After the arrests of several senior FIFA leaders and widespread evidence of graft, bribery and general corruption at the highest levels of the global soccer conglomerate, FIFA’s selection of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup has come under renewed criticism. The indictments allege that vote-buying occurred in past World Cup host selections, and there have been other allegations that millions of dollars were paid to rig the vote for Qatar in 2010.And when you look at all the World Cup hosts since 1978, it’s clear that Qatar is in many ways an outlier.Compared with other World Cup hosts, Qatar is at the extremes on almost every metric I looked at. The data wasn’t perfect — two of the data sets I used weren’t measured annually when it would have been ideal if they were (the United Nations Development Program’s carbon-emissions reading and Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index). Also, the Press Freedom Index did not exist before 2002, so I used the 2002 mark for the World Cups that came before that year. It’s an estimation, but because that measurement is less susceptible to annual change, I felt safe in using it. And one last thing while we’re here: The Elo and GDP numbers for Russia and Qatar aren’t projections but are the most recent data available.Qatar was definitely not selected for its temperate weather in June, the typical time for the FIFA tournament. There has historically been some variation here — Argentina’s average June temperature is in the low 50s (it being in the Southern Hemisphere and all), and Mexico’s is in the mid-70s. But Qatar’s average June temperature is in the 90s.Perhaps Qatar is a real soccer up-and-comer, then? Not quite! I pulled the Elo rating of each men’s national team on the first game they played the year they hosted the cup1The last game of the previous year for Colombia, which resigned from hosting the 1986 cup and did not play soccer that year, and the most recent game for Russia and Qatar. to get the gist of how good the teams were on the world stage. Qatar has the second-lowest score ever.2Might they improve substantially in the next seven years? Sure, it’s possible. But the point is they’re not an unrecognized powerhouse in the sport at this point in time, and the fact that the host nation gets a free bid may mean they don’t have a ton of incentive to drastically improve.And it’s not like Qatar holds a bulk of the world’s population, either. Typically the country that gets the cup has somewhere around 1 percent to 5 percent of the world’s population, but not Qatar. With a projected population of 2.24 million in 2022, it’ll have a whopping 0.03 percent of the global population within its borders in a few years, not counting the spectators. What’s more, that population mostly comprises people who weren’t born in Qatar — as of 2013, according to the U.N., 1.6 million of the country’s 2.2 million people were international migrants.Although Qatar will be a global hub for sports journalists in several years, FIFA apparently did not select the country to highlight its illustrious human-rights record. Qatar has extreme restrictions on press freedoms that put it in league with Russia (the 2018 host) and Brazil (the 2014 one). They have a very high score on the Press Freedom Index, where a low score indicates a great deal of freedom.It’s also not for the nation’s climate record, either, as it’s by far the highest polluter — measured in metric tons of carbon emitted per capita. And that’s on a list that includes America. That was our category to lose!But Qatar does have one metric by which it is off-the-charts outstanding: gross domestic product per capita. Namely, it’s a small country that makes a whole lot of money. In the chart, we’re looking at the ratio of GDP per capita the year each nation hosted the cup to the United States’ GDP per capita that year, to keep it apples to apples.None of this proves vote-rigging, obviously. But when a country lacks many of the competitive advantages of other countries’ bids, some extra scrutiny is probably worthwhile. read more

Gauging the value of center Tyson Chandler has never been the easiest basketball exercise.The 17-year veteran has made his name in the NBA as a stellar rim protector, earning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2011-12. But looking solely at his work on the defensive side of the ball would be selling him a bit short, given how well he has served as a lob specialist and a vertical floor-spacer in pick-and-roll situations.And then, of course, there’s the fact that Chandler — the newest member of the Lakers after a buyout from the Phoenix Suns — is perhaps the best player in NBA history at securing rebounds … without actually securing them.The cerebral 36-year-old has long excelled at what should be known as Tyson Tapbacks: volleyball-like plays in which he swats his club’s misfires toward half-court, where his teammates are more likely to come up with the ball. FiveThirtyEight reviewed every offensive rebound Chandler has obtained since the start of the 2013-14 season1Regular season only. and found that he has generated at least 140 tapbacks in that span. In other words, about 15 percent of his offensive boards during the past five-plus years have stemmed from this play.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/TysonTapbacks.mp400:0000:0003:30Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The natural question, of course, is how someone would become so good at such a counterintuitive skill, given that players would obviously prefer to grab misses with both hands. Chandler has suggested that he stumbled onto the strategy.“Once I started getting double-teamed and boxed out, I realized, ‘OK, I can’t get to my full jump — I’ll be getting over-the-back calls all the time,’” the 7-foot-1 Chandler wrote in The Players’ Tribune a few years back. “So I started jumping like I do on a jump ball and batting it with one hand to my teammates. Now it’s funny because I see other big men do it.” In the same piece, Chandler also mentioned that rebounding that way likely cost him from a statistical standpoint for some years, as scorekeeping officials probably weren’t initially crediting him with boards for his backtaps.2With this in mind, FiveThirtyEight’s analysis covers only plays in which Chandler was credited with having snagged an offensive rebound.Chandler, who’s used this method for the better part of a decade, isn’t alone with his unusual, hard-to-track rebounding style. The move is a distant cousin of a strategy employed by Hall of Famer and NBA rebounding legend Dennis Rodman, who would often tip rebounds to himself while in traffic until he could secure the ball. Retired Pistons star Ben Wallace, also one of the best rebounders of all time, used the strategy every so often, too. And players like Brook and Robin Lopez have collected defensive accolades in recent years despite grabbing relatively few boards because they box out so well — an unselfish approach that boosts their teammates’ rebounding stats.Chandler certainly doesn’t lack ability as a traditional offensive rebounder. He’s still elite at generating offense from teammates’ misses — his career offensive rebound percentage ranks third among active players — and he has finished in the NBA’s top 10 in putback frequency3Tracking the share of a player’s offense that stems from a shot attempt immediately after securing an offensive rebound. Minimum of 75 putback possessions required. each of the past three seasons, according to Synergy Sports.It’s worth noting that not all of Chandler’s tapback efforts will be successful. (Laker fans, of course, have fond memories of the sport’s most infamous tapback, when Vlade Divac tipped the ball out to Robert Horry, who hit a game-winning three in the Western Conference finals.) Every now and then, he may toss one out of bounds by mistake, or throw one into the hands of a defensive player who happens to be in better position than one of Chandler’s teammates.But there are indications that Chandler’s tapback rebounds may carry a bit more weight than a typical offensive rebound.Chandler has already displayed clutch timing with his signature play — he’s come up with huge tapbacks already for the Lakers in the last four minutes of games against Miami, Atlanta and Minnesota. But the play also often creates high-value shots for teammates because of how flustered it leaves opponents, who have already crashed the defensive glass and aren’t in ideal position to run out and contest perimeter shooters.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/TapbacksIntoBuckets.mp400:0000:0003:11Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.An analysis of Big Data Ball play-by-play logs shows that the offensively challenged Suns launched shot attempts a tenth of a second quicker than league average — and shot 3 points of effective field goal percentage better than usual4Going from a 43.4 percent effective field goal rate to a 46.5 percent effective field goal rate. — following a nonputback offensive rebound while Chandler was on the court5So excluding attempts that were within 2 feet of the basket or within 2 seconds of the offensive board. last season. The improved efficiency may have been at least partly due to the extra space shooters enjoyed from Chandler’s occasional tapbacks.And while the one-time All-Star has already proven his worth to the Lakers, who have gone 5-1 since signing Chandler, there are reasons to think that they could benefit from more of the Tyson Tapback. Entering Tuesday night, the club ranked ninth in jump-shooting6Meaning shots ranging from 10 to 35 feet. efficiency when the closest defender was at least 4 feet away. By contrast, the Lakers rank 21st when defenders are any closer than that, according to Second Spectrum. So it might be best for Los Angeles to get more open looks from outside.With time, the Lakers could even benefit from better understanding Chandler’s tapback patterns. In December 2012, Chandler told his teammates on the Knicks during a late-game timeout against the Nets to be prepared for him to tap the ball toward the perimeter on a miss.“I told the guys before we went out there I was getting grabbed and held down. I said, ‘I can’t come up with the rebound, so be ready. Don’t run away so quick because I’m probably going to get my hands on it and tap it out. So be ready to retrieve it,’” he said. Then, like clockwork, Chandler tapped out a rebound to get the Knicks an extra possession, and Jason Kidd — who had won the 2011 title in Dallas with Chandler — hit a game-winning triple on the next sequence.So while Chandler’s 3 points per game might make it easy to overlook his impact on that side of the ball, keep in mind that his value — even on the offensive end — generally goes far beyond that.Neil Paine contributed to this article.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

OSU sophomore midfield/back Carolina Vergroessen (28) tries to defend the ball from California freshman forward Janaye Sakkas (20) during a field hockey game on Oct. 25, 2015, at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU won 6-3. Credit: Robert Scarpinito /Copy ChiefThe women of the Ohio State field hockey team are set to compete in their final regular-season game this weekend before the Big Ten tournament begins.It’s no surprise that the pressure will be on as OSU (9-8, 4-3) goes head to head against its rival, No. 11 Michigan (14-3, 6-1), on Saturday.The Big Ten tournament consists of eight out of nine conference teams competing over the course of three days. OSU is currently tied for fourth place with Indiana.A victory against the Wolverines would keep OSU secure with a winning season overall, and sophomore forward/midfielder Maddy Humphrey said she sees the game as a last chance to bring 100 percent of the team’s hard work to the field.“Goals for Michigan are to be at full strength for the first game in a long time,” Humphrey said. “We’ve had at least one starter out (due to injury) for the last eight games, so I’m excited for all of the us to be back on the field playing together and playing hard against them.”OSU’s last victory against Michigan was in 2011 when the Buckeyes came out on top 2-1. This year, the Wolverines are led by Shannon Scavelli with nine goals, three assists and 21 points followed by Lauren Thomas with eight goals, four assists and 20 points. The team is coming off a 5-0 shutout win against Michigan State.With the competition and rivalry fresh in her mind, senior forward Peanut Johnson said she plans to put it all on the line Saturday to ensure one last victory in her final collegiate regular-season contest.“For me personally, I will do whatever it takes to get the team win,” Johnson said. “Being my last regular-season game ever, I want to leave it all out there.”OSU enters the game with three of the top quality players in the Big Ten in Johnson, Humphrey and sophomore goalie Liz Tamburro. Looking past individual successes, however, Johnson said she believes every single player on the team is a vital component in the grand scheme of things.“Oftentimes a goal is scored as the result of our incredible defense making a save, getting possession and clearing it out of our circle, distributing it up to our (midfielders), who fight for position and feed it to the forwards,” Johnson said. “It’s also the girls that may not get to play often, but practice with us every day and push us and support us through thick and thin. We win and lose as a team, and I think that is the most important thing.”Humphrey, who stands at fourth place in Big Ten standings in total points (29), agreed, adding that the team’s support has improved her personal season.“(Looking forward) I want to continue to stay healthy, work with my team hard in practice and encourage each other to play at our best abilities for every game and practice in the near future. Our team is very united this year and it has shaped me into a better player.”OSU and Michigan are set to finish out the regular season at 1 p.m. on Saturday.Johnson selected for NFHCA Senior All-Star GameJohnson, OSU’s top scorer, is one of 38 seniors from Division 1 teams nationwide to be selected to compete in Victory Sports Tours/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I Senior Game. With 72 career games and 93 total points under her belt, Johnson’s biggest game was on senior day last Sunday against California when she racked up a career-high seven points through a hat trick and an assist.Johnson said that playing in the game with fellow seniors from around the country is the perfect way to wrap up her field hockey career.“I am so thrilled and honored to be selected to play this year,” Johnson said. “Having this opportunity to play one last time with these incredible athletes is truly an honor.”OSU vs. Michigan: Five-year history11/2/14: Michigan 2, Ohio State 1 (Columbus, Ohio)10/20/13: Michigan 2, Ohio State 1 (OT) (Columbus, Ohio)11/1/12: Michigan 1, Ohio State 0 (Iowa City, Iowa)10/14/12: Michigan 3, Ohio State 1 (Ann Arbor, Michigan)9/23/11: Ohio State 2, Michigan 1 (Columbus, Ohio)After the WolverinesAfter Saturday’s tilt against Michigan, OSU will have a few days off before the Big Ten tournament begins on Thursday in Bloomington, Indiana. The Buckeyes’ opponent has yet to be determined. read more

Urban Meyer stopped before finishing his sentence because even he knew he didn’t believe the words that were about to come out of his mouth. The Buckeyes had just pulled off one of the most improbable victories you’ll ever see against Purdue. There were 47 seconds left, 61 yards to go, and an 8-point deficit staring Meyer and the Buckeye team straight in the face. Heisman Trophy candidate and sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller was lying in the hospital. Yet somehow redhsirt junior backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, who said his career’s previous shining moment came in OSU’s glorified preseason scrimmage, orchestrated touchdown drives in regulation and overtime to lead the Buckeyes to victory. What did Meyer think the odds were of OSU pulling it out? “I knew it from -,” he said before stopping. He wanted to say he knew it was going to happen, that he had every confidence in the world that Guiton could do the job that his starter struggled to do all day. But instead he laughed. “I’m still trying to figure this bad boy out,” he said. “We won, right?” Meyer wasn’t so light-hearted in the moment. It took Guiton four drives before he finally broke through. The first drive ended when a field goal clanked off the left upright. The second ended in a safety, and the third in an interception. “He threw the pick, and I grabbed (Guiton), I said, ‘You’re going to go win us a game,’” Meyer said. There probably isn’t a coach in America that wouldn’t tell his quarterback the same thing in that situation. But what separates the good coaches from the great ones is the ability to make the players actually believe what they’re saying, even if they don’t believe it themselves. Somehow, Meyer was able to get that across to Guiton because he looked like a believer on his final two drives – both of which ended in touchdowns. Guiton isn’t the only one buying into what Meyer is selling. When he talks, people listen, and more importantly for a football team, they perform. When Meyer called out junior receiver Corey Brown for his lack of agility, he responded the next week by returning a punt for a touchdown. When Meyer lifted redshirt junior receiver Chris Fields from the irrelevance of the bottom of the depth chart, he plucked Guiton’s game-tying touchdown pass a moment before the ball hit the turf. At 8-0, most of the Buckeye faithful believes, too. Before Meyer and his team sang “Carmen Ohio” in front of the south stands, the fans that didn’t leave early began to chant, “Urban! Urban! Urban!” Meyer took a step forward, raised his arm and unleashed a Tiger Woods-style fist pump. The crowd went absolutely berserk. Meyer then raised his arms twice, culminating in a deafening cheer. The players broke from their Carmen formation and danced in celebration. It was euphoric, and Meyer was the catalyst of it all. The job Meyer has done is especially impressive given the context in which he’s done it. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman described his players as “a bit fragile” because of the tumultuous 2011 year that saw OSU have three head coaches and lose seven games, including a 24-17 defeat against Florida in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 Fragile players have fragile psyches and when things start to go wrong, it’s easy to throw in the towel. Last season, OSU played eight games that were decided by seven points or less and lost six of them. When one thing started to go wrong, the problems tended to snowball. Perhaps the best example is the last time Miller had to completely leave a game. When Miller was injured against Nebraska in 2011, the Buckeyes blew a 21-point lead and lost. “You’ve got to be part-psychologist throughout parts of the game and throughout parts of the week, because (the coaches) all know X, Y and Z are going to work, but it only works if the players believe it’s going to work,” Herman said. “I think that’s been as big of a change as any.” These players – whether it’s realistic or not – believe. When the situation gets tough, the players dig in for a battle. Every coach tries to create that type of environment, but not many are successful. It appears Meyer has been. “When it really gets really hard, the people that don’t work very hard just let go of the rope and do something else,” Meyer said. “If you hold onto the rope … and it’s amazing we did talk about it this morning in the hotel, the reason we do, it’s so hard. You come in February, March, when it gets so friggin’ hard, you can’t give in; you’ve got too much invested; that’s my opinion why they won the game.” read more

Ohio State wideout Johnnie Dixon reels in a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter of the Buckeyes’ 39-38 win on Oct. 28. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorDown 15 points to No. 2 Penn State (7-1, 4-1) in the fourth quarter, No. 6 Ohio State (7-1, 5-0) looked finished. Quarterback J.T. Barrett fumbled the ball, turning it over with 13:13 remaining as the Columbus crowd’s screams turned to dulcet tones. But the Buckeyes never panicked. Cornerback Denzel Ward blocked a punt and two plays later, Barrett hit wideout Johnnie Dixon for a 38-yard touchdown. Ohio State held the Nittany Lions to a field goal and responded as Barrett once again found Dixon, this time for a 10-yard touchdown.And after Penn State went three-and-out, Barrett put the finishing touches on what head coach Urban Meyer called the best comeback of his career. He dropped back and delivered a strike to tight end Marcus Baugh in the end zone to give the Buckeyes a one-point lead, their first of the game, with 1:48 remaining in the final quarter. The advantage would hold as Ohio State survived, winning 39-38 Saturday at Ohio Stadium and remaining in contention for the College Football Playoff.“Honestly, we’ve been in those situations quite a bit, whether it be spring ball or fall camp,” Barrett said. “What was going through my head was Coach Meyer saying go win the game. He says that all the time, go win the game.”Barrett followed up five weeks of increasingly impressive play with the best game of his career which potentially thrust him into Heisman Trophy contention, completing 33-of-39 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns. He also raced for 95 carries on 17 yards, succeeding taking multiple zone reads for 10-plus yards. “I’ve never had a kid play perfect, but damn he was close tonight — 33 of 39,” Meyer said. “I can count four drops off the top of my head and two penalties that kept him from big completions.”Though the Buckeyes outgained Penn State through the air (328-192) and on the ground (204-91), they trailed for the first 58 minutes of the game due to many special teams blunders which have plagued them throughout the season.It took just 15 seconds for Ohio State to seemingly realize its nightmare scenario as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley caught a well-placed kickoff and raced 97 yards, giving the Nittany Lions the early lead, which they nearly never relinquished. The Nittany Lions capitalized on a multitude of Ohio State mistakes as the home team seemingly could not get out of its own way at times. The Buckeyes committed 10 penalties for 79 yards, including four false starts. Safety Damon Webb intercepted a pass in the end zone, but cornerback Damon Arnette was flagged for pass interference which set the Nittany Lions up at the 6-yard line and quarterback Trace McSorley ran in for a touchdown on the next play.Ohio State’s defensive front managed to bottle up the Nittany Lion rushing attack for much of the game, but Barkley broke free for a 36-yard touchdown early in the second quarter and finished with just 21 rushes for 44 yards and four catches for 23 yards.“My biggest concern was not just the fact he’s a great running back, but he had 21 carries for 44 yards, if I’m reading that right. Is that right?” Meyer said, incredulous.McSorley finished the game 17-of-29 for 192 yards and two touchdowns. He made his most prominent impact in the rushing game as he carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards. He had a crucial 10-yard rush on 3rd and 10 early in the third quarter, which extended a drive, leading to Penn State scoring its fifth touchdown and taking a 35-20 lead.In the third quarter, Ward nearly pulled off an interception, but due to both he and wideout DeAndre Thompkins having possession, the Nittany Lions scored a touchdown.Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins exploded for four carries for 50 yards in the first quarter, but was conspicuously absent from the game in the second quarter. He returned to the game in the third quarter and finished with 13 carries for 88 yards. While Dobbins was out, the Buckeyes relied heavily on redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber, who ran the ball seven times for 21 yards and scored a 2-yard touchdown up the gut in the second quarter.Wideout K.J. Hill set a career high in receptions as he led Ohio State with 12 catches for 102 yards, often acting as Barrett’s short-range target. Ohio State will be back in action Saturday afternoon in Iowa City, Iowa, taking on the Hawkeyes. read more

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan2017 Record: 8-5 (5-4 Big Ten)Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh2018 Record: 3-1 (1-0 Big Ten)All-time record vs. OSU: 58-49What has happened thus far in 2018:Michigan opened its year up in a highly anticipated matchup against then-No. 12 Notre Dame, but fell to the Fighting Irish on the road in a 24-17 loss. The Wolverines have since taken care of business, beating Western Michigan, Southern Methodist and Nebraska by a combined score of 150-33. Again boasting one of the top defenses in the league, Michigan has allowed just 14.3 points per game while its offense has averaged 41.8 points and 420.8 yards per game.Impact Player:The easy answer would be junior defensive lineman Rashan Gary. A 2017 member of the first team All-Big Ten lineup, Gary appears destined to be taken early in the 2019 NFL Draft and will be a tormenter to offensive lines throughout the season. But if Michigan is going to have a successful season, junior quarterback Shea Patterson will have to be the team’s impact player. The Wolverines have not received consistent production from their starting quarterbacks in the past, but adding the former fourth-overall prospect in the nation according to 247Sports’ 2016 Composite Rankings — Gary ranked No. 1 — could help the offense find a reliable man under center like the team has not seen in years. Patterson was just 20-of-30 with an interception and no touchdowns against Notre Dame, though he has completed 41-of-57 passes since then with seven touchdowns and only one interception.Strengths:Entering the year, there were no questions asked about whether Michigan’s defense would remain the reason the team is competitive. While it could not totally ballast the team against Notre Dame, the defense did nearly all it could. The Fighting Irish averaged just 2.8 yards per carry and only 170 passing yards. With Gary, defensive end Chase Winovich, first team All-Big Ten linebacker Devin Bush and a stout secondary, Michigan’s defense will again be counted on to keep the Wolverines in games, if not win them altogether.Weaknesses:That defense will have to be the support group for the team because even with Patterson, Michigan lacks the offensive weapons around him to make for a truly potent offense. Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones has, at times, looked the part of the former top 2017 wide receiver recruit in the country, but hauled in only 38 yards on six catches against Notre Dame. Other options like former four-star tight end Zach Gentry and four-star wideout Nico Collins give Patterson additional targets, but need to prove themselves against top competition — though Patterson did connect with Collins on a 52-yard pass in the season-opener. read more

first_imgThe link between vitamin D and early ADHD symptoms has not been looked at before.Co-authors medical students Jens Bull Aaby and Mats Mossin said: “We were surprised the link was so clear as there was no previous awareness that this could be identified at such an early age.“It’s impossible to say which children will develop ADHD later on, but it will be interesting to further follow up these children.”Previous studies have shown that  vitamin D plays an important role in the early development of the brain.Mr Aaby added: “We cannot say with certainty that vitamin D protects against early symptoms of ADHD. Our study only indicates that there is a link we cannot explain in any other way.” The link between vitamin D and early ADHD symptoms has not been looked at before The trend was clearProf Niels Bilenberg, of the University of Southern Denmark 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 link between vitamin D and early ADHD symptoms has not been looked at beforeCredit: Aliaksei Lasevich / Alamy Stock Photo Prof Niels Bilenberg, of the University of Southern Denmark, said: “The trend was clear. Those mothers who had taken vitamin D, and had a vitamin D level (25OHD) in their umbilical blood over 25 nmol/L, had children with lower ADHD scores.“For every 10 nmol/L increase in the vitamin D concentration in umbilical blood, the risk of a being among the 10 per cent highest score on the ADHD symptom scale fell by 11 per cent.”Prof Bilenberg added: “Other factors could explain the link, such as the mother’s age, smoking, alcohol, obesity, and so on.” Pregnant women who sunbathe are less likely to have children who suffer hyperactivity, a study suggests. Vitamin D, the “sunshine” vitamin, also found in foods such as oily fish and egg yolks, seems to protect against the disorder.In a Danish study, levels of vitamin D were measured in the women’s umbilical cords and the mothers completed a questionnaire on their child’s behaviour at two-and-a-half years old.Children born to mothers with higher levels of the nutrient during pregnancy had less chance of having a child with ADHD, the behavioural disorder.last_img read more

first_imgLady Brittan – whose husband Lord Brittain (pictured) died without knowing that his name had been cleared Mr Proctor, who lost his home and job as a result of the damage to his reputation, is suing the Metropolitan Police for up to £500,000.Nick faces possible prosecution for perverting the course of justice and fraud, after he claimed tens of thousands of pounds from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for his alleged ordeal. Northumbria Police passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service last September but no decision on whether he will be charged is expected before the summer. The alleged fantasist who sparked the Westminster child abuse scandal has been sacked from his role as a school governor after being charged with paedophile ­offences.The man, who can only be identified as Nick, set off a £3 million police ­investigation after telling detectives he had been raped and abused by a group of powerful figures including prominent politicians. But he has been accused of making the whole thing up and is facing possible charges for perverting the course of justice.Earlier this week it was revealed he had been charged with numerous paedophile offences after indecent images of children were found on a computer.A spokesman for the school where he had been a governor for a number of years confirmed that as a result of the charges he had now been sacked.The spokesman said he was “deeply saddened”, but added that none of the allegations “relate to the position he held as a governor within this school”. 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 paedophile charges he is facing relate to allegations of downloading and possessing hundreds of indecent images of children. He is also facing a charge of voyeurism. He is due to stand trial later this year, when he is expected to deny all the charges.His sacking as a school governor is the latest twist in the saga that dates back to 2014, when he made a series of allegations to Scotland Yard about a so-called Westminster paedophile ring. Nick told detectives that the men had raped, tortured and even murdered young boys during a number of ­depraved sex parties held in flats in Dolphin Square close to Parliament.Among those he named were Sir ­Edward Heath, the former prime minister; Lord Brittan, the former home secretary; Field Marshal Lord Bramall, the former head of the Army, and Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP.Scotland Yard described Nick’s allegations as “credible and true” and launched Operation Midland. Lady Brittan – whose husband Lord Brittain (pictured) died without knowing that his name had been clearedCredit:Chris Jackson/PA As a complainant of sex abuse, Nick enjoys lifelong anonymity, even though he is currently being investigated for allegedly inventing the claims he has made.This means the school where he was a governor can also not be named. Show more Detectives questioned some of the accused under caution and also raided their homes. But after 18 months the investigation was closed down without a single arrest and Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, now Lord Hogan-Howe, the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, apologised to those affected.Lord Bramall and Lady Brittan – whose husband died without knowing that his name had been cleared – later received £100,000 in compensation.last_img read more

first_imgTwo of the passengers, Sinitta and Beverley, told the BBC there was a fire after the collision.”The train stopped suddenly and then people started screaming,” they said. “Then we saw the fire so we moved up the train, and they evacuated the train.”In a statement released after the collision the British Transport Police said that the Rail Accident Investigation Branch had been notified of the incident.The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is a specialised government agency that works with the Department for Transport and independently investigates railway accidents. Scene of fatal level crossing crash The victims were aged 15 and 72Credit:Eddie Mitchell The line was closed after the crashCredit:Peter Macdiarmid/LNP The line between Horsham and Pulborough was closed to allow officers from the British Transport Police and Sussex Police to investigate the crash .Paramedics also attended the scene.British Transport Police Detective Inspector Brett Walker said: “This is an extremely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”Our officers have been working at the scene, and will continue to do so for the rest of the day, to ensure we gain as much information about how the collision happened.”People should expect some disruption to services in the area while we investigate. I would like to thank the community in Barns Green for their support and patience.” Train at scene of level crossing crash Around a hundred train passengers were taken to the nearby Sumners Ponds campsite after the collision. They were given hot drinks until rail replacement buses arrived.  A 15-year-old boy and his grandfather have died after a train hit the car the were travelling in at a level crossing in West Sussex.Emergency services were called to the Barns Green level crossing at 8.47am Saturday morning and declared both the driver and the passenger dead at the scene. No one on the train was reported injured.It is believed the victims were travelling to a football match.Images of the wreckage show that the blue car was split into several parts when it was hit by the train. 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

Victims often did not initially realise they had been burgled The raids are thought to have netted kapaj £10 million over a decade The charge relating to the alleged Becker burglary was not put to Kapaj at yesterday’s hearing. Laurie Porter, the chairman of the Wimbledon Village neighbourhood police patrol, added: “I’m just thrilled we don’t have to worry about this man terrorising Wimbledon Village for the foreseeable future.“People have always been aware that he has been creeping around our gardens and our streets. I think I can speak for most of us when I say we will be sleeping more easily now he’s been caught.”He was remanded in custody for sentencing which will take place at the same court on June 21. Judge Peter Lodder QC described Kapaj as having “identified a particular area and conducted a sustained campaign”. To avoid triggering alarms, he would shimmy up drainpipes, as well as cutting cables to disable CCTV and closing windows behind to obscure the fact that anyone had been inside.He would focus on stealing cash and jewelry, rather than large electronic items and would sometimes only take a portion of what he found, so as to further cover his tracks.Such was the delicacy of his work that victims often did not initially realise they had been burgled and in some cases, au pairs and other domestic staff were sacked after being falsely accused of pilfering.After Mr Becker’s home was targeted in 2014, the tennis star’s wife, Lilly, said she could no longer enjoy her living there. One of Britain’s most elusive burglars – dubbed the Wimbledon Prowler – has admitted a string of raids on well-heeled residents which netted him an estimated £10 million over a decade-long crime spree.Asdrit Kapaj, 42, who ran a fish and chip shop in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, regularly made the 400-mile round journey to steal from affluent homes in south-west London district famous for the annual tennis tournament.Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker and former Premier League footballer Nicolas Anelka were among the residents who were allegedly targeted by the prowler.Despite a significant police operation to foil his raids, the married father of two repeatedly slipped the net and is feared to have committed an estimated 400 burglaries between 2008 and 2019.All the while, Kapaj, who arrived from Kosovo as a teenager in the late 1990s, led a seemingly normal life in the north of England, where he ran his take away food business.The daring, decade-long campaign of burglaries, only came to an end when his car was repeatedly spotted on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras travelling back and forward between Manchester and London.Yesterday, the man who had tormented the wealthy residents of Wimbledon for more than a decade, finally admitted his role, pleading guilty to 24 offences. At an earlier hearing Prosecutor Angela Mahadeot told Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court “AlthoughKapaj has no offences on his record, the Crown say that he has been successful in hiding his criminal behaviour over the years.”He has contacts in his home country of Kosovo and in Albania, he is likely to leave the country and the Crown say it is reasonable to assume he may not have been acting on his own.”He was finally linked to the spate of burglaries when he was arrested with his face covered by a snood and carrying a pocket knife, torch and gloves.Tahir Ali, defending, told a previous hearing he had struggled with a “gambling addiction”, but questioned prosecutors’ claim the offences were worth £10 million.Speaking after his conviction yesterday, one victim, Philippa Beck, 81, said she was struck by “blank amazement” upon learning the culprit’s identity.She added: “It really is (a relief). He was using our garden as a passage. Our burglary was June 2018, we were on holiday at the time.“He didn’t get very far with us because the alarm went. He crashed through a window – through £650 worth of window.” Kapaj was convicted at Kingston Crown Court of burglary, attempted burglary and being found equipped for burglary.His crimes were almost exclusively committed in the SW19 and SW20 postcodes.Prosecutors said the value of his haul – which was chiefly jewellery, designer clothes and cash – was £632,000, but a previous hearing was told it could be as high as £10 million.His methods were skillfully honed to avoid detection as he crept into the homes in the dead of night, often wearing a fisherman’s hat and hiding his face. The raids are thought to have netted kapaj £10 million over a decade Victims often did not initially realise they had been burgled Kapaj would cover his face and often wore a fishing hat on the raids Kapaj would cover his face and often wore a fishing hat on the raidsCredit: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. read more