Heres What Adam Silver Thinks About Our Proposal To Fix The NBA

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONAdam SilverCommissionerMay 28, 2015Dear Jody, Chadwick, Neil and Kate:Thanks for your letter and for devoting FiveThirtyEight’s considerable resources (and those of your readers/listeners) to addressing the NBA Draft Lottery.I was impressed with the detail and sophistication on display in many of the proposals — though I can’t say I’ll be riding a bear into the Lottery room any time soon. From the Tombstone Date to the Tweaked Wheel, I am grateful for the hard work of all 7,000 passionate basketball fans who took the time to examine our Draft Lottery from every conceivable angle.Of course, there can only be one winning proposal, and the work of the Futures Draft Planning Committee is a worthy champion. It is thorough, well researched and addresses many of the questions we are currently facing with the Draft Lottery; in fact, our internal Draft Lottery working team looked at models very similar to the one proposed by Samuel and Cody. While we continue to study this concept, we believe that “NBA Futures” runs into some of the same problems as other proposals we have considered — namely, by solving one potential problem, it creates a host of new ones.To elaborate, we believe the proposed system would represent a change in two major areas:First, it creates more variability; it is difficult to predict exactly where a team will finish in a particular year, so there is not a guaranteed reward for getting the first selection of a surrogate” team. However, we believe there would be a strong correlation between the selection order of surrogate teams and their actual performance (based on the high correlation of teams’ year-over-year performance). This suggests that there would indeed still be an incentive to be among the worst-performing teams in any given year.Second, “NBA Futures” delays the allocation of high draft picks to poor performing teams; for example, Team X finishes with the worst record in year 1 and gets the right to select its surrogate team first – Team . As described above, we would expect Team Y to perform poorly in year 2 more often than not, thus resulting in a high draft pick for Team X after year 2. Under our current system, Team X would get a high draft pick after year 1.It is debatable whether the goals of increased variability and delayed allocation of high draft picks to poor-performing teams are the right ones. If we were in fact seeking to accomplish these two goals, there are several approaches that might be more straightforward. For example:– To add variability, level out the odds for the worst performing teams– To delay pick allocation, tie lottery odds to performance from one year priorThe proposed system could also create strange incentives around surrogate team selection: Will teams be inclined to select a surrogate in their division or conference for competitive purposes? Will teams try to sign their surrogates top free agent simply to make them worse? There could also be situations in which a team would have incentive to contribute to its non-surrogates improvement.And even though it sounds like Samuel and Cody have thought of contingencies like no trade clauses between surrogate teams, the proposal would likely add a significant layer of complexity to the trading of draft picks.Finally, its worth noting that the timing of surrogate selection would be very important. Wherever set, it could become subject to gamesmanship by teams sequencing transactions or disclosing (or not disclosing) information, like injuries, on either side of the deadline.As you can see, while there appears to be a growing consensus that we need to reform the Draft Lottery, finding the right balance of competing interests, especially one that will gain the support of three-quarters of NBA teams (the vote required to make the change), is a work in-progress. Regardless of the outcome, all of us at the NBA thank you for your contributions to a lively debate. Please keep the ideas coming!Sincerely,(Adam Signature) Over the last month, our sports podcast “Hot Takedown” asked listeners to submit their ideas for how to fix the NBA Lottery and end tanking. We got almost 7,000 responses, some silly, most very thoughtful. We picked one — a proposal in which teams would place bets on how other teams will perform, divorcing one’s own record from one’s own lottery pick (read about it here) — and sent it off to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s office.And then we waited. Most of us (all of us) figured that was it. Usually letters to powerful sports bureaucrats go into the ether.Well, on Friday an envelope arrived in the mail from Commissioner Silver’s office. Someone had clearly read our letter and taken the time to draft a three-page response. (But, for what it’s worth, that someone had not listened to the podcast, or seen my bio page — it was addressed to “Ms.” Jody Avirgan.)The letter lauded our project, offered a detailed response to our plan, and acknowledged a “growing consensus” that the lottery needs fixing. Ultimately, though, it said the equivalent of “thanks, but no thanks.” But over three pages!Watch the video above for instant reaction from “Hot Takedown” host Chadwick Matlin and me. We’ve also posted the full text of the letter at the bottom of this post, and invite you to annotate it on Genius.We’ll dig into the details of Silver’s response soon, but here are a few quick notes.“I can’t say I’ll be riding a bear into the Lottery room any time soon,” Silver writes. Bummer. But the vision lives on.The word “tanking” does not appear in this letter.Nevertheless, in responding to the “futures” plan, Silver does say he thinks “there would still be an incentive to be among the worst-performing teams.” Not to get too Talmudic, but is his use of “still” a tacit acknowledgment that there is currently an incentive to perform poorly?It’s signed only “Adam.” Neat.It’s tough to say whether this letter, along with the other statements Silver has made about lottery reform, indicates that the NBA is truly considering or merely entertaining more creative ideas. And Silver points out that three-quarters of owners will have to approve any changes. Is mentioning that the lottery’s fate is in owners’ hands an excuse not to take bold action, or just realism?Toward the end of the letter, Silver writes that “there appears to be a growing consensus that we need to reform the Draft Lottery.” In the past, Silver has flat-out denied that players are trying to lose, but he’s also acknowledged that the Competition Committee is looking at lottery reform. Part of me appreciates his candor, and part of me is surprised that Silver is still using cautious language like “appears to be … growing.”We’ve already re-extended our invitation for Commissioner Silver to come on “Hot Takedown” to further discuss the proposals and NBA tanking. Again, you can annotate his response for yourself and listen to our original podcast discussing all the proposals below (tanking conversation starts at 17:30): More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Powered by Genius Silver’s full letter, plus your annotations: Embed Code By Jody Avirgan Adam Silver Responds To FiveThirtyEight’s Letter About The NBA Lottery Adam Silver read more

Avery Johnson Fired by the Brooklyn Nets

Avery Johnson was fired by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday after being named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for November and starting the season with an 11-4 record. The Nets have named P.J. Carlesimo as interim head coach.Nets ownership became disappointed in the team’s play in December. The Nets have gone 3-10, which landed the team in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.“I just got a sense, as I told Avery this morning, that he just wasn’t reaching them anymore,” general manager Billy King said at a news conference Thursday. King made it clear that ownership made the final decision to let Johnson go.Johnson was in the last year of a three-year, $12 million contract.“You never think when you’re a .500 team and then you’re going into two more home games at home that something like this would happen,” Johnson said at the news conference. “But this is ownership’s decision, and this is what we sign up for. This is part of our business. Fair or unfair, it doesn’t matter. But again, it’s time for a new voice, and hopefully they’ll get back on track.”Friday, the Nets host the struggling Charlotte Bobcats, who are on a 16-game losing streak. Their last win was on Nov. 24 against the Washington Wizards.The Nets will start their coaching search after the first of the year, but according to ESPN.com the Nets will make a phone call to Phil Jackson to measure his interest in the opening. But Jackson’s agent told NBA.com that he is not interested in coaching the Nets.Stan Van Gundy, Nate McMillan, Mike Brown and Jeff Van Gundy are a few of the top available coaches to fill the vacancy. Stan Van Gundy, according to reports, has “no interest” in the job.Carlesimo, one-time head coach of Golden State and Portland with a 204-296 career record, has been instructed by King to coach the Nets like he is going to be coaching them for the next decade.Carlesimo’s focus could be to change the offense to better suit point guard Deron Williams, who criticized Johnson’s isolation offensive system more than a week ago. Williams, the all-star guard who chose the Nets over the Dallas Mavericks when he signed as a free agent last summer, said that he was uncomfortable in Johnson’s offense.But King and Johnson denied the idea that Williams’ discontent had any role in the decision. King said that the players were not consulted in the move.“To pinpoint this all on Deron is not fair. He was not the deciding factor in this decision,” King said. “It was something in talking with ownership we didn’t like the direction we were going.”Johnson told reporters that he thought his relationship with Williams was really good.“I thought from Day 1 (Deron and I) had a really good relationship,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s fair for anybody to hang this on Deron. He’s one player.”Williams said that he knew the blame would pointed to him for Johnson’s departure, after being blamed for the resignation of former Utah head coach Jerry Sloan a few years ago when Williams played for the Jazz.“First of all, I have not had one conversation with (King) about not being happy with Avery, wanting him gone, etc.,” Williams said. “It’s not my fault. But as soon as I heard the new, . . .I knew folks would blame me, would assume that it’s history repeating itself because of what was said about coach Sloan and me after he resigned. The last thing I would want to do is get coach Johnson fired. Any coach, for that matter.”Williams went on to add that Johnson was the reason that he came to the Nets and signed his extension during the offseason.“The Nets’ ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future,” principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. read more

Where This Years Cavs Rank Among LeBrons NBA Finals Supporting Casts

His performance in that game said everything about the team James carried to the NBA Finals that year. In a game that was 3.1 times as important as the average playoff contest, James used 43 percent of the team’s possessions and scored 29 of its final 30 points en route to victory. He essentially rendered his supporting cast superfluous: Aside from James, the ’07 Cavs still rank among the least-talented teams ever to reach the brink of an NBA title.Upon joining the Miami Heat in 2010, James of course enjoyed a far better set of teammates, including future Hall of Famers Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen (and borderline candidate Chris Bosh). But now James is back with the Cavaliers — and back to carrying a mediocre set of teammates through the playoffs.While we speculated last August that this year’s Cavs might actually represent the best group of players James has ever taken the court with (All-Star Games and the Olympics notwithstanding), that was before Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao were lost for the postseason, and before Kyrie Irving was hobbled with a knee injury. As a result, James’s best teammates of late have been the solid-but-unspectacular trio of Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert — a far cry from Wade, Bosh and Allen.1And truth be told, even when healthy, the Cavs were never as good as expected this season. According to statistical projections, Cleveland’s efficiency differential was in the fourth percentile of what could have been expected of the team before the season began — even after accounting for its many injuries — in part because of the diminishing returns of mashing together multiple stars on the same team.If we look at a multi-year Statistical Plus/Minus talent projection for every NBA Finals team,2Weighted by a combination of leverage index and minutes played in the playoffs through the conference final. this Cavs team ranks as the ninth-least talented NBA finalist since 1985. (By contrast, Cleveland’s opponents, the mighty Golden State Warriors, rank as the 14th-most talented.) Remove James, and things get even more dire; his supporting cast ranks as the third-worst team carried by its best player3As measured by a combination of the player’s multi-year talent rating and his leverage-weighted minutes in the playoffs through the conference final. to the NBA Finals since 1985.For James, though, this year’s supporting cast still eclipses the group he dragged to the Finals in 2007 — if barely so. Replacing James with a league-average player (rated 0.0) would drop this season’s Cavaliers from a +5.4 talent rating to -0.1. Yanking James off the 2007 Cavs would make a +6.2 team play to a rating of -0.2. James’s own rating was marginally better that year, but the 30-year-old has also relied more heavily on his teammates this season, playing 10 percent fewer minutes per game (weighted by the leverage of each game) than when he was an up-and-coming 22-year-old.Either way, these are not the types of teams Lebron took to the Finals as a member of the Heat. Then again, it also bears mentioning that his supporting cast in Miami in last year’s playoffs wasn’t much better. That team was soundly beaten in the Finals by the San Antonio Spurs — as were James’s 2007 Cavs — so there’s a reason the Warriors are favorites in Vegas this year. But it’s also a testament to James that he’s carried the load for two of the bottom three — and three of the bottom eight — Finals supporting casts of the past 30 years. The signature event of LeBron James’s first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers was probably his 48-point outburst against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 the 2007 Eastern Conference finals. read more

Which Countries Medal In The Sports That People Care About

Puerto Rico01120011 Bulgaria01120000 Track and field2,300471.0 Singapore00220055 Gymnastics1,442142.0 Soccer1,300212.9 Canada151218122124 Modern pentathlon3220.3 * Golf and rugby are new Olympic sports for 2016. Viewership is estimated based on regression analysis.** Boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling award two bronze medals in each event. As a result, they have a lower medal multiplier for bronze medals: 0.3 for boxing and judo, 0.2 for wrestling and 0.1 for taekwondo.Source: Olympic.org Russia2426328225233280 N. Korea40262013 Uzbekistan10230011 Grenada10011001 Venezuela10010000 Bahamas10011001 COUNTRYGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTALGOLDSILVERBRONZETOTAL Weightlifting320150.4 Canoe/kayak195160.2 Handball26522.6 Sweden14380516 Shooting215150.3 Afghanistan00110000 Rowing196140.3 Triathlon10021.0 Switzerland22042204 Related: Hot Takedown Kazakhstan715134116 Tajikistan00110000 Boxing**302130.5 Tennis37151.5 Belgium01230011 Slovenia11241113 Field hockey23322.3 Cyprus01010000 Botswana01010101 Mongolia02350112 Slovakia01340011 ORIGINAL 2012 MEDAL COUNTADJUSTED FOR SPORT POPULARITY Colombia13481214 Tunisia11131113 S. Korea138728861731 Team sports almost invariably wind up with large medal multipliers, including soccer (12.9), basketball (8.0) and even water polo (1.9). Swimming (0.9) and track and field (1.0) hold their own; they’re very popular, but also medal-rich, so there isn’t much need to adjust their numbers one way or the other. Gymnastics gets a boost, though, as does diving (1.9). But many of the more obscure individual sports, such as shooting (0.4), sailing (0.2) and taekwondo (0.2), have low multipliers.How would these adjustments have affected the 2012 Olympic standings? Among other things, they’d have helped the United States, which already led the way with 46 gold and 103 overall medals in London. A lot of those medals came in team sports, such as basketball, volleyball and (women’s) soccer, which have high medal multipliers. Thus, Team USA’s adjusted medal count is 78 golds and 142 medals overall, towering over the competition. Archery16240.8 Norway21143014 U.S.462829103783925142 Egypt02020101 Taekwondo**8880.2 We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Because the Summer Olympics occur during presidential election years, I have to pick my viewing opportunities carefully. I won’t always have the time or patience to watch much water polo or beach volleyball, sports that involve a lot of buildup — dozens of preliminary matches — all leading up to a gold-medal match that I’ll probably forget to watch anyway.1The Winter Olympics are another story: MORE CURLING, PLEASE. Instead, I’m mostly interested in sports such as swimming and track and field, which provide plenty of bang for the buck, with somebody (probably an American) winning a medal pretty much every other time you look.Not everyone agrees with this philosophy, though. Track and field and swimming are indeed very popular, ranking as the top two sports for Olympics TV viewership, followed by gymnastics in third. But soccer ranks fourth. It awards just two gold medals, one each for the men’s and women’s champions, while sailing awards 10. And yet — even if people don’t care as much about Olympic soccer as they do the World Cup or the Champions League — soccer has 15 times the Olympics TV audience that sailing does.So, what if Olympics medals were awarded in proportion to how much people actually cared about each sport, as measured by its TV viewership? To reiterate, I’m talking about TV viewership during the Olympics, specifically. Tennis (as in: Wimbledon) is presumably the more popular spectator sport under ordinary circumstances, but in 2012, people actually spent more time watching table tennis (as in: pingpong) than tennis at the Olympics.The data I’m citing here comes from the IOC’s International Federations Report, which listed the total number of TV viewer hours in each sport during the 2012 London Olympics. People around the world spent a collective 202 million hours watching Olympics fencing in 2012, for example. The list of the most popular sports is less U.S.-centric than you might think: Badminton, not very popular in the United States, gets a lot of TV viewers worldwide.There are just a couple of complications. First, some Olympic federations cover more than one sport, as people usually define them. FINA, for example, governs swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming2Technically the Olympics committee calls diving a discipline, which is organized under one sport, aquatics., and the IOC’s report aggregated their TV viewership together. I used data on London Olympics ticket revenues as a proxy for the relative popularity of these sports, in order to split the TV audiences accordingly.3Specifically, I used data on ticket revenues, excluding tickets sold to residents of the United Kingdom, on the assumption that this would help to correct for sports that are more popular in the U.K. than they are worldwide. Second, golf and rugby are new to the Olympics this year, so I estimated their TV viewership using regression analysis.4The regression was based on the revenue tier in which the IOC ranked each sport — golf and rugby are in the lowest tier along with modern pentathlon — and the number of ticketed sessions for each sport. Ticketed sessions is a proxy for the overall number of broadcast hours available. A sport like handball can slowly accumulate viewers, even it doesn’t have very many of them at any one time.Otherwise, the analysis is pretty straightforward. I calculated a medal multiplier for each sport, such that the value of medals is proportional to the amount of time people spent watching it. Gymnastics, for instance, represented about 4.5 percent of the medals awarded in 2012, but around 9 percent of the TV viewership. It therefore needs a medal multiplier of 2 to bring things into proportion.5For boxing, judo, taekwondo and wrestling, which award two bronze medals per event, I use a smaller medal multiplier for bronze medals. Brazil359178271146 Azerbaijan226101124 Germany1119144414161141 Kenya2451124511 France11111335915832 The Subtle (And Not So Subtle) Dominance Of U.S. Swimmers And Gymnasts Cycling564180.6 China also gets a modest boost, thanks in part to its gymnastics and table tennis prowess, while Brazil — great at soccer and volleyball, not so good at the individual sports — gets a large one. The country that suffers the most is Great Britain, which used its home-nation advantage to rack up medals in some of the more obscure sports. Nations from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which win lots of medals in relatively unpopular events such as weightlifting and wrestling, also suffer to some extent. Hong Kong00110011 Armenia01230011 USA dominates adjusted medal count Rhythmic gymnastics9220.9 Rugby*14121.4 Portugal01010000 Greece00220011 Italy891128351220 Belarus255122338 Wrestling**318180.3 Equestrian18160.6 Finland01230011 Croatia31263036 Latvia10121089 India02460134 Serbia11240022 Great Britain2917196517101845 New Zealand625132125 Volleyball51925.1 Diving78481.9 Ukraine6592022610 Malaysia01120224 Ethiopia31373137 Poland226101124 Denmark24391337 SPORTVIEWER HOURS (MILLIONS)EVENTSMEDAL MULTIPLIER Trampoline6720.7 Source: Sports-Reference.com Argentina11240224 Cuba536142226 Swimming1,509340.9 Beach volleyball78127.7 Ireland11351113 Uganda10011001 Trinidad and Tobago11241124 Montenegro01010303 Lithuania21251012 Turkey22151102 Bahrain00110011 Guatemala01010101 Basketball80428.0 Jamaica4441244412 S. Africa32162204 Estonia01120011 Spain310417115420 Romania25292428 Gabon01010000 Iran453121214 Thailand02130101 Dominican Rep.11021102 Water polo19421.9 Moldova00220011 Qatar00220011 Table tennis46142.3 Fencing202100.4 Judo**443140.6 Algeria10011001 Morocco00110011 Georgia13371113 Golf*9420.9 Japan71417384281648 China38272388503020100 Badminton56252.2 What if medals were awarded in proportion to a sport’s popularity? Indonesia01120000 Taiwan01120000 Australia71612353121833 Kuwait00110000 Synchronized swimming11321.1 Sailing87100.2 Mexico1337135321 Saudi Arabia00110011 Netherlands6682075416 Hungary846186129 Czech Rep.433102226 We’ll check in on these numbers again at the end of the 2016 Rio games. They may even make inexplicably popular beach volleyball — medal multiplier 7.7 — worth your time to watch. read more

Ohio State mens lacrosse heads to New York to take on No

OSU redshirt junior goalie Tom Carey (3) tries to recover a ground ball during a game against Marquette on March 4 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Multimedia EditorThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team has its biggest challenge of the early season ahead of it, as the Buckeyes travel to Hempstead, New York, to battle No. 13 Hofstra at noon on Saturday. The Scarlet and Gray are coming off two wins in the Midwest Lacrosse Classic against Marquette and Bellarmine, extending their winning streak to three games. The Pride suffered their first loss of the season last week at the hands of Georgetown after starting the season with three wins.OSU defeated Hofstra 9-8 last season, but OSU senior midfielder and co-captain Kacy Kapinos said both teams are too different from last year to make a comparison.“It will be interesting to see what we bring to the table,” Kapinos said. “Playing at Hofstra is very exciting — a lot of history in that program and that stadium. It will be a fun trip, and we look forward to it.”OSU coach Nick Myers said his team will have test against the Pride, only compounded by the fact that the game is on the road.“They’re a very good team, really stingy defense. They have a good coach (and) a great coaching staff,” Myers said. “They’ve already gotten some big wins under their belt. They’re coming off their first loss (and) are at home, so we expect their very best.”Hofstra’s defense currently ranks ninth in the nation in scoring defense, only allowing 7.5 goals per game. The Pride’s sophomore goalie Jack Concannon also ranks fifth in the nation with a save percentage of 62.8 percent.Kapinos said the Buckeyes’ balanced attack on offense will give them an advantage that other teams don’t have.“It’s good that we’re scoring from seven, eight-plus guys. We don’t have one guy that’s just breaking down a play,” Kapinos said. “It’s great to have a lot of point production from multiple guys. It’s kind of hard for other teams to prepare for us.”OSU will look to score on every opportunity it is given on Saturday, including extra-man opportunities. After a rough start to the year, the man-up unit has scored in three straight games. Myers credited assistant coach Brad Ross on his work with this unit.“Coach Ross has done a really nice job down there with them in terms of just keeping it simple,” Myers said. “I think that unit is starting to build some chemistry.”Tom Carey wins conference awardRedshirt junior goalie Tom Carey was named Big Ten Specialist of the Week on Tuesday for his efforts in the Buckeyes’ pair of wins against Marquette and Bellarmine over the weekend.Carey had a career-high 16 saves in the 12-8 win over Marquette on Friday, and followed that performance by anchoring the defense in a 9-5 win over Bellarmine two days later.“Tommy gives us a lot of communication and kind of quarterbacks the defense,” Kapinos said.Carey will have his hands full on Saturday. The Pride average 11.5 goals per game, which is tied for 19th in the country, to their opponents’ 7.5 and have two experienced attackers in junior Josh Byrne and senior Sam Llinares. Those two stand as constant threats on offense.Byrne is tied for fifth in the nation with 3.5 goals per game and leads the team in both goals with 14 and assists with six.Llinares, the 2015 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year, led the team last year with 33 goals and 24 assists. He has 11 goals and two assists so far this season.Colin Chell updateOSU sophomore attacker Colin Chell left the field under assistance in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over Bellarmine. After a few minutes of examination by the training staff on the bench, he was carted off of the field.Myers said Chell is questionable to play on Saturday, and that the team has to be prepared to play without him.“He’s a guy that we’re looking at day to day,” he said. “We’re excited about what the training staff has shared with us, so we’ll just continue to move forward … and let the medical staff do what they do.”The sophomore attacker is tied for second on the team with eight goals and third in total points with 11.What’s nextThe Scarlet and Gray are scheduled to return to Ohio Stadium on Tuesday to face off against No. 6 Towson. The game against the Tigers is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. read more

Bucks win set sights on No 1 rank

On a day of celebration for Michigan athletics — a day that they introduced Brady Hoke as the program’s new football coach — the Ohio State men’s basketball team put at least a mild damper on the spirits of Wolverine fans. With Hoke sitting courtside, the No. 2 Buckeyes (17-0, 4-0 Big Ten) beat the Wolverines, 68-64, in Ann Arbor, Mich. No. 1 Duke lost to Florida State, 66-61, Wednesday night. The Wolverines began the game firing on all cylinders from beyond the 3-point line, jumping out to a 16-10 lead. But OSU answered with an 8-0 run and took a 35-34 lead to the break. Michigan began the second half struggling from the field. After tying the game 41-41 with more than 16 minutes remaining, the Wolverines went nearly six minutes without scoring, sending OSU on a 12-0 run. But just as Minnesota did to OSU on Sunday, Michigan mounted a comeback and eventually cut the lead to two with less than a minute remaining. Although the Buckeyes had struggled from the free-throw line all night, junior William Buford and freshman Aaron Craft each made two free throws in the final minute to put away the game. OSU shot just 68.8 percent from the free-throw line, a percentage not helped by senior forward David Lighty’s 6-of-13 effort. Buford, who along with Lighty played all 40 minutes, led the Buckeyes with a game-high 19 points. Craft finished with 10 points and, for the fourth game straight, played more than 30 minutes despite coming off the bench. Freshman Jared Sullinger fouled out for the first time in his career and, due in large part to Michigan’s defense, had perhaps his worst game as a Buckeye. Although he scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, Sullinger had a career-high six turnovers and often looked out of sync when faced with a double-team. Sophomore Darius Morris scored 18 points for the Wolverines and junior Zack Novak added 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Wednesday night’s game was the second consecutive close loss for the Wolverines, who took No. 3 Kansas to overtime on Sunday before eventually losing, 67-60. The Buckeyes return home to play Penn State at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. read more

Commentary Lance Armstrongs impact away from cycling will live on

After years of adamantly denying doping allegations, Lance Armstrong has finally decided to come clean: He used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. The admission came during a 2 1/2-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey that was taped Monday and will air over the course of Thursday and Friday night. The confession was a shocking turnaround, considering the multiple statements and interviews in recent years in which Armstrong vehemently denied his use of performance-enhancing drugs – allegations that he has been hit with since his first Tour de France victory in 1999. But does this in itself make him a bad person?  There’s no denying the fact that Armstrong, whose seven Tour de France titles and bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics were stripped from him, has faced stiff opposition – from officials and the public alike – and many are quick to condemn him for his dishonesty. But let’s look at Armstrong as a duality: There is Armstrong the athlete, and then there’s Armstrong the philanthropist. As a kid, I often heard an adage to the effect of this: “It’s not what you do on the field but what you do off the field that makes you who you are.” Viewing Armstrong with this mindset, we can see that he wasn’t so bad. In 1997 Armstrong founded the Livestrong Foundation, formerly known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, an organization with the goal of supporting people who have been affected by cancer. Since its inception, it has raised more than $470 million, with 81 cents of every dollar going toward programs and services for cancer survivors, according to Livestrong.org.  Armstrong, much like his Major League Baseball counterparts – Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa – who were all denied entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this month because they were linked to using performance-enhancing drugs, might have tarnished his reputation, but his legacy as a proponent of helping those affected by cancer will live on. I’d say that’s a pretty good trade-off. read more

Ohio State mens track hope for productive weekend at Big Ten Indoor

The weekend the No. 25 Ohio State men’s track and field teams have been training for all season is finally here.The Buckeyes are set to make their way to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the conference championship indoor meet this weekend.Coach Ed Beathea has been trying to keep normalcy in practice this week as his team prepares for the big race.“What we’re saying and what we’re trying to do this week is keep everything normal,” Beathea said. “We’re trying to keep them in their routine and keep them out of their heads.”Beathea expects his team to come out of the meet having had a “productive weekend.” He said he hopes to have his team place within the top five finishers overall. The Buckeyes are set to compete against other top-ranked teams in No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 7 Penn State, and No. 21 Nebraska, as well as the rest of the conference.“We know that at this point we don’t have enough depth to say we are going to win the championship,” he said. “We set realistic expectations of what we can get out of the weekend.”Senior Demoye Bogle and redshirt-freshman Donovan Robertson, who both compete in sprints and hurdles, have set different expectations for themselves for the meet.Bogle has the No. 3 overall seed in the 60-meter hurdles and Robertson has the No. 5 overall seed this weekend.“Getting first and letting nothing but the color scarlet and gray be in front of you,” Bogle said. “That’s a mentality the team needs to go in there with.”Robertson said he would like to see his teammates give their all, and hopes the enthusiastic support from the crowd will boost the team morale.“We’re projected to go sixth (out of 11 teams),” Robertson said. “I definitely think we can do better than that.”Another runner setting high expectations for himself this weekend is junior sprinter and hurdler Timothy Faust. He is looking to defend his title as the indoor 200-meter dash Big Ten Champion.Beathea is only focused on the strengths of his team and what they put forth at the meet. He said he would like to see him team place well but thinks this weekend, regardless of the results, will be a nice segue to the outdoor season.“I want these guys to run this weekend as if it is their last chance to run ever,” Beathea said. “We want to go out and be fierce competitors every time. That is what I am looking for and hoping to see.”The races are slated to begin Friday at 10 a.m. and continue through Saturday at the SPIRE Institute. read more

Freshman Maddy Humphrey shines as Buckeyes pick up 1st victory of 2014

The Ohio State University Field Hockey team defeat Miami 3-2 at Varsity Field, The Ohio State University. September 5, 2014Credit: Courtesy of OSU athleticsOn her parents’ 33rd wedding anniversary, Ohio State freshman forward Maddy Humphrey scored the first two goals of her OSU career and assisted on another to lead the OSU field hockey team to its first win of the season.The Buckeyes won, 3-2, against Miami (Ohio) on Friday behind Humphrey’s brace and a goal from junior back Emma Royce.“Those two (goals) are for them,” Humphrey said about her parents in attendance.OSU picked up the win despite being outshot, 15-2, by the Redhawks in the second half.“It feels awesome. I love this team more than anything,” Humphrey said. “We’re just a family, and I’ll do anything for them. We’d do anything for each other.”The Buckeyes came out aggressively looking for shots and struck less than 12 minutes into the game. After being denied twice early, Humphrey snuck in front of the cage and converted off a pass from senior midfielder Kaitlyn Wagner to put OSU in front.OSU possessed the ball for much of the first half, but Miami responded with more than eight minutes remaining in the period on a goal from sophomore midfielder Geagy Pritchard from the left corner.The Buckeyes were not satisfied with a halftime tie, however. With 6:31 to play in the first half, Humphrey showed some of her ball-handling skills. She maneuvered into the scoring zone, hurdled a defender and fired a shot from right to left to put OSU back on top, 2-1.The third Buckeye goal of the game came with a little more than three minutes to play in the first half when Royce converted off a penalty corner from Humphrey.“I was really proud of (Humphrey) because she put away goals when we most needed it,” Royce said. “Her goal actually fired me up for scoring the third.”Humphrey was slowed down in the second half after receiving a shoulder to the chest area early in the period. She returned to the game, but was visibly winded on the field and had to leave the game again.Miami mounted a late comeback behind an unassisted goal from Pritchard with just over four minutes to play. However, the Buckeyes held on for the 3-2 victory behind solid goalkeeping from freshman Liz Tamburro, who saved 10 shots in the second half.OSU is scheduled to have a week off before its next game against the Ohio University Bobcats on Friday.Royce said it is important that OSU uses the extra time to work on keeping its defensive pressure up for a full 70 minutes of play.“(Miami) got that second goal in and that put a lot more pressure on us that we didn’t need,” Royce said. “We’re gonna be tightening up the defense and keep working on putting those goals away.”OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she’s going to let her team get some recovery time in after a hard-earned victory.“I’m gonna just let them relax and let their bodies repair,” Wilkinson said. “We’ve really been going hard through this entire preseason so we’ll let them just relax a little bit.”The Buckeyes’ game against Ohio is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Athens, Ohio. read more

10seed Ohio State set to play VCU in NCAA Tournament 2nd round

The Ohio State men’s basketball team is going dancing despite a quarterfinal loss in the Big Ten Tournament.The Buckeyes (23-10, 11-7) were given the 10 seed in the West Region for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night, drawing a matchup with seven-seed Virginia Commonwealth University set for Thursday in Portland, Ore.VCU holds a 26-9 record heading into the NCAA Tournament to go with a 12-6 mark in Atlantic 10 play. The Rams topped Dayton, 71-65, on Sunday to win their conference tournament championship.OSU dropped out of the conference tournament on Friday with a 76-67 loss to Michigan State in Chicago after topping Minnesota in the second round Thursday. But that loss didn’t deter the selection committee as the Buckeyes picked up their seventh straight NCAA bid.The Buckeyes lost in their first game of the 2014 tournament, against Dayton in Buffalo. They had made it to the Elite Eight in 2013 and the Final Four in 2012.Big Ten champion Wisconsin is the top seed in the West Region, while Arizona, Baylor and North Carolina round out the top four spots. If OSU tops VCU, it will take on the winner of the matchup between two-seed Arizona and 15-seed Texas Southern on Saturday. read more

Softball Ohio State prepares for slugging fest against Northwestern

Emily Clark follows through on her swing, hitting a double against Wright State on Sep.24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternThe No. 22 Ohio State softball team begins its road series with Northwestern fresh off sweeping a doubleheader against Penn State Wednesday. Junior second baseman Emily Clark, as well as Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, said that the Buckeyes (26-8, 7-4 Big Ten) can move into the Northwestern (23-13, 6-5 Big Ten) series confident in their ability to beat up on solid pitching given what they did against the Nittany Lions.“It’s good that we faced pretty decent pitching,” Clark said. “We did well and we succeeded on that, so I think that will give us confidence as this weekend approaches.”Northwestern will enter the series with a pair of starting pitchers who maintain ERAs below 4.00 in Kenna Wilkey and Morgan Newport. Overall, the team has found success in the circle, recording a 3.99 team ERA in 235.1 innings of work.Kovach Schoenly said Northwestern brings more to the table than just its pitching staff, however. She said Northwestern is a team more than capable of scoring runs in bulk and that the two high-powered offenses could be in for a back-and-forth battle.But again reflecting upon the Penn State series, Kovach Schoenly believes her team has what it takes to come out on top against the Wildcats.“The way we battled back when Penn State scored every time and then we would score, and we knew that we just had to keep scoring,” Kovach Schoenly said. “I feel like it’s going to be those types of games.”Clark also agreed saying the series will be “a slugging fest.”Though Ohio State brings an impressive offense to the matchup, Northwestern has the Buckeyes beat soundly in total offensive production. Northwestern has scored 271 runs compared to Ohio State’s 188. But the Buckeyes aren’t looking at the numbers feeling too anxious about their chances.“They run a lot so that plays into our game,” Kovach Schoenly said. “Becca [Gavin] is a really strong catcher so we’ll be up for that challenge.” Kovach Schoenly said that although she would love to have her shutout this juggernaut offense, she anticipates Northwestern’s ability to put the ball into play will force her team to make some big plays for any shutout to be possible. “They may score a run,” Kovach Schoenly said, “It’s kind of one of those concepts of, we’ll bend but don’t break, like giving one run, not four, so keeping it small each inning.”Kovach Schoenly said Northwestern has an offense similar to Ohio State, given the comparable ability to hit the long ball.“I just know that they can hit,” Kovach Schoenly said. “They’re kind of similar to our offense in that they have some kids that can hit the long ball.”Ohio State currently has 45 home runs so far this season, led by junior shortstop Lilli Piper with 16, while Northwestern has 30, led by freshman utility player Rachel Lewis’ 12.The two teams will battle it out starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Sharon J. Drysdale Field in Evanston, Illinois. read more

£5 notes with tiny hidden Jane Austen engravings worth up to £50000

first_imgMicro-engraver Graham Short has given a surprise to people using the new plastic fiver. The 70-year-old artist has put into circulation four of the £5 notes, all of which have miniature, hidden engravings of Jane Austen on them.The notes, which could be worth as much as £50,000, feature the painstakingly engraved design next to the picture of Big Ben and Winston Churchill.He has also engraved quotes from ‘Emma’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and ‘Mansfield Park’ onto the notes. “When I saw the new £5 note, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be good if I could engrave something on it.'”I didn’t know what at first, but then I found out that next year is going to be the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and her image is also going to be on the new £10 note, which is coming out next year, so it ties in quite nicely with that.”He said he manages to engrave such tiny images  by working late at night, so he can’t hear the rumbling of traffic.The artist also wears a stethoscope so he can hear the beating of his own heart, working between beats so he remains perfectly still.  Mr Short also gets Botox injections between his eyes to stop the nerves around them from twitching, in order for him to create the perfect micro images.He revealed to Quartz that he swims six miles a day in order to keep his heart rate down, and never drinks coffee. Credit:AP AP 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 Austen engraving is visible to the naked eye but viewers will need a microscope to see it properly.Mr Short is famous for engraving the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a pin.His latest work, a portrait of the Queen engraved on a speck of gold inside the eye of a needle, sold for £100,000. “I’m always looking to do something different,” the Birmingham-born engraver said.last_img read more

Losing smartphone is almost as stressful as terror threat

first_imgThe prospect of losing a smartphone stresses people out almost as much as the fear of a terror attack, a new study has shown.A report by The Physiological Society, asked 2,000 people to rate how stressful they found key events.While obvious situations such as the death of a loved one, or becoming seriously ill scored highly, so did modern concerns such as identity theft, commuter delays and even going on holiday.The threat of a terror attack came 13th on the list of stressful events, just one point above losing a smartphone, and well below planning a wedding, or moving house.The findings also showed that women report higher stress levels than men, particularly surrounding the death of a loved one, illness, losing their smartphone and Brexit. 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. Grief at the death of a loved one still tops the list of the most stressful life events  Moving house was also found to be more stressful than the fear of terrorism “Your brain, nervous and hormonal systems react to stress and it affects your heart, immune system and gastrointestinal system. When stress is prolonged, these effects on the whole body can result in illnesses such as ulcers or increased risk of heart attack.”The study was based on the Holmes and Rahe stress index which was compiled in 1967 to determine how different life events affect people. Although the death of a loved one topped both indexes, people today are far less concerned by divorce than they were in the 1960s. Grief at the death of a loved one still tops the list of the most stressful life events Credit:Johan Larson, Alamy Dr Lucy Donaldson, Chair of The Physiological Society’s Policy Committee, said: “The modern world brings with it stresses we would not have imagined 50 years ago, such as social media and smartphones.”It was striking that for every single event in this study, from money problems to Brexit, women reported greater stress levels than men. This could have a real impact on women’s health.”While many people are aware of the effect of stress on mental wellbeing, it is also important to consider the impact on the body’s systems. Moving house was also found to be more stressful than the fear of terrorismCredit:Simon Potter The findings also revealed that the most stressed area was is, while the least stressed was the South East of England. The East of England was notably upset by delays in their commutes, while Londoners were most sanguine about going on holiday.Stress levels also appear to increase with age, with older people worrying far more about illness and imprisonment than younger people.The Physiological Society said it hoped the study would raise awareness of the effect of stress on the body’s function.During stressful situations, the body prepares for action by releasing hormones into the bloodstream, which affects the heart as well as digestive and immune systems. Frequent and prolonged stress can cause long term physiological problems in the body.last_img read more

Blind British man in worlds first operation to deliver modified DNA to

first_imgRetinitis pigmentosa affects 1 in 4000 people, with symptoms that typically appear between age 10 and 30. Night vision and peripheral vision go first, as the photoreceptors active in low light – the ‘rods’ – start to degenerate.Eventually the condition affects the ‘cones’ – the photoreceptors responsible for central, detailed, colour vision, causing complete sight loss.Doctors want to enroll at least 24 more patients in the trial to find out if the technique is safe and effective. Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of OxfordCredit:University of Oxford “Changing the genetic code is always undertaken with great caution, but the new sequence we are using has proven to be highly effective in our laboratory studies.“The genetic code for all life on Earth is made up of four letters – G, T, A and C. In retinitis pigmentosa, however, half of the RPGR gene comprises only two letters – A and G.“This makes the gene very unstable and prone to mutations, making it a lead cause of blindness in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. RPGR is vital for the light sensitive cells at the back of the eye.” The combined NHS, University of Oxford and Nightstar gene therapy teamCredit:University of Oxford  The combined NHS, University of Oxford and Nightstar gene therapy team Thousands of people born with a faulty gene which makes them go blind have been offered new hope after a British man underwent the world’s first operation to deliver new DNA to his eyes and restore his sight.Around 15,000 people in Britain suffer from x-linked retinitis pigmentosa, a deteriorating condition which brings a slow and irreversible loss of vision, and which is the leading cause of blindness in young people.Loss of sight occurs because a gene responsible for maintaining the light sensitive cells at the back of the eye is missing half of its DNA code.But scientists can now replace the code using a groundbreaking technique which reprogrammes the gene in the lab, then delivers the healthy DNA into the eye, via a harmless virus. Scientists used a harmless virus to transport the modified DNA to the man's eyes  Scientists used a harmless virus to transport the modified DNA to the man’s eyes Credit:University of Oxford Last Thursday, a 29-year-old man became the first person in the world to undergo the procedure at Oxford Eye Hospital and is now recovering.Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, who is leading the trial said: “He is doing well and now at home, but we will have to wait a few years to know if it has stopped his retina from degenerating. “The effect of disease on families with retinitis pigmentosa is devastating and we have spent many years working out how to develop this gene therapy. Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford 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

Speeding drivers could be fined nearly double their weekly income as penalties

first_imgSpeed camera Traffic police patrol the M4.  Drivers could be banned from the roads for 56 daysCredit:Ian Jones “While sat navs and smartphones are an incredibly useful tool for motorists, it is important to remember they are never a complete substitute for knowing the rules of the road.” More than half of drivers who took part in a survey by the price comparison firm, uSwitch, admitted they did not know the correct speed limits for single and dual carriageways.A third also admitted that they rarely updated their sat navs, meaning they were likely to be given out of date information where roads were subject to variable speed limits.Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said: “We are officially a nation of sat nav junkies, but our addiction to technology is causing us to drive dangerously and risk large fines. Speed camera-carrying motorcycleCredit:Barry Batchelor/PA New sentencing powers aimed at deterring speeding drivers will come into force next week with the worst offenders facing big increases in fines.From Monday, motorists who travel at excessively dangerous speeds, including those who exceed 100 mph on motorways, could be fined up to 175 per cent of their weekly income.In addition to the new fines, they could also be banned from driving for 56 days and have six points added to their licence.But while road safety charities have welcomed the move, there is concern that the fines will have little impact on behaviour because there are too few traffic officers on the roads to enforce them. Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, also said the increase in fines was long overdue, but said the government had to ensure the resources were available to enforce them.He said: “I hope that magistrates ensure the new sentences are consistently applied. It is also vital that a new government look afresh at police resources and make traffic policing a national priority, so that speeding drivers know they will be caught and punished.”The introduction of the new top rate fines has opened the government up to accusations that they are attempting to raise revenue through the scheme, with any cash going to the Treasury.Roger Lawson of the Association of British Drivers said any extra revenue could help recoup some of the huge court costs involved in prosecuting motorists.Meanwhile it has emerged that millions of motorists could be inadvertently speeding because they have been given wrong information by their sat navs. With police forces having to make millions of pounds worth of cuts, many have chosen to reduce the number of traffic patrols.Figures show that between 2005 and 2014 the number of specialist road officers in England and Wales reduced from 7,104 to 4,356.Last year a group of MPs warned that sharp falls in the number of recorded motoring offences was more likely to be down to the lack of patrols rather than an improvement in driving standards.RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “We welcome the change in sentencing guidelines for gross speeders. Anyone who breaks the limit excessively is a danger to every other road user and is unnecessarily putting lives at risk.“Hopefully, hitting these offenders harder in the pocket will make them think twice before doing it again in the future.But he added: “Tougher penalties are only effective in changing behaviour or increasing compliance if drivers genuinely believe that they are likely to be caught and prosecuted for breaking the law. speed camera-carrying motorcycle “With a significantly reduced number of dedicated roads police officers you have to question whether increased fines alone will change the attitude of excessive speeders.” Credit:Jay Williams 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

Shocking CCTV shows woman led away in Covent Garden before rape

first_imgSuspects Shocking CCTV footage has been released of the moment a woman was led by the hand to a quiet street near London’s busy Covent Garden where she was gang raped.The 34-year-old woman had been out with friends in the area popular for its bars and restaurants and was making her way home.As she walked down Greek Street around 12:15am on March 20 she was approached by three Asian men.Footage showed one holding her hand and leading her along the street with the other two following separately at a short distance behind.The men led her to a secluded area of Slingsby Place, where at least two of them raped her.The street, which runs between Jamie’s Italian and SUDA Thai Cafe, is also a busy nightlife spot, and police have released CCTV footage in a bid to catch the suspects. Detective Constable Ben Lucas, from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim who naturally remains extremely distressed by what happened.”We have released footage of the suspects in Greek Street in the hope someone will recognise them or saw them that night.”If you have any information please come forward.” Police would like to trace these menCredit:Met Police 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

Britains Brexit trade deal with Beijing put at risk by South China

British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, left, meets Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing last monthCredit:Reuters China said the issue of independence had nothing to do with freedom of speech and was a serious violation of China’s constitution and Hong Kong law.”It fundamentally is not within the scope of freedom of expression,” the ministry said. “The central government has zero tolerance for ‘Hong Kong independence’ and will never indulge it.” Britain’s decision to send a warship into contested waters was a move to “curry favor with the United States,” said the China Daily editorial.The move “obviously runs counter to the consensus and spirit put forth by the leaders of our two countries that we are willing to join hands to build a ‘golden era’ of China-UK ties,” Hua said.Adding to the tension, China’s Foreign Ministry also said it was “ridiculous for the UK to pose as a ‘supervisor’” and that Britain should stop interfering in Hong Kong, a former British colony. China yesterday warned the UK it had jeopardised post-Brexit relations by sailing a British warship close to islands in the South China Sea claimed by Beijing last week.Britain has been working to boost trade with the world’s second-largest economy as Brexit looms, talking up a “golden era” in ties. The two nations agreed last month to look at the possibility of a post-Brexit free trade deal that, if struck, would be a key achievement for Prime Minister Theresa May.”What the British side did is wrong,” said Chinese Foreign MInistry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a daily press briefing. “It will have a negative impact on the development of China-UK relations.”Chinese state media specifically cautioned that a post-Brexit trade deal was at stake. “China and the UK had agreed to actively explore the possibility of discussing a free trade agreement after Brexit, but any act that harms China’s core interests will only put a spanner in the works,” said an English-language editorial in state-run newspaper China Daily. “But by trying to revive the ‘special relationship’ in this way now it is no longer the gateway to continental Europe, the UK risks losing more than it can gain,” said the editorial. The Albion was on its way to Ho Chi Minh City where it docked Monday after a deployment in and around Japan. The Paracels have long been disputed and were the site of a major naval battle in the 1970s between China and Vietnam, after which Beijing claimed sovereignty.The group of more than 30 islands in the South China Sea are now occupied entirely by China though Beijing’s claims remain contested by Vietnam and Taiwan. China has laid claim to other groups of disputed islands in the South China Sea, where roughly $3 trillion in trade pass through each year. The comments came after the UK issued issued its latest biannual report on the special administrative region. In it, Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary, noted the “growing concern about the extent of freedom of speech in Hong Kong, particularly in the context of discussion of independence”, while also stating that Britain does not think independence is a realistic or desirable option. British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, left, meets Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing last month Warship HMS Albion, a 22,000 ton amphibious warship carrying a contingent of Royal Marines passed by the Paracel Islands on Aug. 31, where it was confronted by the Chinese military. 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

Party drug ketamine could be licensed to treat depression within 18 months

It comes just months after the Government… Doctors backed by the National Institute for Health Research in Oxford have drawn up a three-point strategy for its launch to counter potential controversy and concerns. Scientists have been stunned by the party drug’s success in clinical trials, which have found it is up to 10 times more effective than current drugs in people suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine could be licensed as a medical treatment for depression within 18 months. It would be the first new drug for 35 years for depression, a notoriously difficult condition to treat that the Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates afflicts one in five people during their lifetime.

Margaret Thatchers personal items fetch more than £1m in Christies auction as

The top lot of the sale was a multi-gem and diamond brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels which sold for £50,000 despite an estimate of £10,000-15,000.A portrait of the Prime Minister wearing a black skirt suit with a George III diamond flower brooch, by Sergei Chepik was sold for £40,000 – much higher than the £700 estimate, while her desk blotter and a group of desk items sold for £30,000.Adrian Hume-Sayer, a Christie’s director said: “We are thrilled with this strong result which concludes the series of three successful sales held at Christie’s following Mrs Thatcher’s death in 2013. The result of Part III illustrates the enduring interest in the United Kingdom’s longest serving 20th Century Prime Minister.”Quirkier items in the sale included two pairs of desk lamps, sold for £1,000, an ostrich leather handbag (£2,000) and two bibles and a hymnbook (£4,375). The sale to mark the 40th anniversary of Baroness Thatcher’s election raised more than £1 million and attracted bidders from 36 countries across six continentsCredit:Eddie Mulholland A gold and amethyst ring worn by Margaret Thatcher on the day she became Prime Minister has sold for nearly £30,000 at auction, as almost 200 of the late Baroness’s personal items went under the hammer at Christie’s.The sale to mark the 40th anniversary of Baroness Thatcher’s election raised more than £1 million and attracted bidders from 36 countries across six continents.Every single one of the 192 items was sold, including the hardstone ‘pebble’ bracelet she wore when she met Nelson Mandela in 1990.The bracelet, which had an estimate of £2,500 sold for £40,000 in one of many competitive bidding wars.Both the bracelet and the ring were gifts from her husband Denis and formed part of Lady Thatcher’s ‘uniform’ jewellery. 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. Inside the auction house at the 2015 sale The gold bracelet Baroness Thatcher wore when she met Nelson MandelaCredit:PA The gold bracelet Baroness Thatcher wore when she met Nelson Mandela Lady Thatcher died on April 8, 2013, aged 87. The auctions began in 2015 and have raised more than £4.5m.Christie’s said the property is being “sold on behalf of beneficiaries of Baroness Thatcher’s estate” with some items being offered on behalf of an unnamed charity.The items have all been in the possession of the beneficiaries of her will since her death, in her home or in storage, and have not been exhibited or sold before. read more

Seaside towns outrage over Magaluf photo to advertise summer festival rather than

He added: “We reject any claim that it’s embarrassing. Someone has jumped to the conclusion that we’ve made a mistake but, in fact, we’ve gone for something that’s very different. A picture Penarth Town Council could have used Tom Parkinson, 31, a mainstay with his relatives at the town’s cricket club, said: “It’s disgraceful that we live in an area of beauty but decide to promote a foreign country.”However, Penarth Town Council today defended its use of the image and denied it used a photograph of Magaluf by mistake.A spokesman instead insisted the council’s marketing was “ironic”.Asked if Penarth Town Council were aware the image shows a beach in Magaluf, the spokesman said: “Yes, we were aware.”We were very clear on the fact that it’s not Penarth when we used it. “It’s not a gaffe, we haven’t used a photo by mistake. We use a lot of seaside images of Penarth so we wanted to use a clearly ironic picture.”That photo on the flyer is just a generic stock image photo, I don’t know when it was taken but we wanted it to be incongruous.”It’s purposefully ironic – we are well aware of what Penarth looks like.”We looked for general images of coastlines that are clearly not the UK, we wanted a Mediterranean beach scene.” “The flyer only has a lifespan of about a week anyway and it’s just highlighting the date of the festival.”Another resident, Gregg Morgan, who leads Glamorganshire Golf Club’s winter league in Penarth, said he was “distraught” with the council’s move.The small Welsh town sits just south of Cardiff city centre and neighbours the capital’s bay. It is one of Cardiff’s more upmarket suburbs and boasts cocktail bars and a Michelin-starred restaurant.It is renowned for its stylish Victorian pier which was rejuvenated with a £4.2 million revamp in 2014 and won a project of the year award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.The art deco pier, which plays host to movie nights and yoga and t’ai chi classes, will be at the centre of Penarth Summer Festival on July 13 and 14 when the esplanade will feature live music, street food and other entertainment. “Penarth has events like this because of its own natural beauty. We should advertise that and not use photos of a second-rate foreign cesspit.” A council for one of the most desirable British towns has been criticised by its own residents for advertising its summer festival with an image of a beach in Magaluf. Penarth, on the south coast of Wales, is regularly touted as one of the best places to live in Britain, and boasts a stunning esplanade of listed Victorian buildings and an art deco pier. But instead of showing the serene setting of the premier Cardiff suburb, the image picked by Penarth Town Council shows scores of sun-seekers on a packed beach in the Spanish party destination.The flyer has attracted criticism from residents who branded it “embarrassing” and “bizarre” soon after it was released.Penarth People, a Twitter account dedicated to the “news and views” of the town, said:  “We are so lucky to live in Penarth, beautiful sea views, wonderful pier, great parks etc so who in their right mind at Penarth Town Council thought to use a picture of Magaluf to advertise the Penarth Summer Festival? Just embarrassing!”Rhys Morgan, 31, who has lived in Penarth his whole life and captains the town’s leading rugby team Penarth RFC, said: “I am furious. Penarth is beautiful and we have no need use that dump to advertise us.  A picture Penarth Town Council could have usedCredit:Dylan Thomas/EyeEm We are so lucky to live in Penarth, beautiful sea views, wonderful pier, great parks etc so who in their right mind at @PenarthCouncil thought to use a picture of Magaluf to advertise the Penarth Summer Festival? Just embarrassing! @PenarthTimes pic.twitter.com/uZCoYMOjLf— Penarth People (@PenarthPeople) June 19, 2019 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