Jordy Nelsons Injury Will Test Aaron Rodgers — And The Value Of

More than anything else, the Green Bay Packers of recent vintage have been known for an explosive offense. Only the New England Patriots have scored more points over the past five seasons, and ESPN’s Football Power Index projected that the Packers would own the league’s top-rated attack in 2015.But that was before the news that a season-ending ACL injury had taken out Jordy Nelson, football’s second-best wide receiver by the numbers. Now the Packers will have to make do without him — and in the process stage a natural experiment over how much credit a receiver should get in an offense that also features a great quarterback.That great QB: two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Most would argue that he’s the engine that makes Green Bay’s offense go. But among Rodgers’s supporting cast, the most statistically decorated is almost certainly Nelson,1The only other candidate is perhaps guard Josh Sitton. who among wide receivers ranked second only to Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown in’s play-by-play grading system and’s Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR)2He was superior to Brown on a per-play basis, according to’s DVOA metric. over the past two seasons. (He ranked third, behind Brown and Denver’s Demaryius Thomas, in Approximate Value.)That Nelson would emerge as a receiving superstar these past few years was somewhat of a surprise. Although he was drafted in the second round, Nelson produced modest numbers over his first three years in the league, and his monster 2011 campaign (1,263 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns) stood out so much among his first five NFL seasons that he once seemed a candidate for the biggest one-year wonders ever. It’s a testament to Nelson’s perseverance that he rebounded from an injury-plagued 2012, and he’ll have to call on that resolve again when rehabbing his torn ACL.But it will also be interesting to see how much worse Green Bay’s offense is without Nelson. Even in his absence, the Packers retain a great deal of talent on offense — not the least of which is Rodgers, the NFL’s most-efficient passer over the past two seasons. Granted, that passing efficiency was compiled, in part, while throwing to Nelson, which exemplifies the frustrating entanglement between QB and WR stats. But few receivers in NFL history have consistently shown the ability to significantly elevate their QBs’ efficiency metrics, which suggests that the Packers’ passing success was due more to Rodgers than Nelson. And that implies that the Packer offense won’t fall apart without Nelson, even though his individual receiving stats were as good as just about anybody’s.As a sample of one team in one season, Green Bay’s performance won’t offer any definitive conclusions about WR value, but it may provide evidence of just how much impact an elite statistical receiver can have. read more

Crime Doesnt Pay Aaron Hernandez Alleged Accomplice Arraigned on

A man who police say is connected to the murder investigation involving former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was arraigned in a Massachusetts courtroom Monday morning.Ernest Wallace, 41, was charged with accessory to murder in the death of Odin Lloyd.The police said Wallace along with Carlos Ortiz, who has already been arrested and charged in the case, drove in the car with Hernandez and Lloyd to the location where Lloyd was murdered. At this time, investigators have not said who fired the shots.All three men face life in prison if convicted. read more

Hall of Famer Gary Payton Called on to Tutor

The Washington Wizard franchise is banking heavily on John Wall– re-signing him to a max-level contract extension of $80 million over five years. But to minimize risk, the ball club has called on Hall of Famer Gary Paton to tutor the point guard.Wall has suffered injuries that made him miss about half the games in the season, but on top of that, he has shot only 24.4 percent from three-point range and 42.3 percent from the field in his professional career.Wall might now have the perfect tutor, J. Michael of states:“Wall still plans to hook up with Gary Payton, a Hall of Fame point guard who was one of the best of his generation, in Seattle before returning to train with the Wizards on Aug. 20. Plus, he had ample time to watch the nuances of Tony Parker as he led the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA finals and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley, who helped his team advance to the Western Conference finals.“‘Footwork also, just like catching the ball and working on pivots and stuff,’ Wall said about what he has done this offseason, in addition to refining his jump shot. ‘Floaters. Watched a lot of Tony Parker throughout the playoffs and I see how Mike Conley added to his game after I went to two of his playoff series.’“Wall also is going to lobby coach Randy Wittman to allow him to do something else.‘Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to post up this year,’ he said.“That’s where Payton, who also stood 6-4 and could be too physical for opposing point guards, could help most. Like Wall, he wasn’t the best jump shooter to start his career but became a solid one.“By his fourth season, Payton shot better than 50 percent from the field. He only was a career 31.7 percent shooter from three.”Time will tell if Payton’s lessons will have any effect on Wall. If they are noticeable there might be life after the NBA for many retired NBA ballers. read more

The Secret To The Rams Blocking Success Isnt The Linemen Its Sean

1San Francisco20123.192.570.634.50 11Baltimore20183.122.710.434.61 8New England20173.082.650.445.05 But an NFL offense is not just at the mercy of the defense when it comes to running against stacked or light boxes. Play-callers actually have a large degree of control over how many defenders near the line of scrimmage they will have to face. When an offense trots out three or more wide receivers, the defense nearly always matches with an equal number of defensive backs, which limits the number of linebackers on the field and lightens up the box.Since the 2009 season, the number of rushing plays that faced six or fewer defenders in the box has skyrocketed. This is a reflection of an evolving offensive philosophy, not a defensive one. The increasing number of light boxes was a response to the massive shift by NFL offenses to the “11 personnel”: 1 running back, 1 tight end and — most importantly — three wide receivers. Over the course of the past decade, the 11 personnel became the most popular personnel package in the NFL. It’s now the base NFL offense. And nickel5Defenses with five defensive backs on the field. is the current base defense — a sea change from the previous decade when 3-4 and 4-3 defensive fronts were the norm. 16Kansas City20103.062.700.374.44 10Washington20123.162.740.434.24 In fact, if all you know about a running play in the NFL is the approximate field position of a team and the number of defenders near the line of scrimmage, you’re able to predict the leaguewide yards per carry with an extraordinarily high degree of accuracy: 96 percent of yards-per-carry totals are explained by the offense’s field position and the number of men the opponent has in the box. How many defenders are in the box is almost certainly the most important factor in determining rushing success in football, so it follows that we should try to account for it. Todd Gurley began the 2018 season on fire, accumulating yards and scoring touchdowns at a historic pace. Despite missing the final two games of the season, the second-highest-paid running back in the NFL led the league in rushing touchdowns and finished fourth in yards from scrimmage. And yet, Gurley may start Super Bowl LIII as a backup. Since returning from injury, the Rams star has been outplayed by fill-in journeyman running back C.J. Anderson, who has more or less relegated Gurley to a change-of-pace role.How is this even possible? How can a player go from being the league’s premier running back to backing up a guy who was cut by the Denver Broncos in May, the Carolina Panthers in November and the Oakland Raiders in December? We’ve seen backup running backs fill in admirably before — when the Chiefs released star RB Kareem Hunt this season, Damien Williams was just as, if not more, productive1Williams averaged 114 yards from scrimmage and 1.6 TDs in regular-season games he started, while Hunt averaged 109 yards from scrimmage and 1.4 TDs. — but it’s hard to remember it happening to a back as seemingly indispensable as Gurley, let alone on a stage as big as the Rams are on now. The 2012 San Francisco 49ers — who were 5 yards from winning a Super Bowl under Jim Harbaugh and QB Colin Kaepernick — take the honor of fielding the best run-blocking offensive line since 2009. Thinking back on the number of big plays Frank Gore broke off against stacked boxes, the ranking certainly passes the smell test. The 2010 Jaguars offensive line, ranking just ahead of the Rams, was also formidable: It opened massive holes for Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings, who combined for nine touchdowns and 1,783 yards on the ground despite QB David Garrard doing nothing to scare opposing defenses away from crowding the line and trying to stop the run.The Rams still fielded the fifth best offensive line in our time frame and easily the best this year. But much of the credit for the success of the running game should probably go not to Gurley, Anderson or the Rams offensive line, but to Sean McVay. The second-year coach has put his players in the very best position to succeed through his scheme and play-calling. Running the ball out of the 11 personnel helps dictate to the defense and lightens the box for his linemen, allowing them to open holes even thrice-cut journeyman running backs can run through.While league observers can fall into the trap of over-weighting the effect of coaching, in some cases the credit and praise is warranted. The distribution of talent across teams is so even, it’s really not so much a matter of who you run the ball with — or behind — it’s a matter of when you run it. McVay chooses his spots as well as anyone in the NFL, and the Rams are in Super Bowl LIII because of it.Check out our latest NFL predictions. 3New Orleans20113.312.730.594.95 *Box-adjusted line yards adjusts for number of defenders faced near the line of scrimmage.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 4Jacksonville20103.202.620.594.63 12Carolina20113.112.710.424.32 6Miami20093.012.550.474.44 Returning to Los Angeles, the Rams used the 11 personnel more than any other team in the NFL in 2018. So it’s possible that instead of the Rams being generationally superior at run blocking — or instead of Gurley being a one-of-a-kind game-altering running back — the Rams’ offensive line just faced fewer crowded fronts than other teams. This would at least provide some context for their overwhelming success — and help explain how Anderson could Wally Pipp an MVP candidate in the playoffs.To find out, I created a reasonable facsimile of Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards and then calculated the number of yards each team earned either over or under expected based on the number of men in the box and the field position from which the play originated.6I removed QB scrambles but left WR run plays in. I also did not adjust for shotgun. Finally, I did not scale the adjusted line yards metric so that it looks like running back yards per carry. My version of adjusted line yards will not agree exactly with Football Outsiders, but there still is a high degree of correlation. Each metric predicts the other at an r-squared of 0.68.Both Football Outsiders’ line yards and my version agree that the Rams had the best rushing offensive line unadjusted for box count. When we look at line yards over expected after accounting for box defenders, however, the Rams aren’t the best run-blocking offensive line ever. In fact, they’re not even in the top four since 2009. 7New Orleans20183.122.690.455.19 5Los Angeles20183.312.830.515.49 15Seattle20123.142.780.374.42 17Dallas20092.982.600.374.48 Teamseason538 adj. line yds538 box adj. line ydsbox adj. line yds over expectedfootball outsiders adj. line yds 13New England20183.042.650.415.03 18New England20093.062.720.364.43 2New England20103.322.730.604.82 The Rams have the fifth-best offensive line since 2009NFL offensive lines by two metrics for regular-season adjusted line yards, yards accounting for the number of defenders in the box and yards over expected based on defenders in the box, 2009-2018 14Houston20103.012.610.414.52 19Tennessee20163.052.700.364.63 One explanation is that the Los Angeles Rams offensive line is just very, very good, and Gurley has been reaping the rewards. But I think there’s another factor at work — one that has more to do with the head coach than with the players on the field.Some football observers have gone so far as to suggest that the Rams 2018 run-blocking unit might be the best in the history of the NFL. While offensive lines are perhaps the trickiest position to evaluate with data, there’s actual evidence for this scorching-hot take using a metric created by Football Outsiders called adjusted line yards. Adjusted line yards are calculated by looking at each running play and using a formula to attempt to assign the proper credit to the offensive line. The metric punishes blockers for losses on run plays, credits the hog mollies with half of the yardage on runs from 5 to 10 yards, and gives the line zero credit for any field position gained 11 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.2Football Outsiders also adjusts for plays from shotgun, down, distance and situation, and it removes any scrambles and handoffs to players who aren’t running backs. By this measure, the Rams are the best-performing line in at least the past 22 years, the period for which data is available.31996 to 2018.But one problem with adjusted line yards is that the metric doesn’t account for the number of defenders the offensive line has to face during any given play, which has huge implications for how effective a rush will be. Running the ball when there are seven or eight defenders near the line of scrimmage is much harder than running against six or fewer. If a team runs more of its plays against light fronts, we should expect it to have more success in general. We’d also expect the offensive line in particular to have an easier time opening holes against defensive fronts that have fewer, rather than more, defensive players near the line of scrimmage that they have to block.Looking at 10 years’ worth of data from ESPN’s Sports & Information Group,4For a total of 126,154 running plays. We excluded scrambles and any plays for which no defender data was given. that’s exactly what we find. If we split the field up into 10-yard chunks, there isn’t an area of the gridiron that exists where running against seven or more men in the box is easier than running against six or fewer. 9New York20103.172.730.434.56 read more

The Pacers Are Bucking Every NBA Trend And Its Working

Celtics4754+7 Long-midrange attempts are 2-point jump shots from between 16 and 23 feet.Source: Grizzlies3521-14 Long-midrange attempts3-point attemptsFree throws Lakers3237+5 T-Wolves5047-3 Spurs5047-3 Projected season wins TeamPreseasonCurrentDiff. INDIANAPOLIS — Even before this season, a campaign in which they’ve pieced together the NBA’s best record, the Houston Rockets and their unusual goals on offense have been an object of fascination. For years, there’s been intrigue surrounding Houston’s desire to shatter records by taking threes whenever possible. More recently, the team’s historic ability to score 1-on-1 has garnered attention. The Pacers and Rockets have different philosophiesHow the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets compare in key offensive metrics, 2018-17 season through March 21 Mavericks3026-4 Pelicans4347+4 Cavaliers5748-9 Clippers4644-2 Raptors4561+16 Bulls2627+1 Nets2926-3 Indiana Pacers119.3%2728.3%2522.7 Magic3726-11 Warriors6461-3 Rockets5766+9 Hawks2624-2 Indiana’s ahead of scheduleProjected win totals for NBA teams if they continue their current pace compared with FiveThirtyEight’s 2017-18 preseason win projections Blazers4250+8 Jazz46460 Houston Rockets304.4149.9230.7 76ers3949+10 Nuggets4843-5 Pistons3438+4 Thunder5548-7 Suns3121-10 Hornets4636-10 Knicks30300 Current pace for games through March 21 TeamRankShare of all shotsRankShare of all shotsRankper 100 FG attempts Kings2426+2 Heat4045+5 Wizards46460 Pacers3245+13 Bucks4542-3 Far less talked about are the Indiana Pacers, arguably the league’s most surprising team this season. At 41-31, Indiana is vying for home-court advantage in the playoffs and is only a shade behind the reigning three-time conference champion Cavaliers. More interesting is how the Pacers are doing it: They have become the Anti-Rockets.Indiana’s offensive approach is diametrically opposed to the league’s best team. The Rockets are notorious for avoiding midrange shots; the Pacers hover nearly just as far above the league average in how often they take long twos as the Rockets are beneath it. The median team shoots from the 16- to 23-foot range about 12 percent of the time; Houston takes 4.4 percent of its shots from that distance, while Indiana takes a whopping 19.3 percent of its shots from there.The contrasts in shot selection don’t end with midrange jumpers. Unlike the Rockets, who take a league-high 50 percent of their shots from 3-point range and get to the free-throw line at the second highest clip in the league, the Pacers rank among the NBA’s bottom six in both 3-point attempt rate and free-throw attempt rate.A fair amount of that seems to stem from coach Nate McMillan’s offensive philosophy,1Larry Bird’s hiring of McMillan was initially criticized by many because of his reputation as a coach who slowed things down — a trait that ran counter to Bird’s stated desire to play more up-tempo after parting ways with Frank Vogel. McMillan, who’s since sought to get the Pacers to play faster, has argued that the long-held perception of his coaching style was unfair, given the sorts of rosters he was working with. which encourages pulling the trigger quickly if a defender is allowing the solid jump-shooting team more than a few feet of space.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“We talk about playing early, playing late,” McMillan told me. “If you have an open look or a rim attempt early (in the shot clock), take it. If you don’t, then make teams defend. But when we have open looks, we want to take them.” The Pacers have often done that, with the caveat being that, in today’s NBA, those midrange attempts are often ones the defense would like for Indiana to take.Indiana has launched 1,273 open and wide-open 2-point jumpers,2From 10 feet and farther. “Open” means no defender was within 4 feet at the time of the shot. “Wide open” means no defender was within 6 feet at the time of the shot. over 100 more than the next closest team, according to Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats. And in keeping with McMillan’s wishes, the Pacers rank third with 205 open attempts from midrange in the first eight seconds of the shot clock.Simply put, the Pacers aren’t in the business of turning down open looks — even the ones thought to be the least efficient. Al Jefferson, a Pacers backup big man and former All-NBA center who’s been forced into action because of recent injuries to Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, told me that his teammates have gotten frustrated with him at times for not always adhering to that shoot-it-if-you’re-open game plan.“They got on me in Philly because I turned down some open midrange shots. So I told them, ‘I guarantee you the next game, I’ll shoot it,’” Jefferson said after a loss to the East-leading Raptors. “Then tonight came and I turned down another open look and did a dribble handoff instead. And they all yelled at me: ‘Shoot the ball!’3Look carefully at the first clip, and you’ll notice a fan sitting in the third row (on the bottom left of the screen) standing up, gesturing to Jefferson that he should have taken the first open shot. Luckily for me, I shot the next one, and it went in.”Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“I guess that’s just the new NBA. I’m more old-school. But that’s the shot. You look at a lot of the bigs (on defense), and they back off when you set that pick. If the pop is open? That’s when my teammates will get mad at me if I don’t take it,” Jefferson said. “Even if you might miss it, take it. Because that’s what the defense is giving you.”It would be hard to say this approach hasn’t worked for Indiana, a team that was expected to struggle mightily on offense after trading Paul George. No one is more integral to Indiana’s strategy than Victor Oladipo,4Perhaps the simplest measure of his value: The Pacers, 41-25 with Oladipo, have gone 0-6 in games without their All-Star this season. who’s made the huge leap from mere starter to All-Star. (Not only have the Pacers improved slightly since last season, jumping from 15th to 12th in offensive rating, but they also sit in fifth place in the East.) But it’s also worth noting that their heavy reliance on jumpers — ones that some teams avoid like the plague — hasn’t hurt them. If anything, Oladipo and the Pacers have taken advantage of a market inefficiency by launching, and making, midrange tries at a much higher rate than other teams.Of course, the midrange shot is far from the sole reason Indiana is outperforming every preseason projection. Darren Collison is leading the league in 3-point percentage. The Pacers’ defense has improved and uses its length to create the second-most deflections in the NBA; they’re also tied at third for forcing the highest turnover percentage. Oladipo’s gambling instincts as a free safety occasionally help shorten a handful of defensive plays, not only helping keep Indiana’s young bigs out of foul trouble, but also creating quick, efficient looks the other way in transition.5The Pacers are sixth in offensive efficiency after forcing a live-ball turnover, and their possessions last an average of just 9.1 seconds after such plays, the NBA’s 11th-fastest pace, according to Inpredictable.Forward Thaddeus Young put it in much simpler terms: “We’re just playing basketball. We’re having fun,” he told CBS Sports. “When you have a team that’s just full of ISO players and it’s just isolation basketball, it’s not as fun. You’re just standing around watching.”While no one will mistake this offense for the perpetual-motion ones used in San Antonio or Utah, the Pacers seem to benefit from added movement in their sets — particularly in screen-handoff scenarios, where Indiana is one of the NBA’s most efficient, aggressive teams on a per-play basis.6They rank first in field-goal attempts stemming from direct handoffs and rank fourth in points per direct handoff, according to Second Spectrum.The real question with Indiana — beyond its tough schedule to close out the season — is how the club will adjust come postseason if the midrange looks don’t fall as frequently, or if opposing clubs begin crowding the Pacers’ space more than they’re used to. This month is already testing the former, as McMillan’s team has shot its worst percentage of the season7March has been the Pacers’ worst month from midrange by a country mile. They were shooting 36.9 percent from there heading into Friday’s game, a mark that would rank 25th. Their worst percentage prior to this was last month, when they hit 42.7 percent of those attempts, still good enough for the NBA’s ninth-best mark. from that part of the floor.Indiana has shown it’s capable of beating just about anyone in the East.8The Pacers took won three of four against the Cavaliers, split four games with the Celtics and won their first matchup with Toronto back in November. But if that cold spell carries into the playoffs, Oladipo and his teammates may be required to force the issue a bit more and use a more aggressive style than the one we’ve seen much of the season. “There’s plenty of times I walk up to him in games and say, ‘Don’t let them off the hook,’” Young said of Oladipo.9Oladipo is rare in the sense that he’s just as dangerous after a considerable number of dribbles as he is off the catch. His effective field-goal percentage is nearly the same after using seven dribbles or more as it is when he doesn’t use a dribble at all, according to data from Second Spectrum and NBA Advanced Stats.Video Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.If the Pacers can avoid doing that, these Anti-Rockets could transform themselves into a tough out next month.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Wrestling Ohio State opens up home schedule versus No 5 Missouri

OSU junior Kyle Snyder declared victor in a bout against Nebraska on Jan. 17, 2016. Credit: Lantern File PhotoSt. John Arena once again will roll out the Block-O stamped mats, reveal new championship banners and welcome anticipating wrestling fans for the first time this season on Thursday night, when it hosts a bout between top-ranked teams.The No. 4 Ohio State wrestling team will face off against the No. 5 Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m. “I am excited to be back home,” said junior heavyweight Kyle Snyder.  “Just the fans and being able to compete in front of your home crowd and see the people who really support you is always a big reason why I came back, and why I like to compete.”A varsity debut is being made Thursday night, as Luke Pletcher, freshman at 141 pounds, had his redshirt status pulled and will replace redshirt sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes, after an undisclosed injury put Hayes out of competition for the rest of the 2016-17 season.OSU coach Tom Ryan has confidence in the newly called-up freshman before the dual match, looking into Pletcher’s future as a solid reason behind having him step up and compete earlier than expected.“Luke’s ready to wrestle,” Ryan said.  “He’s been working really hard, where he’s won his first two tournaments.  So he’s ready to roll.”Snyder anticipates a competitive match between wrestlers from both teams, noting the hype surrounding the top-ranked dual, headlined by two U.S. Olympians competing under one roof.  Missouri’s J’den Cox, a senior at 197 lbs., who earned bronze in the 86-kg freestyle event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, whereas Snyder won gold in the 97-kg division.  “Missouri’s got a good team,” Snyder said.  “Our team’s got a bunch of dudes who can wrestle hard and score a lot of points, so that’s what we’re going to try to do.”The 197-pound bout between OSU redshirt freshman Kollin Moore and Missouri’s Olympian, Cox, was one of several matches Ryan highlighted on Tuesday. He also said redshirt freshman Jose Rodriguez will make the varsity start in the 125-pound match.OSU won the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational over the weekend, but Ryan said there were still plenty of improvement to be made before wrestling against Missouri.“We’re working quite a bit on defense to leg attacks,” Ryan said.  “(Being on) bottom is a big issue for us, so heavy focus on getting out — we’ve struggled there a little bit.”Snyder’s focus lies mostly with the team victory rather than reveling in individual achievement against a top-five opponent.“I’m just going to wrestle, and I need to get bonus points,” Snyder said. “Maybe pin (his opponent), and we’ll see what happens.” read more

Mens hockey Ohio State delivers knockout punch to No 1 Penn State

Members of Ohio State’s men’s ice hockey team celebrate a goal by freshman forward Tanner Laczynski (9) in the third period of the Buckeye’s game against Bowling Green on Oct. 22. The Buckeyes won 6-1. Credit: Breanna Crye | For The LanternNo captain, no problem.The No. 11 Ohio State men’s hockey team (12-4-6, 3-2-1-1), without senior forward, captain and leading goal scorer Nick Schilkey, returned to conference play in a big way this weekend with a series sweep over top-ranked Penn State. OSU recording a shootout win after a 3-3 overtime draw on Friday and a 6-3 victory Saturday over the No. 1 Nittany Lions (16-3-2, 5-2-0-1).Game OneAfter trailing the Nittany Lions by a one-goal deficit three different times, the Scarlet and Gray clawed its way back to tie the home side 3-3, behind the sticks of senior defender Josh Healey and sophomore forward Mason Jobst.The extra period ended in a 3-3 draw, but freshman forward Sam McCormick slotted the puck past Penn State freshman goaltender Peyton Jones in the seventh round of the subsequent shootout, giving the Scarlet and Gray an extra point in the conference standings.Penn State jumped out to an early lead with 12:12 left in the first period with a goal from junior forward James Robinson, but Healey would level the score at one with under 10 minutes left in the second.The hosts entered the final frame with a 2-1 advantage, but just seven minutes into the period, Jobst would equalize for the Buckeyes. And after the Nittany Lions led 3-2 with 7:19 left, it was Jobst again with his second of the night and third in the last two games.Senior goaltender Christian Frey made 56 saves against the nation’s top offense.Game TwoOhio State ended the weekend with a 6-3 victory over the top-ranked Nittany Lions behind goals from six different Buckeyes, and 41 saves from Frey.The finale of this conference series began similarly as the first, as OSU found itself in a quick 1-0 hole just three minutes in after senior defenseman David Thompson opened the game’s scoring.Despite this, Ohio State would recover quickly, as sophomore forward John Wiitala and Jobst would net a goal each in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Jobst’s goal marks his 27th point of the season, and 15th in the last eight games.The Scarlet and Gray scoring, however, would not stop there.Just 18 seconds into the second period, sophomore forward Dakota Joshua went one-on-one with Jones and beat the netminder for his third of the season to add to the OSU lead.Nevertheless, after the Nittany Lions answered with two goals of their own from freshman defenseman Kris Myllari and sophomore forward Andrew Sturtz, we entered the final period of the series in a 3-3 deadlock.The Buckeyes would quickly put the game away in the third, as junior forwards Matthew Weis and Luke Stork scored with under two minutes into the period, and just over a minute apart, to give the Scarlet and Gray a 5-3 lead.Junior forward Christian Lampasso would add extra insurance with 2:50 left in the game, as the Amherst, New York, native netted his first goal of the season to make it 6-3.Frey came up big once again for the Buckeyes in this matchup, notching 41 saves in the game and 97 overall on the weekend.Up NextThe Buckeyes are back in action on Thursday night, as they welcome the Wisconsin Badgers to the Schottenstein Center. Game 2 will feature a neutral site, as these two Big Ten teams travel to Madison Square Garden for the finale of the season series.Puck drop for both Thursday and Saturday is set for 7 p.m. read more

Player mishaps overlooked for the right price entertainment

College basketball and football are being overrun with child agents who call themselves coaches or friends, when they’re actually looking to profit off of any child with a chance to make it big.Last Friday, USC coach Lane Kiffin offered a football scholarship to a 13-year-old boy from Delaware. David Sills made national headlines by verbally committing to USC after receiving the offer.The person responsible for this travesty is Steve Clarkson, a self-proclaimed personal coach — or a child-pusher.This sort of thing popped up at USC once before in basketball with O.J. Mayo. Mayo was given whatever he wanted, from clothes to money, by a sports agency called BDA in order to profit off of his pro sports contract.The USC basketball program paid for BDA and Mayo’s decisions by receiving various penalties from the NCAA. The program had to forfeit wins, money, aspects of recruiting and future postseason play all because a player did something and a coach allowed it to happen.Does anyone remember LeBron James? He was given one or more massive loans in high school by various people so he could live the good life in his Hummer H2. Although the loans were controversial, the team wasn’t penalized until James accepted two jerseys as a gift from a local clothing store. This violated Ohio High School Athletic Association rules and they declared him ineligible to play. James had to win a lawsuit to regain eligibility.How do these occurrences go unnoticed by the NCAA or these kids’ coaches? The only defendable case out of what I have mentioned is James’ loans, but his overwhelming popularity in high school was ridiculous.If people wanted to see James in action while he was in high school, they just had to turn on ESPN, which was nationally televising his games.This pimping of children is becoming much worse than it was in the past. Most of these child signees break their commitment to the school before signing day even comes, so it would seem that it is pointless to offer a scholarship in the first place.It’s not feasible to completely regulate these child agents and firms from contacting children, which is a failure of the system, but what about the coaches who accept these athletes?Kentucky coach John Calipari left Memphis and UMass with NCAA sanctions upon his departure to go to a different job, forcing the schools vacate their Final Four appearances.Memphis is the most recent infraction that Calipari allowed to happen. Derrick Rose was highly recruited out of high school, but an NCAA investigation a year after he went pro proved that someone took his SAT for him.Rose’s low high school grades compared to his high SAT score should have been enough for Calipari or the school to become suspicious immediately. Instead, it took the NCAA, which regulates thousands of athletes, two years to catch the wrong doing.The Rose/Calipari scandal by itself is enough reason for the NCAA to change its policies to punish coaches instead of schools.Why won’t anyone act on these sporting crimes? I know why. We’re too entertained to care. read more

Ohio State and Penn State College wrestlings arms race

Then-junior Kyle Snyder lifts Penn State’s Nick Nevills for a takedown on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Former Sports EditorOhio State’s final points tally last season would have won them the national championship in all but five years in the history of the NCAA. The reason it did not is due to the NCAA’s resident wrestling powerhouse, Penn State. The Nittany Lions have won six of the past seven team titles, with Ohio State being the only exception in 2015. The embarrassment of riches on the team rosters in both State College, Pennsylvania, and Columbus will carry over to this season.Penn State carries five defending individual national champions. Ohio State returns one in senior heavyweight Kyle Snyder. Three other individual titles have been won by current Buckeyes in years past: redshirt senior Nathan Tomasello, junior Myles Martin and Snyder. FloWrestling’s preseason NCAA wrestling rankings exemplify the dominance of both teams, but in a different way. Penn State includes just seven ranked wrestlers, but all seven are listed in the top five in their respective weight classes across the nation. Five No. 1 spots belong to Nittany Lions. Ohio State’s lineup is more balanced. The Buckeyes have a wrestler ranked in the top 12 at all 10 weight classes, with six being in the top five and three ranked at No. 1: Snyder at heavyweight, Tomasello at 125 pounds and redshirt sophomore Kollin Moore at 187 pounds. The Buckeyes might hold an advantage at the lower weights, with Tomasello at 125 pounds (No. 1), sophomore Luke Pletcher at 133 pounds (No. 9) and junior transfer Joey McKenna at 141 pounds (No. 6). No wrestlers are ranked for the Nittany Lions in those three classes. Penn State’s murderers’ row of middleweights stands as its linchpin. Every defending champion — Zain Retherford (149 pounds), Jason Nolf (157 pounds), Vincenzo Joseph (165 pounds), Mark Hall (174 pounds) and Bo Nickal (184 pounds) — holds top spots. Head coach Tom Ryan and the Buckeyes consider themselves to be reloaded and ready to dethrone the Nittany Lions in the 2017 season.Then-sophomore Myles Martin checks the clock as he looks for back-points against Bo Nickal of Penn State on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Former Sports Editor“We know Penn State scores a lot of points, but we’ve got a lot of big point scorers as well,” Ryan said. “But that was a factor last year. They’ve got some guys that were pinning people and they have five champions back. We picked up Joey McKenna, who was a huge transfer for us; we picked up [transfer] Te’Shan Campbell. “So this team is stronger than it was last year. Ke’Shawn Hayes is coming off of an injury last year. So it’s a stronger team than last year and we have every reason to believe that if we are at our best and they’re at their best, it’s going to be a lot of fun in March.” McKenna was recruited by Penn State during the offseason and had a chance to survey the pros and cons of both programs. The junior ultimately mortgaged his remaining two seasons of eligibility on the Buckeyes to help him achieve success. “Looking at both programs from the outside, and being recruited by both, it was able to give me a little bit more of an objective view on what I really wanted and what program I feel like could take me to where I wanted to get to,” McKenna said. “I just thought that the things that would allow me to succeed the most were encompassed here at Ohio State. The energy, the motivation, the guys on the team, the structure and just the culture and the way everything was run.”Snyder, one of the veterans of the team that will go toe-to-toe with Penn State for the fourth time this season, said he thinks a lot about the Nittany Lions. It’s the dual meet the Olympic gold medalist is most excited for. “It’s going to be one of the most exciting dual meets, tournaments I think there’s ever been in NCAA wrestling history,” Snyder said. “We could both have five or six guys in the finals competing against each other for both teams. That’s more than half of the finalists in the tournament. The opportunity for that to happen doesn’t happen. It’s very rare.” Bo Jordan (174 pounds), another senior and veteran of three years of battle against the Nittany Lions, lit up while discussing the possibilities of the impending dual meet on Feb. 2 or 4 in State College, Pennsylvania, between two teams that just might shake the wrestling world. “It’s going to be sick,” Jordan said. “There’s so many cool matchups. A lot of individual matchups, me and Mark Hall one-on-one against each other. He beat me last year in the national finals, I’ll have him again. I mean, Kyle [Snyder], there’s so many good matchups. And Myles [Martin] and Bo [Nickal]. So many fun matches you’re going to be able to watch. It’s going to be cool. I’m looking forward to that dual.” read more

Board of Trustees to discuss variable Ohio State mens basketball ticket prices

The Buckeye celebrate after a 3-point basket in the first half of the game against Rutgers on Feb. 2. Ohio State won 76-62. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State Board of Trustees will discuss Thursday integrating variable ticket pricing into men’s basketball, pricing individual games according to whether it’s an exhibition, non-conference, conference or premier opponent. This past season, Ohio State listed its premier opponents as Syracuse, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin. The recommendation, as part of the finance committee meeting, also states that the arena will expand its four ticket price zones to six, establishing one in the lower level seating with an increase in pricing and upper level seating with either reduced pricing or remaining the same. For Zone 1 seating, the public can purchase tickets, depending on the level of opponent, from as low as $10 to $57. Season tickets will be $634. For the Zone 6 seating, tickets can be purchased from $5-14 depending on the opponent. The season ticket discounts will remain at approximately 12 percent off the total for the general public and 20 percent off the total price for Ohio State faculty and staff. Student pricing will remain at $9 for all opponents. The 2019-20 men’s basketball schedule has not yet been finalized. read more

George Michaels family say they are touched beyond words by incredible outpouring

first_imgThames Valley Police said: “At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post-mortem will be undertaken in due course.”Tributes from fans and peers have already poured in for Michael, 53, as it emerged he was planning a new album and world tour in the years to come.Paul Dainty, the Australian promoter who worked with Michael since his Wham! days in 1985, said meetings had taken place just a week ago about future plans, with a trip to Australia pencilled in for 2018. Nile Rodgers, the musician, told fans he had been at the singer’s house on December 23 to record his memories of working in the 1980s music scene, for Channel 4’s 90-minute Freedom: George Michael.Michael himself had narrated and contributed to the show, with never-before-seen images and footage of his pop heyday due for broadcast.A source said he had been heavily involved in the production, with “a lot” of new material for fans to enjoy. ITs a xmas i will never forget finding your partner dead peacefully in bed first thing in the morning.. I will never stop missing you xx— Fadi Fawaz (@fadifawaz) December 26, 2016 Tributes outside Michael’s home in GoringCredit:Getty George Michael’s partner has urged fans to pray for the late star, as his family say they are “touched beyond words” by the “incredible outpouring of love”.Michael’s family and close friends said there could be “no more fitting tribute” to the singer than the “many, many kind words” they have received, and the playing of his records. It was also claimed that he had recorded a new album shortly before he died.A statement released today by Michael’s publicist said: “The family and close friends of George have been touched beyond words by the incredible outpouring of love for him in the hours and days since his death. “For someone whose life was ultimately about his music and the love he had for his family and friends, his fans and the world at large, there could be no more fitting tribute than the many, many, kind words that have been said and the numerous plays his records have received.”The pop star is reportedly set to be buried  next to his mother in the family’s private plot in Highgate, north London.The death of Lesley Angold Panayiotou in 1997 had a huge impact on the musician and friends and family have told how he is now “finally at rest” with her, The Sun reported.There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, the statement said.“From the bottom of our hearts we thank those who, rightly, have chosen to celebrate his life and legacy at this most distressing of times,” his family added. Michael with his partner Fadi Fawaz George Michael, who has died aged 53 George Michael, who has died aged 53 Fans flocked to Michael's home to pay tribute “It’s a total shock,” Dainty told an Australian newspaper of the singer’s death. “I was in the process of setting stuff up with his manager.“His manager just reminded me they had a meeting this week about the new album and tour and Australia was very much in the plan.” Fadi Fawaz, Michael’s boyfriend of five years who found him dead on Christmas Day, said of Michael: “Let’s just all pray for him.”Mr Fawaz had spent the weekend with Michael in the village of Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, where his body was discovered ahead of a planned Christmas Day lunch.A source has claimed Michael had previously been treated for a heroin addiction at some point during the past year. It is understood that Michael’s team emphatically deny the claim.  Michael with his partner Fadi FawazCredit:Splash Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A new album had also been recorded and was due for release next year, he claimed, adding: “It’s a pop album, which he wanted to do after the orchestra shows. It’s finished, from what I’ve been told, so I hope we hear it.”A documentary is also scheduled for broadcast in autumn 2017, with Michael’s team working on it just before Christmas. Tributes outside Michael's home in Goring Fans flocked to Michael’s home to pay tributeCredit:Gettylast_img read more

Hatton Garden robbery Woman claims she lost £7m worth of gold worth

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Show more The claim, which is being treated seriously by police, would mean the total stolen in the heist stands at around £21 million.Seven men were convicted last year over the break-in at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in London and jailed for terms of six and seven years. The underground vault of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company which was raided The gang ransacked 73 safe deposit boxes after using a drill to bore a hole into the vault wall during the meticulously-planned heist, taking gold, diamonds and sapphires. A woman has come forward claiming she £7 million of her gold is missing 20 months after the Hatton Garden heist, police revealed on Friday.The woman has claimed one of her safety deposit boxes had been stolen and she only realised it was missing after the trial of the gang who carried out the raid. The underground vault of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company which was raidedCredit:Hatton Garden Properties Ltd/Getty Imageslast_img read more

Junior doctors strike meant industrial action doubled in 2016

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “To keep strikes at historic lows, the next government needs to get wages rising, and we need new laws to improve workplace rights and give people more voice at work.” Junior doctors on the picket line in 2016Credit:ANDY RAIN The North East and London had the most working days lost per 1,000 employees.There were 101 separate stoppages last year, five fewer than in 2015, but the number of working days lost per dispute doubled to almost 3,200.TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Going on strike is always a last resort when bosses refuse to negotiate or compromise. Strikes are far less common these days and tend to be short.”With the average annual wage still worth £1,000 less than a decade ago, it is not surprising that many strikes are about fair pay.center_img The junior doctors’ strike was partly responsible for the number of days lost to industrial action doubling last year, the ONS has revealed.In total, 322,000 working days were lost in 2016 compared with 170,000 the previous year.The junior doctors’ dispute over new contracts in England accounted for 129,000 lost working days, 40 per cent of the total.There were 154,000 workers involved in disputes last year, higher than the record low of 81,000 in 2015 but still low by historical levels. The total number of days lost was the eighth lowest since records began in 1891. The ONS said the amount of industrial action has reduced significantly in the last 30 years. Junior doctors on the picket line in 2016last_img read more

Grenfell Tower candlelit vigil for victims after grief turned to anger at

first_imgProtesters gather at foot of Grenfell Tower​Central London protesters march on Downing StreetTheresa May goes to church to meet families of lost – and is greeted by angry protestersNumber 10 promises £5million relief fund for victims30 confirmed killed, but death toll could rise above 10024 still in hospital as police do not expect more survivorsQueen and Prince William meet residents affected by blazeThe missing: From babies to whole families feared deadHero “caught girl like rugby ball” after she was thrownWhat caused the blaze? The theories fire chiefs will examine Grief over the Grenfell Tower disaster turned into angry protests on Friday as the official death toll rose to at least 30 and dozens more deaths were feared.Prime Minister Theresa May faced cries of “coward” and “shame on you” as she returned to the site of the devastating fire in west London after being criticised for not meeting victims in the wake of the tragedy. Police officers protect the entourage carrying Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May from a crowd of people after she visited a church following the fire that destroyed The Grenfell Tower block 7:22AMSorrow turns to anger as residents of burnt-out block demand answers 4:38PMShouts of “we want justice” outside the town hall  6:01PMJack Maidment is at the Westminster protest “We are here today because you must look at that building with tears streaming down your face,” one woman said as they neared the foot of the tower.”We need answers and we need answers now,” another man said through a megaphone.”This should not be happening in the United Kingdom, this should never happen.” Facebook group 10:24AMSon carried disabled mother down 24 flights of stairs – but father missing 9:21AM’Hero of Grenfell Tower’ caught girl, 4, ‘like a rugby ball’ after she was thrown from building These are the latest images reaching us from Grenfell Tower as crews reach the top of 24-storey building amid the ongoing search operation. One speaker at the event, whose family friend, Rania Ibrahim and her two young children have not been seen since the blaze, said police instigated the disorder. Mustafa Almansur addressed the crowd just seconds before they charged for the doors of the town hall, PA reports.The mother, who is friends with Mr Almansur’s wife, live-streamed a video to Facebook from her 23rd-floor flat as the fire rose through the tower. When her battery ran out, the video cut, and she has not been heard from since.Speaking as crowds remained gathered at the entrance of the building, Mr Almansur said: “The people aren’t satisfied with this so the protests are going to continue.”He added: “The reason for the protest is so far in the last three days the general public have done everything from raising money to actually going out there on the streets, helping people, finding the victims of the tragedy, going to the community centres, the churches and the mosques with donations and in cash.”To this day the council has failed to do anything in public, they have not made a public statement or any public comment.”The statement they made today was just a fluffy statement, open ended promises with no concrete numbers of what they are going to be able to do for the people.”Protesters ran into the town hall after Mr Almansur read the council’s statement to the crowd.”The people didn’t storm the building, they walked into the building after I read out the statement, unhappy with what they heard,” he continued”So they said let’s go into the building and get the senior executives to come down, but the police were inside the building already not allowing anybody to go up the stairs.”The people stood there and they were speaking in the microphone making their demands be known.”Then we had about 20 police officers in high-vis jackets storming into the building trying to create a barricade and that created a rush of young people clashing with the police.”When the police came in and that’s when the pushing and shoving started and things got out of hand.” People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer Church The Queen and Prince William have arrived at a rest centre helping those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.The royal visitors are expected to meet volunteers, local residents and community representatives while visiting Westway Sports Centre, near the charred remains of the building in west London. The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at the Westway sports centre Andrea Leadsom is questioned by an angered member of the public outside Grenfell TowerCredit:Butterworth/Splash News Brenda Mercer, 64, who organised the vigil, has been instrumental in helping the relief effort from the Latymer centre.The 64-year-old said: “Last night I came to the wall to lay some flowers and I was overwhelmed because of how people were actually supporting each other, hugging each other. The small building has become the hub of a relief effort, co-ordinating aid and providing support for those displaced.The hundreds gathered on Bramley Road joined in with renditions of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, as well as Amazing Grace, during the short service.Then the crowd were asked to raise candles or torches in the air as they observed two minutes of silence for the dead.A painstaking recovery effort has been taking place at the gutted tower, with authorities predicting the death toll is likely to rise considerably. 4:55PMDispatch from the protest “There were only around a dozen people there and I thought, ‘I need to do something on a bigger scale’, so I went home and organised this.” The latest police update came as a second victim of the disaster was named as 24-year-old artist Khadija Saye.Ms Saye was in her flat on the 20th floor when the fire struck, with her mother Mary Mendy, who is thought to be in her 50s.Tottenham MP David Lammy confirmed the news on Twitter: Later in the evening, west London came together in grief with a candlelit vigil.Many wept openly as a sea of candles softly illuminated the road outside the Latymer Christian Centre, just yards from the site of the blaze. A man who posted pictures on Facebook of the body of someone believed to have leapt to his death from the Grenfell Tower fire has been jailed for three months.Omega Mwaikambo, 43, posted one video and two pictures of the body bag with the man inside and then later five pictures of the victim’s face and body after opening it to look inside.He pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court to two counts of sending by a public communications network an offending, indecent or obscene matter. Quite the crowd outside the church.— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 6:42PMAn estimated 1,000 protesters in central London Here’s how you can support those affected by the fire in West London:— JustGiving (@JustGiving) June 14, 2017 People light candles as they observe a vigil outside Notting hill Methodist Church following the blaze at Grenfell Tower Good morning and welcome to our continuing live coverage of the fallout following the Grenfell Tower blaze.Grief and sorrow at the inferno have given way to anger as residents of the gutted block demanded answers over the litany of failings that led to the disaster, reports Hayley Dixon, Sarah Knapton and Steven Swinford.As fears mounted that the death toll could rise above 100, senior politicians who visited the scene were asked to explain why a series of loopholes had left the inhabitants vulnerable, despite repeated warnings over the last 30 years.It emerged that there have been no updates to Britain’s building fire safety regulations for more than a decade, even though a number of fires abroad suggested they are out of date.  The shell of Grenfell Tower hangs over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist ChurchCredit:AFP 6:19PM’The people aren’t satisfied with this so the protests are going to continue’ 5:54PMWatch: Moment Grenfell fire protesters storm Kensington and Chelsea town hall 4:47PMStatement from the Radical Housing Network, who are supporting the protest 6:08PMMeanwhile in Kensington there are chants of ‘Theresa May must go’ Prime Minister Theresa May faces cries of “coward”, “help us” and “shame on you” as she leaves  St Clement’s Church after meeting survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster, but the Prime Minister says she is doing everything she can to offer assistance to those affected. 6:23PMTheresa May: Grenfell victims to be consulted on public inquiry The family was named as mother Nadia Choucair and daughters Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zeinab, three.”Fathia Alsanonse MISSING. People still can’t get through to her. Please keep an eye out,” another said, next to a picture of a smiling woman. Sadiq Khan is confronted by seven-year-old Kai Ramos 11:02PMHundreds gather for candlelit vigil 4:34PMProtesters demand a register of victims Sandra Ruiz, who is 12 year old Jessica Urbano’s aunt tells Camilla Turner  about relatives’ anger that hospitals are refusing to let relatives into wards to identify children:”People have lost family members and we don’t know if they’re alive or dead,” said Ms Ruiz, a 45-year-old business manager.”We have spent days going round and round hospitals and getting absolutely nowhere. No one helps.”Why don’t they let us walk down the wards and see for ourselves? These people don’t know them. Let us walk through the wards and find our children ourselves.” 4:02PMSome Grenfell homeless lack even toothbruth despite donations, pastor claims 6:57PMMan jailed for sharing photo of dead Grenfell Tower fire victim on Facebook I’m inside Kensington town hall. Police are holding an angry crowd back. Protesters who got inside 1st line turned back and asked for calm..— Great Editor (@simonchilds13) June 16, 2017 Megan Hession, of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “We had less than 10 who overnighted here.”Everybody has been rehomed except people choosing to stay here – one large family are all together in one place and are comfortable here.”Everybody has been put into hotels, B&Bs or in flats. By the weekend everyone will be rehomed in new flats.” Harry Yorke reportsStarting shortly after 3.30pm, hundreds of protestors congregated outside of Kensington Town Hall, amid cries for “justice, justice now.”Bearing banners calling for a “public inquest now”, the protestors were joined by singer Lily Allen, who criticised the Council’s announcement earlier today that it may not be able to rehouse all Grenfell Tower residents in the area. Around 123,000 people have now signed a petition demanding government action on fire safety in tower blocks.Campaign organisation 38 Degrees launched the petition calling for improved fire safety regulations in the wake of the the Grenfell Tower disaster. Campaigner Gordon Maloney said:“This huge petition proves that the British public isn’t just devastated by the fire in Grenfell Tower – we’re outraged. “This shocking tragedy is made all the more heartbreaking because it was avoidable. The government were warned time and time again of the fire risks in blocks of flats like this. But these warnings were ignored.“This is one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world, and it is a disgrace that this could ever have happened. Now the government needs to listen to the tens of thousands of people demanding action, and make sure this can never happen again.” In contrast Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Leader, hugged relatives of the missing  as at the scene and called for the empty homes of rich people in Kensington to be seized for residents made homeless by the fire.Mrs May is struggling  to recover her authority and form a Government in the wake of the Conservative’s disastrous election performance. Nick Robinson, the BBC presenter, suggested that the fire represented the “biggest political risk” facing the Prime Minister and compared it to the situation George Bush Jnr faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katerina. John McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor, urged the unions to mobilise more than a million protestors to put pressure on Mrs May to stand down in a march on July 1. 6:39PM’The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman’s government’ As dusk approached, the protesters were greeted by the shell of Grenfell Tower on the horizon, the charred edifice a stark sight against the bright skyline. Throughout the march chants of “justice” had rippled up the crowd.”We are here today because you must look at that building with tears streaming down your face,” one woman told the group as they neared the foot of the tower.Pausing, the hundreds fell silent for a moment before breaking into applause and cheers for those killed.”We need answers and we need answers now,” another man said through a megaphone.”This should not be happening in the United Kingdom, this should never happen.” 12:22PMBreaking: Police say 30 people confirmed as dead Protesters walk towards the Grenfell Tower, during a demonstration following the fire that engulfed the 24-storey building 6:12PMPolice hold protesters back at Kensington Town Hall 9:41AMTwelve people remain critically ill after fire Mohammed ‘Saber’ Neda, 57 with his wife Shakila, 45, and 24-year-old son FarhadCredit:SWNS Protesters marched north from Kensington to Notting Hill, the numbers swelling as they progressed.Traffic was forced to grind to a halt as the crowd pooled in the middle of Bayswater Road. As they walked, they chanted for justice, with tempers among pockets of the group at times threatening to boil over. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing more criticism for failing to meet survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy when she visited the scene of the blaze.Mrs May met police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the disaster during a private visit to the west London site, but unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, she was not seen to speak to families and residents. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A protest is taking place outside Kensington Town Hall following the #GrenfellTower fire— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 16, 2017 The protest, and his words, were described by people at the scene as “angry but peaceful”.Here is something he wrote on Facebook earlier today:PUBLIC DONATIONS SO FAR: £5m+ COUNCIL FUNDS SO FAR: £0Here are only those published on justgiving: 1. Evening Standard £1.3m 2. The London Community Foundation £0.6m 3. Haley Yearwood (individual) £1.06m 4. Karolina Hanusova (individual) £0.37m 5. Family Action £0.12m 6. Evening Standard £47k 7. Anass Boudarka (individual) £42k 8. The Metro £100kThis extraordinary generosity of our people. I have only been able to capture crowed funds and those published online. Please remember MOST donations are going through hotlines directly to charities and not published online.How much did the council of Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea commit so far in public!? £0How much did the developers who took £10m to renovate this building commit so far in public? £0My point is, you are amazing. Our government sucks! Our reporter at the scene has said the crowd chased Theresa May’s car as she left.The Prime Minister left the church by a side entrance and did not address the crowd. 5:03PMThe protest leader is named as Mustafa Mansour 6:24PM’£400m…for Buckingham Palace but no money for poor people’s fire alarms’ A woman, who wiped away tears of frustration as she moved away from St Clement’s Church, said: “Everyone has lost everything and no one is doing nothing. This is our town.”Another man, who did not give his name, told police: “It’s not your fault, she shouldn’t have come. Queen The man 'caught her like a rugby ball' and held her to his chest The shell of Grenfell Tower hangs over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist Church Nadia Choucair A woman touches a missing poster for 12-year-old Jessica Urbano on a tribute wall after laying flowers as a boy and a man look at messages on the side of Latymer Community Church next to the fire-gutted Grenfell TowerCredit:AP Huge piles of boxes are stacked outside the church in Latimer Road, close to the remains of the Grenfell Tower block.Mr Wilson said: “There is just confusion, the council doesn’t know what they are doing. We are afraid that these things would be taken away and just dumped, stored…”Mr Wilson said companies volunteered to collect the goods and store them in a large warehouse which could be visited by survivors. His team has also sent supplies to the residents they found in Earl’s Court.   6:31PMProtesters march to No 10 Chris Imafidon, whose home overlooks Grenfell Tower, gave an emotional address to the crowd, holding a poster for one of the young children missing in one hand and a scorched piece of cladding in the other. He said: “I’m not here because I support the Tories, Labour or Liberals.”I’m here because this child … on Tuesday went to bed and now nobody knows where this child is.”I was in front of the block of flats that went up in flames and here (the cladding) is the evidence.” Victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster will be asked how the public inquiry into the fire should be carried out, Theresa May has announced.Survivors and the families of those who died in the devastating blaze will also be given state funding for legal representation at the probe, the Prime Minister told residents during a visit to a nearby church. A protester stands with a placard demanding "Theresa May, just quit already! We've had enough!!!" outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in central London on June 16, 2017 The Queen looks close to tears as she meets residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fireCredit: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA It follows warnings the inquiry may take years to conclude and may never establish the truth of what happened.Mrs May announced on Thursday she was ordering a judge-led inquiry to ensure the events at the 24-storey block were “properly investigated”.As she met a group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the tragedy, No 10 said the Prime Minister told survivors they will be consulted on the terms of reference for the inquiry, which will allow them to shape the way it is run so they can get the answers they are seeking. 12:53PMQueen appears close to tears as she meets residents affected by fire He added that there is “nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately”.Mr Cundy said the conditions at the scene are “particularly hazardous” and the search will take some time.He said the investigation is now being led by police, emphasising that charges will be brought if criminal acts are established. Protestors now heading for Number 10. They are chanting: “No justice! No peace!”— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 7:36AMMore than 1,800 plan Westminster ‘justice’ rally A growing number of frantic families are desperately appealing for news about missing loved ones after the Grenfell Tower fire.The streets around the high rise block in north Kensington were plastered with posters begging for information about those who were in the building.More appeals were put up overnight on Thursday as relatives became increasingly distraught about their loved ones. Jack Maidment reports:A crowd numbering in the hundreds has gathered in front of the Home Office.Many people are carrying socialist worker placards which read “Tories have blood on their hands. Justice for Grenfell.”Other placards read “blame the market, not migrants, homes for people not for profit”.A man wearing a West Ham shirt addresses the crowd and says: “We are being treated like rubbish. Our people are being murdered. Look what they are doing to us.”He then says the Tories “murdered those children” as he attacks Theresa May for failing to meet with residents. He calls for the protestors to head to Downing Street as he says Mrs May “is not fit to be prime minister”.   A demonstrator shouts during a protest outside Kensington Town Hall Grief turning to anger even on the wall of messages. One reads ‘£400m…for Buckingham Palace but no money for poor people’s fire alarms’— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) June 16, 2017 More chants of “Tories out!”Pretty striking scene this.— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 The PM had earlier visited Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to meet staff and patients who were caught up in the fire.After her visit, Mrs May said: “Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the Government is there for them at this terrible time – and that is what I am determined to provide.”The Queen and Duke of Cambridge went to temporary relief centres where they met volunteers and residents who had lost everything. 3:32PMMore than 100,000 sign petition demanding tower block safety action 1:47PMTheresa May pictured leaving hospital after meeting survivors  Grenfell Tower protest currently ongoing outside the Home Office.— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 8:59AM’It sent chills through me’: Simon Cowell spurred to release charity single by ‘heartbreaking’ reports   He told BBC’s This Week: “She met in private with the emergency services, a good thing to do no doubt, but she should have been there with the residents, which is what Jeremy Corbyn was.”She wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn’t use her humanity.”The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that.” 5:32PMTheresa May leaves church to shouts of “coward” The poster repeats claims made on the front page of The Times this morning. 5:43PMNumber 10 promises £5million for Grenfell victims  Huge plumes of smoke pour from Grenfell Tower as the blaze ragesCredit:JEREMY SELWYN/Eyevine No10 package for Grenfell:— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) June 16, 2017 After widespread criticism for not meeting residents at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire, Theresa May is this morning making a private visit to speak to survivors at one of the London hospitals where they are being treated.Following the visit, the Prime Minister will chair a cross-Whitehall meeting on how the authorities can help affected communities and victims recover. 5:49PMSteven Swinford reports Theresa May’s speech from church 6:07PMEstimated two hundred people gathered for march outside Home Office Shocking scenes as Theresa May bundled into a car by police amid fury from the pushing crowd— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) June 16, 2017 Police officers protect the entourage carrying Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May from a crowd of people after she visited a church following the fire that destroyed The Grenfell Tower blockCredit:Reuters  Tory MP Andrea Leadsom is questioned by an angered member of the public outside Grenfell Tower At least 30 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said.”Sadly, that figure will rise,” he said, adding: “Sadly we do not expect to find any survivors.”Mr Cundy said 24 people are being treated in hospital and 12 of them remain in critical care. 11:01AMQueen and Prince William visit people affected by Grenfell disaster Theresa May sweeps into St Clements Church close to Grenfell House without speaking to public— David Brown (@DavidhBrown) June 16, 2017 Downing Street announced a £5 million fund for emergency supplies, food and clothing for victims amid fears the death toll will rise, with more than 70 people in total still believed to be unaccounted for.There was a large police presence as Mrs May met a group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the horrific blaze on Friday afternoon. As she spoke to Sky News at the site of the fire in west London, Mrs Leadsom was confronted by a local resident, who said opportunities had been missed to make the 24-storey block safe following a report into the 2009 Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, south London.The man said: “Why are Sadiq Khan and Corbyn coming down here to speak to people and Theresa May is coming here with police, walking around, not meeting no-one, not meeting families?”This fire could have been stopped a long, long time ago … There’s not even sprinklers in there.”In 2009, the last block was on fire. What has changed since then? Nothing. Enough is enough, I have got friends in that tower. I have a right to be angry. Because of people saving money, people are dying.” Mrs Leadsom said:”The Prime Minister came yesterday to look at the operation, to try to make sure that everything that can be done by the Government is done.”The Prime Minister is absolutely heartbroken … The whole sense in the House of Commons is absolute horror and shock. I don’t really think it is appropriate to be talking about whether people have humanity or not.”Understandably, people are desperately traumatised and, yes, people are angry and that is totally understandable.”What we need to do is to get a grip of this and make sure we are meeting their immediate needs as well as their ongoing needs and that is really the priority for Government.”Asked if Mrs May would visit the scene again to meet those affected, Mrs Leadsom said: “The Prime Minister is doing everything she can. I’m sure if it is felt that that would be helpful, then she will do that.” 7:54PMProtesters reach Grenfell Tower 2:12PMBoris Johnson: Attack on emergency services is outrageous politicking Sky reports that there has been an arrest at the protest.Their correspondent, Enda Brady, told viewers he was moving away from the scene for his own safety.This is because the atmosphere was reportedly growing hostile towards the media. Residents who have lost their homes in the Grenfell Tower disaster might be rehoused in other areas of London.Kensington and Chelsea Council said 110 households had been given temporary accommodation by Friday morning, adding that it is working to find more permanent homes.But the authority’s latest statement said: “While we will try do our upmost (sic) to ensure those affected remain in or near the borough, given the number of households involved, it is possible the council will have to explore housing options that may become available in other parts of the capital.”The households include people living in nearby blocks which have been evacuated because of the disaster.Housing Minister Alok Sharma told MPs on Thursday that the Government guaranteed “that every single family” from the Tower will be rehoused in the local area. The Queen and Duke were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Ken Olisa, with the shell of the tower block visible in the distance behind them.The Queen, dressed in blue, stopped to speak to local residents who had gathered outside. At one point, she looked close to tears.The pair met with volunteers who have coordinated the effort at the centre, in front of tables stacked with donated goods.William commented to one volunteer, who spoke about the fire: “Things like that you never want to see.”The Duke told another volunteer: “That’s one of the most terrible things I have ever seen.” Simon Cowell has said that watching “chilling” footage from the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire moved him to add his support by releasing a charity single.The music mogul has pledged to record a new track within the next few days to help raise funds for those affected.He told Good Morning Britain he felt he could not “do nothing”.”It sent chills through me,” he said. “For me, in my position, to not do something would be appalling.”I think the thing that really hit home to me was seeing that wall with all those messages written on, and then how residents turned up with water and clothes.” Theresa May: ‘People have been left with nothing – one woman told me she escaped in only her top and underwear’ #GrenfellTower— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 16, 2017— lily #labourtine🎈 (@lilyallen) June 16, 2017 Huge plumes of smoke pour from Grenfell Tower as the blaze rages Sadiq Khan is confronted by seven-year-old Kai RamosCredit:Yui Mok/PA Donations to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy have surpassed £2million in just two days.Several charity and fundraising campaigns were set up following the blaze. Haley Yearwood, a teacher at a school in the borough, started a JustGiving page which alone has helped raise more than £1m.Another campaign on behalf of Grenfell Tower residents has also surpassed £1m.Ms Yearwood said she was “humbled” by the “absolutely amazing response” from members of the public who have donated.“Wow! We’ve got a million pounds,” she said. “I’ve raised the target again and no doubt it may have to be raised again. Thank you all so much. Police have removed council workers from the building during the protest. 5:13PMCouncil employees evacuated from building Probably a couple of hundred of #GlenfellTower protestors outside the Home Office.— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 The Grenfell Tower neighbourhood has begun to resemble Notting Hill Carnival due to crowds of tourists visiting since the fire, a community leader has warned, PA reports.Brenda Mercer, 64, a member of the area’s residents’ association, said the community is struggling to grieve under the glare of the world spotlight.Speaking on the eve of a vigil for those killed in the disaster, she said they would welcome the demolition of the charred tower as a chance to move on.As darkness fell almost three days since the fire started, the roads of west London were still packed.Food stalls lined the roads and cars struggle to move. Lily Allen said: “I think there’s a lot of anger here towards the council, how they’ve dealt with people’s concerns building up to this event and how they have dealt with things after the event as well.”The singer added that the humanitarian effort was being led by community leaders rather than the council, saying: “It is chaotic, they don’t have any experience of it and I think it’s actually playing into the hands of the Government because once these people’s hope turns to anger, they have got a real problem on their hands.”I feel like the Government is trying to micromanage people’s grieving here.” Speaking to the BBC, the Prime Minister said:This is not just about finding out what happened, it’s about providing that support.  The protesters have demanded:A written commitment from the council on immediate rehousing of Grenfell Tower Fire, within the boroughImmediate release of funds to cover welfare and all losses suffered by the victimsCommission investigation into the recent refurbishment of the towerRelease full list of victims so families can bereave the deadCommission investigation into all similar buildings in the borough to identify fire, health and safety risks and put in place immediate control measures.They have said they will not leave the town hall until demands are met. 4:39PMVideo of scale of protest “You misread the public mood.” PM Theresa May challenged over her response to the #GrenfellTower fire— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 16, 2017 His uncle Aref, 54, told The Sun about how the Mrs Neda, who suffers from a  muscle ­disease, collapsed from the smoke that was entering their home.He said: “Shekeb needed to get her out quickly. He took her arms, put them around his neck and carried her over his back down all 24 floors.”Flora was still in a coma in hospital last night, and Mr Neda is in hospital too. Friends said he is awake and “getting better”. Click here to read more.  7:04PMProtesters march towards Notting Hill 8:35PMThe protests have now moved to the BBC HQ London Fire Brigade has described support given to its staff following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire as “overwhelming”.More than 200 firefighters were called to the blaze in the early hours of Wednesday and commissioner Dany Cotton said crews would remain at the scene for many days.Search and rescue dogs have been used on the site in west London as investigations and searches continue.The service shared a picture on social media of a card which had been handed to crews in north Kensington.Written by someone called Derin to all the emergency services, the card said: “Thank you all by saving people’s lives.” 5:24PMCries of  “get her out” aimed at Theresa May outside church She declined to speak to anyone outside the meeting where an angry crowd had gathered and police broke up a scuffle among the group as Mrs May’s car drove off.  Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Facebook 2.7thousand 5:14PM’I hope they see this on TV – it’s a disgrace’ Around 2,700 people have now said they are attending a rally in three hours to demand “justice” for those caught up in the  fire.After a string of politicians have been heckled by angry locals demanding answers, there are fears that tensions could boil over at the event.A Facebook event, Justice for Grenfell!, has been listed as taking place at 6pm outside the Department for Communities and Local Government.  Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, has released a statement on the checks being made in areas with tower blocks:“Following the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, councils with tower blocks in their local area have been working with their local fire service, and undertaking urgent reviews of their high-rise buildings.“Fire risk assessments and the construction of buildings are being reviewed and double checks are being made to ensure remedial work recommended under previous assessments have been carried out. Councils are also working closely with tenants to review and offer fire safety advice.“Councils take the safety of residents extremely seriously. We need to know with certainty how this fire started and why it spread so quickly so that councils can start to take any action needed.“The LGA continues to work closely with councils, the Government and fire chiefs to help coordinate national efforts in response to this dreadful disaster.”The thoughts of the whole local government family remain with the victims and families affected by this devastating fire, the local community and the emergency services.” 4:32PMSigns say Grenfell Tower was “corporate murder of poor” 4:59PMDemands of protesters Several hundred now gathered outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall for the #GlenfellTower demo— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) June 16, 2017 8:50AMThe safety features that were at Grenfell Tower… and those that weren’t On Thursday the Queen paid tribute to the “bravery” of firefighters who battled the fire and praised the “incredible generosity” of volunteers offering their support. 5:39PMAngry crowd chases Theresa May’s car Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside.But that stipulation was scrapped and from the mid 80s materials on outer walls did not have to be non-combustible, allowing builders to start installing dangerous cladding despite warnings from fire safety chiefs.Nearly 20 years ago, following a fire at a tower block in Irvine in Ayrshire, MPs were warned by the Fire Safety Development Group that cladding can: ‘contribute to the fire, release toxic chemicals and drip plastic on people trying to fight the fire.’Ronnie King, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group said: “We have been saying for years that the regulations need to be changed. But there has been no effort to improve anything because everyone believes there are less fires nowadays, so there was no will. Why would you increase the burden of regulation?  Meanwhile, the protest at the Town Hall appears to be relatively calm. 12:09PMTheresa May arrives at hospital to meet blaze victims There is a march scheduled for 6pm, where protesters plan to demand justice.Now, protesters including, it is thought, survivors of the blaze have staged a sit-in at Kensington Borough Council.  However, the protest quickly grew more raucous, as a small section of the crowd moved towards the main reception and attempted to gain entrance to the building.With many RBKC staff members reassigned to moving large quantities of aid and food for the displaced Grenfell evacuees earlier today, the Council was forced to suspend their efforts while protestors attempted to make their way into the building.Protesters soon managed to force their way in to the main building, with hundreds pouring in and occupying the reception foyer.  They are asking for answers and justice following the loss of life and destruction of homes.Angry protesters are shouting outside the town hall and council offices. People are explaining their grievances and asking to know who is responsible.They are asking council officers to come outside. A woman touches a missing poster for 12-year-old Jessica Urbano on a tribute wall after laying flowers as a boy and a man look at messages on the side of Latymer Community Church next to the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower A number of residents left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire have not even been given a toothbrush despite the volume of items donated following the tragedy, a pastor has claimed.Derrick Wilson, from the Tabernacle Christian Centre, one of the many which collected donations after Wednesday’s disaster, said he had heard harrowing stories of people still without aid.Mr Wilson criticised a lack of co-ordination from the council and said his team had been forced to deliver items directly to those affected.He said that volunteers found around 60 residents, evacuated from the block to accommodation in Earl’s Court, who still had nothing.The 53-year-old said: “We have just heard some harrowing stories because of the lack of co-ordination.”We sent out people to find out where these residents are and at Earl’s Court we just found out a number of residents had not received even a toothbrush. They are very angry but they are not really saying much.”He added: “Some of them, they haven’t received anything, they haven’t got any money.”They are only being given bed, breakfast and dinner – nothing in between. So what we are doing now is setting up everything from here.” Theresa May fire As the days pass after the Grenfell Tower blaze, incredible tales of bravery are continuing to emerge.Pictures have emerged of a four-year-old girl being saved when a man known only as Pat caught her “like a rugby ball tucked in his chest” when she was thrown from the fifth floor.But witnesses fear the worst for her mother as the flat was engulfed in flames seconds after the small child was thrown out. #JusticeForGrenfell occupy Oxford #Grenfell #Inquest4Grenfell #Corbyn #ToriesOut #tories #May— ➊AlexCam ⏩ (@1alexcam) June 16, 2017 6:40PMTheresa May: This has been an ‘absolutely horrendous tragedy’ Demonstrators stormed the offices of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) over its handling of the crisis amid concerns that earlier renovation work was linked to the dramatic spread of the blaze. 3:08PM2,700 people set to attend ‘justice’ rally from 6pm Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has accused Labour of “political game playing” after the London fire, saying: “I find it unbelievable that Labour are suggesting that this tragedy was somehow caused by fire service cuts.”He added: “Any attack on emergency services performance is outrageous politicking by Labour.”Here’s his full statement:   People are asking questions about how the tower was allowed to become so unsafe. “THERESA MAY…””MUST GO”The current chant at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall #GrenfellTower— Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) June 16, 2017 Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s new chief of staff and former housing minister, refused to answer reporters’ questions about the Grenfell Tower fire this morning as he arrived at Downing Street.Reporters asked him questions about his role in a delayed fire safety review that he was accused of “sitting on” and asked when we can expect it to be released.But he walked straight past, not acknowledging that he had been asked the questions at all.  2:48PMLatest pictures from search operation as crews reach top of tower People light candles as they observe a vigil outside Notting hill Methodist Church following the blaze at Grenfell TowerCredit:AFP Emergency workers search debris that fell at the base of the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower  #GrenfellTower protest at Kensington and Chelsea town hall.— Michael Gravesande (@OldBlackHack) June 16, 2017 People storm the Kensington & Chelsea town hall to protest for the #GrenfellTower fire. These are their demands— Evdoxia Lymperi (@EvdoxiaL) June 16, 2017 Protesters storm Kensington Town HallCredit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, 23, was also killed in the fire. Click here to read more. Downing Street aides said that the purpose of Mrs May’s visit was to get a briefing from emergency services and ensure that they had the resources they needed.She later appeared on TV to announce a public inquiry into the fire and promise that those left homeless would be rehoused nearby.But former cabinet minister Michael Portillo said the Prime Minister “didn’t use her humanity”. Sky News suggested that “political opportunists” could be among the crowds at the scene after a press conference was punctuated by residents shouting support for Mr Corbyn.  The public anger was fuelled by an emerging picture of failings surrounding the safety in the building, including allegations that fire doors had not been fitted, which the police and fire brigade said would form part of their investigation. Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. This is hugely significant because official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building. People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer Church, close to Grenfell TowerCredit:PA 7:05PMChants of ‘Tories out!’ at central London protest Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has posted on Twitter a letter he has sent to Theresa May in which he demands “answers, action and justice” for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Theresa May: ‘The stories I heard at the hospital were horrific. People have been left with nothing’ #GrenfellTower— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 16, 2017 10:45AMVideo: Theresa May’s chief of staff refuses to answer questions about fire A protester stands with a placard demanding “Theresa May, just quit already! We’ve had enough!!!” outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in central London on June 16, 2017Credit:AFP Dozens of residents have not been seen since the tragedy, many of them young families and children.One appeal read: “Since a deadly fire broke out in their home in Latimer, no one has heard from 16 year old Nurhuda El-Wahabi, 21 year old Yasmin El-Wahabi and their family.”They live on the 21st floor. Please spread this round and keep a look out for their family.”Another asked for information about “Amal and daughter” with a photo of a young woman with curly dark hair and a little girl.A whole family were reported missing on one poster, which said: “The Choucair family is missing in the Grenfell Tower fire. They lived on the 22nd floor, in flat 193.” Prime Minister Theresa May has been pictured leaving London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.She had spent almost an hour speaking to patients and staff at the hospital, which has a specialist burns unit and has been treating eight survivors.Mrs May was heading to Whitehall to chair a meeting about the Government’s response to the tragedy this afternoon.  Theresa May leaving Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Resident Kadelia Woods, 20, told The Sun: “The mum had the little girl’s head wrapped in a towel and was holding her out of the window and was screaming for help. The fire was raging like crazy. It was about 2am and the flat was filled with smoke.“My neighbour Pat, who’s in his 40s, was calling up to her shouting, ‘Drop her, don’t worry I’ll catch her’. The mum was screaming, ‘No, no, I can’t, I can’t’.“Pat kept reassuring her and then the girl just dropped. Everyone’s hearts stopped as she fell. We were all fearing the worst.“But Pat managed to catch her like a rugby ball tucked in his chest and he just clung on to her.“She had a pink dressing gown on and she was just screaming hysterically for her mum. The paramedics were trying to put an oxygen mask on her but she was just screaming and screaming.  I don’t think her mum survived. When I looked up again the whole floor was on fire.”  Ellie Steafel says:Mrs May is expected to meet volunteers and some families of missing people on her visit this afternoon. The crowd is growing increasingly hostile. One woman is shouting at the police: “Why  have you brought her down here where there are no families? You brought her to this tiny church! “This is a PR stunt. If she cared she would have come here yesterday!”Mrs May was criticised yesterday for only visiting the scene of Tuesday’s fire for 15 minutes. So far this afternoon she has been inside St Clements Church for half an hour. Theresa May spent almost an hour speaking to patients and staff at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Friday, a day after visiting the scene of the blaze in west London to talk to firefighters, police and other emergency workers – but not residents.Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom was confronted by an angry local man at a community centre near the site of the disaster, as she rejected allegations that the PM had shown a lack of “humanity” in her response.Local people have contrasted the style of Mrs May’s private visit with those of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was seen with his arm round the shoulders of people affected by the disaster.But Mrs Leadsom, who visited the area in her role as Leader of the Commons, rejected criticisms, insisting that Mrs May was “absolutely heartbroken” by the blaze and was simply trying to make sure the Government did everything it could to deal with its aftermath. She did not address the crowd, but quickly left amid shouts of “coward”. Along with a bulk of other commitments: 11:51PMKensington town hall closed following earlier protests The posting said: “At least 12 people have died in the fire at Grenfell Tower. They deserve justice. We demand answers. Solidarity with the residents of Grenfell Tower.” 7:47AMFirefighters ‘overwhelmed’ by public’s support 1:17PMAndrea Leadsom confronted by angry local as she defends Theresa May Grenfell protest: Fists raised for a minute’s silence outside the BBC— Tara Mulholland (@tara_mulholland) June 16, 2017 Volunteers organise boxes of donations following the Grenfell Tower fireCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer ChurchCredit:PA The Government has promised to rehome victims within three weeks at the latest.They also are aiming to rehome people close enough to access their local schools and GPs – so within the borough and if not, a neighboring borough.Number 10 is also meeting the cost of temporary housing for the victims. The Government is also providing financial assistance for those who are rehoused so there are no costs for parents taking their children to school.The Treasury is also going to make sure people who lost their bank cards in the blaze will have access to their accounts, and the DWP is making sure they have access to benefits and pensions as normal. One simply said: “Missing: Marjorie Vital” with a picture of a woman in a white hat.Smoke could be seen billowing from the charred remains on Thursday and pockets of flames were still burning onFriday morning. Click hereto read more about the victims we know about. Mrs May said: “We need to know what happened; we need to have an explanation of this, we owe that to the families. To the people who have lost loved ones, friends, and the homes in which they lived.”However she faced criticism over why she didn’t meet residents when she visited the scene and instead attended a briefing with emergency services. She later defended her actions, saying: “I wanted a briefing from the emergency services.”Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, was heckled by residents as he praised the emergency services. He tried to shake the hand of seven-year-old Kai Ramos, who instead asked: “How many children died? What are you going to do about it?” The Queen heard how the community had rallied in the wake of the fire and praised those who had come together, adding their response had “come over very strongly”.Harrowing cries could be heard inside the main hall of the rest centre, where evacuated families and locals have been gathering, as a group of residents consoled one another.A short distance away, the Queen and Duke of Cambridge met helpers from the Red Cross and its chief executive Mike Adamson. My letter to the Prime Minister, demanding answers, action and justice for those affected by the #GrenfellTower fire— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 16, 2017 12:27PM’Nothing to suggest fire was started deliberately’ Many pooled around the tribute wall which has sprung up on the side of the Latymer Christian Centre, taking photos and leaving flowers and messages.Ms Mercer told the Press Association: “It is wonderful but it is making the grieving hard because it feels like Notting Hill Carnival at the moment.”I think the community itself is, we are sort of wanting it to stay in the W10, W11, Notting Hill area.”If people want to make a donation or to show they are thinking about us that’s fine, but to stay around, some start to treat it like a tourist attraction.”For people here in the community, we cannot wait for the tower to be pulled down, it is a constant reminder.”The focus for us at the moment is what happened to these missing people, not what happened to the building, people are more important.” 8:01AMDesperate families post appeals over relatives missing since blaze 5:21PMMeanwhile, there has allegedly been an arrest at the Kensington Town Hall protest May you rest in peace Khadija Saye. God bless your beautiful soul. My heart breaks today. I mourn the tragic loss of a wonderful young woman— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 16, 2017 1:55PMSadiq Khan writes open letter to Theresa May demanding ‘action, answers, justice’ 11:45AMTower blocks could be knocked down in wake of Grenfell fire Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident at ST Clement’s Church during a visitCredit:PA 1:04PMSecond victim of disaster named as 24-year-old artist 9:40AMDuchess of Cornwall sends ‘heartfelt thoughts and prayers’ to victims 7:43AMTheresa May ‘didn’t use her humanity’ in Grenfell Tower visit The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at the Westway Sports CentreCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA Mohammed 'Saber' Neda, 57 with his wife Shakila, 45, and son Farhad, 24 Locals have been writing hundreds of messages of condolence on a wall near Latymer ChurchCredit: Paul Grover for the Telegraph Theresa May speaking to fire crews at Grenfell Tower. She has been criticised for not meeting residentsCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Pat holds the girl after catching her ‘like a rugby ball tucked in his chest’Credit:Guilhem Baker/LNP First shots from inside a gutted tower 7:57PM’You misread the public mood’ Harry Yorke reports from the scenePeaky Saku , 22, of Winstable house, Grenfell road, said that he attended the protest outside of Kensington Town Hall to “hold power account” and to ensure that the residents of Grenfell Tower “had their voices heard.””I’m here because if we don’t do this, then who listens to us – no one.”They need to end the regeneration plans in our neighbourhood, and the buildings around London clad in that flammable plastic need to be evacuated and replaced immediately.”The councillors that need to answer our questions have already run home apparently. But they should be here to see this.”I hope they see this on TV and take notice, because this is a disgrace. It can’t happen again.” 8:40AMEx-minister urges inquiry to be split into two parts to give families quick answers Theresa May has just arrived at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which has a specialist burns unit, and took in most of the injured on the day of the tower block blaze. She ignored questions about why it had taken her so long to meet victims as she arrived: People are planning a rally in Westminster on Friday night to call for “justice” for those caught up in the Grenfell Tower fire.A Facebook event, Justice for Grenfell!, has been listed as taking place at 6pm on Friday outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in Marsham Street, with more than 1,800 people said to be attending. People appear to be asking for Theresa May to resign outside the church in which she  is meeting families. 5:29PMPicture of Theresa May entering the church A 24-year-old man carried his disabled mother to safety down 24 flights of stairs during the Grenfell blaze, reports Helena Horton.Graduate Shekeb Neda, carried Flora, 55, on his back through smoke down the staircase. But his father, Mohammed ‘Saber’ Neda, remained in the flat and is missing. The 57-year-old was last heard from at 2.20am when he made a frantic phone call to a relative to say that the building was burning and that there was “no help”.His parents are from Afghanistan and he recently graduated from Kingston university with a degree in mechanical engineering. writing messages of condolence on the wall of the Latymer Church 10:14PMGrenfell Tower neighbourhood ‘beginning to resemble carnival’, community leader warns Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid tried to reassure people living in similar high-rise blocks who fear they may be at risk or are living in a building which is covered in flammable cladding.He told BBC Breakfast: “There are about 4,000 high-rise buildings in the country but not all of them have been re-cladded but also let’s not just make the assumption that it is all about cladding.”We need to be led by the experts and as soon as we have more information from the experts, which we expect either later today or certainly over the weekend that is what I think should be used to do these emergency inspections.”He also defended Mrs May who went on a private visit to the scene and left without talking to any of the community who had been affected by the blaze but spoke to the emergency service workers.Mr Javid told BBC Breakfast it was “absolutely right” for her to go “as quickly as she could to learn about the operation and to discover if there is anything more that the Government could be doing to help with the operation”. 10:08AM£2m raised for Grenfell fire victims after ‘absolutely amazing response’  BuzzFeed correspondent Hannah al-Othman who is at the scene said: “I think the prime minister might be trapped in a church.” 9:12PMTheresa May called ‘a coward’ after meeting Grenfell fire victims Sidani Atmani, 41, said his neighbour on the 15th floor, a man he knew as Stephen, died because he had followed fire brigade instructions to stay in his flat.“A lot of people died because of what they were told to do,” he said. “It was horrible.”If there were a lack of fire doors that might also help to explain why the fire spread so rapidly through the building rather than being ‘compartmentalised’. RBKC declined to comment as did the management company.Information released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under a previous Freedom of Information request also suggests that Grenfell tower may not have had a full Fire Risk Assesment since December 2015, despite undergoing a full refurbishment completed in May last year. Experts have been raising concerns for the last 30 years that building regulations concerning fire are not sufficient, especially surrounding fire escapes and the use of cladding to make buildings more energy efficient.  The latest figures from NHS England show that 24 people are still being treated in hospitals across London, of whom 12 remain in critical care. 4:26PMProtests break out in London EXCLUSIVE: @SimonCowell reveals his plans to make a charity single for the victims of the #GrenfellTowerfire ❤️— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 16, 2017 The town hall has been closed – the following message is on the official website:The town hall has been closed following damage caused during a protest. Volunteers planning to attend tomorrow and Sunday to help sort donations should not come until further notice. Please check this website for further updates. 5:17PMHostile crowd waits for Theresa May outside church Theresa May leaves the Chelsea and Westminster HospitalCredit:M WRIGHT/BACKGRID “What did she expect was going to happen.”He added: “What did she bring, what useful things did she bring? The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman’s government.”  A demonstrator shouts during a protest outside Kensington Town HallCredit: REUTERS 11:38AMVideo: Queen tours refuge centre where families have spent night Emergency services personnel on top of Grenfell Tower Search crews at the top of Grenfell Tower Cowell said he had already been in touch with record label chiefs about recording the track over the weekend, but had yet to decide on a song or which artists to involve.Cowell is known for his support of various causes and charities, including being a patron of Together For Short Lives, a charity for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.In 2010 he produced a charity single, Everybody Hurts, for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. 2:59PMUpdate on checks to high-rise tower blocks after disaster 8:12PMSit-down protest in Oxford Street 8:32PM’Let us walk through the wards and find our children ourselves’ Grenfell Tower: Could blocks like it be torn down?Credit:TOLGA AKMEN/AFP Lovely thank you letter received by crews at #GrenfellTower. The support we have received from all over the world has been overwhelming.— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 15, 2017 7:30PM’I’m here because of this child’ 6:12PM’We are being treated like rubbish. Our people are being murdered.’: Scene at Westminster A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire should be split into two parts to give families answers more quickly, a former housing minister has suggested.Mark Prisk said an inquiry was needed to ensure “that we have the evidence on this issue”. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he recommended the first part of the inquiry take place over the summer and “perhaps into the early autumn”. He said: “Inspections can take place whilst an inquiry is in hand and they should and I think ministers are doing that, but I think we need to have a full public inquiry because at the moment we’re all speculating.”I want to see a two part inquiry, one looking at what are the specifics in this instance, but not too long so that families aren’t left hanging out, wanting to know what’s actually happened, then looking at the wider implications for the rest of the building stock.”We need to be willing to address the picture in the round and not just say this is an isolated incident, if the evidence shows there are wider implications we need to face up to that.”  Volunteers organise boxes of donations following near Grenfell Tower 1:51PMPeople who lost homes in Grenfell Tower might be rehoused in other boroughs Mr Javid replied: “I think any human being would be worried. From the moment they heard about that fire, waking up that morning, they would be immediately worried about their families.”Asked whether 1970s tower blocks should be knocked down because they are “inherently unsafe”, he said: “We need to act immediately, we need to do whatever it takes to make the properties safe.” Click here to read more. Protest organiser Mustafa Mansour outlines council responses to demands made on behalf of those affected by #GrenfellTower fire— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 16, 2017 A strong campaigner on mental health, William said it was important that those affected talked about the trauma they had witnessed.Loubna Aghzafi, 42, a local resident, told William that many people she had spoken to were not yet able to share their experiences.He replied: “They may want to eventually. They must talk about it.” The Queen and William signed a book of condolence in front of a wall plastered with missing posters describing those feared lost in the fire.Outside, crowds applauded members of the London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service as they lined up to be thanked for their bravery by the royal visitors. 8:16AMSajid Javid seeks to reassure people living in high-rise blocks Emergency services personnel on top of Grenfell TowerCredit:Rick Findler/PA The Grenfell protest makes its way towards Downing Street.— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 Speaking on Radio 2 at the final of a children’s writing competition, the Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in the fire.She said: “I’m sure all of you here today would like to join me in sending our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families and friends, who were so tragically involved in the horrific fire in North Kensington.” She said that some nurses have taken pity on relatives and allowed them into the wards, who have gone on to discover their children. “It works, so why isn’t everyone else allowed to do it? The children are out there and they’re without their mummies and daddies,” she told The Telegraph. “The authorities don’t help us, they don’t cooperate. Their elusiveness only results in our anger.”Ms Ruiz said that tensions were running high on Friday night, with many angry at the police and emergency services for preventing them from going into Grenfell Tower to rescue their friends or family during the blaze.”They were stopping strong young men from going into the building to help,” she said. “That’s why they’re angry. They wanted to help, they knew the risk, but they were hindered.”Jessica Urbano is one of the many children who are missing from Grenfell Tower. Her mother, Adriana Urbano, was returning from her job as an office cleaner late when her daughter Jessica rang her to say there was a fire in their building.Mrs Urbano  said: “Jessica had been asleep in our flat when something woke her – I don’t know if it was the smoke or a fire alarm – so she rang me at 1.39am as I was on my way home from work.She said ‘Mum where are you? Mummy come and get me’.”Mrs Urbano said she urged Jessica to run down the stairs of the tower block and try to find a fire fighter to lead her to safety.”I told her to get out of there as quickly as she could. I said ‘run as fast as you can’, but then the line cut out.” A Cabinet minister has said he would not feel safe if his children were sleeping in a 1970s tower block, as he suggested thousands of buildings could be overhauled of even knocked down, reports Deputy Political Editor Steven Swinford.Sajid Javid, the communities and local government secretary, has announced an emergency review into the safety of 4,000 tower blocks and said there can be “no short cuts” in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.He was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Would you sleep easily tonight if you lived in the sort of Grenfell Tower building that exists all over the country. Would you put your children to bed thinking I wonder if they will be safe tonight?” Lily Allen attended the protestCredit:REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth Nadia Choucair is among the missingCredit:Nadia Choucair May is leaving to shouts of “Coward”— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 Picture taken inside a guted Grenfell Tower flat on Thursday shows the extent of the damageCredit:HANDOUT “There hasn’t been a review for 11 years, and since then we have had significant fires both in Britain and abroad, which have been caused by new building materials and lack of risk assessments. “Not only has the government not completed a review as we asked they haven’t even started one.” Nick Hurd, the fire minister, said that the judge-led public inquiry will leave “no stone unturned”. Those questioned could include Gavin Barwell, Mrs May’s chief of staff, who has been accused of “sitting on” a review into building regulations in the wake of previous tower fires in 2009.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth Grenfell Here’s video footage of the Queen touring the Westway Sports Centre, where residents left homeless by the blaze have spent a second night. 4:29PMPosters stuck up near tower say “the buck is about to be passed”  Particular concerns have been raised about the cladding on the outside of buildings for a number of years, which experts say may have accelerated the inferno which consumed the 24-storey Kensington block in just 15 minutes.It has since emerged that the United States had banned the type of cladding thought to have been used on Grenfell Tower. The material used on Grenfell Tower was sold under the brand Reynobond which comes in three different varieties: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores and the cheaper, more combustible, version was banned in the United States in buildings taller than 40 feet. It is thought that Grenfell’s exterior cladding, added in 2015, had a polyethylene – or plastic – core but conforms to UK standards.Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre; £2 more expensive than the standard version.Theresa May has ordered a public inquiry into the fire as she promised that all residents would be rehoused locally. It came as police admitted that the death toll could reach 100 and senior officers conceded the true scale of the disaster may never be known.  11:57PM’I needed to do something’ Search crews at the top of Grenfell TowerCredit:Rick Findler/PA Emergency workers search debris that fell at the base of the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower Credit:Matt Dunham/AP The organisation is staging another protest at the Town Hall tomorrow.”The fire at Grenfell is a horrific, preventable tragedy for which authorities and politicians must be held to account. Grenfell’s council tenants are not second class citizens – yet they are facing a disaster unimaginable in Kensington’s richer neighbourhoods.“This Government, and many before it, have neglected council housing, and disregarded its tenants as if they were second class. Nationally and locally, politicians have subjected public housing to decades of systematic disinvestment – leaving properties in a state of disrepair, and open to privatisation. Regeneration, when it has come, has been for the benefit of developers and buy-to-let landlords, who profit from luxury flats built in place of affordable homes. Across London, regeneration has meant evictions, poor quality building work, and has left tenants with little influence over the future of their estates.“The chronic underinvestment in council housing and contempt for tenants must stop. It is an outrage that in 21st Britain, authorities cannot be trusted to provide safe housing, and that people in council properties cannot put children safely to bed at night.“We support demands for a public inquiry into this disaster – there must be Justice for Grenfell. We call for the immediate resignation of Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s Chief of Staff, alongside anyone else whose negligence has contributed to this tragedy.” They are shouting “WE DEMAND A REGISTER” over the man announcing what the council responded to their questions. They are carrying Socialist Worker signs which read: “Homes for people not for profit”. People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer Church, close to Grenfell Tower Protesters walk towards the Grenfell Tower, during a demonstration following the fire that engulfed the 24-storey buildingCredit:AP Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident at ST Clement's Church during a visit Council statement being read out by protest organisers outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall, cries of ‘not good enough’— Jack Gevertz🏳️‍🌈 (@jackgevertz) June 16, 2017 10:51AMTheresa May visiting fire victims in hospital Illuminated by candlelight, west London came together in grief.Nearly three days since a fire ravaged Grenfell Tower, killing at least 30, hundreds of mourners stood arm in arm at a vigil.Many wept openly as a sea of candles softly illuminated the road outside the Latymer Christian Centre, just yards from the site of the blaze. A man who was liasing between the Council and the protesters has asked protesters to move away from the town hall entrance and to come outside and listen to him.He read out the Council’s answers to his questions.The protesters have asked for those displaced to be immediately rehomed within the borough.They also asked for more welfare payments for those who lost their belongings and homes in the blaze. These posters have appeared near the tower— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 Hundreds of protesters also marched on Whitehall, central London, to voice their frustration at the Government’s response to the fire, which ripped through the tower block in north Kensington on Wednesday morning.The crowd later began marching towards Kensington High Street, chanting “no justice, no peace”. 5:16PMLily Allen filmed the protestlast_img read more

Teachers stun pupils as they unexpectedly burst into song during school leaving

first_imgSchool teachers giving an end-of-term speech shocked their pupils by unexpectedly breaking into song.The headmaster Chris Wheeler  was rounding off his Speech Day talk at Monkton School when he suddenly started singing ‘One Day More’ from Les Mis.Pupils and parents looked dumbfounded and thrilled as teachers in the audience stood up to join in.The school wrote on Facebook: “The students and parents at this year’s Speech Day at Monkton were certainly in for a surprise.”Principal Chris Wheeler was halfway through his speech when this happened…”People connected to the school were excited by the video.One person wrote: “Absolutely amazing! Proud to be a part of Monkton School”.Another enthused: “Makes me nostalgic for my monkton days!! Wish this had happened in my time there! Amazing!”And another said: “Chris Wheeler is fabulous …he worked at a school in London with me years ago and I knew he was talented !” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Tian Tian Britains only female giant panda believed to be pregnant and

first_imgIt is a miracle of nature that has so far eluded conservationists: the birth of a giant panda, right here in Britain.But now email exchanges between the Scottish Government and Edinburgh Zoo have confirmed that the long-anticipated event could be just days away, with Tian Tian the giant panda thought to be heavily pregnant.However, any celebrations to mark a successful birth may be short-lived. Under the terms of the contract agreed between zoo officials and China, which gifted a mating pair to Britain in 2011, any cub born through the breeding programme must be returned within 24 months.With mother and cub confined to private quarters for an indefinite period following the birth, it means that members of the public may only have a few months to glimpse Britain’s first home-grown panda before it is transported back across Asia. However, zoo officials are understandably cautious, with a spokeswoman for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland pointing out on Thursday evening that the breeding process is a “very complicated process”. The UK’s giant panda couple, Yang Guang (left) and Tian TianCredit:PA the UK's giant panda couple Yang Guang (left) and Tian Tian, 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. Yang Guang, Edinburgh Zoo’s male giant panda, was unreceptive to natural matingCredit:David Moir/Reuters With the zoo’s £600,000 a year agreement failing to produce any cubs, in recent months officials have been reluctant to shed any light on pregnancy remours, amid growing pressure to deliver results.Now, however, a freedom of information request has uncovered a number of Scottish Government emails, revealing that Tian Tian is in the final stages of a healthy pregnancy and is due to give birth on Friday.In one email, Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, wrote: “TT doing real well. As things are at the moment, she seems on track but I have shifted possible birth date to around 25th August. Will be able to be a bit more precise in a week’s time.“So she is about 30 days out now and pregnancy proper has now begun in what we think is a 37 day pregnancy. See or hear from you soon. My best, Iain.” “Although a specific date was suggested, like all babies, it’s hard to predict precisely and the panda breeding season can last until late September,” she added.“Tian Tian is being closely monitored by our expert team and we will be the first to share any news as soon as we can.”Whilst zoo staff have previously spotted tell-tale signs of pregnancy in Tian Tian, a reproductive trait in pandas can often result in the the foetus being re-absorbed in the early stages. This time around, however, she appears to be past the precarious stage of the cycle.The good news comes days after the zoo was embroiled in a safety scare when Yang Guang was let into his enclosure by mistake while a keeper was still cleaning inside.Disgruntled workers blamed the apparent security lapse on staff shortages and claimed in a leaked email that the worker could have died or been badly maimed in the incident. The zoo said the “near miss” was investigated and no staff or animals were harmed.Giant panda cubs are just 1,000th of their mother’s weight when they are born, at just over five ounces, are pink, covered in white hair and their eyes are shut tight. It is normally takes up to 80 days before they can walk.Everything you need to know about panda cubsAt birth, a cub is just 1,000th of its mother’s weight – around 5.3oz (150g).Giant panda foetuses do not start to develop until the final weeks of gestation.Panda cubs are born pink and covered in short, sparse white hair, their eyes are tightly shut and they cry loudly and often.Their black patches start to appear at around one week old, followed by black hair on the patches a few weeks later.It is several weeks before they can crawl and cubs spend the first few weeks of life vocalising their needs to their mother, sleeping and suckling.Panda mothers lick their cubs often and do not leave the cub to eat bamboo until offspring are three to four weeks old. At this point the cubs can regulate their body temperatures and do not need constant body contact from the mother to keep warm.After a month, the cub looks much more like a miniature adult giant panda but with a longer tail. Its eyes open partly after 30 to 45 days and fully open a week or two later.Panda cubs grow to up to 10 times their birth weight in the first five to six weeks.By 75 to 80 days, cubs can stand and walk a few steps; they also begin to teethe at this point and their eyesight and hearing improve.At four months, cubs are active, run about and climb on their mother’s back to play.At five months, they trot behind their mothers and mimic them, eating bamboo and climbing trees. They start to eat solids at six months.A panda cub starts to get its permanent teeth at around one year old, when it will weigh about 50lb-60lb (23kg-27kg) and now only suckle once or twice a day.At the age of two, the cub would be returned to China, mimicking natural dispersal age in the wild. Despite the agreement’s shortcomings, a successful birth will still be seen as a historic milestone for Edinburgh Zoo, which has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years.Following their arrival  in 2011 to much fanfare, pair Tian Tian and Yang Guang have helped the zoo to a 200 per cent increase in ticket sales, but have so far failed to mate successfully. zoo's male panda Yang Guang was unreceptive to natural mating. Whilst Tian Tian successfully reared twin cubs in China prior to her arrival in Scotland, there were fears that the pair were incompatible, after she rejected Yuan Guang’s overtures on several occasions.Experts have since attempted artificial insemination on at least five occasions, but each had failed up until this year.last_img read more

Big Issue magazine launches augmented reality technology to share stories of homelessness

The Big Issue Magazine The Big Issue has launched their first AR magazine, which will allow readers to watch their vendors’ tell their storiesCredit:The Big Issue Magazine The Big Issue magazine has launched “augmented reality” technology to bring their vendors’ stories to life because the public are failing to understand the scale of homelessness in the UK.The street magazine, which was founded in 1991, believes technology will allow them to “hammer home the message” of Britain’s unprecedented homelessness issue which people need to “better understand”.The innovative new approach, which launches today, includes augmented reality (AR) interactions throughout the publication. Readers can download an app onto their mobile phones, scan it over AR icons in the magazine and watch traditional print articles come to life in video.This includes the cover story of vendor Ann Warke, 53, who turned to The Big Issue when she couldn’t afford to pay her rent due to losing her job.Ben Sullivan, digital editor at The Big Issue, told the Telegraph: “We are doing this mainly for the vendors. “You see and hear about homelessness on the news every day but so many people don’t realise that living on the streets is just a few steps away from experiencing a housing crisis. It can happen to anyone.”Mr Sullivan added: “Augmented reality will definitely help people better understand the homelessness issue in the UK. We are going to be able to put so many more stories out there and hammer home our message.”The Big Issue will be utilising AR on a bi-monthly basis, which will also offer readers entertaining content.In this week’s issue, former Doctor Who actor David Tennant will read an audio extract from Cressida Cowell’s new ‘Wizards of Once’ book, and ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows will appear in exclusive video content. “We just want to let people know we have so many stories to tell. Homelessness is at its highest in the UK at the moment and our vendors are getting permanently beaten by the system, which is not working. We need to shed light on that.“Whereas people would have traditionally just read Ann’s story, they can now understand it further through the use of video and audio. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Antiguan teacher charged with attempted murder of student

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related17-year-old charged with attempted murder of 15-year-old schoolmateJanuary 26, 2018In “Court”30-Y-O man charged with attempted murderSeptember 10, 2015In “Crime”T&T mason charged with quadruple murderMarch 25, 2018In “Court” A secondary school teacher in Antigua is facing an attempted murder charge after allegedly striking a student in the head with a rock.CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER: VENDIZ CHARLESBut the Antigua & Barbuda Union of Teachers (A&BUT) is asking police to review the charge, contending that it is too severe given the circumstances of the incident.Vendiz Charles, a 26-year-old Physics teacher at the Clare Hall Secondary School, was granted EC$10,000 (US$3,703) bail by the High Court yesterday after appearing in the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court for the attempted murder of 14-year-old Akeem Scotland.Scotland had to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Mount St John’s Medical Centre on January 24 with a fractured skull. Reports indicate that the teen was riding his bicycle on the school compound, after hours, when he was struck in the head with a stone. He was discharged from hospital last weekend.The A&BUT acknowledged that Charles’ alleged action was irresponsible, but in a statement said: “While we respect and support the work and professionalism of the police, we strongly beg to disagree that there was any malice in the teacher’s action that would support the conclusion that there was intent to murder that student or any other, by the teacher in question”. ( read more

IPL Royals fall flat after Watson century

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWatson’s ton gives CSK 3rd IPL title  May 27, 2018In “latest news”Buttler keeps Royals relevant in race to playoffsMay 11, 2018In “latest news”Experience was key to Chennai’s 2018 IPL title – Dwayne BravoMay 28, 2018In “Sports” Chennai Super Kings 204 for 5 (Watson 106, Raina 46) beat Rajasthan Royals 140 (Stokes 45, Karn 2-13, Bravo 2-16, Thakur 2-18, Chahar 2-30) by 64 runsShane Watson struck his fourth T20 hundred BCCIFor the 1000-odd Chennai Super Kings fans who endured the 26-hour train journey to Pune, this was a night to remember. For Rahul Tripathi, a Pune boy who plays his domestic cricket for Maharashtra at the MCA Stadium, this was a night to forget. He put down a regulation catch at slip to reprieve Shane Watson in the first over of the match and watched him smack the season’s second century, off 51 balls, against his former side, with whom he masterminded a fairytale a decade ago.Watson and Suresh Raina, who replaced M Vijay, joined forces in the fifth over. When they were separated courtesy an outstanding catch by K Gowtham at deep midwicket, they had put on 81 off just 44 deliveries, with CSK in line to score 240. Some fine end-overs bowling by legspinner Shreyas Gopal and Ben Laughlin restricted them to 204, but that was hardly any consolation for Rajasthan Royals, who never got going in the chase and were bowled out for 140 in 18.3 overs.They said he was a spent force. His previous season with Royal Challengers Bangalore was a disaster by any stretch of imagination, just like it was for Thursday’s centurion Chris Gayle. While Gayle came into the tournament in patchy form, Watson was the fifth-highest run-getter (319 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 135.16) in the PSL season that finished late last month.Watson announced himself inside the first six overs. This made the generally effervescent Raina look subdued in comparison. But that was only until he launched Ben Stokes for four successive fours in the sixth over to move CSK to 69 for 1, their highest Powerplay score this season. That was the start of a giant yellow party that continued until the end of the match. (Excerpt from ESPNcricinfo) read more

New Zealand to alter Crown Minerals Act to streamline mineral exploration

first_imgAccording to a report in The New Zealand Herald, the New Zealand Government is planning “significant” changes to the Crown Minerals Act in 2013 to make it easier for miners to explore and then extract minerals, and is expected to consult the public and industry soon. The Government has indicated for some time that it intends reviewing the Act, which sets out the regulatory framework for prospecting and mining, activities it wants to boost under its economic development plan. “We’re going to make significant changes to the Crown Minerals Act because conversations to date under previous ministers have found that there are opportunities to improve the way that companies can access our minerals, apply for opportunities to explore, that type of thing,” Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley was quoted as saying.A consultation paper will be released in the first half of 2012. However, the increased development of resources in New Zealand is not without controversy. The proposal comes as oil exploration company TAG Oil has written of turning the East Coast into the “Texas of the south” with the potential of building thousands of wells in the region. Mr Heatley would not comment on which aspects of the Crown Minerals Act would be amended, but said “we can certainly make it more streamlined as a general high-level term for these companies to identify probable areas”. Under Schedule Four of the Act, mining is prohibited on much of the conservation estate, and the National Government in 2010 backed off from plans to remove some areas from that protection in the face of significant public opposition.The NZ Herald article said that Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce had recently expressed confidence that the Government could “bring the public along” with its plans to develop a bigger mining industry. Mr Heatley said that although the Government planned to “get the best out of natural resources” to create jobs and lift the economy “we’re very, very conscious of our environmental obligations”. The Chief Executive of mining industry group Straterra, Chris Baker, was quoted as saying New Zealand needed a regulatory regime that was “competitive” with other countries to attract mining industry investment. “There’s no question a number of potential investors would say we are not competitive, so there needs to be changes that make the process, and this is not about lowering standards, it’s about making the process transparent, understandable and deliverable.”last_img read more