Why Gretzky Had It Easy

One of the most interesting statistical nuggets I ran into while researching a piece about NHL goalies was the improvement in leaguewide goaltending over the past 30 years. It hasn’t just been a small improvement — the league’s save-percentage leaders during the 1980s and early 1990s put up statistics that would rate below-average in recent seasons.Here’s the league’s average save percentage since the 1983-84 season, when the NHL began tracking shots against:Save percentage rapidly increased during the so-called dead-puck era of the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s no coincidence that over that period, the NHL’s rate of scoring also dropped sharply. A lot of fans blame strategies such as the neutral-zone trap and left-wing lock for triggering the dead-puck era, but more of the blame belongs to better goalies.As for why goalies are so much better now, well, that’s a subject of much debate in hockey circles. One of the most popular explanations is that the sheer size of goaltending equipment has exploded since the 1980s. That’s hard to argue when you look at how pads have grown over time. But since pad size first became a talking point in the mid-to-late 1990s, the league has gone to some lengths (no pun intended) to police the dimensions of puck-stopping technology — and it’s had scarcely any effect on save percentages.Instead, I think a bigger reason save percentages improved so sharply in the 1990s was a dramatic change in the goaltending techniques being employed.During the 1980s, the prevailing style was still the so-called stand-up method, in which a goalie largely remains upright on his skates while making saves, using his stick and skates to stop low shots. In the middle of the decade, though, goaltending phenom Patrick Roy made his NHL debut. Emboldened by recent advances in arm and chest protectors, Roy used a different technique — the “butterfly” — wherein the goaltender drops to his knees to make saves, effectively sealing off most shooting targets along the bottom third of the net.Using the butterfly, Roy was sensational — he backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup as a 20-year-old in 1986 — and it wasn’t long before the butterfly style spread throughout the league. The effect was profound. Stand-up goalies who were the mainstays of the mid-1980s were almost completely phased out of the game within a decade, replaced by a younger generation who used the butterfly or at least a hybrid technique featuring butterfly elements.In retrospect, this seems like an obvious tactic — it’s a goaltending truism that the majority of goals are scored on shots at or near ice level — but older equipment made dropping low a dangerous proposition. Once falling to the ice became safer, goalies no longer had to rely purely on reflexes, instead being able to stop a greater percentage of low shots on technique alone. It’s no surprise that save percentages skyrocketed when one of the most common subsets of shots suddenly became much tougher.One final note: Watch the Wayne Gretzky highlight reel below and pay particular attention to the goalies in the early portion of the video, when the Great One was with the Edmonton Oilers.Compared with today’s game, you can really see the difference in goaltending technique (notice how many of the goalies tried to stop Gretzky’s shots without dropping to the ice). Modern goalies are more athletic and mobile, and, yes, their pads are plainly bigger. But they’re also using a style much more grounded in the probabilities of where pucks are shot. read more

The Seattle Seahawks Are Now Underdogs To Make The Playoffs

What opponent would you least want to see on your favorite NFL team’s schedule? Most of you, I’d guess, would want to avoid Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. But after that?The Seattle Seahawks, despite their 3-3 record, remain a perfectly reasonable answer to this question. When our NFL Elo ratings come out later this week, they’ll have Seattle in third place — just slightly behind New England (and further behind Denver) and just slightly ahead of Dallas, Indianapolis and San Francisco. You could argue these cases — are you more afraid of the Seahawks defense or Colts quarterback Andrew Luck? Are you sure you’d rather play Seattle than Denver when the Seahawks already beat the Broncos this season — and demolished them in last year’s Super Bowl?It’s not as though Seattle’s season has been a disaster. The Seahawks have outscored their opponents by 18 points against a very tough schedule. Jeff Sagarin’s ratings at USA Today have them as the third-best team in football based solely on their performance this year.Our Elo ratings carry over performance from previous seasons, which helps Seattle some. This usually yields more reliable estimates of team strength, especially early in the season (six games is a small sample size). You could argue against accounting for prior years’ performance when a team is old or when its roster had turned over substantially. But Seattle’s hasn’t. It has brought its core back from last year, when it was the third-youngest team in football. Quarterback Russell Wilson is just 25, an age when most QBs are still improving.Nonetheless, the Elo ratings have the Seahawks as underdogs to make the playoffs. In the simulations we ran after Sunday night’s games, Seattle made the playoffs just 46 percent of the time.The Seahawks are harmed by playing in the NFL’s toughest division, in a deep conference and against a very tough schedule. A league-average team playing Seattle’s schedule this year would be expected to go 7-9 based on each opponent’s Elo ratings, so the schedule costs the Seahawks about one win.Seattle will also need to finish with an 11-5 record or better to be assured of making the playoffs. In simulations where Seattle finished 9-7 — its most likely record according to Elo — it made the playoffs just 23 percent of time, well below the historical average for 9-7 teams of about 50 percent.Nor may a 10-6 record be good enough. In our simulations, Seattle won the NFC West only 27 percent of the time with that record. More often, a 10-6 Seattle team made the playoffs as a wild card. But the NFC playoff picture is crowded. Seattle would have to compete for two wild card slots along with whichever team finishes second in the NFC East (probably Philadelphia or Dallas), whichever team finishes second in the NFC North (probably Detroit or Green Bay) and whichever other NFC West team (San Francisco or Arizona) also misses out on the division title.And while an 11-5 record was almost always good enough for Seattle to make the postseason, it only earned the Seahawks a division title 60 percent of the time. That means they’d start their playoffs on the road — depriving them of the benefit of the NFL’s biggest home-field advantage.Perhaps the Seahawks don’t have much right to complain — it was only four seasons ago when they made the playoffs as a 7-9 team in an awful NFC West. But the trend toward smaller divisions in sports makes odd outcomes like this more likely. If Seattle makes the playoffs, it will certainly have earned it. read more

The Cheapest Super Bowl Tickets Get The Biggest Markups

AVG. TICKET RESALE PRICESUPER BOWL IS X TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE Super Bowl 50 will be played Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the regular-season home of the San Francisco 49ers. To a bird, Levi’s Stadium looks something like this: Red30610,0679,3263330-7 Yellow1716,6895,1983930-22 Source: SeatGeek SECTION COLOR49ERS HOME GAMESUPER BOWL ON JAN. 27SUPER BOWL ON FEB. 2ON JAN. 27ON FEB. 2∆ FROM JAN. 27 TO FEB. 2 Dark Green$78$3,989$3,7275148-7% Dark Blue1435,2314,4193731-16 Black2247,4396,8363331-8 Middle Blue1314,8274,5973735-5 At the Super Bowl, the cheapest tickets come at the highest added cost. Tickets for the worst seats — in the nosebleed dark-green sections — are selling at 48 times the average resale price for a regular-season 49ers home game. That’s a Super Bowl multiplier higher than anywhere else in the stadium. During the season, those seats retailed for $85 or $106, depending on the game. They resold on SeatGeek for an average of $78. For the Super Bowl, they’re reselling at an average of $3,727.The other most relatively expensive sections are also bad seats — purple (slightly closer but way behind the end zones) and light green (dark green’s marginally better counterpart). Tickets in both those sections are going for 42 and 38 times what they did during the season, respectively.Real “deals” can be found in the gilt-edged red, gold and black sections — close to the action and near midfield. While the average tickets in those sections are going for $9,326, $7,944 and $6,836, respectively, they’re a mere 30, 30 and 31 times more expensive than they were for a regular-season 49ers game. (One exception to this pattern are the über-elite gray “VIP” section tickets, but they’re a small sample — only eight gray tickets are listed on SeatGeek as I write.)This is either a clear case of “you gotta spend money to make money” or a regressive tax that the Bay Area certainly does not need.Over the past week, average resale prices for Super Bowl tickets have fallen in all sections, one by as much as 22 percent. This is evidence that buyers won’t suffer through another “short squeeze” like the one that plagued prices last year for the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. A short squeeze, which is rare for a Super Bowl, can happen when brokers sell speculative tickets early, when prices are high, hoping to cash in when prices dip right before the big game. “We’ll just never allow that to happen again,” a StubHub spokesman told Bloomberg. To a human, ticket prices to sit in various parts of that stadium Sunday look something like this over the past week, according to data provided to me by SeatGeek: Light Green1054,6864,0384538-14 Purple1064,7424,4714542-6 Super Bowl tickets are expensive Gray51321,40219,3974238-9 Gold2659,4497,9443630-16 Light Blue1675,7175,1313431-10 read more

Dave Bolland Regrets Retweet About Gary Bettmans Death

Chicago Black Hawks center Dave Bolland retweeted a post by a “fan” that called for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s death, an act the player now says he regrets.As the lockout continues to eat away at the season with the sides apparently not close on a deal, Bolland on Friday reposted a Twitter entry that read: “can I get a RT for wanting Bettman dead?”The retweet later was deleted.“It was a mistake, I never meant to retweet that out,” Bolland told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun. “I like to retweet for a lot of my fans, and I just retweeted the wrong thing. I feel bad about it.”It’s not the first time controversy has found Bolland. In a radio interview last year, Bolland referred to Daniel Sedin and Herik Sendin of Vancouver as “sisters” and the city of Vancouver as “weirdos.”The Twitter development also continued a trend of apparent ire with Bettman, who is overseeing a lockout for the third time since he became commissioner in 1993. The last lockout forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.Detroit Red Wings’ defenseman Ian White recently called Bettman an “idiot,” and Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg referred to Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly as “cancers.”On Friday, the NHL announced another round of cancellations, wiping out all regular-season games through Dec. 14, as well as the All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, originally slated for Jan. 27.The lockout now has cost the league 422 regular-season games — 34.3 percent of the season — as well as its regular-season marquee events; the annual Winter Classic was canceled earlier this month.Just as bad is the fact that there are no new labor talks scheduled. read more

Redskins London Fletcher Likely to Retire After This Season

Photo by The Washington Post.London Fletcher, the undrafted linebacker out of tiny John Carroll University, said he likely will retire after 16 NFL seasons that could land him in the Hall of Fame.Fletcher said at Redskins Park he is  ”99 percent certain” he will quit after the remaining two games. He said he must have one more conversation with his wife to make the decision final.“I felt like I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish in the National Football League,” Fletcher said.He said he wanted to have a chance to say goodbye to the fans against Dallas in the season’s finale.Quarterback Kirk Cousins told The Washington Post, “We would love to have him walk off that field the last time, if it will be the last time, with a victory.”He accepts that he will not leave the game as fellow linebacker Ray Lewis did with Baltimore last season, with a Super Bowl championship.“I’m not 28,” he said. “I’m 38. I understand that.”Fletcher has played in 254 consecutive games, the most of any active player. He holds the league record for consecutive starts by a linebacker with 214.That is the greatest “part of my legacy” Fletcher said.Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he “really didn’t know” if Fletcher would walk away after this season. Shanahan said, “I’ve never been around a guy like London who prepares for every game like it’s the Super Bowl.” read more

Podcast The Pats HomeField Advantage Djokovic The GoAT Cespedes For The Rest

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Sept. 15, 2015), we discuss the allegations that the Patriots interfered with the Steelers’ communications in their Week 1 matchup. Then, Carl Bialik breaks down whether it’s time to start thinking of Novak Djokovic as the best men’s tennis player of all time — even though everyone seems to root for Roger Federer instead. And, can Yoenis Cespedes win National League MVP even though he’s only been in the National League for a few months? Plus, an update from FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey on our crowdsourcing Madden challenge to win the Super Bowl using his avatar. And to close out the show, a Significant Digit on a turnaround for Kansas City’s women’s soccer team.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Below are links to some of what we discussed on the show:Want to win Madden with Walt Hickey as your quarterback? Here’s how to take part in our crowdsourcing project.ESPN’s list of injuries in the NFL.The Patriots’ home and road records in the Belichick era as compared to the rest of the league.When the Giants decided to pass on third down near the end of their Week 1 game against Dallas, they doubled the Cowboys’ win probability.Djokovic and Federer are vying to become the greatest of all time.Carl Bialik found that Roberta Vinci’s upset of Serena Williams was the biggest in modern women’s tennis.FanGraphs breaks down the argument for Yoenis Cespedes for MVP.The full archive of Baseline podcasts from Carl Bialik.Significant Digit: 4 — the number of teams that FC Kansas City of the National Women’s Soccer League leapfrogged to finish the regular season in third. FC Kansas City will face regular-season champion Seattle Reign FC in a repeat of last year’s National Women’s Soccer League final. Hot Takedown read more

On The NCAA Bubble Heres The Number To Watch

Kansas State6041324561.9 Clemson6333354915.7 TEAMRPIBPIKENPOMSTRENGTH OF RECORDCHANCE OF MAKING TOURNEY Syracuse7931445312.2 Bubble teams are drawn from Joe Lunardi’s bracketology classifications.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group, KenPom.com Wake Forest34303033>99.9% Illinois586368581.5 USC3958614376.4 Rhode Island4239515458.1 Marquette5529284188.6 California565255692.8 Illinois State3160494685.7 Indiana8132465719.1 College basketball season is in its final sprint toward Selection Sunday, and that means it’s panic time for teams on the men’s NCAA Tournament bubble. But not all bubble teams are created equal. For instance, Wake Forest, which ranks 30th in ESPN’s BPI power rankings, ought to feel relatively good about its tourney chances, while Syracuse, which ranks 31st, should be in a state of full-blown terror. Why the difference? It all comes down to how each school did in a metric that best predicts the NCAA selection committee’s picking tendencies.The selection committee has struggled for a while with how to pick the teams for the NCAA tournament. Should they be the best teams? Or simply the most deserving teams? The former may not have the best record, while the latter may not have the best talent. (In January, the NCAA even met with several analytics experts to help sort out this quandary.)Stats, too, have to figure out which of these two questions they’re trying to answer. ESPN’s BPI and KenPom.com’s ratings are examples of predictive rating systems, meant to tell fans who the “best” teams are. Other rating systems such as ESPN’s new Strength of Record (SOR) are meant to rank “deserving” teams, grading a team’s resume according to how hard its record was to achieve. The two approaches can yield very different results, and my research shows that Strength of Record aligns more closely with what the committee looks for in a tournament team.As the man behind updating ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index (BPI) before this season, I studied the Selection Committee’s historical behavior, to help build a system that assigns each team a probability of making the NCAA Tournament. I looked at many variables, including resume rankings such as Strength of Record and the NCAA’s official Ratings Percentage Index, predictive rankings such as BPI and KenPom, and simpler measures such as a team’s win-loss record.1Including its overall record and its record in conference and nonconference play.Most of these variables are highly correlated with each other, and in many cases they tell the same story about a school’s season. But Strength of Record has the highest correlation, and using it alone to select teams would help you agree with the committee 90 percent of the time. Plugging Strength of Record into a model (which includes other metrics, but weights them less2Specifically, here’s how the model works: We use BPI to simulate the rest of the season (including conference tournaments) 10,000 times, and in each simulation both automatic and at-large bids are selected. For the latter, we use a data-augmentation Bayesian Probit Regression model that includes SOR, RPI, BPI and an estimation of KenPom.com ratings to rank each team by its likelihood of grabbing one of the tourney’s 36 available at-large slots. A team’s chance to make the tournament, then, is a combination of their chance of winning their conference’s tournament and their chance of being selected as an at-large team if they don’t win the conference tournament.), we can assign tournament probabilities to teams considered “on the bubble” by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. Because of differences in resume quality (as measured by SOR), some bubble teams are quite likely to be favored by the committee, while some should be worried if they fail to win their conference tournaments. CURRENT RANKING AMONG D-I TEAMS Xavier3336433799.9 Providence5255534063.0 Houston5035415917.2 Iowa727767640.5 Chance of bubble teams making the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN Stats & Information’s model Vanderbilt4449405665.6 So if your team is sweating things out on the bubble Sunday, keep an eye on its Strength of Record — not its RPI or its predictive ratings. read more

At Least Phil Jackson Didnt Leave The Knicks In Ruins

Naturally, that surplus is made possible by the nature of the rookie scale, which artificially depresses pay for young players, but even going only by the real and projected value, this group of young players has been and will be worth far more than the veterans Jackson acquired. And the value isn’t all tied up in Porzingis, either — Hernangomez and Ntilikina both project to produce at a high level.With Jackson on the way out, the expectation is that coach Jeff Hornacek will have the freedom to move away from Jackson’s much derided triangle offense. Dolan is teasing the idea of chasing former Denver Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri, who helped pants New York in the ill-advised trade for Anthony, and then again in the even more lopsided Andrea Bargnani deal a few seasons later when Ujiri was working for the Toronto Raptors. (Somewhat infamously, Ujiri nearly traded Toronto’s star point guard Kyle Lowry to New York before Dolan, hesitant to be humiliated by Ujiri once again, called off the trade at the 11th hour.)The Knicks, who were 80-166 under Jackson, 29.5 games under their preseason Vegas win totals, are in possession of all of their future first-round draft picks for the first time in a decade.2Hell, the last time the Knicks’ draft outlook was promising for consecutive years was 2005 and 2006, when they had back-to-back seasons with multiple first-rounders. In 2005 they drafted Channing Frye and David Lee, and traded Kurt Thomas for Quentin Richardson and the draft rights to Nate Robinson. The following season, the team drafted Renaldo Balkman and Mardy Collins. Things are looking up.And so the Knicks move on to the next stage of their development, better off than they were three seasons ago. Phil Jackson did a good job — except for the parts where he didn’t. Or perhaps he did a world-historically bad job, except for a few draft picks that went his way. It was a mixed bag, full of drama and triangles, and maybe the best thing to be said about Jackson’s Knicks is that they never managed to completely bungle the future. But in this town, that’s not nothing. It’s borderline groundbreaking. Stick around long enough and even the New York Knicks might have a bright future to sell you.VIDEO: Phil Jackson’s legacy with the Knicks isn’t all bad In just three full seasons, Phil Jackson inflicted as much psychic distress on the New York Knicks fanbase as any executive in New York’s recent, storied, terrible history. Jackson signed with the Knicks on March 18, 2014. News broke on Wednesday morning that he’s leaving.Yet the fans’ discomfort was only possible, in large part, because Jackson’s front office drafted well and unearthed talented young players. Jackson built the team of the future, and then set about imperiling it.Jackson’s exit ends several weeks of turmoil which saw him feud openly with Carmelo Anthony over his no-trade clause (which Jackson himself negotiated) and entertain trade possibilities for Kristaps Porzingis, either in earnest or to send the young star a message to fall in line. It was a messy end, but then, things have been a mess for a while now.In Jackson’s first offseason, he made the biggest decision of his tenure: re-signing Anthony to a 5-year, $124 million contract, which included a no-trade clause. He also traded Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton for then-33-year-old Jose Calderon, a handful of cap filler and a pair of second round picks. Not quite an earth-moving rebuild, but not terrible.The following season, the Knicks made a three-team deal that sent J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland (and three straight Finals appearances), but returned three marginal players and a 2019 second-round pick. That offseason, the team drafted Porzingis with the No. 4 overall pick, and signed Robin Lopez to a 4-year, $55 million deal. The roster rounded out with peripheral free agents Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams and a trade for Kyle O’Quinn. Then the real trouble began.In the summer of 2016, Jackson signed Joakim Noah to a 4-year, $72 million contract, and traded Lopez (and his favorable contract), rookie Jerian Grant and Calderon to the Chicago Bulls for Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a second round pick. Rose remained a ghost of his former self; Noah was injured, ineffective and more expensive than Lopez.Going by FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection system,1CARMELO has been updated to once again use Real Plus-Minus, though it’s now blended with Box Plus-Minus. We’ll have more details in a few days, but for now, these numbers won’t match the ones in the interactive. we can see just how badly Jackson overshot on the veterans he acquired. The seven most significant players he brought in or re-signed — Anthony, Rose, Noah, Afflalo, Courtney Lee, Lopez and Calderon — made or will make a combined $253 million from the 2014-15 season to the end of the 2019-20 season from the Knicks. Over that same time, they will have produced $134 million of value. The Knicks overpaid by half. The rookies were a different story. Jackson famously preferred Jahlil Okafor to Porzingis, but should be credited for taking a talented but risky prospect. The same goes for trading second-round pick swaps for Willy Hernangomez, a viable center of the future, provided we live long enough to see a future without Joakim Noah on the books, and signing Mindaugas Kuzminskas. And last week’s draft selection, 18-year-old Frank Ntilikina, is a risky, home-run type pick at a draft position in which Jackson could have taken safer players with lower ceilings.Using the same CARMELO method as we did for the veterans, the key Knicks rookies look far better. They project to produce $203 million by 2020, but will have been paid just shy of $43 million. read more

3 notes from Urban Meyers Monday press conference

On Monday, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer addressed the media for his weekly press conference to reflect on the Buckeyes’ first loss of the season against Michigan State while also looking forward to the season finale against Michigan. Here are three notes from what he said.All eyes on ElliottThe whole college football world was talking about OSU’s loss, but more specifically, a lot of the attention was centered on Ezekiel Elliott’s postgame interview. The junior running back put the coaching staff on blast about his low usage and confessed he spent time in the hospital with a leg infection, while also announcing he would be bolting for the NFL after this season. As expected, Meyer addressed Elliott’s comments heavily on Monday. “He’s a very well-thought of junior, and he gets a microphone stuck in his face, and obviously, we do not condone that and encourage that,” Meyer said. “Our rule is always talk about your teammates and move on. And he came to see me. We had a very long discussion — he’s great — and he apologized and he said, ‘You know, they didn’t have the whole interview in there.’”But Meyer said he is not planning on listening to the rest of Elliott’s interview because they “squashed it as a team.” Many thought Elliott’s frustration about only getting 12 carries in a game that was conducive to running football because of the weather was warranted, even if it was not the right time or place. Meyer agreed with the substance of Elliott’s remarks but, as expected, was not happy with the way they were delivered. “I couldn’t disagree with him, his comments, that he should have got the ball a little bit more but that’s not the place to do it,” he said. “That’s why I always like to decompress for at least a few minutes, because I’ve said some things I’m not very proud of, and I’m not saying that (Elliott’s comments are) not true, I’m just saying that’s not the forum to have those conversations.” Meyer said he would have welcomed a conversation in private with Elliott about his carries, but the way Michigan State was crowding the line of scrimmage factored into the play-calling.The coach acknowledged that he has to “do better” in that regard.  When asked if the running back’s comments were alarming and made him question Elliott’s character, Meyer was quick to knock it down. Meyer said it was a “very isolated incident,” while noting that he feels Elliott is one of the most selfless football players he has ever been around. In hindsight, the coach said he needed to feed Elliott a little more, but with a talented Michigan team on the horizon, Meyer wants to put it in the rearview mirror.“I know I’m probably going to get another 64 questions on it, but it’s done,” Meyer said. “We’ve got a really good team coming up that we’re playing and we’ve got to move forward.” Early exitsAnother hot-button issue that has developed as of late was the issue of players with eligibility remaining discussing their future plans. During the week leading up to the game, junior defensive end Joey Bosa all but announced he would be turning pro after the 2015 campaign came to an end. That was widely assumed, as the defensive end is considered one of the best prospects in next year’s draft. However, hearing Bosa be so open about his future plans did turn some heads. Then, after the loss to Michigan State, Elliott said there was “no chance” he would be back for his senior season. Redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones added oxygen to that flame after the game when he posted photo of him walking into Ohio stadium before kickoff on Twitter saying how it was his last time walking on the steps into the ‘Shoe. On Monday, Meyer was asked if he was concerned about the negative effects that players being so open about their future endeavors and how he balances that within the locker room.Meyer pointed to his time at Florida in 2009 when a dozen players sent in paperwork to the NFL to inquire about the possibility of their draft stocks.He admitted it causes “a little anxiety” for the coaching staff, but he said when so many players are talented enough to leave for the NFL early, it is a testament to the type of recruiting going on.Players discussing their future plans causes concern in two areas, Meyer said. The first is staying focused on the task at hand, which with Michigan on the horizon, “is playing a very good team.” The second is dealing with filling those voids in the recruiting department. Meyer said it can be a “nightmare” at times, but the coach maintained that it was a good problem to have because if none of his players were good enough to get drafted, that would be a bigger problem. Everything considered, Meyer said “it’s not easy” dealing with players leaving, but his job remains the same.“I have to just make sure we’re staying focused,” he said. “The good thing is, they’re really good guys … But there’s human nature out there, too.”Uneasy feelingsWhen the players came to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday, Meyer said he held a team meeting. As imagined, the coach said there was a “knot” in everyone’s stomach after the loss. But Meyer said that is a good thing. “I would be really disappointed if it wasn’t there,” he said. “Today, you like to assess most of the guys … They are moving on. And it’s always good.” Meyer said he is trying to not be overly dramatic, but for him, Saturday “was a sleepless night.” When he got back into the facility on Sunday and started to see the players showing up, Meyer said it made him start to feel better. The coach recognized the challenges that await his squad with the Wolverines, as Meyer had nothing but praise for coach Jim Harbaugh’s team. But, even so, Meyer seemed to have no concerns about whether or not his players would respond against their archrival. OSU coach Urban Meyer walks off the field at Ohio Stadium following the Buckeyes’ 17-14 loss to Michigan State on Nov. 21. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor read more

Ohio State field hockey battles Indiana for chance at B1G tournament

Members of the Ohio State field hockey team sing ‘Carmen Ohio’ after a 2-1 loss to Michigan on Nov. 2 at Buckeye Varsity Field.Credit: Lantern file photoOhio State field hockey will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, on Friday for its final road game of the regular season where the Buckeyes go head-to-head with the Indiana Hoosiers.The Buckeyes (5-10, 0-6) look ahead to the match after a tough weekend of Big Ten play. OSU fell to both Rutgers and No. 5 Maryland at home, remaining winless in conference play.As OSU approaches one of the last games of the season, junior midfielder Maddy Humphrey said that the goal is to end the season on a high note and get a chance to compete in the Big Ten tournament.“We say that we don’t have anything to lose but we do because we are a part of Ohio State,” Humphrey said. “We need to represent (the school) by getting to the Big Ten tournament because that’s what Ohio State is all about.”Humphrey continues to dominate OSU’s offense with 11 goals and seven assists for a total of 29 points. After Humphrey’s performance over the past weekend, she jumped to No. 14 on the all-time points list with a career total of 85 points.Junior goalkeeper Liz Tamburro leads the Big Ten for the second year in a row with 96 saves this season. Tamburro also boasts a .716 save percentage. Also protecting the net is junior back Caroline Rath, who has had six defensive saves this season and is tied for fourth nationally.Indiana (8-8, 3-3) comes to the match after upsetting No. 12 Michigan, but falling to Michigan State the previous weekend.Returning to represent the Hoosiers is senior midfielder Katie Barber, who has finished 16 goals and four assists for a cumulative 36 points. Junior midfielder Taylor Pearson follows Barber with 19 points made up of eight goals and three assists.Sophomore goalkeeper Noëlle Rother is ranked second in the Big Ten behind OSU’s Tamburro with 91 saves and a .740 save percentage. Rother was also named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the weeks of Oct. 11 and Oct. 18.Coach Anne Wilkinson said that the Buckeyes have really stepped up their game in practice this past week as they have prepared to face Indiana.“They came out with energy and focus, which was good,” Wilkinson said. “We’re … still working through how we handle (tough) situations…and I think they’re managing themselves appropriately in that they’re having the right focus going into this game on the road.”Friday’s match will mark the 27th time that the Buckeyes and Hoosiers have faced off since 1974. OSU leads the series with a 16-9-1 record and has won three of the last five games.Friday’s faceoff is set for 3 p.m. and will be streamed live on BTN Plus. read more

Big Ten Media Days Urban Meyer fully supportive of suspensions

Junior defensive lineman Joey Bosa put on his helmet during a March 26 practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.Credit: Lantern file photoCHICAGO — A one-game suspension for a quartet of players may have been the first major setback to the 2015 Ohio State season, but members of the defending national champions aren’t letting it break their spirits.OSU announced Thursday that junior defensive lineman Joey Bosa, redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall, junior H-back Dontre Wilson and redshirt senior wide receiver Corey Smith had each been banned from the Buckeyes’ season opener on Sept. 7 at Virginia Tech for a violation of a Department of Athletics policy.While the suspensions were made public Thursday morning, OSU coach Urban Meyer said later that day during the 2015 Big Ten Media Days that it is an issue that he had been aware of for longer than that.“I kind of knew about this for a little bit,” Meyer said. “The athletic department has policies that we expect, and I 100 percent am fully supportive of it.”Meyer opted not to disclose the details of the violations, saying it was an “internal” team matter.Senior linebacker Joshua Perry said he was disappointed to see the punishments dished out, but he acknowledged there is a team code of taking responsibility for actions.“We’re disappointed because we value a high level of accountability,” Perry said. “But at the same time, you have to realize that guys do make mistakes; nobody is perfect, so as much as you want to eliminate those mistakes, you got to recognize them, you got to do something about them, and then you got to do something about it.”While each of the four suspended players are set to play major roles for the Buckeyes this season, Bosa’s absence against Virginia Tech — a team that handed OSU its only loss of the 2014 season — figures to be the most notable. Bosa was a unanimous 2014 Associated Press first-team All-America selection and finished as a finalist for three major national awards.However, Perry said he has faith in the depth and talent that the Buckeyes have to make up for the absence of the four.“If you go down our roster, and you see some of the other players we have that can step in, it’s not too worrisome,” Perry said.Missing a player who picked up 13.5 sacks last season in Bosa is never ideal for a defense, but Perry said the OSU defense has never been about the individuals.“We’re a no-name kind of defense,” he said. “What I mean by that is we want to take the individual identities away and we want to have a group identity.“We want to focus on that identity, the power of a total unit coming together. So when one guy goes down, it’s not even about the name anyway, you have to have another guy step up and know that with 11 guys doing their job, you can be successful.”The senior singled out players such as redshirt freshmen defensive linemen Sam Hubbard and Darius Slade, as well as sophomore defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes to pick up the defensive slack in the opener with Bosa out, and a pair of wide receivers in sophomore Curtis Samuel and junior Michael Thomas supporting the offense.Senior offensive lineman Taylor Decker was able to draw positives from the suspensions, citing a manufactured sense of urgency that can be valuable to a team.“I think it’s a huge opportunity for those guys who are going to step into those positions,” Decker said. “I think it might create a sense of urgency for the guys who are going to have to sit out that game because they’re probably going to be on scout team for the entirety of camp and those other guys are going to get the opportunity to take that spot and if they do a better job, they’re not going to get that spot back.”“So I think it’s going to create a sense of urgency all around, and I think it’s going to be beneficial, because if you break the rules you are going to punished no matter who you are. I don’t want to say I’m happy it happened, but I think there can be positives that come from it.”OSU — sans the four suspended players — is set to take the field for the season opener on Sept. 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m in Blacksburg, Va. read more

Big rise in patients falling victim to NHS surgical mistakes

first_imgHealth campaigners have blamed inadequate staffing and pressure in the NHS for a rise in the number of hospital attendances caused by “mistakes” during medical care.Between 2005 and 2015, the number of attendances by patients caused by an “unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during surgical and medical care” rose from 2,193 to 6,082.Peter Walsh, of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said that more complex procedures and better reporting of incidents could also partly explain the rise.”I suspect inadequate staffing and increased pressure at work are also factors,” he told the Daily Mail. Mr Walsh said some surgeons were concerned that their training was not as thorough as it once was.He added: “Of course it is a known risk of surgery that these things happen, but that doesn’t make it OK and much of the time they are really bad errors that are perfectly avoidable.”One of the most common mistakes we hear of during laparoscopic surgery is perforation of the bowel. This is very, very serious and can be fatal if not repaired very quickly.”He also said the the increase was worrying and called for an investigation into its cause.The figures are released annually by NHS Digital. They include patients whose unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage was at a private hospital and who had later been cared for by the NHS.They also include readmissions for ongoing complications related to the damage sustained.In 2014/2015 the NHS carried out 1.6 million more operations compared to 2009/2010. NHS mistakes can lead to human suffering and tragedyDepartment of Health spokesman A Department of Health spokesman said: “NHS mistakes can lead to human suffering and tragedy.”That’s why this government has focused relentlessly on driving up standards through a safer, seven-day NHS, with extra support for staff to speak out honestly when things go wrong, and a tough new watchdog to probe patient incidents – the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Firefighters thrown from boat during sea rescue in Jersey

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. This is the dramatic moment two firemen are hurled from a boat while trying to rescue a swimmer in Jersey.Footage taken on board a lifeboat shows three fire crew battling rough conditions en route to saving a 31-year-old woman off Green Island on Saturday.One fireman manages to hoist himself back onto the boat while the other remains stranded in the sea for a few moments. He is then pulled back on board.Joy Godfray was rescued but later died in hospital.last_img

Husband of mother who died after Csection birth says he blames himself

first_imgHe added: “I would have done anything for her. I would happily change it – I would do anything to change what has happened, absolutely anything.” The husband of a young mother who died just hours after she gave birth to her second son has said he continues to place blame on himself.Frances Cappuccini’s death was a result of “failures, inadequate diagnosis and treatment” at the hospital caring for her, a coroner said earlier this year.The 30-year-old died at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury, Kent, shortly after giving birth to her son, Giacomo, by Caesearean section. Reflecting on being told his wife had died, Mr Cappuccini told the programme: “It was devastating. It completely ripped me apart. I think my first reaction – I nearly passed out. I think I fell on the floor. I think that is what happened initially.”The 10-day inquest at Gravesend Old Town Hall in Kent earlier this year heard that Mrs Cappuccini lost more than two litres (around four pints) of blood after the C-section. Frances Cappuccini was a school teacherCredit:INS Frances Cappuccini on her wedding day Frances Cappuccini Mrs Cappuccini, a school teacher, suffered heavy bleeding and was anaesthetised, but went into cardiac arrest and died at 4.20pm on October 9 2012.In an interview with Channel 4 News, her husband Tom Cappuccini said: “I placed a lot of blame – I still do – a lot of blame on myself for not being more forceful, more aggressive with the midwives when I first got there and insisting more that we had the C-section.”So to then imagine her waking up and being unable to breathe by herself and being conscious at the time for me – oh my God – I can’t even put into words how that made me feel.”So to have them at the inquest tell me there is no way she could have woken up has just taken so much off my shoulders.”center_img Frances Cappuccini on her wedding dayCredit:SWNS  Frances Cappuccini Frances Cappuccini had an emergency C-sectionCredit: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. She was subsequently operated on for a postpartum haemorrhage but never woke up from the anaesthetic.The inquest criticised the care given to her, including a piece of placenta that was left in her womb.Mr Cappuccini said: “I didn’t sleep for weeks. I didn’t sleep for weeks before and I didn’t sleep for weeks after. I’ve never been so emotionally and physically drained at that point.”There was a lot of pressure on myself and on the whole family in fact, my parents, my in-laws, we’re all in the same boat, but I just had to keep going because this wasn’t about me.”This was about Frankie. It was about getting justice for her.”In a statement given to Channel 4 News, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said: “We have acknowledges that Frances’ death was avoidable and we have made significant changes as a direct result of the aspects of her care which did not meet the standards we would expect.”last_img read more

RHS Wisley accuses Highways England of land grab over plan to widen

first_imgAerial view of RHS WisleCredit:Invicta Kent Media/REX/Shutterstock The Walled Garden at RHS Garden Wisley “Wisley is the UK’s centre of excellence for horticulture and horticultural science and helps millions of people to garden and grow plants.”I’m calling on the UK’s army of 27 million gardeners to make it known that a disregard for these important trees and lack of appreciation of the national importance of this garden would not be acceptable if the short-sighted and environmentally damaging option was chosen.”Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said the charity was investing £70 million at the gardens in horticulture, new laboratories and visitor facilities.”It would be criminal for this irreplaceable woodland to be lost when another viable plan would avoid cutting down these century-old trees and still meet the important need to widen the A3,” she said.The role the trees play in mitigating pollution, providing habitat for wildlife and creating a noise and visual barrier must not be underestimated, she added, warning the noise of the A3 without them could impact on visitors and the future of the garden. Five trees identified as “threatened and endangered in cultivation” and huge giant redwoods would be lost if the scheme went ahead, the charity said.The RHS is urging Government agency Highways England to choose the option on the east side, which it said would not take any woodland or fell trees at Wisley. It would also provide better road access to the gardens, which get 1.2 million visitors a year, the charity said. Aerial view of RHS Wisle 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. Highways England said the RHS was presenting the “worst case scenario” as if there had been no mitigation and insisted that they took their environmental responsibilities “very seriously”.A spokesman said the current access road to Wisley was “not particularly safe” and often caused traffic to queue onto the A3.The agency has proposed to close that road and build a new access road half a mile down the road as part of improvements to junction 10 of the M25.It is expecting to announce its preferred route within the next month, which is the “starting gun on the planning process.”After that, a detailed design will be submitted to the planning inspectorate before there is another public consultation.Work is not due to start before 2020. The Royal Horticultural Society has warned that one of the UK’s most popular gardens faces losing acres of woodland in a “criminal garden grab” by Highways England.Plans to widen the A3 could result in the loss of 500 trees at RHS Wisley in Surrey, including one planted by the Queen to mark her silver jubilee, and some that are more than 100 years old, it has claimed.RHS ambassador Alan Titchmarsh has called on the UK’s army of gardeners to oppose the plans, saying: “We must stand together and protect our gardens.”The RHS said there were two options to widen the A3, one on the road’s east side, and one on the west alongside the century-old garden.The west option would take out the protective bank of trees which separates the busy road from the trials field where varieties of blooms are assessed, as well as part of the woodland garden, worsening noise and air pollution at the garden. The Walled Garden at RHS Garden Wisley Titchmarsh said: “This potential garden-grabbing plan would be another unacceptable example of this Government’s poor perception of horticulture and lack of appreciation of the vital role that plants play for the environment, for the nation’s health and well-being and for the UK economy.last_img read more

Flu epidemic set to hit Britain within fortnight as 83 million now

first_imgDr Richard Pebody, PHE acting head of respiratory diseases department, said: “The flu survey is an on-line survey, which was set up during the swine flu pandemic in 2009 as an indicator of flu activity in the community. Around 7,500 people around the country are currently registered with survey and, during the winter, they voluntarily report if they have had flu-like symptoms during the previous week. A flu epidemic will hit England within a fortnight, if current trends continue, according to latest figures suggesting more than eight million people are now suffering symptoms.The new data shows a “significant excess” of deaths among over 65s in England, and among those in all age groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland.Across England,  flu levels are currently approaching high levels, the statistics from Public Health England show, with a 2.5 fold rise in cases in the last two weeks.If current trends continue, it means England will reach epidemic levels within a fortnight.Health officials had been fearful about the impact of a strain of flu A (H3N2) dubbed “Aussie flu” after it fuelled the worst flu season in Australia for a decade.   “The best prevention for flu, other than observing good hygienic practices, such as regular hand washing, is for people, particularly those in at-risk groups, including patients with long-term conditions and pregnant women, to get their flu jab. It is not too late to receive some benefit from vaccination.“If someone does have the flu, unfortunately there is no cure, but patients can assist their own recovery through taking plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluids as it is easy to become dehydrated. Fevers and muscle ache, which are often symptoms of flu can also be improved with paracetamol or ibuprofen, if appropriate. But NHS senior managers say GPs were put under pressure by health officials to choose the cheaper option – excluding the Japanese strain now spreading through hospitals.The latest statistics suggest around 4,500 people were admitted to hospital with flu last week.Of those, 61 per cent – were suffering influenza B, the vast majority with the B-Yamagata strain.The latest report includes estimates suggesting that more than 15 per cent of people have been left suffering influenza-like illness in the past week – equating to more than 8.3 million people.Those figures come from internet-based surveillance run by PHE and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  Separate statistics published today by PHE covering GP consultations show 53.1 consultations per 100,000 people in England last week, compared with rates of 37.3 per 100,000 people last week, and 21 per 100,000 in the last week of December. Health officials said levels were highest among those aged 45 to 64.The report shows 120 deaths from flu have now been confirmed in England, a rise from 85 on record last week.Broken down by region, the latest figures show Midlands and East England, which includes Birmingham, Norwich and Nottingham, was worst affected, followed by North England, including Manchester, York and Newcastle. The Royal College of GPs said the figures represented a 150 per cent rise in flu rates since the start of the year, with an estimated 31,300 patients in England attending their GP practice with flu symptoms in the week ending 14 January.Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “General practice continues to face huge winter pressures with a significant increase in patients presenting with influenza, and high numbers of patients continuing to present with other common winter illnesses.“Wintertime always brings challenges for the health service, and GP practices have prepared well in order to deliver the best possible care for patients. But patients can also help in keeping themselves safe and well during the cold weather.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. But the new figures suggest that B strains are now dominating, making up more than six in ten hospitalised cases last week.  The vast majority of those cases involve a strain called B-Yamagata – known as “Japanese flu” – which is not covered by the vaccines most patients have received.Two types of vaccine were available to the NHS – a £5 trivalent version covering three main strains of flu, and an £8 quadrivalent version protecting against four strains. “This means number of participants at a local level will be small and figures should thus be interpreted with caution. It is just one of a range of indicators which PHE flu surveillance considers when looking at the position across the country each week.” “We do encourage patients who are ill to think hard about whether they do need to see a GP – not just in terms of reducing pressures on the NHS, but to minimise the possibility of passing viruses, such as flu, to other people, particularly in at-risk groups, such as those with long-term conditions or pregnant women.”Professor Paul Cosford, medical director, PHE said: “Our data continues to show that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital with flu.“In terms of hospital admission, this is the most significant flu season since the winter of 2010/11 and the preceding pandemic year of 2009 although it is not an epidemic.“We are currently seeing a mix of flu types, including the A(H3N2) strain that circulated last winter in the UK and then in Australia. The A(H3N2) strain particularly affects older, more vulnerable age groups.last_img read more

Pubs to stay open late to celebrate wedding of Prince Harry and

first_imgNoting that the wedding will take place on the same day as the FA Cup Final, the Home Office said there have been no reports of “increased disorder” as a result of previous extensions to licensing hours, which have also coincided with major football fixtures.The Home Secretary can make an order relaxing licensing hours for licensed premises in relation to a “celebration period” to mark an occasion of exceptional international, national or local significance. Harry and Meghan will marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Saturday May 19.Licensing hours will be extended on the nights of Friday May 18 and Saturday May 19 until 1am the following mornings. Since the introduction of the Licensing Act 2003, the power has been used for a number of occasions including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016.The latest extension was welcomed by Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association.She said: “We are delighted with the Government’s decision to extend licensing hours in the on-trade for the royal wedding.”This will allow the nation to celebrate and raise a glass to Harry and Meghan in a responsible manner, whilst giving a timely boost to the great British beer and pub sector.”On Friday Harry and Meghan announced that thousands of people will be invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle to share their wedding day.center_img Pubs have been given the green light to stay open later to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed that licensing hours across England and Wales would be relaxed to mark the royal wedding in May.The plans to relax restrictions on opening hours were revealed by the Sunday Telegraph in January. The move has now been confirmed following a four-week consultation.It means pubs, bars and other licensed premises can keep serving until 1am on the morning of the nuptials, and again after the couple have tied the knot.Ms Rudd said: “The royal wedding is a chance for communities across the country to join together and celebrate this momentous and happy occasion for our royal family and for our nation.”As shown by the support for the proposal to extend licensing hours, it’s clear that the public back the idea of having more time to raise a glass to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on a day of national celebration.”last_img read more

Ban nondisclosure agreements on workplace sexual harassment says EHRC

first_imgNon-disclosure agreements about sexual harassment in the workplace should be banned, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said. The EHRC has called on the Government to introduce legislation stopping employers from ignoring complaints to protect their reputation.The commission said it had discovered “truly shocking” examples of sexual harassment, including a 17-year-old who locked herself in a toilet after men “joked” about rape, and a woman who revealed she lost her job, her reputation and her health.It also said firms should not use non-disclosure agreements to sweep sexual harassment under the carpet.There should be a new legal duty on employers to prevent harassment or victimisation, as well as more protection for victims, said the EHRC.It also suggested that managers should be given training on how to tackle any problems.It has written to “leading employers” including those in the FTSE 100 and top “magic circle” law firms, setting their legal duties towards their employees and asking for evidence of their policies and practice.Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the EHRC, said: “We set out to discover how sexual harassment at work is dealt with by employers and how it is experienced by individuals. What we found was truly shocking.”There is a lack of consistent, effective action being taken by employers, and people’s careers and mental and physical health have been damaged as a result.”Corrosive cultures have silenced individuals and sexual harassment has been normalised. We underestimate extent and we are complacent as to impact.”We need urgent action to turn the tables in British workplaces, shifting from the current culture of people risking their jobs and health in order to report harassment, to placing the onus on employers to prevent and resolve it.”It cannot be right that millions of people go to work fearing what might have happened by the time they come home.”The recommendations were drawn up following evidence from nearly 1,000 individuals and employers, which found that the most common perpetrator of harassment was a senior colleague, while one in five of those responding had been harassed by a customer or client. In around half of cases where an incident was reported, employers took no action as a result. When action was taken this was often detrimental for the person who reported the issue. The recommendations said the Government should legislate to make contracts barring employees from talking about harassment or discrimination void.The Government should also survey employees every three years to get a better sense of the nature and scale of sexual harassment at work. Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, commented: “No woman should face humiliation, intimidation or harassment at work.”Sadly it’s becoming increasingly clear not only that it’s an all too common experience but that far too many employers are turning a blind eye or even silencing victims of harassment.”Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton said: “Reporting sexual harassment can be hard and particularly so if you are in a junior role, on low pay or in insecure work, for fear of losing your job and your income. This has to change.”We have heard a huge amount of testimonies that show how widespread this problem is but so far we have seen very little action.”Employers have come under pressure to protect their employees from harassment and abuse following allegations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted female actresses. Subsequent sexual harassment scandals have engulfed Parliament and several high-profile businesses across the City and other sectors. In some cases non-disclosure agreements have been used to prevent complainants from speaking out about their experiences. A Government spokesperson said: “This Government condemns all forms of workplace harassment, which is unlawful under the Equality Act. We are looking at all aspects of this wholly unacceptable behaviour, including the use of non-disclosure agreements.“We welcome the EHRC’s input into the debate about sexual harassment. We believe existing laws provide protection for both men and women in the working environment; however, we will continue to keep the operation of the legislation under review, to ensure that it works as intended.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Lake District trials futuristic driverless vehicles in bid to tackle congestion

The Lake District is trialling driverless pods for visitors  And although there’s no driver, passengers can speak to the vehicles’ control centre in case of an emergency.One charge is enough for around 100km of travel and the vehicles, made by Dudley-based Westfield, have a top speed of 25mph.The so-called “pods” are also in use or being trialled at Birmingham and Manchester airports and at O2 Arena In London. The Lake District is trialling driverless pods for visitors  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. Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park said: “We’re constantly looking at new ways to balance the needs and enjoyment of people as they visit and move around the Lake District, whilst being mindful of the impact on the environment.”Driverless pods are a really interesting concept and while this is not necessarily something that will be seen on the Lake District streets soon, it’s vital we explore a range of solutions to sustainable travel.”Julian Turner, Westfield Technology Group chief executive said: “Through this project we’re identifying possible routes for the pod and talking to the local community about how we could meet their transport needs.”We’re particularly looking forward to hearing feedback from the local residents and visitors, as their input into how services can help meet their needs will be invaluable when planning possible routes for the pod to run in this area”The outcomes of the feasibility study, which is due to end in June, will help the authorities decide whether the driverless transport is suitable in the Lake District and which routes would be viable.But it was met with scepticism by many locals.Many suggested that the money should be ploughed into much-needed footpath restoration, current infrastructure and public transport first while others scoffed at the idea that they could survive the area’s bumpy, narrow lanes. The roads in the Lake District are famed for being clogged with sheep and walkers.But the beautiful rolling scenery, could soon be punctuated with the rather more futuristic driverless “pods”.The state-of-the-art self-driving vehicles are being trialled as a potential solution to gridlock near Grisedale or a bottleneck at Buttermere.The UNESCO World Heritage Site has launched a feasibility study examining how the 18 million visitors who descend on the area each year will get around in the future.The electric vehicle, which are already ferrying passengers at Heathrow Terminal 5, use cutting edge technology, including sensors to detect road conditions and obstacles in the road, to transport people in a safe and environmentally friendly way.The on-board computers can ensure the vehicle brakes faster and anticipates changes in road conditions that the human eye could not. read more

Prisoner of War suit from Gulf War to go on display for

A never seen before Prisoner of War suit from the Gulf War is to go on display at the RAF museum as  part of a major renovation to mark a century in of the force’s time in service.The suit “which embodies the spirit of the RAF” was donated to the museum by Squadron Leader Robbie Stewart, a navigator who was shot down with his pilot by a surface-to-air missile during a low-level night attack whilst flying in Iraq.They were captured by Iraqi forces and badly beaten during their interrogation and six week imprisonment.Maggie Appleton, CEO of the museum, said: “The suit is a very powerful and moving statement to make of RAF friendship and humanity that really does embody the spirit of the Royal Airforce. “When we show it to people It is that pause, it’s a really moving object. It has quite a presence in there I think. You can see the story but you can hear the story as well from him and his colleagues.”Set to open on Saturday, the museum also features three new exhibitions, with one titled The RAF in an Age of Uncertainty, reflecting the rapid economic and political change from 1980 to present day. Two of the enormous four propellers of the Short Sunderland, a flying boat, dwarf Year Two children from Colindale Primary School as they watch from a viewing gallery “The RAF in an Age of Uncertaintiy” celebrates the 100 years of the RAF’s existanceCredit:David Rose The museum has undergone a £26 million refurbishment, creating an interactive experience of the RAF’s century-long story with a transformed layout, three new exhibitions, an exclusive ‘Gnat’ flight simulator and a model of the primed F-35 Lightning jet. Two of the enormous four propellers of the Short Sunderland, a flying boat, dwarf Year Two children from Colindale Primary School as they watch from a viewing galleryCredit:David Rose "The RAF in an Age of Uncertaintiy" celebrates the 100 years of the RAF's existance A famous Sea King helicopters, flown by Prince William at RAF Valley, is also a new addition to the museum. Sir Peter Luff, the Chair of the Fund, said: “As a pioneer and leader of international aviation, and in its Centenary year, the Royal Air Force deserves a world-class museum.“Now, thanks to National Lottery players, visitors can explore the powerful, inspiring and often surprising stories of the world’s oldest independent air force in a dynamic new setting.”Sir Roger Carr, chairman BAE Systems, said: “The histories of the Royal Air Force and BAE Systems have been inextricably linked since the foundation of the Royal Flying Corps.“Since 2014 we are proud to have been a Founding Partner for the regeneration of the RAF Museum.  The Museum plays an important role inspiring the next generation of airmen, airwomen and engineers.” Another focuses on the future of the RAF, with the US Air Force Predator drone on display alongside a debate table encouraging visitors to discuss the future of air and space security and how the RAF is adapting.Ms Appleton added: “The RAF is absolutely diverse in welcoming airmen and airwomen totally and utterly, and all different backgrounds and trades are all recognised. “That’s why we don’t have an exhibition about women in the RAF because women are part of that broader RAF story, they are actually integrated into every RAF storyline. It’s a diverse and integrated story.”A 1930s doll of airwoman Amy Johnson is on display, showing how pioneering she was at the time, among other artefacts including sand from the Stalag Luft III, the site of the Great Escape.The new museum also illuminates the story of Noor Kahn, who despite being from a family of suffering Muslim pacifists, flew to Nazi-occupied Paris to begin a career in covert RAF operations.  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