Month: September 2019

Charles Barkley Doesnt Love Analytics But Analytics Sure Love Him

During TNT’s studio show following the Houston Rockets’ victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Charles Barkley ripped Rockets GM Daryl Morey — and the NBA’s burgeoning advanced stats movement by extension — saying: “I’ve always believed analytics was crap. … I never mention the Rockets as legitimate contenders ’cause they’re not. And, listen, I wouldn’t know Daryl Morey if he walked into this room right now.”“The NBA is about talent,” Barkley added. “All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common — they’re a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game.”The debate over using advanced metrics in sports is nothing new, and Barkley’s comments aren’t out of place with what baseball traditionalists were saying after “Moneyball” was published more than a decade ago. But what I found humorous in Barkley’s remarks is that there are no greater champions of Barkley’s legacy as a player than proponents of advanced metrics.As Will Leitch pointed out, Barkley’s sentiments echo those of baseball’s Joe Morgan, the player-turned-broadcaster who famously hated sabermetrics despite posting numbers that statheads could only drool over.Yes, Barkley is well-regarded by the establishment — he is a Hall of Famer, after all. But his career has been dogged by the criticism that weighs more on stars in the NBA than any other sport: He never won a championship. Fellow power forward Tim Duncan, on the other hand, has won five — and counting. Barkley also lacked the sheer stat totals of Karl Malone, another contemporary at the position, who came within 1,459 points of setting the NBA’s all-time scoring record. These time-honored considerations are what keep Barkley a distant third behind Duncan and Malone on most mainstream “Greatest Power Forward Ever” lists.Statheads, on the other hand, often decry the outsize role that championships have taken in assessing NBA players’ legacies and have little use for raw numerical accumulation. Instead, they marvel at numbers such as Barkley’s outrageous per-possession offensive efficiency rating, which is the highest ever among players who used as many possessions as he did.Malone may have outscored Barkley by 13,171 points (and Barkley even trails Malone in points per game), but according to more advanced metrics, there’s little doubt that Barkley was the better player. Over a common range of ages (22-36), Barkley was worth about 2.1 more points per 100 possessions to his team’s efficiency differential than Malone (in the estimation of Box Plus/Minus) and produced about 10 more wins of Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). For BPM nonbelievers, Barkley also leads in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Win Shares per 48 minutes.And as much respect as we have for Duncan, it’s not clear that he performed better in his prime than Barkley did, either. Over the same range of ages, Barkley leads Duncan in BPM — by a whopping 1.8 points per 100 possessions — VORP and WS/48. (Granted, Duncan’s PER does edge out Barkley, 24.7 to 24.6.)Now, Malone and Duncan each logged more minutes than Barkley — in Malone’s case, about 323 full, 48-minute games’ worth — and there’s value to be added in simply showing up and playing at a high level day in and day out. But when you look at the career leaderboard for VORP, which blends per-possession effectiveness with durability, Barkley outpaces Duncan and is within 9.0 units of Malone’s total despite the latter’s huge playing-time advantage.In other words, the advanced stats tend to hold Barkley in much higher esteem than the conventional wisdom does. Barkley may not care for analytics, but his legacy as a player would benefit from greater acceptance of the analytical point of view. read more

Whats Behind MLBs Bizarre Spike In Contract Extensions

While veteran stars including Nolan Arenado, Chris Sale and Mike Trout all signed massive extensions this spring, players with little major league experience made up the majority of the deals. Fourteen of the players — including reigning NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna, who signed a $100 million extension last week, and fellow Brave Ozzie Albies, who signed a much-discussed extension Thursday — were so early in their careers that they were not yet eligible for salary arbitration, which generally requires a player to accrue three years of major league experience before becoming eligible to negotiate for significant raises. Eight others were at least a year shy of six years of service time, the amount required to become a free agent. In 2019 to date, players signing extensions have forfeited 51 combined arbitration-eligible seasons and 69 future free-agent years. The deals also include club options covering 25 seasons.Buying out the arbitration and free agency years of younger stars for the purpose of controlling and reducing payroll costs was a practice pioneered in the early 1990s by John Hart, then general manager of the Cleveland Indians, who watched great Pittsburgh Pirates teams broken up prematurely because of escalating player costs. While extensions had since become common practice, the activity had slowed in recent seasons as young stars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado seemed intent on hitting the open market as soon as possible.So what’s behind the extension surge this spring? Why are MLB teams intent on avoiding arbitration and locking up young stars? It may be because arbitration wasn’t working to begin with — at least from the perspective of the teams.Under arbitration, a player and a team each puts forth a salary amount to a panel of arbitrators, who then must decide on one of the two figures. In the past two offseasons, players have totaled more wins than losses in arbitration cases against the owners — the first time that’s happened in back-to-back years since 1989-90. Through 2015, owners had won 58 percent of all arbitration cases, according to Forbes.This winter, Gerrit Cole ($13.5 million) and Trevor Bauer ($13 million) were among the six players to win their cases against their clubs. Arenado and the Rockies avoided a hearing, which is common practice, by signing a one-year, $26 million deal — a record for a player eligible for arbitration.“We’re going to be seeing $20 [million] and $30 million salaries regularly in arbitration,” one agent told us. “They [MLB teams] are going to try and push back on that. How do you do it? You pull those guys out of the system.“Every time the teams see a seam in the defense, they exploit the shit out of it and they are really good at it,” the agent said. “They are capitalizing on good players they have been watching through the draft, through the minor leagues, and who are represented largely by unqualified or under-qualified agents. The teams have scouting reports on agents the very same way they have on opposing hitters and pitchers. They have heat maps. They know our tendencies, they know who will go to arbitration, who won’t, whose business is failing and they need to vest their fees.”The agent noted that teams look at arbitration as an important battleground and have scores of analysts that compile data for these cases. By taking players out of the arbitration system, the teams not only cap earning potential for those players, but they also reduce salary comps for other players. Agent Scott Boras described the MLB’s aggressive approach with young players and extensions this spring as “snuff contracts” — or an attempt to snuff out future markets.Greg Dreyfuss, an associate general counsel for the union and the MLBPA’s director of analytics and baseball operations, also sees a link between the wave of extensions and players’ recent arbitration wins. The union and players have closed the data gap between clubs in making their cases. Dreyfuss says agents and players are educated on the market. While MLB payrolls remain stagnant, the records for largest arbitration salaries have been set in the past two years. The average salary of an arbitration-eligible player in 2011 was $2.73 million; that increased to $3.97 million this year, a 45 percent jump, according to analysis of MLBTradeRumors.com data.The total dollars and players in the arbitration system has jumped from $393.6 million and 144 players in 2011 to $789.6 million spread among 199 players this last offseason, growth in part due to the game trending younger — meaning that there will be more 20-somethings entering arbitration.“Nine of the 10 largest one-year contracts in the history of salary arbitration have come in the past two years, and overall, arbitration salaries have kept pace with the rise in industry revenue over a 10-year period,” Dreyfuss told FiveThirtyEight. “Recently a lot of really good players in that process have stood up and said, ‘No, I’m not just going to take what you give me,’ and they’ve fought for what they consider a fair salary. So, I do think there’s some correlation between players succeeding in arbitration and clubs wanting to take players out of that process.”While spending efficiently is always a goal for teams, how these clubs have handled free agency in recent winters may be a motivating factor in some players’ decision-making. Even Trout, the game’s best player, expressed reservations about entering the open market when he signed a record extension (which is also a bargain for the Angels) this spring.“I kind of saw what Bryce and Manny went through and it drew a red flag for me,” Trout said. “I talked to Manny and Bryce. It was a tough couple months in the offseason. They put it perspective in my mind.”Not all extensions are club-friendly. Drefyuss notes that there have also been a number of veteran players who have agreed to extensions that will pay them lucratively into their mid-30s.“Players agree to extensions for a variety of valid reasons, and there are any number of factors involved in their decisions,” he saidOne key decision a player must make when considering an extension is how much financial upside to concede for the sake of job and financial security. In dealing with future risk, teams face less downside than individual players do. While a team can absorb a poor contract, a player is one injury or decline in performance away from having his career trajectory significantly altered.Acuna and Albies look like future superstars, yet they signed deals that could potentially cost them nine figures in future earnings. White Sox top prospect Eloy Jimenez signed a six-year deal with two club options before he ever took a major league at-bat, limiting his financial upside. Those are the types of club-friendly deals that some on the players’ side have criticized. There is also an argument that individual players ought to consider not just themselves but their peers and future major leaguers when considering a long-term deal — and that they should wait until they are at least arbitration-eligible.“If guys aren’t going through the system, if all the young [stars] are signing before they get there, then we are not going to have those posts to hold on to,” the agent said of salary comps. “I don’t think this is teams trying to screw with the free agent market. They are trying to take the best young players out of the arbitration system.”Toronto outfielder Randal Grichuk, 27, said the Blue Jays began negotiating with him last month during spring training in the midst of the extension spree. He eventually signed a five-year, $52 million extension.“The way I looked at it was taking guaranteed money, setting my family up for life, it’s hard to turn down,” Grichuk said. “If I leave a few dollars on the table now, I’m going to just be finishing my 31 season [after his deal expires] going into free agency. If I produce well, I’m going to be young enough to make some more. And if I’m not able to, whether due to injuries, failures, anything happens, I’m still set for life.”Grichuk was into his arbitration years when he signed his extension, but he didn’t take issue with young stars like Acuna opting for financial security earlier along in the process.“He could have probably waited and got more, but it’s tough to talk negatively about a guy who just got $100 million and is set for life,” Grichuk said. “What’s the difference between $100 [million] and $200 [million]? His kids’ kids’ kids won’t have to work? … I think it’s one of those things where his life changes completely.”Neil Paine contributed researchCheck out our latest MLB predictions. On Feb. 13, 25-year-old ace Aaron Nola agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Phillies. A day later, 26-year-old Max Kepler and 25-year-old Jorge Polanco agreed to five-year extensions with the Twins. The following day, Yankees ace Luis Severino, who turned 25 a few days later, signed a pact with the Yankees. The deals marked the beginning of a historic spree of extensions.From mid-February through Thursday, 27 players had agreed to extensions worth a total of 132 years and $2.045 billion, according to data from the MLBTradeRumors.com extension database analyzed by FiveThirtyEight. There has never been a flurry of activity like this: March represented the most dollars ($1.126 billion) and years (58) awarded in contract extensions in a one-month period that we’ve seen. read more

Tim Howard Lost But He Just Had the Best Match of the

After losing 2-1 to Belgium on Tuesday, the U.S. men’s national team will be left to contemplate its future; after years of steady improvement, there are hints U.S. men’s soccer has hit a plateau. But one American left the tournament with a strong argument for his international quality: Goalkeeper Tim Howard.Howard was FIFA’s Man of the Match despite conceding Belgium’s two goals — both in extra time. The award is deserved. In fact, Howard’s game probably was the best by a goalkeeper in the World Cup to date.So far in the tournament, there have been three saves for every goal conceded (excluding penalties and own goals). If we account for shots in the same way that the National Hockey League does — a shot must result in either a goal or a save by the goalie, while shots stopped by another defensive player are considered “blocked shots” instead — this implies that every shot has a 25 percent chance of scoring. (In practice, soccer statisticians usually consider blocked shots to be shots on target as well, but we’ll go with the NHL’s definition as it better isolates goalkeeper performance.)Howard faced 18 shots from Belgium by this definition. If 25 percent of shots score on average, that implies Belgium would typically score 4.5 goals on this shooting volume. Instead, Howard conceded two goals. That means he saved a net of 2.5 goals for the United States.That +2.5 score — which we’ll call Howard’s “net goals saved” — was the best single-game performance in Brazil so far. The second-best belongs to Ecuador’s Alexander Dominguez, who made nine saves and allowed no goals against France for +2.25 net goals saved. That’s pretty good but slightly behind Howard’s total; Howard’s seven extra saves slightly outweighed the two goals he let in.The worst single-game performance belongs to Jung Sung-ryong of South Korea, who allowed four goals and made just one save in a poor performance against Algeria — a net goals saved score of -2.75. Spain’s Iker Casillas was nearly as bad in conceding five goals against the Netherlands, but he at least made five saves to go with them.Howard has not quite had the best overall tournament, however, because his net goals saved was exactly average (+0.00) entering the Belgian match. Instead, that honor goes to Colombia’s David Ospina, who has made 18 saves and allowed just two goals in four games so far, for a net goals saved of +3.00. read more

Commentary Peyton Mannings classy departure a sad day for Indianapolis

Part of me wants to hop on Interstate 70 West and drive to Indianapolis to revel in the misery of the Indianapolis Colts fans on this trying day. You see, I’m from Northwest Indiana and that’s Chicago Bears territory. Compounded by the fact that Peyton Manning has his only Super Bowl at the expense of the Bears, today should be a day of celebration for me. But it’s not. I have far too much respect for what Manning has accomplished during his 14 years with the Colts’ organization. He made Indianapolis a football city. For anyone who has ever driven through or had the chance to visit Indianapolis, it is clear that Manning was considered nothing short of a god. Manning’s likeness could be found around every corner. In short, Peyton Manning was Indianapolis. That will no longer be the case as the Colts officially announced Wednesday that they will be releasing Manning. The decision came one day before the team was scheduled to give Manning a $28 million bonus and begin the second year of the five-year $90 million deal that he signed before last season. Manning choked back tears as he thanked Colts fans and expressed his gratefulness to the city of Indianapolis. It was apparent that Manning truly didn’t want to leave. Manning and Colts’ owner Jim Irsay insisted the decision had nothing to do with money, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that Irsay would have been making a significant financial investment in a player who missed an entire season to recover from a neck injury. On one hand, it’s hard to understand Irsay’s reasoning in letting Manning go. If your quarterback of 14 seasons tells you that he is confident he’ll play again, and at the same high level that he was at, wouldn’t you listen to him? And on the other hand, it’s rather impressive how Irsay has been able to emotionally remove himself from the situation and assess the situation from a neutral standpoint. If Manning isn’t healthy, $28 million is a lot of money to invest in a damaged asset. Irsay’s decision has no doubt been made easier by the knowledge that his organization owns the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. In Manning’s first season the Colts finished 3-13. That was 1998. With Manning under center, the Colts would only have one more losing season (2001) until last season. He is a four-time MVP, owns every major Colts franchise passing record and helped the team to eight division titles, two AFC championships, and a Super Bowl win during the 2006-07 season. He’s had a hall of fame-caliber career up to this point and still believes he has more left in the tank, telling reporters at his press conference that he is “confident” that he will play again. Manning will never again suit up in Colts’ blue and white and put on that customary No. 18 jersey. And according to Irsay, neither will anyone else. “It’s a difficult day here of shared pain between Peyton, myself, the fans, everyone,” Irsay said at the press conference. “I think in that vein as well. The 18 jersey will never be worn again by a Colt on the field.” Fans in Ohio are all too familiar with bad divorces. Irsay and Manning seem to have proven that it is possible to leave on good terms. Any team that lands Manning in the future will be lucky to have him. He’s a classy individual who clearly wants nothing more than to be back on the field playing football. Here’s hoping that the team doesn’t happen to reside in the NFC North. read more

Ohio States Stoneburner Mewhort released from football scholarships

Ohio State redshirt senior tight end Jake Stoneburner and redshirt junior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort have been removed from their athletic scholarships-at least until the end of the summer. In a statement released Friday night from Urban Meyer via an OSU department of athletics spokesperson, the two football players “will each be removed from athletic scholarship beginning with the summer term, and they will continue to be suspended from team activities until stipulations are successfully met.” “We are disappointed with the decisions made recently by two of our football players,” the release said. “(Stoneburner and Mewhort) will have an opportunity to return to the team in good standing following the summer session.” The decision comes nearly two weeks after Stoneburner and Mewhort were suspended June 3 after being arrested for obstructing justice. According to a police report from the Shawnee Hills Police Department, police said they spotted Stoneburner, Mewhort and a third person, Austin Barnard, urinating on what appeared to be an early childhood education school called The Oxford School near the Bogey Inn in Dublin, Ohio. After shining a bright light, police said the three suspects ran away. Police said they found Stoneburner and Barnard crouched between cars while Mewhort fled to a nearby wooded area before turning himself in after threatening to use a police dog. Stoneburner and Mewhort were expected to be starters for the upcoming season. In 2011, Stoneburner caught 14 passes for 193 yards and had seven touchdown catches. Stoneburner was recruited out of Dublin Coffman High School. He has caught 37 passes in his career at OSU. Meyer listed Stoneburner after this year’s Spring Game on April 21 as one of his “top offensive playmakers.” Mewhort was a highly recruited prospect out of St. John’s Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio. read more

Treadwell Miami faces tremendous challenge against Ohio State

As the first opponent of Ohio State football in Urban Meyer’s tenure as head coach, the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks football team could soon be the answer to a trivia question. Miami coaches, however, say they have been preparing for the trip to Ohio Stadium like any other game. “The first thing you do is you take care of yourself,” said offensive coordinator John Klacik. “You take care of your base, your fundamental things that you’re going to do no matter who you’re playing. We don’t know what they’re going to come out and do, so we’ve got to be ready for everything. I think if you have a base package that can handle everything they can throw at you, then you’ll be much better off.” The RedHawks are looking to improve upon a regular season record of 4-8 from last season, which was coach Don Treadwell’s first season at Miami after four years as Michigan State’s offensive coordinator. Treadwell said the focus of Saturday’s game is on what he can control within his own team rather than on its opponent. “Obviously we just have a tremendous challenge in front of us on this first game,” Treadwell said. “We just lock in to us playing and performing at a level that we believe is our best. We’ve just got to keep playing every play and then continue to do that from play one to whenever the last play is.” Still, Treadwell said his team is “aware of the tremendous team that Ohio State is.” “We see (OSU) in our mind as a top-five program,” Treadwell said. “We do have familiarity of knowing and appreciating and respecting the great Ohio State.” The RedHawks ranked 14th nationally with 299.1 passing yards per game last season. That offense was led by two returning players ­- senior quarterback Zac Dysert, who had 3,513 passing yards in 2011, and junior wide receiver Nick Harwell, who ranked fifth nationally with 1,425 receiving yards. Klacik said the play of the offensive line will have a major effect on Dysert’s ability to pass against the OSU defense. “The first thing you’ve got to do when we get any quarterback like Zac (Dysert) is you’ve got to protect him,” Klacik said. “If we give him some time, I think he can make some plays for us. If we have trouble protecting then it doesn’t matter who we’ve got playing quarterback for us, it’s going to be a tough day.” Another concern for the Miami offense is its ability to run the football. With only 886 rushing yards for the entire season last year, the RedHawks were the only team in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision, which was 120 teams, to have less than 1,000 total rushing yards for the season. Klacik said he expects the rushing offense to be better this year as a result of a more experienced offensive line. “If you looked at our first game last year, when we had our (offensive) line going into the season, we were actually pretty good against Missouri, and then we got some injuries,” Klacik said. “We’re hoping that we’ve got a solid front of guys that are ready to play, they’re more veteran, they’ve played in some games.” Klacik added that he thinks OSU is “solid from top to bottom” on defense. “I think the whole defensive front stands out,” Klacik said. “I like (OSU’s) front four guys, and then their linebackers are so quick, very impressive. They’re a total team because they’ve got some secondary guys that can run and cover, and aren’t afraid to come up and hit you either.” Harwell said he and his teammates are not setting specific goals for the season opener. “It’s a privilege to play against Ohio State,” Harwell said. “We’ll just go out and play hard. We really don’t have any expectations, we’re just going to go out and play as hard as we can, and if we take care of business then the score will take care of itself.” Opening kickoff at Ohio Stadium is scheduled for noon on Saturday. read more

Football Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki presents Ohio State with 78inch

Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki (88) celebrates one of his two first-quarter touchdown reception against Pitt on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at Beaver Stadium. Penn State won, 33-14. Credit: Courtesy of TNSOhio State junior linebacker Jerome Baker said he can jump as high as the ball is thrown. Even that might not be enough Saturday when he and the Buckeye defense attempts to cover Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki.The massive receiving target is listed at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, but looking at him, he might be even bigger. He towers over defensive backs and runs faster than linebackers. But Gesicki’s most impressive skill is his vertical leap as he consistently corrals passes above the outstretched arms of defenders.“He’s a very, very good athlete. He makes catches that men his size usually can’t make,” defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said. “Great flexibility in his upper body, can torque his body in all different ways and he has good hands.”Before the season, Gesicki was named to the Mackey Award watch list — given to the nation’s top tight end — and honored as a preseason first-team All-American. He’s lived up to his billing through seven games as he has pulled down 24 receptions for 228 yards, including five touchdowns.The Nittany Lions have talent at every skill position on offense — five players have between 16 and 32 receptions — so they don’t need to force feed Gesicki. They can pick and choose when to use quarterback Trace McSorley’s largest target.“He’s another wide receiver, really,” Schiano said. “He’s positionally called a tight end but he has the skillset of a wide receiver.”Defenses have not found any easy fixes for covering massive, skilled tight ends like Gesicki. “Because the kid can run so well in cover, you’ve got to put an athlete [on the tight end], well now you’ve got a matchup problem: size,” co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson said. “You put a big guy who can match up size, a lot of times that guy can’t cover.”OSU junior linebacker Jerome Baker (17) prepares for a play during the season opener vs Indiana. OSU won 49-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Buckeyes have already to try to cover a receiver-like tight end once this season in Week 2 when they had to deal with Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews, a massive 6-foot-5, 254-pound weapon in the Sooners’ receiving game. Andrews got hurt in the first quarter and did not return, but he stayed healthy long enough to make two catches for 23 yards and to demonstrate how the Buckeyes defend against talented receiving tight ends.In the first drive, five different defenders lined up to cover Andrews on different plays — cornerbacks Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette, safety Damon Webb and linebackers Malik Harrison and Baker. Safety Jordan Fuller has also garnered reps in the slot this season, where Gesicki often lines up, and Schiano hinted he might be used there Saturday night. Ohio State will not — and can not afford to — use just one player to cover Gesicki. If the Buckeyes were to solely use cornerbacks and safeties to cover the tight end, Gesicki could jump over them. And if they just used linebackers, Gesicki could out-run them, find open holes for McSorley to throw or pull them away from the line, leaving space for running back Saquon Barkley to make plays.For a defensive coordinator, Gesicki is a matchup nightmare as each position group seems potentially exploitable by the massive tight end.“[Gesicki’s] about 6-foot-7,” Schiano said. “We’ve just got to have different ways to try to get people on him.”Though Ohio State’s defense has not faced many talented tight ends this season, it has struggled against the ones it has faced, as well as taller receivers like Indiana’s 6-foot-4 wideout Simmie Cobbs. When asked how the Buckeyes will be able to stop, or at least contain, Gesicki, Baker paused and pondered the question for five seconds before answering.“Don’t allow it to be a jump ball,” Baker said. “Be physical on him before he even gets the chance to jump like that. When it’s that high, he’s going to be a tough one. Just got to play through his hands and some way, some how get it out.”Baker and a multitude of other defensive players will be called on to outjump the 6-foot-6 former volleyball player, a nearly impossible task. Even Schiano was still searching for solutions. When Schiano was asked by a reporter which defender could stop Gesicki, he said, jokingly, “You tell me who is the best matchup.” read more

Womens Hockey No 9 Ohio State drops conference semifinal 32 to No

The Ohio State women’s hockey team listens to head coach Nadine Muzerall during a timeout in its game against Bemidji State on Feb 8. Ohio State lost 3-2. Credit: Cori Wade | For The LanternOhio State women’s hockey entered the WCHA tournament semifinal likely needing a win to have any chance of qualifying for the NCAA tournament.On Saturday, Wisconsin redshirt senior forward Annie Pankowski likely dashed those chances with a third period goal to send the Badgers to their fifth-straight conference tournament championship game.No. 9 Ohio State (20-13-2, 12-10-2 WCHA) dropped to No. 2 Wisconsin (31-4-2, 18-4-2 WCHA) in a 3-2 loss that saw three lead changes Saturday in the WCHA Final Faceoff in Minneapolis.Pankowski, the WCHA Offensive Player of the Year, scored her team-leading 22nd goal on a game-winner assisted by junior forward Abby Roque 15 minutes into the final period.Wisconsin tripled the Buckeyes in shot output at 42-14, which was its fifth-straight game of the season dominating Ohio State in shot discrepancy. Just four Buckeyes attempted more than one shot in the game, while 12 Badgers had multiple shot attempts.Ohio State freshman goalie Andrea Braendli, the WCHA leader in save percentage at .939, stopped 39 shots from the NCAA’s second-highest scoring team, but it wouldn’t be enough for the Buckeyes.Badgers’ redshirt junior goalie Kristen Campbell earned her NCAA-leading 31st win amid her WCHA Goaltender of the Year campaign.Wisconsin battled back from a 2-1 second period deficit to end the game with two unanswered goals in the final 21 minutes.A hooking penalty on Ohio State senior forward Jacyn Reeves allowed the Badgers a first period power play opportunity that Wisconsin freshman forward Britta Curl converted 10 minutes into the action.Curl’s 21st goal of the season came assisted by junior defenseman Mekenzie Steffen on Wisconsin’s first shot of the power play.Wisconsin entered the game with the most power play goals in the WCHA with 28 on 112 opportunities, while the Buckeyes lead the conference with 7.1 penalty minutes per game.Ohio State sophomore forward Tatum Skaggs retaliated eight minutes later with her team-leading 17th goal on a rebound from a long range shot by redshirt junior Jincy Dunne to enter the first intermission locked at 1-1. Senior forward Charly Dahlquist extended the Buckeyes’ lead when she deflected senior defenseman Lauren Boyle’s shot past Campbell 12 minutes into the second period.Wisconsin knotted the game up again in the second period’s final minute with freshman forward Sophie Shirley’s 20th goal of the season to send the semifinal to the third period tied at 2.Following Pankowski’s third period strike, Ohio State played with an empty net in the final two minutes, but to no avail.The Badgers advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff championship game Sunday where they seek to avenge last year’s 3-1 loss to Minnesota.The Buckeyes, who achieved their first back-to-back 20-win seasons, await Sunday’s NCAA selection show where they hope to sneak into their second straight national tournament. read more

Can you solve the chess problem which holds key to human consciousness

first_img“If you put this puzzle into a chess computer it just assumes a black win because of the number of pieces and positions, but a human will look at this and know quickly that is not the case,” said Sir Roger.“We know that there are things that the human mind achieves that even the most powerful supercomputer cannot but we don’t know why.“There is now evidence that there are quantum effects happening in biology, such as in photosynthesis or in bird migration, so there may be something similar happening in the mind, which is a controversial idea.“If we find out how humans differ from computers then it could have profound sociological implications. People get very depressed when they think of a future where robots or computers will take their jobs, but it might be that there are areas where computers will never be better than us, such as creativity.” Sir Roger Penrose  The original Bletchley Park crossword, published in The Telegraph in 1942 The original Bletchley Park crossword, published in The Telegraph in 1942 In 1942, codebreakers at Bletchley Park, released a similar crossword puzzle in the pages of The Telegraph in the hope of recruiting new cryptographers, which played a crucial role in helping the Allies crack Enigma and win the Second World war. Readers were asked to solve the puzzle in 12 minutes.The new chess puzzle is one of several which will be released in the coming weeks by the Institute in an attempt to crack the code of human ingenuity. James Tagg, inventor of the LCD touch screen who will lead the Institute said: “We are interested in seeing how the Eureka moments happen in people’s brains. For me it is an actual flash of light but it will be different for others.“This chess position is designed to show the difference between artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence (HI) and the nature of human understanding.“A human looking at it for a short while will ‘see’ what white must, and more particularly, must not do, and use very little energy to decide this.“But, for a computer, the puzzle requires an enormous number of calculations, far too many for even today’s supercomputers.”The institute is also hoping to develop new technology to improve the treatment of brain disease and anesthetics, develop a new type of telescope to detect dark matter and even resolve the Schrodinger’s Cat paradox, which suggests a cat in a box could be alive and dead at the same time. The chess problem as drawn by Sir Roger PenroseCredit:Sir Roger Penrose  It might look like a simple chess problem, but this puzzle could finally help scientists uncover what makes the human mind so unique, and why it may never be matched by a computer.75 years after Bletchley Park sought codebreakers in the Second World War by placing a crossword in The Telegraph, scientists are again inviting readers to pit their wits against a new conundrum to find the quickest minds.The puzzle coincides with the launch of the new Penrose Institute, founded by Sir Roger Penrose, emeritus Professor at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford, who shared the World Prize in physics with Professor Stephen Hawking in 1988 for his work on black hole singularities.The new institute, which will have arms at UCL and Oxford University, has been set up to study human consciousness through physics and tease out the fundamental differences between artificial and human intelligence.If successful, it could prove for the first time that the human brain is not simply a gargantuan supercomputer, but may exhibit quantum effects far beyond the realms of current imagining – a controversial theory that many scientists believe to be impossible.The chess problem – originally drawn by Sir Roger – has been devised to defeat an artificially intelligent (AI) computer but be solvable for humans. The Penrose Institute scientists are inviting readers to workout how white can win, or force a stalemate and then share their reasoning.The team then hopes to scan the brains of people with the quickest times, or interesting Eureka moments, to see if the genesis of human ‘insight’ or ‘intuition’ can be spotted in mind. The chess problem as drawn by Sir Roger Penrose Sir Roger Penrose  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

How swapping holiday resorts this summer could save you hundreds of pounds

first_imgSwap Lisbon for the Algarve, Zadar for Porec, and Ibiza for the Costa Blanca if you want to save money on a beach holiday this summer. This is the verdict of the Post Office’s annual investigation into the cost of holiday staples around Europe.And with the pound down nine per cent on the same time last year, and uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the European Union likely to hurt it further, British holidaymakers’ hunt for value might never have been tougher.Sunny Beach in Bulgaria has again – for the fourth year running – proved to be the cheapest destination surveyed by the currency experts, with a basket of tourist staples, including a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer and a three-course evening meal for two with a bottle of wine, coming to just £37.33. But it is the idea of changing one destination in a country for another offering a lower cost that could be more appealing.  Europe’s cheapest – and most expensive – holiday destinationsSunny Beach, Bulgaria (£37.33)Algarve, Portugal (£58.38)Costa del Sol, Spain (£60.65)Marmaris, Turkey (£68.13)Paphos, Cyprus (£74.32)Costa Blanca, Spain (£75.56)Porec, Croatia (£79.08)Limassol, Cyprus (£79.89)Crete, Greece (£81.84)Zante, Greece (£82.36)Kefalonia, Greece (£84.29)Majorca, Spain (£88.98)Corfu, Greece (£90.05)Sliema, Malta (£95.31)Lisbon Coast, Portugal (£99.33)Zadar, Croatia (£108.89)Nice, France (£116.64)Sorrento, Italy (£118.51)Ibiza, Spain (£131.02) Spain and Croatia, too, had offerings of varying expense in the report. Porec on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia would save a couple – eating out each evening for six nights – £180 over the same in Zadar, farther south. Spain’s resorts provided yet greater differences. The Costa del Sol was ranked the third cheapest destination, with a basket of items costing just £60.65. A meal out costs just £28.61, according to the Post Office.  At the other end of the spectrum was the Balearic island of Ibiza, where a meal costs £65.52 and the total comes to £131.02, more than twice that of resorts on the Spanish south coast. The Costa Blanca ranked sixth overall (£75.56) and Majorca 12th (£88.98).The Post Office also found that a fall in resort prices around Europe would help mitigate the damage done by a weakened pound. Compared to five years ago, costs in the Costa del Sol are down 21 per cent, 15 per cent in Porec and 9 per cent in the Algarve. Sorrento in Italy and Nice, France, have seen the steepest rises since 2012, 61 per cent and 44 per cent respectively. The Post Office highlights how staying in the Algarve, the second cheapest destination surveyed and boasting golden beaches framed by wrought limestone rocks and sensational seafood, is  nearly half the price of the Lisbon coast. The former’s shopping basket cost £58.88 next to Lisbon’s £99.33.“If you haven’t already booked a holiday, do your homework to find a resort which best fits your budget,” said Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money.center_img Porec on the Istrian peninsula in CroatiaCredit:© annete / Alamy Stock Photo/annete / Alamy Stock Photo “Greece, too, is looking very popular this year, with tour operators reporting increases of up to 40 per cent in bookings, but it will pay bargain-hunters to factor resorts’ costs into the overall price they pay for their package.“Swapping resorts could save a lot of money, and this applies to popular resorts all over Europe as well as Greece.”The survey found disparities in the cost of holiday essentials across the four Greek islands examined, with Crete the cheapest (£81.84) and Corfu the dearest (£90.05).  Porec on the Istrian peninsula in Croatialast_img read more

Ruth Davidson planning Scottish Tory breakaway as she challenges Theresa Mays Brexit

first_imgAs a result it is expected that she will now seek to bring about a dramatic change in the government’s negotiating position which hitherto has been opposed to both the single market and the customs union.    At a press conference in Edinburgh Ms Davidson said: “We must seek to deliver an open Brexit, not a closed one, which puts out country’s economic growth first.” In answer to questions she said she wanted the “greatest possible amount of free trade”. In a humiliating setback for Ms Sturgeon, the SNP won only 37 per cent of the popular vote and lost the support of half a million Scots compared to the 2015 election.It appeared the Conservatives had pulled off the biggest shock by ousting Mr Robertson, Ms Sturgeon’s deputy and the SNP’s Westminster leader, in Moray. However, this was eclipsed when they defeated Mr Salmond in Gordon, a result that stunned the Nationalists.Labour also won a series of unexpected gains, including Glasgow North East, as the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn spread north of the border. Ms Sturgeon said this partly explained the SNP slump, with Left-wing and pro-independence voters switching to Labour.Speaking at her Bute House residence in Edinburgh about her referendum demand, Ms Sturgeon said: “We will reflect on these results, we will listen to voters and we will consider very carefully the best way forward for Scotland, a way forward that is in the interests of all Scotland.“I will take the opportunity of saying more on that front in the days to come.”But Ms Davidson said the election in Scotland “was dominated by one issue” and SNP MPs who lost their seats had “paid the price” for Ms Sturgeon’s failed referendum gamble. Fresh from her success in winning an extra 12 Scottish seats in Thursday’s election, at the same time as the Prime Minister was losing 21 constituencies in England, Ms Davidson also vowed to use her Commons votes to prioritise the single market over curbing immigration.This is certain to split Tory ranks as Mrs May has pledged to take the UK out of both the single market and the EU customs union as part of her Brexit negotiations, which begin next week. Most Scots voted Remain in the EU referendum and Ms Davidson has repeatedly said that she favours Britain reaching an agreement that allows it to stay in both the single market and customs union. But after notching up the biggest Tory victory in Scotland in nearly 40 years, the Scottish party leader said that the election result did not give the Prime Minister a mandate to take Britain out of the single market. Although she has previously said she does not mind if this is achieved by Mrs May’s plan for a free trade deal, she has also argued that the UK should keep free movement if that is price of maintaining open access to European markets.Speaking at a press conference at her Bute House residence in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said SNP MPs would also try and use their influence in a hung parliament to stop a hard Brexit.The First Minister was forced to admit a massive backlash against her referendum demand was “undoubtedly” a factor in her party losing 21 MPs, including Mr Salmond and Angus Robertson, and pledged to “consider very carefully” her next steps over the coming days.But Ms Davidson, who led the Scottish Tories to their best result since 1983, said that was “not enough” and demanded Ms Sturgeon immediately dump a plan she said had turned out to be “a massive political miscalculation.”  “What people do expect is that, right now, the SNP gives Scotland a break. Simply put, Scotland has had its fill,” the Scottish Tory leader said.  Ms Davidson also signalled her opposition to Mrs May’s deal with the DUP in blunt fashion by tweeting a link to the same-sex marriage lecture she gave at Amnesty ‘s Pride lecture in Belfast last year.She is engaged to Jen Wilson, an Irish Catholic Christian who campaigned during the Republic’s same-sex marriage referendum, is a practising Christian herself and has said she would like to get married in a local church.Her views could not be further from those of the DUP, a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage and supporter of the “traditional” definition of marriage. Last night, Ms Davidson said she had sought and received assurances from the Prime Minister that she would try to advance gay rights in Northern Ireland despite the DUP’s record.Ms Davidson flexed her political muscle following a disastrous night for the SNP, which saw Alex Salmond lose his seat. Nicola Sturgeon hinted that she will row back on her plan for a second independence referendum but Ms Davidson demanded she “give Scotland a break” by immediately taking the plan off the table.The Nationalists ended up with 35 seats, the Tories 13, Labour seven and the Liberal Democrats four. But this compares with the 56 seats the Nationalists won in 2015, when the other three parties held on to only one constituency each. Ruth Davidson is to defy Theresa May’s plans for a hard Brexit and tear her Scottish party away from English control after the UK Tories’ disastrous General Election result.Amid a growing clamour among senior Tories in London for Ms Davidson to be given a top position in the UK party, her aides are working on a deal that would see the Scottish party break away to form a separate organisation. She is reported to have been continually second guessing decisions made in Edinburgh. This came to a head recently when Ms Davidson was “ordered” not to run a distinctive Scottish campaign but instead to “stick to the script” devised in London of pinning the entire Tory effort around Mrs May and Brexit.This ran completely contrary to the issue Ms Davidson favoured – namely the SNP demanding another independence referendum. Ms Davidson was determined to oppose this demand and reckoned her opposition chimed with the vast majority of Scottish voters.As a result she ignored the London “orders”, with the result that her campaign saw a gain of 12 seats, while in England Mrs May saw a loss of the same number.Given the lack of an overall majority, the Scottish Tory votes would be crucial to Prime Minister May getting her legislation through the Commons. Above all their votes could make or break her Brexit negotiations. However, the Conservatives in Scotland have complained of too much “interference” from London, since Mrs May assumed office last year. The focus of their annoyance appears to be Scottish-born Fiona Hill, the Downing Street communications chief. It would maintain a close relationship with the English party – they have been joined together as part of the United Kingdom Conservative and Unionist Party since 1965 – and its 13 MPs would take the Tory whip at the Commons.Although it has been mooted for some time, the imminent split between the Scottish and English parties is a direct result of a dramatic deterioration in relations between the Scottish Tory hierarchy in Edinburgh and 10 Downing Street. ruth davidson Ruth Davidson speaks at a post-election press conferenceCredit:Getty 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

Queen Victorias garden of myrtle used in every Royal wedding since opens

first_imgShell Alcove Conservation The lower terrace at Osborne House is now open The Duchess of Cambridge’s bouquet On July 17 1853, she recorded: “Everything in great beauty. The roses out in profusion on the lower Terraces. The new fountain there is beautiful.” The shell alcove and terrace Victoria had written about the wonders of her terrace in a diary. The shell alcove, decorated with thousands of seashells from the beach below the house, on the northern coast of the Isle of Wight, has been returned to its former glory, painted in bright blues, reds and turquoise after white emulsion was scraped away to find the original pigment underneath. “Opening up this previously closed space to visitors gives them another glimpse into the private lives of the royal couple.”Our conservation project now reinstates Albert’s original vision. Matching the yellow of the walls, restoring the beautifully decorated shell alcove with its aqua blue canopy, and seeing the Andromeda fountain with her surrounding sea monsters in working order has truly brought the terrace back to life.” The Duchess of Cambridge's bouquet The shell alcove at Osborne House Visitors will also be able to see its Victorian planting scheme and the royal myrtle plant, given to Queen Victoria by Albert’s grandmother.center_img When the Duchess of Cambridge walked down the aisle, she carried with her a sprig of myrtle in a bouquet, in line with royal tradition dating back to Queen Victoria.Tomorrow, for the first time, the public will be able to see, smell and touch that for themselves in situ, as the garden terrace enjoyed by Victoria and Prince Albert opens.The lower terrace of Osborne House is known as a favourite spot of Queen Victoria, who used to sit there to paint watercolours while on the Isle of WightMore than a century later, it has been made safe as part of a £600,000 English Heritage restoration project. Osborne House The restoration is part of a project started in 1986 when the charity acquired the house, which had previously been a convalescent home and naval college.It means visitors will be able to see Victoria’s seaside terrace and its panoramic views over the Solent which Prince Albert compared to the Bay of Naples, just as the royal couple would have enjoyed it.The terrace’s centrepiece “Andromeda” fountain, which was bought by Queen Victoria during the Great Exhibition of 1851, has also been restored to working order, English Heritage said. The lower terrace at Osborne House is now open The couple brought back the plant from Germany to the Isle of Wight, where it has thrived.By tradition, the myrtle has been used in royal weddings since the marriage of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria. It was included in bouquets carried by the Duchess of Cambridge, Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen.Samantha Stones, English Heritage properties curator at Osborne House, said: “Queen Victoria loved to be outside in the fresh sea air and the terrace was a place of peace. Shell Alcove Conservation The shell alcove at Osborne House The walls of the terrace, designed by Prince Albert, have been returned to the Italian-sun inspired “Osborne yellow”, to match the rest of the house. 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

If youre not enjoying a book give up Reading Agency says

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. Frodo (Elijah Wood), Gollum (Andy Serkis), and Sam (Sean Astin) in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Overall, more than a fifth (22 per cent) said readers should always finish a book they have started.Around one in six (15 per cent) said that they would give up if they were struggling with a book after one to three weeks, with 11 per cent saying they would stop reading after four to six days, 13 per cent after two to three days and 6 per cent would stop up to a day after. Every dedicated reader will know that sinking feeling of battling through a book they are not enjoying just to get to the bitter end.But reader’s guilt should be officially at an end, according to The Reading Agency, as it advises simply putting down any novel which does not bring you pleasure.A poll, commissioned by the agency, found more than a fifth of British readers refused to give up on a book, no matter how much they are struggling, while others will wait weeks, or even months, before conceding defeat.It also indicated that the majority of Britons will avoid reading material that they believe will make them sad, with a considerable proportion saying they see reading as a form of escape and want to be transported to a happy place.The Reading Agency, which commissioned the survey to mark World Book Night on Monday April 23, suggested that anyone who finds themselves facing “book block” should not force themselves to continue with the book in question.The great unfinished: top fiveFifty Shades Of Grey by EL JamesThe Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring by JRR TolkienHarry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by JK RowlingGreat Expectations by Charles DickensEmily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.The poll, of 2,000 people, suggests that readers are more likely to have difficulty with modern-day novels. Not that precious: Lord of the Rings is one of the least-finished books, according to the studyCredit:AP Photo/New Line Productions Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said: “At a time when one in five of us will experience anxiety or depression, and world events can leave people feeling confused or scared, reading has never been more important.”As this research shows, reading can have a hugely positive impact on our health and wellbeing; it can build empathy and help us understand the world and the people around us.”At a time when so many brilliant books are being written and published, you should never force yourself to read something you’re not enjoying. World Book Night is the chance to find a book that works for you.” read more

Nicola Sturgeon accused of scaremongering over Brexit powers deal

Adam Tomkins said Ms Sturgeon had reined in her Brexit ministerCredit:PA Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “scaremongering” after she claimed UK Government proposals to resolve the dispute over post-Brexit powers would “completely demolish” the principle of the devolution settlement.The Scottish Conservatives said it was “sad” to see the First Minister reduced to such tactics and accused her of “taking the reins” from Michael Russell, her Brexit minister, after he said an agreement was still “perfectly possible”.He claimed there was not much separating the two sides, while she was warning in a newspaper article of the danger of a future Tory government ripping up flagship Holyrood legislation.Adam Tomkins, Conservative spokesman on the constitution, said Mr Russell’s comments flew in the face of Ms Sturgeon’s scaremongering and highlighted “clear divisions in the SNP”.He added: “There is an entrenched position from Nicola Sturgeon and it’s obvious she has taken the reins. She should let her government agree a Brexit deal which works for Scotland and get on with her day job.”The Welsh government struck a deal last week while Ms Sturgeon insisted changes to the Brexit bill did not go far enough. michael russell Despite her stark warnings, Lord Hope of Craighead, formerly Scotland’s most senior judge, said the amended EU Withdrawal Bill came “very close” to respecting the devolution settlement and a deal was within reach. But Ms Sturgeon said the definition of “consent” in the amendment was “surreal and perverse” as it meant legislation would be deemed to be the subject of a “consent decision” whether Holyrood voted for or against a motion. The convener of cross-bench peers in the Lords will table further amendments on Monday in the hope of reaching an 11th hour deal.Ahead of further talks later this week, Ms Sturgeon wrote in the Sunday Herald: “After Brexit, the UK Government has made clear it wants the final say on many devolved policy areas which are currently subject to EU law – completely demolishing the principle at the heart of the devolution settlement endorsed democratically by the people of Scotland more than 20 years ago.”The Tories have now proposed amendments to the Bill which they say take account of our concerns. But, as ever, the devil is in the detail, and a careful reading of the small print betrays the reality of what we are being offered.”New amendments from the UK Government will introduce a “sunset clause” so that devolved powers returning to Westminster – in order to create common frameworks across the UK – do not stay there indefinitely.They also introduce a requirement for a “consent decision” at Holyrood before ministers can legislate in devolved areas. Mr Russell told the BBC’ Sunday Politics Scotland programme that was not “tolerable” and insisted that he and the First Minister were “singing from the same hymn sheet”.But he also said a deal could be done and said he would consider Lord Hope’s amendments.He added: “If these amendments are as positive and hopeful as I think they probably will be, then once I have seen them I’m happy to comment on them and I hope I can be very positive about them.”I don’t think there is a huge amount that separates us now. The issue is very, very clear – if we resolve that issue (of consent) there will be a deal.”A spokesman for the UK Government said it hoped the Scottish Government would sign up to the “sensible and pragmatic” compromise supported by the Welsh administration. Michael Russell said a deal was still possibleCredit:PA adam tomkins 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

GPs handing out too many antibiotics harms cancer survival chances

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. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to patients undergoing traditional chemotherapy, as the treatment weakens the body, making it more vulnerable to bacterial infection.However, immunotherapy, hailed as the future of cancer drugs, relies on a lively pool of bacteria in the gut to produce friendly T Cells to take on the cancer.Dr Matthew Krebs, a consultant in experimental cancer medicine at The Christie, who co-authored the study, said: “People see their GP and the GP thinks, ‘Oh my goodness it’s a cancer patient, they need antibiotics’.“If someone genuinely has a need, then of course we should prescribe them antibiotics.“What we’re saying is think really carefully about it.”Immunotherapy drugs work by prompting the body’s immune system into recognising and fighting cancer cells.The family of treatments is currently routinely available for NHS patients suffering from forms of lung and bladder cancers and melanoma, although it is expected to become the standard treatment for many more categories of patient in the coming years.A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April even suggested that using immunotherapy before undergoing surgery to remove tumours significantly reduced the chances of the disease returning.However, currently only around 20 per cent of patients respond to immunotherapy and The Christie researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, began their research because they believed antibiotics may be partly responsible for the failure.The new study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Asco) meeting in Chicago, is the first large clinical analysis to show a definitive link. Nadina Tinsley, clinical fellow and lead author, said the greater the number and diversity of bacteria in the gut, the more T cells there are available to take on cancers, but a course of antibiotics can suppress bacteria levels for weeks.“I think potentially it’s quite a big problem,” she said. “Clearly antibiotics are a really important part of patient management and we need to treats serious infections and prevent life-threatening infection, even death.“But the challenge is striking the right balance and making sure that we identify those patients that are at risk of having a serious infection, without giving antibiotics for less justified indications and maybe overusing antibiotics.”Dr Sumanta Pal, an Asco expert and authority on immunotherapy, described the new NHS study as the “most robust” to date, adding: “It ties into a theme of really not using antibiotics for frivolous or non-indicated uses,” he said. GPs overprescribing antibiotics is significantly damaging the survival chances of cancer patients, leading oncologists have warned.A major new NHS study has found that sufferers undergoing the latest cancer treatments survived for only half as long if they were also taking the common infection-fighting drugs.Family doctors have been warned to “think really carefully”, before prescribing antibiotics after the analysis of more than 300 patients at the Christie Hospital in Manchester concluded the drugs were wiping out gut bacteria crucial for fighting cancer.The warning comes amid escalating concern that the profligate use of antibiotics by doctors has fuelled the rise of lethal drug-resistant superbugs.Researchers analysed data from 303 patients with melanoma, renal and non-small cell lung cancer being treated with immunotherapy drugs, known as checkpoint inhibitors, between 2015 and 2017.Survival rates among patients who took antibiotics – at any stage from two weeks before their cancer treatment started, to six weeks after treatment – were compared with those of patients who took none.The antibiotic group survived for an average of 317 days, while those who had not taken antibiotics survived for 651. Meanwhile those who had used antibiotics over a longer period or been given multiple types of the drug had an even lower survival span of just 193 days. read more

Vegans strike deal with abattoir to give cows last rites before they

Vegan activists have struck a deal with an abattoir to allow them to stage ‘last rites’ ceremonies with incoming cows to tell them, “we love you, we are sorry”.Leicestershire Animal Save are hosting roadside monthly vigils once a month in Melton Mowbray in which they whisper phrases to cattle before they arrive at an abattoir run by Foyle Food Group.The activists, who have held 35 ceremonies since founding their group in 2015, also hold signs which say “your taste=their death”.Group founder Dina Aherne said the group has an understanding with the slaughterhouse bosses, who let them stop the trucks and trailers which transport the cows.The 38-year-old former solicitor from Leicester said: “We want to make the cows feel at ease every time because they are living and sacred beings. Leicestershire Animal Save gather around trucks filled with cattle, praying to the cows before they enter a Foyle Food Group processing plant in Melton Mowbray “We whisper phrases to them like ‘we’re sorry’, ‘we see you’ and ‘I love you’.Ms Aherne said she believed the peaceful protests are the best way to spread the message about veganism and animal welfare.She added: “Any social movements have different kinds of action and a lot of vegan groups resort to violence.”But we condone this and the best way is to peacefully spread the message.Foyle Food Group has nine sites across the UK where they slaughter and debone more than 7,500 cattle each week across its processing plants.The company were approached to comment. “Cows have a living soul and conscience. We really want to help comfort them.”We have to arrange and give two weeks notice for when we are going to be on site.”When we arrive usually at about 8am, we gather outside the slaughterhouse on days when the abattoir is operational for about three hours.”We then stop each of the trucks and are given two minutes to say the last goodbye’s before they go and get a bolt gun put through their head. Leicestershire Animal Save gather around trucks filled with cattle, praying to the cows before they enter a Foyle Food Group processing plant in Melton MowbrayCredit:Ash Sudra Photography/SWNS 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

Trump stands firm over refugee ban

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTrump signs new immigration orderMarch 6, 2017In “World”Trump bid to restore travel ban rejectedFebruary 5, 2017In “World”Trump travel ban: States urge retention of temporary blockFebruary 6, 2017In “World” Trump border ban: White House stands firm over crackdown on refugees(BBC) The Trump administration is standing firm over its ban on refugees from seven countries despite court rulings and mass protests against the move.Mr Trump tweeted: “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW,” while his chief of staff said only 109 people had been detained.A number of judges ruled on the issue – one federal judge temporarily halted the deportation of visa holders.There has been condemnation from countries around the world.Mr Trump’s executive order, signed on Friday, halted the entire US refugee programme and also instituted a 90-day travel ban for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.Protesters shouted “let them in” at demonstrations at New York’s JFK AirportThose who were already mid-flight were detained on arrival – even if they held valid US visas or other immigration permits.Further demonstrations are ongoing today (Sunday) – including one outside the White House. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that, of the 325,000 people entering the US on Saturday, 109 were detained.“Most of those people were moved out,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press programme.“We’ve got a couple of dozen more that remain and I would suspect that as long as they’re not awful people that they will move through before another half a day today.”He said the seven countries had been chosen because they had already been identified by Obama administration as the most likely to harbour terrorists, and did not rule out the fact that more countries could be added to the list.Some leading Republicans expressed concern.John McCain called it a “very confusing process” which would “probably, in some areas, give ISIS (Islamic State group) some more propaganda”, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it was important to remember that “some of our best sources in the war against radical Islamic terrorism are Muslims”. read more

Hero CPL17 Carib Beer signs up to join the Biggest Party

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) says they are delighted to welcome Carib Beer as the Official Beer of the biggest party in sport for the next three years at a launch in Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Monday evening.This year fans across the Caribbean can relish specially themed ‘tailgating’ parties, which will hype up the colour and carnival atmosphere off the field even further.Welcoming the announcement, Damien O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer of the Hero CPL, said: “Carib are passionate about this partnership and they are an innovative and socially aware company who have strong core values, such as leadership, accountability and going the extra mile, which are also a big part of the Hero CPL’s own values. Carib Beer has a long-standing association as the number one beer in the Caribbean and we are delighted to team up together for the next three years. We believe that this association will enable both brands to ramp up the biggest party in sport this summer, in this, the Hero CPL’s fifth year.”Ian MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer at Carib Brewery, said: “The importance of cricket to Caribbean people is beyond doubt and at Carib Brewery we have, over the years been at the forefront of supporting local, regional, cultural, sporting, charitable and social activities throughout the diaspora. Carib beer and cricket are firmly rooted in the way of life of our people and with T20 being the most exciting form of modern day cricket, it gives us great pleasure to come on board as the Official Beer of the Hero CPL.”Headquartered in Trinidad, Carib is established across the Caribbean and overseas and will work together with the tournament’s marketing and sponsorship team this summer to deliver outstanding fan-centred events around the various stadia, with the exception of Providence in Guyana which has not been included in the themed parties.Since its inception in 2013, the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is a franchise-based T20 format cricket tournament that combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. Over 149 million fans watched the 2016 season, combining broadcast and digital viewership, to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. Jamaica Tallawahs are the current Hero CPL champions and the other competing teams are Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Trinbago Knight Riders. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCatch a year’s supply of Carib Beer at CPL finalAugust 31, 2019In “Local News”Hero MotorCorp extends title sponsorship of CPL for 3 yearsAugust 28, 2019In “latest news”Hero MotoCorp extends Title Sponsorship of Hero CPL until 2018May 31, 2016In “Sports” read more

GPF mourning loss of officer who succumbed to accident injuries

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice Sergeant critical after slamming into parked lorry at HerstellingDecember 10, 2018In “Crime”Police Constable dies following accident in BerbiceMay 19, 2017In “latest news”GPF seeking public’s assistance in identifying fatal accident victimJuly 12, 2018In “Crime” The Guyana Police Force (GPF) is  mourning the death of Sergeant 16542 Joseph Elton Ambrose who was involved in an accident on Herstelling Public Road, East Bank Demerara on Sunday last but succumbed to his injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation around 01:00h on Thursday.Dead: Sergeant Joseph Elton AmbroseAccording to the Police, Sergeant Ambrose who was married and the father of two joined the Force on January 11, 1995.“The always pleasant, respected, dedicated and committed policeman was on 500 days accumulated vacation leave which commenced on April 9” said the Force.A autopsy is expected to be conducted on Friday.The GPF has extended condolences to the family, relatives and friends. read more

PNC wants Ramjattan as PM candidate so yes men AFC will

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAFC awaiting NEC meeting to decide on Nagamootoo’s fate as PMJanuary 23, 2019In “latest news”Will Ramotar lead the PPP into the next elections? – PPP yet to decideJanuary 7, 2015In “Politics”No discussion yet on APNU’s Presidential Candidate – GrangerJanuary 9, 2015In “Politics” General Secretary of the PPP/C Dr Bharrat JagdeoLeader of the Opposition, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is asserting that Chairman of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan will more than likely be selected as the Prime Ministerial (PM) candidate to contest the upcoming General and Regional Elections with the coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).Jagdeo made the disclosure at his weekly press briefing on Thursday stating that the selection was reportedly made based on recommendations from the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R).According to the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary AFC will once again confirm to its “Yes Man” status and give the PNC what they want.“AFC this weekend will select its Prime Ministerial candidate… I will not be surprised if Ramjattan emerges as the Prime Ministerial candidate…that’s what PNC wants” Jagdeo said further.Minister of Public Security, Khemraj RamjattanRamjattan at the press conference on Wednesday said that the matter is expected to come up this weekend at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).“We’re not there at this stage in relation to that. All of that will have to be decided at national congress,” Ramjattan said when he was asked whether incumbent PM Moses Nagamootoo will return alongside David Granger as the Presidential Candidate of the APNU+AFC coalition at the upcoming polls.In accordance with the 2015 ‘deal’ in the form of a Cummingsburg Accord between the two parties, AFC will have the Prime Ministerial position while the Presidential post goes to A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).On Monday, President Granger was endorsed by his party, the PNC/R, to run for a second term. In fact, the PNC/R – the larger partner in five-party APNU – officially threw its support behind its leader via a letter from General Secretary Amna Ally.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Thursday told reporters that the consensus among the five parties that makes up APNU is that Granger will return as the presidential candidate.AFC has already indicated a willingness to support Granger as the Presidential candidate. read more