World Cup ThirdPlace Match Crib Notes Brazil vs Netherlands

It isn’t nearly as important or anticipated as the final, but Saturday’s third-place match is good enough to be a World Cup final. It pits pre-tournament favorite Brazil against the Netherlands, which put up one of the two most impressive performances of the World Cup in routing defending champion Spain, 5-1, in the group stage.Brazil vs. the Netherlands, 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHThe other most impressive World Cup performance was Germany’s 7-1 semifinal rout of Brazil, which is the reason the hosts have to play in this warmup act. Although the score was embarrassing, the outcome — a shot at third place —  wasn’t so bad. Brazil lost to one of the best teams in the world and improved on its quarterfinal exits in the past two Cups. Spain, which flamed out (like some other defending champions), had a far worse tournament. By reaching the semifinal stage, Brazil guaranteed fans two more matches featuring its national team. And other World Cup hosts have played in the third-place match, most recently Germany in 2006 and South Korea in 2002.In the Netherlands, Brazil has a worthy opponent. The Dutch have played in more finals than any other side to never win the Cup, a streak that will continue after their Wednesday loss to Argentina on penalty kicks. Now they can set their sights on a more modest goal: finishing third for the first time in their World Cup history.OK, so the stakes are low and the match is being belittled as a “pointless sideshow” or “meaningless exercise.” But a match between these two teams doesn’t need high stakes to be watchable.Without star striker Neymar and captain Thiago Silva, Brazil wasn’t as good in the semifinal as its top ranking in ESPN’s Soccer Power Index suggested. But it was nowhere near as bad as it looked against Germany. Now Brazil will have Silva back to help shore up its battered defense and to rally supporters behind his teammates.The Netherlands, meanwhile, is coming off an embarrassing performance of a different sort. At least Brazil scored against Germany, while getting off 18 other attempts in 90 minutes. The Dutch, though, took just seven shots in 120 minutes against Argentina in their seminal match, and just one forced a save.The silver lining of a low-stakes match is that neither team should feel pressure to play safe. If these two offenses — still rated two of the four best in the world by SPI — decide to attack, that should make for a great show, even if it is of the pointless-sideshow variety.OFF THE PITCHThe Brazilians and the Dutch both had heartbreaking losses this week, but at least they can go to each other for consolation. The countries’ relationship is strong, dating to the days of the Dutch West India Company. Back then, when the extent of contact was months-long journeys by sea, trade was the only real connection. But times have changed, and travel between the two nations now consists of a 12-hour plane ride, meaning more opportunity to visit for pleasure. So how many Dutch and Brazilian citizens take advantage of this?According to the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, about 102,000 Brazilians visited the land of tulips in 2011, and Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism reports that 72,162 Dutch traveled the opposite direction in the same year. When adjusted for each country’s total population, those travelers make up just 0.4 percent of Dutch citizens and .05 percent of Brazilians. Travel may be easier than it was in the 17th century, but it looks like 12 hours may still be a bit much to endure. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGCould the World Cup Champion Beat the Best Club Team in the World?U.S. vs. Belgium Was the Best Match of the World Cup So FarMessi Is Better Than Maradona, But Maybe Not PeleHow Does Germany’s Blowout of Brazil Compare to Those in Other Sports? read more

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Bryce Harper May Already Be Past His Prime

From ABC News: The Philadelphia Phillies and star outfielder Bryce Harper on Thursday reached a record free-agent agreement in terms of total dollars ($330 million) and years (13). After waiting 123 days since the World Series ended, Harper breaks the mark set just days earlier by Manny Machado. The previous open-market record — Alex Rodriguez’s free-agent contract for $275 million deal with the Yankees on Dec. 13, 2007 — stood for 11 years until this winter.1Before Thursday, Giancarlo Stanton had set the record for the richest deal signed, a $325 million extension with the Miami Marlins in 2014.But Harper’s deal falls short in terms of annual average value ($25.4 million). For instance, Rodriguez’s mega deals signed in 2007 and 2001 each had greater average values, and offseason speculation expected that Harper might command more than $30 million per season.2After all, one win above replacement is valued at about $10 million. There is no opt-out clause in the deal, but there is a no-trade clause. Given the deal’s less-than-expected annual average value and Harper’s far-longer-than-expected wait on the open market, the contract suggests that the baseball industry didn’t quite know what to make of Bryce Harper.The good news for the Phillies is that Harper should help them immediately. Based on 100 simulations run for FiveThirtyEight by Out of the Park Developments, Harper will improve the Phillies from an 80.2-win team in 2019 to an 86.1-win team, though the computer forecasts still had Philadelphia missing the postseason. Harper caps an aggressive offseason for the Phillies, who traded for catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura and added notable free agents Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson to a young core led by ace pitcher Aaron Nola and slugger Rhys Hoskins.But what’s troubling for the Phillies, who are now committed to Harper through his age 38 season in 2031, is that there’s a good chance that Harper has already played his best baseball.Harper was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2009 at age 16, dubbed the “most exciting prodigy since LeBron.” A year later, he was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. He debuted as a 19-year-old in 2012 and won rookie of the year. In 2015, he posted a season of 10 wins above replacement and was named as the National League MVP. Since he reached the majors in 2012, he’s 20th in position player WAR, and he owns a .900 OPS (on-base plus slugging). In many ways, he’s lived up to the hype.But seven seasons into his career, we’re not exactly sure what type of player Harper is. While he’s shown stretches of brilliance, volatility in performance has been his most consistent trait.This has led to an unusual career trajectory to date.He’s one of only 15 position players 25 and younger to own a 10-WAR season, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The rare company includes Ted Williams, Mike Trout, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken Jr. But he’s had just the one elite-level season.3We consider a season “elite” when a player has at least 8.0 WAR. His other campaigns have had a range of outcomes, from 1.1 to 5.1 WAR. Even within seasons, he’s had dramatic peaks and valleys. Last year, for instance, he hit .214 with an .833 OPS in the first half but was a star in the second half when he hit .300 with a .972 OPS. Injuries have played a role in this. Harper has played fewer than 120 games in three of his seven years in the majors, and those partial seasons have also limited his ability to rack up WAR, which is a cumulative stat that rewards just showing up for work.FiveThirtyEight examined all players in MLB history who have had one season of 8 or more WAR — but only one — before turning 26, and then we studied the trajectory of those players’ careers. There are 32 such players in MLB history, including three other than Harper who are still active: Aaron Judge, Matt Chapman (who hasn’t played his age 26 season) and Evan Longoria. Of the 28 players who are no longer active, 17 never produced another 8-plus WAR season after their age 25 season.The historical players studied peaked at age 24 (6.6 WAR) and 25 (6.5 WAR), then they declined steadily. A player’s peak is often earlier than conventional wisdom would expect. Jeff Zimmerman at FanGraphs found that while the average ballplayer peaks at age 27, good players peak at either 25 or 26 years old.While there are exceptions like Adrian Beltre and Henry Aaron, who had some of their best years later in their careers, the best baseball happens early for many excellent players. That doesn’t mean that Harper (or Machado, for that matter) can’t be a star-level player regularly, but history is betting against him becoming a consistent MVP presence like Mike Trout. Baseball may not quite know what Bryce Harper is, but the Phillies are going to find out.Neil Paine contributed research. read more

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Sponseller ends Ohio State career with AllAmerican honors

Colt Sponseller found a small silver lining after the senior from Glenmont, Ohio, finished his college wrestling career at Ohio State. Sponseller was named an All-American wrestler as he finished fourth in the nation at the 2011 NCAA championships at 165 pounds. Although he earned All-American honors, Sponseller said his season did not end the way he wanted as his fourth-place finish fell short of his high expectations. “I didn’t go there and do what I wanted to do,” he said. “I lost my final college match, and I’m never happy when I lose.” Sponseller’s finish in the NCAA Tournament was the first time he has placed in his three years at the NCAA championships. He lost in the semifinals to the eventual national champion Jordan Burroughs from Nebraska, and in the third-place match to Wisconsin’s Andrew Howe. “I finally got over the hump,” he said of earning his All-American honors. Sponseller finished this season with a 25-7 record and a 105-24 record throughout his career. He said although the All-American honors make him feel good, he is not satisfied with his career because he was not able to earn a national championship. “I’d probably say that, overall, it didn’t really go the way I wanted it to,” he said. “But it ended on a somewhat good note.” Coach Tom Ryan said the team expected Sponseller to be an All-American and a national champion, but he was only able to achieve the former. “People like Colt come to college with very high expectations,” Ryan said. “They’re highly motivated people, and to do well is critical.” Ryan said although Sponseller did not win a national championship, he was always a hard worker and his losses were not for a lack of effort. Sponseller’s wrestling eligibility has run out, but Ryan said he is bringing the senior back to help the coaching staff. “He’s finishing his degree in business,” Ryan said. “His major is marketing, and he will be in the role as student-coach.” Sponseller said he still has two quarters to finish and that he will try to help the younger wrestlers succeed on the mat with his strong work ethic. “He represents everything that OSU wrestling wants to represent,” Ryan said. “He is just a great leader.” Besides Sponseller’s All-American honors, he was named to the academic All-Big Ten list this year and is a two-time OSU Scholar Athlete. He was the runner-up in the Big Ten Championships in 2010 and 2011, losing to Howe both seasons. Sponseller’s mom, Sue, has a distinct whistle that she uses at every match to help her son while he is wrestling. “I have kind of a deep voice,” she said, “so whistling was always easier to get them to react.” Sue uses different types of whistles to encourage her son to work harder or get moving. “I can do all kinds of whistles,” she said. “I can almost break glass.” Sue said she was very proud of her son for not only his wrestling success but his success in the classroom as well. She said his All-American honors were a welcome announcement for the Sponseller family. “When that match was over, we were just so happy and relieved,” she said. “It just seemed that every year there was something standing in the way.” Ryan said the team will miss Sponseller’s hard work ethic and leadership once he leaves OSU. “It’s been a pleasure coaching him,” Ryan said. “I’m very grateful he chose to be a Buckeye.” read more

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Commentary Browns may have new management but its the same old losing

It’s too soon to completely write off the current Cleveland Browns upper management team – president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert aren’t even halfway through their second season running the team. That doesn’t mean it’s too early to be skeptical. Seemingly every time a new front office regime is in place, they remind us of the missteps of the past. The franchise has been dreadfully misguided ever since the late Al Lerner helped move the old Browns to Baltimore and flipped his minority share in that team so he could buy a majority stake in the new Browns. Then he hired former San Francisco 49ers executives Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark. With those two, the Browns had the foundation in place … to tarnish the reputations of Jim Brown, Otto Graham or any historically great Browns player. Policy’s legacy with the Browns is his response to fans hurling beer bottles at officials in 2001 – “I like the fact that the fans care.” Clark is remembered for being the worst GM in Browns history – and that includes George Kokinis, who lasted only 10 months. Head coach Butch Davis briefly revived the franchise by leading them to the playoffs in 2002. The honeymoon was over for Davis once he was given greater control of the football operations – and then ran the team into the ground. Randy Lerner – who assumed control of the franchise after his father died in 2002 – then dipped into the front office of the division’s elite by hiring Phil Savage away from the Ravens in 2005. A year in, the general manager Savage and team president John Collins got into a power struggle, forcing Collins out of town. After dismissing Savage in 2008 – the team was 24-40 under him – Randy Lerner completely disregarded common sense by hiring coach Eric Mangini before finding a general manager. That turned out to be Kokinis, essentially a puppet under Mangini’s control. Holmgren – now the face of the front office – took the Peyton Hillis contract negotiations public by going on “Mike and Mike In The Morning” and declared how desperate the team was to keep Hillis. That would be fine if the front office got the extension done in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, it continues to be a distraction to the team. Hillis didn’t play against the Miami Dolphins due to the severity of his strep throat. Not everyone is buying that. Some think it’s a protest for not getting a new deal done. Perhaps that’s warranted if the organization is holding Hillis back and purposefully limiting his role in the offensive game plan – another conspiracy theory. Regardless, rookie coach Pat Shurmur is now the whipping boy for the media, as he struggles to clarify what is going on in a very public ordeal. At one point, I was naïve enough to think the latest regime change would create some stability. It’s starting to feel like nothing has changed, which makes being a Browns fan more of a chore than anything. read more

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Ohio State prepares to go allin against Dayton in 2nd round of

Senior guard Aaron Craft (4) looks towards the basket for a layup during a game against Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament March 14. OSU won, 71-67.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThis one means a little more.This one — and all the rest from here on out — could be the swan song for two of a program’s most tenured and successful players.This one is the mentor against the pupil. The 14-year head coaching veteran against the young, up-and-coming fireball looking to continue making a name for himself.This is old teammates now sitting on opposing benches after wearing the same colors for two seasons.This is an in-state battle, a major conference against a mid-major adversary.This is Ohio State and Dayton.The No. 6-seed Buckeyes (25-9, 12-9) and No. 11-seed Flyers (23-10, 11-7) are set to battle to take another step forward toward the ultimate goal of winning the 2014 National Championship, Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in Buffalo, N.Y. The second game of the South region (Albany defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 71-64, in the First Round Tuesday), the game is the official kickoff for the second round of the tournament.“For us, and for Dayton, you win or you go home,” OSU coach Thad Matta said Wednesday. “There’s not a whole lot more than that.”Matta is slated to face off against one of his old assistants in Archie Miller, who spent two years in Columbus before jumping to Arizona with his older brother Sean and ultimately landing the head coaching job at Dayton.“That’s Columbus, and that’s where they are. It’s a powerful, powerful place. I was very fortunate to spend a couple of years there and feel that and understand it,” Miller said Wednesday. “But at the same time, a place like ours has its own special tradition, has a great program, an unbelievable fan base. In my opinion, the best fan base in the state of Ohio for basketball.”The similarities between Miller’s Flyers and Matta’s Buckeyes lie in the groundwork each set prior to tournament time this season. Both squads dropped five games in January, each peppered with four-game losing streaks within. Both have four players averaging at least eight points a game, and use substitution rotations of nine players. Each team won three games on a neutral floor this season, much like the one they are scheduled to play on at the First Niagara Center.Dayton redshirt-junior guard Jordan Sibert left OSU following the 2011-12 season to get more playing time, and now leads the team in scoring. Two of Sibert’s former teammates, senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., have played in a combined 22 NCAA Tournament games. That’s compared to a combined four games of NCAA Tournament experience for the entirety of Dayton’s roster — two games for Sibert his freshman year at OSU, and two for redshirt-senior guard Vee Sanford, one in both his freshman and sophomore years at Georgetown.Being a senior with tournament experience helps a lot, Craft said.“Just knowing what the routine is, being able to know when you have to concentrate and get things done,” Craft said Wednesday. “Lenzelle and I have been here for four years now. Just because we’ve had a little bit of success before doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have success now, but I think it helps us prepare ourselves mentally for what the NCAA Tournament means and what it’s about.”The last meeting between the two schools was also a postseason affair, albeit in the 2008 NIT. OSU won that game, 74-63, in Columbus, before any member of either team was in college.Smith Jr. said his tournament experience is going to help him personally come tipoff Thursday.“I’ve seen everything,” Smith Jr. said Wednesday. “I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum from winning tough games to losing tough games. I just think it helps me mentally prepare better and know what to expect, especially when you get into the tournament.”The game between OSU and Dayton is set to be Miller’s first in the NCAA Tournament at the helm of a program. Going up against another member of his extensive coaching tree in such a situation doesn’t seem to mean much to Matta, however.“I honestly won’t even know he’s down there. It’s the game, it’s what’s going on there,” Matta said. “Before the game, you shake hands. After the game, you shake hands. But in between there, I don’t know what he’s doing or anything like that.”Experienced or not, power conference or mid-major — it all goes by the wayside come tipoff.“The experience isn’t going to put the ball in the basket for us this year,” Craft said. “It’s a balance of understanding it’s a new year and it’s a new team, and it’s a new experience that you’ve got to try to make the most of.” read more

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Womens Soccer Ohio State concludes regular season with 21 win over No

Ohio State freshman forward Emaly Vatne (14) heads the ball down the field in the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sept. 7. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter capturing a 2-1 win over Purdue on Thursday night, the Ohio State women’s soccer team clinched a 2-1 victory in its final match of the 2018 regular season against No. 19 Wisconsin on Sunday.This win for the Buckeyes to finish off the 2018 regular season results with a 9-5-3 record, 6-2-3 in the Big Ten record while the Badgers drop to 12-3-3, and 6-2-3 in the conference. Ohio State got off to a speedy start at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with sophomore forward Marissa Birzon notching a goal from six yards, assisted by senior forward Eleanor Gabriel, to lead Wisconsin 1-0 early. Birzon said that this win was major for the team for the team’s final regular season game.  “I think we came out really strong in the first half,” Birzon said. “And that carried all the way through the game.”The Badgers weren’t out of the game yet. A quick response came from Wisconsin junior forward Dani Rhodes, who made a shot from eight yards in the 18th minute of the match assisted by senior midfielder Victoria Pickett, knotting the game at 1-1. Then, an unexpected goal came in the 29th minute of the match.   Buckeye senior midfielder Sarah Roberts played a cross through the box, but a Wisconsin defender was there to deflect and the ball. The ball went into its own net instead, extending the lead to 2-1 for the Buckeyes on the Badgers’ own goal.In the first 45 minutes of the match, Ohio State secured a 4-3 advantage in shots, while Wisconsin held a 3-1 edge in corner kicks over the Buckeyes. The best opportunity for the Badgers to tie the game up once again came in the 57th minute, when sophomore forward Lauren Rice attempted a left-footed strike from the top of the box, but was then cleared away by Buckeye senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr. After several attempted shots by each team at its opponents’ net, the Buckeyes were able to hold the lead for the rest of the game. Senior forward Eleanor Gabriel said today’s victory over the Badgers was a collective team effort. “I know we’ve had some struggles during the season,” Gabriel said. “We’ve had a lot of adversity thrown our way, so I think this is a good quality win against a top opponent and I think we all came together today.”In the final 45 minutes of the match, Wisconsin came away with a 13-6 lead in shots and an 8-2 lead in corner kicks. Meanwhile, Ohio State managed to tally four total saves over the Badgers’ two, with Kerr making three of the four saves for the Buckeyes. Gabriel said coming out on top today felt great, especially being a senior player on the team.  “I know the days here are limited,” Gabriel said. “So I think that everybody rallied together and winning our last regular season home game was a big win for us.”After finishing their regular season, the Ohio State women’s soccer team will prepare for the Big Ten tournament. The tournament starts on Oct. 28. read more

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M20 reopens hours later than planned after bridge collapse sparks traffic chaos

first_imgA motorway has completely reopened more than 24 hours after a footbridge collapsed, sparking hours of traffic chaos on one of the busiest weekends of the year.Traffic can now use the westbound carriageway of the M20 in Kent, Highways England said, after a stretch between junctions one and four was cleared following Saturday’s accident, which saw the structure stuck by a digger being transported on the back of a lorry.The reopening was several hours later than planned and Highways England said the eastbound carriageway of the motorway, which leads to the Channel Tunnel and the Port of Dover, remained closed following the incident close to where it meets the M26. Scene of the bridge collapse on the M20 in Kent Stuart Thompson, a Highways England spokesman, said: “We have worked overnight and removed part of the structure on the London-bound carriageway.”We had hoped to reopen by lunchtime. Having done some of these assessments we needed to do more safety work before we reopen it. We will look to get it open again as soon as possible.”We are look at this evening, hopefully earlier, although we are reluctant to put a time on it.”It is a very, very complex situation. There are lots of different things needed to be done and we needed to be confident it is safe before we reopen it.” Scene of the bridge collapse on the M20 in KentCredit:Henry Bodkin for The Telegraph Andy Sunnucks, 24, who also saw the incident, said: “We were about 15 cars back on the same carriageway as the collision.”It looked like a lorry had jackknifed, and I could see half the bridge was missing. We went to have a look and the back end of the lorry was in pieces.” 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. Alex Magaisa was driving past the lorry involved just as the bridge collapsed, with his wife and two young sons in the car.They were on their way to Gatwick Airport to catch a flight to Belfast to see family for the bank holiday weekend.The University of Kent lecturer, 41, said: “My instinct was just to drive through. My wife saw the bridge falling and there was a big noise. I had to manoeuvre through the debris.”We stopped afterwards for about 30 minutes, and there was another car with a family behind us. Luckily no-one seemed to have been hurt.”It was a big shock. It’s only just starting to sink in now what might have happened. We were right in the line of fire and we could have been crushed.” Thousands of motorists were caught up in delays after the collapseCredit:Kalpana Fitzpatrick The bridge came down between junctions three and four shortly after noon on Saturday when a digger being transported on the back of a lorry collided with it.A motorcyclist in his 50s was taken to hospital in Tunbridge Wells with suspected broken ribs following the incident while the driver of the lorry was treated for shock at the scene.A temporary 50mph speed limit has been put in place in both directions past the bridge.  The graphic designer, a passenger travelling from Maidstone to Sevenoaks, said: “The motorcyclist was laying down underneath his bike.”An estimated 13 million drivers are expected to take to the road for a holiday or an outing between Friday and Monday, according to the AA.Saturday was expected to be the busiest single day for motorists embarking on leisure journeys, with 10 million drivers predicted to be getting behind the wheel. M20 bridge collapselast_img read more

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English Heritage accused of pinching celebrities after blue plaque book cover features

first_imgEnglish Heritage has been accused of “pinching” celebrities from other parts of the country after a book to honour those who have been awarded a blue plaque featured five people who were not born in the capital on its cover.The newly-released Lives and Homes of London’s Most Interesting Inhabitants features a cartoon of Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Amy Johnson, Winston Churchill and Sylvia Pankhurst standing among the capital’s most famous monuments on the front. Yesterday, residents in Liverpool and Hull criticised English Heritage and said its decision to use five people who were not born in London was “disappointing and insulting”.    The newly-released Lives and Homes of London's Most Interesting Inhabitants features a cartoon of Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Amy Johnson, Winston Churchill and Sylvia Pankhurst standing among the capital's most famous monuments on the front Diana Johnson, the MP for Hull North, said it was “disappointing and insulting” that English Heritage “had failed to recognise Amy’s true Hull heritage”.She added: “It is bad enough that Amy’s gypsy moth airplane Jason is displayed in London rather than Hull, but it adds insult to injury to paint Hull entirely out of Amy Johnson’s life. Amy Johnson was many things but a Londoner was not one of them.”Rick Welton, who is setting up a charitable trust in Hull to celebrate Ms Johnson’s legacy, said: “It seems a little far-fetched to describe her as Londoner though I can understand London wanting to make the most of our Hull heritage.”English Heritage said the blue plaque scheme, which it took over the running of in 1986, was designed to celebrate not just those born in London but also notable figures who have lived or worked in the capital. 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. They pointed out that Pankhurst came from Manchester, Johnson was born and bred in Hull while Lennon’s Merseyside roots were celebrated in some of the The Beatles’ most famous songs.Churchill, meanwhile, was born in Oxfordshire while Gandhi lived in Hammersmith and Fulham for less than three years while a law student.Dave Gannon, who runs the Lennon Bar near Liverpool’s legendary Cabin Club, said the decision was “ridiculous” as he claimed: “I never thought London was short of celebrities so I don’t know why they need to pinch one of ours.”center_img I never thought London was short of celebrities so I don’t know why they need to pinch one of ours.Dave Gannon It is one of the oldest schemes in the world, with more than 900 plaques issued in the last 150 years. In order for a plaque to be approved, 20 years must have passed since a candidate’s death and the building within Greater London must survive in a recognisable form.In Lennon’s case, a plaque was issued at 34 Montagu Square in 2010 as it was the first home the musician had shared with Yoko Ono. It was also the flat when the naked photograph of the couple was taken for the Two Virgins album cover.Meanwhile, a plaque was awarded to Johnson – who was the first female pilot to fly solo from England to Australia – as she had spent several years living in London, where she learnt to fly. She also departed on her record-breaking journey from Croydon.A spokesman for English Heritage added: “The London Blue Plaques Scheme celebrates not just people who were born in London but Londoners in a wider sense (defining Londoner as ‘a native or inhabitant of London’).”All of those featuring on the front cover have lived in London. No official complaints have been made about the £16.99 book, which will act as a portable guide for the scheme. The newly-released Lives and Homes of London’s Most Interesting Inhabitants features a cartoon of Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Amy Johnson, Winston Churchill and Sylvia Pankhurst standing among the capital’s most famous monuments on the frontCredit:English Heritagelast_img read more

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Victims of cyberbullies are picked on at school first researchers find

first_imgBullyingUK said calls relating to cyberbullying rose by 77 per cent last year.ChildLine reported an 88 per cent increase in calls related to cyberbullying in the past five years. The research was published in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Prof Dieter Wolke, of the department of psychology at the University of Warwick, said: “Many media reports have portrayed that cyberbullying is an epidemic, suggesting many new victims are created. Our findings show that very few new victims are created.”The same bullies that confront their victims in school and know them face to face also now use cyber tools to bully their victims and extend their reach to outside school. The same bullies that confront their victims in school and know them face to face also now use cyber tools to bully their victimsProf Dieter Wolke “However, being directly victimised and relationally excluded are still the main forms of bullying.” They also wanted to find out if online abuse was worse psychologically for victims than traditional playground bullying.Although nearly one in three of the children said they had been bullied, just one per cent were only bullied online, the study found. Cyberbullying was found to lower self-esteem and increase depression as seriously as traditional bullying.When youngsters were bullied by multiple means, such as being beaten, socially excluded, or victimised online, the psychological impact was worse. Being able to target victims online allowed the reach of bullies to extend into their homes. Cyberbullying has largely affected children who were already being picked on rather than creating new victims, according to researchers.In recent years, helplines for children have reported huge increases in the number of online victims, who are often abused and taunted through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.But a study found that 99 per cent of children would have been bullied regardless of new technology, as the internet merely gave bullies another outlet to torment victims.Academics at the University of Warwick questioned 2,700 pupils aged between 11 and 16 from secondary schools in Britain, to determine whether cyberbullying finds new victims. 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

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Countryfile presenter says BBC should give show more money for drones due

first_imgWe will be out filming something and there are times you can’t afford a couple of hundred quid for a drone, and you think that would really advance the piece.Tom Heap The budget is tight, very tight, for such a popular programme.Tom Heap Countryfile presenter Tom Heap has said that he would like the BBC to give the show more money as its budget is “very tight for such a popular programme” and it has sometimes been impossible to find “a couple of hundred quid for a drone”.Heap said he is confident the rural affairs show, which has beaten The X Factor in ratings battles, has a future, but thinks it needs to move with the times. Asked if that has an impact on the show and their ability to do what they want, he replied: “Yes it does.” 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. He told the Press Association: “There is no reason it can’t go on, I would say it needs to evolve to survive.”I don’t think revolutionary change is what it’s about, but I think staying alert to changes that are going on in society and the countryside, both in the audience we are broadcasting to and those that we are filming [is important]. But I don’t see why it can’t continue.”We have a very good slot and as long as the lords of the BBC keep us there that will help, and as long as they don’t cut the budget to the bone as well.”The budget is tight, very tight, for such a popular programme.”center_img He continued: “We would like to do bigger investigations and the budget makes that difficult, in terms of people time and camera time.”If we are a journalistic outfit, we are called the investigations unit, sometimes a little bit more room on that would be very handy.”And when you are one of the BBC’s premium brands, that occasionally would feel a little bit constricting.” (Pictured L- R) Countryfile presenters Anita Rani, Ellie Harrison, John Craven, Adam Henson, Matt Baker and Tom HeapCredit:Caroline Lott – countryfile@hous Heap said this sometimes impacts upon “smaller things”, adding: “We will be out filming something and there are times you can’t afford a couple of hundred quid for a drone, and you think that would really advance the piece.”I wouldn’t be able to put my finger on individual issues, but some things maybe require undercovers, time to follow things, where you can’t just turn up and film on schedule, and those could be things we struggle to do.”I’m sure all BBC programmes say they want more budget, we are not unique in that, but I do feel we are constrained.”I don’t know the figures, but per audience member we must be one of the cheapest programmes on the BBC.” (Pictured L- R) Countryfile presenters Anita Rani, Ellie Harrison, John Craven, Adam Henson, Matt Baker and Tom Heaplast_img read more

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Stalking and harassment victims feel at fault because of police failings report

first_img 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. Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who went missing whilst at work in Fulham in 1986. A charity set up in her name campaigns for stalking to be taken seriously Victims of stalking and harassment feel blamed by police investigating the crimes, the first ever review into management of the offences has found. The audit into police and the Crown Prosecution Service found that victims had been told to change their behaviour to avoid being harassed and stalked.Police had underestimated the seriousness of stalking or harassment and some victims were forced to report incidents multiple times before action was taken.The joint inspection looked at 112 recent cases of stalking and harassment in six police forces and found that, while some demonstrated good practice, there were failings in every single one. One anonymous victim said that she had been advised to stop using social media, and said police made her feel that it was “my fault for being on Facebook”.  “The only way to stop these messages is if I deactivate my Facebook account, and come off social media. I didn’t think that was very fair at all,” she said.  Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who went missing whilst at work in Fulham in 1986. A charity set up in her name campaigns for stalking to be taken seriouslyCredit:Clara Molden for The Telegraphcenter_img The report recommended that police forces should immediately stop using PINs, and that the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 should be reviewed, making clear the definitions of the two offences.Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for stalking and harassment, said the police “must do better”.He said all chief constables would be told to make sure defendants were prosecuted for the appropriate offence and added: “We want to see numbers of people prosecuted for stalking and harassment increase, but we will act to safeguard victims even where a conviction isn’t possible.”Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “The CPS has made significant strides over recent years in identifying, understanding and successfully prosecuting these cases and I am pleased to note that the report highlights many instances of good practice.“But, as this important report makes clear, there is much more that needs to be done.”She said the CPS would introduce new measures including mandatory stalking and harassment training for all prosecutors. HM Inspector of Constabulary, Wendy Williams, said the report found “worrying failings at every stage” and added: “It is not acceptable that victims and their families are left to live in fear, or have to change their lives because of someone else’s behaviour.”HM Chief Inspector for the Crown Prosecution Service, Kevin McGinty, said the stalking offence itself involves elements of “fixation” or “obsession” by the person who is doing it, and in some cases involves “potentially really quite dangerous people”.Police and CPS had insufficient understanding of the differences between harassment and the more serious offence of stalking, and many cases were inappropriately charged, the report found.Forces often used Police Information Notices (PINS), which have no legal standing, to warn perpetrators about their behaviour. In one case, a man went to the home of his ex-partner armed with a knife, and police received a report from an anonymous caller who said he intended to cut the throat of the victim when she returned. He was arrested but there was no investigation, no crime was recorded and he was only issued with a PIN.Last month Devon and Cornwall police apologised for failings in the case of Helen Pearson, who was stabbed in the face by her neighbour Joseph Willis after reporting his harassment of her 125 times. In 2014 “Clare’s Law”, which allows police to disclose details of a partner’s history of violence, came into force. It is named after Clare Wood, 36, who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend who had a history of violence towards women. last_img read more

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Horticulture sculpture and mucking about Monty Don brings topiary to the masses

first_imgIt is a gardening skill that rarely fails to impress, with horticulture meeting sculpture to create an array of intricately impressive designs.But the precise practice of topiary is set to become the latest trend to sweep Britain’s gardens, as Monty Don brings the hedge-cutting technique to the masses.The celebrity gardener has planted a new collection of evergreens in his Longmeadow garden, in Herefordshire, from where he has presented Gardeners’ World since 2011.Viewers of the popular BBC Two show are set to watch him grow the Irish yews and box plants into a topiarist’s paradise of shape and structure. It comes as horticulturists report a surge in popularity of the plant-shaping art among mainstream gardeners, with green-fingered enthusiasts across Britain more likely than ever to clip menageries of chickens and birds into their hedges with an increase in sales of wire mesh templates that make the practice easier for the beginner.Gardeners’ World viewers on Friday watched as Don used shears to create a living plant sculpture of his beloved golden retriever Nigel, who makes frequent appearances on the show and has his own Twitter account.”It’s time for topiary Nigel to have his annual trim,” he said in the latest episode. 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 Queen's Beasts, a set of topiary bushes fashioned after heraldic beasts created to sit outside Westminster Abbey during The Queen's coronation in 1953.  Don planted the yew three years ago and trimmed it into shape, using his canine sidekick as his “model”.”It won’t ever be as beautiful as the real thing, but it’s fun,” he said. “The whole point about topiary is that it’s part sculpture, part horticulture and part mucking about. And mucking about is as good as the other two bits easily.”As well as the famous Nigel, other “free-flowing” more “organic” shapes could be achieved, Don said.He told viewers that he has planted a new collection of evergreens, including a pair of Irish Yew, in his garden to try out more topiary skills.”My vision is we have these lower shapes morphing into the taller ones and then going down again so the whole thing flows,” he said.While Don’s vision is of a large-scale sprawling sculpture inspired by “cloud pruning”, award-winning gardener Gary McDermott, who runs Harperley Hall Farm Nurseries in the North East, said the art of topiary could be “more accessible” to the average gardener. The Queen’s Beasts is a set of topiary bushes fashioned at Hall Place, BexleyCredit:Andrew Hasson/Andrew Hasson It doesn’t have to be a huge structure, like Monty Don’s cloud pruning,” he said. “It could be a small pot that you shape into something like a chicken, for example.”He told The Telegraph that topiary was “making a comeback”, with his nursery enjoying an upsurge in sales of Irish yews and box plants – which are commonly used by topiarists – as well as wire mesh shapes that make the practice easier for the beginner.”It was popular about 10 years ago, but people were buying boxes that were already shaped from places like Italy, and so it was therefore quite expensive,” said Mr McDermott.”But you can now buy wire mesh shapes to put over the plants to let them grow through and you just trim around the outline, so that you have created the shape yourself.”You can get all kinds of shapes, like chickens and balls and birds. It’s something the whole family can be involved in too, and it adds interest and structure to the garden – throughout the year.”Mr McDermott, who has previously won the prestigious President’s Award at the Chelsea Flower Show, said the “beauty of topiary” was that it involves the use of evergreen plants, meaning its effects can be enjoyed all year round.”Even in winter when gardens can appear quite bleak, you still have this evergreen in its interesting shape that adds structure and intrigue to the garden. It’s a year-round focal point,” he said. Yew trees and box hedging are among the most common plants used by gardeners interested in topiary.Gardeners are advised not to over-fertilise or overcrowd their plants to protect against the threat of blight – a fungus that seizes on soft and sappy growth. The Royal Horticultural Society has held a “box summit” in the past to discuss the issue, but successful chemical solutions remain unavailable to amateur gardeners.Top tips for the amateur topiarist:Get the right tools. Shears and secateurs are a must for the budding hedge cutter. While some purists rail against the use of power tools, mechanical cutters are said to deliver a better finish, faster.Rounded edges tend to be easier to cut than perfectly sharp ones. When establishing a young hedge, it is advisable to clip it into an “A” shape for a while to allow light to the base, which encourages a thick and bushy bottom.Box hedges can get a yellow edge to freshly cut leaves in hot weather. To protect against this, trim late in the day to allow the wounds to heal overnight.Shield freshly-cut leaves from the heat of the sun by putting fleece or a wet sheet over the plant. This also protects against yellowing. Box blight – a disease of box leaves –  thrives in wet conditions. The spores of the fungus explode and spread in moisture – so it is considered better to cut when sure the weather is likely to remain dry.Clean blades of shears thoroughly after use and have sharpened at least ones a year for a cleaner cut.last_img read more

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Russian whistleblower allegedly poisoned in Surrey was being pursued by assassin of

first_imgThe whistleblower’s home The Coach House in the millionaires’ luxury private estate, St George’s Hill in Weybridge, Surrey.Credit:Vagner Vidal/INS Alexander Litvinenko after he was poisoned   The whistleblower's home The Coach House in the millionaires' luxury private estate, St George's Hill in Weybridge, Surrey. Alexander Litvinenko after he was poisoned  Credit:PA. Mr Magnitksy’s fate caused worldwide condemnation following his arrest – allegedly by some of the same policemen he accused of fraud – and his death in custody in 2009 after being beaten and denied medical treatment. Shortly before his death the married father-of-two was in Paris  with Ukrainian model Elmira Medynska, 27, who is expected to give evidence tomorrow.The inquest is being heard at the Old Bailey before Coroner Nicholas Hilliard QC.The hearing continues. Bob Moxon Browne QC said that Dzhirsa were pursuing around 10 cases against Mr Perepilichnyy in the years before he died, for a £3million bank loan as well as seperate claims for around 200million Rubles – around 3 million US Dollars.  The Russian whistleblower allegedly assassinated outside his Surrey mansion was being ruthlessly pursued by a company linked to Alexander Litvinenko’s killer, his inquest has heard. Alexander Perepilichnyy had been sued for millions by a company founded by Dmitry Kovtun, the former KGB agent said to have poisoned Mr Litvinenko in London using Polonium 210. Mr Perepilichnyy, 44, had won a civil case against the firm Dzhirsa just a month before he collapsed and died while out jogging near his £3m home in Weybridge, Surrey in November 2012.The court heard that Dzhirsa bought debts from other companies at reduced rates and had a “reputation in Russia” for “ruthlessly” pursuing them through other means when the courts ruled against them.Mr Perepilichnyy’s death was originally thought to have been a heart attack but suspicions were raised when it emerged that he had been on a hit list and had refused to return to his homeland amid fears for his life.At the time of his death he had been helping specialist investment firm Hermitage Capital Management uncover a 230 million US dollar (£150 million) Russian money-laundering operation. center_img Mr Perepilichnyy passed information to Swiss prosecutors which implicated senior police officers and state officials in a tax fraud, which had been uncovered earlier by lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.  Mr Moxon Browne QC, acting for Legal and General which had issued a substantial life insurance policy to Mr Perepilichnyy, pointed out the Dzhirsa lost an appeal in one of their cases against him a month before his death. In 2012 in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, quoted in court, Kovtun said that he did not know Mr Perepilichnyy or that his company had had dealings with him. He said that he set up the company for friends as “I enjoy a certain reputation”.”They are former officers who help resolve business disputes – people call them ‘the military men’,” he said.Mr Lipkin’s firm, the Bureau of Corporate Consultations LLP, had been instructed on behalf of Mr Perepilichnyy in Autumn 2010, but he first met his client later that year in London.  “He did not want to come to Russia because he feared for his life”, Mr Lipkin said. However, others dismissed the the idea that he may have been assassinated as “unproven speculation”, including his brother-in-law and business partner Rishat Ismagilov. He said in a letter read to the hearing at the Old Bailey: “There were no death threats… Had he felt insecure I am certain that I would have become aware of it.” Professor Monique Simmonds, from Kew Gardens, found a compound similar to gelsemium, a rare plant known as ‘heartbreak grass’ which is used by assassins, in his stomach contents. Though she told the inquest  she only had a small amount of material to test and her research had proved inconclusive.  The inquest, which was adjourned last summer and resumed on Tuesday, also heard from lawyer Dmitry Lipkin by video link from Russia, who had represented Mr Perepilichnyy in a number of civil cases relating to his alleged debts.One company which was pursuing around 10 cases was Dzhirsa, founded by Kovtun and which listed him as its general director. Peter Skelton QC, counsel for the inquest, asked Mr Lipkin: “Dmitry Kovtun was found by a British High Court judge to have murderer Alexander Litvinenko. “Were you aware of a connection between Mr Kovtun and Dzhirsa?”Mr Lipkin replied: “I don’t remember such a thing.”Mr Skelton QC continued: “Is Dzhirsa the type of company that if it does not succeed in the court might resort to the threat of physical violence?”Mr Lipkin said that he “did not know anything about it”. They had won one case in the Supreme Court after a handwriting expert said that a signature on the security for the loan was not in Mr Perepilichnyy’s hand. The judge had been told that he was “not in Russia as he feared for his life”. 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. Surrey Police found no evidence of toxins in his body and concluded that there had been no third party involvement, a decision that his since been questioned by security sources in the UK, the US and France. last_img read more

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How a failed Japanese art venture proved the making of Vincent van

A portfolio for Van Gogh’s Japanese prints. On it he drew a pair of small sketches—views of a sailboat on the Seine and a shopfront in Montmartre With his use of vibrant colours and closely cropped compositions the profound influence of Japanese art on the paintings of Vincent van Gogh has long been recognised. Credit: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation) A new book has established that he bought hundreds of Japanese woodblock prints with a view to selling them, but that the venture failed spectacularly. What was Van Gogh’s commercial loss proved to be his artistic… But it has now emerged that Van Gogh’s original fascination with the art of Japan had more to do with making money than using it in his own work. A portfolio for Van Gogh’s Japanese prints. On it he drew a pair of small sketches—views of a sailboat on the Seine and a shopfront in Montmartre The Dutch painter was one of the first to introduce some of the techniques of Oriental painting – with its close detailing of nature and everyday objects – into European art, . read more

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London is fed up of knife crime says weeping father of youth

Instagram photos of the unnamed teenager, released by the CPS to the Evening Standard, showed him posing with a samurai sword and a hunting knife. One photo, believed to have been uploaded less than three weeks before the fatal stabbing, read: “Always moving aggy wen i’m pokin.” Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the language was a boast by the teenager he was aggressive when armed with a knife. Rather than back off, Smith closed in on the fallen rider before picking him up and plunging the knife into his chest, puncturing his lung. Smith was arrested on Oct 19 and admitted to officers that he was at the scene, but claimed he acted in self-defence and had no idea the youngster was armed. The 17-year-old killer, who cannot be named because of his age, was jailed for eight years.Credit:Crown Prosecution Service/PA The teenager ran towards Munster Road, where he ‘disposed’ of the knife, but was arrested by police within about 15 minutes of the brawl.The youth, from the Durham area, denied – and was cleared of – murder. During the violent confrontation, Mr Saidy was attacked with a blade and kicked as he lay defenceless on the ground. Despite emergency treatment, he died at the scene at around 8.30pm from the loss of blood. Mr Oluwafemi rode up on the pavement on his moped to try and drive the pair off, but crashed into a number of parked cars. He added: “It doesn’t matter to him – you let him out tomorrow, he will kill again.”Smith and the juvenile, now 17, were both cleared of the murder of Mr Saidy. However, the youth was convicted of manslaughter, while Smith was convicted of wounding Mr Oluwafemi with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.Judge Anne Molyneux admitted the pictures of the teenager “demonstrate an unhealthy fascination with knives”. She told Smith that “the court concluded that you do not pose a significant risk of serious threat”.Jurors heard the two victims had also been carrying knives. Prosecutor Timothy Cray said Mr Saidy made a decision that “set off a chain of events” which led to “terrible consequences for himself and for his family”, by opting to confront the drug-dealing duo. The jury were not shown these photos during the trial, nor were they informed the teenager had brandished a machete during a 2016 robbery, carried a lock knife in his sock and took a weapon to school when he was 12. Speaking at the court, Mr Saidy’s father, Majid, said: “Because of knife crime, so many families are now going through hell since all these kids are carrying knives.”Youths are not considering what is really happening to the families who are affected, who are crying every day over lost family. Everyone in London is watching these young kids being killed. London is fed up and the sentences should be harsh.” 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 17-year-old killer, who cannot be named because of his age, was jailed for eight years. Majid Saidy, leaving the Old Bailey London is fed up of knife crime, the father of a youth worker stabbed to death while chasing drug dealers has said.Omid Saidy, 20, was trying to stop a 16-year-old and his friend selling drugs outside his Fulham home on Oct 16 last year when he was attacked.While chasing the  teenager, who has an “unhealthy fascination with knives”, and Shafiq Smith, 20, Mr Saidy called his friend, Omotosho Oluwafemi, 18, to help to tackle the suspected drug dealers. After a confrontation, the teenager, whose identity is protected by a court order, stabbed Mr Saidy in the neck, torso and backside while Mr Oluwafemi was stabbed by Smith.Just four days before the killing, Smith was stopped in Mitcham, south London, where he was found to have a 30cm knife tucked in his trousers.  Majid Saidy, leaving the Old BaileyCredit:ED WILLCOX read more

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Chicken campaigner who became social media star attacked by vegans who say

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. Belle likes to be fed watermelonCredit:Haidy Mansfield Her first rescue chicken was Belle, who was in a terrible state when she was rescued from a chicken farm last December, and was very weak with few feathers. She posted a picture of her in a chicken group, and the members “became addicted” to knowing how Belle was doing – and told her to make a Facebook page.Before long, the page had 21,000 followers. Ms Mansfield said: “ “People got interested in caged hens, how they exist in modern society and how hens are used this way to produce eggs intensively. They thought battery hen cages had been banned – which they have – but enriched cages are still cages and chickens don’t really have much space.”People wanted to know what they could do to help and didn’t want to support the caged egg industry. I am trying to use the page as a platform really now to show people we can make more ethical choices about what eggs we buy and how we can all make a difference.”My partner suggested rescuing three girls from the hen welfare, who used to have chickens, I had never even thought of having chickens. We went and collected them and I totally fell in love with them and it kind of went on from then.”Our little flock has grown from three to nine and it would be lovely to get more.”I fell into it accidentally but my life will never not be about chickens now.” She rescues chickens from caged farms - and many of them turn up looking like this, with few feathers and looking forlorn  A chicken campaigner who became a social media star alongside her birds has been targeted by extreme vegans who believe eating eggs is evil.Haidy Mansfield, who gave up her day job as an anti-fraud officer to rescue caged birds and campaign for ethical egg farming, was shocked when her Facebook page where she posted pictures of her chickens Belle and Fleur as they recovered from a hard life on an intensive farm grew to having 21,000 fans.After falling in love with the birds, nine of which she has at her Dorset home, the campaigner decided to dedicate her life to promoting ethical egg farming. She believes that all chickens deserve to have ample space to scratch around outside in the fresh air.However, she has come under attack from extreme vegans, who believe she is promoting an “evil” lifestyle by asking her followers to buy ethically-farmed eggs. Ms Mansfield told The Telegraph they said eating eggs was “evil”, explaining: “They don’t believe chickens should be used full stop. That the eggs aren’t ours to take. I understand their passion and that it’s a very black and white line for them. They aren’t going to agree, they see me as perpetuating the issue by promoting that people choose to buy ethical eggs. I just say that if you’re going to eat eggs, be mindful about where they’re from. There are of course extreme views in everything – people think the chickens should be implanted so they stop laying as they aren’t ours to use.”She said she has been upset by the comments and even moved to tears, posting on Facebook: “I don’t intentionally want to offend anyone, however, there is a faction of Vegan society who have taken it upon themselves to sabotage every post I write, and no doubt they will this one. They have no qualms upsetting, belittling or insulting people who eat eggs and support my mission to bring an end to caged egg farming.”The campaigner emphasised that this is a small number of extreme vegans, and that many of her vegetarian and vegan friends support her mission to make chicken farming more ethical. She rescues chickens from caged farms – and many of them turn up looking like this, with few feathers and looking forlorn Credit:Haidy Mansfield Belle likes to be fed watermelon read more

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Dubai ruler plans for 37 more bedrooms at Scottish estate too cramped

The billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, hopes to add to the 30 bedrooms already at his disposal on Inverinate estate in Wester RossCredit:RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP 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. One of the world’s richest men is planning to build three new properties on his Highland estate with an extra 37 bedrooms, because his family’s visits are limited “by lack of accommodation”.The billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, hopes to add to the 30 bedrooms already at his disposal on Inverinate estate in Wester Ross.The sheikh, founder of the Godolphin racing stable, has made the application to Highland Council through his company, Smech Properties.The remote estate, close to the Isle of Skye, already has a triple helipad and a 14-bedroom holiday home, next door to a 16-bedroom hunting lodge, with pool and gym.The family use the lodge every summer to escape the 50C heat of Dubai, and often travel with a large entourage. The application seeks permission for two more lodges, one for 19 bedrooms and one for nine, as well as a nine-bedroom house.In an accompanying design statement, Inverness-based Colin Armstrong Architects, say: “The owners of Inverinate Estate typically travel in large groups of immediate and extended family and friends. In recent years their travel to Inverinate has been limited by lack of accommodation.”Additional staff accommodation was completed in 2017 to create infrastructure that would support greater use of the estate by the owner and this new application seeks to create residential accommodation for the use of the owners, their family and their guests in order they may enjoy more frequent and extended visits to Inverinate.” In recent years their travel to Inverinate has been limited by lack of accommodationColin Armstrong Architects The billionaire sheikh is said to be well-liked in the community, close to Eilean Donan Castle, with the estate employing a number of local people. He also built a community centre and gifted land for a day care centre and sheltered housing.Cllr Biz Campbell said earlier this year: “It’s only when the family come that the helipads are used. It’s dead quiet otherwise. He’s been brilliant for our community, I wish there were more like him.” The application adds that the aim is to create a sympathetic and attractive property that will take advantage of the “attractive views and the southerly aspect over Loch Duich”. The billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, hopes to add to the 30 bedrooms already at his disposal on Inverinate estate in Wester Ross read more

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Prince Charles reveals romantic moment he turned conductor for Camillas birthday

Asked whether the musicians made it to the end of the piece at the same time, under his baton, he laughed: “Well roughly, yes. The orchestra were terribly polite. I do love it. There’s something very romantic about it.”For a second piece of music, he chose the Creed from Russian Orthodox Liturgy, played at his wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005: “one of the best wedding presents you could imagine” from the Mariinsky Theatre.The Prince also pays tribute to his late grandmother, the Queen Mother, who introduced him to the ballet at Covent Garden, and concerts at the Kings Lynn festival when he was a small boy.“She was wonderful, my grandmother, because she understood that at that age, you don’t want to have too long,” he said. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at his 70th birthday this year The Prince of Wales with Michael BerkeleyCredit:BBC The Prince of Wales with Michael Berkeley Relaying how he learned the trumpet at school in Scotland, he disclosed that he was taught by “marvellous music teachers who had escaped the Holocaust in Germany, who came to Gordonstoun”.“I remember playing in the orchestra with them and one of them stopped and said ‘stop those trumpets’,” he admitted. “So I thought it was time to try something else.”He went on to play the cello while at Trinity College, Cambridge, “desperately” trying to keep up with the “fiendishly fast” record of Herbert von Karajan conducting Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The Queen Mother with Prince Charles and Princess AnneCredit:Lisa Sheridan When your wife is celebrating a landmark birthday, it is as well to put in an extra special effort to find the perfect gift.When you are the Prince of Wales, of course, there is no excuse for a present that it little short of show-stopping.Fortunately for the Duchess of Cornwall, her 60th birthday was marked not with a token scarf or scented candle, but an arrangement of one of the most romantic classical compositions in history, conducted by the future king himself.The Prince has told how he joined the Philharmonia Orchestra to conduct Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, described as “possibly the most romantic music almost of all time”, as a surprise.Appearing on Radio 3’s Private Passions, the Prince shares the musical moments that have shaped his life and which, he admits, he finds “a vital part of surviving the daily round”.Choosing music from Haydn and Beethoven to Leonard Cohen and “Sadie the Shaker”, the 1930s favourite loved by his grandmother, the Queen Mother, the Prince also shares memories of his own orchestral adventures, playing the trumpet at school and cello at Gordonstoun.Speaking of the key role that music plays in his life, he told presenter Michael Berkeley: “It’s very important to have another world to go through a door into. The Queen Mother with Prince Charles and Princess Anne Prince Charles and his brother EdwardCredit:Rex “For me it’s a vital part of surviving the daily round. Having music in the background, particularly in the evenings; I’m one of those people who likes having music on when I’m working.”One of the eight pieces the Prince chose was the Siegfried Idyll, composed by Wagner in 1870 as a birthday present for his second wife after she had their baby, and played by musicians who stood on the stairs of their house to wake her up with the melody.The Prince confirmed that he had tried his hand at conducting a professional orchestra in order to replicate the music – if not quite the intimate staircase setting – for the Duchess of Cornwall for her 60th birthday.“[It was] Entirely at the suggestion of the Philharmonia, of which I’ve been a very proud patron for nearly 40 years,” he said, adding that it happened thanks to the persuasion of lead violinist and conductor Christopher Warren Green. Prince Charles and his brother Edward “They are a remarkable orchestra,” said the Prince. “He was terribly keen I should conduct it. I said: you must be out of your mind.“Finally he persuaded me against my better judgment and we did it as a special surprise.” “I wasn’t very good at it but it was great fun,” he said. “The magic of playing in an orchestra, even if you’re not very good, is very special.” The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at his 70th birthday this yearCredit:Chris Jackson He also shared the “horror” of auditioning for a college amateur dramatic group, going on to perform “completely dotty” revues.Although the majority of the Prince’s choices are classical, he offers two more unexpected insights: his love of Leonard Cohen, choosing ‘Take This Waltz’ as a favourite song, and his “passion” for 1920s and 30s dance music.“I was lucky enough to met all those characters like Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire,” he said, crediting his grandmother. “The redl greats. I put these marvellous old tunes on in the evenings and they make me feel better.”The special episode of Private Passions will be broadcast on BBC Sounds from Boxing Day and on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday, December  30 at midday. “I find that the marvelous thing is to paint and have music at the same time. It’s so requires concentration that before you know where you are it becomes almost meditative in an extraordinary way. read more

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Beige is the new grey interior designers say it is new musthave

Farrow and Ball has released a new beige colour, Jitney Twig Hutchinson, an Art Director & Design Consultant who runs popular interiors journal Minford, agrees.She wrote in Minford that “beige is the new grey”, adding: “Here’s why I think it’s worth stopping and thinking about reclaiming beige from associations with ‘blah’ interiors.”Beige brings both a warmth and sense of calm to a space. Used tonally mixed with a little stone, natural wood and linen interiors feel instantly serene.”She advised: “For both your wardrobe and your home the key for me is texture. Style it head to toe or wall to floor but mix shades of beige wool and satin, silk and rattan, shiny and matte.” While the idea of painting your home beige may seem uninspiring, toasty colours are replacing the cool greys which have been in fashion for a decade.Interior designers and high-end paint sellers are celebrating warm off-white colours and encouraging people to paint their homes beige.Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at Farrow and Ball told The Telegraph: “There is a real movement towards brown based tones and warm woody neutrals, stepping away from the cooler greys that have filled homes for the last ten years.”Our new colour Jitney is a great example of this, offering a sandier update on beige that feels altogether more fitting for today’s modern home.” 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. Interior designer Kate Watson-Smyth agrees, and wrote on her blog: “I’m sure plenty of you will be shouting about the beige but – as I said you need to make it work for you so – lighten it until it’s a shade you’re comfortable with.”The point is that it’s about soft warm neutrals rather than cold hard whites. We’ve had grey as a neutral (now a classic), we’ve spoken about dark neutrals – still here and often replacing grey and now we’re swinging back to soft whites and creams and occasionally (for the early adopters) looking at shades of beige.”The Dulux Colour of The Year, which tends to set the trend for interior design, was recently announced as Spiced Honey, which is a dark beige tone.While decorating one’s home in cool, harsh shades was fashionable over the last decade, experts have said that comforting, warm colours are now a better choice.A Dulux spokesperson explained: “Spiced Honey is the Dulux Colour of the Year for 2019. This warm amber shade has been chosen to reflect a new mood of positivity and optimism – a desire to ‘let the light in’.” Farrow and Ball has released a new beige colour, JitneyCredit:Farrow and Ball read more

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