The 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes haven’t played a game yet, but they’re off to a historic start. Not only does the team rank first in the Associated Press’s preseason poll, but it also garnered all 61 possible first-place votes — making it the first time in the 66-year history of the preseason rankings that a team was unanimously voted No. 1.There’s no question that the Buckeyes are bursting with talent, having retained 14 starters (including three All-Americans) from last year’s 14-1 squad that won the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship. The metrics are fond of them as well: The Buckeyes rank No. 1 in ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index (FPI), with a 31 percent probability of finishing the season without a loss. (No other team has more than an 11 percent chance of going undefeated.)But as great as Ohio State figures to be, the share of No. 1 votes that a top-ranked team receives hasn’t historically been a reliable indicator of how strong it will be at season’s end.Among top-ranked teams in the preseason since 1992, there’s a passable relationship between the percentage of available No. 1 votes gathered and the team’s eventual end-of-season power rating.1As measured by the Elo-like estimated version of FPI we used here. But that’s almost entirely because voters (sensibly) tend to hand their No. 1 votes to teams that were already good in the first place. If we look at whether the share of No. 1 votes a top-ranked team receives in the preseason predicts the change in its rating from the preseason to the end of the year, there’s essentially no relationship at all.In fact, Ohio State’s accomplishment might actually be more indicative of an overall trend toward consolidation atop the preseason poll. In the five polls between 1992 and 1996, for instance, the No. 1 team accumulated 56 percent of all top votes on average. In the most recent five years, that average was 79 percent, with each of the past three preseason No. 1 teams garnering at least 95 percent of the vote.This year’s Buckeyes should be a treat to watch. But their unanimous No. 1 ranking doesn’t make them any more likely to dominate the season than a team with the same FPI but a less-impressive vote tally.
Vegas is notoriously hard to beat. But as the NFL season gets started Thursday, there’s some promise for gamblers in betting on projected team win totals. Half-win totals from 8.5 on down seem to be very solid bets to hit the over, even when accounting for the vigorish, or house margin.Money-line data is only available for a subset of the years for which we have win totals, but using a curated data set covering 2003 through 2018 provided by FiveThirtyEight contributor Greg Guglielmo, I calculated the implied probability that a team would hit the over for each half-win total below nine wins and compared it to the actual win percentage of those NFL teams. Surprisingly, there appears to be an edge.Vegas typically wants a healthy margin on its action — the vigorish on win totals averages about 30 percent. But blindly betting the over on half-point totals from 5.5 to 8.5 wins since 2003 is nearly a push, with the house netting just a percentage point edge. And if you were to bet any of the half-point totals where the under is favored (indicated by a money line that is positive), you would actually come ahead, beating the house by 3 percentage points. Put in a way more familiar to gamblers: If you bet $100 on each of the 110 half-point overs in the sample with positive money lines, you’d come out ahead $330.So why is there a systematic undervaluing of teams with half-point win predictions? One possible explanation might be that the public isn’t exactly sure how to value them; half-point totals aren’t particularly intuitive to bet. Additionally, perhaps there hasn’t been a widespread interest in surveying historical odds and win predictions, so bettors may not be particularly aware of the lack of calibration of the closing lines.I ran this finding by professional bettor Seth Burn, and he pointed out that half-point win totals with the under favored don’t appear to exist currently, so perhaps the edge has already been squeezed out of the market. Or perhaps it’s a phantom edge that never really existed in the first place.
“Playoff Implications” is a phrase you usually don’t hear until the final weeks of the NFL regular season, but almost every regular season game has playoff implications. In the early going, however, it can be difficult to figure out just what those implications are, and how much is riding on each game.Most other major sports leagues play a greater number of regular season games, and thus the playoff picture in those sports evolves in a more incremental fashion. The pace can seem glacial at times for MLB, and inevitable and foregone when it comes to the NBA. But with just 16 regular season games, the NFL’s playoff landscape can change dramatically over the course of a single Sunday afternoon. And these tectonic shifts take place throughout the season, not just in those final weeks of December.With a week or two left in the season, the “eye test” usually suffices for judging which games will shape the playoff picture. But in mid-October there are far too many possibilities for the unassisted human mind to make sense of. We can only speak in general terms. For example, we know the playoff chances for the New Orleans Saints will improve with a victory this Sunday over the Detroit Lions. But by how much? And how far would they drop with a loss? Expanding our focus, what other teams have a vested interest in the outcome of this game? One would expect Carolina’s playoff chances to improve with a Saints loss, given that the Saints are their division rival. But once again, by how much?To answer these questions, we’ve created a weekly feature that measures the playoff implications of each game. To do this, you need to be able to simulate the remainder of the season multiple times and analyze the results. And in order to simulate the season, you need a way to rank all 32 teams, and use that ranking to create outcome probabilities for future games. We’ve been doing just that with FiveThirtyEight’s Elo rankings. But the Elo ratings, simple and beautiful, aren’t the only word on NFL rankings. For this feature we’re going to turn to the wisdom of the crowd instead, and use a ranking system one of the authors developed based on betting markets. In stock market terms, think of it as technical analysis in lieu of fundamental analysis.We’ll get into the methodology in a moment but first the results. Think of each interactive table below as a playoff implications “cheat sheet” for this week’s upcoming games.1The table is initially sorted by game importance, where we define importance by its cumulative impact on the playoff picture. Where you see blank cells on the table corresponds to games and teams in which there was not a statistically significant difference in playoff odds. (If you hover over a colored square, you’ll see details for that game.)UPDATE (Oct. 17, 12:30 p.m.): The interactive tables above have been updated to include Thursday night’s game, which now shows no playoff implications because its result is included in the playoff chances (the text of the article has not been updated).Reading the table across tells you which teams are affected by any particular game.2Notice that we don’t restrict ourselves to just the two teams competing in each game. As we alluded to above, teams benefit when they win games, but they also benefit when division rivals (and other competitors for playoff seeding) lose games. The Panthers, for example, would see their playoff chances rise by 11 percent with a Saints loss to the Lions. Reading the table down tells you which games matter most to any given team. For example, if you’re a Texans fan, what games should you care about this week, how much should you care about them, and who do you want to win? The column headers are sortable, so clicking on the “HOU” column tells you to care about HOU @ PIT, ATL @ BAL, CIN @ IND, NYJ @ NE, CLE @ JAC, and KC @ SD — in that order. And you want the Texans, Falcons, Bengals, Jets, Jaguars and Chiefs to win.My rankings start from the assumption that the NFL gambling market is efficient, and then attempts to determine how that efficient market ranks each of the 32 NFL teams. Unfortunately, Vegas doesn’t actually share its rankings with the general public, but with a little reverse-engineering, we can arrive at a pretty good guess at what they are. We start with the point spread. For Thursday night’s game, the New England Patriots are a 9.5-point favorite at home against the New York Jets. Since home field advantage is worth about 2.5 points, the market thinks the Patriots are 7 points better than the Jets when playing on a neutral field.Armed with this interpretation, we then take the point spreads from each game and for multiple weeks and run a simple linear regression to arrive at a consensus ranking. The process is akin to drawing a map of the United States but nobody tells you a city’s location. Instead, they only tell you how far away each city is from another city (e.g. Los Angeles is 1,700 miles away from Chicago, Chicago is 165 miles from Indianapolis, and so on). To further complicate matters, our map “moves” over time, making earlier “distance” measurements less reliable. For example, the Steelers opened the season as a 6-point favorite at home against the Browns. If the market were to set that point spread today, Pittsburgh would most likely drop to just a 2.5-point favorite, as the Steelers have fallen short of preseason expectations, and the Browns have exceeded them. So, the ranking methodology gives more weight to recent point spread data in an attempt to get the most up-to-date market evaluation of each team.Now that we have a ranking system that assigns a probability to each future regular season game outcome, the next step is to simulate the season multiple times (50,000 times to be exact). After simulating win/loss records, we apply the NFL playoff seeding rules (plus tiebreakers) and summarize the results. There are already several sites that do these types of simulations for the purpose of producing team playoff odds (including FiveThirtyEight). For this feature, we’re going to go a bit deeper than that.Instead of focusing on each team’s overall playoff odds, let’s instead focus on each game. We’ll use the New Orleans-Detroit game as an example. Of the 50,000 simulation runs, there were precisely 30,180 (or about 60 percent) that resulted in a Lions victory, and 19,820 that resulted in a Saints victory. Let’s now focus on those two samples in isolation. Of the 30,180 simulations in which the Saints lost, they made the playoffs 8,273 times, or 27 percent. Of the 19,820 simulations in which the Saints won, they made the playoffs 9,172 times, or 46 percent. Put simply, the Saints playoff odds could swing by a not-insignificant 19 percent as a result of their game against the Lions. (The games with the most cumulative influence on the overall playoff picture (“leverage”) are listed at left).We can repeat this calculation for every game and every team. The result: A measure of how much every game matters to every team.
After Ohio State was ousted in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, junior Evan Turner’s dream of hoisting a National Championship trophy this weekend fell by the wayside.However, the Buckeye point guard was in Indianapolis accepting a different trophy.He was named the AP’s Player of the Year Friday, receiving 54 of the 65 votes, and is OSU’s first recipient of the award since Gary Bradds in 1964. Turner led the Buckeyes in nearly every statistical category this season, and averaged 20.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists.Kentucky’s John Wall finished second with nine votes, and West Virginia’s Deshaun Butler and Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody each received one vote apiece.The award could be the first of several for Turner, not the least of which may come Monday night, when the Naismith National Player of the Year is announced.
As soon as Howard “Hopalong” Cassady stepped onto the field, he was a difference-maker.“He was the guy that could make the big play when you needed it the most,” said Jack Park, author of The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia.That is exactly what the running back did in his first game at Ohio State, as he recorded three touchdowns in a win over Indiana.Cassady played for OSU from 1952-55, which was unusual at the time because most players only played three seasons then.Cassady also played for the baseball team. He led the team in home runs in 1955 and in stolen bases in 1956.He graduated from Central High School in Columbus.When he came to OSU, he played offense and defense for under legendary coach Woody Hayes.Cassady won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award in 1955 in his senior season. To top it off, he was named the Associated Press “Male Athlete of the Year” in 1955, beating out boxer Rocky Marciano and quarterback Otto Graham of the Cleveland Browns.This was monumental, considering a pair of Hall of Fame center fielders — Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle — won it in 1954 and 1956, respectively.Cassady excelled on defense as much as he did on offense. As a cornerback, he never allowed a reception to be caught on him in a Big Ten game, Park said. He also said that when Cassady was on the field, OSU never allowed a big play on defense.But what made Cassady famous was his elusive running style, which earned him his nickname from sportswriters. He would hop all over the field.“Hopalong was fast and good at getting around the corner,” Park said.The play that determined Cassady’s career was an 88-yard interception return against the No. 2 ranked Wisconsin Badgers in 1954. A close game in the third quarter, Cassady intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. This was symbolic because it changed the atmosphere of the game and saved the season, leading to the Buckeyes’ second national title.“This [showed] the real mark of a champion,” Park said.After college, Cassady spent six years with the Detroit Lions and also played a season each with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Browns. He returned to the Lions for his eighth and final season before retiring.In 1979, Cassady was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. On Nov. 18, 2000, at halftime against Michigan, OSU retired Cassady’s No. 40 in Ohio Stadium.Outside of football, Cassady became an entrepreneur and formed a company that manufactured concrete pipe, steel and ships. More recently, he has served as a scout for the New York Yankees, and has spent summers in Columbus as the first base coach for the former minor league Columbus Clippers. He now resides in Tampa, Fla.
After struggling through a portion of its Big Ten schedule, the Ohio State women’s basketball team is starting to turn it around. With an 89-67 win over No. 23 Penn State Thursday, the Buckeyes (16-9, 7-6 Big Ten), have won three straight games and continue to climb the muddled conference standings. OSU coach Jim Foster said, in a postgame press conference, that his team has picked up its defensive intensity over the last three games. “At no point in time was I in doubt that we would finish the season strongly,” he said. “Most people come and they see a two-hour blip. We see a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that we like.” The game was tied 6-6 with 14:53 left in the first half. After a layup by senior center Jantel Lavender, the Buckeyes took the lead and never relinquished it. The Lady Lions (21-7, 10-4 Big Ten), struggled with turnovers, committing 27. They came into the game averaging 17.3 turnovers per contest. Penn State coach Coquese Washington said the turnovers were “the difference in the game.” “We turned the ball over and they’re able to go down and score in transition,” she said. “Ohio State is just a dangerous team in transition.” The Buckeyes turned the Lady Lions’ turnovers into 30 points on offense and had 10 fast break points. Lavender, who was honored before the game for breaking OSU’s career scoring record Sunday, finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Former Buckeye guard Katie Smith (1992-96), who held the all-time scoring mark before Lavender, recorded a video message for Lavender. The video played at Value City Arena before the game. “It was really nice that she took time out to congratulate me,” Lavender said. “She held that record for so long so she’s probably like ‘Oh, that’s awesome.’” Lavender helped a fellow Buckeye break a record of her own. Junior Samantha Prahalis set the OSU career assist record after Lavender converted the guard’s signature behind-the-back pass into a turn-around jumper. Prahalis finished the game with 11 assists. With both the scoring and assist records falling in the same week, Foster said he went “out of character” and reflected on what the records meant to him. “It’s going to be very difficult to recruit someone who can break them,” he said. “But, we’ll try.” With 14:40 remaining in the second half, OSU led by 23 after sophomore guard Tayler Hill hit two consecutive free throws. Lavender said Hill’s defense was key for the team. “Our flow started because of our defensive intensity,” she said. “Tayler really set the tone for us on defense and we all fell into place with that.” The Lady Lions cut the OSU lead to 10 three different times in the second half, but couldn’t get the deficit under double digits. “Coach called a 30-second timeout and just said we had to get stops,” Lavender said. “We just started to calm down on defense.” Ohio State’s next game is Sunday at Purdue (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten). The Buckeyes won their previous meeting, 90-67.
My favorite halftime show of the Ohio State men’s basketball games is undoubtedly when they bring in that guy who has all the Frisbee-catching dogs. It doesn’t get any better than that.But Sunday’s halftime spectacle which included the basketball crowd cheering OSU defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and jeering athletic director Gene Smith gave the Frisbee guy a run for his money.Here’s what was supposed to happen.New OSU football coach Urban Meyer was supposed to come on the court and introduce his family and coaching staff to the fans. The eager crowd would snap some pictures and cheer excitedly. The staff would wave to some babies and walk off.What actually transpired was much more interesting.I don’t know whose bright idea it was, but I guess it wasn’t acceptable for Meyer to take the microphone and do the introductions himself. Someone had to introduce Meyer so he could get a nice little cheer.There’s nothing wrong with that. It was the first time Meyer had been formally introduced to the fans in a setting other than a press conference.But I will never understand the decision to have Smith introduce Meyer. John Schmo sitting in the nosebleeds would have been a better choice.So before Meyer took the floor, Smith started his walk out to center court.Before he got there, the boos started. It wasn’t just one or two knuckleheads who had a little bit too much fun before the game. It was a chorus, mostly of students, heckling Smith.Not everyone participated and it certainly wasn’t a drowning noise, but people weren’t happy.My question is who let Smith walk out there? The adverse reaction is hardly a surprise. The OSU football program has been riddled with controversy and scandal for more than a year and it’s no secret that more than a few people think Smith deserves the axe for his role in the debacle. There’s no way anyone affiliated with the university wanted something like fans booing to distract from the introduction of the new era of OSU football. It was something so obviously preventable that it baffles me no one threw themselves in front of the train wreck. I guess after the “I just hope he doesn’t dismiss me,” disaster from President E. Gordon Gee following the Jim Tressel-scandal and the litany of bone-head public relations moves that culminated in Tressel’s firing, nothing should surprise me.I just don’t understand how it never occurred to anyone with any say in letting Smith walk to midcourt that “Hey, a lot of people don’t like this Gene Smith guy. Maybe he’ll get booed.”Comically, Smith ignored the boos and tried to drown them out by baiting OSU fans into an “O-H” cheer.Some fans responded, but most continued to steadfastly boo their villain.It wasn’t until Smith finished his introduction that the boo-birds flew away and happily flocked around their newest trophy — Urban Meyer.The cheer was loud and exuberant. Meyer introduced his family and all was back to the plan.But there was one more surprise before the basketball Buckeyes took the floor again.When Meyer introduced Fickell, who is now serving as Meyer’s defensive coordinator, the place went nuts. The positive reaction wasn’t surprising, but the level of it was.Not only was the cheer louder than Meyer’s, but it was the loudest I have ever heard in the Schottenstein Center. People went crazy.Just weeks before, when OSU lost to Michigan for the first time since 2003, people couldn’t wait to show Fickell the door and usher in Meyer to sit on the golden throne of OSU football.Now, Fickell was being revered like he brought the team a national championship.In reality, the fans were showing Fickell gratitude for his handling of an almost impossible situation. He took the OSU job at a time when many would have been afraid.He led the team to a 6-7 record that quite frankly, isn’t good enough for a football program like OSU.OSU fans have a reputation for being arrogant and ruthless, but their outpouring of affection for Fickell showed they have a heart.Sunday’s halftime spectacle put both sides of the average OSU fan on display — the caustic critic and the appreciative spectator.The essence of OSU fans was captured in less than 10 minutes.And it was almost better than a dog catching a Frisbee.
Senior midfielder Nick Diegel (15) attempts to stop an opposing player during a game against Robert Morris Feb. 1 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. OSU won, 11-7.Credit: Ryan Robey / For The LanternIn its final exhibition match of the preseason, the No. 9-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team bucked a troubling trend.After falling behind in the start in each of their first two exhibition matches, OSU lit the lamp early and never trailed against Robert Morris Saturday, defeating the Colonials, 11-7.Junior midfielder Jesse King — who finished the game with two goals and two assists — got the scoring going for the Buckeyes when he found the back of the cage just 39 seconds into the contest.Sophomore midfielder Eric Rankel scored 19 seconds later for the Colonials, who went 8-7 last season, before the Buckeyes scored the next two goals to lead 3-1 after the first quarter.Continuing the momentum, OSU used goals from King and senior attackman Adam Trombley to go into halftime with a 5-3 lead.“We just wanted to come out and start fast,” senior goalie Greg Dutton said after the win. “Last week against Navy, we had a bit of a slow start, so the focus this week was to get guys going.”Dutton was one of the big reasons OSU was able to get out to an early lead as the Timonium, Md., native stopped six shots in just under three quarters of action.Trombley said it helps the offense when their goaltenders are playing well because it allows them to take a few more chances.After replacing Dutton late in the third with the Buckeyes leading 8-5, junior goalkeeper Cameron Stephens continued to stymie the Colonials offense as he made four saves of his own.“It helps our confidence knowing that if we turn it over, Dutton and Cameron will stop the shots and get the ball back to us,” Trombley said.OSU coach Nick Myers was impressed with how both goalies played.“I thought that the goalie position today was what we expect here at Ohio State,” Myers said. “Those guys really did their job. They made some saves they shouldn’t and they made saves we expect them to make. It was a really solid day in the cage.”Offensively, OSU spread the ball around as seven different Buckeyes tallied a goal with King, Trombley, sophomore attackman Gordie Koerber and freshman attackman J.T. Blubaugh tallying two goals apiece.Led by senior defenseman Joe Meurer, the Buckeyes defense held Robert Morris to seven goals, the lowest OSU has allowed in their three exhibition games, as well as forcing 17 turnovers.“I thought we were better today than we were last week and that is a small step in the right direction,” Myers said. “I’m happy with the improvement, but we understand there is still work to be done.”Up next for the Buckeyes is their regular season opener as they are set to hit the road for Baltimore, Md., where they take on future Big Ten Conference opponent No. 13 Johns Hopkins Sunday at 11:30 a.m.“Playing at Homewood Field is always a challenge,” Dutton said. “We look forward to the task at hand and we are going to prepare hard for them this week.”
Junior midfielder Jesse King (19) cradles the ball during a game against Marquette Feb. 22 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. OSU won, 11-7.Credit: Brett Amadon / Lantern reporterFresh off its first victory of the season, the No. 19 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is hoping to continue building momentum during the young season.After taking down Marquette Saturday, 11-7, the team is set to battle No. 10 Penn State in Ohio Stadium Saturday for the 2014 Creator’s Trophy.Starting the season with two overtime losses to both Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts, the Buckeyes’ (1-2, 0-0) fortunes reversed with the home victory against Marquette.Freshman midfielder Jake Withers played a key role in that game, winning 14 of 21 faceoffs and collecting 11 ground balls, taking home ECAC co-Rookie of the Week honors in the process.Senior defenseman Dominic Imbordino said winning the faceoff and ground ball battles are important because they give the offense more opportunities to score.“It was definitely big for Jake to get that many wins and ground balls because it gave us that many more possessions on our offensive end,” Imbordino said. “It allows us to play the make-it-take-it, not somebody else.”Penn State (2-1, 0-0), which has big expectations after making the NCAA tournament last season for the first time since 2005, is coming off an 8-7 victory at then-No. 4 Notre Dame last Saturday.Senior attackman Shane Sturgis led the way for the Nittany Lions, netting five goals against the Fighting Irish defense. OSU senior defenseman Joe Meurer said Penn State boasts an offense that can put points up on the board, but thinks OSU has a gameplan in place that will limit the Nittany Lions’ chances.“It’s all about adjusting to what we see on film,” Meurer said. “They definitely have a great attack and some capable midfielders, but we will be ready to take them.”Offensively, OSU will look to break down a defense that is yielding only about 8.7 goals per game. Junior midfielders Jesse King and Turner Evans have shined early in the season, but OSU coach Nick Myers said he knows it will take a team effort to put the ball in the back of the net.“They have arguably one of the best goalies in the country in senior Austin Kaut,” Myers said. “For us, it’s going to be generating quality shots and then finishing off those opportunities.”Last season, the Buckeyes won a nail-biter in Happy Valley after King scored in overtime as time expired.“We know they are a great team; they are really hard-nosed and gritty,” Meurer said. “It’s just about not only matching that but taking it to another level, playing with more fire and energy than them. I think we will come out on top.”Myers said the importance of this game goes well beyond what happens during the 2014 campaign.“This is why you come to Ohio State,” Myers said. “It’s a top 10 opponent and a rivalry in Penn State … It’s important for not only the 2014 team, but also to all the men who have made this program what it is.”Gametime is set for Saturday at 1 p.m.
Colin and Wyatt discuss Ohio State’s 26-6 win against Michigan State, its lack of movement in the playoff for the third straight week, the Brett McMurphy article on Trevon Grimes and men’s basketball’s hot start. Also, we talk Shrek quotes, so buckle up.
During a plea for clemency, Murray, who is running a catering business as well as studying an events management degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, said the arrest had led her to suffer from eczema and anxiety.Defence lawyer Richard English said: “Using recreational drugs as students is not exceptional – in fact it is unexceptional. Miss Murray did not see anything morally wrong with what she did. However, she now accepts plainly that it was wrong.”The money was pooled and the drugs were shared. A prison sentence would be a punishment but it would do nothing but blight a very bright career. She is a very clever, ambitious and driven young lady.” Poppy Murray helped her younger brother run a student drug dealing ringCredit: Cavendish Press Joel MurrayCredit: Cavendish Press He added: “She is suffering from anxiety and she has eczema which is due to this case. She had to leave a college course at Leeds University because she was too worried to leave her house. To her credit she has continued her university course at Manchester Metropolitan University and is expected to receive a good degree in event management.”She works at a city centre hotel and I am told that she is very good at what she does. She is a very clever, ambitious and driven young lady.”She has also recently set up her own business with her friend. They cook 200 meals a week and deliver them. I am told that even though it is just in the early stages they are already making money.”According her Facebook page Poppy – who attended the £10,000 a year St Bedes Roman Catholic College, in Manchester – works with the events team at the four-star Midland Hotel in Manchester city centre.Pictures on her social media show her drinking champagne on a balcony at a city centre apartment and partying with friends at music festivals. Joel’s Facebook page shows him on a snowboarding holiday and drinking cocktails in an exclusive restaurant. He also sent a group text message to 16 friends saying he had a high purity haul of the drug adding: “Yo its Joel – some killer raw there yo”.Police arrested the pair after a raid on their suburban family semi-detached home in Middleton, Greater Manchester following a tip-off. Amphetamines were found stuffed in a freezer and the siblings’ mobile phones were examined, with one showing evidence of a £750 cocaine deal.At Minshull Street Crown Court, Joel and Poppy pleaded to supplying cocaine.But although he was locked away for seven years, his older sister, who initially claimed she did not see “anything morally wrong” with supplying “recreational” drugs to friends, got 12 months’ jail, suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work. 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. Poppy Murray attended the £10,000 a year St Bedes Roman Catholic College, in ManchesterCredit: Cavendish Press The court heard the drugs raid occurred on August 27 2014 after police suspected another family member was supplying amphetamines.Tim Brennand said: “Amphetamines were seized from a freezer in the outhouse and Joel Murray’s attic bedroom was also searched. A black Nokia mobile phone was found and examined and text messages were found that were suggestive of the purchase and supply of illegal drugs. Poppy’s iPhone 5 was also seized.”Between the 22 and 26th of August, just the day before the search, text messages were sent regarding purchasing a large quantity of cocaine and offering it for sale. Another message was seen to be purchasing Benzphetamine, which can be used in the preparation and the cutting of cocaine.”This significantly demonstrates the level of organisation and significant inference on Joel to use it. On the 22nd of August there was a text detailing the purchase of half an ounce of cocaine costing £750. Nine minutes later texts were sent to 16 different people to sell quantities of high purity cocaine.”The texts read that there was ‘raw’ drugs for sale. Poppy said: ‘do you want me to ask’ and this introduced the supply of drugs to a party. It was decided how much Poppy wanted and a delivery was made to where Poppy was. There were texts also disputing how much money had been paid.”Police also found a set of electronic scales in Joel’s bedroom alongside a notepad which at the top had a list called “snowers”. There was also a list of drug buyers for cocaine and cannabis called “what we sniff”.Neither the brother nor the sister gave comment in interviews to police.Joel also pleaded guilty to possessing 2,030 MDMA tablets worth £6,090 and 606g of cannabis worth £8,480 after the drugs were found hidden in a bucket inside his wardrobe during a different police search.His lawyer Henry Blackshaw said: “The strongest mitigation for him is his age and his lack of maturity. The gravity of the offending perhaps did not give the correct connotations to him. Recreational use of of cocaine with young people is very prevalent in society now which could reduce the gravity of the situation.”He could also have been excited by the illicit use of cocaine. Through me he displays a significant degree of guilt including the situation his sister finds herself in. He is very conscious of her being here in court no small part is due to him.”Passing sentence the judge Mr Recorder Eric Lamb told Poppy: “I have been persuaded that you were pooling resources together to pay for the drugs. It was a foolish decision which you have clearly thought better of since.” A prison sentence would be a punishment but it would do nothing but blight a very bright career. She is a very clever, ambitious and driven young ladyRichard English, for the defence An undergraduate who helped her younger brother run a student drug dealing ring has been spared jail after pleading a prison term would “blight” her future career.Privately-educated Poppy Murray, 22, acted as a go-between for teenage sibling Joel, 19, who dealt “recreational” narcotics to Manchester’s party set.In one text exchange, Joel – who had harboured ambitions to join the Army – arranged for cocaine to be delivered to an event Poppy was attending after he texted her to ask, “who wants sniff”.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of LondonCredit:Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph One of London’s biggest nightclubs can reopen just months after a council revoked its licence.Fabric, the iconic nightclub based in Farringdon, central London, was forced to close in September after Islington Council found it had a “culture of drug use” which staff were “incapable of controlling”.The venue was to appeal against the decision at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court next week, but reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Police and the council.The agreement, which introduces new conditions to the club’s licence, was approved by a judge at the court on Monday, a spokeswoman for the council said. FABRIC TO RE-OPEN!#FabricSaved pic.twitter.com/5vBOUpMofp— bob mortimer (@RealBobMortimer) November 21, 2016 Superintendent Nick Davies, from Islington police, said the club felt the force had “acted reasonably in the circumstances”.He welcomed Fabric’s offer to place additional conditions on its licence and a zero tolerance approach to drugs, and said police would continue to “robustly enforce the licensing objectives”.”We will be monitoring the ongoing conduct of Fabric and the activities that take place within it. If there are further breaches of the licence, Fabric should be in no doubt that they will be challenged by Islington police and action taken,” he said.”I know Fabric is a venue that holds a great deal of affection in people’s hearts. We had no choice but to take action to safeguard clubbers – and now Fabric has agreed to considerable changes, I hope the venue can continue to operate for many years to come within the boundaries of the new licensing conditions.” A crowdfunding campaign launched by its owners in September in an effort to save the venue raised more than £300,000, while a petition to reopen the club topped 160,000 signatures.A post on the club’s official Facebook page said: He said: “We needed to find a common-sense solution that protects both the future of Fabric and the safety of all clubbers – and we have. I especially want to thank Islington Council for working so hard to help find a solution.”The issues faced by Fabric point to a wider problem of how we protect London’s night-time economy, while ensuring it is safe and enjoyable for everyone.”Over the past eight years, London has lost 50 per cent of its nightclubs and 40 per cent of its live music venues. This decline must stop if London is to retain its status as a 24-hour city with a world-class nightlife.”Following the announcement, Fabric thanked those who had “united behind” the club. FABRIC ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️— Novelist (@Novelist) November 21, 2016 If the reports I’m hearing are true then YESSSSSS @fabriclondon ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀— TwEats Everything® (@eats_everything) November 21, 2016 The issues faced by Fabric point to a wider problem of how we protect London’s night-time economy, while ensuring it is safe and enjoyable for everyoneLondon Mayor Sadiq Khan A joint statement released by the council and the club following the decision said: “Fabric is committed to doing all it reasonably can to ensure that no more of its clubbers come to drug-related harm.”It also recognises that there need to be, and will be, changes to its management structure and accountability.”The statement added: “The authority welcomes Fabric’s acceptance of all these matters. It is now satisfied that Fabric’s directors and senior management understand precisely what has to be done to ensure that Fabric is a safe environment for young clubbers, and that zero tolerance to drugs means precisely that.”The club has also pledged to introduce a new ID scanning system, improve search procedures and introduce covert surveillance in the venue.London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who previously spoke out against the decision to close Fabric, said he was “delighted” that an agreement had been reached. Fabric….wow….congrats— Loadstar (@Loadstar) November 21, 2016 It includes a ban on anyone under the age of 19 entering the venue between 8pm on Friday and 8am on Monday and also states that anyone found in possession of drugs in the club or who tries to buy drugs will be handed a life ban from the venue.Islington Council said the changes, offered by Fabric, were “designed to ensure a zero-tolerance approach” to drugs.The club closed temporarily after the drug-related deaths of two 18-year-olds earlier this year, and in August Scotland Yard applied to the council for the licence to be reviewed. FABRIC IS REOPENING. GREAT NEWS!— trampa (@TrampaMusic) November 21, 2016 Fabric!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @fabriclondon— Friction (@friction) November 21, 2016 It’s true. You saved fabric 🙏🙏🙏https://t.co/FFaEApotyo pic.twitter.com/dPjxbXEmqt— fabriclondon (@fabriclondon) November 21, 2016 People left tributes at the doors of Fabric nightclub when it was forced to close in SeptemberCredit:Getty Images The news was met with delight by fans on social media: Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The problem has been attributed to changes to services at local tips – with many councils putting up fees and cutting opening hours, or closing them altogether – as well as changes to household dustbin collections. There has been a trend among councils to reduce the frequency of bin collections, both to save money and to encourage recycling.In some parts of the UK, general waste is only collected every four weeks Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: “Fly-tipping is an epidemic, it’s reached crisis levels and something needs to be done about it.”Local authorities are overwhelmed with instances of criminal fly-tipping and we need to address this urgently.” Fly-tipping has reached “crisis levels” in Britain, with the problem being blamed in part on infrequent rubbish collections, an investigation has found.In some council regions, incidents of fly-tipping rose by more than a fifth year-on-year, according to figures obtained from freedom of information requests.In Haringey, north London, there were nearly 40,000 reported incidents of waste being dumped illegally between November 2015 and December 2016. In Manchester, the figure was over 30,000, or 77 per day, numbers obtained by ITV News showed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Government announced tougher penalties last year for offenders, with councils given powers to issue on-the-spot penalties of up to £400.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said waste crime costs the economy millions of pounds a year in clean-up costs and poses a risk to the environment.However, it is difficult for offenders to be caught and prosecuted. In 2016, the Woodland Trust recorded its worst year on record for fly-tipping and littering, but it took just one suspect to court.The offender was ordered to pay £200 compensation for leaving a coffee table, mattress, bed frame and children’s playhouse at Little Wold Plantation in Yorkshire.The charity said its annual rubbish clearance costs have increased by 264 per cent since 2010, costing the charity £354,031 over the past six years. In some parts of the country the number of incidents went down, for example Birmingham, where the figure dropped by 13 per cent. However, there were still 21,000 offences recorded, or 53 per day, putting Britain’s second city at number three in the list of the worst areas for fly-tipping of the 264 councils that responded to the request. Councils say the cost of clearing up the illegally-dumped waste is diverting money away from crucial services like social care for the elderly. Nigel Murphy, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services at Manchester City Council, told ITV News: “It costs us just over £100 per tonne before we take into account the staffing costs for doing that [..] that’s money that’s not going into services like adult social care, onto children, onto neighbourhoods in general which could be better improving the environment.”We’re now having to spend it on clearing up people’s rubbish.” Grot Spot Britain – worrying new figures on the scale of fly-tipping on tonight’s @ITVEveningNews pic.twitter.com/aKx7r0ZVPR— Chris Choi (@Chrisitv) February 13, 2017 Fly-tipping is an epidemic, it’s reached crisis levels and something needs to be done about itAllison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The light from the sun or moon hit the ice crystals, and the refraction caused by that shows a halo.These halos in general are relatively common, but it’s less common to see them form around the moon.This is because the moon has to be in the new moon phase and the visibility has to be good in order for the halo to be seen. A spokesperson for the Met Office said: “It was particularly good last night because you had the combination of high visibility with the new moon and the high clouds”.Many posted their pictures of the moon halo on social media. Will Belcher, from Wiltshire, described it on Twitter said it was a “pretty decent moon halo”.Dowager Countess Bathurst, from Cirencester, was more generous with her praise, calling the moon halo “stunning”.Halos were used as a previous form of weather forecasting. According to the Met Office, the presence of high “cirrus cloud which contains the ice crystals required for haloes to form often signifies an approaching frontal system; however in many cases the front will be inactive or simply change course from the area – producing no rain.” Pretty decent #moon #halo this evening. “The ring around the Moon is caused by the refraction of Moonlight (which of course is reflected su… pic.twitter.com/jN90ZmsIN5— 🌍William Belcher📸 (@willbaroo) April 11, 2017 @BBCGlos @elverdave @mikeysmithers nice halo on the banks of the river Severn tonight ideal time to be out pic.twitter.com/NQtuUkXZub— CRAIG SMITH (@TINTINOUT) April 10, 2017 A stunning moon halo was seen on Monday night and photographed by awe-struck viewers.The phenomenon is called a 22-degree halo, and is more commonly seen around the sun.Leighton James, a photographer in Bristol, told the BBC: “It’s something I have never seen before and thought it looked quite amazing.”A 22-degree halo forms when there are high cirrus clouds passing slowly across the sky. Stunning halo around the moon tonight.. pic.twitter.com/HDg7UTM3fe— Countess Bathurst (@CotswoldLadyB) April 10, 2017
Zara, a champion equestrian rider who won a team silver in the London 2012 Olympics, and former England rugby captain Tindall have been together for 15 years and married in Edinburgh in July 2011.The new baby is thought to be the heaviest royal baby in recent years, taking over the record from Zara’s niece Savannah Phillips, who was 8lb 8oz when born in 2010.When Zara – daughter of the Princess Royal – was born in 1981, she had no right to a title, being born down the female line as the offspring of a daughter of a sovereign. 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. Zara and Mike Tindall have named their new baby daughter Lena Elizabeth in a nod to the Queen, but their younger girl’s forename has raised some eyebrows. Lena Elizabeth Tindall, was born at Stroud Maternity Unit in Gloucestershire on Monday, June 18, weighing 9lb 3oz. A spokeswoman for the couple said: “It was just a name they liked.” But Lena has a multitude of meanings. The name is a diminutive from Elena, which is an Ancient Greek name that means light, according to the London-based translation agency KL Translations Ltd. But when taken from Latin as a noun, Lena means a female pimp or a woman who entices, allures or seduces. The name is popular in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden, where it is used both as a male and female forename. It is also a relatively common girl’s name in Wales. The newest addition to the royal family is a younger sister to four-year-old Mia Tindall.Lena is 19th in line to the throne, and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s seventh great-grandchild.The baby is also a second cousin to Prince George and Princess Charlotte and their younger brother Prince Louis, who was born just under two months ago. She is not an HRH, does not have a title and will be simply Miss Tindall. The family are said to be adapting well to becoming a family of four.
Dr, Adam Reed, external affairs director at SUEZ Recycling & Recovery UK, added: “We have been operating an increasing number of very successful not-for-profit second-hand shops at some recycling centres, particularly in Surrey. So called “tip-shops” enable products that aren’t broken to be kept out of the waste stream so others can purchase them at affordable prices.and ensure materials remain as resources not waste.” Shops selling items which have been dumped in rubbish bins and skips are gaining popularity and are threatening to steal business from charity shops.So called “tip shops” have seen a spike in sales and are now selling hundreds of thousands of items, as consumers are increasingly enticed by a surprising array of bargains and ultra cheap prices.It comes amid criticism that some charity shops are becoming too expensive and are rejecting mountains of cheaper items because they are “too full”. Partly as a result of this around 235 million garments of clothing were sent to landfill last year, according to a report. Tip shops resell high quality abandoned goods from children’s toys to televisions, and miscellaneous items like canoes. Collectively they prevent up to 20 tonnes of goods a month from entering landfill sites.It comes after Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, last month suggested there should be a change in rules at council recycling centres so people could recover valuables. Saffron Doney, a volunteer manager at tip shop, Wastesavers Reuse, said: “People love the idea of a tip shop. It’s an Aladdin’s cave, you don’t know what treasure you’re going to find.”Simon Ellin, CEO of the Recycling Association, said: “There used to be a lot more of these Council run shops, but mostly due to budget cuts, many disappeared post 2008. The recent focus on recycling and resource efficiency has made national and local politicians look at our industry more carefully.” 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.
“We are in talks with Nice as to what happens next. We thank you to everyone from the bottom of our hearts.”Prince Harry met Ollie on a private visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London in 2017. Samantha Barber, chief executive of the Batten Disease Family Association, said: “Today’s announcement will be a huge relief to all those families affected who have fought night and day for this outcome.”Brineura offers real hope for these children and the priority now must be to ensure all those who need it get access as soon as possible.”While we recognise the efforts made on both sides to reach this agreement, the reality is that it has taken nearly two years to get to this point.”The human cost of this delay and the anguish caused cannot be underestimated and we hope that efforts will be made to help others avoid this heartache in the future.”For now, we are absolutely delighted with this decision, which is a critical step forward in improving the lives of children affected by this devastating condition.”Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “This is another concrete step towards ensuring NHS patients with rare conditions get access to important new treatments. 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. It usually starts in childhood, with an estimated 25 to 40 children living with the condition in England.NHS England said cerliponase alfa would be offered to sufferers not currently receiving treatment by Christmas at the latest.In February, the parents of a brother and sister with Batten disease said they were “devastated” their treatment would not be funded by the NHS.Ollie and Amelia Carroll, aged eight and six, from Poynton, Cheshire, have the condition and their parents were given permission to seek a judicial review.On Wednesday their parents said: “We are in utter shock right now… we sit in tears with the news that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have now recommended the only treatment for Batten disease to children in England. The NHS has agreed to fund a drug for children with a rare degenerative disease – weeks before families were due to go to court.Two sets of parents of children with Batten disease had been prepared to take their fight for the drug cerliponase alfa (Brineura) to the High Court.NHS England announced on Wednesday that an agreement on price had been struck with the drug’s manufacturer Biomarin.The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) had previously said it could not be certain the drug was value for money.Batten disease is an incurable illness which affects the nervous system, causing seizures, visual impairment, mobility loss and early death. Prince Harry with Ollie Carroll who suffers from Batten diseaseCredit:Family Handout/PA “Over recent months there’ve been a series of successful deals as NHS England works closely with the life sciences sector to make life-changing new drugs available for haemophilia, MS, rare cancers and other conditions.”Coming after extended negotiation, the new deal reached today is a reminder that in order to succeed, companies must be flexible and realistic, because the NHS in England cannot and will not simply write blank cheques at taxpayers’ expense.”Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m absolutely delighted this new treatment will be funded by the NHS, giving families dealing with the devastating impact of Batten disease renewed hope for a better quality of life for their child. Through our Long Term Plan, we want all patients to have access to the most pioneering, value for money medicines – this is a great example of how we can work with industry to get treatments to patients as quickly as possible.”
Relations between Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau, pictured earlier this year, have occasionally been fraught (Getty Images)The US and Canada have reached a new trade deal, along with Mexico, to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) gives the US greater access to Canada’s dairy market and allows extra imports of Canadian cars.The deal has 34 chapters and governs more than $1tn (£767bn) in trade.US President Donald Trump, who has long sought to change Nafta, said the new deal was “wonderful”.Until recently it looked as if Canada could be excluded from a final trade agreement to replace Nafta which has been in place since 1994.The new USMCA is intended to last 16 years and be reviewed every six years.Following the agreement, Mr Trump tweeted that USMCA was a “great deal” for all three countries and solves the “deficiencies and mistakes” in Nafta.The hundreds of pages of the agreement were released in the early hours of Monday and contain updated arrangements for Canada’s dairy industry and measures aimed at shifting lower-paid car jobs from Mexico.On dairy, US farmers will have access to 3.5% of Canada’s $16bn-a-year dairy market. On the lumber (or wood) industry, Canada secured protection from US anti-dumping tariffs through the preservation of a dispute-settlement mechanism.The US made a deal with Mexico in August, but relations with Canada over the trade pact had become increasingly strained in recent weeks.The Trump administration set Sunday as a deadline for Canada to strike a deal.A protectionist policy under the Mr Trump has seen the US forge ahead with individual trade deals, rejecting bigger multi-lateral trade agreements and posing a challenge to decades of global free trade.As part of this policy Mr Trump has also launched a trade war against China, which has already hurt companies and could curb global economic growth. (Excerpts from BBC) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTrump announces ‘incredible’ trade deal with MexicoAugust 27, 2018In “latest news”White House readies order to quit NAFTA: administration officialApril 26, 2017In “World”Trump threatens to pull US out of World Trade OrganizationAugust 31, 2018In “latest news” On cars, Canada and Mexico have a quota of 2.6 million cars they can export to the US as a protection for their car industry if the US imposes a 25% global tariff on car importsIn addition, 40% of car parts of vehicles produced in the USMCA area must be made in areas of North America, paying wages of $16 an hour
Micromine UK has committed to hosting a series of MICROMINE Introduction Courses, aimed at geologists who are currently unemployed or working minimal hours. In educating geologists about Micromine’s premier mine design solution, MICROMINE, the course aims to increase attendees’ employment prospects. The initiative was developed in response to the economic downturn, which has resulted in significantly fewer employment opportunities within the geological industry.The MICROMINE Introduction Course is the only course of its kind, and has been endorsed by the Geological Society of London, the United Kingdom’s recognised professional body for geoscientists. James Hogg, UK Technical manager, commented “The course has been applauded by industry members as a necessary offering. Not surprisingly, participants perceive the course as a personal investment in their career”.Hogg continues “An employee’s software knowledge is a valuable asset and almost always considered when seeking employment. Mining companies look favourably on candidates with both a broad knowledge base and existing software skills”. The aim of the course is to familiarise participants with MICROMINE, one of the most commonly used 3D modelling software programs in the industry. The intention is to increase their knowledge base and skill set, making them a more valued prospect to future employers.Hugh Stuart, Vice President Exploration at Redback Mining, commented “Software training is necessary for young geologists entering the workforce. Redback is an extensive user of Micromine’s products and services and commends Micromine for introducing attendees to MICROMINE and providing a positive start to their careers”. The course is comprised of two modules which run as separate courses; Introduction to MICROMINE and Exploration. The course was held twice in 2009, with the next one scheduled for 6-7 July, 2010. Each course has reached maximum capacity and included attendees from as far as France and Albania. It is available to geologists who are currently unemployed or working minimal hours for a nominal fee which covers the cost of the course.
China’s Minmetals Resources (MMR) has said that it intends to make an all cash offer to acquire Equinox Minerals, the owner and operator of the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, for approximately C$6.3 billion. MMR’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Michelmore, said: “Our offer for Equinox aligns with MMR’s strategy for growth, enhancing our global production portfolio. For Equinox shareholders, the offer is compelling in that it not only provides a substantial premium and certainty of value, but it also provides a superior alternative to the proposed acquisition by Equinox of Lundin.”MMR stated that the deal would significantly expand and extends MMR’s production profile of its operations to beyond 2030, and more than double its exposure to the attractive fundamentals of the copper market. The acquisition of Equinox would mark MMR’s first investment into the African copper belt and the Middle East. Investment into both regions “is consistent with MMR’s long term strategic growth plans” said MMR. Equinox’s Lumwana mine in Zambia is a substantial copper producing asset, with current production of 145,000 t/y and a stated mine life of 37 years. Equinox has indicated the potential ability to expand Lumwana to 260,000 t/y of copper within the next five years. In addition, Equinox’s Jabal Sayid project in Saudi Arabia, with a forecast average copper production of 60,000 t/y, is expected to commence production in 2012.MMR’s offer is expected to be financed through a combination of existing cash reserves, long term credit facilities from Chinese banks and equity including financial investments in MMR by Chinese institutions. The proposed offer is supported by MMR’s ultimate controlling shareholder, China Minmetals Corp. Full details of the offer will be set out in the circular that is to be mailed to Equinox shareholders. The offer will be subject to certain conditions including termination of the existing Equinox bid for Lundin. For its part, Equinox said that its board of directors will be meeting to consider the unsolicited proposal, and will comment further “following careful consideration of the terms and implied value for Equinox.”