Wes Welkers Wife Takes Shots at Ray Lewis After

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker received quite a bit of attention after Sunday’s 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game for dropped balls, but garnered more attention when his wife took a few shots at Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.Welker’s wife, Anne Burns Welker, immediately lashed out at Lewis for reasons unknown through her Facebook page.“Proud of my husband and the Pats,” Burns Welker wrote. “By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!” Burns Welker said on her personal Facebook page, which those comments have since been removed.Burns Welker quickly released an apology to sports blog Larry Brown Sports on Monday.“I’m deeply sorry for my recent post on Facebook,” Burns Welker wrote. “I let the competitiveness of the game and the comments people were making about a team I dearly love get the best of me. My actions were emotional and irrational and I sincerely apologize to Ray Lewis and anyone affected by my comment after yesterday’s game.”Wes Welker was the Patriots top receiver in Sunday’s loss with 117 yards and a touchdown, but with Patriots season ending Sunday, he may have played his last game in a New England uniform.  Welker is set to become a free agent in the offseason after neither side could reach a long-term deal before the season began.Last year, Welker was on the receiving end of scrutiny from Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele. She blamed Welker for dropping a key pass in the Super Bowl loss to the Giants.Lewis led all players in Sunday’s game with 14 tackles and helped propel his team to the Super Bowl to face the San Francisco 49ers in two weeks. The future Hall of Famer announced several weeks ago that he would be retiring at the end of the season after 17 seasons in the league. read more

Commentary Scott Torgersons death tweet about Desmond Howard no joke

When I was a kid, I hated the Pittsburgh Steelers. I still do to a certain extent. They always seem to beat the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, sometimes in the most heartbreaking ways imaginable. I remember when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came very close to losing his own life in June of 2006 when he was involved in an ugly motorcycle accident. Luckily, Roethlisberger survived the crash, but I was not about to send my condolences to the quarterback of the Steelers. I was mad that he didn’t die that day. I thought with Roethlisberger out of the picture, maybe the Bengals and the Browns could finally break through and win a championship. I realize now that comments such as those are insensitive. Wishing death upon someone is cold and heartless. I could use the “excuse” that I was young and didn’t know any better, but, nevertheless, I accept the fact that I used a very poor choice of words. Apparently, I’m not the only one who wishes death to well-known athletes. Last weekend, Scott Torgerson, host of the popular sports talk radio show “Common Man and the Torg” here in Columbus, made a similar comment.  Torgerson, who professes his Buckeye fandom on a daily basis, along with his extreme distaste for everything involving the Michigan Wolverines, tweeted this about former Heisman trophy winner and current ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard: “I wish Desmond Howard would get fired or die so I can watch Gameday again.” Now, I know that Ohioans, fans of the Scarlet and Gray, are bred to hate that School up North. Lord knows that image of Howard striking the Heisman pose against the Buckeyes makes any Ohio State fan cringe.  However, there is a fine line between being passionate and letting that passion overtake you. That is what happened to Torgerson. He deleted the tweet and apologized for his comment, tweeting, “My Desmond Howard tweet was a joke. I think if you listen to the show you know that. My apologies to those who took it seriously. Total Joke.” My question to Torgerson is this: How is wishing someone would die a joke? I recently went to the funeral of the brother of one of my best friends from high school. Believe me, death is no laughing matter. Since this infamous tweet, Torgerson has been suspended from the airwaves indefinitely.  The lesson to take from this is do not let your fandom cloud your overall judgment as a human being.  There is more to life than spending every waking moment hating someone just because they beat your favorite team. I learned this lesson when I was young. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world like Torgerson who didn’t get the message until it was too late. Think before you say it. Think before you tweet it. Think before it is too late to fix. read more

Urban Meyer BCS a flawed system

OSU coach Urban Meyer talks on the sidelines during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorOhio State football coach Urban Meyer is not ready to talk about his team’s national championship chances.Meyer sidestepped yet another question about what the rest of the country thinks about his team, and if the fact that the last two times OSU (10-0, 6-0) played for the national championship (2007, 2008) has crossed his mind. Instead, he elected to talk about how running backs redshirt-freshman Warren Ball and freshman Ezekiel Elliott need to get better at tackling to help the punt team.“Ezekiel on our punt team, I have to teach him how to tackle. Warren Ball is running down on kickoff,” Meyer said, to chuckles from the media. “He hasn’t done that in his high school career. We’re going to work hard on that in practice. Any other questions about Warren Ball’s coverage?”One thing Meyer did comment on was the Bowl Championship Series, which is in its final year of selecting the two teams who play for the national title.“Without spending much time on it, because it’s not fair for our team to do that, I will say this: I think it’s a flawed system,” Meyer said. “When you logically think about it, what the BCS people have done, which obviously we’re all part of it, I think it was great for a while.”The Buckeyes are ranked No. 3 in the BCS for the second week in row, but sits a mere .0013 points ahead of No. 4 Baylor after beating Illinois 60-35 in Champaign, Ill. A college football playoff will be implemented next season, with a selection committee choosing four of the nation’s top teams to play in a round of semifinals before the winners meet in the national title game.“I think (the BCS) took an imperfect system and did the best you can without a playoff,” Meyer said. “There’s going to be controversy in playoffs, too…There’s not a 64-team playoff. You’re going to have four guys. What is that fifth team going to feel like?”Baylor defeated Texas Tech, 63-34, Saturday, which catapulted them ahead of OSU in the AP rankings. Although the Buckeyes defeated Illinois by nearly the same margin, the Illini made things interesting in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to 12 with just under nine minutes to go.Meyer was not pleased with his coaching performance in the win, giving himself a “C.”“I was worried about too many other things,” Meyer said. “I can promise you, we’re going to coach better this week.”Meyer and the Buckeyes are set to take on Indiana (4-6, 2-4) in the final home game of the season Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. read more

Ohio State mens hockey falls in Big Ten Tournament ending its season

Sophomore forward Nick Schilkey (37) controls the puck during a game against Minnesota on March 6 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 4-2.Credit: Kaley Rentz / Lantern reporterThe Ohio State men’s hockey team arrived at the Big Ten Tournament confident and motivated.The Buckeyes (14-19-3, 8-11-1) turned that into a 3-1 win against Penn State in the Big Ten quarterfinals, but couldn’t make it pass the semis. OSU’s confidence and motivation wasn’t quite enough, as the Buckeyes lost to No. 13 Minnesota, 3-0, to end their season Friday evening.Even though the Buckeyes didn’t make the championship game, coach Steve Rohlik had a positive outlook on the losing season. While he said he was proud of the team as a whole, Rohlik stressed the importance of the Buckeyes’ upperclassmen.“I’m even prouder of our eight seniors,” he said. “What they’ve done for our program, they’ve sent this program in the right direction. So, obviously I thank them.”Senior assistant captain forward Matt Johnson said even though the end result was disappointing, he was proud of his teammates’ desire to end the season confident and unified.“We really found our identity and started to roll with it,” Johnson said. “Going off of last year, we were very confident, just like this year, we beat every team in the conference. There was nobody we didn’t think we could beat.”Moving forward, the Buckeyes will be without eight seniors, who have seen the program transition from the hiring of a new head coach and a change of conference to the Big Ten from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.“It’s really an incredible group,” Rohlik said. “They’re the ones that have been a big part of where this culture is and where it’s going. Their leadership pulled us along over the last couple months. They’re a big part of why we had a chance.”For Johnson and senior captain forward Tanner Fritz, the final game was emotional, but the two said they are excited for the program’s future.“​I see the program going, obviously, in the right direction,” Johnson said. “We do everything right here. We do it the right way. We have the great staff. To me, you just can’t get a better program.”“We’re always pushing to get better, and I know they’re going to do that in the following years,” Fritz added. “The only way to go is up from here.”Next year, the Buckeyes will look toward a new group of upperclassmen to lead them in the right direction.OSU has three key players returning in captain Sam Jardine, leading goalscorer Anthony Greco and 6-foot-5-inch defenseman Craig Dalrymple.   Beyond that trio, forward Nick Schilkey, defenseman Josh Healey and goaltenders Christian Frey and Matt Tomkins are all set to be back for another season as well.But regardless of the players, Rohlik said the team’s progression starts with the coach.“I mean, first and foremost, I’m going to have to take some time to reflect on myself because it starts with me,” Rohlik said. “I’ve got to be better.”With the return of a solid foundation, Rohlik said he is eager for the Buckeyes to come out with swagger, determination and success in the Big Ten next year.“The one thing that I want is to let people know we’re going to show up every night,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to come at you and play hard and our guys are going to leave it on the line. That’s our identity and that’s what we try to leave here today.” read more

Football Mike Weber becoming a leader in the locker room

OSU redshirt freshman Mike Weber (25) scores the Buckeyes’ first offensive touchdown of the day during the second half of the Buckeyes’ 30-27 overtime win against Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorRedshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber has a lot to learn. However, after only one season as the featured tailback, Weber has been deemed the leader of the young Ohio State backfield. With big shoes to fill after running back Ezekiel Elliott declared for the NFL draft, Weber excelled in 2016 winning the Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Detroit native rushed for a team-high 1,096 yards with nine rushing touchdowns. Even with all of the success last season, Weber is not taking that for granted. “I try to put it past me and work as hard as I can to do better, reach more goals that I set for this year,” Weber said. OSU running backs coach Tony Alford said that he has seen a change in Weber’s approach to his body, on and off the football field, as well as his approach as a leader in the locker room to the younger running backs. Alford said that maturity and accountability comes with experience. “He’s growing up, and I’ve said that. And every time, there’s a little bit more growth process going on,” Alford said. “He’s much better pro now than what he was as far as how he’s handling his business.”Weber said that he has seen improvement in his ability to slow the game down a bit, watching the wide receivers and the tight ends and knowing what they will be doing. This increased knowledge, according to Alford, is the next step that the premier back needs to take. “That’s the biggest thing for guys like Mike (Weber) is we know you know, you’ve done it before,” Alford said. “Now it’s time to perfect it and challenge yourself on every small little detail on what’s going on.”One of the challenges Weber is facing is coming back from the rough end of the 2016 season. In the final two games of the 2016 season, a 30-27 double-overtime win over Michigan and a 31-0 Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson, he combined for 50 rushing yards on 16 carries with only one touchdown run. The sting, especially from the loss to the Tigers, has not quite gone away from Weber. “I’m still getting over it actually,” Weber said. “I know we have to put it past us. I use it as fuel and I think we all do, on our team. I’ll tell you what, that bad taste won’t get out of our mouth until we play the first game.”Even if Weber is focused more on what is happening on the football field, Alford views him as a leader and an example to the younger backs on the roster, such as freshman running back JK Dobbins. “You are talking about a guy who has done it, done it at a very high level and he’s done it at a pretty good rate of speed,” Alford said. “JK (Dobbins) can learn from him by just standing with him, the same way Mike (Weber) learned from standing next to ‘Zeke.’” read more

Mens Basketball Ohio States interior strength paying dividends for team success early

Forward Jae’Sean Tate attempts a lay-up in the Buckeyes’ 80-55 win over Northeastern on Sunday. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for ContentOhio State’s lineup has held a size advantage over every opponent played through its first three games.But against Northeastern, the Buckeyes found themselves in an unfamiliar position. They were the shorter team. Position-by-position, there was not a single Buckeye-starter taller than the Huskie-starters, and only at one position was the size equal.It didn’t seem to matter, though. For its fourth-straight game, Ohio State dominated the interior, out-rebounding Northeastern 38-29 and vastly out-producing the Huskies in the paint, holding an advantage of 48-26 in points in the paint. Northeastern head coach Bill Coen said while his team held the advantage in height over the Buckeyes, it was the girth and tenacity of the Buckeyes that proved the difference-maker.“They got some wide-bodies and they can carve out space in and around the basket and it’s hard to move them out once they gain position,” Coen said after the game. “You look at a guy like Charles Barkley, he’s not 7-foot, but he could rebound because he’s got a low center of gravity and he can wedge in there and create space for himself. They’ve got some tough body types, the matchup too. I think really good physical strength and they were able to hold their position and game position.”The weight advantage did not extend to every player the Buckeyes had, however. Center Micah Potter and guards Musa Jallow and C.J. Jackson did not hold a size advantage over their counterparts.However, Ohio State’s top-rebounders, forwards Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop, both came in with significant weight advantages over their opposite numbers. As a result, both players proved to be explosive threats for the Buckeyes in the post. The two were the game’s leading scorers with 24 and 19 points, respectively. The domination in the paint began right out of the gate from Tate, who bullied his way through defenders in the game’s opening minutes. He opened the game up with a layup after he saw no one open to pass to and followed that up shortly after with a short-range jumper. About five minutes into the game, Tate had 11 points — all coming from plays in the post.Bates-Diop also put together a dominating performance inside. Of his 19 points, eight came from a pair of layups, a short-range jumper and a dunk with one free-throw coming off an and-1 on a layup and two other free-throws coming from fouls inside the paint.Tate said strong play inside has become a mantra for he and Bates-Diop this season, but also said his teammates interior play has assisted the two forwards.“Me and Keita were very effective [inside],” Tate said. “Some people call a matchup problem and just out teammates, the point guard, C.J. [Jackson] being aware of the mismatch in the situations, he’s doing a great job of that.”Ohio State has been no stranger to dominating inside this season. Before this game, Ohio State held a 138-66 advantage in paint points and had out-rebounded opponents 135-85. Of Ohio State’s 259 points total, 53.3 percent of them came from inside.Part of the reason Ohio State has been so productive in the paint has been its ability to recover offensive rebounds. The Buckeyes are tied for 38th in the country with an average of 15 offensive rebounds per game.Head coach Chris Holtmann said his team last year at Butler was a strong defensive rebounding team, but it was one of the worst at collecting rebounds off the offensive glass. The now-Ohio State head coach said he thinks this team has a chance to be an all-around great team at gather rebounds.“We have a chance to be a pretty good rebounding team,” Holtmann said. “We better be good defensive rebounding. We were a good defensive rebounding at Butler as well, but I think we have the potential to be good on both ends if we pursue the ball like we need to. Because we have some guys that have a natural nose for the ball.”With several other big men like forwards Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young at 6-foot-9, 270 pounds and 6-foot-8, 205 pounds, respectively, Ohio State has plenty of size to continue to beat up on most teams throughout the season and dominate in the paint and on the glass.The Buckeyes might not be able to do that in their next matchup, however. They are going to be traveling to Portland, Oregon, to take on Gonzaga, a team Holtmann said was big last season and has continued to dominate its opponents with size this season.Going up against one of the first teams that will truly have Ohio State beat in size in both height and girth, Ohio State could be faced with its first real challenge this season.“Well I think we’re going to learn a lot about kind of our tenacity when it comes to pursuing the ball in those situations,” Holtmann said. “They’re always kind of one of the biggest teams both in size and in physicality in the country. Last year they were massive. This year, they’re big as well and they’re really organized and they’re older. They don’t beat themselves.“I think as much as anything, it’s going to test us in a lot of ways, but it’s going to test our pursuit of the ball and our tenacity and how tough-minded we are.” read more

Womens Basketball Kelsey Mitchell era ends with stunning 9578 loss to Central

Central Michigan redshirt freshman guard Micaela Kelly shoots a layup during the first quarter of the Chippewas’ win against Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament at St. John Arena on March 19. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorIn a stunning upset, the third-seeded Ohio State women’s basketball team fell 95-78 to 11th-seeded Central Michigan Monday in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Along with the loss comes the final game for five seniors on the Buckeyes’ roster, including senior guard Kelsey Mitchell.The only silver lining for Ohio State came when Mitchell scored her 20th point with 6:59 remaining in the fourth quarter, which moved her into second place all-time in NCAA women’s history for career scoring. Mitchell struggled to find her shot all night, finishing with 28 points on 11-of-29 shooting.Central Michigan’s 14 3-pointers and 25 made free throws played a huge part in its victory. Along with its relentless defense that held the Buckeyes to just 40 percent shooting, Central Michigan ensured nothing went right for Buckeyes during their final game.Central Michigan fell behind after the first quarter, but blew the door off with a 25-6 second quarter. After a 15-9 Ohio State first quarter lead, the Chippewas went on a 14-0 run to start the second quarter. The Buckeyes did not score their first second-quarter field goal until there was three minutes remaining. “I thought for a stretch there we got really good shots,” head coach Kevin McGuff said. “We missed probably four layups at the beginning of the second quarter, shots that we normally make. Then we just didn’t handle it very well cause I think we let that spill over to the defensive end. We lost a bit of focus and intensity.”Senior guard Cassie Breen and junior guard Presley Hudson combined for 19 of the Central Michigan’s 25 points in the quarter. Breen’s 12 points came in all sorts of fashion. She went 3-for-4 from the field, making 2-of-3 shots from 3s, and made all three attempts from the free-throw line. As is often the trend with the Buckeyes, when Mitchell struggled, so too did Ohio State. Mitchell shot 2-of-8 in the second quarter with her team finishing the quarter 2-of-13 from the field — with six turnovers on top. Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga couldn’t find any offense either, shooting 1-of-3 and splitting a pair of free throws.It didn’t get any better in the third quarter with Central Michigan’s onslaught continuing. Any glimmer of hope vanished when the Buckeyes were outscored 33-25 in the third quarter. Central Michigan’s seven 3-pointers put the game away for good, for it maintained a 67-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter.“We tried to play hard and compete,” Mavunga said. “Central Michigan did a good job capitalizing off of our mistakes. we had a lot of turnovers which is really unlike us. That really showed, it hurt us down the stretch. We had good possessions here and there, but Central Michigan did a good job capitalizing off what we did wrong.”Central Michigan held the lead throughout the fourth quarter, even with a valiant push from the Buckeyes. Senior forward Tinara Moore’s 20 points, along with Breen’s 22 and Hudson’s 28 points were enough to sustain its lead throughout the game. Ohio State finished Mitchell’s final season as both Big Ten regular season and tournament champions, posting a 28-7 overall and 13-3 conference record. read more

How Prince Charles set fire to a pile of jumpers and buried

first_imgIn response he helped launch the Campaign for Wool in 2010. Since its launch the campaign has staged more than 200 events, including shepherds grazing sheep on grass laid along Savile Row in London, the heartland of British tailoring, and in New York’s Bryant Park. Fashion shows in Japan, Italy and China have all featured woollen garments.The Prince says there are now signs of a revival, with the fall in sheep numbers across the globe slowing down. To demonstrate the biodegradability of wool, the Prince of Wales buries two sweaters, one made from wool and another made from a synthetic fibre A wool duvet, a wool jacket and wool carpet were given a flammability test, along with their synthetic counterparts Writing in the Telegraph Magazine the Prince recalled how “six months later, a ceremonious exhumation revealed an intact synthetic jersey, fit indeed to be washed and worn, while the woollen jersey had quietly and usefully biodegraded itself away to nothing”.Not content with that, the Prince set fire to a pile of jumpers, one synthetic, the other woollen, to test their fire retardant qualities. To demonstrate the biodegradability of wool, the Prince of Wales buries two sweaters, one made from wool and another made from a synthetic fibreCredit:Kevin Moran A wool duvet, a wool jacket and wool carpet were given a flammability test, along with their synthetic counterparts The Prince has long been credited with popularising the use of organic produce. Since then he has turned his attention to the wonders of wool.Next week he will host the Dumfries House Conference, in Scotland, bringing together what he calls “a great gathering of wool people”, including spinners, weavers and designers such as Paul Smith and Ermenegildo Zegna, along with carpet makers, sheep farmers, retailers and mill owners. As the Prince points out the price of wool has fallen sharply in recent years, with some sheep farmers receiving less for their wool than the cost of shearing their sheep as manufacturers turned to synthetic materials. I want to encourage a much greater understanding of woolPrince Charles “I want to encourage a much greater understanding of wool not only as a global environmental resource – versatile, sustainable, renewable and natural – but also as a global fashion resource of the highest quality,” he writes.He adds pointedly: “These may not be entirely welcome propositions in some part of an industry that is sadly dominated by mass-produced chemical fibres, but today’s environmentally aware consumers do seem to be seeking out quality and durability in fashion, lifestyle and interiors. And that is exactly what wool provides.”center_img Prince​ Charles shows a sheep to pupils from Avening Primary School in Gloucestershire at HighgroveCredit:Anwar Hussein/PA The Prince of Wales observes sheep being led into a shearing shed in Australia in 2012 “Synthetic jerseys produced a dramatic and disconcerting blaze,” he concluded. “While their woollen counterparts merely smouldered in relative safety.”There may be something of the mad scientist in all this, recalling his famous habit of talking to his plants, but the experiments are in line with his wider thinking on the environment. Prince​ Charles shows a sheep to pupils from Avening Primary School in Gloucestershire at Highgrove.  The Prince of Wales observes sheep being led into a shearing shed in Australia in 2012Credit:Getty Images He is well known for his passion for plants, but this may be the strangest crop the Prince of Wales has yet tried to raise.The Prince has disclosed how, in a curious experiment to establish the comparative qualities of wool and synthetic fibre, he buried two jumpers in a flower bed at Clarence House.His aim was to illustrate wool’s virtues as a material that is not only endlessly versatile but also eminently recyclable and totally biodegradable. 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

Sir Michael Wilshaw Bringing back grammar schools is tosh and nonsense

first_imgHe said: “If grammar schools are the great answer, why aren’t there more of them in London?”If they are such a good thing for poor children, then why are poor children here in the capital doing so much better than their counterparts in those parts of the country that operate selection?”I appreciate that many grammar schools do a fine job in equipping their students with an excellent education.”But we all know that their record of admitting children from non-middle-class backgrounds is pretty woeful.”Bring back grammar schoolsAccording to latest figures from the National Grammar Schools Association, England has 164 state-funded fully selective schools, while Northern Ireland has 69.The creation of new grammar schools was outlawed by the Tony Blair administration.But reports last month suggested the Prime Minister was considering sanctioning around 20 institutions in mainly working class areas in an effort to improve social mobility.The idea of bringing back grammar schools has also been backed by many. Graham Brady,  MP for Altrincham and Sale West and Chairman of the 1922 Committee, has led calls to end the ban.He said: “If we believe in choice and variety in education and we are driven only by what works, how can we maintain the statutory ban on new selective schools?” 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. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools, has said the idea of bringing back grammar schools is “tosh and nonsense” and would be a “profoundly retrograde step”.The head of Ofsted said the selective model – long favoured by many Conservatives – would fail the poorest children.Reports have suggested Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is getting ready to bring back grammars.The plans have received the endorsement of influential corners of the Tory Party.Last month GCSE results in Northern Ireland saw a boost in performance compared to England thanks partly to its grammar school system.But Sir Michael, who is due to leave his post after five years this autumn, said: “The notion that the poor stand to benefit from the return of grammar schools strikes me as quite palpable tosh and nonsense – and is very clearly refuted by the London experience.”center_img If we believe in choice and variety in education and we are driven only by what works, how can we maintain the statutory ban on new selective schools?Graham Brady, MPlast_img read more

Diamonds lose their sparkle as couples prioritise weddings housing and children over

first_imgIn 2013 Chopard launched its “Green Carpet Collection”, the first high-jewellery range made with Fairmined gold and ethically sourced diamonds. More recently it has partnered with Gemfields, whose Zambian emeralds were worn by Julianne Moore at the Cannes Film Festival in May.Meanwhile the growing number of second marriages has seen a boom in secondhand and antique rings, which tend to be around half the price of new pieces. The supply of new diamonds – formed by huge geological forces beneath the surface of the earth more than a billion years ago – is expected to peak in the next few years, before it starts to decline.In September De Beers opened its Gahcho Kué mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where at full production it will extract more than 12,000 carats (2.4kg) of diamonds each day.But by 2030 the mine’s supply diamonds will have been exhausted and it will shut. De Beers has no plans to open other new mines.Diamonds, it seems, really aren’t forever. A replica of Russian Queen Catherine the Great’s imperial crown, which was used in the coronations of all Russian monarchs since Catherine the Great, set with 11,352 polished diamonds, with a total weight of 1,180 caratsCredit:AFP Jewellers, including the high end designer Chopard, are now promoting “traceable” emeralds through marketing campaigns aimed at eco-conscious consumers. Diamonds, in the words of one of the world’s most famous marketing slogans, are supposed to be forever.But a growing fashion for engagement rings with coloured stones, such as rubies and emeralds, is threatening to undermine their pre-eminence.When Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter, coined the ‘forever’ slogan in 1947, she helped established the status of diamonds as a must-have accessory.That, coupled with the De Beers diamond company’s marketing campaign which invented the ‘rule’ that a man ought to spend at least two months’ pay on his fiancee’s engagement ring, reinforced the cachet of diamonds as a gift of rare and eternal beauty.But experts say that the rise of the millennials, with their more cost-conscious and individualistic shopping habits, along with their growing demands for more ethical sourcing of products, have led to diamonds losing their sparkle.New research by insurance house, Allianz, shows that the majority of men now fork out far less than two to three months’ pay on a stone, with an average spend of £573, with middle-class couples preferring to save their money for future school fees, spiralling house prices and adventurous holidays. With cheaper emeralds and rubies growing in popularity just one in five women can expect to receive a ring, costing between £750 and £3,000, Allianz found. 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. Catherine Middleton with her future husband Prince William in November 2010 showing off her blue sapphire engagement ring, previously belonging to Diana, Princess of WalesCredit:Eddie Mulholland/The Telegraph Catherine Middleton with her future husband Prince William in November 2010 showing off her blue sapphire engagement ring, previously belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales,  Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Djimon Hounsou in a scene from the Oscar nominated “Blood Diamond.” Credit: JAAP BUITENDIJK/AP a replica of Russian Queen Catherine the Great's imperial crown, which was used in the coronations of all Russian monarchs since Catherine the Great, set with 11,352 polished diamonds, with a total weight of 1,180 carats Anusha Couttigane, a senior analyst at Kantar Retail, said: “A generation of marital age people are now prioritising other things such as weddings, housing and the cost of having children, rather than splashing out on a really expensive ring.“There is still a lot of demand for solitaire diamond rings, but there has been growth in non-traditional designs which use a range of cheaper, coloured stones too.”At the same time tastes in jewellery have changed and coloured stones are seen as providing a more individualistic and distinctive alternative to the once ubiquitous white diamond. Julianne Moore wearing Zambian emeralds – rather than diamonds – at the Cannes Film Festival in MayCredit:Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images Joanna Hardy, a jewellery expert for the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, said: “The great thing about coloured stones is that you can buy something really fabulous looking and most people will have no idea how much it cost. This is a big selling point for people who perhaps don’t have as much to spend on a ring and don’t want others to know exactly what they’ve spent on it.”Young people, says Ms Hardy, are steering clear of generic style rings and instead have a tendency to choose unique or unusual rings, which they see as reflecting their individual personality.Ethical shopping has also dented the market for the traditional rock, with Leonardo Di Caprio’s film Blood Diamond alerting consumers to the human cost of extracting them from the earth and the conflicts the tread fuels. The number of marriages has been rising since 2013, partly thanks to a growth in couples in their late 50s and 60s getting hitched for a second or third time.Department store John Lewis said the trend has led demand for its range of antique jewellery to boom.A spokeswoman said: “Second-hand engagement rings are increasing in popularity, particularly with people getting married later in life, or for the second time. People who aren’t marrying for the first time are often looking for a simple design having chosen a large stone, or statement ring the first time.”Sloane Square-based jewellery designer Kiki McDonough, added: “There is a huge trend to choose coloured stones for an engagement ring, particularly for second time marriages as people are looking for something totally different.”Perhaps it’s just as well trends are shifting away from white diamonds. Julianne Moore wearing Zambian emeralds - rather than diamonds - at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Djimon Hounsou in a scene from the Oscar nominated "Blood Diamond." last_img read more

Make manifesto commitment to address mental health crisis in Britains classrooms Prime

first_imgPrime Minster Theresa May  Prince Harry attends the official opening of The Global Academy Prime Minster Theresa May Credit:Chris Radburn Prime Minister Theresa May should make a manifesto commitment to address the “mental health crisis” in classrooms, a royal-backed charity has said.YoungMinds, the country’s leading charity on mental health issues for young people, has said that the education system is “fundamentally unbalanced” and must shift its focus towards the well-being of students. “When I founded the school it was important to me because we want the kids to be prepared for life not just prepared for life not just for work,” he said.“The essence of it to make children feel comfortable to open up if they need to. Having a culture of openness definitely helps with academic achievement too.” Prince Harry spoke to The Telegraph's Bryony Gordon  Prince William, Prince Harry and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive to open the Global Academy Prince Harry, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited the school on Thursday for its official opening.It followed five days of intense campaigning by the young royals on the issue, with Prince Harry speaking of his own therapy, and the Duke of Cambridge disclosing he still feels the shock of their mother’s death.Letter to The Daily TelegraphSir,Children and young people face a huge range of pressures – from exams to cyber-bulling, from body image to finding a job when they finish education. An estimated three children in every class have a mental health condition, one in four experience emotional distress, and rates of self-harm are skyrocketing.Alongside 2,000 teachers, 1,000 mental health professionals, 4,000 parents and 1,000 young people, we have written to the Prime Minister urging her to address the mental health crisis in our classrooms. We are now calling on all parties to make manifesto commitments to do the same.While it is not the role of schools to replace the specialist support that mental health services provide, they can and should play a crucial role in developing the skills young people need to cope and flourish in today’s world. But at the moment the education system is fundamentally unbalanced, with an over-emphasis on exams and too little focus on student well-being.  Prince Harry spoke to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon Credit: Andrew Crowley The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry tour a TV studio during a visit to open the Global Academy  We want to see greater recognition for good work schools do on well-being, proper funding for well-being initiatives, and mental health as an integral part of teacher training. It is time to ensure that the well-being of students is as important as academic achievement in schools.Signed:Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMindsAnna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of National Children’s BureauRuth Sutherland, Chief Executive of SamaritansDr. Peter Hindley, Chair of the Child and Adolescent Faculty at the Royal College of PsychiatristsHeidi Stewart, Director of Enterprise & Innovation, Rethink Mental IllnessJenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive of Mental Health FoundationJulie Bentley, Chief Executive of Girlguiding & Girlguiding’s Youth Advocate PanelDenise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA EnglandChris Martin, Chief Executive of The MixJo Hobbs, Chief Executive of British Youth CouncilMark Lever, Chief Executive of The National Autistic SocietyDr Hadyn Williams, Chief Executive of British Association for Counselling and PsychotherapyMartin Pratt, Chief Executive of Association of Child & Adolescent Mental HealthJamie Bristow, Director of The Mindfulness InitiativeAdam Shaw, Chairman of The Shaw Mind FoundationEvan Grant, Trustee of Cameron Grant Memorial Trustcenter_img Prince William, Prince Harry and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive to open the Global AcademyCredit: REUTERS The YoungMinds report, which will be officially launched in parliament on Tuesday,  said: “Schools will have different baseline standards of wellbeing, based on demographics and other factors. Comparing schools directly may be misleading, but measurement is essential to drive improvement.“The Government should provide schools with the tools to measure their own progress in this area, and results should be published and available to pupils and parents.”In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, a group of mental health and children’s charities have called for  mental health to be an integral part of teacher training.The charities have also written to the Prime Minister about the issue, in a letter that was also signed by more than 2,500 teachers, 1,000 mental health professionals, 4,500 parents and 1,200 young people, urging her to rebalance the education system. Prince Harry attends the official opening of The Global AcademyCredit:Chris Jackson Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said that the education system is “heavily skewed” so that schools focus on academic achievement rather than well-being. “It is crucial that the new government makes the mental health of our children an absolute priority,” she said.  “At a time when rates of self-harm are skyrocketing, and when teachers are seeing a sharp rise in anxiety and stress among their students, this cannot be right.” Last week, a school was praised by Prince Harry for putting mental health on equal footing with physical education.Rather than traditional PE lessons, students at Global Academy, a university technical college in Hayes, west London, have a weekly one hour a week of physical well-being classes and one hour a week of mental wellbeing class.Prince Harry, who officially opened the school on Thursday along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Thursday, said the school’s approach will encourage young people to speak about their feelings.He told students that “mental health has been viewed as quite a dry depressing subject for a lot of people. And [as] soon as you talk about it, it actually, it turns people away.“So, you can bring that light hearted humour to it and encourage people to just to speak about it… [it will put] a smiles on people’s faces.” The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry tour a TV studio during a visit to open the Global Academy Credit: Dominic Lipinski The school, which was set up by the commercial radio tycoon Ashley Tabor to, teaches vocational media skills for 14 to 19-year-old alongside academic qualifications.Mr Tabor, whose company Global runs more than a dozen radio stations including Classic FM and LBC, said he wanted the school to have a culture of mental well-being underpinning its ethos. It comes after Prince Harry was  praised for his bravery after revealing in an interview with The Daily Telegraph he had sought counselling to help come to terms with the death of his mother.The Prince spoke to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon for the first episode of her podcast, Mad World, in which she will interview high-profile guests about their mental health experiences.He disclosed that he had endured two years of “total chaos” while struggling in his late twenties to come to terms with losing his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. 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

Prince of Wales told paedophile bishop actions against him were monstrous wrongs

The brothers lived on the estate between 1997 and 2011. In a third letter, sent in 1997, the prince said he thought the Balls’ new house was “rather nice”, before referring to a “frightful, terrifying man”, who was “on the loose again and doing his worst”. He said a vicar he had visited had told him that “this ghastly man was up to his dastardly tricks again”. In his statement the Prince of Wales said he could not remember who he was referring to, but said he had been aware that Ball “felt that individuals including critics in the media were doing all in their power to disadvantage him unfairly”. He said that at the time he wrote the letter he had believed that Ball had been “falsely accused of a single offence – the nature of which was unknown to me – by an individual whom the relevant judicial authorities had themselves not believed”.  I pray the Duchy will be able to find something suitable for you both in due course, but it may take a little time to locate it! I long to see you both settled somewhere that suits you and gives you peace and tranquility – and not too far from here so you can come over more easilyLetter from the Prince of Wales to Peter Ball, 02/06/96 “I pray the Duchy will be able to find something suitable for you both in due course”, he said, adding: “I long to see you both settled somewhere that suits you and gives you peace and tranquility – and not too far from here so you can come over more easily.” The bishop had been reported to the police in 1992 by Neil Todd, an 18-year-old who had attended Ball’s scheme for young men considering a monastic life. Mr Todd alleged that Ball had kissed and caressed him while naked on two separate occasions. Ball received a caution for gross indecency the following March, a measure which should involve an admission of guilt, though on Thursday the inquiry heard that there was no record that this had ever been formally done.  I wish I could do more. I feel so desperately strongly about the monstrous wrongs that have been done to you and the way you have been treated.The Prince of Wales in a letter to Peter Ball, 16/02/95 In his witness statement the Prince said he was “not aware until recently that a caution in fact carries an acceptance of guilt”. He added that he “occasionally sent the brothers small gifts of money as I do for many people in need and Peter Ball’s interest in becoming a tenant of a Duchy of Cornwall property then arose”.The Prince said he had “mentioned the situation of the Ball brothers to the Duchy”, which arranged a house for them to rent.  Ball was convicted in 2015 of misconduct in public office after admitting abusing 18 young men. “I ceased contact with Mr Ball once the judicial process had concluded and he was found guilty of serious offences against young people. “My heart goes out to the victims of abuse and I applaud their courage as they rebuild their lives and so often offer invaluable support to others who have suffered,” the Prince said.  The Prince of Wales described action taken against a paedophile bishop as “monstrous wrongs”, the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse has heard. Extracts from letters published by the inquiry also show that the prince put disgraced bishop Peter Ball and his brother Michael in touch with staff on the Duchy of Cornwall estate, who arranged a house for them after Ball lost his job as Bishop of Gloucester.Ball, now 86, had resigned the role in 1993 after receiving a caution for abusing a young man.The Prince’s statement, read out at the inquiry on Friday, expresses “deep personal regret” and adds that he was “misled” by Ball. Extracts from the letters also show that in 1995, two years after Ball had been cautioned, the Prince wrote to him to say he felt “desperately strongly about the monstrous wrongs that have been done to you”. He went on to criticise then-Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, for being “frightened of the press” and failing to restore Ball’s permission to hold services in the Church of England, describing the public perception as “based entirely on lies, invention, speculation and invention.”In another letter sent the following year he said he was “glad” that a member of staff from the Duchy had been in touch “as I requested”.  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

Grenfell fraudster stole £62000 to fund lavish holidays and expensive meals in

CCTV of McDonagh after withdrawing cash from an ATM at Charing Cross station to put back into her personal account as a way of laundering moneyCredit:CPS Picture taken from Jenny McDonagh's phone showing the former finance manager for Kensington and Chelsea Council on the Thames Clipper on her way to a night out McDonagh took £35,000 of NHS money between November 2015 and March 2016 by using what prosecutor Ben Holt described as a “bogus company”.She transferred funds from the Midway NHS Foundation, which is based in Kent, to herself. A fraudster stole tens of thousands of pounds from a Grenfell Tower victim fund and the NHS to pay for luxury holidays in a con that “beggars belief”, a court has heard. Jenny McDonagh stole the money while working in the finance departments of Kensington and Chelsea Council and the health service.She went on luxury holidays to Dubai and Los Angeles, dined in expensive restaurants, shopped and went on a gambling spree using £62,000 of money meant for survivors of the fire.Sentencing her to five-and-a-half years at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, Judge Robin Johnson told her: “You knew exactly what these funds were for and the importance of them for the residents.”The scale of your dishonesty in this fraud beggars belief.”I do not know your current financial position but I very much hope the funds can be recovered from you.” CCTV of McDonagh after withdrawing cash from an ATM at Charing Cross station to put back into her personal account as a way of laundering money Jenny McDonagh's Met Police mugshot The judge added: “It must have been particularly abhorrent for Mr Daffarn to find out his name had been used by you in order to achieve your goal.”McDonagh, who stole the money over a 10-month period, spent £32,000 of it on gambling, racking up around £16,000 in losses.Trips to Paris and Iceland were bought with pre-paid credit cards, as well as purchases in high street shops.Prosecuting barrister Benjamin Holt said on Thursday that the money was spent on “frivolous items, for example £48 at Ann Summers”. McDonagh was hired by the west London council in October 2017 to assist with the distribution of money to survivors of the fire, which was meant to be spent by them on accommodation and other essential items.She took money using pre-paid credit cards intended for five victims of the fire.The card in Mr Daffarn’s name was topped up 17 times and more than £50,000 passed through the account.McDonagh appeared in court dressed in a grey blouse and looked unmoved as the judge read out her sentence.She was originally arrested on August 1 and used the stolen card again two days later.The Grenfell Tower fire claimed the lives of 72 people on June 14 last year. A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council described McDonagh’s actions as “both shocking and unforgivable” after she entered her guilty plea last month. McDonagh, 39, from Abbey Wood, south-east London, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, theft and concealing criminal property.On Thursday, one of her victims, Edward Daffarn, a survivor of the fire and vice chairman of campaign group Grenfell United, told the court about the impact of the fraud on his community.He said: “It is like pouring salt on wounds of bereaved residents.” Picture taken from Jenny McDonagh’s phone showing the former finance manager for Kensington and Chelsea Council on the Thames Clipper on her way to a night outCredit:CPS Jenny McDonagh’s Met Police mugshot 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

Boom in antique furniture driven by environmentallyconscious millennials who are rejecting fast

Mr Winter added: “At Christie’s online is a great aspect, people can read the stories about the pieces on our website, and on social media there is a huge trend of decorative arts and furniture, that’s by people of the younger generation and sales completely are driven by that.”I’ve actually emailed people from Instagram who have turned out to be bidders and buyers in our sales.” Christie’s said they have had many new young customers thanks to Instagram and other social media sitesCredit: Paul Grover Christie's said they have had many new young customers thanks to Instagram and other social media sites International search engine Barnebys, which monitors 2,000 auction houses on its website which hosts more than one million items daily, has found a similar trend to be true. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A boom in antique sales has been driven by eco-conscious millennials who are rejecting “fast furniture”, auction houses have said.While the enduring image of a young person in their first home is the assembly of cheap flat-pack tables and wardrobes, many members of the younger generation are rejecting this stereotype and filling their houses with antique finds from auctions.And with auction houses setting up special sales for first-time bidders, featuring lower-cost items, some pieces are even cheaper than what can be found in IKEA.Benedict Winter, a specialist in furniture and works of art at Christie’s auction house told The Telegraph: “We’ve definitely seen a growing trend in  young people who are interested in our sales at Christie’s.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––”It definitely helps that people care about green furniture, and this combined with the history and the craftsmanship really appeals to 21st century people.”The trend is towards sustainability and less of a throwaway culture and that’s definitely been reflected in our auction sales.”We have so many sales a year with low starting points for beginner collectors. The lowest lots start at £300 which is entry level stuff.” Their furniture sales have risen by 32 per cent in the last 12 months, and the company believes this is due to young people searching for sustainable furniture for their homes.A spokesperson said that their search tracking is picking up info that this interest is coming from people aged 18-45, which is a  steady and growing increase that has happened over the last few years.Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of Barnebys, said: “Today we can say that everyone who works in the auction world is working in the world’s most sustainable industry. Changes in consumer behaviour, led by millennials is driving this new interest in using renewable pre-owned items.“They know that antiques are better for the carbon footprint. We clearly see an increased interest from the younger generation of buyers who want unique, personal and quality items that last over time.“It is just not sustainable for our world to continue to consume as we do today, and have done over the last few decades. So, today, many of the younger generation actively choose to furnish their homes with pre-owned furniture, which surprisingly is often cheaper than even Ikea furniture.”Also driving this trend is the Instagram aesthetic; people hungry for inspiration often land on the idea of buying photogenic vintage pieces. read more

Peers son left childlike after suffering skunkinduced psychotic episode before his suicide

A peer has described how the mind of his adult son “receded into early childhood” after months of skunk cannabis abuse triggered a psychotic breakdown.An inquest into the suicide of Rupert Green, 21, heard he had been in the grips of a mental health crisis when he was found dead in his mother’s garden in January 2017.His father, the hereditary peer Lord Monson, believes the student’s state of mind deteriorated once he began using skunk, a super-strong strain of cannabis, at university.Yesterday Woking Coroner’s Court was told the final year of Mr Green’s life had been characterised by psychological disturbance.He began behaving strangely during the Easter holiday of 2016, when he returned from studying biology at the University of Essex with claims his roommates were spying on him.His father gently challenged him on the suspicions and was threatened with violence, but the family eventually managed to refer him to an early intervention in psychosis team in September.However, after being prescribed medication including diazepam, he returned to university in October.Within weeks the student had another heated row with his father after asking him for £1,000, which he admitted under questioning was for drugs. Lord Monson refused. Delusions had set in again by January, when Mr Green began telling people he was the son of God, the inquest heard.His mother said on the day of his death he had talked about killing himself, while his grandmother later saw him with a knife.Mr Green then vanished and a police helicopter was called to help the search. Its crew spotted him hanged in the garden. Yesterday the peer told the inquest: “He said that the night before he had tried to kill himself by running around in front of traffic but this time he was going to make a proper job of it and stand in front of a train. Mrs Green said: “The loss of Rupert is a life sentence of devastating proportions.”Lord Monson lost his other son, Alexander Monson, in 2012, after what he claims was a beating in police custody in Kenya. Rupert Green had been a university student at the time of his death Rupert Green had been a university student at the time of his death “He said ‘have a happy life’ and put down the telephone.”Frantic efforts were made by Lord Monson and Karen Green, Mr Green’s mother, to contact the police and the university to organise an intervention.Their son – a talented artist – was subsequently taken to hospital, where his father described finding an upsetting scene.”Rupert was an art scholar, his paintings were quite beautiful, his compositions were marvellous,” he told the inquest.“He had been painting in hospital and it was like he had reverted to a four-year-old child.“I thought something was really wrong with this man, it represented how he was in his mental state – much of his powers and abilities had receded into early childhood.”Shortly before Christmas 2016, Mr Green asked to be readmitted to hospital, but nurses told his mother “he would not fit the criteria so he would not be admitted.” 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

One person in 10 is mistaken about the identity of their father reveals

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 year the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority called on DNA testing websites to warn people of the risk of uncovering traumatic family secrets and underlying health problems.Some sites offer to reveal lineage, ancestry and long lost relatives simply by posting a saliva sample.The authority said tests could also enable people to track down anonymous sperm and egg donors, or show a break in paternity.As early as 2005 Liverpool University and health experts warned in the BMJ that genetic testing could throw up such problems.The NHS carries out family screening for genes that raise the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and genetic problems in pregnancy, among other issues.In March Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, called for genetic tests for common cancers and heart disease to be rolled out.However, the tests have been criticised for causing stress and confusion and even fostering a kind of fatalism that would make people stop taking care of themselves.Mr Cumming said that while genetics offered new hope for preventing disease, there were difficult ethical challenges that needed addressing.Prof Mark Bellis, an author of the original 2005 study into non-paternity, said: “Despite genomics creeping into many aspects of health treatments and prevention, we seem to be choosing to ignore what it reveals about infidelity and paternity. One person in 10 is mistaken about the identity of their father, genetic tests for hereditary illnesses are revealing, according to an NHS chief.The era of genomic medicine is allowing doctors to screen rising numbers for preventative action against diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.About 220,000 such tests are carried out by the NHS in England and Scotland each year.But Ian Cumming, head of Health Education England, the NHS training body, said hospitals were being left in an ethical quandary as they were uncovering some awkward family secrets.It is currently estimated that around 4 per cent of the population are unaware the man they call their father is not their true biological relative.Mr Cumming told the Hay Festival that within a decade everyone who wanted to be genome tested could be.“But it is not without controversy,” he warned. “If you look at people who have had genetic tests within families for reasons other than trying to work out paternity, for one in 10 people your dad isn’t who you think it is.”He said this was the dilemma: “Are we going to tell people: ‘That’s not your dad’ – or are we going to keep that information to ourselves? I don’t think that would be acceptable ethically.” “There are still very few reliable figures on paternal discrepancy and consequently inadequate thought given to how to deal with it.” read more

Boris Johnson has misconduct allegations quashed in High Court

Referring to the £350 million figure, the barrister told the court: “There is ample evidence that (Mr Johnson) did know it was a false and misleading figure.” “It is not for the CPS, judge and jury to determine the misconduct of this claim and it is not for the interested party either.”Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Supperstone, hearing the case, were being asked to quash the decision of District Judge Margot Coleman, made on May 29, to issue a summons.Mr Darbishire submitted the judge’s decision was an error of law and said the attempt to prosecute Mr Johnson was “politically motivated”. Marcus Ball Mr Johnson did not have to appear and did not attending the current hearing.Mr Ball, 29, claimed Mr Johnson lied during the 2016 referendum campaign by saying Britain gave £350 million a week to the European Union.He crowdfunded more than £300,000 through an online campaign to bring the prosecution.Speaking to reporters before the hearing, he said: “I’ve spent three years of my life working ridiculous hours for, per hour I believe, the minimum wage to bring this case because I believe in the merits of it.”Somebody who was doing this to create a stunt would not act like that.”In a written decision on May 29, District Judge Margot Coleman said she was satisfied there was a proper case to issue a summons.The £350 million figure was emblazoned on the red campaign bus used by Vote Leave during the referendum, with the slogan saying “We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead”. He told the court: “This case clearly represented on the face of it – I will be neutral – a politically-originated … attempt to prosecute a senior politician using a common law offence for false statements in the course of public debate, a use to which that offence had never been put in this country or any common law jurisdiction.”He added: “Standing on the hustings is not the exercise of state power, and doing something naughty on the hustings is not capable of being an abuse of state power.”The barrister said an attempt to use the criminal justice system for “a political purpose” was an “extremely grave and troubling thing to do”.In written submissions before the court, he said: “In drawing upon freely-available public statistics for the purpose of a political argument, Vote Leave, and those who supported and spoke for that campaign, were clearly not acting as public officials, nor exercising any public power. Boris Johnson and the Vote Leave bus “They made no claim to special knowledge of the sums expended by the UK, they exercised no official power in promoting that message and the assessment and publication of the level of the UK’s total EU spending formed no part of Mr Johnson’s official duties.”He added: “It is abundantly clear that this prosecution is motivated by a political objective and has been throughout.”Mr Ball’s lawyers contended Judge Coleman’s decision was not unlawful and say the attempted prosecution of Mr Johnson is a matter of “significant public interest”.Jason Coppel QC, for Mr Ball, said in written submissions: “The prosecution raises an issue of significant public and political interest, interest which has been heightened by recent political events – including the candidacy of the claimant for leadership of the Conservative Party.”But that does not establish that the motivation of the interested parties as prosecutors is improper, whether because it is a purely political motivation or otherwise.”The entirely proper motivation for the prosecution is to hold to account a high-profile politician and holder of public office for what is alleged to be significant misconduct in relation to an issue of great public importance.” Boris Johnson has won a High Court challenge against a court summons to face allegations of misconduct in a public office over claims made during the referendum campaign that the EU receives £350 million a week from the UK. The claims were disputed during the referendum campaign and voters could choose to ignore them, the High Court heard earlier.Giving the court’s decision, Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting with Mr Justice Supperstone, said: “We are persuaded, Mr Darbishire, so you succeed, and the relief that we grant is the quashing of the summonses.” Lawyers for Boris Johnson told senior judges the MP, who is currently the front runner in the Conservative Party leadership contest, he denied acting improperly or dishonestly when campaigning to leave the EU ahead of the historic 2016 vote.The former foreign secretary challenged a summons for him to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where campaigner Marcus Ball was attempting to prosecute him for three allegations of misconduct in public office. Adrian Darbishire QC, for Mr Johnson, told a hearing in London on Friday that the £350 million a week figure was disputed “as soon as it was said” and remains the subject of public debate.He said: “It was just a political claim open to, and available for, contradiction and debate, and it was, and is, for the good sense of the electorate to discount it if they choose so to do. 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. Marcus Ball Boris Johnson and the Vote Leave bus read more

Second man arrested after £48m golden lavatory stolen from Blenheim Palace

The lavatory, called “America”, had been plumbed into the water system so that visitors could fully engage with the artwork, as long as they obeyed a three-minute time slot.However, just hours after the launch party for the show finished, police say thieves using at least two vehicles smashed their way into the property, and made off with the expensive artwork. A second man has been arrested over a burglary in which an 18-carat solid gold toilet, valued at £4.8 million, was stolen from Blenheim Palace.Thames Valley Police said a 36-year-old man, from Cheltenham, has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle before being released under investigation.It is understood the lavatory – which was the centrepiece of a new exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan at the Duke of Marlborough’s country home where Winston Churchill was born – was taken in the early hours of Saturday morning. A 66-year-old man was arrested immediately on suspicion of burglary and has been released on police bail until Oct 9. Thames Valley Police have yet to find the elaborate piece, and it is feared it has already been melted down. Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Steven Jones, said: “We are continuing to investigate this incident and have made a second arrest in connection with it.”Our priority is to locate the stolen item, and I would urge anyone with any information to contact police by calling 101.” Just two days after it went on display, burglars broke into the Palace, ripped it from the wall and drove off, leaving “significant damage and flooding”. 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

BREAKING Former cop freed of Ruby Back Dam murder charge

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRuby Backdam murder trial: Gunshot injuries to head killed victim – Pathologist confirmsJuly 24, 2017In “Court”Uncle of ‘hitman’ also charged with murder of Ruby businessmanMay 7, 2016In “Court”Convicted murder accused freed of murder chargeDecember 7, 2018In “Court” Former policeman Ruel Brandon who was charged with the murder of an East Bank Essequibo (EBE) seaman nearly two years ago, was set free earlier today (Wednesday).FREED: Ruel BrandonBrandon’s attorney, Nigel Hughes presented a no-case submission which was up-held by Justice Nareshwar Harnanan at the High Court.Brandon was accused of the murder of Davonan Sookram, of Bushy Park, Parika, whose decomposed body was found on July 31, 2015 in an area along Ruby Backdam, (EBE), with two bullet wounds to the head.Deceased: Davonan SookramPolice had noted on July 27, 2015 around 15:30 hrs, Brandon had collected Sookram from his home and the man was not seen again. Reports at the time stated that the death was a drug deal gone bad. State Counsels Siand Dhurjon and Shawnette Austin presented the prosecution’s case in association with Lisa Cave. read more

2 press briefings in 3 years GPA endorses criticisms of President

…says side-line interviews cannot be substituted for press conferencesGPA President, Nazima RaghubirOn the heels of criticisms made against President David Granger for his continuous lack of engagement with members of the media, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) on Wednesday endorsed those reproaches, labelling the brief side-line interviews allowed as “limited cosmetic media access.”“The GPA sends a clear message to the President and the wider Ministry of the Presidency that these side-line interviews cannot be substituted for press conferences, and are at best limited cosmetic media access,” the entity said in a press statement on Wednesday.Among other concerns raised the Press Association said that President Granger “barely speaks to the media for five minutes after any official engagement. This was evident when the President was approached on Monday, July 16th, 2018 for a reaction to accusations of non-fulfilment of promises by the National Toshaos Council. The Head of State barely afforded reporters a 1 minute opportunity until they were forced out of the way as he hopped into his car.”Furthermore, the GPA recounted that when Granger acted in the capacity of the Opposition Leader; the media were summoned to weekly press conferences or told that he was available for public comments and interviews. However, as President, the GPA noted that this is not the case.As such, the Association said that it is awaiting “the announcement of frequent press conferences with the Head of State.”Just last week, Opposition Leader and former President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo asserted that President David Granger’s constant excuses to not host press conferences is a clear indication that he is “abdicating his responsibilities.”Recently, in defending why he has not held a press conference in months and why there were fewer formal engagements with the media, Granger said that his schedule was a major factor.President David Granger“My heart is in the right place, but right now, I’ve had a really difficult period of public engagement and overseas travel,” the President told the media on the sidelines of an event.He added that “this time last week, I was in Montego Bay, the week before I was in Da Nang, Vietnam. It could be a very challenging period and soon as I get the opportunity I will engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot … I’m asking the media to be tolerant.”However, on Wednesday last during his weekly press briefing, Jagdeo lambasted this, saying that Granger’s “sojourn abroad” has resulted in nothing significant for Guyana or its people.The President also said that he was preoccupied with dealing with several local issues.“It could be a challenging period and as soon as I get the opportunity, I would engage with the press, but I’ve been travelling quite a lot and then to deal with domestic issues – the sugar industry, we have to deal with the petroleum industry, I have to deal with crime and security,” he had explained.Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat JagdeoHowever, according to the Opposition Leader, this is a baseless statement.“He claimed that he was busy… travelling quite a lot and have to deal with domestic issues, petroleum and sugar industry…and crime…He shamelessly cites the Petroleum industry [when there are so many unanswered questions]. What is he dealing with in the Sugar Industry? [He] laid off thousands of people, there’s no social safety net, people can’t feed their families…they raised $30B through SPU and not saying what they will spend the money on…The President has been addressing the sugar industry so much that he can’t even name a board…but he’s busy…When this country is being ravaged on a daily basis by criminals and we have a hopelessly misguided British consultant…We don’t see any specific measures being rolled out…They can’t move ahead with the appointment of  a substantive Police Commissioner,” Jagdeo chided.After two years in office, President Granger held a press conference in December 2017, only the second since the coalition came into Government in May 2015. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPresident promises to host press conference after almost one year of not having anyJune 21, 2017In “latest news”After such a long wait President provided no clarity, direction at presser- Opposition LeaderSeptember 6, 2018In “latest news”2 press briefings in 3 years: President Granger abdicating his responsibilities- JagdeoJuly 11, 2018In “latest news” read more