Hot Takedown Wonders Do Stars Matter

Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Here are the notes Neil worked from for the conversation: Hot Takedown After Chris Paul and Alex Ovechkin were knocked out of their playoffs this month, there were a lot of hot takes about how neither was a big enough star to carry his team to a championship. On this week’s “Hot Takedown,” Kate Fagan, Neil Paine and Chadwick Matlin look at some of the research on whether you need a star to win a title, or whether winning a title makes you a star. According to Neil’s analysis, the sport that relies on star players the most is basketball — then come baseball, football and hockey. read more

US vs Germany Is The Greatest Womens World Cup Game Of All

9/30/07GermanyBrazilFinal95.0 9/21/03U.S.SwedenGroup stage94.2 6/26/15GermanyFranceQuarterfinals94.2 6/15/95U.S.NorwaySemifinals94.3 10/1/03U.S.NorwayQuarterfinals95.4 DATETEAMTEAMROUNDAVERAGE WSPI 9/26/07GermanyNorwaySemifinals94.9 10/12/03GermanySwedenFinal94.5 7/10/99U.S.ChinaFinal94.3 Either the U.S. or Germany — or both countries — has played in every one of the top 10 greatest Women’s World Cup games, and their 2003 World Cup semifinal encounter ranks third (Germany defeated the U.S. 3-0). Historically, when the U.S. and Germany have met at a World Cup, the winner has gone on to win the tournament. In both 1991 and 1999, the U.S. defeated Germany en route to its two championships, and in 2003, Germany routed the U.S. on its way to its first World Cup title. However, the two teams haven’t met at a World Cup in 12 years.Germany is favored to win tonight’s game 57 percent to the Americans’ 43 percent, according to WSPI. As the Germans have advanced through the tournament, their chances of winning have risen to 43 percent, up 16 percentage points since the start of the World Cup. These odds come after a convincing Round of 16 win over Sweden and a quarterfinal victory against France, two of the tournament’s top teams. The U.S. has had a much easier (and less dominant) route to this semifinal match. The U.S. did not win very convincingly in either its Round of 16 game against Colombia or its quarterfinal game against China, and its chances of winning the World Cup are up only 2 percentage points since the tournament began.Much of the criticism surrounding the U.S. team has been about its inability to create chances in the final third, but on Friday night against China, the U.S. created 13 chances — more than in any other of its games this tournament. The team was playing without two starting midfielders — Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, who were out because of accumulating yellow cards — and yet the team looked the sharpest it has all tournament, applying high pressure and winning the ball back immediately. The new players in the lineup provided fresh energy and offensive pressure; Amy Rodriguez made threatening runs forward and hustled all game, while Kelley O’Hara kept the width on the right side and got on the end of a few good crosses. But the question remains against Germany: Who and how will the U.S. decide to play?Germany has been dominant all tournament long — especially in the final third, where the Americans have struggled. It has created almost double the number of chances as the U.S. — 94 compared with 50 — and its cohesive offensive power has been difficult for teams to contain. The tournament’s leading goal-scorers are two of Germany’s attackers, Célia Šašić and Anja Mittag, who have scored more goals apiece (six and five, respectively) than all the U.S. forwards combined. Together with attacking midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan (who is questionable for tonight’s game because of an ankle injury), Germany has the tournament’s most indomitable, powerful attack.But that doesn’t mean it will be easy for the Germans to score on the U.S., whose defense has also been the best of any team we’ve seen — allowing just one goal, in its first game against Australia. The center-back duo of Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn has been an impenetrable force field, shutting down most teams’ attacking flow before it can even begin. But the U.S. hasn’t faced an attack as balanced as Germany’s, and the Americans will have to rely on the midfield to help close gaps between the seams.The midfield provides the biggest question mark for both the U.S. and Germany, and it’s likely that whoever has the better midfield organization will control the game and create more offensive opportunities. It’s doubtful that the U.S. will try to match up with Germany’s 4-2-3-1 formation and play with three central midfielders, but much of its success against China came from designating Morgan Brian as a holding mid, allowing Carli Lloyd to get forward and score the game winner. Rapinoe will likely return to the left side. But head coach Jill Ellis has started five different players at right midfield, and that spot could go to any of them, including Tobin Heath, Christen Press or O’Hara.Both teams will be playing to keep the dream of a third World Cup title alive, and it’s bound to be an epic battle. Maybe there won’t be 90,000 people in the stands or 90 degree temperatures on the field, but you can bet there will be patriotic face paint and a 26-year-old in the crowd feeling like she’s 10 again.Jay Boice contributed research. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s Women’s World Cup predictions.I didn’t care about the sweat pooling beneath my thighs in the 90 degree Pasadena sun; I hardly stayed seated anyway. We had woken up early to paint our faces and finish decorating our signs before loading into the family van to drive an hour north on the I-405 from my grandma’s house to the Rose Bowl. I trailed a few steps behind my older sister and her friends as we entered the stadium, marveling at the American flag popsicle vendors and 90,000-plus people chanting, ‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’It was the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, and it was the greatest day of my 10-year-old life. To this day, I thought it would be the greatest Women’s World Cup game I’d ever witness. I was wrong.Tonight’s semifinal match between the United States and Germany is the greatest Women’s World Cup game of all time, according to our Women’s Soccer Power Index, which gives this game an average WSPI rating of 95.5. That’s the largest average WSPI of any two teams to ever play each other at a Women’s World Cup. By this measure, the 1999 final is only the eighth-greatest game of all time. 10/5/03U.S.GermanySemifinals95.3 6/30/15U.S.GermanySemifinals95.5 read more

Another Ride On The Red Sox Roller Coaster

61997Giants90-22+8+2+25-3117.6 131992Dodgers63+30-7-8+17-2216.6 141989Cardinals86-10+19-16+22-1716.6 12016Red Sox90-12-7+26-28+2118.8 SEASONTEAMWINS12345AVG. ABSOLUTE Δ 171985Reds90-20+4-13+36-816.0 192002Astros84+9-21+25+5-1815.6 151972Indians75-15+16-14+24-1216.0 2016 win totals based on rest-of-season projections. Seasons under 162 games were regressed to 162 games. Results were filtered so that duplicate stretches including the same team-season twice were discarded.Source: FanGraphs, Lahman DB 42002Cubs67+21-23+2+22-2118.0 81983Athletics74-6+25-10-29+1517.1 32004Mariners63+300+23-25-1218.0 101999Padres74+24-22+15-12-1217.1 182000Marlins79-15-10+38-12-415.9 52007Diamondbacks90-14+1-26+33+1417.6 MLB’s biggest roller-coaster rides (1962-2016) Last April, we previewed the Boston Red Sox’s 2015 season by focusing on the franchise’s wild ups and downs in recent years. Although they posted only 71 wins in 2014, advanced-stats outlets such as FanGraphs projected Boston to win 90 games, which would have been a 19-win increase — and would have come on the heels of a 26-win decrease, after a 28-win increase, after a 21-win decrease. Boston was shaping up to be on MLB’s craziest roller-coaster ride ever.It didn’t quite work out that way. The Red Sox spent most of 2015 playing just as poorly as they had in 2014, finishing with 78 wins only thanks to a strong push in the season’s final two months, and the fallout was a total front-office shake-up. But more than one-third of the way into the 2016 season, the Red Sox appear to have made the leap that was expected of them a year ago: They have a 34-25 record, are only two games out of first in the American League East, and have a full-season FanGraphs projection of 90 wins. If that last number holds up, Boston’s past five years will once again represent the most up-and-down stretch in modern MLB history: 162003Angels77+22-24+7-12+1516.0 WIN DIFF. IN NO. OF SEASONS EARLIER 121984Angels81-11+23-17-10+2216.7 111988Indians78-17+23-24+15-516.8 What has changed for Boston since the past two disappointing seasons? Mainly, they’re getting better performances from the lineup. The Red Sox were pretty much a dead-average hitting and fielding team a year ago, which added up to a mediocre record when combined with an unspectacular pitching staff. But this year, no team in the majors — not even the vaunted Chicago Cubs — has gotten more wins above replacement from its position players than Boston, a development headlined by drastic improvements from Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, a bounce-back season from Dustin Pedroia and the general agelessness of David Ortiz.The Red Sox will probably still spend the summer in a division dogfight with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays; our power ratings say they’re basically a coin flip (48 percent) to win the East. But even that represents an improvement over the past two seasons and could provide more twists in the roller-coaster track the franchise has been riding. Things are never dull when it comes to baseball in Boston. 201970Mets83+17-27-12+5-1615.6 91994Reds92-19+17-16+17-1617.1 71992Orioles89-22+9+11-33+1317.4 22010Mariners61+24-24+27-10-918.8 read more

Dont Expect to See a Triple Crown Anytime Soon

The owner of California Chrome, which failed in his Triple Crown quest Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, had some controversial things to say about how it’s “not fair” that a lot of Chrome’s Belmont competitors didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby and/or the Preakness Stakes.But California Chrome’s loss should surprise no one. This is the new normal.California Chrome is now the 13th horse to have won the first two races but failed to win the Belmont since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978. Of the 13, one was scratched the day of the race, and eight lost to horses that didn’t even run in the Preakness.Having a number of “fresh” horses in the Belmont field was common in the era leading up to Affirmed’s Triple Crown, though perhaps a little less so. But the extent that these horses have been dominating in the Belmont is just one aspect of a bigger issue.Of the 23 horses that won the Preakness and not the Derby since 1979, just five won the Belmont (the last to do so was Afleet Alex in 2005). And of the 23 that won the Derby but not the Preakness, just two won the Belmont: Swale in 1984 and Thunder Gulch in 1995. In total, 59 horses have won either the Derby or the Preakness or both since 1979, and of those, just seven have won the Belmont.The main thing that separates the Belmont from the other two races is its length: At 1.5 miles (or 2.4 kilometers, or 12 furlongs), it’s over a quarter-mile longer than either the Derby or the Preakness. This distance has become increasingly rare in American horse-racing over time, to the point where almost all horses entering the Belmont these days have never raced it. Even highly experienced trainers may not have much experience with it. One trainer has come across Belmont’s extra distance only one in every 1,000 races.Belmont is billed as the “Test of the Champion” — kind of like a final exam for a horse to prove itself the most worthy — but in reality it’s more like a test of a deliberately different skill set: i.e., 1.5 miles is to 1.25 miles as the SAT Math section is to the SAT Verbal.The Triple Crown races weren’t always different types of tests. In the late 1800s, all three were 1.5 miles. The Derby switched to 1.25 miles in 1896, while the Preakness experimented with a number of different lengths between 1894 and 1923 before settling on 1.1875 miles (or 9.5 furlongs) in 1924. The Belmont was actually the first to abandon the longer distance, switching to 1.25 miles in 1890, but it switched back for good in 1926.For at least a half-century after the distances were settled, the three legs of the Triple Crown seemed about equally likely to be won by a horse that would (or did) win one of the others. But since 1979, the short track/long track divide has become huge, and the 13 failed Triple Crown attempts are just part of the story.Between 1926 and 1978, of the 20 horses that won the Derby and Preakness, 10 of them won the Belmont — since 1979 those horses are zero for 13. Between 1926 and 1978, 33 Belmont Stakes included no horse that won both precursors, and of those 33 races, 14 were won by a horse that had won one of the prior Crown races (21 percent of the 66 such horses). Since 1979, there have been 23 years where no horse won both precursors, and just seven Belmonts were won by a horse that had won one precursor (15 percent of 46 such horses).We can compare those rates to the Belmont odds for horses that won neither the Derby nor the Preakness. This is a little difficult, because field sizes vary and often have a number of serious long-shots in them, so I’ve made this comparison based on an assumed pool of six “competitive” horses per race. Thus we can see how a horse’s performance in the precursors has affected its chances of winning the Belmont:As you can see, the odds drop significantly for horses with one win on the shorter tracks going in, and completely for horses with two wins. As a natural result, the odds of winning the Belmont for a horse with zero wins in the previous two races have grown — to the point where they may (amazingly) even be higher than for a horse with a winning track record. Thus, each marginal precursor win has actually decreased a horse’s chances of winning the Belmont (note that racebooks have completely failed to capture this effect).Perhaps this is partly because winning precursor races places horses at a disadvantage to fresher horses (as California Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn seems to think). But, more importantly, winning the shorter precursors is further evidence that a horse is more calibrated to the shorter distance.That top horses are calibrated to shorter distances is also evidenced by the rate at which Derby and Preakness winners match each other: California Chrome was the ninth such horse in the past 18 years.This is how it is now: More Triple Crown attempts, fewer Triple Crowns. Get used to it. read more

Ohio State womens volleyball craving for a win right now

Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo hits the ball during a match against Nebraska Oct. 25 at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Brandon Klein / Lantern photographerAfter a 2-8 start in Big Ten play, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team is focused on returning to its winning ways.“We’re craving for a win right now,” senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said.The Buckeyes, who fell out of the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll Monday for the first time all season, are scheduled to travel to Michigan for two more conference matches against ranked opponents Friday and Saturday.OSU is set to take on No. 14 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., at 6:30 p.m. Friday before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a match against No. 17 Michigan at 7 p.m. Saturday.After a 13-0 start to the season, which included a 3-1 win over then-No. 10 Michigan to open Big Ten play Sept. 27, the then-No. 13 Buckeyes fell to then-No. 15 Michigan State 3-0 Sept. 29. That loss sparked a 1-8 stretch for OSU, including the team’s current six-match losing streak.“I felt like the first half of the season, we were there, but it just got away from us a little bit,” Mandolfo said.Junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said having another crack at the Spartans could spark the team as it enters the second half of the conference season.“I feel like beating Michigan State will be a really upbeat positive for us, just to prove to ourselves that we can do this the second time around,” she said. “It will probably bring a big positive energy throughout our team.”Freshman outside hitter Kylie Randall called the prospect of beating Michigan State “awesome,” especially on the road.“We’ve grown as a team since then and we’re both kind of struggling right now,” Randall said. “I think it will be great to beat them at their place.”The Spartans (17-5, 6-4) are in the midst of a four-match losing streak of their own. They dropped their most recent outing to unranked Indiana Oct. 26. The Hoosiers, whom OSU beat in five sets Oct. 5 in Bloomington, Ind., are tied for last in the conference with Iowa at 1-9.While the Buckeyes and Spartans will battle to end their respective losing streaks, OSU must also prepare for a date with the Wolverines . Even though OSU has beaten the Wolverines this season, Mandolfo said the Buckeyes will not overlook Michigan.“Every game is a huge game, regardless of if we have beaten Michigan before,” she said. “They’re just as hungry for a win as we are.”Randall said she is excited about the chance to play more home games the rest of the way.The trip up north will mark the end of a stretch of five of six games on the road for the Buckeyes. From that point on, OSU is scheduled to play five of its final eight matches in Columbus.While playing at home can be a boost, Sekinger said “doing the little things” will help the Buckeyes improve on their rough start.“Covering hitters, passing balls, hitting smarter shots, just the little things and getting back to the basics of playing volleyball (will help),” she said.After the road trip, OSU is scheduled to host Indiana at St. John Arena Nov. 8. read more

Football 5 plays that mattered in Ohio States 6214 win against Maryland

Sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor (9) runs the ball during the Ohio State game against Maryland on Oct. 7 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeye won 62-14. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterNo. 9 Ohio State trounced Maryland 62-14 Saturday in Ohio Stadium. Though the Buckeyes had the game in hand by halftime, there were several plays that were particularly important in the moment.Here’s the five plays that mattered most in Ohio State’s victory against Maryland.Johnnie Dixon 35-yard gainOn its first drive with 12:49 on the clock in the first quarter, Ohio State faced a third-and-4 at the Maryland 44-yard line. Quarterback J.T. Barrett fired a strike past two Maryland defenders to redshirt junior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon for a first down, and Dixon ran down the field to the 9-yard line.Ohio State scored three plays later on a Barrett rush. Third-down conversions like that will become more crucial with an increasingly difficult level of competition in the coming weeks.Victor first-quarter TDBarrett’s confidence in his arm and receivers has notably improved since Ohio State’s Week 2 loss to Oklahoma. One of his best passes of the day was a third-and-6 strike to sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor in the end zone with 7:14 remaining in the first quarter.On a skinny post route, the 6-foot-4 Victor fought off a cornerback to reel in the throw, which Barrett fit into a tight window from 8 yards. With his frame, Victor is the ideal target for third-down passing situations close to the end zone. If Barrett can fit those throws in there consistently, Ohio State’s offense will continue to find success.Jerome Baker scoop-and-scoreOhio State’s defensive line had arguably its best game against Maryland, and it started early with 9:54 on the clock in the first quarter.On Maryland’s third play from scrimmage, defensive end Nick Bosa drove Maryland quarterback Max Bortenschlager to the ground and caused a fumble. Linebacker Jerome Baker picked it up and took it to the end for an early 13-0 lead.Baker’s 4th-down sackThe Ohio State offense sputtered in three straight drives — a blocked field goal, a J.K. Dobbins fumble and a 22-yard punt — before Baker made a crucial stop at 6:30 left in the first half.Maryland’s offense stayed on the field for a fourth-and-3 at the 30-yard line. Baker came untouched on the right side of the line to sack Bortenschlager, forcing a fumble in the process and giving the offense some momentum for its next three drives, which all ended in touchdowns.Hubbard stop and third-and-1Leading 27-7 with 4:15 remaining in the first half, Ohio State continued its dominance on the offensive line with a tackle for loss on third-and-1. Maryland running back Ty Johnson had no room to run up the middle, so he attempted to bounce outside where defensive end Sam Hubbard played contain and cut down Johnson in the backfield for a 6-yard loss, forcing fourth down. Ohio State marched 48 yards in four plays, taking all of 52 seconds for another score. read more

Ugly friend effect proved attractiveness boosted by appearing next to those less

first_imgHugh Hefner, basking in reflected gloryCredit:AP The company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to othersDr Nicholas Furl, Royal Holloway University Scientists at Royal Holloway University asked study participants to rate the attractiveness of different faces shown in photographs.The viewers were then told to re-assess the same faces after pictures of other less desirable people had been placed alongside.Once the “distractor faces” were introduced, the attractiveness of the original faces increased from the first round of ranking, the researchers discovered.Dr Nicholas Furl, who conducted the study, said: “Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady.“If you saw a picture of George Clooney today, you would rate him as good-looking as you would tomorrow.“However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others.” Hugh Hefner, basking in reflected glory In a further limb to the study, the team also discovered that having a less attractive face to look at sharpened viewers’ critical faculties and made them more sensitive to the differences between two or more attractive people.“The presence of a less attractive face does not just increase the attractiveness of a single person, but in crowds could actually make us even more choosy,” said Dr Furl.“We found that the presence of a distractor face makes differences between attractive people more obvious and that observers start to pull apart these differences, making them even more particular in their judgment.”The new research lends empirical weight to a theme often exploited for comic effect.Last year’s film The Duff – an acronym for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” – told the story of a school-age girl who finds out that her prettier and more popular friends have deliberately recruited her to elevate their own desirability.“It’s perhaps not too surprising that we are judged in relation to those around us,” said Dr Furl.“There are many other ways in which we decide who we are attracted to.“There will certainly be more research in years to come on this complicated area of human interaction, and I am excited to see where this research takes us.”The new research follows previous investigation into the effect on perceived attractiveness of appearing alongside people of the opposite sex, which found that married men are generally thought of as more attractive than bachelors.This is thought to occur because people appear more attractive when they are in the company of an attractive person, or people, of the opposite sex – the so-called “Hugh Hefner effect”, after the owner of Playboy magazine who is often picture arm in arm-in-arm with several of his girlfriends.Scientists believe the phenomenon could be explained by evolution, as, in the animal kingdom, male creatures with more mates are often considered genetically superior.Experiments with grouse in the 1990s found that researchers were able to boost the popularity of a male simply by placing models of female birds around it. It has been called the “ugly friend effect” – the propensity for someone to appear more attractive than they otherwise would when in the company of people less blessed by good looks.Until now this might have been dismissed as an old wives’ tale, but new research appears to have confirmed the phenomenon is a scientific fact.A study in the journal Psychological Science has shown that a person will rank higher on a scale of attractiveness when compared alongside less attractive people than when judged in isolation. 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

Loose Women viewers criticise weird decision to axe ITV show on International

first_img Show more Ruth Langsford told Loose Women viewers that the show would not be on air because of an ITV News Budget specialCredit:Ian West/PA However, another fan said the show being cancelled is “not an outrage”, adding: “Women not having access to sanitary products is. Priorities.”Host Ruth Langsford announced the news to groans from the audience on Tuesday’s programme. It’s #InternationalWomensDay and Loose Women isn’t on :(— Stephen Leng (@steveleng) March 8, 2017 @loosewomen I am certainly not happy about this at all cancelled because of the bloody budget as well as being on International Women’s Day— Louisa Thomas (@louisa1976) March 8, 2017 Loose Women fans have hit out at ITV’s “weird” decision to cancel the show on International Women’s Day.The popular daytime programme has been shifted to allow coverage of the Government’s Budget announcement.Fans noted on Twitter the show was being moved on the day marked to celebrate women.Louisa Thomas said in a post on the site that she was “certainly not happy” about the Budget taking priority: Ruth Langsford told Loose Women viewers that the show would not be on air because of an ITV News Budget special 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. @loosewomen International women’s day and they take @loosewomen off bit weird init?— Mark Williams (@markwillo2285) March 8, 2017 She said: “Just to remind you we’re not here tomorrow because of an ITV News Budget special.”I’m sorry, but the good news is we are back on Thursday and Gok Wan will be here.” I’d rather watch @loosewomen than the budget. :(— Natalie [37 Days] 🦄 (@boydie123) March 7, 2017last_img read more

Internet Watch Foundation reports rise in child sex abuse sites

first_imgThe IWF found that new web domains, such as .london, are increasingly being used for the distribution of indecent and sexual material containing children. It said there was a 258 per cent increase in the number of times it had to take action against such sites last year. As the number of sites has increased, the balance of where they’re located has shifted from the US to Europe, the Foundation said. The majority of sites, 60 per cent, were in Europe compared with 37 per cent in the US.But the watchdog’s findings show the UK is leading the fight against child abuse online, with a minute proportion of all content hosted here. “Only 0.1pc of the content was hosted in the UK,” said Sarah Smith, technical researcher at the IWF. “That’s because of the great partnerships we have with law enforcement and industry here. “The content is taken down incredibly quickly once we’ve spoken to our police partners at the National Crime Agency. Speed is of the essence here because those images are of children being sexually abused.”As the size of the problem has increased the methods used by criminals to hide the material has become more sophisticated. The report shows the number of illegal websites disguised as legitmate ones has more than doubled since 2015. “They use this technique called ‘disguised websites’ to hide content and make it more difficult to take it down,” said Smith. “This lets them get access to things like payment processing services, which is something we’re concerned about.”Responding to the news, a spokesman for the NSPCC said: “We must never forget that there is a victim behind every child sexual abuse image, and every time these horrific pictures are viewed a child is re-abused. Anyone who wilfully seeks out this material is complicit in fuelling this appalling industry.”To stamp out this crime altogether we must tackle the escalating demand for child abuse material by finding out what deters offenders and potential offenders from viewing child sexual abuse images.” A dramatic rise in child sex abuse images online has raised concerns about the ability of authorities to stop illegal material from spreading across the internet as criminals create new ways to hide. The number of websites found to be hosting explicit and abusive images of children increased 20 per cent in 2016 to 2,416, according to the Internet Watch Foundation’s annual report of potentially illegal sites.The independent body, which monitors for sites that sell and show indecent photographs and videos of children under the age of 18, said the problem is growing with new internet addresses offering criminals more places to hide material. Speed is of the essence here because those images are of children being sexually abusedSarah Smith, Internet Watch Foundation 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

Garbine Muguruzas delight at eclipsing Venus Williams to claim Wimbledon womens title

first_imgMuguruza said she had longed to see her name on the list of Wimbledon champions at the All England Lawn Tennis club, and added she was “so happy that it’s there now”.Alongside a picture of her lifting her trophy on Centre Court, she tweeted: “Yes!!!!”Muguruza, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, began playing tennis at the age of three and, after moving to Spain with her family in 1999 when she was six years old, enrolled at the Bruguera Tennis Academy near Barcelona.She won her first Grand Slam last year when, in a rematch of the 2015 Wimbledon final, she beat Serena in straight sets in the final of the French Open. It’s great to go out there and play somebody you admireGarbine Muguruza after the match With joy and surprise lighting up her face Garbine Muguruza lifted her first Wimbledon ladies’ singles trophy after vanquishing the five-times winner Venus Williams in straight sets.It was a sweet victory for the Spanish player, who lost to Williams’ younger sister Serena in the final two years ago.Speaking moments after winning the title Muguruza said that on that occasion Serena – who had been her tennis idol growing up – had told her she would win herself one day.”Two years ago, I lost in the finals against Serena, and she told me one day I was going to maybe win. Two years after, here I am, ” the 23-year-old told a Centre Court Crowd which contained some of the game’s great luminaries, including Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova. “I had the hardest match today against Venus, an incredible player. I grew up watching her play, so it’s incredible to play the final,” said Murguruza, adding later: “It’s great to go out there and play somebody you admire.”Muguruza is only the second Spanish woman to win a Wimbledon singles title. In 1994, in a neat parallel to Saturday’s final, her stand-in coach Conchita Martinez beat Martina Navratilova, who was the same age as Venus Williams is now. 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. Muguruza in action during the final match  Credit: Anadolu Agency Martinez agreed to step in as her coach because Muguruza’s regular coach Sam Sumyk could not be in England as his wife is shortly expecting a baby.But Murguruza said she had spoken to him every day, including in the hours before the final.Williams had been looking to add a sixth Wimbledon singles title to her crown, nine years after winning her last major title here.But she squandered two set points in the first set to lose 5-7, and her game appeared to collapse in the second set, which she lost 0-6 to an opponent growing in confidence with each stroke of play.The match ended on an anticlimactic note, with a challenge to a line call by the Spanish player. Hawkeye showed Venus’ ball had been out and the championship was Muguruza’s.As she fell to her knees in disbelief, Venus immediately stepped forward to the net to congratulate her. Williams had been looking to add a sixth Wimbledon singles title to her crownCredit: TOBY MELVILLEcenter_img Muguruza in action during the final match   Her victory brought Muguruza £2.2m in prize money, equal to that awarded the male players – something Venus Williams was herself instrumental in finally persuading All England Lawn Tennis Club to adopt in 2007. “The coincidence of her winning Navratilova, me winning Venus, there were a lot of things there, was, like, awesome,” said Murguruza. Muguruza’s triumph comes a month after she she barely survived her first round opener at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham,where she was taken to three sets against Russian Elizaveta Kulichkova, who is ranked 148th in the world.Now, as well as lifting the famous Venus Rosewater dish, she gets to dance with the winner of today’s men’s final. She admitted she secretly hopes Roger Federer will win.“I like [Marin] Cilic, I have to say seriously,” she said. “But I want to see if he’s [Federer] that elegant also dancing.” Today also saw victory for Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid in the wheelchair men’s doubles final.The pair lost the first set 6-7(5) to France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, but they came back to win the next two 7-5 7-6(3).Reid, 25, said: “I have been playing wheelchair tennis now for 12 years and never once did I think we would fill a stadium out in Wimbledon like this.” Williams had been looking to add a sixth Wimbledon singles title to her crownlast_img read more

Jeremy Hunt in climbdown over pledge to make newlyqualified doctors work for

first_imgJeremy Hunt This week’s announcement comes after a survey indicated that 14 per cent of trainee GPs are planning to move abroad after qualifying, with one in five intending to leave the profession.A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “We will continue exploring how best to achieve a return on taxpayer investment in training medical students and it is inaccurate to say that we are scrapping plans set out by the Health Secretary last year.” Mr Hunt’s conference pledge was made following a bigger dispute over a new contract for junior doctors, which included repeated warnings from the BMA that new working conditions would force young medics to seek work abroad. Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt has stepped back from a pledge to force graduate doctors to work for the NHS for four years. The policy was absent from a widescale announcement on the future of medical training published on Wednesday by the Department of Health, after practitioners warned it might ‘exacerbate’ the workforce crisis.Last year the Health Secretary promised the Conservative Party Conference that all doctors whose graduate training was paid for by the NHS would have to work for the health service for at least four years. The apparent climbdown comes after doctors’ groups vociferously opposed a mandatory four-year NHS tie.  Credit:Christopher Pledger  Jeremy Hunt has stepped back from a pledge to force graduate doctors to work for the NHS for four years.  Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley But the Department of Health yesterday pledged merely to “continue exploring how best to achieve a return on taxpayer investment”, offering no date to revisit the four-year pledge.The apparent climbdown comes after doctors’ groups vociferously opposed a mandatory four-year NHS tie.The British Medical Association argued that “taxpayers get a significant return on their investment from the dedicated service provided by all doctors over the course of their career”.The union added that such a policy would discourage students from poorer backgrounds from becoming doctors, and was “potentially discriminatory to women who are more likely to take a career break”. 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

Mums agony after father refuses her plea to return daughters from Libya

first_imgA mother has been left desperate for news of her daughters after their father took them to Libya and refused to bring them back.The man has now been jailed for a year after failing to return the girls, aged five and 17, to their mother’s home in Wiltshire.Tanya Borg has not been able to speak to her children since March this year and has no idea where they are being kept in the conflict-ridden country and how well they are.Her ordeal began in February 2015, after she agreed with her estranged husband Mohammed Said Masoud El Zubaidy that he could take the two girls to visit their grandmother in Tunisia.But instead he whisked them across the border to Libya and has since refused to arrange for their return to the UK.Adding to Ms Borg’s agony is the fact El-Zubaidy has told his family not to let her speak to the children, something the judge in the case has described as “a wicked thing to do”.Ms Borg, a British national who was born in Malta, met El-Zubaidy on the Mediterranean island and married him in 2000.The couple settled in Britain two years later.Libyan-born El Zubaidy, of Wood Green, north London, took the children to visit their grandmother in the Tunisia, after Ms Borg had agreed to the visit. But according to court documents “the father took the children into Libya”. The documents added that Ms Borg said he “refused to return them despite the maternal grandmother even sending flight tickets”.Earlier this year El Zubaidy, who is a British national, returned to the UK without the girls, claiming he could not contact them because they were living at an unknown address with members of his family.Ms Borg, 38, a part time youth worker and actress who lives in the village of Pewsey, near Marlborough, went to court to commit her husband to prison in a bid to force him to return her daughters.Last week Mr Justice Moor, sitting in the High Court, ruled in her favour and sentenced EL Zubaidy to 12 months imprisonment for contempt of court after he failed to comply with a previous judge’s orders to return the girls.He said there had been a “deliberate concealment of the girls girls since March” and added: “He has done absolutely nothing to procure or promote their return. Indeed, I am sure he has done the opposite.”The father has deliberately ensured the children have had no contact with their mother. Indeed, I find that he has instructed the grandmother either to disappear or to become uncontactable.” Justice Moor went on: “It follows that, far from ‘procuring and promoting that the children leave Libya forthwith’, he has done the opposite. The allegation that he has breached the order of Holman J is therefore proved to the criminal standard of proof.”The whereabouts of the two girls are still unknown.Justice Moor said if El Zubaidy helped find the daughters he would be released earlier from prison.Ms Borg said she did not want to speak about her missing daughters while the matter was being dealt with by the courts.”I can’t say anything. Not right now, it’s not the right time,” she said.center_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.last_img read more

UK weather Dozens of schools remain shut for third day ahead of

first_imgFor Wednesday, forecasters said temperatures should be higher after a comparatively milder night, with lows of 0.2C (32F) recorded in Kew Gardens and -0.3C (31F) in High Beach, north east of London.Craig Snell, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “It’s still a cold start in places, especially in the Midlands and into Wales. Three-year-old Reuben (no surname given) looks at a wall of icicles at Killhope mine in County Durham Dozens of schools will be shut for a third consecutive day – as the country prepares for a “rollercoaster” of temperatures over the weekend.Temperatures dropped to as low as minus 13C (8.6F) in Shawbury, Shropshire, on Monday night – but the mercury only fell to around minus 1.9C (29F) at its lowest on Tuesday evening, again near the English-Welsh border.The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice covering nearly the entire country – with the exception of London, the South East and South West – which is in force until 11am on Wednesday.Scores of primary and secondary schools cancelled lessons on Monday and Tuesday owing to the weather, citing concerns about untreated roads and problems with staff making their way into work.On Wednesday, 26 will be closed in Herefordshire, 14 in Shropshire, 10 in Worcestershire and at least 24 across Wales. Air and rail services – which were disrupted earlier this week by the weather – appear to be returning back to normal, with the Eurotunnel running on time and flights operating as normal out of Heathrow. “On the ground, temperatures have reached near freezing so there is scope for ice patches, with the exception across the far south of England where temperatures are hovering around 8C (46F) or 9C (48F). However, the cold weather is expected to return over the weekend – although lows such as those seen on Monday look unlikely to be reached.”It’s a bit of a rollercoaster on the temperatures over the next four or five days.”We’re not likely to see the -13C of the other night but we could see temperatures potentially at -7C (19F) in a few spots, but generally remaining cold but not as cold as we started the week.” A boy looks at a wall of icicles at Killhope mine in County DurhamCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA “Wednesday is going to be a mixed bag. There will be some bright spells around the country and we will be seeing bands of showers move across the country and it will be quite windy, especially across the South West of the UK.” It’s a roller coaster ride with our temperatures overnight as rain moves eastwards. Take care if you’re travelling pic.twitter.com/QZrVDgnYqZ— Met Office (@metoffice) December 12, 2017 Mr Snell added that wintry showers were possible across the North West of England and further afield in the afternoon – with a cooler night expected going into Thursday.”We could start to see some sleet and snow, even on lower levels in Northern Ireland and western Scotland for the evening rush hour.”All in all, today it will be a blustery, showery day across the country, with showers turning increasingly wintry the further north and west you are in the country.” 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

Trident nuclear sites at risk due to exodus of Ministry of Defence

A fishing boat passes Britain's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth anchored in Mount's Bay on June 11, 2018 in Penzance. Cuts to MoD Police budget could jeopardise the safety of the vessel. An MoD spokesman said: “The MoD Police has enough resources to meet its operational requirements. The number of officers has increased over the last five years and we will employ a further 200 officers in the near future”.  “The MoD Police does vital work to protect key sites around the UK and discussions are currently underway on the issue of pay parity. A fishing boat passes Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth anchored in Mount’s Bay on June 11, 2018 in Penzance. Cuts to MoD Police budget could jeopardise the safety of the vessel.Credit:Matt Cardy/Getty Images Europe It breaks my heart to say it, but I cannot blame those who are going Trident nuclear submarine sites are at risk from terrorists due to an “exodus” of MoD Police, the Federation Chief warns. Budget cuts mean an attack on Britain’s nuclear submarine base is a case of “when not if,” Eamon Keating will say in a speech today.Continued cuts to the force could lead to the nation’s safety being compromised as budget cuts have left it “working beyond its means”Cost cutting is being prioritised over safety and many officers feel “unwanted and devalued” such that the the force has shrunk by 30% since 2010.Previous assurances from the Defence Secretary that security would not be compromised by savings targets were “just words” and the Federation feels ignored by the MoD. The National Chairman of the Defence Police Federation, the staff association representing civilian MoD Police officers, will today call on ministers to halt cuts to the force.“Capability must start at home,” he will tell his annual conference in Stansted, and overlooking the security of critical assets and sites in the UK would make the MoD vulnerable to attack. Mr Keating will call on the Defence Secretary to include MoD Police in the forthcoming Modernising Defence Programme, due to report this summer. “We are witnessing ..an exodus from our Force. It breaks my heart to say it, but I cannot blame those who are going,” Mr Keating will say. “I can honestly say that I am amazed more are not going.” “We would never implement changes to our security arrangements that would put the safety and security of our people and assets at risk.” From a budget of almost £150 million the MoD Police have this year been told to find savings of £12.5 million. With no infrastructure and little equipment, Mr Keating says these savings have to come directly from front line officers. 160 posts will be lost, equating to almost 400,000 man hours per year.The Federation Chairman will argue that security of domestic bases and high-value assets including the new aircraft carriers and Trident nuclear bases must be given additional priority and resources.The MoD Police is the second largest firearms contingent in the country, after the Metropolitan Police. “We often have more armed officers in some stations than the rest of that entire county force,” he says. But the combined effect of savings measures and changes to terms of service for MoD Police has left him “petrified” of the impact on national security. “Eventually someone will take a chance at one of our sites,” he fears. Of particular concern is the disparity between the MoD Police and other forces regarding pension rights and fitness requirements. “Pride can only go so far,” Mr Keating said, and the Federation has always tried to offer solutions, but the MoD is “trying to buy a police service on the cheap”.The MoD Police provide security at military bases across the entire armed forces. They regularly deploy overseas and have assisted the military on operational deployments including in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans. MoD Police ran the Kabul Police Training Centre and trained the Kosovo Police Service.As all MoD Police officers are firearms trained they are regularly used in situations where regular police assistance could not be provided. In addition to tazers and batons, all personnel are trained to fire Glock and Sig Sauer pistols, MP5 sub-machine guns and sniper rifles. Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Keating said the current position of the MoD Police was “horrendous” and that the attack on Westminster Bridge last year in which PC Keith Palmer, a serving Metropolitan Police officer, was killed, showed that “high profile attacks on highly protected sites” are a very real possibility. 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

Social media is so addictive it should carry a health warning leading

Social media is so addictive for children that the Government should classify it as “social harm” and make it carry health warnings. 5Rights, a children’s charity founded by Baroness Kidron, accuses internet giants of deliberately keeping children online for as long as possible so they could profit from collecting their data. The charity says apps and websites should “clearly and succinctly” state when… An investigation by the charity identifies five psychological features designed by the tech industry to keep children online, including reward mechanisms such as likes, hearts and comments to elicit a dopamine hit, and competition for popularity through counting friends, followers, and retweets. read more

The NHS is subconsciously racist says head of doctors union

In an interview with The Telegraph, he said a culture of “inequality” had stalled the careers of BME (black and minority) doctors in favour of less qualified white colleagues. His intervention follows the publication of figures showing that only seven per cent of senior clinical posts in the health service were filled by BME doctors, despite them making up a third of the workforce…. The NHS is “subconsciously racist” and routinely overlooks ethnic minority doctors for senior posts, the head of the British Medical Association has said. Chaand Nagpaul, the first non-white doctor to lead the BMA, said patients were being deprived of the most skilled clinicians because of an entrenched bias in the system. read more

The British MeToo scandal which cannot be revealed

On Tuesday night the ruling was condemned by MPs, equality campaigners and lawyers. Suzanne McKie QC, a lawyer specialising in sexual discrimination, harassment and sexual assault at Farore Law, said it was “naïve” to think “that all claimants readily enter into NDAs because they see the force of the commercial settlement”. She said: “A lot of claimants are forced to enter NDAs because of the sheer cost and unpredictability of litigation.” Former Weinstein aide Zelda Perkins said it was ‘ridiculous’ that The Telegraph had been prevented from reporting the allegationsCredit:PA Archive The Appeal Court judges hearing the case were Sir Terence, as Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Henderson – all of whom have a background in contract law and one also in employment law.The Court of Appeal judgment said: “The [High Court] Judge concluded that, in all the circumstances, publication by The Telegraph of the information in question was clearly capable of significantly contributing to a debate in a democratic society and, in particular, making a contribution to a current debate of general public interest on misconduct in the workplace.” Zelda Perkins, former assistant to Harvey Weinstein, giving evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee at the House of Commons on the subject of sexual harrassment in the workplace. ... Harvey Weinstein allegations ... 28-03-2018 Jonathan Cohen QC, who specialises in employment law and commercial litigation at Littleton chambers, said it seemed “odd” that an individual’s “ability to keep bad news out of the press … depended on whether you’re rich or poor”. He said those who are not wealthy have “no chance” of getting an “injunction to prevent publication … whereas the people who can pay for it have got a way to potentially silence the press even if what’s being published is absolutely true.”“I absolutely do think this is an example of a chilling effect on the press,” he said.Sources said that the businessman’s behaviour created a negative culture within his companies where many were unhappy about their treatment, which included being humiliated in front of other staff. Zelda Perkins, Weinstein’s former aide who broke a non-disclosure agreement from the late 1990s to allege sexual harassment, said it was “ridiculous” that The Telegraph had been prevented from reporting the allegations. She said: “NDAs have become weaponised. Asia Argento and Rose McGowan talking to the media as MeToo became a worldwide campaignCredit:Antonio Masiello/ Getty Images Contributor Support journalism from The Telegraph with a digital subscription. Start your free 30-day trial today.  On Tuesday, in the latest twist in a legal fight which began in July, the court ruled that the confidentiality of contracts was more important than freedom of speech. It overturned a previous High Court ruling – which can now be reported for the first time – which found that publication of the allegations would be overwhelmingly in the public interest and would significantly contribute to debate in a democratic society. In the earlier High Court case, Justice Haddon-Cave, who is one of the country’s top terror judges, concluded that “in all the circumstances, the public interest in publication outweighs any confidentiality attaching to the information”.He believed the information – the allegations made against the businessman – to be “reasonably credible” and said their publication of the information “would be in the public interest”. A leading businessman has been granted an injunction against The Telegraph to prevent this newspaper revealing alleged sexual harassment and racial abuse of staff.The accusations against the businessman, who cannot be identified, would be sure to reignite the #MeToo movement against the mistreatment of women, minorities and others by powerful employers.#MeToo became a worldwide social media campaign last year after revelations about Harvey Weinstein, the American movie mogul. Like Weinstein, the British businessman used controversial non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence and pay off his alleged victims with “substantial sums”.NDAs have been commonly used in business to protect matters of commercial confidentiality but there are concerns they are now being abused to cover up wrongdoing and deter victims of potential crimes from going to police.Theresa May has already indicated that she plans to restrict the use of NDAs to prevent abuse, but Parliament has yet to consider changes to the law and campaigners are urging the Prime Minister to act now.On Tuesday night, Maria Miller, who chairs the Commons Women and Equality committee, said it was “shocking” that NDAs were still being used to gag victims and should not be used “where there are accusations of sexual misconduct and wider bullying”. Italian actress Asia Argento(C) and Rose McGowan(R) take part in a demonstration organized by "Non una di meno" movement to mark the International Women's Day on March 8, 2018 in Rome, “They were originally very useful things to protect commercial property and company secrets which, of course, is fair enough. But, in terms of them being used for anything else, there has to be legislation to stop that.“There is no place for NDAs at all around any of these types of misdemeanours. If that protection is available then it perpetuates that sort of behaviour,” she said, adding that fewer people “would be putting their hands up someone’s skirt if they knew that they didn’t have a get out”.The Telegraph spent the past eight months investigating allegations of bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment made against the businessman, but on Tuesday this newspaper was prevented from revealing details of the non-disclosure deals by Sir Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. In a 20-page ruling published on Tuesday, the Court of Appeal simply refers to the businessman as “ABC” and describes the allegations as amounting to “discreditable conduct”. The interim injunction order states that in five cases “substantial payments” were made to five people as part of “settlement agreements” or NDAs.As well as re-igniting the #MeToo 
debate, the gagging of The Telegraph is expected to renew controversy about the use of injunctions to limit British press freedom. His intervention makes it illegal to reveal the businessman’s identity or to identify the companies, as well as what he is accused of doing or how much he paid his alleged victims. However, the Appeal Court judges disagreed with the High Court’s ruling and stressed the importance of legally-binding contracts.The judgment said: “We entirely endorse the [High Court] Judge’s statements as to the importance of freedom of political debate, the right of freedom of expression, the essential role played by the press in a democratic society …  and the important public concern about misbehaviour in the workplace as well as the legitimacy of non-disclosure agreements and other legal devices for ‘gagging’ disclosure by victims.“The Judge has, however, left entirely out of account the important and legitimate role played by non-disclosure agreements in the consensual settlement of disputes, both generally but in particular in the employment field.”The ruling said that at this interim stage the judges concluded it is “likely” the businessman may establish that his right to keep these matters confidential may outweigh any public interest, adding “there is a real prospect that publication by the Telegraph will cause immediate, substantial and possibly irreversible harm to all of the Claimants.” The Court of Appeal has ordered that the matter proceed to a speedy trial. The disclosures will raise concerns about how non-disclosure agreements are used to “cover up” potential wrongdoing as well as whether it is appropriate for injunctions to be granted to protect an individual’s privacy when serious allegations have been made.In recent years, use of injunctions by the rich and powerful to prevent the media reporting embarrassing details has become increasingly controversial. In 2016, it was reported that the number of privacy and celebrity injunction cases brought before the courts had more than doubled in five years, with campaigners arguing that the judiciary had extended privacy rights beyond what would ever have been intended by Parliament. The system has been criticised for unfairly curtailing press freedom and dismissed as “ludicrous” after some individuals are granted anonymity in England and Wales, but then legally named in America or Scotland.Sir Philip Green named in Parliament as businessman at centre of Britain’s #MeToo scandalinvestigations@telegraph.co.uk Unlike his alleged victims, The Telegraph has not signed any kind of NDA with the businessman. It has argued there is a clear public interest in publishing the claims, not least to alert those who might be applying to work for him. However, the Court of Appeal has, so far, ruled against this newspaper which, like the alleged victims, now finds itself gagged.The accused man has hired a team of at least seven lawyers and spent close to £500,000 in legal fees to persuade the Court of Appeal to injunct The Telegraph. He is being represented by Schillings, the legal firm which has also worked with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lance Armstrong and Ryan Giggs, individuals who have controversially made use of NDAs or injunctions to silence accusations of wrongdoing. 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

Unknown poem by Siegfried Sassoon discovered 50 years after he gifted it

Virginia Palmer (née Knowles-Jackson) was a 16-year-old pupil at the Convent of the Assumption in Sidmouth, Devon, when her class was taken to Sassoon’s home near Heytesbury, Wiltshire. The outing was organised by their head, Mother Margaret Mary McFarlin, the nun who became Sassoon’s spiritual mentor, guiding him towards the Roman Catholic Church. An unknown poem by Siegfried Sassoon, in which he wrote that “love is the law of life”, has been discovered more than half a century after his death. The great First World War poet gave it to a teenager who had fallen ill shortly after visiting him on a school trip. Palmer, now 69, recalled sitting by a crackling fire as he recited his powerful poetry… read more

Gambling company bets Ozzy Osbourne online slot machine will be big hit

As Britain’s most famous heavy metal singer, Ozzy Osbourne has indulged to excess in nearly every vice known to hedonistic rock superstars. But the so-called Prince of Darkness, renowned for his drink and drug binges, has sparked controversy after signing a deal to promote a new extravagance – online gambling. The Black Sabbath frontman has been criticised for allowing betting sites to cash in on his worldwide fame amid fears the gambling industry is using him to target middle-aged punters. The Committees of Advertising Practice has banned the use of young celebrities or animated film or television characters to endorse gambling over concerns it was attracting under age gamblers. Now NetEnt,… read more

Julian Assanges 50week prison sentence concerning United Nations says

Assange's lawyer adnd the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks talk to reporters outside Southwark Crown Court “It is equally worth noting that that prosecutor did not press any charges against Mr Assange and that, in 2017, after interviewing him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, she discontinued investigations and brought an end to the case.”The Working Group is further concerned that Mr Assange has been detained since 11 April 2019 in Belmarsh Prison, a high-security prison, as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence.”This treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged by the human rights standards.” The Working Group has previously said that Assange was arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy and should have had his liberty restored.Assange is also fighting an extradition request by the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.The website has published thousands of classified documents, covering wide-ranging subjects including the film industry, national security and war.WikiLeaks has said Assange is living in “appalling” conditions at the prison, spending 23 hours a day in his cell.During a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last month after he was ejected from the embassy, Assange sat silently in the dock reading a book by Gore Vidal.On Wednesday, a judge revealed his self-imposed exile had drained £16m from the public purse, largely for a round-the-clock police watch lasting three years. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The UN has claimed Julian Assange’s prison sentence is “disproportionate”, dismissing his skipping bail as a “minor violation”.Assange, 47, lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for almost seven years – a self-imposed exile which cost the taxpayer £16m.He took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which he has denied.The WikiLeaks co-founder was dragged from the building by police officers last month after relations between him and the embassy soured, and he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for a bail violation. Now rights experts from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have criticised the length of his sentence, which was close to the maximum penalty which can be given for the offence.They have also criticised the UK authorities for jailing Assange in high-security Belmarsh Prison in south east London, where he has been detained for the last three weeks.The Working Group said in a statement today that it was “disproportionate” and they were “deeply concerned”, adding: “The Working Group is of the view that violating bail is a minor violation that, in the United Kingdom, carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.”It is worth recalling that the detention and the subsequent bail of Mr Assange in the UK were connected to preliminary investigations initiated in 2010 by a prosecutor in Sweden. Assange’s lawyer and the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks talk to reporters outside Southwark Crown CourtCredit:Facundo Arrizabalaga/REX read more