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Month: September 2019

There should have been a major announcement in some posh setting, maybe even a boxing ring in Las Vegas, with confetti ready to fall from the rafters and luminaries in the audience. That’s how a champion like Evander Holyfield should go out – with the people he entertained celebrating an accomplished body of work in general, and the heart of the man as a fighter in particular.Instead, there is no fanfare. Instead, most are saying, “Thank God. Finally.”Holyfield is 50, having fought probably 13 years past when he should have quit. The courage that he showed in being a smaller man fighting as a heavyweight was not matched by the wisdom to sit down when it was time. Worse, when those around him even questioned if he should continue, he fired them.For the past decade or more Holyfield, instead of existing as an exalted former champion, has been considered a misguided, delusional, punch-drunk ex-fighter desperate to compete when he was far beyond his prime. In his last 16 fights, mostly against boxers you’ve never heard of, Holyfield is  8-7-1 with a no contest. All of these came when he was 37 or older – a time when he should have gone back to school or spent his time fishing. Sad, that.His career record of 44-10-2 (one no contest) is more sparkling than it suggests. When he elevated in class from cruiserweight to heavyweight, a young, swift and determined Holyfield defeated elite fighters such as Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer and Michael Dokes. Of course, his two victories over Mike Tyson are what set him apart.He pummeled Tyson in their first match, November 9, 1996, stopping him in the 11th round. A 24-1 underdog, Holyfield was atop the boxing world. They fought again in 1997, the infamous night Tyson resorted to biting off a portion of Holyfield’s ear because he could not compete with him.Two years later, Holyfield lost a second time to Lennox Lewis in a fight in which he made the bigger, younger man fight until the final bell. In truth, that was Holyfield’s last hurrah.He kept fighting, but accomplished little in the ring. He wanted to become a five-time heavyweight champion, but lost to someone named Nikolai Valuev, a 7-foot WBA champion from Russia. That was four years ago or nine years after his last commendable effort.If you ask him today, 48 hours from when he turns 50, he would say he could still take one of the heavyweight belts. But he’s only fooling himself. Most places around the world would not even sanction a fight featuring Holyfield, although his body remains the envy of most men.“The game’s been good to me and I hope I’ve been good to the game,” Holyfield said to Sports Illustrated. “I’m 50 years old (on Friday) and I’ve pretty much did everything that I wanted to do in boxing.”He made more than $200 million in the sport. But he also has squandered most of it. He pays more than $500,000 a year in child support of his 11 children fathered among nine women. His lavish compound south of Atlanta that featured 17 bathrooms, three kitchens, a bowling alley, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, fishing ponds, etc., is his no more, devoured in foreclosure.Much of his money also went to charity. He had a big heart. At his home each July 4th he would host hundreds of youths, providing food, games and entertainment, capped with a fireworks show when the sun dropped. He did not have to do it, but he did it because he felt it was his obligation to be a part of the community, a regular guy with extraordinary resources.In the end, Evander Holyfield will be remembered as a boxer of utmost resolve and determination, The Real Deal. His personal life has not been so prolific. But he still has some living to do to determine the final arc of who he is as a man.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. read more

OSU freshman forward Mason Jobst (26) during a game against Michigan on March 6 at Nationwide Arena. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorIn a battle of top-15 teams, the No. 12 Ohio State men’s hockey team (13-7-6, 4-5-1-1) hosts No. 5 Minnesota for two home conference clashes this weekend.The Golden Gophers (17-7-2, 8-2-0-0) enter the series as the nation’s fourth-ranked offense with almost four goals per game, and rank seventh in power play offense. OSU and Minnesota split two games back on Dec. 3 and 4 — a 5-3 OSU loss on Friday night and an 8-3 win the next day. Since then, however, coach Don Lucia’s squad has won 10 of its last 12 games, and are on a three-game win streak that included a sweep of No. 10 Penn State last weekend.Between the two units, either side is ranked as one of the nation’s top-five offenses.Scarlet and Gray associate head coach Mark Strobel said the Gophers are a different team than 10 weeks ago that presents a lethal offense year in and year out. Moreover, Strobel said the Buckeyes have the capability to sweep this weekend’s game, but the wins will go to the team that executes and competes for all three periods. “It’s going to be a skating game, and for us, we have to take away time and space, and frustrate them with playing the body,” Strobel said. “For us, it’s a want, and it’s the ability to compete for 60 minutes and not just 20.”On the other side, OSU has had a difficult time keeping its opponent off the scoreboard in the first period of games as of late. The Buckeyes fell behind 2-0 and 1-0 in the first period of games against Wisconsin on Jan. 26 and 28, as well as 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in the first 20 minutes of both games at Michigan last weekend.In light of the slow starts, sophomore forward Mason Jobst said making sure the team does not come out flat has been a big emphasis this week in order to not give opponents the opportunity to take advantage of the game early on. Making adjustments mid-game will be key to success in this series.“We’ve got to change it,” Jobst said. “We can’t afford to keep digging (ourselves into) big holes. We can’t get out of them.”With just 10 games left, the Scarlet and Gray sit in fourth place in the Big Ten standings with 14 points — 10 behind the Golden Gophers, who are in a tie at the top with No. 17 Wisconsin.As the final stretch of the season begins with six conference points on the line this weekend, Strobel said the team’s focus needs to be set on playing “Buckeye hockey” by getting pucks deep, pressuring the defense and dictating the pace of play — starting with the first game Friday night.“Every weekend is a big series … we have to win hockey games,” Strobel said. “We can’t let points go south anymore. We have to stop the bleeding, if you will, and for us, it’s going to be Friday night, come eight o’clock, that we have to take our game to Minnesota.”Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center both Friday and Saturday night. read more

Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) runs away from a Clemson defender during the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium. OSU lost, 40-35.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorMIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Visibly exhausted, battered and bruised, Ohio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller stood covered in grass stains in front of his locker at Sun Life Stadium with a forlorn look on his face. He and his team had just come up short against No. 12 Clemson in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl, falling to the Tigers (11-2, 7-1) 40-35.After the loss, Miller said he planned to discuss with coach Urban Meyer and strength coach Mickey Marotti about whether he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.“(I have to) just think it out throughout the whole process and how it will go,” Miller said after the loss about his upcoming decision. “I don’t want to make no decision I really didn’t do my research on.”It looks as if the Buckeye signal caller will come back for one more year, though, according to reports by both ESPN and No official announcement has been made by OSU. An OSU spokesman had no information about Miller’s decision when asked.Miller was sacked five times in potentially his last game as a Buckeye, taking plenty of hits and scrambling for control as he tried to rally OSU (12-2, 8-1) to its first postseason win in four years. The first sack of the game did the most damage, Miller said, injuring his shoulder.“On the first sack they had against me, I injured my shoulder. I know I landed on my elbow, but it shot right up to my shoulder, and it was hurting real bad,” Miller said.Miller said the injury nagged him all game and his pain level was “about like a nine and a half” on a scale of one to 10, but the last thing he wanted to do was come out.“You fight through it, because you’re a competitor,” said Miller, who did come out for a two-point conversion play after finding senior running back Carlos Hyde for a 14-yard touchdown that gave OSU the lead in the fourth quarter, 35-34.Meyer said he asked Miller if he could go after injuring the shoulder, getting a brief response from the junior: “I’m fine.”“He’s a soldier,” Meyer said during a postgame press conference. “I think on the two-point play he had to come out, but he said he was ready to go.”Miller’s toughness did not go unnoticed by his opponent either.“You tip your hat to a guy like (Miller),” Clemson redshirt-sophomore linebacker Kellen Jones said after the game. “You have to anticipate his move before he makes it, because before you know it, he’s out of there … He’s a great talent and it was great going up against him.”The Buckeye signal caller finished with 234 yards passing, completing 16 of 24 passes for two touchdowns, and running for two more scores. The second of his two interceptions all but sealed the win for the Tigers, though, as he was picked off by junior linebacker Stephone Anthony while trying to hit senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown over the middle with less than 90 seconds left.“I didn’t see (Anthony). It was good coverage, I’ll give him props,” Miller said about the interception. “That’s why he’s on the field too, he got a scholarship as well. He made a good play on the ball and I thought I had a man wide open, and he jumped right in front of it.“I thought I had Philly on a bender, and it was my mistake,” Miller said. “I’m not going to complain about anything, I’ve just gotta fix it.”It appears that Miller is planning to fix those mistakes in Columbus as he prepares for his senior season, despite alluding to the possibility of leaving early over the past month.“Oh, yeah. Of course. Definitely,” Miller said Dec. 18 when asked if he felt like his skills translated to the professional ranks. “Just like I came from high school. Coaches going to get you prepared, get you mentally ready for everything that you need to get ready for. It’s another step in life.”If he does stay, Miller knows one man will play a huge part in getting ready for the next stage of his life.“I’ve got to think hard about it. I will talk to coach Meyer and see what he thinks,” Miller said. “He’s been through the process many times, so that’s the guy to go to. He never steers you wrong and ever since I got here, he took me under his wing and taught me a lot of things.” read more

Redshirt-senior Kevin Metka (center) is congratulated by teammates before being recognized in a Senior Day ceremony on April 12 at the Varsity Tennis Courts. The ceremony followed a 4-0 OSU win over Purdue. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor

Ohio State freshman JJ Wolf returns a volley against Purdue on April 9. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsTwo teams with 15-plus-game winning streaks faced off in a matchup that would give one program its first ever men’s tennis national title.In the battle between the two hottest teams in men’s tennis, it was the Demon Deacons who came out victorious on their home court, ending Ohio State’s 22-game win streak with a 4-2 win.The win came at the hands of freshman Bar Botzer, who completed Wake Forest’s first-ever NCAA title in tennis when freshman Tim Seibert hit the net on a return, losing the match in two sets (4-6, 5-7).Ohio State earned points from redshirt sophomore Kyle Seelig and junior Martin Joyce, with each winning on straight sets to give the Buckeyes a chance after falling in two doubles matches by a 7-5 score.Senior Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State’s highest-ranked player, lost in his doubles match with freshman John McNally 7-5 against Botzer and junior Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest’s highest-ranked player.Chrysochos defeated Ohio State sophomore J.J. Wolf in two sets (6-1, 6-3) to help the Demon Deacons earn two points in the match.The victory gave Wake Forest its 16th straight win, and redemption after losing to Ohio State 4-3 a season ago after Torpegaard defeated then-No. 1 Chrysochos in the final match. read more

first_imgEnglish National Opera's London home Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington, stars of the musical The singers, he said, would be using three octaves and “massive operatic energy”, saying it is “the perfect venue for the work”.“I understand and respect very deeply the point of view of traditionalists,” he said, when asked about possible complaints.“In many regards I wish there were more in the United States because we’ve all but lost our repertory theatre tradition.“But I don’t think that a production of a musical is going to threaten the classical repertory.” If a lifelong opera fan went along to the musical expecting to see an opera, he added, saying “they would not be particularly disappointed because they’re not that far away from each other”.“I can totally imagine individuals coming to see Bat Out of Hell who have never been to the Coliseum and discovering the history and richness of that theatre,” Scheib said.“Maybe they’ll notice an image for this or that opera, think it looks interesting and check it out.“That would be a real dream. 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. Traditionalists are likely to raise eyebrows at the new style of production, already complaining at the reduced opera repertoire of the company in the wake of cuts to its finances.But Jay Scheib, the show’s director, argues Bat Out of Hell is the “perfect extension” of Tristan and Isolde and its classical bedfellows, insisting they are “not that far away from each other in terms of scope and scale”.The new musical was launched last night, as Meat Loaf himself appeared on stage flanked by dozens of Harley Davidsons to introduce it to the masses outside the Coliseum.Jay Scheib, the award-winning director, said he hoped the musical – a  “futuristic Peter Pan” – would introduce new audiences to the venue, who would then return to see more traditional operas. It comes after years of financial turmoil at ENO, designed to bring in much needed box office money to allow the company to continue.Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is described as a “a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland”.It began life in the 1970s as a musical based on Peter Pan, written by Steinman, but was instead transformed into the bestselling Meat Loaf album before coming full circle to the stage next year.Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl, Randy Lennox, Tony Smith, and produced in association with Bat Out of Hell Holding Limited.  Tickets for Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical, which begins previews in Manchester in February before moving to London in June, are on sale now.  To book, visit or call 0844 871 2118. The musical launched live outside the Coliseum, complete with motorbikes Meat Loaf in action in 1982Credit:Rex The English National Opera’s London home may well be used to high drama, with sex, scandal and a semi-regular murder infusing its performances.But it has not seen anything quite like this before.The London Coliseum is to be taken over by a hoard of motorbike-riding rockers, as the ENO lends it stage to a Meat Loaf musical to help steady its finances.Bat Out of Hell, a new musical based around the album of the same name, will take to the stage at the venue next summer, as part of a long-term plan to help the opera company out of financial crisis. Meat Loaf has offered his backing to the musical Meat Loaf has offered his backing to the musical Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington, stars of the musical The musical launched live outside the Coliseum, complete with motorbikes “As an opera-lover myself, I know opera houses around the world are struggling to maintain relevance sometimes and to keep continuing to develop audiences.“So if this works and Bat Out of Hell means someone will check out Tristan and Isolde then all the better.”Bat Out of Hell, written by Jim Steinman, is the second musical to hit the ENO’s summer season following a sell-out run of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close last year. Meat Loaf in action in 1982 English National Opera’s London homelast_img read more

first_imgI understand the reasons why my family thought it best to send me away to school, but we all agree now that it wasn’t the right decision. Smyth spotted my vulnerability and was the man I latched on to. He was a regular guest evangelical speaker at the forum meetings that followed college chapel on Sunday mornings. Younger than most of the other speakers, he was about 5ft 10in, with sandy hair, an athletic physique and eyes that darted backwards and forwards: he would say something to you and use his eyes to imply something else – a joke or mild innuendo. When the beatings began, he even made oblique references or winked at us during group conversations with people who were unaware of his horrific actions. He was a renowned and brilliant barrister and involved in some of the most famous cases of the time. But somehow he always found time for our forum meetings and afterwards chatted with us boys over coffee.He’d also invite a few of us back to his house in Morestead, five miles away. Because he knew that I loved films, one of the things he first told me was that his house had featured in a remake of Brief Encounter. Channel 4 challenged John Smyth QC about the allegations this weekCredit:Channel 4 John Smyth QC in his younger days. John Smyth QC in his younger days.Credit: I was 14 when I started to regularly have lunch there with him, his wife, Anne, and their two children, then seven and five. We played “family” games in his garden, which – unusually for those days – had a pool. For a lonely teenager, who was away from home for weeks at a time and yearned for the normality of family life, it seemed like a safe, friendly haven.Gradually, Smyth became a father figure to me and the other boys he invited home. He carefully divided us into small groups and shared secret things, building up a circle of trust in which we all held responsibility – not just to him but also to each other. Looking back, it was like being invited into an exclusive adults club, and I fell hook, line and sinker for it.The beatings were Smyth’s big secret. It was in January 1977, when I reached 16, that Smyth first introduced the topic of being beaten by him. Quoting from the Bible – Hebrews in particular – he said it wasn’t enough to repent your sins; that they needed to be purged by beatings. I had to bleed for Jesus.He was particularly interested in the usual teenage stuff – masturbation, indecent thoughts, pornographic magazines … That got my attention immediately. I was a 16-year-old boy, after all, newly over the age of consent. Sex was what I thought about most of the time.But as I took my clothes off in that garden shed, I slowly realised that sex was not what Smyth had in mind. As soon as I was naked, he asked me to bend over, said a short prayer and then encouraged me to pray out loud while he removed a cane from the stack. I was stunned by how hard he hit me that first time and gasped with what little breath I had left. 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. I found it impossible to indicate to anyone, except for Smyth, that I was becoming overwhelmed. His reaction? He now he told me that I could handle 50-60 strokes too easily, that it was no longer an appropriate marker for true repentance. Some of my beatings now ran to hundreds of lashes. The bleeding and the scarring was becoming more and more difficult to hide. I withdrew from any sporting or social occasion when there was any chance of the marks showing. I became increasingly isolated within a busy university, spending days in my room and only emerging for lectures.Then, for my 21st birthday in 1982, Smyth promised me a “special beating”, by which he meant the most severe I had ever had. Given the severity of what had gone before, I was terrified. I might have been in my third year of university but I was still trapped in the thought processes of a young child, convinced that there was no escape, that I had resigned myself to a future in which these beatings would continue for the rest of my life.I did make one attempt to express my despair. One attempt to tell. As my 21st birthday approached, two weeks before the date for the beating, I sent anonymous letters to both Smyth himself and to David Fletcher of the Iwerne Trust, threatening to expose Smyth to the press unless the beatings stopped immediately. They were that short and direct. I hoped these letters would be my escape, but as I was told afterwards, although both letters were received and read, neither produced any result. Days passed. The beating drew closer. I resolved to kill myself. From the ages of 15 to 18, I also attended the Christian camps at Iwerne Minster in Dorset run by the Iwerne Trust, a Christian charity chaired by Smyth and where Justin Welby, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, worked as a young man and as an officer.  Last week, a Channel 4 documentary alleged that during Smyth’s time in charge, teenage boys were routinely subjected to sadistic beatings. However, in my case and to my knowledge, boys were never beaten there, only at Smyth’s house. I never saw anyone other than Smyth beat anyone.By 1980, and two years before my beatings stopped, I had become very uncomfortable at Iwerne Minster. My “antennae” for predators had become quite well developed through my school days and, to my mind, Iwerne Minster was an “unsafe” place. A holiday camp for boys but also, potentially, one for predators. I’ve often wondered why this aspect of the camps was more obvious to me than the terrible incorrectness that Smyth was exacting on us, something that concerns me still. Something that parents should think very carefully about today. Because, believe me, children, once abused, will find it almost impossible to tell their parents. I certainly did. I was too embarrassed, even the one time my father asked me directly about Smyth’s influence.I left Winchester at 18, but the beatings continued and now more severely than ever; the routine of seeing Smyth so regularly over four years (including two years of abuse) was a chain that I was beginning to appreciate was too tightly wound around me to allow an escape.  John Smyth QC, who ran Christian holiday camps attended by the Most Rev Justin Welby in the late Seventies, told church leaders he was addicted to sleeping tablets when he was accused of assaulting children.Here, one of his victims speaks out about he abuse he received. It was only after seeing Smyth on television in the past few days that I’ve really been able to think of him as an evil person for the first time That was the first of the 8,000 or so strokes he would make on my bared bottom over the next four years; each and every stroke delivered with the same extraordinary ferocity. After 10 strokes, I felt my skin burn. After 20, I felt blood trickling down from my buttocks to my legs. At 30, he stopped and embraced me from behind, leaning against my back, nuzzling his face against my neck and whispering how proud he was of me.I never felt or saw him have an erection and he never touched me sexually, although he, too, was often naked and groaning in spiritual ecstasy while doing the beating. He did the same thing, pretty much every time.It was not the conventional sexual abuse that people might imagine; it was something more complex. It often crossed my mind that in his upbringing in a religious sect, he was repeating an experience from his own childhood.At Winchester, there were about 12 boys being beaten by Smyth. Although we were all friends (and some best friends) we never talked about the beatings outside John’s presence. That says something about the power of his thrall and our own feelings of shame.He would beat us individually and in small groups. For the first year, the beatings were every six weeks – as a “kindness”, he said: it gave time for our skin to heal. Later, it was more frequently. Channel 4 challenged John Smyth QC about the allegations this week I’m too cynical to believe he will ever face justice, although I’d love to be proved wrong. Too many important people have too much to loseSmyth’s victim The physical scars of the abuse took about two years to completely leave my skin but the legacy of the abuse that I suffered at Smyth’s hands has stayed with me throughout adult life. Although for years I buried it quite successfully, and in time was married and had children – the family who have supported me to this very day – I slowly became aware in 2000, particularly New Year’s Eve, the Millennium, that the trauma was beginning to resurface.It might have been the wildness of the celebrations around me or because, at that time, business and family life were more stressful than usual, but I found myself being unable to cope with even the smallest, inconsequential problems. Just like I’d been in my teens and early twenties, I became secretive and withdrawn, my deteriorating mental state not helped at all by the news that Smyth had moved to Zimbabwe and set up Christian camps similar to those at Iwerne Minster. And that rumours of what went on there were similar.I’ve been treated in hospital for depression five times, once for two months. There have been other suicide attempts, too. All cries for help.  I’ve been on sleep medication for 15 years, and only in the past two years have found a therapist who has really started to help me identify the root of my trauma, that the child in me is often more prevalent than the adult.At my most distressed and unbalanced, in 2007, I hatched a plan to kill Smyth. I emailed him in Africa, and it became apparent from our brief email conversation that he was still visiting the UK. I had it in mind to meet up with him, lure him into a death trap. It was only my truly wonderful and resourceful wife, and the love of my children, that pulled me back from the brink. If that hadn’t happened, I’m convinced that both I and Smyth would have died.Only after the Channel 4 news reports were shown was I able to tell my story. I have been able to contact the police, and I now have the confidence to recognise that the cycle of my abuse is completing. That it had a beginning and is moving towards an end.It was only after seeing Smyth on television in the past few days that I’ve really been able to think of him as an evil person for the first time. But I’m too cynical to believe he will ever face justice, although I’d love to be proved wrong. Too many important people have too much to lose.As I said after the final news report in my silhouetted interview, I am hoping that those institutions who have known mine and other victims’ stories for so many years, but merely stepped back and observed, will now reconsider their responsibilities and act in the best interests of the victims, not themselves and their reputations.As for Smyth, only his God could give him the punishment he deserves. It’s taken most of my life to stop blaming myself for what happened, so I’ll make some time now to blame him instead. That may sound very unChristian.I was taught to forgive everyone, but I have not yet reached that place, not on account of what he did to me but for the many other lives that his actions – and those individuals who protected him – have affected: the other victims, their loved ones, their families and friends and all the good people in the institutions involved who have only ever behaved responsibly and who are now victims themselves.These are the last words I will ever speak publicly about this matter, because the truth is being revealed and I am being released back to my family. And to all the good things about “normal” life. As told to Peter Robertson Walking towards the small garden shed tucked away in the grounds of a lavish Hampshire mansion, I thought I knew what lay ahead.Today, as a middle-aged man of 56, I’m not particularly good-looking. But as a boy, I was considered “pretty”, and in the boarding-school world that I grew up in, that meant only one thing: being regularly molested by other boys at prep school and again at the public school in Hampshire, the school to which generations of my family had gone and my parents had a close connection.So I followed John Smyth to the shed, the man I’d met through the school’s then newly revitalised Christian Forum. A shed that also doubled as the changing room for his swimming pool. Inside, I saw the pile of canes in the corner, and I felt my heart thump in shock. “Please take off all your clothes,” he said calmly.People might wonder why, at this point, I didn’t just refuse or run away – I was, after all, 16. But my parents had sent me away to school at the age of seven and, over the years, I’d grown accustomed to not seeing them for up to six weeks at a time, and was already traumatised with loneliness and often desperately homesick; I was ready to latch on to any adult who showed me care and attention. last_img read more

first_imgSigourney Weaver and John Hurt in 1979 “Ofcom considered that parents and carers were unlikely to have expected material of this nature to be shown on ITV before the watershed and immediately after children’s programming had finished.”An Ofcom spokesman said: “We found some of the content in this news bulletin broke our rules on the protection of minors. The report contained graphic images from a film that was not appropriately scheduled.”ITV apologised for the clip which it said was shown “in error”. Show more Sigourney Weaver and John Hurt in ITV News breached the broadcasting code in a tribute to actor Sir John Hurt, watchdog Ofcom has ruled.The programme aired the gruesome “chestburster” scene from Alien, one of the late star’s best known movies, in its morning bulletin.The graphic and bloody clip, in which a baby alien makes its way out of Hurt’s stomach, was broadcast immediately after a strand of morning children’s TV shows.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. Audience figures for ITV News showed 19,000 children, aged four to 15, watched the bulletin.In its ruling, Ofcom said that the sequence shown, which was edited from the full scene in the sci-fi movie, “is notorious for the graphic and shocking way in which the character dies.”The clip as broadcast, despite its relatively brief duration, contained strong and very bloody images, showing a character’s agonising pain and ultimate death. The bulletin, which aired on January 28 at 9.25am, sparked five complaints.Sir John died in January at the age of 77, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.The Oscar-nominated star was well known for roles including Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, the title role in The Elephant Man and wand merchant Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films.last_img read more

first_imgIt’s the latest idea meant to improve behaviour and stop rowdy children running riot in school corridors. But a Market Harborough school has faced a backlash after asking children to walk with their hands behind their backs between lessons. The school has been criticised for the “Victorian” policy, which teachers say will help them develop “good habits” and “secure routines”. Parents of pupils at Market Harborough C of E Academy in Leicestershire have also been told by the school’s new headteacher that the policy is for “safety” and to encourage a “calm” atmosphere.Children as young as four were encouraged to adopt the position to walk between classrooms and when returning to the building after lunchtime break. However, some angry parents have dubbed the policy draconian and have likened the school to a “boot camp”.One mother, who has two children at the school, said: “Even the youngest pupils are expected to do it. It’s far too much when they’re only four and just getting used to school in the first place. This regime is draconian. It’s like a boot camp – it’s 2017, not the dark ages.”She added that it was less safe for pupils to have their arms behind their backs because should they stumble, they wouldn’t “naturally” be able to put their hands in front of them to stop their fall.She said: “I’m really angry about this. I find it very upsetting. I know other parents feel the same.”A father with children at the school said: “I can’t speak for everyone but it’s like Victorian times. I know lots of parents are outraged about it and have raised it with the school. It seems to be one of a number of changes the new head teacher has brought in since starting in September.” And last year Hartsdown Academy in Margate turned away dozens of children who it said were not properly dressed, in a crackdown over uniform standards. In a statement, Ms Tayler said: “As a school, we are keen to ensure that we have effective strategies in place so that children can move calmly and safely around our building during the busier times of the school day.”With over 400 pupils, asking children to think carefully about where they place their hands at these times is a simple way to encourage courtesy and kindness to one another. The school has seen a positive impact as a result of the strategies introduced, with children moving in and around the building more calmly and more ready to learn.”We are a listening school; we acknowledge that parents have differing opinions and we take their views very seriously. As a result of discussions we have been having with parents over the last two weeks, we have already made adjustments, prior to any media interest in the story. “We have an open door policy and would urge parents to use the channels available in school to share their contributions. We will continue to work in close partnership with parents to provide the very best opportunities we can for the children in our care.” It’s far too much when they’re only four and just getting used to school in the first place. This regime is draconian. It’s like a boot camp – it’s 2017, not the dark ages “This is one of a range of strategies to help children develop good behaviour, to develop good habits and to establish secure routines. This helps to ensure that our school of over 400 pupils is calm and safe, with all children ready to learn.”The mixed-sex primary school converted to an academy in 2014. It was rated “Good” in its most recent Ofsted inspection in 2012. Mrs Tayler was previously headteacher at Cottingham Primary School, also in Market Harborough, which she joined after it went into special measures in 2010. The primary, which is also a Church of England school, was rated “Good” in 2014. Earlier this year police were called to Bedales School in North Yorkshire after pupils went “on strike” over strict rules about using the bathroom and water fountains. 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. After a few parents suggested children could fall over the school if their hands were behind their back, the school changed the policy to putting their hands by their sides or in front.In a letter sent to parents last week, head teacher Emma Tayler said she was aware some parents had raised concerns about the new approach. She said that the new rule “promotes safety”.She added that a number of pupils had been injured or knocked on the way into school by racing children.Mrs Tayler said: “As part of our commitment to providing a safe and orderly environment, we have recently introduced the practice of children gently placing their hands behind their backs as they move round school in large groups, or when they enter the building at lunchtimes.last_img read more

first_imgBandit country? No, Wimbledon CommonCredit:FLYDC While in Colombia, Ramsay reportedly had time to visit the Criterion, one of the continent’s “best 50” restaurants, run by Jorge Rausch, with whom he posed for pictures which were later.The Colombian chef told the MoS: “He just stopped by in Bogota for one night.“He came to make a documentary somewhere in Colombia but it was a secret.“We talked about many things but not about that.”A statement by ITV said: “This was filming for a conceptual marketing trail, not for a documentary.” Ramsay rides in the back of a mocked-up police vehicle, as if in ColombiaCredit:Gordon Ramsay Wearing a bulletproof vest and flanked by gun-toting ‘Policia’, Gordon Ramsay looked ready to plunge into the jungle in search of Colombia’s notorious drug cartels last week.But the TV chef’s chosen location for filming his latest “treacherous” documentary was no more dangerous than Wimbledon Common.Dog walkers and passers-by looked on in bemusement as the foul-mouthed star shot a scene that appeared to depict him travelling through bandit country crawling with guerrillas. They’re putting me under a trauma test for the sake of being shot and kidnappedGordon Ramsay before filming the documentary Earlier this year Ramsay told the Mail on Sunday he was preparing for “something pretty hostile”.“We’re going into Colombia,” he said.“They’re putting me under a trauma test for the sake of being shot and kidnapped.”The celebrity, who made his name haranguing guests on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, was spotted by patrons of the Windmill Tearooms having ‘mud’ applied with a paintbrush by a make-up artist, sources told the newspaper. Bandit country? No, Wimbledon Common The two-part documentary, which is scheduled to be screened in the Autumn, promises to explore the impact of the drugs trade that has cost the South American country more than 20,000 lives in 30 years. Ramsay rides in the back of a mocked-up police vehicle, as if in Colombia Clad in mud-spattered combat trousers, Ramsay was filmed being driven in the back of a military-style Land Rover bearing the word POLICIA, followed by a second vehicle carrying men with fake assault rifles and uniforms identical to those worn by the Colombian police.ITV has insisted the scenes shot on the peaceful South-West London common will only be used in the series trailer, and that the documentary proper was filmed in Colombia. 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

first_imgIt was one of the most memorable images following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales: her coffin being carried from plane to tarmac, draped with the Royal Standard as the Prince of Wales and Tony Blair looked on.The pilot who quietly orchestrated the successful transit of the late princess home from Paris today shares details of the journey for the first time, from the top radio security which stopped information leaking out to the “accidental” arrival time.Graham Laurie, who flew the Royal family hundreds of times until his retirement in 2000, has spoken of Diana’s final journey, and pays tribute to the “composed” Prince of Wales who even in his grief stopped to politely thank him for his work. Graham Laurie at home in Buckinghamshire 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. Mr Laurie said details of the 1997 trip were invented on the spot Mr Laurie, now 71, said he was proud to be the one to transport the princess’ body, ensuring everything ran smoothly in honour of her.“I’m glad it was me, rather than someone who didn’t know her or the Royal Household team,” he said. “Everyone was hugging everyone else. It all went smoothly, and that’s what mattered.”Mr Laurie has told how he changed radios on the journey back from RAF Northolt to Paris and back, using a UHF military radio to avoid information about the late princess being picked up by “spotters” who used the civil ATC frequencies. Mr Laurie said details of the 1997 trip were invented on the spotCredit:Tom Pilston “We needed to keep it as discreet as we could, and I don’t think anybody managed to pick it up,” he said.Disclosing there was a last-minute change of aeroplanes, after staff learned that space for a coffin may be required, Mr Laurie said the operation ran effectively thanks in part to a recent rehearsal for what would happen if a member of the Royal Family died, then focusing on the Queen Mother.While plans for Royal deaths are usually laid out to the minute, he said, the details of the 1997 trip were invented on the spot, and accidentally arranged around a 7pm arrival time he had “guesstimated” himself for the guidance of his colleagues. Graham Laurie at home in BuckinghamshireCredit: Tom Pilston Unbeknownst to him, he said, the Prime Minister, military and world’s press were summoned to RAF Northolt for that precise hour, leaving him under pressure to coordinate the difficult job around it.Mr Laurie said of the Prince of Wales: “He was very composed. At the end of the trip, he came to thank me for what I’d done in helping it run smoothly.“It was fairly obvious, even on that day, that he was going to do anything he could to carry on bringing up the boys [Prince William and Harry] in the right way.”Mr Laurie,a father of two, has not shared details about the flight before, but has chosen the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death to lay out the facts for the historical record.last_img read more

first_imgCrash diets may stop the heart pumping properly, a new study by Oxford University has found.Researchers at Oxford University said people suffering from heart problems should seek medical advice before adopting a low calorie diet.The new study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the impact of eating fewer than 800 calories a day on heart function and the distribution of fat in the abdomen, liver, and heart muscle.Nutritionists recommend that men consume around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories to maintain a healthy weight. But many people now cut their daily intake by drinking diet-shakes to dramatically to lose weight or drastically cutting meals.“Crash diets, also called meal replacement programmes, have become increasingly fashionable in the past few years,” said lead author Dr Jennifer Rayner, clinical research fellow, Oxford Centre for Magnetic Resonance, at the Oxford University.“These diets have a very low calorie content of 600 to 800 kcal per day and can be effective for losing weight, reducing blood pressure, and reversing diabetes. But the effects on the heart have not been studied until now.” Dr Rayner said: “If you have heart problems, you need to check with your doctor before embarking on a very low calorie diet or fasting.“People with a cardiac problem could well experience more symptoms at this early time point, so the diet should be supervised. Caution is needed in people with heart disease.”The research was presented at CMR 2018, the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. Around two thirds of Brits now say they are on a constant diet Credit:Blend Images / Alamy Stock Photo  Recent research found that two thirds of Britons are on a diet most of the time, but there are 800,000 people living with heart failure and nearly two million living with chronic angina. The research was carried out on 21 obese volunteers, of an average age of 52 and BMI of 37.Participants consumed a very low calorie diet of 600 to 800 kcal per day for eight weeks. MRI was performed at the start of the study and after one and eight weeks.After one week, total body fat, visceral fat and liver fat had all significantly fallen by an average of 6 per cent, 11 per cent, and 42 per cent, respectively,  accompanied by significant improvements in insulin resistance, fasting total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and blood pressure.However, after one week, heart fat content had risen by 44 per cent and there was a noteable deterioration in heart function, including the heart’s ability to pump blood.Dr Rayner said: “The metabolic improvements with a very low calorie diet, such as a reduction in liver fat and reversal of diabetes, would be expected to improve heart function. Instead, heart function got worse in the first week before starting to improve.“The sudden drop in calories causes fat to be released from different parts of the body into the blood and be taken up by the heart muscle,” she added. “The heart muscle prefers to choose between fat or sugar as fuel and being swamped by fat worsens its function. After the acute period in which the body is adjusting to dramatic calorie restriction, the fat content and function of the heart improved.” Around two thirds of Brits now say they are on a constant diet center_img The researchers warned that in people with existing heart problems crash dieting might exacerbate their condition – for example aggravating heart failure symptoms like shortness of breath or increasing the risk of arrhythmias. People with heart conditions should be careful when embarking on a low fat diet 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. People with heart conditions should be careful when embarking on a low fat dietCredit:Peter Dazeley Getty last_img read more

first_imgSenior police officers have warned drivers using e-cigarettes who obscure their vision with huge clouds of vapour that they face prosecution and losing their licence.Although vaping while driving is not itself an illegal act, it is up to the discretion of police officers to determine what they deem as a potentially dangerous and distracting handheld electronic device.Those deemed to be distracted by the e-cigarettes could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, the penalty of which can be disqualification, three to nine points on your licence, or a fine of up to £2,500.Officers have said that vaping – which causes excessive amounts of smoke and momentarily blind drivers – could result in fatal crashes.The warning comes as latest figures reveal over 3 million people in the UK now use e-cigarettes, with the majority of them driving.Sergeant Carl Knapp with the Sussex Road Policing Unit said: “The smoke caused by vapes are a distraction and the consequences of them can be dire, all it takes is a moment to become distracted and potentially cause a crash and even worse, a fatality.” Sgt Knapp who has been with the force for 22 years added: “I strongly advise people to pay 100 per cent attention to the roads when driving as anything that takes that attention away has the potential of severe consequences. Drivers are advised to vape with their windows open Drivers are advised to vape with their windows openCredit:Zachary Culpin/Solent News & Photo Agencycenter_img “There are no laws prohibiting vaping, however, you need to be in full and proper control of your vehicle at all times.”If you are going to vape I advise that you open your windows and blow the vapour directly out, just ensure that you are in full control of your vehicle before doing so.”Sergeant John Davis of Surrey Police echoed this comment, adding: “Any person who is distracted in any way could be guilty of an offence – whether that be smoking, vaping or eating.”With regards a scenario where someone could potentially be either distracted or have reduced visibility then there is potential for a crash.” Many drivers are aware of the dangers of sun glare when driving which can partially impair the driver’s vision – in some cases causing crashes.It has been suggested that vaping could cause a similar visual impairment to sun glare, therefore possibly resulting in similarly fatal incidents.A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: “We believe that drivers should always follow the rules set out by the highway code and must always exercise proper control of their vehicle and avoid any distractions, including vaping.”last_img read more

first_imgA spokesman for Southampton City Council, which operates the cemetery, said it “unreservedly apologised” for the situation. He said its records showed Mr Edwards’ grave had been transferred “at the request of a family member, to an adjacent burial plot shortly after the grave had been reserved in 1999.”The council allocated the grave in accordance with these records, which were subsequently shown to be in conflict with the exclusive right of burial produced by the family in question.” A brother whose family made a promise to his dying sister that they would be buried alongside her visited her grave to discover a stranger had been buried in the spot. Mark Edwards reserved a grave space in South Stoneham Cemetery, Southampton so he could one day be laid to rest next to his sister Julie Williams, who died in 1999 aged 41. His parents were also supposed to be buried in the plot.But two years ago the family were horrified to discover that someone else had been buried in the space. Council records show that shortly after Ms Williams’ death her brother’s reservation was mysteriously moved to a different spot, without his knowledge. The court heard that his mother’s last words to his sister had been to promise her that one day her family “would be beside her”.But a judge has decided that Patricia Sutton – who died and was buried in the plot in 2016 – would not be exhumed and moved to another patch within the cemetery.The Edwards family realised the error when they visited Mrs Williams’ grave to mark the anniversary of her death, 10 days after Mrs Sutton’s funeral.The chancellor of the diocese of Winchester, Matthew Cain Ormonroyd, said: “The possibility of real consequences for the Sutton family (the exhumation and its emotional consequences), coupled with the position on alternatives, has just persuaded me that, overall, this is not one of those exceptional cases in which exhumation can properly be ordered.”last_img read more

first_imgProfessor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Today’s figures are extremely disappointing but they must not be used as an excuse for criticising GPs who are working their hardest to reduce antibiotic prescribing, whilst grappling with countless other workload pressures and a shortage of GPs. “If GPs do prescribe antibiotics, it is because, in their expert opinion, they are the most appropriate treatment available, given the unique circumstances of the patients before us.“However we are still coming under considerable pressure from some patients who need to understand that antibiotics are not a ‘catch all’ for every illness,” she said.In recent years, the UK has led a drive to raise global awareness of the threat posed to modern medicine by antimicrobial resistance.Around 700,000 people around the world die annually due to drug-resistant infections including tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria.If no action is taken, it has been estimated that drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050.In a linked commentary, chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said: “Antibiotics are unique among drugs since the more they are used, the less effective they become because bacterial resistance is likely to develop.”She has previously warned that antibiotic resistance poses a “catastrophic threat” on a par with terrorism and climate change.Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security  Superbugs will kill more people than cancer without swift action to stop GPs doling out needless antibiotics, Jeremy Hunt has warned.It came as new research found at least one in five prescriptions by family doctors should never have been issued, fuelling antibiotic resistance.Health officials urged GPs to rein in prescribing of the drugs, amid warnings that routine hospital operations could become too dangerous if common medications become ineffective.Leading family doctors said the findings were “extremely disappointing,” but said GPs should not be blamed for handing out so many needless drugs.The study by Public Health England (PHE) and Imperial College London found British doctors were twice as likely as those in the Netherlands to prescribe the drugs.Overuse of antibiotics fuels the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, which kill 5,000 a year in the UK. The medication only works against bacterial infections, when the vast majority of coughs, colds and sore throats are caused by viruses.The study which tracked GP practices across England found at least one in five prescriptions for antibiotics were inappropriate.Almost six in ten patients with a sore throat were prescribed antibiotics – when around 13 per cent had a bacterial case, requiring it, the research found. The drugs were prescribed for more than 40 per cent of coughs, when just 10 per cent were appropriate. And almost nine in 10 patients with a sinus infection received the drugs – when only around one in ten should have. More than 38 million courses are handed out by GPs each year – suggesting around 7.5 million were needless. 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. Mr Hunt called for urgent action to cut prescribing levels.He said: “Drug-resistant infections are one of the biggest threats to modern medicine and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics is only exacerbating this problem.“We risk a world where superbugs kill more people a year than cancer and routine operations become too dangerous.”Around 160,000 people die of cancer in the UK annually.The findings were published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.Professor Paul Cosford, PHE medical director said: “Using antibiotics when you don’t need them threatens their long term effectiveness and we all have a part to play to ensure they continue to help us, our families and communities in the future.  This publication highlights the role GPs can play and I urge all practices to look at ways they can reduce their inappropriate prescribing levels to help make sure the antibiotics that save lives today can save lives tomorrow.”last_img read more

Rachel Hardy, her husband Michael and daughters Charlotte and Emma Credit:RUSSELL SACH  “I really wanted the children to be outdoors and to see soil,” she said. “It’s very good for the children. They like catching woodlice and slowworms, and they are definitely more into vegetables because they have dug them up.“There are a lot of children on the allotments and they just enjoy being outdoors and helping with growing.“For me, it’s a way of life. We grow vegetables for lunch boxes, but they often don’t make it home, because the children eat them on the way.“We are incredibly lucky. We have the dream lifestyle. But, you don’t need an allotment to grow a few things and make a difference to what you’re eating.”Although 90,000 people are on waiting lists for allotments, according the National Allotment Society, waiting times “vary nationwide”.“I live in Bristol,” said Di Appleyard, “and the waiting list there is four years. But the worst I’ve heard of is in London, where there’s a claim that there are 40 year waiting lists.”But waiting lists were, she said, “going down” as “allotment authorities got better at managing lists.” “There’s a sense of wanting to know where your food comes from. Growing your own food is useful for children. It helps them to know that vegetables come from the ground, not the supermarket.“Along with enjoying the delights of having fresh salad ingredients and herbs outside your back door,” she said, “families who grow their own food at home are more likely to eat healthily and – we hope – start hankering for an allotment.”Allotments in the village of Blisworth in Northamptonshire, are among those throwing open their gates to the public next weekend [18 and 19 August]. They are some of the oldest allotments in the country, being established in 1838 by the Duke of Grafton to give villagers somewhere to grow their food when the Grand Union Canal was built.The event coincides with a canal festival in the village, which is expected to attract some 25,000 people. A land train with 30 seats is being laid on to take visitors from the canal to the nearby allotments.“Visiting allotments if very popular now,” said 78-year-old allotment manager Jane Percival. “People like to have a look around, particularly in people’s sheds.”Growing your own vegetables is, she said, “a way of life.” Allotmenteering is a way of life not a plot of land, the National Allotment Society has said, as it battles long waiting lists.Some 90,000 people are in the queue for an allotment around the country, with some expected to wait as long as 40 years for a plot.Now, in a bid to make sure those people don’t miss out, sites across the UK will be opening their gates for National Allotment Week, showing off their skills and “sharing the joy in gardening” in a bid to encourage everyone to grow their own food in their back gardens, balconies and window boxes.“For some people growing your own fruit and vegetables is a way of life, especially on allotments where there are also other social benefits,” said the National Allotment Society’s PR Co-ordinator, Di Appleyard.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––“However, everyone can work growing their own food in to their lives, even those with busy schedules.“More and more people are living in flats or have small gardens but are interested in knowing what’s being put on their plates,” she said. “We hope that people will be inspired to hone their horticultural skills.” Rachel Hardy and her daughters Charlotte and Emma on their allotment in Winchester. They waited for an allotment for two yearsCredit:RUSSELL SACH Rachel Hardy and her daughters Charlotte and Emma on their allotment in Winchester. They waited for an allotment for two years Rachel Hardy, her husband Michael and daughters Charlotte and Emma  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. “Some people have been gardening here for more than 50 years,” she said. “In the last year we’ve had 13 new plot holders come in, and they are very glad of the experience of the older people.“There’s a real sense of friendship here, as well as peacefulness, and you know what you are going to eat. There’s a great deal of pleasure in picking blackberries and strawberries.“A lot of people start at home doing just a little bit,” she said, “and then they want to do more and get into allotment gardening.”Rachel Hardy, 39, an ecologist from Winchester did just that, starting to grow one tomato plant in a pot in her tiny courtyard garden.Finding that she wanted to “dig some land” rather than just a pot, she put her name on the waiting list for an allotment.Two years later, she was given a disused plot on Highcliffe Allotments in Winchester that was “overgrown and the ground was rock hard”. But now, she and her husband Mike, 42, and daughters Charlotte, 8, and Emma, 4, grow most of their vegetables there. They are self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables during the summer months. read more

He said that schools have been trying to do “everything possible” to get female role models into the classroom such as bringing back former female students who have gone on to study science subjects at university.There has been a 4.8 per cent increase in the number of entries for the double award science GCSE,  where pupils are awarded two GCSE grades after studying  Biology, Chemistry and Physics.Derek Richardson, vice president at Pearson, said this was down to the “Attenborough effect” which is encouraging young people’s interest in science.“We know that young people are increasingly concerned about the world around them and want to make a difference,” he said.“The ‘Attenborough effect’ is fuelling an interest in science, and young people are focusing their studies towards the world of work where there’s an increasing demand for STEM careers.”Programmes like Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II have been credited with sparking  a renewed interest in the environment. Earlier this year the charity Keep Britain Tidy said that the ‘Attenborough effect’ led to a rise in the number of award-winning clean beaches.  Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It would be nice to think that if schools are microcosms of society, maybe social attitudes are changing and things are not being narrowly defined in gender terms any more, with girls thinking these subjects are just as much my entitlement.” Girls are closing the gap on boys in Maths and Physics, the latest GCSE results show.This year 15.2 per cent of girls taking Maths were awarded top grades of either 7, 8 or 9 – equivalent to A or A* in the old qualifications – up from 14.7 per cent last year.Meanwhile, the proportion of boys scoring top grades fell from 16.8 per cent last year to 16.6, meaning that the gap between boys and girls has now narrowed from 2.1 to 1.4 percentage pointsGirls are catching up with boys in Physics, where the gap has narrowed from 5.7 to 3.9 percentage points.Boys are still winning a higher proportion of top grades (45.7 per cent) but girls increased their share of 7s, 8, and 9s from 39.6 per cent last year to 41.8  per cent this year.Girls already outperform boys at Chemistry and Biology GCSEs as well as Computing despite the fact that more than three times as many boys take the subject than girls.But Computing is increasing in popularity among girls, and this year the number of female entries for the subject increased by 14.5 per cent compared to a 5.9 per cent increase for boys. Students celebrate their GCSE results at Norwich School in Norwich, NorfolkCredit: Joe Giddens/PA Students celebrate their GCSE results at Norwich School in Norwich, Norfolk 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

…after roach found in fried riceThe Little Diamond-Herstelling Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Sanitation Department says it is investigating an allegation that a roach was cooked in a batch of Chinese fried rice.Head of the NDC’s Sanitation Department, Ms Holder confirmed that the investigation was launched after an overseas-based couple bought the food from a popular Herstelling, East Bank Demerara (EBD) restaurant and subsequently found a roach inside.The woman stated that she bought two servings of Chinese fried rice and left the restaurant.“I was driving and my husband began eating in the car, so when I stopped at the traffic light, I bent over to taste the food and it was then I saw the roach in his food,” the woman reported.She further explained they immediately returned to the restaurant, and the cashier who was taking orders advised them to “hold on” outside so that she could contact her boss.However, the angry woman said that she waited over half an hour only for the cashier to return to say that the boss was unavailableJust recently, another popular city Chinese restaurant came in for harsh criticism after a customer found what was later identified as a human tooth in his food. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGA-FDD conducts survey on Chinese restaurantsApril 8, 2019In “Business”Little Diamond-Herstelling NDC workers not paid salaries, probe launchedApril 4, 2018In “latest news”Teen waitress remains in critical condition at GPHC – bullet still lodged in throatJune 4, 2016In “Crime” read more

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBrazil replaces leaving Cuban doctors – health ministryNovember 24, 2018In “Regional”86 new doctors graduate from Guyana-Cuba Medical Scholarship ProgrammeAugust 29, 2016In “Health”Caribbean News Round-upDecember 2, 2015In “Regional” HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) — Cuba announced Wednesday it will pull thousands of its doctors out of Brazil in response to President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s “direct, contemptuous and threatening” remarks about its medical aid programme.The far-right leader repeatedly criticised the Communist-run island’s “More Doctors” programme — which sends thousands of Cuban doctors to work in deprived areas of Brazil — and said his government would introduce changes.“In the light of this unfortunate reality, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has decided to discontinue its participation,” a statement released by the ministry said.Bolsonaro has been scathing about Cuba’s programme saying the doctors received only a quarter of what Brazil was paying the Cuban government for their services. He said his government would individually hire doctors who wanted to remain in the country.The Cuban health ministry said Bolsonaro had “questioned the qualification of our doctors and has conditioned their permanence in the programme to a process of validation” of their qualifications. The programme has been underway since August 2013, and since then nearly 20,000 Cuban doctors have treated 113.5 million Brazilians, according to the ministry.In the strongly worded statement, Cuba said the conditions being imposed by Bolsonaro — who takes office on January 1 — were “unacceptable.”It blasted Bolsonaro’s “decision to bring into question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of Cuban cooperation workers” who it said were currently serving in 67 countries.The Brazilian people “recognised their virtues,” the health ministry said, and knew who should be “held responsible for our doctors not being able to continue offering their fraternal contribution in that country.”Cuba’s “white-coat diplomacy” was begun under Fidel Castro after the 1959 revolution, and has grown to become the island’s main source of foreign earnings, estimated at about US$11 billion a year.Cuban media reported this week that Havana is sending 500 more doctors to crisis-wracked Venezuela. read more

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUS immigration officials aim to restrict asylum at borderNovember 9, 2018In “latest news”Migrant caravan: Mexico to deport group which stormed US borderNovember 26, 2018In “World”Trump’s asylum ban halted by judgeNovember 20, 2018In “Court” Migrants run after crossing the Mexico-US border fence in Tijuana, Mexico (AFP)BBC- A crackdown on migrant smuggling networks across the Americas has resulted in 49 arrests.The operation was co-ordinated by Interpol which said organised crime networks were helping to smuggle South Asian migrants into the US.Nearly $2m (£1.6m) has been recovered during anti-smuggling operations across 11 countries, Interpol says.The arrests come amid rising tensions over US immigration policy along its southern border.They also highlight how the US-Mexico frontier is still a major entry point for illegal immigration from outside the continent.Interpol’s four-day Operation Andes was co-ordinated across nearly a dozen countries in South America and the Caribbean, including Brazil and the Dominican Republic.Migrants from India, Nepal and Bangladesh were reportedly paying between $15,000 and $30,000 for each journey into the United States.Chilean authorities also found Bangladeshi migrants trying to obtain temporary visas by posing as crew members of a shipping company with the help of smugglers.Interpol says 22 African and Haitian migrants were also rescued in Nicaragua after being “left to their fate in the mountains” by smugglers.“With another 13 investigations opened across the region, what we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jürgen Stock, the agency’s Secretary General.Immigration, especially across the US southern border, has been a central issue of Donald Trump’s presidency.Last month, Mr Trump sent nearly 6,000 troops to the US-Mexico border to help authorities deter what became known as a caravan of migrants trying to enter from South America.He also signed a proclamation denying asylum for migrants crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. The decision was later blocked temporarily by a federal judge.This week, the US government faces a potential shutdown during national budget talks as Democrats hope to block plans to build a border wall with Mexico.In a tweet, President Trump said illegal immigration costs the United States more than $200bn (£158bn) a year, adding: “How is this allowed to happen?” read more