Ohio State answered one big question Wednesday among several uncertainties about the upcoming 2011 football season: Who will coach while Jim Tressel is suspended? Luke Fickell. OSU announced Wednesday that co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach, Fickell, has been promoted to assistant head coach. Fickell will serve as interim head coach during Tressel’s five-game suspension to start the season. Fickell will retain his role as linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a press release. “I am humbled and excited about the opportunity,” Fickell said. “I’m truly proud to be able to stand up here and accept this role.” Fickell spoke to reporters, but offered few details on how the coaching roles would change for next year. “We coach by committee. It never has been, never will be about one person in particular,” Fickell said. “This is still Coach Tressel’s team.” Fickell spoke about the struggles that will come along with Tressel’s five-game absence. “It will be difficult,” Fickell said. “We have to know whose team it is. It’s our team. It’s the seniors’ team.” Tressel acknowledged that it will be hard. He said OSU deserves his time 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “This year,” he said, “it may be 24/6.” Fickell is a Columbus native and a 1997 graduate of OSU. He played nose guard for the Buckeyes from 1992–96. He redshirted his first year and started the remaining four. Fickell said he was honored to have this kind of opportunity at his alma mater. This is Fickell’s 10th year on staff at OSU, with his responsibilities ranging from overseeing the punt team to being co-defensive coordinator. “A final version of Fickell’s updated contract has not been completed,” the university said in a press release. The university suspended Tressel for five games for not reporting known NCAA violations to superiors. Terrelle Pryor and four other players received improper benefits by selling memorabilia and receiving discounted tattoos in 2009. Athletic department spokeswoman Shelly Poe said OSU is awaiting the results of an ongoing NCAA investigation, and no questions regarding the investigation could be answered. Poe also acknowledged that the university has become aware of allegations from an HBO “Real Sports” report that former recruit Anthony McClover said he received sexual favors while on an official team visit in 2003. Poe would not say whether OSU would be investigating this and that said the university will not comment on the matter until more information is known. Tressel took the opportunity at the spring practice press conference to again publicly apologize. “The largest regrets I’ve had, have been when I’ve disappointed people, when I’ve let people down,” Tressel said. “The mistakes I’ve made are very disappointing. Certainly, I‘m sorry for that. Tressel said he has received encouragement from many people throughout the ordeal. “The strongest inspiration I’ve gotten has been from our tremendous administration, our staff and most especially, our team,” Tressel said. OSU will begin spring football practice today, and Tressel said he is looking forward to how the new team is going to look. “We’re excited that spring begins tomorrow. We begin that focus on these 2011 Buckeyes,” he said. “It’s going to be a little different team; there are a lot of new faces.” read more


Redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan winds up for a shot during a match against Oklahoma on March 6 in Columbus. OSU lost, 4-3.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State’s men’s tennis team has dominated the Big Ten for roughly a decade, but trips to Northwestern on Friday and Illinois on Sunday could be tests for the Buckeyes.“It’s going to be a very tough weekend. They’re big matches,” coach Ty Tucker said.The last time No. 11 Ohio State lost a Big Ten regular season matchup was on April 24, 2005, at Northwestern. This year, the No. 19 Wildcats are not only 8-1 at home but have won six of their last seven matches. The Buckeyes hit a rough patch with losses in two matches before entering Big Ten play for good, then swept the state of Michigan with wins over both the University of Michigan and Michigan State this past week. The wins serve as a nice reminder of what OSU can do, redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan said.“A win is always good, especially after two losses in a row,” he said. “Good just to get that feeling of winning back.”Even with the taste of winning back in the Buckeyes’ mouths, Tucker said he hasn’t forgotten their recent shortcomings.“Our math is a little bit short this year as far as getting to four (points), but we have to concentrate on Northwestern,” he said.Getting through Northwestern with a win is a feat in itself, but getting out of the state of Illinois without a loss will be another story. The Buckeyes became familiar with No. 3 Illinois at the ITA Indoor Team Championship this year when the Fighting Illini ended OSU’s run with a 4-2 win. “It is still Illinois … so there’s always going to be pressure no matter what,” he said.Tucker said he is extremely familiar with rivalry, saying it’s been a “battle” for the past 15 years with Illinois.Besides the streak of 96-straight conference wins that is on the line this weekend for OSU, Tucker said there is much more that can be lost.“Your goal at the beginning of the year is to win a Big Ten championship and host an NCAA regional. That’s definitely on the line this weekend,” he said.The Buckeyes are set to take on the Wildcats at 6 p.m. Friday in Evanston, Ill. read more


Ohio State senior tight end Marcus Baugh (85) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that would put Ohio State over Penn State in the game on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorIn one of the most dramatic, come-from-behind wins in recent memory for Ohio State, there are a lot of statistics to unpack. The No. 6 Buckeyes won 39-38 against No. 2 Penn State, holding the Nittany Lion offense to just 283 total yards and racking up 529 yards against one of the best defenses in the nation. Here are some important statistics from the game.16 – consecutive completed passes by J.T. Barrett to finish the game. From the final minutes of the third quarter through the entire fourth quarter, Barrett completed 16 straight passes, setting an Ohio State record. Just when he needed to be, Barrett was at his finest and systematically picked apart the Penn State secondary, completing three touchdown passes during that span and completing Ohio State’s comeback.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe term “surgical precision” is often used to describe a quarterback fitting passes into tight windows. Such a term could be accurately linked to Barrett against Penn State, as the redshirt senior completed 33-of-39 total passes. His teammates said it could have been even more. “I don’t know his stats but we had four drops so those weren’t completely on him,” redshirt junior Terry McLaurin said. “We kind of left some plays on the field, but the way he played, that’s Heisman candidate right there.”41 – average starting field position by Penn State. Ohio State’s struggles with kickoffs has been well documented. It nearly cost them the game Saturday against Penn State. Right out of the gate, running back Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Later in the game, another Ohio State kickoff resulted in linebacker Koa Farmer taking the football to the Ohio State 23-yard line.Ohio State’s issues with flipping the field extended beyond the kickoff coverage, however. The Buckeyes had two turnovers, which put Penn State in Ohio State territory. The Nittany Lions also were the beneficiaries of a muffed punt that redshirt freshman punter Drue Chrisman dropped, then shanked before it rolled to the Penn State 38-yard line. Only two of those aforementioned issues did not see the Nittany Lions put up seven points. The special teams and overall sloppiness of Ohio State nearly cost the Buckeyes in the end. Given that a loss from this point forward ends the Buckeyes’ hopes of winning a championship, they cannot afford to have many more games littered with similar blunders.44 – rushing yards by Saquon Barkley. Ohio State has never fully stopped Barkley before. It allowed him to gain 99 yards on the ground last season. In 2015, he had 194 rushing yards. Saturday was a different story. Barkley had 21 carries and mustered only 44 yards in the midst of a season that has many clamoring for him to win the Heisman Trophy.Ohio State sophomore cornerback Kendall Sheffield (8) takes down Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in the third quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorPerhaps even more remarkable than the 44-rushing-yards statistic would be the fact 36 of those came on one carry. Remove that one carry and his 2.1 average yards per carry dips to 0.4. His lack of success was not necessarily due to him being ineffective, but rather the result of an Ohio State defensive line that simply bullied Penn State’s offensive line all game long. Barkley was on the receiving end of nine of Ohio State’s 13 tackles for a loss. Heading into the game, the Buckeyes needed to slow down Barkley if it had any chance of winning. They not only slowed him down, but they effectively stopped him. And they won.13 – carries by J.K. Dobbins. Penn State handed the football off to a running back who proved largely ineffective. Ohio State seemingly refused to hand the football off to a running back who was one of its most productive weapons. In the second quarter, Dobbins did not touch the football. In the fourth quarter, Dobbins rushed it once. Yet he finished the game with 88 rushing yards (6.8 yards per carry), including four rushes for 10-plus yards.This has become somewhat of a trend for Ohio State this season. Despite head coach Urban Meyer often stating his willingness to run the freshman running back into the ground with how often he is used, the coach has appeared reluctant to turn to his budding star. Perhaps the Buckeyes wish to save their prized talent for games later this season. Maybe they’re resting him for the next two seasons when he is counted on as their top offensive weapon. But after his fifth game with an average of more than six yards per carry and fewer than 15 carries, Ohio State fans have to wonder if Dobbins is being maximized to his full potential.Ohio State redshirt junior reciever Johnnie Dixon (1) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor9 – receptions by Ohio State players.This has been a statistic that has been featured plenty in this series of articles. However, it usually receives a qualifier that the primary reason for the high number of players to receive a catch was due to the blowout lead Ohio State had, and that many of the backups were in because the Buckeyes played against a weaker opponent.That wasn’t the case Saturday. Nine players made receptions in this game largely because that is just how Ohio State is going to play moving forward. The high number of players having an impact on the game might not be solely because Ohio State has played lesser opponents. Perhaps it is simply because it has a wide array of players capable of making plays.At the beginning of the year, many doubted the players and coaches who said all six wide receivers were good enough to start for Ohio State. Perhaps the players and coaches were right. Every week, someone new happens to step up and make plays for the Buckeyes. This week and last it was redshirt sophomore H-back K.J. Hill. Against Maryland, it was sophomore Binjimen Victor. Against Rutgers, it was redshirt junior Johnnie Dixon. Any game, against any opponent, any receiver might step up. Perhaps it’s time to stop doubting that and accept that the Buckeyes’ receiving corp might be championship-caliber. read more


first_imgWestern explorers settled in China more than 1,500 years earlier than experts had believed, new research has revealed, after archaeologists found the famous Terracotta Warriors could have been made with the help of the Greeks.The 8,000 statues, which guard the mausoleum of the First Emperor, are likely to have been made under the guidance of a European sculptor who worked with locals at the site and took influence from Ancient Greece.An extensive study of sites in Xinjiang Province, China, have revealed European-specific mitochondrial DNA, suggesting Westerners travelled, settled and died there before and during the time of the First Emperor: 1,500 years earlier than currently accepted. The full findings will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in the US, and one BBC Two this Sunday.Rachel Morgan, commissioning editor for the BBC, said: “It is thrilling to think that these discoveries, using cutting technologies and the forensic techniques of the 21st century, have the potential to alter what we know about the origin and formation of one of the world’s most powerful countries today and the relationships forged between ancient civilizations.”Dan Snow, who presents the show, said: “It is extraordinary to think that history as we know it is changeable.”The Greatest Tomb on Earth, a one-hour special hosted by Dan Snow, Dr Alice Roberts and Dr Albert Lin will air on BBC Two on Sunday, October 16 at 8pm. The show is presented by Dr Alice Roberts, Dan Snow and Dr Albert LinCredit:BBC  Greatest Tomb on Earth I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the localsProf Lukas Nickel Dr Xiuzhen added: “We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art”.Prof Zhang Weixing, lead archaeologist at the tomb site, said: “The archaeological work undertaken here recently is more important than anything in the last 40 years. “By systematically examining the First Emperor’s main tomb and subsidiary burials we have discovered something more important even than the Terracotta Army.”Other findings from the site include the mutilated bones of young women, believed to be high ranking concubines, burie with precious jewellery made from pearls and gold.The skull of a young man, believed to be Prince Fu Su, the First Emperor’s eldest son, was also found with a crossbow bolt embedded in it.  Experts are particularly excited by the discovery of DNA suggesting Westerners lived in the area during the time of Qin Shi Huang, from 259 to 210 BC.Dr Li Xiuzhen, Senior Archaeologist at the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, said: “We now have evidence that close contact existed between the First Emperor’s China and the West before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought.”Evidence of that contact, experts believe, can be found in the style of the Terracotta Warriors, with “no tradition of building life-sized human statues” identified in China before then. Prof Lukas Nickel, chair of Asian Art History at the University of Vienna, believes the tomb of the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great.“I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals,” 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. Achaeologists have looked at the links between China and GreeceCredit:BBC  The Terracotta Warriors draw visitors from around the worldCredit:Reuters Alice Roberts with skull of a worker  Terracotta Warriors The discoveries have been hailed as “more important than anything in the last 40 years” surpassing even the discovery of the Terracotta Army itself in significance. They are thought to be the first documented contact between Western and Chinese civilizations ever recorded.They came about during excavations across the site by Mausoleum archaeologists, which have now been documented for television by the National Geographic Channel and BBC.Key findings include evidence that treasures in the tomb of the First Emperor were created with the help of the West, with inspiration from the statues of Ancient Greece.The tomb complex itself was found to be “much bigger than first thought” – at 38 square miles, 200 times bigger than Egypt’s Valley of the Kings – with two roads out of it identified with drone technology. last_img read more


first_imgShe added: “Throughout it all there was that feeling of ‘what if nobody comes?’“I just kept feeling guilty for my family back in Stockton, in case I didn’t come back.”Jon Bonfiglio, who was leading the expedition, said the group had no idea what they were getting into when they set out.”We were not naive idiots going over a cliff edge,” he said.“We sat down with locals and talked to them about the river, but people told us there was only one waterfall, even the local people didn’t know of all the waterfalls or the perils. I had no inkling of what we were getting into.”Gibraltan Jon had to spend the entire five days in his underpants, having stripped off to jump into the water and help another member of the group into a boat after their capsized.He said: “I was virtually naked throughout the whole thing, I lost all my clothes and had to stay in my underpants.”It was like all the best horror films, it started beautifully, the river was meant to be placid and gentle, no one mentioned the rapids and waterfall.”They were eventually rescued by a man named “John of the Gods” who took them to a nearby home where they showered and rested. “My legs were all cut from the palm leaves and I had bruising on my bum from sleeping on a branch,” said Rachel who also had an eye infection but did not need to be hospitalised.“We ended up being a very close group,” added Jon. “No one shouted at each other but there was the unspoken, ‘What happens if they don’t find us today? What happens if they don’t find us tomorrow?’” A group of conservation workers have revealed how they spent five days stranded in a Mexican jungle, surviving on a handful of peanuts and raw fish after their boat capsized.A British member of the group, Rachel Bradley, 31, said to keep from starving they used mosquito nets to catch tiny fish and swallowed them whole after removing the heads.The group of four were on a river expedition through the Yucatan Peninsula in south eastern Mexico when their adventure went wrong. Rachel said they were eventually rescued by a man called “John of the Gods” Jon Bonfiglio is the director of the Clipperton Project which takes explorers through some of the world’s most remote areasCredit:KTD Media Rachel said they were eventually rescued by a man called “John of the Gods” Credit:KTD Media Jon Bonfiglio is the director of the Clipperton Project which takes explorers through some of the world's most remote areas Rachel said: “I had a couple of bags of peanuts left and we were forced to ration them to five peanuts a day.“We were forced to use mosquito nets to catch little fish that were no bigger than your thumb. We had to bite their heads off and swallow them whole.”Without basic supplies, they were forced to sip dirty river water and with the jungle submerged at that time of year, sleeping arrangements were made in tree branches.Rachel said: “We realised the best way of being found was just to stay still.“Lying in a tree for a couple of days wasn’t the plan when we went out, but we thought the safest place was just staying put and hoping someone could find us.” After hurtling over waterfalls and emerging each time covered in leeches, the explorers found themselves being pushed further and further into the heart of the 1.9million hectare jungle.“The water just kept flowing faster and faster,” said Rachel, from Stockton in Teesside. “But at this point it was too late to go back.”When two of the four boats flipped over and were lost, their food, first aid equipment and GPS navigation system also vanished.The group anchored the remaining boats together using vines to stop them floating off and examined the food they had left. 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_imgMinisters want to sign a “statement of intent” deal with Donald Trump within months to work on reducing trade US-UK barriers, The Sunday Telegraph understands. Government figures hope to fly to America early next year for talks with a view to issue a joint agreement promising to boost trade between the countries. It will be seen as Theresa May’s Government pushing ahead with its promise to boost trade with the rest of the world as the UK prepares to leave the EU. Crucially it would not break EU rules that forbid Britain signing fully trade deals until it has formally left the block, currently expected to be 2019.  Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader British breweries looking to sell into America have to contest with different labelling rules in each of the states, Mr Shanker said. Likewise insurance regulation is decided on a state level. So-called “behind the border” trade barriers like this are having one of the most “pernicious” effects on exporting across the world, according to Mr Shanker. They would likely be targeted in any UK-US talks on trade. Despite the opportunities on offer from Mr Trump’s victory, figures at the Department for International Trade are understood to be wary of pursing a deal too aggressively. There is a determination that talks cannot begin in earnest with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] – a trade deal between the US and EU – still on the table.“While TTIP is under negotiation, Britain will use all our weight to get successful result for the EU,” a Whitehall source said. However Mr Trump is expected to pull his support for the deal soon.  The move – which could include launching a working group to begin identifying possible reforms – is a stepping stone to a fully blown trade deal after Brexit. Trade officials will target reducing non-tariff barriers, such as ironing out differences in regulation in the two countries to help exporters. “Donald Trump’s victory opens up new options that weren’t there under the current administration. We are optimistic and waiting to hear what his trading position will look like,” a senior Whitehall source said. The drive comes amid new hope within Government that Mr Trump’s victory can boost Britain’s chances of flourishing economically after leaving the EU. Mr Trump praised the Brexit vote during his campaign while his advisers said Britain would not be at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal – as Barack Obama had said before the EU referendum.  Britain is barred from signing any trade deal while remaining in the EU, meaning Liam Fox and his International Trade Department is limited in what they can agree before Brexit. However the rules do not forbid scoping talks, initial agreements and working groups from seeing how two countries can reduce trade barriers. Theresa May is hoping to fly out for a face-to-face  meeting with Mr Trump in January and would likely take senior trade figures as well – as she did on her recent trip to India. The trip has been marked by Whitehall figures as the earliest possible moment to agree a pro-trade “statement of intent” between the two countries. America is Britain’s single biggest export market and there is a belief boosting trade by just half a per cent could be of huge financial benefit to UK companies. Unlike trade deals being scoped out with companies like India, a less expansive agreement with America is being targeted because eth economies are more aligned. Instead British trade officials will be looking at options for “widening and deepening” links with America, especially including reducing non-tariff barriers. Shanker Singham, the chairman of Legatum Institute’s special trade commission who advised Mitt Romney during his two US presidential bids, believes there is much scope for improvement .“There is no particular standard way of doing a trade agreement. Generally, first year or so is essentially a stock taking exercise,” he told this newspaper. “Like pulling weeds, you need to know what the actual barriers are before drawing up a deal. Different firms will have different views on whether something is a barrier or not.“They would ask what is preventing UK firms from having market access [in America] and market contestability, which means allowing them to be successful.” America’s network of regulations is especially complex because there are often different rules for each of the 50 states, making it harder for British firms to export.  Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leaderCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Donald Trump Donald TrumpCredit:AP Photo/ Evan Vucci In a separate development, Jeremy Corbyn has launched his strongest attack against Mr Trump since his unexpected US election victory earlier this month. In a marked contrast to the tone adopted by Theresa May, the Labour leader accused Mr Trump of being a “climate denier” who will not defend the world’s environment.Mr Corbyn also suggested Mr Trump has jumped on the “understandable cynicism” of voters in the face of globalisation to stoke anger against minorities.“We can see the choice taken by politicians on the hard right – to whip up division against migrants, Muslims, Mexicans, women, LGBT people, people with disabilities,” he said in a speech on Saturday.“The fake anti-elitism of rich white men like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. It’s farcical at one level, but in reality it’s no joke.” 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_imgWhen Sonia Friedman began her career as a theatre producer, sexism was so rife that she was accused of getting the job because she wore a short skirt.That was a long time ago. Now a super-producer behind some of the West End’s greatest hits, she has capped her success by being named theatreland’s most powerful figure in a list traditionally dominated by men.Friedman heads The Stage magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the industry, the first woman to do so in her own right for nearly 20 years. Since 1999, the top spot has been passed between just four entrants: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh, David Ian, and the husband-and-wife theatre owners Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire.The 51-year-old producer is known for her Midas touch, with shows ranging from Jerusalem and Wolf Hall to Bend It Like Beckham and Legally Blonde. She brought the record-breaking Book of Mormon to the West End, and Benedict Cumberbatch to the Barbican as Hamlet. 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 Stage 100 list, 20171 Sonia Friedman2 Andrew Lloyd Webber3 Cameron Mackintosh and Nicholas Allott4 Mark Cornell and Adam Kenwright (ATG)5 Rufus Norris, Lisa Burger and Ben Power (National Theatre)6 Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer (Nimax Theatres)7 Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon, Erican Whyman (RSC)8 David Lan and Lucy Woollatt (Young Vic)9 Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham (Donmar Warehouse)10 Emma Rice and Neil Constable (Shakespeare’s Globe)See the full list at www.thestage.co.uk/thestage100 Friedman is only the second woman to top The Stage’s List, and the first in 19 years. The only other woman was Janet Holmes à Court, then boss of Stoll Moss Theatres, who was placed first in 1998.“I find that being a woman has not stopped me – obviously – but it has certainly made me feel I have to work that bit harder to prove that I’m good at my job, and that I can be trusted to do my job well,” Friedman said.”I think I’ve got to the point where I don’t think of myself in gender terms, although I’m acutely aware of the responsibility of being a woman doing this job hopefully being an inspiration for other women.”But there’s no question that I’ve had to make sacrifices along the way. I wouldn’t say I’ve had a conventional lifestyle in any way, shape or form, in order to have got to this point.”I don’t have children, and not having to bring up a family has meant I can dedicate myself 24 hours a day to what is an incredibly intense job.”In the past, she has described being subjected to sexism throughout her career, once saying of her early years at the National Theatre: “It is a man’s world, without question… People said I only got the job because I was pretty, I only got the job because I wore a mini skirt.”She said in a 2009 interview: “I am accused all the time of having affairs with men who are very powerful and successful in this business… being one of the few women in this industry, it comes at me a lot.”Although women make up only 34 per cent of the top 100, the number of women in the top 10 has jumped 50 per cent since 2016. They include Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham at the Donmar, and the Nimax Theatre boss Nica Burns. Noma Dumezweni and Emma Watson backstage at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child While “very proud” to be representing women in the list, Friedman said she was most delighted to be the first winner who is solely a producer, and not an owner or operator of a West End theatre.“Audiences come and see the work, they don’t come to see buildings,” she said.“It’s not about real estate, it’s not about buildings, it’s not about assets. No one ever likes to admit they’re pleased to be No 1, or that they’ve got awards or whatever.”But I’m very proud of myself, actually, and of the team around me, that for the first time it’s the work that is being acknowledged.”As for the future of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, plans are afoot to open on Broadway in 2018. Friedman said she hoped the show would go on “forever! There is no end date in sight. My job on Harry Potter is to make sure it outlives me.” Cursed Child Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has also catapulted other talents on to The Stage’s list, including Noma Dumezweni, who is the highest-placed actor at No 22.Dumezweni plays Hermione Granger, a role made famous on film by Emma Watson. Internet trolls were critical of Dumezweni’s casting, claiming that a black actress was wrong for the role.Rowling dismissed them as a “bunch of racists”, and Friedman said: “I’m really proud to work with Noma. She is a trailblazer and she is an extraordinary force of nature. She has kept her head held so high through quite a lot of nonsense. It’s all about her talent, frankly, and not her colour.”Other women in the top 100 include Sheridan Smith, who starred in Funny Girl, and Glenda Jackson, who made a long-awaited return to the stage in King Lear at the Old Vic. Sheridan Smith Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened at the Palace Theatre in June, came to life after Friedman approached JK Rowling with the idea of a play exploring Harry’s adult years.The fan response was ecstatic, the reviews were glorious, and tickets sold out so fast that an extra 250,000 seats were made available and snapped up within hours.Explaining why Friedman has finally topped the list after so many years, Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, said: “Sonia Friedman has enjoyed a number of notable hits in recent years, but in 2016, she went stratospheric.“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was always likely to be a licence to print money. What has made it really special was that Friedman and her fellow creatives resisted the temptation to treat the production as a cash cow and created something truly magical, original and – above all – theatrical.”Friedman, 51, told The Telegraph: “Harry Potter was one of the highlights of my life and career, but every year to me has felt extraordinary.“I don’t want to be defined by Harry. Because of the nature of Harry Potter and how high profile it is, I think people perhaps noticed me a bit more. But I’d been pretty busy before that and I will continue to be so afterwards.” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened to rave reviewsCredit:Charlie Gray Sheridan Smith also makes the list for her performance in Funny GirlCredit:Menier Chocolate Factorylast_img read more


first_imgNetwork Rail said London Bridge station would reopen on Monday from 5am, but operate as exit only. Only the Tooley Street entrance and exit will be open for the Underground station.Transport for London advised that the station is expected to be busier than normal as a result of the reduced access. Passengers have been asked to re-plan their journey to avoid the station during the morning peak if they can. #Borough – the station has now reopened, following an earlier police investigation.— Northern line (@northernline) June 4, 2017 FYI – it’s likely that London Bridge Pier will be closed to river services tomorrow. https://t.co/Sq6CGNLV1g— TfL Traffic News (@TfLTrafficNews) June 4, 2017 Cordons remained in place around much of London Bridge and Borough Market on Sunday evening, and sources said the area was expected to remain closed on Monday until at least 8am. Giving an update on the investigation outside New Scotland Yard, the Met’s assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said “significant progress” had been made in identifying the attackers.He said that as well as more armed police across the capital in coming days, “the public will also see increased physical measures in order to keep public safe on London’s bridges”. Pedestrians who usually walk across London Bridge are advised to use London Underground services or National Rail services to Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street, Blackfriars and Victoria stations.TfL said: “Alternative walking routes across the river include Tower Bridge, Southwark Bridge, the Millennium Bridge (use Borough Underground station) and Blackfriars Bridge (use Southwark Underground station).”London Bridge station was closed over the weekend, with tubes and trains not stopping there. #LondonBridge: please check:https://t.co/EekKHecxWN before you travel tomorrow.— TfL Travel Alerts (@TfLTravelAlerts) June 4, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. London Bridge station is set to reopen this morning following Saturday’s terror attack, but commuters have been warned to avoid the station if possible because of overcrowding. The central London station should be open in time for rush hour on Monday morning, while Borough Underground station reopened on Sunday evening. Commuters should check the TfL website for the latest updates before travelling on Monday morning.  However London Bridge itself remains closed to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. London Bridge Pier is also expected to be closed to river boat services.  UPDATE: #LondonBridge station will re-open tomorrow Morning from 05:00 but for exit only onto Tooley street. pic.twitter.com/L00Iw36QOH— Southeastern (@Se_Railway) June 4, 2017last_img read more


first_imgBut in women there was no significant variation.Researchers called on doctors to advice male patients at risk of heart disease to have more sex.In a report on their findings they said: “This is the first study of its kind to evaluate the correlation between sexual frequency and homocysteine levels.”A good quality sex life, frequent sex and libido are all related to health in the middle-aged and elderly.”Increased sexual frequency could have a protective effect on general health and quality of life – especially in men – so doctors should support patients’ sexual activity.’Dr Mike Knapton from the British Heart Foundation said the study produced an “interesting result” but did not prove regular sex reduced homocysteine levels.He said: “A relationship does exist between sex and heart disease risk.”Checking your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as keeping active and not smoking, remain the best ways to ensure a healthy future.”A major review of scientific data in 2015 found raised homocysteine levels increased the risk of death from heart disease by 66 per cent. Doctors have long suspected  that frequent sex can reduce the risks, but the latest findings, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, are the first to show it works by driving down homocysteine levels.The chemical is a vital building block of proteins and occurs naturally in the body.But excess levels, which can be caused by poor diet, are thought to damage blood vessels supplying the heart – raising the risk of a deadly clot forming.Researchers from the National Defence Medical Centre in Taiwan tracked more than 2,000 men and women, aged from 20 to 59.They analysed blood samples to measure levels of homocysteine and matched the results up with volunteers’ sexual activity. And last year experts at Boston University discovered the chances of a stroke jumped by almost a third in those with high readings.It has also been linked with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. 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 results showed the lowest traces of the chemical were found in men claiming to have sex at least twice a week, while the highest readings were found in those restricted to less than once a month.center_img Show more Sex is good for the heart because it reduces the levels of a harmful chemical in the blood, scientists believe – but the effect is only seen in men.Having sex several times a week can cut lead to better circulation and healthier blood vessels in men, which researchers say is crucial for preventing a build-up of the chemical homocysteine.But scientists say women benefit much less because sexual arousal is less dependent on having a healthy blood flow, which is a key factor in keeping homocysteine under control.Heart disease is the biggest killer in Britain.  Increased sexual frequency could have a protective effect on general health and quality of life – especially in men – so doctors should support patients’ sexual activitylast_img read more


first_imgBritish success at Wimbledon has made it a record year for bookies, with bets on the tournament up by 50 per cent on 2016.With Johanna Konta becoming the first British woman to make it through to the semi finals since Virginia Wade in 1978 and Andy Murray looking to defend his title, the total number of wagers on the tournament is expected to reach £1.4bn, according to analysis.British interest has massively increased in the last few days as British number one Konta defied expectations.This year, 25 per cent more bets were placed on Konta to win compared to last year, when there was less than five per cent, making a record the sum for this tournament.Alex Kostin, a betting expert at bet-bonuscode.co.uk, said: “We expect to see £1.4billion of bets placed which is a record amount.”While one reason is the absence of a football tournament this summer, the other, he said, is the “Konta effect”.  Despite being the bookies’ second favourite to win after Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, Konta has attracted the largest number of bets, with 52 per cent of bets on the three favourites placed on her to win.  The figures – which analysed betting trends across Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Bet 365 – found the number of bets on Konta has increased by 25 per cent on 2016, when she was knocked out in the second round.Bookmakers have ranked Konta as second most likely to win, with Muguruza first and Venus Williams third.Meanwhile in the men’s final, Federer is the bookies favourite, followed by Djokovic and Murray in third place.”Bookies lost last year on Wimbledon because no one predicted Murray winning,” said Kostin.But bets have increased this year with pundits split on who is likely to win.“Wimbledon is wide open tournament this year – normally there’s one sure favourite,” according to Kostin. “This year Federer, Murray and Djokovic all have a chance.”  “The trend is clear and it has been like this for the three previous days – Konta is winning in bets placed, primarily from the London area,” said analyst Kostin. However, for the first time since 2011, neither Murray nor Djokovic are the favourites among pundits to win, with 38 per cent of bets placed on Federer winning in the men’s final. Kostin said: “We think a really important factor in [the increase in bets] is because there’s no football tournament is.”He added: “Konta generates a lot of attention. The main factor is Konta – she’s a new star. “She’s doing great but we know that it’s difficult to predict. As we see neither book makers nor punters bet on Williams to win it and psychologically knowing she’s the favourite can play a role. center_img “But I hope her coaches and trainers protect her from the information so she doesn’t feel the pressure – I hope bookmakers and punters don’t spoil it for Konta.”   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_imgTens of thousands of Londoners had to face trains that were over-capacity in 2016, with the 7.16am East Grinstead to London Bridge service being the most overcrowded train in the country. On a typical autumn morning rush hour in 2016, this resulted in 23 per cent of passengers having to stand in London – with numbers almost as high across the country. Morning commuters from across England and Wales had to face trains that were over-capacity by an average of 5 per cent in 2016, according to new figures released today by the Department for Transport. But those travelling into London in the morning rush hour were the worst-hit, with trains carrying 5.7 per cent more passengers than capacity. Some…last_img read more


first_imgA rejected boyfriend punched his ex in the face when she turned down his marriage proposal.Andrei Pavel, 25, had bought an engagement ring and a bunch of flowers to surprise Andrea Nagy at her workplace.But when he got down on one knee and popped the question she replied “No”.A court heard that he lost his temper and hit her in the face, knocking her to the ground and leaving her with “significant injuries”. The court Pavel, formerly of Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, proposed to Miss Nagy but she said rejected his offer of marriage.Ms Bentley added: “He punched her to the face, knocking her to the floor for a matter of seconds. She was left with an injury to her face.”The court heard Miss Nagy said she was scared of the defendant and described him as jealous and controlling.Andrew Bennett, mitigating, said it was a single punch and added Pavel, who is originally from Borascu, Romania, now accepts there is no future in the relationship.Magistrates sentenced Pavel to a 12-month community order with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours unpaid work.He was ordered to pay £200 compensation, £135 costs and an £85 surcharge. Pavel, who has no previous convictions, was made the subject of a 12-month restraining order which prevents him having any contact with his victim.Passing sentence chairman of the bench, Philip Taylor said: “This assault was serious. It was in a domestic violence context. The injuries sustained were significant. You went to her place of work.”She made it clear to you she was not interested in any further relationship or union with you. It was an unprovoked attack by you.” 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. After being arrested, Pavel, told officers he was upset by the rejection. Now he has been banned from contacting his victim for a year after pleading guilty to assault by beating.North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard Pavel and Miss Nagy had been in an “intense” relationship for three months and had moved in together before hitting a rocky patch.But Pavel was keen to get things back on track and turned up at Miss Nagy’s workplace on July 21 this year to propose.Prosecutor Ruth Bentley said: “She described the relationship as intense. She moved in with him after two months but the relationship broke down and they split up.”Since that time he had been contacting her via texts. He did not want the relationship to end. He was trying to get it back on track, and even purchased a ring and asked her to marry him. “She was handed a note at work, which said the defendant wanted to speak to her. She met the defendant who was waiting outside with a bunch of flowers.”last_img read more


first_imgGlenmore Forest park in the Cairngorms in Scotland after the snow on Saturday afternoonCredit:Bay Media The Met Office has updated a yellow “be aware” warning of snow and ice to cover much of Scotland, north Wales and England down to southern parts. Continuous heavy rain has caused rivers to swell in North DevonCredit:Natasha Quarmby/REX/Shutterstock The snowy conditions have seen crowd flock to Scottish ski resorts over the weekend.On Friday in Glencoe, blizzard conditions hampered a rescue operation to save two ski tourers stranded without shelter at 3,000ft.The pair were winched into a coastguard helicopter at first light on Saturday before being taken to hospital by ambulance. Traffic Scotland urged drivers to check their routes before setting off and to ensure they were carrying emergency supplies in case they get stuck. 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 warning, valid from 6am until 6pm, predicts snow on higher routes and says that rain may fall onto frozen surfaces for a time, particularly across Scotland, following a very cold night.Icy patches are likely on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths – while some disruption could be seen to journeys by road, bus and train on affected routes. Cross country runners set off through heavy snow around Peebles in the Scottish Borders Cloud inversion above Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands Shiver-oo: delivery trials on skidoo, ski and snowboard are taking place in Glencoe, ScotlandCredit:Mark Runnacles/PA Wire A cloud inversion above Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands on SaturdayCredit:PA Glenmore Forest park in the Cairngorms in Scotland after the snow on Saturday afternoon Good evening UK, Rebecca here. Cold with a frost or severe frost, especially across N parts where temperatures will fall well below zero with freezing fog patches expected. Mist, fog & low cloud across much of England & Wales with rain arriving here later. https://t.co/jtrhUzUBdR pic.twitter.com/cnyO5Nu1nC— Met Office (@metoffice) January 20, 2018 Snow fell as far south as Maidenhead in Berkshire North Wales Police also warned of poor conditions on the roads due to snow and ice, particularly on routes in Snowdonia. On Friday, members of the public were urged to stay off the roads in some areas of Scotland, with weather warnings covering much of the country.Dozens of schools around Scotland were closed while some shut early due to the weather.On Tuesday night, more than 200 motorists were stranded overnight on the M74 as heavy snow and ice caused treacherous driving conditions.  Continuous heavy rain has caused rivers to swell in North Devon Freeze frame: cross country runners set off through heavy snow around Peebles in the Scottish BordersCredit:David Cheskin/PA Wire Snow has fallen across the country, after the UK froze on the coldest night in nearly two years.Wintry conditions have gripped Scotland over the last week with heavy snow causing travel chaos, and on Sunday there were flurries across swathes of the Midlands and South East, though forecasters warned it was likely to turn to rain by the end of the day. Downpours in north Devon have seen homes evacuated and roads blocked after “widespread flooding”. People were forced to flee homes in Kentisbury, near Barnstaple, and other properties have been flooded in Combe Martin on nearby Exmoor, Devon and Cornwall Police said.The A399 at Combe Martin has been closed following a landslide reported at 10.35am on Sunday with a police spokesman saying part of the carriageway has collapsed.The A361 is also closed near Landkey in Barnstaple and mudslides have been reported at Muddiford, north of Barnstaple, the force said.Temperatures plummeted overnight, with a low of -13.5C (7.7F) recorded in the Highland village of Dalwhinnie, while freezing temperatures were recorded as far south as London Luton Airport. Meanwhile, the Mountain Road was closed on the Isle of Man due to snow.In Northern Ireland, a yellow warning of ice was in force until 9am on Sunday, while a yellow warning of rain runs until 3pm. Snow fell as far south as Maidenhead in Berkshire on SundayCredit:LNP Police warned skiers heading to resorts not to park on the verges after disruption on Saturday and warned that cars causing obstructions may be seized. Skiers faced six-mile tailbacks as they flocked to the slopes at Glencoe Mountain Resort to take advantage of the snowy conditions.Drivers abandoned their cars on the roads as they tried to reach the resorts where car parks were full and police said high volumes of traffic hampered the efforts of gritters. Saturday night saw the coldest temperature recorded in the UK since February 14 2016, when minus 14.1C (6.6F) was recorded at Braemar.Despite the frigid temperatures in the far north, the mercury rose to 11C in the (52F) in the far south west of England.Met Office forecaster Steven Keate said the near 20C (46F) difference, caused as warmer air moves in, was “pretty unusual for the UK”.”The broad theme is it is turning milder from the west, but before we get there some snow will fall,” he said. Deliveroo rider Connor Smalllast_img read more


first_imgDavid Evans had complained about the food Credit:Wales News Service David Evans A curry house chef has been cleared of assaulting a customer by throwing chilli powder in his face after a court heard his accusers were drunk and “unreliable witnesses”.Speaking outside court, former restaurant owner Kamrul Islam praised the British justice system after he was found not guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on David Evans at his restaurant, the Prince of Bengal in Tonypandy, South Wales, on January 21 last year.On Friday at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court after a five-day trial, a jury took three hours and 45 minutes to clear the 47-year-old father.Islam, who said he was now working as a certified air conditioning engineer having closed the restaurant down, said: “I was very confident that the British system would find the right answer.”Islam said the people of the Rhondda had given him “so much” in the 20 years he ran restaurants in the area and the result meant there was now no question about him. She added: “It is clear that the consequences of the chilli going into Mr Evans’ eyes were unpleasant but just because one person ends up with an injury does not mean they are a victim.”Mr Islam told you that through his years of experience he was alert to the sense of aggression and once the backing away and giving of space to Mr Evans had not worked, that he had continued to act aggressively he felt under threat.”Ms Smith said Islam did not pick up a knife or something similar when he went back to the kitchen because “his intention wasn’t to hurt Mr Evans but to prevent violence being used against him”.  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 Evanses told jurors Islam asked what the problem was in an aggressive way and then started swearing at them.Mr Evans claimed Mr Islam stood at the kitchen doorway, pointing and shouting, before the hot spice was thrown at him.In her closing speech to the jury, Ruth Smith, for Islam, said the couple were were “clearly unreliable witnesses” who had “tailored their account”, which was “riddled with inconsistencies” to give a false impression of their behaviour.She said there were “vast chunks of the evening that they have no recollection of” including the number of times various staff members went to their table, which was shown on CCTV.She asked the jury to consider “whether Mr and Mrs Evans were drunk in the restaurant and as a result of drink became abusive, on occasions using swear words and in the case of Mr Evans aggressive and threatening violence to Mr Islam”.The trial heard the couple ordered two bottles of wine and two Cobra beers but Mrs Evans told the jury they had not started the second bottle of wine by the time of the incident.Ms Smith said Mrs Evans had “exaggerated” the effects of the chilli powder on her husband’s eyes, claiming his vision was still not good and he had shadows, despite Mr Evans being discharged from hospital with “good vision” recorded, within a few days. He thanked friends and family who had supported him over the last 13 months. The trial heard Mr Evans went to dine in the restaurant with his wife Michelle, arriving at around 6pm and ordering food and drinks.The couple said their starters were not right but they did not complain, however they claimed the chicken in their main meals tasted of paraffin and was shiny, rubbery and tough.last_img read more


first_imgTwitter user ChrissyP said: “I know him, that’s Zippy from Rainbow.”One Facebook user, Jen Wyatt, said: “Seriously had to check the date wasn’t 1st April!” A bizarre e-fit picture issued by police has attracted a lot of attention after people compared the wanted man to Zippy from Rainbow and the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland.Warwickshire Police issued the image in order to try and catch two burglars who managed to get into a house by distracting a woman in her 40s.The men claimed to be from Orbit Housing as they tricked their way into the flat on Hertford Place, Stratford-upon-Avon.The force posted on Twitter: “We’ve issued an e-fit for of a suspect in a distraction burglary in Stratford in February. If you have any information please contact us.”Social media users branded the e-fit “hilarious” and “a joke”. Warwickshire Police have been unfazed by the mockery, responding on Twitter: “We can confirm that this is real and that we anticipated the attention!”But jokes aside, it was created from a description provided and it’s serious as a woman was victim of a horrible crime. Hopefully the attention will mean we identify the offender/bring him to justice quicker.”  That dodgy efit is zippy if he was a human pic.twitter.com/wbH667YRID— Joe (@Joe_farrardise) April 3, 2018center_img And the winner for efit of the year goes to…. https://t.co/MYfV82oalS— Matt Jackson (@Mattlj92) April 3, 2018 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


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. We are relieved that Croats are not mass exporters of inanimate objects for fans to vent their spleen onDeputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts A senior police chief has spoken of his relief that Croatia doesn’t make cars that could be targeted by football hooligans if the country knocks England out of the World Cup.Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the national lead on policing football, said German cars, including Volkswagens and Mercedes, were trashed by England fans after the team lost its Euro 96 semi-final on a penalty shoot out to Germany.Mr Roberts told the Telegraph that he was more concerned with the behaviour of fans back in the UK than the 10,000 expected to flood into Moscow for today’s semi-final with Croatia.Supporters caused trouble in the wake of the win against Sweden, jumping on an ambulance in London and taking it out of action. There were numerous incidents up and down the country and even fighting among supporters in Spain.Mr Roberts is concerned that should England lose, hooliganism could spiral. “We have seen previous examples of certain brands of car manufacturers being vandalised after the manufacturers’ country knocked us out of tournaments. We are relieved that Croats are not mass exporters of inanimate objects for fans to vent their spleen on.”Mr Roberts praised England fans who had travelled to the tournament, saying they had “done the country proud”.But he was critical of disorder in the UK. As well as trashing an ambulance,  fans vandalised a taxi and also targeted an Ikea store after the win over Sweden in the quarter final.He said: “We expect people to celebrate and have a drink but I just can’t join up the logic of: England win games, so someone vandalises ambulances. It’s just stupid. “What we’ve seen here is great behaviour – there have been one or two isolated incidents, they’ve been dealt with here.”We’ve taken banning orders out on people back in the UK.”We don’t want any stories about bad behaviour. So far, the fans have done the country proud.”It’s a pleasure to be in the tournament with the team doing so well, progressing, but also the fans being such great ambassadors.” read more


Royal Mail is required to provide a post box within half a mile of 98 per cent of addresses in the UK and the nearest box to the subsumed one on Ninian Road is around half a mile away.  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 baffled resident at the blocked post box in Cardiff Postmen have been told they are no longer allowed to collect letter from a post box after it was deemed a safety risk having been enveloped by a tree. The Royal Mail has boarded up the Grade II listed post box, saying that after 120 years of service in Cardiff, it was no longer safe for its staff to collect letters from it. A bi-lingual sign on the red box, which dates back to 1891 bears Queen Victoria’s initials, reads: “Regrettably Royal Mail has had to remove this posting box from service as, due to the growth of the tree and the raised pavement, it is no longer safe to collect mail from.”There are alternative posting boxes a short distance away,” before listing the nearby replacements in the wealthy suburb of Roath.But residents have branded the move “health and safety madness”, pointing out that the well-used postal box has survived two World Wars, but has now been decommissioned due to “postmen worried about stepping over a root or two”.  Houses on the street were built on land owned by the Bute Family who brought power and prosperity to the Welsh capital by developing the city’s docklands for the coal trade.Building work began on the road in 1891 and was finally completed in 1910. The London Plane was planted as a sapling but now stand towering more than 120ft.Meg Bryant, 32, said: “This postbox has survived two World Wars and millions of letters – but why are the postmen worried about stepping over a root or two.”Surely it can’t be too much of a risk to step over the tree roots. It is a lot less dangerous that a barking dog coming at a letterbox.”Conservation policies dictate the oldest and rarest letter boxes must be protected within their community.Father David Leyshon, 46, said: “It is a real landmark and a talking point – it is a shame it is now being blocked up by the Royal Mail.”They should make a feature of it rather than consign it to the rubbish bin of health and safety madness.” The sign on the now-blocked off post boxCredit:Wales News Service Local councillor Sue Lent said: “The postbox has always been there and the tree wasn’t always so far around it. It wasn’t like that years ago. The postbox was certainly well used in the past.” A baffled resident at the blocked post box in CardiffCredit:Wales News Service The box is on historic Ninian Road in the Welsh capital – named after Lord Ninian Creighton-Stuart, the former MP for Cardiff, who was the son of landowner the 3rd Marquis of Bute. He was killed in battle in the First World War. The sign on the now-blocked off post box read more


At least two Police and Crime Commissioners have visited or endorsed the clubs, of which there are 160 across the UK. Cannabis Clubs first appeared in Britain around seven years ago with the first groups launched by people who used the drug to treat a variety of medical conditions. Despite the fact possession of cannabis remains illegal and can result in a maximum five year prison sentence, many forces no longer treat the offence as a priority, with some police leaders even calling for the law to be relaxed. But the failure of police to investigate… Police have been accused of giving tacit support to ‘cannabis clubs’ where paying members can meet and take the drug without fear of prosecution. 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


But councils stressed the practice is illegal and warned perpetrators could face fines and even jail terms if they repeatedly offend. Critics say unwanted items have become obstacles on pavements and encourage further litteringCredit:Leon Neal/Getty Images Household objects are left on the street for bystanders to take free of chargeCredit:Alamy One in eight British adults have admitted taking something left outside a home that was being given away Councils have warned people who give away their possessions on the street Critics say unwanted items have become obstacles on pavements and encourage further littering “The legal position is that items left on the public highway are considered fly tip and residents leaving these items could be liable for a fine.”In Brighton, council leaders said furniture left on the street had become a “big issue”.Robert Nemeth, a Conservative councillor at Brighton & Hove Council, said: “The way I see it, is that it’s fly tipping with good intentions.“I represent an area that has many narrow pavements, and in an area that is very cluttered with bins already, this does not help. “Especially when it comes to young mums with buggies and elderly people on mobility scooters.” In London, the cost to councils of clearing up fly-tipping was found to be £18m a year, according to a recent report commissioned by the London Environment Directors Network and Keep Britain Tidy.Keith Townsend, Ealing Council’s executive director for environment, said: “We know that residents often want to identify ways for recycling and reusing items they may no longer want, and the intentions behind ‘free to take’ are often very positive. “We really need residents to take responsibility for getting rid of their unwanted items properly, and our preference would be for them to use the council’s bulky waste service, take items to recycling centres or use services such as Freecycle that encourage items to be reused. She told The Daily Telegraph: “There has been a huge rise in the ‘middle class fly-tipping’ since Brent began charging for household items collection and removal. “The majority of items left on the streets end up in a landfill. “It is a daily occurrence not only in the Brondesbury area but also in the surrounding Queen’s Park and West Hampstead.“If a household has items no longer needed, there are responsible ways of recycling, like taking clothes, shoes, tableware, crockery, books, CDs, toys etc to charity shops. Charity worker Chris Todd, 51, from Hollingdean, Brighton, is among those who admitted to leaving his furniture outside his home to be picked up by strangers. Town halls in London, Bristol, Brighton, York and Edinburgh told The Daily Telegraph the issue is affecting its streets.Critics said furniture left outside homes had become obstacles for people in wheelchairs and parents walking with pushchairs, while some expressed fears it encouraged further littering.Fines of up to £400 could be served to culprits, Richard McIlwain, the chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, warned. Kamila Williamson, from the Brondesbury Residents Association, in Kilburn, London said street boot fairs had become a “daily occurrence” in some well-heeled suburbs. The sight of unwanted furniture marked ‘free’ on our street corners has fast become commonplace as homeowners opt for a stress-free way to offload their possessions.But fed up councils warn those who carry out the practice face the same punishments as litterbugs dumping fridges and mattresses in fly-tip hotspots.Ministers said furniture should not be left outside homes for more than a day so as not to cause a nuisance for pedestrians or create a eyesore.Therese Coffey, the Environment minister, told The Daily Telegraph: “Recycling is clearly much better than goods ending up in landfill, but it’s important people don’t leave furniture outside their homes for more than a day or so as that can cause disruption for pedestrians and can be an eyesore for neighbours.”Everyone needs to understand they have a responsibility for their waste and that is why we have introduced new fixed penalty notices to stop wanton fly-tipping.”Authorities say the rise of middle class fly-tipping has seen increasing numbers of cabinets, sofas and wardrobes left unattended outside homes, instead of previously being disposed of at charity shops and recycling centres.Its popularity was highlighted this week in a YouGov survey, which showed that one in eight British adults had admitted taking something left outside a home that was being given away. A Brighton & Hove Council spokesperson said: “It is against the law for residents, businesses or visitors to fly-tip waste rather than disposing of it responsibly.“This is a big issue for us in Brighton & Hove due to our communal bin system. “Often items are left by residents with good intentions but this does have an impact on our service and the appearance of the city; fly tipping often leads to littering, graffiti and other offences.”The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370 councils across England and Wales, said its latest figures showed the cost to taxpayers of clearing up fly-tipping rose to £57 million last year – a 13 per cent increase on the previous year. One in eight British adults have admitted taking something left outside a home that was being given awayCredit:Leon Neal/Getty Images “It is each individual residents responsibility to maintain their own area clean and orderly. Don’t say “Someone else will take care of it”. You are that ‘someone else’.” Councils say the practice is just as troublesome as fly-tipping He said: “We’ve put all sorts out. Plants, chairs, small tables, shelving, kids toys and much more I can’t remember.“Often we don’t see who takes them. If we do get feedback, it’s always positive, especially with plants. I would say 95 per cent of things go. “Those that don’t we dispose of responsibly and we don’t leave things out overnight, which is when people are more likely to mess around. We’ve also occasionally picked up things from other people.” Household objects are left on the street for bystanders to take free of charge 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. Councils say the practice is just as troublesome as fly-tippingCredit:Leon Neal/Getty Images Councils have warned people who give away their possessions on the streetCredit:Alamy read more


The head of the charity warned of “extremely worrying” trends, now threatening to set back decades of progress made tackling the major killer. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said the number of strokes, cases of heart failure and angina is also set to soar unless radical action is taken to address unhealthy lifestyles. The forecasts are linked to Britain’s diabetes timebomb, which is fuelled by rising rates of obesity.  One in three children are obese or overweight by the time they leave primary school, along with two in three adults. Britain’s obesity epidemic will cause heart attacks to rise by almost 30 per cent within two decades, new forecasts suggest. Within two decades, the number… read more