2.) Andrew from Sarasota Springs, Florida, suggests:The bottom three teams would be relegated to English League 2 Football where they would have to play a year of soccer in towns like Accrington and Morecambe. Upon their return from a year in the (lovely) English wilderness, they would be guaranteed picks 1-3 based on their finishing order in League 2.Pros: hilarity of seeing NBA players play soccer; more media attention for League 2 matches; arguably players would gain new forms of fitness and stamina; Carmelo Anthony adopting an affected English accent; more demand for Brazilian players in trades.Cons: may stunt development of early career players; Maroon 5, Keith Urban, and Billy Joel would each need to play approximately 75 more stadium shows a year to make up lost revenue. Andrew has thought it all through perfectly. That’s the only con I can think of, too. Seeing Daryl Morey on a trampoline would be pretty fun. By Jody Avirgan If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed 4.) Bruce from Maryland suggests:The first 10 picks are assigned by placement in an essay contest for basketball fans in ~4th grade to ~8th grade. 500 words or less on an appropriate subject (not necessarily sports related) that would be announced at the All-Star break. All teams eligible, regardless of standings. The rest of the picks are in the order of finish from worst to first.The kids send their essay to a judging panel along with which team they would like to have the draft pick if they win (so no team gets more than one of the picks). The chosen 10 kids are invited to the draft order revealing show that replaces the lottery show, and they all have envelopes revealing their favorite team (not necessarily by geography). They are all called up in reverse order of finish, which they do not know at the time, and reveal the team they chose.I’m still unsure whether this is an earnest proposal or not. I choose to believe that it is. This would be wonderful. For the last 10 days, our sports podcast, “Hot Takedown,” has been running a crowdsourcing project, soliciting ideas for ways to change the NBA draft and prevent teams from deliberately tanking their seasons in pursuit of better picks. Almost 7,000 people have submitted their ideas thus far, and I am slowly working my way through them. It’s pretty intense.We’ll announce our winner on next week’s podcast — a winner chosen from among the many very serious and thoughtful proposals. This is not an article about those. This is an article about our six favorite weird ideas.The proposals, in reverse order of how much we like them: 6.) Aaron from Spokane, Washington, suggests:To fix the tanking problem, I propose a system where the GM of every NBA team participates in a round-robin HORSE tournament. The GM with the most wins gets the first selection in the draft, followed by the GM with the second most wins, and so on. If more than one GM finishes the tournament with the same score, the tie will be broken by a trampoline dunk contest judged by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.Pros:Removing the teams’ regular season performances from the equation eliminates tanking.GMs would have an incentive to become ballers. Also, there would be a great incentive for former players to become GMs.Whoever picked up the TV rights to this event would enjoy a ratings bonanza. Cons:Larry Bird and Magic Johnson might be busy. Embed Code 1.) Bob in New Orleans, Louisiana, suggests:Each team is required to bring a fish to the lottery ceremony. Each one has to be a different species (salmon, tuna, etc), and release it into a pool. Then, Adam Silver will ride a bear into the pool, and the fish that the bear eats first wins the lottery. If the bear eats Adam Silver, then it goes by worst-record first.I would watch what should be called The Tank Tank in an instant. It’s simple, it’s elegant, it has a hint of danger. Bob doesn’t even mention that some bears would be ravenous, having recently emerged from hibernation. But has he really considered all the implications? What kind of bear? Who gets what fish? Do teams get to select or is it randomly assigned? If Silver is riding a grizzly, the team with the river salmon would have a much better chance of winning. But if your team is represented by an Arctic char or fourhorn sculpin, everyone knows you’ll want Silver to be riding a polar bear.Keep listening to “Hot Takedown” for updates, and next week we will announce our (real) winner! 3.) Adam from Madison, Wisconsin, suggests:If you miss the playoffs 10 years in a row your team moves to Seattle. 76ers fans would definitely start getting nervous after about year 5. Forces teams to attempt to be good or at least plan on being good quickly. Oh, man, I hope Seattle gets a team back sooner than this. But I like the idea of fans in the Emerald City actively rooting for a random team to be awful. 5.) Dave from Toledo, Ohio, suggests: Get rid of the draft. Actually, get rid of the NBA. Boom. No more tanking.It’s been right in front of us this whole time! read more


Pau Gasol has been the object of at least to teams seeking to make a trade to acquire the 7-foot all-star big man of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to multiple reports.General manager Mitch Kupchak rebuffed Minnesota and Toronto, according to cbssports.com, because he wants to see the Lakers at full strength over  a period of time to determine their potential. Gasol missed Wednesday’s victory at New Orleans while resting sore knees.Reportedly, the Lakers were offered a package that would include perimeter shooting big man Andrea Bargnani, point guard Jose Calderon and veteran Linas Kleiza. Meanwhile, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has been aggressively pursuing Gasol to pair him with fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio and all-star forward Kevin Love.rickKahn would be willing to part with last year’s No. 2 overall pick, forward Derrick Williams of Arizona and center Nikola Pekovic.CBSSports.com reported Wednesday that there’s a growing belief among rival executives that Toronto has emerged as the most likely landing spot for Gasol, given Bargnani’s potential as a floor-spacing frontcourt partner to Dwight Howard and the boost Calderon could give a thin backcourt. Steve Nash, 38, has only played a game and a half this season because of a fractured fibula, and his projected backup, Steve Black, will miss the next six to eight weeks after abdominal surgery.Gasol has underperformed so far in coach Mike D’Antoni’s up tempo system that minimizes low-post play. Kobe Bryant said this week that Gasol has to put on his “big boy pants” and adjust.Bargnani is only 27 and is a deadly  long-range shooting that would help space the floor for Howard in the low post, Bryant one-on-one or pick-and-rolls with Nash, when he is healthy.The Atlanta Hawks have also been frequently mentioned as potential trade partners in a Gasol deal, most notably by Lakers legend Magic Johnson on an early season episode of “NBA Countdown.” But ESPN.com reported earlier this month that the Hawks, on schedule to have major salary-cap space in July 2013, currently have no interest in parting with free agent-to-be Josh Smith.This much is certain: Until Gasol emerges as a force, rumors about his exit will abound. read more


Photo by USA Today.Had Cam Newton not led his Carolina Panthers on a game-winning drive Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, what he did last week in igniting a last-second victory over New England would have been nullified to some extent. But Newton repeated himself, and the Panthers won their seventh straight game, 20-16, on Newton’s short touchdown pass to Greg Olson with 43 seconds to play.And so, Newton continues to build his reputation as an elite quarterback. Backing up the late-game win over the Patriots on Monday Night Football with another heroic effort in the clutch shows his continued development.The Panthers (8-3) overcame a 16-3 first-half deficit by giving Newton the freedom to use his diverse skills after limiting him in the pocket much of the ugly first half.“It may not be pretty,” Newton said, “but at the end of the game we get that three-letter word, and that’s gorgeous.”Down by 3 with just one timeout, their winning drive began at their own 20 with 4:13 left. On fourth down early in the drive, Carolina went for it instead of punting, and  Newton rifled a pass to Steve Smith for a 19-yard gain and a first down.“That’s when the tide shifted in our favor,” Newton said.And the Panthers rode the tide to the game-winning score. Coupled with the drive to knock off the Patriots and his overall solid play all season, Newton used Sunday to elevate his status among the league’s top quarterbacks. So much talk the last year has been about Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Colin Kapaernick. Meanwhile, Newton has played better than them all, and his attitude certainly seems to be on point with continuing his success.“It’s about the next game,” he said. read more


VANCOUVER — After 16 years, the U.S. women’s national team is again the world champion. On a sunny late afternoon here, the U.S. defeated reigning world champs Japan 5-2 and became the first country to win three Women’s World Cup titles.The Americans didn’t waste any time getting there, either, scoring four goals in less than 20 minutes — scoring those four goals faster than any one goal had ever been scored in a Women’s World Cup final. Carli Lloyd was deservedly tonight’s player of the match, scoring the first-ever hat trick in a Women’s World Cup final (only England’s Geoff Hurst has done it in a men’s final, in 1966) and also the earliest-ever hat trick; all three of her goals came in the first 16 minutes. Lloyd’s goals were representative of the U.S. team’s play; as soon as the whistle blew, the U.S. pressured Japan all over the field, not allowing the Japanese to settle the ball and play the technical soccer they prefer.But just when it looked like it might be another blowout like the Germany vs. Brazil match we saw last year at the men’s World Cup, Japan was on the board in the 27th minute with a nice turn and shot by Yuki Ogimi.Just after halftime, Japan scored again, and the 4-2 scoreline made it look like a game again. But the U.S. didn’t let up, and Tobin Heath’s goal (the U.S.’s fifth) in the 54th minute became the last of the highest-scoring Women’s World Cup final ever.Soccer is boring, right? No one ever scores? read more


OSU freshman golfer Caden Orweiler stares down a putt in competition for OSU. He was raised in Waldo, Ohio. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsBorn and raised an hour north of Columbus, in Waldo, Ohio, freshman golfer Caden Orewiler’s journey to golfing for Ohio State is a story of family, overcoming unforeseen circumstances, and using tragedy to turn lifelong ambitions into realized realities.The par-four fifth hole at Kings Mill Golf Club in Waldo is overrun by rows of pine trees running down the left of the fairway. Orewiler stepped to the tee box as the evening sun peered overhead, providing his favorite scenery before teeing off. This, he said, has been his favorite hole at his local course for as long as he can remember.Golf has been an integral part of his life before he was old enough to play. Orewiler has worked tirelessly to get to this point – playing major Division I collegiate golf. The steps he took to get there and the people who stood by his side make Orewiler’s journey to OSU all the more notable.Orewiler’s introduction to the world of golf was headed by his father, Chuck Orewiler, an avid golfer who took it upon himself to preach the game that he loved to Caden and his older brother, Alec. Their mother, Amy, dutifully supported the boys along the way. She was there after tough finishes or when Chuck would become disappointed in the way the boys were carrying themselves on the course. She even swings the clubs too.Before the final round of the 1994 U.S. Amateur Open, Earl Woods pulled his young son Tiger Woods aside and said to him, “Let the legend grow.” That day, Tiger Woods came from five strokes back to become the youngest golfer to win the U.S. Amateur Open, at the age of 18. Caden said that bond between Earl and Tiger Woods is the type of relationship that his own father wanted to have with him. After Caden won his first Heart of Ohio Junior Golf Association tournament as a 9-year-old, Caden’s father – like Earl Woods to Tiger – said, “Let the legend grow.” Caden used that momentum and got progressively better through the years. As he grew older, playing college golf became a reality to both of them. Caden’s father, an avid OSU fan and alumnus, wanted his son to golf for the hometown Buckeyes. On the other hand, Caden entertained the idea of golfing for college golf powerhouse, Oklahoma State University.However, Caden did not get to complete the recruiting process with the person who had been there through the entire journey. In Nov. 2013, after Caden had completed his sophomore golf season at River Valley High School, Chuck Orewiler died in a single-automobile accident. He was 50 years old.The wretchedness of losing a parent is one of the hardest times to go through, but through golf, Caden had something to remember his father by.“The relationship we had was definitely centered around the golf course. We talked about life on the golf course, how I was doing in school. We talked about family – everything. We even talked about dying,” he said. “It’s a crazy thing and God works in weird ways in that we would talk about what he wanted to have happen when he passed away.”Those conversations and that bond allowed Caden to be able to speak up when the family was discussing how they were going to lay its patriarch to rest. Chuck was cremated, and his ashes were spread in the section of the Olentangy River that runs through the backyard of the Orewiler household, flowing south to Columbus, past Ohio Stadium and the campus that has meant so much to the both of them.After losing his father, Caden never gave up, but instead became more focused. His mother stepped up right where Caden’s father left, more heavily involving herself in his tournaments and overall game.“She has really been able to play both roles,” Caden said. “She picked up a huge responsibility and role and has just blown it out of the water. Without her support, it would be hard to keep going when things do get tough.”Before his death that fall, Caden’s father said something to him that he said stays with him to this day. During the district tournament practice round in the fall of 2013 at River Greens Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ohio, his father handed Caden a golf ball at the seventh tee-box and simply said, “Let’s finish what we started.” At that point in time, Chuck meant winning a state championship. While his son did not end up accomplishing that goal after finishing tied for fourth in 2014 and losing in a playoff to finish second at districts in 2015, he was able to accomplish the ultimate goal they had set. Caden committed to golf for the Buckeyes.“I still hear him talking to me sometimes on the course,” he said. “Telling me to never give up and to keep fighting.”In the early collegiate golf season that stretches from the beginning of fall semester until, potentially, the end of May, Orewiler has contributed in one event thus far for OSU. He finished tied for 27th at the Carmel Cup, which was played Sept. 2-4 at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, CA. OSU’s next scheduled match is at the Quail Valley Intercollegiate, Oct. 24 and 25, in Vero Beach, Florida. read more


OSU redshirt junior defensive end Jalyn Holmes (11) celebrates with the Big Nut and other Buckeye fans following the Buckeyes 62-3 win over Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorESPN’s “College Gameday”, the long-time running college football pregame show, will be in Columbus on Nov. 26 for No. 2 Ohio State versus No. 3 Michigan. The rivalry week edition of College Gameday will air for five hours instead of the usual three-hour programming, from 7 a.m. to noon. The four-man panel of Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso are returning to OSU for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015 for the OSU-Michigan State game. Last year, the show was broadcasted from The Oval.“College Gameday” was last at a Buckeye game on Oct. 15 in Madison, Wisconsin, where Corso picked the Buckeyes and donned the Brutus headgear.OSU and Michigan kick off at noon. It’s likely to be the highest ranked matchup in The Game since 2006 when OSU was No. 1 and Michigan was No. 2. read more


Then-freshman goaltender Kassidy Sauve (32) defends the net during a game against Mercyhurst on Nov. 11 at the OSU Ice Rink. She had 43 saves on Saturday.Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s hockey team claimed victory against No. 9 North Dakota on Saturday, after settling for a tie in Friday’s match.The Buckeyes (8-8-2, 4-8-2) were outshot 44 to 18 by the Fighting Hawks (7-6-5, 5-5-4), but coach Nadine Muzerall saw her team remain calm and collected throughout the game.“I didn’t want the girls to feel like they were panicking,” Muzerall said. “You know, this team isn’t used to winning, and so I want them to have that relentless pursuit of perfection, to feel confidence and poise when (they) have it.”The Buckeyes were on the defensive from the second the puck dropped, with North Dakota outshooting OSU 10-0 in the first five minutes of play. Halfway through the period, OSU had only registered one shot on net.The Scarlet and Gray, however, were determined to get on the board. With less than 30 seconds left to play, freshman forward Rebecca Freiburger found an opening around North Dakota’s defense and scored the first goal of the game and her third of the season.The Fighting Hawks were quick to cut OSU’s lead in the second period, scoring their first goal of the game less than two minutes into the period.The Buckeyes countered later in the period with a goal from freshman forward Samantha Bouley. Redshirt freshman defenseman Jincy Dunne and junior defenseman Liv Halvorson had the assists. OSU took a 2-1 lead into the final period.“The first goal late in the first period really set the tone (and) it really built into the second period,” Bouley said. “We didn’t get down after they scored their tying goal, so that’s what led us to winning.”It was a defensive battle through much of the final period. Each team had just one shot in the period through the first five minutes.With one minute remaining, North Dakota removed its goaltender from the net for an extra skater, but OSU stood tall.When the final buzzer sounded, the Buckeyes skated off the ice with the win, as well as some newfound confidence.“It’s really a big boost for our team, especially beating a ranked opponent,” Bouley said. “It gives us confidence for when we play Wisconsin, who’s ranked number one right now.”Muzerall said that she hopes the win will energize the team to play two competitive back-to-back games and dig up its untapped potential.“I was told once that Ohio State is known to be a sleeping giant and I’m really thinking that is true,” she said. “I’m just looking for some consistency in the girls and that’s what I challenge them. I need two full games from them, so I think we’re going to take that going into Wisconsin, instead of only playing pieces of the game or one full game.” read more


The rivalry between the Ohio State and Michigan football teams received a breath of fresh air on Wednesday when Michigan officially introduced its new coach, Brady Hoke. Speaking for just more than 40 minutes, Hoke did not once refer to OSU by its official name, instead referring to his new rival as “that university in Ohio.” A native of Dayton, Ohio, Hoke said although he’s never been a fan of OSU, he still respects the university — even if he can’t bring himself to say its name. “I have great respect for Ohio,” Hoke said. “I had a lot of respect for Coach (Woody) Hayes. I was not a fan of ‘that university in Ohio’ because my buddies were, so I had to be different.” Hoke is no stranger to the rivalry, as he spent eight seasons in Ann Arbor, Mich., as the Wolverines’ defensive line coach from 1995-02. In those seasons, Michigan went 5-3 against the Buckeyes. “I think it’s a great hire for them,” OSU President E. Gordon Gee told The Lantern. “I think Michigan needed a Michigan man.” Things have changed since Hoke left Michigan for head coaching jobs at Ball State and San Diego State; since Hoke left Ann Arbor, the Buckeyes are 7-1 against Michigan. OSU has also won six straight Big Ten titles. Hoke said his No. 1 goal is to develop a similar streak for the Wolverines. “The expectation is to win the Big Ten championship,” Hoke said. “That’s where it starts. And if we don’t do that, we’ve got to retool it, re-fix it, do whatever we have to do, because we’re going to do that for Michigan.” Hoke made it clear how seriously he takes The Game, which he at one point described as “personal.” Pounding his fist on a podium in-synch with each word, Hoke said, “It is the most important game on the schedule.” read more


Normally, one of the few things that is wild and unpredictable in Ohio is the weather. But Sunday afternoon, fans at Bill Davis Stadium were in for a surprise. The Ohio State baseball team defeated Northwestern, 15-14, in walk-off fashion after a Northwestern error on a sacrifice bunt attempt allowed the winning run to score all the way from first. The game, which lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours, was a wild slugfest in which both teams combined for 37 hits and six errors. “This is my 18th season in coaching college baseball,” OSU coach Greg Beals said. “There’s been some crazy games, but this one’s up there.” It was a fitting way for the Buckeyes to kick off Big Ten conference play, as they won their weekend series against the Wildcats. The Buckeyes won the first game of the series behind a strong effort from sophomore catcher Greg Solomon, and shutdown pitching helped lead OSU to a 7-2 win on a frigid Friday night. The game’s first six innings saw senior Drew Rucinski and the Wildcats’ Luke Farrell locked in a pitchers duel as the Buckeyes held a 1-0 lead. After Northwestern took a 2-1 lead in the seventh, the Buckeyes responded with four runs, and added two more in the eighth en route to the victory. Solomon went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and freshman Josh Dezse added three hits along with an inning pitched in relief for the Buckeyes. Saturday afternoon proved to be a different story for OSU when wild pitching and missed opportunities were costly as Northwestern rebounded for a 7-3 win. OSU starter senior Dean Wolosiansky started the game with three walks and a wild pitch as Northwestern jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first. After OSU cut the lead to 3-2, Northwestern scored two runs in each the sixth and seventh inning as it was able to hold the Buckeyes to only two runs despite nine hits. Junior second baseman Ryan Cypret had four hits for the Buckeyes, but the 1-2 hitters went a combined 1-for-9 on the day, taking away several RBI chances from Cypret. The rubber match of the series started off similar to Saturday as the Wildcats put two runs on the board before the Buckeyes even came to bat. But unlike the previous game, OSU answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first, and followed with four more in the second as it chased Wildcats starter Francis Brooke. After the Wildcats scored three unearned runs in the fourth to cut the lead to one, the Buckeyes answered with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth, courtesy of senior shortstop Matt Streng’s two-run home run. “I thought it was going to go foul and told myself to not even look at it,” Streng said. “But I rounded first base and saw the umpire wave his hand signaling home run, so I was definitely happy that ball stayed fair.” Northwestern answered with a two-run shot of its own in the top of the sixth, but the Buckeyes would take advantage of two more Wildcat errors and a wild pitch to plate five more and lead, 14-7. Even with a seven-run deficit, it never seemed like the Wildcats were out of the game. Northwestern used timely hits, along with a Buckeye error, to score three runs in the seventh. In the ninth, the Wildcats were able to overcome a base-running blunder and score four runs off of Dezse (3-1), thanks to a two-out, three-run home run from pitcher Jack Havey, silencing the Buckeye crowd. Beals said the team had been talking about adversity and that he would not let his team be defeated by the stunning rally. “That was our adversity right there,” Beals said. “I told them to deal with it and let’s go win the ballgame.” After senior outfielder Brian DeLucia led off the ninth with a walk, freshman outfielder Tim Wetzel laid down what is normally a routine bunt to move the runner into scoring position. But the Northwestern reliever made a poor throw, and the ball sailed into right field, allowing DeLucia to score in dramatic fashion and give the Buckeyes the win. “I thought the right fielder had the ball right in front of him,” DeLucia said. “When I saw coach Beals was sending me, I couldn’t believe it and just ran as fast as I could.” DeLucia also said adversity was important, emphasizing how big this win was to the team. “Every win is important,” DeLucia said. “Even though we didn’t have our best game yesterday, there is nothing you can do but bounce back, and that’s what we had to do.” The win improved OSU to 10-11 (2-1), while Northwestern dropped to 8-15 (1-2). The Buckeyes next will face off in an exhibition matchup against the Columbus Clippers at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Huntington Park. read more


Ohio State then-freshman third baseman Conner Pohl bats in the bottom of the seventh inning against North Carolina Greensboro. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorFresh off a series victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers and a 22-hit, 15-run offensive explosion Sunday, the Ohio State baseball team travels to Iowa to play the Hawkeyes in a three-game weekend series. The Buckeyes (19-8, 2-1 Big Ten) have kept the offensive fire stoked with hits throughout the batting order.“It’s not very common for the bottom of the lineup to be hitting extra-base hits, home runs,” redshirt junior designated hitter Nate Romans said. “It just shows how hard it is to pitch to this lineup one through nine.” On the flipside, the Hawkeyes (16-9, 3-2 Big Ten) have relied on a productive starting rotation to carry them deep into games. With the series pushed back a day due to weather, Friday night starter Nick Allgeyer will take the hill Saturday for Iowa. He’s posted a 2.45 ERA over 44 innings.Following Allgeyer on Sunday will be junior Brady Schanuel, who has recorded 37 strikeouts and a 4.06 ERA. Closing out the weekend rotation is junior Cole McDonald, who has an ERA of 3.52.“We’re just now digging into the scouting report [for those pitchers],” head coach Greg Beals said. “But the game plan’s gonna be driven primarily around what our strengths are and us trying to match-up the strengths of our ball club.” Once the starter has exited, Iowa loves to hand the ball to junior reliever Zach Daniels. After 20 innings of work, opposing hitters manage only a .176 batting average against him.Then again, even the best pitching staffs in the country would face an uphill battle against Ohio State right now. Seven of the nine starting hitters for the Buckeyes hit above .260, with five above .300 and two above .380. As a team, their batting average ranks 13th in the nation.Iowa’s batting order is nothing to scoff at either. Senior catcher Tyler Cropley and junior right fielder Robert Neustrom both bat above .340 with a combined eight home runs. Redshirt junior designated hitter and 2017 Big Ten tournament MVP Chris Whelan returned from injury in March and has been on a tear since, batting .383.“We’re gonna stick to our game plan,” senior relief pitcher Kyle Michalik said. “We’re just gonna keep attacking hitters.”Junior Connor Curlis takes the hill first for Ohio State, looking to improve upon a 4-1 record and 3.52 ERA. Fellow junior Ryan Feltner (3-1, 5.18 ERA) follows on Sunday looking for a fourth consecutive quality start after a rocky beginning to the season. Redshirt senior Adam Niemeyer (2-2, 5.85) rounds out the weekend rotation. read more


first_imgThe Ukip MEP who was treated in hospital after an “altercation” with a colleague has insisted his injuries back his claim that he was physically attacked.Steven Woolfe said a medical examination has revealed he suffered injuries to his face, head and body.The 49-year-old, who this week launched a bid to lead his party, has spoken out after the other MEP involved, Mike Hookem, claimed Mr Woolfe started the fight.Mr Hookem’s version of events prompted claims from other Ukip MEPs that Mr Woolfe is unfit to be leader and should abandon his bid.But a spokesman for Mr Woolfe said: “A team of experts independent of the hospital staff were called in to examine physical injuries to Steven’s face, head and body that were inconsistent with just a seizure or a fall as a result of a seizure.”The team of experts also examined other pieces of evidence including clothing and images relating to those injuries.”Their report will shine a different light on claims currently being made in the media.”The latest twist in the row at the heart of Ukip, which is threatening the split the party beyond repair, comes after Mr Woolfe said he had “reached out the hand of friendship” to his alleged attacker.But a spokesman for Mr Hookem said he “stands by the statements that he made in various media interviews on Friday regarding Steve Woolfe”.”Mr Hookem will now be seeking legal advice in relation to Mr Woolfe’s allegations and will be making no further comment at this time,” the spokesman added.Mr Hookem later posted a photo on Twitter showing his unmarked hands, claiming it is evidence that he did not punch Mr Woolfe. 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. Can you see any bruising or abrasions? pic.twitter.com/sXvoCRvtRG— Mike Hookem MEP (@MikeHookemMEP) October 8, 2016 Mr Hookem added: “So I went out of the room into this small anteroom where he came at me. And what occurred was a tussle. Nothing happened. It was literally seconds because the other MEPs followed us in there.”The door opened. I backed off. Steven fell through the door and I went back to sit back down again.”However his account is at odds with Mr Woolfe, MEP for North West England, who told the Daily Mail Mr Hookem “came at me and landed a blow” and that he fell back and hit the door frame.Roger Helmer, another Ukip MEP, questioned whether Mr Woolfe was fit to be leader if an inquiry ordered by Nigel Farage into the bust-up backed Mr Hookem’s version of events.He said: “If it’s concluded that he started, he intentionally started, a fight – if, I stress, if – then that would be a black mark against his ability to stand.”I think as a conclusion of that investigation the party will consider whether disciplinary measures are appropriate and that might have implications for Steven Woolfe’s candidacy,” the East Midlands MEP told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.center_img However, other sources have told Sky News that a medical assessment of Mr Woolfe reveals bruising on his face consistent with a punch, along with bruising on the back of his head consistent with a fallSources also claim there is photographic evidence of facial injuries taken immediately after the altercation and before Mr Woolfe’s seizure.Mr Hookem has said reports that he punched his Ukip colleague were incorrect. He said: “That’s totally wrong. I never touched him, never hit him, never punched him, never slapped him or anything else I’ve been accused of doing.”After a disagreement over the reasons for Mr Woolfe being barred from the party’s previous leadership contest, Mr Hookem said his colleague told him: “Well if that’s the tone of this meeting, maybe me and you should take it outside the room, mano-a-mano.”He said Mr Woolfe then picked up his jacket and went out of the room. Lisa Duffy, who was runner-up in last month’s leadership election, said party members were “embarrassed” by what had taken place.”Do we want a leader who will get himself involved in an altercation, or do we want a leader who is going to be rational and reflect and deal with things in an appropriate manner?” she told the BBC.”Violence or any kind of offering to go outside is not the way to deal with problems.”Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott said it was “obvious to anybody” that Mr Woolfe could no longer be a candidate.”This really portrays Ukip in an appalling light,” he told BBC2’s Daily Politics programme.”The people who have worked hard for this party, year in, year out – they expect better of their MEPs than what has been seen over the last 24 hours.”European Parliament president Martin Schulz announced that he was launching an investigation into the conduct of the two MEPs, which could see them suspended from voting and their expenses cut.last_img read more


first_img“The success of the Durrells was a positive thing because it was a sweet, happy, perfectly-performed show for a Sunday evening in the dark hours.”He added: “Enough rape already. Enough brutal murder.”Other people are going to do it; I’m not depriving people of watching it.“I just think on ITV there are other ways to tackling wonderful television material.”The idea of commissioning with men in mind, he suggested, was antiquated, with women now forming the majority of decision-making audiences. The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson The BBC’s Great British Bake Off teamCredit:BBC He added: “Yes it was offered to me, but at the 11th hour they said ‘one thing you must know is that the talent is not attached’.”So you really are buying some baking powder and a tent.”When asked about the future of the News at Ten, Lygo confirmed he would be experimenting with moving the time of the show while its BBC rival “sits there like a big lump” at 10pm. The new series of The MissingCredit:BBC The 21st century woman may already have seized control of the kitchen, bedroom and boardroom, but it appears she has also won a final battle of the sexes: the television remote.The director of ITV has declared women have now taken charge of what is on the family TV, as he promises to swap gritty crime dramas featuring abuse to more “happy” fare.Kevin Lygo said there was enough rape, murder and brutal abuse on women and children on television, as a pledged more “sweet, happy, perfectly-performed” shows to suit their audience.Speaking at Bafta, he said new drama Good Karma Hospital would follow in the footsteps of The Durrells, the hit show starring Keeley Hawes, as an uplifting treat for both sexes. “What I would say about Good Karma, a bit like the Durrells, is that it’s a charming, life-affirming, a happy show,” he said. “I am tired of endless murders where in the first five minutes a woman or a child is abducted, raped, knifed, killed, bludgeoned.“And then in comes a hard-bitten cop drinking vodka, or a woman who never got over the fact her parents were murdered and she couldn’t solve the crime, and in six weeks they find the killer and it ends up being Pauline Quirke living in a house round the side.”There are brilliant versions of that show and not great versions, and I just feel: enough. There’s lots coming. They’ll always be around but I want more shows like the Durrells. “We’ve got quite sharp antennae, or should do, about trends of what people want, what they don’t want, what they’re tired of.”Other than sort of Top Gear, I can’t think of a show that’s significantly male positioned. When you look at the stats and they say it’s ‘female skewed’, its 52 to 48 per cent.”In the mainstream sense, women have more or less control of what channel they watch, other than sport.”A good show is watched equally by men and women. Lots of men watch the Bake Off, which those in ivory towers might think is cooking and female. But no.” The Fall, starring Gillian AndersonCredit:BBC Milo Parker as Gerry Durrell in the ITV showCredit:ITV Top Gear: one of the last remaining "male-skewed" shows The BBC's Great British Bake Off team The new series of The Missing Milo Parker as Gerry Durrell in the ITV show Top Gear: one of the last remaining “male-skewed” showsCredit:BBC Lygo, who turned down a potential offer to buy the Great British Bake Off after its production company parted ways with the BBC, also spoke of his fears for the future of the programme, after what he called a “weird screw-up on all counts”.”Bake Off will be studied by television sociologists to come, I expect, to figure out what the f— went on there,” he said.”The biggest show on British television, and for no apparent reason it is no more.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more


first_imgA look at their first vegan Christmas baguetteCredit:Pret It’s officially @Pret-mas 🎄😁 pic.twitter.com/iNw6GYBBpY— Danny Pallett (@DannyPallett) November 8, 2016 It’s here! (And 50p goes to help the homeless) pic.twitter.com/PJ0qd03JrL— Pret (@Pret) November 8, 2016 A look at their first vegan baguette Their vegetarian sandwich combines roasted chunks of butternut squash, nutty Christmas pesto and spicy rocket. Served with a spoonful of yoghurt & mayo dressing and a sprinkling of crispy onions on malted bread. Sandwich chain Pret’s Christmas lunch offerings mark the start of the festive season for many office workers who enjoy having their lunch with a side of festivity.The humble turkey, cranberry and bacon sandwich has been joined by some unconventional Christmas offerings – including a vegan option and a Brussels sprout macaroni cheese.The hype around their sandwiches began last week, with Pret launching a countdown on their website and Twitter account. Their first vegan Christmas baguette combines grilled carrots, parsnip puree and crispy onions with festive chutney, toasted pistachios and peppery watercress.The classic festive sandwich contains turkey breast on malted bread with a dollop of slightly tart cranberry & port sauce. It’s served with Pret’s crumbly stuffing – made with minced pork, streaky bacon and apricots  and topped with crispy onions and fresh baby spinach. Also on the menu is a ham hock and stuffing baguette, a brie and cranberry baguette, ham hock and sprout macaroni cheese and some sweet treats, including Melvin the melting gingerbread snowman.Pret’s festive drinks menu includes a mint hot chocolate and a clementine juice.50 pence from each festive sandwich goes to the Pret Foundation trust. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more


first_imgLondon mayor Sadiq Khan, who visited the crash scene on Wednesday, warned the death toll could rise. Three underwent surgery at St George’s Hospital, Tooting on Wednesday. Some 17 other patients have since been discharged from the hospital.Thirty-eight of those injured were treated at Croydon University Hospital. One remained in the hospital overnight but it was hoped they would be able to go home on Thursday.Dane Chinnery, a 19-year-old Crystal Palace fan described as a “friendly, genuine lad”, was among those killed. Tom Dale, 20, was on the tram and said he recalled nodding over to his old school friend Mr Chinnery, who was already sitting on the tram when he boarded. Dane Chinnery, 19, was among those killed The driver, a 42-year-old man, from Beckenham, was released on bail, as Dane Chinnery, a 19-year-old Crystal Palace fan, was identified as one of the seven dead.Friends described how the “friendly, genuine lad” had been travelling to work. Investigators said the tram was travelling at a “significantly higher speed than is permitted” and were initially probing whether the driver had fallen asleep.British Transport Police said it was “too early” to comment on whether the driver was using his mobile phone.A spokeswoman added: “I would imagine this would be one of many lines of inquiry.”FirstGroup confirmed it was company policy for drivers to avoid having their mobile phones with them during operating hours.More than 50 people were injured when the vehicle left the track during the morning rush hour in Croydon on Wednesday. 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. Mobile phone records of a tram driver arrested over the deaths of six men and a woman in a horror crash are likely to be examined by police, casting doubt on claims he may have “blacked out”.Detectives are also investigating complaints that the line was a “tragedy waiting to happen” after previous reports of speeding at the same corner where the two-car tram came off the rails.The accident is said to have sparked the 11th safety investigation into Croydon Tramlink in as many years. The pair, who went to Addington High School together and took part in performing arts, were on their way to work.Mr Dale said that after the tram crashed he was looking for his friend, and asking, “Where’s Dane? Where’s Dane?”, but all he could see was Mr Chinnery’s boot where he had been sitting. “It was like walking out of a war zone,” the chef said.Mr Dale, who was badly bruised, said of Mr Chinnery: “He was just a friendly, genuine lad, did no harm to nobody, really. No one deserves for this to happen to them.”center_img Martin Bamford, 30, was on the tram Martin Bamford, 30, was on the tramCredit:PA Crystal Palace issued a statement on behalf of manager Alan Pardew, chairman Steve Parish, the players and club staff, offering their “sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives”.Social media users were encouraged to share a post calling for a minute of applause at the team’s next home game on November 19.The post said: “He was red and blue all the way through, and simply loved palace.”Scenes after the crash were described as “total carnage” after the two-carriage tram tipped over in heavy rain next to an underpass.Survivors rescued from the wreckage said the tram failed to brake in its usual place at a bend on the track after speeding up.One said the driver told them he thought he had “blacked out”.Martin Bamford, 30, from Croydon, said he recalled the tram speeding up, adding: “Everyone just literally went flying.”A FirstGroup spokesman said in a statement: “We are dedicated to safety, which is central to our culture and values as a transport business.”We have comprehensive safety processes and controls in place for all our businesses. The cause of yesterday’s incident has not yet been determined. It is absolutely essential that we find out exactly what happened yesterday and this could take some time.”Initial findings of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch show the tram came off the tracks as it was negotiating a “sharp, left-hand curve” with a speed limit of 12mph.The previous ten safety alerts reportedly included four derailment incidents and collisions with pedestrians and vehicles, including a bus in 2008.However, Tramlink, which is owned by First Group, told Buzzfeed News the incidents were “all very different from each other in scope and cause”. Dane Chinnery, 19, was among those killedlast_img read more


first_imgSpeaking after her own match, on Court 18, Mladenovic said: “Honestly, the feeling is that I couldn’t care less if I lost the match today, I just want to be healthy. I’m just so blessed and happy that I am not injured today, because we saw worse today.”Mladenovic, 24, said she and her opponent had asked for officials to intervene on safety grounds over the state of the court.She said: “We just had to keep on playing. I’m not sure how the other courts are, if they’re damaged as much as Court 18. “The colour of the court, the fact that there’s no more grass, the fact that the baseline where we are running, it’s very slippery. There’s no grass. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not even clay. It’s not flat.”She added: “I feel it’s totally different than the previous years. I guess the climate doesn’t help, the fact that it’s too nice, too hot, too sunny, makes everything very dry. That’s what we got as an answer from the officials.”French player Benoit Paire also complained the grass was slippery.”It’s like every grass court was. I think sometimes it’s a little bit slippy, but I try to stay focused,” he said.”We have to play in these conditions. We have to fight. I played some dropshots because I know it was slippy, and I wanted to try something else.”There were also complaints from the British number four, Aljaz Bedene, who said he fell twice due to the conditions.”A few players have been saying the baseline’s quite slippery, it’s more worn than some years,” he said.”I think I fell twice. I started to feel my hip again, which is never good. It was a little bit slippery. I don’t know if was it because of the shoes. I guess it was slippery to everyone. The roof of No. 1 court “But to postpone a match because of slippery grass, I have never heard that. It’s a tough one. I don’t know what to say.” Forgini added: “I think the courts this year are really, really bad. But they do the best that they can. Is not their fault. I think this year was really sunny days, so the grass is not really good like last years.”During one match this week, the French player Kristina Mladenovic and her opponent Alison Riske, 27, even tried to get play stopped because of their fears, only to be told by officials to carry on.Fears were heightened after the American player Bethanie Mattek-Sands was seriously injured on Thursday after falling and was stretchered off Court 17 in agony, although it is not known if the surface played a part. The roof of Wimbledon’s No. 1 courtCredit:JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP “But, you know, that’s grass court tennis.”Wimbledon on Friday closed the roof of Centre Court before the start of play in an attempt to protect the grass from the heat as temperatures reached 31 degrees for the second day in a row. The AELTC has defended the condition of the courts, saying it carried out regular inspections of the playing surface.But other players have weighed into the row, remarking on the poor quality of the grass.Caroline Garcia said it seemed particularly bad for this early stage of the tournament and Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky, the world number 20, said she was “disappointed” with the quality of the grass this year, particularly on Court 18, where she played on Tuesday.She said: “It was the second day of the tournament, and it was already ruined. Usually you see that after a week. Sorry, Wimbledon, it’s not against you, but there are improvements to do on this thing.”Seven times Wimbledon winner Roger Federer said players’ fears over the condition of courts had to be taken seriously.“Sometimes it’s not attached any more. You know, it’s like dead grass. It changes colour. And that bit can be slippery,” he said. “It’s not a good sign, and you should always take the players’ opinion serious, especially when both say it. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The AELTC said its court preparation have been to “exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years”. In a statement it said: “Grass is a natural surface and it is usual for the baselines to start to be showing signs of wear and tear four days into The Championships.“The AELTC and Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) take hardness readings every morning in order to ensure that the courts have the right level of moisture and are playing consistently.”No readings of any significance have been taken from Court 18. We will continue to monitor these readings and adjust our care plan for the grass appropriately.” Andy Murray joined a number of players hitting out over the condition of the grass at Wimbledon this year, voicing fears for their safety in what they say are dangerous conditions.With the famous courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club visibly drying out in this week’s high temperatures, several players have raised their concerns.On Friday night Murray’s match was punctuated with complaints from opponent Fabio Fognini over the state of the court and the bounce of the ball.After his win, Murray said the court was in a worse condition than in previous years.”There’s quite a few spots on the court, like just behind the baseline and just in front of the baseline, where there’s quite big lumps of grass, sort of almost like little divots there, which I don’t remember really being the case [in previous years],” he said.”I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the weather that they’ve had over the last, you know, few weeks and months. It’s been pretty hot, pretty extreme conditions. Not much rain. So I don’t know if that’s affected it.”But the court, when I played the first match, was great. I think it’s just getting a bit beaten up early. A few of the players have said that about some of the outside courts, as well.”last_img read more


first_imgJustin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has told how he first came to his faith – and was reunited with the friend that was with him during the “life-changing moment”.The Archbishop, who first became a Christian at the age of 18, has released a short film describing his decision while in a student room at Cambridge University.Having returned from a church service with a friend, Nick Hills, Archbishop Welby said he realised his life “was going to go one of two ways”.“I prayed a very simple prayer saying, ‘Lord Jesus come into my life’,” he said.“I don’t know anything about you but come into my life”.“He came in and something changed. And has stayed changed from then on.”The Archbishop’s film comes as a number of prominent church figures and the Prime Minister release their Easter Sunday messages.In her address, Theresa May recalled “dark moments” of the last year, including the Westminster Bridge and Manchester Arena terrorist attacks, and the Grenfell Tower fire.“In the bravery of those facing adversity, the dedication of our emergency services, and the generosity of local communities, we see the triumph of the human spirit,” she said.“The Easter story contains an inspiring promise of new life and the triumph of hope.”Several bishops draw on the recent events in Salisbury and their aftermath in written messages and sermons during Holy Week and the Easter weekend.Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley, said that the backdrop to Lent this year had felt like “the pages of a John le Carré novel” – a reference to the nerve agent attack on 4 March.He spoke of a “real fear that it might escalate out of control”, while Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, told clergy that the incident was a “violation of the city”.He also had a more uplifting message for Christians.“What we do here and in our churches in the next few days attests that truth, love and justice matter in the way in which we live with one another,” he said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more


first_imgThe Duchess of Cornwall speaks to guests at the Commonwealth Big LunchCredit:Getty The Prince of Wales stands beside a huge whale made from plastic bottles as part of an environment campaign The Prince of Wales stands beside a huge whale made from plastic bottles as part of an environment campaignCredit:Getty The Prince and his two sons joined the Queen in hosting key figures from the Commonwealth, with the Presidents of Malawi, Rwanda and Botswana calling upon Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace, and the President of Kenya on the Duke.The President of the Republic of South Africa visited the Queen at Windsor Castle, while the Prince of Wales received the Prime Minister of Jamaica, and the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands at Clarence House. The Prince of Wales has showcased his credentials as the likely future head of Commonwealth, as he and his sons embarked on a Royal charm offensive.The Prince greeted hundreds of Commonwealth representatives in a lively lunch celebrating the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), sharing anecdotes about his time visiting most of its 53 countries.Attending events on climate change, plastics and a forum for young people, he made his way through some of the 5,000 delegates in London for a landmark week expected to see leaders decide whether he should automatically succeed his mother in the honorary role of head of the Commonwealth.The Duke of Cambridge, who on Monday took part in a business forum, and Prince Harry have already emphasised the central role the Royal Family has taken in the Commonwealth in a family-wide charm offensive, with the Prince praising his father’s foresight in environmental issues.The Prince of Wales has visited 44 of the 53 nations, and lost no time in regaling delegates with memories of his travels at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster. 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 Duke of Cambridge offers a gift to Tanzania's vice president Samia Suluhu When he met Israel Nyoh, a youth delegate from the central African country of Cameroon, the Prince recalled a visit there in 1990. “I remember going to Cameroon years ago. I have never been so hot in my life. All the air conditioning broke down,” he said.His conversation with young environmentalists was peppered with anecdotes about official visits, including a trip to the Caribbean to see hurricane damage last November, recent visits to Singapore, Malaysia and India, and his tour of Australia, which also took in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. “I have really happy memories of the Uganda CHOGM all those years ago,” he told one group of delegates from the east African country, recalling his first trip to an overseas Commonwealth summit in 2007. All four senior members of the Royal Family will be attending numerous events throughout the week of Chogm, with Meghan Markle joining her fiance on Wednesday.Lord Marland, a British businessman and Conservative politician leading the Commonwealth Business Forum, gave his support to the Prince of Wales becoming the next head of the Commonwealth. The Prince officially launched @ComSecYouth during a visit to @UoNMalaysia in November.The Commonwealth Youth Programme recognises young people as assets to a country’s development and they should be empowered to realise their potential. #CHOGM2018 pic.twitter.com/cnh2bh9A9I— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) April 17, 2018 The Duke of Cambridge offers a gift to Tanzania’s vice president Samia SuluhuCredit:AFP “He has been a great supporter of ours,” he said. “People don’t realise how lucky we are to have this Royal Family. The great thing is they they are removed from politics. “For an organisation like this to have a non-politician as its head is something great, I believe.”The decision will be made by the heads of government of the 53 Commonwealth countries, who will all attend a private retreat at Windsor on Friday. The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to guests at the Commonwealth Big Lunchlast_img read more


Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman praised “hard-working” staff and the NHS was providing “world class” care despite extra pressures. He added: “We are committed to making the NHS the safest place in the world to have a baby – that’s why earlier this year we announced a 25 per cent increase in midwifery training places, starting with 650 more in 2019 and a plan to train 3000 more over the next 4 years.”  Trusts across England were £814 million in deficit at the end of June, the report also reveals. NHS Improvement said this is £22 million better than planned at the beginning of the year, but £78 million worse than the year ending June 2017.The projected deficit for the end of 2018/19, which stands at £519 million, is “clearly unaffordable”, the report said. Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt during a tour of the Royal Free Hospital, north London “A&Es up and down the country have been successful in treating more patients than ever before within four hours. “We are helping trusts ensure that no-one stays in hospital longer than they need to, so that beds are free for other patients who urgently need them.” The figures also show the number of patients waiting longer than a year for planned operations has more than doubled in a year. In total 3,402 patients had waited at least 12 months in June 2018, compared to 1,475 in June 2017.Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said trusts “are doing all they can” to respond to increasing demand, workforce shortages, and financial pressures.”However hard they run, they don’t seem able to outpace the increase in demand,” he said. “Trusts tell us they are most worried about the workforce shortages they face, and it’s a real concern that these figures have shown such a big increase in vacancy levels.”It’s worrying that this problem is getting worse rather than better.” Ian Dalton, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “Staff are working extremely hard to cope with a rise in A&E attendances and high occupancy levels. Tom Sandford, of the Royal College of Nursing, said the report painted a “bleak picture” – including a 17 per cent rise in nurse vacancies in just three months. “The government must immediately investigate this sudden spike,” he said.  Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King’s Fund think tank, said the shortage of nurses was at risk of becoming a “national emergency”. The NHS is losing 29 midwives for every 30 trained, new figures show.  The research comes as latest staff vacancy levels published by the NHS prompted warnings of a “national emergency”.The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said attempts to boost staff numbers had made little difference, because so many are leaving the NHS or taking retirement. Its research shows that even though universities trained an extra 2,000 midwives in 2016/17, the total number rose by just 67, because so many workers left the service.RCM chief executive Gill Walton said, “It is of deep concern that we’re only seeing an increase of about one NHS midwife for every 30 or so newly-qualified midwives graduating from our universities. The problem is that so many existing midwives are leaving the service that the two things almost cancel each other out.”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––It came as official data published by watchdog NHS Improvement shows more than 107,743 NHS vacancies in England at the end of June, with one in eight nursing posts vacant. Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt during a tour of the Royal Free Hospital, north LondonCredit:Dan Kitwood/PA read more


A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called at 2.34pm today (6 January) to reports of a stabbing at Blackhorse Road underground station. “We sent an ambulance crew, a paramedic in a car and an incident response officer, with the first of our medics arriving in six minutes. We also dispatched London’s Air Ambulance.“We treated a man at the scene for knife injuries and took him by road to a major trauma centre.” “I know this will cause much speculation hence me sharing with you what only can be confirmed publicly and for the sake of the family of the boy in question urge caution – in particular, please note that no one can confirm at present the cause of this incident or motivations behind it, but clearly witnesses and any information you may have about what happened vital.” Tudor Simionov died in the early hours of New Year's Day Tudor Simionov died in the early hours of New Year’s Day Mr Simionov, 33, had been working as part of a security detail outside an exclusive New Year party on Park Lane in central London when he was stabbed during a fight with gratecrashers.Miss Huggins, 33, was was knifed to death at her home in Camberwell, south east London, also in the early hours of New Year’s Day.A 34-year-old man has appeared in court charged with her murder.Over the weekend another murder investigation was launched after a post mortem investigation carried out on a woman found dead on December 30 confirmed she had been strangled. Murder squad detectives are also investigating the separate stabbings of doorman, Tudor Simionov, in Mayfair and mother of one, Charlotte Huggins, in Camberwell on New Year’s Day. It comes after three people were also stabbed during an incident in east London on Saturday afternoon.A woman in her 30s and two men were wounded during an attack in Leyton. None of the injuries were thought to be serious.But a man in his 20s was left fighting for his life after being stabbed in Forest Gate, east London in an unrelated incident. Earlier detectives in the capital launched their fourth murder investigation of 2019  following the death of a woman in east London over the weekend.Police were called to a property on the Isle of Dogs after concerned was raised over the welfare of a resident.A woman in her 30s was found dead at the scene and a 32-year-old man who was known to her was arrested in connection with the death. Officers have responded to male stabbed outside Blackhorse Road Station, E17 at 1431hrs today. One male taken to hospital with stab injuries. We await a full update on their condition. No arrests. Crime scene in place. Enquiries are ongoing. No further updates at this time— Waltham Forest MPS (@MPSWForest) January 6, 2019 A 18-year-old man is fighting for his life after he was stabbed in broad daylight following an altercation at a London tube station, Scotland Yard has said. Police were called to Blackhorse Road Station in Waltham Forest just after 2.30pm on Sunday lunchtime following reports that a man was suffering from a knife wound.He was taken to hospital in east London with stab injuries where his condition was unknown.Police said no arrests had been made and the area had been cordoned off while the investigation was underway. The Tube station, which is on the busy Victoria Line into central London was evacuated and British Transport Police and the Met were on the scene.Writing on Facebook, the local MP, Stella Creasy said: “I have just had an update from the Police which I am sharing in full here about the incident in Blackhorse Road this afternoon – a young man has been seriously injured in our community again. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more


Caledonian Sleeper passengers were woken up and kicked off their train at Stafford in the latest blow to hit the new service.The overnight Lowlander service from London to Scotland was forced to a halt in the West Midlands due to a “technical issue” in the early hours of Wednesday.Some 150 passengers who had paid for double beds and comfort seats were offered replacement coaches and trains to take them more than 260 miles to Edinburgh and Glasgow.They were promised full refunds after the termination – a result of damage to the wheels of the train – delayed them by up to five hours.The Wednesday night service from Glasgow and Edinburgh to London was also cancelled as a result of the fault.It is the latest in a series of problems that have plagued Caledonian Sleeper’s new £150 million fleet after it entered service in late April. Trains have been cancelled or delayed on more than a third of the days the Serco-operated service has run since the revamp, The Telegraph can disclose.Passengers paying up to £350 for tickets have also complained of water leaks, broken toilets and coffee machines, booking mix-ups and a lack of staff. Caledonian Sleeper promised to transform the experience of travelling by train between England and Scotland with its new fleet, which runs between London Euston, Edinburgh and Glasgow.But last month its inaugural service from Scotland to London arrived three hours late due to signaling issues on the line. At the time, Network Rail said there was also an issue with the train itself.Since then, two other services – a northbound London-Edinburgh train and a southbound Edinburgh-London train – have failed to complete their journeys. April Masson, who was in a seated coach on Wednesday morning, tweeted: “The most uncomfortable I’ve ever felt on a train.”Limping along at 10mph on a #caledoniansleeper from Euston to Glasgow which can only be described as having a flat tyre.”Frank Fletcher said there was a “total lack of communication” from train staff after he left his carriage in Stafford.Writing on Twitter, he claimed passengers were left “standing in the rain not knowing what to do or where to go”.Reaghan Reilly tweeted: “It was my first experience of the sleeper train and it was definitely unforgettable.”She added: “An hour in and the overhead lights were on and off so many times I felt like a prisoner in an internment camp.” 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 Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are planning to ballot staff on whether to take strike action over working conditions on the new trains.Last month the RMT’s regional organiser Gordon Martin said staff are suffering stress due to their extra workload on the new trains.Caledonian Sleeper managing director Ryan Flaherty said: “We are working to understand the cause of this problem and we apologise to all guests affected.”All guests who travelled on the service last night will, of course, receive a full refund.” read more