Everyones Still Chasing The Yankees And Red Sox On Facebook And Twitter

Twins330906301,140403,100 Mets4501604,2801,32023010,310 Rangers6301901,4802,260407,640 Nationals3101009706001003,690 Giants9002103,8302,97029023,910 Angels3501301,4301,2801307,700 Orioles3801109601,0901203,950 Mariners310901,0801,0901204,470 Athletics28060840770602,530 Diamondbacks23080840680604,080 Tigers7302201,2202,32019010,510 Phillies1,0401707201,690-303,610 White Sox3401101,0701,650705,650 Astros2901201,6208901508,450 Rockies21060560860303,010 NAMEFANSFAN GROWTHINTERACTIONSFANSFAN GROWTHINTERACTIONS MLB5,280k1,360k11,420k6,300k330k21,940k Cubs7103104,7002,58027021,210 Red Sox1,1402602,2405,1003010,400 Marlins17040620580502,270 Dodgers8302304,9002,95018015,100 Padres20060540710501,940 Braves6901401,5902,140809,040 TWITTERFACEBOOK Pirates4101201,7501,0901508,890 Cardinals7201902,0102,33016013,800 Brewers300804901,040403,550 Rays27080510700203,270 Blue Jays1,1005702,5601,38034010,530 Royals4501701,9801,0202309,090 The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets on Twitter as well as in the World Series.The Royals had about 479,000 followers on Twitter as of this morning, 15,000 more than the Mets had — even though New York City’s metropolitan area has nearly 10 times the population of Kansas City’s. In fact, the Royals had 8,000 more followers than the 2014 population of Kansas City, Missouri.1By far the more-populous of the two Kansas Cities. The Mets were winning on Facebook, though, with 1.3 million fans to the Royals’ 1.1 million.2We’re defining fans as people who like the team’s Facebook page.One reason most people who live in or near New York City aren’t following the Mets’ tweets and Facebook statuses about ticket sales, merchandise and, the day after the team’s World Series exit, bittersweet musings: Their region also has the Yankees and seven other major pro sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL. Residents of Kansas City have only the 3-5 Chiefs.The Mets and Royals are far from the top of the social-media leaderboards in the MLB. The Yankees and Red Sox have the most Twitter followers and Facebook fans of any MLB team, according to data as of Oct. 25 compiled by Socialbakers, a company that analyzes social media followings. (The Royals already led the Mets in Twitter followers on Oct. 25, even before the World Series began, though both follower counts rounded to 450,000.) The Yankees couldn’t make it out of the wild-card round in the playoffs, but their Facebook page has 35 percent more fans than MLB’s page does. The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, rank fourth in Twitter followers but much lower in Twitter interactions and were the only team to lose Facebook fans over the past 12 months. Here’s how MLB teams compared to a year earlier:3Interactions on Twitter include retweets, favorites and replies on tweets from the profile account. On Facebook, they include shares, likes and comments. The picture doesn’t look that different between the two leading social media platforms: The r-squared for the relationship between number of interactions on the two platforms among teams is 0.77; it’s 0.71 for the number of fans; and it’s 0.37 for growth in number of fans over the past year. Yankees1,5202604,5708,4902026,050 Reds4501101,2601,190709,430 Indians3501001,1701,1201303,600 Even the Yankees and Red Sox can’t compete with the online following of top NBA teams. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls have more than twice the number of Facebook fans as each of the Yankees and Red Sox — and Lakers followers on Twitter outnumber Yankees and Red Sox followers combined. Some of that support comes from outside the U.S., where the NBA is far more popular than MLB. The popularity extends to the league as a whole. The NBA’s Facebook page has 27.5 million fans, more than the NFL’s (12.5 million), MLB’s (6.3 million) and NHL’s (3.9 million) combined. And while Socialbakers hasn’t run the numbers yet for this year’s World Series, Facebook and Twitter activity around last year’s Game 7 fell far short of activity around the end of conference championships in the NBA and NFL. The Royals won the World Series — in a sport that has a lot of work to do to capture the attention of the social-media world. read more

Chelsea Finally Publicly Addresses Racial Allegations

Chelsea finally addressed the racial abuse allegations against referee Mark Clattenburg on Tuesday, insisting there was no misinterpretation that players heard Clattenburg use the word “monkey” during a Premier League match against Manchester United.Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck opted to end the public silence despite an ongoing investigation by the English Football Association.Buck said he had an obligation to report the allegations after black midfielders John Obi Mikel and Ramires said they heard the derogatory word used.“Suppose we had tried to sweep this under the rug and said to the various players, `Look, it’s not a big deal and the press are going to be all over us, maybe you want to reconsider,”‘ Buck said in an interview with the London Evening Standard. “If that had leaked out, we would’ve really been crucified.”Chelsea has received quite a bit of criticism filing a complaint with the EFA while still backing captain John Terry, who served a four-match ban for using racially offensive remarks to Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last year.Buck attempted to point the finger at the press for trying to tie both incidents together in similarity.“The press seem to juxtapose `our support’ of John Terry and what’s going on here, and looking at us as being a bit hypocritical,” Buck said. “We have to divorce the John Terry situation from this. From our perspective, the latest situation was pretty straightforward.”Buck feels that the reaction that the club has received has been “very unfair” and they were not interested in any type of retaliation against Clattenburg or anyone else.Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager, has been pretty straightforward in criticizing the complaint against Clattenburg. He doesn’t believe the allegations made by Chelsea. United went on to win the match 3-2 with a goal from Javier Hernandez after Chelsea dup Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres had been sent off.Buck remains firm that the allegations are not false, despite suggestions that the players may have misheard Clattenburg.“I spoke to the players involved, either because they were allegedly the recipient of that abuse or had heard it, three separate times,” the American lawyer said. “I asked them if they could be mistaken. I asked them if they might have heard `Mikel’ instead of `monkey.’ I thought I had covered that base.”Clattenburg has yet to publicly respond to the allegations, but can rest a little easier knowing that he is no longer being investigated by the police due to lack of evidence. The Society of Black Lawyers sparked the probe by the Metropolitan Police, but neither Chelsea nor their players approached the police.Clattenburg resumed training Monday with other topflight officials, but has not refereed since the accusations.

The Super Bowls Best Matchup Is Gladys Knight vs The Clock

Help Me Make It Through the NightKris Krisofferson+66 So while anthems have gotten longer over time, the 40-year average is not fully accounting for that trend. When you do account for it5I used an AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average model — or ARIMA — which allows us to better forecast time series data. the best forecast for the 2019 anthem is actually 119 seconds, 13 seconds over the 40-year average.Gender of the anthem singer is also significant. Men tend to sing the anthem more quickly than women — though not many men have sung the anthem in recent years, when the anthems have been getting longer overall. Still, the all-time shortest anthem performance was by a man — the incomparable Neil Diamond — who got in and out like a boss in a cool 61 seconds. And the longest anthem ever performed at a Super Bowl was by the unforgettable Natalie Cole in 1994, which clocked in at a diva-esque 148 seconds. Gladys Knight takes her time with interpretationsDifference in song length between Knight’s covers and the original songs Super Bowl LIII is not only about two of the league’s best offenses squaring off against one another — New England and Los Angeles — it’s also about America’s other favorite pastime: gambling. The total amount bet on the Super Bowl1In nominal, noninflation adjusted dollars has risen from $40 million in 1991 to more than $158 million in 2018, and much of that growth has come from “props” or proposition bets.For readers who aren’t degenerate gamblers, prop bets are wagers you can place on events during a game that don’t directly involve the final outcome. This year there are the standard prop bets, like if the Patriots will score a touchdown in the first quarter (they never have in a Super Bowl), or if the Rams will rush for more than 127.5 yards (they averaged 143.3 yards per game in the regular season and the playoffs). But there are also more exotic prop bets on things like whether Donald Trump will tweet more than six times during the game. (The implied probability on one offshore book is 58 percent that he will hit the over.)Another interesting wager is on the length of Gladys Knight’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Several offshore books have set the total for the anthem at 1 minute 47 seconds, and the implied odds for both the under and the over were set at one book at -115 — a 53.5 percent implied probability — on both sides.2This accounts for the house’s take on each bet, or “vigorish,” which is why the implied percentages add up to over 100 percent. The implied probabilities being equal indicates that the book has no real opinion on the length of Gladys’s performance — they just want to take a percentage from each side of the wager and hope bettors will place their bets evenly on both.But is Knight performing the anthem in over/under 107 seconds really close to a 50 percent proposition? Or is there evidence that might convince us that the oddsmakers got the probabilities wrong?To find out, I went to Youtube and watched 40 Super Bowl national anthems from 1979 to 2018. I eliminated any anthems with trumpeters (there were two) and then started timing the anthem from the moment the singer first started to sing and ended the timer after the completion of the first utterance of “brave.”3I didn’t include any extra “braves” or broader codas. Using this methodology, the 40-year average of all national anthem singers4I removed choirs and trumpeters to calculate this average is 106.1 seconds, roughly in line with the total set by the books. So the total is correct so far as the average goes, but it also seems lazy. Surely there are other factors that might help us better predict how long Gladys might sing.For starters, the performance time of the anthem has changed as the Super Bowl has grown to become the unparalleled cultural phenomenon we now enjoy each year. As the pomp, circumstance and viewership have increased, the time anthem performers spend on the stage has also risen. Ave MariaAnna Moffo+65 Tracks of My TearsSmokey Robinson & The Miracles0 The Need to BeJim Weatherly+13 Wind Beneath My WingsRoger Whittaker-34 For Once in My LifeBarbara McNair+50 You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to MeRay Price+8 Baby I Need Your LovingThe Four Tops+1 SongOriginal ArtistDifference The Way We WereBarbara Streisand+36 Cloud NineThe Temptations-9 Fire and RainJames Taylor+33 I’m Gonna Make You Love MeDee Dee Warwick+30 Groovin’The Young Rascals+27 YesterdayThe Beatles+70 SongOriginal ArtistDifference Thank YouSly & the Family Stone-45 Taking a larger view, only two anthems in the past 15 years have been performed faster than the 40-year average of 1 minute 47 seconds. And when I looked at the age of the anthem singers, I found no significant correlation between age and performance time.6p-value: 0.228 On the other hand, we can look at one of Knight’s previous performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner” itself, which is solid piece of evidence against the over, running for 92 seconds. It was, however, performed 28 years ago. All things considered, the bookmakers appear to have this line wrong on Gladys, and her upcoming anthem performance is probably going to go over 107 seconds.Researching a single prop was a lot of work, and it’s understandable why books might not want to put this level of effort into each and every bet they publish. But it does imply that there are profitable edges for some Super Bowl props. Using the Twitter machine, I threw up a bat signal for a gambling expert to help me confirm my priors. Rufus Peabody, a professional sports bettor and former ESPN contributor who is well-known in gambling circles for the scale and volume of his Super Bowl prop wagers, agreed to help.“The time and effort to accurately value props is pretty high,” Peabody said. “Some books put more effort into their props than others, and for some props there’s almost no data. Books will move the lines aggressively when sharp bets are made though, which helps them adjust.”I’ve been keeping an eye on the Gladys anthem line, and it hasn’t moved all week. I was tempted to bet the over, but when I was confronted with the prospect of having to convert real money into Bitcoin in order to place a bet on an offshore site, I decided to abort. When I looked around for somewhere to place the bet in Las Vegas — where they accept actual money — I struck out. Peabody explained that prop bets like anthem length are illegal in Las Vegas because of restrictions on the types of sources casinos can use to “grade” or determine the outcome of a bet.Even if it won’t net me any cash, I’ll be pulling for Knight to go over regardless. I want her to belt out that last note in “home of the brave” for an egregiously long time. After all, my Twitter credibility is on the line, and that’s serious business. Every Beat of My HeartThe Royals-49 Heard It Through the GrapevineMarvin Gaye-39 Let It BeThe Beatles-21 The Look of LoveDusty Springfield+85 Everybody Needs LoveThe Temptations+8 Midnight Train to GeorgiaCissy Houston+42 I Wish It Would RainThe Temptations-4 Baby Don’t Change Your MindThe Stylistics-1 Finally, Knight herself appears to be a singer who knows how to stretch a note. Using whosampled, I identified 31 covers performed by Knight and timed the cover performance of each using similar criteria to the anthem timing. Knight’s covers were 7 percent longer than the originals on average, good for a bonus 12.7 seconds of soothing soul per track. In perhaps the best comp to the national anthem — “Ave Maria,” a soaring, vocal-heavy standard covered by hundreds of artists — Gladys’ performance was 37 percent longer than the standard version. Goin’ Out of My HeadLittle Anthony and the Imperials+7 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’The Righteous Brothers-14 Average+13 Is There a Place?The Supremes-34 Feel Like Makin’ LoveRoberta Flack+129 sec. All I Could Do Is CryEtta James+2 I Feel a Song (in My Heart)Sandra Richardson-19 Yes, I’m readyBarbara Mason-1 Sources: YouTube, Whosampled Keep an EyeDiana Ross & The Supremes-9 read more

Track and Field Sade Olatoye throws herself into Ohio State record books

Ohio State senior Sade Olatoye goes through her motions during a weight throw. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsBreaking record after record, Sade Olatoye has carved out a space for herself in the school’s history books. Olatoye wasn’t always a track athlete. In third grade, she started playing basketball, which became her main sport. In seventh grade, she joined track as a way to stay busy.“I thought I was definitely going to be a sprinter,” Olatoye said. “That turned out not to be the case.”Instead, she participated in shot put, discus and high jump.While attending Dublin Coffman High School, Olatoye continued playing basketball and running track, still as just a hobby. That would all change.Olatoye tore her ACL after a contact injury on the basketball court before her senior year of high school. Her high school track and field coach, David Woodmansee, said he remembers her being devastated. But the injury proved to be much more critical to her future than she knew at the time.“[The injury] pushed me more to the track side, and the bigger offers I was getting [were] for track and field,” Olatoye said. Olatoye knew she would have to focus on track and field after her commitment to Ohio State her senior year of high school, preparing for events she might not be used to: the hammer throw and the weight throw. Before starting her fall semester at Ohio State, Olatoye took summer classes and trained with Ashley Kovacs, the assistant throws coach at Ohio State, when she was introduced to the collegiate field events. With no experience in either the hammer or the weight throw, Olatoye was off to a slow start. But she did not let that get to her.  Olatoye said the summer training helped her to get the repetition and practice she needed to establish the fundamentals to excel in the two events during her freshman year. During the summer of her freshman year, Olatoye represented the United States at the U-20 World Junior Olympics. “Being able to represent the United States as one of the top two throwers my freshman year was really amazing,” Olatoye said. Kovacs said Olatoye is one of the best competitors she’s ever seen. “She has all the physical tools she needs to be at the absolute highest levels,” Kovacs said. Olatoye’s success didn’t stop after her freshman year. Throughout her sophomore year, she won a total of 10 titles during the outdoor season.It was also the year Olatoye made a place for herself in the record books as the first woman in program history to win both the shot put and weight throw at the same conference meet. She also became the first woman in program history to be named Big Ten Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. But Olatoye still had larger goals on her mind. She did not compete during the outdoor season of her junior year, strategically redshirting to get an opportunity to get an Olympic qualifying mark during the 2020 season. During her senior indoor season Olatoye has begun that process.After winning and setting records in both the shot put and weight throw at the Big Ten Championships, she earned herself the No. 1 spot in the nation in both events. Because of her performance, Olatoye earned a spot on the Bowerman watch list and is the first Buckeye to ever receive this honor. The Bowerman Award is presented annually by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association to the most outstanding male and female NCAA track and field athletes in the nation.She is also the first athlete at Ohio State to win the Great Lakes Women’s Field Athlete of the Year award.Looking forward to the NCAA Championships, Olatoye said she hopes to get over the standard and break 18 meters in the shot put and qualify for the World Championship, which takes place in the fall.Olatoye also said she hopes to break 24 meters in the weight throw. “I think that Sade can go as far as she wants to go in the sport,” Kovacs said. “There are no limits for what Sade could do.”Olatoye said all the awards she has received are humbling, but she reminds herself to not let it go to her head. “Don’t get blindsided by all the shiny things that are in front of you — you just have to focus at the task at hand,” Olatoye said. read more

Renowned conservationist was involved in £60m tax dodging scheme court hears

first_imgThe case was heard at Southwark Crown CourtCredit:AFP Southwark Crown Court Southwark Crown Court was told that the alleged schemes involved trading carbon credits through removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, for example by planting trees in an area where they had been cut down.This was a “suitable” plan as it meant lots of money would be spent at the outset before any returns were made.The example was given of a banker who had been paid a £1 million bonus. By parting with around £230,000 the banker would “loan” the rest of the cash from a lender connected to the scheme.As a result he would only pay out the £230,000 rather than the £400,000 he would usually pay in tax as he had “lost” £1million in investment, the prosecutor outlined.Mr Christopher said: “No doubt the clients believed when they made use of the schemes that they were entitled to make claims.”But he claimed that “nothing like” the amount said to have been being used on  environmental research was actually spent. Swingland denies cheating the public revenue and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representationCredit:Ed Willcox/Central News The prosecution allege that each of these five defendants knew that the tax advantages were dependent on a false account being givenJulian Christopher QC, prosecutor Swingland is alleged to have given his support to the schemes involving environmental research even though he “must have realised” they depended on lies.Julian Christopher QC, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution allegation is that the tax advantages were entirely depend​ent on a false account being given to HMRC and the prosecution allege that each of these five defendants knew that the tax advantages were dependent on a false account being given.”The alleged total amount of tax avoided was said to be “over £60 million”, supposedly through “sideways tax relief”, whereby losses from one business are offset against profit from another, resulting in what appears to be less profit being made.“For it to work and be legitimate the loss has to be made in the course of trade which is being carried out commercially and with a view to making a profit,” Mr Christopher explained.center_img The scam allegedly ran between 2005 and 2008.Swingland, of Canterbury, Kent, denies cheating the public revenue and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.Andrew Bascombe, 58, and John Banyard, 67, each deny two counts of cheating the public revenue.Anthony Blakey, 65, and Martin King, 54, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue and one of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.The trial, expected to last three months, continues 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. Ian Swingland  A renowned conservationist who was awarded an honour for his work took part in a £60m tax-dodging scheme which used climate change projects, a court heard.Professor Ian Swingland OBE, 69, allegedly took part in a three-year scam which helped wealthy investors avoid tax on £170m worth of income.Swingland founded the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology in 1989 at the University of Kent, a world-leading research facility into biodiversity, communities and sustainable development.He is accused alongside four others of being involved in “the promotion of a series of dishonest tax schemes” which sheltered people with high income from paying the highest rate of tax.last_img read more

Inmates have effectively taken over one of Britains biggest prisons

first_imgJustice Secretary Liz Truss says quick fix solutions to cut the prison population will not workCredit:PA He said inmates were effectively running the prison, where he witnessed widespread drug abuse.In one of the most disturbing episodes of the investigation, footage shows a prison officer having convulsions on the floor after accidentally inhaling spice, a cheap and stronger synthetic alternative to cannabis, which is rife in the jail.Prison officers also found balaclavas, blackout clothing and wire-cutting tools at the category C jail.Ahead of the episode to be broadcast on BBC One on Monday, Mr Fenton said: “It didn’t take too long to realise that the inmates were, in effect, running this prison. I saw prisoners stumbling around drunk, others who were high on drugs and some struggling to cope with addictionJoe Fenton The Ministry of Justice told the BBC: “The justice secretary has been clear that levels of violence and self harm in our prisons are too high, which is why we are investing an extra £100m annually to boost the front line by 2,500 officers.”These are longstanding issues which will not be resolved in weeks or months but we are determined to make our prisons places of safety and reform.”A spokesman for Sodexo said: “We are proud of those staff at HMP Northumberland who do a professional job in such difficult circumstances.”Security and the safety of our prisoners and staff are our top priority, which is why we have made significant investments in these two areas over and above the contract requirements.” Justice Secretary Liz Truss says quick fix solutions to cut the prison population will not work “I saw prisoners stumbling around drunk, others who were high on drugs and some struggling to cope with addiction.”Prison officers repeatedly told me they had lost control of the prison. I saw officers worried about their safety and losing confidence.”Later today Justice Secretary Liz Truss will say prison numbers cannot be cut with “dangerous quick fix” solutions. The Cabinet member will use a keynote address to attack a “reckless” opposition call to reduce the current number of 85,000 prisoners in England and Wales to the 1990 level of 45,000.Ms Truss will say: “Reductions by cap or quota, or by sweeping sentencing cuts are not a magic bullet, they are a dangerous attempt at a quick fix.” She says Britain needs to deal with the reality of the present, rather than hark back to prison numbers of the past.”There are those in Labour who want to turn back the clock and cut the prison population to the size it was in 1990, at around 45,000,” Ms Truss adds.”This would be reckless and endanger the public.”Ms Truss says targeting sexual offenders more effectively has pushed the prison population up.“The biggest driver for prison growth in the last 20 years has been the exposure, pursuit and punishment of sexual offences, domestic abuse and other crimes of violence,” she will say.Ms Truss says the Government is dealing with human “wickedness” as she attacks Labour for its stance. 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. Inmates have effectively taken over at one of Britain’s biggest prisons, an undercover investigation has found.The scale of issues facing the UK prison system was highlighted the BBC’s Panorama programme following an investigation into HMP Northumberland, which is run by private firm Sodexo Justice Services.BBC reporter Joe Fenton spent two months undercover as a custody officer in the prison near Morpeth, which houses 1,348 men. “Shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti wants to halve our prison numbers because she does not believe ‘the sum of human wickedness’ could have doubled in her lifetime,” she says.“She blames a political arms race for the numbers in our jails.“What has actually happened in Baroness Chakrabarti’s lifetime is that the criminal justice system has got better at catching and convicting criminals who have perpetrated some of the most appalling crimes imaginable.”And sentence lengths now better reflect the severity of crimes like domestic violence, rape and child abuse.“It’s not that the sum of human wickedness has doubled – it’s that we have driven that wickedness out from the shadows and put it where it belongs, behind bars.”last_img read more

Primary school offer day 2018 Parents faking marriage breakdowns to get children

first_imgThe warning comes as over half a million families in England learn which primary school their child will attend in September, on what is known as “national offer day”.   As competition to secure places at the most sought after schools has intensified, parents are increasingly resorting to fraudulent means to boost their chances, according to The Good Schools Guide’s state school specialist Elizabeth Coatman. Local councils have become more vigilant in recent years, Ms Coatman said, with investigation departments trained to look out for anything suspicious…center_img Parents are now faking marriage breakdowns to get their children into a top school amid a rise in admission fraud, an expert has warned.  last_img read more

David and Victoria Beckham hit out at laughable fake news that caused

Victoria Adams, Posh Spice of the Spice Girls and her fiance, English soccer player David Beckham Victoria was still in the Spice Girls when they started dating and David would often attend her concerts, while she was regularly photographed on the sidelines of his football matches. David and Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Last month, the Beckhams arrived hand-in-hand at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.Victoria wore a characteristically serious expression as the pair arrived at St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.The couple first met in 1997 and publicly announced their engagement in July the following year. The couple, pictured in Los Angeles in July 2007, quickly became known as Posh and BecksCredit:Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images David and Victoria Beckham have hit out at fake news generated by social media that caused fevered online speculation the couple are to divorce.Claims the couple were to split began circulating on Twitter on Friday morning and even prompted a high street bookmakers to suspend betting on them getting a divorce.But suggestions of a ‘Bexit’ – a disbanding of Britain’s biggest celebrity brand – were scoffed at by the couple.The rumours were strongly denied by the Beckhams, clearly exasperated by the speed with which the internet can relay gossip as fact but unchecked.A spokesman for Victoria Beckham, the former Spice Girl turned fashion designer, said: “If I spent all my time responding to ridiculous Beckham gossip and rumours there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. What nonsense. Journalist Chinese whispers and fake news fuelled by social media. There is no impending statement, no divorce.”David Beckham’s spokesman said: “It is nonsense. It is one of those laughable, nonsense things. There is no divorce. It is laughable.” They swiftly became one of the most recognisable couples in showbusiness and were soon nicknamed “Posh and Becks” by the media.Brooklyn, the couple’s first child, was born in March 1999. Four months later, the Beckhams married in a lavish wedding ceremony – featuring thrones, doves and purple reception outfits – in a castle near Dublin on July 4 1999.  David retired from football and the family moved back to Britain in 2014 after a period in which he played for LA Galaxy in California. The following year, the Spice Girls split up and Victoria went on to forge a solo career as the couple’s profile as a couple continued to grow.The Beckhams often turned heads with their choice of clothes. In 1998, David raised eyebrows when he famously wore a sarong.In another memorable fashion moment, they wore matching leather outfits to a Gucci show in 1999. Last year, David referred to the outfits on the couple’s 18th wedding anniversary, writing: “Wow, we really did this!” The couple and their children were seen dining last week at a fashionable restaurant in the Oxfordshire countryside. One source said: “They seemed very happy together. They did not look like a couple on the brink of divorce.”The Beckhams, who married in Ireland in 1999, have four children. Victoria Beckham posted a photograph of herself on Instagram with daughter Harper with the message “we love and miss u @davidbeckham.”The A-list couple have four children together – sons Brooklyn, 19; Romeo, 15; Cruz, 13; and six-year-old daughter Harper.David, the former footballer, and Victoria, the ex-pop star, tied the knot in July 1999 and swiftly became known as “Posh and Becks”.They met at a charity football match 21 years ago when David played for Manchester United and his future wife was Victoria Adams – or Posh Spice in the Spice Girls.On Friday morning, Victoria posted a picture on Instagram of her cuddling Harper and wrote: “We love and miss you David Beckham.” David and Victoria Beckham in July 2007 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. Victoria has gone on to achieve success in the fashion industry. In November 2003, David was made an OBE and the family moved to Spain in the same year when he was moved to Real Madrid.The Beckhams went on to have two more sons after Brooklyn – Romeo, who was born in 2002, and Cruz in 2005. The couple also have a daughter, Harper, who was born in 2011. David and the future Victoria Beckham in New York in July 1998 after their engagement was announcedCredit:Brad Rickerby/REUTERS David Beckham, the former England captain, is currently in Miami where he is launching a US-based football team but is due back in the UK this weekend ahead of a fashion launch on Monday. She has launched her own clothing label and was appointed an OBE in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the fashion industry. David and Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of SussexCredit:Splash News read more

Foie gras imports could be banned after Brexit on ethical grounds

Mr Eustice went on: “When we leave the European Union, we do indeed have an opportunity to look at restrictions on sales along the lines that (Mr Smith) pointed out.”We know there are no barriers under WTO law, something which is sometimes raised by some people – there are clear precedents for putting in place ethical bans when it comes to WTO law.”Some countries – notably India – have brought forward bans on the sale of foie gras.” Mr Smith told the Commons: “Foie Gras is cruel to produce, unhealthy to eat and it’s expensive to purchase.”The ultimate cost though is paid by the ducks and geese who suffer so greatly before their slaughter, and it’s time we banned this outdated practice.”For the Government, Mr Eustice said in his reply: “While we are a member of the European Union, as (Mr Smith) pointed out, we are required to observe law which places restrictions on the introduction of measures that impair the movement of goods within the EU market.” Geese are force fed as part of the process of making foie gras before their over-sized, fatty livers are extractedCredit:Reuters Geese are force fed as part of the process of making foie gras before their over-sized, fatty livers are extracted Foie gras imports to the UK could be banned after Brexit, according to an environment minister.Conservative frontbencher George Eustice said the UK is required to observe law which restricts the introduction of measures which hinder the movement of goods within the EU market.But he added leaving the EU will offer an opportunity to examine restrictions on sales.His remarks came after Tory MP Henry Smith (Crawley) questioned why there was a UK production ban on foie gras, but not an import ban.The product is made from duck or goose livers. They are force fed as part of the process before their over-sized, fatty livers are extracted, MPs heard.Around 98% of duck foie gras imports to the UK come from France, while total imports amounted to around 100 tonnes in 2017, Mr Eustice said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Smokers should switch from cigarettes to vaping says worlds biggest tobacco firm

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 world’s biggest tobacco company is encouraging smokers to give up cigarettes and switch to vaping in a multi-million pound campaign.The £2 million campaign, called Hold My Light, is aimed at persuading the UK’s 7.4 million smokers to go “smoke free” with the help of family and friends.Smokers are encouraged to give up the habit for a minimum of a month based on Public Health England research that found smokers who gave up for 28 days were five times more likely to stop smoking completely.The initiative has been launched by Philip Morris Limited, makers of Marlboro, as part of a new strategy to switch smokers to their vaping products.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––They cite Public Health England research, which suggests vaping is 95 per cent safer than smoking cigarettes.Peter Nixon, managing director of Philip Morris Limited, said: “This campaign breaks new ground which is an important next step in our company going smoke-free and ultimately stop selling cigarettes.“There are more options than ever before for smokers to give up cigarettes but often they don’t realise that alternatives, like ecigarettes and heated tobacco are a better choice than continuing to smoke. Our research has shown that smokers want personal support from friends and family if they are to give up cigarettes – and that is what Hold My Light is designed to offer.” Hold My Light is based on similar behavioural science initiatives that have created positive societal change and is aimed at the 60 per cent of smokers that say they want to quit.The campaign features a website, video and major £2m advertising campaign across digital and print media aimed at both smokers and their potential supporters.The website, www.holdmylight.co.uk, suggests the kind of pledges that supporters might offer – from looking after a pet to cooking dinner every night in a bid to help loved ones give up smoking.It is the first time a tobacco company has launched a smoke-free campaign directly aimed at encouraging UK smokers to give up cigarettes.Former health minister Simon Burns MP supported the move, saying: “I think it’s a good initiative. Anything that helps people switch from cigarettes to a less dangerous product can only be a good thing.”In January, Philip Morris announced that it was “building its futureon smoke-free products that are a much better consumer choice than continuing to smoke cigarettes.”It insists its smoke-free products meet rigorous regulatory requirements although concerns have been raised over the safety of vaping. Since ecigarettes have only been on sale in the UK since 2007, long-term studies do not yet exist.A 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “electronic cigarettes may function as a ‘gateway drug’ that can prime the brain to be more receptive to harder drugs”.A study published in Environmental Science and Technology in July 2016 identified harmful emissions in the vapour, including possible carcinogens and irritants, though at a much lower level than in conventional cigarettes.Each year, smoking causes around 46,000 deaths from cancer and 28,000 from respiratory disease in the UK, plus an estimated 20,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease.The Royal College of Physicians has reviewed the available evidence and advises GPs to promote e-cigarettes “as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking”. read more

Britains top science university to send students to cookery school in order

In 1928 Alexander Fleming was tidying his lab at St Mary’s Hospital, London when he noticed a strange mould forming around colonies of bacteria he had left in a Petri dish weeks earlier. From next Autumn… Ninety years later, authorities at Imperial College, the successor institution to St Mary’s, are concerned that today’s young scientists – book-smart but lacking laboratory experience – would make the wrong decision.–– ADVERTISEMENT –– He might easily have tossed the irregular samples away and started the experiment afresh. Instead, Fleming placed the dish under a microscope and discovered Penicillin. So in a drive to foster observational skills, creativity and hands-on competence, they plan to teach them to cook. read more

Julian Assange charged by US for computerrelated offences after being forcibly removed

Julian Assange on his way to Westminster Magistrates Court 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. Julian Assange on his way to Westminster Magistrates Court The Wikileaks Twitter account posted: “Ecuador has illigally [sic] terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law.” One of his lawyers, Jen Robinson, tweeted her fears that he would be extradited to the US.His friend, Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, posted on Twitter that she was worried about his health. She wrote: “He looks very bad.” She said of those who arrested him: “You are devils and liars and thieves. And you will rot”.The whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden added: “Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.”Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said President Moreno made a “courageous decision”, adding: “it’s not so much that Julian Assange was being held hostage in the Ecuadorian Embassy, it was actually Julian Assange holding the Ecuadorian Embassy hostage.”It was a situation that was absolutely intolerable to them.” Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years. Thank you Ecuador and President @Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with @foreignoffice to ensure Assange faces justice— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) April 11, 2019 Nearly 7yrs after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 11, 2019 Assange being removed from the EmbassyCredit:Ruptly Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “Nearly 7yrs after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.”I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law”.Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, added: “It is absolutely right that Assange will face justice in the proper way in the UK. It is for the courts to decide what happens next.“We are very grateful to the Government of Ecuador under President Moreno for the action they have taken.“Today’s events follow extensive dialogue between our two countries.“I look forward to a strong bilateral relationship between the UK and Ecuador in the years ahead.”Sweden’s Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren said: “This is news to us too, so we have not been able to take a position on the information that is now available. We also do not know why he is under arrest. We are following the developments.”The Swedish authorities dropped their investigations into sex allegations against Mr Assange, which he had always denied.However, the Swedish woman made the allegations has welcomed his arrest.Elisabeth Massi Fritz, who represents the unnamed woman, said news of Assange’s arrest was “a shock to my client” and something “we have been waiting and hoping for since 2012”.Ms Massi Fritz said in a text message sent to the Associated Press that “we are going to do everything” to have the Swedish case reopened “so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted”. Assange being removed from the Embassy Julian Assange has been charged by the US for computer-related offences after he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police earlier today. He has now been found guilty in a UK court for skipping bail.The Wikileaks founder faces possible extradition to the US after being expelled from the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he was hiding as a fugitive for seven years.The Metropolitan Police confirmed the 47-year-old was arrested in response to an extradition warrant by the US, as well as for his bail offences in the UK.Judge Michael Snow at Westminster Magistrates Court found Assange guilty of failing to surrender, calling him a “narcissist” and suggesting his representations in court have been “shameful” and that the claim he has not had a fair hearing was “laughable”. He has sent Assange for sentencing at the Crown Court, and if guilty he faces a jail sentence of up to 12 months. He will next appear in court on the 2nd of May by video link on the extradition matter. He will next appear on the bail offence at Southwark Crown Court on a date to be announced.The US department of justice confirmed he has been charged with computer crimes, and added in a statement that if convicted he will face up to five years in prison.The statement revealed criminal charges against Mr Assange linked to his role in the release of sensitive diplomatic cables in 2010. Mr Assange was accused of helping Chelsea Manning, the ex-intelligence analyst in the US Army, to break a password to a classified US government computer.  Cracking the password would allow Manning to log on under a different username, according to US prosecutors, lowering the chance of getting caught. Mr Assange is also accused of having actively encouraged Manning to leak more classified information. He once wrote to Manning that “curious eyes never run dry in my experience” when told there was no more material left to reveal, according to the indictment. US prosecutors said Mr Assange faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.For the trial to be heard in America, Mr Assange will have to be extradited from Britain to the US – a move that his legal team will likely fight. The existence of an indictment against Mr Assange had accidentally been revealed in an unrelated court filing in November 2017. In a statement, the Home Office said: “We can confirm that Julian Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America.”He is accused in the United States of America computer related offences.” Assange was stripped of his Ecuadorian citizenship and asylum status and removed from the Embassy earlier on Thursday morning.The court heard the Ecuadorian ambassador called Scotland Yard on Thursday morning and said they would be withdrawing political asylum. Officers arrived at around 9.15am. Shortly after 10am, tried to introduce themselves to Assange but he barged past them and tried to hide in his room. He then resisted arrest while shouting: “This is unlawful.”Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said Assange had been “discourteous and aggressive” during his stay and added that he had broken multiple conditions of his asylum.He said:  “He particularly violated the norm of not intervening in the internal affairs of other states.”The most recent incident occurred in January 2019, when WikiLeaks leaked Vatican documents. Key members of that organisation visited Mr Assange before and after such illegal acts.”He also claimed Assange had installed “distortion equipment” in the embassy, and that he had “mistreated guards”.Finally, he said, two days ago the 47-year-old “threatened Ecuador” through Wikileaks.The Wikileaks founder was wanted by the UK police for breaching his bail conditions, after a saga that began in November 2010, when Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange, after authorities in the country questioned him over allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he denied.He claimed he would be extradited from Sweden to the US because of his role in publishing hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables.The hacker surrendered to British police in 2012 and was released on bail within 10 days, but breached his bail conditions after an unsuccessful appeal against extradition to Sweden.He was then granted asylum by Ecuador and allowed to remain in the embassy. read more

Robots could replace judges to deal with parking fines justice minister says

David Gauke said that whilst there would be controversy about a “bewigged robot judges” making decisions about a person’s the industry might be “happy” with artificial intelligence (AI) creating “simple tools to provide straightforward justice”. Pledging £2million to help develop artificial intelligence for use in legal services, he noted that technological advances are already having a positive impact in the industry. A number of law firms and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are using so-called Robo-Lawyers to read through millions of pages of documents to carry out disclosure tasks and to create… Robots could replace judges in dealing with parking fine disputes, the Justice Secretary has said. read more

Downing Street feared John Major may accidentally win the first National Lottery

Downing Street was worried John Major may inadvertently win the first National Lottery and drew up contingency plans to avoid embarrassment, newly declassified documents have revealed.Correspondence released by the National Archives showed unease building among Whitehall officials as ministers bought tickets to help promote the lottery launch in 1994.While the inaugural draw was considered a “major opportunity” for the Tories to build support, aides feared it would be “unhelpful” if senior MPs were “seen to be among the early winners”. Guidance was hastily drawn up by the Department of National Heritage, telling ministers that the Prime Minister was donating his lottery ticket to charity and they should follow suit. John Kingman, a private secretary in the National Heritage department, wrote in a note to Mr Major’s office: “The lottery will be a secure operation: no individual will be in a position to influence the outcome of the draw. There is therefore no propriety issue.“But it would still be awkward presentationally if a Minister were to win a major prize.”Such an outcome was almost comically remote, with the chances of winning even a three-figure sum in the first draw at 55,491 to one, according to operator Camelot. The odds of securing a prize in the tens of thousands of pounds – by matching five balls plus the bonus – was 2,330,636 to one.Nonetheless, the Prime Minister’s was asked to weigh in on whether ministers should be able to keep prize money “like any other citizen” or be forced to donate it to charity.Officials fretted about allowing ministers to decide individually if the rule applied to their families, with future cabinet minister Damian Green warning such an approach could unleash “a journalistic ring-round revealing different standards”. More than 22 million people tuned in to BBC to watch the fist draw of the Government-backed National Lottery on November 19 1994, when seven people claimed the jackpot of £839,254.  The National Lottery was seen as a 'major opportunity' for the Tories and ministers rushed to buy tickets It was viewed as a boost to the Government of Mr Major, which was struggling to contain surging Labour popularity due to what it described as the “Blair factor”. Downing Street officials had been planning the launch meticulously to ensure the Prime Minister reaped as much good will from the initiative as possible.During preparations, Christopher Meyer, Mr Major’s press secretary, said there was a willingness “to exploit the Prime Minister’s personal association” with the lottery by getting him to buy a ticket.However, proposals for him to take part in the first televised draw – presented by Noel Edmonds – were firmly rejected by press advisers. “It would look tacky and awkward,” Mr Meyer warned.  In the days that followed, Denis Vaughan, the conductor who lobbied for the National Lottery to be created, wrote to the Director-General of the BBC to complain about its broadcast. “There is no sign of any distinguished sight or sound on the programme so far,” he said in the letter to John Burt, which was part of the National Archives release.Mr Vaughan suggested “light classical music” should be used throughout the broadcast and expressed hope that Prince Charles could become the president of “one big charity” for the lottery. The National Lottery was seen as a ‘major opportunity’ for the Tories and ministers rushed to buy ticketsCredit:PA Similar concerns were voiced by Mr Green, then a Downing Street aide, who suggested “even presenting a cheque to an early winner feels more like a Private Eye cover than a positive photocall”. Another official, Alex Allan, warned they could be struck by a backlash of “bad news stories” that might require the Prime Minister to have an arms-length association to the lottery.Suggesting the type of headlines that could await, he wrote: “The single mother who spends the food money on lottery tickets, the bureaucracy that takes ages to pay out lottery proceeds to deserving causes.”The honour of starting the first draw eventually fell to 18-year-old Deborah Walsh. No ministers won prizes.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

First class season a chance to impress selectors says Adams

(CMC) Director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, has urged players to use the upcoming first class season to stake their claim for a place at the higher level.Jimmy AdamsThe four-day season is set to bowl off on October 26 and Adams said the three-month season provided the ideal chance for youth cricketers and fringe players to grab the attention of senior selectors.“It’s an opportunity for the talented players in our game to stake a claim for a place in international matches,” said Adams, who took over from Englishman Richard Pybus in the post earlier this year.“It’s also an opportunity for us to see young players that have just come out of youth cricket and it’s another opportunity for us to showcase the depth of West Indies talent, so I am quite looking forward to the start of this four-day season.”The first class tournament will kick off the West Indies domestic season, which also includes the Regional Super50 one-day tournament next January and the Caribbean Premier League at the back end of next summer.For the fourth straight year, the season will be played under a home-and-away format which will again see 10 rounds of matches, a feature Adams said was key to player development.“This tournament is critical to our game in view of its length, since there are return matches. It provides so many opportunities for young players and for some that have been around for a long time to get a lot of matches under their belt,” said the former West Indies captain.“I think it is also good for the selectors to have an opportunity to see more of the players in different conditions, so it will throw up a lot of very, very useful information and give us a better indication about the quality of our players.“It’s a very important cog in the wheel of the development cycle, so I am looking forward to seeing how players have progressed from the end of last season.”He added: “Just the fact that they are playing consistently more games, it has been critical for a lot of our players along that development curve to be able to play as much as they can within the season.”Cricket West Indies has transformed the first class tournament into a professional franchise set-up from the old territorial format, with players on full contracts and the season extended to include home-and-away fixtures.Under the new stipulations, players can also move between franchises, and are selected out of a draft ahead of each season.This year, the season has been squeezed into three months – wrapping up January 21 – and Adams underscored the importance of player fitness to cope with the demands.“It will be a demanding season for the players and to be able to cope with the level of sustained physical and mental pressure, we will need them to be in top condition, so that they can repeat good performances and so it has to be a massive part of their preparation going into the season.”Three-time reigning champions Guyana Jaguars will open the defence of their title against Jamaica Scorpions at the Guyana National Stadium while Barbados Pride host Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Kensington Oval and Windward Islands Volcanoes and Leeward Islands Hurricanes clash at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedExtended season a boon for selectors, says convenor BrowneOctober 9, 2017In “latest news”‘Ultimately we want success’ – Jimmy AdamsJanuary 25, 2017In “latest news”Jaguars confident of competitive seasonMay 25, 2018In “latest news” read more

Streak laments Zimbabwes missed opportunity

Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak admitted it would be tough for his side to bat themselves back into the match after conceding a 122-run first innings lead against West Indies in Bulawayo.Heath Streak“There’s still a long way to go, 92 overs,” he said. “And it’s slow going out there, not an easy wicket to score quickly on. So we’ve got to get through a session and get ourselves into a position where we can maybe consider giving them a target. But it’s very tough, especially with the deficit we’ve had to make up, and the pitch being so slow.”Zimbabwe found themselves 23 for 3 in their second innings before a half-century from Sikandar Raza – his second of the Test – took them to 140 for 4 at stumps.“There’s still a lot of cricket to be played tomorrow,” Streak said. “A hard fighting day and a hard fighting first session. It’s not too far until the new ball, and we’ve got to get through that and see if we get some sort of total to defend.”He added that, after several missed chances in the field, Zimbabwe had only themselves to blame for allowing Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich put on a record 212-run partnership. “They put us under pressure, and we didn’t help ourselves with a few dropped catches,” Streak said. “We’ve got ourselves to blame for giving them that lead, but we’ve just got to deal with where we’re at now.”He lamented the soft dismissals that heaped pressure on Zimbabwe’s middle order once again, suggesting that wickets in hand could have helped Zimbabwe push for more of a lead heading into the fifth day.“Hamilton [Masakadza] got out to a good ball that hooped back quite a bit, but then Solomon [Mire] got out to a soft dismissal even by his own standards,” Streak said, describing Mire’s swipe across the line at a ball from Kemar Roach that trapped him lbw. “He does play aggressively, but on that wicket and with that length, it’s very difficult to play that type of shot, especially on a fourth-day wicket when you’ve had a lot of evidence of balls keeping low. So those are the sorts of dismissals we want to get rid of. Even Craig Ervine, if he’s honest with himself, got out to a pretty soft dismissal. It wasn’t like the ball did a heck of a lot.“If we had taken maybe two wickets off there, Mire and Ervine’s wickets, then it’s 140 for 2 and that’s a pretty good score. We’d have wickets in hand if we want to push on and try and get some sort of lead and put them in.”One bright point for Streak was the batting of Raza and Peter Moor, who reined in his attacking instincts to finish on 39 not out from 152 balls at the close. ” PJ [Moor] is a very determined guy first of all, and he’s a very intelligent guy who has worked out watching the other guys,” Streak said. “It’s not easy to just go out there and play shots, so he’s adjusted his game accordingly to the wicket. His batting in the first innings has also given him some insight into how to do it. Anyone who has gone out there and batted for a period of time, you can see there haven’t been easy or free flowing innings from anyone.”Apart from being slow, the pitch also fell short of Zimbabwe’s expectations in terms of help for the spinners. “Having a bit of cool weather around, has meant that the wicket hasn’t dried and dusted up as much as we would have liked,” Streak said. “So it’s been a little more placid than what we’d hoped. We wanted a wicket that would spin and break up, but the weather conditions on day one and two made the deterioration of the wicket much slower than it ought to be. Normally in October you get hot, dry days and then that deterioration happens a lot quicker.” (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedStreak urges more elite cricket for ZimbabweOctober 25, 2017Similar postZimbabwe seek to fix batting issues in bid to draw levelOctober 28, 2017In “Sports”WI v Zimbabwe: Cremer, Chakabva keep hopes of draw aliveNovember 2, 2017In “Sports” read more

EYEWITNESS Baring it all…

…not on oil!A funny thing happened to the APNU/AFC coalition on the way to power: they’ve contracted selective amnesia. When they were in the Opposition they went at the PPP hammer and tongs about not releasing contract details on Amaila Falls Hydro, Marriott and a host of other projects. “These are funded by the people of Guyana!!!” they thundered. “And the people deserve to know what their money’s being spent on! Y’all thiefin’ and siphoning off hundreds of billions into your pockets!!”But today, with Exxon sitting on three billion barrels of oil (and counting) – worth conservatively US$200,000,000,000 or GY$40,000,000,000,000 (that’s GY$40 trillion, thank you!) Trotman, the Natural Resource Minister, insists the people of Guyana can’t be given the details of the contract with Exxon!! Why? Well, he’s “hired experts” and they’ve advised his lips must remain zipped. Never mind that the most visible expert, advising the President on oil, one Dr Jan Mangal, says the contract should be released!!Pointing to the miserable and shameful experience of West Africa with oil, Dr Mangal insists “transparency” must be the mantra when natural resources – property of the populace – are involved. But even as Dr Mangal spoke, Trotman raised a plethora of incredible (and incredulous!) further reasons that he claimed his “experts” (other than Dr Mangal?) have offered for holding out on the people:“…there are a number of extenuating and external issues which are being attended to, some of them have foreign affairs implications, some of them have sovereignty implications, some have national security implications.” Now any of you, dear readers who’ve got children would know, when they come off with so many glib but non-specifics reasons why they did something wrong – they’re covering up their real reason and lying through their teeth! And so is Trotman!Let’s pick sense from nonsense. Trotman says the contract he “renegotiated” with Exxon to raise our royalty from one per cent to two per cent (sic!!) remained essentially” the one signed by the PPP in 1999. Well, if that is so, and that contract was made public, what’s the harm doing so now? Trotman says anyone could also “connect the dots” and figure out the details of the contract.Well whoever or whatever is going to harm our “foreign affairs, sovereignty and national security interests” can also connect the dots, can’t they? So, who’s kidding whom?? If we go by what Dr Mangal alluded to – the experience of West Africa – the refusal to come clean on the details of contracts with the International Oil Operators was for one reason: depositing the revenues into Government officials’ bank accounts, and not into the national Treasury.So Trotman should stop blowing smoke you know where!…on “Capture land!Some in Guyana have been arguing about who’s land we’re living on. Here’s an answer from Chronnic – the young Reggae Singer soon to visit our dear Mudland, in his song, “Capture Land”.“Yuh tink me nuh memba King FerdinandAnd teifing Columbus have a Golden planDem make a wrong turn and end up in the CaribbeanOne rass genocide kill nuff IndianLord Fi turn paradise in a plantation…We nah stay pon di land weh dem captureA me say Africa fi all true rasta…Carry we go home…Los Angeles dat a capture landAnd New York City dat a capture landEast some a di place weh you wah go live sweetA teifing land there’s no title fi itAnd some a these place weh you wah go live niceA tief dem tief it in the name of ChristSpanish Town dat a capture landThe whole a Kingston dat a capture landRemember Portland dat a capture landAnd all down a Trinidad dat a capture landBarbados dat a capture landTell dem Bermuda dat a capture landAnd tell Colombia dat a capture landAll round a Cuba dat a capture land(And Guyana na capture land?) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Clipping wings…March 1, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Clueless…June 30, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: “Boat gone a wata”…September 21, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more

Found guilty on 2 counts child rapist gets life imprisonment

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWest Dem man freed of child rape chargeNovember 20, 2017In “Court”Man found guilty of raping a child gets two life sentencesMarch 28, 2018In “Court”Child rapist sentenced to life acquitted of another rape chargeJanuary 31, 2018In “Court” Rohan Daniels, a logger, was on Wednesday evening found guilty on two counts of sexual activity with a child family member by a 12-member jury at the High Court.The panel deliberated for about three hours and they were tasked with handing a verdict on four separate counts of child sex activity.An 11-1 proportion found him guilty on the first count and a proportion of 10-2 determined that he was guilty on the third count. However, on the second count, the jury was unable to return a formal verdict (9-3 proportion).He was unanimously found not guilty on the fourth count.Guilty on two counts: Rohan Daniels According to the particulars of the first and third counts for which he was found guilty, the logger between April 12 and 13, 2014, and July 23, 2016 performed vaginally penetrative acts on the minor.She was between 10 and 13 years old during the span of the attacks.A relative of the Virtual Complainant read out the girl’s statement in court where the child outlined that she lives in discomfort and harbours difficulty relating to males. According to the victim, since the sexual abuse, she often has nightmares and bad dreams with constant flashbacks of the harrowing attacks inflicted upon her.“I want him to go away for life and I want him to die there; he will be judged by God. I want all men when they see people’s girl children, they must leave them alone,” the victim stressed.During the trial, it was highlighted that the victim’s mother had walked in when one of the illegal acts were being committed.After hearing the jury’s decision, Daniels with a cold and unrepentant appearance said he is “not guilty of this act; that’s all, thank you.”In handing down the sentence,  Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall said that she considered the nature of the offences, the circumstances under which the acts were committed and that the accused violated the child in the presence of other siblings and also when the victim’s mother was away at work.Justice Ramlall stressed that Daniels expressed no remorse after being found guilty and said she saw no basis for the court to show him mercy. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for each count and the prison terms will run concurrently. read more

Abandoned 7yearold saves brother from burning building

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMother of siblings saved from fire in custodyFebruary 7, 2018In “Crime”Mother of siblings saved in fire charged with neglect, granted $500,000 bailFebruary 8, 2018In “Court”3-year-old perishes in early morning fireDecember 30, 2016In “latest news” …Police seeking motherQuick thinking by a 7-year-old girl on Monday evening resulted in her saving herself as well as her 4-year-old brother from their burning home in Glasgow New Housing Scheme, East Bank Berbice.Police “B” Division Commander,  Lyndon Alves told INews that details surrounding the fire remains sketchy but it appears as though the children’s mother abandoned them.“We’re still looking for the mother. It seems like she abandoned them since yesterday morning,” he said.This online publication understands that the two children were asleep in their two storey concrete home, when the older sibling awoke to the smell of smoke.Upon realising that the home was on fire, the child reportedly wrapped her younger brother in a blanket and eased him out of the house through the front window.She then made her way out of the burning building, sustaining a fractured arm in the process.Nevertheless, the child raised an alarm in the neighbourhood and the Guyana Fire Service was contacted resulting in majority of the concrete structure being saved.The 7-year-old was treated for her injured arm and they were placed in the custody of their aunt.Residents in the area reportedly told police that the children’s mother would often leave them alone for lengthy periods.Investigations are ongoing. read more

Good Hope woman fears for her life as soninlaw allegedly threatens

Scared: Zorina MahaseOne week after she almost lost her daughter at the hands of an abusive farmer, Zorina Mahase is now scared for her own life and is contemplating fleeing the home she lived in for several years as the man has been threatening to “finish her off” before turning himself in to the police.The 48-year-old woman of Good Hope, East Coast Demerara (ECD) on Monday told Inews that she is fearful for her life after persons in the area reported to her that the farmer was seen and was threatening her life. According to the woman, whose daughter was chopped mercilessly on February 24, she made a report to the police but was told that they cannot do anything since they are still searching for the farmer.The distraught woman was almost moved to tears during an interview with Inews as she said, “We gah leave the house and go now, we gah find somewhere to go because the man still deh out deh”.Mahase’s words were triggered by last Sunday’s episode when the 35-year-old man chopped her 22-year-old daughter, Vashti Mahase, several times with a cutlass while she was serving him a restraining order at his Lima Dam home in Mahaica.Injured: Vashti MahaseThe elder Mahase, a mother of seven, said she has lived in her home for almost 19 years now and has never had an issue to cause her to move, even as she reported that her injured daughter’s condition is improving.The fearful woman said she never had an issue with the farmer until she learnt that he abuses her daughter, which is something she was unable to accept.“I just want somebody to find the man, the police just said they can’t do anything because they nah know way de man deh. Tell me what I can do because I mind me children them without a father for over 19 year and now me got to leff me house and go…how lang me gun able fuh hide from me home wah me wuk all de days of me life fuh build,” she cried.Efforts made by this publication to contact the Divisional Commander, Calvin Brutus, proved futile.Young Mahase was sent to the home of the suspect accompanied by a rural constable to issue a restraining order a few days after he threatened to chop her head off.Inews was told that in the process of serving the restraining order, an argument ensued between the two and while Mahase’s back was turned, the farmer gruesomely attacked her with his cutlass, firing chops at her face, head, hands, back and other body parts.The rural constable who was with her allegedly ran for cover, leaving the woman at the mercy of her attacker.According to the mother, her daughter was told that it was compulsory for her to be present when the restraining order was served since she needed to identify him.Police are searching for the suspect. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWoman critical after being brutally chopped by loverFebruary 26, 2019In “Crime”Farmer’s brutal chopping of wife: Video of confession disappearsJune 23, 2019In “Crime”Police yet to apprehend farmer who brutally attacked wifeMarch 13, 2019In “Crime” read more