Month: September 2019

Its Hard To Tell How Good NFL Teams Are At The Draft

Just as with career length, players taken earlier in the draft are much more likely to be honored as All-Pros. And the distinction between the first round and the remainder of the draft is impressive: About a quarter of all first-rounders who make the NFL find their way on to an All-Pro team, compared with roughly 10 percent for second-round picks. Even within a round, earlier picks tend to do better; for every additional pick in the first 100 selections, a player sees his chances of making an All-Pro team decline by about half a percentage point.7To get the slope of this line, we fit a local regression curve to the pick-by-pick data. This finding is similar to Chase Stuart’s research on the correlation between draft position and Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value metric.When you look at these results by position, however, some players appear to benefit more than others from the reputation that comes with a high draft pick. Linebackers and offensive linemen, for example, are among the positions most likely to see first-rounders named to an All-Pro team, and they’re also among the most difficult positions to judge statistically.8Line play is perhaps the hardest part of the game to judge on an individual level, and a linebacker’s role — and thus his stats — can vary wildly depending on his team’s scheme. (Not to mention the leeway given to league stat-trackers when handing out “assisted tackles” to star linebackers.) It’s possible that teams find it easier to assess the potential of players at those positions, making it more likely that they’ll draft players who go on to become stars. But it’s also possible that players with good pedigrees and name recognition are being given preferential treatment when awards are granted, in the absence of meaningful performance data (like what exists for offensive skill players) to challenge our perceptions.Perhaps tellingly, the one position that doesn’t show a strong tendency for first-round picks to turn into All-Pros is quarterback. That might mean good quarterbacks are especially hard to identify, but it also may not be a coincidence that we have better, more granular performance data for quarterbacks than any other position, even compared with other offensive “skill players.” With more data, the media members who decide All-Pro status are better at differentiating between good and bad performers without having to resort to prior information such as draft position. And it follows that they may not be doing that for positions with less data.With all this uncertainty, teams are increasingly finding roles for players who enter the league outside the orderly stratification of draft day. Although undrafted players rarely persist on NFL rosters for very long — their average career length has declined more severely than drafted players in recent years9In corrected follow-up analyses to that article, we found that average career length fell by 0.5 years from 2008 to 2013 for undrafted players, compared with a decline of 0.3 years for drafted players over the same timeframe. — the league is churning through more players than ever before, and the overall pool of undrafted players has never been larger. According to our research, the number of undrafted players on NFL rosters increased from 497 players in 2005 to 746 in 2014 — a 50 percent increase.10The 2011 collective bargaining agreement expanded maximum training-camp roster sizes from 75 to 90, increasing the number of players a team gets to look at each summer.Criticisms of NFL draft decision-making usually focus on outliers such as Tom Brady infamously being selected with a sixth-round pick, but studies consistently show that teams do a solid job of sorting talent by pick and by round. At the same time, however, that skill varies substantially depending on a player’s position — and therefore the amount of data we have to judge individual performance. In the absence of better data, this means we still don’t really know how much of a crapshoot the draft is, no matter how much we study it.CORRECTION (April 28, 2:40 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article gave an incorrect description of the data. The chart shows players drafted since 1990, not just those drafted since then who retired between 1990 and 2013.Disclosure: Author Zach Binney works as an analyst for an NFL team. From NFL front offices to fan message boards, the amount of time spent arguing over which players teams should draft is mind-boggling. Ahead of the 2016 draft — which begins tonight — the prospect-focused site WalterFootball.com, for example, has compiled 315 mock drafts from across the internet. And apparently it’s been a slow year; in 2013, it collected 618.Such obsessive study would be unnecessary if the right answers were obvious. They rarely are. So some observers have called the draft a “crapshoot,” but things are more complicated than that, too. There’s plenty of data to suggest that the draft acts like an efficient market and that when a player is picked speaks volumes about what kind of career he will have. We studied it ourselves, looking for evidence that teams know what they’re doing. But every step of the way, we also found reasons to believe that many of the measures used to quantify a draft pick’s success contain flaws — some relating to draft position itself — that may be unavoidable for now.For our draft research, we used information from Pro-Football-Reference.com for players who were drafted in 1990 or later, made the NFL1Playing in at least one regular season game. and retired before 2013.2No special reason we picked 1990. To maintain consistency, we excluded players from before 1994 who were drafted in rounds after the seventh. First, we looked at the most basic measure of NFL success — the average length of a player’s career — based on the round in which he was drafted.3Career length was measured from the first year a player appeared in at least one regular season game to the last year he appeared in at least one regular season game, counting both years as full. No surprises here: The higher the draft pick, the longer a player will stick around in the NFL. First-rounders last a year longer than second-rounders, and the same goes for second-rounders compared with third-rounders. The gaps between rounds narrow slightly in the latter half of the draft, but a seventh-round pick like Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick of the NFL draft, can expect a career just under half as long as the average first-rounder.This is evidence that teams are getting better talent in earlier rounds. And these different career lengths can’t be explained away by different positions being drafted in different rounds: Aside from quarterbacks being more common in the first round4They make up about 8 percent of picks in round one, versus 4 percent in later rounds. and special teamers being more common later in the draft,5They’re taken with fewer than 1 percent of picks in the first two rounds and at about 3 percent in rounds six and seven. the positional breakdowns are remarkably similar across rounds.But there are several issues with using career length to measure draft success. One is that it’s undeniable that early-round draft picks are given more opportunities than most players. In addition to whatever real (or perceived) talent advantage allowed them to be picked highly, first-round picks are lavished with extra coaching and playing time not afforded to lower-status players, likely helping their careers last longer. Although NFL teams have a very vested interest in winning, it can be difficult to know when to give up on a highly touted prospect, particularly if the decision makers who selected him are still in place. This, in turn, makes it hard to tell how much of the longevity advantage of higher picks is earned and how much is a consequence of merely being picked so highly.Career length isn’t the only measure whose flaws can hamstring player evaluation. As another proxy for NFL success, we can use appearances on the All-Pro team, which honors the best players at each position in a given season.6While the Pro Bowl is the official All-Star event of the NFL, it suffers from some serious roster inflation, leading to the listing of more than a hundred players per year and watering down the quality of what constitutes an excellent player. read more

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Police Find Gun That Could Link Aaron Hernandez to

Photo by Getty Images.Massachusetts state police have located the gun that could link former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez to the double murder from last year, according to CBS 3 of Springfield, Mass.Police discovered the gun following a June 21 car crash on Interstate 91 in Springfield, Mass., during an inventory of the wrecked car. The car belonged to Jailene Diaz-Ramoz of Bristol, Conn.A .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver was in the car’s trunk inside a briefcase. Ballistics testing matched the gun with the bullets fired in the death of two men in Boston in 2012.Hernandez is already facing a charge of murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, and that case led them to the as-yet-unsolved July 2012 double homicide of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.Hernandez’s possible connection to the murders of Abreu and Furtado remains under investigation. On July 16, 2012, Hernandez and his associates were allegedly involved in a fight with Abreu and Furtado at Cure, a Boston nightclub. Soon afterward, the two men were gunned down in their vehicle when an SUV with Rhode Island license plates pulled up alongside them and opened fire. Police believe that an SUV towed from the home of Hernandez’s uncle was the one used in the homicides.CBS 3 of Springfield reported that the gun belonged to a friend who Diaz-Ramos called “Chicago.” She said “Chicago” is a football player, and that he and his friends wanted to leave the gun with her so that they didn’t have to bring it with them.Diaz-Ramos was arraigned in Springfield District Court on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and was later released on $1,000 bail. read more

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Ohio State softball topped by No 13 Tennessee eliminated from NCAA tournament

The starter for Tennessee, freshman Matty Moss, lasted only one inning and was pulled for senior Erin Gabriel after giving up a single to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Moss was dominant for Tennessee as she delivered four scoreless innings. She allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out eight. Members of the OSU softball team huddle outside the dugout during a game against Maryland. Credit: Lantern File PhotoA day after keeping its NCAA championship hopes alive, the Ohio State softball team was unable to pull off the upset against 13th-ranked Tennessee and has been officially eliminated from the tournament. After delivering a winning complete game performance on Saturday against Marist, Shelby Hursh was unable to replicate the same success in another game facing potential elimination. Hursh lasted only 1.2 innings, surrendering six runs (all earned) on the strength of five hits and four walks while striking out three. Tennessee, however, was not done scoring as it would add a few in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded, senior Lexi Overstreet doubled to straight away centerfield to clear the bases and chase OSU junior starting pitcher Shelby Hursh from the game. After a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases again for the Volunteers, junior outfielder Shaliyah Geathers hit what at first appeared to be an inside-the-park home run that plated three more runs, but she was ruled out after umpires said she did not touch home plate. The first inning started off just the way the Volunteers drew it up. After three of its first four batters reached base safely with a single, Tennessee would plate two runs following back-to-back walks to its fifth and sixth hitters. In the top of the fifth inning, Volunteers sophomore infielder Meghan Gregg hit a two-run home run to left field to put Tennessee above the eight-run run-rule threshold. A scoreless bottom half of the fifth ensured that this game would end at five innings, giving Tennessee the 10-1 victory. The Buckeyes responded quickly as junior Alex Bayne came around to score off redshirt sophomore shortstop Maddy McIntyre’s single to right field. That was the lone run scored for OSU in this one. Ohio State softball finished its season with a 34-19-1 record. read more

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Mens lacrosse Ohio State downs UMass with fourthquarter heroics

Ohio State senior midfielder Johnny Pearson attacks the offensive zone against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen on Feb. 18 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorThe No. 19 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team defeated the University of Massachusetts 8-7 for the first time in school history on Saturday.Tied at six entering the fourth quarter, sophomore attackman Tyler Bogart scored for the Minutemen to take the lead. However, the Buckeyes were resilient, scoring less than a minute later to tie the game on the man advantage. Then, 13 seconds later, senior midfielder Jake Withers won the faceoff and found freshman defender Jeff Henrich who dashed downfield and scored the game-winning goal with 10:39 remaining.Senior midfielder J.T. Blubaugh scored the tying goal at seven for OSU.“(This game) shows what we’re capable of,” said senior midfielder Johnny Pearson. “It’s reflective of some of the plays on the field weren’t going our way, but we really rallied behind some of the momentum we got there late and really just proven what we can do.”UMass sophomore midfielder Ben Spencer flustered the OSU defense, earning his first career hat trick with the Minutemen. Spencer scored his final goal in the third quarter, followed by a strike from junior midfielder Jake Lisauskas to take a two-goal lead.But OSU countered again. Pearson and junior attackman Colin Chell scored for the Buckeyes to tie the game at six before the end of the quarter.Pearson had two goals on Saturday and leads the team with six through three games.OSU coach Nick Myers substituted junior goalie Matthew Smidt for the starter, redshirt senior goalie Tom Carey, at the start of the second quarter. Smidt made 11 saves on 15 shots, including two critical ones in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.“In nine years I’ve only made one or two goalie changes,” Myers said. “It’s not something I like to do, but I think it’s a gut feeling. He had a really good week. He made some big stops and I’m excited for him.”OSU trailed at three different points in the match, but not when it mattered when the horn sounded. Smidt was a key component to the comeback victory. He said the moment was not a surprise to him. “I was prepared to start the entire week,” Smidt said. “The coaches knew that I was going to get the opportunity to go in and I made the best of it. And it’s tough staying in that goal, but I think I executed good and I prepared myself to have a good go.” The Buckeyes were 12 for 19 overall in the faceoff circle and outshot UMass 39-29. However, of the 39 shots, only 18 were on frame compared to 19 of the opponent’s 29 shots. Myers said the offense was not the best today, but he’s glad the defense stepped up.“We know we did a lot of things offensively that were out of character for us and you know it was one of those days,” he said.The 3-0 Buckeyes will face the 0-2 Jacksonville Dolphins next Saturday at noon. read more

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Most important Buckeyes for 2014 – No 5 Dontre Wilson

Then-freshman running back Dontre Wilson runs the ball in a game agains Purdue Nov. 2. OSU won, 56-0.Lantern file photoWith the first five already accounted for, The Lantern continues its countdown of the top 10 most important Buckeyes for the 2014 Ohio State football season.No. 5: Dontre Wilson, sophomore H-backEver since the Southeastern Conference began to dominate the college football landscape in 2007, fans from other regions of the country have been reminded that their favorite teams don’t possess enough quickness to beat schools from the SEC.When coach Urban Meyer took the reins at OSU in November 2011, he made it clear that he intended to change that: the Buckeyes were going to get a lot faster. After an undefeated campaign in 2012, the puzzle of constructing a more explosive offense acquired a key piece when four-star recruit Dontre Wilson committed to OSU in February 2013. In Wilson, a speedster who is able to play both running back and wide receiver, Meyer landed a player that epitomized his offensive philosophy. Expectations were high for the then-freshman.Wilson wound up playing in all 14 games in 2013, and although he didn’t adapt to the offensive schemes as much as his coaches would’ve liked, the double-threat still produced some decent numbers. As the team’s primary kickoff returner and a significant threat on the ground and in the air, Wilson finished with 983 all-purpose yards. Only running back Carlos Hyde, quarterback Braxton Miller and wide receiver Corey Brown had more.He showed glimpses of his ability from the first game of the season. In the second quarter against Buffalo he returned a kickoff for 51 yards. A week later he rushed five times for a total of 51 yards and his only touchdown run of the season as the Buckeyes dismantled San Diego State 42-7. Then came the shootout against California that suited his skillset, helping him to season-highs in both rushing (59 yards) and receiving (48 yards).The Big Ten portion of the schedule didn’t quite see the same production out of Wilson. His 26 rushing yards against Indiana were his highest total of conference play, as were his 35 receiving yards against Penn State.What was more concerning was the way Wilson’s impact seemingly disappeared in the team’s crucial three-game run to end the season. The then-freshman’s production was limited to just the return game against Michigan and Michigan State as he gained 16 and 70 yards, respectively. In the Discover Orange Bowl loss to Clemson, Wilson rushed for 24 yards on three carries, had one return of 25 yards and a catch that resulted in a loss of five.While he might not have exploded onto the scene in the way many hoped he would, Wilson is poised to do just that during his sophomore season.Both Wilson and his coaches have admitted over this offseason how he didn’t really understand his role in last year’s offense. But now things have changed, and the expectations of Wilson –– especially from Meyer –– are high.“Last year he was a hybrid guy that really wasn’t great at anything. (He) was not quite strong enough to run inside like you need that hybrid guy to do. (He) was simply an outside running player,” Meyer said on Monday at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. “He’s gained the weight. He’s much stronger. He’s much more prepared for this level of football. He’s always had the talent and he’s always had the effort, so…he’s an impact guy for us in a lot of ways.”One of Wilson’s main roles toward the end of last season was to redirect the attention of opposing defenses toward him and away from his offensive teammates. Now, with the departures of Hyde and Brown to the NFL, Wilson becomes the unit’s most important and dynamic player behind Miller.When Meyer recruited Wilson many analysts were quick to draw comparisons with current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, who succeeded in the hybrid position under Meyer at Florida. If they do turn out to be similar players, Buckeye fans can take heart in the fact that Harvin nearly doubled his yards from scrimmage and total touchdowns from his freshman to sophomore year.If the Buckeyes hope to capture their first Big Ten title in five years, they need Wilson to have a similar improvement.OSU’s first game of the season is scheduled for Aug. 30 when the Buckeyes face Navy in Baltimore, Md. read more

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Accidental text from coachs 4yearold son among 47 Ohio State selfreported Big

Ohio State self-reported 47 minor Big Ten and NCAA rules violations in 2014, including one as the result of an accidental text sent by a football coach’s 4-year-old son.OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith’s son picked up his father’s cell phone when a recruit called on May 27, and accidentally sent an automatic text message in return. The university sent a letter of education to the football coaches after the incident in regards to NCAA texting rules and phone security.The NCAA did not review the case as part of its interpretations philosophy, which allows for flexibility when reviewing rule violations.This information is the result of three separate public records requests submitted by The Lantern.The most recent request spanned from Sept. 1 through Jan. 18. The records request showed 19 self-reported NCAA and Big Ten violations in the final four months of the year.Of those 19 violations, only two involved the OSU football program, and none involved the men’s basketball team.Apart from the accidental text message from Smith’s son, the only other football violation was for “impermissible on-campus contact,” submitted to the NCAA on Sept. 25. That incident involved coach Urban Meyer having “inadvertent contact with a junior college non-qualifier.” That junior college athlete was on campus without the knowledge of the OSU staff, according to the records request.OSU declared the athlete ineligible until he was reinstated by the NCAA. The records did not specify any actions by the NCAA.Eighteen of the final 19 violations of 2014 were for NCAA rules, and only one prompted punishment from the NCAA beyond what was handed down by the university. As reported by The Lantern on Oct. 14, the NCAA imposed two $500 fines on OSU after an ineligible men’s soccer player competed in two matches.Apart from the soccer violation, three violations had monetary consequences.A member of the field hockey team took part in 17 games during the 2013-14 school year even though she was ineligible. The school paid $5,000 in fines and declared the student-athlete ineligible for field hockey going forward.One member of the OSU wrestling team inadvertently received school books during Fall Semester because his name “incorrectly appeared on the institution’s book list.” The NCAA reinstatement staff said the student-athlete must repay the value of the books before being reinstated, which was the same decision made by the university in the case.Members of the women’s tennis team were required to repay $28 after the program provided them with impermissible per diem on two occasions.Since Sept. 1, 12 different OSU programs self-reported violations, with football, men’s soccer, wrestling, field hockey, men’s gymnastics and women’s volleyball reporting two each. The OSU athletics communication staff also self-reported a violation of its own for “impermissible publicity of voluntary summer workouts.”Through Jan. 18, OSU athletics had only self-reported one NCAA violation and no Big Ten violations.The NCAA violation was for impermissible text messages and phone calls, reported by the football program on Jan. 7. The violation was the result of six accidental one-minute phone calls and five text messages over a span of 10 months. The university prevented the football coaching staff from making phone calls for one week as a punishment, and the NCAA decided not to impose any further sanctions.The three records requests submitted by The Lantern showed eight total football violations in 2014, along with the first OSU violation of 2015.The first request was submitted July 8 and fulfilled Aug. 11, the second was submitted Sept. 23 and fulfilled Oct. 14, and the third was submitted Jan. 18 and fulfilled Thursday evening. read more

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Track and Field Ohio States Karen Dennis becomes first woman awarded Mens

Coach Karen Dennis sits front and center during her teams celebration after her team won theBig Ten Championship on Saturday Feb. 24, 2018 at Spire Institute in Geneva, OH. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern ReporterOhio State track and field director Karen Dennis became the first female to win the Men’s Big Ten Indoor Coach of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.Dennis coached the Ohio State men’s team to its first Big Ten Indoor Championship since 1993 on Saturday. Seven Buckeyes earned first team all-conference honors during the indoor regular season.Dennis is not only the director, but she also coached sprinters, including both the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash, which combined for 29 points in the championship. This success includes junior Nick Gray’s Ohio State record-breaking performance in the men’s 200-meter dash of 20.45 seconds. Dennis is currently in her fourth season at Ohio State as director. She was the women’s track and field and cross country head coach from 2006 to 2014. She led the Buckeyes to indoor and outdoor women’s titles in 2011, the outdoor title in 2012 and the women’s team indoor Big Ten Championship back in 2015.Dennis has been with Ohio State for 16 seasons, starting as an assistant track coach in 2003 in sprints. Before coming to Ohio State, Dennis was the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 2000 Olympic Games. read more

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Young amputee records dance to wish paralympians good luck

first_imgPollyanna Hope performed this very special good luck message for all paralympians to Lukas Graham’s 7 Years ahead of the Rio games.Pollyanna is an amputee and her dance is dedicated to Andy Lewis, a through-knee amputee who lost his lower leg in a motorcycle accident. Lewis will be participating in the first ever paratriathlon Olympic event.The heart-warming video was shared on Twitter on September 7 by Polyanna’s father with the question, “Who says you need two legs to dance?” in a message of support for Team GB. 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

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Tim Peake has dinner with the Queen at Windsor Castle

first_imgMajor Peake, who returned to Earth from a historic six-month European Space Agency mission in June, corresponded with the Queen while he was in orbit.The astronaut became the first person to deliver a “God save the Queen” message directly to the monarch from space when he addressed the Queen in a video message live from the ISS after she sent him her own wishes. Queen Among others listed in the Court Circular as attending the soiree with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were the Belgian ambassador, the Brazilian ambassador, the former Bishop of London the Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, and the head of Eton College Simon Henderson. The Queen takes up official residence at Windsor for a month each spring for Easter Court when she hosts dinner parties – often for famous guests who in the past have included director Tim Burton, actress Helena Bonham Carter, Bond star Daniel Craig and actress Rachel Weisz.Known as “dine and sleep” events, guests are also given a bed for the night. 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. Major Peake travelled to the International Space Station Credit:Dmitry Lovetsky/APcenter_img British astronaut Tim Peake has dined with the Queen at Windsor Castle.Major Peake, who became the first Briton to form part of the crew of the International Space Station (ISS), and his wife Rebecca joined the monarch at her favourite home in Berkshire on Monday evening. He was also made a CMG – Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George – in the monarch’s birthday honours, making him the first person to be honoured while in space. Major Peake collected the award from the Queen in December. Major Peake The Queen welcomed Major Peake to Windsor CastleCredit:REX/Shutterstocklast_img read more

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Theresa May admits Calais border controls are up for discussion after election

first_imgTheresa May has vowed to fight Emmanuel Macron if he attempts to scrap  British border controls in Calais and said that they benefit France as much as the UK.The Prime Minister said that Mr Macron, the new French President, has secured a “very strong mandate” and urged voters to put her in a similar “strong position” as she negotiates Brexit. She said that if she wins the election she will “sit down” with Mr Macron and discuss the Le Touquet agreement, under which British border officials can carry out border checks in France. 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. During his campaign Mr Macron said that the Le Touquet agreement “must be renegotiated” amid concern in France about the “Jungle” camp in Calais.The Prime Minister said: “He has been elected with a very strong mandate. We must make sure that in the UK we also have a strong mandate to take a strong position into our negotiating table.”As for the Le Touquet agreement, actually it works for the benefit of both the UK and France and obviously in the government that’s elected after June 8 we will be sitting down and talking to Mr Macron and others about how that system has worked both to the benefit of France as well as to the benefit of the UK.”During the EU referendum David Cameron warned that the Calais “jungle” could move to Kent if Britain left the European Union.last_img read more

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Woman 26 charged with public order offence after note was left on

first_imgThe note read: “If this van is for anyone but Number 14 then you have no right to be parked here. “I couldn’t give a s— if the whole street collasped (sic). Now move your van from outside my house.” Katie Tudor, the paramedic mentor who posted a picture of the note on Twitter A 26-year-old woman has been charged with a public order offence in connection with an incident where a foul-mouthed note was left on an ambulance windscreen.Kirsty Sharman, from Tunstall, Staffs, was arrested on Monday following a plea by West Midlands Ambulance Service staff.They had reported over the weekend that colleagues found a hand-written note from a resident who had complained the vehicle was parked in a resident’s parking bay outside their house.The crew was also allegedly subjected to verbal abuse while responding to a 999 call in the Tunstall area of Stoke-on-Trent.In a statement, Staffordshire Police said officers had also charged Sharman with a breach of a restraining order. She will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme on Tuesday. Katie Tudor, the paramedic mentor who posted a picture of the note on TwitterCredit:WMAS  So upset to be sent this by one of our crews this morning! Along with this note left on their 🚑 they received a load of verbal abuse!😡😔@OFFICIALWMAS @StaffsPolice pic.twitter.com/c4UYdcjv86— Katie Tudor (@wmaskatietudor) February 18, 2018 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. Chief Inspector John Owen, commander for Stoke North local policing team, had earlier said: “We will not tolerate abuse or intimidation of our emergency services. “Paramedic mentor Katie Tudor posted a picture of the note on Twitter, copying in the police.last_img read more

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Second moorland blaze in Winter Hill as crews to tackle Saddleworth Moor wildfire

Fire crews are continuing to try and control the spread of the flames A Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “The area affected is approximately 1km square in size.”Firefighters are tackling the fire from three locations using specialist wildfire fighting equipment plus hose reels and beaters.”Mountain rescue officers and United Utilities are assisting at the incident.”Crews remained at the scene on Friday morning as they continued to tackle the smouldering fire. Good Morning from Winter Hill, Bolton. Deployed at 03:45 to support @CumbriaFire , @LancashireFRS and @manchesterfire 🚒☀️🔥 #moorlandfires #999Family pic.twitter.com/4ylKdZz7nv— Carnforth Fire (@Carnforth_Fire) June 29, 2018 Dave Saxon, director of operations at Tameside Council, said the local authority was monitoring air quality, which had improved on Thursday, and there had as yet been no increase in GP appointments or attendance at A&E.Cause of England’s biggest wildfire is probedFire chiefs say they are “not confident” of finding out how the Saddleworth blaze – the worst biggest wildfire in living memory – began, given the size of the blaze, but there was no evidence it had been started by BBQs or off-road bikers.Around 10 fire engines, along with specialist vehicles, helicopters, mountain rescue and Army trucks, are now deployed at Swineshaw Reservoir, Stalybridge, as an operating base.Video: Saddleworth fire seen from drone Fire crews working to control the spread of the flames on Winter Hill on Thursday nightCredit:Danny Lawson/PA Huge plumes of smoke could be seen from the area surrounding the moorland. Smoke emitted from a fire on Winter Hill near Bolton If the fire worsens, GMFRS will be able to call out an RAF Chinook helicopter, based at RAF Odiham, Hampshire.It would be used to lift a high-volume pump, capable of pumping 7,000 litres of water a minute, to pump water up on to the moors. Video: Huge blaze engulfs Saddleworth Moor The spokesman said there was no immediate risk to livestock, domestic properties or infrastructure but residents were warned to keep doors and windows closed.Army helps tackle Saddleworth Moor fireSpeaking about the Saddleworth blaze, Tony Hunter, assistant chief fire officer of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), said there had been a “significant effect” on the fire in the past 24 hours and work was continuing with the help of the Army.”We have made significant improvements but I would put an air of caution there though, we had a similar occasion yesterday where we thought we were on top of it and it flared up.”Mr Hunter cautioned that while the fire was now “contained and under control”, he said “things can develop” and if the wind blows the flames back on to the moors, it will act as a “fuel source” for the fire. Smoke billows from the fire on Winter Hill, near BoltonCredit:Danny Lawson/PA A series of “apocalyptic” wildfires on the Pennine moors could take weeks to put out, the fire service has warned, after a second major blaze broke out just 30 miles from a fire that has raged for days.Seven square miles of Saddleworth Moor has gone up in flames, blanketing the Greater Manchester region and beyond in smoke and ash. Fire chiefs are considering setting fire to Saddleworth to create brakes to stop the out-of-control blaze, amid fears that trapped industrial pollution in the peat could be released into the air.Scottish soldiers from the 100-strong A Company of the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, known as the Highlanders, have joined more than 100 firefighters who have been battling the blaze since Sunday, leading to a “significant improvement”.Meanwhile, a new moorland blaze – on Winter Hill, near Rivington, Lancashire – broke out on Thursday with huge plumes of smoke visible from the area surrounding the moorland.Fifteen fire engines from Lancashire Fire and Rescue spent the night on the moors preventing the fire, near Bolton, from spreading further. He said the operation could last for weeks before the fire burns itself out, though the Army deployment is for an initial 48 hours.Mr Hunter said a good downpour of rain was needed to saturate the dry ground and vegetation – but none is forecast for days as the heatwave continues. Blaze was ‘towering inferno… very apocalyptic’Pete Woodward, whose home backs on to the hills just 22 yards (20m) away, spent the night at his brother’s home nearby after being evacuated on Tuesday evening.Mr Woodward said: “I got back to the house last night to a towering inferno behind, very apocalyptic in view, and it was quite scary but exciting at the same time.” Seven fire engines from Greater Manchester initially went to the scene, along with five from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, when the fire started shortly before 3.30pm.The Manchester crews were later replaced by more Lancashire crews. Major Phil Morgan, commanding the Army detachment, said: “We meet every challenge and commit 100 per cent in what we do.”Currently we have broken our boys down into various locations and we are beating the fire with paddles and we are supporting them by moving equipment, we are putting water on the fires and we are doing everything we can to stop this fire at the moment.”We are truly really happy and excited to be here and the boys are cherishing every moment of it.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Snowflake generation of students hostility to free speech revealed

The “snowflake” generation of students’ hostility to free speech on campus has been revealed in a new survey which shows that the majority want controversial speakers to be “no-platformed”.Students were presented with a list of hypothetical speakers holding a spectrum of contentious views, ranging from someone believes climate change is not caused by humans, to someone want to ban religion.Assuming the speaker had already been invited to give a talk at their university, students were asked whether or not a talk should be allowed to go ahead.More than two-thirds of students (68 per cent) said that talks by Holocaust deniers should not be allowed to take place, according the a YouGov poll of 1,004 British students. –– ADVERTISEMENT ––Meanwhile 64 per cent said they would ban speakers who believe that terrorist attacks in the UK can be justified.One in ten students said that speakers who want to Royal Family to be abolished should be no-platformed.  In 2015, students attempted to stop Germaine Greer, a leading feminist, from giving a lecture at Cardiff University His intervention came after a series of attempts to censor gay rights activists, feminists and Conservative politicians due to concerns from students that their views may cause offence.   In 2015, students attempted to stop Germaine Greer, a leading feminist, from giving a lecture at Cardiff UniversityCredit: Jim Petersen Last October, the veteran lesbian activist Linda Bellos has been due to speak at Cambridge University, but a college feminist society revoked their invitation after she said she would be questioning trans politics. According to the poll, only 36 per cent of students said that speakers should be allowed to address students if they believe that transgender woman are not “real” women. Just under half (48 per cent) said the speaker should not be allowed, with the remaining 15 per cent answering “don’t know” or “prefer not to say”.Bristol University’s students’ union backed proposals to ban any “Terf” speakers who question the transgender status of women. Terf, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, is generally used as a derogatory term to describe those who believe that “identifying” as a woman is not the same as being born a woman.It can also be used to refer to people who are deemed to hold “transphobic” views. In 2015, students attempted to stop Germaine Greer, a leading feminist, from giving a lecture at Cardiff University on the basis that she had expressed transphobic views in the past. And a fifth said speakers should be banned if they believe that God literally created the universe in six days.Earlier this year, the higher education minister said that universities which “no-platform” controversial speakers will face a Government intervention. Sam Gyimah warned that universities must stamp out their “institutional hostility” to unfashionable views as he prepares to issue new guidance on free speech. 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. Veteran lesbian activist Linda Bellos Credit:Simon Grosset Veteran lesbian activist Linda Bellos  The “snowflake generation” is a disparaging term now commonly used to refer to young people, who are perceived to be over-sensitive and intolerant of disagreement. YouGov carried out another survey where they asked British members of the general public to imagine they were at university and the same set of speakers had been invited. Students were more likely to ban three speakers than adults: the speaker who claims that vaccinations cause autism, one believes that transgender women are not ‘real’ women, and one believes that climate change is not caused by human actions.The only speaker that the general public are more likely to want banned than students is the one who believes that the royal family should be abolished. read more

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Seann Walshs girlfriend Rebecca Humphries leaves him after Strictly kiss and accuses

She said he had flatly denied a romantic relationship with Jones, his professional dance partner, until they were photographed kissing outside a London pub. The girlfriend of Seann Walsh, the Strictly Come Dancing contestant, has left him and accused him of branding her a “psycho” when she voiced suspicions about his relationship with Katya Jones. 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. In a damning statement which is likely to force his exit from the BBC One show, Rebecca Humphries alleged that Walsh was a controlling character who had subjected her to “inappropriate, hurtful behaviour”. She said: “Those pictures were taken on October… The statement, published via social media, began: “My name is Rebecca Humphries and I am not a victim.”–– ADVERTISEMENT –– read more

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Whos who in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridges Turnip Toff set

Unsuprisingly, it is not easy to break in to the Norfolk massive. Most have been friends since they were old enough to join the West Norfolk Foxhounds; bonding at teen reeling parties and gap year travels. Many of the Cambridge’s generation returned… One thing is for certain, rumours of a rift between the Duchess of Cambridge and the Marchioness of Cholmondeley will have displeased the Norfolk dinner party circuit – there is nothing the so-called ‘Turnip Toffs’ dread more than being expected to take side between two local dynasties. Indeed, 80,000 of the county’s 1.3 million acres belong to estates such as Houghton and Holkham, owned by families who have been loyal to the crown for generations. read more

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Stevenage crash 17 injured at modified car club meet as vehicles plough

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 accident happened during a meeting of the modified car club Cruise HertsCredit:Gary Dawson This is the same junction where the two cars collided on Thursday.He said the event had been running regularly for 17 years, providing a “safe space” for car enthusiasts to meet within a controlled, closed environment.Mr Sidhu added: “We have a liaison officer to pass number plates to police if there is ever any trouble; we try to make it as safe as possible.”Some people like drinking and that sort of thing, we just like cars. They are our pride and joy, what we are interested in.”Unfortunately this incident means we are all going to be tarred with the same brush – people will say we are boy racers. It appears to be a crowd-pleaser, with people lining the streets to hear the cars screech back onto the public road, the drivers flexing their vehicle’s muscles. As the night draws in and cars begin to leave, the more people can be seen on the grass bank adjacent to the road as well as the central reservation.A video recorded on June 27 shows a police car parked around 100 yards down the road from the junction. On that evening, officers were filmed pulling a driver over having flashed the blue lights.  Ambulances and police at crash scene outside Stevenage football ground Two cars were involved in a collision, injuring bystandersCredit:Gary Dawson  A witness wrote on Facebook: “Horrific incident in Stevenage. A car (boy racers) has ploughed into at least 10/15 people on the side of a road who were watching on.”Must be 30+ emergency services on the scene. Thoughts are with all involved, looks so bad.”Ciaran O’Connor, 33, who witnessed the crash, reportedly said he saw three or four young people lying in the road.Mr Sidhu added: “It was horrific, the crash. We are first-aid trained, just in case, and members of the public were really good too, helping us get to those who were injured.”There was one woman who couldn’t walk, we had to get four of us to carry her to safety.”I’m thankful that nobody died. Nobody wanted this, we try so hard to make sure this doesn’t happen, we beg people not to race on the roads – if they want to race, there are places they can go for that, tracks where they can go at speed. Initially, the number injured was understood by the Hertfordshire Constabulary to be 14, but on Friday morning it had increased to 17.A spokesman added: “I am not aware of any fatalities or arrests at this stage, however investigations are ongoing.”We are working with the road policing unit and local policing teams for further updates and will be in touch in due course.” From beefing up their engines to bolstering the car’s sound systems and from changing the car’s shape with a body kit to installing neon lights – the idea is for drivers to be able to display their cars for enthusiasts to admire. Those attending events are invited to walk around the cars, buy merchandise, share advice and plan further meet-ups.But, with adrenaline running, high-powered cars and the lure of likes on social media, Thursday night’s event turned rogue. Despite organiser Nix Sidhu pleading with participants not to race – the message did not get through. He said: “We held the meet in a car park with a speed bump at the entrance. But unfortunately some people went a bit rogue.”We try and stop that, we urge people – urge them on social media beforehand – not to go out on the roads, not to risk injury or anything.”But unfortunately, in this age of social media and Snapchat, people want to get footage and post things to their friends, which seems to drive some people to the main road.”Video footage dedicated to the event – but not posted by Cruise-Herts – shows dozens of cars arriving and leaving the retail car park and joining the dual carriageway.  “But we’ve decided we’re not going to run these any more. After 17 years, it’s over.” At least 17 people have been injured, some seriously, after two cars crashed and ploughed into bystanders at a modified car meet in Stevenage.The accident took place on the A602 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on Thursday evening as hundreds of people gathered to admire cars. But the event – raising money for charity – turned into a nightmare when both cars collided with pedestrians.Footage posted on social media showed one car emerging onto the main road while another vehicle was passing at speed. They collided, causing both cars to hit bystanders on the side of the road and on the central reservation. Describing the incident, Rix Sidhu, 29, of the Cruise Herts club which had organised the get-together said the crash involved a Nissan 350Z and a Toyota GT86.”We saw the car (Toyota) come into the car park and recklessly do a donut manoeuvre,” he said.”It pulled out of the car park on to the main road and then it was hit by the Nissan, which was coming at speed. I’d say at least 60 or 70mph.”I was walking down the main road to meet up with some friends and then I saw it happen.”The cars collided and then went into the crowd at speed. There were several younger people in the crowd, but they weren’t kids. They were about 18 years old-plus.” “We pleaded with everyone to not race week in week out, and also not to stand to close to the road because of this happening.”We never condoned reckless driving, we said every week our meet is strictly static, we had young children attend with parents, we created a family atmosphere unfortunately a few ruined it for the rest.”We worked with the police week in week out, we have for years. We can not control every individual.”Our meets were simply in the car park, not on the public road. I completely agree we always urged people to race in a safe controlled environment (a track day at a track) but people don’t want to pay etc.”This isn’t our fault we don’t stand and edge people to race we always try and stop it.”Cruise-Herts modified car club – what is it?The community of motor enthusiasts have been meeting for 17 years – making it the longest-standing car club in the area. Describing itself as a modified car club, drivers descend upon a nominated area and park up. Usually in a car park after the businesses have closed for the day, the car owners will showcase the modifications made to their vehicles.  One witness said on Twitter: “I’ve just witnessed that horrendous crash in #Stevenage, no more than 50ft away from me. I’m still trying to process it all.”Police have urged any witnesses to get in touch and have asked anyone with footage of the incident to retain it.The accident happened during a weekly meet of the modified car club Cruise Herts.A post on the group’s Facebook page read: “This Thursday night meet is an extra special meet we as a group are raising money for the excellent charity of 4Louis who help supporting families through the heartache of miscarriage stillbirth and child loss.”This is a Strictly Static Meet & Any Antisocial Behaviour Will Not be Tolerated! Any Such Behaviour will be Dealt with by the Local Authorities!! So strictly NO Wheel Spins NO Burnouts and NO Drifting.”Car club cancels its meets indefinitely Rix Sidhu, 29, of the Cruise Herts club, said the group were not boy racers but “car enthusiasts”.Posting on Facebook, he said: “After what happened tonight me and Dean have decided we will not be having anymore Cruise Herts meets. “We are devastated. I’ve been running this for 10 years and we have never had one incident. We were raising money for charity, as we often do, and there was no speed element to it.”The meetings were well established – offering enthusiasts the chance to buy Cruise-Herts hoodies, banners and stickers. They were also raising money for charity and Thursday’s event was dedicated to 4Louis, who provide equipment and training free of charge to hospital units, hospices and other professionals who “sadly have the job of comforting grieving families who suffer a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or child death”. As well as the weekly meetings, Cruise-Herts also put on convoys, where drivers would meet at a specific place in Hertfordshire before travelling en masse to a bigger meet.The most recent was in May, when the fleet travelled to London for the Car Culture UK Final Meet.Almost 2,000 attended from across the country to display their vehicles at the car park of Pets At Home in Newham. But, as video footage from the meet shows, it turned into hundreds of people gathered around cars wheel-spinning and drifting on the tarmac.  Ambulances and police at crash scene outside Stevenage football ground where a car has ploughed into kids watching cars speeding. Thursday 18th july 2019 read more

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Caledonian Sleeper investigation after train overshoots its platform

He said: said: “Clearly this is an incredibly serious situation which calls for nothing less than the grounding of the entire new Sleeper fleet until we have the full details of what went wrong.“No-one should be playing fast and loose with faulty brakes on our railways and Serco need to wake up to that fact and act now.”The Twitter account for the Caledonian Sleeper posted: “Our apologies to guests affected by the incident at Edinburgh this morning.“Our northbound service to Edinburgh Waverley overran the platform due to an earlier operational issue at Carstairs.“An investigation is under way into the cause of the incident but early indications are that there are no technical problems with the rolling stock. We have notified the relevant authorities.” An investigation has been launched after a new Caledonian Sleeper train overshot its platform by hundreds of yards amid calls for the train to be pulled from the tracks. The incident at Edinburgh Waverley station is being probed by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) after overshooting its platform at Edinburgh Waverley station.The train was brought to a halt by staff activating the emergency brake – stopping the train across a junction several hundred yards down the track.This blocked services to London, Dunbar, North Berwick and Tweedbank before the train could be returned to the platform, causing delays.A spokesman for the RAIB, said: “An RAIB inspector was deployed yesterday to gather evidence. We will use this information to decide any further course of action.” Serco, which operates the Caledonian Sleeper service apologised and said: “early indications are that there are no technical problems with the rolling stock.”Inspections of the train, which was introduced alongside the rest of the new fleet at the end of April, and the scene were conducted in an attempt to find the cause of the incident.In response, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) general-secretary Manuel Cortes called for the entire fleet to be pulled from service. 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

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Teacher training to be overhauled under Government plans to restore discipline to

It is also the most common reason given for suspensions, accounting for 30 per cent last year, up from 23.3 per… “Persistent disruptive behaviour” accounts for he highest proportion of pupil expulsions, according the latest official figures. This was cited as the cause for a third (34 per cent) of all permanent exclusions last year, up from 29.6 per cent a decade ago.  Gavin Williamson, the new Education Secretary, is to launch a review into teacher training which will focus on implementing  stricter behaviour strategies to tackle disruption in schools.  Teachers will be given training to make them tougher with unruly children as part of a Government drive to restore discipline to the classroom. read more

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Former royal surgeon has denied bullying Muslim colleagues when they took time

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. Mr Truscott read from a diary entry that the surgeon was unable to go into theatre after being left “shaken”.Krukowski said: “That is a falsehood. He was not scheduled for theatre.“We worked and discussed it and I thought we had addressed the issue.“He recognises that he misled me about the detail of the surgery and patient care was far below what should be accepted.”He added: “I lost my temper with him and I was embarrassed and mortified. I have subsequently apologised.”The then health secretary Alex Neil was first alerted by a whistleblower to concerns from senior medics of the management and clinical standards at ARI in March 2014.Healthcare Improvement Scotland carried out a full review on performance and culture at the hospital, with inspectors raising concerns about a minority of consultants in general surgery.The tribunal continues. A former royal surgeon has denied “bullying” Muslim colleagues when they took time off for prayer, a tribunal hears.  Professor Zygmunt Krukowski oversaw the medical care of the Royal family at Balmoral but was suspended from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after a misconduct investigation was launched in 2015. He has now launched an employment tribunal into his “unfair dismissal”, after he was cleared by the General Medical Council in July 2015. Professor Krukowski, 70, was cross examined by Ian Truscott who asked if he had said: “Some patients were more important than some religions.”But Krukowski claimed he said: “What’s more important? Patients or prayers?”The solicitor said an NHS colleague had claimed Krukowski used the derogatory phrase “hairy-a***d Muslims” when talking to the then chief executive of the NHS trust. But Professor Krukowski “strenuously denied” the claims. He said: “I have never used that phrase in my life. “I would have been astonished that the chief executive of a national board would not take action immediately.“I strenuously deny I would use that phrase and I would not be so stupid to use it at a chief executive.”Another worker said he felt he was being “bullied, harassed and mobbed” after Prof Krukowski “raised his voice” at him. read more

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EYEWITNESS Looking out…

…for neighboursBack in the day, after Burnham and his PNC experiments had brought the country to its knees, Guyanese fled to every country in the vicinity, and then some. Today there’s probably not a country in the world where you wouldn’t bounce up with a mudlander. But amongst our neighbouring countries, none provided more of a welcoming hand than Venezuela.Trinidad, Barbados and the rest of the islands in the Caribbean are supposed to be our “brothers and sisters”. We share a common culture, which we just supposedly commemorated at Carifesta XVIII.But can we really turn a blind eye to the fact that Trinidad routinely rounded up “illegal” Guyanese and shipped them back home? Can we really forget the “Guyanese Bench” at Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados? We’d been brought low by one of the staunchest “Caribbean Unity Man” – Burnham – but that didn’t cut us any slack, did it?But Venezuela, which was our “enemy,” to whom we denied even a “blade of grass and a spring cuirass”, gave succour, sustenance, and a home to over 50,000 of our countrymen and women. There were no mass deportations…no apartheid bench…and no sneering looks of scorn. Guyanese established communities in Venezuela; they’d periodically visit their homeland with goodies for their starving families. During the days of banned essentials, a healthy trade with Venezuela kept western Guyana afloat.Well, today the shoe’s on the other foot. A government with some startling similarities to the Burnhamite regime has brought down their country to its knees. We can argue they’re also being destabilised as we were in the sixties – but the bottom line for their ordinary citizens is that Venezuela’s now a living hell. Some Venezuelans have begun to come over here to survive – most recently to get treatment in Region 2 for malaria.To its credit, the Government, via its Foreign Minister Greenidge, had signalled they will try to soften our stance from treating these Venezuelans as “illegal immigrants” and deporting them. Greenidge said, “At the policy level, the Government may want to see what can be done. We are looking, for example, at our legislation as it applies to refugees — although in the case of Venezuela, these are not declared refugees — but let me see what can be done.”What we’d like to see done is to quickly work out a humane policy – taking into cognisance the state of our economy. For sure, we cannot afford to have our social services overloaded, but surely we can stop the automatic deportation policy still in effect.Let us work out a credible and humane “good neighbour policy”. They’re not heavy……for the kidsThe little darlings are returning to school today, and as usual, the past weekend was a blur of mothers (and a few fathers!) getting their “back to school” specials. But what about all that angst expressed a few weeks back at the CSEC results?? Likewise after the NGSA results? And that’s the problem, isn’t it?Every year we wring our hands, weep and wail at the miserable results of ninety per cent of our kids, listen to our Education Ministry officials announce “interventions”, and then blithely wait for the next turn of the same wheel. So how come we don’t start somewhere in that turn of the wheel this year?NGSA results are as good as any. There was a big “to do” about moving from a “test” to an “assessment” that’ll be used to identify areas of weakness (and strength) when the graduated enter secondary school, Grade 7.This year, can’t the Ministry insist the scores of every kid in Grade 7 be made available to the teachers, and that they intervene appropriately?…for procurement?Now that the Procurement Commission has pronounced the $632 million pharma contract to ANSA “broke the law”, is the Government going to ALLOW (much less ensure!) the law to take its course?Orange jumpsuits and silver bracelets, anyone? Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Commemorating…July 5, 2017In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: Lost at sea…June 23, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”EYEWITNESS: A fair share…January 16, 2018In “EYEWITNESS” read more

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