This was never supposed to be Joel Embiid’s draft. College stars Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins were expected to be the frontrunners for 2014. But as the NCAA season began, Embiid, a center for Kansas, amazed, prompting his coach to compare him to Hakeem Olajuwon. He was ascendant — the kind of guy an NBA team tanks for.Then came the injuries. Embiid sprained his left knee early in the season and suffered a bone contusion, missing only one game. Later, right before the Big 12 tournament, doctors diagnosed him with a spondylolysis, a stress fracture in his lower back. The injury forced him out of the NCAA tournament but not out of the NBA draft. Many draft boards had him going first, convinced that teams would see the potential beyond the injuries.But last week Embiid had surgery to repair a stress fracture in the navicular bone of his foot. He’s reported to be out four to six months, and with the draft on Thursday there’s no telling where he’ll fall. USA Today now projects that Embiid will be the third pick and an NBA.com consensus mock draft projects him at fifth.Teams may be right to show concern about Embiid’s injuries, in part because of his height. Embiid is listed as 7’ tall by ESPN. Examining recent high draft picks reveals that taller players have gone on to miss a larger percentage of games than their shorter peers. Since 2000, 97 players 6’9” and taller have been drafted by teams with lottery selections (the first 13 or 14 picks in the draft, depending on the year). These players missed 17.9 percent of their potential NBA games (regular season and postseason, where appropriate) to injury over the course of their careers, while the 95 players 6’8” or shorter missed just 13.5 percent. The percentage of games missed generally increases as height increases. Players 7’0” or taller have missed nearly 24 percent of their games.That doesn’t factor in Embiid’s specific injuries. The navicular bone injury is the most troubling. The navicular is one of the tarsal bones located in the mid-foot, and an injury to the area is significant. In Embiid’s case, it required surgical intervention.Other players have had navicular fractures (it was the only injury to sideline Michael Jordan for an extended period of time in Chicago), but it’s been fairly uncommon the last few years. I keep a database of every injury in the NBA for any player who’s played since 2009, including each player’s entire injury history, even if the injury took place before 2009. Only seven affected NBA players out of a possible 900+ in my data set had a navicular fracture.Perimeter players including Jordan and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin both fared well following navicular fractures. But unfortunately for Embiid, the precedent set by big men to suffer the injury doesn’t inspire much confidence. In three of the seven navicular cases (including for perimeter and post players), the fracture reoccurred or additional surgery was needed. All three players (Curtis Borchardt, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Yao Ming) stood 7 feet or taller. There’s another seven-footer, too, whose prognosis we’re not sure of yet: Brendan Haywood suffered a navicular fracture in October 2013 and didn’t play a minute this year for Charlotte. We’ll have to wait to see how his foot holds up.Small sample size, of course, but it begins to tell us what teams might be able to expect from Embiid. And there are always outliers. The careers of Kevin McHale (who played too long ago to be included in my database) and Ilgauskas provide some optimism. McHale bounced back following his injury in the 1987 postseason and played seven more seasons, including four at an All-Star level. Ilgauskas also went on to have a productive career.Then again, that only happened after his third foot surgery, a procedure that involved reshaping multiple bones in his foot.
CLEVELAND — We witnessed how quickly everything can change in the finals during Game 1, arguably one of the more bizarre, topsy-turvy finishes in NBA Finals history. And in case you needed a reminder of the swiftness with which a narrative can change, consider this: Two-time league MVP Stephen Curry, who up until Wednesday night was the odds-on favorite to be named the most valuable player of the 2018 NBA Finals, may now be a long shot to win the honor, even though the Warriors are in a great position to sweep the series.With about eight minutes left in the final quarter of a game that would all but determine whether this was truly a competitive series or merely a foregone conclusion, Curry misfired from 26 feet out. The attempt marked his 10th-straight miss — tied for the second-longest shot-making drought of Curry’s career, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group1One shy of the 11 consecutive shots he missed against the Pelicans back on March 20, 2015. — and left him a dismal 1-of-14 on the night.Yet for all of Curry’s struggles, and pedestrian shooting nights from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green on the road, Golden State still had a 92-90 lead on the Cavs at that point. And Kevin Durant — who’d finish with a game-high 43 points, 13 boards and one lost shoe — was the reason. Doing exactly what he was brought in to do, Durant connected on a dagger from 33 feet out to seal Game 3 with just under a minute to play, very likely ending any hope of a Cavs’ title.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Coldblooded.mp400:0000:0000:10Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“This is the beauty of this team and the luxury we have of having multiple big-time scorers. There’s going to be [bad shooting] nights like this for all of them,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr, referring to Curry’s 3-for-16 finish.2Curry hit two shots, including a key triple, in the final minutes. “We’ve got a lot of guys who can score and fill it up, and they lift each other up if one is having a tough night. It’s a pretty nice luxury as a coach, for sure.”That luxury is the one that so many NBA fans feared when Durant shocked the basketball world by signing on to play for the Warriors: that Golden State would have too wide a margin for error by adding Durant onto the core of a team that had already won 73 games the season before.This isn’t to say that the club is unbeatable, necessarily. After all, the Warriors just survived a seven-game series with the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals, a round that Houston might have won had it not been for an ill-timed Chris Paul hamstring injury or an epic drought from 3-point range.But Durant is the team’s back-up generator, an elite scoring force that kicks in when Curry, the team’s main power supply, is momentarily disrupted. Even as Curry struggled, Kerr and the Warriors still made good use of him by occasionally having him set a quick screen for Durant, which sometimes prompted LeBron James to switch off. On this play, Durant ends up with an easy shot over Cavaliers guard George Hill instead.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/KDSTEPH.mp400:0000:0000:19Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.“The margin of error is very low. You can’t — I mean, it’s almost like playing the Patriots. You can’t have mistakes. They’re not going to beat themselves,” said James, the Cavs superstar who finished with a “quiet” 33-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double but walked away with a seventh finals loss in eight tries against Golden State since the Warriors acquired Durant.“When you’re able to force a miscue on them, you have to be able to capitalize and you have to be so in tuned, razor sharp and focused every single possession. You can’t have miscommunication. You can’t have flaws,” continued James, whose team beat Golden State in the NBA Finals in 2016, the season before Durant signed there. “You can’t have ‘my faults’ or ‘my bads’ or things like that, because they’re going to make you pay. When they make you pay, it’s a 3-0, 6-0 or 9-0 run, and it comes in bunches. The room for error, you just can’t have it.”Wednesday night felt reminiscent of Game 3 of last year’s finals — particularly the cold-blooded, game-sealing triple that Durant drilled with nearly the same amount of time remaining in the game, again over the outstretched arm of a helpless Cavaliers defender. Much like last year, Durant’s otherworldly performance was enough to neutralize, if not outdo, Cleveland’s superhuman star on a night when other factors would have threatened Golden State’s grip on the series.Aside from overcoming the lackluster shooting from Curry, the Warriors managed to win despite a productive night from Kevin Love (20 points on just 13 shots) and a legitimately good showing from Rodney Hood, who went from being out of the rotation entirely to scoring more (15 points) off the bench Wednesday than he had logged in a game since early April.Yet while the Cavs were happy to get production out of Hood — and finally bench the slumping Jordan Clarkson, who’d been awful — the Warriors were getting contributions from multiple players. Forward Andre Iguodala was back from injury, and despite looking rusty at times, he chipped in defensively on James and finished the contest a +14, tied for the second-highest plus-minus, just behind Durant’s +15. JaVale McGee, Shaun Livingston and Jordan Bell were all solid in limited roles of 17 minutes or less each and shot a combined 13-of-17 from the field.And to add insult to injury, the Warriors went after JR Smith — whose monumental brain freeze in Game 1 earned him a standing ovation from Golden State fans in Game 2 — incessantly on defense. Smith has always struggled when defending away from the ball, and the Warriors bludgeoned his inability to sink into the paint after passing Curry off to Love after a switch. Golden State found countless open looks as a result of Smith’s on-court confusion defensively.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/SmithOnD.mp400:0000:0002:04Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In any case, whenever this series ends, in a fifth or six game or even in a sweep on Friday, we’ll hear more about Smith’s blunder in Game 1 and how the events surrounding it might have changed the complexion of the series had they played out differently. Given how good the Warriors are, and all the weapons they possess, it’s difficult to argue otherwise. There simply is little to no room for error against this ballclub, perhaps in a way that we’ve never seen before.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (June 7, 2018, 11:30 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said Cleveland’s Game 3 loss in the 2018 NBA Finals was the eighth finals loss by LeBron James to Golden State in nine tries since the Warriors acquired Kevin Durant in 2016. It was the seventh finals loss in eight tries.
After weeks of golazos, flops and inaccurate estimates of stoppage time, the World Cup is nearly over. We’ve been tracking, and forecasting, each team’s chances as the tournament has unfolded, and we thought it would be fun to look back at how the final between France and Croatia got made. Our final pre-match predictions give France a 59 percent and Croatia a 41 percent of winning it all in Russia — but at the start of the knockout round, their chances of winning the trophy were only 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Here are the paths each team took to the final game.Check out our latest World Cup predictions.
Less than a week ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning were heavy betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup, and for good reason. The Bolts entered the playoffs on the heels of one of the best regular seasons in NHL history. They tied the record for the most regular-season wins1Their 62 wins matched the total of the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96. and finished with the fourth-highest point total in league history. Forward Nikita Kucherov scored 128 points and will almost surely win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, and Steven Stamkos had the best season of his already illustrious career.As a team, the Bolts were unparalleled — they paced the league in goals scored, power-play goals scored, shooting percentage and penalty kill percentage. If the team that Steve Yzerman built was ever going to acquire some silverware, this would surely be the year.Unfortunately for the Lightning, their astonishing regular-season form hasn’t carried over to the postseason, and now they find themselves on the precipice of an unprecedented failure: If they lose Tuesday night in Columbus, they’ll be the first Presidents’ Trophy winners to be swept out of the first round of the postseason in history. Even if they aren’t swept but merely lose the series, Tampa’s collapse would be monumental — devastating for any team but especially so for a club that’s been knocking on the door of Stanley Cup glory for several years. How have things gone so wrong for the team from the Gulf Coast?For starters, Tampa’s high-scoring superstars seem to have forgotten what the net looks like. Stamkos hasn’t recorded a point, neither has Brayden Point, and the only thing Kucherov has recorded is a one-game suspension for an extraordinarily dirty hit on Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara. Meanwhile, the opposite is true for the Jackets: Matt Duchene and Artemi Panarin — subjects of a major trade and a major nontrade, respectively — are scoring at will, while Zach Werenski is providing service from the blue line.Things aren’t much different between the pipes. Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has been uncharacteristically abysmal: He has stopped just 86.6 percent of the shots he’s faced so far, which ranks second to last in the postseason among qualifying goalies. This is somewhat stunning, especially given the Russian’s previous postseason form: In 29 postseason appearances between 2014 and 2018, he stopped 91.9 percent of the shots he faced. This spring’s regression couldn’t have come at a worst time.On the other side of the ice, Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has been nearly unbeatable, stopping 94 percent of the shots he’s faced — which is good for second-best. None of this bodes well for the Bolts because save percentage is the single most important determinant of a team’s goals-per-game differential in the postseason, and therefore the key to a playoff run.As if circumstances could get any worse, Tampa is unraveling against a team that has never won a playoff series. In fact, Columbus had never won more than two games in a single postseason before this one. It’s one thing to be swept by a franchise that has won four Stanley Cups, as may happen to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the hands of the New York Islanders; it’s an entirely different thing to get bounced by a franchise that’s never advanced to the second round.We wrote last week that anything short of lifting the Stanley Cup in June would feel like a failure for the Bolts and would put them in the same company as the 1995-96 Red Wings, another set of historically great losers. But if the Bolts are dispatched in four games, their failure would have to be considered more embarrassing. After all, that Red Wings team advanced to the conference finals before crashing out of the postseason. This Bolts team might not even win a game.Only four teams have managed to overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. If any team is up to the task, it’s this immensely talented Bolts group. But first, they’ll have to remember how to put the puck into the net of their opponent. Otherwise, they will make history for all the wrong reasons.
OSU softball players during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State softball team has another busy week ahead, beginning with a game against Dayton set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. After the Flyers, the Buckeyes are scheduled for three games against No. 1 Michigan from Friday to Sunday in what could be their toughest matchup of the season.The No. 24 Buckeyes (24-8-1, 9-1-1) have just under a month of regular-season play left before heading to the Big Ten tournament. Last weekend at Rutgers, OSU swept the Scarlet Knights in three games, continuing its five-game win streak.OSU coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said she is eager to head into the second half of the season with a team that is building momentum.“What a fun week for us,” she said of last week’s sweeps of Rutgers and Penn State. “So we’re not really working on anything specific this week.”Scouting DaytonThe Flyers (17-14-1) have won seven of their last eight games, including a 2-1 series win at George Mason last weekend. The team is ranked second in the Atlantic 10 Conference, in which it claimed the No. 1 spot in 2015 with a 39-14 overall record.At the plate, Dayton is led by junior Gabrielle Snyder, who is hitting .412 with 10 extra-base hits. The Flyers’ highest individual RBI total is 11, shared by freshman Lisa Tassi and junior Katie Ryan. Nine Buckeyes best this figure, as they have 215 RBIs to their opponents’ 118. Dayton’s roster has combined for 79 RBIs this season, while OSU redshirt junior Alex Bayne has 43 alone.The Flyers are boasting the Atlantic 10’s reigning pitcher of the week in sophomore Manda Cash. The left-hander pitched two shutouts last week, including a career-high 13 strikeouts in seven innings on Saturday. While Cash’s ERA is 1.51, Snyder’s falls at an impressive 1.29 with a 6-1 record.OSU junior Shelby Hursh continues to lead OSU’s pitching staff with 105 strikeouts and a 12-3 record. Hursh pitched her second career no-hitter in the team’s first game against Penn State on April 6.“I’d still like to cut down on my walks,” Hursh said, noting her 72 walks. “It’s still a testament to my defense though when I walk a lot of hitters and they still can’t put up any runs.”Fellow junior Lena Springer made her mark with a shutout against Rutgers last weekend, which brought her career ERA to 2.73.“It has been a very interesting season with the pitching staff. Each has found their moment to shine, and we have relied on them in so many different situations,” Schoenly said. “I’m hoping for them to continue to shut down batters.”Monitoring MichiganHeading into its rivalry matchup against the Buckeyes, Michigan (29-4, 7-2) has claimed the No. 1 spot in both the USA Today and ESPN polls. Despite this title, the Wolverines, who have had 38 consecutive winning seasons, are ranked third in the Big Ten standings behind Minnesota and OSU.In the conference, Michigan, Schoenly’s alma mater, leads in team batting, pitching and fielding percentages as it ventures into a midweek matchup against Michigan State.The Wolverines’ offense is the crown jewel of the Big Ten, boasting the top three conference hitters: senior Sierra Romero, junior Sierra Lawrence and sophomore Tera Blanco.Romero, who has earned two Big Ten Player of the Week honors so far this season, is hitting .500 with 55 RBIs, 12 home runs and a .989 slugging percentage.The senior infielder, a member of the 2015 United States Women’s National Team, was named Big Ten Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014, along with being a first-team All-American the past two seasons. She also holds program records for all-time runs scored, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, batting average and grand slams. She owns single-season records in runs scored, home runs, RBIs and batting average, too. Michigan is outhitting its opponents .364 to .204, with six players hitting above .350. The team has collected 261 RBIs, while holding its opponents to only 84.In the circle, the Wolverines rely on two pitchers, junior Megan Betsa and redshirt senior Sara Driesenga. The right-handed duo has struck out 218 batters and only given up 69 earned runs in 45 appearances.Driesenga, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection who missed most of last season with an injury, currently holds a perfect 14-0 record on the mound. Blanco, on the other hand, has pitched 25.1 innings with 22 strikeouts in 2016 but spends most of her time at first base.Swinging for the fencesEleven Buckeyes have hit home runs so far this season, led by Bayne with 17. Schoenly said that her hitters are feeling good and expressed her confidence in their continued success at the plate, especially Bayne.OSU junior Alex Bayne (2) is welcomed by her teammates at home plate after hitting a homerun during a game against Penn State on April 6 at Buckeye Field. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor“Bayne is within two home runs of the Ohio State home runs record, and there have been some unbelievable hitters in this program in the past,” Schoenly said. “I’m most proud of her for keeping a consistent approach at the plate.”Bayne was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, making her the second OSU player after senior Erika Leonard to earn the honor this season. Over the last five games, she hit .579 with a slugging percentage of 1.368.Another player who Schoenly lauded was freshman Emily Clark, who has now taken on a full-time starting role at second base.“I think she really gained her confidence when she started playing every day. She definitely packs power in her swing,” Schoenly said.The second baseman hit .429 last week, and three of her four home runs on the year were recorded in the series against Rutgers. On the season, she has a .606 slugging percentage, which is third highest on the team behind Bayne and senior catcher Cammi Prantl.“(Clark) had those kind of numbers this fall and we had high expectations for her, so we are glad she’s more comfortable,” Schoenly said. “I think it comes down to her being aggressive at the plate.”Coming upAfter the Wolverines, OSU is scheduled to face another nonconference opponent when it heads to Ohio University for a doubleheader on Tuesday, with an expected first pitch at 4 p.m. After the Bobcats, the Buckeyes are set to continue their Big Ten schedule with a home series with Purdue from April 22 to 24.“This time of the year is a grind, and we’re feeling confident right now,” Schoenly said. “We want to ride that wave.”
The Ohio State men’s basketball team’s 15-game home win streak and nine-game conference win streak came to an end Wednesday night after a 60-57 loss to No. 4 Purdue. The story of the game was Purdue’s first-half dominance. In front of the first sell-out crowd of the season at the Schottenstein Center, the Boilermakers jumped out to an early lead and led for all 40 minutes of Wednesday’s game. With just more than seven minutes remaining in the first half, junior Evan Turner converted a three-point play and for the first time all night the capacity crowd erupted. The jubilation was short lived, however, as Purdue’s Keaton Grant immediately responded with a four-point play at the other end. The crowd again rose to its feet when junior Jon Diebler made the team’s first three-point basket with less than a minute ago. But again, the Boilermakers answered, this time with a three-point play. In the first half “they made some shots and some of us didn’t have our heads right,” Turner said. “As a unit we didn’t execute how we were supposed to.”Purdue led by 13 at the break and although the Buckeyes got as close as 48-46 late in the second half, the first half struggles proved to be too much to overcome. OSU had one last chance in the waning moments when Diebler took and missed a potential game-tying three-pointer as time expired. “I got a good look,” Diebler said. “I should have knocked it down. There’s really no excuses.”Unlike in last month’s game at Purdue, the Buckeyes did a much better job of containing junior Robbie Hummel. Hummel torched Ohio State 35 points in the first meeting, but was held to just four Wednesday.However, OSU simply had no answer for junior JaJuan Johnson. After scoring a season-low four points in the first meeting between these two teams, Johnson led the way offensively for the Boilermakers. He scored a team-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting. “He made shots and those were some tough shots,” Diebler said. “That’s a heck of a basketball player right there.”As expected, Turner handled the bulk of the load for the Buckeyes and scored a game-high 29 points. With the loss, OSU dropped to 10-4 in conference play, but the Buckeyes have little time to regroup. They travel to East Lansing, Mich., Sunday to play the Big Ten’s first-place team. “You have to be honest with yourself and say ‘OK what didn’t we do well?’ but we have another tremendous challenge down the pipe,” coach Thad Matta said. “I told the guys after the game, we have to be a better basketball team on Sunday.”
For this group of seniors in the past three seasons, the story remained the same. A bid to the NCAA Championship semifinals and nothing more. In the 2010 semifinals, the Stanford Cardinal overpowered the Ohio State men’s volleyball team in three straight sets (30-25, 30-26, 30-17). What followed was a long flight home. At that time, coach Pete Hanson told his players to write down their goal for the next season. “Each kid said his goal was to win the National Championship,” Hanson said. Now, a little more than a year later, the mission has been accomplished. All-American outside hitter Jeff Menzel jumped up for a kill on Championship point, but a wall of Steven Kehoe, Kevin Heine and Jason Tobkin stopped him in his tracks. Kehoe connected on the block as the Buckeyes defeated the California-Santa Barbara Gauchos, 3-2, for the program’s first national title. “Our coaching staff told us if we blocked him once in the last five points, we would win the match,” Kehoe said. “I think deep down we believed we earned the right to be here,” Hanson said. “It’s really cool how that came to fruition.” The Scarlet and Gray outplayed the Gauchos in about every aspect of the match, but OSU’s 26 service errors kept UCSB, which had just six service errors, in the match. “I definitely came out tense, and I think a lot of the guys did, especially from the service line,” Kehoe said. Hanson agreed. “It was clearly frustrating,” he said. “(OSU) never panicked. It’s like when a pitcher can’t locate his fastball. It will come, and it did.” Hanson said it was key to isolate Menzel and force his supporting cast to win the match. “I think when you hold an All-American to 12 kills on 40 swings and he hits .025, you’ve done a pretty good job,” Hanson said. Junior Shawn Sangrey led OSU with a match-high 32.5 points and 30 kills. His career-high 30 kills are the most by any Buckeye this season. Kehoe added a season-high 65 assists and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. “For our seniors, it was their last collegiate volleyball game ever,” Sangrey said. “We wanted to go out on top, and that’s what we did.” Kehoe, Sangrey and John Klanac were named to the All-Tournament team. OSU overcame its serving woes with a strong offensive effort. The Buckeyes outhit UCSB .329 to .198, had a 74-45 advantage in kills and led the match in assists, 70-42. The Buckeyes are the third team outside the West to win the title. Penn State won in 1994 and 2008. OSU holds a 1-2 record in national title games. The Buckeyes lost, 3-1, against USC in 1977 and, 3-0, to UCLA in 2000.
Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) embraces head coach Chris Holtmann on senior night prior to the start of the game against Rutgers on Feb. 20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor
Head coach Chris Holtmann talks to the Buckeyes during a timeout in the second half of the game against Michigan State at the Big Ten tournament on Mar. 14 in Chicago. Ohio State lost 77-70. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter Ohio State’s loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament semifinal, head coach Chris Holtmann was confident that his team’s body of work was representative of an NCAA Tournament team. He felt the same the day after, telling Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith he felt the Buckeyes were locked in as an 11 seed, maybe even a 10. Then Sunday rolled around. “As each hour passed today and I studied the numbers, I studied myself into absolute paranoia,” Holtmann said. “I just had to stop. Thank God we had practice.” For the first time in his coaching career, Holtmann experienced what leading a bubble team was really like. And on Sunday, sequestered in a room together as a team, experiencing the pressure of the unknown as a group, the unknown became known. Ohio State was an NCAA Tournament team. “All season long, we have been leaning on each other just throughout the struggles,” senior guard C.J. Jackson said. “Obviously this year has had its ups and downs and just to see our name pop up there is a bit of a sigh of relief.” For redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods, Ohio State’s name popping up as an 11 seed set to play Iowa State in Tulsa, Oklahoma was validation that he made the right decision to join Holtmann for his final season. This was what came to mind for the second-year head coach when Ohio State’s future became secure, watching Woods achieve what he has wanted for his collegiate career. “Keyshawn, the reason he came here was to play in the NCAA Tournament,” Holtmann said. “It wasn’t me. He basically came here and said, ‘Hey, I’m putting my faith in you that I can get there.’” Woods echoed that sentiment, saying the NCAA Tournament was always on his mind when selecting a school to spend his last season. “It’s the whole reason why I chose to become a Buckeye,” Woods said. “The belief I had in the guys, C.J., coach Holtmann, the staff, it’s a great feeling, especially to see our name pop up there.” But Holtmann said, at the beginning of the season, what Woods strived for was no guarantee. He said the Buckeyes had to establish a new identity from the very start of the season. Even with that, playing well, finding the right players to mold into his scheme and game plan, Holtmann said a Tournament bid was not exactly expected. “I thought we would have to play well. I did,” Holtmann said. “I thought it was if we played well, I thought it would be very close.” Now that Ohio State has made the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row — Holtmann’s fifth-straight season dating back to his head coaching tenure at Butler — the approach is not one of appreciating the bid. Simply put, the Buckeyes want to show up. “I don’t think that was just our goal: just to make the Tournament. We are not here just to play one game in the Tournament,” Jackson said. “We are here to actually win some games and make a run. Not winning anymore games up to this point is not our approach and not what we are thinking.” Ohio State will begin that run against Iowa State, a team that had just won the Big 12 Championship Saturday against Kansas and had defeated six ranked opponents this season. Holtmann thought the Cyclones might be the No. 1 team of all the six seeds, saying they could have easily been a five seed. No matter Ohio State’s performance against the Cyclones in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Jackson will end his season in the big dance, in March Madness: where he wanted it to end. And as for the future, Jackson said that is not unknown. “I just think that that shows that Ohio State is back and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.”
Amelia has been the most popular girls’ name in England and Wales since 2011 while Oliver has been in the top spot since 2013.However, this marks the first time Muhammad has been top in two areas, having overtaken Oliver as top name in the West Midlands from 2014.Four names – Jaxon, Roman, Reggie and Carter – broke into the boys’ top 100, taking the places of Owen, Robert, Joey and Finlay from 2014.Of these, Jaxon rose the most, climbing 35 places to number 80 while Kian fell 44 places to 98, the largest decline.There were six new entries in the girls’ top 100, these were Penelope, Mila, Clara, Arabella, Maddison and Aria. These replaced Lydia, Faith, Mollie, Brooke, Isabel and Amy from 2014.Of these, Aria showed the biggest ascent, shooting 70 places to claim the number 100 spot while Katie dropped the furthest – 22 places to number 99, just staying inside the top 100. There were 697,852 live births in England and Wales in 2015, with more than 27,000 different boys’ and 35,000 different girls’ names registered, the ONS said.The top 100 boys’ names accounted for 52% of all boys born in 2015, while the top 100 girls’ names accounted for 43% of all girls born in 2015.Half of the top 10 most popular boys’ names in 2015 had kept their place from a decade earlier in 2005: Oliver, Jack, Harry, William and Thomas. Daniel showed the biggest decline, having dropped 18 places since being in the top 10 a decade ago.Four out of the top 10 girls’ names in 2005 kept their place, these were Olivia, Emily, Ella and Jessica.Isla and Ava shot up 121 and 77 places respectively from their 2005 position to make it in to the 2015 top 10.Ellie has fallen 42 places in the rankings since being in the 2005 top 10 – the largest decrease in popularity for girls. Elizabeth McLaren, a statistician from the ONS, said: “Amelia and Oliver remained the most popular names for baby girls and boys born in 2015, having held the top spot since 2011 and 2013 respectively.”Ella re-entered the top 10 baby girls’ names in 2015 – Ella was last in the top 10 in 2007. Noah entered the top 10 baby boys’ names for the first time on record in 2015, following a gradual increase in popularity.”The statistics are “based on the exact spelling of the name given on the birth certificate; grouping names with similar pronunciation would change the rankings,” the ONS said. Compared with 2005, Oscar and Noah showed the biggest increase in popularity for those in the top 10 – rising 45 and 44 places respectively. Oliver and Amelia remained the most popular baby names in 2015 in all regions of England except London and the West Midlands where Muhammad was the top name. Ella and Mia rose into the top 10 girls’ names, replacing Lily and Sophie from 2014, while Noah replaced James in the top 10 boys’ names, the Office for National Statistics said. 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.
Consumer watchdog Which? said during a call for evidence last year 14 people came forward to say a family member had been evicted after a complaint had been made about the home.It said the figures were likely to be “the tip of the iceberg” as many relatives were too afraid to come forward and there was no official data on the issue.In one case a respondent to the survey, who did not want to be named, said the care home had issued a “gagging order” after they complained about a relative’s care.The home said “they would take me to court for slander and told me my parents were no longer welcome at the nursing home and had two weeks of their fees paid and wanted them out by then,” the person claimed. Other respondents alleged physical abuse which had resulted in an eviction notice when they complained.”My mother of 96 yrs with dementia. Dozens of bruises, head, arms, hands, legs, hip etc., when we asked questions as to how she was getting them we were given notice of 28 days,” the response said. 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 respondent to the survey said the care home had issued a “gagging order” after they complained about a relative’s care Care home bosses have been warned ‘revenge evictions’ could be illegal, as the regulator confirms it has begun collecting data to examine the scale of the problem. Watchdogs have raised concerns over the problem of vulnerable elderly people being kicked out of their care homes because their family members have complained.The Competition and Markets Authority has said the practice is “highly likely to be unfair under consumer law”. A spokesman told the Sunday Telegraph: “We have heard serious concerns that some care homes may be unfairly evicting residents or banning visitors as a punishment for making a complaint.”No one should face eviction for simply complaining. It is essential that people feel safe enough to complain when they have a grievance, without the threat of eviction or a ban.”That’s why we have already urged the Government and sector regulators to strengthen current protections, as well as taking steps ourselves to ensure all care homes understand and comply with their obligations under consumer law.” The care home regulator in England said it had already begun collecting data from care homes to examine the scale of the issueCredit:Kirsty O’Connor Alex Hayman, Which? Managing Director of Public Markets, said: “The stories we heard in the space of a few months suggest these appalling practices – which some people might see as revenge evictions – could be far more widespread.”They have devastating consequences for residents and their families, some of whom told us they are too scared to even make a complaint in the first place.”The Government must urgently set out plans to strengthen consumer protections for care home residents to ensure no-one falls victim to unfair evictions, contracts or fees. “Ministers should ensure action is included in the Goverment’s upcoming response to the competition regulator’s market study of care homes.”The warning comes as the care home regulator in England said it had already begun collecting data from care homes to examine the scale of the issue.The Care Quality Commission, which inspects care homes, revealed that it has begun asking businesses how many residents they had asked to leave. The Commission said the new question was part of its plan to overhaul and digitise its annual survey of care homes.A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Residents in care homes and their families rightly expect the highest standards of care and it is completely unacceptable for anyone to be forced to leave unfairly.”We are considering the findings of the CMA report carefully to ensure instances like these are dealt with.”
Foy and Smith are being replaced by older performers in the next season of the show, but it did not stop Matt Smith speaking up to support his co-star. Claire Foy has admitted she has been left embarrassed by controversy over the gender pay gap on the Netflix series The Crown.The actress claims the scandal has changed her approach to Hollywood, after a producer disclosed last month that Foy, who starred as the Queen, had been paid less than Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip, because Smith was better known.She said: “It definitely opened my eyes to a lot. And I certainly won’t be naïve about those things.”It’s really opened my eyes about what I am allowed to have an opinion about, and what I’m allowed to stand up for myself about.”And I think that’s really changed my approach to myself and other women in this industry. It’s been only a positive thing – even though, embarrassing.”According to reports, Foy was paid $40,000 per episode – a figure dwarfed by the salary of other television stars. Lena Headey, the British actress, earned an estimated $500,000 per episode for Game of Thrones. Smith’s salary for The Crown has not been disclosed.The gender pay gap has become a big issue in Hollywood after revelations that many female stars have been paid less than their male counterparts. “We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith,” the statement read. “As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.” Claire Foy, centre, and Matt Smith, right, in a scene from The Crown. Last month it emerged there was a gulf in their payCredit:Robert Viglasky/Netflix He told theHollywood Reporter: “Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all. “I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what’s needed to happen.”Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved – but not just in our industry, in all industries.” Last month, producer Suzanne Mackie attributed the pay-gap to Doctor Who star Smith’s higher public profile at the time of casting.She promised that there would no such issue when The Crown returns for a third series, with Olivia Colman and and Tobias Menzies taking over the lead roles. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Mackie said.In March, a petition was launched calling on Smith to donate the difference between his salary and Foy’s to the sexual inequality campaign group Time’s Up. The petition has so far has garnered more than 45,000 signatures.In response, the show’s production company Left Bank Pictures urged fans not to blame the cast for the pay-gap. 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.
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 auction will take place in London on October 17 with the online sale commencing on the 9th and concluding on the 19th.The collection will feature sculptures, sacred objects, contemporary art, ancient texts on the craft of goldsmithing; a merging of old and new styles of gilded artmaking through the ages.Among the items to be sold is a Paul Mak artwork, estimated to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000. “This is my favourite piece so far,” said Mr Frangos.“It is not one of the most expensive pieces to feature in the auction but the level of detail is quite remarkable.” An Imperial carved giltwood ceremonial armchair could fetch up to £300,000Credit:The Midas Touch Sotherby’s Sale A solid gold head of supermodel Kate Moss has a guide price of up to £400,000Credit:Sotheby’s Kate Moss in Marc Quinn’s Song of a Siren is also to feature in the sale, with an auction estimate of £300,000 to £400,000.“The Kate Moss by Marc Quinn is truly something special as it is solid gold and extremely iconic,” he added.The cast is made from 18 carat solid gold and weighs more than 8000 grams.Mr Frangos said that it was the status symbol that gold embodies which has made it such a popular metal and that it was often the “unique and historic” nature of the items which really piqued client and collector interest.He added: “With this being Sotheby’s first all gold auction we are going to see how it goes before considering if we do them elsewhere outside of London, but even at this very early stage we have seen a huge amount of interest which is very exciting.” Sotheby’s is to hold its first ever auction entirely dedicated to gold after a spike in demand for artefacts and furniture made with the precious metal.The auction was announced following “increasingly strong demand” for gold from clients in markets such as Asia, Russia and the Middle East.The event due to be held later this year will feature a solid gold head of supermodel Kate Moss and a gold chair which once sat in Napoleon’s Throne Room.Senior director and head of sale Constantine Frangos said: “We have seen increasingly strong demand for gold items from our clients so this the the first all gold auction being held by Sotheby’s and every department is contributing so we are going to get a real variety of items.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––“Gold has always been a universal symbol of status and has huge historic provenance but we have seen this renewed demand for gold items mainly due to new interest from markets such as Asia, Russia and the Middle East.”
Around 100 firefighters battled a blaze on the top floor of a block of flats in north-west London early on Thursday.Fifty people were evacuated from the block, while firefighters helped bring out two people on the first floor of the building.The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said 15 engines attended the scene in Inglewood Road, West Hampstead, after being called at just after 1am.About four-and-a-half hours later, the LFB said the fire was under control and no one was taken to hospital.The fire, which was visible for miles, was on the fifth, and top, floor of the building and the cause was not yet known, LFB added. Just spoke to @bbc5live about the fire in #westhampstead – we can see flames billowing into the sky & heat glass breaking from the windows blowing out. pic.twitter.com/4EFdKcLlOA— Angelica Malin (@jellymalin) July 26, 2018 Clainton Murray, station manager, said: “The fire is believed to have started in a flat on the fourth floor.”The flat was severely damaged by fire and a large part of the roof was also destroyed. In the early stages the fire was very visible and could be seen for miles around.” “It’s so scary – my flat is filled with the smell of smoke. The firemen have been amazing and I feel comforted by the incredible response.” The nearby Black Lion pub, on West End Lane, opened its doors to people affected by the blaze.A tweet read: “Please anyone near stay safe. We will be here all night.”Angelica Malin described watching the blaze from her bedroom window. Firefighters tackle a blaze in a block of flats on fire in West Hampstead, LondonCredit:Reuters “I can see firefighters inside as the roof is on fire and there’s two men on cranes working on putting the roof fire out,” she told the BBC. Unbelievable to see this from@the back garden. Hoping no casualties but fire under control now. #WestHampstead @LondonFire pic.twitter.com/pQBWZlZOvE— matt (@matt4lis) July 26, 2018 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.
Professor Alan Smithers, director of Buckingham University’s centre for education and employment, said the move is an “eleventh hour desperate measure”.He said: “Schools are judged by these exams so there is a tendency to put too many people in the higher tier, hence the pass mark can be very low. Teachers can choose whether to enter students for the higher tier paper – where the maximum grades are 9s, the top grade which is equivalent to a high A* – or the lower tier paper, where the maximum grades are 5s, which is somewhere between a B and a C.Previously the lowest available grade in the higher tier paper other than a U was 4-3 – which is roughly C-D – but Ofqual said they have now changed this to 3-3, which is roughly D-D. GCSE pupils who failed the new tougher science exam have been handed a free pass by the watchdog after it moved the boundaries, it has emerged. Just days before students across the country pick up their results, Ofqual has taken the highly unusual step of intervening to save science students from failing.The move follows warning from exam boards that a number of students would be given a U, standing for “unclassified”, in their science GCSE which would “misrepresent” their ability. The exams watchdog disclosed on Monday that it has introduced a new “safety net” to prevent too many students walking away with a U, the only grade that signifies a fail.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The last minute change to the boundaries will affect low ability students who took the higher tier paper in the new science double award exams, where students are examined in three sciences but it counts as two GCSEs. In a blog published on Ofqual’s website, Cath Jadhav, associate director of standards and comparability, wrote: “During the awarding period exam boards reported to us that, while they were confident in standards set at 4-4, there were more students than expected getting an unclassified result on higher tier combined science.“Receiving an unclassified result because they had been entered for higher tier would have misrepresented their ability.”She went on: “Therefore, we decided to allow exam boards to use grade 3-3 on the higher tier for this summer, matching grade 3-3 on the foundation tier.”“Senior examiners in each of the exam boards have reviewed the work of students at this grade and confirmed that it is of an appropriate standard.”In total 372,000 students were entered for science double award, according to Ofqual’s provisional data, but they declined to specify how many students the change of grade boundary will affect. “This year it looks as though that hasn’t even worked and so they’ve bought in this extra grade. One questions the wisdom of having a tiered entry in the first place.“With the wisdom of hindsight they ought to have considered this and put in something in place. Now they have to go at it at the last minute.”Of the 5.1 million GCSE exams that were taken this summer, around 90 per cent were the new, “tougher” courses, which were part of reforms instigated by former Education Secretary Michael Gove.Coursework axed in many subjects and curricula broadened, as part of an attempt to inject rigour into the qualifications and bring the UK in line with top performing countries in the Far East.Only the new English and Maths exams were sat last year, with another 20 subjects added this summer under a numerical grading system of 9 to 1 instead of A* to G. As part of its exam reforms, the old science and “additional science” GCSEs have been replaced with a new double award GCSE in “combined science”. 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.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said he would not hesitate to use military force against Taiwan to achieve ‘reunification’Credit:Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Kyodo News 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. These geopolitical tensions were played out on LSE’s campus this week, after the University’s director, Dame Minouche Shafik, called a meeting between students from both sides.Li-An Huang, 23, a Taiwanese student who was present in the meeting, said: “The Chinese students were very firm throughout, insisting that Taiwan has always been part of China.“In the meeting I kept telling the school that we are not the same country. I even got my passport out to show them.”According to Mr Huang, representatives from LSE told him that because Taiwan is depicted as part of China on United Nations maps, the colour on Mr Wallinger’s sculpture will be changed. The sculpture was surrounded by barriers this afternoon after students disputed whether Taiwan should be considered part of ChinaCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph “I’m upset about it because I feel that LSE are not trying to take responsibility for the situation and are just using the UN as an excuse. It’s like they are trying to be neutral, whilst not being neutral at all,” Mr Huang said. The London School of Economics is considering amending a Mark Wallinger globe sculpture to show Taiwan as part of China after student protests.The World Turned Upside Down statue, which was unveiled last week outside LSE’s student activity centre, is a “large political globe” where the geographical locations of nation states have been inverted to show the world “from a different viewpoint.”On the map, Taiwan is coloured pink while China is coloured yellow. Taiwan is a de facto independent state but is considered to be a breakaway province by the Chinese government. It is recognised by 16 countries, but not at the United Nations. Mainland Chinese students protested against the demarcation of Taiwan on Mr Wallinger’s sculpture, and the use of a red dot for Taipei as the capital city of a country, like other nations shown on the globe.Taiwanese students however maintained the globe should remain as is, as Taiwan operates like any other democratic nation with its own government – led by president Tsai Ing-wen, a LSE alumnus – currency, military and foreign policy. Most of its 23.5 million people identify as Taiwanese. A spokeswoman for LSE said: “The artwork currently does not reflect our understanding of United Nations delineations that it was due to represent. “We thought there would at least be dialogue and we could discuss our side of the story with the Chinese students. But it felt like the decision had already been made before we got into that meeting room.“LSE is a world renowned institution. It gives the impression that it values democracy, human rights and diversity. But their decision does not suggest that at all.”The dispute also attracted the attention of Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign affairs minister.Writing in an open letter to Dame Shafik, Mr Wu said: “The truth is that Taiwan is a sovereign democratic country, not part of any other.“If the sculpture is changed as planned, it will lead young men and women everywhere to believe that LSE bows to the pressure and bullying of Beijing.”London-based NGO Formosa Salon has also begun circulating an online petition calling on LSE to allow the artwork to retain its original appearance, appealing to the public “to join together to resist China’s ‘sharp power,’ and be aware of the consequences of allowing such power to penetrate into different corners of the world.”It was unclear whether Mr Wallinger was consulted over the possible change. He did not respond to requests for comment. “We are consulting our community and considering amendments to the work. No final decisions have been reached.”Beijing has in recent years upped its diplomatic pressure on Taiwan. Earlier this year Chinese president Xi Jinping said he would not hesitate to use military force to achieve “reunification.”
The founder of the English Defence League has been found in contempt of court for broadcasting on Facebook outside an Asian grooming gang trial while reporting restrictions were imposed.Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, made a video lasting an hour-and-a-half which was viewed live by 10,000 people, before notching up 250,000 views over the three days.He filmed defendants accused of the sexual exploitation of young girls in breach of a reporting ban outside Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.The footage was broadcast while the jury in the grooming trial was considering its verdict.A restriction was in place which postponed the publication of any details of the case until the end of a series of linked trials involving 29 people, in a bid to ensure all defendants received a fair trial. Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Warby, sitting at the Old Bailey, said Yaxley-Lennon would be sentenced at a later date. The full details of their rulings would also be released in the coming weeks. Yaxley-Lennon showed no reaction as the judges delivered their judgment.The 36-year-old, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was jailed for 13 months last year after being found in contempt of court on the day of the broadcast. 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. He served two months in jail before being freed after that finding of contempt was overturned by the Court of Appeal in August 2018.But the case was then referred back to the Attorney General, who announced in March that it was in the public interest to bring fresh proceedings against Robinson.Dame Victoria and Mr Justice Warby gave permission for the Attorney General to bring a new case against Robinson at a hearing in May.Outside the court, ripples of anger turned into howls of fury and disbelief as the verdict filtered through.A small number of his supporters marched purposefully towards the front of the court entrance, to barriers sectioning off police from the public, to make their feelings known.The crowd, as one, then began chanting “shame on you” and pointed at the court. Supporters of Tommy Robinson clash with police outside the Old Bailey in LondonCredit: Aaron Chown/ PA
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCANU head confirms Govt dismissalJune 17, 2017In “latest news”Public Security Minister mulling James Singh’s return under his MinistryAugust 18, 2017In “latest news”Harmon receives final report on illegal aircraft found at YupukariNovember 25, 2016In “latest news” ..while current head proceeds on leaveState Minister, Joseph Harmon, this morning said that in line with Government’s policy to ensure that officers do not accumulate annual leave and in turn request pay in lieu of such, James Singh, Head of the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU), has been asked to proceed on leave effective today.Major General (ret’d) Michael Atherly“This is the practice that we have embraced since we came into office and, therefore, Mr Singh, who had some leave accumulated, has been asked to go on leave with effect from today and Major General (ret’d) Michael Atherly will be heading CANU. This has been communicated to the Minister of Public Security, who is the person responsible for CANU” Minister Harmon said.According to Harmon “public officers have always been encouraged to take their leave and we want to discourage this practice of accumulating large amounts of leave and then asking for payment in lieu. So we are trying to ensure that all public officers get their leave during that year.”Major General (ret’d) Atherly was responsible for leading the review of the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2014-2018. This review led to the development of the National Drug Strategy Master Plan 2016-2020, which was launched last December.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be hosting a Heads of Mission Conference (HOMC) from April 3-8, 2017 at the Pegasus Hotel, under the theme “Advancing Guyana’s Diplomacy in the 21st Century”.According to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, President David Granger and Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl B. Greenidge will be addressing the Opening Session.The MOTP said, the Conference of Heads of Missions will provide Guyana’s diplomatic envoys abroad with the opportunity not only to consider a broad agenda of international affairs, but more particularly to familiarise themselves with the dynamics of the nation’s internal development which its diplomacy serves. The overarching goal of the Conference is to identify ways and means of enhancing efforts to effectively promote and protect Guyana’s interest abroad.Discussions will focus on a wide range of political and economic issues over a period of five days, including the challenges and opportunities presented by the current complex but evolving international situation; the preservation of the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; economic diplomacy; the continuing role of the Diaspora in national development; the role of foreign investment in the nation’s development; topical and urgent questions relating to the consequences of climate change; the effect of technology on modern diplomacy; and the multipolar nature of modern international economic relations, among other questions.In addition, the Conference will accord Diplomatic Envoys and the leadership in the Ministry the opportunity to discuss operational matters to ensure that the affairs of Guyana’s Overseas Missions are effectively and efficiently conducted, the MOTP said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDiplomacy integral to safeguarding Guyana’s sovereignty, economic development- PresidentApril 4, 2017In “latest news”Guyana preparing to host first ever CRIC Conference in the CaribbeanFebruary 9, 2018In “latest news”Local Diplomats demoralized by media reports of corrupt Guyanese AmbassadorOctober 9, 2014In “Politics”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTop Cop lashes out at Judiciary for its ‘careless, insensitive’ granting of bailOctober 24, 2016In “latest news”Granger says crime surge ‘part of deliberate campaign’ to embarrass Govt, PoliceNovember 11, 2016In “latest news”Force’s 179th anniversary celebrations sees outstanding cops promoted, rewardedJuly 18, 2018In “Crime” Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine posited that with increased multiple training opportunities both locally and overseas, particularly capability and capacity building in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), serious crimes are no longer committed with impunity and in fact, in a matter of hours and days, they are being solved.Ramnarine made those remarks when he and senior officers of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) meet with Executive Members of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry( GCCI) at the Commissioner ‘s Conference Room on Wednesday and discussed matters related to crime and traffic, matters of mutual interest/concern and areas for potential collaboration/cooperation.Senior members of the Force with GCCI ExecutivesDuring the meeting, the Top Cop gave an overview of the crime and traffic situation and outlined that “at this point in time there is a 10% decrease in serious crimes overall from January 1,2018 to May 31,2018 compared with the same period last year…in A Division “(Georgetown and its environs including East Bank Demerara), there was a 13% decrease in serious crimes for the same comparative period.”The Top Cop, according to a release, also indicated that in respect of the traffic situation, “it is still evident and alarmingly so that speeding, drunk driving and in-attentiveness are the main contributory factors to fatal accidents with pedestrians being the most vulnerable category of road users.”Despite the sentiments expressed by the Acting Top Cop, a 2018 U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, has assessed Georgetown as being a critical threat location for crime.According to the report, criminal activity continues to be a major issue.It was outlined that armed robberies, including carjackings, occur regularly, especially in businesses and shopping districts. Moreover, armed robberies of business/patron establishments occur frequently in Georgetown.“While criminals regularly use weapons, despite a rigorous licensing requirement to own firearms. Handguns, knives, machetes, or cutlasses tend to be the weapons of choice. Criminals may act brazenly, and police officers have been both victims and perpetrators of assaults and shootings. Criminals are increasingly willing to resort to violence while committing all types of crimes. Criminals are often organized, travel in groups of two or more, and conduct surveillance on their victims. Criminals generally will not hesitate to show multiple weapons as an intimidation tactic during a robbery.”Addressing the Police response to the crimes, the report also outlined that “the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has resource and manpower limitations that inhibit its ability to deter or respond to criminal activity. Even on the occasions when the GPF responds to a crime scene, victims are asked to go to the nearest police station to file a report and complete other investigative formalities. Confidence in the GPF is low due to the public’s perception of heavy handedness, ineffectiveness, and corruption.”The report says that while the fire department generally provides a timely response, the “police response, especially during the night, is less dependable. The police response to emergency calls is often slow (15+ minutes) or not at all.”According to the 2018 report, “Corruption is widely perceived to be commonplace within many government agencies. Police officers often are reportedly paid off by criminal elements and are alleged to work with criminals by either assisting or protecting them. The judicial system is strained by limited resources and often influenced by threats/bribes. Defendants linked to drug organization often use attorneys who are effective in getting cases dismissed or postponed; as a result, criminals go free on a regular basis.”