LeBron James is the most popular player in the NBA, according to the latest ESPN Sports Poll.For the first time in four years, nearly 13 percent (12.9) of NBA fans said James was their favorite player in the league this season. Of Kobe Bryant, who came in a close second, 12.5 percent of the fans said he is their favorite.The 2008-09 season was the only other time when the Miami Heat star passed Bryant as the top fan pick. The Lakers star won the honor five of six years, from 2006-07 to 2011-12.“The Decision,” a 2010 televised special in which NBA player LeBron James announced that he would switch teams, caused the recent NBA champion’s popularity to decline. In his last season in Cleveland, 15.6 percent of fans thought he was their favorite but after “The Decision” was aired, his popularity went down to 9.4 percent.James has won back-to-back NBA finals, which may have led to his current spike in popularity.
New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has been playing well for the New York Knicks, he even earned a starting position on the team as a result of his efforts. However, he wasn’t recognized for his game on the court, he was best known for his impeccable flattop.Entering this season, Shumpert decided to cut away the very thing that identified him on and off the court, but that’s Shumpert’s point: His personality had grown larger than the team. He had moved away from basketball as his primary focus and needed to gather himself to win an NBA championship.A photo of the 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard has surfaced online with him sitting in a locker room, without his iconic hairstyle.Shumpert has even made a video explaining why he cut his hair/brand, which can be seen in the video player below.
VIDEO: The Patriots better worry about Julio Jones FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Jan. 31, 2017), we do a super-sized segment on Super Bowl LI. Will the Matt Ryan-led Falcons offense dominate, or will Tom Brady and the Patriots prevail? Next, tennis expert Carl Bialik drops by as we break down an Australian Open final that was a blast from the past. Plus, a significant digit on an unprecedented sanction in Major League Baseball.Links to what we discussed:ESPN launched its ultimate Super Bowl preview.Neil Paine wrote on the prowess of Julio Jones.ESPN’s Kevin Seifert looks at how Matt Ryan and Tom Brady match up.Tennis is growing older, writes Carl Bialik.In case you missed them, recaps of the Australian Open’s final games: Federer vs. Nadal and Williams vs. Williams.Does the Australian Open’s logo too closely resemble the logo for Netflix’s show “The OA”?Significant Digits: A triple digit this week: $2 million, No. 56, and No. 75. That’s what the St. Louis Cardinals lost this week, as Major League Baseball handed down a penalty that forced the team to pay the Houston Astros the fine and give them 2017 draft picks for hacking into the Astros’ scouting database. Embed Code
I never thought a football game could make me sad. I certainly never expected to have tears in my eyes at the end of one.I’ve experienced various sentiments at games — excitement, boredom, exhaustion, disappointment — but never before have I felt any degree of sorrow, even when my team loses. Instead of crying, punching walls or getting in fights at bars the way that some Ohio State fans do, I get over losses pretty quickly. I like football, but I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal.The game against Iowa was my last as an OSU student and the full realization of this happened to hit me during the fourth quarter of the game.Things started out the same as any other OSU game I’ve attended. A super-drunk frat boy fell flat on his face and had to be picked up by four of his friends right outside the stadium. Everyone sitting around me was drunk, yelling obscenities and being generally ridiculous. And of course, strangers high-fived excessively through the whole game.I got tired of standing after the first quarter, as usual. A drunk kid near us engaged my boyfriend in captivating conversations about John Goodman, hot girls and whether he thought Chinese food could give you AIDS.OSU fans are crazy and have never failed to bring me amusement. It can be annoying at times, like when a drunk kid keeps running in to you or worse, vomits nearby, or when there is a serial farter sitting by you.But Saturday was different for some reason. I wasn’t annoyed, and when the game went into overtime and the cheering in the stadium was at its loudest, I couldn’t help but get nostalgic. I’d never seen an OSU game go into overtime before and I’ve only seen a few close games in my four years here.The four years of college that I thought would never end are about to. I have one quarter left and this exciting game was my last as a student.Looking around and seeing the thousands of people in red not only made me proud to be an OSU student, but grateful for the experience I’ve had at OSU and thankful I made the decision to come here four years ago.The fact that anywhere you go in the country, someone will yell “I-O!” back to your “O-H!” is such an awesome thing. There are things about OSU that can’t be experienced anywhere else, and Saturday I got to really feel that and be a part of one such experience.I didn’t come to OSU because of the football team, and it’s not the most important thing about college for me. But it is one part of it, and Saturday, for one last time, I could get that feeling of pride that can only come from being in the stands at an OSU game.It sounds cheesy, but I couldn’t help but think of other games I’d gone to, and with that, about the rest of my four years at OSU. I’m lucky for the time I’ve had here, for what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown as a person.I found myself tearing up for a split second. It was bittersweet; the win was exciting but the end of the game signaled the last time, at least for awhile, that I would be in the stadium.Drunk, ridiculous fans are all part of an OSU game, just like having to stand for the whole time, paying $50 for a soft pretzel and being crushed by the crowds of people at the end.I wouldn’t trade my time at OSU for anything, and though football doesn’t mean as much to me as it does to some at OSU, the games and all that goes along with them are a big part of the OSU experience.The Iowa game made me realize that and it made me realize I was happy and fortunate to be a Buckeye.
With the first half of the season in the tank, finishing strong in the Big Ten will be the focus as the No. 20 Ohio State women’s volleyball team tries to shift into second gear. The Buckeyes own a 15-7 overall record and a 6-4 record in the conference play. Despite sitting fourth in the Big Ten standings, coach Geoff Carlston said his team still has a lot of work to do this season. “I think the good thing is we will all admit that we have some areas of improvement, and I think our defense has really picked it up and it’s just a lot of little things now,” Carlston said. The Buckeyes have had some impressive wins this season, mainly on the road. Early in the season, OSU upset then-No. 10 Dayton, then-No. 21 Illinois and won a pivotal Big Ten matchup against Michigan State. “We had some big-time road wins and more big wins in general,” said junior libero Julianne Mandolfo. Mandolfo said she understands the team needs to stay focused and continue to work hard to finish the way they want to through the second half of its season. “We just need to keep doing the same things that we’re doing, but just add a little bit more to each game,” Mandolfo said. “Some of the losses were two-point differences, so if we just clean up a couple of points in those losses (they) can become wins in the second half.” The team’s most recent losses included then-No. 17 Purdue and then-No. 1 Penn State. Senior outside hitter Mari Hole said one of the biggest things the team needs to work on is mental toughness. “Looking at the last few games, we still lack some mental strength,” Hole said. “We need to be better at finishing games. We’re good at it, but we’re not great at it.” Carlston said he continues to push his players to be tougher and smarter. “Making those plays at 24 all in the Big Ten on the road requires serving a little tougher, changing the offense … just offensive tweaks and defensive tweaks,” Carlston said. “You got to come into the second round of the Big Ten ready to adapt and ready to be fluid because everyone kind of knows each other a little bit more.” What might set the good teams apart from great ones are the type of plays they make from the 18th point to the 25th point in a game. It’s an area Mandolfo said she sees as an issue. “We’ve actually learned that throughout the whole game, we’ve kept one-on-one with every single team in the Big Ten,” Mandolfo said. “The games we have slipped up and lost, we’ve noticed that at 18 (points), we’ve done some mental errors.” Oftentimes, the halfway mark for any team marks a time for players and coaches to look back and reflect upon their performances to measure where they are. “I still know that there is still a lot that we can work on, but to be honest, I still don’t think we hit our max effort, so that’s always good,” Mandolfo said. Carlston said he is eager for the second half of the season to begin. “I’m excited where our team is,” Carlston said. “We got some good mojo, team chemistry is strong, and the team is feeling good about themselves. So I’m excited to get into the last half.” Hole said she is enjoying every second of her final season as a Buckeye and looks forward to the second act of what has been a fast-paced season. “I’m just starting to get really excited about the whole thing,” Hole said. “Just taking one game at a time, I am just enjoying it. And the fact that I’m a senior, it’s fun.” The Buckeyes are scheduled to travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face the No. 4 Cornhuskers Friday, and then travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to battle the Hawkeyes on Saturday. The Buckeyes lost 3-1 to Nebraska in Columbus on Sept. 22 and they are looking to avenge that loss. “Nebraska came to our place and beat us, so we’re looking forward to revenge, obviously,” Mandolfo said. “Since I’m from there, all my family is going to be there. So it’s just going to be even more motivation to get a win there.” On the road, the Buckeyes have totaled a 7-1 mark compared to their 4-4 record at home. “I think for whatever reason, this group has been strong on the road, so I don’t think we mind being on the road at all,” Carlston said. “If you’re going to beat Nebraska at home, beat Iowa at home, you got to play well for two hours.” Hole felt similarly. “Nebraska is a good team, and it’s going to be a battle,” Hole said. “We are definitely the underdogs, but I think that is in our favor.” Carlston said his team will be ready. “There’s something about this group that they’re not afraid to go on the road and battle,” he said.
Then-sophomore defender Craig Dalrymple (24) skates past a Bowling Green defender Oct. 29, 2013 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 5-3.Credit: Lantern file photoMore than six months after losing the Big Ten Championship in overtime, the Ohio State men’s hockey team is set for its first exhibition of the season on Saturday afternoon in Columbus.The Buckeyes’ exhibition against the University of Guelph will mark the first step in their quest for a NCAA tournament berth, something they’ve been denied for five straight years.Junior defenseman and alternate captain Sam Jardine said the sting of missing last season’s tournament was magnified for this year’s seniors — who have endured three years of postseason disappointment.Before last season’s 5-4 overtime loss to Wisconsin in Big Ten Championship, the Buckeyes failed to make the final round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs in 2012 and 2013.“The veterans returning have a real bitter attitude toward the way things finished last year,” Jardine said. “It’s been good motivation.”While OSU has eight seniors on this season’s roster, coach Steve Rohlik said the departure of two upperclassmen has created questions for the Buckeyes’ offense.“We’re going to have to have a lot of guys score eight goals,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to have to score by committee and we’re going to have to be good at special teams.”Forwards Max McCormick and Ryan Dzingel, who combined for 24.5 percent of OSU’s scoring last season, both signed contracts with the Ottawa Senators during the offseason.Senior forward captain Tanner Fritz is the team’s top offensive returner. Fritz finished last season with the third-most points on the team (32) despite battling an injury that kept him out of the lineup for five games.Even with Fritz, OSU will have to get offensive contributions from all four lines to compensate for its losses, Jardine said.“The best teams do score by committee,” Jardine said. “I’m personally not worried about our team and the ability to score goals.”Freshmen gave the Buckeyes offensive support last season as first-years combined for 23 goals. Sophomore forward Nick Schilkey led OSU rookies in points with 13 goals and 13 assists.Saturday’s exhibition will give Rohlik his first opportunity to see this season’s seven freshmen compete against college-level competition.“I see a lot of guys playing because I think everyone on our roster can contribute right now,” Rohlik said.The Buckeyes’ returners have already had an opportunity to see the team’s new crop in practice. Fritz said he’s pleased with the class and has made special note of forwards Nicholas Jones and Matt Weis.“There’s two guys that have a ton of skills and read the game well,” Fritz said.Following a year where OSU had six different goalies on its roster, it will start the season with three goalies on its depth chart.Sophomore goalie Christian Frey joined Fritz, Schilkey and sophomore defenseman Drew Brevig on the Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch list. Frey joined OSU midway through last season after playing in the USHL, finishing with a 2.27 goals against average and .929 save percentage in 16 games.Rohlik noted that sophomore goalies Matt Tomkins and Logan Davis will also compete for the starting role.Rohlik said that senior defenseman Craig Dalrymple has not skated at 100 percent this season due to injury, but added the rest of OSU’s lineup is healthy.Fritz reported that he’d been felt an “aching feeling” in his leg during off-ice workouts, but said he underwent a precautionary MRI this week and the injury was not serious.The Buckeyes are scheduled to drop the puck at 4:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
Urban Meyer raises the Cotton Bowl trophy following the end of game against the University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State is one of the most polarizing athletics programs in the country, which makes for some great coverage throughout a year. With 2017 closing, The Lantern compiled nine of the most significant stories or some of the best writing during the year.1) Self-reported NCAA violations prevent Ohio State from recruiting 5-star prospect Micah ParsonsMany who follow the Ohio State football team wondered why the Buckeyes stopped recruiting five-star defensive end prospect Micah Parsons. In documents obtained through a public records request, sports editor Colin Hass-Hill found that Ohio State self-imposed a ban on recruiting Parsons following NCAA infractions during the recruit’s official visit in September.The report garnered national attention with the early-signing period taking place the next day.2) Thad Matta out as Ohio State men’s basketball head coachThis was shocking news that dominated the college basketball news cycle for an entire week. Ohio State fired its winningest men’s basketball coach in school history on June 5, 2017 after 13 seasons. Despite four straight Sweet 16 berths and five Big Ten championships, Ohio State went in a new direction after two straight years of missing the NCAA Tournament.The Lantern published eight articles in the two days after the announcement relating to Matta’s firing.3) Ohio State hires Chris Holtmann as men’s basketball head coachThe coaching search ended with then-Butler head coach Chris Holtmann. Just four days after Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith addressed the media about Matta’s departure, Holtmann signed an eight-year deal to become Ohio State’s next head coach. The change in the basketball program was the biggest story in Ohio State athletics in 2017, and one of the largest college sports stories of the year.The Lantern published eight stories relating to the initial report of Holtmann’s hire and his press conference on June 12.4) Ohio State sweeps BYU, wins NCAA men’s volleyball championshipOSU men’s volleyball captains raise their second-consecutive national title trophy on Saturday at the NCAA national championship game. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe most dominant program in 2017 at Ohio State was the men’s volleyball that ended its historic season with a national championship on its home floor in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes won in straight sets against BYU to win its second consecutive national championship. They also broke the school and conference record for most consecutive wins with 42. Ohio State ended the season 32-2.5) J.K. Dobbins emerging as potential standoutLooking back, this story predicted one of the biggest storylines of Ohio State’s football season. The article foretold the impact freshman running back J.K. Dobbins would have on the Buckeyes’ offense. Running back coach Tony Alford said in August that Dobbins understood the offense “faster than anybody I’ve ever been around in my 22 years.” Dobbins ended up breaking the school’s freshman rushing record with 1,403 and averaging more than 7 yards per carry.6) Hurricane Harvey impacting Houston-native Ohio State athletesHurricane Harvey and the damage it brought about was one of the country’s biggest stories in 2017 — and its impact extended into Ohio State’s athletic department. In this story, Lantern sports editors Colin Hass-Hill and Ed Sutelan explained how, speaking with four Buckeye athletes from the Houston area. The story shed light on the difficulties of witnessing personal tragedies from afar and illustrated that no matter how distant an event might seem, it is likely impacting people in our local community.7) Ohio State’s championship hopes fade away in loss to IowaUrban Meyer paces the sideline during the fourth quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 24-55. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBefore anyone could figure out how or why it happened, it was clear what Ohio State’s 55-24 meant: the Buckeyes were probably not going to the College Football Playoff for a second straight season. While hope resurfaced, especially after winning the Big Ten title, the 31-point road loss was a key reason — if not the reason — Ohio State found itself on the outside the top 4. In this story, Lantern assistant sports editor Ed Sutelan captures the significance of the loss — and why in the years to come, this game, perhaps more than the Penn State thriller or another Michigan victory, will stand out in any lookback at 2017. 8) Ohio State beat itself, then beat Penn StateWhile the loss to Iowa would tarnish some of the shine Ohio State acquired after knocking off then-No. 2 Penn State, Lantern sports editor Colin Hass-Hill skillfully demonstrates in this story just how resilient the Buckeyes were in overcoming self-inflicted wound after self-inflicted wound. It’s a terrific piece of writing on one of the season’s memorable and entertaining games. 9) Bo Jordan alters training regimen in hopes of staying healthyIn one of the sports sections’ best written stories this year, Lantern reporter Jeff Helfrich chronicles how redshirt senior wrestler Bo Jordan has altered his approach to training in order to avoid the injuries that have hindered him for four seasons so he can go out on top as a national champion. With Jordan boasting a 14-2 record through Dec. 17 and a No. 3 ranking in his weight class, so far, so good.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano speaks to the media on Dec. 27 prior to the 2017 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State raked in its best statistical recruiting class under head coach Urban Meyer with two more commitments on National Signing Day, but that wasn’t the biggest news for the Buckeyes when looking at the 2018 season.After rumors circulating that defensive coordinator and safeties coach Greg Schiano was expected to take the vacant New England Patriots defensive coordinator position, Schiano apparently spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman to set the record straight that he was remaining at Ohio State next season.Greg Schiano tells me he is staying at #OhioState contrary to reports from Monday that he was leaving for the Patriots. Big day for the Buckeyes. Schiano played a key part in landing top OT Nick Petit-Frere out of Tampa.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 7, 2018It’s been a turbulent offseason for the Ohio State coaching staff with reports that quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day would leave to become the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator — he eventually was promoted to offensive coordinator to stay with the Buckeyes — and cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs signing on to become the Titans cornerbacks coach. Coombs was one of Ohio State’s most integral recruiters and position coaches, having produced four first-round picks from his position group in the last four drafts, so losing Schiano would’ve been another blow to the defensive outlook of Ohio State, as well as its recruiting prowess.Schiano said he does have aspirations of becoming a head coach, but that doesn’t have to happen. Adds he loves what he’s doing right now.— Edward Sutelan (@EdwardSutelan) February 7, 2018
Seven Sisters cliffs and coastguard cottages Eastbourne, East SussexCredit:Rex Dr Hurst’s team estimated the pace of the erosion by examining the amount of an isotope of beryllium in the rock platform under the cliffs. This isotope is formed in the top few metres of rock when it is struck by cosmic rays from space and the longer the rock is exposed, the higher the concentration. This enables the estimation of the speed of the cliff’s retreat.Dr Dylan Rood, from Imperial College London, one of the co-authors, told the BBC: “The coast is clearly eroding, and Britain has retreated fast. A nearly tenfold increase in retreat rates over a very short timescale, in geological terms, is remarkable.”The UK cannot leave the issue of cliff erosion unresolved in the face of a warming world and rising sea levels. Cliff erosion is irreversible; once the cliffs retreat, they are gone for good.” 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 iconic chalk cliffs on England’s south coast are eroding 10-fold faster now than they have over the past few thousand years, a new study has revealed.Researchers have observed that the erosion rate of chalk cliffs at Beachy Head and Seaford Head in East Sussex over the past 150 years has been of 22 to 32cm a year. They have calculated that in the past 7,000 years it was just two to six centimetres a year.The acceleration, timed thanks to a technique that tracks changes in rocks when exposed to energetic space particles, would be the result of thinning of cliff-front beaches, worsened by changes in storm intensity.The researchers, led by Dr Martin Hurst from the University of Glasgow, predict that climate change will accelerate the erosion process. “We were very surprised at the stark difference,” Dr Hurst told the Guardian. “If you have a nice thick and wide beach in front of a cliff, that reflects wave energy. But the beaches have all but disappeared.”The scientists believe the study, published in the leading American journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, will help make better predictions for the future about how climate change will affect coastlines.”Our coasts are going to change in the future as a result of sea-level rise and perhaps increased storminess, and we want this work to inform better forecasts of erosion,” Dr Hurst told the BBC.The research was centred on East Sussex and the iconic cliffs at Beachy Head and Hope Gap which were originally laid down 90 million years ago.Coastline management near Seaford, which saw the use of groynes or the shifting of sand and gravel to try to protect specific beaches, has led to the cliffs to the east, including Beachy Head, being starved of sediments.“We need to be aware that when we manage the beach in one place, there is a knock-on effect somewhere else,” Dr Hurst told the Guardian.
Lack of sleep is costing the UK economy billions and increasing the risk of death for large numbers of tired Britons, according to a new report.Scientists evaluated the economic cost of poor sleep in five countries: the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Japan.They found that the effect of sleep deprivation on productivity and health was losing the UK up to £40 billion each year – nearly two per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).People of any age who slept less than six hours a night on average were 13 per cent more likely to die than those sleeping between seven and nine hours. 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 scientists reviewed available research evidence on links between sleep, health, mortality and productivity, collected survey data on sleep duration, and ran computer models to come up with their findings.Of all the countries studied, the US experienced the biggest financial burden – up to 411 billion dollars (£329 billion) – due to insufficient sleep. It also suffered the most working days lost as a result of sleep deprivation, 1.2 million.Japan lost up to £110 billion and 600,000 working days, and Germany up to £48 billion and just over 200,000 working days.A poll of 2,000 British adults published earlier this year by the Royal Society for Public Health found that people in the UK slept an average of 6.8 hours. Sleeping between seven and nine hours per night was described as a “healthy daily sleep range” in the report, entitled Why Sleep Matters – The Economic Costs Of Insufficient Sleep.Lead investigator Dr Marco Hafner, from the non-profit research organisation RAND Europe, said: “Our study shows that the effects from a lack of sleep are massive.”Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and well-being but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy, with lower productivity levels and a higher mortality risk among workers.”He added: “Improving individual sleep habits and duration has huge implications, with our research showing that simple changes can make a big difference.”For example, if those who sleep under six hours a night increase their sleep to between six and seven hours a night, this could add £24 billion to the UK economy.” Improving individual sleep habits and duration has huge implications… simple changes can make a big differenceDr Marco Hafner
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said: “The diverse mix of breeds in this country has grown over time and we are now seeing many of the breeds that have originated from foreign countries becoming some of the most popular in the UK, which may well happen with the Russian Toy in years to come. “The process of being recognised as a pedigree dog by the Kennel Club takes several generations, but once we recognise a breed it means that we know that it has a reliable lineage that will give people a dog with predictable characteristics in terms of temperament and exercise and grooming needs, which helps dogs to find loving homes with the right owners.”She added: “The recognition of the lovely Russian Toy breed will bring the number of breeds in the UK up to two hundred and eighteen, which provides even more choice for those researching which breed might be the best one for their lifestyle.“We are delighted to welcome the breed at Crufts for the very first time this year and the parade they will be taking part in will allow the public to meet them for the first time and speak to experts in the breed who can advise on what they are like to live with.” The Danish Princesses; Alexandra , Dagmar and Thyra, holding a Russian Toy dog But Russian Toys became unfashionable after the 1917 Revolution because of their association with the discredited Tsarist ruling class.Twice the breed was nearly wiped out twice. First during the early years of the Soviet Union and again in the 1990s, with the influx of foreign breeds which followed the fall of the Iron Curtain.Until the 1990s, the breed was almost unknown outside of Russia and the first Russian Toys only arrived in Britain in 2008, when two were imported from there.The Russian Toy – which comes with two different coat types, long haired and short haired – is only the seventh new breed to be recognised in the UK in nearly a decade.It follows recognition of the already well-known Jack Russell Terrier as an official breed in 2016, and before that the Hungarian Pumi, Griffon Fauve de Bretagne and Picardy Sheepdog in 2014. 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. Sophia Botkina holding a Russian Toy, painted in 1899 by Valentin Serov Credit:State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg The breed – one of the smallest breeds in the world, measuring between 20 and 28cms – was originally developed from the Manchester Terrier as a companion dog for the Russian nobility in the mid-1800s.It became fashionable for members of the Russian aristocracy to be painted or photographed holding their beloved Russian Toy dogs, including the likes of Countess Samoilova and Sophia Botkina, the wife of a wealthy merchant whose 1899 portrait by Valentin Serov now hangs in the State Russian Museum, in St. Petersburg.One photograph of the period, titled The Danish Princesses, shows Alexandra (Queen of the United Kingdom and wife of King Edward VII); Dagmar (Empress of Russia); and Thyra (Duchess of Cumberland) holding a Russian Toy. Pampered and preened by their privileged owners, these were the dogs to be seen with on the streets of Moscow and Petrograd – the must have pet for the Russian nobility.But when the Bolsheviks took power during the October Revolution of 1917 the breed fell out of favour almost overnight, its association with the elite suddenly reducing its status to that of canis non grata.One hundred years on however and the Russian Toy is back in fashion. So much so that the UK Kennel Club has officially recognised it as a new pedigree breed for the first time. The breed will make its debut as a pedigree at this year’s Crufts, at the NEC in Birmingham next Friday, when ten of them will take part in a special parade.The Russian Toy is still rare in this country, with only 75 of the breed currently registered in Britain. But numbers are expected to grow as pet owners look for easily trained dogs who love being around both children and adults.Amanda Orchard, chairman of the Russian Toy Club UK, who has three of the dogs, said: “They are a very active and cheerful breed who thrive on human companionship. They were bred originally as ratting or watch dogs, but they are a great family dog.”
The silver Honda ploughed into the back of an Audi in the Belgrave area of LeicesterCredit:SWNS The ninth young man exits the Honda through the bootCredit:SWNS Seconds later, the group of young men stream out of the vehicle, which suffered a smashed front bumper as a result of the crash.At one stage, three men are seen climbing over one another as they attempt to escape from the rear-passenger door. One resident who lives nearby, who did not want to be named, said: “It was like a clown car, the people just kept appearing.”It’s the kind of shunt you often see in wet conditions and with the light fading. But what happens next is astonishing. The young men pile out of the vehicleCredit:SWNS “First one guy gets out, then another, then another, and then another – they just keep on coming. It’s like they’re never going to stop.” As the group of youngsters flees the scene, one of them returns to open the boot to free a ninth man who was also travelling in the car at the time.The video shows the Honda plough into the back of the Audi in the Belgrave area of the city at around 7.20pm on Friday. This is the extraordinary moment a car crashes into the back of an Audi before nine young men flee the vehicle, including one who was locked in the boot.The crash was captured on CCTV that showed a Honda Civic smash into the back of a white sports car at a junction in Leicester.Moments after the collision, the driver of the silver car gets out to inspect the damage, quickly followed by his seven passengers. The 53-second video of the crash has gone viral, with more than 20,000 users viewing and sharing the clip.Nobody is thought to have been injured in the crash, which is being investigated by Leicestershire Police. 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.
Developers of the airport-style technology say it will link women with eggs bearing at least “90 per cent accuracy” within 48 hours of taking a “selfie” on their phone. However, senior fertility doctors have warned the technology may become so effective it will tempt parents not to inform children about the real circumstances of their conception…. The system, based on an algorithm that measures 100 facial characteristics, is designed to address one of the main concerns held by parents relying on donated eggs – the similarity between them and their eventual offspring. IVF clinics are rolling out facial recognition apps to match would-be mothers with eggs donated from women who look exactly like them.
England’s unexpected progression to the football World Cup semi final led to a record-high number of people going to hospital with alcohol poisoning, according to NHS England.More than 700 people showed up at hospital due to overindulgence on July 7 – the day England beat Sweden in the quarter-final to reach the last four for the first time since Italia 90.This compares to the average 386 attendances displaying symptoms of alcohol poisoning that doctors might expect to be dealing with on a regular Saturday.An NHS England spokesman said it would appear from the figures, based on data from hospital episode statistics, that the sharp spike in alcohol-related hospital attendances may be linked to the Three Lions win.Fridays and Sundays are also worst days of the week for alcohol poisoning cases, with hospitals dealing with an average of 302 and 388 cases respectively.The figures come as the health service gears up for what is usually one of the busiest times of the year for alcohol-related incidents as revellers prepare to celebrate the new year.The festive period often sees a jump in the number of people needing emergency health care after excessive drinking – and the problem got worse last year, according to NHS England.It said there were between 208 and 235 people who ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning on Fridays in 2016 compared with 293 to 465 last year.More than 10 percent of all admissions at accident and emergency departments in the UK are related to drunkenness in some way, with Friday and Saturday nights sometimes having seven in 10 patients going to A&E because of drink, NHS England said.Attendances due to alcohol poisoning are defined as any those which have an A&E diagnosis of “poisoning (including overdose) other, including alcohol”.A spokesman said it may be assumed, given the date of England’s World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden this summer, that the vast majority of attendances on July 7 were alcohol-related poisonings. Dr Clifford Mann, NHS England clinical lead for accident and emergency, said: “As a doctor who works in emergency care, I’ve seen first-hand how drunk and sometimes aggressive people can put extra stress and pressure on paramedics, nurses and other hospital staff trying to do their job.”As we prepare to see in the new year, I would urge everyone to have a great time but not to overdo it – the NHS is not the National Hangover Service.”NHS England said the cost of helping people with avoidable alcohol-related illness to the NHS is £2.7billion each year.Patients admitted to hospital for excess drinking are monitored until the alcohol has left the system, taking up the time and energy of NHS doctors and nurses.NHS England announced funding this month for so-called “drunk tanks”.It is a service run jointly with local authorities and voluntary groups which gives people who are drunk a place to sober up and stay safe, without the need for a hospital admission.A study reviewing the services available to help people who are drunk, without going to hospital, is to report next year. 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. The BBC is so determined to hand its top jobs to women that Nick Robinson’s audition for Question Time was “a waste of petrol”, according to Jeremy Clarkson.The former Top Gear presenter said “anyone who has got a scrotum” stands no chance of being hired by the corporation.Clarkson no longer works for the BBC because he was sacked for punching a junior colleague during a tantrum over hotel catering. Nevertheless, he remains interested in his former employers and their efforts to redress the gender imbalance.“Men now just don’t get jobs [at the BBC] at all. The new rap one is a woman as well, isn’t it?” he said in an apparent reference to Tiffany Calver, the first female presenter of Radio 1’s The Rap Show.Last year, Cassian Harrison, editor of BBC Four, said that the era of “white, middle-aged and male” presenters “standing on a hill and telling you like it is” had passed.Clarkson, 58, claimed such statements drove talent towards streaming services and said his first thought upon reading it was: “That’s Attenborough! That’s probably why he’s gone to Netflix.” He went on: “Honestly, poor old Nick Robinson going for an interview for Question Time. What a waste of petrol that was. No chance he’s going to get it. Nick Robinson arriving for a Question Time audition last yearCredit:Geoff Pugh Robinson was the only man to audition for the Question Time job, on a shortlist that included Fiona Bruce, Kirsty Wark, Emily Maitlis and Samira Ahmed. Bruce got the job.After being photographed arriving for the audition, Robinson claimed he “never expected to get the job” but said he would have “kicked myself” had he not tried.It was announced in November that Sir David Attenborough is narrating a new natural history series for Netflix, Our Planet.Clarkson and his former Top Gear colleagues, James May and Richard Hammond, now present The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video. The new series returns on January 18. In a separate interview with Radio Times, Clarkson declared: “If I ran the BBC it would be better. I would make programmes for everybody, not just seven people in Islington. It’s become so up itself, suffocating the life out of everything in its nonsense need to be politically correct.” Clarkson was sacked in 2015 for an unprovoked assault on a Top Gear producer, Oisin Tymon, at a hotel in North Yorkshire.Mr Tymon informed Clarkson that, as it was after 10pm, the hotel restaurant was shut and no hot food was available. In the ensuing fracas, Clarkson split Mr Tymon’s lip and reportedly called him a “lazy Irish c—”.Clarkson later settled a £100,000 racial discrimination and injury claim, and apologised “for the incident and its regrettable aftermath”. “Anyone who has got a scrotum, forget it. They just aren’t giving jobs to men at the moment. There is an argument that it’s been all-men for a long time, so what’s wrong with it being all-women for some time? I get that. That’s fine.“We just, as men, have to accept we’ve had it. Let’s just go down the bar.”
A 17-year-old boy who was stabbed in Ipswich last night had to call his own ambulance, it has emerged, as police question five men in relation to the incident.The victim, bleeding profusely from a stab wound, was left to call for an ambulance himself after his attackers ran off on Monday evening.The teenager was found in the alley between Bramford Lane and Broadway Lane, next to Westbourne Academy by emergency services.He was rushed to hospital but Suffolk Police said this morning that ‘fortunately’ his injuries are not life-threatening.Two boys, aged 16 and 17, two 18-year-old men and a 20-year-old man were arrested between 7:15 pm and 7:20 pm in connection with the knifing and are all believed to be from the local area.All five suspects have been taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and remain in custody this morning.Concerned residents demanded action today in response to the violent stabbing that occurred on the footpath near to their homes last night. 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. Others reacted with anger, calling for tougher sentences for those caught carrying bladed weapons.Caroline Oliver said: “Punish the culprits hard. The only way forward is years in prison, not days.”Forensic teams in white overalls were seen entering and leaving the area which was taped off.Suffolk police also said the grounds of the school would be searched as part of the investigation.Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House on 101 quoting reference 13979/19.Alternatively you can call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Ipswich resident Julie Pottle said: “This is too close to home, I wish it would all stop. I hope the young guy makes a speedy recovery.”Ellise Huggins added: “This was pretty much outside my house but I couldn’t see much. I just got the kids to bed between 6.30 and 6.45pm and then about five police cars were parked outside my house.”
Ian Samson was jailed in 2013Credit:BBC 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 Lord and Lady Polworth Children’s House A sister and two brothers have won record damages of £1 million from the Church of Scotland after being sexually abused in a care home.The siblings were repeatedly attacked by the “snarling” predatory paedophile Ian Samson while he worked at the Kirk’s Lord and Lady Polworth Children’s House in Edinburgh.The sister, who cannot be named, was forced to have an abortion after she became pregnant when he raped her.Samson, 78, the former care home superintendent, was jailed for 14 years in 2013 after being found guilty of 22 serious sexual offences, including 12 rapes, spanning three decades.After raising a legal action last year, his female victim secured £500,000 from the Kirk while her two brothers each received £250,000. It is thought to be the highest compensation payment made by a religious body in Scotland.In a statement the siblings said Samson was an evil man who had robbed them of their childhood and their future. Some of his care home victims were said to have hid in cupboards or in dog baskets to avoid abuse.During his trial it emerged that he kept his role despite being suspected of taking obscene photos of a child.The siblings said they could never escape the torment of the abuse, and even struggled to cope with the memory of the “snarl on his face” as he carried out his crimes.Kim Leslie, specialist abuse lawyer and partner at Digby Brown Solicitors, led the civil action against the Kirk on the grounds of vicarious liability.She said: “Ian Samson was rightly jailed for abuse he inflicted upon children after exploiting his position with the Church of Scotland.”The significant sum secured for our clients also gives you an idea of just how extreme Ian Samson was and how horrifically our clients suffered – in terms of settlements made public against religious groups, this is certainly the highest value I’m aware of in the 20 years I’ve practised law.”Sadly, there will be other brave survivors who have fallen victim to similar campaigns of abuse and to them I would say stay strong, keep going and when you’re ready to talk or take action then there’s a wealth of support for you when the time is right.”A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “The abuses perpetrated by Ian Samson at Lord and Lady Polworth Home in the 1970s are matters which have been examined by the criminal courts and by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and for which we have expressed our deep and sincere regret.“We became aware of the full facts in 2013 at which point we offered our full support to the victims. While Samson’s abuse of children was wider than his activity in Lord and Lady Polwarth Home, it felt important to us that there was full acknowledgment of the harm which did occur in our care at the time, and the longer term consequences for three siblings involved.“The safety of children is of paramount importance to us, we have carried out a full independent review of the circumstances occurring in the 1970s so that we could learn any lessons for our safeguarding practices today. We did offer sight of that review to the family affected before it went for publication, through Police Scotland, however we are not aware of whether they have seen it.“Whilst this settlement can never undo what has been done, we hope that it finally brings a sense of justice to the individuals affected and provides some small redress for the trauma which they experienced while in our care.” They added: “Our case has never been about the money. Raising a civil action in the courts was the only way we could get any sort of acknowledgement from the Church of Scotland.“It’s a shame that an organisation which promotes ‘goodness and morals’ can’t do the right thing themselves and hold their hands up and apologise rather than force victims to go endure further legal proceedings.“We nearly gave up so many times in getting the Kirk to accept responsibility so we’re delighted this is now over and have the justice and closure we need to get on with life as best we can.“To anyone else affected by abuse – be strong and step forward. You can get closure and together we can all make a difference.”The trio raised a civil action through the legal firm Digby Brown Solicitors and the case was settled out of court.Samson, who worked at Lord and Lady Polworth alongside his wife who was a matron, carried out a campaign of abuse between the 1970s and 1990s.As well as sexually assaulting children at the Kirk-run home, he abused young customers of his ice cream van and children employed at his Musselburgh shop.
Merrick, whose condition did not develop until he was five, has inspired a number of books, alongside an award-winning play and a film starring John Hurt.His head eventually measured 36 inches, with researchers claiming the deformities were the cause of Proteus syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.The detailed Victorian records make it “99% certain” this is the Elephant Man, said Mrs Vigor-Mungovin, with the burial dated April 24 1890, 13 day after Joseph’s death.She added: “It gives his residence as London Hospital, his age as 28 – Joseph was actually 27 but his date of birth was often given wrong – and the coroner as Wynne Baxter, who we know conducted Joseph’s inquest.”The authorities said a small plaque could be made to mark the spot, which would be lovely.” 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 unmarked grave of Joseph Merrick – better known as the Elephant Man – has been traced after nearly 130 years, according to his biographer.Merrick had a skeletal and soft tissue deformity which saw him as a medical curiosity, with his skeleton preserved at the Royal London Hospital.But author Jo Vigor-Mungovin claimed she has now discovered Merrick’s soft tissue was buried in the City of London Cemetery after he died in 1890 aged 27.After a miserable adolescence in Leicester and time as a travelling exhibit, Merrick ended up at the former London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London.Mrs Vigor-Mungovin, who has written a biography of Merrick, told the BBC that his soft tissue was buried but had not been followed up due to the number of graveyards in use at the time.She said: “I was asked about this and off-hand I said ‘It probably went to the same place as the Ripper victims’, as they died in the same locality.”Then I went home and really thought about it and started looking at the records of the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium near Epping Forest, where two Ripper victims are buried.”I decided to search in an eight-week window around the time of his death and there, on page two, was Joseph Merrick.”
But following the cyberattack a decision was taken by police leaders to suspend work with the firm.It is thought the suspension of services has already led to a delay in some court cases with a number of trials having to be postponed. Eurofins was hit by a cyber attack in June In the wake of the attack, security minister Ben Wallace said immediate steps had been taken to minimise the impact on the criminal justice system.He said: “The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is working to ensure all hearings remain based on reliable evidence.”If prosecutors or the police believe that there may have been an impact, they will contact the victims or witnesses involved. But if any victims are concerned, national support services are also available.”However, I want to stress that at present we have no reason to believe there has been an impact on the forensic evidence tested by EFS.”The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) refused to comment on the ransom payment but sources said “excellent progress” had been made in dealing with the fall-out of the cyber attack.Ransomware software is a virus that prevents the user from accessing their systems and can cripple an organisation.The hackers then often send a demand for payment in order to unlock the frozen systems.A spokesman for the National Cyber Security Centre spokesman said: “It is a matter for the victim whether or not to pay the ransom.”But the decision to pay the hackers could lead to concerns that the firm could be targeted in the future. A leading forensic science firm, which is used by the UK police to help investigate major crimes, has paid a ransom to criminals after being targeted in a cyber attack, it is understood.Eurofins Scientific, which is based in Belgium but has laboratories all over the world, was hit by a ransomware attack last month, which affected the firm’s IT systems.The National Crime Agency has been investigating the source of the attack, but sources claimed the company had already paid a ransom to recover its network.It is not clear how much was paid and spokesman for the firm said: “With regards to any ransom payment we can’t comment at the moment.”Eurofins, which helped catch the Babes in the Wood killer, Russell Bishop, accounts for more than half of the forensic science provision for UK forces.Its scientists handle forensic evidence relating to around 70,000 criminal cases in the UK each year, carrying out DNA testing, toxicology analysis, firearms testing and other services. The state run Forensic Science Service (FSS) was abolished in 2012 with the work being taken on by a number of private firms.However the sector has been beset with problems with an alleged data tampering scandal at Randox Testing and the collapse of Key Forensic Services.In May a House of Lords report warned that the provision of forensic science in England and Wales had reached breaking point, risking crimes going unsolved and miscarriages of justice occurring. 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 grooming gang was jailed for sexually abusing vulnerable young girls in Rotherham yesterday, as a judge criticised the “totally ineffectual” authorities for failing to protect the victims. Seven girls, all under 16 at the time, were plied with alcohol and drugs and threatened with violence by five predatory men who used them as “sexual objects” between 1998 and 2002, Sheffield Crown Court heard.Some of the victims were raped by multiple gang members in the South Yorkshire town and the surrounding areas, with one telling jurors: “They took my childhood away”.Judge Michael Slater said that after presiding over the five-week trial, he was “quite satisfied” that the “relevant authorities” in Rotherham were aware of how vulnerable girls were being targeted for sexual exploitation. He described their inaction as a “lamentable state of affairs”, saying they were at best “totally ineffectual” and, at worst, “wholly indifferent”, the BBC 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. Aftab Hussain, 40, was jailed for 24 years after being found guilty of two counts of indecent assault. Sharaz Hussain, 35, was jailed for four years after being found guilty of one count of indecent assault.Masaued Malik, 35, was jailed for five years after being found guilty of one count of indecent assault.A fifth man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for 10 years after found guilty of indecent assault and two counts of child abductionA total of 20 men have now been convicted as a result of Operation Stovewood and the NCA has said it believes 1,510 people were victims in Rotherham. The case was the latest to arise out of Operation Stovewood – the massive National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation into the sexual exploitation of teenagers in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.Abid Saddiq, 38, described as a “cunning and determined sexual predator”, was jailed for 20 years after being found guilty of two counts of rape, five counts of indecent assault and two counts of child abduction. Grooming gang members Masaued Malik (left) and Sharaz Hussain (right), who were jailed for sexually abusing young girls in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.Credit:NCA