Celtics Rajon Rondo Will Miss Beginning of Regular Season

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo tore his ACL last NBA season, now many speculations linger about his return. CSNNE.com reports that Rondo may not be ready to play when the season starts:“Shortly after Rondo’s injury, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge stated that Rondo would be back for the start of the season. While there hasn’t been a delay in his recovery, Rondo’s timetable looks more and more like he will miss all of the preseason as well as some regular-season games.”With the loss of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics will definitely need Rondo to help them in the upcoming season. Even though they will need more pieces to help the guard, a healthy Rondo is the cornerstone of the franchise going forward.The Celtics organization said earlier this week that there’s no timetable for Rondo’s return. read more

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The Most Clutch Postseason Quarterback Of All Time Is Eli Manning

Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game featured a matchup between two quarterbacks with clutch reputations: the Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco, who entered the game with a 10-4 lifetime postseason record, and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, whose first three playoff seasons all yielded Super Bowl championships. The Patriots got the better of the Ravens after a terrific game, but both quarterbacks played well, with Flacco tossing four touchdowns in a losing effort.A day later, the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning would produce just 4.6 yards per passing attempt against the Indianapolis Colts, lower than in any of his 16 regular-season starts. While Manning avoided an interception, he threw just one touchdown and Denver lost 24-13. The effort rekindled doubts about Manning’s postseason performance — as you’ll recall, Manning’s most recent postseason appearance did not exactly go well — along with questions about whether he’s past his prime (he’s 38).How you evaluate the postseason records of Manning, Brady and Flacco depends on how you define clutch performance. Is it performance relative to expectations that matters? Or is it performance in an absolute sense?Manning’s postseason record is pretty decent by one standard and pretty terrible by the other. His lifetime postseason record is now 11-13. It’s not easy to win playoff games, and Manning has had the misfortune to play in a fairly deep era for the AFC (one that has included Brady). Nonetheless, Manning’s record is a bit worse than you’d expect based on the performance of his teams during the regular season.In the chart below, I’ve tracked Manning’s postseason record as compared with expectation based on Elo ratings for his teams and his postseason opponents at the time the games were played. As an alternative measure — more about how this is calculated in a moment — I’ve charted how Manning’s teams would expect to do in those games if he had fallen into the Springfield Mystery Spot and a replacement-level quarterback had substituted for him.Manning’s teams have been favored, according to our Elo ratings, in 17 of his 24 postseason games. It’s often been a narrow advantage; viewed probabilistically, you’d set the over line at 13 or 14 wins. Manning has won 11. It’s not a totally disastrous record — Manning has won a Super Bowl, after all, and led his team to two others — but it’s on the lower end for great quarterbacks relative to the lofty expectations they establish.But what if those starts had instead been taken by backups like Jim Sorgi or Curtis Painter or Brock Osweiler (all of whom serve as functional examples of replacement-level quarterbacks)? We have the Broncos and the Colts as underdogs in all 24 of those hypothetical games. No doubt they’d have backed into a few wins despite their underdog status, but Manning’s teams project to an 8-16 record on a probabilistic basis without him. Peyton’s 11-13 record looks pretty good compared to that.We can run the same numbers for all quarterbacks who played in the postseason since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Specifically, I’ll look at the records for what I’ll call the principal quarterback, who is the one with the most passing attempts during the game (not necessarily the one who started it). A total of 180 players have served as principal postseason QBs by this definition.Below, I’ve listed the records for the top and bottom quarterbacks, along with those who have been active in this year’s playoffs or who have been a principal quarterback at least 10 times in the postseason. I’ve also listed each quarterback’s projected record based on Elo. Finally, I’ve listed the result of a set of 25,000 simulations of each quarterback’s postseason career where QBs were randomly assigned wins and losses based on the probabilities established by Elo. I counted up how often the simulated quarterback bettered the actual quarterback’s win total, giving half-credit to cases where they finished with the same record.By this measure, the most clutch postseason QB of all time is Manning — Eli Manning. His New York Giants have often been underdogs in the postseason and projected to a record of 4-7 or perhaps 5-6 in his 11 games. Instead, Eli Manning’s teams have gone 8-3. According to the simulations, there’s just a 1 percent chance of achieving such a strong record based on chance alone.This does not, incidentally, serve as evidence that Eli Manning or any other quarterback has some extra gear that kicks in during the postseason. Eli’s been awesome during the postseason, but with 180 QBs in the sample you’d expect to find a few fluky cases based on chance alone. This is also not to say that clutch quarterbacking doesn’t exist. As my colleague Benjamin Morris has repeatedly documented, some quarterbacks — including Peyton Manning — consistently manage the game better in clutch situations, such as during a fourth-quarter comeback drive. Indeed, clutchness is so intrinsic to quarterbacking that it’s hard to distinguish a clutch QB from a good QB. But that clutchness ought to show up in a QB’s regular-season stats and his team’s regular-season win-loss record and Elo rating. It’s not clear that some quarterbacks are clutch in the regular season but unclutch in the postseason.Peyton Manning, of course, is the closest thing to an exception. As compared with the record projected by Elo, his postseason record ranks 161st out of the 180 QBs in our sample. Among quarterbacks with at least 10 games in the database, only Warren Moon and Randall Cunningham rank lower.But this is a somewhat ridiculous list. The top five consists of one great quarterback, Joe Montana, along with two pretty good ones (Eli Manning and Flacco). It also has Trent Dilfer and Jeff Hostetler. Meanwhile, Brady ranks just 43rd by this measure. His postseason record is excellent — 18-8, not counting one game where he was hurt and replaced by Drew Bledsoe. But because the Patriots were favored in most of those games, he doesn’t get much credit for it. You’d have expected them to go about 17-9 based on Elo ratings.Here’s the problem: This way of thinking about quarterbacks forces them to compete against themselves. Sure, the Patriots have often been favored to win their postseason games. But a lot of that is because Brady is their quarterback. How might the Pats have expected to do with a replacement-level QB instead?They might not have been totally hopeless. Brady has usually had a little bit more talent surrounding him than Peyton Manning has. (Matt Cassel, who rates as somewhere between average and replacement-level, led New England to an 11-5 record when Brady was hurt in 2008.) Bill Belichick would probably have snuck them into the playoffs a few times. But they’d also have been playing good opponents. Our method projects them to a 12-14 or 13-13 postseason record rather than Brady’s 18-8.I calculate these estimates based on a quarterback’s adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A), a metric that accounts for yardage, attempts, touchdowns, interceptions and sacks — basically it’s a better version of the NFL’s passer rating. A replacement-level quarterback typically posts an ANY/A at about 80 percent of the league average, so a QB gets credit for any performance above and beyond that.1ANY/A is a rate statistic — not a counting stat — so I also evaluate a quarterback’s number of passing attempts during the regular season. I then translate this into points added or subtracted in the regular season2The translation of ANY/A into points is based on a comparison with ESPN’s Total QBR. and translate points into a team’s Elo rating to evaluate the impact the QB had on his team overall.3The formula isEloDiff = (ANY/A+ -80)*Att*0.0025… where ANY/A+ is a quarterback’s ANY/A relative to the league average, Att is his number of passing attempts during the regular season and EloDiff is how many ratings points the QB added or subtracted from his team’s Elo rating as compared with a replacement-level quarterback.It’s notoriously difficult, of course, to distinguish the performance of a quarterback from that of his teammates, but this method produces some reasonable-seeming results. This year’s Green Bay Packers project as a slightly below-average team with a replacement-level guy subbed in for Aaron Rodgers , for instance. Instead of having been 59 percent favorites in their Sunday game against the Cowboys, as they were based on Elo ratings, they’d have been roughly 2-to-1 underdogs.The principle is simply that the better the quarterback, the more his team would be harmed by removing him. In the case of Peyton Manning’s teams, I estimate that pulling Manning would hurt them by about a touchdown (7 points) per game. That’s enough to demote them to a projected 8-16 record in the 24 postseason games Manning has played.We can rerun the numbers for all 180 playoff quarterbacks, comparing each QB’s actual record against the simulated one achieved by replacement-level QBs against the same schedule. By this measure, Peyton Manning moves up to 28th on the postseason list; there’s only about a 10 percent chance that a replacement-level QB could have equalled or bettered his 11-13 record.Eli Manning remains No. 1 overall, but this time in a photo finish over Joe Montana and Kurt Warner. Flacco still rates highly, in fourth place. Brady moves up to No. 6, right behind John Elway. Brett Favre advances to 19th from 78th. While there’s still a Dilfer and a Hostetler here and there, it’s a much better list of quarterbacks.This shouldn’t be surprising: Before, we’d essentially been punishing great QBs for having been great during the regular season. Some have been even greater during the playoffs. Others have reverted to being a little closer to average. Peyton Manning falls into the latter group. His career postseason passer rating entering Sunday’s game was 89.2, less than his 97.5 rating during the regular season but still pretty good. But if the Colts and Broncos haven’t quite had the postseason records you’d hope for with Manning at the helm, they’ve been a heck of a lot better off than they would’ve been with Jim Sorgi. read more

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The Offer That MLB Players Always Refuse Even When They Shouldnt

Jordan Zimmermann2.8 Howie Kendrick2.4 Dexter Fowler1.7 John Lackey2.6 Zack Greinke4.0 Hisashi Iwakuma3.3 Jeff Samardzija2.7 PLAYERS WHO RECEIVED QUALIFYING OFFERSPROJECTED WAR Ian Kennedy2.1 Brett Anderson2.0 Wei-Yin Chen2.6 Justin Upton3.0 Ian Desmond1.6 The offer also serves another purpose, which is to reward the offering team with a valuable draft pick if the player should sign with another club; conversely, the signing team loses a draft pick. In practical terms, this has the effect of reducing a player’s value to any other team and making it easier for the original team to re-sign its free agent. In most cases, the draft pick is a small consolation prize for losing a superstar. But when it comes to some marginal players, the possible reward of the pick (worth about 1 WAR) is just enough incentive for a team to extend an offer to a player who might not otherwise be projected to achieve 2 WAR.The choice of whether to accept a qualifying offer is harder from the player’s perspective. The qualifying offer is a low-risk, low-reward option compared with what could be a bigger payday on the free-agent market, although there’s greater uncertainty about how much the payout will be. So far, every single player who has received a qualifying offer has refused it (not counting this year’s crop). In the case of the few players who are not likely worth an offer but still receive one, the near-pathological confidence necessary to be a professional athlete may be the factor compelling them to refuse. In some instances, that’s led to decent players remaining unemployed until mid-year the following season. Just ask Stephen Drew about that.As a result of these incentives, qualifying offer season has become somewhat predictable. The math works out so that teams tender offers to almost every remotely deserving free agent. Without fail, those free agents refuse them, only to find their eventual contract value reduced by the draft pick that their new team had to give up. Chris Davis2.4 Yovani Gallardo1.7 It’s qualifying offer season in Major League Baseball, that most anticlimactic time of year when teams offer one-year deals to a handful of players on the brink of free agency. Those “qualifying offers” are artifacts of a system that was introduced in the last collective bargaining agreement to compensate teams that lose free agents. Every qualifying offer is the same: Teams can offer $15.8 million to impending free agents who weren’t traded in the past year for one more year of service. If a player accepts, he takes the money but sacrifices the chance to see what the market thinks he’s worth. How teams and players should go about offering, accepting and denying qualifying offers are interesting questions.From a team’s perspective, the decision to tender a qualifying offer is relatively straightforward. Each offer is essentially a bet that the player will be worth more than the $15.8 million salary. Since each win above replacement (WAR) costs about $7 million to $8 million on the free-agent market, that wager is equivalent to projecting that a player will be worth 2 or more WAR in the coming year.1The math is slightly more complicated than this when you consider that wins are worth different amounts to playoff contenders versus rebuilding teams and can be afforded more easily by big-market outfits than smaller franchises. In some cases (Jason Heyward, Zack Greinke), that’s an easy bet to take, while in others (Colby Rasmus, Ian Desmond), the projection is a little shakier. Alex Gordon3.5 Jason Heyward4.7 Daniel Murphy2.1 Colby Rasmus0.8 Marco Estrada0.8 Matt Wieters2.2 read more

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Ohio State womens ice hockey sweeps opening series against New Hampshire

OSU freshman goaltender Kassidy Sauve (32) watches as sophomore defenseman Alexa Ranahan (21) pushes the puck up the ice in a game against New Hampshire Oct. 4. at the Ohio State Ice Rink. OSU won 4-3.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State women’s hockey team knew it needed a good start to the season, but getting a good scare wasn’t in the original plans.Following a 1-0 win against New Hampshire on Friday, the Buckeyes completed their home series sweep against the Wildcats with a 4-3 late-game victory Saturday.OSU sophomore forward Claudia Kepler’s goal with 32 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game saved the Buckeyes (2-0-0) from a collapse that saw their early 3-0 lead erased.“We’re really a cohesive unit that’s working well together right now and you can feel the energy in the locker room and while we’re on the bench,” senior forward Kayla Sullivan said. “We’re comfortable working with each other already.”Fresh off a shutout victory on Friday night, OSU jumped out to a quick start on Saturday but was unable to hold its advantage.First period goals by senior forward Danielle Gagne, Sullivan and sophomore defenseman Alexa Ranahan were answered in the second and third periods when the Wildcats recorded three-consecutive tallies.“I think that we started gambling a little bit and getting away from playing some fundamentally-sound hockey,” OSU coach Nate Handrahan said. “That can’t happen as we go forward.”Kepler’s goal in the waning seconds of Saturday’s game marked her second game-winning goal in as many days.Friday’s game wasn’t nearly as hectic, but still challenged the Buckeyes. Once Kepler’s second-period goal gave OSU a 1-0 lead, the team was forced to defend its advantage the rest of the game.The Buckeye defense faced its biggest test when Gagne took an interference penalty with 3:07 remaining in regulation. OSU’s penalty kill was perfect in the game, as it was on Saturday as well.As a whole, OSU’s special teams success was limited to the penalty kill. The Buckeyes went zero-for-seven on the power play during the series and struggled to find structure with the man advantage.The power play is a work in progress, Handrahan said.OSU allowed a shorthanded goal on Saturday, an occurrence that happened six times last season.In net, the Buckeyes were backstopped  by freshman goalie Kassidy Sauve who picked up a shutout in her first collegiate start. Sauve combined to make 46 saves on 49 shots on the weekend.“Knowing that we have her behind us it gives us the confidence to play more aggressive and maybe a little riskier,” redshirt-sophomore defenseman Bryanna Neuwald said. “It’s comforting.”Next to Sauve, freshman forward Julianna Iafallo was the Buckeyes’ most notable rookie. Iafallo was a top-six forward and had four shots during the series.“I think our freshmen in general are a little bit tentative,” Handrahan said “They’re dipping their toe in the water when I need them to do a cannon ball and get in the pool.”Five freshmen made their Buckeye debuts against New Hampshire.OSU is now undefeated in its last five season openers.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play at Wisconsin on Friday at 8:07 p.m. and Sunday at 2:07 p.m. read more

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Ohio State womens tennis looks to rebound at Big Ten tournament

Junior Grainne O’Neill serves during a match at the OSU tennis center. The Buckeyes are set for the Big Ten tournament.Credit: Lindsey Oates / Lantern photographerDespite not having any seniors in this year’s lineup, the Ohio State women’s tennis team has fared well, winning a program record of 10 of its 11 Big Ten matches this spring.The No. 18 Buckeyes’ only loss in Big Ten play came on Friday when the Scarlet and Gray faltered at home against the then-No. 14 Michigan Wolverines.With the loss, the Buckeyes let a share of the regular-season Big Ten title slip away, but after defeating Michigan State two days later, OSU has re-routed the ship heading into the Big Ten Tournament.“We know that we’re very well prepared,” junior Grainne O’Neill said. “We’ve put in the work on and off the court and I think that shows. We’re just excited to get started and see how it goes.”The Buckeyes will be seeded in the two slot this weekend in Evanston, Ill., with a first-round bye as they await the winner of Purdue and Wisconsin.OSU has not been at the top of the Big Ten standings since winning the conference in 2000. Coach Melissa Schaub said she is happy with where her team is, and added that the key to winning is to simply keep working for it.“I think we compete really hard,” Schaub said. “I think college tennis is a lot about really good energy, coming out and competing every day, you’re not always going to play your best.“I tell these guys you can probably count on one hand the amount of times they’re going to walk off the court thinking they played unbelievable. The rest of it is just trying to gut it out and find a way.”O’Neill, who won her individual match in two sets against Michigan State, said she is excited for the tournament because it is a chance to be on a big stage and compete in a pressured and sometimes nerve-wracking environment.But her excitement for the challenge wasn’t there in years past.“I think mentally I’ve gotten a lot stronger,” O’Neill said. “And knowing that maybe in years before I might have gotten a little nervous in tight situations but just from playing so many matches I’ve gotten more confident and I know that I can pull off a win eventually if I just keep plugging away.”Schaub said she is proud of O’Neill’s ability to step up in pressure situations, given she is one of the older members of a youthful team.“We are a very young team,” Schaub said. “And for Grainne, who doesn’t know whether she’s going to be in there playing or not until sometimes the day of, she has stepped up huge.”However, in order to go far this weekend in the tournament and possibly get a chance to avenge their only Big Ten loss, it will be a team effort, Schaub said. And she added that she is proud of how the whole team has followed O’Neill’s lead.“I think they’ve all stepped up,” Schaub said of her team. “Certain matches, we’ve had certain people out and other people have had to jump in and step up, and they’ve done that really well. It’s just unbelievable for them and shows the kind of heart they have and the kind of team they are.”Michigan has won the Big Ten regular-season title for six consecutive years after beating the Buckeyes a week ago. But now it is tournament time, and OSU is excited to possibly get a second shot at the Maize and Blue, O’Neill said.“This year we are really, really prepared and we’re excited to play,” O’Neill said. “It’s always been a rivalry. Every time we play Michigan, we’re pumped up, and we just want to get that win and end that streak.”OSU is set to play its first Big Ten Tournament match on Friday at 2 p.m. against the winner of Purdue and Wisconsin, who play at the same time on Thursday. read more

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Football JK Dobbins sets sights on becoming Ohio State legend

Ohio State then-sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins (2) flexes after scoring a touchdown in the first half of the B1G Championship Game vs. Northwestern on Dec. 1. Ohio State won 45-24. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorTony Alford likes to describe the relationship he has with his running backs as one a father has with his son: You have to love them, but you don’t have to like them. J.K. Dobbins knows this. When Alford called out to the junior running back, asking if he knew his coach didn’t like him, Dobbins’ response was quick. “I know,” Dobbins said. “You love me.” For Alford, that’s parenthood. That relationship with Dobbins has not changed. One thing has changed for the running back heading into his third season: he will be the No. 1 running back for the Buckeyes, not splitting carries with a 1A, 1B on the depth chart. He will be the guy. That is something Dobbins for which is prepared. “If you give me the ball 30 times, I’m a still be all right,” Dobbins said. “I’m going to make sure I find a way to be all right.” Dobbins plans to be the same running back with the same goals and running with the same confidence he has always had in the backfield.But his approach is different. It’s one he developed with the humility he had to learn this past season when he split carries with running back Mike Weber.Moving into his freshman season, Dobbins, according to Alford, was hungry, excelling in every single rep he took, working hard to be the best running back he could be.Then, Dobbins found success. In the words of his running back coach, he had arrived. In his sophomore season, sharing carries with Weber when he was healthy, Alford said Dobbins was always trying to take advantage of the number of touches he received, trying to make a huge play on every opportunity he was given. Alford said Dobbins was worried about what he could not control, leading to frustration on the football field. Heading into the offseason, Alford’s goal was to not let his No. 1 running back overthink. “Your plate is very full. Worry about what is on your plate, and let me and us worry about what we are doing over here,” Alford said. “You just do what you are supposed to do.” As he watched film, looking at what went wrong in his second season, Dobbins said he did not see the explosiveness that he showed his freshman season.Despite receiving more touches than in his first year, Dobbins’ running totals declined, averaging 4.6 yards per carry compared with the 7.2 yards per carry he averaged in 2017. Heading into the 2019 season, Dobbins’ main goal is to get back to the 7.2.“Last year, it was a down year for me,” Dobbins said. “Going back and looking at my freshman year, I want to be back that way.” So Dobbins began what Ohio State head coach Ryan Day coined as the white belt mentality: starting over and asking to be practiced as if he were a freshman running back in his first collegiate practices. Day said, with this mentality taken from martial arts, aspects of his game can be cleaned up and corrected. The head coach said that in practice Dobbins was running with a cornerback one-on-one and jumped up in the air to make a cut. Instead, the running back should have kept his foot in the ground, making the cut without jumping. And after that play, that’s what he worked on continuously.  “We really replicated the same play for him in practice and he made that change of direction, stuck his foot in the ground without getting in the air and then broke it for a big play,” Day said.Day said he has not seen that kind of mentality from a lot of guys with the ceiling Dobbins has: to seek critiques in his game as a former freshman All-American. “He’s listening, he’s working, he wants to get better, and he has that mentality,” Day said. It’s something Dobbins wants to do. Alford said Dobbins went to him, wanting to practice with that same humility, to be broken down to lead to success. “He’s practicing like he did when he was a true freshman,” Alford said. “This is exactly what I wanted.” That drive is not new for Dobbins. It’s just getting back to the mindset he had before his freshman year, when he had to play for a spot on the depth chart. Even though it’s a given what his role will be in the upcoming 2019 season, one of only a few questions for the Ohio State offense that has been answered, Dobbins is working for more than the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. He is working for a place in the Ohio State history books. “I just want to be legendary,” Dobbins said. “I want to be like Ezekiel Elliott and Archie Griffin, guys like that. Write my name in stone.” read more

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Softball Ohio State continues Big Ten play against Michigan State

Ohio State sophomore outfielder Summer Constable (00) leads off of the base at Buckeye Field. Ohio State defeated Indiana 2-0 on March 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternComing off a 4-3 win against Ohio, the Ohio State softball team (26-14, 9-5 Big Ten) will head to East Lansing, Michigan, to face Michigan State (15-25, 3-9 Big Ten) in a three-game series to continue Big Ten action.  “In general, they are a very good hitting team,” Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said. “We will have to come up with a good plan to beat that.”The hitting strength of Spartans is led by the Echols sisters: senior outfielder Ebonee Echols and freshman third baseman Charla Echols. Charla Echols and Ebonee Echols lead the team with a .360 and .356 batting average, respectively. Sophomore outfielder Katie Quinlan has recorded a .321 batting average off 34 hits, while scoring 25 runs overall this season.“They are a good hitting team, so we are gonna try to put on more runs than them,” Ohio State senior shortstop Lilli Piper said. “Just try to play solid and defense as possible.”However, Michigan State’s pitchers have not provided the same level of support for the Spartans, owning a 5.02 team ERA in 2019. Michigan State’s sophomore pitcher Alli Walker has recorded a 4.54 ERA and 7-9 season record so far. Comparatively, Ohio State has maintained a 2.13 team ERA this season. Senior pitcher Morgan Ray has maintained a 2.13 ERA and 11-6 season record, striking out 120 batters in 131.2 innings of work. Sophomore Lauren Rice has recorded a 2.26 ERA and 14-4 season record. This past season, Ohio State swept the Spartans in three games. However, the Buckeyes lost two of the three games between the two teams in 2017. “Traditionally through the years, this had been a really competitive series,” Schoenly said.Heading into the series, Shoenly said Ohio State needs to continue its momentum from its past two games: pitching and hitting well. The opener of the three-game series between Ohio State and Michigan State will begin at 6 p.m. Friday.  The second game will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the final game will start at 1 p.m. Sunday. read more

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Police investigate after five kittens thrown at moving train in Norfolk

first_img“The four surviving kittens have since been taken to Foxy lodge wildlife rescue centre in Hemsbury where their injuries have been treated.”Do you have information which can help officers investigate?” The British Transport Police can be reached by text on 61016, or 0800 40 50 40 by phone.Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.Cuddling kittens can kill you, warn scientistsDefenceless kittens thrown out of moving car in ‘disgusting’ incident “I am very keen to hear from anyone who might have information which can help us investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident.”A spokesperson from the RSPCA said: “This sounds like a horrific incident for these poor kittens. “Deliberate cruelty to animals is unacceptable and we would urge anyone with any information about this to come forward and contact the British Transport Police as soon as possible.”  The British Transport Police wrote on Facebook: “Someone threw five kittens at a train near Norwich last Thursday. Sadly, one of the kittens died and we need your help investigating. Officers attended the scene at Lingwood station and found the cats. The four live kittens were recovered and taken to Foxy Lodge Wildlife Rescue in Hemsby, Norfolk, where they are being treated.Two have now been re-homed.Police Sergeant Alan Bowell told Sky News: “No animal should ever be subjected to such cruelty. Thankfully, not all the kittens were killed during this dreadful ordeal and they are being well looked after. Five kittens were hurled at a moving train, killing one and leaving the rest traumatised.British Transport Police are on the hunt for the person who threw the litter at the train travelling from Norwich to Great Yarmouth.The event occurred around 5.20pm on Thursday 15 September, with the train driver reporting he saw the animals being thrown from the undergrowth as he drove past.The adult cat was already dead before the incident, and its body was found near the scene. 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

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Lads I caught some fin big Three friends find giant 7ft tuna

first_img“This last week we have had some massive tides so it’s probably followed the salmon and everything else up the river,” he said.”You do not usually get tuna in British waters but as the water temperature increases, they are getting spotted more and more.”The water temperature in the River Severn is about 17C, which is really warm for this time of year. That means all the fish from the west coast of France, the Bay of Biscay for instance, come around the corner and into the Bristol Channel. A 7ft-long tuna fish has been found dead in the River Severn near Gloucester – hundreds of miles from its normal habitat in warm sea waters.Friends Kevin Brady, Steve Burgess and Alec Foster found the giant fish in the estuary at Minsterworth, Glos, at the weekend when they were paddle boarding.It had been washed up into the side of the river better known for salmon and elvers. Steve spotted it on his jet ski and came to myself and Alec on our paddle boards. He was shouting ‘I’ve found a 7ft fish!’ We didn’t believe him, thinking it must be a cow or somethingKevin Brady “Basically the big fish follow the smaller fish and climate change means they come in further.”Mr Francis said that in years gone by, North East ports were known for excellent tuna fishing and the rich would go there on their yachts to try and catch the species that are now more likely to be found in a can.And although the fish in the Severn looks like a whopper, it probably can’t compete with a 526lb tuna found off the coast of Scarborough.The World Wildlife Fund say if fish were cars, tuna would be the Ferraris of the ocean world as they are sleek, powerful, and made for speed.There are several species but the Atlantic bluefin can reach 10ft in length and weigh as much as 1500 pounds, more than a horse, and can swim up to 43 miles per hour across long distances.”Some tuna are born in the Gulf of Mexico, cross the entire Atlantic Ocean to feed off the coast of Europe, and then swim all the way back to the Gulf to breed,” the WWF says.center_img Mr Brady, who last year became the first person ever to swim the full length of the 220-mile River Severn, showed off his catch of the day on social media.Mr Brady, 33, said: “Steve spotted it on his jet ski and came to myself and Alec on our paddle boards.”He was shouting ‘I’ve found a 7ft fish!’ We didn’t believe him, thinking it must be a cow or something.”Mr Brady added: “It wasn’t until we got right up next to it we realised it was a fish.”Dai Francis, of the Severn and Wye Smokery at Minsterworth, said he was not surprised to hear a tuna had come so far upriver. 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

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Family dog rescues boy spinning in tumble dryer

first_imgFive-year-old Riley Gedge-Duffy, from Bangor in County Down, Northern Ireland, suffered painful burns after accidentally shutting himself in a tumble dryer over the weekend.Riley, who has Downs Syndrome, was rescued after his family’s pet dog, a cockapoo named Teddy, raised the alarm – and his family say his injuries would have been far worse had Riley not been there to help.Aaron Duffy, the boy’s father, told the Press Association: “My wife was upstairs hoovering at the time and the dog ran upstairs and basically went berserk so she knew something was not right. Credit:Aaron Duffy/PA Wire “When she went downstairs she saw our older son watching TV and asked ‘where’s Riley?’The dog was barking like mad and running backwards and forwards to the tumble dryer, but because it was so dark inside she could not see where Riley was.“They could hear banging and crashing and could see his iPad going round and round. We suspect he was inside for a couple of minutes. She pulled Riley out and started pouring cold water over him.”I arrived home about 40 seconds later, stripped him and took him into the shower to cover him in cold water. After that I dialled 999.” Riley received hospital treatment following his ordeal. Riley was taken to the Ulster hospital in Dundonald, where he was treated for burns and bruising to his head. He’s now understood to be recovering well. 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. Riley received hospital treatment following his ordeal.Credit:Aaron Duffy/PA Wire “It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if the dog had not been there,” said Mr Duffy.“It angers me, really, when I think about what could have happened. Kids have suffocated and the heat drawing the air could have killed Riley quicker. Only for our dog reacting the way she did, my wife would not have known something was up.” Rileylast_img read more

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Cheetah spotted in Barnet prompts police call

first_imgOf all the calls received by the Metropolitan Police this year, few will have been as perplexing as one reporting a cheetah roaming the streets of London.Newly released records reveal that last January a worried member of the public dialed 999 after appearing to see one of the big cats prowling the borough of Barnet.It was one of 17 apparent sightings of big cats reported to the Metropolitan Police since 2005. Moor at home in Africa: Cheetahs can reach 70 mphCredit:Gallo Images / Alamy Stock Photo There have been occasional sightings of females with cubsJonathan Downes, Centre for Fortean Zoology Cheetah chasing prey 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. Others include reports of nine panthers, two tigers, two wild cats,  two big cats of an “unidentified” species and a further cheetah, spotted in Bexley in February 2013.Normally found in Africa, the mammal can run at speeds of 70 mph and is the fastest land animal on the planet.Across the UK more than one big cat sighting is reported to police every week amid fears the beasts are breeding in the countryside. Police in England, Wales Northern Ireland alone logged 455 sightings between 2010 and 2015.Notorious sightings include those of the Dartmoor Devil, a leopard believed to be behind attacks on cattle, the Beast of Bucks, a puma which was said to attack a dog in High Wycombe, and the Hull Hell Cat, a puma “spotted hiding in a field near Hull”.Experts believe the wildcats are loose in the countryside because people released them after keeping them as pets, or having escaped from zoos.Norfolk has had the most reported sightings, with 57 being logged.Jonathan Downes, head of the Centre forFortean Zoology, has said he believes big cats such as leopards and pumas must be breading.“There have been occasional sightings of females with cubs,” he said.Neighbouring county Suffolk has had 26 reports of big cats.A black panther has repeatedly been seen stalking the countryside in both counties.In Devon and Cornwall there have been 28 sightings – and five reports of farm animals being killed by big cats.In December 2012, two sheep were found dead with claw marks on their backs near Torrington, north Devon.A ram was killed in the same month at Buckfastleigh on the edge of Dartmoor.A month before two sheep had their throats ripped out near Axminster, also in Devon, according to police logs.last_img read more

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London Bridge terror attack Man 30 arrested as police raid flat in

first_imgAccording to the mother of 22-year-old Zaghba, he became radicalised online, echoing concerns raised by Prime Minister Theresa May that the internet can be fertile ground for breeding extremism.”We have always been checking his friendships and verifying that he was not trusting the wrong people, but he had the internet and from there he got everything,” Valeria Khadija Collina told L’Espresso in Bologna.Zaghba was stopped at Bologna’s airport trying to fly to Turkey in March last year over concerns he was intending to travel on to Syria, according to reports. Zaghba, Pakistan-born British citizen Khuram Shazad Butt, 27, and Rachid Redouane, 30, who claimed to be Moroccan-Libyan, launched a murderous rampage around London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A woman places flowers on a memorial for victims in London Bridge A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Detectives investigating the London Bridge terror attack have carried out a search warrant at an address in east London in the early hours of Wednesday June 7.”Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, supported by officers from the Territorial Support Group, entered the address in Ilford at around 1.30am.”A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts (contrary to section 5 Terrorism Act 2006) and has been taken into custody at a south London police station under the Terrorism Act 2000. The youngest of Saturday’s attackers is said to have told Italian authorities “I’m going to be a terrorist”, while officers reportedly found Islamic State-related material on his mobile phone when they intercepted him.Counter-terror agencies are already facing intense scrutiny after it was revealed Butt had been known to security services.In other developments:There were fears for missing French national Xavier Thomas, 45, who police said could have been thrown into the River Thames after being struck by the van.The Metropolitan Police said all of the 15 victims currently in critical care had been identified, as public appeals continued for several people who have not been located since the attack.Detectives arrested a 27-year-old man under the Terrorism Act at an address in Barking, east London, shortly after 8am on Tuesday, while search warrants were also executed at addresses in Barking and Ilford.A man in his 30s was arrested by Irish police in Wexford county, south of Dublin, and questioned over documentation connected to Redouane.The arrest took the total number held as part of the investigation to 15, with 12 released without charge.Claims emerged that Butt was reported to counter-terrorism authorities almost a year before the deadly attack after a “violent scuffle” with a member of an anti-extremism organisation.Borough High Street and the roads and area east of the high street reopened to the public, although Borough Market and a small surrounding area remain closed. A man has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences by detectives investigating the London Bridge attack following an early morning raid at an address in east London.The 30-year-old was held on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorist acts during a search of a property in Ilford and taken for questioning at a south London police station, Scotland Yard said.The arrest comes as security services face growing questions over their monitoring of the three attackers in the lead up to the attack. A woman places flowers on a memorial for victims in London BridgeCredit:AP Photo/Matt Dunham “A search of the address is ongoing.”On Tuesday the third attacker was named as Youssef Zaghba, an Italian national of Moroccan descent, who was living in east London.last_img read more

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Theres no point trying to convince millennials to garden Monty Don says

first_imgMonty Don “I think much better to make sure they have access to it up to the age of 10 and of course don’t take it away at that point, and just let them come.” He said that the older generation must be patient, and wait for youngsters to appreciate gardening when they are ready, which he said may not be until they are 30 or 40.“I just think that gardening is about the future, a slow thing, that is deep and spiritual as well as spiritually rewarding,” Don said.“These are not things that are immediately attractive to the average 15, 16 or 17-year-old. And that’s fine, that;s ok, it doesn’t have to work for all the people all the time.”Gardeners’ World, the BBC’s flagship horticultural show,is one of the longest running gardening shows, having been on air since the 1960s.Don revealed why he never wears gloves while he gardens, telling the history festival in Wiltshire: “I never wear gloves because I like to feel the soil on my hands.“I do wear gloves for things that sting a lot or prick a lot. But I just like to feel with my hands. I find gloves cumbersome and uncomfortable and I’ve got tough old hands so the old cut doesn’t matter.” He added: “Get them eating well, growing, doing things, you know, really getting them to enjoy and play but don’t ram it down people’s throats, let them come to it.”“When you’re 15 whatever your parents tell you you should do, you’re not going to do it. Any self respecting 15-year-old [will rebel] and so they should. Monty Don presents Gardeners’ WorldCredit:Tim Ireland /PA He has enthused millions of amateur gardeners with his tips, advice and ideas on horticulture.  Now Monty Don, the Gardeners’ World presenter, has said that we should not waste time trying to get millennials into gardening because they will never be interested in something that is “rammed down their throat”.A string of celebrities chefs, including Jamie Oliver and Raymond Blanc, have launched initiatives aimed at encouraging youngsters to grow their own vegetables. But the 61-year-old presenter has said that trying to interest young people in gardening is a “red herring”.Speaking at Chalke Valley History Festival, he said: “I think a lot of people with the best of intentions are saying how can we get the young interested in gardening?  “I think we put far too much interest in trying to get ten to 20 year olds interested in gardening. I think you should do everything you can to try and get them interested up to the age of 10.” 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

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Worlds first testtube rhinos could be born from animals at Longleat safari

first_imgEgg retrieval at Longleat  The eggs have been sent to the Avantea clinic in Italy, which specialists in assisted reproduction in animals. The team has so far managed to create early embryos from the sperm and eggs of southern rhinos which have been cryogenically frozen but none have been implanted back into a rhino. It is not yet known whether a southern and northern cross would work although in the 1970s the two sub-species accidentally bred at a zoo and a calf was born.Later this year, the researchers will harvest eggs from the last two female northern white rhinos in Kenya.Although closely related, southern and northern white rhinos are actually two distinct sub-species which are thought to have begun diverging around a million years ago. As their name suggests southern white rhino populations are concentrated in the south of Africa where their wild numbers are estimated at around 20,000.“We are grateful that Longleat joined the programme to save the northern white rhino,” said Jan Stejskal, Coordinator of the efforts to save the northern white rhino from Dvůr Králové Zoo.“If the procedures in Europe are successful, we hope to attempt harvesting eggs from the last living females in Kenya before the end of this year. This would allow us to produce a pure northern white rhino embryo,” he added.If the treatment proves successful it is hoped it could be used, alongside conservation programmes, to help boost numbers of other highly endangered species. 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. If that plan fails, the team want to try mixing the sperm from the last male northern white rhino with Longleat’s females, to create a hybrid which could save 50 per cent of its DNA.”Effectively the female rhinos would act as IVF mothers, with embryos partly derived from northern white male sperm,” added Darren Beasley, head of animal operations at Longleat.”If the procedure works, the hope would be that southern white females would carry the developing embryos for up to 18 months before giving birth.” Najin a Northern White Rhino is one of two females left in the wild center_img IVF may be the final hope for rhinos which are being wiped out by illegal poachers for their horn. The remaining three northern white rhino are protected by armed guards at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, which owns the animals, has contacted zoos and safari parks around Europe asking for eggs to help them revive the animals, and Longleat is the first in Britain to take part. The world’s first test-tube rhinos could be born from animals at Longleat safari park after zoologists embarked on a project to revive the endangered creatures through IVF.Scientists have collected nine eggs from the park’s three southern white rhinos, who have failed to mate with their only male, and sent them to specialists in Italy.It is part of a project to save the northern white rhino. Only three animals still exist in the wild, one male and two females, but they are now too old to breed.However scientists believe that it may be possible to take the eggs and sperm from the remaining animals and create an embryo through IVF which could be implanted in a surrogate mother. Egg retrieval at Longleat  Najin a Northern White Rhino is one of two females left in the wild Credit: JanStejskallast_img read more

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Teachers call for ban on sale of energy drinks to under 16s

first_imgTeachers are calling for a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 16s, because they contain huge amounts of sugar and caffeine and can cause headaches and palpitations.The NASUWT, one of Britain’s largest teaching unions, described the drinks as ‘readily available legal highs’ which can trigger bad behaviour in the classroom and school yard.It comes after researchers at Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, based at Teesside University, found that energy drinks were being sold to children for less money than water or fizzy drinks.Research by Fuse found one in three young people say that they regularly consume energy drinks, which are often sold in promotions of 4 for £1, meaning young people often pool their money and buy the beverages for just 25p.A single 500ml can of popular brands on the market can contain around 160mg of caffeine, while the European Food Safety Authority recommends an intake of no more than 105mg caffeine per day for an average 11-year-old. Darren Northcott, NASUWT national official for education, said: “Teachers have registered concerns with the NASUWT about the contribution of high energy drinks to poor pupil behaviour as a result of pupils consuming excessive quantities of these drinks. Teachers say the drinks are harmful to students and can disrupt lessons Credit: Fredrick Kippe / Alamy Stock Photo “They are popular among young people who often think they are just another soft drink, and young people and parents are often not aware of the very high levels of stimulants that these drinks contain.“They are readily available legal highs sold in vending machines, supermarkets and corner shops.”On average, young people in the UK consume more energy drinks than those in other European countries.  Sales of energy drinks in the UK increased by 185% between 2006 and 2015, with 672 million litres drunk in 2015 and a total market value of over £2 billion.The British Soft Drinks Association says the drinks have been deemed safe for youngsters.But Dr Amelia Lake, Fuse Associate Director, dietitian and Reader in Public Health Nutrition at Teesside University, said: “What’s interesting is the young people are essentially asking why these drinks are being sold and marketed to them when we know they are not good for them.“They are telling us that energy drinks cost less than water or pop.“They are asking, why aren’t energy drinks age restricted like cigarettes?  Why can they get them so easily?  But they are also well aware there isn’t a simple solution. Teachers say the drinks are harmful to students and can disrupt lessons  “Schools have tried restricting these drinks – now it’s time to try and do something more central.  These drinks are a problem and a government solution is needed.”In a statement, the British Soft Drinks Association, which represents manufacturers, said: “Energy drinks and their ingredients have been deemed safe by regulatory authorities around the world.”In 2010 we introduced a voluntary Code of Practice to support consumers who want to make informed choices. In 2015 this was updated to include more stringent guidelines around marketing and promoting, including reference to in and around schools.” 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

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Grab her p University student quoted Trump before raping girl court hears

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. Penfold, of High Wycombe, Bucks, denies both rape charges and three charges of sexual assault.The female student, who was 18 at the time, told a jury she had repeatedly rejected advances from Penfold and at one stage reported him to university authorities. The pair had first met in September 2016.In a pre-recorded statement to police, she said: “He has been sexually assaulting me, light touch, since November [2016] and probably before that. “I would tell him that it was sexual assault and I would report him.” Penfold was quoting the US President, the court heardCredit:Chris McGrath/Getty Images Europe “He said, ‘Do you want me to make this quick?’. I nodded. It lasted less than five minutes,” she said. She then ordered him to leave and sent a message saying: “You knew how drunk I was. You knew I said No.” He replied that he was “really sorry”, the court heard.Under cross examination, the student was adamant the encounter was non-consensual, telling the court: “I very clearly was not consenting. I got the impression that afterwards he realised what he had done. It wasn’t consensual.”The charges relate to different dates between 1 October 2016 and 3 March 2017.Penfold is also accused of raping another female student, who had been on a night out beforehand.  He found it funny. I said that it wasn’t funny and asked him to leaveComplainant The student alleged she was raped by Penfold after a night out with friends in Lincoln city centre.She claimed the defendant had messaged her in the early hours of that night and she had agreed he could visit.The pair were watching Netflix together when he allegedly told her to take off her jeans, claiming she would feel more comfortable – then tried to kiss and touch her.As the night deepened, Penfold climbed on top of her, removed her underwear and raped her as she pleaded for him to stop, the court heard.  Penfold was quoting the US President, the court heard A university student sexually assaulted a woman after quoting Donald Trump’s “grab her by the p****” comment, a court has heard.Hugo Penfold allegedly grabbed the fellow student’s crotch on top of her clothes after quoting the US President, the court heard.She told the court: “He found it funny. I said that it wasn’t funny and asked him to leave.”Penfold is also accused of later raping the woman after a night out, a trial at Lincoln Crown Court was told. The student also faces a count of rape against another woman. The woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told a jury that she was “very clearly not consenting” when he began to have sex with her. Sarah Phelan, prosecuting, said: “Hugo Penfold asked if he could stay with her…she repeatedly told him to stop but he didn’t. She was extremely distressed by what happened and asked him to leave.”Penfold said all sexual contact with the women was consensual. The trial continues. read more

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Lift off for British Aeolus weather satellite which promises to end Michael

But with the name Aeolus, it was never going to be plain sailing for the European Space Agency’s latest Earth Observation satellite.  At exactly 10.20 BST the Jupiter mission control centre in French Guiana, South America, gave the final green light for lift-off following a nail-biting week which saw the launch delayed by 24 hours- ironically because of strong winds.  Christened for the ancient god who granted Odysseus the gift of favourable sea gusts, the craft was expected to launch 11 years ago to monitor global winds,… 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 world just became a little bit safer tonight as Europe’s groundbreaking wind-monitoring satellite finally blasted into orbit – ridding the world of Michael Fish moments. read more

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Duchess of Cambridge tells students This is what you can do when

During a visit to the London school, the Duchess joined a round table meeting of staff and mental health support workers to hear about its approach to wellbeing and therapy.Told that the rapidly changing online technology was something they “battle with every day”, Duchess heard from senior teachers that as soon as they “got to grips” with one app or social network, “another one turns up”. Asked what he got out of art, Shaquille, 16, said: “Art grounds me. It makes me calm and makes me think. It makes me in the moment instead of being on social media.”Shown the drawings he does in his spare time, aside from his A Level portfolio, the Duchess said: “This is what you can do if you don’t use on social media. It’s a fantastic advert. Honestly, it’s really, really incredible.”Asked whether she had studied art at school, the Duchess said: “I did, yeah. I loved it. It’s something that I’m loving doing with the children. The papier-mâché! I forgot how messy it was. It’s so messy but it’s great.“George found a piece of charcoal in the fireplace and said ‘Mummy I’m going to draw a picture’. That’s what’s so nice, you can do it from all around you.” Meeting a group of students who were working with wax and fabric on their batik technique, she disclosed: “I’m desperate to go back to tie-dying! Do you remember tie-dying?”Speaking of the benefits of art, she added: “It expresses your creativity and can help your confidence.“I loved art when I was at school, and I did art A Level as well. The Duchess was at the school in Enfield, north London, in her role as patron of the charity Place2Be, a leading UK children’s mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff. “It’s interesting how food and energy and how you feel work together,” she told children, who were working on a project connecting food and their mood. “It’s amazing the connection between physical and mental wellbeing.”She also told them them that her three-year-old daughter already enjoyed eating olives and helped with cooking the family’s favourite “cheesy pasta”.She then moved into a final room to chat to a group of parents about issues affecting them and their children. Among the issues they discussed were techniques that parents used to cope with the stresses of the day, including yoga and spending time together as a family, away from television and screens. The Duchess of Cambridge talks to pupils during a visit to Lavender Primary School  The Duchess of Cambridge visits Alperton Community School, in LondonCredit:Eddie Mulholland “This is amazing, it’s really clever how you’re using so many different mediums,” she said. “You can’t just look at the well-being of children without looking at the whole context,” she said. “The school and the home.“So many times, parents haven’t had a good experience at school themselves.”The Duchess then joined the school’s “Random Acts of Kindness” club, which sees pupils writing inspirational messages to send to staff and prefects to boost morale.”So much time and effort and energy goes into making these, it must be so appreciated by those who receive them,” she remarked.In a third session, an art class in the school’s textiles room, the Duchess met pupils working on batik, as she reminisced about her own time as an art student. The Duchess of Cambridge visits Alperton Community School, in London Duchess of Cambridge talks to art students Shaquille and Prakruti during a visit Alperton Community School in LondonCredit:Eddie Mulholland Duchess of Cambridge talks to art students Shaquille and Prakruti during a visit Alperton Community School in London “Is social media used at school?” the Duchess asked, hearing that while it was largely an out-of-school problem, teachers still update parents regularly about the online world students are using via a newsletter.Later, as she was shown the work of talented A Level art student Shaquille, 16, she exclaimed: “This is what you can do when you’re not on social media!”The Duchess also asked about mental health provision and whether young people self-refer to the school’s therapist, as well as whether teachers are helped with their own wellbeing.  The Duchess of Cambridge talks to pupils during a visit to Lavender Primary School Credit:Chris Jackson The Duchess of Cambridge visits Lavender Primary School in support of Place2Be Children’s Mental Health Week. Credit:Chris Jackson Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by a Herbie the dog as she visits Lavender Primary School Duchess of Cambridge is greeted by a Herbie the dog as she visits Lavender Primary SchoolCredit:CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images The photograph Credit:Chris Jackson/PA The Duchess of Cambridge visits Lavender Primary School in support of Place2Be Children's Mental Health Week. “I still look back on that time and still love the skills I learnt then, so I hope you’ll feel the same. It will be a skill you’ll have for life.”Speaking to star pupils Shaquille and Prakruti, both 16, she said: “It’s so amazing to hear your passion for it. You’ve got a real talent, both of you, please keep it up.The Duchess was shown around Alperton Community School by the UK’s first recipient of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize, Andria Zafirakou, who won in 2018 in recognition of her contribution to the school community. “This is a photograph of my family. These are my children and this is my husband. And my family makes me feel happy. And we like playing outside together and spending lots of time together as a family.” The Duchess of Cambridge has celebrated what can be achieved when young people are not on social media, as she spoke of the benefits of art for children including her own. The Duchess told a teenage artist that he was a “fantastic advert” for what young people could achieve when they switch off from the online world and focus on their talents.Questioning teachers about the use of social media in schools, she hailed art as a means of unlocking children’s creativity and confidence.During a visit to Alperton Community School, the Duchess disclosed how she is making the most of her own arts education to take up papier-mâché with her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and harbours a desire to go back to tie-dying. Prince George, she said, had recently picked up a piece of charcoal from the fireplace and asked to draw a picture, as the family embrace art in all its mediums.  The London school is considered as at the forefront of mental health provision in schools, with trained specialist counsellors and a strategy that “we’re not an exam factory type of school”.In an earlier visit, to Lavender Primary at an event to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, the Duchess joined in a game of “show and tell” with primary school children today, as she brought along a photograph of her family as the object that “makes her happy”.Sitting down with a table full of of youngsters who had been tasked with bringing in a special object, the Duchess opened up her black clutch bag and told them: “I’ve got something. It’s not very big. Do you want to see it?  The Duchess of Cambridge shows the photofraph of her family read more

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Foster parents of Parsons Green bomber sue local council after he was

The smoking bomb on the tube carriage Jocelyn Cockburn, a specialist civil liberties solicitor from Hodge Jones & Allen, who represents Mr and Mrs Jones, said: “Surrey County Council owed Penny and Ron a duty to disclose key information about the danger Ahmed posed, and to ensure any information given was accurate, before asking them to invite him into their home.”Instead he was presented merely as a troubled young person. This is a clear failing by the council and gives rise to claims in negligence and under the Human Rights Act 1998.”Had the appropriate disclosure been made, Penny and Ron would not have agreed to foster Ahmed and accordingly not have suffered the distress and other difficulties they have endured.”A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “We are defending this claim, however we acknowledge this has been a very difficult time for Mr and Mrs Jones and their family.”We place a high value on openness with all our foster carers, share information about any risks with them from the outset and continue to keep them informed. This was our approach with Mr and Mrs Jones.”Mr and Mrs Jones are raising money for a legal fighting fund to help pay for their legal action on crowdjustice.com. Mrs Jones added: “When Ahmed’s trial was going on, I was asked if I knew if he had said he was trained to kill by Isis and I said no, we would never have taken him if we’d known. Caring for kids was my life and now this has been taken away from us.” His trial heard how Hassan arrived in Britain illegally in 2015 and told officials he had trained with Islamic State (IS).Mr and Mrs Jones, who fostered 269 children in 47 years, say they have been “betrayed” and “hung out to dry” by Surrey County Council, as they have not been asked to foster any more children since Hassan’s arrest. The foster carers of the Parsons Green bomber are taking legal action against the council that placed him in their home because he was described as “merely as a troubled young person” when in fact he was “trained to kill by Isis”.Iraqi teenage asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, who pretended to engage with the anti-terrorism Prevent scheme as he plotted mass murder in London, was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 34 years at the Old Bailey last year.Hassan’s foster parents Penny and Ron Jones, who were awarded an MBE in 2010, are suing Surrey County Council, claiming that the council did not disclose key information about the danger he posed.The teenager, who lived in Sunbury, Surrey, made a bomb with 400g of “Mother of Satan” explosives and 2.2kg of shrapnel while his unsuspecting foster carers were on holiday in Blackpool.The bomb injured 51 passengers on September 15 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. Ahmed Hassan, the 18-year-old man who planted a home-made bomb on a London tube in Parsons Green Mrs Jones, 72, said: “We want to make sure that no other foster carers are ever treated like we have been.”The couple are claiming that the council was negligent in not telling them the full story about Hassan’s past and that they breached their right to family life as protected under the Human Rights Act.Mrs Jones said: “They told me that he had tried to kill himself and would only be released if he was fostered into a stable home so we took him in.”On the surface he was a lovely boy. He wouldn’t let Ron mow the lawn and he would always carry the shopping in from the car. So when it came out he was building a bomb in our home it was a real shock.”We were told that the amount of explosives he had was enough to blow up this entire block of six houses. It’s terrifying.” Ahmed Hassan, the 18-year-old who planted a home-made bomb on a London tube in Parsons GreenCredit:PA Ahmed Hassan made a bomb with 400g of “Mother of Satan” explosives and 2.2kg of shrapnelCredit:Metropolitan Police read more

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Fathers Day cards made for LGBT parents multiply as campaigners call for

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. Speaking to The Telegraph, Rumit Shah, a director at Cards Galore, which has more than 50 cards shops across the UK said: “We have a lot of different calls for different types of fathers. and father figures, such as uncles or stepfathers.“We understand there are lots of different family structures and we appreciate diversity and cultural needs. If there is a call for more LGBT card diversity then we’d be happy to stock them and it’s certainly something we’ll be looking into going forwards.”Nicola Miller, a spokesperson from Clintons said “At Clintons we’re proud to offer a wide variety of Father’s Day cards which cater for all sorts of situations. We’ve extended our ranges over the years, reflecting changing demographics, and will continue to do so as relationships of all kinds evolve.”Moonpig say they have plans to work closer with the LGBTQ+ community, and “continue to be open to new ideas and offer a variety of options for everyone.”They added that they are “moving away from some of those toxic assumptions of parenthood, love, gender and orientation; and continue to be true to the meaning of a real parent and child relationship.” A Father’s Day card aimed at men who have recently transitioned from being a womanCredit:Little Rainbow Paper Company A Father's Day card aimed at men who have recently transitioned from being a woman The site, based in Canada, but which ships to the UK, says: “Our cards are for everyone, but little rainbow paper co focuses on queer and quirky, LGBTQ cards and prints that help us celebrate our lives & relationships in meaningful ways.”It sells a card with a love heart painted in the light blue, pink and white colours of the transgender flag with the phrase “1st Father’s Day” – designed for parents who have transitioned. Another seller is marketing a card which reads: “Happy Father’s Day to the woman who raised me” which is described as “perfect for those raised by a transgendered parent or two mothers for whom they wish to acknowledge one of them especially for Father’s Day.”Other cards for sale online are aimed at gay fathers, with “Two dads are better than one”, “Happy Fathers Day, to my two dads because I’m lucky enough to have two of you” and  “Happy Father’s Gay!”Paperchase, which has hundreds of stores worldwide is selling Father’s Day cards for single mothers, one with the bold wording: “Who needs a dad when you’re mum has balls?”Campaigners have called for other major retailers to follow suit.Mermaids, a charity which supports transgender children, young people and their families said: “While all great dads deserve a ‘thank you’ on Father’s Day, it’s really moving to think of the transgender dads this year getting something from their child saying ‘I love you, no matter what.’“Catering for everyone isn’t just a money-spinner, it also helps to make our society a more open and kind environment for people who so often feel forgotten or marginalised.”Paul Twocock, a director at Stonewall, said: “There are lots of ways to be a family, which might include having two fathers or none at all. It’s important that businesses consider their lesbian, gay, bi and trans customers, and ensure they’re celebrating all dads this Father’s day.” Father’s day used to be simple: a plain card and perhaps a pair of socks. But the make-up of modern families is becoming more complex, and this year the choice of cards reflects that.Paperchase has cards for single mothers with messages including: “Who said the best dad in the world can’t be a mum?” Hallmark has one aimed at gay couples: “World’s greatest dad? I’ll take two.”Now, many high street card shops say they are looking to expand their range after LGBT campaigners called on retailers “to make our society a more open and kind environment for the forgotten or marginalised”.One brand, the little rainbow paper company was founded last year because its owner “wanted to see more diverse and expansive options for all kinds of people to show love, affection, friendship and joy for each other.” read more

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