World Cup Semifinal Crib Notes Brazil vs Germany

On Tuesday, Brazil and Germany kick off the World Cup semifinals, where there are no real party-crashers to be found. Including A Seleção and Die Mannschaft, four of the top five teams in the pre-Cup Elo ratings are still active in the tournament. Sorry, Spain.Brazil vs. Germany: 4 p.m. EDTIn BriefWith such evenly matched squads — and the ever-present specter of randomness — barring a huge blowout, the final four games of the World Cup are unlikely to provide much of a referendum on which side is truly the world’s best. But at the same time, the absence of a longshot entry boosts the chances that one of the remaining four teams is in fact the “true” best team in the field. More important, it also increases the odds that we’ll see a pair of exciting, close matches at the doorstep of the World Cup final.IN DEPTHBrazil was the World Cup favorite before the tournament began, and its championship chances still rank first according to the FiveThirtyEight model. Our official projections even say there’s a 73 percent probability that Brazil will beat Germany Tuesday and advance to the final. But those numbers don’t know that the gifted Brazilian striker Neymar will miss the rest of the tournament with a broken vertebra, an injury he sustained against Colombia in the quarterfinals. If we account for his absence (and that of his teammate Thiago Silva, who racked up two yellow cards and must sit out Tuesday’s match), Brazil’s chances of beating Germany drop to somewhere near 65 percent, numbers fueled in large part simply by the match’s location on Brazilian soil.To put it another way: If this game were staged at a neutral site, it would probably be close to a toss-up between Germany and Brazil-sans-Neymar-and-Silva.To a certain extent, that’s because Brazil has been far from dominant during its run to the semis. First, Mexico played it to a draw in the group phase, then it squeaked by Chile (on penalties) and Colombia in its knockout matches. Over the past month, the gap between Brazil’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) rating and that of second-ranked Argentina has been nearly sliced in half, despite the Argentines playing largely to expectation. That Brazil is still rated first in SPI owes as much to our prior beliefs about its strength as to anything it’s actually accomplished in the tournament.And Germany is a force to be reckoned with. While they haven’t consistently overwhelmed opponents with their ballyhooed offensive prowess (aside from netting six goals in their first two matches — including four against Portugal), the Germans have answered many of the defensive questions that surrounded them before the tournament began, keeping clean sheets against Portugal, the United States and France. And they’ll need to be staunch at that end of the pitch against a Brazilian team that still has plenty of firepower, even without Neymar.One major tactical storyline to keep an eye on will be the philosophical chess between the pass-heavy, possession-focused Germans and a Brazilian side still keenly interested in dribbling through the defense. Among semifinalist teams, only Argentina has maintained ball possession more often than Germany, and nobody makes more short passes per game than the Germans. Germany’s approach is to patiently work the ball into the opponent’s territory, passing it around until its players can create a high-percentage scoring opportunity. Brazil, on the other hand, loves to dribble the ball and create chances by taking on defenders in one-on-one situations.A compelling wrinkle will be how this changes without Neymar, Brazil’s most active dribbler. It’s likely that Hulk and Oscar will be asked to pick up some of the slack, but it will be interesting to see how Brazil adjusts its overall style in the absence of its most prolific offensive playmaker.On balance, Brazil should still be favored — if only because of home-field advantage. In close matches like this, officiating can play a sizable role, and there’s a good amount of research suggesting home teams get favorable treatment from the referees (perhaps more so in soccer than in other sports). In terms of ability, though, these two teams are very close to evenly matched.OFF THE PITCHBrazil and Germany have had good off-the-pitch relations for decades, particularly in the economic sphere. The Observatory of Economic Complexity has information on trade between the two countries that dates back to 1962, and shows that the two nations have been exchanging mostly the same stuff the whole time. Coffee, iron and soybeans were among the top Brazilian exports to Germany both in 1962 and in 2012.Similarly, machinery remains the top category of German exports to Brazil, although the specific products have changed over time. Metalworking and textile machinery reigned supreme in 1962, while cars and car parts took the largest shares of exports in 2012.But what’s most notable is how much these countries’ bilateral trade has grown. In 1962, Brazilian exports to Germany totaled $173 million and German exports to Brazil totaled $161 million. Trade in both directions surpassed the $1 billion mark in the 1970s, and was up to $11 billion in both directions in 2010, when both countries agreed to further strengthen their economic ties. Exports headed toward Germany have nearly doubled since, with $20 billion worth flowing out of Brazil in 2012. But it looks like Germany got the sweeter end of the deal, with Brazil buying $28 billion of its products the same year.FURTHER READINGIt’s a Huge Upset When All the World Cup Favorites WinHow Neymar’s Injury Affects Brazil’s Chances at the World Cup read more

Tiger Woods Fuming Over Brandel Chamblees Inference That He

Tiger Woods is mad. Usually, when he is in the center of a controversy, he takes the high road. He did so when Fuzzy Zoeller,  the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilgman, and Sergio Garcia all made comments that were considered bordering on racist.But Brandel Chamblee, the Golf Channel’s analyst who has made a name for being hyper-critical of Woods, has the world’s No. 1 player fuming. Why? Chamblee inferred that Woods is a cheater, the ultimate insult. And instead of brushing it off, Woods made a passive-aggressive play for the network to discipline Chamblee.“All I am going to say is that I know I am going forward,” Woods said. “But then, I don’t know what the Golf Channel is going to do or not. But then that’s up to them. The whole issue has been very disappointing, as he didn’t really apologize and he sort of reignited the whole situation.“So the ball really is in the court of the Golf Channel and what they are prepared to do.”Woods was asked about Chamblee’s article he posted for where he compared Woods’ rules infraction issues this year to him cheating on a test in school.Chamblee wrote in a article that he gave Woods an “F” for the year, the same year he was named the player of the year.He wrote: “When I was in the fourth grade, I cheated on a math test and when I got the paper back it had ‘100’ written at the top and just below the grade, was this quote: ‘Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!’ It was an oft-quoted line from the epic poem ‘Marmion’ by Sir Walter Scott, and my teacher’s message was clear. Written once more beneath that quote was my grade of ‘100,’ but this time with a line drawn through it and beneath that an F. I never did ask my teacher how she knew I cheated and I certainly didn’t protest the grade. I knew I had done the wrong thing and my teacher the right, but I never forgot the way I felt when I read that quote.“I remember when we only talked about Tiger’s golf. I miss those days. He won five times and contended in majors and won the Vardon Trophy and … how shall we say this … was a little cavalier with the rules.”Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg hinted at actual legal action because of the idea that Woods bends the rules when he’s on the golf course. Steinberg was with Woods in China and said the Golf Channel should reprimand Chamblee, even if he didn’t make the comments during a Golf Channel broadcast.“I’m all done talking about it, and it’s now in the hands of the Golf Channel,” Steinberg said. “That’s Tiger’s view and that’s mine, and all we want to do is move forward. And whether the Golf Channel moves forward as well, then we’ll have to wait and see.”To this point, the Golf Channel has not commented on Chamblee’s column. read more

Hokeys historic night gives OSU hockey split

Even with freshman forward Hokey Langan’s record-tying Friday night, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team ended the weekend with a split against Bemidji State.Senior co-captain Rachel Davis said the Buckeyes’ first goal by Langan Friday caused a momentum shift where, “you could just see the other team sink back a little bit.”Langan’s first goal transpired with 1:26 left on the clock in the first period Friday. From a line change, Langan skated up the ice and received a crisp pass from sophomore forward Natalie Spooner. Langan wound up, shot and scored top shelf, sending the BSU goalie’s water bottle soaring into the air.Langan tied the OSU single-game records for most goals and points with four and five, respectively.Sophomore defenseman Kelly Wild scored the third goal of the night, while senior Raelyn LaRocque had three assists. Spooner and sophomore Laura McIntosh each had two assists on the night.The Buckeyes skated away with 42 shots on goal and a 5-2 victory leading into Saturday’s game.But the momentum wasn’t there Saturday as the Buckeyes lost 1-0 to the Beavers. Even with 38 shots on goal, BSU goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova, “made a difference,” OSU coach Jackie Barto said. Tomcikova will compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics as a member of the Slovakian National Team.It was a battle of the defenses with countless shots deflected by the sticks and bodies of BSU players, and OSU freshman goaltender Chelsea Knapp, who saved 32 shots for the Buckeyes.“We weren’t as consistent between the games as we’d like to be, so we have to play like we did the first game all the time,” Knapp said. “Tonight we weren’t really getting as many shots through as we would have liked.”The only goal came at 10:07 in the third period. With just less than one minute left in a BSU power play, Knapp made two quick stops. But a backside rebound by BSU’s Emily Erickson put it in the net for the Beavers to lead 1-0 midway through the third period.Power plays and penalty kills were abundant with seven OSU and nine BSU penalties Saturday.But it was Spooner’s penalty for “embellishment” in the second period that set off an eruption of excessive jeers from Buckeye fans and parents. A new rule approved for NCAA men’s and women’s hockey July 2, 2008, embellishment is called in conjunction with an opponent’s penalty as an exaggeration of the offense committed by the opponent.With a first period that lacked flow and a second period filled with unforced turnovers, the Buckeyes worked hard in the third.“We struggled at it tonight,” Barto said. “We had a good third, but it’s hard to keep that energy and momentum up.”Saturday’s game was the sixth game this season where Knapp has made 30 or more saves, and it was the second time the Buckeyes were shut out.Ohio State moves to 12-10-4 overall and 9-9-2-0 in the WCHA. The Buckeyes continue their home series against defending NCAA champion Wisconsin Jan. 29 at 7:07 p.m. in the Ohio State Ice Rink. read more

Luke Fickell trying to create discomfort to motivate linebackers

Then-freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan (5) closes in on Michigan then-redshirt-senior quarterback Devin Gardner (98) during a game on November 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWith a defense that returns two of its three starting linebackers from a national championship team, the learning process is now over.For the most part.The Ohio State football team returns senior linebacker Joshua Perry and redshirt-sophomore Darron Lee to the starting lineup for the Buckeyes in 2015, but sophomore Raekwon McMillan is set to make his first appearance as a full-time starter at middle linebacker in the upcoming season.Perry, who led the Buckeyes in tackling during their title run, said he has seen McMillan improve in more ways than one as he transitions into a starting role.“He is different in terms of how he has matured physically. Mentally, he is a little bit different too,” Perry said. “He is making a big push and we really do need him to be a great player and a great leader because of what Curtis (Grant) did last year. His development is coming along definitely.”McMillan registered 54 tackles in his freshman campaign in Columbus, and said the support from Perry and Lee has helped with his development as a leader.“The guys beside me, Josh and Darron, they put trust in me all the time. When we are on the field, I feel like those guys trust me so anything I say, we’re all on the same page together,” McMillan said. “And (co-defensive coordinator and linebackers) coach (Luke Fickell) has trust in all three of us on the field.”Lee, who was just a three-star recruit coming out of high school, where he also played quarterback, said the camaraderie among the linebackers is great, even with McMillan taking on such a big role in a veteran-laden unit.“Me and Raekwon have a great relationship. I have so much respect for him and he’s got so much respect for me,” Lee said. “He was a five-star (recruit). We call him the chosen one, just to mess with him.”The trio is set to anchor a defense that returns five other starters from the championship team.Fickell said motivating a team that has already reached the pinnacle is a challenge, especially with younger players like McMillan who have known only success at OSU.“We have got to find a way that we can create some discomfort so that you can continue to grow. That’s one thing about that never-satisfied attitude,” Fickell said. “The Joshua Perrys of the world saw the struggles of Curtis Grant and they saw the struggles that we went through for a couple years. Some of those guys like Raekwon and others haven’t seen those struggles.”Motivating McMillan has been a point of emphasis for Fickell, who said he is trying to motivate the Hinesville, Ga., native in “any way possible.”McMillan, though, said the current defensive squad is even more hungry to improve now than it was last season coming off a loss in the Orange Bowl.“This year, we have worked harder to start off in spring because we have been to the top. A team coming off a loss in the first round of the playoffs probably is not feeling as good,” McMillan said. “But us, coming off a national championship win, we feel like we got to exceed what we did last year and become a better team.”For the current linebackers to continue to be successful, Fickell said there is one quality he has seen in linebacker groups from the past that he tries to instill in his current group.“When you’ve got a great unit, you’ve got great competition,” Fickell said. “You look back and evaluate the units that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of here in the past. The biggest thing about them was the competitive nature and the competitiveness of the guys behind them that pushed them and made them better.”The Buckeyes will likely continue to push each as spring practice is set to continue through April 18, which is the scheduled date for the annual Spring Game held at Ohio Stadium and the end of spring practice.McMillan’s first official start is set to come against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Va., when the Buckeyes open the 2015 regular season. read more

Bears fishing and a childrens party Everything we know about William and

first_imgAfter taking part in the BC Government’s ‘Taste of British Columbia’ festival at Mission Hill Winery, the Duke and Duchess will fly to Whitehorse, Yukon to meet the Canadian Rangers, the military branch that provides a presence in the north of the country. The evening will be spent watching a cultural performance at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre before the couple stay overnight in Whitehorse.Wednesday, September 28: Whitehorse and Carcross, YukonThe morning begins with a visit to the MacBride Museum, where the Duke and Duchess will learn about Yukon’s history. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited the telegraph office, now part of the museum, in 1959.After a colourful party on Main Street in Whitehorse, showcasing local artists and craftsmen, the royals will head to Carcross, a small town of less than 300 people 70km from Whitehorse on the Klondike Highway, to meet the locals. After that it’s on to Montana Mountain, a stunning mountain biking hot-spot before making their way back to Victoria.Thursday, September 29: Victoria, British ColumbiaIt’s likely George and Charlotte will make an appearance today at a children’s party in Government House with military families.  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. Highlights of the tripThe trip features formal elements like a ceremonial welcome at British Columbia Parliament Buildings, events mirroring their charitable concerns like mental health, and relaxed engagements reflecting their interest in the natural world and outdoor pursuits.Highlights of the trip will see William and Kate go fishing on Haida Gwaii – an archipelago of some 450 islands off the British Columbia coast – when they visit members of the Skidegate Youth Centre. While on the islands they will travel in a canoe and receive a traditional welcome from the area’s Haida people.The Cambridges will also visit British Colombia’s Great Bear Rainforest – the world’s largest temperate rainforest.As a contrast in Vancouver at the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia they will meet some of the thousands of Syrian refuges who have arrived from UNHCR camps and at a separate event learn more about an outreach programme providing health and social services support to pregnant women and mothers with drug and alcohol issues.Tour outline day-by-daySaturday, September 24: Victoria, British Columbia After dropping their bags at Government House, the Duke and Duchess will make their way to British Columbia’s Parliament buildings and pay their respects at Victoria’s Cenotaph, unveiling a new plaque paying tribute to the veterans of Canada’s involvement in the Afghanistan conflict.Then their formal welcome to Canada begins with a guard of honour and speeches before returning to Government House to meet Canadian leaders. When are they going?The family will arrive in Canada on Saturday, September 24, touching down at Victoria Airport on a Royal Canadian Air Force plane. They will fly back to Britain on Saturday, October 1st.There are more than 30 engagements planned along the way as the couple visit five communities in British Columbia – Victoria, Vancouver, Haida Gwaii, Bella Bella, and Kelowna, and two communities in Yukon – Whitehorse and Carcross.Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau invited the whole family to visit in July. William and Kate will fly to Canada this weekend with Prince George, aged three, and 16-month-old Princess Charlotte, spending eight days travelling around British Columbia.The tour will see them take in everything from the bustling global city of Vancouver – population 2.5 million – to the remote and beautiful Bella Bella, home to less than 2,000 people. It comes five years after their honeymoon trip to the largest Commonwealth realm as newly-weds in 2011. Canada’s Globe And Mail has described the up-coming tour as a “match made in paparazzi heaven, featuring Prince William, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and their equally telegenic families”.Here’s everything we know about what the Cambridges will be up too in the wilderness of west Canada. An aerial view of the stunning Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia.Credit:Rex/Shutterstock Sunday, September 25: Vancouver, British ColumbiaThe Duke and Duchess travel from Victoria to Vancouver by float plane where they will be welcomed in Jack Poole Plaza located by the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, named after the late Jack Poole, who was a key player behind the success of the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics held in Vancouver. After that, the couple will visit Sheway, a charity that helps mothers battling addiction and other issues, followed by the Immigration Services Society of British Columbia where they will meet Syrian refugees taken in by Canada.Later, there will be an event to celebrate young leaders in Canadian arts, music, sport, charity, business, and film. and finally a meeting with first responders at the Kitsilano Coastguard Station in Vanier Park.Monday, September 26: Bella Bella and Great Bear Rainforest, British ColumbiaThe Duke and Duchess head to the Great Bear Rainforest – the world’s largest temperate rainforest, located on the Central Coast of British Columbia – for an aerial tour by float plane before being welcomed by the Heiltsuk First Nations community in Bella Bella. After a tour of the community centre by young people, they will travel to nearby Mcloughlin Bay where they will see one of the new walking trails, before returning to Victoria for an evening reception at Government House.Tuesday, September 27: Kelowna, British Columbia and Whitehorse, YukonToday, the couple fly to Kelowna, a city in the Okanagan Valley where they will visit the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia, meeting students and watching the campus’ nationally ranked women’s volleyball team in action. How big is their entourage? William and Kate will be joined by an entourage of 12 – three private secretaries, a four-strong communications team, tour secretary, operations manager, personal assistant, and – paid for privately – a hairdresser and nanny Maria Borrallo.Kate’s hairdresser is likely to be Amanda Cook Tucker who has accompanied the Duchess on all her recent tours abroad, and was one of the first people to visit the Duchess in hospital after the births of her two children.  Where will they stay?The famous Royals will be based in Government House, Victoria. throughout their stay. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and was named after William’s great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. It is likely their children will remain in the city when they travel to engagements. Naikoon Provincial Park, Haida Gwaii Masset, British Columbia Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia. Naikoon Provincial Park, Haida Gwaii Masset, British Columbia.Credit:REX/Shutterstock Meet the Trudeaus…Mr Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau have three children – eight-year-old Xavier, seven-year-old Ella-Grace and two-year-old Hadrien.Former school teacher-turned-politician Mr Trudeau was elected last year, ending almost 10 years of Conservative rule in Canada.The Liberal leader once fought and won a charity boxing match against a Canadian Conservative senator in 2012. He also did a striptease down to his vest for charity in 2011 and has a tattoo of planet Earth inside a Haida raven on his left bicep.Earlier this year, he became the first Canadian prime minister to march in a gay pride parade and also performed one-armed press ups to demonstrate his country’s readiness for the Invictus Games. Friday, September 30: Haida Gwaii, British ColumbiaThe penultimate day of the trip will be spent at Haida Gwaii, the remote archipelago on the northern coast of British Columbia that is home to the Haida Nation.The couple will get the chance to paddle in a canoe to the beach at the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum, before an address by the President of the Haida Nation and cultural performance from local children.Then they will open the Haida Gwaii Hospital and Care Centre, which has transformed medical provision on the islands before joining youth from the Skidegate Youth Centre for a fishing trip.Saturday October 1: Victoria, British ColumbiaA busy final day for the Duke and Duchess. First up is a visit to the Cridge Centre for the Family – one of Victoria’s most well-known charitable institutions which provides a range of services, including support for women who have experienced domestic violence.Next it’s meeting families that have been supported by the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, one of British Columbia’s leading mental health charities, before they board a tall-ship operated by the Sail and Life Training Society, a charity that uses the power of sailing to give young people skills and direction in their lives.In the afternoon the couple will take part in an official departure ceremony at Victoria Harbour Airport before embarking on a brief tour of the southern tip of Vancouver Island just before they head home. They’re taking the childrenIt’s Princess Charlotte’s first tour abroad. Prince George travelled to Australia and New Zealand with his parents in 2014 when he was nine months old. He stole the limelight from his mother and father whenever he made an appearance – joining a playgroup in the New Zealand capital Wellington and enjoying a family trip to the zoo in Sydney.But the young prince and princess stayed behind in the UK with their nanny  when the Duke and Duchess visited India and Bhutan earlier this year.William and Kate visited Canada for the first time as a couple in 2011 just a few months after their wedding, and William visited Canada with his parents Charles and Diana along with brother Harry in 1991.last_img read more

Actor Robert Pattinson ditches British accent to win parts

first_imgPattinson began his mainstream film career as the handsome Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, before taking on leading man status in vampire franchise Twilight. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Twilight L-R: director Josh Safdie, Robert Pattinson, director Benny Safdie, actor Buddy Duress, actress Taliah Webster, screenwriter Ronnie Bronstein, producer Oscar Boyson and actor Sebastian Bear  Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Twilight Robert Pattinson with directors Josh and Benny Safdie Since then, he has made a determined effort to distance himself from the notion of the romantic lead, this time taking on a role as a tattooed, goatee-sporting bank robber fighting to save his arrested brother.Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, where he stars in gritty drama Good Time, Pattinson disclosed he had contacted directors Josh and Benny Safdie after being struck by a poster for their previous film Heaven Knows What. Pattinson in character in Good Time “On the subway, my face is right in front of someone’s face, and there’s a camera, and still no-one said anything.”Pattinson’s elaborate efforts paid off, according to Telegraph reviewer Tim Robey, who gave the film four stars and said the role could win the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor award.”Pattinson has admirably tried, again and again, to prove he has something more to offer than an edgy pulchritude, but his chosen projects (Cosmopolis and The Rover, say) have been barren soil, till now,” he said. Pattinson celebrates beating the paparazziCredit:Getty Saying he had created a character even to attend auditions, he admitted he dreamt of a day when he was “street cast”, in a process by which he would be picked out by talent spotters for his authenticity without them knowing who he was.In making his latest film, he added, he had come close to that dream thanks to the judicious use of pockmarks, created by a make-up artist, which meant he went unrecognised for an entire year despite filming regularly on the streets and subway of New York. L-R: director Josh Safdie, Robert Pattinson, director Benny Safdie, actor Buddy Duress, actress Taliah Webster, screenwriter Ronnie Bronstein, producer Oscar Boyson and actor Sebastian Bear  The actor described the film’s New York shoot as “guerrilla-style,” celebrating the success of small physical changes which meant no-one recognised him. Pattinson in character in Good Time Pattinson celebrates beating the paparazzi “I was so nervous about people finding out about the shoot and paparazzi being there, just destroying the whole illusion of it,” he said. “It was interesting. Even with the makeup and the look and everything. We experimented with looks and we did these pockmarks on my skin, and no one recognised me.”We shot an entire movie on the streets of New York, and not even a single person took a cell phone picture. It was crazy. It was once considered something to aspire to, recognised all over the world and used by actors from William Shakespeare to Sir Laurence Olivier.But the British accent has fallen out of favour with one of the UK’s leading young stars, who has disclosed he covers his real voice up to win the edgy parts he really wants.Robert Pattinson, who was born in London and rose to fame as a teen heartthrob in the Twilight series, has told how he disguised his British voice in favour of a Denver accent while on the audition circuit, in order to hide where he was from. “A lot of their casting seems like street casting, and I just always want to look like I’ve been street cast,” he said. “And I thought, maybe if I’m in that movie it’ll look like I’m street cast. Try and trick everybody.”Josh Safdie, one of the films directors, chipped in to tell Pattinson: “You were telling me that story about how you’d go to auditions with your Denver accent, because you just did not want anyone to know that you were British-born. No offence to the British.””I would do an impression. I would have another character to go an audition to play a different character,” Pattinson explained. Pattinson with directors Josh and Benny Safdie 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

Call for lynx to be released in Scotland branded brazen and presumptuous

first_imgPlans to introduce Eurasian Lynx around 30 miles from Glasgow, more than 1,300 years after the predator became extinct in the UK, have been described as “brazen, presumptuous and lacking support”.The Lynx UK Trust says it has been in discussions with landowners about a trial reintroduction of lynx in Argyll and Inverness-shire.It has also submitted plans to Natural England for a pilot project that would see six Scandinavian lynx being released in Kielder Forest in Northumberland.The trust has produced a consultation paper and claims the return of the lynx north of the border would help control deer populations and protect the ailing capercaillie population by keeping pine martens away from nests on the ground.But farmers leaders claimed it was merely one in a long line of brazen claims about the imminent reintroduction of the lynx.Andrew Bauer, of NFU Scotland, added: “This is a far more complex matter than those pressing for the release of lynx would have anyone believe.“On the forest edge, there will be significant predation of ewes and lambs and no amount of warm words and fluffy reassurances will convince any farmer or crofter otherwise. Eurasian lynxCredit:Getty paul odonoghue “In our opinion, no local consensus nor political consensus has ever been secured and this supposed ‘consultation’ will not change that.”The NFU claimed that outside a small group of enthusiasts, there was little support for the proposal and said that in Norway, nearly 4,000 ewes and more than 19,500 lambs were lost to predators including lynx, bears and wolverine in 2014 alone.Dr Paul O’Donoghue, scientific advisor for the Lynx UK Trust, insists that humans have nothing to fear from lynx and predation on livestock is very low.He said there were too many deer in Scotland which were damaging forest habitats and restricting the regeneration of natives woodlands.He told the BBC: ”This is a classic example of the negative impacts that come with removing species like the lynx from an ecosystem.”We’re hugely excited to explore the idea of further lynx trial reintroductions here with the local community. Imagine how amazing it would be to hop on a bus in Glasgow and be in lynx habitat half an hour later.” “This sham consultation exercise does not, in any way, equate to an application for release in Scotland. Were that to ever happen, I can categorically reassure our members that the process for securing permission for the trial release of lynx is long and complex and any application will be subject to considerable analysis and debate. Paul O’Donoghue in Kielder forestCredit:Stuart Nicolcenter_img lynx An area of 10,000 sq miles has been identified for the proposed pilot, which the trust claims could “comfortably” accommodate 250 lynx. The area would stretch from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs into the West Highlands. Consultation is said to have begun with several landowners. Any release of lynx would require a long planning process and a license from Scottish Natural Heritage.A spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association said the reintroduction of any species needed the support of the land managers who would live with the consequences and the population would eventually need to be controlled.He added: “Scotland has a poor track record in empowering land managers with management options, if their interests are being adversely impacted and, if this is to be rubber stamped the presumption would be that the lynx would be given fully protected status. That would make management options, even if they were the right thing to do, almost impossible.”He added that ministers would also need to pay compensation for livestock lost 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

Up to 1600 cars destroyed as fire engulfs multi storey car park

first_imgHorses which had been on the first level were moved to the arena, he added.Sue Wright, wife of former England footballer Mark, told the Mail Online that she witnessed the start of the blaze and said it was sparked by an engine fire in a Land Rover.”It was an old car that exploded as we were leaving the building. We were in our minibus and one of the kids shouted, ‘there’s a fire!”‘She added: “We’ve lost everything because our car was right next to the car that exploded. My handbag was in it, our cards, cash, everything. We just grabbed the keys and ran.”Mrs Wright said the cars were “just popping every couple of seconds”.Firefighters are still trying the contain the blaze, police said.Crews were first called at 4.42pm and were on scene eight minutes later.The area was evacuated along with some apartments nearby due to smoke billowing from the blaze. According to Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson the blaze started in a Land Rover on the third level of the car park. Cars are seen on fire during a serious blaze in a multi-storey car park in Liverpool Police advised members of the public to stay away from the area and traffic restrictions are currently in place.A spokeswoman for the Echo Arena said: “We regret to announce that the Liverpool International Horse Show has been cancelled tonight due to a serious fire in the multi-storey car park on site. Emergency services at a blaze at a multi-storey car park at the Echo Arena A fire has destroyed all cars in a 1,600 capacity multi-storey car park next to the Echo Arena in Liverpool.The Liverpool International Horse Show was cancelled as firefighters tackled the huge blaze next to the venue on Liverpool’s waterfront.Merseyside Police said: “Initial investigations indicate that an accidental fire within a vehicle caused other cars to ignite.”We believe that all vehicles parked in the car park have been destroyed and advise owners to contact their insurance companies.”No-one has been seriously injured, the force said. There was no information on the numbers of vehicles destroyed and fire crews were expected to remain on scene for a number of hours.The cause of the blaze is not yet known.Around 4,000 people were expected for Sunday evening’s horse show. Vehicles burn during the blazeCredit:Peter Byrne/PA Vehicles burn during the blazecenter_img Cars burn during a blaze near the Echo Arena Cars burn during a blaze near the Echo ArenaCredit:PAUL ELLIS/AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Emergency services at a blaze at a multi-storey car park at the Echo ArenaCredit:Peter Byrne/PA “All people and horses are safe and secure.”The four-day event was due to finish with Sunday evening’s show where around 4,000 people were expected.There were periodic explosions and flames shooting up the outside of the building as the cars burned.The arena car park where the blaze began can accommodate 1,600 vehicles.A reception centre has been set up nearby for people who are unable to get home. A spokeswoman for Mersey Fire and Rescue Service confirmed there were no reports of any casualties and said crews were still battling to get the blaze under control with 12 engines at the scene along with two aerial appliances.She said the blaze started on level three of the seven-storey car park, with multiple cars ablaze and it had affected that level and one above. Cars are seen on fire during a serious blaze in a multi-storey car park in Liverpoollast_img read more

April Fools Day 2018 How the EU trolled Britain and all the

first_imgPrince Harry and Meghan MarkleCredit:getty It’s great when two Virgin companies work together to come up with a really great idea. Well done to everyone at @VirginAustralia and @VirginActiveOz for introducing the world’s first in flight spin class. Will be touring Australia later this year and can’t wait to join one— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) March 31, 2018 Tasmania’s police, meanwhile,  showed off their new highly-trained Hoon Dog Elvis. “Elvis, our highly-trained Hoon Dog responds to octane content and engine decibels to identify hooning cars,” the service said. “While opponents have criticised him for the fact he aint never caught a rabbit, we’re satisfied that he ain’t nothing but a Hoon Dog.” Today is the day for real fake news. It’s April 1, which means companies, newspapers and japesters around the world try to make fools of us with pranks. And because it’s Easter Sunday too, you can expect some of the gags to have a recurring theme.Here’s a round-up of some of the jokes so far.  How the EU trolled BritainThe European Parliament has poked fun at Britain – and, specifically, our new blue post-Brexit passports, with its April Fool’s joke.It claimed that “all EU passports [are] to become dark blue”  – which would render our symbolic passport choice useless. Virgin Active Cycle Head Coach, Emma Masters said: “Each Spin Class has been designed to achieve optimal in-flight heart rate and maximum calorie after-burn in the case of the Jetlag Buster and Spin & Sleep classes. For those looking to relax, the Cruise in the Clouds options provides a more laid-back workout.”SodaSoakSodaStream has introduced SodaSoak, a sparkling water marker for the bath.Game of Thrones star Thor Bjornsson and reality star Reza Farahan featured in the launch the SodaSoak which told viewers the SodaSoak “didn’t just stop at tickling your tongue”.  The joke has been widely praised by Remainers. Sarah Wollaston, a Tory MP who supported Remain during the referendum, tweeted: “Best April Fool of the day.”Scottish Labour MP Ged Kellen said the tweet was “top trolling.”Burger KingIt’s Easter, so of course chocolate needs to be on everything. Burger King certainly think so, creating its first Chocolate Whopper. The fast food chain got into the spirit early this year, posting a video on Friday announcing the release of a dessert version of its signature Whopper burger. “Coming soon to your local Burger King. maybe,” it teased. 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 new cabin class allows passengers to burn calories on board during long haul international flights. An LED Screen alerts the crowd to a VAR reviewCredit:PA Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Google Maps BREAKING: All EU passports to become dark blue— Europarl UK (@EPinUK) April 1, 2018 “Meghan wants Harry to spend the weekend getting grounded, not inebriated,” a friend told the newspaper. “She thinks a weekend of meditation and chakra-cleansing in Wales will fit the bill perfectly.”Coca-cola’s three new flavoursCoca-cola is reportedly launching three news flavours for the “Instagram generation”: avocado, sourdough and charcoal. The company said research showed their new flavours were among the most favoured by the “brunch-loving, superfood-snacking millenial”, the Sunday Mirror reports. Coca-Cola said in a statement to the newspaper: “Not only do they promise to be the perfect tasty, sugar-free refreshment, but they’ll also double-up as the ideal accessory for any brunch time social media photo – guaranteed to see the ‘likes’ rolling in.”VAR fetchedThe Sun on Sunday have played with two topical subjects: VAR and virtual realty. It says that referees at the World Cup will use £5,000 VAR headsets in order to speed up controversial video decisions.The technology means referees will no longer have to rush to view a pitchside TV to check a decision. Instead, they will be able to see VAR images instantly on a 3D digital screen, the newspaper reports. OHMYGOSH! Check out our new SodaSoak ad featuring The Mountain. Learn more at— SodaStream UK (@SodaStreamUK) March 28, 2018 That actually sounds quite tasty.’Divisive and dangerous’ emojisThe Observer has opted for a Brexit-themed spoof this year. It reports that an Italian firm is planning to cash in on the debate by creating official Brexit and Remain emojis, dubbed Brexit Bulldog and Starry Blue.A paid-for app download is due to be launched on Sunday, giving people the option to use the emojis to give their social-media profiles a Brexit “brand identity”, Scherzo Primavera reports for the newspaper.The European Collective – a group of pro-Brexit Conservative MPs –and the Remain Group – an umbrella organisation representing pro-EU MPs – both condemned the app as “making money out of politics”.“Nobody who campaigned in the referendum wanted to give shadowy organisations the chance to exploit British voters,” the groups said in a joint statement. “Brexit is far too serious a matter for foolish jokes.”Harry’s stag do – in a yurt retreatPrince Harry is reportedly going to spend his stag weekend drinking laverbread smoothies and engaging in pre-dawn ancient Celtic chanting at a spiritual yurt retreat in West Wales later this month. According to the Mail on Sunday, Meghan Markle has organaised the trip to the foothills of the Beacons for him.  Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream, said: “SodaStream is always looking for disruptive ways to create moments of joy and April Fools’ Day is the perfect time to do so”.As for Icelandic man mountain Thor Bjornsson, he’s on a war against plastic. “The thing about SodaStream’s campaigns,” he said, “is that they address important themes — health and wellness or the global plastic bottle pollution problem — in a lighthearted and funny way that keeps a finger on the pulse of pop culture.” According to the video, the Chocolate Whopper includes a chocolate cake bun, a “flame-grilled chocolate patty,” raspberry syrup instead of ketchup, white chocolate rings that resemble onions, candied blood oranges rather than tomatoes, milk chocolate “leaves” of lettuce and vanilla frosting “mayo”. When you open the app, a playable version of Where’s Wally pops up. “He shared his location in Maps, but he’s in a crowd. Find him and his friends as they travel around the world,” a message reads. Australian policeThe police Down Under love a social media joke, especially the Queensland Police Service.This year, it cracked an Easter-themed joke. In a statement on Facebook, it said police were investigating after “many children have woken up to find fruit hidden inside Easter Egg wrappers”.”Eggsperts say parents might be playing the April Fool or it could be a case of sour grapes,” they said. the NEW chocolate Whopper. coming soon to your local Burger King. maybe.— Burger King (@BurgerKing) March 30, 2018 Google Maps Its built-in gridwork of digital lines super-imposed across the turf allows refs to make accurate offside calls while a unique motion scanner can also detect players diving – all in real time. Fifa spokesperson Avril Blague told the newspaper: “The trials proved this headset is the future for VAR.”Google MapsLast year, it launched the Google Gnome, an AI speaker for your garden. This year, the internet giant is having some fun with its Maps service. An LED Screen alerts the crowd to a VAR review She has chosen a holistic £750-a-night campsite run by her reiki-master friends Mungo Chavez and Jetsun Khandro, who have carefully erected a cluster of sustainable felt yurts in a circle of prehistoric Preseli bluestones, Flora Pilo writes. Virgin AustraliaRichard Branson often gets in on the April Fool’s Day fun. This year, his airline Down Under, Virgin Australia, launched Spin Class, the world’s first in-flight cycling studio.last_img read more

Pint scam as major restaurant chain caught serving beer in special glasses

Mile Leddy, a Labour councillor and member of the Licensing and Public Protection committee, told the BBC: “To come between a man and his pint of beer is one thing, but to come between a man and his short pint of beer is another.”I commend the department for finding that a number of pint glasses had been made too small, and therefore short measures were being made at certain licensed premises and the way that they instituted, not just a recall from Birmingham bars, but nationally as well.”In February, trading officials warned that bar staff were short changing drinkers by putting too much head on top of a pint.Industry guidelines state that the froth should form part of the overall measure but officers insist that a pint should mean a pint of liquid. They say drinkers should request a top-up if they want one and have encouraged them to contact Trading Standards if bar staff are uncooperative. 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 pint glasses came up 8.1ml shortCredit:Peter Nicholls/Reuters A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “It was referred to the relevant body to action and an audit was carried out.”The supplier and retailer took corrective action to remove all the glassware from use and supply with immediate effect.”The investigation occurred in November but has only just been revealed in the council’s regulation and enforcement annual report for 2017/18.It said: “There was a significant complaint made about short measure beer at a large restaurant chain. Investigations found that a particular brand of glass had been made too small to contain a full pint. A major restaurant chain has been caught serving pints of beer in glasses that are 8.1ml too small.A nationwide recall of the glasses was ordered amid fears drinkers had been served short measures at the restaurants up and down the country.The discovery was made by Birmingham Trading Standards, which launched an investigation after a “significant complaint” was made.The council discovered that the chain, which has not been identified, was selling beer in glasses that were 8.1ml too shallow.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––It recalled 41 glasses from two bars in the city ahead of a wider recall. Officials declined to identify the chain or the glass manufacturer because the case did not result in a prosecution. “This prompted a nationwide recall of the glasses after large numbers were seized from two premises in Birmingham.” The supplier and retailer took corrective action to remove all the glassware from use and supply with immediate effectBirmingham City Council spokesman The pint glasses came up 8.1ml short read more