Could it be that Darren Sharper, the charismatic former NFL safety, was a serial rapist? As bizarre as that might seem, law enforcement officials around the country are painting an ugly picture of the former Pro Bowl player.NBC News reported that Sharper turned himself in to police late Thursday night in Los Angeles, after a warrant was issued for his arrest earlier in the day in New Orleans.An acquaintance of Sharper’s, Erik Nunez, also is facing two charges of aggravated rape in the incident, which police in Louisiana said occurred at an apartment on Sept. 23, 2013. Nunez was booked on two counts of rape Friday morning in New Orleans.Earlier this month, Sharper was charged with seven felonies in Los Angeles related to cases in which he is accused of drugging and raping two women he met at nightclubs. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.Sharper also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona.If convicted in California, Sharper could face more than 30 years in state prison. If convicted of aggravated rape in Louisiana, both Sharper, 38, and Nunez, 26, would face life imprisonment.Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Green Bay Packers as a rookie and a second with the New Orleans Saints. He retired after the 2010 season, having played 14 years in the NFL, and is an analyst for NFL Network, which has suspended him indefinitely without pay.
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. The Los Angeles Clippers announced Tuesday that All-Star forward Blake Griffin has sprained his MCL and could be out for two months. On this week’s show (Nov. 30, 2017), Neil, Chris and Kyle break down how this could affect the once-promising team and whether there’s any hope for the rest of the Clippers’ season. On Monday, the Memphis Grizzlies fired head coach David Fizdale after the team lost eight straight games. The news took the league by surprise, with many players and coaches speaking out against the firing. We take a look at why Fizdale was fired now and which other coaches might be in trouble. Plus, a small-sample-size segment on the Portland Trail Blazers.Here are links to what we discussed this week:Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.Over at The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor asked, “Where do the Grizzlies go from here?”Kyle took a look at the NBA’s best defenders. Embed Code By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner
The No. 19 Ohio State women’s lacrosse team faced the No. 18 Penn State Nittany Lions Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes fell to American Lacrosse Conference rivals Penn State, 18-12. But for the Buckeyes it was a tale of two halves. The Buckeyes jumped out to an early start in the first half as they were 9-6 with less than two minutes to go, with five unanswered goals. But the Nittany Lions also came out firing and over-shot OSU 17-15. But this did not overwhelm OSU goalie Annie Carruthers who had 11 saves in the game. “To prepare for a team like Penn State, we look at patterns they have when shooting and put more pressure on them,” Carruthers said. “I know I look a lot at where they shoot, and if they’ve been going for one spot, I overemphasize that.” Carruthers leads the ALC in saves per game with 12.2. Although PSU overshot the Buckeyes, OSU lead 9-7 at the half. Alayna Markwordt, Brittney Zerhusen and Gabby Capuzzi, went into halftime with two goals apiece. In the second half, the Nittany Lions came back with a purpose, as they took their first lead since early in the game, 13-10 with more than 19 minutes to play. OSU’s Jayme Beard’s goal at 17:38 was one of only three goals for the Buckeyes in the second half. Zerhusen had three goals in the game but still felt OSU didn’t get to the ball as often as it should have. “I think every year with Penn State it’s a tough battle, no matter how each of our seasons are going,” Zerhusen said. “When it comes down to it, you have to have possession of the ball. We just couldn’t get the possession off the draw. That was a definite game-changer that we’re going to have to work on.” At the end of the game, PSU overshot OSU 38-23, while OSU had 13 turnovers to PSU’s 11. “It was hard to come back when we didn’t have the ball on our sticks. It was frustrating because we did it in the first half,” Coach Sue Stimmel said. Ohio State will face Notre Dame Thursday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 5 p.m.
Ohio State’s fourth-ranked rushing defense will face perhaps its biggest challenge of the season Saturday night when it looks to slow Wisconsin’s solid ground game, which features bruising running back John Clay. With 692 rushing yards and nine touchdowns through the season’s first six games, Clay is Wisconsin’s most dangerous weapon and has played himself into Heisman consideration. At 248 pounds, he will be the biggest feature running back the Buckeyes have seen in quite some time. “He doesn’t even look like a running back. He’s a linebacker,” Cameron Heyward said at Tuesday’s weekly press conference. “He’s so explosive and you don’t even know it, but sometimes the team can be feeling down and he makes one big play and he can turn around the game.” Coach Jim Tressel said the defense must also be prepared for the Badgers’ other running back, James White, who counterbalances Clay’s power-running style with his speed. White, at a more standard 198 pounds, has rushed for 485 yards and eight touchdowns this season. “Obviously, John Clay is extraordinary, but you bring in that tempo-change guy and all of a sudden, he hits you with that different type look and I think it’s a great look,” Tressel said. Wisconsin averages nearly 241 rushing yards a game, good for 11th in the country, while the Buckeyes only allow an average of 78.7 yards on the ground. OSU’s defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 29 games. “I think (White) is a little more shifty, but he can be explosive as well,” Heyward said. “It’s going to be critical of us to contain both of them. It’s going to be a hard task and it’s not just going to be one guy, it’s going to take the whole team to just swarm to the ball.” Heyward said the OSU defense will have to remain disciplined and react well to play action. Clay has averaged more than 122 yards rushing in Badger wins, while only rushing for 80 yards in the team’s loss to Michigan State. Last year at Ohio Stadium, OSU held Clay to 59 yards on 20 carries in the Buckeyes’ 31-13 win. “They have tremendous team speed,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said on the Big Ten’s weekly conference call. “Some teams have fast linebackers or fast defensive backs. They have fast everything.” Tressel said that aside from being a good power-running team, Wisconsin’s offensive coaching staff has done a good job in being creative with its play calling. But just like any other Big Ten game, they both agree the contest will be won with line play up front. “I think all games are won on the offensive and defensive line,” Heyward said. “In the summer and spring we emphasized if we win every battle in the trenches, we’ll have a great chance of winning.”
At 6-foot-4-inches tall and 313 pounds, Bryant Browning doesn’t look like the typical scholar, but when he’s not opening running lanes or protecting the quarterback, he’s making the grade. A three-year starter on the offensive line, and one of six team captains, Browning has been named a semi-finalist for the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, commonly known as the Academic Heisman. “I’m definitely honored. It’s a very prestigious award,” Browning said. “I like the recognition that you worked hard till the end throughout your college career.” As a fifth-year marketing major and Big Ten All-Academic athlete, Browning’s education has always been very important to him. “When I first started playing sports my parents and grandparents always reminded me that school came first,” Browning said. “I had an older brother that always did well in school while he played sports, so I guess I always tried to follow behind him and always tried to keep my grades up and do the best I can.” The valedictorian of his graduating class, Browning played at Cleveland Glenville High School, where he was an All-State offensive lineman and helped lead Glenville to the regional finals in both his junior and senior years. With Glenville being known for producing high-caliber football players like Ted Ginn Jr. and Troy Smith, Browning was initially overshadowed by two of his high school teammates Ray Small and Robert Rose. “I don’t know, I feel that coming from Glenville we all have a lot of talent,” Browning said. “Personally I felt that if I came in to Ohio State with an open mind and was willing to work, that things were going to be fine.” Browning was redshirted his freshman year while Small and Rose saw early playing time. Though as time went on, Browning became a starter in his third year while Small and Rose never realized their full potential and fell out of the lime light. Having always won a Big Ten Championship and been undefeated against Michigan in his four years here, Browning still has a lot of unfinished business. “I want to win another Big Ten championship, beat Michigan again, and also go undefeated and win a national championship,” Browning said. “I had a taste of it my first couple years here, but never really got all the way through with it.” Browning said that his years at OSU have gone by too fast, and that he hopes he left a legacy here. “I guess if there’s one thing, I’d like to be remembered as a great teammate,” Browning said. “Someone who cared about the younger players and tried to teach them things whenever possible, a guy who you could always come to and count on when things weren’t going great for you.” After his playing days at OSU are over, Browning wants to try and play in the NFL, but says that if that doesn’t work out he may try to go to graduate school in marketing or law school. “I just hope to have a successful life in anything I try to do,” Browning said. “I just know that I have to be willing to work at it if I want things to turn out the right way.”
Tiger Woods is one shot back of the lead after two rounds at the Memorial Tournament at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin Ohio. Woods followed up his Thursday round of 70, with a 3-under 69 Friday, trailing leader Rory Sabbatini by one stroke. The field was plagued with windy conditions throughout the day after a rain delay that exceeded 90 minutes. “I’m pleased with the wayI played today,” Woods said. “I missed a couple out there, but overall I knew in these conditions to shoot something in the 60s was going to be a pretty good effort.” Former world No. 1 player Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the tournament after shooting a 7-over 79 Friday. It’s his eighth career missed cut as a professional, matching the total from Wood’s career. “I don’t feel like the scores are actually reflecting how I’m hitting the ball,” McIlroy, who’s score of 150 was three shots over the cutline, said.”I was able to string nine good holes together yesterday. I just need to keep working on it and try and string 18 good holes together.” Spencer Levin and Scott Stallings are tied with Woods for second atop the leaderboard. Jim Furyk and Daniel Summerhays are currently two back of the lead at 4-under. Furyk said the dramatic change in weather between Thursday and Friday made the play difficult to adjust to. “It was perfect yesterday, and today was quite tough,” Furyk said. “I think it was good that we missed the rain in the morning, but we also probably got a lot more wind this afternoon.” Woods said the tournament is far from over though. “We’ve got a long way to go,” Woods, who has won the Memorial four times in his career, said. “Obviously, (a win) would be nice. But we’ve still got a half a golf tournament to play.”
Ohio State’s football team will be playing for a championship this year after all. Sort of. Despite NCAA sanctions that have barred the program from playing in the Big Ten Championship game and a postseason bowl, the Buckeyes are eligible to win the Leaders Division title and the trophy that comes with it. Big Ten Conference Scott Chipman confirmed that, “the team (or teams) that finish in first place in the Leaders Division will be considered the Leaders Division Champion and would receive a trophy.” Consequently, in a situation where OSU wins their division championship, the conference would officially recognize and reward the Buckeyes for such a feat. OSU, however, is still ineligible to actually play in the Big Ten Championship – even if they were to capture the Leaders Division crown. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said the development was news to him during a Wednesday press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. “Yeah, I don’t even – that’s the first I’ve heard something like that,” Meyer said. While Meyer, who won his debut at OSU against Miami (Ohio), 56-10, last Saturday, said there would be little talk of the matter inside the Buckeyes’ locker room, he did say it could serve potentially as motivation for the team later. “I think somewhere at the point in November or something, yeah, I think that’ll be interesting,” the first-year coach said. OSU is scheduled to play Central Florida Saturday at noon in Ohio Stadium.
While the Ohio State men’s basketball team’s game against No. 2 Michigan didn’t tip off until Sunday, some students started camping out as early as Friday morning. After all, it was the surest way to get the best seats possible, they said. “We got here at 1:30 in the morning to make sure we were here first,” said Marcus Otte, a first-year in exercise science. Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Members of the men’s team paid a visit to the students gathered outside the arena Saturday afternoon, and were given a box of Buckeye Donuts by freshman guard Amedeo Della Valle. The gathered students, who dubbed their tent city with a sign that read, “MATTARITAVILLE,” even took a photo with the men’s team. The team wasn’t the only group of people to take notice of the students, either. “A cop showed up around 10 a.m. (Friday) and asked us what we were here for too,” Otte said. The officer nor the rain showers that passed through campus Friday morning, were not enough cause for the students to pack up and head home, though. “The wind was blowing pretty hard this morning and all the water was going to my side of the tent,” said Benjamin Kleppel, a second-year in business. “I took my second tent out around 5 or 6 a.m. just so I wouldn’t get wet.” In fact, camping out is something that some of the students hope will become a regular occurrence. “My uncle works at Duke so I see those students camping out for every game and want to do it too,” said Jake Johnson, a second-year in business education. “I plan on pretty much doing it the second half of the season and for most of the weekend games.” Otte said employees of the Schottenstein Center were shocked to see students camping out two days prior to the game. “Some guy came out here because he didn’t believe it,” Otte said. “It’s my first game doing this, so I’m staying here the whole time and they better get used to it.” A security guard at the venue opened the building every two hours to let the students in so they could use the bathroom. Otte brought food with him. “I grabbed like five of these subs from campus before I came here today to stock up,” he said. “I know I’ll need it.” The group also set up a series of extension cords to the power outlets on the side of the building in order to charge their electronics and pump up air mattresses inside their tents. “It’s always fun to show support,” Kleppel said. “Even though we are not undefeated this year, we are still good, and it is a big game.”
Freshman running back Dontre Wilson answers questions during Ohio State’s football media day August 11.Going into the 2007 BCS National Championship game, Ohio State was undefeated, the consensus No. 1 team in America and heavily favored to beat Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators for college football’s ultimate prize.Coming out of the title game the Buckeyes were outmatched, overpowered and more than anything else, slow, losing to the Gators 41-14.A longtime weakness of the Big Ten has been its inability to match the speed of teams from the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12.Since Meyer’s return to his home state of Ohio to head the OSU football program, speed has become a focus of the No. 2 ranked Buckeyes in fall camp.Young players like freshman running back Dontre Wilson have been the talk of Columbus since practices started, showing off blazing speed that Meyer thinks this incoming freshman class can add to an already quick team.“Well the ‘06 team did that at Florida. The ‘06 team injected a bunch of speed and playmakers into that 2006 team. I see very similar qualities,” Meyer said. “You look again and you see what number that is and I feel like same way on offense. I feel a little bit of a jolt that’s really going to help us.”At an OSU Media Day, Wilson said he was in a new situation coming into a team and not being the fastest player on the field.“I don’t know, I could probably say that right now about (Bradley) Roby. I don’t know me and him haven’t raced or anything like that yet,” Wilson said of who he thought was the fastest on the team. “I’ve been pretty much one of the fastest players on each of the teams I’ve played on.”Junior wide receiver Evan Spencer was a big part of the offense last season, finishing fourth on the team in both receptions and yards, but has seen a vast improvement in the team’s second year under Meyer’s system.Spencer said he’s confident the team knows its playbook so far.“We’ve still got a lot of tricks up our sleeve and a lot of concepts that we didn’t put in, but in terms of the base core stuff that we’ve got in, everybody’s got it down (pat) and that’s what’s helping us play fast,” he said.Spencer said speed is going to be a big part of his team’s success this year.“Team speed is going to help us win games. I welcome all the speed that we can get, (it will) help us win as many games as possible.”An aspect of Meyer’s system at Florida that the offense did not given much attention last season was the H-Back role, played by a speedy player who has the ability to line up at running back or receiver. The position was made famous by Percy Harvin in his time with the Gators.Redshirt senior running back Jordan Hall was expected to fill the position in 2012, but a freak injury sustained prior to the season coupled with a injuring his right knee during OSU’s 17-16 victory at Michigan State forced him to sit out of all but three games. His return in 2013 should add to an already potent offense.“It’s a lot faster, our tempo’s faster, everything’s clicking,” Hall said. “Everyone knows what they’re doing and that’s when everyone is playing at their best. It’s going to be a fast offense with fast players.”The players aren’t the only ones seeing a difference so far this fall, as the coaches are taking note of the team’s growth in speed.Running backs coach Stan Drayton said he’s excited to open up the playbook more this season and take advantage of a faster group of players.“Urban and I had a conversation about this a few days ago, just in passing. We feel like given the talent we have now we can finally get this thing clicking on all cylinders,” Drayton said. “We’ve got speed, we’ve got some depth at some critical positions right now from a skills standpoint on offense and we’ve got a quarterback that is very knowledgeable of what it is we’re asking him to do.”Meyer is excited for the team to show off its speed in the season opener against Buffalo Aug. 31.“We’re faster. I hope you see that in three weeks. We’re a faster team,” Meyer said.
The Buckeyes line up prior to taking the field for warmups before the Ohio State-Nebraska game on Oct. 14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State benefitted from four top-10 teams losing in Week 7, with the Buckeyes moving up three spots to No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll following their 56-14 victory at Nebraska Saturday night.Ohio State’s next opponent, Penn State in Week 9, elevated to No. 2 in the country following its bye week. Wisconsin joined the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes in the top 10 as the Badgers were ranked No. 5 following a win against Purdue Saturday.Michigan and Michigan State are ranked 18th and 19th after securing victories at Indiana and Minnesota, respectively. Ohio State matches up with the Spartans on Nov. 11 and heads to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on the Wolverines in a season-ending game on Nov. 25.No. 2 Clemson, No. 5 Washington and No. 8 Washington State all lost to unranked opponents on the road last week and dropped to No. 6, 12 and 15, respectively.Alabama remained No. 1 in the country, receiving all first-place votes. Georgia moved from No. 4 to No. 3 due to Clemson’s loss. TCU is ranked fourth to round out the top five. Miami (Fl.), Oklahoma and Oklahoma State moved into the top 10.AP PollAlabama (61)Penn StateGeorgiaTCUWisconsin Ohio State Clemson Miami (Fl.)Oklahoma Oklahoma State USCWashington Notre Dame Virginia TechWashington State South FloridaNorth Carolina State Michigan State MichiganUCFAuburn StanfordWest VirginiaLSUMemphis
Ohio State freshman forward Kaleb Wesson (34) looks to drive in the second half of the game against Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Mar. 2 in Madison Square Garden. Ohio State lost 68-69. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 5 Ohio State has faced No. 4 Gonzaga before and it did not end well for the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs handed first-year head coach Chris Holtmann his first loss at the helm of the Buckeyes in what is still the largest loss of the season, an 86-59 defeat.Both teams have come a long way since then. Ohio State lost two of its next three games, but then finished the season going 19-4 in the remaining 23 games. Gonzaga, on the other hand, lost its next game against Florida, but finished the regular season with a 27-4 record and claimed both the West Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships.Projected Starters:GonzagaG — Josh Perkins — Junior, 6-foot-3, 190 lbs., 12.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.3 apgG — Silas Melson — Senior, 6-foot-4, 194 lbs., 9.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Zach Norvell — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 205 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Killian Tillie — Sophomore, 6-foot-10, 210 lbs., 13.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 apgC — Johnathan Williams — Senior, 6-foot-9, 228 lbs., 13.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.6 apgOhio StateG — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apgG — Kam Williams — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.7 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.8 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 19.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.7 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 10.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.1 apgScouting GonzagaGonzaga has everything that gives Ohio State trouble. It is a team with a significant size advantage that can score from 3 if it needs to and relies on strong post play with big, athletic guards who shoot well. For those reasons, Ohio State was unable to even come remotely close to the Bulldogs in its early season loss. Aside from center, where freshman Kaleb Wesson has a 42-pound advantage over senior Johnathan Williams, Gonzaga is bigger at every position in the starting lineups. The physicality and size advantage is part of the reason the matchup last time was not close.Typically this season, Ohio State has been able to outscore its opponents in the paint and win the battles on the glass. But against Gonzaga, Ohio State was outscored in the paint 36-22 and outrebounded 35-31. This is not an uncommon trend for Gonzaga this season. The Bulldogs have the fifth-highest 2-point scoring success rate of any team in the country at 58.7 percent and hold opponents to a miniscule 43.7 percent rate, sixth-lowest in the nation. They have also dominated opponents on both sides of the court in rebounding, owning the sixth-highest rebounding margin in the country at plus-8.6.Gonzaga is not just a big team, however. It also possesses quite a lot of speed and athleticism. Against Ohio State, it scored nine fast-break points to the Buckeyes’ zero and converted 17 points off turnovers. This type of offense is one that could give the Buckeyes plenty of issues the second time around. Ohio State has struggled against teams with a fast-pace offense and against any team with a size advantage. Likely no player will give Ohio State more issues again than junior guard Josh Perkins. Standing 6-foot-3, he is taller than either of the Buckeyes’ starting guards and gave the team a lot of issues in the first meeting. He dropped 20 points on the Buckeyes in the last game between the teams, making 6-of-9 3s and two free throws. Though he is not quite of the same caliber as Penn State sophomore guard Tony Carr, who has combined to score 83 points in his team’s three wins against Ohio State, Perkins’ ability to both score from 3 (40.4 percent 3-point success rate) and inside (49.6 percent 2-point success rate) combined with his size and athleticism will provide the Buckeyes with a significant challenge. Where’s Wesson?For the first time this season, Wesson played fewer than 10 minutes. The freshman center logged just seven minutes in his team’s 81-73 win against South Dakota State while the team deployed a smaller lineup that leaned heavily on Wesson’s older brother, sophomore forward Andre Wesson, and a trio of guards. Wesson made his first career start against Gonzaga and fouled out after recording 25 minutes. But in his second game against the Bulldogs, he will need to be ready to give the Buckeyes even more minutes. The drastic size disadvantage for Ohio State means the team will need its biggest player to provide production in the paint if it hopes to come away with the win.The Bottom LineOhio State and Gonzaga play very similar games. Both can score from beyond the arc when they need to and both tend to dominate in the paint. But Gonzaga plays the same game significantly better than Ohio State.This Ohio State team could be better than the one that lost 86-59 to Gonzaga on Nov. 23, but this is still one of the toughest possible second-round matchups the Buckeyes could have drawn. It would be a major surprise if the Buckeyes came away with the win.Prediction:Gonzaga wins 82-68
Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio’s fourth congressional district and former assistant coach for the Ohio State wrestling team, has been accused of knowing about the sexual assaults made by former team doctor Richard Strauss, according to a report.Richard Strauss, a former wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine, is being investigated by Ohio State on allegations of sexual misconduct. Credit: Lantern file photoAn assistant coach from 1986-1994, Jordan had told the Columbus Dispatch when the investigation began he did not know about the abuse, but three former wrestlers told NBC News that Strauss’ abuse was common knowledge and that Jordan was told about the incidents while he was on staff. According to the NBC report, former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato said he reached out to Jordan before going public with his allegations. DiSabato said Jordan did not want to be involved. Dunyasha Yetts, an Ohio State wrestler from 1993-1994, told NBC he and his teammates talked multiple times to Jordan about Strauss’ behavior. However, Jordan told the Columbus Dispatch on May 3 that, “no one had reported any type of abuse to him.” In a statement made to The Lantern, Ian Fury, Jordan’s spokesman, echoed that statement. “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” the statement read. “He has not been contacted by investigators about the matter but will assist them in any way they ask, because if what is alleged is true, the victims deserve a full investigation and justice.”Ohio State announced April 5 that it would be investigating the allegations made against Strauss of “acts of sexual misconduct” as a team doctor.
“Protecting Scotland’s interests is the most important job of this Government. We must have every option available to do this and it is for that reason we are now publishing the draft referendum bill for consultation.”As in 2014, the proposed franchise for the referendum will match that for Scottish Parliament elections.”That will mean that two important groups of people would have a voice that was denied to them in the recent referendum on EU membership: 16 and 17-year-olds and citizens of EU countries who have made Scotland their home.”The paper states that the government was elected with a mandate that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there was sustained evidence that independence had become the preferred option of a majority of voters, or if there was a material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will. It proposes the same franchise as in 2014, which would see EU citizens living in Scotland and 16 and 17-year-olds able to vote.It also states that an order similar to that drawn up by Westminster and the Scottish Parliament that allowed the 2014 vote take place “would be sought and agreed” – confirming a new vote needs the UK Government’s co-operation.The consultation includes proposals for the rules governing the referendum campaign, the conduct of the poll and the counting of votes. The public consultation will last until January 11 next year.In the foreword to the document, Ms Sturgeon said the UK Government’s recent statements on its approach to leaving the EU had raised serious concerns for her government.She added: “We face unacceptable risks to our democratic, economic and social interests and to the right of the Scottish Parliament to have its say. The Scottish Government has been accused of “economic vandalism” after publishing a draft independence referendum bill that could pave the way for a snap poll on breaking-up Britain before Brexit.The document, published online with a consultation paper, suggests asking voters the same question they answered in 2014 – Should Scotland be an independent country?It does not mean a new vote will happen, but Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly warned another referendum is “highly likely” following the EU vote, and insists separation must be an option open for Scotland if it cannot stay in the single market. Downing Street dismissed the need for a re-run, with a Number 10 spokesman saying: “The Prime Minister and the Government does not believe there is a mandate for one.”He added: “There was one only two years ago. There was an extremely high turnout and there was a resounding result in favour of Scotland remaining in the UK.” The spokesman also pointed out that “both sides agreed to abide by that referendum”. 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. David Cameron and Alex Salmond meeting in 2012 to sign agreement on previous referendumCredit:EPA Scotland voted by 62 per cent to 38 per cent to remain in the EU in June, with Ms Sturgeon immediately instructing Scottish government officials to start drawing up plans for a fresh vote on independence.However, opinion polls suggest there has not been a major surge in support for separation and several senior figures in the SNP have counselled the First Minister against rushing into a new poll.Meanwhile, in the next few weeks she plans to bring forward proposals that she says could allow Scotland to remain in the Union while also staying in the single market , even if the rest of the UK leaves it.Ms Sturgeon is due to meet Theresa May in London on Monday. Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said the bill was economic vandalism, adding: “Our economy is in trouble following David Cameron’s reckless Brexit gamble, and the very last thing we need is more uncertainty for employers.“This publication confirms that the SNP’s top priority is to divide our country. My message to the First Minister is this: we are divided enough, do not divide us again.“Instead of seeking fresh divisions, the SNP should be prioritising our public services such as education and healthcare. This is a referendum that Scotland does not need or want. Nicola Sturgeon should keep the promise she made that the 2014 referendum was a once-in-a-generation vote.”The new document sets out plans for a second poll to be decided by a simple majority, as was the case in 2014 when Scotland voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent to remain in the UK. Nicola Sturgeon takes to the stage at the recent SNP conferenceCredit:Reuters
“What you could have done is acknowledge that we have put net over 200 billion sterling into this project, we’re actually shareholders…and you should be making us an offer we can’t refuse – to go.”Mr Verhofstadt tells us that we cannot discuss trade deals with any other country in the world until we have left the EU.”That has no basis in treaty laws whatsoever.”He then said these “ransom” threats were evidence the EU was acting like the Mafia.Mr Farage also said Donald Tusk, the EU council president, was probably not at the debate because he is “still crying.”The former Ukip leader fumed: “You’re behaving like the Mafia! “Already you have made a series of demands that are not just unreasonable but in some cases impossible for Britain to comply with.”You began by telling us that Britain would have to pay a bill! A cool 52 billion sterling, a figure that has clearly been plucked out of the air, effectively a ransom demand. Nigel Farage calling the European Parliament the ‘Mafia’. Are you surprised we’re not as influential as Germany? pic.twitter.com/xC5X57S17c— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) April 5, 2017 Just caught @Nigel_Farage sticking it to the #EuropeanParliament a few home truths, spectacular 👍🏻😉 🇬🇧— Derek Parrott (@Boatbaron) April 5, 2017 The chair rebuked him for his comments, saying: “Sorry Mr Farage, listen we are trying to give you a chance to speak…if you are saying this parliament is behaving like the Mafia, as far as I can understand that’s unacceptable”.Mr Farage amended his comments and said the EU was behaving like a bunch of gangsters.He said: “If you wish to have no deal, if you want to force us to move from the table, we will.”We don’t have to buy German motorcars, we don’t have to drink French wine, and we don’t have to eat Belgian chocolate. We can get these things elsewhere.”You will hurt your people and your companies if you continue down this route.”If you continue down this route it won’t just be the UK that triggers Article 50, there will be many more to come.” “You think we are a hostage! We are free to go!” Nigel Farage was rebuked by the Chair in the European Parliament after comparing the EU to the Mafia in a passionate speech.The former leader of UKIP was speaking to the Parliament as it prepared to set out its “red lines” on negotiations for a Brexit deal in Strasbourg.Mr Farage angrily accused the European Union of punishing Britain for leaving with restrictions on trade deal negotiations and a large bill.He said: “The response to the triggering of Article 50 has been all too predictable. 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. #brexit @Antonio_Tajani tells off @Nigel_Farage who just said @Europarl_EN was behaving like “the mafia” pic.twitter.com/kjOk7kMKIu— Frédérique Ries (@Frederiqueries) April 5, 2017
A blindfolded Muslim man spent hours hugging strangers on a street in Manchester after a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert. Baktash Noori wanted to “spread love, not hate” after the attack where 22 people died. 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.
Earlier this year, the Royal Horticultural Society and Defra called on holidaymakers to stop bringing plants back from their foreign holidays, warning it could bring pests and diseases to their gardens.Speaking on a topic close to his heart, the Prince has previously appeared on Countryfile and Gardeners’ Question Time, as well as guest editing Country Life magazine.Last year, he wrote of his personal battles to save the trees: “I have always been mortified by the loss of mature elm trees from almost every part of the countryside I knew and loved as a child, so I had high hopes for an American variety that appeared to be resistant to the disease. The Prince Of Wales at Sandringham Flower ShowCredit:Getty The Prince has spent nearly 40 years transforming the gardens at Highgrove from overgrown and neglected land.He will tell Gardeners’ World viewers about the steps he is taking within the Duchy of Cornwall, which covers 53,000 hectares of land across 23 British counties to avoid the spread of plant diseases and pests.He will also talk about his first-hand experience of diseases such as Dutch Elm Disease, Ash Dieback and Phytophthora Ramorum from his management of the estate.The Prince is understood to have been particularly inspired by a visit to the border force at Heathrow earlier this year, where he learned more about how experts are preventing plant-borne diseases being brought into the country. The gardens at HighgroveCredit:Getty Prince Charles shares a love of trees with his mother, the QueenCredit:BBC The programme edit, including the section of the Prince’s discussion to be broadcast, has not yet been finalised.In the show’s introduction, Frost will say: “Back in February I was invited to a meeting at Highgrove with members from across the horticultural industry to discuss the problem of pests and diseases and what could be done about them.”One of the outcomes was Action Oak – a campaign launched at the Chelsea Flower show to help protect our iconic oak.”It is made up of charities, environmental organisations and land owners who are using their combined knowledge to safeguard the beautiful trees.”Today the Prince has invited me back to Highgrove to explain why we as gardeners also need to do our bit.” Gardeners’ World favourite Monty Don “I planted an avenue of them at Highgrove and then watched, miserably, as many of them succumbed just like the native variety.”Lamenting the devastation caused by Dutch Elm Disease, he added: “The wider problem is that a great many more pests and diseases are now seriously threatening the health of all our native trees, yet public awareness of this situation seems to be frighteningly low.”The episode of Gardeners’ World will air on BBC Two at 8pm on July 18. 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 Prince of Wales is to make a star appearance on Gardeners’ World, imploring British garden lovers to “do their bit” to save native trees.The Prince, a long-term advocate of the natural world, will invite viewers into his gardens at Highgrove to investigate the twin blight of pests and diseases on the UK’s landscape.Telling viewers about his own love of gardening, and how he was introduced to his lifelong passion as a boy, he will echo the advice of experts in asking viewers to take measures to protect their own plots.Imploring them to ensure they get their plants from a reputable place, he is expected to ask amateur gardeners not to bring plants back from their own foreign holidays, to prevent introducing new disease.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The Prince, a keen gardener, will be interviewed at Highgrove by presenter Adam Frost for an special episode focusing on trees.
Since they were accidentally introduced to France in 2004, Asian hornets spread across the country into Spain and were first spotted in the UK in Gloucestershire two years ago. To date, there have been nine confirmed sightings in England and five nests have been destroyed by wildlife experts.Bee inspectors use infrared cameras and traps to locate and destroy any nests that pose a risk to domestic bees and their nests.The trust has stressed that people should follow the official guidelines on suspected cases and be aware of the threat of Asian hornets at all times.It recommends that the public should carefully photograph the insect without disturbing the nest and then submit an online sighting report to the GB Non-native Species Secretariat. Asian hornet queens are up to 3cm (1.2in) in length, while workers are up to 2.5cm (1in)Credit:Defra/PA “Our native hornets are slightly bigger, while Asian hornets tend to be smaller and of a darker colour, not yellow, especially on their thorax (middle section) and abdomens (tail section). However, it is easy to be confused, so our advice is always not to destroy a nest, but instead to report suspected sightings of Asian hornets to the NNSS, ” Mr Hussey added. Native European hornets are being ‘persecuted’ by over vigilant gardeners who are mistaking them for their invasive Asian equivalent, a wildlife trust has warned.Devon Wildlife Trust has said people have begun exterminating the European hornet (Vespa crabro) after confusing them for the predatory Asian hornet (Vespa velutina).Unlike its home-grown equivalent, the Asian species is known to wreak havoc to honeybees, with the insects routinely raiding and destroying colonies.Confirmed reports of Asian hornet nests in Devon and Cornwall have fuelled concerns among British beekeepers that the future of the honeybee is under threat.Steve Hussey, Devon Wildlife Trust spokesman said: “European hornets are a beautiful and vital part of our environment. They help us by helping to keep in check many insect species that gardeners consider to be pests. “European hornets are also struggling and their persecution is one of the factors behind this recent decline. Other countries are now urgently acting to conserve their remaining hornets; in Germany, for example, since 1987 it has been illegal to destroy a hornet nest. We need to look after our native population too.” 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 numbers of people caught carrying a bladed weapon and who are then charged with possession has fallen in nearly every constabulary over the last four years. Knife crime offenders are escaping justice in areas of Britain with some of the highest murder rates, new figures show. The analysis of Home Office data will add to claims that police are struggling to cope with the rise in violent street crime. However, many of those forces in England and Wales that have seen the sharpest decline in charge rates have also suffered some of the highest murder statistics linked to stabbings. It will also renew calls for officers to be given emergency stop and search powers to help stem the knife crime epidemic…. 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 RSPCA is under the influence of a group of radical animal rights campaigners who are pushing the 195-year-old institution to lobby for angling and horse racing to be outlawed, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal. At recent policy committee meetings vice-chairman Jane Tredgett and her allies on the RSPCA’s ruling council have steered the charity, which is patronised by the Queen, towards hardline stances against two of Britain’s most popular pastimes. However, there is mounting concern that a planned overhaul… Insiders say staff and moderate RSPCA trustees have so far successfully opposed the proposals, which it is feared would jeopardise support and funding for the charity’s animal welfare work.
Ryan Basdeo Dear Editor,In law enforcement, your only real power comes from the strength of the system. The Guyana Police Force will only be strong if the system is allowed to function. President David Granger’s instruction to the Police Service Commission did nothing else but weaken the system and he must be held accountable for the destruction of any green shoot of hope for that institution. There are clear procedures in the rule of law if an officer of the law is found to be corrupt, undisciplined or out of order. The law sets out that a tribunal can be established to investigate the allegations and disciplinary actions can be taken. But Article 212 of the Guyana Constitution clearly articulated that “…. the power to make appointments to any office in the Police Force above the rank of Inspector….” resides with the Police Service Commission; not the President. So any rookie lawyer can advise that the President’s actions violated the rule of law, were high-handed and did great harm to the Guyana Police Force.When good cops like Mr Wendell Blanhum cannot believe anymore that the system has their back so that they can do their work, when that ceases and when you come under political pressure from the Presidency, then they have two choices – become corrupt or leave the system. Both options bring great harm to the institutions of the State and this is what President Granger did to the Crime Chief when he singled him out with his irrational comments upon receiving the reports from the Chairman of the CoI into a bogus allegation of some kangaroo assassination. But more importantly, Mr Omesh Satyanand buckled to political bullyism, which is now the raison d’être of the Granger Administration. There go the crime-fighting capabilities of the Guyana Police Force thanks to President Granger himself.Regards, Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOp-Ed: Security Minister instructing Top Cop another flagrant Constitutional breachDecember 6, 2017In “Opinion”LETTER: PSC directive should be withdrawnAugust 10, 2017In “latest news”President directs PSC to halt Police promotionsAugust 8, 2017In “latest news”