Playing in his first major tournament in 11 months and four months after back surgery, Tiger Woods made an impressive account of himself Thursday in the first round of the Open Championship at Hoylake, shooting a 3-under 69 on a day ripe for scoring.Woods had told the gathered media that he was healthy and getting stronger and expected to play well this week. He started the round with a pair of bogeys. Not good. But, as he has all his illustrious career, Woods stayed the course and ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine.“I knew I could do it,” Woods said. “That’s why I was telling you guys it was so important for me to play at Congressional. The fact that I was able to recover every day, and the fact that I was stronger, more explosive the more days I played.“I’m only going to get better from that point. And I’m getting stronger, I’m getting faster, I’m getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again. And those are all positive things.”Woods made a significant save for par on No. 4, an eight-footer after another poor putt, and that seemed to settle him down as he birdied the fifth and played the first nine in 1-over 36.Woods failed to birdie the par-5 10th, but holed a putt from off the green for a birdie at the 11th, the start of four birdies in five holes. A bogey at the 14th was the result of one of the four fairways he missed, but he rebounded to birdie the next two.An opportunity to get another at the par-5 18th was derailed by an approach shot into a greenside pot bunker that left Woods with an awkward stance. Prior to the shot, he stopped in mid-swing due to the sound of cameras clicking.“I’ve had numerous years of dealing with this,” Woods said. “There’s a lot of moving parts out there. And you’ve just got to stay focused and plod my way around.”Woods did a good job of that. He said he wasn’t nervous, that playing at Congressional last month helped him get some of that out of the way.If anything, Woods was perturbed he didn’t do better. When asked if it was like the old days, Woods quipped: “It wasn’t that long ago. I won five times last year.”Hitting mostly irons off tees — he did use a driver on the 16th hole just as he did during his 2006 victory here, the only one he used for the tournament — Woods hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.Still, it’s just one day, albeit a strong one. He ended the day three shots behind leader Rory McElroy, who did not bogey in a round of 66.“Pretty much everything,” Woods said when asked about what he needs to improve on moving forward. “I need to get everything a little bit better. That’s the case all of time, anyways. But at Congressional, I made just some terrible mistakes mentally. My decisions weren’t very crisp and I wasn’t decisive enough. Today was totally different. And consequently I shot a better score.”
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy talks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy says an allegation posted on social media accusing him of bloodying his former girlfriend’s face during a home invasion is baseless and false.A now-deleted Instagram post-Tuesday from a person who says she is friends with the woman, showed a graphic photo of the former girlfriend Delicia Cordon and accuses McCoy of physically abusing her, his son and his dog, as well as injecting steroids.McCoy says in his own post on Instagram that it has been months since he’s had any direct contact with his ex-girlfriend or the person who posted the accusations.The woman who posted the accusations and the ex-girlfriend has not responded to messages left by The Associated Press. The AP generally does not identify people who may have been victims of abuse.The Bills issued a statement saying they have been in contact with McCoy and the NFL and will continue gathering information. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is reviewing the matter.McCoy has never been suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing substances during his nine-year career.McCoy turns 30 on Thursday and preparing to enter his fourth season with the Bills. He spent his first six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he led the NFL in yards rushing in 2013 before being traded to Buffalo in 2015.Police have not made any arrests in the case.
Related: The Lab Back in October, when Draymond Green of the Warriors was asked to assess the Rockets’ offseason efforts to narrow the gap between Houston and Golden State, Green didn’t mince words.“They want [a matchup with us] to be a shootout, which is fine,” he said. “But we’re gonna play some defense. Yeah, we score pretty well. But we’re a damn good defensive team, too.” Green, last season’s defensive player of the year, was clearly implying that the same couldn’t be said for Houston, which ranked in the lower half of the league defensively the past two seasons.Green also seized upon a remark from Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni about neither team being able to stop the other. “I don’t know how serious they take defense with that comment,” he said.But a quarter of the way through the season, that question is no longer up for debate: Houston’s defense is elite, and it could finally make the Rockets balanced enough to challenge Golden State. With an immense focus on the Houston offense — specifically, its addition of nine-time All-Star Chris Paul and its continuing 3-point shot crusade — the team’s vast improvement on defense has flown beneath the radar. Entering Thursday’s game with the red-hot Utah Jazz, Houston’s defense is surrendering just 100.9 points per 100 possessions, fifth-best in the league. That defensive rating is slightly better than the Warriors’ and represents a night-and-day difference from last season, when the Rockets ranked just 18th, allowing 106.4 points per 100 possessions.A handful of things explain why the club’s defense has performed so well after a pair of lackluster defensive seasons. Among them: The Rockets have gotten much better at protecting the rim and other high-value spots on the court that once troubled them; the team’s weakest defenders are performing better (or getting luckier?) than they did in the past; and Houston has used its own scoring ability to pay dividends on the other end.Of course many of these improvements, if not all of them, stem from the same thing: the club’s getting solid, versatile defenders during the offseason. Paul’s track record on that end is well chronicled — he’s a perennial leader in steals. But because he was replacing fellow all-defensive first-team member Patrick Beverley, other pickups have had even greater opportunities to take the unit to new heights.Wing players PJ Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute have been game changers for this defense, giving the Rockets — who already had one of the league’s very best perimeter defenders in an overburdened Trevor Ariza — the ability to switch assignments on the fly when teams set screens against them. They communicate well and don’t get lost backdoor (an area the Rockets struggled mightily with last season). And because both players are tall and strong enough to defend three different positions, Houston can use extremely quick smallball lineups with them, Paul and MVP candidate James Harden, who for years was criticized for his inattentive defense.To get a sense of how just valuable Tucker and Mbah a Moute have been as primary and help defenders, consider this: The Rockets are allowing just 94.1 points per 100 possessions with that duo on the floor this season, third-best in the NBA among two-man lineups that have shared at least 300 minutes together thus far. (Only Boston’s Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart and OKC’s Paul George and Andre Roberson have been better.) At times, Houston almost looks as though it’s playing a zone — with each defender responsible for a man and a half — because of how synchronized the defense is with Tucker and Mbah a Moute. Watch here, as the Nets struggle to get anywhere near the lane because of how every ballhandler sees two Rockets ready to make a play on the ball.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/almostzone.mp400:0000:0000:26Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Even when only one of them is in the game, reigning Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon, who has been fantastic this season on both ends, is another option aside from Ariza. And because of the trust that Tucker and Mbah a Moute have helped establish, Clint Capela and Nene, the team’s bigs, have felt comfortable wandering farther out on the perimeter to meet opposing ballhandlers. That was often a big mistake last season, when the Rockets ranked dead last in rim protection and allowed opponents to shoot 67 percent from inside the restricted area. (This season, Houston has leaped into the top half of the league on that defensive metric.)With smarter, more switchable defenders on the floor, the Rockets have also taken away many of the corner 3-point opportunities that were there for opponents in years past. And so far this season, Houston ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in limiting those attempts. That’s a big shift from last year, when the Rockets were among the 10 worst teams at stifling 3-point attempts from the corner, and the year before, when Houston’s opponents took a greater share of their 3-point attempts from the corner than any other team’s.Perhaps the biggest shift that has taken place this season: Out of nowhere, Houston has become the NBA’s best defensive-rebounding club, nabbing 81.4 percent of opponent’s misses. Limiting second chances is key for the Rockets, who ranked 21st last year and were last in 2015-16, Dwight Howard’s final season with the team.None of this is to say that the Rockets aren’t capable of backsliding on defense. One area they haven’t gotten better in, transition defense, is something an uptempo team like the Warriors could exploit. (We illustrated last season that Harden — despite his ridiculous passing ability — often gets back on defense slowly after a turnover or what he perceives to be a missed call.) And even though the Rockets have had no issues getting stops in half-court situations, there are indications that they’ve been the beneficiaries of good fortune at times. Only three teams (Cleveland, Orlando and New York) are surrendering higher-quality shots than Houston, according to data from Second Spectrum.Some of those looks have stemmed from opponents getting wide-eyed when they see an opportunity to go 1-on-1 against Harden or the slow-footed Ryan Anderson,1Anderson does look far better defensively than he has in years past, in part because of some weight he dropped during the offseason. who has been isolated more than anyone this season outside of the Lakers’ Julius Randle. Both players have held their own — especially Harden, who’s allowing one of the lowest scoring rates among guards2Who defend at least one isolation play per game and have played in at least 15 games. on those plays, according to data from Synergy Sports Technology. But it’s unclear whether that would hold up for an entire season (Anderson’s case is worth watching, because teams are challenging him 2.5 times a game).If anything, though, there’s reason to suspect that the Rockets could get even better on defense before the season concludes. Much has been made of the Harden-Paul duo, which has yet to fully jell because of Paul’s early-season injury. But if those two figure out how to play off each other and make an already impeccable offense even better, it will pay enormous dividends on the other side of the ball.Houston is sloppy with the ball and bad in transition defense, but they lead the NBA in defensive efficiency after a made basket this season, allowing just 95 points per 100 possessions, according to Inpredictable.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/fullgameposs.mp400:0000:0000:23Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.So, when it’s Rockets vs. Warriors, we aren’t going to see a 1990s-style Eastern Conference slugfest, in which the first team to 90 points wins, break out anytime soon. These teams shoot too well for that to happen. But it’s time to stop wondering whether Houston has the defensive horses to be mentioned in the same sentence with Golden State — this Rockets team is different. This Might Be James Harden’s Year
It has been awhile since Ohio State had a game-breaking return man.One could nominate Ted Ginn Jr. as the last fearsome returner Jim Tressel sent out to field kicks and punts. For the last few years, the enigmatic Ray Small delivered flashes of brilliance, but his career was more defined by off-the-field issues. However, OSU may have finally found its man.Corey Brown, a 6-foot tall, 180-pound recruit from Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., is known for his speed and, like Ginn Jr., is a high school track star. Brown is an All-American sprinter who holds the Delaware County 200-meter record. He used that speed to become a gifted return man on the football field, an ability that could lead to early playing time, says Steve Helwagen of Bucknuts.com“I think he can potentially return some kicks and punts. Those positions are pretty much wide open,” Helwagen said. “[OSU] lost Lamaar Thomas who was their main kick returner and now DeVier Posey is [the kick returner] by default. I think Ohio State is looking for that game-changer and Brown is another guy in that mix.”The Under Armour All-American Game participant succeeded at multiple positions in high school, including seeing extensive time at running back. In spite of his success in the backfield, Helwagen envisions Brown switching to another position once he arrives in Columbus.“He’s a guy that can go in a lot of different directions, but I think he’ll start out at wide receiver,” Helwagen said. “Ohio State is really deep at wide receiver, so he’s going to really have to do well over the summer and do some big things. However, if there’s a position where you can [gain early playing time], it is wide receiver.”Brown did plenty of big things in high school. He was two-time All-State, three-time All-Philadelphia Catholic League and was named to the Philadelphia Daily News PCL All-Decade team. Furthermore, for his career, Brown had 3,000 yards rushing, 1,500 yards receiving and scored 50 touchdowns.Helwagen sees Brown settling in as a slot receiver, maybe even eventually as the team’s featured pass catcher. Nevertheless, the key for OSU is to get the ball in Brown’s hands and let him make something happen.“You envision him as a flanker or slot guy so he uses that speed to get off the ball quick and create separation on a deep pass or an underneath route,” Helwagen says. “You’ve got to get him the ball in space and let him [use his skills].”One thing Brown may have to acquire once practice starts is a nickname, as OSU has another Corey Brown on the roster. However, the Monroeville, Pa. native is a redshirt freshman cornerback, so as long as the incoming Brown stays on the offensive side of the ball, he should be safe.
The Ohio State men’s hockey team ended its weekend series with No. 6 Western Michigan on a high note with a 6-3 victory Saturday night. The Buckeyes earned four points on the weekend after tying the Broncos, 1-1, in the first game of the series on Friday. OSU (13-12-7, 12-7-5-1 CCHA) now sits tied with Ferris State for fourth place in the CCHA standings with only two weekends left in the regular season. A fourth place finish will give them a first-round home series in the playoffs on March 8. The Buckeyes scored first in both contests, with freshman forward Tyler Lundey scoring the team’s only regulation goal Friday night and junior forward Alex Szczechura scoring the first of his three goals Saturday early in the first period. Western Michigan (18-8-6, 14-6-4-2 CCHA) tied the game Saturday less than three minutes later as Broncos sophomore forward Justin Kovacs netted his second goal of the season. With 6:26 remaining, Broncos sophomore forward David Killip scored, and Western Michigan took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. OSU sophomore forward Tanner Fritz scored his seventh goal of the season to tie the game with 8:26 left in the second, but a Western Michigan power-play goal put the Broncos back ahead, 3-2. It would be the final time they would hold the advantage in the game. In the second period, Szczechura scored his second of the game and sophomore forwards Max McCormick and Darik Angeli followed suit to put OSU ahead 5-3. Szczechura then completed his hat trick early in the third period, giving the Buckeyes the win, 6-3. It was the second time this season an OSU player scored three goals in one game, after sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel had a hat trick against Penn State in December. Szczechura has been coming up on Dzingel, OSU’s lead scorer, recently, with nine goals in the last 15 games. OSU’s top line of Szczechura, McCormick and Fritz recorded 11 points on Saturday to lead the Buckeyes. Fritz said the line-up is “clicking” right now. “We’ve had a lot of chemistry,” Fritz said. “I feel like we’re getting the bounces now and we’re really clicking as a line. It’s probably the best time for us to be doing that, going into the playoffs.” Visit www.thelantern.com for the rest of this story. The Buckeye offense has been impressive as of late, producing 28 goals in the team’s last eight games. Getting that kind of offensive production is something the entire team can feed off, Szczechura said. “Once we start scoring, all the boys are cheering for you and everyone has each other’s backs,” Szczechura said. “It just feels really good.” Broncos coach Andy Murray said he was less than pleased with his team and gave OSU full credit on the win. “When you don’t stay humble, you get humbled, and we got humbled tonight,” Murray said. “Ohio State was good tonight and we were not good enough.” Western Michigan earned an extra point in the CCHA standings on Friday night after winning the shootout, 2-1. The game was played tight the entire way, with both teams’ goals scored in the second period. “I thought that game, the two teams competed extremely hard,” said OSU coach Mark Osiecki after the tie. OSU is set to host Michigan Friday night at 6:35 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center in its final home series of the regular season.
OSU junior defenders Liam Doyle (5) and Kyle Culbertson (3) fight for possession of the ball during a game against Kentucky, Oct. 28. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU and Kentucky tied, 1-1.Credit: Taylor Cameron / Lantern photographerThe penalty kick rolled to his right, but redshirt-senior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov leaned left before stopping, realizing his mistake as the shot found the back of the net.The No. 2 seed Ohio State men’s soccer team (9-7-4) fell, 2-1, to No. 6 seed Indiana (12-3-5) in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Friday in College Park, Md., on the back of the late penalty kick.The shot — awarded because of a handball by junior defender Kyle Culbertson with about four minutes left — was served by sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson.Thompson — a first-team all-Big Ten selection — scored his sixth goal of the season on the play, including his second game winner.Culbertson’s handball came just minutes after the referees appeared to miss a clear handball in Indiana’s box that would have awarded OSU the penalty kick with a chance to take the lead.OSU played from behind in the score for the majority of the game, despite outshooting Indiana by a margin of 9-5 in the first half.However, OSU found itself trailing at the half, 1-0, due to a goal off a free kick by senior defender Patrick Doody midway through the half.“It was important (to score the goal). Ohio State brought a lot of pressure, we didn’t really have much on goal, so it was good to capitalize,” Doody said in an interview with the Big Ten Network after the game.Despite the shot margin, OSU coach John Bluem said he was not satisfied with his team’s first-half performance.“I don’t feel that we’ve played as good as we’re capable of playing yet,” Bluem said in a halftime interview with Big Ten Network.Earlier in the week, Bluem said he felt freshman forward Marcus McCrary could be a weapon in the game because of his speed and the fact that he missed OSU’s first matchup with Indiana, a 2-1 loss on Oct. 12, with an undisclosed injury.“The first time we played them, we didn’t have Marcus McCrary,” the 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year said Tuesday. “That gives us someone they haven’t seen. They’ve seen him on video, but you know how fast Marcus is, he surprises a lot of people with his quickness and his athleticism, so that may be something we can use to our advantage.”McCrary indeed proved to be the weapon OSU was looking for, as he tied the game midway through the second half with his third goal of the season.The freshman was led with a header from senior midfielder Yianni Sarris at midfield, and then it was off to the races.McCrary beat the entire Indiana defense down the field, scoring with a strong right-footed strike that found the back of the net.Overall, OSU outshot Indiana, 20-12, including a 9-5 edge in shots on target. However, Indiana sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb made eight saves to hold on for his 12th victory of the season.The Hoosiers advanced to the finals of the Big Ten tournament for the second consecutive season, after defeating Michigan State in the 2013 championship match.Despite the loss, it was not necessarily the end of the road for OSU.Bluem said earlier in the week that he believes — regardless of OSU’s results in the Big Ten tournament — his team will receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.For now, the Buckeyes have nothing to do but sit and wait to learn their fate.
Then-junior outside hitter Gabriel Domecus (7) during a match against Ball State on Feb. 6 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 3-2. Credit: Courtesy of OSUOhio State’s top-ranked men’s volleyball team (18-0, 8-0 MIVA) takes on two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opponents in University of California, San Diego (5-13, 2-11 MPSF) and No. 6 University of California, Irvine (13-6, 9-5 MPSF).The Buckeyes head into the weekend riding a 41-match win streak. UC San Diego and UC Irvine come out of one of the most competitive volleyball conferences in the country with 10 of the 12 teams ranked in the top 15 nationally.“MPSF always says that they’re the best conference,” said sophomore setter Sanil Thomas. “We want to kind of put them in their place a little bit, so it’s going to be fun.”UC San DiegoOn Friday, the UC San Diego Tritons face OSU after UC Irvine takes on No. 12 Ball State in back-to-back games in St. John Arena. The last time the Buckeyes and the Tritons met was in 2011, when the Tritons won in a four-set match in California, but the Buckeyes hold the all-time series 2-1.After having a four-day break from volleyball, the Buckeyes will hope to break its five-match second set losing streak when it takes on the Tritons on Friday. Eight of 10 total sets lost this season have come in the second set for OSU.“If we’re looking ahead to the Saturday match and we don’t take care of business on Friday, then we haven’t done ourselves justice,” said OSU head coach Pete Hanson. “I would like to think that [the OSU players] would have a little more pep in their step so to speak come Friday and Saturday.”The Tritons rank in the top 20 in blocks per set nationally with 2.11 per set. Junior opposite Tanner Syftestad lead the team with 43 total blocks including four solo stuffs. Freshman libero Ryan Lew has 109 digs to lead the Tritons receiving at a rate of .928.UC IrvineOn Saturday, OSU and Ball State swap opponents, with the Buckeyes taking on the UC Irvine Anteaters. The trip to Columbus will be the Anteaters’ first, where they will hope to improve their record against the Buckeyes to 7-4. The last time the teams met was at Long Beach State University last season, where the Buckeyes earned a win in four sets.Senior libero Gabriel Domecus leads the Buckeyes in digs with 125 this season. His 743 career digs sit in the No. 2 spot in school history, tied with Conor Martin from the 2005-2008 seasons. Senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen is not too far behind Domecus this season, tallying a total of 102 through 18 matches. “I think that when we play our game we’re very hard to beat, very tough to beat,” Thomas said. “It’s all about us bringing our best game, holding ourselves to a higher standard.”The Anteaters rank sixth nationally with 12 assists per set. Senior opposite Michael Saeta leads the team with 619 assists this season. Senior opposite Tamir Hershko is the go-to target for Saeta with 3.03 kills per set, the team’s best.The two matches this weekend will put Hanson within two of 1,000 career matches in his three-plus decades as the coach of the Buckeyes. Under his guidance, the program has gone 663-333 (.667) overall and 288-90 (.762) in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference play.OSU faces UC San Diego on Friday at 7 p.m. and UC Irvine on Saturday at 7 p.m., both in St. John Arena.
Ohio State freshman starting pitcher Seth Lonsway delivers a pitch in the first inning of Tuesday’s game in the Scarlet and Gray World Series. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Editor in ChiefAfter an up-and-down weekend against Bethune-Cookman, the Ohio State baseball team will attempt to regain the momentum from its opening weekend success. The Buckeyes (7-5) will travel to Greenville, South Carolina, to participate in the Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational. Ohio State will take on Furman (2-8) on Friday, Michigan State (2-9) on Saturday, Western Carolina (6-5) on Sunday and Wofford (7-6) in a true road game on Tuesday. Ohio State split its four-game series in Daytona Beach, Florida, against Bethune-Cookman. Coming into this weekend, the Buckeyes hold a 3.12 ERA and a .231 batting average. Although the games on Friday and Saturday are not against teams with exceptional records, their own expectations will fuel the Buckeyes each game. “It’s more about us performing up to our ability than really playing against our opponent at this point,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. Furman comes into the weekend struggling on the mound. Allowing 6.6 runs a game, the Paladins are coming into Friday on a five-game losing streak. Redshirt sophomore pitcher John Bertrand has the best ERA of any starter for Furman at 4.72.Despite the strong play of senior first baseman John Boswell, who boasts a .395 batting average and nine RBIs, the Paladins’ offense only produces 4.8 runs a game. On Saturday, Ohio State will play a struggling Michigan State squad. The Spartans do not have a single starter batting above .280, coming in with a team batting average of .207.Their defense has not fared any better, allowing an average of 8.18 runs a game. Despite the team’s rough start, junior pitcher Mike Mokma holds a 2.60 ERA through three starts on the mound. Western Carolina will bring a more dangerous offense against the talented pitching staff of Ohio State on Sunday. The Catamounts will come into the weekend averaging 8.72 runs a game with a .309 team batting average. The Catamounts have four starters hitting above .300. Sophomore third baseman Justice Bigbie leads the team with a .429 batting average and 16 RBIs.Western Carolina also has a fair amount of power in its lineup. The team has hit 15 home runs this season, which ranks them in the top 25 for home runs in the country. The Buckeyes have allowed an average of 6.4 walks in their losses and only three walks a game in the games they have won this year. Not playing clean baseball is something that Beals pointed to as a big reason behind the losses. “When you look at our losses, you see big innings,” Beals said. “Those big innings have all been fueled by free bases, either by walk, hit batsman or error.” Eliminating mistakes is always important, Beals said, and it will be especially important against a dangerous Western Carolina team. “They get 27 outs,” Beals said. “We can’t give them extra outs and extra opportunities.” Wofford will host the Buckeyes on Tuesday in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Terriers come into the weekend with a 3.25 ERA. Freshman starting pitcher Hayes Heinecke has burst on the scene with a 2.70 ERA and two wins in three starts for the Terriers. Wofford’s offense, which holds a .286 batting average, is led by sophomore catcher Lawson Hill, who has a .420 batting average. Sophomore outfielder Colin Davis, who bats .391, has five stolen bases this season. The Terriers rank among the best in the nation in stealing bases, swiping 29 bases in 34 attempts this season.Redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Todys will be charged with throwing out runners throughout the game, but he said the mindset does not change when going up against a more aggressive team.“Our number one focus is the batter,” Todys said. “Get him out. Get that guy out pitch by pitch. If a runner happens to go, then that’s when I deal with it.”Beals said the best way to combat solid base running is to stop them from getting on base. In order to do this, getting ahead against the batter is important. Redshirt freshman pitcher Seth Lonsway’s focus is about starting the at bats strong.“Key one is establishing a first-pitch strike on hitters and that just kind of helps the whole at bat, as far as attacking the hitter and just setting ourselves up for success,” Lonsway said. Ohio State will start off the Greenville Drive First Pitch Invitational against Furman at 6 p.m. Friday. They will follow up with a 6 p.m. Saturday game against Michigan State and a 5 p.m. Sunday matchup against Western Carolina. The Buckeyes will then travel to play Wofford at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
It is not in the interest of licence fee payers for the BBC to reveal how much its top talent is paid, the controller of the broadcaster’s channels has said.The BBC does not currently identify any of its top-earning stars – thought to include Chris Evans, Gary Lineker and Graham Norton, but will have to name on-screen talent earning more than the £450,000 under plans outlined in the Government’s BBC white paper.Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Charlotte Moore, who is also the controller of iPlayer, said: “We know that our audience expects to have some of the best talent on BBC One.”Of course we also know we can’t pay as much as other broadcasters, that is reality. Of course we can’t, but talent enjoy working with us because of the creative freedom and the range of what they can do. Ms Moore touted the triumphs of BBC shows such as The Night Manager, Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come Dancing and Peter Kay’s Car Share at the festival – but refused to be drawn on reports that the BBC could lose the broadcasting rights to the popular baking show, which will return to BBC One tonight.She said: “I would never talk about negotiations publicly but it’s safe to say Bake Off tonight is absolutely at the top of its game. It’s riveting, with a fantastic cast, and I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy it. “Being able to bring a series back and know you’re growing it and moving it with the times is really important.”On losing singing show The Voice to ITV, she said: “It was very sad to lose The Voice but when it went it created creative headroom.”It’s really difficult to decide what you are going to bring back and when something moves on you get on with creating new shows.” 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. “I genuinely think it’s not in the interest of licence fee payers that we do reveal talent fees, I think it will only drive talent fees up. We are already very transparent about a lot of the BBC, but talent fees is a difficult one.”The outcome of it could be talent fees go up if everyone knows what everyone is paid because they will want to be paid that. It is an incredibly complex situation.”But if the Government and Ofcom regulate that we have to do that, then we will have to.”It’s not always up to the BBC how much we pay them if it’s an indie production company, it’s a complex area.” Graham Norton was paid £2.5m via his production company last yearCredit:BBC
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. First came a campaign to flood the Last Night of the Proms with the EU flag. Then, the backlash.Now, it appears Brittania may indeed rule at the Royal Albert Hall, as a millionaire businessman said he would hand out 10,000 Union Flags to concert-goers.Arron Banks, who led the Leave.EU campaign ahead of the referendum, has paid £5,000 for the flags, which he hopes will be waved by patriotic Prommers at the event watched by millions around the world.Last night he and his aides contacted the one million supporters on Leave.EU’s database to urge them to help hand out the flags, launching the Save Our Proms campaign. The Royal Albert Hall is usually decked out in flags for the Last Night Volunteers from each side will now meet outside the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, with the concert hall likely to see more flags than ever, even for the traditionally colourful Last Night.A spokesman for the EU campaign insisted they were not planning to “hijack” the evening for the Remain cause, saying flags would simply be “handed out with a smile” alongside information leaflets about the benefits of the EU for musicians.Judith Palmer, one of the EU flag campaign’s organisers, said it was not intended to make a political point about Brexit but to make musicians from Europe feel welcomed in Britain.“The project isn’t about overturning a vote, it’s about celebrating our identity and making musicians feel welcome,” she said. “Given the tensions there have been since the referendum, we want to show we are not an insular country. He said: “It is a British event and nothing to do with the EU – this is a pathetic attempt by the desperate ‘Remoaners’ to hijack a celebration of Britain.“I will be handing out union flags personally. I don’t know what they are trying to prove – we won! Brexit happened and nothing the IN side will do will change that.”A message on the “Save Our Proms” campaign website, launched last night, said: “The Last Night of the Proms has been a bastion of British culture and identity for decades.“Seeing activists try and hijack it to campaign for the EU reeks of desperation. They need to accept the result and move on.” It comes days after anti-Brexit campaigners launched their own campaign to hand out European flags at the Last Night, aimed at showing “solidarity with the EU” and using the event’s high profile to “send a message to the world”.The movement was yesterday backed by the Musicians’ Union, which represents more than 90 per cent of members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing on the night.In a statement, the union’s general secretary John Smith said they hoped the waving of EU flags would “demonstrate solidarity with our European neighbours and remind government of the need to consider issues affecting musicians in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.”Mr Banks told The Daily Telegraph he wanted Prommers to instead “wave the union flag with pride and throw away the star spangled banner of oppression by casting aside the illegitimate EU flag.” “Every time you go to the Proms, you could be sitting next to an Italian on one side and French person on the other, listening to a violinist from a German orchestra.“We want everyone to feel they are amongst friends.”A spokesman for the BBC has said: “Flags are a traditional part of the Last Night of the Proms and audience members are not prevented from bringing them into the Hall.”The Last Night of the Proms is due to be broadcast on BBC Two and BBC One, starting at 7.15pm on Saturday. The Last Night traditionally has a party atmosphere Arron Banks, millionaire backer of Save Our PromsCredit:Ben Birchall
Danny Mac with his dance partner Oti MabuseCredit:BBC Len Goodman with fellow Strictly judges Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli Credit:BBC Vince Cable, the former deputy leader of the Lib Dems who appeared on the 2010 Christmas edition of Strictly – where he won top marks for his foxtrot from Goodman – also backed calls for him to receive an honour.He said: “I think it would be a very deserving award. He has that strong connection with the public like Sir Bruce Forsyth did.”Mr Cable added: “He is the lynchpin of the whole panel. I know I’m a bit biased because he gave me 10/10, but he’s always struck me as a very deep-minded and professional with a deep knowledge of the whole show.” Goodman started dancing at the age of 19, after quitting his apprenticeship as a welder for Harland and Wolff shipyard, in Woolwich, south east London.After turning professional, he won numerous competitions, culminating in the British Championships at Blackpool.As well as head judge for Strictly, he has appeared in its American version Dancing With the Stars and has presented several other BBC programmes, including Dancing Cheek to Cheek, with the historian Lucy Worsley.Professor Veronica Lewis MBE, principal of the London Contemporary Dance School, said Goodman would be a deserving recipient of an honour.She said: “Len has raised the profile of dance in the UK immeasurably. His dedication has seen the art form become the prime time television choice of the nation and the talking point around the office watercooler.“Raising the profile of dance has opened up more opportunities for both young, and not so young, people and has contributed to their improved physical and mental wellbeing, which as a society we all benefit from and should be celebrated.” Sir Len Goodman has certain ring to it. I think it’s the right honour and he deserves it, not just for his work on Strictly, but also for all of his work that people don’t see.Kristina Rihanoff, professional dancer Professional dancer Kristina Rihanoff, who has appeared in eight series of Strictly, said: “Sir Len Goodman has certain ring to it. I think it’s the right honour and he deserves it, not just for his work on Strictly, but also for all of his work that people don’t see, behind the scenes for charities like the Dot Com Foundation. He has changed a lot of people’s lives.”Miss Rihanoff, who earlier this year had a baby with Strictly competitor and former England rugby star Ben Cohen, added: “He’s an inspirational person and I’m very sad he won’t be on Strictly any more. I can’t imagine anyone replacing him.”Ann Widdecombe, who suffered low marks at the hands of Goodman and the other judges when she appeared on Strictly in October 2010 with dance partner Anton du Beke, said Goodman would deserve a knighthood for his wider charity work.She said: “I’m always cautious in calling for knighthoods. I don’t think knighthoods should be given to entertainment alone. But, first of all, Strictly has brought in huge sums in exports. The other part of [Len’s] work is charity work so, if you add them up, I think there’s a case for it.”Meanwhile, the favourite to win tonight’s Strictly final has been forced to defend himself against accusations that his performing arts background has given him an unfair advantage.Actor Danny Mac, who stars in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks, admitted he had received dance training at drama school, but denied it had made any difference to his performance.Mac graduated from the Arts Educational performing arts school in Chiswick, west London, in 2009, before going on to appear in the musicals Les Miserables and Wicked on the West End stage. He has become something of a national institution – some would even say treasure – with his weekly appearances on Strictly Come Dancing.Now his fans are saying it’s time Len Goodman’s contribution to British light entertainment was officially recognised.As the BBC dance competition prepares for the final of its 14th series tonight, Goodman’s admirers have called for him to be recognised in the Queen’s Honours List.The 72-year-old éminence grise of ballroom dancing, who has served as head judge on the BBC show for more than a decade, will be stepping down after Saturday night’s finale.With his chirpy manner and catchphrases, including “it’s a 10 from Len”, “pickle my walnuts” and “se-ven!”, Goodman quickly established himself as one of the show’s favourite faces. The Strictly judges with the show’s contestants and professional dancersCredit:BBC The actor has consistently hit the top of the leaderboards alongside partner Oti Mabuse, with whom he scored the first 40 for a samba in the competition’s history.He said: “People say there is dance experience, but everyone has got varying degrees to what they must know.”I was never going to be a dancer, I was never dancing, that was never going to happen. I’ve never been employed as one. It was part of my training at drama school, but if people want to believe that because they don’t want to vote for me then so be it.”Asked if he thought it would stop him from winning votes, Mac said that would be a “shame”, adding Mabuse should receive full recognition for him reaching the final.He said: “Anything I have achieved, giving credit to that would be taking everything away from Oti and that wouldn’t be fair because it’s completely 100 per cent down to her.”The pair will dance three routines in a bid to win the glitterball trophy, including their samba which was awarded a perfect score in week 10.They will also perform a showdance set to Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain and a dance of the judges’ choice.Up against Mac in tonight’s final are ex-pop star Louise Redknapp and BBC presenter Ore Oduba.The BBC said Mac had no previous experience in latin or ballroom dance – the key components of Strictly – and that his training at drama school would have “little bearing” on the final. 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The Rock of GibraltarCredit:Paul Grover Defence sources said British military personnel are subject to both UK and local law when posted to Gibraltar. UK military police took the lead in investigations related to service personnel carrying out their duties, local police took the lead in other investigations. But sources said there were often “grey areas” that needed to be resolved between the two sides. Officers from the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) also this week carried out searches of three Ministry of Defence establishments.The row over jurisdiction is understood to have begun when local police tried to investigate the serviceman, who was already part of a UK inquiry into alleged offences involving indecent images of children.Royal Gibraltar Police wanted to examine computer equipment to establish if an offence had been committed in the territory.But when investigating officers tried to serve a warrant signed by the Chief Justice of Gibraltar, they were allegedly refused access to an MoD barracks. Officers later learned the serviceman was to be transported back to the UK, sparking the runway standoff that left hundreds of travellers stranded for nearly two hours. The plane was only allowed on its way once the suspect had been taken off. A handful of British military units are stationed on the territory, for defence and training.Credit:MoD 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 RGP says it has primacy over all criminal matters in the territory.A statement from the local police said: “Officers of the Royal Gibraltar Police have arrested three senior military officials and executed a number of search warrants at various MoD establishments.”They have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice and for conspiring to pervert the course of justice. The investigation concerns the events on the runway on Wednesday February 8.”Neither the MoD nor the police would last night comment on the whether the serviceman who sparked the row was still in Gibraltar, but he is still believed to be under investigation.The Gibraltar Chronicle reported one of the locations searched was the The Tower in the naval base, the MoD’s headquarters on the Rock, and claimed local police had seized computer and telephone equipment.A Government in London said: “We can confirm three service personnel have been released on bail, as this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further at this stage.“We reaffirm the strong and enduring relationship between the UK and Gibraltar.” Three senior British military officials have been arrested by Gibraltar police on suspicion of trying to hinder a child sex abuse inquiry, in a diplomatic row over who investigates crimes in the territory.The officials were held on suspicion of trying to pervert the course of justice before being bailed, after local police said they had been stopped from investigating another UK serviceman over alleged offences involving indecent images of children.The arrests on Wednesday followed a dramatic runway standoff last month when police officers blocked the departure of an A400M RAF military transport believed to be flying the serviceman back to the UK.
There was uproar in 2009 when a pie maker from Devon was awarded the prize for the UK’s best Cornish pasty at the British Pie Awards.Organisers later said they had omitted to include a disclaimer on the application form which stated all entries must be from Cornwall.A similar debate rages between the two counties over cream teas, which David Cameron found to his cost when he visited a Devon café in 2015.“In Devon, it’s jam first and cream on top?” he asked, before firmly being told that for Devonians it was the opposite. Controversially, I understand the Cornish pasty may have been invented in DevonCelia Richardson, Historic England’s director of communications When asked to name inventions local to the area, she replied: “Controversially, I understand the Cornish pasty may have been invented in Devon.”DJ Gordon Sparks said: “We love you, Celia. You can come again!” However, Rosewarne Manor, a restaurant in Hayle, Cornwall, tweeted: “Let’s get something straight. A Cornish pasty cannot, by definition, be made in Devon. Anyone ever heard of a Devon pasty catching on?”Cornwall Live reported that people had called the claim “sacrilege”, saying: “This is not OK, Historic England. You will not take our pasties!”Ms Richardson’s remark was based on a book by Dr Todd Gray, an Exeter University academic who claimed the pasty originated in Devon. He cited a document found at Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, dated 1509, which refers to a cook charging for “labour to make the pasties”. It is not until 236 years later, according to Dr Gray, that a written record appeared in Cornwall. 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. Lets get something straight. A #Cornish pasty cannot, by definition, be made in Devon. Anyone ever heard of a Devon pasty catching on?— Rosewarne Manor (@RosewarneManor) June 16, 2017 Historic England waded into controversy yesterday after an executive suggested the Cornish pasty was actually invented in Devon.The organisation is running a campaign to highlight the birthplaces of great inventions, from trainers – Bolton – to the bungee jump – Bristol.Celia Richardson, its director of communications, appeared on BBC Radio Devon to promote the campaign. Ms Richardson said: “We want to know which parts of England people think have changed the world. This was always going to bring out the country’s competitive spirits – and nothing defines local character like food.”
3. She has won £2m prize money… so farBefore the 2016 Australian Open, Konta had won 11 International Tennis Federation singles titles and four doubles titles in her career, and accrued £600,000 in prize money.The £937,000 cheque sitting in her purse from the Miami Open will be a welcome validation for all the years of hard slog. Not to mention the £550,000 reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon will net her.As well as giving a proportion of it to her parents, the balance of her Miami winnings was apparently be reinvested in her support staff, led by Belgian coach Wim Fissette. No flash watches or country mansions for Konta, she is determined to improve her game, not her property portfolio. So humbled by this whole experience. Thank you so much to everyone for their continued support! #grinningeartoear pic.twitter.com/QuKMnB5SYk— Johanna Konta (@JoKonta91) April 1, 2017 “If she wasn’t a tennis player she would probably be at the big summer festivals…. She loves all that.”She’s funny because she’s quite a contained, shy introverted person off court, but actually there’s a performer in there.”She said if she wasn’t playing tennis she could see herself up there with Coldplay on a big stage in front of 50,000 fans. I think that tells you a little bit about Jo, why she’s so happy on the big courts.”13. She doesn’t mind posing for selfies with fansWell, if a Chelsea pensioner asks… But Konta has always said that her sights are firmly set on a grand slam trophy – and now that dream is closer than ever. She reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year, but Wimbledon 2017 is her best chance so far.“I’ve always wanted to become a grand-slam champion, and to become the best in the world. Without that, the victories aren’t as sweet or the defeats as motivating.” Born in Sydney to Hungarian parents – her dad, Gabor, is a hotelier and her mum, Gabriella, a dentist – she initially trained at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona.The family moved to England in 2005 when Konta was the age of 14, basing themselves in Eastbourne.Konta used to compete as an Australian – her sister still lives in Sydney – but finally became a British citizen in 2012 having “wanted GBR next to my name for a very long time.” Having spent much of her young life living and training here, she gently points out to anyone who questions her nationality, that she has played more tennis in Britain than anywhere else. The 5ft 11in tall player – who also speaks fluent Hungarian – now lives in a London apartment with a view of the Thames, which she bought herself. 8. She is hard as nailsKonta is determined to get to the top. And that means she has no time for sitting back and revelling in the glory of winning a few matches. Konta after her win in MiamiCredit:REX She has triumphed over world number two, Simona Halep, to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time and today will take on Venus Williams on Centre Court. The first woman to reach the last four since Virginia Wade in 1978, Konta is making SW19 history. And if you didn’t know her name a week ago – you certainly will now.The 26-year-old’s star has steadily been on the rise for the past couple of years. In April this year, she won the biggest title to be held by a British female tennis player since Wade won Wimbledon in 1977 – taking home £937,000 prize money after she beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Miami Open.The British player is quickly becoming one of our favourite sports stars – understated and unfailingly calm on court. 12. She is a festival fanJo’s Twitter profile says that, in an ideal world, she’d spent every night at a concert. And Sam Smith, former British number one, has confirmed that she is a “big music fan”. So far, she’s been quick to shut them down and that includes avoiding questions about her new boyfriend, 24-year-old photographer Jackson Wade.Her previous partner, believed to be former coach Kether Clouder, was referred to only as “The Boyfriend”.5. She’s a foodie, who rates ice-creamIn a recent interview, Konta said fame and attention did not interest her.“I’m not unaware of it,” she said, “but it’s as big as you make it, really, and it becomes as important as you want it to. It’s very much not the focus point of my career. It’s not what I play tennis for.” Instead, she seems to live a very normal life away from the court and has fast gained a reputation as a foodie – attributing her recent success to a diet of fish, eggs, passion fruit and chia pods. According to her Twitter bio, her other great loves are music and ice cream: “I play tennis during the day. Would love to go to concerts most nights. I take gelato very seriously.” 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. 4. She keeps her relationship under wrapsKonta has generally avoided the spotlight. But her rapid rise to stardom had lead to inevitable prying into her private life. “Unless I’m physically unable to compete, once I commit to something I look to follow through on it,” she once said.9. She used to drive a Peugeot hatchbackShe may not be outwardly interested in splashing the cash, but Konta’s sudden prosperity has finally allowed her to exchange her old Peugeot hatchback for a natty red number (though it was provided by her sponsor, Jaguar). 10. She loves bakingNot satisfied with her rising star in SW19, Konta also has one eye on the rise of her cakes. Baking has been an unlikely distraction throughout the tournament. She beamed when describing her talent for making the perfect muffin, which she brings to Wimbledon for her team most days.“I love to talk about my baking,” she said. “Today, I had white chocolate and raspberry. So far, they are the biggest hit. Prior to that, it was chocolate chip. But I forgot the vanilla essence.”She also rates her roast potatoes – something surely only a true Brit could be passionate about.11. Everyone adores herScour the headlines for a negative comment about Jo Konta and you’ll be out of luck. Anyone who has ever worked with her, speaks of her highly. The words that come up, time and again, are ‘friendly’, polite’ and ‘well mannered’. Former junior tournament director Trevor Adamson told the Daily Mail: “You get a few of that age who can be quite difficult but she was never a problem. She was very well mannered and spoke very well, nice to tournament staff, good to deal with and so were her parents.” 2. She has her sights on a grand slamKonta, who picked up a racquet aged eight, played her first Wimbledon in 2012 courtesy of a wild card. She lost to American Christina McHale in the first round.Last year’s tournament saw her make it past the first round for the first time, before losing to Eugenie Bouchard in the second. Indeed, many considered 2016 a “traumatic” year of tennis for the young player. Konta with the GB Federation Cup team in February 2017Credit:Getty Images 14. She’s not afraid to be emotionalAndy Murray might have encouraged her to show more emotionon court, but Konta’s mask does slip sometimes. She admitted to crying after losing the Australian Open quarter final to Serena Willliams, and broke down in tears during the Federation Cup, when Romanian coach Ilie Nastase swore at her.The 26-year-old may be known for playing in a ‘tennis bubble’ and not letting herself get distracted on court, but that doesn’t mean she’s robotic… 6. She is close to her familyA portion of her prize money has been earmarked as payback for those closest to her: her father Gabor and mother Gabriella, who shuttled the whole family around the world during Konta’s teenage years in search of the best training environment. Indeed, not only is she bringing an end to Britain’s talent drought on the women’s tennis circuit, but she also seems to be a thoroughly normal, unshowy sort of person.So here’s what you need to know about Britain’s shiniest sports woman…1. She’s lived all over the worldFor many tennis players, becoming truly successful at a young age seems to involve spending your childhood in intensive training camps all over the globe. Konta’s teenage years were no exception. Konta having a selfie with Chelsea Pensioner John Griffiths Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley “I would love to get my parents a house somewhere or a place in the country,” she said when she spoke to press after the Miami Open win. “That’s next on the saving-for list. I’m sure a portion of my prize money will go nicely into that.”7. She is utterly unshowyShe keeps a relatively low profile on social media and also seems to have an impressive amount of perspective on the game. Unlike some of the young bucks coming through in men’s tennis who throw their egos around the court, Konta appreciates what she has now and how hard she has worked to get there.“It wasn’t that I was a bad tennis player before,” she said last year. “Reaching 150 is still an incredible accomplishment. Not many people can say ‘I was top 150 in the world for something’ in any discipline.”For me, it was a question of maturity. I needed to go through certain life experiences, and not just on the court, to make me into the competitor that I am, and also the person.”
Dab on it wagwan x 💯 pic.twitter.com/pGvtjSHL5p— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 24, 2017 Jeremy Clarkson has caused mockery and mirth from his fans with a strange photograph he posted while on a night out in Mallorca.Coming to the dabbing trend after almost everyone else, including the Royals, the Grand Tour presenter posted a photograph of himself doing the dance move.Using emoji, he wrote: “Dab on it wagwan x” and posted the picture for his almost seven million followers.Mr Clarkson also expressed his joy at being on holiday, writing: “#Mallorca it is #LIT lol x” followed by a series of emoji. WHAT IS HAPPENING????— Emily Clarkson (@prettynormalme) July 24, 2017 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. One of her followers replied: “Your dad is being hip with the young ones.”Another Twitter user informed Mr Clarkson: “No one does it anymore”.Another questioned his safety, tweeting: “Jeremy Clarkson if you’re kidnapped like this tweet”.A disgusted fan wrote: “Dear god what has the world come to”. Prince Harry caused surprise and delight in September last year when he showed schoolchildren in Scotland that even the Royal Family knows what dabbing is.A student in Aberdeen asked the Prince to dab, and he smiled before quickly performing the dance move.Delighted schoolchildren filmed the dance move on their phones. His daughter, Emily Clarkson, was confused by his behaviour, wrote:
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 Abbott and his bride getting into the Bentley laid on by the SavoyCredit: Paul Grover The Insolvency Service said in a statement that the personal spending was “particularly disquieting”. It said in a lengthy statement that Mr Abbott had accepted the disqualification and did not dispute that Reactiv Media had submitted three invoices totalling almost £340,000 to support a grant application for a tenth of that sum. “These three invoices are not reflected in the company purchase ledgers, the sales ledgers of the two suppliers concerned and the suppliers have confirmed that they did not issue any such invoices,” the Insolvency service said.Reactiv was fined £75,000 by the Information Commissioner’s office in April 2015 for making nuisance phone calls.The fine never got paid while Reactiv Media continued to rack up huge debts, including owing HM Revenue and Customs hundreds of thousands of pounds of unpaid income tax and National Insurance contributions.At the same time, Mr Abbott received £177,664 in “net cash transactions” from Reactiv Media, part of which was spent on his Savoy wedding in central London.David Brooks, of The Insolvency Service, said: “There are three distinct allegations underpinning this disqualification. As a whole, they show a director who flagrantly breached his duties to regulators and company creditors over an extended period. “Facts of this case, which were particularly disquieting, were the £252,071 of personal spending on deposits for two houses in the very month that the unjustified grant funds were given to the company, and the nature of some of the £177,664 of identified personal benefits taken from 1 September 2015: This included at least £55,000 spent on jewellery and Mr Abbott’s wedding.”Mr Abbott was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. He has previously said of the Telegraph’s reporting of his business affairs that “the majority of this information is incorrect”. A cold call tycoon has been banned from running companies for 12 years for a string of offences that included siphoning off funds to pay for a lavish wedding at the Savoy.Tony Abbott, 46, was behind a telephone marketing company that plagued homeowners by making up to 6.5 million unsolicited calls a year.But an investigation by the Insolvency Service after Mr Abbott’s business went bust with £2 million debts uncovered a series of concerns that led to the disqualification.The inquiry found that Mr Abbott’s company Reactiv Media had obtained almost £34,000 of taxpayer funding by submitting seemingly falsified invoices to support a grant application.In the same month in March 2015 that Reactiv Media secured the money from Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Mr Abbott spent more than a quarter of a million pounds on deposits for two houses. The Insolvency Service also found the company had spent £55,000 on jewellery and on Mr Abbott’s wedding to his second wife Stephanie at the Savoy in May 2016. The detached house in Surrey bought as Reactiv Media was going bust The Telegraph had previously investigated Reactiv Mediaand uncovered large spending at a time when the firm was going bust.The wedding ceremony at the landmark hotel was followed by a party on a boat on the Thames and an evening meal back at the hotel. The groom arrived in a Bentley provided by the Savoy. Shortly before the wedding, the couple moved into a mansion in Surrey. Reactiv Media also owned a Bentley Continental, worth £120,000, a £65,000 Porsche Cayenne and a £62,000 Range Rover.
They found that all four had undergone neurosurgery as children or teenagers, raising fears that they had contracted the protein through surgical instruments, in a similar way to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow disease. Sticky brain proteins which are thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease may have been passed to patients by contaminated surgical instruments, scientists believe. Amyloid beta is best known for being one of the hallmark proteins of Alzheimer’s disease,… Researchers at University College London studied the medical records of four adults who had suffered brain bleeds because of a build-up of amyloid beta in the blood vessels of the brain, causing them to rupture.
The wealthy music mogul supported her financially through the highs and lows of his successful career. After leaving Boyzone, he found success with Fifth Avenue and more recently as a judge on Vietnam Pop Idol. The musician said they lived together for two years in Queensway, London, before she disappeared and they split up. After Mr Walton stopped paying her rent in 2014 when they split, she took out a non-molestation order claiming harassment, the court heard.She also rang his mother in Dublin, contacted his business partners and created a fake Facebook page accusing him of being a “paedophile”, he said.Mr Walton told jurors: “I was broken, emotionally broken but I loved her.”The court has heard there is no truth in any of the accusations against him. Kouider and Medouni have admitted perverting the course of justice but deny murder.The trial continues. Sabrina Kouider was described by former boyfriend Mark Walton as someone who ‘would go crazy over something trivial’ He said Kouider had been “abusive” and “exhibited a manipulative and controlling nature” with a “calculating streak”. He also described her as a “really gentle, sweet, loving” person who could become “quite scary” in seconds.He told jurors: “Sabrina shared some stories from her past.”I guess knowing that, I felt it brought us closer together at times, but it was turbulent, probably the most turbulent relationship I had ever been in.”She would go from softly spoken French accent then she would flip, get very angry, very loud and just not care where we were. She would just go crazy over something trivial.” The founder of boy band Boyzone has revealed in court the “turbulent relationship” he had with his ex-girlfriend who is accused of murdering her French nanny.Mark Walton, who created the Irish boy band in 1993, flew in from Los Angeles to give evidence at the Old Bailey trial of fashion designer Sabrina Kouider.The 35-year-old mother and her partner Ouissem Medouni, 40, are accused of murdering au pair Sophie Lionnet and throwing her body on a bonfire at their home in Wimbledon, south west London.The couple had allegedly tortured the shy 21-year-old into “confessing” to being in league with Mr Walton.However, Mr Walton said the first he knew of Miss Lionnet was when murder squad detectives contacted him in September last year. Ouissem Medouni (left), 40, and his partner Sabrina Kouider, 34, appearing at the Old Bailey in LondonCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA Miss Lionnet, 21, was later allegedly beaten, killed and thrown on a bonfire by her employers Kouider and Ouissem Medouni The softly-spoken Irishman said he met Kouider in a NatWest bank in Notting Hill in 2011 and hit it off straight away.He said: “I was in love. She was my life then so…”He said he gave her thousands of pounds a month, paid for nannies and even covered £12,800 in rent after she had left him, the court heard. Yet Kouider then fired her nannies, and accused them of stealing or being attracted to her “friendly” boyfriend, it was alleged. 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 gratuitous violence against women in crime dramas has infuriated critics for years, with accusations that female corpses far outweigh the men.Not so in Midsomer Murders, its star has claimed, after he insists it is an equal opportunities show.Neil Dudgeon, who has played DCI John Barnaby for seven years, has dismissed the criticism levelled at “Scandi noir and its dark British equivalents”, insisting their preference for murdering women did not extend to Midsomer.”We’ll bump off anybody on Midsomer Murders, we’re not at all choosy,” he told the Radio Times. “We wouldn’t do anything bad to an animal, and certainly not to children, but otherwise, we’re very equal ops murderers.” Asked whether television crime drama had changed much throughout his career, the 57-year-old actor said: “Today you’ve got to have several murders and serial killers. “When I was a boy, watching Z Cars and Softly, Softly, they might have a bit of burglary, or shoplifting. “Now, if there were aliens who wanted to find out about our civilisation by watching television, they’d think half the planet spends all its time trying to figure out how to kill the other half.” Neil Dudgeon, centre, as DCI Barnaby in Midsomer Murders The torture of Elizabeth Debicki’s character in The Night Manager caused controversy Asked whether society was “scarred by all that killing” on screen, he added: “Nobody is watching Midsomer Murders and thinking, ‘Oh, that guy was on the roof of his castle when he saw a headless horseman and fell to his death from the roof… My God, that could have been me!’ Dramas including The Fall, The Bridge, and The Night Manager, have faced criticism for the level of violence against women shown on screen. Midsomer Murders has faced no such difficulties, building a dedicated fan club over its 20 years on screen and noted for its extraordinary death toll in the otherwise peaceful countryside. Gillian Anderson in The Fall “Or seeing people who are supposed to have been kidnapped by aliens and entombed in plastic shells with goo inside. No one thinks, ‘That could happen to me when I’m walking the dog!'” 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.
Elsie Owusu was one of the architects behind the new UK Supreme Court buildingCredit:Elsie Owusu OBE 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. Voting closes tomorrow and Owusu, who helped redesign Green Park underground station and the Supreme Court Building is polling narrowly behind Northern Irish architect Alan Jones, according to Building Design magazine. The winner, who will serve a two year term as RIBA president, will be announced on Thursday.Ms Owusu told the Telegraph: “People at RIBA tend to think I am talking about people putting masked sheets over their heads and burning crosses on other people’s lawns, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about unconscious bias which results in some people of whatever stripe having a poorer relationship with the profession than others.” “I am therefore obliged to ask that you cease and desist from making further, damaging public statements about the RIBA, whether in the press, at the Hustings, on social media or any other public forum.”The 65-year-old Owusu, who was born in Ghana, is looking to become the first black president in the institute’s 184-year history. In 2015, after an unsuccessful bid to become vice-president, she said the decision was “tantamount to institutionalised racism”.Afterwards, she received a letter telling her to “think very carefully about what you say and do” while also telling a story about an ancient ruler condemning one of his subjects to death.She said: “It does seem to be that when people take office at RIBA they become something else. They change from being nice fluffy creative architects to being, just bossy and sometimes downright unpleasant.”In response to Ms Owusu’s claims that RIBA is driving diversity away with “institutional racism and structural bias exists”, a RIBA spokesperson said: “Like any long-standing institution, the RIBA has weathered many changes and had to adapt to the times. We know there’s more we can be doing to update our own governance and processes, to ensure all members feel represented and that we are fit for the future; this work is already underway at the Institute. We have a range of initiatives in place as part of our commitment to increase diversity and inclusion in the profession as a whole. For example, our national schools programme, which has connected 17,000 young people from all different backgrounds with over 340 architects, inspiring them to take an interest in architecture. Architecture is about people and building communities, and to do the best job the profession and the Institute need to be as diverse as the communities we work with every day.” A racism row at the Royal Institute of British Architects has led to the organisation sending a “gagging order” to one of the candidates standing for its Presidency.Elsie Owusu OBE, the first chair of the Society of Black Architects, was handed a cease and desist letter by the honorary secretary of RIBA after making allegations including claims of institutional discrimination and racism at the organisation.RIBA, which represents 44,000 architects, sent Ms Owusu the threatening letter last month, after she publicly questioned the £180,000-a-year salary of Chief Executive Alan Vallance.They argued that her behaviour was a “flagrant breach of confidentiality, is unsubstantiated and is damaging to RIBA and its chief executive officer.”Kerr Robertson, who wrote the letter, said that Owusu had breached the guidelines for RIBA presidential elections “in a serious and repeated fashion,” citing her previous claims of institutional racism as an example. He added: “These public statements are very damaging to RIBA’s reputation. Elsie Owusu was part of the team that designed and built the new UK Supreme CourtCredit:Paul Grover In response to the letter, they added: “As outlined by the Charity Commission, trustees have a duty to act in the best interests of the charity at all times. All three presidential candidates were advised that they are required to conduct themselves in accordance with trustee requirements for the duration of the election campaign. Should anyone act in a manner that breaches their role, fellow trustees are required to address this. In this case, a number of public statements had been made about the RIBA in contravention of the election campaign guidelines and the RIBA followed the due process.”