NBA Power Ratings And Playoff Odds Waiting On Durant

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings. The least you need to know about how these numbers work: Each team is ranked according to a projection of its strength over the upcoming week — and the upcoming week only — using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on the ratings, see our introductory rankings post.(Note: These ratings were calculated before news broke that Chicago’s Jimmy Butler would miss three to six weeks with an elbow injury. Butler carried a strong +3.2 RPM rating, so replacing his 26 minutes per game with a replacement-level player would drop the Bulls from 11th place to a tie for 19th with the Pistons. Chicago’s saving grace might be that the average player below Butler on the team’s depth chart is significantly better than replacement level, but there’s no doubt that this news reduces the Bulls’ rating.)Some observations about the rankings this week:The Oklahoma City Thunder climbed more in the rankings from last week than any other team, leaping from No. 13 to No. 6. The biggest reason? The expectation that Kevin Durant will return in some capacity this week, even if in reduced minutes, was worth 1.7 points per 100 possessions to OKC’s overall rating. The ripple effects of Durant’s return extend beyond his own increased minutes. Our playing-time projections also see Dion Waiters (whose extremely negative RPM falls below the replacement level) getting fewer minutes on the wing — a boon of 0.8 points/100 to the Thunder’s rating. More minutes may also go to plus-minus darling Andre Roberson,1Relative to other metrics at least; from his awful 9.9 Player Efficiency Rating (PER), you wouldn’t expect his RPM to be a strong +2.4. and fewer minutes will go to guard D.J. Augustin, an additional 0.6 point boost for OKC’s rating. The mix of very good and very poor players on the Thunder roster makes the team a great case study in how much effect playing-time reshuffling can have on a team’s overall talent rating.The Atlanta Hawks dropped four spots in this week’s rankings, largely because Al Horford (+2.3 RPM rating), Jeff Teague (+1.3), DeMarre Carroll (+1.2) and Pero Antic (+0.8) are all listed as day-to-day in the team’s injury report. Those slight playing-time downgrades gave more minutes to a host of negative RPM players; chief among them are Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.Joining the Hawks with a four-slot decline this week are the Toronto Raptors. More than half of Toronto’s 1.8 point ratings drop is driven by an injury to Kyle Lowry — and the resulting uptick in playing time for the man behind him on the team’s point guard depth chart, Lou Williams. Williams’s box-score numbers are very good, and Toronto has played much better with him on the court this season. But Real Plus-Minus isn’t convinced despite his great 2014-15 season to date. His long-term predictive RPM is currently -1.9 — with a -3.6 defensive mark — numbers only slightly improved from his -2.0/-3.7 ratings from the end of last season.For all the changes just outside the league’s top tier — in addition to the rise of OKC and declines of Atlanta and Toronto, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets both moved up a pair of spots — the top four in our rankings stayed constant. This marks the first time that’s been true since we introduced the rankings in mid-January.With Oklahoma City’s gains, the Western Conference playoff picture is all but set. Seven teams have postseason probabilities in excess of 97 percent, and the Thunder don’t sit too far behind, at 92.7 percent. As for the East, it boasts six teams with playoff odds of 99.6 percent or greater, although there’s some drama to be had with six teams battling for the conference’s final two playoff berths. The Indiana Pacers have the inside track for one of the slots, with a 62.7 percent playoff probability, but none of the five teams behind them are any more than 40.2 percent likely to qualify, which ought to bring at least some tension to the final month and a half of the season.Related to the previous point, it’s worth mentioning that the Utah Jazz have a zero percent probability of making the playoffs despite ranking 12th in talent. What happened? Utah’s record has undershot its Pythagorean expectation by three wins, but the team has also improved its talent rating recently (granted, by too little and too late) by jettisoning Enes Kanter and his -2.5 RPM in a three-team trade with Oklahoma City and the Detroit Pistons.Finally, who on earth is Joffrey Lauvergne? Our projections had the French big man down for 2.8 minutes per game for the Denver Nuggets last week, but he ended up averaging 21 minutes per game instead (and even got a starting nod against the Jazz on Friday). Denver might be toning down Lauvergne’s playing time after he shot 38 percent from the floor and posted a -36 plus-minus in that lone start, but his expected role increase — and -4.4 RPM rating — is still enough to help the Nuggets drop by five slots in the rankings. They’re still not New York Knicks bad, but after their mass talent exodus at the trade deadline, the Nuggets now bring up the rear of the non-Knicks/Philadelphia 76ers division of the power rankings. read more

Without Jeter The Yankees Improved More At Shortstop Than Any Other MLB

The other day, several of us in the FiveThirtyEight office were musing about the New York Yankees’ chances in 2015. Certainly the Yankees are no longer the dominant powerhouse they were in the late 1990s and early 2000s, nor are they even the outrageously expensive (but championship-starved) juggernaut of the mid-to-late 2000s.1They’re still spending in excess of $200 million on payroll, but that no longer ranks No. 1 in baseball, nor is it anywhere near as far from average as their payroll was at its 2005 peak. Fangraphs’ projections — which, like all preseason predictions, come with a lot of uncertainty — see the Yankees as a slightly above-average team this season, and their 84-78 record last year fit that description as well.But another interesting note about the 2015 Yankees is that their position-player corps figures to be one of the most improved in the American League, according to the projected wins above replacement (WAR) listed on Fangraphs’ depth charts. And the biggest position at which they got better? Shortstop — former home of future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.We slagged on Jeter a bit last season for all the attention paid to his yearlong retirement tour despite his plainly awful numbers. The truth is that, according to WAR at least, the Yankees had the least-productive shortstop situation in all of baseball last year, so even a shortstop depth chart headlined by Didi Gregorius was bound to be one of the game’s most improved in 2015. And, sure enough, no team is projected to gain more WAR at shortstop this season than the Yankees, mostly because Jeter retired.Here’s an accounting of the Yankees’ projected gains and losses at each position, along with those of every other team going into the 2015 season:Of course, some teams improved even more at other positions than the Yankees did at shortstop. The St. Louis Cardinals, for instance, picked up WAR superstar Jason Heyward to man right field, a position that had been filled poorly by Allen Craig and the late Oscar Taveras in 2014. That change projects to be worth a net improvement of about 7 WAR for St. Louis this season (including 4.6 from Heyward himself, plus the additional bonus of getting rid of -1.8 WAR from Craig and Taveras).The following table represents a more specific breakdown of the Yankees’ shortstops, the Cardinals’ right fielders and the 28 other positional situations that are projected to improve the most in 20152Note that, in some cases, a team can show great improvement despite the same player being projected as the primary starter in both 2015 as in 2014. This could be due to a number of reasons, including the player having improved projected rate statistics (whether because of age-related improvement or regression to the mean after an out-of-character bad season) or even more projected playing time in 2015.: read more

The 76ers Would Be The Worst Expansion Team In Modern NBA History

Garry St. Jean1998Golden State1406-11038 Michael Jordan2001Washington1436-150146 Bernie Bickerstaff1991Denver1479-2335 Ernie Grunfeld2004Washington1444-119114 Rob Hennigan2013Orlando1478-22980 EXPANSION TEAM1ST YEARONETWOTHREE (1ST 27G) Mike Dunleavy1993Milwaukee1412-54-37 EXECUTIVE1ST YEARTEAMINITIAL ELOYEAR 1YEAR 2 TO YEAR 3 Check out our 2015-16 NBA Predictions. What if the Sixers were an expansion team? Jerry Colangelo1969Phoenix1300-133243 GMs inheriting rebuilding teams Sam Hinkie2014Philadelphia1460-206-84 Magic1990-92+137+34 Billy King2011New Jersey1352-5197 Pat Williams1990Orlando1300-9252 Jack McCloskey1993Minnesota1325-60-59 Elo change for season three is through the first 27 gamesSource: Raptors1996-37+125+25 Edwin Coil1966Detroit1428-11075 Nick Mileti1971Cleveland1300-10354 David Kahn2010Minnesota1371-129137 Rich Cho2012Charlotte1422-271168 Carl Bennett1949Fort Wayne1495-11388 Walter Brown1947Boston1300-82100 Again, the Sixers are way behind schedule. Not only would their Elo change since “expansion” rank last among modern expansion franchises, they’re also the only team to be in worse shape after 27 games of Year Three than they were when the franchise “began.” Being a team with no past at all is better than being these Sixers.Now, the standard procession of Hinkie Stan counter-arguments. Argument the first: Expansion teams are generally trying to make incremental progress in their first few seasons, which is not necessarily what Hinkie’s Sixers are pursuing. Argument the second: The draft is an imperfect science with bad luck lurking behind every lottery pick, and the lottery itself is based on probabilities as well. When your entire team-building concept relies heavily on risk tolerance, it’s no surprise that busts are likely when the boom doesn’t come. Argument the third: The Only Goal Is Winning A Championship (And Building A Dynasty), and the Sixers remain well-positioned to draft or develop a superstar.We’ll leave those arguments to be settled another day. What this research suggests is that the Sixers have made significantly less progress than their historical analogs (to the extent those exist), and NBA fans looking to watch a decent game of basketball in Philadelphia these last three years would have been better served if the league had dissolved the 76ers and held tryouts. Eddie Donovan1971Buffalo1300-89-35 ELO CHANGE Pepper Wilson1959Cincinnati1481-174-16 Sixers2014-137-68-88 Chris Wallace2008Memphis1416-9296 Sam Presti2008Seattle1440-137119 Now that Jerry Colangelo is Skyping in to the Wells Fargo Center for what The New York Times calls a “father figure” role in the 76ers front office — which, suuure — it seems like an opportune time to take inventory of just how big a mess Sam Hinkie and his Process have made.We know, we know: The Sixers want to be this bad; these are planned grotesqueries; the trades have been fine and the picks are still coming and never you mind the reported dozen-odd team owners banging down Adam Silver’s door demanding a good waterboarding for ol’ Sam. Silver, of course, denies intervening (which you can hear for yourself on a special episode of Hot Takedown), and that’s practically a co-sign from the man in charge, isn’t it now? A full-on prosecution of Hinkie’s process is justified and overdue. For now, however, we’ll confine ourselves to discussing the shape of Philadelphia’s evolution in the broadest possible sense, comparing its progress during Hinkie’s reign with that of other teams also undergoing such radical, um, rebirths.We looked at this a few ways. First, we used our Elo ratings to find all GMs who took over a below-average team that got worse in the GM’s first year in control — specifically, overseeing an Elo decline of at least 50 points,1The equivalent of a 2-point drop in point spread each game. enough of a drop to pick up teams that needed more than one offseason’s worth of work. We then looked for the Elo gains or losses each made between the start of his second season and the 27-game mark of his third — i.e., where Hinkie is with the Sixers right now.We’re trying to isolate full-on rebuilding jobs: teams that were already bad and were still in demolition mode during Year One but were presumably trying (or at least should have been trying) to lay down some semblance of a foundation after that. We can then judge Philadelphia’s progress against this historical standard. Turns out, Hinkie has ruled over the biggest Elo decline of any GM under those circumstances, ever: Harry Weltman1988New Jersey1412-80-49 Elgin Baylor1987L.A. Clippers1424-21749 Source: John Nash1991Washington1416-63-31 Kiki Vandeweghe2002Denver1469-9065 Stu Jackson1996Vancouver1300-7540 The average GM in that situation saw a 62-point Elo improvement from the beginning of Year Two through 27 games of his third season, and 24 of 32 GMs oversaw some kind of improvement. Hinkie, by contrast, saw a loss of 84 Elo points over the same span — by far the steepest drop on a list littered with some of the most glaring managerial failures in league history. Adding insult to embarrassment: yes, that’s Colangelo up at the top, albeit navigating a very different NBA in 1969.You’ll notice that a few of the GMs on the above list took the reins of an expansion club. Certainly, the 2013-14 76ers featured a roster that could pass for a brand-new NBA franchise. This raises the question: How might the Sixers fare if we arbitrarily (but, let’s be honest, justifiably) assigned them an expansion-level Elo of 1300 before the 2013-14 season and compared their progress to those of the NBA’s other modern expansion teams, going back to the 1976 ABA-NBA merger? John Paxson2004Chicago1420-109112 Timberwolves1990+41+108+33 Bobcats2005-5+80+65 Rod Thorn2001New Jersey1446-109234 Grizzlies1996-75-62+35 Glen Grunwald1998Toronto1445-202185 Hornets1989-24+5+41 Mavericks1981-31+78+134 Heat1989-72-55+3 Jim Paxson2000Cleveland1468-57-30 ELO CHANGE FROM 1300 THROUGH SEASON Danny Ainge2004Boston1481-6834 Lewis Schaffel1989Miami1300-726 read more

Back on Top LeBron James Jersey Top Seller in

Photo by Mike EhrmannLeBron James has the best-selling NBA jersey in the world.The two-time NBA champion sits at the top of the global list of jersey sales for the NBA this past season, according to a new league report. Others on the list were Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and his Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade. James also has the top-selling jersey in the United States.The league unveiled the rankings, based on Adidas’ global sales for the past season.James said selling the most jerseys in the world “means everything” to him.“To know that so many people look up to me, so many kids, that’s what means more than anything, that I continue to inspire the youth and they look at me as a role model,” James said after learning the news at Heat training camp in the Bahamas. “I understand, when you wear someone’s jersey, you actually…  believe in them. You believe they can do supernatural things. It’s like an extension of our family, and I really appreciate that.” read more

The Warriors Defense Might Send Them Back To The NBA Finals

One thing that’s often lost amid the spectacle of the Golden State Warriors’ record-setting regular season is that this squad’s style is quite different from the one that went on a dominant championship run a year ago. The 2014-15 Warriors were astonishingly balanced; they had the NBA’s second-best offense and led the league in defensive efficiency. This season’s version, however, was first in offensive rating by a healthy margin but sixth-best on defense — good, but not great. The resulting team was ever-so-slightly better, but less symmetrical.In the playoffs, though, the Warriors’ defense has helped the team battle through Stephen Curry’s absence and reclaim the mantle of NBA title favorite. Here’s the offensive and defensive efficiency of this season’s playoff teams relative to average, accounting for the regular-season performance of a team’s opponents:1These numbers also factor in home-court advantage (roughly 2.8 points per 100 possessions) and the championship leverage of every game. 1Cleveland Cavaliers9-0+18.4+2.7+21.1 9Atlanta Hawks4-6-1.3-0.0-1.3 10Los Angeles Clippers2-4-3.2+1.2-2.1 6Indiana Pacers3-4-2.3+4.1+1.8 16Memphis Grizzlies0-4-12.9-5.2-18.1 Best team performances of the 2016 NBA playoffs 13Houston Rockets1-4-12.5+0.7-11.8 12Detroit Pistons0-4+2.3-10.8-8.4 The Cavs have blown away their playoff peers so far, but Golden State deserves credit as well for posting the best defensive performance of any remaining team. Indeed, the Warriors’ ratings look a lot like the balanced attack that drove their championship last season — even though Curry has suited up for just six of the team’s 12 games.When the Warriors require outbursts of unadulterated offensive brilliance — like, say, 12 points in 82 seconds or 17 points in an overtime period — Curry has been happy to oblige. But Golden State has also held the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder offense to an efficiency rate 10 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season standard through two games of the Western Conference finals. Even on nights when the Warrior offense isn’t operating at peak productivity, such as Game 1 against OKC, the defense can keep the game competitive into its final minutes.With Draymond Green leading the way, Golden State’s D in this series has already forced the Thunder into two of their 19 worst games of the season according to quantified shot quality, a player tracking-based measure that accounts for the location and conditions under which every shot is taken. In games 1 and 2, Kevin Durant’s shot quality has been his sixth- and 21st-worst of the year, and Russell Westbrook has been limited to his 31st and 24th-worst games. If it’s seemed like Russ and KD have been swimming upstream for long stretches in the series so far, this is why. The duo’s effective field goal percentage in the series is just 43 percent, far below their combined regular-season mark of 53 percent.There’s still plenty of time for the Thunder to wrest control of the series back from Golden State. But to do it, Oklahoma City will have to go through the Warrior defense, a unit that’s back to being as sturdy as it was during the team’s title run last season.Check out our latest NBA predictions. 15Charlotte Hornets3-4-11.5-4.5-16.0 2Golden State Warriors9-3+5.5+4.8+10.3 14Dallas Mavericks1-4-5.6-10.0-15.7 5Portland Trail Blazers5-6+3.9-1.7+2.2 7Miami Heat7-7-2.2+2.7+0.5 11Boston Celtics2-4-10.4+2.1-8.3 3Oklahoma City Thunder9-4+6.1+1.6+7.7 4San Antonio Spurs6-4+0.9+4.9+5.8 Team efficiencies adjusted for strength of schedule using opponents‘ regular-season stats.Source: 8Toronto Raptors8-7+0.9-0.7+0.2 TEAMRECORDOFFENSEDEFENSETOTAL read more

Paul George Makes The Thunder Contenders Again

Doug McDermott15.0-0.6-2.7 Nick Collison4.0-3.10.7 Paul George is headed to Oklahoma City, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, and the Thunder may be back to being title contenders — or at least in the mix to be the West’s second-best team behind Golden State.Just hours before the NBA’s free agency period begins, the Indiana Pacers have traded George to the Thunder for former No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo and rising sophomore Domantas Sabonis. Oklahoma City had acquired Oladipo and the draft pick that became Sabonis from Orlando in a trade for Serge Ibaka last offseason.George is a free agent after this coming season, and it’s believed that he has not agreed to sign a contract extension. The assumption around the league has been that the Lakers are his preferred long-term destination, which is a large part of why the Pacers couldn’t even secure a draft pick for their outgoing star. So this is certainly a calculated risk for OKC, but MVP Russell Westbrook can also become a free agent after the 2017-18 season thanks to a player-option. And while he hasn’t been as forthright as George, his hometown Lakers have long been a rumored destination for him as well. So the Thunder are on the clock to sell themselves as a place where Westbrook can contend, or alternatively, to take their last, best shot at winning a title while they still have him. The George trade should accomplish both.According to FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projection system, adding George to the Thunder and subtracting Oladipo and Sabonis should put the team at 51 wins: Paul George35.02.40.4 Alex Abrines15.00.0-1.8 Norris Cole5.0-1.8-1.4 Russell Westbrook35.07.60.7 The Thunder are backCARMELO projections for the 2017-18 Oklahoma City Thunder Steven Adams30.0-0.62.0 PLAYERMIN. PER GAMEOFF. PLUS/MINUSDEF. PLUS/MINUS Kyle Singler10.0-2.5-0.3 Enes Kanter25.00.5-1.2 Semaj Christon5.0-3.0-1.5 Jerami Grant20.0-2.00.1 The top-5 of Westbrook, George, Enes Kanter, Steven Adams and Andre Roberson are worth 53 wins all on their own. But CARMELO thinks so little of the Thunder bench that the rest of the roster is worth -2 wins. That bench was bad this past season, but young players like Alex Abrines and Doug McDermott may improve with an additional season with the team, and this season’s first-round draft pick Terrance Ferguson has potential as a spot-up shooter on the wing, which the team desperately needed last season. Still, with Taj Gibson likely leaving in free agency, the Thunder will be thin. But while their projection doesn’t put the team nearly at the level of the Golden State Warriors, or even the newly minted Chris Paul Houston Rockets, acquiring George should have an outsize effect on the Thunder.It’s hard to overstate how perfect a fit this is for Oklahoma City. George isn’t Kevin Durant — he doesn’t rebound as well, and isn’t quite the playmaker that Durant can be when called upon — but he replaces a lot of what the former MVP took with him when he departed for Golden State. The most obvious way he helps is by giving Westbrook a legitimate partner in the offense. George is a very good shooter: He shot 39.3 percent from 3 last season, and has floated between 36 and 40 percent the past several years despite taking some of the most difficult shots in the league. George shouldn’t have to take on the world quite the same way in Oklahoma City.George may actually end up fitting slightly better with Westbrook than Durant did — in practice if not in terms of absolute skill. Durant dominated the ball late in games for the Thunder; Westbrook would defer, often to a fault. This left Westbrook, an average at best shooter, on the perimeter, largely wasted. With George new to OKC, where Westbrook is the reigning MVP and undisputed team leader, the Thunder should be able to default to more sensible sets in crucial moments, with the ball in Westbrook’s hands but George actively involved.That said, George’s ability to get his own shot should also be key for the Thunder. In the team’s first-round loss to the Houston Rockets, the bench units led by Oladipo were overwhelmed, often unable even to get a shot without their star. In Game 5 of that series, Westbrook played 42 minutes, scored 47 points and had a plus-minus of +12. The Thunder lost by six. George can be streaky, but his ability to carry an offense means the Thunder can survive spells without Westbrook.But it’s George’s defensive ability and versatility that may unlock the Thunder’s potential. Oklahoma City had been constructed with a lopsided allotment of talents. They had more than enough rebounders and interior defenders, but few perimeter scorers or players who could perform the basic three-and-D role so crucial to successful teams. George is one of the best three-and-D players in the league, good enough to compensate for limited defensive players around him when the Thunder need offense.Lineups featuring both George and Andre Roberson — a converted power forward who plays shooting guard for the Thunder despite being one of the worst shooters in the league — would seem to not only cover Westbrook’s defensive shortcomings, but possibly those of other players, such as Abrines or Kanter. Roberson is restricted free agent and reportedly declined a four-year, $48 million extension last fall, so he may be too expensive to re-sign, but given the Thunder’s lack of depth they may not have much choice. (And in a twist, George actually earns less than Oladipo this season, giving the Thunder a little extra breathing room under the luxury tax.) Giving Roberson’s projected minutes to Abrines results in the team’s CARMELO rating dropping from 51 wins to 47.The Thunder were a deeply but narrowly flawed team last season. That happens when a Kevin Durant-sized hole is left in the depth chart. Paul George may not fill the whole thing, and he may not do it for very long, but for as long as he and Westbrook are in town, the Thunder are back. Team total3.70.6 Replacement level player11-1.7-0.3 Thunder’s projected record50.831.2 WINSLOSSES Terrance Ferguson5.0-1.6-0.1 Andre Roberson25.0-1.21.8 read more

KJ Hill can move up depth chart with more strong performances

OSU redshirt freshman K.J. Hill (14) runs into the endzone for a touchdown during the first half of the Buckeyes’ season opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorAfter being left off the initial two-deep depth chart, Ohio State redshirt freshman wide receiver K.J. Hill made sure everyone knew his name after last Saturday’s game against Bowling Green. Hill caught the first offensive touchdown of the season for OSU, and looks to be a primary target for redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett in the future.Hill, listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds, redshirted last season after after competing for a vital receiving role with the likes of three now-NFL receivers. The former four-star recruit from North Little Rock High School hauled in two receptions for 58 yards along with the first quarter touchdown reception.The crowded wide receiver unit, filled with upperclassmen like redshirt senior Corey Smith, junior James Clark, along with versatile H-backs like junior Curtis Samuel and senior Dontre Wilson who can make plays with their hands and their feet, could easily cause a young player like Hill to get lost in the mix. However, the redshirt freshman knows he can prevent being overshadowed by performing at a high level against Tulsa.“Every time you get a ball or a chance you gotta make the most of it,” Hill said.Initially committed to Arkansas, Hill jumped ship and made the decision to become a Buckeye after former OSU co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash left the Razorbacks to join OSU coach Urban Meyer’s squad. Hill said he was the one who made the call to see if the Buckeyes had an open spot for him.Meyer spoke highly of the ability of both Hill and his teammate — redshirt sophomore Noah Brown — on their ability to connect with Barrett and synchronize the timing of the routes they run. The relationship and ability by both men has earned high praise from the Buckeye coaching staff.Hill said the time he spent away from the field during his redshirt season motivated him to come out and work harder to become a top receiver for the Buckeyes.“It’s a tough process you go through. You know, I redshirted so I had a lot of downfalls and a lot of doubts,” Hill said. “I just kept going hard in practice, and my hard work paid off. I look back at it now and it was crazy.”Even with the top-tier production from Hill, he said the order of wide receivers has not changed, firmly placing him around the fifth or sixth receiver mark. Although this may seem buried in the depth chart, Hill can make a move up the roster if he continues to play at a high level.Hill will get his chance to make big plays against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. read more

Mens soccer squares off against topranked Zips

Off to the best start in program history, the Ohio State men’s soccer team will now face its toughest test of the season.“This team has been playing well and with a lot of confidence,” coach John Bluem said. “It’s nice to have a good start like this.” Coming off a 1-0 win against Michigan State, the Big Ten-leading Buckeyes (5-0-3) will now face the consensus No. 1-ranked team in college soccer, the Akron Zips. The Zips (7-0-0) are off to their best start since 2005, and it’s their second-best start since 1972. Akron’s organization on both sides of the ball contributes to the team’s success.The Zips’ ball pressure and attacking skills also make them a dangerous team to play, Bluem said. They are a few of the reasons why the team is 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation.“They’re terrific,” Bluem said. “Their speed of play and quality of players is something I don’t think we’ve faced yet this year. We’re going to have to be at our very best to stay close to them.” Akron is no stranger to big games. So far they have faced two highly ranked teams this season and have come away with two victories.  The two teams are familiar; they played twice last season, once in the regular season and then in the second round of the NCAA College Cup. Both games ended in a loss for the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes and the Zips know the other’s tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. The young OSU team looks to capitalize on that knowledge to get a victory that has eluded them for the past three years.The game is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lee Jackson Field.  The Buckeyes have been getting tremendous play out of redshirt freshman goalie Matt Lampson, who earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording back-to-back shutouts. The Buckeyes will once again ask him to shut down the powerful Akron offense. The Zips’ offense has scored 20 goals in the season, and the defense has allowed only one. One thing is for sure: The Buckeyes have a tough task ahead of them. But ask anyone on the team, and they will say they are ready for the challenge. “The opportunity to play the consensus No. 1 team in the country is fantastic,” Bluem said. “We’ve got nothing to lose. We can go up there relaxed and give it our best shot.” read more

Mens Gymnastics Hungry for titles Ohio State prepares for 2018 season

Ohio State then-sophomore Tristan Burke performs on floor against Michigan at St. John Arena on Feb. 4. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State men’s gymnastics team is setting the bar high for its 2018 season, with Big Ten and NCAA titles in sight.The Buckeyes are trying to qualify for the Big Ten championships for the third year in a row. And after finishing as NCAA runner-ups last year, Ohio State is trying to capture its first NCAA championship since 2001.“My sophomore year, we got third [in the NCAA Conference], last year, we got second and this year, our team is in pretty good shape,” senior Seth Delbridge said. “Everyone is doing pretty well, so I think we all have it in our heads that we could contend for a national title.” With five new freshman on their 24-person active roster, the Buckeyes are focusing on being team oriented to reach their goals.“The preseason really is kind of a time for us, as a team, to grow,” said Drew Moling, the team’s director of operations. “We’re really trying to help our student athletes and this team to create that bond, for this year.”Ohio State will have two new talented freshman join its roster. Sean Neighbarger and Max Andryushchenko are newcomers to look out for. Both competed at the P&G U.S.A. National Championships over the summer.Some returning key players, and this year’s team captains, competing as all-around athletes, are Delbridge, senior Sean Melton and junior Alec Yoder.In addition to competing for the Buckeyes, Melton and Yoder are also currently on the USA Men’s Senior National Team, and both competed alongside Neighbarger and Andryushchenko at the P&G National Championships.“Those four, who were training together this summer, were competing together, so I think those guys are really going to kind of bring some leadership, from competing at the U.S.A. level, to this team and beyond,” Moling said.Moleing said some major competitors in the Big Ten are Illinois and Minnesota, the second- and third-place finishers in the conference, respectively. In the NCAA, OSU’s biggest competition is Oklahoma. The Sooners are three-time defending NCAA champions and remain the team to beat this season.“They want to win,” Moling said. “Like I said, it’s been 2001 since we’ve brought home an NCAA championship, and this team is super hungry for that this year.” To up their game and prepare for the challenge of the season to come, the Buckeyes are looking to increase strength and endurance by incorporating more conditioning workouts, both before and after their event practices.“At the end of the day, if we hit our routines and we do our job, I think we’re going to, hopefully come out on top.” After an intrasquad scrimmage Nov. 18, the Buckeyes will be back in action with another exhibition Jan. 6. The Alumni Exhibition starts at 2 p.m. at St. John Arena. read more

Alevel results 2016 Which subjects did students do the best and worst

first_imgUse regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart and navigate between data series.The biggest increases in A* – A pass rate by subject. Across the last six year, the five subjects whose A*-A pass rate has increased the most in percentage pointsLong description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: line chart.The chart has 1 X axis displaying values.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.The biggest increases in A* – A pass rate by subjectThe biggest increases in A* – A pass rate by subject – Highcharts CloudThe biggest increases in A* – A pass rate by subjectAcross the last six year, the five subjects whose A*-A pass rate hasincreased the most in percentage pointsAcross the last six year, the five subjects whose A*-A pass rate has increased the most in percentage pointsPerforming/ Expressive ArtsIrishPhysical EducationGeneral StudiesWelsh2011201220132014201520160102030405060Source: JCQ The gender gapThere is still a significant gender gap when it comes to what boys and girls are taking for their A levels.  In a trend that continues into university study, subjects such as computing and physics are dominated by boys while girls flock to courses on performing arts and sociology.In terms of grades, there was a slight narrowing of the gap between the genders across all subjects – with 8.5 per cent of boys achieving the top A* grades compared to 7.7 per cent for girls, representing a narrowing of the gap between the genders by 0.1 percentage point for the first time in the last five years.  Find the results for your A level subject Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Best A* – A pass rates in 2016. Percentage of students getting A* or A in 2016Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 5 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Best A* – A pass rates in 2016Best A* – A pass rates in 2016 – Highcharts CloudBest A* – A pass rates in 2016Percentage of students getting A* or A in 2016Further MathsIrishMathsGermanFrench0102030405060Source: JQC; excluding “other modern languages” 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. Performing arts, physical education and general studies are among some of the A levels with the largest increases in the percentage of students getting A* or A between 2011 and 2016.Irish – one of the top five performing A levels for the top grade pass rate – has also improved in recent years. Click here for 2017 results Search for Clearing vacancies onlineDownload the Clearing app on iPhone or AndroidJust over a quarter of A level students gained an A* or A this year, as students from across the UK receive their results today.The pass rate for the top grades follows a trend seen across this decade, with another drop on last year’s results to 25.8 per cent of students getting A or A* across all subjects.Students have performed well in mathematics and foreign languages, while courses such as ICT and media studies have struggled to get their students achieving the top grades in 2016. The worst performing A levelsThe lowest pass rates in 2016 were seen in ICT and media, film and TV studies.  Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart and navigate between data series.Gender gap: The subjects with the biggest gender divides. Percentage of males and females taking the 10 subjects with the biggest gender gap in 2016Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Gender gap: The subjects with the biggest gender dividesGender gap: The subjects with the biggest gender divides – Highcharts CloudGender gap: The subjects with the biggest gender dividesPercentage of males and females taking the 10 subjects with the biggestgender gap in 2016Percentage of males and females taking the 10 subjects with the biggest gender gap in 2016MaleFemaleComputingPerforming/ Expressive ArtsWelshPhysicsSociologyPsychologyArt and Design subjectsCommunication StudiesEnglishFurther Maths020406080100120Source: JQC; excludes “other sciences” This has followed recent years, where these subjects have struggled to get their students to achieve the top A or A* grades. One in 10 ICT students gained an A or A* in 2016 – down from 12 per cent in 2011. Some 8,700 students took the course this year, falling by 3,300 in five years, Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart and navigate between data series.The biggest falls in A* – A pass rate by subject. Across the last six year, the five subjects whose A*-A pass rate has fallen the most in percentage pointsLong description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: line chart.The chart has 1 X axis displaying values.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.The biggest falls in A* – A pass rate by subjectThe biggest falls in A* – A pass rate by subject – Highcharts CloudThe biggest falls in A* – A pass rate by subjectAcross the last six year, the five subjects whose A*-A pass rate has fallenthe most in percentage pointsAcross the last six year, the five subjects whose A*-A pass rate has fallen the most in percentage pointsCommunication StudiesClassical subjectsEconomicsPolitical StudiesHistory2011201220132014201520161020304050Source: JCQ Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Worst A* – A pass rates in 2016. Percentage of students getting A* or A in 2016Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 5 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Worst A* – A pass rates in 2016Worst A* – A pass rates in 2016 – Highcharts CloudWorst A* – A pass rates in 2016Percentage of students getting A* or A in 2016ICTMedia/ Film/ TV StudiesCommunication StudiesCritical ThinkingGeneral Studies0102.557.512.515Source: JQC In terms of the largest falls in A* – A pass rate since 2011, communication studies and classical subjects have suffered the most. Economics, political studies and history have also struggled to keep their students achieving the top A* and A grades since 2011. Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.The biggest increases and drops in student numbers. Percentage change in number of students; top and bottom five for 2011-16Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 10 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.The biggest increases and drops in student numbersThe biggest increases and drops in student numbers – Highcharts CloudThe biggest increases and drops in student numbersPercentage change in number of students; top and bottom five for 2011-16ComputingFurther mathsEconomicsReligious StudiesGeographyWelshPerforming/ Expressive ArtsPhysical EducationGeneral StudiesCritical Thinking-1000-125-75-50-25255075Source: JQC What subjects are students taking?The most popular subjects in 2016 are maths, English, biology, psychology and history. Some 92,200 students decided to take maths this year, while 84,700 took English and 62,700 opted for biology.But during this decade, there has been a consistent increase in the number of students opting for computing and further maths.The number of students taking computing this year has increased by 56 per cent since 2011, while further maths now has a quarter more students. This comes at the price of subjects such as general studies and critical thinking, which are not recognised by many top universities and currently see almost half the number of entries they had in 2011. The best performing A levelsOn the other hand, A level students have excelled in subjects such as mathematics and Irish. Continuing the success of recent years, more than half of those taking Further Maths achieved an A or A*, while 88 per cent achieved a C or above.2016 saw exactly the same top five best performing A levels as in 2015, with foreign languages such as German and French each seeing more than a third of their students achieving an A or A* this year. Despite this, both of these languages have seen a decline in interest from students, with just 13,500 students taking both subjects this year, down from 18,400 in 2011.last_img read more

Heathrow protest Two arrested as activists chain themselves to car in third

first_imgTwo people have been arrested at Heathrow airport, as police continue to deal with three protesters who have chained themselves to a car.Motorists have been warned of possible delays as the activists block a road and tunnel leading to terminals two and three at the UK’s busiest airport. The Metropolitan police said: “A contra-flow is in place in the outbound tunnel to facilitate the movement of traffic around the blocked tunnel (which is now empty), but motorists are advised possible delays to their journey as this incident is dealt with.”A spokesman for Heathrow airport said: “Heathrow supports the right to peaceful protest within the law, but the safety and security of our passengers, aircraft and colleagues together with the smooth running of the operation is paramount.”He advised passengers to allow more time to drive into terminals two and three. Heathrow expansion activists chained to car If you’re travelling to Terminal 2 or 3 today, please allow extra time for the journey. Passengers can access T2/T3 from other terminals too— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) February 21, 2017 Heathrow airport, where there has been a small climate change protestCredit:Hannah McKay/PA An additional 260,000 take-off or landings will be permitted each year from the expanded airport, up from the current cap of 480,000, according to a draft National Policy Statement (NPS) on aviation released last month.A final NPS is expected to be voted on by Parliament in winter 2017/18, following a consultation.Activist Simon Bramwell described the consultation process as “illegitimate and undemocratic”.He added: “This blockade is our contribution to the consultation: a third runway is a disastrous option that will lead to climate chaos.”I look upon my niece and nephew, upon the children who will inherit the future we are creating right now, and my conscience tells me to act.” Heathrow expansion activists chained to carCredit:Rising Up!/Rising Up! Show more 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. Officers arrested two demonstrators for obstructing a highway, using two cars to block the tunnel, and said they are working with staff at the airport to remove those locked to the third vehicle.The protest group, Rising Up! said they are acting to oppose expansion at the west London airport.A plan to build a third runway at Heathrow was chosen in October as the Government’s preferred option for increasing capacity in south-east England. Heathrow airportlast_img read more

Gay man in fight for equal pension rights for husband confident of Supreme

first_imgLiberty points out that his husband would receive a pension of only a few hundred pounds a year – but if he was married to a woman, she would be entitled to receive around £45,000 a year for life.Before the hearing, Liberty lawyer Emma Norton said “many, many others will be suffering the same injustice”, adding: “We hope the Supreme Court will drive the law into the 21st century and take a huge step towards equal pension rights for same-sex spouses and civil partners.” Liberty said the case “challenges an exemption in the Equality Act that lets employers exclude same-sex partners from spousal benefits paid into a pension fund before December 2005, when civil partnerships became legal”.It will be argued that the exemption is “discriminatory”. Mr Walker wants to ensure that, should he die first, his husband, 52, will be adequately provided for.Mr Walker earlier said: “The Government should be ashamed that, in 2017, I and so many others are being forced to live with the worry that our loved ones won’t be provided for when we’re gone, solely because of our sexuality.”My husband and I have been together for 24 years. During that time, I also gave more than two decades of my life to Innospec, paying in exactly the same amount into the company pension fund as my heterosexual colleagues.”How can it be right that my husband will get practically nothing but, if I were to divorce him and marry the very first woman I see, she would be immediately entitled to the full spousal pension? It’s not just unfair – it’s absurd.” Winning the case would be the “icing on the cake” after being able to enter into a civil partnership and then “upgrade” to marriage.He said: “It would give us total equality with our heterosexually married friends, and complete security.”A ruling in his favour would not only be important on a personal level, but it would also be “incredibly important” for many others in same-sex relationships in a similar position, some of whom had already lost partners.Mr Walker suffered a defeat at the Court of Appeal in 2015, when judges ruled that his claim failed because it applied to a period before gay civil partnerships were recognised by the law.He retired from chemicals group Innospec Ltd in 2003 after working for the company for more than 20 years. He had made the same contributions to the pension scheme as his heterosexual colleagues.Mr Walker and his husband, a former computer executive, have been together since 1993. 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 and so many others are being forced to live with the worry that our loved ones won’t be provided for when we’re gone, solely because of our sexualityJohn Walker John Walker suffered a defeat at the Court of Appeal in 2015 Credit:Martin Keene/PA The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on December 5 2005. Mr Walker and his partner entered into a civil partnership in January 2006, which was later converted into a marriage. A gay man fighting to win his husband the same pension rights a wife would enjoy in a heterosexual relationship described feeling “confident” as he began the final round of his legal battle.Ex-cavalry officer John Walker, 65, is hoping that five justices at the Supreme Court in London will overturn an earlier ruling against him.Human rights organisation Liberty, which is representing Mr Walker, says a successful outcome could “dramatically change the lives of thousands of same-sex couples”.As Mr Walker arrived at the UK’s highest court on Wednesday, he said: “I am feeling confident. I think common sense will prevail.” John Walker suffered a defeat at the Court of Appeal in 2015last_img read more

Preeclampsia test could help save lives of hundreds of babies every year

first_imgPre-eclampsia can be fatal for both mother and baby Credit: Andrew Matthews Pre-eclampsia can be fatal for both mother and baby  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. A new test will allow pregnant women with a life-threatening disorder to carry their babies for longer and save the lives of up to 1,000 youngsters a year.Around three per cent of pregnant women suffer from pre-eclampsia where their blood pressure is raised to levels whcih threaten both mother and child.The only known cure is to deliver the baby.  But when pre-eclampsia occurs before 34 weeks of pregnancy doctors are faced with the difficult prospect of either inducing an extremely premature birth or waiting and placing both the mother and baby at great risk.An estimated 1,000 babies a year die from complications caused by pre-eclampsia but the new test can help doctors decide when it is safe to let the baby stay inside for longer.The test factors in a mother’s age, gestation at which pre-eclampsia was diagnosed, blood pressure, urine protein level, liver and kidney function, oxygen levels in blood and the need for treatment to control blood pressure and prevent seizures. It was able to predict the risk of complications in up to 84 per cent of mothers.The research was carried out at Queen Mary University of London, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research.Project lead Professor Shakila Thangaratinam, professor in maternal and perinatal health at Queen Mary said: “Women categorised to be low risk could be followed-up in an outpatient setting, with high-and very high-risk women monitored as inpatients with regular intensive monitoring.”Marcus Green, chief executive of the Action on pre-eclampsia (APEC) charity, which worked with the study team, said: ““This devastating condition frightens patients, comes on quickly, is unpredictable and can kill.“Knowing when to intervene and when to deliver is crucial and this work is very helpful in identifying the women who really need careful medical attention and to ensure they get the care they need.”The new research was published in the journal BMC Medicine.last_img read more

Nicola Sturgeon backs Tasmina AhmedSheikh amid renewed calls for her suspension

first_imgtasmina ahmed-sheikh Speaking on the campaign trail in East Lothian, Ms Sturgeon said the Law Society investigated “many, many complaints about solicitors every year”, adding: “Just because a complaint is raised and an investigation is under way does not mean there has been wrongdoing on the part on the part of the lawyer concerned.”It’s important that these matters are fully and robustly investigated, that’s part of the role of the Law Society, so they should be allowed to get on with that investigation and come to a conclusion.”Murdo Fraser, the Tory MSP, said the “whole episode stinks” and called on the SNP to withdraw all support from Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh in the election. He added: “There are now growing questions over the way Nicola Sturgeon handled this matter.“Was the First Minister told about the investigation facing Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh? If so, why did she allow her to carry on as a candidate?” Nicola Sturgeon has repeated her support for a prominent SNP candidate who is the subject of a professional misconduct inquiry by Scotland’s legal watchdog.The First Minister was responding to renewed calls from opposition parties for Tasmania Ahmed-Sheikh to be suspended over a probe by The Law Society of Scotland.The candidate for Ochil and South Perthshire confirmed last week that the society was looking into “administrative matters” during her previous career as a lawyer.According to the Scottish Daily Mail, the case involves allegations of “financial impropriety involving a trust fund”.The Scottish Conservatives responded by calling on the First Minister to “come clean” and spell out what she knew about the probe while Labour repeated its call for the candidate to be suspended.The inquiry relates to Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh’s former involvement with the law firm Hamilton Burns WS. She was one of two directors and resigned shortly after becoming an MP in 2015. 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. Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh with Alex Salmond in 2015Credit:Getty The candidate in the 2015 general electionCredit:Getty He said everything pointed to an “official SNP cover-up, adding: “The SNP must now come clean. A failure to do so will demonstrate once again that they are trying to take the voters of Scotland for a ride.”James Kelly, Scottish Labour’s campaign manager, said Ms Sturgeon should immediately suspend the candidate, adding: “There is no more time for prevarication from the SNP leadership, any further delays in suspending Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh would be completely unacceptable.“Nicola Sturgeon can no longer stand by her candidate in Ochil and South Perthshire. Voters need urgent answers, they have a right to have all the facts before they go to the polls next month.”Mrs Ahmed-Sheikh sits on the SNP’s national executive as its women’s and equalities officer and is a close ally of Alex Salmond.The Law Society said it would not be commenting. tasmina ahmed-sheikhlast_img read more

Wouldbe bomber who said he was bedroom radicalised found guilty of fairy

first_imgSome of the items used by Zahid Hussain Miss Darlow said the pressure-cooker did not contain the correct ingredients to constitute an explosive device, but the defendant believed he had created a viable bomb. Opening the case against Hussain at the start of a five-week trial, prosecution QC Annabel Darlow said the defendant also attempted to create a remote-control “initiator” for a device by modifying a wireless doorbell.Miss Darlow told the jury: “It is the Crown’s case that the defendant, in the months leading up to August 9 2015, attempted to build a number of explosive devices. The film capturing a hooded figure said to be Zahid Hussain was recorded in Alum Rock, Birmingham, near a railway embankment used by trains on the West Coast mainlineCredit:West Midlands Police The film capturing a hooded figure said to be Zahid Hussain was recorded in Alum Rock, Birmingham, near a railway embankment used by trains on the West Coast mainline A home-made pressure-cooker bomb containing numerous pieces of shrapnel made by Zahid HussainCredit:West Midlands Police  a home-made pressure-cooker bomb containing numerous pieces of shrapnel made by Zahid Hussaincenter_img The 29-year-old – who was captured on CCTV clambering into a storm drain near a high- speed rail line – was arrested in August 2015 after being seen “patrolling” the streets near his home in Naseby Road, Alum Rock.Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court deliberated over two days before convicting Hussain of preparation of terrorist acts.Alternative counts of making explosives and one of attempting to make explosives were ordered to lie on the court file. “These included a home-made pressure-cooker bomb containing numerous pieces of shrapnel – in other words, a nail bomb … and a number of improvised igniters which he had made from fairy lights that one might otherwise see on a Christmas tree.” A would-be terrorist who improvised detonator parts from fairy lights has been found guilty of attempting to make a pressure-cooker bomb.Birmingham Crown Court was told Zahid Hussain – who considered railway lines as targets – was “bedroom radicalised” while viewing hundreds of Islamic State-related images and videos of the war in Syria.Hussain’s trial was told he wrongly believed his non-viable “bomb” – packed with shrapnel – was capable of causing devastation. Some of the items used by Zahid HussainCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Michael Fallon hits out at Nicola Sturgeons claim he has betrayed Scottish

first_imgSir Michael Fallon has dismissed “extraordinary” SNP claims that he had “betrayed” Scotland’s shipbuilding industry after announcing plans for work on new warships to be split up across different sites across the UK.Nicola Sturgeon led the Nationalists in denouncing the Defence Secretary’s blueprint for the first batch of five new Type 31e frigates to be built in blocks across several British shipyards and then assembled at a central hub.Echoing trade union leaders, she claimed the work had been promised to Clyde shipbuilders and accused him of reneging from a pledge they would provide a “frigate factory” for the Royal Navy. Nicola Sturgeon has accused the UK Government of betraying Scotland's shipbuilders The plans form part of a new national shipbuilding strategy unveiled by Sir Michael, which accepted all the recommendations of an independent report into the industry by Sir John Parker.Ms Sturgeon, MSP for Glasgow Southside, said there had been “lots of promises made to the Clyde”, including the creation of a frigate factory, but “there’s no mention of that today.”She said: “So this is about cost cutting and it is another demonstration of the damage that is being done to conventional defence infrastructure by the UK government’s obsession with spending billions and billions of pounds on Trident.”I think workers on the Clyde today have every right to feel let down and betrayed.” Nicola Sturgeon has accused the UK Government of betraying Scotland’s shipbuildersCredit:AFP 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. Computer Generated 3/4 Image of the future Type 26 Global Combat Ship being built on the ClydeCredit:BAE Systemscenter_img But Sir Michael said the Clyde is already getting 20 years of work building eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates and yards across Scotland can also tender for the Type 31 contract.He accused the SNP of “turning sunshine into a grievance” and highlighted the billions of pounds of investment the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is already making north of the Border.The new Type 31e frigates are due to be in service by 2023, and their cost will be capped at a maximum of £250 million each as part of a drive to introduce competition and keep down costs. Gary Cook of the GMB union said the Clyde yards had originally been promised contracts 13 frigates, including the five Type 31s, as part of a plan that saw hundreds of job losses, and warned of “dog eat dog” competition between UK yards.Arguing there was “no frigate factory, and now no five ships”, he said that “there has definitely been a reneging – there has been a betrayal on the 13 frigates on the Upper Clyde”.He also argued that work from the Type 31 programme would not be enough to sustain the 3,800 jobs at Rosyth after the aircraft carrier contract finishes. Computer Generated 3/4 Image of the future Type 26 Global Combat Ship being built on the Clyde But the Defence Secretary told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “The Clyde are getting eight frigates, the anti-submarine frigates, without competition and that is 20 years of work for just one yard.”There is a huge frigate building programme on the Clyde but the remaining five frigates in the programme we’re opening up to competition. Govan can compete for that, so can Fergusons further down the Clyde, they could be built at Rosyth. Any of the yards in Britain will be free to compete.”He later told the Commons the eight Type 26s costing £3.7 billion, being built at BAE’s Govan and Scotstoun yards, already represent a “frigate factory” even without the Type 31 work.Sir Michael said the extent of the UK Government’s long-term commitment to the Clyde was demonstrated by the fact that the apprentices who will work on the final vessel have yet to be born.last_img read more

Glassi Chuddies Hinglish lessons offered for first time to help Britons win

first_imgExamples of Bollywood films using Hinglish in the titles include "Ek Tha Tiger" (Once There was a Tiger) Examples of Bollywood films using Hinglish in the titles include “Ek Tha Tiger” (Once There was a Tiger) Hinglish lessons are being taught in UK colleges for the first time to help  young Britons win business in India. Portsmouth College has introduced a new course for the language, a hybrid of English and Hindi, that has been spoken on both continents since the 17th century. It is widely used today in Indian business, films,  music, and advertising. Hinglish is a fusion of the two languages that is preferred by India’s booming business community, meaning learning it could be suitable for students looking for international opportunities in the world’s seventh largest economy, which is growing more rapidly than any other. Portsmouth College said Hinglish in turn was the fastest growing language on the South continent. “Films are being watched a lot of Indian people and right from the titles  to the script, everything is in Hinglish,” teacher Viraj Shah explained. James Watters, a department head at the college, said: “It’s great to hear that our future generation of workers are taking into account that things that are happening around us.”He said the course would make them “socially aware and better prepared for situations they may be faced with.”  According to Collins English Dictionary, a number of common English words have in fact been influenced by Hinglish.  These include the words “shampoo”, from the Hindi word for massage or knead; “cushy”, which stems from the Hindi word for pleasant; “cot” which originates from the Hindi word for hammock or bedstead; and “thug” from the Hindi word for cheat or thief. center_img Common Hinglish phrases, with borrowed British words, include: “Time kya hua hai?” – which means “what is the time right now?”; and “I have hazaar things on my mind right now” which means “I have a thousand of things on my  mind right now.” While there is evidence of Hinglish being around since the 17th century, and featuring in poetry in 19th Century, it took off notably as part of popular culture in the 1990s with the rise of music channels like MTV. It is now said to be ubiquitous in Bollywood film. Examples of Bollywood films using Hinglish in the titles include “Ek Tha Tiger” (Once There was a Tiger), “Love Aaj Kal” (Love Today Tomorrow) and “Shaadi Ke Side Effects” (The Side Effects of Marriage).  Hinglish is not the only English fusion language. West African Pidgin English is spoken by millions of people in countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.Around half the Nigerian population are known to understand the language, though it is not an official language in any country. West African Pidgin is a blend of English and African languages with words that can change and evolve constantly. It is thought to have first been used to discuss trade between Europeans and Africans in the 17th century. According to the BBC, which launched a Pidgin news service in August,  popular phrases include: “I wan chop” ( I want to eat), “Wetin dey ‘appen?”  (What is happening?), “I no no” (I do not know) and “Where you dey?” (Where  are you).last_img read more

Amy Johnsons pioneering solo Australia flight to be recreated by female pilot

Trailblazer Amy Johnson stunned the world when she became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in May 1930.Now a daring British pilot has begun to retrace her route from Croydon to Darwin in a vintage biplane to honour the landmark feat.Amanda Harrison, 46, packed a survival kit with shark repellent and a life boat before setting off from Biggin Hill Airport in Bromley, south London, at 12.05pm today.After overcoming severe childhood dyslexia to become a commercial airline pilot and a recent bout of breast cancer, she hopes her month-long journey across 20 countries will help to inspire women to take up the pursuit across the world.Ms Harrison, from Bromley, is flying in her 1942 de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth, similar to the open cockpit Gypsy Moth flown by Johnson. 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. Ms Harrison is flying in her 1942 de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth, similar to the open cockpit Gypsy Moth flown by JohnsonCredit:Paul Grover “This flight is now much bigger than me, it involves all those people who are going to be helping me on the ground.”I’ll be meeting female pilots in nearly all of the countries I go to.”All of the countries that you’re scared to go into and you’d think would be a problem, like Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan, have been really accommodating of our plans.”Ms Harrison’s idol Johnson was killed in January 1941 when she reportedly ran out of fuel and bailed out into the Thames Estuary near Herne Bay.Ms Harrison added: “Amy Johnson was the one who inspired me to do this kind of flying.”Like me, she didn’t have a lot of money, she had to work for a living, she was the first female aeronautical engineer in this country and then when she came back she also had to work for a living.”Ms Harrison tonight had taken a a detour and landed at Saarburcken Airport in Germany, the first stop of her 37-step journey, less than six hours after she took off today.She hopes to continue to Mannheim tomorrow. Ms Harrison is flying in her 1942 de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth, similar to the open cockpit Gypsy Moth flown by Johnson She will become the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia in a Moth biplane since the 1930s if she completes the gruelling route, which takes her past trouble spots in the Gaza Strip, Pakistan and Myanmar.Speaking shortly before take-off, Ms Harrison told The Telegraph: “I’m nervous and excited, the adrenaline’s kicking in and running around like madness, and of course it’s raining, so it’s a typical English weather this morning. read more

Greenpeace activists shut down BPs London HQ

The seasoned activists locked inside, two per container, were male and female and aged between 25 and 60,Inside the reinforced boxes, they have enough food and drink to last a week, as well as portable lavatories and plenty of art supplies to decorate the walls.There is no natural light but Ms Evans insisted that the activists felt so passionately about the cause they were determined to stick it out.“They are all trained in health and safety and in non violent communication,” she said. They are very well prepared, both physically and mentally.“They have got phones and we are in constant touch with them. It is their choice and shows their level of commitment and appreciation of the scale of the urgency of the threat we face.”Two or three protesters were also chained to the top of each container while five more chained themselves together across a fire exit.Greenpeace declared the blockade “a huge win for climate action worldwide”.Tonight police confirmed that no protestors were left at the scene, although police remained in the area. A total of 10 people were arrested for aggravated trespass and remained in police custody this evening. Greenpeace is demanding that the company immediately ends all exploration for new oil and gas and switches to investing only in renewable energy.It hopes that by shutting down its headquarters, the subject of climate change will be thrust to the top of the agenda when the company addresses investors.Mel Evans, a Greenpeace spokeswoman, told the Telegraph: “BP’s current plans for sticking to the Paris climate agreement are fantasy. They can’t continue drilling for oil if they are going to take climate change seriously. Greenpeace activists at BP's London headquarters Greenpeace activists at BP’s London headquartersCredit:Aaron Chown/PA The five shipping containers, each weighing several tonnes, were designed to perfectly fit each entrance to the office building. “They are operating as if it’s the 20th century with old methods and old ways. The way to bring things back from the brink of disaster is to stop drilling for oil and gas go 100 per cent renewable. If not, they should shut up shop and clear out.”Greenpeace said its activists would continue the protest until they receive an acceptable response from BP but by the evening, most had been removed by the police.BP has acknowledged that renewable energy sources will be the world’s main source of power within two decades, accounting for around 30 per cent of the world’s electricity supplies by 2040, up from around 10 per cent today.But it also expects continued high demand for oil and gas production and has plans to expand production by 16 per cent by 2025, according to recent figures. Greenpeace activists at BP’s London headquartersCredit:Jiri Rezac/Greenpeace In a statement released in response to the Greenpeace protest, BP said: “We welcome discussion, debate, even peaceful protest on the important matter of how we must all work together to address the climate challenge, but impeding safe entry and exit from an office building in this way is dangerous and clearly a matter for the police to resolve as swiftly as possible.” Key members of staff were awoken between 4am and 5am on Monday to be informed that their head office was under a blockade.Most of the 300 employees based in the building were either told to work from home or to go to one of BP’s other offices scattered across London and the south east.Insiders were keen to play down the impact, noting that most of the top brass, including group chief executive Bob Dudley, were already in Aberdeen preparing for the AGM and that regardless, the company had contingency plans for such eventualities.One said: “It is certainly inconvenient but we have a degree of flexibility and nothing has been overly disrupted. We will just leave it to the police to work out how to resolve things safely and quickly.”The uniformed officers manning the police cordon were not entirely sure how things would play out.Asked how long the protest might continue, one said: “As long as the protesters are here” adding hopefully: “We have asked them politely to go.”The action had been long planned and carefully organised. 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. Greenpeace activists at BP's London headquarters As protests go, it is of the quieter, less obtrusive variety.Tucked away in a leafy square behind Piccadilly, ten environmental activists sat in containers doing origami and watching Game of Thrones.The Greenpeace campaigners had arrived at BP’s London headquarters at 3am on Monday, swiftly lowering five custom-built shipping containers down from cranes to block each of the company’s main entrances.Simultaneously, six climbers scaled the wall on the other side of the building, and set about hanging a banner from the roof and letters in each window spanning the front of the building, spelling out “climate emergency.”“There are nine windows,” one activist said excitedly, “The symmetry is really good. It’s perfect actually.”The protest, which successfully rendered the entire building out of use, was timed to coincide with BP’s AGM, which takes place on Tuesday in Aberdeen. Greenpeace activists at BP’s London headquartersCredit:Jiri Rezac/Greenpeace Greenpeace activists at BP's London headquarters read more

Lethem bus driver remanded for trafficking cocaine cannabis

The Lethem bus driver who was on Sunday morning discovered with a large quantity of cocaine and cannabis while transporting passengers to Lethem was on Tuesday before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan to answer for the offense.Garfield Parker and the quantity of drugs reportedly unearthed from his vehicle55-year-old Garfield Parker appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and denied the allegation against him.The charge alleged that he on October 1, 2017, at the Mabura Police Checkpoint, Linden was found to be in possession of 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.The accused who had no legal representation was remanded to prison and will return to the Linden Magistrates’ Court on October 11, 2017.On the day of the discovery, Parker was reportedly attempting to pass through the above mentioned checkpoint at around 04:00hrs when the discovery was made.His vehicle was thoroughly searched by ranks, who reportedly received a tip off, when the drugs were unearthed.As such, he was taken into Police custody where he was later charged. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBus driver nabbed with ganja, cocaine at MaburaOctober 1, 2017In “Crime”Essequibo Mini Bus driver remanded for possession of cocaineSeptember 18, 2013In “Crime”West Coast man charged after found with 901 grams of cannabisOctober 10, 2015In “Crime” read more