Over the weekend, two stories broke involving alleged corruption and FIFA, the Swiss-based international organization that oversees soccer worldwide (including the World Cup). These particular allegations are new, but they’re not surprising. Research I conducted recently suggests that FIFA faces considerable obstacles to dealing with corruption, both on the field and within its ranks.First, The New York Times reported that in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an Asian gambling syndicate compromised the South African Football Association. The South African FA allegedly allowed referees who were working for the Singapore-based syndicate to officiate a number of international friendlies. The referees allegedly “fixed” a number of matches, typically by awarding ghost penalties, running up the score to the benefit of gamblers in on the fix.Second, in London, The Sunday Times published a trove of documents from a FIFA whistleblower detailing payments to FIFA officials made by a former FIFA executive in Qatar, allegedly to help Qatar win the vote to host the 2022 World Cup. The Sunday Times’ revelations are the latest in a long series of similar stories surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes (conducted simultaneously) dating to 2010, when The Sunday Times went undercover to reveal several members of FIFA’s executive committee trying to sell their votes for cash.For FIFA, unfortunately, allegations of corruption and bribery are nothing new. In 2011, FIFA embarked on a governance-reform effort to address an earlier round of accusations of corruption. Last December, the organization declared the effort a success and closed it down. To better understand what the effort had accomplished, I compared FIFA’s actions to recommendations from:A 2011 report FIFA commissioned from Mark Pieth of the Basel Institute of Governance;A 2011 report by Transparency International, an independent governance watchdog;And a 2012 report by FIFA’s governance-reform committee.There are obviously some judgment calls here, but what I found does not lend itself to much optimism that FIFA has fixed its problems, and thus improved its ability to deal with corruption on and off the pitch.Of the 59 total recommendations in the three reports, FIFA implemented only seven, partially implemented 10 and failed to implement 42. There is some overlap across the reports, and a close look at reforms left undone reveals nine important areas where action has been recommended for FIFA to raise its governance standards to those expected in the international business community.Although FIFA took some positive steps, such as creating a ethics committee with investigative powers, it avoided many steps that are basic to governance of organizations which turn over billions of dollars every year. The reforms that it avoided implementing generally involved opening up the organization to independent oversight and management (such as might be found on a corporate board of directors) and increasing the organization’s transparency. For example, FIFA stood firm that it would not release the compensation of its president, Sepp Blatter.FIFA has an internal investigator — the one appointed as a result of the reform effort — looking into the allegations surrounding the Qatar 2022 vote. He is supposed to release his report soon after this year’s World Cup in Brazil. History would tell us not to expect much. For FIFA, the project of governance reform has a long way to go. The good news for soccer fans and fans of good governance is that the pressure on FIFA to raise its game continues to mount. read more

CHICAGO — NBA franchises fail all the time in trying to construct a team. On Thursday, the Bulls illustrated that it’s possible to botch the dismantling of one.Anyone who watched the Bulls over the past two years could see that this team — whether it managed to sneak into the playoffs or not — was on a treadmill of mediocrity. And that was the case despite having an All-NBA talent like swingman Jimmy Butler. The reset button needed to be hit.That happened Thursday when the team traded Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 draft pick, Lauri Markkanen. Without context, acquiring young players like LaVine (who averaged 19 points a game last season), Dunn (the highly sought-after No. 5 pick from last June) and 7-foot sharpshooter Markkanen would be a decent return for a player of Butler’s caliber. But, like always, the devil is in the details here. LaVine missed the final 32 games of the season after tearing his ACL — an injury the Bulls are all too familiar with — while Dunn had an incredibly rough rookie season, one in which he not only posted the lowest true-shooting percentage among first-year players, but the worst true-shooting mark of any player, period.1Of players who logged at least 1,000 minutes last season.And while it’s too soon to truly criticize anything about the Markkanen acquisition, it was shocking that Chicago felt the need to send its No. 16 pick2One it ended up using on Justin Patton, to send to Minnesota. to the Wolves to complete this trade, given how much better Butler was than everyone else involved. The Bulls shouldn’t have needed to send anything else to sweeten the deal.3Curiously, Chicago has a bit of a bad habit of sending along picks in situations where it shouldn’t have to. For instance, consider the Bulls’ trade-deadline deal in which they unloaded Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, the two best players in that transaction, yet found themselves giving up a second-round pick to complete the swap. Yet the team says this was the best offer they had for Butler, by far, and that the move gave Chicago an opportunity to move from the center of the totem pole all the way near the bottom, where it will be easier to build through the draft in the future.“Jimmy has improved as an individual maybe as much as any guy we’ve been around,” said Bulls Executive Vice President John Paxson of Butler, who went from averaging 2.6 points as a rookie to nearly 24 points in his sixth year. “Minnesota is obviously getting a heck of a player. He’s going to be missed. But with that said, what we’ve done is set a direction. We’ve gone to the playoffs, but not at a level that we’ve wanted to. And in this league, success is not determined that way. And we’ve decided to make the change and rebuild this roster.”VIDEO: Breaking down the Butler trade The rebuild is already off to an odd start, though. Beyond LaVine’s injury risk, the Bulls are also getting him at a time when the 22-year-old is on the cusp of landing what figures to be a big payday. (In fact, they’ll be forced to hammer out an extension this summer — perhaps well north of $20 million a year, without seeing him play meaningful basketball since the injury — or else risk another team throwing a bigger offer at him as a restricted free agent and forcing Chicago to match.) There’s a decent chance his next deal briefly outpaces Butler’s annual salary of almost $19 million, one of the best bargains in the NBA, since Butler is locked in until at least 2019.In other words: The rebuild will require the Bulls to shell out considerable salary to a young player who hasn’t proven to be a sure thing yet. And with Dunn, one of the older rookies in last year’s draft, they’ll be hoping that last season was just an aberration for him.Part of what makes the swap so disappointing for the Bulls is the fact that they were engaged in draft-day conversations about the same players last year, before talks eventually broke off. The Bulls have more information now — that LaVine showed vast improvement on offense before tearing his ACL, that Dunn’s college success probably won’t translate right away, and that Butler is truly an elite, All-NBA talent — yet the Bulls pulled the trigger on a package that should be even less attractive to them now than it was then.From Minnesota’s vantage point, it’s easy to imagine how Butler can immediately come in and change things for the youthful Timberwolves, who were a great first-half team but blew more double-digit leads in second halves than any other team in the NBA. The 27-year-old was fantastic when it counted this past season, posting a 44.5 player-efficiency rating in clutch scenarios,4Meaning moments when a game is within 5 points during the final five minutes of of action. second-best in the NBA behind only Russell Westbrook, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. His presence also boosts a defense that was fifth-worst in the league last season, in part because Andrew Wiggins still really struggles on that end, even though he has wingspan and athleticism of a stopper. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear some put Minnesota on a short list of clubs that could potentially beat Golden State a couple of years from now if they continue to build out that roster.There are a handful of things that figure to work out nicely for the Bulls as a result of this trade, too. LaVine showed considerable improvement as a shooter last season, something Chicago can use given the team’s abysmal numbers from outside. And his ability to get up and down the floor should allow coach Fred Hoiberg play the uptempo style he’s wanted to use since joining the Bulls more than two years ago. (This becomes even more true if Dwyane Wade, who recently told the team that he was opting into the last year of his deal for $24 million, decides it’s best to negotiate a buyout with the club.)With Dunn, even if his offense doesn’t improve a ton, the team will at least have a very good, capable defender at the guard spot. The ex-Providence standout is a pest and uses his length to disrupt the passing lanes. He ranked fourth in the NBA with 4.6 deflections per 36 minutes.5Among those who played 1,000 minutes or more this past season.All things considered, though, there’s a reason that the Bulls are getting failing grades for this move. No one is knocking the idea of conceding that a rebuild was necessary. That much was obvious. But given that Butler had more time left on his deal, the team’s hand wasn’t forced to do something this very moment. Chicago easily could’ve waited until the trade deadline to try to sell the swingman off to a desperate contender.Either way, the Bulls should have been able to get more than damaged, or diminished, goods in exchange for their franchise player. read more

When you think of the World Series, you probably picture stars: Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, Randy Johnson and the like. But lesser-known players also play pivotal roles in late October: David Freese, Mike Lowell and David Eckstein have each been named World Series MVP in the past 15 years. Whoever wins the Fall Classic starting tonight between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers will need contributions from stars and role players alike. Here are five players — some stars, some not — who are poised to help determine the World Series.David PriceThe Boston Red Sox lefty and long-time regular-season ace has a chance to change his postseason reputation. He can shed one label, that of playoff choker, and add another: World Series hero. Price had never won a postseason start, winless in his first 11 starts with a 6.16 ERA, until he shut out a vaunted Astros lineup over six innings in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. Price tried something different in that game that could be a road map going forward: He leaned on his change-up.Price threw 93 pitches in Game 5, and 39 were change-ups — a usage rate of 41.9 percent. The pitch generated 12 swinging strikes and 13 foul balls. This was dramatically different from Price’s Game 2 start against the Astros, when only nine of his 80 pitches were change-ups. Price has never leaned on the changeup in any of his 289 career regular-season starts more than he did in Game 5. It was an excellent pitch for the left-hander in 2015 and 2016, but Price began to favor his cutter more the past two seasons. Perhaps trading cutters for change-ups is the formula to end his personal postseason curse.Here’s a Price change-up against George Springer in Game 5, a pitch with excellent fading action:And another bat-missing change-up against Carlos Correa:There’s reason to believe that Price will continue to favor the pitch: He doesn’t have a breaking ball he trusts, throwing his curveball on only 2.9 percent of his offerings this season. And a left-handed pitcher’s change-up darts away from right-handed batters, which could be effective against the Dodgers’ right-handed threats like Justin Turner, Manny Machado and Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers crush right-handed pitchers, so it’s imperative that Price and Chris Sale pitch well for the Red Sox. And with Sale’s velocity down after two second-half DL stints related to his shoulder, the Red Sox may need Price to be their ace. He might have the pitch and plan to do it.Walker Buehler While striking out 22 batters in 16 2/3 postseason innings — and allowing just 18 base runners — Buehler has shown his talent. He has also rewarded the Dodgers for taking a risk on him with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft despite knowing he had an elbow injury — one that would necessitate Tommy John surgery later that year. Buehler has had some poor luck and timing this postseason, given his 5.40 ERA in October. But the right-hander’s underlying skills are elite, including an excellent breaking ball — ranking 11th among all qualifying MLB curveballs in vertical movement and first in groundball-to-flyball ratio — and a fastball that has averaged 97.3 mph this postseason, ninth among all pitchers in October.The Red Sox also tend to destroy right-handed pitching, ranking second in the majors in offensive efficiency against them behind only the Dodgers. And each team will begin the series with two left-handed starters. The Dodgers will start Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 against Sale and Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 2 against Price. But right-handers are going to have to pitch, and they’ll pick up more innings in the mid- and late stages of the series. Buehler will start Game 3 — and he is as talented as any right-handed arm still pitching.Matt Barnes Bullpens matter more than ever before in the postseason. This October, relievers have accounted for 50.4 percent of total innings thrown, up from a record mark of 46.5 percent last postseason. (In 2010, the bullpen share was 32.3 percent.) These teams haven’t been bullpenning like the Brewers, but their relievers still matter a great deal.While Boston reliever Craig Kimbrel entered the playoffs with a reputation as one of the best closers of all time, he’s been supported by lesser-known names like Barnes and Ryan Brasier. Entering the World Series, Barnes and Braiser rank second and fourth in the playoff field in reliever Win Probability Added.1Win Probability Added measures the change in win expectancy from at-bat to at-bat. Barnes struck out 14 batters per nine innings this season, but he also walked 4.5. If he can pitch like a relief ace for another week, he’ll give the Red Sox an edge.Austin Barnes The Dodgers’ regular-season backup catcher was one of the best part-time players in baseball in 2017, slashing .289/.408/.486 and measuring as an elite pitch framer. While Barnes struggled offensively in 2018, starting catcher Yasmani Grandal’s defensive problems in part prompted L.A. to start Barnes in five of the seven games of the National League Championship Series, including Game 7 against Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin — despite the fact that Grandal typically gets the call against right-handed pitchers. (Both catchers grade as elite framers: Grandal ranks No. 1 this season, and Barnes ranks 13th.)Barnes batted just .151 against right-handed pitchers this year with 48 weighted runs created plus.2Weighted runs created plus, or wRC+, adjusts for park and league scoring environments. A mark of 100 is league average. He’s more respectable against lefties (.246 average, 101 wRC+), and that should matter in Games 1 and 2 against Sale and Price. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hasn’t announced his Game 1 lineup, but Barnes may need to provide an impact at the plate and behind it.Mookie BettsThe possible, if not probable, AL MVP has had a quiet postseason to date, slashing .205/ .295/.282. Betts has yet to hit a postseason home run this year despite hitting a career-high 32 in the regular season — one in which he joined other undersized sluggers in learning how to pull the ball and tap into their power. But this series sets up well for Betts, who posted a 212 wRC+ against lefties, tops in the majors, and a .368 average against southpaws.While Betts’s bat has been cold thus far in the postseason, his glove remains consistently elite in right field. He tied Lorenzo Cain as the top outfield defender in baseball this season with 20 defensive runs saved. He made several excellent defensive plays in the ALCS, including one controversial near-catch of a home run. Fenway Park’s right field has unusual and awkward dimensions, and Betts’s experience there could give the Red Sox another small edge. Betts has not endured many extended cold streaks this year, and if he breaks out in the World Series, he could win two MVP titles this season.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

OSU junior midfielder Johnny Pearson (30) during a game on March 19 in Denver. Credit: Courtesy of OSUThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team is looking to end its three-game losing skid Saturday when it’s set to face second-ranked Notre Dame at Ohio Stadium.The matchup against the Fighting Irish serves as the coda to a grueling four-game nonconference stretch for the Buckeyes in which they faced three other teams in the nation’s top 20, including No. 1 Denver last Saturday.“I think the biggest thing is just staying the course,” said senior midfielder and co-captain Kacy Kapinos. “In these tough times we have to come together, and as a unit we have to work harder.”Redshirt junior goalie Tom Carey said the team does not have to make any major changes. Instead, the Buckeyes need to just work on the little things.“Collectively as a group, we’re just focusing on getting back to the basics and working out the little kinks,” he said. “That starts with just coming out every practice with energy and just having a little bit more of an edge. We know we’re not too far off.”OSU has dropped 12 straight to Notre Dame, with its last win coming in 2004. Senior defender Robby Haus said the team is looking forward to the opportunity to end both losing streaks on Saturday.“In my career here, I haven’t beaten them,” he said. “That does give you a little bit more of a push when the game starts to have that drive to take them down.”To do so, the Scarlet and Gray will need more offensive output than was provided last year when the Buckeyes were shut out 9-0. Kapinos said the offense has been working hard to create more scoring opportunities, which will be needed against a Notre Dame defense that is tied for first in the nation, allowing only 6.33 goals per contest.“(The offense) has been working all week — working hard, cycling the ball, moving very quickly,” Kapinos said. “Coach (Brad) Ross has done a great job … of preparing them and getting them ready, and I know he’ll have them ready for this week.”Notre Dame boasts three preseason first-team All-Americans in senior attacker Matt Kavanagh, junior midfielder Sergio Perkovic and senior defender Matt Landis. However, OSU coach Nick Myers said the team is ready to play against a tough opponent despite its recent losses.“They’re an excellent team, arguably one of the best teams in the country at home,” Myers said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to compete against a quality opponent.”  Correcting errors on defenseOSU is looking to bounce back after suffering a 15-6 defeat against Denver last Saturday. The Buckeyes were only down 7-5 heading into the fourth quarter, but they surrendered eight goals while only scoring one to lead to the lopsided loss.Myers attributed the defensive meltdown to a combinations of factors, including fatigue and excellent offense by Denver.“At the end of the day, you have to make stops,” he said.Kapinos emphasized the need to play the full 60 minutes.“I think we just (have) to play the whole game,” he said. “We did well the first three quarters, and in the fourth quarter we kind of had a lapse.”The Buckeye defense will have to be strong in the fourth quarter on Saturday. The Fighting Irish have scored 20 goals in the final period this season, five more than any other quarter, meaning a second consecutive final-period meltdown could spell trouble for OSU. What’s nextThe Buckeyes are primed to begin conference play on April 3 against Penn State at noon. Kapinos said the team is looking forward to facing familiar opponents.“The Big Ten is very exciting, a bunch of rivalry games. We have friends on those teams,” Kapinos said. “We played a couple of those teams two or three times last year… so we kind of know what each other has.”Myers, however, didn’t want to get too far ahead, stressing the importance to focus on Saturday’s game against Notre Dame.“When the time comes to shift gears and focus on that part of our season, we will,” he said.The matchup against the Fighting Irish is set to begin at 1 p.m. read more

There were bittersweet results for the men’s and women’s cross country teams this weekend at Pre-Nationals.The women’s team finished 11th out of 37 teams, and the men’s team finished 22nd out of 35 teams.Sarah Foster and Katie Williams finished in the top 50 and led the way for the Buckeyes, who finished ahead of No. 12 Baylor and No. 27 Northern Arizona. “I was really focused on working with my teammates to run as a pack,” Williams said. She had “the race of her life” coach Chris Neal said.The women also finished just behind No. 17 Arizona State and No. 30 Notre Dame.“We really ran pretty average for ourselves,” Neal said. Only Taylor Williams and Donald Roys placed in the top 100 on the men’s side.Coach Robert Gary attributed part of the team’s poor finish to a spreading flu bug.“We have some players with complaints of the start of the flu,” Gary said. “We feel we could have done better. … The rest of the Big Ten ran lousy this week too.”Both teams believe this race has its advantages, regardless of how they placed.“Teams come to Pre-Nationals to get acclimated with the course,” Taylor Williams said. “I believe this is my sixth time running it.”“It’s great to get on the course for Nationals. We’ve ran it three times this weekend,” Neal said.The next big test for both teams will be the Big Ten Championships, the gateway to the national meet.“Everyone is really confident that we can go into the Big Ten and finish in the top three,” Neal said.Katie Williams hopes the women’s team can carry over the confidence gained from the meet.    “I think we should go into this meet with the confidence that we can compete and finish well,” she said.The men’s team is not so confident after its rough weekend. With health questions and confidence issues, the outlook is dim at this point.“[Our result] depends on how guys respond,” Gary said. “I’m hoping everyone stays healthy.” read more

A picture of our favorite flag outside of Orton Hall is attached to this correspondence.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us.  Early this morning, a historic moment occurred on the campus of Ohio State University: The University of Michigan flag was raised outside of both Orton Hall and University Hall.  An email received from “hailtothevictors2009@gmail.com” reads:To whom this may concern,  – Hail to the Victors

Earning millions of dollars and national recognition as professional football players might make some forget where they came from and how they got to where they are, but Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis don’t fall under that category. Jenkins and Laurinaitis were invited by RealLife, a Christian student organization at Ohio State, to speak Thursday night at its weekly meeting in Independence Hall. The two discussed some football but also their relationships with God and the lessons He has taught them during their journeys to become NFL stars. “I got to Ohio State as a 17-year-old freshman, so you can only imagine where that went from there,” said Jenkins, current defensive back for the New Orleans Saints. “I kind of forgot about God, really.” Jenkins said he wasn’t living a Christian lifestyle when he first arrived, but it all changed one night when former OSU teammate Antonio Smith read a Bible story to some of his teammates. “What really changed my life around was when one of my teammates did a chapel the night before one of our games,” Jenkins said. “I began really living for (God) and seeking Him.” Jenkins and Laurinaitis, who now plays for the St. Louis Rams, talked about how their religious beliefs helped lead them to the right places in their professional careers, though they admitted they weren’t excited when they were drafted by their current teams. Laurinaitis was considered a top prospect for the NFL after his junior season. He was all but a lock to be a top 10 pick in the annual NFL draft, which would have earned him a multimillion-dollar contract. Laurinaitis said he pondered the matter and left much of his decision on whether to go pro or stay at OSU to prayer. “I felt that God was telling me, ‘You have more to do at Ohio State,’” he said. And so Laurinaitis returned for another season of donning scarlet and gray on Saturday afternoons. But after another impressive season, Laurinaitis wasn’t quite as big of a prospect after his senior year, though he said he felt like it was just as good as his previous year. The draft came around, and he didn’t go in the top 10. He didn’t even go in the first round. He fell to the second round, where St. Louis took him with the 35th overall pick, a spot he wasn’t satisfied with. “I had a lot of prayers and conversations with God, where I was just like ‘Why? What did I do to deserve this?’” Laurinaitis said of how his draft stock fell. But as Laurinaitis arrived and began to settle in St. Louis, he said, he came to the realization that this was the way God meant for it to be. “Now that I look back, it was such a blessing that I went 35th,” he said. “Just have faith that God is going to take care of you. He used something that I looked at, at the time, as something terrible that was happening in my life and turned it into an unbelievable lesson.” Jenkins said he also had to remember that, regardless of his stature as an athlete, his purpose in life was to serve God. “When I was going to the league, people were saying: ‘You don’t want to be a Chad Johnson or a T.O. Are you going to change your last name to dos and … whatever else?’” Jenkins said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “You are no more important than me, and I am no more important than you. We all have our own responsibilities and purposes.” During their time at OSU, Jenkins and Laurinaitis were affiliated with Athletes in Action, a sector of RealLife. When RealLife reached out to the two NFL stars, they were happy to speak to at the organization’s weekly meeting. “They’re superstars in the world’s eyes, but at the same time, they’re still humble,” said Jacob Beach, vice president of RealLife. “You ask either of them, and the most important thing in their lives is their relationship with Jesus Christ.” And that was the message the former Buckeye football stars wanted to push across Thursday night. “If you leave here tonight knowing about Jesus Christ and want to go back and crack open your Bible and just kind of learn about him, then that’s great,” Laurinaitis said. “That’s why we do this.” read more

The Ohio State men’s soccer team (5-7-5, 1-3-2) earned the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament after falling, 2-0, to No. 16 Wisconsin in the team’s regular season finale Friday. The loss on the Badgers’ senior night snapped a five-game unbeaten streak for the Buckeyes, who finished the regular season winning three of their last four matches.Buckeye coach John Bluem said he hopes the team learned that it needs to match the physical intensity of its opponents if it wants to play and get a win.“They physically dominated us, they were more aggressive than we were and they played harder than we played,” he said. “In most of the games this year, especially when we started playing better, it’s when we started matching the other team’s physical aggressiveness.”Although the Buckeyes began the match aggressive, taking the first shot and forcing the first three corner kick opportunities, a first-half goal by the Badgers (13-3-2, 4-2-0) halted Buckeye redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov’s four-game, 445-minute spell of not allowing a goal. The goal came in the 23rd minute of play when Wisconsin redshirt-senior midfielder Tomislav Zadro scored off a diving header from the far post, after connecting with Badger sophomore midfielder Drew Connor. The goal was Zadro’s fourth of the season.The Buckeyes tried to fight back, firing two shots of their own in the following six minutes, but were unable to find the back of the net. At the half, the Badgers had outshot the Buckeyes, 6-5.The Badgers added to their lead with a second-half goal midway through the 71st minute. Badger senior forward Nick Janus finished off a knockdown from an OSU defender, squeaking it past Ivanov into the right side of the net. The goal gave the Badgers a 2-0 cushion, eventually leading to the victory.Despite leaving Madison, Wis., with a loss, Ivanov said the team was able to learn some last-minute things about itself before heading into the conference tournament.“I think we learned that obviously, when we’re sharper than that, we usually play a lot better than we did,” Ivanov said. “We didn’t have that extra fiery edge that we usually do, and we all know collectively that we’re better than the performance we had.”Buckeye senior defender Sage Gardner said the way the team prepared for Wisconsin proves to him that the team can play at the same level of play as any team in the conference.“I think Wisconsin was a little fluke for us — we definitely got out-hustled and out-muscled playing up at Wisconsin for their senior night,” he said. “I think it was kind of a tough situation for us and I don’t think we responded well, but I think the way we’ve been ending the season the way we’re moving upwards is a positive.”Wisconsin finished the match outshooting OSU, 14-7, but Ivanov was able to gather six saves, propelling him into seventh place for single-season saves in OSU history with 101 on the season.Up next, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 18 Michigan State in the first round of the 2013 Big Ten Tournament at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The teams met earlier in the season, playing to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. read more

Ohio State’s junior-forward Mason Jobst (26) steals the puck away from NotreDame’s sophomore forward Mike O’Leary (19) during a Big Ten conference matchup at the Schottenstein Center on November 3, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. OSU lost 1-4. Credit: Alex Hulvalchick | For the LanternOn St. Patrick’s Day, the Ohio State men’s hockey team fell behind at a boisterous Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana, against a Notre Dame team that rarely found itself in the loss column this season.The Buckeyes trailed by two goals less than 15 minutes into the Big Ten tournament championship game. Although they clawed back to force overtime, the Buckeyes fell in the extra frame, unknowingly learning a lesson to apply in the upcoming NCAA men’s hockey tournament.It has worked, and they won’t want to forget learning the difficulties of coming back after falling behind early when they take on Minnesota-Duluth in the Frozen Four April 5 in St. Paul, Minnesota.“It’s so hard to dig out of those holes against really good teams like we saw against Notre Dame,” junior forward Mason Jobst said. “We came back, but taking it to overtime. It’s hard to get three goals past [Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris.”Grabbing an early lead is a good first step for any team. But with Ohio State, the step proves to be a giant leap. The Buckeyes have a record of 19-0-3 when scoring the first goal and an unblemished 16-0-0 record when leading after the first period.Jobst said those records have echoed around the locker room in preparation for anticipated tight games against top teams in the NCAA tournament with the team looking to dictate the pace of the game and not chase a two-goal deficit.“I think we really hammered it home in the locker room,” Jobst said. “Our coaches hammered it home all week that you just can’t afford it this time of year to give up a couple of goals early.”As a result, in the two NCAA tournament games against Princeton and Denver, the Buckeyes never trailed. The quick starts allow an Ohio State team to play to its strength, suffocating the opposition with sound defensive play. The Buckeyes have been able to hold onto these early leads thanks in large part to the third-best scoring defense in the country, which allows just 2.08 goals per game.Redshirt junior goaltender Sean Romeo said his game does not change whether his team leads or trails, but that getting the lead helps the team settle down defensively.“My job stays the same, but it definitely makes you feel a lot better looking up and seeing you have a lead,” Romeo said. “I think it gives the team confidence and helps us flow better.”Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik has repeatedly said this year’s success has been a product of all 27 players buying into a defensive structure that might not have been the most comfortable of moves coming from a team last year that was so offensive-minded. But here the Buckeyes are in the Frozen Four after a 20-year absence, thanks to that five-man connected defense. When a team falls behind the Buckeyes, the deficit forces it to get ahead of itself, acting uncharacteristically to try to cut corners to get back in the game. Rohlik said the self-applied pressure feeds into the defensive play of the Buckeyes. “All of the sudden, you get one goal, the other team is already going, ‘Boy, we got to get two to win.’ You score two. ‘We got to get three to win,’” Rohlik said. “Now, it starts putting the pressure on the other team. I think, really, that’s what that is.”Rohlik said he does not expect to see Minnesota-Duluth, the next opponent for the Buckeyes, “cheat the game.” “[If Minnesota-Duluth] gets down one or up one, it’s not going to change them. I feel we are not going to change either,” Rohlik said. “No matter what the score is, we are going to go 60 minutes. If we got to go longer, then we’ll go longer and I think they’ll do the same thing.” read more

Ohio State sophomore cornerback Shaun Wade (24) runs on the field during the game against Rutgers on Sept. 8. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorShaun Wade is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Ohio State defense prosper. After sitting out his first season following an abdominal injury in 2017, the redshirt freshman has done anything he can to get on the field while teammates and fellow 2017 recruiting class members, such as cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and safety Isaiah Pryor, receive regular playing time. Wade did not want to get lost in the shuffle. To make sure of this, he became the ultimate utility man for the Ohio State secondary, extending his ability from his original position of cornerback to the nickel and safety spots, allowing him to find playing time at positions for which he was not recruited. For Wade, position did not matter. He just wanted to make a contribution. “I just wanted to be on the field to help the team,” Wade said. “That’s all.” Ohio State safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch noticed Wade’s drive. In the Sunday practice after Ohio State’s season-opening win against Oregon State, Grinch asked Wade if he was willing to play some reps at safety. Wade agreed and, ever since, has been in Grinch’s position room.Even though safety is Wade’s newest position, Grinch said he has shown signs of progress. “He’s flashed for us a little bit,” Grinch said. “That’s a guy, when you do those things, you kind of make a determination as a staff is what’s the best position for him on the current roster to help us in 2018.”For Wade, the major difference between playing corner and playing safety is playing off the ball; he was used to playing man-on-man and on the ball as a corner his entire career. Even though nickel is closer to his normal position, Wade said it has been a transition, having to guard the slot against smaller, quicker receivers. “Nickel actually is a fun position to play,” Wade said. “It’s just like corner, but you can’t back up at all and you have to get hands-on definitely. If you don’t, it’s going to be a long day for you.”However, there have been moments when Wade has shown he is still learning. Playing nickel against Penn State’s redshirt freshman wide receiver KJ Hamler, Wade did what he was not supposed to do: back up. Instead of doing what he was supposed to — get up on Hamler at the line of scrimmage and put his hands on him to force a deflection or a catch and quick tackle — Wade backed up after the receiver did a quick stutter step. This allowed enough space, after getting the reception from Penn State redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley, for Hamler to outrun Wade for 93 yards, tying the longest touchdown reception allowed in Ohio State history. Grinch said a successful defense does not give up explosive plays such as the Hamler touchdown or the 93-yard run by TCU junior running back Darius Anderson on Sept. 15. He said it’s going to take the combination of improving scheme, execution and personnel to fix the issue. Even with the mistake during the Penn State game, the coaching staff views Wade as a significant part of the game plan moving forward. For defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, it can be hit or miss when a younger player enters the lineup. In Wade’s case, his recent playing time is because of consistent production on the practice field. “More reps, you either have more chances to make a mistake or more chances to make a play,” Schiano said. “And the guys that are ready, they had more chances to make a play. Shaun did that because he kept making more plays.”With Pryor suspended for the first half of the Indiana game on Saturday after recording a targeting call in the fourth quarter against Penn State, Wade could see increased playing time at safety, even if redshirt sophomore Jahsen Wint gets the start. Grinch said there is nothing settled in the secondary, but he has been pleased with the progress Wade has made, especially at safety. However, Grinch said a decision regarding Wade will need to be made: What position does the redshirt sophomore focus on? “Ultimately, you have to zero in somewhere,” Grinch said. “Otherwise, you stunt the growth of the individual.”Wade doesn’t care where he plays. He said it’s up to the coaches. As long as he is on the field on Saturdays, he will be satisfied. “I just needed to go hard, that was the only thing,” Wade said. “I got the skill set and I know how to do it in my mind. I just have to go hard every time.” read more

Ohio State sophomore outfielder Summer Constable (00) leads off  the base at Buckeye Field. Ohio State defeated Indiana 2-0 on March 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternAfter winning three of four games on its latest road trip against Maryland and Pittsburgh, the Ohio State softball team (21-10, 5-1 Big Ten) will return home to begin a three-game series against Rutgers (16-17, 0-6 Big Ten). Ohio State has not lost to the Scarlet Knights since April 18, 2015. The Buckeyes outscored Rutgers 28-8 in their three-game series this past season. This season, Rutgers will have some competitive newcomers. As a freshman, catcher Katie Wingert has recorded a .301 batting average, 19 runs, 29 RBI and a team-leading nine home runs. Freshman pitcher Corah Price has recorded a 3.25 ERA and leads the team with eight wins this season. Rutgers senior infielder Jess Hughes also will be a force for which the Buckeyes need to watch out. This season, Hughes leads the team with a .406 batting average, and added 33 runs and 23 RBI to his stat line.Senior outfielder Megan Choinacky said the goal for the team is to make sure they don’t beat themselves and to take care of what’s needed to be done on and off the field.“I think right now we just need to worry about ourselves, do what we can do and what we can control. That’s we’ve been working on as a team,” Choinacky said. Ohio State sophomore utility player Niki Carver mentioned that senior shortstop Lilli Piper and freshman outfielder Kaitlyn Coffman both had a home run last weekend, something she thinks will continue as the season moves on. “I thinking we are going to see more and more as going on,” Carver said. For last week’s games against Maryland, the Buckeyes faced adversity on Friday, losing their first game since March 17. However, they soon bounced back on Saturday. “Just show how much growth we have for our team. We are on the up and up,” Choinacky said. Carver said Ohio State will try and continue its late-series success against Rutgers at home this weekend. “I think that we did good overall. We were executing thing we are supposed to,” Carver said. Ohio State will take on Rutgers at 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Buckeye Field. read more

first_imgChurches should have a ‘bouncer’ on the door throughout services to improve security, new counter terrorism advice suggests, as an expert has warned small parish churches are more at risk of attack that larger places of worship.New guidance issued after the murder of a French priest by Islamic State supporters advises churches should fit CCTV and personal attack alarms.The risk of a terrorist attack on a church in Britain is believed to have increased since terrorists slit the throat of Father Jacques Hamel. The draft 12-page guidance drawn up by an adviser to the Home Office says churches should ensure their doors can be securely bolted and recommends worshippers are briefed on what to do if they spot someone suspicious.It says churches should have “someone on the door of your church welcoming people into the building during service who can close the front door in an emergency. Make sure that someone is stood by the door before, during and after the service, whilst the congregation is present.”The advice says: “The job of the person on the door is to delay any offenders (including those who are not terrorists) so that the police can arrive and deal with them.” The job of the person on the door is to delay any offenders (including those who are not terrorists) so that the police can arrive and deal with them.Nick Tolson, National Churchwatch It comes as some vicars claim they have been told by church officials not to wear dog collars in public for fear of attracting the attention of would be attackers.Counter Terrorism Advice for Churches, from National Churchwatch which provides safety and security advice to churches, also advises congregations on what to do if they are at a service which is attacked.Father Hamel,85, was killed and two nuns were held hostage when two 19-year-old jihadists stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, during morning mass.Police urged churches to review their security after the attack in July and the Home Office announced a £2.4m fund to strengthen safety in places of worshipNick Tolson, director of National Churchwatch, said: “When the French church attack happened, there was a recognition that the risk has increased. The risk is still very low, however, we need to think about what we need to do.”Previous advice written in 2009 was outdated, he said. He said any attack was likely to target a small parish church, as seen in the French attack.He said: “It won’t be Westminister Abbey or St Paul’s, it will be a little church in Bolton or Birmingham. It’s the small churches, just like the one in France. You can walk into any church on a Sunday morning and it probably won’t be a gun, it will be a knife.”The advice urges all churches to consider fitting CCTV and alarms that can be triggered by clergy or church workers inside.It also advises that everyone who regularly attends a church “should be briefed on security awareness, and what to do if they see something suspicious”. Mr Tolson, who advises the Home Office’s places of worship security committee, said the recent Paris attacks had underlined that people should flee rather than hide in the event of an attack.He said: “We know now that if you hide for hours, they just walk around and shoot you. The advice is now run and get out of the area.”But he said clergy should continue to wear dog collars.He said: “We advise them to have their collars on and open their churches because there’s zero evidence that wearing collars is any risk.”The Church of England said it had not told vicars to stop wearing dog collars. A spokesman said much of the new security guidance was covered by its own advice, but it was up to individual churches to decide what was appropriate. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_img“I am not calling for anything at the moment until we have seen exactly what Sir Richard says, but it must be an option for the IPCC to go after pensions,” Mr Proctor told the Daily Telegraph.The force is widely expected to be attacked over their handling of allegations against Mr Proctor and several other high profile cases as the summary findings of Sir Richard’s report are published this week.Sir Bernard, Assistant Commissioner Pat Gallan and Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse, who were in overall charge of the flawed Operation Midland inquiry, are understood to be in line to bear some blame.The report is likely to criticise a raid by 20 officers on the home of Lord Bramall, 92, former chief of the general staff, and his wife Dorothy, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s and has since 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. More than 10 officers also raided the London home of Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, several months after his death while another team spent two days searching his house and garden near Leyburn in North Yorkshire.Sir Bernard’s decision to quit after agreeing a contract extension was announced just weeks before Sir Richard’s report was sent to Scotland Yard.The summary findings of the internal inquiry are due to be published on Tuesday.Mr Proctor added: “I made it clear he should never have got another year in the first place and as it turns out he has has served only half that time.”Why did he accept the one year contract extension if he was planning to leave? Clearly he went once he knew which way the wind was blowing.”Mr Proctor, who is also calling for the full report to be made public, said other parties will call for the IPCC to investigate if the Met Police fail to do so this week.Sir Richard, a former High Court judge, was asked by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met commissioner, to examine the way in which Operation Midland had been handled after it collapsed amid controversy in March this year having cost almost £2m.The claims of a Westminster paedophile ring were based on the word of one claimant, known only as “Nick”, who named a number of VIPs.After 16 months of investigation the police admitted that there was no evidence to support the claims and apologised to Bramall. Harvey ProctorCredit:Paul Grovercenter_img The Metropolitan Police Commissioner will resign before facing any censure over the disastrous VIP child abuse inquiry, it has emerged as senior officers face severe criticism in a scathing report.The police watchdog is expected to be powerless to punish Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe before his retirement in February as investigators will not have time to follow up Sir Richard Henriques’ findings.Harvey Proctor,  the former MP investigated and eventually cleared over the “witch-hunt”, said the Independent Police Complaints Commission should instead be given powers to potentially scrap his pension. Harvey Proctorlast_img read more

first_imgEntertainer Rolf Harris asked a 13-year-old girl “do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?”, when he assaulted her at BBC studios, a court has heard.The 86-year-old is alleged to have targeted the youngster after a live recording of Saturday Superstore, presented by Mike Read and Sarah Greene in 1983.She had been invited to the green room after the show and as she got a glass of water, Harris allegedly sexually assaulted as he whispered in her ear: “Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?” Rolf Harris appearing by video link at Southwark Crown Court Rolf Harris appearing by video link at Southwark Crown CourtCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA Her sister recalls Harris being “cuddly” towards the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.The girl is one of eight women giving evidence at London’s Southwark Crown Court against Harris alleging that he sexually assaulted them when their ages ranged between 12 and 42.None of the assaults, which are said to have taken place between 1971 and 2004 when Harris was aged between 41 and 74, involved “penetrative activity”, the court has heard. Many of the girls allege they were targeted while asking for autographs.Prosecutor Jonathan Rees told the jury: “Most of the behaviour complained of falls into a broad category that might be described as unwanted groping, and includes, for example, grabbing or touching breasts over clothing.”He added: “One notable feature of the case is that none these assaults is alleged to have happened in private; all appear, so it is alleged, to have occurred in public settings when there were other people in the near vicinity.”And it may be that you will want to consider whether Mr Harris’s celebrity status played any part in making him apparently so brazen in what it is alleged that he did.” A screen split into four shows parts of the Southwark courtroom and the room where Rolf Harris will follow proceedings A screen split into four shows parts of the Southwark courtroom and the room where Rolf Harris will follow proceedingsCredit:Elizabeth Cook/PA 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. Show more Jurors were told that Harris was currently in Stafford Prison, serving a sentence for a series of offences of indecent assault carried out on four female victims.Each of the new alleged victims contacted the police or the NSPCC in the wake of the “widespread publicity” surrounding the first trial, he said.The jury heard about an alleged assault on a 18-year-old backing singer at a music rehearsal studios near London Bridge in June 2002.It is alleged he began stroking her back and making inappropriate comments.Other members of the backing band say they remembered the incident and said they found the defendants behaviour “inappropriate, variously describing it as creepy, cringing and lecherous.”Harris, formally of Berkshire, denies the charges and the trial continues. You will want to consider whether Mr Harris’s celebrity status played any part in making him apparently so brazen in what it is alleged that he didProsecutor Jonathan Reeslast_img read more

first_imgMr Cleasby said: “She did meet the person she believed to be Drew on a number of occasions. They would kiss intimately on the lips and on one occasion the defendant put her hands down the girl’s trousers.”Johnson, of Middlesbrough, also convinced another girl to send pictures of herself in her underwear by posing as a second boy called “Nathan”.Mr Cleasby said that she first befriended the girl online with the fake teenage boy persona.He added: “After a short while Nathan started private messaging the girl and the conversation began to have a sexual undertone, with the defendant persuading the girl to to send pictures of herself dressed in underwear. The pictures were sent as the girl believed she was in a relationship with a boy of the same age.”The third victim was 12 when she was contacted online by “Drew” late in 2015. Mr Cleasby said Johnson flattered her and arranged for a date.He said: “The girl would be excited about the prospect of a date and would spend time doing her make-up and hair and selecting clothes.”However, on these occasions Drew would not turn up and Johnson made herself available to the heartbroken girl as a shoulder to cry on. The girl would be excited about the prospect of a date and would spend time doing her make-up and hair and selecting clothesProsecutor Paul Cleasby Johnson admitted four counts of meeting a child following sexual grooming in the guise of a boy, four counts of assault by penetration, causing child pornography and perverting the course of justice by deleting information from social media accounts and deliberately destroying a SIM card.Michelle Turner, mitigating, said that Johnson had been through family upheaval from the age of eight when she was “passed from pillar to post”.Ms Turner said: “She accepts the majority of the prosecution case. She is socially isolated, exceptionally immature and is vulnerable in her own right.”Jailing Johnson for nine years, Judge Howard Crowson said: “I consider this was deliberate, well planned, targeted abuse of young girls. The case reveals a clear ability to manipulate and construct plausible lies which deceived the girls. It is unusual only because you are female, this type of offending is more often carried out my males.” Mr Cleasby said: “This was a sophisticated grooming process employed by the defendant to get closer to the girl.”Having gained her trust using Drew as bait, Johnson went on to abuse the girl between December 2015 and June 2016.Johnson backed up her false male personas with a host of other characters, posing online as Drew’s father and other family members. In one elaborate hoax to gain sympathy and trust from two of her victims, she said Drew’s younger sister had died and even wore black clothes when she met them, claiming to have been at her funeral.center_img A promising woman footballer who tricked young girls into sexual acts by dressing as a teenage boy has been jailed for nine years.Chantelle Johnson, who was on the books of Middlesbrough FC Ladies, created the online persona of 13-year-old Drew and convinced the youngsters, who were aged 12 and 13, that he was besotted with them.Johnson, 19, would eventually turn the online chat to sexual matters and arranged to meet the girls, where she wore boyish clothes, no make-up and pulled a hoody tightly around her head to reveal only her face, a court heard.Late last year, she kissed and intimately touched one of her three victims, a girl aged 13, while dressed in her guise of Drew, Teesside Crown Court was told. Prosecutor Paul Cleasby said:”The girl believed she was in a relationship with a male called Drew who told her he was 13 years old. The contact had started via Instagram with the defendant messaging the girl giving her compliments on how she looked.”Due to this flattery the girl began communicating with the character Drew on a daily basis and within a few days Drew tells her that he wants to be in a relationship with her.”Having lured the child into the early stages of a relationship the defendant began turning the conversation to matters of a sexual nature.”The defendant, under the guise of Drew, told the child he wanted to penetrate her vagina digitally and asked whether the child would want this. The child said she was too young.”However, after persistent grooming, the girl agreed to meet “Drew” and on each occasion Johnson wore a hood to disguise her long hair. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

first_imgThere were fears for a pair of missing British sisters, who had not been heard from since Hurricane Irma hit the island they were staying on.Delighted aunt Ruth Bolton today said on her fundraising page that Afiya Frank, 27, – who is seven months pregnant – and her sister Asha Frank, 29, were both all right after becoming lost in Barbuda.She previously called on Richard Branson to help find her family, adding “The silence is unbearable.”The courageous sisters had gone to help with the massive voluntary evacuation effort on the wrecked island as thousands were left homeless as almost every building was demolished.She said on her GoFundMe page: “Today we have been getting a little news from Barbuda. Asha is an ecological expert and former beauty queenCredit:Facebook The two last texted family at 10.30pm last night, and their parents who are in Britain are desperate for news.Her aunt Ms Bolton, who lives in Suffolk, told the Evening Standard she has been up all night waiting for news from her two nieces and brother-in-law.She said that her and her sister, Claire, were  “going out of their minds” with worry.“The three of them were all in the house together and they had boarded up the property,” Ms Bolton said.“Since then we have not heard anything. “[Claire] is going out of her mind. Having said that, she is resilient. She went through Hurricane Luis [in 1995] and after that we lost contact with Barbuda for a week – but that was before mobile phones. Now we are so used to having instant contact.”She has set up a GoFundMe page to help with efforts to find the sisters, which has so far raised over £3,000. “The Team Antigua Atlantic Rowers managed to get word back and some film footage of the island.”It has been frustrating waiting for news and the lack of information unbearable.”We now know that everyone is accounted for.”She added: “Asha and Afiya Frank have been seen helping with the voluntary evacuation.”Families are still trying to trace their loved ones and a boat and plane will travel back with more passengers tomorrow.”Afiya Frank, 27, is due to give birth in November and was supposed to travel home next week to prepare to have her child in a British hospital due to lacking medical facilities in Barbuda, where she was staying. Afiyah was due to return home next week Asha is an ecological expert and former beauty queen Afiyah was due to return home next weekCredit:Facebook She is missing along with her sister, Asha Frank, 29, who is an ecological expert who was on the island to help with marine conservation efforts.Ms Frank also works as a local councillor and was helping with emergency procedures before she lost contact with her family. She said: “Through the appeal we have been in touch with a boat that is attempting to reach Antigua and Barbuda this morning and they have offered to take a satellite phone with them if we can get it to them.“Trying to find where we can get hold of one nearby is hard – I think our next step is to see if we can get one in Miami and have it shipped over.” Ms Bolton said: “Afiya works the season at the Barbuda Belle resort, then was planning on coming here to have her baby and go back and work the season again next year. I doubt Barbuda Belle is even there anymore.”Barbuda’s prime minister Gaston Browne confirmed the island was left “almost uninhabitable” by the hurricane.”It is a total devastation – Barbuda now is literally a rubble,” he told local TV and radio station ABS.His government estimated destruction on Barbuda was “upwards of 90 per cent”.A two-year-old child was confirmed dead on the island overnight as a family tried to escape..  The family lived through Hurricane Luis, which struck the area in 1995, but Mrs Frank said this storm had surpassed it.She said: “People were talking about being sucked out of their houses because of the low pressure and twisters.”I think this hurricane surpassed all of them, and I think the trauma of being through something like that can affect you for several weeks after, so I really just want to speak to them.”Everyone is on Whatsapp and Twitter and Facebook all the time now. A silence of hours is almost unbearable for some people because we are used to that kind of instant communication so it’s just unacceptable to me that satellite phones weren’t available and taken over there so they can report back.” 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. Mrs Frank met her husband in Leicester, and they have lived on the Caribbean island for 30 years.Their two daughters were born in the UK and moved to Barbuda when they were young, while the couple’s son was born on the island but now works in England.last_img read more

first_imgScene from Grand Theft Auto VCredit:Photo/Rockstar Games/AP Scene from Grand Theft Auto V Grand Theft Auto V Credit:Mike Blake/REUTERS The VSC, which classifies suitable age groups for games, admits that the 1980’s legislation it is meant to uphold “could not foresee the arrival of the online world”. Consequently, the legislation and age classification system only applies to “physical or boxed products” sold over the counter. It is largely powerless to stop foreign website selling downloads or streaming brutal games to children who have access to a credit card or online payment system.Last night, Lorin LaFave, the mother of Breck Bednar, 14, who was murdered in Surrey after being targeted by his killer while playing online games, called on ministers to make legislation suitable for the 21st Century.“If children are normalised to the violence they view in games that are inappropriate for their age group, this could lead them to become desensitised, and possibly dangerous,” she said.“Breck’s killer seemed to blur the lines of death being real and permanent, just like in violent games, and so didn’t value life.  Age ratings must be adhered to whether a hardcopy or streamed version is purchased. We must insist that government and industry make efforts to achieve this very important goal for the safety of all.” Grand Theft Auto V Britain’s video games watchdog has failed to ban a single violent game as campaigners warn that laws are not keeping up with advances in technology.Children’s charities and relatives of those killed by murderers thought to be acting out violent scenes from games are calling for an urgent review of rules meant to prevent young people obtaining the most gratuitously brutal games over the internet.The Video Standards Council (VSC) was accused by peers earlier this week of “not doing its job” after it emerged that it had not banned any violent games since it became the industry watchdog in 2012. 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. When The Telegraph signed up to the website Steam, which has millions of visitors downloading games each day, it found a page featuring a video posted of a male showing off his “skills” with a butterfly knife. The knife was made after fans of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive asked an American company to manufacture one similar to that used by the game’s character who goes on a “killing spree”.Earlier this year, Acting Chief Inspector Stuart Weaver from Suffolk Police warned that teenagers were more prone to violence as if “living in a Playstation world”.In 2013, a gang of knife-wielding teenagers stabbed a schoolboy to death in a Tube station, something police blamed on a “blurring between the real world and the computer world”.An NSPCC spokesperson said: “We have long called for sites, apps and games to better protect all children using their platforms. They need legally enforceable universal safety standards that are built in from the start. And websites who fail to meet these standards should be sanctioned and fined by an independent regulator.”A spokeswoman for the Internet Watch Foundation, which works to remove online child sex abuse images, warned that the “internet moves at a fast and ever-changing pace”.“We know that it is an absolute necessity that regulators move with the times in order to make the internet safer and that there is something in place to protect children at all levels on the internet.”A VSC spokesman said the reasons downloadable games are not subject to legal controls was because it is “extremely difficult” to enforce legislation on foreign websites. Instead sites rely on the use of credit cards or PayPal accounts as proof of age.A Department for Culture Media and Sport spokesman said: “As part of our Internet Safety Strategy, the Government is working with industry and the VSC to improve online safety in games, which includes online purchases of age-restricted video games by children.”Last year, the VSC categorised 146 out of 498 video games as for over 18s only. Lord Laming, who led investigations into the deaths of Victoria Climbie and Baby P, said this internet loophole was putting children at risk.“Technology is moving ahead of our laws and procedures which is leaving young people particularly vulnerable.“To include violence as part of a game gives children the impression that it’s not only normal behaviour but fun. To portray dreadful acts as appropriate for a game is completely wrong.”last_img read more

first_imgSecrecy in family courts could be allowing judges to get away with mistakes, the most senior family judge in England and Wales has said. Speaking at an event on Tuesday evening, Sir James Munby, president of the high court’s family division, said that judges were “grotesquely overworked” and “tired” and so more likely to make errors. He said more openness would allow journalists and the public to scrutinise their decisions.Judges should not be “immune from criticism” and that journalists should be able to argue that “the whole thing is flawed, the premises are all wrong, the facts are all wrong” if they think the judge has erred, he added”The simple fact is that at present journalists can’t do that without access to the evidence and without reporting what went on in court and saying well, this judge seems to be listening to a different witness than I, and the impression I got from listening to this witness was X,Y,Z and the judge says A,B,C. So I think there are very real problems there,” he said.”We’ve got to be much more honest about this, and if we are honest about it, things go wrong.”Most family court hearings are heard in private but accredited journalists are allowed in unless specifically excluded.However, there are restrictions on what can be reported and whether they have access to documents. Sir James added that he often felt that families did not understand what had happened during court proceedings. “I have a terrible feeling that if you actually stopped some of the parents in these care cases as they were going out of court at the end and you asked them what was going on, what’s been happening, what’s the answer, they’d be unable to explain. “And that is an indictment of our system, not of them,” he said. Sir James made the comments at a lecture about social media and the family courts, organised by the Family Justice Council and given by journalist Louise Tickle in memory of Bridget Lindley, an influential family lawyer and expert who died in 2016. The new Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, who was appointed last year, has also said that one of his priorities is to improve transparency of the courts to help people understand them better.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Pet rabbit owners are being warned hot and humid weather across Britain could trigger a disease which wipes out bunnies in huge numbers.Vets fear a perfect storm created by hot and wet conditions could now lead to an outbreak of killer myxomatosis.The grim viral condition is nearly always fatal and causes breathing problems, fever, swollen mouths and ears, bulging eyes and painful death.Affected rabbits also develop skin tumours, sometimes blindness, fatigue and rabbits usually die within 14 days of catching the disease. It is contracted through flies and mites and mosquitoes and is also passed from rabbit to rabbit. An outbreak in the 1950s killed millions of animals and decimated the UK rabbit population.Now vets have warned the chances of the virus spreading this summer have increased significantly following the high Spring rain fall and hot, humid days. John Helps, a veterinary surgeon and the technical manager for pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health, said: “There’s strong reason to believe that the combination of a wet spring and the unusually hot weather we’ve been having recently may contribute to larger outbreaks of the virus.“As a result, it’s possible that we will see larger numbers of cases being reported from mid-August through to November time.“Rabbits are particularly at risk from myxomatosis during the summer months.“Hot, humid weather will inevitably drive flea and fly populations upwards and if there is plenty of grass from good rainfall, this will most likely drive rabbit reproductive success.“Both factors positively correlate with the spread of this vector borne disease.“This year, we have had good spring rainfall and now some sustained warm weather, which could lead to a particularly bad summer with regard to the spread of myxomatosis in rabbits.”Few domestic rabbits survive myxomatosis and those that do suffer a protracted illness. A vaccine is available which provides immunity to both myxomatosis and another serious viral disease, Rabbit Haemorrhagic disease, which has killed millions of animals in the wild.Vets are urging Britain’s rabbit owners to get the jab for their pets as once the disease strikes survival is unlikely.A myxomatosis outbreak in 1953 killed tens of millions of animals after it was deliberately introduced to curb rabbit populations.More than 99 per cent of rabbits in the UK were killed by the outbreak although populations soon recovered.The disease was first discovered in laboratory rabbits in Uruguay in 1896. The virus was introduced to Australia in 1950 in an attempt to control the rabbit populations there.It was devastatingly effective and killed 500 million animals in two years reducing the population level from 600 million to 100 million. read more