Remember the “Honey Badger,” the LSU safety who seemingly ruined his NFL career because he could not stop smoking marijuana? Remember how he was ridiculed when he was kicked off the No. 1 team in the country, how he seemed to be the sad example of talent wasted?Well, look at him now. Tyrann Mathieu is a star safety for the Arizona Cardinals, one of the league’s top defenders. He missed the Atlanta Falcons game last week because of injury, one reason the Falcons were able to pass the ball so well.Mathieu could miss a few more games with the broken thumb. But he’s already established himself in his second season as a force on the field and reliable off of it.He goes by his name now, not the moniker because, while catchy, it symbolizes a time in his life that he regrets.It took losing his college career and the threat of a pro career for Mathieu to smarten up.“I didn’t have everything together back in college,” he said to SI.com when he arrived in Arizona. “I had everything together as far as football, but when it came to my social life, my personal life, I didn’t have everything intact. I didn’t have my emotions intact. Spiritually, I wasn’t intact.“Once you take football away, you are able to work on the person. These last six months, that is all I had was Tyrann the person. I attacked the person, I attacked my issues. . . Back when I was the Honey Badger, I didn’t have everything intact. Going forward, I am going to focus on being Tyrann Mathieu and that is the person I want to control right now.”Coach Bruce Arians said: “He’s a good kid. . . he knew his mistakes, owned up to his mistakes and he was just looking for an opportunity. The football part spoke for itself, and he’s been nothing but a dream to coach ever since.”Mathieu’s case of taking advantage of his opportunity comes at a time when Ray Rice is seeking a second chance, too. The cases are different but the same in this way: They are talented athletes who made mistakes. Mathieu’s errors hurt him; Rice’s actions hurt his wife, making some feel he should not set foot on an NFL field again as a player.Mathieu shows that a second chance can be a real life-saver. . . if handled properly. He went into rehab, moved by himself to Florida where he cleared his head and lungs and committed himself to a better life.That better life meant no drugs, understanding that if he stayed true to that personal mandate, the NFL was his to be had. To this point, Mathieu has been on point. He’s the playmaker scouts projected him to be.Rice is a proven football commodity who surely has been scared straight. He’s paid a penance. And for those looking for examples of second-chancers who kept it together, look to Mathieu. That’s something few would have even considered less than two years ago.
2012Josh HamiltonRangersCF3151.246135+132.0 CAREER STATS THROUGH SEASON By practically all measures, Whiten, the former St. Louis Cardinal, had the most unimpressive track record of any player at the time of his four-homer game. But Gennett isn’t too far off — he has the second-fewest batting runs above average, the second-lowest isolated power and second-worst wRC+. By contrast, most of the four-HR club’s members were either superstars squarely in their primes (Gehrig, Mays), up-and-comers who already had great rate stats (Mike Schmidt, Rocky Colavito) or at least solid veterans (Carlos Delgado, Chuck Klein).Gennett is the baseball equivalent of Devin Booker scoring 70 points in an NBA game, or Nick Foles tossing seven touchdown passes in the NFL. Part of why we watch sports is that in any given game there’s the chance that a mediocre middle infielder might explode for one of the best offensive performances ever.And in a 2017 season that’s tracking for the most home runs ever, perhaps more of these types of games are to come. 2017Scooter GennettReds2B1759.15099-1.5 1993Mark WhitenCardinalsRF1756.13996-8.9 1961Willie MaysGiantsCF5957.269155+407.9 1976Mike SchmidtPhillies3B2548.248139+113.5 2002Shawn GreenDodgersRF4866.236124+154.3 1986Bob HornerBraves1B3966.229128+123.9 Includes career stats through the end of the season (or, for 2017, through June 6) in which the player hit 4 home runs in a game.Source: FanGraphs 1954Joe AdcockBraves1B2426.166106+18.2 1936Chuck KleinPhilliesOF5333.252147+328.4 2002Mike CameronMarinersCF3497.185105+20.6 1948Pat SeereyWhite SoxOF2087.188108+20.4 Before this week, Ryan “Scooter” Gennett was best known for being the first MLB player nicknamed after a “Muppet Babies” character. But that all changed Tuesday night, when the Cincinnati second baseman became just the 17th player in MLB history (and the 15th of the modern era) to crush four home runs in a game. If you were to draw up a list of players most likely to hit four homers last night, Gennett would have been near the bottom — probably somewhere between Cameron Rupp and Cory Spangenberg.Before his huge game, Gennett’s career was pretty nondescript. The second baseman had 38 career home runs to his name, and his lifetime weighted runs created plus (wRC+ estimates how many runs a player generates per plate appearance compared with the league average) is still just 99, slightly below league average.1wRC+ is scaled so that 100 is average each season. There was little to suggest he was about to become the first player in MLB history to record 5 hits, 4 HR and 10 RBI in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.Remarkably, Scooter is not the first lightweight to slug four homers in a game. Although the four-homer club contains such all-time greats as Willie Mays and Lou Gehrig, it also includes the likes of Mark Whiten and Pat Seerey. So where does Scooter rank among the club’s most unexpected members? Here are some pertinent career stats for each player through the end of the season that contained their big game: Scooter joins (mostly) elite company 1959Rocky ColavitoIndiansRF2175.262143+111.1 2003Carlos DelgadoBlue Jays1B5467.275140+283.7 1950Gil HodgesDodgers1B1944.172106+15.7 1932Lou GehrigYankees1B5470.297176+568.4 YEARPLAYERTEAMPOSPAISOWRC+BATTING RUNS
This season, the Ohio State softball team played without its three-time All-American catcher. Freshman Melissa Rennie and sophomore Cara Longworth had big shoes because the last person who held that spot was Sam Marder, OSU’s 2010 Female Athlete of the Year. Catcher is a unique position in that, no matter the player, leadership is a requirement. She has to guide the pitcher and communicate with the infield. It did not make it any easier that both Longworth and Rennie were new to the team. “She’s intimidating,” said Longworth, who transferred to OSU after playing her freshman season at Jacksonville State. “She’s hard to live up to.” Rennie was concerned with taking a large leadership role so quickly after following Buckeyes softball since she was 8 years old, during which time she followed Marder’s entire career. “It’s weird to think I have to lead Alicia Herron, because that’s someone I have always looked up to,” Rennie said. But Marder is not done wearing Scarlet and Gray. Although she is no longer behind the plate, this year Marder contributed as a coach, bringing success and experience to the team. As a coach, she hopes to provide insight into the gameday experience for the young catchers. “They’re so young, and it’s so hard to come in without any previous experience with this team and lead them out there,” Marder said. Marder said Rennie has refined her mechanical skills, and it has paid off. Rennie started in 42 of the team’s 51 games this season, and was batting .230. Her .333 on-base percentage ranked third on the team. Meanwhile, Longworth has played both catcher and third base, and started in 25 games. “Cara has one of the fastest pop times I have ever seen, way faster than I was,” Marder said. “She’s a fireball back there. She’s totally in the game, has great leadership skills on the field, is in the game the entire time and she’s almost a natural-born leader out there.” Marder admitted one of the weirdest parts of her new role is the dynamic of her relationships with former teammates. “I’m a coach. I’m staff, but I’m not a player anymore, so that was hard to make that transition,” Marder said. “It was a little bit strange almost to not go hang out with them afterwards.” Coach Linda Kalafatis gave Marder the opportunity to return as a coach, the career Marder wants to pursue. “It’s really a great transition for me into coaching because I’m able to focus just with them, and hopefully next year when I become a coach somewhere, I’ll have a little bit of experience doing it,” Marder said. “I have loved every second of it.” Since 2007, Marder has played an integral role in helping the Buckeyes consistently rank in the Top 25. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Player last season. In 2010, she led the Big Ten with an .817 slugging percentage and .569 on-base percentage while batting .359, and she scored 40 runs with 45 RBIs. She earned All-Big Ten and All-Region honors in all four years of her career, and is the record holder at OSU, with 61 home runs, 191 RBIs, 232 walks and 56 intentional walks. “I was glad to work with her coming in,” Longworth said. “That’s why I was excited to be a catcher.” OSU was swept by Penn State and Wisconsin in its last two series of the season. The Buckeyes’ record fell to 14-37 overall, 3-17 in the Big Ten. It was the worst record for the Scarlet and Gray in the past eight years.
Former OSU basketball player Jared Sullinger (center) plays in a game against Iowa. Sullinger plays as a forward for the Boston Celtics and appeared in 45 games in his rookie season. Credit: Lantern file photoFormer Ohio State basketball star Jared Sullinger has had a less than easy transition into the NBA, personally, physically and mentally.Sullinger appeared in just 45 games in his rookie season as a forward for the Boston Celtics, averaging just 19.8 minutes a game.A back injury kept the former two-time AP All-American from meeting his full potential. Sullinger underwent surgery to repair a lumbar disk in February, which sidelined him for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.At a Sept. 30 press conference, before the start of training camp, Sullinger told reporters that his back is “not close” to game fit and he wasn’t sure whether he would be available for the start of the regular season. Sullinger told the media, “I got a lot of work to do. And only training camp can help that.”The next day, Sullinger brushed off the situation, saying that his back was 100 percent healthy. He clarified, telling reporters that from his point of view he didn’t feel close to game fit. He seems to be proving himself wrong. The Celtics have played four preseason games and Sullinger is averaging 12.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Though, Sullinger still relents that he isn’t where he feels he should be fitness wise. Having not touched a ball for six months, his fitness level will rise with time.On top of his injury, Sullinger was arrested in September.Sullinger appeared in Waltham District Courthouse for the second time Sept. 23, facing charges of assault and battery, intimidation of a witness and destruction of personal property, stemming from a confrontation with his then-girlfriend, Deann Smith Aug. 31. Prosecutors plan to pursue domestic assault charges on the 21-year-old, even though Smith has dropped all charges. Sullinger will return for a second pretrial hearing Oct. 28.The Columbus native pled not guilty to all charges after he turned himself in but took full responsibility for his actions and said “the experience was humbling and embarrassing” for him.If the former Buckeye great doesn’t turn things around quickly, he could very easily become another in the long line of OSU big men who flare out in the NBA. That will take a big time change, though, in his life.Since being selected 21st overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Sullinger hasn’t been given the opportunity to prove himself, and his sophomore season could be that chance.Boston is rebuilding after losing coach Doc Rivers and forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the offseason. If he is able to stay healthy and realize his full potential, this year could be the time for him to step up and show the NBA what he is all about.He still has a long way to go, including resolving his off-the-court issues and making sure he’s no longer in the news for the wrong reasons. But, if he is able to make these changes, he could make a comeback.
South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) pressures the quarterback during a game against Arkansas Oct. 12 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. South Carolina won, 52-7.Credit: Courtesy of MCTOne of the most debated topics in college sports this year has been the saga of South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The 2012 SEC Defensive Player of the Year has the stats, athletic measurements and all-around beastliness made him almost a unanimous consideration for the Heisman Trophy, and a sure top 3 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.The only problem is, Clowney’s play (or lack thereof) has himself on the outside looking in. He only has two sacks this season, well off the pace he had last season, when he finished with 13. More notably, he recently held himself out of a game against Kentucky with a rib strain, causing a ton of controversy.Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier initially expressed a lot of displeasure with Clowney sitting out a game with an injury that most players play through, and hinted that Clowney has been taking plays off this season. Later, however, Spurrier retracted this sentiment, praising Clowney for all that he has already done for the program.What this brings us back to is the endless debate of how much an unpaid college athlete should leave out on the field, when millions of dollars from a top NFL draft pick are right on the horizon.One side of the argument might say star college athletes’ only inspiration for playing is to prove their values to professional teams (and, of course, that whole education thing, but since when was that ever the interest of anybody?) and improve their stock in the draft. However, how can an NFL team trust your work ethic and want to draft you if you aren’t showing the competitive desire to play?If Clowney plays and gets hurt, his draft stock goes kaput. After all, it was just last season that the Gamecock star saw his former teammate, then-junior running back Marcus Lattimore, suffer a horrifying knee injury and drop millions of dollars in draft position. However, if he stays on the sidelines, or plays with reduced effort, he gives off the vibe he is a me-only guy, someone who does not have the best interest of his team.My solution: The NCAA has to either pay athletes based on the revenue they generate or rework its insurance policy. Currently, the only way you get any compensation for a terrible injury is if it ends your career. By these rules, Lattimore, who will never be the same explosive player he once was, and potentially not make as much money, still is not entitled to a settlement because he was still able to work toward a professional career after going through rehab. If Clowney were to suffer an injury that would be so terrible he can never make it in the pros, he would receive the maximum settlement from the Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Program of $5 million, compared to the average $21.2 million contract the top three picks signed in 2012.With college athletes not getting paid and not having much in the form of insurance, final years like Clowney’s are going to become increasingly common. Players will be looking ahead to the NFL, making their primary concern keeping themselves in one piece. College games will lose grit and passion, as the players become more and more complacent.Can you really blame a top prospect for sitting out games, either? Redshirt-junior Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby has taken himself out of the first round in many mock drafts with his underwhelming performance this season. Last year, former USC quarterback Matt Barkley chose to stay for his senior year, because he likely would have been drafted behind two of the biggest quarterback prospects in a decade. He ended up being taken in the fourth round of one of the weakest quarterback drafts in some time because of his poor senior year.Clowney’s cautious performance is a sign of things to come for any players with an inevitable NFL future, as long as their only hope to make a living out of the sport they built their life around is to make it through their college years unscathed. It’s hard to be a fan of this attitude, and I’m sure NFL teams aren’t either, but college athletes are here for the same reason every student is: to build necessary career skills and make your way into the professional circuit. If they have to play it safe in order to make a living later, that is what many will choose to do.And, to be honest, I cannot blame them at all for that.
Redshirt-sophomore outside hitter T.J. Read hits the ball during a game against Grand Canyon Feb. 21 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-0. Credit: Jonathan McAllister / Lantern photographerFor the Ohio State men’s volleyball team, the stakes are high this weekend.The team is hoping to get out of its four-match slump as it seeks revenge against No. 12 Ball State, which defeated the Buckeyes earlier this season.The Buckeyes are set to travel to Muncie, Ind., to take on the Cardinals for the second time this season, this Sunday at 4 p.m.The last meeting for the Buckeyes and the Cardinals ended in a 3-1 loss for OSU at St. John Arena in February. Coach Pete Hanson said the team is preparing for an even harder match against Ball State this weekend.“Ball State is on a roll right now. They are in their home court and they beat us the last match, so this is going to be another tough match for us,” he said.Ball State is currently 15-5 for the season, and just won its eighth consecutive match against Harvard on Sunday.“It is going to be an uphill battle,” Hanson said.The Buckeyes fell to Harvard Tuesday, making that their fourth consecutive loss of the season and putting their record at 8-12.Redshirt-freshman outside hitter Alex Judkins said the most important thing the team is working on in preparation for Ball State is its offense.“We will be doing a lot of serving and passing during practice, after what we saw in our match against Harvard,” he said.Freshman setter Christy Blough said the main thing the Buckeyes have to work on is teamwork, which has been their focus during practice over the past weeks.“We need to play more as a team for our match against Ball State. We played individually in the beginning during the Harvard match and I think that is what really hurt us,” he said.Hanson said although the team is starting to improve in certain areas, there are still many aspects of the game that need to become better.“We are continuing to work on the same things, which is serve/receive, being strong with our attacking and trying to get better with our block and defense. All phases of the game need to become better. It’s not one big thing that has to improve; it is a little bit of everything,” he said.
Sophomore punter Cameron Johnston (95) and freshman kicker Sean Nuernberger (96) walk off the field during a game against Maryland on Oct. 4 in College Park, Md. OSU won, 52-24.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorDuring the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State, Buckeye fans knew what to expect: a largely conservative offense with an emphasis on special teams.One of those things remains true under third-year OSU coach Urban Meyer. Following an Oct. 4. win over Maryland, in which the Buckeyes held the explosive Terrapin return game to just 12.7 yards per kickoff return, Meyer was ecstatic about his special teams unit.“That kickoff team, those are my guys. I might put them in first-class on the flight home. I have so much respect for those guys,” Meyer said after the game. “I love their demeanor and how they answer challenges. I was very impressed with our coverage units.”Not only did the Buckeye kickoff team shut down the Terrapins, the punt team, despite only seeing the field twice, did not allow Maryland to attempt a return. In fact, one of those punts — a 69-yard boot from sophomore punter Cameron Johnston — pinned Maryland inside its own 10-yard line. OSU redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee picked off Maryland redshirt-senior quarterback C.J. Brown on the first play of the ensuing drive, eventually leading to a Buckeye score. Johnston said seeing his teammates capitalize on the exceptional special teams play is always enjoyable.“It was nice to be able to get it down there and then Darron (was) able to take that.” Johnston said. “It definitely feels good.”Junior linebacker and special teams specialist Craig Fada said Wednesday that the special teams units get a lot of attention in practice.“We work on special teams countless periods every day in practice and it’s just a way for us to change the game,” Fada said. “It’s a way for us to have our defense in a better position, our offense in a better position, just to help all around.”He added that playing special teams for the Buckeyes is another way for younger players or unproven players to show the coaches they are deserving of more playing time. “We put a big emphasis on special teams and it gives younger guys a place to make an impact on the game,” he said. “And all the younger guys always want to get on those, and even the guys that aren’t fully equipped to get on defense yet want to get onto special teams, and that’s just a way to help.”During last Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference, Meyer mentioned one specific player whose play on special teams has kept him in a scarlet and gray uniform. Redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn, who has seen limited time on offense this season, saved his Buckeye career on special teams, Meyer said. “He was gone. He would not be renewed next year if he would not have made a jump on the field and off the field,” Meyer said. “He earned it, for about two, three weeks in a row in practice on scout punt rush he was our best player. (Gave) incredible effort, and he earned some playing time. He is now starting on three special teams phases and we are going to think about working him into the offense now.“What an incredible journey he has been on, and we hope it sticks.”Johnston, Fada and Dunn might not be household names in Columbus but neither were Mike Nugent, Jake McQuaide or Nate Ebner when they first entered Ohio Stadium. All three are now on NFL rosters as special teams standouts.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Rutgers on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. The homecoming kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Ohio State then-freshman starting pitcher Seth Lonsway delivers a pitch out of the windup in Game 3 of the Scarlet and Gray World Series. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Editor-in-ChiefThe Ohio State baseball team (3-0) started the season with a bang, sweeping Seton Hall in three games over the weekend in the Snowbird Baseball Classic. Game 1The Ohio State pitching staff exploded onto the scene in the Buckeye’s season opener.The Buckeyes began the season with a 4-3 win over Seton Hall on Friday. Strong pitching, along with multiple-RBI games from both junior right fielder Dominic Canzone and junior first baseman Conner Pohl, propelled the Buckeyes to the opening day win.Redshirt freshman pitcher Seth Lonsway led the way with a nine-strikeout collegiate debut. It didn’t take long for Lonsway to settle into his role, as he struck out the side to start the game. He went six innings and allowed one run in the win.The game was close, with Ohio State leading 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, until Pohl brought in two runs with a single.A two-run home run by Seton Hall junior first baseman Matt Toke at the top of the eighth inning pulled the game back to a single run, but Buckeye sophomore pitcher Griffan Smith earned a save to close out the game for the first win of the season.Game 2Strong pitching from Ohio State continued on the second day of the Snowbird Baseball Classic.Freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn held Seton Hall to just one hit in eight innings of work, as the Buckeyes defeated the Pirates 6-0. Ohio State (2-0) tallied nine hits in the win.Burhenn notched six strikeouts and no walks in a dominant debut performance.The game was blown open when junior shortstop Noah West hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to push the lead to 5-0. This marked the third home run hit by the Buckeyes this season.The youth of Ohio State positively impacted Ohio State on the offensive side as well. Freshman third baseman Marcus Ernst earned his first collegiate hit to go along with two runs scored.Seton Hall’s one hit was made by sophomore catcher Jerry Huntzinger, and junior pitcher Noah Thompson was given the loss. Game 3A strong first two innings put the Buckeyes in the driver’s seat for a third straight win to open the season.Ohio State (3-0) completed the sweep against Seton Hall with a 5-3 victory. The Buckeyes scored all five runs in the first two innings, and a treacherous start for sophomore pitcher Tyler Burnham forced the Pirates to replace him after recording just one out.In the bottom of the second inning, junior right fielder Dominic Canzone launched his second home run of the season, the team’s fourth in three gamesSeton Hall chipped away at the lead, posting single-run innings in the fourth, fifth, and eighth.Ohio State’s junior pitcher Jake Vance put up a solid five-inning performance, in which he struck out six and allowed two runs. Fifth-year senior Thomas Waning was credited with the save. The Buckeye offense posted 15 runs in the series, while allowing only six runs.The team will play a single game against Florida Gulf Coast on Monday. This will be the first true road game for the Buckeyes.
Pointing to a white powder on the cistern, Mr Rix, says: “You see what’s there?”His companion says: “Yeah, go on, you do the big one then, go on.””Are you sure?” replies Mr Rix.”Yeah, go on,” his companion says.Mr Rix then leans over the toilet cistern and appears to snort the powder.The mayor said: “I had never done this before in my life. I had been set up right from the start. This was from before I was mayor, and even deputy mayor. I hadn’t long been a councillor.”I know I shouldn’t have done it – I was drunk, and that was it. I can only apologise to my friends and family for putting them through it.”It is currently unclear where the video was shot.A spokesman for Kent Police said: “Kent Police is aware of media coverage of a video circulating online reportedly relating to drug use. Officers will be making enquiries to establish the circumstances of the footage.”The spokesman said the force “would not be able to confirm or deny” whether it was investigating a complaint of blackmail.In a statement, Dover Town Council said: “We are taking this matter very seriously and have asked the Kent Association of Local Councils for advice.”The Mayor has agreed to self-refer to the district council’s Monitoring Officer for a possible breach of the Code of Conduct. There may be a criminal investigation, but this is a matter for the police.” He admitted it was him in the footage but insisted it was not a resigning issue.Asked whether he would be quitting, he said: “No, I’m not at all. I’m not standing down.”Gordon Cowan, the Labour member who was narrowly defeated by Mr Rix in the election for mayor, said: “He has to ask himself can he continue in the role as mayor and councillor, but it is down to Cllr Rix to decide.”The big question is do the people of Dover want someone representing them under these circumstances? He should take a serious look at his position.”The married father-of-three said he had been told the name of the man who had filmed and released the footage.Mr Rix, who runs a scaffolding and demolition firm, has been an elected member of Dover town council for nine years. He is an independent town councillor, though he stood as a Ukip candidate in the district council elections last year without success.He was elected mayor in April this year by a casting vote.At the time, he claimed: “I want to bring Dover on a bit and try and make everyone work together and make Dover a better place – that’s the idea of it all.” The mayor of Dover has insisted he will not be resigning after he was filmed in a bathroom snorting a line of white powder off a lavatory cistern.Footage emerged of Neil Rix, the mayor of the Kent coastal town, sniffing the powder through a £20 note while accompanied by a friend.Mr Rix, 54, claims he is the victim of a blackmail plot and that police are investigating.Speaking after the footage was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday night, he said: “The video forms part of a police investigation into the fact I am being blackmailed.”It did not happen recently. I was set up, pushed into it and coerced.”Someone had put drugs into my beer and I did not know I was being filmed.”He said he was not a drug user, insisting he was “dead against” drug taking, and he was not sure what type of substance he snorted or where it was filmed.He said: “I have never done it before. I was drunk. What happened happened. I don’t know what it was I was putting up my nose. It could have been sherbet for all I know.” 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. Mr Rix is filmed rolling up a £20 noteCredit:YouTube The mayor pictured before snorting the substanceCredit:YouTube Dover mayor Neil Rix with the mayoress Jackie RixCredit:Dover Express/SWNS.com The video, which lasts for one minute and seven seconds, was shot before Mr Rix was appointed mayor.It shows him urging another man in the toilet to close the cubicle door before removing a package from his pocket.He says: “Shut that door…don’t want anyone to see Councillor Rix doing this.”His friend replies: “Nah, —- that.”
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. Around half (48 per cent) said that classical music was their preferred sound while waiting. More positively, one in three said that being told how long they would have to wait was the most useful information while on hold, followed by where they were in the queue (32 per cent) and the offer of being called back if they left a number (30 per cent).The watchdog also found that the vast majority of people are prepared to wait no longer than five minutes for their call to be answered.Richard Headland, editor of Which? magazine, said: “Waiting on hold is a waste of time, but some organisations make the experience needlessly annoying through objectionable messages and music.“If these drive you round the bend, vote with your feet and take your custom elsewhere. The best companies know the value of answering your call quickly.” Being put on hold can be made worse by the musicCredit:Alamy “Your call is valued” is the most irritating phrase to hear while on hold to speak to a company, a survey has found.Almost half (47 per cent) of those polled by Which?, the consumer group, said they found the message the most annoying, followed by being told to go to the company’s website (28 per cent) and apologies for all operators being busy (11 per cent).An engaged tone was judged the most annoying sound, named by 29 per cent of those polled, followed by rock music (22 per cent) and background music with no specific tune (21 per cent). Waiting on hold is a waste of time, but some organisations make the experience needlessly annoyingRichard Headland, editor of Which? Which? surveyed 2,260 members between July 14-29.Last month The Daily Telegraph revealed customers faced a wait of up to an hour to get through to the taxman. A July report by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee found that in October 2015 on average taxpayers were still waiting for 35 minutes for officials at HMRC to answer the phone.An HMRC spokesperson said: “We are sorry that in the past we have not provided the standard of service which people are entitled to expect. We have made progress and we are now consistently answering more than 90% of calls first time, with average waits of five minutes over the past six months.”
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 defendant denies charges of murder, preventing a lawful burial, fraud and three counts of perverting the cause of justice.The trial at St Albans Crown Court previously heard that Ms Bailey and Stewart met on a dating site for people who had been widowed following the death of her husband in 2011.She had worn a ring since 2014 and had been due to re-marry in September 2016. Near her side lay the remains of her beloved miniature dachshund, Boris, the trial previously heard.On Friday, jurors were shown the cesspit where her remains lay hidden from view for three months.The tank, which was full of human waste at the time, is located inside an old-fashioned well and goes around 15ft beneath the garage’s concrete floor, according to police. Helen Bailey with her partner Ian Stewart, who is accused of her murder Helen Bailey’s body was discovered in a septic tank beneath the garageCredit:Hertfordshire Constabulary/PA Stewart, 56, is accused of “secretly” giving her a sleeping drug in increasing amounts over time as part of a “long-planned” plot which had “money as its driving motive”.Then, on April 11, it is alleged he killed her while she was in a “stupefied” state and hid her remains in the waste tank – parking a car over the access point.Ms Bailey was said to be “very successful” and worth around £4 million, earning around £5,000 a month in royalties from her books. Helen Bailey was found dead in the grounds of her sprawling £1.5m Hertfordshire property three months after going missingCredit:JOHN McLELLAN Jurors have been taken to the site where children’s author Helen Bailey was allegedly drugged and killed before being dumped in a cesspit.The 12 were accompanied by police, counsel and court officials during the visit to the 51-year-old’s lavish home in Royston, Hertfordshire.Ms Bailey shared the home with fiance Ian Stewart, who is charged with her murder, and his two sons.The 51-year-old writer was found deep in the grounds of her sprawling £1.5 million property in July 2016, three months after she was reported missing. Helen Bailey, a successful author, was known by younger readers for her characters Electra Brown and Daisy DavenportCredit:Hertfordshire Police Stewart was in line to be a “very substantial” benefactor of the author’s £4 million fortune in the event of her death, jurors were told.Ms Bailey was known by younger readers for her characters Electra Brown and Daisy Davenport, but found a new audience with her blog, Planet Grief, about becoming a widow.Stewart denies all charges. The trial continues.
Demand on emergency services is risingCredit:Andrew Fox As the health system extends practice hours across the country, it must not lose sight of the need to get the basics rightMeg Hillier, chairman the Committee of Public Accounts The changes will also mean that GPs will lose funding if they continue to regularly close during office hours.Theresa May had already signalled such a move, amid warnings that poor access to GPs is fuelling pressures on Accident & Emergency departments.Last month a report by the National Audit Office found that almost half of GP practices are not open full time – with one in five regularly closing by 3pm.Yet the vast majority of GPs are claiming extra funds for “extended access” – with around £15,000 paid out per practice in 2015/16.Under the new terms, family doctors will lose access to such funding, unless they also provide a full service on week days.The deal will also see a pay uplift of 1 per cent for GPs. 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. MPs said that practices needed to “get the basics right”Credit:PA GPs will be given extra cash to help identify overseas patients as part of a crackdown on “health tourism”.Family doctors will be required to establish whether or not patients are eligible for free care, and to pass details to hospitals before any treatment is booked, under changes to the GP contract.The British Medical Association has repeatedly insisted that doctors should not be treated as “border guards”.Last night the union said new deal agreed with the Government – which asks patients to “self-declare” their residency status – meant GPs would avoid such duties.Meanwhile, GP practices will be paid an extra £5m annually, to support “any workload implications” of the requirement to pass information on, the union said.On Monday the Health Secretary announced that every hospital will have to charge overseas patients “upfront” unless they can prove they are eligible for non-urgent care. The law will be changed from April.Today Mr Hunt said changes to the contracts for family doctors recognised the fact that GPs are a “gateway” to to other health services.”We’ve made it clear that overseas visitors are welcome to use our NHS – but only if they make a fair and proportionate contribution to it, just as the British taxpayer does,” Mr Hunt said.”These changes are about making sure the primary care system plays a full and proper role in ensuring any appropriate costs are identified and recovered.” Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chairman, said: “I am pleased to say we have reached an agreement which we believe offers important and significant improvements to the contract.“Claiming back funding from overseas countries for hospital services when their citizens use the NHS is nothing new and has been common practice for many years. We have ensured that the minor changes this year will allow overseas patients who hold an EHIC card or S1 form to self-declare at registration so that reception staff do not become border guards, and that practices are reimbursed for associated administration.“But claiming back funding from overseas countries for hospital services will generate relatively small amounts of extra money and will not address the incredible funding pressure on GP services.”
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. Arrests of women have risen by as much as 50 per cent in some areas after a police crackdown on petty crime. Police are under pressure to give out fewer cautions after then-justice secretary Chris Grayling announced in 2013 that they should by used more sparingly.Arrests of women rose by 46 per cent in Lancashire, 45 per cent in Dorset and 40 per cent in Hertfordshire between 2014-15 and 2015-16. Charity the Prison Reform Trust, which produced the figures, said that the reduced use of cautions meant women who would previously have been issued with an on-the-spot penalty were now being arrested and taken to court.Women are more likely to commit offences which would previously have attracted a caution, such as shoplifting and low-level anti-social behaviour. The use of “out of court disposals”, which include cautions, has fallen from a peak of almost 700,000 in 2007 to 181,900 in the year to September 2016. In 2014 Mr Grayling said the UK had a “cautions culture” and that offenders were being “allowed to get away with the soft option”.He proposed a new system which will mean all offenders have to take action such as apologising to a victim or paying compensation following even the most minor offences.This has been trialled in three police forces and further reform is due to take place. The charity said that arresting women and sending them to prison is more likely to cause harm to their children and does not tackle the most common underlying causes of women’s offending, such as poverty, abusive relationships and addiction. Arrests of women fell in 60 per cent of areas, in part because of schemes providing treatment for conditions like alcoholism and depression. In Greater Manchester the number of women arrested fell from 6,794 to 5,138, a 24 per cent reduction. The charity said that the force’s “gender informed” system to deal with to women offenders, which involved referring them to women’s centres, had reduced reoffending.Jenny Earle, director of the Prison Reform Trust’s programme to reduce women’s imprisonment, said “Most of women’s offending is rooted in financial hardship, abusive relationships, addiction and poor mental health.”For too long the criminal justice system has been used as a safety net to get women’s lives back on track, when what is needed is treatment and support.”
Monty Python and The Holy Grail Credit:Pictures/EMI/REX/Shutterstock 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. Think of a Monty Python film with blasphemous content, and Life of Brian springs to mind.Yet previously unseen files from the British Board of Film Classification show that the comedy team’s earlier offering, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, fell foul of the censors for repeated use of the words ‘Jesus Christ!’A scene in which King Arthur encounters a taunting Frenchman played by John Cleese – “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries” – is followed by the French catapulting cows over the ramparts at the king and his men. Under modern classifications, the film is a 12A with ‘moderate sex references’ and ‘comic violence’.Michael Palin told his local paper, the Camden New Journal, that even the film’s investors thought it too violent. “Then, with an audience off the street, they howled with laughter – in fact, some people said there should have been even more violence included because it was so funny.”Concern over The Holy Grail’s controversial content was played out behind the scenes. But when Life of Brian was released in 1979, it outraged the nation.Thirty-nine local authorities either imposed an outright ban or an X-certificate. Cleese and Palin faced Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark, Mervyn Stockwood, in a notorious television debate.Cleese maintained that Life of Brian was questioning blind adherence to faith but was not a mockery of Christianity. The Holy Grail is considered a British classic – the Knights who say Ni, the killer bunny rabbit, and the riding of pretend horses (the BBC budget did not stretch to real ones) are all beloved by comedy fans. The repetition of ‘Jesus Christ’ in the film seems to us unnecessaryStephen Murphy, then BBFC secretary In the version that appeared in cinemas on the film’s 1975 release, King Arthur yells: “Jesus Christ!” as a cow missed him by inches. But in the uncut original, he said it three times, and the BBFC was not impressed.“We are less than enchanted by your funny Frenchman,” wrote Stephen Murphy, then BBFC secretary, in a letter to John Cleese.“The repetition of ‘Jesus Christ’ in the film seems to us unnecessary. There is good evidence that this does distress people who would otherwise enjoy the film. Can you look not only in Reel 2 but in other places to see if you can reduce the incidence of this usage.”Mr Wright also requested that a scene in which a nun used a four-letter word should be excised. But Mr Murphy wrote that the film has “one or two places where, in our view, the humour is not very effective”.The letter also listed a number of scenes considered too gory.The BBFC initially saw a script for the film and advised an ‘X’ certificate, as it was deemed to have crude sexual references and very strong language.The script was duly toned down and submitted for classification in early 1975. At this point Mr Wright wrote his letter, which resulted in two incidences of ‘Jesus Christ’ being removed.
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 bins, in which you can dump grass cuttings, leaves, pruning and hedge trimmings – but not soil, rubbles or household waste – are collected every two weeks from March to November and every month from December to February.All waste from the garden waste bins are turned into compost and used in local farms.Chris Stevens, 36, said his wife would be fuming if she found a giant 240-litre wheelie bin under the tree.He said: “My wife would not be happy if she found a massive wheelie bin under the tree.”Apart from anything else it would cost a fortune to wrap it up – what a daft idea.”Sam Russell wrote online: “Drop everything – Bromley Council have the best gift ideas.”And Sharon Hook wrote: “Ha ha – just want I’ve always wanted – a giant bin for Christmas. What a rubbish idea!” A council has been criticised for a “rubbish” idea after recommending that locals buy a loved one a £60 wheelie for Christmas.Bromley Council in south London has written to residents suggesting that a 240-litre wheelie bin for garden waste with fortnightly collection thrown in could be the perfect present.Writing in the most recent winter newsletter, called Environment Matters, the council states: “Need an unusual gift idea? Treat that special someone to a year’s worth of garden waste collections!”Your loved one will receive a large 240L wheelie bin to hold all types of green garden waste including leaves, weeds, twigs, grass cuttings and even real Christmas trees.”Scheduled collections are made regularly every other week during peak gardening season March to November, then once a month from December to February.”Why not sign up yourself and save the hassle of disposal? If you have a smaller garden or if you only garden occasionally, you can even share the cost and the wheelie bin with a neighbour. “It says you can either buy the bin – which will be emptied for the year – or buy gift voucher.The council says that the annual garden waste collection service costs the equivalent of just £1.15-a-week and is “exclusive to residents in the borough” and is “ideal if you are frequent gardener or if you are unable to home compost large amounts of garden waste yourself”.
Clearly bats have gone up the candle in their churchmanshipRt Revd Graham James Bats are ruining churches because of barn conversions, the Bishop of Norwich has said. Speaking in the house of Lords, the Rt Revd Graham James said that bats had moved into churches in his diocese because old barns were being made into homes. “All over Norfolk there are barns once used by bats which have been turned into beautiful homes for human beings. And their new owners do not want to share their property with them. And so the bats have moved to medieval churches,” he said. Speaking in support of a bat conservation bill sponsored by Conservative peer Lord Cormack, he said that worshippers in some areas had “come to the end of their tether” because their “glorious building” had become “increasingly unusable for worship or any other community purpose”. “I think we tolerate this because we think houses of God are not inhabited. But they are, and not only by God – they are inhabited by people,” he said. Bat droppings can cause damage to church fittings such as fonts and pews, and require intensive cleaning by volunteers if the church is to be used for services. Around 60 per cent of pre-16th century churches are estimated to contain bat roosts. The bishop also joked that a longstanding deterrence method, the use of incense, was becoming less effective. “I used to recommend the regular use of incense, partly because I’m very High Church, and love incense, and bats appear very Protestant, since they normally departed where incense was used.”But even that is not now guaranteed to do the trick – clearly bats have gone up the candle in their churchmanship,” he said. The bill would remove bat protection laws in churches unless there was no “significant adverse impact” and prevent new building without a local bat survey.It has been opposed by the Bat Conservation Trust, which warned it would be “disastrous for those bat species that rely on churches”. Lord Cormack denied the bill was “anti-bats” and said something had to be done to protect churches and tackle the hygiene risk.The move was opposed by both the Government and the Opposition in the Lords, with Environment, Food and Rural Affairs minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble saying the Government could not support the bill as churches played a vital part in the survival of bats. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Her brother received 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice over speeding, including over the July 24 incident. Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya will not have her three-month jail sentenced extended after the Solicitor General decided not to refer her case to the Court of Appeal. The Peterborough MP was convicted at the Old Bailey of perverting the course of justice after lying to police to avoid a speeding charge. She was jailed in January but is continuing in her role despite calls for her to stand down.In the days after her conviction, the Attorney General’s office received a complaint insisting the three-month sentence was “unduly lenient”. The office had 28 days to consider the case, but on Monday, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office said: “After careful consideration the Solicitor General has concluded that he could not refer this case to the Court of Appeal.”A referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to the Court of Appeal can only be made if a sentence is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence.”The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case.”If the sentence had been found to be unduly lenient, the case would have been referred to the Court of Appeal which would decide whether or not to increase it. Onasanya was jailed for three months after she was found to have lied to police officers to avoid a speeding fine, becoming the first sitting MP in 28 years to be sent to prison. However, she has refused to resign as an MP, with her lawyer telling the Old Bailey that she had clung onto her seat because her £77,000 salary was her “only source of income”.Under existing laws MPs can only be ousted from Parliament if they are jailed for 12 months or more, meaning the authorities are powerless to prevent Onasanya from returning once she is released.Her constituents must also wait for her appeal process to end before they can attempt to unseat her and force a by-election, by which time the 35-year-old may already have returned to the Commons.Onasanya, an Independent after being expelled by the Labour Party, is appealing against her conviction.Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Onasanya colluded with her brother Festus after her car was clocked doing 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough, in July 2017.The court was told that she was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to fill out, but it was sent back naming the guilty driver as Aleks Antipow, an acquaintance of her brother, who was away visiting his parents in Russia.
The Government has promised another £100 million to help in the fight against knife crime A senior police officer has said the best way to deal with a knife attacker is to “run away as fast you can”, after a Tory MP suggested youngsters should learn Martial Arts to defend themselves.Sir Christopher Chope said youngsters who got fit and learnt Judo or Tae Kwon Do would be better able to deal with a knife attack.But Dave Thompson, the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police warned against relying on unarmed combat, and insisted that the best advice was always to run away.Mr Thompson was appearing at the Home Affairs Select Committee, alongside Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, to answer questions from MPs on serious violent crime.They both said the current knife crime epidemic was the worst it had been in their long careers.Sir Christopher, who is a member of the committee, said: “One of the ways in which people can be prepared is by doing Judo or Tae Kwon Do, being physically able and taught how to deal with a situation when you are threatened with a knife.”Mr Thompson replied: “The best knife prevention technique is to run away as fast as you can…I would probably not advocate a strategy of increasing combat readiness through martial arts of young people generally, but there is some attraction in those sports, they are hugely popular and they take young men off the streets.” Tory MP suggested martial arts could help in the fight against knife crime Cressida Dick has said knife crime is at its worst in her 35-year careerCredit:PA She said: “It needs to be a higher priority and then there needs to be more real coordination and delivery of the things we know work, and will work, and of course potentially some further resourcing of these, which is something else I would ask for.”Asked about the recent cash injection from the Government, Ms Dick said: “It is very welcome but when you compare it with all the things we know we could do and all the savings and reductions across the relevant sectors, not least policing at a time of increasing complexity, expectation and demand, £100 million is a small amount of money relatively, absolutely.” Earlier this month, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced an extra £100 million to help tackle knife crime. But Ms Dick said while welcome the extra funds were not enough and she urged ministers to “step up” and treat the issue as more of a priority.Ms Dick insisted that tackling horrific levels of violence was the number one priority for everyone working in the Met.But she said there was too little coordination and not enough focus by government departments and said the £100 million announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond earlier this month as a “relatively small” amount. 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. Ms Dick said: “If you look at the stabbings of young people, I think this is a new and worrying and tragic phenomenon. The last couple of years have seen the highest and most worrying levels [of knife crime] in my service.”She went on: “There has been a massive amount of attention from the media and undoubtedly some really tragic cases and everyone in the country is more focused on this.”The Home Secretary has shown a considerable amount of leadership around it. However what we are not seeing yet is real cross government actions and that being delivered in a meaningful way on the ground in our communities.” Ms Dick said while government departments were stretched and were focussed on other issues such as Brexit, it was vital they “stepped up” and came together to help drive down the scourge of serious violence.
The review of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission’s (GGMC) regulations has begun, and will focus on enhancing the functioning of the regulatory body.Today, Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the initial review stage will be undertaken by the Commission.“One of the areas comes in the form of the protection of miners. Some persons feel that they are not fully protected, you look at how the system that we have now, how it is working, what we need to do to enhance it to remove bureaucracy, if any,” are some of the areas that will be under revision, Minister Broomes explained.The revision will also look at the possibility of raising some of the fees outlined in the regulations. “It is a wide review to see how we can deliver better, and have a regulation that is strong. The regulations are there for persons to abide by,” Minister Broomes told GINA.Regulatory agencies within the extractive sector were tasked with identifying their strategic priorities, legislative gaps in their existing Act and Regulations, and a review of the fees and fines that are stipulated by their legislation.Minister Broomes explained that the Ministry will engage in countrywide consultations on the reviewed regulations before they are implemented. “We believe in the open process… you’ll have more persons now coming and partaking in the consultative process because we are committed to taking it throughout the country, and all the mining districts,” Minister Broomes said.The 2017 National Budget has allocated $579.879M for policy development and administration. Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman in his budget presentation last December noted there was a need for a clear legislative regime that enables improved governance and the development of a sustainable extractor sector. (GINA) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGGMC to investigate possible river pollution from mining in Moruca – Ministerial team visitsAugust 7, 2016In “Local News”Broomes to push for stronger enforcement of maritime laws in Guyana’s InteriorJanuary 30, 2017In “latest news”Natural resources to invest in human capital – as sector’s allocation approvedDecember 14, 2016In “Local News”
(NEW YORK POST) – A schizophrenic man with a penchant for eating sharp objects almost had his last meal.Surgeons in India removed over 600 iron nails from Pradip Kumar Dhali’s stomach this week after a CT scan revealed the mass of metal in the 48-year-old’s abdomen.A CT scan of Pradip Kumar Dhali’s stomach shows the mass of nails.He first complained of acute pain to his family two months ago, prompting them to bring him in for medical imaging.Luckily for Dhali, who was admitted to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital Friday, none of the nails he swallowed pierced his stomach.“We partially cut his stomach and used a magnet to bring out the nails one by one. There were more than 600 nails inside,” Dr. Siddhartha Biswas told Caters News.While Dhali’s family knew about his habit of eating inanimate objects, they never imagined he was capable of eating so many nails.“The family was asked by Pradip’s psychiatrist to not disturb him so they did not bother much what he was binging on,” Biswas said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFisherman allegedly stabbed by friend during heated argumentMarch 21, 2016In “Crime”Gold bars removed from stomach of Indian NationalApril 18, 2014In “World”Man remains in ICU after being shot by PoliceMarch 15, 2019In “Crime”