It has been reported that Aaron Hernandez abused angel dust and started carrying guns because he was paranoid. The former New England Patriots player traveled with his gun everywhere before being accused of murder, according to a new story in Rolling Stone.“The Gangster in the Huddle,” published online Wednesday, and soon to be in stores, delves into Hernandez’s life as he went from a high school football star to sitting in jail awaiting trial for murder.Highlights of the story include Hernandez’s regular use of drugs, associations with gangsters, and his alienation from his teammates and family. According to a friend of Hernandez’s family, he sometimes smoked “three or four blunts” during the drive home from games. He carried a rifle with him in a gym bag because he worried gangsters might be trying to kill him.The Rolling Stone story says that Hernandez flew to the NFL Combine in February and told Patriots coach Bill Belichick that his life was in danger.Hernandez had reportedly frustrated Belichick over the years by violated team policy and behaving like a thug during team engagements. After the former tight end was involved in an alleged domestic incident in March, Belichick reportedly threatened to release the player after the 2013 season if he had any more incidents.Hernandez is currently in a Massachusetts county jail accused of the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. He recently pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and five gun charges.
Stephen CurryHis father, Dell Curry, was a 1986 first-round draft choice out of Virginia Tech who was as smooth a shooter as the league had at the time. A shooting guard, he was not much of a defensive player, but he lasted 16 seasons in the NBA because he was deadly from the perimeter. Teams always need scoring. He made 1,245 three-pointers in his career, during which he averaged 11.7 points. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has simply blown up. He has Dell Curry’s quick release, but he’s arguably a better shooter than his dad, and definitely a better all-around scorer and player, fashioning hoops via mid-range jump shots and daring forays to the basket while still among the league leaders in assists. After a month of the NBA season, Curry is the top MVP candidate, averaging 23.7 points and 7.2 assists on the team with the league’s best record.
Percentage returning Stanford brings back a lot of talent this seasonPercentage of 2018 contributions produced by players returning in 2019 for top NCAA women’s volleyball programs 2018 RankTeamKillsAssistsDigsBlocksAces Stanford women’s volleyball faced a tough challenge just a week into the season, making a trip across the country last Wednesday to take on the then-No. 7 Florida Gators.But the match was hardly a struggle. The Cardinal — led by the trio of seniors Kathryn Plummer (21 kills), Jenna Gray (37 assists) and Morgan Hentz (15 digs) — dispatched Florida in straight sets, 25-22, 25-17, 25-19. Four days later, the team added a win over No. 3 Texas to improve to 4-0. As a result, Stanford was the unanimous top team in Monday’s coaches poll.The Cardinal finished 2018 with a 34-1 record, avenging its early-season loss to BYU in the national semifinals before beating Nebraska in the final. After rolling through the NCAA last season, the Cardinal return more of last year’s squad than almost any other top-ranked team.1The top 11 teams in last year’s end-of-season poll all started the 2019 season back in the top 11. But the road won’t be easy for the talented favorites, who will have to beat stalwarts from the Midwest and upstarts from the South.Stanford was the only school with three 2018 First-Team All-Americans, all of whom were juniors. The team’s biggest loss was middle blocker Tami Alade, a Second-Team All-American and the only senior who consistently played last season. Gray, the two-time defending Pac-12 Setter of the Year, was the only non-senior setter to earn First-Team All-American honors last year. Hentz, Mayor of Hentz-Ville, is the two-time defending Pac-12 Libero of the Year and last year’s Final Four Co-MVP.And then there’s Plummer, the two-time defending National Player of the Year, a dominant force on the outside who’s already racked up more awards than can comfortably fit on her bio page. Plummer, Hentz and Gray might be the NCAA’s top players at their respective positions. The trio has won a pair of titles together and may be in line for a third. 11Florida84.545.083.277.280.0 The toughest competition, as is often the case in volleyball, comes in the Big Ten, which claimed five of the top eight spots in the preseason coaches poll.The Wisconsin Badgers may present the biggest challenger to Stanford as the only top-11 team returning a higher percentage of contributions. The preseason coaches poll put Wisconsin fifth, behind Nebraska and Minnesota, but Big Ten coaches named UW the conference favorite. The Badgers looked the part early but suffered a pair of close losses to ranked teams over the weekend and will need to bounce back.Wisconsin is led by a junior class featuring Sydney Hilley, Dana Rettke and a redshirted Molly Haggerty. The 6-foot-8 Rettke, a nearly unstoppable blocker, spent the summer competing with the U.S. national team. Haggerty was the 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, but a back injury cost her all of 2017, and she struggled to return to form last year. Hilley, a Second-Team All-American, ranked fourth in the country in assists per set last year and is one of just three setters named to an All-American team who returns this season.And Illinois retained All-American outside hitter Jacqueline Quade from its Final Four team but lost setter Jordyn Poulter to graduation (she now plays on the national team). The Illini will likely replace her with Mica Allison — a transfer from Auburn, a former top recruit and one of the nation’s best underclassman setters. Illinois has also struggled early, losing a pair of matches this weekend, though Allison has barely played because of an injury.And perennial contenders Nebraska and Penn State enter the season with strong young teams. Nebraska, national champions in 2015 and 2017 and last year’s runners-up, can never be counted out, especially if setter Nicklin Hames makes a substantial leap her sophomore year. The Huskers are off to a 4-0 start with no seniors on the roster. Penn State has won at least 22 matches in each of the 41 seasons played under head coach Russ Rose. The Nittany Lions, with 15 underclassmen on their roster, have jumped out to a 5-0 record but face their first big test when Stanford comes to town on Friday.Minnesota made the biggest jump among last year’s top-10 teams, coming in third in the preseason rankings despite being upset by Oregon in last year’s regional semifinals. That loss marked the Gophers’ fourth-straight tournament upset; they were the No. 2 seed three of the last four years but haven’t reached the championship match since 2004. Replacing All-American setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson is the biggest challenge for the Gophers this year, who have struggled early this season.Outside the Big Ten, a pair of Big 12 Teams are off to hot starts. No. 3 Texas swept Minnesota and took Stanford to five sets. And Baylor, a program that hasn’t reached even the Sweet 16 in 10 years, shot up to No. 5 after winning at Wisconsin and at Marquette to reach 5-0.The under-the-radar contender could be Kentucky. The SEC favorite is one of the best teams in terms of returning contributors. Junior setter Madison Lilley will try to make a case for player of the year, and there’s plenty of All-American talent around the roster.2Lilley and Leah Edmond were Second-Team All-Americans, while Gabby Curry was an honorable mention But the Wildcats struggled out of the gates, suffering an early-season straight-sets upset at the hands of then-unranked Utah.Stanford’s early-season challenges are far from over: The Cardinal face three top Big Ten teams in the next week, culminating next Wednesday with a rematch of the national championship game against Nebraska. And there will be challenges throughout the year from other top teams, especially come December. But if last year is any indication, the Cardinal will be ready. The programs that finished last season ranked in the top 11 last year were all ranked in the top 11 in the 2019 preseason poll.Sources: School websites, ACVA rankings 1Stanford85.1%99.9%98.4%68.7%98.8% 3Illinois76.613.579.949.870.4 9Oregon18.104.22.1687.740.2 8Wisconsin86.199.798.982.099.3 5Texas54.398.790.832.486.2 4BYU55.210.741.764.943.3 7Minnesota92.111.768.485.447.9 2Nebraska69.489.057.083.954.0 10Kentucky82.098.387.471.272.8 6Penn State57.615.666.566.669.0
Manchester United fired manager David Moyes with four matches left in the English Premier League season, the club announced on Tuesday. His removal — after only 10 months on the job — left Moyes more than 25 seasons shy of the tenure of his predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson. Going by results, that’s understandable: Ferguson’s United sides won England’s top league 13 times, while United under Moyes was languishing at seventh in the league, eliminated from the lucrative, Europe-wide Champions League for the coming season.Although Ferguson selected him as his successor, Moyes was always going to have big shoes to fill. Yet less noticed was that Ferguson had been, in his final season, lucky as well as good. By several crucial stats, United wasn’t as good last year as it seemed in winning the league by 11 points. The team has been worse by all these measures under Moyes. But the club has also been far less lucky.Soccer analysts, inspired by ice hockey’s Corsi stat, have begun to examine teams’ ability to create and prevent shots. Teams’ share of all shots taken, and their share of all shots on target, are far more predictive of future success than teams’ percentage of shots converted or of opponents’ shots saved, as soccer analyst James Grayson has shown.Last season, United was far from leading the Premier League in creating the lion’s share of shots, or shots on target. United ranked eighth of 20 teams in proportion of shots, and seventh in proportion of shots on target, according to Grayson; and seventh and fourth, respectively, according to Benjamin Pugsley, who uses a slightly different set of underlying numbers. (Soccer doesn’t yet have completely standardized stats — or, as, Pugsley puts it, “Football and numbers is really new.”)How, then, did Manchester United nonetheless lead the league in goal differential? By leading the league in shooting percentage and placing fourth in save percentage. Grayson calls the sum of those two percentages, multiplied by 1,000, PDO (after its hockey name), and he’s shown that it has essentially no value in predicting future results. United led the Premier League in PDO by a big margin last year. It did the same the year before, which at the time prompted Grayson to forecast a United decline — a year too early, as it turned out.So United’s path to the league title last year was a lucky one; its performance didn’t predict continued success this season. Sure enough, United’s PDO has declined from league-leading to seventh best, and that, combined with less-precipitous declines in share of shots and shots on target, has led to the club outscoring opponents by less than half a goal per game, compared to more than a goal per game last season.Not only did United convert shots, and prevent shots, at unusually high — and unsustainable — rates last season. The club also won more matches than expected based on its goal differential. United won the league by 11 points over Manchester City last season. It also had 12 more points than expected based on its goals scored and allowed. This year, it’s getting about as many points as expected based on goal differential.Was Ferguson just lucky last season, or was he able to conjure consistently high levels of shooting accuracy and goalkeeping even after his club’s edge in shots had eroded? On the one hand, his United clubs sustained high levels of PDO during his tenure. On the other hand, there’s some out-of-sample evidence from United’s Champions League performance, this season and last season.In Ferguson’s last year at the helm, United played eight Champions League games, yielded nine more shots than it took and outscored opponents by two goals. Real Madrid eliminated United in the round of 16. In this season’s Champions League, under Moyes, United allowed 32 more shots than it attempted, yet United still outscored opponents by eight goals, advancing to the quarterfinal stage.These results suggest United’s overachievement in the Premier League last season was due more to luck than to anything Ferguson did.
I’ve arrived here in Rio de Janeiro for a few days. I know how lucky I am — especially since the match I’ll see later on Wednesday, between Spain and Chile at the Maracana stadium, might be the most important of the group stage. (For more on Wednesday’s other matches, see our Crib Notes.)ESPN’s Soccer Power Index doesn’t have much in the way of a prediction for this game — it sees a Chilean win and a Spanish win as about equally likely, with a draw also a decent possibility. But of course, the match matters greatly for Spain’s chances of advancing.Let’s follow the format we used for breaking down the United States’ chances and consider the rest of the group stage from Spain’s perspective. The nine scenarios I’ll cover detail the possible results of the two games Wednesday in Group B — before Spain kicks off with Chile, the Netherlands and Australia will have completed their match in Porto Alegre (the Netherlands is heavily favored). I’ll list what the group standings will look like at the end of the day after each result — assuming that Spain remains behind on any goal differential tiebreaker because it lost by four goals to the Netherlands earlier in the group stage. (That goal differential tiebreaker makes Spain’s path much more difficult than it otherwise would be and is a big part of why our simulations give the La Furia Roja only about a 25 percent chance of advancing.) I’ll then consider how the final two matches (between Spain and Australia, and between the Netherlands and Chile) might play out.Netherlands wins, Spain wins: Netherlands 6 points, Chile 3, Spain 3, Australia 0. Obviously, this is one result Spain would be happy with. A follow-up win against Australia would probably get Spain to the knockout stage — and there are some cases in which a draw against Australia could, too. Even two wins wouldn’t leave Spain 100 percent safe, however. If Spain beats Australia but Chile beats the Netherlands, three teams would be tied atop the group with six points, and Spain would probably have the worst goal differential.Netherlands draws, Spain wins: Netherlands 4 points, Chile 3, Spain 3, Australia 1. This is more promising for Spain as there’d then be some chance it could leapfrog the Netherlands. Spain would control its own destiny without having to worry about goal differential: Win against Australia by any margin and Spain would make it to the knockout stage. Spanish fans should be rooting for the Socceroos to grab at least one point today.Netherlands loses, Spain wins: Netherlands 3 points, Chile 3, Australia 3, Spain 3. A heck of a mess in the short run as all teams would be tied at three points. However, Spain would still control its own destiny and a win against Australia by any margin would put Spain in the knockout stage.Netherlands wins, Spain draws: Netherlands 6 points, Chile 4, Spain 1, Australia 0. Spain is very probably out. The only exception is if it beats Australia and the Netherlands beats Chile — and the margins are wide enough to swing the goal differential back in Spain’s favor.Netherlands draws, Spain draws: Netherlands 4 points, Chile 4, Australia 1, Spain 1. This scenario is extremely problematic for Spain and probably means its elimination. The best Spain could hope after these results is a tie for second, which it would probably lose on goal differential. Another problem is that even if Spain were to beat Australia, the Netherlands and Chile could guarantee their entry into the knockout stage by drawing with each other. FIFA and fans hate it, but soccer teams have a way of playing for the draw when such incentives are in place.Netherlands loses, Spain draws: Chile 4 points, Netherlands 3, Australia 3, Spain 1. Only marginally better. In this case, Spain can finish in sole possession of second place if it then beats Australia and Chile beats the Netherlands. If Spain beats Australia but the Netherlands draws or beats Chile, Spain finishes in a tie for second and is likely out based on goal differential.Netherlands wins, Spain loses: Netherlands 6 points, Chile 6, Australia 0, Spain 0. Spain is mathematically eliminated.Netherlands draws, Spain loses: Chile 6 points, Netherlands 4, Australia 1, Spain 0. Spain is mathematically eliminated.Netherlands loses, Spain loses: Chile 6 points, Netherlands 3, Australia 3, Spain 0. Spain is eliminated for all intents and purposes. It would have to beat Australia, have Chile beat the Netherlands, and then beat both the Netherlands and Australia on goal differential — not very likely.The short version: Lose to Chile on Wednesday and Spain is almost certainly out of the tournament. A draw and La Furia Roja is in grave trouble: Spain would need a win against Australia by an overwhelming margin and very probably some help on top of that. A win keeps Spain alive, but it remains vulnerable, especially if the Netherlands beats Australia (a 74 percent chance, according to our model).CORRECTION (June 18, 11:56 a.m.): A previous version of this post incorrectly listed Australia as having three points if the Netherlands beats Australia and Spain loses to Chile. In that scenario, Australia would have zero points.
When Bryce Harper was introduced by the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Clearwater, Florida, and slipped on a red pinstriped No. 3 jersey, the amount of fanfare that greeted him hadn’t been seen since the team traded for Roy Halladay in 2009. The club reportedly sold 100,000 tickets to regular-season games within hours of Harper’s signing. The Phillies hope it ushers in an era of sustained competitive baseball with Harper as a $330 million keystone. After all, what made Harper so promising was not only his talent but also his relative youth, as a 26-year-old free agent.Harper should still be productive in the near term and deliver important wins for the Phillies (after the signing, FiveThirtyEight’s projections for the 2019 season bumped the Phillies up to 84 wins, from 82, although other sites have been more bullish). But as we wrote last week, Harper’s consistency is a concern. Historical comps for a player with Harper’s unusual and volatile career to date suggest that he might have already peaked and that star-level players, in general, have reached their peaks by age 26. Since we are already in the habit of raining on the parade in Philadelphia, let’s look under the hood at Harper’s underlying stats and see where the specific problems may reside.For starters, Harper’s defensive metrics fell off a cliff last season.According to an average of Defensive Runs Saved (which Baseball-Reference.com uses for its defensive WAR) and Ultimate Zone Rating (FanGraphs’s metric of choice), Harper was the second-worst right fielder in the game (-12 runs saved compared with average) and the fourth-worst center fielder (-9 runs saved). Harper played 860 innings in right and 477 innings in center last season. And if Harper becomes more and more a one-dimensional player, in an era in which his power hitting stands out less, he loses relative value.But perhaps those concerns are a little overblown. Although baseball’s defensive metrics are getting better all the time, they are still prone to big swings between seasons. In 2017, before the big decline last season, Harper was actually 3 runs better than an average right fielder. His 24-run drop ranks second-worst among outfielders under age 271As of June 30 of the season in question. who played the same position for the same team in back-to-back years between 20022The first season of granular, pitch-level data at FanGraphs. and 2018, trailing only Matt Kemp (who fell from being exactly average in 2009 to 31 runs below average in 2010). In the season after that, Kemp still wasn’t good — he was -6 relative to an average CF — but he at least reclaimed some of the ground he’d lost in his annus horribilis.As it turns out, that’s a pretty common story if we look at the rest of the outfielders who met our qualifications from above and dropped off by at least 15 runs in a season since 2002: The fates of outfielders with Harper-esque defensive dropsPlayers who had a decline of at least 15 defensive runs* relative to average in a season since 2002, were younger than 27 and played in the same position for the same team There were some other players who experienced the same kinds of defensive declines and responded by changing positions entirely. (Such as Mark Teahen, Adam Eaton and Marlon Byrd.) But among those who stayed at the same position, they averaged to be about half as bad (relative to average) in the following season as they’d been in the decline year, regaining about 20 percent of their previous form.In the end, though, the Phillies are paying Harper to produce runs and hit homers. So perhaps the more troubling trend of Harper’s for the Phillies is his failure to address holes in his swing.Harper’s ability to make contact has been in decline. Last season, his rate of contact on pitches in the strike zone was the fourth-lowest among qualified hitters, dropping from 84 percent in 2017 to 78 percent in 2018. His strikeout rate rose by 4.2 percentage points, the 24th-greatest increase in the majors. Since 2015, his 15-game rolling average regarding contact ability (on all pitches) has been volatile but gradually declining.According to Statcast data from Baseball Savant, Harper’s whiff rate against fastballs3Four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sinkers. increased from 15.2 percent in 2016, to 20.2 percent in 2017 to 26.4 percent last season (ranking as the 36th-highest whiff rate in 2018 among 352 batters to offer against at least 200 fastballs). Against fastballs 95 mph and faster, Harper’s whiff rate increased from 18.8 percent in 2016 to 22.0 percent in 2017 to 31.5 percent in 2018.Harper has always had a weakness against up-and-away fastballs. Since 2015, he has swung and missed at a 40.7 percent rate when offering at up-and-away four-seam fastballs.Last season, Harper swung at 111 four-seam fastballs in those zones and whiffed 52 times, a 46.8 percent rate.While defensive metrics can still be somewhat volatile from year to year,4Even among players who stayed at the same position in back-to-back years, the correlation between a player’s percentile rank at his position in defensive runs per inning from year to year is 0.36 since 2002. a player’s contact rate is much “stickier”5The same correlation for a batter’s strikeout rate in back-to-back seasons is 0.79. — suggesting that big changes in the ability to make contact are more likely to represent a real change in skills and not just random variance.It’s not all bad news at the plate, however: Against fastballs,6Again, four-seam fastballs, two-seam fastballs and sinkers. Harper hit .306, with a .651 slugging percentage, according to Baseball Savant data.Because Harper was effective when making contact against fastballs, perhaps he was trading the ability to make contact for more power. What he has not done is change his swing plane, according to launch angle data. His average launch angle was 14.5 degrees in 2015, 14.6 in 2016, 13.6 in 2017 and 13.9 in 2018. His pull rate did spike, jumping from 35.5 percent in 2017 to 42.3 percent in 2018.Harper has elite plate discipline. He has elite power. But not every player who has made power gains in recent years — see Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Justin Turner and Jose Ramirez — has had to sacrifice contact. And the best, most efficient offensive performers typically do not trade contact for power.What’s concerning is that even though some traits age well, like plate discipline, power generally does not. So if Harper’s defense continues to decline and he’s limited to a corner outfield position and continues to lose contact ability — if he becomes a Three True Outcomes hitter — he probably won’t age as the Phillies would like. He would likely morph from a highly sought-after asset, a 26-year-old star free agent, to the type of player easily found (a Three True Outcomes corner outfielder).Because Harper was a prodigy in part as a result of relentless work and practice at a young age, he may have fulfilled his potential soon after his arrival in the majors. But he doesn’t have to be Trout-like to justify his contract. At $25.4 million per year, the Phillies are not paying him as an elite superstar. And if Harper helps Philadelphia add another World Series banner to Citizens Bank Park in the not-too-distant future, then it will likely be $330 million well spent regardless of how well he ages. Luis Matos2003-0524-26CF+9-8-2 Matt Kemp2009-1124-26CF0-31-6 Fielding Runs vs. Avg Jeff Francoeur2007-0923-25RF+20-3+4 Mike Trout2012-1420-22CF+15-5-9 Jay Bruce2010-1223-25RF+180-3 Historical playersYearsAgesPosYear 1Year 2Year 3 Bryce Harper2017-1924-26RF+3-20? current playersYearsAgesPosYear 1Year 2Year 3 From ABC News: Fielding Runs vs. Avg * According to an average of the defensive metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.Minimum 700 innings in all years. Ages are as of June 30 of the season in question.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraph Andre Ethier2007-0925-27RF+4-11-11 Nick Markakis2008-1024-26RF+17-5-8 Odubel Herrera2017-1925-27CF+6-11?
The legacy of the rivalry between Ohio State and the University of Michigan is historically centered around football. However, ill will and passion for beating the other team holds no barrier between sports. The OSU women’s tennis team celebrated that thrill of victory defeating Michigan Friday afternoon, 5-1.OSU and Michigan came into Friday’s match ranked fourth and 10th nationally, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings.After reaching the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championships before losing to North Carolina, the win against the Wolverines was a nice rebound for the Buckeyes.Starting off in doubles, OSU was awarded the doubles point after winning two of three matches to take the early 1-0 advantage.The senior duo of Sandy Niehaus and Gabriella De Santis won a close set by tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-2). Seniors Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz 6-1 victory compensated for Michigan’s lone doubles win over Buckeyes sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo and junior Anna Sanford, 6-3.Three-time ITA national champion and top-ranked Di Lorenzo led the way first for the Buckeyes, disposing of Michigan sophomore Brienne Minor in straight sets, making quick work and another point for the Buckeyes, 6-1, 6-2.Kowase followed with another victory for the Buckeyes to stretch the lead to 3-0, defeating Michigan junior Mira Rider-Hook in similar fashion, 6-0, 6-3.Needing only one more point for the clincher and the match victory, OSU needed just one of four remaining singles matches to capture the win.They’d get two out of three wins, with De Santis winning 6-3, 6-3 and Angeles Paz finishing off freshman Valeria Patiuk 6-3, 6-1, with the final score being 5-1 OSU and the two remaining matches being abandoned.“You couldn’t ask for anything more, to be able to rebound and a chance to play Michigan at home in a couple days. So, it’s something that these guys definitely get up for and try to move on from the tough loss,” OSU coach Melissa Schaub said. “We’re going to come in here and fight hard. We were just able to get it done in front of our fans.”Di Lorenzo echoed her coach’s sentiment about bouncing back for a team win against a top-ten opponent in rival Michigan.“It feels really good and it was a quick turnaround, having to play Michigan, they’re our rival and they’re an unbelievable team and very competitive and strong,” she said. “Although we had a tough loss last weekend, we’re going to have to come back stronger and forget about it and just learn from it and move on, and I think that’s what we did today.”
The No. 2 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (26-2, 15-0 MIVA) beat both Lindenwood University and Quincy University on Friday and Saturday, closing out the regular season and staying perfect in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play.OSU is only the second team in 25 years to go undefeated in MIVA action. The last time the MIVA saw a perfect conference record was in 2014 when Loyola University, Chicago went 14-0.LindenwoodOn Saturday, the Buckeyes traveled to face the Lindenwood Lions (5-18, 4-12 MIVA) where they won in straight sets, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19.Defensively, the Lions struggled to maintain OSU’s offensive efforts. The Lions had only 9 digs through three sets of action. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, tallied 19 digs as a team.The Buckeyes hit over .400 during the night with junior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen and senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson combining for 24 kills in the match. OSU also performed well at the service line with Szerszen and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Blake Leeson both serving four aces a piece.Despite OSU’s high attacking efficiency, the Lions stuffed the Buckeyes on six occasions. Lindenwood’s sophomore Connor Hipelius led the team with four block assists for the night.QuincyAfter taking care of business at Lindenwood, the Buckeyes traveled to Quincy University for the regular-season finale, taking the match in four sets (25-16, 25-27, 25-15, 25-12) against the Hawks (7-21, 2-14 MIVA).After never trailing in the first set, the Buckeyes went down 22-16 in the second frame before erasing that deficit with a 7-0 run. OSU ultimately dropped the set in extra points.Aside from the second set, the Buckeyes were hitting above .300, with a match high of .533 in the third set. Quincy’s best attacking efficiency came in the third set as well at .206.In sophomore setter Sanil Thomas’ second start of the season, he assisted on 43 kills and led the team with 11 digs. He helped both Szerszen and junior Maxime Hervoir rack up 17 kills each.With the regular season wrapped up, the MIVA Tournament seeding is locked in. OSU has the top seed, which means that the Buckeyes will have home-court advantage for the duration of the tournament.The Buckeyes start MIVA Tournament action on Saturday when they face Quincy again. First serve is set at 5 p.m. in St. John Arena.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer answers questions during his first press conference back from suspension. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorThe investigative team handling the suspension of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith did not send Meyer’s phone to a forensics lab to see if he destroyed evidence, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal released Tuesday.According to the report, Smith handed over a phone that contained no text messages, saying “he routinely deletes all texts after sending or receiving them.” The reports state this might violate Ohio open records law and the school’s records-retention policy. Ohio State said, in a statement, the investigative team “conducted a thorough and detailed investigation,” noting that the team interviewed over 40 witnesses, reviewed more than 60,000 documents and 10,000 pages of Meyer’s text messages.“The independent investigative team at Debevoise & Plimpton, the university and the working group of the Board of Trustees all stand by the independent investigation and its conclusions,” Ohio State said via statement.Ohio State fired former wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith on July 23 after reports of domestic violence was released against his now-ex-wife Courtney Smith. Meyer and Smith were both suspended on Aug. 1 after they “failed to adhere to the precise requirements of their contracts when they concluded that they needed to await a law enforcement determination to file charges before they reported the otherwise disputed claims of spousal abuse against [former assistant coach] Zach Smith.”Meyer, in his first press conference Monday after completing his three-game suspension, addressed the investigative findings that said the Board of Trustees could not determine whether or not the head coach deleted text messages from his phone. Meyer said he “never deleted a text message” and he “never changed a setting on my phone.” Meyer said an unnamed IT person in the Ohio State football program changed a setting to help him with storage capacity, deleting text messages after one year. He also said there were nothing to hide in the next messages that were deleted. According to public records released by the university, Gene Smith said he had no text or email records on his end when asked about a public records request made by The Lantern. The request had asked for emails and texts between Gene Smith and Meyer between the dates of July 18, 2018, and July 24, 2018, as well as between Oct. 25, 2015, and Dec. 1, 2015, as they pertained to wide receiver coach Zach Smith.“Nothing in my end,” Gene Smith wrote in an email on July 25, 2018 to senior associate athletics director Julie VannattaUpdated at 2:29 p.m. with a statement from Ohio State.
Location: Champaign, Illinois 2017 Record: 2-10 (0-9 Big Ten) Head Coach: Lovie Smith 2018 record: 2-2 (0-1 Big Ten)All time record vs. OSU: 30-68What has happened thus far in 2018: The Fighting Illini began the season against Kent State, riding a strong second half to a 31-24 victory. In Week 2, Illinois overcame another sluggish start to gain a convincing 34-14 win against Western Illinois. After leading through the first three quarters, the Fighting Illini fell short, falling to USF 25-19 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Illinois played Penn State in the first Big Ten matchup of the season, where they held tough through three quarters, even leading 24-21 at one point in the third quarter, before Penn State scored six consecutive touchdowns to win 63-24. Impact Player:Freshman quarterback M.J. Rivers Jr. appears to be rising as an essential part of head coach Lovie Smith’s offense. After throwing two touchdowns in his debut against Western Illinois in place of injured quarterback A.J. Bush, Rivers has shown continued improvement on the field against strong opponents like Penn State. As he becomes more comfortable within the offense, he could continue to improve, having already set career highs for himself in total offense in each of the three games he has appeared, including 173 total yards against Penn State. Strengths:A balanced running attack appears to be Illinois’ biggest strength this year. With a freshman quarterback at the helm, the offense has had to remain balanced and rely on a steady running attack to aleve the quarterback of pressure. The Illini rushed for 174 yards and a touchdown against Penn State, including a 51-yard run from junior Reggie Corbin. With two running backs sharing carries in Corbin and Mike Epstein, the Illini have a strength in their consistent running attack this season. Weaknesses:The other side of the ball has not been as consistent for the Illini this season. Their defense has failed to create stops when they need them against strong opponents like USF and Penn State. Illinois gave up 591 total yards against Penn State and allowed them to convert 9-of-11 third-down attempts. It also gave up six straight touchdowns to end the game. While the Fighting Illini had two takeaways against Penn State, the Illini defense will certainly be hope for improvement as it comes off its bye week and resumes the Big Ten season.
In Scotland snowfall saw the M80 closed in both directions, as well as schools shut and some ferry services cancelled.In Ireland almost 46,000 households woke up to no electricity after violent gusts battered large swathes of the country throughout the night.As Doris cleared to the East, the Met Office warned drivers to be wary of ice on Friday in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and North West England.”It’s an ice risk so when people wake up tomorrow morning and head out to work there could be some difficult driving conditions,” meteorologist Alex Burkill said. Storm Doris has caused havoc at Chadderton Hall Park and so tomorrow’s Primary School Cross Country is postponed. 😢 pic.twitter.com/usSyE8Drkr— Oldham School Sport (@oldhamssp) February 24, 2017 With fallen trees, objects caught in overhead wires, flooding and debris on the tracks causing delays across many services, a spokesman said employees are “doing all we can to keep the network running”.Flights were also affected, with a Heathrow spokesman warning of a “10% reduction” in the airport’s schedule.Highways England also issued a weather alert on major roads.A number of carriageways were closed as Doris lashed Britain, including the M6 Thelwall Viaduct in both directions between junctions 20 and 21 in the North West and the QE2 Bridge in Dartford, Kent. The coffee giant has said it is “shocked and saddened by the terrible incident”, which happened at around midday.Miss Martin worked at the University of Wolverhampton.Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss.”During Tahnie’s short time at the University, she made a real impact both in a professional and personal capacity. She became a very popular member of the team and was highly valued.”Two other people were also left with head injuries.A man was left in a “serious condition” in a central London hospital, following reports of “debris falling from the roof of a building” by Victoria Station at around 3pm, the Metropolitan Police said. The clear up behind 🌀 #doris #stormdoris #DorisDay pic.twitter.com/btOjheBDIm— Sale G.C. Greens (@sale_greens) February 24, 2017 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 lorry driver, a man in his 50s, died at the scene in New Cross, south east London, amid high winds at around 2.30pm yesterday.A Met Police spokesman said: “At this early stage, it is not believed that another vehicle was involved.”A girl was also left with life-threatening injuries as Storm Doris brought winds of up to 94mph to the UK.The girl, who was among multiple people seriously injured, was taken to hospital after a school sports hall ceiling collapsed as gales battered Britain.Doris is now set to leave a trail of ice, wintry showers and a 7C plunge in temperatures to around 3C (37F) in the south.The third death happened in Wolverhampton city centre when a 29-year-old woman, named on Friday as Tahnie Martin, was struck by “wooden debris” while walking past a Starbucks cafe. The Storm Doris death toll has risen to three after it emerged a mother was blown into path of a roadsweeper and a lorry driver crashed in high winds.The 32-year-old woman was pushing an empty pushchair to pick up her young child from a nearby childminder when she was struck by the vehicle in Swindon.Witnesses said the “wind took hold of her” and swept the empty pram into the path of the road cleaner. In Stoke-on-Trent a woman in her 60s was taken to hospital for a “serious head injury” after being hit by a carport roof.West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said it was called to a property in Hartshill Road shortly before 2.15pm.A spokesman said: “Crews were told the roof fell down and hit the woman, which subsequently caused her to collide with a wall.”WMAS said she was also treated for injuries to her face, hand and chest before being taken to Royal Stoke University Hospital for further care.Meanwhile, Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service were investigating whether the collapse at Southwood Middle School in Conniburrow, Milton Keynes, was due to the storm. The top wind speed of 94mph was recorded in Capel Curig, north Wales, on Thursday morning.The weather system which brought gales, snow and rain to much of the UK, caused travel disruption on the roads and rail network, brought down trees, grounded planes, and toppled large vehicles.Network Rail advised “Storm Doris has caused significant disruption throughout the country”, with an enforced speed limit on some lines. Show more Storm Doris smashed into North Wales and took snaps off end of Victoria Pier in Colwyn PierCredit:DGDImages / Alamy Live News
US multinational courier service FedEx appears to have been hit hard, according to an online security journalist.Employees have reportedly been instructed to switch off all non-essential Windows systems. #nhscyberattack pic.twitter.com/SovgQejl3X— gigi.h (@fendifille) May 12, 2017 6:42PMFedEx the latest victim NHS trusts are supposed to regularly back up their files.But yesterday doctors and nurses were left treating patients without any access to their medical histories, with lost access to X-rays, blood tests and details such as allergies to medication.It raises the possibility that recent changes to medical records – such as a cancer diagnosis, or the results of a blood test – could be lost, if hackers delete the files. Hacking tool stolen from NSAThe mysterious Shadow Brokers claimed last month it had stolen a “cyber weapon” from the NSA that gives unprecedented access to all computers using Microsoft Windows. The hacking tool had been developed by the NSA, to gain access to computers used by terrorists and enemy states. FLASH: FedEx USA employees instructed to turn off all non-critical Windows systems on network after WCry compromise starts in UK offices— ZeroTayExploit (@SwiftOnSecurity) May 12, 2017 5:17PMNot just a British problem? The following hospital trusts have confirmed they have been attacked by the malware:George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust (Nuneaten)Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustHull and East Yorkshire HospitalsJames Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Great Yarmouth)Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust 4:53PMShocking and Unprecedented 4:44AMTeams ‘working round the clock’ A screen shot circulated by medical staff shows a warning flashing on screen which reads:“What happened to my computer?” and states that many documents, photos, vidos and databases and other files are no longer accessible.Warning “nobody can recover your files without our decryption service” it then demands payments of $300 dollars – stating that the price will be doubled in three days. 8:43PMHospital conditions described as ‘primitive’ 7:58PMExtremely Worrying 10:12PMHow to protect yourself from ransomware Taiwan has been put on high alert after it was reportedly one of the top targets of the cyber attack that rocked the world on Friday, writes Nicola Smith. While government departments and hospital systems had so far been spared the chaos that struck Britain’s NHS, there were fears the full impact of the attack may only emerge after the weekend.Ross Feingold, a Taiwan-based political analyst who advises on Taiwan and Hong Kong political affairs, warned that full picture may not be known until Monday morning when officials returned to work.Read the full article here. 7:20PMThe NHS toll: an update Rozina Sabur reports:One nurse, who did not want to be named, said: “I work in one of the assessment clinics, we had to write everything by paper but it was ok, in our section we didn’t turn anyone away”. Another, a stroke specialist nurse, said: “We’ve been directing patients to Luton Hospital all day where they have a specialist stroke department. It started around 11:30/12 so I’d seen 4-5 patients before that.”Patients could be seen leaving the hospital with handwritten medical notes scrawled on pieces of paper. Some described how their relatives had been told to attend their nearest alternative hospitals. 6:25PMFive more trusts confirmed 6:01PMWannaCry: part of a wider attack of 3:58AM’They will try again’ The attack was apparently halted in the afternoon in the UK when a researcher took control of an Internet domain that acted as a kill switch for the worm’s propagation, according to Ars Technica.The researcher, who uses the Twitter name @MalwareTechBlog, said:”I will confess that I was unaware registering the domain would stop the malware until after I registered it, so initially it was accidental. So long as the domain isn’t revoked, this particular strain will no longer cause harm, but patch your systems ASAP as they will try again.” 5:02PMAintree University Hospital ‘down’ The real-world impacts of today’s massive cyber attack on the NHS are beginning to filter through. 9:30PMFedEx reports malware interference in global cyberattack The US Department of Homeland Security has said it is aware of reports of the ransomware. It says it is sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support.The global cyber attack renewed concerns about whether the NSA and other countries’ intelligence services too often hoard software vulnerabilities for offensive purposes, rather than quickly alerting technology companies to such flaws.Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement:”These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world.” 6:15PMBack to the Stone Age God damn. Looks like @MalwareTechBlog stopped the spread of this global ransomware attack https://t.co/pgDiTS9oTR pic.twitter.com/YyFKt7cQwy— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) May 12, 2017 Trust staff: we are aware of the national cyber attack – DO NOT open any emails that have “Clinical Results” in the title or similar.— East Kent Hospitals (@EKHUFT) May 12, 2017 Top radiologist Rashid Akhtar reports that one of Liverpool’s big hospitals is affected. 7:34PMScenes of desolation Read the full article here. Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the attack was “terrible news and a real worry for patients” and urged the Government to be “clear about what’s happened”.Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University’s computer lab, said the incident is the “sort of thing for which the secretary of state should get roasted in Parliament.”If large numbers of NHS organisations failed to act on a critical notice from Microsoft two months ago, then whose fault is that?” Mr Anderson told The Guardian.May: ‘This was international attack’The hack is thought to be part of a wider attack, which has affected the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, which also owns 02, where the same message was presented.The ransomware attack was orchestrated using malware called Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry, which demands each user affected pay $300 (£232) in the internet currency Bitcoin, to have files restored. Thousands of NHS computers have been affected so the ransom could potentially cost taxpayers millions.The attack was described by Theresa May as “intentional”.The Prime Minister said: “We are aware that a number of NHS organisations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack. This is not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected. Theresa May said the Government is not aware of any evidence that patient records have been compromised in the massive cyber attack on the NHS.The Prime Minister said the ransomware hit was “not targeted” at the health service but was part of a wider assault on organisations across a number of countries.The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is working to support the NHS. She said: We are aware that a number of NHS organisations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack.This is not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected.The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety.And, we are not aware of any evidence that patient data has been compromised.Of course it is important that we have set up the National Cyber Security Centre and they are able to work with the NHS organisations concerned and to ensure that they are supported and patient safety is protected. 6:07PMSpreading worldwide We are aware of cyber incident and we are working with @NHSDigital and the @NCA_UK to investigate— NCSC UK (@ncsc) May 12, 2017 5:42PMLike something out of the movies This map gives a snapshot of the sheer breadth of this ransomware attack.Although the NHS has been badly affected, it shows the health service wasn’t the only target. Liver patient Anthony Brett is turned away from a London hospitalCredit:Paul Grover/Telegraph 12:51AMIs this how the spread of the virus was halted? The National Cyber Security Centre are on the case.Sources said officials from the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of the GCHQ electronic spy agency, said they are working with the NCA, dubbed Britain’s FBI, to help health managers.The attack comes only weeks after the NCSC warned that so-called ransomware attacks, where hackers lock up data and demand money to release it, have become one the biggest cyber threats Aintree hospital down— Rashid Akhtar (@TheRadiologyReg) May 12, 2017 A screen shot circulated by medical staff showed that users were alerted to their system being compromised by a flashing warning on screen which reads: “What happened to my computer?” and states that many documents, photos, videos and databases and other files are no longer accessible. Blackpool Victoria HospitalCredit:Warren Smith/Telegraph Rozina Sabur reports:Two general surgery ward nurse described the conditions today as “primitive”. One said: “the usual notes that we do on the computer we had to do by hand. It’s gone back to primitive times.”The other described the rudimentary systems that the hospital pharmacy have been reduced to using. “I observed the pharmacy, instead they of the usual computer forms they had to write the medication name and dosage by hand. “We had to use forms from ten years ago because we couldn’t use them online. We then had to call people to bring the medicine requests because when we do it online it registers automatically.”He said the main things affected were laboratory forms and pharmacy forms. Back up your files The greatest damage people suffer from a ransomware attack is the loss of files, including pictures and documents. The best protection against ransomware is to back up all of the information and files on your devices in a completely separate system. A good place to do this is on an external hard drive that isn’t connected to the internet. This means that if you suffer an attack you won’t lost any information to the hackers.Businesses often save copies of their data to external servers that won’t be affected if their main network is attacked. Be suspicious of emails, websites and appsFor ransomware to work hackers need to download malicious software onto a victims computer. This is then used to launch the attack and encrypt files. The most common ways for the software to be installed on a victim’s device is through phishing emails, malicious adverts on websites, and questionable apps and programs. People should always exercise caution when opening unsolicited emails or visiting websites they are unfamiliar with. Never download an app that hasn’t been verified by an official store, and read reviews before installing programs. Read our full guide. As well as the NHS, the ransomware had struck telecoms companies, and electric utilities companies.Thousands of dollars was already rolling into Internet accounts set up to handle the ransom payments.Adam Meyers, from cyber security firm CrowdStrike advised against paying.We advise people not to pay, because if people do pay, it emboldens these criminal actors.Instead organisations were encouraged to make sure their data was backed up and copies were kept off networks.Employees had to be educated about which sort of emails to beware of and the latest patches and security updates installed. RomaniaRomania’s intelligence service says it has intercepted an attempted cyberattack on a government institution which it said likely came from cybercriminal group APT28 also known as Fancy Bear.Cyberint, subordinated to the Romanian Intelligence Service, said on Friday it thwarted a cyberattack to a government institution, without saying when it occurred, following notification from NATO and the Romanian foreign intelligence agency.RussiaA top Russian mobile operator says it has come under cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that have crippled some U.K. hospitals.Pyotr Lidov, a spokesman for Megafon, said Friday’s attacks froze computers in company’s offices across Russia. He said that mobile communications haven’t been affected. Lidov said that the attack involved demands of payment of $300 worth to free up the system.He added that the company managed to restore the work of its call center but closed most of its offices for the day.Some Russian media also have reported cyberattacks on the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee. The committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, has rejected the claim. Warning “nobody can recover your files without our decryption service” it then demands payments of $300 – stating that the price will be doubled in three days.An NHS spokesman said: “At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed.”Colchester A&E was among several yesterday urging the public to stay away, unless in the most severe need tweeting: “Our A&E is open for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss.”A ‘miracle if no one comes to harm’At Lister Hospital in Stevenage, the telephone and computer system was fully disabled in an attempt to fend off the attack, with all non-urgent appointments and operations cancelled and patients told to keep away from A&E if at all possible. The loss of computer systems meant doctors and nurses lost access to X-rays, blood test results and booking systems, rendering a normal day’s work impossible.A worker at Colchester General Hospital described how her office’s computers were “wiped out, one by one”. Dominic Marley, a hospital doctor in the Manchester area, said it would be a “miracle if no one comes to harm”.Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals in London, said it had implemented its major incident plan to cope with disruption. Our A&E is open for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss…— Colchester Hospitals (@ColchesterNHSFT) May 12, 2017 Major Spanish companies have been hit by a cyber attack bearing striking similarities with the onslaught against that has crippled the NHS, according to Madrid journalist James Babcock.Firms such as Telefónica, Spain’s leading telecoms company, were targeted by malware around midday, causing operators’ computer screens to turn blue.Access to files became impossible and a demand for a ransom to be paid in bitcoins flashed up on screens at Telefónica’s headquarters in northern Madrid.Spain’s National Cryptology Centre (CCN), part of the country’s secret security services, conformed in a press release that a “massive ransomware attack affecting Windows systems” had affected “a large number of organisations”. The head of the NHS in London, Dr Anne Rainsberry, says patients who are seriously ill should go to accident and emergency as usual, despite a huge cyber attack on hospitals. If NSA builds a weapon to attack Windows XP—which Microsoft refuses to patches—and it falls into enemy hands, should NSA write a patch? https://t.co/TUTtmc2aU9— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017 Relatives of NHS patients speak about their fears. 4:29PMFiles held to ransom NHS Digital said: “We’re aware that a number of trusts that have reported potential issues to the CareCERT team. We believe it to be ransomware.” The Prime Minister took a break from the election campaign trail to respond to the truly massive global ransomware attack which has done so much damage to the NHS. All shut down in Yorkshire-even in GP practice. Back to handwriting notes while seeing patients without full histories! #nhscyberattack— Chris Maguire (@chris_magz) May 12, 2017 Nigel Inkster, Director of transnational threats and political risk at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former MI6 Director for operations and intelligence, says ransomware attacks like the one inflicted on the NHS today have become ‘increasingly common’. Doctors across the country have seen this message – what appears to be ransomware – flash up on their screens 9:07PMRussia’s Interior Ministry targeted 7:24PMTheresa May: NHS not the target A pharmacist in Yorkshire says it’s back to paper notes and no patient histories Why would you cyber attack a hospital and hold it for ransom? The state of the world 😂 pic.twitter.com/e6h6yNrBBB— If.ra (@asystoly) May 12, 2017 The Telegraph’s Jamie Bartlett explains how today’s strike is a classic example of a ransomware attack.He says that the online purchase of ransomware is one of the fastest growing trades on the internet.Insiders reckon the trade is worth millions of dollars a year.Individual attacks are for sale on the dark net for as little as $39. Latest news from GEH Update: Suspected cyber attack at GEH – We are currently dealing with a suspected cyber at… https://t.co/BZ95rLwmI8— George Eliot NHS (@GEHNHSnews) May 12, 2017 Anthony Brett was about to have a stent put in his liver to treat his cancer when he was told the procedure could not happen. The 50-year-old from Bow, east London, said: “To do it to the NHS that does so much good for people, it’s just disgusting. They should be hung, drawn and quartered.” The ransomware attack has affected people and businesses across the worldCredit:Malware Tec In light of today’s attack, Congress needs to be asking @NSAgov if it knows of any other vulnerabilities in software used in our hospitals.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 12, 2017 Relatives of a patient affected by NHS cyber attack say it is ‘extremely worrying as he is seriously ill’ #NHScyberattack pic.twitter.com/tjJejPvM7a— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 12, 2017 Jamie Moles, Principal Security Consultant at Lastline said: While security remains a low priority for NHS management, they will increasingly fall victim to these kinds of attacks, which will cause serious problems as it results in the cancellation of treatments whilst the affected systems are investigated and cleaned up. The National Health Service is one of the largest organisations in the United Kingdom. With an annual budget in the region of £116 billion, it is a massive target for cyber-attacks and currently, it’s a poorly defended target. There are a number of trusts in deficit and spending on the NHS has dropped in real terms since the recession. Priorities for all NHS trusts are unsurprisingly targeted at medical needs over and above admin and operational needs, but of course this includes IT Security. Interestingly, the NHS takes a very strict and sanitary approach to dealing with these attacks, shutting down almost all of its IT capabilities while it triages and treats the problem. Why would we expect any different from a medical organization? Moving forward if we are to prevent these attacks causing delays to treatment and potentially deaths, NHS trusts are going to have to invest in technology to deal with cyber-threats. There are plenty of good technologies available to assist in this issue and they can be scaled effectively and cost efficiently to cope with massive organisations like the NHS. A ransomware spreading in the lab at the university pic.twitter.com/8dROVXXkQv— １２Ｂ (@dodicin) May 12, 2017 Hospitals across the country hit badly by attackNearly 100 countries affectedFears of chaos over weekendEdward Snowden blames NSA for attackCyber attack hits German train stations as hackers target Deutsche BahnRussian-linked cyber gang Shadow Brokers blamed Everything you need to know about global attackNHS bosses and the government are facing questions over why hospitals had been left vulnerable to the global cyber attack that crippled services on Friday.The health service faces a weekend of chaos after hackers demanding a ransom infiltrated the health service’s antiquated computer system.Operations and appointments were cancelled and ambulances diverted as up to 40 hospital trusts became infected by a “ransomware” attack demanding payment to regain access to vital medical records.Doctors warned that the infiltration – the largest cyber attack in NHS history – could cost lives.Medics described how computer screens were “wiped out one by one” by the attack, which spread to companies and institutions worldwide, including international shipper FedEx Corp in the US, and Germany’s rail operator.’Biggest ransomware attack in history’Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets.Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, called the attack “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history”.The NHS said there was no evidence that patients’ medical records had been accessed, but it was unable to say whether the hackers – who are threatening to delete information unless payment is received within a week – had the ability to destroy such records. The attack has been declared a major incident, and has spread to Scotland, where crisis meetings were also being held last night.A computer hacking group known as Shadow Brokers was at least partly responsible. It is claimed the group, which has links to Russia, stole US National Security Agency cyber tools designed to access Microsoft Windows systems, then dumped the technology on a publicly-accessible website where online criminals could access it – possibly in retaliation for America’s attack on Syria.Questions over NHS vulnerabilityMicrosoft had provided free software to protect computers in March, raising questions about why the NHS was still vulnerable. Last night the technology giant said it was pushing out automatic Windows updates to defend clients from WannaCry.Cyber experts said the health service appeared susceptible to attack because many trusts were using obsolete systems, while others have failed to apply recent security updates which would have protected them.This week it was suggested that 90 per cent of NHS trusts in the UK were using Windows XP – a 16-year-old operating system. Security experts said that computers using operating software introduced before 2007 were particularly vulnerable, leaving many NHS systems at risk. 5:21PM”One by one, the screens were locking down” Experts at GCHQ’s national cyber security centre were helping NHS teams fight the attack. The US Department of Homeland Security said late on Friday that it was aware of reports of the ransomware, was sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support. 4:58PM’Miracle’ if on one comes to harm It’s very important everyone understands that all they need to do is change some code and start again. Patch your systems now! https://t.co/L4GIPLGKEs— MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) May 13, 2017 Cyber crime experts Databarracks say victims of ransomware attacks have got two options:You can either recover the information from a previous backup or pay the ransom.However, even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will actually get your data back, so the only way to stay fully protected is to have historic copies of your data.When recovering from ransomware, your two aims are to minimise the amount of data loss and to minimise the amount of IT downtime. Dominic Marley, a hospital doctor in the Manchester area, gives a grim perspective on the likely consequences of today’s attack. Doctors have seen this message on screens across the countryCredit:PA Taiwan is among the world’s biggest targets for ransomware attacksCredit:EPA 6:21PMSpanish companies hit hard 4:45PMCyber Spooks 8:21PMFormer MI6 director: ransomware attacks are ‘increasingly common’ 8:57PMWe didn’t turn anyone away A shocked worker at Colchester General Hospital described how her office’s computers were “wiped out, one by one”.She said the effects of a hack on modern NHS hospitals could be ‘catastrophic’.My computer locked at about 3pm and I couldn’t get anything to work. Then my colleague sat next to me said her computer was down. It swept through the office and everyone was effected and didn’t know what was going on. One by one the computers were wiped out. Nothing was working and switching them off and on did not solve the problems. 11:21PMEdward Snowden: Are any other vulnerabilities in software? Intelligence sources said the attack appeared to have been carried out by criminals rather than a hostile state and the ransomware had rapidly spread through companies and organisations in Europe and the Middle East. Russia’s interior ministry said last night it had come under cyber attack.Patients have operations cancelledIn the UK the only affected organisation appeared to be the NHS.Patients awaiting heart surgery were among those who had operations cancelled, with doctors telling how staff were frantically ordering computers to be shut down. New parents were left stuck on wards with their newborns as administrative systems failed.Doctors at dozens of trusts resorted to pen and paper, with no access to medical records that could alert them to medical histories or allergies. Handwritten signs in the entrance of the Royal London’s A&E read: “The emergency department has no IT facilities, there are significant delays occurring.” No x-rays/bloods/bleeps/phones/notes. This is unprecedented. It will be a miracle if no-one comes to harm #NHS #CyberAttack attack— Dominic Marley (@DominicMarley) May 12, 2017 6:39AMTaiwan on alert Others, using newer systems, may have failed to apply recent security updates, which would have protected them, experts said. 8:22PMNHS ‘will increasingly fall victim to these kinds of attacks’ NHS Digital’s head of security Dan Taylor the NHS “must ensure it has good cyber crime hygiene”.In a hand-washing analogy, he added: “Think of this as washing your hands before going on to a ward to prevent infection, where cyber hygiene prevents digital viruses such as ransomware.”Describing ransomware as a situation where data is “digitally locked” and a ransom is asked for for the unlocking key, Mr Taylor said “health has never paid a ransom”.He added: “Instead, organisations have restored systems from back-ups after clearing the infection. But as we have seen recently, this can still lead to days of cancellations to patient facing services.” 5:08PM’Double in three days’ – the demand Chris Hopson, Chief Executive of NHS Providers, says trusts are working to limit the impact of the cyber attack: 4:42PMDark Currency 5:37PMMother and son turned away 5:30PMNo guarantee of recovery The latest tweets from Colchester Hospital make grim reading.. 5:53PMHacking the NHS ‘is easy’ Ciaran Martin, the body’s chief executive, said teams were “working round the clock” with UK and international partners and with private sector experts to lead the response.”We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services.”The attack has left hospitals and GP surgeries with a backlog of postponed appointments to contend with, including operations, once the crisis is brought under control. This tweet from East Kent Hospitals appears to suggest that the ransomware infiltrated their IT systems in emails with ‘Clinical Results’ in the subject The hack on the NHS appeared to be a part of a wider attack of WannaCry ransomware which is spreading rapidly across Europe, security experts have told the Telegraph.Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at the cyber security firm CrowdStrike said it was being spread by people clicking on emails infected with fake invoices and job adverts.Mr Meyers said the ransomware appeared to be relatively new and it was unclear who was behind it. 2:47AMUS offers help to tackle crisis 6:51PMWorld-wide reach…it makes you WannaCry The main reception at Blackpool Victoria Hospital lies abandoned after the ransomware attack hamstrung the operation of the trust. A Milan-based Twitter user has Tweeted a picture of what appears to be a similar ransomware message at what is described as a university. Anthony Brett turned up to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London today for an operation on his liver, but was turned away due to the chaos.A spokesman for the trust said:We are very sorry that we have to cancel routine appointments, and would ask members of the public to use other NHS services wherever possible One Twitter posts a conversation between hospital staff. One said: We got a message saying your computers are now under their control and pay certain amount of money. Five more hospital trusts have confirmed they have been attacked, in addition to the list of 18 we brought you earlier. They are:Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation TrustBurton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Birmingham Community Healthcare TrustAintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 9:12PM’Emergency care is operating as normal,’ says NHS London Director 8:52PMNHS Digital’s head of security: ‘health has never paid a ransom’ 8:26PMHacking attacks reported in Romania and Russia 5:24PMCritical or life-threatening only 2/… suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, signs of a stroke, ingestion or poisoning.— Colchester Hospitals (@ColchesterNHSFT) May 12, 2017 7:07PMThe human cost 5:04PMThe list gets bigger 11:32PMChief Executive of NHS Providers speaks out on cyber attack Hospitals and GP surgeries appear to have been told to pay $300 dollars – £233 – in order to regain access to their files.The hackers are demanding this is paid in Bitcoins, an unregulated internet currency that authorities find it difficult to trace.1 Bitcoin is currently equivalent to £1,381. Peter Warren, Cyber Security Research Institute said the NHS tends to be ‘quite leaky’ when it comes to security:This is shocking and unprecedented.It is a historical moment, proving how important cyber security is.It hasn’t been taken seriously enough for years,Cyber security is not a priority. The NHS is under pressure on many fronts. They tend to be quite leaky when it comes to cyber security. It is no surprise that this has happened. “The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety. And, we are not aware of any evidence that patient data has been compromised.” The situation is moving very fast. The Health Service Journal has a list of the hospitals and organisations known to have been hit. 8:38PMTechnology writer Kate Bevan explains how ransomware works A list of NHS organisations who have fallen victims to today’s nationwide ransomware attack: pic.twitter.com/LeXTO6YqFI— Shaun Lintern (@ShaunLintern) May 12, 2017 The reach of the WannaCry attackCredit:@Malware Tec Russia’s Interior Ministry says it has come under cyberattack. Two security companies tell AP that more than 70 countries have been affected by the cyberattack, with Russia the hardest hit. Russian police computers were also affected by the attack. Chris Hopson, who represents NHS hospital bosses, said trusts will be supporting each other to get through the crisis.The scale and scope of what looks to be an extensive malware attack on the NHS is not yet clear.Given the potential impact, NHS trusts take this type of attack very seriously. They have detailed and well rehearsed contingency plans in place to deal with incidents of this type and these plans have worked effectively when they have been triggered on an individual trust basis in the past. Trusts will rally round support each other to cope with the disruption and early feedback suggests that this is already happening in this case. However, it is likely that some services will be affected, at least in the short term.The trusts affected will now be doing all they can to minimise the impact on patients, and to get their services back to normal as quickly as possible. FedEx has said it is experiencing issues with some of its Microsoft Corp Windows systems.”Like many other companies, FedEx is experiencing interference with some of our Windows-based systems caused by malware,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible.” 4:34PMHospital super boss says everyone has to muck in 7:46PMTheresa May reacts 4:24PMNHS confirms it is under attack 6:34PMStay away from ‘Clinical Results’ 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’s the spiritual home of musicians where Proms founder Sir Henry Wood is buried. But a London church has become embroiled in a row with one of Britain’s best-known composers after it announced it would close its doors to choirs and orchestras because their music was not religious.Now part of a network founded by evangelical church Holy Trinity Brompton, St. Sepulchre Without Newgate Church, in Holborn, central London, will stop taking bookings from the classical musicians which have relied on it as a rehearsal and concert venue for many years. The church became part of the evangelical group, which is known for its youth-friendly rock-band style of worship, in 2013. Now classical groups are no longer welcome to rehearse and perform there – and resident choristers say they are “concerned that it will become a worship choir with drums and keyboards”. As well as Sir Henry’s resting place the church has a book of remembrance for musicians and has windows commemorating singer Dame Nellie Melba and composer John Ireland. Mr Rutter said that Mr Ingall was “betraying the community that he purports to serve. He didn’t have to take the job at the musicians church if he doesn’t like musicians.””The Church of England needs all the friends it can get. It shouldn’t be making enemies – it’s un-Christian,” he added.”Churches are and should be busy places where all can walk through the door and all are welcome. That’s my feeling but it’s obviously not his feeling.”A petition against the change, started by choir member Richard Robbins, has attracted almost 1,900 signatures. Peter Foggitt, director of the Orlando Chamber Choir, which had a booking to use the church next year, said: “Is having a church that is silent a better demonstration of what the church believes and what it’s there for than have a church full of people making music?”In a statement a spokesman for the church said: “An increasingly busy programme of worship and church activities has led to ever higher demands on the church space, and the hire space is also shared with the church administration office.”He added that the church had been “greatly moved” by the reaction to the decision. “We do wish to reiterate that we remain committed to our ministry as the National Musicians’ Church. In the coming weeks we will reflect and pray, and consult with members of the musicians’ community about how best to fulfil that ministry moving forward,” he added. Stained glass window dedicated to Sir Henry Wood the Musicians Chapel in St Sepulchre’s ChurchCredit:Paul Grover John RutterCredit:Mark Allan John Rutter, who is known for composing, arranging and conducting choral music, said the decision meant the church had “betrayed” musicians, many of whom use it as a rehearsal and warm-up space for larger concerts including the Proms.He said the timing of the decision was “significant” because of the retirement of the former Bishop of London Richard Chartres earlier this year. His successor has not yet been appointed. “I know Richard Chartres was a great friend of music and he would have been the first to say ‘come on’. But he is gone and so there’s nobody else,” he told the Daily Telegraph. He said: “What this current vicar seems to be saying is that music is OK so long as it’s part of a worship service. The concerts that take place in just about every church in the land, they’re not OK, and rehearsals are not OK either. “That flies in the face of the Anglican tradition.”In a letter sent to groups which used the church regularly, priest in charge the Reverend David Ingall said the church had become “conscious of the challenges of using a space dedicated to worship for non-religious hiring”. 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.
Briers made no comment during police interview and later claimed payments were diverted to his account simply so he could pay suppliers in cash.The trial continues. 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. John Briers, centre, is pictured leaving Newcastle Crown Court on April 30Credit:Will Walker/NNP “He made most of those payments simply by writing out cheques to himself.”He then covered his tracks by pretending that those fraudulent payments were either payments to companies who had supplied goods and services to Age Concern or bonus payments that were approved by the charity’s board of trustees or special payments, also agreed by the board, or a sub-committee of the board.”The defendant created false documents to explain those fraudulent payments.”In the end, he was caught out because one of the documents he created contained obvious mistakes and the finance manager with the charity noticed.”In total, he stole over £700,000 from the charity through these means.”The court heard the money was taken from the two limbs of the organisation, one being the charity, which he was chief executive of, and the other was the trading company, which he was secretary of. John Briers (pictured covering his face) is pictured leaving Newcastle Crown Court on April 30Credit:Will Walker/NNP Prosecutors claim Briers pocketed £433,236 through fraudulent cheques which he claimed were for suppliers, that he paid himself £105,560 in bonuses, including a special, additional monthly salary of £5,756, on one occasion, and that he used £169,703 of the charity’s cash to top-up his pension.Mr Dunne said Briers used fake invoices and even fraudulent minutes of board meetings in a bid to cover his tracks. Prosecutor Anthony Dunne told the court: “The defendant is charged with three offences of fraud by abuse of position.”The position he held was that he was chief executive of a charity, Age Concern South Tyneside.”The case against him is he dishonestly used that position to fraudulently pay to himself large amounts of Age Concern’s money. An Age Concern chief executive has been accused of stealing more than £700,000 from the charity by paying cheques into his own account and awarding himself bonuses. John Briers pocketed huge amounts of the organisation’s money in an abuse of his trusted position during a fraud spanning eight years, a court heard.The 57-year-old, of Woodstock Road, Gateshead, who was chief executive officer at Age Concern South Tyneside at the time, denies all charges – three allegations of fraud between 2007 and 2015.Newcastle Crown Court heard he is accused of paying 60 cheques into his own account, awarding himself 12 unauthorised bonuses and 19 additional pension top-ups.Jurors heard Briers was suspended from his post when a financial manager noticed a supporting document for one of the payments appeared to be fraudulent and an investigation was launched.Templates of blank invoices for firms the organisation had dealt with were allegedly found when Briers’ office was searched, the court heard.
Watch the video above for a full rundown of who these little ones are. Royal baby Sussex, who is due any time in the next couple of weeks, will not only be born into one of the world’s most famous families but a growing collective of adorable young cousins.While we know the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s child will be the first cousin of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (who, at just one year older, is likely to form a close bond with Harry and Meghan’s newborn), there are many other toddling royal relatives the new addition will grow up alongside. Potential playmates include second cousins Mia and Lena Tindall, fellow grandchildren of the Queen, Isla and Savannah Phillips, Harry’s godchildren, Zalie Warren, Florence van Cutsen and Jasper Dyer, and even some state-side playmates – Meghan’s best friend’s children, Brian, John and Ivy Mulroney.
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. Workout videos will be offered to schoolgirls to encourage them to exercise as part of new government plans to help them tackle their fear of team sports.Under new proposals published today [SUN], children will have a greater opportunity to access 60 minutes of daily sport and physical activity, whether in school, after school or during weekends and holidays.Damian Hinds, the education secretary, alongside the sports minister, Mims Davies, and the minister for public health, Seema Kennedy, will set out The School Sport and Activity Action Plan later today. The scheme will include a range of new measures to strengthen the role of sport within young people’s daily routine, explain how teachers and parents can play their part, and promote a joined-up and extra-curricular approach to physical activity and mental wellbeing. Show more Among the activities on offer is a new “Netflix-style library” of workout videos that can be used in schools and PE lessons to help encourage “less active” girls to do sport and exercise.Schools will also trial opening during holidays – a move which comes following calls from fitness leaders to keep sports clubs open all summer in a bid to combat Britain’s growing obesity crisis. As part of the plan, the Government said that it will launch a series of regional pilots – from September 2020 – to trial new approaches to getting more young people active, particularly “less active groups such as girls” and “those from disadvantaged backgrounds”.Schools and sports clubs will focus on ensuring young people have a coordinated offer of sport, competition and activity, including modern PE lessons and access to high-quality clubs and competitions after school and during weekends and holidays. Mr Hinds said: “My ambition is for every pupil to have the chance to find a sport they love, setting them up to lead healthy, active lives and equipping them with the skills to reach their full potential, both inside and outside the classroom.”The Government and Sport England will work with a range of sporting bodies including the Football Association, Premier League, England Hockey, the Rugby Football Union, England and Wales Cricket Board, England Netball, Swim England and Basketball England to ensure that their clubs and programmes can reach even more children, encouraging them to get active by focusing on fun, enjoyment and increasing confidence.Drawing upon the successful This Girl Can campaign, which has inspired over 3.9 million women and girls to take steps to get active, Sport England will also provide £1 million to develop a digital resource for girls. This will include a new Netflix-style library of workout videos that can be used in schools and PE lessons.Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, added: “We are delighted to be working at the heart of the new School Sport and Activity Action plan to embed those learnings, as well as making it easier for schools to offer more activities during the school day and after lessons not least through creating another 400 new Satellite Clubs and a This Girl Can workout resource for teenage girls.“Every child has the right to be active and find an activity they love. And the School Sport and Activity Action Plan is a great step forward.”The Department for Education has also committed £2.5 million in 2019-20 to deliver extra training for PE teachers, help schools open up their facilities at weekends and during the holidays, and expand sports volunteering programmes to give more young people the opportunity to become sports leaders and coaches. The Chief Medical Officers’ guidance on daily physical activity levels sets out that children should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
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. Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault against two women, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.A CPS spokesperson said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has today Monday July 22 charged Charles Elphicke, MP for Dover, with three charges of sexual assault against two women.”The CPS made the decision to charge Mr Elphicke after reviewing a file of evidence from the Metropolitan Police. “The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Elphicke are now active and that he has a right to a fair trial.”It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”Mr Elphicke will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 6.The charges relate to one alleged sexual assault in 2007 against the first complainant and two separate alleged sexual assaults in 2016 against the second complainant. Mr Elphicke’s constituency association chairman, Keith Single, said in a statement: “Throughout the last 20 months since these allegations were first made, Charlie has had our full support. That support will continue. Basic British values require that everyone remains innocent until proven otherwise.”Unfortunately, as everyone knows, there have been many recent occasions when, in dealing with matters of this type, the Metropolitan Police and the CPS have pursued allegations which have been proven in court to be entirely untrue. “We have no doubt that this will be another one of them and Charlie will be fully exonerated.”A source close to Mr Elphicke told The Telegraph: “He is stunned to have been charged, maintains 100% innocence and is confident he will be cleared.”In a statement Elphicke’s solicitor Ellen Peart, of law firm BCL, said: “Charlie Elphicke has said from the outset that he denies any wrongdoing. He will defend himself vigorously and is confident that he will clear his name.”Meanwhile Charlie would like to thank everyone for their continued support of him and his family.”There will be no further comment at this stage.”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJerusalem is Israel’s capital, says Donald TrumpDecember 6, 2017In “World”PPP condemns killing of 55 Palestinians by occupying Israeli forcesMay 14, 2018In “latest news”Trump shuns warnings, vows to move embassy to JerusalemDecember 5, 2017In “World” President Trump’s decision last year to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital broke with decades of US neutrality on the issue and put it at odds with most of the international community. (AFP Image)At least 41 Palestinians have been killed and 1,800 wounded by Israeli troops in clashes on the Gaza border, Palestinian officials say.The violence came as the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a controversial move that has infuriated Palestinians.They see it as clear US backing for Israeli rule over the whole city, whose eastern part Palestinians lay claim to.President Donald Trump told the opening ceremony via videolink the Jerusalem move had been a “long time coming”.He said: “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to determine its own capital, but for many years we failed to recognise the obvious.”He also said the US remained “committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement”.Palestinians hurled stones and incendiary devices while the Israeli military used snipers, as black smoke poured from burning tyres.The Hamas-run health ministry said children were among those killed on Monday.The mass demonstrations, led by Gaza’s Islamist rulers, Hamas, are part of a six-week protest dubbed the “Great March of Return”.Israel’s army said 35,000 Palestinians were taking part in “violent riots” along the security fence and that its troops were operating “in accordance with standard procedures”.Israel says the protests are aimed at breaching the border and attacking Israeli communities nearby.The Israeli military said it had killed three people trying to plant explosives near the security fence in Rafah.It said aircraft had also “targeted Hamas military posts near the Jabalia area after troops were fired upon”.There have also been violent clashes between Israeli police and protesters who raised Palestinian flags outside the new embassy. Several protesters were detained.Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally and, according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. It effectively annexed the sector, though this was not recognised by any countries until Mr Trump’s declaration in December 2017. (Excerpts from BBC)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAsylum applications double as foreigners turn to T&TAugust 7, 2017In “latest news”Cricket set to miss Commonwealth Games 2022September 4, 2017In “latest news”Queen’s Baton completes successful relay through GuyanaAugust 11, 2017In “latest news” Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter DuttonSYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A number of African athletes who went missing from the Commonwealth Games last month have resurfaced seeking advice on gaining asylum in Australia, refugee advocates said Tuesday.More than a dozen were suspected of fleeing during the showpiece event on the Gold Coast.Among them were competitors from Rwanda, Uganda and Sierra Leone, while authorities have also been seeking to verify the whereabouts of eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon — one third of the central African country’s 24-strong team.The Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS) group in Sydney said it had received enquiries from several of them but declined to reveal the exact number or the countries of origin.“Every person who seeks asylum in Australia should be subject to the same thorough investigation of their claims, be they students, visitors, workers or athletes,” RACS solicitor Sarah Dale said in a statement.“The men, women and families who are recognised as needing protection in Australia are allowed to remain only after a complex and difficult process.”The athletes’ visas were due to expire at midnight on Tuesday and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned anyone who overstayed would be forcibly removed from the country.“If people have claims to make, or they have submissions to put to the department, then we’ll consider all of that in due course,” Dutton told reporters Tuesday.“But if people have breached their visa conditions — like anyone else, they’re expected to operate within the law, and enforcement action will take place to identify those people and to deport them if they don’t self-declare.”Those seeking to stay in Australia can apply for bridging visas to remain in the country while their claim for asylum is being heard.
File photo: Some of the persons who turned up at Whim Village, Berbice to have their names removed from the listLegal proceedings against the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and another individual has been filed by one of the constituency candidates for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in Berbice seeking to have the names of some 50 persons, that the Party said was fraudulently affixed to the backer’s lists for Local Government Elections (LGE) to be removed.The court document names Shafraz Beekham as the applicant, along with the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield and Orlando Christopher Persaud as the respondents.The document outlines that the challenge is seeking to have the names of 49 other electors appearing on list of backers in support of the Alliance For Change (AFC) constituency candidates removed.It noted that the submission was made to Persaud on September 21, 2018, in Whim Bloomfield, Berbice Local Authority Area (LAA), for the LGE 2018. The PPP is challenging on the grounds that the said decision is unlawful, illegal, and unreasonable and is in violation of the Local Authorities (Elections) Act.The document also cites Persaud’s alleged refusal to withdraw the applicant’s name and the names of 49 other electors. It said unless the names are withdrawn, the election in the LAA would be tainted with “illegality and fraud.” It also noted that Persaud’s refusal happened before the expired deadline on September 26, 2018.In a sworn affidavit, Beekham, who is a registered elector on the Official List of Electors for Constituency Number 3 in the Whim/Bloomfield Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) said he and others were deliberately deceived into signing a document by an Alliance For Change representative who he claimed fraudulently represented that she was employed by GECOM and that he needed to sign a document to confirm that his name was on the voter’s list.“I am informed and do verily believe by the other electors in the community that they were told that they would benefit from better roads, jobs, better pension and rehabilitated playgrounds and were also deceived into signing,” he stated in court documents.He said too that it was only after Nomination Day on September 21, 2018, that he learnt that the signature which was taken from him was unauthorisedly used as a nominator backing the AFC candidate in constituency Number 3.According to him, at no time whatsoever was he or the other residents informed, or did they know that they were in fact signing a list of backers in support of the AFC candidate(s).Persaud said on becoming aware of the fraud perpetuated against him and other electors, he immediately demanded that their names be withdrawn or deleted from the AFC lists.He recalled that he and the other electors had affidavits to withdraw their names and support for the AFC candidate on the lists submitted. On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, Beekham and other electors visited Persaud’s office in Whim to submit the affidavits to have their names withdrawn.According to his court document, “The first named respondent was not in office and there was no other representative present who would accept our withdrawals. I returned to the first named respondent’s office at 2:00pm (14:00h) on September 26, 2018, with the other electors to submit our withdrawals. It was made clear to Persaud that we did not knowingly or intentionally submit or affix our signatures to any lists in support of AFC candidates.“The first named respondent initially refused to accept our withdrawals erroneously, stating that the time has expired for us to do so.” The PPP candidate said he did not leave and persisted to demand that his name be removed from the list. He recalled making contact with PPP GECOM Commissioner and Attorney Bibi Shadick and sought her intervention and advice.He was informed that at a meeting between GECOM Commissioners on September 25, 2018, it was confirmed that the deadline for the submission of the statutory affidavits was on 23:55h on September 26, 2018.“The statutory affidavits to withdraw the names of electors from the lists could be submitted by the representative (head of the list) or deputy representative or in person by the elector. If the elector appeared in person, a letter addressed to the first named respondent would have sufficed to effect a withdrawal. The statutory affidavits were legal documents which the first named respondent would be duty bound to accept,” he added.However, after 14:30h on September 26, the CEO was out of touch and was not in his office and could not be reached personally or by telephone to give any directions to Persaud. In the absence of the CEO, the Deputy CEO, Roxanne Myers, was contacted in her office and indicated that she could not give any instructions to Persaud without first conferring with the CEO of GECOM who she was also unable to contact.Subsequently, Persaud informed Beekham that he will accept the statutory affidavits from him and the other electors only if the electors desirous of withdrawing (including himself) were present in person. Beekham and 49 other electors presented themselves to Persaud the same day.But he later advised that “a confrontation had to be done between us and the AFC candidates” and further that the AFC candidates would be given time to rebut the allegations being made and fixed 10:00pm (22:00h) as the deadline after which a decision would be made.When the time had reached, Beekham said that he and the 49 other electors were all present. The AFC candidates were not present. Persaud then proceeded to accept all of the affidavits and in his presence signed and issued an acknowledgement of receipt to the representative of the PPP Himatee Latchman.Beekham learnt on Friday, September 28, that Persaud had refused to withdraw his name and that of the 49 other electors from the lists submitted by the AFC.The proceedings were served on Wednesday. The matter is fixed for hearing before Justice Navindra Singh on October 11. The attorneys representing Beekham are Adrian Anamayah, Ian Anamayah and Anil Nandlall. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGECOM was not hands-on enough with Opposition’s LGE complaints- Dr JeffreyOctober 15, 2018In “latest news”LGE 2018: AFC to contest 38 Local Authority AreasOctober 10, 2018In “latest news”PPP’s LGE challenge to remove names from AFC backers’ lists dismissedOctober 23, 2018In “Court”