Monthly Archives: September 2019

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Sep
30

Dolphins Release OftInjured Veteran QB David Garrard

The Miami Dolphins released David Garrard on Tuesday, a day after the veteran quarterback returned to practice from a knee injury that had bothered him for the entire preseason.Garrard confirmed his release on Twitter, writing, “To all the dolphins fans thx for ur support! Best of luck to all my teammates. Thx for making me feel at home!! Phins up!!”Garrard, 34, underwent arthroscopic surgery in early August and missed all four preseason games. He was listed as the fourth-string quarterback on the depth chart Monday after being the first-team QB early in training camp.Had the Dolphins kept Garrard, they would have had to guarantee his contract – a risky move considering he’s coming off an injury.Garrard, a longtime starter with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was signed by Miami in the offseason. His injury opened the door for rookie Ryan Tannehill to get more playing time and eventually earn the starting job.Garrard looked much improved while practicing on a limited basis on Monday, warming up with the team before going through early drills and throwing some passes.Garrard did not participate in either 7-on-7 or full-team drills Monday.He was ultimately done by his own price tag. Both he and fellow backup Matt Moore make too much money to be the third-string quarterback, meaning one of them had to go.Moore has struggled by most accounts in picking up the Dolphins’ new offense, but was still a safer choice than the injury-prone Garrard.Moore, who was last year’s starter, will back up Tannehill, while Pat Devlin is listed on the depth chart as the No. 3 quarterback.Garrard could still land another job within the league, especially after Week 1 because any contract he signs at that point would not be guaranteed for the year.Garrard was a fourth-round pick by the Jaguars in the 2002 NFL Draft after enjoying spectacular collegiate career at East Carolina. read more

Sep
30

Falcons Survive Seahawks One More Win to Super Bowl

Courtesy The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe other three playoff losses in the last four years would have paled in comparison to what was unfolding Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Up by 20 points against the Seattle Seahawks, the Atlanta Falcons found a way to trail by one point with just 31 seconds left.Another post-season defeat would have brought tight end Tony Gonzalez to tears. Instead, the tears he released were tears of joy – and relief. On a Matt Bryant 49-yard field goal with six seconds left, the Falcons edged the Seahawks  30-28, to advance to the NFC Championship game next week against the San Francisco 49ers, who beat Green Bay Saturday night.“I’ve never cried after a win,” said Gonzalez, who had the key catch that set up the winning kick. It was the first playoff win for Gonzalez in his illustrious 16-year NFL career.He was so emotional because for much of the afternoon, Atlanta looked awesome. The Falcons – behind strong running by Michael Turner and a stifling defense – led 20-0 and seemed destined for a pedestrian victory.But the Seahawks found a groove, led by rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and ate away at the lead. Wilson was remarkable, hitting on 24 of 36 passes for 385 yards and two touchdowns. And when Marshawn Lynch scored on a 2-yard run, Seattle led 28-27 with 31 seconds to play.“I was thinking: ‘Here we go again. It wasn’t meant to be,’ ” Gonzalez admitted.But, apparently, it was. The Falcons had two time outs remaining. Quarterback Matt Ryan hit Harry Douglas for a 29-yard gain on first down and then found Gonzalez over the middle for a 19-yard gain and just like that, Atlanta was in range to save the season.Bryant’s kick was good, and Gonzalez cried, the sold-out Dome erupted and the entire organization breathed a collective sigh of relief.“Wow,” said coach Mike Smith, whose job very well could have been lost with a defeat.“It was just a crazy game,” said Ryan after his first playoff win. “I feel good right now. We kept fighting and found a way to win. . . It was tough.  .  . Everybody just hung in there. That’s one thing this experienced team has gone through. We’re just mentally tough.” read more

Sep
29

The World Series Baseballs Sure Seem Juiced But Are They

The rate of long balls is up about 69 percent compared with the regular season, while the next largest bump is only 56 percent, achieved in 2009. According to a simple statistical test, the probability of witnessing so many home runs in the Series (considering the rate in the regular season) is about 1 in 80.1I used a binomial test, assuming that the rate of home runs per contact in the regular season is the true probability. That is a very fragile conclusion, however. Had we performed the same analysis after Saturday’s game, the result would be that the rate of home runs was not as elevated.2The probability of seeing as many home runs as we saw up through Game 4 is about 1 in 20. We ought to be no more certain today that the balls are more lively than we were a few nights ago.Despite the most recent round of allegations, there’s no compelling evidence that the baseballs are especially home-run prone this postseason — or any different than what we saw during the regular season. Since the middle of this year, evidence has been mounting that alterations to the baseball are to blame for the all-time high home-run rates. What we are seeing in this Series might be a result of the prior changes to the ball, rather than a whole new bout of modifications.You won’t find a bigger believer in the juiced ball hypothesis than me, but the evidence for a World Series change driving a home run explosion is much thinner than the broader case that Ben Lindbergh, Mitchel Lichtman and I assembled over the course of the past few years.For starters, the World Series spike is partially due to the fact that the Houston Astros are very good at hitting home runs. The team’s historically excellent offense is the source of many of the gaudy home-run totals already. So far, the Astros have hit 13 homers in five games, which sounds like it could be record-breaking on its own. But there were 103 five-game streaks in the regular season that saw a team drive 13 or more balls over the fence, including six such streaks by the Astros themselves.There’s another problem with the juiced ball hypothesis. Verducci’s article alleges that the balls are more slick than normal. But academic research suggests that a more slippery baseball actually travels less far than a rough one. Similar to the dimples on a golf ball, a little bit of surface texture acts to reduce air resistance instead of slowing the ball down. So while we might expect slick baseballs to mess with a pitcher’s grip, we wouldn’t necessarily expect them to get out of the park more often.There is some evidence to support the idea that the balls are more slippery. I used Statcast’s pitch tracking to compare the air resistance of playoff baseballs to those used in September and found a slight increase in drag in that time. The bump in drag coefficient of 0.023 is enough to reduce fly-ball distance by about 11.5 feet, which doesn’t explain at all why so many hitters are launching homers. Furthermore, this kind of fluctuation in air resistance happens all the time. (Drag coefficient dropped by a similar amount from August to September, for example.) As I detailed in an earlier article, whether because of manufacturing variations or intentional tampering, the drag on MLB baseballs often hops around from month to month, pulling home-run rates with it.One way in which a slicker baseball could be causing more homers is if it is harming a pitcher’s ability to hold the ball. Some pitch types — those that require a more forceful grip on the baseball’s surface, like a slider — are expected to be affected most. Yet the evidence for an effect on that offering is much more murky. The ESPN Stats & Information Group found that pitchers’ spin rates and called-strike percentages dropped dramatically in the World Series, suggesting that they were having trouble getting a grip. But other sabermetricians have found no effect — or contradictory impacts on different hurlers. The increase in home-run rate might be coming from pitchers trying (and failing) to adjust to a new surface texture, rather than the ball itself being more conducive to homers.Without more data — or a sudden wave of candidness from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about any manufacturing changes to the ball — it’s hard to say for sure what’s happening to the ball. For now, we’re left with the possibility that this World Series is just business as usual in the home-run era — or that a new baseball is changing the game again. Just before the Houston Astros’ 13-12 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series, speculation was running rampant about juiced balls. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote an article detailing accusations from multiple pitchers that changes to the surfaces of the World Series baseballs were behind a spike of home runs in the Fall Classic.This passed the eye test of even the most casual fan. Sunday’s game featured seven long balls, which wasn’t even the most in a game in this series. Game 2 saw eight homers, including five in extra innings — something that hadn’t occurred in any game, let alone a Series game. With one or two games left, the Dodgers and Astros have already broken the all-time marks for home runs in a World Series and in an entire postseason. The current rate of at-bats per home run stands at 15.8, which would slot in between the career marks of Albert Pujols and Frank Thomas. The average World Series rate since 1995 (the beginning of the wild-card era) is a much more pedestrian 34.8 at-bats per homer.Examining the ratio of home runs per contact in all World Series since 1995, this year has the largest increase from the regular season to the Series. read more

Sep
28

201516 NBA Preview LeBron And The Cavs Could Win 60 Games

We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. While CARMELO lists Kyrie Irving’s No. 1 comp as David “Skywalker” Thompson, a notoriously high-flying player, Irving makes his bones below the rim. (Perhaps the link speaks to explosive scoring ability: Thompson once scored 73 points in a game and Irving had those 55- and 57-point outbursts a year ago.) Another area in which the Cavs hope CARMELO is confused is his defensive plus-minus, which is projected to decline this season despite the defensive strides he made with last season’s Cavs team. And here’s what CARMELO expects from Cleveland’s main players: There’s a perhaps-not-so-coincidental thread running through five of J.R. Smith’s top 10 comparables: Byron Scott, Kerry Kittles, Rick Fox, Dennis Scott and Stephen Jackson all played in the Finals during their careers. Smith is looking to make it two trips in a row — though another commonality among most of his comps was a tendency to decline quickly once hitting the wrong side of 30. The Cavs have a decent amount of depth on the wing, but they still need Smith to buck historical trends for another year or two (and a playoff run like Smith’s last year would be a stroke of great fortune). From mid-January until about halfway through the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers had the best record in basketball, going on a 48-12 run of dominance. Then it all came crashing down with a three-game losing streak that ended their championship chase and started a summer of discontent. The only question that matters for this Cavs team is whether that bad taste can fuel them to a title this season, or if we’ll look back and realize that injuries ruined the Cavs’ best chance in Year One of their Big Three era. During the 2015-16 regular season at least, FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO model expects the Cavs to go 59-23. CARMELO tags LeBron James as an “MVP candidate,” an apt label for the consensus pick for most valuable in this year’s NBA.com GM survey. But a far more interesting part of James’s chart is his comps. CARMELO’s algorithm thinks LeBron is most like former teammate Dwyane Wade in 2012-13, Wade’s third season alongside James. The rest of his top 10 comp list is just as fascinating, both for who is included — a contemporary rival (Kobe Bryant), one of his idols (Scottie Pippen) and arguably two of the five best players ever (Magic Johnson and Larry Bird) — as it is for who is not (the G.O.A.T. himself, Michael Jordan).1Jordan would rank high on LeBron’s comp list if not for that stint as a minor league baseball player. Cavs general manager David Griffin might want to use CARMELO’s comps for Tristan Thompson in his next round of negotiations with Rich Paul — there aren’t many max-money-type players in that group. (That will have to be in five years, as Thompson signed a long-term contract worth $82 million last week.) For now, though, Thompson offers a lot of the same statistical strengths — and weaknesses — as Mozgov: good rebounding, foul-drawing and shooting efficiency, but a low usage rate and next to no assists or steals. Iman Shumpert is lauded for his defensive intensity and athleticism, but CARMELO highlights a handful of categories clearly holding the shooting guard back on offense. Namely, his shooting efficiency is weak, he doesn’t draw fouls, he turns the ball over a bit too much and he isn’t much of a scorer. Shumpert’s defensive metrics live up to his reputation, but that just fuels the algorithm’s comparisons to other hard-nosed, defense-first guards such as T.R. Dunn and Thabo Sefolosha. Those players have their charms, but Shumpert has quite a few offensive hurdles to clear to take the next step as an all-around player. The man they call “Mozzy” most likely peaked last season, according to CARMELO. If true, that will make things interesting when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016 and starts looking for big money. In the meantime, Mozgov will likely grade well once again in the duties you want performed by a role-playing big man: rebounding, blocking shots, playing tough D, finishing with efficiency and drawing fouls. Everyone knows Kevin Love for his rebounding aptitude, but the blue dots on his CARMELO card speak to the other areas of the game in which Love excels: scoring, shooting efficiently, drawing fouls and — in an underrated facet of his game — rarely turning the ball over. Even Love’s defense, long maligned by observers, draws a slightly above-average grade according to CARMELO’s plus-minus metric. The Cavs mounted a Finals run without him, but it would be a mistake to think he isn’t crucial to their hopes of a return trip. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews read more

Sep
28

Jalin Marshall becomes latest Ohio State starter to declare for NFL draft

OSU redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (7) runs with the ball during a game against Indiana on Oct. 3 in Bloomington, Indiana. OSU won, 34-27. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorAfter losing three underclassmen defensive starters in as many days since the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall became the first offensive starter to announce his decision to go pro early after the game on Monday.“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family and coaches,” Marshall wrote in a message posted to Twitter, “I officially announce that I have decided to forgo my last two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.”Marshall was used primarily as a punt returner in his redshirt freshman season, but became more involved in the offense as the season wore on, finishing with 38 catches for 499 yards and six touchdowns, including a four-touchdown performance against Indiana. In that breakout game, he caught five passes for 95 yards and three touchdowns and had a 54-yard punt return touchdown, all in the second half.He started the final 12 games in 2015 following a suspension for the opener, and finished second on the team in receptions as OSU’s true No. 2 receiver.Marshall pulled in 36 catches for 477 yards and five touchdowns in his final season wearing scarlet and gray, while returning 28 punts for 379 yards. He also had a 36-yard kick return in the Fiesta Bowl, his only one of the season.“I will forever be grateful to my teammates and Buckeye Nation for making my time as a Buckeye so memorable,” Marshall wrote. “I will always be a Buckeye at heart, as this was my dream, and I will work hard to positively represent Buckeye Nation and my hometown wherever I go.”The former quarterback at Middletown High School is the seventh OSU underclassman to leave early for the draft, joining Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee, Tyvis Powell and Eli Apple.Only two underclassmen who are expected to make a decision regarding the draft are yet to make it: safety Vonn Bell and receiver Michael Thomas.Should Thomas opt to leave as well — which is expected — OSU will lose its top four receivers in terms of yards, with Elliott and redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller already saying goodbye.“I will never forget this experience,” Marshall wrote. “I am a Buckeye for life!” read more

Sep
28

Urban Meyer adds 3 key recruits to Ohio States 2016 class

OSU coach Urban Meyer flashes a grin while on the podium celebrating the Buckeyes’ 44-28 victory over Notre in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State football program already had one of the nation’s top recruiting classes as Feb. 3, the date of this year’s National Signing Day, inched closer. But a wave of three major verbal commitments crashed upon the shores of the college football world Monday , which now leaves coach Urban Meyer’s 2016 class sitting alone at the top, according to multiple outlets. Scout.com, 247Sports and Rivals all now have the Buckeyes owning the No. 1 spot after the addition of a trio of four-star prospects. The three outlets each had OSU with the third-ranked class prior to the announcements. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, linebacker Keandre Jones and wide receiver Binjimen Victor all declared on Martin Luther King Jr. Day their plans to play collegiately in Columbus, bringing the number of commitments for Meyer in his 2016 class to 21. Victor’s destination was largely up in the air until around noon on Monday when he posted on Twitter, whereas Haskins and Jones were previously verbally committed to Maryland.The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native Victor had narrowed his choices down to West Virginia, Tennessee and OSU before selecting the Scarlet and Gray. “I would like to thank everyone for being there for me throughout this whole recruiting process,” he wrote in a screenshot on his Twitter. Victor continued, writing that there was only “one school” that he could see himself playing for, and that was OSU. With receivers Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall departing for the NFL draft, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the pass-catchers for OSU next season. Whether Victor will be able to contribute as a true freshman remains to be seen, of course, but even if he doesn’t contribute in 2016, he will likely make an impact somewhere down the line. For Victor, who played in the Army All-American Game in January, to step in and play right away, he will need to add weight to his slender 6-foot-4 frame. Currently, he listed at just 177 pounds. That number will have to increase for him to step on the field this fall, as college football is much more physical than high school and he might not hold up playing at that weight. Fortunately for Victor and his new team, OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti is considered one of the best in the business. Even though OSU returns redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, the addition of Haskins to the recruiting class is an enormous lift. Meyer and the Buckeyes had been targeting Haskins for quite some time, according to Ari Wasserman of Cleveland.com, but the Potomac, Maryland, native chose to stay in-state and play for the Terrapins after OSU received a verbal commitment from Tristen Wallace, a four-star athlete from Texas. Wallace changed his mind, though, and chose to play wide receiver at Oregon. Once that happened and Maryland fired Randy Edsall, the door for Meyer to land Haskins swung open, Wasserman reported. Haskins walked through the door, locked it and all but threw away the key Monday. He announced his intent to become a Buckeye in an essay posted to a blog powered by Weebly, to which he tweeted the link. The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder discussed his reasons for decommitting, which largely centered on Edsall’s firing, before telling the world where he would play collegiately. “At the age of 8 years old, I went to numerous Ohio State camps, loved watching their games and idolized the university,” Haskins wrote. “Finally, my dream to attend ​Ohio State will come true.” Barring any unforeseen injuries, which, based off recent history, wouldn’t be unheard of for OSU, Haskins is unlikely to contribute right away. But, 247Sports’ seventh-ranked pro-style quarterback is certainly a guy Meyer would entrust at the helm of his offense, based upon his vigorous recruitment of Haskins. Making the flip-flop from Maryland to OSU along with Haskins was Jones, the four-star linebacker from Olney, Maryland. Pegged by 247Sports as the No. 9 linebacker, Jones’ journey to Columbus was an interesting one. Wasserman reported Jones was a “surprise Ohio State official visitor” over the weekend. By sunset Monday, he had already declared his intentions to switch to OSU. Haskins posted a picture of himself with Jones on his Twitter account, saying they are “like brothers.” Jones, who Rivals.com lists as a five-star prospect, joins a linebacking unit at OSU that lost two starters. Although there is plenty of talent already at linebacker for the Buckeyes, such as juniors Raekwon McMillan and Chris Worley, tossing Jones in the mix is certainly not a bad thing. With all three players, just how much they play in 2016 remains unseen but for a program to maintain success over long periods of time, like OSU always does, these types of commitments are the foundation for prolonged dominance. They, however, might not be the last of splashes that the Buckeyes make from now until National Signing Day on Feb. 3. “Big day for the Buckeyes!” OSU offensive coordinator Ed Warinner tweeted Monday. “More to come!!” read more

Sep
28

Football Dwayne Haskins is prepared for the stakes of the Michigan game

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) looks to throw a pass in the fourth quarter of the game against Maryland on Nov. 17. Ohio State won 52-51. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State head coach Urban Meyer knows the pressures associated with the annual Michigan game. It’s the time of the year during which jobs are kept or lost and legacies are cemented. These are pressures he has felt before. “The amount of time and effort that you put into these games — and certainly there’s no bigger than this — you know, the word ‘pressure’ absolutely is there,” Meyer said. “For someone to say there’s no pressure, that’s not true.” These pressures were introduced to redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins last season. After former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett left the 2017 Michigan game in the third quarter with an injury, the spotlight was on Haskins, who had played in parts of eight previous games that season. “I’d say I was pretty calm in that situation,” Haskins said. “I didn’t have too many racing thoughts or thoughts of concern or of self-doubt.” With a 20-14 deficit in the third quarter, Haskins helped the Ohio State offense score 17 unanswered points, completing 6-of-7 passes for 94 yards in the come-from-behind, 31-20 Ohio State win. Haskins said going into the atmosphere and gaining the trust of his teammates through his play in the second half gave him confidence as he took the starting quarterback job in 2018, leading Ohio State to its No. 4 pass offense in the country. But he has had no lack of confidence through 11 games in the 2018 season. Now, as he leads Ohio State into the Michigan game as the starter, Haskins is developing not only confidence, but leadership and ownership of the offense. This is a requirement of any of his quarterbacks based on the necessity of the position, Meyer said. “The quarterback position is the most unique position, in my opinion, in really all of sport, where everybody’s relying on you. Everybody’s looking at you,” Meyer said. “You have a responsibility what the other 10 guys are doing. You have to make all kinds of decisions within 1.8 to 2.5 seconds. And you have to be a tough guy. You have to lead.” In the first possession of overtime against Maryland on Saturday, the redshirt sophomore quarterback led the Buckeyes downfield, extending the drive on a 4th-and-1 with an 11-yard completion to redshirt junior tight end Rashod Berry. But that was not the play Meyer remembers. It was the 5-yard zone read, scoring the touchdown that wound up winning the game. “Dwayne really took a step, really took a step,” Meyer said. “No more important than the last play of the game when he dropped his pads and had to get in there and he got in there.” This is something offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day has worked on with Haskins this season — to not just be the player who can play football, but be the player who can lead the team. “The two of them — everybody has big dreams and part of being a big dream is being that guy that can move a team, not just throw a pretty pass but do things you have to do to win a game,” Meyer said. That is going to be the difference between Haskins’ past Michigan game and Saturday. This year, Haskins is the starter, bringing an expectation of not only leading an offense to a second-half, comeback win, but to a four-quarter victory, a victory that places Ohio State back to where it expected to be at the beginning of the season. Haskins knows the stakes. He has known the stakes for the entire season. He said he has watched Michigan every week waiting for this game. As a first-year starting quarterback, Haskins has the unique opportunity to know what a Michigan game is like before he starts one himself. He knows what it takes. “Getting some experience first from last year helped out tremendously going into this week and everything goes into full throttle going into — it actually starts today,” Haskins said. “It starts today, so we are going to get ready for them right now.” read more

Sep
25

David Beckham changed date of Unicef Downing Street visit for tax purposes

first_imgBritish expatriates can legally avoid paying tax as long as they visit Britain for no more than 90 days each tax year. Beckham allegedly discussed the invitation from Unicef, for whom he is a global ambassador, with his aide Dave Gardner.  “Obviously we cannot tell them the real reason,” Mr Gardner reportedly wrote. David Beckham reportedly put off a visit to Downing Street as part of a Unicef delegation “for tax reasons”.The former England football captain, who was living in the US at the time, was asked in 2012 by the UN children’s charity to meet the then Prime Minister David Cameron with a group of youngsters.”The problem for this one is that I cannot go home,” he allegedly wrote, according to a leaked email.The correspondence is part of a trove of hacked emails that have been released.  A source close to Beckham said: “These emails are out of date, out of context and have been doctored in some cases.”Beckham, who was playing for LA Galaxy in 2012, was domiciled in the US for tax purposes and if he travelled to the UK it could mean paying more to HM Revenue and Customs, the Daily Mail reported. Show more Simon Oliveira, Beckham’s his long-time publicist, said the footballer would stay in the US “for important personal reasons”, according to the leaked emails, published by a number of European news websites.Among them was the France-based Mediapart website, which claimed: “Beckham does not want to honour the invitation for tax reasons.” David Beckham with his wife Victoria after receiving the OBECredit:PA David Beckham with his wife Victoria after receiving the OBE A Unicef spokesman confirmed the engagement went ahead after it was rearranged to a more convenient date. “David Beckham went to Downing Street on July 26, 2012, to call for more action to help children affected by malnutrition around the world,” he told the Daily Mail. A source close to Beckham told the newspaper: ‘David is now domiciled in the UK for tax, but he wasn’t when he worked overseas. For periods of time, he was based outside the UK. He just couldn’t travel to the UK on that particular date. “But the Unicef event did go ahead, at a later date, so it would be wrong to say he let them down. Really it’s a situation in which an event moved by a month – around a guy who was abroad with his team role and donating huge amounts of money to charity at the time. “One of the periods David was living abroad, he was donating his entire salary to Unicef when in Paris, so it’s a bit rich to suggest that him being overseas was bad for the charity.”Beckham’s advisers are trying to repair his reputation after the publication of emails between him and Mr Oliveira, which have led to suggestions his charity work as a Unicef ambassador was part of a ploy to earn a knighthood.Fearing further damaging material from his private emails may become public, he is considering hiring a private investigator to find the person who tried to blackmail his publicist for £1 million. 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

Sep
25

Man dies after train hits car at rural level crossing

first_imgGWR said the crash forced the closure of the line between Swindon and Gloucester, with replacement buses in operation.A British Transport Police spokesman said: “At 3.10pm today we were called to a level crossing close to Frampton Mansell, Gloucestershire, following reports that a car had been struck by a train.”Officers from BTP attended alongside paramedics from the South Western Ambulance Service. However, a man, believed to be the driver of the car, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.”Officers are now working to identify the man and inform his family.”Trains passing through the Frampton crossing are permitted to travel at up to 50mph, according to NR.Approximately 37 trains pass by every day, with 62 pedestrians or cyclists using it.Despite the safety risks there were no accidents, near-misses or incidents of misuse in the year prior to last year’s assessment.The next one is due by August 2018. A man has died after a train ploughed into his car A man has died after a train ploughed into his carCredit:PA The driver is thought to have been thrown from the car before it was dragged along the railway tracks for half a mile.Police said he died at the scene and no-one else was injured in the crash.The Frampton crossing is a metal gate at the end of a grass track, a public footpath crossing operated by those using it. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A man has died after a train ploughed into his car A man has died after a train ploughed into his carCredit:PA A man has died after a train ploughed into his carCredit:PA A man has died after a train ploughed into his car on a rural level crossing in the Cotswolds.The vehicle, thought to be a Land Rover, was hit by the Great Western Railway (GWR) train at Frampton Mansell in Gloucestershire at around 3pm as it travelled from London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa. Network Rail (NR), which manages Britain’s rail infrastructure, said people must use a phone at the site and get permission from a signaller to cross the tracks.A safety assessment of the crossing in May last year highlighted “deliberate misuse or user error”, a “low sighting time” and the number of people using it as being key risks to train drivers.It is unclear whether the man requested clearance to cross the line, but residents told a passenger on the train the car had broken down on the track. Gavin Garthwaite, a customer relations manager, was on board the train when it stopped suddenly after a “massive thud”.Mr Garthwaite, 30, told the Press Association: “We didn’t really know what happened until about 15 or 20 minutes after it actually happened.”We felt this massive thud but it was an instant stop as well. We felt the impact and the train came to a sudden halt a second or two afterwards.”Then there was a tannoy announcement just to ask if there were any train drivers or members of staff on the train if they could come forward.”The initial reaction was maybe the driver had had some sort of heart attack or something to cause him to stop.”But after looking out of a window Mr Garthwaite spotted the car, thought to be an old-style Land Rover, partially trapped under the front of the train.Police and GWR staff helped passengers from the train before they took refuge at a local pub.Mr Garthwaite said residents estimated the car was dragged 800m and that the driver, thought to be a local landowner, had broken down on the track.A dog is also thought to have been killed in the incident.The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has sent inspectors to the scene and police are investigating. A man has died after a train ploughed into his carlast_img read more

Sep
25

BBC criticised for shockingly insensitive Ian Brady playlist

first_imgRadio Leeds with a lovely tribute to…Ian Brady! 🙄https://t.co/DOWP5pkqIJ— Darren (@MFCDarren1) May 22, 2017 One Twitter user wrote: “What next @RadioLeeds ? A musical quiz about Auschwitz ?”Another said: “I’ve never heard anything on the radio that is in such poor taste. Staggering. #radioleeds”Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley murdered five children in the 1960s, and buried four of their bodies  in Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines. A local BBC station has come under fire for their lighthearted ‘guess who it is from the songs’ game – in which the answer was Moors murderer Ian Brady.On BBC Radio Leeds, listeners were told to look out for clues in the songs to see who they were about.During the Sunday morning show, guest-hosted by BBC York’s Nathan Turvey, he played music including the theme song for The Brady Bunch, and The Smiths’ song Suffer Little Children. Unbelievable this went out on BBC Radio Leeds. Like a Brass Eye parody. https://t.co/nQprZbVkkL pic.twitter.com/wlEdpToKad— John Plunkett (@johnplunkett149) May 22, 2017 They also played All The Young Dudes by Mott The Hoople and Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads.The post with the clip has been deleted from Facebook after outcry,  and has been removed from iPlayer.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. They never said where they buried the body of the fifth child, and Brady carried the secret with him to his death when he died last week.A spokesperson from the BBC said: “This is clearly unacceptable and we apologise.” That Ian Brady “comp” was disgraceful. He should be utterly ashamed of himself. And fired.— Betty Kitten (@BettyKitten) May 22, 2017last_img read more