September 2019

Giancarlo Stanton Was Made For The Home Run Derby

2002Jason Giambi488 2009Prince Fielder503 15Harmon Killebrew.253.131+.121 2013Yoenis Cespedes32✓ Only includes players with a minimum of 2500 career at-bats.Source: On the night, Stanton hit all 10 of the longest homers belted by anybody. He also hit 18 of the 19 longest, with five carrying at least 490 feet and 31 traveling at least 450. It might well have been the greatest single exhibition of raw home run-hitting power in baseball history.Of course, such herculean feats are nothing new for Stanton — he’s widely known around baseball as the hardest-hitting player in the game, a man seemingly put on this earth to murder baseballs. And it’s a reputation only enhanced by the presence of Statcast, MLB’s (relatively) new radar-based tracking system, which has turned the physics of hard-hit balls into something approaching fetishization.Stanton is the poster child for the Statcast era. Where other players once made RBIs or steals into calling cards, Stanton has fashioned the exit-velo leaderboard — in other words, the “hitting the ball real hard” leaderboard — into his own personal jurisdiction, and fans revel in the arcana. (Did you know one of his home runs last night departed the bat at 120.4 miles per hour? That’s nuts!) In an era where we can quantify the speed and angle of every ball off the bat, Stanton is the right hitter at exactly the right historical moment.So, does that make him the greatest power hitter ever? He might be on his way. If we look at his career isolated power — essentially his total bases per at-bat, but tossing out those wimpy singles — relative to the MLB average for nonpitchers, Stanton ranks 11th since 1901, trailing Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and eight Hall of Famers. Stanton is also still just 26, so he’ll have a handful more prime years to move up the list before tailing off in late-career decline. 2015Todd Frazier39✓ 7Jimmie Foxx.284.125+.159 YEARWINNERLONGEST HR YEARPLAYERHOME RUNSWON DERBY? 2015Joc Pederson39 2Mark McGwire.325.146+.179 2011Adrian Gonzalez31 2008Josh Hamilton35 2016Todd Frazier42 2007Vladimir Guerrero503 12Johnny Mize.250.125+.125 1996Barry Bonds451 PLAYERCAREER ISOMLB AVERAGEISO VS. AVERAGE But Stanton didn’t gently deposit those 61 balls into the stands at Petco Park, either — he crushed them. His 497-foot blast in the first round tied for the fifth-longest among contest winners’ top home runs since 1996.1Excluding contests where neither nor listed longest-home run data. Only includes winners’ distances because some years MLB lists only the winner’s longest HR. Most home runs in a HR Derby 2016Giancarlo Stanton497 Best power hitters, relative to league average, 1901-2016 6Ted Williams.289.130+.159 2008Justin Morneau512 13Mickey Mantle.259.136+.123 2015Todd Frazier455 2012Prince Fielder476 2005Bobby Abreu517ft 9Mike Schmidt.260.128+.132 5Barry Bonds.309.150+.159 4Lou Gehrig.293.125+.168 2010David Ortiz32✓ 3Hank Greenberg.292.123+.169 Most years the Home Run Derby is a good deal more exciting in our memories — where a young Ken Griffey Jr. is still mashing taters in a backwards cap — than it is in reality. But this year Giancarlo Stanton wrote in a few dozen new memories of his own: 2016Giancarlo Stanton61✓ Winners’ longest home runs 2004Miguel Tejada497 8Ralph Kiner.269.130+.139 1Babe Ruth.356.116+.239 10Joe DiMaggio.254.125+.129 11Giancarlo Stanton.276.149+.126 But first Stanton will have to turn his 2016 season around. Bizarre as it sounds given his outrageous batted-ball numbers, Stanton has suffered through a down first half, hitting around .220 and flirting with the replacement level before embarking on a scorching start to July. Even after that turnaround, his 116 wRC+ would be the fourth-lowest ever by a Derby winner during their victorious season.Luckily for Stanton, though, there is no Home Run Derby curse. (Seriously, stop suggesting that’s a thing. Stop it.) And more to the point, nobody hits the ball that hard for long with so few hits to show for it. Stanton’s Statcast numbers — and more conventional metrics such as contact rate and line-drive rate — might be down a bit from their lofty 2015 heights, but Stanton still figures to be one of baseball’s better hitters in the second half of the season. That’s good news for the surprising Marlins, and for lovers of hard-hit baseballs everywhere.Check out our latest MLB predictions. For years where data is available.Source:, Baseball Almanac Regardless of format; first event was in 1985.Source: 2011Robinson Cano32✓ 14Willie Stargell.247.125+.122 All told, Stanton slugged 61 home runs, which was by far the most ever hit in a single contest, though this is of course affected by some drastic changes in Derby formats over the years. (In fact, runner-up Todd Frazier’s 42 was the second-most ever hit in a derby.) 2005Bobby Abreu41✓ read more

Opinion Bengals and Browns trending to opposite ends of the NFL

Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown hangs his head as he walks off the field after throwing an interception to Oakland safety Charles Woodson to end the Browns’ late fourth quarter drive on Sept. 27 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Credit: Courtesy of TNSAs we near the quarter-way mark of the NFL season, the contenders and pretenders of the league are starting to show their true colors.The undefeated Cincinnati Bengals have joined the ranks of the contenders after winning their first three games to start the season. Ahead of their Week 3 divisional showdown, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh called the Bengals “the most talented team in the league,” according to ESPN.Harbaugh isn’t alone in thinking this, either.The Bengals’ youthful offense is brimming with talent. Quarterback Andy Dalton is off to a blazing start, tossing eight touchdowns to just one interception through the first three games of the season. Running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard head up a dynamic one-two punch coming out of the backfield, and star wide receiver A.J. Green continues to dazzle. Against the Ravens, Green was virtually unguardable, as he hauled in 10 receptions for 227 receiving yards and two scores.Defensively, the Bengals have great depth and boast one of the league’s top secondaries. With the winless Ravens reeling and the Pittsburgh Steelers hurting with the loss of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for roughly a month’s time due to a sprained MCL and bone bruise in his left knee, the AFC North crown is sitting on a platter for the Bengals’ taking.About a four-hour drive north of Cincinnati lies its in-state rival, which nobody will mistake for one of the NFL’s most talented.It’s been another rugged start for the Cleveland Browns, a common occurrence for the laughingstock of professional sports. They’ve dropped two of their first three games on their way to a 1-2 record. Cleveland’s lone win came over a Tennessee Titans squad that finished last season 2-14. If the Browns aren’t careful, they’ll end up with a similar record.Nevertheless, it doesn’t take an expert to see that the Browns are on their way to another top-10 pick in the NFL draft. Cleveland’s defense is a mess and couldn’t stop a nosebleed if you handed it a whole box of Kleenex. The Browns are tied for the fifth-most yards allowed and cornerback Joe Haden, their defensive MVP, is looking like anything but his 2014 Pro Bowl self. In the Browns’ Week 3 27-20 drubbing at the hands of the Oakland Raiders, Haden was repeatedly burned and beaten badly in coverage by rookie wideout Amari Cooper.If things seem dismal on defense for the Browns, they’re even worse offensively. After spending big bucks in the offseason on veteran receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe, the two have been nothing short of colossal busts, combining for a grand total of 116 yards on seven receptions. Bowe has only played eight snaps all year long because of a troublesome hamstring injury, but, hey, kudos to coach Mike Pettine for coming out this week and saying he wouldn’t cut his key free agent acquisition. Maybe he should’ve instead opted to keep wideout Terrelle Pryor before the season began. At least Pryor was relatively healthy when he was cut and didn’t cost the team a ridiculous $12.5 million, including $9 million guaranteed.Yet, the talk of the team remains centered around the Josh McCown vs. Johnny Manziel starting quarterback debate. The Browns’ issues on offense are bigger than who should start under center, but Pettine hasn’t handled the positional battle very well. His decision to stick with the 36-year-old journeyman McCown could stunt the growth of the second-year Manziel, who actually looked up to snuff in the Browns’ 28-14 victory over the Titans in Week 2.In the wake of the Browns’ most recent loss to the Raiders, a TMZ report emerged on Tuesday stating that three anonymous offensive starters were angered by Pettine’s choice to start McCown over Manziel.While members of the Browns have since denied the report, TMZ has stood firm, stating that nothing was fabricated. It just shows how poorly Pettine and his coaching staff are handling the quarterback situation, regardless if the report has any validity.The Bengals, healthy and drama free, square off at home against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 4 with a chance to gain a stranglehold on the AFC North. Traveling to the West Coast to face the San Diego Chargers are the Browns, who will look to avoid falling to 1-3 on the year.Heading into the blustery fall season, it’s clear to see that polar opposites reside in Ohio. The Bengals and Browns may share the same state, but they’re trending in completely opposite directions. read more

Ohio State mens soccer faces Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Sophomore defender Alex Nichols (15) advances the ball against Rutgers on Sept. 18. OSU won 3-1. Credit: Janaya Greene | Lantern photographerThe Ohio State men’s soccer team is coming off a tough 2-0 loss to Bowling Green over the weekend, remaining winless on the road this season.This Wednesday, the Buckeyes (3-6) return to Columbus to take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1-4-2) at 7 p.m.Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium has been very kind to OSU as of late, with the Scarlet and Gray coming into the match riding a three game home win streak.“You always want to protect your house,” said senior defender Austin Bergstrom. “It’s good that we have been doing that so far, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.”After wins over Rutgers and Valparaiso a week ago, the Buckeyes took a step backward over the weekend, suffering a shutout against Bowling Green.Despite outshooting the Falcons 16-9, OSU again fell to the misfortune of its own mistakes, specifically turnovers.“Sometimes it is a little frustrating when you can’t put the ball in the back of the net or when another team only gets a few opportunities and they are able to score,” said senior forward Danny Jensen. “We let the pressure get to us a bit. I think we just have to cut down on the mistakes and we will start to see much better results.”Jensen was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against Valparaiso, where he recorded the first hat trick by an Ohio State player since 2012.“It is cool to get some individual recognition every now and then but our focus is on the team,” Jensen said. “Right now we just need some more wins.”The matchup with SIUE is a rare one, as both teams have only played each other once in school history, and played to a scoreless draw in Columbus in 2009.While the matchup between the two teams is unfamiliar, the faces involved are not. Cougars coach Mario Sanchez was a soccer player under now-Buckeyes head coach John Bluem during his time at Fresno State.“(Sanchez) was probably one of the top five players I’ve coached in my career,” Bluem said. “They are going to be really well organized and battle defensively. You are playing against a team that, much like us, is having trouble scoring.”Saying the Cougars are having trouble scoring is an understatement, as Sanchez’s squad has only found the back of the net three times through the first seven games. However, the defense has stood tough, allowing only seven goals thus far.SIUE’s junior goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo has 13 career shutouts. This year, Dal Santo’s .788 save percentage ranks him 51st nationally.As the match signifies the halfway point in the season for the Buckeyes, Bluem feels the biggest improvement the team needs to make is in its mentality.“This group has to accept that we are not going to just show up and win games. If we don’t outwork the other team, if we don’t outhustle the other team, if we don’t play harder for longer than the other team, anybody on our schedule could beat us,” Bluem said. “On the flipside, if we do those things, we will be in every single game and chances are good that we win more of those games than we lose.”With a very important Big Ten matchup looming against Michigan State on Sunday, the Buckeyes will look to build momentum by grabbing a win against the Cougars. read more

Mens Hockey No 5 Ohio State beats Michigan State 42 for sevenstraight

Junior Forward Dakota Joshua (8) gets ready to set off against Michigan’s Adam Winborg (5) tonight Jan. 26, 2018 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH. Credit: Ethan Clewell | For The LanternOhio State junior forward Dakota Joshua scored a pair of goals and redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo made 25 saves on 27 shots en route to a 4-2 win against Michigan State (9-17-1, 3-13-1-1 Big Ten) Friday night at the Schottenstein Center to give the No. 5 Buckeyes (18-5-4, 11-5-1-0 Big Ten) their seventh-straight win at home. Joshua’s physical presence on the boards made him a difficult matchup for the Spartans. He led the team with five shots and he played with a bit more motivation going against his former coach.“I love playing Michigan State, chance to play Joe Exter, former coach of ours,” Joshua said. “We had a close relationship so it’s always good to get one over him. Definitely provides a little extra energy.”  Joe Exter was an assistant coach for Ohio State from 2011 to 2017. This is Exter’s first year as an assistant coach at Michigan State. After mentioning this week a desire to jump on the Spartans from the beginning, Ohio State scored its first two goals on its first two shots. On the Buckeyes’ first power-play chance four minutes into the game, sophomore forward Ronnie Hein took a pass from junior forward Mason Jobst and tucked the puck past the pads of sophomore goaltender John Lethemon for the game’s opening score. Junior forward Freddy Gerard added his 10th goal of the season off a give-and-go play with senior forward Matthew Weis two minutes later.  Romeo was only tested seven times in the first period, but faced 20 shots in the second and third periods combined from an aggressive Spartan attack. The goalie said he was fortunate his defense gave him a clear line of sight to make the saves he needed to and clear the traffic.“They’ve done a great job all year, they just did what they’ve been doing,” Romeo said. “Letting me have the first shot, kind of pushing everyone to the outside, let me see everything. It makes my night easier.”  In the early part of the third period, Joshua sped down the right side while driving to the net and used his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame for his first goal of the night. “It’s always good to be able to use my body,” Joshua said. “I feel like I have an advantage over most people, so yeah, the physical play doesn’t bother me. I like to think I can play anytime of hockey.” Michigan State scored a power-play goal to bring the score within one goal with eight minutes left in the game, but Joshua added the empty-net goal on a power play to ice the game. Weis’ two assists and sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski’s single helper extended their point streaks to 11 games each. Weis has 19 points and Laczynski has 17 points during the streak. Coming into Friday’s game against Michigan State, the Buckeyes were known to be a defensively stout team. Fourth in the nation in team defense with just 2.08 goals allowed per game and the nation’s top penalty kill, Ohio State would be comfortable entering the matchup playing a physical style of hockey, head coach Steve Rohlik said.“They brought it, and it was kind of the way the game was going there for a while,” Rohlik said. “We just wanted to stay with our structure and stay disciplined. At the end of the day, if that’s the way the game is going to go, we certainly will play that way.”   The Buckeyes will have a chance to sweep the season series against the Spartans at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Womens Hockey Ohio State eliminated from WCHA tournament by Minnesota in 20

Ohio State redshirt junior goalie Kassidy Sauve (32) goes for a save in the first period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s hockey team fell into a Golden Gopher hole Saturday at Ridder Arena, losing 2-0 to Minnesota in the WCHA semifinals to end its run for a conference title.The Buckeyes will wait for Sunday night’s NCAA selection show to learn of a potential at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.  Two minutes into the second period, Minnesota freshman forward Grace Zumwinkle scored the first goal of the night. Freshman forward Taylor Wente and freshman defender Olivia Knowles were credited with assists. With 2:25 remaining in the third period, Ohio State, which had not managed to put a goal past redshirt senior goaltender Sidney Peters, added extra pressure by pulling freshman goaltender Amanda Zeglen from the net. But it did not give the Buckeyes the desired game-tying goal.Minnesota freshman forward Grace Zumwinkle scored the final goal of the night on an empty net just 35 seconds before the final buzzer. She was credited with her 17th goal of the season. With Ohio State redshirt junior goaltender Kassidy Sauve still hurt, freshman goaltender Amanda Zeglen defended the net. She saved 25 of 27 shots. read more

Mens Hockey Ohio State buries Denver late in 51 victory to send

Ohio State junior forward Dakota Joshua celebrates his second period goal against Denver in the NCAA Tournament on March 25, 2018. Credit: Nick Hudak | Lantern photographerALLENTOWN, Pa. — After a regular season in which junior forward Mason Jobst and sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski led the Ohio State men’s hockey team in points, the team’s seniors powered it to the program’s first Frozen Four appearance since 1998.Senior forward Kevin Miller scored two of the Buckeyes’ five goals in a 5-1 victory against No. 2 Denver (23-10-8) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Sunday to send No. 1 Ohio State (26-9-5) to Saint Paul, Minnesota, to face No. 3 Minnesota Duluth.“It feels really good right now, but as you can see in college hockey the parity is off the charts. It’s not going to get any easier,” head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We’re going to enjoy this tonight, we just beat one of the best teams in the country, but we know we have to be at our best here in two weeks.”Joining Miller on the score sheet was senior defenseman Matt Joyaux, who netted his second goal of the season in the third period, and senior forward Christian Lampasso, who assisted on both of Miller’s goals.“Lampasso made two really good passes to me,” Miller said. “I get two goals combined and I think I only had the puck on my stick for half a second, so pretty fortunate to have two tap-ins.”After a deadlocked opening period that featured minimal chances on both ends, Ohio State found daylight at the hands of junior forward Dakota Joshua, who backhanded a shot past senior goalie Tanner Jaillet to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead.“I was just trying to get a stick on it,” Joshua said. “It was a battle in front, and I just got lucky, and it found the back of the net.”Ohio State came into the game 12-0-1 when scoring first this season, an unbeaten record that remained unblemished once again against the Pioneers. The Buckeyes doubled their lead later in the period in the same fashion they scored their first goal. Senior forward Christian Lampasso got the puck to the middle and fed Miller, who found space to get off a backhand shot which beat Jaillet high to put Ohio State up 2-0.Denver controlled much of the possession early in the third period, but Laczynski added to the lead anyway after stealing the puck and making a pass to a wide-open Matt Joyaux, and the senior defenseman buried his second goal of the season.The Pioneers answered back with a goal from sophomore forward Tyson McLellan to cut the lead to two. But it took only 30 seconds for Ohio State to answer with another goal by Miller.“It was huge,” Miller said. “You can see that they felt like they had some momentum, so it was pretty huge for us to come back and score real quick and try to shut down their momentum.”Jobst scored an empty-net goal when Denver decided to pull Jaillet with more than six minutes remaining, all but sealing the defeat of the Pioneers and ending their pursuit of a second NCAA title in a row.Ohio State advances to the Frozen Four and will play Minnesota Duluth, the team that defeated the Buckeyes in the opening round last season.“Last year we thought we played a really good game against them,” Miller said. “[We] came up a little short, so it’ll be nice to, hopefully, find some redemption and beat them in two weeks time.” read more

UK weather Hottest September day in 50 years could come this week

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. The hottest September day in more than 50 years could come this week, with Britain’s Indian summer forecast to continue.Temperatures on Tuesday are predicted to peak between 86F (30C) and 90F (32C) in the South East, while Scots can expect an above-average 68F (20C) to 70F (21C), the Met Office said.It means Britain could be as warm as Bangkok in Thailand, and hotter than predictions for Madrid and Los Angeles.However, gale force winds are forecast to hit the west coast of Scotland and Northern Ireland by the end of Sunday ahead of the warmer air arriving.The last time temperatures soared above 86F (30C) in September was in 2006 in Kew Gardens, where the mercury hit 87F (30.5C) on September 11 that year.If the temperature rises above 88.9F (31.6C), which was reached at Gatwick on September 2, 1961, then it will be the hottest day for 55 years. Simon Partridge, a Met Office forecaster,said: “Basically we’ve got air coming up from the south. The origins of this air is generally southern France and northern Spain, where things are fairly warm at this time of the year. So we’ll start to see things warming up.”The highest September temperature recorded was in 1906 – 96F (35.6C) in Bawtry, South Yorkshire.Most of England will bask in temperatures in the high 20s, but it is likely to rain in western Scotland and Northern Ireland, which could also spread to south-west England and western Wales.Britons can expect to bake in above-average temperatures across the UK for the rest of the week, the Met Office said.UK weather forecast Sunday, September 11 Heatwave conditions will return to SW Europe over the next few days. Some of the heat will spread north to the UK— Met Office (@metoffice) September 10, 2016 Conditions will become more unsettled on Thursday and Friday when a band of rain will sweep east, bringing scattered showers.The week after next will split the UK, with the North West experiencing bands of rain interspersed with dry spells, while higher pressure over Europe will hold on close to the South East, bringing drier, warmer and more settled conditions.last_img read more

DeLorean driver clocked by police at 88mph insists I wasnt trying to time

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. I was fed up, like most motorists, of being a law-abiding citizen but a soft target for the traffic police.Nigel Mills Christopher Lloyd in the 1985 film Back to the FutureCredit:Everett Collection / Rex Features However the hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court was thrown out on Wednesday after prosecution offered no evidence.Father-of-two Mr Mills, who was clocked near Margaretting, in Chelmsford, Essex, heading north on the A12, said that he didn’t think he was going as fast 89mph.Speaking after the hearing, he said: “I was being prosecuted for going 89mph in a DeLorean, wasn’t something special meant to happen at 88mph?”I can honestly say I wasn’t trying to time travel. It was at 11am on Sunday and the road was completely clear. “I saw the guy with the speed gun and thought I better check my speed and low and behold, the letter turns up.”Mr Mills said he only takes the two-seater out a few times a year and had taken the DeLorean out for a bit of “run around” when he was caught speeding.He decided to fight the accusation after he received his court summons the same day a group of travellers set up a camp in the car park of his company.The married man, from Brentwood, Essex said: “I was fed up, like most motorists, of being a law-abiding citizen but a soft target for the traffic police.”When I saw the travellers in the car park when I’m working on a Sunday it made me quite incensed.”I’m a guy who pays his taxes and sticks to the law, but I’m stuck at work with travellers in the car park and the police won’t touch them.”Why should I pay this speeding fine while they would get away with it? I’m pleased at the result, but I wish that the police could do a better job when it comes to real crimes against people.”Mr Mills bought the blue DeLorean at auction for £22,000 in 2004 and said the 34-year-old car is “a little rattly” with just over 13,000 miles on the clock.The DeLorean is a sports car manufactured by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company for the American market from 1981 to 1983 and features gull-wing doors.The car became widely known and iconic for its appearance and was modified as a time machine in the Back to the Future film trilogy.center_img Mr Mills is also a member of a DeLorean owners’ club and takes the car to exhibit at shows across the country once or twice a year.”Ironically I was done for speeding in the car that doesn’t get on the road much – I only drive it three or four times a year and did just 200 miles last year,” he said.”I just took it for a run around as it’s a 34-year-old car so it is a little bit nippy. It doesn’t have powered steering either so it is heavy to steer.”I’m a car fan and me and the rest of my family enjoyed the Back to the Future films.”When I’m out in it a few people recognise it, they slow down and take pictures – drivers take pictures out of their windows or try to film you and I get approached at petrol stations.”Mr Mills owns his own company, ARC Angel, who manufacture a home monitoring and alert system to assist people to live independently.A spokesman for Essex Police said: “The officer involved in this incident is currently deployed on specialist duties on a police operation.”The procedural issue here is regrettable however Essex Police wants to make it clear we do not tolerate excessive speeds or poor driving on our roads.”We take the issue of poor driving very seriously and dealt with 113 people for driving offences on the A12 in July alone.”Defending Mr Mills in court, Tim Vickers said: “There will be an application for wasted costs. I can’t see how the crown can contemplate defending that.”It is completely unfair for the defendant to go to this expense.” Christopher Lloyd in the 1985 film Back to the Future A car buff clocked by police driving his cult DeLorean motor at 88mph has insisted: “I wasn’t trying to time travel.”Nigel Mills, 55, was travelling to work in his £22,000 gull-winged sports car when he was caught by a police speed gun.A court heard how the car – made famous in film trilogy Back to the Future in which it can time travel when it hits 88mph – was clocked at a top speed of 89mph.last_img read more

Daily vitamin D dose would prevent millions of colds

first_imgVitamin D is thought to protect against respiratory infections by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides – natural antibiotic-like substances – in the lungs.For many years, scientists have tried to establish a link between respiratory infections and vitamin D, prompted by observations that these illnesses are most common in winter, when levels of the vitamin are lowest due to poor sunlight.The data from previous studies yielded contradictory results, but it is now clear that this was because many of the participants were being given their supplements in big monthly doses, a practice now understood to be ineffective.Supplements are effective when given daily or weekly, rather than in more widely spaced doses, the BMJ study concluded.While certain foods such as oily fish contain vitamin D, most of it is obtained through sunlight on the skin, and Government advice currently states that everyone should “consider” taking supplements during the autumn and winter months to protect musculoskeletal health.“By demonstrating this new benefit of vitamin D, our study strengthens the case for introducing food fortification to improve vitamin D levels in countries such as the UK where profound vitamin D deficiency is common,” said Prof Martineau.Unlike countries such as Finland, the UK does not currently fortify food with vitamin D as a matter of course. Prof Martineau said that to do so would only cost a few pence per adult per year.He added that the same preventative benefits could be derived from daily or weekly supplements.A linked editorial in the BMJ claimed the new data only amounted to a “hypothesis…requiring confirmation”.However, Dr Benjamin Jacobs, a consultant paediatrician at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, said: “The case for universal vitamin D supplements, or food fortification, is now undeniable.”Governments and health professionals need to take Martineau’s study into account when setting vitamin D policy now.” Supplements could help prevent the common coldCredit:South In what is being hailed a “major step forward”, the new research shows the vitamin also plays a significant role in preventing common illnesses.In the study, published in the British Medical Journal, researchers examined data from almost 11,000 participants from all over the world about the effect of vitamin D on acute respiratory illnesses, which can include earache, bronchitis, pneumonia and the common cold.The group of infections account for around 300,000 hospital admissions each year.The analysis showed that regular supplements resulted in a 12 per cent reduction in the number of people suffering an acute respiratory tract infection.Meanwhile, for people with the lowest levels of the vitamin, supplements cut their risk by 50 per cent.Professor Adrian Martineau, who led the study at Queen Mary University of London, said: “This major collaborative research effort has yielded the first definitive evidence that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infections.” This major collaborative research effort has yielded the first definitive evidence that vitamin D really does protect against respiratory infectionsProfessor Adrian Martineau, Queen Mary University of London 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. Woman with hanky Daily vitamin D supplements would prevent more than three million people a year falling ill with a cold or similar infection, a major NHS-backed study has found.Scientists said last night that it was now “undeniable” that everyone should fortify themselves with the “sunshine” vitamin after an investigation showed doing so could halve the risk of respiratory illness.Until now, Government campaigns urging greater intake of vitamin D have focused on the benefit to people’s bones.last_img read more

Church of England gay marriage vote thrown into chaos after members get

first_imgJustin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury listens during a session of the General Synod Rev Peter Ould speaking on FacebookCredit:FACEBOOK A delegate walks past activists from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement outside the General Synod at Church House in London It has since emerged that some members have suggested that clergy had made the same mistake.Rev Peter Ould, of Canterbury, said he had heard from other synod members who had also voted “no” incorrectly. He added: “I’ve spoken to two members of the house of laity who were confused, one of whom was very clear that he voted the wrong way. It would need four members of the house of clergy to say that they made a mistake for the result to change.  The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry at Coventry Cathedral Church leaders gathered at Church Hall in WestminsterCredit:Justin Tallis/AFP One lay synod member, who accidentally voted against the report but did not want to be named, told magazine Christian Today about the chaos in the chamber, saying a lot of people were unsure what they were voting for.”Other people around me were talking about their own misunderstandings,” he said.”The voting wasn’t clear. I have concerns, someone got shouted over, it was very confusing.”He added: “It was more of a colluding with people rather than an orderly debate.”In response to the confusion the Church of England reminded members to be more careful with their voting machines.  A spokesman said: “We are aware that the Bishop of Coventry and a member of the House of Laity have reported pressing the wrong button in the vote following the take note debate on the House of Bishops’ Report on marriage and Same-Sex Relationships“As the results in both the House of Bishops and House of Laity were strongly in favour of the report there is no material difference to the outcome of the vote.“It is the responsibility of Synod members to follow debates and the business of Synod carefully and to cast their votes accordingly.” Church leaders gathered at Church Hall in Westminster Rev Peter Ould speaking on Facebook A delegate walks past activists from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement outside the General Synod at Church House in LondonCredit:PAcenter_img Voting electronically at the Synod on February 15  The Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry at Coventry CathedralCredit:Andrew Fox Voting electronically at the Synod on February 15  Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury listens during a session of the General SynodCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP / Getty  The technical problems raise questions about whether the vote, which was only lost by seven votes in the house of clergy, can stand. The report, which was rejected last night after the House of Clergy voted against it by 100 votes to 93, said that the Church should preserve current teaching on gay marriage, which says that marriage is between one man and one woman and gay couples cannot marry in church. Members of the general synod, which is the Church of England’s general assembly, take votes using a hand-held device which has three buttons – one which means approval, one which means rejection and a third which means abstention. The other two houses of the Synod, bishops and laity, both voted to “take note” of the report.  But there was surprise when it was revealed that one bishop had voted against it. Sources said they believed the rejection came from the more liberal members of the clergy who thought the Church should ultimately drop its opposition to gay marriage.Members said it was “grudging and condescending”, “divorced from reality” and made the Church look “unkind” and homophobic. The Church of England’s crucial vote on gay marriage has been thrown into doubt after the Bishop of Coventry admitted he accidentally voted against the report and several others may have made the same mistake. The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth apologised for the mistake last night, which he said was because of “a moment of distraction and some confusion over the voting process”. The bishop insisted that he did in fact support the report written by his colleagues and was “embarrassed” to have accidentally rejected it.  “They voted the wrong way because they weren’t sure of what they voted on. One I spoke to thought they were still voting on procedure aspects rather than the actual substantive motion.”Other members said that they had voted the wrong way because they thought they were voting on a point of procedure, and not the actual debate. Prominent Anglican blogger Archbishop Cranmer tweeted: “If a bishop can do it, so can four members of clergy. How precarious is digital democracy.” In a statement, Bishop Christopher admitted to being the dissenter and said: “Much to my embarrassment, I have managed to give the impression that there was not complete agreement in the House of Bishops that the Report provided us with the best way forward.”Due to a moment of distraction and some confusion over the voting process, I pressed the wrong button on my handset, thus registering a vote against taking note rather than a vote for taking note of the Report!”I have apologised to my colleagues in the House of Bishops and to the Archbishops for my mistake.” 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

British railway first as four generations of trains including the Flying Scotsman

first_imgA railway milestone was put on track on Sunday as four trains spanning an incredible four generations arrived at the same station for the first time in British history.The event celebrated the past, present and future of one of Britain’s most iconic pieces of railway –  the East Coast Main Line – before arriving at York on Sunday . The Flying Scotsman visits the Bluebell Railway in SussexCredit:Christopher Pledger for the Telegraph “This event shows yet again how Yorkshire is leading the way and the timing is perfect, throwing the county firmly into the spotlight just days before the start of the Tour de Yorkshire.” The Flying Scotsman and Virgin Trains' new Azuma travel in the same direction alongside two of the rail operator's present day fleet - to depict the past, present and future of UK rail travel, in a world first event Partners involved in the show include Network Rail, Virgin Trains, Welcome to Yorkshire, the National Railway Museum and Hitachi. The Flying Scotsman and Virgin Trains' new Azuma travel in the same direction alongside two of the rail operator's present day fleet - to depict the past, present and future of UK rail travel, in a world first event, in the North Yorkshire countryside The Flying Scotsman and Virgin Trains’s new Azuma travel in the same direction alongside two of the rail operator’s present day fleet to depict the past, present and future of UK rail travel, in a world first eventCredit:PA The Flying Scotsman is the first steam locomotive to achieve an authenticated speed of 100mph and the first mechanical marvel to undertake a non-stop run between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley.Bob Gwynne, associate curator at the National Railway Museum, said: “The museum is proud that Flying Scotsman, a symbol of engineering excellence, is taking its place alongside such worthy successors to its speed and style mantle.” The Flying Scotsman is the first steam locomotive to achieve an authenticated speed of 100mphCredit:Jim Holden / Alamy Live News The world-famous Flying Scotsman travelled alongside two trains from Virgin Trains’s revitalised fleet, an HST (Class 43), an InterCity225 (Class 91), and the rail operator’s brand new train Virgin Azuma (Class 800), which will come into service in 2018.Featuring engineering work dating back to 1850, the fantastic-four set off from Tollerton, North Yorks, travelling side by side in a staggered formation at 25mph.center_img The Flying Scotsman  Paul Kirkman, director for the National Railway Museum in York which owns the Flying Scotsman, said: “The East Coast Main Line has long been famed for speed and style.”In the 19th century elegant locomotives were designed to haul trains on this route, cementing its reputation as a railway racing stretch operated by thoroughbred engines.”The four train line up epitomises the evolution of the later generation of fast, elegant and stylish trains – all with a shared bloodline – that epitomise the history of the route from the 1850s to today.” flying scotsman Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’re immensely proud to be flying the flag for this once in a generation railway spectacular. Virgin Trains' new Azuma travels in the same direction alongside the The Flying Scotsman and two of the rail operator's revitalised present day fleet - to depict the past, present and future of UK rail travel, in a world first event, in the North Yorkshire countryside 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. Virgin Trains’ new Azuma travels in the same direction alongside the The Flying Scotsman and two of the rail operator’s revitalised present day fleetCredit:PA The fleet arrived in York on SundayCredit:PAlast_img read more

Senior Court of Appeal judge Remove right to jury trial for petty

first_imgThe vast majority of cases – 61,011 – were passed to the Crown Court by magistrates who thought they were too serious to be tried in the lower court. Crown courts have the power to impose tougher sentences but have a lower conviction rate.  The time taken for a case to get to Crown Court also allows a defendant to gather evidence and prepare for the case. Earlier in the speech Lady Hallett said: “The jury is seen by some as an unfair and time-consuming process, a ‘luxury’ placing an expensive burden on the state (albeit it operates in only 1 per cent or 2 per cent of criminal cases).”If you are a prolific shoplifter accused of stealing sweets from Tesco should you have the right to demand jury trial at a cost of approximately £20,000?”The senior judge, who is vice president of the Court of Appeal’s criminal division, cited the high-profile case of Vicky Pryce, who was convicted of taking her husband’s speeding points. The original jury was discharged after asking ten questions which the judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, said showed a  “fundamental deficit in understanding”.Lady Hallett concluded that on balance the jury system was worth retaining despite its flaws. Donal Lawler, secretary of the Criminal Bar Association and a barrister at 187 Fleet Street Chambers, said theft was included in the “either way” category because of its potential impact on someone’s reputation. “It’s the act of doing something dishonest rather than its actual value. The reputational impact of that is enormous,” he said. He added that he had seen numerous cases where a defendant had chosen to go to the Crown Court on a relatively minor charge and had been cleared. “We’ve all seen quite a few of those – you initially think ‘that looks absurd’, but when you drill down you see the human effect a conviction would have.  Pembroke College, OxfordCredit:Geoff Pugh “I dealt with someone who had a bit of a chequered past but had made big changes, had places sorted out at college. “They were accused of something relatively minor, but chose to go to Crown Court. “The time taken over a summary trial can be a lot quicker – and things came out over that longer process which utterly exonerated them,” he said. Pembroke College, Oxford Defendants should not be allowed to choose a jury trial in some petty crime cases, a senior judge has said. In a speech at Pembroke College, Oxford, Lady Justice Hallett, who sits on the Court of Appeal, said that a full jury trial could cost £20,000 for defendants accused of offences such as stealing sweets from a supermarket.She said the Government should “remove the right to elect trial by jury in cases that simply do not warrant it”. The most serious offences are indictable, meaning they have to be tried in a Crown Court. Summary offences are almost always tried in a magistrates’ court, while “either way” offences can be tried in either depending on seriousness. The defendant can choose to go to crown court for either way offences only, which include theft. Last year 1,637 defendants chose to be tried by a jury in a crown court, 1.7 per cent of the total of 98,668 which were tried in crown courts. If each case cost around £20,000, the total cost would be £32.7m.In 2009 a Birmingham man was tried and acquitted of stealing a banana worth 25p from the Bullring shopping centre after he chose to have a full crown court trial. 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

Chipper Prince Philip joins the Queen for Christmas carols at Sandringham

first_imgPrincess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence attend church Prince Philip and Prince Andrew attend a carol service Meghan Markle will spend her first Christmas at Sandringham, breaking with convention to be invited despite not yet being married to the Prince.She has already attended the Queen’s Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace. The Queen leaves church, with a gift from a wellwisher Christmas Day will be the first time she has been photographed in public with Prince Harry along with her future in-laws, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 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. Princess Beatrice (left) and Princess Eugenie The Royal Family attend a carol service on Christmas Eve The Queen leaves church, with a gift from a wellwisherCredit:PA The Duke of Edinburgh, too, has been a relatively rare sight in public this year, after retiring from his official duties in the autumn. The Duke of Edinburgh has walked to church in Sandringham for a Christmas Eve carol service as the Royal Family embarks on their festive celebrations.The Duke, who beamed at members of the public turning out to greet him, was accompanied by his son the Duke of York, daughter the Princess Royal, and Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.The Queen, in a pale blue dress coat and pearls, arrived by car with the Countess of Wessex.The senior members of the Royal Family attended the 11am carols on Sunday morning, ahead of their annual outing at Sandringham on Christmas Day.  The Royal Family attend a carol service on Christmas EveCredit:PA The service will provide a calm moment of reflection before hundreds of wellwishers and the world’s media descend on Sandringham on Christmas morning for the Royal Family’s appearance.This year, senior members of the family are expected to be out in force, with the Queen and Duke accompanied by their four children, the Cambridge family and Prince Harry with his new fiance. He has remained by the Queen’s side for key occasions including Remembrance Sunday and Trooping the Colour, and is expected to continue to support her in public and private despite taking a step back from his own duties. The Queen and Sophie Wessex arrive by carCredit:Stephen Lock / i-Images The Queen and Sophie Wessex arrive by car Younger members of the Royal Family will be expected to pick up his busy schedule as “Team Windsor”, with the Duke of Cambridge giving up his work as a rescue pilot this year to devote himself to full-time service. Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence attend churchCredit:PA Prince Philip and Prince Andrew attend a carol serviceCredit:PA Today, the Duke was joined by the Princess Royal, often hailed as the hardest-working member of the family in terms of public engagements, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice Princess Eugenie, and Peter and Autumn Phillips Princess Beatrice (left) and Princess EugenieCredit:PAlast_img read more

National Trust chair accused of patronising and insensitive behaviour

first_imgTim Parker said the organisation had been repeatedly misconstruedCredit:Neil Holmes/Getty Images Mr Parker’s email also hailed the year as a success, pointing out how it had attracted a “historically high” number of members and 24.5 million visiting properties in 2017.A spokesman for the Trust said: “Tim used his new year message to personally thank all the Trust’s staff and volunteers for making 2017 an outstanding success after reaching our highest ever membership and visitor numbers.“As part of his look back, he also refers to some of the challenges we faced, including receiving some critical coverage over August, which is commonly known as the silly season. He does not say the Felbrigg issue in itself was silly or dismiss it in any way.” Volunteers had refused to wear a National Trust rainbow coloured lanyard “His comments show a complete lack of sensitivity and we are surprised that someone did not advise him against some of the language used.“The National Trust relies on its staff and considerable support of volunteers and this is certainly not the way to endear the organisation to them.” Eventually trust bosses climbed down allowing volunteers to choose whether or not to wear the lanyards after volunteers complained the organisation was straying beyond its role as protector of sites of historic interest and natural beauty. Volunteers had refused to wear a National Trust rainbow coloured lanyardcenter_img Tim Parker said the organisation had been repeatedly misconstrued Mr Parker wrote: “As I have said before, however, our actions were misconstrued. We believe we have done things with the best of intentions, even though this does not always please everyone. The Trust will always encompass a wide variety of views, and issues will crop up from time to time that involve quite intense debate.”However, “concerned” volunteers last night wrote to The Sunday Telegraph complaining that Mr Parker had misjudged the mood of many of its 60,000 volunteers contributing more than 3 million hours of their time each year.“Volunteers and many visitors certainly did not think it was a case of ‘silly season’ or ‘goofy stories’ or that the Trust’s actions were misconstrued,” the letter, signed ‘some National Trust volunteers’, says.“The chairman’s rather patronising comments belittle the very real concerns and objections that volunteers at Felbrigg had about the way the Trust had ‘outed’ the former owner of the property to further its LGBTQ agenda. Then it ‘punished’ volunteers by banning them from frontline volunteering in the property. The chairman of the National Trust has been accused of “patronising and insensitive” behaviour after writing to volunteers to condemn “goofy” claims the organisation was becoming painfully politically correct.Tim Parker, the 62-year-old trust chairman, said the organisation had been repeatedly “misconstrued” as part of a “silly season” in which it became embroiled in rows about how it treated sexuality, faith and the thousands of volunteers it relies upon.In an internal email to staff and volunteers he explained how a “string of stories” had been taken out of context. He criticised as “goofy” newspaper and television reports about how Dame Helen Ghosh, the former director general of the trust, was accused of “airbrushing faith” after removing the word ‘Easter’ from a traditional egg hunt amid fears it could alienate non-Christians.His end of year review email also listed other controversies the Trust triggered, including its decision to “out” as homosexual the late Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer who owned Felbrigg Hall, a move that upset many volunteers at the Norfolk property who were unconvinced he was in fact gay.Mr Parker also referred to how volunteers at that property who refused to wear a National Trust rainbow coloured lanyard to celebrate 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised would be banned from meeting and greeting the public. 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

Archers star says controversial editor chose to ditch tradition of voice matching

first_imgWhen Pip and Tom from The Archer’s eponymous family were recast in 2014, fans were outraged that the new actors sounded different. This was not an oversight, however, but the result of a deliberate choice by the show’s then editor Sean O’Connor, who ditched the traditional practice on the Radio 4 favourite of ‘voice matching’ – a mistake, according to Timothy Bentinck, who plays David Archer in the series.Speaking about the recasting of his fictional daughter Pip, Bentinck told the Oxford Literary Festival: “That was Sean O’Connor – that had never happened before,” . When actors left the show in previous years, their replacements would try to imitate their predecessors to maintain continuity, he explained.It was “always in the brief that you should do a voice match”, Bentinck added.  English peer and actor Timothy Bentinck pictured at Century Club, London, UK “But Sean for his own reasons decided that didn’t matter, so when he cast those parts, none of them sounded the same.“On radio, you can’t see it’s a different actor. It’s the same character, but they’ve had a vocal transplant. I don’t like to criticise, but I think going onwards, we shouldn’t do that.”It makes it very difficult,” he said. O’Connor recast the roles after telling The Daily Telegraph that he wanted to get rid of younger actors on the show without professional acting trainingA former EastEnders producer, O’Connor also drew the ire of audiences for turning the Archers into ‘EastEnders in a field’, with racy storylines and a domestic abuse plot between characters Rob Titchener, and his wife Helen.On leaving the show after nearly three years at the helm, O’Connor went back to EastEnders, becoming the show’s executive producer in June 2016. Bentinck however said he disagreed with the criticism of O’Connor’s soap background. “He was great,” he said.  “He was accused – oh he worked for EastEnders once, so therefore he’s going to turn it into EastEnders, which I thought was a bit… it’s like it’s a disease that you’re going to transmit.” Bentinck’s fictional daughter Pip Archer has been voiced by a different actress since 2014, angering some fans Credit:Rii Schroer 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

Royal wedding guest list Amal and George Clooney the Beckhams and Pippa

Like no other Royal wedding before it, Prince Harry’s wedding to the actress Meghan Markle was sprinkled with stardust from the glittering LA-set. George Clooney, perhaps the most handsome and one of the most bankable movie stars of the past two decades, arrived at the wedding with his wife Amal. David and Victoria Beckham also attended, along with Elton John, who performed at the after-party. Friends from Ms Markle’s inner circle – including actors from her hit television show Suits – gave the wedding a touch of ‘LA cool’. Green smoothies… Follow how Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding day unfolded here Get Sunday’s live updates on the aftermath of the royal wedding ceremony and reception here 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

Thomas Markle reveals he cried as he watched Duchess of Sussex marry

“But as long as they’re happy and have a great life and have some beautiful children and do good things in the world, I’m can’t ask for more.” On the subject of Brexit, he said: “It was just a loose conversation about something we have to try. There was no real commitment for it. I think he was open to the experiment.”On grandchildren: ‘There’s got to be a child in the making there soon’Mr Markle said that he expects his daughter will want to try for children soon.Asked whether a “stork” had paid a visit to the palace yet, Mr Markle said: “She’s wanted children for a long time.“When she met Harry and she spoke about how much she loves him… there’s got to be a child in the making there soon.”’Meghan cried’: Moment he told couple he would not make weddingSaying he had “absolutely” wanted to walk his daughter down the aisle, he disclosed he had spoken with Prince Harry, Ms Markle and one of their security staff about his trip to the UK shortly before being admitted to hospital with heart problems for a second time.After learning how severe they were, he said, he had to tell his daughter he would not make her wedding, leaving her concerned and in tears. Thomas Markle with his daughter Meghan Asked whether he believed the newlywed Duke was still a fan, he added: “I would hope not now, but at the time he might have been.” Thomas Markle, father of Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, gives his first ever interview on Good Morning Britain Saying his new son-in-law was “great” and an “interesting guy”, Mr Markle said he “made a great pick” in his daughter, who has been a “princess since the day she was born”.Revealing that he watched the ceremony from a television in a room rented for him by friends in California, Mr Markle said he had been “jealous” that he was left as a “footnote in history”, but said “thank God” that the Prince of Wales, whom he has never spoken to, was there to step in.Mr Markle is understood to have been paid several thousand pounds for the interview, and was persuaded to take part after being promised “ample time” to get his side of the story across.Prince Harry’s private views on Trump and BrexitIn an interview unlikely to have been sanctioned by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or Kensington Palace, Mr Markle said he had come to know the “smart” Prince Harry over the phone in a series of “interesting conversations” in which they allegedly discussed his private political views.“I was complaining I didn’t like Donald Trump,” said Mr Markle. “He said give Donald Trump a chance. I sort of disagreed with that but I still like Harry. That was his politics, I have my politics.” Saying he had not yet met the Duke or his family in person, he said: “I look forward to coming to London and seeing them soon, I would love to.” ‘I feel bad about it’: Apology for paparazzi stuntAsked about his own actions before the wedding, which included a series of photography shoots set up with the paparazzi, Mr Markle said “I accept full responsibility. I can say I’m sorry for those things for the rest of my life, but I’m paying for those things for the rest of my life. Thomas Markle with his daughter Meghan, whom he ‘absolutely wanted to walk’ down the aisleCredit:TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED  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. Talking about the moment he told his daughter and her husband-to-be that he would not make the wedding, Mr Markle said: “They were disappointed. Meghan cried, I’m sure, and they both said ‘Take care of yourself, we are really worried about you’.” “But I just want people to know I’m a normal guy, I’m a retired man and I was living a quiet little life and this happened, and lots of things happened around it, and I’ve tried to survive through that, but more than anything I don’t want my daughter or new son-in-law to be hurt by any of this. I want to have a nice, normal relationship with my royal family as well now.” Asked about the much-publicised episode, which saw him exposed for colluding with the paparazzi days before the royal wedding, Mr Markle said he had not done it for the money but to improve his image.“Obviously that all went to hell,” he said. “I feel bad about it, I apologise for it and that’s all I can do. That was a mistake.”’I look forward to coming to London’: Hopes for visitMr Markle said dozens of members of his daughter’s family had come out of the woodwork demanding wedding invitations, saying he thought it “very smart” of her not to have them in Windsor.Saying he had spoken to the happy couple the day after their wedding, telling his daughter “it was fabulous, she looked beautiful”.As they discussed visiting him in Mexico, Mr Markle claimed he told the newlyweds it was a “bad idea”, due to the Press around his house, and that “I wished they would go on a honeymoon”. Saying he had prepared a speech for the big day, Mr Markle told GMB he had hoped to regale wedding guests with the story of how he had told her about “this nice British guy” before thanking the Royal family for welcoming her.”I couldn’t be more proud of those two, I think they’ll do a fabulous job,” he said. “They’re great and I love then dearly. I’m very happy to have a new son-in-law.” Adding that he knows the couple are  “very busy”, he spoke of his admiration for the Queen he described as “one of the most incredible women in the world”.Father hopes he has not offended couple with interviewMr Markle said he hopes he has not offended his daughter and Prince Harry by appearing on GMB for the interview.He said: “I hope I haven’t offended them, I don’t think I have, they know I love them and I hope the royals – the Royal family – will understand my feelings as well.”He also told the programme about how he “mixed up” a set of white dolls and black dolls when Meghan was a child because “that was normal to me and that’s the way I wanted my daughter to feel.”Mr Markle said that he opted to take part in the interview because he wanted people to know he is a “normal guy” and because he wants to have a good relationship with Meghan and Harry.He said: “Over the last few weeks, everybody has had different opinions, some people said I was faking my heart attack, some people said I was skipping out, all kinds of stories were coming out about me, negative ones. WORLD EXCLUSIVE: ‘I feel bad about it. I apologise for it’ – Mr Markle addresses the staged paparazzi photos leading up to the royal wedding #GMB— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 18, 2018 “I said you’re a gentleman, promise me you’ll never raise a hand against my daughter and of course I give you my permission.” WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Thomas Markle talks about his heart surgery and the moment he told Meghan he couldn’t attend the royal wedding #GMB— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 18, 2018 Thomas Markle gives his first interview on Good Morning BritainCredit:GOOD MORNING BRITAIN Thomas Markle has told how he cried as he watched his daughter’s wedding on television in a small rented hide-out, in a tell-all interview in which he claims Prince Harry was “open” to Brexit.Mr Markle, who said he was “jealous” as the Prince of Wales walked his daughter down the aisle as he was receiving treatment for a heart attack, has spoken to Good Morning Britain in an extraordinary interview detailing private political conversations.Claiming Prince Harry had once told him to “give Donald Trump a chance”, the 73-year-old alleged the sixth-in-line to the throne had seemed “open” to the idea of Brexit.Mr Markle told how his daughter, then actress Meghan Markle, had confided in him that she had a new boyfriend, before eventually revealing he was British, then that he was a Prince they should call him “H” for security reasons.He spoke to the Prince straight afterwards, he said, getting to know him over the telephone before giving his blessing to their marriage following their engagement in November.“Meghan told me first and then a few times after that Harry got on the phone with her and asked for her hand over the phone,” he said. He added: “I absolutely wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle.”The father-of-the-bride speech he never got to makeThe retired TV lighting director disclosed he had cried as he watched the royal ceremony on television, describing his daughter as “beautiful”.”It was incredible watching her,” he said. “I was very proud. I was very upset that it wasn’t me (walking her down the aisle) but the whole world was watching my daughter. I was very happy about that.”The unfortunate thing for me now is I’m a footnote in one of the greatest moments in history rather than the dad walking her down the aisle. That upsets me somewhat.” read more

British businessman killed in Sydney plane crash leaves £41 million fortune to Oxfam

William Cousins was killed in a plane crash with his father Richard Richard Cousins, the highly-regarded head of catering giant Compass who was killed in a plane crash, reportedly left £41 million to Oxfam in a recently updated will. The 58-year-old tycoon died in a seaplane crash near Sydney on New Year’s Eve, along with his two sons, fiancée Emma Bowden, and her daughter while on a dream holiday to Australia.Mr Cousins reportedly originally planned to leave his wealth to his sons William, 25, and Edward, 23. However, a year before the tragedy in Australia he drew up a new will, inserting a “common tragedy clause” that would come into force if he and his sons were all killed together, the Sun reported.When tragedy struck, the main beneficiary was Oxfam, reportedly receiving all but £3 million of his fortune. His brother, Simon and Andrew, were left £1 million each, the newspaper reported. “It’s the kind of bequest charities dream of. There will rightly be heavy scrutiny of how the money is spent,” a source told the paper.  Emma Bowden and her daughter HeatherCredit:Facebook Oxfam has yet to respond to the Telegraph’s request for comment. The large bequest comes as Oxfam reels from a sex scandal that has roiled the charity sector. Oxfam GB has been struggling to win back the confidence of the public, the UK government and its donors following allegations that members of its staff used sex workers during a relief mission after an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010.It emerged in June that the charity is cutting back some of its overseas aid programmes after warning staff it needs to find £16 million of savings due to the fallout from the controversy.Mr Cousins had been due to step down as chief executive of the company in March after more than a decade in the role.  Emma Bowden and her daughter Heather He and Ms Bowden, who was the art editor for OK! magazine and daughter of Conservative MP Gerry Bowden, were to get married this summer. The couple, who had sent out their wedding invitations just days before flying off on their Christmas and New Year holiday, lived together with Heather in a leafy part of Tooting, South London.Last year, legacy income accounted for £2.8 billion of the nearly £10 billion donated by the British public to charitable causes, making it the largest single source of voluntary income to the charity sector. William Cousins was killed in a plane crash with his father Richard 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

Childrens development being stifled by nursery bosses fear of health and safety

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. “While it is a basic expectation of any institution that cares for children to carry out proper risk assessments, some level of risk is an essential part of childhood.”Gill Jones, Ofsted’s lead for primary and early years, said that private nurseries have to convince parents that their children will be safe under their watch.“Some private providers say that they have to work very hard with parents because parents want their children to be really safe when they leave their baby and their toddler in a setting,” she said.  Ms Jones added that some of the “more nervous providers” are not willing to take “risks” – such as allowing children to play on a climbing frame or go on school trips that involve crossing roads – because “they are frightened of the ramifications”.“Children are losing the ability to build their upper body strength, their muscles, their balance, their coordination,” she said.“All of these are really important factors for when children get older. And a child that hasn’t had upper body strength built, who hasn’t done the monkey bars, will not have the physical strength to write.” Children’s physical development is being “stifled” by health and safety as teachers are too scared to let them play outside, Ofsted has warned.Nursery bosses have “undue concerns” about letting children run around and this is hindering their ability to build up muscular strength and dexterity, according to the education watchdog’s annual report.Playing on climbing frames, having cooking lessons and going on trips are now regarded by early years providers as activities which are too risky as youngsters might get hurt in the process. Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, said there is a “great deal of concern” among teachers about children injuring themselves. Speaking at the launch of the annual report in Westminster, she said that nurseries must understand that “lumps and bumps” are part of childhood.She added: “It is very important that children can develop physically, explore, do all the things they need to do to test their physical boundaries.”Without taking risks, children’s “natural inquisitiveness” is stifled, Ofsted’s annual report said, explaining: “In the early years, a crucial part of preparing children for school is developing their muscular strength and dexterity.”But we also know that in other settings this good practice is stifled by undue concerns about the risk and safety of such activities.  Inspectors found that 19,000 children dropped off school rolls between January 2016 and January 2017, during the time students take their GCSE exams. Around half (9,700) of those dropping off rolls between Years 10 and 11 are not reappearing on the roll of another state-funded school.Off-rolling, where schools move difficult-to-teach pupils off their rolls to boost performance data, is illegal.Ms Spielman said the quality of education in the country was improving but too many pupils had “the deck stacked against them”, adding that children from white working class communities were making particularly poor progress at school.She said that there is “stark” regional variation in the attainment of the poorest students. Areas like Newham, east London and Newcastle which educate high proportions of disadvantaged children, “excel” at making sure deprived pupils perform well. Meanwhile the poorest students who live more affluent areas like West Berkshire lag behind.  She called on schools to “get the basics right” and resist the appeal of “fashionable gimmicks” from the tech world.“Despite the history of snake oil, white elephants and fashionable gimmicks that have in the main been debunked, there remains a curious optimism that the elixir of education is just around the corner,” she said. “But the truth is, we don’t need an elixir to help raise standards, because we already have the tried and tested ingredients we need.”A Department for Education spokesperson said: “This report shows that standards in our schools are rising with 86 per cent judged to be good or outstanding compared to only 66 per cent in 2010.” The education watchdog also warned that thousands of pupils could be “disappearing” from the school system as a result of illegal off-rolling. read more

Law students hailed by judges after overturning care workers sexual assault conviction

 Gareth Jones from Trecastle, PowysCredit:WALES NEWS SERVICE The following evening the police arrived at his home. He handed over his unwashed uniform from the previous night’s shift before being arrested for sexual assault.”That’s when my life just crumbled,” he told the BBC. “I felt like my heart had just been ripped out of me.“I was shocked, all over the place. I’d done nothing wrong.”At trial, Mr Jones, who has a learning difficulty that impairs his understanding, found proceedings impossible to follow and did not understand what was going on.Court of Appeal judges considered new evidence before ruling that the conviction could not be considered safe, pointing to a lack of DNA evidence.  Gareth Jones from Trecastle, Powys “University projects are a sticking plaster only and cannot replace a properly-funded legal aid system.” The team, led by Dr Dennis Eady, get sent hundreds of cases from people desperate to expose alleged miscarriages of justice.But as they sifted through the documents concerning Mr Jones’s case, they quickly realised there was a realistic prospect of overturning the conviction. There was a lack of medical evidence and Mr Jones had not been treated as a vulnerable person in court. A team of university law students have succeeded in overturning the conviction of a care worker who was wrongly jailed for sexually assaulting a dementia patient.The astonishing victory was the culmination of six years of unpaid work by students, solicitors and barristers who were determined to expose the miscarriage of justice.Gareth Jones, who has learning difficulties, was jailed in 2008 for what was described in court as a “vicious and sadistic” attack on a vulnerable, elderly woman.He had always pleaded his innocence but was “depicted as a monster” before the jury and was  jailed for nine years, a sentence later reduced to seven years on appeal.Gareth, 33, from Trecastle, Powys, spent three and a half years in Usk Prison and was forced to sign the sex offenders register.But his long-term carer, Paula Morgan was determined to prove his innocence and spent months searching for a legal team who would take up his case before coming across the Cardiff University Innocence Project. Cardiff UniversityCredit:James Davies/Alamy Stock Photo “The key thing about the new evidence was that (the patient’s) injuries could have been caused by a series of medical mishaps,” Dr Eady said. “There were other explanations. As a case to be taken on, it was a fairly obvious one.“It was an unfair trial but more to the point, Gareth didn’t do it.”Mr Jones was carrying out routine checks at the care home near Brecon when he realised the elderly patient in question was bleeding heavily, and so pressed an emergency call button for help.When colleagues arrived he left the room, as he could not stand the sight of blood but later accompanied the woman to hospital. Cardiff University 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. They said if the case was heard today, Mr Jones would have been given support for his learning difficulties during the legal process and the jury would have been directed to take it into account during their deliberations.”The charged and rhetorical nature of the questions and some of Mr Jones’s responses would have been likely to leave the jury with the impression that he had no answer to the charge,” they said.The judges acknowledged the “significant contribution” the Cardiff University Innocence Project made to his appeal.It is the second time the Innocence Project, launched in 2006, has successfully overturned a criminal conviction and it remains the only such project in the UK to have done so.The team made history in 2014, after former gang member Dwaine George, jailed for life in 2002 after teenager Daniel Dale was shot dead in Manchester, had his murder conviction overturned.The inocence project allows students who are passionate about investigating alleged miscarriages of justice to work on cases of long-term prisoners who maintain their innocence of serious crimes for which they have been convicted.Professor Julie Price, Head of Pro Bono at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics said: “The appeals system is problematic and needs to change. Even if you can afford lawyers, the system is stacked against you. read more