Joe Johnson was as stoic as a lamp post much of his time in Atlanta. He played hard and well most of the time, becoming a perennial NBA all-star. But he did not seem enthused about what was happening around him, which, frankly, was not all that exciting.Teaming in the backcourt with Olympian Deron Williams after a surprising trade and playing in Brooklyn has energized the 6-foot-6 guard.“I haven’t been this excited since my Phoenix days,” Johnson said, which is a real stab at his six years with the Hawks.Ironically enough, Nets general manager Billy King was not interested in acquiring Johnson until he called new Hawks general manager Danny Ferry — like King, a graduate of Duke — to congratulate him on his new job when Ferry raised Johnson’s name. King became interested then, and a massive deal eventually took place that got Johnson and his enormous contract (still $96 million on it) out of Atlanta.Johnson called his new team — featuring him, Williams, center Brook Lopez and swingman Gerald Wallace — better than the other half of the East River Rivalry, the Knicks. But he and the rest of the Nets are so optimistic about the team that beating New York does not register as their highest ambition.“It’s not just about winning a local championship or a regional championship,” coach Avery Johnson said. “It’s really about winning an NBA championship, and that’s what our focus is on.”This coming from a team that went 58-172 in the last three seasons and have not made the playoffs since 2006-07. Johnson’s presence is one reason the Brooklyn Nets have their heads held high, even after several failed attempts to acquire Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard in a trade.“I’m just glad now that we have a direction,” said general manager Billy King, adding that Lopez will get into the Metropolitan area to take his physical Friday. “We know where we’re going.”He knew on Wednesday, when he and the club became exasperated in trying to negotiate a trade for Howard.“It wasn’t about moving on,” King said. “At some point, you’ve got to decide, we’ve got a young center that’s pretty good, and it was about him under contract and getting him focused and getting our team focused.”
Professional tennis player Serena Williams appears at an event to launch a national street art campaign with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to make domestic violence and financial abuse visible, at TicTail Market on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams says the conversation about stopping domestic abuse shouldn’t just center around women, but men as well.The tennis superstar says education about domestic abuse should start from when men are young boys.“I think expanding the conversation to men and expanding the conversation to young boys, it’s so important,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.“This is a human rights issue. We should all be treated the same. We should be treated equal. With domestic abuse, it doesn’t care what color you are, what background you’re from,” she continued.“It’s important to get the message out there — to our young men, to our boys, to our daughters — to let that new generation, and let the generation now know that, let’s stop this. Let’s change this. Let’s create a better us.”The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion is the ambassador for Allstate’s Purple Purse foundation, which aims to help stop domestic abuse and what it calls the financial abuse that can accompany such relationships.Williams says being the mother of an infant daughter makes the issue more important to her.“This could be something that my daughter could face and that’s not cool,” she said at a Purple Purse event. “I want her to know that she can always talk to me, and talk to other people. That maybe she doesn’t have a voice, maybe she can’t use her voice, but we be her voice, we can support her in so many different ways,” Williams said.Williams was pregnant with 1-year-old Olympia Ohanian when she won the Australian Open in January 2017. She returned to Grand Slam play last month at the French Open but had to withdraw after reaching the fourth round due to a pectoral chest injury.Williams says she anticipates being healthy for next month’s Wimbledon tournament.“Oh that’s a plan, absolutely, absolutely, and I’ve been working toward it,” she said.She also spoke about her father, Richard Williams, and his upcoming induction into the American Tennis Association’s Hall of Fame. Williams coached Serena and her fellow champion sister, Venus, from when they were children until they were winning titles as adults.“That’s really wonderful and I know he is really excited about that and I am, too,” she said. “I was just with him yesterday and we talked about it. It was great.”
See more NBA predictions All newsletters Things That Caught My EyeBad news, PhillyThe New England Patriots have participated in 37 playoff games since 2001, losing nine of them. That alone is absolutely insane. Here’s the stat that should give Philadelphia pause: The Patriots are 15-0 when they hadn’t played the competitor at some point over the course of the season, as is the case with the Eagles. [FiveThirtyEight]Waivered JagrJaromir Jagr, current NHL old guy and the second-highest point scorer of all time, has been placed on waivers by his latest team, the Calgary Flames, a move that may signal the end of the 45 year old’s NHL career. He is 34 games shy of Gordie Howe’s record for most games played. [ESPN]The reality behind “injury prone”A Football Outsiders analysis has put some serious numbers to the idea of being injury prone: looking at 8,585 player-seasons from 2009 to 2016, 40 percent of players who played in Week 1 went on to miss one or more games due to injury over the course of the season. However, that’s high compared to players who did not have any injuries in the previous two years, only 26 percent of which missed a game or more. [Football Outsiders]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Nobody’s undefeated in the OWLThe new Overwatch League, an esports attraction that just ended its third week, has shown the kind of parity that even the NFL can only dream of. Each of its 12 teams — even the powerhouses in London, Seoul and New York — have at least one win and only one team (Shanghai Dragons) are still at 0-6. Indeed, the most exciting story of the young league may be the Houston Outlaws swinging from league worst 0-2 to fourth-place 4-2 in just two weeks. [ESPN, ESPN, OWL]Golden Knights making the house loseThe Las Vegas Golden Knights are crushing it at home this season, and home just happens to be the only town in America where you can bet on the local team before walking to the arena. This means that not only are lots of people betting on Vegas — something like 10 to 15 times the typical NHL handle — but those gamblers are often winning. [ESPN]Big Number10 percentRoger Federer defeated Marin Cilic to win the Australian Open on Sunday, his 20th Grand Slam title. Here’s the cool part: Federer has now won 10 percent of all the men’s Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era since 1968. [ESPN]Predictions NFL See more NFL predictions Oh, and don’t forgetOvechkin has the fastest stick in the league We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe NBA
With 2:18 left in the third quarter of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova trudged to the free-throw line. After he made his first shot to put the Bucks up 14, Mike Budenholzer subbed Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the game, hoping to grab his superstar a quick breather while the team was sitting on a sizable lead. Ilyasova made the second free throw after Giannis checked out, and at that point, according to Inpredictable, the Bucks had a 92.7 percent chance of pushing the series to Game 7. Alas, that did not happen.Antetokounmpo ended up sitting for only 17 seconds, but those 17 seconds proved costly. Giannis re-entered the game only after Kawhi Leonard secured an and-one on an up-and-under floater. That innocuous floater was the start of a spectacular 26-3 Raptors run that thrust Toronto into position to capture its first NBA Finals bid, further validating both last summer’s trade for Leonard and the years of tinkering Raptors president Masai Ujiri has done with his team.The run spanned seven minutes and 42 seconds of game time and contained a seemingly endless number of thrilling plays. It started with Leonard’s and-one, but there was also Antetokounmpo swatting Pascal Siakam at the rim, only to see Serge Ibaka score on the offensive board; Leonard drawing a three-shot foul, making the first two free throws and missing the last, only to grab his own offensive rebound and head right back to the line; the Raptors running the same Spain pick-and-roll play three times in a row to open the fourth quarter and getting 7 points out of it; Fred VanVleet continuing his white hot post-baby shooting with a stepback three in isolation; and finally, Kyle Lowry picking Khris Middleton’s pocket on the drive, pushing the ball up the floor, and dropping it back to Leonard for a monster left-handed dunk. All told, Toronto went 10 of 14 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line during this stretch. Ibaka and VanVleet combined to shoot 5 of 5 and scored 11 of the team’s 26 points, while Leonard totaled 10 to go with six rebounds. Lowry didn’t shoot even once, but he assisted on four of the seven baskets Toronto scored while he was on the floor, and had the aforementioned crucial steal. Meanwhile, the Raptors’ defense locked down the Bucks in the halfcourt, much as they had for most of the past few games. Milwaukee shot just 1 of 9 from the field and 0 of 6 from three during this stretch.By the time the Raptors were done with their burst, they had raised their win probability from 7.3 percent all the way up to 88.0 percent, per Inpredictable. Curiously, a decent chunk of that win probability was accumulated with Antetokounmpo on the bench. Toronto sliced the aforementioned 3 points off the lead before he checked back in late in the third; but even after they cut the lead to just 5 points by the end of the quarter, Budenholzer elected to have Giannis on the bench again — taking his sixth rest of the game — to open the fourth. Antetokounmpo finished the game plus-3 in 41 minutes, meaning the Bucks were outscored by nine during the seven minutes he was out. Budenholzer stridently maintained during his postgame press conference that playing his star more minutes was not the answer, but I guess we’ll never know.By the time Giannis re-entered a minute and a half into the fourth period, the game was tied. A few minutes later, the Raptors had built an 8-point lead. Milwaukee made a final push and turned it into a back-and-forth, one-possession game for a few minutes, but the Bucks lost Leonard (seriously) on a crucial out of bounds play with around three minutes left, and he nailed a corner three to push the lead to 5 points.Milwaukee, the best defensive rebounding team left in the playoffs, was then let down by one of its strengths at the most important moment of the game.1Milwaukee ranked second in defensive rebound rate during the regular season and was third during the playoffs entering Game 6. The Bucks gave up four backbreaking offensive rebounds in the final 2:12 of the game. Siakam grabbed arguably the two most important ones: He corralled the ball after Giannis made one of the most incredible blocks you’ll ever see on a Leonard drive to the rim and calmly put the ball in the hoop to extend the lead again; and he then grabbed his own rebound off the bottom of the rim with 10 seconds left in the game, robbing Milwaukee of a chance to secure the board and an opportunity to tie it up. Leonard grabbed two off the offensive glass as well, with the second essentially icing the game as he beat several Bucks to the ball off Siakam’s missed free throw with 7.0 seconds left.Turning the Bucks’ strengths into weaknesses was the foundation of Toronto’s four straight wins to capture the series. Antetokounmpo, the likely league MVP, was limited to just 30-of-69 shooting in Games 3 through 6, thanks to the individual exploits of Leonard and the timely help of, well, everyone else. Milwaukee’s vaunted 3-point attack fell by the wayside without as many transition opportunities to fuel it. The Bucks’ elite help defense was neutralized at times as well, both by the Raptors pinging the ball around the perimeter and by their orchestrating switches so that Leonard or Lowry or even VanVleet could isolate against one of Milwaukee’s bigs, who were thus removed from help position.The Raptors will surely probe for weaknesses where they can against the defending champion Warriors in the NBA Finals, but they’ll also have to do an even better job of mitigating their opponent’s strengths. Golden State knows a thing or two about double-digit comebacks in the conference finals, having just completed three in a row to sweep the Blazers, and of course has also won three of the past four titles. We don’t yet know if or when Kevin Durant will return to the floor, but the Warriors have been reminding us for the past couple weeks that they are still pretty damn good without him.Toronto is the best defensive team the Warriors will have had to face during these playoffs, though, and by a not-insignificant margin. The Raptors had the league’s fifth-best defense during the regular season; Golden State’s three prior playoff opponents ranked 19th (Clippers), 18th (Rockets) and 16th (Trail Blazers). The Raptors also have Leonard, who at the peak of his powers is the best perimeter defender on the planet, and who has looked like the best all-around player in the league for much of these past few weeks. It takes more than just a singular star to dethrone the Warriors, but you’ve certainly got a better shot with one of those guys on your side.2Just ask the Cavaliers, who knocked the Raptors out of the conference finals the last time they were there. That’s exactly why the Raptors made the bold push for Leonard in the first place.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
201656.2 Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com QuarterbackNo. Times BenchedAvg. starts Ryan Fitzpatrick36.3 201485.3 Brian Hoyer36.7 201546.5 Josh McCown25.0 Nick Foles25.5 201874.7 Tyrod Taylor26.0 201065.0 200955.4 Eli Manning is a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time Super Bowl champion and the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year. But when he takes the field as the Giants’ Week 1 starter — as he has every season for the past 14 — he may be ready for a new title: “Expendable.”Every year, 32 quarterbacks line up for the first snap of the first game of the season. That player is supposed to be the best quarterback on the team.1With the occasional exception, like the Buffalo Bills starting the 2015 season in a wildcat look with backup Matt Cassel taking the snap. But sometimes, that quarterback isn’t the best by very much. Or he gets hurt, and his backup gets hot enough to win the job away. Or he’s just marking time while a highly drafted rookie gets up to speed.That was the situation in 2004, when two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner took the field for the Giants as their nominal starter — but many on the field, in the stands and watching at home on TV knew he was just there to hold down the fort until their grinning greenhorn of a No. 1 overall draft pick was ready.That 2004 No. 1 overall draft pick? Manning himself.But Warner and Manning, highly decorated veterans, don’t fit the typical profile of an Expendable. These are often journeymen brought in because they have a relationship with a coach, or they’re unheralded draft picks from a few years ago who won a war of attrition with players higher on the depth chart.Over the past 10 seasons, 46 different quarterbacks have qualified — and a few have carved out a niche for themselves as professional Expendables. SeasonNo. of QBs BenchedAvg. Starts Shaun Hill32.7 201354.8 Number of NFL quarterbacks benched per year and the average number of starts before benching 201247.5 Sam Bradford22.5 For our purposes, we’re calling a quarterback an Expendable if he a) started Week 1 of a given season, b) was benched while healthy (or did not get his job back after returning from injury) and c) did not go on to start Week 1 for that same team the following season. Backups filling in for unquestioned starters during injury or suspension, like Jimmy Garoppolo for Tom Brady in 2016, were not counted.But Shaun Hill did get the honor in 2016: He was the No. 2 for the Minnesota Vikings when starter Teddy Bridgewater went down with a preseason injury, and he filled in well even though the Vikings had just swung a panicked trade for Sam Bradford. His performance was good enough to buy him just one start. Combined with losing his 2014 starting gig with the then-St. Louis Rams and getting benched in San Francisco for Alex Smith, Hill has been an Expendable for three different teams (and lasted an average of just 2.7 games over those three seasons).It makes sense that well-traveled journeymen like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown have served multiple tours of duty as an Expendable. But Brian Hoyer also parlayed his time backing up Tom Brady into Expendable stints with his hometown Browns, the Houston Texans and the 49ers. Donovan McNabb seems like another surprising inclusion — but it’s no surprise that after his 11-year run in Philadelphia, during which he went to the Pro Bowl six times, his back-to-back Expendable tours in Washington and Minnesota are often forgotten.Our exceptions for injuries mean that former No. 1 overall pick Bradford qualified for the Expendable badge only twice,2Though Bradford has started Week 1 for four different teams, he would not be considered an Expendable on the Rams, as he lost the starting job after suffering knee injuries in both 2013 and 2014. but he merits a mention here, too. In 2018, he received a $20 million contract to steer a listless Arizona Cardinals team while first-round pick Josh Rosen learned the ropes. After three woeful starts, Bradford was demoted to No. 3 on the depth chart, and Rosen was thrown into the fire.Compared with the rest of the past decade, NFL head coaches have been quick to yank starting quarterbacks in the last two seasons — or maybe NFL general managers have been further off the mark about who’s really capable of starting in the first place. Donovan McNabb29.5 201154.8 201784.4 The most Expendable QBsNFL quarterbacks from 2009 to 2018 who started the first game of a season at least twice but were displaced as No. 1 From 2009 to 2016, an average of 5.3 Week 1 starters relinquished their gigs to their backups; it happened after an average of 5.6 games. But in 2017 and 2018, an average of 7.5 starters were demoted — and after an average of just 4.5 games. How will that play out in 2019?For Manning and the Giants, Vegas sportsbooks initially set the over/under on the number of games Daniel Jones will start this season at 7.5. In Tennessee, former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota is reportedly on a “short leash,” so Ryan Tannehill could turn him into an Expendable before the season ends.After those two, there aren’t many obvious possibilities. Rookie Drew Lock, a second-round draft pick, is buried at third on the depth chart in Denver. It’s possible the Tampa Bay Buccaneers give up on Jameis Winston, but it’s hard to see Blaine Gabbert taking his job by outperforming him in practice.The next possible Expendable, though, is an intriguing one: Fitzpatrick.The Cardinals gave up on Rosen less than a year after they gave up on Bradford. They drafted Rosen’s successor, Kyler Murray, No. 1 overall, but they’re not making Rosen an Expendable — they’ve traded him away.But look who they traded him to: the Miami Dolphins, who just signed Fitzpatrick to a two-year deal. Though Fitzpatrick was tabbed as the Week 1 starter, Rosen’s impressive preseason play had many calling for him to start in the season opener. Can Rosen, a second-year quarterback showing flashes, push Fitzpatrick to the bench the way Winston, Geno Smith and Ryan Mallett did?If that happens, Fitzpatrick will officially be the most Expendable quarterback in the NFL, a dubious — yet somehow still impressive — honor.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
After a midseason lull that saw the Ohio State women’s basketball team lose nine of 15 games, Jim Foster’s team is back on track. After four consecutive wins, the Buckeyes are once again in the race for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Tonight, OSU (17-9, 8-6 Big Ten) takes on first-place Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) in a game in which the Spartans will seek revenge for the 14-point loss they suffered Jan. 16 in Columbus. After clinching at least a share of the regular season Big Ten title, MSU can secure the title outright with a win. Foster said his team was lacking defensive intensity and attention to detail during a three-game skid from Jan. 27 to Feb. 6. He questioned his team’s mental toughness, but said it’s better now. “If you’re going to be in the NCAA Tournament,” Foster said Wednesday, “you couldn’t ask for a better situation than our schedule was down the stretch for this particular group of players that had that goal in mind.” That stretch included two wins against Purdue (18-10, 8-7 Big Ten) and road wins against Minnesota (11-16, 3-11 Big Ten) and No. 23 Penn State (21-7, 10-4 Big Ten). Foster said his team has been playing in tournament mode for a few weeks now. “These are the teams that are going to be in the tournament,” junior point guard Samantha Prahalis said, noting the importance of finishing the regular season strong. “We got to keep winning to give us a better seed. It’s just important that we win.” Tied for fifth place in conference standings, the Buckeyes look to crack the top five and earn a bye in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The winner of the conference tournament gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. “You just want to get better,” Foster said. “They’ve won before — they understand winning and the detail things that are necessary.” OSU is tied with Iowa (20-7, 8-6 Big Ten) in the standings. The two split their series, each winning its respective home games against the other. Senior forward Sarah Schulze made her way back to action in the team’s buzzer-beating 76-74 win at Purdue on Sunday after suffering a knee sprain that had kept her out of action since the Jan. 16 win against MSU. Her return has inspired her teammates. “That just shows toughness,” sophomore guard Tayler Hill said. “When we’ve seen her out there, if she can do it, we know that we can play tough too.” The Buckeyes will have to contend with Spartans leading scorer Kalisha Keane. The forward is averaging 16.3 points while shooting nearly 45 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Breslin Center.
The average cost of moving home has reached £31,000 in some parts of Britain as homeowners see an increase of up to 14 per cent in the last year, a report has found. Rising house prices are said to have driven the spike, pushing up estate agency, stamp duty and conveyancing fees.In London, home movers can expect to pay £4,732 more than a year ago, with the average cost of moving now £31,416.The rise is mostly due to London prices having increased by 14.5 per cent over the last year, compared with an increase of 8.5 per cent across the UK generally.The average home mover in London pays more than £15,000 in stamp duty and £11,000 in estate agency fees, the Lloyds Bank report found.Elsewhere in the UK, costs have increased by around £870, taking the average moving price to nearly £11,000.Mike Songer, mortgage director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The cost of stepping up the housing ladder has continued to rise sharply over the past year.”This trend is especially marked for buyers in London and the South East with the combination of both higher property prices and more rapid increase in prices in recent years resulting in significantly higher moving costs in these parts of the country.”Moving costs across the country – up nine per cent in the last year – have also increased faster than earnings over the last decade, by 25 per cent versus a 17 per cent hike in full-time earnings, the report found. Cost of moving across the UK LondonAverage moving cost: £31,416Up 18% in the last year – £4,732South EastAverage moving cost: £20,210Up 20 % in the last year – £3,382West MidlandsAverage moving cost: £9,814Up four per cent in the last year – £412East AngliaAverage moving cost: £10,973Up ten per cent in the last year – £999North EastAverage moving cost: £7,133Up nine per cent in the last year – £604ScotlandAverage moving cost: £6,947Up two per cent in the last year – £125WalesAverage moving cost: £7,563Up 0 per cent in the last year 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 storm may irritating for commuters, but the lightning was really beautiful. There’s a pretty spectacular lightning storm making its way through Bournemouth at the moment. pic.twitter.com/V7cJRUazoj— Enigmatic Engineer (@MechEngDad) September 16, 2016 Look at that sky! People all over the country were woken up by it Managed to catch a lightening strike after numerous failed attempts. #Thunderstorms #Lightning pic.twitter.com/5rsI8aH7vs— Saud Ahmed (@saudi89) September 16, 2016 Lightning in Bournemouth this morning. @DailyMirror @DailyMailUK @Telegraph @TheSun @Daily_Express #lightning #storm pic.twitter.com/lrAvEpu3bq— Ed (@EH_Photography1) September 16, 2016 Lightning’s great, not keen on thunder like & it’s still rolling on like indigestion #Newcastle #thunderstorms pic.twitter.com/QyOM1zPl83— Sharonnewcastle (@Curlawurl) September 16, 2016 Lightning lit up the skies, marking the end of Summer, on Thursday night and into Friday morning.People all over the country took photographs and videos of the lightning which woke them up.The storms have caused chaos across the UK, including a train being derailed near Watford Junction station after striking a landslip caused by torrential rain.A man was treated for a neck injury and a woman treated for chest pains after the 6.19 London Midland service from Milton Keynes to London Euston came off the track at around 7am.This incident delayed trains going to and from London as commuters tried to get to work.However, before people started trying to commute, many were delighted by the way the lightning lit up the sky.Strikes made the angry sky look purple in Slough The lightning was pictured through many rainy windows An interestingly-shaped lightning bolt Here’s a very clear and beautiful photograph from Bournemouth This street was disrupted by a big bolt 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 sky was lit right up in Newcastle during multiple lightning strikes
Arranged marriage could be happier than marrying for love because it removes the pressure to find the “perfect” partner before settling down, a former top High Court family judge has claimed.Sir Paul Coleridge, founder of the Marriage Foundation think-tank, said he had come to the “truly startling” conclusion based on findings from a new study suggesting that British Muslim women are more likely to be happily married than those from other backgrounds.The research, thought to be the first ever in the UK to explore the links between religion and relationship stability, used data from the Millennium Cohort study which contains details of the lives of 15,000 mothers who had children at the turn of the new century. Perhaps Muslim culture instils a greater sense of interdependenceHarry Benson, Marriage Foundation It found that 45 per cent of mothers who identified themselves as being from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background described themselves as “very happy” in their relationship compared with only 34 per cent of “white” mothers.Almost all (99 per cent) of the Pakistani or Bangladeshi mothers in the study described themselves as religious, virtually all of them Muslim, compared with just under half (47 per cent) of them others classed as white, most of whom chose Christianity.Similar levels of those who identified as Christian and Muslim said they were very happy in their relationships (45 per cent and 43 per cent respectively. That compares with only a third (32 per cent) of non-religious mothers. 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. Nadiya Hussain, the previous Great British Bake Off winner, has spoken in the past of finding happiness in an arranged marriageCredit:pixel8000 The Muslim women were also the most likely to be married. Overall 94 per cent of Muslim mothers in the study were married compared with 79 per cent of Christian mothers and 59 per cent of those who did not identify with any religion. Sir Paul, who set up the foundation to promote stable marriages after seeing “hundreds and thousands of people” affected by the pain of divorce as a judge, said: “These findings are truly startling.“It appears at first counter intuitive that Muslim women have such successful relationships when many are in arranged marriages.“In fact, Muslims in arranged marriages have many of the ingredients for a really successful long term marriage. Muslims in arranged marriages have many of the ingredients for a really successful long term marriage. They enter marriage without artificial and unreal ‘celebrity’ expectations or a belief that they merely have to bump into a perfect partner and from then on no effort will be neededSir Paul Coleridge Sir Paul ColeridgeCredit:UPPA-Ltd “They enter marriage without artificial and unreal ‘celebrity’ expectations or a belief that they merely have to bump into a perfect partner and from then on no effort will be needed.“In time the ‘perfect partner’ inevitably disappoints. This group on the other hand have no unreal expectations and from the word go, really work hard and fashion their relationship out of the material they are given.“Doubtless it is in part a consequence of this that they are over 30 per cent more fulfilled and happy than their western sisters. “Shared faith no doubt helps but all couples have it in their power to radically improve their chances of staying together by marrying and keeping on working at it.”Harry Benson, research director of Marriage Foundation, who compiled the report with Prof Steve McKay of the University of Lincoln, added: “While further research is required to draw any definite conclusions why Muslim women tend to do better than any other religious group, we can speculate that the values which accompany their faith put greater emphasis on dedication to the family and relationship stability.“Relationship success is about give and take. It is about compromise and working as a team.“Perhaps Muslim culture instils a greater sense of interdependence and is less embracing of individualism.” “No one is suggesting a return to arranged marriages but we can surely all learn a lot about what makes marriages work in the long run from these findings.
British naturists, who claim a membership of 13,000 and have long felt exposed as a small minority, contrast their position with those of their counterparts in France – which earns an estimated 300m Euros a year from naturist tourism – and the Netherlands, where there are an estimated 60,000 active naturists. Armand Jamier, the disputed new president of the International Naturist FederationCredit:Facebook 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. That led to angry scenes at the World Congress of the INF, held in New Zealand last November, when delegates from the body’s national federations – including Britain – voted by a narrow majority to strip Mrs Ivo of the presidency.She was replaced by Armand Jamier, the fresh-faced President of the French naturist association, who, to the delight of Mrs Ivo’s opponents, says he will harness the power of social media to make naturism more fashionable and high-profile. A naturist couple at home in Florida, USACredit:TLC They had been hoping Mrs Ivo’s term as president would help raise the activity’s profile and encourage other to shed their clothes, along with their inhibitions.But, they claim, she has let them down.“She has presided over a period of extremely low activity by the INF, during which money has accumulated within its coffers, which should have been spend on defending and promoting naturism on the world stage,” said Mr Heenan.In an open letter to Mrs Evo, the Naturist Action Group, set up by British enthusiasts of the hobby, accused her of damaging the image of naturism.In the letter Reg Barlow, chairman of the group, stated: “The result of the election at the 2016 World Congress was clear; the majority of member federations are not satisfied with your leadership.“By clinging on to power in this manner, you will have achieved nothing but make the INF look ridiculous.”Mr Barlow added that if Mrs Ivo did not stand down “people will believe that you are more interested in the trappings of power than naturism”.Mrs Ivo refused to respond in detail to the allegations against her when contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, saying only that “the majority of them do not correspond to the facts” and that the Naturist Action Group was not an official body and not recognised by the INF. Sieglinde Ivo, the ousted president of the International Naturist FederationCredit:Facebook Mrs Ivo claims the vote was riddled with procedural errors and the result cannot be regarded as legitimate. It is an activity regarded by many as at best mildly eccentric if not downright odd, prompting barely suppressed giggles among those who might, so to speak, witness it in the flesh.What it is certainly not known for is bitter political infighting at the highest level prompted by accusations of wasteful spending and nepotism.But the world of naturism has been split from top to bottom in a bitter dispute which has led to one of its most senior figures being deposed.Now Britain’s official naturism body has demanded that Sieglinde Ivo immediately step down from her post as president of the International Naturism Federation (INF), in a letter drafted by lawyers and seen by The Sunday Telegraph.The row has led to suggestions that British Naturism could pull out of the INF along with other countries opposed to Mrs Ivo, a middle aged Austrian naturist elected to the job in 2008.Divisions began to appear in naturism’s international organisation after Mrs Ivo was accused of not doing enough to promote the benefits of naturism and failing to extol its virtues to the wider public.Worse still, she was accused of spending more than £80,000 move INF’s offices from its longstanding headquarters in Belgium to an office close to her home in the small Austrian town of Horsching, and staffing it with members of her own family. Bruce Kendall, one leading naturist present at the congress said: “The outcome was emotional for some, one delegate even broke into tears when the result of the secret ballot was announced.”Mr Kendall, an American, added: “Mrs Sieglinde Ivo already has made the INF a laughing stock, she should be ashamed of herself for what damage she has done to the INF and naturism in general.“What a great time to get rid of an organization that has become useless, and start something that works at promoting naturism worldwide.”But Mrs Ivo is clearly not going to take her removal lying down.Along with her supporters on the INF’s executive committee she is refusing to recognise the result of the vote and is determined not to lose her seat as head of the federation’s governing body. In what her opponents regard as an act of naked aggression she has now persuaded the INF’s ruling council to convene a new World Congress later this year in order to re-run the election – at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.That has led to fury among Mr Jamier’s allies and hundreds of naturist worldwide, including the UK.Duncan Heenan, a leading UK naturist, says many British naturists want to withdraw from the INF altogether and use the £8,000 they pay in members’ fees towards the organisation every year for their own benefit.He said: “Mrs Ivo had held office for eight years and her first act had been to spend more than 100,000 Euros of INF money is moving the long established INF office from Belgium to an apartment in her own block in a small town in Austria, and staff it in part with her family.”
“The matter came before the learned judge, and she found he did so. It is my position she was wrong. “The Crown Prosecution said, in all their evidence, they have never sought to distinguish the position between Mr Adams from his wife. “There was no evidence whatsoever of expenditure by Mr Adams. He added: “There is no suggestion that Mr Adams has continued in any form a criminal career. “Since leaving prison in July of 2012, Mr Adams has been, to some extent, dependent upon his wife.” Adams had since carried out some casual work, including designing jewellery and men’s clothing, the court heard. But Adams had complained that he was unable to work for long – because every time the police found out, they “went to interview the people who tried to employ him”, the court heard. Turning to any allegations of luxury lifestyles, the lawyer said: “Every transaction relied upon by the Crown Prosecution Service was carried out by Mrs Adams “There is no allegation, no evidence or allegation of any transaction by Mr Adams, which could be considered to be an excessive lifestyle indeed, or any kind of expenditure.” The hearing continues. “If it was luxurious, it was by Mrs Adams with her own money.” The family home had been bugged by prosecutors to make secret recordings over a number of years to use as evidence during the money laundering trial, the court heard. The recordings, which cost £2.7million to transcribe, meant Mr Adams’s financial position was well known, his lawyer argued. Mr Krolick said: “It does seem clear, and it appears to be accepted by the prosecution, that the £750,000 comprised first of all Mr Adams’s interest in his family home, which he owned jointly with his wife in equal shares. “But in addition there was a quantity of items of jewellery and some antiques and items of some value. “It’s not as if Mr Adams’s financial position was unknown to the prosecution. “We submit that by the time the agreement was made as to the £750,000, the prosecution were in no doubt that was then the value of his assets.” After Adams was jailed, he was required to submit monthly financial reports, which his solicitors completed, the court was told. Meanwhile, the value of the house fell due to the financial situation in the UK, Mr Krolick said. He also argued prosecutors failed to distinguish between Terry Adams and his wife Ruth, when it came to their finances. Referring to the first refusal for permission to reduce the confiscation sum in 2014, Mr Krolick said: “The application was resisted by the Crown. And on the grounds, Mr Adams had a hidden source or reserve of money. And he denied that. Crime boss Terry Adams has said he cannot afford to pay £750,000 his wife squandered thousands on jewels and flights, a court was told.Adams was ordered to hand over the money made from ill-gotten gains in 2007 along with interest on the sum.Since being released, Adams has paid just £360,000, the Court of Appeal heard on Thursday.He is now seeking permission to apply to a crown court for a reduction in the confiscation order made against him, claiming he cannot afford it. Crime boss Terry Adams with his wife Ruth Adams’ lawyers claim the gangster can never work for long because police then interview his employers.An earlier application was rejected in August 2014, when more than £650,000 was still outstanding. At the time, prosecutors successfully argued he could not show he had less than £650,000, and claimed he had hidden assets. The judge, Mrs Justice Davies, had noted Adams and his wife Ruth still led an “expensive” lifestyle, which was inconsistent with a claim of having no assets. Kennedy Talbot QC, prosecuting, said that the couple spent nearly £15,000 on hotels, flights, restaurants and entertainment from August 2009 to September 2013. But in court today Adams’s defence team argued this was spent by Mrs Adams, and her husband was in jail for most of that period. Ivan Krolick, representing Adams, said: “Those were expenditures by Mrs Adams on herself. “I am not suggesting in any such way he did not benefit from the expenditure. What I am putting forward, is it is not right to say this was luxurious living by Mr Adams. 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.
Princess Anne said that genetic technology will be part of the producing food of the ‘right value’ Protests against GM crops in 2002 Anna Hill, the show’s presenter, asked the Princess, who is better known to the public as Princess Anne, whether she could see such crops being grown on her own land if permitted after Brexit. “Yes,” said the Princess Royal.In October, it was reported that genetically modified crops could be grown across England following Brexit, with George Eustice, the agriculture minister, confirming the government was looking at “possible future arrangements for the regulation of genetically modified organisms”.Only one GM product has been licensed since 1998 because of opposition to the technology across some European Union member states. “But if you pick the plants that are more likely to grow here easily, you’ll probably have to do less.”The full interview with the Princess Royal will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today on Thursday at 5.45am. Her views appear at odds with Prince Charles’ concerns over GM “So being able to understand what those changes mean: if you change one aspect of a plant, how does it affect the rest of the environment around it and does it have a long-term impact? “That’s probably a very long term impact and we may not see that for a long time.”So to say ‘no we mustn’t go there just in case’ is probably not a practical argument.”I do think in the future your gene technology has got real benefits to offer, which will have maybe an occasionally downside, but I suspect not very many.” Princess Anne at the Whatley Manor Horse trials, Gatcombe In an interview with Radio 4’s Farming Today, in a programme to be broadcast in full on Thursday, the Princess Royal acknowledged that GM is “one of those things that divides people”.”But surely if we’re going to be better at producing food of the right value, then we have to accept that genetic technology – whether you call it modification or anything else – is going to be part of that,” she said.”How you define what is harmful or what is good, it seems to me rather more difficult.”Most of us would argue that we’ve been genetically modifying food since man started to be agrarian. But everybody would say it doesn’t happen so quickly [as it can with GM]. 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. Princess Anne wants to grow genetically modified crops on her estate after Brexit, she has disclosed as she said arguments against the technology were “not practical”.The Princess Royal, who is deeply knowledgeable about farming issues thanks to her work with rare breeds and on her Gatcombe Park estate, said gene technology will have “real benefits” to offer, and that she does “not see the problem” in improving how crops grow.Her remarks would appear to put her at odds with her brother the Prince of Wales, a passionate organic farmer who has previously spoken out against GM and is royal patron of the Soil Association which campaigns against GM crops and GM ingredients in human and animal food. The Princess Royal said: “I have rare breed livestock so genetic modification would be a bonus if I could just find a way of making them a little more robust in terms of survivability. In a way that’s long-term investment.”Are there downsides? Yes, we’ve seen with some breeds of cattle sometimes there really are downsides.”Referring to plants, she added: “I don’t see the problem in saying, ‘well is there something we could do to improve their abilities to grow in this country slightly better than they were, with the things they suffer from’.
It meant the passengers, who had booked non-refundable accommodation, ended up cancelling their six-day trip.They had been told the next available Easyjet flight was four days later, however EU rules demand that passengers are offered a flight the same day with another airline, or compensation.Easyjet said the passengers should not have been cleared to board and admitted that its staff had not provided the correct information.The budget airline said it was “genuinely sorry” for the incident and would be providing extra training for staff. 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. Easyjet has called for any passengers who have been removed from overbooked flights without being offered compensation to come forward, after it emerged a couple were ordered off a flight last week.The incident at Luton airport took place the day after a United Airlines passenger was violently dragged off an airliner in the US.The British pair were due to fly to Catania in Sicily and had boarded the plane, but were then asked to leave because the flight was overbooked. Lawyers for David Dao, the passenger who lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose during his treatment by United, has said he will “probably” sue the airline.United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said he Felt “shame and embarrassment” about the incident. A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: “Passengers are entitled to a minimum level of compensation and must be offered an alternative flight, or re-rout, at the earliest opportunity or at a date that suits you, or offered a full refund, if the passenger no longer wants to fly.”Easyjet said the circumstances had been “very unusual and resulted from a manual error at the gate”.“Whilst the passengers were emailed a link to the web page for EU261 compensation applications and the website clearly outlines our policies, we accept that our agents could have pointed this out more explicitly,” a spokesman said. The circumstances were very unusual and resulted from a manual errorEasyjet Why are airlines such as @EasyJet getting it so wrong with bookings, or over bookings. It’s becoming a joke. Simple lesson. Boycott them.!!— Darren G (@chelskidaz) April 17, 2017
The Scottish Conservatives have called on Gordon Brown to clarify whether Scottish Labour’s plan for a federal UK would require a referendum.Mr Brown is expected to campaign in the General Election on Saturday as a key force behind the party’s plans for increased federalism in the UK.Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said: “To move to a federal UK would mark a historic and monumental constitutional change.”As a leading proponent of the idea, Gordon Brown has to spell out how it would be achieved.”Kezia Dugdale has raised the prospect of presenting it as an option in a second referendum on Scottish independence and, as we see Labour cosying up ever closer to the SNP, that is bound to set alarm bells ringing.”Gordon Brown and Scottish Labour need to come clean about exactly what they are planning.”Scottish Labour is holding its biggest ever telephone campaign this weekend, targeting 2000,000 swing voters in marginal seats.The party said it plans to use new software which uses socio-demographic modelling and polling to identify the key swing voters in each constituency before getting in contact. Scottish Labour’s General Election campaign manager James Kelly said: “Swing voters in marginal seats across Scotland will be directly contacted by our members. These are areas where it is a two-horse race between Labour and the SNP, and voting Tory in these areas will just let the Nationalists back in.”He said voters are “increasingly fed up with Nicola Sturgeon’s record in office” calling on her to drop plans for a second independence referendum and focus on day-today governance.Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, who will take his election campaign to an alpaca farm on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Saturday, also called for the SNP to drop plans for a second referendum.He said: “The SNP manifesto needs to cancel the divisive independence referendum so that the SNP can finally turn their attention full time to Scottish public services.”Even the creatures in the fields know that the SNP’s obsession with independence is harming public services.”SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Finance Minister Derek MacKay will campaign with the East Dunbartonshire candidate and activists in Kirkintilloch.Nicola Sturgeon will set out SNP manifesto plans for Scotland’s young people and say votes for her party are “vital to ensure a strong voice for Scotland, and prevent the dangers of an unopposed Tory government at Westminster”. Among the seats Labour is targeting in this weekend’s drive are Edinburgh South, East Lothian, Lanark and Hamilton East, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Midlothian, Rutherglen and Hamilton West, East Renfrewshire. 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.
A huge fire that has been causing significant travel disruption across Nottingham broke out in a station toilet block.Fire crews were called to the blaze at the concourse and walkways of Nottingham train station at 6:30am.The fire later spread to the roof void and around 60 firefighters are tackling “arduous” conditions using specialist equipment.The scene was evacuated and no injuries were reported, emergency services said.The blaze, which started just before the morning rush hour, caused disruption across the local transport networks. Smoke billows from Nottingham railway station early on FridayCredit:Matthew Vincent /PA Firefighters tackle the blaze inside Nottingham stationCredit:Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service East Midlands Trains advised people not to travel “unless it is absolutely necessary” and said trains “cannot run to/from Nottingham”.Travel disruption information on the company website said: “There is a fire at Nottingham station. This is disrupting our trains on the Nottingham/London St Pancras Matlock/Nottingham/Newark, Nottingham/Mansfield/Worksop, Leicester/Lincoln/Grimbsy, Nottingham/Grantham/Skegness and Liverpool/Nottingham/Norwich routes.”It is anticipated that Nottingham station will not re-open today and we expect trains to be disrupted on all routes through Nottingham for the whole of Friday 12th January.” Several cordons and road closures are in place at Queen’s Road, Station Street and Carrington Street, police said. Commuters watch outside Nottingham railway stationCredit:Matthew Vincent /PA Bryn Coleman, Instant Commander at the scene for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have a serious fire at the concourse and the walkways of Nottingham Station.”We got a call at approximately 6.30am to a fire involving a toilet block – that has now spread to the roof void.”It is quite a complex construction, we have 12 fire appliance units here, plus specialist firefighting equipment.”The conditions inside the station at this time are quite arduous for our firefighters who are committed and working really hard inside.”The early indications are that it will remain closed for the rest of the day.”Mr Coleman said they were working with colleagues from Network Rail and East Midlands Trains in a bid to reopen the station, but added that at the moment “there is still a significant firefighting operation taking place”. Nottinghamshire Police said all trains are cancelled and advised people to avoid the area where possible.The fire also disrupted the journeys of many airline passengers booked on flights to or from East Midlands Airport.Trains to the airport from Nottingham, Lincoln and Leicester were cancelled on Friday morning. Fire engines line up outside the city’s stationCredit:Matthew Vincent /PA A firefighter close to Nottingham railway station which was evacuated amid the blazeCredit:Matthew Vincent /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. Disruption is expected on all East Midlands Trains, the train operator said. Buses and trams are also affected, police said.
This would include data on the length of time the fish in question has spent in the waters where it was caught and information on how it was fed.Nick Simmonds, of the BRFC told The Telegraph: “The committee wants to make it clear that we may ask questions of that nature when future claims are made. This follows a claim for the British carp record in which the committee considered the fish to have been a cultivated fish, grown to exceed the current weight, before being stocked in angling water so it could be caught to break the record.” The committee said it would also examine whether the fish reached the weight claimed by feeding on natural food and anglers’ baits only, without supplementary feeding or other treatments and also whether the fish would be able to naturally sustain its weight in the fishery from where it was claimed to have been caught.As well as the practice of introducing imported fish into British waters faulty equipment has also been blamed for rogue record attempts.The BRFC recently turned down a claim for a new record by angler Nigel Ludbrook with the carp “Captain Jack”, from Holme Fen Fishery.He claimed weight of 68lb 8oz, but it was later found that the scales used to weigh the fish overstated its weight by at least eight ounces. It added: “The committee concluded that it should continue to consider every record claim on its own merits [and] that it would be helpful to advise potential record claimants, for anyfreshwater species, as to some of the aspects of any capture which would come under scrutiny.”These included the weight of the fish when stocked into the water from which it was caught; the length of time the fish has been in the water before being caught; the origin of the fish and its history prior to stocking. If anything in the world of angling could be described as ungentlemanly behaviour it is the practice of depositing a specially bred fish into a lake so it can later be claimed as a record-breaking catch.But the habit is in danger of becoming so widespread that the British Record Fish Committee (BRFC) is to introduce a strict new set of rules to ensure any fish submitted for an attempt on the official records was in fact born and raised in the lake where it was hooked.The move follows a bid to register a 69lb 3oz carp – a pound heavier than the then current national record – as a new record, after angler Tom Doherty legitimately caught the fish, named Big Rig, at a Shropshire lake in September 2016.It later emerged that Rob Hales, the owner of RH Fisheries’ The Avenue lake, had bought the fish from a farm at a weight of 40lb, before hand-rearing it to near the record weight, and placing it into the lake.As a result the BRFC has warned it may now require anglers to provide proof of the fish’s “provenance” before accepting any claim of a new record being set. Carp fishing can be highly competitive 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. As a result the record stands at 68lb 1oz, set by 53-year-old Reading greengrocer Dean Fletcher when he caught The Parrot, in January 2016. The BRFC pointed out that carp and some other species have distinctive scale patterns which can be identified in later years to establish whether it is native to a particular body of water or whether it was recently introduced.Fish can also be ‘clipped’ by fisheries so that their markings are recognised in later years, making it easier to tell if the fish presented for a record claim had in fact been introduced from elsewhere.Carp are not native to British waters and those found in the UK are either imported or specially reared here.The BRFC said it “does not wish to encourage any attempts to introduce record size fish via imports, or attempts to manipulate records by producing record-size fish through the use of deliberate fishery management practices.”
Former Ukip leader Henry Bolton has announced he is founding a new political party called OneNation.Mr Bolton, who quit Ukip after losing members’ support over his relationship with a younger woman, said that the party would represent voters who want to see a “confident, optimistic, prosperous and secure” UK emerge from Brexit.The new party’s structures and management will “mirror some of the changes that I sought to bring to Ukip when its leader”, he said.There is no connection with Australia’s One Nation party, which is led by controversial right wing politician Pauline Hanson. Mr Bolton, 55, lasted less than 150 days as Ukip leader after being elected last September. 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. “There is a need for a truly professional political party that believes in Britain, that preserves our national identity, culture, heritage and confidence and talks our great nation up rather than down.”Ukip was seen as fulfilling that role prior to the 2016 referendum, but had since “sadly lost much of its influence and ability to shape national events”. His romance with 25-year-old model Jo Marney caused controversy after racist texts she had previously sent became public, and he was voted out by members on February 17.Mr Bolton said that OneNation would be dedicated to building a Britain that was “outward-looking” while “preserving its own heritage and culture – a nation that has a clear and comfortable identity and is proud to be called British”.Explaining the new party’s name – borrowed from Victorian-era PM Benjamin Disraeli – Mr Bolton said: “Following a highly divisive Brexit debate and as we leave the European Union, the success of the United Kingdom can only be assured if we unite; if we pull together as One Nation.
* Sign up here for our new bulletin, Your Royal Appointment, and keep up to date with everything royal. * Community outreach project of the year, graduate of the year, mentor of the year, educator of the year and apprentice of the year are among some of the awards which are to be handed out. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, roots for her teamCredit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph No hard feelings: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wait to see who has wonCredit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph Meghan told young coaches: “My husband has devoted so many years to Coach Core and in the past year of my being in the UK to be able to see not just the impact but the incredible inspiration and sense of purpose that this instills in people is astounding.” The Sussexes saw masterclasses from world record holder Paula Radcliffe, tennis player Laura Robson and England netballer Eboni Beckford-Chambers, while apprentices showing off their skills in a series of drills and team games.They then presented the prizes in the Coach Core Awards at Loughborough University, before the Duke delivered a speech. As they finished and awaited the final scores, which saw the Duke’s team win 3-2, they embraced in a hug before setting off to learn more about the programme. One of Prince Harry’s team mates, 7ft 1in former basketball player David Robinson, suggested that he may have made an elementary mistake in winning, joking: “You’ve always got to put your wife centre stage. They are newly married, so he is learning that.”The couple had travelled to the university by train for an awards ceremony honouring graduates of Coach Core – an initiative using sport to empower those not in education or employment. The Duchess joined in gamely despite being dressed in a top by Oscar de la Renta, trousers by Altuzarra and stiletto heeled shoes, while her husband wore a casual jacket, shirt and trousers. The Duke and Duchess go head-to-headCredit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph He added: “Sport does not discriminate. But lack of support and barriers to access do, which is why the role of Coach Core fostering this raw talent is absolutely vital.“Sport can inspire and invigorate, and as we have seen today, with the right opportunity, the right mentoring and the right focus, lives can be changed.” The Duchess’ team featured the gymnastics coach Scott Hann, tennis star Laura Robson and had the added bonus of England netballer Eboni Beckford-Chambers.The Duke, meanwhile, shot hoops with marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, former England batsman Mark Ramprakash, ex-England rugby player Ugo Monye and ex-US basketball star David Robinson. Presenting the award for Coach Core graduate of the year to Sebastian Vidal, the Duchess said that the “incredible inspiration and sense of purpose” that Coach Core instilled in people was “astounding”.The Duke said in a speech: “Being a coach isn’t just about helping an individual get active, or training the next person who’s going to become a world record holder. “It’s so much bigger than that. It’s about being a role model; it’s about being professional, relatable and inspiring.” The Duchess of Sussex joins netball trainingCredit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph The Sussexes join in at Loughborough UniversityCredit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have gone head to head for the first public sporting challenge of their marriage, as they join youngsters for netball training.The Duchess, who was wearing sharp high heels, readily joined in the game which saw her pitted against her husband to practice their netball skills at Loughborough University.Joining two teams made up of teenagers on the Coach Core programme for a masterclass, they threw and caught netballs in a fast-paced game to help their new team mates score. The scheme, set up by The Royal Foundation in 2012 to use the power of sport to help change lives, trains hundreds of young apprentices and puts them in touch with the biggest sports clubs in the country.The apprentices, who are not in education or employment, get tuition, a wage and hopefully a chance to become the next generation of sports coaches. The Duchess played in high heels and a trouser suitCredit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph The Duchess of Sussex attends the Coach Core awards at Loughborough UniversityCredit:Reuters The royal visit came as Sport England awarded the Royal Foundation a £995,500 National Lottery grant to double the reach of its Coach Core programme by adding 10 new sites in England over the next three years.The activities see them follow in the deeply competitive footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have famously exhibited their sporting rivalry regularly over their seven years of marriage. Meghan and Harry meet their match in basketball player David RobinsonCredit:Karwai Tang
Insiders say the Yorks have been “dismayed” by reports the wedding is costing the taxpayer £2 million. Much has been made of the fact that the couple’s decision to have a carriage procession around Windsor – in the vein of Harry and Meghan’s May wedding – has added to the cost of the security bill. In a sign of Sarah Ferguson’s royal renaissance as mother of the princess bride, she is understood to have met her ex-husband and youngest daughter, 28, at the palace on Friday afternoon. “Fergie” has played a central role in the planning of the 11am ceremony at St George’s Chapel, which will be followed by a champagne reception hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle and then evening celebrations at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, Prince Andrew’s private home, which he shares with his ex-wife. Show more There will then be a second, festival-themed event at Royal Lodge on Saturday. Altogether 850 guests are expected to join the festivities, including the Hollywood actor George Clooney and his wife Amal, a human rights lawyer.Mr Brooksbank works as the UK brand ambassador for Casamigos, the tequila company owned by Mr Clooney and his friend Rande Gerber, who is married to the supermodel Cindy Crawford. Theodora Williams, the daughter of Robbie Williams and his wife Adya Field is expected to be a bridesmaid along with Princess Charlotte, Maud Windsor, the daughter of Lord Freddie Windsor and actress Sophie Winkleman and Ines de Givenchy, the daughter of JP Morgan executive Olivier de Givenchy.Prince George is expected to be a page boy while Eugenie’s sister Princess Beatrice, 30, is widely tipped to be maid of honour. Princess Eugenie’s future mother-in-law has spoken of her excitement at her son marrying into the monarchy, less than a week before Windsor is once again swept up in royal wedding fever.Nicola Brooksbank, whose son Jack is marrying the Queen’s granddaughter in the historic royal town on Friday, laughed off the notion of any nerves ahead of the big day, saying: “We are all really excited about it.” It came as the Duke and Duchess of York joined the bride at a high level meeting at Buckingham Palace on Friday to thrash out the final details.Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph, Mrs Brooksbank said: “We are hugely looking forward to it and we are very much hoping the weather holds out. It’s been such lovely weather – we hope to have sunshine for Friday.” Asked if the happy couple were feeling nervous she added: “I don’t know about nerves. They are thrilled to bits. We cannot wait.”Jack is the eldest son of Nicola and George Brooksbank, an accountant and company director from Wandsworth, south west London. The couple split their time between London and France’s Bordeaux wine region where they own a three bedroom stone farmhouse with a swimming pool. Jack, 32, has a younger brother Thomas who is expected to act as his best man. A petition, organised by the anti-monarchy group Republic, urging the Government to commit no more money to the nuptials, has attracted more than 28,000 signatures. A source said: “No one knows where the £2 million figure has come from but the wedding is all being funded privately. Yes there is a security cost but that is because it is a major royal event involving all the senior members of the royal family including the Queen.”Princess Eugenie doesn’t have any bodyguards or personal protection. The carriage procession is going to be nothing like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s – it’s a much more low key affair. They’re not even going up the Long Walk”.A friend of the Duchess said she was feeling nervous about being reunited with her former in-laws after being treated as somewhat of a royal outcast since she divorced Andrew in 1996. “She does have to take a deep breath before these occasions,” said the source. “She’s avoided major royal events in the past and it wasn’t easy for her to go to Harry and Meghan’s wedding.”
Rebecca Nieto, defending, said such offences caused great harm and Murfitt was “absolutely deeply ashamed of this behaviour”. She went on: “There is a deeper psychological issue here. A former high-flying soldier was spared jail despite downloading “appalling” child sex images after his lawyer explained he had been Prince Harry’s bodyguard.Timothy Murfitt used search terms such as ‘toddler’ ‘kids’ and ‘baby girl pics’ when he searched for more than 10,000 disturbing images of children.Maidstone Crown Court heard the 47-year-old former soldier was working in London when police went to his home in Sevenoaks, Kent, in April last year. But he was spared jail by Judge Martin Huseyin who praised him for his exemplary military service.The judge said: “Your history is remarkable. This is utterly out of character.”Given your co-operation and other factors, I am prepared to suspend the sentence.”Prosecutor Mary Jacobson said Murfitt at first claimed he had only looked at adult pornography but when the hard drives were examined, more than 10,000 images were found, including more than 170 in the highest category involving children.More than 380 extreme images showing adults having sex with animals were also uncovered at Murfitt’s home.Prosecutor Miss Jacobson said: “The children were very young,” but acknowledged Murfitt had been open and honest when interviewed by police. “He has tried to get help with his mental condition, but has not received much.”He got so desperate that his partner actually wrote to Prince Harry, who he was a bodyguard for at one point.”Suspending Murfitt’s sentence, Judge Martin Huseyin told him: “You had an exemplary military career, you put your own life at risk. You spent a lot of your life working very hard to protect other soldiers from harm.”It is very sad to see someone with your history standing there,” he said, “particularly for this kind of offence [but] some of the images are really appalling.”Murfitt was sentenced to six months suspended for two years with 160 hours unpaid work. His name will appear on the sex offenders’ register for seven years and a sexual harm prevention order was made. 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.