it contains important correspondence. “This is the find I have been hoping for all my working life,” said Andrew Birley, who was a teenager when his father discovered the main haul, and now leads the trust which owns the site.last_img read more

Police in the dock for giving people the chance to spend Halloween

The Peaky Blinders were a notorious Birmingham crime gang during the First World War and inspired the 2013 BBC series.West was held at the cells while on remand, charged with the murders of 12 people. He hanged himself at Winson Green on New Year’s Day in 1995 as he awaited trial. His wife, Rose, was jailed for life after being convicted of 10 murders at their Gloucester home. 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. Mugshots of some of the real Peaky Blinders The lock-up at Steelhouse Lane Police Station, BirminghamCredit:SWNS.com A police force has been criticised for cashing in on serial killer Fred West’s notoriety by charging people to spend Hallowe’en in his former cell.West Midlands Police are promoting a ghost-hunting evening at the Steelhouse Lane cells in Birmingham, where West was housed before being transferred to HMP Winson Green in 1994.In its advertising, the force boasted the event provided a “unique opportunity” to spend the night at the notorious Victorian lock-up, adding: “These cells were occupied by none other than the original Peaky Blinders, Fred West and many more. Be there if you dare.”For £75, guests will be locked in the cells overnight in complete darkness, after first hearing stories of the building’s shadowy past. The event, for adults only, stipulates “no alcohol or drugs and visitors must bring their own sleeping bags and pillows, plus a camping mat or inflatable mattress.  The listed Steelhouse Lane, which dates back to 1891, is owned by West Midlands Police and houses the force museum. A force spokesman said: “The Ghost Hunting Mission within the Victorian Lock-Up in Birmingham city centre, run independently of West Midlands Police, is an event to raise money for modern slavery charity Hope for Justice. Steelhouse Lane is where Fred West was held in custody and his name was used alongside the Peaky Blinders to promote this worthy cause.”On reflection, organisers agreed that use of his name was insensitive and had it removed from the event’s promotion material. Mugshots of some of the real Peaky BlindersCredit:SWNS.com The lock-up at Steelhouse Lane Police Station, Birmingham Local residents have expressed dismay at the stunt, accusing police of “glorifying killers”. Victoria Sanderson, 45, a mother of three from Edgbaston, Birmingham, said: “It’s fine to hold a fun ghost-hunting event, but I think the police have gone too far promoting the fact that West was in their cells.“How will the families of those he murdered feel, that he is being celebrated in this way, and by the police? It’s very distasteful and highly insensitive to the victims’ families.” read more

Matthew Hedges to sue UAE for false imprisonment after spying row

The British academic reunited with his wife on Tuesday after six months in a Gulf jail for spying will attempt to sue his captors for false imprisonment, The Telegraph can disclose. On Twitter, Ms Tejada, 27, posted the first… Matthew Hedges stepped back on to UK soil yesterday morning determined to clear his name. On landing at Heathrow airport, he praised his wife Daniela Tejada for her courage in campaigning tirelessly for his release. “I could not have done this without Daniela, I hear her face is everywhere,” said Mr Hedges. “She is so brave and strong, seeing her and my family after this ordeal is the best thing that could have happened. I thank you all once again, this is very surreal.”

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd pins his appeal hopes on perceived errors made

It was granted on the basis of alleged “legal errors” made by the judge in rulings during his trial. Jack Shepherd, the “speedboat killer”, is pinning his appeal hopes on perceived legal errors made at trial that relate to his police interview. Specifically, they concern an alleged breach of a police code of practice concerning the way people are detained, treated and questioned, the Telegraph can reveal. Shepherd is due to return to the UK within the next fortnight after finally consenting to extradition from Georgia, where he had been on the run for ten… The 31-year-old was given permission to appeal his conviction for manslaughter by gross negligence last year whilst he remained on the run.

EYEWITNESS Keeping us down…

…in mediocrityYour Eyewitness sincerely hopes there’s nothing seriously wrong medically with President David Granger, and wishes him a long life. But his decision to have his medical check-up first done in T&T a few months ago and now his decision to go to Cuba for “follow up checks” on the symptoms highlighted in T&T, betrays his assessment of our medical capacity in Guyana. That frankly, it’s not up to snuff.It’s now become trite to mock Guyanese politicians who fly abroad for medical interventions but it’s THEIR lives at stake – and because they have the option of seeking better medical care, it’s rational for them to make that decision! Why take chances? But the rest of the ordinary men and women in the street don’t have that option, do they?  They have to line up at Georgetown Hospital – at best – or the regional hospitals – at worse – and play Russian Roulette with their lives.But it didn’t have to be this way. When the PPP was in office, around 2013, they proposed the construction of a “Specialty Hospital” that would offer world-class medical services for the medical procedures that were beyond our medical services’ ken. The Indian Government would fund the project from a line of credit and the hospital, the PPP said, would be the start of a local “medical tourism” industry. This wouldn’t only bring in foreign currency from patients from the developed countries who’d save a bundle – but would allow the Government to subsidise the costs for local patients, on a “needs” basis!Now who’d oppose such a venture that’s so win-win all around? The PNC and AFC in the Opposition benches, that’s who! Funny enough, one of the top bidders for the project was a client of Ramjattan – Fedders Lloyd – and it was only when the latter lost out to another company, he started his violent opposition. When he slid into Government on the PNC coattails he started lobbying for the project to be retendered but when Fedders Lloyd was eventually disqualified by the World Bank for violations committed on other projects, Ramjattan once again helped nixed the Specialty Hospital Project. Even though $42 million had been spent to prepare the site.The Government decided to use the Indian Line of Credit to upgrade three regional hospitals – but as of today, nothing’s been done. We have therefore lost “corn and husk” – we have no Specialty Hospital with advanced medical equipment and personnel and the regional hospitals continue to languish in the era when leeched were routinely used for “bloodletting”!And we return to the President having to fly off to Cuba for medical treatment. “It’s a shad, shad situation”.…and underdevelopedThere’s one school of thought that proposed newspapers in developing countries have a duty to support projects and policies that push a development agenda. Now whether you support this or not, (your Eyewitness doesn’t) it’s pretty hard to support – in the name of “freedom of the press” – a newspaper that literally goes out to rip down the country’s development just to satisfy their personal vendettas.And this is where the Muckraker still hasn’t learnt the lesson from the PNC/AFC’s betrayal of all they’d preached when they were being funded by the tawdry tabloid. Take the lies and exaggerations they repeated from those days when putatively covering the suggested Berbice Bridge’s toll increases.  How in the world could ANY of the private common shareholders be accused of “profiteering” from their ownership of the Bridge when they NEVER voted any dividends for themselves?? How could they “profiteer” when they have $300 million tied up, doing anything?But the Muckraker’s boss wouldn’t recognise sacrifice for one’s country if it snuck up and bit him on his behind!!It’s all about himself!…in helplessnessThe Government’s CH&PA just announced they’ll be building 250 homes and extending 2000 shacks of the “poor”. Your Eyewitness knows it’s a boondoggle for its supporters.But without jobs, they’re just widening their learned helplessness. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Decisions, decisions…June 22, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Achieving standards…August 4, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Moving on…November 8, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more