UConn Has Been Slightly Less Dominant In The Tournament Than It Was

In case you haven’t been reading this site lately, here’s the latest reminder that the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team, which is seeking its third straight national title Tuesday in Tampa, is really, really good. UConn is way more dominant than Kentucky’s men’s team was even before the Wildcats lost in the national semis. It’s way better than its closest rivals in the women’s game: Notre Dame, its opponent Tuesday. And it’s even way more dominant than its worthiest rivals: other recent UConn teams.Before the tournament began, we tracked how much UConn led by in its games, on average, throughout the 40 minutes of regulation. Not only had UConn crushed its opponents by an average of 42 points per game this year, but it was even more dominant earlier in the game — for instance, it led at halftime by an average of 25 points. And at just about every stage of the average game, the Huskies were ahead by more points than the UConn teams of the previous four years. The big exception was their Elite Eight game against Dayton, in which UConn had a lead of more than 10 points for less than a quarter of the game.What we didn’t know then is whether the comparison would hold up once the NCAA tournament began. UConn would have to face some tough competition — could it continue to dominate?The answer is a qualified yes. UConn’s average halftime margin has been 18.2 points during the tournament, compared to 24.8 points in the regular season and American Athletic Conference tournament — a drop-off of 27 percent. But it has caught up a bit in the second half of games, winning by an average of 37.4 points — just 11 percent lower than its 42.1-point average lead at the end of regulation coming into the tournament. That may mean that UConn peaked at different times in tournament games, or that the 11 percent gap is understating the extent to which UConn has struggled in the tournament, since it spent less time with its foot off the gas pedal in the second half. Of course, struggling is relative for these Huskies: They’ve still won each of their tournament games by at least 21 points.A related question we faced was how much of this team’s apparent edge over its UConn predecessors would drop away once it, like its predecessors, had to play in the tournament. The answer is, not much.This chart isn’t finished yet — Notre Dame will have something to say about it. Our March Madness predictions give the Fighting Irish only a 14 percent chance of winning. They have an even smaller chance of winning by enough to change UConn’s overwhelmingly dominant profile.Correction: An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to a tournament in which UConn played. It was the American Athletic Conference tournament, not the Big East. read more

Usain Bolt to Skeptics Im Clean

Usain Bolt has one thing to say following the doping violations that have been publicized about his countrymen: “I’m clean.”Bolt, who is undoubtedly the fastest man in the world, is speaking publicly for the first time since Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell-Brown tested positive for banned substances.“If you were following me since 2002, you would know that I have been doing phenomenal things since I was 15,” Bolt told reporters in London. “I was the youngest person to win the world junior title at 15, I ran the world junior record at 18, the world youth record at 17. I have broken every record there is to break, in every event I have ever done. For me, I have proven myself since I was 15. For me, I have shown I was always going to be great.”Bolt went on to say, “I was made to inspire people and to run. I was given a gift and that’s what I do. I’m confident in myself and my team, the people I work with. And I know I am clean.”Powell, Campbell-Brown and Simpson firmly deny knowingly taking banned substances. While those three will not be competing, Bolt is expected to run at weekend’s Diamond League meeting in London.Bolt’s speed is off the charts. See the video above. read more

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Draws Sharp Response From NFL

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz.. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)DALLAS (AP) — The declaration by the powerful owner of the Dallas Cowboys that he would bench anyone who shows disrespect to the American flag drew a sharp response from the NFL players’ union Monday and raised the possibility of another call to action by athletes who have kneeled during the national anthem.Executive Director DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association said the most provocative comments yet by Jerry Jones on the anthem controversy contradicted assurances last week from Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants President John Mara that players could express themselves without retribution.“I look forward to the day when everyone in management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what the flag stands for, liberty and justice for all, instead of some of them just talking about standing,” Smith said. “We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.”Jones’ comments on Sunday came after he was asked about Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to leave an Indianapolis home game in protest of about a dozen San Francisco players who kneeled during the anthem. President Donald Trump tweeted after Pence’s walkout that he had told his vice president to leave if any players kneeled during the anthem.Following a 35-31 loss to Green Bay, the 74-year-old Jones said the NFL cannot leave the impression that it tolerates players disrespecting the flag and said any Cowboys doing so will not play.“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” said Jones, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. “OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period.”The Cowboys and Jones kneeled arm-in-arm before the anthem when they played at Arizona two weeks ago, a few days after Trump said at a rally in Alabama that NFL owners should fire any players who disrespect the flag. All of them stood during the anthem, with arms still locked.Most Dallas players have stood on the sideline, many with hands over their hearts, during the anthem since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling last season in protest of police treatment of African-Americans.Several NFL teams have struggled with how to handle anthem protests. After Trump’s criticism, the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to stay off the field before the anthem. But Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, an offensive lineman, stood at the edge of a tunnel with his teammates in darkness behind him during the anthem two weeks ago.Villanueva said he was not making a political statement in defiance of his teammates, calling it a misunderstanding that was “very embarrassing on my end.”Miami coach Adam Gase recently set a new team policy requiring players either to stand or wait in the tunnel. Three chose to stay off the field, Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Julius Thomas. All three have kneeled in the past.“We were just trying to keep the team focused and not be a distraction,” Michael Thomas said. “It was a team decision. … The league heard us. They’ve heard the cry of the players.”Mara has told Giants players he wants them to stand during the anthem but supports their right to do otherwise. Jones had already made it clear that he felt strongly about standing for the anthem before his latest comments, and he isn’t the only owner who feels that way.Jones even suggested that standing for the anthem was more important to him that team unity.“The main thing I want to do is make it real clear: There is no room here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you’re disrespecting the flag. We will be non-supportive of each other,” Jones said. “We will not disrespect the flag.”Trump’s comments stoked a political controversy that had subsided somewhat since Kaepernick started it a year ago. The NFL defended the rights of players to protest.Lead NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart has said, “Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is.” It was an apparent reference to the “Access Hollywood” tapes in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Trump had chalked up those comments as “locker room talk.” read more

An Inconsistent Strike Zone Hurt Both Teams in Game 3

CHICAGO — The Cleveland Indians won a 1-0 nail-biter on Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series. Two number-three starters succeeded in shutting down two strong offenses, allowing the game to come down to the final at-bat. But while the relievers were overpowering as usual, the most significant influence on this game wasn’t the wind, a single Indians hitter or managerial cleverness, but a seemingly inconsistent strike zone.Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck has a reputation for calling balls and strikes erratically, and that was on full display last night, creating shifting strike-zone boundaries that bedeviled both offenses.1A rough look at the strike zone plots for each team showed about 10 calls helping the Cubs, and seven helping the Indians. Data from PitchF/X needed for a quantitative comparison was not available at time of publication. For the Indians, Josh Tomlin turned in an unexpectedly solid line, allowing only two hits. At times, Tomlin was burned by bad calls, leading, for example, to a fourth-inning walk by Kris Bryant. But when the strike zone is called inconsistently, hitters tend to strike out more often and make weaker contact. That’s because pitchers can choose to target inconsistently called areas of the zone when it benefits them, while hitters can only decide whether to swing or not at what’s offered. When they’re uncertain, batters often opt to swing at pitches outside the zone, resulting in glancing contact and easy outs.Chicago Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, who usually gets favorable strike calls due to his impeccable command, struggled mightily in allowing six hits and two walks in only 4.2 innings. The shifting zone did aid him in racking up six strikeouts, above what you’d expect based on his regular-season stats.Even as the inconsistent strike zone helped the pitchers, neither was overpowering. And with bullpens fresh after the day off, both starters were pulled before the 6th inning with the score 0-0, an event that has never happened before in MLB postseason history. That handed the game to the relievers, including an early appearance from Andrew Miller. They were as commanding as expected, except for one lapse by the Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr., who allowed Coco Crisp to single in the lone run of the night.The Cubs came close to evening the score in the bottom of the ninth. With two runners in scoring position and two outs, Chicago dynamo Javy Báez was up to bat against Cleveland closer Cody Allen. He struck out whiffing to end the threat, leaving the Indians up 2-1 in the Series.The outlook for the Cubs is worrisome going forward: Their series win probability by Elo is down to only 37 percent.2For reference, that’s the same probability Elo gave the Indians before the World Series began. In his last start, Corey Kluber looked invincible, and the Cubs will have to face him in Games 4 and 7 of this Series (if it goes that far). That means they will need to pull off at least one upset against the 2014 AL Cy Young winner to clinch the series. While such a feat appears difficult, the Cubs managed an even more surprising performance against Clayton Kershaw in the NLCS, so it’s certainly possible. Nobody said ending a 108-year title drought would be easy.CORRECTION (Oct. 29, 12:05 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Corey Kluber. He was the 2014 AL Cy Young winner; he is not the reigning winner. read more

OSU mens hockey looking for 1st win against defending national champion Providence

Correction 10/21: An earlier version of the story said OSU’s first-ever trip to Providence came in 2003, when in fact it played two games against Brown in 1974. Sophomore forward Christian Lampasso (11) handles the puck during an exhibition match against Brock University on Oct. 3 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won 4-0. Credit: Kaley Rentz / Asst. Sports DirectorAnybody can beat anybody in college hockey.That message, which is echoed annually by coaches around the country, was proven true by Ohio State (0-4) to the college hockey sphere in the first game of last season when it took down the then-No. 3 ranked Providence Friars 5-4 in overtime at the Schottenstein Center.In this season’s matchup, a few things are the same, and a few things are different.The Friars (2-0-1) are once again ranked third in the latest United States College Hockey Online poll and return a lot of key players.But this year’s series takes place in Rhode Island at Schneider Arena, the Buckeyes are a very different looking team and a lot of those aforementioned key Friar players now have shiny rings on their fingers after winning the program’s first national title in April.“They’re a top-five team in the country, but that doesn’t really mean much to us,” senior captain Craig Dalrymple said. “It’s going to be a tough two games up there. We know they’re going to be a pretty gritty team. I’m sure they’re going to be quick. We just have to make sure we’re ready for that.”OSU is off to its worst start since 1974-75 when the Scarlet and Gray finished with a record of 7-22-1.Finding the back of the netOSU’s offense, which has contributed just three goals in the last three games, will need to step up against a talented Friar defense.“We’ve had a lot of chances,” junior captain Nick Schilkey said. “Personally, I’ve had a lot of chances, and it gets frustrating but we have to stick with it. The chances that we have been getting, they’re going to go in. We can’t get too frustrated with that. Going forward, we have to be confident.”Special teams, as always, will be a factor. Three of the five Buckeye goals in OSU’s upset win last season came with the man-advantage. But so far this season, OSU has only scored on one of its 16 power-play attempts. “We’ve got to be able to chip one in on the power play,” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “We haven’t been able to do that lately. Instead of not quite two goals a game, you’re getting maybe three goals a game. If we could’ve done that in the last few games, all of sudden you’re right there.”Rohlik, now in his third season at the helm of the Buckeyes, has tried a variety of combinations personnel-wise with the extra man. But his search for the proper one persists.“We’re just trying to find the right combinations.” Rohlik said. “We’ll continue to tweak until we find the right recipe.”Matchup nuggetsOSU leads the all-time series against Providence 4-1Friday marks the first time the Buckeyes and Friars face off in Rhode Island. The last time OSU has played in Providence was in the 2003 NCAA tournament, where the Buckeyes fell to Boston College 1-0 in the regional semifinal. Their first trip to Rhode Island’s capital city was in November 1974, when they were swept by Brown in two games.The building process continuesFor the young team, this weekend represents another opportunity to face off with a top-20 opponent, as well as another opportunity to build and get better.“I think we’re making some strides,” Rohlik said. “Nobody wants to be 0-4 at this point. We knew it was going to be a tough schedule. In our minds, we can go out and beat anyone. We’ve just got to stay with that confidence.”Puck drop between the Buckeyes and the Friars is set for 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. read more

Curtis Samuels touches too few for OSU in stunning loss

OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) runs for a touchdown during the second half of the Buckeyes game against Penn State on Oct. 22. The Buckeyes lost 24-21. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorSTATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The goal for any offense is to get the ball into the hands of its playmakers. It’s to give the ball to those athletes in space with the hope of creating a long gain. For the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, at some times that can be challenging due to the amount of raw talent on the field. But through the team’s first six games, junior H-back Curtis Samuel asserted himself as the most dynamic player on the sideline.When looking back on its loss against Penn State on Saturday, OSU might want to consider using Samuel more.In the first quarter, Samuel registered zero touches and the Buckeyes scored zero points in a quarter for the first time all season. However, the inefficiency of the offense wasn’t an anomaly, and the stagnation begins with not getting the ball in Samuel’s hands.OSU had accumulated just 61 yards of offense after the first quarter, not one of those belonging to Samuel. It took redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett until the under-10 minute mark of the second quarter to get the ball to Samuel, which resulted in a first down and 15-yard gain. His next catch, too, moved the sticks.On that drive, Barrett threw a touchdown pass to redshirt junior tight end Marcus Baugh, putting the Buckeyes up 9-0.Samuel began to be more involved in the beginning of the second half. It was almost as if OSU coach Urban Meyer remembered how important Samuel is to the offense. The Brooklyn native took his first carry of the night for 74 yards for a touchdown, taking the wind out of Penn State’s sails.Then, all of a sudden, Samuel wasn’t anywhere to be found in the run game. He had just one carry after the touchdown run and he was held to 10 total touches for the game with 139 total yards of offense. The Buckeyes stagnant offense allowed Penn State to get back into the game, with some help from OSU’s special teams, and ultimately ended in a 24-21 loss — the first of OSU’s season.Meyer simply said after the game that Samuel is much too important to the success of the offense to have just 10 touches and two carries.“We got to get him more than that,” he said.The two games where OSU’s offensive inconsistencies were the most prevalent were Indiana and Penn State. Against the Hoosiers, Samuel did not have a touch in the first quarter and did not record a reception. Against Penn State, Samuel surpassed his average of 5.3 receptions per game, but only had two carries, which is seven attempts lower than his season average.Play calling is one factor in an offense that is having difficulty with moving the ball, and execution is another. Redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber and senior H-back Dontre Wilson are two other dual-threat players who are used in the passing and running game, but the offense doesn’t have an urgency to get one guy the ball over the other.“It’s not like, ‘hey, Curtis has got to touch the ball, Dontre has got to touch the ball, Mike Weber has got to touch the ball.’ We’re not doing that,” Barrett said. “I’m going to tell you that from here on out, there’s not going to be any, ‘hey, let’s get Curtis the ball on this play.’ It’s not going to be like that.” In 2015, OSU had an embarrassment of riches concerning the talent at skill positions. That team struggled in finding the right amount of touches for each player on the offense. This season, in many ways OSU is still finding a balance in its offense. However, it is coming at the expense of neglecting Samuel.Although Meyer said he needs to get the ball to Samuel more, Barrett said that the offense doesn’t function best when one player is singled out to get the ball.“We’re going to run our plays and if Curtis happens to get the ball, then Curtis happens to get the ball,” Barrett said. “Our offense runs very well when that happens. We’re not going to start going backwards into ‘this person has to get the ball, that person has to get the ball’ because then you’re just predictable. That’s not how we play. That’s not good football.” read more

Ohio State baseball wins 2nd straight beats Toledo 72

OSU coach Greg Beals and Toledo coach Cory Mee go over the ground rules with the umpires before the game at Bill Davis Stadium April 2. OSU won against Toledo, 7-2. Credit: Elliot Schall / Lantern photographerOne day after belting out 19 hits and 11 runs, the Ohio State baseball team picked up right where it left off against Toledo.With a light drizzle of rain coming down to start the game Wednesday, the Buckeyes (18-10, 2-4) quickly pushed across four runs in the first and never looked back against the Rockets (10-15, 2-4), going on to win 7-2.Toledo sophomore pitcher Ross Achter was thrown off his game early, giving up two hits, walking three batters and throwing a wild pitch in the opening inning.With the bases full and no outs, Achter walked sophomore infielder Jacob Bosiokovic to force in the first run for OSU. Sophomore infielder Zach Ratcliff followed with an RBI groundout and two batters later, junior catcher Connor Sabanosh smacked a single to plate two more and put the Rockets in a four-run hole.Sabanosh has been splitting time at catcher with fellow junior Aaron Gretz throughout the season but he said after the win, he’s been able to stay consistent despite not always playing.“We both get two or three games a week,” Sabanosh said. “When you get a five-day period off, your timing can be off your first few at-bats. Other than, that I felt fine.”Achter calmed down after the first, but was still pulled after finishing the second inning.Meanwhile, Buckeye freshman pitcher Zach Farmer pitched efficiently, tossing four scoreless innings and showing solid command of the ball from the start.“I thought I did pretty good. Feeling for my pitches, getting in the strike zone finally,” Farmer said after the win. “Limited my walks. It felt real good. It was a good day.”OSU coach Greg Beals said he didn’t want Farmer playing a long portion of the game so the pitcher could be available for the upcoming weekend series at Nebraska.“He should be available by Saturday,” Beals said. “That’s why the four innings.”The Rockets finally got on the board in the fifth off OSU sophomore reliever Jake Post. With men on second and third, Toledo sophomore outfielder Ryan Callahan hit a single to score both.The Buckeyes still found themselves up four, though, after RBIs from freshman outfielder Ronnie Dawson and Bosiokovic in the previous inning.The Rockets only threatened once more in the sixth.OSU brought in freshman reliever Yianni Pavlopoulos for his first collegiate appearance in the seventh and eighth, and he allowed one hit while striking out two.The Buckeyes added an insurance run in the eighth from another RBI from Bosiokovic and freshman reliever Travis Lakins retired the Rockets in the ninth to secure the win.Beals said the midweek games helped the team bounce back after getting swept by Indiana last weekend.“Obviously they’re very important to our goal of putting ourselves, from an RPI standpoint, worthy of an at-large bid (to the NCAA tournament),” Beals said.The Buckeyes are next scheduled to take on Nebraska in a three-game weekend series in Lincoln, Neb. First pitch Friday is set for 7:35 p.m. read more

Bristol University to offer lower grades to disadvantaged teenagers

first_imgBristol University hopes to boost diversity by offering disadvantaged teenagers places for lower grades.Courses that may typically require top grades at A-level will be offered to “high potential” pupils from local schools with grades as low as C.The “Bristol scholars”, who will be drawn from both state and independent schools in the city, will have “overcome educational or domestic disadvantage” such as being the first in their family to attend university, receiving Free School Meals, living in care or being a young carer.The initiative, which was launched by Education Secretary Justine Greening, is thought to be the first of its kind.Launching the scheme at St Bede’s Catholic College in Bristol, Ms Greening said: “‎I was the first in my family to have the opportunity to go on to university, and getting my degree opened doors to the type of future I knew I wanted for myself. Pupils from Bristol receiving A-level resultsCredit:Matt Cardy For every local school, there will be up to five places for disadvantaged pupils, based on head teachers’ assessments of “potential” rather than exam grades.In addition to a lower offer, the University will offer academic and pastoral support and  financial support for those whose household income is below £25,000. Figures released by Ucas this week showed that  groups such as working class white boys are still far behind in university entry rates.Many universities already make “contextual” offers to students which can be up to two grades lower than usual if they come from lower performing schools.Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, said this was an “innovative” way to improve diversity, adding: “But there is still a long way to go before everyone who has the potential to go to university has equal chance to do so.” “This Government wants to widen access to a great education so that all young people can go as far as their talents will take them.”Professor Hugh Brady, Bristol University’s Vice-Chancellor said: “These are bold measures designed to address a problem that is seen across the education sector.“We’re confident that, in time, we will achieve a more diverse student community at the University of Bristol; this will be a change which will benefit everyone, and something we hope other universities will consider replicating.”Of the 44 students who applied to the pilot scheme, 39 will be offered places to start their courses in 2017. The university aims to have a cohort of 100 Bristol scholars every year starting from 2018, which is part of a wider expansion in student numbers. Many universities already make “contextual” offers to students center_img Many universities already make “contextual” offers to students  Pupils from Bristol receiving A-level results 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

Mother jailed for drugging daughter with blue Smarties because child got in

first_imgA mother who fed her four-year-old daughter sedatives under the guise of “Smarties” because she was an “inconvenience” to her love life has been jailed for 13 years.Michala Pyke, 38, gave little Poppy Widdison drugs to sedate the youngster which she referred to in text messages as “blue Smarties”.Poppy was later found unresponsive, blue and not breathing in the home Pyke shared with her drug dealing partner John Rytting, 40, in June 2013.A post mortem into her death proved “inconclusive” but doctors traces of a drug cocktail with heroin, ketamine and sedatives including diazepam in her hair follicle. “Poppy was born addicted to heroin and you plunged that infant into the mire of drugs. You were both living in the swamp of drug addiction and drug peddling.”The short life of poppy was blighted by drugs – you [both] fed drugs to poppy for your own baleful romance while living in a mire of drugs.”The abuse lasted several months and drugs were administered in that time. You Pyke treated your daughter badly and changed your demeanour in front of others.”You both were the masters of unremitting degradation and authors of this horrific ordeal. You both bear huge responsibility for blighting the life of a pretty, vivacious little girl.”Pyke you are malevolent and manipulative – you are utterly unfit to be a mother and abused Poppy by giving her drugs. This was serious cruelty over a long period of time and regular ill treatment.”While the sentencing remarks were given by the judge, Pyke, who sported a blue fleece jumper, did not show any emotion.Rytting replied: “Whatever.”Prosecutor David Gordon said cops found 700 diazepam and over 300 temazepam tablets when they raided the couple’s house in Grimsby, North East Lincs., after Poppy’s death.He said Rytting had bought the tablets from suppliers predominantly based in Asia before selling them on.Mr Gordon said: “Text messages were found on Rytting’s phone from customers asking for diazepam using the code and asking for ‘blue’.”The pair had pleaded guilty to a minor child cruelty offence of subjecting a child to an environment in the presence of drugs on the 11th hour prior to trial. John RyttingCredit:SWNS.com John Rytting The last time we saw Poppy was her birthday – her fourth birthday. She was her normal, happy self, pleased to see us and excited about her birthdayPoppy’s fathercenter_img Pyke and Rytting were convicted of serious child cruelty offences against Poppy following a trial at Hull Crown Court, East Yorks.Rytting was also jailed for 13 years alongside his former flame for dragging the child into a “swamp” of drugs and forced her into “unremitting degradation”.Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC, told Hull Crown Court on Thursday the pair had “blighted the life of a pretty, vivacious little girl”.Chillingly, he also highlighted that the little girl had been named after the very plant from which heroin – which her mother was addicted to – comes from.Jailing Pyke and Rytting each for 13 years, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said: “Poppy was born in tragic circumstances – like her mother, Poppy was born addicted to heroin.”The baby was given the name Poppy – the very name of the plant from which heroin is derived. That is unlikely to be a coincidence. Pyke also pleaded guilty to child cruelty by emotional abuse after neighbours heard her calling Poppy a “little bastard”.But Pyke and Rytting were both found guilty of serious child cruelty of administering prescribed/control drugs to Poppy.Rytting, of Grimsby, North East Lincs., who admitted one count of importing drugs and two counts of supplying controlled drugs, was also convicted of possessing cannabis with intent to supply.Pyke, of Hull, East Yorks., admitted a charge of supplying methadone, was found guilty of possessing methadone with intent to supply.The jury only took two hours to find the pair guilty of all charges and were both remanded in custody on December 15.Katherine Goddard, for Pyke, said her client hadn’t given Poppy any drugs before she met Rytting and traces of two drugs found in Poppy’s hair belonged to Rytting.She said: “Michala Pyke is a damaged and troubled individual. Whatever her battles [Pyke’s] with drugs for the majority of her life Poppy was well cared for and loved.”Michala Pyke managed to juggle her need for drugs and the needs of her daughter. Until Michala Pyke began the relationship with John Rytting, however difficult life was Poppy was well cared for.”It was the start of this relationship which was toxic, in both senses of the word, that the care she gave her daughter fell away. She is responsible for the death of her daughter morally, not in law.”Timothy Roberts, representing Rytting, told the judge that his client shouldn’t be held as responsible as Pyke for causing Poppy’s death.Mr Roberts said: “Mr Rytting had been in [Poppy’s] life for about six weeks and what can be agreed is that he only had partial responsibility for care of her.”Speaking outside court, Poppy’s father Brendan Widdison, said: “We as a family could not contact Michala in the last few weeks before poppy’s death.”However, if we had known… the concerns of the social care, we might have acted differently as a family. We had no concerns.”The last time we saw Poppy was her birthday – her fourth birthday. She was her normal, happy self, pleased to see us and excited about her birthday.”We as a family could not have forseen what would have happened and in this case we don’t believe social care could have either.”Thank you all very much. We would also like to say thank you to the police and everybody involved in the case.” 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

Charlie Gard can be saved says US professor called in by White

first_imgA US professor telephoned Great Ormond Street Hospital at the request of the White House offering dramatic new evidence in the fight to keep Charlie Gard alive.The High Court heard on Thursday how the eminent doctor – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was contacted by Donald Trump’s staff a day after the president tweeted his support for the 11-month-old baby.Mr Justice Francis, who ruled in April that Charlie’s life support should be switched off, asked the physician if he would now be prepared to fly to London to examine the baby if the case was adjourned for a few days.The dcotor replied: “ Yes, if necessary I would love to do that.” The neurologist told the court that a new anaylsis of a study of nine children with a disease similar to Charlie’s but not nearly as severe showed five of them – equivalent to a 56 per cent success rate – had improved after receiving experimental treatment.One child, who had been breathing on a ventilator for eight hours a day, no longer need one at all.Charlie suffers from a rare form of mitochondrial depletion syndrome. Unlike the children in the doctor’s study, the illness affects not only his muscles but also his brain. Charlie Gard’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday morningCredit:Jonathan Brady/PA Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard at Great Ormond Street HospitalCredit: PA But the doctor said he could see no evidence from scans that Charlie had suffered irreversible brain damage.The possibility that the judge may now be open to allowing an assessment threw an extraordinary lifeline to Charlie’s parents Connie Yates, 31, and Chris Gard, 33.Charlie’s case has become a worldwide cause celebre and with tensions running high, Mr Justice Francis also spoke of his deep concern that doctors treating Charlie at Great Ormond Street had been “subjected to the most vile abuse” and threats. He issued a warning that perpetrators who were caught would be punished and said it “was grossly unfair” that staff had been targeted.“I don’t know how anybody can think they are helping the parents’ case,” he said. The hospital maintains that there is no dramatic new evidence that should reverse the decision made by Mr Justice Francis and upheld in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European courts.The same doctor had given evidence in April in support of experimental treatment for Charlie but at the time admitted the chance’s of the boy’s condition improving was ‘highly unlikely’.Via video link, he said – nine days after the White House intervention – that Charlie was merely ‘unlikely’ to improve. Mr Gard stood up at this and said: “We’re not allowed, are we,” adding: “I thought this was supposed to be independent.”Miss Yates said: “He’s not suffering and not in pain” before the couple walked out.The judge said: “I am sorry if that upsets them” and later added, “I understand you walking out because it is a desperate situation.”  At one point during Thursday’s hearing, Charlie’s parents, who live in Bedfont, west London, stormed out of court furious at the judge for saying: “They [the couple] have not been fighting to retain what he has now but fighting for a chance to give him the treatment to possibly improve.” Outside the court, pro-life demonstrators denounced the hospital over its handling of the case.During Thursday’s hearing Katie Gollop QC said while cross examining the doctor via a video link with the US: “You had a discussion with Great Ormond Street at the request of the White House on the 4th July.”The telephone call led to the hospital going back to the High Court to reassess in light of alleged new evidence from the doctor, prompting new hearings this week. Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard at Great Ormond Street Hospital Charlie Gard's parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday morning Victoria Butler-Cole, a lawyer acting for Charlie’s legal guardian, questioned why he suddenly thought Charlie’s chances had improved after three months, during which time his head had not grown indicating his brain is damaged. She said: “What I am struggling with is how come you concluded a future better than the one given in April?”The professor had earlier told the court: “I estimate the chance of meaningful success [of the treatment] to be at least 10 per cent.”He said there was a small but significant chance of improvement in brain function, adding that he had “over-reached” when he had said at the April hearing that it was likely Charlie’s brain damage was irreversible. 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

Lorry driver killed motorist when he crashed while looking at pornography on

first_imgHe said Gillon had “carefully, deliberately and surreptitiously” disposed of his phone after the incident.The judge added: “You have privately expressed remorse but it would have been better demonstrated in criminal proceedings.”In a victim impact statement, Mr Pemberton’s partner Cheryl, said: “His death has been the truly hardest time for all of us.”I just sit and wait for him to come home every day and I am broken-hearted.”Kerry brought me anything I wanted over the years. I miss the kiss I would get when he came home from work, the cuddles with his long, powerful arms and his smile.”He was a very affectionate man and we all miss him dearly.” Victim Kerry Pemberton with his wife CherylCredit:Zoe Pemberton/PA A lorry driver watching pornography on his mobile phone killed a motorist when he veered onto the hard shoulder and crashed into his truck, a court heard.Former soldier Felix Gillon has been jailed for eight years after being convicted of causing the death of Kerry Pemberton by dangerous driving on May 3 last year.The 56-year-old had looked up “porn star candy love” just four minutes before the collision, and a further 25 webpages were accessed just after – including pornographic images and galleries.Witnesses to the incident saw Gillon drift in and out of the hard shoulder between two and four times on the M69 southbound carriageway at around 3.13pm.Gillon’s Scania vehicle then struck Mr Pemberton’s Iveco lorry, with the 55-year-old eventually being crushed against the safety barrier.Mr Pemberton, of Birmingham, had survived the initial impact but was trapped under wreckage.He was eventually freed by firefighters but died of a heart attack in the ambulance on the way to hospital. Victim Kerry Pemberton with his wife Cherylcenter_img Gillon had been spotted by an off-duty officer, throwing his phone away after the incident in order to dispose of the incriminating evidence.The former Army sergeant, of Bedworth, Warks, was also disqualified from driving for eight years.Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, sentencing at Leicester Crown Court, said: “You told a series of lies to seek to cover your tracks but the jury saw through it all.” 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

Harrods to return Diana and Dodi statue to Mohamed al Fayed

first_imgEver since the Qatari royal family bought Harrods for a reputed £1.5 billion it has been keen to win back the Royal Family’s patronage and restore a once coveted relationship.The iconic Knightsbridge department store, long a symbol of great opulence and extravagance, had enjoyed unrivalled financial success but since 2000 had lacked the one thing to which ambitious retailers aspire: a royal warrant.Until the ugly aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and her lover, Dodi Fayed, Harrods had been the proud holder of continuous royal warrants since 1913.But its new owners were acutely aware that as long as the controversial, three-metre high bronze statue of the pair, entitled Innocent Victims, remained on the lower ground floor, there was little chance of regaining that honour.Now, they have seized the opportunity to remove the shrine and return it to its owner, Dodi’s father Mohammed al Fayed, 88, in the hope that it might one day entice the British monarchy back through its doors.The store said that following the announcement last year that the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry had commissioned a new sculpture to commemorate their mother, to be erected at Kensington Palace, the time was right to return the statue to the Egyptian tycoon. Workmen carry away the crest representing the Royal Warrant granted by the Prince of Wales in 2000 Harrods said it would “follow due process” with regards to the logistics of its return.Qatari Holding, the Qatari royal family’s investment company, bought Harrods in May 2010, bringing to an end Mr Fayed’s ownership after a quarter of a century.Sources close to the family confirmed that they hoped the sale could lead to a rapprochement with the British monarchy, who had refused to shop at the store since Mr al Fayed accused the Duke of Edinburgh of ordering the murders of his son and the late Princess by staging the 1997 Paris car crash in which they died. Another memorial unveiled in 1998 and consisting of a series of photographs of Diana and Dodi, a wine glass smudged with Diana’s lipstick from their last dinner together at the Ritz in Paris and an “engagement” ring alleged to have been purchased the day before they died, will also be returned. Having recently commemorated the twentieth anniversary of their deaths, Harrods said it was felt “an appropriate time” to move on.Michael Ward, its managing director, said: “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past twenty years.“With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr Al-Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” But it was also keen to ensure a discreet interval before removing the shrine, which Mr al Fayed had begged the new owners to keep and which had attracted thousands of tourists to pay their respects.The statue unveiled in 2005, which depicts Diana and Dodi dancing together beneath the wings of a seagull, proved particularly controversial, its title consistent with Mr al Fayed’s claims that the Duke of Edinburgh had a hand in the deaths of the Princess and his son. In fury, Mr al Fayed ordered all of the remaining warrants to be removed from the facade of Harrods and burned, allowing the “spiteful” act to be filmed for a documentary. They had been displayed since the late Queen Mother first gave her approval in 1938.In a letter sent to the Sunday Telegraph in 2010, he said: “They were a curse and business tripled following their removal.”It is yet to be seen whether the disappearance of Mr al Fayed’s memorial to his son and the late Princess will have any bearing on the fortunes of the department store.The Al Fayed family said in a statement: “We are grateful to Qatar Holdings for preserving the Dodi and Diana memorial at Harrods until now.“It has enabled millions of people to pay their respects and remember these two remarkable people. It is now time to bring them home.” The then Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother leave Harrods after visiting the Christmas grotto in 1938 The previous year, the Queen had dropped Harrods as the provider of Christmas puddings as gifts for her staff in favour of Tesco. Harrods was awarded its first royal warrant in 1913 from Queen Mary. It was subsequently granted more from the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen, the Queen Mother and the Prince of Wales.But after Mr al Fayed’s outburst, the Duke’s warrant “for gentleman’s outfitting, first granted in 1956, was withdrawn.Buckingham Palace insisted that the decision not to renew the honour in 2000 was taken because of a “significant decline in the trading relationship over several years” with the store.But sources claimed the Palace had lost patience with Mr al Fayed and would not renew any of the royal warrants granted to Harrods as they expired. The then Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother leave Harrods after visiting the Christmas grotto in 1938 Workmen carry away the crest representing the Royal Warrant granted by the Prince of Wales in 2000Credit:Matthew Fearn/PA Mohamed Al Fayed (left) attends the unveiling of the Innocent Victims statue at Harrods in 2005 Mr Al Fayed burns the royal warrants he once held on Harrods in a scene from the film Unlawful KillingCredit:Unlawful Killing Mr Al Fayed burns the royal warrants he once held on Harrods in a scene from the film Unlawful Killing 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. Mohamed Al Fayed (left) attends the unveiling of the Innocent Victims statue at Harrods in 2005Credit:Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Imageslast_img read more

Duchess of Cornwall on the joy of being a grandmother Spoil them

The Duchess of Cornwall walks her dog in rainy ScotlandCredit:ITV The Duchess of Cornwall walks her dog in rainy Scotland The Duchess with Miss Dowling, who fought off a burglarCredit:ITV Prince Charles speaks sweetly about his wife, CamillaCredit:ITV The programme also sees the Duchess describe how she rescued two Jack Russell terriers, Beth and Bluebell, from Battersea Dogs Home, saying the “nice thing” about returning from Royal tours was the warm welcome they gave her.“They’re always pleased to see you and they never answer you back,” she said, adding that one had been found in a “terrible” state, tied up on a motorway to die.“It was the cruelest thing,” she said. “I just can’t believe people do these things.” “Oh quite right!” the Duchess told her warmly. “You gave as good as you got.” The Duchess speaks to a documentary team Gyles Brandreth, a friend, said: “If you had asked Camilla years ago, whether she would be interested in becoming queen, she’d have laughed at the idea. She would have said, hey, how horrific.” Told the dogs had “gone to the right home now”, she joked: “They’ve fallen on their paws.”In a scene shot at Clarence House, where the Duchess had tea with elderly siblings Alice, Mary and George Dowling, she heard how they had been victims of a violent burglary, with one of the ladies punching an intruder who terrorised her. The Prince and Duchess on tour in ItalyCredit:ITV The programme, The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, airs Monday at 9pm on ITV. The Duchess speaks to a documentary teamCredit:ITV Beth and Bluebell, the Duchess' dogs The Prince and Duchess on tour in Italy Prince Charles speaks sweetly about his wife, Camilla The Duchess with Miss Dowling, who fought off a burglar Beth and Bluebell, the Duchess’ dogsCredit:ITV Joanna Lumley disclosed the Duchess had been “desperately frightened and scared” when she embarked on her public role making speeches, saying: “I’m sure she misses the fact that in the old days, she could do anything she wanted and nobody would have observed her. And now, the eyes are on her forever more.” The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of the mischievous joy she takes in being a grandmother, admitting it allows her to “spoil them, give them all the things their parents won’t allow them to have and then give them back again.”The Duchess, who gives a unique insight into her family life as part of a television documentary to be aired on Monday, said she would recommend grandparenthood to everybody, admitting it is particularly wonderful because “you haven’t got the full responsibility”.In a programme which follows her through the year of her 70th birthday, the Duchess is seen on overseas tours, welcoming elderly victims of crime into Clarence House, and walking her dogs in a rainy Scotland.Asked whether she enjoyed being a grandmother-of-five, taking on the name of “Gan Gan”, she said: “Wonderful. Yes, I’d recommend it to everybody.“It’s very nice because you haven’t got the full responsibility. You can give them a wonderful time, spoil them, give them all the things their parents won’t allow them to have and then give them back again.” Saying the grandchildren spot her on television occasionally, she added: “They rather tend to wave, I don’t know if they expect me to wave back again.” The ITV programme also features a touching tribute from her husband of 13 years, the Prince of Wales.Speaking of her work as patron of more than 90 organisations, including charities working on domestic violence, old age and children’s literacy, he said: “My darling wife has been absolutely wonderful with all these charities and takes a huge interest, which they were all telling me about what a difference she makes. “I know how, how seriously she takes it all. But she does have a wonderful way with people, you see, that’s the special thing. I mean, she’s remarkable, really.“She is the best listener in the world, you see, so she can get anything out of anybody and find out their life history in a very quick, short time.”The full programme will feature testimony from friends, family and Royal historians, who describe how the Duchess effectively began a new phase of hard work after marrying into the Royal Family at an age when her peers were retiring. 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

Judge agrees criminal can go on summer holiday before he is sentenced

Admitting to serious crimes usually lands lawbreakers straight in prison. But one lucky man has been allowed to spend a week in the sun on holiday before he faces his sentence.A judge in Wales has agreed to delay the sentencing of Colin Watson, 51, by a matter of weeks as he prepares his remarks.Judge Jeremy Jenkins agreed that Mr Watson, from Pontypool, can go on the holiday he booked to the Canary Islands in the meantime, warning him to come back and face prison, as he told him: “Don’t let me down”.But reacting to the “bizarre” turn of justice, campaigners have suggested that it would confuse the process to allow a criminal to go on holiday and that it sends mixed messages to victims of crime.On Monday the 51-year-old pleaded guilty to five offences, including possession of cocaine and a stun gun.Cardiff Crown Court heard how the defendant was caught by police with cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis in Newport Town Centre whilst armed with a stun gun and an extendable baton in October last year.Mr Watson admitted to possession of a prohibited weapon, having an offensive weapon, and possession of cocaine, ecstasy, and cannabis on High Street, Newport on a Saturday. “It’s also a bizarre message to send to victims of all crime who are concerned about sentencing in this country.”Judge Jenkins said: “You have pleaded guilty to a number of very serious matters.”I am trusting you. Don’t let me down.”Mr Watson will appear in court on May 31 instead.A spokesman for the judiciary said: “Judges take different factors into account when sentencing or setting a timescale for sentence.”  The five counts all carry strict penalties, with possession of Class A drugs, cocaine and ecstasy, each carrying a sentence of up to seven years in prison, or an unlimited fine, or both.Possession of a weapon capable of discharging a noxious thing, or a stun gun, also carries a maximum of 10 years according to the Crown Prosecution Service.But Mr Watson was spared an immediate prison sentence after his defence barrister, Hashim Salmman, asked Judge Jenkins for time to prepare a pre-sentence report, which was turned down by the judge.At the plea hearing, Mr Salmman also asked for permission for his client to travel on his pre-booked summer break to Tenerife before being sentenced.“There are unusual circumstances. He has a background worthy of exploration,” said Mr Salmman.Judge Jenkins responded to the unusual request by setting a new date for the 51-year-old’s sentencing as “an act of mercy”.But the unusual events in this case have been described as “extraordinary” by campaigners who feel it is confusing to allow Mr Watson to travel abroad.Harry Fletcher, the victims’ rights campaigner, said: “It is quite extraordinary and virtually unprecedented in my experience for a judge to adjourn sentencing of a convicted serious offender to allow them to go and enjoy a holiday. 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

RSPCA accused of putting down kittens for manageable condition without telling woman

“However when they were most recently seen by cattery staff and an experienced independent vet, it was felt they had deteriorated significantly, they were struggling to bear their own weight and hold the weight of their heads up to eat, and sadly they were felt to be suffering.”Any previous veterinary assessment does not reflect the findings at the time this sad decision was made, as a marked deterioration had occurred.””Sadly, in view of the worsening condition in these kittens which resulted in them suffering, the vet who examined them made the difficult decision to put them to sleep.”We would like to thank the foster carer for her dedication and support and are sorry we were unable to get hold of her to explain the vet’s sad decision at the time.”The independent vet who put the kittens down for the RSPCA said in a statement: “When I examined the kittens some were doing well but staff were particularly concerned about two, who were constantly falling over, struggled to get up and appeared to be having difficulty eating.“Sadly they were not coping well. Given they had deteriorated and did not appear to have a good quality of life it was felt the kindest decision was to put them to sleep, with the consent of RSPCA staff. The RSPCA said they were following professional veterinary advice and that the condition had deteriorated to the extent that it was causing suffering to the kittens.An RSPCA spokesman said: “The kittens were assessed by an independent vet who found two had a deteriorating neurological condition which the vet felt was causing them to suffer as they were struggling to stand, hold their heads up and eat.”As animal lovers ourselves, we understand how upsetting this has been for the foster carer however we have to follow the expert advice of qualified veterinary surgeons when it comes to welfare.”Our staff would not go against professional veterinary advice when it comes to an animal’s welfare.”While it was initially suspected that the kittens had cerebellar hypoplasia – a condition which makes them unsteady but usually able to lead happy lives – the deterioration that occurred would not generally be expected with this condition.”When two of the kittens first showed symptoms consistent with cerebellar hypoplasia we wholeheartedly hoped they will be able to rehomed, like we have other cats with this condition. “I have been a vet for many years and decisions such as this are never taken lightly, always with a heavy heart but putting the animal’s welfare first.” Lucy Pauley, a veterinary nurse, with one of her other kittens Alvin and mother cat SophieCredit:Caters News/Caters News “The RSPCA is amazing as whole, one of the best charities in the world in fact, but this particular vet played God with two lives, and it’s not acceptable.”We wouldn’t do it to humans, so why are we doing it to innocent kittens?” The RSPCA has been accused of putting down two kittens without informing the woman who fostered them for a “manageable condition” which can cause a wobbly walk.Lucy Pauley, a veterinary nurse, was heartbroken when the two 12-week-old kittens she had temporarily fostered from the charity were put to sleep, as she claims they could have gone on to enjoy happy lives.They suffered from the neurological disorder cerebellar hypoplasia – also known as “wobbly cat syndrome” – which .Ms Pauley had returned kittens Pumba and Diddy to the RSPCA’s Coventry and District branch on August 8, and they were then due to be re-homed by the charity.But the 24-year-old claims they were put down without her knowledge two days later after they fell down a ramp at the cattery due to their condition.She claims it was a rash decision taken by a locum which went against earlier advice of another vet at the branch.”The result of this miscommunication is that two kittens who I had cared for since their birth had been put down due to a condition the RSPCA themselves had originally said was not life-hindering,” she said.”Unfortunately my kittens are gone but I have to move forward and make sure that awareness is raised about this condition, and how they have handled it. Lucy Pauley, a veterinary nurse, with one of her other kittens Alvin and mother cat Sophie 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

Revised Education Act to regulate private schoolsGovt

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEducation COI report to be completed this monthMarch 7, 2017In “Local News”Education Ministry moving to streamline private schools’ operationsSeptember 9, 2016In “latest news”Cabinet extends deadline for education COI reportApril 21, 2017In “latest news” The regularisation of all private education institutions will be provided for under the new Education Act. Currently, only 20 per cent are recognised and registered with the Ministry of Education.This is according to the Technical Advisor to the Minster of Education, Vincent Alexander, who said that the Education Act does not have sufficient guidelines regarding private intuitions hence, the revision of the Act will provide for such.Technical Advisor to the Minister of Education, Vincent Alexander“The Education Act as it is does not have sufficient teeth, so to speak, in regards to regulating private schools. It is envisaged that the new Act, will be strengthened in terms of what the ministry can do to regularise private schools,” Alexander explained during an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA).Notwithstanding the kind of anticipatory approach, Alexander noted that the ministry has designated an education officer who is responsible for private schools.Even as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced that only 57 per cent of the private schools are registered with the entity, the ministry is in the process of trying to get all of the private schools on the register. “… this will only be perfected when we finalise the legislation which will then provide for the ministry to regulate the private schools in a manner which it is not provided for (in the current Education Act),” Alexander  added.There is a draft Bill and the intention is that after the Commission of Enquiry (COI) into Guyana’s education system report is completed, the ministry will then be acting on two major documents; the sector’s strategic plan, for which a review will be done, and the finalisation of the draft Education Bill, Alexander stated. After the Bill is reviewed it will be taken to the Attorney General Chambers, then to Parliament for consideration.“It’s a work in progress in terms of upgrading the Education Act. It is far gone, it’s just for us to do a slight adjustment to that Bill in terms of what the COI comes up with,” Alexander said.The 14 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on private tuition has resulted in public outcry from persons including the head of private learning schools.Since it implementation, the Opposition has called on two occasions for the government to reverse the imposition of 14 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on private school fees.The Parliamentary Opposition threw its support behind educators such as Dr Brian O’Toole whose private institution, School of the Nations, has been fervently articulating against the imposition of the 14 percent VAT, while citing the deleterious consequences that would obtain should this imposition stay in effect.During a press conference last week, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan explained that private schools have not been fulfilling their tax and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) obligations. Ten (10) percent of private schools are registered as Non -Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or Not for Profit while 14 are registered as profit making organisations, however only 57 percent are registered with the GRA.Minister Jordan said that most of the private schools are not compliant and that the call to remove the VAT on tuition fees would result in a loss of around $350 million and could result in an upturn of the Government’s Economic Programme and attendant consequences, or a continuation of adjustments as seen fit to benefit all citizens.In a release today O’Toole in support of a letter penned by the Chairman of the 6th Form Student Council at Nations outlined that ” Ministers have been quoted in the media as saying, that only 8/57 private schools are tax complaint. Many of us fail to understand the relevance of that argument in this emotive debate.  Recently, it has been said a number of times that the great majority of private schools are not paying their fair share of tax or have found some form of tax loophole. If this is accurate, where is the justice in this, and why cannot this injustice be easily remedied by the authorities?”“Only a little while ago we were promised “a new beginning” in the country. There are now 1,400 comments on the electronic version of our petition that question whether those promises have been honoured.  What should we say to the thousands of persons we have encountered over the past few weeks who are now disillusioned, dispirited and thoroughly discouraged by the apparent insensitivity of ignoring the views of thousands and thousands of persons who are against the 14% VAT on private education?” the Nations head questioned.The first protest was held in front of the GRA buildingMeanwhile, the protest organized by businessman Roshan Khan against the 14 per cent VAT increases is confirmed to continue tomorrow, but this time in front of the Finance Ministry at 12:00hrs. read more

Vehicle reportedly belonging to taxi service used in armed robbery of

Police are investigating an alleged robbery under arms committed on a 21-year-old student resulting in the loss of cash, jewellery and other valuables within the vicinity of Crown and New Garden Street, Georgetown on Tuesday night.The victim has been identified as Dominque Garraway of Kitty, Georgetown.INews understands that the young man and his friends visited Churches Chicken on Camp and Middle Street, Georgetown on the night in question at around 20:00hrs.Reports indicate that the group were there for approximately an hour after which they left walking east along Middle Street, Georgetown.A burgundy Toyota Allion motor car bearing a “Green Ice Taxi” logo was observed parked in front of Churches Chicken with two men sitting inside.It was reported to police that just as the group left the fast food entity on foot and were in the vicinity of Crown Street and New Garden, the said motorcar approached them from a northern direction along New Garden Street and stopped in front of Garraway.The passenger of the vehicle reportedly came walking from the south eastern side of Crown Street, approached the victim and proceeded to rob him of two gold bands valued at $30,000 each, one shades valued at $25,000 and $25,000 in cash.The victim’s friends reportedly ran away.The suspect then hopped into the waiting taxi and fled the scene west of Crown Street, Georgetown.The vehicle’s number plates were not identified. (Ramona Luthi) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTwo attacked, carjacked in separate armed robberiesDecember 16, 2017In “Crime”Prosecution closes case in preliminary trial of taxi driver accused of murdering young teacherOctober 8, 2018In “Court”6 busted with guns, ammo in Grove likely to be charged soonApril 13, 2018In “Crime” read more

Russell unhappy with proGuyana crowd at Tallawahs home game

Andre RussellJamaica Tallawahs captain Andre Russell voiced his displeasure with the decision to shift more home games away from Sabina Park, after his side’s first loss of the season to Guyana Amazon Warriors in Florida. The noisy and at times hostile atmosphere of about 4000 fans was overwhelmingly in favour of the visiting Warriors during a 71-run win over the designated home team.“Honestly, I’m very unhappy at the moment,” Russell said after the game. “The guys fought tonight … but based on tonight’s game, it wasn’t like a home game. It didn’t feel that way.“Every boundary, every wicket it was going Guyana’s way. [Shimron] Hetmyer came out, he played some good shots and just the crowd being in his back, it kind of gave him that pump and it shouldn’t be like that. I think we should have that home advantage where a guy hits a boundary, he hears silence. Right? If that’s how home advantage is supposed to be in these conditions, then you have to wonder. You hit a four, you hit a six, you’re not hearing nothing because a Guyana crowd is out here and they want to see Guyana do well.”According to Russell, his fielders were under pressure almost from the start of the match. When Samuel Badree struck with the seventh ball of the night to trap Chadwick Walton lbw, a hush fell over the ground before it became lively once more in the next over as Hetmyer hit his first two boundaries off Imad Wasim on his way to becoming the youngest centurion in CPL history at age 21. The Warriors eventually bested the previous CPL-best total at the venue to make 209 for 7.Imran Tahir“Honestly, these are little things that get me upset from the second over,” Russell said. “Guys saying stuff to you on the boundary. I don’t want to field on the boundary because guys are pressuring you. It shouldn’t be like that. When I go to Guyana, then I expect that.“Guys were upset. I was upset. When I got off the field, I was throwing shoes, everything all around the changing room, things that fans don’t need to see but that’s how upsetting these things can be. You want to know that the crowd is behind you in your home game. So if we go to Barbados and we see a sea of blue, then we expect that. But you’re playing a home game, you want to feel that home advantage. You get a wicket, you hear that loud cheer. It gives the bowler energy even if you’re tired.”Shimron Hetmyer became the youngest player to score a century in the CPL at age 21The Tallawahs have now lost four of five matches in Lauderhill since the CPL’s first matches in Florida in 2016. Russell is expecting the hostile environment his side experienced on Saturday night to be no different on Sunday when the Tallawahs take on Trinbago Knight Riders, considering that TKR has historically had by far the biggest group of travelling supporters attending CPL matches in Florida.He even joked about Tallawahs players trying to pick out their traveling family members in the crowd since they may be the few Tallawahs fans in attendance. But the Tallawahs pulled off a CPL-record chase in the first week of the season at Queen’s Park Oval and Russell is optimistic that they can prevail over TKR again.“We got the two points before and I know that we can get it again here,” Russell said. “I know it’s gonna be loud. It’s gonna be a lot of Trinbago colours tomorrow but I hope that we can see some yellows and we can identify our family and friends and we can actually give them something to cheer for tomorrow.”Even prior to the match against Amazon Warriors, Russell told ESPNcricinfo of his ambivalence towards playing home games away from Sabina Park after the Tallawahs had won their last two matches in front of near capacity weeknight crowds of 15,000. Speaking on the eve of the matches in Florida, the Jamaican allrounder made it clear there was no doubt that if the Tallawahs want to maintain a true home-field advantage then a Jamaican franchise should be playing in Jamaica.“Florida is based on a lot of culture, a lot of different countries and nationalities,” Russell told ESPNcricinfo. “So I hope that we can get the support that we really want. It won’t be like playing in Jamaica where the crowd is behind the Tallawahs and the Tallawahs only. You’re gonna have a lot of people here coming out to support Guyana while some supporting us while some come out just to watch the games. Their heart is not with the Tallawahs.”However, Russell and his Tallawahs team-mates may be stuck playing more matches away from Sabina Park for the foreseeable future due to an agreement struck by their owner with the city of Lauderhill. Kris Persaud, whose Worldwide Sports Management Group took control of the Tallawahs in 2017, has a contract with the Lauderhill venue, guaranteeing at least three international cricket events per year at the stadium. It’s the key reason why this year’s CPL matches at the venue were designated as Tallawahs home games as opposed to neutral site matches shared amongst the six teams. (cricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCPL 2018: Russell eager to keep Tallawahs winning momentumAugust 17, 2018In “latest news”Early wickets fail to stop Jamaica Tallawahs winning against Guyana Amazon WarriorsJuly 16, 2016In “Sports”CPL 2018: Russell to captain Jamaica Tallawahs, says team very balancedJune 21, 2018In “Sports” read more

Man shot in leg allegedly by reporter says he cant work

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNo charges to be instituted against Travis Chase for shooting incident- DPPDecember 19, 2018In “Crime”Journalist shoots labourer who allegedly attacked himDecember 2, 2018In “Crime”Man who allegedly killed suspected bandit charged with murderMay 19, 2015In “Crime” Jimmy RamgobinJimmy Ramgobin, the 28-year-old labourer of Sandy Babb, Kitty Georgetown who was allegedly attacked and later shot by popular Journalist, Travis Chase two weeks ago is crying foul, alleging that the Police are trying to cover up the matter.The victim, met with media operatives on Tuesday and recounted the ordeal revealing that at no time did he attack and use bottles to pelt Chase as the Journalist claimed.According to the man, he went out for a night of drinking with friends and became intoxicated.While enroute to his home at around 01:00h in the morning of the incident, he lost consciousness and fell on the road way, reportedly in front of Chase’s girlfriends’ property which is located on De Abreu Street, kitty Georgetown.However, he was allegedly awakened by repeated kicks to his ribs and in a traumatized state attempted to escape the beating.“Between my sleep I feel somebody kicking me in my ribs when I look up, I see a man with a gun in he hand , I look on the other side, I see a girl standing on the other side , so I get up and I decided to run” Ramgobin related.He further recounted that while attempting to escape, he heard several shots rang out behind him and then felt a burning sensation on his right foot.“I heard about four to five shots behind me, I then stop on Garnett Street corner and then realize that I got shot, when I look back, I didn’t see anybody” the man revealed.Ramgobin said with blood oozing from his leg, he made his way to the Police Station where he reported the matter.Television journalist, Travis ChaseHe related that he was then taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he received treatment and was told by ranks that the matter would be investigated.When questioned, Ramgobin held out that at no time did he make any attempts to attack Chase as was reported to the Police.“There is no way I can attack a person and get shot behind my foot…there is no way I can attack him with a bottle and get shoot behind my foot, if I was attacking him, I was supposed to be shot in front so I did not shy him with no bottle” Ramgobin held out.According to the labourer, the bullet is currently lodged in his leg and could not be removed by doctors which is hindering his work.He says that he will not drop the matter, as he again maintained his innocence.“I can’t do no kind of heavy work right now and this time of the year, I does work hard for my money…this bullet has not been removed, its still in my foot, the doctor tell me that bullet can’t come out because it jamming the nerves and the tissue, until January, then they could see if they could operate to take it out”.When contacted, Chase told this publication that he has no comment noting that the matter is still with the Police.The Police however revealed that the case file into the matter is still with the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) awaiting directions. read more