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Sean Payton Can Negotiate Contract With Saints

Sean Payton, the suspended New Orleans Saints coach who had his contract voided, is allowed to negotiate a new contract with the team, according to a report by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.The newspaper reported that, while Payton’s suspension for his involvement in the bounty scandal forbids him from speaking with the organization, he and the Saints are permitted to speak in regards to his contract situation.ESPN Sunday reported that a previous contract extension between Payton and the Saints was voided by the league. Should the two sides be unable to reach agreement on a new deal, Payton would be a free agent.Saints quarterback Drew  has no doubt he’ll be reunited with Payton in 2013.“I absolutely believe he’ll be back,” Brees said after Monday night’s win over Philadelphia.Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said he hadn’t seen or heard Sunday’s report and didn’t want to comment, but added, “This team loves Sean, and Sean loves this team. This city loves Sean, and Sean loves this city. I think that’s a tough combination to beat.”New Orleans safety Roman Harper said he sees no reason for Payton to leave New Orleans, especially after being linked to the bounty case.“Why would he not come back? He’s got something to prove,” Harper said. “There’s nothing like having a man with a chip on his shoulder. This is just another way the NFL is trying to get at us. We just have to keep our minds on things we can control, and that’s playing football.”With Payton’s earlier ties to the Cowboys and close relationship with owner Jerry Jones, there has been speculation he could replace Dallas coach Jason Garrett.Jones denied such talk Sunday while Garrett said his sole focus remains on getting his 3-5 Cowboys to the playoffs.“There’s a lot of stories that circulate around our game,” Garrett said Monday afternoon. “So certainly some people bring those kinds of things to my attention, but again, we’re (focusing) on what we need to do. We had heck of a challenge (Sunday night) in Atlanta, trying to play an undefeated team, so that’s where our attention was.” read more

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Ohio State womens volleyball attempts to bounce back against Michigan

OSU senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell (14) during a game against Purdue on Oct. 16 at St. John Area. OSU won 3-2. Credit: Christopher Slack / Lantern PhotographerAfter suffering just its third loss of the season in a three-set upset at the hands of Michigan State on Wednesday, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team will look to rebound this weekend against another rival from the Wolverine State.That rival is No. 23 Michigan (15-5, 5-4), who the Buckeyes (18-3, 7-2) will be seeing for the first time this season in Ann Arbor on Saturday at 7 p.m.The intense rivalry between the two schools gives OSU extra motivation to beat the Wolverines on their own floor, sophomore outside hitter Ashley Wenz said.“Being from Ohio all my life, you can’t even say ‘Michigan’ without people saying something,” Wenz said. “So it gives us a little more ‘oomph’ in how we play against them.”Last year, the teams split their two matchups when both won on its home floor. OSU hasn’t won a game in Cliff Keen Arena — in which Michigan has a 10-2 record this season – since 2011, but the Buckeyes are hoping to change their recent history this weekend.“(We’re) really amped up, really pumped up, especially because last time we went it wasn’t so good on our end,” senior middle blocker Tyler Richardson said. “This year, we’re ready and I think we’re all really excited. It’s Michigan.”OSU is preparing for an unfriendly crowd in Ann Arbor, something senior outside hitter Katie Mitchell said she’s become accustomed to in her four years donning scarlet and gray.“They hate us, and it’s pretty obvious,” Mitchell said. “You play in an old pool so it’s a very intimate setting with 2,000 people that just hate you so much and want you to lose … it’s always fun to go in there and turn the smile upside down.”Michigan was picked by Big Ten coaches to finish ninth in the conference before the season, just behind OSU; but like the Buckeyes, the Wolverines have been turning some heads with their play this season.Led by junior middle blocker and preseason all-Big Ten selection Abby Cole — who leads the team in kills per set (3.08), attack percentage (.360), service aces (9) and total blocks (75) — Michigan won its first 10 games of the season and took No. 5 Penn State to the brink of defeat in a five-set loss on Wednesday.“We’ve got to be ready on the road because everyone’s going to be coming after us,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said. “Michigan’s an important match on so many different levels.”The Buckeyes hold a 49-22 all-time record against the Wolverines, but the series has been more even as of late, with the teams splitting their last six matchups.HomecomingOSU’s two senior middle blockers, Andrea Kacsits and Richardson, are both from Michigan and are looking forward to being back home.Kacsits is eager to see people from her hometown — both in the stands and on the court.“All the games mean so much just because you put your heart and soul into all of them,” Kacsits, a native of Rockford, Michigan, said. “But these ones are kind of fun because a lot of my club friends and high school friends and people that I haven’t seen in a long time either are playing in the game or coming to watch the game.”Richardson, who hails from Ypsilanti, Michigan, a town less than 10 miles from Ann Arbor, said the game means a lot to her because she gets to visit home and due to the magnitude of the rivalry between the two schools.What’s next?The Buckeyes are set to play host to defending national champion Penn State on Wednesday in St. John Arena at 7 p.m. OSU will be looking to snap a 16-game losing streak against the Nittany Lions that dates back to 2006. read more

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Prahalis 25 points not enough to propel Buckeyes to victory

When the Michigan women’s basketball team (13-8, 6-2) defeated Ohio State (13-7, 4-4) on Dec. 30, the Wolverines benefited from a 1-for-13 shooting performance from OSU junior guard Samantha Prahalis. Thursday night at the Schottenstein Center, the Wolverines weren’t as fortunate — however, they were still victorious. Prahalis connected on her first seven shots of the night, five of which were 3-pointers. But her 25-point, six-assist performance wasn’t enough for the Buckeyes, as they fell to Michigan 69-66 in a game that may have come down to last-minute free throws. “I give (Michigan) a lot of credit. They played very well,” OSU coach Jim Foster said following his team’s second loss to Michigan this season. “They executed. We didn’t.” Not having missed a shot in the first half, Prahalis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point attempt at the end of the first half to give OSU a 46-33 lead. Prahalis’ perfect first half, in which she scored 19 points, helped the Buckeyes weather a barrage of Wolverine 3-pointers, as Michigan connected on eight of its first 12 shots from beyond the arc. “I just got in a good rhythm,” Prahalis said. “I just was a little hot tonight and just found a good rhythm.” Though Michigan couldn’t find a way to slow down Prahalis, foul trouble did. OSU’s leading scorer picked up her third foul with 16 minutes remaining in the game and the Buckeyes up by 12 points. With Prahalis saddled onto the bench, the Wolverines cut OSU’s lead down to as few as five points before Prahalis returned with 10 minutes remaining. “She is our point guard, and she makes the ball move,” Foster said. “She’s got to understand fouls. A silly foul can be costly down the road.” Even with Prahalis back in the game, the Buckeyes struggled to extend their lead, as Michigan’s Rachel Sheffer’s 3-point shot with a minute remaining in the game cut the Buckeyes’ lead to one point. After a missed jumper by Prahalis, Sheffer connected on two free throws to give Michigan a 67-66 lead with 29 seconds remaining. Sheffer finished the game with a team-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Wolverines. After an OSU timeout, Prahalis came up short on another jumper. However, senior guard Alison Jackson grabbed the rebound and was fouled on a put-back attempt. With the chance to tie the game with one basket, or take the lead with two, Jackson stepped to the line for her two free throws. She missed both. OSU senior guard Brittany Johnson added 14 points for the Buckeyes, and senior center Jantel Lavender scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Lavender’s ninth rebound of the game made her the Big Ten’s career leader in rebounds. “It’s awesome that it hasn’t been broken in 26 years,” Lavender said. “I just rebound hard and try to get every rebound.” OSU’s loss Thursday snapped a three-conference-game winning streak for the six-time defending Big Ten champions. The Buckeyes travel to State College, Pa., to face Penn State at 2 p.m. Sunday. “We’ve got to have some of these young players continue to progress and understand that one game is not the next,” Foster said. “What you have to do in one game, you might have to do something else the next time you’re out there.” read more

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Bucks add trio of 5star recruits

“At first it was hard to adjust (to college), but now I’m cool,” Miller said. “Now I’m just getting the hang of it.” Defensive back Jeremy Cash (Plantation High School, Plantation, Fla.), defensive tackle Joel Hale (Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Ind.), tight end Jeff Heuerman (Barron Collier High School, Naples, Fla.) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (Plantation High School, Plantation, Fla.) also enrolled early. With starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor suspended for the first five games of 2011, Miller will compete for Pryor’s spot with Joe Bauserman, who will be a senior, and Taylor Graham, Ken Guiton and Justin Siems, who will be sophomores. “It’s an opportunity to put in the work,” Miller said, “and see who wins out.” Tressel emphasized the amount of repetitions each quarterback will receive in practice this year. “These guys are going to get good reps,” he said. “(We’ll see) the evolution of who steps to the front. There’s going to be days where one person does, and there’s going to be days when another doesn’t.” Defensive end Steve Miller (McKinley Senior High School, Canton, Ohio) rounds out the five-star recruits and is the No. 9-ranked defensive end, according to He is one of 13 defensive signees. Tressel said the 2011 class had good balance on both sides of the ball. “What we try to do every year is just get a little bit of everything so that, within your classes, you have a few of every position,” he said. “Therefore, when you look at the total roster, you’ve got the kind of depth and age variance within positions.” But the Buckeyes did not land all the high school players they coveted. Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker (Glenville High School, Cleveland), a four-star recruit according to, committed to Southern California and is widely regarded as the top offensive line recruit in Ohio. Overall, ranks the Buckeyes’ class No. 3 in the nation; ESPN ranks it No. 7; and ranks it No. 10. Nebraska and Michigan also appeared in the top 25. Nebraska is ranked No. 14 on ESPN, No. 15 on and No. 23 on Michigan is ranked No. 21 on Zack Meisel contributed to this story. On the first day high school football recruits could sign with their prospective universities, Ohio State announced the signing of 23 new Buckeyes for its 2011 class. Coach Jim Tressel is satisfied with how the recruiting class rounded out, he said at a press conference Wednesday. “When you get into the last two weeks of January and you get a good finish, you feel good about that,” he said. “I liked the beginning, and I loved the end.” Of the 23 signees, three are listed as five-star recruits on Linebacker Curtis Grant (Hermitage High School, Richmond, Va.) committed Wednesday afternoon to play for Tressel’s squad. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Grant is the top outside linebacker in the country, according to Another five-star recruit is quarterback Braxton Miller (Wayne High School, Huber Heights, Ohio). The 6-2, 185-pound Miller is the No. 2-ranked quarterback in the nation, according to However, considers Miller a four-star recruit. Miller is one of 13 recruits from Ohio, and one of five players who enrolled early at OSU for Winter Quarter 2011. read more

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Stricker holds lead at Memorial Tournament Byrd Kuchar follow close behind

Steve Stricker has a spot in the final pairing Sunday, after shooting a 3-under-par 69 on Saturday at the Memorial Tournament. Stricker is 12-under-par in the tournament, three strokes ahead of his nearest competitor. Stricker, looking to capture his 10th PGA Tour victory, said to win the Memorial would rank with some of his greatest wins. “It’s a great tournament,” Stricker said. “(Jack Nicklaus) is the greatest player of all time, and to win his tournament would be pretty special.” Paired with Stricker for the final day of play is Jonathan Byrd, who shot a 3-under-par 69 to put himself at 9-under-par for the tournament. “Anytime you get in the final group on Sunday, you’ve done a great job,” Byrd said. “Today I played well all day.” Byrd said playing in the final group on a Sunday is a fun environment and that the added attention and pressure help his game. “I think the hardest environment to play in is when there’s like two people out there,” Byrd said. “When there’s a ton of people you just block everybody out.” Matt Kuchar will join Brandt Jobe on Sunday as the second-to-last group to tee off. Kuchar finished his day with a 4-under-par 68, putting him four shots off the lead. He said looking at the leaderboard was a little disheartening. “I was playing some great golf and finally got a chance to look at the leaderboard,” Kuchar said. “Stricker was matching me shot for shot out there.” Phil Mickelson, who finished the day with an even-par 72, said that, despite being 10 shots off the lead, he is pretty happy with many aspects of his game. “I’m actually pretty pleased with a lot of areas that I feel like I’ve been doing well,” he said. “But the one area that I’m identifying I’ll spend a little time now on is putting.” Stricker and Kuchar appeared unstoppable on the front nine on Saturday. Stricker got off to a strong start with an eagle on the second hole, and another eagle on the fifth hole. He finished the front nine shooting a 5-under-par 31. “It was a great start,” Stricker said. “Holing one out at the second hole and then making another eagle at No. 5.” Kuchar also shot a 5-under-par 31 on the front nine, and had seven birdies in nine holes. He said it would be tough for anyone to catch Stricker on Sunday. “Strick has got it all,” Kuchar said. “It’s going to take a low number for anyone to knock Steve Stricker tomorrow to have a chance.” Play begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. Stricker and Byrd will tee off at 1:35 p.m. read more

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2018 2019 Big Ten conference schedules released

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) attempts to run through a tackle by Northwestern defender during a game Oct. 5 at Ryan Field. OSU won, 40-30. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Big Ten football schedules for the 2018 and 2019 seasons were released by the conference Wednesday.Ohio State is scheduled to play new conference foe Rutgers for the third time at home in 2018. The Buckeyes are also set to host Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan and travel to Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State and Maryland.A season-opening home game for 2018 is yet to be determined, but OSU is scheduled to visit TCU and host North Carolina to round out its schedule that year.OSU hosts Michigan State, Wisconsin, Maryland and Penn State as part of its conference slate in 2019, and is scheduled to travel to Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan.The Buckeyes open Big Ten play that year with back-to-back road games at Indiana Sept. 14 and at Nebraska Sept. 28. OSU hosts TCU between those games Sept. 21. It will be the first time the Horned Frogs will play in Columbus since 1973.The 2019 visit to Northwestern marks the first time OSU will play in Evanston, Ill., since this year’s 40-30 victory Oct. 5. The Oct. 26 date with Wisconsin will be the first time the Badgers will return to Ohio Stadium since losing to OSU 31-24 on Sept. 28 of this year.Maryland and Rutgers officially join the conference next season, and the B1G will sport a new alignment with East and West divisions.The Big Ten is scheduled to expand its conference schedule to nine games beginning in 2016, the same season OSU is set to play nine straight weeks of B1G contests. 2019 Ohio State Football ScheduleAug. 31 —TBASept. 7 — CincinnatiSept. 14 — at IndianaSept. 21 — TCUSept. 28 — at NebraskaOct. 5 — Michigan StateOct. 19 —at NorthwesternOct. 26 — WisconsinNov. 9 — MarylandNov. 16 — at RutgersNov. 23 — Penn StateNov. 30 — at Michigan 2018 Ohio State Football ScheduleSept. 1 — TBASept. 8 — RutgersSept. 15 — at TCUSept. 22 — North CarolinaSept. 29 — at Penn StateOct. 6 — IndianaOct. 13 — MinnesotaOct. 20 — at PurdueNov. 3 — NebraskaNov. 10 — at Michigan StateNov. 17 — MarylandNov. 24 —Michigan read more

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Gallery ESPN College GameDay – Ohio State versus Oklahoma

Lee Corso reacts to being served a ‘Thurmanator’ from The Thurman Cafe in Columbus during the ESPN College GameDay broadcast for the 2017 OSU- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

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Football Ohio State Buckeyes wont let bye week halt momentum

The Buckeyes line up prior to taking the field for warmups before the Ohio State-Nebraska game on Oct. 14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 6 Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) has found itself in the midst of a hot stretch. But through no fault of its own, that stretch will be put on hold this weekend.The Buckeyes have a bye week and will not play until they welcome No. 2 Penn State to Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in a battle of Big Ten powers.“It’s definitely going to be fun to have a week off and refresh,” junior linebacker Jerome Baker said after the Buckeyes’ 56-14 win over Nebraska. “It’s a good time because we’ve got two weeks to prepare for Penn State. As everybody knows that’s a great team, so it’s definitely good for us.”Since its Week 2 loss to Oklahoma, Ohio State has rolled on both sides of the ball, even though its special teams has looked incompetent. The Buckeyes have defeated their past five opponents — Army, UNLV, Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska — by a combined score of 266-56 and have outgained opponents by 1,885 yards. Redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett has thrown for at least 200 yards every game and accounted for 22 touchdowns over the span without an interception. In the past five games, opponents have scored just three first-half touchdowns against the starting defense. “This is a good time to be cooking, but it’s also a good time to have a bye week and get these guys fresh,” Meyer said Saturday. “We’re still finalizing how we’re going to do the bye week.”After its longest road trip of the season and the third night game away from home, Ohio State took Sunday off. For the first time all season, it did not feel rushed to jump into preparation for its next opponent, even though the Nittany Lions might be the most formidable opponent of the year. Redshirt junior wideout Terry McLaurin said Ohio State appreciates the week off, which allows it to focus heavily on its next opponent, but it also must balance that with maintaining steady improvement.“As far as just keeping the pedal off the gas, we’ve got to keep it going,” McLaurin said. “We’ve got a nice train rolling right now. We just want to come into this bye week focused and ready to get better.”Nearly a year ago, then-No. 2 Ohio State traveled to State College, Pennsylvania, to take on Penn State, a team that had just come off a bye week and handily defeated Maryland before its off week. Conversely, Wisconsin took the Buckeyes into overtime before Ohio State was able to come away with a hard-fought 30-27 overtime victory in Madison, Wisconsin. As the Buckeyes battled, the Nittany Lions rested.Both teams’ schedules are flipped this year.Not only will the Buckeyes be playing a game for the first time in two weeks when they play host to Penn State, but the Nittany Lions will be coming off a game against No. 19 Michigan. Even though the Wolverines have not looked as threatening this year, their stingy defense has not allowed more than 20 points in a game and will test a strong Nittany Lion offense.Though the Buckeyes have avoided outright saying they were looking forward to avenging last year’s loss to Penn State in prior weeks, it’s not a stretch to believe it has been in the back of their minds since the white-clad fans stormed Beaver Stadium as the Scarlet and Gray walked dejectedly back to the locker room.Redshirt senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis admitted as much saying the team has had an eye on Penn State for a while and mentioned the coaches have been preparing for this matchup for weeks. But for now, Ohio State rests, awaiting a chance for revenge. read more

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Fallon tells Trump Freedom cannot be traded in Ukraine

first_imgBritain will stand alongside Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia because freedom cannot be “traded”, the Defence Secretary has said, amid fears Donald Trump may scale back support to Kiev in a deal with Moscow.Sir Michael Fallon announced new British military training to Ukrainian forces battling Russian-backed separatists and said a Royal Navy warship will visit the country for the first time in a decade.He arrived in Kiev for two days of talks as the US election of Mr Trump has caused alarm among Ukrainians dismayed at his apparent warmth towards Vladimir Putin.   The defence secretary has arrived in KievCredit:SERGEY DOLZHENKO/EPA The comments come as Donald Trump is about to replace Barack Obama as presidentCredit:Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP  Putin Kiev The Defence Secretary also announced that one of the Navy’s Type 45 destroyers will visit the Black Sea port of Odessa in the summer, the first time a British warship has visited the country since 2008.The destroyer will be leading a Nato deployment that will also visit Bulgaria and Romania.America has stopped short of supplying weapons to Ukraine after the 2014 annexation of Crimea, but has supplied money and training and imposed sanctions on Mr Putin’s regime. Mr Trump said earlier this week that he would propose offering to end sanctions on Moscow in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal.Barack Obama said “I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don’t confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues,” he said.”It is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principal that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries,” the Democratic president added.center_img In comments likely to be seen as a message to Mr Trump, Sir Michael said: “The values of freedom and democracy cannot be traded.”“Britain is stepping up on the global stage and standing firm with our Ukrainian friends.“The UK is sending a clear message that we are committed to defending democracy across the world and support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”The remarks follow comments from Mr Trump that he will propose an end to sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea. Trump and Obama Mr Trump has downplayed Russian aggression in the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine and has suggested he may recognise Moscow’s claims on the peninsula.He has said he wants to improve ties with Russia, despite allegations by US spy agencies that Mr Putin ordered a cyber campaign to boost Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton.Sir Michael, who is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen Stepan Poltorak, said Britain’s 100-strong training team will now widen out its courses to train the local air force and navy.British troops have trained around 5,000 members of the Ukrainian forces in military skills including battlefield medicine and infantry tactics.  Trump has said he will improve ties with PutinCredit: Sergei Ilnitsky/AP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Charity Commission investigates student unions over calls to boycott Israel

first_imgA spokesman for the Charity Commission said: “Concerns have been raised with us about a number of student union charities – we have assessed those concerns in line with our usual processes. “In addition, we will be writing to a number of further student union charities in England & Wales that are reported to have been involved in the BDS movement, to ensure that their trustees are aware of and fulfilling their legal duties and responsibilities, including to comply with our guidance on charities and campaigning.” Baroness Ruth Deech has previously warned that some of Britain’s leading universities are becoming no-go zones for Jewish students. The Union of Jewish Students has identified 21 Students’ Unions which have some form of BDS policy in place.Of these, two are in Scotland so would be outside of the Charity Commission’s jurisdiction. Earlier this month the National Union of Students (NUS) conducted research into the experience of Jewish students on campus.They found that the majority of Jewish students who belonged to student unions which had BDS policies in place did not feel comfortable. One respondent cited in the research said that they felt the BDS policies “threatens safety of Jews on campus” while another said it “seems like a front to get rid of Jewish culture in campus”.   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. Baroness Deech, a cross-bench peer who formerly held the highest office dealing with student complaints, said that the extreme levels of hostility towards Israel at universities across the country can at times go so far as to equate to anti-Semitism.According to charity laws, registered charities must not engage in political campaigns which do not further their charitable objectives. Since the stated objectives of student unions tend to centre around the promotion of education and welfare of their students, committing time and resources to campaigning for an Israel boycott could fall foul of charity law.If the student unions refuse to comply with the Charity Commission’s request for further information about their BDS policies, they could face further regulatory action including a full statutory investigation or enforced removal of their trustees. Student unions are being probed by the Charity Commission over their support for a boycott of Israel, which has been blamed for fuelling anti-Semitism on university campuses across the country.The charity watchdog said that it is preparing to write to more than a dozen student unions which have endorsed the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movements to demand further information.The BDS movement, which calls for an international boycott of Israel, describes itself as a human rights organisation. It says it stands for “freedom, justice and equality” and “categorically opposes as a matter of principle all forms of racism”.But leaders in the Jewish community say that growing support for BDS has led to a rise in anti-Semitism on campus.Earlier this year the Universities Minsiter Jo Johnson wrote to university leaders urging them to tackle “intimidation and violence” against Jewish students ahead of Israel Apartheid Week. Jonathan Arkush, chair of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “The Jewish community experience is that anti-Israel bigotry and agitation on campus is directly linked to a deterioration of the atmosphere to an extent where Jewish students feel personally threatened and unsafe.  “Since student unions generally enjoy charitable status and investigation by the charity commission into the legality of anti-Israel policies is in our view justified and long overdue.” Baroness Ruth Deech is a British academic and cross-bench peer Baroness Ruth Deech is a British academic and cross-bench peerCredit:Rosie Hallamlast_img read more

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Manchester Victoria station reopens a week after terror attack at arena

first_imgPolice watch as commuters pass through Manchester Victoria railway station which has reopenedCredit:Owen Humphreys/PA Wire “We’ve seen the best of our people, the best of our public services, the whole place has pulled together and helped everybody through what has been our darkest week.”You do see the best of people at moments like this and I think that gives us all something to cling on to in what is a very difficult time and remains so.  The vigil, illuminated by the gentle light from hundreds of tea candles, was a moment of quiet reflection for a city united in grief.British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther said he was “incredibly proud” of the police response at Manchester Victoria station in the immediate aftermath of the blast.He said: “Like many others, their first instinct was to go into the scene – they did a fantastic job.”It never ceases to amaze me how police officers and others in public service step forward into danger when others are fleeing.”I know they did their very best for the people they tended to.”Liam Sumpter, managing director of Northern Trains which run out at Manchester Victoria, said 15 members of staff were among those first on the scene.He said: “They provided first aid and comfort to those victims without any thought to their own safety and without any training in that sort of response. They did the whole industry proud and I’ve got no doubt that they made a big difference on the evening. Police watch as commuters pass through Manchester Victoria railway station which has reopened Twenty-two people were killed and dozens injured after the bomber struck following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling were among those to lay wreaths at the station on Tuesday morning.Mr Burnham said: “The response has been truly phenomenal from everybody. Meanwhile, hundreds of mourners paid an emotional tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack on Monday night, exactly a week after the attack.People of all ages stood alongside each other in quiet contemplation shortly after 10.30pm at St Ann’s Square, the site that has become the unofficial memorial site for those killed and injured in the blast.center_img Manchester Victoria railway station has reopened to services more than a week after a suicide attack at the Manchester Arena.The station, which is attached to the Manchester Arena where Salman Abedi wrought death and destruction on the city, was shut to allow a forensic search of the area to take place. He added: “What’s been extraordinary for me is to see the true character of the place and the people at its most intense way and it’s made me so proud actually.”I want to capture this spirit we have had in the city, this togetherness, and use that to pull communities together to then do a better job of tackling extremism.” “When they first got there the scene they described was foggy, but with walking wounded.”There was some suggestion there might be a secondary device or at least they (police) wanted to make the area safe, so they instructed everybody to leave the area.”But my team refused to do that. Their dedication and bravery in doing that was solely because they couldn’t leave people who were injured.”Many of them had been on shift for 10 or 12 hours before that, and they stayed on shift providing support to the many dedicated emergency service personnel who arrived on scene.”I’m very proud of everyone. It’s just indicative of how everyone responded.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Leigh Day lawyers cleared of wrongdoing over Iraq War torture and murder claims

first_imgSolicitors Anna Crowther, Sapna Malik and Frances Swaine of solicitors Leigh Day arrive at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in central London Solicitors Anna Crowther, Sapna Malik and Frances Swaine of solicitors Leigh Day arrive at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in central LondonCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images Mr Day and Ms Malik were each cleared of 16 misconduct charges at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Fellow solicitor Ms Crowther was cleared of four, including an allegation of destroying a key document, and the firm was exonerated of 11 counts.The firm had worked alongside disgraced human rights lawyer Phil Shiner to represent Iraqi clients whose claims of abuse were later found to be deliberate lies. Mr Shiner was struck off earlier this year at a similar tribunal. Lawyers accused of wrongly pursing British troops with false accusations of abusing and murdering Iraqi civilians have been cleared of a string of professional misconduct charges.Law firm Leigh Day, its co-founder Martyn Day and his colleagues Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther, were cleared of any wrongdoing in alleging the mistreatment of captives after the Battle of Danny Boy in May 2004.center_img The Ministry of Defence said it was disappointed by the decision, while a veterans’ lobby group said it was disgusted.Mr Day said afterwards: “We are pleased that the tribunal has cleared us of all the charges, and confirmed our view that we did not act improperly or dishonestly in these legal claims against the Ministry of Defence.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Giant planet beyond Solar System hot enough to boil iron

first_img“When we pointed Hubble at WASP-121b, we saw glowing water molecules, implying that the planet has a strong stratosphere.”WASP-121b is a “hot Jupiter” gas giant that hugs its star so closely one of its years lasts 1.3 days on Earth.The top of its atmosphere is heated to a blazing 2,500C (4,532F), the point at which iron exists as a gas rather than a solid.The research is published in the latest issue of the journal Nature. The radiation was in the form of infrared light indivisible to the human eye which was picked up by the Hubble Space Telescope.Lead researcher Dr Tom Evans, from the University of Exeter, said: “Theoretical models have suggested that stratospheres may define a special class of ultra-hot exoplanets, with important implications for the atmospheric physics and chemistry. A huge planet beyond the solar system has an upper atmosphere hot enough to boil iron, scientists have discovered.The international team identified glowing water molecules in the stratosphere of the exoplanet WASP-121b, which is 900 light years from Earth.Water vapour in a planet’s atmosphere behaves in predictable ways depending on its temperature.While cool water vapour blocks specific wavelengths of light, vapour at higher temperatures causes them to “glow”.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Royal Navy intercepts Russian naval ships in English Channel

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Giving a strong statement last month, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, said: “I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression. “Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests.”  HMS Westminster escorted five Russian ships through the English ChannelCredit:Louise George HMS Westminster And on Christmas Eve, HMS Tyne was dispatched to escort a Russian intelligence-gathering ship through the North Sea and the England Channel.A Wildcat helicopter was then also dispatched to monitor two further Russian vessels. Activity has risen in recent years with warships passing Britain on their way to join Russia’s military campaign to prop up Bashar al-Assad in Syria. On Christmas Day, the frigate HMS St Albans was dispatched to track the Russian vessel Admiral Gorshkov as it made its way through the North Sea close to Britain.  A Royal Navy frigate is escorting four Russian naval ships through the English Channel.HMS Westminster is accompanying two Russian frigates and two support ships as they head north returning from the Mediterranean.Naval sources said the contact was routine, but it comes amid an estimated 10-fold increase of Russian naval activity in waters around Britain and in the North Atlantic this decade.Commander Simon Kelly, the Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, said: “HMS Westminster’s role as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort is to be at very high readiness to respond to anything the British government requires.”While today most people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year, HMS Westminster’s ship’s company has been at sea and at readiness as part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to keep Britain safe at all times.”The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK, and it is very important HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link.”last_img read more

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Cabinet still million miles away from agreeing Brexit position as Theresa May

first_imgAt a lavish black-tie event on Wednesday night, Mrs May said she had an “ambitious” vision for the UK after Brexit. Theresa May’s Cabinet is still “a million miles away” from agreeing the Government’s position on Brexit  Theresa May’s Cabinet is still “a million miles away” from agreeing the Government’s position on Brexit Credit:PA One source said: “There is mounting concern that nothing has been agreed yet. No-one seems to know when this is going to be sorted out.“There has been talk of the Cabinet being taken away to Chequers to thrash out an agreement on what kind of trade deal we want and how we solve the Northern Ireland issue, but nothing has been arranged. Jacob Rees-Mogg leaves the Conservative party Black and White Ball at Natural History Museum Credit:Getty The 11-strong Cabinet Brexit committee consists of Mrs May, David Lidington, Philip Hammond, David Davis, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Amber Rudd, Gavin Williamson, Karen Bradley and Greg Clark.The Cabinet must agree its position on the transition period before March, when the European Council next meets to cement the terms of a transition deal.Mr Davis then hopes to agree the terms of a trade deal by October so that it can be voted on by all 28 member states, including Britain, before Britain leaves the European Union in March next year.Any delay in agreeing Britain’s position could lead to the October deadline being pushed back, potentially increasing the chances of Britain leaving the EU without a deal. Any delay in agreeing Britain’s position could lead to the October deadline being pushed back “It also means control of our borders – so we decide on our own immigration policy; one which attracts the brightest and the best to come to these shores, and one which also ensures we are investing in our own talent here at home.”And it means control of our laws – so British courts are supreme and the European Court of Justice no longer overrules them.”She stressed her plan would mean leaving the single market and customs union but “constructing a completely new trading partnership with the EU”. Theresa May’s Cabinet is still “a million miles away” from agreeing the Government’s position on Brexit after the first of two key meetings of senior ministers, The Daily Telegraph has been told.With concern growing within the Cabinet over a lack of progress on such crucial issues as the Irish border and citizens’ rights, the Prime Minister sought to ease Tory tensions over her approach by insisting she had “no doubts” about her plan for a new relationship with Brussels.Sources say there are still “substantial divisions” between Brexiteers and Remainers in the 11-strong Brexit “war Cabinet”, which will meet again on Thursday to discuss the Government’s position on a future trade deal. “Nothing” was agreed after two hours of discussion on Wednesday.The consecutive two-hour meetings of the committee had been billed as the moment the Cabinet’s direction of travel on Brexit would finally crystallise.But Whitehall sources said the meeting was “flat” with “no real in-depth discussion of the issues”. Any delay in agreeing Britain’s position could lead to the October deadline being pushed backCredit: NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP Jacob Rees-Mogg leaves the Conservative party Black and White Ball at Natural History Museum  “Ever since the British people delivered their vote in the referendum, I have had no doubts about what our new relationship with the EU must mean for the United Kingdom,” she told the  donors, celebrities and politicians at the Tory party’s annual Black and White Ball in London.”It will mean taking control of our money – so we are not sending vast annual subscriptions to the EU. Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, leaves the Conservative party Black and White Ball  Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, leaves the Conservative party Black and White Ball Credit:Getty “At the moment it feels like the Cabinet is a million miles away from agreeing a position.”Another source said: “The Cabinet is closer to agreeing a position on transition than it is to agreeing on the end state.“There are some pretty substantial divisions between different members of the Cabinet on the sort of Brexit we are pursuing, and it doesn’t seem as though any of them are going to undergo a Damascene conversion any time soon.”last_img read more

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Englands World Cup hero Harry Maguire could have become accountant former teacher

Maguire, being beaten to the line in a 400m race, also showed talents for athletics, rugby and hockeyCredit:St Mary’s Catholic School / SWNS Maguire has become a pivotal and popular member of England's World Cup squad Ms Skoll, a mother to one daughter and two stepchildren, said: “I love Harry Haguire,” she said, “There is something about him. There’s something a bit boyish. He was absolutely charming when I met him. He gets on the pitch and he’s sensational.”  Maguire has become a pivotal and popular member of England’s World Cup squadCredit:Twitter “When he first joined us at 11 you could see he was one of our good players, he stood out. But did I look at him and think he’d be playing in a World Cup quarter-final? Absolutely not.”Growing up in Mosborough, South Yorkshire, not far from fellow England defenders John Stones (Barnsley) and Kyle Walker (Sharrow), Maguire was instilled with a competitiveness from childhood.His older brothers Laurence and Joe also forged careers as professional footballers.In an interview with The Times in May, Maguire said: “I was incredibly competitive, growing up with two brothers, we’d argue and play against each other in the garden continuously. “If we have a competition, I want to beat them.” Maguire has impressed for England during this year's World Cup Maguire has undoubtedly become a key part of Gareth Southgate’s success in steering England to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 with hopes rising of securing a place in the final for only the second time ever.Lindsay Skoll, 47, Britain’s deputy ambassador to Russia and the most senior diplomat responsible for the UK response to the World Cup, admitted she was besotted Maguire. Maguire (third from the right) excelled in sport at  St Mary's Catholic School in Chesterfield England’s new World Cup hero Harry Maguire has fast become one of the country’s most reliable defenders following a series of impressive performances in Russia.But his former teachers say the 25-year-old could easily have spent the summer crunching numbers instead of making crunching tackles.The Three Lions star showed promise for maths and business along with football and rugby, which may have paved the way for a career in accountancy if sport didn’t work out for him.Sue Cain, deputy headteacher at St Mary’s Catholic High School, in Chesterfield, told the Derbyshire Times: “He was a remarkable pupil who always came in and worked very hard. –– ADVERTISEMENT ––”He was never in any trouble and he had such a good attitude. Martin McKee told The Guardian: “In all honesty at 15 or 16 I thought Harry had the opportunity to possibly make a living playing football but never thought he’d play in the Premier League. “He was very capable academically – he got A* and A grades in his GCSEs. I think he would have gone on to study business or maths and probably have been an accountant.”Maguire rose above Sweden’s backline from an Ashley Young corner to score his and England’s first goal in their quarter final triumph on Saturday.His goal and towering performance capped the meteoric rise of the 25-year-old, who watched England’s ill-fated Euro 2016 campaign as a fan. Maguire, being beaten to the line in a 400m race, also showed talents for rugby and hockey Maguire has impressed for England during this year’s World CupCredit:Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS Ms Skoll met the players at a training session in Repino at the start of the tournament. The footballers met with disadvantaged children as part of the British Embassy’s charitable work in Russia.On Mumsnet, Maguire, among others, has attracted attention from middle-class mothers who posted on the site. “Just all seem like lovely boys,” posted ‘elmo 1980’ singling out Maguire, Kyle Walker and Raheem Sterling for praise. Following a big-money move to former Leicester City last summer, Maguire’s emergence as a Premier League and England star has surprised his former PE teacher. Maguire (third from the right) excelled in sport at  St Mary’s Catholic School in ChesterfieldCredit:St Mary’s Catholic School / SWNS 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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Imperial professor loses job after harassing younger woman he met on Tinder

The court heard Krams had sent letters and phoned his former partner during June and July, but denied posting the letters by hand through her door.He contacted the police and admitted sending a letter, but carried on after being told to stop. Ausra Satiene In November 2017 Krams took a job at Queen Mary University where he worked as a councillor while still working at the hospital twice a week.He told the court: “At the beginning I was very much in love with her. What happened in October was aggressive and strong-minded – it was not my style.”There were two phone calls were she asked for money in December. I was already thinking about her attitude. Then suddenly received phone calls that I should pay her because she is younger.”Ms Satiene also worked at the same hospital and Krams said he wrote to her because he was fearful for his career.He claimed she was phoning him up to 30 times from withheld numbers after their break-up but not speaking when he picked up the call.He added: “I sent her flowers. I am from a Dutch culture. I bought my ex-wife in Holland flowers almost every week.”I was secretly hopeful she would phone and say ‘Rob I did not pay you enough attention’ but she phoned to ask me for money.” At Krams’ sentencing hearing, Georgia Luscombe, defending, said: “He has been punished socially and professionally.”He received a letter from human resources saying that he is no longer able to continue as professor at Imperial College. Ms Satiene had earlier told the court at Krams’ trial she felt she had nowhere to go when letters continued to arrive after police intervention, which she claimed “disrespected” her decision to break up with him.”I did not know what the next step would be,” she said. “It made me feel very anxious, uncomfortable and emotional.”It made me feel terrible. Even after the police got involved the letters were still coming and I did not know what to do.”Each time I had to open a letter I did not know what to expect. I was very anxious, I was very unhappy and I was very concerned.”In the letter he mentioned social class and I felt that he was putting me down. I felt scared because I was receiving personal letters after he received a warning and an caution.”He was still contacting me after we broke up and things were over. He disrespected my decision.”Krams, who is also a doctor at Hammersmith Hospital, complained he was taken advantage of and treated like a “sugar daddy”. “He does have another professorship but he is unsure of that. His is 63 years old and he has no previous convictions. This offence is wholly out of character.”Mr Krams deeply regrets his actions. I think talking to probation was sobering for him. He told me he misinterpreted these missed or unknown phone calls.”I don’t think he did appreciate at the time what effect these letters were having but he does now.”There were no threats in these letters. They were reconciliatory in tone and they were never calculated to cause alarm or distress.”Banning him from contacting Ms Satiene for two years, magistrate Lucinda Lubbock said: “We have taken into account all that has been on your behalf. We are therefore, giving you a 12 month community order and 40 hours unpaid work.”We are going to impose a restraining order but we will time it to two years rather than indefinite. That is not to contact Ausra Satiene directly or indirectly.”Krams, of North Gate, Prince Albert Road, St John’s Wood, northwest London, denied harassment but was found guilty after trial and was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 40 hours unpaid work.He was told to pay costs of £660 and the victim surcharge of £85. Sitting in the dock he was quiet and hung his head while his counsel described him as “extremely stressed”. A professor at Imperial College lost his job after he harassed a younger woman he met on Tinder, a court heard. Rob Krams, 63, was working at the London university as a bio-engineering lecturer when he met Ausra Satiene on the mobile dating app.They were in a relationship for a year and half enjoying trips across Europe and eating out at expensive restaurants in London, but in January they split up after arguments about money.Krams, originally from the Netherlands, ignored a police caution by continuing to make contact with his former girlfriend, sending her four letters and phoning her.The correspondence, according to Ms Satiene, included slurs about her social class which left her “anxious and scared” and struggling to sleep.Ms Satiene said in a statement: “The harassment has made me feel very uncomfortable and has caused a lot of anxiety especially when the letters were being physically delivered to our door.”I felt that there was no end to this. I only feel better now that we have moved to a location he has no knowledge off.”I was worried he would contact my employer and bad mouth me like he had in the letters.”After a couple of sleepless nights due to anxiety and worry I felt very tired at work and it was effecting my performance.” Ausra Satiene 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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Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd may contest extradition to Britain his lawyer says

Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd could remain in Georgia after it emerged he is considering fighting his extradition to Britain, his lawyer said. Lawyer Tariel Kakabadze said 31-year-old web designer Shepherd believes he is innocent and insisted it was wrong to criticise someone for “trying to protect himself”.Shepherd failed to attend his trial at the Old Bailey in July and was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence in his absence and sentenced to six years in prison.Efforts to “swiftly” extradite Shepherd are under way after he surrendered at a police station in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi on Wednesday – six months after he was convicted of killing 24-year-old Charlotte Brown during a speedboat date on the Thames.The web designer has already made a mockery of the justice system when he was controversially granted leave to appeal while on the run in December.On Wednesday night the Crown Prosecution Service was preparing an extradition request to be lodged with Georgian legal authorities.But Mr Kakabadze, confirmed that the process to extradite him back to the UK may be contested, and said: “We just need to study the case documents and I need to discuss it with my client before making the final decision about it. The fugitive blamed his decision to flee the country rather than participate in the trial on Ms Brown’s father Graham, saying the civil servant has “power within the prison system”.But speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show, Mr Brown said Shepherd’s claims were “very misleading and inaccurate”.He said: “To say that I could possibly influence that is completely misleading and inaccurate. In actual fact if Jack Shepherd knew the truth, and the truth was after the death of my daughter I was so profoundly affected by it I had to retire.”I’ve taken partial retirement and my work, the Ministry of Justice, have given me a very low level admin role just to help me through this. To say I’ve got any influence at all is so inaccurate it defies belief.”Mr Brown told the show he will attend Shepherd’s court hearings back in Britain to make sure “he does face up to what he’s done”. Under Georgian law, prosecutors are required to apply for restriction measures for a person wanted in another country within 48 hours of them being arrested.Ms Brown’s father, Graham Brown, celebrated the “overwhelming” development, writing on Facebook: “Justice for Charlotte is close!””My opinions towards Jack Shepherd is that he’s a very crass, reckless man, who managed to abscond and stick two fingers up at the judiciary,” Mr Brown told BBC Radio 5 Live.”He’s got to come back to atone for all that and I think that he’s done the right thing and thank goodness he’s realised that now and handed himself in.”Ms Brown, from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, died in December 2015 when Shepherd’s boat flipped into the wintry waters of the River Thames in London after they shared a Champagne-fuelled first date.Mr Kakabadze said his client is now “ready to participate in the court sessions to find out the truth” and first contacted him by phone on Wednesday.”I told him to go to the police and this would be easier for him to fight legally. But it was also his desire,” he said.”I believe his evidence will be extremely important. But he needs to work legally and not just escape from the police, that’s not going to help him out.” “As a lawyer I have to agree each step with my client. If the extradition happens, it is important to make sure there will not be a danger to him in the UK.”If I get assurances that his extradition is not dangerous, we might not disagree with extradition. Each step will be decided after we carefully study all the possibilities and options.” Jack Shepherd pictured on Wednesday night He said: “I think he’s shown himself, from what I’ve seen of him, to be a very arrogant, immature man who needs to face up to what he’s done.”Let’s not forget this is about our daughter, who can’t be here, who’s had her life robbed of her because of this man. She would still be alive if it wasn’t for Jack Shepherd.”Everyone who knew Charlotte knew what a wonderful, caring, loving person she was, which is the polar opposite to what Shepherd has displayed.” The family of Charlotte Brown, father Graham Brown (left) sister Katie (second left) and mother Roz Wickens (right)Credit:Yui Mok/PA Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd (pictured) ‘may contest extradition’ to Britain, his lawyer saysCredit:Rustavi2 Speedboat killer Jack Shepherd (pictured) 'may contest extradition' to Britain, his lawyer says Scotland Yard, the force leading the investigation, said officers had been updated by the National Crime Agency on the development and are awaiting confirmation of Shepherd’s identity.The Metropolitan Police added that once identity was secured extradition proceedings “will begin immediately” against Shepherd, originally from Exeter, who was the subject of an international arrest warrant. 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. Jack Shepherd pictured on Wednesday nightCredit:Reuters TV “Many people have opinions which are not based on facts. Every person who is blamed of a crime has the right to efficient and good legal help. Criticising somebody for protecting himself is not right. He believes that he is innocent.”The lawyer said he had “huge respect for the United Kingdom, for the UK Government and the people,” but added: “As a lawyer, I believe that evidence is what we should make the decisions on.”The judges should not be interrupted and they should not feel pressure from people, from politicians. Judges should be left to make objective decisions. Judges are the only people who should make the final decision about the case.”Ms Brown’s family said they were overwhelmed with emotion after it emerged Shepherd had surrendered and her father said it was time for him to “atone” for his actions.Home Secretary Sajid Javid said it is “vital Charlotte Brown’s family see justice done” and UK law enforcement will “seek to swiftly extradite him to Britain”. The family of Charlotte Brown, father Graham Brown (left) sister Katie (second left) and mother Roz Wickens (right) Mr Kakabadze, said Shepherd may go before a court in Tbilisi on Thursday or Friday, but suggested it may be “some time” before he returns to the UK.”Extradition doesn’t happen in one or two days. All the documents will need to be translated, many things will need to be made ready,” he said.”Depending on what evidence they show us… it might be very soon or it might be several months.”On Wednesday a heavily-bearded Shepherd smiled as he walked into the station some 2,000 miles away while flanked by lawyers.He vowed to local reporters he would clear his name over the “tragic accident”.Mr Kakabadze said he had seen “a lot of negative comments” about Shepherd online and his client is “extremely sad” about Ms Brown’s death. read more

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Former Team GB Olympic cyclist hit girlfriend after brain injury made him

A former Team GB Olympic cyclist attacked his girlfriend after suffering a brain injury which made him aggressive when drinking, a court heard.Jonathan Bellis, 30, who represented the team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, admitted hitting his girlfriend at their home on March 8 after the couple had been out for drinks.  He left his “distraught” victim with injuries to her face, arm and ear and pain “all over her face and head”, after telling her “I’m going to explode”, the court heard.Bellis, who retired from professional cycling in 2015, could not remember carrying out the assault, Cheltenham Magistrate Court heard.The cyclist, from Cheltenham, returned to the sport after suffering a brain injury in 2009, which left him in a three week coma. He crashed a scooter into a wall in Tuscany.The court heard the injury triggered aggression in him when he drank alcohol.Prosecutors said the couple went to the Brewery Quarter in Cheltenham for drinks with friends, before returning to the flat.  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. Jonathan Bellis, at the front, during the men's team pursuit qualifications at the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in 2009 The victim was aware of Bellis’ mood darkening and asked him not to drink any more alcohol. He agreed to her request – but told her: “I’m going to explode.” Jonathan Bellis, at the front, during the men’s team pursuit qualifications at the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in 2009Credit:Peter Andrews/Reuters Fearing for her safety, she rang 999 before Bellis took the phone out of her hand. He then blocked her exit as she went towards the front door of the home they shared, before hitting his girlfriend on the side of the face.The court was shown photographs of the victim’s cut lip and bruised arm and ear, and heard Bellis had drunk two-and-a-half pints of ale and two-and-a-half glasses of wine before the assault.Nicky Shaw, mitigating, said a pre-sentence report prepared for the court was supportive of Bellis and there was a low risk of him offending again in the future.She added: “The brain injury and alcohol is what’s caused this. It isn’t a negative attitude towards women or relationships. It does appear this is very much linked to a brain injury.”District Judge Bopa Jai, fined Bellis £635 and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to the victim after finding him guilty of assault.She also imposed a five-year restraining order on him and said he must make no contact with the victim.Bellis declined to comment as he left the court after the case. British Cycling also declined to comment. read more

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Penny Lancaster Bullies rammed a bicycle into the back of my legs

Penny Lancaster, the model and wife Sir Rod Stewart, has revealed she was assaulted by school bullies until she bled. In the most vicious attack, two girls followed her home from school with a boy who they spurred to ram his bike up the back of her legs until they bled. “I ran home to my mum crying. I thought I was strong enough to deal with the bullies,” she says.  She is one of more than 25 personalities and celebrities who have re-lived their childhood torment at the hands of bullies on video to encourage today’s… The TV presenter breaks down in tears as she recalls the bullying at her secondary school which culminated in her being pelted with eggs and flour by a gang of girls on her last day. read more

Continue Reading... Penny Lancaster Bullies rammed a bicycle into the back of my legs