After a miracle postseason run, the Kansas City Royals’ quest for their first World Series championship since 1985 looks shaky. Combining Baseball-Reference.com’s in-game win probability model with the series win probability numbers I computed for a post on Friday, we can track the odds of each team winning the series at any point within any game thus far.In the top of the third inning of Game 4, the Royals tagged San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong for four runs, opening up a 4-1 lead. As a result, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was forced to bring in reliever Jean Machi from the bullpen early, and Machi promptly walked Jarrod Dyson to load the bases. At that precise juncture — with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning, leading the game 4-1 and the series 2-1 — the Royals had an 82.4 percent probability of winning the World Series.Machi eventually got out of the jam, and San Francisco cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the third. But two innings later, the Royals again cracked an 82 percent World Series win probability when Eric Hosmer led off the fifth inning with a double.The odds of scoring at least one run are fairly high with a runner on second base and nobody out, and a three-run lead in the fifth inning would have given Kansas City a better than 80 percent chance of winning the game. With a 3-1 series lead and two of the remaining three games (if necessary) at home, the Royals would have had an 88.5 percent probability of winning the World Series.But they failed to score Hosmer in the fifth, then let the Giants tie the game in the bottom of the inning. An inning later, San Francisco blew the game open with three runs, then tacked on four more in the seventh en route to an 11-4 victory.We may eventually look back at those two moments of Game 4 as the high-water marks for Kansas City’s World Series chances. From the latter point on, the Royals have hemorrhaged win probability. Once tied at two games apiece, the series was almost a 50-50 proposition after taking into account where the remaining games were being played and who was taking the mound for each team. Kansas City still could have pushed its World Series win probability to 78.5 percent with a win Sunday night, but the Royals once again struggled to solve San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, and their odds of winning the series dropped almost linearly from 50.2 percent at the first pitch to 29.3 percent at the final out (just about where they stood after losing Game 1).
When this tournament started, the FiveThirtyEight model said Duke was only 6 percent likely to win the NCAA tournament. Now it’s 100 percent.What the model couldn’t tell you: that Duke would pull away from Gonzaga late in the Elite Eight and demolish a surprising Michigan State team in the Final Four; that it’d have to come back against a Wisconsin team late in the championship game; and that one of the guys helping the Blue Devils do it would be Grayson Allen, the freshman from Jacksonville who scored 16 points in the final of the NCAA tournament. Allen averaged nine minutes and four points a game this season but went 5 of 8 from the field in the biggest game of his life. He’s the kind of folk hero March Madness is so good at finding.That Duke was only 6 percent likely to win the tournament doesn’t mean this was a total shock. The Blue Devils were a No. 1 seed after all and had the sixth-highest probability to win, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Here’s a look back at the Blue Devils’ win probabilities going into each round of the tournament. Engrave it on to your commemorative DVD, Duke fans. Shining moments shouldn’t be forgotten.Round of 64: 6 percent chance to win the championship.Round of 32: 7 percent.Sweet 16: 12 percent.Elite Eight: 13 percent.Final Four: 22 percent.Finals: 47 percent.Monday night, 11:30 p.m.: 100 percent.
Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova for Olympic goldIn a fashion that was stunning in its dominance and brevity, Serena Williams captured the gold medal in women’s singles at the London Olympics Saturday by simply crushing Russia’s Maria Sharapova.The crowd at the All England club witnessed one of the most dynamic and explosive efforts ever on its legendary grass Centre Court. Sharapova never had a chance.Not even Williams could have expected to claim her first individual gold – and the second to complete the so-called Golden Slam – in such an overwhelming way. She demoralized Sharapova early with her booming serve and relentless attitude and never let up.The 6-0, 6-1 score gives some idea of the lopsidedness of the match. But even that does not paint an accurate picture of Williams’ demolition of Sharapova. Perhaps nothing can. It was that commanding of a performance by Williams, who smashed aces that left her opponent flat-footed.But it was not just her powerful serve that overwhelmed Sharapova. It also was Williams’ shot placement that kept her opponent off balance. And it was her will and determination that were crushing.To get to the gold medal round, Williams had her way with the No. 1 seed, Victoria Azerenka.Truth be told, she had her way with everyone she faced. She lost only 17 games in her six matches. She went 13-0 this summer at the All England Club, where she won her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago.The career Golden Slam was first achieved by Steffi Graf, won gold in the Olympics in 1988 after winning all four major titles. Williams has14 Grand Slam singles championships, the most of any active woman.If her efforts in London have not shown that she is at the peak of her game and the rest of the tennis world should be concerned, then nothing will. Just ask Maria Sharapova.
Reggie Bush does not like the New York Jets and they do not like the Miami Dolphins‘ running back, which makes Sunday’s meeting between the AFC East rivals even more intense.Jets coach Rex Ryan said he wants Bushto apologize for his “what-goes-around-comes-around” comment from Week 3. Bush, speaking two days after the Jets’ win in Miami, intimated that cornerback Darrelle Revis deserved his season-ending knee injury.Needless to say, that did not go over well with the Jets.“We want to knock him out, but we’re out to do it legally,” linebacker Aaron Maybin said.In the first meeting, Bush was drilled by Jets safety LaRon Landry. Bush got caught under a pile, with nose tackle Sione Po’uha landing on his knee, knocking Bush out of the game. Landry emerged from the pile, clapping his hands, as if he was celebrating.“Every time he sees me, he will remember that hit,” Landry said. “If I’m in the box or I’m going downhill, he’ll remember that hit.”It turned out to be only a bruise, but Bush was angry. Two days later, he went on a South Florida radio station and suggested Revis’ injury — non-contact — was deserved. This was after Ryan had said his team needed to put “hot sauce” on Bush.“They talked all week about putting hot sauce and this and that, and they ended up losing their best player,” Bush said.Afterward, Ryan said Bush misinterpreted his remarks, and has since apologize. On Wednesday, Ryan was asked if he’s worried about payback.“I’m not worried about that, shoot,” Ryan said. “I apologized for my comments, and I expect him to do the same.”Ryan, however, had a slightly different take when he talked to Miami reporters on a conference call.“For him, I don’t want an apology, and, obviously, I hope he’s taken mine and understands the sincerity,” he said.Bush said Wednesday that he didn’t believe Ryan’s apology was sincere.“I don’t believe that, I don’t believe that at all,” Bush said. “But it is what it is. Like I said, the great thing about divisional games is you get to play them twice.”
Two games into Kentucky’s NCAA tournament, the Wildcats are right back where they started: with a 41 percent chance to finish the season as undefeated champions, according to our March Madness predictions. Neither of Kentucky’s wins so far particularly helped its chances; each was expected. Instead, the big event happened on Saturday night in Pittsburgh, on the other side of the bracket: North Carolina State upset Villanova, the team our model pegged as most likely to win the tournament if Kentucky faltered.Before Villanova’s loss, we gave it a 16 percent chance to win it all. Those percentage points are now spoils for the victors this weekend. Virginia, the No. 2 seed on the other end of the East regional bracket from Villanova, saw its chances of winning the title rise by 3 percentage points, roughly the same gain as Kentucky’s. Arizona’s and Duke’s respective title probabilities each rose by nearly 2 percentage points. And Gonzaga, Michigan State, N.C. State, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma and Wisconsin each gained nearly 1 percentage point of title-winning probability. Kentucky’s still the big favorite, but lots of other teams gained on the Wildcats simply by surviving and advancing into the Sweet 16.N.C. State’s convincing win — the Wolfpack never trailed in the second half — erased the chalk residue from the previous two days and restored some parity to a top-heavy tournament. It’s the fifth time in the last six years that a No. 1 seed has lost in the round of 32. In a way, Villanova’s loss at this stage is even more surprising than other recent underperforming No. 1 seeds. Villanova started with a title winning probability of 11 percent. No team that started the event with a chance of 1-in-10 or greater of winning the title failed to reach the Sweet 16 in any of the four previous years FiveThirtyEight has forecasted the tournament.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.
1993DALSFDALDAL: 17 | SF: 2✓ So much for settling in at the top. A week ago in this space, I noted that the Kansas City Chiefs had vaulted to No. 1 in our NFL Elo ratings, leapfrogging the previously top-rated New England Patriots with a win over the Pats in Week 1. Well, K.C.’s reign in first place turned out to be brief: The Pats retook the top slot in Week 2, bumping the Chiefs down to second.I know what you’re thinking: Kansas City won on Sunday, so what gives? You can dig deep into Elo’s methodology here, but the basic premise is that it assigns each team a power rating that can be used to predict the outcome of any game. Once that game is in the books, Elo takes rating points away from the loser and gives them to the winner, in proportion with how unlikely the victory was (upsets shift the ratings more than routine wins) and the winner’s edge on the scoreboard (big wins are worth more, although there are diminishing returns to running up the score).In the case of the Chiefs and Patriots, K.C. was a heavier favorite to win Sunday — 73 percent at home versus Philadelphia, as opposed to New England’s 64 percent chance on the road against New Orleans — but ended up winning by fewer points — only 7, as opposed to the Pats’ 16-point margin. So even though the win boosted Kansas City’s Elo rating by 10 points, New England gained 19, enough to erase the Chiefs’ slight Elo edge going into the weekend. (The margin between the teams is still extremely small.)Early in an NFL season, it’s rare to see two teams pass the Elo baton of No. 1 back and forth like this. Before 2017, the last time a preseason No. 1 was overtaken in Week 1 and then reclaimed the top slot in Week 2 was in 1993, when the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers fought over the top ranking. It was a harbinger of things to come that season: The Cowboys and Niners faced off in the NFC championship game, and Dallas went on to win its second-straight Super Bowl. Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com SEASONPREWEEK 1WEEK 2REMAINING WEEKS AT NO. 1MET IN PLAYOFFS? IND53%ARI67%ARI+14.1– TB76TB73TB-4.1– 1974MIAMINMIAMIA: 3 | MIN: 1 CAR66CAR71CAR+0.7– MIA52LAC55MIA-9.5– NO. 1 AFTER … NYG57NYG50DET+4.2– JAX59TEN52TEN+9.0– OUR PICKWIN PROB.READERS’ PICKWIN PROB.ACTUAL WINNERREADERS’ NET POINTS There was a similar situation in the previous season: Washington, the reigning Super Bowl champions, and San Francisco scrambled for No. 1 in the season’s first month. Washington would stumble that year to a 9-7 record but would eventually meet the Niners in the divisional round and lose.But that kind of duel doesn’t usually last much beyond September. In all but one such case since 1970, one of the two teams quickly seized the baton and ran away with it, dominating the top ranking for most of the rest of the season. The exception was in 1974, when John Madden’s Oakland Raiders and Chuck Noll’s Pittsburgh Steelers swooped in and stole No. 1 from both Miami and Minnesota. Either Oakland or Pittsburgh ended up holding the top slot for all but one of the season’s final 17 weeks. (“The Steel Curtain” would defeat the Raiders in the AFC championship game, win its first Super Bowl and dominate the rest of the decade.)Given its dynastic pedigree and Tom Brady’s rebound performance against New Orleans, New England might seem the likely candidate to tighten its grip on No. 1 and hang onto it the rest of the way. But take heart, K.C. fans: Even though the Chiefs are No. 2 in the ratings, Elo gives the Chiefs a better chance than the Patriots of making the playoffs (83 percent to 76 percent) and winning the Super Bowl (14 percent to 12 percent).FiveThirtyEight vs. The CrowdIn Week 2 of our NFL prediction game — in which we invite you to pick football games and try to outsmart our Elo algorithm — FiveThirtyEight’s readers fared slightly better than the computer model, scoring some big wins. One instance in which our readers trounced the model was the Tennessee-Jacksonville game, where the average player picked the Titans to win on the road with 52 percent confidence. The model, which failed to factor in the Jaguars’ inherent Jaguar-ness, had the home team winning at 59 percent. The Jags lost, and it wasn’t close.Readers were also more likely to fade the sad excuse for a football team known as the New York Jets. The Elo model gave the Oakland Raiders a 74 percent chance of winning at home, while readers had 88 percent confidence in Oakland — rightly knowing that the Jets (who systematically shed most of their talent this offseason) stood little chance in the Raiders’ home opener.Elo had its wins, too. The model was more confident than readers were that the reigning NFC champion Atlanta Falcons would win at home against the Green Bay Packers; it gave the Falcons a 63 percent chance of winning, while the average reader saw the game as a coin flip (50 percent). Likewise, Elo predicted the Denver Broncos to stand their ground against the Dallas Cowboys despite their being a home underdog according to the Vegas betting line — while the average player (wrongly) backed Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and company.Here are all the games from the second week of the season, in order of how many more points FiveThirtyEight readers earned, on average, than the model (or vice versa): 1981OAKDALOAKDAL: 11 | OAK: 0 1992WASSFWASSF: 14 | WAS: 1✓ Who wants to be No. 1?Seasons during which the team ranked No. 1 by Elo rating in the preseason was passed in Week 1 and then retook the top slot after Week 2, 1970-2017 CIN63CIN59HOU+1.1– SEA84SEA89SEA+0.1– NE64NE75NE+3.9– ATL63ATL50ATL-15.1– How did readers do against FiveThirtyEight’s picks?Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo across Week 2 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL betting game PIT71PIT65PIT-7.5– LAR55LAR54WSH-1.6– 1983WASMIAWASWAS: 20 | MIA: 0 2017NEKCNE— 1970KCMINKCMIN: 20 | KC: 0 OAK74OAK88OAK+4.1– BAL82BAL82BAL-2.9– DEN56DAL55DEN-14.2– KC73KC71KC-3.6– The Week 2 winner is …Congratulations to Tristan Smith from Nova Scotia, Canada, who scored 282.2 points in Week 2. Tristan, a financial analyst by trade, correctly picked 15 of 16 winners, including picking the Cardinals, Raiders, Seahawks and Patriots at 100 percent confidence.Remember: You can start playing the prediction game this week, even if you didn’t get your picks in Weeks 1-2.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Ohio State senior attackman Austin Shanks surveys the defense against Furman at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Feb. 5. OSU won 12-6. Credit: Gene Ross | Senior Lantern reporterThe 1-0 Ohio State Buckeyes will host the Detroit Mercy Titans on Saturday at noon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in an attempt to build off last week’s win over Furman. It’s the Titans’ first game of the year.Last year, the Buckeyes defeated Detroit in a formidable victory, 16-5. Then-junior midfielders J.T. Blubaugh and Johnny Pearson had four and two goals, respectively.Titans senior goalie Jason Weber, who saved 18 shots in last year’s game, was nominated when as a 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason All-Conference selection.OSU redshirt senior midfielder Tyler Pfister and coach Nick Myers said they are familiar with Weber and his skill set, which will present challenges to the OSU offense. Myers pointed to OSU’s ability to move the ball and getting off quick, quality shots as two keys to beating Weber.“We have a lot of respect for their goalie,” Pfister said. “He’s a veteran guy who takes control of that defense. We just want to focus on the things we know we need to work on as far as shooting and getting in the reps we need to.” The Titans attack is led by junior attackman Mark Anstead, who was last year’s team leader in points. He had eight more assists than the next highest total on the team.Last week, OSU opened up its season with a barrage of offense that exploded in the second quarter. The Buckeyes knocked out Furman’s goalie from the game by halftime and cruised to a 12-6 victory. Pearson led eight Buckeye scorers with four goals. For that display of offensive dominance to continue against Detroit, Pfister said that there can only be individual success on offense when everyone is doing their job offensively and defensively. “It’s not just one guy going out there taking over the game more times than not,” Pfister said. “The defense can do their job because the offense is doing their job and the offense can do their job because the defense is doing their job.”Detroit ended its season last year at 2-10, but Myers said the team brings a lot of intensity to the field and that it’s important for the Buckeyes to identify the Titans key players. “They got some big-time shooters in their line up who we’re going to have to contend with,” he said. Last year, the Buckeyes’ defense and redshirt senior goalie Tom Carey limited the Titans to only five goals. Carey had 10 saves in last year’s game against the Detroit Titans. Last Sunday, Carey saved 11 shots against Furman. Junior midfielder Bo Lori said the defense wants to continue to give Carey the support he needs in net. “We’ve got to work together and play as seven. If we are all working together and recovering well, we’ll give him the shots he wants to see,” Lori said.
The Ohio State men’s lacrosse team was able to shake off a four-game losing streak to rout the Hobart Statesmen, 11-4, on Senior Day at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The win puts the No. 18 Buckeyes at 6-5 overall and 1-1 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The scoring came early and often as the Buckeyes racked up six unanswered goals in the first quarter. Sophomore attackman Logan Schuss led the way with four goals for the Buckeyes with plenty of help from fellow sophomore attackman Jeff Tundo, who pitched in three goals. “I think one of the differences for us (this week) from the get-go is we had a six-goal first quarter,” OSU coach Nick Myers said. “Right now, I’m happy for the seniors and this team for getting their first league win.” The scoring spree began in the first minute when Schuss wound up and delivered a quick strike. The Statesmen failed to respond until the end of the first quarter when they scored on a man-up opportunity, leaving them down, 6-1, heading into the second quarter. The Buckeyes shut out the Statesmen for the next 15 minutes while adding two more goals, leaving the score at 8-1 heading into halftime. OSU proceeded to match Hobart’s effort in the second half, as each team posted three goals, giving the Buckeyes the largest win of their season with an 11-4 final score. Saturday’s win seemed to be a proper goodbye to Jesse Owens Stadium for senior middleman and Upper Arlington native Scott Lathrop, whose family came to support him on Senior Day. “It feels great, especially coming off a streak of losses,” Lathrop said after scoring two goals in the game. “It was really important for us to come in here with a new focus, not get down on ourselves and come out firing.” Senior Paul Beery, also a middleman, weighed in on leaving the stadium with a big win. “I think we put a lot of stuff together that we worked on this week,” Beery said. “It’s great to come out with a victory, especially with all the seniors getting a piece of the action.” While the Buckeyes certainly had no issues scoring, the defense constantly hustled, forcing 16 Hobart turnovers and allowing just seven shots in the first half with starters in. The defense for the Buckeyes rarely let Hobart near the goal, but when the Statesmen did manage to get close, freshman goalkeeper Greg Dutton usually thwarted them. “Greg Dutton had a heck of a game today with three goals against and 12 saves,” Myers said. “When he gets hot, it really ignites our defense.” Dutton exited to a round of applause in the waning minutes when the game was out of reach, allowing senior goalkeeper Ryan Keneally to play the rest of the game. The Buckeyes will now shift their focus to their upcoming April 16 road game against ECAC Conference leader Denver, which is undefeated in conference play.
Brandon Miller has resigned as assistant coach of Ohio State’s men’s basketball. OSU athletic department spokesman, Dan Wallenberg, confirmed Miller’s Thursday resignation. “We wish the Miller family well,” Wallenberg told The Lantern in an email. “Brandon has been a significant part of Ohio State’s success the last several years and he will be missed.” Wallenberg declined to comment further, saying, “we do not discuss personnel situations until positions are filled.” Miller graduated from Butler University in 2003. While there, Miller played under current OSU coach Thad Matta. After his playing career, Miller spent 2005-2007 on Matta’s coaching staff at OSU as director of basketball operations and video coordinator. Miller then returned to his alma mater as assistant coach for Butler’s 2007-08 before rejoining Matta’s staff in the summer of 2008. OSU sophomore forward Jared Sullinger posted on his Twitter account, @Jared_Sully0, at about 1 a.m. Friday morning: “Best Wishes to OSU Basketball assistant Brandon Miller. Leaving The game to spend time with his family.”
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer picked up two more recruits Monday. Defensive end recruits Joey Bosa and Lewis Neal verbally committed to play for the Buckeyes starting in the 2013 season. Bosa, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound junior from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. is ranked as the No. 14 overall player by recruiting website Rivals.com and the No. 2 strong side defensive end. During his junior year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, he compiled eight sacks and 18 tackles for loss. He also had scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Michigan. From his Twitter account, @jbbigbear, he tweeted, “I’m gunna destroy people this year I feel sorry for who ever I go against.” He also tweeted a picture of a silver bullet. Neal is a 6-foot-1, 232-pound weakside defensive end from Wilson, N.C., Rivals.com ranks him as the No. 16 player at his position. He also had scholarship offers from Clemson, Purdue, Tennessee and South Carolina. Neal and Bosa are the 12th and 13th recruits for OSU’s 2013 class, and their commitments come less than a week after Meyer bagged his first quarterback recruit for the 2013 class. Quarterback prospect J.T. Barrett, out of Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas, verbally committed Wednesday. As Meyer’s first quarterback signee, Barrett is expected to compete with 2012 signee Cardale Jones to eventually replace current rising sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller. The Buckeyes’ 2011 regular season begins Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio) at Ohio Stadium.
Senior Scotland Yard detectives have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commissionafter a damning report into the Met’s handling of Operation Midland found a string of “significant failings”.Publishing his review into the way the force investigated allegations of VIP sex abuse, Sir Richard Henriques, identified more than 40 areas of concern. Sir Richard also reviewed another investigation, Operation Vincente, an inquiry into a separate allegation that Lord Brittan raped a 19-year-old woman.He found it “involved a grave error of judgment” and it was “obvious” while the peer was still alive that there was not enough evidence to charge him.”It was also manifest that he was very poorly. I am in no doubt that he should have been informed during his lifetime that no action would be taken,” the former judge found. In a devastating verdict on the Met’s conduct, Sir Richard said the principle complainant in the case, who is known only as ‘Nick’, should not have been described as “credible and true” and should not have been automatically believed from the outset.The report revealed that not only were his extraordinary allegations believed from the outset, detectives even helped him make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)Nick, will now be investigated by Northumbria Police, over an allegation of attempting to pervert the course of justice.Operation Midland was launched in December 2014 after a man in his 40s told police he had been raped and abused by a cabal of powerful figures including MPs and senior military figures.The allegations centered around Dolphin Square in central London, where a number of MPs have flats.Nick claimed that not only had he been abused but he had also witnessed the murders of three young boys. Lord and Lady Brittan had they homes searchedCredit:John Stillwell In the letter Sir Bernard admitted that the Met had not done enough to “test the credibility” of the complainant.The letter went on: “While it was right that the allegations had to be investigated, the effect of the approach adopted was to unnecessarily prolong the length of the investigation.”Mr Proctor issued a statement in which he said he accepted the apology and hoped lessons would be learned from the glaring mistakes made by Operation Midland.He said: “This apology does not detract from the adverse effect and hurt of Operation Midland on my life and me personally. I hope the police in such cases in future will always test the credibility of a complainant before someone is thrust into the public limelight.”Responding to the report: Sir Bernard said: “I fully recognise that Mr Proctor, Lord Brittan and Lord Bramall are innocent of the offences of which they were accused of by the Operation Midland complainant. That investigation found no credible evidence against any of the suspects.”In a statement Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who was in overall charge of the investigation said: “I do not believe that I, or indeed any officer within Operation Midland, have committed any misconduct.”While it is right that lessons should be learned from Operation Midland I want to emphasize that my colleagues and I investigated the allegations made with the best of intentions.” Sir Bernard Hogan Howe has apologised Sir Richard’s damning report has identified a string of police failings As a result of the allegations police mounted raids on the homes of Lord Bramall, the former head of the army, Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.In his report, Sir Richard said the decision to search their homes had been a “grave error of judgment” given that by that stage there were already inconsistencies in Nick’s story.He said the district judge who issued the search warrants had been misled by detectives over the credibility of Nick’s allegations.Sir Richard said: “The gravity of a judge being misled in such circumstances cannot be overstated.”Sir Richard also expressed alarm at the fact that every piece of paper in Lord Bramall’s home was examined, including letters of commiseration and even golden wedding invitations. Harvey Proctor lost his home and job after Nick’s allegationsCredit:Paul Grover Lord Bramall’s home was searched by 20 detectivesCredit:Ian Jones Despite finding no evidence of any wrongdoing by any of those accused during a 14-month inquiry, Sir Bernard had refused to say sorry to Mr Proctor, insisting that it was the police’s job to investigate complaints.But just hours before a damning report into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of Operation Midland by retired High Court Judge, Sir Richard Henriques, was due to be made public, he wrote to Mr Proctor to offer an unreserved apology.He also stated that it had been wrong to mount a raid on Mr Proctor’s home. Sir Leon Brittan, who was investigated over rape allegations, was not informed he was in the clear before his death Referring to the search of Lord Brittan’s home in North Yorkshire he said: “Officers conducted the search as if looking for bodies or body parts.”Five detectives have now been referred to the IPCC, which will assess whether any disciplinary proceedings will follow.Hours before the findings were made public, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe formally apologised to Mr Proctor for his ordeal.Mr Proctor lost his home and his job as a result of the allegations and the subsequent police investigation. 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.
Michael Morpurgo said a minority of people ‘do not know or value or love literature’Credit:Andrew Crowley One in five British people cannot name a single author of literature, a survey has revealed, as writers warn there is a section of society that is “shut off” from the benefits of reading.The study, from the Royal Society of Literature, revealed that 15 per cent of those surveyed believe that literature is too difficult to understand. That was despite the fact that 67 per cent of people saying that literature brought comfort in times of stress. It included a publicly-voted chart of literary authors, where almost 2,000 British people were asked to name a writer they considered to be a writer of literature. A substantial minority of the population were found to have little or no knowledge of literature, with 20 per cent saying they could not name a single one. 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. Moreover a quarter of those surveyed said they had not read any literature in the last six months.However, more than half (56 per cent) of those who do not currently read literature said they would like to in the future. Children’s writer and author of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, warned against minimising “the significance in our society of the vast numbers, albeit a minority, who do not know or value or love literature.”There seems to be a gulf that shuts off 20 per cent of people from the benefits of literature, a gulf that I know the RSL and others are determined to bridge.”The most commonly named writer was William Shakespeare, while Charles Dickens came a close second. Shakespeare was the most popular name cited as an author of literatureCredit:The Art Archive /Alamy
Hundreds of donations have already been made via JustGiving, with the online fundraising platform confirming they are working with the owner of the pages to ensure the funds go to the Pc’s family. In a statement they added: “Following the terrible attack that took place in London, our community has been eager to give support to Pc Keith Palmer and all those that have lost their lives. We are working with the page owners to ensure this happens.”Christopher Buckley, who donated on the page, wrote: “I am a stranger to you but your husband and father is a hero to all of us. Stand proud and together we will defeat hatred.”An anonymous user posted: “From a fellow officer. Rest easy. Your work is done.” Online donations have poured in for Pc Keith Palmer, who was killed in the terror attack in the heart of the capital.Over £670,000 has been raised to help support the family of the murdered Pc who had worked for the Metropolitan Police for 15 years. An armed police officer stands guard near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament Credit:Jack Taylor / Getty The initial target had been to raise £10,000 for Pc Palmer, however donations passed the £100k mark within six hours of the page being created. Stephen Redgewell, who started the page, said: “The Metropolitan Police Federation are raising money for the family of Pc Keith Palmer, the police officer who tragically gave his life on 22 March 2017 as he guarded the Palace of Westminster…”Another page set up to help the Pc’s family says: “Every day our intelligence community, armed forces and emergency services work to keep us safe; often in ways we never know about. Today they did just that – saving lives and mitigating such a horror. A notice on the page reads: “JustGiving is working with the owner of this page – the funds will be sent directly to the family of Pc Palmer.” “As such, London – and the United Kingdom – will continue to stand tall. The sun will shine tomorrow; and we remain united in the face of terror.“This is not the case for the family of the officer who lost their life this afternoon. They have lost someone special; someone who faced violence to protect our democracy.“He laid his life for others. Let us help his family.” “Thoughts go to the family of this brave officer. We have family in the force as well so can understand how hard this must be for them,” added another.Chris Hossin posted: “When one of us falls, we all stumble. RIP brother.”“RIP what a brave officer who died protecting our right to democracy. The terrorists will not win,” said another commenter.JustGiving pages have also been set up to help other victims and their families. 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.
Dave and Angela suggested that he receive regular payments rather than “bulk” hand-outs. But the QC insisted they never led Michael to believe there was a “bottomless pit from which he could get money whenever he wanted”.Cross-examining Michael, the barrister said Dave had begun to “express disapproval and concern that you were spending money so fast.”But Michael told the court: “My expectation was that this was an ongoing process, that there was more money coming in, and that this would be the process throughout my life”.He agreed there had been “ups and downs” in his relationship with his dad, but insisted that Dave “always wanted the best” for him and his brother, Matt.He had scarcely met his step-mother, Angela, before their lottery coup, and they “didn’t get on well” at their first meeting in 2008, he added.”I found her very particular about what she wanted to eat, and quite fussy,” said Michael.Tensions developed between him and Angela after the win, climaxing at her birthday party in November 2013 when Michael turned up without a gift for her.Asked by Mr Wilson why he failed to bring a gift, Michael explained that he had bought flowers instead as he knew she loved them.And he told the court: “What do you give someone who has everything?”Tempers flared during the party as father and son rowed about money, but Michael denied that he told his father he “didn’t deserve what he’d got”.He accepted that he was the worse for drink by the early hours, but claimed that Dave “tried to come at me” and had to be held back by other party-goers. James Beedle outside courtCredit:NEVILE AYLING Although Mr Dawes, 53, and Angela, 49, say they showered £1.5million on Michael and his partner in just two years after the win, the couple “have not repaid this generosity with gratitude”, Mr Wilson claimed.”Instead, they appear to have developed a sense of entitlement such that they are now bringing this claim to court”, he added. 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. An ex-naval officer whose father won £101 million on the lottery is now suing him after he was cut out of his fortune following a drunken row at his step-mother’s birthday party.Former factory worker Dave Dawes, who hit the Euromillions jackpot with his wife, Angela, in 2011, is being accused by his estranged son of becoming “rather grand” and “ungenerous in spirit” since his bonanza.Afghanistan veteran Michael Dawes, 32, has taken him to court, accusing him of withholding money despite promising him he would “always be looked after”.The spectacular win transformed Mr Dawes overnight from being an industrious factory worker to a multi-millionaire who need never work again.But Mr Dawes, from Wisbech, Cambs, and his wife “did not keep their £101m prize to themselves”, their QC, Richard Wilson, told Central London County Court.”One of their first actions after receiving their money was to share their good fortune with members of their family, giving away substantial amounts to family and close friends”, he said.Overall, the couple have lavished £30million on their kin and closest friends, the court heard, as well as setting up their own charity.Two of the main beneficiaries of the couple’s largesse were Michael and his civil partner, James Beedle, 34, the court heard. After the “drunken disagreement”, Michael sent an apologetic card to Dave on Fathers’ Day, but there has been a rift between them ever since, the court was told.”They have not spoken since and Dave and Angela’s financial support has ceased,” added Mr Wilson.Michael explained that the case was a “personal tragedy” for him, but he felt that the row with his dad had been “essentially trivial”.And he accused Dave and Angela of showing “arrogance and ungenerosity of spirit”.”I saw how over time their attitude changed from being relatively humble to being rather grand. They expected the people around them to treat them differently because of their money,” claimed Michael.Judge Nigel Gerald has now reserved his judgment on the case and will give his ruling at a later date. Accusing Michael of “burning through” much of the cash his dad gave him, Mr Wilson said his case boils down to claims that Dave and Angela are obliged to keep “topping up” his income indefinitely.But Michael, who was serving in Afghanistan when his dad got lucky, insisted he was given repeated assurances that he would never be short of cash.And he told the court that, when his dad phoned him from the UK to give him the good news about his win, he promised that, “I would always be looked after”.He and his partner had been assured the money would keep rolling in and based a series of key life decisions on that assumption – including James, a former lieutenant in the Royal Navy Fleet Auxiliary, giving up his services career.Michael and James are now seeking a ruling that, for as long as Dave and Angela live, they are obliged to keep financially supporting them.Michael, a onetime lecturer at Southampton University, also claims that Dave is holding a £200,000 investment “on trust” for himHe said the money from his dad and step-mother had helped him with his mortgage, to buy a BMW, and also to help out his own friends and his partner’s family.Several times between 2011 and 2012 he had “run out of money”, but his dad had always “topped up” his account, the court heard. But by March 2013 his father was getting “concerned” about Michael’s rate of spending, said Mr Wilson. Michael Dawes outside the Royal Courts of JusticeCredit: NEVILE AYLING
A man charged with viewing child pornography did not know he was looking at images of under 16-year-olds because he is blind, a court has heard. Andrew Shaw, 44, was aided into Blackpool Magistrates Court, Lancashire by his black Labrador guide dog.His wife who was supporting her husband is also blind and was led to the court by her white Labrador guide dog.Shaw of Derby Road, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire faces three offences of possessing 71 downloaded obscene images of children on his computer. Twelve of the images are alleged to be of the worst variety.He said: “This is an unusual case as my client is registered blind. He has no sight in one eye and only a small amount in the other.””It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads. He may think he is looking at 16-year olds.”Shaw was granted bail. 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.
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. An ejector seat manufacturer has admitted breaching health and safety law over the death of a Red Arrows pilot.Flt Lt Sean Cunningham, an experienced flyer and Iraq war veteran, died from multiple injuries when his ejector seat accidentally went off in November 2011.The 35-year-old from Coventry was fired 200ft into the air from the cockpit of his Hawk T1 jet and then fell to the ground when his parachute failed to open at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.John Martin, statutory director of Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in connection with the 35-year-old’s death.Flt Lt Cunningham died after his ejector seat initiated during pre-flight checks. At an inquest into his death in 2014, Central Lincolnshire coroner Stuart Fisher criticised Martin-Baker for failing to warn the RAF about safety issues.The firm describes itself as the “world’s leading manufacturer of ejection and crashworthy seats”. A Red Arrows Hawk TMk1 XX177 at RAF Scampton – the plane involved in the death of Flight Lieutenant Sean CunninghamCredit:Alex Britton /PA
Ms Crossan said: “Over-55s may be less likely to report experiencing stress in the last year than Britain’s youngest adults, and indeed have fewer contributory factors, but the proportion who have been impacted by any stress is still high.“While cultural changes have meant that under-25s are much more open to talking about their mental health, older consumers are still much more likely to ‘bottle it up’, and deal with the problem alone.”She added: “Growing financial pressure on the side of the NHS and the continued consumer-driven stigma surrounding the practice have meant that Brits are not getting the mental healthcare they need.“Very few adults who experienced stress in the last year spoke to a professional, suggesting that reduced access to medical services could be a hindrance. Appearance-related stress has rocketed among young women, likely cultivated by social media and reality TV shows such as Love Island, a survey suggests.More than four in 10 women (42%) aged 16 to 24 have experienced stress related to their appearance this year, up from 26% in 2016, according to a report by analysts Mintel.Hera Crossan, research analyst at Mintel, said: “The constant exposure to unrealistic ideals of beauty is having a strong impact on young women, who increasingly report their physical appearance as a factor of stress and discontent.“It is likely that social media and reality TV shows such as Love Island have helped cultivate an unhealthy obsession with appearance perfection that women feel the need to live up to.”Overall, 91% of 16 to 24-year-olds have experienced stress in the last year compared with 77% of over-55s.But while stress levels peak among younger consumers, just 4% did nothing to tackle the problem, compared with 23% of over-55s.The top three sources of stress for Britons are money (41%), work (32%) and physical health problems (25%), the poll found. “However, an increase in app-based support and therapy via video conference could help fill the gap in mental healthcare.”Mintel surveyed 2,000 internet users aged 16 and over in February. 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.
“When you think of a soldier, most people have in their minds the image of a man carrying webbing and a radio,” says Vicki Wentworth, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.”But who do you think drives the trucks in a 25-mile Combat Logistic Patrol?” she asks. A Mastiff armoured vehicle, part of a Combat Logistic Patrol to resupply bases in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 20 July 2008. Many of the drivers were women who, like their male colleagues, often had to face minefields and enemy ambushes. Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images 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. Women have served as helicopter pilots for many years and as such have been involved in every aspect of air assault operations. Photo taken on Operation Zamary Kargha, Afghanistan, 28 November 2010. Credit:Sgt Rupert Frere RLC/Ministry of Defence When you get caught in an ambush, it sure feels like the front line, I can tell youVicki Wentworth “When you get caught in an ambush, it sure feels like the front line, I can tell you.”The ban on women serving in so-called ‘close combat’ roles was controversially lifted in 2016, after an MoD research paper recommended ways to limit the risk to women of musculoskeletal injury and psychological and reproductive health issues. The paper said Ground Close Combat roles would be opened to women on a deliberate and incremental basis as the appropriate health mitigation strategies became available. “Women offer another slant to the psychology of the battlefield and can provide reason over aggression when needed.” says Kerri Mitchell, a former Royal Green Jacket soldier prior to her transition in 2011. “The notion of a front line is outdated. The hardest part is getting past the male ego,” she adds.A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “The Naval Service is pleased to welcome the opportunity that women can serve in ground close combat roles in the Royal Marines General Service. This historic decision will ensure that we have the best people for the job, regardless of gender and based only on ability.” Women have been allowed to apply for close combat roles in the Royal Marines for the first time, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced, as veterans say the idea of a ‘front line’ in modern combat is outdated. After preliminary fitness tests and interviews, up to 20 women are expected to undertake the gruelling 32-week training course at the commando training centre in Lympstone, Devon, next year. The recruits will train to exactly the same standards as their male colleagues and will sleep in the same dormitories, albeit with separate toilets and showers. The normal military rules of separating the male and female accommodation will be waived in the name of troop cohesion. Women have previously been allowed to attempt the nine-week commando course designed for military personnel who will be attached to 3 Commando Brigade, but this is the first time women have been offered the chance to serve as regular Royal Marines.Only three women have passed the nine-week ‘All Arms Commando course’: Major Philippa Tattersall of the army’s Adjutant General’s Corps, Jane Thorley, from the Royal Engineers and a naval officer. All combat roles in the military are to be opened up to women by the end of 2018. An Army spokesperson agreed. “We are committed to giving women the same opportunities as men. Lifting this exclusion will allow us to attract and retain talented individuals from across society irrespective of gender.” However, women have for years served operationally in direct contact with the enemy; the traditional understanding of the ‘front line’. Female helicopter pilots, intelligence specialists, medics, drivers and linguists operated alongside male infantrymen throughout Britain’s recent campaigns.
The good news is that no one appears to have been seriously hurt: the bad news, from Prince Philip’s point of view at least, is that everyone – from his wife to his insurers to the Norfolk constabulary to the tabloid press – will now be advising the old boy to hang up his car keys. On Thursday afternoon the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, was driving his Land Rover near the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. Pulling out from a side road onto the A149, he was involved in a collision with another vehicle. He can afford a chauffeur, after all. (The Queen does have several on the payroll…) But knowing him a little, I can tell you that His Royal Highness is not likely to welcome advice to slow down….
A spokesman for the National Police Chief’s Council said: “More drivers are attending these courses as an alternative to prosecution. The course aims to educate motorists to improve their knowledge and behaviour whilst on the road, and is designed to contribute to reducing deaths and casualties.“These courses are offered to people who commit low level traffic offences. Police forces do not make money from the courses; they only receive processing costs.”But Hugh Bladon, of the Alliance of British Drivers, disagreed that the police were not receiving income.He said: “Police forces are clearly making money from these courses. There is obviously an incentive for the motorist who does not want to get points, but there is clearly an incentive for the police forces, and that is to make money.”The police are almost acting like judge and jury and it does not seem to me to be correct.” Speed cameras are catching a record number of motorists The number of motorists completing speed awareness courses has soared by a third in the past five years, with police forces now pulling in more than £50 million annually from the schemes, new figures have revealed.Last year around 1.2 million drivers opted to attend a course rather than accept a fine or penalty points on their licence.That was up from just 280,000 a decade ago and means a quarter of all British drivers have now been on a speed awareness course at some point.The four-hour classroom based tutorials cost between £75 and £99, depending where in the country you are, with police forces permitted to claim a maximum of £45 from that figure to cover administration costs.The amount of money the police are allowed to claim was increased in October 2017, and comes at a time when all forces are having to cope with shrinking budgets. In 2011 around 1.5 million drivers were caught speeding with some 19 per cent opting to attend a speed awareness course.But by 2017 that figure had rocketed to 2 million drivers caught with 50 per cent choosing a course over points.It means that last year police forces around the country pulled in approximately £54 million from the schemes. 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. Claire Armstrong of the Safe Speed campaign group also questioned whether the speed awareness courses did anything to improve road safety. Speed awareness courses cost around £90 but the driver avoids a fine and points Forces are not supposed to profit from the schemes, but campaigners claim the huge rise in the number of motorists attending, is evidence of the clear financial incentive for the police to funnel speeders towards them.