The Astros Didnt Play Like A Team Whose Manager Deserved To Be

The Houston Astros fired manager Bo Porter on Monday, bringing an end to his two-season tenure with the club.The move would seem to be an easy call, judging from the Astros’ record under Porter. Among those with at least 300 career games managed, only seven managers in the history of Major League Baseball had a lifetime winning percentage worse than Porter’s .367 mark. But Porter also took over during the worst four-season stretch in the Astros’ history. (His predecessor, Brad Mills, also has the 14th-worst career record of any manager with 300-plus games.) The team won fewer than 60 games in each of the two seasons before Porter arrived in Houston, hitting its nadir with 51 wins in Porter’s first year. But Porter’s Astros were greatly improved this season and are on pace to win about 70 games.There’s evidence that coaches and managers are fired not on the basis of absolute performance — rather, their employment depends on whether they beat expectations. And by that standard, Porter did a pretty great job this season. Putting aside that much of a manager’s perceived ability to coax good or bad years out of his players is little more than random variation, a 70-win campaign from this Astros team was fairly unexpected.Before the season, FiveThirtyEight presented projected wins for every MLB team, according to ESPN’s forecasting panel, which uses the wisdom of crowds to make predictions. On average, the panel expected the Astros to win 62.6 games, which was a number in line with sources such as Las Vegas’s over/under win totals. Traditionally, such forecasts have had a standard error of about nine wins in either direction, so the Astros would have only had about a 21 percent chance of winning 70 or more games this year. They essentially had a season in the 79th percentile of all possible expected outcomes, which ranks sixth in all of baseball.There are, of course, other factors that can determine a manager’s continued employment beyond outperforming expectations. ESPN’s David Schoenfield suggests that Porter was always just a placeholder during the Astros’ prolonged rebuilding process, destined to be cast aside when the team was ready to move out of MLB’s basement. (There have also been reports of philosophical differences between Porter and the team’s front office.) But if he is to be judged on what the Astros accomplished this year — both relative to preseason expectations and where the franchise had been over the previous three seasons — Porter should have been commended, not fired.CORRECTION (Sept. 2, 12:24 p.m.): A previous version of this article listed the projected wins for every team based on regressed winning percentages but didn’t take into account “banked” wins that teams had already earned. read more

Celtics Deny Nets Chance to Interview Doc Rivers

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge denied the Brooklyn Nets permission to speak to Doc Rivers about their vacant coaching position, team and league sources confirmed to ESPNBoston.com.Rivers has three years and $21 million remaining on his contract. The Nets did not retain interim coach P.J. Carlesimo after getting knocked out of the playoffs earlier this month.Reached late Thursday, Ainge refused to comment on the Nets’ interest in Rivers and reiterated that he expects him back on the Celtics’ bench next season.“Doc has told me he’s coming back,” Ainge said bluntly. “I talk to him almost every day about our team and what we are going to do moving forward.”The Celtics’ unwillingness to allow a competing team to talk to Rivers suggests they expect him to honor the extension he signed on May 11, 2011, which made him among the highest-paid coaches in professional sports and one of the top two in the NBA, along with the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich.When Rivers signed that deal, he was asked about the lean years that inevitably would surface as Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen grew older, moved on or retired.“Well, I don’t think anyone is looking forward to [rebuilding],” Rivers said, “but I’m willing to do that. I’ve had a group that has been very loyal to me, and I think it would have been very easy to just run and go somewhere else and chase something else. … I just don’t think that’s the right thing to do. Coaches talk about loyalty and team, and I just thought it was time to show it.”That will not stop the offers from coming. Last season, the Orlando Magic offered Rivers the job of team president, which would have entailed everything from schmoozing with corporate sponsors to running the front office. Though he had previously insisted he had “little to no interest” in running a franchise, the financial windfall and unilateral power that would come with such a position (not to mention the proximity to his home base) gave him some brief pause. Ultimately, Rivers rebuffed the Magic and determined he wasn’t done coaching.Ainge acknowledged late Thursday afternoon that Rivers remains a coveted asset among NBA circles.“We know people want Doc,” Ainge said. “We know people want (Rajon Rondo) and KG and Paul Pierce. They are the Celtics. They’ve all had great success.”If Rivers decided to go back to the broadcast booth, where he received rave reviews for his work on TNT, the Celtics still would hold his coaching rights for the life of his contract, preventing him from hopping to another team without some negotiated compensation.Rivers is expected to sit down with his coaching staff, each of whom has an expiring contract, this weekend. read more

Michael Vick a Free Agent to Meet With Jets

Michael Vick is looking for an NFL team, and the New York Jets could be the place. At the least, he plans to visit there today to see if there is a match.Geno Smith, the rookie from West Virginia, was good enough to help the Jets win eight games last season, but not enough to be declared the team’s starter. This is where Vick comes in. The team could sign Vick and allow him to compete with Smith for the starting position. It helps that Vick, 34 in June, worked four years with former Philadelphia Eagle offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, who serves in the same role with the Jets.This, of course, makes former starter Mark Sanchez the likely quarterback out. Reports indicate that he would receive a $2-million roster bonus on March 25 if he’s still on the team. The Jets almost assuredly would cut Sanchez, who has a $13.1 million cap charge, if they signed Vick in the coming days. Or they could ask Sanchez to take a big pay cut–the least likely scenario.Vick has been linked to the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, two teams that also are not set at quarterback. He was injured and lost his job to Nick Foles in Philly last season. Vick was professional in how he dealt with losing his position, leading teams to believe he could be a strong mentor for the young Smith. read more

Do You Love NFL Games That No One Wins You Are In

How NFL overtime games since 2012 would have played out under different OT rules New rule results are based on the score 10 minutes into overtime.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com Sudden death (1974-2011)15:00✓6:472.4 Old rule (2012-16)15:007:286.0% RESULTS New rule (2017- )10:006:3919.3 The NFL owners on Tuesday approved a drastic change to the NFL’s regular-season overtime format: cutting its maximum length from 15 minutes to 10.With games played as frequently as four days a week, the NFL says it’s trying to avoid the dangerous combination of long games and short recovery periods. The move may also be a reaction to last season, when six games went more than 12 minutes into overtime. Those included the Week 7 “Sunday Night Football” stinker, during which two teams spent five full periods slogging toward a 6-6 tie.But like the 2012 overtime modification, in which the sudden death format was changed so that a team couldn’t win the game with a first-possession field goal, Tuesday’s rule could be at the expense of overtime’s main purpose: deciding a winner. Since 2012, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, 83 regular-season games have gone into overtime, with five resulting in ties. Of those 83, 21 games lasted more than 10 minutes, with 16 tied at the 10-minute mark. Under the new rules, those 16 games would have all resulted in a draw. (With the change, two of the actual ties would have ended up with a winner, and three would have remained ties.)In addition to potentially tripling the rate of ties, the 10-minute overtime wouldn’t necessarily save that much time either. The 83 overtimes since 2012 would have been 49 game-seconds shorter on average. OT RULESTIME ON CLOCKFIRST POSSESSION FG WINS?AVG OT LENGTHTIE RATE The amount of time left on the clock affects play-calling and decision-making. Some analysts, like the MMQB’s Peter King, argued that if overtime were cut to 10 minutes, coaches would call games “faster,” pushing to get a win while the clock winds down. Maybe — but since 2012, 70 of 83 overtime games had at least two possessions, and the average elapsed time at the end of the second possession was 5:57. That means the average third possession would start just 4:03 away from a split decision. Will the NFL’s generally risk adverse coaches really jeopardize losing a bird (or, in this case, half a bird) in hand by diving into the bush to chase a full victory?The new system already has one detractor: Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He won the 2009 NFC championship game by completing just two short overtime passes to set up the field goal that gave New Orleans a sudden-death win — and a trip to Super Bowl XLIV.“I would disagree with [the rule change] because more games are going to end in ties now,” Brees told “The Dan Patrick Show.” He added that he wouldn’t be opposed to the NFL’s adopting rules that were similar to the “exciting” college format. In NCAA D-I football, each team’s offense lines up on the other team’s 25-yard line and takes turns trying to outscore each other, possession for possession. Although this scales back special teams and puts the bulk of emphasis on red-zone play, the baseball-like system of alternating possessions feels fairer to some fans.The NFL game may be best served by rolling back the 2012 modification in which the league changed regular-season overtime from sudden death to occasionally prolonged death. That change targeted the perception that games were too often being decided by coin flips: All the receiving team in OT had to do was make a few first downs and kick a field goal, as Brees’s Saints did in 2009.Under the 2012 rules,1This change was made for playoff games earlier, in 2010. teams were given a chance to respond if they held the receiving team to a field goal on its first possession. Given the chance, though, few teams have responded to period-opening field goals with a score of their own. In five seasons, according to Pro-Football-Reference, there have been only seven occasions when a team kicked a field-goal on its opening drive that was directly answered by their opponent scoring.As the table shows, the old sudden death rules, in which a tie occurred only if no one scored during the 15-minute overtime period, would have reduced average overtime duration nearly as much as the 10-minute cap, but with far fewer ties.Of course, if player safety is truly its highest priority, the NFL would do away with regular-season overtime altogether. Assuming that King is right about how coaches will react to a shorter overtime, removing it would force them to be more aggressive in regulation. If he’s wrong, at least we wouldn’t have to sit through 10 minutes of timid, tired football to get the same unsatisfying result.CORRECTION (May 24, 10 a.m.): An earlier version of the table in this article incorrectly said the NFL’s sudden-death overtime period from 1974 to 2011 was 10 minutes long. It was a 15-minute overtime. read more

Bucks remain in the fast lane swim past Hoosiers

The Ohio State men’s swimming and diving team opened up its dual meet against conference rival Indiana with a sweep of first through third place in the 200 medley relay.            That performance turned out to be a resounding statement for the rest of the competition. The No. 12 Buckeyes dominated the No. 20 Hoosiers from start to finish, winning by a score of 224-74 to improve to 6-0 on the season.            For the second week in a row, senior Joel Elber and sophomore Andrew Elliott each scored a pair of individual victories. Additionally, senior Stefan Sigrist and junior Elliott Keefer also had two wins. The team had this meet on their mind ever since their close loss to the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Ind., last season, Elber said.            “It was a close meet last year so we’ve been looking forward to this meet for a year,” he said. “There’s always tension [against Indiana] and it’s always a bit personal. There’s a lot of emotion involved.”            Elber capped off a brilliant first half of the meet for the Buckeyes by winning the 50 free in 20.52, leaving the score 105-26 at intermission.            “I’m always happy with a win. I concentrate on winning. Times will come,” Elber said.  “I’m right where I should be [in terms of times]; there are always technical things I can work on though.”            Coach Bill Wadley was focused more on the task at hand as opposed to any rivalry that might exist between the two teams.            “The objective every meet is the same,” Wadley said. “Obviously IU is a Big Ten school and they’re very good and very well-coached. Today we happened to have a good meet.”            The Buckeyes won every event for the second meet in a row and took first, second and third place in nine of the races. Elber, one of 14 seniors who had never previously beaten Indiana in a dual meet, was extremely proud of the team’s performance.            “This is one of our tune-ups for Big Ten’s and the first top 20 team we’ve faced this year,” said Elber. “We rose to the occasion and avenged what we did last year.”            Wadley was satisfied with the entire team’s performance, but acknowledged that there were some standout individual accomplishments.            “Keefer was outstanding, Elliott has been consistent the whole year, it seems you can count on him every time,” Wadley said. “Stefan steps up every time he races; when you got four guys getting two wins apiece every meet, that’s special.”            The Buckeyes’ impressive victory should give them a confidence boost when they take to the pool again in two weeks and welcome Penn State, Michigan and Northwestern to Columbus.  Wadley said two weeks of practice will put the Buckeyes in great shape and in a position to win.            “Hopefully two weeks from now we’re even faster.” read more

Welcome to Urban Meyers Freak Show

Miami (Ohio) football junior punter Zac Murphy better watch out – he and his teammates could be the first victims of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s “freak show.” That is to say, the RedHawks will be the first team to face a revamped OSU special teams unit that features a punt-blocking subunit of Buckeyes players that fellow teammates and coaches have taken to calling “the freak show.” Meyer inherited an OSU team whose special teams squad that had two punts blocked and one costly point-after attempt deflected in a Nov. 12 game against Purdue that effectively ended its Big Ten championship hopes. The unit failed to block any opponents’ punt in 2011. The Buckeyes’ first-year coach boasts a freakish pedigree for developing special teams talent, though – in his six years at Florida, Meyer’s teams blocked 21 punts, eight field goals and three extra points. He’s already attempting to achieve the same kind of abnormal special teams success at OSU. Meyer has tightened things up on the special teams front, junior kicker and backup punter Drew Basil said, and also had the unit striving to be the best in the country. “Coach Meyer – he puts the pressure on us. He definitely emphasizes special teams,” Basil said. “If we’re not the best in the nation with how much we go over everything, then that’s going to be a failure … we have to be the best. We’re going to be the best.” The aforementioned subunit – the freak show – could be the piece that pushed OSU’s special teams group to the top in the country. Redshirt senior linebacker and captain Etienne Sabino said not every player – not even himself – is a part of the freak show, though he will be involved with special teams this year. Basil wouldn’t divulge which players had been deemed members of the freak show, but Sabino said it was comprised of, you guessed it, the team’s physical freaks. “It’s a whole bunch of freaks out there,” Sabino said. “I mean, any one of them can block it. You have, you know, Bradley Roby, Travis Howard – all the fast guys out there.” Basil, who had an extra point blocked in OSU’s Nov. 12, 26-23 overtime loss to Purdue, said last year’s special teams group was merely average. Meyer has all the kickers, punters and freaks on the same page heading into the 2012 season. “(Meyer) teaches us a lot of stuff – what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Every day you’re sitting there thinking, ‘What even happened last year?’” Basil said. “But this year, we’re learning stuff bit by bit. It’s going to be a freak show. If we don’t set the NCAA record for blocked punts this season then, once again, it’s going to be hard to believe. “You’ll see on Saturday.” All-time series Meyer brings his freak show, along with the rest of the Buckeyes, into Saturday’s contest against the RedHawks with a personal career win-losses record of 104-23. Miami’s Don Treadwell, who helped lead his team to a 4-8 record in his first year in Oxford, Ohio, opposes Meyer. OSU has a 4-0 all-time record against Miami with the most recent win occurred on Sept. 3, 2005, when the Buckeyes defeated their in-state rival, 34-14. OSU’s only other win against the RedHawks in the modern era of college football came in 2000 – the Buckeyes won, 27-16. In 1911, OSU beat Miami, 3-0, and, in 1904, ran out to an 8-0 lead and won by the same score. read more

Football Association hires new team of integrity investigators following Telegraph revelations

first_imgLess than a week later, the FA set about beefing up the team by posting job adverts for three new roles.  Two “integrity investigators” are being hired to investigate potential breaches of FA rules relating to the integrity of the game, and an “integrity and intelligence analyst” to improve information gathering techniques and analyse data. According to the job specification, the two new integrity investigators will “proactively and reactively” conduct investigations into alleged breaches of FA rules relating to third party ownership as well as financial misconduct, betting, match fixing, breaches of the intermediary regulations,media/social media comments,  discrimination and anti-doping.Sam Allardyce lost his job as England manager last month after this newspaper disclosed how he agreed to be paid by a fake company to travel to the Far East for speaking engagements. He also advised a group of undercover reporters posing as businessmen how to “get around” the FA’s transfer rules.He subsequently admitted he had been a “fool” and claimed that he had been “helping out” an old friend. Football Association chairman Greg ClarkeCredit:Mike Egerton/ PA The Football Association is hiring a team of “integrity investigators” following criticism by MPs over its attitude to tackling corruption in the wake of The Telegraph’s investigation.Job advertisements for the new positions were posted on the FA’s website just days after its chairman Greg Clarke was grilled by the Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport over the governing body’s “lack of curiosity” toward investigating accusations of wrongdoing.Mr Clarke was criticised for the FA’s apparent failure to follow up on “serious allegations” of misconduct reported in the media. He assured MPs that the 33-person strong in-house disciplinary team has a “full suite of powers” which allows them to “investigate properly and fully” any potential rule breaches. Football Association chairman Greg Clarke Neil WarnockCredit:Steven Paston Mr Collins said it was “astonishing” that FA chiefs appeared not to have asked Allardyce the previous claims made about his conduct that arose from the Stevens Inquiry more than a decade ago. Mr Collins also cited the example of when Neil Warnock, the manager of Cardiff City FC, was accused of being “crooked” and making players pay him part of their wages to ensure they got into the team.  Jason Puncheon, one of Warnock’s players, alleged in a series of posts on Twitter that he gave players “extra wages and appearance bonus to make sure they pay him to get in the team or on the bench”. Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in BoltonCredit:AFPcenter_img Former England national football team manager Sam Allardyce speaks to the press outside his home in Bolton Neil Warnock Damian Collins, chair of the Select Committee, told Mr Clarke that there is a “lack of proactivity” of the FA to investigate claims rule breaking.He suggested that the FA was guilty of “institutional failing” if they had appointed Allardyce without looking into the previous allegations made about him. Mr Collins asked why the FA had not contacted Puncheon to ask him why he made the comments, rather than fining him £15,000 for failing to act in the best interests of the game.”Is there just a lack of curiosity or interest on the FA’s behalf which means these allegations are circulating, they are widely known about in football, but no one is following up on them?” Mr Collins asked Mr Clarke. He added: “If you want to get the truth, sometimes you have to be prepared to initiate your own investigations when people are coming to you with serious allegations.” Warnock has described the allegation as “completely and utterly false”. 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

Prince Philip battles with Union flag that just wont budge as he

first_imgFormed in 1941, the men took the name of their club from the guinea pig, because of the experimental nature of the surgical procedures they underwent.Just 28 of those treated are still alive around the world today, and a few endured the chilly weather as the Duke pulled away a union flag shrouding the stone monument, to unveil the green Cumbrian slate to the autumn sunshine.The memorial, which stands in the Staffordshire arboretum, is inscribed with the words “Out of the flames came inspiration”. The flag gets caught at the back The Duke of Edinburgh unveils the memorial and finds the flag gets caught at the back The Duke of Edinburgh unveils the memorial and finds the flag gets caught at the backCredit:DAVID HARTLEY The flag gets caught at the backCredit: DAVID HARTLEY The Guinea Pig Club, formed in 1941 by men being treated for burns at a hospital in Sussex, as well as meeting with surviving members of the club and their guestsCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire It was designed by Graeme Mitcheson, and bears the outline of a Spitfire fighter plane wing while on its reverse, set against the outline of a crashing Hurricane aircraft, is the face of Sir Archibald.Addressing his comrades during the ceremony, club trustee Dr Sandy Saunders, who helped raise thousands for the memorial, said: “A debt of honour is owed to the excellence of surgical expertise, which restored my body to health, and the cheerful spirit of valiant men who taught me to endure my treatment.”He added that, in what is the 75th year of the club, it was only right to remember the “band of seriously injured men” who were able to support each other in some of the darkest moments of their lives. The Duke of Edinburgh at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire where he dedicated a memorial to the Guinea Pig Clubcenter_img Among the men who benefited from the pioneering work was former racing driver Peter Procter from Appletreewick near Skipton, in Yorkshire, who was badly burned in a car crash at Goodwood in 1966.He was adopted by the club’s members when they found out he was being treated on the burns ward at East Grinstead.His wife, Shirley, also at the unveiling, told how while her husband was in hospital with 65% burns she phoned the club’s warrant officer, “Tubby” Taylor, and spoke of how the Guinea Pigs then swung into action.Mrs Procter said: “I told him, ‘you don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I read your book about the Guinea Pigs’. The Duke of Edinburgh at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire where he dedicated a memorial to the Guinea Pig ClubCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire The Duke of Edinburgh encountered a troublesome Union Flag that refused to budge today as he unveiled a memorial in honour of an inspirational band of badly burned Second World War airmen.A handful of the surviving members of the once 649-strong Guinea Pig Club, now in their eighties and nineties, watched as their president, the Duke of Edinburgh, unveiled the stone at the National Memorial Arboretum on Wednesday.All of the club’s members, many of whom fought in the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, received treatment for disfiguring burns at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead from the visionary surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe. “He said ‘I know all about Peter Procter, I’ve read all the press reports’.”He said ‘what do you need?’ and I said ‘back-up’.”And that was it, he said ‘you’ve got it’ and they would then come and visit Peter.”Mr Procter, 86, who only gave up driving racing cars five years ago, said: “I was nine when the war broke out.”We lived near York, which was served by Bomber Command, so we would see the Lancasters and the Wellingtons (bombers) coming in all the time.”So those men were always my heroes.”Then, when they came to see me in hospital after the crash, they were my heroes again.”They were heroes twice over to me. You don’t often get that.”Asked if he believed he would be here today without the surgeons and the Guinea Pig Club, he said: “I don’t think for a second – had I gone anywhere else other than East Grinstead – I’d have survived.”I think mentally, the support I got there, the attitude – I felt I was family, straight away.”It was a special environment.”He said the monument’s unveiling was a “wonderful” occasion, “but not before time”.Mr Procter, who has five children, said: “This should have been here from day one.”What a contribution they made.”The survivors of the Guinea Pig Club suffered tremendous injuries, and people with those sorts of injuries weren’t treated then as they are now.”I think they deserve a very special place like this.”The Duke has been president of the club since 1960, following the death of Sir Archibald. 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 Guinea Pig Club, formed in 1941 by men being treated for burns at a hospital in Sussex, as well as meeting with surviving members of the club and their guestslast_img read more

The Secret Garden National Trust may open stately homes swimming pond to

first_img“I’m sure that, because of her visits to gardens in Tokyo and because of her husband’s death, her passion and energy between 1912 and the mid 1920s went into the garden. The lido was built in the 1890s for the wealthy Beale family and their seven children to enjoy a dip in the heart of their 12 acre garden.But it was long forgotten after being hidden beneath decades of growth.Now the National Trust plans to restore the pool to its former glory and allow members of the public to enjoy its reinvigorating properties. The retored swimming pondCredit: Roger J Bloxham Standen House as it once was The swimming pond “We can see that Margaret tried to grow the roses every year and, just as it has happened to us, the deer came in and ate all her rose buds off just as she was getting close in 1926. Margaret Beale 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 gardens are being restored The retored swimming pond Helen bequeathed the gardens and house to the National Trust in 1972. The National Trust hopes to open its first public swimming pool after gardeners restoring a spectacular Victorian property stumbled across a long forgotten lido.Groundsmen working at Standen House in West Sussex  – the former home of celebrated horticulturist Margaret Beale – discovered the neglected pond when they nearly fell into it while clearing undergrowth. Credit:Andrew Butler  After their mother died in 1936, Margaret’s spinster daughters Maggie and Helen dumped rubbish in the garden and allowed overgrowth to swallow it up concentrating instead on the family farm. The Beale grandchildren swim in the pond James Masters, Head Gardener center_img James Masters, Head Gardener Credit:Andrew Butler  Head gardener, James Masters explained how the pool was discovered quite by mistake when volunteers were clearing away some of the “vigorous modern planting” that obscured much of the grounds.He said: “It would be absolutely wonderful to restore the pool. We were hoping to get it ready for this year but couldn’t get the right water quality for it to be signed off, so we are now looking at next year.”After Margaret Beale’s husband died in 1914, and after her children had flown the nest, the swimming pool was barely used. “If we can have the roses as a cut flower in the posh rooms in the house, just as she wanted, it would be a special moment for me and everyone who works here.”Mr Masters added: “The pool would be back to how she designed it and the whole Rosery would be back to exactly how she envisaged it, so I’m sure she would be very pleased.” They would compete for the right to swim in the deep end by testing how long they could remain dunked underwater, and would dare one another to jump in rather than descend the steps. The Beale grandchildren swim in the pond The swimming pond in the RoseryCredit:ANDREW BUTLER Instead she spent the next 14 years trying in vain to grow the China Pink Rose in his memory, even travelling to Japan to collect samples.Fungal disease, frost, and finally, the deer that broke into the plot and ate the buds, meant the she eventually gave up trying.The National Trust has said as well as restoring the long lost pond, it will also introduce the China Pink to its Rosery in tribute to her efforts. A rose breeder in Essex has already begun growing the high maintenance plants for Standen.Mr Masters said the plan was to introduce 50 of the rose plants, which will potentially bloom into more than 2,000 flowers.He said: “We have done a huge amount of work on the restoration of the garden but this would be the one thing that, from looking at the diary, she tried so hard to achieve.  Margaret Beale She then approached the arts and crafts architect, Philip Webb, to build her dream garden and spent the next 20 years perfecting the grounds.As the Royal Horticultural Society’s first female fellow, she travelled the world looking for rare species to introduce to her beloved garden.Letters and diary entries by Mrs Beale, housed at Standen, reveal how the children spent happy summer in the pool. The gardens are being restored The swimming pond in the Rosery It would be the first time a man-made pool had been opened to the public at one of its properties.The plans are part of a £500,000 restoration project taking place at Standen House, which has taken five years and has involved 100 volunteers.James Beale, a successful lawyer and his wife, Margaret, bought Standen House and the surrounding land in 1870. Standen House as it once waslast_img read more

GCSE results day 2017 Marking reforms benefit girls as they make up

first_img“It does take time for schools to respond to the demands of the curriculum and that’s why you have this thing called comparative outcomes so we don’t see a dramatic change in the proportions achieving the various grades.” It’s GCSE Results Day 2017 and the girls are steaming ahead of the boys. The new toughened up GCSEs have seen two thirds of the coveted grade nines awarded to girls. The reformed GCSEs, which are marked in numerical grades of nine to one rather than A* to G, are designed to separate the very highest achievers, with roughly half as many nines awarded as A*s.The new grades were part of a package of reforms introduced by former education secretary Michael Gove, designed to toughen up syllabuses and to cut down on the number of students getting A*s by splitting it between the two highest grades, eight and nine.Almost 51,000 grade nines were given out across the three reformed subjects, English Literature, English Language and Maths.  Search for the pass rate in your subject In English Language, almost treble the number of grade nines went to girls compared to boys, with 3.3 per cent of grades awarded to girls and 1.3 per cent to boys.Boys won more grade nines in Maths than girls, achieving four per cent of the top grade compared to 2.9 per cent for girls.Fewer candidates have achieved a 9 compared to the proportion that gained an A* under the traditional A*-G grading system, following the deliberate move to change the system to allow more differentiation, particularly between the brightest candidates.Last year, 4 per cent of 16-year-olds in England scored an A* in English language, along with 7 per cent in maths.The grading switch is part of wider reforms designed to make GCSEs more rigorous and challenging.There are now three top grades – 7, 8 and 9 – compared to two under the old system – A* and A – with A* results now split into 8s and 9s. More than double the number of grade nines were awarded to girls than boys, with 4.5 per cent of grade nines awarded to girls compared to 1.9 per cent to boys. Pupils will be marked under the new system for English Literature, English Language and MathsCredit:FREDERICK FLORIN Pupils will be marked under the new system for English Literature, English Language and Maths Among 16-year-olds in England, almost 20,000 maths entries scored a 9 – the new highest grade, while over 31,000 achieved the top mark in the two English GCSEs combined.Under the overhaul, traditional A* to G grades are being gradually replaced in England with a 9 to 1 system. Of these, around 30,000 went to girls. Just over 2,000 students in England were awarded a clean sweep of straight nines, which is less than a third of the 6,500 straight A*s candidates from last year, according to Datalab.This is far more than predicted by Sally Collier, the head of Ofqual, who said that only a “few hundred” students would achieve straight 9s.Overall UK GCSE pass rates have fallen this year amid the biggest shake-up of exams in a generation. Changes to GCSEs: What you need to know English and maths – key GCSEs for all teenagers – are the first to move across, with other subjects following over the next two years.Today’s figures show that across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the proportion of entries scoring at least an A grade – or a 7 under the new system – has fallen by 0.5 percentage points to 20 per cent compared to last summer.Meanwhile, the percentage gaining a C or above – or a 4 under the new system – is down 0.6 percentage points to 66.3 per cent.The statistics, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), show that among 16-year-olds in England:In maths, 3.5 per cent of entries – around 19,885 in total – scored a 9In English, 2.2 per cent of entries – around 13,913 in total – scored a 9In English literature, 3.2 per cent – around 17,530 in total – scored a 9Girls outperformed boys in 9 grades in both English GCSEs, while boys did better in maths at the highest result Mr Gibb told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is more demanding but we don’t want any student to be disadvantaged as we introduced new reforms so there is a process in place that’s been in place for many years to ensure that broadly the same proportions achieve the grades as they did under the old system. 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

Prince Charles reunited with Australian sisters he stayed with 50 years ago

first_imgJane Tozer, Amanda Boxshall, Penny Jenner and Lisa Tozer with Prince Charles Credit:MARK METCALFE 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. Prince Charles was on a tour of the Bundaberg distillery when he was reunited with the sisters  Four sisters who used to spend their weekends with the Prince of Wales when he was 17 have been reunited with the heir to the throne after more than half a century.Charles stayed at their family’s dairy farm during his time at college in Australia.And on Friday, the women came face to face with the heir again after 52 years. Prince Charles participates in a tour of the Bundaberg Rum distillery Prince Charles participates in a tour of the Bundaberg Rum distillery in Bundaberg “I remember you used to follow my dad around asking him questions and I remember you stirring the milk,” said Jane, as Charles smiled and laughed.They then presented him with a copy of the photograph, taken in 1966, which they had all signed the back of.Afterwards, Jane, 62, said: “He said he was rapt that we still had the photo. Lisa, 54, added: “All I really remember was thinking that he spoke funny.”We all had to get changed out of our farm clothes and put on our Sunday best when he came.”The sisters spent several minutes chatting to Charles – before recreating their 1966 photo.The prince had been on a tour of the Bundaberg Distillery as part of his seven-day trip in Australia. Jane Tozer, Amanda Boxshall, Penny Jenner and Lisa Tozer with Prince Charles  Jane – the oldest of the siblings – was 10 when Charles would visit. Amanda was six, Penny was four and Lisa was just three.Jane said: “I remember him being very curious about the farm.”I remember him coming tadpoling and swimming – I taught him how to duck dive.”At that age we didn’t really think of him as royalty.” “It was really lovely to see him again.” I remember him coming tadpoling and swimming – I taught him how to duck dive.Jane Tozer Prince Charles participates in a tour of the Bundaberg Rum distilleryCredit:MARK METCALFE Prince Charles  Charles could not hide his surprise as he was greeted by Jane Tozer, Amanda Boxshall, Penny Jenner and Lisa Tozer during his trip to Bundaberg.As they clutched a photo of them with the prince, taken on the day they were last together, the sisters were given a warm reception by the now 69-year-old Charles.And they wasted no time in telling him of all their memories from when he used to stay with them at Devon Farm, Lilydale, while he was at Timbertop college in Victoria. Presented with three test tubes of alcohol at the distillery, and instructed to mix them together to create his own blend of rum the prince confessed chemistry was not his strongest subject at schoolCharles joked: “It’s like chemistry. “I was never any good at chemistry at school.” Back then: Charles with the Tozer family in the 1960sCredit:Arthur Edwardslast_img read more

Serena Willams reveals surprise at Wimbledon seeding

However, Cibulkova told journalists that the move, which knocked her out of being seeded for the tournament, was unfair. “I have the right and I should be seeded. My opinion about it is that I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” she said.For Williams her return to Wimbledon carries extra significance this year, as it is 20 years since she made her debut, reaching the third round as a teenager. “I can’t say I thought I’ll be here 20 years late,” she said. Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, ranked 156th in the world, was not seeded for the competition, which starts today amid week-long forecasts of warm weather. Murray has spent a year battling hip injury problems, and announced yesterday he was not ready to compete. Serena Williams in 2017 She admitted it will be emotional to appear in front of her husband and daughter for the first time.Earlier this week she took her daughter onto the turf at Wimbledon, where she has appeared in nine Wimbledon singles finals and, together with sister Venus, helped transformed the profile of women’s tennis.”I did take her to Centre Court early on this week when I was here. I don’t know. I got a little emotional when I was telling her a story about a girl who had a big dream,” she said. Speaking on Sunday, Williams said: “I think I would be very ungrateful if I sat here and said [the seeding] was too low, to be honest.”I don’t at all feel that way. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. I came in here expecting that maybe I wouldn’t get a seed.”I do know Wimbledon tends to kind of beat to their own drum. That’s kind of one thing that’s been able to set them apart. Serena Willaims' daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. sits on a court at Wimbledon 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 was a little bit in the back of my mind, that I would have a chance, but I didn’t put that on it.”The move by officials at Wimbledon’s seeding committee to place Williams stands in stark contrast by a decision by the French Open against seeding her.She did play in Paris, where she reached the fourth round of the competition before injury forced her to quit ahead of her clash with Maria Sharapova, but her appearance stopped short of offering conclusive evidence of Williams’ continued competitiveness at an elite level. Serena Williams takes part in a press conference on the eve of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Serena Williams poses with the winner’s trophy in 2016Credit:AFP Serena Williams in 2017Credit:Peter Parks Serena Williams takes part in a press conference on the eve of the 2018 Wimbledon ChampionshipsCredit:AFP The move to seed Williams was a major departure for tradition by the AELTC, but it was supported by three-time former champion John McEnroe, who told The Telegraph last month that he didn’t “think there would be a player that would complain”. Serena Williams has revealed her “surprise” at a controversial Wimbledon decision to boost her ranking after her return from maternity leave, a move that divided the tennis world and led to bitter recriminations from some of her rivals.The 36-year-old American, who has dominated women’s tennis for nearly 20 years but took a break from the sport in September following the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia, said she was not sure she would be seeded for Wimbledon, which starts on Monday and thanked officials at the All England Club for the decision.Williams, who played her first Grand Slam in over a year at the French Open last month, is placed 181st in the world after nearly a year out of the sport, but she was placed in the Wimbledon draw as 25th seed to ensure that neither she nor other top players can meet each other until the third round at the earliest.Some Wimbledon club officials had privately expressed concerns that seeding Williams would unfairly penalise other players who had worked all year for their place in the top 32. But, officials agreed that she should not be punished for taking time off to have a child, despite bitter complaints from Slovakian world number 32 Dominika Cibulkova who was bumped from the seeding group as a result. Serena Williams poses with the winner's trophy in 2016 Serena Willaims’ daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. sits on a court at Wimbledon read more

Can you pass the toughest exam in the world Take the test

The questions on this year’s exam, which were released this week, suggest that knowing whether you would rather be a werewolf or a zombie might be as useful as knowing the finer points of Enlightenment thought or the work of the Old Masters. To decide on its students the college sets what has been called ‘the most difficult exam in the world’, made up of dozens of questions on a variety of subjects. Oxford University’s All Souls College is one of the most elite institutions in the country, and each year chooses just two applicants to join its ranks and study for seven years. Questions included, ‘Does Google know us better than we do?’, ‘Is Shakespeare too good for actors?’ and a nod to recent…

Tory MP fined £1500 for submitting false expense invoices as court hears

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. However, he said Davies was not entitled to split the costs across two budgets, and said any claims had to be accompanied by genuine invoices.Davies served as a councillor in Powys before he was elected as MP for Brecon and Radnorshire at the 2015 general election, beating incumbent Liberal Democrat Roger Williams with the seat’s largest majority since 1983.He served as parliamentary private secretary to the Wales Office from January to July 2018.Before entering politics, he worked as a rural auctioneer, an estate agent and also managed a mixed veterinary practice in Hay-on-Wye. It was heard Davies' political career is likely to be "in tatters" There were two budgets available to him, the Start Up Costs Budget – for office furniture and IT equipment – and the Office Costs Budget, both of which he could claim the full amount from.But Philip Stott, prosecuting, revealed Davies found in February 2016 that only £476.02 was left in the Start Up Costs Budget, with £8,303.75 remaining in the other. Davies is the Conservative MP for Brecon and RadnorshireCredit:Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament He then created two fake invoices, so the £700 cost could be split between the two budgets – £450 to the Start Up and £250 for the other.Defending, Thomas Forster QC said his client – a 51-year-old father of two school-age children – was in a “privileged position” as an MP, but that his offending was a mistake rather than a “return to the bad old days” of “maxing out expenses accounts”.He said: “There is a very real likelihood that his political career is in tatters.”This is a tragically disastrous set of circumstances to which I accept he is the author.”It is not a financial cost, it is a harm to the integrity of Parliament.”Mr Forster added that his client underspent “across every single budget”.”This has taken a very hard toll on my family, on my staff and on myself”Prosecuting, Mr Stott said it was accepted that Davies had not sought to profit financially from the action and that he was entitled to claim for the pictures. Under parliamentary rules, Davies does not automatically lose his seat as an MP because his sentence was less than the 12-month minimum.He was ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service as well as his fine.Speaking outside Southwark Crown Court, Mr Davies said: “I have accepted today’s ruling and want to take this opportunity to make an unreserved apology.”I would like to reiterate that I made a mistake and at no point did I at any time try to make any financial gain.”This has taken a very hard toll on my family, on my staff and on myself.”I would now like to move on and continue my role of serving the people of Brecon and Radnorshire as their MP.” Christopher Davies was warned by chief whip Julian Smith following the sentencingCredit:Victoria Jones/PA Christopher Davies was warned by chief whip Julian Smith following the sentencing It was heard Davies’ political career is likely to be “in tatters”Credit:Geoff Pugh Davies is the Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Sentencing, Mr Justice Edis said: “It seems shocking that when confronted with a simple accounting problem, you thought to forge documents.”That is an extraordinary thing for a man with your position and your background to do.”The two charges related to the period when Davies was setting up his constituency office following the 2015 general election.Political career ‘likely to be in tatters’He had contacted a photographer in his constituency and bought nine images from him to decorate and display in his constituency office, using his own money to pay the £700 for them initially. A Conservative spokesman said: “Chris Davies has been given a formal warning from the chief whip following today’s ruling.”He has apologised and it is right that the people of Brecon and Radnorshire now get to have their say about whether they still support Mr Davies.” A Conservative MP was today fined £1,500 and ordered to carry out community service for submitting false invoices to decorate his office, as a court heard it was likely his political career is “in tatters”.Christopher Davies, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, showed no emotion as he was sentenced by Mr Justice Edis at Southwark Crown Court.The 51-year-old was told he had committed “two very serious offences” which were “absolutely intended to deceive” when he appeared before magistrates last month to admit two charges of attempting to provide false or misleading information for an allowance claim.Following the sentencing, Davies was given a “formal warning” from chief whip Julian Smith.The court heard he submitted two false expenses invoices for landscape photographs to decorate his new office. read more

Facebook tipoff about illegal rave in Norfolk leads police to shut it

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. Sound equipment was seized and five people were arrested by police All five remain in police custody where they will be questioned.Norfolk Constabulary’s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nick Davison said: “A significant policing operation was held today to ensure the event was disrupted and closed down safely, while securing evidence with a view to prosecuting organisers. “The action taken today falls in line with our robust approach to tackling such events.”Raves, not uncommon at this time of year, can be very disruptive for local residents and landowners while the presence of hundreds of people and vehicles can also have a detrimental impact on the environment.” Sound equipment was seized and five people were arrested by policeCredit:Norfolk Police An illegal rave was shut down by police more than 20 hours after they received a tip-off about the event from someone who saw it advertised on Facebook.Five men were arrested and sound equipment was seized when officers from Norfolk Constabulary arrived at Massingham Heath near Grimston, King’s Lynn. Around 600 people were present at the gathering.The police were called at around 7.30pm on Saturday night after a member of the public noticed an advertisement for the event on Facebook.Additional resources, including specially trained police support units, arrived on Sunday, and broke up the event at about 3.45pm.Three men, aged 25, 28 and 31, have been arrested in connection with organising the rave while two other men, aged 20 and 33, were arrested at the scene on suspicion of drug driving. read more

Berbice teen is Guyanas latest road fatality

A 16-year-old student of Bush Lot Secondary School met his demise yesterday afternoon after he was struck down by a motor vehicle allegedly being driven by a senior prison officer, who reportedly fled the scene.DEAD: Luke JohnThe dead teen has been identified as Luke John of Lot 208 Waterloo, Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice.According to information reaching INews, the teen was returning home after visiting his sister at Cotton Tree, and was standing at the corner of the road soliciting public transportation when he was struck by motor vehicle PMM 3802, driven by the prison official.INews understands that at the time of the incident, the driver was attempting to overtake the vehicle in front of him; however, he noticed another vehicle was coming towards him in the opposite direction and so swerved to avoid a head-on collision. Unfortunately, this resulted in him hitting the young boy.John’s body was reportedly flung several feet away from the point of impact and landed in a clump of bushes. He was rushed to the Fort Wellington Hospital and subsequently transferred to the New Amsterdam Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.The driver was apprehended shortly after he fled and he is presently assisting with investigations. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedROAD CARNAGE CONTINUES: 21-yr-old killed in Berbice accidentMay 17, 2016In “latest news”Essequibo Coast fatal accident… Teen provided for family – motherJanuary 20, 2019In “Crime”Cycling teen killed in collision with road construction vehicleMarch 10, 2017In “latest news” read more

Experts warn of another largescale cyberattack

(AFP) Another large-scale, stealthy cyberattack is underway on a scale that could dwarf last week’s assault on computers worldwide, a global cybersecurity firm told AFP on Wednesday.The new attack targets the same vulnerabilities the WannaCry ransomware worm exploited but, rather than freeze files, uses the hundreds of thousands of computers believed to have been infected to mine virtual currency.Following the detection of the WannaCry attack on Friday, researchers at Proofpoint discovered a new attack linked to WannaCry called Adylkuzz, said Nicolas Godier, a researcher at the computer security firm.“It uses the hacking tools recently disclosed by the NSA and which have since been fixed by Microsoft in a more stealthy manner and for a different purpose,” he said.Instead of completely disabling an infected computer by encrypting data and seeking a ransom payment, Adylkuzz uses the machines it infects to “mine” in a background task a virtual currency, Monero, and transfer the money created to the authors of the virus.Virtual currencies such as Monero and Bitcoin use the computers of volunteers to record transactions. They are said to “mine” for the currency and are occasionally rewarded with a piece of it.Proofpoint said in a blog that symptoms of the attack include loss of access to shared Windows resources and degradation of PC and server performance, effects which some users may not notice immediately.“As it is silent and doesn’t trouble the user, the Adylkuzz attack is much more profitable for the cyber criminals. It transforms the infected users into unwitting financial supporters of their attackers,” said Godier.Proofpoint said it has detected infected machines that have transferred several thousand dollars worth of Monero to the creators of the virus.The firm believes Adylkuzz has been on the loose since at least May 2, and perhaps even since April 24, but due to its stealthy nature was not immediately detected.“We don’t know how big it is” but “it’s much bigger than WannaCry”, Proofpoint’s vice president for email products, Robert Holmes, told AFP.A US official on Tuesday put the number of computers infected by WannaCry at over 300,000. “We have seen that before — malwares mining cryptocurrency — but not this scale,” said Holmes. The WannaCry attack has sparked havoc in computer systems worldwide.Britain’s National Health Service, US package delivery giant FedEx, Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn rail network were among those hit.While the rate of new infections has slowed, researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point said the malware continues to spread rapidly.And another expert added that despite a quick breakthrough that WannaCry to be slowed down, researchers don’t fully understand it.“The problem is that we’re still not certain about the origin of the infections” as contrary to many previous attacks it wasn’t via emails which deceive users into installing the virus, said the expert on condition of anonymity.More attacks could be soon be underway as the hacker group TheShadowBrokers that leaked the vulnerabilities used by WannaCry and Adylkuzz has threatened to publish more.It said in a post it would begin providing information monthly by subscription in June, saying that in addition to Windows 10 vulnerabilities it would include “compromised network data from Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or North Korean nukes and missile programs”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHuge cyber-attacks reported worldwideMay 12, 2017In “latest news”Global manhunt for WannaCry creatorsMay 15, 2017In “World”Beware of “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack says Guyana cyber-security response teamMay 13, 2017In “Business” read more

British Envoy urges appointment of GECOM Chair before LGE

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGECOM Chair: ‘I have the list, examining the names very critically’- PresidentAugust 31, 2017In “latest news”Opposition Leader submits third list of GECOM nominees to PresidentAugust 25, 2017In “latest news”Diaspora urges President Granger to appoint GECOM Chair without any further delaysSeptember 21, 2017In “latest news” With GECOM to begin preparing next year to hold Local Government Elections (LGE) in 2019, British High Commissioner Gregory Quinn is calling on local authorities to appoint a Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as soon as possible.President David GrangerThe British diplomat told reporters on Thursday that the appointment of a GECOM chairman should be fast tracked. “I think next year, 2018, is gonna be fairly a crunch year to make sure all the preparations for 2019 are in place… The sooner we get a chairman for GECOM in place, the better it is going to be for that process,” Quinn expressed.President David Granger has already rejected two lists of nominees for the position of GECOM Chairman submitted by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who has since agreed to compile a third list.Last month, Jagdeo told reporters that he was in the final stages of preparing a third list of nominees for the GECOM Chairmanship post. “I had committed to submitting a third list publically and with the President, and I believe that I should continue with that process… (And) I am hoping that from this third list, someone would be chosen, and then it would become a moot issue,” Jagdeo had stated.However, the Opposition Leader explained that while he is committed to submitting the third list, persons are skeptical about having their names put forward as nominees because they do not want to be considered unsuitable.Nevertheless, Jagdeo noted that should President Granger deem this new list of names unacceptable, there is a process agreed upon to ensure that a suitable candidate is appointed.Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat JagdeoPresident Granger has been holding strong that Article 161 (2) of the Constitution of Guyana prescribes for the Chairman of the Elections Commission to be “a person who holds or who has held office as a judge of a court…or who is qualified to be appointed as any such judge, or any other fit and proper person…”Having interpreted “fit and proper” to mean any group of qualified persons, the Opposition Leader in December submitted his first list, nominating the following persons: Attorney Christopher Ram, Conflict Resolution Specialist Lawrence Lachmansingh, (retired) Major General Norman McLean, Business executive Ramesh Dookhoo, Indian Rights Activist Rhyaan Shah, and History Professor James Rose for the post at the helm of GECOM.The Head of State rejected the list, saying that the nominees have to be a judge, retired judge, or possess qualifications to be a judge, as well as not be an activist or member of any political party.Following weeks of impasse, Jagdeo finally agreed to return to the drawing board, and submitted a new list of nominees, comprising: retired Justice of Appeal BS Roy; retired Justice William Ramlall; former Magistrate Oneidge Walrond-Allicock; Attorneys Kashir Khan and Nadia Sagar; and businessman and pilot, Captain Gerald Gouveia.President Granger rejected this second list as well, saying it was “unacceptable” and that ALL of the nominees should be a judge, retired judge, or qualified to be a judge. The President has argued that he needs to have options on the list, so all of the nominees have to be qualified within his outlined criteria.In the meantime, local businessman Marcel Gaskin had moved to the High Court back in March to challenge the constitutionality of President David Granger’s reasoning behind his rejection of the Opposition Leader’s first list of six nominees for the GECOM Chairmanship post.In the court action, Gaskin sought from the Court a declaratory order on the meaning of Article 161(2). The businessman, who is the brother of Business Minister Dominic Gaskin, wanted to know whether the list of nominees to be submitted by the Opposition Leader must include a judge, a retired judge or a person qualified to be a judge, as being claimed by the President.Acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, SC, overruled the President’s interpretation of the Constitution, finding that there is no particular preference for the appointment of persons within the Judiciary for the GECOM chairmanship.In her determination, Justice George-Wiltshire found that there was no valid argument to support the idea that the Chairman should be a judge, former judge, or person eligible to be a judge; and noted that persons from each category are equally eligible for the post.The Chief Justice pointed out that the word “any” in the other category, “…any other fit and proper person”, widens the category, and “does not restrict the qualification or profession” from which the nominee should be drawn. She added that there was no mandatory category, and all the categories have equal weight. read more

Take back TT from criminals son of murdered curator urges

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCaribbean News Round-upNovember 16, 2015In “Regional”T&T family in dark over motive for triple murdersNovember 7, 2016In “Crime”T&T woman, 60, found dead with throat slitJuly 25, 2017In “Crime” The people of Trinidad and Tobago have become quitters and cowards and it is high time now that they take back the country from the hands of criminals.This was the advice given yesterday by environmentalist Stephen Broadbridge, as he spoke out about his mother’s gruesome murder on Saturday.Stephen Broadbridge (Trinidad Express photo)Dr Claire Broadbridge, 80, was found brutally murdered in the bedroom of her house on Saturday evening. Her throat was slit and her killer/s attempted to burn the house down by setting fire to a few pieces of furniture that was on the ground floor of her home.Speaking outside their Fondes Amandes, St Ann’s home yesterday, Broadbridge said because murders are happening every day in T&T, people are becoming immune and more and more insensitive to them. He said it was time for the people of T&T to force the police, politicians and even themselves to do their respective job and duties.“I am fed up of T&T…people are not sensitive any more to murders. People have become a little too tolerant and that needs to stop,” Broadbridge said.“People are quick to say time to ride out of the country because the country gone through, but the country not gone through…it’s time to take control of it. We all are quitters and cowards…the public needs to get braver and stop taking this crap.”Broadbridge called on people to come out and speak out in order to ensure the police and politicians to do their jobs properly.“We are the majority…the criminals are the minority…take your country back…get up and deal with this. If the police not doing their job make a fuss until they do…if the politicians not doing their job vote them out, don’t vote because you like the party (political party),” he said.Broadbridge stressed that if the people do not stand up and deal with current spiralling crime it will reach to their own doorsteps eventually.Up to late yesterday, several teams of investigating officers were still processing the scene. Surrounding the house, which is located on a hill, there is thick greenery, including several bamboo patches, which officers said made the “perfect escape route” for any perpetrator.Officers are yet to determine a motive for Dr Broadbridge’s murder. However, he son strongly believes she may have been killed by one of the workers she hired to do work for her.“Maybe the person was unhappy about the payment he got? I don’t think robbery was the motive because I didn’t see things missing. I think if it was a seasoned killer he might have tried to burn her body in the bedroom but he didn’t, he wanted to obviously not be near the body,” Broadbridge, who lives at the house with his brother, said.He told the T&T Guardian that he was in Brasso Seco on an environmental expedition tour with a group of about 12 people when he received the tragic news.“I got a call from a neighbour saying that they saw smoke coming from the house and that they had found my mother’s throat slit upstairs in her room. I immediately packed up and headed home. I am very angry by this. I am angry in the way my mother was killed. I am angry.”He added: “I do hope that the Broadbridge family gets justice. I hope residents who have cameras hand over their footage to the police and I hope the police get fingerprints.”Broadbridge described his mother as a civil servant who was very dedicated to her country.“She experienced a lot of trouble while in her post as museum curator. The museum was underfunded and she raised funds and did her best to produce a good museum,” he said.“She never got the support from politicians. There was a lot of sabotage from them (referring to politicians) but she still kept on trying. She had a very difficult time and was very bitter for it up until her retirement.”Broadbridge also mentioned a confrontation she had with a well-known politician who waved a tennis racket a few times in front her face while she was at the museum, over a disagreement she had back then with a tenant of the museum. Broadbridge said it was now too late for that politician to apologise to his mother, “it was appalling that type of behaviour, for surely he was unfit to be in public office.”British High Commissioner Tim Stew was one of scores of people who expressed shock at the killing on social media yesterday. In a Twitter post, Stew wrote: “My condolences to Stephen and the family. I’m shocked at this appalling crime against a most notable lady.”An autopsy is expected to be conducted on Dr Broadbridge’s body today at the Forensic Science Centre in St James. (Trinidad Guardian) read more