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September 30, 2019
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March Madness Crib Notes Duke And Wisconsin Flip A Coin For The

So it looks like Kentucky is the odds-on favorite … oh, wait. Time to rework that lead!Instead of being 71 percent likely to beat Duke and win the NCAA tournament (as our model would have predicted had Wisconsin not short-circuited Kentucky’s offense down the stretch Saturday night), the formerly undefeated Wildcats are nowhere to be found. And after a season largely spent pondering just how heavily Kentucky should be favored, it will instead be either Wisconsin or Duke hoisting the John Wooden trophy on Monday night. It shouldn’t come as a complete shock, but it’s still strange to be talking about the championship of the 2014-15 college basketball season without Kentucky being involved.Then again, in terms of generating an evenly matched championship game, Wisconsin’s upset of Kentucky might have been for the best. Out of all the potential title-game combinations to which our pre-tournament model run assigned a 0.5 percent or greater probability of occurring, Wisconsin versus Duke ranked fourth-closest to a true toss-up:Meanwhile, each of the 10 least competitive title-game combinations involved Kentucky. So if you were looking for a high-quality championship matchup with no clear favorite, it’s hard to do better than Monday’s Duke-Wisconsin showdown.West No. 1 Wisconsin (53 percent win probability) vs. South No. 1 DukeWhen to watch: At 9:18 p.m. EDT on CBSPower ratings: Wisconsin 95.3, Duke 95.0FiveThirtyEight model point spread: Wisconsin by 1.0Upset probability: 47 percentPlayers to watch: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin; Jahlil Okafor, DukeBoth title-game combatants have elite tempo-free offenses, to say the least.Wisconsin led all Division I teams in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric (paywall), while Duke ranked third. Although both attacks are outstanding, there are a few stylistic differences between the two: Wisconsin operates at a much slower pace and is slightly more reliant on post-ups and 3-point shooting, while Duke looks to push the ball more in transition. But both teams saw about 28 percent of their offensive possessions end in the hands of their respective centers, Kaminsky and Okafor, a pair of low-post scoring machines that may well have been the two best players (paywall) in all of college basketball this season.When it comes to offensive execution, though, the Badgers are simply on a different plane than the rest of the NCAA. The difference between Wisconsin’s top-ranked offensive rating and that of No. 3 Duke was the same as the difference between Duke and 13th-ranked Murray State. And the particulars of this matchup may tilt things even further in Wisconsin’s favor. Between Kaminsky, Nigel Hayes and Sam Dekker, the Badgers had the nation’s third-most-efficient post-up offense and its top isolation attack (by far), according to Synergy Sports. Meanwhile, Okafor’s defensive stats in the post were below average, and Duke’s biggest defensive weakness is against — you guessed it — isolation plays.All is not lost for the Blue Devils, however. The Badgers are more experienced and possess the bigger front line, but Duke was better defensively during the season. While both teams excel at keeping opponents off of the free-throw line, the Blue Devils are much better at forcing turnovers and defending against 3-pointers. In the battle of stars, Kaminsky has better individual defensive numbers1According to Synergy (paywall) and defensive box plus-minus. than Okafor, but Duke owns the edge in perimeter defense, particularly against pick-and-rolls.Statistically, Duke’s defensive advantage isn’t quite enough to cancel out the Badgers’ superior offense, but this is still an extremely close matchup.We have Wisconsin favored by about 1.0 point. Similarly, Pomeroy’s system predicts a narrow 70-69 Wisconsin win, and the consensus betting line also has the Badgers as 1-point favorites. Such a tight predicted margin doesn’t always lead to a close, exciting game — but a barnburner is probably more likely in this matchup than it would have been had either Kentucky or Michigan State prevailed Saturday instead.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

September 28, 2019
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Is There HomeField Advantage At The Olympics

Soviet Union1980125195+70 MEDALS WON PER ATHELETE PARTICIPATING BY HOST COUNTRY Spain19920.020.05+0.03 We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Does Brazil have a home-field advantage in Rio?Again and again, research has shown that home-field advantage is a constant in sports across the world. Basketball referees call more fouls on the visitors. Pitchers for the home team in baseball get a wider strike zone. Home teams in soccer receive fewer yellow cards.To see whether the same is true in the Olympics,1In our recent article in the International Journal of the History of Sport. we analyzed medal counts since World War II2We excluded 1948 from the analysis because it had been 12 years since the previous Olympics. by comparing a country’s results in the year it hosted the games to its results in the games four years earlier. In other words, we estimated Great Britain’s 2012 home-field advantage by comparing its 2012 performance to its results from 2008. This is an improvement over previous research, which analyzed home advantage by comparing hosts to non-hosts in the same year, which ignores the fact that the average host (like Great Britain or China) is much different than the average non-host (like Djibouti or Paraguay). South Korea19880.110.08-0.03 Soviet Union19800.300.40+0.09 Why do host nations do so well? Research has pointed to referees or crowds as crucial to home advantage in other sports, but we found a unique factor driving the home advantage in the Olympics. The table above shows that the number of athletes that a country sends to the games jumps tremendously when it is the host. On average, there are 175.8 additional athletes representing the host country than represented it four years earlier.The main explanation for this increase is that qualification standards are lower for athletes from the host country. Olympic hosts are guaranteed a spot in each team sport. For example, the Brazilian men’s field hockey team will participate in its first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Host-country athletes who compete in individual events also have an easier time qualifying for the games. In the triathalon, for example, hosts are guaranteed at least one competitor of each gender. While some of these “add-on” host country athletes aren’t good enough to contend for medals, elite athletes from the host may participate in more events than they otherwise would. Mexico196819+8 China20080.160.17+0.00 Canada1976511+6 Australia20000.100.09+0.00 United States198494174+80 Soviet Union1980410489+79 Japan19641829+11 Greece20040.090.04-0.06 United States1996108101-7 South Korea1988175401+226 Mexico19680.010.03+0.02 Finland1952129258+129 Great Britain20124765+18 United States19960.200.16-0.04 Spain1992229422+193 ATHLETES FROM HOST COUNTRY PARTICIPATING Australia20004158+17 So what do our findings mean for Brazil’s sporting performance in the coming weeks? The Brazilian team has 481 participants. That’s quite a jump from 2012 (248 participants) and 2008 (268). If Brazil’s medals-per-athlete rate were to stay about the same as in 2008 and 2012, it would be expected to win about 30 medals in Rio. And that would be the nation’s best Olympics showing ever (they won 17 in 2012).Brazil has the goal of a top-10 finish in the medals table. Italy, tenth in the total medal count in 2012, won 28 medals in London.6South Korea also earned 28 medals in London, although it finished in ninth place because it had more gold medals than Italy. Coming into Tuesday, the fourth day of the games, Brazil had one gold in judo and one silver in shooting.One gold medal that Brazil hopes to win is in men’s soccer, the country’s most popular sport. The men’s national team has won the World Cup five times but never Olympic gold. Beyond all the numbers, winning men’s soccer gold would make the games a success for many Brazilians. West Germany19722640+14 Australia19561135+24 Japan1964162328+166 West Germany19720.090.09+0.00 Spain1992422+18 HOST COUNTRYYEARPREVIOUS OLYMPICSHOST YEARCHANGE Canada19760.020.03+0.00 HOST COUNTRYYEARPREVIOUS OLYMPICSHOST YEARCHANGE Canada1976208385+177 Australia2000417617+200 West Germany1972275423+148 China2008384599+215 Finland19520.190.09-0.10 Australia19560.140.12-0.02 Finland19522422-2 HOST COUNTRYYEARPREVIOUS OLYMPICSHOST YEARCHANGE Great Britain20120.150.12-0.03 South Korea19881933+14 China200863100+37 Japan19640.110.09-0.02 Italy19600.190.13-0.06 Greece20041316+3 Mexico196894275+181 Great Britain2012304530+226 Italy19602536+11 MEDALS WON BY HOST COUNTRY The table3All the data we used for this article comes from Sports-Reference.com. above on the Summer Olympics shows that host countries tend to improve their medal count over their total in the previous games.4In our paper, we find similar patterns in the Winter Games as well. On average, host nations of the Summer Olympics increase their overall medal count by 20.1 medals and their gold medal count by 10.9.5In our published paper, we use a slightly different statistical approach and find slightly smaller differences: +11.6 in total medals, +7.2 in golds. It is worth noting that the biggest jumps occurred for the Soviet Union in 1980, when the United States and allies boycotted the Moscow Games, and for the United States in 1984, when the Soviet Union and allies boycotted the Los Angeles Games — both times removing a major competitor in the medal count for the host nation. Excluding the years affected by these boycotts brings the average increase in overall medal count to 12.2 and in gold medal count to 6.8. United States1984396522+126 United States19840.240.33+0.10 Australia195681294+213 Greece2004140426+286 United States1996545647+102 To assess the impact that participation levels have on the medal count, we compared the ratio of medals to participants for host nations. The table above shows a much more mixed story about whether host country athletes are having more success at home. We find that, on average, Summer Olympics hosts win fewer medals per athlete, compared with their results just four years earlier (although this result is not statistically distinguishable from a difference of zero, which remains true even if we remove the games affected by the 1980s boycotts from the pool). This tells us that even though host countries tend to increase their aggregate medal count, the increase disappears when we account for the higher number of medal-winning opportunities. This is due in part to the host’s aforementioned automatic entry for team sports, which add a large number of athletes in one shot, and the fact that teams can win only one medal, while an individual athlete may enter multiple events. Related: Hot Takedown The Subtle (And Not So Subtle) Dominance Of U.S. Swimmers And Gymnasts Italy1960135280+145 read more

September 28, 2019
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Ohio State mens hockey jockeys for position as it heads into homeandhome

The Ohio State men’s hockey team is looking to take care of Robert Morris University in a two-game, home-and-home series before facing Miami next week in what could be a fight for first place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. This weekend, the Buckeyes, who are tied for second place in the conference with Notre Dame, will attempt to maintain their standing in the CCHA against the Colonials Friday night in Columbus before travelling to Pittsburgh for game two. In this series, OSU will try to keep pace with first place Miami, which leads the Buckeyes and Notre Dame by one point in the CCHA standings. Miami is home this weekend against eighth place Lake Superior State. If the Buckeyes and the Redhawks both win their respective series, their meetings on Dec. 14-15 in Columbus will be a head-to-head battle for first place in the CCHA. But OSU is trying not to look past Robert Morris. OSU coach Mark Osiecki said it’s a lesson the team learned last season. All the team is focused on now is a victory. “You want to go out there and win and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” Osiecki said. While OSU will look at Robert Morris’ tendencies as a team and prepare accordingly, it might ultimately come down to how well the Buckeyes execute their own game plan. “At the end of the day, all we are really focused on is us, and playing OSU hockey,” said sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel. The series is OSU’s only series this season where the two games will be held in different venues. When asked if this would affect the team, Osiecki said his players grew up playing in travelling junior leagues and had experience with the format. “They’re used to getting on a bus,” Osiecki said. “I don’t think it changes a thing, especially when you start at home.” Senior goalie Brady Hjelle echoed the sentiment about players having been in junior leagues. “It will be just like that, so it isn’t anything new to us,” Hjelle said. Hjelle was recently named CCHA goaltender of the week for the second consecutive week after holding Michigan State to one goal on 54 shots last weekend. It is Hjelle’s third goaltender of the week award this season. Both contests are set to begin at 7:05 p.m. read more

September 28, 2019
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Opinion United States World Cup success brings delight to hopeful fans

Clint Dempsey of Team USA celebrates his goal against Ghana during the World Cup in Natal, Brazil, on June 16.Credit: Courtesy of MCTOne of the many beauties of sports is that they attract people for varying reasons. Some may consider it a vital part of their everyday lives, but for most it’s simply a release, a happy activity to focus on in an otherwise demanding life.You might be having a lousy day, all your tasks still need to be done and you don’t have energy to do them – but if you’re like me, watching a game helps to make you forget about that. Tomorrow afternoon might bring a big exam that you’re woefully unprepared for, but at least you can watch a ballgame before you go to bed to help you feel better. If those types of things weren’t there, some of us would undoubtedly go crazy.The irony is that the enjoyment that comes from watching any sport tends to diminish when the teams we actually care about are involved. Instead of enjoying the spectacle, you’re forced to constantly fret about the outcome, and it can become just another point of stress.Of course, if your team is successful in the end you don’t regret putting yourself through the rigor. And luckily for myself, the hundreds of people around me, and the entire nation, the United States’ dramatic victory against Ghana on Monday made an agonizing game worth every second.Even if American fans came into the game hoping to not get too caught up in proceedings, the manner in which the match unfolded made it basically impossible. An American goal inside of a minute gave the team the best possible start, except for the fact that taking such an early lead means that the players’ focus shifts subconsciously away from attack and instead to holding the advantage.What followed was 80 minutes of pure tension. Every time Ghana so much as misplaced a pass there was considerable cheering among my fellow patriotic Americans. Any bit of respite for Americans felt like a goal in and of itself. For a while it seemed like the U.S. was going to pull it off, but 89 minutes is a very long time.The injury to forward Jozy Altidore probably couldn’t have come at a more inopportune moment. Without Altidore’s physical ability up front, there was simply no outlet where the Americans could play the ball. Every clearance was just a chance for some of the U.S. defenders to catch their breath before another Ghana attack came toward them.Meanwhile, U.S. fans never got the chance to exhale. The ordeal felt a lot like a job or a class where you look constantly at the clock, only to realize it’s barely moved a second since the last time you glanced up.So it wasn’t that much of a surprise when the American defense was finally breached, albeit on a terrific passing move from the Ghanaians. The Americans weren’t just dead on their feet at that point; they already had been for a solid 20 minutes.But you all know what happened next: the two substitutes, Graham Zusi and John Brooks, connected for a moment that was pure Hollywood.In truth, the U.S. didn’t deserve the win. Ghana dictated the entire game, pushing the tempo as the Americans sat back and held on for dear life. But that’s not what wins soccer matches. What matters is taking your chances, and Americans did that in the most ruthless fashion possible.In Portugal and Germany, the U.S. team has two games that will most likely be even tougher than their tussle with Ghana, but they do have an unquantifiable yet utterly important intangible running through their players’ veins: belief.That’s been the big message from each U.S. soccer fan in the buildup to the World Cup: “I believe that we will win.” At times it can be misguided, but if Monday is anything to go by then anything can happen with an attitude like that.Belief in a team might not make watching games like these any more manageable, but it can help to remind viewers that their nervous energy can ultimately result in unforgettable delight. read more

September 28, 2019
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Opinion Peyton Mannings numbers dont make him the greatest quarterback in NFL

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws the ball during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 5 in Denver. The Broncos defeated the Cardinals, 41-20.Credit: Courtesy of TNSWhen Peyton Manning broke the NFL’s all-time passing touchdown record last week with the 509th of his illustrious career, many wondered if the former Colt and current Bronco is now officially the greatest quarterback in the NFL’s history.He very well could be, but, in my opinion, breaking that record does not change a single thing.The man whose record Manning just topped? Brett Favre.Favre — even while he held the record — was rarely in the conversation surrounding who the best quarterback ever is.And the man Favre grabbed the record from back in 2007? Dan Marino. Marino, again, a great quarterback, but not easily classified as the greatest.The reason for those two not being the top quarterbacks of all time, even while each holding the career passing touchdowns and yardage records, is simple — championships.And it is the same reason why I believe Manning — for now, at least — stacks up a rung short of the top.Between Manning, Favre and Marino — the three greatest quarterbacks ever if you go by their individual passing yards and touchdowns — there are only two championship rings. Favre won one in a 20-year career, Manning has won one in a 17-year career and Marino never won a Super Bowl in 17 seasons.Manning is 11-12 in the playoffs. He has won 70 percent of his regular season games, but holds a losing record when it really counts.That is something that cannot be overlooked.Now, of course, wins and losses are team accomplishments and it is not fair to put it all on the quarterback. But Manning’s game has taken a step down in the postseason, beyond losing more games.In his career in the regular season, Manning has thrown 0.43 interceptions for every touchdown pass. Come playoff time, that number soars up to 0.65.In Super Bowls, Manning has thrown more picks than touchdowns. He averages more than two passing touchdowns per game in his career in the regular season, but has never thrown more than one in each of his three Super Bowl appearances.Heck, even in 2006 — the year Manning won his only ring — he threw seven interceptions compared to three touchdowns in the playoffs. That’s not simply just a step down for a great, that’s downright lousy.Karl Malone might have more points than Michael Jordan, but no one will ever mistake the Mailman for being in the discussion for the greatest basketball player ever.That is for the most part because Malone never won a championship, while Jordan elevated his already-phenomenal regular season play in the playoffs. By the end of Jordan’s career, he was six-for-six in the NBA Finals.Similarly, Joe Montana, a great regular season quarterback in his own right, stepped it up to another level when it really mattered. In four Super Bowl appearances, Montana never lost — and never threw an interception.Regular season statistics are great, but, at the end of the day, teams are after the pursuit of the gold. If Manning can add another championship before his career ends — which is rapidly approaching — the book can certainly be reopened.But for now, Manning’s accolades are not enough to lift him into the greatest ever until he can prove to have something different than the regular season wonders before him. read more

September 28, 2019
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Football Dremont Jones readily awaits NFL Draft at Pro Day

Ohio State redshirt junior defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones (86) answers questions from the media on Dec. 27. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorFor many aspiring NFL draftees, Pro Day is a grappling ground for positioning in an NFL Draft where each higher slot yields increased financial standing.Former Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’mont Jones, however, said hearing his named called in Nashville will already be a dream come true.“It matters to me getting drafted,” Jones said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s first round, second round, third round.”That mindset befits a man who said there wasn’t much more he had to prove at Ohio State’s Pro Day Wednesday.“I think me coming out here and competing and showing my ability, especially when I feel like I didn’t have to, is a step in the right direction,” Jones said.Jones, who decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility, is projected to go anywhere from the late-first to late-second round in the NFL Draft on April 25.That leaves a lot of wiggle room for Jones, who came in at No. 20 among defensive lineman in the 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine with a time of 5.12.Still, Jones opted not to take a stab at improving his time at Ohio State’s Pro Day.Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said his players take Pro Day seriously, but he underplayed its role as a make-or-break factor for their professional careers.“It’s not everything,” Day said. “We have the film and the combine and different things that tell the story for these guys, but this is obviously part of it.”Jones said his film speaks for itself.While there was speculation that he might declare for the draft after his redshirt sophomore season, Jones’s decision to stay in school proved fruitful. His junior campaign earned him a First-Team All-America selection by College Football News, recording 8.5 sacks, fifth-best in the Big Ten, and finishing with a career-high 13 tackles for loss.  Jones said his accomplishments this past season left no doubt in his mind that he is ready to move onto the next level.“I feel like it’s my time to leave,” Jones said. “I definitely left the platform enough for me to solidify myself as one of the greater defensive linemen that’s ever came through Ohio State.”There remain questions among scouts about Jones’s ability to play interior defensive lineman at the NFL level due to his 285-pound frame. Despite being labelled undersized, Jones said he is not often overmatched by bigger guards and doesn’t want to be marginalized in must-pass scenarios at the next level.“I’m not a third down specialist,” he said. “I want to be on those first and second down moments. That’s what I do.”Since his final collegiate game at the Rose Bowl, Jones said he had to flip a switch to adjust to the media circus surrounding the NFL Draft process that includes a slew of interviews and being evaluated on drills he’s never done.Day said appreciation and stress relief will come following the draft.“They have to enjoy it because they’ve worked their whole lives for this and they have to take it in,” Day said. “I think they can do that more when it’s over. They can take a deep breath.”Playing his high school ball at Saint Ignatius, the Cleveland native said he grew up rooting for the Browns. Even though he said he is no longer a fan, the Browns hold the No. 49 pick in the draft, where Jones may still be available.Jones said come April, a high selection is less of a concern than landing with the right team.“It’s all about fit,” Jones said. “You don’t want to go No. 1 to a team that doesn’t have a defense that fits you’re playing ability. So that second round, third round – I’m cool with it.” read more

September 25, 2019
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More than 5000 children have been stripsearched figures reveal

first_imgMore than 5,000 children have been strip-searched by police in two years, figures revealed, as South Wales Police paid compensation to an innocent 12-year-old who was searched without escort.According to figures released by 13 police forces in England and Wales, requested by the BBC’s 5 live investigates, the searches were carried out in London by the UK’s largest force, the Metropolitan Police.The searches – which are normally carried out to detect drugs or concealed weapons – totalled 113,000.Only 13 out of  45 police forces responded with information and these included Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, City of London, Cambridgeshire, North Wales, Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Cumbria, Essex, Cleveland, Hertfordshire and Lancashire.’Horrible and demeaning’Not all searches were carried out without controversy, and in the case of Georgia Wood, who was 12 when she was strip-searched, she felt the experience was “horrible and demeaning”.She was taken into police custody in South Wales eight years ago by officials who suspected her mother of possessing drugs.She told BBC Radio: “They didn’t explain to me until we got to the police station. And they literally just said ‘this is what’s going to happen and we’re going to do it’.”For someone to just be so horrible and demeaning, I just thought ‘well, if I’m meant to respect my elders, aren’t my elders meant to respect me’?”She added: “And I really didn’t feel respected in that situation.”No drugs were found on Georgia, who is now 20 years old, or her mother Karen Archer.Ms Archer was never charged with an offence.Police in South Wales recognised they had carried out a strip-search by mistake and without an appropriate adult present.Two officers received management action and both mother and daughter have since been awarded compensation for their ordeal.’Very troubling’Yvette Cooper, Labour MP and chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, described the figures as “very troubling”.She added: “I think this is quite concerning because we know so little about why so many strip-searches are taking place.”It’s really distressing for people and I think the thing about a strip-search is, it is so intrusive, especially if you’re talking about children or teenagers.”That’s why this should never be done lightly and the police need to understand the impact this can have on individuals and why it has to be justified.” 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

September 25, 2019
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Over £100000 of taxpayers money spent on dispute over Afghan boy 7

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It is hard to imagine a greater suffering and torment than that which that mother must daily go throughMr Justice Holman Mr Justice Holman dismissed her application.The judge analysed the contempt allegations at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.He has named Mr and Mrs Hashimi in his ruling but has not said where they live.”The fact is that within about a month of the birth of the child, the mother and the father did both travel to England leaving the child at that stage in the care of the uncle. It is the case of the mother that she understood that the child would follow fairly soon to England, once his capacity to enter the United Kingdom had been established,” said Mr Justice Holman.”The mother has never seen that child again. For at least six years she has not had the slightest idea where her child is. She does not know whether he is still in Afghanistan and, quite frankly, in view of the strife within that country in recent years, she cannot even reliably know whether her child is still alive.”He added: “It is hard to imagine a greater suffering and torment than that which that mother must daily go through.”But he said there had to be “some limits” to the litigation, which the woman had launched nearly six years ago. “Over £100,000 of public money has already been expended on litigation in relation to the whereabouts of this child, who has in fact never, ever set foot in the United Kingdom,” said Mr Justice Holman.”At some point a judge will have to grapple with the overriding objective and considerations of cost and proportionality.”Detail of the case emerged in May, in a ruling by another judge. Mr Justice Peter Jackson concluded that the father knew where the boy was, and ordered him to provide information about the youngster’s whereabouts.Lawyers representing the man said the “investigation” into the boy’s “situation” was in the hands of Afghan authorities and they said a judge in England should not “seek to take over”.Mr Justice Jackson said the case was “highly unusual” and described the order he made as unprecedented.But he said the answer lay in England – because the father lived in England.center_img More than £100,000 of British taxpayers’ money has been spent on a family court dispute centred on a seven-year-old boy who was born in Afghanistan and has never set foot in the UK, a judge has revealed.The boy’s parents left him with an uncle in Afghanistan when he was a month old, judges in London have heard.They then travelled to England and subsequently separated.The boy’s mother, Hadiah Hashimi, says she has not seen her son since she left Afghanistan and wants him brought to England.She says her estranged husband, Sayed Hashimi, knows where he is and she has taken legal action.Mr Justice Holman says both parents are getting legal aid. The judge has told how the boy’s mother has run up more than £60,000 in lawyers’ bills and his father more than £40,000.He has revealed figures in a written ruling on the latest round of litigation.Mr Justice Holman says at some stage a judge will have to balance the overriding objective of the litigation against the cost. Earlier this year another judge had concluded that Mr Hashimi knew where the boy was, and ordered him to provide information about the youngster’s whereabouts.Mrs Hashimi claimed that Mr Hashimi had not told the truth and had breached that order. She asked Mr Justice Holman to rule that Mr Hashimi was in contempt of court and to jail him.last_img read more

September 25, 2019
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Daily status of Buckingham Palace Changing the Guard ceremony under threat in

first_imgPeople watching the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace Show more A Whitehall source told The Daily Telegraph: “Whether or not daily Changing the Guard ceremonies return in the summer is open to question.“At the moment the whole area around Buckingham Palace is being closed to traffic for 90 minutes every other day. Can that be sustained seven days a week at the height of the tourist season?“There might be objections from businesses, taxi drivers or Transport for London, and their opinions will have to be taken into account, along with security recommendations.”The ultimate decision will be taken by the Home Office, which has responsibility for security at the event, though Theresa May, the Prime Minister and former home secretary, could also have some input. Police close The Mall by Buckingham Palace The ceremony has also been brought forward from 11.30am to 11am so that the road closures do not affect the busier lunchtime traffic.Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said he would support scrapping the daily ceremonies in the summer.He said: “It doesn’t need to be every day – most people visiting London are here for more than one day anyway, and if they know which days Changing the Guard is on, they will still see it.”The ceremony at Buckingham Palace is far older than the palace itself – during the Restoration, it took place at the Palace of Whitehall, the Sovereign’s official residence until 1689, before moving to St James’s Palace, the new official residence. It was only when Buckingham Palace became a royal residence in 1837 that the ceremony began taking place there.A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “There will be a discussion between all of the parties to decide whether the current arrangement continues.” An armed police officer patrols Horse Guards Parade during the changing of the guard ceremonyCredit:Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images People watching the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham PalaceCredit:John Stillwell/PA Since the 17th century the daily Changing the Guard ceremony has been as much of a fixture on the capital’s landscape as the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey.Thousands of tourists flock to Buckingham Palace every morning to see the world famous display of pageantry.But the daily status of the event is now under threat as a result of last month’s Berlin terrorist attacks, it has emerged.center_img An armed police officer patrols Horse Guard's Parade during the Changing of the Guard ceremony In the wake of the Berlin lorry attack the Metropolitan Police brought forward plans for a security lock-down around the Palace during the ceremony, with roads completely closed to traffic for 90 minutes.It was announced today that the ceremony has been moved forward by half an hour as a result of the enhanced security, to avoid clashes with the lunchtime rush hour. On December 21 Scotland Yard began closing all roads around the Palace, rather than using the previous system of rolling road-blocks, bringing forward a proposed three-month trial of the enhanced measures. No traffic is allowed in the area between 10.15 and 11.45am on the days the ceremony takes place.Yesterday Royal Parks, which is responsible for the roads around the Palace, announced that as a result of the road closures, Changing the Guard will now take place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday during the winter, rather than on alternate days, to enable businesses and the public to plan for the road closures in advance. During the winter months, Changing the Guard usually takes places on alternate days, but that, too, has been changed, moving to fixed days of the week so businesses can plan for the closures.The Army said it had not yet been told whether it would be allowed to resume daily ceremonies this summer. The decision will only be made after the impact of the three-month trial period of road closures has been assessed. 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. Police close the Mall by Buckingham PalaceCredit:JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Imageslast_img read more

September 25, 2019
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SNP threaten formal dispute over DUP deal as they claim Scottish Secretarys

first_imgHe said that if the row was not resolved through talks with HM Treasury, the Scottish Government would invoke a formal dispute resolution which would see ministers from both governments tackle the issue through the Join Ministerial Committee.The JMC was formed through a memorandum of understanding to deal with the relationships between the UK Government and the devolved administrations.Mr Mackay said ministers “fundamentally disagreed” with the way the additional money had been allocated and claimed all the areas  to which the funding package had been allocated – infrastructure development, health, education, broadband, deprivation – were devolved matters to which the Barnett formula should apply.  He wrote: “The UK Government’s argument that there should be no Barnett consequentials for Scotland and Wales (or indeed funding for England) from the financial elements of the agreement is unacceptable and inconsistent with the terms of the Statement of Funding Policy. “Only a year ago the SNP were arguing that we should give up the Barnett formula and that we should have full fiscal autonomy which would’ve cost Scotland billions.”He also welcomed the Scottish Government’s call for a formal review of the process, saying he was confident it would show the government had complied fully with the rules.The UK Government argues that the Barnett mechanism, which sets Treasury funding for the devolved administrations, did not mean extra funding should be allocated to Scotland, as its calculations were based solely on extra spending in England. “Paragraph 2.15 of the Statement of Funding Policy, is very clear that the “assessment of whether a programme is unique at a UK level (and thus outside the Barnett arrangements) should be exceptional and that any such assessment should be evidence-based, be undertaken in a timely manner, and be considered by Treasury ministers and their counterparts in the devolved administrations to ensure all viewpoints are understood before final decisions are taken.” Ian Blackford claimed Mr Mundell had been ‘utterly humiliated’Credit:Stuart Nicol Nicola Sturgeon has threatened a formal dispute with the UK Government over the £1 billion Tory deal with the DUP, as the SNP claimed David Mundell’s position as Scottish Secretary was “fast becoming untenable”.The First Minister said Mr Mundell had proved he was not “able or willing to fight Scotland’s corner in Cabinet” after it emerged the deal to prop up Theresa May’s minority Government would mean new funding for Northern Ireland, but nothing for Holyrood.Her spokesman claimed this was incompatible with the Scottish Secretary’s statement at the weekend that he would oppose “anything that could be construed as backdoor funding to Northern Ireland”.Derek Mackay, Scotland’s Finance Minister, has written to the Treasury demanding talks and warning that if there was no progress he would formally initiate a mechanism that seeks to resolve disputes between UK and Scottish ministers through the Joint Ministerial Committee.Mr Mundell insisted that the deal with the DUP was transparent and did not infringe the rules of the Barnett formula.He said he had been clear that any arrangement had to be subject to its rules, adding: “I always argue for resources and funds for Scotland and the most important argument that I’ve made consistently over the years is that the Barnett formula should continue, and that’s the difference between myself and the SNP. 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. ian blackford In the Commons, the Speaker said he had listened carefully to representations from Pete Wishart, the SNP MP, but was not persuaded the matter should be discussed under the procedure. But Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, attempted to ramp up the pressure on Mr Mundell by claiming that he had been “utterly humiliated” by the deal and he cannot continue in his post unless he answers a series of key questions.These include when the Scottish Secretary learnt there would be no spending “consequentials” for Scotland under the Barnett formula and whether he had been lobbying behind the scenes for extra money to be allocated north of the Border. Derek Mackay has written to Liz TrussCredit:Corbis News He added that there had been no consultation with ministers north of the border and said the Scottish Government did not accept the UK Government’s view that there were precedents for the funding going to the province, through initiatives such as “city deals”, which have seen hundreds of millions of pounds go to Scotland without any Barnett consequentials elsewhere. Meanwhile, as John Bercow rejected an SNP request for an emergency debate on the DUP deal,  Mr Mackay accused the Tories of “ripping off Scotland to the tune of £2.9 billion” and undermining devolution and called for an urgent meeting with Elizabeth Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. derek mackaylast_img read more