The English Premier League Starts Today Heres One Reason To Watch

Beautiful, ain’t it? Americans’ interest in soccer is about three times higher during the World Cup than it usually is, judging by how often they search for the sport on Google. But that isn’t true for other countries. In England, where the English Premier League will kick off its season on Saturday, club play is followed almost as enthusiastically as international competition. The same is true in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico.What accounts for the international appeal of soccer? One factor may be the comparative simplicity of its rulebook. Product designers have long appreciated the value of simplicity, which offers a gentler learning curve and fewer opportunities for mistranslation.I downloaded the FIFA Laws of the Game along with the rulebooks for the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball. Then I counted the number of words in each one, excluding indices. This is a simple proxy for the complexity of each sport.Soccer is doing more with less; FIFA’s rulebook has just over 20,000 words. By contrast, the NBA’s has 30,000, MLB’s is close to 50,000, the NHL’s is nearly 60,000 and the NFL’s is 70,000.The correlation between the simplicity of a sport’s rulebook and its global popularity is almost one to one. Soccer, with its simple rulebook, is followed in almost every country. Basketball increasingly is, too. The more complex sports have less global appeal. Baseball is popular in the Americas and Japan but not yet elsewhere. Hockey fans are almost exclusively concentrated in the U.S., Canada, Northern Europe and Russia. American football has few fans outside America itself.Philosophers have also long recognized a connection between simplicity and beauty (indeed, long before soccer came to be known as “The Beautiful Game,” it was known as “The Simplest Game” instead). This June, when I attended a couple of World Cup matches at the Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro, I was struck by how rich the experience was with so few frills. There was no 60-yard-long Jumbotron — there were hardly any scoreboards. There weren’t many words spoken, on or off the pitch.Soccer can get away with this minimalist presentation because of the simplicity of its rulebook; you don’t need Ed Hochuli to come out and explain the difference between offsides and encroachment and a neutral zone infraction.Instead, when Chile scored against Spain in their Group B match, it sounded something like this (sorry about my shaky camera work): read more

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James Blake Retires After 14 Years of Professional Tennis

Photo by www.mpcpoker.com.For 14 years, James Blake carried the torch as the only African-American male of note on the pro-tennis circuit. Monday, he ended his commendable run.Through tears at the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., Blake said, “Despite the tears, I’m actually really happy about this. I can do it on my own terms. Always wanted to do that. I thought about it a ton this year.”Married and with a child, Blake, 33, prefers family life over professional tennis.“There are so many athletes that say they can never replace that feeling of having that adrenaline rush, but I get more of an adrenaline rush now seeing my (1-year-old) daughter wake up in the morning,” he said. “That’s something that I’m truly looking forward to–being able to spend more time with my wife and daughter.”Blake went to Harvard University before turning pro in 1999. His highest ranking was No. 4 in the world in 2006. He goes into his first-round match in the U.S. Open against Ivo Karlovic ranked 100th.“I don’t kid myself. I know I have had a great career in my eyes, but it’s not one that’s going to go down in the history books,” Blake said. “It’s not one that’s going to end in Newport” — the  Rhode Island home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame — “but it’s one that I’m proud of.”He called helping the United States defeat Russia in the 2007 Davis Cup final in Portland, Ore., as “my proudest moment. . . without a doubt.”Blake won 10 singles titles, the last in 2007. He reached the quarterfinals three times in Grand Slams, all in U.S. Opens. In a riveting match, he lost to Andre Agassi on one of those occasions. The”biggest highlight and lowlight, at the same time,” Blake called it.“Obviously, the U.S. Open was a special place for him. I understand how he would want to end here. You know, I think he still has a lot of great tennis in him, but he’s decided that now is the time for him,” Venus Williams, former World No. 1 Champion, said. “He has a family now, so those are important priorities, from what I hear. He’s ready, so all we can do is support him.” read more

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Ray Rices Wife Feeling Like Im Mourning the Death

Janay Rice, who was struck in an Atlantic City elevator by husband Ray Rice, took to Instagram on Tuesday to express her pain and frustration with the TMZ-released video of the punch, which started a chain reaction of Rice being cut by the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL suspending him indefinitely.“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” she wrote in the Instagram post. “But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing.“To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”Originally, Rice was suspended by the NFL for two games, which was decried nationally as far too lenient. It led to the league instituting a domestic violence program that would suspend any NFL staff member for six games with a first offense and give an indefinite suspension with a second offense. read more

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Batting Average Is So 19th Century

Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. The Hot Takedown crew is out of the office this week, so we’re bringing you a special blast from the past: our very first Stat School. In this episode, Neil dons the Stat Man cape, explaining the three ways to measure batting in order of increasing complexity: batting average, OPS (on-base plus slugging), and wRC+ (weighted runs created plus). Will Chad and Kate absorb all of his information and receive their certificates at the end of the course?Here are links to the things we discussed during the show:An in-depth explanation of batting average.An OPS breakdown.What is wRC+? FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code

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201516 NBA Preview The Hornets Coulda Been A Contender

Is Al Jefferson more like Carlos Boozer or Zach Randolph? Jefferson turned 30 last season and was a significantly less productive player than he’d been the year before. Randolph has turned his career back around in his 30s. Boozer, though, kept declining after turning 30. They’re both among Jefferson’s top comparables according to CARMELO. The Hornets need him to be much more like Randolph if they’re going to make the playoffs. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews Nicolas Batum played a niche role in Portland’s offense. Now that he’s in Charlotte, can he adjust to bigger demands? His shots, points per minute and 3-point percentage declined in each of the last three seasons. He shot or turned over the ball on just one of seven possessions when he was on court last year. The Hornets will expect more of Batum. His defense, at least, is solid across the board — a must for replacing a stopper like Kidd-Gilchrist. After a mediocre rookie season, Cody Zeller improved markedly last year, shooting more effectively while turning the ball over less often. Can he keep it up? CARMELO says yes — sort of. He’s likely to remain at his sophomore-year level but not graduate to All-Star level. How he does will determine how much of an opportunity he has to improve — the roster is crowded with big men. The offense runs through Kemba Walker, but too often it stops with him: He takes and misses too many shots. His teammates last year didn’t give him many great alternatives; this year he should do better if the new Hornets give him better options. In the preseason, Walker has been clicking well with Lin, which at times means Walker shoots even more and passes less while Lin plays more like a point guard setting up his backcourt mate. Marvin Williams has done well to reinvent himself as primarily a 3-point shooter. His accuracy shooting over defenders from outside, coupled with his effective rebounding, made him a valuable player last year. CARMELO doesn’t expect that to last. Few of Williams’s closest comparable players avoided big declines in their 30s, and Williams is 29. 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. Before Kidd-Gilchrist went down, Charlotte had taken steps to bolster its depth at just about every position but his small-forward spot. The Hornets signed guard Jeremy Lin and power forward/center Tyler Hansbrough, drafted Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky at No. 9 in the first round and traded for power forward Spencer Hawes and shooting guards Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum. Well, Batum really was more of a small forward for the Blazers, but he was going to move over to the No. 2 spot before Kidd-Gilchrist went down. Batum’s shift back to small forward leaves lots of room for young Hornets to move around the lineup and step up. CARMELO’s projections, though, call into question whether the healthy Hornets have enough talent to make the playoffs.Here’s what’s in store for the key Hornets in 2015-16 (and beyond): After the giddy rush of Linsanity, Jeremy Lin settled into a recurring role as a very standard, effective guard: For the Rockets and Lakers, he shot effectively, got to the free-throw line, handed out assists and stole the ball, but did little else on defense and turned the ball over too often. He’s expected to back up Walker but probably will play alongside him at times, as well. Jeremy Lamb disappointed in Oklahoma City. Will moving to a team with less talent free Lamb to play a bigger offensive role, or will he struggle even more with less help from teammates? CARMELO expects modest improvement for the 23-year-old, but not enough for a starting — let alone starring — role. Everything changed for the Hornets on Oct. 3. Before that day, Charlotte looked like a young, talented team on the rise, with lots of new players fighting for minutes. In a preseason game that night, though, forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured his shoulder, requiring surgery that will likely keep him out for most of the season. Charlotte’s depth at small forward, and one of its best defensive players, vanished. With Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte looked like they could add a dozen wins to their total (33) last season, the team’s first rechristened as the Charlotte Hornets after New Orleans became the Pelicans. The new Hornets’ sophomore year won’t exactly be a slump, but Charlotte likely will struggle to reach .500 and make the playoffs. FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projects the Hornets to go 40-42: read more

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Why The Warriors And Cavs Are Still Big Favorites

1959-60Boston Celtics1,1051of8 1995-96Chicago Bulls2,0691of29 1984-85Los Angeles Lakers2,0332of23 1966-67Philadelphia 76ers1,0843of10 Los Angeles Lakers-2.8-3.4-0.6– 2014-15Golden State Warriors72915of30 1952-53Minneapolis Lakers8521of10 2001-02Los Angeles Lakers1,8303of29 2011-12Miami Heat1,7255of30 1982-83Philadelphia 76ers1,7781of23 2012-13Miami Heat2,7782of30 2008-09Los Angeles Lakers1,9763of30 1989-90Detroit Pistons1,8343of27 2005-06Miami Heat1,9103of30 Golden State Warriors+9.1+10.8+1.7– Los Angeles Clippers+2.2+2.1-0.1– Sacramento Kings-5.7-5.8-0.1– 1955-56Philadelphia Warriors598of8 2006-07San Antonio Spurs2,3631of30 1988-89Detroit Pistons1,4913of25 Brooklyn Nets-4.4-5.0-0.6– Show more rows* Average number of career playoff minutes, weighted by each player’s share of regular season minutes played.Source: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM 1951-52Minneapolis Lakers4922of10 Charlotte Hornets+1.4+1.4-0.1– Memphis Grizzlies-1.9-2.0-0.1– 1965-66Boston Celtics1,7141of9 1991-92Chicago Bulls1,6844of27 Philadelphia 76ers-0.7-1.3-0.6– SEASONCHAMPIONSAVG. PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE*LEAGUE RANK 1994-95Houston Rockets1,3925of27 1954-55Syracuse Nationals6783of9 1996-97Chicago Bulls2,6181of29 1987-88Los Angeles Lakers2,8442of23 1998-99San Antonio Spurs1,4596of29 1985-86Boston Celtics2,2043of23 1981-82Los Angeles Lakers1,4363of23 1983-84Boston Celtics1,3813of23 New York Knicks-4.2-4.7-0.5– 1993-94Houston Rockets78312of27 Minnesota Timberwolves+3.4+3.3-0.1– 1957-58St. Louis Hawks9881of8 You might be wondering if we’re confusing cause and effect. For instance, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls were really great; as a result of being great, they made deep playoff runs every year and won six NBA titles, accumulating lots of playoff experience along the way. Playoff success causes playoff experience and not the other way around, you might say.We’ve found, however, that there’s predictive power in accounting for playoff experience above and beyond other measures of team quality. In particular, playoff experience provides information beyond a team’s Elo rating, which accounts for its record, strength of schedule, and margin of victory or defeat in recent games. In the NBA postseason since 1980, the team with the higher initial Elo rating has won 74 percent of playoff series. But if a team has both a higher Elo rating and much more playoff experience,4A difference of at least 1,000 average lifetime playoff minutes played. that win percentage shoots up to 86 percent. Conversely, teams with the higher Elo rating but much less playoff experience have won just 52 percent of playoff series. These differences are highly statistically and practically significant.Based on past research on the topic, we were expecting to see teams reap some benefit from playoff experience, but we were surprised that the effect was this strong. What we’re less sure of is why this effect exists. Playoff basketball is a different beast than regular-season basketball, with much tighter defensive play, among other stylistic changes. It may simply be that nothing predicts playoff success quite like past playoff success. Or it may be that some players really are “clutch” — or can learn to be clutch with experience — and have the psychological skills to thrive under postseason pressure. It’s also possible that teams like LeBron James’s Cavs aren’t overachieving in the playoffs so much as they’re underachieving — or pacing themselves — in the regular season. The NBA season is exhausting, so it’s probably a good idea to pace yourself if your goal is to maximize your chance of a deep playoff run rather than to accumulate gaudy regular-season statistics.All we know for sure is that playoff basketball is different from regular-season basketball — different enough that it makes sense to maintain what amounts to two sets of ratings for each team, one for the playoffs and one for the regular season. And that’s essentially what our new system does: It keeps two sets of ratings. Below, you’ll find each team’s projected margin of victory or defeat against a league-average opponent in the regular season and the playoffs, respectively.5These margins of victory differ slightly from the average projected point differential on the “CARM-Elo” interactive graphic because those “CARM-Elo” point differentials account for the strength of a team’s schedule, whereas my calculations for this article do not. Note that the most experienced teams, like the Cavaliers, project to be 2 or even 3 points better per game in the playoffs than in the regular season, which is similar to the magnitude of home-court advantage in the NBA. So when an experienced team plays an inexperienced team in the playoffs, it has the equivalent of home-court advantage — more experienced teams don’t always win by any means, but the breaks tend to go their way. 2010-11Dallas Mavericks2,1534of30 1980-81Boston Celtics35913of23 1975-76Boston Celtics2,0881of18 2015-16Cleveland Cavaliers1,9072of30 1973-74Boston Celtics1,5662of17 2004-05San Antonio Spurs1,4811of30 NBA champs almost always have a lot of playoff experience 1967-68Boston Celtics2,2451of12 1990-91Chicago Bulls1,2456of27 1960-61Boston Celtics1,3791of8 2007-08Boston Celtics86610of30 2009-10Los Angeles Lakers2,5091of30 Milwaukee Bucks+0.8+0.4-0.4– Atlanta Hawks-5.8-6.3-0.5– Portland Trail Blazers+0.3+0.0-0.3– Indiana Pacers-3.5-3.9-0.3– Orlando Magic-1.7-2.3-0.6– 1992-93Chicago Bulls2,1342of27 Detroit Pistons-2.8-3.3-0.6– Cavs are boosted most by accounting for playoff experience 1999-2000Los Angeles Lakers1,7295of29 1986-87Los Angeles Lakers2,4962of23 1971-72Los Angeles Lakers2,4711of17 Oklahoma City Thunder+5.2+6.0+0.8– 1953-54Minneapolis Lakers1,0621of9 2003-04Detroit Pistons71513of29 2002-03San Antonio Spurs1,1956of29 Denver Nuggets+2.5+2.2-0.4– EXPECTED MARGIN OF VICTORY AGAINST A LEAGUE-AVERAGE TEAM 1970-71Milwaukee Bucks6267of17 1969-70New York Knicks6496of14 Boston Celtics+1.6+1.7+0.1– Phoenix Suns-3.5-4.1-0.6– Cleveland Cavaliers+5.0+7.6+2.6– 1976-77Portland Trail Blazers15222of22 Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are favorites to win their respective conferences and reach the NBA Finals.That’s according to FiveThirtyEight’s “CARM-Elo” projections, which we’ve just launched for the 2017-18 NBA season. The Warriors and Cavs project to be the best regular-season teams in their respective conferences, although the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder — and perhaps the San Antonio Spurs — could represent formidable rivals for the Warriors in the West. Cleveland has less competition in the East. (Our projections are bearish on the Boston Celtics.) But Cleveland and Golden State could have an even larger advantage in the postseason.Apart from one new wrinkle, our methodology for making these projections is essentially the same as it has been for the past two seasons. So I’ll spend the bulk of time here discussing what has changed. The new wrinkle: Our forecasts account for the amount of playoff experience on each team’s roster. Throughout NBA history, teams with extensive playoff experience have often found a higher “gear” in the playoffs. Put more precisely, they have a tendency to win more playoff games than you’d expect from their regular-season performance. This group of teams includes the Cavs, a team that our forecasts have often underrated once the playoffs began — and that won 12 of its first 13 playoff games last year after a mediocre regular season.Indeed, it’s extremely rare for teams without at least an average amount of playoff experience to win the NBA title. We calculate a team’s playoff experience by averaging the number1Only playoff games from previous seasons count toward the calculation; we don’t give a player credit for the experience he’s accumulating in the current season’s playoffs until the next season. of career playoff minutes played2Minutes played aren’t available before the 1951-52 NBA season; for the earlier seasons, we estimate the number of minutes played based on the number of playoff games played. for each player on its roster, weighted by the number of minutes the player played for the team in the regular season.3For our 2017-18 projections, we use projected minutes based on our depth charts. (Teams don’t get any credit for signing a playoff-experienced veteran if they never play him.) For instance, last season’s NBA champions, the Warriors, entered the playoffs with a weighted average of 1,966 career playoff minutes, which ranked third in the league after Cleveland and San Antonio. By contrast, the Portland Trail Blazers — the Warriors’ first-round opponents — averaged just 493 minutes of playoff experience.Each of the past 36 NBA champions have ranked in the top half of their respective leagues in playoff experience. So have 62 out of the past 66 champions; the lone exceptions were the 1980-81 and 1956-57 Boston Celtics, the 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers and the 1955-56 Philadelphia Warriors. San Antonio Spurs+3.5+5.1+1.6– TEAMREG. SEASONPLAYOFFSPLAYOFF EXPERIENCE BONUS 1997-98Chicago Bulls2,7521of29 Houston Rockets+6.2+7.0+0.8– 2000-01Los Angeles Lakers2,2583of29 2013-14San Antonio Spurs2,4362of30 1977-78Washington Bullets1,3832of22 Washington Wizards+1.5+1.5+0.0 1958-59Boston Celtics8492of8 Chicago Bulls-5.1-5.8-0.7– Toronto Raptors+1.0+1.1+0.2– Utah Jazz+1.9+1.7-0.2– Miami Heat-0.8-1.3-0.5– 1972-73New York Knicks1,8092of17 1962-63Boston Celtics1,6891of9 1963-64Boston Celtics1,6371of9 Dallas Mavericks-3.6-3.3+0.3– 1974-75Golden State Warriors5989of18 2016-17Golden State Warriors1,9663of30 Finally, just some general background on these projections. We call these “CARM-Elo” forecasts because they combine our CARMELO projections for individual players, which are used to set the initial ratings for each team, with our Elo-rating based method of simulating out the rest of the season. As part of this process, we’ve built depth charts for each team to estimate playing time over the course of the regular season. There is unavoidably some guesswork involved in creating the depth charts, which reflect a rough consensus of depth charts from RosterResource.com, ESPN.com and CBS Sports and account for injuries. However, CARMELO projects an expected amount of playing time for each player, and when building our depth charts, we usually stick fairly closely to this recommendation for a team’s rotation players. In fact, our model punishes players who are “forced” to play substantially more than their CARMELO-forecasted playing time by lowering their efficiency rating. For example, Doug McDermott of the New York Knicks is projected to play 20 minutes per game in our depth charts when CARMELO recommends that he only plays 15 minutes per game, so our forecast assumes that he’ll become somewhat less efficient as a result.Our CARMELO projections themselves underwent some changes earlier this year, which you can read about here. In particular, we’ve switched back to a system that rates players based on a combination of Real Plus-Minus and Box Plus/Minus instead of solely using BPM, as we did last year. Both RPM and BPM have their weaknesses, though: Neither is especially accurate at accounting for defense; both can struggle with players with extremely high usage rates (say, Russell Westbrook or DeMar DeRozan); and they don’t take much advantage of the NBA’s new wealth of player-tracking data. If it sounds like I have strong opinions about this stuff, it’s because I do; we’re working on our own player-rating metric, which we hope to unveil in the relatively near future.In the meantime, good luck to the 28 NBA teams hoping to knock off the Warriors and the Cavs. It’s never easy, and it won’t be easy this year, especially once the playoffs come around. 1956-57Boston Celtics5655of8 New Orleans Pelicans+1.1+0.9-0.2– 1979-80Los Angeles Lakers1,0785of22 1961-62Boston Celtics1,3941of9 1968-69Boston Celtics2,8051of14 1964-65Boston Celtics1,7071of9 Overall, the Warriors — who have the second-most playoff experience after the Cavs — have a 38 percent chance of repeating as NBA champions, according to our projections. If you’re not sure whether that is low or high, consider that the New England Patriots had only an 18 percent chance of repeating as Super Bowl champions at the start of this year’s NFL season, according to our NFL Elo projections. But 38 percent is somewhat lower than where Vegas odds have the Warriors, which imply more like a 45 percent or 50 percent chance that they’ll repeat.6The combined probability of the 30 NBA teams winning the NBA title is 132 percent, according to the odds listed at VegasInsider.com. Obviously, this can’t be right — the odds must add up to 100 percent exactly — but the inflated numbers reflect the house’s cut. The Warriors’ probability of repeating is 62 percent taken at face value but falls to 47 percent once you correct for this. The competition is a bit deeper this year, and the Warriors are no longer a young team. Still, the playoff bonus helps them — without it, their chances would be 34 percent.The pecking order behind the Warriors changes as a result of the playoff adjustment. In the playoff version of our ratings, there’s a fairly clear second tier after Golden State that consists of the Cavs, Rockets, Thunder and Spurs. The Cavaliers, who benefit from playing in the Eastern Conference, have the easiest path of this group, with a 21 percent chance of winning the title. (Without the playoff bonus, the Cavs’ chances would be 13 percent.)After that, there’s a pretty big gap before you get to anyone else. Teams such as the Minnesota Timberwolves might not be that far behind teams like the Spurs and even the Cavs in the regular season. But because of their relative inexperience, they’re less likely to take advantage of their playoff opportunity and make a deep postseason run. 1978-79Seattle Super Sonics9977of22 read more

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Four underclassmen sign contracts to play in MLB

Former OSU first baseman Jacob Bosiokovic at bat versus Wright State on June 5. Courtesy: OSU AthleticsLast week at the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, six Ohio State players were selected — the most since six were taken in the 1998 draft.One week later, it has been confirmed that all six of those Buckeyes will play professional baseball. OSU coach Greg Beals told The Lantern that each former OSU player has signed an MLB contract, which includes four underclassmen.The Buckeyes were set to lose nine seniors from the 2016 group that won a Big Ten tournament championship. With outfielders Ronnie Dawson and Troy Montgomery, first baseman Jacob Bosiokovic and starting pitcher Tanner Tully all signing with a year of eligibility left, the Buckeyes will now have to replace six of their starting nine hitters as well as two members of their starting rotation.The first player drafted for the Buckeyes was Dawson, who was taken in the second round with the 61st overall pick by the Houston Astros. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, he signed a deal with a bonus of $1,056,800.Montgomery was drafted 246th overall in the eighth round by the Los Angeles Angels. His bonus was worth $150,000.In the 19th round of the draft, the Colorado Rockies selected Bosiokovic. The 560th pick in the draft was signed with a bonus of $40,000. He flew out Monday to join the Rockies short-season single-A affiliate, the Boise Hawks.“I really didn’t know (I would be drafted) until I had spoken with (the Rockies) after the second day of the draft,” Bosiokovic said. “They were asking me what my signability was, but I really didn’t know what was going to happen until I got the phone call from our area scout.”Left-handed reliever Michael Horejsei was also selected in the draft, taken in the 21st round with the 626th overall pick, but it is unknown at this time how much he signed for. According to Baseball America, the slot value for his place in the draft is $100,000.Co-captain and third baseman Nick Sergakis was taken later in the 23rd round of the draft with the 700th pick in the draft and signed with the New York Mets for a bonus of $5,000. The final Buckeye taken in the draft was left-handed ace Tanner Tully, who signed with the Indians on a $100,000 bonus after being selected in the 26th round with the 782nd overall pick. read more

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Meyer other Big Ten coaches welcoming challenge of nine conference games

OSU Coach Urban Meyer sounds his whistle before the first game of the 2016 season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorIn 2013, the Big Ten Conference released the 2016-17 schedules for football, along with plans for a nine-game conference schedule for each of its 14 teams. The adoption of the schedule brought the Big Ten in line with the Pacific-12 Conference and the Big 12 Conference, and brought about discussion of the rest of the Power 5 conferences adopting a similar conference.Nebraska coach Mike Riley praised the approaching nine-game conference schedule at Nebraska’s Monday press conference according to Brian Rosenthal of Huskers.com. Riley is familiar with the format, after spending time with the Pac-12 as the head coach of Oregon State.“I like it this way,” Riley said. “I know you have to play everybody in your division, and since our conference is so big, I think having those other league games that aren’t in your division are good games for everybody to play in and to watch.”With the addition of an extra in-conference matchup, the resume for a team vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff can be bolstered by a win against a team within its league. The spot taken by the extra Big Ten game will replace one out-of-conference opponent.The three previous opponents of the fourth nonconference game for OSU have been Florida A&M, Cincinnati and Western Michigan. All games resulted in wins for the Buckeyes.When asked about his viewpoints on the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coastal Conference adding an extra intraleague game, OSU coach Urban Meyer felt Riley had a point. However, he also said he doesn’t worry much about anyone other than the Buckeyes.“I’ve given it zero thought. I think coach (Mike) Riley’s got a good point there,” Meyer said. “But I couldn’t tell you what conferences do and what conferences do not.”Unlike recent years, including this season, the change in the number of conference games has also changed the format of the schedule. Most Buckeye fans are used to having all out-of-conference games to start the season before opening Big Ten play, but this isn’t the case anymore.For instance, OSU will open against Indiana in Bloomington before returning to Ohio Stadium for a matchup against Oklahoma. In 2018, OSU begins the year against Oregon State before facing Rutgers in the second game of the year.With the new format and longer Big Ten schedule looming, Meyer knows how important the next nine games will be. With five teams currently ranked within the top 20, the difficulty level is high for the Buckeyes.“I think our conference is very strong right now,” Meyer said. “Our division is, has to be one of the strongest if not the strongest in college football.”OSU opens Big Ten play after a bye week. The first in-conference foe for the Buckeyes is Rutgers at home next Saturday at noon. read more

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Ohio StateMichigan rivalry moves to outdoor ice rink come January

Growing up, Ohio State men’s hockey coach Mark Osiecki would play outdoor hockey regularly. He would gather with neighborhood kids at a local pond and play pick-up games, and even play outside with his high school team. “Eventually, you moved indoor and played in the rink,” Osiecki said. “But, even our high school team, we practiced outside once a week.” On Jan. 15, the OSU men’s hockey team will get to experience the type of hockey its head coach grew up playing, as the No. 9 Buckeyes will face No. 11 Michigan in Ohio’s first outdoor college hockey game. The game, billed as the “Frozen Diamond Faceoff,” will be played at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, in Cleveland, Ohio. Playing outdoors is something that most OSU players haven’t done, Osiecki said. “These kids, none of them played outdoor hockey, so they don’t really understand,” he said. “You want that feeling of kids that don’t want to leave the ice.” One of the few Buckeyes who have played outdoor hockey is sophomore forward Alex Lippincott, who said it’s the best way to play the game. “That’s the fun of the game, playing with your buddies outside,” he said. “There’s nothing better than outdoor hockey. It’s the most fun and the best way to enjoy the game.” OSU first played in an outdoor game on Feb. 11, 2006, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc. The Buckeyes faced off against Wisconsin in the “Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic” in front of 40,890 fans. Osiecki was an assistant coach for the Badgers at the time, and OSU lost, 4-2. Michigan played Michigan State last December in “The Big Chill at the Big House,” when more than 100,000 fans watched the Wolverines defeat the Spartans, 5-0, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The game set a world hockey record with an official attendance of 113,411. Even though the game is almost two months away, the Buckeyes are already excited. “There is a lot of buzz, and there should be,” Osiecki said. “It’s a unique situation, that our players, our fans, the state … will never forget.” Lippincott said his excitement for the game stems from watching the Winter Classic every year, an annual NHL outdoor game played on New Year’s Day, and also because the game is being played at the home of his favorite professional sports team. “When we first heard it was a possibility, I was real excited,” he said. “That’s my favorite sports team, the Indians. It’s a great feeling to be able to play (at Progressive Field).” The fact that the game will be played against rival Michigan adds to the hype of the game for some OSU players. The Buckeye-Wolverine hockey rivalry might not be on the same level as the football rivalry, but with recent OSU hockey uniform changes, the game will look similar to ones played on the gridiron. OSU has new uniforms this season that include a helmet barring similar resemblance to the silver-striped headgear worn by Buckeye football players. “It will probably look like a football game out there,” senior forward Danny Dries said. Osiecki said the uniform change was made, in part, after seeing Michigan’s winged-shaped hockey lids, which resemble the helmets worn by the Wolverine football team. “When they walk in an arena anywhere, people know who they are. It’s Michigan,” he said. “I thought it was a great idea from them whenever they started it.” The Jan. 15 game could also have great importance concerning the CCHA. The No. 9 Buckeyes, 10-3-1 on the year, moved into first place in the CCHA with a 7-2-1-1 conference record after beating Michigan in back-to-back games last weekend. The series sweep was the first for OSU in Ann Arbor since 1986. Michigan is currently tied for seventh in the CCHA with a 3-5-2-1-conference record. The No. 11 Wolverines are 7-5-2 overall this season. The Buckeyes will face Michigan in Columbus at 7:35 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13 and then travel to Cleveland to play at Progressive Field at 5:05 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15 in what will be a home CCHA game for OSU. read more

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Ohio State defense strives to be best in America

As the Buckeyes football team put spring practice behind them, players and coaches know they have much to improve upon in the coming months before the 2012 season kicks off. Although the team was ruled ineligible for a bowl game this coming season and have no championships to chase, players said that hasn’t made them any less motivated. “All we’re thinking about is beating everybody that comes into the ‘Shoe and wherever we go,” sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby said. “We just want to win every game. That’s our plan.” Players said the initial news of their team’s ineligibility was frustrating, but when word came that new coach Urban Meyer was taking the reigns, their focus began to shift. “Everyone was pretty down about the whole thing,” sophomore cornerback Doran Grant said. “We thought first all that stuff (from the previous season), now this? But Coach Meyer came in and gave us a plan and we just took off with it.” And that plan, according to players, involved winning. One of the newest addition to Ohio State football practices has been the winner and loser days, where every drill is either counted as a win, or a loss for the offense and defense. “It’s really competitive out there,” senior cornerback Travis Howard said. “Our goal is to compete every practice and win every play.” And the increased competition has made an impression on the defensive players, who want to get back to the hard-nosed “Silver Bullet” defense OSU has been known for in years past. “We kind of fell off a bit last year,” Howard said. “But everybody has come back strong, has the right mentality and the right attitude. We’re ready to take on that role of a ‘Silver Bullet’ defense again at Ohio State. It’s definitely our time this year.” Roby said he is confident that will be the case in 2012. “We’re going to be so much better this year, it’s going to be crazy,” he said. “We just have to take in the competition and work on making plays.” But in order to achieve that “Silver Bullet” title, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said the team needs to “tighten up the details.” “It’s the small things,” Coombs said. “We’ve got to tighten up our fundamentals. We’re getting a lot of plays at game speed, and when that happens, a lot of fundamentals get exposed. We need to overcome that and sharpen the sword a little bit.” But despite those mistakes, Coombs said he couldn’t be happier with his team. “Nobody is practicing harder than we are,” Coombs said. “I think (the team) just individually and collectively wants to be the best they can be, and that’s just very impressive to me. It makes it very exciting to come to work everyday.” Grant and his teammates have the bar set high. “We’re just trying to be B.I.A.,” he said. “Best in America.” read more

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No 15 Ohio State womens soccer team ready to host top 10

OSU junior defender Nicole Miyashiro (3) during a game against Illinois State University on August 21 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won 6-2. Credit: Courtesy of OSUAfter a victorious match at home last Friday, the No. 15 Ohio State women’s soccer team looks to remain on the winning path as it hosts a set of games this weekend.The Buckeyes are set to face the West Virginia Mountaineers on Friday at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium before squaring off against the Bucknell Bison on Sunday at noon. The team had a few crucial days off before returning to practice to prepare for the weekend’s matchups.“We had a little bit of time off after our game on Friday,” coach Lori Walker said. “We needed that for some rest and recovery, so practices have been tight and intense and have been at a high level. I really like where the team is at and what they’re doing. It seems like the rest really paid off.”The Scarlet and Gray enter Friday’s match 4-0-1 on the season, but Walker says the team’s record is not the most important thing.“We really don’t focus on where our record is. The word ‘undefeated’ isn’t really part of our vocabulary. We just focus on the small things that have gotten us to where we are,” Walker said. “Our defending and the speed at which we’re transitioning into attack and into defending I think has been key to us.”Junior defender Bridget Skinner said she believes in the work the team has done thus far.“I think we are just leaning on each other and building off of our concepts,” Skinner said. “And we have been following this concept to kind of build a ship, and I think it’s coming together and we kind of know what our ship needs to look like. We’re not all individual players this year, which is really helping.”Skinner said improved leadership on the team — by one player in particular — has been a critical component to the Buckeyes’ undefeated start.“(Redshirt junior) Morgan Wolcott, our center back, is really stepping up this year. She has been on and off with injuries in previous seasons, but this year she has been out and she’s been stepping up and I really think she’s the driving force of our team,” Skinner said.With the No. 8 Mountaineers coming to Columbus, Walker said she knows the team needs to be playing at its best. In order for that to happen, she is counting on individuals to step up.“Whenever you’re playing against an opponent, such as West Virginia, who we’re very familiar with, you need personality players to step up,” Walker said. “Personality comes in all kinds of ways. Personality can just be somebody that shows up with extra energy, personality can be somebody that does something special, personality can be somebody that’s willing to do extra work defensively or in transition.” read more

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NFL draft Corey Smith signs as undrafted free agent with Cincinnati Bengals

Then-redshirt senior wide receiver Corey Smith (84) had 6 catches for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns during OSU’s annual Spring Game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium. His 37-yard touchdown with 3:43 to play sealed the 17-14 win for the Scarlet team.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerFormer Ohio State wide receiver Corey Smith signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent, according to multiple outlets.All I needed was a shot @Bengals appreciate it ain’t no talking just #CheckDat— Cj (@dreamchaser_cj5) April 30, 2017A transfer from East Mississippi Community College, Smith redshirted his first year at OSU in 2013. Then, in 2014, he caught 20 passes for 255 yards. His longest catch of 47 yards came in the national championship win over Oregon, and he was a valuable part of the Scarlet and Gray special teams unit during his time in Columbus.In 2015, Smith played in four of the team’s first five games — racking up five catches for 62 yards — before suffering a season-ending leg injury against Indiana on Oct. 3. The Akron, Ohio native also missed time in 2016 with a hand injury.Seven former OSU players were selected in the 2017 NFL draft, the second-most since 2009. read more

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Football Cincinnati Bengals draft Ohio State center Billy Price 21st overall in

Ohio State senior center Billy Price (54) practices a snap during warmups prior to the start of the 2017 Cotton Bowl against USC on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorA torn pectoral muscle was not enough to prevent former Ohio State center Billy Price, who was selected as the No. 21 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.After redshirting his freshman season, Price started at guard for the National Championship-winning Buckeyes in 2014, earning second-team freshman All-American honors.After being names to the third-team All Big Ten in 2015, Price was named a team captain in 2016, being named as a first-team All-American and first-team All Big Ten.Following in the footsteps of former Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein, who was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, Price, in his final season, moved from guard to center. He was awarded the 2017 Rimington Trophy, given to the best center in college football. With unanimous first-team All American honors and first-team All Big Ten, Price was also named as the Rimington-Pace Big Ten offensive lineman of the year.Price helped Ohio State become the best rush offense in the Big Ten last season. Averaging 5.8 yards per carry, the Buckeyes recorded 243.2 rushing yards per game with 34 touchdowns on the ground. In pass protection, Price was one of the leaders on the offensive line that allowed an average of 1.6 sacks per game. While participating in the bench press during the NFL Combine, Price tore his pectoral muscle. He underwent surgery for the injury and is not expected to be back until after the draft. read more

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Football Justin Fields granted eligibility to play for Ohio State in 2019

Ohio State freshman quarterback Justin Fields speaks to the media for the first time on National Signing Day on Feb. 6. Credit: Colin Gay | Sports EditorOhio State has officially gained its third quarterback heading into next season.Freshman quarterback Justin Fields has been granted eligibility heading into the 2019-20 academic year, allowing him to play for Ohio State in the upcoming season.“I am happy for Justin and his family,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said in a release. “I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin.”Fields transferred from Georgia and committed to the Buckeyes on Jan. 4, but would typically be forced to sit out a season due to transfer rules.“I thank God for His guidance during this time of uncertainty,” Fields said in a statement. “I would like to thank the NCAA for its approval of the waiver allowing me to be eligible to play football this fall.  I also want to thank all those who supported and encouraged my family and me during this process.” Fields said that he and his family did not feel it was appropriate to speak publicly about the events that led to his transfer publicly while the decision was being made. The former five-star quarterback applied for a transfer waiver application, allowing him to forgo sitting out a season due to problems at Georgia involving a baseball player who yelled a racial slur toward him during a game.“I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program. My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Fields said. “A part of me will always be a Georgia Bulldogs fan.”On Wednesday, Fields said he wasn’t sure when a decision would be made on his waiver, and that he was hoping it would come soon.“I don’t really control that. They do,” Fields said. “I’m just trying to get here to be the best quarterback I can be.”At Georgia, Fields threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 266 yards and four touchdowns in limited time throughout his freshman season.Fields said in his statement he “will not be speaking” on the subject of his transfer moving forward, instead focusing his attention to the upcoming season.“To Buckeye Nation: thank you for your warm welcome,” Fields said. “I will work hard to represent you and The Ohio State University in a professional and respectful manner.  My dad always tells me that ‘you can’t get to where you are going by looking in the ‘rear view mirror.’’ I’m ready to move forward and embrace the next season of my life.” read more

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Galleries and theatres should run BBs to earn money Arts Council chairman

first_imgChichester Festival Theatre has worked wonders by revamping its catering, he said Art galleries should open B&Bs, theatres could run charity shops and orchestras might take on side jobs recording video games to make extra money, the chairman of the Arts Council has suggested, as he argues the industry must take earning its own income seriously.Sir Peter Bazalgette, who will shortly leave the Arts Council, said he had previously been vilified for suggesting arts organisations earn money privately as well as receiving public investment.But, he said, it is essential for publicly-funded institutions to open their minds to new ways of doing business, turning to hospitality, renting out premises, and even running a “stylish and popular hostel”. Sir Peter, who will leave the Arts Council in January  “And if you’ve got a strong visual arts brand, you might develop a shop and online retail business like Baltic in Gateshead, selling special editions of art works, and adding art to the things we use every day – cups, coffee pots, shopping bags, toys or bookends.“If you’ve got the space, you might offer bed and breakfast, alongside artists and musicians, like the urban oasis of Islington Mill arts hub in Salford.“Or like, New Brewery Arts in Cirencester, you could run a stylish and popular hostel alongside your core business. These social enterprises represent a whole new sector of the British economy and the arts are ideally suited to lead it. Museums could promote themselves as film sets, such as that for Peaky Blinders The Royal Academy, he said, exhibition a painting of his P45 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 Royal Academy, he said, exhibition a painting of his P45 If you’ve got the space, you might offer bed and breakfast, alongside artists and musiciansSir Peter Bazalgette In a speech to the Creative Industries Federation, Sir Peter said he was pleased to have encouraged the arts onto an increasingly “surer and broader financial footing” after insisting they consider different funding models, praising a “huge achievement by the arts and cultural sector”.He told an audience his early days at the Arts Council had seen him emphasise the need for a “mixed funding model” with public investment, earned income and charitable donations making up a metaphorical three-legged stool which needed “all three legs, or you fall over”. Orchestras could work on soundtracks, such as the Harry Potter video games Museums could promote themselves as film sets, such as that for Peaky Blinders But, he said, the industry has now made enough progress that all institutions should be open minded about the opportunities to raise funds.Citing examples of successful projects so far, Sir Peter suggested: “If you’re in a town that’s a destination for bargain hunters, you might run a charity shop on the high street, like The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury. Sir Peter, who will leave the Arts Council in January  “If you have a car park it might make sense to put it to work with a pay facility, supporting your great creative output. This is what the Yorkshire Sculpture Park have done.“Or if you’ve got a photogenic setting, you might promote yourself as a film location, like the Black Country Living Museum, which has been used for the three series of Peaky Blinders.“If you’re a publicly-supported orchestra, you may make money by recording film scores and video-game soundtracks.  Orchestras could work on soundtracks, such as the Harry Potter video games “In recent years, the Philharmonia has been on the soundtrack of Iron Man 3, Elysium, Thor: The Dark World, Fury and Avengers: Age of Ultron, while video games credits include the Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, and Medal of Honour.”He added: “It shows that arts organisations are increasingly run by business-minded leaders who understand that when you run a great business, it’s a lot easier to make great art.”Sir Peter will next year hand over his Arts Council responsibilities to Sir Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate galleries. Chichester Festival Theatre has worked wonders by revamping its catering, he said “An important but unremarkable view, you might think,” he said. “It wasn’t always understood. At least, not at first. “Some suggested that I was giving up on public investment – though nothing could have been further from the truth.“One artist obligingly painted my P45, which the Royal Academy generously displayed at the Summer Exhibition.”last_img read more

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Tennis coach accused of bullying daughters to make them champions was a

first_imgA tennis coach has been cleared of physically and verbally abusing his daughters in a bid to turn them into Wimbledon champions after a jury decided in just 90 minutes that he was “a pushy parent” and not a cruel father.John De’Viana, 54, was alleged to have taken both girls out of school to enforce gruelling all-day training regimes on them, making them practise from 5.30am until they went to bed.Monaei De’Viana, now 21, had claimed her father spat at her as she was driven back from a tennis tournament because she had not played well enough. She also told the jury about an incident when, at the age of nine or 10, her father wrote “L for loser” on her forehead in permanent marker.Nephe Viana, now 19, was compared to a “dog” and claimed she was forced to carry her kit in a bin liner for not performing in a tournament. A jury cleared him of two charges of cruelty to a person aged under 16, after just an hour-and-a-half of deliberations at Snaresbrook Crown Court.Mr De’Viana broke down in tears and threw his head in his hands as he was cleared and sobbed loudly as he left court.After the case, Mr De’Viana said in a statement through his lawyers that he would “always love” the daughters who accused him of child abuse, adding that he “hopes that one day he can speak to them about what has happened”. His solicitor, Daniel Salter, said in a statement:”This has been a difficult and upsetting time for Mr De’Viana, particularly seeing his daughters giving evidence.”As their father rather than their coach, he loves them and will always love them.”He hopes that one day he can speak to them about what has happened.” John De’Viana outside Snaresbrook Crown CourtCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Nephe De'viana was a poster girl for the Lawn Tennis Association  Nephe De’Viana was a poster girl for the Lawn Tennis Association  Nephe alleged she was taken out of sight of other players at Redbrige sports centre in Ilford to be kicked and slapped by her fuming father. John De'Viana outside Snaresbrook Crown Court Summing up the case, Judge Martyn Zeidman QC had told the jury to consider if his actions were “more than being a pushy parent”.Mr De’Viana had told jurors he had said goodbye to the girls after taking them for a tennis session and had not seen them since.”I was pretty tearful because I knew that I didn’t want to leave the girls,” he explained. “I called them both over and put my arms around them and said how much I love them and they were pushing themselves away from me as if it was a joke. They didn’t understand what was going on.”They later alleged he bombarded them with physical and verbal abuse over years of coaching. 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. Monaei De’Viana told the court her father John, left, wrote on her forehead and shut her in a caravan Both girls were talented and had their picture taken with Andy Murray after they were sponsored by the Lawn Tennis Association.But Mr De’Viana claimed the girls made up the claims when he separated from their mother Michelle Horne amid claims that she cheated on him.He told the court: “I didn’t give them the courtesy of an explanation when I left, they are not feeling too good towards me. I can only assume that they are pretty upset with me as a father.”He insisted he had never forced the girls to do anything they had not wanted to and would never strike or abuse them. Monaei had also claimed Mr De’Viana hit Nephe for not playing well enough.Mr De’Viana had categorically denied all allegations of swearing or violence towards the children, describing the latter as “simply impossible”.He added: “You can’t force a child to play a particular sport especially when that child is developing at a phenomenal rate and there’s many psychologists and reports from a governing body monitoring her rise though the ranks.”Mr De’Viana, of Ilford, Essex, was cleared off two counts of cruelty to a person aged under 16. Both girls gave up tennis after their parents separated. Monaei De'Viana, right, told the court her father John, left, wrote on her forehead and shut her in a caravanlast_img read more

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The Falls Mark E Smith dies aged 60

first_imgThe singer’s health was known to be deterioratingCredit:Ebet Roberts/Redferns The singer's health was known to be deteriorating  The prolific singer’s final performance was at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow, where he sang from his wheelchair with his right arm in a sling.Many in the industry have paid tribute to the singer-songwriter, with Lauren Laverne tweeting: “Oh man. Mark E Smith. One of my biggest heroes. Had a nightmare interviewing him (of course) but then he put me in a song. So sharp, clever and untouchably cool. Thanks for the music, MES.” Explaining that it didn’t matter who else he was playing alongside, he once said: “If it’s me and yer granny on bongos, it’s The Fall.” Lead singer of The Fall, Mark E Smith has died aged 60. The musician died at home on Wednesday morning, according to Pam Van Damned – Smith’s partner and manager of the band.In a statement Wednesday evening she said: “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E Smith. He passed this morning at home.”A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.”Last year the band were forced to cancel a string of shows due to the founding member’s poor health.  So so sad to hear that we’ve lost Mark E Smith. A true uncompromising musical maverick. A genius, a curmudgeon and someone whose company it was an honour to share. So long M.E.S x x x pic.twitter.com/aZFGNXZuRW— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) January 24, 2018 Oh man. Mark E Smith. One of my biggest heroes. Had a nightmare interviewing him (of course) but then he put me in a song. So sharp, clever and untouchably cool. Thanks for the music, MES.— Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) January 24, 2018 Described by many, including Tim Burgess of The Charlaten’s as ‘a genius’, the temperamental frontman led The Fall for four decades, citing dozens of writers and poets as influential to his lyrics.  In that time, the singer hired and fired more than 60 musicians from the band, and released 30 albums that defined the post-punk genre. last_img read more

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Facebook putting childrens lives at risk by reviving spurious MMR claims say

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. Royal College of GPs of their chairwoman Helen Stokes-LampardCredit:Grainge Photography/Royal College of GPs The report also claims, wrongly, that the MMR vaccine is responsible for massive global adverse reactions and has a poor safety record, an assertion contradicted by WHO research.Truth About Vaccines links Gardasil, a vaccine for HPV, to paralysis, deaths and adverse events. It is contradicted by official peer-reviewed studies showing no deaths have been linked to the vaccine. A study of 190,000 girls found rates of auto-immune responses were the same in the vaccinated as unvaccinated.Dr David Grimes, a Oxford University health specialist, said Facebook should establish a team of medical experts to review the sites.“If something is so obviously fake and people are undermining and causing damage to public health, they should not be allowed to do that,” he said. Truth About vaccines carries an alarmist report about a mother whose baby was injected with the MMR vaccine and died a minute later. There is no evidence the vaccine was to blame, but instead poor handling and refrigeration of it by medical staff is suspected and is under police investigation. It meant a “sizeable cohort of twenty-somethings” were unprotected from potentially life-threatening diseases with a surge of more 600 measles cases in England this year alone, a disease “we were on the brink of eradicating and which can have life-changing consequences,” she added.Measles cases in England are set to quadruple this year, fuelled by an anti-vaccine movement that, researchers say, has gained momentum through social media platforms such as Facebook.Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, demanded urgent action by Facebook, saying its own research, due later this year, showed parents were more likely to see negative and often-inaccurate messages about vaccinations on social media than positive ones. “The consequences of publishing misleading information is a genuine risk to the public’s health – you only have to look at the widespread panic and confusion that was caused by unfounded claims [by Dr Wakefield] linking the MMR vaccine to autism in the 1990s,” she said. Searches for “vaccinations”, “vaccination information” or “vaccines” or “MMR vaccine” on Facebook placed sites entitled Truth about Vaccines, National Vaccine Information Centre, Vaccine Information Network (VINE) and Vaccine Information Portal in the top five searches. All are anti-vaccination.On VINE, Robert F Kennedy, an anti-vaccination lawyer who has met and lobbied Donald Trump to set up an inquiry into vaccine safety, claims in a video that the “explosion” in child epidemics of autism, ADD, ADHD, arthritis, diabetes and auto-immune diseases is directly linked to vaccines.The site also makes the unfounded claim that the HPV vaccine is “destroying” the lives of little girls “and now boys” after the government’s recent announcement that the vaccine will be given to boys. Royal College of GPs of their chairwoman Helen Stokes-Lampard Searches for “vaccinations”, “vaccination information” or “vaccines” or “MMR vaccine” on Facebook placed sites that are anti-vaccination Searches for “vaccinations”, “vaccination information” or “vaccines” or “MMR vaccine” on Facebook placed sites that are anti-vaccinationCredit:AFP Facebook is putting children’s lives at risk by reviving spurious MMR claims, the UK’s top health chiefs have said.The anti-vaccination sites which promote the fake science that caused a surge in measles cases as well as conspiracy theories about other vaccines appear at the top of searches when parents use Facebook to find information about the MMR vaccine or other vaccinations.Andrew Wakefield, the discredited doctor behind the fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to autism, features prominently on the sites with his film Vaxxed in which he accuses the US government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of a cover-up over the risks.Unlike Google, which filters out anti-vaccination sites to promote guidance from the NHS, government or World Health Organisation, Facebook’s searches appear to be based solely on their most popular and active sites irrespective of whether they are peddling false information. The biggest anti-vaccination sites have more than 100,000 followers.Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said it was “deeply concerning” that Facebook was carrying posts that spread “false and frankly dangerous ideas” about not just MMR but other vaccination programmes. read more

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Social media is the new pillow talk MoD warns as it tells

“Think before you share. Posting is permanent. Remember anything you publish could be re-shared or screen grabbed.”The list of advice is based on what troops should know when creating a regimental social media page and sharing information online. The Army has special cyber protection teams, but the advice to soldiers is seen as a new line of defence. Think before you share. Posting is permanent. Remember anything you publish could be re-shared or screen grabbed The advice also says: “Take a moment to check that your post falls in line with your unit’s social media objectives – and never share anything that could breach operational or personal security. “Don’t fire and forget. Check responses and comments and be prepared to answer and moderate them as quickly a possible. But be accurate – if you don’t know the answer to a questions find out. Most importantly do not get drawn into an online confrontation.”It also advises soldiers to “get permission” from chain of command when sharing music, videos or imagery.During the Second World War, the “Careless Talk Costs Lives” propaganda discouraged people talking about sensitive material where it could be overheard by spies.It was also intended to prevent morale-sapping rumours from spreading. The guidelines is an update on WW2 propaganda The guidelines is an update on WW2 propagandaCredit:Imperial War Museums Social media is the new pillow talk, the Ministry of Defence has warned troops in new online guidance.Soliders are being advised not to take part in careless chatter on Facebook and Twitter as it stepped up efforts in the ongoing cyber war.The MoD-approved Soldier magazine has released a new updated safety guide based on the old war time “Careless Talk Costs Lives” campaign, titled “Pause before you post”.The advice includes: “Stay secure. Familiarise yourself with the security settings for each social media account you are using. “Change passwords regularly and be aware of what information you may inadvertently be revealing when you tag or share something, especially when it comes to location services and geo-tagging.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Girl offers piggybank to masked gunmen to try and make them leave

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. Detective Chief Inspector White said: “A 45-year-old man was shot in both arms and legs after a number of masked men broke into his home just before 10.30pm on Saturday night. They also beat him with a bat or metal bar.“The man’s teenage daughter, who was also in the house at the time of the shooting and beating, was threatened to be shot by one of the violent perpetrators before her mobile phone was taken to prevent her calling for help. An attempt was also made to set fire to items in the house.“The injured man is currently in hospital receiving treatment for the gunshot wounds and head injuries from being beaten.“This a sickeningly vicious shooting and beating which has left this man with serious and potentially life changing injuries, and a young girl severely traumatised.” A teenage girl offered masked gunmen her piggy bank in order to protect her father, a local police force has revealed.Despite her efforts, thugs shot her father through his arms and legs, and beat him up in a “paramilitary-style attack” at the family home in Garvagh, Northern Ireland.He was beaten with a metal bar on Sunday night, and his daughter was also threatened, with the criminals pointing a gun at her and taking her mobile phone so she could not call for help.The local police force revealed that she offered the gunmen her piggybank so they would leave.PSNI Limavady posted on Facebook: “I don’t care what you think about the rights and wrongs of vigilante criminal thugs in OUR streets shooting people, but what about this innocent young teenage girl?”What this article doesn’t tell you is that the thug chased the young girl upstairs and threatened her when she hid. She came out petrified with her Piggy Bank, HER PIGGY BANK! hoping that the men would take it and leave her Dad alone.”Instead they stole her phone and shot her Dad. My heart is broken for this girl 💔 it makes me feel physically sick and enraged to my core. Way to go fella.” read more

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