Florida 9-1881435%23% ▲ 214% Oregon 7-32310284%<1% ▲ 21<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Michigan 8-212181714%9% ▲ 211% College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings as of Nov. 17. Baylor 8-11022214%16% ▲ 216% Notre Dame 9-1478—a26% ▲ 216% Northwestern 8-22029610%<1% ▲ 21<1% Same old, same old. The college football playoff committee had it easy this week. After a week of games where all their top teams won, they didn’t have to shake things up in their rankings much. The top five remain the same: Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Iowa. After suffering crushing losses last week, Baylor and Stanford fell back in the rankings. Meanwhile, the Sooner state made headway: Oklahoma State and Oklahoma rose up to the No. 6 and No. 7 spots, respectively. But while the Big 12 looks ascendant, they both can’t stay there long: they play each other Thanksgiving weekend.The FiveThirtyEight model has bad news for Notre Dame fans: last week it was Baylor that was projected to elbow out the Irish by season’s end; this week it’s Oklahoma. The model continues to think an undefeated or one-loss Big 12 champion will most likely surpass Notre Dame. Our model simulations — which predict where the committee will land in its final rankings on Dec. 6 — are shown in the following table: Alabama 9-121361%63% ▲ 2119% North Carolina 9-11791536%9% ▲ 211% Clemson 10-013562%68% ▲ 2115% Stanford 8-211111144%11% ▲ 212% Utah 8-213262312%1% ▲ 21<1% Iowa 10-05132928%22% ▲ 212% LSU 7-21524100%<1% ▲ 21<1% Memphis 8-22136430%<1% ▲ 21<1% RankingProbability of … Florida State 8-21419160%<1% ▲ 21<1% Houston 10-019143739%1% ▲ 21<1% Navy 8-116164422%<1% ▲ 21<1% Oklahoma St. 10-0641335%25% ▲ 215% Mississippi 7-3222894%<1% ▲ 21<1% Oklahoma 9-175146%45% ▲ 2118% USC 7-32417734%1% ▲ 21<1% Michigan St. 9-1962211%12% ▲ 211% Ohio State 10-032445%62% ▲ 2118% TCU 9-1181265%5% ▲ 212% Wisconsin 8-22520241%<1% ▲ 21<1% Oklahoma might eventually edge out Notre Dame, but they have two awfully tough games remaining: against TCU this Saturday and on the road versus Oklahoma State. While the Sooners are our favorite for the fourth slot, the model still only gives them a 45 percent chance of making it in.Lurking at the edges are a slew of hopefuls: Oklahoma State and Iowa, though each doesn’t have a loss, stand but a 25 percent and 22 percent chance to make it; one-loss stalwarts Florida, Baylor, and Michigan State — along with two-loss Stanford — all have above a 10 percent shot.For those of you who want more nitty-gritty about our projections, check out our original methodology manifesto, as well as last week’s methodology update.
Despite a week and a half of rumors, this year’s NBA trade deadline turned out to be mostly uneventful — save for one big-name star switching teams.1Nerlens Noel also qualifies as a newsworthy trade, but since Dallas, his new team, is unlikely to reach the postseason, that deal feels like more of a move for the future. Neither Paul George nor Jimmy Butler was traded, and even smaller rumored deals, like one that would’ve sent Derrick Rose to Minnesota and Ricky Rubio to New York, didn’t happen. Most of what did take place was smaller in nature, or merely marginal in its scope.And then there are the Toronto Raptors. While they didn’t necessarily move heaven and earth before the trade deadline, they better positioned themselves in the East just in case Cleveland is still vulnerable come the playoffs.Last week, they dealt for Orlando power forward Serge Ibaka, giving up swingman Terrence Ross and this year’s first-round pick in the process. Then on Thursday, minutes before the deadline, they parted ways with Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks to acquire Phoenix’s P.J. Tucker, a hard-nosed small forward who doesn’t need the ball much on offense. Both qualify as welcome moves for the Raptors, who badly needed a jolt after losing 11 of their last 16 games and falling from second to fourth in the conference in less than a month.In many ways, it’s already been decided that Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri won the trade, since he filled an obvious need for Toronto at the power-forward spot without giving up the farm. Before the deal, that position was the Raptors’ weakest, and one at which they’ve struggled defensively more than any team in basketball thus far.The Ibaka move, paired with the one for Tucker (which gives Toronto another potential body to throw onto LeBron James and alleviates some pressure from DeMarre Carroll, who has struggled) gives the team a handful of lineups that should be relatively solid on either side of the ball.Offensively, Ibaka and Tucker don’t hurt the Raptors’ dribble-happy, guard-oriented approach. (If anything, Ibaka helps stretch the floor for them, and Tucker, a low-usage option that would fit nicely with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, will fire up fewer forced looks than Ross off the bench.) Defensively, the additions give Toronto versatility, as both Tucker and Ibaka can adequately guard two positions, depending on the team’s lineup. (That option could be helpful in certain matchups, given the team’s problems on defense — particularly if lead-footed center Jonas Valanciunas struggles against shooting bigs.)Some will point to Toronto as being the anti-Boston here, because of the Raptors’ willingness to make trades in hopes of challenging the Cavaliers, who beat them in the Eastern Conference finals last season. But that’s not a fair comparison.Unlike Boston, who is blessed with high-level draft picks, Toronto doesn’t have the option of looking to the future and waiting out James’s reign in the Eastern Conference. For this team’s core, the time is now. And while these transactions alone may not put the Raptors over the top of a club like Cleveland, the gamble — and the logic behind it — makes perfect sense.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more
It was Chris Kreider and Ryan McDonagh’s turn to play hero for the New York Rangers on Friday. Kreider’s goal to tie the game against the Washington Capitals with 1:41 left in regulation and McDonagh’s overtime winner saved the Rangers from elimination and sent the Eastern Conference semifinal back to Washington for Game 6 on Sunday.The Rangers aren’t a bunch of scrappy underdogs, exactly. They reached the Stanley Cup Final last season. They won the Presidents’ Trophy this year by being the NHL’s best regular-season team. And they play in New York.But they’re unusually well-balanced, running three or four lines deep with quality forwards and defensemen. They don’t have a superstar with the wattage of the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, however. What about their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist? He’s almost certainly the most popular Ranger, and he’s among the best goalies in the NHL. But Lundqvist started only 43 of the Rangers’ 82 regular-season games; he missed several weeks of action after being hit in the throat with a puck Jan. 31. Fortunately for the Blueshirts, Lundqvist’s backup, Cam Talbot, was just as effective.Here’s one way to measure whether an NHL team is star-dominated, like the Capitals, or balanced, like the Rangers. Take what’s essentially each team’s first line — their top three forwards, top two defensemen and best goaltender — according to Hockey-Reference.com’s point shares (an all-in-one statistic that’s equivalent to wins above replacement) and divide the first line’s point shares by the total for all players on the team.For the Capitals, the top forwards by point shares are Ovechkin (12.6), Nicklas Backstrom (8.1) and Marcus Johansson (5.4), the top defensemen are John Carlson (10.0) and Mike Green (8.6), and the top goalie is Braden Holtby (14.4), who’s been spectacular in both the regular season and the playoffs. Together, they accounted for 56 percent of the 104.7 point shares the Caps accumulated during the regular season. That’s a reasonably high figure.For the Rangers, the top forwards are Rick Nash (11.4), Derek Stepan (7.0) and Derick Brassard (6.9), the top defensemen are McDonagh (7.3) and Kevin Klein (6.5), and the top goalie is Lundqvist (9.2). As good as they were, they were responsible for just 42 percent of the Rangers’ team point share total.That’s a low figure. In fact, it’s the lowest for any Presidents’ Trophy winner1The Presidents’ Trophy wasn’t officially created until the 1985-86 regular season. For seasons before that, I assigned it to the team with the most points in the regular season, giving it to the team with the most wins in the event of a tie. in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68):So, by this measure, the Rangers are one of the most balanced great teams ever — the hockey equivalent of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs or the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons. The second-most-balanced team was the 2003-04 Detroit Red Wings, although they were something of an unusual case, with a combination of rising stars (Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg) and waning ones (Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan).The list of the most star-dominated teams will come as no surprise. It includes Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers, Mario Lemieux’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and the early 1970s Boston Bruins, led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. (The 1973-74 Bruins have the top slot; 64 percent of their point shares come from their top line.) The 1993-94 Rangers, who won both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup, also had a top-heavy roster, with Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Brian Leetch and Sergei Zubov.Unfortunately for the Rangers, neither the star-dominated nor the well-balanced Presidents’ Trophy winners have had all that high a success rate at turning regular-season success into a Stanley Cup. So they’ll have to find a few more heroes to survive against Washington and bring the Stanley Cup back to New York. read more
Carmelo Anthony isn’t shooting as well as he used to, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are still better with him on the floor than when he’s on the bench.
By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On Thursday’s show (April 19, 2018), Neil, Kyle and Chris take stock of the NBA playoffs, focusing on the three series that are tied 1-1: Philadelphia vs. Miami, Indiana vs. Cleveland, and Utah vs. Oklahoma City. Should the Sixers’ Joel Embiid come back from injury to face the Heat? Who will step up to help LeBron James? Is Donovan Mitchell good enough for the Jazz to beat the Thunder? They discuss those questions and more.The crew will be back next week for more coverage. In the meantime, keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions, which are updated after every game. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code
Senior midfielder Olivia DiCarlantonio (17). Credit: Courtesy of OSUAs a young girl, Olivia DiCarlantonio would wait for her uncle to return from his business trips to bring her the complimentary toiletries from the hotel rooms in which he had stayed. Whatever he gave to her, she would donate to local homeless shelters. A lot has changed for DiCarlantonio, now an Ohio State lacrosse player and fourth-year in public health, but one thing has remained constant: She is still collecting toiletries and giving back. DiCarlantonio started The Little Things this past September. The service allows student-athletes to donate complimentary toiletries collected on away trips to the Van Buren Center, a homeless shelter based in Columbus.“There’s close to 1,500 student-athletes at this university, so getting them involved in this service is powerful,” DiCarlantonio said. “It’s cool to have people back home know we are thinking about them on game day.”DiCarlantonio said it was important to leave her legacy at OSU, but in something other than her sport.“I realized that women’s lacrosse isn’t necessarily a ‘football sport’ where I could just leave my mark by winning the Heisman (Trophy),” DiCarlantonio said. “I wanted to do something that other lacrosse players and the Buckeye family can remember me by years down the road.”There are donation boxes all across campus, but mostly in buildings that athletes frequently visit, such as the Student-Athlete Support Services Office, the Younkin Success Center, the Fawcett Center, the French Field House and the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.“I wanted to make it as easy as possible for athletes to be able to donate,” DiCarlantonio said. “All we have to do is put the toiletries in the boxes on our way out to practice or when we get back from an away trip.”Andrea Kacsits, a senior middle blocker on the volleyball team, said The Little Things allows student-athletes to take something most people overlook and turn it into something helpful and impactful.“It teaches us that nothing is ever small,” Kacsits said. “The things we see as small have an impact much bigger than their stature, even if it’s not blatantly obvious.”The university has been an integral part in the service’s success.“I thought this would be a simple project, but nothing with Ohio State is ever small as they’ve gone above and beyond already,” DiCarlantonio said. “They’ve connected me with creative services and graphic design, as well as helped me to create logos and fliers for The Little Things.”DiCarlantonio, who encouraged students and faculty to contribute by donating toiletries at any of the box locations, said she is happy with the service’s progress, but she also is excited to see how its impact can continue to develop.“I already have two huge boxes of donations, and I’m not stopping anytime soon,” she said. “I would love to get this program started at other universities and share my process; why stop here?” read more
The flood of two-out run production has run dry.The Ohio State baseball team had displayed a knack for key hits with two outs in its previous two Big Ten series, but it left 27 runners on base during last weekend’s contest with Penn State.In six games against Michigan State and Indiana, the Buckeyes scored half of their runs (21 of 42) with two hitters retired. OSU won both of those series. That clutch hitting was absent against the Nittany Lions, who took two of three from the Buckeyes.Right fielder Brian DeLucia, who had four of those 21 RBIs, acknowledged that relying on two-out runs is a dangerous game to play.“You’re not always that lucky and you’re not always that fortunate,” DeLucia said. “With runners on first and second with no outs or one out, we got to find a way to get those runners around and not wait till we have two outs.”Unfortunately, the team waited too long and dropped the final two games of the series while leaving potential runs on the bases.Coach Bob Todd was not worried about two-out production but offensive production in general.“You’re always worried any time that you’re not going to be productive offensively, but it doesn’t matter when you get runs, the key is to get them,” Todd said.Though Todd downplayed the importance of timing, he added that two-out hitting is something that is regularly emphasized in practice.“We do drills … situations weekly with two outs,” DeLucia said. “That’s something we practice and we got to look for the right pitch.”Finding the right pitch is more important for this team than handling the pressure of two outs, DeLucia said.“We have talked about it as a group that the way you win a lot of close ball games is to come through with some big two-out base hits,” Todd said.The Buckeyes hope to return to their clutch ways by doing just that as they look to hold onto their place atop the Big Ten standings.OSU takes a break from Big Ten play against Marshall at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. read more
The Ohio State women’s basketball team is in another funk — and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Buckeyes (13-9, 4-6 Big Ten), unranked for the first time this season, are now in the midst of their second three-game skid after Sunday’s 74-68 loss to Northwestern (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten) at the Schottenstein Center. Northwestern, which won its first game in Columbus since 1997, was led by senior center Amy Jaeschke. Besides scoring a game-high 29 points, Jaeschke helped the Wildcats launch a 19-2 run in the second half and overcome an eight-point deficit to win the game. But Northwestern did not secure its victory until the final seconds. There were no substantial offensive runs in the first half, and momentum swung back and forth as the Buckeyes took a narrow 34-32 lead into the break. Trying to avoid getting their ninth loss of the season, OSU coaches and players adopted an unusual strategy. OSU coach Jim Foster engaged in a heated discussion with referees during the first media timeout with his team trailing, 11-10. Foster, who needed to be restrained by assistant coach Ed Baldwin, admitted he intended to spark his players with his animated behavior. “I didn’t like some of the things I saw,” Foster said. “Nor did I like the laissez-faire attitude that I saw.” Junior Samantha Prahalis was also a surprise factor in the rebounding category, pulling down 10 boards and scrapping for many more. The 5-foot-6 guard provided her typical accurate passing as well, dishing out a game-high 10 assists. Senior center Jantel Lavender, who finished the game with 16 points and 10 boards, said Prahalis’ rebounding demonstrated the team’s focus on avoiding more conference losses. “I think (Prahalis’) rebounding effort is amazing,” Lavender said. “She tried to do everything she could.” A layup from freshman center Ashley Adams gave the Buckeyes a 52-44 lead with 13:05 remaining. The Wildcats then “imposed their will” on OSU, Foster said, in the form of a 19-2 run that resulted in a 63-54 lead with just more than three minutes to play. Then Jaeschke took over. Northwestern’s prolific center clinched the victory with a lucky bounce on her 3-point attempt. Jaeschke then completed a three-point play on Northwestern’s next possession to extend the lead to 69-55. Prahalis, sophomore guard Tayler Hill and redshirt freshman guard Brianna Sanders pulled OSU close, at 70-65 with under a minute to play after each hit a 3-pointer. Time ran short on the Buckeyes as they struggled to foul senior Wildcat guard Beth Marshall with under 20 seconds remaining. Marshall hit four free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the win for Northwestern. All the praise from Northwestern coach Joe McKeown went to Jaeschke after the game. “I wish I had her for another year,” McKeown said. “She just went crazy at the end of the game. That’s why she’s such a special player.” After the game, Jaeschke cited the season sweep of OSU as evidence of the Northwestern program’s growth. “I think we’ve grown a lot as a team,” Jaeschke said. “It feels great; it’s really nice to see how far our program has come. (Ohio State) is a hard team to beat.” Foster spoke about the mental makeup of his team after the game. “We’re not a team that handles adversity,” Foster said. “We need to get a mentality of stopping the other team and facing adversity.” The Buckeyes return to action when they tipoff against Purdue at 6 p.m. Thursday at Nationwide Arena. read more
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema butted heads last winter over the first-year Buckeyes coach’s recruiting practices, but the two came to agreement about one thing on Tuesday: the meeting between OSU and Wisconsin this weekend will add another chapter in the “rivalry” between the two schools. Now, the two don’t play for some special trophy, as seen in some of college football’s more celebrated rivalry games. And, historically, there has been little parody between the Buckeyes and Badgers. In fact, OSU holds a 54-18-5 all-time record against Wisconsin. But has the series developed into a rivalry? Absolutely, and it isn’t going anywhere. Since 1999 OSU and Wisconsin have traded punches, with OSU holding a 6-5 advantage heading into Saturday’s Round 12. In that span, the programs have combined to win at least a share of the Big Ten title nine times. “What makes a good rivalry is when two good teams play significant games,” Meyer said Tuesday. The games have been significant. The results even more so. In 2003, OSU, the defending national champions at the time, entered Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium riding a 19-game winning streak, but couldn’t extend it to 20 after falling to the Badgers, 17-10. In 2010 the Buckeyes returned home from Madison, Wisc., in a similar fashion, after Wisconsin upset then-No.1 and undefeated OSU, 31-18. Sensing a theme here? The lower-ranked team has achieved an upset in 5 of the past 11 meetings. This includes OSU’s improbable 33-29 win last year, which Bielema called “heartbreaking.” And that cuts right to the heart of this rivalry. It’s about more than just beating your opponent. It’s about devastating them; it’s about squashing their lofty aspirations. “We’ve had a big rivalry with them, almost as big as (the rivalry with Michigan),” said senior linebacker Zach Boren, while referring to the Wolverines as “the team up north.” Will Wisconsin henceforth be referred to only as “the team to the west?” Will the OSU-Wisconsin rivalry reach a similar boiling point to that of OSU and Michigan? Probably not. “The Game’s” sentimental history will always loom large over any other rivalry in Buckeye lore. But from a pure-football standpoint, it’s becoming just as significant, if not more. For one, the OSU-Wisconsin series has been more competitive. While the Buckeyes and Badgers went back-and-forth in recent years, OSU has largely dominated Michigan. It was a similar, but flipped script in the 1990s, when Michigan went 7-2-1 against the Buckeyes. More importantly, when the Big Ten went to a two-division setup in 2011, we entered a world in which OSU’s most important contest will annually be against Wisconsin. Think I’m kidding? Including OSU, there are six teams in the Big Ten’s Leaders division. One is Wisconsin, which poses a legitimate threat to complete Buckeye dominance of the division during Meyer’s tenure in Columbus. The other four are sanctioned-Penn State, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, which simply don’t. Playing in the same division, OSU and Wisconsin are guaranteed to hook up every year. The same can be said for OSU and Michigan, but because they are in separate divisions, there is a chance that “The Game” could be played twice in consecutive weekends if the two teams were to again meet up in the conference’s championship game. Don’t you think a November meeting between OSU and Michigan will be diminished, just a little bit, when we know we’ll see the same matchup just a week later? Won’t the sequel feel like, well, a sequel? The rivalry with Wisconsin won’t, simply because it can’t. The Buckeyes and Badgers have just one shot at each other each year, no exceptions. There will be a winner and a loser, and that loser will have no choice but to spend the next year counting the passing days, waiting for their chance at payback. One team’s countdown will begin Saturday night. “I want to win in the worst way because Ohio State has set the standard for winning in this league,” Bielema said Tuesday. Translation: I want to win in the worst way because I can’t stand seeing these guys beat us, I can’t stand seeing them win. It’s a sentiment that I imagine is shared by both sides in what’s becoming the Big Ten’s most important rivalry. read more
“This is not pioneering or life-sustaining treatment, but a purely experimental process with no real prospect of improving Charlie’s condition or quality of life.”She added: ‘It was already clear to the guardian that Charlie’s parents are utterly devoted to him and have done everything they possibly could to care for him, to make his experiences as happy and pleasurable as possible.”They have conducted themselves during these proceedings with great dignity and with an obvious commitment to a thorough investigation of Charlie’s best interests.”They have truly done everything they could have for Charlie and have ensured that no stone has been left unturned in the search for some respite from the awful disease that afflicts him.” The judge will deliver his ruling on Tuesday. Charlie Gard with his parents Connie Yates and Chris GardCredit: Family handout Charlie Gard should be given “one shot” at life, his mother has pleaded despite a court appointed guardian and doctors saying he should be left to die. Connie Yates and Chris Gard will have to wait until Tuesday to learn whether they can take their eight month old baby to America for radical treatment or if, as doctors wish, his life support will be switched off. Charlie was born with a genetic condition so rare it effects only a handful of people in the world. He is in the terminal stages of the mitochondrial disorder which saps energy from his organs and has left him blind and deaf. He has also suffered brain damage which specialists say is so severe that they cannot tell when he is awake. The hospital has applied to the High Court for permission to turn off his life support, but meanwhile his parents have raised more than £1.2million to take him for America for experimental treatment. 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. Addressing the judge directly as the case neared its close, Miss Yates said: “Charlie has one shot, one chance of life.”Without this treatment, Charlie’s only alternative is death.”Charlie deserves his chance to improve and get a better quality of life.”Miss Yates said Charlie was not suffering and treatment was “safe to try”. “All I ask now is for you to give him that chance for the treatment proposed,” she said.”Charlie’s best interests have always been at the forefront of our mind.” She added: “I feel that anybody would be the same as us in our position.” Victoria Butler-Cole, representing a guardian appointed by the court to act in Charlie’s interests, said continuing life-support treatment would would not benefit him but “prolong the process of dying”.”The guardian has … concluded that it is not in Charlie’s best interests to travel to America,” said Ms Butler-Cole as Miss Yates, 31, listened in tears. His parents want to take Charlie to a hospital in the United States for pioneering treatmentCredit: Family handout read more
The pair met while she worked for the US PGA and lived in Palm Beach, Florida.She was credited with getting the 27-year-old star to the first tee on time for his singles match in the 2012 Ryder Cup “Miracle in Medinah” after he missed his alarm. Stevie Wonder is thought to have been the star performer, while the guest list is thought to include Niall Horan of One Direction and Ed Sheeran.Prior to his performance the Superstitious singer surprised Galway residents by visiting computer shop Compu B on Saturday.Sales assistant Eoin Healy said staff were stunned when they realised who their customer was.He said: “I was like ‘Oh my ******* God, it’s Stevie Wonder.”“He was so friendly and started talking to me about how beautiful Ireland is even though it’s a bit cold. “He didn’t mention anything about the wedding though, but he asked everyone their names and was happy to get into a picture with us.“He bought two pairs of Apple wireless earphones, a car charger and Bang and Olufsen earphones.”It is understood that Ms Stoll, a New Yorker, is a big fan of the star.The exclusive estate, in the village of Cong in Co Mayo, is no stranger to stars from as far back as the 1950s when it was the setting for screen classic The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.As helicopters and blacked out cars and SUVs ferried guests to Ashford Castle, a steady stream of locals and tourists traipsed up to the gates in forlorn hope of a sneak peek. Rory McIlroyCredit:Andrew Redington/Getty Images Golf star Rory McIlroy has married his sweetheart Erica Stoll in the west of Ireland today, with Stevie Wonder reportedly leading the hoards of celebrities attending the lavish wedding.The ceremony in the 13th century Ashford Castle was billed as the wedding of the year, with the rumour mill in overdrive about which illustrious guests had flown in for the celebrations. Rory McIlroy and his fiance Erica StollCredit:PA Behind the 12ft walls the ceremony was thought to have included a massive fireworks display, while a more down to earth touch came as a photo booth was brought into the historic venue for guests to create their own memento.And to avoid any unwanted intrusion past the gatekeepers, the organisers went as far as to bring in anti-drone experts and put security teams on boats on Lough Corrib.The castle venue, with its 350 acres, nine-hole golf course, horse riding, falconry, fishing and clay pigeon shooting, can be rented for about €100,000 (£83,700) a day at this time of year.It has been on lockdown since Thursday, with staff and guests asked to wear wristbands for security checks. Ashford Castle in Co MayoCredit:PA Locals have been hoping to capitalise on the latest celebrity to descend on the area. Sadly the four time major winner’s representatives insisted the celebrations were a private event and no photographs have yet been released of the big day. Several of McIlroy’s Ryder Cup colleagues were spotted arriving, including Spanish Masters champion Sergio Garcia who touched down at Knock airport on Friday.The bride’s family arrived on Saturday by helicopter.Ryder Cup 2014 captain and longtime friend Paul McGinley is also rumoured to have been seen in the town.McIlroy revealed in a recent interview that he was friends with Ms Stoll before romance blossomed.She was credited with getting the star to the first tee on time for his singles match in the 2012 Ryder Cup “Miracle in Medinah” after he missed his alarm.For anyone wondering what a multi-millionaire golf star has in mind for a honeymoon, McIlroy said he was planning something in “the middle of nowhere”. He just called to say … pleasure to have the one and only #StevieWonder in our #Galway store this afternoon !! 😎 pic.twitter.com/2sd5Krj1rT— Compu b (@compub) April 21, 2017 Not to miss an opportunity the ladies from Ballinrobe Golf Club dropped by to follow-up on an invite for McIlroy to play their course. They did not get far on their mission and have yet to get a reply.”We sent it to his wedding planner in February but we still hope at some stage that he will take up the offer, and he would be an honorary life member,” said Breege Costello.And for anyone wondering what a multi-millionaire golf star has in mind for a honeymoon, McIlroy said he was planning something in “the middle of nowhere”. Gerry Collins, founder of the village’s The Quiet Man Museum and a film location walking tour company, wondered if the newlyweds might use the golf course to recreate the scene in the film when O’Hara was flung on to the bed, only for it to break.Mr Collins said: “That’d be a great start to a wedding and married life wouldn’t it?”He added: “This would remind you of 1951 when John Wayne stepped off the train in Cong, or Ronald Reagan in 1984.”There’s a big buzz around Cong but we don’t know anything, it’s just what we can see out the window.”McIlroy, from Holywood, Co Down, revealed in a recent interview that he was friends with 29-year-old New Yorker Ms Stoll before romance blossomed. Crowd of locals here at Ashford Castle to wish @McIlroyRory well on his wedding day pic.twitter.com/PHSxg5c9ak— Claire Gorman (@clairemgorman) April 22, 2017 Bride to be Aiofe Power (centre ) stops with her hen party outside Ashford Castle in Co Mayo, where Golf star Rory McIlroy and fiancee Erica Stoll married on SaturdayCredit:PA Ashford Castle in Co Mayo, where golf star Rory McIlroy is to marry Erica StollCredit:PA Wire 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
In a few simple words during a visit to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to meet the young victims of the terrorist bombing, the Queen encapsulated the horror of an attack that has left the nation reeling.“It’s dreadful, very wicked, to target that sort of thing,” the Queen said to 14-year-old schoolgirl Evie Mills, who she met lying on her hospital bed with a teddy by her side, and a blanket shrouding her injured chest and legs. The Queen later added as she toured the children’s ward viewing at first hand the carnage of Monday night’s attack: “the awful thing was that everyone was so young.”During her 65 years of reign, the Queen has occasionally made visits to hospital to help lead the nation in moments of national grieving.She did so after the 7/7 terror attacks in London and also to meet servicemen and women injured fighting for their country.But never have so many children been among the victims. There are 14 inpatients remaining at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following the attack, including five in critical care.Among those continuing to recover from their injuries in the hospital was Millie Robson, 15, from Co Durham, who was still wearing her Ariana Grande concert t-shirt that she had specially chosen for the concert at the Manchester Arena. The Queen meets medics who battled to save young victimsCredit:Peter Byrne/PA The Queen speaks to Manchester victim Millie Robson, 15, from Co Durham, and her mother, MarieCredit:Peter Byrne/PA The impromptu song rippled through the crowd gaining in size and strength. It marked the moment when the people of Manchester announced they would never be beaten.The song was started by Lydia Bernsmeier-Rullow, 32, the daughter of legendary Manchester music presenter and DJ Mike Shaft, who stood with a bouquet of sunflowers in her arms. Mille, who is now being looked after on the ward by staff and her mother, Marie, told the Queen she went to the concert with a friend who was also injured in the attack after winning VIP tickets to meet her idol. The Queen, who was wearing a blue coat, white gloves and orange hat, responded: “she sounds a very, very good singer.” Her legs were badly wounded in the blast and before being rushed to hospital first aiders used handbags as tourniquets. Rev Ashworth was present for the minute’s silence, which commenced with the chime of the bell of the 305-year-old church. “Music has entered the bloodstream of this city,” he said. “Manchester is a place where popular culture is actually a meaningful phrase.”Among those signing the book of condolence was Geoff Dodd, 68, a retired primary school headteacher, and his wife, Carole.Mr Dodd said their daughter and granddaughter were present at the concert but managed to get out to safety unharmed. They wanted to sign the book of condolences in support of all the other families and to show they will not be cowed. “My message to the terrorists is you picked on the wrong city,” he said. The Queen speaks to Amy Barlow and her mother, KathyCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Since Monday evening’s bombings, Manchester has struggled to come to terms with the horror of what took place. But on Thursday, the famous city of music reached deep into its soul to help bind its wounds.At 11am – as the country fell silent to honour those killed and maimed in the attack – a crowd several thousand strong gathered in St Ann’s Square in the centre of Manchester.After observing the one-minute silence those present broke into a round of spontaneous applause. And then, a lone voice began to sing: Don’t Look Back in Anger, by the Mancunian band Oasis. The Queen talks to staff at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on Thursday morningCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Throughout the day following the one minute silence a carpet of flowers continued to grow in St Ann’s Square, with a constant procession of people wanting to sign the several books of condolence placed inside St Ann’s Church. Escorted by Kathy Cowell (right) Chairman of the Central Manchester University Hospital, the Queen meets staffCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The song has become the city’s unofficial anthem of defiance. The tannoy system at Manchester Piccadily Rail Station also played it after staff and passengers had observed yesterday’s minute silence. Earlier this week, students at Chetham’s School of Music, which is close to the Manchester Arena where 22 people died, also broke into a rendition in tribute to the victims.Natalie Earley, 21, who was in St Ann’s Square yesterday with three generations of her family, said she had spent the previous evening blasting the Oasis song – and other Manchester bands – out of her bedroom window.“It is so difficult to think about what has happened and not be angry but that is what we are going to have to do,” she said. “The only positive out of this terrible situation is to see how people have come together.” At times, the Rector Rev Nigel Ashworth said, the queue to get in the church has been 30-strong.“The first day was total devastated shock,” he said. “The second day was about tears and now we are trying to think about how to move forward as a city.” The Queen walks through a ward at Royal Manchester Children’s HospitalCredit:Peter Byrne/PA “It felt beautiful and I got goose pimples all over me,” she told the Telegraph yesterday. “It was a only a few people singing at first then everybody joined in. People hugged me and thanked me but I didn’t think it was anything in particular.”Mrs Bernsmeier-Rullow, of Levenshulme, who works for Virgin Media, said she hadn’t planned to sing the song before attending the vigil yesterday, but its lyrics had been in her head ever since the attack.“Don’t look back in anger is a very Mancunian sentiment,” she said. “We don’t hate. We love.” read more
Simon Milne said he was flabbergasted by the decisionCredit:Andrew o’Brien The head of Scotland’s Royal Botanic Garden has spoken of his “anger and frustration” after his French wife of 24 years was refused a UK permanent residency card.Simon Milne, 58, a former Royal Marine, said he was “flabbergasted” by the decision and his wife Francoise was left fearing for her right to remain in the UK after Brexit.The mother-of-three said she applied after the UK Government failed to confirm the future rights of EU nationals living in the UK, but was turned down in October because she could not prove she was “self sufficient”.The SNP MP Deidre Brock has raised the case with ministers and spoke about it in a Commons debate last week.Mr Milne, who is regius keeper of the “Botanics” in Edinburgh, and also a member of the Hon Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, which attends the Queen on ceremonial occasions, said the decision was extraordinary.He added: “With the uncertainty around Brexit at the moment my wife decided to apply for permanent residency. She has supported me through my career with the Royal Marines and now in my current role.”I am flabbergasted with this decision, I am angry and frustrated. I can only hope that it is an unintended oversight.” “I have participated in British society, I have raised three intelligent lovely children, I have voted, I have worked, I am, I have been a citizen.”Ms Brock said the UK Government claimed EU nationals should not worry about the future, but was then refusing residency to long term citizens, adding: “What an appalling way to treat people, making them feel unwelcome in their own homes.”The Government’s inertia on EU citizens’ rights is not acceptable. We can’t keep messing with people’s lives, we need certainty now.” Mrs Milne said her “world had been shattered” by the Brexit vote. “It felt like I had been cut in half when the vote came back yes, my children were crying,” she added. “I never felt I needed to claim dual nationality before, I could move about freely and work freely, now it feels like a lot of freedom has gone.”She said was refused the card on the grounds of self sufficiency and although she did “a bit of upholstery”, she relied on her husband.”They will not take into account that I am married to a British man, that is irrelevant, it’s hard to believe,” she added.”I don’t know what will happen after 2019, I don’t know if there will be time limits on how long I can stay in the country, if I want to leave to see my parents in France I don’t know what the rules will be on coming back. In the Commons last week, the Home Office minister Brandon Lewis said an agreement with the EU on citizens’ rights was “within touching distance” and should be finalised “in the coming days and weeks”A spokesman for the Home Office said the rights of EU nationals living in the UK remained unchanged, and Mrs Milne’s application was refused as she “did not provide enough evidence”.He added: “If Ms Milne has further evidence we encourage her to make another application. We are happy to work with her on this to ensure that she is providing sufficient documentation.”The Home Office said Theresa May had made clear that the Government wanted EU citizens who had made their lives in the UK to stay, and work was “well underway” to build a new application system for settled status. Francoise MIlne with her husband Simon after he received the MBE in 1995Credit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. read more
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Peers including the Bishop of Peterborough have called on the Government to protect the identity of people accused of a crime after their death. One member of the House of Lords said Anglicans were “deeply ashamed” of the Church of England’s handling of the case of Bishop George Bell, who was accused of abusing a child several decades after his death in 1958. A report published at the end of last year by Lord Carlile found that the highly-respected bishop’s reputation had been unnecessarily damaged by the Church when it publicly named him in an apology to the alleged victim in 2015. In a debate in the House of Lords on Monday peers called on the Government to “uphold the cardinal principle that an individual is innocent until proved guilty”. Official historian of the Conservative Party Lord Lexden asked home office minister Baroness Williams whether the Government would “review the law governing the naming of deceased individuals against whom criminal allegations have been made”.He called on the Government to review the law in order to to ensure the anonymity of dead suspects accused by “one uncorroborated alleged witness”.Fellow peer Lord Cormack added that the case was “deeply shocking” and said “the reputation of a great man has been traduced, and many of us who are Anglicans are deeply ashamed of the way that the Anglican Church has behaved”. In cases until there is overwhelming evidence to suggest guilt, it seems reasonable for people’s reputations not to be damaged in this public wayRt Revd Donald Allister The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister echoed the calls and added: “In all cases where the complainant has a right to be anonymous, there seems to be a case for the respondent also to be anonymous, and in cases until there is overwhelming evidence to suggest guilt, it seems reasonable for people’s reputations not to be damaged in this public way.”However Baroness Williams said the Government “do not have plans to review the law”. “Any decision to name an individual where that is considered to be in the public interest will necessarily be specific to the circumstances of an individual case,” she said. read more
After years of excruciating pain, Hannah says having her amputation was ‘the best decision I’ve ever made’Credit:Phil Yeomans/BNPS Last August, the Yeovil College student became the British PTS4 paratriathlon champion and this year she will begin a sports and exercise degree at Loughborough University.Miss Moore, who will remove the artificial limb and replace it with a blade for the running part of a triathlon, added: “I am a British champion and now my dream is to compete in Tokyo.” A student who paid £5,000 to have her leg amputated after an ingrowing toenail left her battling sepsis now plans to compete in the Paralympics.Hannah Moore, 21, has been fitted with a £10,000 revolutionary prosthetic “cycling leg”, custom made to help her improve her times and qualify for Tokyo 2020 as a triathlete.Her family paid for her to have her right leg amputated below the knee two years ago after years of excruciating pain had left her in a wheelchair.She had undergone a routine procedure for an ingrowing toenail when she was 15 but it triggered a rare, debilitating condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) that blighted her life for four years.Miss Moore, from Sherborne, Dorset, a former national karate champion, suffered with severe pain and swelling as the blood vessels in her right foot became infected by sepsis. Ulcers formed on her foot and, despite more than 50 operations and numerous skin grafts, they would not heal. 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. At that point she made the harrowing decision to have her right leg amputated to stop the pain, even though she was told there was no guarantee it would work. The NHS refused to carry out the operation on the grounds that it was not the recommended treatment for CRPS and that she could still be in pain afterwards. But other surgeons said there was a chance the operation would take away her pain. Miss Moore said that since the operation she had never looked back, had lost 4 st and was fitter than before. “Having my leg amputated was the best decision I’ve ever made,” she said. “The things I have achieved I would never have without this operation. The hardest times were before having my amputation, as I was having operations almost every week in London and the pain was so wearing.”“Since, I’ve never felt sorry for myself. It’s all been about making the most out of a situation, showing to myself as much as anyone that a ‘disability’ doesn’t have to define what you can and can’t do.” read more
Senior Facebook insiders have admitted designing addictive technology that hooks users and may cause harm to children.Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook platform manager, claimed the firm’s goal was to “addict” people. “They know what the negative effects are and they are not being honest,” he said.Leah Pearlman, the Facebook product manager who invented the iconic “Like” button, said she now advised vulnerable teenagers to beware of the site after she herself became addicted.In response to growing concern, Ime Archibong, a senior Facebook executive, admitted it was now investigating whether “habit-forming” behaviour is “bringing harm” to users.The disclosures are made in a BBC Panorama programme tonight, where the tech insiders express alarm at the way younger children are now being targeted with the launch of Facebook Messenger for six to 12-year-olds. Ms Pearlman said the Like button led her to become addicted to seeking feedback: “I noticed that I would post something that I used to post, and the Like count would be way lower than it used to be. Suddenly I thought I’m actually also kind of addicted to the feedback.”Aza Raskin, the creator of the endless scroll, where users don’t have to click to switch to another page, said: “Behind every screen on your phone, there are literally a thousand engineers to try to make it maximally addicting. “It’s as if they’re taking behavioural cocaine and just sprinkling it all over your interface.”Facebook said the allegations of designing technology to be addictive were wrong: “Facebook and Instagram were designed to bring people closer to their friends, family and the things they care about, and that purpose sits at the centre of every design decision we make. At no stage does wanting something to be addictive factor into that process and we are continually working to make sure Facebook and Instagram contribute to people’s lives in a positive way.”Protect yourself and your family. Find out more about our Duty of Care campaign to regulate social media The Daily Telegraph is campaigning for a statutory duty of care on social media and gaming firms to protect children from potential harm.“The end goal is to acquire customers at an incredibly young age,” said Mr Parakilas. “Considering the addictive nature of Facebook… it’s really concerning that they are now targeting even younger children without clear standards for what is OK and what is not OK.” 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
The trivial matter of his offspring’s domestic disharmony will no doubt be far from the heir to the throne’s mind as he takes to the pulpit to deliver what promises to be a heartfelt speech on Christian persecution in the Middle East. How fitting that Prince Charles is to deliver a “reflection” on forgiveness and reconciliation at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday. But in this time of peace and goodwill, the so-called Fab Four would be wise to “reflect” on the central theme of the future king’s message. For if anyone understands the consequence of family friction it is Charles, whose difficult relationship with his parents, his brother Prince Andrew and indeed his ex-wife have been well documented….
Dave Lewis, head of security for the club, said it relied on mounted police to help manage crowds during match days.”Significantly, that is one of the areas that they could say ‘we can no longer resource it’ and I think that’ll be a sad day, as it would for any part of the police force, when they turn up and say ‘I’m sorry, we can’t come’,” Mr Lewis said.Rod Hansen, Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary which re-established a mounted unit in 2016, said he was considering using corporate sponsorship to fund doubling the size of their current unit to eight horses.However the Police Federation has raised concerns over the scheme, calling it the “thin end of the wedge”.”It just doesn’t sit right with me,” said Police Federation operational policing spokesman Simon Kempton.”I worry about this potentially being the thin end of the wedge and ask where it stops,” he added. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A police force is to offer meals with its chief constable and the chance to name a horse in a bid to raise funds for its mounted division. Merseyside Police has raised more than £50,000 for its police horses since launching their corporate sponsorship scheme last April. The scheme was launched following a series of budget cuts that threatened the future of its 133-year-old mounted section.Corporate sponsors are offered a number of packages, which include the ability to name a police horse, to have a company’s logo printed on a horse’s saddle and to have a meal with the chief constable at the Grand National, held at Merseyside course Aintree in April.”It’s not to facilitate the wages of the police officers. It’s the cost of running, veterinary care, feed, things like that and bedding,” Sgt Harris told BBC Inside Out North West.Four English police forces – Cleveland, Essex, Humberside and Nottinghamshire – have been forced to disband their mounted units since 2012, citing financial pressures. The scheme has attracted a number of sponsors, including Everton, the University of Liverpool and Baileys Horse Feeds.Everton FC intends to hold a competition among local primary schools to suggest a name for the Merseyside Police horse it has sponsored. read more
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, has ruled out an exchange of seized oil tankers with Iran, saying there can no “quid pro quo” to end the standoff. Iran has suggested that it would release the British-flagged Stena Impero if the UK agrees to release the Grace 1, a Iranian tanker seized in Gibraltar earlier this month. But the UK maintains the Grace 1 was legally seized for violating EU oil sanctions on Syria, while the Iranian seizure of the Stena Impero was an illegal act of “state piracy”. “There is no quid pro quo. Grace 1 was intercepted because it was in breach of sanctions and heading with oil to Syria,” Mr Raab said on the Today programme.“The Stena Impero was unlawfully detained. So this isn’t about some kind of barter. This is about international law. Iran has accused Britain of seizing its tanker at the behest of the Trump administration, which is trying to choke off all Iranian oil exports. The UK denies the allegation. Mr Raab also urged Western allies not to engage in a “geopolitical EU versus US tussle” over plans for competing naval missions in the Persian Gulf to protect shipping. While Jeremy Hunt, the former foreign secretary, proposed a European naval operation Mr Raab has said that any EU initiative will need American support to be viable. France and Germany have insisted the initiative be independent of American naval operations in the Gulf, which they see as part of Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. “We want to see a European-led approach but in reality it shouldn’t be some kind of geopolitical EU versus US tussle,” Mr Raab said. “I think it would be important for the European-led initiative to have US support to make it viable.” Britain now has two warships in the Persian Gulf to escort British ships as they pass through the Strait of Hormuz.The HMS Montrose, a frigate, has been in the region for several weeks while the HMS Duncan, a destroyer, arrived over the weekend. “The security of British-flagged ships is our priority, and we continue to work to de-escalate the situation with Iran following the unacceptable and illegal seizure of the Stena Impero,” said Grant Shapps, the transport secretary. Hours later, the Iranian ambassador in London denied that the offer of an exchange was ever on the table, essentially turning the same argument back on Mr Raab. “Impossible to advance a quid pro quo or barter exchange of detained UK and Iranian ships as some British media suggest,” said Hamid Baeidinejad. “UK has illegally detained the ship carrying Iranian oil while the British ship is detained for violating some key safety/security regulations in Hormuz Strait.” The two ships will act in concert briefly before the HMS Montrose is due to return to port, once again leaving Britain with only a single warship in the area. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A boat of Iranian Revolutionary Guard sails next to Stena ImperoCredit:Mizan News Agency/WANA Handout via REUTERS read more
Mr Justice Mostyn had ruled in the High Court last February that Mrs Cowan had no right to make a claim.He said the widow received around £435,000 in the first year after her husband died and now receives a regular monthly payout, amounting to around £240,000 a year.However, ruling yesterday in the widow’s favour and overturning the High Court decision, Lady Justice Asplin said Mr Justice Mostyn was wrong and had “indulged in speculation about Mr Cowan’s motivation” in structuring his will in the way that he did.She added that Mr Cowan was “distracted from the real question whether it was arguable that reasonable financial provision had not been made for Mrs Cowan”.In a statement, Mrs Cowan said she was “delighted” with the result. Widows should have at least some control over the money they inherit, a panel of appeal judges declared after overturning a High Court decision.The widow of the “genius” tycoon who made £30million after he “brought the black bin liner to Britain” has won a landmark victory in a fight over control of his fortune yesterday.Michael Cowan, who died in April 2016 from a brain tumour, aged 78, built his wealth from humble beginnings. Applying a “Midas touch” for business, he grew his phenomenally successful plastics company, Hanmere Polythene Ltd, until he was a multimillionaire.He married his lover of 25 years, Mary Jane Cowan, in February 2016, but died two months later.He left her with access to hundreds of thousands of pounds in ready cash and also used his will to set up a structure of “generous” trust funds, “designed to meet her every reasonable need for the rest of her life”.However, his 77-year-old widow was not happy with the arrangement, which left her with no assets in her own name and no control over her late husband’s millions.Now the Court of Appeal, on which Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Baker also sat, has granted her permission to make a claim against his estate, on the basis that his will did not make “reasonable provision” for her needs. 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