Warren Buffett has a great investment track record. So perhaps it’s no accident that he declined to offer $1 billion for correctly predicting the outcome of all World Cup knockout stage games, as he did for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament games.The odds of winning Buffett’s NCAA challenge were about one in 7.4 billion, assuming you chose the favorite in each game as selected by FiveThirtyEight’s NCAA model. But the odds of correctly filling out a 16-team knockout tournament such as the World Cup are much shorter.In fact, though there have been some thrilling matches in the knockout stage so far — six of 12 have gone to extra time and only two were decided by more than one goal — the favorite has advanced every time (at least as according to the FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions).Here is the breakdown so far. The following table lists the win probability for the FiveThirtyEight favorite as of the day of the match, along with the cumulative probability of the model having called all knockout stages correctly up to that point in time.For instance, the probability of correctly identifying the winners in each of the first four knockout matches — Brazil over Chile, Colombia over Uruguay, the Netherlands over Mexico and Costa Rica over Greece — was about 23 percent, or one chance in 4.3. And the chance of going 12 for 12, as the FiveThirtyEight favorites have done so far, is just one in 75.It’s an upset, in other words, when all the favorites prevail. On average, we’d have expected three or four upsets through this point in the knockout round.Of course, there are four matches left — counting the World Cup’s third-place playoff between the two semifinal losers. According to the FiveThirtyEight forecasts, Brazil is favored over Germany on Tuesday (even after accounting for Neymar’s injury) and Argentina is slightly favored over the Netherlands on Wednesday. To complete a perfect knockout bracket, Germany would then need to beat the Netherlands in the consolation game while Brazil prevailed over Argentina in the final.All of the remaining matches look pretty close, so the FiveThirtyEight forecasts are likely to fail at some stage. If the model gets the matches right, however, it will have made good on a 1-in-553 chance of calling all 16 knockout stage winners correctly.Incidentally, this isn’t the huge success for the FiveThirtyEight model that it might seem. The FiveThirtyEight forecasts are probabilistic. Teams listed as 75 percent favorites are supposed to win about 75 percent of the time over the long run — not much less than that but also not any more often. There are supposed to be some upsets. If 75 percent favorites are winning 100 percent of the time over the long run instead, that means the forecasts are miscalibrated and overestimating the chances for the underdogs.In this case, the success of the favorites does seem to be mostly a matter of luck. Three games have gone to a penalty shootout so far — pre-match favorites might have a slight edge in those but not much of one. Mexico, meanwhile, was a few minutes away from defeating the Netherlands, and the U.S. was a few inches away from beating Belgium.The best way to test probabilistic forecasts is to check their calibration and to compare them against alternative probabilistic estimates. For example, if your model says that the U.S. has a 40 percent chance of beating Belgium and the consensus betting line gives the U.S. just a 25 percent chance instead, you should bet on the Americans — even though you expect Belgium to win most of the time. So far, the FiveThirtyEight forecasts have done well against consensus betting lines when used in this fashion — although that could reflect good luck, too.
Spanish3747301.6 NATIONALITYTOTAL GORINGS SINCE 2005PERCENT OF GORINGS SINCE 2005PERCENT OF ATTENDANCE IN 2014GORINGS TO ATTENDANCE RATIO Latin Americans4551.0 Other/unidentified1013210.6 British68%4%1.9 I’m sure this data will do little to dissuade my fellow prospective runners from heading to Pamplona one of these years — if anything, it’ll probably be used to argue that the odds are in your favor. But you’ll take the risk knowing that there have been only three days in the past 35 years when no one suffered a major injury. Hey, it’s gotta happen to someone. North Americans1114240.6 French2350.5 Australians or Kiwis810110.9 Another year, another 10 gorings. The annual nine-day running of the bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain, drew to a close today, with the inevitable bloody results: None was gored today, but five were hospitalized with major injuries in the last of eight runs.The festival is one of the most jarring examples of just how imperfect a process natural selection is. The tradition began centuries ago as a way to transport bulls from their corrals to the bullfighting ring, and grew as more people decided it would be fun to run in front of the bulls and try not to die. Literally the only point of going is to survive extreme risk (and to slap a bull on the butt, apparently). And yet it seems just as popular on bucket lists now1Mine included. as it was when it shot to worldwide fame in 1926 with its depiction in Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Sun Also Rises.” The danger is the appeal — but just how dangerous is it to run with the Pamplona bulls?Record keeping on deaths (there have been 15) goes back to 1922, and Navarra — the region of Spain where the festival takes place — has kept track of every major injury that has resulted from the run since 1980. Using their data, I decided to find out for myself what the odds will be of ending up in a Navarra hospital when I inevitably partake in this exercise in idiocy.Although the number of injuries has been volatile from year to year, it’s grown by about 5.1 percent on average each year since 1980.That’s what you might expect if attendance were growing, but it’s not. Pamplona’s City Hall has tracked exact annual headcounts since only 2011 (and hasn’t published numbers for 2015 yet), but the limited available data suggests that attendance is on the decline — 17,126 people participated last year, down from 20,500 in 2011.2Six bulls and six steers run every day, regardless of the number of human participants. (Organizers claim the steers are harmless.) Pamplona blames the decline of the past two years on timing, saying the weekend fell mid-festival rather than at the beginning (coinciding with the big event kickoff), as it did in 2012 and 2011.With injuries going up and attendance going down, each person who runs alongside the bulls has a higher risk of being injured every year. Based on 2014’s data, you’d have a 0.3 percent chance of being injured, which is the same chance of having an unproduced screenplay turned into a feature film.But that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and don that pañuelo just yet. The Associated Press has kept detailed reports on how many people were gored — and the countries they hail from — every day of the festival dating to 2005. I used Nexis to determine whether runners from any nationality stood out. Obviously, Spaniards were hit hardest in terms of the raw number of gorings — 37 of the total 78 over the 10-year period. But Brits take home the prize for most disproportionate number of participants gored. They account for about 8 percent of gorings, but just 4 percent of participants.3Breakdown of attendance by nationality is based on 2014 headcounts.
The WBO completed its review of Timothy Bradley’s controversial split-decision victory against Manny Pacquiao with its five-member international judging panel all scoring the fight for Pacquiao, even though the official result of a Bardley split-decision win will stand.Pacquiao told The Associated Press from the Philippines on Thursday that he would prefer a rematch rather than Bradley giving up the WBO welterweight title that he won on a split decision because “people may think I just usurped it.”Bradley’s victory on June 9 instantly became one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history. While judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross both had Bradley winning 115-113, Jerry Roth scored it 115-113 for Pacquiao, who suffered his first defeat since 2005.“My supporters shouldn’t worry. We’re going to get that title,” said Pacquiao, who has the option of an immediate rematch with Bradley in his contract.The HBO broadcasters and nearly every media member at ringside had Pacquiao winning. The crowd at the MGM Grand booed the decision heavily and there was fan outrage around the world from people believing Pacquiao clearly had won.In the aftermath of the fight, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, whose organization sanctioned the title match, said he would have five judges review the video of the bout. On Wednesday, the results of that review were released. The five judges, whom Valcarcel said are accomplished judges with world title experience — but whose names were not disclosed — scored the fight for Pacquiao, 118-110, 117-111, 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.Valcarcel said the WBO has no authority to change the result. But given the outcome of the panel’s review of the fight, he will order a rematch if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum declines to put on a second fight, or if Pacquiao opts not to exercise his rematch clause.Top Rank and Pacquiao, however, simply could move on to another fight that just would not be for the WBO title.“We can’t change the result but we did this review for two reasons,” Valcarcel told ESPN.com. “If they want to make a rematch, we will approve the rematch and if they don’t, we will order one. Also, we wanted to show (the Nevada State Athletic Commission) that they could bring in other officials from outside of Nevada who can also do a fine job judging fights. It’s good to have different officials.”
Michael Vick rumors that he will end up playing with the New York Jets next season are floating around the league like a Hail Mary pass.Just about the time Rex Ryan benched Mark Sanchez and elevated third-string Greg McElroy to the starting quarterback, bypassing second-string Tim Tebow, it was apparent next year’s Jets would have a new man at QB.Enter Vick. He’s almost assuredly out in Philadelphia, where the Eagles have turned the team over to rookie Nick Foles after Vick had a subpar year shortened by concussions.Sanchez, because of financial commitments, very well could remain with the Jets. But his abysmal play has killed any faith the team had in his ability to lead it to a championship. Tebow is almost certainly out, too, having been under-used by the team all season. He got only 70 snaps at quarterback and was rightfully angry and disappointed that Ryan chose McElroy over him to start the final two games.McElory could be a serviceable backup in the NFL. But if he is your starting quarterback, you are not a contender.So, Vick would be a place the team would turn, according to NFL.com sources. The website said Vick would be willing to play for the Jets, but only if he is the starter. It reported that Vick believe he has another four years of quality play in him.Vick would be due $17 million if the Eagles chose to keep him. They will not. Just two years ago, he signed a $100 million contract — the first player in NFL history to sign two deals at that milestone value. But his play has been shaky ever since the ink dried.He turned the ball over with alarming regularity early in the season and then could not stay healthy. The Jets would be even more of a circus with Vick at quarterback. Which means it very well could happen.
FRANCHISESEASONSPLAYERS W/ RET. JERSEYSCAREERWITH FRANCHISE Celtics6720521.8491.7 Jazz437277.6232.0 Spurs508254.4250.7 1951 to present. Includes franchise lineages as defined by Basketball-Reference.com (e.g., the Oklahoma City Thunder entry also includes players whose numbers were retired by the Seattle SuperSonics)Source: Basketball-Reference.com Magic2800.00.0 76ers6710502.2295.2 Timberwolves2812.21.4 Pistons679252.2206.6 Pelicans29113.34.9 Before Duncan’s number was retired, the Spurs’ retired-jersey crew ranked ninth all-time; now it’s in fourth place, behind the Boston Celtics and the Lakers — no shock there — as well as the Philadelphia 76ers, who’ve had a surprising number of truly great players contribute for them over the years. But if San Antonio eventually retires the numbers of current Spurs Manu Ginobili (38.1 VAR with the club) and Tony Parker (37.0), the Spurs could pass the 76ers for third, particularly because the closest Philadelphia has to a jersey-retirement candidate is ex-Sixer (and current Warrior) Andre Iguodala (17.5) — and because Iggy was no fan favorite, I doubt he’ll even be considered for the honor.Duncan also gives the Spurs an average of 31.3 VAR per honored player, which ranks fourth among all franchises — and is higher than that of both Boston (24.6) and Philly (29.5). The gold standard in this department belongs to the Chicago Bulls (36.0), who’ve retired only four players’ numbers — Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and multi-time All-Stars Bob Love and Jerry Sloan. (Artis Gilmore and Chet Walker must be wondering what they have to do for their numbers to be taken out of circulation.) But the Spurs’ retired-jersey strategy has struck a nice balance between upholding quality and not being overly picky; San Antonio has discontinued a player’s number every 6.3 years, more than twice as frequently as Chicago’s 12.8-years-per-player ratio. (Duncan’s No. 21 became the eighth number the Spurs have retired.3At least, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Technically, Bruce Bowen allowed San Antonio to unretire his No. 12 for LaMarcus Aldridge to wear, although I still included Bowen in the Spurs’ VAR total.)Other teams have less lofty standards of inclusion. As part of their apparent plan to commemorate every single member of their Bill Russell-era teams, the Celtics honored “Jungle” Jim Loscutoff despite his career average of 6.2 points per game, to go with a miniscule 8.3 lifetime Player Efficiency Rating (15.0 is league-average) and .017 Win Shares per 48 minutes (average is around .100). (In fairness, Loscutoff’s number was later kept active for Dave Cowens, a much better player.) Utah enshrined Darrell Griffith, whose nickname (“Dr. Dunkenstein”) was far superior to his stats (14.6 PER, .049 WS/48), and Portland honored Lionel Hollins (13.0 PER, .059 WS/48) even without a cool moniker to point to. Nate Thurmond became a Hall of Famer because of his performance as a Warrior, but his number was retired by Cleveland even though he played fewer than 12 percent of his career games as a Cav.Of course, winning titles like the Spurs have (five since 1999) is a surefire way to grease the wheels of jersey-retirement. It’s no coincidence that the bottom seven teams in the list above have won zero combined championships, and they’ve only retired three jerseys in total: One for a beloved local legend who played for a different franchise in the same city, and two for players who died during their careers. (Meanwhile, take the Knicks as a counterexample: They’ve won only two titles, and seven of their nine retired jerseys honor a player or coach4Yes, 12 coaches have had their “jerseys” retired, with the number often taking the form of their coaching victory total with the franchise (i.e., the number 832 is “retired” for Phoenix in honor of Cotton Fitzsimmons’s 832 career coaching wins). from those championship squads.)San Antonio wasn’t scrounging for numbers to retire before Duncan came along — it had already raised George Gervin’s iconic No. 44, and David Robinson’s No. 50 was well on its way, to go with some of their less-heralded teammates. But like he did for the Spurs as a franchise, Duncan has now elevated their honorees to the upper echelon of the NBA.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Knicks678198.5162.9 Bucks498313.6150.7 Thunder506145.8100.8 COMBINED VALUE ABOVE REPLACEMENT OF RETIRED JERSEY PLAYERS Nets507163.874.9 With Duncan, the Spurs have elite laundry hanging in the rafters Grizzlies2200.00.0 Cavaliers477139.099.2 Bulls514153.2143.8 Pacers504126.3111.0 Lakers6714672.8471.7 Wizards564103.379.4 Nuggets505165.8111.5 Heat293149.139.4 Mavericks37234.132.7 Suns499266.1173.5 Trail Blazers4710181.0135.5 Hornets1315.81.4 Warriors676210.4133.7 Rockets505224.7144.8 Raptors2200.00.0 Clippers4700.00.0 Hawks675157.3131.8 While he was playing, Tim Duncan lifted the San Antonio Spurs up the list of the most successful teams in NBA history. Now that he has retired, Duncan — thanks to his recently retired jersey — has also made the AT&T Center rafters among the most talent-filled in the league.To rank every team’s group of retired numbers, I grabbed data from Basketball-Reference.com’s franchise pages and then filtered out honored non-players — like longtime Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn (who has a microphone-themed banner hanging alongside the jerseys of Magic Johnson and company) or the No. 6 in Orlando, which is retired “in honor of the fans.” (Because they’re the “sixth man.” Get it?) For each team, I added up the total amount of value above replacement (VAR)1A cumulative value statistic based on a combination of Player Efficiency Rating and Win Shares per 48 minutes. generated by those players, both over their entire pro careers (across all franchises)2For my purposes, ABA statistics were given the same weight as NBA ones, because most former ABA teams that joined the NBA have retired the numbers of their ABA-era stars. and during their time with the specific franchise in question. Here’s the list, ranked by the latter category, to avoid ridiculous situations like the Miami Heat’s getting credit for Michael Jordan, whose jersey the team retired even though he never played for it. Kings679229.6173.4
In the long and varied history of sports heroes — from Pheidippides to Johnny Football — none has signed his name more often, nor more energetically and whimsically, than Pete Rose. Signing for dollars has been at the core of Rose’s livelihood, and lifeblood, since he was banned from baseball 25 years ago. For years now he has appeared four days a week, in five-hour shifts, at a memorabilia shop in a Las Vegas mall. The crowds don’t swarm, but they do come, steadily. An autographed ball costs $99, a bat $200, a jersey $40. Items are also bundled and sold in packages. It’s not unusual for Rose to move more than $10,000 worth of merchandise in a day.Prices and item choices are set not by Rose himself but by the company, Hit King Inc., that employs him. (He gets a flat fee for his work, but if sales pass a certain level, he receives a percentage of the extra money.) That means that when he’s signing somewhere else and has a different employer, the prices, and the menu, can vary. Just the other day, for example, Rose was in Cooperstown for Induction Weekend, where he has made almost annual autograph appearances for the past two decades. He signed at the Safe at Home shop on Main Street, less than 400 feet from the Hall of Fame to which he has been famously denied induction. In Cooperstown, customers could do a lot better for themselves than they could at The Art of Music store, Rose’s autographing venue in Vegas.Here’s a look at some of the price variability of baseballs with two popular Rose inscriptions, by retailer (keeping in mind that an autographed item for sale on eBay may be less reliably authentic than one signed in person or bought from Steiner Sports):The first inscription refers, of course, to Rose’s record career hits total; the second is a winking apology for the crime (betting on baseball) that landed him in the boat he’s in. Rose likes to lampoon his situation further: In certain circumstances he’ll sign baseballs with “I’m sorry I broke up the Beatles” or “I’m sorry I shot JFK.”Downtown Cooperstown is many things to many people on Induction Weekend but it is most conspicuously a bazaar for players selling their signatures. At any moment you can find scores of former big leaguers signing things in shops or at sidewalk tables along the narrow streets. Voices ring out, carnival-barker style, to let you know where to look for your favorite players. “Ernie Banks! A Hall of Famer, he’s right here! Come on in! Ernie Banks here today!”Special inscriptions like Rose’s are sometimes part of the transaction. This year, for example, the former Braves closer John Rocker, famous for his anti-New York rant in the late 1990s, was in town, capitalizing on the influx of Atlanta fans who’d come to see Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Bobby Cox get inducted. You could get a ball signed by Rocker for $20, plus $10 for a personal inscription. The inscription price rose to $25, though, if you wanted him to write “F New York” or “F the New York Mets.”So how does Rose’s Cooperstown fee of $60 compare with other players’ fees? Below is a look at the rate for some notable autographs during Induction Weekend. Typically, a Hall of Famer’s autograph sells for more than a non-Hall of Famer’s. So leaving out Rose’s figure, and relying on help from a pair of fine reporters (big cheers to David Bauer and Larry Mileo), I also calculated the average price for each of those two subsets of players. The autograph prices are set by the vendor and are determined, naturally, based on demand. It sometimes happened that a player appeared at more than one venue during the weekend and his autograph sold for slightly different prices. I took that into account.In comparison with Hall of Famers (the group Rose’s supporters believe he should be part of), Rose commanded 6 percent less than the average price. (Among teammates from the 1970s Big Red Machine, Rose drew about 13 percent less than Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan and about 9 percent more than Hall of Famer Tony Perez.) Compared to other non-Hall of Famers, however, Rose killed it. Braves pitcher John Smoltz, who had the Atlanta contingent in town and who was billed on a price flyer as a “Future Hall of Famer” (he’ll get in next year) was the only non-Hall of Fame player whose autograph went for as much as Rose’s.Most surprising, given how long Rose has been at it and how deeply he has saturated the market for his own signature, is that his price has remained stable as he has continued to sell. At Safe at Home, the signed ball fee went up from $55 to $60 about seven years ago, according to store proprietor Andrew Vilacky, and has remained at that price. In Las Vegas, Rose’s autograph on a ball cost $79 when he was selling at the Field of Dreams in 2009. Today, at The Art of Music, he gets a 25.3 percent higher rate without any drop in volume.So why does Rose, now 73, still draw? As the eBay price in the first table suggests, no one is investing in his autograph in hopes of making much resale profit. Part of the allure is Rose’s continued fame — he may be the most famous non-Hall of Fame former baseball player alive. But there is more to it than that.What people keep buying is not just the autograph, but also the experience of getting it. Plenty of ballplayers can engage with the fan base, but nobody does it better or embraces it more than Rose does. Pete is extremely good at being Pete. You sit with him for five minutes during an autograph session. He’ll banter cornily (“Your name is Bob? Mind if I spell it backward?”) and crassly (“The whole time your wife was taking that photo with me, she had her hand on my ass”). He will give batting tips to kids (essentially, “Be aggressive”) and recall old at-bats with astounding clarity and detail. He’ll break off an anecdote about Willie Mays in a urinal, and he might, without warning or provocation, hold forth on the subject of blow jobs. However all this may sound to you, many customers clearly view it as value added. I have seen people wait to get their ball signed, spend the time with Rose, then get back in the queue and do it again.People are also drawn to Rose for the contradictions in his character — what to make of someone who both honored and dishonored the game so profoundly? Rose, through his gambling and his recalcitrance, has the lure of an outlaw hero. He’s also the only player in baseball history to be expressly denied a place on the Hall of Fame ballot, and that gives customers something edgy to discuss with him. As much as Rose might like to get inducted one day, he is not blind to the notoriety that his banishment has given him, nor to the understanding that, in the autograph trade, it may have helped his bottom line. “You know,” he once said to me. “Not being in the Hall of Fame — that’s my shtick!”For the right price, I’m sure, Rose will write that on a baseball for you.
The Block “M” at midfield of Michigan Stadium was vandalized over the weekend, The Detroit News reported. A 6-inch by 4-foot portion of the turf was cut out and removed. University police are investigating the vandalism.President Barack Obama will carry on a 100-year tradition when he throws out the ceremonial first pitch at the season-opening game of the Washington Nationals. William Howard Taft initiated the tradition when he threw out an opening-day pitch in 1910. Obama will continue the annual deed when he tosses a fastball to Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez before Washington hosts the Philadelphia Phillies April 5.The New Jersey Nets avoided any potential run-ins with historic futility after beating the San Antonio Spurs 90-84 on Monday. The victory was the 10th for the Nets this season, improving the team’s overall standing to 10-64. Before an unforeseen stretch of three wins in four games over the last week, New Jersey had been treading dangerously close to trumping Philadelphia’s all-time worst record of 9-73.Despite three years remaining on his contract, Boston College and men’s basketball coach Al Skinner mutually agreed to sever ties. Skinner had led the Golden Eagles for the last 13 seasons, winning 247 games. Boston College has received seven NCAA Tournament berths in the last 10 years. Skinner interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at St. John’s last week.
One of the Columbus Crew’s newest players has been awarded a piece of Major League Soccer hardware on a day of sweeping roster moves for the club. One notable move saw the team bid farewell to a long-standing member of the organization. Crew midfielder Federico Higuain was named the 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year on Wednesday, according to the thecrew.com. Acquired on July 27, Higuain tallied five goals and a team season-high seven assists in just 13 games. Higuain helped rally the Crew during the MLS Cup playoff race as the team finished outside of the five playoff-qualifying spots by a single point in the standings. As part of the team’s personnel chances, the Crew said goodbye to goalkeeper William Hesmer, who missed the 2012 season after undergoing hip surgery. Hesmer, whose contract option for the 2013 season was declined by the club, spent six seasons with the Crew and holds club records for wins (59), saves (412) and shutouts (41). He was also in goal for Columbus when it won the 2008 MLS Cup championship. “We want to thank William Hesmer for his six outstanding years of service in Columbus,” said Crew president and general manager Mark McCullers in a team release. “William has been a consummate professional during his time with the Crew and he helped this club achieve its highest honors during his tenure.” Directly related to Hesmer’s departure were the club’s decisions to pick up the contract options for goalkeepers Andy Gruenebaum and former Ohio State men’s soccer player Matt Lampson – those were just three of 17 roster moves announced by the team midweek. Gruenebaum started 33 games for Columbus during the 2012 season and allowed 41 goals. Lampson saw action in three games, playing 170 minutes, allowing three goals while getting credit for his first two professional victories. The Crew also picked up contract options for defenders Eric Gehrig and Josh Williams, midfielders Bernardo Anor, Dilly Duka, Ethan Finlay and Kevan George and forwards Justin Meram and Aaron Schoenfeld. Columbus native Danny O’Rourke, a defender, is out of contract with the Crew, as is fellow defender Carlos Mendes and forward Emilio Renteria, according to the club website. All three players are expected to receive offers to remain with the Crew, the website said. Players that are sure to be on their way out of Crew Stadium and whose contract options were not renewed include defenders Rich Balchan, Julius James and Sebastian Miranda, midfielders Chris Birchall and Tony Tchani, and forward Tommy Heinemann. The Crew did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s Wednesday request for comment.
OSU freshman forward Maddy Humphrey (left) pushes the ball upfield during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 4-2.Credit: Ben Jackson / For The LanternA pair of Northwestern goals in each half was enough to take down Ohio State field hockey, 4-1, Saturday afternoon in OSU’s final road game of the regular season.With the victory, the No. 9 Wildcats (12-5, 6-1) stayed tied with Maryland atop the Big Ten standings with one game remaining in the regular season.OSU coach Anne Wilkinson stressed in recent weeks that the Buckeyes need to get out to a fast start against top ranked competition, but OSU (6-10, 1-6) fell behind early to Northwestern.A little more than two minutes into the game, Northwestern forced a penalty corner against OSU’s defense.Sophomore midfielder Dominique Masters capitalized, scoring her 11th goal of the season off a pass from junior midfielder Charlotte Martin to give the Wildcats the 1-0 advantage.OSU freshman goalkeeper Liz Tamburro attempted to keep the Wildcats out of the net after Masters’ goal as she tallied 12 saves, but Northwestern kept continued pressure on the Buckeyes with 19 shots in the game.The Wildcats’ second score came off a rebound as junior forward Kelley Stump approached the net and fired at Tamburro, but the freshman saved the shot with her glove.The ball bounced right to redshirt-sophomore Ashley Bernardi, and the midfielder converted to give Northwestern a 2-0 halftime lead.OSU was able to strike less than two minutes into the second half. Freshman midfielder Maddy Humphrey scored her team-leading 12th goal of the season in front of the net off an entry pass from freshman midfielder Morgan Kile.That’s as close as OSU would get, however.Freshman back Sophia Miller scored her first goal of the season off a rebound to give Northwestern a 3-1 lead with 24 minutes left in regulation.Then, OSU’s struggles continued, allowing a third goal off a rebound from sophomore midfielder Juliet Beatty.OSU is scheduled to be back in action Sunday at Buckeye Varsity Field for the regular season finale against its rival Michigan. The game is set to begin at noon.
LeBron James is 25.7 points, 7.3 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game for the 2nd place Cleveland Cavaliers.Credit: Courtesy of TNSLeBron James is the most valuable player in basketball, but that shouldn’t make him the 2014-15 NBA MVP.Would the Cleveland Cavaliers have locked up their first playoff appearance since James took his talents to South Beach if Akron’s prodigal son hadn’t returned? Obviously not, and Kevin Love wouldn’t have joined the Cavaliers either.But for as good as James has been in his first season back in the Buckeye state — he’s averaging 25.7 points, 7.3 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game — Cleveland wouldn’t have any excuse to have a record worse than its 48-27 mark. In general, James, Love and All-Star guard Kyrie Irving have been healthy this season and the Cavaliers’ only major injury hit was to center Anderson Varejao.But even when Varejao went down, the Cleveland front office responded by bringing in Timofey Mozgov as a more than capable replacement.Then there were the issues with Dion Waiters being, for lack of a better word, a pill. His attitude didn’t fit what James and the Cavaliers wanted to do, so they sent him to Oklahoma City and brought in J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.James is in the midst of his eighth season with Cleveland, but this is the first time the franchise has truly built a winner around him. That’s why he isn’t the season’s most valuable player, even though the value he brings to any team would surpass all others.James should certainly still receive consideration, but in all honesty, the Cavaliers have been only as good as, if not slightly worse than, was expected. Each bump along the road has been smoothed out for the team, and Cleveland will be streaking into the playoffs with a great chance to win its first NBA Championship.To do what is expected, or even just below expectations, isn’t an MVP-winning performance. It can still be a great performance and make you a contender, but James hasn’t carried his team in the same way NBA MVPs typically do.Enter Russell Westbrook, who has put up other-worldly numbers in recent weeks in order to keep the Thunder — minus superstar Kevin Durant for much of the year — in the playoff hunt.Westbrook himself has missed 15 games this season, but behind him and with Durant out for all but 27 contests, Oklahoma City doesn’t have a lot going on.The UCLA product’s recent triple-double outbursts have been historic, but his contributions are having an effect well beyond the numbers. It would’ve been hard to blame Westbrook had he more or less thrown in the towel on the season and simply started jacking up ill-advised shots and refusing to pass.Instead, he’s answered the call and become the clear leader for the Thunder down the stretch, forcing it into the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. It’s no guarantee just yet that Oklahoma City will end up in the postseason, but if it does, then Westbrook deserves the credit.Yes, James deserves his share of credit in Cleveland, but to take a team with a questionable supporting cast — including the Cavaliers’ outcast Waiters — and keep it in the hunt in the much-tougher Western Conference is a true MVP run.Is James still the most valuable player you can have on a basketball team? Of course. But that’s not what the NBA MVP is for.
Ohio State freshman midfielder Sage Darling receives a pass in the offensive zone against Rutgers on March 25. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAfter starting the season 5-1, the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team (6-7, 0-2 Big Ten) has been stuck amid a doldrum, dropping six of its last seven games. The Buckeyes’ misfortune as of late can be attributed to various factors that have impeded their path to the Big Ten tournament in May, but none larger than their offense — or lack thereof. OSU began the season as a dynamic, volatile goal-scoring machine averaging almost 14 goals per game in its first six contests, while holding its opponents to 10 gpg over that same span. Conversely, in their last seven games the Buckeyes have only been able to muster 8.7 gpg.“We’re still looking for some chemistry,” coach Alexis Venechanos said. “We’re a little bit younger team and people needed experience.”This downtick in offensive production has come against tougher opponents on the road, including No. 10 Southern California and No. 13 Notre Dame, which both resulted in losses. The Buckeyes are a relatively young team with plenty of talent throughout the roster. However, the youth has led to inconsistency in their lineups coupled with injuries. One of the key injuries happened most recently when freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez hurt her knee, keeping her out of their previous four games.Hernandez, at the time of her injury, was the leading scorer — 21 goals in nine games — for the Scarlet and Gray and had impressed not only her team but also the conference. She was able to collect the first four Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards to begin her collegiate career. The loss of Hernandez has required junior attack Molly Wood to step forward as more of an offensive leader for her team and has now tallied 41 points (35 goals, six assists). Wood has scored multiple goals in all but one game for OSU, but the team hasn’t had great chemistry in creating opportunities for scoring.“We’ve been putting some different people on attack and seeing if they’re stepping up,” Venechanos said. “They are stepping up in practice and just having the courage to execute when your number is called.”Going into their two games last week in New Jersey against Rutgers and Southern Cal, the Buckeyes were in prime position to make a strong statement with a signature Big Ten win over the Scarlet Knights and a top-10, non-conference victory against Southern Cal. Neither of these came to fruition for OSU.“We obviously didn’t have the outcome we wanted. Going into that weekend we really thought we were prepared,” senior captain midfielder Christina Turner said. “We regrouped mentally, did a couple of things physically but it was more of a mental change more than a physical change.”The Buckeye defense has been a bright spot throughout their recent play, the only problem being they are playing too much of it. While freshman goalkeeper Jillian Rizzo has seen a surge in goals allowed per game, it is mostly due to the increase in shots she has seen. Rizzo still boasts a .470 save percentage, putting her at 32nd in the country. OSU has had to play more defense because the team has averaged 18 turnovers in the last seven contests, while allowing the opponent to successfully clear the ball into the offensive zone in front of the net 78 percent of the time.“We need to have the ball more,” Venechanos said. “It’s cleaning up our turnovers. We know we can’t only take 16 shots, 20 shots a game. We need to be in the mid 20s to mid 30s, that’s our goal, and we had to work on that ball security.”OSU still feels that the fate of their season is still in their hands. The Buckeyes believe that if they can collect some Big Ten wins to build momentum as the regular season comes to a close, they can position themselves well for a run in the conference tournament.“We are really just trying to play a full 60 minutes,” Turner said. “We haven’t done that yet this year and I think if we play the full game the way we played the first 10 minutes of (Southern Cal) then no one can really stop us.”The Buckeyes will look forward to a matchup with Big Ten rival — No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions this weekend. The previous six meetings between the school have been decided by three goals or less, with the Nittany Lions holding the advantage in those contests winning four.“We expected them to have a balanced attack,” Venechanos said. “In the past we have been able to compete with that and we know what to expect. I think there is some familiarity and it also being a Big Ten game there’s always a little more focus.”The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. faceoff in State College, Pennsylvania on Saturday.“We are going to need to shoot well, we’re going to need good goaltending, just like every other game,” Venechanos said. “That’s what happens when you start playing your conference games. All of those details makes it a little bit more important.”
Senior shortstop Jalen Washington singles to third on a 0-1 pitch in the bottom of the first inning against Purdue on Sunday. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterReigning Big Ten tournament champion Ohio State (22-34, 8-16) will not be given a chance to defend their title as they finish 11th in the conference — three spots shy of qualifying for the tournament — following a 2-1 series loss to Indiana (30-20-2, 14-9-1).The Buckeyes’ 22-34 record is the worst in coach Greg Beals’ seven-year tenure at OSU and the first time the team has missed the tournament under his guidance. Their 11th place finish in the Big Ten is the lowest the team has placed in the history of the program, while their .393 overall winning percentage is the lowest since posting a winning percentage of .378 in 1979 (17-26-2, 10-7).Game 1The Buckeyes were propelled by a huge sixth inning and shut down a late comeback attempt by the Hoosiers to win the first game of the series 7-4.An RBI-groundout in the first inning off the bat of freshman right fielder Dominic Canzone gave OSU the early 1-0 lead, but the Hoosiers later tied the game up on a home run by senior center fielder Craig Dedelow in the top of the fifth inning.Then, in the sixth inning, OSU regained the lead and pulled ahead by a commanding five-run advantage, thanks to RBI hits from redshirt senior Shea Murray, sophomore Jacob Barnwell and sophomore pinch-hitter Andrew Fishel. Now trailing by five runs, the Hoosiers needed a spark, and they again received one from their center fielder Dedelow who homered to right-center for his second bomb of the night.The Buckeyes tacked on an additional run in the bottom of the eighth to give their bullpen a 7-2 cushion heading into the ninth. The first two Hoosier batters went down on eight total pitches, and the end seemed near for Indiana. But junior right fielder Logan Sowers blasted the third Indiana home run of the day to provide his team with some life with two outs in the ninth.A single and stolen base gave sophomore catcher Ryan Fineman a chance with a runner in scoring position, but it was a throwing error that drove in the Hoosiers’ second run of the inning. Junior reliever Seth Kinker was called on at this point to slam the door on Indiana, and he did just that with a three-pitch strikeout. Game 2A seven-run third inning proved insurmountable for the Buckeyes as they dropped the second game of the series 8-4 to Indiana.OSU received a spark early from Washington, who stole home to put the Buckeyes on the board in the bottom of the first inning. But that lead would not last long as the Hoosiers exploded two innings later in the top of the third. Three straight singles to open up the frame knotted the game up at one before an RBI-groundout finally put one away for Indiana. After that first out of the inning, Indiana strung together a double, single, triple, walk, squeeze bunt and another double pushed five more runs across for Indiana and gave them a commanding 7-1 lead.The Buckeyes were down, but they were not out. Two singles with one away in the bottom half of the third gave sophomore third baseman Brady Cherry a key run-scoring opportunity, and he delivered with a two-run RBI double to bring his team to within four. Cherry scored later in the inning to bring the score to 7-4.Indiana added one more the next half inning to extend their lead, and held the Buckeyes scoreless for the remaining six innings of the game to hold onto their 8-4 lead and tie the series up at one. Game 3Washington made the most of his senior day, but the Buckeyes could not salvage a win in the final game of their regular season, losing to Indiana 4-3.The Buckeyes and Hoosiers traded runs in the first inning before an RBI-single from freshman shortstop Jeremy Houston in the second inning put Indiana up 2-1.Houston later lead off the seventh inning with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt before coming home to score on an RBI-double off the bat of sophomore designated hitter Matt Lloyd. Lloyd came around to score later in the inning on a wild pitch to expand the Hoosier lead to 4-1.But the Buckeyes started to show some life in the bottom of the eighth inning. With a runner aboard, Washington launched his seventh home run of the season, cutting the Indiana lead to just one.With only three outs remaining in their season, the Buckeyes were able to put a runner in scoring position with only one out in the bottom of the ninth. But a pair of groundouts to follow ended the Buckeye rally and officially put an end to their season.Making his final start in a Scarlet and Gray uniform, Washington finished Saturday 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored. Though he had played shortstop for the majority of the season, he started senior day behind the dish, the position he played all of last season.
Ohio State sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) takes down a defender while running the ball in the second quarter of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor.After redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber rushed for 1,096 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2016, he seemed to have locked up a second year as Ohio State’s starter in 2017. But a confluence of events, including Weber suffering a partially-torn hamstring before the season began and freshman J.K. Dobbins exploding with a 29-carry, 181-yard debut in the opener against Indiana, led to Weber becoming a backup. As each week passed, Weber’s role became clearer: he would be the second option behind Dobbins, even when fully healthy.Now, after that season as a backup in which he totaled 101 carries for 626 yards and 10 touchdowns, Weber has a decision to make.The redshirt sophomore must determine whether to return to Ohio State for a fourth year or to end his collegiate career and head to the NFL. The choice is not simple. If he comes back, he would have to battle for carries with Dobbins, a strong group of backups and two incoming four-star backs and more carries would wear on his body. But if he decides to leave, he might not even get drafted considering his lack of chances last season and recent nagging injuries.On Saturday, he offered a hint that he will be returning for another season at Ohio State, tweeting “One more year.” He then posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, “One more ride.”The deadline for players to enter the NFL draft early is Jan. 15.Weber’s indication of a return might mean more to Ohio State’s next quarterback than anyone else. The past four seasons, quarterback J.T. Barrett ran not only the offense’s passing game, but controlled the run game as well. With 3,053 passing yards and 798 rushing yards, Barrett accounted for more than half his team’s yards last season.But he’s gone now. A quarterback draw by Barrett, the safety blanket that head coach Urban Meyer often relied upon when nothing else worked, will no longer be an option for the Buckeyes. No longer will Barrett be able to act as a battering ram on third downs.Instead, a new quarterback — either Dwayne Haskins, Tate Martell or Joe Burrow — will take snaps. No matter who wins the quarterback competition, whether it be pocket-passing Dwayne Haskins or dual-threats Tate Martell and Joe Burrow, no one offers the bruising running style of Barrett. That’s one of the areas in which a potential Weber return affects the offense.Instead of running the quarterback in short-distance situations and near the goal line, Ohio State might move toward more of a running back-powered game. Then, Weber could replace Barrett as the bruiser up the middle near the goal line and in short-yardage situations. He would take pressure off a first-year quarterback.Weber would become an especially intriguing option if Haskins wins the starting job because though the redshirt freshman has proven an adept scrambler when the pocket breaks down, he does not have a background that implies he would be a consistent option on designed runs. A returning Weber would have to compete with Dobbins for touches. But in an optimal offense, they might not be competing, but rather be used as complements, unlike during last season when the offense never figured out an optimal rotation of the duo. Finally against USC in the Cotton Bowl, Ohio State ran a few plays with both backs on the field at once.If healthy, Weber could become the thunder to Dobbins’ lightning. He could be the power back with speed that many people have envisioned him being and that he showed at times during the latter part of the 2017 season. He was not healthy enough to showcase the expected increase in speed that he and running backs coach Tony Alford mentioned before the season.After Ohio State’s blowout win against Bowling Green on Sept. 3, 2016, Weber compared H-back Curtis Samuel and himself to former USC running backs Reggie Bush and Lendale White.“We can get there,” Weber said. “We can probably even be better. I think we can be a really good 1-2 punch.”Both had productive seasons, but that season, Ohio State’s offense had many flaws, and Weber and Samuel were not viewed in a similar light to Bush and White. With a new quarterback and a run game featuring running backs, the possibility arises that two year later, Weber could have his thunder-and-lighting relationship with Dobbins, instead.Weber might not be the sole starter since Dobbins had 1,403 rushing yards as a freshman, but his return will help mask parts of the offense Ohio State lost with Barrett’s graduation and he could prove to be an optimal partner in the backfield with Dobbins.
Ohio State junior Amanda Huang performs on balance beam during a meet against Western Michigan on Feb. 17. Credit: Megan Russell | Senior Lantern ReporterAfter a night of “mixed bag” performances, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (7-3, 3-2 Big Ten) still managed to garner its fourth consecutive win Saturday, topping Western Michigan (3-3) by a final score of 195.725-193.900.“The meet, as a whole for me, was a ‘mixed bag,’” head coach Meredith Paulicivic said. “Some things were very flat, but some people also got to step in and do really good things tonight.”Coming back from two falls through the course of the competition — one from sophomore Olivia Aepli during the second rotation on uneven parallel bars, and the other from freshman Morgan Lowe during the third rotation on balance beam — the Buckeyes managed to show strong performances on floor exercise to finish the night and take the win.“I think there were definitely a lot of moments where we could have taken advantage of opportunities where we didn’t, especially because we did have an awesome week of practice this week,” senior Kaitlyn Hofland said. Hofland added: “But I also think there were a lot of moments, at least for me, that made my heart really happy, because some girls got to go in who haven’t competed — it’s been a while since they have, and they did a really great job tonight.”Opening the night on vault, the Buckeyes posted a 48.900 total, with Aepli earning the team-high and first-place score of 9.850. Second place was a four-way tie between junior Jamie Stone, Hofland, junior Janelle McClelland and Western Michigan’s Taylor Buis. All posted a 9.775 for the event. In the second rotation on uneven parallel bars, despite the setback from Aepli taking a fall during her routine and posting a 9.350, Ohio State still finished with a 49.050 tally to clear the podium. Freshman Jenna Swartzentruber shined with a team-best 9.900 to earn first in the event. Coming closely behind were Hofland and senior Alexis Mattern. They posted scores of 9.850 and 9.825, respectively, to earn second and third place.At the midpoint of the meet, the Buckeyes stood in first, holding a 97.950 running total. The Broncos trailed with a score of 96.575 after their first two events on uneven parallel bars (48.100) and vault (48.475).Moving to its third rotation, Ohio State finished with a 48.350 tally on balance beam. Hofland earned the team-high for the event with a 9.750 mark, but the Buckeyes took on a second fall of the night — this time from Lowe, who posted a score of 8.925.Western Michigan earned a 48.925 score after performing in its third rotation on floor exercise.The meet came to a close with a strong finish on floor exercise from Ohio State pulling a 49.425 tally and event high of the night. The standout performance came from freshman Brooke Chesney. In setting a career-high score of 9.925, Chesney earned first place for the event. Her score also was the highest of the night. “I was very excited for myself, but I know I wouldn’t be able to do it without my team,” Chesney said. “They are the ones who motivate me, day in and day out, so them having my back just means so much to me. Whenever I’m in the corners and they’re cheering me one, that’s what gets me through a floor routine.”Stone and senior Stefanie Merkle followed close behind Chesney, each earning a 9.900 to share second place.“They know they’re good on floor,” Paulicivic said. “They know that whoever we put in on floor lineup can do their job and hit their stuff, so they’re very, very confident there. We need to have that same effort and attitude on the other three events, and that’s what we’re working on.”Western Michigan posted a 48.400 on its last rotation on balance beam, but that was not enough to propel them past Ohio State. “You always take the ‘W,’ you always take that,” Paulicivic said. “You take a win, you take it, but certainly we’re going to learn a lot from tonight, and hopefully this is a good thing for us coming down the stretch.”
They were also introduced to the team’s mascot Scorch, who would not reveal his true identity, but said of the couple: “I didn’t expect them to talk to me, they were very nice. They said Prince George would love to meet me.”Before leaving, William and Kate were handed matching volleyball jerseys marked Cambridge and a pair of UBC teddy bears for George and Charlotte. The Duchess wore a new green Dolce and Gabbana dress for her fourth full day of events in Canada, following in the footsteps of the Duke’s parents who travelled to Kelowna 30 years ago.Presented with a gift bag of traditional foods from the region by children from the First Nations community, the Duchess showed her maternal instincts as she looked after a small boy in a chef’s hat who struggled to sit still next to her. But Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Okanagan Nation Alliance Chairman who had been due to join the royal couple on stage, pulled out at the last minute just a day after he declined to appear at a historic reconciliation ceremony in Victoria. After unveiling a plaque to mark the end of the 10 year anniversary celebrations at UBC Okanagan, the Royal couple were shown a new artwork installed on the campus and meeting its creator Les Louis.The wooden structure is based on the frame of an Okanagan summer lodge and carved with pictographs or ancestral markings. The couple were greeted warmly but the Grand Chief Stewart Phillip pulled out of the engagementCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA The Duchess met the volleyball teamCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been asked to use their powers to help bring peace for Canada’s indigenous people, after their event was snubbed by a senior community leader for the second day running.The Royal couple were showered with gifts and a warm welcome in Kelowna, British Columbia, as they joined the anniversary celebrations for its university. The Duchess wore Dolce and GabbanaCredit:Andrew Parsons /i-Images Among the markings was a depiction of a man and woman in what appeared to be a fertility symbol.The couple then went on to see the women’s volleyball team, with an announcer joking: “Please welcome, all the way from the UK, standing at 6ft 3in and 5ft 9in – or 5ft 11in including high heels, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!” Slightly risqué detail on the Les Louis artwork William and Kate will see as they tour the campus! #RoyalVisitCanada #RoyalTourCanada pic.twitter.com/khfff00ZJH— Emily Nash (@emynash) September 27, 2016 He called the ceremony a “charade”, suggesting it masked the true relationship between the Canadian government and its indigenous peoples.Chief Jonathan Kruger, who stood in for him, addressed the Duke and Duchess in both his native language and English, telling them: “Welcome to your Highnesses, please enjoy this beautiful land with your beautiful family and create beautiful memories on our lands here in BC.”Referring to the delicate issue of reconciliation between First Nations groups, the Canadian government and Crown, he added: “True power is human spirit. Please use that power to allocate for true reconciliation and advocate for the indigenous people in this country so they can be all great and good.” 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 Duchess of Cambridge was given a traditional welcome in KelownaCredit:MARK STEWART The Duchess met with children in CanadaCredit:Tim Rooke /Rex / Shutterstock
“He said he’s come across many cases where a young, uneducated person had been arrested for a terrible crime and just confessed, wrongly.”Malone added “alarm bells” had started ringing from the first words of Evans’ confession, where he told police: “I’ve disposed of my wife down a drain.”“That felt like a learnt phrase, not something he would have said himself,” she said. “A lot of the language used in his statement Gregg said didn’t sound like Tim’s language.“A big part of the case against him was that he knew more information than he should have known, but Gregg believes the police knowingly or unknowingly said that information to him in the long, overnight interviews.”The three-part drama is to be broadcast on BBC One later this month. Samantha Morton as Ethel ChristieCredit:BBC As well as speaking to family, writers also called on McCrary to shed light on criminal behaviour, handing him transcripts, court reports and autopsies from the 1950 case in a bid to shed light on why Evans initially confessed.After studying the material, McCrary confirmed he believed Christie had carried out all of the murders, with key similarities between them.Whitmore said: “Gregg said to an educated person, the idea of someone confessing to a crime they haven’t committed is bizarre and extraordinary and suspicious.“But he said the point is when you have these people under pressure for hours or days on end, they’ll do anything to make it stop. They’ll do anything to have a release from that. Writers Ed Whitmore and Tracey Malone told the Telegraph they had been determined to reveal how Christie had convinced police and jury he was an upstanding member of society, while the less well-educated Evans was left to hang.In particular, they said, they had spent an “emotional” afternoon with Evans’ elderly half sister Mary, who claimed police had turned away key evidence from his siblings at the time of the investigation.Malone said: “His half-sister told us how she would babysit the baby sometimes, and they had been alone in the house when Christie would creep in. It really brought it home, hearing it from her.“After everything that happened, she and her sister were told different stories by Ethel and Christie about what had happened to Beryl and where she’d gone. Timothy Evans who was hanged for the murder of his baby daughter Geraline Evans Jodie Comer and Nico Mirallegro as Beryl and Timothy EvansCredit:BBC Tim Roth as John Christie in the BBC dramaCredit:BBC “She tried to tell the police this and they didn’t want to listen. They just thought they were young girls.“That was another frustration: had they [police] listened to some of those things, they might have come to a different conclusion.”She added: “There are a lot of inconsistencies in the police work. There were builders in the house and there worksheets went missing, conveniently.“Autopsy information was withheld because they felt it was too distasteful for the courtroom.” John Christie, the serial killerCredit:PA It is now widely believed the murders were in fact carried out by John Christie, who strangled at least eight women in his London home before burying them in the garden, in the walls and under floorboards in his home.The drama will depict the relationship between Christie, played by Roth, and wife Ethel, who is seen growing increasingly suspicious behaviour while lying for him amid the horror of domestic abuse before eventually being strangled herself.The family of Evans have long campaigned to have his conviction overturned, with several high-level investigations into the miscarriage of justice. Evans’ case has since become a central part of the argument against capital punishment. It is one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in British legal history, resulting in an innocent man being put to death for a grisly murder he did not commit.Now, the BBC is to shed new light on the serial killings at Rillington Place, after calling in one of the FBI’s star investigators to comb through the evidence.Rillington Place, a new drama starring Tim Roth and Samantha Morton, will be based on extensive research pieced together between the family of the innocent man, written archives and the expert opinion of former FBI agent Gregg McCrary.It will tell the story of how Timothy Evans, the young husband of murdered Beryl Evans and their daughter Geraldine, was hanged after an erroneous confession police failed to see through. 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.
“If an organisation meets the requirements for charity registration then it must, by law, register with the Commission.”We will be contacting the Alexander Du’Bel Wish Foundation to seek more information about any further application and their ongoing description of the organisation as a charity. This is misleading to the public given that it has not been granted charitable status.”The business arm of the Alexander Du’bel Group is also struggling. Mr Batt has set up at least 11 separate companies under the Alexander Du’Bel brand – including a luxury travel business; a bespoke fashion brand; and even a diamond jewellers – in the past four years.Not one has published accounts and four have been dissolved. His latest business Alexander Du’Bel Holdings was set up as recently as October. Damian Batt of Dagenham & Redbridge in actionCredit: Getty Images Instead Mr Batt – by his own admission – owes £60,000 to debtors who in turn accuse him of being a smooth-talking ‘chancer’, who has not paid his bills.The all-girl supergroup Little Mix, one of the world’s most successful pop groups, was briefly involved with the foundation as well as two hospices for seriously ill children.But now the Charity Commission has intervened, issuing a warning to Mr Batt over his claim he is running a charity.The Alexander Du’bel Wish Foundation was established, according to Companies House in June 2015, but has yet to publish accounts while the Charity Commission said the foundation had not been registered with the watchdog.A Charity Commission spokesman said: “An application from the Alexander Du’Bel Wish Foundation to register as a charity was received by the Commission in 2015.”Due to incomplete information in the application, the Commission could not register the organisation. We informed the organisation on the additional information that would be required to consider this further. He is very good at talking. He just gave the illusion that everything was correct and proper. But it was just that – an illusionGurpreet Randhawa During his decade long career as a professional footballer, Damian Batt never quite made it to the Premier League.But when it comes to running a dubious business and philanthropic empire, Mr Batt has – as they say in football – played a blinder.The former footballer has been accused by the Charity Commission of misleading the public by claiming his Alexander Du’bel Wish Foundation is a charity.His foundation had planned to raise £3.5 million for terminally ill youngsters to fulfil their dying wishes. But despite a lavish launch party, backed by a leading children’s charity and a number of celebrities, almost no money has been raised for good causes. The foundation held its starry launch in December 2015 at Battersea Evolution, one of London’s biggest party venues. Tickets were charged at £100 each and further funds for terminally ill children should have been raised through a charity auction.A year on, a number of soft toys that were provided by a toy manufacturer for the event have been sent to children in Ghana; a few mothers of ill children have had their hair done courtesy of a salon which gave its services for free; while Little Mix, the all-girl group, has met two sick children.No children have been sent abroad on holidays or enjoyed any other trip paid for by the foundation. The charities briefly involved with Mr Batt’s foundation, which was run by his partner Krystal Carella, said they were no longer working it.Karen Sugarman, director of fundraising at Shooting Star Chase, whose patrons include The Countess of Wessex and Simon Cowell, said: “In 2015 Alexander Du’Bel Wish Foundation organised a special meet and greet with a celebrity girl band for a family supported by Shooting Star Chase.”We were considering further plans to work with the foundation but after this visit made the decision to focus on other projects.”The Demelza Hospice Care for Children, whose vice presidents include the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby and the actor Daniel Radcliffe, gave its backing to the foundation when it was launched.The hospice’s chief executive Ryan Campbell attended the launch event in Battersea and gave a rousing speech to potential donors.A Demelza spokesman said: “We were approached by Krystal Carella who told us they were establishing a foundation which would grant wishes, and wanted to see if we had any families who might benefit from a wish.”We were invited to speak at one of their events about the work that we do, and they were kind enough to arrange for a hairdressing salon to deliver a small ‘pampering afternoon’ free of charge to some parents at our South East London hospice.”But one company that is owed several thousand pounds for helping put on the event said: “We gave Mr Batt a cut-price rate for our services because we thought it was a charity. We never got a penny and now it appears not a single penny went to good causes either.”Two men told The Telegraph they had been hired by Mr Batt in September with the promise of a plush office in Mayfair – that never materialised – and plans for a global luxury brand.The pair quit after a month when their salaries were never paid. Daniel Ward, who was hired to run the Alexander Du’Bel bespoke fashion brand, said: “He is a chancer.”Gurpreet Randhawa, who was hired by Mr Batt to run Alexander Du’Bel Luxury Travel, said: “He is very good at talking. He just gave the illusion that everything was correct and proper.”But it was just that – an illusion. I thought I was quite savvy but unfortunately I just got fooled by him and so did my colleague.”Mr Batt said his companies owed £60,000 to seven individuals and that the foundation launch had failed to raise money for sick children because a sponsor had pulled out at the last minute.Other business partners had also let him down. He also insisted he was owed far more money – about £200,000 – that should cover his companies’ debts.”I have had a year from hell,” said Mr Batt. “I had a partner involved who was supposed to sponsor the event but he pulled out at the last second. It left me in a huge whole financially.”It left me out of pocket personally by hundreds of thousands.”He said a second investor – “more famous than me” – pulled out of a later deal that squeezed his companies further. Mr Batt added: “I am not driven financially. I want to leave a legacy. I have done it all correctly. The only problem has been on the financial side.“The foundation’s launch was very successful. It was phenomenal. The charity was set up correctly. We had great trustees in straight away.”What we decided to do was to not do anything until the event has been taken care of in terms of paying people back. We have granted wishes. We sent in a hair salon for a makeover for some of the parents. And we sent two children to meet Little Mix.”It upsets me a hell of a lot that the charity has been brought up because it is something I am passionate about.” The girl group Little MixCredit:Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA 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.
Students who avoid making eye contact with their peers could be guilty of racism, according to Oxford University’s latest guidance.The university’s Equality and Diversity Unit has advised students that “not speaking directly to people” could be deemed a “racial microaggression” which can lead to “mental ill-health”.Other examples of “everyday racism” include asking someone where they are “originally” from, students were told.Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit explains in its Trinity term newsletter that “some people who do these things may be entirely well-meaning, and would be mortified to realise that they had caused offence.“But this is of little consequence if a possible effect of their words or actions is to suggest to people that they may fulfil a negative stereotype, or do not belong”. Students celebrating matriculation at Oxford UniversityCredit:Francisco Martinez / Alamy Glasgow University on GilmorehillCredit: John McKenna / Alamy Universities have been accused of pandering to the “snowflake generation” of students, who are seen as over-sensitive and quick to take offence.Dr Joanna Williams, a lecturer in higher education the University of Kent, said the guidance was “completely ridiculous” and will make students “hyper-sensitive” about how they interact with one another.“Essentially people are being accused of a thought crime,” Dr Williams told The Telegraph. “They are being accused of thinking incorrect thoughts based on an assumption of where they may or may not be looking.”Dr Williams, who is author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity, said that Oxford University’s guidance was “overstepping the mark” by telling students “how they should feel and think”. Last year Oxford law students were told they could skip lectures covering violent cases if they feared the content would be too “distressing” Credit: eye35.pix / Alamy Stock Photo She said: “Instead of people seeing each other as potential friends, equals, these re-racialise academia, they force people to see each other as a person of colour, they force people to be put into boxes about identity. The University of Glasgow has started issuing “trigger warnings” for theology students studying the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, whereby students are told they may see distressing images and are given the opportunity to leave.The term “snowflake generation” was one of Collins Dictionary’s 2016 words of the year. Collins defines the term as “the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”.An Oxford University spokesman said: “The Equality and Diversity Unit works with University bodies to ensure that the University’s pursuit of excellence goes hand in hand with freedom from discrimination and equality of opportunity. The newsletter is one way of advising and supporting staff towards achieving these aims.” “It is really problematic – it means people can’t relate to each other naturally, they have rules in the back of their mind and they can’t be spontaneous as their interactions are all overlaid with the desire to follow all these rules.”Last year Oxford law students were told they could skip lectures covering violent cases if they feared the content would be too “distressing”.Earlier this year it emerged that Cardiff Metropolitan University banned phrases such as “right-hand man” and “gentleman’s agreement” under its code of practice on inclusive language.The university guidance dictates that “gender-neutral” terms should be used where possible, adding that students should not allow their “cultural background” to affect their choice of words. 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.
“Thankfully I have his wonderful and amazing friends to keep each other strong. I love you Martyn. I always will”. Name a more iconic duo pic.twitter.com/5HASCTB9nQ— Martyn (@martynhett) May 22, 2017 Family and friends lit candles for Wendy Fawell, praying for her safe return Her son, Adam Fawell, wrote on Facebook: “I am really sad to say that my mum Wendy Fawell unfortunately has passed away as a result of the terror attack in Manchester on Monday evening.”I want to say a massive thank you to all friends and family who has shared posts to try find her and all the messages that have been sent.”It really means a lot to us for all you have done I can’t thank you enough.”RIP Mum you will be sadly missed xxxxxxxxx.” A heartbroken Mrs Campbell had broken down in tears on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier in the day, when her daughter was missing.She spoke of how she had not spoken to her daughter Olivia since she set off for the event.”All I know is she was at the Manchester Arena with her friend watching Ariana Grande and she’s not turned up yet. Two mothers waiting to collect their teenage daughters after the concert were among the victims, their families said on Tuesday night.Alison Howe, 45, and Lisa Lees, 47, from Royton, Oldham, were waiting together in the foyer of the arena when the home-made device packed with nuts and bolts exploded.Both had been reported missing after the attack and on Tuesday night their relatives confirmed they were among the 22 victims of the atrocity. Their 20-year-old daughter had posted a plea for help on Facebook after they didn’t contact her following the attack.The Polish foreign minister has confirmed that a couple from the country had died in the attack.They had arranged to meet their children at the entrance to take them to their home in York. Credit:Facebook A 14-year-old schoolgirl has been confirmed as among the dead. Sorrell Leczkowski, from Leeds, was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester with her mother and grandmother, both of whom are recovering in hospital.Her aunt and other family members have confirmed she is dead. She was at the concert with her mother Lisa Roussos and Saffie’s sister, Ashlee Bromwich, aged in her 20sCredit:PA Elaine McIver’s family has released a statement to the Greater Manchester Police, and have spoken of their heartbreak after losing the “incredibly thoughtful woman”.Her husband, Paul, is still seriously ill in hospital and Mrs McIver’s family has said she would be “devastated” if she knew of his injuries. Today it emerged that her mother Michelle, 45, was one of the 22 victims of bomber Salman Abedi, which left 119 injured.Just hours before the bombing, Mrs Kiss, of Clitheroe, Lancashire had posted a picture of Millie and a friend on Facebook with the caption: “Excited girlies ready to watch Ariana.”Her niece, Laura Murray, wrote the sad news on Facebook.She said: “It’s true thankyou everyone for your help we are all heartbroken”. School friends of Millie told their parents that they had recognised the youngster’s shoes which were poking out from beneath the coat as she was being helped by the female officer. “Our most amazing son, partner, brother, father, uncle, nephew and cousin, Philip Tron, sadly passed away on the 22nd May 2017. Philip was such a fun loving, energetic soul, he would light up the darkest room and lift your spirits with his infectious laugh, witty sense of humour and his beautiful smile.”Words cannot express the huge void his passing has left in all our lives.”Wendy FawellA 50-year-old mother has been confirmed dead by her friends and family after Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.Friends and family of Wendy Fawell had been desperately searching and waiting for news of the missing woman, who has been described as “a beautiful woman”. Local media had been circulating pictures of the couple in the hope someone saw them after the attack. Megan Hurley “Jane was a well-loved member of staff and our thoughts are with her friends and family at this terrible time. His heartbroken partner tweeted the sad news.Russell Hayward, his boyfriend with whom he appeared on Come Dine With Me, tweeted: “We got the news last night that our wonderful, iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive.”He left the world exactly how he lived, centre of attention. I’m in a really bad way so please forgive if I don’t reply. “Jane was a truly wonderful friend and colleague to all of us at South Shore Academy. “As our receptionist, she was in many ways, the public face of the school and she represented us amazingly in this role. “We have received numerous messages of condolences from parents, students, community members and colleagues across Blackpool for which we are very grateful. “All of them say the same things about our lovely Jane…. bubbly, kind, welcoming, funny, generous….. the list goes on. Our thoughts are also with her family at this dreadful time and in particular her three daughters. In our school family and theirs …… she is irreplaceable, much loved and will never be forgotten.”Marcin and Angelika KlisMarcin and Angelika Klis, Polish parents of a student at York College, have been confirmed dead after the Manchester attack.Marci, 42 and Angelika, 40, were both at the venue to pick up their children. And her sister wrote: “Courtney my wonder of a sister who is now a shining yellow star in the sky. “Phil, my stepdad, my costa buddy, you were always there no matter what to keep me safe and make me happy.” Relatives of the pair wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that they are “not giving in” and will keep praying and searching for the safe return of the two.Scott Rutherford, Chloe’s big brother, wrote on the social networking site on Tuesday evening: “We’re off to Manchester as a family to hopefully collect our two most precious people wherever they are stay strong were coming for you! Both our families love you so much, Thankyou for everyone’s continued support, don’t know anymore for now”.Their friend Anna Ridley told ITV: “I want to hear my best friend’s voice again and make sure her and her boyfriend are okay!”I love them both and wouldn’t know what to do without them. I’ve been up all night messaging, sharing, phoning everybody and anybody to find them. I pray and plead for everyone to get sharing to help find these two amazing people.” Courtney’s mother said: “My stunning amazing beautiful daughter you were my rock you made me so proud with all you had achieved and my gorgeous crazy Philip you made my world a happy place and now you are both my angels flying high in the sky.”Her father said: “I am going to miss my baby girl Courtney Boyle for the rest of my life. I will never forget you and I will love you forever. Grandad Bob misses you loads also.” Eilidh MacLeod loved music and played the bagpipes A “vivacious” teenager from the picturesque Scottish island of Barra has been confirmed dead by her parents.Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was killed in the blast at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday evening, which she attended with her close friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, who was located in hospital nearly 20 hours after the incident. She attended Halewood Academy, who could not be reached for comment.Mrs Benson wrote: “‘My poor sister and Mike are destroyed beyond words… it doesn’t seem fair for two kids to go to a concert and only one returns how in God’s name could this happen to such a lovely family… heartbroken xx.”Su Benson-Carson posted a tribute to Megan Hurley, otherwise known as Megan Benson, on Facebook: “So sorry to get the sad news last night, such a devastating loss,, positive thoughts to relations near and far especially to Joanne Benson on the loss of Megan at the Manchester concert and positive thoughts to Brad who has been seriously hurt in the attack , we are living in a mad world where nothing makes sense anymore,,xx deepest thoughts go to all the family”. Sorrell’s grandparentsCredit:justgiving A police officer comforts MillieCredit:Cavendish Show more “Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”Our focus is now on helping pupils and staff cope with this shocking news and we have called in specialist support from Lancashire County Council to help us do that.”We are a tight-knit school and wider community and will give each other the support that we need at this difficult time.” Georgina Callander (left) pictured with singer Ariana Grande. Credit:Instagram Please if anyone has information on the whereabouts of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry contact 07920405015 @staceylghent #Manchester pic.twitter.com/Zgrvu3qS38— Little Mix (@LittleMix) May 23, 2017 Pop band Little Mix sent out an appeal, asking fans to help locate the young pair.They wrote: “Please if anyone has information on the whereabouts of Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry contact 07920405015”.A family friend wrote on Facebook during the afternoon: “STILL MISSING- Please do not stop searching, any small piece of info might be enough to help us locate Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry who are both still missing. “Family and friends are extremely upset and concerned and we need them to get in touch and we need them back home and okay. There are no sign of them in any hotel in the area nor on a hospital list as an injured person. Please keep these faces in the forefront of your mind. We love you come on guys”.Sorrell Leczkowski When she met Ariana Grande two years ago, she wrote: “Thank you for everything my love I miss you.”Before the concert, Ms Callander wrote on Twitter: “SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU TOMORROW.”She knew she was attending the show in 2016, and wrote of how she couldn’t wait to hear the singer in action again.The student was a big fan of music and film, and has posted many pictures of herself meeting her idols on social media. “News of Saffie’s death in this appalling attack has come as a tremendous shock to all of us and I would like to send our deepest condolences to all of her family and friends,” said Mr Upton.”The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking.”He added: “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.”She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. All 22 of the victims who were killed in the attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been named.Among them are parents who were coming to greet their children after the concert and take them safely home, as well as excited youngsters attending their first ever concert.The youngest victim was eight years old.Here is all we know on the victims of the atrocity.Megan HurleyThe final victim of the Manchester terror attack has been named as 15-year-old Megan Hurley from Halewood.She was named as dead by her aunt Maxine Benson, as her parents are believed to be at the hospital bedside of her brother Bradley, who was injured in the attack. Michelle KissCredit:Facebook Alison Howe, left, and Lisa Lees, right were waiting to pick up their daughtersCredit:Facebook “I can’t get through to her. I’ve called the hospitals, I’ve called all the places, the hotels where people say that children have been taken.”I’ve called the police. There’s no news, I’ve just got to wait. I’m waiting at home just in case she turns up here,” she told the morning program.John Atkinson The close friends attended the concert together Fourteen-year-old Nell Jones has been confirmed as one of the 22 victims of the Manchester terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert.Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, told Express.co.uk that police have confirmed their pupil was one of 22 to die in Manchester Arena on Monday night.Headteacher Dennis Oliver, told Express.co.uk: “It has now been announced in the school that Nell has unfortunately died.“I have just done six assemblies to tell the pupils. Children are all over the place crying. We are all devastated.“The heart wrenches for me and everyone else.”Martyn HettMartyn Hett, a Coronation Street superfan who had a tattoo of Deirdre Barlow on his ankle and with his boyfriend won Come Dine With Me, has been named as one of the dead. Sorrell has been confirmed as among the deadCredit:Facebook Many have posted their condolences online, saying he was an “amazing young man” and a “beautiful soul”.Lee Paul posted on Facebook: “Sleep tight John Atkinson. Thoughts and prayers with all your family and the other 21 people who lost there lives last night.” Soulmate doesn’t even come close. Come back to us Martyn so we can watch last nights Corrie together 💔 pic.twitter.com/cXbehUgoxc— 🥝Russell (@RussellHayward) May 23, 2017 On Tuesday, Mr Hett’s partner wrote: “Soulmate doesn’t even come close. Come back to us Martyn so we can watch last nights Corrie together”.Read about the life of Mr Hett, who brought light into the lives of so many people, here.Michelle Kiss Jane Tweddle-TaylorCredit:Caters News Agency Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry The little girl who was photographed being comforted by a policewoman following the Manchester Arena attack lost her mum in the explosion, it emerged today.Millie Kiss, 12, touched the hearts of millions when she was pictured in the arms of a police officer wrapped in an oversized coat which had been draped around her shoulders to keep her warm. A local police force tweeted: “As the news comes in, the sympathies and condolences to the familes of Georgina Callander, Saffie Rose Roussos and John Atkinson #RIP”Tributes were paid by the local adult dance troupe, Freak Dance Radcliffe, whom Mr Atkinson danced for competitively.A message on Facebook from the group read: “Today is an amazingly sad day! ‘We have lost a member of our dance family.”They described him as a “happy gentle person” and a “real pleasure to teach”.“He was a true friend, not just to our staff but many of the parents and students from the school. Our thoughts are with the family at the very sad and hard time!” Tracey Crolla wrote: “Thinking of all the Atkinsons at this very sad time John Atkinson you turned into an amazing young man so kind and thoughtful you will be missed by everyone x x.”Nana Julie Mills said: “Just heard one of my good friends whom I’ve known since he was a little boy passed away last night. Condolences to his family and friends. RIP John Atkinson.” Michelle Kiss has been confirmed deadCredit:Facebook On Thursday afternoon, her family confirmed she had died. The two girls were taken to hospital, but when family members could not get hold of Mrs Kliss they put out an appeal on social media.“Millie is ok we are concerned and worried Michelle is still missing,” wrote one. Ms MacIntyre is recovering from severe burns, but her condition is not thought to be critical. Kelly Brewster and her partnerCredit:Facebook 26-year-old John Atkinson has been confirmed dead by family and friends.The pop fan, from Radcliffe , was reportedly leaving the venue when he came into close contact with the blast. Marcin and Angelika Klis As the news comes in, the sympathies and condolences to the familes of Georgina Callander, Saffie Rose Roussos and John Atkinson #RIP— GMP Middleton (@GMPMiddleton) May 23, 2017 Saffie’s parents are believed to run a fish and chip shop in Leyland, Lancs.Saffie-Rose’s mother and sister, Lisa and her older sister Ashlee are being treated for shrapnel injuries in separate hospitals.Kate Tinsley, whose daughter Jessica was a friend of Saffie at Tarleton Community Primary School, near Preston, had earlier told The Sun: “Everybody is worried, the whole village. Everybody is in bits waiting for news, just some news that she’s okay, she’s alive.”Saffie-Rose was at the concert with her mother Lisa and her older sister Ashlee, who are both reportedly being treated in hospital. Georgina CallanderThe first named victim of the Manchester terror attack was Georgina Bethany Callander, an 18-year-old Ariana Grande superfan who was excited to see her idol.Ms Callander had met the singer in 2015, and posted excitedly about the time she met the star on Instagram.She attended Runshaw college in Lancashire. Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields, were “inseparable” and “beautiful inside and out”, their grieving relatives said in a statement released through police.The teenage couple “wanted to be together forever and now they are”, their families have said.”On the night our daughter Chloe died and our son Liam died, their wings were ready but our hearts were not,” the tribute by the teenage sweethearts’ families reads.Family and friends held a prayer event at St Hilda’s Church in South Shields to seek the safe return of the couple when it emerged they were missing. Talie Andrea wrote: “Heartbroken for the Atkinson family at this sad time never would I imagine this happening so close to home. Rest in paradise John you beautiful soul.”A GoFundMe has been launched by the local community and it has raised almost £2,000.Well-wishes wrote: “We are trying to help his family in any way possible at this tragic time. I know all us Radcliffe people can pull together and help this local family out.”Please donate generously as we all know funeral cost are expensive and will help the family at this sad time! John was one one in a million and loved by so many!! A true gentleman. R.I.P John thoughts and prayers with you family and all of the other victims effected by this tragedy”Alison Howe and Lisa Lees She shared a photograph of Sorrell, who attended Allerton High in Leeds.Ms Healey wrote: “My beautiful Sorrell”.Nell Jones John Atkinson is among the deadCredit:GoFundMe Wendy was loved by many Eilidh’s father, Roddy, rushed to Manchester to search for their daughter after the attack. Her mother was already in the city after travelling with the from Barra.They have now released a statement confirming the heartbreaking news.They said: “Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh.”Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.”As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time.”Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry Her local paper, the Sheffield Star, praised her for her bravery in a front page piece after confirming her death and said she will be remembered by her community for her selfless act.Ms Brewster had been attending the Ariana Grande concert with her sister Claire and her niece Hollie Booth when the home-made device packed with nuts and bolts exploded in the venue’s foyer as thousands of young people were leaving.Hollie has two broken legs and Claire has a broken jaw, Hollie’s grandmother Tracy Booth wrote on Facebook. Millie Kiss was comforted by a policewomanCredit:Cavendish Sorrell’s grandmother is critically ill, and has been unconscious since the blast.According to her family, her grandmother had a 15-hour operation to remove shrapnel from her body.Stacie Healey, Sorrell’s aunt, started a fundraising campaign, writing: “After the Manchester attacks my mum was seriously hurt, she has had a 15 hour surgery to remove shrapnel from her body and has compound wounds to her arms and legs, she is still not awake from this, we are a long way from home and my dad will not leave her side, he is self employed and will not work for months because my mum will be here for several weeks, above all this he and my mum lost their granddaughter Sorrell in the attack, please please please donate so he does not have to worry about money as well as all this, thank you”. A local woman has set up[ a fundraising page for the family, which has raised over £6,000. It said: “We’re raising £500 to help fund a beautiful send off for Megan who was taken far too early due to the awful attacks at Manchester Arena on 22/05/2017.”On Tuesday evening, there was a service held for those in Halewood affected by the news, in St Nicholas’ Church.Among the donors to the charity appeal was Andrea Church, who wrote: “My son Ethan went to school with Megan, such a lovely girl. “My deepest condolences to Jo and Mick and a speedy recovery to Brad. My heart is breaking”.Neighbours told the Daily Mail that Megan was due to celebrate her 16th birthday next week.Courtney Boyle and Philip TronCourtney Boyle, 18, and Philip Tron, 32, from Gateshead, have been confirmed as dead by family after the Manchester terror attack on the Ariana Grande concert.Tributes to the pair have been released through Greater Manchester Police. “They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howe xx,” Ms Howe’s stepson Jordan Howe wrote on Facebook.Ms Lees’ brother, Lee Hunter, confirmed her death around the same time.”For those who don’t know Lisa is gone but never, ever forgotten. I love you Lisa I’ll miss you so much,” he wrote.Saffie-Rose Roussos Saffie-Rose Roussos died from her injuries at the concert.The headteacher at her school, Chris Upton, said: “Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone”.In a statement released this afternoon, Tarleton Community Primary School headteacher, Chris Upton, said the news was “heartbreaking”. “Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s family, friends, and all of those affected by this loss.”We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team.”Friends posted heartbroken messages on social media mourning their friend, who loved pop music and frequently attended concerts and shows. Tribute from the family of Chloe Rutherford, 17, and the family of Liam Curry, 19 pic.twitter.com/nVNf8dS0ZQ— G M Police (@gmpolice) 24 May 2017 Credit:Handout Nell JonesCredit:Facebook A woman from Sheffield’s family have confirmed she is one of the victims after her body reportedly “shielded” her niece from the blast. She leaves behind a young daughter, Phoebe.Kelly Brewster, 32, had been reported missing and her partner Ian Winslow, later wrote on Facebook: “Not sure how this works but it isn’t good news. Kelly Brewster wasn’t one of the unidentified hospital patients. She has sadly passed away in the terror attack yesterday.”Kelly really was the happiest she has ever been and we had so many things planned together. My daughter Phoebe will be absolutely devastated like we all are.” In a later statement the family said they are “devastated by her loss” and hope to draw on the “courage and strength she showed in her life” as they come to terms with her death.”Michelle Kiss was a loving wife to Tony, mother to Dylan, Elliot and Millie, as well as daughter to Mick and Christine and sister to Nichola,” they said. “Family was her life and we are all obviously devastated by her loss. She has been taken away from us, and all that love her, in the most traumatic way imaginable.”We hope to draw from the courage and strength she showed in her life to get through this extremely difficult tiJane Tweddle-TaylorA 50-year-old mother of three who went to the arena on Monday night to pick up a friend’s daughter has been confirmed as another victim.Jane Tweddle-Taylor, a school receptionist from Blackpool, had gone to the venue with a friend. Jane Bailey, Principal of South Shore Academy, where Jane worked said the school had been left “devastated” by the news. Olivia CampbellOlivia Campbell, a fifteen-year-old, was killed in the Manchester terror attack, her mother said on Tuesday night.Ms Campbell’s mother, Charlotte Campbell, paid tribute to her daughter on Facebook.She said: “RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far to soon go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much.” So sorry to report we’ve had to update our front page following confirmation of Kelly’s death. RIP #manchesterattack pic.twitter.com/MzMC8MiSAr— The Star, Sheffield (@SheffieldStar) May 23, 2017 Her college confirmed she was dead, telling The Telegraph: “It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College.”Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her Health and Social Care course. Saffie Rose Roussos, who was just eight years old, went to the Ariana Grande concert on Monday with her older sister.Credit:SWNS.com Her close friend, Debbie McDowell, wrote: “I am heartbroken beyond belief. I have lost my best friend and confident Wendy Fawell. A beautiful, lady who I will have treasured memories of. Nite god bless sweetheart. Love you to the moon and back xxxx”.A friend of the family said: “My newsfeed if full of love for Wendy….taken far too soon. All my love to Adam Fawell and Charlotte Fawell who have shown the most amazing strength, a son and daughter to be proud of. Sweet sleeps Wendy xx”Elaine McIverAn off-duty police officer who was attending the concert has been confirmed dead by her family. Her stepfather had taken her to the concert and they hadn’t been seen or heard from since.His mother said: “Firstly, we would like to thank the emergency services, police, nurses, support staff, family & friends and the people of Manchester for their continued help and support which they have given us throughout this harrowing time. The young fan, from Whittle-le-Woods in Lancashire, was one of 22 people killed by the blast. Her children also suffered injuries in the attack.The family said in a statement: “Elaine was a much loved daughter, sister, Auntie, friend and colleague, the best we could ever have wished for.”She was everyone’s friend, thoughtful beyond belief with an effervescent and outgoing personality.”She would have been devastated by the injuries sustained by her partner Paul, and we all wish him a speedy recovery.”Elaine just loved life, and had a major love of music. Despite what has happened to her, she would want us all to carry on regardless and not be frightened by fear tactics, instead she regularly urged us all to rise up against it.”Although we will all miss her beyond belief, we absolutely know she will live in our hearts forever.” Eilidh MacLeod Philip Tron pictured with his partner Deborah Hutchinson Georgina CallanderCredit:Cavendish Press Wendy FawellCredit:Facebook The pair leave behind two daughters, Alex and Patricia.Kelly Brewster Courtney Boyle has been confirmed dead 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.
Andrea Albutt, president of the Prison Governors Association (PGA), today launched a blistering attack on the Ministry of Justice, saying its members had been left “devastated at the complete decline of our service”. Her open letter was published as riot officers were called to a prison for a second day to HMP Mount in Wiltshire. Inmates took over a wing twice in just 24 hours over Monday and Tuesday. Prisons in England and Wales have come under renewed scrutiny this week, after the head of the body representing governors warned that prisons were in crisis after “perverse” Government reform and a “toxic mix” of pressures. And this incident is not isolated. Ministry of Justice data shows how the…