Serena Williams Puts Aside Shaky Start to Beat Pliskova

Serena Williams, of the United States, serves to Karolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams began her U.S. Open quarterfinal tentatively. Her shots lacked their usual sting, her attitude its usual conviction.She was facing the last player she lost to at Flushing Meadows. She kept looking up her coach, as if seeking solutions. After just 20 minutes Tuesday night, Williams was in danger of trailing by two service breaks. Not much later, the outcome was no longer in doubt, because the 23-time Grand Slam champion suddenly was in complete control.Williams put aside some early shakiness and an early deficit, turning things around with an eight-game run en route to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 8 seed Karolina Pliskova for a spot in the semifinals. It was Williams’ first win over a top-10 player this season.“I was playing really not a good game,” said Williams, who was a point from trailing 4-1 and did fall behind 4-2 while making 22 of her 30 unforced errors in the first set. “I was thinking, ‘You know, I can play better.’ So that was the good news.”Pliskova offered this guess about what was happening to Williams: “Maybe she was a little bit nervous.”Maybe. But that didn’t last long.Pliskova is a big server and hitter in her own right, someone who briefly spent time at No. 1 in the WTA rankings and was the runner-up at the U.S. Open in 2016, when she beat Williams in the semifinals. The 36-year-old American did not compete in New York a year ago, because she gave birth to her daughter during the tournament.Go back to 2015, and that was another semifinal departure for Williams, whose bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam was shockingly ended by Roberta Vinci.“Well, I want to just be able to get past the semis here. It’s been a few, couple, rough semis for me,” Williams said. “But regardless, this has been a great road.”This time, Williams’ semifinal opponent will be No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who surprisingly beat defending champion Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-3 earlier Tuesday.Stephens, who said she had been dealing with a sinus infection, rued all of her wasted opportunities, most notably the seven break points she failed to convert in the first set. She sure didn’t attempt to hide her frustration, either, repeatedly gesturing toward or speaking in the direction of her coach, Kamau Murray, up in the stands.When someone urged her to raise her level in the second set, Stephens replied, “I’m trying!”“When you don’t play big points well, the match can get away from you,” Stephens said. “I think that’s what happened today. I didn’t convert.”Sevastova, who retired in 2013 because of injuries and returned nearly two years later, advanced to her first Slam semifinal.“Still long way to go, I think,” she said.Especially considering that the next step will come against Williams, who’s heading into her 36th semi at a major, 12th at Flushing Meadows.Williams already proved at Wimbledon that she is capable of the sort of dominant performances she has shown over the years, making all the way to the final at the All England Club before losing. She’ll hope to do one better now and claim a seventh U.S. Open title.Her sluggish start against Pliskova came in the same 90-degree heat and 50-percent humidity that hampered John Isner in his quarterfinal loss to Juan Martin del Potro on Tuesday afternoon, and Roger Federer in his fourth-round exit against John Millman a night earlier and prompted the tournament to suspend play in junior matches for a few hours. It also made things tough on No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 9 Dominic Thiem during their 4-hour, 49-minute tussle that ended just past 2 a.m. on Wednesday, with Nadal pulling out the 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) victory to return to the semifinals.With her older sister, Venus — the woman she beat in the third round — in her guest box, Williams looked tight. Her timing was off. She put a backhand into the net to get broken to 2-1 at the outset. Then, down 3-1, she faced three break points; if Pliskova won any, she would have led 4-1. But Pliskova did not manage to put any of Williams’ serves in play on those key points.“Too strong,” Pliskova said.Soon after that, Williams went from trailing 4-2 to not only taking the first set but also leading 4-0 in the second.By the end, Williams compiled a 13-3 edge in aces, and 35-12 in total winners.“She’s playing with the same power. She can still serve well. I don’t think there’s any change with her game,” Pliskova said. “She’s just going for her shots.” read more

Derek Jeter Is Not The Greatest Yankee Of All Time

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight Embed Code Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (May 16, 2017), FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner helps us make sense of one of the latest developments in the NBA playoffs: the ankle injury that forced Kawhi Leonard to miss Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Can the San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors without him? Next, Derek Jeter’s No. 2 jersey was retired by the New York Yankees on Sunday. We debate whether Jeter’s career was as great as the Yankees like to think it was. Finally, the prevailing wisdom is that playing at home during the playoffs matters — but is that true across all sports? We discuss. Plus, a significant digit on softball.Here are links to what we discussed:The Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia stepped on Leonard’s foot in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, injuring Leonard. Was Pachulia’s play dirty, accidental or both? The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman investigates.The Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg argues that the Spurs cannot beat the Warriors without Leonard.In 2014, Neil Paine found that Derek Jeter wasn’t clutch — he was just good.Last week, Neil discovered that a home playoff game can be a big advantage — but not in hockey.Earlier this year, FiveThirtyEight found that coaches’ yelling at refs actually works.Significant Digit: 1 — the ranking of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the top ranked college softball team in the nation, according to a new coaches poll released this week. Despite this, the NCAA tournament’s selection committee said the Gophers did not deserve one of the tourney’s top 16 seeds. read more

Albert Pujols Is The Worst Player In Baseball

Nap Lajoie1901, 1904, 1906451916 Frank Bolling1964231961 *Inverse rank is a player’s ranking from the bottom of the league (i.e., No. 1 represents the worst player in baseball by WAR)Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs Tris Speaker1912, 1914, 1916471907 Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels is the most feared hitter of his generation — one of the greatest ever to step into a batter’s box. He ranks eighth all-time in home runs, seventh in extra-base hits and 10th in total bases. At his peak, he won three MVP awards and was also the best position player in baseball — according to wins above replacement (WAR)1Taking the average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs.com’s versions of WAR. — three times (in 2006, 2008 and 2009). Pujols’s resume makes him a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.But this season, a new title can be assigned to Pujols: He’s the worst player in baseball.Pujols has flat-out stunk up Angel Stadium. He’s hitting .230 (79 points below his previous career average) with an on-base plus slugging 26 percent worse than league average. Even in an age of ineffective designated hitters, Pujols has easily been the worst hitter at the position that provides the least defensive value (i.e., zero value). As a result, no player has been less valuable than Pujols this year: His -1.99 WAR ranks dead last among all players (including pitchers).If he finishes the season in last place — which seems quite possible, as L.A. continues to pencil him into its starting lineup, day after day, despite his poor numbers — Pujols will become the first modern2Since MLB’s two-league era began in 1901. position player ever to be both baseball’s best and worst player at various points in his career. The worst finish by a former No. 1 player previously belonged to the delightfully named New York Yankees second baseman Snuffy Stirnweiss. Snuffy was baseball’s top position player in 1945, when many of the league’s best (such as Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Joe DiMaggio) were serving in the military. But he was also the league’s second-worst player in 1950, a miserable season that saw him hit .216 and get traded from the 98-win Yankees to the 58-win St. Louis Browns.Here are the worst finishes by WAR for position players who were also the best in baseball at some point in their career: From the penthouse to the outhouseWorst ranks (from the bottom of MLB) in wins above replacement for players who were best in the league for at least one season, 1901–2017 Bill McKechnie1913321914 WORST SEASON PLAYERNO. 1 SEASONSINV. RANK*YEAR Adam Dunn2011232004 Jim Rice1978341989 Pete Rose198341973 Fred Lynn1979501990 George Sisler1918311926 Mel Ott193871946 Albert Pujols2006, 2008, 200912017 Obviously, it isn’t good to take two wins away from a club’s ledger, relative to what it could’ve gotten from a minimum-salary scrub. That’s especially true for the Angels, who are a single game in back of the Minnesota Twins for the American League’s final wild-card berth and fighting for their postseason lives. But in a funny way, Pujols’ last-place ranking this year is also a kind of testament to how good he’s been over the course of his long, storied career.The bottom of the WAR leaderboard provides a good lesson in the difference between “ability” and “value”. Ability-wise, Pujols isn’t actually MLB’s worst baseball player — that distinction would probably go to a fringe player who was called up at midseason and rarely plays — but he has been its least valuable, in no small part because of the ample opportunities he’s received.3Pujols is third on the team in plate appearances. Simply being bad isn’t enough; in order to even get the chance to finish last in WAR, a player needs to have earned the confidence from management to let him play through a prolonged slump.That’s why, even though no former No. 1 player has sunk as low as Pujols this season, the list of league-worst players by WAR includes plenty of guys who were, at one point, extremely good at baseball. Most notably, the worst player in 1983 was the all-time hit king, Pete Rose, who — unlike Pujols — was eventually benched by the Phillies because of his poor play. PLAYERLAST-PLACE SEASONRANKYEAR(S) Rickey Henderson1985, 1989, 1990321979 Ted Simmons1984101978 Billy Urbanski1935321934 Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs Ernie Banks1959381971 Albert Pujols201712006, 2008, 2009 Bobby Byrne1908121910 Alex Rodriguez2000, 2005, 2007102016 Alexei Ramirez2016252010 Lou Gehrig1934, 1936501939 Al Rosen1953331949 Jimmie Foxx1932, 1933491944 Lee Magee1917231918 Willie Keeler1907151904 Milt Stock1924151919 Snuffy Stirnweiss194521950 Even the worst players used to be goodBest ranks (from the top of MLB) in wins above replacement for players who ranked last in WAR in a season, 1901–2017 George Scott1968131973 Derek Jeter1999422013 Marquis Grissom2005101994 Ken Griffey1996222010 In addition to Pujols, there are a few other names on this year’s worst-players list who peaked as stars not too long ago. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, the second-worst player this season, ranked as high as No. 15 in 2010. Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez fell from 10th-best in 2009 all the way to sixth-worst this season. And Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, who clocks in as baseball’s 26th-worst player by WAR this year, ranked third-best as recently as 2011. It takes a great reputation to be afforded such a bad season.Since signing a massive contract with the Angels before the 2012 season, Pujols has had a few solid renaissance seasons, and he was an above-average hitter as recently as last season. So it wasn’t unreasonable for the Angels to expect him to eventually snap out of his funk at some point this season. And he may well end up with 100 runs batted in despite the poor sabermetric numbers — though it would be one of the least valuable 100-RBI seasons ever. Either way, he’s just the most glaring example of a phenomenon that probably won’t go away anytime soon. As long as there are managers dreaming of a turnaround — and ones who lack any better options4Pujols’ contract, which will pay him another $28.5 million per year for the next four seasons, may also play a role. — once-great players like Pujols will always get the chance to play themselves to the bottom of the WAR charts. BEST SEASON Mickey Doolin1918251910 read more

Ohio States Marcus Baugh suspended

Redshirt-freshman tight end Marcus Baugh makes a catch during fall practice Aug. 6 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Baugh has been suspended twice in his Buckeye career by coach Urban Meyer.Credit: Tim Moody / Sports editorOhio State redshirt-freshman tight end Marcus Baugh has been suspended, coach Urban Meyer said Monday.Baugh, who has yet to appear in a game for OSU, was suspended two games for what Meyer called “stuff” during a Monday press conference.Baugh did not make the trip to Baltimore for OSU’s game against Navy Saturday and will not suit up for the Buckeyes’ game against Virginia Tech, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday.This marks the second time Baugh has been suspended by Meyer. He was arrested in July 2013 for underage possession/consumption of alcohol and displaying improper identification. He missed the 2013 season opener against Buffalo before eventually redshirting.Baugh was cited again in January for underage consumption, but participated in spring practice. read more

2017 Big Ten football preview Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska senior wide reciever De’Mornay Pierson El (15) evades an Arkansas State defender. Credit: Courtesy of Hannah DePriest | The Daily NebraskanLocation: Lincoln, Nebraska2016 record: 9-4 (6-3 Big Ten)Head coach: Mike Riley2017 record so far: 1-1Record vs. OSU since 2007: 1-4What has happened thus far in 2017There has been no shortage of scoring for Nebraska and coach Mike Riley in the first two weeks of their season. In Week 1, Nebraska fought off a second-half surge by Arkansas State to win 43-36 in the final seconds. The script was flipped in Week 2 when Nebraska traveled to Oregon and trailed the Ducks for most of the game, only to see its second-half comeback fall short, 42-35. Impact playerIt’s difficult to find a more dangerous player on Nebraska’s roster than senior wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El. Pierson-El has recorded six catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns so far this year. The former freshman All-American at punt returner ranks third among active players in the country in career punt-return yardage. After an electrifying freshman campaign in 2014, Pierson-El sustained a knee injury that appeared to slow his production in his next two seasons. The versatile weapon is poised to return to form at full health and replace the production lost by graduated receiver Jordan Westerkamp, while continuing to be a mainstay in the return game. StrengthsThe Huskers’ backfield houses two very different playmakers in junior quarterback Tanner Lee and sophomore running back Tre Bryant. Lee has stepped in to replace longtime quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. and has shown flashes of why he was a highly touted transfer from Tulane. Lee has thrown for 490 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Bryant has 299 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries. WeaknessesNebraska’s defensive efforts have not exactly been encouraging this season for new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. Giving up 78 points in two games might be somewhat of an outlier due to playing two nonconference opponents with up-tempo offenses, but Nebraska has still allowed six touchdowns and 780 yards this season through the air. The secondary has been scrambling since senior cornerback Chris Jones tore his meniscus in July. Jones was honorable mention All-Big Ten last season. read more

Funny faces of drowsy pets captured during and after surgery

first_imgA Jack Russell is prepared for a surgical procedureCredit:Getty  A pet is prepared for a surgical procedureCredit:Getty  kitten  Last month, a photo capturing the tender moment a dying cat ‘held its owner’s hand’ on a final trip to vet when viral. There is also a new dedicated dental suite to care for the 80 per cent of animals who arrive at the home with problem teeth. terrier  Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea, said: “For 156 years Battersea has been on the front line of animal care, caring for the many thousands of abandoned and neglected dogs and cats who come through our gates who so desperately need our help. Veterinary staff prepare to sedate an Akita dogCredit:Getty  Brand new intensive care areas and sound-proofed recovery wards with separate space for dogs and cats will allow for a ‘peaceful and calm recovery’. A kitten is prepared for surgeryCredit:Getty  Veterinary staff fit a breathing tube to an Akita dog A dog is prepared for surgery Credit:Getty  dog A Jack Russell is prepared for a surgical procedure The Duchess of Cornwall, who has two Battersea dogs, was there to officially open the charity’s new hospital last month. A Staffordshire Bull Terrier undergoes surgery The terrier after surgery Credit:Getty  Senior Theatre Nurse Rebecca Smith carries out a procedure on a cat  Veterinary staff prepare to sedate an Akita dog Veterinary staff fit a breathing tube to an Akita dogCredit:Getty  The new Veterinary Hospital, which opened on September 7, has three operating theatres, enabling staff to perform over 100 operations per week. “Our new Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence will help us realise our ambition to help more dogs and cats and not just those within our centres, as this world-leading facility will enable us to welcome and train staff from rescue and rehoming organisations all over the world. Senior Theatre Nurse Rebecca Smith carries out a procedure on a cat Credit:Getty  A kitten is prepared for surgery “The new Veterinary Hospital is a place of transformation and hope where even the most neglected and abused dogs and cats can be put back on four paws by our dedicated staff before they are found a new loving home. We look forward to an exciting future working to transform the wellbeing of dogs and cats across the UK and beyond.” These pet photos capture what cats and dogs go through before, during and after surgery at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. A Jack Russell is prepared for a surgical procedure Shaun Opperman, Battersea’s Veterinary Director for the last 24 years, added: “Our new facilities will speed up treatment and recovery to give each and every rescue dog and cat a chance of a new life as quickly as possible.” A kitten at the animal hospital Credit:Getty  A Staffordshire Bull Terrier undergoes surgeryCredit:Getty  Meanwhile, here’s the touching moment girl says final goodbye to her dying pet dog.  From a Staffordshire Bull Terrier recovering from an operation to a tiny kitten being prepared for surgery, the images show an average day at the new Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence 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

Hospitals and care homes serving out of date food with some premises

first_imgParkview Residential Care Home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, was found to have an “infestation of Oriental cockroaches” during an August inspectionFindings from Food Standards Agency They include Parkview Residential Care Home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, which was found to have an “infestation of Oriental cockroaches” during an August inspection. Ivy House Care home in Littleover, Derby, received the same score rating after inspectors found a rat’s nest and droppings in the kitchen.Managers of the home were warned that staff and residents with dementia could have been exposed to Weil’s disease, the most severe form of the bacterial disease leptospirosis, which can lead to organ failure, bleeding and can be fatal.A spokeswoman for Ivy House in Derby said the negative food hygiene report related to an outbuilding where food was not prepared. Bexley Council said managers of Parkview Residential Care Home in Bexleyheath acted swiftly on its problems, which were later resolved. Four children’s nurseries – Little Care Bearz Nursery, in Birmingham, Glory Day Nursery, Barking, Stay and Play at Millbrook Primary School, Newport received the worst rating. So did Fairy Tales Day Nursery, in Glen Parva, Leicestershire, which has since been closed and taken over by another firm following a mouse infestation.Some 187 health and care organisations received a score of one out of five, meaning that major improvement was needed, the investigation by the Press Association found.Of those three – West Heath Hospital Birmingham, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital and the private Priory Hospital in Altrincham, Cheshire – were hospital premises. The Food Standards Agency found nine hospitals with poor hygiene ratings for all or part of their promises pensioner Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A further 205 health and care organisations, including six hospitals and around 100 care homes were given a score of two.At West Heath Hospital in Birmingham, inspectors found out-of-date food, meat being frozen against instructions, and dirt in the kitchens.  Several hospitals were found to be serving food past its use-by date, or making up their own use-by systems, creating a “high risk” of food poisoning, inspectors warned.A FSA spokesperson said: “An overwhelming majority, almost 99 per cent, of hospitals and other care providers achieve a food hygiene rating of ‘3 – generally satisfactory’ or better. The food safety officer from the local authority will be taking the necessary action to ensure that the issues identified at caring premises with a lower rating are addressed and that vulnerable people are not put at risk.” center_img Funding cuts mean hospitals and care homes are already stretched Credit:Telegraph NHS sign Nine hospitals currently have poor food hygiene ratings for all or part of their premises. They are:West Heath Hospital, Birmingham – ranked oneThe Priory Hospital, Cheshire – ranked oneLuton and Dunstable Hospital – ranked oneGlenfield Hospital, Leicester – ranked two in inspections of its L’Eat restaurant, patient service kitchens, Bennion centre for the elderly and Bradgate mental health unitRoyal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham – ranked twoWoodbourne Priory Hospital, Birmingham – ranked twoBronllys Hospital, Powys – ranked twoPinehill private hospital, Hertfordshire – ranked twoPriory Group, Suffolk – ranked two Hospitals and care homes are serving out-of-date food, in premises infested with cockroaches and rats, an investigation has found.Meals are being prepared in mouldy kitchens, putting vulnerable patients at “high risk” of food poisoning, while others have unclean worktops, food trolleys and sinks.Some 400 hospitals, hospices, care homes, nurseries and school clubs are currently listed as needing “major”, “urgent” or “necessary” improvement.One care home was found to be infested with cockroaches and another ridden with rats while hospitals were found to be serving up out-of date food from kitchens full of flies.Katherine Murphy, head of the Patients Association, said findings were “shameful” and “immensely worrying,” and showed the health of the most vulnerable being put at risk.The investigation analysed food hygiene reports from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) – which rates organisations and businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from zero to five.Overall, eight health and care premises were found to have a zero rating, denoting that  urgent improvement was required.last_img read more

Body of British student missing for 11 years found at bottom of

first_imgThe well where the remains of a body have been discovered in Malia, Crete Police forensics officers by the outhouse where the well is locatedCredit: Kostas Metaxakis/Athena Pictures Police forensics officers by the outhouse where the well is located Human remains found in a well in Crete belong to a British student who went missing more than 11 years ago, police have confirmed.Steve Cook, 20, disappeared while holidaying in Malia with school friends in the Greek resort in September 2005.The Liverpool FC fan, originally from Sandbach, Cheshire, was last seen in a bar asking for directions to his hotel but he walked off in the wrong direction. “The remains were removed from the site and taken to a nearby hospital for further forensic examination. Tests have been carried out and we have now received confirmation from the Greek authorities that the remains belong to Steven Cook, who went missing on 1st September 2005 during a holiday to the island.”Steven’s family have been kept fully updated on the developments and are currently being supported by Cheshire officers. They have been provided with support since Steven first went missing and this will continue over the coming weeks. 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 well where the remains of a body have been discovered in Malia, CreteCredit:Kostas Metaxakis/Athena Picturescenter_img Steven Cook: Human remains found in a well in Crete are those of the British holidaymaker who went missing more than a decade ago, police have confirmedCredit:PA Steven Cook in his Liverpool FC kit “This is understandably an extremely upsetting and distressing time for the Cook family. Steven’s relatives are very appreciative of all the support the media and the public have given them over the years in their quest to find him but they have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time as they are trying to come to terms with the news.”DI McIntyre added that his priority was to ensure Steven’s remains were flown home to the UK as soon as possible and officers involved in the case will continue to liaise with the Greek authorities, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Steven’s family moving forward. His family had hoped he might still be alive but on Friday Cheshire Constabulary said they it received confirmation from Greek authorities that his remains had been found.Detective Inspector Gary McIntyre said: “On Thursday 16th February Cheshire Constabulary was made aware of the discovery of human remains in a well in Malia, Crete.”Since then, officers have been in close liaison with the Greek authorities and have been awaiting further information. Speaking in March 2015, Steve’s sister-in-law Liz spoke about the family’s hopes that he might still be alive after they’d offered 7,000 euros reward for anyone who finds him.”We don’t think he’s outside Greece because he left his passport in the room,” she said.”It’s unlikely he’s not in Greece but he might be on one of the islands.”It’s a complete mystery, people don’t just disappear.”last_img read more

Daughter of Stourbridge murder victims lays flowers at scene as she confirms

first_imgThe statement from Lydia read: “Our family are devastated at the loss of Tracey and Pierce. They were extremely loved by all of their family and friends.”Pierce was a fun-loving, friendly and happy boy, who loved computer games and made everyone smile.”Tracey was loving, caring and a wonderful mother and daughter. Always putting others before herself.”The family did not provide refuge for homeless people and Aaron Barley had never lived at the family home but had been assisted by the family in the past 12 months.”We would like to express our gratitude to the emergency services, and to thank hospital staff for their excellent care. “We would appreciate privacy and respect during this distressing time.”Mrs Wilkinson, 50, was pronounced dead at her home in Greyhound Lane, Stourbridge, after suffering stab injuries, while her son died after being taken to hospital. Flower tributes outside the Wilkinson's family home in Stourbridge, West Midlands Lydia Wilkinson was comforted by her boyfriend and his parents as she read dozens of message cards on floral tributes left by friends of her mother Tracey and brother Pierce. Flower tributes outside the Wilkinson’s family home in Stourbridge, West MidlandsCredit:PA A student whose mother and 13-year-old brother died after being stabbed at their family home has visited the scene to lay flowers in their memory. Mrs Wilkinson, 50, was pronounced dead at her home in Greyhound Lane, Stourbridge, after suffering stab injuries, while her son Pierce was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Her husband Peter, 47, remains in a critical but stable condition after being found with stab wounds in his back garden.They were found injured when emergency services attended their home at about 8am on Thursday. Shocked locals described the family as “Good Samaritans with hearts of gold”.  The 18-year-old, a student at Bristol University, crouched down as she looked at flowers laid on the pavement and against walls on both sides of a police tent which remains outside her home in Stourbridge, West Midlands.After her visit on Sunday morning, Lydia issued a statement paying tribute to Tracey and Pierce. Colin Elcock, a local Tory councillor, told how they had taken in a young man since Christmas and had proudly claimed he was making great progress.The ward councillor said: “They took in a homeless person who was a local and Peter found him a job at his company.”Tracey certainly looked after him with food and that kind of thing and Peter was very pleased to say they were helping him become a member of society again.”We’re hoping that Peter will of course pull through.”Another local claimed they had made the gesture after spotting a young man begging.He said: “They were a very charitable couple, they were Good Samaritans and Tracey had a heart of gold.”It doesn’t surprise me at all that they would open up their home to somebody in need and provide them with a roof over their head. It was just in their nature. They were just so kind.” They were found injured when emergency services attended their home at about 8am on Thursday.Barley, of no fixed address, is accused of the murders of Pierce and Mrs Wilkinson, and the attempted murder of her husband Peter.The 23-year-old was not asked to enter pleas when he appeared before magistrates in Birmingham on Saturday. He is due to appear at the city’s Crown Court on Monday. Lydia Wilkinson, the daughter of stabbing victims Peter and Tracey Wilkinson, views floral tributes at her family home in Stourbridge, West MidlandsCredit:PA Our family are devastated at the loss of Tracey and Pierce. They were extremely loved by all of their family and friendsLydia Wilkinson Aaron Barley, 23, is due before Birmingham magistrates court tomorrow charged with the murders of Tracey Wilkinson, 50, and her 13-year-old son Piercecenter_img Lydia Wilkinson, the daughter of stabbing victims Peter and Tracey Wilkinson, views floral tributes at her family home in Stourbridge, West Midlands It confirmed that the man accused of their murders, Aaron Barley, had been helped by the family in the past year.Barley, 23, had also been supported by a local church after falling on hard times.He was assisted into Birmingham Magistrates Court by three police officers in head gear and wore a sling around his right arm. Lydia Wilkinson, the daughter of stabbing victims Peter and Tracey Wilkinson, views floral tributes at her family home in Stourbridge, West MidlandsCredit:PA Piers Wilkinson (left) was found along with his mother Tracey in their house on Greyhound Lane, Stourbridge, this morning. His father, 47-year-old Peter (right), is still in hospitalCredit:Caters News Lydia Wilkinson, the daughter of stabbing victims Peter and Tracey Wilkinson, views floral tributes at her family home in Stourbridge, West Midlands Aaron Barley, 23, appeared before Birmingham magistrates court charged with the murders of Tracey Wilkinson, 50, and her 13-year-old son PierceCredit:BPM Media  Shocked locals described the family as good Samaritans  who had opened their home to a homeless person around Christmas.  Lydia Wilkinson, the daughter of stabbing victims Peter and Tracey Wilkinson, views floral tributes at her family home in Stourbridge, West Midlands Lydia Wilkinson, the daughter of stabbing victims Peter and Tracey Wilkinson, views floral tributes at her family home in Stourbridge, West MidlandsCredit:PA Piers Wilkinson was found along with his mother Tracey in their house on Greyhound Lane, Stourbridge, this morning. His father, 47-year-old Peter, is still in hospital 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

Roman coins show evidence of Hannibals defeat scientists say

first_imgThe Second Punic War, when Hannibal famously marched his elephants across the Alps from Carthage in a failed attack on Rome, is regarded as one of the pivotal events in the history of Europe.The war led to the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, with the Romans gradually gaining control over the lucrative Spanish silver mines from around 211BC.Revenues from the rich Spanish silver mines coupled with booty and extensive war reparations from Carthage, helped fund the expansion of its territory. A denarius coin, minted by Rome between 108 and 107 BCE For those living under the Carthaginian Empire, the defeat of general Hannibal would have been unmistakable.But its effect on the Roman Empire can be detected even today, historians have said, as they analyse the composition of ancient coins.A study of coins has illustrated that the defeat of Hannibal led to a flood of wealth across the Roman Empire from the silver mines of Spain, giving a “tangible record” of the transition of Rome from a regional power to an Empire. Hannibal's passing over the Alps A denarius coin, minted by Rome between 108 and 107 BCECredit:Goethe University / SWNS.comcenter_img Hannibal’s passing over the AlpsCredit: Now the application of geochemical analysis techniques has provided proof of the importance of the Spanish silver to the Roman conquest.Scientists based in Germany and Denmark analysed 70 Roman coins dating from 310-300BC to 101 BC, a period which bracketed the Second Punic War.Using Mass Spectrometry, they were able to show that lead in the coins made after 209BC has distinctive isotopic signatures which identified most of the later coins as presumably originating from Spanish sources.The changing origin of the coin bullion is mirrored by differing ratios of the lead isotopes 208Pb, 207Pb, 206Pb and 204Pb, which serve as ‘geological clocks’ recording the formation age of the ores used to extract the silver.After 209BC, the lead isotope signatures mostly correspond to those of deposits in southeast and southwest Spain or to mixtures of metal extracted from these districts.Study co-leader Dr Katrin Westner, of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Gemrany, said: “Before the war we find that the Roman coins are made of silver from the same sources as the coinage issued by Greek cities in Italy and Sicily.”In other words the lead isotope signatures of the coins correspond to those of silver ores and metallurgical products from the Aegean region.”But the defeat of Carthage led to huge reparation payments to Rome, as well as Rome gaining high amounts of booty and ownership of the rich Spanish silver mines.”From 209BC we see that the majority of Roman coins show geochemical signatures typical for Iberian silver.”This massive influx of Iberian silver significantly changed Rome’s economy, allowing it to become the superpower of its day.”We know this from the histories of Livy and Polybius and others, but our work gives contemporary scientific proof of the rise of Rome.”What our work shows is that the defeat of Hannibal and the rise of Rome is written in the coins of the Roman Empire.”Professor Kevin Butcher, of the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick University, said: “This research demonstrates how scientific analysis of ancient coins can make a significant contribution to historical research.”It allows what was previously speculation about the importance of Spanish silver for the coinage of Rome to be placed on a firm foundation.”The findings were presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Paris. 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

Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they cant chew healthy

first_imgPeople missing teeth were also found to be more nutritionally deficient Credit: Martin Rickett Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they cause wearers to avoid healthy foods which are difficult to chew, a major study has shown.Researchers at King’s College London found the same was true for people with teeth loss, who also struggle to chew food properly.In both cases, tooth loss and wearing dentures was associated with joint and muscle frailty which can leave people at risk of bone breakages and falls.The scientists said that people with dentures, or fewer teeth find it difficult to eat foods such as fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts and meat, which are essential for good nutrition.Although dentures improves chewing function, the bite force is much weaker than that of natural teeth, meaning users often avoid certain foods. People with dentures may avoid vegetables which a rich in calcium, like kale Denturewearers and those with fewer teeth were 32 per cent more likely to be frail and 20 per cent more likely to be nutritionally deficient.The researchers say the study demonstrates how important oral health is in preventing tooth loss which can cause nutritional deficiencies in later life.Nutrients are crucial to maintain muscle mass and stave off musculoskeletal frailty.“Few studies have examined the relationship between oral health, the number of teeth and general frailty,” added Dr Sabbah.“One of the important findings of the study is the significant relationship between the condition of teeth and deficiency in intake of essential nutrients, regardless of the use of dentures.  “To date, the majority of efforts to improve frailty have focused on nutrition strategies, including health education, while the influence of teeth on dietary restraint of the elderly has been neglected.“The findings of this analysis, along with that reported in earlier research, suggest that the use of denture could be a neglected intervention that could potentially have a preventative impact on musculoskeletal frailty.“The results also highlight the importance of developing oral health policies to ensure older adults maintain functional dentition throughout their life.”The research was published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International. People missing teeth were also found to be more nutritionally deficient center_img People with dentures may avoid vegetables which a rich in calcium, like kaleCredit:Elena Veselova / Alamy Stock Photo  “Persons with inadequate dentition  are less likely to eat hard food that is difficult to chew, for example, some of the fresh fruits and vegetables, apples, pears, carrots, nuts etc,” said Dr Wael Sabbah, from King’s College London Dental Institute.“They could also have difficulties in eating some cooked food such as meat, depending on the way it is cooked.”Around 11 million people wear dentures in Britain. Although just six per cent of people now have no teeth compared to 37 per cent in 1978, 74 per cent have needed at least one tooth extracting.The study examined the health of more than 1,800 people who had an average age of 62, and were categorised into three groups; having at least 20 teeth, denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth, and people and non-denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth.Researchers tested all groups for strength, frailty, BMI and oral health and interviewed about their nutritional intake.The  group that had less than 20 teeth and did not use dentures, and those who used dentures, were found to have consumed the least amount of nutrients, compared to recommended daily amounts. They were also found to be more frail. 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

Russian Twitter bots attempted to influence election by supporting Jeremy Corbyn investigation

Russia attempted to influence the results of the general election by promoting the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn,  it has been claimed. 6,500 Russian Twitter accounts, many of which are run by internet robots known as “bots”, supported Labour in the run up to last year’s election, an investigation by The Sunday Times has found.The social media accounts, most of which were created in the weeks before polling day, denigrated the Conservatives and promoted Labour during key points of the campaign, according to reports. The Twitter accounts helped Corbyn turn the Manchester Arena bombing into a campaigning point by amplifying tweets criticising May for cutting police numbers as Home Secretary, it was claimed. Matt Hancock, the digital and culture secretary, said the revelations are “extremely concerning” and urged Twitter to act to prevent it from happening again.  Most of the social media accounts were created in the weeks before polling day, it was reported 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. Most of the social media accounts were created in the weeks before polling day, it was reported “Labour’s proposed crackdown on tax dodging, failed privatisation and corrupt oligarchs is opposed by both May and Putin’s conservative philosophy and their super-rich supporters. “The Labour Party’s people-powered election campaign attracted huge levels of public support online. We were not aware of any from automated bots, categorically did not pay for any and are not aware of any of our supporters doing so.” “It is absolutely unacceptable for any nation to attempt to interfere in the democratic elections of another country,” he told The Sunday Times.”The social media companies need to act to safeguard our democratic discourse and reveal what they know.”A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Russian Government made clear its support for the Conservative Party in the 2017 UK General Election, with the Russian Embassy in London promoting their ideological “convergence” and Theresa May’s “strong and stable” slogan on Twitter. read more

Prince Charles almost lost his Hong Kong handover speech after cleaner threw

The Prince of Wales’s speech was nearly lost just minutes before the historic handover of Hong Kong, it has emerged.The rain-soaked last hurrah had already been beset with problems including the fact that the heir to the throne was completely drenched as he took to the grandstand alongside outgoing governor Chris Patten.Now a new book has revealed how the carefully prepared words he was about to deliver on behalf of the Queen were thrown in the bin by an over zealous cleaner in the run up to the midnight ceremony on June 30, 1997.Grandstands for thousands of spectators and VIPs had been erected around the parade ground at HMS Tamar, the main British base, which was to become headquarters 496 of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army as the clock struck 12.It was essential for British prestige and national pride that the symbolic moment should be conducted without a hitch.According to Robert Hardman, author of Queen of the World, the Prince’s equerry Lieutenant Commander John Lavery had placed the Prince’s speech on his own seat for safekeeping before introducing his boss to the VIPs.“As the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch ushered all the military detachments into the centre of the parade square, Lavery reached for the Prince’s speech. It was not there,” writes Hardman.A frantic search ensured as Lavery began contemplating the end of his career when he suddenly spotted a diligent cleaner emptying the contents of a dustpan into a bin off to one side.With moments to spare, he found the royal speech in the bin, extracted it and returned to the VIP grandstand, where he handed it to the Prince.The book adds: “The proceedings were not helped by a tropical downpour, which, in the absence of covered grandstands, drenched all those without an umbrella – including the Prince himself. Dressed in full Royal Navy uniform, he at least had the luxury of a peaked cap. The outgoing governor, Chris Patten, looked as if he had gone swimming fully clothed.”The heir to the throne’s misery was further compounded by the fact that the trip was his last on Royal Yacht Britannia before it was decommissioned.He later courted controversy when diaries he wrote during the tour were leaked describing the Chinese dignitaries as “appalling wax works”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

BBC celebrity chef forced to leave his own restaurant over claims he

Dan Doherty, on BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook with Mary Berry But a company insider told The Sunday Times that Mr Doherty left the restaurant voluntarily while the investigation took place and that his new role had nothing to do with limiting his contact with staff.Yesterday, Dave Ahern, the gourmet chef who founded the brand Gastro Punk, said while not condoning the alleged actions, Mr Doherty had been through a tough time, citing a divorce.Mr Doherty did not respond directly to requests from The Telegraph for comment, but a statement from Urban Inns, which runs the gastropub, said: “We take allegations of misconduct in any form very seriously and we used an independent HR company to thoroughly investigate some suggestions of inappropriate communications.”Urban Inns has acted, and continues to do so, on these recommendations, following which Dan returned to work.” A BBC celebrity chef was allegedly forced to leave his own restaurant temporarily over claims that he sexually harassed female staff.Dan Doherty, a judge on BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook with Mary Berry, left his gastropub The Royal Oak in Marylebone, central London, for a month in November after allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed a female staff member, asking her for oral sex.Mr Doherty was also alleged to have told workers that he wanted to see them “without their kitchen whites on”, according to The Sunday Times.Last night the BBC said it was in talks with Mr Doherty, 33, as a result of the allegations but refused to comment when The Telegraph asked if his role in the show would be under review.In a statement, Mr Doherty said: “I would never intentionally make offensive comments to anyone I work with, female or male. I have apologised to the whole team for any offence I may have inadvertently caused. It would never be my intention.” Dan Doherty was a judge on BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook with Mary BerryCredit:BBC screengrab 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. An external company investigated Mr Doherty, a former head chef at the London restaurant The Duck and Waffle. He later returned to work but as executive chef – meaning he would have less contact with staff but retained control of the menu. read more

They didnt boast They didnt fuss They served Theresa Mays moving tribute

They didn’t boast and they didn’t make a fuss. They just got on with their job of trying to win the war. On the anniversary of D-Day, Theresa May paid her tribute to the soldiers who had made ‘the ultimate sacrifice” three-quarters of a century ago.The prime minister voiced her gratitude to the veterans who had survived and those who hadn’t made it at a ceremony to inaugurate a new British Normandy Memorial that will be built overlooking Gold Beach.The new memorial at Ver-sur-Mer, when it is finished, will list the names of all 22,442 members of the British armed forces who died in the Normandy campaign; the names of the dead etched on stone pillars. On Thursday, Mrs May picked out five names, merely as examples of the everyday heroism and sacrifice shown by those killed. There was Robert and Charles Guy, 21-year-old twins who served in the RAF and died within two months of each other; Robert Casson, who was killed as he tried to reach shore at Juno Beach on D-Day and whose brother Joseph was killed,  just three weeks later; and then Den Brotheridge, said to be the first soldier killed at D-Day, leading the charge over Pegasus Bridge at just after midnight on June 6 1944. Speaking under the shadow of a new bronze statue depicting three British soldiers charging up the beach at D-Day, Mrs May said: “These young men belonged to a very special generation, the greatest generation. Den Brotheridge May and Macron face the new D-Day sculpture May and Macron face the new D-Day sculpture Mr Macron said it was time for Britain to have its own D-Day memorial in Normandy and said the monument would symbolise the ties binding France and the UK, adding: “Nothing will break them. Nothing can ever break ties that have been bound in bloodshed and shared values.”Mrs May and Mr Macron together laid wreaths at a foundation stone for the new memorial.  Seven British D-Day veterans accompanied by four children – one of them Sir Winston Churchill’s great-great-grandson John Churchill – also laid flowers in front of the sculpture depicting the soldiers storming the beach.The sculpture was created by David Williams-Ellis to mark the beginning of construction for the memorial, funded by the Normandy Memorial Trust, which is expected to be completed within a year. One of those veterans laying flowers was Ronald Clements, who had been a petty officer in the Royal Navy on board the 900-tonne frigate HMS Mountsea. Their job was to protect the convoys approaching the landing beaches on D-Day from a German onslaught. She went on: “Standing here, as the waves wash quietly onto the shore, it’s almost impossible to grasp the raw courage that it must have taken that day to leap out from landing craft and into the surf – despite the fury of battle.“No one could be certain what June 6 would bring. No one would know how this – the most ambitious – amphibious and airborne assault in all of human history, would turn out.“And, as the sun rose that morning, not one of the troops on the landing craft approaching these shores, not one of the pilots in the skies above, not one of the sailors at sea – knew whether they would still be alive when it set once again. After the speeches at Ver-sur-Mer, Mrs May travelled to Bayeux for the French service at the city’s cathedral. Afterwards, the former Royal Marine Robert Williams, 94, gave the Prime Minister a kiss on the cheek after she thanked him for his wartime efforts. Mr Williams, from Chelmsford, Essex, was an 18-year-old commando in a landing craft that reached Sword Beach on D-Day.“We landed ashore and then moved through the land,” he said. “I went all the way through to Germany and I didn’t get a scratch. The Lord was watching over me.” When asked about his meeting with Mrs May, he said: “She came over and said ‘pleased to meet you’.“She said ‘thank you for what you have done’. I kissed her – why not? It is not everyone that can do that. “I took her by the arms and gave her a kiss on the cheek. She said ‘ooh, thank you’.” The soldiers singled out by Theresa MayRobert and Charles Guy, from Glasgow, were devoted twins and both sergeants in 514 Squadron. Robert Guy was killed just two days after D-Day when his Lancaster bomber was shot down on the outskirts of Paris. His plane was attacking railway lines bringing German reinforcements up to the coast. Almost two months later, Charles’s Lancaster disappeared while bombing enemy positions near Caen.  Lieutenant Den Brotheridge was 28 when he was killed in combat at Pegasus Bridge, the first soldier to have died on D-Day. He was one of 181 men serving in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry who were dropped via parachute and glider near the bridge shortly after midnight on June 6 1944. His daughter Margaret Brotheridge, now aged 75, was less than a year old when her father died from a bullet wound to the neck. Robert and Joseph Casson, from Whitehaven, in Cumbria, died three weeks apart during the Battle of Normandy and lie next to each other in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Ryes in France. Robert, 25, was a Royal Marine Commando who was killed on D-Day as he tried to reach Juno Beach. Joseph, 18, a private in the Durham Light Infantry, died on June 27th. 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. “If one day can be said to have determined the fate of generations to come – in France, in Britain, in Europe and the world – that day was June 6, 1944.”She praised the 156,000 men – more than half from Britain and the Commonwealth – who landed on D-Day and the ‘extraordinary acts of bravery’ of the French resistance that wreaked havoc behind enemy lines.And then there were those killed. They had made, she said, “the ultimate sacrifice”, adding:  “They laid down their lives so that we might have a better life and build a better world.” The memorial – even though still not built – attracted on the anniversary of D-Day relatives of those who fought who had come to pay their respects.Melvyn Dunn, 77, laid a wreath in memory of his father Walter Dunn who fought in the Normandy campaign. Walter Dunn landed nine days after D-Day with the Kings Own Royal Regiment of Lancaster and fought through into Germany, leaving the Army in 1945, aged 44, 20 years before his death.Mr Dunn, from Ackworth, West Yorkshire, said his father never spoke about the war and never told him at what beach he had landed. The new memorial in the centre of the British landing area was, as a result, a “wonderful place to lay the wreath”. Den Brotheridge Robert Guy Mr Clements, 98, from Whitstable in Kent, conceded that the attempts to drop depth charges at U-boats had met with “little success”, including targeting one which had earlier sunk an Allied troop ship and was then destroyed by a Canadian vessel. Mr Clements said he was never scared despite the heavy shelling.Now he said he was delighted that the memorial was finally being built. “It should have been done long ago but it’s never too late,” said Mr Clements. “A generation whose unconquerable spirit shaped the post-war world. They didn’t boast. They didn’t fuss. They served.“And they laid down their lives so that we might have a better life and build a better world.”On one of her last official engagements as Conservative Party leader – she resigns on Friday – Mrs May said it was “incredibly moving… and truly humbling” to be addressing survivors of D-Day at the site of one of the “greatest battles for freedom”. Joseph Casson (left) and Robert Casson Robert Guy Joseph Casson (left) and Robert Casson read more

AMLCFT committee could have prevented interagency conflict – Nandlall

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAML Amendment Bill tabled in National AssemblyJuly 20, 2018In “latest news”Opposition concerns railroaded as AML/CFT Bill passedJuly 28, 2018In “latest news”SOCU remains an agency under GPF, says HarmonSeptember 15, 2016In “Crime” – GRA vs SOCUTo ensure cooperation between agencies, a task force committee on money laundering had been established in Guyana in 2013. Had its operations been preserved by the Government, the clash between the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), which resulted in the court ruling against the Unit, would not have even happened.This is according to former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, who pointed out, during an interview with this publication, that this committee once met to develop coherent policy directions.Former Attorney General Anil NandlallNandlall stated that the very multi-agency nature of anti-money laundering efforts necessitated regular meetings with those very agencies.The committee, which was also a recommendation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), had comprised the Ministers of Finance, Legal Affairs and (then) Home Affairs; the Director of Public Prosecutions; Commissioners of Police and GRA; and the heads of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and Central Bank.“We had a national task force that was established that was supposed to head the AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism] statutory apparatus. That task force presented a forum where the leaders of statutory agencies involved in the (AML) process got an opportunity to exchange information and discuss policies that would not put these organisations into conflict with one another.”Chief Justice (ag) Yonette Cummings-EdwardsHe stated that this was “because it was recognised that in the discharge of their respective mandate, (they) will invariably trespass upon the domain of the other. And these differences of approaches could have been ironed out. That organisation was scrapped by this Government and not replaced by any.“So, there is no forum and no opportunity given where these sector agencies, all of whose input is integral in Guyana’s fight against money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, to interact, share policies and inform each other of what they are doing,” he added.RULINGNandlall noted that without such a forum, conflicts were inevitable and were, therefore, testimony to the incompetence of the Government. He referenced Friday’s ruling against SOCU. SOCU had applied to the courts after a request for confidential tax information from the GRA was rebuffed by the Authority, leading up to Friday’s ruling in the High Court.More than a week ago, SOCU had reportedly asked the GRA for the information as part of an investigation. The tax authority did not comply, citing the tax laws which protect such information. This prompted SOCU to take the matter to court, as it disagreed with the tax authority.GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey StatiaThis is SOCU’s first known attempt to get such information. The GRA was represented by Commissioner General Godfrey Statia, and a legal team which included Joy Persaud, Hessaun Yassin, Maritha Halley, Jason Moore, and Fiona Hamilton.  SOCU’s head, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sydney James, were present. Chief Justice (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards ultimately upheld GRA’s decision to not comply, rejecting SOCU’s pleas.“In the absence of such a forum, you are bound to get conflicts arising with these agencies. And that is why you have the GRA resisting, and rightfully so, an application to the courts to compel the GRA to disclose the confidential information of taxpayers, which the GRA is duty-bound by the law to keep as confidential.”BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY Nandlall noted that if the GRA was called upon to disclose that kind of information, the GRA would expose itself to the perils of acting unlawfully and breaching its confidentiality duty to taxpayers. According to Section 4 (1) of the Income Tax Act, “Every person who has any official duty or is employed in the administration of this Act shall regard and deal with all documents, information, returns, assessment lists and copies of those lists relating to the income or items of income of any person, as secret and confidential and shall make and subscribe a declaration in the form prescribed to that effect before a magistrate.”SOCU’s head, Assistant Commissioner Sydney JamesSubsection two goes on to state if these employees have possession of any of this information and “attempts to communicate that information or anything contained in the documents, returns, lists or copies to any person”, they are guilty of an offence. The Act lists two exceptions. One would be if the President of Guyana authorised the employee to communicate the information and if the information was communicated outside the purpose of the Act.Meanwhile, Section 23 (1) of the Revenue Act, Chapter 79:04 states: “No person shall, without the consent in writing given by or on behalf of the Authority, publish or disclose to any person other than in the course of his duties, or when lawfully required to do so by any court or under any law, the contents of any document, communication or information whatsoever, which relates to and which has come to his knowledge in the course of his duties under this Act.” Subsection two ads that it is a criminal offence for someone to knowingly breach this law and it brings with it, upon conviction, a fine of $200,000 or less. It also carries a jail sentence of not more than five years.AML/CFT Task Force The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force in its eighth follow-up report noted the establishment of the local AML/CFT task force in 2013. The task force was expected to be chaired by the head of the presidential secretariat and meet every two months. Among its goals were setting the national AML/CFT strategy for Guyana and facilitating coordination among the competent authorities, financial and other sectors represented on the committee. It was also tasked with studying and following the international developments in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, and to monitor the implementation of a legal and institutional framework by the authorities in the AML/CFT fight.  The committee was also supposed to review the AML/CFT systems in Guyana. (Guyana Times) read more

South Africa bus crash kills 20 children

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related30 dead, mostly children, as India school bus plunges off cliffApril 9, 2018In “latest news”South Korea fire at public gym and sauna kills 29December 21, 2017In “latest news”Several injured in collision on the East Bank public roadDecember 3, 2016In “latest news” (AFP) At least 20 children were killed in a bus crash outside the South African capital Pretoria on Friday, emergency services said, as paramedics treated the injured at the scene.The minibus collided with a truck on a road between the towns of Bronkhorstspruit and Verena, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Pretoria.“It is confirmed 20 children have been killed,” Russel Meiring, spokesman for the ER24 emergency medical service, told AFP.“Paramedics arrived on the scene to find the fire services already in attendance. The fire services had already extinguished the burning vehicle, which was found lying on its side.”Many children were trapped inside the bus and most of the fatalities were declared dead at the site of the accident.Several other children were injured, with reports that some of them were dragged from the wreckage by people at the scene.“The children were treated for their injuries and provided with advanced life support interventions before they were transported to various hospitals in the area for further treatment,” ER24 said in a statement.The cause of the collision was not immediately known. read more

Fugitive suspect in Corentyne murder held in Queens NY

A man wanted for murder in Guyana was located 2,643 miles from the crime scene on Tuesday — in Queens, law enforcement sources said, according to the New York Daily News.Marcus Bisram was arrested Tuesday in Queens for a 2016 murder in Guyana. (FACEBOOK)Members of the NYPD/U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force apprehended suspect Marcus Bisram in the Rockaways at about 1 p.m, the NY Daily reported.“He was living here in plain view,” the source said.Bisram is accused of masterminding the killing of carpenter Faiyaz Narinedatt on Oct. 31, 2016. He allegedly got four co-conspirators to kill Narinedatt, who was beaten to death.After the killing, Bisram moved to the U.S. and lived in Arverne, where he created the Marcus Brian Bisram Foundation, which is focused on “making better, brighter futures.”Narinedatt’s body was found on 70 Village Rd. in Berbice the next day, officials said.Georgetown police arrested his attackers, who confessed that Bisram had ordered them to commit the killing.The suspects admitted that they had beaten Narinedatt to death, then put his body into a car, drove him to Village Road and then ran his lifeless body over with the car to make it appear that he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver.Bisram is expected to be presented in Brooklyn Federal court for arraignment Wednesday.Guyana, which re-issued a fugitive warrant for Bisram in March, will have to petition for his extradition, authorities said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBisram’s extradition hearing set for next Thursday in BrooklynJuly 6, 2017In “Crime”Wanted bulletin issued for ‘mastermind’ in murder of Berbice carpenterNovember 23, 2016In “Crime”Narinedatt’s murder: Former Magistrate, eyewitness in custody for alleged witness tamperingOctober 23, 2017In “Court” read more

EYEWITNESS Equal opportunity…

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEYEWITNESS: Legitimacy…July 5, 2018In “EYEWITNESS”LETTER: Establish the Local Government CommissionSeptember 5, 2017In “latest news”Letter: Such a character is defined as a hypocriteSeptember 6, 2017In “Letters” …at LG?Frustrated at its messiness and sloth, Winston Churchill once remarked, “Democracy is the worse form of government – save for all the others!” There’s a lot of truth in his witty remark. So, until we can invent a better way of governing our societies, we just have to do our best to make sure we grease the wheels of democracy.The essence of democracy, of course, is ‘rule by the people’. And towards this end, we’re exhorted to involve ‘the people’ as much as we can in making decisions that affect them. The premise, of course, being they know – best of all – where the shoe pinches. So democratic governments try to bring their operations as close to the grassroots as they can – without using a grass mower! Their preferred instrument is “local government”.Here in good, old mudland, there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Government when they were in the Opposition that there were no Local Government Elections for over two decades under the PPP. New legislation was crafted and passed to make the system supposedly more responsive to “the people’ – and finally, the blessed event happened! Local Government Elections were held in 2016.But a funny thing has happened since then – nothing! Ask anyone in the country – whether in NDCs or Towns – as to what’s it like under the new LG regime and they’ll tell you “It’s the same ole, same ole!!”  And that’s due to any number of factors but the main one is – as usual – political! The problem is – for the Government – since they allowed political parties to contest the LGE the PPP won most of the NDC’s while the PNC won the big municipalities, including Goergetown, Bartica and New Amsterdam.So while the Government’s been doling out the big bucks to their municipalities under all kinds of subterfuges like “greening” and “independence bonanzas” – the NDC’s have been starving. They were just given a subvention of $2 million each – far less than the $3 million the PPP had disbursed. The Government hasn’t even shared out the slick brochures they printed to explain all the new powers that have been placed in the hands of the locals. Is it because they figure “knowledge is power”??For instance, the LG organs can now raise money on their own initiative and get into services like garbage collections – for which they can collect payment. But who’s to provide training and organisational advise. The Opposition? No funds!Maybe they can lift themselves up by their own bootstraps?But how to do that when they don’t even have boots?!!…stereotyping?So, after receiving sustained flak from some quarters for rushing to Buxton to hunt for the four hardcore prison escapees – and so stereotyping those poor souls in our historic village – the Joint Services switched their operations to Port Morant over in Berbice. Yup!! You read that right!! The birthplace of the father of the nation – nations can have more than one father, ok?! – Cheddi Jagan!! In fact, the cream of our Army and Police actually scoured Babu Jaan – where Jagan was cremated.Your Eyewitness is still trying to figure out the logic of this move. And the only explanation that makes sense is they want to show they’re not picking on any one group! After all, surely the Forces couldn’t have concluded the bandits thought they’d blend in in Port Morant, could they?? Maybe Rose Hall Town…but CERTAINLY not Port Morant!So, with equal opportunity and all that, will our defenders of the realm next conduct a search of Paramakotoi, or Konshen?Can’t tee off our Indigenous brothers and sisters!!…in STEMA hat tip from your Eyewitness to our doughty STEM Robotics team, which took on 160 other countries – including every developed country in the world – and emerged in 10th place.We really need something to cheer about! read more

BVI under curfew as Hurricane Maria approaches

BVI under curfew as Hurricane #Maria approachesLONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The British Virgin Islands was under curfew Tuesday as the Caribbean archipelago, still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma earlier this month, braced for another megastorm.“While Hurricane Maria may not be as strong as Hurricane Irma, our present reality is also very different,” Orlando Smith, the premier of the self-governing British territory, warned in a statement.“Effects such as potential flooding and high winds that can turn debris into dangerous projectiles can have a greater and more treacherous impact for us.“Many residents are still displaced, homes are not fully secured and our natural protections have had severe damage due to the passage of Hurricane Irma.“Our islands are extremely vulnerable right now.”Maria hit Dominica on Tuesday as a Category Five hurricane, the highest on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale. It was later downgraded to an “extremely dangerous” Category Four, although the US National Hurricane Center warned it could strengthen again.With officials predicting it would hit the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday or Wednesday, authorities there imposed a curfew from 6:00pm on Monday and urged residents to stay indoors until it passed.More than 100 high-risk prisoners escaped on the islands after a prison breach during Hurricane Irma, prompting London to send Royal Marines and police officers to help restore law and order.The prisoners have since all been recaptured.More than 1,300 British troops have been deployed to the region since Irma, and London has also sent food, shelter kits and buckets for clean water.Another 42 military personnel have been stationed on the British Virgin Islands ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Maria.The Foreign Office has warned against any travel to the archipelago.A military reconnaissance team is also on standby to go to neighbouring Montserrat and assess any potential needs if the storm hits there later Tuesday.In addition to government aid, the British Virgin Islands has received help from a group of sailors from Puerto Rico, who have long been visiting the territory on holiday and wanted to help.The sailors are among a group of thousands who regularly visit the BVI, dubbed the Puerto Rican Navy.They have dropped off eight containers of food, water and building supplies, according to a BVI government statement.“Many people, children, humble people, business people, all came with what they could bring to make sure that people in the BVI were taken care of,” organiser Alicia Carazo said in the statement.Irma, also a Category 5 hurricane, left around 40 people dead in the Caribbean before churning west and pounding Florida, where the death toll stood at 50 Monday. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHurricane Maria to become major storm near Caribbean islandsSeptember 18, 2017In “Regional”Hurricane Maria pummels Puerto RicoSeptember 20, 2017In “World”Hurricane Maria ‘devastates’ Dominica: PMSeptember 19, 2017In “Regional” read more