As you might expect, this isn’t Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry’s fault. When the running back’s number is called on third down, he converts more than 50 percent of the time. He rushes mainly on short third downs, which helps keep that number high, but on all third-down carries with fewer than 10 yards to go, he converts 61.1 percent of the time. The other ’Bama running backs aren’t as impressive, converting their carries at 41.9 percent from all distances. Still, that’s higher than the national average of 40 percent — and not too far off from ’Bama rushing attacks of the past. (Clemson, meanwhile, is really, really good at running on third down, converting 49.5 percent of the time.) Predictably, the Crimson Tide’s trouble comes with the pass — just not in the way you might think.Like most schools, Alabama passes more often than it runs on third down. (The national average is 59.1 percent; ’Bama throws it 56.3 percent of the time.) It’s not that quarterback Jake Coker panics in these situations. He completes 58.8 percent of his third-down throws, better than celebrated Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, who completes only 52.9 percent of his throws in the same situation. But when Watson throws, he gets a first down 42.3 percent of the time. Coker gets a first down only 30.9 percent of the time. The split is even more pronounced in third-and-long situations. Coker gets more accurate; completing 59.6 percent of his throws. Watson falls to 43.8 percent. But Watson still gets more first downs from his throws in those situations: 31.3 percent to 22.8 percent. The last seven years of Alabama teams have looked a lot alike. They’ve had a dominant defense, a dominant running attack, the occasional dominant wideout and a quarterback who doesn’t screw things up. ’Bama has finished in the top 10 of the final AP poll in each of those seven seasons and on Monday will play for its fourth national title in that period. It’s been a nice little run. But this Alabama team has one major weakness that its predecessors didn’t: It sucks at converting on third down.If you watched Alabama thrash Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl, this may be about the only weakness that showed through the beating, a small consideration within the more global Brute Squad performance. Look a little closer, though, and one small crack can tell you quite a bit about this year’s Crimson Tide.Last year, Alabama converted 51.3 percent of its third downs, good for fifth among FBS schools. This year’s team converts 36.2 percent, good for 96th. There are only 128 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, so this is not an encouraging figure. Meanwhile, Clemson is 13th, converting 47.7 percent of its third downs. The average conversion rate for FBS teams is just less than 40 percent. Alabama faces, on average, 14 third downs each game. Last year’s team would have converted seven of them; this year’s converts only five. Considering that this year’s team is also far worse at converting on fourth down (12 of 24 compared with 10 of 13 last year), that means ’Bama’s offense is losing at least two drives a game because of this regression in third-down efficiency. What gives?Cautious play-calling. Without the protective blanket of Amari Cooper, the all-world receiver who bettered Alabama’s single-season receiving yards record by more than 50 percent last year, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has resorted to the conservative play-calling that defined his ill-fated tenure at USC. (Seriously, Google “Kiffin bubble screen” to get a taste of how the Trojan fan base felt about his play-calling when he was the head coach there.) With relatively untested Coker under center, Kiffin will all too often call for quick throws out near the sideline to receivers Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart, who then proceed to get tackled before crossing the sticks. I call these wasted completions, though of course that’s oversimplifying things. By moving the ball down the field even a little bit, ’Bama sets itself up for a better punt, field-goal attempt or even fourth-down try. (Although as noted above, the latter doesn’t really help.) Most of the time, the receivers stay inbounds, so it also wastes time. That’s generally OK, too, because most ’Bama games turn into a slow march to drain the clock. But still, a first down is always better than a fourth down, and Alabama would be extending its drives significantly more often if the team simply ran plays that allowed receivers to catch the ball beyond the yellow line. That’s a play-calling problem, exacerbated by a personnel problem, and one that could come back to haunt the Tide in the national championship game.Of course, with Alabama’s incredibly efficient defense picking up the slack, it may not. Did you notice the team going 1-12 on third down while it was dismantling Georgia 38-10 earlier this season? Or 4-12 while squeezing the life out of Michigan State in the semifinals? If you’re a spoiled ’Bama fan (like me), you probably did. Otherwise you simply watched the Tide roll.
In the past few weeks, the Chinese Football Association Super League — the country’s premier professional soccer league — has been on a shopping spree. By the close of the January transfer window, the Chinese Super League had outspent England’s Premier League in the transfer market; the CSL made five of the six largest transfer signings in the 2015-16 window.The biggest splash came when the Jiangsu Suning shelled out $55 million to acquire Alex Teixeira, a star Brazilian midfielder playing in Ukraine, who was hotly pursued by Liverpool. Teixeira’s signing gives the CSL the 70th most valuable player in the world.By attracting big-name talent, CSL clubs are signaling the rise of Chinese soccer power — at least financially. (The value of the signings to club owners likely has as much to do with marketability of the players for product endorsement purposes as it does with improving the team.) This power has grown in lockstep with the league’s attendance and revenue. Since the league was founded in 2004, total CSL attendance has surged from 1.4 million to more than 5 million in 2015; per-game attendance has more than doubled as the league has grown from 12 to 16 teams.As Chinese soccer has grown domestically, the league has begun to throw around its financial weight in the international transfer market, thus boosting the total market value of CSL players. The league’s total value, according to Transfermarkt estimates of its players’ transfer market values (as opposed to aggregate transfer buys) has risen to about $380 million. Teixeira’s transfer fee alone accounts for 15 percent of that. That’s humongous. Gareth Bale’s record-breaking (unless you ask Ronaldo) transfer fee to Real Madrid in 2013 came in north of $100 million, yet represented a mere 3 percent of the more than $3.4 billion estimated market value of La Liga’s players in 2013.Although the CSL is making international news with a few big-ticket signings, as a whole, the league is still small. The league’s total estimated market value is still half as big as even Portugal’s national league, and it pales in comparison to England’s Premier League, which is valued at $4.7 billion. In fact, the total market value of all 16 CSL teams is still less than that of just Liverpool. Thus, a transfer fee comparable to the one between the CSL and Teixeira would be about $700 million (!).(As CSL teams make it rain, it’s worth noting that this cash isn’t being evenly distributed. Foreign players make far more than Chinese players. CSL teams must abide by a strict cap of no more than four overseas players, plus one from another country in the Asian Football Confederation. And according to 2012 data, these foreign players pulled in earnings more than five times larger than those of their Chinese teammates. The disparity has probably only grown as the CSL hunts for pricier international stars.)In some ways, the CSL has taken Major League Soccer’s model and supercharged it. MLS has tried — with debatable success — to gin up fan interest by splurging on a few big-name, often well-aged, international players. David Beckham joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 on a (comically inaccurate) “$250 million” deal comes to mind. By the 2008 season, the entire MLS had an estimated market value of about $157 million; with more than $10 million of that being Beckham. Today, that number has crept up to $314 million — exponential growth, but well behind the pace being set in China. So the CSL is following the MLS script, to a degree, only with players in their primes instead of broken-down warhorses like Frank Lampard.Some macroeconomic context helps, too. Although there are signs that China’s economy is slowing, and its stock market has been a disaster over the past year, the appetite of Chinese sports fans doesn’t seem to be lagging. The slowdown within the Chinese economy seems to be focused on real estate, state-owned enterprises and the stock market. Although growing indebtedness is an issue, Chinese consumers are better positioned than other parts of the Chinese economy. So expect demand for — and spending from — Chinese Super League teams to keep growing. China has a very long way to go before it’s a top player in international club soccer, but if consumer interest grows at the pace it’s set, the CSL might just continue to draw stars anyway.CORRECTION (Feb. 19, 2 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the basis for determining the monetary valuation of players in soccer teams and leagues. That valuation is measured by a Transfermarkt calculation of overall player market values, not just salaries. Transfermarkt makes the calculation based on the estimated value of the player in the transfer market. References in the article to how much teams and leagues have spent on salaries have been changed to the market values of their players.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers ended the New York Giants’ season with a 38-13 blowout on Sunday. As long as one looks no deeper than the final score, one might be tempted to consider the Packers the new NFC favorites.But the wiseguys in Las Vegas aren’t fooled: They watched the game more closely, and made the Packers four-point underdogs at Dallas next weekend. What did they see that the box score didn’t?For one, they saw Packers receiver Jordy Nelson carted off the field with a rib injury: “That’d be a huge loss for us,” Rodgers admitted in his postgame press conference, when asked about Nelson’s potential absence at Dallas. Nelson’s ability to get open and draw coverage sparked a midseason explosion in the Packers’ offensive effectiveness. Without a fully healthy Nelson, the Packers’ second game against the Cowboys this season might go the way their first did, in Week 6 — when according to Football Outsiders, the Packers’ offense posted their second-worst single-game offensive DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) of the season (-25.1 percent).But the concerns run even deeper than the Packers’ receiver depth: For much of the game, Rodgers and company struggled mightily to score. Before a short punt let them start a drive on the Giants’ 38-yard line with less than four minutes left in the first half, the Packers had been shut out entirely.Rodgers registered the fifth-longest average time to throw of any quarterback in the NFL, per NFL.com this season, and while he was also pressured on 29 percent of his dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information, he adapted in the pocket and got his throws off. For the season, he had a QBR of 71.8 when pressured — the league average for such plays is 31.5 — with 10 touchdowns and 1 interception.The hard-to-contain combination of top-notch pass protection and elite pocket movement was on display against the Giants, as Rodgers extended plays as long as he needed to to make offense happen: But the mother of invention is necessity, and it quickly became clear Rodgers would have to wait ages for his receivers to get open against the Giants’ excellent secondary — too long, in fact, as Rodgers was sacked five times and forced into an intentional grounding penalty over the course of the game.But after the field-position gift that turned into the Davante Adams touchdown above, and a Hail Mary pass somehow found its way to Packers wideout Randall Cobb 132 seconds later, putting the Packers up 14-6. Before those two drives, the Giants had outgained the Packers 194-7. After halftime, Eli Manning and the Giants were the first to score. With less than 18 minutes left in the game, the Packers led by only one point.Of course, 20 minutes and nine seconds later, the Packers had outgained the Giants 406-365, and outscored them 38-13. Part of that production came from Cobb, who caught five passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns, including that Hail Mary. It was Cobb’s return from two missed games with an ankle injury, it was Cobb’s best statistical game of 2016, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.But the reality of the Packers’ path to the Super Bowl is inescapable: They have to go from Lambeau Field, where the Cowboys already beat them 30-16, to the toasty indoor track of AT&T Stadium. Should they win there, they’ll either have to win a shootout with the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome, or a slugfest with the Seattle Seahawks in CenturyLink Field.Without Nelson it’s hard to see how the Packers win one, let alone both, of their subsequent contests. Rodgers will need open options against the Cowboys defense — whose fifth-ranked scoring defense allowed just 1.38 more points per game in 2016 than the Giants’ second-ranked scoring defense.Of course, the Packers won’t roll over and forfeit if Nelson isn’t fit to play. But the impression a casual fan might get from the box score is that the Packers are ready to roll over the rest of the NFL — and unless Nelson is healthy enough for defenses to respect, that’s just not true.
It’s been a bad couple of days for MVP-caliber point guards.On Monday afternoon, Warriors fans waiting for the results of the MRI on Stephen Curry’s right knee got their answer: Curry will miss at least two weeks with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to the Warriors’ PR Twitter account. CLE233525+2 HOU000— Regardless of how long Curry is out, the biggest beneficiaries of his injury are obviously the San Antonio Spurs. Their title odds jump by about 23 percentage points if Curry doesn’t play from here on out and 6 percentage points even if he is back in action after the conference semifinals. One reason is simple: The Curry-less Warriors pose far less of a threat to the Spurs than the 73-win superteam San Antonio battled all season. But the Spurs also benefit disproportionately from an increased chance, however small, that Golden State could be knocked out before ever facing San Antonio.Before Paul’s injury, the Clippers were in position to profit from Curry’s absence. If Curry missed the entire second round and CP3 had been healthy, LA’s chances of winning the title would have roughly quadrupled. But without Paul, the Clippers have very little chance of going all the way, regardless of Curry’s status — the latest in a string of missed opportunities for the franchise over the past few seasons.Finally, it’s worth noting that the second-biggest leap in title probability if Curry is absent for the rest of the playoffs belongs to the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose chances of winning the championship go up 12 percentage points even though they couldn’t be affected by the injury until the NBA Finals. (For those curious, the plus-minus-based system I used in this article is higher on the Cavs than something like our Elo ratings, because plus-minus thinks Cleveland is more talented than how it’s played the past few seasons.)Of course, all these calculations can change if Curry is able to return — and play like himself — at some point in the Warriors’ playoff run. The sheer gravity of Golden State’s presence in the bracket has been enough to derail the Spurs’ and Cavs’ claims to favorite status all season long. So best-case, the Warriors weather the second round against the Blazers or depleted Clippers and then pick up where they left off with Curry back for the conference finals. But if his return is delayed or scrubbed entirely, the Warriors’ chances of defending their title will look more fragile than Curry’s knee. ATL122+1 OKC5149+4 CHA011+1 GS52538-14 BOS000— TEAMFULL CURRYNO CURRYCURRY OUT 2 WKSDIFF., 2 WEEKS AND FULL TOR233+1 POR000— Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers were hit with even worse injury news Monday night. Chris Paul broke his hand and will likely miss the remainder of the postseason.The good news for Golden State is that Curry hasn’t been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs, particularly if the Warriors advance beyond the second round. The bad news is that he’s out for the time being. So for each team still active in the playoffs, let’s game out the chances they’ll win the title depending on various (hypothetical) levels of Curry participation over the rest of the playoffs.For this exercise, I’m going to use the plus-minus metric that drives our CARMELO projections1Specifically, I’m using a 50-50 blend of ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus and Basketball-Reference.com’s Box Plus/Minus, according to research by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver. to generate Pythagorean ratings for the Warriors based on Curry’s availability. With Curry in the lineup, for instance, the metric says the Warriors possess roughly 67-win true talent (per 82 games) based on plus-minus; with Curry absent, that number falls to 53 wins. Those numbers can then be used to generate expected probabilities of advancing in the playoffs, all the way up to winning the NBA title.(Obviously this ignores all the ways in which matchups matter, as well as the dynamic effect of teammates’ playing together that isn’t captured by plus-minus. But as a rough cut, this method ought to do the trick.)Here’s how each team’s title odds would change if Curry played at full strength and had never been injured (specifically, logging 81 percent of the Warriors’ available minutes — the rate at which he played in last year’s playoffs), if he misses “two weeks” (which we’ll define here as being out until the conference finals), and if he doesn’t play at all: IND000— LAC000— Source: ESPN, Basketball-Reference.com Which teams benefit from Curry’s absence? ODDS OF WINNING TITLE WITH … SA16%39%22%+6 MIA000— VIDEO: Neil Paine on the Warriors’ and Spurs’ title chancesCheck out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 NBA Playoff Predictions.
Ohio State redshirt junior receiver Michael Thomas (3) shakes off Rutgers redshirt freshman cornerback Isaiah Wharton (11) during OSU’s 49-7 win on Oct. 24.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorIt would be hard for the Ohio State football team to script a better way to begin its lone bye week of the 2015 season.Its first eight weeks of the season had been littered with lackluster outings, despite emerging victorious in every outing.But now, a nearly unblemished performance against Rutgers on Saturday in Piscataway, New Jersey, presides as the backdrop for the Buckeyes as their Week 9 rest gets underway.“It’s definitely what we’ve been waiting for,” junior running back Ezekiel Elliott said following the win. “Coach (Urban) Meyer has been talking about cracking the rock, kind of playing at the potential that we should be playing at.”The Buckeyes, who maintained their No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll and picked up 11 new first-place votes, did not just crack the rock: They broke it to bits.OSU controlled the game from the opening whistle until the clock showed 00:00, blasting the Scarlet Knights 49-7 behind the arm and legs of newly minted starting quarterback J.T. Barrett. The redshirt sophomore threw for 223 yards and three scores while tacking on two more touchdowns and 101 yards on the ground. Elliott added 142 rushing yards and two scores to go along with redshirt junior wide receiver Michael Thomas, who hauled in five passes for 103 yards and a dazzling 55-yard touchdown catch-and-run.The defense dominated, holding Rutgers to just 293 yards, its fewest number of yards gained all season long. The “Silver Bullets” nearly tossed a shutout had it not been for a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive with all second-string players on the turf. Even with the garbage time score, the defense looked like the stifling unit it was against Hawaii and Western Michigan.“I think this performance tonight showed not only what our offense is supposed to do but what our whole team is supposed to do,” senior left tackle and captain Taylor Decker said after Saturday’s win. “(I) felt like it was a really complete game.”Stringing together a complete game had eluded OSU up to Saturday’s kickoff. Whether it be the quarterback carousel and a soft run defense or the bevy of turnovers and penalties, something was always missing for the Scarlet and Gray. That trend, however, appears to have been reversed against the Scarlet Knights.The Buckeyes found their guy behind center in Barrett, whose performance led to him being named co-offensive player of the week in the Big Ten, and limited Rutgers to just 104 yards on the ground. The turnovers and penalty woes went by the wayside, too.OSU had just one turnover — an opening-drive fumble from Barrett after he accidentally collided with Thomas as the Buckeyes were nearing the red zone. But “the most impressive thing,” Meyer said, was that OSU was not penalized once during the 60 minutes of action.“That’s definitely a big step for us because if you look at all the games up to here, we had a lot of penalties, a lot of false starts … all that,” Elliott said. “Playing a clean game is great. Those penalties and turnovers kind of hurt our momentum, so when we are able to have our momentum and a roll, it’s a freight train.”Now, the freight train that is the Buckeyes is heading smoothly down the tracks, full of momentum, looking like the team that steamrolled everything in its way during the final games of 2014.“It’s that time of the year where teams either go up or they go down, and we needed to start going up,” redshirt freshman defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “It gives us a great feeling to get our bodies and minds right going into the bye weekend.”With no game on the docket, OSU will take advantage of a light practice schedule to get players back to full strength, as games against Big Ten heavyweights Minnesota, Michigan State and Michigan loom on the horizon. Last season, OSU had two open weeks — the first was on Sept. 20, just three games into the year, while the second was on Oct. 11. But in 2015, the Buckeyes have played in eight straight weeks, which begins to take a toll. “It’s huge,” Decker said of the bye week, noting that starters have played a majority of the reps in most games. “There are some guys dinged up, just some little things here and there. Those just start to add up on you, a bunch of little things.” When the Buckeyes return, closer to full strength, they know the meat of the schedule awaits. But before the more competitive conference clashes begin, OSU will just savor its time off, especially knowing the team turned in its most complete performance of the season. “It will be nice just to get a little rest, get a little time away, just to kind of take a deep breath and then come back locked and loaded ready to go,” Decker said. OSU is scheduled to resume action on Nov. 7 at Ohio Stadium against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
Official reports are out that the NCAA has convened with head men from conferences and university athletic departments to determine whether the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, otherwise known as the best event in sports, should be expanded.Again.Shame on them.If someone could convince me that expanding the tournament to 68 or even 96 teams wouldn’t dilute the playing field, I’d gladly go along with the concept. But the notion of increasing the field to 96 is pure poppycock.I’d argue the field may already be too large, but the present size of the tournament is perfect for the right amount of upsets. Sure, George Mason’s run to the Final Four in 2006 was mesmerizing, but did the Patriots honestly deserve to win the National Championship?I think not.Furthermore, despite the successes of teams such as George Mason and Gonzaga in years past, statistics show there are a low number of upsets.Since the tournament swelled to 64 teams in 1985, a No. 1 has never lost to a No. 16. A No. 4 beats a No. 13 seed 79 percent of the time. Despite the belief that a No. 12 beats a No. 5 each year, it has only happened in 34 percent of the games.Judging at how big the tournament has become in terms of size of the field and the arenas that host the Final Four, it’s amazing to think about how far the tournament has come.In the tournament’s first year in 1939, the field had eight teams. Forty years later, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were dazzling fans, March Madness had grown to 40. By 1985, the tournament had ballooned to 64 teams.Currently, team No. 65 is determined by the “play-in” game or what I like to call the “lose-lose” game, since the winner gets to face the No. 1 overall seed and the loser essentially got invited to the Big Dance only to get turned away at the door.Even adding a few more play-in games is an insult to the teams that win their conference tournament only to find out they’re stuck on the outside looking in on the tournament.The funny thing about tournament expansion is it’s not really about the money. Sure, the NCAA has an 11-year, $6 billion contract with CBS, but the men’s tournament is the only NCAA championship tournament that doesn’t get to keep the profits. Instead, the revenue is divvied up between the participating schools and conferences.Adding more schools means spreading the wealth. Proponents of tournament expansion want the majority of the added slots to go to teams that won their conference’s regular season championship in order to put increased value on the regular season. Thus, the “little guys” would not be seeing much of the revenue and in effect the rich get richer, as the major conferences would swoop in for more bids.Any way you look at it, expanding the tournament causes problems for everyone. Expansion would render the NIT irrelevant and cause students to miss more class time. Schools would have to dish out more money to cover team expenses.And most of all, the quality of the basketball would suffer.
With Ken Hitchcock having been dispatched by the Columbus Blue Jackets, the question remains: What’s next for the Edmonton, Alberta native?The immediate answer is the Olympics. But as far as a future coaching position in the NHL, the answer isn’t so clear.“My focus right now is obviously on the Olympics,” Hitchcock said in a press conference last Thursday.Hitchcock will join Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s staff coaching the Canadian team. The Olympics in Vancouver will be Hitchcock’s third stint with the Canadian team, having coached them in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2006 and Nagano, Japan, in 2002.Following the Olympics, there’s no doubt teams will be interested in Hitchcock’s services. The stoic 58-year-old has 500 career wins as an NHL coach. Hitchcock has also led three teams to the playoffs, including a Stanley Cup Championship in 1999, when he was coaching Dallas.However, Hitchcock isn’t sure he’ll jump back into coaching, as he did after being fired twice previously.After being let go by Dallas, Hitchcock immediately joined forces with the Philadelphia Flyers. And similarly, when he was cut loose by the Flyers, he was quickly picked up by the Jackets. But this time around the veteran Hitchcock says it might be different.“I’m not going to jump at the first job opportunity,” Hitchcock said. He went on to explain that he’s been in almost every coaching situation, from Stanley Cup contenders to teams building from the ground up. This time, Hitchcock says, the scenario would have to be perfect.“I think if it’s the right situation I would like to look at it,” Hitchcock said. But he also said he’s not rushing into anything, due in part to his connection to the Blue Jackets organization.“I feel a very personal obligation to the McConnell family and [Jackets president] Mike Priest,” Hitchcock said. “I have a contractual obligation, but it goes beyond that with Mike and myself. I feel like I started something here.”Hitchcock’s contract runs through 2011-2012, during which time he is due $1.33 million per year. But as he said, his ties are deeper than that. It’s believed Blue Jackets management will look to retain Hitchcock as an adviser if he doesn’t find work elsewhere this season. While that might create an awkward situation for all involved, a management position might be appealing to Hitchcock.“The next move I’d like to make is an organizational one,” Hitchcock said. “I don’t want to just be a coach. I’d like a long-term relationship.”
A man who had a “completely unshakeable obsession” with BBC presenter Emily Maitlis has been jailed for three years for repeatedly breaching a restraining order.Edward Vines, 46, who read English at Cambridge University’s Queen’s College while Newsnight host Ms Maitlis was an undergraduate, spent 25 years bombarding her and her family with letters. He added: “You have known for 25 years that this woman wants nothing to do with you. You’ve plagued her life and the life of her family.”Jurors took less than an hour to find Vines guilty of both counts. He showed no emotion as the jury foreman returned the verdicts.In a witness statement, Ms Maitlis said she was worried for her family’s safety after receiving a letter from Vines, who she said developed an “obsession” with her when she spurned his advances at university. He was convicted of harassment in 2002 and was subsequently issued with a restraining order in 2009, but he continued to “plague” Ms Maitlis with letters, demanding to know why their friendship crumbled, months after he declared his love for her.He was found guilty at Oxford Crown Court of two counts of breaching the order, having previously pleaded guilty to two further breaches.Judge Peter Ross said: “”Putting it bluntly, you’ve never had any reasonable case to contact Ms Maitlis following the order.”You have what appears to me a completely unshakable obsession, underpinned by a couple delusion with regards to the relationship that had existed between you and Ms Maitlis.” Emily Maitlis is a BBC presenterCredit:Phil Fisk Asked by the judge if he would stand by a commitment he made during the short trial that he would not contact the Maitlis family if convicted by a jury, Vines said: “I will not write to Emily Maitlis or her mother, most likely ever again. It’s early days, Your Honour.”Asked by the judge to clarify, Vines said: “I will never contact them again if I’m defeated rationally in court – and I cannot say I have been today.”The judge replied: “That is not the unambiguous assurance I was seeking.” 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. You have what appears to me a completely unshakable obsession, underpinned by a couple delusion with regards to the relationship that had existed between you and Ms MaitlisJudge Peter Ross Emily Maitlis received letters at the BBC Credit:John Alex Maguire /Rex Features
Herridge, now 18 and living with his father in West Malling, denies murder and the alternative offence of manslaughter.The trial continues. A British squash champion was killed with one punch after telling his teenage stepson: ‘You can’t talk to your mum like that,’ a court heard.Douglas Herridge, then 17, struck Colin Payne with what was described as a catastrophic blow as the pair grappled in the family study at their home in Dartford, Kent.The 54-year-old collapsed and died rapidly, despite desperate attempts to save his life. Douglas Herridge outside Maidstone Crown CourtCredit:Steve Finn 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. Mrs Herridge, who had been studying at home for a masters degree in executive business administration, briefly left the room to call for the decorator Ziad Natour to help.She returned within seconds to hear Douglas calling Mr Payne “a p—y” and him replying “Come on then”.She told the court: “Then I saw one punch. Douglas punched Colin. It landed on his face on the side of his head. Douglas left the room and Colin had his hands at the side of his head.”He started going down slowly and I called Zi that I needed his help, to call an ambulance. Colin was slowly going down and I thought he still had a level of consciousness.”But then he sat down and at that point I could hear him start snoring. He was sitting upright but slumped forward. Zi came down and at that point I was checking Colin’s breathing and pulse.”Being a nurse from my background I knew what to do.”Herridge sat sobbing in the dock as his mum first gave evidence, telling the court how her marriage break-up had affected him.The break-up of the marriage between his parents five years earlier had caused traumatic emotional turmoil, said prosecutor Richard Hearnden, with Herridge becoming “upset, angry and agitated”.There were incidents when he put his hand on his mother’s throat, punched and kicked her. On another occasion the youngster was said to have tried to push her down the stairs and police were called.He also took his frustration out on furniture, walls, computers and kitchen appliances. His behaviour deteriorated to such an extent that in 2014 it was decided he would live with his natural father, David. Mrs Herridge told the jury: “He was saying in a fairly firm voice ‘You cannot talk to your mum like that. You cannot behave like that. You cannot behave like that in this house'”They were 20, 30cm apart. Both had raised voices. I stood up off the chair. It just all happened so quickly. I just went between them and said ‘Can you stop.'”They were holding on to each other. Both had their arms on each other but I don’t know where. It was like they were in this different world. They didn’t hear me.” Herridge had been arguing with his mother, Ina, after asking her to lend him some money on November 19 last year.She refused due to his behaviour, described to a jury at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday as violently aggressive.But he became increasingly agitated and emotional, swearing and calling her names, the court heard.Hearing the commotion, Mr Payne pushed his way into the study and asked what was going on, telling his stepson to calm down before trouble flared.Giving evidence for the prosecution, Mrs Herridge, who is originally from Finland, told the court it as if they were “in a different world” when she tried to intervene. The court heard that he returned to the family home in the summer of 2015 but his attitude and behaviour deteriorated again when he gave up a business course at college after three months and then quit his job with an air-conditioning firm.Three days before Mr Payne’s death, the 6ft 4in, fit and healthy divorcee, himself a father of two, told Mrs Herridge he had been frightened of her son when his violent behaviour escalated and he ripped Mr Payne’s T-shirt.He told Mrs Herridge “that child can’t live in this house any longer behaving like that”.”Mrs Herridge said Colin, by comparison, wouldn’t even harm a fly,” said prosecutor Richard Hearnden.David Herridge also said his son was “not the boy he used to be”.Mrs Herridge, a risk manager for the NHS, and Mr Payne had also contacted social services for help.The jury was told Herridge claims he was acting in self-defence after Mr Payne “barged” into the room, grabbed him around the neck and tried to throttle him. Herridge claims his stepfather was choking him when he punched him.The blow had no effect so he punched him again. The court heard he accepts this punch killed Mr Payne but denies using excessive force.Mr Payne was British Open Over-50s champion and a former professional player on the PSA World Tour.He had won the Kent championship five times and had represented the county on more than 100 occasions.He managed three bathroom stores in Tunbridge Wells, Reigate and Brighton. I saw one punch. Douglas punched Colin. It landed on his face on the side of his headMrs Herridge
Mike Ratcliffe, the Chairman of Headington Neighbourhood Forum, said it was an “entirely appropriate” candidate for listed status.He added: “The shark, embedded in its rooftop, continues to intrude, to surprise and to fascinate.”People stop to look, it has a presence on Trip Advisor and has an international reputation.” 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. Shark in the roof of a terraced house in HeadingtonCredit:Eye Ubiquitous/REX/Shutterstock If approved, a bid would then be made to have it nationally listed with English Heritage.Mr Heine, 72, who now lives in Waterstock and is having treatment for terminal leukaemia, has welcomed the campaign to get the shark house listed.It was originally created by sculptor John Buckley as a protest against the American bombing of Libya, and still draws tourists.Local councillor Ruth Wilkinson said: “I was shocked to find out that the shark had not been listed to protect it.” A house with a 25ft great white shark sticking out of its roof is set to be given listed status by a council who originally wanted it demolished.City councillors hated the monster ‘jaws’ built into the roof by owner Bill Heine back in August 1986 and refused it retrospective planning permission.However, Michael Heseltine, then secretary of state for the environment, came out in favour of the shark and the monument was saved.Now over 30 years later Oxford City Council are deciding whether to give the building, with its fibre glass shark ‘diving’ into the rooftop, listed status.An application for it to be listed on the Oxford Heritage Asset Register will now go to the city council, with a decision expected by the council next year.
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 she was diagnosed in November 2016 she was fit and had not been feeling tired or unwell, but had noticed a lump on her groin which she discussed with a GP who referred her to a gynaecologist, who in turn sent her for a scan. It showed she had “tumours up and down my body” but, as it was a Friday afternoon, the tests she needed to tell her more could not be done until the Monday. “I had a horrible two days trying to process it. It was worse that I didn’t find out all in one go. I couldn’t stop crying that weekend, grieving for the life I’d had before,” she wrote in the Sunday Times magazine.Further scans and biopsies showed she had follicular lymphoma, a cancer she had never even heard of. When she and her husband Jonathan, the Labour Peer, sat their four children – aged between 13 and 20 – down and explained her condition her youngest, Zac, asked: “Are you going to die?””That’s always the thought that comes into your head when you hear the word “cancer”,” she wrote. ” It is not a conversation I could ever have imagined having with them, not even in my worst nightmares, until it hit me in the face. It was the hardest moment of my life.” Lord Mendelsohn, who last month lost his place on the Labour front bench after attending the all-male Presidents Club dinner, has been “amazing, my absolute rock”, she said. It is the most common type of slow grown Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, but is usually found in men over 65. Sixty percent of people with lymphomas live for more than 10 years, but for a woman in her 40s “it doesn’t feel acceptable”, Lady Mendelsohn said. She decided to watch and wait as there is no change in life expectancy depending on when treatment starts and now has regular scans and blood tests. If the tumours are growing she will begin chemotherapy and radiotherapy. “My decision might well have been different if there were a cure for follicular lymphoma, but as it stands in 2018, there is none,” she said. It is not “high-profile” and therefore doesn’t receive the same level of research funding as other cancers, she said, and therefore she is trying to raise awareness and investment in the search for a cure. She has already been looking to Facebook for support and has joined and helped to grow the group Living with Follicular Lymphoma, which now has 3,500 members who support each other. She wrote: “It is the largest collection of patients living with follicular lymphoma that has existed. Lately we’ve attracted a number of medical researchers and doctors. Facebook Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa Nicola MendelsohnCredit:PA The head of Facebook in Europe has revealed that she has incurable cancer in the hope that she can raise awareness of the disease and prompt research into a cure. Mother-of-four Nicola Mendelsohn, 46, was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma more than a year ago and has decided not to “watch and wait” rather than treat her tumours with chemotherapy. Facebook’s vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa has joined forces with other sufferers on the social network to raise the profile of the common but little known about cancer and in the process she said it has “stopped all of us feeling alone with this disease”. Revealing her diagnosis for the first time, she wrote on the social network: “I often talk about how people can seize their own destiny, so it’s tough to be reminded that there are things you can’t control. “Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma – a slow developing cancer of the white blood cells that’s not rare and that has no cure. It is quite an unknown disease which is why I’ve decided to raise awareness by telling my story in the hope of driving research and a better understanding of it.” She says that the diagnosis has not changed her as she has always been an optimist who if anything is “even more grateful” for what she has been given. “They’ve told us they see people share things in the group that they might not ask their doctor or a family member. They have benefited from reading patients’ insights and perspectives on the side effects of treatments.”She has created a logo to unify support and has hosted Q&As with world leading experts to open up new channels of communication. Those in the groups are now planning off-line meet ups, showing that the two worlds can merge, and one user was even offered a home with another sufferer when he feared his house would be destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
“It is profoundly unethical, and a violation of the fundamental right to health, to deny people access to medicines that are prescribed by their doctors. The issue of medical cannabis was highlight recently by parents of six-year-old British boy Alfie Dingley. They say their son, who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, can be treated with cannabis oil but it is banned in the UK. Since 2000, more and more countries have started to use cannabis and cannabis extracts for medical purposes, as well as for scientific research. In 2000, total licit production was 1.4 tonnes; by 2016 it had increased to 211.3 tonnes. Britain is the largest exporter of legal cannabis in the world despite ban, a UN report has found. Findings by the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) stated that the UK produced 95 tonnes of legal cannabis in 2016 – more than double the 2015 total of 42 tonnes. The UK’s production now accounts for 44.9 per cent of the world total. The report puts Canada in second place with 80.7 tonnes produced. Some 2.1 tonnes was exported from the UK, making it responsible for 67.7 per cent of the world total, followed by the Netherlands (16.4 per cent). A significant part of the UK’s legal cannabis production goes towards a cannabis-based medicine called Sativex. Steve Rolles, Transform’s Senior Policy Analyst said: “It is scandalous and untenable for the UK government to maintain that cannabis has no medical uses, at the same time as licensing the world’s biggest government approved medical cannabis production and export market. Produced by GW Pharmaceuticals, it is available on prescription, but only via the NHS in Wales. However campaigners have criticised the UK government saying they “consistently refused to allow medical cannabis in the UK on the basis that it has ‘no therapeutic value'”. Medical cannabis products licensed in other countries remain illegal in the UK, even when prescribed by a doctor who has determined they are needed by a UK patient.
Before last summer, Osborne had never been known to express extreme views on religion or race. Mohammed Mahmoud, imam at Finsbury Park Mosque, speaks on the steps of Islington Town HallCredit:TOLGA AKMEN /AFP Members of Mr Ali’s grieving family were joined by emergency service workers, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and community leaders.Also attending the memorial were Labour leader and local Islington North MP Mr Corbyn, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who stressed the hate-filled attack had failed to divide the ethnically-diverse community. Darren Osborne deliberately mowed down worshippers outside two mosques in Finsbury Park on June 19 last yearCredit:Metropolitan Polce/PA “Those around him described how he became obsessed with material that he started looking at online. He was researching high-profile individuals, such as Mr Robinson and Ms Fransen, as well as extreme Right-wing groups that were not proscribed.”It was clear that, in the space of only a few weeks, he had developed a warped and twisted view, to such a degree that he was prepared to plan and carry out an attack,” Mr Haydon said.”I’m not going to call Tommy Robinson a radicaliser, but there is material out there linked to some of the groups connected to him that quite clearly has been an influence in this case.”He said while much of the “unpalatable” extreme Right-wing material available online was not illegal, social media companies could do more to proactively remove it. Politicians join members of the emergency services outside Islington Town Hall after attending a service to mark the one-year anniversary of the Finsbury Park attackCredit:Dominic Lipinski /PA Ahead of the event, the Prime Minister said: “Last year’s cowardly attack which targeted innocent worshippers leaving Finsbury Park mosque is an attack on all of us.”As with all acts of terrorism the intention was to divide us but we will not let this happen.”We are a country of many faiths and freedom of worship and respect for those of different faiths is fundamental to this country’s values and these values will never be broken by vile extremism.”Mrs May commended the “bravery and spirit of the community that apprehended the attacker”.She added: “As we remember the victims of this attack, Makram Ali who tragically lost his life, we should take strength that it is London’s diversity and multitude of communities that makes it one of the world’s great cities.”Video: Moment Darren Osborne ploughed into worshippers 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. Makram Ali, a father of six, died after the attackCredit:Metropolitan Police “And we would just like to thank everyone for their support and the love that they’ve shown and hope they continue to do so.”Osborne – described as a jobless loner – had been radicalised by far-right material. He is serving a jail sentence of at least 43 years, after being found guilty in February of murder and attempted murder.#LondonUnited lights up landmarks in solidarityThe phrase #LondonUnited, which has been used in the wake of other terror attacks last year, was displayed on the Muslim Welfare House on Monday evening and into the early hours of Tuesday. Mrs Akhtar said her father will “never be forgotten”, saying: “His laugh will echo the walls of our home and his smile will be reflected in our eyes. His memory will be in our conversation.” There was a strong uniformed police presence in Upper Street, a usually busy shopping and business hub, which was shut to traffic for the intimate memorial.Banners which read “United Against Terror”, “Turn To Love” and “London United” decorated the memorial scene which was attended by members of the community and local officials. Mr Ali was remembered as a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and brother by Mr Khan.He also stated that Mr Mahmoud’s personal actions that night give us all hope.He said: “It shows our values will always be stronger than the hatred of the extremists.” At a gathering earlier in June, Mr Ali’s daughter Ruzina Akhtar spoke of her family’s gratitude for the support they had received from the community since her father’s death.Ms Akhtar addressed those gathered at a street Iftar on what was the one-year anniversary of the incident according to the lunar calendar observed in the Islamic faith.She said: “We’re very happy to be part of this community and to be in this country with such a loving, diverse community around us. When Londoners face adversity, we stand up for our values and remain united. This was clear in the response to the Finsbury Park attack. #LondonUnited pic.twitter.com/MK5kSYppwn— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 19, 2018 Remembering the #FinsburyPark terror attack last year and everyone affected. There will be a minute’s silence tomorrow outside Islington Town Hall at 9.30am https://t.co/ruat1Sh1k0 @Mwh_London @FPMosque #LondonUnited #WeStandTogether pic.twitter.com/pLDbkyKKRb— Islington Council (@IslingtonBC) June 18, 2018 The community @Southwarkcathed joins the community at Finsbury Park Mosque as they commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. We are #londonunited pic.twitter.com/OB2uDQV52C— Andrew Nunn (@deansouthwark) June 19, 2018 Victim ‘lived without enemies’ before life taken ‘in cruel way’Victim Makram Ali left behind a wife, six children and two grandchildren. His two sons are 13 and 14 years old, a court heard as Osborne was jailed in February.”They will now grow up without the help and support of their father,” his daughter Ruzina Akhtar said. “Without his guidance and assistance in life.”Mrs Akhtar’s son – Mr Ali’s grandson – has also been affected since the attack.She said: “My son is always asking where his grandad is and why he cannot go to the park every day to play with him any more. This is heartbreaking.” He “lived without any enemies” and never hurt or upset anyone, she said.She added: “His life was taken in a cruel way by a very narrow minded, heartless being.”Mrs Akhtar added : “My mum is scared to go out by herself in case she is attacked because she is visibly a Muslim who wears a headscarf.” Killer radicalised in weeks after seeing BBC filmOn the evening of May 16 last year, Darren Osborne, an unemployed father of four from Cardiff, sat down on his sofa to watch a BBC drama about the Rochdale grooming scandal, reports Crime Correspondent Martin Evans.Such was his outrage at the events depicted in Three Girls, that he turned to the internet for more information.Within three weeks, the extreme Right-wing material he found online had radicalised him to such an extent that he deliberately drove a hire van into a group of Muslims, killing one and injuring 12 others.The speed at which he became brainwashed by inflammatory material he found on social media sites has left counter-terrorism experts deeply concerned and has led to calls for technology giants to do more to remove it. Speaking on the steps of Islington Town Hall, Mr Corbyn praised the “absolutely magnificent” immediate response from the local community and emergency services that night. Darren Osborne in the back of a police van after his arrestCredit:Metropolitan Police/PA A minute’s silence has been held to mark a year since Makram Ali, a Muslim father-of-six, was killed and others injured in an attack near a mosque in north London.Most of the victims of the Finsbury Park terror attack had just left night-time Ramadan prayers at the nearby Muslim Welfare House when Darren Osborne, determined to kill as many Muslims as possible, drove a hired van on to a crowded pavement.Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who protected Osborne from angry passers-by until police came to arrest him, was among those praised.To warm applause, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Imam Mahmoud did a brilliant and wonderful job of making sure that hatred of racism did not turn into violence and anger on the streets that night.”He helped to ensure that we came together as a community because that is the only response there can ever be to the racism that seeks to divide us.” A barmaid in his former local pub said: “He was a notorious bad boy, involved in drugs and fighting. People were scared of him. But I don’t remember any racism.”Ellis Osborne, 26, his nephew, who is mixed race, also said he had never heard his uncle express extreme views.But all that changed in early June last year when he began looking at social media and other websites linked to Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, and Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, the cofounders of Britain First.When police examined his digital devices in the wake of the attack, they found he had spent hours searching for extremist material, which fuelled his growing hatred for Muslims.In the weeks before the attack, he followed Mr Robinson and Ms Fransen on Twitter and Facebook and received direct messages from their accounts.Osborne ‘developed warped and twisted view’Commander Dean Haydon, the head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit, said that while the BBC drama had proved to be the catalyst, Osborne’s rapid radicalisation had clearly been the result of the inflammatory material he had seen online.Mr Haydon said: “This case demonstrates to me that individuals can be radicalised very quickly, within three or four weeks. We have to look at the role of the internet and radicalisation. It does demonstrate the speed of radicalisation … it’s a concern for us. #LONDONUNITED projection on Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park tonight, for the first anniversary of the terror attack @Mwh_London @FPMosque @MayorofLondon @LondonAssembly pic.twitter.com/2DM0oKdmMI— Amy Batley (@AmyBatley) June 18, 2018 Stating that the Finsbury Park attack was an “attack on all Londoners,” Mr Khan said: “Terrorism is terrorism no matter the target and regardless of what motivates the sick and twisted perpetrators who carry out these evil crimes.”The way this community has responded and come together has inspired us all.”Britain’s values will not be broken by ‘vile extremism’Earlier, Theresa May said that Britain’s values will not be broken by “vile extremism”, a year on from the attack.
Police cordon after an 18 year old was stabbed on Thyme Close in Blackheath Credit:George Cracknell Wright/REX Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to hold a major summit in Downing Street on April 1 aimed at tackling the problem. A 19-year-old man was found suffering from stab wounds. He has been taken to hospital; his condition is not life-threatening.There have been no arrests. A crime scene is in place. Enquiries continue.6. 9pm: TootingPolice were called just after 9pm on Tuesday to reports of a stabbing in High Street, Tooting.Officers attended the location and found an 18-year-old man suffering stab injuries. He was taken by LAS to hospital – his injuries are not life-threatening. Detectives from the South West command unit are investigating. There has been no arrest.Witnesses of anyone with information should call 101, ref 7972/mar26. Officers attended. A 26-year-old man was taken to a central London hospital for treatment. His condition is not life-threatening.A male was arrested shortly after the Martindale Road incident. He has been taken into custody at a west London police station.3. 5pm: HounslowOfficers attended a second call from the LAS at 5pm to reports of a man suffering from a slash injury on Rosemary Avenue at the junction with Bath Road. The 20-year-old man was treated at the scene.At this early stage, enquiries continue to establish whether the assaults are connected. The knife crime epidemic that continues to plague the streets of London showed no sign of slowing yesterday as six stabbings were reported in less than six hours in the capital. At 3.20pm on Tuesday in Blackheath, south-east London, an 18-year-old man was stabbed in broad daylight in what was described by witnesses as a “targeted attack”. Across town in Hounslow, south-west London another attack was about to take place. At 4.20pm a 26-year-old man was stabbed, and around half an hour later another man, 20, was slashed just yards away. Police are still trying to establish whether or not the two incidents are linked and were given extra powers to stop and search in the Hounslow Borough until 4am Wednesday morning.At 6.05pm in Tottenham, north London, a boy who is believed to be 17 was slashed across the face with a knife in the fourth incident of the day. Less than an hour had passed before Metropolitan Police were dealing with another stabbing, this time in Barking, east London when a 19-year-old was set upon by a gang. Then, in Tooting High Street, an 18 year-old was found stabbed after officers were called to yet another altercation. Residents will see officers in the surrounding area for a number of hours while initial investigative work takes place.Those with information should call police on 101 quoting CAD4752/26March, or call Crimestoppers 10O per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.2. 4:23pm: HounslowPolice were called by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) at 4.23pm on Tuesday, March 26, to reports of a man suffering from stab injuries in Beaversford Park off Martindale Road. A Section 60 was authorised across Hounslow Borough from 5.15pm on Tuesday until 4.00am on Wednesday, giving police the power to stop and search individuals for offensive weapons.4. 6:05pm: TottenhamPolice were called at 6.05pm to High Road, Tottenham, N17, after a teenager was found suffering from a head injury.Officers attended with LAS. The boy, believed to be aged 17, had suffered a slash injury to his face. Police activity at a cordoned off area in High Road, Tottenham, after a stabbing on Tuesday Credit:Tony Diver/PA He has been taken to hospital; his injuries are not life-threatening. There have been no arrests. Enquiries into the circumstances continue.5. 6:54pm: BarkingPolice were called at 6.54pm to Waterside Close, Barking following reports of a group of males attacking another male. Officers attended. Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick said the last few years “undoubtedly have been the highest and most worrying levels in my service”.She added: “If you look at stabbings of young people I do think this is a new and tragic and worrying phenomenon.”Here’s what police said about the six incidents: 1. 3:15pm: BlackheathPolice were called to a road in Blackheath at 3.24pm on Tuesday, March 26, following reports that a male was being threatened with a knife.London Ambulance Service (LAS) and officers attended the scene in Thyme Close, SE3 and found a man, aged around 18, suffering from multiple stab wounds.He has been taken hospital; his injuries were initially thought to be life-threatening but have since been assessed as not life-threatening.A cordon is in place however there is limited disruption to access to the road. 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. Police in Tooting High Street
I write to express grave concerns about the rights of citizens of our country. This morning (May 9, 2017) I attended the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, accompanying my colleague Mohabir Anil Nandlall who is presently before the court.At the hearing, the special prosecutor, hired by the government, said to the court that no statements were available since the investigation was incomplete and statements are yet to be taken in the matter. He assured the court that this exercise will be completed sometime on May 26 and requested May 29 for continuation of the matter. This is what I heard in court myself.A number of questions immediately came to mind and I would hope by way of this letter more informed Guyanese can enlighten me and other members of the public.If there are no statements and the file is incomplete, on what basis was Mr. Nandlall charged?If it is true that charges are to be based on evidence contained in statements on which the prosecution would rely by calling witnesses to testify at the appropriate time, am I wrong to conclude that the charge against Mr. Nandlall therefore has no basis in evidence?Why wasn’t the case dismissed immediately after this information became available to the Court, Is this the way our citizens are treated every day in our courts and is this normal?If this charge is not evidence-based, would it be wrong to conclude that it was instituted capriciously or was driven by some other consideration?What role if any, the professional and independent offices of the DPP and the police legal advisor played in recommending the charge against Mr. Nandlall in the absence of statements in this matter.Would I be wrong to conclude like so many other Guyanese that in the face of the above unanswered questions that the charge against Mr. Nandlall has to do more with politics and political witch-hunting executed by the APNU/AFC government?Editor, after leaving court I was able to access the kaieteur news daily with the screaming headline, “over 200 persons blacklisted from leaving Guyana – SOCU’’ . ….As a citizen of Guyana I have acted to ensure that the fundamental and constitutional rights of Guyanese are upheld and not violated.I have since written to the public authority, namely the Chief Immigration Officer (the Commissioner of Police) under the Access to Information Act of 2011 requesting the identity of these resident Guyanese who have been blacklisted.This trampling on the rights of citizens must be rejected in all forms. In the face of such travesty of justice, silence is not an option. Article 144 of the Constitution of Guyana guarantees that a man is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.I call upon all law enforcement and judicial authorities to uphold the constitution and to resist political pressure and instructions in any form or fashion. Citizens should speak up and don’t wait for you to become the next victim. Let’s stop this madness now.The APNU/AFC Granger led Administration through various ministers have made public statements about who would be charged and when, am I wrong to conclude that this was sending signals to the law enforcement and judicial arms of the State in very subtle forms.One of the first signs of authoritarianism is when the coercive arms of the State are used to silence, intimidate and ultimately eliminate political opponents. We know what happened in the past, we must never allow this to happen again. Stop the abuse now. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLaw Books case: Nandlall’s trial set for June 8, prosecution still to get up statementsMay 29, 2017In “Court”SOCU requests more time to present statements in CourtMay 9, 2017In “Court”PM, AG engaging in ‘juvenile antics’ – NandlallMay 7, 2017In “Local News”
A man was jailed for two years by the Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan on Tuesday afternoon after he admitted to a $1.1M robbery carried out in the North West District (NWD).Steve Williams admitted that he used a gun to rob Deneisha Stoll of three ounces of raw gold, along with cash and cosmetics valuing $1.1M, property of Shauntel Benjamin.The robbery reportedly occurred on November 23, 2018 at Babbu Landing, North West District.Williams also confessed to having a 9mm pistol along with one live round of ammunition in his possession on November 24 at Hell Hill without being the holder of a licence for same.The defendant was jailed for 2 years for the offences and fined $50,000. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGM for El Dorado Trading charged with MurderDecember 25, 2013In “Crime”Sentencing deferred for man who confessed to killing siblingJanuary 17, 2018In “Court”Self-confessed bandit to serve 56 months behind barsApril 25, 2017In “Court”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedElectrical Engineer shot dead in Prashad NagarOctober 19, 2014In “Crime”Beharry onboard with Youth Basketball GuyanaApril 6, 2014In “Sports”Four charged with murder of Delhi Street EngineerOctober 24, 2014In “Crime” File: Businessman Inderjeet Beharry of the Edward B Beharry Group of Companies Limited receiving a national award from President David Granger in 2016Guyanese business tycoon, Inderjeet ‘Indi’ Beharry, CCH, passed away this morning (February 15, 2019). He was in his 70s at the time of his death.Mr Beharry of the Beharry Group of Companies, has been one of the most important and abled businessmen in Guyana and was outstanding in the fields of manufacturing, finance and insurance and other areas of entrepreneurship.He was an acquired philantrophist. He leaves to mourn his wife and three children.
Boart Longyear has been recognised as the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Olympic Dam Vendor of the Year award for 2009. In commenting on the award, a BHP spokesperson indicated, “Boart Longyear has been operating at Olympic Dam for approximately 10 years and in the 2009 financial year displayed admirable performance in key evaluation criteria including safety, community, customer responsiveness and operational performance with their underground drilling services.” Diane Bettess, Asia Pacific Drilling Services General Manager of Boart Longyear, said, “We are pleased to have received this prestigious award from BHP Billiton in recognition of our industry-leading safety programs and superior client service. This award is the result of the hard work and dedication of all our employees at Olympic Dam and our continued focus on meeting the needs of the major mining companies. We look forward to continuing to perform critical drilling services for BHP Billiton at Olympic Dam in South Australia as well as other locations throughout the world.”Boart Longyear is a leading provider of drilling services and drilling products for the global mining industry, and also has a substantial presence in drilling for other purposes, including water exploration, environmental and oil sands exploration. With 2008 sales of $1.8 billion and nearly 7,000 employees worldwide, the company conducts contract drilling services in more than 40 countries, and provides mining products to customers in over 100 countries.
ThyssenKrupp Material Handling supports clients in large scale material handling applications specifically in the areas of open pit mining, minerals processing and bulk material handling. The company contacted Bonfiglioli to supply drives for discharge and spillage conveyors on Lihir Gold’s process plant expansion project at its Lihir Island operation in New Ireland province of Papua New Guinea. The application consists of two jaw crushing lines operating in parallel. Each Line has two conveyors; one for discharging and one for spillage. The discharge conveyors have a throughput of 1,200 t/h (wet), while the spillage conveyors receive 20% of that throughput in finer ores from spillage. The general needs of the application were for operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year. Discharge conveyors to have right angle bevel helical with rigid flange couplings, backstops, fluid couplings. Spillage conveyors to be shaft mounted gear motors with torque arm Bearing L-10 life to be greater that 60,000 hours and gear life to be 100, 000 hours. The Lihir upgrade will increase total annual gold production on average by approximately 240,000 oz/y from 2012 over the remaining life of the operation.Bonfiglioli has extended the versatility of its new HD series of advanced heavy duty drives by introducing an alignment-free configuration that cost-effectively integrates motor and gearbox. The company’s recently expanded Drives Service Centre came up with an ‘Alignment Free’ input design for the Lihir project which negates the need for a costly baseplate. The ‘Alignment Free’ input is basically a large bell housing that contains the fluid coupling, fan and provides a standard IEC interface for the flange mounted motor. This type of input also saves time and labour during commissioning of the drive as the alignment of the transmission components has already been done. Vents cut in the bell housing allow air from the fan to be forced along a path to provide optimum cooling for the gearbox. The bell housing also has a additional benefit as it provides a collection point for fluid lost by the fluid coupling in case of a blowout. The job was won simply by providing more benefits at a lower cost.Discharge Conveyor Specifications: two 2 x HDO110 3 24.6 LPB R1 VP B3 FAN MOP A CW TK OLG ‘Alignment-Free’ drives fitted with free issued Teco 75 kW four-pole motorsSpillage Conveyors: A703 US 72.5 P132 fitted with free issued Teco 5.5 kW motorsThe new HD AFD joins Bonfiglioli’s expanding range of Australasian-engineered mounting options for specific applications, offering an alternative to laser-aligned baseplate types that allows the use of close coupled IEC B5 flange mounted motors up to a G315 frame size. The HD AFD combinations – with capacities up to 1,722 kW and 150,000 Nm – complement Bonfiglioli’s Hi Torque drives and offer quick, trouble-free assembly and maintenance of high speed components including fans, fluid couplings and brakes.HD AFD models can save both time and money in a range of applications because there is no need to laser align the motor and gearbox shafts, says the Managing Director, Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia), Malcolm Lewis. In addition to reduced initial costs compared with traditional baseplate designs, the HD AFD configuration enhances serviceability by permitting high speed components to be removed and replaced without the need for re-alignment.Applications include conveyor drives, shuttle drives, bucket elevators, inching drives and other materials handling equipment. The HD AFD is produced in Australia on Bonfiglioli’s new production and testing line that cuts delivery times out of Europe by more than half for most models. Local production, combined with in-depth local engineering expertise, enables Bonfiglioli to custom-engineer specific solutions for industrial equipment and mobile equipment. Bonfiglioli’s HD drives series is a totally new generation of large industrial drives resulting from more than three years development to produce outstanding reliability and torque densities to record values, says Lewis.
There is a huge amount of news in the iron ore space in the latest issue of International Mining Project News. Prefeasibility news comes from Zenith Minerals (Mount Alexander), Mindax’s Mt Forrest, and two Aquila Resources projects (Hardey in Australia and Meletse in South Africa). Bellzone Mining’s Kalia in Guinea is at the feasibility stage as are Cazaly’s Parker Range and Ferrum Crescent’s Moonlight, and there is concrete development news from Tara Minerals’ Tania iron ore property in Mexico and the FerrAus Pilbara Project in Western Australia. Northland Resources announced a positive update to the DFS on its 100%-owned Kaunisvaara project and in the same country, Dannemora is making progress re-opening its mine in east central Sweden. Prior to closing in 1992, the mine had been in operation since the 15th Century. Atlas Iron is expanding Iron Mining Group, a diversified global iron ore company, has launched its iron ore trading subsidiary under the name, IMG Iron Ore Trading. Then there is Sundance Resources and Legend Mining for access co-operation with regards to usage of rail and port infrastructure as part of the Mbalam project.On May 13: BHP Billiton released the final Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the expansion of its Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Recent years annual copper production has averaged about 180,000 t, with 4,000 t of uranium oxide, 80,000 oz of gold and 800,000 oz of silver. The proposed expansion is centred on the creation of a new open pit mine that would initially operate simultaneously with the existing underground mine and lift ore production six-fold.On consecutive days, May 12 and 13, Aquila Resources announced positive results from the prefeasibility study (PFS) of the development of the Hardey iron ore deposit in Western Australia and then its Meletse iron ore deposit, part of the Thabazimbi Iron Ore Project in South Africa.Quadra FNX Mining is forming a JV with Sumitomo Metal Mining to develop the worldclass Sierra Gorda copper–molybdenum project in Chile. Production from current sulphide reserves will average: 483 Mlb/y of copper, 25 Mlb/y of molybdenum and 64,000 oz/y of gold over a 20 year mine life.Vale has opened its first nickel operation in Brazil. Onça Puma, in Ourilândia do Norte, southeast Pará. It is one of the largest ferronickel production plants in the world. The project, which covers the municipalities of Ourilândia do Norte, Tucumã and Parauapebas, has an annual production capacity of 220,000 t of ferronickel, containing 53,000 t of nickel.Lynas Corp has started feeding ore into the Mount Weld concentration plant occurred. This is a significant milestone. Lynas owns the richest known deposit of RREs (Lanthanides), in the world at Mount Weld, near Laverton in Western Australia.Glencore has confirmed the price of its bumper $11 billion market debut at £5.30, in the middle of its initial range, a level it hopes will secure a strong performance on debut. At that price the world’s largest diversified commodities trader and owner of many mining interests will be worth £36.7 billion pounds ($59.31 billion). “Glencore’s offer has seen substantial interest from investors around the world and was significantly oversubscribed throughout the price range providing Glencore with a high quality, diverse and geographically spread investor base,” Glencore’s Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said. With a 10% over allotment option likely to take the total size of Glencore’s offering to $11 billion, it is set to be London’s largest-ever listing, overtaking Russia’s Rosneft, which raised $10.6 billion in 2006.All this and much, much more in the May 6 issue of International Mining Project News….To receive the full 60+ page report, subscriptions to this service can be registered and paid for on-line (SUBSCRIBE TO IM PROJECT NEWS BUTTON), or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free trial copy.