Month: September 2019
Al Golden has faced trouble since replacing Randy Shannon.And Miami fired Randy Shannon for what? In his second season since replacing Shannon, Hurricanes coach Al Golden is going through a second investigation looking into potential NCAA rules violations and the prospect of serious NCAA sanctions.This time, there appears it will be an extended probe into the Hurricanes’ compliance practices.Citing unidentified sources, Yahoo! Sports reported that former Miami football employee Sean Allen — who has been linked to one-time booster and now convicted Ponzi scheme architect Nevin Shapiro through the improper-benefits scandal that broke last year — assisted members of Golden’s coaching staff with recruiting.If true, that could be a major NCAA violation by the troubled program, despite Golden’s repeated insistence he wants to “get it fixed.”“The inferences and suggestions in the Yahoo! Sports story that my conduct was anything but ethical are simply false,” Golden said.He added that he has been a college football coach for more than 18 years and stands by his record of compliance.Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that NCAA investigators visited Miami for several days earlier this month, just the latest round in the lengthy inquiry into the Hurricanes’ athletic department. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because information about the probe has not been publicly released. Shapiro’s claims that he provided dozens of Miami athletes and recruits with extra benefits over an eight-year span were published by Yahoo! Sports last August.Golden is scheduled to discuss the coming season at the Atlantic Coast Conference media days in North Carolina early next week.A significant portion of Shapiro’s allegations from last year revolved around Allen, who was an assistant football equipment manager until leaving the program last year. Shapiro said he gave Allen more than $200,000, most allegedly spent on players and recruits, as well as a luxury car. Allen denied those claims in 2011.
Mark Sanchez was placed on short-term injured reserve Saturday, the New York Jets announced.Placed on IR, by rule, the quarterback must miss six weeks of practice and eight games.Head coach Rex Ryan said earlier in the week that it was “realistic” for Sanchez to play again this season. Team doctors advised Sanchez that surgery is not necessary at this time, and that he could rehabilitate the shoulder.The QB tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder after he was drilled by New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin. The injury happened while Sanchez was going through an intense summer-long competition with rookie Geno Smith for the starting quarterback spot.General manager John Idzik said in a statement on Sept. 4 that “we’re not looking at (injured reserve). We’re looking at Mark continuing to rehab. He’s day to day.”Sanchez told the NFL Network Thursday that he would try his best to play again this season.
Free agency is becoming less lucrative for MLB playersAverage value per contracted season for MLB free agents through the first 100 days of the past six offseasons Our pool of available free agents includes any player with major league experience who was granted free agency or released in October and November of each season. That excludes players signed internationally or those waived by a club before the season ended or later in the offseason.Source: The Baseball Cube 2018-195408015.01,066.81238.7 2015-165788214.02,298.318212.6 free agentsContracts OffseasontotalSigningsshare signedtotal valuetotal seasonsAvg. Value per season FanGraphs forecasts that payrolls could decline for the second straight year this season, while revenues grow and values of franchises soar.Moreover, the percentage of one-year deals signed has spiked. Of the 80 free-agent deals signed through Feb. 5 this offseason, 51 — or 63.8 percent — were of the one-year variety. That’s the greatest one-year contract share since at least the 2013-14 offseason, perhaps suggestive of players lessening their contract expectations.So how would restricted free agency help beyond getting players to the market earlier? It should also increase their share of revenue.Players with more than three years of service time but less than six are eligible for arbitration. The first year of arbitration eligibility is supposed to garner a player about 40 percent of their open-market value, the second year 60 percent, and the third year of arbitration approximately 80 percent, though that estimate does not always apply. While arbitration earnings are far greater than pre-arbitration salaries, which are typically near the minimum salary, they are still short of market value.The type of restricted free-agency system that owners attempted to implement in 1994 seems increasingly beneficial to players today. That system could have made young star Francisco Lindor a 25-year-old free agent this winter and Mookie Betts a 25-year-old free agent last winter.While clubs would likely fight today against something they proposed a quarter-century ago, free agency isn’t working as intended for many players. The union might need to be more creative and dig in for change.“As we approach the next round of collective bargaining, we’re going to be considering all aspects of the system, as we always do,” an MLBPA spokesperson told FiveThirtyEight in November.And perhaps that should include an examination of an idea that originated from the other side.Neil Paine contributed research. The average age of position players last season (28.1 years) was the youngest since 1979. That age has gradually declined from a peak of 29.3 years in 2004. The average age of pitchers has also declined from a free-agency-era peak of 29.2 years in 2005 to 28.4 last season, tied for the third-youngest this century.Yet the average debut age for hitters and pitchers has remained static.The average debut age last season was 24.3 years for hitters and 24.6 for pitchers. For hitters, the average debut age has ranged between 24.0 and 24.6 years since 2000, and for pitchers, it’s ranged between 23.8 and 24.9 years.What it all means is that hundreds of age 30-plus seasons have gone missing from baseball. In 2004, there were 250 players age 32 or older who recorded at least 100 plate appearances or faced 100 batters on the mound. Last season? There were 190 such players. There have only been four seasons — 1915, 1917, 1965 and 1975 — in which age 32 and older position players accounted for a lesser share of wins above replacement than last season, at 12.9 percent. The fifth-lowest share was 2017’s 13.1 percent.This youth movement is likely tied to performance-enhancing drug testing that began to be attached with penalties in 2004 as PEDs were thought to extend careers. But teams have also never had more data to understand how players age. Clubs seem increasingly unwilling to spend on 30-something free agents.And while the back end of careers are being squeezed, clubs are often accused of manipulating the service time of players, particularly elite-level prospects, on the front end of their careers to push down wages in prime earning years and gain more controllable years over players.While this offseason has warmed after an even colder start than the previous winter, the 2017-18 class was considered to be a weak crop of free agents. This year’s class was long considered elite, with some forecasting that the total contract amount would set a record, with $3 billion or more guaranteed to players. But the total dollars guaranteed through Feb. 5 — or 100 days after the World Series — hit just $1,066.78 million, which fell well short of the totals through the same point in recent offseasons, excluding the winter of 2017-18. And it’s not just total dollars that are off those of the not-so-distant past, but also the annual average value of contracts. 2017-18569508.8736.7957.8 2013-145307514.2%$1,527.5m152$10.1m 2016-175438014.71,295.41409.3 In the midst of the 1994-95 baseball strike, 38 players received surprising news: They had been granted free agency. They were a new type of free agent — a restricted free agent. Players with at least four years of service time in the major leagues but fewer than six — which is still required to become a free agent today — could field offers on the market. Their previous teams could match any offer they received, much like teams do in the NBA or NFL.As Major League Baseball remained engaged in a bitter labor dispute that wiped out the World Series, owners had declared an impasse and implemented the restricted free agency plan, along with a salary cap, to replace salary arbitration. The Boston Red Sox even reached verbal agreements with restricted free agents Sammy Sosa and Kevin Appier before the MLB players association filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board and the owners’ new system was scrapped.MLB has not had a work stoppage since 1994-95, its longest stretch of labor peace in the free-agency era. But because free agency seems broken for many players, and accusations of collusion are being levied, there’s growing speculation that labor strife could await when the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season.To save free agency, it turns out that players could actually benefit from what the owners proposed nearly a quarter-century ago. What players need is a pathway to the marketplace nearer their prime seasons.The MLBPA’s biggest problem with the current free-agency structure is that to become a free agent, a player must accumulate six full years of service time, which players typically reach after age 30. The average age of a free agent signed so far this winter was 32.2 years, according to data compiled by The Baseball Cube.1We used the player’s age as of the start of the season. Since the 2013-14 offseason, the average signing age has hovered around 33 years. That’s well past a player’s prime.Position players generally peak between age 26 and 28. Pitchers peak even earlier. Those years are almost always controlled by the club at below-market wages, unless a player debuts at an extremely young age like Bryce Harper (who was 19) and Manny Machado (20) — unusually young free agents who are entering their age-26 seasons.The other issue for players and free agency is that the game is becoming younger. 2014-155277213.71,558.614211.0
Only one home team lost last weekend in the English Premier League. It was the same the weekend before. How unusual is this? Or, put another way, how significant is home-field advantage in soccer?It’s significant — at least, it was significant.Using a data set of scores compiled by one of this article’s authors (James), we can quantify the home team’s advantage in English football over the past 126 years. Here are the percentages of home wins, visitor wins and draws, by year, since the founding of the league in 1888 (the data is from all games played in the top four tiers of the English football pyramid, or just shy of 200,000 games):In the early days of English football, about 60 percent of games were won by the home team. The rest split about equally: 20 percent draws and 20 percent visitor wins. Now, the home team wins only about 40 percent of games, the visitor wins 30 percent, and the rest are draws. This trend doesn’t show signs of slowing. Home-field advantage in English football is disappearing.What’s responsible for this dramatic shift? Most immediately, it’s the result of a decrease in home-team scoring. Here are the average home and away goals per game, by year:Although scoring for either side has fluctuated, visitor goals have remained relatively constant, floating mostly between 1.00 and 1.3 per game. Home goals have fallen to roughly 1.5 per game from more than 2.5. The average difference (home goals minus away goals) has fallen to about 0.3 goals last year from about 1.1 goals at the league’s founding.A laundry list of explanations for home-field advantage have been offered over the years: partisan crowds, influenced officials, the comforts of home, the hardships of travel, stadium accommodations that favor the home team (e.g. nicer locker rooms or grass mowed to the liking of the players), even “home-cooked” stoppage time.Just as many reasons have been offered for the advantage’s decline, in soccer and elsewhere: easier access to tickets for away fans through sites like StubHub, more comfortable travel accommodations, better oversight of officials, the gentrification of soccer crowds — or maybe just random chance.1For a brief review of the literature, see this paper by Richard Pollard.Economists Mark Koyama and J. James Reade noticed this decline, too, and offered a provocative explanation in a 2008 paper. Writing mainly about English soccer, they argued that the effort put forth by players depends on how much they are “monitored” by their team’s fans. Players tend to put in more effort, they write, when their fans can observe it — they tend not to shirk. More of their fans observe this effort during a home game, of course. But that fact is mitigated by televised soccer. Television serves as a “monitoring technology,” and enables fans of the visiting team to monitor their players’ performance more easily. This, in turn, increases the effort put forth by players of visiting teams. Therefore, Koyama and Reade conclude, the increase of televised soccer has depressed home-field advantage.The theory seems plausible, but struggles to explain the decline in home-field wins in the first half of the 1900s. And it struggles to explain variations, or the lack thereof, in other sports.While a constellation of factors is likely responsible for shifts in advantage, one especially convincing explanation is changes in officiating.The soccer referee was introduced in roughly his modern-day form in 1891 (minus the aerosol spray). A single official can have an enormous influence on a game — an influence rarely rivaled in other sports. One reason is that soccer games are low-scoring and a referee can, in many cases, effectively award a goal to one team or the other by calling for a penalty kick. Since 1992, penalty kicks in the Premier League have led to goals 85 percent of the time. And there has been a systematic bias of awarding penalty kicks to the home team: Of 1,666 penalties called over the last two-plus decades, 1,051 (or 63 percent) went to the home team. With the exception of the 2001-2 season, home teams have won more penalties every single year. There are, on average, 75 penalties awarded each season, or about one every fifth game.Koyama and Reade noted that a similar home-team bias has been found for the “awarding” of yellow and red cards. High-leverage biases could also manifest in the calling of close-range free kicks, corner kicks and offsides violations. It often hasn’t taken much to influence the outcome of a soccer game.But with the rise to prominence of English football over the past 100-plus years2The Premier League has revenues of nearly $4 billion a year. came correspondent increases in money, exposure,3Television may influence refs, too. professionalization, organization, oversight, monitoring and evaluation of the league. All these could have lowered referee bias toward home sides.While hard data on historical referee bias is hard to come by, there is some evidence. There has been a slight downward trend in penalty-kick bias since the founding of the Premier League, for example. In the 1992-3 season, 74 percent of penalties were awarded to the home team. Last season, just 55 percent were.Soccer’s long-diminishing home-field advantage seems to be the exception in sports, not the rule. Here are home teams’ regular-season winning percentages for the four major American sports. (For simplicity, we’ve included ties as half wins, where applicable.)With the exception of four NFL seasons, home teams won more than visitors every year. Basketball and hockey typically show the most sizable home-field advantages. Basketball’s home teams have historically won at nearly a 70 percent clip, though that has dipped to around 60 percent in recent years. NHL home teams have won consistently between 60 percent and 65 percent of their games over the league’s history.While no American sport has shown the sustained decline in home-field advantage that English soccer has — a mark against Koyama and Reade’s “monitoring technology” hypothesis — there are hints of decreases, especially in basketball. That makes sense. Basketball is another sport that can be heavily influenced by the subjectivity of officials.
Ohio State trailed arch-rival Michigan, 4-0, Saturday when Evelyn Carrillo stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. The sophomore first baseman had one thought as she stared down Wolverine freshman pitcher Haylie Wagner. “The mentality I have is something up, I bang,” Carrillo said. She did just that. Wagner left a change-up in the zone and Carrillo lifted it over the wall in right field for a grand slam to tie the game, 4-4. Changing the game with one swing of the bat is nothing new for Carrillo. The Corona, Calif., native is batting .364 this season with five home runs and 33 RBIs to help the Buckeyes to a 23-14 record on the year. She attributes her productivity to the mental approach she brings to the plate. “As a hitter you gotta make sure you stay confident,” Carrillo said. “And just have that mindset where if I see my pitch I’m just gonna hit it.” Carrillo was named Big Ten Player of the Week after the Buckeyes’ three-game series at Michigan State during the last weekend in March. She helped OSU sweep the Spartans by going 11-for-12 at the plate with eight RBIs, including a career-high six RBIs in the first game of the series. It was the first career conference honor of Carrillo’s career. OSU coach Linda Kalafatis isn’t surprised by her first baseman’s success at the plate this year and said she doesn’t expect it to stop anytime soon. “Evelyn, I think, has got the prettiest swing on the team,” Kalafatis said. “I expect big things from her for the rest of her career.” Perhaps the biggest benefactor of Carrillo’s success this season has been shortstop Alicia Herron. The senior captain is having the best statistical season of her career in her final year as a Buckeye and said hitting behind her fellow infielder has been a huge help. “It helps because it gives me another chance to hit,” Herron said. “They have to pitch to me or else they’ll have to pitch to her . She gives me a better shot at letting me to hit. For OSU to be successful going forward, some of Carillo’s teammates said they know their best players have to perform when the game is on the line, something Carrillo proved Saturday. “Evelyn came in clutch and had the grand slam,” said senior pitcher Mikayla Endicott. “That changed the momentum.”
Ohio State redshirt-senior running back Rod Smith has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, sources close to the team told Lantern TV on Monday evening.The Fort Wayne, Ind., native rushed for 549 yards during his OSU career, including 101 yards and four touchdowns on 24 attempts this season. Smith played, but did not touch the ball during the Buckeyes’ 31-24 double-overtime win against Penn State on Saturday in State College, Pa.Sources confirmed Smith’s departure to Lantern TV following an initial report by Eleven Warriors.An Ohio State spokesman didn’t have any information to provide regarding Smith’s status with the team.Smith did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Illinois on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
Howard and Louise Nicholson’s house before their painstaking restorationCredit:Sheffield Star/SWNS The Nicholson family, who own a civil engineering business, are now “in limbo” when it comes to the future of where they live and do not know what will happen next.Mrs Nicholson said: “When we got the letter, it said, ‘we realise that you will be distressed’ which is just more of an understatement than they’ll ever realise.”There was a meeting about it when we came back but they couldn’t give any answers. When we asked questions about what we might be able to do, they couldn’t tell us anything because it’s just a proposed route.”We asked if we could build another house on a different part of the land we own which doesn’t interfere with the route but they had no idea.”A final decision on whether or not the new route will go ahead is due by the end of the year. A couple who have spent thousands of pounds renovating a Grade II listed farmhouse have been told the property could be demolished to make way for the new HS2 line.Louise Nicholson and her husband Howard bought the property for £200,000 in 2012 and lived in a caravan while they spent a six-figure sum restoring the 16th century house while complying with building regulations.But the couple, who have four daughters, now say they are “completely powerless” after being told that the home could be demolished under the revised route for the new high-speed rail line.Mrs Nicholson, 43, even questioned whether HS2 bosses had been aware that their home, in Aston, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was on the new route, along with several other historic buildings. When we got the letter, it said, ‘we realise that you will be distressed’ which is just more of an understatement that they’ll ever realiseLouise Nicholson She said: “They didn’t even know we existed. They just thought it was a stables. We are completely powerless. No one can give us any answers. They don’t care because it is a national thing.”One of the questions we have asked at an HS2 meeting is, because we are in a conservation area, will planning laws be relaxed? They said they couldn’t answer that because the route is only proposed.”Major changes have been made to the intended HS2 route through South Yorkshire after rail bosses scrapped plans for a new station in Meadowhall, just outside Sheffield, in favour of a “spur” into Sheffield city centre – a decision officials claim will save £1bn.But the intended new route running from the Mansfield area in Nottinghamshire, up to Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is due to affect homes and businesses in South Yorkshire areas such as Bramley, Aston and Swallownest, Barnburgh, Mexborough and Denaby. An HS2 Ltd spokesman said: “We expect the Secretary of State to make a decision on the proposed route later this year. Should he decide to adopt our recommendations, then a public consultation will be held in order to allow local stakeholders and affected communities the opportunity to comment on the proposals.”We are committed to helping local residents and communities through this period of uncertainty and would encourage anyone who would like further information about the project to contact our 24 hour help desk.” 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.
Celebrities have been shunned as guests of honour for a Christmas lights switch on after a council decided “things have to change”.Banbury Town Council announced it will be “focusing on creating a vibrant event” without any stars this year, instead choosing to showcase local choirs. Guests have previously included Coronation Street actor Chris Gascoyne and The X Factor winner Sam Bailey.Colin Clarke, the general services committee chairman, said: “For many years we have enjoyed having celebrities switch on our Christmas lists but things have to change.”This year we’re starting a new theme by creating a real Christmas atmosphere for people of all ages.”We think the new set-up will appeal to everyone and not just those who like a particular TV programme.” Families will instead be able to listen to live music performed by local artists when they visit the market.Before the switch on, eight local choirs will sing carols and other seasonal tunes. There will be fireworks after the event, which is on November 27. This year we’re starting a new theme by creating a real Christmas atmosphereColin Clarke 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. Guests have previously included Coronation Street actor Chris Gascoyne Credit: Getty Images
Show more A photograph of the Queen and the Prince of Wales has been released to mark the end of the monarch’s 90th birthday year.The previously unseen picture, taken by fashion photographer Nick Knight in May, shows the mother and son in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle before the final night of the Queen’s celebrations at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The full-length photoCredit:© 2016 NICK KNIGHT 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. She thanked well-wishers but said: “How I will feel if people are still singing Happy Birthday to me in December remains to be seen.”Mr Knight said: “It was a great pleasure and an honour to photograph Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle.”I wanted to create a modern portrait that showed warmth and humanity as well as strength and tradition.” Charles, wearing a black dinner jacket, appears to be smiling at the Queen – dressed in a sea green and dove grey brocade dress by Angela Kelly – who is looking directly ahead in the photograph.The Queen turned 90 in April and marked the milestone with a series of events – including a private black-tie banquet at Windsor Castle with her friends and loved ones.In June, she celebrated her official birthday with a service of thanksgiving and a picnic on The Mall for 10,000 revellers.
The programme will show Sir Ian recreating scenes from his great-uncle’s successful play Two Orphans, a melodrama which starred Mr Lowes as a count. 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. “This was the sort of thing that no other workers would have had,” he said. “This is something quite new really and quite radical.“This kind of activity could very easily be associated with some of the more dangerous radical movements, which could backfire on him personally. Robert Lowes, however, spent his days campaigning for a better life for workers in the industrial north, working as a warehouse clerk in Manchester and delivering improving lectures at the Salford Lyceum. Sir Ian’s father at Striding Edge in the Lake DistrictCredit:BBC/Wall to Wall/Sir Ian “It’s going to take a slick operator to pull this off.”Mr Lowes, honorary secretary of his committee, persisted with his campaign, changing the appeal for a half-day on a Friday to one on a Saturday.A fragile scroll from November 10th, 1843, reveals how he succeeded, with bankers, merchants, manufacturers and calico printers agreeing to close their places of business at 1 o’clock every Saturday afternoon “and to allow our servants leave for the day”. Alice McKellen, Sir Ian’s paternal grandmother. Taken in 1937Credit:BBC/Wall to Wall/Sir Ian The details of Sir Ian’s past will be revealed this week in Who Do You Think You Are, the BBC documentary which tracks celebrity family history.The actor will learn of his ancestors, including an engraver who helped entice people to the Lake District with his fine books, and a jobbing actor who died in the workhouse after falling on hard times. Sir Ian has six Oliviers, two Oscar nominations and a knighthoodCredit:BBC/Stephen Perry A working day, experts told the programme, then lasted for up to 14 hours for six days a week.In September 1843, a local newspaper report uncovered by researchers shows Mr R J Lowes leading a meeting to propose business owners close warehouses on Friday afternoons.Prof Martin Hewitt told Sir Ian the movement was about “persuading 300 or 400 of the leading merchant princes of Manchester to allow the clerks and warehousemen to have a half holiday without any reduction in pay. Sir Ian proclaimed it “wonderful”, adding: “I’m very, very impressed with what Robert did. The world changes because somebody has an argument with somebody, a discussion and then an agreement.“One initiative like this doesn’t change the world, but it certainly helps.” Sir Ian as a boyCredit:BBC/Wall to Wall/Sir Ian We can say that not only is Robert Lowes your great-great-grandfather, but he can also be viewed as the grandfather of the modern weekendDr Wilkinson I’m very, very impressed with what Robert didSir Ian Social historian Dr Amanda Wilkinson told the actor his ancestor gave up his job as a clerk up in 1845 to expand his campaign for a half-holiday to needlewomen as well.“The news of the half holiday spreads like wildfire across the country,” she said. “We have cities like Bradford and Norwich very rapidly commencing their own half holidays based on the principles of Robert Lowes and his committee.“We start to see the evolution of the weekend as we understand it now.“So we can say that not only is Robert Lowes your great-great-grandfather, but he can also be viewed as the grandfather of the modern weekend.”Viewers will also learn of Sir Ian’s great-uncle, Frank Lowes, who was an actor in his own right – albeit of the less successful kind.Mr Lowes showed enough promise on the stage that he received top billing at the Queen’s Theatre in Manchester, going on to be reviewed in industry papers and play in Sir Ian’s home town of Bolton in 1876. Sir Ian told the programme he had never before heard of his great-uncle’s career, marvelling at the coincidence before wondering: “Why did nobody in the family tell me? Either they didn’t know or they weren’t very pleased about it.”But by his 30s, Mr Lowe had fallen into a “pretty terrible part in a fourth rate play”, taking on roles of “variable quality” before moving to Liverpool and joining variety performances.In 1894 he died in Liverpool work house, separated from his wife Ellen and suffering from TB and exhaustion. Who Do You Think You Are? will air on Wednesday January 25th at 8pm on BBC One. Sir Ian McKellen may be known around the world for his work on stage and screen, with six Oliviers, two Oscar nominations and a knighthood to his name.But his little-known ancestor may deserve even more public acclaim, it appears, after it emerged he helped to invent the weekend.Sir Ian’s great-great-grandfather Robert Lowes campaigned for Manchester’s business owners to allow their workers to take a half-day on Saturdays, allowing more than one day a week off for the first time.Documents from 1843 show how Mr Lowes eventually convinced industry titans to let their staff leave their factories at 1pm on Saturdays, with one expert saying: “He can be viewed as the grandfather of the modern weekend.”
Tenants will have the right to sell their property on the open market at any time, cashing out their share of the home.They may use this as a deposit for buying a home on the open market, or simply do something else with the money they have accrued.Applicants will have to be in steady employment with the same kind of affordability tests and credit checks as for a conventional mortgage. Providers will have to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Tim Farron at work onboard the party battlebusCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA The idea cuts out the need for parents – dubbed the “bank of mum and dad” – to raise a deposit worth tens of thousands of pounds to help their children get on the housing ladder.The Lib Dems said that the scheme could see 30,000 homes – costing £300million a year – being funded his way by the end of the next parliament in 2022.This proposal is part of its plans to deliver 300,000 homes a year by using public money to fill the gap between private sector building and demand.Home ownership has plummeted for the under 35s: just 36 per cent of 25-34 year olds now own their own home, down from 59 per cent ten years ago. Mr Farron made the comments on the visit to a schoolCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA Tens of thousands of young families will be able to buy homes without putting down a deposit under a new “rent to own” policy from the Liberal Democrats.Tenants’ rent will used to pay down the cost of the home, allowing them tenant to own the property after 30 years’ worth of payments.Party officials said the plans – aimed at younger adults aged 25 to 34 – would see each monthly payment steadily buy them a new home, “just like with a normal mortgage”. “This is about allowing people to get their foot on the ladder, to begin to pay rent and to lead that to staircase up to being able to own a property, part own it, and give people that chance to become a home owner should they wish.“It seems to me that we have got to give young people, especially, the hope that home owning, if it is something that they wanted, they can have it.” 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 plans are supposed to end the need for the “bank of mum and dad”Credit:Gareth Fuller /PA Speaking on a visit to a school in Portsmouth, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the “rent to own” initiative would be a “staircase” to buying a home.He said: “It’s about making sure that people can get their foot on the housing ladder. We have got nine million people who are in the private rented sector in this country, and many of them have chosen to do that.
The election count in the London constituency of Kensington was suspended on Friday morning after council tellers were sent home exhausted following two recounts.What should have been a relatively safe Conservative seat was too close to call – with just 36 votes between Tory and Labour.But officials decided the tellers were so tired after staying up all night counting ballot papers that they needed a break before starting again on a third count. A teller slumped in her chair at the Kensington countCredit:@wnettleford But it is also a constituency of contrasts, taking in the affluent neighbourhoods of Kensington, Holland Park and Notting Hill, along with several deprived pockets in the north of the borough.Early indications at around 12.30am from the constituency, which voted to remain during the EU referendum last year suggested a Labour gain.But a Labour source later played down speculation that the party was on the brink of a spectacular success, suggesting the vote share might be up but the seat was “probably not in play”. As a result the count was suspended without a result and will resume at 6pm on Friday.Returning officer Tony Redpath said: “The provisional result of the election was known at approximately 2am. That result was very close and a recount was therefore requested.”The result on that recount also remained very close.”A request for a third count was therefore made. At this stage staff had been up all night and were becoming visibly tired. In order to have confidence in its accuracy, the recount has been suspended to allow staff to rest and recuperate.”The count will recommence as soon as possible and details will be posted on our website and on social media.”The seat has been Conservative since its creation in 2010. Victoria Borwick took the constituency in 2015 with a majority of 7,361. In its previous incarnation it was also a traditional Tory seat, held in 2010 by Sir Malcolm Rifkind. 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. Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Credit:PA/PA Supporters of Charlie Gard at a demonstration in London on Thursday Credit:BEN STANSALL/BEN STANSALL US congressmen have proposed giving Charlie Gard residency in America so the terminally-ill baby can receive experimental treatment in the country.Brad Wenstrup and Trent Franks will table a bill to the House of Representatives tomorrow to bring Charlie and his family to the US. Their intervention comes as Charlie’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard are expected to join a demonstration outside Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) later today after they vowed the “fight is not over”. In a joint statement, the US lawmakers said: “Our bill will support Charlie’s parents’ right to choose what is best for their son, by making Charlie a lawful permanent resident in the US in order for him to receive treatments that could save his life.”Should this little boy to be ordered to die – because a third party, overriding the wishes of his parents, believes it can conclusively determine that immediate death is what is best for him?”Charlie’s parents, both in their 30s and from Bedfont, west London, want to take their child to a hospital in the US for experimental treatment. They lost a lengthy legal battle after judges ruled in favour of doctors at GOSH, who argued the therapy would not improve Charlie’s quality of life. However, GOSH has applied to the High Court for a fresh hearing “in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition”, which will be heard tomorrow afternoon. The Gard’s supporters will today deliver a petition of more than 350,000 signatures calling on doctors at GOSH to allow the baby to travel and receive treatment in America.It comes after a proposal by Pope Francis to give Charlie a Vatican passport so he can be flown there for potentially life-saving treatment.Charlie inherited the faulty RRM2B gene from his parents, affecting the cells responsible for energy production and respiration and leaving him unable to move or breathe without a ventilator. The proposed therapy is not a cure.
A marine and his mother have been convicted of murdering his grandmother after police caught him admitting the crime by bugging his house.Iraq veteran Barry Rogers used a pillow to smother Betty Guy, 84, after his mother Penelope John had given her a cocktail of pills and whisky on November 7 2011.Mrs Guy’s death was initially thought to be from natural causes and no post-mortem examination was carried out.However, Rogers, 33, and John, 50, came under suspicion four years later when an ex-partner of Rogers told police he said he had killed his grandmother by putting a pillow over her face.Officers also found two other previous partners of Rogers who said he had told them about his part in Mrs Guy’s death.John, of St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire, and Rogers of Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, were arrested on October 6 2016 and while they were in custody officers installed covert recording equipment in John’s home. Penelope John leaves Swansea Crown Court last monthCredit:Dimitris Legakis/Athena Pictures The jury heard recordings where the pair discussed Mrs Guy’s death in terms which were “inconsistent with her having died naturally and peacefully”. At one point Rogers could be heard saying to his mother: “You have got nothing to worry about, it’s me that’s the one that’s done the act.”After the case finished yesterday, with sentencing adjourned, another of Mrs Guy’s children, Lorraine Matthews said justice had prevailed. The home where Betty Guy was murdered in Haverfordwest, WalesCredit:Martin Cavaney/Athena Pictures The pair denied murder but were convicted by a jury of five women and seven men following a trial at Swansea Crown Court.The judge in the case, Mr Justice Lewis said both Rogers and John would receive life sentences of imprisonment.He said he would look at the authorities on mercy killings in preparations, despite both defendants having denied killing Mrs Guy for any reason, including a mercy killing.He said: “You have been found guilty of the murder of Betty Guy. I order that both of you be remanded in custody. “I direct that you be brought back to court on Thursday February 8 whereupon I will sentence you to the sentence required by the law which is life imprisonment and the appropriate minimum term.”Rogers and John were remanded in custody to appear before the court for sentence on Thursday. 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. “Seven years after my mother’s death, my brothers, my sons, myself and other members of the family, were shocked and horrified to learn from the police that my mother, Mrs Betty Guy, may not have died from natural causes and that my sister and her son were to be charged with her murder,” she said in a statement released by Dyfed-Powys Police.”Over the past three years the police have worked tirelessly to collect sufficient evidence to bring this case to court.”Now that the case has drawn to a close we are satisfied that justice has prevailed and now we can close this very sad chapter in our lives.”
University students facing a month of industrial action by tutors are to demand compensation for lectures they miss but have paid for in tuition fees.Lecturers at 61 top universities are to go on strike next week in a row over changes to staff pensions. Over a period of four weeks they will walkout for up to 14 days.But, while students traditionally support teaching staff during disputes, increasing numbers of undergraduates are angry that the strike means they will not get value for money for their £9,000 annual tuition fees they have already paid.A series of online petitions have been launched calling for universities to refund students for lectures that are cancelled due to the industrial action. Meanwhile, some students union leaders have been openly critical of action affecting students.Georgia Davies, a 21-year-old second year English and Modern History student at the University of St Andrews, calculated that 14 days of lost lectures represents £768 of her tuition fees.“I get 12 hours a week in lectures and tutorials which means that a single hour costs me £32. Consequently 14 days of action is the equivalent to not getting £768 of face-to-face contact with my lecturer,” she said. Conrad White, a student at University of York, launched an online petition calling for cash-strapped students to be reimbursed.The 18-year-old first year politics student stressed that his petition was not against the strike, but merely demanding value for money.”The university wants it both ways: they want to take the tuition fees money and behave like a business in that way, but then not offer students consumer rights.”Last night nearly 2,000 students had signed the petition asking for a “fair” £300 refund if the strike goes ahead. Comments posted on the site explain how students feel they are entitled to compensation if the university fails to deliver services they have been paid for.A similar petition was launched at King’s College London in which those signed said they stood in “solidarity” with lecturers but demanded a “refund of our fees for each day that academics are striking…. If universities insist on making us pay, we will insist on our money back.” “While students support their lecturers in this dispute, they also want to get value for money for the fees they have to pay.“It isn’t fair that we are paying £9,000 in tuition fees and they’re taking away two weeks that we’ve paid for.” Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their graduation photographCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Academics and lecturers in the University and College Union (UCU) will go on strike from February 22 over proposed changes to their pension scheme expected to make them £10,000 worse off each year in retirement.The action was also greeted cooly by some student union presidents. In an online statement, Megan Croll, union president at Durham University, said she could only support action targeting “university activity, rather than student learning”.She wrote: “I could not support strike action where the goals were to cause as much disruption as possible to students, thus using student outrage and frustration as an amplifier to give weight to the academics’ case to the university.”.The Students Guild at the University of Exeter said it was “concerned” by the detrimental effect the strike would have on students, particularly those in their crucial final year.“The Guild intends to hold both parties to account for any impact on the Exeter student experience,” a statement read.However, the National Union of Students and UCU, which say they are “sister organisations”, issued a joint statement condemning the “marketisation of education” and warning that cuts to lecturers’ pensions would lead to a recruitment crisis.Ms Davies added: “I care about the strike, but I care about my degree more. This degree will affect the rest of my life, not just in terms of job prospects but also paying off a loan that lasts a lifetime. “We are paying a ridiculous amount of money in tuition fees which makes me feel like I’m a customer. But, while a customer in a shop can complain to a manager about service, if a student doesn’t like something at university there is not really anyone to complain to.” 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.
Mr Greenspan said: “Andrew, my former computer science teaching fellow [at Harvard], pronounced in a now-infamous memo such deaths were merely the cost of Facebook’s growth, a ‘de facto good’. With growth equated to good, the analogy to cancer as a result of the addictive process is especially apt. Mr Greenspan and Mr Zuckerberg were at different houses at Harvard, but Mr Greenspan said Mr Zuckerberg knew about his Facebook and had joined it before inviting him to dinner on January 8 2004. “Mark and I fundamentally disagreed over the importance of quality versus quantity. Mark floored the accelerator for 15 years straight to achieve maximum quantity and he succeeded at that.“Had I remained involved somehow, I would have stressed the importance of quality in the trade-off even more. That would have meant a much smaller network.”Mr Greenspan’s feud with Mr Zuckerberg over who came up with the idea for Facebook is less well-known than the social media boss’s legal battles with the Winklevoss brothers, which featured in the Hollywood film The Social Network.Mr Greenspan was, however, the first to develop an online ‘facebook’ at Harvard from the student houses’ antiquated email systems and the paper-based profiles of students and staff distributed on campus. By September 2003, the “Universal Face Book” was a feature of Mr Greenspan’s student web portal, including current Facebook features such as birthday reminders, a student market place, message boards, photo album, digital flyer adverts, event calendar – with online RSVPs -, map integration, job placement and local business reviews. 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 founder of the original ‘Facebook’ has claimed that the social media platform has caused “countless deaths” by failing to protect users.Aaron Greenspan, who won a confidential pay-out from Facebook after claiming he came up with the concept for the social network first, has reopened his feud with Mark Zuckerberg by claiming the social media boss sacrificed safeguards on cyberbullying, extremists and data security to pursue growth at all costs.In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Greenspan said Mr Zuckerberg had ignored his warnings and instead designed the platform to be as addictive as tobacco in order to recruit and keep users.“Facebook’s addictive qualities may not kill anyone directly as cigarettes do every day but it is now established that the site has led to countless deaths,” claimed Mr Greenspan, who created the ‘Universal Face Book’ at Harvard four months before Mr Zuckerberg registered Facebook.com and launched it incorporating features from Mr Greenspan’s site.Mr Greenspan cited the recent leaked memo written by Facebook vice president Andrew Bosworth, in which he said the site’s pursuit to “connect people” might “cost someone a life by exposing someone to bullies” or deaths in a “terrorist attack co-ordinated on our tools.” Mr Greenspan said he sensed at the dinner that Mr Zuckerberg was trying to pick his brains about his site, but claims Mr Zuckerberg was secretive about his own plans.Both men asked if they would help each other, according to Mr Greenspan, but he said no agreement emerged as they were “wary of each other” and he didn’t trust Mr ZuckerbergThree days after the dinner on January 11, Mr Zuckerberg bought the Facebook.com name, and a month later launched the site that would become the worldwide social network with 1bn active users, making him worth some $70bn.In the confidential settlement with Mr Greenspan’s company Think, Mr Zuckerberg paid tribute to Mr Greenspan’s “hard work and innovation” in developing the Universal Face Book feature, which added member profiles and ways of recording relationship strengths after Mr Zuckerberg launched his Facebook.Facebook denied it was designed to be addictive, saying it was working with experts to better understand excessive use and develop products that encourage healthy use. It said it was also continuing to invest heavily in security and privacy as it recognised its responsibility to keep people safe.Mr Bosworth said the sentiments in his email were not something he agreed with but had been designed simply to raise “hard topics” and “bad ideas” for discussion if only to eliminate them.
He said: “The decriminalisation of cannabis would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery they can cause to families and society.”Decriminalisation or legalisation would send the wrong message to the vast majority of people who do not take drugs, especially young and vulnerable people, with the potential grave risk of increased misuse of drugs.”Lord Hogan-Howe was a police officer for nearly 40 years and for nearly six years he was commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.- Cannabis: Time To End The Ban? – Channel 4 Dispatches will air on Channel 4 on Monday 22 October at 8pm. 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. Bernard Hogan-Howe, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner, has called for an “urgent review” of the evidence around legalising cannabis.Lord Hogan-Howe, who has always supported tough laws on cannabis, investigated the issue for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, to be shown on Monday.He said if he was home secretary he would have an “urgent commission of experts to look at the evidence about what’s happening about cannabis in North America”.Lord Hogan-Howe said: “We already know from the evidence around the world that where people use it for medicinal purposes, it slides into recreational.”Surely it’s better that we get ready for that potential change.”I’ve not seen clear evidence to say change the law now. But I have seen clear evidence to say let’s review it, but in a time-limited way, not a kicking into the long grass way. “I think we need to get on with it, now the Government has made it easier to get medical cannabis on prescription.”We’re lucky – we’re not the pioneers and we can learn from others’ mistakes. The evidence is out there and it shouldn’t be ignored.”Doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients in England, Wales and Scotland from November 1.Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, decided to relax the rules on when cannabis products can be given to patients, after considering expert advice from a review following a number of high-profile cases.A spokesman for the Home Office said the Government has “no plans to decriminalise recreational cannabis”.
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. He will appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on December 11. The former star, who has battled alcohol addiction since retiring from professional sport in 2005, tweeted on Sunday night telling his followers to “buy a mirror” so that they can watch their own backs. “Keep on your toes,” he said, thanking his fans for their messages. Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on board a train.The 51-year-old was arrested at Durham station on August 20 and on Monday British Transport Police confirmed that he had been charged with one count of sexual assault by touching.Gascoigne tweeted his innocence on Monday afternoon, insisting he had done nothing wrong in messages to his 350,000 followers that were subsequently deleted.In them, he said he was “sad about it” because he “respects all women”, adding that he has a mother, two sisters, two nieces and a daughter, “so why assault”.Gascoigne signed off one tweet by saying he was “just so pleased” that the people he is close to “know it’s not true”. A spokeswoman for the force said: “A man is due to appear in court next month charged in connection with the sexual assault of a woman on board a train from York to Durham.”Paul Gascoigne, of Amy Street, Leicester, was charged via postal requisition with one count of sexual assault by touching, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.”The charge relates to an incident on board a train on August 20 this year.”
The purchase of Britain’s new aircraft carriers was a “bad idea” and the MoD would “rue the day” they were bought, a former defence chief has said.The Lord Houghton of Richmond, former Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), has told a Commons committee the £6 billion price tag for Britain’s two new carriers was “affordable only to the detriment of the surface fleet”.Giving evidence to the National Security Strategy committee, Lord Houghton said that as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in 2010 he was not in favour of buying two aircraft carriers and new F-35 stealth jets for the air force whilst also expecting the Defence budget to include the nuclear deterrent submarines.Spending on such expensive equipment “massively unbalances the amount of money to spend on capabilities in more active need of use,” he said.Lord Houghton said HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales were deemed to be “too totemic to Britain’s sense of place in the world” for the programmes to be cancelled, and acknowledged that to do so would send “too big a signal of our diminution on the world stage”. His concerns were not heeded by the then prime minister, David Cameron, and his deputy, Nick Clegg, and were not shared by other senior officers on the Chiefs of Staff committee; the heads of Britain’s armed services plus CDS and the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. “From a political decision about hard power, that’s what they [the politicians] wanted to do” he said.He also raised concerns about the “critical state” of manning in the Royal Navy, saying “there’s no point spending money if you don’t have the manpower”. 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.
And it proposes overhauling a system of “MOT” health checks currently offered to those 40 and over, targeting efforts on those at greatest risk, and reviewing the evidence for new checks, aimed at those approaching retirement age. It also calls for supervised toothbrushing in schools. The British Dental Association said the paper looked “more like a fire sale” than an attempt to tackle public health, while the Royal College of Nursing questioned why the plans has been issued in the “dying days” of the current Government. Show more 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. Ministers have published a green paper suggesting that a milkshake tax “may” be introduced – just hours before the likely election of a Prime Minister opposed to such levies.A long-awaited green paper on prevention of ill-health was published on Monday night, without fanfare, setting out a host of policies aimed at tackling causes of ill-health.The cautiously-worded, 78 page document suggests such taxes “may” be extended to sugary milk drinks, if the food industry does not make enough progress cutting the sugar content of common drinks.The timing of the report – just hours before Boris Johnson is expected to be elected as Tory leader, and without any public backing from the Health Secretary – provoked scepticism about what will become of such measures. Mr Johnson recently vowed to end the “continuing creep of the nanny state” if he becomes prime minister, starting with a review of so-called “sin taxes” on sugary, salty and fatty foods. The green paper was expected to outline a number of policies to tackle Britain’s soaring obesity rates. But instead it promises a third chapter, at some point in the future, to detail such plans, The document also sets out plans to make Britain “smoke-free” by 2030, threatening an ultimatum to the tobacco industry to make cigarettes obsolete.