Serena Williams of the U.S. returns a shot against Krystyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)PARIS (AP) — Serena Williams considers the black bodysuit she wore at the French Open much more than a fashion statement.There’s a practical reason for the full-length legs on the skintight outfit: The aim is to protect her because of past bouts with blood clots.There also is a message she wanted to send about self-worth and feeling powerful as she returned to Grand Slam action with a first-round victory at Roland Garros on Tuesday, about nine months after giving birth to a daughter.“It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves,” Williams said after beating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (4), 6-4 at Court Philippe Chatrier. “I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”In this Sept. 6, 2002 file photo Serena Williams, of the USA, returns to Lindsay Davenport, of the USA, during their semifinal match at the US Open in New York. Serena Williams of the U.S. played her Tuesday May 29, 2018, first round French Open match against Krystina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in a all-black bodysuit. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)The outfit called to mind Williams’ black “catsuit” that she wore at the 2002 U.S. Open. It also was reminiscent of the white bodysuit that American player Anne White wore at Wimbledon in 1985.Williams referred to what she wore Tuesday as the “catsuit — the new version, 2.0.”“I call it, like, my Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” referring to the fictional nation in the film “Black Panther.”“We designed it way before the movie,” she said, “but still, it kind of reminds me of that.”Williams said she feels “like a warrior princess, kind of,” when she wears the outfit.“I’m always living in a fantasy world,” she added. “I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”Tuesday’s match was the first at a major tournament for the 23-time Grand Slam champion in 16 months.She gave birth on Sept. 1, then dealt with complications related to a pulmonary embolism.“I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don’t know how many I have had in the past 12 months. So it is definitely a little functionality to it,” Williams said. “I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play, so I can keep the blood circulation going. It’s a fun suit, but it’s also functional, so I can be able to play without any problems.”
Embed Code By Nate Silver Podcast from Indy: The Kentucky Loss and Monday Night’s Matchup Even 38-0 teams can go through mistimed offensive slumps, and the Kentucky Wildcats went through one at a very bad time Saturday night. Kentucky went more than 5 minutes without scoring in its loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. Between Karl-Anthony Towns’ jumper with 6:37 to go in the second half, and Aaron Harrison’s layup with 56 seconds remaining, Kentucky was stuck on 60 points, while Wisconsin swung from being 4 points behind to 4 points ahead.A lot of credit must go to Wisconsin’s stout defense, which looked a lot better than its Pomeroy rating (just 55th best in the country). But the Wildcats didn’t help themselves Saturday night with three shot clock violations down the stretch. Those violations were symptomatic of a larger problem: Kentucky’s torpid pace down the stretch helped doom them.This will involve more math than the usual “hot take,” so hang tight while we take a tour of probabilities. We’re most interested in one big question: Did Kentucky increase its chance to win by slowing its pace, thereby giving each team fewer possessions?At first blush, it seems like Kentucky was better off slowing the game down.The Las Vegas point spread and over-under line projected a final score of roughly Kentucky 67, Wisconsin 62 before the game. (FiveThirtyEight’s model had a similar projection, favoring Kentucky by 4.5 points.) In a game of 60 possessions per team, that translates into 1.12 points per possession for Kentucky and 1.04 per possession for Wisconsin.I simulated the final six minutes of the game 100,000 times using these offensive efficiency figures and a few guesstimations.1I had to guesstimate how the points are distributed between 3-point, 2-point, 1-point and 0-point possessions; Wisconsin will have a relatively high number of 3-point possessions, since they shoot so well from outside, for instance. My guesstimates were as follows: Kentucky scores three points 8 percent of the time, two points 41 percent of the time, one point 6 percent of the time, and no points 45 percent of the time. Wisconsin scores three points 12 percent of the time, two points 32 percent of the time, one point 4 percent of the time and no points 52 percent of the time. That gives Kentucky an offensive efficiency rating of 1.12 points per possession, and Wisconsin 1.04 points, as desired. I also assumed that Kentucky would win 55 percent of the time if the game went to overtime. Up by 4 in a game with 12 more possessions per team2At about 20 seconds per possession, six minutes would ordinarily allow nine more possessions per team. But there are more clock stoppages late in the game. So let’s assume that each team would have 12 further possessions if Kentucky played normally. Kentucky won 81.9 percent of the time. That winning percentage increased to 83.3 percent in a game with 10 possessions per team instead.3I’m assuming there were 10 possessions, not 12 possessions because of Kentucky’s slow pace down the stretch; which ran a minute or two off the clock.So at a first glance, slowing the game down seems like a good idea for Kentucky — they were ahead, after all.But there are reasons not to do it. Kentucky is the slightly better team — or at least that’s what Vegas and the FiveThirtyEight model thought before the game — and in the abstract the better team should want to play a longer game (a game with more possessions). Under our assumptions, if Kentucky and Wisconsin played an infinitely long game, Kentucky would always win. So it was slightly unusual for Kentucky, a Goliath of a basketball team, to adopt a “David strategy” instead.This alone wasn’t enough to make Calpari’s strategy a poor one, however. Even though Wisconsin was the underdog, the difference was small enough that you’d still rather give them fewer chances to catch up, according to the simulations.But Kentucky also almost certainly made its offense less efficient by slowing the pace down. Rather than looking for good shooting opportunities in the first half of the shot clock, it tried to rush shots near the end of possessions. (Wisconsin’s defense, to reiterate, had something to do with that. But Kentucky hadn’t had much trouble finding shots earlier in the game, shooting 60 percent in the first half.)Exactly how much less efficient is hard to say, but efficiency declines significantly as the shot clock runs down to zero. NBA teams score about 1.12 points per possession when they shoot in the first 10 seconds of the league’s 24-second shot clock, but that efficiency declines to 0.92 points per possession in the final four seconds of a possession. These numbers aren’t perfect for any number of reasons — not least because they’re drawn from the NBA rather than college hoops — but they give us at least some sense for the magnitude of the effect.So that got me wondering how much Kentucky’s offensive efficiency would have to decline to render Calipari’s strategy counterproductive. The answer: Not much at all.In the table below, I’ve used the simulation model to estimate Kentucky’s chances of winning with reduced offensive efficiency. For example, a 10 percent reduction in offensive efficiency — meaning that the Wildcats are scoring at a rate of about 1.01 points per possession instead of 1.12 — would reduce their win probability to 76.8 percent in a game with 10 more possessions per team. That’s considerably worse than the 81.9 percent chance they had by playing regular basketball, but permitting 12 possessions per team. Even a 3 percent reduction in offensive efficiency would reduce Kentucky’s winning chances.There are a lot of other factors to consider in the real world, of course, like how Wisconsin might have altered its strategy in response to Kentucky. Still, Kentucky seemed to be playing into Wisconsin’s hands, especially given that the Badgers are terrific in half-court sets — but much worse than Kentucky in transition — and ordinarily prefer to play at one of the slowest paces in college basketball. Wisconsin might have found a way to win anyway — they’re a terrific team, and the game wasn’t all that much of an upset. But Coach Cal made their path to the National Championship a little easier. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed
Peter BourjosLAA311232.548.285.262 Francisco MejiaSD231131.541.309.232 Buxton is tearing it up this springMLB players by difference in weighted on-base average (wOBA) between 2019 preseason Marcel projections and spring training performance Cristhian AdamesCHC271536.533.286.247 Jose PirelaSD291531.562.303.258 wOBA Byron BuxtonMIN251130.579.297+.282 That 282-point difference in wOBA would imply a 17-point increase over projected during the regular season, good for a .314 mark when applied to Buxton’s on-base projection. That’s essentially the same wOBA Buxton had during his breakout 2017 campaign — a number that still wasn’t quite league average but was good enough to combine with his stellar defense to make him worth 4.3 wins above replacement (WAR),3Using an average of the metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. as opposed to the -0.4 number he produced last season. And for a Twins team that we currently project to win 84 games with a 37 percent chance of making the playoffs, even incremental improvements from a key player like Buxton could pay massive dividends in terms of postseason odds. My former colleague Rob Arthur estimated that, in the era of two wild cards, an 86-win team would generally increase its playoff probability by about 10 to 15 percentage points over an 84-win one. (The mid-80s win range is basically the steepest area for adding playoff odds with an extra win.)Now, to pump the brakes a little on Buxton’s spring: 30 plate appearances is a very small sample, and most of them have come against sub-AAA quality pitchers, according to Baseball-Reference.com’s estimation. Buxton currently has a batting average on balls in play of .368, much higher than his regular-season career average of .320. His biggest action items as a hitter — plate patience and strike-zone judgment — have shown some signs of life this spring, but he’ll have to sustain them all season to convince skeptics that his skills have truly improved. And Minnesota can only hope those spring homers are merely a sign that Buxton will be an average power hitter again (like in 2017) rather than the guy who didn’t hit a single home run in 90 MLB at-bats last season.4He did hit four homers on assignment at Triple-A Rochester last year.It really does just comes down to health and hitting for Buxton — defensively, on a per-inning basis, he was just as great last year as in 2017; he was also the fastest player in baseball. If Buxton can recapture a version of his 2017 production at the plate, it would be very good for the Twins in their quest to return to the American League Division Series for the first time since 2010. Minnesota added some impact free agents over the offseason (Marwin Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Blake Parker), while the division-favorite Cleveland Indians spent the winter shopping around their stars and generally resting on their laurels. Maybe the Twins are still longshots to truly knock the Indians off of their three-year perch as AL Central champs, but a healthy, star-caliber 2019 season from Buxton would make that task a lot easier. Greg AllenCLE261028.532.302.230 Lewis BrinsonMIA241334.517.274.243 Domingo SantanaSEA261028.575.344.231 Chance SiscoBAL241029.560.304.256 Minimum 25 spring plate appearances for players who have already made their regular-season MLB debuts. Stats are through Friday, March 15.Source: Baseball-Reference.com Brandon LoweTB241032.560.321.240 The Minnesota Twins were one of the best stories of the 2017 MLB season: Coming off a 59-win campaign in 2016, they won 85 games and made the playoffs seemingly out of nowhere. Minnesota even spotted itself an early three-run lead against the Yankees in the American League wild-card game (before promptly giving it away in the bottom of the first and ultimately losing). With one of baseball’s youngest lineups, this seemed like a team on the rise, and its best all-around player — 23-year-old center fielder Byron Buxton — had a lot to do with that, putting together a breakout season of his own.By the same token, when Buxton faltered in 2018, so did the Twins. In an injury-plagued lost season, Buxton managed just 94 plate appearances and graded as below replacement level, according to whichever metric you choose to consult. Minnesota, in turn, dipped from 85 wins to 78 and wasn’t really in the playoff picture after the All-Star break. Buxton wasn’t the only Twin to suffer a miserable 2018 decline,1Third baseman Miguel Sano, pitcher Ervin Santana and even franchise-fixture second baseman Brian Dozier — who was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline — all come to mind. but it is fair to say his absence played as big a role in Minnesota’s downfall as anything else.This spring, Buxton and the Twins are looking to recapture the spirit of 2017 — and the early returns are encouraging. Last week, the former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball hit what was already his fourth home run of spring training:It’s been part of a tear that has Buxton looking like the best hitter in baseball during the spring so far. Although spring training results are easy to scoff at, they aren’t completely devoid of meaning — and that’s something the Twins will hang on to if it means there’s a chance Buxton rebounds and helps them close the gap in the AL Central.According to my research from a few years ago, massive spring outlier performances do carry some predictive value going forward. It just takes a lot of improvement to signal real breakout potential: You need a weighted on-base average (wOBA) in the spring 17 points above projected — using the simple-yet-effective Marcel projection system — just to predict a 1-point increase in wOBA (relative to projection) during the regular season. So for most players, they’ll never hit well enough in the spring to move the needle of their season expectations very much either way.But Buxton is hitting so well that it might actually be a much-needed sign of hope for his performance this season. When we compare players’ spring wOBA with their preseason Marcel projections, no player2Minimum 25 plate appearances. has exceeded expectations more than the Twins’ center fielder: PlayerTeamAgeGamesPASPRINGProjectedDiff
If Toronto defies the odds and reaches the NBA Finals after trailing the Bucks 2-0, the Raptors’ Game 3 effort Sunday, and Kawhi Leonard’s effort more specifically, will have been the catalyst for it all.Nick Nurse and his club appeared to be hellbent on making things more difficult for Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, doing what they could to speed him up when he caught the ball near the block and primarily deploying Leonard, the two-time defensive player of the year, on him.The result: Antetokounmpo, the likely NBA MVP, finished with an underwhelming 12 points on just 5-of-16 shooting, despite playing a season-high 45 minutes, along with seven assists and a whopping eight turnovers. The defensive resistance keyed Toronto’s double-overtime win — a season-saver given that a Raptors’ loss would have put the team in a 3-0 series hole heading into Tuesday’s Game 4.“[Kawhi’s] defense was probably the biggest key of the game,” Nurse told reporters afterwards.Sunday’s matchup data paints a jarring illustration of just how successful Leonard was in limiting Antetokounmpo. The Bucks star was effective enough, shooting 4 of 7 for 10 points, when being defended by someone other than Leonard, according to the ESPN Stats & Information Group. But when Kawhi took on the unenviable task, Antetokounmpo shot just 1 of 9 (11 percent) for 2 points — his worst showing against a single defender over the past three postseasons.1Among defenders against whom he’s taken at least five attempts during a playoff game.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/KAWHI.mp400:0000:0001:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Stopping Antetokounmpo, whom Leonard guarded more than twice as often as any other Raptor did, was only a chunk of what Kawhi contributed on the night. Despite laboring at times, he logged 52 minutes — a franchise playoff record — and poured in a game-high 36 points (including 8 in the second overtime while the Bucks, as a team, scored 9 in that frame). The showing was Leonard’s 10th 30-point game this postseason, making him the fourth player in the past decade — after LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant — to accomplish that feat in a single playoffs.Still, for how badly Toronto needed each and every point, Leonard’s defense was likely even more valuable. Milwaukee was just 3 of 18 on shots when Leonard was the primary defender Sunday. Even when Toronto changed the defensive look it threw at Giannis and the Bucks, the adjustment appeared to keep Milwaukee off-balance for stretches.The Raptors opted to double-team Antetokounmpo when he was near the block, a shift from what they did earlier in the series. They did this three times Sunday after doing it only once during the first two games combined. The first two doubles resulted in Antetokounmpo turning the ball over. The second one flustered Antetokounmpo so much that he jumped to make a pass before realizing no one was open and flung the ball to no one in particular.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/DOUBLE.mp400:0000:0000:15Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.That pressure appeared to pay dividends a bit later in the game, too, when Antetokounmpo got whistled for a pair of traveling violations off the catch, perhaps antsy reactions to the double-teams he’d seen earlier in the contest.2In fairness, though, it’s a little hard to tell with Giannis, who led the NBA in traveling violations in the regular season, according to NBA Miner. (Before Sunday, Pascal Siakam had been defending Giannis far more than any other Raptor.)None of this is to suggest that Antetokounmpo didn’t impact the game in other ways. Yes, he was 2 of 7 at the line, and he fouled out during a tie game with 4:24 left in the second overtime, but he also finished with 23 boards and four blocks. The Raptors shot 34 percent while Giannis was on the floor, but they connected on a blistering 59 percent of their shots while he was on the bench, according to NBA Advanced Stats. Largely because of that, Toronto outscored the Bucks by 9 in the 13 minutes Antetokounmpo sat — something the Raptors, who lack Milwaukee’s depth, hadn’t been able to take advantage of earlier in the series.A handful of other factors Sunday are worth watching heading into a pivotal Game 4 on Tuesday. Toronto finally got production from Siakam and Marc Gasol, both of whom played poorly to begin the series. That happened as a handful of the Bucks’ other starters — All-Star Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Nikola Mirotic — went scoreless in the two overtimes and shot a combined 9 for 43 (21 percent) in Game 3.3Milwaukee got solid play from George Hill and Malcolm Brogdon, who scored a combined 44 points off the bench, while Raptors reserve Norm Powell had another great performance, with 19 points of his own.Arguably the biggest thing to focus on, outside of individual matchups, was that the Raptors were able to hold the Bucks’ transition game in check. Milwaukee had 26 transition points through the first three quarters, according ESPN Stats & Information, but then Toronto clamped down, surrendering just 5 more during the fourth quarter and the two overtimes combined. (In the two games the Raptors have either won or kept close this series, they’ve held Milwaukee to a reasonable effective field-goal rate of 56 percent or worse in transition, per Second Spectrum data. By contrast, the Bucks had an effective field-goal rate of 92.3 percent in the Game 2 rout.)But make no mistake: Leonard’s defense on Giannis slowed the Milwaukee star down and helped get Toronto on the board. And if that defensive performance proves to be repeatable, we could be looking at a long series instead of one that almost moved to 3-0 on Sunday.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Shortly before the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s game against No. 6 Michigan State, it was revealed that starting forward Jae’Sean Tate would need shoulder surgery to end his season.Without its most consistent player available, many wondered how OSU would perform in a game it desperately needed to win in order to pad its marginal-at-best tournament résumé.As it turned out on Tuesday at the Schottenstein Center, the post-Tate Buckeyes resemble the team with the sophomore healthy: flashes of what it takes to get it done, but ultimately not there.The Spartans (23-5, 10-5) denied the Buckeyes (18-11, 10-6) that signature win it so badly needs with a blisteringly hot shooting performance. When the clock hit zero, the scoreboard read 81-62 in favor of the visitors.“Jae’Sean is kind of the heart and soul of this basketball team,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “We challenged our guys, ‘Man down, we’ve got to man up.’ It is what it is.”Michigan State shot 14-of-22 from outside the 3-point arc on Tuesday, led by senior guards Bryn Forbes and Denzel Washington, who connected on seven and four triples, respectively.“They set great screens and they have tremendous pace on offense,” junior forward Marc Loving said on the Spartans’ 3-point prowess. “The screens were phenomenal to the point that they were getting a lot of open looks, and they were able to knock the shots down.”Despite the rather sizable difference in record and national perception, OSU hung tough with the Spartans throughout a highly competitive first half.The visitors were able to swell their lead to six points midway through the first half after a pair of jumpers, but the Buckeyes clawed back with a 7-0 run to briefly snatch a one-point lead. Seven points from Michigan State senior guard Denzel Valentine followed to get the lead back to six, but OSU managed to keep the game within reach at the break, 36-31.“I give Ohio State a lot of credit, considering they lose a guy the day of,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “I know what that’s like, and it’s hard, and Thad did a hell of a job.”While the advantage on the scoreboard was short-lived, it had to be an encouraging opening 20 minutes for Matta’s squad against the sixth-ranked Spartans.In OSU’s previous game, a 65-62 overtime win at Nebraska, only four Buckeyes scored a point over the entire 45-minute duration. By the 12:50 mark of the first half on Tuesday, OSU had its fifth scorer in the books after a 3-pointer by Loving.However, those five scorers would be the only five in the first half for Matta. Freshmen Mickey Mitchell, Daniel Giddens and A.J. Harris combined for zero points on five missed shots, including a pair of airballs by Mitchell, who was inserted into the starting lineup for Tate.Loving led the Buckeyes with nine points at the half, as he continued to fight through his month-long shooting slump. He was followed by redshirt sophomore center Trevor Thompson with seven.On the other side, Valentine, a leading contender for national player of the year honors, had 12 first-half points to lead all scorers. He also chipped in four assists for the Spartans, who shot 44.8 percent to OSU’s 35.7 in the first act.“Valentine is, I think the best player in the country,” Matta said. “He does so much.”However, given that Michigan State was a scorching-hot 7-of-10 from outside in the first half but just 6-of-19 from inside the arc, OSU could reasonably believe the Spartans’ shooting would cool off, giving the Buckeyes a chance to take advantage and mount a comeback.That isn’t what happened out of the locker rooms. In fact, it was quite the opposite.Back-to-back 3-pointers by Forbes followed by a trio of baskets by senior forward Matt Costello and a fast-break layup gave Michigan State its largest lead up to that point of 10 just minutes into the second half. That lead continued to swell behind successful inside and outside games.That second-half charge was run by torrid shooting performance by Forbes, who made six of the eight 3-pointers he hoisted in the second half. Overall, the former Cleveland State transfer finished with 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. After the game, Izzo said he bailed his team out and “played his tail off.”“First half, we did a good job playing hard, playing tough, then second half, when Bryn Forbes started hitting shots, I felt we just started hanging our heads,” freshman guard JaQuan Lyle said.While the Schottenstein Center crowd of 14,257 tried to will the Buckeyes back into the game, the combination of the Spartans’ hot shooting and OSU’s cold spell — the Buckeyes shot just 20 percent from outside in the second half — was too much to deal with.“They were making a lot of shots, and we couldn’t get one to fall,” Lyle said.Loving and Lyle were the high-scorers for the Scarlet and Gray with 19 and 16 points, respectively. OSU shot 45 percent in the second half, but a 64.3-percent performance over the final 20 minutes by the Spartans nullified any momentum that could create.Mitchell ended up failing to register a point in his first collegiate start in 21 minutes. It was the seventh consecutive game that the Plano, Texas, native failed to score a point.“We felt like Mickey is getting more and more experience, and he’s going to continue to grow,” Matta said on his decision to insert the freshman into the starting lineup.OSU will have two more chances to grab a victory over a top 10 team before Big Ten tournament play begins, as it is set to host No. 8 Iowa on Sunday before traveling to East Lansing, Michigan, for a rematch with the Spartans on March 5. The games are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and noon, respectively. OSU student cheer during a game against Michigan State on Feb. 23 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor
OSU senior forward Christopher Soldat slides for the ball during the Buckeyes game against Akron on Oct. 26. Credit: Harrison Reber | For The LanternThe Ohio State men’s soccer team enters the Big Ten tournament this Sunday at 1 p.m., as they take on Wisconsin in the quarterfinals. The rematch in Madison will come just one week after the Buckeyes fell to the Badgers 2-1 in the final match of the regular season. “We have a week to prepare and talk about how we can do things differently but so do they,” OSU coach John Bluem said. “They won, so are they going to be overconfident? Are we going to have more motivation since we lost up there? It’s an interesting problem for both teams.”The Badgers were aggressive last time against the Buckeyes, outshooting OSU 15-3 in the opening period and taking a 2-0 lead as a result. The second half seemed to flip the field, as OSU outshot Wisconsin 12-4 and closed the gap by scoring a late goal. “Statistically, we outshot them and out-possessioned them and all that in the second half,” Bluem said. “For 25 minutes we had a man advantage, and that really gave us the opportunity to take over the game. Unfortunately, we were only able to come up with the one goal.”Wisconsin finished the season with a 10-3-3 record (4-2-2 Big Ten). They outscored their opponents 25-12 on the year, with an 8-0-1 record in Madison. The Badgers are led by midfielder Christopher Mueller. The junior Illinois-native has scored a team-high six goals through the team’s 16 games. Mueller also leads his team in assists with 10. Despite the wound remaining fresh from the recent defeat at the hands of Wisconsin, the Buckeyes are excited for the rematch. “Outside of our lackadaisical start, we really took it to them,” senior forward Christian Soldat said. “It was a real hard-fought game between two teams. It always feels great to get revenge on their field and knock them out and hopefully advance to the semifinals.”The team knows its only chance at making the NCAA tournament is to win the Big Ten tournament. For the seniors especially, they do not want the season to end this weekend. “Nobody wants it to be your last game,” senior forward Danny Jensen said. “Right now, a lot of it is on the shoulders of the seniors. We are the old guys who have been through it all. If the seniors step up, I think we should be pretty good.”The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten tournament three times (2000, 2007, 2009). They have an overall record of 18-20-2 in their 25 appearances in the tournament. OSU earned the No. 1 seed in last year’s tournament, advancing to the championship match before falling to Maryland 2-0 in Columbus. While this year’s team may not have had the type of season they had hoped, earning them the sixth seed, the Buckeyes are still extremely confident they have what it takes to win the championship. “There is no doubt that we have a chance to win this tournament,” Soldat said. “We have played every single game close to the chest and have had a chance to win every single game. With this team fighting hard and getting players back from injury, there is no doubt that we can make a run all the way and win.”
OSU then-redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) looks for room to run against Clemson during the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31. The Buckeyes lost 31-0. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorThe departure of both Ed Warriner and Tim Beck did not come as a surprise to most Ohio State football fans, after two lackadaisical seasons in a row and the goose egg laid by the Buckeyes against eventual national champion Clemson. The addition of Kevin Wilson as the new mastermind behind the offense for the Scarlet and Gray has been received warmly by most fans, but it has the players even more excited. On Sunday, members of the OSU football team were honored at the first media timeout of the Buckeyes men’s basketball game for their achievements in 2016. J.T. Barrett was honored for being named the best Big Ten player by the Chicago Tribune with the Silver Football Award.Last season Barrett, who will be returning for his redshirt senior season after choosing not to enter the NFL Draft, had a roller coaster type season. From starting the year as a potential Heisman trophy candidate, to finishing it with a raw quarterback rating of 36.1 against Michigan and 12.7 against Clemson, Barrett has had better years.Now, with Kevin Wilson at the helm, Barrett could very well return to the form he was in during his redshirt freshman season when he produced 45 total touchdowns. Wilson, known for a up-tempo offense and an air-it-out approach to the passing game, has been viewed as a welcome change in the eyes of Barrett.“Just something new,” Barrett said. “I think sometimes we get set in our ways, but change is also a good thing. Change is not always bad. I think it was needed.”Wilson has coached some notable quarterbacks who have finished their college careers with trophy cases full of accreditation. Sam Bradford and Landry Jones are the most notable, but all of his signal callers have a tendency to rack up plenty of yards. Bradford threw for 50 touchdowns during his only season under Wilson’s direction, and the chance to see Barrett under a quarterback’s mastermind has many OSU fans itching to see what the new-look offense will do during the Spring Game. Although his return to Columbus for his final season seemed a lock immediately following the Fiesta Bowl, Barrett said the hiring of Wilson was a big factor in his decision.“Just trying to make sure, that if I was going to come back that, it was something I was going to do that was best for me in order for me to help and grow as a quarterback,” Barrett said. “That was part of it.”Wilson had high praise for Barrett after the Buckeyes defeated Indiana 38-17.“In my opinion, from afar, I think that’s the best quarterback in college football,” Wilson said after the game. “Some of these guys have some stats, I’m not saying it because he’s in our league — I’m not a homer. When you watch that kid play, that kid and his unselfishness … he went through a lot. He was a premier player in the country two years ago when he got injured.”Billy Price, who is following in the footsteps of Pat Elflein and returning for his redshirt senior season and moving to center, will now be under his third offensive coaching staff since arriving on campus. Although, as a whole, OSU’s offensive line performed well, there were more than a few times where the unit looked confused, or like they were blocking the wrong schemes.Price admitted after the Fiesta Bowl loss he and the rest of the team understood what went wrong, but did not delve deeper into the subject. He, like Barrett, is welcoming the change Wilson is bringing.“The offensive philosophy is going to be different,” he said. “There’s things that are going to be a lot different than they were, and it’s a positive change. We’re just looking forward to once spring ball comes and we get to see those changes, and see what we’re actually going to be working with.”OSU kicks off the 2017 season with the Spring Game on April 15 at Ohio Stadium.
Senior wide receiver Devin Smith (9) hauls in a catch for a touchdown during a game against Illinois on Nov. 1 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 55-14 as Smith caught a pair of touchdowns from redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorIn its last matchup against the Michigan State Spartans, Ohio State completed just eight passes in a 34-24 loss in the Big Ten Championship Game.Entering Saturday’s rematch, senior tight end Jeff Heuerman said the passing game will be essential to pulling the upset over No. 7 Michigan State.“I think you have to throw it effectively. Throwing it effectively will open up the run game and vice versa, running it will open up the passing game,” he said Wednesday. “So I think they kind of work hand-in-hand.”In preparation for the Spartans, OSU coach Urban Meyer said he does not expect Michigan State to change its defense too drastically because of how talented it is.“I think any time you face a defense like this, there will be new adjustments,” Meyer said Tuesday during the Big Ten teleconference. “There will not be a new defense.”The Spartans boast the third-best defense in the Big Ten, allowing just 279.4 yards per game. They are led by redshirt-junior defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun who has been named a Chuck Bednarik and Lombardi award semifinalist along with OSU sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa.Senior wide receiver Devin Smith said Wednesday that while he believes the Spartan defense has improved, he doesn’t see much difference in its scheme.“We know that they like to blitz a lot, they like to play press so we are just going to try and take advantage there,” Smith said. “We have worked (on) a bunch of different things in practice so we are just looking to go out there and show it on Saturday.”Watching the Spartan defense has been a struggle for Smith, who said he is looking forward to Saturday.“I don’t really watch much of Michigan State this year just for the fact that what happened last year and they (are) kind of still on my mind,” Smith said Wednesday. “We want to hurry up and get to Saturday.”Smith went as far as to say that Saturday’s matchup is the biggest game he has played in during his career at OSU.“Probably No. 1 to be honest. With what happened last year and what we are going up against, and the circumstances that we are in, I thinks it’s right up there,” he said.While Smith is having trouble watching the film, fellow senior wide receiver Evan Spencer said Wednesday that he has seen things on the tape that he believes the Buckeye offense can take advantage of.“They have their certain things that we are going to try to exploit and I’m sure they do ours for their side of the ball,” Spencer said. “I think that we will be very successful as a receiver room and as an offense as a whole just because of our preparation and the way we have looked throughout the week.”Echoing Spencer, Smith said he believes taking shots downfield will be a way for OSU to open up its passing game.“I think that’s key. We just got to take every opportunity that we can and go in on Saturday and be ready,” Smith said.Taking chances downfield was something the Buckeyes couldn’t seem to do against the Spartans last year as they accumulated just 101 yards through the air.In an eerily similar circumstance, the Buckeyes completed just nine passes against Virginia Tech earlier this season, ultimately resulting in a 35-21 loss.While the quarterback is different this year for OSU, Smith said he believes redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett will be ready for the challenge the Spartans will present.“He is taking it like it is just a regular game,” Smith said. “He knows what this game means to this whole program and he just came in here all week and just worked hard and he is ready.”In addition to his preparation, Meyer added that Barrett “looks great,” after suffering a sprained MCL in the first half against Penn State less than two weeks ago.Meyer also said that he reminded his players this week that Saturday’s matchup encapsulates why they came to OSU.“I just had a conversation with our players. This is why they are trained. Every second of everything we do in the program from off-season to summer conditioning to training camp, we are training you for moments like this,” Meyer said. “Compete for a championship in November.”The Buckeyes and Spartans are set to kick off in East Lansing, Mich., at 8 p.m.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore linebacker Justin Hilliard walks into the Hyatt Place to check in for fall camp on Aug. 6. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State redshirt junior linebacker Justin Hilliard’s collegiate career has not gone the way he had hoped thus far.Hilliard, a former five-star linebacker out of high school and the highest-rated player in Ohio State’s 2015 recruiting class, has battled injuries since arriving on campus in the fall of 2015, suffering three bicep tears in three years.The injuries kept Hilliard sidelined more than he was healthy. The once-highly touted player has recorded just 18 total tackles in his career — most on special teams — and seemed buried in a talented depth chart.But this spring offered a new opportunity for Hilliard. Two starting linebackers departed for the NFL following the 2017 season and the only presumed starter — redshirt sophomore Tuf Borland — is sidelined until at least the fall with an Achilles injury.After being healthy for the first spring since he’s been at Ohio State, Hilliard now has a chance to earn meaningful playing time.“It means so much [to be healthy],” Hilliard said. “Just because I know what I’ve been through, just kind of pushing through that, some of the difficulties — not only physically but mentally. It means a lot to just be out here in the spring.”Linebackers coach Bill Davis said Hilliard was running with the ones at the middle linebacker position in practice, splitting reps with sophomore Baron Browning. His health has allowed him to finally take practice reps before the start of the season.Davis explained that while natural athletic ability matters, practice reps are invaluable, and Hilliard has had few chances in practice these past three years.“He missed a lot of reps with those injuries and I think people lose sight of that. But Justin Hilliard, right now, has had probably one of the better springs,” Davis said. “I’m not saying he’s behind right now. I’m saying he’s caught up. He’s caught up. Those injuries are why it took him awhile.”But despite the injuries that have sidelined him for the better part of three seasons, Hilliard doesn’t feel he’s missed a beat. He feels he’s every bit the five-star athlete he was coming out of high school — and then some.“I feel like I’m so much further than I was in high school,” Hilliard said. “Mentally. Physically, I feel like I’m further too.”Hilliard said the injuries were to his arms and didn’t affect his overall athleticism.“All my injuries had nothing to do with my legs,” Hilliard said. “I feel like I haven’t slowed down a bit.”Spring practice concluded with no clear leader at any of the linebacker positions, meaning Hilliard’s battle for playing time is not over yet. But he’s pleased with where he’s at and is proud of everything he’s already overcome.“Just looking back on the journey I’ve been through,” Hilliard said, “I still have a long way to go, but just looking back, I’m appreciative of all the things I’ve been through and overcame.”
Show more A police force has deleted social media posts about Islamophobia Awareness Month after users pointed out its logo was similar to a hand gesture popular with Islamic State militants.Bedfordshire Police tweeted their support for the annual campaign, led by charity Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend), on Tuesday afternoon but removed them on Wednesday.The logo features a hand with the index finger pointing upwards, a favoured gesture of followers of IS, also known as Isis, in propaganda photographs. 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. “As a consequence and to avoid offence, Bedfordshire Police has deleted these posts and will not tolerate Islamophobia or any other form of hatred or discrimination.” A spokesman added: “We had a number of people point it out and we have removed it. I could not tell you what faith they came from.” Credit:PA The one-fingered gesture has long been used by different Muslim groups to signify their belief there is only one God, but it has latterly been adopted by Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil).The police force said: “It has come to our attention the pointing finger logo used to illustrate social media posts around Islamophobia Awareness Month is similar to that used by Isis. The logo was produced by a national charity and was used in good faith.
Equipment used to monitor dozens of offenders or suspects in the community is faulty, it has emerged.Straps used to secure electronic monitoring tags could incorrectly trigger an alert suggesting they have been tampered with.Tests indicate that more than 100 of the straps are faulty, while a small number of individuals may have been wrongly placed behind bars.The Liberal Democrats claimed it was a “colossal blunder”, while the Government insisted there was no risk to the public. Faulty electronic tags could have resulted in offenders being wrongly returned to prison https://t.co/UXWCu9CsRk (by @haydsmith) pic.twitter.com/cquc4d8aeZ— Press Association (@PA) March 28, 2017 MoJ staff notified Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS), which provides the electronic monitoring service, of an increase in the number of alerts raised when equipment worn by an offender or suspect is tampered with.This was investigated by EMS and G4S, which supplies straps and electronic tags used to monitor offenders and suspects who have a curfew as part of their sentence or bail. Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said there was a “small chance” that some “enforcement action” might have been taken against an offender or suspect in response to a false report of tampering.”It does not mean an individual will have been automatically sent to custody,” he said.”A single tamper alert without any additional evidence of an escalation of risk is likely to result in an alternative outcome, such as a warning letter.”So it is unlikely that a first tamper on its own will result in an offender being recalled.”Officials said that if any individuals had been returned or sent to custody, the number was likely to be small. At the end of last month, G4S informed the ministry of an issue with faulty straps.Mr Gyimah said: “We understand that the number of affected straps is small. Only straps that have entered the system since October 2016 are affected.”This is the point at which the batch of potentially faulty straps entered circulation. G4S has been testing straps. That testing indicates that around 1% (115) of the 11,500 straps in use today are faulty.”If no tampering with the tag has been registered, they have operated as normal. Where a strap is faulty, however, there is a risk that it could incorrectly register that somebody has tampered with it.”He stressed that the monitoring functions of the tags themselves are not affected and the security features within them have been working correctly.”Therefore, there has been no risk to the public,” the minister added.”G4S has introduced further quality checks with the strap manufacturer to ensure that no more faulty straps enter the supply chain. The taxpayer will bear no cost for the faults.”Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called for an urgent review, saying: “People may have been wrongly sent back to prison because of this Government’s sheer ineptitude.”David Byrne, managing director for G4S Monitoring Technologies, said it identified a “manufacturing defect” in approximately one per cent of two specific batches of tag strap clips.He said: “This fault posed no risk to the public and has now been rectified with our supplier and the new clip production process has been tested and independently certified by the Ministry of Justice’s approved test laboratory.” The MoJ noticed an increase in the number of alerts raised when equipment is tampered withCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Work to replace all potentially faulty strips is under way, while courts have been informed of the problem. 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.
Emergency services found a 60-year-old woman who had been bitten on the hand and a man with an injured leg.A 38-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of affray and allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in public. Armed police shot dead two pit bull-type dogs after six animals went on the rampage in a town centre, attacking members of the public.Dramatic video footage showed officers opening fire as several dogs circled them in Bolton, Lancashire, on Sunday morning.Moments later, at least six shots were fired, with members of public posting images of the dead animals on Twitter. Armed police in Bolton where a group of dogs attacked at least two members of the publicCredit:Alan Yates/Twitter Superintendent Chris Allsop, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “Highly trained officers responded quickly to the scene and took control to avoid the situation from escalating.“The officers acted with our number one priority in mind: to protect people and prevent them from harm. Police have shot dead bull dogs on deane road Bolton after attacking children and people pic.twitter.com/8w1XqTpvSy— Alan yates (@AlanAyates4303) 2 April 2017 “I’d like to thank to the public for their patience and full cooperation as we remain at the scene and carry out our enquiries.” Man arrested today after dogs dangerously out of control in Bolton. https://t.co/OalxU94zWs— G M Police (@gmpolice) April 2, 2017 A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said in a statement: “At around 10.20am on Sunday 2 April 2017, police were called to reports that six dogs were dangerously out of control on Queens Park, Chorley New Road.”Emergency services attended and discovered a 60-year-old woman suffered a bite to the hand, a man was bitten on the leg and a dog suffered serious injuries.”Armed response officers were deployed to the scene and two dogs were humanely destroyed and two dogs have been seized. Officers are currently searching the area for another dog who is believed to be part of the group.” 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.
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. There are currently over 900,000 deaf people in the UK, but only 0.1 per cent of the hearing population know how to communicate with them. Why not learn some easy phrases to help you chat in sign language for Deaf Awareness Week. Find out more here.
Charlie Gard suffers from a rare condition Credit:PA Mrs Butler-Cole said she was unable to comment while the High Court case was ongoing.Today Dr Michio Hirano, an American neurologist, who claims to have pioneered an experimental treatment he says can help Charlie, will examine the boy after flying in from New York.Compassion in Dying said it was wrong to suggest there was any conflict of interest between Mrs Butler-Cole’s role in representing Charlie’s guardian in court and her view that adults with full mental capacity should be allowed to plan their own death.A charity spokesman said: “There are clear differences between this case, the work of Dignity in Dying and the work of Compassion in Dying. The Charlie Gard case is about making decisions in the best interests of a seriously ill child.”The High Court ruled in April that Charlie should be allowed to “die with dignity”, a decision confirmed by the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. A source close to the parents told The Daily Telegraph: “The family find it astonishing that the quango that appointed the barrister to act in the interests of Charlie Gard is the chairman of Compassion in Dying, the sister body of Dignity in Dying, formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. The implication is obvious. It looks like a profound conflict of interest.” Charlie Gard’s parents have privately expressed their concern after discovering that the lawyer appointed to represent their 11-month-old son in court heads a charity that backs assisted dying. Victoria Butler-Cole, who speaks on Charlie’s behalf in court, is chairman of Compassion in Dying, a sister organisation to Dignity in Dying which campaigns for a change in the law to make assisted dying legal in the UK. Dignity in Dying used to be called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.The two charities share the same chief executive and media team and trustees – such as Mrs Butler-Cole – can only sit on one charity if they support the aims of the other. Mrs Butler-Cole was appointed to the role by the publicly-funded state body Cafcass which acts in the best interests of children in court cases. Charlie Gard is being cared for at Great Ormond Street HospitalCredit: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. But Great Ormond Street referred the case back to the High Court after Dr Hirano, backed by other experts, claimed the ground-breaking therapy might help Charlie. Connie Yates and Chris Gard, from Bedfont, in west London, believe they, as his parents, should speak for Charlie in court hearings that are deciding his fate. They don’t believe their son should have a guardian representing him in court.Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition that has left him severely disabled and suffering brain damage.Great Ormond Street Hospital is seeking to switch off his life support machine and has been backed in court by Charlie’s state-appointed guardian, represented by Mrs Butler-Cole. Show more
Existing only in the digital sphere but currently worth a fortune, it is the virtual currency that has gone mainstream in recent weeks. The process by which the currency is produced in the digital world – known as mining – uses an enormous amount of energy, much of it coming from the carbon fuels that cause the most pollution. But its very success had led to fears about the environmental impact of the Bitcoin phenomenon. In recent months investors have flocked to the currency that exists only in cyberspace and is traded directly from person to person. However, it has emerged that the production of bitcoins uses so much energy it threatens to seriously harm the planet. Total electricity use in…
RSPCA officers found nearly 400 budgies in one small houseCredit:RSPCA She said: “It took three officers a total of three days to catch them all and get them into boxes and sent to various aviaries.”When they got there, the budgies were all over the place, in almost every room using anything they could to stand on, including a clothing horse.”Most people like to keep budgies in groups but we have never seen this many in one place. It was crazy.”The birds were signed over to the RSPCA by their owner who is no longer able to take care for them. It is not known why the owner was taken to hospital.The charity must now find all the birds new homes and officers are appealing to anyone with aviaries who would like to home one of the blue, green, yellow or white birds. Amy Ockelford, also from RSPCA, said it took three days for three officers to catch every last one of the birds, also known as common parakeets, from the house in Brighton, East Sussex. “We’d like the budgies to go to new aviary homes where they can live with other budgies and have lots of space to fly and explore.”Anyone who is interested in offering one of these birds a new home should visit the RSPCA’s website: www.rspca.org.uk/findapet or contact the individual centres. When you entered the property there was a sea of yellow, green, blue and white, with birds perched everywhere.The noise from their tweeting and chirping was deafening.RSPCA inspector Liz Wheeler Officers from the RSPCA spent three days rescuing 359 uncaged budgies from a small house after the homeowner was taken to hospital.The animal welfare charity is desperately trying to find new owners for the colourful birds, having been “inundated” by the huge number of them.The charity was called in to help after the owner of the budgerigars fell ill and was taken to hospital.Three RSPCA officers turned up to the property expecting to find 200 hundred of them but were in fact greeted by 359 noisy and uncaged birds, free-flying around the small semi-detached house.When they arrived, they were met with “a sea of yellow, green, blue and white, with birds perched everywhere”.RSPCA inspector Liz Wheeler said: “We were expecting to find around 200 budgies but ended up removing 359.”They were flying free around the semi-detached home so we had to use capture nets to safely catch them and remove them.”When you entered the property there was a sea of yellow, green, blue and white, with birds perched everywhere.”The noise from their tweeting and chirping was deafening.” 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. Inspector Wheeler added: “The budgies have been taken in by a number of our branches, centres and by private boarding establishments across the country.”Mallydams Wildlife Centre in Hastings, nearby, has kindly taken on 50 birds while RSPCA Brighton’s Patcham Centre has also taken some in.”And our centre in South Godstone, Surrey, has taken almost 100.”The other birds remain in private boarding until we can find space for them at our rehoming centres across the country.
Conventional belief holds that it is women who spend years hanging on for Mr Right before getting married. But data shows that in fact men are more likely to remain unwed because they haven’t yet met the right bride. Data collected by law firm Seddons suggests that a greater proportion of men say they are not married because they are still holding out for the right person. Around 35 per cent of those surveyed said this was the case, compared to 29 per cent of women. Women were more likely to say that they were waiting for their partner to pop the question, or were in a relationship with someone who didn’t believe in getting married. The data, released by the Marriage Foundation, also showed that take-up of pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements remains low, with 95 per cent of the 2,000 people polled never having had a conversation about getting a pre-nuptial agreement.Harry Benson, the organisation’s research director, said: “A growing body of evidence suggests women tend to commit when they live with someone whereas men need to make a clear decision for themselves.So when more men say they are waiting for “the one”, it’s most likely because they haven’t made up their mind yet.”Sir Paul Coleridge, a former High Court judge and chairman of Marriage Foundation, said: “We should not be alarmed when we see couples of today being choosier than the generation before them. Previous Marriage Foundation research has shown women now typically marry in their early thirties, men in their mid-thirties. When more men say they are waiting for “the one”, it’s most likely because they haven’t made up their mind yet. 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 good news is that when couples do finally get round to making a solid commitment it is far more likely to last than twenty years ago.“The rate of divorce in the early years has been falling steadily for the last nine years and although men are taking longer to commit when they do it is much more likely to be a carefully considered permanent decision.”
“It was quite unusual and sweet to see him in that mode because normally at royal events he is the joker in the pack and making everybody else laugh,” Ms James said.”But this one had knocked him sideways a little, probably more than he was expecting,” she added.Ms James also observed the rest of the royal family, especially through the colourful sermon delivered by American Minister, Michael Curry.She said: “It clearly would have been a first for most the royals, who weren’t expecting it.”Camilla went from smiling and laughing in the right places to thumbing through the programme like she did at the Commonwealth Games. I don’t think she was quite sure how to take it.”Even Harry did a slight finger tap, which could be a suppressed sign of impatience. Him and Meghan kept catching one another’s eyes through it.” 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. Comparing the newlyweds to William and Kate, who married seven years ago in Westminster Abbey, Meghan and Harry were able to hold eye contact for much longer, Ms James said.”The love that was emanating out of Meghan’s eyes really helped him quite a lot. Even her blink rate hadn’t got quicker so there was nothing – even in the smaller details – that showed nervousness,” she observed.Ms James also commented on the touching “role reversal” reassuring relationship between Prince William and Harry before the ceremony began.”It was William who gave him a lot of reassuring smiles to calm him down a little bit,” she said, whilst observing that William looked much calmer at his wedding to Kate Middleton than Harry did this morning. One member of the audience whose body language was particularly noticeable was Chelsy Davy, Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend.”She was the spectre at the banquet,” Ms Jones said.”When she arrived, everyone else was chatting and laughing, but she sat in the pews just looking to one side – gazing reflectively into space and biting her lips slightly. She was doing that at the end as well. It was almost the soap opera part of the ceremony,” she added. Ms James described Meghan’s hand as “like a ballet dancer’s” throughout the exchanging of their vows, as it was incredibly steady. Meghan Markle “was the strength” of her wedding ceremony to Prince Harry, as her body language showed she was constantly reassuring him, an expert said.Despite the whole experience being completely new for Meghan, who today became the Duchess of Sussex, she did not display a single sign of anxiety or nervousness – while her new husband, the Duke of Sussex, “was so patently nervous”.Judi James, a body language expert, said Harry performed about 12 self-touching body checks, like pulling at his gloves and wringing his hands, within a few paces of getting out his car after arriving at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.However Meghan, the latest member of the royal family, maintained complete calm throughout the ceremony to “help Harry through it”.Ms James said: “Meghan was amazing. Walking up the aisle by herself, I looked for every smallest sign of suppressed anxiety and nervousness – there was absolutely nothing.”I think she probably saw it as her role to help Harry through it rather than the other way round. She sat with her hand over his for quite a bit of the service as though she was reassuring him. To me, she was the strength when it came to the day and the actual performance.” After entering the chapel with his brother, there were several signs of Harry’s nerves increasing as he began touching his face, blinking more and licking his lips. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s ChapelCredit:Andrew Matthews /PA The Duchess’s eye gaze was also a strong sign of her confidence in leading the day, Ms James said.”For me, today was something we don’t usually get at royal weddings, which is the eye gazing between the couple because she gave Harry a 100 per cent eye gaze.”When he went to take his vows, the undistilled awe and love for her is what we normally see at royal weddings in very tiny glances – but we got the full force of it with this one, which is what made it unique and very touching.”
Two in three cases of cancer are not picked up by GPs, according to research that shows for the first time how long patients really wait for a diagnosis.Researchers said the findings were “worrying” and urged family doctors to be “more proactive” about sending patients for tests, even if symptoms were not clear cut.The study of more than 135,000 patients with two of the most common forms of the disease found average waits of more than eight weeks for diagnosis. The vast majority of cases that turned out to be cancer were never suspected by family doctors, so were not given an urgent referral.Experts warned that the delays were the “difference between life and death” for many patients, fuelling Britain’s poor survival rates.The study by Cancer Research UK found that just 37 per cent of all cancer diagnoses in England involved patients who had been given an urgent referral by their GP, because the disease was suspected. Just 32 per cent of diagnoses for bowel cancer and 28 per cent of diagnoses for lung cancer were identified this way.The study shows that without such a referral, those with bowel cancer wait an average of 61 days for a diagnosis, five weeks longer than the cases that were suspected by GPs. She urged GPs to err on the side of caution if there was a chance of cancer.“We need to encourage and support GPs to be a bit more proactive about thinking who might have cancer, and also in not getting too caught up in stereotypes about who might have particular types of disease, such as not thinking about lung cancer in non-smokers,” she said. “When you look at international research, it shows GPs here tend not to refer patients for tests as those in some other countries [do].”Studies have repeatedly shown that Britain’s cancer survival rates lag behind other countries in Europe, with research showing that given the same symptoms, doctors elsewhere are more likely to refer for tests.Last year, the largest ever global study of cancer survival, published in The Lancet, found the UK fell into the bottom half of the league table, for many common types of the disease.In 2015, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidance that lowered the threshold for referral, advising GPs to act on any suspicion of cancer, as well as on symptoms that are seen as “red flags”.Dr Moffat said the latest research showed the importance of this.“Even if a patient’s symptoms are not ticking all the boxes, if a GP has got an instinct that something is going on they should be able to refer urgently. If they choose to refer routinely instead, the patient will likely have a longer time to diagnosis, and if it is cancer, for some patients this could make a difference to their chances of a good outcome,” she said. One in four patients faced a delay of more than three months. Overall, cases that had been classed as “routine” were four times as likely to face a long wait as those given an urgent referral, researchers found. Lung cancer patients had an average wait of 69 days, which was twice as long as the cases that were spotted and given an urgent referral. One in four waited more than four months after first seeing a doctor, the study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, found.Dr Jodie Moffat, Cancer Research head of early diagnosis, said it was “worrying” to see the high number of patients not diagnosed until they ended up in hospital as an emergency.The study found 35 per cent of lung cancer patients and 24 per cent of bowel cancer patients only received their diagnosis after being rushed to hospital, when symptoms were severe.Dr Moffat said: “Clearly there are patients here for whom a quicker timescale would have meant a different outcome, in terms of survival. We need a system that works for all patients.“One of the things this shows is quite a few cases which came through as an emergency presentation, which is worrying. For some of these patients, it is the difference between life and death.” BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen has talked about his diagnosis with bowel cancer Credit:ii Schroer The charity found that among 20 types of cancer, one in four patients diagnosed after not being given an urgent referral could expect to wait at least 80 days for diagnosis.Dr Moffat said that GPs sometimes avoided making referrals because they were aware of heavy pressure on services. She raised concerns that NHS pledges to ensure speedier diagnosis for those with suspected cancer could drive even longer times for those who are referred for routine tests. From March next year, patients urgently referred with suspected cancer, or as a result of screening, should receive a diagnosis or the all-clear within 28 days.NHS England said: “This report is right about the benefits of early diagnosis, but it describes the position in 2015, not the situation today. In the four years since this report’s now outdated figures, there has been a huge increase in urgent cancer referrals, with two million cancer checks last year – the highest number on record, and more than double those undertaken in 2010.” 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.
Chairman of the Integrity Commission, Attorney Kumar Doraisami [centre] with Commissioner Rosemary Benjamin-Noble [left] and Secretary Amanda Jaisingh.The newly reconstituted Integrity Commission says it will be putting forward recommendations to have sections of the Act amended to eliminate corruption within society.Since its installation in February of this year, the Commission which is chaired by former Land Court judge, Kumar Doraisami has received some 248 Declarations from public officials, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has reported.Doraisami said the vision of the Commission is to improve public confidence in the integrity of persons holding public office.“The objective is to secure the integrity of those persons through their compliance with the provisions of the Integrity Commission Act. The relevant persons will be required to fill out their declaration forms to the period specified in the Act. The Commission will receive and examine the Declarations and retain them in confidence,” he told the media at a press conference.Addressing the Act and the proposed amendments, Doraisami said in the first schedule, only the Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioner of Police are required to declare their assets and liabilities.“We find that only putting the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner as people who will have to declare [to be narrow], we will actually recommend that we go further down into the police force, looking at the Traffic Chief, the Divisional Commander, because sometimes the actions are really down the line,” Doraisami said.The same recommendation will be put forward for the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA). Doraisami said the managers in the outlying areas should also be required to make declarations.“We have to have the schedule amended to see if we can cover a broad spectrum of the areas where the corruption is likely to occur,” he was quoted by DPI as saying.While the Commission was sworn in February this year, Doraisami said it was only recently that it was able to acquire its own office building at Church Road, Subryanville, Georgetown. He explained that the Commission has already set up its organizational chart and will start employing persons to carry out its mandate. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAnother 163 officials fail to make declarations to Integrity CommissionMarch 10, 2019In “Crime”Integrity Commission could soon be functional following Opposition leader’s approval of nomineesFebruary 8, 2018In “latest news”Head of NPTAB, Prisons Director among officials red-flagged by Integrity CommissionMay 13, 2019In “latest news”